Vegan Chubosaurus

what this fat vegan eats

chickpea tacos of looooove – April 20 (and earlier!)

Oh, chickpea tacos! Surprising, delicious, quick, easy, did-I-mention-delicious-because-it-can’t-be-said-enough chickpea tacos of love and tastiness and bliss and all things good. We have these a lot. We probably have them more than anything else (with the possible – possible! – exception of our ultimate comfort dinner), and my son requests them almost as often as said comfort food. We love them. We looooooooooove them (that’s me channeling Beth from Newsradio, and if you get that reference, you are awesome).

First, the recipe! From Happy Herbivore; also linked above:

Ingredients:

  • 15 ounces chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp tamari
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 recipe taco seasoning (Lindsay likes this one)
  • 8 whole taco shells

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400F. Whisk tamari, juice & spices together. Add rinsed chickpeas and toss until well and evenly coated. Place chickpeas on tray, spray with oil and bake 20-25 minutes, until crunchy. Assemble tacos with chickpeas, arugula or lettuce, tomatoes and eat. 

So, there you go. Now, on to how I make/eat them. I usually use the taco seasoning recipe recommended in the recipe; it’s quite tasty (Lindsay recommends omitting the red pepper flakes, but I never do, as I love the spicy). I have another taco seasoning recipe I use sometimes; let me know if you’d like the recipe and I’ll post it. I don’t use those pre-made packaged seasoning mixes.

I also never use pre-made taco shells, because those taste, to me, stale and redolent of the cardboard and plastic they’re packaged in. Usually, I fry my own taco shells from organic corn tortillas, which you’ll see in the photos below. Sometimes I fry them flat and we have chickpea tostadas. Sometimes I use whole wheat flour tortillas and we have soft tacos. Most recently I simply warmed the organic corn tortillas we favor over a burner on my gas stove until they were soft, pliant, and lightly toasted.

I never have cooking spray in the house because I can’t tolerate the thought of propellants and unrecyclable aerosol cans, so I drizzle the chickpeas lightly with olive or canola oil and toss them to coat before sliding the baking sheet into the oven. I also like to stir them partway through baking.

We usually top them with shredded romaine lettuce, chopped tomatoes, and chopped black olives. Once upon a time I used to neatly slice a whole can of black olives, but I am far too lazy impatient for that now, so I tend to open the can and have a go at them with my kitchen shears (yes, while they’re still in the can – I learned this trick from an 85-year-old woman named Melba that lived at an adult foster home I worked at a million years ago). (We really like Santa Barbara Olive Co.’s canned black olives – they don’t go bonkies with the salt and the olives are yummy.) I always adorn my tacos with generous lashings of Tapatio sauce (the hotter the better). If I have some cheddar cheezly, homemade salsa, or a ripe avocado, those’ll go on too.

And because I live with a teenager, I ALWAYS double the recipe.

You want to see some pictures, right? Good, ’cause I’ve got lots.

These are from last September. They’re dressed with lettuce, tomatoes, and Teese nacho cheese sauce; homemade fried shells.

These are from last October. They’re wearing (heh) green cabbage, yellow heirloom tomatoes (DEAR SUMMER PLEASE HURRY UP), olives, Tapatio, and shredded cheddar Cheezly; homemade fried shells. 

And these are from a couple of weeks ago. Fire-warmed soft corn tortillas, shredded lettuce, quartered grape tomatoes, chopped olives, ripe avocado slices, and Tapatio.

So great. So, so great. I even have omnis asking me to make these for them! Now you should make some, too!

the universe says “ha ha!”, is possibly nelson muntz

No sooner do I start updating again, with a slew of updates-to-be waiting to come into existence, than the computer stops working. Fantastic. It’s working again, finally, so updates should be forthcoming, though I’m not promising anything lest the universe decides to have another laugh.

cauliflower steaks – April 19

Dear Internets,

Once upon a time I started a food blog and updated it fairly regularly. And then I went back to school full-time. And then all those winter holidays happened. And then winter quarter started, again full-time. And then I was spending most of my time with an ailing friend. And then I suffered the most spectacular ankle sprain I, personally, have ever seen, and was immobilized for almost two months. And then… well, you know – blah blah lifecakes, and four months passed with nary a blog post. Anyway, things are better now, and I am making weekly meal plans and cooking most every night again. Which is beautiful, because I missed it ever so. So on to some food!

Some time ago, I saw this post on What the Hell Does a Vegan Eat, Anyway? and – despite having no idea what sous-vide even means – I was inspired. So it was the first thing I thought of when I was planning last week’s dinners. I followed their post back to the post that originally inspired them, and went from there. I replaced the chicken stock with veggie stock and the milk with almond milk (obviously).

Following recommendations I found on other sites, I put the steaks in the oven after cooking them in my cast-iron pan. This was supposed to help them get more tender.

Pretty, right? They were still quite crisp and toothsome, even after baking. However, they had great flavor. I served them over the rosemary (+ garlic, of course) puree described in the original recipe, with cumin-scented texmati brown rice and a lovely salad on the side.

The offspring was not considerably impressed, but he’s having some sort of grudge against cauliflower right now. I, however, thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it, and will make it again (with some tinkering aimed at increasing tenderness).

Earlier that afternoon, I modified one of the recipes from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar to make almond shortbread with chocolate ganache.

Yeah, I always start out intending to photograph the entire process, but then I forget halfway through.

The shortbread was good. Not great, but good. Perhaps too thick. Delicious, however, with coffee and tea. However, for a shortbread that will really send your tastebuds to heaven, you must try Kreeli’s whipped chocolate and orange blossom shortbread – it’s absolutely incredible.

P.S. Any recipe that requires or uses a stand mixer is made possible by my wondrous friend Alyssa, who bestowed upon me the KitchenAid mixer that lives (and is adored) in my kitchen. With or without the mixer, I couldn’t ask for a better friend, but she deserves constant thanks every time that lovely machine is used.

Hanukkah 2009

Y’all, school ate MY WHOLE LIFE. I was barely cooking, and I clearly wasn’t blogging. I thought things would go back to normal after midterms, but as you can tell by my disappearance in the middle of Soup Week, they DID NOT. But I survived the term and I am now on winter break. Which means: a) cooking, b) baking, and c) posting about stuff that’s been sitting around in my pictures folder since September. Yes. The excitement is palpable.

Last Saturday we had a Hanukkah party. I love Hanukkah, and I especially love our Hanukkah parties. We had candles and our menorah, of course:  

This photo isn’t from Saturday; it’s from a couple of nights ago.

We had grape juice and apple cider and two large bottles of Manischewitz wine, one of which was entirely done in, mostly by 3 of my friends. I did mix Manischewitz with Bombay Sapphire gin, to make a drink that the internet calls a Mazel Tov cocktail but that I prefer to call gin & Jews. Because that’s just funny.

I made latkes, modifying the recipe from Colleen Patrick Goudreau’s The Vegan Table. I served them with sour cream and applesauce, of course.

My husband & our friend Brian made Spinach Noodle Kugel from Veganomicon, which was DELICIOUS.

In fact, this meal was so good that it’s what our family had the next night, too. I topped my latkes with french onion dip made with Tofutti’s Sour Supreme and Simply Organic’s French Onion Dip mix – OMNOMNOM.

This was all superb and happy and yum. However! The edible glory of the night was none of these things… because I made doughnuts. Fluffy yeasted heavenly sufganiyot (this recipe, specifically), covered in powdered sugar and served hot. I didn’t fill them with anything, as this was my first time making anything like this and I wanted to be sure everything worked with the simplest methods available before I got all fancy. And? These were incredible. Seriously. Each batch was gone before the next batch had left the pan.  Everyone raved, and I was thrilled and proud. So where are the photos? They seem to have disappeared in the process of uploading them from the camera. I could cry my face off! I can’t find them anywhere! Sadly, the only photographic evidence I have is this photo of my flour- and sugar-dusted shoes and baggy tights:

ALAS!

The teenagers amused themselves by reading one of my vintage dictionaries:  

And Jenny adorned me with a tiny hat:

Wonderful, joyful party. Happy Hanukkah!

ribollita – soup week #3

My kid is awesome. I took him three different recipes – one for “cheesy” cauliflower soup, one for potato soup, and one for Vegan Planet‘s ribollita – and asked him to choose one for tonight’s dinner. I was sure he’d pick the potato soup, as his favorite – even more favorite than tortilla – soup before I became vegan was this cholesterol-laden (heavy cream! several cups of sharp Cheddar!) concoction called Cheesiest Potato Soup. He surprised me, though, and picked the loaded-with-cabbage ribollita. Awesome.

RIBOLLITA (4-6 servings)

  • 1 small head green cabbage, quartered and cored
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (I totally left this out – onions are the bane of my existence, etc. etc.)
  • 1 stalk celery, diced (I rarely have celery in the house, but when I do, it just seems wrong to make a soup without it)
  • 1 medium carrot, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (yeah, I used, um, eight)
  • 2 small white potatoes, peeled and diced (first: I never peel my my potatoes; second: I used 5 or 6 wee Klamath Pearls)
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste blended with 1 cup warm water
  • 5 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked or one 15-ounce can borlotti or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (I used cannellini)
  • 4 to 6 slices Italian bread, toasted (I used a whole wheat sourdough from a local bakery [Essential Baking's Pain du George, for you locals])
  1. Cut the cabbage into 1/2-inch-wide strips and set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion celery, carrot, and garlic (I always add some salt at this point, to help the base vegetables sweat a little). Cover and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the cabbage, potatoes, diluted tomato paste, stock, bay leaves, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the vegetables are soft, about 45 minutes. Add the beans and cook for 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaves, then taste and adjust the seasonings.
  3. To serve, place a slice of toasted bread in the bottom of each bowl and ladle the soup over the bread. Serve hot.

This was quite tasty and very filling, and an excellent choice for a windy, cold, and blustery night like tonight.

tortilla soup – soup week #2

Tortilla soup is a big favorite around here. It’s probably the soup my son asks for the most, spanning pretty much his entire lifetime. I had a basic chicken (euuurgh) tortilla soup recipe for many years, before I gave up eating animals. Now I tend to jump from recipe to recipe, no longer having “the one”. Tonight’s was adapted from Keni‘s second vegan recipe zine, and it was incredible.

  • 4 cups diced red potatoes
  • 1 T oil
  • Several cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 14.5-ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 T chili powder
  • ½ T cumin
  • 2 tsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 16-ounce bag of frozen corn
  • 2 T corn meal
  • 1 cup soy/rice/etc milk
  • juice of one lime
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • Cayenne, salt, and black pepper to taste
  • 6 corn tortillas, cut into strips
  • possible toppings: salsa, hot sauce, chopped avocado, vegan cheese, vegan sour cream, guacamole, lime wedges, chopped tomatoes

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. Boil potatoes in a soup pot until barely tender. Drain, reserving the cooking water.
  3. Sauté the garlic, jalapeno, bell pepper, celery, and carrot in oil until soft. Add chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt, and sauté for one more minute. Add one cup of the potato water, the potatoes, tomatoes, and broth. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, place tortilla strips on a cookie sheet and bake until crispy.
  5. Remove half of the soup and purée in a blender or food processor until fairly smooth. Return soup to pot. Add corn, cornmeal, soy milk, half the cilantro, lime juice, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Simmer for another 10 minutes.
  6. Place a few tortilla strips in the bottom of a bowl. Ladle soup over tortilla strips, topping with fresh cilantro and a few more tortilla strips, as well as any other toppings you’d like!

I like mine with fresh, cool avocado:

Ooohhh, all pretty for the picture.

All mixed-up and ready for nomming. YUM.

This is really good with a cold beer – Pacifico would be perfect, but I had a Heineken (no Pacifico in the house, alas) and it was mighty fine.

birthday cake and pie

I’m interrupting Soup Week for a one-off post about chocolate. I know, it’s tough to read about chocolate, but bear with me, and there will be more soup tonight. Heh.

My one and only offspring turned 16 (!!!) the Saturday before last. I offered to make him a cake or some cupcakes, and he sat down with some of my cookbooks to decide what he wanted. He brought me Veganomicon and said, “This!” while pointing to the recipe for Smlove Pie. Yes! I’d been wanting an excuse to make it!

Yes, this pie lives up to the hype.

He also wanted a chocolate-cinnamon cake of some sort (“Chocolate cake, mom. With lots of chocolate. And chocolate frosting. And some cinnamon would be good.”) I chose Veganmania‘s Best Vegan Chocolate Cake recipe, adding some cinnamon to the dry ingredients. I topped it with a vegan chocolate buttercream, also with a bit of cinnamon sprinkled in. I sifted cinnamon over the top, and added green decorator’s sugar and chocolate sprinkles. It was, I have to admit, ugly.

Also,I really could use a cake stand.

HOWEVER. This cake is aptly named – it truly is the Best Vegan Chocolate Cake – rich, deeply flavored, dense, moist. DELICIOUS. The offspring was thrilled with it, and everyone raved. So: SUCCESS.

Also, make that cake. Make it right now. You won’t be sorry. I bow to you, VeganMania goddess.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.