Chickenless Noodle Soup

This recipe is called “No-Bird Noodle Soup” in the book from which it hails, Eat Like You Give a Damn:  Recipes for the New Ethical Vegan by Michelle Schwegmann and Josh Hooten.  Before we get into the recipe that I’m featuring today, I must spend a few moments telling you how FANTASTIC this cookbook is!!!  Seriously fantastic.  Must-end-up-in-your-collection fantastic.

The authors are the creators of the Herbivore clothing line and the owners and proprietors of the Herbivore shop in Portland, Oregon.  If you’re ever in Portland, you’ll be happy if you make a point of visiting their store, which is full of their creations, as well as other snazzy vegan finds such as bags, belts, wallets, jewelry and quite possibly the most comprehensive vegan cookbook selection on the planet.  Luckily for you, you can also visit them online:

http://www.herbivoreclothing.com/

On a recent visit to Portland, I picked up the Eat Like You Give a Damn book at the store and I am thrilled that I did.  I have now made eight recipes from the book, and all eight are spectacular.  Not just pretty good, GREAT!  That’s an abnormally high ratio of awesome.  To make your mouth water, I will tell you that I’ve made the Brussels Sprouts Slaw with Walnuts, Apricots, and Garlic Aioli; the Smoky Cauliflower Soup with Fennel, Carrot, and Potato; the Herbivore Chili (that is so good my daughter, who doesn’t really like chili, had two bowls for dinner and then asked for it in her lunch the next day); the Savory Chickpea Pancakes; the Curry-Barbecue Soy Curls Bowl; the Classic Skillet Cornbread; and the Don’t-Be-Blue Cheese Dressing.

And, of course, the No-Bird Noodle Soup that I want to share with you today.  The flavors in this recipe come together to create a wholly satisfying bowl of deliciousness, one that is very reminiscent of my (somewhat distant) memories of what chicken noodle soup is supposed to taste like.  All I know for sure is that I loved it and my family happily slurped it up.  Let me walk you through the components, and there’s a link with specifics at the bottom…

Standing in for the chicken chunks are some tasty, happy, cruelty-free tofu chunks that have been sizzled with nutritional yeast and tamari.

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Next you’ll be creating the comforting soup base, with its herbed broth and chunks of carrots, celery and onion.  To this, you will add angel hair or spaghetti.

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The last step is to add in the tofu cubes and any nice brown bits from the pan, and you will end up with a delicious bowl of soup that resembles this:

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I found the recipe at this blog, which seems to be authorized (the blog’s author received an advance copy to review), so I’m sharing it here.  But PLEASE, run don’t walk to your nearest bookstore and get this book!  I guarantee you won’t regret it.

Tofu ‘Chicken’ Noodle Soup

Enjoy!  xo

Scrambled Tortillas

If you’re looking for a hearty dish to make on a wintry weekend, look no further than this one, which hails from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s terrific book, Vegan Brunch.  It’s not the most photogenic dish (as the author notes, it “might not photograph well but is darn hard to stop eating”), but don’t hold that against it.  It’s somewhat unique and super tasty.  Try it – you’ll see!

First, you steam corn tortillas and then fry them up in a pan with onions and jalapeno.

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Then you add soft tofu to the mix until everything’s coated.

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Meanwhile, you will be doing two things.  First, steaming sliced potatoes:

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Second, making a quick sauce that is basically seasoned tomato sauce (featuring garlic, cumin, oregano and chili powder):

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At this point, the tortilla mixture should be getting nice browned bits.  (Be sure to use a very thin spatula so that you don’t lose this yumminess on the bottom of your pan).  While the outside of the tortillas is browning, rest assured that the inside is tender and scrumptious.

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The final step is to fold the steamed potatoes into the tortillas.  Once they are mixed, dish it out and top with the sauce and anything else you’d like (guacamole and vegan sour cream come to mind).

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Enjoy!  xo

 

Seriously Great Tofu Scramble

I love tofu scrambles.  I make a lot of different scrambles with a lot of different vibes and I enjoy them all.  If I had to crown the King of All Scrambles, though, that prize might have to go to this one.  It’s a heavy duty, seriously filling, decadent sort of scramble that feels just right on a lazy, cozy weekend morning.  I came upon it via the Hot Knives guys, and their link provides a full demonstration so I won’t replicate that here.  I will say that the one tweak I made was adding just a smidge of black salt (aka Kala Namak) during the seasoning sessions.  Not vital but mighty nice (and eggy).  And I will also say that the technique of letting the scramble sit for a bit leads to heavenly browned bits, a technique that should be used every time you make a scramble.  Final thought:  you can use this recipe as a base and just add whatever ingredients you are craving at the time.  The sausage definitely makes it a lot heavier, so when you’re not feeling it, just leave it out.  Or put in more veggies.  Or… no rules!

Here’s the link:

http://urbanhonking.com/hotknives/2013/10/22/yachts-tofu-scramble-secrets/

And here’s a quick pic of my scramble in process.  Look at those browned bits!!!

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Yum.  Enjoy!  xo

Zucchini Pizza Bites

You can file this under “Easiest Recipes on the Planet,” or something along those lines.  One of Queenie’s summer camp counselors posted a photo of some zucchini pizza bites that she made, and we promptly had to recreate the experience – multiple times!  Thanks, CT, for the great idea.

All you need are a few zucchini (we used three) and whatever pizza toppings make you happy.  The first time we made these, we simply used jarred pizza sauce plus shredded vegan cheese (Follow Your Heart mozarella, to be precise).  The second time, we kept half of them simple like the first time and played with the other half (some got a pepperoni slice, some were topped with black olives).  Obviously, you can do anything your heart desires.  Once they’re topped, just pop them in a preheated oven until cooked and tasty.  We did a 425-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

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Super easy.  Super tasty.  Downright fun!

Enjoy!  xo

Morning Glory Polenta

While my weekday morning breakfast is almost always a smoothie, on the weekends I sometimes like to make heartier fare.  Today, Queenie and I enjoyed the “Morning Glory Polenta” recipe from Salad Daze:  The Hot Knives Vegetarian Cookbook by Alex Brown and Evan George.  These two lads (aka the Hot Knives guys) have created all kinds of tasty salad recipes in this book (one of my other faves is the “Kale & Potato Breakfast Salad” – yum), including this polenta dream bowl.  I couldn’t find the recipe online anywhere, so I’m just going to give you the gist.  You can wing it from there or check out the book for the details.

There are three components to the dish.  One is a big pot of herbed polenta that is simmered in veggie broth.  The polenta contains pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds, as well as shredded carrot and a smidge of shredded coconut.  These items give it a wonderful taste and texture and make it quite filling.

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There’s also a lovely vinaigrette that the authors have dubbed “Mimosa Dressing,” that has citrus zest and juice, olive oil and champagne vinegar.  Delish.

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This dressing is tossed onto a heap of arugula once that’s been quickly wilted in a dry pan.

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Put it all together, and you’ve got a very satisfying way to start the day.

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Enjoy!  xo

Bee Free Honee

I’m here today to recommend a product that’s new to me.  If it’s not new to you, why didn’t you tell me about it?!?

I was shopping at Vegan Haven in Seattle the other day, and the person in front of me in line was going on about how delicious the Bee Free Honee is, and the woman at the register was agreeing whole-heartedly.  Although my cart was already quite full, I zipped back out and grabbed a bottle.  I’m so glad that I did.

In my pre-vegan days, I enjoyed quite a few things that included honey, such as honey on biscuits with butter, honey in lemon or ginger tea, and peanut butter and honey sandwiches.  As my way of living and eating evolved, I dropped the honey and resigned myself to eschewing those former favorites.  Of course I tried substitutes (agave can get pretty close in certain things), but nothing’s quite like honey.  Until now.  This stuff truly scratches that itch for me.  Here’s a bit of info:

http://beefreehonee.com/

And here’s the first thing I did with it.  Yep, a peanut butter and “honey” sandwich:

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Whatever you do with it, I hope you like it as much as I do.

Enjoy!  xo

Tasty Messy Summer Rolls!

I love Summer Rolls when the weather heats up.  As their name suggests, it’s pretty much the perfect summer meal.  In the past, I’ve often served them with some kind of store-bought sauce, and while this is always a fine option, today I paired them with Matthew Kenney’s “Creamy Thai Dressing” from Everyday Raw and it was absolute perfection.  Yum, yum, yum.

One of the fun things about Summer Rolls is that they can contain anything your heart desires.  That said, I recommend balancing the consistencies – the soft, squishy wrapper needs a nice counterpoint of something fresh and crunchy, in my opinion.  Today’s rolls included some sliced cucumbers and julienned carrots.  I often stuff some chopped Romaine in, too, but I didn’t today.  I also like to include thinly sliced baked tofu for some hearty protein when it’s the main course, as it was today.  And I’m a huge fan of putting Thai rice vermicelli noodles in my rolls.  Gives it an excellent mouth feel.  Finally, no Summer Roll would be complete without a blast of fresh herbs, in today’s case, mint and basil.

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As mentioned before, the Creamy Thai Dressing really gave these rolls a fresh, wonderful boost of flavor.  As those who play around with raw food know, Matthew Kenney is one of the greats in the field.  All of his creations, whether they be cookbooks or restaurants, are stunningly good.  And while his recipes can sometimes be pretty involved, this one couldn’t be simpler.  Just dump a bunch of things in a blender and voila – happy sauce!  I found the recipe published here, along with a few others (I halved it and only used one-half of a Serrano pepper for spice):

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/5-favorite-raw-vegan-salad-dressings.html

Next step, soften some wrappers in warm water:

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Then assemble and eat!  I was more interested in consuming these rolls than in making them pretty for their close-up, but you could easily make them more charming if you’re so inclined.  Either way, they’re thoroughly tasty and satisfying.

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Enjoy!  xo