Nifty Mom

Vegan, Eco-conscious, Natural Parenting, Unschooling Wife and Mom

New children’s vegan book!! June 22, 2009

I’ve looked around for vegan and vegetarian books for Punkyroo before and tried a couple and  have found dissapointing. But one day looking for a new recipe to try out I saw a post about a new children’s book but talking about WHY we don’t eat animals like the vast population. It’s called That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals: A Book ABout Vegans, Vegetarians, and All Living Things by Ruby Roth.  I checked it out and watched the youtube video about it and decided to order it. Since it was on pre-order at the time when I ordered it I had to wait atleast a month to get it! I was so anxious to get it and hope that Punkyroo liked it.

Finally it came in!!! I LOVE this book. the illustrations (also by Ruby Roth) are so cute and wonderfully written. Punkryoo likes it too. She’s known we are vegan and if you ask her why she would say “we are vegan because we want the animals to be happy”, that’s a pretty good way to put it to a 2 year old at the time and she says it’s with such joy. But  with this book it describes it a bit more without going into too much detail. She understands and actually asks all the time while shopping, cooking or making snacks.. “is that have no (insert animal/animal byproduct) so we can eat it? we are vegan we don’t eat that”, it’s nice to know she understands and questions about food.  

When we go grocery shopping she sees the lobsters in the tank and asks to see them, which I don’t like but made it into a teaching about us being vegan. We tell her that they are in there because some people eat them but they belong out in the ocean. She still always wants to see them and says “they belong in the ocean” with a sad face. Well last time we went they didn’t have any in the tank , which we didn’t notice until Punkyroo’s face lit up and shouted “there’s no lobsters!! they’re in the ocean!!” it was so hilarious and so cute.

Off track but back to the book… The book was wonderful and anyone vegan or vegetarian and has children really should get this book, I really recommend it!!

 

Tofu Egg(less)rolls January 2, 2009

When I was prego with Punkyroo I had a cravings for Chinese food, the problem is Hubby hates chinese food beyond eggrolls and steamed rice and since he’d be hungry too I just picked another place we both could eat ate.  Well I finally came apon how to make eggrolls and YUM YUM they are sooo good and Hubby loves them too. Well when we went vegetarian I had to find a substitue for the ground chicken in it. At first I tried the ground vegan sausage crumbles but Hubby didn’t like the texture and so I finally tried the Tofu and it worked great. At that time I didn’t know you are suposed to press the tofu and then cook so when I made tofu the first time in a dinner it was disgusting and so I was afraid to try it again but after I learned how to properly prep tofu I tried it in these and it worked!! YAY I can keep my eggrolls. But then when we went Vegan (or should I say Punkyroo and I went vegan since Hubby is vegetarian) I found out my eggroll wraps I was using had egg in them.. I always wondered why they where called eggrolls when they didn’t have egg in them. So after all the ones in the stores having egg I finally found an Asian store and found some without egg! Yay! So sorry to say that you may need to do some searching for the wraps unless you can make them or have already made vegan eggrolls before.

 

Tofu Egg(less)rolls

 

Tofu Egg(less)rolls-Punkyroo's dish

 

Tofu Egg(less)rolls

  • 1 pck of Extra Firm Tofu (16oz)
  • 1 Tbs grated ginger (you could mince it if you are unable to grate)
  • 1 medium cabbage head (green),finely chopped
  • 10 oz bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 5 green onions, chopped
  • 30-40 eggroll wrappers (It depends on how much you stuff them, sometimes I have 30 and other times I have as much as 40, due to this I usually buy 2 packages of wraps just in case)

Stir fry the tofu and ginger in a skillet on high heat until lightly browned. Add the cabbage, brean sprouts, carrot and green onions;cook for 2 minutes. (if you’d like your filling with some slight seasoning you can add 2-3 tbs of tamari now). Take the skillet off the heat and let cool down. Use 2 tbs of the filling for each egg roll (I usually make some smaller for Punkyroo).

Follow the directions to fold the wraps on the package (if it doesn’t place the wrap on a dry surface with a corner pointing at you, place the filling in the middle, Fold the corner facing you over the filling snuggly, Fold both side corners snugly against the filling, wet the last corner with a little bit of water and roll to seal the last corner, lay flap side down until ready to cook to prevent unrolling itself).

Take a large skillet, wok, or other device to fry your eggrolls in. Fill with oil enough so each roll would be half deep. I usually set my burner on notch 7 since it’s not too too hot to pop oil every second but enough to brown each side quickly. Add a few rolls at a time and cook until golden brown usually around 2-3 minutes; flip on other side and repeat. Place on a paper towel lined plate and let cool.

If you are looking for a baked version, Sorry I havn’t looked into how to bake them yet. I’d love to learn how to to get away fromt the oil. So if anyone knows the directions to bake eggrolls please let me know!!

And since this is a rare dish to make in our house since the oil fried-ness and all here is a dip that is sooooo yummy but its only used for these.

  • Vegan mayo
  • Brown spicy mustard

Add amount of mayo you think is enough to serve with amount of rolls you will serve. Than add mustard and keep adding until desired taste is reached. I always eyeball and taste test it so I can’t give measurements but  Hubby LOVES it. Usually I make around 3-4 rolls for each of us, well 1-2 for Punkyroo; so I usually do 3 big spoon fulls of mayo and around 3 tbs looking like squirts of mustard and go from there, any left over I just cover and serve with the next nights batch of rolls.

 

If first you don’t succeed December 14, 2008

Filed under: 1 — niftymom @ 8:56 am
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Try again, maybe a different way. I tried Vegan with a Vegance’s Seitan (good) Jerk Seitan (not so good). It may be our taste buds but none of us liked it. So I had all this seitan left over and so I figured I’d just try cooking it in the pan plain in “cutlet” shape and it worked Hubby, Punkyroo and I ate it all, which was good since we had 5 chunks of it leftover after the Jerk Seitan recipe. Every day or so Punkyroo will ask for “seeeteen”, it’s so cute.

Jerk Seitan

But I just sliced it very thin and cooked it on a med-high heat on both sides until it was browned on both sides.

Seitan Cutlets

 

Another “meat”ball try December 13, 2008

Filed under: Dinner,Vegan — niftymom @ 8:47 am
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So I’ve probably tried about 5 vegan meatball recipes by now and some have tasted good but just didn’t hold or just plan was gross but these are the best we’ve made so far. The taste and holding of these are good. All of us ate them up and 3 thumbs up.

This recipe is “neat”balls from Vegetarian Times magazine. I just put them with some spaghetti sauce and some cooked spiral noodles that I added fresh spinch to the pot while boiling and Voila! To be honest, this is our Thanksgiving dinner! We are thankful everyday so we don’t really concentrate on a big meal since only family close by don’t celebrate holidays due to religion. I wasn’t up to challenge a tofurky recipe as of that time anyways.

Neat balls

 

How I love my VTmagazine December 12, 2008

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this magazine, so many yummy recipes and I love their articles and like any magazine has awesome do dads and such that are finanically out of reach or a not-really-need that I get to drool over.

But anyways I made this a few nights ago, Unemployed Shephards Pie. This is made with eggplant as the main ingredient and Punkyroo and I give a thumbs up but Hubby doesn’t care for eggplant that much , quote from hubby “it’d be good without the onion….and the eggplant…” and I said ” oh so just the mash potatoes?!”  , Hubby “yep, sounds good!” ; My eyes are about to fall out from all the eye rollin by now. hehe.

 

Unemployed Shephards pie

To this day I’m still trying to find a recipe that my mom used to make, she barely cooked but one of her dishes between crazy diets was this eggplant casserole dish, it was sooo yummy I could almost each the whole thing. All I can remember was it having 1 or 2 eggplants peeled and diced up then boiled, then it having tomato sauce and also some crushed up saltine crackers?? If anyone knows of a similar recipe please let me know!!!

 

Vegan Reuben!! December 11, 2008

Filed under: Lunch,Vegan — niftymom @ 11:35 pm
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YAY!!! I’m so excited to shout out that I found a yummy vegan Reuben sandwich!! This is another recipe from the The Vegetarian Mother’s Cookbook. Punkyroo chowed down also. I love it, she has the taste buds as I do, it’s true whatever the mom eats prego the baby will grow buds for it as well, which is great since Hubby snubs alot :sushi,seurkraut, mushrooms, olives, onions (she’ll eat them raw!) . So needless to say Hubby did not partake in this eating session. 

Vegan Reuben

 

Simple Dessert December 1, 2008

Filed under: Desser,Vegan — niftymom @ 10:43 am
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As you may have noticed I havn’t added any recipes or recipe reviews since we’ve had not so good luck on our new recipes lately.

As we were out I finally found an Asian store so I could get some spring roll wraps/rice paper for these Plantain Egg-rolls my MIL makes. Mine didn’t come out the same since she fries hers and her wraps were different then the ones I got but these are wonderful!!! The sweetness comes from the over ripened plantain and heightened from being baked. Also with it only needing 2 ingredients it’s perfect for a fast dessert.  Hubby LOVEs when I make these and this is the first time I made them to when Punkyroo can have some. It’s funny she just squeezed out all the plantain filling, she loved it. I love that it’s fast, healthy and it soothes Hubby and my sweet tooth.

Plantain Eggrolls

Plantain Egg-rolls

  • Plantains (1 plantain will make fillings for 8 rolls)
  • Rice Paper or Spring Roll Wraps
  • Cinamon(optional)

Preheat over to 425*.I keep my wraps/paper in the freezer until I need them, put them in the fridge a day or 2 before you plan on making these if you have them in the freezer. Take your over-ripened plantain and unpeel it, cut the “meat” in half and then take the 2 ends and cut them in 4 strips so you will have 8 equal length and thickness strips (usually about 3 or so inches long).

If you are using rice paper you will need to dip the paper in water until you are able to scrunch it up without it breaking. Place it down on a clean surface and put one strip of plantain on the edge and fold up like a burito.

If you are using the square spring roll wraps make sure your surface is dry. Place a pointed corner facing you and put the plantain on the wrapper, and fold like a burrito and use a little bit of water to softend the end corner to stick to the “body”.

If you plan on uping the health value or just taste sprinkle your cinamon on top of the egg rolls now. Place your egg rolls on a lightly sprayd baking sheet. Place in the oven for 6 minutes and then take out and turn the egg rolls over for another 5 mintues. Some of the plantains may burst out of the wrap or paper, this is completely ok and normal. Let cool and eat. If you are using the rice paper, it may be slightly chewy, if you want more of a crunch use the wraps.

If you don’t mind it being fried. Here is what you do… Heat a large skillet on medium high heat. Add preferred oil in the pan so the eggrolls will be half deep in the oil. Fry each egg roll for about 3-6 minutes…or until it gets golden brown and flip to the next side and do the same. If you want to use cinamon you may want to either spinkle th ecinamon inside the egg roll or after it is fried. Take out of skillet and place on a paper towel laced plate.