BREAKFAST: For breakfast mom and I made vegan spelt pancakes. They cook best if you make them small (2.5inches round). You end up with tall stacks of small pancakes that look impressive. Drizzle a little REAL maple syrup on and your good to go!
Vegan Fun Fact: So this isn’t really a vegan fact, just a healthy one. Gluten intolerance is on a rise and unfortunately many people are not aware that they have an issue. (For a list of some of the symptoms here is a great site.) Spelt is one of the original grains used by man. Like wheat, it has glueten, but being that it has much less it is often a suitable subsitute for those with gluten intolerance.
(I don’t remember which book this is from… I will ask mom tomorrow and add the info.)
I have never made a mock meat before and didn’t think a decent one could be made at home. Mom however, again expanded my vegan horizons. These things were amazing. I ended up snacking on them for the next two days. The gluten gives them a great chewy texture that makes it a great meat substitute. Mom made a Smokey Almond gravy to go over the dish–so good.
FUN VEGAN FACT: People often assume I am vegan for reasons pertaining to animal rights. However it’s acutally one of my last. One of my top reasons is related to issues of world hunger. Here are a few stats* related to beef:
- How frequently a child dies of starvation: Every 2.3 seconds
- Pounds of potatoes that can be grown on 1 acre of land: 20,000
- Pounds of beef that can be produced on 1 acre of land: 165
- Percentage of U.S. agricultural land used to produce beef: 56
- Pounds of grain and soybeans needed to produce 1 pound of feedlot beef: 16
- Amount of total U.S. grain production consumed by livestock: 70%
- Amount of U.S. grain exports consumed by livestock: 66%
- Number of pure vegetarians who can be fed on the amount of land needed to feed 1 person consuming meat-based diet: 20
- Number of people who will starve to death this year: 21,600,000+
- Number of people who could be adequately fed if Americans reduced their intake of meat by 10%: 100,000,000
*From Diet for a New America by John Robbins
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas
- (1 can garbanzos, drained)
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup vital wheat gluten
- ½ cup plain bread crumbs
- ¼ cup vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon rubbed sage
- ½ teaspoon Hungarian paprika
DIRECTIONS: In a mixing bowl, mash the chickpeas together with the oil until no whole chickpeas are left. Add the remaining ingredients and knead for about 3 minutes, until strings of gluten start to form.
Preheat a large heavy-bottomed nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile, divide the cutlet dough into 4 equal pieces. To form the cutlets, knead each piece in your hard for a few moments and then flatten and stretch each one into a 6×4 inch cutlet shape.
Fry the cutlets in a little olive oil in the pan and cook on each side for 6 to 7 minutes. Add more oil if needed, when you flip the cutlets. They’re done when lightly browned and firm to the touch. They can be baked also. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil a baking sheet. Brush both sides of cutlets with olive oil and place on baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, then flip and bake another 8 to 10 minutes until firm and golden brown.
Veganomicon by Isa Moskowitz
“This is really vegan? But it tastes so good!” This was the response from a friend during thanksgiving dinner. Mom sent me the recipe and said it was everyone’s favorite back home. She wasn’t kidding. It’s addictive and so rich in flavor is hard to believe it doesn’t have cheese. It can be used on everything from a toasted piece of baguette to fresh pasta. Its fast and simple to make. Right before the first frost mom and dad harvested all of their basil, made it into pesto and froze it in the fridge. Now whenever they need some they pull a few cubes out to thaw.
VEGAN FUN FACT: Nutritional yeast is a healthy way to add a cheesy tasty to a dish. I let wikipedia tell you the rest: “It is a source of protein and vitamins, especially the B-complex vitamins and is a complete protein. Some brands of nutritional yeast, though not all, are fortified with vitamin B12.”
“Nutritional yeast has a strong flavor that is described as nutty, cheesy, or creamy, which makes it popular as an ingredient in cheese substitutes. It is commercially available in the form of flakes, or as a yellow powder, and can be found in the bulk aisle of most natural food stores.”
- ½ cup walnuts
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cups packed basil leaves
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
DIRECTIONS: Toast walnuts in a toaster oven at 350 for 5 minutes, or regular oven for 10 minutes, turning once. Combine walnuts, basil, garlic, and salt in a food processor and add olive oil in slow, steady stream. Add the nutritional yeast and lemon juice, and pulse to combine. The sauce should be the consistency of a slightly grainy paste, not a puree.
- Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra
I will admit that when I woke up Thursday morning to my mom’s invitation to try a McMuffin made from tofu scrambled “eggs” I was skeptical–maybe even a little nauseous. But after the first bite I was hooked! I haven’t had a McMuffin since become a vegetarian three years ago. Maybe my memory is a little bad, but I think I can safely say this was better than anything I ever had at McDonalds.
VEGAN FUN FACT: There are now tons of vegetarian meat replacements available. Many are not vegan as they use a little egg or dairy. But even if they are not vegan they are still much healthier than their traditional counterpart. People often ask how I can go with out meat. I have found that by having a Morningstar Chick’n patty every now and then, my meat cravings are thoroughly satisfied.
DINNER: Wednesday night dad made Pad Thai with a potato red coconut curry on the side. I was the designated sous-chef for the evening. In the last 5 months my parents have collected close to 20 vegan cookbooks. This recipe comes from one of their current favorite, The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.
FUN VEGAN FACT: This is common knowledge but many people are not aware of it. Cholesterol is only found in animal products. A plant based (vegan) diet is therefor cholesterol free. The “good” cholesterol that are essential for good health are made by the body.
- 8 ounces rice noodles
- Sesame or canola oil
- 1 pkg. extra firm tofu, cubed
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup peanut butter
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1/3 cup tamari soy sauce
- 1/3 cup lime of lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon red pepper
- 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
- (sprinkle with soy sauce)
- 2 cups snow peas or broccoli (stir fried)
- 1 bunch green onions/scalions, chopped (including the green part)
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- Chopped cilantro, chopped peanuts, sliced limes for garnish.
DIRECTIONS: Cook the rice noodles according to package directions, drain, and immediately return them to the pot and cover with a tight lid.
Heat oil in a pan and sauté tofu until golden brown. Sprinkle on salt and pepper while cooking. In a bowl, mix together peanut butter, sugar, tamari, lime juice, and red pepper flakes.
Set aside. In a separate large pan, heat oil and add garlic and vegetables and stir-fry for 5 to 10 minutes. Add green onions and sauté for a few more minutes.
To that pan, add the cooked noodles, tofu, peanut butter mixtures, and bean sprouts. Combine well, and cook just until al the ingredients are heated through. Garnish with limes, cilantro, and peanuts.
- 2 to 4 servings – The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
“What do you eat?” and “Where do you get your protein?” These are probably the two most asked questions I and every other vegetarian/vegan are asked. Since switching to a plant based diet 3 and a half years ago I have ranged from a simple vegetarian, to a disciplined raw vegan. Since coming to NYC I downgraded again to vegetarian status.
This summer my parents, who had for the last year been vegetarian, started experimenting with vegan cooking. They were so impressed with how good the food was, and so excited about the health benefits the slowly began to cut out dairy and eggs. I never thought there would be a day that I could say this, but my parents are now more vegan than me! My siblings now rave about the food and every week mom is emailing me more recipes.
Inspired by theirexample I began experimenting and fixed a few vegan meals for friends. Their reaction was always the same “Wow. This is vegan? This is sooo good!”
So here’s my chance to jumps start my 2010. For the next 14 days I am going to be strictly vegan. And for those of you who have been asking “what do I eat?” and “how do I get my protein?” well here’s your chance to find out. Every day I am going to chronicle what I eat, provide the recipe, and give a few statistics on the benefits of a plant based diet. I hope you all find the posts informative and that you get a glimpse of why I am so passionate about plant based nutrition. And who knows, maybe you’ll even feel inspired to ramp up the veggies.
Pic: My favorite vegan Chelsea, posing with me to demonstrate our “vegan power.”
–Manhattan Bound L Train–
Last night I met up with Todd at a movie being played on the lawn of McCarren park. I don’t think I have ever seen so many bike chained to a fence. They were looked to each other and even locked above one another.
The movie was an old horror film and not my thing but it was entertaining none the less.
Todds friend Catie was there with her boyfriend. You can imagine my enthusiasm when I found out she was Vegan. Afterwards she led us to a icecreame shop with vegan icecreame and a selection of other desserts. The icecreame was made by a Chicago company and the best vegan icecreame I have ever had.
We then migrated to a pizza shop with vegan pizza. All of these places are a four minute bike ride from home. Catie and I shared a piece of chicken Bacon BBQ vegan pizza and even Todd admitted it was good.
–Uptown M15 Bus–
So last week Darren and my old co worker Kia went with me to the Vegan Meetup at V-Spot in Brooklyn. We were excited to meet some fellow vegans and vegetarians, and even more excited to try the new Daiya Cheese.
One of the ladies was great and we talked to her throughout dinner. But the one girl to my left and the co host of the group was not so pleasant. She was conversational and disagreeable and did not make us feel welcomed.
The cheese however was amazing. It had great texture and was thick and stringy. I wish it were available retail!
So we probably won’t meet up with this group again but I am thinking I am going to start rounding up my NYC vegetarian friends for our own meet up. Which reminds me! This coming weekend is the New York Veggie Pride Parade!
–10:43pm Uptown M15 Bus–
I am lucky to have a boyfriend who values quality time. There are a few times when it’s not fun, like when he gets “worked up” (he hates it when I say upset) that I am eating to fast and not paying attention to him during our dinner conversation. But overall it has been a tremendous bonus. Tired of eating out all the time he has been wanting to make dinner together for a quiet evening in.
So this evening we did. Darren loves it when I plan things ahead so I rushed to the health food store to get Tofuti cream cheese and soy butter, and soy chicken. I wish I had a camera for the happy look on his face when he asked me, “Do you already know what your doing to make?” and I answered, “of course!”
I made a Vegan Alfredo cream sauce (without a recipe! woot woot) and drizzled it over whole wheat pasta with grilled asparagus and red peppers. Darren made aweseom garlic bread and set the table. So before I forget how I made it I thought I should jot it down.
–Nathan’s Vegan Alfredo Sauce–
In a saucepan saute a large scallion and three cloves of minced garlic in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a few table spoons of vegan butter. The longer the better. Saute till dark brown. Add an 8 oz container of Tofuti cream cheese. Add 8-12oz. of a spaghetti sauce of your choice. Add water to get to the right consistency. And add pepper and basil to taste. (I added a little bit of flour because I added to much water and it turned out really well, so I may to that on purpose next time.)
Grill asparagus for about five minutes in olive oil, minced garlic and chopped scallion. After about five minutes add the sliced bell pepper. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Grill two vegan chicken breasts.
Put the whole wheat pasts on the plate then add a layer of the sauted vegetable. Slice the breast into vertical strips and place ontop of the veggies, then cover in the alfredo sauce.