First Taste: Cashew of the Woods

I recently won a brand new (super duper special, unreleased) new flavor of vegan cheese from my favorite vegan cheese producer, Punk Rawk Labs. I wanted to share the experience of tasting it for the first time with all of you, so I made a video.

You can check it out above (assuming I embeded it correctly) or check out my new video First Taste: Punk Rawk Labs’ Cashew of the Woods.

Note: I shot this a while ago but didn’t get around to learning how to use Adobe Premier to edit it until now. (Please be kind, I haven’t made videos in a while.)

Vegan Chicken Grilled Cheese Caesar Salad

Caesar Header-1

If you were reading my twitter feed last night you may already have an idea of what I’m going to share today. I finished cooking and taking photos for this post right before the new X Files episode premiered. It took a bit longer than I thought it would –taking photos of your food as you cook does make it take twice as long to prepare– so for the first time in my life, I was actually happy that some football game was delaying The X Files.

The X Files revival, by the way, was amazing. It was camp, it was nostalgic, it was everything I remember loving about it when I was a teenager. I realized during the episode how much I’ve missed the characters, Scully and Mulder, even Skinner. I’m really excited for the monster-of-the-week episodes they’ve promised…

Whoops… my nerd was showing… On to the salad.

Vegan Chicken Grilled Cheese Caesar Salad is one of my favorite dinners. It’s perfect for a weeknight, it can be put together in under an hour, and it’s got a ton of delicious, nutritious greens. Continue reading

Vegan Pizza Margherita

Pizza1 Header Image

I am what you might call a ‘fan’ of vegan cheeses.

In fact, I might be as much a fan of vegan cheeses as I was a fan of dairy cheeses (oh, so very many years ago…). I recently acquired some Fresh VeganMozz from Miyoko’s Creamery. It’s relatively new to the line of Miyoko’s Creamery cheeses and very much in demand. The first time I tried to buy it, went out of stock faster than I could order it. When I saw it was back, I ordered two packages of it immediately, just to be safe.

After having it both hot on pizza and cold in a caprese salad, I prefer the Fresh VeganMozz hot. It’s still pretty tasty, but I don’t like the texture as much when it’s cold. When it’s melted however, it has a delightfully creamy texture and this rich, slightly salty flavor that you expect from fresh mozzarella. It adds such a smooth, buttery mouthfeel to pizza, it’s hard to believe it’s vegan.

What better to make with a fresh mozzarella-style vegan cheese than Pizza Margherita?

Even though it’s the middle of January, we were able to find some really flavorful campari tomatoes at Costco. Good fresh tomatoes are key to this recipe. If you can find some this time of year, grab them. Grab them and then make this pizza! When we were tasting the recipe, I turned to Tom and said “Holy god this is amazing.” It is literally, the best pizza margherita I can remember eating.

In addition the recipe for the Pizza Margherita I made, I’m going to share with you my tried and true pizza crust recipe. It’s long, but worth it.

Continue reading

Sunday Brunch at Citizen Fox

Citizen Fox Table

Citizen Fox, frequent participant in Bay Area Vegan popup events over the last year or so, has recently moved into its own –albeit temporary– brick and mortar location on Mission street at 19th in San Francisco while they renovate their permanent space down the block. The 2293 Mission Street location is an airy, open space with several long, communal tables in the middle of the restaurant and a row of semiprivate snug booths off to one side. Illustrations of animals hang above the private tables and a gorgeous, floor to ceiling mural adorns the wall opposite the booths. The most impressive attribute of the space is the back wall of the bar. Reaching all the way to the rafters, the mirrored, softly lit shelving houses the restaurant’s extensive selection of liqueurs and spirits.

This Sunday was my third brunch at Citizen Fox. As is to be expected for a Sunday in the mission, the eatery was packed with hungry, hungover hipsters and dreary-eyed tech sector trend-watchers eating and drinking Citizen Fox’s plant-based fare… Also a bluegrass band. (I rather enjoyed the bluegrass band. Impressive, as I don’t really like bluegrass.) When I entered, I was shoulder to shoulder with a dozen other folks, wedged into the defacto reception area. Luckily I’d made a reservation for my party, so we weren’t standing in the doorway very long. Continue reading

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

Tom Food Tuesdays: Soyrizo, Quinoa, and Kale Burritos with Bacon Salt

Kale and Soyrizo Burritos before being wrapped up

In contrast to Katie, who’s blog might be described as “the habits of highly effective chefs”, my posts will be more along the lines of “quick cheats for lazy goof offs”. They will largely consist things I make from ingredients that happen to be available, using pre-seasoned ingredients or, incorporating leftovers from one dish into another. As such it doesn’t make a lot of sense to follow like a recipe and buy ingredients to create something I describe here, as this is antithesis to my technique.

Today we had Kale that needed to be eaten. It’s best not to let it sit around too long. By far the simplest tasty way to make kale is to simply steam it and repeatedly coat it in Bacon Salt. The hickory flavor tastes great, completely vegan and has much less sodium than normal salt. On Kale you really can’t add too much of it. I like to coat it fully three times during cooking.

The other major ingredient is Soyrizo, which is one of my favorite foods. I always keep some around and use it frequently. Everything else was what was available, and could also be cooked in the one pan. The quinoa and could have just have easily been rice and beans or the recipe could have been served over leftover noodles instead of wrapped in tortillas.

While I don’t frequently make grains  –they take a while to cook and require a dedicated pot– when I do, I make a lot because they preserve well and are versatile enough to get used quickly.

Soyrizo, Quinoa, and Kale Burritos with Bacon Salt

Ingredients

Tom watching kale cook

  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped onion
  • 3 mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and torn into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 of a 12-ounce package of Soyrizo (or 6 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup leftover cooked quinoa
  • 1 Tablespoon Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • 2 large tortillas
  • vegetable oil
  • Bacon Salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • Salsa, guacamole, and/or non-dairy sour cream to finish

Method

Heat a 12-inch skillet to medium heat, add 2-3 teaspoons of vegetable oil. Add mushroom and onion and season with some Bacon Salt. Cook until onion is translucent. Thoroughly wash kale and add to pan wet. The extra moisture will help it steam. Season with Bacon Salt and freshly ground pepper. Cook until kale is fully wilted and season twice more with bacon salt, once during cooking and once more when the kale is fully cooked.  Season to taste with black pepper. Remove from pan on to a plate and cover.

Reheat the skillet to medium heat. Add 2-3 teaspoons of vegetable oil and the Soyrizo. Cook for three to four minutes while breaking up with a spatula. Add the quinoa and cook for five to seven more minutes until thoroughly cooked. Add the Liquid Aminos and stir well. Remove this to the same plate as the kale.

Wipe out the skillet and warm two burrito size tortillas in the pan. Once warm, remove tortillas to separate plates and spoon the Soyrizo and Kale mixtures into the tortillas. Top with your favorite salsa, guacamole, and or non-dairy sour cream and roll up like burritos.

Tom holding Soyrizo

Editor’s Note: I’ve been nervous about submitting to my partner’s cooking once a week for a month. But this wasn’t all that bad. There are some slight changes I would make, as I don’t always agree with Tom’s methods, but overall, it was relatively tasty. I do recommend it with some sort of sour cream substitute. I feel it needs a bit of acid to balance the Bacon Salt. And I have to apologize for the photos. Tom cooks far too fast for me to take pictures of him with my phone camera. So I will have to switch to my SLR for the next Tom Food post. Inconvenient for me, as my phone uploads my photos to a server automatically, but the quality will be much higher. –KateB