Friday, July 20, 2012

Vegan Bulgogi, Vegan Sushi and Vegan Fried Rice with The Vegg

I just have to say it... O.... M.... G!!!!  This was the most amazing meal that I've made in a long time.  Thanks to the Girlfriend, I made a vegan bulgogi with Lighlife Chicken Strips, carrots, mushrooms, sugar snap peas and a bed of romaine lettuce! 

I was just saying that I felt really unimaginative in the kitchen lately so I wasn't sure what was going to happen.  I started craving some ethnic foods and I knew that I wanted the bulgogi that the girl made.  I, also, wanted to compliment it with a fried rice but I knew that the fried rice contains egg.  Lucky for me, I purchased a package of the Vegg a few weeks ago but I have been a little intimidated to use it.  After contacting the Vegg for measurement break downs I decided that I was going to make Vegan Chicken Bulgogi, Fried Rice and Vegan Sushi for dinner. 

I started out by prepping all of my rice and veggies for the sushi and my rice for the fried rice.  I cut up my veggies for the rice and set aside.  In this rice I used peas, bean sprouts, ginger root, green onions and the Vegg!  Just 1 teaspoon of the Vegg mixed with 1/4 cup water yields about 3 -4 egg yolks.  Folks, this stuff is amazing!

I can't really give any sort of measurements because when I cook, I just improvise on how i'm feeling.  For the bulgogi sauce I used a soy mixture that included white wine and other items.  (I can't go into detail because it's not my recipe and I'd be killed if I would share it). 

However, the fried rice, is AMAZING!  I used all of the Vegg mixture that I prepared after I sauteed the veggies and rice.  I used brown rice for this recipe and stir fried it in a sesame oil.  Once this was added, it was a matter of stirring and adding spices. 

I plated the Bulgogi on a bed of lettuce with Mushrooms, carrots, sugar snap peas with a few pieces of sushi and fried rice. 

There was a ton leftover, even though the roommate and I pigged out.  So, my manager was supposed to be coming into town to finally meet me and I figured I'd be nice and bring her a care package... (we always talk about the sushi).  In her care package I put 2 vegan sushi rolls, a bed of lettuce and bulgogi and vegan fried rice wrapped in a romaine leaf.  Unfortunately, she was not able to make it down today so she will not be able to indulge.  However, I sent her a picture and she stated that it looked like it could be from a high end restaurant.  That's what I like! 

Presentation and taste... Quality, Love and Compassion!

This, if you haven't guessed, is a DEFINITE vegan YES and if you could try some you'd want to keep coming back for more! 

A side note... I'm kinda glad she didn't come down because now I get to relive this delicious meal for lunch!

What do you think?  High End?

10 out of 10 deliciousnessness!

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Portabella Mushroom Steak Hoagie and Fries

There is this place that I used to go to that had the best steak hoagies.  Pizza Sauce, Onions, Pickles and smothered in Mozzarella Cheese.  It came with a side of crinkled fries and I just couldn't get enough.  Now that I have gotten away from consuming meat, for the most part, I do not allow myself to indulge in the steak hoagie but that does not mean that I can't try to create something similar. 
That's right!  I tried a Portabella mushroom Steak Hoagie last evening and it wasn't too bad.  Wasn't at all like actual steak but it was pretty good.

I marinated 2 Portabella mushrooms in Worstershire Sauce and Mesquite Liquid Smoke hoping that this would create the illusion of being on the grill.  I added a few shakes of black pepper, a few shakes of garlic powder and salt and a heaping tablespoon of italian herbs.  I let this sit for at least an hour. 

I made my pizza sauce using 6oz can of Tomato Paste, 6 oz can of warm water, vegan parm, agave nectar, fresh basil and oregano and minced garlic.  I set that aside and waited until I was unbelievably hungry. 

First I sauteed the mushrooms in the marinade for about 15 minutes and then I transferred them to a pan and cooked in the oven for about 15 more minutes with the marinade. 

I didn't do anything special to the fries... I went to the store a picked up a pack of oreida frozen crinkles.  I knew it was just going to be me eating so why go large and in charge? 

I toasted my hoagie bun and coated it with Garlic "butter" and began to assemble my hoagie.  First, I put the mushroom slices down, then topped it with pizza sauce and onions; added my pickles and mozzarella and stuck it in the oven for about 15 minutes. 

It was really delicious but would've been better if I would have left out the liquid smoke.  It was a little overpowering and the bun top did get a little too done but...

I plated with a side of fries and ketchup and dug in!

It did not, however, satisfy my steak hoagie craving.

7 out of 10 shrooms on this one!

The Vegan Mariachi Beef Pizza from Donato's

Just the name of the pizza makes my taste buds water.  This has to be one of the best pizza in the area and the spice level is just perfect for me.  I had been craving this pizza for quite some time but I didn't want to give in and order one and I really didn't want to eat all that meat.  At this point, I'm pretty much full vegan except an occassional- a very occassional bit of cheese.  Back in the day, I could eat an entire large pizza by myself.  It's just that good.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I don't have a huge appetite so it's odd for me to be this in love with making food. 

Anyway, this pizza is comprised of thin crust, pizza sauce, spiced beef, roma tomatoes, jalapeno's and mozzarella cheese.  It's a spice delight and they actually give you sour cream packets to put on top to make it more tolerable to eat.  And if you know anything about Donato's, it's toppings are all the way to the edges.  I decided that, on the day that I didn't feel like cooking, that since I was having this amazing craving for this pizza that I would pick up my apron and try to do a veganization.  

I haven't had much luck in replicating a favorite pizza since enjoying my vegan lifestyle so I was a bit apprehensive, but I decided to go for it anyway.

First step was to take my soy crumbles and let them absorb all the spices: Chili Powder, garlic powder,  cayenne pepper and some other spices that I can't quite put together at this time.  I stuck it in the fridge and went on to make my pizza sauce.  I didn't have some of the items that I needed to make the sauce and I didn't have overnight to let it sit.  I wanted this pizza that night!!!  So, I made my own vegan version of my sister-in-law's family pizza sauce recipe.  Instead of the honey, I used agave and instead of parm I used the vegan parm.  I added some fresh herbs from the garden, mixed it all together and let it sit around and soak up the flavors. 

Whilest this was going on, I sliced my roma tomatoes and jalapenos and got ready to prepare the crust.  Now, the crust I didn't feel like actually making so I bought one at the store.  A thin crust that I could still roll out.  I put it on the pan and brushed it with garlic "butter" and set it aside.  Now it was time to take the soy crumbles and spices with a bit of water and heat.  I usually let it simmer for about 15 minutes.  While this was simmering, I sauteed my jalapeno slices to bring out the flavor and spice. 

Now it's time to actually assemble the pizza.  The first thing that I did was to take my sauce and lightly and evenly spread around the entire pizza- crust and all.  Then, I sliced some garlic and spread around on the sauce.  Next was to place roma slices all over the pizza, then the same with the jalapeno slices.  Finally, it's time to put your soy crumbles and it's important that there is very little water left after simmering.  I spooned the soy crumbles on top and throughout and then covered with my daiya mozzarella.  Stuck it in the oven for about 1/2 hour and set my table.  I had picked up some Tofuti Sour Cream to put on top and when it was finished... I had done it!  It tasted very similar to what I had set out to do.  And it's even good cold.  The girlfriend totally loved it and she doesn't even like hot and spicy foods!

This recipe has a 5 roma tomatoes and 5 jalapeno rating!  DELICIOUS!!!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Cucumber Bites and Dill Dip

Happy Birfday, Merica! 

It's taken me awhile but here I am to talk to you about the cucumber bites and Dill Dip.  They both turned out super delicious and were a huge hit.  My non-vegan friends couldn't get enough of them but I had to limit what I allowed everyone to eat because it only made a small batch.  Next time I know to go large! 

It started on Tuesday July 3rd with the preparations for the party.  I had to run to the parents and obtain tables so that we would have enough space for everyone to sit.  Once that was accomplished, it was time to go to the grocery and get the items that I needed for my dishes that I was creating.  It seemed like the evening would never slow down but with the help of my roommate, we were able to get everything that  needed to be prepped and cleaned completed and able to enjoy a dip in the pool.  That night, I made the pico so that it could have enough time to soak up all the spices and be just perfect for the dipping or the topping.  I say topping since one party guest brought a batch of homemade vegan chili.  It was delicious and made for some great chili dogs.  I also decided that I was going to make a batch of my pasta salad for everyone to enjoy.  So, that needed to be chilled overnight, as well.  I cut up some carrots, celery, green and red peppers, zucchini (fresh out of the garden), yellow squash (fresh out of the garden), radishes, onion, cilantro, dill, parsley and some vegan pepperoni.  Once I added my vinegar and oil mixture it was time for the staple spices of garlic, salt and pepper.  I stuck it in the fridge and let it chill out overnight.  (I could kick myself for not taking a picture of this becaus it did end up being a hit of the party!)  To complete the dish, I added pine nuts and roated almonds, fresh garlic glove, daiya cheddar and sliced tomatoes.

Upon waking bright and early the next morning, it was time to start on the dips and the cucumber bites.  First thing was first, make the "sour cream."  This was not a hard thing to do but it did take a lot of patience since it involved pureeing cashews.  Once the sour cream was made, into the fridge it went to chill out and gain consistency.  Meanwhile, I chopped up my carrots, sundried tomatoes, red bell pepper and spinach and stuck them in the oven to dehydrate, which I found takes just about an hour on the lowest setting. 

While this was going on it was time to yoga and relax myself because the time was drawing near and I still had so much to do...   After a quick set it was time to cut the cucumber and hollow out the insides.  Key note is to make sure to leave a little bottom so the dip has a place to rest. 

Let the mixing begin... you take your "sour cream" and mix the dehydrated veggies and then fill the your cucumber.  I place some fresh dill on top and it made for a delightful presentation and one that people couldn't resist.  My non-vegan friends wanted 2nd's and 3rd's and it goes without saying that my vegan friends wanted more and more. 
This was a definite party pleaser and one that I will do again time and time again. 

The dill dip turned out just as good and would even make a great spread on your bread.  You use the "sour cream" that you made and add lots of fresh dill and let chill for a few hours.  When it's time for the party... it's nice and cold and ready to be eaten.  It goes nicely with veggies of any sort.

Seeing that I veganized several different foods this week, there will be more blogging to come.  We have the almost perfect vegan mariachi beef pizza from Donato's coming up and a tantilizing Quinoa Burrito.  So, put on your bibs and get ready to dig in. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Vegan Pizza Day- The Vegan Green Lantern

Saturday was Vegan Pizza Day and I attempted to make a vegan version of Dewey's Green Lantern.  Unfortunately, it didn't turn out as well as I wanted it to but it was ok anyway. 

I started out making my crust, in which I opted to make a wheat crust.  After prepping for the instructed amount of time, I rolled it out and shaped around my pan.  I topped with garlic "butter" and set aside.

Now it was time to start making my goat "cheese" which consisted of pine nuts, lemon juice and several other things that I can't remember at the moment.  I refrigerated that and moved on to making my pesto.  This also consisted of pine nuts and lots of fresh basil from my herb garden and like a distracted individual, I didn't take any pictures of the "cheese" or the pesto.  Nor did I take a picture of the tomato sauce that tasted a little on the sweet side.

Once all my prepping was done, it was time to add the ingredients which include artichoke hearts and mushrooms.  I sauteed the mushrooms first, put a layer of sauce on the crust, drizzled the pesto on top of the sauce, put the artichoke hearts and mushrooms around the pizza and clumped the goat cheese on top.  Once that was complete, I lightly sprinkled some daiya mozzarella.  

I  stuck it in the oven for about 30 minutes at 325 degrees but I should have left it in for at least another 15 minutes.  The crust was a bit chewy and didn't retain the garlic butter coating that I added.  

This pizza was a fail due to what I set out to do was for it to resemble the Green lantern and this did not even come close.  It tasted ok but not my best. 

2 out of 10 artichoke hearts here. 

Fourth of July is tomorrow and I'm grilling out and making a Vegan Dill Dip and a Vegan Spinach Dip inside of cucumber cups.  Should be interesting. 

Stay safe out there!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Black Bean and Boca over White Rice

It seems like I really love to eat spicy foods.

I'm the type of person that loves to go to the grocery store but sometimes I just don't feel like it.  This happened to be one of those days.  I was hungry beyond comprehension and just didn't know what to make.  So, I open up my freezer and see a package of Boca grounds and I started thinking that a taco would be good or a burrito or something like that would just be perfect. 

So, I decided to make a "chili" so I cut up some onion, diced some tomatoes, and added a can of black beans.  I let it simmer in water with Chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper and other yuumy spices.  Meanwhile I decided that I was going to make pico so I threw that together while deciding what type of Mexican feast I would be making.  I decided on white rice. 

I didn't feel like making quacamole so I used the avocado salad that I made last week.  Topped with diced tomatoes, onions, jalapeno peppers, black olives, "sour" cream and Daiya cheddar "cheese" 

It was the perfect dinner for what I was craving.  I had leftovers so I was able to make conies last night. 


                                                       10 beans a dancing on this one!