The Cows Will Thank You! a vegetarian (and sometimes vegan) food blog


Easy Whole Wheat Agave Bread

Hello!

Here is a recipe for easy, (relatively) fast, cheap and oh-so delicious whole wheat bread that doesn’t require a bread machine! Woohoo! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 packet of yeast

1 cup very warm water

2 tablespoons dark agave nectar

1 tablespoon oil (I used vegetable oil but whatever you have is probably fine)

1/2 cup rye flour

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

(Possible substitutions: sub regular all-purpose flour for whole wheat or molasses for agave)

Directions:

– Preheat oven to 400

– In a mixing bowl, dissolve agave and yeast in the cup of warm water. Let stand for about five minutes

– Stir in flour and oil and beat with a spoon until a dough is whipped together (the dough will be sticky to touch)

– Cover and let dough rise for 20 minutes

– Grease a baking pan and put the dough in

– Bake for 35 minutes and enjoy!

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Rae’s Famous Southwest Seitan Burgers *V
September 16, 2010, 10:23 pm
Filed under: American dish, Main dish, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , ,

Ok.  I’ve decided to share my top secret recipe for my famous southwest veggie burgers.  I’ve fed this totally original recipe to burger connoisseurs far and wide and have never came across someone who wasn’t totally drooling their faces off at this burger.  I’ve had 100% meat-eating friends tell me that this was the best veggie burger they ever had (thanks Shoebag!) and another friend, a former vegetarian who absolutely swears off veggie burgers with disgust in her eyes, stuffing every last bite of the sandwich into her face.  This isn’t your typical veggie burger.  Are you ready?

Serves 3

Preperation notes:

Once the burger patties are formed, the best way to cook them is on a George Foreman or similar panini-like grill.  Other options would be pan frying or baking, but grilling them this way beautifully bonds the ingredients so the burgers don’t fall apart.  Grilling them on an outdoor grill is horrible, unless you have some sort of pan or griddle you can use.

If you’re not a vegan, a little shredded cheddar cheese in the burger mixture helps bond all the ingredients together better

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb or 1 store-bought pack of chunked seitan
  • 1.5 lbs of sliced mushrooms
  • 1 small-mediumish onion, chopped
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 large red pepper, chopped
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped (OK to use 2 red peppers instead)
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • Oil for frying
  • Cumin
  • Adobo seasoning
  • Chipoltle powder
  • 3 fresh burger rolls

Unfortunately this recipe is a no-go unless you have a food processor.

Recommended toppings:

  • 1 avocado, cut into slices
  • Mayo mixed with 2/3 tsp chipoltle powder (optional — roasted red pepper or chipoltle hummus might be a good vegan substitute)
  • Cheddar cheese, sliced (optional, but if you’re not vegan this is damn tasty with the other toppings)

Directions:

  1. Run the onion and garlic together through the food processor until very finely chopped, set aside.
  2. Run the peppers through the food processor until very finely chopped.  Drain excess liquid and set aside.
  3. Run the seitan through the food processor until a chopped, ground meat-like consistency and set aside in a large mixing bowl
  4. Run the mushrooms through the food processor until finely chopped (don’t overdo it though, it won’t take long) and set aside in the mixing bowl with the seitan
  5. In a large, deep skillet, heat the oil and over medium heat, cook the onion, garlic and peppers until hot, soft and aromatic
  6. Add in the seitan and mushroom and stir, mixing together well
  7. Sprinkle the cumin liberally over the mixture in the skillet until there is a light coating covering it (I imagine this is like 2 tbsp)
  8. Sprinkle the adobo seasonining a little less liberally, probably 1 tbsp
  9. Sprinkle the chipoltle even less, probably a teaspoon or less — unless you want to turn up the heat and make the burgers spicy, then add more
  10. Stir the mixture and leave simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes to let the flavors absorb
  11. Transfer the mixture back into the mixing bowl.  Cover and pop into the freezer for 10 minutes.
  12. Once the mixture has cooled, mix in the rolled oats until they’re evenly dispersed.  At this point, if you’re not vegan, you might want to mix in a little shredded cheddar cheese to help bond the ingredients.
  13. Form into patties, grill, and serve!

This recipe is totally original.  If you’re reposting or emailing, I’d appreciate it if you included TheCowsWillThankYou.wordpress.com in your post somewhere 🙂



General Tso Tofu *V
September 16, 2010, 9:44 pm
Filed under: Ethnic, Main dish, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: , , ,

Ok, so I must admit I’m one of those white folk suckers who totally orders General Tso every time I eat out at a Chinese restaurant.  I have tried other stuff but this damn dish is so delicious I can’t help myself.  So my poor ass decided to figure out how to make it at home.  Now I can feel uncultured and cheap in privacy of my own home, and enjoy every last bite of my General Tso!  I ain’t even wiping my face!

Serves 2 VHP (very hungry people) or 3 moderate servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack tofu
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 heaping tablespoon grated ginger 
  • 1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2/3 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tsp red pepper (cayene) powder (more or less to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon sherry cooking wine
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 lb steamed broccoli 

Tofu directions:

  1. Cut up the tofu into squares, strips, stars, polygons — whatever you like.  I prefer small squares
  2. Fry it in oil in a skilled until browned on both sides then set aside.

*Note: I’ve found that frying tofu on a square griddle skilled works BEAUTIFULLY.  It gives the tofu a lovely consistency.  Yum!!

Sauce directions:

  1. Heat 3 Tbs vegetable oil in pan on medium heat and add onion, ginger and garlic, cook for a few minutes until soft and aromatic
  2. Add vegetable stock, soy sauce, sugar, red pepper powder and vinegar and wine. Cook for a few minutes until mixture is heated
  3. Mix 2 Tbs of water and 1 Tbs cornstarch and pour into mixture, slowly, stirring well.  Cook for a few minutes until mixture is heated well.
  4. Add tofu and coat, serve over broccolli or rice

*Note: this recipe was modified from a recipe a friend sent to me from Food.com



Vegan Wheatloaf
September 16, 2010, 9:28 pm
Filed under: American dish, Main dish, Vegan | Tags: , , , , ,

Here’s a recipe for a mouth-watering vegan meatloaf, err, wheatloaf!  This isn’t the dried-out, crusty old meatloaf your mama used to make!  This will seriously wow your meat-loving friends.  I love to serve it with mashed potatoes topped with fried mushroom slices and mushroom gravy.  Yum.

*Note:  unfortunately this recipe, or at least my version of it, is virtually impossible without a food processor

Makes four servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb or 1 store-bought pack seitan chunks
  • 1.5 lb sliced mushrooms
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 small-mediumish onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 slices of bread (preferably whole grain of some sort)
  • Ketchup
  • Oil of your choice for frying (I use either sunflower or olive oil, whatever’s on hand)
  • 1 small-mediumish baking dish

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350

2. Put the onion and garlic in the food processor and run it until they’re very finely chopped, set aside

3. Put the celery and carrot in the food processor and run it until they’re very finely chopped, set aside

4. Put the seitan in the food processor and run it until it’s chopped, resembling a ground meat consistency, set aside in a big mixing bowl

5. Put the mushrooms in the food processor and run it until they’re finely chopped (don’t over do it though, they chop up pretty quickly) and set aside in the mixing bowl with the seitan

6. Get a large skilled, preferably a deep one, and put in the oil, garlic, onion, celery and carrot.  Fry on medium heat for a few minutes until the veggies soften and become aromatic.

7. Put in the seitan and mushroom and fry, on a low heat setting, for about fifteen minutes (up to 20), covered and stirring occasionally (careful not to burn stuff to the bottom of the skillet).  The goal is to let all the flavors absorb into the seitan and mushroom.

8. After fifteen minutes, remove the mixture from heat.  Press and drain excess liquid as much as you can and put into the big mixing bowl.  Cover the bowl and put it in the freezer for 10 minutes.

9. In the meantime, chop the bread in the food processor until it’s crumbled (don’t overdo it though).

10. Remove the mixture.  Squirt about 1/4 cup ketchup into the mixture and coat it, tossing it in the mixing bowl with your hands.

11. Grease your baking pan lightly with oil, scoop the wheatloaf mixture into the pan.  Glaze the top with about 2 tbsp of ketchup.

12. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

13. ENJOY!

This recipe was modified from the vegan meatloaf recipe in Skinny Bitch in the Kitch, by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, an amazing and hilarious vegan recipe book that I highly recommend.



Spicy Beans on Baked Sweet Potato *V

I just made this the other night and it was SO DELICIOUS!  It’s really good for you too!  The sweetness of the sweet potato blends so nicely with the cooked veggies and beans.  It would be an excellent, healthy dish to make for a dinner party.  I served it up with some steamed string beans on the side.  You can exclude the cheese and sour cream for a vegan dish, that is bound to be just as tasty without the dairy (or you can sub in soy cheese if you want).

Details:

About 90 min prep and cook time (*note save time by microwaving the baked potatoes instead of baking them if you want).  Serves 6.  15g Protein, 5g Fat, 72g Carbohydrate, 17g Fiber, 0mg Cholesterol 397 calories.

Ingredients:

3 evenly-shaped orange sweet potatoes

1 tblsp olive oil

1 medium-sized onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tspn ground cumin

1 tspn ground coriander

1/2 tspn chili powder (I used chipotle… not sure if that’s the same thing? ::shrug::)

14oz chopped tomatoes

1 cup veggie stock (and maybe a little more if you feel like it’s not “saucy” enough)

1 large zucchini cubed

1 green pepper cubed

14 oz corn (or one can)

14 oz red or white kidney beans (or one can)

(don’t forget to rinse and drain your canned goods!)

3 tblspn chopped fresh cilantro

Sour cream and grated cheddar, to serve

How ya do it:

1. Preheat the oven to 415 F.  Rinse your sweet potatoes and poke ’em with a knife or fork, them stick ’em in the oven for an hour on a baking tray (may need longer than an hour if your oven is older or a piece of crap)

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the onion over medium heat until soft and golden.  Add the garlic and spices and stir for a minute

3. Add the tomato and stock and stir well, then add the veggies and beans.  Bring to a low boil and let cook, covered, for about 15/20 minutes until the zucchini is nice and soft.  Lower the heat and let simmer for another 5/10 minutes to thicken the sauce.  Stir in the cilantro at the last minute.

4. To serve, cut the sweet potatoes in half and pour the veggie mixture over the ‘taters.  If you like, garnish with shredded cheese and sour cream and cilantro.

Here is a picture!

Why is the dish outside on the sidewalk on a miniature chair?  I’m going to just let you think about that one….

(Recipe modified from the book Delicious Vegetarian Food by Bay Books)



Agave Nectar Dijon Balsmic dressing *V
April 13, 2010, 8:41 pm
Filed under: Dressing/Dip, Includes photo, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , ,

Hello!  Here is a recipe for one of my favorite salad dressings that I make from home.  It’s super tasty and very easy to make.  The dressing is sweet and slightly vinegary.

Prep/Cook Time: 10 min

(p.s. the *V denotes that this recipe is vegan)

Ingredients:

1/4 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup dijon mustard
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced

Directions:

Put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk together until mixed.  Put into a bottle and serve!  Keep refrigerated and shake up everytime you use it.

Here’s some photos:

Agave Nectar

Here’s agave nectar.  It is a sweetener that is derived from the same plant as tequila.  It has a low glycemic index (won’t skyrocket your blood sugar) so some like to use it to make tasty diabetic treats.  If you google “agave nectar” you will find some controversy — some people say its just as bad for you as corn syrup, some say that it may even be cut with corn syrup since it’s produced in Mexico and unregulated.  ::shrug::  I like to use it as an alternative sweetener sometimes.  My favorite application of it (besides this dressing) is in cereal.  You can find it usually in the sugar section of your local grocer (I’ve even found it in rural Western PA)

Agave Dijon dressing, unmixed

Here is what the dressing looks like before you whisk it.  Kind of pretty, eh?

*This recipe was modified from “Skinny Bitch in the Kitch: Kick Ass Recipes for Hungry Girls Who Want to Stop Cooking Crap (and Start Looking Hot!)” by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin.  An awesome vegan cookbook I highly recommend, along with their book “Skinny Bitch”



Hello! About the blog and me!
March 31, 2010, 2:35 pm
Filed under: Ramblings | Tags: , , ,

Welcome to The Cows Will Thank You.  This is my food blog where I will share my adventures in vegetarian (and sometimes vegan) cooking.  I started cooking only vegetarian at home about a year ago, and I love it!  My girlfriend and I made the decision together for political and animal rights reasons, and since I spent 23 years of my life eating meat… I still eat some occasionally when I’m out.  Like when I had bacon last weekend…

But I only cook vegetarian at home, and I’m pretty poor, so I don’t eat out a whole lot.  I am so glad I’ve chosen to cook this way.  When I was only eating meat, the dishes I made at home were pretty limited.  I would make some kind of meat, a vegetable and a simple side — nearly every day.  The typical American meal!  When I decided to go veg, I had never been exposed to vegetarian eating, so I was like uhhh…. what do I do now?!?!

In the beginning, we ate a lot of pasta and other crap.  But recently I’ve discovered a whole world of Asian and Middle Eastern cooking that I thought was untouchable before.  I’ve also discovered some amazingly tasty American dishes that are surprisingly similar to meat, much healthier, and nobody had to die for it to be on my plate!  Yayyyy.

When I was younger, I used to hate to cook.  Although my mom did an amazing job raising me with limited income, and there was a hot meal in front of my face every day of the week, for which I’m eternally grateful, cooking just always seemed like another chore.  I love being challenged and learning new things, and I’m not afraid of failing, so now cooking, for me, encompasses all of that!  I’m trying to cook with many new ingredients and styles, many of which I’ve never even tasted before.  Most importantly I’m nourishing myself and my girlfriend and occasionally friends and family with delicious food that is good for their bodies and minds.  And to be honest, I’m shopping at markets and at Asian and Indian supermarkets, and I’m spending less on groceries than ever!

 I’m not vegan (yet?), but sometimes my meals are vegan — or could be easily made vegan, so I’ll be sure to note that.  Other than that, I hope you enjoy my ramblings and get some good recipes!  If you’re new to the vegetarian thing, don’t sweat it — you’ll figure it out and it will change your life!  I’ll also try to include as many photos and videos as I can for all ya’ll visual learners out there.

Peace! 🙂