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Ski road trip time!

In this post, let’s talk about what vegan skiers can do to eat a quick, healthy breakfast without leaving the hotel room.

We just spent a long weekend at Big White Ski Resort.  Thanks to my Visa Rewards, we stayed for free in the White Crystal Inn.

When we arrived on Thursday March 14th, our view looked liked this:

Sunday March 17th we woke up to this:

View from White Crystal Inn - IMG_2121

Our “standard” room had no kitchen, but it did have a coffee maker, mini fridge, microwave, and toaster.

White Crystal Inn - IMG_2017

For our trip, I packed a couple bins full of the essentials, including a small cutting board and knife.

Bananas, Pears & Citrus - IMG_2029

IMG_2031

We brought a cooler to transport our green leafies, celery, apples, non-dairy milk, nut butter and jam.  I brought our Vitamix blender so we could make green smoothies right in the room.

Green Smoothie Ingredients - IMG_2091

Large “beer cups” are handy for smoothies in the morning and apres ski beverages in the evening.

Green Smoothies - IMG_2093

I brought our toaster, not realizing that the room already had one.

 Eric likes to have toast with his breakfast smoothie.

Toast - IMG_2095

I could have brought some oats to make oatmeal in the microwave,

but this time I opted for cold cereal with walnuts, raisins and non-dairy milk.

Cereal - IMG_2097

Segmented grapefruit is easy to prepare in the room.

I brought my grapefruit knife, some travel bowls and a set of utensils.

Grapefruit - IMG_2118

Time to get some untracked powder…

Snow Ghosts - IMG_2103

Bullet Express - IMG_2128

Bullet Express - IMG_2129

Mates, I think I’ve discovered a secret to really good vegan cheese.  My hunch is yet untested, but I think I’m onto something BIG!  Let me explain…

I bought some Marmite today.  I’d never tried it before, so I said “What the heck!” and grabbed a jar while shopping at my local food Co-op.

Ingredients:  Yeast Extract, Salt, Carrot & Onion Extract, Spice Extracts, enriched with B Vitamins – Niacin (B3), Thiamin (B1), Riboflavin (B2), and Cyanocobalamin (B12).

Before trying Marmite for the first time, the only thing I knew about it is that it’s very salty.  Just like umeboshi paste…a little goes a long way.  The jar states “Delicious when spread thinly on toast or for a treat try Marmite on a crispbread with cottage cheese.”

I put some on a piece of toast.  Hmm…Salty, yes.  It’s hard to describe, but I would use the words salty, smoky, and bitter.  It was okaaay…not repulsive (the Marmite website says you’re either a lover or a hater), but I felt it just needed something else in order to satisfy me.  (I think it could grow on me, though…)

Of course, I didn’t have cottage cheese in my fridge, but I did have some vegan cheese.  Last week I made homemade vegan Muenster cheese, from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook (page 164), by Jo Stepaniak.

 

Marmite + Vegan Muenster on toast = Ding, ding, ding!  (Wedding bells!)

Marmite by itself..it’s okay.
Vegan Muenster by itself…it’s quite good.
Marmite and Muenster…better together!

The Marmite gave the Muenster that little somethin’ somethin.’  It amped up the flavor;  it gave it depth and richness.

That little “somethin’ somethin” has a name:  Umami.  It’s that little-known fifth taste sense.  It’s not just salty.  It’s not just bitter.  It’s savory but obscure.  You can’t quite put your finger on it, but you know it when you taste it.  Ooo-mommy!

Apparently, it’s the glutamic acid in the Marmite that imparts the umami sense.  Glutamic acid is associated with fermented or aged foods of plant and animal origin…aged meats, fish, soy sauce, certain vegetables (mushrooms, tomatoes & others), and aged cheeses.

So here’s what I’ve concluded:

Animal-based cheeses have a distinct sharpness of flavor.  It can be difficult to find this robust flavor burst in a plant-based cheese.  (Difficult, but not impossible!)

So, if glutamic acids contribute greatly to the pungent taste AND if Marmite adds that umami quality, then it only makes logical sense to add a little bit of Marmite to vegan cheese recipes.

I’m going to try that.

So…Whereas, the recipe for Muenster Uncheese calls for:

 

Paprika, water, agar flakes, tofu, cashews or Brazil nuts, nutritional yeast flakes, lemon juice, tahini, onion powder, salt, dry mustard, garlic powder, and ground caraway or coriander

 

…I’m thinking it would be wise to add a drib or a drab of Marmite, too.  Just a wee.  What do you think?

(Paprika makes Muenster Uncheese pretty and smoky)

(For more on using umami in the vegan cooking arsenal, read this blog article by Ginny Messina, the Vegan R.D.)

"There are those who are appalled because I am so vocal about injustice, yet I am equally appalled by their silence." Lujene Clark

“Every time you purchase animal products you pay assassins to murder sentient beings for you.”

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