Sauerkraut Special

A friend of mine went to her husband’s home country of Poland to visit his family.  She is vegetarian and I guess it was a challenge to eat at restaurants at times.  She told me about a dish her father-in-law had that sounded pretty tasty if it could be veganized.  It was full of sauerkraut, mushrooms, and various meats.  I thought it would be fun to give it a try.  Now, I love sauerkraut…if it’s well-rinsed.  If it’s full-strength, it is a little too much for me.  If you like it super strong, then go for it!  😀

I didn’t use a lot of different types of veggie “meat” substitutes here, though it was my intention to do so.  Unfortunately, when I reached for some veggie burgers to chop up for this, they were gone.  *sigh*  If no one has raided your supplies to fill their bellies, then toss in 2-3 different things ~ try soy curls made into chicky strips, soy burgers or crumbles, Tofurkey links, etc.

Sauerkraut Special

  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 8 oz. (or more!) portabella mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 pkg. Tofurkey Italian ‘sausage’ links, sliced/diced
  • 4-6 c. frozen hash brown shreds, or shredded fresh potato (to be honest, I didn’t measure this…I just eyeballed about how much I wanted in the dish)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 large jars of sauerkraut, rinsed (unless you like potent sauerkraut)

In a very large frying pan (mine was non-stick) saute the onion, mushrooms, Tofurkey links and potatoes in olive oil.  I didn’t measure the oil, because I just kept adding a bit as they cooked.  If it looked too dry – as if things were going to start sticking – I added a bit more.  Cover.  Cook until the links begin to brown and the onion softens well, stirring occasionally.  Toss in the sauerkraut and heat thoroughly.

Serve with soy sour cream, if desired.

Vegan Potluck News!

Last year there was a brand-new phenomenon on the internet ~ a Virtual Vegan Potluck featuring vegan and vegan-friendly food bloggers from around the world.  It was pulled together by Annie over at An Unrefined Vegan and it was quite the undertaking!  Anyone could go to the website of any of the participating blogs and travel through the potluck posts from there.  If you started at the beginning post, you would go from appetizers all the way through desserts.  If you started at a blog somewhere in the middle of the “table,” you might start at salads and wander your way to desserts and then back to the beginning to read the appetizer recipes.  All in all, it was an epic way to get new recipes!  (By the way, you can still go to the first link I posted above and view last May’s recipes.)

Well, Annie is doing it again, bless her heart!  (It’s got to be a lot of work to coordinate.)  I toyed with the idea of joining this time, but wasn’t certain I knew enough about how it all worked (from the blogger’s end) to jump right in.  However, I was just told that someone had to drop out and there is a spot left ~ and I was asked if I wanted to take it at the last minute.  I gulped ~ read about the how-to details ~ and took the plunge!

So, keep your eye out for a new post at midnight on Oct. 31.  Nov. 1 is when it should all be set up around the world.  You’ll be able to visit them all right from my blog!  I look forward to seeing you!

Caramel Dip for Apples

I love the fall.  The wonderful smell in the air (especially if you are near any bonfires or woodburning stoves), the brisk temperatures, and the fall colors!  Best of all, it’s finally cool enough to start baking again.  (Although, I still haven’t figured out exactly the best way to get passed the gluten-free issues with my favorite recipes.  Not impressed with most gluten-free options out there.)

One of my favorite tastes of fall has to be fresh apples…crisp, juicy ones that make your mouth water when you write about bite into them.  It’s even more of a treat ~ almost dessert, if you will ~ when you make this caramel dip to go with sliced apples.  Add some popcorn to the deal and I’m all set!  That’s a wonderful light meal, in my opinion.  🙂

If you want a thinner ice cream topping, just cut the cornstarch in half and omit the milk leaving just the 2 T. of water in which to mix it.

This is marvelous with popcorn, too.  It doesn’t harden up to make popcorn balls ~ and I’m too lazy to make them.  But you can drizzle it over the top of a bowl of popcorn and either be a fastidious person and use a spoon, or just dig in with your fingers, licking them as necessary.  😉

Caramel Dip for Apples

  • 1 1/2 c. non-dairy milk, plain or vanilla
  • 1 1/2 c. demerara, turbinado, or raw sugar, or Sucanat, or if you use plain evaporated cane juice crystals, just add a couple tablespoons of molasses.
  • 2/3 c. maple syrup (grade B is the best in this case)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 T. water
  • 2 T. extra non-dairy milk
  • 1/4 c. cornstarch (or arrowroot, but I like the results from cornstarch better)
  • 2 T. vegan margarine such as Earth Balance
  • 2-3 tsp. vanilla

Plan ahead and have a spoon next to the stove for later in the recipe, unless you are blessed to have your utensil drawer next to your cooktop, or you can plan on using the spoon with which you stir your cornstarch mixture.  In a 3 quart saucepan (trust me on the size!) whisk milk, sugar, syrup, and salt to combine.  Whisk occasionally while cooking over medium heat.  (WARNING:  Do not lose track of what you are doing, because if this begins to boil unattended, it will boil over and make a terrible mess!  And yes, this is experience speaking.)  In a measuring cup or small bowl, mix the cornstarch, water, and extra milk.  Just as the milk and sugar mixture begins to boil, pour the cornstarch mixture into it, whisking constantly.  Cook an addition 2-3 minutes, or until desired thickness.  Keep in mind that it will thicken as it cools if you used cornstarch; not so with arrowroot.  Since whisks aren’t particularly helpful to check on the thickness of things, use the spoon I mentioned earlier.  Remove from heat and whisk in the margarine and vanilla.  If it doesn’t seem thick enough at this point, you can put it back on the stove for a little bit longer.

Pour into a pretty glass or ceramic bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap touching the surface to keep a ‘skin’ from forming.  (Please try to use BPA-free plastic wrap.  According to Jillian Michaels, Saran is the only brand that has taken this protective step.)  Cool in refrigerator.

Serve drizzled over apple slices, or in small bowls for individual dipping.

Yields:  3 cups.

Olive and Veggie Burger Hash

I love to play with my food!  That’s probably why I write a vegan food blog (although, you wouldn’t know it lately, because I’ve been AWOL – tsk, tsk.)  Tonight, hubby was going to be late and the teen boys were going to eat after their meeting.  I had time to play!

Lately I’ve been very hungry for savory things ~ quite out of character for a woman with a sweet tooth the size of Montana!  I wanted something really interesting.  This recipe isn’t what it started out to be…and it’s better than I hoped, because I just kept adding things to make it more interesting.  Once I pulled out J’s large jar of green olives to add to it things really came together.  Usually, I’m not a green-olive fan ~ just on pizza occasionally, in potato salad, and, apparently, in this.  😀

I would have loved to have added mushrooms to this, but, alas, they didn’t make it into the grocery cart this week.

There is no picture, unfortunately.  Not only were we too hungry to wait for a photo to be taken, but in all honesty, this just isn’t a photographic dish!  It isn’t very pretty.  But, man, does it taste good!

Olive and Veggie Burger Hash

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2-3 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 8-10 oz. frozen artichoke hearts
  • 3 veggie burgers of choice (Boca Burger “hamburger” type or gluten-free version) or an equal amount of burger-type crumbles
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced (if you love garlic, please, please use more!  I have a hubby who only tolerates it)
  • 1/2 can black olives, halved (if you like Greek olives, or such, use those)
  • equal amount of green olives, sliced
  • salt to taste

Place onion, artichoke hearts, and oil in a large frying pan and begin heating on high.  When you hear sizzling, turn the heat down to medium high and push the vegetables aside to clear a spot for the burgers on the bottom of the pan.  When the burgers have thawed some, use a spatula or a flat-edged bamboo utensil to break them into small pieces.  Add salt at this time to your taste.  (I like just a sprinkling.)

Once these things are softening well, add the garlic and toss well.  Stir often to keep the garlic from burning to the bottom of the pan.  Add the olives and heat through.

This is super good with sliced tomatoes fresh from the garden.  We also had asparagus spears and sweet potato fries.