Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day: A Review & Giveaway!!!

In case you didn’t already know, Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes, authors of the almighty Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day, have been doing a blog tour for the last 5 weeks to promote their book. This is the final week and I feel honored to be taking part in such a fun and tasty adventure. ***GIVEAWAY INFO AT END OF POST***

I have been following the talents of these two ladies for quite some time and am always impressed to the max with their recipe creativity skills. I was especially excited about Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day because like most folks, I love a good sammie – any time of day. They are portable, versatile, filling, and just plain fun to eat.

This book is gorgeous (GORGEOUS!!!)! Celine’s photography skills grace the pages and the recipes are clever twists on classics, plus new creations you won’t want to refuse. There is even a nifty chapter on how to make your sandwich building experience a breeze (we aren’t all born sandwich-making artists, myself included). Other chapters include breakfast sandwiches, topless sandwiches, cold sandwiches, classic sandwiches, bold new sandwiches, sweet sandwiches, and sandwich building blocks. Your bases are definitely covered.

When I first opened my copy, I tabbed so many recipes to make that I got overwhelmed. Decision making is not my strong suit. With the help of Tim, we narrowed the recipes down to a more manageable handful for review purposes. The first recipe we made was the Green Monster Bread (there is a bagel variation), which would be used later for The Incredible Green Sandwich.

These green hued bagels are packed with spinach and dotted with garlicky goodness. While the dough was a bit finicky to work with, these came out of the oven golden on top, chewy on the inside, and damn delicious.

And there was the sammie:

The Incredible Green Sandwich is a combination of garlicky avocado spread, greens, and sprouts (which we had to do without since Portland seems to have a sprout shortage right now) on Green Monster Bread (which can be made into bagels or rolls too). If you love avocados, this is the perfect choice for you! Plus, on a dreary gray day, green foods always brighten my mood.

Next up, we made the Almo-Cado Sandwich. This clever creation uses almond butter as a spread and seasoned shredded beets, micro greens, sprouts, and avocado as the filling. I had this sandwich for my lunch and it kept me full until dinner. It is a well balanced and pretty sandwich!

We have plans to make quite a few more sandwiches from this book over the next week or two. On the list: Pesto Pitzas, Maple-Nut Pie Wafflewich, Hot Brown Sandwiches, Razz-elnut Spinach Sandwiches, One World Reuben, Meat(less)ball Subs, and Peanut Butter Banana Bacon Sandwiches. See what I mean? You will want to make everything!!!

For now, I am going to share the Green Monster Bread recipe with you, courtesy of Celine, Tami, and their fine publisher, Fair Winds Press. Thanks!

Green Monster Bread

1 packed cup (40 g) baby arugula or spinach
1 tablespoon (8 g) minced garlic
1 1/4 cups (295 ml) water, lukewarm
2 tablespoons (30 ml) light olive oil
3 1/2 cups (438 g) all-purpose flour*, plus more
if needed
2 tablespoons (18 g) vital wheat gluten
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons (25 g) sugar
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon canola oil
Nonstick cooking spray

Place the arugula, garlic, water, and oil in a blender; blend
until smooth. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, gluten,
yeast, sugar, and salt. Add the wet ingredients to the dry.
Using a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix for about
6 minutes, until a dough forms. Add more flour, 1 tablespoon
(8 g) at a time while mixing, if needed.

Alternatively, if you don’t have a stand mixer, transfer
the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for 8 to 10
minutes, adding 1 tablespoon (8 g) flour at a time if needed,
until the dough is smooth and pliable.

Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough in it. Turn to
coat. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise for 60 to 90
minutes, until doubled.

Lightly coat an 8 x 4-inch (20 x 10-cm) loaf pan with
spray. Gently punch down the dough and press it down into
the pan. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise until
the dough reaches 1 inch (2.5 cm) over the top of the pan,
between 30 and 60 minutes

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C, or gas mark 5).
Carefully remove the plastic wrap and bake for 30 minutes,
or until golden brown and the bottom of the bread sounds
hollow when tapped. Remove from the pan, transfer to a wire
rack, and let cool before slicing.

Yield: 1 loaf

*Feel free to replace up to half of the flour with white whole wheat flour, but keep in mind that the green color might become a bit more subdued if you do.

****And now… a giveaway!!! Fair Winds Press has generously offered to give one reader their very own copy of Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day!!!! Hooray!!! To enter, leave a comment telling me about your most favorite sandwich. This giveaway is open to folks in the US and Canada. You have until midnight (Pacific Standard Time) Friday, December 7th! Good Luck!!!****

Awards

This year had disappeared so quickly – I can’t believe November is over in just a few days! It has been a good year full of travel, adventure, new jobs, and a greater appreciation for life (which was desperately needed). Amidst all the business, two lovely bloggers nominated me for awards. One was all the way back in July and I feel terrible finally mentioning it months later. Blog awards are nice because they provide an even greater appreciation for veganism and for all the folks spreading compassion for the animals. Love.

Anyway, the beautiful Madison from Veggieful nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award. Thank you so very much, Madison!! Her blog is full of amazing recipes and her partner takes gorgeous photographs – the two components of a blog I enjoy most! Go visit her blog and you will see what I mean.

The second award is the Liebster Award and it comes from a new-to-me blog called Arohanui Vegan Love written by Lindsay. She lives in New Zealand with her family – a place near and dear to my heart (Tim and I lived there during 2001-2002). I will definitely enjoy reading through her posts. Thank you for the nomination!

Both awards require me to post 10-ish facts about myself. Ready?

1. I am a middle child, sandwiched nicely between two sisters. Middle child syndrome does exist, by the way.

2. I can touch my tongue to my nose. I used to dream about getting on the David Letterman show for his Stupid Human Tricks segment.

3. In my spare time, I sometimes do voice-over work. My most memorable stint was providing the voice of a talking blow-up sex doll for a British theatre play (it was a comedy).

4.  I don’t know how to swim. Despite taking numerous lessons as a child, my coordination for the sport is pathetic at best.

5. I sleep with stuffed animals. A big snowy owl, a red-footed booby, a snail, a monkey, and a blue-footed booby. I love them all.

6. I have a serious cracker addiction and can eat an entire box of these, these, or these all by myself in one sitting. No sharing!

7. I LOVE owls. Up until July of this year, I had only ever seen owls at my local Audubon Society in the rehabilitation center. This summer, I saw two great horned owls in the wild. I nearly passed out from excitement and awe.

8. My favorite color is brown. Boring? Perhaps, but it is the color of chocolate… and tahini (sort of)!

9. I love reading children’s books and young adult literature. Adult level reading confuses and bores me. It’s embarrassing to browse for books at the library because I am often bumping elbows with actual kids.

10. I am deathly scared of spiders. This might have something to do with being in a basement filled with spiders as a child…

Part of the Liebster Award is to answer questions asked by the issuer. Here are Arohanui Vegan’s questions:

1. Almond or Coconut Milk? Almond

2. Guacamole or Hummus? Hummus

3. Beach or Snow? Snow

4. Canon or Nikon? Nikon

5. Smoothie or Juice? This is a tough one… I am going to say smoothie because I make them more often

6. Raw or Cooked? Depends on the season, but usually cooked

7. Nuts or Seeds? Nuts, especially toasted almonds

8. Bike or Skateboard? Bike

9. Coffee or Tea? Tea – chai or peppermint are faves

10. Tent or Hotel? Tent!!!

11. Fruits or Veggies? Undecided – I love them both equally!

Now, here is where I become the ultimate party pooper. I am supposed to pass these awards on by nominating other bloggers. This is hard because there are so many wonderful blogs and everybody ought to share the rewards collectively. I encourage anybody reading this to participate and accept these blog awards as your own. Share fun facts and keep spreading compassion through your blogs!

Later this week: a book review and giveaway!!!! Stay tuned!!!! It’s a good one.

Updates

I am working on updating some issues with my blog. Quite some time ago, most of the photos from my 2008 posts disappeared for no reason. I had started working on incorporating them back into my posts, but I didn’t have all the photos, so I gave up on the “project”. Now that I have a bit of extra time, I am trying to add photos back into the old posts. If your reader is inundated with new post alerts for my blog, pay no attention – it’s just me performing necessary maintenance! Thanks for understanding!!

Fancypants

The past few weeks have been very busy. Most of my time was spent working and trying to keep up with to-do lists that won’t stop growing (like the pile of dishes in my kitchen sink!). Yesterday was a pretty exciting day at work and I thought it might be fun to share why it was so special!

You see, Herbivore hosted a pop-up shop for Vaute Couture and I was there to enjoy it from start to finish. I even made (and ate) cupcakes for the event! I spent the day with Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart, the founder/creator of Vaute Couture. She is the sweetest, loveliest person!!! For those of you who don’t know, Vaute Couture specializes in gorgeous, vegan, and sustainable outerwear (made in the USA!!!) – mainly super stylish coats for men and women. I saw the coats in person for the first time and they are absolutely amazing – soft, warm, and fashionable.

Before I left for the day, Leanne and I captured a moment with a cupcake:

And, here is a close-up shot of the chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting I made:

Fun day!

Speaking of Herbivore, there is a new poster available for purchase online and in the retail store! Check it out:

Nifty huh? Get one to hang up in your kitchen!

 

 

Vegan Eats World: Takeout Stir-Fry Noodles with Mushrooms & Greens

As promised, this week will feature recipe reviews from Vegan Eats World by Terry Hope Romero. Last night Tim and I made the Takeout Stir-Fry Noodles with Mushrooms and Greens (page 231). We were in the mood for something quick, filling, and full of flavor. Plus, I LOVE noodles. We were pleased with this meal. In fact, Tim devoured his portion before I was halfway through mine.

Terry mentions that this recipe will sharpen your stir-fry skills and it’s completely true. Tim and I purchased a hand-hammered wok from The Wok Shop over the summer. It is a gorgeous piece of art and so fun to use when cooking stir-frys. We are definitely not wok pros, but this recipe gave us a bit of an edge.

The recipe consists of noodles, shiitakes mushrooms, Asian greens (we used bok choy), and a well-flavored sauce. There is an option to add seitan (or tofu) using other recipes from the book. We took advantage of that by using some seitan we purchased at Food Fight the other day. We rarely buy canned food; this seitan is a special exception.

In total, this meal took just under 40 minutes to prepare. The variety of texture, abundance of noodles, tasty sauce, and earthy mushrooms made this meal a new favorite. Not much can beat a steaming bowl of delicious noodles on a cold and rainy night. Well, free s’mores can, but noodles are MUCH more nutritious!!

Oh, I just joined Pinterest today. Are you on Pinterest? I have no idea what I am doing yet – but I will learn eventually. Follow me if you want (the link is below my blog roll), or give me some guidance in the comment section of this post.