Posts Tagged pumpkin

VeganMoFo: Creamy Pumpkin-Almond Pasta & Greens

Last week I saw that Diann over at Eat’n Veg’n had made this Creamy Pumpkin-Almond Sauce from Have Cake Will Travel, and I knew I had to make it, especially with extra pumpkin puree in the fridge.

It’s very monotone, but very delicious!  I was afraid the other flavors would overwhelm the pumpkin, but the balance of flavors was great.  And the almond meal gave the sauce a very toothsome feel.  Rotini was a perfect choice, as the sauce got into all the nooks and crannies.  I added a bit of garlic to the seasonings and it was a nice complement, and also whisked in a teaspoon of cornstarch because I used soy milk instead of creamer.

I was planning to saute some chard I had in the fridge to go along with the pasta, but upon taking it out of the bag it emitted a very funky odor.  It looked fine and I thought about cooking it anyway, but the smell was just too much.  So I tossed the chard and grabbed the only other green veggie I had, romaine lettuce.  I’ve seen grilled hearts of romaine, and heard of it being stir-fried on Chinese restaurant menus, so I figured it might saute alright.

Saute well it did.  The crunchy part stayed crunchy and the leaves wilted nicely.  Kind of looks like bok choy, huh?  I stayed with the asian idea and just added some tamari, but I think it’d be really good with the whole sesame treatment.

Yesterday we grilled during football as usual, and I was feeling lazy so my meal was tasty but uninspiring.  It’s only blog-worthy because of the greens.

This is my new favorite way of preparing greens, beet greens in this case.  Saute in a bit of oil and add a sprinkling of chicken-style broth powder (I use this one) and a splash of vegan worcestershire sauce.  It makes just a little bit of a sauce, and the depth of flavor of both ingredients comes together to do something great to the greens.  So good.

I just finished a bowl of hot, freshly made applesauce.  It was so sweet, without any sweetener added.  Why anybody adds sugar to applesauce is beyond me!  Hope you are all enjoying this lovely fall Monday night!

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VeganMoFo: Mom’s Pumpkin Bread

I wasn’t too interested in cooking as a kid, but I did enjoy baking with my mom.  She made the best brownies, and a fantastic pumpkin bread.  Just before I moved from Florida I found the card above mixed in with some recipes.  I wrote it out when I was a kid.  I can’t remember if it was for an elementary school project or just my ocd tendencies showing early on, but I’m glad I have it!  Yeah, it’s written in pink pen.  I’m a girl, whadayawant?

(Mom, if that’s not the right recipe please send it to me!)

To go along with my new attempted healthy eating regime, I decided to try to recreate the bread in a more healthy fashion.  I may have gone overboard with the changes though.

It looks alright and tastes very good, but somewhere along the way I went astray.  I made the bread vegan, sugar-free, lower-fat and whole grain.  It was a case of too many changes.  I had a feeling in the beginning it wouldn’t work out perfectly, but I wanted to try.

As you can see, while the outside is done the inside is still gummy and undercooked.  Very edible, but not even close to perfect.  I think soon I’ll revisit this and just make less changes.  The loaves didn’t rise very well, and I think one of the main culprits is using all spelt flour.  Next time I’ll try half spelt half whole wheat pastry.

Jake was interested, but when I offered him a little piece he didn’t want it.

Yeah, I take pictures on the floor sometimes.  It’s where the best lighting is until we get a dining table.

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VeganMoFo: Planning, and a Survey

After the weekend I had enough leftovers in the fridge to get me through a day or two.  While tasty and cost effective, this is not good for blogging.  So I thought I’d spend some time planning food endeavors for the near future to get me by.

I was in Berkeley this morning for an interview (fingers crossed!), so I had to go back to Berkeley Bowl, the grocery store that I professed my love for a few posts back.  Even though I didn’t find out about it in time, Katie of Don’t Eat Off the Sidewalk’s Iron Chef Challenge sounds like a lot of fun and I came up with a good idea for the secret ingredients, pear and nuts.  So I picked up these ingredients to use in a too-late-to-enter entry.

Those are purple potatoes behind the tempeh.  I’ll leave the final dish to your imagination for now.  I only hope it turns out as good as it is in my mind.

Hearing about and seeing pumpkins constantly this time of year makes me yearn for pumpkin bread.  My mom makes a great pumpkin bread.  I’m not sure whether I’m going to recreate that or go for something different, but regardless, there will be pumpkin bread very soon.  I also bought a mini pumpkin just for decoration, which I do every year.

While I was strolling through the produce aisles, a huge pile of “winged gourds” caught my attention.  I had never seen these guys before.  They were cheap and just so darned interesting, so I bought one to go with my mini pumpkin on the coffee table.

I kind of think it looks like a bird of some sort, with a long neck and a hanging head.  I guess that’s why they call it a winged gourd.  Dur.

And for real planning ahead, I found this bag containing TWO bags of cranberries, on clearance for a measly 99 cents.  They’re banged up pretty good but they’ll probably be cooked down into sauce on Thanksgiving anyway, so in my freezer they rest.

Within the next few days I’m hoping to form some sort of structured eating plan, one that will help me eat healthier and slim down a bit.  I’m hoping to write down some guidelines to follow, as well as go through cookbooks and blogs and find some recipes that will be fun to cook and eat but still healthy and not too calorie dense.  I’m interested in doing some sort of cleanse or raw food experiment, but since my finances are low they may have to wait.  Speaking of finances, I’m also planning on slimming down my food budget since I’m still jobless.

To include some more food writing in this post I thought I’d fill out this survey, created by Liz of Food Snobber Is My Hobbery.  Hooray for surveys!

1. Name a song that involves food in some way.

Sugar Sugar – The Archies

2. What criteria do you use when choosing a new cookbook to buy?

Recipes that I haven’t seen before.  Hummus and tofu scramble are good and all, but I need a little more.  Pictures are good, and I also like the author to have a point of view.  Extra stories and background info is a plus.  I like to wait for a while after a book comes out to read some reviews too.  My money is precious!

3. What did you eat today?

Today was a good food day.  Breakfast was fronch toast with strawberry jam, tofu scramble with peppers, onions, mushrooms and ketchup, and earl grey tea.  Lunch was a burrito with seasoned brown rice, pinto beans, salsa slaw and avocado, a bowl with extra burrito fillings, sauteed shredded brussels sprouts, and black cherry berry tea.  In the afternoon I had a major snack attack:  a gala apple, a banana, strawberry soy yogurt and triscuit-like crackers.  Not all at the same time.  For dinner I had mashed sweet potato and yams with more brussels and mesquite maple walnuts, and sugar cookie tea.  I’m drinking a lot of tea to take the place of sweets.

4. Name a vegan food that you know exists but you have never tried.

Mochi

5. The Food Network just called and needs you to start your new show tomorrow. What will the title of the show be?

I think I’d stick with Vegan Homemade.  It’s to the point.

6. Favorite hot sauce or other spicy condiment?

BF turned me on to Tapatio, and there’s nothing else like it.  I’m fine with sriracha or Louisiana-style hot sauce.

7. How old were you when you became vegetarian/vegan?

vegetarian – 22, vegan – 25

8. Favorite vegan cheeze?

Teese and blue scheese

9. Cutest baby animal?

I saw a picture of a baby capybara somewhere yesterday, it was about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.  Witness.

10. Favorite type of jam/jelly/marmalade/preserves?

Strawberry or grape jam, or that all fruit kind they have at diners.  Apple butter and pumpkin butter.

11. Do you take any vitamins/supplements?

I take a multi every morning.  If I ever have disposable income again I want to start taking more specific things like flax oil, iron or calcium.

12. What food/dish most embodies the Fall season?

butternut squash soup, stuffing, or pumpkin pie

13. What food would you have a hard time living without?

beans

14. Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate?

Tea most days, coffee on weekends and when I’m feeling indulgent.

15. It’s 10PM and you’re starving. What do you eat?

Popcorn!

16. If you have an animal companion, what is his/her favorite food?

He eats expensive prescription food for health reasons, but he loooooves any kind of kitty treat.

17. Worst injury you’ve gotten in the kitchen?

I don’t think I’ve ever burnt myself.  A month or two ago I cut my thumb pretty badly on that foil that covers the wine cork trying to open a bottle.

18. When you have a food-related question, who do you call?

the internet or my Betty Crocker Cookbook

19. Summer is ending- What food will you miss most?

peaches, melons and GOOD eggplant

20. What snacks do you keep in your purse/backpack/desk at work?

dried apricots and nuts

21. Favorite soup to make on a rainy day?

Alphabet soup with lots of veggies.  Although I really must try VCON’s chickpea noodle soup.

22. What’s your favorite combination of fresh vegetable and/or fruit juices?

I’ve never had fresh veggie juice!  I think I’d like carrot, celery, apple and ginger.

23. Favorite brand of root beer?

IBC.  You’d need a whole lot of hands and feet to count how many IBC’s I drank as a kid.

24. Make up your own question!

Favorite food I’ve recently discovered that I really like?

Oat bran!  Just as many variations as oatmeal but so much better.

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