Saturday, June 22, 2013

Trader Joe Goes Vegan

In addition to their grocery stores, Trader Joe cookbooks are a mini-industry with approximately 10 different books - go to and check them out.  Box lunches, college students, Indian cooking and comes now, "I Heart Trader Joe's Vegetarian Cookbook" by Kris Holechek Peters  Ulysses Press   191 pages   $17.95  softback

The cover states that it "includes a Vegan version of every recipe."  To  make sure I wasn't chatting through my hat, I looked the word up.  Vegans will not eat meat or dairy products; they even eschew milk and eggs.  Both of which are products of living animals, yo?  I remember being on my aunt's farm and seeing the cows come in from the field, solely to be milked, bawling their heads off.  Trust me, vegans, the cows were glad to get rid of the milk!

Be that as it may, I am never averse to finding something good to eat and these seemed (vaguely) appealing.

2 T olive oil
1/2 small yellow or white onion diced (Vidalia or equivalent might be good)
1 14 1/2 oz. can garbanza beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup Kansas City-style barbecue sauce
1/2 of a 20-oz. can of pineapple chunkc, drained
4 split buns or rolls
4 slices mild cheese such as Fontina or Swiss.

Heat the oil and saute the onion.  Add the garbanzos and bbq sauce.  Cook until the sauce begins to coat the beans; remove from heat and add the pineapple chunks.  Put the mixture on the bottom half of the roll, add a slice of cheese and broil.  Top it with the other half of the roll and eat.  Vegans:  leave out the cheese or use a vegan cheese substitute.

2 slices baguette or other crusty bread
1/3 cup fig butter, divided
handful of baby greens (would omit myself)
4 to 6 thin slices of blue cheese

"Butter" both slices of bread with the fig jam, top with blue cheese and put the top slice of bread on.    Vegans:  substitute Tangy Vegan Cheese spread for the blue cheese.

They kept talking about this vegan cheese spread so here's their recipe

4 oz. non-dairy spread, softened
2 T green olive tapenade
Cream them together and store in a covered container, kept in the refrigerator.  Use within a week of making it. 

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