Looking back over the past year in blogging made me come to a conclusion: this blog is effectively over and has been for at least a year. Only 30 posts in 2012 (half the number from 2011), and none of particularly great. I have been especially negligent responding to the comments. I think it is time for this Vegan Dad to retire.
Like most retired dads I will most likely kick around the house grumbling about politics, the economy, and the kids who keep walking on my lawn. I may even, on occasion, do something useful. I will maintain the Facebook page which has put me in contact with so many amazing people, and which has been my outlet for non-food posting.
While I am sad to see the blog go, my non-blogging life is pretty busy. Four kids, three book projects, a wife in grad school, and community obligations don't leave much time or energy to be creative in the kitchen.
It has been an amazing journey and I want to thank you all for making it possible. A blog really isn't anything without the people who read it, comment on it, use it, and share it. Since September 2007 I posted 834 entries that resulted in 5,669,334 pageviews and 10,929 comments. 4628 people subscribe to the blog, and 11,593 people like the Facebook page. Not bad for a dad from North Bay.
While this blog is over, my commitment to veganism is not. I am glad that this blog has been an inspiration to vegans new and old, and I hope it will continue to serve as a resource in the future (I will leave it online so you can comb through the archives). Blogging forced me to expand my horizons and try new methods, flavours, and ingredients. May our culinary curiosity never be sated.
So, that's it for me kids. Take care of yourselves, and do no harm.
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Posted by Vegan Dad at 6:54 AM
Sunday, December 16, 2012
- 3.5 lbs potatoes
- 2 cloves garlic
- margarine to taste (I like 1/4 cup)
- soy milk to taste (I use about 1/2 - 3/4 cup)
- 2 tbsp large grain Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp horseradish
- salt, to taste
- 1 pkg firm or extra firm tofu, small dice
- 2 tbsp oil
- 4 tsp ground fennel
- 1 tsp each coriander, ground mustard, sage, parsley, tarragon, smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp mild chili powder
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp HP sauce (or A1)
- 1/3 cup red wine
- 2 tbsp oil
- 2 large onions, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups diced carrots
- 2 leeks, halved lengthwise and sliced
- 2 cups finely sliced kale
- 2/3 cups white wine
1. Peel potatoes and garlic, then cut into chunks. Boil until tender in salted water. Drain, then mash until very smooth. Add as much margarine and soy milk as you wish to make an easily spreadable mashed potato. Stir in mustard and horseradish, then season to taste. Set aside.
1. Heat oil in a large frying pan over med-hi heat. Add tofu and fry until golden on all side. Add spices, and stir well to coat.
2. Add soy sauce, HP, and read wine and stir well. When wine has reduced, remove from heat and set aside.
1. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Saute onions for 7-10 min, or until lightly golden and tender. Add garlic and dry 1 min.
2. Add carrots, leeks, and kale and fry for 5 mins.
3. When kale and leeks have cooked down, add wine and let reduce. Remove from heat.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
1. Distribute tofu evenly on the bottom of a large, oven-proof, dish (somewhere in the 10.5 x 13.5" range).
2. Top with the veggie mixture.
3. Gently spread mashed potatoes on top.
4. Bake for about 35-40 mins, or until potatoes are golden.
Serve with tomato chutney, or this tomato-onion relish.
Posted by Vegan Dad at 12:34 PM
Monday, December 10, 2012
So, here is what I did:
1. All-purpose flour: the recipe calls for Better Batter brand, which I do not have access to here. Looking over the ingredient list I saw it it made of: Rice flour, brown rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, and potato four. So, I made a mix of 1 cup rice flour, 3/4 cup brown rice flour, 1/2 cup tapioca flour, 2 tbsp potato starch, and 2 tbsp potato flour. You can make up your own mix since it is the xanthan gum that binds everything together.
2. I used 2 tsbp vegan cream cheese for the egg, blending it into the milk mixture. You could also use whizzed silken tofu. Another time I might try ground chia seeds blended with some water.
3. I replaced the egg white with Ener-G "egg whites" as per the instructions on the box. You might be able to omit this altogether, but I thought it might help the donuts rise a bit more.
4. I used vegetable shortening instead of unsalted butter.
5. I mixed the dough by hand and glazed them with this glaze.
The amazing thing about these donuts is that they actually do rise. Not as high as a glutinous donut, but not too bad. Also on the plus side is that they do not absorb much oil at all when deep fried. They resemble an old-fashioned donut (i.e those cake-like ones) and aren't too dense.
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
So, I was excited to discover Jennifer Katzinger's Gluten-Free and Vegan Bread. I ordered it right away. Katzinger's basic baking theory is gluten-free bread does not need to rise like its glutinous counterpart. Instead, these loaves rely on oven-rise to give them some spring and a lighter crumb. I decided to make a loaf for an NDP dinner party for which I was providing a variety of baked goods. This country batard seemed like it would be a crowd pleaser. Here is the recipe, taken from the preview on Amazon.
- 15 mins at 400.
- 15 mins at 350. Rotate loaf in the oven then
- 15 mins at 350.
- Ground the chia seeds.
- Used warm water for the yeast--I could not get it to activate in room temp water.
- Added the oil after the yeast had activated.
Monday, November 12, 2012
Thanks to everyone for entering the Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day! giveaway. I really enjoyed reading all of the comments. Some of you are new vegans, some have been at this for a while, some busy and in need of a quick meal, some with kids, some with vegan partners, or with non-vegan partners who need convincing, some are young, some more . . . mature. It really is amazing to see the great diversity of the vegan community. You are all hippie weirdos, of course, but each in your own way.
270 people entered the giveaway. The random number generator spit out the number 61, so the winner is Kelsey Marcus who wrote, "Looks like a great book! I would love to learn about making "topless" sandwiches! ;)." Congratulations, Kelsey! Please email me at vegandadDOTblogspotATgmailDOTcom and I will get the book headed your way.
Posted by Vegan Dad at 6:45 PM
Monday, November 5, 2012
That's right! You can win your very own copy of Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes' fabulous new cook book Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day! I was first got acquainted with this project when Tami contacted me seeking permission to use the "steam, then bake" method of my veggie lunch meat. I said yes, of course, since sharing recipes and methods is what the vegan blog community is all about (after all, the veggie lunch meat itself was a version of Julie Hasson's sausages). So, there I am on p. 183 with a "huge thanks" from the authors (the nod to Julie Hasson is on the previous page). I reviewed Tami's previous cookbook back in 2010, and I emailed back and forth with Celine back when I first started my blog. So, every though we have never met in person, I feel like I am sharing in the great success of some good friends.
The first thing that strikes you about this book is the art. Celine took all the photos and they are perfection. Combined with Debbie Berne's book and cover design, the book is a visual feast.
As you can see from the table of contents, Celine and Tami have redefined what "sandwich" means. Turns out, you can eat sandwiches for every meal of the day! You could start with Berry-Stuffed French Toast Pockets for breakfast, eat a Ratatouille Sandwich for lunch, move on to Chickpea Shawarma for dinner, and end the day with Oreo Wafflewiches. Yes, please!
The book also has the basics covered, from bread (I would have liked to see more recipes, but I know baking scares many people off), to several veggie meats. Scattered throughout the book are various dressings, spreads, pates, and toppings. There really is something for everyone here.
Residents of Canada and the U.S. only, please.
To enter, leave a comment about the book in the comment section below by 6:00 pm EST November 12. One entry per person. Each entry will be assigned a number, and the winner chosen by a random number generator. Good luck!
Posted by Vegan Dad at 7:29 PM
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
- 2/3 cup popping corn
- 1/2 cup margarine
- 1 cup packed brown sugar (use white sugar for the candied version)
- large pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- food colouring (for candied version)
- food flavouring (optional for candied version)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
1. Pop the popping corn whatever way you like (hot air popper, stove top). Your yield should be 8 cups of popcorn. Transfer to a large roasting pan to cool, making sure you remove unpopped kernels.
2. Preheat oven to 200F .
3. Place margarine, sugar, salt, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to bubbling and boil for 5 mins. If you want to use a candy thermometer, you are aiming for 125F, but just letting it do its thing for 5 mins works as well.
4. If making candied version, add food colouring and flavours and mix well. Add baking soda and mix well. Drizzle over popcorn and stir to coat.
5. Bake for 1 hour, gently stirring every 15 mins.
6. Spread on waxed paper or baking parchment to cool. Break into smaller pieces if needed.
The idea of the candied version is to make coloured and flavoured popcorn according to the event. I made orange popcorn with some Wilton icing gel. Red colouring and cinnamon flavour for Valentine's Day. You get the idea.