After all that exertion, we were ready for some food. Kevin found a Mexican restaurant near the townhouse that had vegan options. Also, it was called El Chupacabra, so we HAD to go. They use Daiya cheese and Gardein meats but unlike a lot of places, they actually further flavor the Gardein with their own sauces.
I had the Gardein chicken enchiladas in a green sauce.
This was a huge plate of food. I could not finish it even after all the hiking. In addition to the cheeziness on top, there was plenty of melty Daiya inside with the Gardein. Happy tummy.
I’m not sure if Kevin got a burrito or chimachanga, but here it is.
And, they had an awesome jukebox.
We desperately need a Mexican restaurant here that has fake meats and Daiya. But I’d settle for just the Daiya. But for now we have to settle for creating our own deliciousness at potlucks.
Apparently all we eat is pizza and Mexican food. As I type this someone is trying to organize another Mexican potluck. Oy. I know, this is not something to complain about.
It was decided that we’d have a pizza, ice cream and cake party for Star’s pre-birthday. I made deep dish and regular crusts and everyone else brought stuff to put on ’em. Like four deep dish and 6 regular. Oh, there were leftovers shared around. While it’s lovely that there are multiple places we can go out and get pizza with vegan cheese in Atlanta now, none of them come close to the magic we create.
Building pizza is apparently dude work. Bearded dude work.
First one out, BBQ vegan chicken deep dish.
Mexican deep dish pizza with avocado, sour cream and hot sauce and Gyro pizza with hummus Gutenfleischer’s gyro meat and tzatziki sauce. See what I’m saying?
Meat lovers, I think.
And Steph made this ridiculous ice cream cake: brownie topped with chocolate chip cookie dough topped with ice cream topped with whipped topping. Holy crap!
I’m pretty sure all the cheese used was Daiya. It’s pretty much our cheese of choice for pizza.
Oh man. Click away if you’d rather not invest in fat pants. I always thought deep dish pizza might be difficult to make. The good, or bad, news is that it’s really easy to make.
King Arthur Flour puts out awesome recipes. They are rarely vegan, but veganize very well. I used this one for the pizza, substituting Daiya for the cheese, Earth Balance for the butter, vegan parmesan and Gutenfleischer’s pepperoni for the meat. And I added red pepper flakes to the tomatoes because pizza sauce should have some kick, damn it!
Now, don’t be afraid of yeast. If you’re having trouble with it, remember that it is temperature sensitive. Sadly, recipes like this one tell you to use lukewarm water, but many people don’t know exactly what that means. And it can affect your results. Here’s a handy chart of important temperatures related to yeast. Instant yeast wants to be mixed with 120°F water. It’s a good idea to check this with a thermometer since the yeast won’t act right if the water is too hot or too cold. But once you take care of that, the rest should work beautifully. Also remember that instant and active dry yeast are not interchangeable without some fiddling.
Another frustration when dealing with yeast is how much should it rise? Sometimes recipes give you an amount of time for the dough to rise and sometimes they tell you how much it should rise (double.) It’s best if they tell you both because the conditions in your kitchen are not going to be the same as the recipe writer. Maybe it’ll take 90 minutes for your dough to double. Then wait 90 minutes. If you don’t have a graduated container, mark double on the container you do have with a piece of tape and then you’ll know when it’s done rather than guessing.
The crust came out really rich with all the fat in it. And it was nice and sturdy. You could even pick up a piece to eat it once you’d chopped off some of the point and gobbled it up.
Now, for some more pizza porn. I used a coarse corn meal and you can really see it in the crust:
It’s been a while since I’ve submitted something to YeastSpotting, so here goes it!
Oh, hey, look at that … I have a blog. Sorry about that buddy. I don’t hate you but it’s been hard to find time and motivation to blog lately. If you want to hate on someone, I suggest you start with reddit.
Kevin has been sick lately so I was trying to think of something a bit comforting when making up my grocery list. I tend to set aside a ton of recipes that I want to try in Google Reader and MacGourmet so I was going through those looking for something interesting. I found Artichoke Potato Gratin. Creamy, a little cheezy, sounds perfect!
And this was awesome! The sauce had a nice tang to it from the artichoke juice and a warmth from the cayenne. I sprinkled the top with a little Daiya and some panko. While we would have both been happy eating giant bowls of this and nothing else, I marinated some tempeh and cooked it in a grill pan to go with it along with some french green beans. Trader Joe’s frozen french green beans are a great quickie vegetable to add to a meal.
If this doesn’t appeal to you, cruise around vegalicious.org. They have a huge bank of recipes that look tasty. And don’t be put off by the metric units. You can easily convert with google by typing in “220 degrees celcius in fahrenheit” and BAM it’s done!
While eating brunch, Matt & Danielle sent out a tweet that they would be at Pala Pizza at 4pm and to come join them. Uh, sure, why not! It was kind of dark in there so photos were pretty sucky. The pizza was good. They used Daiya. We also split some gnocchi. Sadly, it was gummy and undercooked.
So after eating at Pala, we hopped in a cab with Ken & Leigh and headed to Veggie Conquest to eat some more! We were lucky enough to be in NYC during Veggie Conquest and to get tasting tickets through Ken & Leigh. Thanks guys! The secret ingredient for this event was cranberries and the course was dessert. Here’s the list of entries. I think #4 was a no show.
The tastes arrived in small bites. Definitely doable. My favorite was also the judges, #7 the rice crepe with cran-ginger sauce. What we didn’t know is that after the competition, there would be a huge buffet of delicious foods set up. Oh crap. Match Vegan Meats was one of the sponsors and provided volunteers with some of their vegan meats for the buffet dishes. My favorite was the swedish meatballs. Definitely comfort food. I think it’s the one in the middle of my plate. No, I didn’t clean this plate, but I sure as hell tried everything.
We also got to sample one of the creamiest vegan ice creams I’ve ever had from the Raw Ice Cream Company. That’s right, it’s also raw. Amazing!
All in all, this was an amazing event. A bunch of like minded people eating tasty food in a beautiful space (an art gallery exhibiting never seen before photographs of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones) for a bargain price of $20. We are totally going to have to start one of these in Atlanta.