The incredible disappearing meatlessballs & Shower me with awards why don’t you!

I’ve recently been the happy recipient of a blog award! Lucky me! butterfly_award1

Jessica of Awesome. Vegan. Rad. and River of Wing It Vegan fame have both honored me with The Butterfly Award. I think both of these rather groovy chicas are the bee’s knees and always look forward to the amazing goodness on their blogs (like River’s donuts & Jessica’s brinner. Excuse me while I feel sorry for myself because I don’t have some of that deliciousness happening on my dinner table right now). Thank you both, because you make me feel all special and loved, and darn it, that’s cool!

Can I just say that I find this award hilarious because of its grammatical ineptitude? I’m serious. I love that it’s a bit whimsical yet silly, rather sweet yet imperfect. Reminds me a little bit of myself! I’m supposed to pass this on, but I’m not terribly good at such things, so here’s the deal – if you’re on my blogroll (see link love above) you are thusly nominated. I believe I’m to pass this on to 10 people, which means that I am nominating far too many people, but I have issues with a) maths, and b) rules. The thing is, if you’re on the roll, I totally dig you, so it’s sincere – and that being said, I lost many links during the re-design so please don’t hesitate to drop me an email or message if you notice yours is missing!

Now for those meatlessballs! A few weeks ago now the superadorablesweet Jessy of Happyveganface posted Dan’s Greenrice & Tempeh Meatlessballs. ( I’ll try to not make any sophomoric jokes, but it’s not easy.) As with many of Jessy’s recipes, it sounded like it should be made post-haste, and my friends, it was. These tempeh boulettes (meatballs) are really amazing – I was out of tahini when I made them so I subbed aprox. 2 tablespoons gluten flour to give them some grip, and it worked beautifully. These were so good that we were rather disappointed to not have another package of tempeh in the fridge to make some more the following day!

But no picture? What’s up with that? Well, I’ll tell you…Monsieur Fish rarely uses the camera, but he did, and luckily I had only a few pictures on it because he accidentally erased them all. I wasn’t going to blog about a meal sans photo, but this meal is really worth mentioning! You’ll get some eye candy when you go to Jessy’s blog for the recipe!

Vegan MoFo Day 26 – Halloween Treats, BBQ Treats, Blondie Treats! (No tricks, kids).

BOO!

Are these not the cutest ever? Originating with the Celts around 2000 years ago, Halloween has remained a mostly anglo-saxon holiday, moving to some of the various colonised countries with the colonizers. Despite various marketing attempts, it is not really celebrated in France. In Paris and in some more anglophone cities you can find stores selling decorations and goodies, but they are more and more the exception and not the rule. Imagine my joy when walking in front of my favorite little chocolaterie with Guppy the other day…the front window was decorated with Halloween treats galore! The ghosts and pumpkins really caught my eye, and when we walked in and I told the owner how I loved the window display she offered right away, “You know, I’m pretty sure the ghosts and pumpkins are dairy-free!” She then swiftly went in the back to consult her notes and confirmed with glee, “They are made with an almond paste, but it’s no dairy.” Yeah. Ok lady, twist my arm.

I’ve decided to dedicate Vegan MoFo to trying yet untried recipes in my (small) collection of cookbooks. I came across the “BBQ Seitan and Crispy Coleslaw Sandwich” in VCON and thought, hey, I can swing this, I even have tempeh in the fridge! Yes, that’s right, I said tempeh. We’ve been eating a great deal of seitan around here lately, so I decided that this sandwich would be just as yummy with tempeh, and by golly it was! (Says the Shellyfish channeling a 1950’s teen). I never buy vegan mayo, so I just sort of fudged the dressing for the slaw with plain soy yogurt (which I usually do for slaw dressing and it’s just fine), but I did make the “Backyard BBQ Sauce” from VCON. My stand-by sauce is the BBQ from New Farm, so I felt a little guilty, but it was worth the infidelity because this sauce was rather scrummy. I just put the pre-fried tempeh in a baking dish with the BBQ sauce for about half an hour. Ding. We piled the sandwich goodness on some fresh baguette and dinner was served!

These beauties are the “Butterscotch Blondies” from Ricki’s soon-to-be-published Sweet Freedom. They are some of the best blondies I’ve ever tasted – decadent, rich…

All this Sweet Freedom deliciousness is really spoiling me! Luckily I’m a bit of a distance runner, otherwise I would have to make some new pants! Ricki, you are a recipe-writing genius.

Vegan MoFo Day 25 – Happy Mail & I’m Proud to MoFo!

I’ve been watching with secret envy as many of my fellow bloggers have been receiving Happy Mail… but low and behold, what is this I see? A package of love from Germany from the lovely and fabulous Mihl! Her blog, Seitan is My Motor is one of my favorites – she is articulate, funny, shares the most beautiful photos and delicious recipes (like her most recent post, Norwegian Cinnamon Buns. Good grief! Save me from my own gluttony!).

Guppy, photo-layout assistant & cookie lover

My super package of love contained not one but two kinds of homemade cookies wrapped beautifully with care, a sampling of Mihl’s favourite dark chocolate and a gorgeous post card :

The cookies traveled beautifully (at least the cold weather is good for something!). They are delicious!

blurry photo due to fighting off 3-year-old cookie monster…

Even if you didn’t get some Mihl vegan cookie love in the mail, you too can enjoy the cookie goodness! You can make the Almond Chocolate Cookies found in her recipe index. Mihl, is the recipe for the Chocolate Cookies with White Chocolate Chips up, too? Let me know & I’ll link it! I didn’t see it, but I was distracted by the cookie-induced nirvana I was experiencing…). Merci mille fois, Mihl! I’ll have my revenge…just you wait and see…

Can you believe it’s already Vegan MoFo Day 25? Personally, I can’t. This month has flown by like the Wicked Witch of the West on her bad-ass broom. I continue to discover new vegan bloggers and am inspired by so many groovy folks living compassionate lives. With much political debate around the impending elections in North America, I have to chuckle when I come across the occasional “I’m not going to get all political on you” type comment on vegan blogs…I understand what the person is trying to say, but the fact of the matter is that everything is political, like it or not, and being vegan is one of the most outwardly political things you can possibly do. We are living our convictions, whether you arrived in Veganland to fight speciesism, because of your concerns about the environment or for personal health reasons – or heck, all three, you are living your beliefs every day and I think that’s the most amazing thing a person can do. Vegan MoFo has allowed us a wonderful arena to showcase the delicious delights of vegan cuisine and food preparation, and to really concentrate on getting the word out about what it is we love – nourishing, tasty food sans cruelty. Beautiful.

Quinoa, Tempeh & Sautéed Veggies

Nothing terribly original here today, kids. However, lack of originality does not negate healthful tastiness!

It is suddenly summer here in ma petite ville française, and I have been swapping my “computer time” for “enjoying the gorgeous outdoors” time. We live in a generally mild climate, and if that pesky GLOBAL WARMING wasn’t futzing with the environment, it would have been warm and sunny, gee, about a month or two ago. We were dealing with unseasonably wet and cool weather (I once counted the meteorologist use the word unseasonably followed by the adjectives: cold, wet & rainy nine times during her post-evening news diatribe. That’s encouraging.) Since about two weeks ago we’ve been enjoying temps in the mid/high 70sF/20sC, bright sun, gentle breezes…lovely!

Gorgeous weather aside, one cannot live on Vitamin D alone (hélas), so the food must be prepared…

I was feeling rather guilty of blog neglect, so I snapped a picture of what I threw together for dinner yesterday. I have really been on a quinoa kick lately, mostly because it’s so darn quick & nourishing- nature’s fast food grain. I make a lot of this sort of dish because the quinoa is done when you’ve finished tending to your veggies, and it’s just as delicious served warm as it is when presented the next day as a cool, composed salad straight from the fridge. I’m trying to be better about remembering my pumpkin seeds since my iron is a wee bit low…so should you! Eat your pumpkin seeds everyone! I soak a handful or two over night, then drain and put in the fridge and throw them into or onto everything I can: salads, sautées, smoothies (and even things that don’t begin with the letter “S”).

Quinoa, Tempeh & Sautéed Veggies

  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 1 package of tempeh, cubed & sautéed until brown & crispyish
  • 1 courgette/zucchini, chunk cut
  • garlic cloves (to taste) diced up
  • onion, quartered
  • 3 carrots, chunk cut
  • 2 green onions
  • 2 tablespoons rice syrup
  • 5 tablespoons (aprox. I didn’t measure) soy sauce
  • sesame oil
  • 3/4 cup soaked pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup fresh parsley

This is really complex, so get ready… :)

Sautée the garlic and onion for about a minute or two in the sesame oil, then add the carrots & courgette, and maybe add just a smidge (no official measure here people) of water, then cover and leave to cook on low heat. Forget about veggies while washing your dishes. Remember them in time to stir them once or twice, and when they are just-right soft, take them off the flame and pour them into a large salad bowl with the tempeh and quinoa. In a small sauce pan, briefly sautée the green onions, for maybe two minutes, than add the rice syrup and soy sauce. It’ll get very liquid and bubbly. Pour this over the quinoa/veggie mixture and be careful to distribute evenly. Toss in the parsley rather than forgetting it in the bowl on the counter until after dinner like I did, and the pumpkin seeds. Voila!

If you are a fan of the quinoa as I am, go visit the lovely & eloquent Ricki at Diet, Dessert & Dogs. She was running a fun quinoa-series of recipes a bit back, and there were lots of great links to quinoa recipes galore!

Tempeh with Bulgur and Celery

Tempeh & Bulgur Salad

 

I have been so crazy-busy since my Mum got here that I’ve been rather absent from the blogosphere of late… so I’m hoping to make up for my lack of posts with one of my favorite (and rather quick) recipes: Tempeh with Bulgur and Celery.

My omni-Mum has been rather enjoying all the delicious (hopefully) vegan offerings eaten here at the Fish household, but this has been one of her favourites by far. She wanted to be sure to have the recipe before she left, so I decided it was blog-worthy and will share this healthy and tasty composed salad with everyone!

I love the marriage of cilantro (with just about anything) and tempeh, and adding the nutty-flavoured quinoa makes it just perfect. I often make this dish with bulgur rather than quinoa, and sometimes too with left-over brown rice or kamut. It’s all good…

Tempeh and Bulgur with Celery

Tempeh with Bulgur and Celery

  • 1 cup bulgur (or quinoa or your favorite grain)
  • 2 cups water
  • oil for frying
  • 1 package of tempeh, cubed
  • 4 cloves crushed or finley minced garlic (or more)
  • 5 or more green onions (you can add more or less to taste, cut them on the diagonal, they look perdy like that, or just chop them up if you’re in a hurry)
  • 4 tbs soy sauce
  • 4 tbs agave syrup or rice syrup
  • 5 (or as many as you’d like) celery stalks, diced (the smaller, the better)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  1. Cook your grain of choice, here bulgur, and while it’s cooking dice up your veggies & tempeh. I usually start by frying up the tempeh. The original recipe I adapted calls for deep-frying it, which I don’t always do. Often I just cover the bottom of the pan with oil, then sauté the tempeh until it’s crispy and golden. Deep-frying does give it a great sort of “burn bacon”-like taste (which my mom loved).
  2. Let your tempeh drain on some paper towels while you sauté the garlic, onion and celery until the onions are bright green and the celery softens up just a tad. Add the soy sauce and your syrup and let things bubble up a bit, then add the tempeh and stir until well coated, and finally add your grain and fold until everything is coated with this delicious sweet-tasting sauce.
  3. Once you remove from heat (I usually pour it into a large salad bowl) fold in the parsley (or cilantro) and serve. You can also drizzle some lime or lemon juice if you’d like.

I like to serve this as a warm-cold salad, but in the summer (and when I’m organized enough) I make this ahead of time and chill in the fridge and it’s just as good.

We are all having a great time with my Mum, though sigh-seeing has been halted by her being slammed by a horrible cold/lung issue, but the Guppy is getting tons of snuggles and is just elated to have her “Pamma” here with her.