A New York lawyer's adventures with animal-free eating
Tag Archives: vegetarian
I’ve used these to make everything from nachos to butter curry “chicken” to “chicken” parm, etc. Basically anything that you would use chicken for, you can use this for with great results. I LOVE Gardein’s Chick’n Scallopini. Like most similar fake meat products, these little chicken breasts soak up sauces very well for some truly fabulous flavorful dishes. Even non-veg people agree that the taste and texture is quite similar to actual meat.
Verdict: I use these all the time and will continue to do so. I recommend these to others regularly.
I’m constantly on the lookout for vegan frozen lunches, just because they’re so much more convenient (and usually cheaper) than other options. I recently tried Tabatchnick Barley & Mushroom Soup and was a big fan.
The package has 2 frozen pouches in it, but I found that I needed to eat both to get a decent meal. When combined with some bread, it was great! Good flavor, pretty hearty… what’s not to like?
Verdict: I’ll definitely get this again.
Sometimes you just want to eat something that reminds you of being a kid. Gardein’s Crispy Tenders are perfect for those times.
These little guys are pretty good. Not fabulous, but solidly good. Much like their meat counterparts, you’re like “I wonder what’s in these…” But because Gardein products are vegan, you don’t have to worry much. These are super easy to prepare – just pop them in the oven or toaster oven for a bit, then they’re ready to go. They’re excellent for dipping into prepared sauces, or for covering with buffalo sauce and using in a sandwich… whatever you like.
Verdict: I get these pretty regularly.
I ran across Aunt Trudy’s Vegan Mushroom & Leek Fillo Pocket a couple of weeks ago at my local Hannaford. It’s always exciting to me when I find something vegan for lunches, so I picked up several of them.
I must admit, I was excited to try this sandwich for dinner – I love leeks and mushrooms, and the picture on the package made it look fabulous. Unfortunately, that was not at all how it turned out… It pretty much looked like a big sloppy mess. The fillo dough practically disintegrated, and the inside was dark green/brown mush.
It was unappetizing enough that I almost didn’t eat it after all. But I decided to at least try it. Which was a mistake. It was not good. It wasn’t horrible, but it was barely acceptable. And I have really low standards for food. I eat everything! Needless to say, I had a few bites, then stopped.
All was not lost, however. I had some fabulous Haagen Daaz mango sorbet in the freezer, so I had that for dinner. 🙂
Verdict: Meh. I wouldn’t try this variety again.
As you may know, I ❤ Indian food, especially Aloo Mutter. I may (aka, definitely did) have referred to the eating experience as orgasmic. Yum.
Anyway, anytime I see a vegan Indian product I haven’t seen before, I grab it. Recently, I tried Kohinoor Awadhi Aloo Mutter and Pillsbury Ready to Puff Roti – the Roti I found at an Indian market in Ozone Park, Queens.
The Aloo Mutter was really good. A touch hot, excellent spices. I could’ve used a little more sauce, but this was an excellent (and super fast) dish.
As for the Roti… Apparently there are a lot of reviews for Pillsbury Roti online, saying that they only puff up partially. Well, I didn’t know that, and I thought I was just being dumb. Oh well.
All of those reviews were right – the roti only puffed up a little bit. It was fun to do it, though, and the flavor was pretty good!
Verdict: I would definitely get the Aloo Mutter again. The Roti was fun for the novelty factor, but I’ll make my own…
Who doesn’t love a s’more? For me, they bring back memories of Girl Scout camp. And Barbie doll roasts in the backyard. That was my brother, not me. If you’ve never seen a Barbie roast, it’s a sight to behold. Because she’s so top-heavy, once her abdomen gets too thin, she just topples over and kisses her feet as she burns. And when my brother and his friends ran out of Barbies, they started on our My Little Ponys. Bastards.
Anyway. Sweet & Sara sent me some of their products to try recently, for which I am very grateful! I’ll be addressing the different kinds of (wonderful) marshmallows they have another day. But today, I want to talk about their s’more.
The s’more is good sized – about the size of my palm. It’s covered with a fairly thin dark chocolate shell. There’s a sizeable chunk of really excellent vanilla flavored marshmallow. Then the base of the s’more is a graham cracker like cookie. Overall, I liked the s’more. My only problem with it was that the cookie was a little too thick – it was kinda hard to bite through. The flavor of the cookie was alright, if somewhat bland. I’m not a huge graham cracker person anyway, though, so it’s probably just me…
Verdict: I would get these again!
Sorry I’ve been gone for the last couple of weeks! My husband’s brother has been here from Panama, and with the holiday and everything, things just got away from me. So I was definitely a Vegan MoFo fail. Oh well. Must get back on track now.
It’s officially fricking freezing out in New York. We’ve had our first snow, and Ed and I just decorated for Christmas. We even decorated outside, which we didn’t bother to do last year (our first year in the house). And when it’s this cold out, I just want things like chili, stew, and shepherd’s pie. Thus, this:
Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
6-8 medium potatoes
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 package burger crumbles (or cut up hamburgers)
Gravy packet (or broth)
2 cups mixed vegetables (I use the frozen kind with peas, green beans, corn, carrots, etc)
1/2 tsp. herbs de provence
1/4 cup milk (I use soy creamer – unflavored)
1/4 cup cream cheese or sour cream (I like Tofutti)
Chives to taste
Paprika to taste
Cayenne to taste
Cut up the potatoes, then boil until you can pierce them with a fork. Drain and set aside.
Saute the minced garlic and diced onions in olive oil. Add in the beefy stuff and brown it/cook it until it’s not frozen anymore. There are 2 options for the gravy part – you can put in a can of “beef” broth or vegan french onion soup, then add about a cup of water. Or, you can use one of those gravy packets (I use Road’s End Organic Shitake Mushroom gravy) and follow the directions, then add another cup of water. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Then add the mixed veggies and bring back to a simmer.
Add the herbs de provence. If you used the gravy packet, the mixture should be thick enough. If you went the broth/soup route, mix 2 tbsp cornstarch with 1/4 water in a small container and shake it up. Then add that mixture to the meat/broth/veggie mixture. Once it’s thickened, pour the mixture into a 9×9 or 9×13 pan.
Put the potatoes in a mixer (or use a hand mixer) with the milk/creamer, cream cheese/sour cream, and chives, and mix until creamy. Then, spread the potato mixture over the meat/veggie mixture with a spatula. Sprinkle paprika over the top – not a ton, just to give it some color. If you like a little heat, shake some cayenne on top too. Put a couple of small pieces of vegan butter on top of the potatoes. Bake at 350 for about 25 mins.
As you know, I loves me some yogurt. Mmmm. Anyway, I saw that my regular grocery store had some So Delicious yogurt, so I grabbed some.
It was alright. It was really really thin, which is weird for a yogurt, but not super unusual for a vegan yogurt. However, it’s much thinner than the Soy Live! yogurt I tried a couple of weeks ago. The taste was fine. It was vanilla. Not my favorite, but that’s what was in stock. I didn’t really taste any coconut flavor coming through like you can with this brand’s fabulous ice creams.
Verdict: I might get it again, if I was in a yogurt mood and the store I was in didn’t have any other kind (aka, my regular grocery store).
I LOVE pulled pork. Like Aloo Mutter, this is one of my orgasmic foods. I used to go to BBQ competitions solely to taste as much pulled pork as I could. Ahem. That doesn’t really happen anymore. At all. Yes, I was a very active meat eater previously. I am ashamed. Let’s move on.
I got this basic recipe here, then embellished it to suit my own tastes. You can find jackfruit at almost any Asian food store. And yes, it does feel like meat. I actually checked a few times while I was shredding because the texture was close to meat. You know, just in case they accidentally threw some meat in there with the fruit… 🙂
Vegan Pulled Pork
4 cans of young/green jackfruit
3 tsp. minced garlic (approximately 3 cloves)
2 green onions, chopped
1 cup white wine (whatever brand you prefer)
1/2 bottle barbecue sauce (whatever brand/type you prefer – I used Hannaford Sweet and Zesty)
crushed red pepper, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
This is jackfruit. In cans.
This is jackfruit. Not in a can. Rinse the jackfruit to remove the salty brine, then let drain. Jackfruit is weird looking. And weird feeling. And just generally weird. It has these balls in it (seeds?) that are meaty-like as well, so you can squish them up, but when they are wet, they are slippery little bastards. Just sayin’. #thesesuckerswereallovermykitchen (Also, yes, that is a Disney Princesses plate in the background. No, we do not have children. Sookie likes to eat in style.)
Anyway, shred the jackfruit however you like. I just used my hands, but some people use a potato masher or whatever. Don’t go crazy — it’s supposed to look like pulled pork, not pudding.
Put the jackfruit in your crockpot, then add the garlic, green onions, wine, barbecue sauce and seasonings.
Cook on high for 4 hours (or low for 8 hours).
Serve with barbecue-type things like vegetarian baked beans and vegan coleslaw. I totally ate it on a roll. And by “on a roll,” I mean in traditional pulled pork style, with it falling down your chin onto your shirt. Sigh.
This makes quite a bit and stores and freezes well. The texture is not quite like meat, but it’s kinda close. And the flavor is really good. Yay!
I love cabbage. Pretty much any incarnation of cabbage is good for me (except stuffed cabbage, blech), but I really like it raw. Accordingly, I love coleslaw. I can make this shizz into a meal (literally, I have). And for whatever reason, a couple of years ago, I started putting caraway seed into my coleslaw. I love rye bread too. Maybe I just wanted to combine some of my (random, unrelated) loves? No idea.
1 bag of pre-shredded cabbage (or 1 head of cabbage, cut into small pieces)
1/2 cup Vegenaise (or any vegan mayo)
2 tbsp. cider vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. milk
1 tbsp. caraway seed
1 shake celery salt (don’t go crazy, this stuff is really salty)
salt and pepper to taste
Mix all of the non-cabbage ingredients together, then pour the mixture on top of the cabbage and stir to combine.
Then serve with wonderful other things, like vegan pulled pork!
I LOVE me some Aloo Matar. It’s one of those foods that I refer to as ORGASMIC. And it’s usually made with just a bit of cream in the sauce though, so it needs to be veganized. Here, I took the easy way out and bought a jar of Patak’s Mild Curry Paste, which is awesome. It cut my prep time and ingredient list drastically, which I love. Actually, I love pretty much anything by Patak’s… They’re awesome.
1/2 onion, sliced
2 large potatoes, chopped into cubes and boiled
1 1/2 cup peas (I used frozen)
4 tbsp. Patak’s Mild Curry Paste with Cilantro and Cumin (or similar)
3/4 cup water
1 can diced tomatoes with liquid
salt and pepper
Saute the onions in some olive oil until tender. Add the potatoes and peas.
Mix the Patak’s paste with the water, then add this mixture to the pan. Cover the pan and cook until the peas are tender, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes and continue cooking for about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then enjoy!
When it’s cold and rainy like it is today, I just want soup with some nice crusty bread. This is a soup that I found here and adapted to my tastes. I actually made only a half size of this, which worked out just fine, since my husband doesn’t eat kale.
Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup
2 tbsp. olive oil
6 tsp. minced garlic (approximately 6 cloves)
2 tsp. oregano
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 quarts vegetable stock or water
1 bunch kale, ribs removed, chopped
Salt and pepper
Saute the garlic and oregano in the olive oil for approximately a minute. Add the tomato paste and vinegar, and cook for another minute. Add the beans and vegetable stock and bring to a simmer. Add the kale and simmer, partially covered, for approximately 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
I love yogurt. I’ve eaten it, off and on, almost every day for many years. So I was sad when I went vegan, because I wasn’t sure that I’d be able to find anything to replace it. But Silk Live! Soy Yogurt makes a great replacement.
Key Lime is probably my favorite yogurt flavor. And I was getting a little pathetic because I couldn’t find any Key Lime vegan yogurt. Luckily, I saw this at the co-op yesterday and picked up a few.
I find non-cow-milk yogurts to be generally runnier and thinner than cow-milk yogurts. Not necessarily a bad thing. Silk yogurt is less runny/thin than other vegan yogurts I’ve tried, which give it a nice yogurty feel. Taste-wise, this is comparable to any of the cow-milk yogurts I’ve tried (which is many). It had some very nice key lime flavor without going overboard. It tastes more natural than the average cow-milk yogurt, because it is.
Verdict: This will become a regular part of my breakfast routine. It was quite good!
I love potato leek soup. My favorite has always been from Au Bon Pain. It’s soooo good, with the bread bowl and everything… sigh. Sadly, we don’t eat there anymore. But this soup is just as good. It’s adapted (in part) from a recipe I found here, where I got the idea to mash the potatoes and leeks instead of processing them! This recipe is SO effing good. You won’t miss the milk/cream at all.
1-2 leeks, cleaned and chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil
2-3 large potatoes, chopped into small cubes
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. thyme (I used dried)
1/2 tsp. rosemary (I used dried)
5 tsp. vegetable bouillon (I used Better than Bouillon brand)
2 cups water
1 cup white wine
1 cup milk (I used almond milk)
salt and pepper
Saute the onions in the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the chopped leeks and potatoes. Then add the thyme and rosemary and continue to saute for another 5 minutes or so.
Mix the water and bouillon, then add to the vegetables. Add the white wine as well. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then simmer for approximately an hour, to allow the potatoes to begin to fall apart and create a creamy base.
Then add the milk and salt and pepper to taste. Use a potato masher to mash up the leeks and potatoes to whatever consistency you prefer. If you like a smoother soup, you can put the mixture into a food processor and process it until smooth.
This recipe creates an awesome rustic soup!
Sometimes, you just feel like some toffee. I especially feel that way after a long day of court with crazy people… Unfortunately, since going vegan, my toffee options have really plummeted. No matter, though, since I’m perfectly capable of making things myself. These bars are great – not super sweet, but sweet and chocolatey enough to really make a dent in those cravings.
Vegan Toffee Bars
1 cup vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tbsp. vinegar (recipe originally called for 1 egg yolk, so substitute as you will)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 bag vegan chocolate chips
In a mixing bowl, cream butter, brown sugar, vinegar and vanilla. Mix in the flour and salt, and beat until smooth. Press the dough into a jelly roll pan (15 x 10 x 1).
Bake at 350 for 17-19 minutes or until light golden brown. Immediately sprinkle the chocolate chips on tops of the bars and allow to melt. When chocolate has melted, use a spoon to smooth the chocolate over the bars. Feel free to add pecans or walnuts at this stage as well.
Okay, so I know I’m like, 20 years late with this post. I actually made this potato salad months ago, but kept forgetting to get the recipe together for a post. Whatev, I’m here now. Potato salad is still good in the fall…
5 lbs potatoes
1/2 block silken tofu (this replaces 12 eggs), diced
1 tbsp. mayonnaise
1/4 tsp. turmeric
3-4 dill pickles, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2/3 cup mayonnaise (I use Vegenaise)
1/3 cup mustard (I use spicy brown mustard)
1 tbsp. milk (I used almond milk)
Salt/pepper to taste
Peel the potatoes and chop into small pieces. Boil the potatoes until you can pierce them with a fork (be careful not to overcook, or you will be having mashed potato salad). Rinse the potatoes, then let cool.
Combine the silken tofu with 1 tbsp. mayo and the turmeric. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set this mixture aside to allow the flavors to combine.
When the potatoes have cooled, mix in the pickles, onion, and fake eggs.
Mix together the mayonnaise and mustard, then add in the milk until the mixture reaches the desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. Make sure at this point that you like the mix of flavors in this mixture. Add more mayo or mustard to taste. Combine this mixture with the potato mixture. Refrigerate.
Know what’s awesome in the fall? Soup! Especially soup made from fresh fall veggies! I adapted this recipe from one provided by the lovely @Obava.
Smoky Butternut Squash Soup
1/2 medium onion
1 butternut squash (approx. 2 lbs)
½ cup water + 2 tsp. of “chicken” flavoring
2 cups vegetable broth
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. buttery type spread (I use Earth Balance)
Slice the onion and saute it in olive oil in a large saucepan until soft. Peel the squash, then cut it in half and remove the seeds. Cut the squash into small pieces.
In the saucepan, combine the onions with the water mixture, broth, squash, and spices. Cook covered over medium heat for 25 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
Remove the squash and onions from the liquid and blend/process it until smooth. Return the squash and onions to the liquid and whisk to combine.
Bring the mixture back to boiling, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Add buttery type spread and stir until just melted.
Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches or salad.
Pete’s Stirfry Tofu n’ Sauce started with such promise. It’s pre-cut up chunks of tofu, marinated in a sauce that can be combined with whatever veggies you want for a super quick meal.
I stirfried the tofu mix with some veggies, and I was all set for a great meal. The sauce was really good. It had the perfect amount of both sesame and ginger.
But the tofu was like biting into rubber. It really hadn’t soaked up any of the flavor at all, and was kinda like chewing on gum. It’s too bad, really, since this had so much promise…
Verdict: I probably won’t get it again. The tofu killed it for me. 😦