Posts Tagged VWAV

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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Dinner of Christmas Past

First, Squeak – if I don’t hear from you soon, I’m going to have to pick another winner of the Appetite for Reduction giveaway!

I’m going to jump in the wayback machine for a few posts to show you guys some stuff I’ve been meaning to post for months.

Christmas, 2010.  We got up early to see what Santa had left behind.

Jake sniffed his presents.

We wanted to stay at home, so we set the table and invited a few friends over for Christmas dinner.  Also, I was leaving early the next day for a week, so any leftovers needed to be something Dave would eat.  Our guests weren’t used to eating exotic stuff, so I kept everything pretty basic.

You can never go wrong with hummus.

I wanted to make stuffed mushrooms, the creamy gooey type that you wouldn’t think were vegan, so I modified this recipe, adding some nutritional yeast.  Success!  One guest said he wouldn’t have known they were vegan.

While we waited for dinner to come together, Jake entertained us by spazzing out on his catnip-filled Christmas tree toy.

Because I didn’t need leftovers, I went with a few side dishes for my meal.

Dave makes the best stuffing without even trying!  This one had onions, garlic, celery, a few types of mushrooms, and lots of fresh herbs.

For this corn pudding, I used the recipe for Southwestern Corn Pudding from Veganomicon but took out all the southwestern ingredients.  It turned out a little dry, but very tasty.

Braised greens, a la this post.  This was less to add a side dish to the buffet, and more for me to pack some greens in mah belly before I left for my trip.

Dave made a big dish of scalloped potatoes for everyone else, so I put together a little baby portion of my own.

For dessert, I made the Gingerbread Apple Pie from Vegan With A Vengeance, which was recommended to me based not only on the flavor, but also the ease of preparation.

And easy it is!  Rather than rolling out a crust, you press the dough into the bottom of the pie plate and pile everything else on.  I will definitely be making this pie again.

Be back soon to tell you about the trip that I left for the next day!

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Vegan Weekends (or, The Post of Many Pictures)

Against my predictions, June was just as crazy for me as May, if not a bit crazier.  Almost every day of every weekend was booked, and then some.  So without further ado, here’s what I’ve been up to for the last five weekends…

The first weekend of June we had some friends join in on our tailgating for an A’s game and bf and I kind of went all out.  BF has been interested lately in making our own buns for hamburgers, which translates into ME making our own buns for hamburgers.  I had seen some loaves of Easy French Bread from La Dolce Vegan floating around the blog world, so I made some buns using that recipe.

I forgot to add the sesame seeds until after the second rise, and in adding them and trying to make sure they didn’t fall off I basically pressed all the rise out of the buns, so they were a little flatter then I wanted.  They tasted good though, and were definitely sturdy enough to stand up to burgers.

I don’t know what got in to me, but I had a mad desire to make Ramen Slaw, which is a dish commonly found at southern pot lucks and the like.  I found and followed a recipe online, but for the life of me I can’t find it again.  I’ll post up the link when I get home.

Ramen slaw, up close and personal.

Post-almond topping.

Here’s my plate:  veggie burger on homemade bun, grilled corn that I accidentally set on fire (like for real, flaming husks and all) and ramen slaw.  I went back for seconds on the slaw, so good.

It was bf’s cousin’s birthday, so I made dessert too.  I had a hard time deciding but in the end wound up trying the Black Bottom Blondies from My Sweet Vegan.

The look innocent enough from the top…

Bonus chocolate layer!  These were tasty enough, but honestly I didn’t like the texture.  It was kind of gummy and dense.  I’m thinking I may have overbeaten the batter, but the instructions say to beat it!

The next Saturday I was invited to a picnic at Tilden Park to celebrate the marriage of my friends Becca and Steve.  They got married in New York, so this was a nice was for us to get together.  I was completely blanking on a good picnic food to bring, so I asked Becca and she suggested the ranch dressing that she had at my house once.  Easy enough!

The food was good and simple, perfect for a picnic.  First plate:  veggie burger, chips & hummus, veggies & ranch.

Second plate:  fruit salad, pasta salad, tofu and tomatoes and more cucumbers.

Third plate, just because the roasted red peppers and grilled zucchini were done.

Lucky for all of us, Melisser of Sugar Beet Sweets made cupcakes!

Gluten free strawberry shortcake and peanut butter cup.

La la lemon and chocoate chocoalte.  I had a lemon and a pb cup.  Oink oink!  You can’t only have one of Melisser’s cupcakes.

Tilden Park is kind of amazing in an it’s-huge-and-you-will-get-lost kind of way.  There is a great old style carousel, and after lunch a group of us decided to act like children and go on it.  There are all sorts of beautiful, detailed animals.

Deer, zebra and kitty.

Lion, rooster, frog and horse.  There was also a dog and a panda and lord knows what else.  I chose the frog.  Becca didn’t want to ride because of motion sickness, so she tried to snap pictures of us.

My head is on the left above the rooster head.  Good times!

The next day I drove down to Santa Cruz to meet the NorCal PPK crew at Amey’s house for a potluck.  This was a vegan potluck of a magnitude never achieved before, and quite possibly never matched again.  Here’s the table when I got there, and food seemed to flow in continuously afterwards too.

Overflow area:

My contributions were a layered salad bar-style salad with iceberg, red cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, red and green bell peppers, carrots, peas, red onions, seitan pepperoni, bacos, sunflower seeds, croutons and choice of ranch or balsamic vinaigrette.

And Fatfree Vegan’s Southern-Style Banana Pudding.  This was a big hit – really delicious and very easy to make.  I used EcoPlanet vanilla cookies because they were all I could find, and it worked well.

Obviously, I had to try a little of everything.  Plate 1:  empanada, mini bagel with herb spread, pirogi with caramelized onions, crackers with walnut miso dip, bread with yellow pepper dip, a spring roll with garlic scapes and mandarins and other crazy stuff, and grilled tofu on baguette with some sort of delicious spread.

Plate 2: pasta salad, salad with ranch, chips and guacamole,

I was stuffed at this point and put off dessert as long as I could stand, but it all looked so good!  Some more non-dessert arrived in the meantime, so that’s why there’s green on my mostly-dessert plate:  brussels sprouts with pistachios, braised peach and fig salad, swedish cinnamon roll, raspberries, key lime pie with white chocolate mousse, rice krispy treat, apple coffee cake and banana pudding.

As if all that wasn’t enough, Melisser made a ridiculous dessert.  If I remember correctly it was pie crust, cookie dough, cake AND meringue.  Here she is torching the meringue.

Inside shot.

Group shot!

There were SEVEN doggies at the potluck (three of which were Amey’s), and surprisingly enough I liked them all!  All the doggie owners tried to wrangle them in for a picture.

Here’s the ever-popular Strummer, sunning herself on Megan’s lap.

Our gracious host Amey with Snoopy the cutie-pie.

And my favorite pittbull, Fiona.

After pigging out we all sat around and chatted for a while, then Megan, Melisser, her husband Ryan and I went to downtown Santa Cruz to walk around and check out some shops, so at least I worked off a FEW calories.  Check out Amey’s blog post here, she has more detailed pictures of most of the food.

The next weekend we went to Vegas!  BF’s sister is graduating from her master’s program and wanted to get together to celebrate so a group of 13 of us went, mostly bf’s family and his sister’s boyfriend’s family.  Whew.  We scored an amazing rate at Paris, and really enjoyed staying there.  It’s a comfortable hotel, and the kind of place you wouldn’t really have to leave the whole weekend if you didn’t want to.

We got in late afternoon on Friday, settled in, and ate at a cafe in Paris that really isn’t worth writing about, except for the fact that I got a whole bottle of wine for $8 when most of their single glasses are more than that.

HERE is what Vegas means to me.

Ronald’s Donuts, my friends.  The donuts are out of this world good, they have soy milk for coffee, and I will happily make myself sick eating their apple fritters.  Here I am, slightly hungover and unshowered, in apple fritter heaven.

We had plans for dinner but needed to have a late lunch somewhere, because one cannot exist on apple fritters alone.  Enter Le Burger Brasserie in Paris.  I took a chance that this place would have something I could eat, and I won!  Upon inquiring of the waiter if their veggie burger had any dairy or eggs, he cringed and said “Yeah, I think it does…it has mushrooms, grains, vegan cheese…Wait!  Vegan cheese has no dairy!” and checked with the kitchen to be completely sure.

This was a good, good veggie burger.  The patties are made in-house, and are at least an inch thick and very tasty.  It comes with two topping, but I added one and chose portobello, avocado and caramelized onions.  Seriously, this was one of the best veggie burgers I have ever had and I’d recommend Le Burger Brasserie over the meal I had at Burger Bar easily.

The one caveat about this place is that it’s not cheap.  The burgers don’t come with fries, you have to order them separately.  But I would recommend that you do.

Because their fries are really good, despite the blurry image.  They have steak fries, shoestring fries AND waffle fries and you can get a three fry sampler if you want.

Sometimes when the waiter forgets to ask whether you want an orange or lemon slice with your Widmer and they bring you both, you put them both in.  It’s Vegas, you gotta get a little crazy!

Dinner that night was at The Wynn Buffet, where the lighting apparently does horrible things to my pictures.  Like last time I visited, I didn’t get to check that anything was vegan, but when in doubt went the cautious route.  So don’t take my word for it on this stuff…

Plate 1:  salad with vinaigrette, asparagus and pea salad, strawberries, dried fruit, marinated artichoke, pickles and a little piece of bread.

Plate 2:  pita with hummus and baba ganoush, rice pilaf, curried chickpeas.

Plate 3:  Asian slaw, spicy cucumbers with citrus, sushi, seaweed salad, and the most amazing miso udon which I tried to replicate after the last time I had it but didn’t really come close.

I also had a few bites of sorbet for dessert, but it was nothing picture worthy.  For the life of me I can’t remember where or if we had lunch the next day.  Maybe I just ate a bunch of donuts?

For dinner, we had a date with Hoffbrauhaus, a full-on German-style restaurant like in Beer Fest.  You sit at a long table with other parties, there is a band with an accordion on stage, and the waitresses can carry multiple mugs of beer in one hand.  Look at this perfect pour!

The menu includes two vegetarian entrees, but they’re both laden with cheese or cream, so I asked about a few side dishes and ended up getting three.

Yummy pretzel with sweet mustard.

Cucumber salad, which was good but not worth the $7 it costed.

Red cabbage.  The flavor was good, but they somehow managed to make the cabbage HEAVY.  I couldn’t even finish this small bowl.

I would recommend the Hoffbrauhaus if you’re into that sort of thing, but warn that it is not really within walking distance of the strip.  It may look like it is on a map, but please take a cab!

After dinner we went to Cirque du Soleil Mystere at TI.  It was quite a show, but overall I think I liked La Nouba in Orlando better.  Not that Mystere was bad, it just wasn’t better than La Nouba.  It was also really expensive; our discount tickets were more than I really wanted to pay, but I wasn’t going to miss out on the opportunity.

That was it for us in Vegas, but on the way out of town we stopped off at Ronald’s again.  I had asked around in the Bay Area to see if anyone wanted donuts brought back and had a large response.  So I bought ten half dozens, which didn’t include the donuts I bought for the ride home, or the donuts that the sweet people at Ronald’s GAVE to me!  Here are the donuts I distributed, with my pepper grinder for size reference (and bonus grease spots).

The next weekend, in addition to going to two baseball games, I baked a donation for the San Francisco Worldwide Vegan Bakesale.

These are Chocolate Chip-Raspberry Blondies from Vegan With A Vengeance, but made with Blackberries instead.  They are super-duper good and I can’t believe I waited this long to try them!  I did have a tricky time getting the blackberry filling to work, it kind of seized up and got stringy.  The recipe calls for tapioca powder and I used tapioca flour because I thought they were the same thing.  Anyone know if they’re the same thing?  I added some extra water to the filling and despite being really sticky, it worked out.

Seeing as SF is not a short trip exactly, and I had a hard time getting going that morning, I was a few hours late for the bakesale.  They had already sold out of a lot of items, but had enough to keep going.

We did really well with foot traffic due to our fantasitc location in front of Ike’s.  Ike’s has pretty much the best sandwiches ever (with extensive vegan options), so of course I had to get one.  I really wanted the Paul Reubens special but they had run out of Tofurkey, so I had a “Not So Sloppy” – meatballs and bbq sauce.

So friggin’ good!  And if you order a vegan sandwich they give you a vegan lollipop.

The bakesale was a HUGE success.  Between the two days and locations they raised $3,000 dollars.  Three thousand!  The proceeds were split between Animal Place and East Bay Animal Advocates.  I feel proud to have been a small part of such a great event.  Thanks to Melisser and Laura for organizing!

That brings us to this past weekend, which was the Fourth of July.  We kept it small and just went to a friend’s house to grill, hang out and play board games.  I decided to make a fancy grilled portobello sandwich, and started by marinating some big mushrooms according to this recipe.

During the veggie grilling session (after the grill had been cleaned of any remaining meats) we cooked the portobellos along with pattypan squash and corn.

I served the mushrooms on storebought ciabatta with lettuce, caramelized onions and avocado-horseradish sauce.  Delightful!  The portobellos weren’t the best I’ve ever made, but I think that had more to do with me cooking them over high heat for a few minutes too long than it did with the recipe.

In keeping with my one year tradition of making a red, white and blue dessert, I put together a trifle.  The layers are lemon pound cake from Veganomicon, strawberries, blueberries and coconut whipped cream.  I was going to do a simple silken tofu whipped cream but couldn’t find silken tofu anywhere, so I bought two cans of coconut milk, remembering that I had read somewhere that you could whip it into cream.  I followed the technique of this recipe, using all the cream from the tops of both cans (about 1 1/2 cups), 6 Tbs powdered sugar, 4 Tbs soy milk powder, 1 tsp almond extract, and a pinch of salt.  It did whip up and turned out nicely.

While I was carefully layering the trifle, bf asked me “Why are you arranging it so carefully if you’re just going to cover it up?”.  Well, this is why:

Trifle’s are supposed to look pretty from the side!

And from the top.  It tasted really good too.  There were lots of flavors going on between the vanilla and lemon in the pound cake, the coconut and almond in the cream and the berries, but it came together well and the pound cake had the perfect squishy consistency.

Lastly, here is how Jake likes to spend his time while I’m out galavanting and running around.

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White Pizza & An Arugula Salad

Last week bf and his friends ordered pizza from Zachary’s, whose crust is unfortunately not vegan.  Zachary’s is consistently rated among the best deep dish in the country, and the pizza smelled SO amazing, what with the fresh garlic and basil.  I knew that I must have pizza.  Normally I’m a regular ol’ pizza kind of gal, with tomato sauce and such, but for some reason I got it in my head that I wanted to try a white pizza.  So I did what I normally do and poked around the internet for ideas.  There are lots of recipes, but none were remotely veganizable, so I just winged it.  Wung it?

The pizza turned out certainly edible, but not as amazing as the pizza I had in my head.  The flavors were just a little bland and lacking.  I didn’t have time to make the typical risen crust, so I used this Whole Wheat Yeast Free Herbed Pizza Dough recipe which was recommended for white pizzas, subbing soy yogurt and adding extra herbs.  The crust came together very easily and tasted nice, but it was more biscuit-like than pizza crust like.  For the sauce I just made a basic white sauce with olive oil, flour and rice milk.  I sauteed four cloves of garlic in the oil before adding the flour, hoping that it would add a lot of garlic flavor, but by the time the sauce was thick enough the garlic flavor had mellowed out too much.  Next time I think I’ll add vegan parmesan to the sauce for zing, and sprinkle the garlic on top of the pizza for maximum flavor.  I used the Basil Tofu Ricotta recipe from Vegan With A Vengeance, but I left out the basil and garlic since I was using them elsewhere, and the mixture tasted mostly like plain tofu, which was my fault and not the recipe’s.  Overall the pizza was alright, but it failed to live up to the flavors I was hoping for.  I’ll just call this practice for next time.

I got another CSA delivery last week.

greens:  collards, baby spinach, kale, arugula, pea shoots & cilantro

non-greens:  fingerling potatoes, fuji apples, radicchio, kiwi (!), and tangelos

The arugula was so nice and fresh, perfect for a salad.  So that is what I did.   I tossed the radicchio in too, since I hadn’t tried it raw yet.  I wanted plenty of sweet components to offset the bitter greens, and some textural contrast.

So, underneath we have arugula and radicchio, dressed with balsamic vinaigrette.  Then there are roasted radishes and apples, thinly sliced red onion, dried cranberries, pistachios, and soy bleu cheese from Sunergia Soy Foods.  I was hoping to find Bleu Sheese, but the Whole Foods I went to didn’t have it.  They did have the Soy Bleu though, and I’ve always been curious about this brand.  The store I used to shop at in Gainesville carried the feta, but it was expensive and I always thought that I could marinate some cubes of tofu in something tangy and probably come up with the same result.  This bleu though, I could not make myself and I’m glad I tried it.  The taste is distinctively soy, moreso than the Sheese, and the bleu-ness is understated.  I didn’t really like the first taste on its own, but in the salad it was quite nice.  Overall I like the flavor of bleu Sheese better, but this bleu slices much easier.  Sheese tends to stick to itself and your fingers and everything else in sight.  I used the cheese slicing hole of my box grater probably for the first time ever, and this cheese held together and sliced perfectly.  If you miss bleu cheese and can’t get ahold of Sheese, I would recommend trying the Sunergia Soy brand as long as you can find it at a decent price.

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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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Cajun Spiced Tofu

I made another recipe from my healthy list.  The Cajun Spiced Tofu from Yellow Rose Recipes has received good reviews around the internets, so I gave it a try.  For the sides I chose roasted brussels sprouts and the Sweet Potato Fries from Vegan with a Vengeance, which are always a winner.  Although this time I used the mandoline to slice the sweet potatoes, so they came out a little too thin to be considered “fries”.

Verdict:  Cajun Spiced Tofu is really, really good.  It takes minimal preparation and minimal baking time, and the results are fantastic.  I especially liked the texture of the coating.  I normally fail to some extent with breading things, so I was happy that the breading sticks very well.

The recipe provides a cajun spice mix to make yourself, but I already had a homemade blend in the cabinet.  I didn’t realize until sitting down to dinner that my spice mix has no salt in it!  While lacking in the salt department, the tofu was still plenty tasty.  The recipe includes salt, thank goodness.

This tofu could be enjoyed many ways – as “fingers” with ketchup or hot sauce, or on a sandwich as seen below.  I actually had the last piece for breakfast.  The cornmeal crust reminded me a little of fried catfish, so I think next time I might throw in some seaweed flakes and see what happens.

And here are my lunches from last week…

12-1 sweet potato chili, cornbread dressing with gravy,
red bell pepper & celery, pumpkin pie brownie

12-2 veggie burger with mustard, ketchup & pickles,
stir-fried broccoli, grilled potatoes, clementine

12-3 cajun spiced tofu, mini wheat bagel with apricot jam,
roasted brussels sprouts, sweet potato fries, grapes

12-4 cajun spiced tofu sandwich on wheat with makeshift tartar sauce,
more roasted brussels, sweet potatoes & grapes

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VeganMoFo: Farmers Market Meal

I cooked a pumpkin that had been waiting patiently for over a week this morning with intentions of trying to recreate my mom’s wonderful pumpkin bread.  Alas, the day has run its course and I have to get up early for an interview tomorrow, so the bread will have to wait.  In the spirit of VeganMoFo, which I have not been doing too well with lately, I’ll show you what I DID manage to do today.

Searching for farmers markets in the area, I came across the downtown San Leandro farmers market, and sadly learned that today was the last day until next season.  There is supposedly another one on Saturdays, but this seemed to be the main one so I had to check it out.

I have to say, it’s a pretty good farmers market!  Maybe even better than the one I used to go to in Gainesville.  I was surprised at how much summer produce was still around – tomatoes, zucchini and such, but there was also a good representation of fall produce.  Here’s what I got for just over $17.

Rainbow chard, navel oranges, beets and three kinds of apple.

Romaine, red bell pepper, assorted mushrooms (I think it was a mix of button and cremini), strawberries and garlic and black pepper tofu.  I’m mucho excited to try the tofu, I hope it’s as good as I expect!

For dinner tonight I stuck with the veggies.  Pardon the lighting.

Rainbow chard and quinoa, VWAV orange glazed beets, and sauteed mushrooms.  The orange glazed beets were good, but I’m not sure they’re worth the time it took to let the glaze reduce.  I think next time I’ll go back to plain ol’ roasted beets.  The surprise standout of the meal was the mushrooms!  They were simply sauteed with a bit of canola oil, some tamari and a generous amount of black pepper.  Sometimes simple is best.

Tomorrow, a hopefully successful veganization of mom’s pumpkin bread.  Goodnight!

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