Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: Argh! The Grocery Store Should Only Stock Its Shelves With Vegans In Mind!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Argh! The Grocery Store Should Only Stock Its Shelves With Vegans In Mind!

Since yesterday was Martin Luther King, Jr. day, I had the day off of work, but with the hours that I put in the kitchen on Saturday, I decided to take it easy for the most part. I made a nice brunch, and had Amy’s yummy vegan pizza for dinner. I like pizza, as it is quick and easy, but the Amy’s vegan pizza does get old after awhile. It’s not the pizza itself, it would just be nice to have different toppings sometimes. Speaking of pizza, I found a crust recipe over at VeganYumYum’s site. I think I will try it out this weekend and make up some extra crusts and sauce to freeze for when I’m in the mood for pizza, that way I can actually have a variety of toppings.

Anyways, on Sunday night, I made The Vegan Chef’s Black Bean Chili-Topped Sweet Potato. This was really good, though if you look at the picture, my chili is a bit thin for a potato topping. The thing was, I popped the sweet potatoes in the oven and began making the chili. Well, the chili didn’t seem like it had enough liquid, especially if it simmered the entire time the potatoes were roasting. So I added a bit of veggie broth to it. This would have been fine, had I left it alone. I decided that the amount of broth I put in would cook off before the potatoes were done and thus I needed to go ahead and add more. Well needless to say, it didn’t all evaporate off and my chili was a little thin.

Don’t let my error keep you from trying this, because thin chili aside, this was very good, and this is a very simple recipe. I served these topped with homemade tofu sour cream.

For brunch yesterday, I made a very yummy tofu scramble and attempted Megan the Vegan’s Crispy Wedges, but before I get into the frustration that accompanied the Crispy Wedges, let’s talk about the tofu scramble. This was a good one, I essentially cleaned out the fridge to an extent with this, and it was so yummy.

First, I diced up a small red potato and got that cooking in some water in a skillet (a little fat free cooking tip I learned from SusanV over at Fat Free Vegan Kitchen). Then I added some sliced button mushrooms, diced yellow bell pepper, diced onion, minced garlic, and sliced artichoke hearts (left over from SusanV’s Frittata). Once the veggies were done, I realized my pan was too small, so I simply set it aside and got out another one. I sprayed a medium sized skillet with canola oil and added half a block of crumbled firm tofu. I got that cooking and seasoned it with turmeric, chili powder, cumin, and salt. I got that all mixed together and added a bit of frozen spinach I had in the freezer. Finally, I added in the other veggies (from the other pan) in and heated it all through.

Now, Megan’s Crispy Wedges. So I thought I could go to the store, pick up a container of breadcrumbs, and all would be well, right? Wrong. Well, that is what I did, but I was wrong to think that it was so simple. So anyways, for some reason on Sunday night I decided to check out the ingredients list of the breadcrumbs to see what all was in them. I wasn’t really expecting what I found which was milk, butter, and honey. You would figure that I would know this, but I don’t eat bread very often at all, and the stuff I do eat doesn’t contain ANY of this stuff, let alone a whole cocktail of it.

So yesterday morning, I went back to the store before brunch of course, and found that of the whole shelf of breadcrumbs, none of them were vegan. The closest thing I could find was Matzoh meal (which is vegan thankfully), and it said it was the “perfect substitute for breadcrumbs”, well I’m not sure about all that, but it’s what I had to work with. So I followed Megan’s recipe and the wedges turned out to be quite yummy, but not as crispy as I expect they should have been. It looked to me like the Matzoh meal was a much coarser than regular breadcrumbs.

This experience leaves me with a couple of questions. First, I should say that I also saw Panko at the store as well. Does anyone know if Matzoh meal really is the perfect substitute? I mean, if I were to say, make the Chickpea Cutlets from V-Con (which I was hoping to make later this week), would they turn out if I used Matzoh meal? Panko? I would hate for a whole set of recipes to be off limits to me because I can’t find vegan breadcrumbs.

You know, I suppose I could make my own breadcrumbs, but I wouldn’t know where to begin.


Lizzy said...

I found a recipe on some German site. It's basically just 3-1/2 oz dried tomatoes, 1-2 cloves of garlic, about 2 tbsp. roasted pine nuts, 2-3 tbsp. vegan parmesan, 5 tbsp. olive oil and some salt and pepper if you like.

I think I'll try more variations soon. It's not like I could ever get sick of it ;)

Your chili looks great! I'd love to eat that. The only chili that's available to me right now is regular meaty chili, boo =(
How do you make soy sour cream? Is it complicated? Maybe you could post the recipe, that would be awesome =)

Jennifer said...

Lizzy - Thanks for the recipe! It sounds yummy, and there is a recipe for vegan "parmesan" in Veganomicon that I have been wanting to try.

I will be posting the tofu sour cream recipe in the entry I do tonight!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Haha I'd love it if the grocery stores would listen to you!!!

Veggie said...

Yeah, you'd think breadcrumbs of all things would be vegan, eh.

This is funny I've been looking for Matzo meal for awhile now. (I've finally been informed that is will be in mid-february).

To make your own bread crumbs, cut the crusts off a slice or two of bread and process in the food processor until fine. (You may need to let the bread go a bit stale or lightly toast in the oven if your bread is too soft)

I always make my own.

Jennifer said...

Chocolate Covered - lets start a movement and make it happen! :-)

Veggie - That is funny! Thanks so much for the directions for making breadcrumbs. If I had known it was that easy.....