Tag Archives: tempeh

Nacho Ordinary Sandwich!

This nacho-cheese, tempeh-bacon and guacamole grilled sandwich is one of THE best sandwiches I have ever eaten.  Every bite is bursting with a wonderful combination of Mexican flavors. It was inspired by this non-vegan version. Read on to see how simple it is to make.

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The first thing I did was grill up some store-bought tempeh bacon. Homemade is cool, but store-bought can be a good time-saver if you’re a poor planner like me.

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For the cheese, I made a batch of “Nacho Mmmm Sauce” from Peas and Thank You. Neal’s step-mom sent me a newspaper article from The Seattle Times that included four different Mmmm sauce recipes. I’ve tried most of them and the nacho is my favorite.
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I slathered a thick layer of the nacho sauce on one side of each bread.IMG_4887 _Snapseed

Then I added a thick, generous layer of homemade guacamole. I didn’t follow a recipe for the guac. It’s just two ripe avocados (mushed) mixed with about a 1/2 cup of chopped cherry tomatoes (seeds removed), a handful of chopped cilantro, some diced red onions, minced garlic (clove or two), lime juice, cumin, salt and pepper.IMG_4888 _Snapseed

Next, I layered on the grilled tempeh bacon, closed the sandwich and grilled it for about 4 minutes on each side to heat it through. While it grilled, I lightly patted down on the bread to get the nacho cheese and guac to mush together.

I cut the sandwich on the diagonal and then asked if it was ready for its close up.
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This is a great sandwich for summer and is lovely with a cup of lemonade and some tortilla chips on the side.  No napkins are needed because you’ll want to lick your fingers clean.IMG_4889 _Snapseed

Come back Saturday for the Virtual Vegan Potluck May 2013 edition! There will be plenty of vegan food to go around from bloggers all over the world!

Got protein?

Every summer, I am  inspired to get pumped at the gym. Perhaps it’s because I have more time on my hands or perhaps it has something to do with wearing a swimsuit. Who really knows.

I’ve started this program focusing on the exercise part and improvising on the diet section because its far from vegan friendly. I’m not concerned with losing weight, just building muscle and I get the gist of what I need to eat for this…loads of protein with some complex carbs and loads of veggies.  Veganbodybuilding is a great resource for sample nutrition programs that support building muscle.

I find to get enough protein to support my training I have to incorporate some processed protein dense foods.  Here are two EASY protein-rich meals that I have been enjoying as of late.

Roasted brussels sprouts and tempeh bacon

  • Roast halved brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt and pepper at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes
  • Add chopped homemade tempeh bacon (a whole pack is about 40 grams of protein). This makes two servings.
  • Tempeh bacon recipes I’ve used for this are from Healthy, Happy, Life and from Vegan with a Vengeance.

Good ol’ fashioned chili

  • Sautee a chopped onion and a chopped bell pepper until the onions sweat.
  • Add about a pack of crumbles (about 72 grams of protein) and brown.
  • Dump in a large can of diced tomatoes, a can of kidney beans and a bunch of seasoning: cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper and simmer.
  • Top it with fresh cilantro.
  • This makes a lot! I eat it on its own or with a sweet potato or some Ezekiel bread. In this pic I am having it with polenta fries that I got from the lovely Epicurean Vegan, though I only used olive oil b/c I didn’t have truffle oil and I added some garlic powder….it came out delicious and is my new favorite “french fry”.

I’m also downing like 2-3 protein shakes a day and eating veggies and fruit and I’m working on a protein muffin recipe. First attempt = muffin mush. If you never hear me mention this recipe attempt again, that means it went away and died.

Any other tips for protein rich meals and foods?

Any gym routines or exercises that you love to hate?

Oh, for the love of dogs!

Wow, it’s been one of those crazy busy weeks and I’ve had no time to post about the fun time we had last Saturday and of course the foods we’ve been eating (yes! even when you’re busy you don’t have to reach for the take-out menus!).

So starting with last Saturday. We (Hsauce, me and our two rescued greyhounds Miles and Nikko) went to Greyfest 2007 where basically a bunch of rescued greyhounds get together and hang out. There are activities and contests and such, but we mainly went to socialize our dogs with other greys.
The only annoying thing about Greyfest was the disconnect that these greyhound owners had between their dogs, who they obviously loved and cared greatly about, and the food they ate. Case in point, lunch was boxed lunches from Honeybaked Ham!

From what I could see, nearly everyone ate these gross things. Is the little pig at the slaughterhouse really that different from the greyhound you rescued from the race tracks? Please! Make the connection people!

Hsauce and I were the only ones who opted out and brought our own lunch, which I assure you was MUCH better, not only in taste, but also because there was no suffering involved.

Hsauce had a delectable tempeh sandwich that he whipped up that morning.

I had an eggless salad sandwich made with tofu.

We also had kiwis and the ultimate picnic snack, potato chips. For dessert we had Liz Lovely peanut butter cookies!! If you have not tried these yet, I urge you to get thee to a store and pick some up right away (and if you can’t find them anywhere, order from Cosmo’s)!

Nikko even had some fruit off this frozen fruit block.

Despite the uneasiness we felt being surrounded by people petting dogs and eating pigs, we had our own special good time. Miles and Nikko made plenty of new friends and seemed to enjoy themselves. Miles even found his twin! (click here for all the pics from Greyfest)

In other meals, we’ve been able to cook every day even though the week has been crazy. Hsauce helped out so much with the cooking this week! One night, he made fresh spring rolls stuffed with noodles, basil, carrots, cucumbers, lettuce and some cilantro served with sweet chili sauce plus vegan Tom Yum soup made with a vegan soup paste (from the Farmer’s market), coconut milk, mushrooms, and tofu. Yeah, it looks like there is a lot of oil in the soup because there was (from the paste).

Sticking with the Asian theme, he also made sweet and sour stir fry with tempeh, baby carrots, water chestnuts, onions, and pineapples. We had it with basmati rice because we were out of jasmine.

Another night, he picked up a box of Fantastic Foods Nature’s Burger and he whipped up some good old veggie burgers with a side of roasted corn.

I contributed an easy Shepard’s pie this week. I sauteed up some seitan with carrots, onions, peas, tomato paste, veggie broth, some bbq sauce and other spices then spread it in a baking pan. I then layered some flavored mashed taters (Hsauce did the taters) on top and stuck it in the oven for a bit. So easy and so good!

And last night I made another easy dish, pesto! Just throw some fresh basil, lemon juice, spices and pine nuts (or walnuts) in a food processor and toss it with some pasta. We had it with tofu ricotta, fresh tomatoes and some really good whole wheat penne noodles that had flax meal in it (I found these noodles at Kroger’s to my surprise!).

I haven’t baked in awhile but I’ve got my mind set on vegan cheesecake as Hsauce just brought home some graham crackers…stay tuned!

Figs and pizza!

I didn’t get a chance to post some simple and tasty things I had on Sunday that were inspired by fellow vegan bloggers, so here they are. Breakfast, ripe black figs dropped in a bowl of vanilla soygurt, was inspired by this (the soygurt) and this (the figs). So simple, yet so beautiful and yummy!

Also, I’ve been seeing a lot of this (from Lelly’s Vegan Kitchen) and this (from Where’s the Revolution?), so we finally made a couple of these.

That’s right, a vegan pizza! We topped it with fresh spinach and basil leaves, sliced tomatoes and baby portabella mushrooms, tempeh bacon crumbles, kalamata olives and tofu ricotta (a pound of firm tofu mashed with lemon juice, nutritional yeast, minced garlic and basil, salt and pepper). Hsauce made the pizza sauce, a mixture of canned diced tomatoes, tomato paste and barbecue sauce (sounds strange, but the bbq sauce gave it a zing!). The whole wheat dough was pre-made from the farmer’s market. It was good. Really good! Lately, I find that my best meals are ones that require the littlest amount of effort.

I ::heart:: weekend brunches!

Since I was gone for a couple of days, it was nice to get back in the kitchen to bake and cook this morning! After taking the dogs out this morning, I got started on a batch of pumpkin muffins (from VV). While those were baking, I whipped together a tofu scramble with a side of tempeh un-bacon.

My palette. Consisting of veggies, tofu, garlic, spices and nutritional yeast.

Our brunch.

I’m terribly anxious for the fall weather and all that it brings (Halloween, crisp leaves, perhaps some vegan apple pie…) and the pumpkin muffins definitely helped get me more in an “autumn” mood as it is full of “fall-like” spices such as cloves, cinnamon and allspice. By the way, that orange juice in the background is the best orange juice. It’s really like fresh squeezed oranges! Its made by a company called “Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company” and we get it at our co-op.

Quick and Easy!

Its been a busy week, but with a well stocked kitchen, easy, quick and delicious meals are still possible! Some meals we have enjoyed…

Mango and ginger un-chicken stirfry courtesy of H.Sauce. Full of sweet mangoes, red bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, un-chicken strips from the Asian market, fresh grated ginger, a splash of orange juice and some spices served atop coconut rice with toasted coconut (made by yours truly from VV).

Fresh homemade bread (::heart:: our bread machine which was given to us by H.Sauce’s mom, who incidentally got it for under $10 from a second hand shop), un-bacon tempeh strips, fresh tomatoes, onions, homemade guacamole and some vegenaise equals a darn good sandwich! Served with a side of sweet potato chips.

Curried split pea soup and fresh corn fritters (both from VV). We dipped our corn fritters in a variety of sauces including Asian sweet and spicy chili sauce, raspberry preserves (that was H.Sauce’s thing), and applesauce (that was the best dipping sauce in my opinion).

Friday nights we don’t cook. We usually get take out from one of our favorite restaurants (Green Sprout), but last night we rode our bikes to Soul Vegetarian for a change. Everything on the menu is vegan (they even have vegan ice cream!). H.Sauce had the “Kale Bone” sandwich with a side of mashed sweet potatoes. The “Kale Bone” is just their own homemade seitan. H.Sauce’s sweet potatoes were very tasty and full of brown sugary goodness. I had the eggless “egg” pita sandwich with a side of freshly cut homemade fries. Delish!

Although this particular SoulVeg is lacking in the “looks” department, the food, service and friendly atmosphere of this place is what it’s all about! A very nice kid who was getting “take out” with his family even gave us a crash course in chess playing as there are chess sets to play with over there. But we still couldn’t remember…which way is the king allowed to move? If I recall correctly, the king piece is kind of lame in that it can’t really move all that much in one go.