Tag Archives: pinoy vegan

Our AstigVegan holiday potluck was much smaller than our summer picnic. Some folks weren’t able to make it because they were either out of town or they were hosting family and friends who were in town-such to be expected during the holiday season.

The turnout was perfect though because my boyfriend’s apartment wouldn’t be able to accomodate a big crowd.

Anthony, Fred, and Caitlin.

Watching a trailer of a Filipino zombie movie. Not sure how we got to the topic of zombies but everybody seemed to have something to say about them hehe

Fred brought his vegan version of "Lechon Kawali"

Fred also made a lechon sauce, his vegan version of "Mang Tomas". He calls it "Mang Fred"

Everybody, including Caitlin, got to write their food on the chalkboard/pantry door. The list got longer down to the desserts.

Cristina's VEGAN brown rice crispies! One version plain, the other topped with chocolate-both equally delightful! I told Cristina she should sell them.

TJ's mushroom bistek...she was about to make some sliders with it.

TJ and her bistek, along with the rest of the dishes (fruits, menudo, maja blanca, suman, brown rice crispies, and lechon kawali and of course rice!)

We're all waiting for Caitlin to open her white elephant gift...not that we want to steal it or anything ;)

I got Fred's gift: an apron with the "Filipino Food" label, I love it!!!

Busy cooks in the kitchen. TJ sauteeing her bistek, Cristina prepping the sushi rice.

Mushroom Bistek sliders, the perfect beer match or "pulutan".

As for my other dish, Menudo, I thought of cooking it for the potluck and making it again for New Year’s Eve.

Filipinos often serve Menudo at parties and social gatherings perhaps because it has so many ingredients we’d like to save all the labor of chopping the ingredients to special occasions. Anyway, the vegan version cuts down the cooking time which makes it not only healthier but also a more convenient alternative.

Here’s how to veganize it:

Vegan Filipino Menudo

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1-2 carrots, diced
  • 1 cup garbanzo beans or chick peas (I like to peel the skin)
  • 2 potatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup raisins or 3 mini boxes
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 pack vegan hotdogs, diced (sold at most stores)
  • Seitan, diced (substitution for pig liver).
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cooking oil

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Fry the diced vegan hotdog on a large pan. Set aside and season with sea salt.
  2. Using the same pan, add garlic and fry until golden brown.
  3. Add the onions, tomatoes, and red bell pepper. Saute until tender.
  4. Add the tomato sauce and potatoes. Simmer until the potatoes are tender.
  5. Add the tomato paste and mix well to thicken the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Add the carrots and garbanzo beans. Pour the soy sauce and adjust to taste.
  7. Add the Seitan, vegan hot dog, and raisins. The raisins will naturally sweeten the menudo.
  8. You’re done!

It’s really easy to make. The cooking time is approximately 30minutes yet it will result to similar taste of the traditional version.

Thanks to those who attended the Astig Vegan Holiday Party despite the chaos of the holidays. I look forward to the next get together!


Where to eat Vegan: San Francisco

Decked with smooth and polished bamboo, earthy textured wall paper, and sophisticated soft lighting,  you would think Thai Idea Restaurant will charge you at least 20 bucks for a single dish. Instead, this new Thai restaurant in San Francisco offers an all-vegan menu marked with prices of only $6-$12.

I went to check it out with my fellow AstigV blogger, TJ,  my good friend, Aureen, and my boyfriend, Chris. Together, we were about to find out if the food would match the ambiance.

Posh, sophisticated ambiance, but how about the food?

First, we ordered the “Firecracker Ball” as appetizer.  The bite size portions came on a tiny, long container which I found sleek and lovely. Already, the food made an impression. After a bite, I loved the spicy kick without it having to burn my tongue.  I wish it was crispier though, but it carried the right flavor and spice.

I’ve eaten at many Thai restaurants but it’s my first time trying this dish. Maybe it’s the chef’s original creation?

Firecracker Ball for starters

Next was “Panang Curry Shrimp”. I heard that vegan restaurants use yam flour to recreate the texture of shrimp-how innovative! Yet, this dish doesn’t offer anything new to me other than that- it has vegan shrimp; but I don’t find that necessarily a bad thing. Panang Curry fans would love this dish because it stayed true to its authentic flavors. No fusions here. Plus, vegans would find it refreshing from the usual tofu option. We ate this with a bowl of rice.

Panang Curry Shrimp

TJ or Aureen ordered this one, so if I’m not mistaken I think it’s called Beef Chow Fun. Anyway, that was exactly what it looked and tasted like. If I have a weakness, it’s not eating meat, it’s eating greasy food! And this one definitely had some oil. However, health conscious eaters shouldn’t pass up this plate. The dish had plenty of vegetables to go with the chow fun and faux beef. The vegan beef, by the way was quite chewy and tasted like the real thing but without the meat smell.

Veg Beef Chow Fun

Look at this presentation! An A plus plus for plating; I didn’t even want to dig in because the dish was so pretty!

But I’m glad I did because the “Bangkok ‘duck'” was my favorite out of all. With one bite, I enjoyed the many textures and flavors of this dish; it was sweet, savory, soulful, and not spicy at all. The bite had a crunch but it wasn’t dry either. And like the “Firecracker ball”, this must have been the chef’s original creation because there was nothing quite like it!

Bangkok “Duck”

For dessert, we ordered the FBI: Fried Banana Ice cream. The presentation was once again, a winner. For the price of it however, I wished it had more portion.

We did enjoy this sweet dessert but we found it nothing different from the other great FBIs we’ve ordered in the past-except for the sleek plating.

FBI: Fried Banana Ice Cream

All in all, I’d definitely go back to this place . The ambiance and food elevated Thai Cuisine to a whole new level. Plus, it’s ALL VEGAN!  So yes, Thai Idea exemplifies indeed! To whoever came up with the concept, I say, “What a great (Thai) idea”!

The happy foodies:  Aureen, TJ, Chris & I

Thai Idea Vegetarian

710 Polk St
(between Willow St & Eddy St)
San Francisco, CA 9410
(415) 440-8344

Veg (Pinoy) From Around the World: Jules Mezher

A guest post by Jules Mezher

She has been a vegan for 6 months now and she intends to stay that way for the rest of her life.

I was inspired by my eco-foodie fairy, Nadya Hutagalung to start on green juicing a few months back. At that time, I was a pescetarian transitioning to veganism. I have been constantly researching on meal options just to avoid monotony. I am also more of a smoothie person than a juice person so I tried to find out more about green smoothies.

Green smoothies are smoothies made of blended greens and fruits.

I was quite a bit hesitant at first because I was concerned about the nasty taste it might give but I was wrong. Green smoothies turned out tasting to be just like our regular fruit smoothies (with direct proportions, the fruits cover up any bitter taste), only they are packed with more nutrients and with so many advantages to offer.

In the past few months, I have done carrots-cucumbers-lettuce-basil smoothies, cucumbers-lettuce-apples, and spinach-basil-mangoes (I’ve tried them ripe and unripe). Having a variety of greens smoothies will keep you from getting stuck. I stick with whatever is in season to lessen my carbon footprint. Like what I always say, fruits and veggies in season are the wisest choices because you get to have them at their very best.

Just as a side note, I also happen not to like some fruits and vegetables but I am on a mission to give them all another chance to redeem themselves J.  Bitter gourd (or balsam apple) for instance, I abhor it when I was a kid but now I learned that I love it sauteed with tofu and vegetarian oyster sauce. Zucchinis and other gourds are a put-off to me once but I found that the key to liking them is actually not to overcook them. For my smoothies, banana was a big challenge because I really didn’t like them. I despised them. Now, after some experimentation with mangoes, lettuce, soy milk, and peanut butter, it has indeed achieved redemption.

Since I started on green smoothies, I’ve experienced these personally:

  • No more constipation problems and bowels are regular.
  • My skin has cleared up more than ever.
  • Everytime I have a green smoothie for breakfast, I’m more energized and active compared to the days when I have none.

I’m encouraging you to give these green and healthy smoothies a try. We owe it to ourselves.

Here’s one of my recent favorites:

Banana-Lettuce-Peanut Butter Smoothie

3 Bananas

4 leaves of Romaine lettuce

1 Tablespoon of organic Peanut butter

Cold water

What you would need: Blender

Serves 2

To see other guest posts, click here

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Seitan: The other Vegan Meat

It has a funny name, or should I say, a scary one. Seitan, pronounced Say-tahn, is a kind of wheat gluten. I heard the real spelling was also Satan but I guess people changed it overtime for what may be obvious reasons.

Seitan does have a quirky name and vegans like to poke fun at it all the time. At vegan festivals and fairs, you wouldn’t miss at least one vendor selling a sticker, t-shirt, magnet, or pin that says “Praise Seitan”, “Seitan Rules”, etc.

In a way, the slogans ring true. We vegans do love our Seitan because it brings a different kind of texture that soy doesn’t deliver sometimes. For example, when I went to Seattle for my birthday last year, my friend treated me out at a trendy vegan restaurant called Plum Bistro. And much to my surprise, I spotted steak on their menu. I was skeptical but thought, “hey why not?”. And after a wonderful meal for a vegan birthday girl, I considered their Seitan Steak one of the best vegan dish I have ever had-and I’ve eaten TONS of scrumptious vegan food in my more than three years of the lifestyle!

The steak was juicy, tender, fatty and flavorful. The chef might have squeezed a little bit of lemon in the sauce because I tasted some acidity that perfectly complimented the savory salty of the dish.

But to clarify, it didn’t taste like a T-Bone cow steak; I didn’t think it was trying to. The Seitan Steak was king in its own right. Plus, it was cruelty-free, so yes, I shall praise Seitan indeed! :P The dish was unforgettable I had to order it again when I came back to Seattle this year. The photo below was taken from my second visit.

Cruelty Free, Healthy, and Delicious: Seitan Steak!

Most people I know would dismiss vegan food as only tofu and plants. Hopefully, they’ll soon realize that there are so much more to it. Aside from tofu, our meat substitutes vastly include mushrooms, tempeh, yams, and of course, seitan.

 

Champorado Time!

Thanks to a fellow vegan and twitter friend, Marla Zapanta, I have something to beat this cold weather blues: hot cocoa.

Vegan hot cocoa perfectly warms the body especially on a rainy day; Chocolate is an excellent cure for the blues.

You don’t need to have extensive culinary training to whip up one. Just  combine the ingredients in a pot, let it simmer, and you’re done!

But after one sip, my hot cocoa tasted something so closely Filipino and vegan…tsampurado! I thought, “Why not add sticky rice to complete the dish?”, and that’s exactly what I did.

One important note: I added 1/2 cup of sticky rice, 1 tbsp cocoa powder, about 1-1 1/2 cup soymilk and about 5 tbsp of Agave syrup. Keep the heat low and stir occasionally until the sticky rice has softened. To keep it more Filipino, after pouring the tsampurado into a bowl, I topped it with milk. But instead of condensed cow’s milk, I used soymilk.

Ta-da!