Jewels reading In Defense of Food summer 2008
Two things provoked this “meat and potatoes” Midwesterner into observing meatless Mondays; the first came when I read In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan (highly recommended book). I learned why a more plant based diet would be healthier for both myself and the planet, but my problem was that I detest the texture of beans and I wasn’t crazy about lentils either, so consuming protein would pose a problem for me without meat, poultry, or fish.

Jewels with Chef Tal at Le Cordon Bleu January 2009

Then I met Tal Ronnen and the people at Gardein. Suddenly vegetarian, even vegan meals were irresistibly delicious, and looked considerably more familiar. Protein could still take center stage on my plate! Gradually, I became so used to eating at least one animal free meal each week, that doing a completely vegan cleanse for three weeks didn’t even phase me.

#2 Chick’n Spring Rolls

When the people at Gardein sent me some coupons, I decided to share them with you, so you could start the new year out observing meatless Mondays too. The Animal Free 2011 Contest/Giveaway was born when I suggested you share your favorite New Years hors d’oeuvres, vote for them in a poll, and you would decide your top five favorites.

“… And the winners are…”

#1 Spicy Deep Fried Pickles submitted by Derek Sumisu
#2 Chick’n Spring Rolls submitted by Elizabeth Evangelista
#3 Tiny Meatballs with Various Dipping Sauces submitted by Lane Morris Buckman
#4 Grandma’s Artichoke Nibbles submitted by Kim Phillips Cuccia
#5 Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms submitted by Terri Berri
#5 Pepperoni, Green Pepper, and Parmesan Stuffed Mushrooms submitted by Jen Roth

At first I was a little shocked the entries were mostly meat based, but then I realized most could easily be replaced with Gardein or another meat substitute product if you do decide to observe meatless Monday’s. Congratulations and would the winners please email your address to trsmember@gmail.com , so I can mail out your coupons!

#1 Spicy Deep Fried Pickles
Courtesy of Derek Sumisu
Servings: 12

Ingredients:

  • 8 large dill pickles (your choice of style, but I usually use Polski Ogorki)
  • 2 eggs
  • splash of milk
  • 2 cups flour
  • Japanese nanami/shichimi togarashi (Japanese 7 pepper spice)*
  • salt
  • pepper
  • oil for frying/deep fryer (vegetable oil works well)
Directions:

 


1). Preheat your oil to 375 degrees (190 Celsius) 
2). Split flour into 2 parts. 1 1/2 cups and 1/2 cup
put the 1/2 cup onto a plate
put the rest in a bowl.

3). Slice the pickles into 1/4 inch thick pieces
coat the pickles in the flour on the plate
make sure they are well coated.

4). Put the eggs in a bowl and whisk well
add a splash of milk and whisk again
move the pickles from the flour into the egg
make sure they are well coated.

5). Take the bowl with 1 1/2 cups of flour and add
salt, pepper and Japanese spice. If you don’t have
Japanese spice, Cajun works well also. Use your
own judgement here. If you like it spicy, use more.
Less spicy needs less. The same goes for salt and pepper.
(a practice run before New Years Eve will guide you!)

6). Move the pickles from the egg into the spicy flour mix.
coat them well…

7). At this point you can be decadent and put the pickles
back into the egg and then back into the spicy flour for
a double coating!

8). Fry the pickles in at least 2 inches of oil or in a deep fryer
for about 2 minutes or until golden brown. Don’t overcrowd
them or they’ll stick together.

9). You can serve the pickles with your sauce of choice.
I recommend Japanese Tonkatsu sauce, ketchup, ranch
dressing or blue cheese dressing if you’re into the exotic!!

* This can be found at most Asian grocery stores.

« Previous PostNext Post »
  • January 14, 2011
    6:05 pm

    TY Jewels, my son will appreciate this. He loves pickles but will have to omit the Japanese pepper spice.

  • January 14, 2011
    6:34 pm

    Cool JA r..happening..what book..?Rupert Henning Belfrage

  • January 14, 2011
    6:34 pm

    In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan – changed the way I look at food dramatically.

  • January 14, 2011
    6:38 pm

    Whoohoo! Congrats, Jen!Patricia Brennan

  • January 14, 2011
    6:40 pm

    Yay Jen!Kathy Caslin Mullen

  • January 14, 2011
    6:41 pm

    Yay!!! :) What a fun surprise…Kim Phillips Cuccia

  • January 14, 2011
    6:42 pm

    Ty,I am SO excited!! You made my day!! The Mushrooms are so great w/o sausage (I prefer them that way myself) :DTerri Berri

  • January 14, 2011
    6:42 pm

    You've made my day! Thank you! :-)Elizabeth Evangelista

  • January 14, 2011
    6:42 pm

    Don't forget to email me your street address at trsmember@gmail.com if you want me to mail your coupon to you.

  • January 14, 2011
    6:43 pm

    Pin- Up Beauty! xEmily Cash

  • January 14, 2011
    6:43 pm

    Ahem, look whose talking!

  • January 14, 2011
    9:22 pm

    I just started reading that book from the library…very interesting as is The China Study…I really love the Gardein though! I am so glad they started selling it in our local area!!

  • January 14, 2011
    9:29 pm

    WhooHoo! Thanks Jules!!! I thought about you when I was slaving over mushroom caps and wondered if I should have gone into more specific measuremt and detail. LOLJen Roth

  • January 14, 2011
    9:30 pm

    Congratulations to the winners!!Giuliana Iannotta

  • January 14, 2011
    9:31 pm

    Hey Jews, that is a cool appon. You should sell that. I would by one.Misti Parresol Stolp

  • January 14, 2011
    9:38 pm

    I was planning on it Misti, so I'm thrilled to hear you say that, but I haven't found a place that does them in small quantities for a reasonable price yet. I need to stay focused on building the new website right now, but will research aprons and t-shirts further once the new site is up and running.

  • January 15, 2011
    3:06 am

    oh Tal is a dear friend! so thrilled you two know each other. would love to see your beautiful face. lots of love!Libra Max

  • January 15, 2011
    1:08 pm

    Congrats to the winner! Julie Ann you apron!!! I love it! You should have a giveway for one (sign me up)!!! My v good friend is a nutritionist who tells me every meal should contain protein, carb & fat. I could easily go vegetarian by the protein substitution stumps me…tofu, lentils…if i had complete protein options I could do it (and variety, a steady diet of lentils, blah). Vegetarian would be easy if it were just a veggie diet (& some do that which is so dangerous). Coul u give some vegetarian meals you enjoy on your meatless days? Cupcake

  • January 15, 2011
    6:32 pm

    Thanks Cupcake – I'll get to it eventually. Much more exciting projects in store for everyone coming soon that demands my attention now.

  • January 15, 2011
    6:33 pm

    I'm ready to work it everyday into my diet, my husband might say different, lolCarly Guerrero

  • January 15, 2011
    6:33 pm

    Most days of the week! :)Kim Phillips Cuccia

  • January 15, 2011
    7:32 pm

    Congrats! those look yummy, Deep friend pickles must try this out.

  • January 16, 2011
    1:10 am

    ‎6 days a weekLaura Petermann

  • January 16, 2011
    1:10 am

    Does anyone know how to entice a 2 and a 1/2 yr old w/ more than green salad, garden burgers, sliced cheese, homemade fries? And yesterday he kept snagging pickles out of the frdge. Caght him 6x! I need to find other things for him and he despises meat and eggs nowCarly Guerrero

  • January 16, 2011
    1:11 am

    Does he like pasta? My Niece is very much the same way….Terri Berri

  • January 16, 2011
    1:13 am

    I've found that little kids really respond best to simplicity. Instead of a tossed green salad, I "deconstruct" my 4 year old's salad. A few strips of romain with a few carrot sticks next to that, a few cucumber slices next to that and then dip is key! If your little one likes dips you're golden! Ranch, hummus (there are so many yummy types of hummus). I've also found that if I make an appetizer spread of veggies and dip for the little ones to snack on while I cook they really go for it! Hit them with the good stuff when they're hungriest and they're way less picky! Garden burgers are pretty different (look and texture) from regular burgers so maybe start with Morningstar Farms "grillers" they look and taste much closer to a burger. Good luck!Kim Cuccia

  • January 16, 2011
    1:14 am

    he doesn't particularly care for pasta much, i wish, and salads it's just that he eats so much of them that I know I have to be missing something in his diet. He never used to not like almost everything and he's built like a mini football player. But he will eat the heck out of a garden burger. Thanks for the help…Carly Guerrero

  • January 16, 2011
    1:15 am

    Ha! I totally misread your initial question! Woops. In that case, I bet he's just going through a phase… He'll come out the other side wanting a bigger variety! :)

  • January 16, 2011
    1:16 am

    My breakfasts are vegan about 6 days a week. My lunches are vegetarian and/or vegan about 4 times a week.Amber von Schrieck

  • January 16, 2011
    1:17 am

    My wife and I are about 80-90% vegetarians. She islactose intolerant so has to buy lactose free and use lactaid pills. It'shard to cut out all meat, we find this more practical in daily life. Thatis more for health reasons. We also try to go organic, when we can.Mark Downie

  • January 16, 2011
    1:17 am

    Most of our dinners are vegetarian. I love, love, love to make oven cooked parmesean "risotto". So easy and so delicious. I eat Boca burgers when my husband is on shift (he's a Capt. Arson Investigator for Phoenix Fire Dept.). Boca burgers are quick, easy with little clean up.

  • January 16, 2011
    3:43 am

    At least once a week, I like to prepare a vegetarian meal. I have been "cooking" a meatless Monday's for a couple of years now.Karen Ann LeRoy

  • January 16, 2011
    3:46 am

    Meatless Mondays are naturally turning into meatless most days for me lately.

  • January 17, 2011
    7:34 pm

    Congratulations!And you Julie are so beautiful:D!!!