Here is a meal idea for a twist on the standard burger or vegan “chicken” sandwich.
This will use what you learn in Episode 10 and apply it as a quick way to make a vegan burger awesome.
(Note: I typically only eat one of these as a meal, but here are 2 examples)
Start by putting the frozen vegan burger or vegan “chicken” into the toaster oven for about 12 minutes
Next, if it is the burger, take it out and put in your frozen bagles – for another 8 – 10 minutes
(for fresh bagles, they do not need as long to toast)
Leave the “chicken” patty in if you are making that
For The Buffalo Burger: Heat up a pan and pour in some buffalo sauce and a bit of earth balance (just like episode 10).
Do not use a crazy amount of earth balance though or else it will be too salty. Throw your burger in and saute it for a few minutes.
Turn the heat off on your pan and smear some veganaise on your now toasted bagel.
Plop on some lettuce and your buffalo burger. Freak out at how amazing it is.
For the Vegan “Chicken” Sandwich… Again get some vegainaise on an everything bagel. Then put some “Fakon” bits on there (I used Bacos). You can also get some pepper in there if you want.
I like to top this with lettuce and a slice of red bell pepper
This is a response to an email I received on asking advice to overcome creative blocks. I felt it worth publishing here.
“Creative blocks are a natural part of this process as anyone who does anything creative knows. One is not ‘on’ all the time. Here are a few of the things I do to get myself out of a rut.”
Have a purpose -Why are you doing what you are doing? Be sure to begin with the end in mind on what you want. This purpose does not prevent blocks, but gives the power to get through them. If you are not enjoying what you are doing and do not have a purpose for doing it, life is going to suck. Yes your life.
Keep on Keeping on – With that said purpose in mind, when blocks arise… do something, do ANYTHING to just keep hacking at the problem. Even if it is something uncreative, there are usually creative and uncreative parts of any project. Keep doing whatever you can while you think of a solution.
Keep learning something new in your field every day – Seriously, take some time each and every day to sharpen your skills even .001 percent. Years down the road when you have amassed a lot of skill, .001 percent at that level is a lot compared to the person just starting out. Its effects are compounding. Watch youtube videos in your field to get inspiration.
Liberate yourself to acquire the tools you need to have the most fun – If the tools are hardware, software, or education (or all of them), liberate yourself to spend the time, money, and energy required to obtain them.
Have fun in life – The rest of the valley prepares one to climb the next peak. If you are constantly climbing peaks you will come to hate them rather than enjoy their victory. Eventually you may see a peak that is too hard for you to climb at your current worn out level.
Learn how you work best – I have learned that my body has visceral reactions to deadlines concerning creative projects. Every time I have a self imposed or not self imposed deadline, I waste more energy thinking about how stressed I am than I put into the projects. If you enjoy what you are doing (not trying to avoid it) then you will still get things done in a timely fashion.
Alternate creative activities throughout the day with something mechanical if possible. – Doing constant creativity can usually lead to burn out, but if you mix it in with something mechanical, even monotonous uncreative work that keeps leading you toward you goal it provides a good brain break.
One myth that you hear all the time is that “veganism is so expensive”, “Oh if I could just afford to be vegan”, “Veganism is just a rich folks thing” etc…
If you buy only prepackaged convenience food (which you will get sick of within a month or two), or you attempt to buy every analogue vegan meat and dairy product on the market, and every vegan analogue snack food (especially the one with no nutritional value) than this could be true for you.
I have no problem with buying some analogue meat and dairy products. If they are thought of as components of a meal as opposed to meals themselves they really shine. Not to mention Soy/Almond/Coconut milk lasts a very long time in the fridge.
Instead of thinking that veganism means buying every type of meat and cheese substitute,… instead think… “what new can I try today from my own or any other culture in the world”.
If this is your mindset, all of a sudden veganism is incredibly inexpensive.
This article will not even get into numbers yet, lets just analyze the ingredients from a few VBMC episodes to see how expensive veganism is.
Episode 1: The infamous vegan pad thai dish.
The ingredients include: Tofu, Bean Sprouts, a tomato, Peanuts, Siracha and Chili powder, Garlic and Garlic Powder, Green Onions, Sugar, Tamarind Paste or Tamarind Soup Base, Salt, Rice Noodles, Cilantro, A Lime is optional, Vinegar
Is anything in there even remotely expensive?
Episode 2: Easy meal ideas of the ages.
The ingredients in meal 1: A can of baked beans, a can of corn, some potatoes, earth balance, salt, garlic, sugar, green onion.
The ingredients in meal 2: Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, bell pepper, canola oil, truffle oil, rice, some soup seasoning, salt, pepper
The ingredients in meal 3: Pasta, mushrooms, onions, bell pepper, garlic, red wine (cheap resealable red wine), soup seasoning, salt, pepper, earth balance, bread, Italian seasoning.
WAIT A SECOND! Truffle oil is like 15 bucks!!!!
Yes truffle oil is 15 dollars for a small bottle. However you use so little of it each meal that the bottle lasts me about a year making this dish as many times as I would ever want (and sometimes I eat it a lot!). If something costs 15 dollars a year for many uses… its cheap.
It becomes obvious to see that none of these ingredients are expensive!
Episode 3: Tempura asparagus sushi.
Ingredients include: asparagus, nori (seaweed sheets), jasmine rice, salt, sugar, vinegar, flour, white wine, garlic powder, panko bread crumbs, asparagus, bell pepper, seaweed salad, avocado, and various other shit I do not usually use but this sums up what I typically use.
Nori purchased at an Asian store in bulk is about 10 dollars for 100 sheets. That is only 10 cents a sheet! Panko also purchased in bulk is very inexpensive.
Once again, nothing is expensive! The seaweed salad my be the only item even semi approaching anything to be considered expensive depending on how much you buy.
Please do this exercise in your mind for the rest of the episodes. Except for the tofurkey, nothing in any episodes are remotely expensive.
I personally feel I eat like a king for around 2 dollars to 2.50 a meal on average. And that is because I do not skimp on anything.
Thank you everyone for making year one of the Vegan Black Metal Chef so damn fun and awesome for me. I have had a great time making the videos and songs/look forward to an even better year 2. Every day I attempt to grow a bit in every way to make the videos and the music better and better. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoy making them. If you dig this shit, please consider getting an Album, DVD or Both. I try to keep shit super cheap and work off of numbers. The support with this and even just sharing the videos will propel year 2 onward and upward. Thanks in advance for everything to all of the fans.
You can get the album or dvd in the links to the right ==================>
or the DVD and other merch (shirts, stickers, buttons etc…) in the merch tab above.
I can hardly think of another way a person can make so much of a difference in the world than going vegan.
One lifestyle path, not needing the actions of anyone else which has innumerable consequences
This article will not site any studies, lay out any disputable statistics, or otherwise suggest anything subtle and hard to detect. When looked at from even an “armchair” perspective, the conclusions are obvious.
Vegansim can solve or help significantly solve several of today’s most pressing problems.
1) Cost of Health Care
2) World Hunger
3) Greatly aid in cutting back pollution
First of all lets think about the cost of health care. Now its well known that one can be a junk food vegan and that all vegan food is not necessarily a “health food”. There are vegan cakes, pies, “n-ice cream”, fried food, sugar, preservatives, snack crackers and cookies.
Having said this however, ask yourself this question. Would the cost of health care be far less expensive or far more expensive if everyone in your country were vegan? The answer is still obvious. The cost of health care would plummet.
If everyone switched to a plant based vegan diet and brought consciousness to their actions, it is my opinion that incidences of heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, along with many other preventable illnesses would be drastically reduced.
Something strange might arise, health care might become so inexpensive that there might be an abundance of resources to treat all those with genetic and less preventable illnesses of all types.
The debate of universal health care in the united states and other countries is a heated one where people try to distribute extremely limited resources and expensive treatments. The cost of funding this is already astronomical and growing. Even if we only lessened the incidence of heart disease and obesity, just imagine the cost savings.
One does not even have to be a “health nut” while on a vegan diet to overall eat much better and be far more healthy.
Second of all, veganism helps solve the issue of world hunger and the increasing cost of food.
People in western countries only enjoy the amount of meat they currently eat at the current price because of intensive factory farming of animals, and the use of agricultural land to feed these animals that could be feeding many times more people.
Just think about how much more a cow or even a chicken has to eat to make a relatively small amount of food for people. These cows are not being fed grass and grazing upon the open hills, nor are the chickens eating various seeds and insects from the ground. They are both being fed corn and soybeans (among other grains and even ground up pieces of cow and chicken). These plants could be used much more efficiently to feed people instead.
This would create a large surplus of some plant based foods decreasing the prices around the world dramatically. Again, no studies or statistics are needed because its so obvious.
If everyone in India and china adopted the same diet as Americans (as they increasingly are), the current american food model would quickly become unsustainable.
What if this simple action of veganism not only decreased the food prices for everyone in the world… but helped cure one of the most disgusting problems of all… The sad truth is that currently people in the world do not starve because there is not enough food. They starve because they can not afford the food that is available and all around them.
Lastly bring your attention to the cutting back of pollution and use of energy and water sources in general.
Weather you care or believe in human caused global warming or not is irrelevant. Everyone on the other hand wants to breathe clean air, drink clean water, and have energy be affordable to do what they want with it.
The obvious fact is, there is tremendous waste in the consumption of animal products as opposed to a vegan diet. All of the fuel, water, and human labor used to manufacture and transport the food to animal farms, the fuel, water, and human labor to manufacture and transport the animals to make into food for humans would be conserved. The lakes of animal manure and factory farm waste, no more.
Animals must eat may times the weight in food to produce the same amount of food for humans. This means that all of the inefficiencies and use of resources that go into this process is horridly wasted in relation to its plant based alternative.
Just think for a moment of all the meat consumed in the world. All the fast food restaurants, all of the slow food restaurants, all of the grocery stores, everything of that nature. Each bit of meat, dairy, and all animal products represent a mountain of wasted resources. Who knows, with such inefficiency eliminated… there might just be abundance for all.
This is of course just the tip of the iceberg. It does not even touch on such obvious topics as the hormones pumped into meat, non objective topics such as ethics, resistant germs from antibiotics, etc..
There are many other grave problems in the world such as human trafficking and things of that nature that need to be solved. However many of these problems can not be solved without policing, changing of other peoples actions and many things beyond ones immediate control.
In comparison to things like this… all of the problems mentioned in this essay are really an easy fix in which you are either directly part of the cause or directly part of the solution…
What could you possibly have more control over than what you put in your mouth?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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***
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…