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Behind the video

Behind The Video: Episode 8 – Yule Log Cake

This episode Originally aired on chow.com as a holliday special.

I was somewhat against doing anything with baking because I do not consider it my main strength nor do I really care much about making fancy cakes or cookies.

Then I realized I do enjoy eating these things and make them fairly often, so why not show the world that making tasty vegan deserts does not have to be a rediculious process.  There are a few cake mixes and icing mixes available in normal grocery stores in the US that are vegan.

I mean, if you are actually going to cook from scratch, you reallly have to grow your own wheat (from seeds) harvest them and grind them on your own millstone, along with getting all of the other cake ingredients in a similar fasshion.  To some degree we all use preprepared items to make food.

Of course if you want more control over the outcome, you have to start with more basic ingredients.  Since all I really care about is having a few good sweets to eat, this does the job for me.

The main thing people wonder about vegan baking is how to bake without eggs.  For this I use EnerG Brand Egg replacer.  Egg replacer is usualy some kind of mixture of various starches (potato starch, corn starch, etc…). There are several egg replacers on the market and have even been told by some baking friends that you can even use applesauce insted of eggs.

I find that I use much more than the recomended amount on the box from an incident when first using this product.   I have found that I have never had a conesquence from using too much, but it fell apart when I used too little.

Other than that, I love German Chocolate Cake, so that is what is made.  Focus on having some fun with this.

Behind The Video Episode 7: Indian Feast of The Gods

As you can probably tell from this video, I’m a huge fan of Indian food.

My only regret was not having enough time to include some Indian bread which is almost mandatory with this stuff. Nann, Paratha, Puri, etc… The shit dreams are made of.

This video show you how to Make some Vegan Dal (indian style lentils), Vegan Pakoras (spiced fried vegetables), and Vegan Aloo Palak (Indian style spinach and potato).

Lets start with the Dal, the easiest of the 3 to make.

You can make the dal and rice as an easy meal by itself.

This is as easy as putting the dal into boiling water, adding seasoning and simmer. I like to use about 4 times as much water as the dal. You can also add things like onions or tomatos or peas here, or simmer them in some oil before you add the water and dal.

I like to make the dal fairly soft, to me the only thing that can ruin dal is if they are undercooked and too hard. Even if you leave them on the stove for a long time… it is difficult to ruin them with overcooking.

Next on to the pakoras.

Here is the only step with crazy ingredients. You will need some chickpea flour and rice flour. These can be obtatined at almost any indian or most asian stores. Sometimes chickpea flour is called Gram Flour.

Go easy on the rice flour as it can taste shitty in large amounts. Once you mix together some chickpea and rice flour, add an equal amount of regular flour. This may not be traditional but it tastes great.

Again add the indian spice mixes, salt, and garlic to taste.

You will be frying these all throught the cooking so as you do everything else just remeber to go back to the deep fryer occationially to tend to them.

Finally the Aloo Palak.

This is also a very easy dish to make once you know what you are doing.

I was not careful of how I cut the tomato, the onions, and did not even bother to cut the garlic. This is because everything is going into the blender in the end so it does not matter.

Sometimes I like to add a can of drained and rinsed red beans after the blender stage along with the potatoes Give it a try, see how you like it.

Everything else in the video is hopefully self explanitory. Indian food is often an amazing vegetarian staple. Explore this realm with these concepts. You can apply many of the techniques to several indian dishes.

Behind The Video Episode 6: Holliday Hell Roast

Episode six (which premeried on Anthony Bourdain’s: No Reservations Holiday Episode)  is one of the things I make when I want a vehicle for gravy.  To me, even back in the day when I ate meat… holiday cooking was just an excuse to get gravy into my mouth without just drinking it right from the pot.

 

This episode show you how to make a tofurky roast.  The roast is in my opinon thier best product although I have not had them all.  To me the roast tastes different from thier deli slices, various hot dog and sausage concoctions, and is what I like the best.  However I am not sure I have had it without it being covered in gravy…but why would one even do that?

 

This entire spread of food is actually incredibly easy to make and takes very little work to prepare.  Most of it just cooks itself while you go off and do something else with your time…. like play guitar for 45 min

 

The tofurky is largly following the directions on the box, pretty streight forward however I do not like to cook the vegetables with the tofurky.  I like to season the roasted vegetables quate a bit and the basic baste does not do it for me there.

I also like to make my own stuffing to go along with it as well.  The stuffing inside the tofruky is good but not great in my opinion and just some peperage farm stuffing out of the bag with some vegetable broth and vegan butter is fantastic…. With the gravy of course.

 

The roasted vegetables kinda speak for themselves.  Use any combination of vegteables you want.  If you have no idea how to season them, just experiment with a premade itialan seasoning blend from your local store.  In this I believe I used salt, pepper, oregano, basil, sage, savory, marjoram, parsley and a small amount of rosemary.  I really like the addition of chili powder to these as well.  It gives it just the right amount of kick, but as you probably have seen already, I like shit spicy.

 

The last part of the video gets saved for the best… Yes… The gravy.  Lets just say I like a lot…no more than that, it is the reason for life, at that moment at least.   I used Osem brand Connsume “chicken style” flavor of soup seasoning with it… almost any vegetable broth or stock will do so never feel like you have to get the specific brands I am using.  The roasted garlic makes this gravy and the vegetables just that damn amazing.

 

 

 

Behind The Video Episode 5: Smoothie Alchemy

After what feels like ages another video has been released.

 

To quell everyone’s concerns…. There are 2 more videos already made and done, I’m just not allowed to show them yet. They will be coming out in December.

 

The idea of how to make these smoothies came about is of course, trial and error.

 

It all starts with making really bad food (or in this case, drink) a bunch of times… and hating to eat really bad food.

 

One day I wanted to make a smoothie.

 

I took some fruit and some fruit juice and blended them together like any sensible person would.

 

The result: Blah…what a bland piece of crap drink.

 

Whats going on? When I get smoothies from smoothie places they are awesome

 

This is what they do too right?. Or is it?

 

I went immediately to a smoothie place near my house and ordered a blueberry, strawberry and banana smoothie watched them make it.

 

I saw them add the fruit, check, some juice, check…but then the key…

 

They took it over to some bottle and squirted a few squirts of “something” into the drink. I figured that something had the key to the flavor I was missing.

 

Since they did not add much of it, I figured it must be a pretty concentrated something.

 

After enjoying the smoothie, I went out to my local grocery store and took at look at what they had. I did not like to waste a lot of fruit so I figured I would give frozen fruits a try (an accidental bit of win) and then right next to the frozen fruits were all these little tubes of fruit juice concentrate.

 

I decided to give them a try figuring that was a concentrated bit of flavor. As fast as that, the most amazing smoothies i’ve ever had were born.

 

Wanting to figure out all of the best combinations available, I bought one of every package of frozen fruit and fruit juice concentrates available.

 

To my surprise, I could not make a bad combination. Everything was awesome.

 

To much more of my surprise… I had a tub of rice and pea protein powder laying around that I attempted to try a few months ago in my previous smoothie attempts.

 

That shit was seriously amongst the worst tasting tub of crap I think I have ever tried.

 

Somehow…by some miracle… Its actually good in smoothies made like this. I know you will not believe me if you have had that stuff before. I use the plain unflavored worst kind in existence.

 

Its actually good in this. Not “tolerable/think about the benefits good” It adds a purely good, heartiness to the smoothie. Give it a try.

 

With a crazy straw of course.

Behind The Video Episode 4: Hail Seitan

Alright, so this video was obviously showing how to make a few dishes with the awesomeness known as Seitan.

 

Seitan is wheat protein (gluten) as the video says. Wheat gluten has gotten some shit press lately. Everything in the world is coming out “gluten free” so much so that it probably is making people say… “I have no idea what wheat gluten is but it sounds bad for you”.

 

Let it be known Gluten is just Plant Protein… that’s it.  Its Just Plant Protein.

 

Now I was not a terribly conscious person when the “fat free” fad hit. However I do remember the start of the “Carbs are Bad” fad. What the fuck people… It sucks that industries know that if they repeat something enough people will believe it.

 

*** Begin Rant***


Now carbs are bad. Even though our body largely lives off of carbs, entire continents are largely fed by carbs (skinny people continents). Carbs are all of a sudden the fucking devil. Carbs are not the enemy… crap food (not food) that happens to be largly carbs are the enemy. Snack cookies, snack cakes, snack processed sugary drink bullshit are the carb culprits.


The new trend has now lead into wheat gluten is bad.


I completely agree with this…. IF YOU HAVE A FUCKING WHEAT ALLERGY!!!


Food allergies/intolerance’s suck in general and I feel bad for people that have them. Luckily there are a shit ton of (vegan) food choices in this world. A shit ton.


However this bullshit going around about (wheat) gluten free this and that without mass amounts of people either getting tested for a wheat allergy or even doing their own real form of testing….is just playing into marketing hype. Food is in now and where there is money there is the marketing to convince you to part with your money.


To me gluten free, fat free (not naturally fat free), whatever products are an abomination to food (unless you have an allergy). Wheat and other vegetables have a lot of protein in them. Its what makes pasta pasta and not dust, it makes rice substantial, it makes it a myth that vegans need some other place to “get their protein”


So people, please do not buy into the gluten free fad without really looking into this for yourself.


Shit carbs are bad for you, shit fat is bad for you… not the gross generalities that the food industry makes to scare your money out of you or allow you to justify yourself for eating some junk snack with no fat but tons of sugar and other crap. I like sugar, but I eat it in meals with nutritious things to fill you up and satiate your body and not snacks which do nothing for you.


*** End Rant***


Anyways…

 

The video starts off with A Seitanic Udon Noodle Stirfry.

 

Udon Noodles kick ass. They are a large soft noodle used in Japanese Cooking. They can be found in either vacuum wrapped packages or ,Unknown to many people, in the frozen section of an Asian store.

 

Now sometimes in the asian store some noodle packages will attempt to trick people by writing udon noodle on the product when it clearly isnt. Udon Noodles are not ramen noodles. They do not look like them…at all.

 

Now of course you can use any type of (Asian) noodles in this dish. This is the main concept of making a Noodle stirfry in general. With many noodles, you want to boil them for a short amount of time, then allow the sauce to cook them the rest of the way as they get steamed and fried in the pan.

 

Making the sauce separately allows you to control it a bit better, and does not screw up your vegetables/setian at all while they cook to a crisp perfection. Add the sauce in just before you add the noodles and you will have awesomely crisp vegetables instead of a saggy salty mess.

 

To make a non vegan analogy to the non vegans reading this. The Seitan will semi resemble Asian restaurant Pork in taste and texture.

 

The second dish goes on to make a Seitanic Curry. Normal Indian cooking does not use a bunch of bell peppers typically. I did this on purpose because 1) this is actually really good, and 2) I wanted to get into normal Indian cooking a bit later.

 

I am a huge fucking fan of Indian food and have figured out many tricks and secrets to make home non Indian person cooking on par with some of the best Indian restaurants around.

 

This is so extensive I will make a separate blog post on it later. Until then, just follow along with the video and you should be good. If you can get curry powder mixes from an Indian or Asian store that will be better… Although the cheap Bandia brand curry powder is good for 1 of the 2, yet very lacking on its own.

 

Finally, The video ends with an awesome quick favorite of mine. The Barbecue Seitan Sandwiches. These, are fucking great. Add some bell pepper to it as well if you want. I like them in Pita bread to reduce the mess, but they are just awesome.

 

Thanks for lasting through this rant of a blog post, and of course…

 

Hail Seitan.

Behind The Video Episode 3: Tempura Asparagus Sushi

Why no list of ingredients?

 

I refrained from putting a list of ingredients at the start of this one mainly because it would take up too much time and have too many optional ingredients.

 

If you want something writen down so you can see easily here it is…

 

 

Rice:

 

Jasmine rice

Sugar

Salt

White Vinegar (or Rice wine vinegar)

 

The batter/breading:

 

Self rising flour

White wine

Salt

Garlic powder (optional)

 

Breading – Panko Japanese breadcrumbs

 

 

Sushi Filling

 

Tempura asparagus

Nori (dried seaweed sheets)

I usually just add some bell pepper, or avocado, or thin pieces of green onion

Flied Garlic (optional…but really good)

Tofutti Brand “Better Than Cream Cheese” (Garlic and Herb Flavor)(more on this below)

 

Seaweed salad (more on this below also)

 

 

Runes, spikes, Ice and Woods…

 

Someone wrote that I should warn people that the Viking Roll and Black Metal Rolls were a joke and not to eat them….

 

Should every knife be labeled “do not cut head off with”

 

Just doing my part to pull the weeds of humanity. If you are smart enough to turn on a computer and find youtube… you should be smart enough to ride this ride.

 

 

Lets talk about Tofutti Brand “Better than Cream Cheese” (Garlic and Herb Flavor) for a second.

 

This stuff…. I keep going back and fourth about.

 

First thing to be said is that it is pretty much always good on sushi as long as you don’t go absolutely nuts with it.

 

On other things,like bagels, sometimes I think its terrible and just when I have my mind made up that its really terrible, I will have it on a cinnamon raisin bagel and its really good. So I keep flip flopping on this shit in general but try it for yourself.

 

 

On seaweed salad

 

One person wrote “show us how to make the seaweed salad”!

 

To this I reply… I dont think I have ever seen the parts of seaweed salad sold separately. I have only seen it as a prepackaged already put together thing.

 

You can buy it in little packs in the frozen or refrigerated section of your Asian store. Here is another thing where you might have to try out a few different brands. Good Seaweed salad is fucking amazing and you will never leave a place that sells it without having some again. However there also exists bad seaweed salad.

 

Bad Seaweed salad can be horrible and often tastes like you are licking a large wet dog…not that I know what that tastes like.

 

So in conclusion… one last piece of advice. Make this shit! It is seriously really really fucking good. I eat this once or twice a month at least Enjoy the fine aroma of your asparagus pee as you peer into the toilet to read your fate of the viking roll you just ate.

 

 

 

 

 

Behind the Video: Episode 2 – Easy Meal Ideas of The Ages

This video showed some…..big suprise……. easy vegan meal ideas.

Lets take a closer look at them.

 

All star redneck Medley

 

The most common question that comes up from non U.S. viewers is “What the fuck is Earth Balance”?

 

Earth balance is just a really good vegan butter substitute. I’m sure there are other ones in other countries. If you get the chance to try earth balance, do it…its actually better than butter. Seriously that what my non vegan friends have said when they try it.

 

The rest of the recipe is not rocket science. It was not intended to be the height of culinary amazingness.

 

It focused on 1) tasting awesome and 2) being EASY for this video. This is an awesome easy meal that I make at least once or twice a month.

 

Brussels Sprouts, Mushrooms and Red Pepper sauted in Truffle Oil.

 

There are 2 main pitfalls when making this.

 

First of all.. the amount of truffle oil that you add.

 

Truffle oil is some tasty shit…. like all other tasty shit this is a double edged sword. If you add too much its wayyyyyyyyyyyy too tasty. Again this will take a time or 2 to get just right with your tastes.

 

The second main pitfall of this dish is not cooking the Brussels sprouts long enough. They should be thoroughly cooked in the end, a little blackened on the bottom and when you taste one have no “raw Brussels sprouts” taste. Same with the mushrooms, they should have all of the “raw mushroom taste” cooked out of them. Try one before you take them out.

 

Sometimes you may also just get a bad batch of Brussels sprouts. Even if you remove the outer green leaves if this still comes out a little bitter after them being totally cooked…. it may just be the sprouts. Go to a different grocery store or produce stand and try a different batch. If the batch is pretty good than this will come out amazing.

 

 

Vegetable Pasta Upon The Throne Of The Apocalypse.

 

One question that has come up is “what is this soup seasoning”. I used Osem brand “chicken style” “consomme”. Soup seasoning in general is just like a dehydrated vegetable stock. A bollion cube or in this case a powder. If this brand is not available where you are there are many others that do the trick. I also like Vegita brand a lot.

 

This post will be updated as more questions or issues arise.

 

Behind The video: Episode 1 – Pad Thai

I’m going to talk for a moment about frequent questions and concerns when making the vegan pad thai.

 

•First of all the amount of rice noodles vs sauce is very important. In the video I used 1/2 lb of rice noodles.  This is the one quantity I gave in the description because I did not think it was clear from the video.  Rice noodles are pretty much the most bland thing on the planet. If you don’t believe me, boil one in unsalted water and give it a try.

 

We can use this knowledge to our advantage when making the pad thai. If the pad thai comes out too “flavor full” in any way, it can be saved a bit by adding some more rice noodles. If it comes out too bland, then it needs some more of the sauce ingredients.

 

Do not put salt in the water when boiling the noodles. The whole thing will be way too salty if you do. We are counting on the noodles being very bland to soak up the intense flavors.

 

This may take a time or 2 of making it to Taylor the flavor to you individual likings.

 

 

• A note on the tamarind.

 

Not everyone will be able to find tamarind soup base. I often find this in asian grocery stores but thats about it.

 

In many hispanic oriented places I can often find tamarind paste. If you use the paste you just have to take out the hard seeds or disolve some in hot water to take the seeds out.

 

One other thing you can use is “tamarind nectar” which can often be found on the Hispanic isle of many supermarkets. This is very watery so you would not add extra water. Surprisingly all 3 of these taste pretty similar and will all make a good pad thai.

 

This article will be updated as more questions or issues arise.