Friday, October 14, 2011

(Vegan MoFo) Shaun of the Dead - "Limbs N' Chips" *and a giveaway!


It's midway through the month and you might be needing a little break from all of the scary movies. Well, I recommend my favorite horror comedy to keep you in the holiday season but give you a break from the nightmares. This has been described as a romantic comedy zombie movie. If that isn't charming enough for you, it's from England, so everyone has British Accents! Can't go wrong. I'm also doing a giveaway! The prize is the dvd of Shaun of the Dead! Details at the end of the post.

To go along with this zombie movie spoof from England, I made some...

Beer-Battered Limbs N' Chips


*"Limbs"* - 2 options

block of firm tofu
1 and 1/2 pounds worth of parsnips
6-10 sheets of nori seaweed

Peel the outer tan parts of the parsnips off and discard. Continue to peel away until you hit the hard center. Take your inner peels and pulse in the food processor until you get flakes the size shown in the picture. Toss with a light coating of veganaise and a pinch of salt. Wrap parsnip shreds in a sheet of nori, coat with batter (recipe follows) and place into a pot of 375 degree oil of 1 to 1 and 1/2 inches. Fry until golden brown all around.

*OR*

Cut firm tofu into long rectangles, soak in soy sauce for a few minutes, wrap the tofu in a sheet of nori, coat with batter (recipe follows) place into a pot of 375 degree oil of 1 to 1 and 1/2 inches. Fry until golden brown all around.

Flakey White Flesh!


*Beer-Batter

1 and 1/2 cups flour
1 12 oz bottle of vegan beer. Blue Moon is vegan!
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Beer first, then stir in the flour, salt and garlic powder.


For tartar sauce

3/4 cup Veganaise
5 TB dill relish
1-2 TB fresh lemon juice
heavy dose of fresh cracked pepper.




If you would like to participate in my giveaway with a chance to win the Shaun of the Dead dvd, just tell me what your favorite Halloween (or fall) season movie is in the comment section below. Entries can go on until I wake up Monday morning. No right answer, winner will be chosen at random!


Thursday, October 13, 2011

(Vegan MoFo) The Frank Award


National Feral Cat Day is on Sunday October 16th, so in honor I would like to give out my very prestigious Frank Award to my favorite MoFo posts so far. Frank was a super awesome feral cat who is in heaven right now, but I got the pleasure of knowing him in his brief life on this planet. So in honor of Frank and all of the feral cats who need our help, let's celebrate and meditate on a healthier life for them and the end of street births through Trap Neuter Return.

*I've been loving the themes some bloggers have been taking on this month and this one was particularly appealing to me. Over at Air Eater, she has been making a series of Bento Boxes. For those who aren't familiar, they are a Japanese lunch box of sorts, concentrating on arrangement, simplicity and efficiency. Often Bentos feature special food characters, such as a food item designed to look like an animal. It was difficult to choose my favorite, but this Pac Man Bento, I found especially charming. http://aireater.com/2011/10/07/vegan-mofo-pac-man-bento/

*I am a big fan of Mochi and I'm always interested in different ways to incorporate it in a dish. So these Mochi Dumplings from Vegan Chickpea got an immediate bookmark.

*Zombie Cats Eating Plants wasn't messing around when she kicked off her MoFo month. Are you ready for this? Chocolate Peanut Butter Marshmallow Croissants ! This is bookmarked for my next period.

*My next favorite is not a recipe, but a post from The "V" word, on my favorite book, The Sexual Politics of Meat by Carol J. Adams. If you have not read this book, I strongly urge you to do so. It is an eye-opening critical examination of the strong link from our patriarchal society to animal consumption and the business behind it. In the post there is an excerpt from an interview with Carol J. Adams.

*Over at Winged Snail, she has inspired me to make my own fresh homemade pasta. Thanks Sarah, I needed this boost.

*Over at coldandsleepy cooks, she's making her way through the alphabet and my favorite so far has been "H" Chik patties & potato squashers with homemade horseradish cream sauce. I'm quite enamored with this blog, everything looks so good and her pictures are so cool.

Frank <3


A couple of these outdoor cuties need homes. They are in the L.A. area. If you know of anyone looking to adopt a cat or 2, please let me know. I'm having a hard time getting help out here in L.A. with adoptions. Thanks!

Monday, October 10, 2011

It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown - *Pumpkin Soup Bar

"There are three things I have learned to never discuss with people; religion, politics and the Great Pumpkin."


This charming classic is allegedly airing on Thursday, October 27th this year. So this gives us plenty of time to plan our "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" viewing parties! But if you have this movie on dvd, have your party whenever you want it. Of course when a bunch of people get together to eat, it's hard to please everyone. So I like the idea of making a big pot of pumpkin soup and having a toppings bar, so everyone can pick and choose and create their own special soup. (of course some may not like pumpkin, but whatchya gonna do?)

This is my basic Pumpkin soup recipe, it makes two big bowls, so multiply the recipe accordingly.

1 can pumpkin
1/2 large onion
2 stalks celery
1 large carrot
1-2 TB diced shallots
1 cup vegetable broth
3/4 cup Cashew Loja (aka cashew chz) recipe in this post
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/8 - 1/4 tsp cinnamon (to taste)
scant nutmeg (to taste)
salt (to taste)
2 TB olive oil

Chop onion, celery and carrots and saute in a skillet with olive oil for about 3-5 minutes (onions should be translucent). add shallots, saute for up to another minute. Add thyme and rosemary. In a food processor put in pumpkin, cashew blend, vegetable broth, and everything in the skillet. Blend until ultra creamy smooth. Put in a big pot, warm and serve.


From top to bottom -

* Pignosan, pronounced- PEEN yo zhan or PEEN yo jhan
-1/4 cup pine nuts, tsp nutritional yeast, smidge of salt and lemon. Grind in a mini food processor or coffee grinder.
*Avocado
*Toffutti sour cream
*Chives
*Crispy Sage - add a TB of vegan butter to a skillet and toast sage leaves until crispy
*Croutons
*Roasted and salted pumpkin seeds





Vegan Mofo #6

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Exorcist

Split Pea Soup


Last night when I said what the movie and menu were going to be, my husband said, "So we're going to pretend we're eating her vomit?" I said "Fun right?" Maybe eat the soup before the movie, if you are squeamish :) But I chose this menu pairing because split pea soup is what they really used in the movie :)



This is how I love my split pea soup. I made smokey eggplant strips (some call this eggplant bacon), along with some toasted sage leaves to top this vegan classic. The smokey and earthy flavors are a great compliment to this soup.

Here are the toppings...

One small eggplant sliced very thin
(marinade) 1/4 cup soy sauce
2 TB olive oil
1 clove garlic diced
2 tsp. liquid smoke
1 TB apple cider vinegar
3 sage leaves- diced

Marinate the eggplant slices for at least an hour

10-15 sage leaves
1 and 1/2 TB vegan butter
When almost ready to dish out the soup, toast the sage leaves in butter in a skillet until crispy

Toffutti sour cream

For the soup

1 16 oz. pack of split peas
1 onion- chopped
1 TB shallots
2 stalks of celery- chopped thin
2 diced cloves of garlic
1/4 cup leeks, sliced into thin ribbons
9 cups of vegetable broth or water
1/4 cup sherry
1/4 cup fresh chopped flat leaf parsley
salt
olive oil

Put the onions in a pot with about 1-2 TB olive oil and about 1 tsp salt. Cook until translucent, then add shallots and garlic and cook no longer than one minute. Add the peas and vegetable broth, bring to boil and then simmer for about an hour. Add leeks and celery, simmer for another 1-2 hours until it's nice and creamy green. Stir in the sherry and parsley at the end. Add more salt to taste.

Dish the soup out into bowls after frying the smokey eggplant strips in a skillet on both sides. Chop into pieces, (optional- leave some strips for garnish). Top soup with toffutti sour cream, smokey eggplant, and crispy sage leaves. (optional- chopped green onion).



"Deeeemy... why you do this to me, Deeemy"




Thursday, October 6, 2011

E.T. - Reese's Pieces


I can only handle watching this movie once in a blue moon because my heart can't take it! E.T. and Elliot pull at my heart strings so hard, they are gonna rip it right out of my chest. But the Halloween season is the perfect time to revisit this endearing film.

Shameless product placement is usually really annoying in a film, but in this one, not only do I not mind it, I really like it! I think because it ties in so well with the movie. Did you know they originally wanted to use m&m's? The company turned them down because they thought E.T. looked like "A cross between a stray dog with mange and syphilitic genitals" and they didn't want him to be the face of their product. Well boo to them! They don't deserve E.T., but neither do reese's pieces because they are not cruelty-free. But nostalgia gets a hold of us and we want some too! So here is my veganized version of the candy I loved so much in the 80's.

My vision for these were some kind of earthy vintage looking homemade version of the orange, yellow and brown pieces. But my natural food coloring didn't work well with my candy coating. I don't think artificial dyes would have worked either. But, on taste, I think I did pretty awesome. All of the flavors and textures are there. Crunchy, chocolatey and peanut buttery.


*Peanut Butter Filling
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup pure cane sugar
stir well until fully blended

*Chocolate Coating
1 cup vegan chocolate chips - melted

*Hard Candy Shell
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water - boil until it reaches 300 degrees.

Roll the peanut butter filling into little balls. Coat with the melted chocolate (I use Trader Joe's. Ghirardelli also has vegan choc chips, but always check the ingredients every time!) Set the coated balls in the freezer (about 15 minutes). I just took a spoon and drizzled the candy coating on. But I 'm kinda wishing I would have stuck them with a toothpick and let the candy drip over it as I swirled. I think that may have given it an even coat. But there is definitely enough crunch in the way I did it.


"I'll believe in you all my life, everyday. E.T.... I love you."


"You could be happy here, I could take care of you. I wouldn't let anybody hurt you. We could grow up together, E.T."



"I'll... be... right... here... "



"Ouuuch!"


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Rosemary's Baby - Rosemary's Deviled Eggs

Rosemary's Baby is certainly one of the CreeEEEeepiest movies I've ever seen and I'm giving all the credit to Roman Polanski and Mia Farrow. Adapting from Ira Levin's novel, Polanski took a story that placed us in 'what's going to happen next' and turned it into a story that placed us in a state of anxiety knowing what is going to happen and not being able to do anything about it. Polanski is pretty upfront from the start about what's going on and what's going to happen, which is what makes this thriller so unique, plot revelation is somewhat unimportant, which makes us engrossed in the characters from start to finish. Mia Farrow certainly makes this easy with her classic and quietly intense performance. From 1968, Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby...

I'm going to give 2 ways to do deviled eggs. This first one is how I've recently been making them and I really like it. Using avocado as the "white" is so delicious because it has a similar texture, but much more flavor than the animal derived version. And mashed potatoes make a great creamy filling!

Rosemary's Deviled Eggs version #1


4 ripe avocados (on the small side)
apple cider vinegar
4 little yellow potatoes
3 TB veganaise (or toffuti sour cream)
1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/8 tsp salt- to taste
1 tsp finely chopped rosemary

*capers or relish optional

Boil potatoes until soft, rinse with cold water, remove skin and mash with all of the ingredients except avocados and apple cider vinegar. Sliced the avocados in half, remove seed and scoop out of the skin. Coat the avocado with a little apple cider vinegar. This will keep them from browning and give the shell a light sour taste. Fill the potato filling in the avocado hole, sprinkle them with a little salt and garnish with a little paprika and rosemary sprigs.


Rosemary's Deviled Eggs Version #2

The tried and true deviled egg

24oz of extra firm tofu (I used 2- 12 oz packs)
about 1/2-1 cup of apple cider vinegar
2 TB vegenaise
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp relish
1/4 tsp salt (to taste) I used about 1/2 tsp
paprika
tumeric
2 TB fresh diced chives

This is a 12 oz. block of tofu. I cut 9 squares out of it...
Score a square with a small knife in the center, then with a tiny spoon, or the end of a spoon handle, scoop out the center. Get as much of the center out as you can, set the part that you scooped out aside...
Soak the "egg" shells in apple cider vinegar for about 5 minutes. meanwhile, have the sccoped out part in a bowl, I placed it in a towel first and squeezed out excess water. Mix your scooped out tofu with the vegenaise, relish, dijon mustard, salt, a big pinch of paprika, chives (saving a little for garnish). Mix it all up adding a little bit of tumeric at a time until desired yellow color is reached. Stuff your shells with the filling, garnish with more chives and paprika and let chill uncovered for about an hour, or as long as you can stand it.

I like to keep them square shaped because I don't like my food to look just like the kind of food that I find offensive, but whatever works for you. You can carve the edges with a knife to make it look like an egg if that's what makes you happy!


"Witches... all of them witches!"
"This is no dream! This is really happening!"

"He chose you, honey!"
"Unspeakable... unspeakable!"

"He has his father's eyes"

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!


In the mood for an absurd horror comedy? I'll just tell you that I really enjoy it and if a comic relief is needed from scary movie marathons, this might not be a bad one to watch. It's a 1978 spoof on B-horror movies, in the film, carnivorous tomatoes attack the human race. Fun right?

So here's what I came up with as a pairing for this fine feature...

Killer T.L.T's!


12-15 roma tomatoes
1 head of iceberg lettuce
1 cup veganaise
1 package of tempeh
1 cup panko breadcrumbs (vegan of course)

Tempeh Marinade

1/4 cup soy sauce
2 TB olive oil
2 TB pure maple syrup
1 TB lemon juice
2 tsp. liquid smoke
pinch of cayenne

slice the tempeh going across, into 1/8-1/4 inch slices. Marinate for about an hour (shortcut is to put all of the marinade in the skillet and let the tempeh soak it up as they fry) fry the tempeh in the skillet and add some marinade juice to it. The pan will get yucky and sticky, to de-glaze, throw a splash of wine in the skillet when you go to fry the other side. When done, cut the tempeh into smaller pieces

Shred the iceberg lettuce and place in a mixing bowl. Add the Veganaise and toss. Add the panko bread crumbs and tempeh pieces and toss.

With a paring knife, cut teeth into your tomato on the top and bottom, and then fully gut your tomato. Then stuff with your salad mixture. You can add cute eyes by breaking off the end of a toothpick, stick a raisin on there, and stick into the tomato. Just remember to take the toothpicks out before eating!




Attack in the produce section!


You can't run from them! They'll get you like 21st century zombies!