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Today I bring you two of my favourite vegan sandwich fillings: Chickpeagg Salad and Pepitawurst.

I bragged about the Chickpeagg Salad sandwiches yesterday, and of course IMMEDIATELY Saby DEMANDED the recipe from me, so I decided to toy with her a bit and wait a full 24 hours before posting it online, because I like to play with her emotions a little bit. But it’s not nice to keep her in perpetual anticipation so here we go.

Chickpeagg Salad Sandwich Filling

1 (14oz) can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1/3 cup vegan mayo (Vegenaise is the undisputed champ-een of all vegan mayos)

1/4 cup chopped pickles – whatever your favourite kind is (once I used pickled pearl onions and OMG; but usually I just use the dills I keep on hand)

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp salt (if you have Kala Namak or Indian “Black Salt” – really it’s pink – use that. Stinky egg-like goodness)

dash of apple cider vinegar

dash of liquid sweetener

pinch of tumeric

grinding of black pepper

Place all ingredients in your blender or food processor and puree until uncommonly smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. Makes enough for like 8 sandwiches.
If you want this filling to be even more egg-like, try tossing some big chunks of firm silken or smoked tofu into it post-processing and stirring those around. They recreate cooked egg-whites very nicely.
Also yummy as a dip, or used as a filling for vegan “deviled eggs”.

 

 

Pepitawurst

I’m a little ashamed to admit this, but when I was a kid, I was a huge fan of processed meat products. Deviled ham and liverwurst especially. Of course now that I’m older, wiser and vegan the idea of eating the pureed flesh of another once-living sentient creature gives me the heaves, no matter how nicely spiced it may be. So when I developed this recipe for a baked pumpkin seed (pepita) spread (based on a sunflower pate recipe), I realized that it recreated that rich, spicy, salty sensation in my mouth every time I put it into a sandwich with mustard and mayo (just like the liverwurst sandwiches my mother used to send with me to school – and yes, I got teased about my lunches a lot…)

So, if you’re of German ancestry or just remember enjoying a sandwich spread thick with processed meat paste but don’t want to eat processed meat paste anymore, give this recipe a whirl and lemme know what you think.

1 1/3 cups finely ground raw pumpkin seeds

1/3 cup cornmeal

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 tsp each dried sage, rosemary, thyme, paprika, black pepper, onion powder and marjoram

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp each nutmeg & allspice

1 1/2 cups warm water

1/3 cup olive oil

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp your favourite mustard

Preheat your oven to 325 F. Oil a 8″ or 9″ baking pan (a pie plate or cake pan is great). Using a whisk, blend the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl until well combined. Add the wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until the edges look firm but the center still seems a bit soft. Let cool on a wire rack, then transfer to a food processor or blender and whiz until it’s smooth. Store in an airtight container in your fridge for up to 7 days. Great in sandwiches or on crackers.

And today, just because, here’s a bonus photo of one of my kitties, sitting pretty in a basket full of random swimming pool junk, hiding out from the rain on our deck.

 

Not much to write tonight; I’m still struggling with whatever this health issue is. My kids asked me, around 5pm, if there was anything they could do to help get dinner ready today. (They volunteered! I got a little verklempt! I’m doing something right!). I said they could make some oven fries and fry up some of the hippy cake patties I had frozen the last time I made them, for burgers.

Everything's homemade but the bun and the "cheese" (which is Daiya)

Look at the beautiful job they did, working together. They’re 13 and 9 years old. I love my kids; they have a great, close relationship and barely ever have any conflict. It’s pretty great around here, I’m not gonna lie. Proud mama bear, with a full belly.

I probably overdid it with this meal tonight. I tend to get frustrated when I don’t feel well enough to prepare a proper meal. I like my own cooking. I am not a fan of ‘fast food’. And because I had so many parts of this meal already prepared (pre-cooked, frozen chickpeas; storebought curry paste; frozen cooked spinach; frozen naan breads – all from meals past) I figured it wouldn’t be a big deal. But I guess I take how much effort I put into our meals for granted when I’m feeling well, because this took a lot out of me. So be forewarned. If you’re thinking of replicating this dinner, set aside a couple of hours to prepare it; especially if you’re doing it all from scratch.

The recipes I’ve posted elsewhere and will link to them under each photo.

Chana Vindaloo (Spicy Chickpeas) on Brown Basmati

Recipe.

Vegan Palak Tofu-"Paneer" with Naan

Recipe.

Halwah / Halavah (Steamed Farina Pudding)

Recipe.

 

Oh, I hope I haven’t been dropped from the Vegan Mofo list. I am so sorry for my absence. I had a medical emergency last Thursday (it was all very exciting with being rushed to the ER and all) and I was put on some heavy duty meds that have made me very sluggish and nauseated. This has meant I haven’t been doing much food prep. Remember how I was talking about making extra servings of all our meals and freezing them? These sorts of weeks are why I do that. So the family can remain fed even if I cannot do real cooking. I will say that over the weekend my¬† husband took over dinner prep in a very excellent way. He made roasted vegetables on polenta, and french bread pizza. (The other nights he reheated leftovers). Everything has gone smoothly. And while I’m still not 100% (and we’re still waiting on test results to find out what’s going on with my innards), I am on lower doses of the accursed meds (which are actually doing what they’re supposed to) and wanna start cooking dinner again, at least; if not in my usual elaborate manner.

So, last night I pulled out the rest of the seitan “roast” I’d made last week and shaved it nice and thin with my cheap-y mandolin slicer. I caramelized some onions in a skillet with some olive oil, added a few spicy pickled peppers and the seitan, and fried it all around for a few minutes to get it nice and hot and crispy around the edges. Then I added some generous sprinkles of Daiya (Italian-style), turned the heat off the skillet, covered it, and let it rest for five minutes to let the “cheese” really melt. In the meanwhile I split a couple of soft Italian rolls and spread one side with garlick’d Vegenaise and the other with a sweet barbecue sauce. Once the “cheese” was all melty, I scooped generous helpings of the “steak” mixture into the prepared rolls, and served them steaming hot.

Drool-worthy Vegan Cheese Steak Subs

Not pictured are the oven-roasted¬† root veg’ sticks I made. I chopped some carrots, parsnips, potatoes and turnips into thin french-fry shapes, tossed em in oil, salt and pepper and roasted ’em at 425 F, stirring now and then, for about 30 minutes. I feel terribly guilty if my kids don’t get at least some kinda vegetable on their dinner plates every night.

By the by, if you don’t happen to have a delicious seitan roast just sitting around in your fridge waiting to be used in these subs, try using giant portabello (portobella? portobello? I have never been sure of the correct spelling) mushrooms, sliced real thin and marinated in olive oil, salt and pepper for half an hour or so. Not exactly the same but they will still have you vacationing in Tasty Town.

 

I had some bosc apples that weren’t going to last much longer. They’d been picked from an organic orchard on Cortes Island, BC back in late September. We were given an 8lb sack of them at that time and I had made some into apple sauce, and the rest were eaten fresh, but they were becoming increasingly mealy with every day that passed, so I decided it was time to get some baking done. I’m not an enormous fan of apples or apple-products but I do like a good apple cake or muffin. These fit that description to a “tee”. I even got a little fancy and added in some finely chopped crystalized ginger I’d had lurking in the dried fruit bin for almost a year, and put a little powdered ginger into the cake batter for good measure. The texture of these muffins can only be described as velvety and soft. Not moist, and not overly dense, either – which I’m attributing to the use of the soy yogurt. It’s not something I always have on hand (the kids have decided they don’t like it anymore, so I had to use up the last of what was in the fridge. However I would buy soy yogurt again and again if it meant we would be eating delicious soft rich muffins like these more often.

 

Wonderful, Appleful

Apple-Ginger Muffins

2 cups flour (I used half unbleached wheat, and half whole grain spelt)

1 cup dark brown sugar

1 1/2 tbsp baking powder

1 tbsp cinnamon

2 tsp ground ginger (or more, to taste)

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 cup plain or fruit soy yogurt (if it’s sweetened, you may wanna reduce the sugar used slightly)

2/3 cup non-dairy milk whisked with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 cups peeled and diced apples

1/2 cup finely chopped crystalized ginger

Preheat oven to 400F. Line 24 muffin tins with paper cups or prepare them with grease and flour.

In a large bowl, sift all the dry ingredients together and stir in the brown sugar until it’s well incorporated. In a seperate bowl or large measuring cup, whisk the soy yogurt, non-dairy milk + vinegar, and vegetable oil together until smooth. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the liquid mixture. Stir until just mixed and there are still even some streaks of dry mix apparent. Fold in the chopped apples and crystalized ginger. Portion the batter into the prepared muffin tins (only fill each tin about half to two-thirds of the way to the top). I like to use an ice cream scoop for this job. Bake on the middle shelf for 25 – 30 minutes or until they test done. Let the pans cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before trying to remove the muffins. Enjoy warm with “butter”, “cream cheese” or your favourite preserves.

Yesterday I touched briefly on the topic of my kids’ school lunches and decided today I’d write a little more about them. Being vegan they face some unique challenges when it comes to packed lunches; living with a set of parents who prefer them to have whole foods as often as possible adds to those challenges. And put one of them in a school where there are two kids with known, severe peanut allergies and you’re probably wondering what on earth they could possibly pack every day that would be 1) delicious, 2) nutritionally adequate and 3) not get them too many funny looks from the other kids.

We’re still working on number 3. But we’ve got numbers 1 and 2 down okay.

Behold.

 

Left to Right: Yam Dip, Sunflower Pate, Toasted Sesame Hummus

Yep, my kids bring sandwiches filled with sunflower pate, whole wheat pitas smeared with toasted sesame hummus and yam dip with which to garnish their organic whole-grain crackers. Do they like these foods? Yup. Do they get teased about them? Sometimes, I imagine, though I have only heard of one incident where it got particularly heated. I just remember all the times I brought my homemade wholemeal bread sandwiches stuffed with soybean spread when I was a kid. Or my roasted chickpeas and raisins. I got made fun of too – but I still enjoyed the food and I’m glad my mom gave me a taste for wholesome stuff like that as a youngster. I realize now how much more delicious and less disgusting it is than balogne and processed cheese slices and Wagon Wheels. (Remember those?)

By the way, I insist you try making this yam dip yourself. Locals may recognize this as a staple on the menu offered by Foundation restaurant here in Vancouver. I boycott the joint now due to multiple instances of egregious customer service errors, and I don’t even miss it now that I can approximate their “Mingling Yams” here at home. You can do it too. Take 2 yams and roast ’em in their skins until they are nice and soft. Put ’em in the food processor with a matching number of garlic cloves. Add a healthy dollop of tahini, a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice, a pinch of salt and a glug or two of real maple syrup. Puree until completely and totally smooth like buttah. Eat with crackers, lavash bread, veggie sticks, corn chips, toasted pita, or a spoon.

Lest you get the wrong idea, my kids do occasionally get Tofurky deli slices and veggie dogs for lunches. Often they bring leftovers from our dinner the night before, depending on how complicated they might be to eat. They don’t always have as many fruits and veggies packed as I would perhaps like, either. I feel happy if I manage to get them to take one serving of these things every day. This has less to do with their willingness to eat them and more to do with the very minimal amount of time they are allotted to eat their lunches each day. My daughter gets 15 minutes before the kids are kicked outdoors – and they’re not allowed to bring food outside with them. My son does a little better in highschool now – it’s a 40 minute break and the kids can eat where they like.

Tomorrow is a day off here (lest we forget), so there are no lunches to pack, but I know what we’ll be having for lunch anyway.

Slow-Cooked Seitan Roast Dinner with all the Trimmings

That was dinner tonight. Can you say “Open-faced Seitan Sandwiches on Toasted French Bread Au Jus”? I knew you could.

By the way, I have really, really been enjoying Vegan Mofo. As a first-timer I was feeling a little intimidated but it’s proving to be more fun and less work than I’d imagined. And I am really, really loving checking out my Google reader a couple of times and day and keeping my finger on the pulse of what everyone else is doing. We rock.

 

 

 

O-bla-di O-bla-da, Life Goes On

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