Did You Know?

Did you know??
Although using avocados and bananas are all the buzz now to get soft and shiny hair, all it will get you is a messy kitchen and bathroom. These products are great to help your hair for one day, but the proteins in them are way too big for your hair to absorb. And unless you are going to use them each day (yikes!), then you should head to a beauty supply store and check out some Vegan products that use "hydrolyzed" proteins - proteins from avocados and bananas that actually are small enough to help your hair.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Home Made Vegan Hot Dogs

Vegan Hot Dog 

Tired of the processed, expensive vegan hot dogs / tofu pups that you see at the supermarket?  Me too.  After trying a few different hot dog recipes I've seen floating around the net, I came up with this one.  It's a great dog that holds up to most styles of cooking, but not all.  If you intend to fry it, I would suggest not doing so--the skin isn't quite firm enough for such actions.  If you boil it, grill it, or bake (which is my standard way, and how the vegan dog above was cooked), I recommend keeping the aluminum foil and parchment paper on it to keep it in doggy shape.  Otherwise, it can break apart (much like normal hotdogs do sometimes), and since these do require a bit of work, I like to get the most out of them.  Here it goes!

4 tbsp ground almonds
2 tbsp ground cashews
2/3 package firm tofu
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp canola oil
1/4 cup chopped white onion
1 tsp paprika

1 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp brown mustard seeds
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 cup wheat gluten

4 tbsp water

Break out your blender or grinder, and grind the cashews and almonds into a crushed dust.  It doesn't have to be perfectly ground, but as long as it doesn't have huge chunks floating around.  You can leave this in the blender.

Crumble the tofu into the blender, and add the water and soy sauce.  Mix, but don't blend yet.

Add the remaining ingredients except the wheat gluten.  Mix it around in the blender with a spatula before blending, then blend until completely smooth.  This may take a little while (2 minutes or so).

Empty the liquidy mixture into a large mixing bowl.

Add gluten and mix until evenly combined- you'll end up with a sticky, doughy concoction that is quite similar to seitan. 

Grab 3/4 of a palm full of the dough to make each hot dog.  If you need a certain amount of hotdogs, divide the dough up prior to rolling out each dog.  You should end up with around dozen hotdogs.

At this point you'll want to get a large pot of water boiling.  Make sure you have a steamer insert.  If you don't have one, any type of scoop with slits that's large enough can work-- you'll just have to be a bit creative.

Now that the vegan pups are rolled out, get some parchment paper to wrap each of them up seperately.  Repeat the same action with aluminum foil twisting the ends lightly.

Arrange the now-wrapped hot dogs in your steamer insert with the seam side facing the water. Pack them in tightly so they don't burst. Stack them so that the rows alternate in direction (i.e. first row faces you and the wall, the second is parallel with the countertop).

Steam for 45 minutes.  If you do have them stacked in rows, halfway through steaming flip the rows so they are both evenly steamed.

At this point, the dogs are ready to either be prepared for eating or frozen.  Keep the aluminum foil on the dogs as you throw them in a freezer bag.

To cook for eating, preheat oven to 375 and cook for 25 minutes with aluminum foil and parchment paper still on, but opened to allow the steam out. You can also grill them (again, with the aluminum foil on).  I haven't had any luck boiling them, but I don't ever seem to have any luck boiling any foods (other than soups, stews, etc.).

Experiment!  Enjoy your newfound freedom from the preservatives that clog the isles at the grocery store and start stocking your own freezer with home made vegan hot dogs!

Makes twelve hotdogs.

Caloric Info
Servings 12
Total Fat: 4.8 grams
Sat Fat: 0.6 grams
Polyunsat. Fat 1.6 grams
Monosat. Fat: 2.2 grams
Cholesterol: 0 grams
Sodium: 181.5 mg
Potassium: 92.3 mg
Carbs: 3.0 grams
Dietary Fiber: 0.9 grams
Sugar: 0.6 grams
Protein: 11.7 grams

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Vegan Bacon and Egg Breakfast Sandwich

Vegan Bacon and Egg Breakfast Sandwich

It's been a while for Vegans to really enjoy a breakfast sandwich, but thank goodness, here we are. It hadn't even occurred to us how much we missed them until we made this one...

To make 2 sandwiches:
6 oz of firm tofu, drained (1/2 traditional packaged tofu)
6 strips of Fake Bacon (check out our recipe in the link)
2 bagels, english muffins, croissants, OR 4 pieces of whole wheat toast
2 tbsp Vegan Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp lemon juice
4 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Drain tofu well and press to remove excess water. Gently cut into 1/2" slices. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Combine flour and spices.

Toss tofu slices in flour mixture until well coated. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place tofu slices on sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes per side or until Tofu is yellow in colour and feels firm to the touch. Remove from oven and let cool briefly.

In a skillet, combine Worcestershire sauce, olive oil and lemon juice. Heat until bubbling gently, and add in tofu slices. Sautee until tofu seems darker in colour and the edges are crunchy.

Place egg on toasted bagel and add Vegan Bacon and Vegan cheese, if desired. Daiya works well for this.

Caloric Info (for just the egg)
Servings 2
Calories 319.2
Total Fat: 34.1 grams
Sat Fat: 4.7 grams
Polyunsat. Fat 6.3 grams
Monosat. Fat: 21.4 grams
Cholesterol: 0 grams
Sodium: 197.4 mg
Potassium: 198.3 mg
Carbs: 7.2 grams
Dietary Fiber: 1.9 grams
Sugar: 2.8 grams
Protein: 13.1 grams

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Frozen Fruit Slush

Not pictured: sunshine

It's finally feeling like summertime here and we celebrated with some frozen fruit drinks!

This one was pretty simple and inspired by some mangos and limes that needed to be eaten.

1 large mango
1/2  lime (use the other half for garnish and to sugar the edges of the glass)
2 tbsp coconut milk
1 cup (1/2 each) frozen strawberries and raspberries
1/2 cuppineapple chunks in juice

Blend all ingredients. Use a lime slice to wet the edges of the glasses, and roll the glasses in coloured sugar. Pour in drink and add lime wedge to glass as garnish. Add an umbrella to class it up.

NB: You could also add some Triple Sec to make it a fun adult drink, too. We didn't, but it sounds pretty fantastic.

Caloric Info
Servings 4
Total Fat: 2.0 grams
Sat Fat: 1.5 grams
Polyunsat. Fat 0.2 grams
Monosat. Fat: 0.1 grams
Cholesterol: 0 grams
Sodium: 5.0 mg
Potassium: 213.1 mg
Carbs: 17.2 grams
Dietary Fiber: 3.4 grams
Sugar: 11.6 grams
Protein: 0.8 grams