The husband’s boss has this amazing organic garden and he has been sharing all of his hard work. I suspect that it’s really his wife’s hard work, but I appreciate the sharing all the same. A few days ago he sent N. home with these beautiful, huge, yellow squash. They’ve just been sitting there begging to be used and I wanted to try something different. I scoured a few of my favorite vegan blogs and came up with an idea. I used Jessy’s happy fiesta rice mix and altered it slightly. If you haven’t been by happy vegan face, I suggest you get your butt over there and try at least one of her recipes. You won’t be disappointed. For this mix, I used dark red kidney beans, brown rice and roasted corn. It’s what I had on hand. I also used cilantro and subbed our favorite dried chipotle cubes for the sriracha. The rest of her recipe I followed including the homemade soyrizo, which is awesome by the way, and the rice mix was fab! I sliced the squash in half lengthwise, hollowed them out, stuffed them with the rice mix, topped it with vegan parm, covered and baked for about an hour at 350. I loved the end result! It was simple and made alot so I have the leftovers I am so fond of. Oh and if you notice, yes, I have a small addiction with these little side salads of baby greens, salsa and vegenaise. Don’t ask, I’m not sure what it is. I think maybe something small and fresh with heavier meals is better and easier than making side dishes. Oh and the fact that I’m lazy these days makes it pretty appealing. If they show up on many of my plates in the near future, you’ll know why.

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a new look

May 19, 2009

I’ve been a complete slacker with this blog in the last few months. I decided to change things up a bit. I changed the look of the blog and I chopped off all my hair, a revamp on all fronts. I donated the 13 inch pony tail to Locks of Love. I’ve been writing book reviews and I love it. I’ll admit that I’m reading mostly erotica and enjoying every minute of it. I’ve recently been reading cowboy smut. Yes, you heard that right. There is definitley something appealing about a man who is rough around the edges and knows how to use a length of rope.

On the vegan front, I have some new recipes I need to measure out and post. I’ve been making a pasta dish with black beans, broccoli and a pumpkin cream sauce that’s really yummy. I’ve also discovered a new peanut butter and chocolate cake recipe that I’ve tweaked a bit and it’s been the husband’s big weakness for the last few months. Okay, I’ll admit it, it’s a weakness of mine too.

Last night I made black and white soft tacos with Jessy’s verde sauce and they were so good the husband had seconds and took the extra for lunch today, which kinda sucks because I was looking forward to leftovers. I’ll have to make a double batch next time.

the second day

February 5, 2009

I swear, if I ever open a vegan restaurant, I will call it Second Day and it will be an homage to vegan dishes that benefit from a night in the fridge. There are just some foods that are better the second day, like chili, stew, seitan, I could go on and on. This gem of a second day dish, is a spin on a Veganomicon plantain stew. It’s sweet, spicy and is loved by the resident omni so you know it’s good. I’ve tweaked this enough I think that I am ready to post my doctored recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 1 ripe plantain, peeled and cubed
  • 8 plum tomatoes diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 3 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp dried mustard
  • 2 tsp dried cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp dried chipotle
  • 2 tsp agave nectar (you could sub sugar for this)
  • 1 can of light red kidney or pinto beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 spicy seitan sausages cut up in large chunks

In a large soup pot over med heat, saute onions and garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes, agave and the spices then cover and simmer for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Add potatoes, plantains and beans, cover and simmer for 25 -30 minutes or until potatoes are soft. You may need to keep an eye on it to make sure that the liquid doesn’t reduce too much. If it does, just add a bit of broth or water. Add the seitan sauage in the last 10 minutes of your simmer. You just want it to heat and soften a bit, but not cook too much. I serve this over millet, but you could use rice or quinoa if you prefer. I happen to think that the unique flavor of the millet lends to the flavor of this dish though. And it goes without me saying, this is better the second day!

Vcon, how do I love thee?

February 3, 2009

chickpea cutletsHave I ever mentioned how much I love Vcon? I made the chickpea cutlets for the first time this weekend and I have to say, they are yummy! I did sub oatmeal that I put through the processor for the bread crumbs to make it a bit healthier. I served them with the mustard sauce and a spiced red quinoa (recipe on request). I think I will be making these cutlets more often. I have to admit that I am a bit burned out on the YR “chicken” seitan cutlets and I have been hungry for something new. The PTV doesn’t really care for them, but the kids love them so they are going into the protein rotation. I have to add that the red quinoa is a nice change from the usual white quinoa I’ve been buying. It’s not quite as nutritious, but it has a wonderful nutty flavor and went really well with this meal.

I am going to start adding a few product reviews and posting some of my craft projects here as well to kind of change up the blog. I promise I’ll also get back to adding my political two cents on a few things, that is as soon as I can wrap my head around all this bailout nonsense and calm down enough to actually put my thoughts into words.

It’s been hectic here with the holidays fast approaching and I just haven’t been able to find the time to post as much as I’d like. I have made some wonderful vegan food these last few weeks and I will definitely catch you up on what I have been doing in the kitchen. Right now I have lavender tea cookies baking in the oven, a favorite of mine from my pregan days that were easily veganized since the recipe didn’t call for eggs. These are perfect with a cup of tea in the afternoon or even a cup of chamomile in the evening.

Lavender Tea Cookies

1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup Earths Balance softened
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups unbleached flour
1 tablespoon dried lavender flowers
a little extra sugar for rolling

Preheat oven to 350º F. In a mixing bowl, cream sugar and EB. Beat in the oil, extract, baking soda, salt, flour, and lavender. Mix well and form into small balls (3/4-inch). Roll balls into sugar and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Not too long ago I decided to have a few friends over for dinner and I tried out some new recipes that looked a little adventurous. The dinner was a complete success and sadly I didn’t take many pictures, but I will pass on the wonderful recipes I used.

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Menu
Vegan Spanakopita
Indian Marinated Seitan Kabobs
Tzatziki Dipping Sauce
Moroccan Spiced Couscous


Indian Marinade

1 c plain soy yogurt
1 tb paprika
1 ts ground cinnamon
1 tb garam masala
1/8 ts cayenne pepper
1 tb lemon juice
6 tb olive oil
1/2 ts freshly ground black pepper
1/2 c grated onion
1 c water
Marinate cubed seitan (I used a version of seitan o’greatness) for 4 hours, skewer and grill for a few minutes.

Tzatziki

1 c plain soy yogurt
1 cucumber peeled and chopped finely
1 1/2 tsp minced fresh garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1 tb chopped fresh mint
1 tb olive oil
fresh ground black pepper

Put the finely chopped cucumber in a sieve and press out as much excess liquid as possible. In a blender, mix the minced garlic with the salt into a paste. Add in the yogurt with garlic/salt paste, add to the drained cucumbers, mint, olive oil, more salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill for a minimum of 2 hours before serving.

Moroccan Spiced Couscous
1 1/2 tb olive oil
3 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground cilantro
1 tsp ground paprika
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 handful sliced almonds
6 dates, chopped finely
3 tb golden sultana raisins
1 tb dried onion flakes
1 tsp minced garlic
2 1/2 c hot vegetable stock, I made mine using vegan vegetable bullion
2 cups dry couscous
1 tb chopped fresh parsley

When you are ready to prepare the couscous, measure out the correct serving of dry ingredients into a large bowl, preferably the one you will be serving it from. Add the olive oil, mix thoroughly. Add the boiling stock and mix thoroughly – place a clean tea towel over the top of the bowl and leave for 5 minutes. Fluff up the couscous after 5 minutes & add more liquid if needed. Mix & sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley or cilantro before serving. You could add whatever dried fruits or nuts you have handy, this is just a basic recipe.

be afraid, be very afraid…

November 13, 2008

I risked it all and I tried the Follow Your Heart cheddar cheeze. I was scared, I admit it. It smells funky, it’s kinda rubbery and it’s really orange. It says that it melts right on the package and it did, it melted pretty well. Let’s just say that it didn’t taste as good as it looked. It kind of reminded me of the over processed cheese that you used to get in the school cafeteria. It wasn’t horrible, but I can honestly say, I will not be making any more vegan cheeze ventures. I’ve been happy without it and I think I like it that way. At least I can say I tried it. I also tried the Follow You Heart sour cream and I can say that I did not like it nearly as much as I like the Tofutti brand. Here is the casserole before I cut into it and before I scraped off the cheeze.

Too bad the cheeze didn’t taste as good as it looked. The casserole was amazing and definitley a keeper. I found the recipe on vegweb. The Omni even liked it. I did add chipotle pepper to the mixture because we like it spicy over here and it turned out really yummy! Next time, I’ll forgo the cheeze and stick to the Tofutti sour cream. Eh, you live and you learn.

simply vegan

November 8, 2008

I have been feeling under the weather for a few days. I think we are all passing the same illness back and forth. The girls are just getting over it and now I think I’m coming down with it. I have been doing simple meals, no 3 hour cooking sessions for me right now. Last night I made this balsamic teriyaki seared tofu and sauteed asparagus and mushrooms. It was simple, delicious and took me all of 15 minutes to put together. Tonight we are revisiting my broccoli lentil casserole. It’s a good portion of food to keep in the fridge not to mention that it’s really easy to throw together with a minimal amount of effort.

For April:

In a large bowl wisk together the following – sorry I didn’t measure.
Kame Sweet Teriyaki Marinade
Balsamic vinegar
minced garlic
agave nectar
Place sliced, pressed, extra firm tofu into the marinade and coat well. Cut up any veggies your having while tofu sits for a minute or two. Preheat a sautee pan on medium heat. Place the tofu in heated pan with a few spoonfulls of the marinade, sear until crisp on medium heat. It takes only a few minutes, flip tofu and sear the other side. Remove from heat and add vegan margarine to the pan you used for tofu. Sautee mushroom and veg for a few minutes and serve!