Saturday, October 28, 2006

Three Soul Sisters Soup

I'll just jump right in here. Today is chilly, the trees are all orange and there have been a couple of recent soup comments. Those three things have led me to this Three Soul Sisters Soup recipe on Vegan Chef. All the ingredients, or variations of them, should be in season for most of us and will connect us with our North American heritage. Um, even if your heritage is from somewhere else... uh, you know what I'm getting at...

The Three Sisters:
"The 'Three Sisters' are corn, beans and squash, which were grown together by Native Americans. The beans climbed on the corn stalks and returned nitrogen to the soil, and the low-growing squash vines shaded all the roots and kept weeds from sprouting..."

I think the addition of "Soul" to the "Three Sisters" title also helped endear me to the recipe.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Tofu Hoagies

I made the sandwiches that Ruthie shared with us: tofu meatball sandwiches. Unfortunately, i did not go on a hike after, but i did watch Lost, so it's sort of the same, right?

Yum yum is all i can say. J found this great tofu at our local health food store called La Soyarie that are baked tofu cutlets, from Gatineau, Quebec. What a great find. There were breaded and marinated to perfection already, so i didn't have to do too much. We then added ready made pasta sauce to it, and vegan gourmet cheeze. It melts really well but is the weirdest texture - wet and gooey. We complemented the sandwiches with a light arugula salad.

The sandwich was finished off with the freshest Portuguese buns in the world. Has anyone seen that ad where 2 boys giggle everytime their mom says 'buns.' That's me now...giggling at 'buns'. Buns!

Anyway i digress. J said this was a yummy sandwich and our neighbours agreed. We have weekly dinner dates with them and watch Lost together, and they usually sample the vegan cookalong dishes. J said that it's even better than the fantastic eggplant parmesan sandwich at the St. Lawrence market and it's famous. I will happily make this again!

Tempeh sandwiches

These were supposed to be like Mishka's (but I switched around the marinade to suit what I had)

I broiled some portobellos and red pepper in my cast-iron pan.

Marinated the tempeh in a combination of ginger powder, mustard powder, tamari, sesame oil, ketchup, and apple cider vinegar.

Broiled the tempeh for a while. It wasn't "crispy," but that was fine.
I made mine a double-decker. Also, I put sprouts and veganaise on it. It was really, really good.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

d'oh, forgot the dill after all

I made a version of Gwern's chickpea sandwich, too. I mashed chickpeas with lemon and pepper, then added a dollop of vegan mayo and another dollop of guacamole. The guac has red onion chunks in it. Tasty combination. Somehow I forgot the dill, and I love dill!

Plopped the concoction on some bread from Alchemy, which was delicious (it's across the street from Urban Herbivore, ask for the ingredients list before you pick a bread, not all are vegan). Dee-licious! Will add dill for the next serving.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Chickpea Salad Sammich, part deux!

Chickpea Salad Sammich!
For 21 years, I have been vegetarian, and somehow I have never made nor eaten a chickpea salad sandwich. Hummus, yes. Plenty of oodles of heaps of hummus. Never chickpea salad.

Oh, what I was missing!

I guess I took myself as a Chickpea Purist, eating my salad-like chickpeas in a bean salad, plain or on a green salad. Something about adding mayo and mushing them up seemed, well, unneccesary. How wrong I was!

I used a whole can of chickpeas, eyeballed an adequate amount of Vegenaise, 2 squirts of horseradish dijon mustard, lots of freshly ground black pepper and a chopped garlic dill pickle. The mush was spread onto a whole wheat flax tortilla, wrapped with some lettuce and a sprinkling of cayenne. Sandwich number one went down so quickly that I barely remember it. The only proof is the photo above. So, of course I had to have another.

Tasty as heck.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Beer "Sausages"

This is an easy sandwich that is for lazy people like me who eat sandwiches when in a hurry, and don't want to have to make a salad or fancy cooked items first.

  • Wide soft rolls
  • Tofurky Beerbrats
  • yellow onion
  • red pepper
  • tabasco, red chili flakes, black pepper
  • mustard, Vegenaise

We split the sausages in half and sautee in a pan. In another pan, we slice the onion and pepper thinly and cook with olive oil until browned and soft. Finally, we lay each bun split in half, face down in the pan to cook a bit on the surface, then pop in the toaster for a minute.

We had these with Cascadian Farms frozen french fries, and Santa Cruz amber ale.

Also, for those interested, I added the recipe to the Pumpkin Bread/Muffins in my post below.

Friday, October 20, 2006

chickpea salad sammich!

i feel like i should introduce myself; *clears throat* ahem* hi, my name is gwern and i...okay okay, that's just too corny.
i've been wanting to join this cook-a-long since it started but i only had a lousy webcam to document stuff with. now i have a great camera (although the photography leaves a lot to be desired; i'm a little rusty hehe..). i thought for sure my first post would be the pumpkin pie but there is no silken tofu to be found for miles around (it's like all the beef ranchers around here scooped it up or suh'in. i dunno). aaaaaanyway, sandwiches it is! (please bear with me while i figure out this whole blogger thingy) test. test.

believe it or not, i've never actually looked at a proper recipe for this, i just kept hearing about them and decided to make it up according to my taste. i can't imagine that any recipe would be any more complicated than mine though. i also very rarely measure anything so i hope if any of y'all attempt this, it will work! (or you could just go google one) hee.
without further ado i bring you

chickpea salad, gwern-style:

you'll need:

2 cups of cooked chickpeas (i used canned for this, easy peasy)
scant 1/4 cup of vegenaise (or more or less, i used two heaping soup spoonfuls)
1 T. prepared mustard
1 -2 t. dried dill
salt and pepper
dill pickles

step 1. mash chickpeas until desired consistency (i like it fairly mashed with only a few lumps):

add the mayo and mustard:

lotsa fresh ground pepper and salt:

don't forget the dill!

i prefer toasted bread but it's good in a wrap or openface or whatever you prefer. and those pickles are just for show because i don't like garlic dill pickles and that's all i had... ;) but it looks purty:

i think this is bloody delicious as is, but the boy's asked me to put in some relish next time and chopped olives (he's an olive addict), but i say "blehgh" to olives. ew. ew. ew.

Grilled Tempeh and Apple Sandwich

We love tempeh, i'm sure i've mentioned it before! I also love grilled sandwiches, so we created one ourselves. Here are the ingredients:

1/2 block of tempeh
1 apple (tart, crisp one), sliced thinly
4 tbsp hummos
2 tbsp vegan mayo
1 tbsp ajvar - eastern european roasted red pepper spread (optional)
handful of baby spinach
4 slices toast bread - or use a better quality bread like Ace's Rosemary focaccia

1) Slice tempeh thinly, about 6 slices. Fry or grill until desired. We fried them to give us that deep, rich colour. Place onto paper towel to remove oil.
2) Prepare bread - put mayo on one slice and hummos on other.
3) Place tempeh on bread, and layer apples on top. Close sandwich
4) Other optional ingredients include spinach, dijon mustard, vegan cheese, etc.
5) Place sandwich onto grill, or use a sandwich maker if you like! Grill for about 2-4 minutes on each side. J put margarine in the grill to help ensure there is no stickiness. Grill until the sandwich stays closed and the nice lines appear on the bread.


sandwich share, week two

I don't know if I even need to post this, but it's Friday. So, everybody make a sandwich that somebody else has already made.
Or, if you haven't yet posted a first sandwich but want to, do both!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Tofu Meatball Sandwiches

Make a pot of spaghetti sauce (or buy a jar) and saute up some tofu (these should have been cut into smaller cubes, sorry).

Add lots of soy sauce, sesame oil, liquid smoke, and basil. This is my husband's famous tofu sausage recipe that we also use for TVP. It is sooooo good.

Have on hand a fresh loaf of locally made or homemade or any other type of good bread. This is from a local bakery. Yum!

Slice. Mix the sauce and the tofu sausage. Put on bread.

Add toppings. I added sauteed green and red bell peppers and sliced cremini mushrooms, as well as a little bit of FYH vegan mozzarella.

Broil until toasty, about 5 minutes?

Wrap in aluminum foil and take to a beautiful location for a (car) picnic.


I chose to make burritos for my week one (loosely-defined) sandwich. Somebody once asked what my recipe for tortillas is, and I kind of flaked out about posting it. Here it is:


3 cups of flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
about 1 1/4 cup of warm water
4-6 tablespoons of olive oil

mixing bowl and spoon
flattening thing
cast-iron pan

Mix the dry ingredients together. Form a well in the middle and pour the warm water. Pour the olive oil in, and then mix it all together into a dough. You don’t want the dough to be too sticky (a little sticky is ok, but don’t be afraid to add some flour).

Break off pieces of dough, and roll them into small balls. Then, flatten them into tortilla-shaped circles. On a well-heated, non-oiled cast iron pan (I’ve tried this on regular frying pans, they don’t work well), press the tortilla down, stretching it out and making it bigger.

I used to use a potato-masher, but then I started using this spatula. Eventually, the metal twisted so much that it broke, leaving me with a piece of wood attached to a tiny bit of metal, and the actual spatula end thing. This works even better than the whole spatula.

Press the tortilla down with the metal spatula, working it so that it gets bigger while remaining vaguely circular. Cook on each side until it reaches looks like a tortilla.
Sometimes I use my hands to press, but that seems too dangerous to outright advocate here. Still, I’ve never burned myself.

When the tortilla is done, it will likely seem a little stiffer than you want it to be. I stack mine on a plate, and add each new one to the bottom of the stack, occasionally flipping them around. The tortillas regain their moisture this way.
I seriously can’t eat store bought tortillas anymore.

I used the half of the onion that didn’t go into the beans, a tomato, two ripe avocados, some lemon juice, and a bit of salt.

I cut up some yams and boiled them until they were tender.

Then I mashed them and added some spices (cumin and chili powder and sal) and olive oil to taste.


You might/probably have your own recipe for beans. Mine goes like this: I fried up about half an onion in some olive oil. Then I added some cruhed chili peppers and cumin, and fried it a little more. Then I added a can of beans (drained). This time I used pinto beans, but I usually use black beans. I added a little water, and cooked the beans, mashing them as I went. Then I added more cumin and chili powder to taste.

In addition, I served the burritos with fake sour cream. I didn’t feel like taking pictures of a fully -made burrito, because it was messy enough trying to take pictures of eerything else.

chocolate peanut butter tie-dye

Very easy sandwich. Peanut butter on 2 slices of bread:

Bake-broil-grill till the insides look like chocolate peanut butter tie-dye:

Was there an episode of Sesame Street in which one of the characters got its' mouth stuck shut with peanut butter? That might happen here, all that melted p.b. and chocolate is sticky. So keep a glass of water or chocolate soy milk handy to wash it down before it sets!

sandwich standby for a rainy day

Slather mustard on one slice of bread and a bit of vegan mayo on another slice:

Then put a slice of Tofutti fake cheeze on one side, and Yves phony baloney on the other. Bake or grill:

Melty goodness! Best served with oven fries or tomato soup!

Sesame tempeh sandwich, with soup

I was very eager to get this recipe going. The Sesame Tempeh sandwich from Urban Herbivore is so incredibly tasty, and I knew it would be difficult to duplicate.

(I borrowed the boy's camera for the photos!)

Ginger, tempeh and sprouts

I started by researching some tempeh marinades, and blending it with the Tempeh Bacon recipe from Vegan With a Vengeance. Here is some minced ginger, the package of tempeh, and some sprouts.

Marinating sesame tempeh

The marinade consisted of*:
  • about 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • a couple of dashes of liquid smoke
  • about 1 inch of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1/4 cup of apple cider
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons of sesame oil
  • 1/3 small can of tomato paste
*all approximate. I didn't actually measure anything.

The tempeh was steamed for about 10 minutes. I've never really cooked with tempeh, but apparently people tell ya to steam it first. Anyway, afterwards I sliced it into 1/4 inch slices, and then sliced along the width so the strips weren't too long.

The tempeh marinated for about 1/2 an hour and I have a bunch left over and marinating for another meal. Maybe for lunch tomorrow...

Frying tempeh

The tempeh didn't get too crispy in the frying pan (fried with some more sesame oil) - kinda went straight from uncooked to seared in a short amount of time, even though I cooked it on medium-low for a bit before turning the heat up. The smell was wonderful as it filled the apartment!

Sesame tempeh sandwich, with butternut squash soup

While the tempeh was marinating, I roasted a butternut squash and made a soup to have with our sandwiches. Sandwich accompaniments were roasted yellow pepper and cremini mushrooms, wasabi lime dijon (!!), radish and alfalfa sprouts, and a big dollop of vegenaise.

While it doesn't have the same flavour or drier texture as the Urban Herbivore tempeh, I really liked the sandwich. It was very comforting and flavourful. If anyone else decides to try it, I suggest marinating the tempeh for longer and cooking it a bit longer on lower heat. I can't wait to hear if anyone does try it, and how all the other sandwiches turn out!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Pumpkin (pie) Bread

The husband and I love pumpkin, in all it's forms. So we were excited to make pumpkin pie this weekend. Or rather, I was excited to make it while he listed LPs for sale on eBay, and he was excited to eat it.

We went to our favorite, all-veggie enormous grocery store for some of the ingredients. Oh, alas!!!!! No crusts!!! And we didn't have time to go to another store. So I'm also going to break the rules a bit and post about what I made instead, using ingredients we did have. Pumpkin Bread. We are still very excited about the pie and will make it during the week once we get the crust at a different store.

I looked in my vegan cookbooks and Vegan Family Favorites has a tasty looking recipe but it calls for applesauce, of which I had none. So I turned instead, to the old trusty favorite, The Joy of Cooking. Pumpkin Bread on page 784. Here are those invited to the party:

The spices are whisked into the flour, along with leavening and salt.

The sugars get married, and almond milk gets a visit from Mr. Vanilla extract.

The pumpkin is measured, the Ener-G egg replacer is watered, and the butter is mixed with the sugar.Then the pumpkin and egg replacer are added, turning the batter a beautiful color!
Into the oven in a slightly smaller than required pan, and thus two muffins (not shown)

And out it comes!Sliced open:

Verdict: At first, it was very soft and mushy. I knew that part of that was because it was still very hot. But I was afraid that substituting Ener-G and almond milk for the eggs and milk might have made it too liquidy. But two hours later, my fears were alayed, when my omni FIL ate almost the entire loaf! The husband and I shared the last piece, and it was almost perfect!

I will definitely make it again, just using a tiny bit less liquid. Stay tuned this week for a post about pumpkin pie!

ETA: Here's the recipe! We made it a second time just using muffins and it was much better.

Pre-heat oven to 350. Prepare either a 6 jumbo muffin pan or an 8 regular muffin pan (grease it, or add paper cups, or do nothing if it's nonstick.)


1 1/2 C all-purpose unbleached flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

Spice blend: You should have about 3 tsp of spices altogether - some combination of nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, or other sweet baking spices. Here's what the recipe called for:

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp ginger

I didn't have cinnamon so I used premade pumpkin pie spice instead.

1 cup pureed pumpkin, yam, or squash
3/4 C sugar
1/4 C brown sugar
1/3 cup non-dairy milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
6 TB Earth Balance or other vegan margerine (at room temperature)
2 eggs' worth of egg replacer. I use Ener-G (3 tsp powder mixed with 4 TB warm water for two eggs)


1. Mix flour, spices, and baking soda and powder in a small bowl.

2. Blend sugars into margerine and stir until creamy.

3. Add squash of choice and blend until creamy.

4. Add egg-replacer and blend.

5. Add flour mixture and milk (just pour the vanilla into the milk), alternating between some of each a few times until the batter is well-blended and creamy.

6. Pour into muffin pan and bake for 50-60 minutes.

Let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes and then remove to rack to cool for at least another 20. If you try to eat them before they cool properly, they will seem uncooked in the middle.