Category Archives: Sandwich

♥ Irish Colcannon

So much for my New Year’s resolutions. Yep, I’m back to being a lazy blogger. Ah, well. I did make it back and that’s what counts. And just in time for Saint Patrick’s Day leftovers. March 17th is J’s day (er, excuse) to celebrate all things beer and his perennial favorite, corned beef and cabbage. Myself, I prefer to celebrate the Irish whiskey cake. 🙂

This year, I resurrected a favorite old recipe for this year’s potato side dish: Irish Colcannon. Colcannon is traditionally served at Halloween with charms such as a ring (marriage), a coin (wealth), a button (bachelorhood), a thimble (spinsterhood) and a tiny horseshoe (good luck) stirred into the Colcannon.  The recipients of each charm would benefit accordingly. Whatever the tradition and significance attached to Colcannon, it’s a wonderfully flavorful side dish. The kale and the cabbage in the potato dish bring just the right amount of green to the Saint Patrick’s Day table.

The Colcannon is even better the next day with leftover corned beef, diced, and the corned beef gravy drizzled over the top.

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Irish Colcannon

Ingredients:

2 pounds yellow potatoes, diced

1/2 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 leek (white part only), rinsed and chopped

3 cups green cabbage, chopped

3 cups frozen kale, thawed

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 cup nondairy butter

1 to 1-1/4 cups soy milk

Directions:

Place the potatoes in a saucepan with enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes.

While the potatoes are cooking, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, leek, and cabbage; sauté until softened. Add the kale, garlic, salt and pepper. Continue to cook until tender; remove from heat.

Drain the potatoes and return to the pot. Stir in the kale and cabbage mixture. Heat the nondairy butter in 1 cup of the soy milk in the microwave and pour over the potatoes. Mash with a potato masher, adding more soy milk if necessary. Check the seasoning and serve hot.

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Here it is, the best for last. And the absolute best use for leftover corned beef (in fact, I always double the corned beef recipe to ensure leftovers): the mighty Reuben sandwich. The king of all sandwiches, really. Teese mozzarella cheese, Bubbies sauerkraut, sliced red onion and homemade Thousand Island dressing between two layers of corned beef on dark rye bread from the bread machine. Oh, how I love thee, Reuben!

♥ Southwestern Pulled Soy Curl Sliders

I guess there was a game on today. Despite all the hype, I can’t even tell you which teams played today. What’s more, I just don’t care.

I’ve wanted to make a meatless version of the bar menu favorite–sliders–for a while now. And today seemed like the appropriate day to do it. Butler Soy Curls are the perfect stand-in for pulled pork or beef. After several hours in the slow cooker simmering in the traditional spices, the “meat” is melt-in-your-mouth tender. I think this recipe could easily fool any meat-eater in a blind taste test. Hey, wouldn’t that be fun?!

I served these sliders on our favorite homemade buns. J likes his sandwich with coleslaw; I like mine with a slice of Tofutti American cheese.

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Southwestern Pulled Brisket Soy Curl Sandwiches

Adapted from this recipe.

Ingredients:

1 package soy curls, re-hydrated (1-1/2 pounds)

2 Tablespoons canola or safflower oil

1 sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced

5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

1 Tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1-1/2 cups filtered water

1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with juices

2 whole canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce (that’s 2 chilies, not 2 cans), chopped

2 bay leaves

1/4 cup molasses

Hamburger or slider buns (try this wonderfully easy bread machine recipe)

Pickled jalapenos, optional

Tofutti American cheese slices, optional

Coleslaw, optional

Directions:

Place the soy curls in a large bowl and cover with filtered water; let sit about 15 minutes.

Heat the oil in a large deep-sided cast iron skillet. Add the onion, garlic, chili powder, coriander, cumin, sea salt and black pepper to the skillet and stir until fragrant, not more than a few minutes.

Add the vinegar and boil until it’s almost gone, scraping the bottom of the pan with a flat wooden spoon. Add the water, tomatoes with juices, chipotles, bay leaves, and molasses. Stir well and remove the skillet from the heat.

Add the soy curls to the slow cooker crock, tearing apart the longer curls. Pour the sauce over the soy curls and stir well. Cover the slow cooker and set the temperature to ‘low’. Cook 6 hours.

To serve, remove and discard bay leaves. Pile the meat on sandwich buns and serve with jalapenos, a slice of cheese or coleslaw.

♥ It Really IS A Vegan Burger

It’s been a rough few days in Vegan Land. Unless you are living under a rock, you have already heard about the VegNews scandal. Ad nauseam.

So, VegNews lied. So, VegNews took the easiest and most cost-effective path available to them, despite the  fact that it was outright deceit. They used stock photos of burgers, ribs, stews, etc. to represent vegan meals in their vegan magazine. And, to add insult to injury, VegNews handled their PR nightmare very poorly. But, I’m over it. Really.

What I am not over, however, is the fallout in the vegan community. Call me naïve, but I have never witnessed so much hateful dialogue on vegan blogs and Facebook pages before. And this is among vegans! So, VegNews betrays our trust and our vegan ideals and, in response, we turn on each other?!

To make matters worse, the story was picked up by news syndicates such as CNN, The New York Times, and NPR. The comments on those websites are not  kind to vegans, or veganism, either. The air of smug self-satisfaction is palpable: of course the magazine used meat photos . . . because vegan food isn’t appealing or satisfying! To my thinking, that perception is the real tragedy of this unfortunate situation. And that perception could not be more wrong.

Of course, the general sentiment (as well as a lot of jokes at the collective vegan expense)  is that malnourished vegans are deprived and frustrated wanna-be-meat-eaters. That is, we are deprived and frustrated by our inability to duplicate the taste of meat for our sanctimonious and holier-than-though enjoyment. Heh?! Say what?!

I choose to respond thusly:

My (not professional) stock photo of a vegan "burger".

Okay, I will concede that one (ignorant) point. I haven’t been able to “duplicate” the taste of meat. What’s more, I do not want to! It is true, my Portobello mushroom burger does not taste anything like dead cow. It tastes better! Deprived? No. Frustrated? No. Satisfied? Oh, yes! [And about 1/3 of my total daily protein requirement, too (according to NutritionData.com).]

To enjoy this better-than-beef “burger”: caramelize sliced red onion in olive oil over medium heat and add a generous splash of balsamic vinegar toward the end of the cooking time. In a separate skillet, gently cook the Portobello mushrooms over medium heat and brush them frequently with good quality balsamic vinegar. When  the mushrooms are tender, place the mushrooms and onions on prepared buns with a slice of non-dairy cheese and condiments/burger fixings of your choice.

We enjoy our Portobello burgers on homemade bread machine buns* with  the caramelized onions, Vegenaise, romaine lettuce and pepper jack cheese from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook.  And a serving of sweet and tangy sandwich slaw on the side. And J’s “kickass” homebrew in the background.

* Note: I made the buns whole wheat by substituting the total flour amount in the original bun recipe with 2-3/4 cups + 1 Tablespoon white whole wheat flour + 3 Tablespoons soy flour. I also added in 2 extra tablespoons of warm water to adjust for the high altitude.

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If you’re feeling like I am (disillusioned and worn out from the VegNews fallout and negativity), I offer you some diversion therapy: squirrel antics on the other side of the dining room window!

Deprivation. Longing.

Big dude: problem solved.

Big dude: squirrel acrobatics.

Little dude: everyone wins (except the displaced birds).

Little dude: he takes matters into his own hands (paws?).

More deprivation. More longing.

As you can see, there ain’t no deprivation in this vegan house!

Although, the frustrated cats may beg to differ.

♥ Quickie Meals

I would not have made a good professional mover. Aside from the heavy lifting requirement, I have discovered that I am far too organized (anal retentive) to succeed in that field. Apparently. Yes, this from the woman whose label maker still gives her goosebumps, but, c’mon guys: bathroom items packed with living room items and kitchen items packed with garage items: really?! By the time this is over, I will probably have two of everything since I find that it is easier to buy a replacement rather than open half a dozen boxes looking for one single item.

I still have not located all of my cookbooks, but I did find the important ones. Since I haven’t felt very creative lately (living out of boxes can do that to a person), I have been whipping up our favorites from the few books I have located so far. I think Belgian Style Seitan With Dark Beer from Vegan Planet may be J’s all-time favorite dish (it’s that cooking with beer thing again!). We serve it over House Shirataki Fettuccine Noodles.

And another one of our Robin Robertson favorites: Red Hot Chili Tofu from Vegan Fire & Spice (her picture on the blog is far better than mine, but trust me when I say that this easy dish tastes incredible). Just to try something different, I dredged the tofu in almond meal before wok frying it. Since the rice maker is M.I.A., we enjoyed this dish over Shirataki noodles again with some extra sauce.

The great thing about the Creamy Caesar Salad recipe from The Vegan Table is that it makes enough dressing for at least two meals. We tossed our salads with Yves Lemon Herb Chicken Skewers (we removed the skewers and cut the “chicken” into cubes) and garnished each salad with fresh diced tomatoes. We skipped the crouton recipe and, instead, we enjoyed fresh, hot artisan bread with our salads: 100% Whole Wheat Bread With Olive Oil from Healthy Bread In Five Minutes A Day.

And there are days that even these simple meals seem like too much work. I never tire of the ridiculously easy (and ridiculously delicious) baked potato. I didn’t realize how much I loved baked potatoes until I had a properly prepared baked potato:

Forget the aluminum foil and forget the microwave (two things I try to avoid, anyway). For the best baked potato, all you have to do is remember to put the potatoes in the oven an hour in advance. That’s it!

Scrub the potatoes, prick several times with a fork and roll the still-wet potatoes on a plate liberally sprinkled with kosher or coarse sea salt. Bake at 400F for about an hour, depending on the size of the spuds. Organic potatoes (always eat organic potatoes!) are generally smaller than regular potatoes, so the baking time may need adjustment.

We brush most of the salt off the skin before eating the potato, but the crispy skin still retains a lovely salty flavor. The inside of the potato is melt-in-your-mouth fluffy, unlike the steam-cooked result from aluminum foil or the microwave. We top our potatoes with Earth Balance non-dairy butter, Tofutti non-dairy sour cream, Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds and chopped green onion. J likes vegan “bacon bits” on his, too.

My copy of The Happy Herbivore Cookbook arrived after we did, which is fortunate because if it were packed in one of these many boxes I probably wouldn’t have found it yet! We are loving the quick and delicious Eggless Egg Salad for lunch, served on homemade bread with packaged shredded cabbage tossed with sesame oil and rice vinegar. Easy, filling and oh-so-good!

Someday, I will have a fully functional kitchen again. And my house will be organized and neat. And my broken nails will grow back. And I will be well-rested again. But I do not think that I will be eating any better!