Posts Tagged breakfast

Heading To The Cabin

I haven’t heard from the second winner of the Appetite For Reduction giveaway, so I’m hoping the third time’s a charm!

The new winner is number eight, Autumn Tao.  I’ve e-mailed you!

The day after Christmas, I flew to the east coast to spend time with my family at “the cabin”.  A few years back, my parents bought a cute little cabin in Clayton, Georgia, so now they head up whenever they can, and I was happy to be able to join them as well as my brother and sister-in-law.  I didn’t anticipate when planning my trip that Atlanta and northern Georgia would experience a big snow storm beginning on Christmas day!  I’ve got lots of pictures, so I’ll try to keep the text short.

For comparison, the same tree in October.

We didnt spend much time out here on this trip!

death icicles

I was a little concerned about finding vegan food in small-town back-country northern Georgia, but my mom assured me that I would find enough to eat.  The Ingles grocery store there was pretty well stocked, and downright pleasant!  Between what my parents brought, stuff we bought and local restaurants, I was plenty well fed.

Oatmeal with bananas, Back To Nature Harvest Blend trail mix (good stuff!) and agave nectar.

cute little kitchen set up

Possibly my favorite sandwich:  hickory smoked tofurkey, hummus, mustard, pickles and mixed greens, with baked chips and my mom’s veganized ginger cookie.

We found this really delicious, locally made bread at Ingles.  It even said “vegan” on the label!

My sis-in-law had never seen snow (I know!), so upon arrival she immediately jumped out of the car and made a snow angel.

bustling downtown Clayton

bookstore kitty!

For dinner, we went to Mama G’s.  The pizza crust was confirmed as vegan, so I ordered this delicious personal pizza with broccoli, garlic, artichokes and sundried tomatoes.  It was really tasty!

my family at Mama Gs

Yay for beer that I can’t get at home!  Ingles lets you build a six pack from single bottles, so I got to try a variety.

Tofu scramble breakfast made with onion, mushrooms and what I could find at the cabin – salsa, garlic salt, mustard and dried cilantro if I remember correctly.  My parents had some for breakfast too, although my dad wanted a swipe of Miracle Whip on his 🙂

Brother and SIL in Franklin, NC

On the way back to town, we stopped at Fatz Cafe, a local chain, for lunch.  I knew there wouldn’t be much for me on the menu, but what I did end up ordering was pretty tasty.

house salad (minus cheese, bacon and croutons) with raspberry walnut vinaigrette

baked sweet potato, loaded up with salt and black pepper

We stayed in for dinner that night – spaghetti, focaccia and roasted veggies.  I started to feel under the weather this night, but I wasn’t going to miss…

Our day trip to Asheville, NC, and lunch at Laughing Seed Cafe!

Before we left, I fueled up with peanut butter and banana on cinnamon raisin toast.

While we waited for our table at Laughing Seed, we walked around and checked out some shops, my favorite of which was The Spice & Tea Exchange.

I bought little packets of ras el hanout, zahtar and spicy cocoa mix, but I wish I could have bought a lot more!

When we finally sat down at Laughing Seed, we shared two appetizers.

pakoras - tri-pepper and squash-onion

crispy wontons with delicious sesame-ginger dressing

Moms plate - roasted veggies and sauce over toast, and a salad (their menu changes seasonally and this meal isnt listed any more...)

Dads "Lumberjack" - seitan with spinach and gravy over toast, and mashed potatoes

My Havana Cuban, with vegan cheese spread instead of swiss, and carrot soup. Didnt really taste like a Cuban, but it was good!

coconut cream pie; I dont love coconut usually, but this was nice!

Vegetarian food isn’t always my family’s favorite (I’m looking at you, brother!), but everyone found something on the menu that they liked well enough.  I thought the Laughing Seed Cafe’s food was really nice, and I’d love to go back sometime.

We passed by a gingerbread house contest - Dr. Suess house!

This house had its own garden, adorable!

last breakfast at the cabin - pita with peanut butter, soy yogurt with trail mix, and coffee

We said goodbye to the cabin (and the snow) and drove down to Florida, where my parents dropped me off in Gainesville, where my friends were getting married on New Year’s Eve.  I was pretty sick with a head cold by this time, but I only had two nights in Gainesville so I tried to make the best of it!

I met my friend Jackie for lunch at Boca Fiesta, which opened up soon after I moved away and now seems to be all the rage.

herbivore menu section!

Vegan queso! You could tell that it had been thickened with flour, but the flavor was good. I dont complain about vegan queso, ever.

I got a giant burrito, salad and collards. This was so much food, but I managed somehow.

That night, my wonderful friends Janeen and Mark got married!  I won’t post many pictures for privacy’s sake, but here’s one – look how pretty!

A few of the other guests were vegan, so there was a vegan-only food table.  Sadly, not everyone got the memo, and there wasn’t much left by the time I got there!

I had some vegan drumsticks, pakoras, mac n cheese, and vegan cheese and crackers, which was plenty enough for my sick head and tummy.

The cupcakes on the table were vegan!

We held sparklers instead of throwing rice, which was only slightly terrifying.

Despite catching a death-cold that ended up lasting three weeks, and having the worst flight home ever (my ear didn’t pop on the way down from my first flight, and I had to walk around the airport basically deaf and miserable), my trip was so fantastic!  I only wish that I could have spent more time with my friends and family.

On a side note, check out xgfx.org, a new vegan and gluten free website run by three lovely ladies – Allyson of Manifest Vegan, Kittee of Cake Maker to the Stars, and Jessy, my favorite happy-faced vegan!

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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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VeganMoFo: Vegetarian Times Week – Oven-Roasted Apple Butter

For my final installment of Vegetarian Times Week, I chose Oven-Roasted Apple Butter from the October 2008 issue.  The article is about making and canning spreads, presumably for gift-giving, but this apple butter is all for me!

I grew up eating apple butter, and I honestly don’t know why I’ve never made it at home, considering how easy it is.  Usually the cooking is all done stove-top, but this recipe takes you from the stove to the oven, reducing the butter by “roasting” it.  I don’t really think the oven method is any lower maintenance than it would have been otherwise, since you have to stir every 15 minutes anyway, but the butter did turn out fabulously so something is working right.  The apple cider vinegar keeps the flavor bright, while the brown sugar and spices give it depth.  The recipe calls for two to two and a half hours in the oven, and mine was actually a little over reduced after 1:40, so watch it carefully.  Also, I would highly recommend using a chinoise to separate the apple pulp from the skin and seeds; I used a regular strainer and it took forever.  And, you don’t necessarily have to put it in jars!  I halved the recipe and am just storing it in the fridge, since I’ll eat it up pretty quickly.  Make or buy some apple butter and add it to a peanut butter sandwich – you won’t regret it!

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VeganMoFo: Other Bloggers’ Recipes Week – Vegan Crunk

Welcome to Other Bloggers’ Recipes Week!  I couldn’t think of a better name, and from now on it shall be referred to as OBR.  This week, I will be featuring five of my favorite vegan bloggers and their recipes.

To get started, I chose the fabulous Miss Bianca of Vegan Crunk fame.  Immediately upon starting to read her blog a few years ago, I got the feeling that she and I would be fast friends.  We’re both southern-born and raised, about the same age, and into healthy food but also “junk food” and indulgences such as beer, in moderation.  In fact, I had the pleasure of meeting Bianca when she was in San Francisco on a business trip back in January.  We dined at Millenium, because really, if you can have one meal at one vegan restaurant in SF, it has to be at Millenium.  I don’t seem to have blogged about it for some reason, but Bianca did here.  I’m starving now after reliving that meal!

Bianca doesn’t give out many of her recipes because, understandably, she is hoarding them for her upcoming cookbook.  (Which, by the way, I am totally psyched for.)  I decided on her Sweet Tater Bread, which she had posted as a sneak peak.

I grew up eating my mom’s pumpkin bread every fall and winter, and actually tried once to veganize and healthify it (fail), and I was hoping that Bianca’s bread would fill this void in my life.  It totally did!

For starters, I cheated and used a can of sweet potato puree instead of cooking the sweet potatoes myself.  Not that it’s that hard to cube and boil some sweet potatoes, but it definitely made my life easier on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

This picture was taken soon after the bread came out of the oven.  If you can stand it, you should probably let the loaf cool completely before digging in, but obviously I couldn’t stand it.

Here’s the bread a few days later.  It firmed up after resting, but still remained moist and dense and wonderful.  The addition of ginger to the spicing was an unexpected and lovely touch – we’re not messing around with nutmeg and allspice here, people.  Also, I love that the pecans were toasted before adding them to the batter, which really made their flavor pop.  The bread made for a fantastic breakfast or snack throughout the week, and it kept really well.  If this recipe is an indication of what’s to come in Bianca’s cookbook, we’re all in for a treat!

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July CSA’s – Pizza, Almondine, Beety Potatoes & Delicious Italian Food

I’m considering participating in VeganMoFo this year.  (If you don’t know what VeganMoFo is, check out Kittee’s post here.)  While some people save up pictures and posts to meet their self-set VeganMoFo post quota, I would like to catch up to at least fairly recent so I’m not blogging about food I ate three months ago!  It’s harder to remember the details of all these dishes, but I will do my best…

7/1/10 CSA:  cauliflower, gypsy peppers, green beans, zucchini, basil and lettuce

peaches, tomatoes, grapes, carrots and a watermelon

Taco salad!  Lettuce, tomatoes, roasted corn, cilantro, a quick ranch dressing made from Trader Joe’s reduced-fat mayo (which explains the weird color and sheen), and to be honest, I don’t remember what the taco part on top was.  I think it might have been sauteed peppers, mushrooms, onions, spices and other stuff – Whatever it was, I remember it being good!

Zucchini pizza on a brown rice tortilla with basil and Daiya mozzarella.

Tofu Almondine with Lemony Green Beans, adapted from Clean Eating Magazine’s Chicken Almondine recipe.  I also had some dry-roasted cauliflower on the side.  The flavor of the tofu and green beans was really good, but it was kind of dry.  I felt some sort of sauce would have brought it together.

7/15/10 CSA:  grapes, lettuce, beets, purple basil, corn and a lemon cucumber

peaches, tomatoes, plums, an onion, a cantaloupe and carrots

I wanted to eat the corn raw, and I remembered that when I was in England I tried corn mixed with tuna salad and actually really liked it.  So, I made some chickpea tuna salad, mixed in the corn, and rolled it up in a Flat Out with lettuce.  Those are Food Should Taste Good chips in the background.  I love their chips!  They’re so good that I don’t buy them very often, because I’ll eat the whole bag much too fast.

I don’t know what possessed me, but I decided that I would make beet-stuffed potatoes.  I baked the potatoes and beets, sauteed some minced leeks, scooped out the potatoes then mashed the insides with the beets, the leeks, some parsley and probably some sort of vinegar, knowing me.  They turned out a little dry, but tasted really good, and turned everything red!

Clean-out-the-fridge Roasted Veggies:  sweet potato, onion, portobello, tomato, swiss chard and possibly some other things.  I roasted everything except the chard, then tossed the hot veggies with the greens to wilt them slightly.

7/29/10 CSA:  watermelon, lettuce, cucumbers & corn.  I don’t know why they keep sending me watermelons!  I don’t like ’em!

tomatoes, an onion, nectarines, grapefruit and grapes

Salad:  lettuce, corn, black beans, lime-marinated cucumbers, salsa & pepitas.  Super tasty and light!

Caponata over gluten free pasta.  I used this recipe for the caponata.  The raisins and red wine vinegar and capers made this TOTALLY delicious.  The eggplant seemed a little undercooked, but that might have been because I reduced the oil called for a little.  I would definitely make this again.

To go with the caponata and add some protein, I made mashed white beans, I think using this recipe.  They were easy and tasty, with a very satisfying mouthfeel.

I was going to slice the zucchini into long, thin strips and use it as the “noodles” in a lasagna, but I was feeling really lazy the night I planned to make it, so I sliced it into half-moons instead and threw the lasagna together as a free-form casserole.  Still just as tasty.  Also in there was tofu ricotta, spinach, jarred sauce and Daiya mozzarella.  This post makes me feel like I eat a lot of Daiya since I’ve mentioned it twice, but I’m pretty sure the cheese here was leftover from the pizza above.

This isn’t CSA-related, but I wanted to share it because it was really good – Tofu Migas for breakfast.  I’ve never had real migas but have read several descriptions, so I figured I could wing it.  I scrambled the tofu with Mexican spices then added salsa, tortilla strips and some green onion.  I would definitely make something like this again if I had an extra tortilla laying around.

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And For My Next Post…Here’s a Bunch of Food.

There’s always a bad reason for not blogging, but here’s a good one:  My internet didn’t work for two weeks!  But I’m back now, and what better thing to do than post a whole bunch of random food and get caught up?  Some of this stuff dates from last October.  Eep!  I’ll jump right in.

Ginger Cashew Tofu from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan, with fried quinoa

Salad with chickpeas, sauerkraut, crackers and “special sauce” dressing

Whole wheat pasta with cooked beets and beet greens.  Turned the whole thing red!

Pizza burrito!  Leftover pizza toppings wrapped up and served with pizza sauce.

These potatoes were sold as “teeny tiny potatoes” at Trader Joe’s.  How cute!  Roasted whole, with broccoli & tofu scramble.

Roasted Fennel Salad from Veganomicon – test run before Thanksgiving.

Amaranth porridge with apples and pecans

Tempeh Tetrazzini, adapted from a magazine recipe.  Was tasty but dry.

Teriyaki tofu and veggies with red quinoa

This was a total clean-out-the-fridge dinner before I left to visit family for Christmas:  sauteed cabbage and carrots with shredded bleu Sheese and brown rice.  It sounds weird, but it worked well enough.

Shells n’ cheese n’ Tofurkey.  Mom was making mac n’ cheese with leftover ham for the rest of the family, and she made the white sauce with Earth Balance and soy milk so that I could partake too.  I added shredded Follow Your Heart cheese, cooked shells, diced Tofurkey slices that needed to be used up, and some spinach so I could pretend that it was slightly healthy.

“Special Tofu” with peanut sauce and jasmine rice, from Royal Orchid restaurant in Ocala, Florida.  Beautiful and delicious.

Fried rice with red cabbage and baked tofu

Braised red cabbage and carrots

Roasted root veggies with greens and tahini sauce

Tofu scramble and an English muffin to scoop it up

Butternut squash stuffed with rice, kale and vegan sausage, served with mushrooms.  This was super tasty.

When the weather started warming up, we decided to grill twice in one weekend.  For this plate, I bought every vegetable worthy of grilling – baby squashes, radicchio, mushrooms, asparagus and garlic scapes.  We also had some grilled toast and drizzled everything with balsamic reduction.

The next day it was a little more simple – store bought baked tofu, a marinated portobello, brown rice with carrots and hijiki, and steamed veggies with gomasio.

Hot and sour cabbage stir fry with noodles and cilantro

For this tofu scramble, I crisped some diced potatoes first then added the tofu and other ingredients, and finished it with fresh dill.

Savory amaranth with broccoli and pecans

Pasta with parsley pesto, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes and balsamic-roasted veggies

Crunchy salad with black eyed peas, hemp seeds and spicy apple cider vinegar dressing

Teriyaki tofu bowl with short grain brown rice, raw red cabbage, steamed broccoli, green onion and extra teriyaki sauce

Gardein Crispy Tenders!  I bought these to try when I had a coupon, and I LOVE them.  They’d be good with any sauce, but they were especially good straight out of the oven with warm marinara.  The only problem with these guys is that I could easily eat the whole package at once.

Seasoned mashed fava beans with red bell pepper on Ezekiel toast for breakfast.

Springtime brown rice risotto with fresh peas, aspragus and dill

For a light side to go with the risotto, I dry-roasted some cauliflower that was liberally seasoned with a dry rub mix.

Ahhhhhhh, I feel better having purged my unposted photos a little!  Hope you enjoyed it too.

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More Overnight Oats

Since first making overnight oats I have tried a few more versions:

Sweet potato oats – The original recipe, but with 1/2 cup mashed sweet potato instead of the banana.

Topped with maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg and cacao nibs.  It was like pumpkin pie for breakfast!

Oatmeal raisin cookie overnight oats – topped with raisins and a whole bunch of molasses.

All mixed up.  It was very molasses-y!  I thought the raisins were very nice as a mix in.

If you haven’t tried overnight oats yet, try ’em!  I am very sadly out of chia seeds and can’t wait to get more to have these oats again.

Unrelated, but also very good – homemade applesauce!

This was four apples, unpeeled, and four minced dried apricots, cooked down for about two hours with water and then mixed with ground cinnamon and ginger.  So good!  I was still feeling sick at the time and not able to eat whole fruit, so this was a great way to use up some apples I got from the CSA.

(By the way, I am feeling much better and well on my way to recovering from Bell’s Palsy.  Thanks to everyone who wished me well!)

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