April 16th, 2007

Any advice on half & half substitute?

This is probably a no-brainer for a lot of people, but...amuse me, here.

My mom is considering becoming vegan, and she really doesn't know how to properly substitute half and half (cream) in her coffee. She doesn't digest soy products very well, so soy milk is out of the question, and almond milk just doesn't do it for her. Does anyone know of the closest thing to half and half that's vegan? I told her just to drink her coffee black, but I'm guessing she's not going to go for that. :) Thanks for your help!

Coconut Mango Jambalaya

Coconut Mango Jambalaya - anorexic_a and I made this last night for a Caribbean-themed potluck at The Vancouver Vegetarian Resource Centre. I am happy to report that this was the most popular dish!

You can play with the spices a little bit here... try cumin, bay, basil, or tumeric. We just used what was on hand. It was perfect, but the spices were not necessarily the most obvious flavour. You could also use a bit of "jerk" seasoning in place of all spices... if it's spicy jerk seasoning you may want to omit the chili pepper as well.

I made this in a wok. You'll need a big pot or wok to make it. Feeds 6.

1.5 tbsp Coconut Oil
1 red onion, chopped
1 tbsp dried fenugreek
1.5 tsp paprika
2 tsp coriander
1 red chili pepper, diced
500mL (2 cups) coconut milk
1 large can peeled tomatoes
4 yellow mangoes, peeled, pitted and chopped
1/3 cup shredded coconut
4 cups brown rice, cooked to an "almost done" state

1. Melt the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add red onion and sautee. Add spices and toss til onion starts to become translucent and spices are well distributed.

2. Add coconut milk and chili pepper and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer.

3. Chop canned, peeled tomatoes into bite-sized pieces. Add tomatoes and all juice to simmering coconut milk. Bring to a boil and simmer again.

4. Let simmer and reduce for 15 - 20 minutes. Add rice, shredded coconut and mango. Stir til well mixed. Heat through.

5. Let cool for 5 minutes and serve. Top with toasted coconut or sesame seeds if desired.

killer tofu

Okay, so I have a confession to make: I’m vegan and I’m afraid of tofu. I just don’t trust it. I don’t trust the way it moves, the weird noises it makes when you take it out of the packaging or its suspicious lack of a defining odor.

I’ve learned to accept tofu in baked goods where it is no longer recognizable as tofu but all of my attempts at making tofu-centric main courses have been miserable failures. I’ve had tofu dishes in restaurants that were quite tasty. I think that this was because I prefer my tofu to have a more firm and crunchy consistency. My question is this: How can I make crunchier tofu without frying it? I prefer not to use oil when I cook because of the additional fat. Does anyone have any other suggestions for delicious and fool proof tofu?

Thanks!
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