Archive for October, 2014

Wow, life has been a bit crazy.

I went partially insane(more than my normal bit of insane) & wrote two posts in one day and then….well, I got busy, so there’s that.

Just this past weekend though, we took #NachoBar down to the Central Florida Veg Fest & had the pleasure of announcing a bunch of events & speakers, as well as promoting the Hell out of the stuff we do like the podcast.

The best part?

FREE FOOD ALL GODDAMNED DAY LONG.

Followed by a couple of free beers.

No one would complain about that, even my hardcore omnivorous friends.

 

Khasiyat served up some pretty awesome Indian food for their combo platter.

Khasiyat served up some pretty awesome Indian food for their combo platter.

Julie, ignoring yet another potential customer(mainly because I was yelling her name).

Julie, ignoring yet another potential customer(mainly because I was yelling her name).  Yes, the potential customer has a spoon hanging out of her mouth.

Our nachos beat the Hell out of the other vegan nacho place.

Our nachos beat the Hell out of the other vegan nacho place at the festival.

THERE WAS A BABY PIG!!

THERE WAS A BABY PIG!!

Voted best vegan hot dog cart, this didn't disappoint, except for the fact that I ate it in two giant bites.

Voted best vegan hot dog cart, this didn’t disappoint, except for the fact that I ate it in two giant bites.

We vegans like our outdoor acoustic music.  So do most other people.  Except senior citizens & assholes.

We vegans like our outdoor acoustic music. So do most other people. Except senior citizens & assholes.

So much eating.

So much eating.

SO MUCH FOOD.

SO MUCH FOOD.

I had the Draco Malsoy from a food truck called the Squid Box.

I had the Draco Malsoy from a food truck called the Squid Box.

This is the Draco Malsoy.  So much noms.

This is the Draco Malsoy. So much noms.

Fermentation class??  Of course!!

Fermentation class?? Of course!!

So much good food.

So much good food.

....from a place where you can get nails done too apparently.

….from a place where you can get nails done too apparently(& back rubs too??)

I made a friend or two.

I made a friend or two.

Pretty cool puppets.

Pretty cool puppets.

WATCH OUT LITTLE KID THE WAVE IS COMING RIGHT AT YOU!!!

WATCH OUT LITTLE KID THE WAVE IS COMING RIGHT AT YOU!!!

What to eat....maybe a bit of EVERYTHING.

What to eat….maybe a bit of EVERYTHING.

Everything it is.  Cheeseburger in Paradise, an Anzac & a Peanut Butter Brownie....OF DOOM!!!

Everything it is. Cheeseburger in Paradise, an Anzac & a Peanut Butter Brownie….OF DOOM!!!

There were even baby turkeys there!  It was too bad they were bought specifically for the event by an organization that displayed them in this cage the entire time.

There were even baby turkeys there! It was too bad they were bought specifically for the event by an organization that displayed them in this cage the entire time just to get attention for their organization, but that’s what they do at a lot of the events they attend from what I’ve seen, sadly.

The event even had horses!!

The event even had horses!!

The best part of sticking around until the end:  leftover free samples.  This plate was full when the volunteers told me to "Just take the whole thing," & empty when I was done with it.

The best part of sticking around until the end: leftover free samples. This plate was full when the volunteers told me to “Just take the whole thing,” & empty when I was done with it.

There was even a fox named Todd!!  Find his Instagram account @Toddisafox for infinite cuteness.

There was even a fox named Todd!! Find his Instagram account @Toddisafox for infinite cuteness.

That was an entirely too much fun event.  We met a ton of people including the organizers of the first Tallahassee Veg Fest that was coming up, a couple that were looking for a vegan chef in Tampa for their restaurant called Delicious Surprise that was opening soon, and a ton of other interesting people with cool tattoos.

Eating all day long was awesome, especially in the fact that you didn’t have to do the guess-work when it came to whether or not meals were vegan.  I was kind of surprised that I wasn’t more uncomfortably full at the end of it all, but running around having a great time & screaming enthusiastically at everything typically burns a lot of calories.

About the only thing that I’d do differently is bring my own plate next time.  There were a couple of food vendors working with styrofoam & that just pisses me off when there are numerous alternatives out there.

Good job Orlando, you’re doing Vegfest right!

Do you like green hot sauce?  I do, especially some of the green tomatillo sauce that I can get from a place called Burrito Gallery Express here.  It’s just so tasty & so I came up with my own easy recipe when it comes to it.

Get all of these things:

10 Tomatillos, a habanero, half of a medium red onion, a small green pepper, 1/4C of apple cider vinegar, 2T salt, 1/2t cumin, 2t fresh cilantro, 1t lemon juice & 1C of water.  Regarding cilantro, I like to add a little more to the sauce, but a lot of people are sensitive to the flavor, so take that into consideration when making this.

After you have all of the things, throw those things into a blender or food processor.

Turn on said blender or processor.

Pour the contents that were once solid into a saucepan & simmer that for about fifteen minutes.  It should go from a bright color to a darker green.  CAUTION: If you leave the sauce on the burner for too long, it will turn black.  Seriously, don’t burn this stuff.

Chill the product & serve it at your next farm to table dinner or casual soiree.

So easy, right?

Good.  Now for the pictures of pups.

Somebody's tuckered.

Somebody’s tuckered.

IMAG4022[1]

Just about time for bed.

aaaaaand cuddle selfie.

aaaaaand cuddle selfie.

That’s all for this installment, enjoy the holiday coming up & your week!!

Advertisements

Let’s go ahead & get this out of the way.

Yes, I'm the guy that runs up to you if you have a cute pup & asks if I can take a picture.  I'm not ashamed at all.  (I also squeal while doing so)

Yes, I’m the guy that runs up to you if you have a cute pup & asks if I can take a picture. I’m not ashamed at all. (I also squeal while doing so)

Okay.

We saw that guy at the #NachoBar at the Beaches Green Market, which we work weekly from 2-5 on Saturdays in Neptune Beach.  This is what we do:

That's the pesto on top.  Not the brussels sprouts, but the other green stuff.

That’s the pesto on top. Not the brussels sprouts, but the other green stuff.

I was invited by Kerry Speckman, also known by the fantastic moniker, the Specktator(find her blog here, I promise it won’t disappoint!), to guest chef a food demo on the Jacksonville Magazine stage at the Home & Patio Fall Show.  I had done demos for the spring show a couple of times(you can find details of that here).

This time around, I decided to work with the broccoli sunflower pesto we made for the #NachoBar.  The fact that everything was just blended made the show easy & then I could answer any questions regarding the health aspects.  I served it on a bed of rice & garnished it with some diced tomatoes & olive oil.  It looked pretty, I must say.

It is pretty.  Oh so pretty.  & tasty.

It is pretty. Oh so pretty. & tasty.

Basically, all you do is put all of this in a blender:  4C lightly cooked broccoli(use the stalks too–there are lots of vitamins in there), 1C of the water you cooked it in,  2C sunflower seeds, 1/4C lemon juice, 2C basil(I used some lavender basil from the community garden), 3T olive oil, 3 small cloves of garlic & 1/4C of nutritional yeast.  Salt to taste.  Blend that until it is just before creamy.  You want it to be almost pasty, so add water as you need too.

The next day, I spooned some onto some potato disks I had baked in the oven & those were AWESOME.  Try that out too.

I should have put a basil leaf on every one of these.

I should have put a basil leaf on every one of these.

That’s so easy I can just stop bothering you right now.  Definitely try it out with other variations like on rice noodles or maybe even topping polenta.  Possibilities for this stuff are endless!

Whatever you do, enjoy!

HOLY HELL!!

Why didn’t anyone tell me that I haven’t written about vegan artisan cheese yet??!!

I learned how to make some different vegan cheeses through fermentation processes a little bit ago for farm to table dinners.  There was a sharp cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan, cream cheese & soft Gruyère I played with.  Today we’re going to touch base on the soft Gruyère, considering it was my favorite blend(plus it was one of the tastier & complex-flavored recipes).

There’s a lot of work to put into this.  Well, not really.  It’s more just cognizance of time.  It’s really fun to make this kind of stuff because the time sensitivity lends to the sharpness of the product.  Usually the longer you let this culture in room temperature environments, the sharper the flavor will get.

First, though, we’ve got to make rejuvelac.  This will be your base for many of the vegan cheeses.

Rejuvelac is a cool little liquid that aids digestion with good bacteria & enzymes.  It is really handy when it comes to making anything like vegan yogurt, sauces, or even just drink it as a great dietary staple(don’t drink a ton of it, rejuvelac isn’t necessarily something you want to chug.  Start with a shot a day if you want to go that route).

Rejuvelac is made by sprouting some grains & then soaking those grains in some water.  More specifically, you soak a 1/2C grain(I use quinoa or brown rice) in a cheesecloth covered bowl for most of a first day(about ten hours), drain that, & add new water.  You only need to get the grains moist, don’t over-saturate them.

You’ll want to rinse them once a day for three days.  This prevents harmful bacteria from coming into play.  Just make sure to keep the grains saturated to a degree.  They should start sprouting by that third day.

From there, you can drain, rinse, & add four cups of water in with the grain.  Cover that with the cheesecloth and forget about it for three days.  The water will get a kind of cloudy color.  Retain the water–that is your rejuvelac.  You can use the sprouted grains to make a second batch by adding some more water & letting that sit for a day, but that is about it for them.  Just throw them into a compost pit at that point.

You’re going to want to soak about three cups of raw cashews for six hours.  This is good for any cashew-based cheese recipe because it will make the cashews much more smooth when you process them.  After they’ve soaked for that long, drain, rinse, & then put them in a food processor.

Preferably your own food processor.

Add 1/3C of warmed coconut oil, 1t sea salt, 1/3C coconut oil warmed up a bit so it’s liquid, 2T miso(I use white miso a lot with these types of recipes), 3T nutritional yeast, & a pinch of agar agar to the processor.  Dump in about 3/4C of the rejuvelac you made successfully & blend it all together until it is soft & velvety(don’t you love the sound of velvety vegan cheese?).  Add salt to taste, but be very light with it-the flavor will develop over the next day.

Put the mixture into a glass or ceramic bowl, cover, & forget about it for about twenty-four hours in a room temperature area.  No, seriously.  This is where the cool culturing thing happens.

After that time span, the Gruyère should be nearly done.  Put it in the refrigerator & let it chill.  It should kind of solidify, but not too much.  It will maintain some spreadability.

This stuff is awesome on bagels or on some sourdough toast.  Sorry I don’t have much for pictures on this, I’ve made it a few times & it’s gone over tremendously well.  Tell you what–we’ll do something different:  I’ll post some pictures of the pups!

Okay, that’s not really so different, but they are cute, so take that.

He always looks happily in some sort of trouble.

He always looks happily in some sort of trouble.

Pups in a ball!!!!

Pups in a ball!!!!

They put on a good front, but they really do love each other.

They put on a good front, but they really do love each other.

In any case, this is a short post just to get the cheese recipe out there.  I’ve got another post coming up fast with a food demo I did for Jacksonville Magazine.  I made some broccoli sunflower pesto for the event & it went over really well.  Well, it went over really well for the #NachoBar as well a few weeks back.  So yummy.

That's the pesto on top.  Not the brussels sprouts, but the other green stuff.

That’s the pesto on top. Not the brussels sprouts, but the other green stuff.

Time to run, enjoy the recipe!!