Aug 30, 2011

gypsy goulash

European Night

Gypsy Goulash, or Szeged Gulyas, originates in Hungary in, you guessed it, the city of Szeged.  While the name literally means, 'gypsy,' it actually has not much to do with gypsies, except that maybe nomadic peoples might have been more apt to cook it over a roaring fire, ...or might have been the founders of the city for which the dish is named after. 

The dish contains pork, sauerkraut, onions, paprika and sour cream. Except for a little salt and pepper, that is all that the authentic version contains. In order to veganize it, and therefore improve on it, I used pressed, marinated and then baked tofu. 

Starting with an onion and vegan butter, sauteing it will signal to everyone in the house that dinner is on its way. When the onions have caramelized somewhat, adding garlic, paprika and the saurkraut to the pot will continue the assault on the senses of those same unfortunate hungry. Since the tofu renders no 'natural juices' during the braising process, it is easy to add a few cups of excellent vegetable stock (broth will be fine as well) and then letting the dish simmer uncovered for an hour. By this time you should have plenty of nosy visitors begging to know when dinner will be ready.

To finish off the Goulash, add a cup of vegan sour cream and fold it into the tofu and sauerkraut gently. Serve this with something simple, like boiled potatoes or cooked pasta. These will reward you by soaking up the creamy gravy. IF there is any leftovers, be sure to save them because while most meals are best left to the original meal, this one improves while it sits in the fridge overnight.  Be sure to hide it behind the kale so it doesn't get pilfered.

Cost Breakdown

tofu: $4
sauerkraut: $4
onion, garlic, tomato: $2
spices: $1
vegetable stock: $2
potatoes: $3

Total to feed 6 people:

Aug 28, 2011

sandwiches everywhere!

Let's say you owned every vegan cookbook ever written. What vegan cookbook were you still without? How about one exclusively of sandwiches? As a mom, especially of homeschoolers who require lunch at home, a sandwich cookbook was something I was always on the lookout for. It seems that every day around 11:30 AM, my brain goes to mush as soon as the kids utter those magic words, "What's for lunch?" There are only so many peanut butter and jelly or processed veg-meat sandwiches that kids (or adults) can tolerate. It gets old.

When Tami Noyes, American Vegan Kitchen and the soon-to-come Grills Gone Vegan, asked me if I was interested in testing for her new - yes, another new! - cookbook, this one of sandwiches, I jumped at the chance. 
Sandwiches? Yeah, I'm in!

She is co-authoring this upcoming book with Celine Steen of 500 Vegan Recipes. They don't have a title for it, yet, but I'm sure they are working on it. 

To give you an idea of the variety of sandwiches that I have been bombarded with testing, here are a few:


Here is a unique one! This happens to be Kate's new favorite. Mushrooms and Mac-n-cheese are hardly ever invited to the barbecue party - until now; and, boy, is it one helluva bash!

California Roll

The California Roll has exactly what any health-conscious cook would love to put into a sandwich: quinoa, avocado, tomato and it is all tied together with a zingy dressing. No need to be Californian to love this simple, satisfying roll.

Jamaican Dip

As anyone knows who reads this blog, I am all about heat; this sandwich delivers and does not disappointing in that department. Think of a French Dip that detoured to the Islands while hijacking a boat load of habaneros.

Pittsburgh Steak 

Pittsburgh Steak is all about transforming the whole of Pennsylvania. The seitan is marinated, baked and topped. 


Wingwich. Just what it sounds like - wings on a sandwich - except it's seitan not chicken. Spicy on the bottom, with the cooling light slaw on the top. Great combination. 

Curried Lentil

Lentils and coconut are a match like no other. The coconut aroma tingles your nose right before the flavor hits your tongue. Creamy lentils over the crunchy toast. It was so easy to make and so good to eat.


I'm not sure if KFC ever made this since I wasn't a KFC fan, but if they did they couldn't have made it this good! There was silence at the dinner table as this sandwich was being devoured - nothing but a bunch of crunching and deep sighs of satisfaction.

And there you have a bit of what we've been eating for the past few months. 

After testing for Tami the last time, I thought I would be back cooking my own stuff as soon as Grills Gone Vegan was good to go - and then she sprang this on me. The only sandwich books on the market are vegetarian at best and heavily laden with animals at better. There really is a need for this and that need began with me. Tami and Celine are thinking way outside of the bun with this book and I was excited when they asked me to test for it.  Life was getting a little hectic at our house; it was great to have lunch off my hands for at least a little bit.