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Show Me Vegan

Working my vegan mojo in the urban Midwest

Updated: 2018-03-05T10:16:02.922-06:00


Veganomicon's Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Mango


(image) This week's mission: select a recipe for a potluck that can be made in advance, sit around in a cooler for a while before the meal is served, satisfy a hungry vegan, and please non-vegans even though it will compete with pizza. Veganomicon to the rescue with this vibrant, tropical, addictive quinoa salad that is a perfect room temperature dish. A salad so pretty and delicious that it will be one of my go-to dishes for potlucks this summer. If you don't have your own copy of Veganomicon yet, you can check out the recipe here.

Let's see, a couple of discoveries since I last posted include vegan pizza with Daiya cheese at Katie's Pizzeria in St. Louis. Plus, cheddar and mozzarella Daiya retail packs available at Whole Foods. Welcome back to my kitchen, gooey quesadillas!

Red Curry Chickpeas and Broccoli with Coconut Milk, Puppy Mill Act, and Scooter!


(image) A couple of topics before we get to the recipe! If you live in Missouri, have you had the opportunity to sign the petition to get the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act on the ballot? Unfortunately, Missouri is known for puppy mills and meth labs, and the Missouri House just endorsed a bill to allow horse slaughter for human consumption. Let's hope the Senate has more sense. But back to the puppy mill issue. If you have not signed the petition to get the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act on the ballot, please look here for an event where you can sign. You might also be able to telephone the HSMO locations and sign a petition there if you prefer, please check. This act simply requires large-scale dog breeders to provide basic care. I have personally seen the victims of puppy mills and these dogs need our help.

On a lighter note, I attended an Indian Street Food cooking class this week for St. Louis food bloggers! What an informative and fun event, taught by Nupur of One Hot Stove. She is an excellent instructor - enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and down to earth. Nupur is vegetarian, and this event's menu was almost entirely vegan! And she so considerately provided vegan options for the couple of items that were not. The food was delicious. I took the night off from blogging but check out Kelly's report on Vegan Thyme. It was great to meet Kelly in person finally!

Let's move on to today's recipe. Y'all know I like to keep it short and sweet so here we go. This stove top stew is hearty, creamy, and has a hint of sweetness. I basically followed this recipe with the following changes. I used chickpeas for the beans and lemon rather than lime juice, just because that's what I had on hand. I used a little olive oil rather than cooking spray to saute. I also chopped a head of broccoli and added it to the pot for the last 15 minutes of cooking, covering with a lid. We ate the stew atop red jasmine rice all mixed together with some chipotle roasted sweet potatoes. Tasty!

I'll leave you with a video of my buddy Scooter, available for adoption at the HSMO on Macklind. He is SO freaking adorable. He tends to not bark much in the shelter and likes to cuddle. He walks very nicely on a leash and frequently gives you a sit on his own because he knows the people love for him to sit and be a good boy. He is very handsome and has the sweetest brown eyes! He is a little happy-go-lucky fella who's ready for his forever home. Check him out below.

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Vegan Chickpea, Sausage, & Kale Pasta


Whew, after an EARLY day at work Thursday (5:40am!) and a long week, this pasta was a welcome comfort and perfect for my first outside supper of the season. The backyard is still a tangle of dried leaves, brown perennial stems, raspy tall grasses, and emerging Spring Beauty, but I can tolerate the chaos in exchange for just enough sunlight and warmth for dinner outside.

I spotted this recipe on bitchin' camero. The simplicity of preparation and bold ingredients appealed to me, so I veganized it using Tofurky Italian sausage and eliminating the parmesan. Unfortunately, I only had regular penne in the pantry rather than whole wheat. I do recommend the drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to finish. So good. Almost good enough that I didn't envy MD for his business dinner at Niche. Almost.

Curried Lentils with Carrots and Peas


(image) This week I pulled out Vegan Planet, one of my first vegan cookbooks, and made this delicious curried lentil dish to serve with jasmine rice. Vegan Planet is a great starter cookbook for the new vegan, because with so many recipes you are sure to find many you like. Plenty of the recipes use familiar ingredients, making the transition to vegan cooking easier, and Robertson gives lots of advice for the beginner vegan. I remember one of my earliest satisfying vegan pastas was from Vegan Planet, proving that yes, pasta can be delicious without the cheese! After being vegan for over two years, I still find fun and tasty recipes in Vegan Planet. This particular dish is simple to prepare, requiring little chopping, but the numerous spices yield a complex flavor. It's a forgiving recipe that held up even with my shortcuts and omissions. You can take a peek at Vegan Planet on Google Books.

Laura Beck's Vegan Smoked Apple Sage Sausage and Chard Spaghetti, plus sampling Primal Strips


Laura Beck, of Vegansaurus and Rocket Dog Rescue, recently posted an adorably sassy column on Huffington Post's Eating In series. Not only was I happy to see another pro-vegan column on HuffPost, but she included a pasta recipe to boot! Bo-nus. This pasta is easy to make but does take a little coordination to get all your separate pots ready when needed. You have sauteed Field Roast Apple Sage Sausage going in one skillet (which I can't seem to stop eating), steaming chard in another pot, and your pasta in another. This dish is so flavorful and the short ingredient list makes it quick to prepare on a weeknight. I can seriously imagine eating it every week.

I also recently had the chance to try Primal Strips vegan jerky after the company kindly sent me a bunch of flavors! I thought all the flavors were pretty tasty, especially the smokier ones like Texas BBQ and Hickory Smoked. The Mesquite Lime is mildly tangy. I'm always looking for good "road food" that will hold me over during a road trip or business travel, and these would be perfect! No refrigeration needed, they make a great snack as is. When you're on the road and your options are limited, this would be a great source of protein and flavor to add to a veganized Subway sandwich, side salad, or baked potato. I thought this was a great grab and go snack for any time you need something extra. Just have a napkin on hand, the strips are a little moist from the tasty flavoring.

Vegan Lentil and Sausage Soup


(image) I think of soups in two categories, those with coconut milk and those without. Soup recipes without coconut milk have to try a little harder with me to make the cut, and this one is my new favorite. The aroma of this soup makes you want to plant your face in the bowl because it smells so good. Red wine and sage are the key ingredients that give it an irresistible fragrance. Make sure to run an errand after cooking this soup, or at least go out for a walk, so you can come home and notice how good your house smells all over again.

This is a veganized version of a Whole Foods recipe. I made the following substitutes and additions - Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage Sausage, vegetable broth, a 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes with juice rather than fresh tomato, about 1 teaspoon of dried thyme rather than fresh, about 1 teaspoon of dried sage, and of course no Parmesan.

Vegan Soul Kitchen Author Bryant Terry in St. Louis


Bryant Terry, eco chef and author of Vegan Soul Kitchen and Grub, will appear at Washington University March 1st and 2nd! This will be a great opportunity for St. Louis to learn how delicious vegan food is. See details for both events below. The theme of the cooking competition is vegan tempeh recipes. Chefs all over St. Louis are googling "tempeh" like mad. Until then, you can try one of his recipes such as a batch of Cumin-Cayenne Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Onions.

Danforth University Center
Washington University, St. Louis

Monday, March 1st:
5pm- booksales begin
6pm- "Redefining Soul Food"- live cooking demo, presentation, and tasting with Bryant
7pm- booksigning with Bryant

Tuesday, March 2nd:
6pm- 1st Annual North vs South Champion Chef Competition
Theme: Vegan Tempeh Recipes
Featuring Washington University Dining Services Chefs and Student Sous Chefs
Bryant Terry and Catherine Neville, Editor-in-Chief, Sauce Magazine (now you're talking, Sauce!) and a panel of judges
live emcee
featured recipes sampled to audience

Vegan Shepherd's Pie and Lessons from Shelter Dogs


This vegan shepherd's pie was such a hit at the holiday supper club (including with the non-vegan diners) that I had to make another one. I used this Whole Foods recipe, subbing veggie crumbles for the tempeh and using dried herbs, not fresh. (Go ahead and use the same herb quantities from the recipe, which will lend a deliciously strong sage flavor). For the mashed sweet potato topping, I followed this recipe from Gluten-Free Goddess. This dish is so flavorful and comforting that it will be welcome equally at a festive occasion or for an intimate dinner at home.Around the time of my veganversary, Kelly of Vegan Thyme gave me an Honest Scrap award! What a nice way to celebrate. Thanks Kelly! She's one of a growing group of Missouri vegan bloggers. Yes, we are taking over the Midwest. I found her blog relatively recently, and enjoy visiting every post. You won't find mundane cooking at Vegan Thyme; prepare yourself for creative and venturesome recipes.While I am supposed to tell 10 honest things about myself, I'm gonna bend the rules and talk about my favorite topic, shelter dogs! For inquiring minds, you can find random things about me here and here. As you can see from my blogroll, there are so many vegan blogs I admire and could nominate. If you would like to join in the fun, consider yourself nominated for the award and check out Kelly's blog for details.Ten Lessons I Learned from Shelter Dogs:1. It's always the bottle. I had the honor and pleasure of socializing pit bull puppies, among other tasks, at the temporary shelter for the large dog fighting rescue that occurred this summer. What was the favorite toy nine times out of ten during supervised play time? Not the braided ropes or balls, but the empty plastic water bottle. Noisy and crunchy, it was always the bottle.2. Music can be therapeutic for dogs too. Do you turn up your Chillaxin' playlist when things get hectic? Research indicates that classical music can calm anxious and stressed dogs. Put some Bach on your doggie playlist if your dog is having a hard day.3. Mental stimulation is just as important as physical exercise. Dog training and particular types of toys can challenge Fido's mind and keep him relaxed and focused on constructive activities. Stuff Kongs with peanut butter and freeze them and keep a variety of treat dispensing toys on hand to give your dog something to work on.4. Be quiet and say something. Our nonverbal behavior can say a lot more to dogs than our words, and there are particular "calming signals" we can show to communicate to dogs that we mean no threat to them, such as yawning and turning the head away.5. Don't blame the dog. One misconception about shelter dogs is "those dogs are there for a reason." Yes they are, but is the reason because they are bad pets? Nope, reasons include the owner lost a job, got divorced, moved, developed an illness, didn't take time to train the dog, was a poor match in terms of energy level, or thought the dog should not fart. (I kid you not.) Shelter dogs vary greatly in temperament and energy level, and some will benefit from training, like any dog. Shelter dogs aren't bad pets. They need another chance to find the right home.6. Have hope. Sometimes it seems like a particular shelter dog may never find the right home. Maybe she has several strikes against her due to stigma about her breed, shy behavior, and feeling stressed, and adopters pass her by again and again. But that perfectly matched person who can see beyond this and meet her where she is can come in to take her home this afternoon.7. Don't judge a book by its cover. Some dogs might be rowdy in the shelter kennel, or shut down, but outside on a walk or in a quiet room with a toy, they can really loosen up and show their playful personalities. If you are visiting dogs at a shelter, keep in mind that the shelter environment can contribute to the behavior t[...]

Fiery Tofu and Coconut Curry Soup


(image) I celebrated my two year veganversary recently with this Fiery Tofu and Coconut Curry Soup over jasmine rice. While the flavor was delicious, I didn't find it particularly "fiery" prior to adding Sriracha sauce, but the color was! The lime juice really made the flavor pop.

For local readers, a commenter let me know that Scape in the CWE offers a three course raw vegan meal, recommending the lasagna. Thank you for the tip! I'm always happy to share news of local vegan options.

Red Chile Vegan Chicken and Rice with Black Beans


(image) I love cookbooks but hardly ever buy non-vegan ones. One exception is Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless. This book is full of gorgeous photographs and includes helpful information on common ingredients in Mexican cooking. Recipe categories include dressings, salads, salsas, tacos, and soups, just to name a few. Recipes that aren't vegetarian or vegan often include a vegetarian "riff". Even without these riffs, many recipes are amenable to adaptation by subbing vegan ingredients. For example, I easily veganized the Red Chile Chicken and Rice with Black Beans by using chicken-style seitan and vegetable broth. Ground ancho chile powder coats the seitan, rice, and beans for a super flavorful dish with a little heat. My rice turned out a tad crunchy, so I'll try an additional half cup of vegetable broth next time. The original recipe has been posted online here.

Banh Mi with Lemongrass Tofu


A local foodie magazine recently did a spread on Banh Mi sandwiches from area restaurants. The featured sandwiches were stuffed with pork, lamb, chicken, fried egg, and head cheese (a term I could not have imagined ever typing on this blog). What? No Banh Mi Chay (vegetarian)? An oversight perhaps, but I'm starting to wonder after the magazine's blog recently mentioned "the war on vegetarianism". We're at war? Vegans stockpile tofu, people, not weapons of mass destruction. But if the folks with a boner for bacon think we're at war, I guess vegetarians and vegans are doing something right.

I basically followed this recipe from the Kitchn, using vegan ingredients. A baguette slathered in cilantro-soy sauce-mayo is stuffed with lemongrass tofu slices, pickled carrots and daikon radish, fresh jalapeno, and cilantro. I added sliced Roma tomatoes and Sriracha sauce. The sandwich is juicy, sweet, tangy, and spicy. Delicious! This recipe for a vegan version with seitan sounds delicious as well.

Vegan Beef Stew, Sriracha's Spicy Sister, Sambal Oelek, and Pi


This week we are eating VegCooking's Vegan Beef Stew. I made a few minor changes, using faux beef broth, mushrooms rather than green beans, and decreased the cooking time. The flavor is rich and hearty. If you prefer not to use seitan, beans would substitute nicely.

Friends recently gave us a bottle of Sambal Oelek chili sauce from Huy Fong of Sriracha fame. They warned us it is addictive and we've been putting it on practically everything. John even suggested a new snack. Smear a tortilla with some peanut butter and sambal oelek, heat for a few seconds in the microwave, roll up, and eat.

(image) Finally, I gotta give more vegan love to Pi Pizzeria, which just keeps getting better with every visit. (Even the Obamas can't resist!) We had dinner at the bar of the new CWE location, starting with cocktails. Then on to a house salad sprinkled with Daiya shredded cheese, followed by a thin crust pizza with Daiya, Match sausage, kalamata olives, roasted garlic, and sun dried tomatoes. I don't know whether we can top this combination of ingredients, but I'm up for the research!


Slow Cooker Curried Vegetable and Chickpea Stew


Happy New Year everyone! We've been trying to stay warm with this creamy, chunky stew from The Kitchn. Load up your slow cooker with vegetables, spices, and broth, and let that baby cook for a few hours while you catch up on Vegansaurus (I can't stop playing that pit bull vs. roomba-driving kitty video) and the latest Underdog to Wonderdog episode (who doesn't want to be part of the Doggie Wonder Team?!). Top off the stew with a little coconut milk, a lot of baby spinach, and spoon over jasmine rice for a bowl of yum.Hope your holidays have been relaxing and fun. Some of my fun has come from playing with pit bulls at the Humane Society of Missouri such as Emma and Hershey. Emma is a happy, happy puppy who does that cute butt-scoot run when she gets really excited about her walks. Then she'll stop and give you a quizzical look that is so smart.Hershey is a gorgeous girl who started out shy but is getting to know us and feeling a little more comfortable in the shelter. She now greets us enthusiastically and seems more confident. Both can be adopted at the HSMO. We recently returned from celebrating our anniversary in the Sunshine State with Scout and Ruby. They thought sunning by the water in December was pretty nice. Now we're back in STL to ridiculously cold weather, but one of the best ways to combat post-holiday, post-vacation blues is to make more plans to look forward to. Thanks to tips from Lex about vegan eats in St. Louis, we have reservations at Niche to celebrate another special occasion in a few weeks. While the menu does not appear vegan-friendly, I hope the chef will accommodate us. Lex also pointed out that Rooster offers a vegan crepe. "Vegan" is actually on the menu! Has anyone tried it? I can't wait to check it out. Vegans on the internet are the best - thank you Lex! Whew, that's a long post for this sporadic blogger. Time to get back to studying iPhoto. Please bear with me and my hinky photos. Learning something new prevents dementia, right? Or contributes to potty mouth. Hope y'all have a great week.[...]

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer


Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals is the first non-fiction book (other than cookbooks) that has caught my interest in a while. The author of Everything Is Illuminated researched eating animals in preparation for the birth of his child so that he could make an informed decision about his child's diet. Foer is no animal rights activist, but someone who previously ate a vegetarian diet on-and-off, and who is interested in knowing the facts behind his food. This book shares his research, including visits to family farms, interviews with factory farm workers, and nights spent with an animal activist during farm visits.

Each chapter begins by highlighting one fact, and these alone will cause reflection. Consider that "Less than 1% of the animals killed for meat in America come from family farms." Visualize that "in the typical cage for egg-laying hens, each bird has 67 square inches of space". Foer includes an image to demonstrate just how small this is.

The information presented never seemed dry to me, a credit to Foer's writing style and creative strategies for illustrating points. Sometimes Foer approaches subjects by raising questions to challenge our assumptions, such as his examination of A Case for Eating Dogs. Foer even looks at the emotional ties we have to food, as well as the social implications of our food choices. I found his tone consistently respectful and not preachy.

Reading information that could rock your world does pose some risks. Living without that information has consequences as well.

Vegan Red Curry Chicken and Vegetables with Coral Red Jasmine Rice


After seeing how much fun Bianca (of Vegan Crunk) is having with the Whole Foods Recipes app, I got it too and found this quick red curry dish to adapt and veganize. The Whole Foods app allows you to search for recipes based on items you have on hand (I searched on chicken and coconut milk, planning to use chicken-style seitan, of course). You can also search according to course, category, and special diet (including vegan, vegetarian, and dairy free). You can save recipes to cook at a later date under Favorites. Each recipe includes separate tabs for the overview, ingredients, and method, and many have colorful photos. Plenty of iFun for those who love to try new recipes. I increased the red curry paste for more heat, amongst other changes, and served this over Coral Red jasmine rice. This rice is a nice change of pace from white jasmine, with a slightly nuttier texture and pretty merlot color. Scroll down for my adaptation of the recipe. I was happy to hear from Ecorazzi that Natalie Portman will be the guest on Top Chef this week! I don't know whether she'll ask the chefs to cook vegetarian or vegan, but I'll be tuned in either way. And thanks to Sara Beth again, I found out there's another St. Louis restaurant where a vegan can order a pizza with vegan cheese - Bottleworks. It's listed on the online menu under pizza toppings. I can't wait to give it a try. Finally, the Shelter Pet Project is up and running and looks like a fun site to explore. The goal is to dispel myths regarding shelter pets, encourage shelter adoptions, and facilitate matches between pets and people. The PSA below is priceless. Vegan Red Curry Chicken and Vegetables1 pound 2 ounce container chicken-style seitan, chopped3 Tablespoons vegetable oil1 large onion, chopped1 red bell pepper, chopped12 ounces chopped mushrooms1 large carrot, thinly sliced into half moons1 can coconut milk2 Tablespoons vegan red curry pastesalt to taste3/4 - 1 cup frozen cut green beanshandful cilantro, choppedrice of choice, prepared according to packageHeat the oil over medium heat in a very large skillet. Saute seitan, onions, bell pepper, mushrooms, and carrot for about 10 minutes. Add coconut milk and red curry paste. Stir until curry paste is distributed throughout the stew. Add salt to taste and green beans. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add cilantro and serve over rice. [...]

Vegan Pizza at Pi Pizzeria


(image) Last weekend I was reading Sara Beth's Happy Bellies blog, and discovered that vegan pizza has finally arrived in St. Louis! I'm not talking making do by having a place hold the cheese if you are lucky enough to find a restaurant offering a vegan crust. (Sadly, St. Louis vegans are still "making do" far too often when we dine out.) I'm talking a real vegan pizza with melted cheese to hold all the delicious toppings in place.

Pi Pizzeria to the rescue. Pi offers vegan cheese and vegan sausage which you can order on the thin-style (vegan) crust. MD and I got down to business and ordered one to carry out the same night that I read the news. Less than a week later we were back for another pizza, this time with vegan cheese, vegan sausage, onions, and red bell pepper. We added our own jalapeno slices at home. The cheese melts well and has a creamy texture. I think the sausage could be more flavorful and I also added salt, but overall this pizza was excellent.

Thank you Pi! We look forward to many more visits.

SweetArt's Vegan Delights and Pumpkin


(image) Being vegan in St. Louis just got even sweeter. SweetArt now offers vegan cupcakes and vegan brownies EVERYDAY! Kelly of Vegan Thyme recently gave high praise to the brownies. And she's right. Now we have the dilemma of choosing between brownies and cupcakes any day. This week I selected the vegan French Toast cupcake. Moist, sweet, and just the right maple syrup flavor.

This was the finishing touch to a decadent and delicious lunch that started with the Botanical wrap, a whole wheat tortilla wrapped around baked tofu, avocado, red cabbage, scallions, and cilantro with a spicy peanut dressing. And it sounds like new lunch items will be on the menu soon. So go, support vegan dining in St. Louis, and leave full and happy. (Plus you'll get your Nina Simone fix from their playlist while you're there. Could this get any better?)

And now for the dog portion of the post. The Humane Society of Missouri is featuring black dogs for adoption in September. You have likely heard that black dogs are often passed by in shelters, so this month these wonderful pups are highlighted.

Pumpkin is my current favorite HSMO black dog. She looks a little shy in this photo, but she is actually very playful, spunky, sweet, smart, and affectionate. You should see this young girl prancing around on her walks carrying her favorite stuffed teddy bear. She is adoptable at the Macklind location.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Edited 9/26/09 to share the good news that Pumpkin has been adopted!!

Tempeh Sloppy Joes, Creamy Miso Ginger Dressing, and Ruby


Busy summer days mean cooking previously-tried recipes that I know will be quick and easy, but unfortunately that also means less to blog! I made Caribbean Pumpkin Soup again on a recent visit to SC. We also took along Follow Your Heart Organic Creamy Miso Ginger dressing.

I usually prefer to make my own dressing, but the convenience of store bought was appealing to have along on a trip. I'm hard to please when it comes to store bought dressings, but I would definitely buy this one again! It is creamy and a little sweet, and tastes delicious on salad or as a dip for vegan chicken pieces. Above you see it on a simple salad of baby spinach, grape tomatoes, and broccolini.

The salad is alongside one of the few new recipes I've tried recently, Tempeh Sloppy Joes from The Vegan Table. I find myself drawn to try practically every new sloppy joe recipe I see, and this one will go into my regular rotation. I seasoned it liberally with chili powder and the sauce turned out to be very flavorful even though the ingredient list was pretty short. You can find a variety of recipes from the book here and here and here.

And finally, one reason I'm keeping busy this summer is pictured below. We adopted Ruby from the Humane Society of Missouri!

I think she's saying "are you my new people?" in this one.


And here she's decided that getting adopted makes for a tired girl.


Caribbean Pumpkin Soup


Random notes and busy-ness from the past week or so and those to come:Local Harvest Cafe now features a special vegan dish on the menu Tuesday nights, when Chef Molly is in the kitchen. Last Tuesday we enjoyed the World's Best enchiladas, stuffed with refried beans and vegetables and smothered in the most delicious smoky sauce. I kid you not. Looks like there might be a special event next Tuesday; I'm not sure about a vegan dish that night, but they seem to be tweeting about the Tuesday night menu here. We are SO ready for the weekend, and will kick it off right by seeing Deano Waco /Meat Purveyors at a house concert Friday. After a long week of immersion in learning a new treatment modality and driving my co-workers batty by spouting geeky psych terms like "therapy-interfering behaviors" about 25 times a day, the weekend isn't here a moment too soon for any of us. There's more fun next weekend with the Folk School Trivia Night Fundraiser. Do people love trivia night gatherings in your town as much as St. Louis seems to? Anyway, my honey is the musician in the family, and we'll be there to support the Folk School if not get any questions right. Did y'all see Isa Chandra Moskowitz's series of blog posts on Powell's Books? Sometimes it's so hard to talk about veganism with non-vegans that I bite my tongue and let my actions speak for me. (All my friends are now saying, "you do???") Except for when I blurt out that meat is murder. So I loved the balance Isa struck in her post called There Is No Vegan's Dilemma. You can find additional posts here. And now for today's vegan recipe. This creamy, rich soup is decadent and tropical, with the added bonus that it is so quick and easy to prepare. Enjoy and have a great weekend.Caribbean Pumpkin SoupServes 4-61 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil1 small onion, chopped1 yellow bell pepper, chopped3 cloves garlic, minced2 teaspoons ground cumin1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained1 15 ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained1 15 ounce can pure pumpkin1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk1 cup Not Chik'n broth (or vegetable broth)4 heaping tablespoons cilantro, choppedjuice of 1 small limesalt, freshly ground black pepper, hot salt, and/or hot sauce to tasteIn a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Saute onions and bell pepper for about 6 minutes, until tender. Add garlic, cumin, and ground chipotle. Saute about 30 seconds. Add black beans, pintos, pumpkin, coconut milk, and broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Stir frequently. Add cilantro, lime juice, and desired seasonings. Adapted from Epicurious[...]

Vegetable Rundown


Vegetable Rundown is a Jamaican stew of coconut milk and vegetables, seasoned with thyme and allspice for that Jamaican flavor. The stew is simmered long enough for the broth to become thick and creamy. This turned out slightly sweet with a little subtle heat from the habanero. We chose the theme "Jamaican Me Hungry" for our turn to host Supper Club, and this dish made the menu. I'm still debating whether to make Jamaican Patties, BBQ Black Beans with Dark Rum, or Ital Stew for another main. Rum Punch, of course, will be the cocktail of the evening. Leave me a comment if you have a favorite Jamaican vegan recipe!And now for something that has nothing to do with vegan food. I recently found a blog, the fbomb, after reading about it in Bust. While the target audience is teenage girls, I've enjoyed reading it for feminist-related news and topics. Today you'll find another installment of Support Women Artists Sunday. Check it out!Before today's recipe, I leave you with this week's installment of HSMO cuteness, Bunny. She is adorable, sweet, and adoptable at the Macklind location. Vegetable RundownServes 4-61 Tablespoon olive oil2 large onions, chopped3 scallions, chopped and divided3 large fresh thyme sprigs2 cloves garlic, minced1 teaspoon ground allspice1/2 habanero chile, minced1 14 ounce can coconut milk14 ounces sweet potato, peeled and chopped2 carrots, chopped1 large zucchini, chopped1 1/4 cups water, dividedkosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste2 cups frozen corn5 ounces baby spinachjasmine riceHeat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and 2 scallions, thyme, garlic, allspice, and habanero. Saute for about 8 minutes. Add coconut milk and simmer gently about 3 minutes (reduce heat if necessary). Add sweet potato, carrots, zucchini, 1 cup water, and salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add corn and remaining water. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender, for about 20 minutes. Add water if necessary. Remove cover and continue to cook down until the broth is thick. Add baby spinach and cook for a couple of minutes until wilted. Check for seasonings. Serve over jasmine rice and garnish with remaining fresh scallions.Adapted from Epicurious[...]

Spicy Portobellas and Pinenuts with Spaghetti


(image) This savory pasta dish can be filed under "full-flavored comfort food, fast". For minimal effort, you get spicy portobellas with toasted pinenuts, garlic, and fresh basil over whole wheat spaghetti. A delicious finish to a long day when you want to get in and out of the kitchen quickly. My version is pretty spicy; cut down on the pepper flakes if you prefer.

And don't miss Top Chef Masters this week! The chefs must make a vegan, soy-free, and gluten-free meal for Zooey Deschanel. For real.

Spicy Portobellas and Pinenuts with Spaghetti
Serves 4

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 large portobellas (about 8 ounces), thinly sliced into bite-sized pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup packed fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup pinenuts, toasted
freshly ground black pepper to taste
8 ounces whole wheat spaghetti

Heat 1/4 cup olive oil over moderately low heat in a large skillet. Cook garlic and red pepper flakes for about 1 minute. Add mushrooms and salt and cook for about 5 minutes, or until mushrooms release their juices and begin to brown.

Cook the spaghetti according to package directions. Drain.

To the mushrooms, add chopped basil, toasted pinenuts, and black pepper. Combine with the cooked spaghetti. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and add salt to taste.

Adapted from Food and Wine

Karina's Jalapeño and Lime Hummus


(image) I recently came across this Jalapeño and Lime Hummus recipe while looking around Karina's Kitchen blog. As many of you know, Karina's blog is beautifully photographed with many vegan recipes to explore. This hummus turned out to be delicious. My only change was to substitute pinto beans for the chickpeas, just because we were out. While I've used tahini in many bean dips, I've never used peanut butter, so I'm glad I tried Karina's recipe to find out how well it works! And don't skimp on the lime juice. It lends a strong citrus flavor that is just right.

Before wrapping up, I want to share this fun video of "Pit Bull Blues" by John Shipe. If you've been thinking of adopting a pit or pit mix, check out the HSMO where you are sure to find one you can't resist.

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By the way, I almost forgot to give a "pine mouth" update! Thank you for the sympathetic comments. The metal taste lasted about 5 days, and now I'm ready to try another pine nut recipe, with a new batch of nuts, of course.

Pine Mouth and the Quinoa Salad that Wasn't


It dawned on me yesterday that everything had been tasting bitter, since, uh, since Sunday! (Why it took me three days to notice the pattern is still a mystery.) Poblanos, wine, salad, everything. After this realization, I came to the hysterical logical conclusion that I must have a stress-induced neurological disorder. A quick search on the internet did not reveal this high on the list of potential diagnoses, but pregnancy, GERD, and a hernia were. Not liking any of those answers, my research continued and I noticed that food blog posts about pine nuts kept popping up. What does that have to do with my symptom?

Everything, it seems. After eating a dish including pine nuts, I apparently developed pine mouth. Some people develop a reaction after eating pine nuts resulting in a bitter, metallic taste that can last a couple of weeks! I've eaten plenty of pine nuts in my day, and this is my first experience with metal mouth. It's been proposed that certain pine nuts may be rancid, and those imported from China seem particularly risky. The weird thing is that not everyone reacts with the bitter taste after consuming them. I checked my recently purchased batch from a local grocery store chain, and sure enough, they are from China. From now on, it's back to the Italian brand I used to buy that never caused me this problem.

As you can imagine, the perception that I've been chewing on pencil lead every time I consume something is not so helpful for creating recipes. I created this quinoa salad before I realized my tasters were out of whack.

Tastes bitter to me. MD says it's bland. Oh well. I will leave the cooking up to the rest of you for now! Have a great weekend, and let's be careful out there (about pine nuts).

Gin Cocktails, Dogs, and Tofu Goulash


Summertime is in full swing in St. Louis and time is flying. What's been up since my last post? I've been keeping up with your blogs. (You all put me to shame with your consistent posting!) Otherwise, a new cocktail book, get togethers, and dogs have consumed my time.Mix Shake Stir by Danny Meyer makes me want to run away from home to become a mixologist. I could spend hours poring over the gorgeous photos and both innovative and classic recipes in this book. Above you see the Rickshaw, a straightforward gin cocktail with basil-infused simple syrup and lime juice. Created to "make gin fun." (Who says it's not?) The book includes recipes for infusing simple syrup and alcohol, cocktails, special garnishes, and mixers, mostly inspired by the seasonal kitchen.On the food front, I've relied on some already posted recipes such as Tipsy Soft Tacos for the most recent Supper Club (our friends chose Cooking with Beer as the theme). We had Sweet Tahini Miso Dip with Sugar Snap Peas and Carrots for dippers as well as Cannellini Spread with Sundried Tomatoes and Basil with Crostini for a July 4th get together.And of course Humane Society dogs such as Maxine and Hailey keep me entertained. (They can be found here, select dogs, then dogs again, and search by names or St. Louis City location.) Maxine is such a goofy girl who loves to play on her walks. She has a special pink stuffed bunny that she brings along. You can catch a hint of her personality and playfulness at the end of this video.Before I get to a recipe, you have likely heard about the HSMO and HSUS participation in the largest dog fighting raid and rescue in US history. The most recent number I saw was over 400 dogs rescued and being cared for. The HSMO could use money donations or large box fans, sheets, full-size towels, blankets, shredded paper, newspaper, creamy peanut butter and sturdy toys. Donations can be dropped off at the Humane Society of Missouri Headquarters at 1201 Macklind Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63110.Finally, I did recently try a new recipe when I wanted to get dinner on the table and practically the only fresh vegetable around was bok choy. A variation on a couple of recipes for Tofu Goulash did the trick. This sounded a little weird to me, but turned out delicious. You can't beat vegetable soup with tofu for a filling, one-dish meal. Have a great weekend everyone!Tofu Goulash with Bok ChoyServes 6-814 ounces firm tofu3 tablespoons canola oil1 medium red onion, diced3 cloves garlic, minced1 tablespoon paprika2 tablespoons tomato paste14 ounce can diced tomatoes4 cups vegetable stock1 cup water1 head bok choy, leaves sliced and stalks chopped into 1-inch pieceskosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to tasteCrumble the tofu into a bowl and set aside.Heat the oil in a large pot (that has a lid) over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute for about 3 minutes. Add the tofu, paprika, and tomato paste. Stir periodically and cook until the mixture becomes mostly dry and begins to stick slightly to the pot.Add the tomatoes, stock and water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to maintain a simmer. Cover and simmer about 5 minutes. Add the bok choy, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.Adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian[...]

African Peanut Soup with Red Beans


Around the Show Me casa, we eat hot soup all year long. Even in the midst of an Excessive Heat Warning (temps in the upper 90's with heat indices over 110 degrees). So I guess we're pretty serious soup lovers.

This vegan bowl of goodness (adapted from Mark Bittman's West African Peanut Soup with Chicken) will be filed amongst our favorites. The rich peanut butter and sweet potatoes complement each other so well. And with kale too, this soup has nearly all of our preferred ingredients. Substitute red beans for chicken and this hearty soup will have you going Vegan Before 6 and After 6 too!

Don't forget the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale, including a St. Louis location at the Tower Grove Park Farmers' Market this Saturday before noon.

African Peanut Soup with Red Beans
Serves 6

3/4 cup dry roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped and divided
2 Tablespoons peanut oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
cayenne, salt, and pepper to taste
6 cups vegetable stock
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced
14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 15 ounce cans red beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 pound kale, stems discarded and leaves sliced
1/4 cup peanut butter

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute the onion, garlic, and ginger for about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the peanuts, cayenne, salt, and pepper and saute for about 30 seconds. Add the vegetable stock, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and red beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Add kale and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are done. Add peanut butter and stir until combined. Garnish each serving with a sprinkle of the remaining peanuts.