Saturday, October 1, 2011

VeganMoFo V: When I was 18...

When I was 18, my hair was bright orange...or red...or blonde.  I wore kandi bracelets up to my elbows, and feared nothing (except clowns and making out with boys).  My friends were the truest I ever had.  We went to high school together and spent that most perfect summer wandering the streets of San Antonio looking for free things to do.

I've briefly talked about this food memory before, but I've never really delved into it.  Growing up in SA, there was very little to do if you were under 18 and broke.  It was basically pool, sneaking around base after curfew, or Jim's.  We mostly spent our time playing spades at Jim's, which was this greasy chain of diner type restaurants.  They've cleaned up recently, but it used to be a late night wander for bored teenagers and drunk people.

At 18, I had been vegetarian for 2 years.  Jim's didn't really have much in the way of vegetarian food.  So, every time I went there I got Canadian cheese soup, grilled cheese, and french fries.  I decided to recreate it to kick off MoFo.  This is basically my youth on a plate.

soup, grilled cheeze, fries, perfection
Jim’s Canadian Cheeze Soup

This is creamy and comforting. The carrots and oats add a subtle sweetness, but be careful not to go too heavy on the salt. It tastes saltier as the soup cools.

2 Tbsp margarine or olive oil
½ small white onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup diced celery
1 ½ cups diced carrots
2 cups chicken-flavored or vegetable broth
cheeze base
¼ cup parsley minced, plus more for garnish
salt and pepper to taste

Cheeze Base:
1 ½ cups diced carrots, steamed until tender
3 cups water
½ cup old fashioned oats
¼ cup cashews
¼ cup tahini
2 tsp granulated onion
1 tsp Garlic Pepper (recipe below) or granulated garlic
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp salt

Make the cheeze base first. Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until completely smooth. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat the margarine or olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the celery and carrots and cook for 5 minutes. Pour in the broth and cheeze base. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in parsley and taste for salt and pepper.

Garlic Pepper
(makes ½ cup)

This is my go-to house seasoning. I first got turned onto this when I visited my mom for the holidays and could not stop using her store bought garlic pepper. I took a look at the ingredients and realized it would be pretty easy to make my own.

¼ cup granulated garlic
2 Tbsp ground pepper
1 Tbsp granulated onion
1 Tbsp parsley flakes
1 tsp fine sea salt

Pour the ingredients into a small container. Shake thoroughly. Store in the pantry.

Tomorrow, I plan to recreate something that my Food Network boyfriend, Michael Symon, loves.  There will also be much gushing about his beautiful, bald head and amazing smile.  Swoon.

Happy MoFoing, y'all!  I have some blogs to read!

20 comments: said...

Ha, I used to wear those bracelets up to my elbows & have red hair too!

I love the idea of veganising food memories & that Canadian Cheeze Soup looks SO delicious.

k said...

I have to try this one.It reminds me of when I used to go to Marie Callender's to get Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Potato Cheese Soup. My sister would say isn't that too much cheese? No!

MeShell said...

Oh goodness, that soup sounds delicious. I'm adding it to my to make and eat list!

Andrea said...

I'm most intrigued by the garlic pepper. That sounds like something that should be in my spice drawer. My food memory from that same age is French-fried onion rings and an orange freeze — every Friday night as I recall.

celyn said...

Oh yum! I'm going to make this and report back.

jessy said...

my hair was "Angela Chase" red and i too feared clowns (i still refuse to watch "IT" because of this) and making out with boys. too awesome, Mo. also too awesome, fantastical memories and cheeze soup. while i've never had cheeze soup, i've always been intrigued. i'll have to start my cheeze soup experience with your glorious recipe and i cannot wait!

happy MoFo'n, Mo! MEGAyay!

Katie said...

Please tell me that there are pictures of you wearings pants made out of sheets.

Jackie Smith said...

Reading this made me think of when I was 18...out of the house for the first time...and dancing to "You Shook Me All Night Long" at the 18+over club.

Elisabeth said...

I love cheesy soups! I am glad to see you back in the blogosphere :-) Happy Vegan MoFoing!

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

Katie-No way. My friend was the raver. I just loved really ridiculous jewelry. Every birthday and Christmas I'd get something involving pigs and tons of beads to make bracelets.

jd said...

Um, can I just say: This looks fantastic! I love your garlic pepper recipe, too - such a cool idea!

PS Happy MoFo - I'm glad I found your blog :)

Anonymous said...

You are so cute, Mo. I will be trying these recipes soon. And we may need to arm-wrestle over Mr. Michael Symon. ;)

Erinwiko said...

I'm totally not a soup person, but I really want to try this! I think I'm just a sucker for fake cheese in any form.

Jen Treehugger said...

I wanna dive right into that bowl!! It looks and sounds amazing.
Happy MoFo'ing.

Jenn said...

What an awesome food memory. The soup looks fantastic!

Anonymous said...

We're huge Canadian cheese soup fan so I'm going to have to try your recipe. And today's a perfect soup day (it's only 50 degrees).

Anonymous said...

Food memories, such a great idea! I'll be back!!
Happy MoFoing! <3

Unknown said...

OMG I have a tiny "thing" for Michael Symon too! Except maybe when he wears that offal shirt... :P

x said...

I really enjoyed that story Mo and I love the idea of recreating meals you used to love as a teen.

I'm not a fan of sweet meals but I still want to give your carrot soup a go!

Anonymous said...

I am a sucker for noochless cheeze sauce. Not that I don't like nooch, I just always run out. And, that garlic pepper sounds fantastic. Def making everything in this post.