Should be called Vegan Month of Joshua

(thanks to everyone for taking part in the “guess what this is” contest. Lots of people were close, but Gina got it right on the money! )

Ok folks, if you haven’t heard or figured it out yet – you NEED to be served Joshua Ploeg food!

Living mostly in Canada I have only had the pleasure of attending Joshua’s vegan dinner parties twice in my life, but that doesn’t stop me from dreaming about them every week!

Joshua is an seasoned punk rocker who keeps the “punk” but throws out the “junk” (aka those bland cooked-in-one-pot chilis or stews that most punks rely on to fill their bellies.)

The key to Joshua’s amazing cooking is ART. Like a sly Dada-ist work or an exquisitely detailed Edward Gory drawing this touring chef mixes spices and food you’ve never dreamed of.  Flavours explode and tastebuds take flight.

I am lucky to own three of Joshua’s cookbooks:  In Search of the Lost Taste, Twelve Knights in my Kingdom, and Something Delicious This Way Comes  (which I gave away in a contest this month on this here blog!) These recipes are not for the “one pot cookers” or people who are afraid of interesting ingredients and ethnic spices. They are not for “make it quick and shovel in yer face eaters”. They are for people who love to cook and love to eat.

My favourite recipe, so far, is Baked CHKN with Kiwi Mayonnaise (from Something Delicious…) :

2 c vegan mayo (I usually use less)

3 kiwis peeled and chopped

1/4 tsp coriander

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp sugar

salt and lemon juice to taste

Blend these until smooth and chill. Store overnight. When ready to use, blend again.

6 vegan “chicken breasts” or firm seasoned tofu cutlets

2 tb t amari

6 lemon slices

2 tsp oregano

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tb brown sugar

1 c gold broth (I just use any veggie broth around)

2 smashed garlic cloves

(sunflower) oil

1 c flour

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cumin

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp lemon pepper

1/2 tsp sale

1 tb nutritional yeast

1/4 tsp sage

1/4 tsp cayenne

1/4 tsp ginger

olive oil

Marinate the “breasts” overnight in tamari, lemon slices, 1 tsp oregano, red pepper flakes, brown sugar, golden broth and garlic cloves.

When ready to prepare, remove them from marinade and brush with bit of oil. Dredge them through the flour mixed with the other tsp oregano, chili poweder, cumin, garlic powder, lemon pepper, slat, nutritional yeast, sage, cayenne and ginger. Fry them in olive oil until browned. Set them in a greased baking dish and pour the kiwi mayo over them. Sprinkle with pepper and lay the lemon slices from the marinade on top.

Bake 400 D for 25 min.

Also from Something Delicious… [I discovered Zahtar (or Zahter) a few years ago and can’t get enough! Bread or tofu or steamed veggies – everything loves Zahtar!]

Zahter for Pita

3 tb mixed dried oregano, thyme and dill

1/3 to 1/2 c olive oil

salt to taste

pinch of sumac powder

1 to 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

a bit of lemon juice

Mix all of this together and make a paste. Store in fridge at least overnight, until ready to use, then bring to room temperature.

[my fav is to spread on a pita and bake a little!]

This one is from In Search of Lost Taste: Cinnamon-Cashew “Chicken” with Fried Vegetables

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp five spice powder

2 tsp red curry powder

1/2 tsp mustard seed, cumin seed, corriander seed, fennel seed

1 curry leaf or lime lealf

a few tb of sugar or rice syrup

1/4 c sesame oil

1/4 c soy sauce

2 tb rice vinegar

1 small chopped onion

1 c chopped roased cashews

1 tb sesame seeds

1/2 c chopped cilantro

1/4 c chopped Thai basil

1 tsp minced lemongrass

4 clove minced garlic

2 tsp minced ginger

2 tsp minced galangal

4 good sized cutlets of  veggie “chicken or seitan or tempeh

2 c red rice, cooked

In a large pan, cook half of the ingredients up and all of the chickin until cutlets are browned. Add the rice and the rest of the ingredients and cook until heated.

1 c onion

1 diced eggplant

2 copped carrots

a few minced chilis

2 diced bell peppers

1/2 c chopped water chestnut or celery or or crunchies

Saute these veggies in a little oil and then sprinkle with tamari, hoisin sauce, chili sauce or garlic sauce depending on whether you want it sweet, salty, spicy or garlicky.

Sprinkle the whole affair with  a little cinnamon.

Here are some other In Search of The Lost Taste recipes:

Cashew Sesame Shake

Green Bread

Plum and Pistachio Crisp with Ouzo-lemon “ice cream” and rose syrup

Spinach and almond – burgundy olive tapenade pastries

Fried Basil Cakes with tamarind hot sauce and coconut jelly

Chocolate Cake Parfait with cocoa “cream”, berries, sweet wine, chocolate liqueur and shaved chocolate

Lavender Soda

it goes on and on and on!

If you can’t get to one of Joshua’s dinner parties (you are only excused if you live far from a major US city centre) then run out and buy all the cookbooks you can! You will NOT be disappointed with the food that comes out of them 🙂

Broken Heart Vegan Tip #20: Challenge yourself. One easy way is to break open a cookbook and start at it. I recommend anything Joshua Ploeg. Quite the challenge and the results are breath taking!

Broken Heart Song #20

Advertisements

November 15, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , . entree, snax. 2 comments.

Let’s stay calm here…

I come from a long line of emotionally conservative English and Scottish people.  Growing up I was part of a large group of hippie hating spiritually conservative anarchic atheists. When the idea of “meditation” or yoga ever came up I was always mildly revolted and needed to suppress my eye rolling in order to not offend the company I was with.

So it came as a great surprise to me to suddenly find myself a little interested in meditation. I have been told time and time again that you can get sick from stress and from holding in your emotions. Over the years I began to believe this was entirely possibly. But at the same time, I didn’t think I was THAT stressed out.  I’m a pretty positive person, no matter what life throws in my path, and laugh a lot during the course of each day. I don’t take things incredibly seriously unless they warrant it, and I’m always hopefully. But I’m beginning to believe I have no tools to manage stress and so I deal with it like I do with my emotions – just sweep it under the rug and don’t think about it. It’s probable that unlike my mind, the rest of my body is dealing with it!

Another month of pain in my shoulders, that I had been seeing different therapists off and on for a few years for. Two emails regarding breakdowns in groups I belong to. A sudden specialized chocolate order. Suddenly I’m fretting and grumpy and thinking my chocolate business is never going to make it. It was that day when I thought “Holy smokes! What the heck?! I need to calm down here! There’s no reason I should feel so overwhelmed, out of control and gloomy!”

So that evening, with the help of a pro, a took some deep breaths and sat on a cushion for 15 minutes trying to only focus on my breath.

Despite it being totally hard, with my multi tasking mind wandering, I really DID feel more calm after that sitting! So I’m going to start trying to “meditate”  two times a day and see what happens.  Part of my brain still screams “You’re turning into a hippie!” but I think the gradual calmness I will start to feel will override this, and even that part of my brain will start giving the peace sign and dressing in tie dye (ha ha ha just kidding!)

Again with raw food (I just love it!) – here is possibly the best raw dish I have ever had. A faux chicken salad on onion bread. It’s available at Rawlicious in Toronto. They just opened a new location in Yorkville – so congratulations to them! All those richies sure have enough money to spend on good food like that 😀 I use to live pretty close to the junction location, and was sad to move from the neighborhood for that reason alone. They don’t serve up the sandwich all the time, but I bet if we all keep asking for it they might permanently put it on the menu!

PS. Don’t forget to try your luck and win a cookbook from last post!

Raw Vegan Chicken Salad Sandwich from Rawlicious

Broken Heart Vegan Tip #19: Read the above post. AKA Sit in a quiet room and try not to think about anything for 15 minutes!

Broken Heart Song #19

November 7, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , . entree, raw. 6 comments.

Guess what this is and win!

Sometimes when you have a broken heart you just don’t want  to cook. Or eat. Or work. Or take your dog for a walk. Sometimes all you can muster is a quick meal of canned beans and left over rice. Sometimes you end up with crazy concoctions that would never have come to you if you hadn’t had a broken heart.

Below is one such crazy concoction. What to do with left overs. You probably have not thought of this before. For what it’s worth I’d probably not do it again!

Anyhow, study this picture closely. In the celebration of Vegan Food Month I’m giving away an awesome cookbook by my friend Joshual Ploeg – Something Delicious This Way Comes. Joshua is a touring chef and I will bet my Monty Python DVD collection that you have never tasted such awesome food! He also has a new book with Microcosm called In Search of Lost Taste. I will be delving into this book a little bit in the next couple weeks.

Something Delicious This Way Comes has such tantalizing dishes as Avocado Mousse, Tangerine Curry, Rose Fritters, Banana Custard! All you need to do to win this baby is comment what you think this concoction is below. The first right answer gets the prize, or the closest answer by  Nov 15th gets it 😀

hint: left overs

Broken Heart Vegan Tip #18: Cut out news for 2 weeks. All news! Even good informative stuff like Znet, Democracy Now or community radio. Keeping up with the horrids of life can be quite taxing. And while you have a broken heart you need to focus on healing it.

Broken Heart Song #18: (includes the best lyrics to go along with the last blog: If life’s not beautiful without the pain,
well I’d just rather never ever even see beauty again.)

November 4, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , . entree. 17 comments.

Boys Behaving Badly…

Oh Gosh,

I really must apologize. I have been very very absent from here. Wasn’t my intention to ever have such lag between posts!

Boys Behaving Badly… this is the topic today. It seems that in the past year and a bit, many many girls have had their hearts broken by boys. I know many boys have also had their hearts broken by girls too (and girls getting hearts broken by girls and boys hearts broken by boys and trans people receiving/giving broken hearts too!) But it is quite shocking to me how many boys have been breaking girls hearts lately!

When I was younger, and much more naive and stubborn, I believed there wasn’t any difference between boys and girls. I don’t believe this anymore. The more I look at the boys in my life, mostly boys who aren’t in my life anymore, I see similarities that I don’t see in my female friends.

I don’t think I would ever start to read “Men are from Mars, Woman are from Venus” – because I don’t really like to emphasize the differences in such a consumerist way… but the fact remains… In my life, boys have proven to have screwed up views on perfectly good amazing relationships and the women they are with.

So… if you are a boy reading this and are in a het relationship – give yourself a good looking over. If you’ve got a good woman hang on to her! Don’t be silly and jerky and do things to hurt her. Love, support her and LISTEN to her.

If you are a woman in a relationship with a difficult man – think this through! Yes it’s quite possible ALL men are screwed up and will give you heart ache. But it’s also possible you are a better and stronger person alone. Or that the REAL right person is just around the corner, or perhaps you need to embrace your queer side 🙂

I bought this interesting can from an Asian Grocery store (thanks to Renee for cluing me in)

Breadnut in Coconut Milk

I made this into a simple pasta dish with fresh tomato. Rice pasta of course. Frankly, I can only mildly tell the difference between rice and wheat pasta these days. Perhaps because they’ve done a good job of ridding the rice stuff of sogginess. This dish is good just with salt, pepper and maybe a little bit of nutmeg. I mixed in some vegan ham and added olive and (cheap) truffle oil.

Breadnut Pasta

Broken Heart Vegan Tip #15: Girl did you eat so much your tummy hurts? Try going on a fast. Fasting is about cleansing, but not starving yourself. I mentioned this in the first post. If you’re eating because you’re emotional it’ll surely cause you more pain. So dig in and try your will power: You do 2 days of raw food, 5 days of watered down fresh juices and 2 days of raw food. While doing the juicing you also take extra fibre and plenty of water. I found psyllium husks in capsule form to be the best way to  do this. As for juices – focus on fresh veggie juices like celery, greens, beets. Ginger and organic apple are good. Taking echinacea, pau d’arco capsules or teas is beneficial. You can make a warm healthful broth with onion, garlic, celery, carrot, cabbage. Simmer the veggies and strain.

Broken Heart Vegan Song #15

September 18, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , . entree. 2 comments.

When you get irritated…

I’m so sensitive to temperatures lately. At first I was just cold all the time, but in the past few years I’ve also been the first to whine “Turn on the air conditioning!!!” 😛 Personally I think a/c is pretty evil, yet when I am friggin cranky and sweat is pouring I am extremely grateful.

The broken heart does not help in trying to not be heat cranky. When it gets unbearably hot the only way I can seem to deal is to frequently step into a cold shower and eat tons of cold things.

My favourite and easiest is popsicles. If I needed to, I would live off them when the temp gets higher than 82 degrees.

To make things a LITTLE more interesting, I do yogurt pops.

Soy Yogurt Creemcycles

Soy yogurt, frozen orange juice concentrate and almond milk. Blend it up!

Look Ma! No Class!

Broken Heart Vegan Tip #14: Even when you are low down, you’ll need to start thinking about the future. How will you eventually mend this broken heart? Sure it will heal on its own with time – but it’s like a broken appendage. You can’t just let it sit there and not nurture it. It might heal the wrong way and give you pain for the rest of your life. Start thinking about the things you will do to help yourself in the near future. Maybe it’s a simple as in two weeks time you will go to an indie movie and gobble up a big bag of popcorn. (But check the ingredients! I was just told that a lot of movie popcorn has EGG PRODUCTS in it! UG!)

Broken Heart Song #14 (This video changed my life. I saw it, at all places, at The Bay [big department store for all you non-Canadians]. I was 14 and I was mesmerized.)

July 26, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , . dessert, entree, snax. 1 comment.

And then there was light…

The longest darkest tunnels have an exit. There is always an end that heads back out into daylight. Spring WILL follow Winter (unless Global Warming changes all that!) and you WILL smile again.

It’s Burger Time!

More raw food for you. This one is again from Raw: The Uncook Book. Listen, Juliano is a weird guy. The pics in the book are sometimes down right hilarious, and the quantities and serving amounts are almost always frustratingly wrong. (Take the carrot cake. Serves 2? No it MAKES TWO CAKES!) But despite this his recipes really rock. If you know how to cook you will know where the mistakes are and can adjust.

(Cheese) Burger #1

Blend the nuts etc. Yes it looks like ALPO.

Form Patties and put on Dehydrator Sheet

This is my dehydrator. Yes it's Excaliber. You really must be a spend thrift if your eyes go wide. It's only $100! Stay away from the bars for a month and you'll have enough to get one too! Sheesh!

1 cup walnuts, soaked

1 cup almonds, soaked

1 cup portobello mushrooms, chopped

1/2 c grated carrot

1 tb miso

1/4 c minced onion

2 tsp salt

1 tsp corriander, ground

1 tsp chili powder

2/3 c water or veg juice (I used beet)

Form 11 patties and dehydrate for 8 hours at 90 degrees F.

I topped mine with rice cheese and ate on a gluten free bun with tomato and a bit of avocado. I made some kale chips a few days before (the BEST way to eat kale I kid you not!) And some nice soul gave me a butter tart whose buddies were heading towards Sadie’s Diner for tastin’. It was a damn good butter tart I must say!

Broken Heart Vegan Tip #13: One day you will settle down for a good nights rest and it will suddenly occur to you “Oh! I didn’t think of my heart breaker at all today”

Broken Heart Song #13

July 12, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . entree, raw, Uncategorized. 4 comments.

This place has the Keys to my Heart (har har)

Back to places that HAVEN’T broken my heart… Key West!

I did this road trip from Daytona Beach to the Keys in 2000. It was a little bizarre because it was during the US elections and as I sat in an art deco hotel turned hostel turned cheap ass sex trade hang out (the taxi driver was worried for me) I watched “the day after” coverage. It was weird to be in the state that caused so much trouble.

Any rate, I never actually made in down to Key West. I rented a car and had lots of stops along the way including the Cartoon Museum, some punk record stores and Coral Castle (Coral Castle I will leave for another post as it fits in well with the broken heart theme). This year I decided to make that trip again, only it was going to be a mad dash to the most southern tip of the United States.

Well, I fell in love! Sure it’s a tourist trap, but unlike any other tourist trap the quirky element of this town is BIGGER than the touristy crap. It’s hella frustrating actually getting there by car – because there is only one road in and  out and if you get behind a slow mover – god help you! But once you’re there your stress evaporates. (It’s hot, right? 😉 ) It’s a town that has one main drag where all the tourists hang out and lots of little nooks and crannies which are totally walkable whether you are staying in the action or outside of it.

The architecture was pretty sweet. Lots of old detailed houses. Like all of Florida there was PLENTY of real estate. Lots of people unfortunately lost their homes in this state during the crash of the big scam. Although, I have to wonder if most of the houses in the Keys are vacation houses. At any rate, they were still more expensive than I would have imagined and I don’t think my little day dream of moving there will ever happen 😛

There are wild roosters  that hang out, crow a lot and make mischiefs of themselves. Some locals want to “get rid of them” but so far they have held on. I certainly did not find them ugly, dirty or disease ridden – as the anti-Rooster jerks spout. They are incredibly beautiful and yes, I would probably get really mad if they constantly woke me up at 5am like they tend to do, but I would still love them.

There’s all kinds of weird and wonderful people… and GERMANS. Lots of Germans. They seemed very nice too 🙂 The postal worker, who was delivering mail on the main drag, was super sweet and she went around so contented like she knew she had the best job in the world!

The food…

Yes, that’s why you are here! Well the food was ever better than anything else! I was in Key West for a total of 24 hours and I managed to eat from 3 different places (and I went to one place twice!)

Things were a little more expensive than Toronto or other parts of Florida, but they did it right!

I had lunch at The Cafe, just off the main drag it serves up incredibly tasty food and has good hours. There’s a couple fish dishes on the menu but mostly everything is veg and there’s a decent vegan selection. I had an INCREDIBLE… INCREDIBLE chickn salad sandwich that had grapes and almonds in it! YOWZA! I walked to the beach with it.

Just beyond the sandwich you can see Cuba ha ha ha!

The health food store – Sugar Apple – was stocked ok and they had a nice little juice bar on the side that had a cute boy behind the cash. I bought some nice rice/millet crackers that you can only find in Florida. I love these things.

The same bakery, Sami’s, also does a really great gluten free chocolate chip cookie. Quite possibly the best GF choc cookie I’ve had. The secret ingredients seems to be soy butter? Check em!

Ok so after I scorched myself in the sun eating this amazing sandwich I did some more walking around, quite a bit of it in fact, and then it was dinner time. I had a nice raw dinner and dessert (which I saved for the next day) from Help Yourself although for the life of me I can’t remember exactly what I ate! I remember WHERE I ate it – on the OTHER beach – on the Gulf side – whose handful of inhabitants were very much NOT tourists.

Then I went over to Green Republic to get a sandwich for the drive the next day. I chose Corned Beef and I found out they make the vegan cheese themselves! How great and mysterious! I nearly bought of one their delightful looking cupcakes but I had to resist… because…

I then walked back over to The Cafe because they were serving a key lime cheezecake. How could I be in Key West and not eat Key Lime (although it’s sad to report that most key limes come from Mexico and Central America now because of Free Trade. It’s frustrating to think I was eating the juice of a fruit that I could have picked from a tree in some one’s back yard, but instead came thousands of miles away)? At this point I was extremely stuffed and had walked all day, so I decided to let my dessert wait in the hotel room as I went on a ghost walking tour (which turned out to be 2 hours long!)

Walking off dinner was a good idea because this was sooo rich and delicious I can still taste it:

It was tres fabulous!

What I liked best about Key West was the fact I could be a foodie tourist and STILL see mostly everything I wanted to see that WASN’T related to food. I can not say this of New York City. I’ve been about 6 times and each time I just go from place to place eating. I’ve only been to TWO museums/galleries on ALL my trips combined! Key West was mostly about eating and walking… two things I like very much 🙂

On a worried note – this whole BP oil spill could KILL Key West (OR the rest of the Gulf! Rest of the planet!) THAT would break my heart…

Broken Heart Vegan Tip #12: Living in a city that’s breaking your heart? Take out a map and take a good look at what’s around you. Get on your bike and go for a ride to a place you’ve never been to. I bet you will find a little nook and cranny of a park or neighborhood that heals your heart. Maybe it’s an East Indian grocery store or a park dedicated to roses… maybe it’s even a building that was built in 1910 in a town known for tearing everything old and beautiful down… Make it your own little secret bit of happiness.

Broken Heart Song #12 (No. No freakin Jimmy Buffet for you my friends)

June 21, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . dessert, entree. 1 comment.

Eggplant and love is strange

Eggplants are a funny vegetable. Too many times I have run horrified from eggplant dishes. Admittedly, they are mostly cooked by people who also like zucchini (not a fav) and peppers (HATE!!!). It’s like they went to Nightshade Cooking School. Apologies for offensive remarks… especially because zucchini isn’t a nightshade…I’m just a broccoli, carrot, cauliflower, corn kind of girl 🙂

So… to avoid a nasty dinner, I usually only eat eggplants in the form of baba ganouche (like hummus but with roasted eggplant!) Before being vegan I would occasionally eat eggplant parmesan – a staple for vegetarians at DECENTLY catered weddings 😉

Now there is Dominex (or, as my brain always twists “Dominatrix”)  frozen breaded eggplant for those lucky enough to live in the states.

Easy, gorgeous, delicious. You’ll never want to mess with the fresh stuff again… unless you’re making baba ganouche of course!

It’s really too bad love isn’t as easy as Dominex Eggplant Cutlets.

Broken Heart Vegan Tip #10:  Got jilted? Write a list of bad qualities of your dumper. It’s probably longer than you would have ever imagined!

Broken Heart Song #10

bonus song: At one time I thought maybe this song was also by Mickey and Silvia but it is Mel and Dave. I think the “tock tock tock” is what confused me.  For me this song is a mix of extreme sadness and extreme hilarity. My ex and I use to kill ourselves laughing over this “outsider” (?) song. The cowbell, the guy’s warbling, the tone that cracks your ear drums when they belt “reeeaaalll” together. You need to listen to it!

Eggplant on FoodistaEggplant

June 13, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , . entree. Leave a comment.

Get the hell away…

I don’t know about you, but when things get really miserable I find the best thing to do is just LEAVE. But that’s me – I’d rather be the person leaving than the person staying. Even when things are good and comfy I always envy the person moving on.

The best thing about traveling or just plain getting out of your bubble is all the great food you can find! I associate some places with specific foods I can’t get at “home” (where ever that happens to be at the moment).

For instance. We here in Canada do not the wonderful pleasure of eating So Delicious’ Coconut Milk Yogurt. Traveling down to the south I was tickled to find it in one single health food store in Daytona Beach. Awesomeness! Both the plain, and especially the vanilla, were beyond tasty. It’s really great to be able to eat yogurt and not have the “soy bloat” that I know more and more of you vegans are getting these days…

I ate the yogurt with muesli (not my fav kind of cereal but it seemed “healthy”), fresh strawberries and a touch of almond milk.

Soy Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt and "healthy" cereal

To top this was the view I was staring at while I ate:

Coconut Milk Yogurt View

Another great product that I didn’t even know EXISTED, which is also a great purchase for those with “soy bloat”, is 100% gluten free/soy free burgers made with rice and veggies. FINALLY! It was nice with SOL from Quebec made a 100% soy and no gluten. But Bahama Burgers have topped it.

Rice Burger with mashed potatoes and gravy

As you can see, I sort of cheated with the “full of gluten” white bread bun. But the gravy is gluten free because I use Road’s End. (The only gravy I need!)

Now I will admit that burger isn’t that hot. It looks so mouth watering on the package but it’s just too mushy to simulate any of the “just like burger” burgers we are use to nowadays. So, if they were available in Canada, I might just buy them once a blue moon, when I was feeling lazy and in the healthy burger mindset. I  actually don’t even eat soy/gluten veggie burgers very much. Call me bourgeois 😉

Broken Heart Vegan Tip #9: Now I don’t recommend simply doing a runner with out plan and leaving everything behind on a whim, or even taking off for a month or year and a half (as I have been known to do)  – just going to some other familiar place that makes you feel good is a  great healer. I guess that’s why all those women go and live with their moms when their marriage breaks up. Or take a short trip to somewhere you’ve never been and always wanted to go. Now there’s time! That person or situation that broke your heart is now in the past. It’s time to look into your glorious future! And perhaps that’s canoeing in Lake Placid or hang gliding in the Rockies (forgive me if it’s impossible to hang glide in the Rockies. What does this city girl know?!)

Broken Heart Song #9

June 5, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , . entree, snax. 4 comments.

Pocket Dinner

When you have a broken heart sometimes you battle the sadness by working a lot, having hectic or over flowing days. When I’m out too much I get tempted to live off of  bad stuff like french fries and veggie (read “soy/gluten”) burgers.

Daiya Cheese to the rescue!

I too have been wooed by this amazing soy and gluten free MELTING (really melting!) cheese alternative. While I might not be as crazy as some people (I’m still on my first container I bought a couple months ago at Panacea, the local vegan store) I do think it’s the best vegan cheese yet and would be quite satisfied if there were no other melty cheese alternatives available.

Anyway, my idea is that you make these “pizza pocket” type things and you can carry them around with you as a quick, yummy and (if you put vegetables in them) healthy meal.

For the dough, I used the Calzones recipe from The Uncheese Cookbook.

The Dough

1.5 tsp dry yeast

1 c lukewarm water

1 tsp sweetener (I used agave)

3/4 tsp salt

2-3 cups whole wheat flour, more or less as needed (I used a combo of a little bit of white and a big mix of gluten free I had around including brown rice, quinoa, millet and sorghum)

Place yeast in a big bowl with sweetener and pour warm water over it.  Let rest 5 min. Beat in enough flour until it’s a soft but kneadable dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead 5 min until smooth and elastic.

Oil a big bowl and place dough, swirling around to coat. Place a damp clean kitchen towel over the top and place in a warm place for 1 hour.

The Filling

Do what the heck you want! Me, I like all kinds of different things. Lots of sauce. This time I used onions, portabello mushrooms, a bit of wilting spinach, jarred cheap tomato sauce, fresh basil (stuff I had rotting in the fridge. oops) and the crowning glory – Tofurkey Kielbasa. Yes, you are right, this wasn’t the most healthy calzone I could have come up with, but who’s got time to shop for produce when you have a broken heart? And does it ever make a grand alternative to french fries!

Veg in the foreground and Tofurkey in the background

Putting it all together

Roll out 6″ rounds and put a few tablespoons of filling and cheese in the middle.

Dough. Filling. Cheese. They meet.

Seal up them things by putting a little water on one edge, bringing the other side over and crimping the edges with a fork or your fingers. Don’t worry if they are wonky. I don’t. Frankly, I’ve never really cared what the stuff I eat looks like. I don’t have time to worry about getting all my pockets to look uniform.

Ready to go into the oven.

Make sure you poke holes in the tops. Other wise they will explode. That would be very very sad. If you want to save cleaning up your baking pan, put parchment paper on it and compost the paper when you are done.

Bake for 20-25 min in a preheated 400 degree oven.

Then eat silly!

Just look at that stringy cheese!

Broken Heart Vegan Tip #8: See a funny movie. The Marx Brothers do it for me every time. Screwball comedies from the 30’s also make me glow with delight. If you’re into Family Guy or Adam Sandler, that’s cool too 🙂

Broken Heart Song #8 (Sausages remind me of Portland OR. They were new and fancy for me because they weren’t on the shelves in Canada yet. And the Microcosm house cooked them on their Foreman Grill. I ate too many of those things. At any rate, Portland also reminds me of this band, who I got to see many many wonderful times when I lived there)

May 30, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . entree, snax. Leave a comment.

Next Page »