I have been a busy girl these last few days and haven’t had time for much more than salads and quick veggie sautees. I’ve been trying to come up with new ideas for easy vegetable based dishes that are light but filling. I’m working on a floribbean thing that I don’t have the right ingredients to play around with just yet, but look for that this weekend. Today I was looking for a recipe using sweet potatoes, but I couldn’t find what I wanted. I ended up surprising myself with what I came up with. Here’s what I did –

Filling

  • one large sweet potato peeled, cubed and oven roasted w/olive oil (I usually roast a few of these to have on hand for snacks or recipes. It’s easy fairly quick and quite good!)
  • 1/2 cup cooked black beans room temp or cold
  • 1/2 cup cooked corn room temp or cold
  • 2 roma tomatoes chopped (you can use compari, or whatever you have on hand)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dried cilatro
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Throw everything together in a bowl and toss well.

Dressing

  • 2 T vegenaise
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • a few pinches chopped fresh cilantro (I almost always have fresh cilantro on hand, you can use dried, but the flavor won’t be as strong)
  • 1 clove garlic minced

wisk everything in small bowl and drizzle over filling after stuffing into bib or boston lettuce leaves or you could use tortillas if you like. I also topped mine with roasted pecan pieces and a few sliced black olives. The combination of the sweetness from the potato and the tartness of the cilantro dressing is really good. I thought that the added crunch of the pecans was a nice finish too. It was very filling and yet not heavy. I’ll be making these again!

On to the smut! It’s no secret that I love erotica. I write reviews and I have a soft spot for sci-fi. There are just so many possibilities there. Anyway, I have been reading a new-to-me author Marie Harte and I love her! She writes this series called Circe’s Recruits and it’s unlike anything out there that I’ve read. It’s very difficult to come up with something unique and fresh in a genre that has practically seen it all. Granted, this series is not for the feint of heart.  The sex is mind blowingly graphic, about as hot as it gets in erotica and that’s saying something. But hot, raunchy sex aside, the storyline is surprisingly well crafted. See, there is more to erotica than smutty sex scenes! And the characterization is there. If you like hot reads and are into ebooks, this is a good read for you.

Which brings me to another thing – ebooks. Do any of you out there in blog land read them? There are so many good books out there that aren’t in print. Being a complete biblophile, there is nothing like the experience of reading an actual novel. I love the way books smell, the feel of them, collecting them etc. I always thought that I wouldn’t be much for ebooks. I still think that there is something impersonal about them. I am so glad that I was thrust, kicking and screaming mind you, into the world of ebooks by the site I review for. We deal mostly in electronic formats. It’s just more efficient for what we do. I am thankful for the world it has opended me up to. There are so many good authors and books that only come in electronic format and I would be missing out!

Advertisements

The Veggie Challenge

May 21, 2009

I have a confession to make. I have not been the healthiest vegan these last few months and while I haven’t gained any weight, my body just doesn’t feel like it used to. I’ve been tired, sluggish, bloated and just all around feeling kind of yuck. I know it’s my diet. I have been eating alot of baked sweets, grains and gluten. I’ve also been drinking alot of diet soda and even started drinking coffee again. The fact that I am so tired screams that my diet desperately needs an overhaul. I decided to come up with The Veggie Challenge. My diet will consist of fruits, veggies, nuts and legumes. I think that I might include tofu to allow myself a little bit of versatility. I’m going to force myself to give up the diet soda, which is my biggest weakness. I’m also going to switch back to tea and increase my water intake. I’m tired of feeling exhausted all the time. I’m kind of excited to get back to basics, but I know that I am desperately going to miss seitan and sweets. Not eating the usual grains means I’m going to have to get creative with potatoes and other root veggies. I just know that something has to change. I don’t have enough energy to keep up with my kids and it’s summer time. I need that energy! I’ve been relying on my vitamin suppliments too long. It’s time to get those vitamins in my diet as well. I was planning to give myself two weeks before I reintroduce grains and bread. I just know that I have to force myself to create meals where vegetables are the focus. It’s been too long where I have been a vegan pretty much eating in classic omni fashion – meals of primarily protein and carb. Well, no more! I’m sure I’ll be posting away these next few weeks.

 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.

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.

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.

null

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.

another seitanic success

November 25, 2008

It’s been another rough few days in our household. We’ve been sick again. I have no idea what it is, but it keeps coming back like some awful recurring nightmare. The girls are also sick again. Hopefully we can clean the crepe out of this house, air it out, load up on vitamins and finally get rid of this.

My husband has given himself a new nickname, he thinks he’s clever. He calls himself a PTV, part time vegan. Can you see me shaking my head over here? He has been asking more questions about animal rights which is a new development. He’s eaten quite a few vegan meals this week as well. He’s found the seitan love and has had me make a few of the dishes that I made during veganmofo. He’s one of those people that finds what he likes and sticks to it. If he had his way, we’d eat the same things every week. I made another potpie and the country fried seitan this week and we have no leftovers to speak of. I think I’m starting to get to get to him.

Yesterday I decided to try out a new seitan recipe and it’s a keeper. It tastes similar to Bryanna’s turkey soy seitan that I made for my thanksgiving tester meal, but it’s not as much work. I did change a few things with much success, I was a bit worried though. I only used half of the chicken broth powder, 3 tbsp seemed like alot to me. I used applesauce in place of tomato paste, this was the part I was concerned with. I love the seitan o’greatness recipe, but the tomato flavor is a bit much for me at times. I also used fresh ground black pepper instead of white pepper and fresh garlic instead of garlic powder. It was just okay fresh out of the oven, unlike the turkey soy seitan, which was amazing. After chilling in the fridge over night, it is soooo good though! It made a perfect sandwich for lunch today and I’m looking forward to using it in other things. I will be making this again!


2 2/3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar, not packed + extra for sprinkling
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
4 tbsp vegan shortening cold
4 tbsp earth’s balance cold
3/4 cup soy/nut/rice milk
2 tbsp molasses

Preheat oven to 375 – *side note here* my oven runs hot, typically 25-50 degrees hot depending on it’s mood haha, so you may need to make adjustments on temp or time for this recipe. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl with a fork or a wisk. Cut in EB and shortening until mixture is crumbly. Add milk and molasses and stir with a spoon until batter is blended and a dough forms. It will be sticky. Pour all of the dough into the center of the cookie sheet round and flatten it until its about an inch or so thick, a little more or a little less is okay. Sprinkle with brown sugar and bake for approximately 15 minutes. Yours may need more time, check by inserting a toothpick into the center. Cut into wedges and serve. These are soo good when they are warm and just as good when they have cooled. Enjoy them with someone you love for the holidays!