Template for an Enticing Salad | VeganMoFo 2017 Day Eight

VeganMoFo 2017

Week One: Changing Vegan Perspectives
You do make friends with salad: A salad to win anyone’s heart.

Colorful rainbow saladEarlier this summer, I had a bit of a salad revelation. It is, perhaps, a bit embarrassing that it took nearly eight years of veganism for me to realize that you can make a salad with LITERALLY ANYTHING YOU WANT. Limiting yourself to raw vegetables only? How provincial. Throw in some roasted veg, some beans, some crispy chickpeas… there are no rules! Limiting yourself to a particular set of flavors is also unnecessary — you can mix and match flavors with abandon. Make every bite a surprise!

So today I present to you an extremely loose template for creating a salad that both empties your fridge and leaves you full. Customize it according to your tastes and available veggies (or… fruits?! Get crazy!) and munch away. Salads aren’t just for bunnies anymore.

Template for a Super-Filling Salad

Serves 2

  • Greens (a few large handfuls): baby spinach, arugula, baby kale, romaine, mesclun… heck, even iceberg if you’re desperate!
  • Raw veggies (choose 2-4): sliced carrots, chopped tomatoes, shredded cabbage, sliced mushrooms, chopped peppers, thinly sliced radishes, diced avocado, edamame, sliced cucumber, chopped celery (not recommended, but acceptable if you’re desperate to get rid of it)
  • Roasted veggies (choose 1-2; optional but recommended): squash (delicata would be lovely), eggplant (I used cute Turkish eggplants in the salad shown above), cauliflower, sweet potato, Brussels sprouts, corn kernels, diced beets
  • Protein (choose 1-2): cubed and marinated tofu, crispy roasted/sauteed chickpeas, crumbled veggie burger, Beyond Meat (or other) chicken shreds, crumbled tempeh, beans
  • Something sweet (choose 1; optional): dried cranberries, dried cherries, candied pecans/walnuts/other nuts, thinly sliced peaches/apples/pears, fresh berries
  • Crunchy topping (choose 1): hemp/sunflower/pumpkin seeds, croutons, extra-crispy roasted chickpeas, chopped nuts
  • Dressing (choose 1): classic olive oil + vinegar/lemon, Green Goddess, spicy almond (or peanut) butterCaesar, lemon-tahini, turmeric-ginger

Basically, do whatever the heck you want when it comes to salad. And let me know your favorite combinations — I’m looking for inspiration!

Save

Save

Advertisements

An “Original Vegan” Dish | VeganMoFo 2017 Day Seven

VeganMoFo 2017

Week One: Changing Vegan Perspectives
Original vegan: Vegan meals that aren’t trying to replicate meat/omni ingredients.

I just love this prompt. My tastes tend to be cyclical; I’ll go through periods where I’m all about veg meats and cheeses, then longer stretches of time when I eschew those in favor of more whole foods. While I mused on this prompt, my mind immediately went to elevated dishes involving unusual takes on typical veg ingredients. Curried kasha, cooked in coconut milk and spices?! An elaborate pasta dish with plenty of roasted tomatoes from my still-abundant garden?!

…but then I took a step back and realized this is the perfect opportunity to highlight a super easy, nourishing, healthy veggie meal. The kind that, truth be told, I rely on most weeknights. Especially this time of year, when it’s getting a little chillier out and I don’t mind turning on the oven, I love featuring roasted veggies in my dinners. It’s not unusual for Steven and I to sit down with a bowl of two or three roasted veggies, maybe a grain, and some tofu or beans for protein. Meals don’t need to be a single cohesive dish to be satisfying; sometimes a bowl with a few simple yet tasty components can be remarkably satisfying.

Simple, veggie-rich bowlSo I present to you a vegan dinner that is simple, satisfying, terribly healthy, and quite affordable. It lends itself well to scaling up or down, depending on how many diners you’re serving, and can be augmented with additional roasted veggies depending on what you have wilting in your crisper at the moment. I used delicata squash (the first of the season!), spicy marinated tofu, and steamed kale. Roasted sweet potato would also be lovely here. You can swap out the garam masala (which I’ve used on my delicata rings) for another spice blend of choice, but I like the way the sweet spices works with the kickier harissa-spiced tofu. You could certainly fancy this up with a sauce, but I kind of like the simplicity of enjoying each element’s individual flavors. (Pardon my rough recipe; this is not a meal that requires precise measurements! And pardon the rough phone photo; I was hungry!)

Simple Veggie-full Dinner Bowl

Serves 2

1 lb extra-firm tofu, pressed
1-3 tablespoons Harissa paste, to taste
~1 tsp garlic powder
1 delicata squash
Vegetable or olive oil
1-2 tablespoons garam masala
Dash salt (optional)
3-4 roughly chopped handfuls curly kale
Lemon juice (optional)

Preheat oven to 400˚F.

First, prepare the pressed tofu by slicing it into ~1” cubes. Toss it with harissa paste and garlic powder and set aside to marinate.

Trim the ends off the delicata, then slice it in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and stringy bits, then cut each half into ~3/4” half-moon slices (see photo above). Toss with a little oil, garam masala, and salt, if using. Spread onto a baking sheet and pop in the oven, setting the timer for ~15 minutes. (Note: You can flip your rounds at some point to ensure even cooking, but I don’t always do that. #lazy)

When the squash rounds are nearly done (at about 15 minutes), heat a little vegetable oil in a cast-iron skillet or other nonstick pan. Add the tofu cubes to the skillet and cook on medium heat, flipping occasionally, to brown them slightly. When they’re about done and the squash is fork-tender, start boiling water for the kale.

Remove squash from oven and let cool slightly while you steam the kale for ~3 minutes, until bright green and tender but not overdone. You can drizzle the kale with lemon juice at this point if you’d like.

Add a good portion of each component to your bowl and enjoy!

Editor’s note: This post includes affiliate links. If you purchase something through my link, it costs nothing extra for you, but I get a few pennies to help cover hosting costs.

Save

For the Love of Vegan Cheese | VeganMoFo 2017 Day Six

VeganMoFo 2017

Week One: Changing Vegan Perspectives
Vegan cheese is “real” cheese! Showcase your best cheesy dish.

Steven and I just returned from an incredible all-vegan vacation (more on that later), and we had the chance to chat with plenty of vegans — many of them newish — about veg products available in the States and abroad (we were in London and Norway). Among the newer vegans, conversation often turned to perhaps the most deeply desired — yet frequently disappointing — food: cheese. As in, which brands are good, which brands are horrible, which products lend themselves well to which application. For the almost-vegans we chatted with, cheese was frequently the sole item they found themselves craving and occasionally indulging in.

I’ve talked about cheese quite a few times on the ol’ blog. In truth, though, after eight years without it, I really don’t miss it. Sure, I’d love a perfect analogue for the sharp, sliceable Vermont cheddar I grew up with, but you know what? I’m not going to spend my time crying about it. Instead, I just enjoy what’s available to me now and rest easy knowing that I’m not contributing to any of the horrors endemic to the dairy industry.

Cow in Olden, Norway

No cows harmed in the making of my cheese.

If you’re a new vegan missing cheese (or a would-be vegan scared about missing it), my best advice is to just stop eating it for three to four weeks. Give it a break. Avoid vegan substitutions. Then, when you’ve lost the taste for it just a bit, dive on in to the myriad substitutes available and enjoy them as they are. They are not identical to their dairy-based counterparts, but many are still damn tasty. From local, small-batch producers (such as our MD-based This is Vegan Foods varieties) to countrywide powerhouses (Miyoko’s!) to big-time international brands (Follow Your Heart!), there are a whole lot of vegan cheesemakers out there. Here are some of my current picks for the best vegan cheeses (barring in mind that I actually don’t buy vegan cheese all that often!).

My favorite store-bought vegan cheeses

  • The best slices for sandwiches or grilled cheese: Field Roast Chao slices, any flavor
  • The best artisanal cheese for a cheese-and-cracker snack plate: Anything from Miyoko’s Kitchen
  • The best shakeable parmesan that reminds you of the cheap stuff you used to dump onto pasta: Go Veggie (or straight-up nooch!)
  • The best cream cheese for bagels: Kite Hill chive (I used to be a diehard Tofutti fangirl, but I tried Kite Hill recently and was smitten!)
  • The best shreds: UNDECIDED! The new Follow Your Heart ones seem pretty promising, but I’m between favorites right now. ;) Violife is new to the U.S. and I’d love to try their offerings!
  • The best queso for nachos, baked potatoes, or even modifying for mac ’n’ cheese: This recipe, which I use frequently — it’s deceptively simple and so satisfying. I use unsweetened almond milk instead of water to make it extra creamy.

I also enjoy making my own cheeses. Anything from Miyoko Schinner’s Artisan Vegan Cheese is bound to be great, but here are a few other recipes I like.

My favorite homemade vegan cheeses

Creamy vegan butternut squash gratin // govegga.comI’m also a big fan of a simple cashew cream when I want something evocative of cheese but not overly flavorful. One of my favorite applications to date was in this butternut squash gratin, which uses both cashew cream and coconut milk to create an ultra luxe sauce. It’s a decadent recipe, perfect for the holidays

What are your favorite cheeses, either store-bought or homemade?

 

 

Editor’s note: This post includes affiliate links. If you purchase something through my link, it costs nothing extra for you, but I get a few pennies to help cover hosting costs.

Save

An Omni-Persuading Meal | VeganMoFo 2017 Day Five

VeganMoFo 2017

Week One: Changing Vegan Perspectives
Conversion meal: What would you make to convince an omni to convert?

Call me a spoilsport, but would someone really go vegan based on food alone? If a person chooses to reduce the variety of foods they eat, they’re not gonna do it just for fun, without a compelling reason. So let’s assume a baseline for this prompt: The “someone” in question — let’s call her Jane Omni — has already bought in to the underlying arguments for going vegan, but she needs reassurance that she’ll still have lots of delicious food to eat with this new lifestyle. (Am I being too pedantic and interrogating this prompt more than necessary? Probably. I just like guidelines, OK?!)

So. Pedantry acknowledged, let’s move on! Jane Omni is ready to go vegan and I have the immensely important task of feeding her incredible food to help convince her to make the switch. Forget fake meat, mac ’n cheese, even ice cream… Jane and I are doing brunch. A massive, sweet and savory, boozy brunch with lots and lots of options. It will last hours. She will leave in mild stomach pain. She won’t eat until the next morning. This is the shock and awe conversion approach; I’m appealing to the ravenous glutton that resides in all of us.

Vegan breakfast at Deer Run B&B, a vegan bed and breakfast in the Florida Keys

(Also, the booze is key. I’m going to get her good and tipsy so she’ll remember the meal fondly. She might even drunkenly pinkie-promise to go vegan. Hey, I didn’t say I’d be playing fair!)

Our disgustingly expansive brunch will include:

  • All the fixings for mimosas and Bloody Marys (house-made, fish-free Bloody Mary mix included!)
  • Fresh juices (I’m thinking orange and mango?)
  • Hash browns AND home fries AND lovely  herby roasted potato wedges, to satisfy any potato preference
  • A big pan of basic tofu scramble, with optional sautéed veggie add-ins (peppers, onions, mushrooms) and lots of hot sauce and ketchup for topping
  • Tortillas, homemade refried beans, diced avocado, cheesy shreds, and pico de gallo to make breakfast burritos with the aforementioned tofu scramble
  • Sweet potato and veggie chorizo hash (also acceptable to stuff into a burrito)
  • Made-to-order waffles with optional add-ins
  • Stacks of classic fluffy pancakes, plus homemade vegan butter, plenty of pure maple syrup, and fruity toppings (blueberry sauce! apple compote!)
  • The lemon-poppy seed muffins from Vegan Brunch: Homestyle Recipes Worth Waking Up For, because they are the best
  • Scones! Regular and potato.
  • Rice paper bacon. This is ballsy, but I’m going to wait until she’s tipsy to bring it out. I probably won’t call it bacon; I’ll just serve it up and let her enjoy it for what it is.
  • Bowls of fresh fruit, cut up into charmingly bite-sized pieces for easy health food consumption amidst the rest of this unhealthy decadence
  • Some amazing fluffy homemade biscuits and a vat of vegan sausage gravy
  • DOUGHNUTS. Dozens.

Vegan breakfast at Deer Run B&B, a vegan bed and breakfast in the Florida Keys

Listen. If Jane Omni doesn’t make the switch after rolling out of my house, belly full and booze-addled, she’s a lost cause.

…and now I’m hungry for brunch.

Note: This post contains an affiliate link. If you purchase something through my link, it costs nothing extra for you, but I get a few pennies.

An Improved Catered Meal | VeganMoFo 2017 Day Four

VeganMoFo 2017

Week One: Changing Vegan Perspectives
Catering: Improve on the worst catered meal (wedding, party, conference, etc)
you’ve been served.

When it comes to catered events, I’ve been pretty lucky: The majority of the weddings, conferences, and other food-featuring events I’ve attended had at least one respectable vegan option on offer. Chalk it up to a combination of thoughtful friends and a real lack of conference-going on my part. (The only conference I’ve been to in recent memory took place in Seattle, and the organizers made sure there were quite a few vegan dishes for lunch. They were tasty, too — see photos below!)

It’s completely possible I’m just blocking out a particularly woeful meal from my memory, but my candidate for worst catered meal is pretty benign: a boring salad, potatoes roasted in margarine, and rolls. Certainly not exciting, but not horrifying. If I had to recreate that meal, I’d make the potatoes my main dish — perhaps as part of my spicy potato and tofu chorizo casserole? Adding tofu would provide protein, making this a filling meal.

Spicy Potato Casserole with Tofu Chorizo

Truthfully, if I were eating this at home, I’d eat it alone. But in this remade catered meal, I suppose I’d have to add a few side dishes. Mirroring the lackluster meal mentioned previously, I’d pair the casserole with some homemade dinner rolls — maybe Vaishali’s pull-apart multigrain rolls? — and a simple side salad. How about a nice hearty kale salad dressed with the the classic lemon-tahini dressing from Oh She Glows?

I guess I’m not too sad I don’t have more to say for this prompt. If I did, it would speak to a sad history of sad catered meals. But I can’t wait to see what everyone else shares!

 

Save

Save

Protein-Packed Vegan Meals | VeganMoFo 2017 Day Three

VeganMoFo 2017

Week One: Changing Vegan Perspectives
But where do you get your protein? Make a protein-packed meal.

This prompt gave me a chuckle: I devoted all of VeganMoFo 2014 to sharing meals that are high in some of the nutrients vegans get grilled about: calcium, iron, and — duh — protein. (Side note… gosh, that photo of Luna in the link above is squeezing my heart. My little baby girl. I miss her so much.)

So, protein. Although I briefly considered developing a brand-new, protein-centric recipe for today’s prompt, I decided instead to plumb the depths of the ol’ blog and share some older recipes that fit the bill. Let’s call it recycling. ;)

First, a few words about protein. (I’m also recycling (and retooling) these from a 2014 post).

Marinated Tofu Sandwich

Where do vegans get their protein?

The “But where do you get your protein?!” has a pretty simple answer: From nearly everything I eat. Here’s what the American Heart Association has to say on the matter:

“You don’t need to eat foods from animals to have enough protein in your diet. Plant proteins alone can provide enough of the essential and non-essential amino acids, as long as sources of dietary protein are varied and caloric intake is high enough to meet energy needs.” (1)

Still, protein-related myths abound. One oft-cited “fact” is that plant proteins are inferior to their animal-derived counterparts because they don’t provide all essential amino acids in a single source (and are thus called “incomplete” proteins). Based on this belief, some sources will say that you must consume all of your complementary proteins in a single meal to derive the full protein benefit, but that’s been disproven. Instead, as long as you eat a variety of proteins throughout the day, your body can take care of combining them. (2)

(For a further, more in-depth read, I highly recommend The Vegan RD’s primer on plant-based protein. Ginny Messina is a vegan treasure!)

How much protein do vegans need?

So — how much protein do you need? Not as much as lots of people think. Unless you’re very active, 10-30% of your calories should come from protein. (3) The USDA has tool for tailored nutrient recommendations here. I’ve done a few calculations, and I should be getting between 50 and 70 grams per day. What does that mean in real-world food terms? Well, half a block of tofu has around 18 grams, half a cup of tempeh has 15 grams, and half a cup of black beans has 20 grams. And those are just the protein powerhouses! Most of the incidental foods we eat contain at least a little protein, and those grams add up. For example, bagels often contain around 10 grams of protein. A small handful of almonds gives you around 4 grams. Eat a balanced, whole-food-heavy diet, and you should have little trouble meeting your needs.

Hearty, protein-rich vegan veggie stew // govegga.com

What are some protein-heavy vegan recipes?

Glad you asked! Why not try one of these?

Sources cited:

(1) http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/Vegetarian-Diets_UCM_306032_Article.jsp 
(2) http://www.theveganrd.com/vegan-nutrition-101/vegan-nutrition-primers/plant-protein-a-vegan-nutrition-primer/http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/basics/protein.html
(3) https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/appendix-7/

Note:

I’m neither a doctor nor a dietitian; please don’t treat my posts as medical advice! Consult a medical practitioner for specific medical or nutritional recommendations.

Save

Vegan Doughnuts Forever! | VeganMoFo 2017 Day Two

VeganMoFo 2017

Week One: Changing Vegan Perspectives
Junk food forever! It’s not all kale chips and chia seeds being a vegan – show us your fave vegan junk food.

Let it be known: I am a vegan — first and foremost, forever and always — for the animals. The environmental benefits come second, followed by human rights. A distant last? Health.

Look, I don’t doubt that a plant-based diet is heaps healthier than the so-called Standard American Diet. Anyone switching from consuming lots meat and dairy will probably experience health benefits. But do I believe that veganism will cure cancer/solve the alleged obesity epidemic (ugh)/guard its adherents against every disease? Hell no. Overblown health claims are, frankly, detrimental to the movement. If you promise a would-be vegan a life of perfect health and the reality doesn’t match up to that promise, how likely is she to stay vegan? Not very. Touting overblown health benefits is not an effective long-term strategy.

Plus, my veganism isn’t a diet; it’s a lifestyle that aims to reduce suffering. So, all this is to say that I love vegan junk food. Unashamedly. Do I indulge in it every day? No. My own body feels best and most in balance when I eat mostly whole foods, with lots of fruit and veggies. But that doesn’t mean I will not scarf down a bowl of ice cream or half a pan of apple crisp or yes, a large portion of a bag of Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos on a Friday night. (Yes, the latter is vegan. I know.) I might eat two or even all three of those.

However, I definitely do play favorites when it comes to vegan junk food. And my ultimate favorite will-drive-many-miles-to-obtain snack? Doughnuts. Delicious doughnuts. I used to think of them as the final frontier in vegan dessert, and craved them with a sugar-desiring hunger. (See this four-year-old post for proof of my obsession! And during VeganMoFo 2011, I talked about missing them. Ha!)  Nowadays, I am #blessed to have two vegan doughnut producers in somewhat-easy reach, and I indulge whenever possible. And I have changed my mind about the final frontier: It’s angel food cake. Sigh. I miss that stuff.

Three doughnutsSo, doughnuts. My all-time favorite doughnut-slinging establishment is Glory Doughnuts, which I mentioned here. Not only does this all-vegan joint bake up dozens of creative doughnuts (those are maple bourbon, the coconutty Chewbacca, and key lime pie in the photo), but they also serve savory breakfasts that just scream “Sunday brunch!” Think tofu fried egg sandwiches, fried cookie butter-filled French toast, PBR-infused Belgian waffles… ugh. Plus, it’s a woman-owned business, which makes me love it even harder. If this place were closer to me (it’s about 25 minutes away, in historic Frederic, Maryland), I would be sorely tempted to eat there all too frequently.

Donut Alliance treatsNow, a newcomer to the Maryland vegan doughnut scene:  Donut Alliance, previously mentioned here. I’ve only had their offerings once, but I was impressed. Clockwise from top left, that’s strawberry margarita, birthday cake, Samoa, and maple bacon. YUM. I really loved these light, fluffy doughnuts! Unfortunately for me, Donut Alliance doesn’t have a storefront and only sells their goods at Baltimore businesses. Baltimore is about an hour away, so my chances to indulge in these fried treats are few and far between. But I’ll take all the opportunities I can get!

Vegan Treats doughnutFinally, my #1 choice for cake-y doughnuts: the inimitable Vegan Treats. Is there anything this mecca for sweet-toothed vegans can’t do?! VT is about a three-hour drive away, and I’ve only been there once (for my birthday!) BUT, our local Loving Hut (which is about 45 minutes away, in Falls Church), frequently has VT desserts on offer. That’s where I picked up the doughnut pictured above (and discussed, in great detail, here.) I used to brave the massively long Vegan Treats line at D.C. VegFest to get my fix, but now I’d rather just get some pho at Loving Hut and wrap it up with a VT dessert. ;)

Alas for me, I’ve never been to Dunwell or Voodoo or any of the other big-name vegan doughnuteries. One day. In the meantime, I’ll stick to my local faves. I also just became the proud owner of six individual doughnut ring pans and so far have made one baked chocolate doughnut recipe. It was… just OK. I think, at the end of the day, I’d prefer a deep-fried, totally unhealthy, professionally made doughnut. But if you’re open to homemade goodness, here are some recipes that look pretty good to me:

So. What’s your favorite vegan indulgence? And what’s the best purveyor of vegan doughnuts near you?

Save

Save

Save

Roasted Harissa-Tahini Cauliflower Wrap with Peppers and Lime Slaw | VeganMoFo 2017 Day One

VeganMoFo 2017

Week One: Changing Vegan Perspectives
Re-inventing the veggie option: Think of a boring, bog-standard veggie option like nut roast or risotto and give it a makeover.

It is, perhaps, one of the most dispiriting events to experience while dining out as a vegan. You’re at a restaurant that touts itself as vegan-friendly. The menu arrives, and your eye runs down the page, looking for that familiar V or a little leaf-shaped icon. Finally, towards the end of the list, you find the mark… only to see it paired with an abysmally un-creative item. It’s a portobello mushroom wrap or penne with red sauce or, alas, a roasted veggie wrap. You sigh and order it anyway.

We’ve all been there, right? We’ve all put on a smile when facing the waiter or our omnivorous dining companions, pretending we’re totally fine with the laziest and most boring vegan option imaginable. But inside, WE ARE NOT FINE. Is it too much to ask for a creative, thoughtfully prepared and executed vegan dish?! When the internet and hundreds of vegan cookbooks are bursting with inspiration, it’s disappointing that chefs and restaurant owners rely on tired veg staples from the ’90s.

Perhaps that’s why I love today’s prompt: It gives us all the chance to take one of those tired staples and breathe new life (and deliciousness!) into it! I opted for that hated roasted veggie wrap, an option particularly despised by my partner Steven. In lieu of bland roasted veggies, a tasteless tortilla, and — god forbid — hummus, my vegan roasted vegetable wrap relies on a battery of flavor-packed elements. I start with a homemade garlic-cumin flatbread, spread with a little harissa mayo. In it, you’ll find:

  • Harissa-tahini roasted cauliflower with lime (inspired by the charred cauliflower starter at True Food Kitchen in Bethesda, Maryland)
  • Simple but flavor-packed roasted banana peppers
  • A clean, crisp, simple lime cabbage slaw

Vegan Harissa-Tahini Cauliflower Wraps // govegga.com

Now, let’s be clear: This does require a bit more work than dumping some hummus on a tortilla, stuffing it with quick roasted veggies and calling it a day. But each element is relatively simple to pull together, and you can make any of them ahead of time to assemble on the fly. (The flatbread wraps are best fresh, however!) Eat it hot, warm, cold, or anywhere in between, and up the harissa content to meet your personal spice threshold.

Roasted Harissa-Tahini Cauliflower Wrap with Peppers and Lime Slaw

Makes 6

For the lime slaw

  • Half head green cabbage, sliced into thin strips
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the harissa-tahini cauliflower
  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped into small, bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 tablespoon harissa paste
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
For the roasted peppers
  • 3-4 banana peppers or other peppers of your choice, sliced into thin strips
  • Drizzle olive oil
For the garlic-cumin flatbread wraps
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup aquafaba
  • 1/4 cup nondairy milk
  • 1 tablespoon oil
For the harissa mayo

Method

Preheat the oven to 425˚F.

First, make the slaw. Mix the shredded cabbage with the salt, sugar, and lime juice, and use your hands to coat thoroughly. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Next, prepare the veggies. Put the sliced peppers on a baking sheet, then drizzle them lightly with oil and sprinkle with salt. Whisk the tahini, harissa, and lime juice in a small bowl, and then toss this mixture with the cauliflower in a larger bowl. Pour onto a prepared baking sheet (either lightly sprayed with oil or lined with parchment). Put both pans or trays of veggies into the oven and roast for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the veggies are cooking, prepare the flatbread. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients (flour to salt). Whisk together the aquafaba, milk, and oil in a smaller bowl, then add to the dry ingredients. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, mix the wet into the dry until combined, adding extra flour if the mixture is sticky. Dump the dough onto a floured surface and knead a few times. Divide the dough into six balls. Pour a little oil into a nonstick or cast-iron pan and heat it to medium-low.

(At some point while you’re working on this, the veggies will be done. I like them soft and a little blackened, but you can cook to taste. Remove from the oven and set aside. You want them warm but not hot when you eat.)

While the pan is heating, use your hands or a rolling pin to roll one dough ball into a rough circle or oval, about 4 inches in diameter. (I like to roll them out one at a time; I’ll roll one while the other is cooking. If your pan can accommodate more than one flatbread at a time or you prefer to roll them all out in advance, that’s fine too.)

When the pan is heated, add the first flatbread and cover the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the pan is steamy and the bread has a few bubbles. Remove the cover and flip, cooking the other side for another 2-3 minutes until cooked through. Repeat for the remaining flatbreads.

When all flatbreads are cooked, mix up mayo and harissa to taste and assemble your flatbread sandwiches. Start with a layer of harissa mayo, then top with the lime slaw. Add roasted peppers and cauliflower, gently fold the flatbread, and eat!

PIN IT

Vegan Harissa-Tahini Cauliflower Wraps // govegga.com

Editor’s note: This post includes affiliate links. If you purchase something through my link, it costs nothing extra for you, but I get a few pennies to help cover hosting costs.

Small-Bite Sundays: September 17, 2017

Small-Bite Sundays

Friends, apologies for the radio silence! VeganMoFo begins in October (!), and I’ve been prepping for that. Steven and I will be out of the country during the first few days, so I’ve been getting my mock ducks in a row before we leave. (That aphorism doesn’t quite hold up to veganization, does it?) I’ve also gotten back into freelancing after the summer lull, leaving me less time for blogging. Expect a little more quiet on the blog front until October, when I’ll be posting every darn day, just as I have done for the past eight MoFos. Yeehaw.

In the meantime, I’ve had a frustrating weekend. I’m 0.5 for 2 with the recipes I’ve been working on for VeganMoFo, leaving me frustrated and disappointed. Oh well. Onward!

Small bites: to read

Wow. I was unfamiliar with the Michelle Jones story until a college acquaintance shared this article on Facebook. (If you are equally unfamiliar, I really suggest reading the story — any summary I could give wouldn’t do it justice.) There’s so much to unpack here, and the question of where we as a society draw the line when it comes to redemption is something I haven’t thought much about.

~

A poignant read from the perspective of a physician who has to share heartbreaking, devastating news with the families of patients who pass away. What stood out to me here was how incredibly important empathy is in situations like this. It’s a core principle of my own life (or at least, I aspire for it to be), and it serves this doctor well.

~

As someone who grew up with Deaf family members, I really enjoyed this piece about how the sign language used by black Americans differs from that used by white Americans. In my experience, folks tend to think of “sign language” as a monolith, but it’s so very not. American Sign Language and Signed English are very different, and as this article points out, Black American Sign Language is another dialect entirely — one that’s historically been ignored and downplayed. It’s fascinating but not surprising that people who are deaf code-switch just like their hearing counterparts.

Small bites: to watch

Profanity ahead, but holy smokes — this video of an Irish family dealing with a bat in the kitchen is pure gold. Stuff like this usually doesn’t appeal to me, but I could not handle this video! And I’m glad the batty got out safe. :)

Small bites: to eat

Thes berbere-spiced jackfruit tacos feature finely chopped jackfruit, which is… an embarrassingly obvious preparation method that I somehow haven’t used! Leave it to Vegan Richa to come up with this fantastic idea.

~

Garden tomato haulTOMATOES FOREVER. Here is my haul from a single day this week. My cherry tomatoes just won’t stop producing, and my larger slicers are finally ripening. I think those are Mikados on the right, but I’m not entirely sure… my labeling fell by the wayside at some point this summer. Last year I had tomatoes well into October; I’m crossing my fingers for that to happen again!

~

Speaking of tomatoes… I saw a recipe for roasted tomato pasta recently and it has been a weeknight staple ever since (and a great way to use up my massive supply of cherry tomatoes!). You simply halve a bunch of cherry tomatoes, drizzle them with olive oil, add salt/pepper/vegan parm/nooch/whatever, and roast in a high-walled pan or casserole dish for about 20 minutes at 425˚F, until they’re juicy and falling apart and a saucy mess. In the meantime, boil pasta. When it’s done, just mix the drained pasta into the dish with the roasted tomatoes. Add more spices/nooch/vegan parm to taste and enjoy!

~~~

If you’ve got a little cash to spare, here are two crowd-funded projects that look neat. The first is a Spain-based startup that’s creating vegan “leather” bags out of biodegradable cork bark. They’re committed to sustainability, ethical production, and vegan products… the trifecta of conscious consumerism, perhaps?

The second is closer to home (for me, at least): a vegan burger joint in Baltimore. Maybe it’s just because I’m hungry for dinner right now, but their food looks great.

~~~

Let me know if you’ve read/watched/eaten anything noteworthy this week!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Small-Bite Sundays: August 27, 2017

Small-Bite Sundays

First things first: Have you entered my giveaway yet? Win a handmade vegan-emblazoned mug here! (And if you have a recommendation for another vegan small-business interview, drop me a line.)

I spent last weekend in Rhode Island, visiting with family, meeting my sister-in-law’s family (they’re visiting the U.S. from their home in Thailand), and celebrating my mom’s 60th a bit belatedly. All visits to RI give me the chance to spend lots of time with my two little nephews… meaning all visits to RI include about a 50/50 percent chance of me coming home with some kind of terrible kid-transmitted illness. This time, I ended up with a killer cold and spent about three days glued to the couch with my trusty tissue box by my side.

Luckily, though, the cold didn’t strike until later in the week, or else Steven’s and my eight-hour drive home on Monday would have been pretty miserable. During our drive, we stopped in a state park to watch the eclipse — what we could see from northern Maryland, at least. We had about 83% coverage, and I was (naively) surprised at how little change there was in the light. At least we had eclipse glasses to see what was happening, and we were able to share them with a family who was taking a mid-day hike but didn’t have any glasses. Anyway, the experience left me wishing we’d driven somewhere to see totality, and I think we’ll attempt to do so during the next one — just seven years from now. :)

Small bites: to read

Fellow vegan blogger Jenny has a brief piece on Medium about how a nasty vegan weight-loss site stole an image of her and used it to promote their vegan diet program. Ironically, the image was originally used on another piece she wrote… about the intersections (or frequent lack thereof) between veganism and fat acceptance.

The incident stands out to me for a few reasons. One, it’s an example of the bizarre way folks seem to think images on the internet are fair game for reuse, even when they’re not marked as creative commons. Two, it highlights the continued problem of fat-shaming within the vegan community and the icky idea that veganism should be/is a weight-loss tool. Third, it’s actually heartening to see the way people responded to Jenny when she put a call out on social media for others to demand the site take her photo down. Thanks to the folks who mobilized on her behalf, not only did the site remove her photo, but they deleted the entire post in which it was used.

If you’re interested in reading more about vegan body positivity and weight inclusivity, check out Jenny’s Big Fat Vegan Zine Tumblr.

~

I am so intrigued by the thought of cooking with so-called “roasted sugar,” sugar that’s been slowly, well, roasted in the oven until it develops a deeper and almost caramelized flavor. I’m looking forward to experimenting with it! (I contemplated putting this in the “To eat” section, but even I, a lover of sweets, would not sit down to a bowl of roasted sugar.)

 

Small bites: to watch

It’s a bit long, but I enjoyed this video demonstrating the absurdly long process of getting dressed as an 18th century Western woman. Fans of 18th century British novels in particular (guilty!) will likely appreciate this visual; female protagonists in these books frequently reference their dress.

Small bites: to eat

I am always on board for cashew cream, and these adorable creamy tomato-basil tartlets from Vegan Yack Attack feature a basil-infused cashew cream in spades. I’d sub in a gluten-full crust, and I’d probably make a full-size tart (alas, I have no tiny tart pans), but otherwise this recipe is a perfect way to do justice to your end-of-summer tomato stash.

~

Aquafaba is a seriously versatile ingredient — not only has it revolutionized vegan meringues and macarons, but apparently it makes an amazing caramel. I love the inclusion of macadamia nuts, too; I can imagine them adding a perfectly rich and buttery element to this caramel sauce.

~

As I mentioned earlier, we celebrated my mom’s 60th in RI last weekend. What I didn’t mention was that my dad basically catered a three-course fully vegan meal for 20+ guests all by himself. He’s always been the star cook of the family, but he really outdid himself here. We enjoyed appetizers (Texas caviar and a seriously incredible three-bean dip), a soup course (spicy sweet potato and kale), and a main course featuring twice-baked potatoes (augmented with mashed cauliflower!), a light salad, and grilled veg sausages and veggies. Plus, Dad made three original cocktails to order, including an incredible chocolate drink that was perfect for my chocoholic mom. Oh, also? Nearly everything was gluten-free so my celiac aunt could enjoy it. Yeah, my dad should probably go into the catering business.

We followed everything up with a vegan cake from a local bakery. They decorated it like a barbell weight as a nod to my bodybuilder mom’s favorite hobby. :)

~~~

What was your eclipse experience, if you’re in the States? What have you  read/watched/eaten lately?

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save