Monday, October 05, 2009

Vegan Mofo #4. My vegan 'staples' part 1.

Here begins a series of some of my favorite vegan home staples, and recipes to go with, if applicable.

1.) Magic hangover cure/b vitamin supplement/fizzy and delicious:

Found at most major supermarkets with the Crystal Lite and the koolaid. This, a dose of ginseng, and some fresh fruit will fix most all ails. Just don't by the 'joint formula'. It's got crustaceans in it. Bleh. Better yet, check all your labels.

2.) More b-vitamin-y with the added fact that it's full of protein goodness, and a cheezy flavor that can't be matched: Flake Nurtional yeast. A strange product, grown on molasses, and made of magic.

Can be found in any natural grocery, sometimes in bulk (my preferred way to purchase dry goods). keep refrigerated, and use in almost anything to impart a cheezy flavor. Here are some ideas:

-As a substitute for Parmesan
-On toast with Earth Balance
-Sprinkled on fresh tomato
-In Pesto

Here's an example on how you can use nutritional yeast-sometimes called 'nooch', in an easy recipe:'s vegan 'queso'-with alterations from me:



  1. Combine dry ingredients first in a small saucepan.
  2. Add water.
  3. Whisk CONSTANTLY over medium heat until mixture is well incorporated. (If you don't constantly whisk it, the sauce will become lumpy!).
  4. Add margarine and salsa and mix for about another minute or so. Season with salt and pepper and more tobasco if you like.
This recipe is good without the salsa, but for 'authentic' yellow-'cheese' flavor straight from the can, make sure you keep it.

3.) Almond Breeze. Any flavor, but unsweetened for cooking, chocolate sweetened heated up for the best vegan hot chocolate ever. You can try other brands of almond milk or even make your own. But I've found none better in terms of flavor. I will never go back to soy again, it also is chock full of vitamin E which improves the skin, supports brain and heart health, and can even help with PMS.

4.) Apple Cider! Local is best. A few suggestions:

-You can 'de-glaze' a pan with it when cooking, specifically something autumnal like apples or squash or leeks. Yum. Cidery leeks.

Mulled Apple Cider:
(serves 6).

1/2 gallon local apple cider
1 teaspoon vanilla or better yet, a vanilla bean
Cinnamon or cinnamon sticks
To taste: one or any or none of these:

Make sure you go light on them, especially cloves, as they are super fragrant. You don't need to add any additional sweeteners, as the cider is sweet enough.

1.) Heat on medium-high until hot and steamy. Do not boil, you don't want to scald your spices.

2.) Drink

My awesome autumn cocktail is as follows:

-Jim beam to taste
-Apple cider, hot or cold, mulled or not.

Mix. Drink.

That's all for now, more staples and recipes to come.

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