Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Vegan Products - A Few I Recommend

Here's a few of my favorite products of late, where I buy them and what I use them for.  Mainly you can get these products at the following Winnipeg Locations: Organza, Vita Health, Eat It, Mondragon, and Organic Planet Worker Coop.

1. EARTH BALANCE BUTTERY FLAVOUR SPREAD - this is seriously delicious!  Tastes like real butter and is way better than margarine.  We've been using this for cooking and a general replacement for butter.  Delicious on corn on the cob or nice fresh french bread. In Winnipeg I pick this up at Organza.
2.  VEGANAISE - Total Mayo Replacement.  Use it wherever you would use Mayo!  Especially good on toasted tomato sandwiches.

3. CHIA SEED - This is a fantastic seed.  It is what it sounds like... the same seed that makes Chia Pets so fuzzy and green.  This seed easily thickens sauces and makes food stick together better (like homemade granola bars).  Chia seed is also a good egg replacer - mix a tablespoon with a bit of water and you have yourself an 'egg'.   I buy mine at Organza.

4. HEMP SEED - Hemp Seed is like the new flax!  It's delicious and your body can process it in the seed form - no need to grind it up!  This is great sprinkled on salads, added to smoothy's, and in baking.  I get mine from Organza or Vita Health.

5. NATALIE'S SEED CRACKERS - ITALIAN FLAX CRACKERS - These dehydrated crackers are so delicious.  Made totally out of seeds.  I get mine from "The Bread Lady" at St Norbert's Market - she has a New Website - you can probably get these from her direct.  mmmmm

6. DAIYA CHEESE- This is a newer 'vegan cheese' out there.  It's all in grated form. And so far my experience has been good.  It was great as a Grilled Cheeses - I also had it in a few different items from Mondragon and it was good - FYI: I have tried many fake cheeses and none would I have ever tried twice until finding this one.  You can get this from Mondragon, Organza, and I think Organic Planet may have it - it's also a Canadian product made in Vancouver.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Apple Pie Filling

Got Apples?  After my grandparents gave me 4 big bags of apples from their apple tree I had to come up with a creative way to use them quick.  Apple Pie Filling anyone?  This was pretty easy - but you do need the basic canning supplies if you want it to keep on a shelf for any length of time.  If not, would keep fine in the fridge with no hot water bath necessary.

1. Wash and Peel your apples.  As you peel them sprinkle with lemon juice - to avoid them going brown.   Here's my man peeling away (nice if you can get help).  I did try using an apple peeler thing but it was more fussing around than time saving:
2. Core & cut the apples.  You can use a cool little Apple Corer-Cutter Tool (costs like $8 at Safeway) - this was a great time saver and super easy to use.  Cut up as many apples as you plan on using.  As you pile them up sprinkle them with lemon juices to keep them from browning.

3. After cutting you need to Blanch the apples - heat up a big pot of water - you'll need a basket or something to put the apples in - then dip the apples into the boiling water for 60 seconds & take them out.  Done.  Stops them from degrading.

4. Apple Syrup!  You need to make this to pour over the apples!  Here's the recipe I used from this online site (that has more details than I'm putting here!)  - this makes around 6 liters of syrup - enough for  6 1 L jars of filling:  2.5 cups water, 5 cups apple juice, cinnamon (lots of it), 3/4 cup lemon juice, 2.5 cups honey (my choice), 1.5 cups Corn Starch (mixed up in water first) - Simple: put all the ingredients together in a big pot except corn start - bring to boil - then whisk in the corn starch - the syrup will start to form really fast.
5. Layer the Apple Syrup & Apples in 1 L Mason Jars. 

6. Follow normal canning instructions - give the jars a 30 minute hot water bath. (Canning is easier than you think... if you haven't done it yet!)
7. Voila!  Apple Pie filling that will keep for up to 2 years!  (Now for the tricky part... making a pie!  That I have yet to do).  You can do the same thing and skip the hot water bath - just be sure to keep the jars in the fridge then.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fried Green Tomatoes

After a bit of encouragement from friends and family I have decided to change my blog over to a Vegan Cooking blog.  I'll post regular updates of vegan recipes I've tried or made up.  Recently... I attempted Fried Green Tomatoes - which were easy and delicious.  Here's how they go.

1. Get yourself some firm Green Tomatoes (i.e., tomatoes that have not ripened) - Slice them up into rounds (however thick you like).  Lay them on a grill & sprinkle with salt - leave them 15 minutes to 'sweat out' some liquid.  Then sponge them with paper towels.
 2. Set up your breading station!  1. Flour, 2. Soy Milk, 3. Bread crumbs mixed with Corn Starch (add whatever spice you like to this, I added garlic powder).
3. Run your tomatoes through the stations - Both Sides - until they are all breaded.  Start with flour, then Soy Milk, and finally the bread crumbs.

4. Put the breaded tomatoes back on the grill to set for 10 minutes. 

5. Add some oil to a good fry pan & heat it up to sizzling - use a med-high heat to allow the tomatoes to cook a bit too.  Add the green tomatoes - around 3 minutes a side - or until they are nice & brown.  Place them on paper towel after to take off some grease. 

6. Voila!  Fried green tomatoes.  I made a sauce to serve these with: 1 Part Veganese, 1 Part Mustard, A scoop of Relish.  Yum.  Enjoy.