Ever since we were little our dad has had a garden. When the squash and corn would be ready to be harvested my dad would always make calabcitas. His recipe included bacon and topped with cheese. I decided to make this traditional new mexican side dish healthier ,vegan, add a potato and have it for breakfast.
Well, it’s March 17th, which means a) an excuse to celebrate and b) an excuse to make everything green. My first challenge of the day was to make arugula soup. It turned out pretty beautifully – and, of course, green.
Arugula Potato Leek Soup
1 red onion, diced
1 leek, white parts chopped
1 – 2 cloves garlic, minced
2 potatoes, chopped
1 tsp dried tarragon
1 cube vegetable bouillon
2 cups boiling water
Arugula – I had about 3/4 of a tub of it – use lots
Salt, to taste
Saute the onion, leek, and garlic in oil or margarine over medium-low heat in a large pot until soft and fragrant. Add potatoes, tarragon, and the bouillon cube; turn the heat up to medium; stir and let the potatoes cook in the oil. Stir them regularly, cooking for about 10 minutes.
Add water and arugula; if you didn’t add boiling water, turn the temp up to bring to a boil then turn down to simmer. Stir and put a top on the pot. Let the arugula wilt for 6 – 10 minutes. Test the potatoes to make sure they’re done – just press a knife into one; it should slice easily, like butter or something else similarly sexy.
Once all that’s done, use a hand blender to cream it up. Salt to taste.
I didn’t add nutritional yeast but I’m sure that would be delicious. Also, for extra decadence, you could make this really creamy by adding unsweetened, unflavoured almond/soy/whatever milk or even coconut milk. Just add it after the creaming stage, mix, and let the soup simmer for a bit.
So today I’m working out of the Violet Wire Union workspace, coming up with big ideas on how to create and organize community events in Vancouver. In the absence of Vegan Secret Supper, it might be interesting to do a monthly vegan- or vegan-friendly community supper, maybe in the style of Queer Food for Love.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately on what kind of city I’d like to live in, what kind of events and people I want to surround myself with, and what things I love about other cities that don’t exist in mine. Instead of being surly about it, I want to create those things – and I want other people to help me with that.
Along that line, since Kaylie’s departure I have expanded our Vancouver Vegan Brunch event. Each week I’m combining efforts with a different local chef (starting with close friends of mine) and building a brunch together. This Saturday, March 19th, I’m doing French brunch with Amanda, and the week after (March 26th) my friend Satjeet is cooking Indian brunch.
So our brunch baker, Amanda, recently decided that instead of baking constantly and just having her roommates sit around and eat everything, she might as well try to sell her delectable creations. Her scones sell like hotcakes (pun?) at brunch – everyone always raves about the delicate flavour combinations and perfect texture. I sure as hell can’t bake like this, even from a recipe. So, check out Amanda’s Handcrafted Vegan Bakery and get some custom made baked goods!
Strangely enough yesterday was the first time I had ever ventured into the Tenderloin. I had heard fables and tall tales abut how awful and scary the Tenderloin is, equivalent to Vancouver’s Surrey. In fact, the Tenderloin is a gem and only those daring enough to adventure into it’s decrepit belly are going to experience an important part of San Francisco history. My friend from Albuquerque (Kayla) just so happens to live in the Tenderloin so she invited me to her neck of the woods for brunch on Sunday morning.
I’ve been to a lot of coffee shops and cafés in my day, all of which have either be part of the homogenous blob of capitalism or unique to their own neighbourhood. Little Bird is a perfect example of a small café that keep true to the vibrance of their neighbourhood by keeping there menu simple, but versatile and having the walls be a stage for Tenderloin art and artists.
I had no idea what to expect when I visited this gem in the heart of the Tenderloin. Upon entering I immediately realized that almost every item on there menu was veganizable. Hell yeah! Their options for sandwich fillings were also incredible, house roasted tomatoes, hummus, avocados, garlic, vegan pesto, daiya. Amazing!!
After I ordered, the woman making my sandwich came and sat down next to me to inform me she was out of tofu scramble for the sandwich, but would make me a sandwich with avocado, daiya, hummus and roasted tomatoes. It was $4, panini pressed, delicious! I couldn’t be more happy in my surroundings with the service and with the food. Next time I go back I’m going to be prepared to try everything I can on the menu, especially this thing they call a kombuchosa, locally-made kombucha mixed with oj!
Thank you little bird for putting faith back into small cafés for me. Vancouver take note!
0.5 cup cooked or canned beans, drained (I used pinto because I had them)
1 cup vegetable or mushroom broth
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp soy sauce (I only had 2 tsp Braggs, but wish I could have used 2 tbsp soy sauce)
1 tsp liquid smoke (optional)
2 cloves garlic, pressed, minced, or grated
1.25 cups vital wheat gluten
0.25 cup nutritional yeast
2 tsp fennel seeds, crushed with a knife – some whole, some crushed
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground celery seed
Freshly grated pepper
1/4 cup diced green apple
I would recommend playing with the spices… I wasn’t totally sure what to do here. It’s good but could probably be more mindblowing!
I followed the technique for the Cherry Sage Sausage recipe from Vegan Brunch. Get ready to steam – get your water boiling. I usually steam with a metal strainer (or more recently, a drop-in metal steamer) set into a big pot with a lid. Also, have four pieces of tinfoil ready.
In a large bowl, mash the beans until no whole ones are left. Toss the rest of the ingredients in and then mix it all together with a fork. Separate into four even portions, then roll each one in tin foil – as a tube. Twist the ends to make sure your tin foil tubes are sealed.
Steam the tin foil tubes for 40 minutes.
After I finished steaming them, I put 3 in the fridge and opened the fourth. I cut it into slices and fried it up with my tofu scramble. One sausage was so much more than I needed that I’m not sure what I’m going to do with myself. Groan, I guess.
There is so much vegan awesomeness going on in Vancouver right now that I can hardly handle it. Even though Kaylie, my co-blogger and love muffin, got on a plane to SFO (aka VeganSaurus-land) today, there is much to be excited about in the Canadian vegan mecca in which I live.
First of all, there’s the impending opening of a vegan bakery called Edible Flours. Unfortunately, it’s not in my part of town. Fortunately, I have been blessed with both a bicycle and a bus pass, as well as legs that work reasonably well, so I can go there. I hope you are in a similarly fortunate situation.
Also very very soon, there will be a vegan shoe store called Nice Shoes opening in East Van – and lucky me, I got to meet the woman behind it when she ate my delicious second-place Social Bites meal on February 19th. Speaking of Social Bites, the head honcho of that little community foodie operation, Annika, is looking for hobby chefs interested in cooking a vegan meal around the Commercial Drive area for April or May. I recommend being a part of this event – it was amazing!
And on we go – on Wednesday March 9th, Vancouver’s only totally vegan (and not totally raw) restaurant is hosting a vegan bake sale as a fundraiser for the BCSPCA. Yum.
Finally (did I miss anything else?), we here at Vegan Mischief are taking reservations for our next brunch on March 19th, 2011. If you’d like to attend, let us know how many are in your party and whether you’d like to come at 10, 11, 12, or 1, and we’ll get back to you with all relevant details. The theme will be French, and I have heard that there may be freshly baked vegan croissants involved. Contact us for a reservation.