Monday, July 24, 2017

Oh, hello, old friend. I know it's been a year. A year since those sauerkraut cakes gave me slight indigestion at a rehearsal with the group that would come to upend my entire life. Vancouver, Los Angeles, Chicago, Asheville, Minneapolis. Has it only been a year?

In Margaret Atwood's MaddAddam trilogy, a post-apocalyptic cult called the Gardeners uses primitive survival skills in order to weather climate change and epidemic disease intended to cleanse the earth of humankind. They describe depression as being in a "fallow state." Like fields left unsown, people turn inward in order to return more abundantly than ever before.

That's what's happening with this blog. I'm listening, learning, and cooking, and I hope to eventually come back with a project that engages in conversations about food justice and culture with greater depth and integrity.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Kraut Kakes with Cashew-Dill Cream

I've done a bit of fermenting here and there. The kimchi recipes from the asian vegan kitchen cookbook always work like a dream, and one time I made my own hard cider....which subsequently turned into cider vinegar (though I guess that's still an accomplishment?). But this summer I've been playing with the recipes in the fermented vegetables cookbook, and it's some serious science experiments up in here.

My first batch of sauerkraut made A TON, so I made these pancakes as a way of using some of it up (so I could make more fermented veggies!). It's basically a sour cabbage latke.

I used this recipe, but halved it, substituted a flax egg, and added paprika and smoked salt. Then I made a cashew-dill cream to go along with it.

Kraut Kakes
(adapted from

8 oz sauerkraut, rinsed and drained well 
1 flax egg (1 TB ground flax + 3 TB warm water)
3 TB flour
1/4 cup green onion, chopped fine
1/4 teaspoon smoked salt
pinch paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil, divided

Mix together everything but the oil. Heat oil in a pan, then form the batter into little cakes and pan fry, flipping, until brown on both sides and warmed through. Serve with dill cream. Serves 2-3. 

Dill Cream: Soaked and blended cashews, lemon, salt, and fresh dill (all to taste).

all-green spring slaw, red beans + rice, and mango habanero hotsauce

Bryant Terry not only writes fantastic cookbooks, he is also brilliant, and a much-needed counterweight to some of the dumbassery happening in the vegan world. I'm way behind on the "Thug Kitchen" controversy, but I've been wanting to find a reason to link to Terry's great response on CNN. Because I clearly don't have the time or will to do much more besides post recipes here these days, I'll just do some of that!

all-green spring slaw from Afro-Vegan (used pistachios instead of pepitas and asparagus instead of sugar snap peas)

Quick and Easy Cajun Red Beans and Rice (shown with Mango-Habanero Hot Sauce from Afro-Vegan)
(from taste space)

1 tbsp coconut oil, or oil of choice
1/4 onion
1 celery
1 link of vegan chorizo sausage
2 TB ketchup
1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning, or to taste
2 cups cooked small red beans, rinsed and drained if canned
2 tsp smoked salt

1. In a medium-large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Once hot, add onion and celery and saute 5 minutes. Then add chorizo and cook another 5-10 minutes.
2. Stir in the ketchup and Old Bay seasoning. Continue to cook until heated through and browned slightly. Stir in the beans and cook until heated through, around 5 minutes. Season with smoked salt and pepper. Serves 3-4.

Saturday, May 21, 2016


Homemade berry kombucha, fresh mango, roasted asparagus with smoked salt, whole wheat sourdough with Melt, tofu scramble with red onion and bell pepper, great leftovers from Afro-Vegan.

Coconuts and Coconut Bacon

Coconuts are so cheap at Jon's, I said. Get one; it'll be fun, I said.

This was not worth it! I broke a knife, then moved on to a hammer. I'm sure my neighbors thought I was really trying to be a noise artist. Because it was a mature coconut (ha), it was harder to open than a young one. Even when I did, the coconut water was a little funky and it didn't have that much meat.

I dreamed of coconut jerky and raw coconut ice cream (though I think you might need young coconut for the latter) before settling on coconut bacon. Inspired by this recipe at fettle vegan, I just winged it and it was quite good--more like bacon bits than bacon strips.

Coconut Bacon Bits

1/2 c 'beef' stock
some tamari
some liquid smoke
1 TB sugar
some smoked paprika
some gochujang
some garlic powder
diced raw coconut from one mature coconut

Mix everything together, then marinate the coconut. Cook on a baking sheet at 375 for a very long time, stirring every 5 min until crisp.

Tempeh with Roasted Cauliflower and Agrodolce Sauce

The agrodolce sauce recipe from Isa Does It is really fantastic.


There is no soy in solyanka. Well, actually, there was in mine, but only by a specific twist of circumstance.

I had been wondering about olives in soup and whether that would be gross or awesome. This was surprisingly great! It made a TON of soup, however, and it's not something you want to eat meal after meal. I'd cut this recipe in half next time.

As far as I can tell from the internets, solyanka is kind of a "kitchen sink" type stew, with the defining feature being a sourness imparted by something pickled. I used mushrooms instead of meat, but I also threw in some roasted tofu and tempeh I had on hand as well. I followed this recipe, except I halved the onions (still a lot of onion!), cut back on salt, and added a lot of pepper.

Vegan Mushroom Solyanka 
(recipe from Vegan Sandra)

3 Tbsp oil
4 medium onions (note I used only 2; also I found them to be too stringy sliced; I would chop them next time)
2 ½ cups / 200 g chopped white mushrooms or other edible mushrooms
2 large garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
½ tsp ground black pepper
2 heaping tsp paprika powder (or I used aleppo pepper, not too different)
6 cups / 1L + 400 ml boiling water
3 medium potatoes
3 large pickles
3 Tbsp black olives (pitted)
3 Tbsp green olives (pitted)
5 Tbsp tomato paste
1 slice of lemon, cut into four
2 - 2 ¼ tsp salt (I only used 1 tsp--add carefully to taste)
(fresh parsley and/or spring onions for serving)
+Black pepper, other seasoning to taste

Instructions (from Vegan Sandra)
Heat up a thick-bottomed pot. Add oil, sliced onions and a pinch of salt. Cook for a couple of minutes. Add chopped white mushrooms, chopped garlic, bay leaves, ground black pepper and paprika powder. Cook for a couple of minutes. Add boiling water and boil for 5 minutes. Add sliced potatoes and boil another 5 minutes. Add chopped pickles, olives, tomato paste, lemon pieces and salt. Cook for 5 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Serve with chopped fresh parsley and/or spring onions and sunflower sour cream, if you like.