Monday, June 27, 2011

Borscht & Cabbage Salad

My mother is Russian and when we go visit her family back in the "old country" (if you will), eating vegan is not so easy. My aunt (who doesn't speak English) veganizes a lot of traditional recipes for me and my mom translates them. My mom remembers eating borscht with a piece of meat and rye bread for dinner quite often. I thought I would give it a try making borscht. It had a very nice earthy taste to it, but not too overpowering as that flavor can be sometimes. Vegan sour cream is a must for this recipe!

* Prep Time: 20 minutes
* Cook Time: 1 hour
* Ingredients:
  • 3 1/2 oz. pinto beans
  • water, to cover beans
  • 10 oz. red potatoes, cut into bar pieces
  • 10 oz. red cabbage, shredded
  • 2 oz. dried mushroom, rehydrated, cut into bar pieces
  • 2 tbsp soy butter
  • 10 oz. beets, sliced thin
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 10 oz. roma tomatoes, center removed, diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 parsnip, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 small white onion, sliced
  • salt, to taste
  • sugar, to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp celery greens, chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp, green onion, chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • vegetable broth, to taste (if necessary)
  • vegan sour cream, to taste*
  • rye bread, several slices
* Recipe:
  1. Rinse the beans after taking them out of the can. Place them in a large pot. Add enough water to cover the beans. Keep on low heat.
  2. Add the potatoes and boil for 5-7 minutes. Reduce to medium heat and add the cabbage. 
  3. In another small pot, boil the dried mushrooms. Strain in colander, but make sure to keep the mushroom broth.
  4. In a small pan, saute the pieces of mushroom in soy butter over medium heat. Add to the large pot with the cabbage.
  5. In a medium pot, combine the slices of beets with lemon juice followed by adding the tomatoes. Stew covered on medium to high heat until beets are tender, about 15 minutes.
  6. Add the beets to the large pot with the other ingredients. Also add the celery, parsnip, and carrot at this time. Saute in the large pot for 10 minutes.
  7. Next, saute the onions in the pan you used to saute the mushrooms. Do this for a few minutes over medium heat until they become tender. Add to the borscht.
  8. Pour in the mushroom broth you reserved. If it does not cover the soup entirely, add vegetable broth to taste. Cook for another 15-20 minutes.
  9. In the last five minutes of cooking, add the sugar, salt, dill, celery greens, green onion, and parsley.
  10. Top the soup with vegan sour cream and serve with a side of rye bread.
* Note: For vegan sour cream, I prefer Tofutti Sour Supreme. This recipe was adapted from Russian Cuisine cookbook by Lydia Liakhovskaya.
When I'm visiting my parents, I go to a vegetarian buffet on Saturday nights at a Middle Eastern restaurant in town. They always have this amazing cabbage salad. I decided to try to recreate it. 

Cabbage Salad

* Prep Time: 10 minutes
* Cook Time: 5 minutes
* Ingredients:
  • 1/2 head of red cabbage, shredded
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3-4 tbsp green onion, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
* Recipe:
  1. Combine the cabbage, garlic, and green onion in a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil in with the lemon juice. Add the salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  3. Pour over the salad and toss to coat.

What would you like to see on Vegan Miss next? Comment and let your blog doll know!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Vegan Chicago: Restaurants & Chef Showdown!

As many of you may know, I am a Chicago Outreach Coordinator with Mercy For Animals. One of the many campaigns of MFA is our Vegetarian Dining Campaign. MFA works with restaurants to add vegan options to their menu and provides them with the support, PR, and connections to get soy cheese, faux meat, etc.

Recently, some great work was done by MFA in Chicago with the Vegetarian Dining Campaign. El Nuevo Mexicano has added vegan quesadillas, flautas, chile rellanos, enchiladas, fajitas, and more. There is even non-dairy, cruelty-free dessert! Daiya and local master seitan makers, Upton's Naturals, provide the vegan cheese and faux meat. A friend of mine and I went there for lunch to check out the new menu and were floored! We had never had flautas or chimichangas before, but I bet these were better than any filled with meat and dairy cheese. If you are in the neighborhood, come out and support the new vegan menu at El Nuevo Mexicano. Click here for the full new vegan menu. For more information, check out MFA's blog post here.
Grilled Cheeze Sandwich with Daiya from LooseLeaf Lounge
Tomorrow, MFA is having a launch party for a new vegan menu at another Chicago restaurant, LooseLeaf Lounge. They have already had a great vegan sandwich up on their menu, but it has been expanded to include a grilled cheeze sandwich, a seitan sandwich, a chorizo seitan wrap, a vegetable sandwich, and vegan cookies. Again, the cheese is provided by Daiya and the seitan by Upton's Naturals. If you are free tomorrow and in Chicago, check out the event! Click here for the Facebook event page for more information. This new menu is permanent, by the way!

I'd been aware of vegan pizza with vegan cheese from several different places here in Chicago including Ian's Pizza (also has Upton's Naturals seitan), Mista (not at their downtown location, though), Karyn's Cooked (to be expected, they're a vegan restaurant), Moonshine, and Pick Me Up Cafe (they have a very extensive vegan-friendly menu). Pie Hole Pizza Joint also carries pizza with Daiya which I just found out about. Thought I would share the news up on here since I'm updating about vegan restaurants! Here is a list of places that carries vegan pizza in Chicago. 

Pad Thai with soy chiken from Urban Vegan Chicago
Two new restaurants that have opened in Chicago in the past few months include Urban Vegan Chicago and Earth's Healing Cafe. Urban Vegan is a Thai vegan restaurant. Though I haven't been there yet, I can't wait to try it out. I've heard really good things from people who have gone. Their menu uses a variety of faux meats including soy chiken and vegan seafood. Earth's Healing Cafe is a raw organic cafe that boasts smoothies, juices, several entrees (pasta, wrap, pâté), and desserts (cheezecake, fruit pie, apple pie). If you are looking for a healthy, light meal, this is the new place to be! Also coming to town in July are three new locations of Native Foods, based primarily in California.  As a California native, I've heard fantastic things about this vegan chain for years now. I haven't tried it out myself, but I've had friends who have (and even were nice enough to bring me a reusable bag all the way to Chicago) and they all love it dearly. Native Foods makes their own vegan cheese which I hear is to die for (also, very impressive!). I'm looking forward to not one, but all three new Native Foods here in Chicago! I'm not sure of where all the new locations are to be, but for sure one will be in Wicker Park.

Lastly to report about here in Chicago is the very anticipated Chicago Vegan Chef Showdown sponsored by Upton's Naturals with the help of the Funky Buddha Lounge. All proceeds from the event will go to benefit Mercy For Animals. Twenty chefs will battle it out with yummy vegan food that includes Upton's Naturals seitan and the team or person whose food was bought the most wins the showdown. Guess what? Vegan Miss is participating! So, come out and show your support for Vegan Miss, MFA, and Upton's Naturals! We'll be serving a VM specialty that we're super excited to share (how often does the blogger get to cook the recipes she writes for her readers, huh?!). The more people come and show support by buying VM's delicious food ($1 per sample), the more money goes to MFA and their life-saving work. Win for everyone! Excited!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Homemade Pickled Fried Green Tomatoes & Fried Pickles

Once and awhile, I have pickling parties. Yes, pickling parties. Pick what you would like to pickle and we go to it. Two months ago or so, we pickled beets, cauliflower, white pearl onions, button mushrooms, pickle spears, pickle slices, cherry tomatoes, and green tomatoes. Thus was born the idea of pickled fried green tomatoes and fried pickle spears. 

Homemade Pickled Fried Green Tomatoes & Fried Pickles
 * Prep Time: 15 minutes
* Cook Time: 20 minutes
* Ingredients:
  • 1 cup stone-ground cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tbsp citrus spice*
  • pinch of cayenne
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cup non-dairy milk*
  • 1 tbsp white distilled vinegar
  • 2 egg replacers, followed to box instructions*
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • pickle spears
  • pickled green tomato wedges
* Recipe: 
  1. Make sure the pickled green tomatoes and pickles are cold. Keep them in the fridge until you need them.
  2. Heat the oil you'll need for frying either in a large skillet on medium heat or in a deep fryer (which I used).
  3. In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, garlic powder, paprika, citrus spice, cayenne, and salt and pepper.
  4. In another large bowl, combine the milk and vinegar. Place in fridge and let chill for at least five minutes.
  5. Combine the egg replacer in a small bowl and add to the bowl with the buttermilk. Mix well.
  6. Coat the green tomatoes and pickles in the dry mixture, then the buttermilk mixture, then coat in the dry mixture again until completely covered.
  7. Fry in oil until golden brown.
  8. Drain on a paper towel.
  9. Serve with vegan ranch or hot sauce and a lemon wedge.
* Note: I used a citrus spice I got at Whole Foods. I love it! It's so good. For non-dairy milk, I prefer almond milk. For egg replacer, I use Ener-G.

I'm not sure if you can find pickled green tomatoes in stores, but you could always use fresh tomatoes. These were so fantastic - a real southern treat!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tangelo Oil-Free Vinaigrette Salad

I do a lot of requests off the Vegan Miss Facebook and Twitter. You should follow both of them! If you have anything you'd like to see created, please message me on either of those or email me. My friend, Pam, requested an oil-free dressing and this is what I conjured up. She also requested an eggless egg salad way back when.

Originally, I was going to use tangerines in this recipe, but I couldn't find any when I went to the store. I settled with tangelos, but feel free to switch to tangerines or oranges.

Tangelo Oil-Free Vinaigrette Salad
 * Prep Time: 10 minutes
* Cook Time: 5 minutes
* Ingredients:
  • 2 tangelos
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp agave nectar*
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • spring mix greens
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup fennel, shaved
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped, toasted
* Recipe:
  1. Over low to medium heat, toast the chopped walnuts.
  2. While the walnuts are toasting, make the rest of the salad. In a bowl, squeeze the juice of one tangelo. Add the apple cider vinegar, agave, and dijon, Mix well.
  3. Peel the other tangelo and separate into pieces.
  4. In a salad bowl, combine the greens, fennel, walnuts, tangelo pieces, and salt and pepper. Top with the oil-free vinaigrette.
* Note: Agave nectar is a honey replacer. You can find it with sweeteners in most grocery stores.
Every year, I make an organic balcony garden. I usually get quite a lot of good stuff. Here is some progress pictures.

So far, I have planted: potatoes, radishes, carrots, bunching onions, chives, parsley, thyme, oregano, cilantro, leeks, chili peppers, roma tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, arugula, radicchio, basil, broccoli, beans, and sprouts. I'm excited to see the results over the next few months! And people said you can't get a little dirty in an urban high rise. ;]


Monday, June 6, 2011

English Muffin Pizzas

One of the Vegan Miss Facebook fans asked me to post a kid-friendly healthier recipe. This is pretty basic, but replacing pizza dough with English muffins is a nice health switch-a-roo. I used whole wheat muffins to up the health factor ante. To make it more adult-like, one could replace the pasta sauce for vegan pesto or an exotic oil (porcini mushroom oil with added spices is divine). 

English Muffin Pizzas
* Prep Time: 5 minutes
* Cook Time: 10-12 minutes
* Ingredients:
  • 8 tbsp pasta sauce*
  • 4 tbsp Daiya mozzarella cheese* 
  • 2 tbsp vegan Parmesan*
  • 2 English muffins, split in half
* Recipe:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Put two tablespoons of pasta sauce on each piece of English muffin.
  3. Top with half a tablespoon of Parmesan on each piece of English muffin and then one tablespoon Daiya.
  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the Daiya is golden brown.
* Note: I used organic mushroom pasta sauce. Pick whatever you fancy in a sauce! Daiya is found in most health food stores nowadays. For vegan Parmesan, I prefer Galaxy brand. Make sure your English muffins are vegan! 
template by : background by Tayler : dingbat font TackODing