Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Not-Really Fish Tacos

Even before I became vegan, I'd never had a fish taco.  But while I don't know what they taste like or what makes a good one, I have a friend who has eaten his fair share!  The fish taco, or "tacos de pescados", originated in Baja California, Mexico.  Today the can be found at taco stands and burrito joints all over.

I had to recruit my friend to help me on this creation, and I think we came up with something pretty tasty! (Thanks for helping!)

So, what goes into a good fish taco?  Read More

Gardein Product Reviews

Becoming vegan, vegetarian, or even just cutting out meat once a week for "Meatless Mondays" can be tough if you don't know what to eat or where to start.  Think about it, there's a meat for every meal! How can you get away from it when it's all you used to?  Tofu is not the only answer, though if you ask any unknowing person, that's the only thing that vegetarians/vegans eat..that and salad!  WRONG!!! (see the recipes on this blog, I eat way more than that!)  There are some great products on the market that are easier to cook with, have better textures, and even better tastes than tofu! 

I first became aware of gardein products when I saw them featured on The Ellen DeGeneres show back in December.  The show featured gardein's Chick'n Scallopini, which by definition, scallopini (n) sauteed cutlets (usually veal or poultry) that have been pounded thin and coated with flour.  But gardein (garden + protein) has created their products to resemble meat while being made from soy, wheat, and pea proteins, grains, and vegetables.  Their scallopini is great for everything, from being coated in flour and sauteed (as stated in the definition) to an addition to pot pie, and even dredged in spices and cooked for a delicious chick'n fajita!

They've truly created endless possibilities for people who don't eat meat!  But they don't only have a chicken substitute...  Miss having a burger or even BBQ sandwiches during the summer?  They've got you covered with an AMAZING burger (you won't believe it's vegan!) and BBQ Pulled Shreds that blew me away when I first tasted them.  But it doesn't stop there!  They have a such wide variety of fresh and frozen products (see the fresh products here and the frozen products here) that even restaurants and famous food labels are starting to use them! (Some places include zPizza, Jenny Craig, and select Chipotle restaurants!)  There's even a rumor going around that Lean Cuisine has started using some of the gardein products in their "VeggieCuisine" line (which is not mentioned on their website, but was discovered in some Walmarts/Supercenters.  These meals, however, are not vegan.  Just vegetarian.)

So, why do I love my gardein?  It's so incredibly versatile not to mention CARNIVORE FRIENDLY!!   It's fun for me too because I switched to a vegan diet because my body just had issues digesting meat.  So while my tastebuds miss some of my favorite meals (though, my stomach doesn't), I don't have to anymore because I just sub in gardein for the meat!  I've done pot pies, chick'n soup, beef-less tips stew, General Tso's chick'n, Black Pepper Chick'n/Beef, tacos, fajitas, even "meat" sauce for my spaghetti!  

While I've tried a lot of the products from gardein, there are a few that I have not tried because I couldn't find them in my store (though now I think Whole Foods should be carrying the ENTIRE line WOOOHOOO!), I do have 2 new products in my kitchen.  Last night we tried the Herb Dijon Breasts for the first time.  Delish! Not to mention EASY!  In one box comes 2 individually wrapped portions (brilliant), a "chick'n breast" and the sauce.  Simply heat the chick'n, then cover with the sauce and simmer for a few seconds and you're set to eat!  I mean does it get any easier!?  

The fun part for me is taking what they've made and making it my own or creating something with it, though I do like to try the product how they recommend first so I know what I'm working with.  (creating something tonight...)

With as much as I rave about gardein, I should probably note that I am not being paid by the company to write about them... Though if anyone at gardein is reading this, I wouldn't mind it!! :-) 

So what do I recommend you try first?  Well that depends on you... But the products that I've always got on hand are the Scallopini, Beefless Tips, Beefless Burger, and Crispy Tenders.  (I may be 23 and living on my own but until I became vegan, I always ordered chicken tenders/nuggets/fingers--whatever they were called-- when I went out to eat.  I'm a kid at heart!)

I hope you try gardein whether you are carnivore, vegetarian, pescetarian (shout out to my twitter friend @ThatSkyeIAm who also loves gardein like I do), vegan-ish, or vegan, I'm sure you will love them!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Change of Plans...

Hi hi!  Just want to give a shout out to my 2 new followers and to anyone else reading this and to post a little note.

First things first, at the time that I am writing this my General Tso's Chick'n post has been viewed 170 times!!! OHMIGOODNESS!!! I don't think anything I've ever written has been seen by that many people.  I'm so happy and I want to thank everyone who has viewed my blog and passed it along to friends/family.  That is definitely how that post got so many hits and I really hope my numbers continue to grow.  Who knows, maybe I can land a vegan/vegetarian cooking show on the Food Network, like one of the newest additions to the FN family, "Pioneer Woman".  

This week I had planned to break in my wok and test/post several Asian recipes. But we've had Asian food for dinner for the past three nights! Veggie sushi, Black Pepper Beef-less tips with Lo Mein, and General Tso's Chick'n with Baked Spring Rolls...

That said, I've changed the menu for tonight and will be either be sharing an old recipe for a deep south favorite Hoppin John and kale, or I will be working on a Chicken Taco with Slaw recipe. 

Thanks for reading! Please pass on my blog! Comment on the posts, I want to know if you've tried the recipes and would love to answer any questions you may have about them or the products used. Also, would love to know what you want to see on the blog! 

Thank you ALL for supporting my blog, I hope you will continue to look around, follow me, and give me feedback!  

xoxo~Kaiti

Monday, August 29, 2011

Baked Spring Rolls

What goes better with Chinese food than that crispy fried handheld yummy-ness filled with stuff!?!  Well typically (sadly) they are not vegan.  The wrapper has egg in it and the filling has pork and seafood in it.  Not exactly something this vegan wants to eat...
Until...
I went to the Asian Market and found spring roll wrappers that were vegan friendly!!! Now for the filling... well most egg rolls definitely have carrots and Napa Cabbage, hmm then what..?  Well, how about this:



General Tso's Chick'n

General Tso's Chicken is like, one of the most popular Chinese take out orders in America.  My family ate Chinese from our local take out joint... more often than I care to admit on here... and we always ordered General Tso's Chicken... ALWAYS!  My sister, dad (HI DADDY!!), and grandmother are not fans of spicy foods so we always got the General Tso's no/a little spice.  

Something about that crispy fried chicken, in the warm sticky, red-ish brown sauce, with the daunting red chilies (or pieces of chilies) floating around... Read More!


Warning

Just so everyone is aware...

I just (FINALLY) bought myself a wok!!!!!!  That said, this week I will be working on recipes that will help you to make you're own Chinese "Fake Out"!!  Recipes to look forward to are some of my favorite Chinese Take-out orders (all made completely VEGAN!):

  • General Tso's Chick'n
  • Kung Pao Chick'n
  • "Beef" and Broccoli
  • Szechuan Green Beans
  • Mongolian "Beef"
  • Orange Chick'n
  • Sweet and Sour Chick'n
  • Fried Rice
  • "Egg" Rolls
ETC!
If you have a favorite Chinese food that's not listed above, Leave me a comment and I'll work on a recipe!

YUMMM CHINESE FOOD! (I'm a little excited because I haven't eaten Take Out since becoming vegan)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Black Pepper Chick'n (or whatever protein you want)

 The first time I ate black pepper chicken was in a Vietnamese restaurant back in DC called Taste of Saigon.  I think the story goes my mom ("hi mom") went to eat at the restaurant for a business meeting or something... she came home and RAVED about the black pepper chicken.  She took me a few weeks later... it was quite possibly the most delicious thing ever!!!  There's something so great about the spice of the black pepper with the salty sweet sauce... It's so yummy!

How yummy you ask...?  Find Out More

Veggie Lo Mein


Well if you know me you’d know that I’m OBSESSED with Chinese/Japanese/Thai food… but sooo much of it has oyster or fish sauce not to mention the meat… soooo luckily a friend's mom found this recipe somewhere and passed it on to me.  Now, I’m also someone who likes to switch up recipes a little bit.  Sooo I kinda have a few versions of this Lo Mein.

Once I made it with the tofu as suggested, once I made it with just vegetables (adding more like cabbage, baby corn, water chestnuts, carrots, etc), and I’ve made it a few times with Gardein products like the Beef-less Tips and the Chick’n Scallopini.  That being said, YOU can alter this recipe to your specifications, I’ll just provide you with the “skeleton” recipe!

Get The Recipe


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Dumpling Attempt #1

I’m proud of my first dumpling attempt… but there was a lot to improve on.  I attempted 2 shapes, (whoa over-achiever much?) and decided to stick with a “closed satchel” shape.  I tried “THE” potsticker shape… but found with my inexperience with wrappers and shaping in general, the “closed satchel” was a lot easier.  (Even though I’ll definitely try again to improve)


The best thing I’ve found with dumplings is you can fill them with anything! So you can please vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians, and carnivores!  I filled mine with lots of chopped veggies and after eating em, I know what I can do to improve them next time!


I got frozen (vegan friendly) dumpling wrappers at my local Asian food store.  (Need to go back… yeah I made that many dumplings!) OH! another thing I like… Make them and freeze them! Instant snack, or meal addition.  Okay back to the dumpling wrappers… Soo I didn’t quite do my research before I made em… but they worked… But I’ll fill you in on what I didn’t know.  

Read More

Salt Potatoes

Hi, I'm Kaiti and I like potatoes.  No seriously, I went on a "Bubba Blue" style rant (you know in Forrest Gump where he lists like a hundred way to do Shrimp...?) but about potatoes.  I just can't get enough of them. 

My downfall is french fries... it's really bad.  But then I ate these tasty taters after seeing something on tv about them (I think).  NOMS!!  It's like a healthy french fry.  Boiled instead of fried but it still has a crunch to in and they are still salty potatoey goodness.

You can dip these in ketchup or vegan butter... or for a little "crab boil" taste, dip them in vegan butter with some old bay mixed in!!  These are super easy to make and will definitely be a hit side dish with whatever you choose to serve it with! What are you waiting for?!

Get The Recipe!



Friday, August 26, 2011

Pecan Caramel Sticky

(Shout out to @Earth_Balance … use their coconut spread for a little extra taste!)


Okay show of hands… Who misses being able to GORGE on cinnabon?  I mean there is no way their stuff is vegan… I’ve seen ‘em make it! they use A POUND OF BUTTER just to coat the dough for the FILLING!!  Silly Cinnabon… that’s not vegan! haha (For extra sweetness add Earth Balance Coconut Spread in place of the nondairy butter)


But have I got a recipe for you… Now be warned this is NOT a quick recipe but I promise… it’s COMPLETELY WORTH IT!!!  (Ps.  I’m working on trying to convert this back to non vegan for some family/friends who want it but for now this is the VEGAN VERSION)

Wanna know the best part?  

New Blog!

Hello out there!!! 

I'm Kaiti.  I am not new to the blogosphere by any means, but rather starting a new blog because I wasn't completely happy with the publishing options of my other host.  I feel as though this blog will be easier for more people to access. (And my mother to comment on... "Hi Mom.")

       The purpose of my blog is to share with you reviews of products and the recipes I create or find, or veganize.  I'm new to the vegan eating but I have a very supportive family that eats whatever I put in front of them.  If they go back for another helping, I know that it is a good recipe and is one to share with you!
        As some of you may know there are a wide array of vegans.  There are soy-free vegans, vegans who don't eat anything that looks like meat, raw vegans, strict vegans, and vegans who are less strict and will still eat honey or wear "non-vegan" textiles.  For me, I'm less strict kind and working on limiting my soy intake.  As I live with my "omnivore" family, I try to make the textures more like meat because my reason for becoming a vegan eater is because I found that a non-vegan diet just didn't agree with my stomach or my body. (Like would have an allergic reaction to eggs, dairy, and meat/seafood...)


       I have a lot of posts coming as I will be moving them from the old blog to this one!  I'm also in the process of working on converting my menu calendar to this blog.  Hopefully you will stick around and see what I have to offer!
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(Unsure of my new sign off at the moment... but it'll happen eventually)





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