Posts Tagged cheese

Random Meals & Laptop Lunches

I feel like I lost my cooking mojo there for a few weeks in July and had a hard time figuring out what to eat, so I have no theme for this post.  The theme is random!

What does one do when one has leftover filling from tomato-basil-mozzarella sandwiches but no bread?

One makes tomato-basil-mozzarella bites.  Yum!

This is a secret risotto that I tested for a friend to submit to a recipe contest.

CSA delivery…

Corn, yellow onions, peppers & lettuce mix

Grapes, red onions, peaches, tomatoes, cherries & an eggplant

I like eggplant but don’t always like cooking it.  It seems like most eggplant cooking techniques use a lot of oil, so I wanted to do something different.

My solution was eggplant and lentil curry.  This had a whole can of light coconut milk in it, so it wasn’t exactly low fat anyway…but I tried!

Thinking back, I don’t really know why I did this, but I made a little slaw to go with the curry.  This had carrot, celery and broccoli stalk and a Vegennaise-based dressing.  (Again, so much for keeping the meal low-fat!)  Oh, I think I made it cause I had broccoli stems that needed using…

I wanted to make a salsa with the corn and tomatoes, so I made some mostly-raw lettuce tacos.  On the bottom is seasoned black beans, them lime-marinated mushrooms, corn salsa and fresh cilantro.  These were very tasty but very messy to eat, because the fancy lettuce at TJ’s looks like it would be good for lettuce wraps, but in reality was decidedly not.  In the back are TJ’s corn-flax chips, which are slightly addicting.

I got a spiralizer!  I’ve been jealous of other blogger’s zucchini noodles for far too long, so I finally bought one.

…and made zucchini and squash noodles.  I used the larger noodle shredder the first time, and they were a bit too large and super curly.  The blade with the smaller holes is much better for this purpose.

I had fresh basil in the fridge and I was feeling too lazy to make a raw sauce, so I went the easy route and added spaghetti sauce, basil, toasted pine nuts and almond parmesan.  This was very tasty!  The sauce separates and gets watery if it sits with the zucchini, so I want to try a different type of sauce next time.

This is a Saturday afternoon clean-out-the-kitchen salad.  It has red potatoes, purple potatoes, cucumber, red bell pepper, celery, carrot and sliced veggie dog, with a Vegennaise dressing.  It wasn’t the most fantastic thing I’ve ever eaten, but it was pretty and it got the job done.

Farmers market purchases:  rainbow chard, okra, baby cucumbers, jalapenos, peaches and nectarines, a golden and regular zucchini, a lemon, broccoli and strawberries.  All for under $20!

The main purpose of my farmers market trip was to get ingredients to make my Southern Style Dolmades for a potluck that night.  I ran late and didn’t have time to assemble the rolls, so I just took the filling and the sauce and hoped it would be okay.  Turns out people really liked it as it was!  That was a big relief.

I realized while at the market that I hadn’t had anything with cheesy sauce for a long time (such a travesty), so I bought the broccoli with plans to make this:

Shells n’ cheese n’ broccoli.  You can’t beat it.  I used my favorite cheesy sauce, which is tofu based, but I used the wrong kind of tofu and eyeballed the ingredients and so it didn’t turn out the best it ever has, but it still hit the spot.

To go with my pasta, I roasted the okra.  Look at the size of these okras!  They are with a regular sized golden zucchini and jalapeno for reference.

All roasted up.

I still had the chard leaves from my non-roll making debacle and hadn’t a clue what to do with them since they were already boiled.  So I asked The PPK for ideas, and one member suggested peanut sauce.  Bingo!  Peanut sauce makes everything better.  I still ended up making rolls, but went a different direction with the filling.

So these are quinoa, pepper, carrot and zucchini chard rolls with fresh cilantro, basil and peanut sauce.  It was very yummy!  I was glad I could salvage my $4 worth of boiled organic chard.

I won’t be using my laptop lunchbox for a reason to be discussed in my next post, so I’ll catch up with lunches.  Most of them are repeats from the meals above anyway.

7/14 the aforementioned secret risotto, steamed broccoli,
carrot sticks, grapes & cherries

7/16 potato & fava bean salad with miso-mustard dressing,
roasted asparatus, sweet potato-chocolate chip-
walnut muffin, strawberries & raspberries

7/21 broccoli/carrot slaw, eggplant curry, brown rice,
oat bran pretzel sticks, wasabi-soy almonds, figs

7/22 lettuce wraps with seasoned black beans, marinated mushrooms,
corn salsa & cilantro, corn-flax chips, dark chocolate

7/24 zucchini noodles with spaghetti sauce, pine nuts & almond
parmesan, beanballs, maple cookie, b-complex supplement

7/27 clean-out-the-kitchen salad with lettuce & avocado, strawberries

7/28 shells & cheese & broccoli, roasted okra, gf corn muffin, strawberries

7/30 chard rolls with peanut sauce, celery, soy nuggets
with ketchup, dried figs, dark chocolate

7/31 leftover quinoa filling with peanut sauce, zucchini noodles with spaghetti sauce & almond parmesan, cherries, gherkins, sandwich cookies

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W.I.P. Wednesday

A quick post (in stark contrast to yesterday’s massive gigantoid post) to show you a few recipes I’m working on.  Works in progress, if you will.

I got a bunch of little peppers in a CSA delivery and decided I wanted to make a take on pepper steak.  Never mind that I’m not sure I’ve ever had pepper steak in my life, that’s what the internet is for!  Although most pepper steak recipes are Chinese and that wasn’t what I wanted at all, so I made up what I consider an Americanized version of pepper steak, with tempeh instead of meat.

The flavors were really good, but the doneness of the veggies and tempeh was a little off, so I’m hopefully going to make this again tonight and get it right.  I really like this dish.

Not a WIP, but to go along with the pepper steak I made some soup from corn and squash that needed to be used up.

I cubed four pattypan squashes, simmered them in a thin layer of water just until tender, put half the squash and water in the food processor with half the kernels from three ears of corn and blended, added the mixture back in with the squash and remaining corn kernels, heated through and served with paprika, basil and green onions.  Simple and satisfying, it tasted like Summer.

I also received a whole bunch of zucchini in a recent CSA box, and for whatever reason I decided I wanted to bake it in a casserole, scalloped potato-style.

The flavor was fantastic, but the technique not so much.  Next time I can get my hands on a bunch of zucchini you can be sure I will attempt this again, because I think it will turn out really well!

To go along with the zucchini and use some pretty purple basil, I made a pressed basil-tomato-mozzarella sandwich.  The mozzarella is Follow Your Heart brand.

So yummy!  I’m really getting into summer produce lately.  Bring on the squash!

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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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Food Network Friday

First, my CSA delivery from two weeks ago.

Green stuff:  parsley, broccoli, leaf lettuce, pea shoots that went bad before I got to use them, and collards.

Red-stemmed stuff:  beets and chard.  To show how big the beets were:

As big as my fist!

Other stuff:  mushrooms, grapefruit, red onions, carrots, and tangelos.

I also went to the farmers market to supplement.

 Red and gold potatoes, yellow onions, grapes, fuji apples, garlic, asparagus, a sweet potato and a turnip.

I happened to make two Food Network recipes recently, so I thought I’d join Tami from Vegan Appetite’s Food Network Fridays.  She’s been veganizing a Food Network recipe and posting every Friday for a while now.  I could be considered a fan of Food Network;  I don’t love any of the shows in particular, but I love that it’s a network dedicated entirely to food.  Many a Saturday I’ll turn the tv on FN and just leave it on all day while I go about my business.  Even during the shows I don’t really like, which is how I came to make this first dish:  Sunny Anderson’s Pork-Stuffed Collards.  It was a dish she first had in Hawaii I think.  I just so happened to have a bunch of collards that needed using, so I decided to make it.  Thing was, the pork really was the main component of the dish.  My first thought was to replace it with tempeh, but the “meat” really needed to be able to hold itself together in a patty.  So I decided to use Gimme Lean Sausage, until they didn’t have it at the store and I bought the beef instead.

On the side I made a simple steamed root veggie soup from carrots, a sweet potato and a turnip.  I couldn’t decide how to season it, so I threw in a little of everything and the flavor ended up being confused.  Bay, sage and curry just don’t go together.  Don’t know what I was thinking!

Luckily I liked the Beef-Stuffed Collards much more than the soup.  Although the “beef” was really well spiced and the recipe was very easy to make, all together the meatiness was a little much for me.  I would’ve enjoyed it much more with the sausage.  If I make this again, which I may, I think I’ll try to make some sort of mixture with tofu or tempeh, veggies and bread crumbs and see if I can get it to hold together.

The next FN recipe I made, I actually searched for on foodnetwork.com:  Michael Chiarello’s Roasted Beet Salad with Bleu Cheese.  There were many roasted beet salads, but this one looked the best and allowed me to use up some of my tangelos.

So, the thing about great salads is that you use different flavors, textures, temperatures etc…The components of this salad somehow found a way to dull each other.  I couldn’t figure it out, because on their own the ingredients were all good – roasted beets, Sunergia soy bleu cheese (which I like a lot), baked tortilla strips that I subbed for the almonds called for, lettuce instead of spinach, and the tangelo reduction dressing which was the best part.  It had the texture of honey, which I thought was pretty neat.  Don’t get me wrong, it was a nice salad as salads go, but…I’ve come to expect a good salad to be a flavor explosion of sorts, and this one didn’t meet the mark.

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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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CSA Dinners

Another glorious CSA delivery, more glorious meals.

broccoli, collards, brussels sprouts, fennel, celery, baby bok choy & leaf lettuce

beets, a yellow onion, apples, oranges & radicchio

I was supposed to get romanesco, and I was really excited because I’ve never had it before, but they ran out and gave me broccoli instead.  Which is fine, because I like broccoli and I was going to use the romanesco to replace broccoli in a recipe anyway.

This is the Cheesy Broccoli & Rice Casserole from The Uncheese Cookbook.  It is super tasty and super easy to make.  You pretty much mix together five things in a casserole dish and stick it in the oven.  Although if you want to use brown rice instead of white you should precook it a bit first, which I kind of knew beforehand but tried to get away with it anyway.

I served the casserole with shredded raw beets over leaf lettuce.  The beets were dressed with orange juice, sesame oil, soy sauce and agave nectar.

I’m still not a huge fan of radicchio, but I’m finding I like it cooked and paired with something sweet.  I was happy to find this recipe for Sausages with Caramelized Red Onions & Radicchio.  I envisioned making it with homemade seitan sausages, but that just wasn’t in the cards for a weeknight meal.

I halved the recipe but followed it almost exactly, subbing Earth Balance for butter and Tofurkey Italian Sausages for sausage  I also added a bit of sesame parmesan.  This dish was very tasty, but the caramelized onions were so good and sweet that they overshadowed the other ingredients.  Which meant I couldn’t taste the radicchio, so I guess it was okay.

The sausages were served atop polenta with beet greens.  The polenta was jut okay.  It’s the first time I’ve made polenta not from a recipe, so hopefully I’ll be better at flavoring it next time.

I used the bok choy, as per usual, in a stirfry.  A fancy, tasty stirfry based on a recipe.  I loosely followed the Curried Udon Stirfry from Veganomicon, and the sauce totally made the stirfry.

I am definitely interested in making the recipe as is sometime.  I was nervous about the roux not working, but it worked perfectly.

Some friends moved into a new house a few weeks ago, and they are now lucky enough to have a lemon tree, flowers, herbs, and among other things, a kaffir lime bush.  With kaffir lime leaves!  They smelled so good that I felt the need to steal some and make green curry.  So I did.

I used this recipe from Food Network, subbing extra firm tofu for the chicken.  I added steamed broccoli, cauliflower & sweet potatoes, and just a bit of sugar toward the end of cooking.  And I couldn’t find Thai basil, so regular basil was a fine stand in.  It doesn’t look like a green curry, but the sauce is under there somewhere, I promise.  The only change I would make next time is to not add the extra 3/4 cup of liquid with the coconut milk, as the sauce wasn’t as thick as I would’ve liked.

And because a new CSA delivery came today, a clean-out-the-fridge stew for dinner tonight.

Ingredients:  onion, leek, carrot, celery, green pepper, jalapeno, garlic, bay leaf, liquid smoke, cooking wine, tomatoes, black eyed peas, lentils, collards and wild rice blend.  Perfect except that I added a wee bit too much liquid smoke.

I’m all caught up on posting!  Finally.  I may try to go back to more singular posts, as opposed to throwing five meals together in one.  Or I’ll get way behind again.  We shall see.

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Good News, Bad News & Laptop Lunches

The good news is that I’m back to work and back to making laptop lunches every day.  The bad news is that my camera died and I had to take pictures of my lunches on my cellphone and I thought it was going to be a while before I got another camera.  The good news is that I got a new camera yesterday, a digital Fujifilm with a good feel and lots of nice features.  Hooray for spending more money I don’t have!

Here are the lunches I took last week, courtesy of my cell phone.

uncheese and crackers leftover from Halloween, spinach salad with apple,
red onion & balsamic vinaigrette, pumpkin cookie

veggie stirfry, wheat spaghetti, cashews for the stirfry, gherkins, grapes

chickpea-uncheese spread, wheat crackers, lettuce, broccoli, red peppers, goddess dressing, grapes

The chickpea-uncheese spread was an idea I had to use up some of the uncheese scraps, kind of like a chickpea no-tuna salad.  I thought it might go horribly wrong, but it was worth a try.  I mashed chickpeas and uncheese together and added dijon mustard and minced celery and red onion.  It wasn’t anything worth raving about, but it was good!  I’m glad I didn’t let all the leftover uncheese go to waste.  Here’s how I served it for dinner.

There are crackers under the lettuce.  I liked this presentation a lot, it was like a nice little bite you’d get for an appetizer at a party.

More good news:  I checked out the other farmers market in San Leandro, the one that purportedly goes year round.  I wasn’t expecting much from a farmers market held in a mall parking lot, but I was so pleasantly surprised!  There was practically every kind of fruit and vegetable you could want, even some things I didn’t recognize.  I think the Saturday farmers market is even better than the Wednesday one that closed down already.  More parking, more vendors, and Saturday is much better for me than the middle of the week.  I got all this for under $18!

Veggies:  zucchini, yams, fingerling potatoes, cauliflower, lettuce, small butternut squash, leeks (huge!), cucumbers, an eggplant, and a daikon radish on the bottom left.  I thought it was a parsnip at first, but I don’t think I’ve ever had a daikon so it suits me just fine.

Fruit:  strawberries, navel oranges, and kiwis!!!!!  These kiwis were the real find.  As much as I love kiwis, I’ve been avoiding buying them in stores since they’re always shipped from New Zealand or somewhere equally far away.  I didn’t even know kiwis grew in California!  Awesome.  I’ll probably try to go back in the next few weeks and stock up so I can freeze a bunch.  I love kiwis in smoothies.

Even with all this amazing produce on hand, I was feeling completely lazy and not up to cooking last night.  In the afternoon I went to going-out-of-business sales at Mervyn’s and Circuit City to hopefully scope out some deals.  These sales are crowded and draining and never as cool as you hope for.  The only thing I bought was my new camera, which is turning out to be great.  By dinner time I was pooped, and embarrassing as it may be, I ordered pizza delivery.

It’s from a local chain called Mountain Mike’s.  It’s so nice to be able to order a pizza and have it delivered sometimes!

And, to prove that I don’t always drink schwag, I decided to take a picture of this tasty beer a la my friend Tom at One Brew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, a fellow recent FL to CA mover.  Although looking now he seems to have stopped doing the whole beer-bottle-next-to-beer-in-a-glass thing.  Tom, are you taking pictures on the floor?  It’s cool.  I take pictures on the floor too.

I have a thing for seasonal beers.  I love summer ales in the summer and winter ales in the winter.  They’re just so…appropriate.  The Pyramid Snow Cap is a great beer.  It’s got the hoppiness of an ale, with plenty of malt to balance.  It’s darker like a stout but still with the characteristics of an ale.  It has good flavor without being overwhelming.  I like to talk about beer like I know what I’m saying.  The bottom line is, try the Snow Cap winter ale!  Or anything else from Pyramid, which is headquartered in Berkeley.  The Apricot Ale is particularly good too.

I may do an occasional beer review, depending.  This will probably be the only non-cheap beer I’ll drink for a while anyway.

I have plans for my farmers market goods which I will hopefully carry out in the next few days.  I will report back.  Everyone have a great Veteran’s Day!  I have Tuesday off.  Yes.

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VeganMoFo: Sticking With The Plan

It’s been four days since I started focusing more on eating healthily, and I think I’m doing…okay.  I did really well Friday, including doing a 45 minute pilates video.  Saturday I only walked for 25 minutes or so, and ate pretty well except for some bbq chips.  Weekend are always hard for me, we usually have people over and barbeque and hang out, and there’s usually a bag of chips out.  In comparison with Sunday though, Saturday was great.  We went to a sports bar to watch the Raiders game at 1, so I found myself stuck and hungry, and the only thing there that I could eat was french fries.  So that was my lunch.  And dinner ended up being blue corn chips with salsa, and a whole wheat hamburger bun by itself.  I don’t think I ate too much necessarily, but the quality of food was pretty bad.  But it happens, and I’m back on track today.

As an aide for the plan, I spent some time compiling a list of recipes that either fall within my guidelines or can be adjusted to.  I’m posting them below mostly for my reference, but also as a tool for anyone else who might be looking for the same kinds of recipes.  I started in on the list over the weekend.

A few weeks ago Megetarianmade the VegNews Mac ‘n’ Cheese, and upon searching just now I see that Jessy just tried it too.  For anyone who hasn’t seen the recipe, you can find it here.  The sauce is made from blended potato, carrot and shallot.  I knew it was going to be plenty good, but had a hard time refraining from throwing a bunch of nutritional yeast in it.  I did make a few changes – I used brown rice veggie spirals pasta (in the attempt to vary my grains), and instead of blending margarine with the breadcrumb topping, I left the breadcrumbs plain then sprayed on some olive oil when the dish was assembled.  Oh, and I added steamed broccoli.

The texture was right on, but if I make it again I will definitely add nutritional yeast and maybe another thing or two to pump up the “cheesy” factor.  As is it seems like more of a saucy casserole than a mac ‘n’ cheese.  The recipe says it makes six servings which is probably a good size for a side dish.  It definitely only made four full-meal servings for us.

For grilling Saturday night I made Jerk-Spiced Portobello Steaks from Vegan Planet.  I wasn’t sure how well the rub technique would work.  I was worried the spice mix wouldn’t really stick, but it definitely stuck well enough.  These “steaks” were sweet, spicy, mushroomy, and downright great.  Served on a whole wheat bun with lettuce and grilled peppers – red, green and jalapeno.

We bought a whole bag of potatoes, so Sunday morning I tried my hand at hash browns.  Hash browns are hard to do right.  I think maybe I’m afraid to use as much oil as good hash browns would require.  They didn’t look very nice at all, but they tasted good enough.

And now, the longest list of mostly healthy vegan recipes anyone could ever need, in no particular order.

Squash Spice Bread – VT (Vegetarian Times) Oct 07 pg 82
Sunset Sweet Potato Biscuits – VT Oct 07 pg 66
GF Tempeh Stroganoff – VT Oct 07 pg 78
Vegan Moussaka – VT Nov/Dec 07 pg 64
Eastern European Red Lentil Soup – VT Nov/Dec 07 pg 81
Slow Cooker Vegetable Vindaloo – VT Nov/Dec 07 pg 37
Banana Buckwheat Pancakes – VT Jan 07 pg 77
Seitan Meatballs with Winter Tomato Sauce – VT Jan 07 pg 74
Oven Baked Wild Rice Pilaf with Mushrooms – VT Nov/Dec 06 pg 35
Three Sisters Casserole – VT Nov/Dec 06 pg 61
Spicy Tofu Bento Bowl – VT Nov/Dec 06 pg 84
Crispy Breakfast Bars – VT Oct 05 pg 77
Corn & Quinoa Chowder – VT Nov/Dec 05 pg 28
Marinated Kale & Cabbage Salad – VN (VegNews) Jan/Feb 08 pg 58
Creamy Golden Potato-Squash Soup – VN Nov/Dec 06 pg 67
Cheddary Cheese Soup – VV (Vegan Vittles) pg 83
Chickpeas A La King – VV pg 119
Not Your Mama’s Meatloaf – VV pg 126
Unrolled Cabbage Rolls – VV pg 127
Miso Soup with Edamame – YRR (Yellow Rose Recipes) pg 48
Cajun Spiced Tofu – YRR pg 158
Hot & Sour Soup – LDV (La Dolce Vegan) pg 104
Beauty & the Beet Borscht – LDV pg 116
“Chicken” & Rice Soup for the Soul – LDV pg 121
Winter Vegetable Bisque – VP (Vegan Planet) pg 85
Savory Amaranth Porridge – VP pg 221
Adzuki Beans & Winter Squash Saute – VP pg 277
White Bean Cassoulet – VP pg 290
Tofu Vindaloo – VP pg 312
The Ultimate Veggie Burgers – VP pg 462
Indian Split Pea & Vegetable Cake – VV (Versatile Vegetarian) pg 46
Sweet-and-Sour Cabbage with Peanuts – VV pg 46
Thai Salad with Tofu – VV pg 97
Falafel Sandwiches – VV pg 112
Chili sin Carne al Mole – VWAV (Vegan with a Vengeance) pg 68
Black Bean, Mushroom & Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers – VWAV pg 83
Black-Eyed Pea & Quinoa Croquettes with Mushroom Sauce – VWAV pg 88
Chickpea Broccoli Casserole – VWAV pg 96
Orange-Glazed Beets – VWAV pg 117
Ethiopian Seitan & Peppers – VWAV pg 167
Chickpea Mash Stew – EV (The Everyday Vegan) pg 84
Spicy Thai Stew – EV pg 88
Mushroom Pecan Burgers – EV pg 114
Creamy Potato Leek Bake – EV pg 124
Baked Herbed Spaghetti Squash – EV pg 146
Apple Swirl Loaf – EV pg 163
Cinnamon Cornmeal Muffins – EV pg 166
Simple Whole Wheat Pancakes – PP (The Peaceful Palate) pg 22
Oatmeal Waffles – PP pg 25
Antipasto Salad – PP pg 60
Green Velvet Soup – PP pg 72
Winter Squash & Hominy Stew – PP pg 83
Pilau – PP pg 97
Chinese Bulgur – PP pg 101
Pasta Primavera – PP pg 108
Cabbage Rolls – PP pg 123
Mjeddrah – PP pg 124
Tofu Croquettes – PP pg 126
Neat Loaf – PP pg 128
Yellow Split Pea Dal – PP pg 131
Samosa Stuffed Baked Potatoes – VCON (Veganomicon) pg 60
Creole Stuffed Peppers – VCON pg 61
Lower-Fat Cauliflower Hummus – VCON pg 68
Snobby Joes – VCON pg 98
Chickpea-Quinoa Pilaf – VCON pg 115
Mexican Millet – VCON pg 118
Mediterranean-Style Baked Lima Beans – VCON pg 121
Seitan Cutlets – VCON pg 132
Double Pea Soup with Roasted Red Peppers – VCON pg 140
Baked Potato & Greens Soup – VCON pg 146
Tempeh Shepherdess Pie – VCON p 167
Spaghetti Squash Mexicana with Tropical Avocado Salsa Fresca – VCON pg 178
Braised Seitan with Brussels, Kale & Sun-Dried Tomatoes, VCON pg 182
Pumpkin Saag – VCON pg 184
Spaghetti & Beanballs – VCON pg 189
Almond-Quinoa Muffins – VCON pg 227
Applesauce-Oat Bran Muffins – VCON pg 229

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Cleaning Out My Kitchen

As previously mentioned, I am moving across the country in three weeks (ACK!!!).  In the name of not wasting food and saving money, I am going to try to eat as much of the food in my freezer and pantry as possible before I leave.  I knew I had quite a bit stockpiled, but going through my freezer is always a fun adventure.

I started the clean-out game last week with this meal, mini bowtie pasta with cheesy sauce, sauteed seitan beer brats, zucchini and red pepper, caramelized onions, paprika and roasted brussels sprouts .

pantry:  pasta, paprika
freezer:  beer brat, cheesy sauce
leftover from another meal:  zucchini, half an onion
bought:  red pepper, brussels sprouts

Last night for dinner I made a similar sort of concoction – rice, mushrooms, peas and tofurkey kielbasa with cheesy sauce, savory carrot salad.

pantry:  rice, salad dressing ingredients
freezer:  cheesy sauce, peas
leftover from fourth of july:  kielbasa, mushrooms
from the fridge:  carrots

Want to play the clean-out game with me?  Here’s the list of what I have to work with.

freezer:

one portion tamale pie
veggie broth
two seitan beer brats
pecans
alphabet soup
chocolate wafer cookies
veggie burgers
chickpea cutlets
chick’n strips
2 bags marinara
white bread
wheat bread
ww hamburger buns
seeded burger buns
ww hotdog buns
ww rolls
biscuits
english muffins
mini bagels
pie crust
blueberry waffles
strawberry jalapeno corn muffins
blueberry muffins
gf orange poppyseed mini muffins
mini bran muffins
oatmeal raisin cookies
choco-choco chip-walnut cookies
bit of broccoli
peas
lima beans
shelled & unshelled edamame
corn
mixed berries
bananas
onion rings
salsa

pantry:

can split pea soup
can corn
can rogan josh curry sauce
can chickpeas
cellophane noodles
1/2 c quinoa
shake n’ bake
ww orzo
4 ww lasagna noodles
spelt spaghetti
potato buds
panko
bulgur

I can figure out what to do with the cookies, muffins and soup (eat them!), any ideas for using the rest?  The breads in the freezer will make at least three pounds of bread crumbs.  Some ideas I have are:

chickpea cutlet parmesan (chickpea cutlets, marinara, pasta, shake n’ bake?)
falafel and tabouleh (chickpeas and bulgur)
succotash (lima beans and corn)

I don’t think realistically I can eat all this stuff in three weeks, but I’m gonna try!

Unrelated cute picture:  It rained a lot here yesterday; I got soaked walking home from the bus stop.  There is a pond in the courtyard of my apartment complex that is apparently full of frogs, and when it storms they go NUTS!  They were so loud that I had a hard time sleeping last night.  When I went in the hallway to take out the trash this little guy was glued to the wall.

I’m not sure how he found his way up to the second floor, and if I were a less squeamish person I might’ve returned him to the ground.  Here’s hoping froggy found his way home.

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Vegan Cottage Cheez

I’ve been wanting to try a tofu cottage cheese for a while, so for dinner tonight I had some things that will go well in my lunchbox tomorrow.  Cottage cheese seems more like a lunch-y or breakfast-y thing to me.

I made the Creamy Cottage Cheez from the Uncheese Cookbook, subbing plain soy yogurt for the mayonnaise to bring the fat content down.  I also made my Savory Carrot Salad with the last few carrots and some squash and zucchini that were in the fridge.  Throw in some gluten-free crackers, half a pear and a salad with Annie’s Woodstock dressing and you’ve got a nice little TV dinner.

cottage cheez

Verdict:  Like most vegan stand ins, you’re not going to fool anyone into thinking this is real cottage cheese.  The texture is right on, but the flavor is all soy, which is okay with me.  It filled the hole in my heart left by the cheese with the oddest texture.

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