“Seeing Red” Borscht & Whole Wheat Beer Bread

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"Seeing Red" Borscht & Whole Wheat Beer Bread ~ From Vegetate, Vegan Cooking & Food Blog

“Everything I do, I do on the principle of Russian borscht. You can throw everything into it beets, carrots, cabbage, onions, everything you want. What’s important is the result, the taste of the borscht.” — Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Russian poet

This slow-cooked “Seeing Red” Borscht from Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker, page 53, is so tender and flavorful that it really justifies the Russian proverb, “Better fed than taught.” This earthy soup was a steaming cauldron of chopped beets, carrots, potatoes, onions, bell peppers, and spices.

We topped it off with some Sour Dressing from Vegan Deli, page 123 and fresh dill.

The crusty, warm, buttery beer bread on the side was from Cookin’ Crunk, page 140. I can’t tell you how simple this bread was to make. The beer and baking powder give it it’s lift, so there’s no need to add yeast and let the dough rise. You just mix the few, simple ingredients in a bowl, pop the dough into your bread pans, and bake. About an hour later you’ve got the freshest, tastiest bread ever! We used a nice hoppy, organic German beer for ours, but you could use whichever brew you prefer.

Borscht Facts: Borscht is a soup made mostly from beets. It began as a specialty of Eastern European cuisine, primarily of the poorer people (beets were inexpensive). The soup dates at least to Medieval times.

Fresh Strawberry Pie

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Fresh Strawberry Pie ~ From Vegetate, Vegan Cooking & Food Blog

“One must ask children and birds how cherries and strawberries taste.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

This strawberry bombshell was made with a homemade whole wheat pie crust, oodles of fresh strawberries, sugar, and with cornstarch as a thickener instead of the bovine gelatin that is traditionally used in these pies.

We used the Fresh Strawberry Pie recipe from Cookin’ Crunk, the fantastic new vegan Southern cooking cookbook by Bianca Phillips, page 147.

This luscious pie was remarkably easy to make and even easier to eat… all you need are seasonal strawberries and a few pantry staples. That being said, this is definitely one to make in late Spring or early Summer.

Serve as you like with fresh cashew cream, Mimic Cream, or your favorite vegan ice cream.

Strawberry Facts: Strawberries are a member of the rose family (they are not “technically” berries).

Country-Fried Tempeh Steak w/Buttermilk Biscuits & Soy Milk Gravy

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Country-Fried Tempeh Steak w/Buttermilk Biscuits & Soy Milk Gravy ~ From Vegetate, Vegan Cooking & Food Blog

“To fulfill a dream, to be allowed to sweat over lonely labor, to be given a chance to create, is the meat and potatoes of life. The money is the gravy.”Bette Davis

Each of these recipes are from the wonderful new cookbook Cookin’ Crunk, by Bianca Phillips. The Country Fried Steak with Soy Milk Gravy are on page 94, and the Whole Wheat Buttermilk Biscuits are on page 136.

This meal was just too decadent and delicious! What says “comfort food” more than batter-fried tempeh steaks with a creamy sage gravy and warm, buttery biscuits?

Served with a side of pureed, roasted turnips topped with dairy-free butter. You could also serve this with pureed, steamed cauliflower or mashed potatoes.

We added a bunch of chopped chives to the biscuit dough because we had some in the fridge. We also substituted hemp milk for soy milk in the gravy recipe.

Country Fried Steak Facts: The precise origins of the dish are unclear, but many sources attribute its development to German and Austrian immigrants to Texas in the 19th century, who brought recipes for Wiener Schnitzel from Europe to the USA. Lamesa, the seat of Dawson County on the Texas South Plains, claims to be the birthplace of chicken fried steak, and hosts an annual celebration accordingly. John “White Gravy” Neutzling of Bandera in the Texas Hill Country also claims to have invented the dish.