Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Brunch failure

This pancake mix SUCKS! Every time I use it, my pancakes come out crispy and dense, not fluffy. This time, my pancakes got a burned outer shell and didn't even cook through. My skillet's temperature was perfect, so I don't know what the forking problem is. Damn it, Hodgson Mill.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Vegan MoFo: An overdue Thanksgiving Meal

I had to get this post in before this glorious month of vegan eatery is finished. I told you guys before Thanksgiving what my menu was and I stuck with it, right down to the last crispy onion atop my atop my green bean casserole.

Aside from the dessert, a double-layer pumpkin cheesecake from Fatfree Vegan, my entrée and side dishes all came from Rhymes With Vegan. A "turkey" roulade made from seitan and tofu, a green bean casserole with a homemade, soy milk based cream of mushroom soup, and a corn pudding, or scalloped corn. I also used her recipe for Grandpa Earl's stuffing. Bangin'!

Some thoughts- We all know the most glorious thing about a Thanksgiving meal is the abundance of leftovers. What to do with those leftovers? Tybrus made a quick Tofurky fajita dinner one evening that was wonderful! He seasoned the leftover tofurky with lime, chipotle powder, and cumin.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Vegan MoFo: Dill & Mint "Chicken" Salad with Grape Tomatoes

I got the idea for this dish when I glanced through an issue of Simply Delicious. I found a recipe for Chicken Salad with Pear Tomatoes and Tarragon. I was intrigued with the lack of mayonnaise in this chicken salad, vegan or not.
As a youngin' the only parts of a standard chicken salad I didn't enjoy were the grapes, typically added for sweetness. I tended to want a more savory salad. This recipe subs grapes for tomatoes, which reserves some sweetness but in a savory way. I used grape tomatoes instead of pear ones; clever, I know.

I also subbed dried mint for tarragon. For one thing, I have never cooked with tarragon and am not really all that familiar with its flavor. I've heard it has a licorice taste. Bleh. I thought mint would pair nicely with the tomatoes and poultry spices.
"Chicken" Salad with Grape Tomatoes and Mint

1 1/2 cup TVP chunks
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1 tbs Bragg's liquid aminos
2 tsp nutritional yeast
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, sliced in half
2 large bunches scallions, sliced, white parts included
2 tsp dried mint, crushed between your fingers
1 tsp dried dill

Some thoughts: This salad would go wonderfully over a spinach salad. I know firsthand. Also, you could try blending it briefly in a food processor.

Vegan Mofo: Nog

Ah, liquor. This fall, I generally avoided liquor, especially dark ones, because it was so god damned hot. Rum is one of those perfect winter time liquors because it wraps you in a force-field of drunken warmth that freezing temperatures simply cannot penetrate. A rum blanket, if you will.

Rum 'n Nog

1 oz dark spiced rum, like Captain Morgan, or something
1/2 cup-3/4 Silk Nog
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 nutmeg

Combine all ingredients.

Some thoughts: I used Silk Nog, but I definitely prefer Rice Dream Nog. It's spiced and flavored much better. Silk Nog just tastes reminiscent of egg yolks. Bleh. Also, I recommend doing a cinnamon sugar mixture for a little sweeter confection.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Vegan Mofo: Word Play

What is one food you thought you’d miss when you went vegan, but don’t?
Dairy products. I wasn't sure I could completely avoid using Parmesan cheese or using milk for cereal. But, I did! Hooray for me.

What is a food or dish you wouldn’t touch as a child, but enjoy now?
There were a few vegetables I didn't really enjoy as a child like brussel sprouts and cabbage. I now love both!

What vegan dish or food you feel like you “should” like, but don’t?
I'm pretty excited about all vegan food.

What beverage do you consume the most of on any given
Toss up between plain old water and coffee. Usually Sumatra.

What dish are you “famous” for making or bringing to gatherings?
I don't go to a lot of vegan food gatherings. I usually only bring food to family dinners where I need to otherwise I won't have anything to eat. My favorite story about this is when I brought a vegan broccoli and cheese casserole to Thanksgiving dinner with my boyfriend's family. When I went back for seconds, it was gone! His family demolished it! And, no one knew it was vegan.

Do you have any self-imposed food rules (like no food touching on the plate or no nuts in sweets)?
I don't like mixing fruits with dishes that are intended to be savory.

What’s one food or dish you tend to eat too much of when you have it in your home?
Ramen noodles. Steamed rice and frozen veggies. Baked goodies.

What ingredient or food do you prefer to make yourself despite it being widely available prepackaged?
Hummus and seitan.

What ingredient or food is worth spending the extra money to get “the good stuff”?
Soy and rice cheese.

Are you much of a snacker? What are your favorite snacks?
I snack to a fault. Lately it's been mostly fruits and veggies with some kind of bean dip.

What are your favorite vegan pizza toppings?
Mushrooms, olives, bell pepper, onion, and tomato slices. Artichokes are welcome, too.

What is your favorite vegetable? Fruit?
Mushrooms, eggplant, asparagus, broccoli, zucchini, spinach, kale... And, strawberries, honey crisp apples, clementines, red grapes...

What is the best salad dressing?
As long as you put Annie's Goddess dressing on it, it's perfect. But, I usually like green salads with grape tomatoes, chickpeas, and red onion.

What is your favorite thing to put on toasted bread?
Chickpea salad. Or, if it's for breakfast, margarine and homemade blueberry preserves.

What kind of soup do you most often turn to on a chilly day or when you aren’t feeling your best?
I don't really have a standard soup I make when I'm sick because I'm so rarely sick. The last soup I made due to illness was about a year ago and it was a chickpea and tempeh stew in a tomato base.

What is your favorite cupcake flavor? Frosting flavor?
Red velvet with a Tofutti cream cheese frosting!

What is your favorite kind of cookie?
Chocolate chip coconut. Or, Molasses.

What is your most-loved “weeknight meal”?
Tofu stir fries. Generally really easy and yields a lot of leftovers.

What is one dish or food you enjoy, but can’t get anyone else in your household to eat?
My boyfriend is not a fan of eggplant or any kind of sweets. Also, no one in my family will humor tofu.

How long, in total, do you spend in the kitchen on an average day?
In the morning, about ten minutes. Usually just to make coffee. In the afternoon, I usually just microwave leftovers, so another ten minutes. For dinner, I can spend up to three hours preparing, cooking, and cleaning.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Vegan Mofo: Quick Corn Stew

Sorry about my recent hiatus. The semester is coming to a close and my work has been piling up. My fall break has finally arrived and I find myself in a constant perpetual daydream about the rapidly approaching festivities. Tofurky Day is upon us!

Last year, I was fortunate enough to enjoy two meals. My first consisted of the following:

-Vcon Chickpea Seitan Cutlets with red wine gravy
-Cheezy Broccoli Casserole with a Golden Cracker crust
-Carob Cream Pie with a graham cracker crust
-standard mashed potatoes and salad

The second meal was especially wonderful mostly because I didn't have to cook a damned thing! My mother is my cooking idol. She knows how to cook just about every vegetable perfectly and is really awesome and considerate when it comes to accommodating me at family dinners. This meal consisted of:

-Herbed Tofu loaf with stuffing
-Mashed potatoes and gravy
-roasted assorted veggies
-Apple cake

All courtesy of my mother, mind you.

This year, I have every intention of going all out. I plan on doing every classic Thanksgiving meal. This year's menu will consist of:

-Sausage Stuffing from Rhymes with Vegan
-Green Bean Casserole from RWV
-Scalloped Corn from RWV
-Tofu Turkey from RWV
-and, Pumpkin Cheesecake with Oatmeal cookie crust from Fatfree Vegan

I think one of the reasons I'm so excited for Thanksgiving this year is because I recently began adhering to the dietary standards of the Eat to Live diet. It's the first diet I've actually been able to stick with. I don't have terrible cravings for any contraband pasta or sweets. I also don't feel hungry in between meals. While I am a little upset that I can't eat as much avocado as I'd like, I enjoy the simplicity of all the meals. Did I mention this is a really cheap diet?

As a break from eating raw foods during this most unforgiving of Novembers (with the exception of today!) I decided to whip up some of the quick corn stew in the book. I had to make it from memory seeing as I didn't have the book on me. I cheated and added a tablespoon of Bragg's liquid aminos, but soy milk chowder soups tend to be too sweet by themselves for my liking. Sorry, Furhman.

Eat to Live Quick Corn Stew

2 cups soy milk
1 tbs whole wheat flour
1 medium potato, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 large onion, diced
1/2 tsp dulse
2 tbs dried vegetable flakes
1/4 Mrs. Dash Seasoning
1 tsp Butter Buds
1 10oz bag frozen corn

Heat 2 cups of water and soy milk together on a low flame. Mix in flour, dulse, vegetable flakes, and seasoning. Add the diced potato, carrot, and onion and continue to simmer for 5 minutes. Add frozen corn until it defrosts and the sou comes to a boil again.

My two cents: I didn't add the two cups of water. I thought it would be too watery for a stew and take away a lot of flavor. I generally find soups with a soy milk base to be, but this was rich an hearty. Instead of dulse I used kelp. It's just what I had on hand. And, it had a great chowder taste. I didn't use the seasonings suggested. I'm still not entirely sure what they are, to be honest.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Vegan MoFo 2: Paella or a Risotto? You tell me.

I must confess, I did not make this dish today or even this month. Not even last month. I made it when I decided to try chard for the first time this past summer, when it was still in season. I opted for rainbow chard because, seriously, it's such a beautiful green. The inspiration for this dish was similar to both risotto and paella- I hydrated the rice with broth instead of water, I threw fresh veggies in to steam and cook within the rice instead of serving it on top, and it had a creamy consistency that typically characterizes those two dishes.

This recipe is my favorite kind. It involved throwing in a random assortment of vegetables that can be found in any vegan's fridge. Rice dishes are a great, one-pot way to use up a good deal of produce.

Random Dinner/Lunch Rice

1 cup short grain brown rice
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 bunch rainbow chard, leaves chiffonade and stems diced
1 medium tomato, diced
1 cup frozen peas
2 tsp paprika
1 tbs Bragg's liquid aminos
1 tsp turmeric
1-2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried paprika

Saute onion and garlic in 2 tbs olive oil on medium heat in a small pot until onions are soft and translucent. Add tomatoes and cook until tomatoes give off juice. Add brown rice and broth, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook rice for about 15 minutes. Add remaining ingredients except for peas and cook for another fifteen minutes, covered. Add peas and cook an additional 10-15 minutes, yes, covered. Serve with some kind of legume or tofu.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Vegan MoFo!!!!!1: Chili Dawgs, Dawg

Finally, an entire month dedicated to the delicacy that is vegan food. I'm happy to announce that I've been cooking quite a bit lately (so has Tybrus!) I am, however, a little sad to admit that I haven't been getting pictures of the food and I certainly haven't been taking measurements to give you folks an accurate and full proof recipe.

This meal came to be when I bitched for three days straight about wanting a hot dog heaping with chili and topped with lots and lots of coleslaw. Tybrus was kind enough to oblige me as a post-work surprise. It was delicious. Tybrus' cooking strength really is cooking comforting, sports bar junk food. For example, hot tempeh wings and anything barbecued.

I would also like to tell everyone about a vegan mayo break through: Spectrum's vegan eggless mayo is the forkin' stuff. It doesn't have that gross Miracle Whip dressing taste and is the perfect topping on any sammich (or in this case coleslaw.) I'm a mega-mayo-snob so the fact that I praise this product should speak volumes.

Again, this was a recipe from Tybrus so I have nothing for you, folks. I'll be more prepared next time around.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ultimate Chili and Maple Cornbread Muffins

I know, I know. Another vegan chili recipe? I mean, cuh-mon. Chili, alongside tofu scramble, is one of the first dishes every vegan makes. Also like a tofu scramble recipe, it evolves constantly, to fit the preference of the ever-changing vegan who is creating it. Posting recipes for these things are often viewed as tedious and unnecessary

How many chili recipes does a vegan need anyhow. Just one- this one. I found it in one of my old issues of Vegetarian Times that I have laying in a stack in my kitchen. I've been on a soup kick lately and hearty chili seemed perfect for the fall weather. I almost can't wait for winter.

Ultimate Vegan Chili from Vegetarian Times

2 tbs olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, drained and minced*
8 oz. baby bella mushrooms, finely chopped
2 8 oz packages seitan, chopped
3 tbs tomato paste
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp celery salt
3 15 oz cans chili beans, such as black, kidney, pinto, etc.
2-3 large carrots, chopped
2 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs vegan Worcestershire sauce

Heat oil in Dutch oven (whatever, I used a large soup pot. pretentious arseholes.) over medium-high heat. Add onion, and saute 7 to 10 minutes, or until beginning to brown, stirring often. Add garlic and chipotle chile, and saute i minute more. Stir in mushrooms; cook 3 to 4 minutes or until softened. Add seitan. tomato paste, paprika, oregano, chili powder, celery salt, and 1 cup water; cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add beans, carrots, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. Cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 1 hour, or until carrots are tender.

Maple Cornbread Muffins from Vegetarian Times

1 cup plain soy milk
1/4 cup non-hydrogenated vegan margarine, melted
2 tbs maple syrup
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup stone-ground cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbs baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed

Preheat oven to 375F. Line 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

Whisk together soy milk, margarine, maple syrup, and vinegar in a bowl. Whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in separate bowl. Stir wet mixture into dry mixture. Fold in corn kernels.

Divide batter among prepared muffin cups, and bake 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into muffins comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan, then unmold, and serve warm.

*I couldn't find chipotle chiles in adobo sauce at my local grocery store, or anywhere at all really. I got regular diced green chiles in a can and threw in some chipotle chili powder when I sauteed them. It tasted wonderful and was, I'm sure, a cheaper alternative.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

TLT's for Brunch

I've always had a problem finding a vegan bacon recipe that I could enjoy. Either they were way too sweet from all the maple syrup or entirely too bitter due to the use of apple cider vinegar. Alas, in my darkest hour of vegan bacon failure, I discovered a worthy recipe at Healthy.Happy.Life. (It was also a recipe that took probably less than 10 minuets to make, which is key upon rolling out of bed around 12ish in the afternoon.) I found the recipe a tad too sweet, still, and recommend cutting the amount of maple syrup in half. The marinade is intended for basically only half your standard ounce block of tempeh, but I doubled the recipe without incident.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Gardener's Pie topped with Mushroom Miso Gravy

Yes, I am aware of the season and that the combination of sultry heat and overbearing humidity do not exactly make lengthy cooking endeavors involving a stove very desirable. However, who doesn't love a good gardener's pie? Seriously, who doesn't love a mashed potato topped casserole containing green, beans, and protein-s?

I was lazy in making this dish that I opted to spend the extra cash and use Gimme Leans soy crumbles instead of hydrating TVP or lentils. I usually don't make gravy for my gardener's pie, but I developed quite an obsession with miso gravies. It's been my go-to gravy for seitan cutlets, biscuits, you name it. I recently tried a variation with scallions. In this recipe, I threw in the remaining two tablespoons of dehydrated ramps I had gotten from Tyb's parents. Ramps, glorious ramps.

Gardener's Pie topped with Mushroom Miso gravy

5 medium red potatoes, washed and quartered
2 tbs olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 package Gimme Lean soy crumbles
1 stalk broccoli
1 1/2 cups kale
1 tsp thyme
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley

Preheat over to 450 degrees. Boil potatoes in salted water on a large stock pot until they are easily pierced with a fork. Drain potatoes and reserve 1 cup of the cooking water. Prepare mashed potatoes according to your own personal recipe. (I like mine creamy for gardener's pie, so I add 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water. Plus, that's where all the nutrients are, silly!)

Now begin the filling! Sauté garlic and onion in olive oil on medium heat until onion becomes translucent. Add carrots and celery and sauté for an additional 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients along with the remaining 1/2 cup potato cooking water and cover. Cook for about 20-25 minutes. Prepare a baking dish with olive oil and spoon filling on to baking dish, covering the bottom. Next, spoon on mashed potatoes and smooth out as to completely cover the filling. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until your potatoes turn golden and roasty.

Mushroom Miso Gravy

1 tbs olive oil
6-8 baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp dried dill
1 tsp onion powder
1-2 tbs red miso paste
1 tbs soy sauce
1 cup water

Sauté mushrooms in oil until they become soft. Add dried herbs and sauté for another minute. Add miso, soy sauce, and water and whisk until miso is completely dissolved. Reduce heat to simmer and stir continuously until gravy is thick.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tomato Basil Cream Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti with Seitan Sausage

Yes, this meal was a mouthful, in regard to the title and nom factor. I've recently developed this obsession with blending tomatoes and cashews together. I would like to eventually experiment with other nuts, though. Heh, heh, experimental nuts.

My mom sent me home the other day with not only a belly full of BBQ tempeh, roasted potato medley, and green beans, but she sent me home with a load of fresh herbs from her garden. All the basics: chives, thyme, rosemary, sage, cilantro, and basil.

I recently bought the Vegan Yum Yum cook book, and I gotta say, it f*cking rules. There are several recipes that weren't on the site, and as the cover suggests, these are definitely decadent AND very doable recipes. Meaning I want to make sweet, sweet love to her baked macaroni and cheez recipe.

The tomato basil cream recipe sounded delicious and simple for sure, but I wanted to up the ante with some forbidden wheat gluten: Italian-style seitan sausage. I altered the recipe found in La Dolce Vegan and let it simmer in the tomato cashew sauce with some fresh basil.

This was the first time I ever tried spaghetti squash, and holy sh*t. The squash's innards just collapse into this stringy mass of, well, squash noodles. They have a nice crunch that nicely contrasts the typical texture of spaghetti noodles. Also, quite a few less carbs.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Hasn't anybody learned, don't trust a lady who cooks with sriacha?

Looking for a way to spice up that already relatively perfect ramen?

Let me backtrack a bit: I'm a complete ramen fanatic. I've yet to find a more comforting, delicious, and cheap food. The fact that it comes in a pouch with cooking directions and a spice packet just makes it all the more appealing. Several months ago, while drinking grape Rosie, my dearest friend Jess offered me her ramen enhancer: nix the seasoning packet, add soy sauce, nutritional yeast, and sriacha. Oh my stinkin' gawd. It was outrageous. It was so tasty, unlike my bottle of Rosie, that I thought it'd be wise to chase the Rosie with some cock-sauced-noodles. Ramen + Rosie = everlasting love.

I must caution: later that night, her boyfriend and I attempted to recreate the atrocious love affair that occurred between the ramen noodles and Rosie. We, meaning his tard ass alone, fudged up the measurements of each additional ingredient, consumed too much sriacha which was accompanied by to much Pabst Blue Ribbon, and set our bowels on fire.

For your safety:

2 tbs nutritional yeast
2 tbs soy sauce
2 tsp sriacha

Adjust measurements to your taste, inebriation, and sexiness.

-courtesy of the brain of Jess.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Hodge Podge of Sorts

I haven't been posting much lately because a) I haven't had access to the interwebz and b) things have been a touch whirl-windy because Tybrus and I just moved into a new apartment, which would explain my lack of interwebz and the access to it.

Nonetheless, I have been cooking up a storm, despite the fact that the cute, rustic stove in my new apartment has broken heating coil along with a broken hinge so the oven door can't shut which only adds to wildly incorrect temperature gauge. I've been using the side oven to cook in for the time being but I mean, srsly, when I set it to broil it barely reaches 350.

Breakfast classic: beans on toast, topped with cheddar Teese and accompanied by some English breakfast tea.

Give peas a chance! Peas?!?!

So, in my infinite wisdom, I discovered that most split pea soup recipe
s require a ham hock. Bleh! Ham might be one of the most unethically farmed meat products in the industry and just seems totally unnecessary in an already delicious soup. It ended up thicker than I wanted, but by no fault of the recipe- Ty had gotten an immersion blender for his birthday and I got excited. I went a bit overboard on the blending.

an awful picture of some superb stuffed shells

I stuffed the shells with my tvp mixture and some ricotta. I made up my own tofu ricotta cheese instead of depending on old faithful- Sara Kramer's recipe- and it was great. I used silken and it had a better texture than the crumbly medium tofu. My best shells yet! (I ate about 9 of them in one night!)

Asian noodles with zucchini and tofu

This meal reaffirmed the fact that I FORKING HATE WATER-PACKED TOFU!!!1
It takes forever to prepare, it doesn't hold flavor well at all, and it has an awful texture. I had some tomato carrot flavored noodles that I picked up from the Asian market and wasn't sure how to use them- I didn't know how strong the flavors would be. I figured squash would work well with the flavors. I should've left it at that! But, nooooooo, I gotta go around sticking friggin' soy in everything! Srsly, never again. It wasn't a total loss, though.

And now, a resolution: I will be leaving town to visit my father, step mother, and siblings this coming Monday, and when I return, I plan to do a raw diet. I don't know if I'll necessarily abide by the cooking temperature boundaries or not. If anyone has any cooking tips, recipes, or advice let me know. I imagine it is going to be a tad trying for me being that I eat carbs and gluten like it's going out of style (stuffed shells are a testament to this) but I'd really like to get healthy and maybe drop a few pounds. Wish me luck!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Product Review: Nacho Teese

This plate was shameful. Just, shameful. Tybrus and I cooked some refried beans and soy chorizo and topped it with gooey nacho Teese and and all the essential salad fixin's. I gotta say, though, this flavor of Teese wasn't all that I'd hoped it be.

Teese has been hailed as being one of the most quality soy dairy products out there and at a reasonable price. Unlike its cheddar and mozzarella counterpart, nacho Teese is kind of watery and really runny. It wasn't as spicy as I would've liked either. My recommendation to you is that if you do decide to purchase some nacho Teese, add some jalapeno to it. But, honestly, you could probably make a more enticing nacho cheeze sauce in your on home, with better results, and a bit cheaper, too!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Loaf of bland stupidness!

Tempeh Oat "Meat" Loaf with Steamed Kale and Cauliflower/Hominy Mash

Goddamn it. I found a recipe in an old issue of Veg Times for a tempeh and oat "meat" loaf. I was immediately intrigued by the combination of oats and tempeh and the simplicity of the recipe. I was furious to discover that the aforementioned simplicity would yield a lack of spices which would in turn yield a lack of flavor which would THEN yield a big bland loaf of bleh. Not to mention after 55 minutes in an oven the loaf still wasn't firm! Ugh.

However, the mash was bangin'. I've been trying to think of alternatives to our typical potato side dish for meals and I had a head of cauliflower just laying around. I don't think I had ever consciously eaten hominy until I made this. Hominy gives a kind of sweetness to the mash that you wouldn't normally get from mashed potatoes.

Cauliflower Hominy Mash
1 head cauliflower, chopped
1 15 oz can hominy
1/2 cup soy milk
2 tbs Earth Balance
1/4 Tofutti sour cream
1/4 cup fresh chives, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Blanche cauliflower for five minutes. Add to food processor with hominy, soy milk, and EB. Blend until it achieves desired consistency. Add mixture to bowl and mix with sour cream, chives, and salt and pepper.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Chik'n and Dumplings

Dumplings, glorious dumplings! I got this recipe from Vegan.Chicks.Rock. It was delicious, comforting and reminded me of dumpling days of yore. In addition to the celery and carrots, I added an onion and a cup of frozen peas. I made my own seitan chick'n and added some of the remaining broth from it to the broth for the dumplings. That was probably my only criticism of the recipe, the fact that there weren't any herbs added to the dumplings. Whatever, it was so delicious my boyfran was compelled to give me the greatest food compliment ever.*

"I didn't think I could love you more than I already did, but then I ate your dumplings. These would make Christ come off the cross."

*This is not counting the time my coworker told me I made O-face-inducing German chocolate cupcakes. Just sayin'.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Product review: veggie gyros by Viana

One meal that Tybrus missed more than anything were gyros. Amongst our most recent Vegan Essentials purchase were these: Veggie Gyro Strips by Viana I had actually never had gyros as an omnivore. Come to think of it, I had never eaten pitas, falafel, or tzatziki until I became vegan. Therefore, it was kind of difficult for me to judge these gyro strips. They tasted a lot like soy chorizo, only firmer. Tybrus said they were good, but didn't really simulate gyro meat very well. I heated them in a skillet with some garlic and red and yellow bell pepper. We also whipped up some homemade tzatziki sauce for the occasion. Honestly, I wouldn't really recommend purchasing these. Your better off making your own with vital wheat gluten and seasoning accordingly.

Rainy day potato and leek soup

Fun fact about me: I've never cooked with leeks before. Weird, huh? They struck me as a tad intimidating and forced me to pose a series of questions: Do you use the whole thing? Is it like some big green onion? Why can't you use the green part? Would it greatly affect the taste of my meal if I did use the green part? It seems so wasteful not to use the green part. How potent are they? etc. Anyway, this soup was good and perfect for this rainy weather we've been having. I topped my soup with some dried ramps that Tybrus' mom gave to us last summer and some Daiya cheddar.

Potato and Leek Soup

2 leeks, sliced (pale green and white parts only)
1 tbs olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic
3 potatoes, diced
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 large sprig fresh dill
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried parsley
1/3 cup soy milk/cream
salt and pepper to taste

In a large soup pot on medium heat saute the leeks and garlic in oil for about 3 minutes. Add potatoes and saute for another three minutes. Add remaining ingredients except for soy milk and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer an cook until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. (About 20 minutes.) Blend have the soup with the soy milk. Add blended mixture back to the pot and reheat. Recommended toppings: ramps, soy cheese, croutons, etc.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Bow Ties with Broccoli Pesto

Greetings, all! Just thought I'd share a simple and delicious recipe with you that I found in this month's issue of Veg Times. The whole theme of this month's issue was to incorporate more broccoli into your diet. (As if that's a challenge... pfft.) The first thing I thought when I tasted this recipe was, "This is the ideal recipe to trick your kid into eating their broccoli." Though, I gotta tell ya', as a kid I never understood why broccoli was the dreaded vegetable. I tagged this recipe as pretty innovative because I had never thought to make a pesto with anything other than a green leaf of some kind. You obviously can't tell the difference in texture because it's pulverized. Tybrus and I topped it with some shredded Daiya mozarella. NOM. (More to come on our most recent Vegan Essentials purchase!)

Bow Ties with Broccoli Pesto

6 tbs blanched hazelnuts, plus more for garnish (I used walnuts because they're cheap)
2 cups broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups parsley leaves (I used 4 tsp dried parsley)
1/4 plus 2 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup mint leaves
4 tsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp lemon zest (I ommitted)
1 1/2 tsp capers, rinsed and drained, optional
5 large garlic cloves, peeled
12 oz farfalle pasta

Toast hazelnuts in skillet 3-5 minutes. Cool, chop, and set aside. Bring large pot of water to boil and blanch broccoli. Rinse, drain, and cool. Pulse broccol, nuts, parsley, mint, lemon juice, zest, garlic, and oil until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook farfalle according to package directions. Reserve 1/4 cup of cooking water before draining. Mix pasta, pesto, and cooking water. Garnish with nuts/cheese and serve.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Collard Wraps

I've been on a bit of a greens kick ever since visiting my mom a couple of weeks ago. Mustard greens are common vegetable side in her house and she's even growing them in her garden this year! (Along with a few other select spices and squash upon my request.) It's great to have parents who garden when you live in an apartment. I got this recipe from Fat Free Vegan. It was simple, delicious, high in protein, and pretty healthy. That is what we call a quadruple whammy. A delicious quadruple whammy. It only took about an hour to prepare and and cook if you have your beans and brown rice prepared. The recipe is supposed to yield 12 wraps, but I got an awful bunch of collards and 3 were damaged to the point that they could not hold the rice and bean filling. Hopefully now that Spring is picking up, you'll have better luck finding some suitable greens.

P.S. Susan moved her site, so everyone should be sure to keep up with the new one!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Broccoli and Cauliflower Casserole

This recipe is almost entirely based on It Ain't Meat, Babe's Broccoli Rice Casserole. As described in Jo's post, this is a great and comforting meal to make when you've had a long day and don't feel like being in the kitchen all night. Cauliflower got added to the equation when I had a bit leftover from pickling. The original recipe says to cook the rice before you add it to the baking dish, but you can just cover it with foil when you bake it. The only things you really need to cook are the garlic and onion. The tahini-nutritional yeast sauce simulates cheese better than any other homemade cheese sauce I've ever made! The creamy texture, the combination of the nutty flavor the tahini yields and the naturally cheesy flavor of nutritional yeast-perfect. This recipe is really great for feeding a group with minimal effort or keeping leftovers for a few days.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Asparagus, Mushroom, and Zucchini Risotto

This was definitely one of those meals in which I ask myself "Self, what produce do you have lying about that is going to expire any day now?" Risottos are great because it's one of those dishes that you can just incorporate whatever produce you might have and it will definitely be delicious. I've been on this bazaar zucchini kick lately, and despite the season, it's been pretty easy finding good squash around here. Most people that I talk to are a little intimidated by risotto because it's kind of notorious for needing a lot of attention. No, don't retreat! I promise it's worth the effort.

Asparagus, Mushroom, and Zucchini Risotto

1 medium yellow onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil for sauteing
1 cup arbrorio rice
1 bunch asparagus, rough ends discarded
1 medium zucchini, diced
8 oz white mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp dried basil
2 tsp dried sage
salt and pepper to taste
broth amount will vary

Saute onion and garlic in oil over medium heat in a large pot until onions become translucent. Add the remaining vegetables and cook until they begin to give off juices. Add rice and coat with oil and juices from the vegetables, then add 1/2 cup vegetable broth and spices. Reduce heat a tad. When rice begins to absorb broth, add in another 1/2 cup broth. Repeat this step until rice is soft and risotto has achieved desired creamy consistency. DO NOT COVER YOUR RICE! It won't cook correctly if you do. You're looking at adding 1/2 cup broth in about every 5-10 minutes, so just keep an eye on it. It's a great one pot meal.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Tybrus and I recently went to Boston as a late birthday present to him. We went there for the sole purpose of attending PAX East, but I think we all know why I was excited to get out of this town: typically a crowded city yields one thing- culture. And, where there's culture there are bound to be limitless vegetarian options. One place that we frequented was the Otherside Cafe. They have tons of vegetarian options and make almost all of it vegan. You have the option to add tofu or tempeh to basically everything and they even had a few raw options!

the California wrap with grilled tempeh, you can see the delicious chocolate chip cookie I ordered, too!

Buffalo tempeh sammich

BLT on Rye and the Nature Boy platter (completely raw plate: mock chicken salad, beet and carrot chips, and spicy wrap filling)

the big finish: Vegan mint chocolate cake

Oh, Boston, you will be missed.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

20 Minute Paella

I haven't had paella since I was about eight years old. My dad's mother is from Spain and it was a common meal when I dined at her home. I'd been craving it for a while, but when Tybrus and I made the holy pilgrimage to our favorite Asian market and found saffron for wickedly cheap, I decided making it was essential. I used couscous because I was impatient.

20 Minute Paella

1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
2 tsp turmeric (or saffron if ya' got it)
2 tsp paprika
1 cup peas
1 cup couscous
1 cup vegetable broth
1 15 oz can artichoke hearts
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan on medium heat, saute the onion and garlic until onions become translucent. Add bell pepper and saute for another 5 minutes. Add spices, tomatoes, peas, couscous, and broth and reduce heat to low. Before covering arrange artichoke hearts in a visually pleasing way. Let paella cook for 5 minutes and drizzle with lemon juice.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Veg-Billy Hotdogs!

I am referring to these as veg billy hot dogs to pay homage to Huntington, West Virginia's one unique dining experience, Hillbilly Hot Dogs. I've never dined at this restaurant, not even when I was omnivorous. I've always been a bit creeped out by hot dogs in general, but when you pile crap on them like eggs or pizza toppings, you have officially triggered my gag reflex. Still, I think it's pretty awesome that there is actually a unique place to eat in Huntington, despite the fact that it has an overall unhealthy menu and very limited vegetarian options.

Anyway, these hot dogs weren't anything too outrageous. Ty made a nice, simple slaw to top 'em off with and I made some sauce to go on top. It consisted of TVP, kidney beans, cumin, turmeric, paprika, veg broth, and tomato sauce. I haven't perfected the measurements yet so no recipe. Obviously things got a little messy while eating so I ended up finishing my meal with accidental chilli fries. Delicious.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Simple Carrot Soup and Cucumber Sammiches.

What a wonderfully delicate meal. I had hoped the soup would've been creamier, but my blender is a piece of shite. If you suffer from a similar affliction, I advise letting the soup cook longer before you blend it so that the carrots essentially just turn to mush. I got the recipe from How It All Vegan! I need more cookbooks...

Simply Lovely Carrot Soup (from How It All Vegan!)

1 small onion
6-8 large carrots, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
4 cups veg stock or water
1 tsp salt
1 cup soy milk
1 tsp dried dill
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp pepper

In a large soup pot, saute the onions and carrots in oil on medium heat until translucent. Add stock and salt and simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes, until carrots are tender. Remove half the vegetables and blend in blender/food processor with milk, dill, soy sauce, and pepper, and a small amount of cooking brother until smooth. Return mixture to the pot, mix well, and serve immediately. Makes 4-6 servings.

My alterations: add more like a tbsp of dill and also a few dollops of Earth Balance. I recommend blending the entire mixture because this is a soup that would really be best creamy.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Chickpea Salad Sammich.

Here is a delicious sammich I made a while back. For a while this was my sammich of choice to make. It's so easy and full of protein. You could speed up the preparation by blending the chickpeas in a food processor or just mash them with a fork if you're that motivated. I know salad sammiches aren't really the ideal food for a frigid winter, but it goes perfectly with a side of your favorite soup.

Chickpea Salad Sammich
1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 stalks celery, diced
1/4 cup soy mayo
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp yellow mustard
1 pickle, diced
1 tsp kelp
1 small onion diced
salt and pepper to taste

Blend chickpeas in a food processor until minced. Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well incorporated. Serve on sammich or eat on chips, crackers, etc.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Flipping the 'bird' to this cold weather

I live in West Virginia and it's February. It's horrid. I'm assuming we received around five inches of snow today and I also believe I am developing a cold. As a big 'fuck you' to the weather, a well deserved one I might add, I decided to make a hearty soup. This soup was also an attempt to alleviate my sore throat, and it was rather successful.

I got the recipe from How it All Vegan! (my first vegan cookbook ever.) I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with Miss Kramer (and in this case Miss Barnard, as well), because quite frequently her recipes fall apart on me (despite how delicious, simple, and intriguing they always sound.) How ever, the use of smokey cumin and sweet coriander MADE this dish! I highly recommend it to anyone living in the unfortunate Northeast, where there is currently an accumulation 928985938 feet of snow. (Please note that the aforementioned over-exaggeration is based purely on intoxication.)

How it All Vegan! Hearty Winter Potato Soup

1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
4-6 mushrooms, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
4-5 medium potatoes, cubed
3 cups veg stock
1 red bell pepper, diced
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp pepper (seriously, though, to taste)
2 tsp soy sauce
1 cup soy milk
2 green onions, sliced (garnish)
croutons (garnish)

In a large soup pot saute onions, garlic, and mushrooms until onions become translucent. Add all ingredients that aren't garnishes and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for 10- 20 minutes or until potatoes are easily pierced by fork. Put 2 ladles worth of soup mixture plus 1 cup soy milk in blender and blend until smooth. Cook for 5 more minutes, not boiling as this will burn the soup. Serve and garnish. Nomz.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Product Review: Boulder Canyon Rice & Adzuki Bean Chips

Tybrus and I recently made a pilgrimage to our local Aldi for some cheap veggies. Among the things we found there, we found these delicious chips. Aldi floors me sometimes with its totally random selection of food. The chips we found were also flavored with sundried tomatoes and basil. Delicious! They're even gluten free! They're kind of high in sodium, but who do you think I am? The combination of rice and beans in these chips provides a good amount of protein and fiber. I highly recommend these!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Spinach dip in a bread bowl for no reason other than YOUR FACE.

Most shameful thing I've done all week: devour this bread bowl and its innards for dinner along with my loyal accomplice, Tybrus. Seriously. Spinach dip is something that you bring to potlucks or set out as an appetizer at a dinner party when your whiney dinner guests get bored with playing with your cats and start complaining about being hungry. Ungrateful bastards..

For us, it was dinner. And, it was delicious.

This was my first time making spinach dip so I wasn't really sure how much of what to put in it. It was great, but still had a bit of a garlicky bite. This recipe is a refined recipe that I conjured up post bread bowl consumption with better amounts of ingredients.

Spinach Dip

1 12 oz frozen spinach, thawed
1 12 oz package firm silken tofu
1/2 medium yellow onion, sliced
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
1 tsp apple cider or white vinegar
1 tsp basil
1 tsp dill
1 tsp parsley
1-2 cloves garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Blend all ingredients in blender or food processor until creamy except for the carrot and spinach. Mix spinach and carrot in with rest of ingredients by spoon when tofu mixture is well incorporated. If mixtures seems too dry drizzle in some soy milk. Hollow out a loaf of bread and spoon the mixture in. Enjoy!

Monday, February 1, 2010

"Yeah, that vegan vomit."

Ah, vomitty tomato sauce. No, it doesn't taste a bit like regurgitation, but it certainly would look the same going down as it would coming back up. Lindy Loo even said so in her post. This was a wildly easy recipe. I used cashew butter instead of the raw cashews and cut the amount of water in half. I served my sauce on these really neat spinach spaghetti noodles I found at my local convenient mart. I just described something as neat. I definitely recommend this if you're lazy and feeding a large crowd. Or, if you're just sitting at your apartment, wearing sweat pants and cozy socks, drinking tea, and watching a Charlton Heston movie.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Sundried tomato and mushroom risotto.

Before I get to the deliciousness that was my risotto creation, I would like to share a tale of turmoil and heartache with you. Last night I had a craving for something maple and mustard glazed. I figrued tofu would be the perfect way to remedy this craving undoubtedly brought on by my lady week. I had drained some tofu a couple of days before and decided I was going to an fry it in my cast iron skillet and just pour the maple mustard glaze atop. Negative. Now, I'm no newb to cooking, but needless to say the tofu fell apart in the griddle. I attempted to salvage what wad left in a nonstick pan, but it turned into a scramble like consistency with a sweet maple glaze. Yuck. So what's the point, you ask, of this woe-ridden tale of tofu betrayal? Shit happens. You never stop learning in the kitchen and I hope that people who are new to vegetarianism or veganism know this and don't give up too easily. Also, try to avoid cooking something without a recipe when you're a raging ball of menstruation.

Anyway. This was my very first risotto attempt. Ever. Big stuff. You're witnessing history in the making. My main inspiration was this recipe, but just sundried tomatoes? I think not. I had a ton of white mushrooms that were about to go bad, so I figured that a risotto would be the perfect way to use 'em up.

Sundried tomato and mushroom risotto

1 onion, minced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup arbrorio rice
8 oz white mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes
1 bunch of fresh spinach
1-2 tbs dried parsley
2-3 tbs dried basil
1 tsp dried sage
salt and pepper to taste
broth measurements are going to very

In a large saucepan on medium heat, saute onions and garlic until onions become translucent. Be careful not to burn your garlic. Then add your mushrooms and saute until they start to give off juice. Add dry rice and coat with oil. Then add 1/2 cup veg broth and stir. When it starts to absorb add another 1/2 cup broth and the rest of the ingredients. Continue to stir occasionally and add broth in 1/2 cup increments. When rice is al dente and broth is mainly absorbed, stuff ya' face. I topped mine with some soy parmesan. Lovely.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Four meals: all delicious.

Recently, I became an avid follower of a food blog called Healthy. Happy. Life. The recipes are so delicious and simple. I stumbled upon it in cyberspace while searching for a good mashed sweet potato recipe. This was the recipe I found. It was awesome because it allowed me to find the lemon pepper tempeh recipe, as welll, which was based loosely on the new Tempehtations, which I'm too cheap to buy. I ended up not really following her recipe for the sweet potato mash, but everything was delicious. Accompanied by roasted garlic asparagus.

Ty's parents recently began receiving free subscriptions of Vegetarian Times. I was elated to hear this. Ty's parents send the issues to us after his mom gets the chance to write down some of the recipes she wants. This was a recipe for Rigatoni Puttanesca. (Obviously I used bow ties.) It called for half a tube of Gimme Lean Soy Sausage and it was great. The recipes in Veg Times are great because they usually only make two servings, and I'm typically only feeding two.

After receiving the aforementioned free issues of Veg Times, I rediscovered the occasional joy of making something overtly complicated and a little less instant. Behold Vcon's Baja Grilled Tempeh Burritos. My alterations: green cabbage instead of purple, fresh jalapenos instead of pickled, PBR instead of dark beer. What can I say? I'm a class act.

I saved the most comforting for last. Country Fried Seitan with mashed potatoes and more roasted garlic asparagus. With the exception of the asparagus, I would say this is your standard down-home Southern meal. The broth I used for my seitan was the "chicken" one found in La Dolce Vegan! I think the gravy came from Vegweb, or something..

Let me know if you want recipes!

A salute to alcoholism- vegan alcoholism.

Shortly after the holiday season this past Xmas, my love and our roommate got a tad obliterated. My defense was that it was preparation for New Year's Eve. Whatever it was, it was delicious and potent. That evening I had ran out of my poison of choice: whiskey. All that was left in the house was cheap vodka. Though I'm picky and have had my quarrels with vodka, I drank an array of beverages prepared by my love that were delicious. Even if they did have forking vodka in them..

First up was this delicious hand-squeezed screwdriver. There were about 2 1/2 oranges in that drink and I drank every last bit of it.

The after math.

I have a difficult time describing this because 1) I was drunk when the ingredients were described to me and 2) because a lot went into this drink. Ty used a mixture of vodka, soy milk, vanilla rice ice cream, and something else. Delicious.