Estrema Vegan Makeover: Improvvisazioni Edition: "McVegans," Cheezeburgers, Pannocchia con Spicy Chile Aglio Burro, Dolce N'Crunchy Colore Slaw & Semplice Insalata estiva

Tra Tom e io essendo tra case e vivere di borse come nomadi ult l'inverno e gli effetti che ha avuto sulla mia salute (incluso l'essere senza lavoro), abbiamo perso su un sacco di cose. Noi non abbiamo visto o parlato con i nostri amici, we haven’t been able to attend any events or social gatherings and we have really been feeling the effects of our isolation. I miss going to work and I desperately miss my students. We miss being around people, we miss the city and we miss the security of just having a place to call home.

In light of all these big things we are missing (even just being able to receive our mail everyday), it might seem trivial that some of the things I miss most involve food. I miss going to Whole Foods e Trader Joe’s. I haven’t been to a restaurant in months – I so miss Sacred Chow, Vegetariana Lunch di Curly e Candle Café. I miss my own kitchen with all my well-stocked ingredients and cooking utensils.

Not staying in any one place for very long and having to cook wherever we go, I’ve had to learn to pack light and improvise with whatever I can find. I carry my own pot and pan and my own knives, tongs and spatulas because I know they have never touched meat. I carry an arsenal of dried spices and herbs because I like big flavors in my food. When we pack, we have more bags of groceries than we do clothes and other essentials. Since last winter, I have cooked in at least 6 different kitchens, none of them my own, each with their own limitations.

Eppure, in that time, I have posted more recipes here on the blog than ever before. I’ve become a master of improvisation, searching out the ingredients I need and making the best of whatever I have. Tom and I even had to improvise on our birthdays: I found a vegan frozen blueberry pie that became Tom’s 46th birthday cake and since I’m not a huge fan of dessert, Tom made me a special birthday treat by sticking candles in one of my favorite breakfasts we like to call “McVegans.”

Last year Tom and I attended the Farm Sanctuary Pignic in Central Park but this year we were on our own. Independence Day was more like Isolation Day but we still had to eat so I made all the usual holiday fixings: hamburger, slaw, salad and corn on the cob. It may not have been anything spectacular like fireworks but it lit the spark in Tom’s eyes and that’s what really matters in the end. We may not know where we are going next but at least we know we are going there together. Maybe the best recipes are the ones that are made with love.

The Recipes:

“McVegan” Breakfast Sandwich

Gimme Lean Sausage Flavor
Arnold’s Thins Whole Wheat
Tofutti Vegan Cheese Slices: American Flavor
Smart Balance Light Vegan Spread
1 cucchiaino. olive oil or cooking spray


Heat a frying pan with some cooking spray or tsp. di olio di oliva. Cut Gimme Lean tube into 4 equal sections and shape into round patties. Place patties in the frying pan and cook for about 3 minuti.

Nel frattempo, toast 4 Arnold’s Thins to desired crispiness. Turn patties and top each with a slice of Tofutti cheese. Add vegan spread to the Arnold’s Thins, place patties on the Thins and enjoy!
Naturalmente, this can be made with other types of bread or biscuits, different vegan cheeses and Earth Balance but my version is a total of only 5 Weight Watchers points per sandwich and tastes just as indulgent. It’s been a lifesaver on my diet.

Fourth of July Menu:

Easy Cheezy Burgers

Morningstar Farms Vegan Grillers
Whole Wheat Burger Buns
Daiya Cheddar Cheese
Fresh spinach
Vegan Light Mayo
1 cucchiaino. olio o spray da cucina


Heat a frying pan with cooking spray or oil. Cook vegan burgers on one side for about 4 minuti. Meanwhile toast buns to taste and slice tomatoes. Flip burgers and add tomato slices on each burger. Top with Daiya cheddar cheese (a lot if you like having the crispy cheese “skirt”). Cover the pan with foil, let cook another 2 minuti, then turn off the heat but let the cheese continue to melt. Serve burgers on the buns with fresh spinach and vegan mayo. Godere!

Pannocchia con Spicy Chile Aglio Burro

4 Fresh ears of corn
3 Tbs. Smart Balance Light Vegan Spread
1 cucchiaino. dried chile powder
1 cucchiaino. aglio in polvere secca
1 cucchiaino. pepe nero macinato
Sale (se desiderato)


Shuck corn ears and break them in half. Place in pot, coprire con acqua fredda, cover and bring to boil. Quando l'acqua bolle, remove cover and continue to cook for about 15 minuti. Drain.

Luogo 3 Tbs. spread in a bowl with the spices. Put in microwave for about 20 seconds until slightly melted. Stir. Pour on corn. Chives would be a pretty addition but I didn’t have any. Godere!

Dolce N’ Crunchy Color Slaw

1 packet raw sugar or ½ tsp. nettare di agave
1 1/4 tazza(s) aceto di mele
2 olio d'oliva cucchiaino
3 tazza(s) cavolo, green and red, triturati
2 peperoni, different colors, affettato sottilmente
1/2 grande cipolla rossa, affettato sottilmente
1/4 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp black pepper


In una grande ciotola, mix sugar, 2 tbs water, vinegar and oil. Add cabbage, bell peppers and red onions. Sale e pepe qb. Toss. Cover and let sit for about 30 min.

You can add any other veggies you like, whatever colors you like or extra sweetener. Makes a great side dish or filling snack with virtually no WW points.

If you like your slaw creamier and aren’t worried about the calories, add ¼ cup vegan mayo to the above mixture. Godere!

Semplice Insalata estiva

Romaine lettuce
2 gambi di sedano, chopped
1/2 cipolla rossa, chopped
2 Roma pomodori, chopped
Balsamic Vinegar
Safflower Oil
Sale e pepe qb
Aglio in polvere, prezzemolo


Chop lettuce, add celery, onions and tomatoes. I don’t make formal salad dressings. I just add Kosher or sea salt, pepe, garlic powder and dried (or fresh if I have) parsley to the salad. Then I pour about 3 Tbs. of balsamic vinegar and 2 Tbs. safflower oil on top and toss well. I know salad dressings are usually more oil than vinegar but again, I have to watch those calories.


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One Response to Estrema Vegan Makeover: Improvvisazioni Edition: "McVegans," Cheezeburgers, Pannocchia con Spicy Chile Aglio Burro, Dolce N'Crunchy Colore Slaw & Semplice Insalata estiva

  1. Katy Luglio 28, 2010 a 3:19 pm #

    Amo il “McVegan” breakfast sandwich idea! I am going to have to try that! 🙂

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