Monday, March 19, 2012

Test Kitchen: Soy Curls and Spicy Nothings Curry Sauce

Soy Curls + Spicy & Tangy Curry Simmer Sauce = One Lethally Tasty Combo

A couple of months ago I added a package of Butler Soy Curls to our bulk order. I've been curious about these for awhile now, but none of our local stores carry them. When I discovered that these were available through Azure Standard, my wait was over! We put in a bulk order through Azure about once a month through a local buying co-op. It helps us to save money on things like organic raw nuts, beans, and rice. (It's been awhile since I've posted one of our orders, so I will try to do one for April or May ;)

The Mighty Soy Curl

I'm a curious gal, so I had a taste fresh out of the package. Nothing special at this point, just flavorless and crunchy.

For those who are unfamiliar with Soy Curls, they are a dehydrated product (like TVP) made from whole soybeans. After re-hydrating, you can add them to a stir-fry or favorite recipe.

Mama Jean's (our local Natural Foods Market) carries a line of Spicy Nothings curry sauces. Though it's great fun and tasty to make a sauce from scratch, we like to have some things like this on hand for those nights when I want something fresh at home that takes a little less time and effort.

While waiting for the soy curls to re-hydrate, I chopped and stir-fried some fresh veggies (5-7 min.). I removed the veggies, added a little oil and the soy curls to my skillet. Once they were lightly browned (~10 min.), I added the simmer sauce and about 1/2 c. water. I left it on for 15-20 min. before adding the veggies back in. We served ours immediately over rice because we like the veggies still a little crisp. You could easily mix them in and leave the whole thing to heat for about 5 more min. before serving.

This is definitely a meal worth repeating! The sauce is decently thick and flavorful (even better if you add some extra chili pepper powder or hot sauce) and the soy curl texture is excellent (tender and slightly chewy when lightly browned).

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Pat's! (and Guinness Extra Stout)

Celebrating St. Patty's this weekend? Although most Guinness varieties are not vegan, Barnivore informed me that the Extra Stout IS vegan. It is made by Moosehead, who do not use isinglass. Always good news to hear that a popular beer is vegan!

For anyone who likes to indulge in an alcoholic beverage from time to time, I definitely recommend checking out the Barnivore website. It is a great resource and well organized. And if you don't find your drink listed, they have an excellent letter that you can send to your company of choice.

What am I doing tonight? Drinking a Mother's Winter Grind (local beer), making scrambled tofu (which we will eat on a bed of spinach and topped with guacumole!) and then heading out to see this month's Buffy reader's theater episode :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Black Bean Brownies...bleh

A year ago we tried a black bean brownie recipe that we found online. They were awful! It could be that we substituted something that didn't work out. They were gooey...not in the good way. So many bloggers were singing odes to black bean brownies, but I was no longer interested.

We've been trying out different recipes in The Vegan Slow Cooker. Low and behold, a recipe for black bean brownies! We decided that it was worth a shot and made them. What did I discover? Nothing spectacular. These are protein-dense with a dominant banana flavor. The texture is nothing delightful. I'd much rather make a loaf of banana bread!

What about you? Has anyone had any success with a black bean recipe? (Horror stories welcome too!) 

Monday, March 5, 2012


Do you know about Meatout?
From the website:
What is Meatout?
Meatout is the world's largest grassroots diet education campaign. On (or around) March 20, thousands of caring people in all 50 U.S. states and two dozen other countries encourage their friends, families, and communities to "kick the meat habit” and explore a wholesome, compassionate diet of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. The 2012 goal of Meatout is to distribute free vegan food samples to 30,000 people!

It is an awesome way to spread the word locally. 

Haven’t planned anything or short on time? No problem! There are so many things that you can do to celebrate and spread the word. (Be sure to check out the website for more information and for vegan literature & samples to share!)

You could:
* Bake cookies for coworkers
* Make dinner for a friend
* Write down a favorite recipe and share it with someone
* Hand out leaflets one afternoon at a nearby college or park
* Wear a vegan-inspired t-shirt
* Tell someone why you are vegan

Remember that no matter what you do, you are a making difference. So spread the word!

Not vegan? No problem! You can still celebrate :) Try Meatout Mondays or a new meat-free recipe. Check out some of the great blogs in the right column or grab a book from your local library. I encourage you to spend a little time this month exploring the vegan lifestyle. (If you’re reading this, you’re clearly on your way ;)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Back to Blogging

March is here and it's time for me to start blogging again! Woohoo! I'm psyched! Blogging and blog reading can be very time consuming for me, but it's something I want to incorporate back into my life. Kala, on VeganCraftastic, talked about balance recently. Isn't that something we always strive for, the right balance? We readjust ourselves and our lives, as something is ALWAYS changing, to find new balance. And that's just fine! In my current balancing act, I am reintroducing myself to blogging, so feel free to join in!

My neice, Tori, inspired the photo above. She recently started a blog Sia felice. Sia forte. Appartenga. She is AMAZING and this week has been promoting NEDAwareness week (National Eating Disorders Awareness) on her campus and facebook page. She's always taking fun photos with words written on cards or scraps of paper and I love it!

Stay tuned...there is more to come...