What to Expect from Sister Vegetarian Recipes...

Sister Vegetarian knows the importance of nutrition without breaking the bank. In lieu of this, I keep the meals to a cost that anyone can create and still stick to a budget. I also include raw vegan meals. Sister has acquired a Raw Vegan Chef Certfication through The Raw Food Network-Ekaya Institute of Living Food Education. I love to cook meals from Africa, India, the Middle East, Greece, Italy, and the list goes on. When I cook, I call it traveling the world without leaving my home. I see cooking as a way to experiment and learn about other cultures, as I also learn more about my roots.

Enjoy the meals. Enjoy the travel. No Passport Required. Just an appetite for delicious and healthy meals.

Peace & Love, Sister Vegetarian.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Cookbook Challenge: Vegan Tofu Cheese


If you are a newbie vegan jonesing for cdairy-based cheese, then you will have the VICTORY of being a successful vegan with this recipe Vegan Tofu Cheese Recipe! If you've been vegan for a while, then this recipe will add money in your wallet since vegan cheese can be costly at times. This weekend's Cookbook Challenge comes from the book 2010 Edition of Living Vegan for Dummies . This book is not only a wealth of information and resource for those considering veganism and new to veganism; but, it's a good resource even for those who have been vegan for a while or are veteran vegans. Today's recipe is Vegan Tofu Cheese (page 168).




It's hard to find vegan cheese where I live. If I do find vegan cheese, the price can be hefty. Many cheeses that are made for vegetarians, contain casein (a protein from milk); so, reading the labels on cheeses labeled vegetarian is paramount as a vegan. Even if you are a vegetarian, you may not want the casein in your cheese either due to reports of casein being linked to many cancers, especially breast cancer (read The China Study). Living Vegan for Dummies offer a quick 5 minute preparation recipe for vegan cheese. There are only 2 ingredients: a 14 to 16 oz package of tofu and miso paste. Place the tofu in a container that will be airtight for the refrigerator. You place the miso paste on the bottom, sides, and top of the tofu. Place a cheese cloth or cotton cloth over the cheese container and then seal with the container top (see my pictures). You let the cheese sit for at least 8 hours to 3 days in the refrigerator without touching. 3 days provide a stronger flavor that in my opinion rocks! I tried the cheese after 8 hrs, 1 day, 2 days, and 3 days. The best taste was from the 3 days of marinating in the miso paste. This recipe is inexpensive, and many grocery stores (if not shopping at a whole foods) carries miso paste in the Asian-Inspired Food Aisles. This recipe is great on the wallet. My cheese lasted 7 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container.


During the week, I made a vegan pizza with this cheese as well as made a spinach salad (spinach from my favorite Wise Farms farmer at the Farmers Market) with sundried tomaties and crumbled vegan tofu cheese.
This recipe is awesome and rocks!
~ Sister Vegetarian

Friday, March 4, 2011

Sister's Cookbook Challenge of The week: Beet Burgers (Page 34 of Color Me Vegan)















Staying a vegan or vegetarian means you have the victory! Be victorious everyday by learning new recipes and educating yourself on the nutrients associated with the whole foods you are eating. This week's Cookbook Challenge comes from the book Color Me Vegan by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. I love this book because of the focus on the varied pigments of vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds and their role during our consumption of prevention, curing, reversing, and protection from illnesses and diseases through their antioxidant, phytochemical, and phytonutrient rich properties. Antioxidants, phytochemicals, and phytonutrients aid in the "prevention and/or treatment of at least four of the leading causes of death in Western countries - cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension."

(source: glyconutrientsreference.com) Color Me Vegan is not only a cookbook, but an educational tool that teaches you how to eat right in order to protect, cure, and heal your body. Color Me Vegan is especially useful for newbie vegans/vegetarians through veterans. The recipes are easy to follow with items you tend to always have on hand. The author gives ideas for substitution of ingredients, as well as ideas for meal planning around each recipe.


The book is divided into chapters which reflect the pigment colors of vegetables, fruits, legumes,nuts and seeds. The Chapters are Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Purple, White/Tan, Black/Brown, and Rainbow whereas the premise of naming each Chapter by a color is that each pigment serves a specific purpose in the prevention, treatment, curing, and healing of illnesses and diseases.




Today's recipe challenge is from the Red Chapter. The Red Chapter focuses on lycopene. Lycopene is a pigment that gives all red fruits such as beets, apples, pink grapefruit, watermelon, and tomatoes their color. Lycopene has been known to have cancer fighting properties associated with the prevention of prostrate and breast cancer, heart disease, cataracts, and other diseases, illnesses, and abnormalities affecting the body.



For a sneak peak into what the color orange, brown, and pigments can do in the prevention and treatment of diseases and illnesses, click here: for a study performed at North Dakota University



The Cookbook Challenge Begins! I introduce you to this week's star: Beet Burgers (page 34 of Color Me Vegan).










Review: This recipe was quick and easy to prepare. While I can't list the recipe due to copy right laws, but I do indicate the ingredients. Many other vegans and vegetarians have tried their own versions split off from this Color Me Vegan recipe on various websites through just a search of vegan beet burgers. I love this recipe. It's hands down, the best whole foods based burger I have tasted!




Ingredients used were everything I had in my kitchen, except for a few equivalent substitutions:

- A bunch of beets was used in this recipe (a bunch being 3 medium sizes or two large sizes with skin left on).

- sesame seeds (I used peanuts which everyone tends to have on hand, unless you have an allergy to peanuts. and then I would say use the sesame seeds as instructed)-sunflower seeds (again, I used peanuts in its place because I try to use items that I always have on hand rather than purchase an item I may not use often)

- bulghur ( vegans and vegetarians always tend to have this on hand, and yes I did too!)

- bread crumbs (I made it a little more healthier by using old fashion oats)

-all purpose flour (I used wheat flour for a non processed flour)

-garlic (I am the queen of garlic and you will never see me without garlic or onions in stock. NEVER!)

-parsley (I used raw mustard greens instead because I just love the peppery taste it imparts as well as the nutrients to fight illnesses)

-tamari sauce (I used Braggs Liquid Aminos-somethings we always have handy as vegetarians and vegans)
- vegan mayonnaise

- toppings: avocados, tomatoes, onions

How to make: The recipe called for hand chopping and mixing, but I cut down some time by putting everything whole into my food processor. Using the food processor had cut down alot of time. I would say probably 15 to 20 minutes of time was saved from not chopping, cutting, and hand mixing. After the ingredients are mixed in the food processor for 5 minutes or less, I formed them into burgers. The recipe indicates that 10-12 burgers can be formed if making them on the small to medium side. Me, on the other hand may be a small gal, but I love my veggie burgers big! Consequently, I made 6 medium to large size burgers out of the mixture. At 350 degrees in the oven, it took only 25 minutes to bake. I served a burger on toasted Italian Tuscan bread with the suggested home-made carrot fries. A glass of Shiraz wine accompanied my meal. I was finger-licking the burgers to the end! After dinner during kitchen cleanup, I had to stop myself from nibbling on the five burger leftovers that I stored in the freezer for a quick meal.

Rating: This recipe gets a 5 out of 5 for taste, quickness, ability to freeze, and fast kitchen cleanup !!!!

Please try this recipe from Color Me Vegan. Purchase the book or sample it at your local library! The book is worth it not only for the recipes but for the educational information on antioxidants, phytochemicals, and phytonutrients. Remember, you can also search the web for similar beet burger recipes spinned off from this Color Me Vegan recipe. Here's a video of the writer Didi Emmons of Veggie Planet preparing her version of the vegan beet burger: Didi's video

Until next week for the next Cookbook Challenge from another cookbook! ~ Sister Vegetarian

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

COOKBOOK CHALLENGE

Beginning this weekend, I will start a cookbook challenge. I have various cookbooks, and I will select a recipe a week to cook a vegan meal from these cookbooks. These meals and reviews of the cookbooks will give you insight into the many vegan cook books available to open your world to new vegan meal possibilities that you get you on your way to a healthier you if you are a beginner vegetarian or vegan, or even a veteran vegetarian or vegan seeking new ideas.



The first cookbook challenge will be from the Color Me Vegan Cookbook