1. Pema Ryebread: I bought this chewy dense organic German rye bread for only $2 at Big Lots! It has a nice sourdough flavor and tastes great spread with hummus or nut butters.
2. Long Island Cheese Pumpkins: My mom bought this large, cheese-wheel shaped pumpkin at a farm stand in Pennsylvania back in October. I wouldn't let her put it outside the house for Halloween, because I wanted to eat it before the animals got to it. I finally cut it open this past week and roasted it for my "Roasted Pumpkin Salad" recipe. Cheese pumpkins are famous for their use in pies, and this pumpkin definitely lived up to its sweet reputation!
3. The Food Revolution, by John Robbins: It was originally T. Colin Campbell's The China Study that influenced me to become vegan, but John Robbins' book is certainly just as persuasive. I've only read about a third of the book and I can't put it down. The book was written 10 years ago, but the information is still completely applicable today.
4. My Cuisinart Immersion Blender: I bought this a few months ago, but I use it almost daily. It works better than my countertop blender, and the cleanup is ridiculously easy! I use it to blend soups, dressings, sauces, dips (hummus!), and smoothies. The only downside is it won't chop dry ingredients like nuts (it just flicks the ingredients all over the countertop and floor).
Friday, January 28, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Lentil-Rice Balls" from Vegan Lunch Box. They are basically faux meat balls made with lentils, brown rice, whole wheat flour, and Italian seasonings. Served with pasta and marinara sauce, the texture was very close to real meat balls or sausage. On their own, they were a little bland, and the cumin seemed to be the only spice I detected. Today, I drizzled the leftover lentil-rice balls with tahini and voila--they tasted great! From Vegan Lunch Box, I also tested the "Cheesy Roasted Chickpeas"last night. As the cookbook warned, they were definitely addicting-- they had the texture of roasted chestnuts and a "cheesy" flavor from nutritional yeast. So vegan Italian food is definitely possible and delicious! Remember--most regions of Italy feature whole grains, legumes, fresh vegetables, and seasonings in their dishes. In all of my visits to Italy, I was never once served "chicken parmesan" or butter on white bread in a restaurant. Come to think of it, I've never seen those things in my own house.
Monday, January 24, 2011
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Maybe it's the snow on the ground that's making me nostalgic for Korean winter, but I'm craving some warm Korean comforts like dolsot bibimbap and mandu. Unfortunately, most local Korean restaurants are extremely un-vegan friendly. Every kimchi'dbanchan is made with a fish or shrimp base. Danny and I finally decided to check out H&Y Korean Market in Hicksville, and man am I so sorry I didn't visit this place sooner! It was like stepping into a Lotte Mart in Seoul, but even better because I could read the English labels! This place is far superior to any asian grocery store I've been to: beautiful, fresh produce at rock bottom prices, lots of organic products, amazing rice selection. Danny and I walked up and down each aisle fighting the urge not to throw every familiar product into our cart. We finally decided upon buying some japchae ingredients, goguma (Korean sweet potato), banchan (pre-made side dishes), yonkun (lotus root), and some snacks.
Once home, we started peeling and slicing the lotus root in hopes of replicating the sweet and chewy yonkun jorim that we had in Korea. The sauce thatwe simmered the lotus root in never quite thickened into a syrup, and they failed to become chewy. It was a little disappointing, but they were still edible and healthy at the very least. We decided to boil the entire package of cellophane noodles for the japchae, not realizing that it would be enough to feed an army. To toss with the noodles, we sauteed bell peppers, carrots, king oyster mushrooms, baby bok choy, onions, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, and sesame seeds. This version of japchae was yummy, but needed a little more oil and soy sauce to taste authentic. As for banchan, we bought our favorite kongjorim (black soy beans in a sweet syrup with soy sauce) and gobo (burdock root). We also had some kim, which I bought in Trader Joe's in a package labeled "roasted seaweed snack."
The meal we prepared certainly resembled the food we had in Korea, but I'm still craving the real stuff. This weekend I'll be having Korean food with my friends and heading to a norebang after for karaoke, so hopefully that will hit the spot. What I really miss is the buddhist temple cuisine that is hard to come by in New York. Luckily, I know of two restaurants in NYC's Koreatown that specialize in this kind of vegan Korean food. At Hangawi, the prices are a bit steep, so I'm saving that dinner for my birthday next month!
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Like most vegans, the internet serves as my primary source of recipes. Unfortunately, when I'm in a rush to find a recipe that uses the Korean mushrooms that I bought yesterday, I have to painstakingly search through a dozen individual vegan blogs and recipe sites before I find the perfect recipe. I discovered a secret method to putting all of those sites together in a single search engine, and I am launching the aptly named "Veganoogle" here on my new blog.
So far I have included the following blogs & websites:
3. Cest La Vegan
4. Fat Free Vegan
5. Novel Eats
6. B36 Kitchen
7. Good Good Things
8. Vegan Yum Yum
9. The Post Punk Kitchen
10. Just the Food
11. Vegan Ice Cream
12. Sketch-Free Vegan Eating
13. Vegan Dad
14. Vegetarian Slow Cooker
15. AllRecipes (searches "vegan" only)
16. Vegan Lunchbox
17. Vegan Squared
If you see your favorite blog missing from the sites listed above, let me know!
Go ahead and test it out in the giant search bar at the top of this blog. Here's an important tip--if you want to search for a specific phrase, put it in quotations to get more streamlined results.
Hope it works!