Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Bento Box: Take Ichi

I've never made a homemade bento box before. This was my first take at it and it went alright. It isn't as amazing as I wanted it to be, but it will do. I have these neat Hello Kitty presses and other shaped presses. I also didn't have enough room to use the adzuki rice I made for onigiri.

I fried some tofu slices a bit of sesame oil and mirin until brown. For the "scrambled egg" that's in the center of this picture and inside the onigiri, I fried up some smashed tofu, variety of mushrooms (oyster, button, shiitake), frozen peas, minced green onion, chopped ginger, sea salt, black sesame seeds, several splashes of soy sauce, splash of mirin, splash of sake.

 I steamed some carrots to make the shapes, steamed the broccoli and the lotus root. The snap peas are fresh and cut, same with the enoki mushrooms.

For the shumai, I fried up some chopped tofu, 2 pieces of minced garlic, tablespoon of minced ginger, tablespoon of chopped green onion, a bunch of chopped mushrooms (oyster, button, shiitake), soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, and salt. 

The purple potato Hello Kitty face was steamed in mirin and soy sauce to make it soft.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

SASHA Farm Sanctuary & Vegan Feed-In on Magnificent Mile

In late May, Mercy For Animals volunteers went to SASHA Farm Sanctuary in Manchester, MI. Below are some pictures from our trip:
 Petting a turkey's head.

Happy pig!

 Pretty baby cows.

Me saying, "Hi!", to a cow.

And this is my rescue, one-eyed, blind cat named, "Popeye". He is my main man!

In early June, I organized a vegan feed-in for Mercy For Animals on the Magnificent Mile. Read about it here: Vegan Feed-In a Huge Hit with Crowds on the Magnificent Mile.

 Passing out bbq seitan.

Alexis' Purple Potato Gratin & Joe's Stuffed Bacon & Cheese Vegan Veggie Burgers

Alexis' Purple Potato Gratin & Joe's Stuffed Bacon & Cheese Vegan Veggie Burgers

* Prep Time: 1 hours
* Cook Time:
45 minutes - 1 hour
* Ingredients (for purple potato gratin)
  • 6-8 purple potatoes (roughly 2 lbs)
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 leek, diced
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp all-purpose flour or wheat flour
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 3-4 slices cooked faux bacon, diced*
  • 2 Cups cheddar cheese, Daiya brand*
  • 1/4 cup vegan parmesan cheese*
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
* Ingredients (for stuffed bacon & cheese vegan veggie burgers)
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cup TVP (textured vegetable protein), rehydrated with water or vegetable stock as directed by the package
  • 4 large button or crimini mushrooms, diced to small bits
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour (plus extra to dredge)
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp arrow root
  • 1 tsp chili powder (or to taste)
  • 1-2 tbsp catchup or tomato paste (to give moisture)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 cup Daiya cheddar cheese
  • 3-4 slices vegan bacon
  • Olive oil (to cook burger in frying pan)

* Recipe (for purple potato gratin):  
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. 
  2. Peel potatoes and cut away any bad spots and rinse of any peels or dirt from peeling.  Slice potatoes into a disc shape no more than 1/4" thick.
  3. Dice the onion and leek and sautee in a skillet with the olive oil.
  4. While this sautee's, toss potatoes with the flour, vegan parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to coat. Mix in the onion and leek and then cook the bacon.
  5. Once the bacon is cooked, chop, add to the potato mixture and then add to a casserole dish.
  6. Pour the almond milk in to the casserole dish containing the mixture.
  7. Cover the potatoes in the Daiya and spread evenly.
  8. Place in the oven and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour. 
  9. Remove and let cool til it is warm enough to eat.

* Recipe (for stuffed bacon & cheese vegan veggie burgers):   

  1. In a skillet, prepare the bacon and set aside to cool. Once cool, chop to small pieces.  
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the black beans and give it a light mash to open up the beans.  Add the TVP, mushrooms, onion, bell pepper, garlic, salt, pepper, chili powder, and catchup and mix well.
  3. Stir in the flour, cornstarch, and arrowroot and mix as even as possible. (You wont be able to get every little piece, but just do your best.)
  4. Take a large tablespoon and scoop out enough to patty flat. 
  5. Add 1 tbsp or so of the Daiya and bacon.
  6. Take another scoop of the burger mixture (about half as much as previously) and add to the top.
  7. Patty down to enclose the "cheese" mixture.
  8. Once you have finished pattying out your burger, lightly dredge in flour and add to a shallow skillet or griddle that has been lightly oil.
  9. Cook until both sides are browned.   
  10. If you would like to grill these burger, preheat oven to 225°F and prepare as above. Bake patties until they are firm and have lightly brown.  This will hold them together so they wont break a part and fall into the grill. Add to the grill and cook until brown to your liking.
  11. Topping Suggestions: Add some slices of vegan bacon, vegan cheese, and mushrooms and onions sauteed in a little vegan butter. Top with a little mustard on a toasted Bun. Top with standard burger toppings such as lettuce, onion, pickle, vegan mayo, catchup, and mustard.
*Notes: For the faux bacon, I used Lightlife Smart Bacon. Daiya is a great vegan cheese brand that uses tapioca instead of soy or rice. I used Galaxy brand vegan parmesan cheese. 

This food was for a vegan BBQ at my place. I also made a pineapple upside cake and curry chikin salad on mini toasts. Those recipes came from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's Vegan Table cookbook.
  • Pineapple Upside Down Cake: 5/5 (so delish!) 
  • Curry Chikin Salad: 4/5 (some people loved it, others weren't so keen on it)
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