Posts Tagged black eyed peas

VeganMoFo: Eat Real 2012

The Eat Real Festival in Oakland has been an annual event since 2009, but I first found out about it last year since a friend was going.  It’s a three-day event with food vendors, a marketplace, demonstrations, a beer shed, wine barn, cocktail bar, and DIY contests.  There’s a lot of meat and cheese and animal celebration going on, but if you can avoid or ignore that part it’s a great place for vegans.  All items are $5 or less, so you can try smaller portions of lots of different things.

The festival posted a list of vegetarian items on their website, and Vegansaurus posted a list from an intrepid vegan who went the first night, so I set out Saturday with an idea of what I’d like to try.

I crossed out what I wasn’t interested in and highlighted what seemed the most intriguing.   I knew it was going to be crowded though, so I didn’t set my heart on anything in particular.

I was starving when we arrived, so I got the first vegan thing I saw, a bowl from Plum.  I was dubious of how all those ingredients were going to work together, and happily discovered that it was delicious.  The vadouvan curry broth was intensely flavorful, and the fresh veggies on top kept it from being to heavy.

It was really hot outside (September seems to be the height of summer around here), so I was seeking out something light and cool for my next dish.  Luckily, we stumbled upon Miss Pearl’s, who was offering marinated black eyed pea salad.  The apple cider vinaigrette was tangy and perfect on the peas and corn.  Plus, only two dollars!

Next up were sweet potato tots with spicy mango ketchup fro Little Green Cyclo.  I think sweet potato tots were less ubiquitous a year ago than they are now, and I needed them.

I was starting to get a little full, so we headed to the beer shed for some liquid refreshment.  They had a great selection of local beers.

You pay a few more dollars for the first beer and get this adorable mason jar to drink out of and take home.  I still use it all the time!

Hodo Soy is a local tofu maker, and I was so glad to see them representing at the festival.  (If you keep up with your vegan news, you may already know that Chipotle is now making vegan burritos using their Sofritas all over California.)  I tried the Kale Pesto Yuba, which I assume is kind of a play on pasta.  The yuba was a little chewy but definitely seemed pasta-esque, and the only fault I found with this dish is that it could’ve used a little more salt.

hello, gorgeous

Before we left, I HAD to get an ice cream sandwich from Big Wheel Cookie Co.  They were running out of lots of their cookies, but luckily they still had the vegan option – dark snickerdoodles with coconut-based chocolate ice cream.  So good.  The cookies were very sturdy and nicely spiced, and the ice cream was generously portioned, a perfect end to a hot day.

Eat Real 2013 is less than two weeks away, and I can’t wait to go knowing that there will be plenty for me to try!  The only thing I regret missing last year is bao from The Chairman, and I see they’re going to be back this year.  I’ve also got my eye on Hella Vegan Eats, Homeroom, No No Burger, and Rice Paper Scissors.

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VeganMoFo: Appetite For Reduction

Happy VeganMoFo!  Technically, VeganMoFo began on Saturday, but my goal is to post every weekday so I’m right on time.  Head over to VegaMoFo HQ and check out the blogroll or rss feed!

For the first week, I’m going to feature some vegan cookbooks that I’ve been cooking from recently.  First up is Appetite For Reduction.  I’ve posted about this cookbook before and have already professed my love for it; the style of cooking is how I cook when left to my own devices – low fat, lots of whole foods and lots of flavor.

Baked Falafel & Hummus Wrap.  I love these baked falafel – all the flavor and crunch without the deep frying.  I actually over-baked my falafels, so they were extra crunchy.  The hummus recipe is low-oil and tahini-free, and to be honest I missed the tahini flavor so I added a tahini sauce to my wrap.  Next time I’ll add a bit of tahini to the hummus, or try one of the suggested hummus flavors such as pizza hummus.

Hottie Black-Eyed Peas & Greens and Creamed Corn, served with patty pan squash and red onion.  The peas and greens are a one-pot dish, which is great.  I found it wasn’t quite hot enough for me, so I added more hot sauce.  The creamed corn is made from blended fresh corn, and packs so much corn flavor without much added fat.  The patty pan squash were a great, buttery complement to round out the meal.

This is Caldo Verde with Crumbled Tempeh.  Caldo verde means green soup, and the tempeh stands in for sausage here.  The recipe calls for chard or kale, but I used cabbage because I had some in the fridge.  I liked this recipe but didn’t love it, and I think the cabbage was to blame.  Between the cabbage, tempeh and fennel seeds there was a bit too much bitterness going on.  I think with some chard or kale though, it would be great.

A Bee Ell Tee, from the sandwich section.  The sandwich and bowls sections of Appetite For Reduction are a great addition, as they give you more ideas for using the recipes, and make the style of eating seem more realistic and accessible.  The Bee in a Bee Ell Tee is eggplant bacon, which I’ve posted about before.  It may not look like much in this picture, but eggplant bacon is smoky and chewy and wonderful.  I could eat a whole eggplant worth of it.  The other standout in this sandwich is the Cashew Miso Mayo.  It’s not really like mayo, but it’s a salty, tangy spread which really made the sandwich.

Here we have Buffalo Tempeh with potatoes, asparagus and Easy Breezy Cheezy Sauce.  I’m in love with the buffalo tempeh and have made it multiple times now, which says a lot, since I usually only make a recipe once unless I really like it.  The cheezy sauce is easily the best quick cheese sauce I’ve had.  It comes together really quickly but doesn’t taste raw like some sauces can.

This is a Mediterranean Bowl with quinoa, spinach, chickpeas, roasted cauliflower, Caesar Chavez Dressing and a sprinkling of ground seeds.  The original bowl combination calls for bulgur, and quinoa was a good stand in.  The spinach was my addition to get something green in there, but it would have been better if it was cooked down a bit.  And of course, the Caesar Chavez Dressing tastes good on everything.

I’ve been branching out to other cookbooks recently, but I know I’ll keep coming back to Appetite For Reduction until I’ve tried almost everything.  If you’ve cooked from Appetite For Reduction too, what have been your favorites?

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CSA’s & Laptop Lunches

Geez, it’s been a long time since I posted my foods!  I’ll try to keep my rambling and descriptions short, since I’ve got a lot of pictures!

8-27 CSA:  corn, rosemary, pears, zucchini, cucumber & lavender

onions, figs, tomatoes, beets, squash & honeydew melon

When I got this CSA box, I was actually growing tired of snacking on fresh figs.  Gasp!  I’m spoiled, I know.  I decided to make a poached fig salad, based on a recipe I found online that I can’t find again now!  Which is a shame, cause it was really good.  The fresh figs were poached in a whole bottle of port, then the wine was reduced down to a syrup.  There was also a simple vinaigrette, pisatchios, shallots and faux feta cheese.  The poached figs were STRONG, but good.  I also had some herbed pumpkin seed crackers.

I had taken note of the Teriyaki Quinoa recipe in Eat, Drink & Be Vegan during my August cleanse but didn’t get a chance to try it then.  I’m glad I tried it afterwards, because I love it!  It’s so simple – just cook the quinoa and mix it with the sauce.  I served the quinoa with stir-fried veggies (seasoned only with tamari and ume plum vinegar), and instead of sprinkling with sesame seeds as the recipe called for, I used some sesame gomasio that I had bought for no specific reason.

Quinoa close-up!  Looks like…quinoa…

I had a huge heirloom tomato sitting around doing absolutely no good, and I decided I wanted to slice it up for a grilled cheese sandwich.  There’s a big hole in the middle cause the tomato had a big, tough core that had to be cut out.

I wanted to make bread machine bread for my sandwich and…FAIL.  I modified a multigrain bread machine recipe that I found online and it really didn’t rise at all.  It was edible but incredibly dense.  I don’t know if the recipe was bad or if it was the fact that I used the time delay feature and the ingredients sat there for hours before the machine started mixing.

The cheese in the sandwich is the Gooey Grilled Cheese from The Uncheese Cookbook, which I love.  I also love pickles on grilled cheese.  On the side was broccoli and cucumber with goddess dressing, and oven-baked beet chips.

I had corn and squashes left over from the CSA box, and thought they would make nice side dishes for black-eyed-pea gravy and biscuits.  I have no idea where I got the gravy idea from, but it worked out.

For the biscuits, I used Happy Herbivore’s Whole Wheat Low Fat Biscuit recipe, and they turned out quite well!  I rolled mine out and cut them into circles with a glass though, rather than just dropping them like the recipe calls for.  That way you get the flaky sides, and they’re easy to cut in half.

Gravy close-up!  The gravy turned out okay, but it was a little too acidic and the onions weren’t cooked enough, so I need to work on it a bit before I have an official recipe.  For the creamed corn, I just cooked some corn kernels till tender, blended up some of them in the food processor, added it back to the pan with some soy milk and cooked a bit just to thicken.  The squash and zucchini were sauteed with probably a pinch too much red pepper flakes.

9-10 CSA:  lettuce, thyme, zucchini, swiss chard & grapes

tomatoes, plums, mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, garlic & oranges

There’s nothing particularly special about this salad, except that it was topped with Annie’s French Dressing, which I had never seen before and like a lot.

With the abundance of tomatoes in this CSA box, I thought I ought to try my hand at making gazpacho.  I’d had gazpacho before a number of times but never made it.  Turns out it’s ridiculously easy to make!  The blender does most of the work.  I followed the recipe from Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons and it was perfect.

On the side is a slice of Bianca’s awesome Whole Wheat Beer Bread.  I grew up eating beer bread, and this totally hit the spot.  I added FYH cheddar and some rosemary just cause I could.  I also totally screwed up and mis-read the recipe.  I thought the bread only baked for 30 minutes, so I pulled it out then, let it cool, and was totally surprised that my first slice was completely raw in the middle!  Then I re-read the recipe – doh!  It bakes for 55 minutes.  The slice on my plate up there went in the toaster oven just to finish, which is why it looks funny, and the rest of the loaf went back in the oven.  Read your recipes all the way through, people!

9-24 CSA:  swiss chard, lettuce, cucumber & more lettuce

beets, tomatoes, red onions, grapes & peppers.  I also got a galia melon but it didn’t find its way into the picture.

Another sandwich, this time on store-bought sprouted bread.  I had an avocado ready to use, and thought it would go perfectly with the CSA tomato and lettuce in a great sandwich.  I was thinking along the lines of a BLT, so I sauteed tempeh then glazed it with soy sauce, maple syrup and liquid smoke.  Delicious!  The sandwich also had red onion jam, spicy mustard and a slice of vegan cheese.  Those nuclear chips in the front there are Buffalo Chips from Food Should Taste Good.  They didn’t really taste buffalo-y, but they were tangy and spicy and good.  If you haven’t tried Food Should Taste Good chips yet, do so!  They feel so much lighter than other chips, and their flavors are fun and imaginative.

10-8 CSA:  arugula, lettuce, acorn squash, more lettuce & baby bok choy

plums, potatoes, apples, oranges, tomatoes, onions, peppers & beets

I haven’t done anything with last week’s CSA box yet, but…there it is.

Laptop lunches!  I don’t have the time these days to neatly pack everything every night, but I do when I can.

9-8 pasta salad, steamed carrots, beanie weenies, cauliflower

9-10 biscuit & black-eyed pea gravy, creamed corn, spicy sauteed squash

9-15 cheddar-rosemary beer bread, gazpacho, baked beans, grapes

9-17 sesame noodles, sauteed cabbage, grapes

9-28 peppers lavender tofu, scalloped zucchini,
slow roasted tomatoes, grapes

10-1 multigrain sesame-beet pilaf, spicy daikon slaw, gf corn muffin, grapes

Bonus Jake.

And armless Jake.

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Cheesy Meals

I just did NOT feel like blogging all this week.  I had very low energy for whatever reason and decided to take it easy.  I have been cooking though, so here are some cheesy meals.

When I professed my love for grits, my mom commented saying that she had just seen a recipe for Broccoli-Cheese Grits in Southern Living magazine.  I think she suggested it partially in jest, since obviously I don’t eat cheese.  But I got to thinking that I love grits, and I love broccoli, and most of the time I like faux cheese, so what the heck?  I’ll make me some Broccoli-Cheese Grits.

The recipe is online here.  SouthernLiving.com has this odd recipe search system where it takes you to an issue index first, then to the recipe.  Weird.

Anyway, you could probably figure out the recipe without a recipe.  It has, oh, let’s see…broccoli, cheese, grits, salt and pepper.  It tastes really good though, probably mostly because I love broccoli and grits.  For the cheese I made the Chedda variation of the Colby Cheez from The Uncheese Cookbook, which I had made before and liked.  It doesn’t melt like real cheese, but it surprisingly shredded very easily, and provided leftovers for grilled cheese sammiches.

On the side I sauteed onions, mushrooms and black eyed peas and seasoned it with apple cider vinegar and hot sauce.  Boring but good.  And I served it in a mug just for fun, because mugs are cute and taking a picture of two things in two bowls is not so cute.

I got a big head of leaf lettuce in my last CSA, so I wanted to make a salad.  Specifically a huge, giant, filling salad with lots of fun stuff.  I had to make a trip to the Mexican market anyway, so I decided to go for a fajita salad and make use of some authentic Mexican ingredients.

Half a head of leaf lettuce, sauteed onions, green & red bell peppers and portobello mushrooms, sauteed seitan chicken strips, homemade refried beans, nopalitos (cactus in brine), radishes, shredded cheese leftover from above, baked tortilla strips, very hot salsa and guacamole.  You can’t even see the sauteed veggies!  This salad was gargantuan, I tell you.  So much that I couldn’t finish it, because…

BF joined me in the dinner making and prepared a sopa, or Mexican soup, just like his mom makes it.  Except vegetarian (she uses chicken broth).  The ingredients are only oil, pasta, veggie broth, tomato sauce and salt, and we topped our bowls with Tapatio and black pepper, but boy oh boy is this ever good!

I don’t know what it is about this sopa, but if I didn’t also have a giant salad to eat I could’ve consumed many, many more bowls.  When bf’s mom makes it there’s much more broth and much less pasta, but I like it this way just fine.  The soup was done before the fajitas were ready, so it sat in the pot staying warm and the pasta got all mushy and yum.

When I got more fresh artichoke from the CSA, I didn’t really want to eat it plain steamed like last time.  That’s good and all, but I like to mix it up.  I had pizza crust waiting in the freezer, so I decided to steam the artichoke, scrape out the good stuff, chop it up and see if it could hold it’s own on a pizza.

The other ingredients were caramelized red onion, roasted red peppers and Follow Your Heart mozzarella.  Who says FYH doesn’t melt?  When I first had Teese I kind of wrote off FYH because I like Teese better, but to get Teese I have to cross the Bay Bridge or order online, and FYH is a mere 15 minute drive with no traffic, so I think I may buy it more often since I now remember that I like it.

The verdict on the artichoke is that it totally works plain on pizza.  It doesn’t quite have the oomph that marinated artichoke hearts have, but it provided a subtle background flavor that complimented the other toppings very well.

I decided at the last minute to go with personal-sized pizzas, just because they’re fun, and that way I could make one the perfect size to fit in my lunchbox.  Also, my original plan was to make the caramelized red onion sauce from my stromboli recipe, but at the same time I was preparing the pizza components I was also working on my first canning project (to be discussed in a future post), so I went sauceless and added the onion whole, which was quite alright in the end.

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Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a great New Year’s Eve and Day.  Mine was excellent  (were excellent?).  I first set out to attend “Peewee’s Veg Adventure”, a Peewee Herman themed potluck that was the brainchild of the Bay Area PPKers.  We planned the menu in advance, and every dish had a Peewee related name.  Awesome!

My contributions were “Footlongs for Mickey”…

(recipe from Vegan Lunchbox)

…and “Simone’s French Toast Bites”.

(VWAV Fronch Toast)

“Snack Time Popcorn”

“Peewee’s Peepshow Hashbrowns” (gross!)

“King of Stuffed Mushrooms” and “Jambi-laya”

“Fire in the Playhouse Bread with Cheesy White Bean Dip”

The cheesy white bean dip was kind of amazing.  I’m told the recipe is in Eat, Drink & Be Vegan.

“Connect the Dots Quinoa” and Cowvin Cookies from Sticky Fingers Bakery in the back.  Melisser won the cookies in some contest I think.

“Dinosaur Family Kale” and “Cowboy Curtis’ Cookie Sandwiches”

“Bowtie Pasta Salad” and “Pterri’s BBQ Not Wings”

“Globey’s International Speculoos Brownies” and “Ant Farm on a Log”

“Chairy Pie”

My plate – I didn’t get an individual picture of the “Copper Penny Salad”, and I forgot to get some of the bowtie pasta the first time through.  I definitely went back for seconds though.

Dessert plate

To finish up, a “Whacky Tapi-oca Pudding Shooter”.

I unfortunately had to leave the party before midnight to come back to my house and co-host.  There are more pictures from the Peewee party in this thread.

I definitely wanted a hearty brunch when I finally woke up on New Year’s Day, so I made tofu scramble with onions, peppers and mushrooms.  I made toast from the ends of the loaf I used to make the french toast bites, and topped it with leftover strawberry sauce.

For the past couple years I’ve wanted to eat black eyed peas on New Year’s Day, but until now I hadn’t made it happen.  According to Wikipedia, “Black-eyed peas are traditionally eaten on New Year’s Day in the Southern United States and in some other parts of the U.S…The traditional meal also features collard, turnip, or mustard greens, and ham. The peas, since they swell when cooked, symbolize prosperity; the greens symbolize money.”  This time I was determined to have my black eyed peas!

The black eyed peas were sauteed with peppers, onions and garlic.  I cooked the brown rice in my rice cooker with tomatoes and cajun seasoning, and brightened it up with a splash of lemon juice at the end.  For the collards I used the Sauteed Collard Greens recipe from VCON.  This is basically how I like to cook my greens, but following the recipe I think they came out a bit tastier.  Especially because of the four cloves of garlic.  Instead of the stock I used water mixed with chicken broth seasoning, worcestershire sauce and soy sauce.

I wish everyone a happy and prosperous 2009!

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