Ridiculous Grilled Cheeze Time with ClassyVegan!

The build…

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Daiya cheddar slices, Tofurky roast beef, tomato, and avocado on white bread grilled with Earth Balance Buttery Spread.

The result…

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Nom nom nommable.

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Truffle flavored Roasted Japanese Sweet Potatoes with Black Lava Salt

Jewel yam slices with truffle oil on plate with crab cakes and lettuce

The above photo was our dinner tonight: vegan crab cakes (from the brand Sophie’s Kitchen, really tasty), roasted red pepper remoulade, and –the recipe I’m going to share with you tonight– roasted Japanese Sweet Potato slices flavored with truffle oil and black lava salt.

Before anyone raises the question as to whether or not (good) truffles are vegan due to their being harvested almost exclusively using dogs or pigs, I have to tell you that almost all truffle oil has never had a truffle anywhere near it. The vast majority of truffle oil is flavored synthetically. So no debate needed!

While this plate looks fancy, it’s actually a quick, simple dinner. It all came together in under an hour. And most of that hour I spent on the internet looking at other Vegan MoFo posts.

This is mostly due to the fact that the crab cakes were pre made. All I did was brown them on both sides. The remoulade I made is still “in development.” Which is code for “I don’t actually know what I did, but it was awesome.” Which is the reason the only recipe I’m going to share is the side dish.

What the food hole had labeled as “Jewel Yams” (hence my instagram teaser yesterday) are actually Japanese Sweet Potatoes. They have a ruby red skin and creamy, white flesh.  Their flavor isn’t as pronounced as the bright orange sweet potatoes common around Thanksgiving. Rather, the Japanese sweet potato has a more delicate flavor with a slight sweetness. And in this case, that made an amazing canvas for truffle oil.

This recipe uses two ingredients that aren’t always readily available, truffle oil and black lava salt. Black lava salt is really just used as a contrasting garnish here. You can finish the dish with whatever salt you have and it will taste the same. You could even sprinkle some black sesame seeds on top and get a very similar visual effect. If you can’t get your hands on truffle oil, however, that’s another story. You can try any other infused oil –like garlic or rosemary– but, obviously, you won’t get that truffle flavor without it. Experiment, let me know if there are other flavored oils that work well here. Continue reading

Veganniversary Presents!

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After having a conversation about artisan salts and truffle oil at dinner last night, Tom surprised me with these three lovelies: black Sea Salt, alderwood smoked salt and white truffle oil. We also had dinner at Millennium, the hella classy, gourmet vegan restaurant in San Francisco. I would have taken food photos, but it was too dark. And I didn’t want to be “that guy” using a camera flash in a romantically lit restaurant. Don’t be that guy. Tomorrow is Tom Food Tuesday! So look for another post of food I would never make tomorrow. 😉

Hot Spinach Dip

Aww yeah…

Hot Spinach Dip

It’s my Veganniversary today! YAY!!!! Tom and I are celebrating, but not until tonight. So, I thought I’d get a post in today since I was late with yesterday’s.

This is the Hot Spinach Dip I mentioned in my previous post. About a week ago, Tom asked me to make him some spinach dip because he was sad he couldn’t eat any of the packaged ones at the food hole (that’s his hand in the photo). So I made this one up. No idea how close it is to non-vegan spinach dip, but I can tell you that it is freakin’ tasty. We were snacking on it while we were cooking everything else yesterday.

Unfortunately, it does rely heavily on specialty vegan products and dairy product alternatives. Sorry to those of you who don’t have easy access to this stuff. Continue reading

Sunday Dinner: Updated Diner Classics

Open Face Hot Seitan Sandwich, Smashed potatoes, and broccolini

I decided that picking a theme for Sunday Dinner Posts would make my life a little easier. This week I wend with Updated (and veganized) Diner Classics.

I didn’t want to go with the typical burger and fries approach. Firstly, because I haven’t figured out how to make a good homemade veggie burger, and secondly because that’s far too common. I wanted something from the “entree” section of a diner menu, not the “burgers and sandwiches” section. In search of inspiration, I went to the website for Mel’s Drive In, a totally not vegan but very popular diner here in SF (I think there might be a couple veg/vegan things on their menu, but I’ve never been in to check). Sifting through dozens of menu items, I finally came across “Open Face Hot Beef Sandwiches” and I knew that that was the ticket.

My friend Elias came over to help cook and together, Tom, Elias, and I updated the typical side dishes to the Open Face Sandwich. Here’s what we came up with…

The Sunday Dinner Menu:Tablescape with dinner plate and wine bottle

  • Appetizer: Hot Spinach Dip (Recipe and photos in the next post)
  • Open Face Hot Seitan Sandwiches with mushroom gravy
  • Roasted Smashed Potatoes
  • Ginger Garlic Broccolini
  • Wine Pairing: The Velvet Devil Merlot ’11 (Charles Smith Wines)
  • Blueberry pie (See previous Saturday Sweets post)

Continue reading

Saturday Sweets: Wild Blueberry Pie!

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It was hot today. So I couldn’t start baking until about 9:00pm. I’m starting to think I should do all the cooking work for my Saturday Sweets posts on Friday nights because it’s going to be so hot during the day for the rest of the month.

So here’s the thing about San Francisco. Summer doesn’t happen until September or October, sometimes November. June, July, and August are all very cool months with temperatures in the mid 60s to low 70s. Maybe you get a day when it’s 77 degrees, but that’s about as high as it goes in what the rest of the hemisphere calls summer. Then, come what most northern-hemisphere-dwellers would think of as fall, it’s hot as balls.

Anyway, due to the fact that it is 2AM, my boyfriend is in bed, and the dog is curled up sleeping on the sofa behind me, I’m going to make this quick and simple. I’m going to post the basic recipe for my blueberry pie now and then post the rest of the photos (other than that top one there) for this pie tomorrow. If there are enough good pictures of me making the lattice crust on top, I might be able to do a tutorial on that, too. We’ll see.

My recipe looks complicated, but that’s really just because I was verbose. It only has 5 ingredients (6 if you count water, 7 if you do the optional step) and not including baking time it only takes about 45 minutes to put together. The best part is, if you’re using frozen berries, you don’t have to thaw them! They can go right into the pie frozen and they’ll come out lovely.

Without further adieu… Continue reading

A couple things…

I just wanted to mention a few things before I ran away from my computer for the day.

Especially for Vegan MoFo, I’d like to announce two more features I’m doing every weekend! Saturdays will be “Saturday Sweets” For the month of September. Meaning, I’ll be making a big, sticky, sweet dessert every Saturday from now until October.  And then on Sundays I will be making and posting a big, family-style meal. I’m creatively calling these posts “Sunday Dinner.” If my plan works out, I’ll get to have guests to every Sunday Dinner so Tom and I don’t have to eat all the food ourselves.

And finally, EXCITING NEWS!!! My Veganniversary is next Monday, September 9th! This will mark seven years of veganism for me. I’ve put Tom in charge of making plans for that day, so it’ll be a surprise for you and me both.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend full of delicious vegan food!