Mom, the (Vegan) Meatloaf, Now!

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One of our favorite Will Ferrell lines is from the move “The Wedding Crashers” where he plays a 30-something living at home and as his friends are visiting he yells, “Mom, the meathloaf, now!

Our recent vegan cooking class taught how to make this classic comfort food completely meat free!  Our vegan cooking classes have become some of our favorite times.  Sharing recipes, ideas, stories, and eating some great healthy food.  See the recipes below.

Clara Introducing the Class

 

Ingredients Ready to Go

The Final Product

Recipes

Chopping the mushrooms.

Luscious Meatless Meatloaf
2 tablespoon ground flaxseed
¼ cup + 2 table spoons water
10 ounces of mushrooms chopped
½ red onion diced
½ red bell pepper diced
4 cloves garlic minced
½ cup basil chopped
¼ cup sage chopped
¼ cup cilantro chopped
¼ cup Tarragon chopped
¼ Rosemary chopped
2 cans chick peas drained
½ cup pecans or walnuts
½ cup cashews
1 cup cooked quinoa red or white
1 cup bread crumbs
½ cup non dairy milk
1 tsp Liquid smoke
3 tbsp Vegan Worcestershire Sauce

3 tbsp Tomato paste
3 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1 cup Ketchup to top

Sauteing the ingredients.

In a large pan, sauté mushrooms dry (liquid will form no oil needed), on medium heat, until soft.
Add onions, peppers, garlic to pan sauté until you smell garlic
Lower to medium low heat, add herbs and salt. Saute for a few minutes until all is soft and merged
Add nuts to food processor or blender and crush. Add this to large bowl.
Put drained chickpeas in blender until pured.
Add chickpeas to bowl and mix with wooden sppon.
Add cooked quinoa and bread crumbs to bowl and keep mixing.
Add the 2 flax eggs, milk, liquid smoke, Worchester sauce and mix well.
Then add tomato paste, yeast, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Continue mixing well.
Finish by adding the ingredients from the pan and mix well until all ingredients are blended together.

Prepare meatloaf pan by cutting parchment paper into the pan with paper sides hanging over. Add the meatloaf to the pan pressing down and filling every corner and sides in every space. Brush the ketchup on top.
Bake at 350 for one hour. Let set for 20-30 minutes.

Number of servings: 12
Calories per serving: 260

*Adapted from The Mushroom Den

Creamy Vegan Mashed Potatoes

Cashew cream sauce
1 stick of vegan butter
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup Ripple Half and Half
4 lbs of potatoes

Cook peeled and diced potatoes in water till soft

Drain

Add the cashew cream, butter and start mashing. Add salt and pepper and keep mashing until smooth and tasty. If too dry add some non-dairy unsweetened milk or cream like Ripple Half and Half. Mash until creamy.

Cashew Cream Sauce

1 cup unsalted cashews
1/2 cup water
1 tsp salt

Soak cashews in water for 2 hours. Drain
Add cashews to blender and add the cup of water and 1 tsp salt.
Blend until smooth.
Add to dish or in jar. Will keep in refrigerator for 2-3 days
Can also be frozen

 

The Delicious Dessert

 

Rustic Berry Vegan Galette

Pie Crust
1 ½ cups flour
½ cup vegan butter
½ tsp salt
3-6 tbsp ice water

Pie Crust Mixture

 

Fruit Filling
1 cup blueberries fresh or frozen
1 cup strawberries hulled and sliced fresh or frozen
1 cup blackberries sliced
1 tsp lemon juice
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp arrowroot

 

Pie Crust Toppers

1-2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp almond or non-dairy milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Put flour in processor with salt and butter cut up. Process til incorporated, resembling coarse meal and butter is the size of peas. Ad ice water until it is moist. Place on floured counter and flatten with your hand. If not using right way, wrap with plastic wrap until ready to use. When using, roll out into a round large disc. The best part of a galette is it looks rustic so it doesn’t have to look perfect.

For the filling, add fruit to a bowl with the sugar and arrowroot and lemon juice. Mix well and set aside. The longer it sits the more the berries marry. Add the fruit into the middle of the crust. Fold over the crust towards the center. Keep folding until all crust is folded over, you will see a large part of the filling showing.

Place on a cookie baking sheet, melt butter and baste the crust. Sprinkle coconut sugar on top. Bake pie for 20-25 minutes, longer if using frozen berries.

Enjoy with non-dairy vanilla ice cream.

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The Best Non-Dairy Cheese in the World! [Review]

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The Best Non-Dairy Cheese in the World

In honor of World Plant Milk Day we thought we would highlight the best non-dairy cheese in the world.

When my friends ask me how I like eating plant based, or vegan, I tell them I really enjoy it. I feel better, lost some weight, get compliments on my “glowing” face, and I’ve found that it’s much easier than I thought.

One of the first things they say is that they would miss the cheese. They can’t live without the cheese. I was speaking to a young gal one evening and she said she is a vegetarian but she didn’t notice all that much difference in how she felt health-wise. I told her “it’s the dairy”. Eating dairy is not exactly like eating meat, but it still has some of the negative side effects. It is linked to cancer and cheese has casein in it that causes us to crave it. It is linked to heart disease because too much cholesterol does that to us.

Vegan Herb Cheese Spread

I have tried making my own cheeses and for the most part they are tasty. One of my favorites is a herb cheese that I served at Thanksgiving and it was a hit. Here is the link to a video showing you how to make it by The Mushroom Den.

I think if more people will consider changing their eating habits many diseases will be stopped before they are started. I especially think of my friends and family that are now near my age of 60. There is so much heartbreak and scare that comes when a loved one has a heart attack or has to have heart surgery to unclog arteries that can be fixed by staying away form meats and dairy.

So, I really did some research. I started ordering some meat and cheeses from The Herbivorous Butcher,  located in Minnesota. They have created delicious plant based deli meats and cheeses. They have a great mozzarella cheese that I use in sandwiches and on pizza. It melts beautifully and is so creamy. Here is the link.

However, recently I found a local place in Los Angeles, and we struck vegan cheese gold!

Vromage – A nut based cheese shop in Los Angeles. The owner and brilliant cheese maker is Youseff  Fahouri.  I went on a Friday afternoon and I had Youseff to myself, LOL. It was a treat to taste all the different cheeses he had.  It is amazing that he makes the cheese without using coconut oil or nutritional yeast. I told him I couldn’t believe he didn’t use nutritional yeast, and he said those who don’t know how to make cheese use it. I told him that’s me!! We both had a good laugh.

Youseff, Owner and Vegan Cheese Maker

Youseff only uses the best organic herbs and nuts. All his recipes are in his head and hopes someday to teach others his recipes. But he only wants to teach those who are interested in changing the world.

It is amazing that he makes the cheese without using coconut oil or nutritional yeast.

Vromage is featured in the official Wedding Album of Meghan and Prince Harry, since he was asked to provide the cheese appetizers. (Meghan was a frequent customer to his cheese shop).  Very impressive indeed.

Cheese Fit for Royalty!

The name of the shop, Vromage, is a French take on the word cheese. Fromage being French for cheese, but with a ‘v’ for ‘vegan.’

We ordered the sandwich, on an organic baguette and chose the “veganzola” cheese which is his take on Gorgonzola cheese.  I had the spicy cranberry veganzola. It came with olive oil, marinated heirloom tomatoes and arugula. It was probably my favorite sandwich ever!  And if you ask my daughters, they know how obsessed I am with sandwiches. Probably my favorite meal, but since becoming vegan they are hard to come by.

Veganzola Sandwich

Since bringing home these cheeses, I have made the sandwiches like Youseff explained and using his cheeses they taste just like the real deal. So good, creamy,  and smooth. I think better than a Gorgonzola, which tends to be quite tart.

Here are the cheeses I bought: Nacho Cheese.  Spicy Cranberry Veganzela – tangy with a spicy bite to it and my absolute favorite so far.  Veganzola – tangy and rich tasting, I think this is Bruce’s favorite.  Ricotta – Made from organic nuts, I will be making lasagna soon with this, I cannot wait. I also put it in my freezer since cheeses you are going to bake with can be frozen, because freezing changes the texture. Brie truffle – so creamy and yummy. I am taking it to a friends birthday slumber party. Yes, my women friends who are in our 50’s-60’s still have slumber parties. I can’t wait for them to taste this with crackers.

I love Youseff’s story of how he began.  He was a chef and was trying to impress a girl who had made some vegan cheese and asked him to try it. He did and thought he could do better. She loved the cheeses he made and a career came from it. Alas, he didn’t get the girl, but he got a new calling.

The prices are comparable to any upscale cheese shop and they are worth every penny.  Plus, you are helping your body; his cheeses have no cholesterol to clog your arteries.

His shop is closed on Monday and Tuesday, that’s when he makes his cheeses.

Vromage is worth the drive just to sample the cheeses. But here is the good news: they ship anywhere in the world! It is my new go-to for cheeses. I feel so lucky to have found it. I know you will love it too.

Viva La Vromage!

Gratefully – Clara

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Nobody Really Believes Almonds Lactate!

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The FDA’s Attack on Milk Substitutes Is Corporate Welfare in Action

Scott Gottlieb, the head of the FDA, first jokingly — and then seriously — announced that the FDA plans to crack down on the use of the word “milk” on the packaging of products such as soy milk and almond milk, because plants do not lactate.

I recently read the article that is linked above that a friend posted on social media.  If someone tells me “this is not FDA approved” my first thought is “this must be good for me.” The only thing FDA cares about is if they have their hands in the money. (See Dallas Buyers Club). I remember when our government took over GM. Suddenly Toyota’s brakes were no good and they were part of trying to sue them and take them down. But you can’t keep a good product down. Toyota is still thriving.

Now their war is turned on the products that avoid dairy. Why? Because our government’s hand is in the money jar. Not only does our government subsidize the dairy industry, we also purchase the milk consumers don’t want. So, through my taxes, I am buying milk and eggs! How convoluted is this??? The Tariffs alone that are put on soy and legumes will make us pay more money to eat “healthy”. The link of cancer and heart disease to dairy consumption cannot be denied.

Of course there are a lot of naysayers out there who buy into this manipulation of words. The hostility I get when I use terms like “meat” in a meatless meatball, etc is nothing less than what the government is doing and did to companies like Hampton Creek, the creators of Just Mayo and Just Egg (now being called Just Scramble). I still can’t buy their non egg product made from mung bean because the FDA accuses Hampton Creek of bad practices and then closes the case without appeals. Target gets involved and drops all their products because of it. All this stemming from a fraudulent letter that was sent to Target. If this isn’t abuse of power from FDA I don’t know what is.

How is this America free? When corporations are being sued, threatened, tariffed by their own government because the companies they are in bed with some consumers no longer want. It’s the worst of America.

Here is a link to an article about Just Mayo and Target.

 

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The World’s First Cajun Vegan Restaurant [Restaurant Review]

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The other day I was in North Hollywood, CA looking for a place for lunch.  A quick “Vegan Restaurants near me” search found Krimsey’s Cajun Kitchen touted as the world’s first Cajun vegan restaurant.  I had to try it.  As many of the vegan restaurants we have visited, this one was in a small space in a strip mall.  The walls were decorated with all things Cajun, LSU banners, a poster of the New Orleans Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees, and voodoo dolls.  There was an eclectic mix of tables and chairs that reminded me of my aunts’ kitchens we visited during hot summer vacations in the South.

Fried Okra with Vegan Ranch Dipping Sauce

Speaking of my aunts, when I saw fried okra on the menu, I had to try it.  I have enjoyed many servings of fried okra in those kitchens graced by Aunt Della, Aunt Roe, Aunt Sarah, and Aunt Norene usually accompanied by corn bread, and black eyed peas so my taste memory had great expectations.  They did not disappoint!  Fried perfectly, not oily, crunchy and served with vegan ranch dipping sauce.  This fried okra took me to a place of gratitude for my extended family we used to visit in Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico; so many fond memories of those summer vacations.

New Orleans Poboy Sandwich

For my main dish, I had a hard time deciding between the classic Cajun dishes; gumbo, jambalaya,  and a choice of poboy sandwiches. Since it was lunch, I decided to go with the New Orleans Poboy sandwich.  In place of the traditional fried shrimp, they used fried hearts of palm, complimented by dill pickles and spicy house sauce.  The fried hearts of palm had the necessary crunch yet was soft inside and the mildly spicy house sauce added the cajun touch.  I loved this sandwich, it is a perfect lunch treat.

I ended my meal with warm, right out of the oven, vegan beignets, topped with powdered sugar.  They were light delicious, and melted in my mouth.

French Quarter Beignets

There was so much on the menu that I was not able to try, so I plan to come back again!

With Gratitude – Bruce

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5 Awesome Things About Vegan Nirvana [Restaurant Review]

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I had some time on my hands in Huntington Beach the other night so I decided to try a new (to me) vegan restaurant.  They call their food “World Peace Cuisine” and so each of the menu items has a name related to the theme.  Yelp reviewers gave Vegan Nirvana great ratings so I figured I couldn’t lose.

I was right, although I missed having Clara with me, here are five things that I thought were awesome about Vegan Nirvana.

Jackfruit Limeade – The thing that jumped out at me in the Yelp reviews was the mention of the Jackfruit Limeade.  Made with, you guessed it, jackfruit, lime juice, and natural sugar this beverage was the perfect starter during one of the hottest days of the year.  It had a mimosa feel to it without the alcohol and was just the right amount of sweetness combined with the crispness of the lime and jack fruit.  It would be worth stopping by just for this delicious beverage.

Selfless Savior – This is what they called their sweet potato fries.  Fried and seasoned perfectly with their homemade seasoning, they were complemented by the non-dairy ranch dipping sauce.  I’m a big fan of sweet potato fries and these were some of the best I’ve had.

Kingdom of God – Talk about a tough name to live up to, the Kingdom of God is a chicken-less wok dish made with a Korean BBQ sauce.  There were two types of meat substitutes, one was tofu and the other was a soy, pea powder concoction that had the flavor and texture of chicken.  Mixed with kale, broccoli, cauliflower, red onion, red bell peppers, and just enough jalapeno to give it a kick without overpowering it.  I had it with the multi-grain rice.  The dish had a satisfying crunch to it and was enough for two, I took half home for lunch the next day.

Strawberry Ambrosia Cheesecake – This light, sweet treat was the perfect taste bud reward.  It was deliciously creamy and the graham cracker crust was just right.  One of the things I miss with plant-based eating is creamy desserts.  This dessert fit the bill perfectly and I didn’t miss the dairy at all.

World Peace Ambiance – The art on the walls matched the World Peace cuisine of the restaurant.  It had a warm decor, comfortable seating and pleasant employees.

If you are in the Huntington Beach area, I highly recommend this bit of culinary nirvana.  It is located at the corner of Warner and Beach Blvd.

Gratefully – Bruce

 

 

Intro to Vegan Cooking Class – Meatless Meatloaf

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It’s been a crazy first half of the year. We moved to our new home and we are loving it but it did take some work to get organized; change the floors, paint, etc. I have had fun doing it and let me tell you the back porch veranda is a peaceful beautiful setting and we are so glad we are finally settled in.  My parents lived here when they were alive and I actually helped my Mom redo the kitchen so adding my own personal touches makes it home. I decided that adding a prep table will work great for the new classes.

Come join us for an Intro to Vegan Cooking Class.  This class is for those wanting to incorporate more plant-based whole foods in their eating.  Making at least one or two meals meatless and plant based gets you on a healthier road for your heart mind and soul. You will learn some basics of plant-based cooking, help me prepare a delicious plant-based lunch, and join us around our Table of Gratitude to discuss healthier living in a relaxed country setting.  You can decrease your dependence on processed foods, it’s easier than you think! Enjoy dessert on our beautiful veranda.

The price includes all supplies for your meal and you get to take home a Table of Gratitude apron, recipes, and Ideas for incorporating more plant-based foods in your diet.  Everyone’s welcome at the table!

 

The Details:

Meat-less Loaf(pictured)

Creamy Dairy-Free Mashed Potatoes

Grilled Asparagus

Garlic Bread

Dessert: Berries Galette

Date:  Saturday, August 25

10:00- 12:30

Location: Corona, CA (Address given upon registration)

Cost: $50.00

RSVP by August 20 – Email Clara at usbornemom@aol.com.  Include your name and phone number.  

#veganwelches #vegancookingclass #meatlessmeatloaf #plantbasedeating🌱 #healthy2018goals

Vegan Cooking Class

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Intro to Vegan Cooking Class

Come join me for an Intro to Vegan Cooking.  This class is for those wanting to incorporate more plant-based whole foods in their eating.  It’s a great way to start off the new year by eating tasty, healthy foods.  You will learn some basics of plant-based cooking, help me prepare a delicious plant-based lunch, and join us around our Table of Gratitude to discuss a healthier 2018.  You can decrease your dependence on processed foods, it’s easier than you think!

The price includes all supplies for your meal and you get to take home a Table of Gratitude Apron, Recipes, and Ideas for incorporating more plant-based foods in your diet.  Everyone’s welcome at the table!

The Details

Date:  Saturday, January 13th

Time:  10:00 -12:30

Cost:  Early Bird $40 (Before January 5th) $50 after January 5th (Hurry, space is limited)

Location: Ontario, CA (Address given upon registration)

Payment Options:  PayPal, VenMo, CashApp

To Register – Send DM via FB or Instagram

 Menu:

Spaghetti and Meatless Meatballs with Homemade Parmesan Cheese

Green Salad with Bountiful Produce, Nuts and Lemon Vinaigrette

Easy Fresh Baked Dinner Rolls

Individual Fudge Brownie Dessert

Drinks

About Me:

I fell in love with cooking many years ago by watching Food Network.  I have been on a journey over the past several years to become healthier and fit.  Now I focus on making delicious plant-based whole foods.  I believe that you shouldn’t give up taste to eat healthier and my cooking reflects that belief.  I am a plant-based whole foods advocate that likes to help people wherever they are on their journey toward healthier eating.

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Not Missing the Meat!

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True Food Kitchen isn’t a vegan restaurant, though they have a few selections. The few they have are really great dishes. One of our favorites is this one and it is fresh tasting and a great mix of healthy food that includes ancient grains, avocado and mushrooms. The pesto and the vinaigrette make the dish and are the two things that make it seem complicated but they really aren’t.  They are just a lot of ingredients that make it really tasty the rest is pretty easy. The combinations of the foods make this healthy, fresh and vegan. A great no meat dish to add to your Meatless Mondays.

 When I find a dish I love at popular restaurants, I can usually find at least a copycat recipe. This time a news show had the Chef on the show and this is what he made, plus they shared the recipe.  So it’s the real thing, score!

I did tweak it some, because I wanted to keep to the ingredients in my kitchen. But it is as delicious as theirs. My husband keeps saying it’s better!  Here’s the recipe.

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Ancient Grains Bowl Recipe

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Ancient Grains Bowl (True Food Kitchen)

Ancient Grains

½ cup brown rice

½ cup faro

½ cup quinoa

1 tsp. minced ginger (I used powder)

1 clove minced garlic

1 tsp. lemongrass (you will find this in the produce and in a tube)

1 tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. kosher salt

1-tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

3 ½ cups water

Mix all ingredients in a casserole/baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and then with foil. Bake in a 375-degree oven for 1 hour 15 minutes, until all grains are cooked. Be careful when you take the plastic and foil off it will be steamy hot. Mix well.

***Miso Vinaigrette

¾ cup red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons chili paste

2 tablespoons and 1 tsp. soy sauce or tamari

2 tablespoons coconut brown sugar

½ tsp. salt

2 tablespoons white miso paste

½ tsp. sesame chili oil

1 ½ cups grape seed oil

Using a stick immersion blender add all ingredients except oils, until incorporated. While blender is on, add the sesame oil and grape seed oil slowly until emulsified.

***I cut this recipe in half and it still filled a pint size mason jar.  I also did not have sesame chili oil so I made some by mixing the ½ teaspoon of sesame oil and a pinch of cayenne pepper in a ramekin. It also originally asked for evaporated cane sugar/juice but I used coconut brown sugar. I also substituted chili Garlic paste instead of Sambal Olek, which is sometimes made with fish.

Cilantro Pesto

1 bunch cilantro

**2 handfuls spinach

¼ cup pumpkin seeds (it asks for roasted and salted, but we use raw since its better for the body)

1 garlic clove cut up

½ tsp. ground cumin

1-tablespoon kosher salt

¼ cup orange juice (freshly juiced or carton which is what I used)

¼ cup lime juice,  fresh squeezed

¼ cup grape seed oil

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

 

Put all ingredients in blender or food processor, puree until smooth.

**I added spinach since I didn’t have two bunches of cilantro. Didn’t take away at all from the flavor.

Rest of ingredients for the bowl

6 Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

Extra virgin olive oil brushed on each side

Grill on inside grill pan.  Grill on each side until becomes soft. About 15 minutes total.

Charred Onions

Slice 1 onion in thin slices. Add to pan with a little olive oil, start stirring and keep stirring until they caramelize. Set aside

Roasted Yams

2 -3 sweet potatoes or yams peeled and cut in large chunks.

Drizzle with a teaspoon of olive oil and salt and pepper. Put in small roasting/baking dish covered with foil. Bake for 30 minutes 375 degrees

 

Blanched snow peas

Put snow peas in a pot with boiling water for 1 ½ minutes , set a bowl with ice water near.  After 1 ½ minutes quickly add to water bowl. Take snow peas out and set aside.

Slice or quarter avocados.

All these steps except the avocado can be done that morning or night before. Day of meal, add onions, snow peas, and sliced mushrooms to small sheet pan and warm up in oven, just enough to heat through. Add salt to taste to snow peas when they come out. Add roasted yams to small pot with ¾ cup of miso vinaigrette and warm through.

Putting it together

Plate the ancient grains in center of bowl. Add mushrooms to one side, then yams on other, add snow peas to another side, caramelized onions, and cilantro pesto to other side. Filling in gaps with the different ingredients. Add sliced avocado on top.

Enjoy!!

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