Peas and Compassion

Cruelty-free crunchiness and shameless veg-elation.


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VeganMoFo Day 30: I made it! Black Bean Nacho Plate

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I can’t believe it’s the last day of VeganMofo 2014 – I am simultaneously sad and elated. I have had fun reading all the great posts out there, as well as sharing my hideous photos of food (next step: improve kitchen lighting).

This morning I was listening to a great podcast from No Meat Athlete on staying motivated while running, when Matt and Doug gave two separate suggestions to switch up the landscape and double the mileage. So on this evening’s run, I decided to forgo my usual route and strike out in a new direction – with hills! At the end of things it turned out that I’d run about 4.89 miles, which while not doubling my current mileage, did tack on over a good extra mile. But I survived it, just as I have survived my first VeganMoFo!

When I came back home I felt both amazing and ravenous. Therefore, tonight’s dish is the Black Bean and Potato Nacho Plate from Oh She Glows, who is one of my favorite veg bloggers. In lieu of actual nacho chips, you essentially make some rustic home fries/chips from russet potatoes and serve a seasoned black bean filling over top, then add additional toppings of your choosing. (I went with tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, green onions, black olives, and Tofutti sour cream.)

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Basically it’s a cumin-y, salty dish over top of crispy, salty fries – so not exactly blood pressure friendly, but pretty perfect after a good run. Thank you, beautiful carb-laden potatoes and protein-rich beans, for refueling me. Thank you salt, for helping restore lost electrolytes.

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Now that VeganMofo has come to a close, I’ve been pondering what to do with this space. It seems reasonable to keep posting recipes, reviews, and news here from time to time, and I think this is as good a place as any to explore the ideas present in my first post. As far as immediate next steps go, tomorrow is World Vegetarian Day, and I’ll be participating in FARM’s Fast Against Slaughter on October 2nd. I highly recommend Alex Herschaft’s AMA on Reddit for background on that. If you’re interested in participating, you can pledge here. (I’ll be explaining my reasons in an upcoming post.)

That’s it for now – thank you for following along this Month and especially for putting up with my sad photography all month long!

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VeganMofo Day 29: @VeganDivaCooks’ Butternut Bisque

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I am ridiculously happy entering the last days of VeganMoFo; I love writing about vegan food, but 30 straight days of it is a bit exhausting! Also, I’ve lost the “t” key on my keyboard after something sticky got under the key, so it might be time for a small break (the dangers of blogging while cooking!)

Tonight’s dish is another adventure from Mistress Ginger Cooks (@vegandivacooks)- specifically, her Brazen Butternut Bisque. This is a deceptive dish – simple to throw together (at least if you buy your butternut squash pre-chopped, as I do), yet so full of flavor. Also, it’s really pretty to look at, with its cheery golden color.

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Mistress Ginger’s bisque makes use of plenty of butternut squash, pureed until creamy smooth, then garnished with sautéd shittake mushrooms revved up with Old Bay Seasoning (calling up that nostalgic bisque flavor). It also features a dazzling drizzle of paprika-laced toasted sesame-oil.

This dish is so creamy and silky, and it cements my love of shittake mushrooms with their chewy, squishy tops. It’s rich and warming, perfect for a rainy evening – Mistress Ginger obviously knows what she’s doing in the kitchen! Unfortunately I was unable to dress up in a Balenciaga gown while cooking this, per her suggestion, but we did serve this with toasted bread in order to soak up every drop – that’s just as good, right?


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VeganMoFo Day 25: Burgers and Fries

I think that sometimes, people associate a vegan life with asceticism and sacrifice – as if we’re only able to eat iceberg lettuce or those cold, tired-looking tomatoes we are stuck with in the dead of winter. I would hope that the past 3 weeks of food reveals that I am anything but deprived. We don’t do without, we just chose to do it differently.

Today was a bit of a long day, so I decided to whip up my favorite black bean sunburgers. These are from Robin Robertson’s Quick Fix Vegan: Healthy Homestyle Meals in 30 Minutes or Less, which is true to its name. I own a lot of Robin Robertson’s books, and for good reason. Robin has a knack for combining simple flavors in new ways, usually using only a few, easy-to-find ingredients. As such, her “Quick-Fix” series takes a lot of the stress out of the kitchen. She’s recently come out with a sequel, More Quick-Fix Vegan, that I am eying closely. (Also note that her Quick-Fix Vegetarian is sneakily all-vegan.)

Anyway, enough free advertising for Robin. I love these burgers because they are 1) quick-and-easy, 2) loaded with sunflower seeds (hence the name “sunburger”), and 3) held together lovingly with some old-fashioned vital wheat gluten. Yes, they are not gluten-free. Sorry, but it works such magic here! And they are delicious – the sunflower seeds add a fullness and a rich flavor that nicely complements the black beans. These burgers are also denser than the standard veggie burger, and hence incredibly filling. Robin’s publisher has posted the recipe over here, if you are so inclined to check it out.

In addition to burgers, I made some old-fashioned home fries with sliced russet potatoes doused in a few tablespoons of olive oil, then sprinkled with salt, paprika, chili powder, and garlic powder. These are healthier and less expensive than what you’d buy in the frozen section, but they do take some extra time to prep and cook.

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I like my sunburgers with a bit of ketchup, dijon, pickles, tomato, green leaf lettuce, and vegan mayo (lately I’ve been using Hampton Creek’s Just Mayo, which is less expensive than other brands and has an amazing light mayo taste). Although they’re equally good with a bit of guacamole or avocado spread on top, or layered with pineapple salsa.

As you can see, there is no deprivation here! Just tasty food. Excuse me while I go enjoy it….


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VeganMoFo Day 23: Isa’s New England Glam Chowder

400x84_g2Tonight I decided to pay homage to one of the creators of VeganMofo, Isa Chandra Moskowitz, with her recipe for New England Glam Chowder. The recipe is included in her 2013 cookbook Isa Does It, which has been an amazing addition to my collection. Isa has basically ruled and revolutionized vegan cooking with her cookbooks over the past 10 years, especially Veganomicon and Vegan with a Vengeance. She makes hearty dishes that are full of bold, amazing flavors and she’s an expert at veganizing old favorites and comfort foods – which is why I was excited to see a recipe for a “glam” chowder in the soup and stew section of her cookbook.

This dish has a mild sea-flavor due to the addition of crumbled nori, but it’s also full of mushrooms – including pillowy shittake mushrooms, which soak up the sauce and add a delightful chewy texture. In my version, I used a blend of white button, baby bella, and shittake mushrooms. Isa also uses a savory cashew cream to thicken up the soup – I switched up the cornstarch in the cream with an equivalent amount of arrowroot powder, with awesome results – everything still thickened nicely. We were left with a hearty, delicious stew that definitely had rich umami undertones, with the addition of crumbled saltines and fresh parsley taking it over the top.

20140923_194201The full recipe is over at the link above, and Isa even includes a video so you can get an idea of the work involved (note that this was completely doable as a weeknight meal, the biggest pains of prepwork being remembering to soak the cashews and  peeling those potatoes.) But it’s worth it! I would definitely make this again….and again… and again.


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VeganMoFo Day 20: @GlobalVegan’s Black Bean Chili and Cilantro Pesto

If you’re ever looking for a good starter vegan cookbook that has over 400 recipes from around the word, pick up a copy of Robin Robertson’s Vegan Planet. As I noted in a previous post, there’s a new up-to-date version out if you’re looking to one-up me in the vegan cookbook collection department, and there are even a few sample recipes posted here. I reference it again tonight because we decided to dig in to one of my favorite recipes, Black Bean Chili with Cilantro Pesto. This recipe stews together onions, celery, garlic, tomatoes, cumin, and chili powder with black beans and lemon juice (which always gives a black bean soup/stew “zing”), then combines a rich pesto of cilantro, almonds, garlic, salt, and olive oil. I know some of you are pulling a face because you don’t like cilantro – to those of you I say phhhfttt, more for me!

100_4226 The pesto is absolutely what makes this chili – I left a little out for garnish, but I could probably eat it with a spoon. Once mixed in with the olive oil and almonds, the cilantro takes on a much milder personality, which well compliments the smooth black bean and pungent chili/cumin flavors. Seriously, this is good eats – excellent over brown rice, with a little jalopeno hot sauce, or sprinkled with vegan cheddar.