Thursday, December 18, 2008

Remember Me? How 'bout some Mock Crab Cakes?

Ok, so it's not much of a segway from my last post ions ago to this one, but it's pretty much how I feel these days, longing to cook something fun and blog about it but totally too frantic to get anything done that is blogworthy.

While I wish I could say that these babies were made with the amazing okara that came from a yummy batch of soy milk from my swanky new Soya Bella, I can only say that they were pretty great with just run of the mill store-bought tofu (and I've yet to make anything particularly 'yummy' with my Soya Bella...yet!). These are basically carrot, onion, celery, parsley, Vegannaise, bread crumbs, tofu, kelp powder, and Old Bay seasoning, coated with panko, fried, then baked for about fifteen minutes. I topped 'em with a very unoriginal blend of Vegannaise, organic ketchup and some horseradish which really made them sing. Served 'em up with a side of broiled nutritional yeasty (i cannot ever bring myself to say 'nooch-' anything) cauliflower and grape tomatoes and feasted on a fine vegan dinner. I think the only change I'd make next time is to use more of a binder like flax meal and water to help them to stick together and not be so delicate.

Not too shabby for a gal with a seven month old, six felines, one really bad but totally lovable 85 lbs of yellow lab silliness to corral and a bum neck. (yep, this post was inspired by me in a cervical collar all hopped up on steroids and muscle relaxers. good times.) luckily, the felines are adjusting pretty nicely to their new space so they don't cause much trouble,the dog is happy to mope in the kitchen just waiting for crumbs...and the seven month old? you just put her jumparoo wherever you need to get something done and viola! you have about thirty minutes of total baby euphoria. go!we're totally loving it living at home in a fairy tale neighborhood, a house that feels made just for us, and in a town we have always been in love with. we're surrounded by friends, family, and a like-minded community full of fun stuff to do. now, if i could just get the mounds of belongings from out of the garage into our living space i might know where half of my kitchen stuff is....but who has time what with all this fun we're having!

thanks for all your comments all of the time. I can't say that i'll be back regularly just yet, but i'm certainly making my way!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

we're moving!

Well, after a year of trying to sell our home in this almost nonexistent market, we finally did it, and managed to find our dream house back home for a price we can afford. Now, once all the paperwork is done and both houses close, we'll be on our way!

So, what with all of that, a recent three day stay in the hospital due to a raging kidney infection, this crazy tropical storm bringing all kinds of weather (though I should probably thank the universe for sparing both our locations thus far from anything truly damaging. may that hold true thru the end of it!), and three feral kittens who recently showed up at our doorstep (literally) that I'm trying to foster then find homes for (even though the Cap'n keeps calling one of them Seven, as in the seventh stray cat we take in. sigh), I think this blog may be on a bit of a hiatus. We hope to be fully moved by the end of September, so I'm thinking I'll make it back to the blogosphere by Halloween, for sure, complete with scary vegan treats and cute baby costume. Until then I hope I even find a moment to check out all of your blogs and if not, I know I'll have a ton of catching up to do!

For now, here's Taylor. Lately, she's been trying to talk like crazy and I've taught her to roar like a lion. too cute.
Thanks to everyone who always still checks in even though it's been a long while since I shared anything edible. It's nice to know you're all still there!

Monday, July 28, 2008

A Quick Hello

I have something really fun to share with everyone mid August. My sister is having a baby, and I've volunteered to supply the cake for the shower. She's gluten intolerant, so this will be a fun challenge for me. I can't give anything away just yet, but I'm thinking it will be worth the wait. I've got all kinds of ideas to help celebrate my nephew and my beautiful sister. Can't wait to share!

I also have a couple other fun food things to blog about once I find the cord for my camera that has mysteriously vanished. til then you know I'm gonna brag and show you these.....

litte miss smiley pants
we play this game in the morning to see who wakes up first

I let her think it's her and she gets a kick out of that

pondering the universe....or's really hard to tell
sweet Taylor, she's an exceptional listener

i just love this one

and after you've had your say.....
she has plenty to say back!
being so cute is exhausting!
just when we think it's not possible, little Taylor wows us daily with how interested in her world she is. she's a smiley, funny baby, and we're having the time of our lives. sure, it's the sleep-deprived, do we get to shower today?, we may never eat a meal together again, how did the house get this dirty time, but the time of our lives, all the same. <3

Friday, June 06, 2008

I'm still here...I'm just not HERE.

What they say is true...when you have a newborn, you have time for little else. sleep? eating? who needs 'em? The littlest vegan is currently napping snugly on my person in one of those ingenius baby riders. As she is now four weeks old and a whopping 8 lbs, 8oz she can use it and we're both reeeeally happy about that, especially since she's coming down with a cold, is all congested, and spent all last night and today really ticked off at the world. poor baby.

sadly, I barely get to enjoy a full meal, much less come up with time or energy to whip anything blogworthy, but I wanted to thank everyone for stopping by and sending the love. it's certainly felt and appreciated. I'm on the mend and still battling the blood pressure, but we're getting there.

i'd love to brag with a ton of recent pics, but they're all on the Cap'n's computer so I'll just leave you this one of little Taylor Louise and my Grandma Louise (her namesake) when T was just a few days old. Gma has Alzheimers and seeing these two together was beautiful and bittersweet.

and here's one from a couple weekends ago. swaddlers are GENIUS, i tell you. love 'em!

i'm hoping to have some time to cruise everyone else's blogs soon....but it may take a couple more months, if ya know what i mean.

much love to you all!

Monday, May 12, 2008

She's Here!!!!!!!

On May 7th, the Cap'n and I strolled into my OB's office for our 39 week appt anxiously awaiting news of when we could expect our daughter to arrive. My bp, however, was thru the roof and seven hours later I was having an emergency(ish) c-section followed by a five day stint in the hospital trying to get my bp back to something normal. We're home now and I'm battling a chest cold while healing from the c-section (i don't wish this on anyone, wow), but little Taylor is thriving and perfect and the most content little baby. She weighed in at 6lbs, 8oz and measured 18 1/4 inches.

I know I'll be back to share many more pictures of perfection and likely the grueling story of her arrival (because there's little therapy better than pouring your guts out on the internet :), but for now we're just trying to settle in and find a way for me to heal and get past the worst of this cough.

We are so ecstatic to have her here. I am totally smitten and inspired every time I look at her and feel so very blessed to be surrounded by the most amazing, loving and supporting family.

So much love to you all, I'll be back soon!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Satiating the Cookie Monster

I realize that I never posted this one, so while I'm away I figured I should share!

That sugar craving that I mentioned a few posts back? I'm trying with all my might to beat it down with these...
Almond butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. They're super sweet (what with the cup of sugar and half cup of chocolate chips they call for) but also reeeeally tasty and almost good for you as they contain almond butter, only whole wheat flour, and walnuts too!

I know I've posted about them before, I think I got the recipe from VegWe
b, but they're so amazingly tasty that showing them off again is totally necessary. This batch (I believe because I flattened them down a bit before baking when before I just spooned without touching them) came out a little less chewy, with more crunch and almost as if the sugar content caused a crunchy sweet glaze on the bottom.
Either way they're utterly delicious and a healthier way (sort of) to get your sugar fix on. I suppose you could dabble with lowering the amount of sugar you add, but I wouldn't dare. ;)

In other news, only 23 days to go! It's nice being with family and friends, but this living in limbo can be quite anxiety causing. We still haven't had any bites on our house but I'm hoping the next 23 days will prove fortuitous in that regard. I'd actually love nothing more than caring for a newborn WHILE house hunting and moving. Yep, we want to move back here THAT badly. hehe.

I've been enjoying simple meals or nights out at our favorite restaurants (for in Gainesville, there are many) so I've nothing new and exciting to share food-wise. In the meantime, I give you me, in all my pregnant glory, chilling out in my husband's aunt's salt water pool. Nothing makes a pregnant woman happier than spending an hour or two weightless in the sun. sigh. thanks for all the well wishes, can't wait to share the news with you when Taylor decides to arrive!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Baby Hiatus

Well, we've decided to get me up closer to Gainesville where I can go into labor without worrying about a long commute to the hospital, possibly when I'm home alone. We're using these next six weeks to also get out of our house to make it easier for our realtor to I likely won't be blogging much. Instead I'll be reconnecting with family and friends and enjoying the town we can't wait to go home to while scattering our brood around. We're so fortunate to have friends and family to help us take care of our seven furry kids while away. (you try showing a house with six inside alpha kitties and one 85 lb. dopey lab!). I'll be spending my days waddling around town checking up on my kids here and there and taking advantage of everything Gville has to offer while we await Taylor's arrival.

Speaking of Taylor, I figure it's high time I share some of my jungle themed shower pics and the few shots of her (almost done) nursery. I say almost done, because I decided last night that the last remaining touches (the mounding of a corner bookshelf, the hanging of a couple wall items for decoration) could just wait until we know whether or not this is truly where her nursery will be! Here's to hoping we have a whole new house to decorate before she comes home!

Anyway....the shower! (how perfect is this banner?)

(a few of the girls)

It was truly amazing. As the hostess, (Goddess Marlo, thrower of all great parties)

and my dear friend of over a decade, is the MOST amazing thrower of parties (we met running a party store in college, fitting, no?) has been a vegetarian pretty much twice the time I've known her, the food was stellar. Not everything was vegan, but I told her not to worry about that as I was to be the only vegan in attendance and she was the only veg. Needless to say, there was no shortage of yummy fare for me, and everyone else enjoyed all the other vegetarian eats.

While I don't have pictures of everything, the vegan items to sample were: Regular Hummus with fresh peppers for dipping, sun dried tomato hummus with pita, avocado white bean dip (sooo good!), Jamaican jerk patties (spicy! but amazing!) with a fruit salsa and a coconut cream to quell the heat, tempeh salad finger sandwiches, a plate of assorted olives and marinated mushrooms, and super yummy rice paper wraps with tofu and veggies with a spicy peanut sauce.

for everyone else, on the veg end of things, there were mini pizzas, both veggie and faux pepperoni, and THE most beautiful sun dried tomato savory cheesecake you've EVER seen. I can't wait to veganize this one with a little Tofutti!

As refreshments our amazing host took recycled beer bottles (the large kind with the fancy ceramic contraption tops) and filled them with assorted herbal teas and put them all in a beautiful ice bucket, each bottle emblazoned with a hand-made label with the type of tea, a cute jungle animal, and 'Taylor's Teas'. I so wish we had a pic as this may have been my most favorite little idea. The Ginger Hibiscus (aka Hippie Kool-Aide) is my MOST favorite concoction on earth. for serious. There was also no shortage of champagne and sparkling grape juice.

But what you really wanna see? dessert! and what would a jungle themed baby shower be without a MONKEY CAKE! the cake itself was banana walnut, and insanely good.

but why stop there when you can have LION CUPCAKES! sure, the eyes are m&m's but I ate mine blind. ;) the cuteness is matched only by the creativity and love with these babies.

with the food out of the way, check out these decorations! knowing me all too well, the hostess made sure to decorate with almost entirely items that i could reuse in the nursery. she hand-made jungle-like garlands (the ones already made up in the store just weren't 'jungle-y' enough. hehe), hung up a couple blow up monkeys, had printed the most amazingly beautiful banner (that we plan to hang above Taylor's crib), and scattered the world's cutest rubber 'duckie' safari/jungle animals everywhere. Oh, and let's not forget the favors....jungle print favor boxes full of assorted sweets!

we ate, we drank, we laughed, and I opened a mountain of presents for my little girl.

but my favorite part of the day, aside from chowing down on monkey cake...sooooo good! were the activities. the first one we did was to guess the baby items in the paper bags. this was nice as they were all little nursery/bath/baby things that I now don't have to buy! The next activity was a really cool game where there were animals listed in one column and the appropriate names for their young in the other. the key was to match as many as possible. this one i won! (and my inner wildlife rehabilitator was totally validated :). but the most beautiful activity of all was the making of the birthing necklace. There was a large container of all sorts of beads and every guest was asked to take a moment during the shower and pick out two that spoke to them. Once we were all assembled in one place, they went around the room, stringing up the beads and offering with each one a wish for Taylor and one for me. Many people picked three beads so that they could offer a wish for daddy, too. aaawwww! needless to say I cried the whole time. it was touching beyond words to be in a room surrounded with so much love for this child. I feel so lucky to have so many amazing people in my life and cannot wait for Taylor to meet them! Thank you, Mom, for coming down and helping me to celebrate the next little girl in our loooong line of boys in the family. Thank you to everyone able to attend for making it a perfect day. Thank you to those who couldn't make it for being there in spirit and sending love across the miles. And thank you, thank you, thank you to Marlo for throwing such an amazing celebration (and thank you Robbie for busting your butt to make it happen!) You all are the best!

whew! I'm not used to writing such a novel for a blog post! without further ado, check out the jungle theme nursery that inspired the shower's theme. my friends know me ALL too well. if it's got wild animals on it? i'm so down! I'm thinking that, with this room? Little Taylor will be no different. hehe. the only things not yet up are the bookshelf, the banner from the shower that will hang above her crib, and the crib bumper, which I'm actually planning to hang on the wall. I really don't see the necessity of having it in the crib (and have even read that it's not recommended they're used in that way any longer), and it actually fits perfectly with one panel above her name when you walk in the room, and the rest of it wrapping around to hang all down the wall above her dresser. too cute!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Apple Jacks and a Sneak Preview!

There's no denying that Spring has sprung. The birds are plentiful (we even spotted a downey woodpecker in our front oak yesterday!), the trees are that amazing vibrant green again, there was even a hare nibbling at the weeds near my bedroom window this morning! It's pretty much heaven on Earth here in Florida lately. But we have been having some unseasonably cool mornings. Yesterday being one of them, I wanted something hot for breakfast and a tofu scramble just wouldn't do. Enter Vegan Vittles' Apple Jacks. This recipe is literally only five ingredients and whips up lickety split. I opted for no raisins in mine and just went with apple alone. I only had a fuji apple rather than the granny smith it called for so I knew mine would be sweet enough as is. But that didn't stop me from sprinkling mine with powdered sugar and a healthy drizzle of maple syrup. Oh, and walnuts, I love walnuts all over breakfasts such as these.

They're amazingly crisp on the outside while light and fluffy on the inside. I can see me making these again and again. This morning the leftovers did pretty well warmed up in the oven, but this time I wised up. I threw on the nuts and sprinkled on the powdered sugar but served them up to myself with a side of maple syrup so I could really enjoy that outer crunch all the way thru to the end. brilliant!

I should probably apologize for not blogging too much lately. Seems one fun new side effect of pregnancy for me is carpal tunnel! yay! typing really isn't so horrible but grasping anything can be I'm cooking fun stuff in the kitchen less often than I'd like. I'm also not sleeping well due to having painful claw-like appendages for hands throughout the night so I pretty much spend less time at the computer or in the kitchen. But I do have baby shower pics to share and even the amazing V'con Pumpkin Ziti I contributed to Easter dinner (assuming I snap a pic before I devour the rest of it!), so I'll try to get on it soon and share.

Until then....the one thing I have been spending time on? The nursery! Taylor's room is sooo close to being completed. I just need the Cap'n to get up on the ladder for me and get a few big things hung. Her room is jungle themed, so the sneak preview is this pic of what you first see when you open the door. Too cute! More to come soon! (hopefully before she gets here, that's only seven weeks away!)thanks to Aunt Nicole for the killer name plaque and Aunt Marlo for the amazing jungle garlands that decorated the shower and now her room!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Isa's Done it Again

Give that girl a mango and look out! I've always been in love with VWaV's Curried Mango Tempeh Salad and look forward to it every summer when mangoes are at their peak. So imagine my surprise when beautiful just the right amount of soft mangoes were 10 for $1 at the grocery store recently. With no tempeh in the house (gasp!) what was I to do? I cracked open Veganomicon and there was another mango masterpiece, Mango Quinoa Black Bean Salad (or some such thing, I've honestly no recollection of what her proper name for it is, and I'm entirely too lazy and too pregnant to get up, walk back across the house, and go find out ;).

Quinoa, as you know, is not only a protein powerhouse, but cooks up in no time. Chop up a mango, a pepper (I had orange while the recipe calls for red), some green onions, black beans, cilantro, and a few dressing-y ingredients and viola! A bowl of delicious, healthy, refreshing goodness is born!
This will be great to whip up in the summer for family gatherings, but the last couple of days I've just been dishing up a bowl and calling it lunch!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Vegan Alfredo....the Real Deal

For quite some time now I've merrily lurked the ppk forums. Truth be told, I spend a LOT of time there, reading, drooling, laughing my asparagus off, but I never jump in. why? because I can never seem to get an avatar pic to load, I'm not all that fond of the username I gave myself, and I'm far too lazy to participate in the food porn there which, to me, is really the best way to introduce yourself. hehe. So lurk away I do.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaanyway, in my perusing the boards tonight I stumbled upon Lachesis's (of the Seitan O' Greatness recipe fame) recipe for a vegan Alfredo that she promised was as good, if not better, than the original dairy-laden version. I admit I was skeptical. For one, most vegan Alfredo's don't make that claim, they just try to replace the beloved sauce with something equally rich, creamy, and flavorful but never going for that particular taste. Also, this sauce is tofu based and contained no nutritional yeast (which just seemed odd to me in this kind of recipe). I'm typically wary of tofu-based sauces. Don't get me wrong, I loooove me some tofu, and I suppose the only 'sauces' I've tried with tofu as a base have really only been salad dressings....and I loathed each of those. Since those were never cooked and this one is I figured, 'why not?!'

Ladies and Gentlemen? This was everything the amazing Lachesis promised....and so simple to make! Her original version was actually an Alfredo Stroganoff concoction with marinated mushrooms and suggested addition of chik'n strips. I wanted to really put the 'cream' sauce to the test so I just made mine and poured it over whole grain pasta and broccoli.
The best part (aside from how YUMMY this was!) was that, with the help of my trusty hand blender, I only used two pots for this meal. I put all the ingredients for the Alfredo Sauce in one pot, whirred it to a creamy smoothness, and heated it up while I cooked the pasta, adding the broccoli for the last three minutes. Ta da! Best darn Alfredo I've had in AGES.

I should probably add here that I enjoyed the helping you see above just as you see it. Then I bastardized it in my usual way by getting a second helping and dousing it with a generous amount of nutritional yeast. I highly recommend trying this one out as is in her recipe sans n.y., but if you're a n.y. NUT like me (I seriously cannot get enough of this stuff), it will only get even better with that addition. What can I say? I'm a cheezy kinda gal.

Edited to add:
(for her entire original recipe, follow the link above and just scroll down to it)

Lachesis' Amazing Alfredo Sauce
1/2c Earth Balance (or a little more is fine, to taste)
2 cups soymilk (unsweetened is best)
1 package Extra firm tofu (Mori-nu.. the kind in the tetra pack, appr 12 ounces)
1-2 tbsp white cooking wine
2 tbsp onion powder
2-3 tsp garlic powder
1-2 tsp sea salt
1-2 tsp black pepper (to taste)
pinch of nutmeg
3-4 tbsp arrowroot or cornstarch powder (more or less, as needed.. it should be creamy and the margarine should not separate) + a little cold soy milk just to dissolve

Mix all ingredients in either in a food processor or already in saucepan with hand blender. Heat over med lo heat until hot, stirring often. whisk in arrowroot/cornstarch mixture and heat until just bubbling. do not let boil. Sauce should be thicker by now. Serve and enjoy!

Friday, March 07, 2008

The Lazy Vegan

That's me these days. Even with my camera battery charged (yay!) I am just not so inspired to spend too much time in the kitchen. I waited for the 'surge of energy' to hit me in the second trimester, but it never did. Now I'm in the third and MAN! am I tired! not to mention that my hands have been so darn achey lately.

I take that back....some days I actually wake up with what I think is energy and whip together a breakfast such as this one, Susan's Crustless Quiches (my favorite variation to date is onion and broccoli), some easy basic biscuits a la La Dolce Vegan (all those years of trying to make biscuits and failing not realizing that the drop method into muffin tins is the ONLY way for me!, and some fresh fruit...lately it's been mango. Good stuff.
But then I eat...and sit for a minute...and POOF! that burst of energy has been spent and it's all i can do to get the chores I need done throughout the day.

So I was totally pleasantly surprised to find these little gems at the health food store at my last visit.
They're great right out of the container, cold but even better if I toss them into a hot pan and just let them brown a bit. No seasoning, no dipping sauce required. They're healthy (sodium's a bit high), vegan, and perfect just the way they are.
I had purchased a Szechuan variety as well, but the Thai were my favorite.

So I've spent quite a few days with these babies as lunch, cereals for breakfast, fruits and nuts as snacks throughout the day, and eeeeeeeeeeasy dinners of rice and whatever. Usually some brown rice, beans, seasonings, avocado, and tomatoes in a whole wheat wrap....almost daily. Nothing really to write home much less blog about.

The Cap'n's been gone a lot too so when I'm just cooking for me lately I'm even less inspired.

Then I had a night recently where comfort food was in order. So I dragged my ever expanding self to the kitchen and whipped up some simple fried tofu, smashed red potatoes (with the skins on, yeah!) with herbed gravy, and sauteed spinach.It came together faster than I thought it would and was so very worth the effort. Just what I needed!

I still have a few mangoes left and have been wanting to try a new recipe so hopefully you'll see that here soon....along with Julie Hasson's fauxsage seitan (i've so been craving seitan lately!) and I seriously doubt, fatigue or not, I can stave off the sugar cravings for too much longer so I'm thinking something sweet and sinful should be blogged in the very near future.

hope you all are well! I'm beginning to think that the awful stiffness/aching i'm experiencing in my hands may be pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel. fun! only ten more weeks to go!

Friday, February 22, 2008

YRR Spice Cake

Oh, how I hate posting delicious new recipes without pretty pictures!

Tonight I wanted something sweet, but was too tired to put forth too much effort and wanted it to be simple from ingredients I knew I had on hand.

Enter Joanna's amazing Spice Cake from Yellow Rose Recipes (with cream cheeze frosting, of course). It whips up super fast, cooks up in a flash (tho, i admit, I had to bake mine for an additional 10 minutes to get it firm in the middle...then it was perfect!), and tastes light while still rich with flavor (and i even went with the water variation instead of adding chai tea, for the obvious reason). Made in an 8x8 pan, it serves up nine perfectly portioned pieces of yum. I loved it.

I do admit that the frosting is a bit more cream-cheezy than I like. Maybe next time I'll back off the Tofutti Cream Cheeze a bit and just add more powdered sugar? Even a simple glaze would be great on this one. Honestly? I'd eat this light and fluffy cake all on its own!

While I don't have a picture of it's delectable-ness...feast your eyes on this belly! 28 weeks...and to think NOW is when I'm gonna start getting huge! This is the part where being five feet tall means baby makes her own room to grow! ;)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

All Is Well and A Recipeless Recipe!

Thank you all for your best wishes on the baby front. The doctor's visit today was all good news. Glucose test? Passed! Amnio fluid? No big deal! Baby and Momma? Doin just fine! Yay! So now I can just relax and enjoy the rest of this ride. Only three more months to go!!!!

I'm embarrassed to admit just how much time this pregnant vegan has spent in front of the tube and out of the kitchen of late. In my lounging, I found that a certain Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup commercial seems to frequent the airwaves waaaaaay too often. Totally turned off by the idea of cream of mushroom soup and chicken in a casserole, I found that, in spite of this fact, a very, very good idea was born.

And here it is (granted, I had some vegan 'cream' of mushroom soup in the freezer so you'd have to sub whatever soup you saw fit. a broccoli or asparagus type would be good, i'm thinking).

This ain't no recipe but it sure is YUMMY! (i apologize, the battery charger for my camera is still missing, and I'm too stubborn to go buy a new one when I know good and well that thing is in this house somewhere!).

Preheat oven to 375 (i think i started mine at 400 then dropped it down to 375)
Rehydrate one bag o' soy curls either in warm water or broth, your choice.
Heat 1 Tbs Earth Balance in large skillet over medium heat.
Add one cup of brown rice and saute until it becomes opaque.
Add one diced sweet onion and about four cloves of minced garlic, saute for two min or so.
In a bowl, whisk together about two cups of soup with a cup of soy milk, a cup and a half of water, and a heaping 1/3 cup of nutritional yeast.
Add that to the skillet along with the drained soy curls.
Bring contents in skillet to a boil.
Stir in a bag of spinach, chopped, remove from heat.
cover skillet with lid (or foil if yours has no lid) and place in oven for one hour.

go do something relaxing.
remove from oven when it's all done and allow it to sit, uncovered for about five minutes.
(this is where, if one is so inclined, you could top it with some FYH cheese.)
dish it up with more nutritional yeast and some cracked black pepper.

I should note here that, before this meal, I'd never dreamed of cooking rice this way. I was certain that, after an hour, my rice would not be cooked and the whole meal would be a bust. I was soooooo wrong!

Oh yeah, we're eating this yummy goodness for days!
serves a ton!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Here She Is......

Little Taylor Louise! Isn't she amazing? I still can't believe how surreal this whole experience is, even when staring at her perfect little face.

During the u/s yesterday, the sonographer found that I seem to have an amount of amniotic fluid that is on the higher end. As I did the glucose tolerance test yesterday, I should know tomorrow if it is due to gestational diabetes. Taylor's stomach was full, though, so we were told that that is a great sign, that she is swallowing effectively and that a problem with her development in that area is not the reason for elevated amniotic fluid levels. I'm trying with all my might not to investigate further on the internet and just let the doc tell me what's up tomorrow. I did do a home blood sugar test this morning upon waking up and found it to be a bit high. Lucky for me, there's a dietician in the family so if that is the problem, I should be able to manage it just fine. Expect for me to get a battery charger and lay off the baked goods, only blogging the healthiest of meals for myself and my little love.

Overall, the results were normal, with this kid weighing in at a whopping 2lbs 9oz and falling within the 82nd percentile. I'll be sure to keep you posted and, hopefully, get my butt in gear and back to blogging more vegan fare....with pictures! (tho, i can't promise they'll be anywhere near as spectacular as what you've gazed upon up above ;)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Woe is Me!

I've been doing a little cooking lately, trying a few new recipes, but I've managed to totally misplace the battery charger for my camera....which, of course, had a dead battery from the moment that the first new thing came out of the oven. go figure!

Not to fear, tho. I'm on a mission to find that darn thing! and fast!

So, let's see. The things I've made lately that I didn't get to blog about:

From Veganomicon:
Chewy Chocolate Raspberry Cookies
- wow! wow! wow! these are incredible! the raspberry flavor is more in the aftertaste, they're certainly more chocolatey than anything else (granted, I used mostly dark, dutch processed cocoa as that's what we had), but texture is soooooooooo amazing. totally a little crispy on the outside and chewy once you bite into them. LOVE them! I'd love to follow Veggie Girl's lead and try them with orange maramalade next time. For me, chocolate raspberry and chocolate orange flavor combinations are equally divine!

Hot Sauce Glazed Tempeh
- i reeeeally liked how the marinade truly dispelled that bitter tempeh taste that is so hard to eliminate from store-bought tempeh. Mine didn't look nearly as rosy in color as some of the other versions that i've seen on people's blogs. I did broil mine as I do not currently own a grill plan. either way, this stuff is super yum! I had it the first night dipped in my Blue Sheese Dressing with a side of steamed broccoli and....

Messy Rice
-Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, Messy Rice is good. i don't know about you, but i'm a huge fan of cardamom. I love the flavor this lended to the rice. I think that pairing this rice with Julie Hasson's new seitan sausage recipe would be really good, but I haven't tried that fauxsage yet.

I did make a wrap of the leftover tempeh, crumbled in a pan in a touch of olive oil. once it browned i added some leftover messy rice, then added the steamed broccoli i still had and sauteed it all together. I sinfully grated some FYH mozerella to bind it all together and threw it in a garden herb wrap for a super delicious wrap for lunch today. Man, i love leftovers!

from My Sweet Vegan

Graham Fig Scones
- i've been wanting to try something from this cookbook but just couldn't decide. a quick glance in my pantry to see what i had caused me to try my hand at these. They are truly unique in texture and flavor. very hearty....i adore the figs in them. my only complaint is totally my fault. nearing the end of the dough preparation, I noticed that my plain soy creamer was no longer any good. i did have some hazelnut soy creamer and used that. what doesn't taste better with hazelnut? i always say! but i think it lent too much a sweetness to these otherwise perfectly flavored scones. they were still especially scrumptious, but i think they're likely even more so when prepared as directed. I served mine up to myself for breakfast with a side of fresh sliced strawberries. what a great way to start the day!

this is the part where i know i cooked up a couple more new things, but without the back log of pics to guide me, i can't remember what they were! i blame the little one brewing. seems all my brain cells truly are working on getting her ready to be here in a few months! ;)

speaking of....tomorrow we're having the 3D ultrasound done!!!!!!! you can bet i'll be posting the pics of that that they give us as soon as i can! we cannot WAIT to lay eyes on our little girl!

til then!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Hot, Hot, Hot!

It's a really good thing I thought to throw together this cooooool salad plate for the Cap'n and I to share before my first at-home venture into making panang curry at home. The easy peanut sauce (natural peanut butter, agave, water, red pepper flakes, ginger) over cucumbers, tomato, chickpeas, and carrots was light, tasty, refreshing, and did wonders to cool down our palates after enjoying this dinner.

Panang Curry Soy Curls with Snap Peas, & Yellow Bell Pepper over Jasmine Basmati Rice.

I was so excited to find a Panang Curry online that didn't contain shrimp paste. Immersed in my glee, I read the directions on the can of paste and just went with it, not tasting to see just how much heat we'd be dealing with. Just look at all those little flecks of HOT in that sauce! I loved it, but it would have been even better just a bit more mild. Next time I'll definitely use just half the paste, cut it down with coconut milk and save the rest for another great curry night!

Basically, I just rehydrated the soy curls, then browned them in some peanut oil. I removed them and briefly sauteed the peas and the pepper until the peas were a vibrant green, but still crisp and removed them from the heat.
According to the directions, the paste was sauteed in a little oil then half a can of coconut milk was added. The curls and the veggies were added, that simmered for couple minutes before adding the remaining coconut milk was stirred in. The only change I made was to add agave which I thought added a subtle sweetness that really brought out the curry flavor over the heat.

Tofu Scramble (They Never Get Old!)

If you're like me, you have a half a block of tofu hangin out in the freezer at any given moment. Ya see, I often will make some tofu dish for dinner that I've halved then put the remaining, unused tofu in the freezer for a later date. One of my favorite breakfasts is to remember to take that tofu out of the freezer the night before, give it a good squeeze in the morning, and scramble it up in the easiest way. With this one I heated a little olive oil, added the tofu and got it to lightly brown a bit, then added some tamari, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and turmeric, then sauteed some more. Next goes in a heap of nutritional yeast and a big handful or two of spinach. Saute that until the greens are wilted and viola! Easy, fast and super tasty!

I like scrambles such as these for when I'm low on fresh produce. There are seemingly always greens in the fridge threatening to go south should I forget to use them, and lucky for me, I love me some leafy greens in the am! This, a piece of toast, and some fruit or juice. Does it get any better than that?