Veg in Cow Country

cooking (and eating) vegan and vegetarian in the midwest

Champagne Mangoes: new favorite fruit! May 5, 2012

Filed under: favorite products,Summertime — vegincowcountry @ 5:27 pm

I didn’t know I liked mangoes until I bought one for the parrots – they’re high in vitamins A and C and in folate. The parrots approved — and no wonder! I found that I like them, too. 

Then I noticed smaller, yellow mangoes… and those were fantastic! Apparently, they’re called Champagne Mangoes or Ataulfo Mangoes. Their major advantage over the big reddish-green ones I usually find in the stores here that they are not nearly as stringy. They’re small, about 4-5 inches long, but they also have a small seed. 

(Comparative size to a banana)

There are all kinds of recipes  on this site dedicated to Champagne Mangoes:

We’re purists here, though, we eat them as they are. It also seems to be mango season, because they’re on sale everywhere…

Mango addict: Oliver the Green Cheeked Conure. The second time I put a little square of mango in his cage, he recognized it, and made a beeline for it muttering “pretty pretty” under his breath.


Trader Joe’s Asian Style Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette May 3, 2012

Filed under: favorite products,Salads — vegincowcountry @ 7:23 pm
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It’s a good bet that anyone who has been vegetarian for any length of time has been presented by a waiter with more than one limp-looking bowl of iceberg lettuce. This nutritionally-sparse offering usually comes with a thin slice of tomato, a little shredded carrot, maybe a slice of raw red onion, and, if we’re really lucky, a cucumber slice or two. For ovo-lacto vegetarians, sometimes shredded cheese and maybe a half a hard-boiled egg are also included. Because that’s what vegetarians like, right?? Not any of the vegetarians I know!

As a result, I for one am not a huge fan of salads. There are just so many more interesting things to cook and eat! There are two ingredients that will always interest me in a salad, though: 1) avocado, and 2) a really good dressing. Avocados fill in nicely for dairy and egg, I think, in both creamy texture and the satisfaction you get from a little fat (although of course avocado fat is a “good fat,” a fact of which I have to remind myself).

I found a really good dressing at Trader Joe’s the other day — Asian Style Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette. Don’t let the jalapeños listed on the label scare you, it’s not terribly spicy, just enough to give a salad some flavor. 

The other ingredients in my supper salad: 

Trader Joe’s Baby Arugula Blend

cherry tomatoes, halved

green onions

1/2 avocado, sliced

handful of marinated baked tofu cubes

Baking and marinating tofu gives it the flavor of whatever you’ve marinated it in, plus a pleasant, chewy texture (but not too chewy, ala the rubbery texture of frozen and thawed tofu). Press drained, sliced tofu for 20-30 minutes, then mix with marinade (in this case, my new favorite Trader Joe’s salad dressing), and spread in a single layer in a metal or glass pan. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-40 minutes, turning about halfway through baking.


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