Posts Tagged Yellow Rose Recipes

August Cleanse: Days 8-10

Day 8

Saturday was a day of much repeated food, finishing up leftovers before cooking some more.  I started the morning with a smoothie of kale, banana, strawberries, peanut butter and udo’s oil, along with my coQ10 and multivitamin.  I love the cute little bubbles on top of this smoothie!  I also had some chai tea to wake me up before a big grocery shopping trip.  I tend to sleep in on weekends when possible, so no morning snack was required.

Upon my return from the grocery store and unloading what felt like a massive amount of groceries, I had a salad with leaf lettuce, shredded carrot, red pepper, sauteed cajun tofu and non-honey honey mustard, and brewed some cinnamony coffee then added almond milk, cause the tea just didn’t do it for me.  My afternoon snack was two apricots, half a cantaloupe and some pistachios, and I also had a few beers because Dave and our friend Tom were brewing in the kitchen, and how could I NOT have beer while the whole house smelled of it?  For dinner I ate the last of the brown rice ‘n’ beans jumble-aya and steamed green beans.  Due to getting up later on the weekends I also tend to stay up later, and I became ravenous a few hours after dinner so I popped some no-oil-added popcorn in the microwave.  I tried to stick some seasoned salt and nutritional yeast on the popcorn with a new olive oil sprayer I got, but it still didn’t work!  Most of the seasoning ended up in the bottom of the bowl.  Anyone have a trick for getting seasoning to stick to popcorn other than dousing it in Earth Balance?

Day 9

This nice purple smoothie contained kale, a whole container of blackberries, a peach, udo’s, almond milk, mixed berry rice protein powder and agave nectar.  The taste was good, but I put in the whole packet of rice protein powder which I shouldn’t have done since it made it kind of powdery.  I normally use only half a packet in each smoothie.

My lunch salad was inspired by trying to figure out what to do with the cherry tomatoes provided by my CSA.  I reeeally don’t like cherry tomatoes raw, either whole or halved.  There’s something about the taut nature of the skin, with the juicy inside and how they pop and all the raw tomato flavor.  Blech.  I remembered reading somewhere that you could slow-roast tomatoes, so I found this instructional online.  With as much as the author raved about them, I figured I couldn’t lose.

before…

…and after…

…and a close up.

Boy, do these tomatoes deliver!  All the weird texture that I dislike disappears and leaves a chewy, tasty little tomato.  I went for simple and left out the garlic and herbs called for, spraying the baking sheet and tomatoes with olive oil and seasoning simply with a little kosher salt and fresh black pepper.  These guys really don’t need a lot of help to taste good.  I took the smaller ones out of the oven after 2 hours but left most of them in for 2 1/2.  This will probably be what I do with any more small tomatoes I get from my CSA this summer!

To use my tasty tomatoes, I made what I am calling a Greekish salad.

This lovely plate has leaf and romaine lettuces, cucumbers, chickpeas, red onion, artichoke hearts, slow-roasted tomatoes, Sunflower Feta from Yellow Rose Recipes and an herb vinaigrette.  I’m not a huge fan of this feta.  The texture is feta-like and worked in the salad, but the taste alone just kind of tastes like tofu, lemon juice and sunflower seeds.  I think I’d like it better with cubed tofu that marinates or brines for a longer time.  Along with lunch, I took a spirulina tablet that I bought on Saturday to start taking a few times a week.  My afternoon snack was a pear and half a cantaloupe.

For dinner I made Tofu Vindaloo from Vegan Planet.  In the spirit of trying new grains, I cooked up some buckwheat.  Good news – I like buckwheat!  It has no actual relation to wheat, is ready in 15-20 minutes, and is quite good for you nutritionally.  I think I overcooked the buckwheat just a tad, so I’m looking forward to trying it again soon.  The vindaloo was just okay.  I liked the large amount of fresh ginger and spicy kick but hoped that there would be more of a sauce.  This was more like well flavored tofu and veggies with some juice in the bottom of the bowl.  After dinner I had two beers, to kind of say goodbye to the weekend.

Day 10

This was a great smoothie that I couldn’t get a good picture of:  spinach, banana, mango, strawberries, udo’s, almond milk and amazing meal powder (original flavor).  Using spinach as my green resulted in a MUCH smoother consistency than using kale gave me.  I also took coQ10 and my multi.

I was so excited about my morning snack that I took a picture while packing it up – figs and cherries.  Yum!  To perk me up, I drank some darjeeling tea.

For lunch I had the same exact Greekish salad as above, with some added capers and a probiotic supplement on the side.  I wanted to include capers the first time but couldn’t find them in the fridge!  My afternoon snack was an apple with peanut butter, and dinner was tofu vindaloo with buckwheat and chilled camomile tea.  It was much, much too hot for hot tea.

Well, that’s days 8-10.  I’m not hungry all the time any more, and I don’t know if it’s because I’m unwittingly eating more calories or if I’m getting used to lightening up my diet.  Jessy told me she wasn’t hungry all the time after her first week on ACT, so perhaps it’s psychological!  I haven’t seen any more weight loss, in fact I think I may have jumped up just a bit, but it’s only part way through the week so we shall see.

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Cajun Spiced Tofu

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

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

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

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

And here are my lunches from last week…

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

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

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

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

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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!

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Whirlwind Weekend

Greetings.  I had a great food and friends weekend, and I wanted to write this post Monday morning, but I woke up with a terrible sore throat.  Soon it became the kind of sickness that completely knocks you out, and by nighttime I had a fever.  Yesterday I went to the doctor and found out I have strep throat so I filled her prescriptions, took the pills, and again was knocked out.  Last night I was far too lethargic and nauseous to type anything, so here I am Wednesday morning, pre-med ingestion, to write out this post that’s been hanging over my head then resign myself to another day of boredom and nausea.

When I was in high school, if I spent a Friday night alone I would get really depressed.  Now I find I’m perfectly content to spend an entire Friday night at home cooking, and that is what I did on Friday.  I knew Saturday I was going to have no free time, so I cooked and prepped everything Friday night.  I also made pesto pizza for dinner using farmers market basil and tomatoes and VWAV pizza crust from the freezer.

pesto pizza

Upon taking the crust out of the freezer, I was reminded how awesome I am, because I had included this note to myself on how to bake it, so I wouldn’t have to look it up again.

pizza note

The pesto recipe and tofu ricotta were also from VWAV.  I put the red onion on sparingly, but afterwords wished I had put more on, because it was really yummy.

pesto pizza

Janeen had invited me to brunch Saturday morning, so I got up and finished up the food to take to her place.  I made what I’m calling Monkey Rolls – banana-chocolate-walnut cinnamon rolls.  I made the Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls from the Don’t Eat Off the Sidewalk zine, subbing mashed banana for the pumpkin and adding chocolate chips and chopped toasted walnuts to the filling.  I also subbed canola oil for the margarine in both the rolls and the filling, as Janeen is allergic to soy.  I was most nervous about that substitution, but they turned out great.

monkey rolls

I had intentions of icing them with both vanilla and chocolate and almost skipped the chocolate part for lack of time, but I’m glad I went with both because I think the chocolate icing was the part that really took them over the top.

monkey rolls

I also made what I envisioned to be baked black bean & sweet potato taquitos.  Friday night I made the fillings, which were Refried Black Beans from Yellow Rose Recipes, and a sweet potato mash with lime juice, cilantro and minced chipotles.  Saturday morning I made my first homemade wheat tortillas from this recipe.  I made 12 tortillas instead of the 8 the recipe calls for, to make them smaller.

tortillas

They turned out really well for a first attempt, but they weren’t as pliable as I had hoped.  I wrapped each one around some of the black beans and sweet potato, secured them with a toothpick, and baked for about 15 minutes.  Right around the time I was trying to finish photgraphing and pack up for Janeen’s house, a crazy storm started rolling in and took all my light.  So I skeedaddled to Janeen’s just in time to beat the rain and took the rest of the photos by flash, and candlelight because Janeen is romantic like that.

taquitos

So the taquitos didn’t wrap up as I had hoped, but they tasted really good.  I served them with a quick guacamole and homemade enchilada sauce.  I like the enchilada sauce you can buy at the store (Old El Paso?) but felt like trying homemade.  I figured it couldn’t be too difficult.  I was skeptical about just how much a roux would do for an enchilada sauce, but it really did the trick.  The sauce had a silky mouthfeel that couldn’t have been acheived by just mixing ingredients together.  The only change I made was to add 2 tsp of sugar.  I like a sweet sauce.

Janeen made some excellent potatoes, cooked with a bruschetta mix and mushrooms.  These were really good.

She also put together a pretty fruit plate.

fruit plate

Here’s our candlelit spread.

brunch spread

We had planned a bike ride after brunch, but since it was storming we stayed in and ate like piggies.

brunch

Afterwards we went to watch bf’s band play at an afternoon benefit show, then retired to his house for a bbq.  I came home in between to clean up, and by the time I got there this was the spread on the coffee table.  Normally we’ll have out a bag or two of chips, but apparently that day we were partying like there were 20 of us even though there were only really 8.

chips

And for further exhibit of “how we roll”, here is the top shelf of the beer fridge.  Yes, there are two fridges and one is just for beer.

beer

For the bbq I made Apricot BBQ Sauce from VCon.  I was skeptical about how good this could be with no vinegar and such a small amount of tomato, but this is really good.  Make it now while apricots are in season!

apricot bbq sauce

I used this sauce to baste FatFree Vegan’s Barbecued Seitan Ribz.  So good.

ribz

I also made squash pickles.  You may recall that I first made them a while back, and wasn’t quite happy with the seasoning.  This time I got it right.  Nobody else seems to like these as much as I do, but I do like them.  So if you like squash and pickles, give them a try.

squash pickles

Squash Pickles

2 yellow squash and 1 zucchini, or 4 yellow squash, sliced
1 c vinegar (1/2 c apple cider, 1/2 c white)
1 c sugar
heaping tsp kosher salt
2 c water or enough to cover squash
medium to large shallot, very thinly sliced
1 tsp pickling spice
1/3 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp mustard seed
2 tsp celery seed

Put all ingredients in a non-reactive container and stir. Refrigerate overnight, stirring occasionally.

For crisper pickles, salt the squash slices and let sit in a colander for a half hour. Rinse before adding to other ingredients.

My plate, with some grilled asparagus.

bbq

That’s it for now.  I have friends visiting this weekend and am concentrating on getting well before then.  And maybe going back to work, since that’s how I get paid.

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Blueberry Muffins & a Seafood Feast

I had been thinking of making the Very Berry Muffins from Yellow Rose Recipes ever since I got the book, and with a huge bowl of blueberries still in the fridge, last night seemed like a good time for baking.

blueberry muffins

Unfortunately, I didn’t like them all that much.  I was hoping for light, bakery-style muffins, but I couldn’t help subbing half whole wheat pastry flour, and I also used an unrefined sugar I’m not too fond of and was trying to use up, which I think turned them brown and a little gummy in the middle.

blueberry muffins

They’re certainly edible and taste fine, it just wasn’t the muffin I was looking for.  I’ve had good results with other recipes from YRR, so don’t let my muffin results deter you from checking it out…maybe just find a different muffin recipe…

Ever since I saw this post on Vegangelical a couple months back, I’ve been wanting a seafood meal.  Mock seafood, of course.  I started with the groceries.  Celery and corn on the left, broccoli, scallions and dill on the right.  And again, way more fruit than I should eat in the next three days.  There’s so much good fruit this time of year!

groceries

Wheat germ in the little baggie.

groceries

I started with the baked hush puppies from above post.  I didn’t want to buy soy cheese, so I added 2 Tbs nutritional yeast instead.

hush puppies

When I first visualized this meal I wanted to make a crab cake, but last week I came across My Vegan Cookbook and his Faux Fish recipe, and I knew I had to try it.  The store didn’t have Old Bay seasoning, so I found this Old Bay Seasoning Mix recipe which is cool because for some reason I thought you weren’t supposed to eat bay leaves.  Guess that’ll learn me.  Guess that’s why it’s called Old Bay.  Dur.

faux fish

I was really trying to keep the fat and calorie counts down for this meal, so instead of brushing margarine on the fillets I sprayed them with olive oil and patted down the bread crumbs, which worked fine.  I left out the egg substitute because I felt like the tofu and breadcrumbs and everything else would stick it together just fine.  I also added 1/2 tsp of the dulse seasoning I bought for a fishy sea flavor.

I served my feast with boiled mixed veggies, dill and lemon wedges.  I can’t decide which picture I like better, so you get both the horizontal and vertical framing.

faux fish

faux fish

The hush puppies tasted just like I remember, and didn’t lose anything with being baked instead of fried.  I really liked the onion, corn and jalapeno bits in them.  And the fish was good!  I had high hopes for this recipe, and it came through.  You’re not going to pass it as real fish any time soon, but the mix of ingredients and flavors is really interesting and the outside is crispy while the inside stays moist.  The fillets held together well.  I have a hard time getting breading to stick to things, and the method of patting it down on each side just before it bakes worked really well.

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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.

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