Friday, January 15, 2016

Vegan in the Mainstream

It's incredibly satisfying to read articles about veganism in the mainstream.  Connecticut is making headway on that front with restaurants, food trucks, and health professionals advocating a plant-based diet, along with numerous animal activists working for change to the political system.  I'm excited to be part of the growing community of vegans, and was happy to be featured in a recent article in the Hartford Courant, "Vegetarianism Exploding into Mainstream Culture," by Diane Church.
In recent years, vegetarianism has exploded into mainstream culture, and it seems that more people are giving up meat every day.
And it's not just the stereotypical aging hippies and idealistic college students who are scarfing down all those veggie burgers. People from all walks of life are embracing the trend.
For anyone looking for inspiration or a reason to get started, this article offers plenty of resources.  When I first became vegan 18 years ago I felt lost and confused.  An organization which helped me see what an adventure being vegan could be is the Northern Connecticut Vegetarian Society.  Their monthly potlucks opened my eyes and tastebuds to the incredible possibilities veganism had to offer.  This is one of the many resources Diane mentions.

Take a peek and give vegan a try.  I hope to see you at a vegan event or potluck some time soon, and I look forward to hearing your story.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Recipe: Gluten-free Vegan Tempeh "Crab Cakes"

I love making this recipe for parties or potlucks.  They taste just like the real thing, only better. Made without any animal products, they get their distinct flavor from a sea vegetable called dulse.  It's high in minerals as well as flavor, so you're eating healthy as well as enjoying a delicious treat.

You can see me demonstrate how to make this quick and easy recipe on my cooking segment with WWLP TV.

Tempeh “Crab” Cakes
(makes 6-8 cakes)
8 oz. tempeh, cut into cubes, boiled 5 minutes, cooled, and squeezed to remove water
1/2 cup green bell pepper, finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
1 dill pickle, minced
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
1 Tbl Dijon mustard
2 Tbl vegan mayonaise
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 Tbl lemon juice
2 tsp dulse granules
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup corn starch, plus extra for dredging

Cut tempeh into cubes and place in a pot of water and bring to a boil.  Boil for 5 minutes.  Drain and rinse with cold water, then squeeze out excess water and crumble tempeh into a large bowl.  Add the vegetables, vegan mayonaise, mustard, garlic powder, sea salt, lemon juice and dulse and stir to combine.  Add the bread crumbs and corn starch, then mix together with hands until all ingredients stick together.  Roll into 6-8 balls.  Flatten balls to about 1 inch thick, then pat with corn starch.  Heat a skillet on medium heat, add a thin coating of oil, then place tempeh cakes in pan, leaving space between each one.  Cook for about 5 minutes or until bottom is golden brown.  Flip cakes, then cook about 5 minutes, or until golden brown.  Remove from pan and serve with Vegan Remoulade and a wedge of lemon.

Vegan Remoulade
1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
1-2 tsp Dijon mustard
1-2 tsp Sriracha sauce (or any other hot sauce)
1 Tbl chopped dill pickle
2 tsp capers

Stir together all ingredients in a small bowl.  Place one tablespoon of sauce on top of each fish cake and garnish with lemon wedge.