Wednesday, June 29, 2011

This July, Celebrate Your Independence.... From Animal Products :)

Hello dear readers, how ARE you??  I know I have been nearly MIA for the last two months, but I have some big stuff in the works that has been keeping me occupied (that I promise I will tell you all about later).  :)  As for right now, I have the 4th of July on my mind, and thought I would share one of my easiest, and favoritest dishes with you, Macaroni Salad. 

Now as we discussed at Memorial day, Holiday picnics are a place where us vegans can not only adapt, but shine, as we fool our omni friends with our culinary prowess.  Not only is this Macaroni Salad a picnic-perfect food, but really it's like the best Macaroni Salad ever.  Now if you're into the sweeter versions, this one isn't for you, as it is on the savory side, but I promise it is packed with flavor and goes great with a grilled veggie burger!

You will need:
One box elbow macaroni (I like dreamfields, vegan and low-carb, yay!)
Shredded Carrots
Sweet Vidalia Onion
Garlic Salt

Boil your noodles until soft, strain them and then run under cold tap water until the noodles feel cold.  Add about half a chopped medium onion, two handfuls of shredded carrot, and start with two heaping blops of vegenaise (you can add more later if it's not enough.  You want the salad creamy, but not sopping wet).  Stir, and see if you need more vegenaise.  If not, take your garlic salt, and shake gently over the bowl making two passes.  Don't overdo it, but make sure you can taste it!  Stir it all up, taste test, and if it is delicious (as it should be!), refridgerate until your event.  Making this a few hours early lets the garlic flavor sink in, and increases the yum factor. :)

The final product should look just like traditional Macaroni Salad you would see at any picnic, expcept without all those pesky animal ingredients.  I love a situation that is the best of both worlds!  Happy 4th of July everyone, I hope your picnic is fun and animal-free! :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Memorial Day: Very Nearly Vegan Edition

So this past weekend was memorial day, and of course the husband and I were invited to a few BBQ's.  You may wonder, whats a very nearly vegan to do in such a situation?  Do you make food just for yourself?  Will the omni's eat it?  Am I going to be the weirdo at the barbeque?  Never fear folks, I am here to share with you some fun and easy recipes that work great for Memorial Day and all the summer events after.

First, we will start with the easiest recipe in my repetoire.  Grandma Jones' Red Slaw.  Red slaw is just a red cabbage cole slaw, but it's pretty, yummy, and has all of three ingredients.  You will need:

1 head of red cabbage

Cut the cabbage up into cole slaw sized pieces, and put in a mixing bowl.  Add enough Vegenaise to make it creamy, but not "wet" (measuring is not necessary).  Dash in some salt and stir.  Taste.  If it's not salty enough, add a little more.  Don't go overboard.  The salty taste increases as it sets, so if it's just a little bit not salty enough, you're good.  Put it in the fridge for an hour before serving.

It should look like this:

It really is the simplest recipe in the world, but it's very tasty and a perfect summer salad.  Omni's won't know or care that it is vegan

Next up we have pasta salad.  I am a pasta salad FREAK.  I could eat it every night in summer, I swear!  This particular salad is my lacto-ovo hubby's fave, vegan or not, so I am sure your omni friends and family will like it too.  You will need:

One box multi-color rotini
Assorted fresh veggies of different colors
(I used grape tomatoes, sweet vidalia onion, carrot shreds, yellow pepper, cucumber and olives)
Italian dressing

Put your water on to boil, and then go and chop your veggies.
Cook the pasta till tender, then run under cold water till there is no heat left in the pasta.
Add the veggies and dressing to the pasta, and voila!  You have an awesome pasta salad that is healthy, pretty to look at, refreshing and EASY!  Yay!

Finally, I always try to bring a dessert to these things so I can be assured that I have one I can eat.  I think it's not even officially Memorial Day if you don't have Strawberry Shortcake, so that is what I always bring.

You will need:
A Bundt pan
1 box duncan hines yellow cake mix
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 box strawberries
1 box blue berries
1 container Concord Foods Strawberry Glaze
Tofutti wildberry ice cream (or your flavor of choice)
1 can Soy Whip

Grease your Bundt pan.  Add 1 cup applesauce to the cake mix and stir till there aren't many lumps.  Put the batter in the pan and cook for the recommended time. 

Wash and chop the strawberries, add the blue berries and mix with the glaze.  Now for you purists out there, the glaze is totally unnecessary.  This is totally delish without it, but if you'll be at an all day event the glaze does keep the fruit fresher (although you will be ingesting high fructose corn syrup and red #40, so if you're avoiding them, skip it).

Then you simply cut a piece of cake, top with ice cream, put the fruit mixture on next and then soywhip is the final touch.  The nice thing is if your omni's are super picky you can bring tofutti for you and the real deal for them and everyone is happy.  Unfortunately, this part was gobbled up so fast I forgot to take a picture of the finished product, but you guys get the idea.  Don't you just love summer?  I know I do!  Hope your Memorial Day was as yummy as mine, happy eating!