Lobster Mushroom Tostada Tower

September 22, 2009

LobsterMushroom

Lobster mushroom is one of Earth’s strange and incredible inventions. But don’t be scared off by the fact that it’s actually not a mushroom, but a parasitic ascomycete (a parasite-fungus that is hosted by, and consumes mushrooms). http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/images/lobster_mushrooms_300.jpgWhen this delicious fungal-parasite takes over the mushroom, it engulfs it and turns it red, giving it a lobster-like appearance, and strangely, a subtle seafood taste. Thanks for mycological cannibalism, mamma nature!

This dish is like fancy-shmancy fish tacos, but vegan and minus the whole devastation of reefs and other ocean ecosystems. And unlike seafood, this mushroom will still probably be around in 2048. The crisp layering of toasted tortillas, the smoothness of the hearty kale-potato sauce, and the crispy-edged, pan-seared lobster mushroom sauteed with shallots and garlic all come together quite wonderfully. The texture of sauteed and seared lobster mushroom is tender, slightly chewy, and very satisfying. Lobster mushroom isn’t cheap, so save it for a special occasion.

This dish is vegan, soy and gluten free! Mercury free, too!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED (serves 2):

  • 1 large or 2 medium Lobster Mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 med-large shallots
  • 2 small red potatoes
  • 1 packed-cup fresh green kale
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 Tbs olive oil (for sauteing)
  • 2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 2 small corn tortillas
  • 1 tsp/cube unsalted veg bullion
  • 1 tbs nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp cashew cream (equal parts cashew and water, blended)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Bring a large oiled skillet to med heat.
  2. Half the potatoes and steam them along with the kale for about 12-15 min.
  3. Dice the garlic and chop the shallots and add to pan for about 5 min, mixing occasionally.
  4. Slice the mushroom in 1/2 in thick slices and add to pan.
  5. Saute for another 10-12 min, flipping the mushrooms once.
  6. Add the vinegar to the pan and saute for another 5 minutes, flipping the mushrooms again.
  7. Remove from the heat.
  8. In a blender or processor, combine the steamed kale, potato, almond milk, salt, nutritional yeast, and bullion until smooth.
  9. Half the tortillas and toast or pan fry until crisp.
  10. On a large plate, layer the tortilla, then kale sauce, then mushroom. Repeat for another layer, and top with the garlic/shallots and the cashew cream.

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EMCEE DB: Win a seat at Veggie Conquest, Squash!

September 21, 2009

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On Saturday, September 26th, I’ll be the emcee at the Veggie Conquest event here in New York City along with the judges: bakery owner Amy Lynn Herman, restaurateur Deborah Gavito, and eco-veggie blog-star Michael Parrish DuDell.

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There is one spot left to be a competing chef! Get your ticket now! Unfortunately, the event is sold-out for tasters. But fear not! I will be randomly picking a guest to come with me as my “plus 1“. CLICK HERE TO ENTER YOUR NAME!

winter-squash

Autumn has arrived, and this month, the featured ingredient is squash!

All chefs will make an appetizer featuring squash!

This is the one time of year that we have both summer and winter squash available! There are so many kinds of squash and so many parts of a squash that can be used.


Raw Sweet-Pesto “Pasta”

September 18, 2009

RawPestoPasta

The last recipe I did was a cooked, more traditional version of sweet pesto pasta – but for those of you who like it raw, I offer you my uncooked interpretation. Zucchini, squash (and even eggplant and carrots!) can be shredded into thin, linguine-like strips. If you suffer from gluten allergies, want to shrink your carb-footprint, or just want a lighter, healthier dish – check this cheap and easy (just like me!) recipe:

WHAT YOU’LL NEED (serves 2):

  • 1 med-large zucchini
  • 1.5 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 clove raw garlic
  • 2 dried black mission figs
  • 1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbs nutritional yeast*
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Using a vegetable peeler, shred the zucchini very thinly (using almost no pressure).
  2. In a blender, combine the basil, cashews, avocado, water, garlic, figs, vinegar, nutritional yeast, salt, and Italian seasoning. Save the black pepper for putting on top!
  3. Pour the pesto over the shredded “pasta”, mix, top with the pepper, and serve!

Q&A

*Sometimes when I include Nutritional Yeast in a raw recipe, readers ask, “Is Nutritional Yeast actually raw?”.

The answer is no, it’s not raw. However, you NEVER want to eat raw yeast! Nutritional Yeast it is a really valuable supplement with a rock-star nutritional profile. So if you’re religiously raw – skip it. If not, it’s crucial – and tastes like yummy, nutty, cheesy goodness! According to Sundance Natural Foods:

Raised On Molasses
Nutritional yeast is grown on mineral enriched molasses and used as a food supplement. At the end of the growth period, the culture is pasteurized to kill the yeast. You never want to use a live yeast (i.e. baking yeast) as a food supplement because the live yeast continues to grow in the intestine and actually uses up the vitamin B in the body instead of replenishing the supply. (Brewer’s yeast is nutritionally the same but as a by-product of the beer-brewing industry it has a characteristic bitter hops flavor.)

It’s Good For Ya’
Nutritional yeast contains 18 amino acids (forming the complete protein) and 15 minerals. Being rich in the B-complex vitamins, it is vital in many ways and particularly good for stress reduction. The B-complex vitamins help make nutritional yeast such a valuable supplement, especially to the vegetarian. It is one of the rare vegetarian sources of B12.
One element of yeast is the trace mineral chromium, also known as the Glucose Tolerance Factor (GTF). This is necessary to regulate blood sugar and is important for diabetics and people with a tendency toward low blood sugar.

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Local Myth, Man-Boob Billboard & Walking For Farm Animals

September 9, 2009

It turns out that omnivorous locavores may be bending over backwards for no reason if their goals are environmental. Read the Forbes article that takes the meat out of the locavore argument and puts the emphasis right back on the largest single contributor to greenhouse gas emissions: meat and dairy. But we know that already, right? There’s nothing green about local bacon aside from the greenwashing in which it’s packaged. It’s almost as bad as the “humane slaughter” myth.

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Sometimes all you need is a simple, organic cotton tee in a few colors to take your wardrobe to the next level. Logos, silkscreen graphics and band names can distract from the main attraction: you. Alternative Apparel has crew neck and v-neck tees in every damn color.

PETA recently took some heat for asking us to save some whales - from blubber. Women went nuts when PETA put up a billboard saying that adopting a vegetarian diet can lead to weight loss, and now they are going after the guys! So what do you think? Offensive or crafty?Moobs

Meatloaf is not just for meat-eaters. With 33g of protein per serving, Field Roast’s Classic Meat Loaf packs some serious muscle. Order it online or check your local retailer.

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Walk like a man. We often hear about all the things we should do “like men“. But now, you can really walk like a man, by raising money to benefit Farm Sanctuary! Click HERE to see all the walk dates and locations.

To raise funds in person, please use the Offline Donation Form. You’ll need to bring the completed form and any donations with you the day of the Walk. If you can’t make it and want to sponsor someone, like our friend Gretchen or Dave, or simply donate, please do that too!

Thanks to our friend Ari, who is often a guest columnist on GGA, and who owns the snarky, yummy vegan, soy-candle company A Scent of Scandal forwarded locavore and man-boob articles.


EMPTY V: The Legendary John Norris

September 7, 2009

John Norris might be one of the most recognizable faces to anyone who liked music during the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s. John had one of the longest-running VJ careers on MTV, and has incredible perspective on where we stand concerning pop-culture. His environmentalism, veganism, and massive, glitter-crusted Rolodex of important musicians spanning a quarter-century make his perspectives worth considering. I sat down with John recently at the Jivamukti Cafe in NYC to talk about the state of mass media, music, and his personal politics.


Sweet Onion-Petso Pasta & Garlic Sauteed Spinach

September 3, 2009

PestoSpinachPasta

There are so many incarnations of pesto – I thought this sweeter, creamier pesto was satisfying and indulgent, and went perfectly with some simple, garlic sauteed spinach. As usual, I recommend getting your ingredients organic and as local as possible!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED (serves 2):

pesto pasta

  • 1.5 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cups brown rice pasta
  • 2 Tbs raw cashew butter (or 1/4 cup raw cashews)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 large yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

spinach

  • 3 cups fresh spinach
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbs olive oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. Chop the onion, crush 2 cloves of garlic, and bring a large pan to medium heat, and saute them in 1 Tbs olive oil until golden.
  2. Pour in the wine and let the liquid reduce for about 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, put the basil, cashew butter, almond milk, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth.
  4. Add the sauteed onions and blend. Set aside the pesto.
  5. Boil the pasta until tender, and strain.
  6. Pour the pesto onto the pasta and mix.
  7. For the spinach, saute for 3 or 4 minutes on medium heat (in the same unwashed skillet you used for the onions) with the garlic and olive oil.
  8. Use basil leaves for garnish, top with some black pepper and nutritional yeast, and serve!

Back To School Shopping: Paul Iacono Goes Eco with Joshua Katcher

August 28, 2009

I went back-to-school shopping with actor Paul Iacono of the reinvention of Fame! Teen.com TV asked me to take Paul on an eco-friendly shopping spree, where we went thrifting at Buffalo Exchange, checked out some organic cotton at Kaight, explored some cruelty-free accessories at MooShoes, and finished off the day with some vegan ice cream banana splits at Lula’s Sweet Apothecary!


Shirts, Books, Kicks, Bites

August 27, 2009

• Buy A Cool Organic Shirt from PARTYBOTS, Help Mercy For Animals!

$2 from every online apparel sale and 5% from all wholesale order get donated to Mercy For Animals to help assist in their efforts for animal compassion, education, investigations, grassroots activism and more.

True RomanceSea OtterTuna School Of FishVelocipede Boneshaker

Check out these new books from some of our favorite animal advocates:

The PETA Practical Guide to Animal Rights: Simple Acts of Kindness to Help Animals in TroubleDon't Dump the Dog: Outrageous Stories and Simple Solutions to Your Worst Dog Behavior Problems

• Just for Kicks. Check these new, striking cruelty-free shoes.Zip Top Boot

• Check out some of the amazing recipes at G LIVING. The recipes are delectable, and photographed beautifully. We re drooling over here!

Banfield, the nation’s largest veterinary practice with 730 hospitals and 2,000 Banfield, The Pet Hospital, a national chain of veterinary clinics associated with PetsMart, says it will no longer perform tail docking or ear cropping on dogs. The practice is common with breeds like Doberman Pinschers, Boxers and various spaniels and terriers.veterinarians, including many in PetSmart stores, announced it will stop performing cosmetic tail docking, ear cropping, or devocalization (de-barking) of dogs.  Read The Article.
“After thoughtful consideration and reviewing medical research, we have determined it is in the best interest of the pets we treat, as well as the overall practice, to discontinue performing these unnecessary cosmetic procedures,” says Karen Faunt, vice president for medical quality advancement. “It is our hope that this new medical protocol will help reduce, and eventually eliminate, these cosmetic procedures altogether.”



Loden Dager & Velour

August 26, 2009

This handsome, organic cotton-twill three button suit from Loden Dager can be found at Opening Ceremony, on sale.

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Try it with one of these organic shirts from Sweden’s Velour, and a pair of cruelty-free loafers from Bourgeois Boheme.

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Savory Summer Roll with Cuke Salad

August 24, 2009

SavorySummerRollCukeSalad

This meal was easy to prepare and combines a refreshing, crisp salad of cukes, carrots, cilantro and onion with a savory, warm roll stuffed with sauteed onions, kale, rice-burger and roasted cashews. Best of all, it’s gluten-free and soy-free!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED (serves 4):

Salad:

  • 1 large cucumber
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 tbs spicy mustard
  • 4 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbs agave (or preferred sweetener)

Roll:

  • 4 sheets of rice paper
  • 1 bunch of lacinato kale (aka Dinosaur Kale)
  • 1 large spanish onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 rice burger patties
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1 tbs vegetable oil, for sauteing
  • 1tbs Italian dressing
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast

DIRECTIONS:

Salad:

  1. Cut the cucumber in half, longways –  and then slice into half-coins about 1/2-in. thick.
  2. Dice the cilantro, red onion and garlic.
  3. Slice the carrots into think coins.
  4. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, and add the vinegar, agave, salt, pepper and mustard.
  5. Mix well and set aside to marinade while you prepare the rolls.

Rolls:

  1. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Bring a skillet to medium heat, and add the veg oil.
  3. Cut very ends of the kale off (just 1 inch) and then cut the bunch in half. Place it in the hot water.
  4. Boil the kale only for 1 minute, because we still want it to be slightly crisp. remove the kale from the water but SAVE THE WARM WATER and set both aside.
  5. Chop the Spanish onion into rounds about 1/4-in. thick and add place in the skillet.
  6. Dice the garlic, and burger patties and place in the skillet. Add the cashews, but set a few aside for garnish.
  7. Pour over the Italian dressing, and let everything cook over medium heat until golden brown.
  8. While step 7 is sauteing, dip your rice paper in he warm water. It will quickly become soft and elastic.
  9. On a cutting board or working surface, lay out the rice papers and evenly divide the kale and the sauteed combo onto them.
  10. Roll them up, plate and sprinkle nutritional yeast and the remaining cashews on top. Scoop some Cucumber salad for each plate and serve side-by-side.

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