Hi folks, I couldn't wait till Thursday to post again. It's addictive. I wouldn't say it's like crack, not THAT addictive...maybe it's addictive like a T.V. you start watching on a Sunday afternoon instead of switching over laundry like your wife asked. Yeah, that kind of addictive.
Speaking of not switching over the laundry, here's the soundtrack for today's post: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19f00TeGEfU&feature=related this is what's playing as I write this.
Today what I want to present to you, besides old live Beatles, is a list of stuff I try to keep in the house. If you're new to vegetarian or vegan cooking, it takes a while to "convert" your old shopping ways. When I switched (not that long ago) I found the sheer amount of label reading rather daunting, but educational (in a scary way).
So here I hope to give you a list of stuff I *try* to keep on hand. You might find it helpful.
Spices: Keep your spices fresh. Stale spices are...stale spices.
I like to use fresh chili peppers, but they aren't always in season or available. When they are in season, I buy a bunch extra and dry them myself.
I usually try to make "curry powder" as opposed to buying it. There's many different "curry powder" versions out there.
I usually try to use organic cane sugar...
Thai Kitchen http://www.thaikitchen.com/Products/Sauces-and-Pastes/Green-Curry-Paste.aspx Green Curry Paste is a great short cut. Also, Thai Kitchen's website is pretty awesome, they label their products (on site, as applicable) as Vegan. Handy!
Vegetarian Oyster Sauce
You'll be happy to know that there's no oysters in this sauce.
You may be less happy to know that it's usually made from mushrooms instead.
Apparently the common link between mushrooms and oysters is a naturally occurring compound similar to MSG.
Shop carefully, rather than mushrooms, some will just use synthetic MSG (it's cheaper), so if you can stomach mushrooms, look for the real deal. You may be comforted to know I don't put mushrooms in anything, but I can handle this sauce.
If you're old enough to be reading a recipe blog, you should be old enough to know what soy sauce looks like, I'll save you the pic.
Nary a Dairy
Don't buy "lite". Not on my watch. We aren't dealing with a "lot" of fat if you're going Vegan. There's no meat fat. No dairy fat. So give it a rest on the "milk" products being full fat. We need the fat offered in coconut milk for the recipe to work. Remember cooking is just tasty chemistry.
You know what it looks like, here's what I keep. I keep "full fat" (not "lite"), "original" not flavoured soy milk. As with coconut milk, you need the fat for our recipes, but you don't need the flavoured version.
Actually, I don't keep this on hand. It's expensive and once opened it goes moldy faster than real cheese. So far the only successful cheese I've found is Daiya http://www.daiyafoods.com/products/mozza.asp and even then I don't like it "straight", but in a recipe, it works.
Yep, tofu. Feared by many, understood by few. My friend Robin tried making his own, and then discovered it's much easier to just buy it. I use Sunrise Tofu. Apparently it's vegan friendly, I haven't had a conversation with it yet to confirm. All of my recipes call for firm tofu. If I forget to say it, just assume it's firm I meant. TIP put your tofu in the freezer, when it thaws, it's actually firmer. Crazy.
Yep, it's vegan, and no I've never seen it in the package you see here. Weird. Hmm.
Anyway, go for the "original" ground. There are flavoured versions, but we already went spice shopping above, so we don't need no stinking spices.
Thank the lord, whichever you choose (here's mine) for Veganaise. I dip fries in it, the wife makes pasta salad with it, we put it on vegiken burgers, it fills the void. A very tasty void. Okay to be honest I had some last night in pasta salad and I'm thinking about it right now that's why I'm going crazy.
I'd Like to Jump In Your Pant....ry.
Some days you'll be a lazy vegan. Go ahead, buy some pasta. You can't be "on" all the time. While you're in there, buy some lasagne noodles, you'll need them for a recipe coming up soon. Oh and penne for a pasta salad we'll feature later.
If you buy dried, it's a lot more time consuming. My goal is quick and delicious.
See above, buy canned. I usually use green lentils.
Brown Beans (in tomato sauce)
Canned Diced Tomatoes
Chick Pea Flour (also known as Besan)
(I said quick and delicious, I never said "healthy")
I think that's it for today, I'll keep adding as I think of it. Of course there's all kinds of vegetables you'll need to keep in, but they go "bad" so quickly that I don't want to send you shopping for them unless we will need them.
Remember, check back every Thursday for new recipe, and I'll throw up (bad term for a recipe blog) an additional page now and then in between recipes. Coming soon will be the vegan gift giving page.