Perhaps it is fitting that my last post from Houston should be a review for Vegan Finger Foods. It was in Houston, that I found and dived head-first into the “vegan potluck” community. Bounded by a common interest (delicious food), people came from various backgrounds. Some were vegan, others vegetarian, some omnivores, but all were included and encouraged to eat and enjoy the plentiful vegan food.
For me as a cook, it was (mostly) fun to try new recipes or share old favourites. I tend to gravitate to one-pot meals, but now I experimented with appetizers and desserts, knowing there would be plenty of Janet-friendly dishes to sample. As a person, it was comforting to meet others with similar interests, even if only within the realm of veganism. Although especially within the realm of veganism when I first moved to Texas.
Vegan Finger Foods is a fun cookbook, overflowing with ideas for your next gathering. Not only are the recipes suitable for vegan parties and potlucks, they can be mixed and matched for regular main meals at home. There are vegetable-centric bites (think “Bacon” Wrapped Water Chestnuts, Harissa Carrot Zucchini Cups), Finger Foods (think Brewpub Cauliflower Dip and Chips), Dips and Stuffed bites (like Baked Buffalo Tofu Bites with Pantry Raid Ranch and Pulled Jackfruit Mini Tacos), Bread-Based Bites (including Salsa Scuffins) and not forgetting bite-sized desserts (lots of cookies, cupcakes and even Goji Berry Cacao Bites and Tahini Caramel Popcorn).
I appreciate that each dish is a star in itself, even the veggie-centric dishes. I also liked that many dishes are hearty enough to be a main meal (ie, Sweet-and-Sour Sloppy Joes (with tempeh), baked lenteja taquitos (with lentils), baked frittata minis (with tofu) and even a few homemade seitan dishes, including these Kimchi-Stuffed Sausages. No need for company to eat well.
I tried a few dishes from the cookbook, but this one was my favourite and thankfully helped use up some odds-and-ends lingering in the kitchen. Reminiscent of my previous (vegan) cheese-stuffed sausage, these sausages are stuffed with kimchi. Kimchi is also incorporated into the batter making for a flavourful yet chewy sausage. I found it easier just to serve it with a side of even more kimchi, but I love suggestion to pan-fry it and then sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions. Pan-frying would accentuate the flavours even further.
Thankfully, the publisher is letting me share the recipe AND give a cookbook to one reader living in the United States or Canada. To be entered, please leave a comment here, telling me about your favourite dish to share at potlucks. I will randomly select a winner on July 30, 2014. Good luck!
Other recipes from Vegan Finger Foods shared elsewhere:
Spinach Swirls (with another giveaway, too)
Salsa Scuffins (with another giveaway, too)
Other dishes I shared at the vegan potluck this year:
Reprinted, with permission, from Vegan Finger Foods
4 ounces (113 g) extra-firm tofu, drained, crumbled
1 3/4 cups (396 g) drained kimchi, not squeezed, divided
1/2 cup (120 ml) water, plus more if needed
3 tablespoons (50 g) organic ketchup (Janet’s note: I used red pepper paste)
1 tablespoon (15 ml) tamari
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon Korean hot pepper powder
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 1/2 cups (216 g) vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup (30 g) nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon (15 ml) neutral-flavored oil
Korean sauce from Baked Buffalo Tofu Bites (see below)
Minced scallion and sesame seeds, for garnish
1. Combine the tofu, 1 cup (226 g) of the kimchi, water, ketchup, tamari, coriander, ginger, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and peppers in a blender. Process until smooth. Whisk together the vital wheat gluten and nutritional yeast in a medium-size bowl. Add the tofu mixture, and stir to combine with a fork. Mix together well. The mixture should be cohesive and able to be formed. Add 1 tablespoon (15 ml) water or (9 g) vital wheat gluten if needed to make a dough.
2. Prepare a steamer and six 10-inch (25 cm) pieces of foil. Divide the mixture evenly among the foil pieces: each piece will be 4 ounces (113 g). Shape each into a 6-inch (15 cm) log. Make a deep indentation down the center, leaving the ends intact. Fill with a generous 2 tablespoons (28 g) of the remain- ing kimchi, and pinch closed well. Try to center the filling so the sausages will not tear when cooking. Shape into a sausage and close the foil, twisting the ends. If the log isn’t sealed well, the kimchi may fall out when slicing or cooking. Repeat with the remaining sausages, and steam for 1 hour 10 minutes. Refrigerate until serving.
3. Use a serrated knife to carefully cut the sausages into 1/2-inch (1.3 cm) rounds. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cooking in batches, cook the sausages until browned, about 4 minutes per side. Turn over to cook the second side, about 3 minutes. Keep warm. When all the sausages are browned, return them to the skillet along with the sauce. Stir to coat, and cook for 1 minute.
4. Transfer to a plate, and sprinkle with the scallions and sesame seeds.
3 tablespoons (60 g) Korean red pepper paste
3 tablespoons (45 ml) tamari
3 tablespoons (45 ml) seasoned rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons (33 g) organic ketchup
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
1. Combine the first five ingredients in a small bowl. whisk to combine. The sauce may be prepared up to 2 days ahead. To serve, spoon over bites and garnish with the scallions and sesame seeds.
Makes 3/4 cup.