abracapocus i have a serious brain disease. please bring me a cat.

August 21, 2009

Adventures in Soy Curls

Filed under: food,photo,vegan/veggie/ar — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — laura @ 9:26 am

You may have seen or heard of Butler’s Soy Curls in shops or on other blogs. They are awesome in their simplicity: soy beans. And guess what? They’re really easy to use too! I just rehydrate with warm water and use in recipes that call for seitan or TVP.

Here’s a recipe from A Vegan Taste of Thailand that called for TVP. I think it’s called Soya Mince with Rice Noodles and Peas. The sauce base is coconut milk and red curry paste. I used yellow curry paste instead. Still delicious. This is the only one of the “a vegan taste” series that I own, but I’ve been pretty happy with it. I know the various books get so-so reviews on amazon.com. But they are fairly inexpensive, so the risk is pretty small. I should try another one soon.

And here, I was easily able to substitute the Soy Curls for seitan in this Persian Seitan in Pomegranate Sauce from The Vegan Epicure. Bonus, I was able to use some of the Pom Wonderful Pomegranate juice sent to me a while back. I usually just make this dish with pomegranate molasses. I was hoping using the juice would have it turn out a little less brown, but I didn’t get the concentrated flavor from it that I like. So I ended up adding the pomegranate molasses anyway. We just ate it over bulgur.

November 8, 2008

Boston Vegetarian Food Festival

Filed under: food,photo,travel,vegan/veggie/ar — Tags: , , , , , , , — laura @ 11:43 am

It’s hard to believe that this time last week I was frantically putting out baked goods samples for a packed room full of people shuffling by our table. Aside from a couple of disasters like having a whole box of whoopie pies arrive destroyed and running out of food way too early, I think it went fairly well. Everything seemed to be well received. The cinnamon rolls & Teese bread were the first to go. Leigh has a great post about our adventures, so I’ll be lazy and point you over there. Kevin and I shared a room with Leigh & Ken and Josh Hooten. Normally I’d say I’m too old for those kinds of sleeping arrangements, but it worked out just fine. 

What I will do is give a run down of what I ate in Boston. Which wasn’t all that much with all the travel and stress. But we still managed a couple of restaurant visits.

Friday night we went to T.J. Scallywaggle’s. It’s a vegan pizza place. It has limited seating and probably does most business as take out. I had a chicken parmesan sub.

Kevin ordered the cheeseburger pizza.

We were starving, so any food was good food. I traded half my sub for a couple of pieces of Kevin’s pizza. I think my biggest complaint would be that the sauce wasn’t very flavorful. I like my pizza sauce to be a little bit spicy. More complex. I wish I could remember what the crust was like because that’s also a huge part of what makes a pizza good. But I was totally in scarf mode.

At the festival, after we ran out of stuff to sell and give away, Kevin ran off and got us a falafel wrap and some Teese nachos from the Chicago Soy Dairy guys. The falafel was pretty good, but no Ali Baba’s. The new Teese nacho sauce is pretty amazing. It seems to melt to the perfect texture. I think it wants some spicing up though. Still it gives you a great base to season the way you like.

Saturday night we all dragged our exhausted selves to My Thai for vegan Thai food goodness. We’d been drooling over a menu all day and were really excited at the concept of all those yummy Thai options. We we got there, Eric Prescott was working. We’d met him earlier at the show, and he ended up helping our table. It was kind of surreal. I think he probably doesn’t sleep with all that he has going on. We were also joined by Sarah Kramer and Jae Steele. We’d been hanging out with them a bit here and there throughout the weekend. Both of them are totally sweet.

We started with stuffed fried wontons. Yummy!

And then, my entree arrived, Mee Krob. It was HUGE. To be fair, about a third of the plate was greens. Still, I powered my way through most of it. There were so many wonderful flavors on my plate. The lemongrass beef had many layers of complexity. The rice paper stack I got was stuck together, so I gave up pretty quickly on making little rolls. Still, I enjoyed stacking my fork with various combinations of things from my plate so each bite was a little different.

We were disappointed that we wouldn’t be able to get a proper brunch because our flight left fairly early. We did get bagels with tofu spread. Of course, I can’t remember the name. I had the veggie tofu spread and thought it was pretty tasty.

June 17, 2008

Eating Vegan in the Bahamas

Or at least on Paradise Island and in Nassau. We stayed at Atlantis and ended up eating most meals there. If you can completely ignore how much stuff costs, you will probably be okay there. Even so, I’d suggest bringing in provisions. Here I’ll just tell you what we did. Hopefully it’ll be helpful to someone.

We got in Tuesday around lunch time. Atlantis has a Johnny Rockets on site, so we just hit that. A little shy on veggies, but it got the job done. Plus it was really filling. So when we had a function with hors d’oeuvres later, we ate the one we could eat and were good with it.

Wednesday morning we had our first diving lesson, so we wanted to eat light. Okay, I’m about to launch into a testimonial for Pro Bars about now. I already knew they were tasty. But I didn’t know they’d really hold up as a meal replacement, even through a bunch of physical activity. And they were the perfect thing to have if you don’t want a big ol’ full stomach. 

I think we just snacked a little in the afternoon and played in the water. For dinner, we went to Carmine’s in the Marina Village. It’s Italian food served family style. The waiter was very accommodating. The menu was not exactly veg friendly, but we were able to piece together something. Apparently they make their pasta, so it’s all eggy. But they did have some dried pasta on hand. I think it was gluten free. They tossed that with oil and garlic. It was okay and filled the tummy, but not even close to as good as something I could whip up at home. They have sides of veggies you can order. If you ask for steamed it’ll be vegan. So we got broccoli. I chopped some up and tossed it with my pasta. They also had an appetizer we could have which was actually really good. It was grilled portobello mushrooms on a bed of spinach (although the menu said arugula) tossed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. I’m not a giant portobello fan, but these were really nice.

Thursday, we weren’t diving until the afternoon so we got room service. They do have soy milk, so I had granola. Kevin had plain bagels with jelly. Oh, and there are at least 2 Starbucks at Atlantis so you can get your coffee and soy milk fix. Before diving, we just had Pro Bars for lunch. Again, they held up through the activity just fine.

Thursday night we decided to venture across the bridge into Nassau for dinner. We saw an Indian restaurant, Clay Oven, on the way in from the airport and decided to try that. We’re a little spoiled when it comes to Indian food since we have some really amazing restaurants here in Atlanta. But this was good, if dumbed down a bit. But they were really nice and had a number of things they could make vegan for us. Kevin had Aloo Ghobi (potatoes & cauliflower) and I had Vegetable Korma. And we were able to have Roti as well.

Friday morning we snacked on provisions and ate leftover Indian for breakfast. I don’t remember eating lunch, but we headed into town again that night, this time to Thai Lotus. We stepped in there after Indian food the night before to see if they had anything we could eat. Again, we had options. They had tofu and would basically sub it into any of the dishes. And they were cool about leaving out the fish sauce. We had vegetable spring rolls and then Kevin had a Stir Fry Ginger with Tofu which was good, but was a pretty standard stir fry. I had the Thai Green Curry with Tofu and it was as good as any I’ve ever had. Afterwards, we headed to the ice cream shop in the Marina Village and had some sorbet.

thai lotus bahamas

Saturday morning we were diving again, so bars for breakfast. After diving we went to Johnny Rockets again for lunch. Dinner was a function. The resort caterers seem to think vegan = flavorless. But it was the veggie burgers from earlier were filling enough to carry us through so we weren’t starving.

So that’s what we ate. There’s also the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat right down the beach from Atlantis. They have a vegetarian buffet you can get for brunch or dinner. We didn’t try it because the woman sounded a little sketchy about what may or may not be vegan and gave the impression that we’d have a hard time finding out about the ingredients. But it might actually be a good option. 


March 14, 2008

Stuff cooked but not documented

Over the past few weeks I’ve been really bad about taking pictures of food. There are various reasons: laziness, forgetfulness, ugly food, repeats, and so on. Anyway, here’s a list of stuff I’ve cooked lately but haven’t blogged:

  •  Mole Posole: This is one of those recipes I go back to again and again. It’s easy and made up of mostly pantry food. And it tastes amazing. By “prepared mole sauce” they mean the paste you normally find in that jar you can’t re-close rather than the aseptic box of sauce I used on the enchilada stack.
  • Rice Vermicelli with Soya Mince & Peas: This is from A Vegan Taste of Thailand. Another one that’s pretty quick and easy and I make on a regular basis. It’s basically rice noodles, tvp, peas and thai red curry sauce. 
  • Cumin Lime Tofu with smashed sweet potatoes & broccoli: The tofu came from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan. It tasted wonderful but was a little bit too juicy. I probably could have cooked a bit longer to dry it out more, but I was hungry. As leftovers, it seemed to dry out a bit more and be about perfect. 
  • Gemelli with Asparagus and Pine Nuts: Another book I keep going back to for easy, tasty recipes is Vegan Italiano. This one was a perfect use of new spring asparagus. And what is it about toasted pine nuts that totally makes my mouth water? 
  • Savory Vegetable Pot Pie: This one is another go to recipe and comes from The Candle Cafe Cookbook. Use chicken style seitan instead of tofu and even picky omnis will enjoy it. 
  • Linguine with Broccoli Sauce and Garlic: This one is also from Vegan Italiano. It came out a touch dry so I ended up adding a bit more olive oil at the end. Still tasty and easy.
  • Three-Bean Chili with Chive-Flecked Cornmeal Dumplings: Seriously, how can this be bad? From Fresh From The Vegetarian Slow Cooker. I love coming home to dinner all ready and waiting. Okay, I did still have to make the dumplings, but it was mostly all ready.
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