The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #155902   Message #3688856
Posted By: GUEST
22-Feb-15 - 02:17 AM
Thread Name: BS: Vegan mudcatters
Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
4th and final batch:

Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 18 Jan 15 - 10:47 AM

I use naan bread as a base for Pizza, it is perfect for that. I only top it with veg, Peppers, mushrooms, spinach , olives. whatever you like . A few sprinkles of cheese, and a homemade tomato sauce. I think that the secret to the tomato sauce is to put in two anchovie fillets. They give the sauce a really rich flavour. Besides the tomato and fillets, I put in Red Peppers, tomato puree, shallots and a clove of Garlic.
For vegans, you could leave out the cheese and the anchovies.



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 18 Jan 15 - 07:38 PM

I love the versatility of a vegetarian or vegan diet which means I can always rustle up a healthy meal and it always ensures me that I am getting the required 5 a day or 7 a day. The Macka B video is similar to the way I think about my diet and the benefits each ingredient is doing for me. Although I am not sure that I could strictly adhere to the no fish or meat totally in life, if I do have that as part of a meal it is only a very small part. On the very rare occasion I do like the odd bacon sandwich and I cannot find an alternative for that if I am honest. But I do think that good education at school about food would also be cost effective. It is food waste that bothers me, if vegetarian or vegan cookery was taught in schools more widespread I am sure that there would be less waste potentially in households and would encourage people to create meals with the contents of the fridge or the store cupboard before shopping for more potential waste. The soups that you can make doing that can make a tasty and wholesome warming meal especially this time of year when it is so easy to get in the junk comfort foods.



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 19 Jan 15 - 11:28 AM

Today I made my new 'Spicy Italian' seitan slicing sausage for our lunchbox sarnis, and I think it's surprisingly brill! I flavoured it with vegetable bouillon powder, garlic granules, oregano, tomato puree and chilli flakes. Yum!



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 20 Jan 15 - 03:16 AM

Patsy: "if vegetarian or vegan cookery was taught in schools more widespread I am sure that there would be less waste potentially in households and would encourage people to create meals with the contents of the fridge or the store cupboard before shopping for more potential waste. The soups that you can make doing that can make a tasty and wholesome warming meal especially this time of year when it is so easy to get in the junk comfort foods."

I'd be surprised if anything is taught about vegetarianism at all anywhere including school, as so many people are under the misapprehension that humans absolutely need animal products to be healthy. Or that complete protein is THE most important nutrient in the human diet. Or that our bones will collapse if adult humans don't specifically consume enough of the stuff that mother cows produce for baby cows, which is kind of silly if you think about it.

As for teaching vegetarian cooking I agree that it should be included in any 'home economics' (or whatever they call it these days) class, as it can be one of the healthiest ways to eat but it can also take a bit more planning and forethought than meat and potatoes type cooking, so you do really need to learn how to create certain foods before diving in.

Vegetarian cooking can often include ingredients that a lot of people simply don't understand HOW to deal with in the kitchen. Pulses need to be soaked and some boiled to remove toxins. There are all kinds of grains out there which require different kinds of treatment and of course a lot of younger people in particular can even find vegetables confusing. I've heard a number of anecdotal stories of young checkout staff asking a customer what their bagged vegetables and fruit actually are, even parsnips.



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: sciencegeek
Date: 20 Jan 15 - 05:33 AM

More than once I've had to identify a vegetable or other ingredient for the checkout person - and not just the kids. Then I explain how to use it and why it tastes good. Always a teachable moment... and that includes the folks behind me in line... lol

It's hard enough to get school lunch programs to provide non junk food in even affluent areas. We are teaching by example. And the food wasted is unbelievable.

I must inject that kids need to learn to prepare healthy food of ALL kinds... and include recipes from around the world to expose them to new ideas. A dear friend would collect acorns with her kindergarden class and teach them how native Americans would make flour and bake it by doing just that. Practical application of cultural anthropology... a lesson they would never forget.   

But it's sort of silly to expect inner city kids to even have access to fresh fruit and vegetables... during the early migration from the countryside to the cities, they knew how to prepare fresh food - but over generations this knowledge has deteriorated. Especially when major grocery chains moved out to the suburbs and away from the poor. One more area of unequal opportunity or access. It takes a major commitment to even bring in farmers markets on a limited basis. And the restrictions on what food pantries can provide show how the lawyers have had their say...

The highest profit in the food industry is in selling prepared/processed food... just a glance at the price tags should show how over priced it is. And don't get me started on the craze for bottled water.

Teach kids and adults how to prepare healthy meals and give them access to fresh ingredients... then they can chose on their own what they care to eat.



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 20 Jan 15 - 11:46 AM

I've heard talk about so-called 'food deserts' on telly. I've no idea of how prevalent they are, but I do know that being stuck on a suburban estate without money for adequate transport, can mean getting to the shops can be awkward - most especially for elderly or disabled. As a kid we had to walk for something over half an hour to get into town and then lug the shopping back with us. Not a huge distance as it wasn't a huge town, but no doubt the bigger the city the further the distance.

I had to teach myself to cook as a teenager, as my mum hadn't got much of a clue past boiled potatoes, bangers, battered fish portions and frozen peas or broad beans! She did cook her Irish grannies lamb and leek stew though, which I now do without the lamb - using just onions, leeks, potatoes, barley and light vegetable broth. Still good! If I hadn't have been motivated to teach myself though, I probably wouldn't have fared to well and would have ended up relying a lot on ready made frozen meals and takeaways like lots of other folk do. Thankfully I also enjoy cooking, so I'm happy to spend a few hours at the weekend filling up the freezer with wholesome brews for the week.



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Jan 15 - 01:15 PM

Sad to say, but food deserts are all too common in cities of every size, depending on the neighbor hood and income level. And for those outside the city, mass transit is a joke... even in the cities it's no picnic.

I've known too many people who had to live in their cars - if they had one- and one job I had back in the '80's was in the poor end of town and the street people used whatever they could to keep warm in winter. And a cheap fast food hamburger was their meal until the money ran out. And when they stopped coming around you knew that was the last you'd ever see of them. Reagan-ominics at its "finest".

Meals on Wheels is basically warmed up cafeteria food dropped off at the doorstep of shut ins.

The working poor use most of their wages for basic needs - including transporation cost to their jobs... a treadmill leading nowhere.

Well, wasn't that cheerful... but it is the reality for too many folks around the world.



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Jan 15 - 01:49 PM

I know this isn't 'vegan' but then again this thread is mostly comprised of non-vegans!

An organisation that meat-eaters with an interest in higher standards of animal welfare (or indeed ANY standards in animal welfare) might find of interest is 'Compassion in World Farming'. Please see their website here: http://www.ciwf.org.uk/

As you might gather, the aims of the CiWF are not to see meat eliminated from out tables, but to simply ensure that the means it gets there, are as humane as reasonably possible. Though I'm not sure of specifics, they have I believe campaigned successfully to improve standards of animal welfare in a number of areas. An area they are continuing to campaign on is to abolish 'factory farming' which I would hope that all contributors to this thread would at the least agree, is an abominable way to treat any living breathing creature, whether destined for the plate or otherwise: CiWF 'End the Cage Age'

Also see their useful pages on which labels you can trust, to actually provide higher welfare to the animals used in your meal (scroll down a bit):

Eggs, Meat, Poultry and Fish: Know Your Labels

CS



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 20 Jan 15 - 02:00 PM

PS I should probably point out that despite the name, CiWF is principally a UK / EU based initiative. I don't know what the comparable US based equivalent is, does anyone else know?



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,sciencegeek
Date: 20 Jan 15 - 02:08 PM

Part of the sustainable food movement includes organizations of farmers that practice organic or IPM (integrated pest management) methods for food production. Seed savers, Livestock Conservancy promote heritage crops and livestock breeds that are suited to various locales and small operations.

in the USA there is Localharvest.org where you can locate nearby growers and producers ... because without support, there isn't the income they need to keep going. CSA - community supported agriculture- where buyers subscribe to a local producer and share the costs and/or labor.. and RISK. And most folks who drop out are because they don't get the amount of produce they expect. Sometimes the grower's fault, but others because it was just a bad year for growing. Droughts are real and so are famines... have been for millenia. The so called Green Revolution can't change that.



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Jan 15 - 05:20 PM

Well I have a good number of vegan and vegetarian dishes in my repertoire, but I'm afraid that I can't agree that there should be vegetarian cookery courses/modules/units in schools. Vegetarian dishes, and discussion about vegetarianism, fine. I also don't agree that good meat cookery is any easier than vegetarian. I think that in any school cookery course there should be a strong emphasis on good-quality ingredients including organic, high-welfare and free-range, and that the ethical considerations relating to food production should be prominent on the agenda. It's a bit like teaching religion: teach children about all the world religions but don't make them worship within one or tell them that one's better than the other, or better than atheism. I feel the same about vegetarianism. It has its place but I part company with vegetarian evangelists. Giving children knowledge about food, faith or politics, and the skills needed to make informed choices, is good education. Anything else has no place in our schools.



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 21 Jan 15 - 04:26 AM

Any other approach to teaching is what I meant. Plenty of room for history, music, biology, etc!



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: sciencegeek
Date: 21 Jan 15 - 04:55 AM

agreed, Steve...

I can't but help to regard "exclusive" dietary requirements as variants on a common theme... be it kosher, hallal or vegan... based on philosophical tenants that tend to divide rather than join folks. There is this inherent "this is the only right way and all others are wrong" for "this "fill in the blank" reason".

We end up with oxymorons like "kosher bacon" or "tofurkey"... !?!

One common trait in humans is the binding factor of "sharing food"...    made difficult by conflicting dietary mandates. I happen to make a really great matza ball soup... but unless I go over to a co-worker's kitchen to use her kosher setup, she will never be able to taste it. OK, she married a conservative Jew and adopted his lifestyle... but I have to question the need for such rigidity.

In grad school I worked at the local Chinese restaurant and because he prepared good vegetable dishes, the local vegetarians came there to eat. When I realized that he made the sauces using broth from the stock pot I asked why he didn't use hot water instead for them. He snorted and replied... It's all in their heads, so what they don't know won't hurt them. He was a Catholic that fled the Communist regime in China, but he had Buddist monks as well in his family... and the vegetarians raved about how tasty his cooking was. I really couldn't disagree with his assessment.

There are entire cultures that rely heavily on their herds and/or flocks for their very existence... and every aboriginal culture practices hunting gathering along with any cultivation if practical... is their way of life to be distained? I dare say that they live far healthier lifestyles than those of us in more developed lands.

If there is a "culprit" anywhere... it is agribusiness and their corporate models that reduce everything down to money, power and have equated bigger to mean better. This model is unsustainable and that is what needs to be changed, in my opinion. Target the real enemy.



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 21 Jan 15 - 05:31 AM

When we have vegetarians round I do find it a bit of a challenge but I wouldn't do anything sneaky such as using chicken stock for soup. I did it once by accident many years ago and I could scarcely live with my guilt (though they found my illicit soup delicious! I never told them...) On another occasion I served up beef sausages to some people whose religion forbade pork, only to find when I checked the wrapper afterwards that there was a bit of pork in the bangers anyway...oops...

I wonder what happens when kids bring notes into school saying that their religion forbids using pork, or that they're vegetarian on principle and shouldn't be made to use meat in recipes. When I worked in a church school the kids were allowed to exempt themselves from religious assemblies, but none ever did to my recollection (I did!). Likewise with sex education lessons. I remember one occasion in a primary school in which Mrs Steve once worked when a "pressure group" of parents of a particular faith managed to stop the school from "doing" Halloween (no talk of witches, no dressing up, masks or pumpkins allowed). Hmm. While I'm no lover of all that Halloween jiggerypokery, I can't help thinking that the school should have held out. We may well espouse multiculturalism as a Good Thing, but separate-culturalism is a different matter. There's a lot to be said for the kind of tolerance that involves a mixture of curiosity, shrugging the shoulders and, if needs be, holding the nose, I reckon.



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 21 Jan 15 - 09:40 AM

Why on earth do you feel the need to bring your thoughts on religion into a food thread, Steve?



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,sciencegeek
Date: 21 Jan 15 - 10:01 AM

Ed, I believe Steve's point is about leaning towards tolerance... and most of the intolerance in schools seems to stem from religious factions. And I'm the one "guilty" of bringing up food issues that resemble religious mandates.

Both Steve and I recognize the evolutionary results of a million or more years of an omnivourous diet on the anatomy and physiology of hominids that resulted finally in the human species... even chimpanzees organize hunts to prey upon monkeys... you need to go to gorillas to see a strictly herbivourous great ape. Agriculture arose only since the retreat of the last continental glaciers some 10 thousand years ago. The species has not had the time nor the isolation to result in significant changes due to dietary influences... what we do see is cultural and behavioral changes that are not always conducive to good health.



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 21 Jan 15 - 01:13 PM

Thanks, sciencegeek. Ed, I think you are missing the point. I have no intention of turning this into a religion thread,



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 21 Jan 15 - 01:33 PM

I'd like to point out that the analogy with religious belief is erroneous. Apart from where some religions have adopted vegetarianism as a part of their creed, the basic tenates of Veganism have nothing whatsoever to do with any kind of religious faith which is adhered to just because some prophet or god 'said so'. Instead it is based entirely on one's subjective moral philosophical compass. Indeed you will find atheism to be a very typical default position for a large proportion of vegans. As well as oddly enough, the decision not to breed, but to adopt instead.

The logic or rational behind Veganism (as a moral philosophy rather than a health based choice) is quite simple:
1) all the nutrients that human beings need to be completely healthy can easily be found in plant foods (or in the case of B12, fortified food/an occasional supplement) therefore meat is an unnecessary part of a human diet.
2) If I agree (and this is obviously the crux of the matter;"IF") that it is reasonable to not cause the unnecessary suffering of non-human animals purely for the sake of my pleasure, then it makes sense to choose not to eat meat.

That's all there is to it.



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 21 Jan 15 - 01:55 PM

My apologies, Steve, On rereading your post I can see that I was indeed missing your point.



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,sciencegeek
Date: 21 Jan 15 - 03:28 PM

"variants on a common theme... be it kosher, hallal or vegan... based on philosophical tenants"

I think that your rebuttal actual supports my position...

The logic or rational behind Veganism (as a moral philosophy rather than a health based choice) is quite simple:

1) all the nutrients that human beings need to be completely healthy can easily be found in plant foods (or in the case of B12, fortified food/an occasional supplement) therefore meat is an unnecessary part of a human diet.

the reliance on meat in the diet is what allowed Homo to move out of Africa and colonize new territory rather than being restricted to a single habitat. Your use of the term "easily found" is not correct outside of maybe the subcontinenet of India or in the modern supermarket. Rickets, beriberi and other nutritional "diseases" are still all too common around the world. The addition of a small quantity of meat in their diet would solve much of that. The argument is as useful as stating that people do not need to read or write to live, so it is OK to dispense with that as well.

2) If I agree (and this is obviously the crux of the matter;"IF") that it is reasonable to not cause the unnecessary suffering of non-human animals purely for the sake of my pleasure, then it makes sense to choose not to eat meat.

speaking as person who lives with livestock, I can state that it very possible to raise animals for food purposes without them suffering. I will NOT defend any part of agribusinees or factory farms... but will support sustainable producers. I could go out in the pig pasture and sit down... within a few minutes the sows would come over and lay down next to me. My 800 pound boar would come racing over to get his ears scratched... I made sure to hold out my hand far out to avoid getting my foot stepped on in his haste.

That's all there is to it. - No, that is only one narrow perspective that ignores the rest. And THAT was the point I was trying to make.



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 21 Jan 15 - 05:57 PM

Thanks, Ed. There was no Shavian plot to get religion on the agenda! I was (a bit clumsily) trying to compare religious evangelism with veggie evangelism, which, I hasten to add, is admirably absent from this thread. Whilst I'm neither vegan nor vegetarian, I do cook dishes that fit those bills (and I'm the chef in our house!). So I don't feel TOO out of place in this thread.



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 24 Jan 15 - 08:55 AM

I just did a super wholefood / vegan Ocado shop. For anyone in the UK who wants healthy dairy-free and meat-free goodies, Ocado is the place. Not Waitrose, oddly they've been rubbish when I've tried to get things I wanted, but Ocado is excellent!

Organic Wholewheat Penne
Organic Wholewheat Pappardelle
Organic Wholewheat Mezze Maniche Rigate
Oatly Organic Oat Cream - is best dairy-free cream sub around
Wholewheat Cous Cous
Oatly Chocolate Drink - is yummy, much better than those goopy milk ones
Red Camargue and Wild Rice
Black Turtle Beans
Crushed Chilles
Borlotti Beans
Brown Basmati - big bag
Pinto beans
Split Dried Fava Beans
Apple Balsamic
'Mock Duck' braised gluten - looking forward to testing this out!
Black eye beans - for hopping john
Adzuki beans
Chick peas
Agar Agar - vegan 'jelly' setting agent made from seaweed
Amy's Vegan Macaroni Cheese - yet to try this but it's supposed to be pretty realistic

I couldn't get much of that at any other supermarket.



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 24 Jan 15 - 09:55 AM

Mock Duck was interesting! The texture is soft and juicy but fibrous like meat! It even has the patturn of roasted duck skin impressed on some of it. I had it in a super lazy stew with tinned potatoes, tinned mushrooms and frozen peas! Not bad really considering :)



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 26 Jan 15 - 08:48 AM

Today I'm making 'piri piri' flavoured seitan deli sausage. Two of them on one go this time so I don't have to cook them every week.

Also, because I'm not very alert and adventurous today, I will also be making a nice easy leek potato and barley stew for next week. Just right for this damp weather.



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 26 Jan 15 - 07:06 PM

I pulled a large aluminum covered brick of a multi-layered eggplant Parmesan out of the freezer yesterday. It was originally assembled in a Pyrex container, then the foil-wrapped frozen block went from glass casserole to a labeled sturdy plastic bag. Years later, it went into the oven at 325o for about 2.5 hours. Time has only improved this magnificent dish made in late 2011. It's lunch this week.

Today I finished cooking a batch of lefse.

Both of these dishes have milk or butter, and I would never manage a transition to a vegan diet, especially when the substitute foods are so highly processed (I see some serious problems with the production of almonds and soy beans, for example, that rival some of the environmental problems of the dairy industry). If I can manage to find organic dairy, produced locally, I'll settle for that.

SRS



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Jan 15 - 09:35 PM

For anyone in the UK who wants healthy dairy-free and meat-free goodies, Ocado is the place.

Not if you live in Scotland...



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: sciencegeek
Date: 26 Jan 15 - 10:41 PM

LOL Mock Duck has never struck me as actually tasting anything like duck... same goes for mock abalone, but "plain" braised gluten is quite tasty because it absorbs so much from the sauce... which are usually very nice and quite varied. I find it canned or in jars at any oriental food store that carries Chinese brands.   

I am also a fan of congee/jook - rice porridge that is made by cooking rice in a large amount of broth/water so that it becomes smooth & thick enough to eat with chopsticks or spoon. I like adding some ground pork and pickled preserved vegetable for a nice winter meal, but otherwise you eat it along with various preserved vegetables, like sliced bamboo shoots in chili sauce or salted radish. Another way is to add dried fruit while cooking... or eat plain with fresh or canned fruits on the side.   

Thinking of rice, boy I could go for some nice sticky rice simmered in coconut milk with fresh mango slices.



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 27 Jan 15 - 02:47 AM

Stilly, four years?! How can you store anything in your freezer for four years? If I started doing that it would fill up and be impossible to use in a very short amount of time. Three months is probably the longest time I'd store anything, just because we eat it. And I routinely go through our freezer before each weekly shop, to make sure there's enough room for any fresh stuff that may need to go in.

Is your freezer like the Tardis with an unnaturally huge interior? Or maybe it's like the arctic wastes where mammoth meat hides beneath the snow for thousands of years... :-)



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 27 Jan 15 - 03:07 AM

Sciencegeek, no the mock duck I had was nothing like duck. Not fatty or greasy, but savoury in its own way. Closest to lamb in appearance and texture IMO. I think it would be nice in a rich sauce.



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 27 Jan 15 - 04:22 AM

No Ocado in my bit of Cornwall either. There ought to be a law.



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: sciencegeek
Date: 27 Jan 15 - 06:51 AM

considering the penchant for imaginative naming of dishes by the Chinese, I suspect that mock duck or abalone refers as much to the texturing and seasoning used in the preparation. Many of these ingredients go back to Buddhist dishes... lo han zai, Buddhist Monk's Delight, uses at least 8 ingredients and would be for special occasions... lotus root, dried tofu, shaped gluten, bamboo tips, straw mushrooms...   

That's what I like about regular braised gluten... it is what it is and not pretend something else. If you like the taste & texture of it, it can be a featured ingredient and enjoyed as such.

I stir fry cut up asparagus until tender and the add a can of undrained braised gluten ... add a little dark soy or oyster sauce to finish and serve with steamed rice. It would work as well with broccoli, though I prefer to steam that, but if you have a ton of broccoli on hand you come up with different ways to prepare... lol



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 27 Jan 15 - 01:20 PM

Sciencegeek, Bhuddist dishes, are probably a bit on the exotic side to cook for someone like me who has no nearby Asian food markets. You can get the odd vegetarian dish at Chinese takeaways, like Buddah's Delight and Phoenix Courts the Dragon, but I'd love to go somewhere to eat out and really have a go at trying 'Temple Cuisine'. There must be so much that I've never heard of let alone tasted.



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,sciencegeek
Date: 27 Jan 15 - 03:01 PM

I know all too well how hard it is to find a good asian food market... I have to drive an hour to a college town with a large Asian population myself.

You can order through Amazon, but their prices are higher than I usually care to pay. The grocery stores now carry more of the sauces and some spices, but only a limited range of fresh vegetables.

When I go into Rochester, I hit as many shops as I can and stock up on the staples that store well. If you don't garden yourself, you might find a local grower who would raise some of the greens and vegetables for you... if they find it sells well they'll keep growing it.



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,sciencegeek
Date: 28 Jan 15 - 08:54 AM

here is a link for making gluten... any wheat flour will work, though the higher the gluten content, the higher the yield... it has pictures to help you out.

http://m.wikihow.com/Make-Wheat-Gluten

once you've made your gluten & got it into a shape you like, use them in a dish. Freeze what you don't use.

this link is for seitan

http://www.vrg.org/recipes/vjseitan.htm

enjoy



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,sg
Date: 28 Jan 15 - 09:08 AM

ooops... left this one off

https://eatingrules.com/how-to-make-seitan/

if you can get dark soy or mushroom soy, oyster sauce (it also comes vegetarian), hoisin sauce and toasted sesame oil you can make any number of tasty Buddhist dishes with local greens like cabbage or mustards... kohlrabi is often found in Asian markets. Daikon radish is good, but any radish will do... for that peppery taste.

canned bamboo shoots & water chestnuts will serve well and are found in most grocery stores here

if you can find bean threads or rice sticks... stock up on them - they last forever and have many uses.



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Jan 15 - 11:41 AM




Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 28 Jan 15 - 11:43 AM

Sciencegeek, I've enjoyed making seitan for the past few weeks. I make slicing sausage for sandwiches. This week it's piri piri, but I really like the spicy tomato and oregano that I made last week. No chance I'd bother with all the faffing with plain flour though. I use vital gluten flour, which is super quick and easy, and also cheap from where I buy it (in bulk). I'd applaud anyone actually going to the trouble to create the stuff from plain flour though.



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,sciencegeek
Date: 28 Jan 15 - 11:58 AM

yes, if you can get hold of the basic ingredients, life is easier.

if you can get canned bamboo shoots... draing them and then soak in water for a while to freshen them, then put in a jar with hot chili oil and refrigerate. worth a try... :)

Made with hot chile peppers, chili oil is the secret ingredient in many Szechuan dishes. Besides its use in cooking, chili oil (also called hot chili oil or pepper oil) is frequently served as a condiment in dim sum or noodle restaurants. Like all hot oil infusions, the secret to making chili oil lies in getting the temperature of the heated oil just right. Too cool and the oil won't absorb the flavors; too hot and the chili flakes will burn. Ideally, the temperature should be about 225 – 240 degrees Fahrenheit (107 to 122.5 degrees Celsius). For best results, use peanut or canola oil. You can also use olive oil if desired; just make sure it has a high enough smoking point. (Steer clear of extra virgin olive oil).

This is a basic recipe for chili oil. Once you've got the technique down, feel free to jazz it up by adding garlic, ginger, cumin, sugar or other spices. To make it even hotter, add more dried chiles or reduce the oil to 1/3 cup. The chili oil can be used almost immediately, but for best results leave the oil for a day to allow the flavors to blend.

Chili Oil Ingredients
10 – 12 small dried chilies (1 – 2 inches long) to make 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped chili flakes
1/2 cup peanut, canola, or olive oil.
1 tablespoon sesame oil, optional



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 28 Jan 15 - 01:12 PM

Thought I'd list some of the things I now get in, as we veer more and more away from animal foods and towards plant-based eating.

Ground Flax Seeds - Use them to bind and to thicken. I put them in pureed fruit puddings with silken tofu to thicken them up. You can use them in pancakes instead of eggs and in cakes too. Also add to smoothies.

Silken Tofu - As above, a good dairy free goopy substance for fruit puddings. You can also use it to make mayo. Some people use it to replace eggs in dense cakes like brownies. Completely bland so tastes like nothing at all when used this way.

Vital Wheat Gluten Flour - Use to make homemade seitan. I'm only just starting to explore seitan but it's dead easy to make. I used the last of the last batch of sausage to dice and put into a stew with barley, leek and potato.

Nutritional Yeast Flakes - Rich umami flavour plus lots of B vits. Get the fortified version for B12. Use to top pasta dishes or rich vegetable casseroles.

Chickpea Flour - Use to make farinata or vegan eggless 'omelette'. Also use to add to seitan to make it the right texture and to enrichen the flavour. And of course, onion bhajis!

Hmm, if I think of more I'll be back..



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 28 Jan 15 - 01:17 PM

Sciencegeek, I like the idea of making my own chilli oil. I don't have a thermometer to measure the temperature though. Is there any more hands on way I could judge it? Like with using a cube of bread for example.



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,sg
Date: 28 Jan 15 - 01:29 PM

well water boils at 100C or 212F, which is just a little below the recommended tempertaure.
so I'd do like my mom taught me to see if the pan is hot enough... a quick flick of water. If it sizzles & dances around, that should be hot enough. Add the pepper flakes and keep on the heat a few minutes to bring it back to temperature and wait 'til you get an aroma. I would NOT recommend putting your head down to sniff, though... might singe your nose hairs....   

then remove from the heat and allow to cool down. sample with a spoon - coat with the oil and take a taste... after all you want it hot enough for your preferences, not mine :)



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,sg
Date: 28 Jan 15 - 02:00 PM

duh... always go back to basics...

it dawned on me that the recipe for chili oil is done that way to keep down the volatile oils in the kitchen. Keep from pepper spraying the cook... lol

Want to bet the original way was to add a small amount of oil to the wok, heat and add the chopped chilies... when they sizzled and gave off their oils, it was time to remove from the heat and add the rest of the cool oil.

The whole point of the exercise is to get the volatile oils released so they can infuse the rest of the oil. Cooking is chemistry...

That's why you add garlic/ginger/chili at the start of a stir fry - to get those flavors out there...



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,sciencegeek
Date: 29 Jan 15 - 10:41 AM

one of the health food stores puts out a monthly newsletter and they had an eggplant/chickpea stew recipe...

essentially equal amounts of chopped eggplant, zuchinni and chick peas with onion, garlic & some oregano...

sorry... the Italian in me immediately saw endless ways to improve upon it... lol but as a starting point, not too bad... :)



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Jan 15 - 07:43 PM

The Italian in you should be telling you that you never use onion and garlic together in the same dish. ;-)



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Jan 15 - 08:01 PM

Actually, tomorrow I shall be doing a really good vegan pasta dish . Strictly speaking I should be using orecchiette but you can't get that round here, so I shall be using another short pasta of some kind instead. The whole thing takes only as long as it takes the pasta to cook.

Put a good glug of olive oil in your best heavy shallow pan. While it's warming, get your pasta on in another pan.

To the oil, add a sprinkling of dried chilli flakes (or a small chopped chilli) a clove or two of finely-chopped garlic to taste and a good handful of halved cherry tomatoes. After a few minutes, add a handful or more of freshly-chopped parsley. When the pasta has about three minutes to go, throw about half a pound of broccoli florets into the pasta water. You're aiming to get the pasta al dente just as the broccoli is cooked but still quite crispy.

Drain the pasta/broccoli mixture and throw it into the pan of sauce. Season if needed, mix well and pile into warm bowls. Fantastico.

Personally, I shall be going non-vegan and adding some pecorino or Parmesan, but that is definitely optional.

I found that tenderstem broccoli is great with this, but ordinary calabrese is fine. I have a pack of sprout flowers lying around, so I may try those instead. It's all good.



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Jan 15 - 08:06 PM

I should have said that that would feed three biggies if you use enough pasta, let's say 500g. Or maybe a wee bit less. We eat big in our house!



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,sciencegeek
Date: 30 Jan 15 - 08:38 AM

never use onion and garlic together in the same dish.... such blasphemy!! :) LOL

do like your menu for dinner... add a nice green salad and crusty bread... yum



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Jan 15 - 12:06 PM

Well you've already got tomatoes, parsley and greens in there. I know some people have garlic bread and suchlike with pasta dishes but I'd rather pile the pasta on a bit more. If you're still not full you could always have a bit of our guilt free "ice cream" for afters, which consists of nothing except ripe bananas. Cut the bananas into rough chunks and freeze. When frozen, blitz them a bit at a time in a food processor (has to be man enough to handle the frozen chunks). Refreeze the mush and voila. A slightly less guilt-free option is to eat that with a good splash of Baileys on top!



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 30 Jan 15 - 12:15 PM

I love broccoli with pasta, never had it with a chilli tomato sauce though! In fact broccoli with anything at all is good.

What should I do with my pappardelle Steve? Chunky ragu type thing I'm thinking. Maybe aubergine based.



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 30 Jan 15 - 01:35 PM

I also have this maniche rigate (sp?) like huge chunky ridged macaroni. It looks like it could be good baked.. ??



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,sg
Date: 30 Jan 15 - 01:42 PM

you can bake any pasta... but some shapes work better than others...

very large hollow pasta can be stuffed with cheese, etc. and baked in a white or red sauce.

smaller shaped pasta can be made into casseroles or cold salads...

or added to soups. experiment... :)



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Jan 15 - 01:58 PM

There are some nice mini-pastas for soup such as stellette, mini-macaroni, orzo and conchigliette, and. because you cook them in the soup, their starchiness adds richness instead of going down the plughole. The best Italian chefs always say that ragu is best with ribbon pastas such as pappardelle, but I don't adhere to such rules. We seem to eat spaghetti more than anything at our house though my cupboard has a fair old variety. I'm not especially keen on ordinary shell pasta because they tend to nest inside each other a bit too much. I don't use farfalle very much either because the thin edges overcook if the pasta is in the water long enough for the thicker middles to be al dente, and I hate overcooked pasta because it reminds me of horrible school dinners. A very good thing to look out for is "bronzo" or "bronze-die" on the pack. These pastas have a rough surface which is much better for the sauce to cling to.



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,sg
Date: 30 Jan 15 - 02:19 PM

my favorite "mini" pasta for soups is "acini di pepe"... a little bigger than couscous and used in Italian Wedding soup among others. I put it in escarole soup. It can also become a salad base.



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 30 Jan 15 - 02:47 PM

Woof! This looks just the job, first result on searching for aubergine ragu:
http://www.waitrose.com/content/waitrose/en/home/recipes/recipe_directory/a/aubergine-and-sweetpepperraguwithpappardelle.html
Aubergine and sweet pepper ragù with pappardelle

Vegetarian
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes 45 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients

2 large aubergines, chopped into 2cm cubes
1 tbsp mild olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 red peppers, finely chopped
400g can chopped tomatoes
200ml vegetable stock
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp nonpareille capers, drained
250g pack pappardelle pasta

Method

1. Bring a large pan of water to boil, tip in the chopped aubergine and place a saucer over to stop the aubergine floating to the top. Cook for 10 minutes until tender but holding its shape. Leave to drain in a colander.

2. Heat a sauté pan, add the olive oil, followed by the onion, cook until soft and golden, add the garlic and cook for another minute.

3. Add the peppers, and cook until softened. Add the drained aubergine, chopped tomatoes, stock and sugar.

4. Simmer for 15 minutes until thickened. Stir in the vinegar and capers. Season and leave to cool.

5. Bring a large pan of water to boil, cook the pasta according to pack instructions.

6. Add the pasta to the sauce, toss to coat and serve with grated Parmigiano Reggiano and fresh basil.



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 30 Jan 15 - 03:34 PM

Regarding vegetable ragu. It calls for stock and tomatoes.

Does anyone use stock and tomatoes?

I don't tend to use stock at all, and prefer all tomatoes instead, as I find stock a bit, well, lacking.

Any thoughts?



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 30 Jan 15 - 04:07 PM

I like that ragu recipe, I'm going to give it a go.

I don't use stock in my soups and stews, I prefer store bought vegetable bullion cubes and water. Careful with it, though, if you have issues with salt.



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Jan 15 - 04:32 PM

Being a bit of a non-vegan, I tend to use chicken stock a lot, home-made at all times. If I need veg stock I never use cubes or powder because they are always too salty. Just cut up an onion or two, along with a sliced up carrot and some sticks of celery (the tough outside sticks are perfect for the job), chuck in some parsley, thyme and freshly-ground black pepper and boil for an hour. A bit of green stuff if you have any, cabbage stalks or similar. That way, you get great flavour and you're in control of the salt. If I need a bit more oomph I might stick in a tiny handful of dried porcini, but not if it's for anything delicate.



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: sciencegeek
Date: 31 Jan 15 - 06:58 AM

my earlier comment vanished into the ether...

you make a good vegetable stock & freeze it, but I find it benefits from bay leaf and other herbs.

take your peelings, outside leaves and onion skins (for color as much as flavor) and add to your assortment of vegetables to use making the stock. Boil it down to concentrate the flavor.

but I also find that rinsing out the last of the spaghetti sauce and setting aside for broth works fine too... lol



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 01 Feb 15 - 03:29 AM

I try to avoid buying unseasonal fruit and veg.
Any thoughts on where aubergines come from to the UK at this time of year and what they're like?
I'm trying to decide whether it's worth getting some in to do that aubergine and pepper ragu.



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 01 Feb 15 - 08:09 AM

The last couple of lots of aubergines I've bought both had skins so tough that they were completely inedible even after long cooking. One lot from Sainsburys, one from Morrisons.



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 01 Feb 15 - 12:15 PM

I've just looked at my bags of peppers and lemons, both from Spain. Amazing. Is Spain really warm enough in January to grow such heat loving fruits?

Maybe once the Greek revolution reaches Spain, it'll be time to think about moving on.. So chilly in blighty today. Ouch.

Veggie sausages, mash and beans to warm me up, not exactly 'proper food' but sometimes it's what's needed.



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: sciencegeek
Date: 01 Feb 15 - 12:23 PM

even the asian eggplants are dicy this time of year... I can get frozen breaded eggplant at a good price, so go with that... but not so good for stew or ragu.

If the skin is tough, we just peel it and use the flesh... you might want to salt or blanch it first to remove the bitterness. sweet ripe tomatoes will often offset any bitterness.

we sent to the Middle Eastern store yesterday & picked up some spices & mixes... one is for a chickpea curry that sounds like fun. Hope it's not so hot as to bitter the tongue... lol



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Feb 15 - 04:17 PM

Amazing. Is Spain really warm enough in January to grow such heat loving fruits?

They have enormous heated greenhouses, that's how.



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 01 Feb 15 - 06:13 PM

Look at Almeria province on Google Earth satellite view. You'll see all the thousands of acres of plasticos, so extensive that they're visible from space. When you see them close up, as I do when I go to that otherwise lovely part of Spain, you're horrified. That's where a lot of our out-of-season tomatoes and peppers come from, and lots more besides. It's very depressing to see.



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: sciencegeek
Date: 02 Feb 15 - 05:48 AM

acres of greenhouses... using hydroponics to grow produce for folks living in temperate climates... the western end of Long Island was like that a century ago... growing produce for the city of New York... though they used composted manure instead of hydroponics.

One area is still known by the name Garden City. The produce was trucked into the city and sold by hucksters from horse drawn carts. I remember seeing large greenhouse complexes along the south shore of Long Island when I was kid - before everything was bulldozed for housing tracts- out in the eastern end of the island.

Fresh produce has an environmental cost... just like everything else does. Otherwise we have only dried grains, pulses, preserved fuits and salted/pickled vegetables for how many months of the year. I like kimchi, but not everyday thank you.



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 03 Feb 15 - 04:24 AM

Speaking of vegetarian evangelism I admit that as a young girl it did become a sort of crusade to me. I really did feel that I wanted to rid the world from suffering and cruelty so by refusing meat at home and at school I believed that I was making a difference. To my parents I was at 'that awkward age' it didn't occur to me that it would not make a difference to the rest of the world's opinion on it. My mother's family never used herbs or spices unless of course it was to add a bit of nutmeg to a milk pudding or cinnamon to an apple tart or bread pudding. Even now my mum still does not understand why all the cookery programs make a fuss about different herbs but for me I now I hardly cook a meal without them. The problem is that now mum is elderly her digestion is intolerant to what I would normally cook so when I do cook for her it has to be the meat and two veg. Garlic is another example it was never used in her cooking at home adding onions was about as adventurous as she would get and that was only in a stew or fried. Education on different foods is something that I have gained in life with travel, multicultural friendships and to some extent cookery programs to influence me and feel lucky that I can access this information. At the end of the day it is the lack of exercise that is the killer.



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: sciencegeek
Date: 03 Feb 15 - 06:31 AM

well, thanks to the snow that fell starting Sunday, I got plenty of exercise yesterday shoveling snow... that added to the usual chores associated with raising critters.

we are oh so looking forward to spring and seeing green again... lol

bought some garden seeds... and the first of the seed catalogs arrived... so many options... :)



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 03 Feb 15 - 01:08 PM

Sciencegeek, yes it is getting to be that time of year again! How the seasons spin past.

I must grow coriander and rocket this year. Coriander for lots of things, but especially curries.

I'm going to have a stab at american land cress too as it's supposed to be a good alternative to my fave watercresss. Love the piquant salad greens.

Always do a patch of parsley, usually both kinds.

I will be doing butternut squash this year too, as I found that to be a useful little crop last time.

Toms natch, and lots of chillies!

I enjoyed the cape gooseberries last year so will be doing those again.

And the lovely white creamy/mild tasting courgettes that have a fancy sounding Italian name that I can't recall right now.

Basil I'll probably buy from the supermarket and plant out later in the year.

Won't bother with aubergines. Not sure about regular peppers, may try something different there for a change.

I like marrow - yes I know it's big and bland, but I stuff it and use it for soup. So will have a couple of plants.

Love radishes, es[ecially those little colourful ones. And I must find a corner for my horseradish so I can get a nice root to make sauce with this year.

I love those little yellow wax beans. and i think ill have a go at Patty Pan Squash.

Any suggestions for other easy to grow veg?



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,sciencegeek
Date: 03 Feb 15 - 01:41 PM

the hubby plants bush beans... which then get overcrowded and moldy.. I prefer pole beans, especially Italian flatbeans. you can harvest them all season instead of that big flush designed for mechanical harvesting.

if you plant peppers, be sure to not over fertilize them... my dad once ended up with onster plants - but no peppers... lol he said they were ungrateful plants..

tuberous sunflowers, aka Jerusalem artichokes are nice and healthy, their starch being inulin... and you can use them to support your pole beans. One of the native American Three sisters.

I like to grow oriental greens... like shanghai cabbage ... and various cherry tomatoes. Garlic, leeks and walking onions are a must.



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,sciencegeek
Date: 04 Feb 15 - 11:36 AM

have you ever tried radish/turnip cake?

essentially you mix grated daikon - an oriental radish- with rice flour , place in a rectangular tin and steam like you would a pudding.

when it's done & cooled, you slice into 1/2 inch thick pieces and pan fry or grill until nicely browned. serve with dipping sauce, steamed greens and rice.

I leave out the dried shrimp that is often listed in recipes... I prefer it plain.    and the steamed greens are served with oyster sauce - which also comes vegetarian, don't ask me how.



Subject: RE: BS: Vegan mudcatters
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 06 Feb 15 - 04:01 AM

Yesterday from over the road at our local newsagents I spied a vegan baking magazine!
It's number 7 or part of a series canned "The Essential Cooking Collection" and was £3:99.

I bought it on the off chance that the recipes might be worth cooking and so far so good.

On my list of weekend vegan baking treats I'm going to try in the next few weeks:

Apple and Cinnamon Cake
Pear and Almond Tart
Cranberry Biscuits
Peanut Butter Cookies
Banana and Walnut Bread
Spiced Gingerbread
Lemon and Raisin Loaf
Oat and Raisin Cookies

And more.. Num num. I don't eat a lot of sweet things but these are my kind of goodies! I will be switching white flour for wholemeal though.