Tag Archives: Tabasco

Roasting Vegetables Recipe – Root Vegetable Edition

Roasted Vegetables

Roasted Vegetables - Look at that garlic!

I like roasting vegetables because it’s easy and the results have a lot of flavor. Gotta get down to the root of things sometimes to get to the good stuffs. Roasting vegetables of the ROOT variety is one of my favorites, because there is very little fuss over the timing of the different veggies to worry about. As long as you cut them about the same size there is no need to put some vegetables in earlier and then some in later. Roasting vegetables allows you to wander away from the kitchen and do some other stuff.

Roasting Vegetables Potatoes Carrots Garlic Onions

Halfway done - Adding Herbs

This is not so much a hard and fast recipe as it is a basic how to guideline. Feel free to change-up the root vegetables or if you wanted to add something else like asparagus or eggplant you might need to do a little research and factor in the timing of adding other non-root veggie items. Also, I encourage you to play with the herbs and spices. I often do! This is just how I did it this one time. Next time will probably be slightly different. I am not going to give amounts either. Just roll with what you want or got or whatever is in season.

Roasted Vegetables Vegan

Roasted Vegetables Plated

I used cassava or yuca root this time around. Once I had yuca fries at an El Salvadoran restaurant and fell in love with it. What a weird beast, though. You should give it a try. I have only cooked with it a few times, but I dig it. Come to find out cassava is the 3rd largest source of carbohydrates for meals in the world. Right after rice and soft-drinks. :) Ha ha! I am guessing after rice and potatoes, actually.

Roasting Vegetables is Easy

Prep time: depends on the amount of roasting vegetables
Cooking time: 55 minutes
Total time: 70-90 minutes

Ingredients:

Potatoes
Yams or sweet potatoes
Leeks
Sweet onions with stalks still on
Carrots
Japanese turnips
Cassava a.k.a. yuca root, manioc, or incorrectly as ‘yucca’
Parsnips
Garlic whole heads
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Marjoram
Thyme
Sea Salt
Black Pepper freshly ground
Tabasco Sauce to taste

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Peel the carrots. Chop the tops off of the leeks where they begin to turn green. Do the same with the onions and halve. Halve the turnips and snip off the greens, leaving a little stem attached to each turnip. Use the leftover turnip greens for a salad or cook them like spinach or kale. Peel the parsnips. Peel the cassava. Cut the very tops off of the garlic heads.

2. Cut up the potatoes, yams, parsnips, and cassava into similar size pieces. See my pictures for size examples. I wish I had cut my carrots in half. So, cut the carrots in half length-wise.

3. Place all items (except garlic) onto a roasting pan or cookie sheet or multiples of such items if needed.

4. Sprinkle the root vegetables generously with extra virgin olive oil. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper and Tabasco sauce to taste. Then take your clean hands and make sure all the vegetables are well-coated with oil, otherwise they might dry out and no one wants that.

5. Cook at 425° Fahrenheit for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, stir well and rearrange vegetables with tongs and try to make sure they get coated again with the olive oil. Add the garlic to the roasting pan and pour about 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil over the top of each garlic head and add a pinch of salt. At this point add the herbs (in this case marjoram and thyme) to taste.

6. Return the roasting pan to the oven for another 30 minutes.

7. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 4 minutes and serve.

What to Serve with Roasted Vegetables?

We often just eat these like this and with nothing else. Yes, they are that good. But, I suppose you could serve them with some seitan or other plant-based protein if you wanted these to be kind of like a side dish. Roasted vegetables are just one of the many reasons I love being vegan.

~*The Funky Vegan

Roasting Vegetables

Roasting Vegetables Prep

Vegetarian Roasted Vegetables

Roasted Veggies Lookin' Good

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How To: Freezing Avocados – Avocado Love

Avocado Love Heart

Avocado Love

Freezing Avocados is awesome when you come across a good deal on really ripe avocados. In fact, a lot of people don’t even know freezing avocados is possible. It’s so easy and I love to take advantage of those times when the wonderful avocado fruit is on sale. It is one of my favorite fruits, along with olives and chili peppers. Here in San Diego County, the avocado capital of America, there is even a highway dubbed “The Avocado Highway” because there are so many avocado groves along the route. The Aztecs actually used avocados as a sex stimulant or aphrodisiac!

Freezing Avocados

Ripe Avocados

How To Freeze Avocados

Avocado Heaven!

My girlfriend loves avocados more than anyone I have ever met. It is probably her favorite food. So, we went to the farmers market and got a litter of avocados cheap. Why were they so inexpensive? Because they were ripe and ready to eat. We bought quite a few (it’s never enough) and left some out to eat and will freeze the rest to use as we need them and before they spoil. Frozen avocados don’t work well if they are in halves, chunks, slices, or pieces. They should be ripe and it’s best if they are mashed up. These will keep for 3 to 6 months frozen, but we always eat them within a few weeks. Why? Because WE LOVE AVOCADOS!!

Here’s how I freeze avocados!

Ingredients:

  • Avocados (however many you can get your hands on!)
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or lime juice per avocado (this helps to keep them green)

Instructions:

1. Mash up the avocados with a fork and add the appropriate amount of lemon juice or lime juice to the mashed avocados. Mix well.

2. Put the mixture in plastic zip lock bags in the amounts you prefer, remove as much air as possible and seal tightly. I try to stick to about 2 avocados per bag. More than that takes longer to thaw.

3. Place in the freezer until you need them.

4. When ready to use the avocados, place the frozen plastic bag in the refrigerator for around 24 hours to thaw or place in a bowl and run cool water over the baggie until thawed.

5. Use the avocado however you want. Maybe some guacamole dip or in a vegan sandwich or wrap! Perhaps in an avocado salad or in your favorite vegan avocado recipe. Mmm. Or with some nachos, quesadillas, tacos, or burritos. Yum! Oh so many ways to spread the avocado love. Some people freeze avocados for baby food. I often like to keep it simple and just add Tabasco sauce, salt, pepper, and some ground cumin.

Voila! That’s all there is to it. Simple, huh? Freezing avocados is EASY! Try it. Stay funky and vegan!

~* The Funky Vegan

Avocados with pits

This is the pits. Not!

Sexy Avocado

Sexy Avocado

Freezing Avocados with Lemon

Avocados and Lemons

Mashed Avocados

All Mashed Up

Avocados Ready To Be Frozen

Avocados Ready To Be Frozen

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Funky Vegan Spaghetti with Marinara and Italian Sausage

Ingredients Funky Vegan Spaghetti with Marinara and Italian Sausage

Yeah! This is gonna be good.

This is an easy and delicious recipe, packed with flavor, using organic whole wheat spaghetti and vegan Italian sausage. The best part? If you didn’t tell someone it was vegan, they would never know the difference.

So, who doesn’t like spaghetti? Especially when it is packed with flavor and wholesome ingredients. I know. I know. You’re already thinking, “I have my own recipe for spaghetti” or “It’s just easier to use store-bought Marinara sauce.” But, I promise that I wouldn’t be posting this if it wasn’t the absolute bomb-diggity. Just give it a try. It doesn’t take long to make and beats using jarred Marinara sauce any day.

Funky Vegan Spaghetti with Marinara and Italian Sausage

Mangia!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is always recommend to use pasta made in Italy and we really love the Garofalo brand of Organic Whole Wheat Spaghetti. It is imported from Italy and can be found at Costco. However, you can use any pasta with this recipe. You may also substitute crushed red pepper (like the kind you get with pizza) if you don’t have the whole dried peppers handy. It is highly recommended that you do not substitute for the Cavender’s Greek seasoning, which can be found at most grocery stores. Of course, you can use sugar, or any sweetener, in place of the  organic blue agave nectar.

Let’s get crackin’.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes

Servings: 8

Ingredients:

1 (16.7-ounce) package of organic whole wheat spaghetti
1 (14-ounce) package of Tofurky Italian sausage, sliced
1 (28-ounce) can of crushed tomatoes
1 head of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup water
5-10 dried red peppers, finely chopped or crushed
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3-4 dashes Tabasco brand pepper sauce
1/4 teaspoon Cavender’s Greek seasoning
3/4 teaspoon organic blue agave nectar

Directions:

1. Fill a 6 quart stock pot with 4-1/2 quarts of water. Place on high heat and start the process to bring to a boil.

2. Add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and vegan Italian sausage slices to a pan on medium-high to high heat and sauté 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until slightly browned. Remove from heat and set aside.

3. Add garlic, onion and Cavender’s seasoning to a 3 or 4 quart pot with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Sauté over high heat for 3-4 minutes. Add basil, oregano, and bay leaf, then stir briefly and reduce heat to slightly above medium.

4. Add tomatoes, black pepper, crushed red pepper, organic blue agave syrup, Tabasco sauce, 1/3 cup of water, and 2 teaspoons of salt (to taste), and stir. Save remaining 1 teaspoon of salt for pasta water.

5. Once the marinara sauce is bubbling, add the vegan sausage then reduce heat to low and simmer until pasta is ready.

6. When the pasta water is boiling, add the remaining teaspoon of sea salt and spaghetti, then cook according to package directions, usually around 9 minutes.

7. Quickly drain spaghetti using a colander, leaving a small amount of cooking water (1/4-1/3 cup) in the pot. Do not shake excess water from pasta. Place pasta back into 6 quart pot it cooked in, but off the heat. Add Marinara sauce and stir well.

Funky Vegan Spaghetti with Marinara and Italian Sausage Pot

In the Pot

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New Stuffs: Tabasco Buffalo Style Hot Sauce

New Stuffs: Tabasco Buffalo Style Hot SauceBookmark and Share

I have been a great fan of McIlhenny Company‘s Tabasco® Brand products for many years and have always wanted to visit Avery Island, LA to take a tour of the birthplace of their lovely and peppery elixir. I have been known to use the original Tabasco Sauce so much that my father bought me a gallon jug of it once for Christmas. It is a staple ingredient in my kitchen and something of a secret ingredient because it adds flavor and I use it in such a way (sometimes) that people don’t always notice it, they just say “Wow, that’s yummy!” And, I also own a Tabasco necktie.

Recently they introduced their Tabasco Brand Buffalo Style Hot Sauce to the world and I am looking forward to trying it out, soon. The heat level ranges from 300-900 Scoville Heat Units (SHUs), which you can see in the chart is much milder than most of their other sauces and is considerably less heat than I usually require. So, I’m thinking I will have to spice it up some.

Tabasco-Sauce-Scoville-Heat-Chart

Tabasco Sauce Rules! I could eat it on Ice Cream.

I love that Tabasco keeps their ingredients simple and natural. Tabasco Brand Buffalo Style Hot Sauce has red cayenne pepper, salt, water, distilled vinegar and garlic listed as the ingredients. Did you say garlic? I love anything with GARLIC in it. But, wait! It only comes in 5-oz. bottles? What? Really? There is no way that would last for even a dozen or two chicken wings. I truly hope they will come out with a 12 ounce version. Seriously now.

The sauce is described as thicker than their other sauces, is cayenne-based, and is not just for wings, but could be used in a variety of ways; including as a dipping sauce, on burgers or sandwiches, on the BBQ or grill, or to add some zing to a baked potato, or anything else for that matter. Tabasco already has several recipes available.

Try it for FREE! …well, sort of kind of free…

Tabasco Buffalo Style Hot Sauce Horns Get A Free BottleAt the time of this writing, it is not available in stores yet. Boo hoo hoo. The good news? It is available online at the Tabasco Country Store. Want to try it out for FREE? Well, sorta kinda free. They are including one FREE 5-oz. bottle of Tabasco Brand Buffalo Style Hot Sauce with any online order. Just enter code BUF on the shopping cart page when you place your order. If you happen to be in the food-service industry you should be able to get it in bulk (case of 12) from your vendor.

Tabasco Buffalo Style Hot Sauce Love in a BottleAnother good tip for those who love their Tabasco Sauce: GET a COUPON for money off of your next bottle.

One last caveat. No, it does not come with the cool bottle top with buffalo horns shown in the main picture for this article. But, it should and I am going to write them and let them know. I would buy it simply for that and just recycle the bottle for Tabasco Sauce!

Oh – maybe one more caveat. You may also want to see the video for the Guinness Book of World Records winner for Most Tabasco Sauce Drank In 30 Seconds. Think you can beat it? I think I can. I’ve always wanted to set a World Record. I think I have a strategy. Hmm.

Remember. Eat like a God!

The TABASCO® marks, bottle and label designs are registered trademarks and service marks exclusively of McIlhenny Company, Avery Island, Louisiana 70513. Images are also from the McIlhenny Company – one of which was slightly modified for this article by the writer for visual purposes.

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Nicolas Alziari Olive Oil & Cilantro Shrimp Recipe

Nicolas Alziari Olive Oil Cilantro Shrimp

Nicolas Alziari Olive Oil & Cilantro Shrimp Recipe Bookmark and Share

*Note: This post was created prior to me becoming a full-time vegan.

Several years ago, at a Williams-Sonoma store, I tasted this extra virgin olive oil that haunted me for years to come. It was so delicious and buttery, with an exquisite flavor that I’ve never tasted before, or since. It was rather expensive and I could not afford it at the time. When I eventually went back to get some, they no longer carried it and nobody knew the name of the brand I was talking about. I was heartbroken. Over time, I searched high and low, only remembering the basics of what the can looked like, and after 7 long years I finally found it. Sweet relief! And, now I share it with you.

Nicolas Alziari Extra Virgin Olive Oil is from Nice, France and made from the first cold pressing of select nicoise olives. Nicolas Alziari has been in business since 1868 and their oil is stone ground. The olive oil is sweet and fruity, with a silky smooth buttery finish. Most of it never makes it out of France, and therefore it is difficult to find. Nicolas Alziari Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the best olive oil in the world. It is best used raw as a finishing oil drizzled over vegetables, fish or meats, or in salad dressings. It is also quite nice on poultry or seafood, like scallops or shrimp. Below is a simple recipe for a quick appetizer called Cilantro Shrimp using this liquid gold.

Cilantro Shrimp Recipe

Serves 2-3

24 medium cooked shrimp (boiled, grilled, or any method)
1/2 teaspoon of Tabasco sauce
cracked black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon of fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons of Nicolas Alziari Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Place cooked and peeled, preferably cool (room temperature) shrimp on a plate. Sprinkle Tabasco sauce and black pepper over shrimp. Drizzle Nicolas Alziari Extra Virgin Olive Oil onto the shrimp. Top with chopped cilantro and serve.

My father was kind enough to get me a 1/2 liter can of this olive oil (thanks Pops). I found it online at Formaggio Kitchen. They also sell 1 liter cans. If you get really serious you can purchase it in bulk from Nicolas Alziari directly. This really is the best olive oil I have ever tasted. I hope you enjoy.

Nicolas Alziari Olive Oil - Best Olive Oil In The WorldNicolas Alziari Extra Virgin Olive Oil Tabasco Shrimp

Eat like a God!

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