Monday, September 28, 2009

The VET makes it vegan for you!

As a vegan, you sometimes hear people say the most ridiculous thing: "Oh, I guess you can't have that, since you're vegan." Well, first of all, it's not can't, it's won't. But second, are you kidding? Anything you can do we can do better, and recently we proved it. We had a little contest among the Vegan Etsy Team members to see who could come up with the best "veganized" version of a traditionally very un-vegan meal, and the results will blow your mind, for reals. The recipes and accompanying directions and advice come directly from these fabulous expert vegans - from their brilliant culinary imaginations straight to your kitchens! Are you excited yet? Behold...

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Holistically Heather's Radical Reuben!

This recipe is super duper easy and delicious! You can find this recipe and others in my vegan cooking zines!


1 1/2 c. wheat gluten
1/4 c. nutritional yeast
2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
3/4 c. COLD water
4 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 1/2 Tbsp. braggs
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 minced garlic cloves
dash of salt
Can of saurkraut

Knead it all together, add up to 3 Tbsp. more COLD water, if necessary. Roll in fresh ground black pepper, until lightly coated. Make into a loaf, place in tin foil, and wrap like you would a piece of candy, by twisting the ends. Bake for 1 1/2 hours.

Remove from oven, let cool to room temperature before slicing.

I like to pan fry my slices of loaf, no oil, just really low heat, so it gets a little crunchy on the outside. While you are doing this you can make your sauce and warm up your sauerkraut. To make the sauce mix 2:1 ratio of vegenaise and ketchup, then mix in some sweet relish, to taste. Makes the perfect vegan thousand island dressing for your sandwich. Now you can either toast your rye bread or not, up to you. Scoop some kraut on there, drizzle with 1000 island, top it with the loaf slices and viola! Delicious, and cruelty free! What did we have with ours tonight? None other than my Famous Potato Salad!

(Editor's Note: The team members who have tried out this recipe have given it VERY good reviews...)

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Sierra Pelona Crochet's Magical Mock Tuna!

1 tablespoon dried hijiki
boiling water
1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo or cannellini beans, drained [I use cannellinis]
3 tablespoons Vegannaise
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons minced onion
salt and pepper to taste

Place hijiki in small bowl and pour boiling water over it to cover. Cover the bowl with a plate and let the hijiki sit for about 15 minutes.

While that's sitting, mash the garbanzos or cannellinis in a large bowl with a potato masher until all the beans are smushed. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. When the hijiki is ready, drain and combine it with the mixture. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

(Editor's note: the fishes will thank you.)

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The Awesomest Possum's Victoriously Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo!

1. In a small-medium saucepan (mine is 1.5 quarts) over low-medium heat, saute 4 big cloves of garlic (or more or less to your taste) in 1 1/2 tbsp vegan margarine for about 2 min, or until garlic turns golden.
2. Whisk in one can of coconut milk (none of that light stuff!), 2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes, 1 tsp white miso (other miso varieties would probably work too), 1 tsp salt, a few shakes/grinds of black pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg.
3. Let simmer 20-30 min, whisking regularly. As the sauce cooks, it will gradually thicken and begin to bubble. Keep whisking every couple minutes.
4. In the meantime, cook 1 lb fettuccine noodles. What I do is put a stockpot of water on for the noodles, start the sauce, and then by the time the water has boiled and the noodles are al dente (don't let them get too soft, it's nowhere near as good that way!), the sauce is ready to go. The sauce may not seem as thick as you'd expect it to be if you have a history of making dairy cream sauces, but that's ok--it kinda thickens as it coats the noodles.
5. After draining the noodles, put them back into their pot, pour in the sauce, and toss to combine.

This serves 4-6 people, depending on how many of them want seconds. :P You should feel free to play with it--change quantities of nutritional yeast, miso, etc to suit your taste. The sauce is pretty much delicious as soon as it's warm, so don't hesitate to sample and tweak as you cook. (If it seems a little too salty when you taste it, that actually means it's about right--the saltiness thins out a lot when the sauce is mixed with the noodles.) Also, you may need to experiment a little to find a variety of coconut milk you like for this--my fave so far is the Chaokoh brand that I get at the Asian grocery or in the international aisle at Meijer. The ingredients are a little less pure than some others, but the taste and the texture is better than any other I've tried. My second choice would probably be Native Forest, which is more expensive and doesn't have quite as good a texture but has the advantage of being organic. My least favorite so far is Thai Kitchen--works fine for other things like ice cream, but in this it's too watery and has too pronounced a coconut flavor.

Okay, enough of my foodie ramblings--let's have pictures! Here's the finished product, our most recent Alfredo meal...

(Editor's note: and you're coming over to cook this for me when?)

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Vegan Mama of Uber Duper Creations' Friend of the Sheep's Pie!

This is my version of the original, which is usually just a "meaty" saucy stew with root veggies like carrots, onion, and garlic topped with mashed spuds and baked.
I use a pie crust and add more than just "meat" to the pie filling. The recipe should make approximately 2 small pies, or one large pie.

1. Pie Dough:
My husband taught me how to make pie dough. He learned from his mom who learned from Julia Child (not personally, but you know what I mean). He has since veganized it! I love him! He advises that the trick to a good pie dough is to not touch it while mixing it & then touch it as little as possible at the end.

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup cornmeal (or corn flour)
1 cup cold Earth Balance
1/4 tsp baking powder

Use two butter knives and "cut" these ingredients into each other until well mixed and the size of marbles.
Then add:

3/4 cup cold water
1 Tbsp vinegar

Use a fork to mix this together gently, until all ingredients are mostly combined. You will still have some marble sized chunks of Earth Balance, but you will resolve this in the next step. If you have a pastry/dough scraper, then use it for this step, otherwise a spatula (or metal spoon of some sort) will work. Scoop out 1/3 to 1/2 of the dough onto a floured surface (counter top) and press it down with the palm of your hand while kind of smearing it at the same time to press out any chunks of the Earth Balance, do this with the remaining dough in as many chunks is comfortable to work with. Scrape it up into a dough ball, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Will last for about a week in there if well wrapped.

2. Mashed Potatoes:
You can do it your way, but here is a general run down on how to make them.

6 medium (I like to use red) potatoes
1 Tbsp of earth balance
1/4 cup of unsweetened soy milk (or milk version of your choice)

Peel and dice the potatoes into large chunks. Boil them until they fall apart when you poke them. Drain the water from the pan.
I usually use a hand whisk to mash them but you can use an electronic mixer if you want. Add the Earth Balance & milk and mix & mash. Set aside.

3. Pie Filling:
The beauty of this version of sheep's friend pie is that you can do it your way. Use whatever veggies sound good, or whatever is in season or hanging around the house.
The ground (crumbles) is pretty standard, but you use what you like to substitute for that, like seitan crumbles or something like that. Here is what I used tonight:

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 small carrots, sliced
4 mushrooms, sliced
1 small zucchini, sliced
3/4 cup peas
1 12oz package light life "smart ground"
1 cups veggie broth
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp or to taste black pepper (or if you are like me, then use the grinder and give it a good few twists. I like mine coarse ground)

In a skillet (I prefer my large cast iron pan), add the olive oil, garlic, onion, carrots, mushrooms & zucchini and saute just a little on medium low. Ingredients will cook more in the baking part of the recipe, so don't worry too much about getting everything well done in this step. Add the ground, peas, broth and seasonings, bring to a simmer. Remove from burner. Let cool. The filling will be brothy. This is a good thing as the potatoes will soak up a good portion of the "juice" while cooking and you will not be left with a dry pie.

After the filling has cooled, roll the pie dough into a thin layer approx. 1/8-1/4" thick. Place into a pie dish, and trim the edges of the dough off the edge of the pan. If you know how to crimp the edges, go ahead and do this, otherwise, just leave the edges laying flat on the edge of the pan, just do not leave edges hanging down off the edge of the pan.

Scoop the filling into the pie crusts, and gently top the pies with the mashed potatoes. I found that the best way to do this is by adding thin scoops of potatoes a little bit at a time and sort of "piecing" the potatoes together on the top of the filling.

Place into a preheated 420 degree oven for approximately 35 minutes. Or until the pie dough crust is a golden brown and filling is bubbling. Can be frozen for later reheating, which is what I'm doing with my pies for a post birth meal! (that is why I slightly undercooked them) When I reheat them, I will wrap with foil and bake the thawed pie in a 400 degree oven for approx 30 minutes and then unwrap for approximately 10 more minutes.

(Editor's note: you can come over after Miss Possum. Well, maybe a couple of days after - I'm gonna be full for a minute.)

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So there you have it folks. Four fabulous recipes to help foster you through the fall. If you try them out, let us know! Send pictures! Remember, everyone wants to see pictures of your vegan dinner.

Until next Monday,

Melissa Bastian


monkeys always look said...

Wow these all look amazing!!!

Anonymous said...

im so hungry
i want another reuben with some fettucini on the side

Jessis mom is making us vegan stuffed shells tomorrow
for jessis dads birthday dinner
her family knows how to celebrate!!!

melissa bastian. said...

Hmm... Heather, you don't live all that far from me. You could swing down to the city, bring by some left over stuffed shells, and make some reubens while you're here, right? :D

Lovliebutterfly said...

Oh my goodness! Amazing food! Fettucini! I completely forget these existed! Strange I always get spaghetti next to it but next put fettucini in my basket! And what awesome pies! Makes me hungry!