Friday, September 20, 2013

Vegan MoFo VII: Sews Before Bros Freaky Friday!

MoFos...please welcome Erika to my blog for Freaky Friday.  -Mo

Hello and welcome to Freaky Friday! I’m Erika of Sews Before Bros and I’m excited to be here on Mo Betta Vegan! Mo told me today’s post theme would be failures and redemptions, and I immediately thought of Dante’s Weird Fish.

 Weird Fish was a teeny tiny little restaurant here in San Francisco known for their seafood and also their extensive vegan options. When I first started eating there years ago, they were renowned for their vegan fish & chips, hellfish (seitan) tacos with mango salsa, and buffalo girls (breaded and fried seitan with spicy buffalo sauce and ranch dressing). All this AND beer!

Then, in 2010—stormclouds. Drama! Betrayal! Weird Fish changed up their menu, and as a result, the vegan options were rounded down to a couple of salads (the only vegan option is a salad? STFU!!!!!). After a healthy back-and-forth with vegans on the interwebz, it took the owner a few weeks without sweet green vegan moolah to quietly bring back the buffalo girls. Which he then killed off again a few months later.

In 2012, Weird Fish changed hands and became Dante’s Weird Fish. True to form, the new owner inherited some drama. An early review of the newly re-opened restaurant was bungled when they served a buffalo girl. As in, a single buffalo girl. Hell hath no fury like vegans shortchanged on food! Thankfully, things were sorted out again and happy bellies made everything okay.

I’m happy to say that Dante’s Weird Fish is back in the swing of things, and it’s like nothing ever happened! Buffalo girls are plentiful and delicious- in fact, every time I order it I forget how much I’m going to get. I recently took advantage of a rare lull in the Mission District dining crush—a perfect storm of Burning Man weekend and a bridge closure—to enjoy a quiet night in the living room-sized restaurant. Part of Weird Fish’s charm is their ambient lighting, which also makes food photography impossible. Please accept my raggedy-looking (but still damn delicious) doggie bag instead!

Thanks to you for reading and thanks to Mo for hosting me!

Vegan MoFo VII: Breakfast Quesadilla

First.  This was supposed to be Redemption Week, but I've been dealing with a lot of stuff involving my injury since last Friday.  So, to make up for it...I give you two posts today!

The other day I was talking to my friend, Adrian, and he starts bragging about how he made his girlfriend breakfast.  I generally just roll my eyes because he kinda lives to troll me.  Eventually, I indulge him and ask just what the heck he made.  Two words: breakfast quesadilla.

My mind starts dancing.  What?!  Is it like a forking breakfast taco?! quesadilla form?!  And, yes.  Yes it is.  He's not vegan, so I knew the task was mighty, but I had to conquer this sexy beast.  His simple instructions: jack, black beans, avocado, fried egg...all in a jalapeno-cilantro flour tortilla.

avocado, black beans, scrambled 'fu, and mozzarella daiya
I made this thing twice that day.  First, I did straight up, basic fried tofu slices.  They were a bit too thick, so I opted for scramble next time.  Worked perfectly.  This isn't a recipe but I'll give you the beautiful steps.

Adrian's Veganized Breakfast Quesadilla
Jalapeno cilantro or regular flour tortillas
vegan cheese, NOT optional
Scrambled tofu (tofu, nooch, kala namak or sea salt, black pepper)
Black beans, rinsed and drained
vegan sour cream, optional
pico de gallo, optional

real love...I'm searching for a real love...someone to make me quesadillas
Put this together like any other quesdilla.  Tortilla, cheese, filling, cheese, tortilla.  Once it's done cooking, top with sour cream and pico de gallo.  Next time...I'm adding bac'n bits and pickled jalapeno.  I love me some breakfast quesadillas.  I'm still loyal to my breakfast tacos, though.  Take it away, Mary...

Friday, September 13, 2013

Vegan MoFo VII: Freakiest of Fridays

Y'all.  Words cannot describe how horrible my day has gone.  The one gleaming light is that the wonderful Katie is guest blogging and I giggled my way through her entire entry.  So, sit back...relax...and enjoy this truly magnificent post.

Tribute to Se7en and the Answer to: “What’s in the Booox?!”

Hello, bloggers! This is Katie from Vegan Noms. I have followed and admired Mo Betta Vegan since my early vegan days and was thrilled to have learned from and befriended the fabulous Mo at both Vida Vegan Cons! Based on the themes decided upon during the last VVC’s MoFo Workshop (led by Mo!), she and I decided to do a badass “Freaky Friday” blog swap for Friday the 13th - and what better way to do so than with a spooky theme?

When I think of my favorite types of horror flicks, the most psychologically harmful and depraved films come to mind. (What can I say? I’m sick.) There are few other films which match the intensity and level of effed-up-ness than Se7en. Detectives Somerset and Mills dive deep into the mind of the man responsible for the most wicked of responses to the question: “What’s in the box?”

Yet today, I bring you a delicious, simple, and savory answer to this mysterious question... What’s in this box, you ask?

Tofu Ricotta and Roasted Tomato Sauce Pizza (GF), that’s what! Bob’s Red Mill provides the mild, chewy, and gluten free base to this simple pie while the most basic and flavorful ingredients provide a zesty pop. The tofu ricotta is mild and lemony while the tomato sauce is delectably creamy and fragrant... and definitely less sinister than the infamous delivery from John Doe!

Tofu Ricotta
1/2 of a 10oz. container of extra firm tofu, drained and finely crumbled
1/4 c nutritional yeast
juice and zest from 1/2 lemon
1 clove of garlic, chopped or pressed
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt and plenty of fresh cracked black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Set aside or make ahead of time and store in the refrigerator so the flavors can meld together.

Roasted Tomato Sauce 
3 c cherry tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 tbsp olive oil
1/3 c raw cashews
1/4 c nutritional yeast
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt and, again, plenty of fresh cracked black pepper

Heat the oven to 425 degrees F (the temp required if preparing Bob’s GF Pizza Crust Mix). Rub olive oil on a baking sheet and spread out the tomatoes and garlic cloves. Roast for 15-20 minutes, until the tomatoes are wrinkly and the garlic is fragrant. Combine the tomatoes, garlic, and remaining ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until creamy.

Prepare Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Crust Mix and use 1/2 of the dough for this recipe; otherwise use your favorite pizza crust as a substitute. Bake according to directions (7-9 minutes w/o toppings, 15-18 minutes with toppings). Enjoy and drop by Vegan Noms to say hello!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Vegan MoFo VII: Thankful for Buffy Wednesdays

Yo.  So this isn't an official official Buffy post, but I felt the need to bring the pain because I was too much of a wimp to "Make It Work" with red cabbage yesterday.  Brr.

Check it: my absolute best nerd friend, Michele, and I loooove Whedon.  Like, for realsies.  Last semester, we were doing this thing where we'd meet once a week and watch Buffy or Angel or whatever and just nerd out all night.  My sister, Ebony, was the first person I ever shared my Buffy love with.  We would be glued to the TV every single week.  Today, I am thankful for a back log of photos..and Buffy...and Whedon...and Ebony...and Michele...and nerdery.

I usually pick a few episodes and plan food around that.  We watched "Ted" and "Bad Eggs" while noshing on mini pizzas.
Bobby Flay's buffalo crunch burger
We also watched "Doublemeat Palace" and "Beer Bad" one time, so we had burgers and beer...naturally.  And I always like going with anything ice cream related...because of that one time Xander was an ice cream man.  Mr. ice cream maaaan.

this never actually made it to a Buffy night, but BANANA SPLIT CAKE!
Of course, sometimes I go really deep with it.  We ended up watching "Go Fish" and "Superstar" one day so I went with vegan surf and turf.  Tofu "stakes" and a world without grilled shrimp.  This is funny if you are a Whedonite.  Haha.

tofu stakes, grilled shrimp, garlicky couscous
So many delicious shout outs to the one show that has completely transformed me into who I am today.  This was the first show I witnessed in real time, and I cried like a damn baby at the end.  Buffy por vida!  In fact, I am coincidentally wearing my Sunnydale shirt as I type this.  Haha.

So, here's to Tuesday nights with my sister back in the day and Wednesdays with Michele!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Vegan MoFo VII: Brrr. It's Cold in Here.

TV Tuesday!  Dudes.  If I could do dinner and a movie themes for the rest of my life, I totally would.  This blog is filled with them.  Some of my favorites include: 200 Cigarettes, Serenity, How to Deal and my recent Supernatural post.  The point is that I have a serious love for television and film...and I feel like food turns it into an experience.

So, I just knew I had to do something Bring It On related in order to highlight my absolute obsession with 90s teen movies.  The plan: Bring It On and a slumber party to remember!

Totchos: nacho cheeze sauce, black beans, taco tvp, guac, salsa, sour cream, jalapenos, cilantro
Beat These Buffys Down Menu
Cheertater Totchos
Big Red Velvet Cupcakes
Ice Ice Cold Chocolate Stout (or root beer) Floats

Bring It On is a lovely cheerleading movie that has all the makings of a classic 90s teen film.  Dark comedy.  Inexplicable acting by R&B or rap artists.  Ties to the Buffyverse.  A horrible string of straight to DVD sequels.  Plus...spirit fingers!

I thought what better way to rule a cheerocracy than with these slammin' cheertater totchos.  I had a completely life altering moment the second I tasted the totchos for the first time.  Like, I'm pretty sure I'm tot pregnant right now.
delicious organic chocolate stout float.  mmm...
Had I not been hanging out in the afterglow of totcho lovin', I would have made the cupcakes.  Instead, I opted to feed my face boozy floats.  The chocolate stout float was legit!  I cannot think of a better combo at a grown up slumber party than totchos and stout floats!  And don't forget to get the routine down!

That's all right.  That's okay.  You're gonna pump our gas someday!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Vegan MoFo VII: The Thing About Coconut Bacn that all of it never makes it into the recipe.  I will, straight up, eat this ish by the fistful.  It's so easy and delicious!  Alls I do is add soy sauce and a little liquid smoke to some coconut flakes and bake until crispy.

This Mac n' Cheeze Monday is brought to you by way of Tyler Florence.  When I saw his version with peas and bacon, I was intrigued.

peas, coconut bacon, onions, greatness.
Mac n' Cheeze w/ Peas and Coconut Bacn
adapted from this Tyler Florence recipe
serves 3-4 as a main

½ lb rotini, macaroni, or shells
1 ½ Tbsp margarine or oil
1 ½ Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups warm unsweetened coconut milk (canned)
½ cup warm water
2 ¾ cups shredded mozzarella and cheddar Daiya

1 Tbsp olive oil
½ yellow onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
pinch dried thyme
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
½ cup coconut bacn

some of them try to rhyme, but they can't rhyme like this
Cook the rotini according to package instructions until al dente. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Melt the margarine in a large saucepan, and whisk in the flour. Stir with a whisk for about a minute and slowly add the coconut milk and water (or whatever non-dairy milk you like). Cook until smooth, and stir in the cheese. Cook until cheese is melted, and fold in the rotini. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place in a casserole dish and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until bubbly.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion, garlic, and thyme and cook for about 5 minutes until soft. Stir in the peas and coconut bacn. Add salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, sprinkle the pea mixture on top and snarf like it's nobody's business! Mmm hmmm.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Vegan MoFo VII: Omelet You Have this One

Today kicks off my participation in the official Vida Vegan Con MoFo Workshop themes.  I had so much fun doing the workshop with Amey and Kittee!  These ladies are some of my absolute favorites.  Now, y'all know how I love breakfast on the really reals.  I voted for Sleepy Sunday because I'm never turning down breakfast.  Breakfast all day, son!

peppers and onions
Today, I let go of my pancake addiction in favor of omelets.  The thing about omelets is that my mom ruined them (and all eggs) for me.  She liked garlic powder to a disgusting degree, and I get all choked up just thinking about the worst way possible.  However, Isa pretty much changed my mind.  The first time I made a vegan omelet, it was the Revolutionary Spanish Omelet from Vegan with a Vengeance.

Revolutionary Spanish Omelet
Today I opted to make the omelet from Vegan Brunch because I really wanted a Denver omelet.  Those always remind me of all-you-can-eat breakfast buffets that my family would occasionally attend as a kid.  But, again, Sleepy Sunday has me not caring that I couldn't flip the damn omelet out of the pan.  Hence...OMELET CARNAGE!

The delicious horror!
If you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go finish this Firefly marathon, comment on some blogs, and take a nap.  SLEEPY SUNDAY!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Vegan MoFo VII: It's a Me!

I'm ending nerd week with the first thing I ever really nerded out about: Super Mario Bros.  I remember the day my dad took us out to get an NES.  It was all Duck Hunt for days, son!  I seriously loved video games back then.  To this day, Super Mario Bros 2 is my most played video game.  I love it!

So, I got really inspired to make some food for when I finally have a Mario Party.  Check it...if you're gonna do Mario right, you need to up your Italian game, fool.

Salad w/ Super "Mushrooms"
The Most Bob-omb Mario Menu
Salad with Super Mushrooms
Cloud Jello Parfait

Start the night off right with some salad and play with your food a little.  The radish mushrooms are super easy to make and the salad looks pretty cool.

Stromboli: Daiya mozzarella, Tofurky pepperoni, Caribbean spinach, peppers, onions, garlic
For the main, I decided to go with something handheld.  The better to play video games with!  This stromboli was stupid easy.  I didn't use a recipe.  I had leftover pizza dough already.  I layered it like this: cheese, pepperoni, sauteed spinach/peppers/onions/garlic, more cheese.  Then I rolled that bad boy up and popped it in a 500 degree oven for like 12 minutes or until golden.

For dessert, I would suggest that the adventurous attempt to veganize this cloud jello parfait.  So. Cute.

Better yet, I think the truly ambitious should just recreate this fantabulous Mario party.  Because...YES!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Vegan MoFo: I Wish that I Had Jessie's Song

Here's the thing people.  Jessie Spano is an institution.  She was my first feminist idol.  The way she just ripped Slater apart.  That one time she did the swimsuit competition in a trench coat.  But, nothing, and I mean NOTHING exemplifies Saved by the Bell like the episode where she gets hooked on caffeine pills.

It's got everything.  Addiction!  The chance for a record deal!  GEOMETRY!  Girls in spandex singing about aerobics!  AEROBICS!  Aaaaah!  So, I figured the perfect SBTB menu had to be breakfast.  Not just because I love me some breakfast food.  Saved by the Bell was a Saturday morning staple as a kid.

Hot Sundae Pancakes: banana choc chip pancakes, vanilla ice cream, crushed pineapple, nuts, sprinkles, cherry
Hot Sundae Pancakes
Screech's Sizzling Breakfast Sausage (hehe)
The Max' Diner Hashbrowns

Sure, the pancakes are more like dessert, but who cares?!  Also, if you don't get the Screech sausage reference, please research Dustin Diamond's life after the show.

Why, yes, I own the entire series with the original cast AND the college years
Here's a little known fact: Jessie, Kelly, and Lisa had a girl group for this episode that was supposed to be the lady version of New Kids on the Block.  The name?  Hot Sundae!  Here's where I tell you to watch the video.

I am so obsessed with this episode that I once "wrote" a poem made entirely of dialogue from the episode.  I am so obsessed with this episode that I own this shirt.  I am so obsessed with this episode that I often refer to myself as Jessie Spano when I'm overly caffeinated.

So, grab your comfy spot on the couch and power through a good SBTB marathon.  And skip the mimosas.  Drank that sparkly straight out the bottle like you were at a Bayside High toga party!  Just don't go crashing Lisa's Mom's Mercedes!

I'm so scared...

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Vegan MoFo VII: The Road So Far...

This post was supposed to go up yesterday.  The contents of this post made me go full on "itis."  This post is like honey don't care.

If you've never heard of Supernatural, you need to go to Netflix...right-the-fork-now...and get on it.  It's a simple story of two delectable brothers, traveling the country, and working through some serious daddy issues.  It's filled with humor, fun, badassery, and the rugged sex appeal of Dean Mothatrucking Winchester!

Seriously.  Dean tops my list of fictional characters I'd lay the mack on.  Mmm...Dean.  Ahem.  Because Supernatural deals in demons and monsters, I decided to get all crazy and veganize the omni monstrosity known as a fatty melt, but with a Native Foods Oklahoma bacon cheeseburger twist!  See, Dean loves road food.  He loves burgers, beers, pizza...anything brown really.  And this, my friends, is the ultimate in brown food.

No veggies, ya idjit!
The Winchester Oklahoma Bacon Fatty Melt Layering System
1 grilled mac n cheese sandwich
bbq sauce
burger patty of choice
tofu bacn strips, tofu bacn strips, tofu bacn strips
sauteed mushrooms and onions
deep fried pickles
1 grilled mac n cheese sandwich

Number of people it takes to eat this: 4 normal people or 1 Dean Winchester
Yes.  The buns on this thing are grilled cheese sandwiches stuffed with mac n cheese.  It's seriously delicious stuff!  My word is as sacred as a Crossroads Demon when I say: this is no joke.  I don't recommend eating more than half.  Haha.

Should you decide to make this, turn on the oven to keep all elements warm until you can build the ultimate in sandwich monstrosities!

Oh, and because we all know Dean gets a little crankypants without his pie...

Dean, don't you cry no more...

Monday, September 2, 2013

Vegan MoFo VII: Heroes in a Half Shell

I feel like I couldn't properly do a nerd week without paying homage to these guys.  4 mutant turtles. 1 fatherly rat.  And a bucket load of delicious 'za!  My brother used to have the action figures and my Barbies would sometimes make out with them.  Especially Donatello.  Holla at your boy!

Today, I'm keeping it real.  I'm feeling that mutant badassery like whoa.  So here's what you need to have the best TMNT watching party ever: a build your own pizza bar.

Clockwise from left: pepperoni, mushroom, coconut bacon and cheddar, Hawaiian styles
Start with a really good crust.  I am in love with my celebrity chef crush's crust.  Alliteration, son!  Bobby Flay's recipe calls for grilling (the ultimate in pizza making), but I just stuffed them into a really hot oven.  I think it's best to divide the dough up into mini pizza sizes.

I might shock some of you, but I'm kinda lazy right now.  I'm holed up in my house with a back injury, so I did not feel like making the sauce.  Fresh and Easy to the rescue!  I just spooned some on and instant pizza!

Coconut bacon and cheddar...YES!
By far, my favorite was the coconut bacon one.  It was just a last minute thought, but made my mouth explode with awesome.

Ideas for Toppings:
various cheeses, mushrooms, olives, tomatoes, onion, coconut bacon, pepperoni, sausage, fennel, potatoes, pineapple, bell peppers, chorizo, corn, smoked tofu, artichokes, capers, garlic, spinach, etc.

Ideas for Sauces:
hummus, pesto, classic sauce, alfredo, arrabbiata, puttanesca, chimichurri, barbecue, etc.

For dessert I made some quick and easy "ooze."  The secret?  Matcha and chia!

With so much matcha in this chia sea, it's kind hard being Snoop D-O-Double G
And for the love of Ray J, don't forget to treat yo'self with a TMNT inspired mani!  Turtle Power!


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Vegan MoFo VII: Green Eggs and Hamlet

Another MoFo is upon us!  Muahahaha!  This year, I decided to come back in full effect and tear the roof off this mother like never before. 4 weeks. 30 days.  My themes be changing on the weekly, yo.  Week 1 is all about my nerdery.  I will be doing recipes that make me geek out.  Today is brought to you by my love of reading and rap, sucka.  As LeVar Burton would say, "Read a book, homie."

I stumbled upon the awesomeness that is Epic Rap Battles of History a couple of years ago.  For me, absolutely nothing beats Dr. Seuss vs. Shakespeare, though, so I made some food to reflect that.

Because we're dealing with Shakespeare, I wasn't about to be using some food coloring up in herre. I had to up my game and make something super adult. Check it:

Spinach Quiche
Green Eggs and Hamlet Menu
Spinach Quiche w/ Wilted Caribbean Spinach, Chimichurri, and Sauteed Chorizo
Ophelia's Hibiscus Mimosa

I used the broccoli quiche recipe from Vegan Brunch.  Replaced the broccoli with 10 oz of frozen spinach and threw that bad boy in a tart pan, shawty.

Spinach Quiche, Wilted Caribbean Spinach, Chimichurri, Chorizo
The mimosa was super simple.  Take a hibiscus flower soaking in syrup, add juice of your choice, pour on the sparkling wine!

Drown your sorrows in this mimosa...with a forking flower in it
Seuss and Shakespeare.  Always keeping it gangsta.  Happy MoFoing, y'all!