Monday, February 21, 2011

Investigating Soy Pups

With February's winter storms, I craved picnic food. Since I have never tasted so many soy products that are out there, I decided to start with the basic soy dog. Now I'm sure somewhere one can purchase vegan hot dog buns, but they weren't available at my local grocer (true confessions the buns I ate here have milk in the ingredients). It was surprising how well they worked, though slightly bland. Dressed with pesto and sun dried tomatoes, or just catsup and mustard, we gobbled them up for our lunch. Try mixing carrot and apple juice together for your beverage. The apple juice cuts down on the intensity of pure carrot juice.

My concept for dinner was frank and beans. Here, the soy pups couldn't hold their own. The texture was wrong and the flavor way too bland next to the other food on the plate. Sweet potatoes and yams, steamed are healthy and delicious all on their own. My brother first made me these sweet black beans, but I experimented by adding garlic, leeks, chili powder, and hot chili paste. The recipe follows for cheater baked beans, and jicama slaw. Hopefully you know what jicama is. Grown in Mexico, it is a round root that is slightly sweet and starchy. If it tastes wooden or bitter, than it is too old to be worth eating.
Cheater Baked Beans
1 can of black beans
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 finely chopped leeks
1 clove garlic finely chopped
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon chili paste
Saute leeks and garlic in oil over medium high heat for 3-5 minutes. Add beans, don't drain or rinse. Add sugar, and chili spices. Turn the heat down to simmer, and cook 30-45 minutes to reduce and create that slow baked taste. Feel free to experiment with your favorite variety of beans, or leave out all the extras to keep it sweet and simple.
Jicama Slaw
one medium jicama
1/2 head of red cabbage
4 stalks of celery
3 tablespoons grape seed oil
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Grate the jicama. Finely shred the red cabbage. Split the celery stalks lengthwise and chop finely. Toss together with your favorite bottled vinaigrette, or make it yourself.

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