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New Blog

Hola!

As you can tell Veggiesmack has not been updated in a while. Sad, I know. But, we are about to start blogging at VegFortWorth. There will be recipes, restaurant reviews, pictures of food, vegan news and happenings and all kinds of other stuff. Check it out!

My husband Kevin and I eloped in November 2009. We decided instead of having a big crazy wedding, we’d just swing by the courthouse and throw a low-key party later. Before we even got married, we knew we were going to have all vegan food at our party, and we knew that awesome food would come from Spiral Diner, our most favorite restaurant in the world.

Behold the deliciosity! All vegan, all awesome, put together by Lindsay—pigs in blankets, veggie wraps, chips, hummus, salsa, chickenless salad, and fresh fruits and veggies. The only other vegetarian in our family besides Kevin and I is my mom, but we heard nothing but good things about the food from our omnivorous friends and relatives. My favorite item was definitely the pigs in blankets, followed closely by the chickenless salad.

And of course there was cake! Glorious Neapolitan cake—layers of chocolate and white cake with strawberry icing, drizzled with chocolate ganache and topped with chocolate-covered strawberries—all put together by the very talented founder of Spiral Diner, Amy McNutt. OMG! And yes, it was vegan, and everyone raved about it! It was soooo moist and sooooo delicious (and pretty to boot)!

Here’s another view of the yumminess:

The party went down at The Usual, our friendly, local prohibition-era cocktail-serving bar. Seriously, if you’re a cocktail connoisseur or or just looking for a good Friday night cocktail, you have to check this place out. I’m a fan of the Scorpio and the Mai Tai. Click the link to check out their happy hour specials.

So that’s our vegan wedding party. I was so stuffed by the end of the evening, but it was all sooo, sooo good. And no one except my carnivore brother seemed even reluctant about the food. So there you go . . . vegan wedding shindigs can totally be done and they can be thoroughly awesome!

I’ve been a little obsessed with everything tiki/’50s faux Polynesian lately. So I decided to try my hand at make vegan rumaki.

Rumaki is a faux Polynesian dish that consists of chicken livers and a water chestnut on a toothpick wrapped in bacon and broiled. Sounds like a vegan’s delight, right? According to Wikipedia, rumaki was first concocted in the 1940s for Don the Beachcomber’s tiki restaurant.

So what did I use as a vegan substitute for chicken livers? I used firm tofu. I don’t know how genuinely similar it is, since I’ve never had chicken liver, but I figured it would work. For the bacon, I used Morningstar bacon. The taste was good, but the problem with pretty much all vegetarian bacon is low fat content—it burns really easily. I wish some company would make a fattier vegan bacon for dishes like this. I know that sounds horrible, but seriously, it would be a huge help.

Other than the easily burning bacon, I was happy with how my rumaki turned out. I think next time I’ll slice the bacon length-wise, leaving two long, thin strips—this way I could wrap it completely around the water chestnut and tofu. I might also experiment with other brands of meatless bacon.

Anyway, here’s the recipe. Try it for your next tiki party or any time you get a craving for something bacon-wrapped.

Vegan Rumaki

1/2 cup tamari sauce
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1/2 package firm water-packed tofu, drained and pressed
1 8 oz can slice water chestnuts
1 package vegan bacon
Toothpicks

Whisk together the tamari, water, sugar and ginger. Set aside. Cut the tofu into bite-size pieces—about 1-inch wide and just under 1/4 inch thick. Cut the bacon slices in half (width-wise, or length wise, depending on how you want to wrap it). Sandwich a water chestnut slice and tofu chunk together and wrap with a piece of bacon. Secure with a toothpick. Continue until you’re out of bacon. Place the rumaki in a large bowl or pan and cover with the tamari mixture. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to marinate for 6–8 hours.

After the rumaki has marinated, drain and place your rumaki on a foil-covered pan. Broil under medium heat until the bacon is cooked, turning often. Be careful not to burn the bacon. Total cooking time will be around ten minutes.

I haven’t been posting very regularly lately, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been cooking. I have a backlog of stuff to post, starting with this lovely recipe.

I love peanut sauce and I love broccoli slaw, so why not bring the two together? I’ve never been a big fan of mayo-drenched coleslaw, so this is a great alternative. Enjoy with veggie egg rolls or pot stickers!

Asian-Inspired Peanut Slaw

3-1/2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons tamari sauce
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons agave nectar
Dash tabasco
12 oz bag broccoli slaw (or cole slaw)

Whisk together everything but the broccoli slaw until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. Toss with broccoli slaw until evenly coated and serve.

Variation: For a fruity twist, toss in a drained 8 oz. can of crushed pineapple. You could also throw in a few tablespoon of chopped peanuts for some crunch.

Negligent

I’ve been so negligent of Veggiesmack this week (including my exercise log). Most of that was due to not having a computer most of the week. My MacBook had some cracking plastic issues and had to be sent off for repair.

Anyway, regular posting (and exercising) should resume this week. Yay!

A Story to Read

On a non-food-related note, I had a story published at Every Day Fiction on Saturday. Take a look, if you feel so inclined. If you search through the archives, I have a few other stories there, if you’re really hard up for something to read.

This recipe is from the very first issue of my long-forgotten zine The Cheap Vegan. It’s simple and totally cheap to make, and these can actually be burritos or tacos, depending on the tortillas you use. If you have large flour tortillas, you can fill ‘em up and make burritos. If you use corn tortillas, place a line of filling down the middle, fold in half, and you have a taco. Sweet!

Be sure to save your leftovers. The filling is even better the next day!

Cheap As Dirt Vegan Tacos (or Burritos)
2 small potatoes, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 cup TVP
1 cup water or light veggie broth
7/8 cup hot water
1 T chile powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 t pepper
1 T soy sauce or tamari
Corn or flour tortillas (crispy taco shells are dope, too)

Combine the onion, potatoes, garlic salt, onion powder, chile pepper, black pepper, and 1 cup water in a large, nonstick skillet. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. While the vegetables are simmering, combine the TVP and the 7/8 cup of hot water and allow it to sit for at least 5 minutes. After the vegetables are done simmering and the potatoes are tender, stir the soy sauce into the TVP and add to the potato mixture. Stir to thoroughly combine the TVP and the potatoes and simmer for five minutes. Spoon into homemade tortillas and top with vegan cheese, sprouts, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado or nothing at all.

Variation: If you don’t have any TVP on hand, you can use 1-1/2 cups cooked, drained beans instead (that’s what I used in the ones pictured). Omit the 7/8 cup water if using beans.

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