smokey bbq tofu & collards wrap

A few weeks ago my best vegan friend introduced me to a little cafe in Atlanta called The Flying Biscuit. Although the cafe is famous for, you guessed it, biscuits - I was excited to find a handful of vegan choices on the menu. They had the usual suspects (tofu scramble, hummus sandwich, soysage), but my expert friend said "you have to try the Vegan BBQ Burrito." Ever since I stuffed my face with the delicious wrap filled with BBQ tofu and collards, I just knew I could whip this one up at home. When I finally got around to trying it out today, the results were even better than the original.

Smokey BBQ Tofu & Collards Wrap

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra Firm Organic Tofu*, crumbled
Annie's Organic Hot Chipotle BBQ Sauce***
Organic Collard Greens**, rough stems removed, chopped
Button Mushrooms, thinly sliced
Organic Vegetable Broth
Organic Lite Soy Sauce*
Liquid Smoke
Whole Grain Tortillas

I didn't include measurements, because it really depends on how many wraps you're planning to make. However, the recipe is so simple, you'll easily figure out the right proportions.

Heat about a tsp of oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add crumbled tofu and saute until golden brown.
Transfer tofu into a small sauce pan.
Return the skillet to the heat and add another tsp of oil.
Add mushrooms and collards. (Remember that the collards will cook down to about 1/2 this size.)
Saute mushrooms and collards for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly to avoid burning.
Add vegetable broth (just enough to coat the bottom of the skillet), a few dashes of soy sauce, and a generous amount of liquid smoke.
Stir to evenly coat the greens.
Continue to cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes until liquid is absorbed.
If the greens soak up the liquid really quickly, just add more vegetable broth to prevent the greens from burning.
While the collards are cooking, add the BBQ sauce to the tofu (just enough to thickly coat the crumbles).
Add a few dashes of liquid smoke and stir.
When collards are done and tofu is heated through, fill up your tortillas with even amounts of greens and BBQ.
Serve warm.

*Several very toxic pesticides are used to grow conventional soybeans, so be sure to use organic tofu and soy sauce.
**Because collard greens grow close to the ground, they tend to have high pesticide residue levels. Organic is better. Local organic is best.
***You can use your favorite BBQ sauce, but I love love love Annie's Organic Hot Chipotle BBQ. It doesn't have that weird sweetness like most packaged BBQ sauces and the heat level is perfect for these wraps. Plus, even big box grocery stores carry Annie's products.


back to basics

After several pleas from my husband not to buy anymore dessert cook books because "We don't need to keep eating sweets," I gave in to my cravings and finally picked up Isa & Terry's "Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar." Of course, he jumped right in to help me try all of the delicious new cookie recipes and we've been freaking out about how yummy they are (especially the Mocha Mamas and Lazy Samoas.) We've tried to share as many as we can with co-workers and friends, but our cookie intake has gotten a little out of control. You have to taste them, right? So, to counter-balance the sweetness overload, I've been having a lot of simple, nutrient packed meals like this one of sauteed collard greens and mushrooms with grapefruit.

Since basic salads and raw fruit aren't exactly exciting to blog about, I thought I'd share some info about a company that blew me away with their products. When my sister gave birth to my beautiful little niece 4 months ago, one of the hospital care packages was full of goodies like natural nipple butter, organic tea for breastfeeding mothers, and baby bottom balm from Earth Mama Angel Baby Organics. You can read all about their environmentally friendly, organic, toxin-free, vegan products for pregnancy, labor, postpartum recovery, breastfeeding, babies, and even baby loss comfort on their website here. For a hospital whose cafeteria menu included "heart healthy" options like scrambled eggs with cheese (wtf), I was really impressed that they introduced new moms to such a positive line of products. Oh, and I was really really impressed with my sister. Being with her during labor was the scariest, yet most amazing thing I have ever seen. Moms - you are incredible.

Like most of the country, we've been having some pretty dreary weather here in Georgia, so when I saw Andria's rave about DEVA Vegan Vitamin D supplements, I immediately ordered them from Vegan Essentials. We've both noticed a big boost in both mood and energy levels since we starting taking the vitamins each morning. If you're not getting much sun exposure this winter and you're not eating any foods that naturally provide vitamin D (only animal products do), I highly recommend taking a supplement. For more information about how vitamin D works with your body, check out the Wiki page here. Thanks for the tip Andria!

Hopefully I'll learn to put my cookie cutters away for a few days and I'll be back with some new recipes soon.


hot reuben dip

When I was a kid, my best friend's mom used to make a Hot Reuben Dip for every pot luck or school function they attended. I have such fond memories of my friend and I sneaking bites of the the cheesy, corned-beefy spread from the sauce pan when her mom wasn't looking. So when I found myself trying to find a way to use the rest of the sauerkraut in our refrigerator, after making outrageously delicious Tofu Reubens from the Grit Cookbook, my childhood memories drew me into making this vegan version of Hot Reuben Dip.

Hot Reuben Dip

2 Tbsp yellow onion, chopped
1/4 - 1/2 cup Sauerkraut (to taste)
3 oz Vegan Meatless Ground (I like LiteLife Smart Ground, where 3oz = 1/4 package)
4 Tbsp Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
Handful Vegan "Cheese," shredded (I like Follow Your Heart Monterey Jack)
Liquid Smoke
Soy Sauce
Dried Dill
Garlic Powder
Vegetable Oil
Rye Bread

In a small saucepan, saute onions in a little oil over low heat for 1-2 minutes.
Add meatless ground, 3-4 dashes of liquid smoke, 1-2 dashes of soy sauce, and a dash of each dried spice.
Thoroughly combine all ingredients and cook until heated through.
Add sauerkraut, cream cheese, and veggie shreds.
Combine all ingredients and serve hot with rye bread squares.

You could buy those creepy, tiny, preservative-packed, pre-sliced squares of rye at the supermarket, or you can buy fresh rye bread at your local bakery, slice it into tiny squares, and toast them until crispy.


wild mushroom miso

Last week while my dad was visiting for the holidays, I finally made it to the Dekalb Farmers Market and now I’m feeling silly that this is our second year living in Georgia and we’d never visited this amazing place before. I could rave on and on about the indoor market’s selection of organic produce, fair trade coffee, organic bulk grains, spices, dried foods, and nuts, or you can read all about it on their website here.

Although my dad and I intended to mostly browse the isles, we left the market with our canvas bags overflowing. The bulk items were especially hard to pass up, since everything was so much less expensive than the bulk selection at our local health food store or co-op. Our jaws dropped when we found a mix of dried wild mushrooms, about 3 cups worth, for less than $3. We’ve used them sparingly in pasta and in a wild mushroom and pecan pesto, which we made off the cuff and it was fabulous. I’ll be sure to post it once I get the ingredient measurements down.

Today, however, we have been lying around nursing the colds that kept us home last night and nothing sounded better than hot, brothy soup. The following recipe for Wild Mushroom Miso is so easy, you’ll probably be able to manage pulling your-self out of bed to make it on your next sick day, or, you can whip it up any old night when your head doesn’t feel like a balloon and you’ll enjoy it even more. The most important part of the recipe is the broth created from soaking the mushrooms in water to re-hydrate them, so remember not to throw it out when you drain the mushrooms. The broth is just as flavorful and savory as the mushrooms themselves.
Wild Mushroom Miso

¾ cup Dried Wild Mushrooms
3 cups Water
1 Vegetable Bouillon cube
1 – 1 ½ Tbsp Organic White Miso*
¼ carton Organic Firm Silken Tofu, cubed*

Boil 1 cup of water.
Pour boiling water over dried mushrooms in a bowl, using a second bowl inside to weigh down the mushrooms and keep them submerged.
Soak mushrooms for 10 minutes, then remove them from the water.
Chop hydrated mushrooms into smaller pieces, if necessary.
Add the water used to soak the mushrooms with 2 additional cups of water and the vegetable bouillon cube to a soup pot.
Bring broth to a boil.
Add mushrooms and tofu and reduce heat to low.
Transfer one ladle of broth to a bowl and stir in miso until dissolved.
Return broth to soup pot.
Simmer for an additional 5 minutes, until tofu is heated through and soup is steaming hot.

This recipe will make enough for 4 small bowls of soup, but my husband and I just ate all of it between the two of us. We served it with hot white tea, which was a perfect pair.

*Several very toxic pesticides are used to grow conventional soybeans, so be sure to use organic tofu and miso.