Posts Tagged grilling

Massive Post of Catch-Upedness

I wanted to get a post up two Fridays ago before I left for Florida, but that did not happen.  Then when I got back it did not happen.  So I feel way behind, and to remedy this situation I’m gonna throw a whole bunch of stuff together right here.  I went to Florida to attend a wedding and visit family and friends.  I was in total vacation mode and didn’t take very many pictures, but those that I did will get their own post soon.

A few weekends ago some vegan friends and I headed up through the Berkeley hills to have a picnic and check out the Lawrence Hall of Science.  Unfortunately, it had rained off and on all weekend and there was nary a dry picnic spot to be found.  So, we did what any sensible people would do and picnicked in my car.

I brought caramelized leek hummus…

…and veggies for dipping.

Becca & Steve brought a sandwich spread, recipe from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan but I don’t know what it’s called.  It had avocado and tomato and tempeh and it was smoky and good.  Becca also made potato salad with Bacos.  Yummy!

I brought gluten-free strawberry shortcake, but was so eager to eat it during the car picnic that I forgot to take a picture.  So here’s a picture of my serving again after dinner that night, and a recipe!  (I sliced the berries here, but am changing the recipe to call for quartering them cause I thought the slices didn’t hold their texture well enough.)  I’m not gonna lie and tell you that you wouldn’t know they’re gluten free, but I think they hold together relatively well and have a nice texture.  I sadly didn’t have any vegan whipped cream to put on top!

Gluten-Free Strawberry Shortcake

To make the recipe non-gluten-free just substitute 1 3/4 all-purpose flour for the g-f baking mix, brown rice flour and xantham gum.  The lemon zest, rosemary and black pepper can be optional if you don’t want those flavors in your dessert, but I think they give it a special something.

1 lb strawberries (2 pints)
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c balsamic vinegar

1 c gluten-free baking mix
3/4 c brown rice flour
3/4 tsp xantham gum
2 Tbs sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 c shortening
6 Tbs soy creamer
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1 Tbs fresh rosemary
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Hull and quarter the strawberries. Place in a bowl and add sugar and balsamic vinegar. Stir gently to combine, cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400F. Place the g-f baking mix, brown rice flour, xantham gum, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl and mix. Cut the shortening into pieces and add to the flour mixture. Cut the shortening into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the soy creamer, lemon juice, lemon zest, rosemary and black pepper and stir just until combined.

Turn the dough out onto a surface lightly floured with the g-f baking mix. Using floured hands, knead the dough gently about 10 times. Pat the dough out to a 1/2-inch thickness. Use a floured round cookie cutter or drinking glass to cut out rounds. Transfer the rounds to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Pat out any remaining dough and repeat. Bake the shortcakes for 15-18 minutes or until they start to turn golden brown.

To serve, gently split each shortcake with your fingers or a fork. Spoon some strawberries onto the bottom, replace the top, and top with more strawberries. Spoon extra juice over the shortcake. Serve with vegan whipped cream.

Serves 6.

For dinner that night we grilled.

I tried the new tempehtations from Lightlife, classic bbq flavor.  I was a little wary of eating them plain, but I was pleasantly surprised.  Very tasty!  I’m not sure I’ll be buying them very often because they’re a bit pricey, but if you’re into tasty convenience food then I would definitely recommend them.

Alongside the tempeh are your regular ol’ mushrooms and asparagus, and in the back is…

…an avocado-ranch twice baked potato.  The avocado makes the filling super-creamy without adding any other fats or faux dairy.  BF said the filling was too creamy, but to that I say “whatevs”.  This was a recipe for a contest, so if I don’t get a positive response I will definitely pass it on.

We went to a San Francisco Giants baseball game on Sunday and got to tailgate across the bay!  I made a grain and veggie salad that nobody else seemed too excited about, but that just meant more leftovers for me.

This one had whole wheat orzo, TJ’s harvest grain blend, red bell pepper, cucumber, corn, shredded carrot, fresh dill, rosemary and a dressing of vegennaise, lemon juice and sugar.  I think that was it.  I meant to add a shallot and toasted pine nuts and totally forgot, but it turned out nice without.

We went with skewers again for the main event.  Mine had peppers, onions, zucchini, marinated mushrooms and Tofurkey Italian sausage pieces.

This was my dinner last night:  roasted potato and fava bean salad with miso-mustard dressing.  In the front are sauteed Chinese broccoli and carrots.  This was really good, but it could use a few tweaks before I write up the recipe.  I love fresh fava beans!

And now, some laptop lunches.

4-24 roasted sweet potatoes, chana palak masala, whole wheat orzo, kiwi

4-28 waffles, tofu scramble, veggie sausage patty, maple syrup, fruit salad

4-29 carrots, gherkins, cinnamon-raisin toast, tofu scramble, strawberries

4-30 grit cake, succotash, mango-habanero sauce, pickles,
blueberries, sour gummies

5-1 spaghetti casserole, lettuce, corn, radish & carrot, goddess dressing, prunes, dried apricots & dark mint chocolate

5-4 avocado-ranch twice baked potato, grilled mushrooms & asparagus, bbq tempeh, g-f shortcake with strawberry-balsamic juice in the small container

5-7 pizza with red pepper flakes, dill pickle cashews, orange wedges

5-8 roasted zucchini & carrots with dill, soy nuggets with bbq sauce, chex, sauteed chard, sweet potato-pecan-chocolate chip muffin, prunes

That’s it for tonight!  Coming up will be recipes for my salad stirfry and chard risotto, and how-I-gained-5-pounds-during-6-days-in-Florida.

Comments (12)

Spring Grillin’

First, since I haven’t had a chance to post my latest CSA deliveries I’m just gonna do it now.  Three weeks ago:

salad greens, collards, rainbow chard, green garlic and asparagus

apples, navel oranges, radishes, strawberries, kiwi and sweet potatoes

And last week:

zucchinis, green chard, parsley, the world’s largest leek, lettuce

more apples, oranges, strawberries and radishes, teensy carrots and Meyer lemons

Now, spring is a great time for grilling. We all know this.   Summer as well.  Really, we grill year round, but I love grilling much more when the sun is out!  This was my first grilled meal after it turned officially Spring.

It was spur of the moment, and mostly from what we had at the house already – half a Tofurkey sausage, potatoes and a salad with grilled mushrooms, soy bleu cheese and balsamic reduction.  A fairly basic meal, but I wanted to share the method for the potatoes, which our friend Tom first introduced to us.  You pre-cook the potatoes, either by boiling them whole then slicing, or slicing then boiling.  The trick is to keep the slices fairly thick and cook them through, but not so much that they can’t stand up to the grill.  Once they’re boiled and drained, oil and season one side.  I think this time we only used kosher salt, black pepper and paprika, but you could go wild.  I think the paprika is key though, paprika makes everything better.  Grill the seasoned side over hot coals until it begins to char a bit (a little burning is good in this case, I think) and while the first side is cooking, oil and season the other side.  Flip, cook, eat.  Very good.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it here yet, but baseball season started and we’ve got season tickets for the A’s, so we’ve been going to lots of baseball games.  And when those games fall on Saturdays, we tailgate!

Tailgate number one:  veggie dogs, grilled asparagus and coleslaw with radish and carrots.  We kept it simple for this one, since it was opening weekend and lots of friends came to join us.  The coleslaw dressing was just Vegennaise, apple cider vinegar, sugar and seasonings.

For tailgate number two we made kebabs!  In the past bf has been opposed to kebabs because they’re a little more work to put together, but we liked that they were a deviation from the normal burgers and dogs.  Above are my smoked tofu/pepper/onion/marinated mushroom kebabs, pre-cooking.  Yes, all of those just for me.

We didn’t bring anything to go with the kebabs, but the aforementioned Tom, who is apparently the potato master, brought these amazing garlicky parsley-y potatoes.  At Giants games and A’s games you can buy Gilroy Garlic Fries (Gilroy being renowned for garlic), and these were Tom’s version for grilling.  Did I mention they were amazing?

While we were grilling, this car pulled up across the aisle.

Awesomest baseball car ever!

(By the by, on a search for veggie food at the Oakland Coliseum I found veggie dogs!  They were $2.50 each if I recall correctly, which by stadium prices isn’t too bad.  They also weren’t more expensive than non-veggie dogs, which I appreciated.  I couldn’t tell you which stand they’re at specifically, but there’s something called the food court or food row or something, and it’s in there.  I had to walk almost halfway around the stadium from our seats in the outfield bleachers.  I plan on taking food with me from now on, but it’s nice to know that in a pinch there are vegan options.)

On the weekends we also like to drink a tasty beer now and then, and I wanted to tell you about this one.

This is Dale’s Pale Ale by Oskar Blues, and it comes in a can.  Don’t let this fool you though.  Just pour it in a pint glass and pretend it wasn’t in a can, cause this is one fine pale ale, if you into that sort of thing.

I leave you with Jake, trying to pretend he’s not interested in the fact that I’m sitting on the kitchen floor.

Comments (16)

Weeknight Meals, Laptop Lunches & A Meme

I never thought I’d be the type of person who got home from work in the evening and made whatever would get in my belly the fastest for dinner, but that has been my situation lately.  Right now we leave for work at 7:20AM and usually get home around 6:15-6:30PM.  During the day I get it in my head that I’m going to get home, exercise, make a nice dinner, do some chores or poke around on the internet and still maybe have time to watch tv or read before going to bed at 10.  Right.  What happens lately is that I cook up whatever is quick and satisfying and try to check a thing or two off my to do list, and before I know it the night has gone by.  Hopefully in a few months bf and I will be able to align our work schedules and I’ll gain another thirty minutes to an hour which will ease things a bit, but for now it’s all about fast, effective dinners.

Here’s one from last week:  grilled eggplant and zucchini on whole wheat flatbread with hummus, pickles, lettuce and tomato.  The eggplant and zucchini were from the farmers market, and the tomato from my backyard, where the tomato plant is STILL producing new tomatoes.  In November!  This is before I piled on the lettuce.

Rolled up, with cucumbers and tahini dip.

Tuesday night I was planning on a simple stir-fry with leftover veggies and frozen-then-thawed tofu, then while perusing The PPK I saw this post on dry frying tofu with a link to these instructions and became very intrigued.  I also decided I wanted a “real” sauce with my tofu instead of just a plain stir-fry, so I found this recipeon Vegweb and modified it a bit.  I was going to post the recipe because it turned out really good, but I’m not at home right now so I don’t have it.  Will post it next time!

Here’s the dry-fried tofu.  It took just about forever to do because I was using my wok which doesn’t have much flat space so I had to fry the tofu in three batches.  With a griddle or wider pan it would go much quicker.  I really liked the texture of this tofu and will definitely be preparing it this way again.  I also liked that I didn’t have to use any oil!

This orange tofu & broccoli was incredibly good, even served with overcooked, mushy instant brown rice.  The sauce has a very intense flavor, with lots of acidic quality, but it tastes great if you can get past that.  I was kind of afraid my stomach was going to get upset afterwards, but on the contrary:  I got the happy tummy, bigtime.  You know how sometimes you eat and you’re still hungry or unsatisfied, and sometimes you eat and it was a bit too much and you don’t feel so well, but sometimes you eat and it’s just perfect and your tummy is sooooo happy.  That’s what this dish does.

Wednesday night I got home with no exact dinner plan and went straight for comfort.  Organic veggie soup from a can and a grilled cheese with pickles and tomato on whole wheat.  Hot, crunchy, slurpy and good.  And I tell you, pickles on grilled cheese is the way to go.

And here’s my Thursday dinner made from what I could find in the house.  Whole wheat spaghetti with broccoli, garlic and some tempeh sausage crumbles that were hiding in the freezer.  It would’ve been better with pine nuts and almond parmesan, but I’m still working on fully stocking my kitchen.

It doesn’t look nearly as nice as I had thought it would, but it did the trick.  And, because I couldn’t decide which picture I liked better:

I think tomorrow when I get back home I might come up with a food plan for the week and get my grocery shopping done.  I was reading yesterday that Jessy from happyveganface plans all her meals for the week ahead of time and I think that’s adorable.

I only took three laptop lunches this week.  Thursday I was in a mega hurry and grabbed some instant pad thai and a salad, and Friday my office held a Thanksgiving potluck for our students which was really interesting because most of them are from other countries and didn’t really get the whole pot luck concept.

11-17 beanie weenies, veggies, homemade ranch, dried apricots

11-18 veggie dogs w/ ketchup & mustard, pasta salad, veggies, dried cherries

11-19 orange tofu & broccoli, brown rice w/ extra sauce, cauliflower, kiwi & blueberries

Last week Miss Bianca of Vegan Crunk tagged me for a meme, and now is the time.

  1. Link the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
  2. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself.
  3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links.
  4. Let each person know that they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1.  I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before on this here blog, but I’m a musician.  I started taking piano lessons when I was five, played flute in middle school band, picked up trumpet in ninth grade, and was a total high school band nerd.  During my third semester in college I switched majors from civil engineering to music (smooth move) and hold a BM.  Seriously, it’s a Bachelors of Music.  I have a BM.  I’ve played trumpet, guitar and sang in ska punk bands, fronted a pop-punk band and switched off on bass and drums in an all girl punk band.  I sang harmony and played trumpet and flute on a couple recordings for local bands when I was in Gainesville, including one release that came out on Epitaph.  I’m kind of a big deal.

2.  I’ve been afraid of sharks for almost as long as I can remember.  I know when I was a little kid I liked the beach and swimming in pools, but somewhere along the way I became terrified of sharks and ocean creatures in general.  I think it came about because there was a science museum my summer camp visited, and there was a stuffed hammerhead shark hanging above the staircase that you had to walk up to get to the exhibits.  I didn’t want to walk under it.  I also think this brought about my phobia of taxidermied animals.  I can’t go to natural history museums.  I don’t much like being around mounted deer heads and things of that nature, but I REALLY can’t do whole big animals like bears or panthers.  At one of the Smithsonian museums in Washington D.C. there is a taxidermied elephant in the lobby and it’s kind of my worst nightmare.  Although, in recent years I have been facing my fears and getting better about it.  I’ve gone to a few aquariums and planted myself in front of the shark tanks, and I went to that museum in D.C. and looked at the elephant from the second floor.  I still couldn’t stand right next to it though.

3.  Although it’s not another phobia, I can be very uncomfortable around certain large things.  Like cruise ships for instance.  I don’t mind being on one, but standing next to one in a harbor can get to me.  Airplanes too.  Dinosaur skeletons also freak me way out, but I’m not sure whether they fall under this category or the dead animal fear.

4.  I was kind of obsessed with Alice in Wonderland for a while.  I collected all sorts of memorabilia and books, whatever I could get my hands on.  I had a large collection for a while, and sold it all off a few years ago for the money.  I still have the pictures and the memories though.  If you’ve never actually read Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass”, do so.  They’re fascinating.

5.  I don’t like olives or licorice.  Disgusting.  Or Jagermeister.  Barf.  Those are pretty much the only flavors I can’t stomach.  I’m coming around on olives, but only if they’re mixed in with other complimentary flavors.

6.  There are a few tv shows of which I refuse to miss an episode:  Top Chef, The Office, Project Runway and The Biggest Loser.  We just got DVR so it’s making my life much easier in this respect.  Other current shows I really like are What Not To Wear, Law & Order (SVU or Criminal Intent – love Vincent D’Onofrio), and Top Design.  I like reruns of Gilmore Girls, King of Queens, Frasier, Full House, Golden Girls, Friends, Seinfeld and Family Guy.  These things comprise most of the tv I watch other than sports.  I know way more about Full House than any person should.

7.  I don’t do scary.  Can’t watch scary movies, especially if it’s about supernatural things like ghosts or monsters.  Real life scary I can sometimes do, such as murder mysteries or thrillers.  Thing is, watching these kinds of movies I get too worked up and my heart beats to fast and I end up with a headache and generally I just don’t enjoy the feeling of being scared like most people do.  I kind of like true crime books though.  I’ve read Helter Skelter and Danny Rolling’s biography and while they were intensely interesting, they scared the living crap out of me.  I thought Charles Manson was hiding in my apartment every day I came home from school during the time I read Helter Skelter.

Huh, that was a lot easier than I thought it would be!  Guess I’m a fairly interesting person.  I tag anyone who hasn’t done this yet and wants to, or better yet, tell me something random or weird about yourself in a comment!

Comments (11)

Another Saturday & Laptop Lunches

Another weekend, another excuse to invite everyone to our house for football and the fight.  I’m exhausted, so I’m gonna keep this one as short as possible.

Our guests included two vegan friends (yay!) so I made sure to offer plenty.

Veggie tray with homemade ranch.

Fiesta Macaroni (except not) Bean Salad, one of my favorites from La Dolce Vegan.  This was vegan AND gluten-free and nobody suspected a thing.

Cheater Baked Beans from VCON.  I like to add a bit of sugar, hot sauce and liquid smoke or worcestershire.

All of these dishes were a little routine since I wanted them to be “omni-friendly”, but here was the real winner:  Ricki’s Portobello Steaks.  I grilled the mushrooms after marinating, sauteed some sliced red onion, added the remaining marinade and thickened with cornstarch because I’m impatient.  While the reduced marinade was strongly flavored, it was delicious and I’m glad I took the extra step.

These mushrooms were huge!

Here’s my plate, with some sauce on the mushroom.

I was going to make butterscotch blondies for dessert but I ran out of time, so instead I give you two bonuses…beer and cat.

Here we have Stone Vertical Epic Ale, Anchor 2008 Christmas Ale and Piraat Ale.  The Stone and the Piraat were belgians, and while they were good I don’t remember any specifics other than their high alcohol content.  Belgians aren’t really my thing.  The Anchor was really good.  I highly recommend it, especially since it’s seasonal and you won’t be able to get it for very long.  I mean, look at the bottle!  It was so pretty that I felt bad opening it.

Here’s a shot of Mr. Jake on Saturday in a sun spot.  I thought the shadows of the blinds and his stripes made a really nice pattern.  And he actually stayed still long enough for me to get a good number of shots!

On to last week’s Laptop Lunches.

11-10 pizza & salad w/ carrot, celery & goddess dressing

Tuesday was a holiday!


11-12 cauliflower-millet mash, roasted fall veggies, celery sticks & almond butter, grapes

I took this lunch Thursday but we ended up going out, so I ate it Friday.


11-14 wheat wrap w/ hummus, grilled eggplant & zucchini, lettuce,
tomato & pickle, cucumbers w/ tahini dip, kiwi

That’s it for last week, and it for now.  Bianca from Vegan Crunk tagged me for a meme that I was going to do tonight, but for whatever reason I’m too tired to think about anything, much less seven whole interesting things about myself.

Comments (20)

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

Comments (15)

Decadent Breakfasts & Laptop Lunches

I woke up Saturday morning feeling as one feels the morning after one’s friends have come into town and bought one shots.  On a scale of 0 = no hangover to 10 = the worst one I’ve ever had, I was somewhere around a 3, which is really not so bad.  Anywho, the very first thing I thought when I woke up was that I wanted a “decadent” breakfast.  Decadent is not a word I use, nor an adjective I wish to describe my life (which it certainly does not), but apparently it was a breakfast I wanted.  So I made Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Oat Bran.  BF was borrowing my camera to craigslist some furniture, so you get a cell phone shot that is unworthy of the true deliciousness.

I like to plop pb on my oat bran right when it’s done cooking, that way when you stir it in it melts a little.  Some bites are more pb than anything else, and obviously, those are the best bites.  I left the banana chunky and used crunchy pb in this cause I like the texture, but mashed banana and smooth pb would be really good too.  This decadent breakfast is actually really good for you!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Oat Bran

1/4 c oat bran
1/2 c rice/almond/soy milk
1/4 c water
banana, chopped
handful chocolate chips
pinch of salt
1-2 Tbs peanut butter

1.  Combine oatbran, milk and water in a microwaveable bowl.  Microwave 1 minute.
2.  Stir in the banana, reserving some for garnish.  Microwave another minute.
3.  Stir in the chocolate chips and salt; microwave another minute.
4.  Stir again, and if a thicker consistency is desired microwave one more minute.
5.  Put the pb on top, and garnish with banana and extra chocolate chips.  Stir before eating.

Sunday morning I woke up with a hearty hunger.  I had been contemplating biscuits and gravy since I had biscuits to use up in the freezer.  I also though I had half a package of Morningstar chick’n strips, so I was thinking white peppery chick’n gravy.  Turns out they were steak strips, and so I made steak gravy.

It doesn’t make for the prettiest picture, but the gravy was so good!  I used the Easy Gravy recipe from Hot Damn & Hell Yeah as a reference.  I subbed rice milk for some of the water, added a dash of vegan Worcestershire sauce, used copious amounts of salt and black pepper, and threw in chopped “steak” at the end.  My singular complaint is that it took FOREVER for the gravy to cook down.  Like, over an hour.  Maybe my roux wasn’t as roux-ish as it was supposed to be, I’m no roux expert.  Even with the wait, this meal was well worth it, especially to use up more bits from the freezer.

I’m starting to freak out a bit about moving.  NEXT WEEK.  Until now it was some thing in the future that I had plenty of time to plan for.  Now it’s next week.  I had a really hard time falling asleep last night.  Partly because we watched the third Lord Of The Rings movie (which was really awesome, but far too action packed for just-before-bedtime), and partly because my mind started obsessing over all the stuff that’s still in my apartment that I can’t take with me.  It’s okay though, there are some people coming by tonight to hopefully by furniture, and I’ve set Friday as the date to cart off all the smaller stuff to Salvation Army.  Until I move it will continue to be simple eats for me, such as dinner from Saturday night.

There was a free preview of some MLB package going on, so we watched baseball all day and grilled lunch and dinner.  Lunch was an uneventful veggie burger.  Dinner was a prepackaged herbed tofu steak with mushrooms, grilled asparagus, a hedgehog potato (stuffed with minced garlic, salt and pepper – first saw the idea here), and grilled zucchini with red onion leftover from lunch.  The grilling gods were not smiling upon us, I think it took over two hours to complete this meal.  So I guess it wasn’t really that simple.  It was mostly due to the Publix Greenwise charcoal we tried to use – It would blaze for 15 minutes or so, then completely die.  We had to finish the potatoes in the oven.

Since there’s been so much on my mind I haven’t been keeping up with laptop lunches.  I still take a lunch every day, but more often I have been throwing stuff in tupperware instead of taking the time to arrange it.  Here are a few from last week.

7-15  chickpea cutlet & tomato parmesan, cherry tomatoes, spaghetti marinara w/
almond parmesan, roasted green beans, peach slices, blackberries

7-16  lima & edamame succotash, onion rings, ketchup, fig bar, blueberry muffin

7-17  bulgur pilaf, cucumber tomato salad, spaghetti marinara w/
almond parmesan, gherkins, dried apples & pineapple

Comments (28)

Fourth of July

Yeah, it’s the ninth of July and I’m posting about the fourth.  That’s how things are going right now.  Applying for jobs, planning the move, getting rid of my stuff and living as cheaply as possible are consuming my mind and there’s not room for much else!  Now I understand when people say “I don’t have time to cook”.

I have an admission to make:  Every fourth of July I get the urge to make a red, white and blue cake a la Family Circle and moms everywhere.  I’m not very patriotic at all, but it’s just the Suzy Homemaker thing that I like to do every now and then.  I’ve had to work on the fourth for the past few years and so thus far had not fulfilled my flag cake dream.

This year I didn’t leave myself a whole lot of time, but managed to come up with an effort I can be proud of.  I made the Lemon Almond Cake from Yellow Rose Recipes, which calls for decorating the top with strawberries.  My friend Janeen, who I’ve mentioned before is allergic to soy, is also allergic to strawberries (the poor thing!), so I took the opportunity to incorporate blueberries into the design.  I needed to leave the glaze off her portion too since it included margarine, so I designated a Janeen corner and went from there.

I think it’s supposed to be stripes and fireworks and American things.  What is was was delicious.  The cake is very moist and almost intensely flavorful, I might even reduce the almond extract a bit the next time I make it.  Janeen made sure to steal her corner first and then we went at it.  If you make this cake, which you should, be sure to eat it within the first two days as it spoils quickly, what with all the freshness on top.  Or you could probably extend the life by putting it in the fridge.

As per usual, we were to spend the day grilling.  I wanted a non-store bought (read:  cheaper) protein to grill, so I made Black Bean Burgers from Veganomicon.  I pan-fried them to fully cook and then grilled later just to reheat.  Heed the instructions when they tell you to press them down in the pan!  Otherwise the middles can be a little undercooked.  Here they are packed up for transport.

I ended up eating pretzels and chips and boiled peanuts all afternoon, and wasn’t hungry for dinner until much later that night.  We fired up some new coals and had a veggie grilling session.  Our friend Amber had brought Tofurkey kielbasas so we cooked those up, along with some corn and zucchini that had been waiting for action all day.  I couldn’t manage all of that, so I just had a kielbasa and a burger.

I love how it looks like a crazy face!  I put lettuce, tomato, grilled red onion, grilled mushrooms, avocado, ketchup, AND mustard on the burger and it was way tall when I piled it up to eat.  It was a task I was willing to undertake.

These burgers are really good!  I’m definitely going to make them again.  I’d recommend eating these within a day or two also, or putting them straight in the freezer.  After a few days the wheat gluten texture got a little funky and freaked me out.

By the next night I was ready to fully enjoy everything we had made, so I did.

My food has been pretty boring lately, as I am trying to eat out of the pantry and freezer and buy as little food as possible.  I should have some decent pantry meals to post about soon.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Comments (10)

Wednesday Farmers Market

I left work a half hour early today to make up for eating lunch at my desk yesterday, so I got to visit the farmers market before catching the bus and still get home at my normal time.  I didn’t have much in mind for dinner ideas, but as the night wore on what probably should have been a simple meal became more complicated.

farmers market

An eggplant, an ear of corn, a red pepper, patty pan squash, the cutest zucchinis, jalapenos and strawberries, all for $7.  Score.

While at work pondering dinner and perusing blogs (this is what they pay me to do), I saw Liz’s corn bread at Food Snobbery is My Hobbery.  Then I saw a corn muffin (can’t remember where)*** with strawberries in it.  Crazy!  I wasn’t planninng on buying any more fruit after my binge yesterday, but when I saw those juicy strawberries I couldn’t help it.  This is my standard corn bread recipe that I haven’t deviated far from in the past, apart from milk and egg subs, but tonight I went all out and healthified it, lowering both the sugar and the fat.  I give you Buttermilk Strawberry Jalapeno Corn Muffins.  I was worried all the extras would make the muffins too chunky, but I kept the pieces small and made sure not to put too much in.  They actually could’ve used more strawberries.  They look darker than normal corn muffins due to the whole wheat flour and molasses, but the taste isn’t heavy or dense at all.

corn muffins

Buttermilk Corn Bread or Muffins

1 1/4 cups cornmeal
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbs lemon juice
scant cup rice or soy milk
1 Tbs flax meal
3 Tbs warm water
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
1 Tbs molasses
optional additions: 1/2 cup corn kernels, or kernels from one ear of corn
                               2 small or 1 large jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
                               a few strawberries, finely diced, or a handful of blueberries

1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan or 12 muffin tins.
2. Place lemon juice in a 1 cup measure, then fill with milk. Pour in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
3. Whisk together the flax and water; set aside.
4. In a large mixing bowl combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
5. Add the flax mixture, applesauce, canola oil and molasses to the milk mixture and whisk.
6. Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir just until combined. Fold in any optional additions. Pour into the cake pan, or by 1/4 cupfuls into the muffin tins. Bake the bread 20-25 minutes or the muffins 15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
7. Let cool in the pan a few minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool.

Yields: 8-10 bread servings or 12 muffins.

I grilled the eggplant simply with olive oil, salt and pepper.  The zucchini and patty pan squash were sauteed with the last of my leeks.  I was originally going to toss the red pepper in there too, but decided to get crazy and make a sauce.  In the blender went the raw red pepper, the last jalapeno, toasted pine nuts and a bit of soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, water, salt and white pepper.  It was pretty good for involving nearly no effort.  And I had parsley in the fridge so I went for the garnish.  I’m starting to think about meals in restaurant mode more automatically.  Whether that’s good or bad, I dunno…

farmers market meal

I definitely had another corn muffin as well.  I think I’m going to try something new for breakfast in the morning, and if it goes well you’ll see my first blog for a weekday breakfast.  I think I’ll set my alarm 15 minutes earlier.

***Edit:  The Strawberry Jalapeno Corn Muffin idea came from this blog, originally from Extraveganza which I don’t have yet.

Comments (12)

Annual Baseball Pilgrimage

Every summer a group of us take a road trip down to Tampa to watch the Rays (formerly the Devil Rays) play a couple weekend games.  We chose Memorial Day weekend so that we could recuperate on Monday, as one definitely requires a full day of rest afterwards.  This is my fourth year going, and every year the celebrations grow a little larger and a little wilder.  You can tailgate at Tropicana Field, so we show up a couple hours early and do it up right.

As most of my friends are quite content to eat hot dogs, burgers, and chicken wings all day long, I made quite a bit of food to take along and share.

First we have Joanna’s Beer Brats (the March 16th entry, currently at the top).  The recipe says that she made 10, and for whatever reason I decided to make them really big, and ended up with 8.  These guys were HUGE.  I selected a few bun-sized dogs for the road trip, and put the rest in the freezer.  A few of them were so large I’ll definitely have to chop them up small in order to use them in anything.  These were really tasty.  The texture is distinctively seitan-y, but the flavor as far as I can tell is dead on.  Very similar to Tofurkey’sBeer Brats which I really like, but about a million times cheaper.  Here they are posing with the beer from whence they came.  Next time I’ll use a nicer beer, this is just what I had in the fridge.

brats

I made a big batch of my favorite pasta salad, Wolfie’s Fiesta Pasta Salad from La Dolce Vegan.  The dressing on this stuff is unreal.  The original recipe is a little heavy on the pasta and light on the veggies for my taste, so I added extra peppers, peas and blanched broccoli.  And I used mini bowties instead of macaroni, just because they’re cute.

pasta salad

I also made a “fixings salad”.  The recipe is from the Food Network site, but I can’t seem to find it now.  I’ll post a link later if it’s still there.  All that’s in it is lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickle, olive oil and red wine vinegar, to go on burgers and sandwiches.  I thought it was a really cute idea, and nice since we wouldn’t have to cart all those things individually, but it didn’t go over too well.  It could be my friends just aren’t fixings kinds of people, or that the lettuce had wilted by the time we ate it (it tasted fine though), or that their burgers were mounded so high with mushrooms, bacon and cheese that there just wasn’t room.  Either way, I liked it and may make it again sometime for a cookout.  Just don’t mix it till right before you want to eat it!

fixings salad

Here we have VCON Chocolate-Chocolate Chip-Walnuts Cookies.  These got rave reviews.  They’re delicious and stay soft for days, and the recipe makes a ton so I’m still working on leftovers and have a stash in the freezer.  I can see myself making many variations on these in the future.

cookies

I wanted to take something for breakfast other than a Luna bar, so before we left Saturday I made FatFree Vegan’s Banana Coffee Cake.  I wanted to make it soy-free so soy-intolerant Janeen could partake, so I had to adapt the recipe.  My first instinct for soy yogurt replacement was mashed banana, but as the recipe already contained two bananas I was wary.  I asked Susan of FFV and she replied “you can never have enough banana”, and I tend to agree.  Because I’m a little insane, I made two variations.

coffee cake

For the first I subbed mashed banana for the soy yogurt and added 1/4 cup chocolate chips.

coffee cake

The other variation was peanut butter, because peanut butter and banana is the best.  I subbed 1/2 cup pb for the soy yogurt, flax and water, and added an extra 1/4 cup rice milk to keep the wet mixture at the right consistency.  I also added 1/4 cup peanuts since my pb was creamy, but I would definitely prefer to use crunchy pb in the future, as the peanuts got a little soft once baked inside the cake.  You can see the layer of bananas nicely in this one.

coffee cake

I forgot to sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the banana layer both times.  It would’ve been nice there in the middle, but the cakes were fine without.  My favorite was the peanut butter kind, although it was a bit more dense and crumbly.  I think everyone else gravitated towards the chocolate chip variation.  15 seconds in the microwave was the perfect fix to warm it back up after sitting overnight.

coffee cake

So yeah, I did all this the night before and the morning that we left.  I packed it all up to go in the cooler…

tailgating food

…and THEN we finally left.  The amount of food and drink (read:  beer) that we took for nine people was a little insane.  It filled up five coolers.  We got through most of it before the weekend was over though.

After the 2 1/2 hour drive, we were happy to find a nice spot in the shade.  Here is what I would look like if I regularly wore things like “hats” and “sunglasses”.  And I even remembered to put sunscreen on the first day!

tailgating

It was HOT that afternoon!  The forecast was for scattered thunderstorms and we brought a big tent just incase, but of course because we were prepared there wasn’t a drop of rain in sight.

For my tailgate meal before the game I had one of the brats on a bun with sauerkraut and mustard, my pasta salad, and another pasta salad Janeen made.  Hers had artichokes, roasted tomatoes, olives and cilantro and was delicious, as always.  She’s got me rethinking my stance on olives, just a little bit.  I also had too many chips, a couple beers, and probably a cookie or two.

tailgating

Here’s the view of Tropicana Field from our area.  This place is large and white and you can see it from very far away.  A lot of people don’t like going to games here because it’s enclosed and all artificial turf, but I like it just fine, mostly because it’s climate controlled.

tropicana firled

It was “70’s Night” at the Saturday game, which involved handing out blue afro wigs to the first 10,000 fans and an after-game show by The Commodores, which we didn’t end up staying for.  It also involved ridiculously photoshopped pictures of all the players.

baseball

baseball

The Rays (along with the rest of the world) are going green!  Any car with four or more people parks for free (which we did with two cars), and look at this cup our beers came in.

baseball cup

Although I don’t think that sentence is gramatically correct…

We stayed at our friend Nate’s parents’ lovely house in Tampa.  They live on a lake, have a pool, and don’t seem to mind if Nate’s friends come in and trash their house while they’re away on vacation.  We’re good kiddies though, we cleaned up before we left.  Saturday night we watched BJ Penn win his UFC fight, and the party lasted long into the night.  I layed down in this hammock for a couple minutes before I realized I had better get to bed, lest I spend the whole night in the hammock.

hammock

Here’s the view I had the next morning while I enjoyed my coffee cake.

lake

My eats at the Sunday tailgate, along with the requisite chips and beer, was a veggie burger with grilled mushrooms and onions, and a marinated portobello, both topped with the fixings salad.

tailgating

I also may have drank some champagne straight from the bottle with the aforementioned Janeen.  Well, we didn’t have any cups and it was the classy thing to do.

tailgating

There is a tank of live rays inside the stadium, so Sunday we went to see them first thing.  You can pet them, and you can even pay a few dollars to feed them, but none of us wanted our hands anywhere near there mouths.  Sea creatures and I don’t get along in a phobia type of way, so petting their wings was quite enough of a thrill for me.  These guys were hard to catch in a good picture, they’re fast!

rays

We had some debate about whether they like being in the tank and having people pet them all day.  They zoom right up to the side of the tank and let you pet them with no problems, although they might just be hoping for food each time.

rays

Courtesy of Adrian, a picture of me taking a picture of the rays.  Adrian’s camera has some neat-o function that singles out colors or something.

rays

Hope you enjoyed reliving my weekend through pictures.  Tonight it’s back to exercise and healthy eating.

Comments (8)

Sunday Grilling

Bf and I invited some people over yesterday, grilled, and watched a ridiculous amount of sports on tv.  We tried to do something special with the corn – bf half shucked it, I drizzled on a chili lime mixture (lime juice, chili powder, cholula seasoning, salt & sugar), then we zipped the husks back up.  Most of it came off while grilling, but the corn was really delicious in a subtly different way than normal, so I like to think we had something to do with it.  The grill marks were very nice, at least.

grilled corn

I prepped the potatoes – I cut them pretty small and made the layer thin to try to get them to crisp up.  It didn’t work, but they tasted good.  Still trying to figure out how to acheive crispy browned grilled potatoes without adding too much extra oil.

grilled potatoes

Bf marinated some mushrooms, and he seems to have the same issue with marinades that I do.  They tasted okay, but not great.  We’ll figure it out eventually.

grilled mushrooms

Here’s my plate, with baked beans.

grilled dinner

I had leftovers for lunch, and went to the grocery store after work.

groceries

The greens in the bags are dandelion greens, scallions and parsley, and from the bulk section is red lentils, sesame sticks and walnuts.  I’m most excited to try the pumpkin chips and the Annie’s Woodstock Dressing.

Comments (3)

« Newer Posts · Older Posts »