Jerk Jackfruit

Jerk Jackfruit

Jackfruit looks strange from the outside– its giant and green, oblong and covered in a million tiny green spikes– but inside it is a mildly sweet fruit somewhere between a mango and an artichoke.

The young green jackfruit can be found in cans, or it can be found whole or pre-cut closer to ripe in most asian grocery stores. I always like to finish my jackfruit in a cast iron pan (I use this one from Lodge)

A little bit of bravery and a very sharp knife will cut through the thick outer skin of the whole fruit, giving you a great base that can take on many flavors from pulled v-pork to jerk v-chicken, giving you a healthy plant-based alternative to classic foods! Even better, jackfruit grows in abundance, making this a sustainable crop for local farmers year-round.

collardplate

Good Karma Collards w/ Baked Tofu

Something about Collard Greens always puts me in the mood for southern cooking…and while soul food and vegan cooking may not be the most intuitive combination, I assure you it can be delicious!  For this dish we will make a tasty, smoky, meaty baked tofu that we add to our equally smoky and also garlicky and a little feisty collard greens.

I will show you how to get a really fool-proof and satisfying flavor and texture from your tofu and I’ll even show you how to shred those collards with a simple technique that will save you tons of time with all your leafies.

Serves 4-6 as a side, or 2 as a main.

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HaVen Mint Chutney

By popular demand, the mint chutney recipe from the HaVen Indian Curry Mac’n’Cheeze, that was a crowd-pleaser at the PEP Foods #VeganMacSmack February 2016 in Baltimore.

The recipe takes about 15 minutes to make, and is made without oil or sugar.  You can make it spicier with a bit more curry and cayenne, and you can make it creamier with a bit of coconut milk or oil if you prefer.  ENJOY!

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Kitchen Scrap Veggie Broth

If you’re like me, the taste and expense of store-bought vegetable broth is just not something you want to deal with, and broth can seem like a crazy undertaking, with millions of ingredients and a long time, but once you get in the habit you’ll be glad you did.  The control over your flavors, for different kinds of soups or applications is benefit enough, but you’ll also be producing less packaging waste AND stretching your groceries for every last little penny.  Who knew onion skins would become your most treasured kitchen commodity?

It works like this: you go through your week, chop an onion here, smash some garlic there, and various other veggies in your travels.  Save them, and especially the skins, the seeds, and the leaves.  Have veggies that have gone a little limp or are a bit too near the end of their life?  Put em in, they’ll boil down to flavor and the solids will be filtered out! Put all these unwanted scraps in a gallon ziploc bag and keep that baby in your veggie drawer until its full (up to 7 days) combine it with a broth bag, cover with water and BOOM broth.

Here’s one such example (its big, you can make 1/4 size no problem!):

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Chocolate Mousse

Whether you are aiming for a guilt-free dessert, pudding topping or filling, this creamy delicious sweet indulgence is loaded with a nutrient density that is nothing to sneeze at!  The optional chia seeds add a lovely texture and pack this baby full of omegas too.  Don’t forget, you can leave the salt out or simply add a splash of lemon juice instead to make this healthy raw dessert completely Sugar Oil and Salt (SOS) free.

 

eggplantwrap

Breadless Roasted Eggplant Bruschetta

This easy recipe is as satisfying as it is healthful and allergen sensitive.  The low-carb and low-fat approach makes it a good diet conscious lunch, and its ability to be hand food makes it a great party snack.  Colorful and bright, with bold spice and warm and cool elements, make your next farmer’s market trip include items such as these! Prep time 10 minutes, cook time 25-30 minutes.eggplantwrap

Vegan Options at Restaurants Project

My goal: To help all/many more restaurants have at least one vegan option on their menu!

Submit this letter, or modify it for your own uses!

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Suzannah Gerber

(412) 901- 1216

contact email

Dear (Restaurant Name Manager/Owner):

Have you considered offering vegan options on your menu?

I am a part-time vegan chef and plant-based diet Medical study researcher and consultant at INOVA, and I would like to offer my assistance to you, at no cost, to help develop vegan options for your menu that integrate stylistically with your restaurant and use all or mostly ingredients you already purchase.  In addition to vegan options, I would be happy to help you consider allergen-sensitive items to accommodate gluten free, soy and nut allergies as well.

Why should you have vegan items on your menu?

Veganism has become very popular over the last few years, and is gaining in popularity.  Celebrities like Beyonce, and politicians like Bill Clinton, publically support the vegan diet.

Plant-based diets help treat health issues such as heart disease, chronic pain, and obesity. Nationwide campaigns such as “Meatless Mondays” speak to an interest in alternative diets.

Vegans and Vegetarians have meat-eating friends and family, and look for restaurants that accommodate everyone.  The choice for a group of 4-6 with 1 vegan is a restaurant with at least one or two vegan options on the menu.

Why is this consultation free?

My goals are to increase the amount of nutritionally balanced vegan food available, and to educate vegans about what locations can serve them.  Personally, I would like more options when I dine out with my non-vegan friends! Also, as a vegan chef, I would love the opportunity to work with restaurants with a variety of needs, culinary techniques, and restrictions, to learn how to make vegan food available to the widest possible audience.

By adding vegan items to your menu, you will open your doors to a new population of customer, a population who will happily promote the existence of your restaurant simply for offering vegan options. I will show you the many vegan websites that list and promote restaurants with vegan options, and personally help your restaurant get onto these lists.

I look forward to discussing adding a tailor-made vegan option to your menu!

Suzannah Gerber

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Help others see the bigger picture, one restaurant at a time!