Posts Tagged sausage

VeganMoFo: Octoberfest Party

Dave and I like beer, and we like food, and we like having people over for beer and food, so we threw an Octoberfest Party!  I prepared by going to the party store, because I love the party store.

Steins, pint glasses and Das Boot, all lined up and ready for use.

My baby mug, with my first beer of the day.

Food table – Ignore the meat!

Rye bread and two kinds of mustard, spicy and sweet.

Regular sauerkraut, jalapeno sauerkraut, pickles and beets.

Tofurkey beer brats, grilled.  I bought a lot of the cute flag picks, so they went in everything throughout the day.

Trader Joe’s Pumpernickel Pretzels, which I am obsessed with.

German-ish potato salad.  I wasn’t going to make a vegan potato salad since Dave was making the “regular” kind with bacon, but he had some extra cooked potatoes so I tossed them with oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper and celery seed.

Delicious braised red cabbage, which my friends Wayne and Raelene brought.

Black Forest Brownies.  I used the brownie recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, and the cherry sauce recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.  I added a bit of almond extract to both the brownies and sauce, because almonds and cherries are awesome together.

Pretty Fall-time flower arrangement.

I actually didn’t anticipate that this much of our feast would be vegan.  This was one tasty plate of German food!  I forgot to get an individual picture of the Lowenbrau Coleslaw, which is on the upper right of the plate.

After stuffing our bellies, we had a pretzel making session!  We had mixed up a double recipe of this Bavarian Pretzel recipe, and it rose while we were eating.  Everyone got a shot at making their own pretzel, while I reminded them how the process went, because by then we had all had a few beers.  “No!  Boil it, ten seconds on each side, THEN salt, THEN the oven.  Stop throwing flour at the cat!”  Pretzel making is serious business.

Whenever we make soft pretzels, Dave wants to make them as giant as possible, and these are the two he made.  They were pretty giant!  We boiled them in a wok instead of a pan, just so Dave could make them giant.

Our friend Matt made this precious pretzel, which reminded me of the Volkswagen logo.

Dave’s cousin Daniel made this pretzel which looks like…I won’t say…

Fantastic piles of pretzels!  They turned out really well, and were some of the best pretzels I’ve ever tasted!

Sadly, as usual, I didn’t get any good people pictures.  I gotta get better at that.  I have one picture of Dave in his finest German beer drinking outfit, but he’d probably kill me if I posted it ;)

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And For My Next Post…Here’s a Bunch of Food.

There’s always a bad reason for not blogging, but here’s a good one:  My internet didn’t work for two weeks!  But I’m back now, and what better thing to do than post a whole bunch of random food and get caught up?  Some of this stuff dates from last October.  Eep!  I’ll jump right in.

Ginger Cashew Tofu from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan, with fried quinoa

Salad with chickpeas, sauerkraut, crackers and “special sauce” dressing

Whole wheat pasta with cooked beets and beet greens.  Turned the whole thing red!

Pizza burrito!  Leftover pizza toppings wrapped up and served with pizza sauce.

These potatoes were sold as “teeny tiny potatoes” at Trader Joe’s.  How cute!  Roasted whole, with broccoli & tofu scramble.

Roasted Fennel Salad from Veganomicon – test run before Thanksgiving.

Amaranth porridge with apples and pecans

Tempeh Tetrazzini, adapted from a magazine recipe.  Was tasty but dry.

Teriyaki tofu and veggies with red quinoa

This was a total clean-out-the-fridge dinner before I left to visit family for Christmas:  sauteed cabbage and carrots with shredded bleu Sheese and brown rice.  It sounds weird, but it worked well enough.

Shells n’ cheese n’ Tofurkey.  Mom was making mac n’ cheese with leftover ham for the rest of the family, and she made the white sauce with Earth Balance and soy milk so that I could partake too.  I added shredded Follow Your Heart cheese, cooked shells, diced Tofurkey slices that needed to be used up, and some spinach so I could pretend that it was slightly healthy.

“Special Tofu” with peanut sauce and jasmine rice, from Royal Orchid restaurant in Ocala, Florida.  Beautiful and delicious.

Fried rice with red cabbage and baked tofu

Braised red cabbage and carrots

Roasted root veggies with greens and tahini sauce

Tofu scramble and an English muffin to scoop it up

Butternut squash stuffed with rice, kale and vegan sausage, served with mushrooms.  This was super tasty.

When the weather started warming up, we decided to grill twice in one weekend.  For this plate, I bought every vegetable worthy of grilling – baby squashes, radicchio, mushrooms, asparagus and garlic scapes.  We also had some grilled toast and drizzled everything with balsamic reduction.

The next day it was a little more simple – store bought baked tofu, a marinated portobello, brown rice with carrots and hijiki, and steamed veggies with gomasio.

Hot and sour cabbage stir fry with noodles and cilantro

For this tofu scramble, I crisped some diced potatoes first then added the tofu and other ingredients, and finished it with fresh dill.

Savory amaranth with broccoli and pecans

Pasta with parsley pesto, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes and balsamic-roasted veggies

Crunchy salad with black eyed peas, hemp seeds and spicy apple cider vinegar dressing

Teriyaki tofu bowl with short grain brown rice, raw red cabbage, steamed broccoli, green onion and extra teriyaki sauce

Gardein Crispy Tenders!  I bought these to try when I had a coupon, and I LOVE them.  They’d be good with any sauce, but they were especially good straight out of the oven with warm marinara.  The only problem with these guys is that I could easily eat the whole package at once.

Seasoned mashed fava beans with red bell pepper on Ezekiel toast for breakfast.

Springtime brown rice risotto with fresh peas, aspragus and dill

For a light side to go with the risotto, I dry-roasted some cauliflower that was liberally seasoned with a dry rub mix.

Ahhhhhhh, I feel better having purged my unposted photos a little!  Hope you enjoyed it too.

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Product Reviews

The main purpose of this blog is to feature food that I make at home, as evidenced by the name Vegan Homemade.  And for the most part I do eat homemade food.  I am human though, and I don’t always have the time or energy to make absolutely everything from scratch.  Especially now that I live close to both a Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, I’ve been buying quite a few packaged vegan products, and I’d like to share my thoughts on some that I have had in the past months.

I tried these GoodBelly probiotic drinks because they were on sale and I was intrigued.  I eat soy yogurt with probiotics pretty regularly and don’t have digestive issues, so I normally wouldn’t have bought them.  I also take a multivitamin every day and eat a balanced diet, so I’m not worried about getting my vitamins.

But, if you’re in the market for an easy source of probiotics or vitamins, GoodBelly might be worth a try.  I try not to drink my calories, and these little guys didn’t do much to fill me up so I felt like I was adding calories to my day, which to me is not a good thing.  They taste quite nice though.  Fruity, not too sweet, and tangy, the drink is made from mostly fruit juices and purees and some oat flour.  So in addition to being vegan they’re soy-free and wheat-free, great for people with intolerances or allergies.  I probably won’t buy them again, but I would tell anyone who might be interested to give it a try.  It comes in four flavors, and I’d be willing to bet that they’re all good.

Speaking of probiotics, I gave this fairly new brand of dairy free yogurt a try.  It was just…okay.  Good, not great.  Silk soy yogurt is the standard by which I judge other yogurts, and I really love the Silk yogurt so it’s a tough competition.

I also tried one of the So Delicious coconut milk yogurts, and for me it was much too coconutty.  For those who like coconut flavor it might be alright, but not for me.  I also thought it was too thick.

I dont’ dislike all Turtle Mountain products though – far, far from it.  Let’s talk about their ice cream.

A few days ago at work we were talking about sweets.  (I work with three other women, so we have certain things in common.)  We were discussing what our favorite types of dessert are, like cookies or cake or what have you, and I couldn’t really name a sweet that I can’t resist.  Sure, I have a cookie here or there with my lunch, and I’ll eat a vegan cupcake if it’s in the same room as me, but I don’t eat dessert very often.  Most of the time if I want something sweet after a meal I’ll have fruit, dried fruit or non-caffeinated, sweetened tea.  But I digress…

It occurred to me a few days after this discussion that my weakness is ice cream, which I don’t keep in the house very often for this exact reason, which is why I couldn’t put my finger on it.  If I open a pint of ice cream I’m probably going to eat half of it straight out of the container, so I just don’t buy it very often.  But geez Louise there are about a billion kinds of vegan ice cream available at Whole Foods and sometimes a girl can’t resist.

I love peanut butter and I love chocolate, so I don’t really have to tell you how much I like this Peanut Butter Zig Zag ice cream.  I like to have a lot of stuff in my ice creams, like chunks and swirls and whatnot, and the pb in this ice cream is fantastic.

I went back to the Purely Decadent but wanted to try something different, so I went with Chocolate Brownie Almond, because I like all those things.  I like them all together for sure.  In fact, I’m eating this right now as I type.  My singular complaint, and it’s a small one, would be that the almond pieces are soft and there aren’t enough brownie pieces, but I’m not really complaining.  This ice cream is so rich that I can open the container, eat just a little bit, and put it back in the freezer.

For the times I do want cookies, I really like these Peanut Butter Cremes by Back to Nature.  (As well as TJ’s Jojo’s and Newman-O’s.)  They are salty and sweet and not too high in calories.

Another sweet and salty treat is these Peanut Butter Granola Bars by Nature’s Path.  I take two snacks with me to work every day, and some mornings I don’t have time to put anything together.  These are perfect for grabbing, and also perfect for those times you want to tuck something into your purse in case you find yourself ravenous with no other options available.  They’re tasty and chewy and chunky and all around good.  I also tried the Peanut Choco’ version and while they were just as good, the chocolate flavor wasn’t that prominent, so I’ll probably stick with plain ol’ pb.

UNLESS I find their Chocolate Chip Granola Bars, which I know exist but I have yet to find.  When I was younger I ate about a ton of those Quaker chocolate chip granola bars, and I think I would go nuts for the Nature’s Path version.

Speaking of Nature’s Path, I would like to give them a special mention, as I have enjoyed every product of theirs that I have ever tried.  It’s just good stuff all around.  I pretty much always have a box of their cereal in the pantry, my favorite being Optimum Slim.  Their Raisin Bran is great too.

Crackers to me are like ice cream in the way that if I open a box I could easily eat half of it if I’m not careful.  I usually have a box of crackers on hand, but try to reserve them for rounding out lunches and an occasional snack.  These crackers are like my crack.  They have much the same effect on me that Tings do, meaning that I just want to eat them all, all the time.  I can’t NOT buy them though, because they’re so flipping good.  Eco-Planet also apparently makes cookies and pretzel crackers, but I’m pretty sure I’ll always only buy these cheddar crackers.  If you can’t find them, I would say they’re worth ordering online and paying shipping for.  But beware, you will want them again.  And again.

Another brand of crackers I really like is Mary’s Gone Crackers.  They’re gluten free and super crunchy, and I love eating them with faux-egg salad or “cheese” slices, or just by themselves.  I’ve had the original flavor as well as this black pepper flavor and they’re both great.

I’ve been looking for a way to add some protein to my breakfasts, so I picked up these sausage patties last time I went to Whole Foods.  I’ve tried many kinds of frozen veggie sausage links and patties, some good and most not-so-good.  These fall somewhere in the middle.

I like that each patty is only 80 calories, and the flavor is pretty good.  The texture is odd though, I would describe it as spongy.  And the patty is hard to cut with just a fork.  These are okay, but I’ll probably try a different brand next time I’m in the market for sausage.  If anyone shops at Publix, I seem to remember that they had a Greenwise brand veggie sausage patty that was good.

Every time I run out of tea I seem to buy a new kind.  I like almost every tea I’ve tried from Tazo.  (I think Tazo used to have an apricot white tea that was absolutely AMAZING, and they don’t seem to carry it anymore.)  I happened to be shopping in TJ’s when I was out of green tea, so I decided to try this Blueberry Green Tea.  It’s very good, and I think it was only $1.99 for the box which is probably what drew me to it in the first place.  It smells like a blueberry donut!

Whew, that’s it for now.  I think that I’ll document new products as I try them in order to share my ever-important opinions with you all.  Although you can still expect the majority of my posts to be homemade food, I think product reviews can be fun!

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CSA Dinners

Another glorious CSA delivery, more glorious meals.

broccoli, collards, brussels sprouts, fennel, celery, baby bok choy & leaf lettuce

beets, a yellow onion, apples, oranges & radicchio

I was supposed to get romanesco, and I was really excited because I’ve never had it before, but they ran out and gave me broccoli instead.  Which is fine, because I like broccoli and I was going to use the romanesco to replace broccoli in a recipe anyway.

This is the Cheesy Broccoli & Rice Casserole from The Uncheese Cookbook.  It is super tasty and super easy to make.  You pretty much mix together five things in a casserole dish and stick it in the oven.  Although if you want to use brown rice instead of white you should precook it a bit first, which I kind of knew beforehand but tried to get away with it anyway.

I served the casserole with shredded raw beets over leaf lettuce.  The beets were dressed with orange juice, sesame oil, soy sauce and agave nectar.

I’m still not a huge fan of radicchio, but I’m finding I like it cooked and paired with something sweet.  I was happy to find this recipe for Sausages with Caramelized Red Onions & Radicchio.  I envisioned making it with homemade seitan sausages, but that just wasn’t in the cards for a weeknight meal.

I halved the recipe but followed it almost exactly, subbing Earth Balance for butter and Tofurkey Italian Sausages for sausage  I also added a bit of sesame parmesan.  This dish was very tasty, but the caramelized onions were so good and sweet that they overshadowed the other ingredients.  Which meant I couldn’t taste the radicchio, so I guess it was okay.

The sausages were served atop polenta with beet greens.  The polenta was jut okay.  It’s the first time I’ve made polenta not from a recipe, so hopefully I’ll be better at flavoring it next time.

I used the bok choy, as per usual, in a stirfry.  A fancy, tasty stirfry based on a recipe.  I loosely followed the Curried Udon Stirfry from Veganomicon, and the sauce totally made the stirfry.

I am definitely interested in making the recipe as is sometime.  I was nervous about the roux not working, but it worked perfectly.

Some friends moved into a new house a few weeks ago, and they are now lucky enough to have a lemon tree, flowers, herbs, and among other things, a kaffir lime bush.  With kaffir lime leaves!  They smelled so good that I felt the need to steal some and make green curry.  So I did.

I used this recipe from Food Network, subbing extra firm tofu for the chicken.  I added steamed broccoli, cauliflower & sweet potatoes, and just a bit of sugar toward the end of cooking.  And I couldn’t find Thai basil, so regular basil was a fine stand in.  It doesn’t look like a green curry, but the sauce is under there somewhere, I promise.  The only change I would make next time is to not add the extra 3/4 cup of liquid with the coconut milk, as the sauce wasn’t as thick as I would’ve liked.

And because a new CSA delivery came today, a clean-out-the-fridge stew for dinner tonight.

Ingredients:  onion, leek, carrot, celery, green pepper, jalapeno, garlic, bay leaf, liquid smoke, cooking wine, tomatoes, black eyed peas, lentils, collards and wild rice blend.  Perfect except that I added a wee bit too much liquid smoke.

I’m all caught up on posting!  Finally.  I may try to go back to more singular posts, as opposed to throwing five meals together in one.  Or I’ll get way behind again.  We shall see.

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VeganMoFo: Iron Chef Challenge #2

I found out about the first VeganMoFo Iron Chef Challenge after the fact, since I came in late on VeganMoFo.  I was excited to participate in the second challenge, but I had no idea that the whole thing happened over the weekend!  I already had food and plans set for the weekend.  But the secret ingredients for Don’t Eat Off The Sidwalk’s Iron Chef Challenge #2got inside my head, and I came up with what I thought was a pretty good idea.  So even though I’m way too late to enter the challenge, I give you “Roasted Pears & Brussels Sprouts with Sausage, Mashed Purple Potatoes & Miso Cashew Gravy”.  It’s pretty much fall on a plate.

This was my first time eating purple potatoes, and by golly are they fantastic.  I’m normally a chunky mashed potato type of girl, but I was feeling smooth today, and when whipped in the food processor they took on this gooey texture that worked really well.  And the gravy is kind of amazing, I think at least.  If you’re not up for the whole recipe at least give the gravy a try!  It kind of almost tastes like turkey gravy, I had bf try it to double check.  He says it’s kind of sweet, which I didn’t notice.  I used a mild, sweet miso so I’m sure different misos would yield different results.  Oh, and it’s okay if the pears aren’t completely ripe, they’ll soften up in the oven.

Roasted Pears & Brussels Sprouts with Sausage, Mashed Purple Potatoes & Miso Cashew Gravy

Notes:  The VWAV tempeh sausage crumbles are pretty heavily spiced, so if you prefer a milder sausage use Gimme Lean or reduce the spices added to the tempeh crumbles.  If you like chunky mashed potatoes then just mash manually instead of processing.  I made this for lunch, so it makes four servings of a smaller sized meal.  For a full meal serve with a soup or salad, perhaps my Roasted Garlic, Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup with Caramelized Onions?

1 lb brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
2 bartlett pears, cored & cut into roughly 1/2 to 1-inch pieces
2 Tbs olive oil
1 lb purple potatoes, washed and cut into chunks
1/2 c almond milk
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 recipe VWAV tempeh sausage crumbles or 1/2 tube Gimme Lean Sausage, prepared
1/2 c cashews
1 c water
1 1/2 c almond milk
2 Tbs miso
1 Tbs nutritional yeast
2 Tbs cornstarch or arrowroot
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Put brussels sprouts and pears in a bowl, drizzle olive oil over them and stir gently to combine. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and pour in the brussels and pears, spreading to a single layer as much as possible. Cook for 40 minutes, stirring once halfway through.
2. Meanwhile, put the potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-high and cook for 10 minutes or until done. Drain, put potatoes in a food processor and let sit a few minutes to cool. Add 1/2 c almond milk and 3/4 tsp salt and process until smooth.
3. Place cashews and water in a blender and blend until smooth. Add remaining ingredients (1 1/2 c almond milk through 1/2 tsp salt) and blend to mix. Pour gravy into a medium saucepan, bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-high. Cook until reduced, whisking often.
4. Transfer brussels, pears and sausage to a bowl and stir to combine. Plate with mashed potatoes and cover everything with gravy.

Serves 4.

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