Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Stop Mocking Me, Chickpea Salad

I've seen variations of this salad marketed as "Mock Tuna Salad" and "Mock Chicken Salad." Why do people feel it necessary to associate a perfectly good food with that of other foods?

Who knows, maybe they feel that they are getting more if they are eating tuna and/or chicken. I say those people are crazy.

The chickpea is a good source of protein and iron, and an excellent source of fiber. Plus is has no cholesterol so it won't clog your arteries.

Now, on to the Vegenaise.

I love Vegenaise, and if I were stranded on an island and I could choose one thing to bring with me I would honestly have a hard time deciding between chapstick and Vegenaise. And the more I think about it the more I think that the grapeseed oil in Vegenaise could double as chapstick...So there you have it.

And just when you thought this salad couldn't get any better, don't forget about the flax seed oil. This is not necessary for the salad to taste good, it just adds some healthy Omega 3 oils that are known to help reduce inflammation. So if you have some, add it, if not then it's not a recipe breaker.

Once again, I have to say that when I make this, I usually turn it into a hodgepodge of ingredients, and I don't really measure anything. I'll stick to the basics, and know that if you don't like sweet pickles you can use celery, or if you don't like mustard, you can leave it out, if you want more Vegenaise then add it, because ultimately it's up to you. So quit pouting and make this however you want to.

You can serve this on top of fresh spinach with sliced avocado, or you can put it on a piece of gluten free toasted bread or crackers...Whatever blows your skirt up.

Stop Mocking Me Chichpea Salad

1 15 oz can Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas)
1/4 cup Vegenaise
1/4 cup sweet pickles, finely chopped
2 Tbsp red onion finely chopped
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp. flax seed oil
salt to taste
pepper to taste

In a medium sized bowl, mash the chickpeas with a fork or potato masher until most of the beans are mashed.

Combine everything else and mix well with a fork.

Season to taste.

Monday, January 21, 2008


That's right...SEAFOOD GUMBO. (Gasps from concerned "Vegans" abound).

I'll be the first to admit that every once in a while I like me some seafood. So sue me. And when I saw a picture of this recipe on the cover of "At Home With Kowalski's" I knew that this would be a perfect opportunity to have an affair with an old friend.

So, Seafood and I got down and dirty and created an unforgettable gumbo that was well worth the risk of jeopardizing my veganhood, as it was.

Just so ya'll know, I had to replace some butter with Earth Balance vegan margarine, and some "Wondra flour" (whatever the hell that is) with garbanzo fava flour and arrowroot because, well, I'm not THAT dirty.

Half way into making this dish I decided that "Chef Jeff" (the creator of this recipe) is a complete wussbag, so I added in some cayenne pepper to make this a little more hot...Cuz seafood and I like it hot, damnit.

I also replaced the recommended "Paul Prudhomme's Seafood Magic Seasoning Blend" with "Old Bay Seasoning" because I like to slum it a little.

Now, seeing as I have no need to scarf down two pounds of seafood in any measurable amount of time, I halved this recipe...O.K., that and the thought of 24 ounces of clam juice made me gag...Seriously...No two people need to consume 24 ounces of clam juice in a 48 hour period. Unless there is a bet involving a substantial amount of money, then I say knock yourself out.

With that being said, if I were feeding more than two I would suck it up, take the risk of clam juicing nightmares and buy the damn juice. I'm just not quite ready for such a big step, and Seafood understood..Because like we all learned in Seventh Grade health class, and from the Lifetime network, "No means No."

So, enjoy it while it lasts, because these are few and far between.

Jenni's Naughty Seafood Gumbo

4Tbsp Earth Balance Vegan Margarine
1 cup diced green bell pepper
1 cup diced sweet onion
1 cup diced celery
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup Garbanzo Fava Flour
1/2 tsp Arrowroot
2 (12 oz jars) clam juice
1 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 lb raw sea scallops
2 Tbsp Old Bay Seasoning
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper (Or more if you're not a total wuss)
2 Cups Basmati Rice (Cook rice according to package)
~snipped Italian parsley

In large skillet over medium heat, melt the Earth Balance; saute peppers, onion and celery until translucent (about 5 minutes).

In small bowl, combine tomatoes, flour, and arrowroot; stir into pan vegetables over low heat (6-8 minutes). Add clam juice, a little at a time, stirring constantly. Simmer 30 minutes, stirring every five minutes.

Add shrimp, scallops, Old Bay, and cayenne, continue cooking until seafood is fully cooked (10-12 minutes).

To Serve: Divide gumbo among each of eight soup bowls; place ladle of rice in center of gumbo, garnish with parsley.

Serves 8...or four really hungry SOB's

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Veggie Cassoulet

My friend Anna made this dish for me when she had me over for lunch a few weeks ago and since then, I have prepared this twice! With that being said, I didn't take the above picture because I ate it too fast to be able to take one...OINK...Instead, I snaked the above photo from Epicurious, where incidentally this delicious recipe came from.

Veggie Cassoulet

Makes four servings

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 zucchini, chopped
2 celery stalks
1 onion, chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, pressed
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
3 cups drained canellini beans, liquid reserved
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 dried bay leaves
4 slices gluten free toast (I used Genuine Bavarian Gluten Free Whole Grain Bread that can be found at your local Whole Foods or Natural Food Store)

*I also added one package of shitake mushrooms, some fresh chopped sage, and for the tomatoes I choose a can that also included chiles for a little kick!

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook zucchini, celery, onion, salt and pepper until soft, about 8 minutes. Four minutes into it add the shitake mushrooms. After veggies are soft, mix in garlic and cook, stirring, another minute. Combine veggies, tomatoes, beans, 1/4 cup of the bean liquid, thyme, sage and bay leaves in a 2qt baking dish. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove bay leaves and serve warm with toast on the side.