In our March weekend of classes at the Natural Kitchen Cooking School, we were given The Saucy Vegetarian by Jo Stepaniak, a favorite vegan cookbook author and inspiration. One of our assignments was to choose a recipe from the book and to make it this past month. It was a difficult process as there are so many wonderful recipes for sauces and dressings in Jo’s book, but I decided to take the easy route and make a dressing that incorporated ingredients I had on hand. I also was intrigued by trying a dressing that used sesame oil, as that has never been an oil option I considered for a salad dressing. I chose the sesame cilantro vinaigrette which featured ingredients like sesame oil, cilantro, and fresh lime juice (along with a few more) that came together smashingly! It was tangy, refreshing, and had a very nice savory flavor. I served it over a romaine salad with carrots and toasted pumpkin seeds. Divine!
Tuxedo Cat Breakfast, Dinner, Holiday Foods, Lunch avocado, Being Vegan and Getting Away with It, benedict, Easter, english muffins, hollandaise sauce, kale, Milah Vegetarian, Philadelphia, the Vegg, tofu, Yves Canadian Bacon 1 Comment
Growing up, some of my favorite dinners were breakfast dinners! Something about having what we traditionally ate in the morning always seemed even more exciting as the supper menu. I recently watched a program on television about the history of eggs benedict and how they were developed at a famous Manhatten restaurant many years ago. I thought it would be fun to veganize the dish, especially since I never had the original animal-based version. For our Easter dinner, I decided tofu benedict would make a smashingly good meal!
I was inspired by Being Vegan and Getting Away It‘s blog post Benny and Flo Do Brunch, which outlines a fantastic recipe for this classic dish. I made the tofu using the same ingredients that she did, with just a slight change on the proportions of tamari and rice vinegar.
For the vegan hollandaise sauce, I reworked the recipe around my use of The Vegg. If you miss the taste of egg yolks and want to incorporate it into your meals, this is the first non-animal version to date that really tastes like it. I have at least one vegan friend who finds it so similar to chicken egg yolks, that she doesn’t like it. Highly recommend! It’s great for toast dipping!
Vegg Hollandaise Sauce
3/4 cup of blended Vegg (uses approximately 3 tsp. of the mix and 3/4 cup of water)
1 TB lemon juice
1 TB Vegenaise (or preferred vegan mayonnaise)
1/4 cup almond milk (or preferred non-dairy milk)
pinch of cayenne
pinch of turmeric
pinch of white pepper
Heat blended Vegg in a small saucepan on the stovetop. Add milk and mayo and whisk. Add lemon juice, cayenne, turmeric, and white pepper and whisk. Let heat for approximately 10 minutes or longer, making sure to whisk or stir frequently. Keep warm up until ready for serving.
Instead of using spinach that was used in the Benny and Flo Do Brunch recipe, I substituted kale. I cooked one bunch of kale with a small amount of water until it was wilted in a large pan on the stovetop. I added 1 TB of ume plum vinegar and a pinch of cayenne at the end before serving it. Delish!
For the veggie meat, I used Yves Canadian Bacon. This is a must have to really provide that salty, umami flavor profile. It’s been a staple item in my Vegan McMuffins too. They cook up in a flash on a skillet with a little spray of olive oil. Be careful not to overcook though, as they don’t require much heating.
I served the layers on toasted whole wheat English muffins. While some may slather some vegan margarine on these, it really isn’t necessary. The combination of ingredients is so complex and tasty, you won’t miss the extra calories!
I decided to top the bennies with scoops of avocado after being inspired by a tofu benedict brunch dish I had once at Milah Vegetarian in Philadelphia. It really gave it another layer of flavor and healthy fat to sink one’s teeth into. I garnished the plate with a lemon slice and a dusting of paprika!
This is one dish you’ll want to have again and again. In addition to dinner, it would make an impressive brunch item for friends and family. Enjoy!
Tuxedo Cat Dinner, Gluten-free, Lunch Ancient Harvest, balsamic vinegar, cream of broccoli soup, Jo Stepaniak, mac and cheese, Natural Kitchen Cooking School, pumpkin seeds, salad, shiitake bacon, spinach, Vegan Vittles 0 Comments
As a lover of macaroni and cheese, it’s always exciting to find a new vegan recipe. We made a vegan baked mac & cheeze adapted from Vegan Vittles by Jo Stepaniak in our latest Natural Kitchen Cooking School class. The recipe got its creamy texture, natural coloring, and nutritional value from cashews, nutritional yeast, and pimientos. In addition to the spices included in the recipe, I added fresh onions, garlic, and cayenne pepper to give it an extra punch of flavor. The cheeze sauce alone can be used for numerous other dishes, such as nachos, or in a small slow cooker for dipping crudites, bread, or crackers. The possibilities are endless!
For the pasta, I used Ancient Harvest Gluten Free Shells. Simply amazing! It is difficult to tell that these shells are gluten-free and they held onto the cheeze sauce like you’d expect them to. The pasta was baked in a 4 ounce ramekin, which made it not only adorable to eat, but also helped to reduce the chance of overeating (as you will want to keep devouring this cheezy goodness)! The dish was garnished with gluten-free bread crumbs, paprika, and parsley.
I served the mac and cheeze alongside cream of broccoli soup topped with shiitake bacon and a spinach salad with english cucumbers, toasted pumpkins seeds, and balsamic vinegar. This is one meal you won’t want to miss! In the words of Corey from Say Anything, “Get ready for greatness, Lloyd!”
For our “Sauces, Dressings, and Condiments” weekend at the Natural Kitchen Cooking School, we were challenged to come up with our own dressing based on the formula in The Saucy Vegetarian by Jo Stepaniak.
Since I had an abundance of parsley in the fridge and a lovely Blushing Peach Balsamic Vinegar by F. Oliver’s (a local oils and vinegars business) in the cupboard, I decided to make this simple salad dressing.
Parsley Peach Balsamic Viniagrette
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup Blushing Peach Balsamic Vinegar
1 TB Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
handful of fresh chopped parsley
Blend all ingredients in a regular blender or with an immersion blender. Serve with your favorite salad or entree.
This was a tangy, sweet, and refreshing dressing to change up the basic oil and vinegar dressings most of us are accustomed to. I’d definitely make it again with some variations with the green herbs added to it. Enjoy!
Tuxedo Cat Convenience foods, Dinner, Gluten-free, Lunch Beyond Meat™, Biz Stone, cajun, carrots, chicken, Dinosaur BBQ, Evan Williams, fajitas, mojito, New Jersey, peppers, Princeton, tortillas, Twitter, Whole Foods 1 Comment
On a recent trip to Princeton, New Jersey, we went into the local Whole Foods because I heard that they carry the new Beyond Meat™ chicken strips. Low and behold, they were right in the food bar, where you could load up on as much as you’d like! If you haven’t been following the
faux soy meat news lately, this brand is backed by vegan Twitter co-founder Biz Stone and Evan Williams and is supposed to revolutionize the plant-based protein game. Many attest that it is difficult to tell these strips apart from their animal counterpart.
The Beyond Meat™ chicken strips are soy based and gluten-free (and yes, processed) but are great for those transitioning to a veg diet, those wanting to reduce their animal consumption, or the occasional treat for die-hard whole food fans. I decided to make them very simply in a fajita-style wrap with green and red peppers, onions, and cajun spices. I marinated the strips for about an hour or so in Dinosaur BBQ Mojito Marinade. I cooked them on a cast iron grill while I sauteed the peppers and onions with Dinosaur BBQ Cajun Foreplay Spice Rub and a light spraying of olive oil. I served them in soft tortillas with salsa, a squeeze of lime, and fresh cilantro along with a side of local curried pickled carrots from our CSA.
I thought they were good and very chicken-like, but they felt very dense and heavy in the mouth. Mr. Tuxedo Cat thought they were the best plant-based chicken protein to come out to-date. I still have a soft spot in my heart for Gardein chicken products, but these certainly take a close second. I want to stock up on some more next time I’m in Whole Foods again (as they are in select markets and only available in bulk, not prepackaged yet). Definitely pick up some if you get the chance and do your own experimentation! The chickens will thank you for it.