Friday, August 31, 2007
On the side tho....Cashe-so (Cashew Queso) was a brilliant idea I had with some corn chips.. Inspired by Jess of Get Sconed and her cashew cheeze (hers is raw), I whipped up Vegan Vittles cooked variety and had some leftover. Mixed with the last of my homemade salsa made it an even better dipping delight!
I do think, however, that the veggie bouillion used in this particular recipe is too overpowering and am excited to try it again with water or maybe miso, not sure yet....but it's good!
Basically, this is half a cup of uncooked quinoa, cooked. then I just thaw all the frozen silken firm tofu i had in the freezer (was about just over a box, this time). I mash up the tofu and add a couple tablespoons of shoyu, about a healthy teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, oregano, and a good pinch of celery seed, a touch of sea salt, some black pepper, and then maybe a tsp of olive oil.
I mix that up with a fork and add nutritional yeast til it gets sticky, add the cooked quinoa, about a tablespoon or two of fresh chopped parsley, and form the patties. This made about nine. I place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and toss 'em in a 350 oven, spraying the top lightly with olive oil and cook for 15 min, flip, spray and cook for another fifteen minutes.
this morning I sauteed some fresh spinach with olive oil, sea salt, pepper and a dash of nutmeg to make a bed for my patties then slivered a little fresh red bell pepper and drizzled on a bit of my homemade agave mustard sauce (equal parts of agave, Dijon mustard, and Vegannaise). so hearty and delicious, wheat free, too! And FULL of protein. super yum!
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
The freshest, most appetizing sounding dip I could find was Vegan Vittles' Green Bean Pate. Don't let the beigeness of this picture fool you. Oh man, if you haven't had this before, you must try it! I doubled the recipe and am so glad i did. Fresh green beans, browned onions, toasted walnuts, a bit of silken tofu, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and wow 's all I can say. The combo was a huge hit. No one could keep themselves from diggin in til it was aaaaall gone.
But first, here's a lil butterfly takin a dip in the dip. ;) Last, but certainly not least was VWaV's Udon Noodles with Peanut Sauce. I skipped the seitan and used rice noodles (the Cap'n's sister has a severe wheat allergy so I always try to accommodate the both of us with great food) and added some carrots to the mix. This was cool, refreshing, so fresh and reeeeeally tasty. Everyone loved it. I only wish I'd doubled the peanut sauce because it was just so amazing and just barely enough for such a huge salad (that beautiful platter is more than a foot in diameter!)
Also to the celebratory table I offered up some grill roasted cauliflower (simply with some olive oil, tons of garlic, sea salt, and cracked black pepper) and the always wonderful seitan ribz, this time with Annie's Naturals BBQ Sauce. For some reason these were drier than usual so I opted not to toss them on the grill and they were just warm, not hot, but still tasty.
While everyone else dug into the Cap'n's family's traditional chocolate cake his sister and I enjoyed some wheat-free vegan chocolate chip cookies. Nope, no picture of those. Why? Well, because we deVOURED them, that's why! ;) but you can find that recipe here.
If necessity is the mother of invention, then surely the produce in your kitchen just this side of spoiling is her darling daughter.
Lucky, too...'cause she inspired this, Strawberry Banana Bread. (at this point, i was still banking on this idea working out beautifully!) I knew I'd be making some banana bread of some bananas when I noticed out 'nana hanger was about to drop their 3 brown butts to the counter. When I remembered the container of organic strawberries that were hiding in the crisper I thought, 'Hmmmmm, strawberry banana is such a yummy combo, why've I never tried this before?'.
Looks like mamma had a hand in this lil kitchen experiment as well...or maybe that was her sneaky son, Lack of Forethought? I knew when I put the batter into my loaf pan that it was a bit full. I don't remember that being a problem in the past, didn't expect this to rise much...but indeed it did, oozing strawberry banana goodness all over the oven and leaving the loaf not so pretty. Actually, all said and done, I had all kindsa problems with this creation. I blame Lack of Forethought's sidekick, Love For Junkfood who whispered in my ear to go for it, use all the sugar, most of the vegan margarine and hell, sub some vanilla soy creamer for regular soy milk.
The loaf, after an hour and ten, was not ready. So ten more minutes...then another, then five more, and the corners were threatening to go black. Out it came to cool and I'll be darned if that thing wasn't just too heavy to ever really cook thru and set up. Actually, taking it out of the loaf pan, the whole thing collapsed on itself. The flavor's good, but it's like a bit overdone banana bread outside with a banana strawberry bread pudding inside.Interesting, not awful, not really worthy of serving to anyone honestly, and certainly not what I was going for. So no recipes today, but I'm not giving up yet! I see a healthier version in the form of Yummy Banana Muffins with Strawberry Swirl in the very near future. ;)
And another kitchen dud was Bryanna's puffy omelet. I stumbled upon it by accident in cruising the web for other people's versions of tofu omelets. Knowing Bryanna almost always hits it out of the park, I raced to the kitchen to whip this one up. It's easy, sounds versatile, and cooks up quickly...just what i was looking for.
When I first whipped it up I was a little put off by the flour in the recipe. I didn't love the floury taste or smell I was getting from it but figured that would all cook off?
Then, in my 500 degree oven on my dark baking pans (cake pans really, as all my baking sheets are not dark as the recipe suggests need be used) I took them out to flip only to find that they were horribly stuck to the pans. I liberally had oiled them so this was not a foreseen problem.
But flip them I did and cooked them up anyway, having to scrape them a second time off the pans to serve. I'd added chopped green onion to mine and salvaged their crumbly mess by serving them up to myself with a side of roasted potatoes and fresh avocado then topping with my homemade salsa. Because really? that stuff makes EVERYTHING taste good. ;)I'd still jump to try Bryanna's other recipes but this one just didn't work for me. I think I prefer my tofu omelets sans flour and requiring just longer cooking time. Live, (eat!), and learn!
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Kamut flakes, fresh peaches, fresh blueberries, and soy milk is a definite quick favorite of mine. I just love that fruit combination. And kamut flakes are my favorite cereal, easily.
For the mornings that I want some 'real food' I'd been craving the Rev. Spanish Omelet from VWaV. I halve the recipe and make it thinner with just two potatoes, half an onion and one box of silken firm tofu. The saffron in this one is just amazing...and, while i looooove the recommended roasted red pepper almond sauce on everything else, I much prefer to top my omelet with fresh cracked black pepper and half a fresh avocado. A side of millet toast and some fresh fruit and I'm rerrin' to go! (granted, not eating the ENTIRE omelet in one sitting takes all the willpower this vegan can muster. It's that damn good!
But you've seen this all before from the likes of me and, really, how many times can I wow you with a yummy fresh green salad?and you just know I'll top it with some homemade ginger dressing, no surprise there! ;) that's pretty much what I've had for lunch almost daily with a Tofurkey pita, and i never ever get tired of it.
The Cap'n and I celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary! this month (this is also the month of my one year anniversary of being totally vegan! yay for august, all good things!) but we celebrated pretty low-key. a day at the beach, just us, was beautiful and serene. we had a lot of fun. So much fun that the camera never even made it out of the bag. typical! and we came home to a simple meal (so simple i cannot ever remember what it is we ate!) and our favorite decadent easy dessert, semi-sweet chocolate dipped strawberries.Mmmmmmmmm.
So that's what I've been putting off sharing...more of the same, really. But fear not. A couple of duds, a couple of grand successes and a fantastic breakfast are all on their way!
Can't wait to drop by the rest of your blogs again soon. I just know I'll be incredibly inspired to shake things up in the kitchen after I do!
Thursday, August 16, 2007
But man oh man, no more! Nope, I am absolutely HOOKED on her amazing interpretation. For the green in my mac Uncheeze i opted for organic frozen peas (almost always opt for peas, honestly) and it was perfection.Gooey, cheezy, and satisfying. Jess is even more of a goddess than at first i realized as she had the forethought to deliver a halved recipe on her blog which meant i only devoured half the carby goodness i would have had she given me the tools to make more right off the bat. (i ate half of the four servings i made. mm hmmm, i sure did)
I used some sprouted wheat and flax seed spirals for my pasta and the optional fresh garlic, onion powder, paprika, and panko breadcrumbs on the top (had to broil it at the end for a couple mins to get those babies to brown after a spritz of olive oil was applied). I also used a heaping spoonful of this stuff (which, i'm sad to say, i don't believe veganessentials.com is carrying anymore, gasp!) in my cheezy mix because it is absolutely my favorite condiment (aside from salsa). It's mustard with a nutritional yeast punch...something i personally can never get enough of.
If you haven't tried this one yet, get thee to Jess's blog and do so immediately! to round out my meal i had a big salad of butter lettuce, tons of fresh 'shrooms, tomato, sprouts and surprise of all surprises, ginger dressing.this morning's breakfast? the rest of the mac with a bowl of fresh mango, strawberries, and organic blackberries that were absolutely divine.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
2 handfuls pine nuts
1 handful hemp seeds (toasted all of those in a warm skillet)
about 10 leaves basil
1/3 c. fresh parsley
2 T. nutritional yeast
splash of lemon juice
couple T water
2 pinches sea salt
black pepper to taste
olive oil to desired consistencey (i just added it until it was creamy and not too dry)
I put a few healthy spoonfuls in my 'shroom filling and mixed it all up, then browned some soy curls in olive oil before adding a bit more pesto to those and sauteeing til crispy. served that alongside my 'shroom over some leftover brown sushi rice. yum! right?
but the next day, i had a problem. while soooo very tasty, the 'shrooms never seem to hold up thru a second serving the next day. they're limp and less than plump and juicy as they begin the day you first make them. so of course i did what any good vegan would do. I made patties! I chopped the 'shroom bottoms and leftover pesto soy curls and added them and the filling to my food processor and pulsed til desired conistency. I then added more of that brown sushi rice that was lingering in the 'fridge and stirred it all up til it was a sticky, gooey mess that held together nicely when formed into patties. into the hot skillet they went with a touch of olive oil til browned to perfection.
I served as you see them with a bit more pesto and some leftover roasted red pepper almond sauce. these patties are full of so much good stuff that I ate them and nothing else for a couple meals while running around for a day or two.
they were perfect eats as i busily made the following to stock the 'fridge of friends who just welcomed their first baby boy into the world:
VT's meatless loaf for sandwiches
huge green salad with Ginger Dressing for days
rice noodles and zucchini rawsta with roasted red pepper almond sauce (mmmmm)
chickpea salad with hummus and pitas and brown rice cakes to enjoy it on
Welcome to the world, Keiran Forest!
oh, and the remaining agave cupcakes from my frosting disaster ended up getting frosted after all...they may look like they're piled high with poo, but i assure you that a ton of VCTOTW's chocolate buttercream frosting (with newly purchased Florida Crystals powdered sugar) was all they needed to transform them from light, fluffy goodness to totally decadent birthday yumminess for a friend). having no fancy tools i employed the 'fill plastic baggie with frosting, cut corner and pipe' method for that dog poo finish. ;) the pic is blurry but i was in a hurry to race out of town to deliver them and do some bday celebrating with our friend. they were devoured....imagine that!
Friday, August 10, 2007
And finally, a craving gone so very wrong that turned out so very right. I'd been wanting cupcakes like nobody's business (that'll teach me to check out the food porn at the ppk forums too often!) and all i could think about was VCTOTW's agave cupcakes (i'd yet to try them but so love agave i knew it would happen sooner than later) with some rich, chocolatey buttercreme icing.
with no other powdered sugar or chocolate in the house i sat back and enjoyed one sans icing and i gotta say, these little gems are light, fluffy, and perfectly sweet all on their own. (but that super dark chocolate bar my mom just sent me with my belated birthday box will surely make a fine ganache for those that remain....mmmmm, mmmm! stay tuned for that!)
Have a safe and happy weekend, everyone!
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Monday, August 06, 2007
This is just a quick veggie roll with cuke, carrot, and avocado, some freshly made wasabi, and a side of Sizzling Tofu.
Sizzling Tofu is really just extra firm tofu pressed well, cubed, and then sauteed in a bit of peanut oil til lightly browned. A teryaki type sauce made from soy sauce, mirin, and sugar is sprinkled on to further brown, the heat is upped, nutritional yeast is generously added, and the rest of the sauce is added and sauteed to coat, sizzling all the while, hence the name! ;)
Here's a shot that shows off the tofu a bit more, but I reeeally need a little tripod. I hate the flash pics and I'm just not steady enough to get good ones without it.
Sunday, August 05, 2007
The start of our meal was a refreshing, clean out the fridge salad of Boston Lettuce, some cucumber and carrot matchsticks (from our sushi the other night...post about that one soon!), tomato, alfalfa sprouts, chickpeas, avocado, and my personal favorite, That Ginger Dressing (from here). I'd always used my mini food processor for this dressing and, while great, it was rather liquid-y and not quite right. Enter the amazing immersion blender and viola! perfect, just like in the Japanese restaurants!
Next came Susan's Ribz, which I'd been dying to try. As it looks like we'll round out our summer still without a grill, I opted to bake them all the way to the end (350 oven, bake for 20 min, baste, bake for ten more, flip, bast, and bake for ten final min). These are AMAZING! we loved them. I just used a store bought sauce but looking forward to trying my hand at a homemade for next time. They are super easy to whip up (I used peanut butter as my nut butter ingredient) and I cannot wait to share them with others. Their texture is per-fec-tion. If only all seitan recipes turned out this spectacular!
Finally, another first time recipe at our house, Dreena's Broccoli Mushroom Walnut Phyllo Pie from Vive. I knew just by the ingredients that this would be great, and it is! The general consensus was that it was good, but that the walnut taste dominated a bit too much. I blame this on not toasting the walnuts enough so they were more raw tasting than the recipe likely requires. I want to make this again, but am interested in trying it with one or two small changes. Can't wait to see how that goes, but for now? I'm just excited to eat up the leftovers!
I wish I'd gotten a good shot of the top of the pie. Her technique for schrunching up the top layer makes for a very pretty presentation. Ah, what the heck...here's my crappy photo of it ;)The phyllo is perfectly flaky and the whole pie has a meaty, almost cheezy flavor. It's filling and tasty. If you haven't tried this one yet, do! Just remember to fully toast your nuts so they don't overpower the flavor.
Saturday, August 04, 2007
Moist Mango Muffins
1/2 cup vegan sour cream
1/2 cup vegan margarine
1/2 cup soy yogurt (plain or vanilla)
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups chopped mangoes (very ripe)
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut (didn't have any so I tossed in 1/4 cup unsweetened dried coconut, reconstituted. I know that the flaked would prove MUCH tastier)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 teaspoon rum extract (I didn’t have it so I just used dark rum)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
Preheat oven to 375 for muffins, 350 for bread.
Mix sour cream and margarine together. Then add mangoes.
Add eggs,sugar, then extracts, then coconut.
Mix dry ingredients (except sugar) together and incorporate into the wet ingredients, stir till all is combined well.
Pour into lined or greased muffin tins (makes 18 muffins) or
Pour into a greased large loaf pan (5 by 10)and bake in a preheated oven for approx 1 hour.
Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.
These are more mango-y than the last batch, but I can't decide which I actually like best, they're both super yummy. I only used soy yogurt in this recipe to replace the eggs in the original as we had some that needed using up, but I'm not a fan of soy yogurt in general so I'd probably just use a banana next time.
Does anyone other than me think it's hilarious that spell check within an internet program does not register the word 'internet'? Cracks me up every time ;)
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Here I heated some Amy's Organic Refried Beans w/ chilies while warming my corn tostadas, dropped on a healthy dollop of Dreena's Creamy Cashew Avocado Cream (I freaking LOVE this stuff...'s just too bad you can't see my pretty star design I made after adding it!), added shredded butter lettuce, fresh tomato, a long and winding ribbon of Tofutti sour cream, poured on some freshly made salsa (last grocery shopping outing I spotted some of the most beautiful tomatillos and rushed home to make some), and added a tiny bit of fresh chopped cilantro.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Looks good, no? Rice, pinto beans, avocado. You're thinking, C'mon DGMGV, there's nothing wrong and, actually, everything right about good ole fashioned rice 'n beans. I'll let ya in on a little secret......
they're from a CAN! Yup, my laziness of late knows no bounds. In my defense, I was more curious than anything else when I first spotted Eden Organics' line of rice 'n beans at the grocery. When I actually ventured to pick up a can and read the label to find them low in sodium and see that they were about a dollar and change a piece, with about three servings per can? I was enticed enough to toss a couple into my cart (both the pinto and brown rice pictured and a can of kidney and brown rice as well, the latter of which I devoured yesterday after stirring in some homemade salsa without thinking to snap a picture).
I gotta tell ya, add a few of your favorite spices and these babies are cheap, easy, tasty, and healthy...you know, aside from the fact that they spend their days before gracing your bowl in a can.
Either way, with a nice side salad of fresh veggies, nuts, sprouts, and raisins (yeah, 's true. the salad dressing is Annie's not one I made. so lazy. sigh.) this was a great meal for a girl who just didn't have the time to be in the kitchen, embarrassed or not!
And speaking of lazy. I woke the other day a bit late and started making some fauxsage crumbles with tempeh. Halfway thru I realized I had neither the time or desire to whip out biscuits or some gravy to go with it so I did what any lazy (but super savvy!) vegan would do... I wrapped that delicious fauxsage up in a whole wheat wrap with fresh tomato and avocado and enjoyed it with half an organic apple and some raw almond butter.
Lazy never tasted so good!