Monday, March 19, 2012

Kicking Off Spring with Hot Dogs, Coleslaw and Brewskies

Sorry it has been so long since my last post! I had the opportunity to go to the loon conference in NH last week. I presented on my research project and got to listen to some interesting talks and talk to interesting people! 

The only downside was the $15 vegan pasta dish I decided to take a risk on. It was terrible. I literally paid $15 for penne and boiled, frozen vegetables. Fifteen. To say I felt ripped off is putting it mildly, and made me realize two things. One, I will not eat at a restaurant if I feel I'm going to be gipped by their vegetarian option. I will forever carry PB&J's in my purse just in case. Friends, I will patiently sit with you while you eat your food, but I'm not going to pay someone for something I don't want, namely food that has no nutritional value and tastes like cardboard. Second, it made me remember that most people don't really understand what vegans eat. Whoever came up with this menu could have easily googled "vegan pasta" and come up with any number of inspirations for dinners that would have actually tasted good. But clearly, the veggie offering was an afterthought. God forbid that you might actually take pride in the vegetarian options  put on your menu. Sure, you started a restaurant, and I am aware that most people don't like vegetarians and especially vegans, so maybe you put these things on the menu in revenge, or simply because you think people become veg*n because they don't care about taste like the rest of the world, but it is actually YOUR menu. You should take pride and try to excel in all the things you put on it.

To be fair, I am a picky eater, but sheesh!

Anyways, now that I'm back, and the weather has warmed up, I'm ready to start posting some seasonable recipes. Yesterday, March 18, was a balmy, sunny day in Boston. If I remember correctly, last year at this time, there was still snow on the ground, lakes still frozen, and I was still wearing a peacoat everywhere. But yesterday, I sat on my porch in a tank top, I listened to Bob Marley, drank homebrew, and ate hot dogs and coleslaw. This is an anomaly for sure, and as I write this Arizona is getting buried under snow. Global warming (climate change.... ahemmm..) is a bitch folks!

Well actually, I'd say that global warming is doing nothing but good for New England. It hit 80 degrees in Nashua, NH yesterday! And actually, I'm pretty sure that my friends in the southwest are thoroughly enjoying their snow. It's been a good trade. If it weren't for the complaints from the polar bears and those annoying unseasonable tornadoes rearing their ugly heads, things would be downright peachy. 

It's like the Postal Service song:

"Again last night I had that strange dream 
 Where everything was exactly how it seemed 
Concerns about the world getting warmer 
People thought they were just being rewarded 
For treating others as they'd like to be treated 
For obeying stop signs and curing diseases 
For mailing letters with the address of the sender 
Now we can swim any day in November" 
Ah, if only everything were as simple as hot dogs and coleslaw.

Especially when you have these hot dogs. Why? Because they are so much better for you than regular hot dogs, without sacrificing the taste! 

For comparison one Hebrew National All Beef Frank has 150 calories, 14 grams fat (6g saturated), 8 percent of your cholesterol, and only 6g protein. One Field Roast Frankfurter has 190 calories, 9g fat (1.5g saturated), no cholesterol, and 21g protein. So while the veggie verson has 40 more calories, it has WAY less "bad stuff" like cholesterol and saturated fat, and way more protein than a regular hot dog. 

I love these because they actually taste meaty and have great texture. When you bite into them they even look like real hot dogs!! I also like them because they are made from seitan, which is something that I make in my own kitchen every week. There's nothing sketchy on their ingredient list like you may find with Morningstar products (by sketchy I mean un-pronouncable and mysterious chemicals)

Just grill them up and put them in a bun! Serve them with coleslaw (recipe below)!

Oh, and beer also makes a good addition! While we got to enjoy our Vanilla Bean Stout homebrew, I didn't have a chance to take a picture of it before it was all gone. Unfortunate but true. 

Creamy Vegan Coleslaw
To be entirely honest, I wasn't really measuring anything when I made this, so you may have to adjust the seasonings to your taste.

4 cups shredded cabbage
2 diced carrots (I totally spaced on this but you should put this in!)
3/4 cup Vegenaise
1 scallion, diced
3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
2 teaspoons mustard powder
3 teaspoons dried dill
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Mix everything in a bowl!

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