Monday, October 8, 2012

Vegan Mofo #6

So! I have not yet talked about what the seitan was for. It was for the Vegetable stew with Beef.

The stew didn't call for exact amounts of vegetable broth or most of the veggies. It didn't have any spices. I ended up frying two onions, a tiny pepper and some carrots before adding a whole lot of cumin and then veggie broth, peas and lima beans.

I boiled a bunch of cubed 'batata' (version of a sweet potato that I've never had before-it was delicious), made some rice and fried up the seitan in long slices. I served the stew over the batata mash and the seitan over the rice. Delicious. Will totally make this again.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Vegan mofo #5 breaking news-west Collins eats raw kale by the handful

Hello from Toronto Canada! This will be a post not at all related to Bolivian food and I'm sorry!

I've had a trip planned to Toronto for the last two months and I knew signing up for vegan mofo would become interesting because of it. I'm at the supernatural convention being held here this weekend and haven't really gotten a chance to go see nice vegan restaurants. I'm also spending time with omni friends so the food I've eaten this weekend has been your standard vegan options at non vegan restaurants. Oatmeal for breakfast, which I really liked actually. It had a much more toothsome texture than my quick cooking oats I eat at work every day. Lunch ended up being a really good veggie burger at a steakhouse. We didn't have dinner so much as junk food and alcohol, so I was pretty good on that front.

In need veg friendly news, a fan questioned misha Collins about his love for kale and misha expounded upon his love for massaged kale salads. He asked the audience if anyone else loved kale and I was so startled by no one else responding that I didn't. (I do adore kale although I have not yet had a massaged kale salad). Also his 2 year old son will eat raw kale while they're in the grocery store which I thought was adorable.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

MoFo Fo' Sho' #4

I'm having qualms about my titles picked out of my amusement. So you may see them change at some point.

First tidbit that could be useful to know (since it's in the title of the recipe I'm veganizing for this post):


a supervised residence for students. The Internado in Sorata provides secondary students (grades 6-12) from outlying villages with a home-like residence to sleep, eat, and study Sunday evening through Friday afternoon while they take classes in the public school.

I made Viva Vegan's Red Seitan to put in the "Vegetable Beef Stew from the Internado" This is probably the third time I've actually successfully made seitan. The second time I ever made Seitan it became Braaaiiinss which scared me off. Since I tried the Seitan O' Greatness a couple months back I've gotten a bit more daring. I followed the recipe as closely as possible (I didn't have some of the specific tools/ingredients). When it was all together, it seemed really soft/too full of liquid to be good, but I left it alone as instructed and kept going. I steamed it and they came out of the make shift steamer and they were still way softer than the Seitan o Greatness. I let it cool off and it hardened up a little and then I pan fried it the next day after it had been in the fridge and it was excellent. Exactly what I needed (I might work on the flavorings a little), to my delighted surprise!

(Pictures later when I blog about the meal I used these in)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Vegan Mofo Post #3

Quakers, as you might know from my earlier posts (or maybe not!), come in several different branches-'Conservative,' 'Liberal,' and 'Evangelical.' There are more Evangelical Quakers because, you guessed it, they evangelize. Most of the Quakers in the world are Evangelical Quakers. There are very small pockets of Conservative (Conservative in the traditional/true sense of the word, meaning they haven't changed much from the original form of Quakerism) and some larger pockets of Liberal Quakers (who tend to be liberal in politics. I usually equate them/us somewhat to UUs, but we don't have a sermon of any kind.)

One of the shared tenets is a belief in that of God in everyone (or light. Or whatever. I'm not a devout Christian but nor am I an Atheist. The closest easy definition is Atheist but to really explain my belief system I'd have to have a little longer than I wish to devote here.) and you'll find some kind of recognizance of that in each. Perhaps more so in Conservative and Liberal than evangelical-who have pastors, but do have some silent worship during the regular hour of prayer filled gathering. So. Most Quakers in the world are Evangelical. But there are Quakers who feel lead to visit with other Quakers of all kinds and there was one called a Quaker Study Tour. When Friends gathered together, Friends from the US felt lead to better support our fellow Friends in Bolivia, which was how the Bolivian Quaker Education Fund was started. They say it better, so I'm quoting:

Dona Manoukian (Langley Hill Meeting) and Newton Garver (Buffalo Meeting) arranged for two young Bolivian teachers, Cecilia Paco and Loida Cutipa, to visit the US for seven weeks in June and July of 2001. They spoke to ten different Friends gatherings in the eastern states (interest groups at FCE, FGC, PYM and BYM, as well as informal groups at two Quaker retirement communities, two monthly meetings, and gatherings at AFSC and USFW) about Quaker schools in Bolivia. 
The plan's original focus was on scholarships for post-secondary education of Bolivian Friends, an urgent need because of the large number of qualified but impoverished young Friends in Bolivia.
It was soon apparent, however, that there were also other needs and desires. In response to those needs, four dimensions of the BQEF program were established:
Quakers have a strong affinity for education-there are Quaker based schools all over (Some colleges you've definitely heard of: Earlham, Guilford, Haverford, and a whole lot of elementary-high school schools).

As I've said this zine was created in order to raise money for Quakers in Bolivia to better increase their access to education. One of the recipes I've made was the Cucumber Potato Salad. I made it as a side to the Saltenas. While I was super impressed with the Saltenas, I found myself underwhelmed by this recipe. Low on flavor. I like cucumber tomato salads (that's essentially what this is) far better when it's simply cucumbers and tomatoes. Instead, this one called for cucumbers, tomatoes, feta, cilantro, potatoes and olive oil and white wine vinegar as the dressing.

I made a substitute 'feta' (and honestly, you would find way better vegan subs out there by googling. I just made do with what I had) with pressed crumbled firm tofu, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and nutritional yeast chopped up everything else and tossed it together. Here it is:

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

MoFo #2

Back in...I don't even know when. Some time. Not now, my brother got back form Chile and decided to make us all Empanadas like his host family had made him. He even made me some vegan ones. They were delicious. I semi recreated them a couple times.

Fact about BQEF for the Day: Many of the students live far away so they stay in a temporary residence called the Internado. Here's a quote from Bolivian Quaker Education Fund:
The Quaker village of Pallcapampa is committed to educating its boys and girls, but the 90-minute walk to high school, and two hours back, has been a serious obstacle. So an internado (supervised student residence) was established near the public secondary school in Sorata in February 2006, with 13 students staying in a safe and supportive environment during the school week.
In March 2007, the Internado moved to a larger, healthier building, a move made possible by very substantial gifts from Irish Friends.

This zine has a recipe for Saltenas and only when I was three quarters of the way through did I realize that it in fact was pretty much the same thing only better. Potatoes and seitan and green and white onions and spices and sriracha instead of a quarter cup of cayenne powder. I'm still pretty sure that has to be a typo. (I mean, mix a quarter cup of cayenne powder with water and then boil in the margarine? Does that really make it edible? Really? Someone, please enlighten me!)

Add caption
Anyways. The Saltenas (there's a curly thingy over the n that you see in some spanish words?) have a couple components-the filling and the dough.

The original recipe for the dough reads as such:
(excuse the non-vegan ingredients. The awesomer vegan version comes next!)
3 Cups Flour
1/3 Cup Margarine
2 small eggs
1 TBSP sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup lukewarm water

Vegan Version:
3 cups flour
1/3 cup Earth Balance or other vegan margarine
4 tsp ground flax seed mixed in luke warm water maybe a 1/3 of a cup? maybe a quarter? something like that.
1 T sugar
1 t salt
1/3 cup luke warm water

Filling, nonvegan
1/4 cup margarine
1/4 cup ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp each cumin pepper oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cubed white onion
1/2 cup cubed green onion
3/4 lb cooked lean meat-chicken or ground turkey
1 small potato peeled, cooked, cubed
1/4 cup cooked green peas
2 T each sugar & parsley
1/2 tsp vinegar
1 tsp unflavored gelatin dissolved in 3/4 cup water

Filling Vegan(changed ingredients only:
1/4 cup earth balance (or other vegan margarine)
White Seitan from Viva Vegan
OMITTED: Gelatin

ADDED: Tofu soaked in water & black salt then pan fried

Basically it comes down to this: Melt the eb and boil the cayenne in that (I added sriracha after making the rest of the filling) then add the other spices. Add the onions followed by the potatoes, green peas sugar and parsely (I used cilantro). Add the vinegar. Ignore the step about boiling the meat in the gelatin mixed into water. Psh. Pan fry the seitan! (I used store bought because I didn't have time to make the Steamed White Seitan from Viva Vegan) Then add into the rest of the ingredients once they're all...mushy and mixed together. Well sort of mushy. Filling like, y'know?

For the dough: Melt the EB and pour into the flour mix it up and then add the rest of the ingredients. Knead. Let sit for several minutes and then knead a little more before dividing into 12 equal pieces. Roll flat.

PUT TOGETHER: Place a piece of panfried tofu (to replace the suggested hard boiled egg slice) then top with filling. Pinch sides together at the top. Repeat until all dough used up. You'll probably have a little filling left over.

Bake at 500 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes until lightly golden on the tips and the bottom. Eat. (Devour).

Monday, October 1, 2012

MoFo Fo' Sho' Post #1

Hello fellow Vegan MoFoers! (And anyone else who happens to read this blog!) In case you were (unlikely) unaware, it is, again, time for the Vegan Month of Food (Mofo). Last year I got through about half before failing miserably. This year, I hope to do better! I even have a theme! It's very exciting. I'll get to the food in a few moments but first, let me introduce you to the first part of the background. (I'll probably include a wee tidbit each day to round out posts. Maybe not every day if I'm being truthful)

There is an organization called the Bolivian Quaker Education Fund that helps with education in (obviously) Bolivia for Quakers there (obviously). They are starting to have a presence in the New England Yearly meeting (the regional oversight type group/community for Quakers in New England). In order to raise money for Quakers in this program/education/whatever in Bolivia, they made a zine.

The zine is full of meat and eggs and dairy and all these things I no longer eat! So this month I will be veganizing as much as I can from this zine. I have hopes of posting through out October although I have my doubts of actually fulfilling the 'requirements' of Vegan Mofo (probably won't post 5 times each week, but I'm going to do my best to do so!).
Bolivian Food and Friends, a Bolivian food zine

I've already made a few of the dishes vegan and I have to say... Bolivians are onto something. Even if they're so attached to their meat and dairy. Because despite the lack of clarity...What I've made so far has been gooood. (See tomorrow with the Saltenas) I'll leave you with a teaser picture!


Saturday, August 11, 2012

The November project asked yesterday for their members to post pictures that show what they do to stay active on the weekends. My answer is all over the place and not very well demonstrated by pictures (but kind of sort of, as long as I explain). Hence this blogpost! 

So, November Project people, I do lots of things. Today I (as I discovered on my short bike ride) was still recovering from my 50 mile ride on thursday in the afternoon heat and getting started running the Brookline hills again. So I just did my (very short) ride at a pretty chill pace (though I still arrived at Marathon sports disgustingly covered in sweat, thank you very much) and bought new running shoes (woo, first ever that fit really well!)
 And walked from my place over to Porter square for a new (sadly already broken, need to return) fan before joining a friend for dinner. (Chana Masala! Yummmyyyyy!)

Tomorrow I'll probably pack up my computer, bike to meeting (think like church only not quite-it's Quaker) and then bike somewhere else to park my butt in a coffee shop for a couple hours to get some writing done. 

This is a pretty darn chill weekend. Other weekends are super awesome and more what you're interested in. Two saturdays ago, I biked 60 miles total, going from my apartment in somerville to the Boston Common and from there down to Bryant University in North Smithfield RI and from there over to Wildflour Bakery (the closest all vegan bakery-cafe. Veggie Galaxy has all vegan baked goods, but it's a diner, not a bakery cafe) where I got coffee cake. COFFEE CAKE. Such a great reward for the bike ride! I haven't had coffee cake since I went vegan (mostly because I don't usually make it in the first place, don't think about it until it's there as an option and then I just crave it). 
Don't believe me? Here's photographic proof of Bryant: 

And here's that coffee cake I was just bragging about (I took the commuter rail back-pro tip: If you're not ready for 120 miles of riding but you want to go a really far distance, go somewhere the commuter rail runs (during the time you're riding your bike of course, otherwise you're shit out of luck). 

Other weekends, I go for hikes in the white mountains (and I was down in the smokies over memorial day weekend): 

That was the view form the trail! I carried about 25 pounds including food and water and it was pretty freaking awesome. (30 miles in two days)

In june, I did a presidential traverse (19 miles over the entire presidential ridge line) in 13 hours (which is faster than book time-and people warn that fast people should expect book time. I guess that means that two ex-thru hikers should pretty much expect to always beat the pants off almost everyone else...)