Every now and then, I feel like having a tuna salad or a tuna melt. But how could I make a tuna melt without tuna? Very easily, actually. And I never have to worry about bones, mercury poisoning, innocent dolphins being caught and killed as collateral damage from the large nets that are used to capture tuna! At the rate we are raping the oceans, there won’t be any left very soon! So making mock tuna is a win, win, win!
One of my favorite way to make it, is to use chick peas because it gives a nice rich texture and flavor. You get all the good protein and none of the saturated fat that usually comes with it. And I guaranty that everyone that tries it, will love it and ask for seconds. So make plenty, it keeps well!
INGREDIENTS for +4 people
2 cans of chick peas (or prepare yourself the day before)
1/2 cup vegenaise (eggless mayonnaise)
2/3 cup minced celery
1/3 cup minced dill pickle (not sweet relish!)
¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes
2 green onions, minced
2 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon kelp powder*
1 tbl capers (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
*Kelp powder and all seaweeds are so good for you. You will need some for this salad if you want it to taste like the ocean but not so fishy! You can use other seaweed if you don’t have kelp. A good place to find it is at Whole Foods in their bulk section or in the Asian section of your local grocery store (most carry a mix of seaweed, toasted sesame seeds) or in Asian stores where you will find a greater selection and much lower prices!
The key to making mock tuna salad when using garbanzo beans is to create a mixture that resembles real tuna salad. To accomplish this I use a potato masher instead of a food processor. The risk you run if you use a food processor is to end up with something that looks more like hummus than tuna. Not that hummus isn’t delicious but it isn’t what we are making today!
- Start rinsing the chick peas under water and pour into a large bowl.
- Start mashing them with the potato masher. It will take a minute or so to go through the 2 cans. The goal is not to pulverize everything but to end up with something you cannot identify as chick peas. So look for whole beans and go for it.
- Add the Vegenaise, the celery, the relish and mix with a wooden spoon.
- Add the remaining ingredients, mix some more.
- Taste, see if you need salt and pepper.
- It is ready to enjoy at this point.
- If you want to scoop on top of a salad (like on the photo) I would refrigerate it for 30mn. Same for a sandwich.
If you want to make a vegan tuna grilled sandwich, you can make it immediately. Toast some bread, spoon the tuna on it, sprinkle with some Daya cheese, cover with a lid and let it melt for a few minutes on medium heat or just put in the oven.
What about a vegan ‘tuna’ casserole? Actually for the tuna casserole, I would use tvp instead of chick peas but that’s me!
The fun never ends!
Who said, you can’t have your tuna and eat it too?
I just did!
Now, why would a vegan, ever care to create a veganized version of a Philly cheese steak sandwich? Even though I have had my fair share of food containing animal parts and by-products while growing up in France, I must confess that I have never tasted a steak sandwich during my carnivorous years in the US. For some reason, it didn’t appeal to me! But yesterday, my girl friend suggested I made one for lunch using some Tofurky deli slices she had bought. I thought why not? I did a little research online since I was a neophyte in the art of steak sandwich! But how complicated could it be?
Turns out, it is fairly simple and doesn’t require a lot
ingredients. So I was able to whip out a really delicious, low fat
counterfit thereof! That was pretty cool! I didn’t have French
rolls on hand, so I decided to go for an open sandwich. It is less
bread that way. We were good to go!
INGREDIENTS for 2 people:
4 slices of good French bread (toasted or not)
1/2 package of tofurkey roastbeef style
1-2 medium white or yellow onions sliced
1 Tbl balsamic vinegar
1 Tbl soy sauce
4-7 peperoncinis per person
1/2 red pepper (if you digest them)
1/3 cup Daiya cheese Pepperjack Style shreds*
PUTTING IT TOGETHER:
- Start slicing the onion.
- Put a little vegetable oil in a frying pan and cook the onions over medium heat.
- Sprinkle some balsamic vinegar and mix with the onion, then add the soy sauce. Cover and mix from time to time. Add a little water if needed until the onions are translucent.
- Open the Tofurky package and separate the slices. Slice in strips.
- If you can digest bell peppers, take a half red or green pepper, remove the stem, the seeds and slice in thin strips.
- We used pickled pepperoncini instead and it worked out even better because they were pickled and didn’t need much cooking.
- Mix the peppers or pepperoncini to the onion mixture. Cook the peppers for a few minutes or until they are more tender.
- Toast the bread if you would like, not if you are using French rolls.
- In the frying pan, create 4 separate portions and sprinkle some of the daiya pepperjack shreds and cover to melt in.
- Place the bread on plates and quickly serve the steak mixture being careful to keep the melted cheese on top. It may require a spatula and a spoon to transfer successfully.
*if you can’t find daiya pepperjack style shreds, don’t worry, if you only have regular daiya cheese, just add some sea salt, black pepper, paprika and a touch of chili powder.
Bon appétit !
By the way, this sandwich is cholesterol free (only animal products and by-products contain cholesterol), low fat (just the oil for stir-frying the onions and what’s in the cheese on top!) I used no mayonnaise or dressing for the bread because it doesn’t need it! You actually could lose weight on this! Un-believable!
So enjoy and indulge because there is nothing to be guilty about!
You saved a cow, made a great sandwich in the process, discovered a delicious new lunch dish… Life is sweet!
One of the great advantage of living in the Northwest is the availability of wild mushrooms almost all year around! I had some friends over and wanted to feature them in a classy way. So I adapted an old classic French tart made with mostly caramelized onions and incorporated the mushrooms. The result was divine! I should have doubled the recipe because no piece was left. It was a success!
4-5 cups of mushrooms (shitake, porcini*, chanterelle, white caps etc.)
1 large yellow or red onion
1 Tbl balsamic vinegar
1 Tbl soy sauce
salt & pepper
1/2 tsp rosemary ground
1/2 tsp oregano
1 package of Puff pastry (Pepperidge Farm is a popular one*)
some soy milk* I used some dried porcini mushrooms that I re-hydrated in hot water and reused the water to add extra flavor my mushroom mixture.
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
(this part requires gentle hands and staying in the kitchen to watch over the oven during the pre-baking period)
- Place the puff pastry in the refrigerator the night before.
- Start cooking the mushroom mixture.
- Mince the onions. Pan fry it in a little olive oil.
- Sprinkle the balsamic vinegar and soy sauce on the onions and mix. They will caramelize. When all the liquid is absorbed, pour a little water to deglaze them. Cover and lower the heat.
- Prepare the mushrooms. Wash and rinse them. Remove the stems and cube.
- Add the mushrooms to the onions and mix well. Sprinkle with salt pepper, rosemary and oregano. Cover and lower the heat for 5 mn. Remove the cover and let the juice evaporate. Taste and season again if needed.
HOW TO WORK WITH PUFF PASTRY
- In the meantime, prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or by lightly oiling it. Turn the oven on to 350F.
- Open the package of puff pastry. Carefully unroll the dough. If it is too soft, put in back in the fridge until it has hardened a little.
- Place one sheet down on the baking sheet. Use the other sheet and cut small strips to create an edge all around if you want a square tart. Poke holes everywhere.
- Bake for 10 mn. It will puff a lot. Take it out push down to let the heat escape. Return to the oven for another 8-10 mn. Watch so that it doesn’t burn. Take out. Let it cool off for a few minutes.
- Spoon the mushroom mixture in the middle.
- An hour before you plan to serve, bake again for 20 mn covered with aluminum foil. Remove the foil and bake for another 10mn. Serve immediately if possible. Goes great with a spinach or kale salad.
*Other brands of vegan puff pastry are: Dufour Pastry Kitchen
I have bought dog cookies for years until I tried making my own and since, I never went back to the store version. I know what is in them, I can vary the recipe depending on what I have on hand. My 2 furry kids love peanut butter! I usually make a big batch over the week-end and they last for a few weeks or as long as I keep them in an air tight container!
1/2 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup of soy flour
1 cup quick oatmeal
1/3 cup of soy milk powder + 1 cup water*
1 cup of peanut butter
1 Tbl baking powder
- Preheat the oven to 315F
- Combine and mix dry ingredients.
- Mix the peanut butter and milk and add to dry ingredients.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4″ thick and cut into pieces or use a special bone shape cookie cutter for an extra touch.
- Bake for 25 mn untill lightly brown.
- Leave the cookies in the oven after you turned it off so that they get harder.
- Let them cool off before storing them in an air tight container.
* You can substitute the soy milk powder and the water to a cup of soy milk.
Waiting for a treat requires great concentration!
Be one with the cookie!
You win some, you lose some… This seems to be Monsanto‘s new motto ! They sure have been in the news a lot lately! While Whole Foods and others have surrendered to the GMO king in the US, the Daily Mail, a British newspaper reported that the UK and Europe succeeded in no less than ousting the company and its products from its markets and borders! Sayonara! Goodbye, bon voyage… and don’t come back!
Wow, it is amazing what people can do when they mobilize en masse with a specific goal in mind (the Occupy movement could learn a thing or two from them and in this case to have a point!)
So Monsanto, as a result, will be closing off their Cambridge-based wheat production, selling off GMO crop-breeding centers in France, Germany and the Czech Republic. As a result, other companies like Bayer CropScience have followed suit and closed shop too!
Now, if the UK, France and the Czech Republic managed to kick them out, we can do the same in the US. Granted, we are off a slow start since the US is the largest producer of GMO crops but we need to start somewhere. Take California, they introduced a ballot initiative, another one is under way in the state of Washington and many others are thinking about doing the same.
Forget the USDA and FDA as watchdogs looking after the well being of Americans, because many former executives of Monsanto (see diagram) are now conveniently, for them, watching over the interests of their former employer! You would think that this would constitute total collusion of interests, but somehow, our Federal government doesn’t seem to see any problem with that!
Read the original article who broke the news here
More interesting reading on the company.
And to celebrate this great news, how about some organic popcorn for everyone? Don’t forget to sprinkle some nutritional yeast on top for an added cheezy flavor and lots of vitamin B!
It is practically a supplement!
The largest retailer of ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ foods in the US just gave up fighting against GE crops (a.k.a Genetically Modified organisms or GMO). Now, why would a giant like Whole Foods, the champion of all things natural and healthy would do such a thing? Well, they say, because 2/3 of the products they sell contain some form of GMO products and that they are not labelled as such. Many products touted as natural are actually conventional products, processed like the others. So why fussing about this! Great, if the bar wasn’t low enough, now let’s take the bar down completely!
So what are we talking about? Mainly GMO Corn, soy and canola are the
main culprits here and they have found they way into so many products these days. So if Whole Foods were to be a no GMO store, they would have to get ridd of lots of products and that doesn’t bid well to the bottom line. We get that.
But as “leaders” of all things natural, they could lobby for GMO labelling as a start like the European Union did. They not only fought againts it but succeeded in kicking it out for the most part. You may
be surprised to know that there is moratorium on GM Organisms in France, Germany, Greece, Austria and Luxembourg (meaning it is outright banned) and for the remaining countries in the EU, labels must clearly indicate GMO ingredients. We are far from this in the US. So it is
Considering the billions of dollars the bio-tech industry (mostly
Monsanto) pours into buying public officials, seats in the USDA, the media and the scientific community, it has flat out failed in Europe (they know what is good for them and what is not!) but giants don’t take no for answer, so they set shop elsewhere, like Brazil, China, Spain, Africa, where greedy, gullible and desperate people bought their lies.
Don’t take my word for it, check the map below to see who is growing GMO crops! Start with the US, then look around. Not so popular anywhere else where people seem to care about what they grow and ingest ! What’s wrong with Americans?
There are no magic seeds, folks! Mother Nature already provided us with
all the magic we need. It is the scientific mind in all of its arrogance that thinks it can do better. But when you look closely, all you will see, is a trail of tears and blood. Tears, because farmers using these seeds end up bankrupt from all the chemicals they have to buy just to be able to grow these seeds (and these are good size agro-businesses, the little farmers are on the extinction list!) And blood because thousands of farmers in India, for example, have committed suicide, because a slight drought devastated their crops and nothing was produced year after year (but they still need to pay the loan for the seeds and the fertilizers). Not so magic after all but who is talking about this? The picture isn’t pretty. Wait, the horror movie doesn’t end here, GMO contamination can also take you to court because these GM seeds are patented! If your neighbor happens to be growing GMO seeds and the wind happens to blow them in your fields, then you owe money to the seed manufacturer for growing their franken seeds. How did we let this happen?
So as we get sicker, fatter and more tired, when are we, the American people, going to fight for what is right for us and our children? I hate doing the “us” and “them” game, but if the multinational corporations had a ounce of conscience and responsibility, we wouldn’t be in this position in the first place, would we?
Billions of people Vs a handful of powerful corporations.
Don’t you think that we could do what Europe did? What do we have to
lose? Let’s see, what is left of our health and that of our children, local food safety and our right to healthy and nutritious food.
In the meantime, you can download a free guide to GMO free food.
Here is a list of non GMO seeds companies in case you are looking for non-GMO seeds for you garden.
Another great book to read on this is Seeds of Deception, by Jeffrey Smith.
More articles on this.
I woke up early this morning to discover my garden covered by a thick blanket of snow. Every little branch had a layer, every item was covered perfectly. It was a scene straight out of a Japanese garden in the winter. Breathtaking!
For some reason, all I could think about was making a nice borscht, the traditional beet soup. Luckily I happened to have beets in the refreigerator (I am not sure if I would have braved snowy roads for it though!)
It is so easy to make and has such a wonderful unique flavor. The color is pretty amazing too.
While the original recipe calls for some sausage, it so doesn’t need it. I even made it without onion and garlic because a friend of mine came for dinner and she doesn’t eat them and it was awesome. A little sweet, a little sour, yet I added nothing to make it sour.
3-4 medium red beets, peeled and shredded
2 large carrots peeled and shredded
3 medium potatoes peeled and cubed
1 medium onion chopped
1 clove of garlic minced
1 tbl vegetable oil
1/2 can of tomato sauce
1 tsp sugar
4-5 cups of water with vegetable broth (or more if you like it more liquid)
Vegan sour cream for topping
- Stir fry the onion and garlic in a little oil
- Shred the beets, then the carrots
- Cube the potatoes.
- Add the shredded vegetables to the onion, mix everything.
- Place into a cooking pot, add the water and broth over medium heat for 15mn or so.
- Add the tsp of sugar and tomato sauce at the very end and turn of the heat.
- Serve the soup into nice bowls and top with some vegan sour cream. You can also sprinkle with some fresh chives,green onions or parsley but it isn’t necessary.
Bon appétit !
If you ever have some leftover one day old rice and a few vegetables in the fridge, you have all you need for a delicious all-in-one vegetable fried rice. A great Chinese classic that was probably created to make sure that nothing in the kitchen was wasted. Folks in the South of China turned their leftovers into fried rice while folks in the North, used noodles and the famous fried noodles were born! This has to be one of the most flexible, forgiving and cheap dish I know. As a result, it is never the same depending on what is on hand, so it is always a big hit in our house. It is great to pack for lunch and keeps well refrigerated.
Ingredients for 3 people:
1 cake of extra firm organic tofu diced
3 cups of cooked rice
1/2 cup of green onions chopped
1-2 cloved of garlic minced
1 onion diced
1 cup of corn (fresh or canned)
1 large carrot thinly diced
1 cup of frozen peas
1 cup diced mushrooms (optional)
3 Tbl vegetable oil
1 tsp sesame (or peanut) oil
Chili paste (optional)
- Pan fry the cubes of tofu in a little oil until golden.
- Sprinkle with a dash of sea salt. Set aside covered to keep warm.
- Pan fry the onions in a little water until translucent.
- Add the carrots, add a dash of sea salt and cook for a few minutes.
- Add the corn and frozen peas and cook a few more minute mixing all the vegetables with the rice over medium heat.
- Sprinkle with some soy sauce, a little sesame oil and black pepper.
- You can mix the cubed tofu with the rice or serve it on top as in the picture.
Note: You can also add a handful of peanuts, or water chesnut (usually canned) if you want some extra crunch. I love some cilantro and some chili paste but I like it spicy.
This is flu season and if you ever feel the beginning of a cold or of a sore throat, reach for this easy to make healing syrup. I always have readily available for the family, just in case!
I don’t know about you but the stuff I find in drugstores not only tastes nasty and usually contains alcohol but it doesn’t do much for me besides making me woozy! I have to say, since I became vegan, I haven’t caught a cold or a flu in years. But, I did feel a little tingle in my throat when I flew back from Europe. I must have inhaled something in transit. Airplane and airports are major breeding grounds for viruses and bacteria. Something about breathing recycled air for 8 hours, pressurized cabins, jetlag…
So when I felt something in my throat I immediately reached for my handy dandy homemade cough syrup and it was gone the next day!
All you need is some molasses and an herb called slippery elm in powder form. Simple enough?
The beauty of this is that you not only get one of the most soothing herb to help your throat and everything that it touches (mouth, throat, intestines…) but you also get the nutritional benefit from molasses: a great source of manganese, iron, calcium, potassium and more. So the goodness doesn’t stop with your throat!
HOW TO MAKE IT:
Mix 1/4 cup (about 4 Tbsp.) of Slippery Elm powder with 1 cup of molasses. I recommend mild flavor molasses if you are not a fan of molasses.
Simmer and stir for 20mn. That’s it!
If you want it more liquid like a syrup, just add some water.
HOW TO TAKE IT:
I like to take a teaspoon and either suck on it until it is fully absorbed or let it dissolve in a warm glass of water or tea and drink it.
Note: I like to add 2-3 drops of peppermint spirit to it for a fresh taste but it isn’t necessary.
Slippery Elm can be bought at any natural food store in the bulk section with all the herbs. It truly is a wondrous herb. See for yourself, it helps pull out and expel mucus, it is an anti-inflammatory, soothes everything that it comes into contact with. So it can be used to also relieve intestinal and lung problems like heart burns, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, ulcers, bronchitis etc. It can also be used externally as an eye wash (only using strained tea).
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Slippery Elm is a mucilaginous plant meaning that it produces a slippery and soothing substance that protects areas from infections, from toxic substances by absorbing them and eliminating them from the body. Pretty cool stuff and there are NO side effects!
So if you don’t have any at home, I suggest you go and get some right away because it if the most gentle yet powerful herb I know and it safe on children, adults and pets too. My kind of remedy!
So we have all made our share our New Year’s resolutions that we thought at the time we could keep but turned out to fizzle over time. Exercise more, stop smoking, volunteer, eat better, watch less tv read more etc. While all are all worthy of our efforts, they mostly benefit us and a handful of people around us.
What if we could make one change in our life that would not only directly benefit our health (physical, mental and spiritual), but stop the brutal killing of billions of animals in factory farms, help feed millions of starving children around the world, allow us to reconnect with our heart and soul. I can’t think of any other action that could impact millions, even billions of living beings.
We can all stop the killing fields, the concentration camps, the government subsidized torture chambers, the next pandemic and simply chose to live and let live.
All prophets regardless of your faith, have told us to live and let live, to love ALL beings as ourselves and to live a compassionate life.
And in return, you get to join the illustrious ranks of the famous and powerful celebrities that have done just that, switched to a plant-based diet.
Drum roll please:
President Bill Clinton, Steve Wynn, Russel Simons…
In the world of entertainment:
Ellen Degeneres, Martha Stewart and Oprah are working on it! Alanis Morissette, Anne Hathaway, Tobey Maquire, a.k.a. Spiderman, Alec Baldwin, Alicia Silverstone and many many more.
So don’t you think that it is time for this New Year (which according to the Maya could be our last one!) to decide the course of our life? Will you follow the path of the Saints by loving and respecting all life and beings on the planet? It is your call but if not now, then when?
Just do it!
Set an example for others to follow.
Save lives so that your life will be saved.
Live simply so that others wil simply live.
Because, as we sow, so shall we reap.
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