Liverpool Pt. II

My second day in Liverpool started with a nice breakfast at Brasco Lounge. They have an entirely separate vegan menu, and I ended up settling on their vegan breakfast plate. This was my first time trying baked beans since getting to Britain, and I was pleasantly surprised that I liked these. I usually find the American kind much too sweet. I’m more of a fan of savory breakfasts, so this hearty plate was right up my alley.

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The restaurant was conveniently located near the Liverpool Museum, which is a great free (!) place to explore. The best part for me was their large exhibit on the history and movement of transgender people.

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Albert Dock is also nearby and holds a few entertaining things to see. My favorite of which was the giant Echo Wheel. Although I’m not a huge fan of heights, I rode it anyway and had a great time being terrified on the squeaky ride.

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While wandering around the dock, I was drawn into a candy shop due to their amazing jelly bean portrait of The Beatles. Inside, I found some vegan vanilla Liverpool candy canes, which my inner tourist insisted I try.

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As a bonus: here’s a yarnbombing I saw at St. John’s Gardens.

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ESSENTIAL Biscuits (Vegan MoFo #8)

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5-27-2010-lord-sunday-by-garth-nixSince Lord Sunday (the book which inspired the below recipe), is the last book of seven in the Keys to the Kingdom series, I’ll be reviewing the first book, Mister Monday by Garth Nix, to avoid spoilers.

Keys to the Kingdom is a series about Arthur Penhaligon, a twelve year old boy who through a seemingly random accident is chosen to become the Rightful Heir of the House (the center of the universe). Controlling the House are the corrupt Morrow Days, who are each afflicted by one of the deadly sins. The Morrow Days are: Mister Monday, Grim Tuesday, Drowned Wednesday, Sir Thursday, Lady Friday, Superior Saturday, and Lord Sunday.

Arthur soon learns that the Architect (creator of the House and “secondary realms”) left a Will which was unfulfilled. Not long afterwards, a mysterious virus begins sweeping through his town in the secondary realm. Knowing that this is the work of the Morrow Days, Arthur must go into the House to search for a cure. There he learns that to save his town, and the House itself, he must defeat the Morrow Days and release the imprisoned pieces of the Will . Through his journey, Arthur meets Suzy Turquoise Blue, a clever and capable girl who, along with all the other “Piper’s children”, was drawn to the House by the Pied Piper. Suzy holds a current piece of the Will, which has manifested itself as a talking frog. With his two odd allies in tow, Arthur must work to defeat the torpid Mister Monday and stop the spreading virus before it’s too late.

” “Have a biscuit, General,” said one of the children, reaching into the barrel, which was stuffed to the brim with biscuits. Since neither Denizens nor Piper’s children needed to eat, but liked to do so anyway, it was surprising that the barrel was marked ESSENTIAL GOODS FOR EVACUATION.

Suzy took the raisin-filled biscuit with glee and, between mouthfuls, introduced everyone.” – Lord Sunday (hardcover) page 145

I’ve never actually had a sweet biscuit (only savory), but these were amaaaazing.

raisin biscuit

Essential Cinnamon Raisin Biscuits

Based on a recipe from Food.com

Ingredients

1 cup raisins

1 cup water

2 cups soymilk

1 tablespoon lemon juice

4 cups self rising flour, or 4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons baking powder mixed together

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup shortening

3 teaspoons cinnamon

1 cup powdered sugar

3 and 1/2 teaspoons soymilk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Set oven to 400 degrees.

Boil water and pour over raisins, then cover and set aside. Mix the 2 cups of soymilk with lemon juice, set aside.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt. Cut shortening into the flour mixture (either using a fork or pastry blender) until crumbly and fine.

Mix in soymilk and drained raisins, then stir in cinnamon.

With a large greased spoon dollop out the biscuit dough onto a greased baking sheet.

Bake for 10-15 minutes.

While the biscuits cool, mix together the powdered sugar with vanilla and 3 and 1/2 teaspoons of soymilk until a glaze is formed. Drizzle over cooled biscuits and let sit until the glaze hardens.

Breakfast of Witch Fighting Champions (Vegan MoFo #3)

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The Last Apprentice – Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney is about Tom Ward, a young seventh son of a seventh son who is apprenticed to the local Spook. Spooks are fighters of the dark who battle witches, ghosts, boggarts, demons, and even the Fiend himself. As Tom starts his apprenticeship, he learns about all the things that go bump in the dark. His learning focuses on witches especially since they are quite common in this area. There are blood witches, who like to drain blood for ceremonies and occasionally drink it, and also bone witches, who will cut off the thumbs of enemies for spells. The Spook warns Tom that the easiest way to identify a disguised witch is by her pointy shoes.

One day, during an errand run into town, Tom meets a young girl named Alice. She seems fairly harmless and nice, but there’s one problem. She wears pointy shoes. Despite this, Tom has a hard time believing the girl could be capable of harming anyone. Since he has no friends since moving in with the Spook, he decides to befriend the girl.

Soon the Spook has to travel due to a job in another town. He leaves Tom in charge of the house, and promises to be back within a few days. Almost immediately, things take a turn for the worst. It’s not long before Alice is back, and Tom has a promise to keep to her. Through trying to keep his word and an unfortunate beginner’s mistake, Tom releases one of the most feared witches in the County, Mother Malkin. As she begins to terrorize him and his family, and without the wise guidance of the Spook, Tom must learn to fight the dark on his own.

“Yes,” I said “it was the very best breakfast that I’ve ever tasted. And I’m sorry for coming down too early and I promise that it won’t happen again.”

At that, the Spook grinned so much that I thought his face was going to split in two; then he clapped me on the back and led me out into the garden again.

It was only when we were outside that the grin finally faded. “Well done, lad,” he said. “There are two things that respond well to flattery: boggarts and some women. Gets them every time.” – The Last Apprentice – Revenge of the Witch (hardcover) pages 94-95

In the Spook’s home is a boggart that cooks, cleans, and protects the property. While it is a friendly boggart (most of which in the book are not), it does not like people coming down to breakfast early or insulting its cooking. The result is the offender either getting boxed in the ears or their food being burned. In honor of the boggart’s breakfasts, I’m made breakfast food for lunch today (since waking up early to cook an actual breakfast is over rated).

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Plated up is some cheesy tofu scramble (this tofu recipe with a handful of Daiya), Gimme Lean sausage patties, and a drop biscuit with strawberry preserves.

The Vegg – a Review and a Recipe

The lovely people over at the Vegg sent me a sample of their product, the world’s first vegan egg yolk, to review. I was super excited because I had seen some of the dishes made with their product and it all looked yummy, plus the company seems to have a good heart since 10% of their net sales are donated to Compassion Over Killing.

Once it arrived in the mail, I made the one eggy thing I had really been missing since going vegan, scrambled eggs. Sure, tofu scramble is good and all, but still not the same thing. I followed the Vegetarian Recipe Club’s recipe for the scramble, using only 3/4 cup of water and minus the green onions, and then to make it similar to my pre-vegan dishes I threw in a sprinkle of Daiya cheddar and chopped Light Life “bacon”.

It was SO GOOD. I cannot emphasis how delicious this was and creepily similar to eggs. The texture of the tofu was eggy, but the flavor of the Vegg was what made it all stand apart from a traditional tofu scramble. After making this, I decided that even if every other dish I made was a failure, this made it worth buying.

I know that the Vegg boasts many uses to replace egg yolk and even has a spherification method, but since I never liked egg yolks in my omnivore days, I will not be reviewing that use of the product.

But the next way I used the product was to make a Vegg patty, which I made by mixing 3 tbsps of Vegg powder, 1 cup of water, and 1/2 cup of flour. I then cooked them like pancakes, using a oiled skillet and flipping them over once bubbles began to rise on the surface. The patties were then put onto an open faced English muffin with some Vegenaise, tomato slices, and chives. These were very yummy and reminded me of a good version of the uber-processed egg patties that are used in sandwiches at fast-food joints. These patties would be fantastic in a biscuit with a little margarine.

And the last thing I made with the Vegg was my own recipe! The recipe is for Vegg breakfast bites, kinda like a quick thing to grab in the morning if you don’t have time to sit down and eat. Plus since these babies pack 6 grams of protein per muffin, it’s a filling way to start off your day.

Vegg Breakfast Bites

Makes 10 muffin sized “bites”

Ingredients:

14 oz. firm tofu

1 cup cooked quinoa

3 tbsps Vegg powder

3/4 cup water

2 tsps minced garlic

1/2 tsp of each: onion powder, black pepper, and salt

1/2 cup chopped vegan bacon (I used Light Life bacon style strips)

1/4 cup loosely packed chopped basil

Directions

Preheat your oven to 400º.

In a food processor, blend the Vegg and water, then slowly add in pieces of the tofu until a smooth texture is achieved.

Put the tofu/Vegg mixture into a bowl and mix in the rest of the ingredients.

Grease a muffin tin and pour the mix into the pan, and it should make about 10 breakfast bites.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, checking for done-ness by an inserted toothpick coming out clean.

Let them cool, then enjoy! These are surprisingly good with dipping sauces, I enjoyed mine this afternoon with some ketchup and “honey mustard” dip.

So all in all, I would definitely recommend trying the Vegg. It is fantastic scrambled, fried, baked, or cooked many other ways. Check out the Vegg’s website for information on where to it is available in your area.

Food Prep Bites

I miss my kitchen at home. Not because it’s fancy or special in any way, but because there I had everything I needed (my food processor, casserole dishes of every size, a million different cookie cutters, etc.) and I didn’t have to worry about other people making a mess. But alas, I am now a college student and must learn to work my way around a dorm kitchen.

 I think that is why I love my Food Prep class so much, because every Wednesday we get to cook a meal in the new high-tech kitchen and eat it afterwards. There is no jostling for counter or stovetop space, and no worries about where to store the different tools/ingredients needed for a dish. Plus there’s the awesome fact that the teacher approves of veganism and always makes sure there are at least two recipes that are animal-free.

Last Wednesday we had a breakfast-based lab. There were lots of different breakfast foods being made, and the vegan options were broccoli quiche, gluten-free banana muffins, and pancakes. The picture above is the quiche before cooking and the one next to this text is it straight out of the oven. Sorry for the low quality pictures, my camera died right before class and I took all these on my phone.

National Pig Day!

Today is National Pig Day!

It’s not an official holiday as of yet (Congress has not made it official), but many people take this day to celebrate pigs.

Though best known for “being tasty”, pigs are very intelligent and learn quickly. Pigs have been placed fourth on the intelligence list (humans are first, primates are second, and dolphins/whales are third) and they are very social animals. Pigs form close bonds with each other and other species. They enjoy close contact and will lie close together while resting. 

In honor of Pig Day I’m making a breakfast with vegan “bacon”:

Vegan “bacon”, tofu scramble with veggies and home-made hashbrowns.

A super yummy and filling breakfast. Smart Life Bacon is also great in a BLT or crumbled on top of a salad. Way better than the cholesterol saturated strips of dead animal that most people tend to munch on in the AM.

I’ve been saving this adorable video for today:

That sure is one cute and talented piggy. I hope you have a happy Pig Day!

Mr. and Mrs. Toast Face

Forget Wheaties, this is the breakfast of champions:

That was my breakfast this morning. It’s two pieces of toast covered with Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese and peanut butter, then topped with fruit and one lonely pecan. I can’t take the credit for these awesome faces though, I found a picture of them on the cover of “Healthy Snacks for Kids” by Penny Warner. I stumbled across this book in the library and had to make this for breakfast. I named them Mr. and Mrs. Toast Face, and actually felt a little guilty for eating them after they were named. They were quite tasty though.