Thursday, October 28, 2010

Veggie Sandwiches! Baogette, No. 7 Sub

For any regular readers of The Friendly Veg, you know I'm a big proponent of NOT eating out for lunch; I like to cook large meals on a Sunday or Monday night, and save the leftovers for lunch for the rest of the week. With Halloween quickly approaching and no costume in hand, I had little time to cook this week and relied on *gasp* buying sandwiches several times this week for lunch!

I do love a good sandwich for lunch (in a pinch, I'll prepare my Tofurky special of peppered tofurky, baby spinach, tomato, red onion, avocado, and a smear of hummus on toasted Ezekiel bread), so I'm sharing two yummy veggie sandwiches that should definitely be on your must-lunch list.

Baoguette has several different locations in the city, but I recently visited the one on Lexington near Baruch College- talk about location, location, location! The tiny shop offers all of 3 vegetarian options- a Veguette sandwich or Veguette vermicelli noddle, and veggie summer roll. I opted for their Veguette, with zesty kung pao soy protein, cilantro, carrots, cucumber, and pickled daikon on a crispy baguette. For $7, I was totally stuffed, and the flavor was simple, but delish. And it took all of 5 minutes, from entering the store to exiting with generous sandwich in hand.


Baoguette, 61 Lexington Ave, 212-532-1133


Also giving big ups to No. 7 Sub shop,  on the ground floor of the much hyped Ace Hotel. I'd visited Ace several times for the Stumptown Coffee outpost, but for this trip, coffee was just not going to cut it. I chose their General Tso's Tofu sub, though to my delight, they did have several options for veggie & vegan subs (Broccoli & Cheddar, Eggplant Parm, and Brussels Sprouts & Apples). I enjoyed a very hearty portion of tofu fried up in General Tso's sauce, seaweed salad (though I found myself picking it out of my teeth at work- not the best way to eat a seaweed salad!), Asian pickles, and an edamame spread. The flavors perfectly complemented each other and I could barely finish the sub. Though I'm certainly not a fan of shelling out over $9 for a sandwich, I'll probably be back to try their Brussels Sprout sub at some point.


No. 7 Sub Shop, 1188 Broadway, 212-532-1680

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sweet! Top 10 Tasty Vegan Halloween Treats!

Since it's Halloween week, and let's be real, our biggest association with the day tends to be sugary stuff, I wanted to repost this article by Gina Telaroli on TakePart.org- it may be a year old, but their top ten list of the best vegan Halloween treats is timeless!

-------------------

Most people love Halloween for two reasons--the costumes and the treats. Unfortunately, many of those treats use animal products and other less-than-awesome ingredients. But worry not, socially conscious eaters; I've compiled a list of 10 tasty treats, savory and sweet, that are vegan and perfect for the Halloween season.
Give them a go and feel free to let me know your favorite Halloween indulgence!
______
10. Vegan Pumpkin Pie (from vegalicious)

This recipe sounds (and looks) amazing and it includes great pie crust directions as well! I can't imagine this doesn't taste good. Go here to the find recipes for the vegan pumpkin pie filling and a vegan pie crust and enjoy this traditional treat without any animal guilt.
*photo/pie baking by sonicwalker

______
9. Cajun Popcorn (from veganchef.com)

This sounds wonderfully warm and spicy and fun to munch on while handing out candy or watching scary Halloween movies.

1 cup raw popcorn kernels
2 T. safflower oil
1 T. water
1 T. nutritional yeast flakes
1 T. Creole Seasoning
1/4 t. salt (optional)

Using a hot air popper or other popcorn popper, pop the popcorn and place it in a large bowl. In a small saucepan, combine the remaining ingredients, and cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes to blend the flavors. Drizzle the oil mixture over the popcorn and toss well to evenly coat the popcorn with the mixture. Serve warm.

______
pd_snickerdoodle8. Vegan Snickerdoodle Ice Cream (from Turtle Mountain)

Ice cream season is pretty much on the outs (boo!) but before it goes away for good, why not indulge in some vegan creamy goodness with Turtle Mountain's new Snickerdoodle flavor?
Plus, you can buy it instead of make it--which sometimes is so much easier!

______
7. Simple Vegan Bean Dip (from Simple Vegan)

This recipe sounds so easy and tasty!

Ingredients:
2 cups cooked pinto beans (1 15 oz can),
rinsed and drained
2 tbs fresh lime juice
1 medium-sized tomato, peeled and seeded
2 medium cloves of garlic, minced
a handful of parsley
a handful of cilantro
3/4 tsp of cumin
1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt
black pepper and cayenne, to taste

To peel and seed tomato: Drop it into a pan of boiling water for 10 seconds. Remove it, and peel off the skin. Cut the tomato open; squeeze out and discard the seeds. Chop the remaining pulp. Whip everything together in a food processor or a blender

______
6. Cranberry and Apple Cider (from my Mom! Seen on TakePart!)

This is one of my most favorite fall and winter recipes. The mix of fresh apple cider with cranberry juice, wonderful spices and time on the stove makes for the tastiest of Halloween treats--especially on a cold and blustery day. And if you want a little kick to your cider (or are maybe throwing a party) add a little rum to your glass!

______
5. Vegetable and Bean Chili (from Gourmet)

This sounds wonderfully rich and spicy and warming! And it comes from the recently closed Gourmet, where the best recipes can always be found.

* 2 large onions (1 lb), coarsely chopped
* 1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
* 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
* 1/2 fresh jalapeño chile, finely chopped (including seeds)
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 tablespoon chili powder
* 1 teaspoon ground cumin
* 2 teaspoons salt
* 28-oz can whole tomatoes, coarsely chopped, with juice
* 2 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
* 2 (15-oz) cans kidney beans, rinsed
* 1 tablespoon chopped semisweet chocolate
* 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

*Sauté onions, bell pepper, garlic, and jalapeño in oil in a 4-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, and salt and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add tomatoes with juice and zucchini and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Stir in beans and chocolate and simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Stir in cilantro.

______
4. Black and White Cookies (from Vegan Cookies)

These look/sound amazing and are perfect for Halloween munching. I bet you could even put cool designs on them to jazz it up extra Halloween style. The recipe, including both the wonderful black and white icing, can be found here.

______
3. Caramel/Candy Apples (from Dog Hill Kitchen)

A super traditional Halloween treat made vegan--YES!

Vegan Caramel - Ingredient proportions from The Glad Cow Cookbook, Makes ~100 pieces of caramel candy, will coat ~8-10 apples
1 cup margarine*
2 cups sugar
2 cups soy milk
1 cup light corn syrup
1 t vanilla
*Optional: Add 1 tsp salt if using unsalted margarine

-Line an 8 inch x 8 inch pan with parchment or cover a baking sheet with parchment and ready your apples and sticks. You can cover a few apples and then place the remaining caramel in any parchment lined container to set up and make candies. I use a loaf pan for the extra caramel when covering apples.
-Place the margarine, sugar, soy milk and corn syrup in a large saucepan (4qt capacity minimum)
-Bring ingredients to a boil stirring continually.
-Cook over medium-high heat while continuing to stir until candy reaches 248 degrees F. (243-5 for softer caramels)
-Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour into lined baking pan. If coating apples then let allow the caramel to cool for a minute while still stirring and then start coating. After you coat the apples place them in the fridge or eat them as soon as they cool.
-Allow the caramel in the pan to cool completely. Snip into pieces using clean kitchen shears that you wipe or spray with oil (or slice with a knife). Wrap individually with waxed or parchment paper. Makes ~100 pieces
Variation: Cook to 230 degrees F for caramel sauce for ice cream/cake. Store in a covered container.

______
DSCF03762. Halloween Cupcakes (from lizcondos & vegancupcakerecipes.com)

I think this cupcake recipe sounds incredible and kind of like a blond Reese's cup (the ultimate Halloween candy - although full of awfulness). Likewise I think the cupcake decoration to the left is kind of to die for. If peanut butter isn't your thing check out these tasty seasonal flavors:
- ginger
- carrot
- orange ooze
- applesauce

______
1. Vegan Candy (via PETA)

And finally if you want to go the super traditional route, here is a list of vegan candy you can buy. The list comes from PETA and features some of my favorite sugary indulgences, including Blow Pops, Swedish Fish and Pez!  I figure if you're going to buy mass produced, unhealthy treats, they can at least be vegan!

Happy Trick or Treating everyone! Eat well and be well!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Queens Peeps: Hunters Point Restaurant Week

Hey fellow Queens peeps- if you missed Queens Restaurant Week at the end of September (like I did- I'm embarrassed to say I didn't realize it was that time of year already!), catch up on cheap eats in Long Island City/Hunters Point next week. From November 1st through 4th, get a 3 course prix fixe lunch or dinner for just $25 during Hunters Point Restaurant Week.

Participating restaurants where I've enjoyed good vegetarian dishes in the past include:

Riverview Restaurant on Center Blvd and 49th Avenue for American-Continental fare.

Shi on Center Blvd between 47th Road and 47th Avenue for Japanese & Chinese food

Testaccio on Vernon Blvd between 48th Avenue and 47th Road for Roman cuisine

Though I wouldn't quite call this area of LIC "Hunters Point", most of these restos are still just one stop off the 7 train in Queens, so really, Manhattanites have no excuse for this one :) Call ahead to confirm the prix-fixe menus, and eat up!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Featured Blog at Foodie Blogroll!

Woot! I was super stoked this morning to see an email from Foodie Blogroll, saying that I'd be named one of their Featured Blogs of the Week!!

Just wanted to share the good news with all of my readers! Thanks to Foodie Blogroll, Foodie Blogroll readers, and my readers- I really appreciate the time you spend on my blog and on my recipes! As always, if you ever have any suggestions on how to make my blog even better or any recipes that you might want to see, send me an email at thefriendlyveg@gmail.com- I'd love to hear from you!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

20 Sweet Snacks Under 200 Calories

And because one good snack deserves another, I'll give you twenty! As seen on the WholeLiving.com website, a feature on 20 low-calorie sweet snacks (most are vegetarian & vegan, or can easily be adjusted)- papaya-berry yogurt parfaits, strawberry-banana tofu shakes, walnut shortbread, and coconut-date bars. Yum! Just be sure to stick to the serving size and you'll satisfy your sweet tooth AND keep your waistline in check!

Snack Time!

I like to snack. I think most people do. So when I come across some good ones, I think it's only right that you share your goodies!


Highly recommended: V Spot's Colombian Empanadas. Yes, I'm probably biased because I think Colombian food is the shizz, but you'll enjoy these hearty, flavorful empanadas from the famous Brooklyn vegan cafe, The V Spot. You can find them in both local health food stores and in delis (I found them in both the Natural Fronter Marketplace as well as a neighborhood deli!) Salsa is included, so be sure to slather some over you TVP filled empanadas and enjoy!



Other new awesomeness? I've been on a freeze dried fruit kick lately- I'm not one to argue with sweet AND crunchy- and found a great variety in Fruitzio, also found in Natural Frontier Marketplace and other health food stores. At just 100 calories per bag, you can choose from peach, apple, apricot, even Asian pear. I liked that Fruitzio has their fruit in bite size chunks, rather than the thin slices of freeze dried fruit that I've usually encountered. I'd even chop these up and add them to trail mix. Yum!

Happy snacking!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Shanghai Bok Choy


Don't you love making restaurant dishes at home? At my fave tiny dumpling shop, Vanessa's, I loved their super simple Shanghai-style treatment of bok choy (which is by far one of my favorite leafy greens!), with a mix of sesame oil and soy sauce and a hint of garlic. I decided to make this easy side dish at home- though you could easily make it a meal with some grilled tempeh and soba noodles- and of course, add onto it! With some red bell peppers for sweetness and a jalepeno for heat (though you could use any chili you prefer), it makes for a well-rounded, flavorful dish. Use baby bok choy so that you don't need to chop up larger leaves and the stalks- it'll save you some time!


The Whats:

* 4 heads of baby bok choy, washed
* 1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
* 1 medium chili pepper, thinly sliced
* 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
* 2 tbsp. olive oil
* 3 tbsp. soy sauce, or tamari if you prefer
* 2 tbsp. sesame oil


The Hows:

1) In a large skillet or wok, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and peppers to the pan and cook for 5 minutes until peppers are just slightly softened. Add bok choy to the pan; drizzle with soy sauce and sesame oil and saute for 3 minutes, or until leaves are just wilted. Remove from pan and serve hot.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Madera


I like surprises, especially when they're in the form of a veggie entree and they're served in a steakhouse setting. 

I'd walked past Madera on Vernon Boulevard in LIC before, and though I'd nearly been lured in by promises of mojitos, jalapeno margaritas, and a veggie stir fry that the staff would make for vegetarians, I'd opted to visit another resto on Vernon that night- having just come back from Colombia, I needed something different! But this past weekend, my honey and I were both equally curious about Madera's offerings (okay, and part of it was that we were super hungry and didn't want to cook at home) and visited the upscale-casual resto with lively Cuban music emanating from the bar.

And kudos to Madera for coming through with an entree! In addition to savory fried plantains and an avocado-pineapple salad, I enjoyed a stir fried veggie entree of yellow rice, green beans, and broccoli, with a little bit of cilantro for a kick. Very basic, but tasty!

I can't say I'll be a frequent visitor to Madera- woman cannot live on Cuban rice stir fry alone- but for any Queens vegetarians whose friends are always talking up steakhouses, just know that you can selfishly steer your pals towards Madera, and still enjoy a good night out.

Especially if you include a jalapeno margarita.Or two.

Madera, 47-29 Vernon Blvd, between 47th Road and 48th Ave, LIC 718-606-1236

Friday, October 15, 2010

TONY: Best Vegetarian in NYC

Not only am I happy to see that Time Out New York always includes vegetarian and vegan food in their Best Of NYC dining lists, but dang, they know how to spot some great dishes!

Their "Best 100 Dishes and Drinks" in this week's issue features a top vegetable dish section, and I've now got some must-eats to add to my list- hazelnut and mushroom crostini at Pure Food & Wine? Sign me up!

Also in veggie eating- the famous John's of 12th Street Pizzeria is now offering an entire vegan menu- which isn't a stretch for Italian cuisine, but it still amazes me how few restos & pizzerias really don't utilize these great veggie dishes. Check out the menu on their Facebook page- eggplant parm with Daiya cheese, seitan scallopini, and vegan panna cotta & cannoli? *Drool*

Is is time for dinner yet?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

NYT: Whole-Grain Pastas That Taste Good

Melissa Clark must've read my ode to pasta last week. Lo and behold in this week's Dining section, Clark's article on the slew of good quality and equally tasty whole grain pastas making an impact on the pasta market is a great piece with more background on whole grain pastas. She mentions Bionaturae as a favorite (one of mine as well!), which you can pick up in many grocery stores. If you can, seek out brands that use ancient grains, like farro and the lesser known einkorn- turns out as modern wheat varieties were hybridized, they lost essential proteins and nutrients.

See, pasta really can be good for you! Check out some of the recipes in the article, like Pasta with Roasted Eggplant, Pepper, and Garlic. Mangia!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Apple Crisp


As it was a busy week and I had less time than I wanted to get creative in the kitchen, I decided my apple crisp would be the perfect, warm mid-week treat and the best way to start using those apples I'd picked. You might find this slightly time consuming- anytime I need to slice several cups worth of fruit, I find I need to keep my eye on the price to deal with all the slicing and dicing. But, as with most desserts, it's well worth it!

Be sure to slice the apples thinly- they'll melt in your mouth when the crisp is finished baking. If you prefer almonds or pecans instead of walnuts, feel free to use them in your crisp topping; you could also use some agave or maple syrup to sweeten the apples instead of brown sugar.

Either way, you'll want to sit back when this baby's in the oven and just inhale- your apartment is going to smell divine!

The Whats:

For the apples-
 * 4 to 5 cups of peeled, thinly sliced apples (from about 3 large apples)
 * 2 to 3 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
 * 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
 * 1/4 cup light brown sugar
 * 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
 * 1 tsp. ground ginger
 * pinch of nutmeg
 * 1/2 tsp. salt
For the topping-
 * 1/2 cup rolled oats
 * 1/3 cup all purpose flour
 * 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
 * 1/4 cup light brown sugar
 * 4 tbsp. butter

The Hows:

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees (mine runs cooler, so I set to 360). Grease a 9 inch pie plate or 8x8 square baking dish. Set aside.

2) In a large mixing bowl, combine apples, lemon juice, flour, brown sugar, spices, and salt; toss to coat. Spread evenly into the prepared baking dish. Set aside.

3) In another large mixing bowl , combine the rolled oats, walnuts, flour, and brown sugar. Add the butter to the mix, and using your hands (or pastry mixer, if you prefer), mix together until the ingredients are combined and the mixture is clumpy. Evenly scatter the oat mix on top of the apples. Bake for around 50 minutes. Allow apple crisp to sit 5 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Lemon Pasta with Grape Tomatoes & Grilled Artichokes


Here's what happens when I have the last of my lemons and tomatoes to use! And pasta, of course- it's not a meal without pasta!

I sometimes wonder if anyone cooks pasta as often as I do. Other than Italians, that is. I remember eating pasta at least 3 or 4 times a week as a kid, and I still eat pasta at least twice a week. It feels like I see way too many articles and hear too much from "health experts" about how pasta pretty much needs to be eliminated from your diet in order to be healthy and lose weight. Now to be fair, I've been eating pasta since I was a baby (no really- my parents recall feeding me bowls of pastina in my high chair!) and my body's always been able to process pasta without gaining weight (my non-Italian friends hate me for this). But even then, I have this much to offer pasta-fearing individuals:

- if you're eating a giant plate of white pasta, that's a problem! Eat reasonable portions- I eat more than the recommended cup size serving (really FDA, no one eats that little!), but for goodness sake, don't eat half a box- and with so many heartier whole grain, whole wheat, and spelt varieties, you couldn't eat an entire plateful if you tried!

- watch what you put on your pasta, duh! Many store-bought jarred sauces have extra sugar added in them, and if you think that giant handful of parmesan isn't going to affect you, you're delusional. Make your own sauce, saute some veggies or beans in olive oil, make a sauce from vegetables- there are so many ways to prepare a healthy, filling pasta dinner! I've got plenty of them on this blog. :)

I hate seeing popular "diets" ragging on my beloved dish, but I'll get off my pasta soapbox and get back to the goodness.


The Whats:

* 1/2 box of whole grain spaghetti
* 1/2 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
* 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
* 1/4 cup vegan parmesan or grated parmigiano reggiano
* 10 to 12 basil leaves, finely chopped (or 2 tbsp. dried if you can't find fresh!)
* 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
* 1/2 pint of grape tomatoes, halved
* 3 grilled artichokes, chopped
* 1/2 yellow onion, chopped


The Hows:

1) Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook for about 10 to 12 minutes or until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water before draining the pot; return pasta to the pot.

2) While pasta is cooking, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, parm, basil, and black pepper. Set aside.

3) Add 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water to the spaghetti, then add lemon-olive oil sauce; toss until well coated, adding extra cooking water to make it more saucy, if desired. Add the tomatoes, artichokes, and onion and toss until distributed. Serve hot.

Craving a heartier addition? I've also made this pasta with some veggie sausage (I like the LightLife brand!) sauteed with 2 tbsp. of rosemary. Equally yummy.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Claire's Corner Copia


I'd lucked out in New Haven in the past with Thali Too, and figured I'd get lucky again during my next visit- thank goodness for college towns, 'cuz Connecticut isn't exactly known as a bastion of culinary diversity. Kudos to having vegetarian restos in unlikely places!

We stumbled on Claire's Corner Copia on Chapel Street, one of the main drags around that New Haven Ivy college, and it wasn't just packed with students- we found hospital workers, professors, and parents alike. And everyone- and I mean just about everyone waiting at the counter- took their sweet time scanning Claire's extensive vegetarian and vegan menu. I understood why- it was impossible to choose just one thing! Grilled veggie sandwiches, soy BLTs, curry chik'n salad, fresh salads, burritos, quesadillas, homemade veggie burgers, pasta, and flat bread pizzas- kind of like your typical Midtown sandwich shop, only more options.

After hiking, winery hopping, and apple picking all day, (I know, just slaving the afternoon away!) I was hungry, and nothing was coming between me and a giant buffalo soy chik'n burrito with guacamole. Only one thing did- it was waaaaaaay too saucy for it's own good. It was drowning in spicy buffalo sauce. It wasn't the heat that was a problem, but if I had wanted to overwhelm the brown rice, refried beans, and peppers in the burrito, I might as well have dunked it in a vat of the sauce. Another pal had the same issue with her Corner Copia Grande burrito. We both enviously eyed our third pal's plate, who apparently had chosen wisely- a portobello sandwich with eggplant and lentils- and we decided to drown our next treat in sugar. Snickerdoodle cookie, anyone?

Oh well. I guess you win with some dishes, you lose with some dishes. Claire's is definitely hit or miss. But I'd be willing to give it the good old college try the next time I'm in the New Haven area... provided I don't run into Thali Too first.


Claire's Corner Copia, 1000 Chapel Street, New Haven CT,  (203) 562-38888

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Apple Picking!


So it's no secret that I love my summer fruit... but man, do I love me some apples in the fall! I'm excited about my giant apple stash after apple picking at the lovely Drazen Orchards in Connecticut this weekend with my bestie. (whom I fondly refer to as "the Wifey," just in case my boyfriend didn't know who my heart REALLY belongs to!)


I've got plenty of macouns, honeycrisps, and galas to choose from, but the difficult matter will be choosing how to use these beauties. Apple pie? Apple crisp? Apple cinnamon pancakes? Baked apples stuffed with brown sugar & fresh ginger?




Any suggestions? Anyone have a favorite apple based dish? :)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Two-Tomato Garbanzo Salad


A super simple bean salad I made this week with the last heirloom tomatoes I could find... isn't it sad when your fave summer veggie goodies disappear? Perhaps I should call this the "In Denial Summer is Over Salad!"

Garbanzos are one of my favorite beans, and I used Follow Your Heart mozzarella-style vegan cheese for this dish. Like most vegan cheeses I've tried, it doesn't melt very well and the texture is slightly chewy, but it does hold up in a cold salad. Nothing fancy here, but it's light and simple, and like all food, is meant to be shared!


The Whats:

* 1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
* 1/2 pint of yellow grape tomatoes, halved
* 1 large heirloom tomato, diced
* 4 oz. vegan mozzarella, diced
* 1/2 small red onion, diced
* 10 basil leaves, chopped
* salt & pepper to taste
* 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
* 1 tbsp. red wine


The Hows:

1) Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and toss until well coated. Serve chilled.