Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Vegan Chicken Amandine

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Still working on a new computer & with a new camera.
The other day I was looking through our cabinet and decided it was time to use the almond slivers and wild rice I'd been hoarding like some stingy squirrel. I started looking around for a good recipe where these almonds would get a chance to show off a little. Enter the world of Amandine recipes.

See Amandine is a culinary term used to describe several different types of dishes that are garnished with almonds. These dishes range from green beans and rice pilaf side dishes to main course seafood recipes. Here's another crazy thing... there seems to several different takes on what a Chicken Amandine recipe should look and taste like. Some included a light gravy-like cream sauce and some has more of a lemon pepper marinade or rub. One thing they all had in common was that they relied on butter and the fat or grease from the chicken breast to add both flavor and for lack of a better word "juice".

Ours is not only nicer to birds but nicer to you. We replaced the butter and chicken fat with olive oil and used smoked paprika and lemon to flavor our Amandine. Then we included green beans and served it over wild rice to sort of combine all the best Amandines into one remarkable dinner that never had a chance to become leftovers because we had so many helpings that night. 

I assume this recipe would serve 4 normal people but I know it will feed 2 vegans eating to win! 

Good News Monday! (Because all bad news all the time leads to burn out! Don't worry there will be a recipe this afternoon.)

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So there was a weird thing that happened last week. I posted Good News Monday. I was on some kind of lingering contact high from having finished our book, quitting a job that made me miserable and starting work on revamping our blog... and also starting another book. I guess you could say I was temporarily giddy that I found a way to make a difference for animals by promoting veganism in a positive way.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Vegan Buffalo Chicken Sliders with Ranch Dressing & A Gardein Contest! Damn.

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The word "Epic" and "Legendary" are used a little too liberally these days. To paraphrase Louis CK  - if you use words like "Amazing" to describe a basket of fried food - you're setting yourself up for a pretty mediocre life. This is a bad habit I'm guilty of. I mean I'm like a shameless serial offender of painting the world "Amazing". So one of my New Years Resolutions is stop being lazy with my language. I think this might be harder than reducing salt, sugar and caffeine in life. Days like today  make it borderline impossible. See - Today is officially Good News Monday!

Here's a bit of good news that happened this weekend : A blogger in China helped rescue over 1,000 dogs who were on a truck in route to a slaughterhouse. In the animal rights movement we don't get to hear happy stories everyday. It can make you feel helpless and overwhelmed a lot of the time. So this is a story I'm going to file away for bad days. There is always hope and our actions matter.

Here's some good news that's happening right now! We're partnering with Gardein this week for an epic contest! We're going to be giving away 2 coupons for a Free Gardein Product of Your Choice! To win just leave a comment below telling us which 2 Gardein products you're going to get and what you're going to make with them. Then we'll randomly choose ONE Comment from a Member and send that Member your coupons! 

We're choosing randomly so you can be yourself. In other words, we won't judge if you're stocking up on their burgers and plan to eat them all in one sitting. In fact, that actually sounds kinda impressive. Sorry folks you have to live in the United States to win. You also have to be a member so we can contact you later to send you your feast! If you're not already a member, you can find the button to join in the right hand column. We'll be choosing the winner on Friday January 27th. 

In prime Betty Crocker fashion we're including in this post the recipe for one of our favorite Gardein Products : Buffalo Wings! These little sliders are more than just tasty and easy. They're the right amount of spicy and give you a great excuse to make a huge batch of vegan Ranch dressing. These little sliders are perfect for Super Bowl Sunday or can make a snowy Thursday night a little less chilly.

I hope you love these little buddies as much as we do and good luck with the contest! May the odds be ever in your favor!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Smokey Vegan Bacon, Spinach & Kale Mac with Butternut Squash Cheese

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Yes, I know the internet is full of butternut squash mac and cheeses. It's a lovely phenomenon of golden casseroles that is completely breath taking. A movement if you will that we support 100%. I first had butternut squash "cheese" sauce over chili fries in 1994 at a vegan potluck/sewing circle in Portland, Oregon and although I was thoroughly impressed, I was a busy college kid who found all the steps involved exhausting to even listen to.

It's funny how things change. Honestly, this is a super easy recipe that you can make while you play video games* or catch up on a sea of email. It also has a nice "cheddary" flavor with out a lot of fat. Seriously, this recipe is actually pretty good for you... as cheese sauces go.

Before we dive into this sunny and spicy  wonderdish! Check out this awesome video. It's always great influential people take time to remind the world that animals matter. Gold Star for Martha Stewart!

OK - Let's eat!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Green Tequila Enchiladas

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So yesterday I made a huge dent in my emails. Funny thing about emails though -- not unlike that mythical beast The Hydra -- once you slay one email, two more pop up in its place. If you're waiting for an email from me, I want today to be your day. Fingers crossed.

But until then, here are two answers to the two most frequently asked questions we've been getting:
  1. Now that the book is done, is The Betty Crocker Project over? After some soul searching and thought: no way. I love it too much. Our friend Anjali gave us a big box of Betty Crocker recipe cards (circa 1970), and we got a calendar full of recipes from Betty Crocker in the mail. So there is a lot more BCP left. We will go on!
  2. Was it frustrating/fun writing your book? Well, it was a lot of both. I mean there was the night I freaked out because the spinach we just bought was all slimy when I open the package. I may or may not have slightly sobbed on the kitchen floor and yelled "Fuck you baby spinach and all your cute baby friends like corn and kale!" But then there were really great times like the Banana Split Bundt Cake and making heaps of donuts...
Photo Credit : Natalie Dee (nataliedee.com)
After all that baking, I'm going to listen to the carrot: we're eating more vegetables! Enter these big enchiladas with a ton of leafy greens, potatoes, black beans, and tons of spicy, tangy, and bright flavors. I love them and they were very popular around here. They're one of those dinners that makes a great lunch the next day.

In other only slightly related news, we updated our Nerdery. So please check that out too! 

OK -- back to these dreamboat enchiladas and emails...

Monday, January 16, 2012

Embarrassingly Super Simple Hazelnut & Flaxseed Waffles

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The book is done and sent into our enthusiastically supportive publisher. I mean there will be a series of edits and reedits and proofing and all that but that first step -- delivering -- is done. The manuscript has landed. Now, today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day and I feel like I should be out volunteering or at least reminding you that today would be a great day to donate to somewhere you wish you could be volunteering today*.

Instead I will be putting our kitchen and home back together after 3 months of intensive Vegan Betty Monstering, trying to catch up on the sea of emails and maybe tonight I'll try to make the streets of LA a little safer. It's going to be a busy day so I needed easy waffles. And they were lovely so I thought I'd share.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Cruelty-Free Crawfish Boil

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We've been buried in book-writing the past few weeks. We even postponed New Year's Eve till after the manuscript gets sent in. We bought a few extra weeks of caffeine and chocolate and sitting on the sofa before those New Year's Resolutions kick in. I wish we could enjoy them, but I guess it goes without saying that I've been too lost in the book to enjoy anything. If you haven't figured this out about me yet from reading this blog, I can get a little hyper-focused on a project--and I really like doing things right.

Which brings us to today's post! Honestly this isn't part of The Betty Crocker Project, and I'm really glad it's not. See, crawfish boils are a big thing in The South. If you've never of them, I'm just going to link to this and spare you the heartbreaking details. The thing is that with the rise in popularity of Cajun and Creole food, these events are becoming popular all over the US. Food bloggers from LA to NY hosted them in their backyards last summer and well, that's just sad. I also hope that doesn't mean next summer all those squirrels and opossums need to watch their backs too.

Our crawfish boil actually uses May Wah's Shrimp Balls and Vegan Prawns, but captures the spirit of this dish without any of the cruelty. It's also insanely easier and cleaner! You can make this year-round and enjoy a little faux summer in the middle of winter.

Bon Appetite!