I'd like to start this blog by saying we've finally confirmed our studio! We had our consultation at Sanctum Sound and we were sold right away.
It definitely has a very cozy interior with nice ambiance and atmosphere for getting into the groove. It's gonna cost us an arm and a leg, of course, but hopefully our talents and perseverance will pay off in the end.
Now for the fuel:
Saturdays usually consist of fairly long practices, so I try to have some food ready for Mike and myself since we're the only vegheads of the band. This week I made How it All Vegan's 'S&M Salad'. Hence the name, this salad is supposed to be extremely spicey, mixing in 1 tsp of cayenne or red pepper flakes AND 1 tsp of wasabi. WOW! The salad seemed so yummy but I am not a fan of wasabi in the least. To me, it tastes, smells and burns like rubbing alcohol. So, in the end, I left that out. AND, being that I am a wimp when it comes to hot and spicy things, I halved the red pepper flakes, giving it just the right amount of bite without burning your tongue off.
So I guess we could call this 'Not Quite S&M Salad'. In the end, it was really good. It had sautéed tofu, butternut squash, onion, mushrooms, carrots, red pepper, cucumber, faux parmesan (toasted sesame seeds, nooch and salt blended up)with rice vinegar. It also called for 'spicy Japanese sprouts' but I had NO idea what they were talking about. Someone on the PPK suggested Kaiware sprouts, but they were nowhere to be found. Not even at an Asian market! In the end, we subbed Kaiware with alfalfa and it turned out just fine. We had ours over a bed of brown rice. It was so delicious, we finished it in the car on the way back from the studio!
Sunday afternoon was a great day, for I got back into cardio exercise! This time I was smart about it and didn't go head-first into something my body wasn't used to (I have a lot of horror stories due to my impatience). Instead of jogging right away, I did a little power walking with Mikey. We're doing our best to be active, strong, healthy and filled with stamina (it's key for those stage shows). Despite the wretched wind and rain, we had our 30 minute walk and felt better for it!
As an energizing reward, I whipped up another HIAV concotion: Ban-ini Smoothie.
It sounded so good and sweet, containing frozen bananas, soy milk, agave nectar and vanilla extract that I was quite excited about it. Banana smoothies are so similar to vanilla frappes, in my opinion, but a healthier alternative.
The only odd ingredient was the 3 tbsp of Tahini. Mike was especially wary of it. He thought it would ruin the yummy banana/vanilla flavour. Well, not one to turn down a challenge, I threw in the tahini and blended away.
The result? Well, the smoothie was very yummy and sweet with the tahini lending a very peanut-buttery taste. However, there was a downside. The after-taste was a little strange. Not so much so we couldn't finish off the drinks, but I think I'd put less tahini in there next time.
For dinner, I made lentil soup. The ingredients had called for a can of diced tomatoes and of course I ended up accidentally tossing in a can of tom sauce instead. In the end, I decided I wasn't going to waste any of the soup so we ate it with my mistake in there. It actually wasn't so bad. It was very reminiscent of pasta sauce, but that was okay.
Contains: 1 large onion, 2 stalks celery, 2 medium carrots, green lentils, veggie stalk, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce (accidental), tomato paste, 2 small potatoes, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, chopped spinach & fresh parsely.
Since Mike is all lentiled-out (his mother makes lentil soup for him just about every week), I made black bean burgers as well. This isn't the recipe from V-con. This is actually a recipe my mother had used ever since I first became vegan, five years ago, and I've loved it ever since. Chickpea cutlets? Meh, okay. Seitan cutlets? I've had better. But black bean burgers? Delicious!
Black beans offer so much more flavour in burger form, plus they are extremely easy to work with. Mashing them and forming them couldn't be easier.
Of course I remember Tropical Vegan requested the recipe a while ago- I have not forgotten you! I've just been everywhere at once, but I finally got to it. :) It's posted at the end of this entry.
Lastly, for work lunch, I made V-Con's 'Prospect Park Potato Salad'.
I don't care that it's not summer time. Potato salad is amazing! I had to give all the grains a break and go for some root vegetable. Let me tell you- this isn't any typical potato salad. This is simply because of the addition of 1/4 of a cup of dijon mustard! Now, if you know me, you KNOW I am in heaven! Definitely try it out and do bring it to cookouts for your friends and family to try once the warmer weather hits. You won't be disappointed!
Black Bean Burgers:
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained
1/4 cup diced and sautéed onions
2 slices whole wheat or multigrain bread, finely crumbled
1/2 tsp each of garlic powder, black pepper and onion powder (optional)
1/4 tsp salt (optional)
1/2 cup bread crumbs or cracker crumbs
In large bowl, mash the drained black beans. Add the sautéed onions, crumbled bread, and spices. Mix thoroughly. Add about 1/4 cup of cracker crumbs (or just enough to be able to form patties from the mixture). Using your hands, form the mixture into 1/2-inch thick patties. For a breaded burger, gently coat each patty with more cracker or bread crumbs.
In a lightly oiled non-stick pan, fry both sides of the patties. Serve with a garnish of lettuce, tomatoes, avocado or any other veggie and condiment of your choice on buns or over a bed of rice.