Thursday, July 1, 2010

Veggie Might: Vegan Mayo and Worcestershire for Cookout Independence

Sweet readers: Today kicks off No-Cook Month on Cheap Healthy Good! Join us as we never turn on our stoves, ever.

Girls and boys, it’s been as hot as blue blazes around these parts (New York City, if you’re just joining us). Luckily for me, I have a sensitive little cookie monster who requires air conditioning for summer survival. No, not me—I can take the heat.

However, my Charming Boyfriend does not; and his apartment is consistently two- to three-degrees hotter than outside. Thank Maude for NO COOK MONTH!

To kick it off, I’m dipping back into a past theme: make your own condiments. It’s not a stove-free meal, but with Canada Day upon us (happy, happy, up there!), and the 4th of July just days away, I figured everyone’s cooking out anyway. Vegans and vegetarians will need something animal-free to slather on and spice up their veggie burgs, tofu dogs, and grilled portobellos.

Vegan Mayo
While Kris promises to keep this site mayo-free, I make no such vow, and besides vegan mayo is really just tofu sauce. Even Kris can get behind that right? Right? Hey, Miss K, where are you going? (Um ... I have a thing. - Kris)

Anyhoo…this creamy, light sandwich spread does no harm to the baby chicks, cuts down on picnic botulism (or is it salmonella? I’m always confusing my food-borne illnesses…), and is perfect on sandwiches and salads—anywhere mayo or that other processed sandwich glop dares to tread.

All you need are a few simple ingredients, a food processor/blender (or a strong whisking arm), and you’ll be too cool for the real deal in no time.

Vegan Worcestershire Sauce
Worcestershire sauce is one of those nonvegetarian foodstuffs that can sneak past even the most diligent animal-bits teetotaler. The original, stuff of apothecary legend, is made with anchovies or other fishy paste. That’ll kill the buzz, from the bloody marys to the chex mix, at any veghead’s party.

Turns out, a veggie version is tres easy, and requires just a little patience, along with a couple not-so-secret ingredients: molasses and tamarind concentrate. Tamarind is a sour fruit found in Africa and Southeast Asia, is commonly used in Indian, Thai, and Latin American cooking, and can be found at Indian or Latin markets.

Molasses is the anti-high fructose corn syrup.

There is something about the molasses and tamarind that give the Worcestershire sauce its depth and zing. I thought the fish paste would be the biggest flavor factor, but the batch I made—just by letting the spices meld overnight—tastes shockingly close to the original.

The veggie wor’st was tangy and spicy on homemade veggie burgers along with the first harvest of lettuce from CB’s fire-escape herb garden. The vegan mayo added a smooth and delicious complement.

Whip up a set of homemade, vegan condiments for your holiday cookout to mark your complete independence from processed foods. Or just because it’s fun make stuff from scratch.

Happy 3rd anniversary and happy Independence Day, everyone!

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If this article tips your canoe, swim on over to
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Vegan Mayo
Makes 1 cup or 16 1-tablespoon servings.
Adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman.

6 oz silken tofu
1/4 cup safflower oil
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt

1) Place tofu, vinegar, mustard, and salt in a bowl or the bowl of your food processor/blender.

2) Zap/whisk until smooth.

3) Drizzle in oil, blending as you go. Continue whizzing/whisking until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes in the food processor).

4) Serve as desired. Refrigerate up to two weeks.

5) Accept praise and amazement at your hard work graciously.

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Vegan Worcestershire Sauce
Makes 1 cup or 16 1-tablespoon servings.
Adapted from Cooking with Rockstars.com.

1/2 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate
1/4 teaspoon grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1) Combine all ingredients into a small nonreactive mixing bowl. Stir well.

2) Transfer to a container with a lid—a glass jar or take-out container is perfect.

3) Allow flavors to meld overnight or at least 8 hours. (I let it sit out on the counter, but you can refrigerate if you feel safer that way.)

4) Shake and strain out the red pepper flakes.

5) Serve with veggie burgers, bloody marys, and confidence.

Approximate Calories, Fat, Fiber, Protein, and Price per Serving
Vegan Mayo: 42.5 calories, 4g fat, 3g fiber, .8g protein, $0.05
Vegan Worcestershire Sauce: 8 calories, 0g fat, 0g fiber, 0g protein, $0.03

Calculations

Vegan Mayo
6 oz silken tofu: 187.5 calories, 9.6g fat, 48g fiber, 12g protein, $0.42
1/4 safflower oil: 480 calories, 56g fat, 0g fiber, 0g protein, $0.32
2 tbsp white vinegar: 6 calories, 0g fat, 0g fiber, 0g protein, $.02
2 tsp Dijon mustard: 6 calories, 0g fat, 0g fiber, 0g protein, $.02
1/4 tsp salt: negligible calories, fat, fiber, protein, $.02
Totals: 679.5 calories, 65.6g fat, 48g fiber, 12g protein, $.80
Per Serving (totals/16): 42.5 calories, 4g fat, 3g fiber, .8g protein, $05

Vegan Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 cup white vinegar: 24 calories, 0g fat, 0g fiber, 0g protein, $0.08
2 tbsp soy sauce: 22 calories, 0g fat, 0g fiber, 0g protein, $0.08
1 tbsp brown sugar: 50 calories, 0g fat, 0g fiber, 0g protein, $0.03
1/2 tbsp molasses: 29 calories, 0g fat, 0g fiber, 0g protein, $0.07
1 tbsp tamarind concentrate: 8 calories, 0g fat, 0g fiber, 0g protein, $0.13
1/4 tsp grated ginger: negligible calories, fat, fiber, protein, $.02
1/4 tsp Dijon mustard: negligible calories, fat, fiber, protein, $.02
1/4 tsp garlic powder: negligible calories, fat, fiber, protein, $.02
1/4 tsp onion powder: negligible calories, fat, fiber, protein, $.02
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper: negligible calories, fat, fiber, protein, $.02
1/4 tsp black pepper: negligible calories, fat, fiber, protein, $.02
1/4 tsp cinnamon: negligible calories, fat, fiber, protein, $.02
Totals: 133 calories, 0g fat, 0g fiber, 0g protein, $.53
Per Serving (totals/16): 8 calories, 0g fat, 0g fiber, 0g protein, $.03

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4 comments:

CJ said...

For the mayo-
Is that 1/4 "cup" oil?

Leigh said...

Ack! Yes! 1/4 cup of oil. Thanks CJ. I need a proofreader.

Ducks said...

Best utilitarian post ever! I'm not vegan right now, but I *am* pregnant... and I can smell that little bit o' fish in the sauce from a mile away since I have the pregnancy hormone bloodhound nose thing. Yay!

I like vegan mayo better than the traditional kind, in most applications. And I feel safer with it at picnics in warm weather, too.

Elizabeth said...

Maybe I'm missing something, but this does indeed appear to be a stove-free food. And if you were to use this on portobella mushrooms cooked on a grill outside, you would in fact have a stove-free meal.