Thursday, November 4, 2010

VeganMoFo IV: On Some Nerd Ish


Many moons ago, when I was struggling with veganism (going back and forth to vegetarianism), I bought Vegan with a Vengeance.  The book really and truly changed my life.  I became enamored with food in a way that no other vegan cookbook ever made me before.  While flipping through the pages one day, I read the message from Isa about how to start a cooking show.  That was the moment I wanted to do it.  Why?  Because Food Network still thinks vegetarianism is a niche market.  Why else?  Because I love to cook and only gained that appreciation years ago.

Here's the email that I sent to Isa at the time and her response.  I had forgotten I kept it until I was cleaning my inbox several months ago:

My name is Mo.  I was just a kid from Texas with a passion for animal rights...  Until Post Punk Kitchen and VWAV changed my life!

I have so much hope that society will eventually evolve to a place where we "see", truly SEE the damage we are doing.

I want to thank you for sparking a revolution in me.  Really soon I hope to create the southern version of PPK.  It's in the works right now, but I would like to present the world with vegan Tex Mex, BBQ and Dirty Souf Soul Food.  Cross your fingers for me.

Thanks again.  Your recipes are turning non-believers into believers....at least down here they are.

Have a fantabulorgasmictastic day!

Monique Martin
San Antonio, Texas

And from Isa:

Hi Mo!

Thanks so much, that means a lot to us that we are having an impact on people's lives. All we really meant to do was have a little fun and cook some good food!

ox Isa

Note the usage of the word "fantabulorgasmictastic."  Hey, look, I've always claimed to be a cheesy nerd.  That is who I am through and through, but I just don't give a fork!  I was giddy as a schoolgirl that I got an email back from an actual author!  Shortly after, I joined the PPK and the rest is awesome history.  I love veganism to my core, so doing a show was on my list of things to do before 35.  Now I only have to join the derby, run a marathon, write a novel, and perform a one woman show.  Baby steps.

So Era and I spent way too frickin long with this first episode.  We learned a few things (mostly about how we need more lighting).  Partly because I'm a never-satisfied perfectionist when it comes to myself, and also because I hadn't edited video since high school.  There's plenty of dancing because it's my favorite thing!  Oh, and I dance way better than that.   It's just unnerving to be videotaped dancing when a birthday party is setting up 20 feet away from you.  Bust it!


Kiki would be proud!

**Update: 1-16-12 Below is an updated version of my menudo.**

Vegan Menudo
(Serves 6)
gluten free
soy free option: Replace TVP with 15 oz can of rinsed and drained pinto beans.

1 cup TVP pieces (not granules) rehydrated in 1 cup of boiling water
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 small white onion, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
½ Tbsp Mexican oregano, crumbled
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, more or less to taste
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp fine sea salt
6 cups beef-flavored or regular vegetable broth
⅓ cup Ancho Chile Paste (recipe below)
15 oz can hominy , drained and rinsed
minced red, white, or green onion
cilantro
lime or lemon wedges

Heat the oil in a large saucepan medium high heat. Add the onion and carrot. Cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.

While the onion and carrot are cooking, get the spice mix ready. Mince the garlic and set aside. Mix the oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, cumin, and salt together.

When the vegetables are softened, add the garlic and spice mix to the pot. Cook for about a minute before adding the broth, chile paste, hominy, and TVP to the pot. Bring to a boil, cover, and lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 25 minutes. Garnish with onion, fresh cilantro, and lime or lemon wedges.

Ancho Chile Paste
soy free
gluten free

This can be made with any dried chile you like, though I favor ancho for its deep flavor and mild spice. You can store this in a glass jar in the fridge for up to a week. If storing in the freezer, I suggest doubling the recipe and freezing in 1 Tbsp cubes.

2 oz dried ancho chiles, seeded and stems removed
1 small garlic clove, minced
½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp Mexican oregano, crumbled
¼ tsp fine sea salt
¼ tsp sugar
½ cup vegetable broth

Toast the dried chiles in a pan over medium heat until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Watch them carefully so they do not burn. Empty the chiles into a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Let them soak for about 15 minutes.

Drain the chiles and place them in a blender or food processor along with the garlic, cumin, oregano, salt, sugar, and vegetable broth. Blend until completely smooth.

Clarification on pasillas/anchos.  Anchos are dried poblanos and are sometimes smoked.  Pasillas are dried versions of the chilaca pepper.  I couldn't remember what it was called when I did the video.  Haha.

54 comments:

lazysmurf said...

I am once again totally impressed with your awesomeness! Great Job, I want to make it :)

Vanessa said...

Yeah, Mo! You are the cutest EVER. Please keep making these cos they are AWESOME! Not enough sistas with hip hop vegan cooking vlogs, am I right?
-canuck in scotland, vegan kitchen diaries

Allyson said...

Sooo fabulous!! More please!!!

Lauren said...

You are too cute! I am dying over here!

Jessica said...

Can I just say that you are AWESOME!? Loved your video (and dance moves)! Also, I haven't clicked over from my reader in a while, and I am digging your new blog design. Very fresh! :)

panda with cookie said...

Woo! I can't watch right now because I am in a coffee shop without headphones but I will. And you will be awesome.

Sarah said...

Mo video!!! I also pictured your voice higher . . . Livi and I enjoyed watching a bit (we have short attention spans:)

BunzOfCinnamon said...

You are beautiful and fabulous!!!! The mom in me says, "I'm so proud of you!"...I guess the blog stalker in me says that as well.

"Dirty Souf"....love it.

Andrea said...

Well done! Now I really want some menudo. I'm bookmarking this page.

Falovi said...

Way to go girl! Congrats on your first episode, you're awesome.

Kip said...

Mo! That is awesome (and inspiring- I keep wanting to get a camera and do cooking shows too but maaaan what work). I can't wait for you to do more!

Islaborg said...

I love how you posted the fan-email you sent to Isa.

It's great that you're putting yourself out there, I hope we'll see more dancing in the future!

Ty (aka Meccabell) said...

AWESOME, Mo, this so great!!! I am so proud to almost sorta kinda a little bit know you, lol. I am such a fan! Congratulations on your show. I am grinning over here for you, and that soup looks amazing!!

k said...

I love it! I have enjoyed your blog for a few years now, but the video is icing on the cake.I can't wait to see what you make next.

Andy Dufresne said...

Loooove it! The intro was adorable! I'm sure it was a ton of work, but the video was great! Keep them coming, please?

rach said...

Mo. You are awesome. The video is roxxoring!! I loved it!

TheVeganAsana said...

Every bit of this is too cute. The fact that you kept the email, the video, all of it. Thanks!

celyn said...

Awesome awesome! I can't wait to see more!

Rose said...

Congratulations! That is an awesome video. I love the intro piece and that recipe sounds fantastic. You really brought it to life. Thanks for the info on the chilis and the Mexican oregano too!

I'll be eagerly awaiting the next one!

River (Wing-It Vegan) said...

You're so cute I could squeeze you! I loved the video, the colors, your kitchen, the food and your personality. I like how you provided information about the ingredients that you were using, and also information about the dish in general, like how there are two Team Menudo (sauce vs. powder) Awesome! You're a natural, Mo! So comfortable in front of the camera! And the editing was excellent too. More!! We want more Mo!! :)

kmouse said...

O my god, I love you, you're so cute! You are fantastic. Great job!

sgcorrie said...

Oh my god you're adorable. Like really adorable.

Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

Thanks so much for the love, y'all! <3

kittee said...

i agree, your video was excellent. so fun and informative, too.

i didn't know that ancho was smoked poblanos, no wonder i use it in everything.

xo
kittee

mindstride said...

Hey, you got your video up, greatness! Your intro was awesome, btw.

Jeni Treehugger said...

So are dried poblanos the same as smoked paprika?
Mo this is all kinds of awesome! I love you and your energy and excitement, I love the theme tune, I love the title and I LOVE you dancing and I FREAKING love this recipe. I can almost smell it.
This video is just THE BEST and you ROCK!
xx

Laura Jill said...

So cute, Mo! Love the viddy, love the Menudo, love YOU!

xoxo,
LJ

dolmadez said...

That video rocks! Nay, YOU rock! Great job! Keep 'em comin'!

Jackie Smith (the other one) said...

I love it! Cumin is my favorite spice, too--I put it in almost everything!

Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day said...

Awesome!! I love it. The soup looks and sounds great too. You have a natural presence in front of the camera.

caribbeanvegan said...

very well executed. You have a presence and I could watch you and see u on food network on day. Not sure if you were nervous but u looked confident. The recipe information about the dish at the start was very imformative and unlike some tv chefs you showed respect for the traditional recipe and stuff...Loved it MO!I hope there are more vids :)

jessy said...

MO!!!!! you are amazing, my friend! your video made me smile - and wish i was part of the fun! i really liked all the attention to detail you gave, and i loved reading your fan mail to Isa. so awesome!

Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

Jeni-Nope. Smoked paprika is different. Ancho really has this toasty, earthy bitterness thing going on. If you can't find ancho, Food Subs says mulato, pasilla, or New Mexico chili powder would be a good substitution.

The Kuntrageous Vegan said...

i'm hating that youtube is blocked at work; i will have to see this after i get off!
I love the word Menudo. I can't help it; it just makes me proud. this recipe sound great. Menudo seems similar to chili kind of; without the beans of course :)

The VitaSpelt sticks were super good; but I wouldn't but them again. 9 grams of fat in one ounce is not good for me; I can't just eat an ounce of something like that!! I mean; that tiny bag has 10 servings...!

Erin said...

Fantastic job! You could totally be on real tv. The menudo sounds delicious. Having been around the "normal" version (yuck), I would love to try a vegan version.

Katie said...

Awesome! I'm watching it right now, I hope there are some sweet t.v. jokes in this episode.

Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

Katie-Nope! But I'm doing a few more episodes for MoFo and the next one is definitely a pop culture thing...and I'm totally doing some Whedon stuff!

vegan.in.brighton said...

You're SO awesome! I love the video, make lots more!

veronica said...

AWESOME! Mo, you rock, this is so great. I admire your guts, too! I want to do a cooking show, too, but I'm totally too afraid. You go girl! <3

Tea and Sympatico said...

Great film, I'll look forward to watching more of them.

Elisabeth said...

I love the video, you rock!

Sarah S. said...

Love your video. I am buying ancho chili powder TOMORROW, and adding this recipe to the menu for next week. Well done!

Emily said...

This is way awesome in every sense of the word. I look forward to the next installment!

Luciana said...

I think we all need to see more. This is awesome, Mo! You really know what you're doing!

MeShell said...

This was awesome. Keep up the good work. <3 totally looking forward to seeing more!

Amandah said...

Wow. Amazing recipe!!

Mihl said...

Mo, this was so awesome! Your video is great and I learned a lot, too. Can't wait for more.

Christie said...

Congratulations on your video, Mo - I loved it. Smoked chiles are hard to find over here in Scotland - would smoked paprika do at a push in this recipe, or maybe ordinary chilli powder with a dash of liquid smoke?

Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

Christie-Regular chili powder would work just as well if you can't find ancho.

Christie said...

Thanks Mo. I'm going to give this recipe a try.

veganmonster said...

love the video!

machopineapple said...

Yes, I buy those fresh peppers here in San Francisco and they are sold as Pasillas.
Also, that video was mad cute. I especially love the beginning sequence!

Becky said...

Mo! I just have to tell yo that my GF and I watched your cooking video the other day, and we LOVED it!!! You did such a great job ^_^

Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

Thanks, Becky!