Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Split Pea Yumminess.

I am so into soups. Which is funny, being that in my pre-vegan life I did not consider myself a soup person at all. Of course, me loving soups is just one a million things that has changed about since I veganized my life. So, here is a super easy split pea recipe if you have a slow cooker:

2 16 oz bags of vegan dried green split peas
1 large sweet onion, diced
2 or 3 large carrots, diced
3 stalks of celery, diced
Optional: 1 recipe of vegan ham (see my previous post)
1 T dried parsley
1 t garlic powder (or 2-3 cloves minced fresh garlic, my preference)
1 t onion powder
1 t dried thyme
other spices you love!
8 cups veggie broth

Layer all of the ingredients you see above (IN THAT ORDER!) in your slow cooker. Don't mix it, I know it seems a bit mad, but trust me. Set that baby on high and cook it for four hours. You won't need to stir until the final hour, at which time a few mix-ups will be good. If you want to leave it overnight or all day while you're at work, just set your slow cooker on low and it should take about 8 hours to break down and taste great.


Fake meats, I love them. I can't help it. I actually was not into pork or red meat when I wasn't vegan, but something about fake meats really appeals to me. Go figure.

This ham (or sHam as I like to call it), is best for cubing up and throwing in soups I think. It's smokey and sweet. Adapted from Just the Food.

1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil (or another oil will do)
2 T cup brown sugar
2 T cup nutritional yeast
1 T tomato paste
1 t liquid smoke
1 t dark soy sauce (I like to use the mushroom kind from the asian grocery store)
black pepper to taste (which I usually take to mean 1/2 t or so of each)

Set oven at 325.

Throw everything into a medium-sized bowl, stir it all together until uniform. If you are used to making fake meats, this one is pretty wet. That is a-ok. Roll the mixture up like a log in heavy-duty aluminum foil. I put mine on a cookie sheet (it usually leaks), seam side down, and bake for about and hour until it is firm.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Chick-un wings and French Onion Soup

Tonight we had delicious chicken wings with golden fries. Yum and yum. Not healthy, but healing. I was feeling like some comfort food. My exciting thing to report however, which has a recipe to go with it, is French Onion Soup! oh my....

I read yesterday that a great way to caramelize onions without the fuss the smell and the labor is to throw a bunch of sliced onions in your crock pot and set it on your porch over low heat all night. Well, one would have to plug in said crock pot for it to work, but thankfully I realized it when I woke up and the onions got going while I was at work. When I came home I made the soup below and it was so delicious I can't even explain it. I thought nothing would top my butternut bisque experience, but boy has it.

Okay, so slice up 4 huge or 6 normal sweet onions (thin) and toss them in your crock pot (I lined mine with parchment to keep it clean-ish) with a tablespoon or two of oil (though it will work without it). Set the crock pot on low and put it outside if you can (the smell is pretty pungent). When the onions are all brown and broken down (8 to 10 hours later) you're ready to get going:

Remove the parchment if you had it in there:

8 cups water
4 tablespoons of vegan chicken or vegan beef broth (I have the later which is preferable)
4 teaspoons dark soy sauce (like mushroom soy sauce)
1 cup burgundy cooking wine

Pour in everything but the wine and stir it around and heat it through (you can turn the crock pot up to high at this point). Taste the broth and make sure it's salty enough for you, if not another teaspoon of soy sauce or 1/2 t of salt should do it.

Add the wine and cook on high for twenty minutes.

In the meantime take some slices of crusty bread and toast them and shred some vegan mozzarella.

Then pour a cup or two of your soup into an oven-safe soup bowl or dish. Top with a few slices of toasted bread, top that with shredded vegan mozza. Broil that baby on high for 5 to 7 minutes (or until your cheese is getting brown at the edges).

Serve and warn everyone not to burn the shit out of their mouths. Delish!

Last night: seitan roll up and smashed potatoes

Last night I attempted to make a faux meat roulade. It was pretty interesting, and took way longer than I thought, but ultimately it was tasty. And it was even better today in a lunch sandwich. In order to do so you make a vital wheat gluten dough and roll it out on a cookie sheet and then you make a veggie cheezy filling and smear that on top. Then you roll that bad boy up, wrap it in heavy duty foil and bake the neck out of it.

To go with it I made my potato standby - which is a bunch of potato chunks boiled and then smashed up with other stuff. I can actually write a recipe for the potatoes however:

Chop up (into small squares) two large potatoes. Put them in a large non-stick skillet and then cover them (just barely) with water. Bring the water to a boil and let the potatoes cook (watching the water level) for about 15 minutes (or until you are able to smash them up with a fork). Drain, rinse and put them into a big bowl.

I usually add chopped green onion and some fresh spinach to my potatoes, but any greens would be good and make this side dish healthier.

Before you add the veggies, put 1 t of salt and tons of fresh ground black pepper in there along with some dairy substitute. I usually put in 1 T of earth balance spread and 1 T of veganaise. I mix this all up, smashing the potatoes really well, before i put in the spinach and the onions. Then I make sure the veggies get heated through as I whip the potatoes.