Friday, October 09, 2009
i know we just did one of these, but we're doing one again!
tonight: "vegan taste of france" by linda majzlik. i know, i know. we did a vegan taste of... book last time. too bad.
for dinner tonight, i made the country cider casserole. holy.crap. this was another recipe that took a long time. remember the gyros took a few hours what with the chilling and everything? this is similar. an hour soak on some beans, cooking time, then baking time. overall, it took a little over 3 hours. but it was worth every minute.
leeks, onions, carrot, garlic, beans, apples, and cider all baked together and topped with crunchy walnuts and fresh chervil. whoa. amazing. i love leeks, so right off the bat, i knew i was at least going to like this. but the way the cider infuses into all of the veggies and gives everything a slight sweetness just really sent this over the top for me.
the only thing i would have liked was some nice crusty bread on the side. oh well, next time! and there will be a next time. soon.
a couple weeks ago, i picked up some trader joe's instant pudding. because the boxes were really cute. it says right on the package not to use soy or rice milk. so i used almond milk, hoping it would have enough fat to make the pudding set. it wasn't perfect - more of a soft set, but it got the job done. i love chocolate pudding on veggie casserole night. so cozy.
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
some of the "vegan taste of..." books have gotten a bad rap. i have both a "vegan taste of greece" and a "vegan taste of france". before this evening, i had never used either, but thought there were several recipes that sounded good.
tonight i made the vegan gyros from linda majzlik's "vegan taste of greece" and warm chickpea salad from joanne stepaniak's "vegan deli".
the gyros were easy enough to put together, but they needed to be refrigerated for 2 hours. which just seemed like an awfully long time to me. the recipe called for them to be pan fried, but i stuck them in the oven and heated them that way.
they certainly weren't bad, but they weren't fantastic. they were a little bland, but that could be because i used a pretty bland broth to reconstitute the tvp. a more flavorful broth would have made for a more flavorful end product.
served on pita with some spinach, tomato, and tsatsiki
alongside the gyros was the warm chickpea salad from "vegan deli". i've made recipes from the book before, but i don't use it often enough. everything i've made from it so far has been great and this was no exception. light and flavorful, the chickpeas complemented the gyros perfectly. also, i love radishes!
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
there are few meals that make me happier than the humble peanut (or in my case, almond) butter and jelly sandwich. there are as many ways to make pbj as there are types of nut butters and jellies combined. grape jelly? or strawberry? peanut butter on one slice, boysenberry jelly on the other? cashew butter on both slices, apple jelly in the middle? crusts? no crusts? wonder white or whole grain wheat?
do you use a spoon or a knife for the spreads? do you use the same utensil for each? or a new one? peanut butter first? or jelly? apparently these things are up for debate.
for me, it's gobs of creamy almond butter spread on two slices of white bread with a dollop of black or blueberry jam in the middle. a few weeks ago, at whole foods, i found a single serving packet of justin's maple almond butter. it was amazing. i need to pick up an entire jar for abj sandwiches. i use a knife for spreading - first in the almond butter then the same knife in the jelly. toss some green grapes on the side of the plate and hand me a juice box because i'm ready to go!
and have i mentioned my pbj friendship necklace that i got on etsy and wear every.single.day? it's awesome.
how do you like your peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?
Monday, October 05, 2009
i started selling cookies on etsy about 2 1/2 years ago. when i started i was one of the only shops out there selling vegan baked goods. type "vegan" and "food" into the etsy search bar now and whoa... lots more. lots lots more. which is awesome.
tonight, my top 3 vegan food etsy-ers. need a foodie gift to send to your vegan-mocking omni co-workers? keep these guys in mind.
1. Sweet Fritsy: whimsical cupcakes, chocolates with killer flavor combinations, donuts, candy. unbelievable.
2. The Cupcake Mint: new jersey represent! lemon amaretto buttercream? triple chocolate heaven? chocolate raspberry?!? YES PLEASE!
3. The Chocolate Muffin: cakes, pies, cupcakes - oh my!
Sunday, October 04, 2009
for the past few weeks, i've gone to the supermarket in search of cans of pumpkin to begin the fall line-up: pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin cinnamon rolls, pumpkin smoothies, pumpkin oatmeal, pumpkin soup, pumpkin ravioli, the obligatory pumpkin pie - you get the idea - only to be greeted with a vast expanse of empty supermarket shelving where the pumpkin puree once stood.
picture stolen from KCCI8 des moines
it's been weeks and pumpkin just started re-appearing in my part of new jersey. apparently, the nightmare is real and is part of the great pumpkin shortage of 2009. basically, a cold and wet spring made for a serious mess with this year's pumpkin crop.
consider this your psa to buy canned pumpkin when you see it, lest you be reduced to hours of pumpkin baking and scraping to make your own pumpkin puree (who the hell has the time?!?) or WORSE... going without.pumpkin. in october.
if you're anything like me, you have 950,000 cookbooks stashed around your kitchen, bedroom, living room, bathroom, laundry room... i have so many of them that i love, but inevitably some disappear from my direct sight and then my brain. which is kind of good because when i rediscover them, it's like getting a new cookbook.
asian vegan kitchen is such a fantastic cookbook, but i hardly ever cook from it. which is ridiculous. granted, there are a few recipes that require specific asian ingredients that aren't the easiest thing in the world for me to find, but most of them are based around fresh veggies and easily found spices.
so tonight, i decided to take on the vegetables manchurian recipe. loads of fresh grated veggies mashed into pop-into-your-mouth-sized pieces with a spicy glaze.
i started off making the stock for the glaze. super easy veggie scraps leftover from the veggie balls themselves. cauliflower, carrot, cilantro stems and roots, cabbage, and scallion simmered quickly to create a light, fresh-tasting broth that is lovely for light soups and sauces.
the balls (heh) have cauliflower, cabbage, carrot, ginger, garlic, scallions, and spices.
all held together with some flour (which i totally didn't think was going to work) and then pan-fried.
i served with some rice and extra sauce.
holy yumminess. since i normally don't fry things, i'd try baking these next time. but other than that, i wouldn't change anything. they're light, crispy, and veggifull - what's not to love?
Friday, October 02, 2009
it's finally cold enough to make soup and not hate yourself!
michael is sick and told me to blog about things vegans eat when they are sick. i'm cold and was hoping to blog about something that made me feel warm. so this post was either going to be about hot chocolate or soup. because both of those fit into both of our criteria. i decided on soup for tonight, but keep an eye out for hot chocolate soon!
i've been doing some testing for isa chandra moskowitz's upcoming weight lossy-healthy food cookbook and this soup is one of the tester recipes. it's a really great black bean, sweet potato, citrus soup.
here's another tester recipe - this one is a potato soup from terry romero's upcoming vegan latina cookbook. anything that is topped with avocados is great, yes?
this one is from last year's mofo: carrot, apple, curry soup. really easy to put together and totally delicious.
soup is one of my favorite pantry meals. i can grab grains and beans out of the cabinets, veggie clippings from the freezer for stock, and random herbs and veggies from the fridge and create any number of combinations. i'm fond of lots of carrots, celery, potatoes, garlic, and onions with chickpeas in an herby broth. i usually have all of these things on hand - 10 minutes or so to chop everything up and get it all into a pot, then i can get some chores done while it's simmering away on the stove. if i'm feeling really ambitious, i'll make some bread to go with it. because there's nothing quite as amazing as fresh bread and some hot soup.
tomorrow is my farmer's market pick up. soup is always a good option for "what do i do with this?" veggies. have a bunch of greens you're tired of sauteeing? slice them into thin shreds and add them to soup! got some sort of weird knobby root looking veggie? throw it into some broth with a few other veggies and puree the whole thing after a long simmer. bumper crop of cantaloupe? cold fruit soup! see? so many possibilities.
i was going to end with a ridiculous "SOUP IS SOUPER!" pun, but i couldn't find any kind of graphic to go with it. google images, you fail me.
vegan mofo is back!
this year, i'm trying to make as many meals as possible with stuff from my cabinets. i think i'm going to do ok, no?
stay tuned for posts featuring things from my cabinets and freezer, with a few trips to the farmar and regular supermarket thrown in for some fresh veggie action.
since jess asked what other people have in mind for this year's mofo, i'm going to go ahead and post the ideas i had....
using cookbooks i don't use nearly enough, using ingredients i rarely use (if ever), and using ingredients that might have a neat back-story (the history of amaranth, anyone?) all while trying to stay with my goal of using up the items in my cabinets.
since i flaked yesterday (worked late AND got a haircut!), i'm considering this my first mofo post and will post more later tonight.
happy mofo-ing everyone!