The RVegan Kitchen Moves Into The House

I started another blog, The RVegan Kitchen, last summer when we were living in the trailer in Oregon. Then I stopped. Too much work to cook and photograph at the same time. So I've been watching that sad little blog sit there, with a whopping 12 followers, and about 2 hits -- accidental, most likely -- a week. I really don't need to be reminded of my failed projects. Hey, some things work, some don't. And today is the day to say, Off with her head, to the RVegan Kitchen. I've transferred 3 entries over here, because I see no reason to write these recipes again. Next I'll delete the cooking blog, and set those 12 hungry people free. I will, however, continue to post recipes for you here every so often. This blog is about my life, which includes cooking, and maybe, someday, a completed cooking book. I'm still making food and taking notes. But I have to admit to being totally baffled as to how to turn it all into an actual book. I'll know when I need to, I guess. Till then, I hope to see you back here whenever you can make it. Topics will vary from day to day. That's how life works, right? Narrow focus is not of much interest to me after all.

Here you go. Make some lunch. Feed somebody.

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Eggless Salad

I know I just did this on my other blog, but I want to migrate all the food over here. So here it is again, my very wonderful Eggless Salad. In these times of tainted eggs and greedy corporate farming, this one really makes sense.

To make enough Eggless Salad for about 3-4 sandwiches or wraps, use half of a package of tofu. I usually buy "firm" tofu, and always buy organic, non-GMO soy foods. Place your hunk of tofu in a clean dish towel, twist it up, and give it a few good squeezes over the sink. This will remove some of the excess liquid, leaving room for you to add back flavorful moisture without making it into a runny mess.

  

Crumble the squeezed tofu into a mixing bowl with your fingers. It's fun. Then stir in a blop of Vegenaise (made without eggs, and very tasty), and a good squirt of mustard, for flavor and eggy yellow-ness. Basically, make this any way you normally make egg salad. I like to add chopped dill pickles, chopped celery, black olives, salt, pepper, and paprika, to mimic my mom's deviled eggs, which were heavenly.




It couldn't be easier. And really, it's really good. Use it in sandwiches and wraps, or if you're watching your carbs, add a nice scoop to the top of a green salad or make lettuce wraps. You can also give it a finer texture with lots of tiny chopped olives and serve it as a dip. This stuff is versatile, and I'll bet the egg-eaters in your family will love it too!


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Finally Got My Grill Pan

I've been wishing really hard for a stovetop grill pan for years. Literally years. I knew I could make some amazing food with one of these, but couldn't talk Rick into thinking it was a good idea. My super-logical Virgo Boy thought it would be too heavy for RV travel, and take up too much space to justify it's limited usefulness. After all, we do have a perfectly good campfire right outside our door. So I kept the grill pan on my Amazon wish list, and agreed to try one of those wire basket thingies you use over an open fire. It made nice tasting veggies, but I hated the bits of charcoal soot that got stuck to the food, and crunched in a really creepy sandy way when I chomped into them. I proclaimed the wire basket thingie insufficient, and went back to wishing for a grill pan.

Yesterday when Rick and I were in Medford, I remembered that I had a Kohl's gift card in my wallet, given to me by my sister for my birthday in July. We wandered through the store, looking for the Perfect Thing... I need a new Camp Ninja Bathrobe, but nothing was quite right. I looked at purses and shoes, but nothing grabbed me there either. I considered a new shower curtain. Nah. Boring. And then I remembered my grill pan fantasy and said, Come on honey! We're going to Cookware! And there it was, practically singing to me from across the aisle. The Grill Pan of my dreams. It's a Food Network Cookingreen 11" model, made from cast recycled aluminum. It's light weight and lovely, and I snapped it right up and took it home to test it out.

We were so excited about our new pan, we forgot to go to the store for something to cook in it. Fortunately, Ranger Bonnie had given us a beautiful yellow squash from her garden, so I sliced that baby up, coated it with garlic-steeped olive oil, and got grilling. I let it cook for about 3-4 minutes on one side, until it just started to get soft, and then flipped it over for a few more minutes. When it was done I sprinkled it with some coarse sea salt, and OHMYGOD... The result was delicious. Honestly, it was the best yellow squash I'd ever eaten.




As luck would have it, Ranger Bonnie brought us another squash today, just an hour or so before lunchtime. This was very good news indeed, as I had no idea what to make today. Somebody really needs to go grocery shopping. But inspired by squash and my new grill pan, I rummaged through the fridge and pulled out a few stray items and set to work. 

I cut the squash lengthwise this time, and grilled it in only a tiny smidge of the best olive oil we have. The cooking was less smoky, and the finished product was just as delicious as the oilier version last night. I also grilled some red bell pepper, and then "buttered" some good grainy bread with Earth Balance Organic Buttery Spread, and slapped that on the grill too. We call it "butter" for simplicity, but it's animal product free, much healthier for you than butter, and tastes really great. (Iwish they paid me to plug these products!) 




While everything was grilling, I stirred up some Chipotle Mayo, made with Vegenaise (they got their plug the other day), chipotle powder, a squirt of fresh lemon juice, and a teaspoon or so of the good olive oil. Then I assembled everything into sandwiches with lettuce and tomato, and handed a plate over to Ranger Rick.



I think I can say with some certainty, Rick is now a big fan of the grill pan too.


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Grand Canyon Caesar

love the Grand Canyon. Rick and I have been there several times, and each time we stay a little longer. We do some hiking, some condor watching, some rim sitting, and of course, some eating. One of the restaurants at the south rim serves a crazy good southwest caesar, which we order every time we're there, and have recently modified at home, to a vegan friendly version, minus the typical anchovies and cheese. This salad is a meal in itself, but of course you could serve it alongside something else if you're so inclined.

Start with some nice romaine, or other favorite lettuce if you prefer. Add a can of drained, rinsed beans, like black or pinto beans, a small can of sliced olives, chopped red bell pepper, fresh or frozen corn (organic!), and maybe some sliced jalapenos if you like it spicy. Red onion is also good in this, but I don't like raw onions. - they keep me awake at night - so you don't see them here. Sometimes I also throw in some cooked brown rice, to combine with the beans for more complete protein and added fiber. You can't have too much fiber, I always say...


The dressing is made with a little bit of mayo (Vegenaise here), olive oil, dijon mustard, lemon juice, garlic, nutritional yeast (for a nice cheesiness), chipotle powder, salt, pepper, and a touch of sweetener - we use stevia drops or brown rice syrup. 



Whisk the dressing together, adjusting flavors as you go, and toss it in with the salad. This salad is really Rick's specialty, so I "let" him make it this time. Maybe I should have suggested he do something about his hair before I turned the camera on him. But he's cute anyway, isn't he?


Once the salad is all tossed together, serve it up on plates with avocado slices on top, and some good organic corn tortilla chips. Make it pretty if you're serving it to company, and then suggest that they crumble the chips onto the salad for a great "crouton" crunch. And don't forget the beer! 



Comments

Levonne said…
Yum! Good choice to combine! I've just got onto quinoa. Had it twice this week. Love it. Don't know what took me so long. A nice quinoa recipe (as a main dish) would be nice.