We are in the hottest month of Summer and here it has been humid as hell. The other day it was raining and I felt like I was back in Michigan, when my family would travel out there each August. I would stand outside during the thunderstorms, under the pouring rain, and it would still be almost 90F outside. With such greenery out there, it was a lot more enjoyable, where as here it’s just a light rain and tons of concrete.
Luckily the moisture has taken a break and today we had some nice breezes with the heat, so it wasn’t like walking into a sauna every time you went outside. This is the time of year when eating anything warm just sounds terrible – aside from grilled goodies, of course. Because of this, I have a nice, chilled salad recipe for you today! It’s perfect served as a side, maybe along with that Herbed Tofu Tomato Salad recipe from last week? Which, by the way, was a total hit! I’ve had at least five or six people make it and be very pleased with the outcome.
Anyway, this salad is made with sweet yellow and white corn, mostly for a little extra color, a creamy basil pesto aioli, fresh spinach and some red onion. Super easy to put together and is PACKED with flavor, especially after you chill the dish before serving it. If you want to make it a little healthier, add more spinach to the end product and omit some of the vegan mayo from the aioli, replacing it with plain yogurt.
Oh! I almost forgot, I have some incredibly exciting news! I’ll be a speaker at Vida Vegan Con 2015 in Austin! Eep! I’m super excited and feel very lucky to have been chosen out of the many people who applied to speak, and can’t wait until they announce the rest of the speakers closer to the end of the month. Who all is planning on going? If you’re on the fence, let me say that it was an awesome experience and you should take a look at my 1, 2, 3 part review of the 2013 conference.
Today, I am celebrating being done cooking for the cookbook that I’m doing photos for! Of course, I have about 700 photos to go through and edit, but that is beside the point. I seriously can’t believe that I did it, and with time to spare! The photography and food styling in this book is some of my best so far, so when that hard copy shows up it’ll be cool to see how it turned out. I just hope that I did the author justice. 😉
To be honest, I’ve missed being a blogger these past two weeks; the interacting, recipes of my own, and even just looking at other blogs. I feel so out of the loop now! I can’t wait to get back into the groove of things, even though I’m not sure what that is at this point. There are some recipes and reviews that I’ll finally have time to post for y’all and I think that you’ll be stoked.
Now, for an awesome recipe! With this one, I accidentally found out that if you used black beans instead of chickpeas while making seitan they will make it have more of a steak-like appearance as opposed to chicken-like. I plan on using this to my advantage in the near future! But, now you know why my seitan looks a little different from its usual tan color.
I used Massel’s Chicken-Style Low Sodium Bouillon for this recipe and loved it! When mixed with water it creates a vegan broth that is a lot like it’s non-vegan chicken broth counterpart. I can’t wait to make a vegan chicken noodle soup or tortilla soup when the weather cools down, which should be interesting seeing as how Summer just started. Urgh.
Out of the few vegan products that I’ve tried by Massel, I would say that their bouillon granules are my favorite; they’re super convenient, low-sodium (so that I can control the flavor more), and they don’t take up precious space in my refrigerator. Plus, they’re packaged in what look like mini-paint cans! Ha ha.
I have to be honest, I’ve never prepared jackfruit on my own before. Of course, I’ve enjoyed BBQ Jackfruit Sliders and the like, but it was never very easy to find. But, now that I work at Whole Foods, I found out that my location has the canned jackfruit in brine and I couldn’t be more stoked. For my first homemade jackfruit recipe I thought that I’d try it out with Massel’s Concentrated Liquid Stock, Beef-Style; which is vegan and gluten-free!
Now, the texture didn’t come out quite as firm as I would have liked, but the jackfruit tasted great all the same. One of the best parts of this recipe is that it’s all prepared on the grill. Of course there’s some marinated and mixing, but it’s seriously low effort. I’d also like to mention that this was my first time grilled tomatillos, and oh my goodness you guys, SO GOOD. I’ve used them in green salsas before, but this- this I’ll have to do more often.
To balance out the savory, warm components of this recipe, I made a seasoned sour cream sauce to drizzle on top. I may have cheated and used Tofutti, but if you want to go the homemade route, blend 2/3 C. raw cashews with 1/4 C. water for a creamy sauce base, then stir in seasonings.
I must mention that using the concentrated liquid stock shortened marinating time immensely and really added significant flavor to the jackfruit. It is a tad on the salty side so taste your marinade and adjust accordingly; keep in mind that the end product won’t be as potent as the marinade itself. Massel actually sent some of their products for me to try out, so I’ll definitely be using another one soon, and hosting a giveaway, too! So, keep an eye out for that. 😀
HELLO BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE! Long time, no see! Let me say that I’m sorry for the absence, there has been a hell-of-a-lot of things going on over here and clearly posting on my blog was not one of them. But, I’m back for a bit, with some delicious recipes that I can’t wait to show you. Because of all of the cooking that I’ve been doing (cookbook photography for Cupcakes & Kale!), it has been a little hard to prepare for me being gone in April to work Coachella again. And instead of boring you with words, I’ll show you some of what’s been happening with me via photos!
Expo West Happened (I know it’s a bit belated, but would you like to know what my favorite products were from it? Let me know in the comments!)
I finally organized my linens! (I may do a DIY post on that)
I interviewed for a part-time job at Whole Foods Laguna Beach (Prepared Foods) and got it!
Bandit got a trim!
I helped shoot a funny cooking video! (Photo courtesy of Jenny Bradley, editing by me)
Baking for the book
My younger (goofy) sister is in town from Phoenix! <3 (She’s going to hate me for this)
AND I got a haircut, woohoo!
Now, back to the food! I was inspired by my favorite new Apple Fennel Coconut Bacon Flavor from Phoney Baloney’s, and knew that I had to make some sausage. Plus, it’s Spring which means it’s time to break out the fennel and grilling it with onions makes it even better. The apple is subtle and gives the seitan just a touch of sweetness while the fennel seeds bring the flavor, and some extra spices to make it all awesome.