Posts Tagged ‘Food’

Butler Soy Curls

January 14th, 2012

Butler Soy Curls

If you’ve been to Portland you’ll find plenty vegan food and you’ll also likely experience a thing called soy curls. They’re found everywhere from Homegrown Smoker to Native Bowl. Nothing more than dried soybean protein they have a chewy texture and, like tofu, Butler Soy Curls can take on the flavor properties of whatever you season them with. So when given a few bags of these versatile goodies I brainstormed on what I should prepare first. The obvious choice was a simple barbecue sandwich.

I’m no fan of meat substitutes and I’ve made that clear before. I do, however, realize that fake meats have their place for transitioning vegetarians and the occasional vegan who likes the chance of getting with some junk food. I’ll indulge in junk food from time to time and sometimes one of those fake meats might be what I choose if it’s new or really doesn’t have exact properties of actual meat.

I chose to make saucy barbecue sandwiches using some of the peach BBQ sauce I made and bottled over the summer. Instead of simply soaking the curls for a few minutes as the directions indicated I simmered them in a mixture of broth, seasonings and a little of the peach BBQ sauce for about 15 minutes until most of the liquid had boiled away leaving the soy curls well-flavored before I added them to a saucepan of peach BBQ sauce. I turned them down on low and simmered them again for about 30 minutes. Fresh baked buns awaited great vegan barbecue sandwich.

Butler Soy Curls

Butler Soy Curls hydrated. At this point they have a slightly chewy texture and are ready for your recipe.

 

Butler Soy Curls BBQ

Butler Soy Curls simmering in homemade Peach BBQ Sauce. Getting ready for a great vegan BBQ sandwich.

 

Butler Soy Curls - Vegan BBQ Sandwich

Vegan BBQ Sandwich with Butler Soy Curls

 

The soy curls are slightly chewy and have no flavor on their own so they can be made to fit into most any dish you choose. They’re great for stir fries, sandwiches, fajitas and could be chopped slightly smaller and used in soups or stews.

Butler Soy Curls are available from their website as well as many online retailers.

Share

Protected: Seitanic Dumplings

November 3rd, 2011

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Share

Vegan in Coolsprings – Brixx: Wood Fired Pizza

August 31st, 2011

A new vegan option has cropped up in the Coolsprings area. Brixx:Wood Fired Pizza has opened on McEwen Drive next to Whole Foods and behind Bricktops.  I managed to get a pre-opening invite to enjoy dinner while they practiced their daily motions thanks to Coolsprings.com.

The website and menu clearly states many of their items can be made vegan and that they offer vegan cheese as a substitute for regular cheese at no extra charge which is uncommon as there is typically an extra cost for this which most restaurants adopt. Brixx uses Follow Your Heart mozzarella (UPDATE: Brixx is now using Daiya mozzarella as their vegan cheese option)so you’ll be getting a quality vegan cheese and it’s truly vegan so no worries about whether it contains casein.

Our complimentary dinner included one appetizer, a salad, two pizzas, a sandwich and a pasta dish.

Brixx Menu Vegan

We chose the Wood Fired Pita Chips and Three Dips as our appetizer.  It was served on a large plate with three small scoops of hummus: black bean hummus, roasted red pepper hummus and traditional hummus. The hummus was served on a bed of greens and topped with roasted red peppers and cumin. Pita triangles, the equivalent of about three pitas, that had been toasted in the pizza oven were served around the perimeter of the plate. The hummus was very thick which made dipping a bit hard but flavorful and at $5.95 was a good appetizer though I would like a little more hummus. I didn’t get to eat much of this one as the kid really enjoyed it and decided to take it for her own. That’s a positive vote for the hummus.

Brixx Salad - No Cheese

Our salad was a modified Brixx Salad. We modified this one by simply leaving off the goat cheese. The salad is a spring mix topped with croutons and pistachios and served with a balsamic vinaigrette. It’s served with a large piece of focaccia which looked to have cheese toasted onto it so we just ignored the bread. I’ll be sure to inquire next time about it as it did look very inviting sitting on the edge of the plate. Another $5.95 selection and worth it. I would consider it a big salad. It’s enough to share if you’re having an entree as well.

We chose two pizzas, the Artichoke which is served with a basil pesto instead of red sauce. We asked our server if the pesto contained cheese and she quickly ran back to the kitchen to ask. She returned to tell us it did and we substituted red sauce instead. Substituting seems to be welcome at Brixx and didn’t throw any confusion into the process so have at it if need be. The Artichoke pizza is topped with artichokes, roasted red peppers and sun-dried tomatoes. This pizza could be named the 80’s pizza. Anything with sun-dried tomatoes belongs in the 80’s. Not that I’m complaining about sun-dried tomatoes, I love them. Then again I love the 80’s, so there. Of course, we also substituted the mozzarella for Follow Your Heart cheese. Our second pizza was the Wood-Roasted Vegetable. This was more of a typical veggie pizza with mushrooms I couldn’t tell which type exactly, broccoli, bell peppers and onion. Substituting Follow Your Heart cheese this was also a very good pizza but I think I pick the Artichoke pizza as my favorite of the two. I just really like artichokes on a pizza and then there’s that 80’s thing. The kid got her own kid-sized pizza with red sauce and vegan cheese. She devoured the entire pizza, a good mark as this kid is a very picky eater.

Wood-Roasted Vegetable Pizza with Follow Your Heart Mozzarella

Wood-Roasted Vegetable Pizza with Follow Your Heart Mozzarella

All of Brixx’s pizzas are on a thin, crisp crust and baked in a wood oven. The crust is available in original white flour or whole wheat and both contain nothing animal-derived right down to the turbinado sugar used. These are 100% vegan pizzas when ordered with Follow Your Heart vegan cheese. Brixx also serves pizzas with a gluten-free crust option at a $2 upcharge giving the gluten-challenged a pizza beacon that some may have missed for some time. Prices for the pizzas range from $8.95 to $11.95 though a pizza without all of the animal accoutrements will be in the $8.95-$9.95 range.   These are 10-inch pizzas, six slices per pizza and with a good dose of toppings.  Another note to keep in mind, after 10pm all pizzas and appetizers are 2-for-1.  Get your late-night munchies on!

Artichoke Pizza with Follow Your Heart vegan cheese

Artichoke Pizza with Follow Your Heart vegan cheese

Brixx Kid's Pizza - Vegan Cheese Pizza

The Kid's pizza selection: A Vegan Cheese Pizza

We also ordered a Wild Mushroom Wrap. I expected the typical wrap: fillings in a run-of-the-mill tortilla. I don’t know why I expected that but that’s the typical wrap these days. That’s not what we got. We were served a mix of portobello, shitake and white mushrooms, spinach and Follow Your Heart cheese wrapped in a slightly toasted pizza crust. One of the franchisees came to our table and explained that they put the pizza crust in the oven for two minutes and then wrap the fillings in it. This is a great wrap.  The pizza crust made this wrap superb not to mention the fresh, tasty fillings. If you’re ordering this as a vegan be sure to leave off the sun-dried tomato (80’s) aioli and substitute the Gorgonzola cheese. $7.95 for the Wild Mushroom Wrap.  All sandwiches and wraps are served with a choice of pasta salad, bean salad, fresh fruit or chips.

Brixx Wild Mushroom Wrap with Follow Your Heart cheese and no sun-dried tomato aioli

Brixx Wild Mushroom Wrap with Follow Your Heart cheese and no sun-dried tomato aioli

Brixx Wild Mushroom Wrap with Follow Your Heart cheese and no sun-dried tomato aioli

Brixx Wild Mushroom Wrap with Follow Your Heart cheese and no sun-dried tomato aioli

We didn’t get a pasta as we were already feeling like pigs.  There are vegan options on the pasta menu and whole wheat pastas are available as well.

Brixx also has a wide range of beers on tap including Abita Root Beer for the sugar-fiends. With the 2-for-1 pizza deal and array of brews look for Brixx to be busy late nights and with the delicious food they should keep a good crowd at all other times. I’m proud to have a new vegan option in Coolsprings.

 

UPDATE: Brixx now uses Daiya mozzarella as their vegan cheese option.

 

(Brixx also has a location in Hendersonville at 300 North Indian Lake Boulevard.)

Brixx: Wood Fired Pizza
1550 West McEwen Drive Suite 10
Franklin, Tennessee 37067
(615) 771-7797

Hours: Monday – Saturday 11am-1am, Sunday 11am-11pm

View Larger Map

Share

Blackberry Picking Time

July 1st, 2011

Prime blackberry picking area somewhere in southern Middle Tennessee

One of my favorite things about Summer is the availability of fresh berries and fresh blackberries are my favorite. I’m not talking about those large tame blackberries you get from CSAs and grocery stores. Those fakers are so light on flavor that it’s not worth the hassle of making anything with them. You may have to wade through tall grass, repel chiggers and keep an eye out for a napping rattlesnake but I can assure you it will be worth it in the end.  Those tame blackberries may look huge and juicy but they lack the flavor and the fun of the hunt.

Late June is prime blackberry season. You have to be sure to get them before the birds, June bugs and Japanese beetles get to them. As they ripen all three will take these tasty morsels from you before you can reach them. The best course of action is to find a good spot with plenty of bushes and keep an eye on the berries and plan to pick the moment the ripen. This may mean walking a good distance through tall grass and brush to check on them daily as it gets later in the month but you’ll be glad you did. Those pesky birds know how good these things are, too.

After scouring our regular spot for picking these delights we came away with nearly a gallon of small delicious berries. I already had in mind what I wanted to create, a blackberry cobbler, the perfect blackberry concoction. All of that changed when we picked up a few peaches and blackberry peach pie was as good as in the oven. With enough blackberries left over after the pie there was blackberry ice cream, vegan of course, churning to go with the pie. Still this used less than half of our berries. I’m sure to get that cobbler over the weekend and maybe even some blackberry jam.

If you have the opportunity to pick wild blackberries do so and taste what a blackberry is meant to taste like.

Watch the thorns and grab one of the best things you'll ever taste.

A basket of delicious.

Vegan Blackberry Peach Pie

Vegan Blackberry Peach Pie with Vegan Blackberry Ice Cream

Vegan Blackberry Peach Pie with Vegan Blackberry Ice Cream

Share

Robbie’s Worcestershire – Vegan!

May 24th, 2011

Robbie's Worcestershire

I’m a lover of sauces. I cook with it and pour it on my food. I even make my own barbecue sauce. One of my favorites is Worcestershire and one of my favorite uses is putting it on a baked potato. I know that may seem odd to some but until you try it don’t sneer at it. Up to now the only vegan Worcestershire sauces I’ve found have been Amy’s and The Wizard’s. While good, both of those are a little to thick for me and don’t quite hit the flavor. I just discovered Robbie’s Worcestershire, a vegan Worcesterchire that is the most perfect vegan Worcestershire I’ve found. What makes Worcestershire not vegan, you may ask. Anchovies. It is the ingredient in most conventional Worcestershire sauces though I never remembered tasting it in sauces from Lea & Perrins or French’s.

Robbie’s Worcestershire is thin, just as every conventional sauce I’ve used and has the absolute perfect flavor. As a plus, it is the same price as Amy’s and The Wizard’s for twice the amount.

Robbie’s Worcestershire is available at Whole Foods in Franklin.

Time for some potatoes on the grill!

BBQ Tempeh Sandwich and Baked Potato topped with Robbie's Worcestershire & nutritional yeast

Share