Vegan MOFO2014 – Recipe: Salami Style Crumb

52 Weeks of Vegan Cooking challenge on Reddit is back again (because I’ve recently taken over as moderator) and the Week 33 challenge was DIY Mock Meats. Now there was a recipe I saw and saved a while back that I’ve been wanting to try… sort of. I’ve never particularly liked the spice combination of chorizo but I thought the recipe had a good base. I used that base in an attempt to make my own vegan salami.

Ingredients:

1 and 3/4 Cups of TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) Mince.
2 Cups of Vegetable Stock, Hot. I used Massel brand.
1/4 Cup of Roasted Capsicum (Red Pepper), finely chopped.
1/4 Cup of Black Olives, finely chopped.
1/4 Cup of Red WIne Vinegar.
3 Tablespoons of Tomato Paste.
3 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce.
1/2 and White or Yellow Onion, minced. I used the food procssor for this.
3 Garlic Cloves, minced.
3 Tablespoons of Paprika.
Coarsly Ground Pepper.
A Pinch of Ground Cinnamon.

Method:

Put the TVP and the hot Vegetable Stock in a large bowl, cover and set aside for at least 10 Minutes. I only has TVP Strips so I had to rehydrated them then chop them into mince sized pieces; sooo time consuming!

Add all the other ingredients into the bowl and stir together.

IMG_1341.JPG

All chopped up and ready to go

Set aside for about 20 minutes while you hang out the laundry (or whatever it is you need to do).

IMG_1342.JPG

Almost done

Heat a little olive oil into a large pan or wok and add the mixture. Cook until all excess moisture is gone.

IMG_1345.JPG

The finished product

Set aside to cool. Enjoy.

Verdict: So it doesn’t really taste like salami but that’s okay because it still tastes good. It has a rich flavour and a meaty texture. I added a bit too much pepper so it’s a bit spicy and I used all smoked paprika making it far to smoky. Next time I will use 1 Tablespoon of Smoked and 2 Tablespoons of Sweet Paprika.

Advertisements

Restaurant: Cherry Darlings Bakehouse

Cherry Darlings Bakehouse is a newly opened bakery in Forrestville, right next to the tram stop. Oh yeah and it’s completely vegan! (Though they style themselves as Cruelty Free). Cherry Darlings is the evolution of a home based vegan catering business called Veganised who are well known for their Bakehouse Boxes (full of sweet and/or savoury yumminess) as well as supplying vegan treats to places like Godzilla Pizza and Out Of Step. The bakery opened yesterday (21/06/2014) and has been a big hit.

It’s a smallish shop with some indoor seating and another seating area out the back which includes  well stocked children’s play area. The interior is pastel colours with interesting things on the wall including a classic series Star Trek poster and a small embroidered gun control message. Like many an Adelaide eatery these days they’ve gone with a bit of a retro Americana theme.

The shop sells the usual bakery fare; lots of interesting pies and other savouries, many kinds of cupcakes and so many other yummy (and unhealthy) treats. A number of the treats are gluten free. They also do milkshakes, soda floats, tea and coffee. It’s all very reasonably priced with the cheapest item at $2.50 and nothing above $10. I ordered the BBQ Rib Mac & Cheese Pie and a slice of Banana Caramel Pie.

20140621-215723-79043700.jpg

BBQ Rib Mac & Cheese Pie

The pie was interesting The BBQ marinated gluten strips were well balanced and the capsicum, onion and (oddly) broccoli were a nice flavour combo. The Mac and Cheese didn’t have much flavour but added a nice texture contrast and creaminess to the pie. The pastry was unremarkable; I know I ate it but I can’t remember it

20140621-215725-79045355.jpg

Banana Caramel Pie

The Banana Caramel Pie was pretty awesome. One of the people who was with me (pictured below) said it was one of the best things she’s ever eaten. The caramel sauce was clearly homemade and delicious (and very sweet!) The cream was wonderful and it tasted like the real thing. However I found the base to be a bit to thick and a little lacking in flavour. It could’ve used a little more banana as well.

20140621-215726-79046963.jpg

So many desserts so little time

I also had the chance to sample a few other desserts thanks to a companion who couldn’t decide and ordered more than she could eat. All very yummy though the cup of tea was ludicrously strong due to the fact that they used enough loose leaf tea for a whole pot!

Food: Very yummy and lots of options. 4.5/5

Setting: A nice leafy area not too far from the CBD. The interior is a little cramped but once the opening fervour calms down it should be fine. 4/5

Service: Polite but a little clunky. Should improve with time. 3.5/5

Overall: Very good. I’m a bakery fan from way back and I’ve been missing it so much since going vegan. Now if only they had profiteroles on the menu (hint hint). It’s probably a good thing I don’t live to close to Cherry Darlings because I’d be there at least once a day. 4/5

Cherry Darlings Bakehouse on Urbanspoon

Restaurant: Vegetarian Garden

If you head to the Pulteney street end of Rundle Mall you will find Renaissance Arcade. The arcade houses, among other things, a food court populated by by mostly Asian cuisines. The food is cheap and aimed at the students from the 2 university campuses on North Terrace. In this food court you will find a shop called Vegetarian Garden. It’s not the nicest looking place but it’s my favorite (almost) vegan restaurant in Adelaide.

Almost vegan? All the food is vegan (as well as onion and garlic free) but they sell dairy based iced coffee and chocolate as well as keeping dairy milk on hand for coffee and bubble tea. The food is pretty standard food court fare. You’ve got your basic rice/noodles plus 2 or 3 choices for a reasonable price in the bain marie at the front, plus a few individual items; I recommend the spring rolls.

I prefer to order from the menu. Again pretty standard stuff. Singapore noodles, fried kuey teow etc. All quite tasty the dishes include tofu(not enough in my opinion), a little fake meat and mushrooms as the “protein”.

20140127-210408.jpg

Fried kuey teow

My favorite items to order are the soups especially the tom yum and the laksa. Both are fortunately quite mild but if you like that chilli kick there’s a chilli mix at the counter that you can add. But be careful as the mix is really concentrated and surprisingly spicy!

20140127-210358.jpg

Tom yum

The tom yum is light with lots of veges in a huge serve, though I’m still not sure what I think of the cucumber.

20140127-210416.jpg

Laksa

The laksa is not to creamy, though the thick noodles can be a bit much (you can just ask for rice noodles if that is a problem,) and if someone could please explain to me the point of the crunchy fried things? I’d be much obliged.

If you are sensitive to msg or just don’t like it you can ask for it to be taken out however in some cases (such as the laksa) it can’t be done due to the pre prepared pastes they use.

Food: Average. Great. Well balanced an very tasty. 4.5/5

Setting: Pretty crap. It’s not the nicest food court. Though the occasional sight of zombies (students from the film make up school) eating their lunch can be amusing. 1/5

Service: Okay. Sometime there is a bit of a language barrier issue with the but it’s not a huge issue. Food generally comes out quite fast. 3.5/5

Overall: I like this place. It’s tasty, it’s filling and it’s cheap (nothing on the menu is over $10!) 3.5/5

Vegetarian Garden on Urbanspoon

Product: Sanitarium Vege Delights Not Burgers

Sanitarium, who are better known for making cereal’s like Wheat Bix, also make vegetarian foods. Some are vegan and some aren’t mostly due to the use of egg white as a binder in items like their bacon style slices.

One of their vegan products is the Not Burger, a chicken style burger found in the freezer aisle of most supermarkets. I picked these up on special for under $3 at Coles a few months ago.

20131017-115452.jpg

The old packaging

4 good size burgers to a pack these are quite good value. The burgers are coated in a bread crumb mix which contains whole sesame seeds which was a pleasant surprise. They hold together well when cooking. i tried both pan frying and baking.

20131017-115459.jpg

The burgers (frozen)

TextureVery good. The outside isn’t as crispy as they could be, but that may be due to my cooking temperature. The texture of the insides is reminiscent of the standard processed chicken burgers you get everywhere. 4/5

Flavor: Not so good. Again it is very much like the flavor of processed chicken but the flavor is mild and easily overpowered. 2/5

20131017-115513.jpg

Ready to eat

Overall: Reasonably priced even when not in a special and easy to find but there are other brands that do the same thing with better flavor. 2/5

Product: Vege Deli Quarter Pounders

Vege Deli is one of the many brands made by the Redwood company, better known for their range of Cheezly cheese substitutes and their Cheatin’ “bacon” slices. Vege Deli is Redwood’s gourmet label so I was expecting something special.

20131001-134708.jpg

Reduced!

20131001-134723.jpg

The burger (frozen)

They can be a little on the expensive side so I haven’t tried them before. I managed to pick up a pack of these on discount last week and I’ve just cooked one of them up.

Texture: Perfect. Crumbly and just like real ground beef. Looks like it too. 5/5

Flavor: Disappointing. The burger tasted okay by itself, but nothing special. Mild flavor, a vague beefiness. When put with other flavors however the burger completely disappears. Which is particularly surprising given how large the burger is. 1/5

20131001-134737.jpg

My food styling is terrible

Overall: Mock meats are often a choice between realistic texture and realistic flavor and the quarter pounders have definitely gone down the texture route. For the price they are they’re just not worth it. I wouldn’t buy these again. 2/5

Product: Lamyong Vegan Fishball

Lamyong is an Asian brand who make many vegetarian and vegan fake meat products. They are based in Sydney, Australia.

image

The packet

image

The ball

So I tried the vegan fishball a few days ago and it was okay. The first time I used it I placed them in my soup whole. This was a mistake. The second time I cut the fishball into slices and this was much better. On a side note, due to the texture of the product, they can be easily cut up straight from the freezer.

Texture: Smooth with a bit of bite. When eaten whole not entirely pleasant. 2/5

Flavor: Sweet, mild flavor that has no connection with any fish whatsoever. So basically it tastes like a regular fishball. There is however a bit of soy aftertaste which like the texture is better when chopped into smaller pieces. 3/5

Overall: Not great, but not terrible. Not something I would usually eat anyway but I’d have it again. 3/5