Mom’s old tater tot casserole is a comfort food icon and a dish that will warm the recesses of your heart. It was sure good tasting and full of love but not all that good for you.
Well, now you can enjoy this all-time favorite without the unhealthy side effects. Here is a recipe that hits all the taste buds as well as the texture and mouth feel. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
1 32oz bag Tater Tots
2 tablespoons Vegan Butter (Earth Balance is the brand I use)
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups plain almond milk or other vegan milk (I use almond milk)
1 cup vegetable broth
1 teaspoon salt (optional) (I use seasoned salt)
3 tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 portobello mushroom, diced
1/2 sweet onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups ground crumbles
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium saucepan, melt butter and add flour, stirring until a paste then cook for 1-2 minutes, don’t let it brown.
On medium-high heat; slowly add broth and then the milk a little at a time constantly whisking.
Mix corn starch with cold water in a small bowl until it becomes a slurry. Add in cornstarch 1 tablespoon at a time, while heating to a boil, stirring constantly. Once it starts to boil, reduce heat to low, then taste. Depending on the saltiness of the broth you used, you can add 1 teaspoon salt and some black pepper to your taste.
In a skillet, saute the diced mushroom in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil until soft.
Add cooked mushrooms to the soup mixture.
Then, saute onions and garlic in the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, till onions are clear. Be sure not to scorch or burn the garlic because they will become bitter.
Brown ground crumbles in a little oil then combine it with the onion & garlic mixture, also add the frozen vegetables to this mixture at this time.
In lightly oiled 12″ x 8″ casserole dish, layer with the crumble mixture on the bottom, then the mushroom soup on top of that, and then completely cover top with frozen tater tots.
Bake uncovered for about 55-60 mins. At the very end you can broil the top to brown the tater tots a bit more if you like them more crispy. Serve warm!
That’s right folks its that time of year again where you get to vote for your favorite Vegan products, restaurants, people and organizations.
It only takes a few minutes and its a great way to pay homage to your favorites, not to mention the opportunity to win some great prizes.
Click on the banner above to get started or click here.
This last 4th of July weekend I traveled to the most Vegan friendly city in America, Portland, Oregon. While I was there I was determined to sample some of that cities great Vegan fare.
When we arrived with no reservations on a Friday night around 6pm. We asked for a table and were told that they were all booked up and the wait would be about an hour and a half unless we wanted to dine at the bar. My party and I where hungry and so we agreed to sit at the bar.
The menu offered a limited amount of plates but this is a Trattoria which in Italy is larger than a cafe but smaller than a full restaurant and so the menu reflected that nicely. The offerings hit some of the traditional Italian fare. Gnocchi, ravioli, manicotti and much more.
They have a tasting menu, for $38, where you choose any three items from the menu and one desert. What else would any self respecting food blogger do than to order the tasting menu while reviewing a restaurant? I was there with two other people, so we all ordered the tasting menu and snuck tastes from each others plates, you know… so I could review a wide variety of their offerings.
We started with a basic kale caesar and an order of roasted rainbow carrots. Both were very good. The ceasar salad dressing was outstanding, they sell it there by the bottle. We were told that the portion sizes where a little smaller because it was the tasting menu size.
In my Italian family gnocchi is the king, the dish of all dishes, served only with pesto and not red sauce, so one of the first things I look for on a menu at an Italian restaurant is the gnocchi and if its served with pesto or red sauce. Portobello serves a gnocchi that is the best I have had this side of my grandmother’s homemade gnocchi. They add a few wonderful twists by first pan crisping the gnocchi leaving it a bit caramelized and crispy on one side as well as adding some finely chopped broccolini and a few cherry tomatoes, wow! It was so good I ate half of it before remembering to snap a photo. (This happens way too often to me it seems).
Seeing manicotti on the menu was a surprise to me because manicotti is mostly cheese and in my opinion is hard to make Vegan and still have that rustic Italian flavor and mouth feel. Well Portobello has done it well. Filled with spinach creamed cauliflower topped in marinara sauce and sprinkled with walnut parmesan.
I also ordered the breaded abalone mushroom with potato celeriac gratin, wilted spinach and dill lemon dressing. It was good but reminded all of us of a piece of English style fish & purple potato chips.
On to the desert.
One of us had the salted caramel sundae. It was salted caramel ice cream, caramels sauce, hot fudge, coconut whipped cream and candied walnuts. It was so good. All the flavors worked so well together and was not too sweet as to make you want to put down the spoon for a break.
We also enjoyed a s’more baked alaska. It was a meringue (made from aquafaba) covered chocolate ice cream with a graham cracker bottom. (It is not on the website menu pic above). Again, another outstanding desert. Spot on!
My understanding is that they change their menu items occasionally. While on Yelp looking at the reviews for Portobello I saw photos (290 of them) of plates that some of which were not offered the day we were there. All in all I will be back again. It was high quality food with friendly service and the only all Vegan Italian restaurant I have seen. 4 and a half stars out of 5.
A new Vegan life style series is debuting on the A&E channel July 27th @ 7:30am EST. The star and host of the show will be Nafsika Antypas. The show will be called PlantBased by Nafsika.
The show will have cooking demos, interactive segments, interviews with celebrity guests, nutritional experts and more, all while exploring the life style and living healthy.
I say its about time. Lets hope it does well and can continue on for years to come.
Below you will see the A&E show info.
TELEVISION SHOW: Plant-based, by Nafsika
RUN TIME: 30 Min
GENRE: Lifestyle / Food / Health & Wellness
AIRING DATES: July 27th, 2016 – August 31st, 2016
AIRING TIME: 7:30am – 8am
RECURRING DAY: Wednesday
WEEKS AIRING: 6
TOTAL ORIGINAL EPISODES: 12
REACH: 70 Million Households
REGIONS: National, United States
LISTINGS Cable / Satellite / IPTV
DISH NETWORK 119
C-BAND AMC 18 Channel 201
AT&T U-VERSE 1272 / 272 (SD)
SOUTHERN FIBER NET: 1215 / 215 (SD)
(Available on most cable providers)
Impossible Food’s has made a 100% Vegan burger that looks, cooks, tastes and smells like ground beef and even bleeds like a real burger.
It is rumored that it will be offered in selected restaurants in New York, Los Angels and San Francisco first. Then eventually it will be sold like ground beef in the stores and on the menu in other restaurants in the U.S.
From what I have seen it may be too realistic in flavor, look and taste for some Vegetarians and Vegans to stomach. It is so realistic it even bleeds juices when it cooks.
Google tried to buy this company for 200-300 million but was unable to come to an agreement on price. While Microsoft’s Bill Gates has invested in the company.
The possibilities for the use of this product are endless and I can hardly wait to try some as a burger, meat balls, or meatloaf.
Check out the companies website. I am sure they will be creating even more impossible foods very soon!
The 5th Annual 2016 Food Revolution Summit is just two days away! If you want to be informed and empowered and if you want to find out how you can prevent heart disease, cancer, diabetes, fatigue, poor sleep and other heath issues with food as well as improve your over all life then the Food Revolution Summit is for you. The best part is that it is completely FREE!!!! And you don’t have to leave your home to take advantage of it!!
Listen, watch and learn right in front of your home computer!
You will learn from 24 speakers and topics:
- Dr. Dean Ornish, M.D. – The Four Pillars Of Lasting Health
- Dr. Joel Fuhrman, M.D. – How to Eat And Live
- Dr. Neal Barnard, M.D. – How to kickstart Your Health
- Dr. Dan amen, M.D. – The Brain Warriors way
- Dr. Jane Goodall, Ph.D., DBE – Sowing The Seeds Of Hope
- Dr. Mark Hyman, M.D. – Foods That Harm & Foods That Heal
- Senator Cory Booker – Sane Food Policy: We Can Do it!!
- Vani Hari – Protect Your Family From Toxic Food
- Andrew Kimbrell – The Truth About Genetically Engineered Food
- Ritamarie Loscalzo, DC, CCN – Healthy Digestion for a Healthy Life
- Dr. Michael Greger, M.D. – Affordable Super Foods For Lasting Super Health
- Dr. Susan Peirce, Ph.D. – How To Achieve Permanent Weight Loss
- Dr. David Perlmutter, M.D. – The Gut-Brain Connection
- Gene Baur – How Compassion Can Change Your Life
- Dr. David Katz, M.D. – The Optimal Diet For Human Beings
- Ron Finley – Growing Healthy Food & Communities
- Chris Wark – Use Nutrition To Fight Cancer
- Ronnie Cummins – Cook Organic, Not The Planet
- Marion Nestle – Taking On Big Soda (And Winning!)
- Dr. Vandana Shiva, Ph.D – Stand Up For Your Planet
- Dr. Mimi Guarneri, M.D. – Putting Integrative Heath To Work For You
- Dr. Michael Klaper, M.D. – Our Best Hope For A livable World
- Robyn O’Brien – Food Safety: What You Need To Know
- Dr. Christiane Northrup, M.D. – Goddesses Never Age
Take advantage of these great minds in health, I know I am!
You will never look at your food the same way again!
Do yourself and your body a favor and check out this outstanding new documentary “Food Choices”. This film is chalked full of the latest health information from the leading scientist and experts in the field of health and nutrition.
You can watch this outstanding documentary for free during the world wide free viewing event that ends in just 14 hours from the time of this post. So get to the site and give the movie a watch you will be so glad you did!
Click on the link below and then click the “Watch the film NOW!” box.
The vegan egg? Sounds like a contradiction. Well Follow Your Heart has a history of producing contradicting foods and this is a good thing. I just love this company and its products.
This product, the Vegan Egg is so close to the real thing its scary. As a matter of fact it was so much like scrambled eggs that I almost could not bring myself to taste it. (it kinda grossed me out, it being so close to real eggs)
I have scrambled them, making breakfast burritos and I have also baked with it making a pan of fresh corn bread which turned out wonderfully!
It comes packaged in an egg carton then sealed in a plastic bag and packaged with a little facts & tips paper flyer.
Two level table spoons of the powder mixed with 1/2 cup of ice cold water makes 1 egg equivalent. There is enough powder to make a dozen eggs. The thickness of the hydrated mixture is thicker than a real egg, which made me double check the instruction to be sure I had used the correct amounts, and I had.
When I opened the bag I could smell a very distinct smell of eggyness (sulfur) which once the water was added and it started to cook went away.
Below I show the different stages of the scramble, it does take a bit longer to scramble than a real egg. This first image below is about 2 minutes into the cooking.
As it continues to cook it becomes thicker and starts to scramble like a real egg until you have what is seen below a vegan scrambled “egg”.
The taste is not really strong of any flavor, actually it was mild to tasteless. The sulfur-eggy smell I had smelled when I opened the bag was completely gone. The texture was definitely egg like as well as the mouth feel. I rolled this scramble into a breakfast burrito and it was good. It also really worked well in a pan of corn bread I made, it was outstanding.
All in all I am looking forward to making more things with it, experimenting with it in recipes that normally require eggs. I am sure we will be seeing a lot more Vegan recipes using this product very soon.
I think it is a great addition to any Vegan’s pantry. I know it has won a place in mine.
Late last year I found out that my favorite 100% Gourmet Vegan restaurant, “Sutra” was closing because the building that they where in was going to be bull dozed and apartments where going to be built in its place. The video below was made before Harvest Beat was a reality and the news of Sutra’s soon closing had just come out. The owners of the new Harvest Beat, Aaron and Jan Geibel, are the ones in this video and it shows their dedication to the food, farmers and you the customer. This is exactly what you get at Harvest Beat!
Well, Aaron and Jan Geibel have now opened a new 100% Gourmet Vegan restaurant, “Harvest Beat” and its literally just a few doors up the street from the old Sutra location.
Harvest Beat has been open now for three months and I was able to dine there this last weekend. Wow, the quality of the food and service was top notch and I think Harvest Beat has kept the quality that Sutra had. Harvest Beat has a few things over the old Sutra through. First, the dinning area is around four times bigger which translates to more comfort, with real tables & chairs, not stools & small tables like Sutra had. Also the larger dinning area allows more customers to be served in one seating, so you will have a better chance of getting reservations. (You do need to call and make reservations sometimes a week or two in advance). The kitchen looks like it is at least four times bigger as well, which helps with the speediness of food being prepared and served.
Here is a photo of the menu the night I dined there. The menu changes regularly (about every two weeks) and is driven by what is in season at that time. Everything is picked or harvested that day or week from the local area and state. (Please excuse the poor photo quality)
Here is a photo of the first and second courses – Smoked carrot and ginger bisque with black lemon orange mirin gastrique served with a red stem wood sorrel roasted beet salad finished with candied walnuts black lava salt and a lemon tarragon vinaigrette
Third course – Roasted cauliflower truffle celeriac mousse napoleon on a saffron caper tomato sauce topped with fried sage
Fourth course – Wild foraged stinging nettle gnocchi in a leek garlic grilled abalone mushroom broccolini rague with a urfer beiber sweet potato hemp seed sauce finished with fried nettles and micro radish
Fifth course – Flowerless vanilla peanut butter chocolate cookie on a scoop of vanilla orange blossom coconut ice cream with a berry coulis
So if you are in Seattle and want to enjoy a gourmet, five course, 100% vegan meal then I say beat your feet down to the Harvest Beat for some great food and wonderful customer service, its like eating with family.