Bahn Mi Bowl-o-rama

It’s kind of funny. I cook all the time, but I fail to ever really think I’m creating new recipes or anything worth sharing, so I don’t post here.

I am hoping to change that this year.  Really.

 

I got pretty bored the other day and decided that I had some carrots, cucumber, and radishes that needed pickling, so I figured out how to do that.  Then, I thought, oh man, I could make something like a Bahn Mi with this.  And, the bowl was born.

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Here’s the basic info on pickling that I used.

Note: I used apple cider vinegar and agave, and added a crushed garlic clove, used whole peppercorns, and played around with the herbs/spices.  And I doubled this recipe.  I love spicy food, but they aren’t kidding about the heat, here!

The Bowl

Ingredients (for 1):

  • short grain brown rice (cook however much, but about 1/2 cup cooked)
  • 1/2 bunch of kale
  • pickled veggies
  • fresh cucumber (about 1/4 should be good)
  • fresh carrot (1 medium)
  • 1/2 package of tofu, pressed, dried, and cut into cubes
  • avocado
  • vegan mayo of choice
  • sriracha
  • lime juice

Really, aside from the pickles, this is a very easy recipe.

Directions:

  1. Make the pickles beforehand, so that they are cooled and pickley!  Also, preheat your oven to 425!
  2. Cook your rice!
  3. While rice is cooking, season your tofu cubes with salt and pepper and pop them in the oven.  Bake for about 25 minutes, until a little browned and crispy!
  4. Slice your carrot and cucumber up and set aside.  Wash and destem kale, then chop into ribbons.  I like to steam my kale quickly, but it will be just fine totally raw, if you chop it up small.
  5. Assemble!  Start with the rice, then kale, veggies (fresh and pickled), tofu, avocado, and mayo.  Drizzle (or pour, no judgement) sriracha and lime juice over the top.

That’s it!

Vintage Goes Vegan: Hot-Dog-and-Eggplant Casserole

I’ve been trying to gather inspiration to try out these recipes through ingredients I already have around.  I recalled that several of the recipes in the books used hot dogs, so when I was at the store a few weeks ago, I bought a package of Smart Dogs.  All of the other ingredients are staples in my pantry and refrigerator, anyway, so when I came across this recipe, I knew I had to make it.

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I was discussing the idea of this one with my friend, and both of us agreed it was an odd combination.  I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone raving over eggplant and hot dog casserole, so I was a little worried about wasting a whole bunch of perfectly good food.  I knew the eggplant part would be good, but I didn’t know how to feel about the hot dogs.  But, the point of this is to try new things I wouldn’t otherwise try, so I did it!  The verdict?  It was good, and actually got better as left overs!  If you’re feeling like trying something a little off the wall, Hot-Dog-and-Eggplant Casserole may be just for you.

Ingredients:

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1 medium eggplant (mine was a little smaller; in the recipe, it says you should have 5 cups, and I had about 4)
flour
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1 small clove garlic
1 lb frankfurters, cut in 1 inch pieces (I used 6 of the smaller sized Smart Dogs)
1 can (1 lb) tomatoes, undrained (mine was 12oz)
Cooked rice (I used farro, but also ate the left overs on pasta!)

Because of the smaller amounts on some ingredients, this went from 6 servings according to the recipe to 4 generous servings!

Directions:

  1. Peel eggplant. Cut into 1-inch cubes; measure 5 cups (note that mine only measured 4 cups). Toss eggplant with flour to coat lightly.
  2. In hot oil in large skillet, sauté onion intil tender – about 5 minutes.
  3. Add eggplant, salt, pepper, basil, and garlic. Cook, stirring ocassionally, until eggplant is lightly browned.
  4. Add hot dogs and tomatoes, mixing well. Simmer, covered, 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve over rice (or in my case, farro, or really whatever you want!).

Makes 4 servings

I also made the left overs into a calzone, with a little Daiya, so be creative with your left overs!!!

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A New Endeavor: Vintage Goes Vegan, and the Peanut Butter ‘N’ Bacon Sandwich

A few christmases ago, my mom gave me one of the best gifts ever: a set of McCall’s cookbooks from 1965.  I grew up eating so many recipes from these pages, and had always told her that I wanted her set when she didn’t need them anymore.  To speed up the timeline of receiving them, she searched the internet for a set in far better condition than her own.  It was such a fantastic surprise to receive all 18 books, with the index book and holder, in such great shape.

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Due to many circumstances (especially the whole thing where I’m a vegan), these books have sat in my possession, unused, but remaining in the back of my mind.  Last Thanksgiving, I was talking to my sister-in-law about an idea I’d been playing with – what about taking some of these recipes and making them vegan, or updating them?

Well, it’s taken me nearly a year to get to the point where I felt like I could do this, so here it is: Vintage Goes Vegan.  I’ve gone through all 18 books, and pulled 111 recipes – that’s 6 breakfasts, 5 appetizers, 5 salads, 8 soups, 4 sandwiches, 11 side dishes, 48 (!!!) main dishes, 19 desserts, and a 5-course Thanksgiving menu.  Some of them I’m keeping as close to the original recipe as possible, and some of them are being updated to reflect a more modern food availability.  Remember, these recipes were written in 1965, when I’m fairly certain there wasn’t a single american who had heard of a vegan (and these people really loved their gelatin molds…).

I wanted to start out with a recipe that I could keep close to the original, and one that also gave everyone a good idea of what I was going to be dealing with in this venture.  So, without further ado, here’s a recipe that had me gagging when I read it: the Peanut Butter ‘N’ Bacon Sandwich.

Ingredients:

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1/2 cup creamy or chunk-style peanut butter
1/2 cup chopped crisp-cooked bacon (I subbed LightLife Smart Bacon here, because I knew it would be crispier than tempeh bacon)
3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish, drained
2 tablespoons chopped stuffed olives
2 tablespoons mayonnaise (Vegenaise was my choice here, but take your pick)
12 slices bread

For the record, I did cut this down – the measurements you see above are for 6 sandwiches, and since it’s just me, I cut everything into 1/6ths as best I could.  A single sandwich would need:

4 teaspoons creamy or chunk-style peanut butter
about 2 slices chopped crisp-cooked bacon
a little shy of 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish, drained
2 chopped stuffed olives
1 1/2 teaspoons mayonnaise
2 slices bread

Do you understand why I would be gagging?  Mayonnaise and peanut butter is bad, but relish and olives?!?!  Yuck.  Who came up with this?!

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients, except bread; mix well.
2.   Use to fill 6 sandwiches. Cut in quarters.

That’s it.  They recommend buttering the bread too, but I went ahead and skipped that step.  I couldn’t imagine why I would need to!

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So, there you have it.  A very simple, and very odd, first recipe for Vintage Goes Vegan.  The verdict?  I’m ashamed to say it was actually not as horrifying as it sounds, although I don’t think I’ll jump at the opportunity to eat it again.

Straw-Buried Tart with Orange Cream Cheese

This is probably one of the most labor intensive dessert recipes I make, but damn, is it worth it.

My brother and his wife had a baby a few weeks ago!  I’m an aunt!  He’s a perfect little dude and I’m super stoked that I moved from Los Angeles to Denver so that I can be a part of his life.  My mom has been here all week to meet her first (and probably only) grandchild, and she’s been staying with me.  It’s been a fun mix of family time and family meals, and making sure there are some accommodations for me, the lone vegan.  The first night, she baked an apple pie, and made sure we used Earth Balance and vegan shortening so that I could get in on the action, too!

Well, strawberries were on sale at the store yesterday, and I was inspired to make one of my favorite desserts, a strawberry cream cheese pie.  I have not made this since going vegan, so it was an experimental recipe, and it could not have been more delicious.  My sister in law’s mom, a butter/cheese/meat loving Polish woman, thought it was delicious and couldn’t believe it was vegan!

In the past, I’ve always made a graham cracker crust, but I’ve had a lot of trouble finding graham crackers in regular stores that don’t have honey in them, so I cracked open my Williams-Sonoma Pie & Tart cookbook and adapted their basic tart crust recipe to my vegan needs, turning it into a tart instead of the usual pie I once made.  I am so pleased with how everything turned out, and I can’t wait to make this again and again!

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Ingredients:

(For the tart crust):

  • 1 “egg” (I use Ener-G egg replacer and follow the box’s directions)
  • 2 tablespoons very cold water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (if you don’t have it or are allergic to nuts, just use more vanilla – this is a modification I made, and I think it adds a lot of flavor)
  • 1 1/4 cup (200g) all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (90g) organic sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) vegan butter (I use Earth Balance sticks – avoid the spread, as it has a higher water content, and won’t work as well!), cut into small cubes (I cut it into 1/4ths lengthwise, then cut it into about 10 cubes)

(For the tart filling):

  • 1 8oz container of vegan cream cheese (I prefer Tofutti to Dayia in this case, because it has a more mild flavor)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • zest of 1 orange (technically optional, but it really adds so much flavor!  Could substitute lemon zest, too)
  • 2 1/2 pounds of strawberries, washed and hulled
  • 1/4 cup organic sugar
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar (can use regular sugar if you want, this just makes it a little more special!)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup water

Directions:

(For the tart crust, adapted from the Williams-Sonoma Pie & Tart book to be vegan friendly!)

  1. Preheat your oven to 375, and spray a 9-inch tart pan with non-stick oil.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together your egg replacer, the cold water, and the extracts.  Set aside.
  3. Mix together the flour, sugar, and salt.  If you don’t have a stand mixer, use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut the butter in.  If you are using a stand mixer, mix on medium-low speed until the butter is broken up and the mixture looks sandy; pea-sized butter chunks are okay.
  4. Add the “egg” mixture to the flour/butter and stir until just combined.
  5. Mold the dough into a ball, then flatten into a disk.  You can either put it in your dough in right away, or refrigerate it for 30 minutes (if you wait, hold off on preheating the oven).
  6. When ready, roll out the dough so that there is about an inch of the crust rising up the side of your tart pan, and place it in the tart pan.  Cover with aluminum foil, patted down so that it touches and covers all of the crust, and bake for 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes, remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes.  Set aside and allow to cool completely (you can accelerate this in the refrigerator or freezer!).

(For the tart filling):

  1. Mix the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and orange zest together, and spread on the bottom of your completely cooled tart crust.
  2. After washing and hulling the strawberries, sort them out.  You want to find about 1.5 pounds of berries that are approximately the same size to use to line the whole tart.  Cut them into standing 1/4ths, so that they point upwards when placed on top of the cream cheese filling.  Starting from the middle, fill the entire surface of the tart with upright berries.
  3. Chop up the remaining strawberries into chunks, and add the 1/4 cup of sugar to allow them to macerate.
  4. Mix together the corn starch and water (should be at least warm), and mix to get rid of any chunks.  In a small sauce pan, combine the macerated berries, corn starch mix, and turbinado sugar.  Cook over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and allow to cook until the berries break down (I mashed them with my whisk, too).  Continually stir until the mixture becomes thick and viscous.  Remove from heat and allow to cool completely before pouring over the rest of the tart (I put mine in the freezer to speed up the process).
  5. Refrigerate the entire tart for at least 30 minutes to make sure everything sets up!
  6. ENJOY!  It’s delicious!

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Vegan Alfredo Sauce

After going to a few restaurants with my friend and finding that most places didn’t have a vegan alfredo sauce, I decided to try to make my own.  How hard could it be?  I’ve already got the basics of a bechamel sauce down, so it seemed like a no brainer.

Here’s the recipe for this basic, yet totally freakin’ delicious, sauce.  Try it on your favorite pasta, or instead of red sauce on pizza! Yum!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter (I use earth balance)
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup plain, unsweetened, non-dairy milk
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy cheese, mozzarella flavor (I used Follow Your Heart shreds)
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Directions (creates enough for 1 serving; multiply ingredients to serve more):

  1. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan.
  2. Once melted, add the flour, and stir until all flour is completely covered in the fat.  Cook on a low heat until it forms a thick paste, or roux.
  3. Add in your milk and stir until well combined.  Turn to a medium-low heat and allow to come to a low simmer.
  4. Add in the cheese and nutritional yeast, and stir until the cheese melts into the sauce.
  5. Stir in your seasonings, and allow to simmer for 3-5 minutes.  In this time, the sauce will thicken, and should easily coat the back of a spoon.  Once it has reached your desired thickness, add it to your recipe!

Portobello Steak with Mixed Green Spaghetti Squash

I’ve had a George Foreman grill for years.  When I ate meat, I probably used it… twice ever.  Just in the last 4 months, I’ve used it close to 10 times.  Why?  I discovered the joy of cooking portobello mushroom caps on it.  After they’ve been marinated and grilled, they’re easily one of the tastiest things I can make at home.

A word about spaghetti squash – it doesn’t taste like spaghetti, so don’t get your hopes up, if you haven’t had it.  That’s usually the first question people ask me when I tell them I had some of it for dinner.  It’s a squash, and it tastes like one.

Anyway, I hadn’t been on a serious grocery shopping trip in close to two months.  I went out of town for Thanksgiving, then for work, then Christmas showed up pretty quickly, and I went out of town again for New Years.  So, yesterday, I did the first half of my grocery shopping.  I decided to make something new with my spaghetti squash, and that lead to this!

ingredients

Ingredients: spaghetti squash, portobello mushroom, beet greens, kale, Beyond Meat chicken-free strips, lemon, garlic, an array of spices, and not pictured: balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cooked spaghetti squash (I boil mine, but you can bake them or even microwave them!  Just make sure they’re cut in half first)
  • 1 large portobello mushroom cap
  • 4-5 beet green leaves
  • 3-4 kale leaves
  • 1 serving Beyond Meat chicken-free strips
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • however many cloves of garlic your heart desires
  • assorted herbs and spices (I used basil, parsley, rosemary, lemon pepper, and crushed red pepper)
  • 2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:
1. Boil a large pot of water (large enough for your spaghetti squash. I always just cook the whole thing). If you don’t have a grill, preheat your oven to 450 (for your mushroom)
2. Zest your lemon (set half aside) and squeeze half of the juice into a container that will fit your portobello mushroom. Add salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. Mix together, and add your cap, gills down. I always do this in a sealed tupperware so I can flip it around and get the whole thing coated. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes in the marinade. If you’re putting the mushroom in the oven, go ahead and do that right after the 10 minutes is up.
3. Take your leaves, then pile and roll them up to chiffonade (this is a fancy word for “cut into strips”). Here’s a picture:

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4. Sauté your greens with olive oil and garlic. They’re going to need a little time to soften.
5. When the spaghetti squash is done, remove it from the water. I like to place it in a bowl and use my fork to scrape it out. Here’s another picture:

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6. Right about now, I would put my mushroom on the grill. It only needs about 5 minutes on the GF, closer to 15 if you’re baking.
7. Take the scraped squash and drop it in with your greens, and add the Beyond Meat chicken-free strips. Mix them together, and remove from heat. Add the rest of your zest and lemon juice, as well as any spices you want.
8. When your mushroom is done, remove it from the grill or oven, and slice as desired. Plate, and enjoy!

(note: unlike meat, you can use your marinade without heating it and pour it on top of your mushroom.  It’s delicious!  I showed a friend this, and she totally thought I was eating a steak.)

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Sweet Potato Chili Pie

I’ve been eating a lot of sweet potatoes for the last year, if you haven’t noticed.  I love them.  I’ve been experimenting more with different ways to eat them.  Today I decided to try a “shepard’s pie” kind of approach, utilizing the chili I made today (https://jackieisgreen.com/2015/01/05/bean-chili-basics/).  It was awesome.

Ingredients (serves 1 as is, but obviously easy to adapt):

  • 1 serving of bean chili (see link above)
    • Note: I used garbanzo beans, black beans, white beans, and pinto beans, a can of diced tomatoes, 1 jalapeño, cumin, lemon pepper, smoked paprika, cayenne, turmeric, ground ginger, cinnamon, garlic, parsley, basil, and my favorite hot sauce.
  • 1 small-medium sweet potato, peeled and mashed
  • salt, pepper, cayenne, cinnamon, and garlic
  • Beyond Beef beefy crumbles

Directions:

  1. Preheat an oven or toaster oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Take the serving of chili and put it in a ramekin, and mix in the Beyond Beef.
  3. Top the chili with the mashed sweet potato.
  4. If all of your ingredients are already warm, it only needs to bake for 8-10 minutes to get nice and hot.  If they’re both cold, you’ll probably want closer to 20 or 30.

That’s it!  If you’ve already made the chili, it’s super quick and east to throw together and make this.

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