Thursday, May 31, 2012

Summer Seitan: Black Bean Burgers from Veganomicon

This hot summer I want to experiment with some seitan recipes.  I've played around with vital wheat gluten before, with limited success.  My natural food store in Baltimore, OK Natural Foods, is currently stocking the Arrowhead Mills brand.  I'm eager to try different brands, as well as commercially prepared seitan.

Here is a photo of my first experiment: the black bean burgers from Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook. The burgers are not exactly classic "seitan," but the use of wheat gluten in the recipe makes for an interesting texture.  This burger tasted better than it looks here. Although, if I make this recipe again, I'll probably add more spices. The condiments (ketchup, mustard, and chili garlic sauce) helped to add flavor. Plus, I piled on arugula and some sauteed veggies (garlic, onions, and mushrooms). Next time, I vow to use hearty, substantial buns, not soft sliced bread (so messy!).

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Land of Kush, new favorite restaurant

The Land of Kush, located at 840 N Eutaw Street, is my new favorite restaurant in Baltimore.  It's all vegan soul food, served counter-style in a colorful, inviting cafe. My boyfriend and I visited for lunch this weekend and it was busy with Maryland Deathfest metal enthusiasts, who must be foodies as well. The restaurant was not playing metal during the lunch rush.  Instead they choose a relaxed D'Angelo album, perfect for summer.    

Here are two platters, which is the special combo deal with one entree and two sides. The first platter is sweet & sour seitan with sides of mac & cheese and collards, accompanied by iced green tea. The second platter is crab cakes, live kale, sesame spinach, and iced hibiscus tea. The green salads were outstanding, so fresh and healthy. The entrees and mac were more comfort food cuisine, satisfying that niche. Both plates were hearty and filling.           

We ended our lunch with cupcakes. I thought the sweet and fruity mango cupcake was the winner versus the chocolate cookies n' cream. Both looked adorable in this tiny plastic tub.     

I'm eager to return to The Land of Kush. (Boy, I wish they had a buffet.  Just to sample everything on the menu.) I'd also like to try out their lovely wooden chess set.  

Monday, May 21, 2012

Baltimore Farmers' Market Haul

Here is a photo from my latest farmers' market haul, fresh produce from the Baltimore Farmers' Market & Bazaar. The market happens downtown at Holliday & Saratoga, directly beneath the Jones Falls Expressway, on Sundays from 7am to noon. Included here are strawberries, onions, asparagus, mustard greens, collards, kale, sweet potatoes, apples, button mushrooms, and garlic. Not photographed is the delicious vegan whoopie pie that I scarfed down in the street. I'll endeavor to photo my Dirty Carrots score next trip. Dirty Carrots is great local vegan bakery with sweets available at the market and around town.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pita sandwiches at Kyro Pizza

Kyro Pizza, at 900 Cathedral Street, is another veg-friendly Baltimore restaurant, close to my new digs. They are best known for their brick oven pizza, including a trademark falafel-topped pizza. However this visit we tried the sandwich offerings.  
The sandwiches at Kyro Pizza are freshly prepared on thick pita bread, which makes them filling and easy to handle. Pictured here are the Ismailia, a falafel and tomato sandwich, and the sauteed vegetable sandwich (sans cheese). They were both tasty--the falafel was garlicky and the veggie sandwich included onions, squash, and mushrooms that were expertly sauteed in olive oil. We had sides of fries, salads, ketchup, and tahini sauce. I also ordered a mango juice that was painfully sweet.  (I think there was corn syrup involved.)    
We dined-in but they seem to do a brisk take-out business. The seating area is relaxed with booths and tables. It looks like they now have outdoor seating. They are also BYOB and cheerfully advertise "no corkage fee."  

Monday, May 14, 2012

Eating vegan at Meet 27

I've recently moved to Baltimore and have decided to start blogging about my culinary adventures in Charm City. This weekend my boyfriend and I ate at Meet 27 on the corner of 27th and N Howard St. Who'd have thought that a place called "Meet" could be vegan-friendly? Thankfully, it's listed in VegBaltimore's excellent guide. And veg-friendly proved to be the case--with welcoming, knowledgeable, and attentive service and some tasty vegan offerings on the menu.
The food at Meet 27 is a fusion of South Asian, Caribbean, and American cuisines. Pictured here is the chili paneer/tofu (sans paneer, of course). We also tried the veggie platter, a bata vada appetizer, and the house salad. The app was the winner; the cooks really know how to fry to perfection. However, all the food was inventive and fresh.