MARSALA AND JACK DANIEL’S CLEVELAND TOFU DISH
Risotto rice topped with a Marsala mushroom and green bean saute, then with Cleveland Tofu sticks pan-fried in a Marsala and Jack Daniel’s sauce with orange zest strips!
What this means is that for many companies to get up and running they need to use the factories that other companies use to manufacture their goods that do contain animal products. They basically rent out the facilities, thus the common labeling of possible and/or traces of allergens – among them animal products – on their animal-free vegan goods.
There are very few animal-free vegan companies that build their own factories. Most simply can’t afford the cost. So until such time that the demand for animal-free vegan goods increases to the point where they can stand on their own, I accept that there may be traces of animal products in the animal-free vegan products that I purchase. They can clean the equipment between uses, but it’s nearly impossible to wipe out all traces of what was previously manufactured on the same equipment.
My criterion for animal-free is that the recipe itself contain no animal products.
If my French fries that I order at a restaurant are fried in the same oil that chicken is fried, I will eat the fries. The demand isn’t popular enough for restaurants to have essentially two kitchens – one for animal-free, one for animals. For me to refuse to eat out, doesn’t make any sense, since evolution takes time, and my presence at a restaurant ordering an animal-free dish matters. It shows the chefs, the workers, the patrons that I want to eat there, but I don’t want any animals in my food.
There’s not a magic wand we vegans are going to wave, whereby one day we wake up and all manufacturing companies and restaurants suddenly decide to convert their manufacturing plants and eating establishments to animal-free vegan – and then instantly follow through on it.
Veganism is spreading more rapidly than in the past, still, the way restaurants are currently responding to that trend is by focusing more on vegetarian (including eggs and dairy) than on all vegetable/plant-based.
There’s a Chinese restaurant I go to where the chef makes tofu – to date about eight different ways. Delicious! with many different sauces and combinations of vegetables and fruit. He of course has a full animal-based menu. For me not to eat there because he cooks animals would be counterproductive to the movement. Chefs evolve just like everybody else, and often meet resistance from those who want to hold onto their traditional ways of cooking. If there aren’t enough vegan customers to keep them in business (which there aren’t), all the restaurants will go out of business. And then where will we be?
Then there’s the grocery stores. If I won’t shop at a grocery store that sells meat, I won’t eat, because there aren’t enough of them that are totally vegan.
That will all change, but in the meanwhile I’m going to be part of that change, by supporting animal-free vegan companies that may have traces of animal products in their animal-free vegan goods, because they can’t yet afford to build their own factories, and I will eat at animal-based restaurants that care enough about my business to make me a delicious animal-free meal.
Although we’ve come a long way, we are still in the birthing stage of making our dreams of a cruelty-free planet a reality everywhere. Giving up because we’re not yet there is not an option I give myself.
The animals need us at every stage and juncture of the evolutionary process to free them.
HOMEMADE CLEO’S BANANA ICE-CREAM
“CLEO’S” Vegan Peanut Butter Cups by Go Max Go, processed with ripe bananas, Roland Classic Coconut Milk and maple syrup. Frozen to desired consistency. Topped with soy or coconut whipped cream. Sprinkled with shaved Thumb’s Up Go Max Go candy bar and topped with a fresh cherry!
Makes 4 cups
Roasted eggplant and Betty Crocker Bac-os combined with a mushroom, red wine and garlic reduction. Finished with toasted sesame seed, tomato and Gia Russa Balsamic glaze! Served with grilled pita bread and/or sliced French baguette and sides of capers and/or chopped Kalamata olive!
Makes 3-1/2 cups
PINEAPPLE COCONUT COLESLAW
A delicious, fresh tasting coleslaw made from Pineapple Topping (that is normally served over ice-cream), mustard, a dash of cinnamon and coconut. Tossed with shredded cabbage, fresh parsley and celery seed! Perfect for home or restaurant!
Makes 2 cups dressing, approx. 7 cups coleslaw
PRODUCT REVIEW OF FIELD ROAST HAND-FORMED GRAIN BURGERS
As plant-based burgers go, Field Roast Hand-Formed Burger is the best of all the burgers I’ve tried. The folks at Field Roast aren’t afraid to use a little fat, which makes the burgers juicy. And that’s what everybody likes about a burger – plant-based or not.
Do you know how the skins separate from the meat of green, red, orange and yellow peppers when cooked? These sweet peppers don’t, which makes them a joy to cook with and to eat. Normally I wouldn’t put peppers in a gravy for that separation reason, but these turned out great. Check out the recipe: SWEET MINI PEPPER GRAVY.
I like them and I’m not alone. Every market I’ve been to carry them now. Use them in any recipe where you’d normally use sweet fresh peppers.
SWEET MINI PEPPER GRAVY
with fresh mushroom, red and white wines! An all-purpose gravy. Serve it over pasta, rice, as a hot knife and fork sub sandwich, on a toasted English muffin, in a tofu scramble! Or, serve in bowls with a side of your favorite ‘cutting board’ bread for dunking!
Makes approx. 5-1/2 cups
VEGGIE SAUSAGE ASIAN TUMBLE
A stir-fry of peppers, onion, bok choy and Mann’s Sugar Snap Peas with Gimme Lean Ground Sausage Style. Fresh turmeric root adds an earthy flavor. Tossed with House Foods Tofu Shirataki Macaroni, soy sauce, a little sugar then topped with toasted white and black sesame seed.
Makes 4-6 servings
Was I impressed with these potstickers or what? Steve too. I never have high expectations for prepared veggie frozen foods, so I was pleasantly surprised by the quality, texture, flavor and the way they cooked up ( no breakage).
The directions say to heat 2 T. oil in skillet on medium-high heat. Turn heat to medium, add frozen potstickers, stir and cook for 1 minute. Then you add 6 T. water to skillet, cover, and simmer 6 minutes.
Although they were great the way they were (and maybe because I have an electric stove that matters), next time I would pan-fry them maybe 2 minutes, then add about 3 T. water to the skillet and cook for 4 minutes.
I like everything about tofu pasta. A great invention. I made a stir-fry the other night, then added these at the end. They only take a few minutes to prepare. Very easy.
They don’t taste and texture like grain pasta, but who cares when both taste and texture please the palate.
CHECK OUT VEGGIE SAUSAGE ASIAN TUMBLE
When I was a kid, my mother always bought Skippy brand. Skippy was the ‘IT’ peanut butter back then.
She also read Prevention Magazine and consumerism reports, which made her switch to Jif – for whatever reason.
I hadn’t had Skippy peanut butter in decades till a few days ago, and it tasted more like real roasted peanuts than any peanut butter I’ve ever had.
If I were cutting back on my fat consumption, yogurt wouldn’t even come to mind. Yet, I can never eat just one of these containers at a time, so maybe the low fat isn’t a bad idea.
Basically, I like all the animal-free yogurts I try. Each is a little different in flavor, texture and prominence of a cultured taste, but each enjoyable in its own right.
A couple of years ago Steve brought this yogurt home. I read the label and it had milk on it. I was disappointed because a lot of vegan Facebook friends recommended it. I even took a picture of it and posted it on Facebook.
Well, Steve brought it home again a few days ago. I read the label and lo and behold, there was no comma between soy and milk in the ingredient section like there was the first time. What a difference a comma makes: soy milk or soy, milk!
Years back, in my early 20’s I ate Dannon yogurt, the type where the fruit was at the bottom. I prefer it that way. Stonyfield does it that way too, so that was an added treat.
I fully expected this mustard to taste and texture like the hot mustard I get at a Chinese restaurant. Not so. It has vinegar in it, which tones down the heat a little, and is considerably thicker. I like it as a variant of the traditional Chinese mustard, and have used it as a condiment with basic veggie rice dishes and veggie potstickers.
BABY MUSHROOM LINGUINI BOLOGNAISE
Baby Portobello mushrooms and baby shitake mushrooms in a tomato sauce made from Dei Fratelli Tomatoes, seasoned with fennel, basil and garlic. Served over linguini pasta with a side of broiled French baguette with extra virgin olive oil and garlic!
Serves 6 with enough sauce leftover for another small meal