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.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Moroccan Rice


I'm kind of a food colonialist; I love sampling foods of the world, and I have no qualms with reinventing traditional recipes--especially (of course) by means of veganizing traditionally not vegn recipes.  The nerd inside of me, of course, is screaming "the false dichotomy between modernity and tradition is holding you back!" at which I laugh, gazing towards my stacks of postcolonial theory books.  Nerdity is a love/hate relationship.

Returning to the food at hand, a simple issue with many recipes is using beef or chicken broth, which can be replaced with the use of veggie broth and oftentimes various spices.  This was the case in this recipe.  This moroccan rice is delicious and slightly sweet in a way that doesn't taste so much 'exotic' as it simply tastes delectable.  I've always been a fan of moroccan foods, but for some reason they have never really made it to my kitchen for the mostpart.  This week, however, I finally got up the courage to try to recreate one of my favorites, and  I must say it came out delicious-- I hope you enjoy it too!

Note:  This dish pairs extremely well with the Peanut Butter Vegetable Soup, which is framed upon a traditional North African soup recipe.

1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 red onion, chopped fine
1 cup rice
1 1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 cup broccoli florets
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/8 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Heat oil in a large saucepan and cook onion until slightly browned.

Add rice and stir for a few minutes.

Add remaining ingredients, stir, reduce heat to simmer, and cook for 30 minutes. Let stand for a few minutes before serving.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Vegan Pad Thai


I'm a new fan of Pad Thai. There's a great Vegan Thai place near where we live, and since going a few months ago, I can't stop thinking about how great Pad Thai is. I've experimented a few times at home (since we'd be broke if we ate there every time I wanted to) and came up with this recipe. Obviously, this isn't a traditional Pad Thai, but still rather delicious and good in a pinch for a craving.

1/2 package of rice noodles
1/2 c broccoli
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 small onion
garlic powder, to taste
salt & pepper to taste
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp vegetable broth
1 tbsp crushed, unsalted peanuts.

Boil the rice noodles with the soy sauce and the vegetable broth. You have to be a little more careful with rice noodles, as they can easily overcook and become mush, so follow the directions on your package. Typically, they only need to boil for around 4-5 minutes, then should be rinsed quickly with cold water to keep them from cooking any further.

Dice your pepper and onion, and saute them with the broccoli in a bit of soy sauce. Add in the noodles and the spices, then add the Sweet and Sour sauce (below). Toss all ingredients until hot and well combined.

Serve hot with crushed peanuts sprinkled on top.

Sweet and Sour Sauce
1/2 c applesauce
4-5 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp white vinegar
garlic powder, to taste
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Adjust spices and flavours to taste. Saute with Pad Thai noodles and vegetables.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Baked Vegan Popcorn Chicken


This one comes straight to you from game day 2012! And though the Patriots lost (although I try not to mention it in front of Andy, whose soul was crushed that day), these were perfectly delicious and gone before halftime. Even our non-Vegan friends couldn't stop eating them.

The sauce I recommend is an old favourite straight off my father's sadly not vegan chicken wings. I've made amends, and it's perfectly delectable with these Vegan versions.

The "chicken" is one we used before on this site, taken from Vegan Dad's brilliant idea to use mushrooms with wheat gluten to make a quick seitan. You can skip the mess and sub in store bought seitan as well. Basically, it follows the same recipe and ideas as our BBQ Wings, only these are smaller, rounder, and backed without any sauce to make them crispy and delicious with any dipping sauce.

1 c chopped button mushrooms
1/3 c onions, diced
1/4 c red pepper, diced
2 tbsps olive oil
1/2 c water
1 c wheat gluten
2 tbsps diced garlic
1 tsp garlic salt
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp paprika
1 dash rosemary

Flour Mixture:
1 c flour
1 c panko breadcrumbs
1/4 c nutrional yeast
2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
salt and pepper - as desired
(Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and set aside)

Separate bowls of:
Olive Oil
Buttermilk (1 c non-dairy milk and 1 tsp apple cider vinegar)

In a food processor, blend the chopped veggies and mushrooms. Add the oil and spices, and blend under course. Add the water and the wheat gluten, and pulse under the mixture resembles a sticky dough.

Pull apart about a tablespoon of dough, and dredge it in olive oil. Roll it in the flour mixture, and drop into the buttermilk. Roll again in flour mixture.

Do this until you have no dough left. Bake all poppers for about 30-40 minutes, or until dough inside is dark gray in colour and outside of poppers are golden brown and crispy, and they spring back up at your touch immediately. Dip in your favourite sauces and enjoy!

Spicy Soy Mustard Sauce:
1/2 c prepared mustard
5 tablespoons soy sauce

Honey Mustard Sauce:
1/2 c prepared yellow mustard
5 tablespoons light or raw agave nectar

Friday, February 3, 2012

Egg-free Apple Bread


I love apples. They may be one of my favorite foods of all time. Growing up, my grandfather had a monstrous, unsightly apple tree out of a children's tale about a wicked witch-- it was a gnarley, mangled mess that reached forty feet into the sky. As threatening as it appeared, some of its less pernicious-looking branches dangled over the deck, allowing us young'ns to grab apples right off the tree. I didn't realize then that store-bought apples were pock-mark free and without the risk of bugs, so to me the apples were a mighty treat as I would gnash my teeth through their crunchy skins. My grandfather would yell at me in Italian, which I would respond with a few head shakes-- yes or no-- as to whether I had rubbed the apple on my dirty to shirt to clean it.

Now I couldn't tell you what kind of apple tree it was, or even what the apples tasted like, but the memories stand out whenever I think of my childhood. My grandfather sold that house in 2000, and with that went my childhood of the apple tree, the peach tree, the giant garden, the grape vines, and his wine press in the cellar. Oddly enough, now I have most of those things (including his actual old wine press, which I recently tried to make hard apple cider with. Spoiler alert: I failed).

Anyways, this apple bread is a great treat, and apples are cheap, so why wouldn't you want to make bread even tastier? A great morning treat instead of toast, this gives you your 'apple a day' without making it feel like a prison sentence (if you're not an apple person). If you are an apple person, well who doesn't like to try their favorite foods in different shapes and forms?!?!? The interesting thing about this recipe is that I made it sugar-free and oil-free, as I substituted apple sauce and apple butter for those ingredients. It's the tri-apple-on. Yeah. I went there.

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups unsweetened apple sauce
1/4 cup apple butter
2 tbsp tapioca starch
3 tbsp water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups Honeycrisp apples - peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup raisins

In bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, place apple butter, apple sauce, tapioca starch, vanilla and apples. Stir into flour mixture.

Add raisins and mix.

Divided mixture between two greased 8-in. x 4-in. bread pans.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 55-60 minutes or until bread test done. Be aware that because of the water content of the apples, sauces, and butters, this may take some time to fully bake.

Cool for 10 minutes on wire rack before removing from pan.

Caloric Info
Servings 10
Total Fat: 0.6 grams
Sat Fat: 0.1 grams
Polyunsat. Fat 0.2 grams
Monosat. Fat: 0.0 grams
Cholesterol: 0 grams
Sodium: 180.0 mg
Potassium: 101.0 mg
Carbs: 45.7 grams
Dietary Fiber: 2.6 grams
Sugar: 9.3 grams
Protein: 4.3 grams