Jamaican Veggie Patties – Vegan Soul Kitchen


Uh oh…I know the date above probably says it’s October 2nd, 2009.  But this post is for October 1, 2009, and it’s my very first post of Vegan MoFo!

What is “Vegan MoFo” you say?  Why, where have you been?  And how could you not know?  Vegan MoFo is only the coolest online event evah to be held in the month of October!  (Translation: I had never heard of it until a few days ago, and this is the first time I am participating– but don’t tell anyone.)   As Kittee, Cake Maker to the Stars, describes it: “For the entire month of October, blogs from all over the free world and Alaska will be writing about vegan food and the awesome power of veganism.”  That’s 31 days of blogging about vegan food, folks.  Sounds exciting?  If not, then just you wait and see! You have no idea what you are in for!  (And neither do I.  But trust me– this is gonna be cool.  I think.  I hope.  Okay…at least it’s gonna be healthy?  er?)

All right… Today’s entry is called “Vegan Virtual Dinner Date #1.” I’ve invited Amanda from Amanda Blog and Kiss to a “Virtual Dinner.”  Amanda is a Bryant Terry fan, so I offered to cook her whatever she liked from the Vegan Soul Kitchen Cookbook. Amanda  requested the Jamaican Veggie Patties.  (Oh no!  A two-part preparation including a long list of spices, vegetables, some ingredients I don’t have, AND the making of a pastry crust. Yikes!  Click here for the recipe and you’ll see what I mean.)   I smiled and typed “No problem!”   And then I went to work.  Well…now it’s October 1, 2009, and all I can say is “Amanda…..you have been served!” (Virtually, that is.)  Behold, my very first “Vegan Virtual Dinner Party.”  And my very first post of Vegan MoFo 2009!

(Dear Readers, please remember, the dinner party being described on this blog has been held entirely in my imagination.  Only the food I have cooked, and my husband has photographed, is real.)

Amanda, a former “Jersey Girl,”  has become completely Dutch-i-fied.  For that reason, today she has actually riden her bike  to my home, (coincidentally I now live in Jersey,) all the way from Holland.  (I know!  Unbelievable, right?)  And she has done this wearing the cutest vegan boots evah!!!   But I digress.  I know that she has arrived because I can hear the dogs yapping from her bicycle basket.  Her little bike bell rings “dring, dring, dring” as she pedals straight up to my door.  Amanda drops her bike, and my husband opens the door for her because as usual, I am still cooking when my guest has arrived.  Amanda walks up to my kitchen and the first thing I notice is that there is nothing “Jersey” about her.  I point her towards a chair.  My nut-free version of the VSK Minimalist Survival Snack Mix

Minimalist Survival Snack Mix

is sitting on the table.  (This VSK grab-and-go snack is a mix of roasted walnuts and raisins.  Since my 4 year old is allergic to nuts, I used roasted organic pumpkin seeds and raisins, instead.)   Amanda grabs a handful of the mix and proceeds to tell me about her  incredible bicycle trip from Holland to New Jersey, her activism on behalf of animals, and the day Bryant Terry Twitterered her back.

People's Punch

(Twittering Bryant Terry?  I knew we had something in common.  She cooked this awesome meal from VSK.  Heck yeah, Terry Twittered her back.  Who wouldn’t??? )  Realizing that after biking such a great distance, she must be parched, I offer Amanda a glass of the VSK People’s Punch.

(It’s made with lemons, limes, oranges and pomegranate juice.  Quite invigorating.)  Then I whip up some VSK Basic Vinaigrette to top my simple salad of mixed greens, tomatoes, and avocados.

Basic Vinaigrette

Ding!  Finally, the oven timer goes off, and the VSK Jamaican Veggie Patties are done.   I’m not an experienced pastry chef, so my pie crust is a not as flaky as I would like.  I think I’ve overworked the dough, and it saddens me a bit.  However, I take a bite of my patty and am rewarded with a surprise: these patties are NOT like the patties I remember eating at Brooklyn bakeries visited years ago….No.  THESE PATTIES ARE BETTER!

I immediately  forgive myself for my flakeless crust, and vow to try my hand at making pastry dough again.  As for Amanda….she has completely stopped talking.  The VSK Jamaican Veggie Patties are exactly what she has been looking for: a tasty and portable snack that will travel well.  This is the perfect fuel for her next adventure.  She polishes off the last of the crumbs, and declares the VSK Jamaican Veggie Patties worth the trip to New Jersey! Veggie Patty Horizontal

Hooray!  My work is done! Okay….back to real life.  I’m exhausted and I’ve got to go to bed, but it was fun hosting my very first “Vegan Virtual Dinner Party.”  Thanks, Amanda, for inspiring me to cook a virtual meal for Vegan MoFo.  I love your blog.  It’s unusual, and I recommend it to anyone who needs a good laugh.  Wish I could send you the patties through airmail, but they really just wouldn’t keep.  Perhaps the next time you are in New Jersey, you can look me up,  and I’ll cook them for you, for real!

Bon Voyage and Best Wishes in all your endeavors!




Filed under Appetisers, Entrees, Green Things, Side Dishes, Snacks

Blueberry Lavender Scones – Tami Transcends Tofu

"The addition of blueberry & and lavender makes this scone really special...perfect to share with a friend over a cup of tea!" ~ Tami

"The addition of blueberry & and lavender makes this scone really special...perfect to share with a friend over a cup of tea!" ~ Tami

This recipe comes from Tami over at the blog Tami Transcends Tofu.  Tami modified Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s basic scone recipe from Vegan Brunch, by adding lavender and blueberry to the mix. These scones are delightfully crisp on the outside, moist and flaky on the inside.  Enjoy these warm. The faint taste of lavender permeates the dough very nicely.  (But be careful. If you are using dried lavender, you might not want to use 1/4 cup.  I did, and there’s a slight bitter bite to mine.  Still, we are gobbling them up!)   And the pop of juicy blueberries in every bite just makes me want to melt down to my knees.  Now go on….click right here.  Get this recipe.   And then tell Tami I sent you.


Filed under Breads & Muffins, Desserts, Snacks

Lavender Lemonade – Vegan Soul Kitchen

Vegan  Blueberry Lavender Scones  set two   054A

It's Raining Lavender! Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade with a Lavender Infusion

When I saw this recipe on page 29, I felt absolutely compelled to get out of my house and go find the ingredients.  Something about combining aromatic, culinary lavender with lemons and a simple syrup was just speaking to my soul, and I did not. know.why.  Now that I’ve had my Lavender Lemonade, and it’s the morning after, I think I’ve figured it out:  The real impetus for this   VSK journey comes from the anxiety I feels whenever I’ve chosen to move forward in life, (veganism,) but I still long for, or am afraid of losing the connections to my past (soul food and southern traditions.)  Putting herbs in lemonade was a concept that was at once  new to me, yet somehow deeply and strangely familiar.   I was  having a strange, emotional forwards/backwards, deja vu sensation, and now I know why:   Don’t laugh…but do you remember a candy called C. Howards “Violets“?  It was an aromatic, chalky,  purple-wrapped, hard candy your grandmother might have kept in her purse.   That was the memory this combo was evoking.

Dharma & Zoë are my two adorable tots.  They both enjoyed this delicious lemonade.

Dharma & Zoë are my two adorable tots. They both enjoyed this delicious lemonade.

Violets” has a strong aroma and it can be described as tasting “floral.” If a “lady” has this candy in her purse,  (and “Violet’s is very much a “ladies” candy,) every time the purse is opened, you will immediately be enveloped by this candy’s perfumy smell.  Ahhh…breathe. eyes. memory.

Now honestly, this lemonade tastes much better than “Violets.”  The flavors and the aroma are far more subtle.  (Although you can increase the lavender flavor to meet your liking.)  Still, I found using an herbal infussion of lavender in old-fashioned lemonade made me feel cool and hip.  But in the back of my mind, I couldn’t stop feeling as if I was back in time, sitting in a station wagon, and peering into Grandmother’s purse.


Filed under Uncategorized

Creole Hoppin’ Jean

Creole Hoppin'-Jean (jon) Vegan Soul Kitchen

Creole Hoppin'-Jean (jon) Vegan Soul Kitchen

Creole Hoppin’- Jean
Recipe: “Vegan Soul Kitchen.”

This was so good, I ate it for Meatless Monday…and then I ate it again for breakfast on Tuesday. Nuff said.


Filed under Beans and Vegan Protein Foods, Entrees, Green Things, Side Dishes, Snacks, Uncategorized

Black-Eyed Pea Fritters with Hot Pepper Sauce (done mild.)

Dipping Sauce

Recipe: “Vegan Soul Kitchen.”

I love the healthful, and surprising protein addition of black-eyed peas and peanuts (or in our case, pumpkin seeds,) to this appetizer staple. However, the real surprise was that the dipping sauce was the bomb! It was deeply flavored and easy to make.

I often have to innovate and make substitutions to recipes on the fly. My youngest is allergic to peanuts, so I used pumpkin seeds. I like things spicy, so I kicked it up a notch on the mild tasting fritters– and that was a mistake. My F.I.L. couldn’t hack the heat. So when it came to making the hot sauce, I compromised and used mild, green peppers instead of Habanero peppers. Topping my spicy version of the fritters with dollops of the milder sauce made this an appetizer that both Pop Pop and the kids could enjoy.

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Filed under Appetisers, Side Dishes

Black-Eyed Peas – One Night, Two Ways.

Black-Eyed Pea Fritters

Black-Eyed Pea Fritters

  • Black-Eyed Pea Fritters (Foreground)
  • Creole Hoppin’ Jean (Background)

Recipes: “Vegan Soul Kitchen.”


Filed under Appetisers, Side Dishes

Glory Corn Muffins

Glory Corn Muffins

Golden Sweet Corn Muffins: Glory Foods

Right now, these are the only corn muffins my girls want to eat. My oldest begs for it, so on my last shopping trip I picked up 4 boxes. I hope I don’t create a scandal when I confess to having grown up on Jiffy Corn Bread Mix, LOL! Hey…Grandmother was a Registered Nurse and owned her own business. She didn’t have time to grind corn on a stone, okay? Well, anyway….I’m just happy to find something my girls like that doesn’t have lard in the mix.

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Filed under Breads & Muffins, Side Dishes