Friday, March 26, 2010

Eggplant Burger

Eggplant Burger with a side of my mom's favorite, lima beans!

So I finally got to the other eggplant product by the folks at Dominex! Woot! Finally!

Well, so there's the Eggplant Burger. I put it on a slightly toasted whole wheat bun with some vegenaise, ketchup, yellow mustard, lettuce and a piece of Tofutti "American" cheese. I didn't realize that this was going to be a like a Boca patty, as in, meaty soy product. For some reason I didn't get that idea from reading the box, but I didn't read it very carefully and I just glanced at the ingredients and didn't really think of it. I thought it was going to be, like, 98% eggplant....which I thought sounded kinda weird. So when I was cooking it on the skillet in a little oil, I was, like, oh, it's just a fake meat patty with some eggplant thrown into the mix.

Flavorwise, not impressed. It tastes a bit off and it's definitely not as good as Boca, which is one of my favorites. The texture is fine and since my nose has been stuffy and my memory is bad, I don't have anything to say about the smell.

Yeah, this burger did nothing for me except give me some nutrition.

The lima beans are frozen from Grocery Outlet, I think they were Green Giant but I can't find any proof online about that. I believe they were 99 cents. You take them out of the box and put them in the microwave for 5-6 minutes and walah! Ready to eat limas! Semi-dry tasting, just as I remember from my youth!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Green Chili Cheese Grits

*Cilantro for looks only

I am one of the many bloggers that are participating in the Teese vegan cheese challenge. I was able to choose which of the flavors I wanted (we picked a back up flavor, they ended up giving us both, which so awesome!) and then were asked to make something that really hadn't been done before.

The flavors I got were Mozzarella and Nacho Sauce. First up: Nacho!

I thought and thought, trying to come up with something I hadn't seen yet. And based on the google search for recipes, this isn't something that's come up lot. Perhaps it's because there's only a small population of people out there who actually like grits.

I normally only see cheddar cheese in Cheese Grits, but I thought the Nacho would give a nice mexi flavor. This is the recipe I ended up with:

3 cups water
3/4 cups quick cooking grits (I used white)
2 garlic cloves, put through a garlic press (roasted garlic would probs be alot better)
2 green chilies from a can, chopped small
2-3 T nooch
fresh ground pepper
1/2 t red pepper flakes
Teese nacho cheese sauce (a 1/4 of the small tube...maybe 1/4 cup?)

I boiled the water, the lower heat to simmer and put in the grits, salt and garlic. Whisk, leave uncovered and stir occasionally for about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and top with hot sauce if desired.

Personally, this isn't my favorite. I think I would prefer it with a non-nacho cheese, but I am going to try it again tomorrow because I believe time will make the flavor better. It's not bad, but it's just not something I'm excited about. Perhaps it could also use some baking? The cheese has an odd smell to it, like an artificial smell, that I found a bit disconcerting. But it didn't taste weird. I would like to try it as a melted queso sauce and will perhaps try other things with my leftovers of it. Do you have any suggestions?? Also, suggestions for the mozzarella?? I'm thinking of stuffing mushrooms with it..

Update, next day: I just ate a delicious breakfast burrito that consisted of the chili cheese grits, avocado, sauteed Gimme Lean sausage, green pepper and onion. So yum!! Also, the grits do taste better with a little aging (doesn't that look misspelled?)!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Butter Pee-can

I came across Soy Dream's new flavor, Butter Pecan, at Fred Meyer's tonight and I was feeling old (have you ever heard a 5 year old ask for some Butter Pecan ice cream? I didn't think so...), so I bought some. My sister, our housemate Helena and I usually watch the new episode of Greek on Tuesday nights together, so I thought ice cream (I mean, non dairy frozen dessert*) would be a nice accompaniment. Helena was missing, but Kim and I dug into the pint of Butter Pecan. We thought it was good, especially when you had a lot of pecan pieces, but it wasn't great. I don't think it's something I would buy again unless it was very on sale. It's just that with the greatness of Trader Joe's/Double Rainbow Soy Very Cherry Chip, you feel ripped off when something else you bought just doesn't make you as swoony. It makes me wish they had more flavors at Trader Joe's. The problem with the Butter Pecan was the soybeany aftertaste and the ice cream didn't have the luscious creaminess that Double Rainbow's has. 

I give this 3 out of 5 stars.

* Did you know that in America, your product has to be at least 10% milk fat for it to be legally called "ice cream"? Stupid. To me, that's like saying you can't call a vegan sausage a sausage because it doesn't have real meat in it. I've encountered people who have gotten up in arms about the ice cream thing (I'm talking to you, commenter dude, on Grant Butler's vegan blog!). I sorta get it because you want ice cream to mean literally iced cream...but no. Actually, I don't get it. As long as it's labeled correctly, with either "non dairy" or "vegan" before the words "ice cream", why does it matter? Those words describe what it is, or trying to be. "Frozen dessert" could be anything; push pops, fudge pops, creamsicles....Ok, rant over...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Eggplant Product Review

So a few months ago, I received some coupons to try out Dominex products. They have several products, but don't expect something without eggplants, their logo says Dominex "The Eggplant People." I'm not a huge fan of this vegetable, to me it's like cats or celery, if they disappeared from Earth, I wouldn't be upset. Ok, actually, I know quite a few cats now that I like and would be sad if they disappeared and celery is a vegetable I actually dislike, so I wouldn't say it's in the same category as eggplant, which I neither like nor dislike...So really, ignore that whole sentence...It's all to say, that currently none of my favorite things involve eggplant. But that I'm thinking about it, I do enjoy some baba ghannouj, the stuffed mini eggplants from Ya Halla's are so good, and breaded eggplant is yum. Though the last doesn't count, because have you ever had something breaded and fried that you didn't love? 

Which brings me to the first product I've tried: The Eggplant Cutlets. Aka breaded eggplant. The way I cooked them was on the stovetop and in the oven. The stovetop ended up being the preferred method. The oven ones took longer than instructed. Which is probably just the fault of the oven, but I'm not sure what the deal was and why it took so dang long. The above picture shows them (stovetop cooked) with a Cluckphrey "chicken" patty (I will blog about those soon) and whole wheat pasta with tomato sauce and nutritional yeast. They tasted good, they tasted like you think they'll taste. I added some salt on top of mine. Because I dislike making breaded eggplant myself, I would possibly buy these. If they were on sale. My friend Jess quite liked them.

I still have yet to try the Vegan Burgers that are in my freezer. I never have buns for burger-shaped foods and have this mental block where I don't like using pieces of loaf bread for burgers. Also, it doesn't seem like the type of burger that you should eat breadless. So...eventually, my dears, I will get to trying those out.