Monthly Archives: April 2008

Putting my almost perfect peanut sauce to use…

I’m pretty sure my search still is on for the perfect peanut sauce, but in the meantime, I’m going to keep fudging with the recipe I’ve been tossing around for a couple of months. Now I have a couple of pictures at least to go with it.

The peanut sauce listed in my previous post begins with some red curry paste, coconut milk, soy sauce, peanut butter and the like (go to the post for measurements and specific whatnot).

In the meantime, you take some veggies, clean and cut them up. Our preferred assortment includes green pepper, onions, mushrooms and broccoli.

We steam them in a regular old on the stove steamer, along with some drained and cubed tofu (but now they sell it pre-cubed and I’m hoping that will stay together a bit better!)

Meanwhile, make some rice — we prefer brown, as its much better for you.
The process that produces brown rice removes only the outermost layer of the rice kernel and is the least damaging to its nutritional value.

(The complete milling and polishing that converts brown rice into white rice destroys 67% of the vitamin B3, 80% of the vitamin B1, 90% of the vitamin B6, half of the manganese (my favorite of all of them), half of the phosphorus, 60% of the iron, and all of the dietary fiber and essential fatty acids.

SO, take your nutritionally superior brown rice, place steamed veggies on top and douse with a ladle full of your semi-perfect peanut sauce. Enjoy.

Showing meat the door.

Last weekend, Daniel, Claire and I went to Metro Detroit’s Great American Meatout.

While looking up the <a href="
http://www.detroitevolution.com/”>Detroit Evolution Laboratory (I plan to blog about them separately) I followed a link to an organization called <a href="
http://vegmichigan.org/”>VegMichigan. Sorry for all the links, but that’s how I got to them!

Anyway, that’s how I found my way to the Great American Meatout 2008, an annual event that takes place in various cities throughout the world, with the parent organization Meatout, established in 1985, which calls itself “The World’s Largest Diet Education Campaign.”

The Meatout seems to aim, at least in part, to educate those in attendance about vegetarianism and veganism, teach how eating meat harms the environment, host experts and speakers, and offer vegetarian food samples and recipes from area restaurants.

Unfortunately, the night before Dan and I went out with Bad Influence #1 and Bad Influence #2, Meg and Zozzy, so we were a bit “under the weather.” Though Dan tried his best to stay at home with, “I have an idea — why don’t you and Claire go and I’ll stay here and work on music” — the three of us set off in our own hazes.

We tried our best to pick up information that struck us the most, tried to find food samples laden with chocolate or other things that might briefly entertain Claire, who displayed the most incredible child patience of all time in this boring adult event. Not surprisingly she loves vegan chocolate cupcakes.

As a new resident to the Greater Detroit area, is was wonderful for me not only to sample the food but to learn about some of the vegetarian restaurants in the area. Though I love, love, love Thai Cafe and Beirut Palace, etc., I want some variety in my life.

Now I know to stop by Udipi Indian restaurant when I’m out working in Farmington Hills, learned Taste of Ethiopia is the place to go in Southfield, and learned one way to get Claire eat more fruit is to make strawberry, banana and soy milk smoothies with just a hint of maple syrup, thanks to Atoms Java and Juice in Grosse Pointe Park.

Another cool thing we learned about was the Good Neighbors Garden, a community garden where residents of certain cities can help garden crops and flowers if they enjoy that kind of thing or they can rent a plot and garden their own flowers, fruits and vegetables. We immediately decided it was a great idea and grabbed the information, but I’m doubtful we’ll actually go through with our rash, “We should do it!” Either way, I’m glad to know one exists and maybe at some point we’ll take part.

The idea is that the annual Meatouts — no matter where they are in the world — are to take place on or about the first day of spring. If you missed it this year, keep an eye out for one in your town next year. Even meat eaters can find something worthwhile and interesting at the Meatout. Don’t be afraid. We won’t bite.

Now you can see the best soup in the whole wide world.

A while back I posted a blog and recipe about
The best soup in the whole wide world.

More recently, I poached a blog and recipe from my friend Megan about The best GD salad you ever will eat.

I finally have pictures of both!

OK, the pictures of the soup were taken with the exact purpose of posting on this blog, so they were taken with more care.


The salad, on the other hand, I happened to make while having dinner at my sister’s when my dad was in town. I happened to get a shot of it in the foreground of a photo of he and my little brother, so I suppose I should happen to post it for all the curious salad eaters.

Mrs. Schwitter’s Mashed Potato Tower

This blog comes from my good friend Karyn, who soon will be marrying her tall drink of vegan water, Kevin. So happy to have her contribute a recipe to I Eat Veg!

Mashed Potato Tower

When I fell in love with a vegan, I thought cooking would be difficult. I’d been vegetarian for years, but it was hard to imagine eliminating cheese. We are less than 30 miles from Wisconsin for god’s sake.

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that cooking vegan isn’t as difficult as I had imagined, and in fact, it forces me to be quite creative, which I find to be more fun. However, most of my recipes to date have been of Asian or Mexican flair, and I haven’t actually cooked much American food, unless of course you count veggie burgers.

Years ago I used to order this item called “Mashed Potato Pile” from a local restaurant. The name is admittedly not too enticing but the dish itself was the perfect cure for a comfort food craving. I have changed the name slightly and recreated this meal, and it was damn tasty– very filling too!!

Ingredients for the tower:
4-6 Yukon gold potatoes
Pole green beans (a good handful)
3-4 medium to large carrots cut into quarter to half inch round slices
Whatever other veggies you desire — I added asparagus too.
Margarine (I prefer Earth Balance)

For the Mushroom Gravy:
1-2 shallots
Olive Oil
4 c. of your favorite mushrooms (crimini, portabella, shitake)
3 cloves of garlic
4 c. of vegetable broth
1 c. white or red wine ( I used a little of both because I’m a lush)
2 Tbsp. sage
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 c. regular soy milk
4 tsp. flour dissolved in 1/2 c. cold water
(You can also dissolve corn starch in cold water to thicken)

1.Start the gravy first because it needs time to cook down. Heat olive oil on medium-high heat in a large skillet.
2.Add sliced mushrooms and shallots. Sautee for 10 minutes.
3.Add minced garlic, salt, pepper and sage. Saute 5 minutes more. Add wine and sautee.
4.Add vegetable broth. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, until liquid is reduced by about half.
5.Add flour mixture and combine well until sauce is thickened. Add soy milk and cook only 1 or 2 more minutes.

While the gravy is doing it’s thing, boil the potatoes and wash your other veggies to steam. Put your carrots in the steamer ( I put them in a little before the other veggies, since they take a little longer to cook), along with your other veggies until soft, but not mushy.

When the potatoes are soft, drain and place in a large mixing bowl with margarine, one clove of garlic, a dash of salt and pepper, and a half a cup or so of soy or rice milk. Mash using a mixer and add margarine and soy/rice milk as necessary to gain the desired consistency.

When everything is done, place a large scoop of mashed potatoes on a plate and cover with the steamed veggies. Then pour some mushroom gravy over all of this and dig in.

Thank you Kirsten for letting me be a guest blogger!!

Karyn

Makeup Casserole — vegan goodness

Now that I’ve made my way to my new home, I actually will be making and photographing the food that I talk about making. First up is Makeup Casserole. The name comes from the fact that it’s basically a really amazing marriage between Breakup Soup and Pockets Full of Gold.

In short: Breakup Soup is crushed tortilla chips and salsa. Pockets of Gold will be referred to as tofu and black bean tacos, as that’s just what they are.

So, this is a recipe I adapted from one I cooked for my sister, Sarah. She’s on bed rest for her second pregnancy, so I’m going to be showing up at her doorstep ready to cook whatever she tells me too (meat eaters, check out the note at the bottom of the post).

After I got home from making this for her on Saturday, I took a stab at vegan-izing it and it went great, but made WAY too much. So, I would use less tofu or less beans or something. Or you can do it just like I did and have a new-and-improved version of the tofu tacos to make with the leftover filling…

Here goes…

Ingredients
2 pkgs. tofu (any firmness, you’re going to be demolishing it)
2 pkgs. soy cheese (or regular if you’re not vegan)
1 can corn
1 can black beans
1 can garbanzo beans
1 16 oz jar hot salsa
1 bag of your choice of tortilla chips (I went with blue corn)
1 small red onion
1 hothouse or beefsteak tomato
1 pepper (color of your choice)
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
cilantro
green onions
sour cream (if you’re not vegan)

1. Crush chips (eyeball the amount) into the bottom of a 9×13 pan.

2. After draining all the water you possibly can from the tofu* smash it up with a fork or your hands or let the cat go at it — whatever gets the job done — and place it in a separate bowl. Drain and rinse beans and add to the bowl, along with the drained corn.

* This time, I simply squeezed the tofu in my hands over a strainer to drain it. If you’re just not as barbaric as I am, you could place it between towels, between two pans/bowls/plates and put something heavy on top of it for a while.

3. Dice the onion and green pepper and add to mixture. Now’s a good time to add the cumin, salt and salsa. You can throw some chopped cilantro in there too, or just save that to use as a topping at the end.

4. Put half (or less if you made a crapton of it like I did) on top of the chips and then put half of the cheese on top of that. (In the non-vegan version, the recipe suggests a mixture of Monterrey jack and cheddar cheeses. I, personally, think pepper jack would be awesome too).

Repeat. So it goes: chips/filling/cheese/filling/cheese.

5. Bake at 350 degrees uncovered for 35 minutes.

When I took it out, the top was kind of a crunchy cheese crust but the inside layer of cheese was melty. I wonder if this would have been different, if I had used my favorite soy cheese.

6. After you remove it from the oven, take a big ol’ slab of it, top it with a slice of tomato, chopped cilantro and chopped green onion. Add a dollop (yes, a dollop) of sour cream if you’re not vegan. I also served it with corn muffins. Yum.

7. Eat your face off. Impress your loved ones.

I made this Saturday, had it for leftovers on Sunday and leftovers right this very moment on Tuesday. I think it’s better and more flavory after hanging out for awhile, so make a ton and eat it for a few days.

FOR THE MEAT EATERS: Replace tofu with 3-4 cooked and shredded or cubed or otherwise cut up chicken breasts.