Monday, June 30, 2008

Oodles of Noodles

I finally made the Chickpea Noodle Soup from the Veganomicon:

I've been planning on making this for almost a week now. I even cooked the dried chickpeas last Wednesday morning in preparation because I thought I was going to make it that night. But then Wes brought me dinner, so those plans were gleefully cast aside. Then, I just got all busy-like, so I froze the cooked peas.

I can definitely say this soup was worth the wait. With chickpeas, soba noodles, carrots, mushrooms, miso, and kale, it's super-healthy. But it tastes more like comfort food than health food. By the way, the kale was an add-in suggested in the variations box. It wasn't part of the original recipe, but I felt like it needed some green.

This soup would be perfect for a sick day. But I'm not sick and it still tastes wonderful.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Cupcakes and Kitties

Nothing makes me happier than cupcakes and kitties ... oh, and rainbows and fairy dust. But unfortunately, I didn't see any rainbows or fairies today. I did, however, whip up these Chocolate Chip Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting and Chocolate Ganache:

I made these for my neighbor Wes's 48th birthday. He made the mistake of telling me on Friday, and when someone tells me it's their birthday, they'd better be ready to accept a batch of yummy vegan cupcakes.

These were a variation on the vanilla cupcake in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. I added chocolate chips to the batter (because Wes loves chocolate, but who doesn't?). Suckily, the chips sank to the bottom causing the cupcake liners to stick to the chocolate. But eaten on a plate with a spoon, they weren't half-bad. I've never had a bad cupcake from VCTOTW.

As for those kitties I promised, here's a pic of my little heathens at dinnertime:

From left to right: Pandora, Gelfling, Polaris, and Akasha. They will steal your breath (and likely your soul), destroy your furniture, and smash your breakables. But you gotta love them!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Berry Time!

I picked up some organic blueberries from the Lansing's Farm at the farmer's market last Saturday, and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them — blueberry pancakes! These are the Blueberry Lemon Corn Pancakes from the Veganomicon:

Unfortunately, my first batch didn't turn out as well. I didn't even take a picture, as they were what Alice in Veganland recently described as "pancake scramble." Its because I didn't have non-stick pans, of course. So I bought some. Cheap ones, like dollar store ones. I'm sure they won't last long, and they'll likely chip pieces of toxic crap into my food. But I don't care. They were just a quick fix. I NEEDED pancakes!

These were really yummy, especially with a Julie Hasson sausage link. The combination of lemon zest and blueberries and corn meal was divine! My only complaint is that they really weren't very fluffy. I've noticed Isa and Terry's pancake recipes tend to create a pretty liquid-y batter, and that may be the culprit. Anyone have any thoughts on what keeps a pancake from being fluffy?

Speaking of berries, my friend Aaron just stopped by with two big ol' freezer bags full of blackberries! He picked them on his family's blackberry farm in Arkansas.

Yea! Now I can make blackberry muffins and maybe even blackberry jam ... berries (and tomatoes and flip-flops) are the best part of summer!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Rajun Cajun

I was supposed to have a work-related function tonight, but plans fell through. However, I'd already decided on a quick meal since I thought I'd be pressed for time. I threw together this Cajun Kielbasa Tomato Sauce with Quinoa Corn Pasta:

Yum! I needed to use the last Tofurkey Kielbasa leftover from the Father's Day grilling session. So I chopped it up and sauteed it with onion, garlic, and a jar of okra and tomatoes (canned by my Granny last season). Spiced with a little Cajun seasoning and habanero hot sauce, this dish was totally delish!

By the way, the pasta is made from quinoa and corn rather than semolina flour. I found it at Wild Oats in the bulk bins. I love how yellow it is! After only eating whole wheat pasta for so long, it's nice to be able to eat a healthy pasta with a traditional pasta color.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Poke Salad Annie

Though I grew up near the Mississippi Delta, there are a few Southern delicacies I've yet to try, like Kool-Aid pickles. And some I'll NEVER try — like chitlins and pickled pig's feet. Last night, I tried Poke Salad, a wild semi-poisonous green common in rural Southern cooking.

Some folks like to serve it with scrambled eggs, so I whipped up this Poke Salad with Scrambled Tofu:

Poke Salad resembles spinach in taste and texture, and it was the perfect accompaniment for the tofu, which I seasoned with nooch, curry powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and soy sauce. On the side, I sliced a summer tomato from the farmer's market (yea for summer tomatoes!!!!) and a slice of Ezekiel bread spread with Marmite.

My Granny gave me a batch of poke salad that she'd had frozen in her deep freeze. It was already prepared, so I only had defrost it and heat it in a little safflower oil.

Now, I mentioned that poke salad is poisonous. According to Wikipedia, poke salad must be boiled three times, discarding the water each time, to remove all toxins. I believe Granny did all that before she gave it to me. At least, I hope so.

Here's what Wikipedia has to say about poke's poisonous properties:

The eating of nonfatal quantities of poke, perhaps of the shoots, may cause retching or vomiting after two hours or more. These signs may be followed by dyspnea, perspiration, spasms, severe purging, prostration, tremors, watery diarrhea (often bloody) and, sometimes, convulsions. If a fatal quantity is eaten, perhaps including roots, the above signs are followed by paralysis of the respiratory organs and other narcotic effects, culminating in the death of the poisoned person.

Um, wow. The good news is, I ate it last night and for lunch today, and I'm still alive. So I think Wikipedia is probably exaggerating a little, like they do with the possible side effects in those drug commercials on TV. However, I'd caution everyone to make sure you find a good Southerner who can help you prepare this green if you plan to go picking your own wild poke.

On another note, my awesome neighbor Wes brought me another plate of food tonight — Fried Hominy, White Beans, and Fried Potatoes (I added the organic kale because it was about to go bad):

I was planning on making the Chickpea Noodle Soup from VCon, but that'll have to wait. Hot, yummy FREE food from my favorite neighbor is way better!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Personal Potluck

So I was supposed to drop by a potluck last night, but I spent the day hanging with my parents at the Memphis Botanic Gardens and the Pink Palace Museum (a museum of Memphis history and some science-y stuff, like dinosaurs). By the time we were done walking the massive garden grounds, I was pooped.

Lucky for me, I'd already baked a big ol' batch of Chocolate Chip Cookies from the Vegan with a Vengeance to take to the potluck:

Since I didn't go to the potluck, these babies are all mine! Normally, I'd feel fat about that, but these are so darn good, I don't even care if they make me chubby. At least, I don't care until they're all gone. Then, I'll hit the gym super hard or something.

I've been seeing these on other blogs for awhile now, and I've been dying to try them (but I need an excuse, like a potluck, to justify cookie making). By the way, has anyone else noticed a missing ingredient in this recipe? I had to add 1/4 cup soymilk because the dough was way too dry. With the additional soymilk, they turned out great!
On another note, I made a mental note to do a meme from Musings from the Fishbowl a week or so ago. Shellyfish tagged anyone with more than one tattoo, and I've got two, so here goes:

What were you doing five years ago?

I was working as an intern at the Memphis Flyer, the alternative newsweekly where I'm now employed full-time. And I was living in an apartment in Memphis with my ex and our dog (Datsun) and at least one cat (now I have 4).

What are five things on your to-do list for today? (I'm actually doing tomorrow because today is almost over)

1) Make Chickpea Noodle Soup from the Veganomicon
2) Start composing the annual "bar guide" for Memphis Magazine (the Flyer's sister publication)
3) Make pancakes in my new non-stick skillet that I bought today!!!
4) Read the new vintage vegan cookbook that mom's friend bought me at a flea market this past weekend
5) Go to the gym

What are five snacks you enjoy?

1) Those yummy cookies from Vegan with a Vengeance (see picture above)
2) Primal Strips veggie jerky
3) Cherry Tomatoes
4) Spicy Nuts
5) Popcorn with nooch and dried dill (thanks Happy Herbivore on the dill tip)

What are five things you would do if you were a billionaire?

1) Open a vegan bakery or restaurant
2) Go to vegan culinary school
3) Give some money to PETA
4) Travel all over the world (Holland, Australia, Japan, London, you name it)
5) Start my own vegan magazine (sorry Veg News...)

What are five of your bad habits?

1) I can be super judgmental.
2) I spend too much time obsessing over getting fat.
3) I spend too much time obsessing over food (see #2).
4) I don't spend enough time on my couch. I should really start watching TV or something.
5) I can't think of a fifth one, which probably means that I also think too highly of myself.

What are five places where you have lived?

I've only lived in two places:

1) Jonesboro, Arkansas
2) Memphis

What are five jobs you’ve had?

1) Journalist
2) Pre-press work for newspaper (on the production end)
3) Photo developer at Wal-Mart
4) Wal-Mart Door Greeter
5) Cashier

Tag! You're it if you ...

1) Don't have cable TV.
2) Have a tongue piercing.
3) Have two or more cats.
4) Prefer cooking to baking.
5) Drive a foreign car.

Just copy this survey into your blog if you meet the above criteria, and don't forget to link back to mine.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Raw Solstice Party!

Our local Memphis vegetarian group, Food Awareness, had a Raw Food Tasting/Solstice Party/Vegan BBQ last night. We have a tendency to go a little crazy with the themes ... like "raw" and "BBQ." But it worked ... especially that raw part.

We met at Judith's house, and she's 100% raw. She's a great un-cook, so she prepared several raw dishes, like this awesome Pesto with Roma Tomatoes:

And these spicy Jalepeno Flax Seed Raw Crackers:

These were my favorite! I couldn't keep out of them. She actually made three varieties of crackers, but I only photographed these because they were the best. And I didn't think you guys would want to look at a million cracker pics.

Here's Judith's Raw "Tuna" on Cucumbers:

She told me what was in this, but I don't remember. I know it had some nuts or seeds and some nori. Really, really tasty! Sorry the picture kinda sucks. It was taken inside with a flash.

We also nibbled on cherries:

And these organic blueberries that Judith hand-picked earlier in the day:

Everything was so amazing, and it was wonderful to celebrate the first day of summer with veggie friends. We also roasted veggie dogs over a fire, but it was too dark for pictures by then. Vaughan brought some yummy chutney rice dish and Judith prepared black eyed peas for the un-raw folks.

If I could afford to hire Judith as my personal raw chef, I'd have no problem giving up cooked food!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Sometimes the Leftovers Are Better...

I wanted to celebrate the Solstice a little early, so last night (on the night of the full moon, mind you) I grilled out. What better way to celebrate the Summer Solstice than by cooking most of my meal outside? For my protein, I made the Hot Glazed Tempeh from the Veganomicon:

I've made this before, but last time, it was mid-winter ... not exactly appropriate grilling time. So I broiled it that time, and it was good. But grilling makes all the difference in the world with this recipe. If you haven't tried this yet, do it now before it gets all cold again.

I also sliced some farmer's market zucchini and stuffed it in a packet of aluminum foil, along with a little Smart Balance Light (it's vegan and has less fat than Earth Balance) and seasoning salt:

This is how my mom prepared our zucchini and squash on Father's Day, and it was so tasty, I had to have more. Grilling zucchini gives it a delightfully smoky flavor.

But my other dish was kind of a disaster. I tried to create a baked mac & cheeze recipe for my Southern vegan cookbook. But it came out a little, um, dry:

First, I made a cashew cheeze sauce in the food processor. It was so yummy and super-duper creamy. And I should have just stirred it into the cooked macaroni and called it done. But instead, I tried to get all Paula Deen with it. I added flour to the mix, as well as extra soymilk. Then I topped it with shredded Follow Your Heart vegan cheddar, and stuck it in the oven for 30 minutes.

Bad move. The flour sucked all the life out of the cashew cheeze, leaving it a dry, yet pretty tasty mess. And the FYH didn't melt a bit. Luckily, I salvaged the leftovers for lunch today by throwing a little of it into a saucepan with more soymilk and more nooch. The FYH actually melted into the macaroni.

The result was creamy, cheezy goodness. So I'm going to try this recipe again soon, but I promise to steer clear of the oven. Besides, what was I thinking running the hot oven when I was grilling most of my meal outside? I know, it's crazy talk.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Red Beans and Rice Didn't Miss Her

Remember that classic 90s song lyric?

"You ain't it Miss Thang/ Give me a sista/ Can't resist her/ Red Beans and Rice Didn't Miss Her/ Some knucklehead tried to dis/ Cuz his girls were on my list/ He had game but he chose to hit 'em/ And I pull up quick to get wit 'em"

"Baby Got Back" is quite possibly the best song of my generation. It's one of the only songs I can karaoke to ... anyway, speaking of red beans and rice, that's what I had for dinner last night:

This is Nutty Brown Rice with Red Bean Sauce from Judy Brown's "Guide to Natural Foods Cooking." I've mentioned the book before. It's a vegan cookbook from 1989. So retro. And this dish had a very wholesome, pre-faux meat craze retro feel to it. The rice is peppered with walnuts, green onion, and herbs.

The sauce, which totally makes the dish, is made from mushed kidney beans, sesame oil, garlic, and miso. Judy actually called for onions instead of garlic, but I used garlic since there were already onions in the rice.

On the side, I fried some green tomatoes from the farmer's market:

Though I adore the fried slices that most people make, my mom always prepared hers this way. They're diced, coated them with cornmeal and flour, and cooked in a skillet hash-brown style. Yum! BTW, notice the new vintage plates ... another gift from my Granny.

Monday, June 16, 2008

My Dad Rocks!

On Father's Day, the Dutchman (aka the boyfriend) and I went to Arkansas to visit my parents. My mom planned a BBQ meal and invited my Granny and Pa (daddy's parents) and my Me-Maw (my mom's mom). Here's my dad and I standing in the driveway:

I gotta say, I'm pretty sure I have the coolest dad on the planet. He handles everything that I'm too retarded to figure out on my own — like car insurance when I have wrecks, my car when it breaks down, anything in my apartment that needs fixing (last Father's Day, he installed a new air conditioner in my apartment). He just built me a flawless, elaborate computer desk by hand. And he even orders me vegan treats, like Teese, vegan chocolates, and tofu jerky. I love my dad!!!

I also love my mom, who you can see here grilling meat (ick!). But don't worry. She also grilled Tofurkey Kielbasa for me:

She basted the kielbasa in homemade barbecue sauce, and I topped this dog with sauerkraut and mustard. Yum! If you haven't tried these, I highly, highly recommend them!

On the side, she made Paula Deen's Baked Beans:

The recipe calls for bacon, but she took a good-sized portion out for me before adding bacon to the big pot. She also used vegetarian baked beans for the whole dish. These have crushed pineapple and French fried onion in them, and oh my are they delicious!

We also had grilled squash and zucchini, and a salad of marinated tomatoes (from the farmer's market so they're safe from salmonella), cucumbers, and onions:

For dessert, Granny brought over a vegan Sweet Potato Pie:

It's a recipe she's been working on converting for my cookbook, and it was so tasty! She thinks it needs more work though, so she's going to tweak it for the final recipe. It tasted perfect to me!

Then, my mom made ice cream sundaes with homemade vegan hot chocolate and toasted pecans. Everyone else ate dairy ice cream, but she bought me a pint of French Vanilla Soy Dream:

Overall, Father's Day was a huge success! I got my dad a Harley Davidson tee with a skull on it, and a Harley cap with a skull. My dad just bought a Harley last week, and he loves anything with skulls on it. He's kind of a punk rocker like that.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Gay Pride Birthday Cupcakes!

Last night, I brought Lemon Vanilla Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting to my friend Monica's birthday party:

The theme was Glitter Eyeliner Glam, which explains why I'm wearing so much makeup. And my friend Greg took the picture, so blame him for the lack of focus. Monica's party was on the same day as the Memphis Gay Pride Parade (which I marched in), so I decorated the cupcakes with rainbow sugar. By the way, there is blue sugar where the blue should be, but it's so light that it didn't show up in the picture.

The recipe was a variation on the Golden Vanilla Cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. Super yummy!

The Dutchman is in town this weekend, and he came to the party too. He even wore "guyliner."

Here's my friend Greg, covered in pink glitter. The glitter theme was his concept:

Thursday, June 12, 2008

For the Church Potluck ... Or the Family Reunion

At every church potluck dinner or social event in the South, you can bet on the appearance of a Velveeta-laden broccoli-rice casserole (made with white rice of course ... and sometimes even chicken). As a young lacto-ovo vegetarian, I loved the meat-free version of this classic casserole. So tonight, I re-created it vegan-style for my cookbook. Here's a bowl of my Broccoli Brown Rice & Cheeze Casserole:

This dish is super creamy, thanks to nooch sauce and homemade vegan cream of mushroom soup. Homemade sprouted grain breadcrumbs were the perfect topping, adding a little crunch right where it was needed. The perfect childhood comfort food. It brought me back to a time when life was simpler ... when there were no bills to pay, no work to do. Summer days meant swimming the neighbor's pool, riding bikes through the neighborhood, and making home movies on my parents' clunky 1980s video recorder. It's crazy how one bite can take you way, way back.

I'm going to have a whole section of my cookbook devoted to casseroles. I adore a good casserole. No need for a side dish. Just plop everything in one Corningware dish, toss it in the oven, and 30 minutes later, you've got yourself a meal. So retro!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sorghum Vs. Molasses

Molasses Cake, an old Southern favorite, is typically served unfrosted with butter or cream cheese. It's a simple cake, flavored with good ol' fashioned blackstrap molasses. But I like sorghum better than molasses, so for my cookbook, I modified the traditional molasses cake to become Sweet Sorghum Syrup Cake:

Sorghum comes from the sorghum cane, and it's rich in iron, calcium, and potassium. It's lighter in color than molasses, and it's a bit milder in taste as well. Molasses is a by-product of the sugar-making process, but it's also rich in iron, calcium, and potassium.

The two can be used interchangeably in recipes depending on how strong you like your flavor. For some reason though, sorghum just seems more Southern ... about as Southern as mint juleps and iced sweet tea. So it seemed a better fit for my cookbook. The stuff I'm using came from Marvell, Arkansas.

I've been topping my Sorghum Cake with Soy Whip and fresh strawberries for breakfast each morning. I figure it's better to eat cake for breakfast than to eat it as a snack later in the day. At least, I'm taking in the big calories in first thing in morning, while I still have time to work them off, right?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Melty Teese-y Goodness

Okay, so I'm in a bit of a pizza rut. But I don't care. I like pizza and, dang it, that's what I shall have until I'm tired of it. Besides, I've had my Teese shipment for a few weeks now, and I'd yet to try melting it on a pizza until tonight. Behold, the meltiness of Teese:

Oh yea, that's what I'm talking 'bout. The first bite of gooey, melted Teese pizza with mushrooms, black olives, and bell peppers was the moment I've been waiting for since I went vegan in 2004. I don't miss real cheese, but I miss the melty factor. And though I like the taste of most vegan cheeses, none melt like Teese.

It melts so well that it tends to ooze of the pizza after its sliced, but that's okay. I just licked the extra off the pizza pan. That's right. My inner fat girl was all over that one. And I enjoyed every last crumb.

But many of you have already discovered Teese's magical wonders, so I'll spare you more gushing. Just know that this won't be the last time you see Teese-heavy photos on this blog. I think I have a new favorite food.

For the crust, I thawed out a half batch of Isa's basic pizza dough from Vegan with a Vengeance. I also made the basic pizza sauce from VwaV, but I substituted fresh thyme and fresh oregano from my new herb garden in place of the dried herbs in the recipe. I used a jar of home-canned tomatoes from my Granny for the base of the sauce.

Served with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon, this was hands down the best meal I've had in quite awhile. And lucky for me, there's enough pizza left over for lunches for the next couple days. I only hope Teese melts well when re-heated in the microwave at work.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Pie in the Sky

On Saturday night, my mom and I saw Jewel perform at an outdoor concert in the Memphis Botanic Gardens. But first, we stopped for the Vegan Pizza at Lou's Pizza Pie:

Piled high with spinach, eggplant, tomatoes, red onion, and artichoke hearts, this pie hit the spot. I'd been craving veggies all day, and I'm pretty sure this meal fulfilled my daily recommended allowance. Not to mention that we also had Lou's garden salad with garlic mustard vinaigrette.

It was the first time I'd tried the vegan pizza at Lou's. In fact, I just heard they had one a few weeks ago. Anytime I learn a restaurant owner has gone out of his or her way to create a vegan menu item, I get really excited. This is Memphis after all, and um, it's not exactly a vegan mecca.

As tasty as the pizza was, once we got to the Jewel show, we were wishing we'd brought picnic food. Since it was an outdoor performance, EVERYONE had coolers and picnic baskets. Some people even brought their own portable picnic tables and bouquets of flowers to decorate. Oh well, maybe next time. At least we had some good eatin' before the show. And Jewel was amazing, especially when she yodeled during the encore.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Quinoa and Falafel! Oh My!

Hey guys! My story on the locavore project came out in the Memphis Flyer yesterday and it's now available online here. Check it out and feel free to leave comments on our website because my editor LOVES comments. They actually pick their favorite comments on the website each week to run in the newspaper.

On another note, we had our monthly Food Awareness veggie group meeting tonight at Wild Oats. I led another cooking demo. This time, I made Quinoa Black Bean Salad. Here I am squeezing a lime for the dressing:

And here's the finished product (scroll to end for the recipe):

After the demo, Steph from Poopie Bitch brought out some yummy vegan cookies — Peanut Butter Molasses Cookies and Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies. Thankfully, she's a tester for Kelly and Garrick's upcoming vegan cookie book, so we got to help her sample the goods. Verdict — Amazing! Especially the chewy peanut butter ones!

Before the meeting, Steph, her awesome vegan friend Ahnah, and I had dinner at Pita Wraps. Steph's been raving about their falafel on her blog for some time, and I've been dying to try it. Here's the Falafel and Hummus Pita Wrap:

One bite and I totally understand what the rage is all about. I think this may be my new favorite falafel place! By the way, you can see how huge this wrap is...and we all ate every bite!

Quinoa & Black Bean Salad
1/3 cup quinoa
1 cup water
1 Tbsp. olive oil
4 tsp. lime juice
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp. scallions, chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, minced

Bring quinoa and water to a boil. Cover, lower heat, and simmer until water is absorbed (about 15 minutes). Fluff and allow to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, combine olive oil, lime juice, cumin, coriander, salt, cilantro, and scallions. Add cooled quinoa, black beans, tomato, and pepper. Serve.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Mochi Madness

I've seen the hard brown squares of packaged mochi in the food cooler at Wild Oats, but until now, I had no idea what to do with it. I wasn't even sure what it was. But thanks to Judy Brown's "Guide to Natural Foods Cooking," I've discovered the wonders of this glutinous brown rice cake. My first mochi experiment — Judy Brown's Mochi Vegetable Melt:

It may not look so appetizing, but trust me on this one. See that melty looking cheese-like substance in the right side of the picture. That's melted mochi, glutinous rice that's been pounded into a paste and molded into shape. That may not sound appetizing either, but it's delicious!

Melted mochi has a texture that's somewhere between melted mozzerella and sticky sushi rice. The original flavor, which I used for this melt recipe, has the slightest hint of sweetness, but not at all overpowering ... a nice compliment to the saltiness of the soy sauce used to season this dish.

For this recipe, saute your veggies (I used kale, cabbage, carrots, red onion, and mushrooms) and then place squares of mochi on top. Cover for about 10 minutes while the mochi melts over the veggies. In the end, I tossed in tofu that I'd sauteed separately.

According to the package, you can also bake mochi. I think it puffs up and the outside becomes crispy while the inside gets soft and gooey. I'm going to try this later with the remainder of my mochi.

By the way, Judy Brown's book is freakin' awesome. I picked it up at a Goodwill in Nashville for 75 cents. I always peruse the cookbook sections in thrift stores, hoping against hope that there will be a vegan cookbook lurking on the shelf...and then sure enough, this time my shelf-scouring paid off. The book was published in 1989 (can you believe it's vegan and that old?!) by the Book Publishing Company on the Farm in Summertown, Tennessee. It's currently out of stock on Amazon but you can place an back order.

On a different note, several of you have asked about being a tester for my upcoming Southern-style vegan cookbook. Recipe development is about halfway complete (got about 100 so far), so I'll need testers soon. I'll keep ya'll posted. Thanks for offering help and encouragement!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Somebody Pass Me a Wet Nap

In true Southern barbecue fashion, my Memphis-Style BBQ Tofu Mushroom Sandwich left as much sauce on my hands as it did in my mouth:

I've been working on perfecting the BBQ sandwich recipe for my cookbook for awhile now, and after tweaking the sauce and experimenting with different faux meats, I've finally settled on this version. Crumbled tofu and minced mushrooms come together in my tangy Memphis-style sauce. Memphis style means heavy on the vinegar, by the way.

The texture of crumbled tofu and toothsome bite of the mushrooms make this sandwich similar to the pulled pork sandwiches folks eat around these parts. Memphis, home to the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest and the Neely's barbecue family of Food Network fame, claims the title of "barbecue capital." Honestly, I've never eaten a Memphis barbecue sandwich (unless you count the barbecue tofu sandwich at R.P. Tracks), but I know a good Southern sauce when I taste one. And I'm pretty darn proud of mine.

I also developed a recipe for Creamy Poppyseed Coleslaw to dress the sandwich. No barbecue sandwich is complete without slaw.

And on the side, I created No-Tell Ro-tel Cheese Dip (also going in the cookbook):

In the South, it's almost guaranteed that someone will bring Ro-tel Cheese Dip to any non-vegan potluck. It's basically a combination of Velveeta cheese (gross, I know, but I used to love it) and canned diced tomatoes with green chilis. Some people also add meat, and as a young vegetarian, that always pissed me off. Why add meat to the cheese dip?!

My vegan version has neither meat nor cheese, but it definitely hit the spot with my Guiltless Gourmet Blue Corn Tortilla Chips.