Breakfast Tacos

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Like lots of my “recipes” – this is more just a suggestion.  You can fill your breakfast tacos with any combination of ingredients you prefer.  I know this recipe will bum out the vegans out there but the eggs I used here were given to me by a person who raises chickens for eggs.  Locally sourced & cruelty-free as it can get for eggs.  You vegans can scramble some tofu instead.

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Here is what I used for two tacos:

2 corn tortillas – warmed on the burners of my stove until they charred just a bit

2 eggs

Olive oil

Red bell pepper – diced

Red onion – diced

Purple cabbage – diced

Cilantro

Avocado – sliced

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Here is what I did:

I scrambled the eggs with some S&P.

I heated some olive oil in a pan & sauteed the onion & red pepper with a pinch of ground cumin until the vegetables were soft.  I added the eggs & cooked to the point I like eggs cooked & simply built the tacos by adding the eggs & then garnishing with more chopped red pepper, purple cabbage, cilantro & avocado.  Ole!

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Vegan Hot & Sour Chicken with Rhubarb Sauce & Kale & Rice

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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MY BOOK READING IS THIS SUNDAY, folks!  I hope you will come on out!  I need all the support I can get!

OK – so this dish is very easy to make & surprisingly tasty!  And damned good for you, too!  I bought some rhubarb at Super King recently & I found a few versions of this dish – one using pork & one using tofu.  I do not eat pork & I am not a huge fan of tofu but I AM a huge fan of Beyond Meat’s vegan chicken – so I used that instead.  Why not try it yourself – for FREE?

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Vegan Hot and Sour Chicken with Rhubarb Sauce & Kale & Rice

INGREDIENTS

9 oz Beyond Meat chicken strips (or other vegan option)

for the marinade

2 Tbsp honey (agave nectar for vegans – though my friend Rose knows a bee keeper so I used honey she gave me)
1 tsp ground allspice
1 TBS fresh ginger – minced
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil (plus a little extra for cooking)
1 Tbsp rice vinegar

for the rhubarb sauce

3 cups rhubarb, trimmed and roughly chopped
1-2 TBS fresh ginger – minced
1-3 tsp crushed red pepper (depending on your heat tolerance)
3 cloves garlic
3 Tbsp honey (or agave)
3 Tbsp soy sauce

for the rice & kale

1 cup uncooked rice
1 head kale – ribs removed & chopped
1-2 tsp sesame oil

garnish (optional)

Lime wedges

Cashews – chopped

Scallions – chopped

Cilantro – chopped

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DIRECTIONS

Serves 2

This will make more rhubarb sauce than you will need but it should keep for about a week & I bet you will love this dish enough to make it a second time.

Mix the marinade ingredients & toss with the chicken.  I did this right in the bag & left it in the fridge overnight but an hour or so should do.

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Cook the rice as per directions.

Meanwhile – put the rhubarb sauce ingredients into a food processor & puree them.  Add a little olive oil to a sauce pan & simmer the rhubarb sauce so that it warms through & the flavors meld.

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Heat a little olive oil in a saute pan & warm the chicken through.  Set aside.

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In the same pan, add the kale & saute until it wilts somewhat & turns vibrant green.  Add the rice & mix well.  Add a tsp or so of sesame oil & stir it in.

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When you are ready to eat, put some rice & kale on each plate, top with chicken & rhubarb sauce & garnish as you like & eat it up!

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Bathing and the Single Girl by Christine Elise McCarthy

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A wonderful review of my novel – Bathing & the Single Girl!

Cordy

                I must admit I bought this book only because it was written by my favorite actress Christine Elise McCarthy. She’s not just my favorite actress, I admire her for a lot more things. For acting, writing, photographing, for being a vegetarian – and for her food blog. I love the way it’s written, I love Christine’s sassy comments, and the photos she posts of the food she makes. I just think she’s a great person. However, I wasn’t quite sure at first that I wanted her book, because it’s not what I usually read. I must admit I was curious, though, and encouraged by positive reviews, so I decided to buy it.

                When I finally made this decision, it turned out they don’t mail to Poland. I considered a Kindle version for some time and reading it on my friend’s Kindle, but decided against it. I mean, a…

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Roasted Cauliflower Bites with Sriracha Ketchup & Doomie’s Home Cooking & Good Times at Davey Wayne’s

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Easy & yummy.  And nearly guiltless!!!

Roasted Cauliflower Bites

INGREDIENTS

1 head of cauliflower cut into small florets

S&P

1/4 cup olive oil  (more or less – depending on the size of the head of cauliflower)

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DIRECTIONS

Toss the cauliflower in just enough oil to lightly coat all the florets & add some S&P.

Roast at 400 degrees for about an hour – turning 3 or 4 times in the process.

Serve with sriracha ketchup!  DEVOUR!

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Sriracha Ketchup

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup ketchup

2 TBS sriracha (more or less – depending on your heat tolerance)

2 tsp lime juice

2 tsp chopped cilantro

1 tsp rice vinegar

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DIRECTIONS

Mix that shit up!  Should last in the fridge a week or more.

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OK – first of all – my book reading in Pasadena is THIS SUNDAY!  COME ON OUT!

Secondly – a vegan friend of mine, Ethan, was in town this week promoting veganism for the Humane League on the Warped tour.

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I finally had a companion (or 5 – as he was traveling with 4 peers) to try out a place I have been DYING to try – Doomie’s Home Cooking!!!!  It is right in my hood & it is vegan but not healthy vegan.  It is greasy, comfort food at its best.  Check out the menu.

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Impressed?  Me, too!  And as if this were not enough – Doomie’s has over 150 items on the “secret menu.”  Among them – a vegan BIG MAC!!!!

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The kids Ethan was traveling with were quite aware of the secrets at Doomie’s and they ordered a Dinosaur Egg.  I am not quite sure what it is but here is what it looked like.

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I think it involves something like mashed potatoes & cheese in a deep fried ball with gravy – but I am unclear.  One of them ordered the Big Mac – but with fried chicken instead of burgers.

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The secret menu includes anything you want them to make from the ingredients they have on hand & every sandwich is available served between two grilled cheeses rather than just bread or a bun.  Ethan opted for some kinda fried chicken sandwich between two grilled cheeses.  Here it is & here he is trying to fit it in his mouth.

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We all sampled the fried shrimp & they were VERY convincing!

I cannot recommend this place highly enough!!!!  I am taking the carnivorous Badass Miles Miller there when he visits in two weeks & I am going to convert that son-of-a-bitch to loving the fake meats as much as the cruelty-ridden real meat he subsists upon.

Zits popping out of our faces from grease consumption, we staggered back out into the sunlight – blinking away the brightness & weaving from sudden onset food comas.  And I thought!  OMG!  I have some people I can drag to another place I have been DYING to try – Good Times at Davey Wayne’s.  It, too, is right in my hood and – likely because they were to food-drunk to resist – my companions agreed to go there with me.

The entry is hidden in this little alley garage sale thing.

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At first, I was later told by my vegan companions, that as I spoke to the doorman seated there, they feared I was stopping in the alley to buy drugs.  LOL!  Never fear!  I was just being carded.  Because behind that refrigerator door –

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is Davey Wayne’s!  Pull the fridge door open & it isn’t condiments & produce you find.  No!  You find STAIRS!  That lead you into this 70’s awesomeness!

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See the giant Jenga game in the outdoor area?  This place fucking rules!  We were there at the crack of broad-daylight-5pm – on a MONDAY – and there were like 20 or 30 people there.  Just enough so it felt populated but there was still tons of room & many seating options.

The bartenders were friendly (that matters) – and one mustachioed gent agreed to mix me up a Last Word cocktail by my directions – as he was unfamiliar with the drink.  Here is his:

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I am a huge fan of this cocktail & it was one of the things I posted on DAY ONE of my blog’s life.  Here is my Last Word effort

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And here is one from the Capital Bar & Grill in Little Rock.

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The Last Word set me back $10 but that seemed fair to me & the whole experience was tremendous!!!  I very much recommend both Doomie’s and Davey Wayne’s to all!   Your cool factor will rise immensely.

 

 

Vegan Korean BBQ Beef Lavash Pizza with Arugula

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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This can be made with real beef but I used Beyond Meat’s Beefy Crumbles.  I also used my homemade Spicy Korean BBQ sauce from my vegan BBQ ribs post.  Pizza toppings are really personal & these toppings are more just suggestions than a recipe.  The BBQ sauce is REALLY good, though!

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Spicy Korean BBQ Sauce

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup dark brown sugar

3/4 cup low sodium tamari (soy sauce)

1/4 cup water

1 TBS rice vinegar

2 TBS chili paste (sambal oelek or other type)

2 TBS Gochujang (optional)

2 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp ground pepper

1 TBS fresh ginger (minced)

5 garlic cloves – minced

2 TBS cornstarch

DIRECTIONS

I put everything EXCEPT the cornstarch into a little crock-pot & left it for two hours.  Once it was bubbly – I added 2 TBS cornstarch & whisked it in.  That made the sauce very thick & gooey.  Perfect!  You can do this stove-top by just bringing everything (except cornstarch) to a boil & then whisk in the cornstarch.  It would likely take only a few minutes to come together.

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I used lavash bread as the base because each piece only has 240 calories so it is a great lower-calorie way to make pizza.

The toppings I used were:

Beefy crumbles mixed with some Korean BBQ sauce

Cherry tomatoes – halved

Grated carrots

Red onion – sliced VERY thinly

Grated cheese (real or vegan – your call)

I cooked this in the oven at 350 degrees for about ten minutes.

After the pizza was cooked – I added:

Jalapeno – diced

Arugula – tossed in a bit of olive oil & a pinch of salt

More tomatoes

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Vegan or Vegetarian or Not – Spicy Beef & Cheese Nachos with Baked Corn Tortilla Chips & and Simple Guacamole

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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vromans front

vromans back

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First of all – a friend sent me this picture today.  It HAS to be ME – right?  Am I not the only cigarette-smoking blonde to ever “kill” Chucky?

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Here I am with Alex Vincent – then & now.

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At any rate – I am very pleased with that illustration!!!

So – this recipe requires two other recipes I posted today – the Purist’s Homemade Guacamole & Baked Corn Tortilla Chips.  OR – you can just buy some ships & use any guacamole you want – or skip the guac entirely.  Your call.

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I used these ingredients – Beyond Meat’s Vegan Beefy Crumbles & a can of hot chiles & a can of Campbell’s Cheddar Soup (so MY version was not vegan) :

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I want to say that Campbell’s has a Feisty Nacho Cheese Soup that would likely work better than my version of nacho cheese resulting from combining that 1 can of soup with that can of chiles & a tsp of sriracha.  I found the texture of the soup “cheese” to be more like a custard & not flavorful enough.  So – either try the Feisty nacho soup or use a can/jar of actual nacho cheese that you get in the chip aisle or – better yet – use REAL or vegan shredded cheese & bake the nachos in the oven the traditional way.  If you use the soupy cheese – you can just heat it stove-top & pour it over the chips.

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I used the Beyond Meat Crumbles but you could use another brand or even real ground beef.

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Spicy Beef

INGREDIENTS

11 oz vegan (or real) ground beef

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp smoked paprika

olive oil (not required if you use real meat)

DIRECTIONS

If using vegan meat, heat 1 tbs olive oil over medium heat & add the other ingredients & heat through.  Leave on the lowest flame to keep warm until you are ready to assemble the nachos.  If using real meat, cook it with the spices until it is done.  Keep warm until you are ready to use it.

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NACHOS

INGREDIENTS are really just suggestions. I used:

1 fresh jalapeno – diced

Jarred pickled jalapenos

Chopped tomato

Cilantro

Cheese (see above) – you can use vegan or real grated cheese or a jarred nacho sauce or devise one (as I did with underwhelming results) from a combo of cheese soup, canned chiles & a tsp sriracha.

Chips

Guacamole

OTHER IDEAS that I did not include:  Salsa or pico de gallo, sour cream (or vegan alternative), sliced black olives, black beans, refried beans, corn, diced red onion, shredded cabbage or lettuce etc…

DIRECTIONS

Once you have your chips (homemade or otherwise) & guacamole (ditto) – assemble your nachos.  If you went with a pourable version of cheese – simply heat it & pour it over the chips & add the other toppings.

If you used grated cheese (real or vegan) – layer the ingredients (but not the guacamole or tomato/salsa & jalapenos or sour cream – because those are better added once the nachos come out of the oven) & bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until your cheese is as melted as you desire.

Garnish as you will & shove that shit in your face!  Mmmmmmmmm!

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A Purist’s Homemade Guacamole & Baked Corn Tortilla Chips

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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I am an absolute purist when it comes to guacamole.  Three ingredients only!  Avocado, lime juice & salt.  I know people add salsa and cilantro or jalapeno or spices etc but if the avocados are perfect, I think it is a crime to fuck with them.

These chips used only cooking spray & 12 minutes in the oven.  So much healthier & just as crunchy.  I hear they keep in an air-tight container for up to 5 days but I ate all mine – so I cannot vouch for that.

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Baked Corn Tortilla Chips

INGREDIENTS

Corn tortillas

Cooking spray

Salt (optional)

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the tortillas & spread on parchment paper (or cooking sheet treated with cooking spray) – spread without touching each other so they crisp the most, spray with cooking oil (add salt if you want to) and cook 10-12 minutes or until they are golden & crunchy.  My oven heats unevenly so mine cooking unevenly.  To avoid this – you might want to spin the pan in the oven every few minutes.

Put into a bowl to cool & set aside.

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A Purist’s Homemade Guacamole

INGREDIENTS

2 avocados (keep the pits!)

juice of 1/2 lime (or more to taste)

1/2 tsp salt (or more to taste)

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DIRECTIONS

Scoop the avocado out of the skin & chop in a bowl.  Add salt & lime juice & keep mashing until it is as chunky or as smooth as you like.  Put the pits BACK INTO the bowl when you are done & this tricks the avocados into thinking they are still in tact & the guacamole will not brown nearly as quickly.  Serve with the chips & a cold cerveza & get your chow on.

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Vegan Moroccan Meatball Soup with Israeli Couscous & Waterfront Film Festival!

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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vromans front

vromans back

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I have been shirking my blogging duties lately because last weekend was year 16 of the AWESOME Waterfront Film Festival (Waterfront on Facebook) – a festival I have programmed for every year.  This year was our second season in South Haven, Michigan – having been in Saugatuck for 14 years before that.  We screened a ton of amazing films & the weather was gorgeous & I got to meet a lot of new folks & reunite with some old friends.  Internationally acclaimed artist Ron English did our poster again this year

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and he even came early & painted this mural – IN A DAY.  That is my stepdad, Alvan Long, in the black get-up.

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Besides beaches & murals & movies – there were lots of parties & lotsa this kinda thing:

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As you might imagine, it takes a few days to recover from such debauchery – but recovered I am!  Sorta.  Still too lazy to get nuts in the kitchen but I made this soup today & it came together in about 20-30 minutes & tastes amazing!  EASY & healthy & vegan.  I used these products from Trader Joe’s:

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but you could use any vegan (or not) meatball or another grain – like barley or something.   So easy & flavorful – I hope you try it!

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Vegan Moroccan Meatball Soup with Israeli Couscous

serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 1/4 cup uncooked Israeli couscous

1/2 lb vegan meatballs

1-2 TBS olive oil

1 medium onion – minced

6 garlic cloves – minced

4 cups vegetable stock

2 TBS mint – chopped (plus more as garnish)

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp curry powder

1/2 tsp dry oregano

1/2 tsp dry mustard

1/2 tsp dry thyme

1/2 tsp chili powder

S&P to taste

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DIRECTIONS

NOTE – I tried the leftovers of this soup the next day & by day two – the spices seemed heavy-handed.  So – if you are going to eat this immediately – spice it up.  If you expect leftovers or intend to let it simmer long time – maybe reduce the spices by half and season it more (if it needs it) before serving.

Despite the photos above – keep your vegan meatballs OUT until the end to prevent them from falling apart.

Cook your couscous according to the package & set aside.  This should take 15 minutes.

Meanwhile – heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat & saute the onion (not the garlic) with the dry spices until the onion softens – a few minutes.  Add the garlic for one minute & then add the stock.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer & add the couscous & meatballs.  Season with S&P – add some mint – and you are pretty much good to go.  The longer it gets to simmer – the better the flavors meld but be careful not to break up your meatballs.  If it gets too thick – add water.

Serve with more chopped mint & slurp it up!

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Wheat Berry Salad with Orange Vinaigrette – in a Mason Jar

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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This is a very easy recipe & you can tweak it any way you desire.   Lose the cheese for a vegan version or add other veggies or pomegranate seeds or nuts.  Go crazy!  The jar is a nice way to bring the salad to work or a picnic.

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Wheat Berry Salad with Orange Vinaigrette – in a Mason Jar

Feeds 2 well as a main course or 4 as a side

INGREDIENTS

Orange Vinaigrette

2 cups cooked wheat berries

1 cup cooked (or canned) black-eyed peas – rinsed

1 cup dried cranberries (or other dry fruit)

1/2 cup red cabbage – chopped

1/2 cup feta cheese – crumbled

1/2 cup red onion – diced

1/2 cup fresh mint – chopped

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Toss that salad!   Add dressing in small increments until you get it like you like it.  MMMMM!

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Orange Vinaigrette

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Orange Vinaigrette

2 oranges – zest & juice

2 TBS white balsamic vinegar (or regular balsamic)

2 TBS honey (or agave nectar – if you are vegan)

1/2 cup good quality olive oil

S&P to taste

Shake all the ingredients up.

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Easy Vegan Spicy Lamb Curry

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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This is easy & yummy & comes together fast. I used leftover spiced “lamb” seitan from my recent Vegan Gyro recipe (seen above)

If you do not want to make the seitan (it is REALLY EASY – I promise) – then just use some other vegan version of a red meat.   The seitan was a bit spongier than is ideal for this but it really is delicious & so satisfying to have made it truly from scratch.

So – without further ado – I present:

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Easy Vegan Spicy Lamb Curry

Serves 4-6 with rice

INGREDIENTS

Approximately 1 lb seitan spiced “lamb” or other vegan meat cubed – or real lamb  ;-(

Olive oil

1 large onion – chopped

5 tomatoes – diced

2 jalapenos – seeded & diced

1 cup vegan yogurt (or regular yogurt – if you are not vegan)

1 tsp fresh ginger – minced

4 garlic cloves – minced

1-2 cups cilantro – chopped

2 tsp ground coriander

2 tsp red chili powder

2 tsp garam masala

1 TBS turmeric

pinch of cloves

pinch of cinnamon

Salt to taste

Cooked Rice

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DIRECTIONS

Cook some rice.

In a LARGE saute pan, heat 2 TBS olive oil.  Saute the onion & jalapeno & the cubed “lamb” until the onions are soft.  You might need to add a bit more olive oil – if it gets too dry.  Have the tomatoes diced & ready to go – but add the garlic first.  After 30 seconds – add the tomatoes & everything else.  Simmer over medium until heated the flavors have time together – 20 minutes or more – or until your real lamb is cooked.  Add salt to taste – at least a teaspoon – in my opinion.

Serve over rice with chopped cilantro as garnish.  Then go online & buy my HILARIOUS & dirty novel – Bathing & the Single Girl.

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Vegan Gyro (with Homemade Seitan) & Tzatziki Sauce

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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vromans back

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I have been very excited lately with a bunch of vegan recipes using store-bought vegan meat products.  Despite success with them, I have been intimidated by anything requiring homemade seitan or “nutritional yeast flakes.”  Well, mommy grew a pair this weekend & went to the fucking health food store & bought the Goddamned nutritional yeast & some of this stuff:

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Here is what Bob’s Red Mill has to say about nutritional yeast (which isn’t YEAST):

“Nutritional yeast is grown on enriched purified cane and beet molasses under carefully controlled conditions. T6635, with the addition of vitamin B12, is an ideal vegetarian support formula and has an appealing cheese flavor. It can be sprinkled over popcorn or salads, added to juice, cereal, smoothies, gravies, soups or casseroles, or used to make sandwich spreads.”

Here is what Wellness Today has to say about nutritional yeast:

Why is it so good for you?

Nutritional yeast is jam-packed with essential vitamins and minerals. In fact, it’s one of the best non-animal sources of folic acid and vitamin B-12.  The yellow color of the flakes is a result of their large amount of vitamin B – ½ tbsp. fulfills your entire daily vitamin B needs. In addition to B-12, nutritional yeast is high in 15 different minerals and 18 amino acids. Talk about a super food!

The yeast itself is grown on beets and dehydrated, so don’t let the word “yeast” scare you away. Since it is plant derived and dried out, it’s free of the harmful candida that can wreck havoc on your digestive system. Think of it as the kind of yeast your body will love!

Who can benefit from it?

The easy answer is vegans since nutritional yeast is such a good source of the vitamins and minerals usually found in animal meat and dairy products like cheese and milk. If you are as carnivorous as they come, I encourage you to still give nutritional yeast a try. It’s a great way to reap the benefits of meat without having to eat it everyday. Chances are your body and your wallet will thank you!

What can I use it for?

My good friend Shannon, who happens to be my healthy living guru, is notorious for her love of nutritional yeast. So her answer to this question would be – anything and everything! Nutritional yeast actually doesn’t have a really strong flavor, but it is slightly salty and reminiscent of Parmesan cheese. It packs a great punch of umami, meaning it brings all other flavors in the dish together in delicious harmony. My favorite way to use nutritional yeast is sprinkling it on popcorn for a guilt-free snack:

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See those ribs above?  NOT MEAT!  They were made from vital wheat gluten (sans nutritional yeast)!   The recipe is HERE.

Wowed by my own success with those (and with how easy they were), I decided to try a Greek gyro sandwich – typically made with lamb.  The gyro was just as easy if not a total show-stopper.  I mean, those ribs set the bar pretty high – so do not think the gyro was a failure – because it wasn’t.  It was awesome!  And I have lots of leftover “spiced lamb” to experiment with over the next few days.

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So – once you have the vital wheat gluten & nutritional yeast (and the tahini) in hand – the rest of the ingredients are pretty run of the mill.  This will make a little loaf in a loaf pan (4×8?) – that is about an inch thick.  Enough for 5-6 gyros – or for several recipes.  Stay tuned!

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My tzatziki recipe I used can be found HERE and I used some of the toum (garlic paste), too.

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Vegan Gyro

INGREDIENTS

Pita or naan

Tzatziki sauce (optional)

Garlic paste (optional)

Garnish options: lemon or lime wedge, sliced onion, sliced tomato, shredded lettuce and maybe a quinoa tabbouleh salad – as seen above!

for the seitan

1 1/4 cups vital wheat gluten

4 TBS nutritional yeast

1/4 onion – minced

1 clove garlic – minced

1 tsp salt

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp dry basil

1 tsp dry oregano

1 tsp black pepper

2 DROPS (like tears drops – because this shit gets overpowering FAST) liquid smoke (optional)

1 TBS tahini

2 TBS ketchup

3/4 cup water (or more if necessary)

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DIRECTIONS

for the seitan

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor, I pulsed the onion, garlic, tahini, ketchup, nutritional yeast flakes, liquid smoke, water & dry spices together but you could do this in a large bowl.

Or – mix all the wet ingredients (onion, garlic, liquid smoke, water, ketchup, tahini) in one bowl & the dry (wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, basil, oregano & pepper) in another & combine them.  It comes together fast & looks like raw hamburger – if hamburger was doughy.

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Grease a loaf pan & press this shit in there, COVER IT WITH FOIL & bake it for about an hour.  Or just kinda shape it on some foil, wrap it up & bake it.

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for the gyro

When you are ready to make the sandwich, slice off some seitan & fry it up until warmed through.

Grab your wrapping device (Pita or naan, silly!  I didn’t say RAPPING device you crazy-eyed MC’s out there!) – and layer the things on it you choose – like garlic paste, seitan, onion, lettuce, tomato & tzatziki.  Squeeze a lemon on there if you are feeling all summer fresh!   Then get your grub on – all vegan-style & shit!

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Boozy & Spicy BBQ Baked Black-Eyed Peas (Beans) – Vegan

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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vromans front

vromans back

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OK – let’s talk about these beans.  They can be made with black-eyed peas, as I show here, or with white beans or really any kind of beans you prefer.  There are lots of ingredients & none of them are critical – so – if you want to skip one or two go ahead.  Or if you do not feel like wasting beer & whiskey in a pot of beans – don’t.  There is plenty of flavor in these guys so I feel confident you will like them even if you tweak the recipe a bit.

I quick-soaked these which is to say – I covered them with several inches of water and brought it to a boil & left them to soak (off the heat) for about an hour.  Or – you can just soak them overnight.  This makes them cook faster & breaks down the stuff in them that inspired that “beans, beans – good for you heart” gem we all remember.

I cooked these for about 3 hours.  If that sounds interminable – use canned beans and these could be done in an hour but the full two hours will blend the flavors better.

 

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Boozy & Spicy Baked BBQ Black-Eyed Peas (Beans)

INGREDIENTS

1 lb dry black-eyed peas (of which I used about 4 of the resulting 5 cups of beans post-soak) or 5 cans beans

1/2 green bell pepper – chopped

10 sweet mini peppers (or the other 1/2 of the green bell) – chopped

1 jalapeno – seeded and chopped (optional)

4 garlic cloves – chopped

1 (28 ounce) can tomato sauce

2 TBS red wine vinegar

2 TBS lime juice

1/2 cup soy sauce

1-4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce – minced (use as much as your heat tolerance allows)

1/4 cup molasses

1/4 agave nectar (or honey – if you are not vegan)

1 TBS ground cumin

1 teaspoon dry thyme

3 TBS Dijon or other spicy mustard

1 bottle dark beer (I Used Guinness but Guinness is not vegan – so if you are vegan – use a vegan dark beer) – optional

1/4 cup Jack Daniels Honey Whiskey (or regular whiskey – if the honey whiskey isn’t vegan)  – optional

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

If using dry beans – quick soak them & then bring them back to a boil & allow to simmer for an hour – while you get the other ingredients prepped.  Before draining the beans – reserve a cup of the bean water.  Measure out 4 cups of beans.  Save the rest for a recipe I will post soon!

Or just open & drain the cans of beans.

I pulsed the mini peppers, garlic & jalapeno in my food processor to mince them but a more coarse chopping is fine.  In a large bowl – combine all the remaining ingredients – except the beans & reserved bean water.

I sprayed a large (9×12?) ceramic baking dish with cooking spray & put the black-eyed peas in there and poured the liquid on top.  I baked it for two hours, stirring occasionally & added some of the reserved bean water to thin it a few times.  You may or may not choose to do this – depending on how much liquid you like in your beans.  I hadn’t boiled my beans for the hour after quick-soaking so they were still a tad more al dente than I like so I baked them another hour.  You may or may not choose to do this.

If using canned beans – all the steps above apply but they will probably be done in one hour – DEFINITELY in two.

Maybe try these with my Vegan Korean BBQ Ribs?

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Vegan BBQ Ribs (Seitan) with Spicy Korean or Spicy Traditional BBQ Sauce

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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vromans front

vromans back

Holy.  Fucking.  Shit.

These are so crazy easy & so freaking delicious – I might eat them every day for the rest of my life!  As a kid, BBQ ribs with that red, Chinese BBQ sauce were my favorite food on Earth.  Having given meat up 25 years ago or so – I have often longed for those fuckers but nobody seemed to have any way to replicate them.  Until now!

These will not fool a meat-eater into thinking these are beef or pork but who cares about that?  Not fucking ME.  I was very pleased with myself yesterday – having eaten the entire plate of these spicy wonders and – and sat there wondering why I put off trying to make my own seitan (wheat gluten-based fake meat) for this long.

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This is the brand I bought & I got it at the local health food store.  I am certain Whole Foods & places like Erewhon must also carry it – perhaps even in the bulk items aisle.  If you live in a remote area – buy it online.  But BUY IT!

The rack of 8 ribs I made yesterday took 1 cup of this flour to make – which is only about 500 calories – plus the calories from the BBQ sauce.  Not bad for what feels like an enormous amount of meat because, remember, those ribs you see here are boneless – so that big slab is all eatin’ material.  Plus – it is really enough for two – I just completely lost my shit & shoved these down my gullet like hotdog-eating champion Takeru Kobayashi.  It must have looked obscene (had anyone been here to watch me) and I will admit to a near-sexual level of excitement as I devoured these.  It was madness!  I had become unhinged!  And I write about it now without shame or regret.  Though I still suffer from a haunting, multi-pronged depression-anxiety that clings to me like a sticky burr on a pilly Irish sweater.  So – these ribs, magical as they are, do not cure THIS feeling (photographer unknown):

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Never fear – wine takes at least some of the edge off – if you also feel like that image above.  The combo of wine & these ribs will keep those demons at bay for at least a brief respite.

OK – back to the ribs.  I made two kinds of BBQ sauce yesterday – Korean & traditional.  Both were very spicy but I ended up opting to use the Korean variety on my first faux rib effort.  The Korean one was made in my crock-pot as I hiked.  The other was made stove-top.   I used 2 TBS Gochujang (seen below) in the Korean BBQ sauce but only because I had it.  It is in NO WAY critical to the final outcome.

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Spicy Korean BBQ Sauce

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup dark brown sugar

3/4 cup low sodium tamari (soy sauce)

1/4 cup water

1 TBS rice vinegar

2 TBS chili paste (sambal oelek or other type)

2 TBS Gochujang (optional)

2 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp ground pepper

1 TBS fresh ginger (minced)

5 garlic cloves – minced

2 TBS cornstarch

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DIRECTIONS

I put everything EXCEPT the cornstarch into a little crock-pot & left it for two hours.  Once it was bubbly – I added 2 TBS cornstarch & whisked it in.  That made the sauce very thick & gooey.  Perfect!  You can do this stove-top by just bringing everything (except cornstarch) to a boil & then whisk in the cornstarch.  It would likely take only a few minutes to come together.

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Spicy Traditional BBQ Sauce

INGREDIENTS

2 cups ketchup

1 cup water

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

5 TBS brown sugar

2 TBS white sugar

1 TBS ground pepper

1 TBS garlic powder

1 TBS onion powder

1 TBS Dijon

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 TBS horseradish

1 TBS lemon juice

1 TBS vegan (or other) Worcestershire sauce

2+ chipotle peppers in adobo (minced) (use more or less to suit your heat tolerance – I used 5)

juice of 1 orange

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DIRECTIONS

Bring all ingredients to a boil & simmer until thick.  10-15 minutes.  Maybe more but not likely.

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Vegan BBQ Ribs

INGREDIENTS

1 cup vital wheat gluten

2 tsp chipotle powder (smoked or not)

1 TBS lemon pepper

1 TBS onion powder

1 TBS garlic powder

1 cup water

2 TBS tahini

2 TBS low sodium tamari (soy sauce)

1-2 drops (DROPS – as this shit is overpowering and gets nasty-tasting fast) – liquid smoke (optional)

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Also – get the barbeque ready.  It is the grilling of these guys that is the magic.  A regular BBQ with charcoals is best.

Mix the wet ingredients (water, tahini, tamari & liquid smoke) in a small bowl.  Set aside.

In a larger bowl – mix the dry ingredients (wheat gluten & spices) and add the wet ingredients.  Mix it up until that gooey hamburger-looking stuff comes together – which happens almost instantly.

Grease a loaf pan & press the seitan into the pan.  Smooth it flat.  Bake it at 350 for about 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven & transfer the seitan to a plate & slather it with the BBQ sauce of your choice.

When your charcoals are ready – flop the seitan, BBQ sauce side down, onto the grill.  Slather lots more BBQ sauce on the other side.

Now just cook this until it looks the way you would want ribs to look.  I took mine off too early & found the “ribs” still not chewy enough to seem like meat so – I cut the slab into ribs and cooked them all a bit more.

And then I commenced the food orgy.  I suggest you do the same!

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