trio of appetizers

Tester Teaser

Let's take a mini-tour of Tami's Grills Gone Vegan appetizers. This should give you a great idea of the variety of grilling recipes in this upcoming book based solely on the appetizer section. As much of a teaser as appetizers are supposed to be, these next three previews should provide the same experience.

I just made this first recipe tonight, Lettuce Wraps, not more than a few hours ago. Don't let the simplicity of the name detract from the complex flavors those beautiful lettuce cups hold. Asian Style Cutlets are grilled, tossed with a special glaze and then gently packed into the crisp leaves with just the right amount of vegetables. As I told Tami when reviewing them, people will be fighting over the last one! Oh, and those Asian Cutlets - so much more than just for this recipe.



This next one I tested last week and is another favorite of mine: Polenta Stacks.
Not a polenta fan? After this recipe you will be. Tofu is marinated in Tami's Habanero Marinade, grilled and stacked on top of grilled polenta and tomato. A dollop of her sauce on top and you are all set to wow some guests. Habanero love.




This recipe, Stuffed Poblanos, I made a while ago, but the flavors still dance on my palate. 
The stuffing is amazing and that Avocado Sauce is worth its weight in gold. The combination is like taking a vegan vacation to Mexico. 



You won't need to pack your bags to eat this well - it'll all be available soon.
 I promise.

flatbread fun

Tester Teaser

Let's have more Tami tester pics. This time around, how about some Flatbread Fun? Tami has some insane bread recipes in her upcoming cookbook! These two top my all time fave's in it ... I think; there are SO many!

This first one is The Veg Wedge. The grilling comes out in full force in this recipe. Get the coals ready or have the gas tank full, it is loaded with grilled vegetables, smeared with Cracker Spread and glazed with a special sauce. To finish it, you slap this monster on the grill and let the bread develop an awesome crunch. Can you taste it, yet?



If you are in the mood for a lighter appetizer flatbread, you will want to dig into this masterpiece, Tomato and Arugula Flatbread. Again her Rosemary Flatbread is grilled but this time with arugula and then topped with a tomato salad and Horseradish Sauce. A little kick and a lot of flavor. Party in your mouth.

I certainly hope this book will be out soon; I almost feel bad showing you these teasers and then telling you you can't have them, yet. Soon, I hope!



tami's fajitas

Tester Teaser

I should really stop with the teasers, right? Nah.

Last night's dinner was totally awesome! I am such a fajita fan and whenever we find our way into a Mexican restaurant that doesn't happen to use chicken stock in their rice or lard in their refried beans, Fajitas is the dish I gravitate to. 

Great for me, but the kids are no Fajita fans. In fact, after being told what dinner was (as if there is no written menu on the fridge) - little facial twitches could be seen on my dear children's countenances. 

Everyone was in for a surprise; these little babies went faster than I could make them. For testing purposes, of course, I had to snag the last one. 

The seitan, from Tami's upcoming cookbook, Grills Gone Vegan, was perfect for this. The seitan was marinated in her Habanero Marinade, which tastes of habaneros and not the intense heat they are know for. After grilling with peppers and onions, topped with lettuce, avocado and a bit of Daiya, these were pure pockets of bliss.



cinnamon snail, BBQ portobello grillers, panzanella salad with tempeh

Tester

Since I haven't posted in a little while, I thought I would do three in one from Tami's Grills Gone Vegan testing extravaganza. Unfortunately, Blogger had my blog deleted for a little while and had me a quite nervous about it. Do the Word Press people have as much problems with their blogging servers? Blogger has many problems, times when I can't blog and now this blog deletion. I think I've had enough and I am seriously considering switching to Word Press.

Back to the food:

Can you picture a Cinnamon Roll as big as your dinner plate? 
Look here:



That is how big that Cinnamon Snail is. Don't get fooled by the name, this no small quiet, unassuming snail; this is a ginormous-feed-your-family-cinnamon roll. Divine! I love the ease and simplicity of this recipe. 

Next up is this saucy wonderfulness. BBQ Portobello Grillers. So good! If you are a mushroom fan, this is the recipe for you. You can use store-bought BBQ Sauce for this, but both Tami and I recommend you making her Simple BBQ Sauce, also in the book. It takes less time than buying it and costs a fraction with more than triple the taste-reward. Add some of her Creamy Cole Slaw and you are set. BBQ Perfection.


Last up is Panzanella Salad with Tempeh. Vegetables come here to soak up the summer. Tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, onions - plus other surprises marry in this flavorful, light (not drenched like most panzanella salads!) mingle of tastes. Summer on a plate.


So, there you have some teasers. Enjoy the pics!

FNF - mushrooms and the bodacious bulb

Food Network Friday!

Brought to you by Tami Noyes' Vegan Appetite blog, this month's Food Network Friday recipe of choice to replicate is Guy Fieri's Chicken and the Bodacious Bulb. The recipe is shallow-fried chicken pieces with a garlic-infused gravy. 

Guy asks us to make a Garlic Oil and I was more than happy to oblige. I love garlic, as anyone close enough to smell me can tell. The fact that the recipe itself uses almost two cups of garlic is enough to send most people packing and other less sane ones into the kitchen. I belong to the latter group. 

Chicken is something that is easy enough to replace with tofu (especially marinated), seitan or any of the commercial replacements on the market. Very easy and satisfying. I didn't want to go the same old route, especially since Food TV relies so heavily on animal protein that most anytime we would have an FNF, it is a meat product. I needed to change it up a bit. 

I strolled down my local Whole Foods produce aisle looking for something captivating. Eggplant. Nice, but no. A root vegetable? Nah, not this time. Nothing was quite it until I got to the fungus section. I pounced on the Oyster Mushrooms and to round off the meaty-ness, I also went for a few portobello caps.   Perhaps not what Fieri had in mind when he created the recipe, but I like it better this way.

Since he shallow-fries the chicken in the garlic oil, I knew it would make a crispy crust on the chicken and I needed to make that happen for my mushrooms. I breaded them in matzo meal and brown rice flour, appropriately seasoned. This is a simple process of dipping the pieces in non-dairy milk and then in the crumb mixture. Allow it to sit in the fridge for about ten minutes before proceeding. I fried it just as he directed, but mine has a homemade crispy crust - not one made by an animal. 

The gravy is made using chicken stock he asks you to make. I used the carrot, onion and celery, as in the recipe, but for the chicken flavor I added 2 t. nutritional yeast, 1/2 t thyme, 1/2 t sage, 1/2 t smoked paprika, 1/2 t onion powder and 1/2 t garlic powder. I cooked the stock until the carrots were tender. The garlic bulbs (from the garlic oil) are added in the stock as well and I added 1 t of vegetable concentrate. I am telling you it was creepy how chicken-like it tasted. I mean it was like going to a restaurant where the server ignorantly tells you the soup is made without chicken stock and you only find out it was an error when you taste it and then double-check with the manager. That creepy. 

Overall, this was delicious! The garlic was not overpowering since it was cooked in the oil, the garlic chips were sweet, the tomato dices were juicy, the gravy was creepy-good and the mushrooms were crispy and flavorful. Really a pleasant meal.

Cost Breakdown

portobello, oyster: $9
spices, herbs, carrot, onion, celery: $1
garlic: $2
flour, tomato: $1
Total to make 4 bodacious servings:
$13.00




VEG-Aside: You could be the next vegan! Besides for this wonderfully-informative blog, and many others like it, the realization that you can't love animals and eat them, and a few great cookbooks, what will get you well on your way is The Ultimate Vegan Guide by Erik Marcus. This edition is now available as a Kindle reader for less than a buck. Only $.99. Really!

You don't need a Kindle to read it, since it is an eBook with the help of a free Kindle download to your PC or phone. 

I have this in paperback and have worn it thin, that is how helpful it is.

"You could be the world's next vegan. It's easy if you know how, and this uniquely helpful book tells you everything you need to know. Every topic related to vegan living is covered including cooking, nutrition, food shopping, travel, dining out, and much more.

You'll get clear and straightforward guidance from Erik Marcus, a vegan of twenty years and counting. Join the thousands of people who've used this book to easily and successfully transition to a vegan lifestyle.

Erik Marcus is the author of Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating, Meat Market: Animals, Ethics, & Money, and A Vegan History: 1944-2010."