Posts Tagged cheese

VeganMoFo: Dyspepsia Diet Stage III

As I mentioned in the first post about my dyspepsia diet, I stayed in Stage II a bit longer than originally planned, because I didn’t feel ready to move on.  By this point in the plan I was feeling much better and had the inflammation/acid issue under control, so it was more about adding healing and soothing foods like miso, lemon, turmeric, root vegetables, and fruits.  I was able to reintroduce most foods at this point except the major culprits.  I also started taking papaya enzyme and artichoke leaf extract since they are supposed to help with digestion.

I welcomed acidic fruit back into my life in the form of kiwi, on yogurt topped with Nature’s Path cereal.

Oatmeal is good for the stomach all the time, so I made a savory oatmeal bowl with tempeh, greens, roasted mushrooms and Oh She Glows’ Butternut Cheese Sauce, which I loooove.  I usually use canned pumpkin instead of the butternut, just for ease.

I had some fennel from the CSA to use up, so I sauteed it with carrots, peas, and chickpeas and seasoned it with ginger and turmeric.  Served over Caulipots from Appetite for Reduction.

Asparagus was in season at the time, so I used some in the Asparagus and Spinach Soup from Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons, subbing kale for spinach.  The soup also contained wild rice, mushrooms and summer squash, and was light yet hearty at the same time.  On the side are Cheese and Herb Corn Muffins from the same book, which are quite good and freeze well.

To use root vegetables and lentils, which are supposed to be good for the stomach lining, I made the Red Lentil and Root Vegetable Dal from Appetite for Reduction.  I really liked the texture of this dish, but the flavor was a little off for me.  The recipe calls for parsnips and turnips OR rutabaga.  I went with rutabaga, and I think the root vegetables were a little sour when combined with all the spices.  I love turnips, so I’m sure I would like the dish more that way.

Stage III eating was very similar to how I usually eat, just without the more acidic/irritating ingredients like vinegar, mustard, tomatoes and pepper.  It wasn’t difficult to find delicious food to eat in this stage, and by the end I was feeling much better!  Afterward, I incorporated ingredients I had been avoiding very slowly back into my diet, and I am happy to say that in the six months since then I haven’t had any tummy troubles!

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Thanksgiving 2012 – Appetizers

So, October went by, and most of November, and VeganMoFo happened again!  I briefly considered participating, but I knew I couldn’t make the time commitment to do it justice, so I left it to those who could.  If you haven’t yet, check out the blog roll or rss feeds.  I can’t wait to browse them myself.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  Mine was so fantastic that I’m splitting it into three posts.  First up, the appetizers.  Friends were coming over early to start watching football, and we were waiting a little longer than usual to eat dinner to wait for one guest’s flight to land, so we wanted to make sure there was plenty to snack on.

I saw these recipes for Goat Cheese Torta online a few weeks before Thanksgiving, and knew right away I wanted to make a vegan version.   I kind of mixed up the two recipes in my head and ended up with a good combination.

For the cheese mixture, I made a double batch or C’est La V’s cashew goat cheese, skipping the baking step at the end.  I then blended it with one tub of Tofutti Cream Cheese, fresh oregano, and some black pepper.  I lined a bread pan with plastic wrap and layered a quarter of the cheese, pesto (recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance), a quarter of the cheese, sundried tomato pate, another quarter of the cheese, olive tapenade, and the remaining cheese.  Cover with plastic wrap and press it down a bit, refrigerate overnight, and turn onto a plate to serve.

When you cut into it, you can see the layers of deliciousness.  Mine wasn’t quite as prettily layered as the recipe photos, but I thought it still looked pretty nice.

The flavor?  AMAZING.  It was creamy, tangy, salty, fatty, herby, and every other good-sounding adjective.  Dave and one of our guests said that they wouldn’t have known it was vegan, which is always nice to hear when it comes to fake cheese.  The torta was mostly gone by the end of the day, which may have had a lot to do with me eating about a ton of it.

To keep things on the lighter side, I also put out a veggie tray with dip and grapes.  I found some really pretty produce at the farmers market, including purple cauliflower and multiple colored carrots.  The dip was Vegan Dill Dip, which I made true to the recipe except for using reduced fat Vegenaise.  The dried minced onion softened overnight and had a nice texture, and the only thing I would change next time would be to add even more fresh dill.

On the right is an antipasto platter, which Dave added to round out the spread.  (The appetizer table became the dinner buffet, which is why the serving dishes are hanging out in the back.)

For a pre-dinner drink, I made a pitcher of Cranberry Ginger Martinis.  I tied the fresh ginger and cranberries up in cheesecloth, and kind of estimated on multiplying splashes of this and that, and even after adding extra Sprite the drink was strong!  Good, but strong.  I made sure to put a few big ice cubes in each one and let them melt a bit first.

Next up, the main meal.

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VeganMoFo: OBR Week – (never home)maker

(never home)maker is a blog by Ashley and Stephen, an adorable couple who are currently expecting a baby.  In addition to food and recipes, they post about running, decorating and general life stuff.  They eat vegetarian/pescetarian, but a lot of the recipes they post are vegan.

In looking over their recipes, one in particular stood out – The Vegetarian Juicy Lucy.  It’s a cheese-stuffed tofu burger with sweet potato fries in the sandwich.  It’s a gut bomb, and it’s awesome.

The recipe is vegan except for the cheese, so I subbed in some pepperjack Daiya that I had in the fridge.  You’re supposed to form the mixture into two stuffed burgers but I thought they would be way too huge, so I made three and they were still gigantic!  I baked the sweet potato fries and served my burger with roasted green beans.

The big question is, did the cheese melt?

Why yes, yes it did!  My only complaint about the burgers is that they didn’t seem cooked through in the middle even after browning the outsides well.  Next time I would brown them then bake them in the oven, or vice versa, to make sure the insides are cooked.

I happened to have some chickpeas in the fridge waiting to be used up, so I also tried Ashley’s Hu-Mousse, a dessert hummus.  I didn’t have any real coconut milk, so I used So Delicious Coconut Drink instead.  I really liked this, but I think it would have been better with the extra fat from the coconut milk.  It was only a little sweet, so I would suggest eating it with a sweet dipper, like the banana slices I had, or maybe graham crackers.  I could definitely taste the chickpeas, but they didn’t take away from the dessert-ish nature.

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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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Food For Sports

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you probably know that Dave and I like sports – we like inviting people over to watch sports, and we love going to games!  Here are some foods that we ate while watching or preparing to watch sports.

Our friend Tom is a biiiiig Green Bay Packers fan, so we were very excited for their final playoff game against the Bears.  (Yes, all the way back in January.)  We had some friends over and observed what we’re told is a Green Bay tradition.  Apparently, Packers fans bring chili to their tailgates, then mix all the chilis together in a giant pot.  We didn’t have a pot big enough to hold all the chilis, so we just mixed them in our bowls.  Well…everyone else mixed them, I just ate my vegan chili.

For an attempt at authenticity, I based mine on this recipe for Wisconsin Chili.  I used soy crumbles instead of meat, and the only other major change I made was to saute the vegetables before adding the rest of the ingredients.  This was a simple chili, and very tasty!  Even the meat eaters liked it.

I topped my bowl of hot chili with some shredded cheddar Teese.

Oh, yes I did.  I made a chili cheese dog, and it was amazing.  Carbs on carbs, mmmmm…

Imagine our delight when the Packers won and advanced to the Super Bowl!  Naturally, we had friends over for a Super Bowl party.  Aaron Rodgers vs. Ben Roethlisberger, to me, was practically good vs. evil, so I was rooting for the Packers big time.

Jake greeted our guests by the door.

I made a seven layer dip a la this post, and served it with Trader Joe’s Corn Chip Dippers, which are awesome.  I also put out some TJ’s Trek Mix with chocolate, which is also awesome.  All on a green tablecloth, of course.

Dave was preparing some sort of meat with baked beans and mac n cheese, so I put together a similar plate.

Buffalo Tempeh from Appetite for Reductions.  SO GOOD.  I will be making this again and again.

Mac and Trees, no trees, also from Appetite for Reductions.  I put some breadcrumbs on top and baked (overbaked) it.  Also so good!

Fantastic football dinner!

I made a Packers cookie cake!  Toward the end of the third quarter, when the Steelers were threatening to mount a comeback, we decided we needed to “consume the power of the Packers” in order to help, and we dug in.  Cookie cakes are always loved.  After The Great Cookie Cake Catastrophe of 2008, when I dropped a blob of icing on the top of the N in NY, I was very careful with the frosting, and so happy with how it turned out!  To make a cookie cake, I just prepare the chocolate chip cookie recipe from Vegan With A Vengeance then press the whole thing onto a round pan covered with foil, and bake maybe a bit longer than the recipe calls for.  The edges get chewy but the middle stays nice and gooey.  The topping is just regular buttercream; I used the recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.

I like to believe that the cookie cake aided the Pack in the win.  After football was over, we had nothing to do other than look forward to baseball season.  For the first baseball tailgate, we needed a cold side dish to go with some barbecue, and I went with potato salad.

I don’t think a picture of potato salad can really ever do potato salad justice, because this potato salad was super duper delicious.  I started with Betty Crocker’s recipe for Creamy Potato Salad and replaced the mayo with half regular Vegenaise, and half low-fat.  I left out the egg, obviously, and added some relish and fresh chopped dill.  You can never have enough fresh dill.

Perfect meal for eating in a parking lot – potato salad, grilled mushrooms and barbecue tofu.

I wanted to make a special dessert for our first tailgate of the season, and I had a crazy idea about making something with Cracker Jacks.  I googled it, and found out that rather than baking with Cracker Jacks, I could make cookies that taste like Crackers Jacks.

I veganized this Cracker Jack Cookie recipe, swapping out egg replacer for the eggs and using organic brown rice cereal instead of Rice Krispies.  I also added peanuts, because what good are Cracker Jacks without the peanuts?  Somehow, the cookies actually did taste a little like Cracker Jacks.  I don’t like shredded sweetened coconut at all, but it was fine in this cookie since there were so many textures going on.  The cookies spread a little more than I would like, so I want to make these cookies again with more binder, and I’ll post a recipe once it’s perfected.

Finally, I know the Kentucky Derby isn’t very vegan, but its official drink is.  Dave is a fan of horse racing, so he invited a few friends over for the derby and we mixed up some mint juleps.

Apparently there are a few different ways to make a mint julep, but I followed the recipe on the derby website.  It’s super easy.  You just make a simple syrup and chill it with fresh mint, then strain out the mint.  Put ice in a glass, add syrup, whiskey and fresh mint, and sip!  Seriously though, sip.  This is one strong beverage.

We don’t have highball glasses or julep cups, so we drank ours out of half-pint mason jars.  We’re classy like that.

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VeganMoFo: Thanksgiving 2010

We originally invited four friends over for Thanksgiving but only one could make it, so we had a small, relaxed gathering.  We set the table up behind the couch for easy football watching during dinner – excellent.

Our appetizer was Pepper Crusted Cashew Goat Cheese, balsamic roasted figs, and crackers.  The cheese log was AWESOME.  I super heart it.  The recipe is C’est La Vegan’s adaptation of the Vegetarian Times recipe, and I really appreciated the extra commentary and directions that she provided.  I was worried that my cheese wasn’t going to hold together because it didn’t drain off much liquid and felt soft coming out of the oven, but it held together well enough to transfer to the platter, and the consistency was perfectly spreadable.  I would highly recommend giving this a try if you like tangy, spreadable, delicious vegan cheese.  The recipe seems lengthy, but it doesn’t have to be; I soaked the cashews while at work the day before, blended it that night and let it sit overnight, then baked it in the morning.

The figs were tossed with a bit of balsamic, olive oil and salt and baked at 350 for about 25 minutes.  They weren’t a huge hit with Dave or our guest, but I liked them well enough.

I also put out a bowl of sweet ‘n spicy mixed nuts, which I over baked a little.  Oops…

I wanted to serve soup and salad, and kept the servings small so that we wouldn’t fill up before the main event.

Chestnut & Celeriac Soup with Sherry-Cider Reduction.  As I said in the recipe post, I put a bit too much reduction on the soup – It really only needs a small drizzle.

Chopped Salad with “Honey”-Lemon Poppy Seed Vinaigrette.  I planned to make this for Thanksgiving ever since it went over so well at our Showcase dinner.  I substituted agave for the honey, and left out the apples and avocado.  I can see how it would be even better with avocado.  Neither of the guys ate their entire salad, but they both said they liked it, which is really impressive for a salad containing both raw kale and brussels sprouts.

There was so much food, we used every surface.  Dave did make a turkey with gravy and non-vegan stuffing, but other than that, everything was vegan!

He also made a vegan oyster mushroom stuffing, which was really nice because it was one less dish I had to worry about.  And as a bonus, it was really good!  Earth Balance, onion, celery, oyster mushrooms, fresh sage, thyme and rosemary, stale bread cubes, and unchicken broth.

Mound of mashed potatoes with Earth Balance, truffle salt and almond milk.

Green Bean Casserole, topped with French’s fried green beans as opposed to freshly fried onions, at Dave’s request.  While I do like my version with homemade crispy onions, I also have to admit that the French’s onions are quite excellent for this purpose.

Orange-Cranberry Sauce.  I wasn’t going to make any cranberry sauce this year because it’s not our favorite part of the meal, but my CSA sent me a package of fresh cranberries the week before, so what choice did I have?  I set out to make a mold, but it didn’t set up enough, so I called it a smooth sauce.  No recipe – I just cooked the cranberries with the juice of two oranges and zest of one, adding a pinch of salt and a squeeze of agave nectar.  They simmered just until soft, then I blended the mixture and returned it to the pot, adding a few Tablespoons of agar flakes and some maple syrup.  It tasted nice, but I was sad when the mold didn’t hold its shape.

My entree was the Nut Roast Extraordinaire that I froze a few weeks ago, on the plate with corn and Our Veggie Kitchen’s Turkey Gravy.  The gravy actually did kinda taste like turkey!  Granted, it’s been a long time since I had turkey.  While it wasn’t my favorite gravy ever, it’s definitely worth a try if you’re looking for a vegan turkey gravy.

All together.

Dessert was Pumpkin Pie from the Mission:  Impossible Pies e-book, served with Purely Decadent Coconut Milk Vanilla Ice Cream.  Dave wanted a store-bought pie and was suspicious when he heard that our pie wasn’t going to have any crust, but in the end he admitted that this version was good too.  He certainly didn’t complain while we ate the leftovers!

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VeganMoFo: Flavor Bible Week – Chives

For the last full week of VeganMoFo, I have given myself a challenge – to randomly choose a page from The Flavor Bible and make a recipe using an interesting or unexpected flavor match from that page.  The Flavor Bible is a really interesting book which basically lists multitudes of culinary ingredients, and tells you the flavors that they go with.  It uses bold and/or capital letters to emphasize the best flavor matches, and sometimes gives dish recommendations from renowned American chefs.  I received the book for Christmas last year, and have enjoyed flipping through it for inspiration.


Today’s flavor match came from page 123, chives!  I must admit that, while I told myself I would go with whatever page my finger landed on first, I did have to skip a few, such as the asparagus page (I refuse to eat asparagus in November), and the page that listed only different cuts of beef.  Other than those two, I’m staying true to the challenge.

To be honest, there weren’t any truly interesting matches to go with chives.  Nothing crazy that I wouldn’t have considered putting with the little oniony guys anyway.  So, I chose to match it with the “egg dishes” listing, which was interesting to me because, obviously, I don’t eat eggs!  I went the easy route, using tofu instead, but tried to make the dish as eggish as possible.

I was inspired by this recipe, and used the Shiitake Dill Frittata from Vegan Brunch as a guide, making a few changes:

  • subbed brown mushrooms for the shiitakes
  • subbed a bunch of chives, chopped, for the dill
  • added 1/4 tsp garlic powder instead of the fresh garlic called for (only because I was feeling lazy and didn’t want to mince any garlic)
  • used kala namak instead of regular salt, for that eggy sulfuric flavor (I make it sound so delicious, huh?)
  • added 1/2 cup shredded Daiya cheddar

(I’m not going to post the recipe, but you can see it on Google books right now.)

The frittata looked gorgeous when it came out of the oven, but sadly didn’t hold together completely when I flipped it.

up close and personal

Served with persimmon wedges.  The frittata turned out really fantastic, even if it didn’t hold together.  It was quite possibly the most “eggy” dish I have had since going vegan, and for a former vegetarian egg and cheese lover, that was a positive quality.  I think the melted Daiya gave it that part-cooked part-runny texture that eggs can have, and the mushrooms and chives complemented it perfectly.

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Vegan Wine & Cheese Party

A few months ago, the PPK Bay Area vegans had the brilliant idea of a wine and cheese party just before the holidays.  There are a lot of different vegan cheese available around these parts, so between those and homemade varieties we had a ton of cheese!

I brought the fondue in the back with bread, blanched broccoli and cauliflower, and apples for dipping.  In the front is homemade cashew cheese.

Dr. Cow, a homemade peppered goat cheese log, and We Can’t Say It’s Cheese.

Dr. Cow, bleu sheese, bacon cheddar cheezly, a brazil nut cheese ball and  Annie’s cashew cheese spread in the back.

Pigs in blankets.

Curried tempeh bites.

Bleu sheese dressing.

Cookies, homemade smoky cashew cheese and caviar.

Four types of homemade chocolates!

Persimmon puddings.

Vegan friends, some apparently in very serious conversations.

And the cutest Christmas snaggle-tooth ever, Molly.

Not pictured:  all the wine and spiked nog!

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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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August Cleanse: Days 8-10

Day 8

Saturday was a day of much repeated food, finishing up leftovers before cooking some more.  I started the morning with a smoothie of kale, banana, strawberries, peanut butter and udo’s oil, along with my coQ10 and multivitamin.  I love the cute little bubbles on top of this smoothie!  I also had some chai tea to wake me up before a big grocery shopping trip.  I tend to sleep in on weekends when possible, so no morning snack was required.

Upon my return from the grocery store and unloading what felt like a massive amount of groceries, I had a salad with leaf lettuce, shredded carrot, red pepper, sauteed cajun tofu and non-honey honey mustard, and brewed some cinnamony coffee then added almond milk, cause the tea just didn’t do it for me.  My afternoon snack was two apricots, half a cantaloupe and some pistachios, and I also had a few beers because Dave and our friend Tom were brewing in the kitchen, and how could I NOT have beer while the whole house smelled of it?  For dinner I ate the last of the brown rice ‘n’ beans jumble-aya and steamed green beans.  Due to getting up later on the weekends I also tend to stay up later, and I became ravenous a few hours after dinner so I popped some no-oil-added popcorn in the microwave.  I tried to stick some seasoned salt and nutritional yeast on the popcorn with a new olive oil sprayer I got, but it still didn’t work!  Most of the seasoning ended up in the bottom of the bowl.  Anyone have a trick for getting seasoning to stick to popcorn other than dousing it in Earth Balance?

Day 9

This nice purple smoothie contained kale, a whole container of blackberries, a peach, udo’s, almond milk, mixed berry rice protein powder and agave nectar.  The taste was good, but I put in the whole packet of rice protein powder which I shouldn’t have done since it made it kind of powdery.  I normally use only half a packet in each smoothie.

My lunch salad was inspired by trying to figure out what to do with the cherry tomatoes provided by my CSA.  I reeeally don’t like cherry tomatoes raw, either whole or halved.  There’s something about the taut nature of the skin, with the juicy inside and how they pop and all the raw tomato flavor.  Blech.  I remembered reading somewhere that you could slow-roast tomatoes, so I found this instructional online.  With as much as the author raved about them, I figured I couldn’t lose.

before…

…and after…

…and a close up.

Boy, do these tomatoes deliver!  All the weird texture that I dislike disappears and leaves a chewy, tasty little tomato.  I went for simple and left out the garlic and herbs called for, spraying the baking sheet and tomatoes with olive oil and seasoning simply with a little kosher salt and fresh black pepper.  These guys really don’t need a lot of help to taste good.  I took the smaller ones out of the oven after 2 hours but left most of them in for 2 1/2.  This will probably be what I do with any more small tomatoes I get from my CSA this summer!

To use my tasty tomatoes, I made what I am calling a Greekish salad.

This lovely plate has leaf and romaine lettuces, cucumbers, chickpeas, red onion, artichoke hearts, slow-roasted tomatoes, Sunflower Feta from Yellow Rose Recipes and an herb vinaigrette.  I’m not a huge fan of this feta.  The texture is feta-like and worked in the salad, but the taste alone just kind of tastes like tofu, lemon juice and sunflower seeds.  I think I’d like it better with cubed tofu that marinates or brines for a longer time.  Along with lunch, I took a spirulina tablet that I bought on Saturday to start taking a few times a week.  My afternoon snack was a pear and half a cantaloupe.

For dinner I made Tofu Vindaloo from Vegan Planet.  In the spirit of trying new grains, I cooked up some buckwheat.  Good news – I like buckwheat!  It has no actual relation to wheat, is ready in 15-20 minutes, and is quite good for you nutritionally.  I think I overcooked the buckwheat just a tad, so I’m looking forward to trying it again soon.  The vindaloo was just okay.  I liked the large amount of fresh ginger and spicy kick but hoped that there would be more of a sauce.  This was more like well flavored tofu and veggies with some juice in the bottom of the bowl.  After dinner I had two beers, to kind of say goodbye to the weekend.

Day 10

This was a great smoothie that I couldn’t get a good picture of:  spinach, banana, mango, strawberries, udo’s, almond milk and amazing meal powder (original flavor).  Using spinach as my green resulted in a MUCH smoother consistency than using kale gave me.  I also took coQ10 and my multi.

I was so excited about my morning snack that I took a picture while packing it up – figs and cherries.  Yum!  To perk me up, I drank some darjeeling tea.

For lunch I had the same exact Greekish salad as above, with some added capers and a probiotic supplement on the side.  I wanted to include capers the first time but couldn’t find them in the fridge!  My afternoon snack was an apple with peanut butter, and dinner was tofu vindaloo with buckwheat and chilled camomile tea.  It was much, much too hot for hot tea.

Well, that’s days 8-10.  I’m not hungry all the time any more, and I don’t know if it’s because I’m unwittingly eating more calories or if I’m getting used to lightening up my diet.  Jessy told me she wasn’t hungry all the time after her first week on ACT, so perhaps it’s psychological!  I haven’t seen any more weight loss, in fact I think I may have jumped up just a bit, but it’s only part way through the week so we shall see.

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