Monthly Archives: November 2010

The Daily Juice and The Soup Peddler together at last

Did you ever have a dream that two of your favorite places would combine forces into one super place? Like when the “After Dark” opened up into the same building as the “Peach Pit”. Or what if a place you already love and go to all the time started selling something else you loved, like if the Double R Diner started selling vegan donuts. Essentially that is what is happening with the Soup Peddler and the Daily Juice.

The Daily Juice is a place you don’t want to miss in Austin, and it is pretty easy to find since now they have multiple locations.

Barton Springs

The have about a million kinds of delicious organic super healthy juices. Everything from simple juices like The Sugar Magnolia (peaches and watermelon) to the more complicated offerings like the Thai Curious (carrot, coconut, ginger, beet, cilantro, cayenne, lime, and Himalayan sea salt)

and they also offer really great house made raw foods and kale chips, and bars.

The problem with all that raw food is that sometimes you want something hot and comforting. That is why I am so excited that the Juice is teaming up with the number one soup expert in the state of Texas.

The Soup Peddler is a guy in Austin who, after being disillusioned with his boring job, decided to start making big pots of vegetarian soup, taking orders to see how many people in the neighborhood wanted the soup, and then delivering them by bike. We used to get the soup every week. On Wednesdays we would set out our cooler and reusable soup bucket and when I got home from work I would have a beautiful soup waiting for me. The business constantly evolves and now he has teamed up with the creator of the Daily Juice and together they are going to open a soup/juice restaurant a stone’s throw from my old house! I can’t believe how many new places are opening in my old neighborhood but the Juicebox is the most heartbreaking. Well heartbreaking is a pretty a pretty strong word since I can still go there all the time. If you want to read about how all this happened check out David’s blog because he chronicles the whole process, a really interesting 5 parts story if you have ever thought about opening a restaurant or food service.

Anyway the Daily Juice, along with some other places like the Whip in, are now carrying the Soup so you can pick it up any time instead of ordering ahead! And that’s right folks, all the soups are VEGAN! I went to the location on the west side the other day.

location on Lake Austin Blvd.

and I was so excited to see they were carrying my most favorite soup in the whole rotation, the Mulligatawny! 

It was delicious and served in a coffee cup which was perfect for my on the go soup eating needs. Of course I got juice too.

and I felt like I was having the healthiest and tastiest food in Austin! The only way they could make it more convenient is if they started running after me carrying those cups of wonderfulness. But that would probably scare the hell out of so an actual establishment really makes more sense in this case. 

 

 

Vegan Arroz Verde

My general approach to working with non vegan recipes is this:

Step 1: Substitute animal products with vegan alternatives or omit

Step 2: Add kale or another leafy green.

The way I see it, you can never have too many leafy green vegetables in your life. In fact, when people ask me any sort of nutritional question my go to answer is, “I think Kale has a lot of _____”. In my mind vegetables make anything healthy and although it isn’t entirely true or even close to whole story it works for me. I love them.  I think this is the first time I added Kale to rice, though, and it worked amazingly!

This recipe is based on one I saw on Chow that was adapted from Diana Kennedy’s arroz verde from her book The Essential Cuisines of Mexico. Diana Kennedy is definitely one of my heros, if you are interested in cooking Mexican food or just knowing more about it I recommend all of her books. They have so much information and description of all of these techniques that most non-Mexicans know little about.

Vegan Arroz Verde

3 roasted hatch peppers, stems, seeds, and membranes removed, coarsely chopped (any other pepper, like poblanos or serranos will work some will be spicy and some won’t so choose accordingly)
2 green onions, coarsely chopped
1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves (about 1/2 bunch)
1 cup of coarsely chopped Kale (about 1/2 bunch)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons earth balance
1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
2 cups vegetable broth
1 lime

INSTRUCTIONS

In a blender, pulse the peppers, scallions, kale, cilantro, and salt with the water

Heat oil and earth balance in your rice pot (ie one with a lid). When the earth balance starts to liquefy , add the rice. Sauté, stirring occasionally for ~ 3 minutes.

Add blended ingredients to the pan and mix well. Simmer for 1 minute, then stir in vegetable broth.

Return mixture to a simmer, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook until liquid is completely absorbed and rice is tender, about 14 minutes.

Remove from heat and let rice sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover and squeeze lime juice over rice. Fluff up and Enjoy!

We had the rice with the fabulous refried beans, avocado, and verde salsa. They were the best rice and beans tacos I can remember having! They would be perfect for St. Patrick’s Day!

Gracias Madre inspired Frijoles Refritos (vegan refried beans)

Over the summer I went to San Fransisco and had the best refried beans of my life at an all vegan Mexican restaurant called Gracias Madre. It was confusing to my sense of Texas pride to be bettered by California (of all places). It was even more confusing to discover I had developed Texas pride but I guess if you live here long enough it seeps in.

The whole meal there was fantastic but the beans were magical, they were so creamy and nuanced. I couldn’t figure out how they made them. I tried several different recipes but they always ended up either a little pasty or not as nearly flavorful. I researched a little further and found these instructions from a Mexican restaurant that suggested roasting the garlic, not using olive oil, and a really long simmering time and those all seemed like great tips. For some reason, a lot of recipes, including this one, just have you simmer the beans and then mash them but my experience is that better flavor is created through frying them after the beans are done. I also decided to add some nut milk because I thought that might be the difference with the Gracias Madre beans. I don’t know if this is what they do at all, but we were swooning over these beans in the same way we were at Gracias Madre so I am naming them after that! I think you could easily do the first step in the crock pot, I’ll have to try it and let ya’ll know

Gracias Madre inspired Frijoles Refritos

2 cups of dried pinto (or black) beans
1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil (not olive oil)
1 whole roasted garlic bulb
1 bay leaf
2 tsp salt
1 Tsp Epazote
1 can of RoTel
1 onion, chopped
almond or hemp milk

 

Sort the beans and pick out any rocks and give them a rinse with cold water. Put them in a pot with 8 cups of water, the bay leaf, and the epazote and bring to a simmer. Simmer for the next two hours stirring and adding more hot water as needed so that the water level stays above the beans. Make sure the beans don’t get stuck on the bottom by keeping the temp really low and stirring.
Meanwhile roast the garlic
Once the beans are soft add the oil, salt, rotel, and garlic. Simmer as before for another hour at least. The longer they cook the better they will taste and you can’t over cook them because they are just going to get mashed up anyway.
Here we left the beans in the fridge over night because something came up but you could proceed with cooking them now or wait until the next day to finish for a quick dinner.
Strain out any excess water from the beans. Some water is fine but if you still have a couple inches over the beans you might want to pour it out or else it will take longer to cook off. Brown an onion in a large cast iron skillet and then add the bean mixture. After some of the water has evaporated mash the beans with a potato masher. Add some almond milk and stir adding more until you reach your desired consistency. Cook over low heat, stirring, for at least 5 minutes adding more milk if necessary and then enjoy with every Mexican dish you make!

 

 

Morning Spiced Rice

I am somewhat incapable of making breakfast at the appropriate time. This weekend, for example, by the time I decided I really wanted olive bagels for breakfast it was already 11am. Then I had to motivate to mix up the dough, let it rise, boil the bagels, and then bake them. I didn’t have breakfast until, like, 2:30 pm, technically brunch,  which is pretty standard for the weekend version of me. The problem is I get really hungry by about 9 so the laziness isn’t really an asset in this case. That is why I love leftovers for breakfast. My favorites are gallo pinto and polenta rancheros.

Sometimes I want something a little sweet and warm for breakfast and in this case leftover brown rice is the perfect thing to have.

I spice brown rice the same way as I make oatmeal, with cinnamon and sugar. First I put the cooked rice in a little pot with some hemp or almond milk. Then, once the rice starts to plump up I add brown sugar, a little cinnamon and sometimes even chai tea spices like cloves and cardamom. Sometimes I top it with maple syrup, if I have maple syrup which is pretty rare, but you could also add apples or bananas or really about anything you can think of. The best part is that it takes about 5 minutes to do and uses something I almost always have on hand, cooked rice.

Remember how I said my plan was to go camping over the weekend? It totally didn’t happen, it was way too cold for sleeping outside and there was a lot of stuff I wanted to do in town anyway, like the EAST austin studio tour, the Thanksgiving sampler party at Wheatsville, and brunch at Counter Culture. Would you believe I did none of it! If you know me at all, actually, it probably isn’t very surprising. Anyway, the laziness was kind of helpful because I ended up being somewhat productive. In a Vegan Girl’s Guide to Life, there are project instructions for a cross stitch project and I was totally inspired to try it. I ended up spending the weekend making a couple of cross stitch projects and watching  Twin Peaks….and then making cherry pie.

This is the one from the book except I changed the text, it was supposed to say “Flesh is for Zombies Go Vegan” but I remembered something I saw at the Renegade Craft Fair that said “I love you more than zombie brains” and made that instead.

It was so much fun, I haven’t made once since I was a tiny kid and now I have so many ideas now I want to make them for everyone I know.

and the winner is…..

Lucky umber 24 Kayci, who loves spicy chili with cornbread. Send me your address and Tasty Bite will send you a vegan pack of goodies.

Since my MoFo theme is rice and beans I am going to repost my favorite recipe of all time, gallo pinto! 

I became obsessed with gallo pinto when I went to Costa Rica a few years ago. It is one of my favorite dishes to make at home on the weekend because no matter how broke you are or how many people you have coming over you can always whip up black beans and rice, especially if you have a bunch of Lizano in the fridge (in austin you can get it at Tears of Joy) and fried plantains on the side. Make the rice and beans the night before you plan to have the gallo pinto because it will only work with day old rice. You can keep the rice and beans in the fridge for a week so that you can easily have gallo pinto whenever you want.

Gallo Pinto

Ingredients:
1 cup rice, (any will work, I used basmati)
1 tsp Vegeta or half of a vegetable broth cube
1 cup black beans
2 bay leaves
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
2 dried ancho chilie peppers, seeds removed (any other pepper can be subbed, some will be more spicy, anchos aren’t spicy, you can also use jalapeños or bell peppers just add them when you add the garlic instead)
1 Tbsp oil
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves or garlic, chopped
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped and packed
1 lime

The Beans:
Soak the beans for at least 8 hours. If you live somewhere that is really hot (e.g. Texas in the summer) you should do this in the fridge.
When the beans are done soaking change the water (add about 7 cups), add a couple bay leaves, and bring to a simmer for around 90 minutes. You will need to check the doneness of the beans at around 1 hour because the timing will vary depending on how dry your beans are. You can also do this step in the crock pot. Whatever you do, make sure that you save some of the cooking water with the beans because you will need it later.

The Rice:
Dissolve the broth cube or 1 teaspoon of Vegeta in 2 cups of water. Add 1 cup of rice, bring to a simmer, and then reduce heat to almost off for 35-60 minutes depending on what kind of rice you are using. It works best to refrigerate the rice overnight because then it drys better.

Gallo Pinto:
Toast the cumin, coriander, and dried peppers until fragrant and then grind in either a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. (Conversely, if you are short on time or don’t have the seeds you could also toast the powders and when you put in the garlic). Add enough oil to cover the bottom of the skillet and place it over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion. Sauté for 5 minutes, until the onions start to turn translucent. Add the garlic and the spice mixture and sauté another minute. Add a little more oil if you can’t see any and turn the heat up. Add the rice and stir fry for about a minute breaking up any chunks but don’t smoosh the rice. Once all the rice has changed color add the beans starting with just one cup until you have a pleasing ratio of rice to beans. Also add some of the bean cooking water with the beans. Gently mix and once everything is heated through adjust the spices, add the cilantro, and turn off the heat. To make the mold, press the Gallo Pinto into a small bowl, invert a plate on it, and then flip both over and lift up the bowl. Serve with the lime, salsa (preferably lizano), tofu scramble, and fried plantains.

Have a Happy Weekend, if I can get this guy out of bed we are supposed to go camping, but if you watch the video you will see that Dinger is sometime hard to rouse.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

I don’t know if it is because it is VeganMoFo or if it is finally starting to turn into winter but I can not get cookies and brownies out of my brain….figuratively.  Last week we tried these beautiful brownies from Not a Rabbit but ours did not turn out nearly as beautiful because someone refused to wait the prescribed cooling time. Of course that someone is always me, I think cooling times are for losers, that is why my tongue is burnt nearly every time I eat soup. They tasted really good though!

Then this week I saw a post on “Musings From The Fishbowl” for Peanut Butter Cup Cookies and I immediately emailed it home with very specific instructions to have the cookies cooling by the time I got home.

They were still baking when I got in and somehow I waited until they were actually ready this time. These cookies are so rich and fun looking! They kind of look like a nipple or a cell or something, what do you think?

Either way they were so rich and tasty. The chocolate ganache center stayed creamy and delicious. I wanted to eat 10 of them but could only eat just one. If you have someone in your life who will make you cookies I recommend sending this recipe stat! Thank you ShellyFish!

The Vegan Girl’s Guide to Life

When I was a kid I sometimes wished I had a little sister. We would have watched Star Trek and the Smurfs together and she would have been really nice to me. If I had a kid sister I would buy her “The Vegan Girl’s Guide to Life” for Christmas because it is the perfect book for someone newly interested in veganism and my kid sister would be so into it because she would also be vegan.

The Vegan Girl’s Guide to Life was written by Melisser Eliott, the blogger behind “The Urban Housewife” and world traveler.  It honestly answers every question that a person has about veganism in an informative and relatively upbeat way. Most books about animal rights are really depressing, as they can’t help but be, but Melisser keeps a positive attitude by showing you what you can do to make things better. She touches on everything from animal cruelty to why you should avoid wool, how you can find vegan make up, where to get vegan shoes, and what vegans eat for regular meals. She even talks about very common things that you might think are vegan at first (because they are called non-dairy creamer or soy cheese) that turn out not to be. The book is really well researched and since it just came out it is amazingly up to date. She has sections about how to answer questions that you will constantly get asked (whether you want to talk about it or not) like “where do you get your protein” and how to answer these questions with grace.

My favorite part about the book is that Melisser highlights different vegan women from all over the world and has recipes from many of them including some of her own. She also has a section on vegan gardening and different crafts. Basics, really,  that every vegan girl must know like how to ice a cupcake and beginner instructions on knitting.

There aren’t a ton of recipes but it seems that the ones included with the book were all chosen for a reason because they each sound amazing. I think keeping the number of recipes low is a great idea because new vegans can often get overwhelmed by a ton of recipes. That doesn’t mean that they are boring or standard. Most of the recipes have a delightful twist. When I saw “Brussels Sprouts with Crispy Tempeh over creamy Polenta” I knew we would be trying that first because it features our most favorite fall ingredients.

It was so good. There were a lot of little extras in the recipe, like adding almond butter to the polenta and maple syrup to the tempeh that really elevated the whole dish into something special. It would even be a good easy thanksgiving meal if you are keeping things simple but she has Thanksgiving covered too.

Also the book is all in color and has the most fabulous illustrations by Michelle Cavigliano. Truly it is a great guide and I am so happy to have it. I already found some new shoes!