I love any excuse to make something special for dinner and Mardis Gras is no exception. In fact, there are almost too many delicious dishes that would be a perfect way to celebrate!
Maybe cook up a nice pot of Spicy Vegetable Gumbo from Vegan Fire & Spice. Or maybe the Cajun Style Tofu from 1,000 Vegan Recipes. From Quick-Fix Vegan you can choose from the Cajun-Spiced Dirty Rice, Muffuleta Pizza, or Jambalaya Bake.
You could throw a party and serve the Phat Tuesday Party menu from Party Vegan:
- Collard and Red Bean Fritters
- Remoulade Sauce
- Smoke and Spice Jambalaya
- Grits ‘n’ Greens
- Pastry-Wrapped Bananas Foster
Or you could just kick back and snack on some cajun-spiced popcorn or kale chips!
Whatever you decide, laissez les bon temps roulez!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I’m not a fan of football and I don’t watch the Super Bowl. But I love any opportunity to show how delicious vegan food can be and Super Bowl food is especially fun because it’s basically a feeding frenzy.
But now it’s time to announce the winner of the Tribe Hummus Giveaway!! And the winner (chosen at random via Random.org) is: #8 – SweetKaroline.
Congrats, SweetKaroline — e-mail me with your address and I’ll send you coupons for two (8 or 16-ounce) containers of Tribe Hummus. Thanks to everyone who entered my giveaway. Watch for more giveaways coming soon.
When I heard that Quorn was finally coming out with a vegan product, my first thought was “It’s about time!” My second thought was, “I can’t wait to try it!” So naturally, when the Quorn representative asked me if I’d like to sample the new product, I said yes. With all the strides many companies have made in producing vegan products, it always baffled me that Quorn continued to use egg whites in theirs. So it’s great news that they have produced their first vegan product: a vegan burger. (Please excuse the quality of my photo — it was taken with a flash — wintertime is not kind to food bloggers!)
The burgers come four to a box and weigh in at just over two ounces each. They are thin and cook up quite quickly, so quickly in fact, that you want to be sure not to overcook them so they don’t dry out. In my first taste test, I wanted to sample them without any adornment so I could get the full impact of their flavor and texture, so I simply sauteed them in a little olive oil with sliced mushrooms and parsley and served them for dinner as cutlets rather than burgers. And I’m glad I did. The texture is great – very firm and dense. The flavor fairly bold, slightly smoky, but not overpowering. Some people may find the these burgers to be too “meaty” for their taste, while others may like them just fine.
For the second taste test, I cut the remaining two burgers into strips and sauteed them with sliced onions. I then added some hot red pepper spread and melted a little Daiya on top. Served in rolls, these were among the best “cheesesteaks” we’ve ever had.
Bottom line: Jon and I enjoyed them, although we felt that their taste and texture made them better suited to be used as cutlets or strips rather than “burgers.” I prefer making my own burgers and usually defer to my homemade seitan for cutlets and strips. Still, I can see where keeping a box of these in the freezer would definitely come in handy.
A check of the Quorn website says the burgers are “making their way into stores now, so be on the lookout.” I take that to mean they’re not widely available yet, so if they interest you, you may have to ask for them to be carried.
12/26/11 UPDATE: I have recently been made aware that there is a controversy concerning Quorn and the fact that some people have had adverse digestive and allergic reactions to it. See Center for Science in the Public Interest for more info. I was not aware of this issue when I posted this review.
Now, on to the Holiday Giveaway! I’m happy to announce that the winner of Party Vegan and 3 riotbars by sweetriot is #32: Jessica Caneal. Congratulations, Jessica! Send me an e-mail with your mailing address and I’ll get your goodies right out to you.
For everyone else who entered the giveaway: I hope you’ll consider getting yourself a copy of Party Vegan. It’s a fun read and loaded with great ideas and recipes. And if you’re a chocolate lover, then you’ll adore the sweet riot riotBars — they’re soooo good!
Coming up next time: my recipe for Vegan Eggnog Cupcakes. YUM!
Try as I may, I’m having a hard time getting into the holiday spirit this year, so I thought maybe doing a holiday giveaway would help.
Nothing says holidays like chocolate and the nice folks at sweetriot sent me samples of their new riotBars! Make from fair trade chocolate, these delicious bars are made with actual cacao beans. I’ll give one lucky winner three (count ’em: 3) of these amazing new riotBars, one each of pure 60% dark chocolate with crunch nibs, pure 70% dark chocolate, and pure 85% dark chocolate. And that’s not all….
I’m also giving away a copy of my cookbook, Party Vegan. It’s a must-have book for every occasion that calls for good vegan food, including holidays, as well as potlucks, casual get-togethers, and even kid’s birthday parties. The recipes are also great for “anytime” meals and the book includes loads of tips from my days as a professional caterer.
P.S. Try the Man-Sized Chocolate Chips from Party Vegan. Recipe posted here on Facebook. (While you’re there, please “like” and “share.”)
We’ll be enjoying our traditional seitan roast on Thanksgiving, but it’s the vegetables that are the real stars in our house. I love the way the vibrantly colored sweet potatoes, cranberries, squash, and green beans look like an autumn landscape on my holiday table. Truth is, I’m happiest when I can make a meal out of what are commonly referred to as “side” dishes.
Still, a main dish “centerpiece” is a Thanksgiving tradition for most of us. If you’ve never make a seitan roast, it’s easier than you think. If making a large roast is intimidating, you could opt for individual servings of seitan en croute, an especially good choice if you’re only feeding one or two people and you don’t like leftovers. Personally, I adore leftovers and the opportunities they present. (Stay tuned for some exciting post-Thanksgiving posts to see what I mean.)
There are lots of vegan roasts you can buy that are already prepared, such as the ones from Field Roast and Tofurky. Another idea is to make a large stuffed squash (or several small individual stuffed squashes) that can be filled with grain or bread stuffing, depending on what you like. Stuffed squash is a great choice because it’s colorful and delicious but can also be made gluten-free and soy-free. For something different, consider making a Moroccan bisteeya (a pastry covered savory pie), a lentil shepherd’s pie (maybe topped with half mashed white potatoes and half mashed sweet potatoes), or even a nice pan of lasagna.
For an easy no-fuss one-dish meal, you could make my Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Crispy Kale Ribbons — with or without the addition of the walnuts and dried cranberries — and to it, add some sauteed sliced sausage links (homemade or storebought such as Tofurky brand) for extra protein, or instead of sausage, add some cooked cannelini beans. You could also substitute diced butternut squash for the sweet potatoes, if you prefer. The colors and textures are wonderful together and if you season it with a little ground sage and thyme, it will taste like Thanksgiving. I especially like the crispy kale ribbons in this — it’s a fun way to employ the popular kale chip concept as part of the meal. And if you’ve never had roasted sweet potatoes before, you’re in for a treat.
The countdown to Thanksgiving is getting down to the wire. Still to come on my blog: a new take on cranberry sauce, an easy and delicious gravy, and another main dish idea. And for more ideas, check out my entire Thanksgiving menu (with recipes) on Vegan.com as well as the Thanksgiving and Christmas menus (and recipes) in my book, Party Vegan.
Is it Monday again already? Wow. I’ve been out of town for a few days, hence my lack of MoFo posts — but I’ll make up for them, I promise. For now, though, let’s get down to business. It’s time to announce the “Make My Monday” Giveaway winner from last week’s contest. The prize: a copy of Party Vegan. The winner (chosen by Random.org) is:
Bagheera Yoga — whose favorite holiday food is sweet potatoes. Congrats!!! Send me your e-mail and I’ll get a copy of Party Vegan in the mail to you. 10/13 UPDATE: No response from original winner, so new winner was chosen by Random.org: #17 – Toni D.
Thanks to all who entered — it was so fun to read what everyone likes to eat on holidays! There will be a giveaway here each Monday during Mofo, so keep on entering — you just may win!
This week’s new “Make My Monday” Giveaway is for a copy of my cookbook Vegan Fire and Spice, filled with recipes from around the world that you can make as spicy as you like. One of my personal favorites from this book is this Red Hot Chile Tofu:
Even if you already have a copy of Vegan Fire and Spice, you can enter anyway — if you win, you can give it as a gift or use it for your own giveaway. One lucky winner will be selected at random. To enter, just answer this question in the comment section of this post: “What is your favorite hot and spicy ingredient?”
If you want to earn additional entries, you can do any or all of the following, and leave me a comment for each one that you do:
1. Follow me on Twitter: @GlobalVegan
2. Subscribe to my blog
3. Link to this giveaway on Twitter
4. Link to this giveaway on Facebook
5. Link to this giveaway on your blog
One lucky winner will be selected at random. And if you want to earn additional entries, you can do any or all of the following, and leave me a comment for each one that you do:
1. Follow me on Twitter: @GlobalVegan
2. Link to this giveaway on Twitter
Dads love their grills, so it’s only natural that the Father’s Day menu in Party Vegan is entitled “Boys and Grills.” This easy and hearty menu makes the most of the fresh produce of summer with enough grilling to please even an omnivorous father on his special day.
Of course, this menu is a great for everyone — not just dads! Best of all, the various components are timed so that the grill doesn’t need to be crowded all at once. In fact, you can make the recipes either together or separately, anytime you feel like a cookout. In case of a rainy day, indoor cooking options are provided within each recipe.
The menu begins with vegetable dippers with creamy ranch-style dressing:
The main event features yummy barbequed vegan ribs slathered with a smoky and spicy sauce served with roasted corn, potatoes, and vegetable skewers, shown above. (Note: if you don’t have time to make the ribz, you can just skewer some seitan, tempeh, or tofu chunks with bbq sauce and put them on the grill!) Dessert is a luscious blueberry-peach cobbler that takes advantage of the wonderful fresh fruit now coming into season:
Here’s a recipe from Party Vegan for my favorite way to enjoy corn and potatoes during the warm summer months:
Foil-Roasted Corn and Potatoes
These summertime favorites are great on the grill and easy to make when wrapped in foil. The optional addition of fresh herbs to the corn adds wonderful and unexpected flavor notes. This recipe is from Party Vegan: Fabulous Fun Food for Every Occasion by Robin Robertson © 2010, John Wiley and Sons.
4 medium russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled and scrubbed
8 ears corn, husks left on
Fresh basil leaves, thyme sprigs, and other herbs (optional)
1. Preheat the grill. Rub each potato with a small amount of olive oil and season with salt. Wrap each potato in a sheet of aluminum foil and place them on the grill, away from the hottest part of the grill. Close the lid and allow the potatoes to roast until softened, turning occasionally, 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the size of the potatoes.
2. Remove the tough outer husks on the corn, leaving on the inner husks. Carefully pull back the inner husks; do not remove. Remove all the corn silk and discard. Rub the corn kernels with a small amount of oil and a few sprigs of fresh herbs, if desired. Bring the inner husks back up around the corn and wrap each ear in foil. Place the corn on a hot grill and cook, turning frequently to cook evenly and prevent charring, 8 to 10 minutes. Pile the corn and potatoes on a platter and serve immediately.
Rainy-Day Variation: Bake the potatoes in a 425 degree oven until soft, about 1 hour. Cook the corn in a large stock pot of unsalted boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes.
BTW… Party Vegan is selling for $11.47 now on Amazon — a small price to pay for a book that can be your best friend in the kitchen all year long! Party Vegan happens to be one of my personal favorites of all of my books. If you have it and like it as much as I do, please leave a review on Amazon and/or other review outlet to let people know about it. If you don’t have it yet, now is a great time to buy. Thanks!
And a special thanks to Tami Noyes for taking these great photos of the recipes when she tested them for Party Vegan.
I recently did a QandA interview at Grandparents.com where two recipes from Party Vegan are also posted. Be sure to send the link the feature to any grandparents you know — especially any that may be curious about going vegan. The recipes featured are the Fresh Fruit Skewers with Two Dips and the Baked Potato Skins. These recipes are especially “grandchild-friendly” — quick and easy recipes that grandparents can make with their grandchildren! But wait, there’s more…
After you check out the recipes and read my interview, while you’re there, you can sign up for a free membership to the Grandparents.com Benefits Club. Here’s the scoop:
Grandparents.com has teamed up with some amazing partners to create the Grandparents.com Benefits Club, featuring discounts on food, travel, shopping, and more. Now, they’re offering Vegan Planet blog readers a year-long membership (a $19.50 value) for FREE. Simply head to the Benefits Club website to create an account. Enter VEGANGP in the promo code field on the second signup page.