Saturday, December 16, 2006

Moroccan Chickpea Patties......WOW! ('n a bunch of food)

Thank you, Dreena Burton, for this aMAzing recipe. I've seen some of you blog about these before and have been itching to try it. I can tell we're going have these many, many times in the future. I served them on leaves of Boston (butter) lettuce, Dreena's suggested Ginger Dipping Sauce and with a side of our favorite sauteed broccoli (saute in olive oil with garlic until nutty smell is wafting thru your kitchen but don't burn!...add oregano, basil, and sea salt, a bit of water, cover, and steam til desired tenderness....tastes buttery!) and half a sweet potato with a teeny bit of EB, some sea salt, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.I did make a tiny change or two to the patties in that I tossed the sauteed fennel and pepper in the food processor to break them down a bit then added about a cup of brown rice to the mixture to try and give it a little more form. I coated them in panko breadcrumbs (our favorite) and used both white and black sesame seeds in the breading.

I cannot get over how yummy these are and reeeeally enjoy eating them by way of picking them up inside the lettuce leaves after drizzling with the dipping sauce. The only thing better than this dinner? LUNCH of leftovers and an apple the next day.
It'd been a while since I made VWaV's Tempeh Bacon so I thought it was high time we had some for TLT'n A wraps (Tempeh, Lettuce, Tomato 'n Avacado).
My avacaco, tho nice and soft to the touch, was not quite ripe so I mashed it up and added a touch of lime juice, salt and pepper, and some vegannaise before adding it to the wrap.

Leftover Tempeh Bacon made for a great breakfast the next day with herbed roasted tiny potatoes, some avacado,
and some banana with Silk blueberry yogurt.

Here's a His 'n Hers display:

Hers (with a touch of Toffuti's) BTSC
I really cannot admit enough how much I rely on Amy's Non-Dairy burritos when I don't have time to cook anything. I especially enjoy loading 'em up when I'm all by my lonesome and don't want to mess up the kitchen but want a full meal. Here's one on top of a huge bed of romaine lettuce, topped with some hummus, Tofutti Better'n Sour Cream, fresh tomato, Zappata's Salsa Verde, and avacado. I wish you could see the romaine in this picture. It was such a deep, vibrant green and really nice to mix in with everything. Like my own little (well, not that little, really) burrito salad.

Yesterday I decided to try my hand at bread for a second time. I like that I don't own a bread machine and really enjoy the whole kneading and baking process so La Dolce Vegan's Easy French Bread sounded like a great recipe to work with. SO EASY! and now? the Cap'n has requested that we have this bread at least EVERY DAY. hehe. Here it is in the oven, almost done, just misted with water to give it that crunchy crust. And here it is cooling, just begging to be torn apart and eaten hot out of the oven. the inside is so soft, perfect bread in no time and with little effort, even!
Wanting something warm and flavorful to sop up with this amazing bread I reverted back to the Tofu Marsala recipe that I'd stumbled upon a few months ago in Veg. Times.
I love this one pot meal and the flavor is really amazing. I didn't have enough Marsala wine in the house so i subbed half of what is called for with some Sherry and honestly? While I thought it smelled a bit different upon reducing, the end resulting flavor was just as delicious as I remember.

I served it with roasted brussel sprouts (something else the Cap'n wants only every too!) and they were so fantastic at soaking up some of that marsala goodness inbetween their tender leaves. I swear, they are a perfect food!
I'm ashamed to say that, of those two loaves of bread pictured above, only a third of one remains today. We just could not stop eating the stuff! I'm going to have to limit my bread making in the future ;), but am really excited to get into making some whole grain baguettes.

Oh, and before I forget...I've been wanting to share with all of you my new, favorite snack. I've actually been enjoying it for quite some time but never seem to remember to blog about it. If you're anything like me you want a healthy snack from time to time but don't want to rely on processed foods, even the good organic varieties that lend themselves to all that packaging. Enter homemade TRAIL MIX!
I've been treating myself to bulk bins at the local healthfood store and stocking up on raw cashews, raw almonds, raw sunflower seeds, roasted pepitas, raisins, vegan chocolate chips, and my beloved crystallized ginger. I just chop it up and add with the rest of the above and keep in ziplocs or tupperware containers and basically always have some in my purse, just in case. I'm thinking I need to add some dried cherries or cranberries and maybe some coconut or dried mango the next trip to the store, but I am totally loving this combination as is right now.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Back To Nature, then Blogging

I want to thank each of you for your comments about BTN on my last post. I hope you each had a moment to check them out and see what it is they're (we're) all about. The fundraiser was a great success in that everyone in attendance had fun, learned something, and left happy. The kids and I made picture frames from old CD jewel cases and scented bath salts which we put in decorated old Rx bottles. we had entirely too much fun for me to remember to take any pics, tho! sorry! ;)

I supplemented the bake sale table with my newly infamous Best Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever. I made 4 dozen, one third choc chip and walnut, one third choc chip, walnut, and cryztallized ginger, and the rest choc chip and crystallized ginger. We sold them two for a dollar and i was left with what you see here, just seven!These doubled nicely as bday cookies for the Cap'n whose birthday was Friday. ;) I got amazing feedback from people who were all thrilled to try something vegan, interested to learn just how one goes about making such yummy cookies without the traditional methods, and so happy to come back for more! I even supplied the recipe for anyone who wanted to rush home to duplicate it.

Just a reminder that BTN does animal sponsorships which make GREAT christmas gifts. For a small donation of $25 you get a sponsorship certificate, the animal's story, and a beautiful 8x10 of their cute mug! Give the gift of life and great care this holiday season and give your loved one something to feel good about AND adorn their wall with! I've gotten them in the past and put the info and pic in one of those double frames and they've made wonderful presents.

On to the food....
I really liked that sauce I tried from vegweb. So much that I made it yet again, this time taking my own advice and backing down on the tamari, adding real garlic, and then a few sundried tomatoes. I liked this MUCH better. Which, going on how much I liked it the first time, is saying that i LOVED it. hehe

The first night I made it, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it, tho. I didn't want pasta, so I opted for a wrap and just shredded a bunch of zucchini and then roasted a portablello cap to put in there with it.It was crazy soupy and really messy but sooooooo good. I loved it. So much, in fact, that this led to the following day's breakfast:

Here I roasted some little yellow potatoes that i'd found (so creamy, like yukons only tiny!) with some garlic, thyme, and rosemary.I also made VwaV's tempeh sausage crumbles. This all went into the wrap with the sauce, more zucchini, and another portabello from the night before. EVEN BETTER! yeah, i had this for lunch too. :) A couple of days later I noticed I still had some of this sauce left but didn't really want to do the same thing. I'd been craving some sort of tempeh salad so I began making the tempeh much like Marlo's Oh My Goddess Tempeh, but boiled it in veggie stock first after crumbling it. Then I sauteed it in olive oil, adding some lemon juice and some sherry (i had no white wine in the house). I added some rosemary but my store bought tempeh was not really flavoring up the way the homemeade stuff does and that just wouldn't do for my in with the remainder of my sundried tomato/cashew sauce! This was all done in a med saucepan that i then took off the heat while i prepared a salad: butter lettuce, shredded carrot, shredded zucchini, chopped tomato....then a heaping scoop of the tempeh salad (still pretty warm...yum!) and then a sprinkling of sunflower seeds and some nutritional yeast. sooooooooooo good!!!!!! I loved this. and it was funny because i had no idea that this is what i would end up eating for dinner. I truly thought i'd be making some tempeh salad sandwhich of some sort. ya never know!

I had the leftover tempeh salad on the ride home from our bday celebration weekend in the car with some torn pieces of a whole wheat wrap and it was fine cool but so much better warm on a crisp cold salad.
speaking of bday celebration weekend....we went to the fam's about an hour away for the Cap'ns bday dinner. I took a tip from Kaji's mom and Susan and decided on some mini crustless quiches. Using what i had in the house I went for broccoli/onion versions.
I sauteed the chopped broccoli florets in some olive oil with garlic, then added some oregano and basil and just let the broccoli release some of that nutty flavor before removing it from the heat. I whipped up the silken tofu in the food processor and basically followed Susan's recipe and directions using a muffin pan.These are truly wonderful. I ate three right out of the oven, two before we left (you can tell from my messy plate that this is not the first one i ate. hehe), and devoured a couple more as part of my dinner at the fam's.

They had fish but were happy to try my quiches. We also had steamed broccoli, some reeeally wonderful black beans (thanks to the Cap'ns mom!), and they all enjoyed a regular caesar salad while I ate (and treated them to the rest of was huge....) Vegan Caesar with sundried tomatoes, roasted brussel sprouts, and hemp seed. This salad is such a winner. I really need to give everyone the recipe for christmas. I haven't had anyone eat it yet that isn't just wowed by how yummy it is, myself included!

Back home from our celebrating, I opted for easy last night and defrosted a curry I'd had in the freezer. Nothing fancy. Just Veg Time's curry from last year some time of lentils, sweet potato, tomato, cauliflower, onion.

I heated it in a saucepan adding one more can of chopped tomatoes (no salt added) and a can of chickpeas (rinsed). Once that was heated thru I served it on some whole wheat bow tie pasta and topped it with shredded raw zucchini.
I can't believe something so simple and easy can turn your tired evening into one with that includes a fabulous meal!!!! I'll be having this for lunch too. I really want to try something new and different tonight so I'm off to scour the internet, all of your blogs included! ;)