All posts filed under: Protein

Vegan MoFo 2015: Black Peppercorn Tempeh

Alright, folks. Day 2 of Vegan MoFo has arrived. The prompt of the day is: Recreate a meal from your childhood. Back in the day, when I ate meat and was a wee youngin’, I loved my mom’s Black Peppercorn Chicken. She would make it for dinner quite often, using a McCormick marinade packet. It was tangy, with a distinct spiciness from the pepper. Alongside, she would mash up baked sweet potatoes with butter and brown sugar, and serve up some green beans or corn. Yum. But now that I am a vegetarian, I haven’t experienced the black peppercorn taste profile in a while. It was only when I was grinding up some peppercorns for an Indian recipe that I recognized the zingy smell, and pondered my mom’s holy Peppercorn Chicken. I knew then that I had to vegetarianize the recipe. This tempeh is actually quite easy to prepare. You steam (braise?) it in a water and spice bath, and then coat it with the homemade peppercorn spice mix. It then goes into the oven …

Love Burgers, or My Favorite Veggie Burger

These burgers, folks. These burgers. I’ve had a lot of veggie burgers in my day. Those weird, flubby Boca ones, some delicious, but a-bit-soggy Dr. Praeger ones, some bland restaurant-made patties, the list goes on. Then I went to Smorgasbord in NYC last summer, and tasted my first beet burger. My veggie-burger life completely changed. Thank ¬†you, Chickpea and Olive, for introducing me to the wonder that is beet burgers (FYI, I had their Bacon Ranch Cheeseburger, which was topped with eggplant “bacon” and vegan ranch) Moist, savory, and earthy: I closed my eyes and sighed as I devoured each tender, beety morsel. Naturally, I had to make my own. I modified this recipe from The Kitchn, using some pink Sangre de Toro Rancho Gordo beans (because Rancho Gordo makes everything taste better) instead of black beans, adding some sage, using spelt flour instead of oats, and sneaking in a bit more garlic. They are everything I remembered from my first beet burger, and more (sorry, Chickpea and Olive). First of all, they are huge, …

How to Make Homemade Beans

As a vegetarian for nearly 10 years (wait- whaaaa?!), I have been through protein “phases”. When I first started out, I had no clue whatsoever about nutrition, and definitely knew nothing about healthful vegetarian protein sources. A child of the processed-foods ’90s, in my early veg days, I would arrive home from school, make a bag or box of noodles with a powdered sauce (Fettucine Alfredo Pasta Roni, anyone?), and proceed to eat the entire pot. Okay, I was in eighth grade, so let’s take that into context, but still. I went on like this for a year or so, consuming plentiful processed foods, while in the meantime, slowly learning to cook my own food. My mother told me, as soon as I became vegetarian, that she would not be cooking separate meals for me. Hence, I needed to learn how to cook. Honestly, I was not upset about this necessity. I had always done a fair share of baking, and I enjoyed sitting at the counter, watching my mom make her famous marinara sauce …