Monthly Archives: July 2014

Garlic Cream Sauce

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Sometimes a fancy tasting recipe can be really easy to make. This is one of those. The secret is all in the garlic. You’ve got to roast it. There’s no shortcut. But really, that’s easy too. Just follow the directions from our previous post! The roasted garlic gives this simple sauce a level of unexpected flavor and sophistication that will make pizzas, pastas and sandwiches really come alive!

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Four entire bulbs garlic, roasted (see our post on how to do this from 2011)
One container vegan cream cheese, room temperature (we used Daiya plain)
4 or 5 Tbls. white miso (we used Westbrae Mellow Miso )
Pinch white pepper and salt, to taste

Roast garlic per Natural Nick’s method (from our blog, 2011), and allow to cool to room temperature.

In a food processor or blender, squeeze all four bulbs of garlic into the processor/blender container.  Don’t add any skins, but get all the garlic in you can. Add soften vegan cream cheese, white miso and a pinch of white pepper. (Add salt if you want, we usually think the miso is salty enough.) Blend together until completely incorporated and smooth. It will be a pale tan color with soft flecks from the roasted garlic.

There are many wonderful uses for this sauce. We like it on pizzas, just smear some on a crust and bake. It’s also great tossed through warm pasta and veggies, or on the inside of wrap or sandwich. Liven up a morning bagel with some garlic cream sauce, too. Easy and versatile!

Baltimore Vegan Drinks goes to the O’s!

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Ready to play ball? On Sunday August 3rd, Baltimore Vegan Drinks is pairing up with Baltimore Green Drinks and heading to the Orioles game at Camden Yards. Basically, it’s a vegan takeover on home plate! 🙂

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Tickets are $28 and include a Beyond Meat wrap and full box lunch made by Chef Gregory from Land of Kush. A gluten-free option is available.

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Only twenty seats will be sold for this fun outing and you can click here to snag your ticket. Oh – did we mention, there’s free swag for everyone? Not door prizes, like usual – but FREE SWAG for everyone!

Now, between the goodies, the box lunch from Gregory and Beyond Meat, and the O’s kicking some Seattle butt at the game, what more could you ask for?

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Thanks for taking care of us, Baltimore Vegan Drinks and Baltimore Green Drinks!

Far Out: Watkins Glen, NY

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Each year we travel to the Finger Lakes region of New York state. Normally, we stay in Ithaca and hang out there, after all Moosewood Cafe and the Ithaca Bakery are big attractions.  We even posted about it a few years back~ Far Out: Ithaca. Watkins Glen is the next town to the west, and it turns out to be a little slice of vegan heaven, from rescued farm animals to an all-veg B&B to vegan ice cream.

Come on, let’s check it out, starting with the scenic rolling views as you drive through the mountains towards your destination…

WatkinsScenic_lrOur Watkins Glen adventure started at the Ginger Cat Bed & Breakfast. Nestled in 15 acres of naturalized forest and garden, the B&B is truly a quiet, peaceful respite. It’s located at 2475 Altay Road, Rock Stream, NY 14878 and offers only two rooms, so it’s quite private and restful. Opening in 2008, the B&B hosts guests to the area from bridal parties to race car drivers to just those passing through who don’t even know it’s a vegan inn. Ginger Cat is also a certified green facility.

GingerCat1_lrThe inn is named after Wally, who is the famed Ginger Cat. He was super friendly and ready to pose for pictures.

GingerCat5_lrInnkeeper Gita Devi made wonderful vegan breakfasts! Which is a big part of the B&B experience and part of what you are paying for. We missed her much-loved weekend brunch, but the regular breakfast included a chocolate cake parfait with fresh local berries and soy yogurt and chocolate chip muffins, as well as a selection of apples, cherries, peaches, blackberries and pineapple. The spread was complete with wheat toast, your choice of peanut or almond butter, and of course, tea, coffee and juices. The breakfast nook was bright and cheerful and there was a communal fridge, as well a microwave, sink, coffee pot and toaster for guests to use ay any time of day. There was also a large selection of brochures for local attractions, including lists of vegan eateries and wineries in the area. The dining area opened onto a large deck that offers spectacular night time star gazing, as well as lovely sunsets.

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Upon arriving  at our room, we found two freshly-baked chocolate brownies waiting for us. Didn’t we mention already… this is a vegan B&B, so ALL the food is vegan! Score! Our room was the Zachary room. It’s the dog-friendly room and we found it to be sunny and pleasant. The other room is the Ariel room, which faces the sunrise and has a matching sunny personality. The rooms each boast a few of the innkeeper’s own original photographs, too. That’s her – Gita Devi with her beloved ginger cat, Wally. You know, it was Wally’s cute face that caught our eye in an ad in VegNews magazine – that’s the whole reason we discovered the B&B! There are not phones or TVs in the rooms, but we got perfect cell reception and Gita will welcome you into the residence to watch television if you are lost without your programs. She doesn’t have wifi yet, but if your laptop or iPad has its own link, you can connect easily – i.e., you’re not too far into the wilderness, despite how it feels. But honestly, we thought it was nice to unplug a while.

GingerCat3_lrThe other residents of the B&B are all quite purr-fect. (Hee hee… too corny? I couldn’t help it!) We enjoyed hanging out with Wally (right); Moses (top center); Hannah (middle center); Indiana Jones (bottom center); and Sebastian. Each feline had her or his own plan, personality and agenda during our visit. You can learn more about them here. The kitties stay in the main residence, though, and aren’t allowed into the B&B. We enjoyed seeing them prowl the windows and glass doors – watching us watching them. 🙂

Overall, we really enjoyed out time at the Ginger Cat B&B. We have recommended it to friends and plan to visit again soon. The room was clean and cozy, the other guests were pleasant and polite, and we loved talking with Gita and her pack of kitties about the area, recipes and more.  Call Gita at 607.535.9627 for more information or to plan your stay.

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Gita recommended that we try a nearby deli called Glen Mountain Market, at 200 N. Franklin Street, Watkins Glen NY, 14891. So we stopped for lunch. This place has lots of vegan options and we knew it was popular with other plant-eaters because when we arrived, they were already out of the house made seitan and vegan cream cheese because they’d sold over 40 of each that day.  So we tried the homemade tofu burger, called “Jackson’s Revenge.” The burger was nutty and fresh, and the spicy mustard really packed on the flavor. The deli’s fresh bread was a standout, too.

GlenMarket1_lrWe were delighted to find the pastry case had several vegan options, including sugar cookies, chocolate chips, oat bars and peanut butter cookies – all of which were solid and tasty treats. If you check the regular menu, there are a good number of vegan options, including a Healthy Hoagie, Veggie Chili, Vegan “BLT”, the “Sanctuary” Special and even a vegan breakfast bagel with Tofutti cream cheese and veggies.  Just don’t get there late! Cuz the other vegans in Watkins Glen are apparently ravenous and will beat you to the food at Glen Mountain Market. Basically, we are saying run don’t walk to this deli.

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One evening in Watkins Glen we decided we needed a cold, creamy treat. And Great Escape Ice Cream Parlor was calling out to us from  221 S Franklin St, Watkins Glen, NY 14891. You see, Great Escape offers VEGAN ice cream. And sorbets. And ice cream sandwiches on fresh baked vegan cookies. I kid you not. There are toppings and everything vegan is clearly labeled, as well as gluten-free options. We just about peed our britches with happiness. They even have vegan soft serve in 27 rotating flavors. You really have to stop here when you visit the area. Everything wonderful you remember about being a kid on a hot summer night and eating ice cream – that sweet sticky stuff, melting down your fingers – it will come flooding back to you in a rush of joy. Great Escape is even open till 10pm every night in the summer.

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After all that eating, it’s time get your shopping fix. We stumbled upon a cute boutique called at Wags to Riches, 313 north Franklin Street, Watkins Glen. We adored this place! Not only was it a resale shop, so you are staying green by re-using or up-cycling old stuff, but every purchase benefits the local Schuyler County Humane Society and helps animals in needs. This was a win-win!  There were countless treasures inside, from men’s, kids’ and women’s clothing, dishes and glassware, books, purses and scarves to furniture, fine jewelry, sorting equipment, tools, and handmade items.

WagsRiches1_lrThere were tote bags made from re-used animal feed bags and hand-beaded bracelets and necklaces as well.  Really impressive at Wags to Riches  were the incredibly low costs and well-know designer names like Talbots, Tommy, Express, Guess, Express and more. I picked up a cute LBD by Anne Klein for less than $20 in like-new condition.

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At the register, you can see exactly where your funds are going: $10 covers a rabies/distemper shot; $25 pays for a cat to be neutered and $35 for a dog to be neutered; $45 pays for a feline spay and $75 for a canine spay. Everything in the shop is donated so that the Humane Society can raise money for their varied needs. And really, it’s a fun place to both browse and buy. We found not only the dress, but some jewelry, books & a book mark, a feed-bag shopping bag and some pretty dishes we brought home. Be sure to call ahead to Wags to Riches, as their hours can vary: 607.210.4263.

There’s more to do than this, even, in the Watkins Glen area. Farm Sanctuary makes it home here – and this place is so amazing, it needs its own blog (coming soon!).  The nearby Seneca Lake Wine Trail is home to many wonderful wineries, breweries and distilleries – some of which are vegan-friendly. There are lots of gorgeous parks – many with waterfalls in the area. And of course, there’s the NASCAR track for race fans. Need more places to eat? Check out this veg-guide to Watkins Glen from Farm Sanctuary (or just get on Happycow.net, which is always helpful!) and munch your way across the county.

You’re sure to fall in love with Watkins Glen, NY just like we did. Enjoy your stay and be sure to tell Gita and Wally we said hello!

 

 

 

Get Squashed

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They’re here. The summer squashes have arrived and now every garden is overflowing with zucchini and yellow squashes. You see them at farmer’s markets, roadside stands – even your neighbors are trying to give them away. Don’t worry, we’ve got you. You aren’t going to overdose on Zucchini Bread, I promise.

dhbgSquasarole_lrFirst, we offer up a family favorite from the Dirty Hippie’s Mom: Yellow Squash Casserole. This is a southern staple and it seems every family has their own variation on it. It’s a snap to make- even children could help with this one! There are only a few ingredients: yellow squash, sweet onions, cheesy shreds (like Daiya or Follow Your Heart), buttery crackers (like Ritz), salt/pepper and some Earth Balance. That’s it. You can throw it together, stick it in the oven, and finish, like, ten other chores while it bakes!

This recipe is cross-posted at Sister Eden’s blog. So click on over and check it out. You’re going to want this one in your collection – it’s a delicious use-up for all those yellow squash and incredibly simple.

 

zucchsandDHBG_lrBut what about zucchini….? Yes, those seem to pop up everywhere this time of year. It’s like an invasion of little green squashes! You’ve seen all the recipes too – zucchini “pasta”, breads, muffins – even pancakes! We like to make these pressed sandwiches with zucchini.

Again, this recipe is cross-posted to Sister Eden’s blog. What we really like about this one is how flexible it is. We’ve used different bread and sandwich stuffing, depending on what’s in the kitchen. We like it with sprouts, roasted red peppers, onions and tomatoes – but if you have mushrooms and scallions on hand instead, just use those! The zucchini really resonates with the sauce. We think the mustard and horseradish sort of liven it up and make the sweet green squash into a satisfying and savory pressed sandwich.

So, no need to worry! You’ve now got two more reasons to celebrate – and not be scared – of the summer squash and zucchini season! Enjoy!

BBQ Beyond Meat Pizza

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Once I saw a woman with a tee shirt that read “Anything you can make, I can make vegan” – and her sentiment echoed in my mind recently as I watched a commercial for BBQ pizza. I mean, hello, of COURSE vegans can also enjoy a BBQ pizza!

The key to making this pizza really tasty is planning ahead. You’ve got to do the marinade step because it gives the flavors a chance to mingle. We used Beyond Meat Chicken-Free Strips with store-bought BBQ sauce. This recipe has been a fast favorite in our home – we’ve served it to guests, ate it for lunch and dinner – basically, we love it!

Our favorite pizza crust is a recipe by Bobby Flay, which is designed for grilling. We make our pizzas on the grill on a pizza stone. But you can use any crust recipe you prefer – or just buy pre-made crust if you aren’t into messing around with dough rising and such. You don’t have to grill pizzas, either! You can make this in any oven or even make small ones in a toaster oven!

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BBQ Beyond Meat Pizza

One package Beyond Meat Chicken-Free Strips, Grilled flavor

1 cup BBQ sauce ( we used Jack Daniels Spicy Original)

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1 jalapeño, seeded and diced fine

2 cups vegan cheddar shreds (we used Daiya)

One pizza crust (recipe by Bobby Flay or use your favorite!)

1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup scallions, chopped

Coconut bacon, optional (we used Zia’s or try Phoney Baloney)

Shred Beyond Meat chicken strips with a fork into pieces. Mix with BBQ sauce, cilantro and jalapeño and allow to marinate several hours or overnight. Roll out pizza crust and dust bottom with cornmeal, so you can move the pizza later. Top with half of the cheddar style shreds. Follow with BBQ Beyond Meat. Cover with remaining cheddar shreds, scallions and a sprinkle of coconut bacon.

This recipe makes one large or two medium pizzas. If you are going for small personal-sized pizzas, it will make 3 to 4, based on how you roll out the dough and distribute the toppings.

If you are baking your pizza in an oven, preheat it to 400 and bake on a large cookie sheet or pizza stone for 10-12 minutes, until crust is baked/edges are browned, and the cheddar-shreds are melted and gooey. Cut into slices and devour.

If you are using a grill, preheat your charcoal for about 20-30 minutes with pizza stone on top. Slide the pizza onto  the heated pizza stone (this is where you really need that cornmeal, to make it slide!) and cook, covered, for about 4 to 6 minutes. Depending on your grill, if there are hot spots, you may need to turn the pizza about half-way through to prevent burning. Grilled pizzas are SO yummy – try this if you can!

 

Cook’s Notes: Finding Beyond Meat is getting easier all the time. Locally in Maryland, you can get it at Roots Market, David’s and MOM’s. Nationally, you can find it at Whole Foods. If you still can’t locate it, try this recipe with Gardein‘s faux chicken, which is super easy to find everywhere, even Target!  For BBQ sauces, you can make your own if you want to avoid added sugars and corn syrup. If you decide to buy BBQ sauce, read labels! Some contain pork, beef and dairy.  Want homemade pizza crust taste without all the hassle? Just stop by your favorite pizzeria – they almost always will sell you some pre-made dough. Bring it home, roll it out – and you’re all set! Trader Joe’s also makes a wonderful fresh pizza dough.

Wine-Soaked Tapenade Bruschetta

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Tapenade and Bruschetta are really a match made in heaven. One is toasty, crunchy bread; the other is salty, savory  rich schmear. Yes, please! Here we threw some decadent white wine into the mix, as well as wilted greens. You can even pretend it’s healthy – ahem  you’re eating your greens, after all!

 

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Wine-Soaked Tapenade Bruschetta

1 cup sun-dried tomatoes

1/2 cup vegan dry white wine, such as Riesling (we used Bonterra)

1 Tbl. olive oil

1/2 cup pitted black olives, drained

3 Tbl. capers, drained

1-2 Tbl. lemon zest

1 tsp. black pepper

1/2 tsp. salt

3 cups greens (kale, spinach, chard), slivered

4-5 cloves of garlic

1 baguette, sliced into thin pieces for serving

1 tomato, seeded and sliced thinly, for garnish (optional)

Soak sun-dried tomatoes in white wine and olive oil for at least two hours and up to 8 hours. At end of soak time, drain tomatoes and reserve liquid for use later in recipe.

Preheat oven to 325. In a food processor or high-power blender, combine soaked tomatoes, olives, capers, lemon zest, pepper and salt. Blend for several minutes until a rough paste is formed. Set aside; this is the tapenade spread.

Arrange baguette slices on a baking sheet and toast for ten minutes per side in the pre-heated oven. While they’re toasted, add silvered greens to a pan with reserved white wine and olive oil from tomatoes. Over low heat, stir the greens and cook until just bright green. Take off heat.

When bread is toasted, remove from oven and rub one side with raw garlic cloves. (This tastes amazing – don’t skip it!) The heat from the warm bread will make the garlic soft and it will spread on the baguette.

Top each slice with a spoon of the sun-dried tomato/olive tapenade, a small pyramid of greens and a slice of tomato. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Vegan Cooking Class, July 8th in Baltimore

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Join Baltimore Vegan Drinks for the second in their “Cooking with Booze” class series and prepare to be wowed by Chef John Shields from Gertrude’s at the BMA. His lesson will include Pea Tendril Pesto with Roasted Heirloom Tomato Polenta Bites, “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Crab Crab Cakes” & Three Mustard Sauce, Lemon Tarts and Baltimore-style Peach Cake.

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In the Baltimore area, Chef Shields and Gertrude’s are known for their ability to please every palate – including vegans! Their regular menu includes multiple vegan offerings daily and during weekend brunch events. The zucchini “crab” cakes  (above) are the stuff in legends in both veggie and omnivore circles alike.

Class attendees will be treated to tastings of these dishes and copies of the recipes, as well as other vegan fare and bonus recipes! Local wines will be featured for tasting and as an ingredient. Door prizes will also be part of the event, including aprons and vegan cookbooks – the prizes are a Baltimore Vegan Drinks tradition!

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Pre-registration is required and ticketing will close on Monday  July 7th. For tickets, visit http://www.bmorevegan.com/events Tickets for this event are $45.00 per person. This is a STEAL for the expertise of Chef John Shields!!!! Did you know that he has published THREE cookbooks and has more on the way? And he has had TWO nationally broadcasted cooking shows on PBS? Top notch, folks!

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The cooking class will be presented on Tuesday July 8th from 7pm to 9pm. Local Color Flowers will host the class at their studio, located at 3100 Brentwood Ave, Baltimore, MD 21218.

Stars and Stripes Tofu with Dipping Sauces

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It’s time to party. This Friday the USA celebrates all things patriotic – and why not extend the sentiment to your plate? We’d like to offer up Stars and Stripes Tofu with two yummy dipping sauces. This recipe is not only star-spangled, but loads of fun. Have kids help out making the sauces and using cookie cutters to make the stars.

starstofuLRWe prefer these tofu bites fried, but you can also bake them and save a few calories. It’s a holiday, though, why not live it up? Can easily be made gluten-free, too!

This recipe is cross-posted at the Sister Eden blog. Click on over and you’ll see fireworks when you serve this yummy dish at your family or neighborhood Independence Day party!

We hope you will enjoy it as much as we do – and Happy July 4th!