Product Review: Earth Balance Sour Cream & Onion Kettle Chips

If you’re looking for a healthy snack option, keep looking as this is most definitely not it.  But if you’re looking for a thoroughly satisfying vegan version of an old standby snack food, these will scratch that itch.  I figure if you’re going to eat some junk food, this junk is considerably preferable to its non-vegan counterparts, given that it’s GMO-free and cruelty-free, for starters.

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These chips are excellent.  Nice and crunchy, with a good ratio of the densely folded variety (I like those).  And somehow, perhaps with a magic wand, the sour cream and onion flavor is legit.  With a nice blast of salt and grease, these are finger-licking good.  And only to be consumed once in a while!

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Enjoy!  xo

 

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Baja-Style Tempeh Tacos

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a bazillion times:  you need to get your hands on Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.  This taco recipe is yet another reason.  While the dish requires a bit of planning (there are various components and some need to marinate or sit and improve with time), the active time is pretty minimal.  And the bottom line:  these tacos are delicious and worth any and all effort on your part.

The tempeh preparation involves a few steps:  simmering in water for about 10 minutes; marinating in a delicious beer/chili/lime marinade for an hour or more; and then grilling or frying it (as I did) until it’s nicely browned, tender and flavorful.  Final step:  slice thinly.  Yum.

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The recipe also includes a simple but perfect tangy cabbage slaw, as well as a “lime crema” that is divine.  There are a variety of recommended toppings, but I kept it simple, opting for avocado only.

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These components come together to make a super tasty and satisfying plate of food.  Get this book!

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Enjoy!  xo

Dulce de Leche!

As part of her end-of-year celebration in Spanish class, Queenie volunteered to bring dulce de leche to share with her classmates.  Vegan, of course.  It was a bold offer, considering we’d never made it before, but I appreciated her confidence in my ability to pull it off and started researching recipes.  It quickly became apparent that the key to vegan dulce de leche is to use coconut milk, which makes perfect sense to me as it’s also handy in making vegan flan, ice cream and all sorts of other creamy treats.  I found the winning recipe on a blog called Rooted Vegan, and you can find it here:

http://rooted-vegan.blogspot.com/2013/03/vegan-dulce-de-leche.html

You start with two cans of full-fat coconut milk, but really you’re only using a can and a half:  one full can, and then just the thick cream from the second can (discard or use the liquid from the second can for something else).  Whisk in 3/4 cup of dark brown sugar.

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When it’s combined, it will be a pretty pale caramel color.

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Bring this mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat.  Once it begins bubbling, turn the heat down to low.

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Keep the mixture at low, stirring often, for about 45 minutes.  It will thicken, darken and reduce in volume.  I found it to be a slow and gentle process rather than a dramatic one.  Keep stirring and scraping down the sides.

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At the 45-minute mark (assuming your concoction looks about like the above photo), mix in 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract and a pinch of sea salt.  Remove from the heat and let it cool.  The mixture will continue to thicken and get more fabulous as it cools.  Once it’s at room temperature, put it in a storage vessel and pop it into the ‘fridge.  It will save for a couple of weeks if you have more will power than I do.

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It is SOOOOOOO good.  While it’s quite pleasing to eat with a spoon, it would, of course, be excellent poured on just about anything – ice cream, cookies, into coffee… the possibilities are endless.

Enjoy!  xo

Rosemary, Leek & Potato Pie

This tasty recipe hails from Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats by Allyson Kramer, and it’s a favorite around here.  It reminds me a bit of “scalloped potatoes” or potatoes au gratin and is very easy to make.  The recipe calls for making it in an 8-inch springform pan, but I tend to do it in a casserole.  While less elegant, it works fine.  Whatever container you use, the first step is to line the bottom with thin-skinned potatoes (I used Yukon Golds).

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In between layers of potato, you’re going to be scattering garlic, minced rosemary, leeks, nutritional yeast, salt and vegan butter (coconut oil would probably work great, too).

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It will look something like this as you assemble it.

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It bakes at 400 for about an hour.  Kramer recommends covering it in foil for the last 20 minutes if it starts to brown too much, but I like the singed effect so opt to skip the foil.  If you like it less burnt, by all means, cover it up.

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Let it sit for a few minutes, then enjoy!  xo