Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Vegan 'Meat'ball Sub

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VB's love of "turd dogs" is well documented. Despite the resemblance to poop, they are very delicious and full of herbs and spices. I made it again recently and thought to myself: why not make some meatballs for a change? To make these meatballs, I tweaked the original turd dog recipe to improve upon the texture so they are firmer and 'meatier." I'm quite pleased with the result! I think it will be a favorite around here. Of course, these do not resemble poop. Whether that's good or bad really depends on your personal feelings about poop on plate -- hilarious or gross?

For this meatball sub recipe (adapted from turd dogs from Yeah, That Vegan Shit), you will need:
  • 1 French baguette, sliced open and scooped inside
  • slices of mozzarella or provolone (in this case, I used soy mozzarella)
  • 1 portion marinara sauce, recipe below
  • 1 portion meatball mix, recipe below
For the meatballs, you'll need
  • 1 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained, rinsed and mashed
  • 4 ounces firm bean curd or extra firm tofu, finely crumbled
  • 1 cup cold vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for greasing
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or grated
  • 1 1/4 cups wheat gluten
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oragano
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Begin by combining all the ingredients. Mix well. Knead mixture by hand until it has some elasticity, about 5 to 10 minutes. Roll mixture into balls about 1.5 to 2 inches in diameter. Place balls in an oven-proof pan greased with olive oil. Roast in oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, turn the meatballs over once at the half way mark. Meatballs are done when browned and slightly crusty on the outside.

Uncooked Vegan Meatballs
For the marinara sauce, you'll need:
  • 2 medium shallots, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 sprigs thyme, minced
  • 1 sprig oregano, minced
  • 1 sprig rosemary, minced
  • 1 26-ounce can skinless whole tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
Begin by sweating shallots and red pepper flakes in olive oil until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, thyme, oregano and rosemary. Cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add canned tomatoes, sugar, salt and pepper. Reduce to simmer and cook for 30 minutes to an hour. Break up chunks of tomatoes throughout the cooking process with spoon or spatula.

To assemble, place slices of mozzarella or provolone at the bottom of the sliced baguette, add meatballs and top with marinara sauce.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Herb Garden

Pin It Even though there's a lack of outdoor space, we do get plenty of sun. So instead of paying $1+ a pop for herbs that I'd use once before they rot in the refrigerator, we planted some herbs in window boxes so we'd get fresh herbs throughout the summer.

From left to right -- opal basil, Greek oregano, peppermint, rosemary and French thyme.

We also planted some heirloom tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, shallots and garlic. I can't wait for harvest time!

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Joy of Indoor Grilling

Pin It My absolute favorite thing about the new place is the abundance of light every morning. I'm filled with hope and optimism when I wake up everyday. My second absolute favorite thing is our GAS STOVE! For as long as I've been a renter, I've used electric stoves. The flat top ones were okay, but the ones with the metal wires drove me nuts. Sure, in some ways, electric stoves are superior, but for my money, I like to cook food the old fashioned way -- with fire.

I've always wanted to put one of those nifty grilling pans over gas stoves and do some indoor grilling. For me, grilling always feels like summer afternoon with cool breeze and cold beer. To be able to do that indoors is amazing; it's a luxury that I'll never take for granted. But there are some pitfalls to grilling inside at 9 pm. I found out quickly that exhaust fan should be on and windows should be open, unless your want to freak out your neighbors in the middle of the night with your blaring smoke alarm.

I grilled some sliced eggplants and yellow zucchinis (I now know why Americans love grill marks -- they make food look so delectable), chopped them up into bite size pieces, tossed together with salt, pepper, chopped parsley and a little bit of red wine vinegar. I served it with some toast and white beans cooked with olive oil, rosemary, garlic and red pepper flakes.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

It's been so long...

Pin It since I posted. I have a couple of good excuses, so hear me out. First, we moved (again), this time, to our very own townhouse! It's truly exciting to be a home owner after many many years of renting crappy apartments. As with any move, there's always a period when nothing is where you expect it to be. Even though the kitchen is up and running (I made pea and mint soup with bitter melon, jicama and strawberry salad for dinner yesterday), I can't find my cameras anywhere! So it will be a little bit longer before you'll see a post with pictures.

The stress of house buying and moving probably got to me, but I got really sick for over a week. To spare the world of many disgusting details, let's just say that it involved a lot of wheezing, coughing, sneezing and mucus. I spend 3-4 days in bed, not able to do much besides changing the TV channel. So the place is still in the state of disarray and things are still in boxes. But we're slowly getting there, one box at a time.

So for now, no food pictures. But they are coming, as soon as I find that box with my cameras in it. Until then....