Monday, November 09, 2009

Homemade Twix Bars and 100 Other Vegan Delights

Homemade Vegan Twix Bars
While I can't honestly say I'm giving serious thought to going completely vegan, I am the first to admit that I think we should treat the food we eat from animals with greater reverence. It's all too easy to forget about the messy process that comes before that hunk of flesh (or butter or cheese) hits the table, and that's the way most people like it, frankly.

For those who know the truth and have given it some thought though, it's more complicated. If we can't hand feed our own pigs or milk our own cows, the best we can do is buy the most conscientiously prepared animal products we can find and make more room in our diets for non-animal based foods. I've heard Mark Bittman's personal system is to eat vegan for breakfast and lunch. Michael Pollan's tells us to "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants," and Jonathan Safran Foer has a new book out called "Eating Animals," wherein he says of my generation: "We are the ones who will be asked, what did you do when you learned the truth about eating animals?"

Personally, I struggle with this quite a bit. I was brought up in a family where meat was the centerpiece of every meal, three times a day. It's a hard habit to break. I keep telling myself that there are plenty of delicious things out there that don't involve animal products, but I sometimes have trouble remembering what they are. In an effort to remind myself that vegan food can be "craveable," as those terrible chain restaurants like to say, I set out to make a list of 100 Vegan foods - both dishes and ingredients, that are utterly delicious. I listed things that satisfy me in the same way that butter, cheese and burgers do. Things that I am thrilled to eat. That I, ok, crave.

I thought someone else wondering about or struggling with the same thing might want to see it, so here it is:
  1. Granola with Almond Milk
  2. Fried Zucchini
  3. Watermelon
  4. Crusty French Bread
  5. A pot of Rancho Gordo Beans
  6. Ma Po Tofu (made with mushrooms)
  7. Caramelized Roasted Root Vegetables
  8. Fried Shallots
  9. Avocado Sandwiches
  10. Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
  11. Dark Chocolate
  12. Garbanzo Bean Curry
  13. Jasmine Rice
  14. French Potato Salad
  15. Peanut butter and Jelly sandwiches
  16. Humphry Slocombe Jesus Juice sorbet
  17. Alesmith Old Numbskull Barleywine
  18. Eggplant Stir Fried with Garlic, Ginger, Soy and Mirin
  19. Falafel
  20. Pico de Gallo
  21. Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce
  22. Lucques olives
  23. Tapenade
  24. Roasted Garlic
  25. Pickled Vegetables
  26. Hummus
  27. Tortillas and Tortilla Chips
  28. Patatas Bravas
  29. Daal
  30. Tomatillo Salsa
  31. Corn on the Cob
  32. Steel Cut Oatmeal with brown sugar, golden raisins and cashew or almond milk
  33. Dried Mango Slices
  34. Oven Dried Tomatoes with olive oil, garlic and basil
  35. Champagne
  36. Mary Jane candies (molasses taffy filled with peanut butter)
  37. Black Truffles
  38. Maitake Mushrooms
  39. Black Trumpet Mushrooms
  40. Curried Pumpkin (or any other squash) Soup
  41. Caramel Corn (most is without butter)
  42. Braised Kale with Garlic, Pine Nuts and Raisins
  43. Pommes Frites with ketchup
  44. Peanut Coleslaw with Asian Vinaigrette
  45. French Lentil Soup
  46. Roasted Chestnuts
  47. Forked Avocado on Toast
  48. Peppadew peppers
  49. Radishes with olive oil and salt
  50. Arugula Salad with Grilled Peaches and Balsamic Vinaigrette
  51. Hot Chocolate made with dark chocolate, coconut milk and almond milk
  52. Churros
  53. Fried green tomatoes
  54. Spiced pecans
  55. Polenta
  56. Risotto (made with vegetable broth)
  57. Lentil Berbere stew
  58. Edamame
  59. Baba Ghanouj
  60. Roasted Chickpeas
  61. Braised Leeks
  62. Carrot Ginger Soup
  63. Preserved Lemons
  64. Crisp, Juicy Apples
  65. Orange Blossom Honey
  66. A Perfect Espresso
  67. Cold Sesame (or Peanut) Noodles
  68. Lotus Root Chips
  69. Smoothies made with soy protein, frozen banana, almond milk and almond butter
  70. Panzanella salad
  71. Fried Sage Leaves
  72. Spicy Pan-Roasted Cauliflower
  73. Asian Grilled Green Beans
  74. Chimichurri Sauce
  75. Poached Pears
  76. A glass of Tokaji
  77. Carrot and Edamame salad
  78. Pan-roasted Brussel Sprouts
  79. An Ice Cold Vodka Tonic with Lime
  80. Pomegranate seeds
  81. Mint Chutney
  82. Dark chocolate covered frozen bananas rolled in chopped peanuts
  83. Chocolate Pudding pie made with almond milk in a graham cracker crust, topped with Whipped Coconut Cream
  84. Roasted Beets with olive oil, thyme, garlic and orange zest.
  85. Thick Cut Potato Chips
  86. Sangria loaded with fruit
  87. Glenmorangie Scotch - aged in port barrels
  88. Green Papaya salad (made with vegetarian fish sauce)
  89. Cippolini Onions
  90. African Peanut Soup
  91. Warm Chickpea Salad on a bed of Arugula
  92. Kettle Corn
  93. Japanese Hot Pot with Mushrooms
  94. Fava Beans
  95. Pea Tendrils
  96. Oreos
  97. Sweet Potato Fries
  98. Biscuits (made with shortening)
  99. Fresh-squeezed lemonade
  100. Heirloom tomataoes off the vine

The Twix bars are not on the list, but they certainly could be. Some good friends of ours recently went vegan, and I was challenged with making an indulgent dessert when we had them over for dinner last week - on Halloween to be exact. (Hence the candy - get it?)

I bastardized the recipe based on Sherry Yard's recipe in her cookbook and a vegan caramel recipe I found online. They wouldn't fool you for the real thing, but they were very, very, good. There is quite a bit to be said about the recipe, so I will post it separately.

Sorry to be such a tease, but you won't have to wait long. I promise!


  1. Have you tried "Coconut Bliss" frozen dessert? It's ice cream made with coconut milk,and it is sweetened with agave instead of sugar. I love it!

  2. Love your homemade Twix Bars!

  3. That IS a great list. I just heard about Jonathan Safran Foer's new book literally right before I read this entry. I can't wait to read it! It sounds like another one that's going to really make me think about what's going on in my kitchen.

  4. Great list -- very Bittmanesque, even (thinking of his 100 easy meals to make in 10 minutes).

    After seeing Food, Inc. and reading Foer's book, I feel like I can't eat meat in good conscience anymore. I was mostly vegetarian anyway, but now I'm experimenting with a mostly vegan diet, and so far my favorite cookbook is Veganomicon -- it's amazing! Every single recipe I've tried has been outstanding, and I haven't missed the dairy at all. Highly recommended even for meat eaters, as there's just a lot of good stuff in there. (Start with the vodka sauce... yum.)

  5. It has been pointed out to me that I forgot sauerkraut - which is kind of nuts since I just ate some yesterday. It was fresh local sauerkraut from La Milpa with lots of ginger and garlic!

    What else did I forget?

  6. I love tempeh. There's a great maple grilled tempeh recipe on 101 cookbooks.

  7. Looks great. I found a great Mexican, Tofu Casserole on under vegan. It uses soy cheriso and it was very good.

  8. Those twix bars look amazing!

  9. Another wonderful list to bookmark..thank you Alice!!

  10. LOVE your list and can't wait for the recipe! Yum!

  11. LOVE your list and can't wait for the recipe! Yum!

  12. Grilled baby bok choy with lemon vinaigrette dressing???

  13. Another thing I recently fell in love with is the chickpea cutlets from Veganomicon (Post Punk Kitchen). WOW they are really really yummy topped with a mushroom gravy. Thanks for the list!