05 October 2011

Indian Food Fest

Earlier this week, my friend Sonic sent me a text message wanting to hang out. Being in the middle of my semester and completely swamped with classes and research and proposals, oh my! I asked if we could meet for dinner this evening because my husband was having a man date. Everyone needs to eat, right? She came over, drank some home brew, chatted, and ate delicious food. I almost killed our lungs, when I put chilies, spices, and other hot things on the hot cast iron pan. The vapors came up and into coughing fits we went. I opened up the window and and door and put on the fan to try and blow the vapors away. Other than that, a successful dinner!

I was planning on making samosas using phyllo dough as the pastry, but we were getting too hungry to wait for it to bake, so we just ate it as is.

Aloo mattar based the samosa recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance
cumin seeds
mustard seeds
coriander seeds
potato, diced into cubes
peas or edamame
curry powder
cayenne pepper

Red lentil dahl
hot chilies
red lentils
water or broth
curry powder
cumin powder

Aloo mattar
Bring the potatoes to boil in a sauce pan. Boil until the potatoes are tender, about 10 or so minutes. Drain and set aside.

Heat a cast iron pan over medium heat and add a bit of olive oil. Add the seeds and stir constantly until they start popping and turning brown. Add the onion, carrot, garlic, and ginger to the pan. Stir to combine. Add any spices to the pan. Turn on a fan, so the vapors don't kill your lungs. Stir to combine. When the potatoes are done, add them to the pan, along with the peas or edamame. Use a potato masher, or the back of a spoon to mash everything together. Add a spash or two of water to help combine everything. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Red lentil dahl
Sauté the onions, garlic, ginger, and chilies in a bit of olive oil over medium heat in a sauce pan until the onions are browned. Add the red lentils and enough water or broth to cover the lentils. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until most of the broth is absorbed by the lentils and it is pretty mushy. Add seasonings and sriracha and adjust to taste.

Serve with rice and fresh fruit.

This was quite delicious. The dahl was super duper easy to put together. I forgot to start boiling the potatoes before I sautéed the vegetables, so they had to hang out for about 10 minutes until the potatoes finished.

As evidence that we did eat the deliciousness, I present: Sonic!

Nom nom nom

04 October 2011

Freezer Meals: Bubble up pizza bites

My husband and I spent an afternoon making a bunch of meals for the month this past weekend. We have started to eat on our freezer food and man it is good and easy to have things that are ready to eat.

pizza dough - we used a pre made one that is for a 12 inch pizza
pizza sauce
any toppings you desire - we used onions, black olives, and daiya pepperjack cheese

Grease a 12 muffin muffin tray. Divide the pizza dough into 12 even balls and place one in each of the muffin cups. Push the topping down into the dough. Really get in down in there. Top with a teaspoon of the pizza sauce and any vegan cheese.

Bake for about 15 - 18 minutes at 350F, until the dough is browned.

To freeze: place the muffin tray in the freezer and allow the bites to partially freeze - about 15 or so minutes. Take out of the tray and put into a gallon sized freezer bag. To reheat, place the frozen bite in a toaster oven and cook at 350 for about 10 minutes until heated through. You can also, heat up in the microwave for a minute or two. You can also put these frozen in your lunch box and by lunch time they are thawed. Heat up in the microwave for about 30 seconds until warmed through.

I have a confession: I am not a daiya cheeze fan. I think it smells like stinky feet and tastes rubbery. I decided to give it a try, but I am now going to be giving away the rest of my bag to friend. I'm glad that I didn't cover all the bites with the cheeze. Other than that, these are really good! I didn't shove the topping down far enough to the dough, so they came out on top instead of "bubbled up" around it. My husband also enjoyed these, although, he said it took him about 15 minutes for them to cook in the toaster oven for him. Super easy and delicious!

Geez, we don't just eat pizza around here.

03 October 2011

Freezer Meals: Pesto, potato, mushroom pizza

It will take one more day to finish of making all the rest of the freezer meals. I think we have three more to do. I'll post a picture of the inside of our freezer when it is done. We aren't making allll our meals for the freezer, just about half of them. Although, we did have a friend over tonight and ate both of the pizzas we had frozen, so we aren't going to make it quite all the way to the end of the month with our recipes.

For those that are lost, my husband and I are trying to cook a good majority of our meals in advance and then freeze them. We are using recipes from Once a Month Mom. All the recipes we have tried so far, have been fantastic.

Tonight, we decided to break out the frozen pizza. From frozen, it cooked in a preheated 350F oven for about 10 - 15 minutes. Before we froze the pizza, we had parcooked the crust for about 8 minutes before adding the toppings and freezing.

Kale Pesto
1/2 bunch kale
1/2 cup slivered almonds
a couple of garlic cloves
black pepper
olive oil

Mushroom bits
12 oz mushrooms sliced
2 T olive oil
2 T maple syrup
1 T soy sauce
1/2 t liquid smoke

pre made pizza dough - just the usual dough for about 12 inch pizza
Any other toppings you desire - we added garlic, potato, and onion

Kale Pesto
Process the kale, almonds, and garlic in a food processor until chopped up. Add seasonings. With the processor processing slowly drizzle in the olive oil until it is the desire consistency. Adjust for any seasonings.

Mushroom bits
In a bowl, mix the mushrooms with the liquid ingredients. Allow to soak while the oven is heating up to 400F. Spread on a cookie sheet lined with foil (for easy clean up). Cook in oven, stirring occasionally, until crispy. I didn't really get these to a crispy stage, just cooked well. Set aside to cool.

Roll out the dough to desired size. We divided the dough into two pieces and rolled them into their own pizzas. We needed to make the dough fit inside of a gallon size freezer bag. Also, a pizza made from all the dough is usually too much for one meal for two people.

Place the dough in a preheated 400F oven for about 8 minutes until the dough is mostly cooked through. Spread the pesto on and top with any topping you desire. At this point, you can wrap in plastic wrap and put in a freezer bag and freeze until needed, or you can put it back in the oven and cook until the toppings are heated through the bottom of the pizza is brown.

I was a little bit wary of the pesto, when I tried it after processing it, we both thought it tasted like the way fresh cut grass smelled. The flavor mellowed out on the pizza and worked really well with the kind of sweet mushroom topping. The pizza over all was delicious. It was really fun to come home and have a frozen pizza that didn't have a bunch of weird ingredients in it. Both my husband and the friend we had over, loved the pizza.

Of course, we topped our pizza with a drizzle of sriracha.

If the freezer meals continue to be awesome, we are doing this next month and every month after that. It's like eating frozen meals from the grocery store, but they don't have a bunch of things in there that you don't want and it took three days to put all the food together! We are loving it.

02 October 2011

We might have a problem....

My husband and I like Sriracha. A lot. Recently, the grocery store we go to most often, has stopped carrying the brand we love. We decided it was time to purchase in bulk and off to Amazon we went. Two days later (thank you Amazon Prime for students), a large box appeared on our door step.

Unfortunately, one of the 12 bottles had opened up and emptied its contents all over the box and other bottles. Fortunately, it was only one and it was easy to clean off the other bottles.

We are now in possession of 11 big bottles of Sriracha and my goodness, I could not be happier about it. We quickly replaced the empty bottle in our pantry, and two went up to school to sit at our desks. You never know when your lunch is going to need the Sriracha kick, right?

We estimated that we go through about a bottle of Sriracha a month. Now we have a year long supply! I don't think this is unreasonable, yes?

01 October 2011

Once a Month Cooking: Prep/Cook Day 1

Today, my husband and I attempted to prepare about half our meals for the month. We bought the food this morning, took about two hours to cut up all the vegetables, and then began cooking. About 1.5 hours into the cooking, we burned out and decided to begin a new tomorrow. We are about half through making all the meals. If the meals turn out and taste great after being in the freezer for a few weeks, this is going to become a regular occurrence at our house. I roughly used the menu plan at Onceamonthmom. There were several recipes for the October menu that we were not down with - the stuffed squashes and a tofurky sandwich - not for us. So I supplemented recipes from the September and August menus.

Most of what is going to get turned into our meals for the month

We don't have a lot of counter space, so we made use of the stairs to hold the prepped vegetables

The recipes that we made/going to make are:

x Pumpkin Muffins (I used the recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance)
x Roasted Sweet Potato, pomegranate seeds, almonds as a salad topping
Lentil-Mushroom Sliders mini-burgers (My husband refuses to call them sliders)
Nut Loaf in Pastry
x Pomegranate Chili Tofu
Gnocchi in pumpkin sauce
Curried Lentils and Sweet Potatoes
Curry Tofu Scramble
x Baked Empanadas
x Bubble up pizza bites
x Kale Pesto, basil, mushroom pizza
Spicy Seitan Flautas

All the recipes can be found at the Once a month mom website.

Goodness, it is making me tired thinking about all the ones we still have to cook. I have placed an x next to the ones we have completed. 6 more recipes to get through and then hopefully it will make cooking over the course of this month, so much easier. Things are starting to get crazy with school - homeworks, tests, research, etc - so having good food to come home to will be great.

After we lost steam to cook more, we discovered that we didn't really have anything planned for dinner. It was decided that the Pomegranate Chili Tofu I was preparing was going to go in our bellies instead of the freezer bag.

Pomegranate Chili Tofu

If all our meals are as good as the tofu, then we will be in for a good food month. We couldn't find any pomegranate molasses, so we picked up some pomegranate juice and added it to blackstrap molasses. The dish was a good level of spicy and sweet. The breading for the tofu was a little strange, but I just decided to add whatever spices I wanted and called it good because we didn't have the Thai 7 spice blend called for. I would say this recipe is a success.

I really really hope that the freezer meals work out for us, it would simplify our cooking schedule so much. I'll be reporting back on all meals as month goes on!

Happy day 1 of Veganmofo 2011!

27 September 2011

Chipotle Black Bean Burger and guacamole

This was on the menu board for Saturday, but I made it Monday night. I tend to make the menu board and not always follow it because either I want something else, or I don't feel like cooking, or any number of things. When I do follow it, it makes life soo much easier. This is adapted from Student's Go Vegan Cookbook.

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped or to as many to taste
1 small carrot, diced
1 chipotle with adobe sauce, chopped
1 t whole grain mustard
1 t soy sauce
2 t chipotle powder
1 t cumin powder
1/4 cup rolled oats
salt and black pepper

1 avocado
1 ear of fresh corn
lemon juice
black pepper

Preheat a cast iron skillet or medium heat. Add a small amount of oil and cook the onions and garlic until softened. Add the carrots, chipotle powder, and cumin. Stir and cook until browned and soft.

Meanwhile, mash the black beans with a potato masher or fork in a large bowl. Add cooked vegetables, chipotle, mustard, and soy sauce. Stir to combine. Add the rolled oats and mix again until mixed. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes or longer while buns are toasting or grill pan is heating. It will stick together better if this step is not skipped.

In a hot cast iron pan, add a bit of olive oil and swirl around until the pan bottom is covered. Divide the burger mixture into 3 or 4 patties and add to the hot pan. Cook for about 8 minutes on each side, or until browned. Serve topped with pickles, vegan mayo, and guacamole.

Remove the corn from the ear by running a knife down the length of the ear. Add the corn to a bowl. Remove the peal and pit from the avocado and add the meat to the bowl. Mash with a potato masher until your desired smoothness. Add salt, lemon juice, black pepper and any other spices you desire. Stir in with a spoon.

Hmm, we both really enjoyed these burgers quite a bit. They held together well, and were flavorful. I am excited to make them again.

26 September 2011

Vegan MoFo Themez

Vegan MoFo is almost upon us again. I wanted to have a couple of themes to blog about to keep myself motivated for the entire month. I decided that I am going to try to not eat out at all during the month (Taco Tuesday being an exclusion to this rule). I have also decided to try once a month cooking. You cook a bunch of meals at the beginning of the month and freeze them in individual portions to use through out the month. It is fortuitous that the beginning of the month starts on a Saturday in October. My husband and I are going to spend ours cooking up a storm. Once a Month Mom is a website devoted to putting together meal plans for people cooking once a month. They have several different categories including Vegetarian! A lot of the recipes are easily veganizable. The meal plan makes about 6 - 10 breakfasts, 8 lunches, and 14 dinners. I am looking forward to using it as a good back up to the other meals that we are making. My husband is super sensitive to anything musty, so as we get to the end of the month, some of the meals might not be up to his standards, but I hope with enough freezer bags, everything will last just fine!

Biscuits and Tempeh Gravy

I have talked about tempeh gravy previously, on my old blog, but I made some biscuits and gravy this weekend, so I thought I would share.

Drop Biscuits Adapted from Table for Two
1 C flour
2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/2 cup coconut creamer
1.5 T olive oil

Tempeh Crumbles Adapted from Vegan with a Vengeance
4 oz tempeh
1 T soy sauce/tamari
1 t better than boullion paste
1 T maple syrup
1 T olive oil
1 t fennel seeds
1 t coriander seeds
2 t dry sage
2 t dry basil
2 t chipotle powder

1 T olive oil
1 T flour
1 C water

Drop Biscuits
Preheat oven to 425F. Mix together the dry ingredients. Separately, mix together the wet ingredients. Add the wet to the dry and mix briefly to just combine. Do not over mix.

On a greased sheet, drop 6 equal portions of biscuits (about 1/4 cup each). Cook for 12 - 15 minutes until brown. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.

Tempeh Crumbles
Crumble tempeh in a small sauce pan. Top with all the other ingredients and add enough water to just cover the tempeh. Turn the heat to medium high and allow the mixture to boil. Stir occasionally, so the tempeh doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. Continue to simmer until the liquid is mostly absorbed by the tempeh. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a sauce pan. When it is hot, add the flour and whisk until the flour has absorbed the oil and it has cooked out some of the raw flour flavor. Slowly, and continue whisking, add the liquid to the pan. Turn the heat up high, whisking continuously, until the mixture begins to thicken. Allow to cook to desired thickness. Add the tempeh crumbles to the gravy and stir to combine.

Either leave the biscuits whole or crumble them up on your plate and top with gravy. Serve with grapefruit on the side and garnish with fresh rosemary.

This was delicious. I make it every so often and the gravy came out super duper well this time. When my husband was done eating his share, he licked his plate clean and started eating off of my plate!

18 September 2011

Menu Planning Sunday

On Sundays I like to plan the meals for the week. I like to be able to look at the board, know that I have all the ingredients for everything on there and be able to put food together easily. When we moved into our new apartment, there was a perfect nook for a chalkboard in the kitchen. Everyone that comes over comments on it. So, it must be awesome, yes?

If you can't read the picture it is transcribed below. The top row is breakfast, middle lunch, and bottom dinner. The CP in a box means that the meal is made in the crock pot.

Monday: Beans on toast, tasty sandwich, fajitas

Tuesday: Steel cut oats, lentil soup, taco Tuesday!

Wednesday: breakfast sandwich, chili, tater tot casserole

Thursday: bagels, Amy's Soup, curry with rice

As you can see, I spend a lot of eating foods that I have made before and I know are good in the interest of time. I love cooking. A lot. With the semester in full swing I have less time to spend there. Speaking of time and not having enough but doing more things anyway, I signed up to participate in Veganmofo again this year! I hope that I will be full of inspiration for meals to make in October.

05 September 2011

Hummus Crostini

My amazing husband made this for me when I was in the throes of studying for my comprehensive exam. He is has a fantastic ability of whipping up something out of random ingredients around the kitchen and making it beautiful.

Baguette bread cut into rounds
homemade garlic hummus
roasted red pepper spread
diced yellow onions
arugula, chopped

Toast the bread, in a toaster oven, until golden brown. Spread each slice with hummus, top with a bit of the spread, sprinkle with the onions and arugula. Top with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve with a ripe, delicious nectarine on the side.

Oh my goodness, this was fantastic. I needed to eat something, but I didn't want to take time away from studying and my husband came to the rescue with this amazing dish.

04 September 2011

Peanut Butter Sandwich: Lunchbox

This post is not really to show a recipe, but to show off the lunchbox again. I really love this lunchbox. I eat much better because I try to fill all the compartments, and it is displayed well. I know it is expensive, but I think it is very much worth it. Buy a Planetbox!

Peanut butter and jelly sandwich on sourdough bread
salted, roasted corn nuts
carrot sticks
super garlic hummus
celery (located under the kiwi)
ginger snap cookies
coconut bar (on the side)

This is just an easy lunch I put together last week. We both enjoyed it.

30 August 2011

Tempeh Étouffée

Another one for the Slow Cooker Challenge. I don't think that I ever tried real étouffée before, so I have nothing to compare against.

8 oz tempeh
bell pepper

In a slow cooker combine chopped onions, celery, and bell pepper. Add enough water to cover and season with your favorite spices. Cook on low for 6 - 8 hours.

Chop the tempeh into 1 inch cubes and brown in a skillet over medium heat. Add to the crock pot for 30 minutes. Serve over rice.

I still had some rice left over from the Inca Parcels, so I just used that instead of making new rice.

This came out okay. Not amazing. I was very rushed that morning and might not have followed the recipe exactly and maybe that is why it did not come out as good as expected.

My husband has been sick all week, and while I ate this he had some miso soup.

29 August 2011

Tasty sandwich

My amazing husband made me this sandwich yesterday while I was studying for my comprehensive exam. He is the best.

toasted baguette bread
Vegan mayo
olive tapenade
sautéed cremini mushrooms and onions
thinly sliced raw onions
thinly sliced cucumbers
red bell peppers

In that order, place onto the toasted bread. Devour with Kettle TIAS Salsa Picante chips and Orton Brothers Cookie Buttons in the ginger flavor.

We love to make tasty sandwiches. Other things to add are smoked tofu, avocado slices, and fresh basil.

28 August 2011

Crockpot Party!

This past Friday, one of the new graduate students had a crock pot party at his apartment. Everyone was bringing over crock pot creations to share. Inspite of my crock potting skillz, my offerings did not turn out as I wanted.

Brownie Pudding Goo

Spinach Artichoke dip

Tatertot casserole


Brownie Pudding

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Tatertot Casserole
frozen tater tots or hash browns
cream of mushroom soup (I tried to make my own with coconut creamer, but it did not turn out well)
TVP or frozen Boca crumbles (I prefer the boca crumbles
frozen spinach

Mix together in a crock pot crock. Heat on low for about 3 hours. Stir occasionally. Season to taste, salt, black pepper, chipotle powder, etc.

Brownie Pudding - I accidentally mixed together the pudding part of the recipe into the brownie part. You are supposed to just put it over top and cover the crock pot. So, it turned out to be brownie goo, instead of brownie pudding. It was still good, just not what I expected. Meh.

Spinach Artichoke Dip - this one is always good. Success!

Tatertot Casserole - I put this together in the crock pot on a whim. I was going to do lentil soup, or falafel, but I thought I would try this. I tried to make my own cream of mushroom soup since I couldn't find a non-dairy version at the store. I sauteed up some diced mushrooms, added coconut creamer, added corn starch, then brought to a boil until thickened. I mixed that with the hashbrowns and reconstituted TVP (the hippy store did not have frozen crumbles) and then cooked for a few hours. I added some frozen spinach at the end to give some color and maybe flavor. This came out being so bland and boring. I even added some maple syrup to bring out a bit of sweetness. My lovely husband took care of throwing away the entire 3 qt pot of this. I would like to try this again, but I think I need to work on the cream of mushroom soup part. FAIL

24 August 2011

Vegan mac and cheese

I was coming home from a Burlesque show in Saturday night and decided that I really wanted to have some mac and cheese. I quickly came up with, has to be, the best vegan mac and cheese ever. I need to work a bit more on the recipe, but the taste of it is fantastic.

1/2 cup coconut original creamer
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 t tomato paste
2 t soy sauce
2 t white miso paste
chipotle powder
dried basil
black pepper
green onions, for garnish
3/4 cup macaroni or other pasta

This feeds approximately 1.

In a medium sauce pan, bring water to boil and cook the pasta until your desired firmness. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan over low heat, add the creamer, nutritional yeast, tomato paste, soy sauce, and miso paste. Using a whisk, stir constantly to full blend together. Add any herbs and seasonings you desire, to taste. *Bring to a low simmer, and allow to reduce in volume until it is the desired thickness. Mix together with the pasta and top with chopped green onions and freshly ground black pepper.

*This is what I should have done.

This is freakin' fantastic. The taste of it is amazing. My husband also agrees. I failed to thicken up the sauce before adding it to my pasta because I was hungry. I am going to be making this again this week to tweak the recipe and make it more awesome. My husband said he wasn't hungry and then he kept chowing down on my pasta!

23 August 2011

Lentil soup: lunch edition

The other day, I had the brilliant idea of bringing my slow cooker up to school and making lentil soup in it for lunch. I set up the cooker in my husband's office, and it made everyone in his office jealous that we were eating something that smelled so good. This is also another entry in the Slow Cooker Challenge.

1 cup lentils
2 cups veggie broth
1/2 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
cumin powder
chipotle powder
several handfuls of kale

This was made in a 1.5 qt slow cooker. I put the lentils, onions, carrots, cumin, and chipotle powder in the slow cooker before I left for school. I carried the veggie broth in a mason jar to add when I arrived. Add the broth to the vegetables and cook on high for about 4 hours, or until the lentils are tender. Add the chopped kale, cover and let the kale wilt a bit before devouring with toast, salt, and sriracha sauce.

This was so good, we are going to buy a slow cooker to keep up at school for days when we want some sort of soup. It made the office smell delicious and our meal was hot and ready when we wanted to take lunch. Both my husband and I gave this the two thumbs up.

22 August 2011

Rice Pudding

I was still trying to use up the rest of the leftover rice I mentioned in the last post, and thought rice pudding would be fabulous for dessert.

1 cup cold, cooked rice
1 cup coconut milk
cardamom pod split and seeds extracted
splash of vanilla extract
maple syrup, to taste

In a small sauce pan, combine the rice and coconut milk over low heat. Stir frequently to keep the rice from sticking. When the rice absorbs most of the coconut milk, add the seeds, vanilla, and maple syrup. Remove from heat and serve warm.

I had some local blueberries to put on top which added an contrast in textures. This was delicious. This recipe is pretty much a repeat of one I posted before, but now I have a picture!

21 August 2011

Cabbage Rolls and Sea Vegetable/Cucumber Phyllo Purses

With the school year starting in a few weeks, I really want to get back in the habit of not eating out very much at all. I plan on making my lunch be what we had for dinner the night before. If I can just remember to pack the lunch boxes at night, I think that will work out just fine.

I was in the mood for cooking this evening!

Recipes from:
Inca Parcels (cabbage rolls with rice instead of amaranth) from Vegan

Sea Vegetable and Cucumber Phyllo Purses from Real Food Daily

This is the picture of our lunches that I packed tonight. Included with the parcels and purses are hummus, cherries, carrot sticks, corn nuts, and mini peanut butter crackers.

The phyllo purses are amazing. The texture is fabulous, the taste is outstanding, and they are fun to eat! Two thumbs up from both of us.

The parcels are just okay. The rice filling is pretty tasty, but when wrapped in the cabbage, the cabbage seemed to make everything taste very bland. I'll probably just eat the rice filling tomorrow and keep the cabbage separate.

Also, we still really really really like our Planet Box lunch boxes. They are just about the right size for us and are super cute. We get comments on them every time we eat lunch. I love them.

Sushi Salad

The other day, I had leftover rice in my fridge and I was going to make sushi with it, but the rice had dried out too much to stay together in a roll. So I just threw all the vegetables I had cut up into a bowl with the rice.

1 cup cold cooked rice
1 sheet nori
smoked tofu
sriracha mixed with vegan mayo

This is for one serving. Chop up the vegetables and tofu, combine with the rice in a bowl. Cut the nori into squares and mix into salad. Top with the spicy mayo sauce.

Hmm, this was really delicious and much much easier than rolling sushi rolls. I made this for my husband and he really enjoyed it.

14 August 2011

Airport Salad

I recently traveled to Newfoundland for a conference and traveling always proves hard to find adequate food. I was really happy to find this salad in the Toronto airport.

For airport food, this was really good. I would buy it again.

If anyone is ever in St. John's, Newfoundland, there is a FANTASTIC vegetarian/vegan restaurant called Sprout on Duckworth. We went two days in a row and was a great respite from seeing fried cod fish tongues on menus.

13 August 2011


My husband made crepes one weekend morning. We even bought a flat round cast iron griddle to use to make crepes.

mushroom/onion/garlic mixture

Oh man, these were really filling and super tasty. I would make these again. So great.

Tasty Pasta: Lunch Box Edition

My husband made a double batch of pasta one night and we had it cold the next day for lunch.

tasty pasta
carrot sticks
sourdough bread
peanut butter crackers
granola bar

Next time we have this in the lunch box, we are going to put it directly in the lunch box instead of the round container. It was not quite enough food, but close. This was super tasty.

12 August 2011

Thai Tofu Cakes: Lunch box edition

The day after we made the Thai Tofu Cakes for dinner, I put them in our lunch boxes. I took them to lab lunch and everyone was super impressed with my lunch

Thai Tofu Cakes
carrot sticks
cucumber slices
dipping sauce
red bell pepper
lime wedge
peanut butter crackers

These were very tasty the second day! I would love to make them again. Both of us became very hungry in the afternoon, so this was not enough food for the day, but it was really good.

20 July 2011

Olive Lentil Burger

My friend, Beard Matt, gave me a ride home the other day, and in order to pay him back, I asked if he wanted to come and partake of our dinner. We wanted to put these on the grill, but they are waaaayyy too soft for that. After baking or cooking in the cast iron skillet, we put them on the grill for a few minutes.

I followed the instructions on the Post Punk Kitchen Blog.

We tried both baking and cooking in a cast iron skillet. I think I prefer these in the skillet, rather than baked, only because they came out much faster.

These burgers were really good. They were even better the second day. I will be making these again and again. Note the long times until dinner is on the table. We made the lentils the night before so we didn't have to wait for them to cook on the day of. I want to mess with the texture because we added a ton of bread crumbs to the mixture and even an egg to see if we could get it to form up better, but it did not. Once it was cooked, it held up fine on the bun, but it was soo soft before cooking.

19 July 2011

Orzo Pasta Salad and New Lunch box!

I like to bring my lunch to school everyday, partly because I don't like any of the restaurant choices here and partly because it is cheaper. I have been on the look out for a good, useable lunchbox for a while now and I think I have found one that is fantastic. A Planetbox!

So far I have only used it for one day, but I really really enjoy it. There is room enough for food for my lunch and an afternoon snack. My husband also said that he had more than enough food for him. So it is not just for children! I wish that the carrying bags came in other colors, but that is a minor fault.

cremini mushrooms
sun-dried tomatoes
lemon juice

Boil the orzo until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain.

Sauté the onions until softened, add the mushrooms and garlic and cook until those are soft. Add the drained orzo and kale. Mix around until the kale is wilted and the orzo has taken up some of the oil in the pan. Remove from heat, add the lemon juice and sriracha. Stir to combine and garnish with fresh basil.

Eat immediately or cool in the fridge and eat at room temperature.

This was a perfect lunch box salad. It tasted great at room temperature and held up well in the container.

Also in my lunch box is homemade hummus, black olives, plums, carrot sticks, and Late July mini peanut butter cookies.

Once again, my lunch box rocks. It even has rocket magnets on the front. I love it.

18 July 2011

Epic Taco Salad

Last Sunday, my husband decided to spend his day hanging out at the local pub, drinking beer, reading Harper's, playing darts, and chatting with people there. I decided to spend the day with the house to myself and made a super awesome epic taco salad.

TVP (water, chipotle powder, salt, pepper)
black olives
sriracha sauce
lime or lemon juice

Boil about 1/2 cup water (for one serving) and take off heat. Add the TVP (about 1/2 cup for one serving) and spices. Put the lid on and set aside while preparing everything else.

Wash and tear the lettuce into bite sized pieces. Chop the onions and sauté in a little bit of olive oil over medium heat until soft. Chop the olives, tomatoes, and avocado into bite sized chunks.

Arrange the lettuce on a plate or in a bowl. Add everything else on top. Sprinkle with lime or lemon juice on top. Devour.

I did not know if I could finish a whole plate of this, but I did and it was fantastic. I always forget how much I love salads. And with lettuce being all over the place at the farmer's market, I can satisfy that love with awesome greens.

17 July 2011


Grapefruit and plum tarts

Grilled Peach Pie

Last Saturday, my husband and I had some people over for a pie cook off. My husband had also brewed his own hard cider, so this was also the unveiling for that. I sent out the e-mail for the pie cook off saying that there would be a vegan category and a non vegan category to enter into. We had one pie in the non vegan category (congratulations, Robert! You won!) and 2 tarts and 3 pies in the vegan category. It was so much fun.

The other two pies were Strawberry Rhubarb Pie from the Post Punk Kitchen and a raw berry/nut pie that tasted like yogurt and granola.

My husband was really excited about his grilled peach pie. He grilled the peaches before baking and then put them in the pie. It was too bad, but you couldn't really taste the grill-ness of the peaches. It was good, just not grilled good. My tarts were simple and fresh.

Hands down, the winner was the strawberry rhubarb pie. Allison made it with rhubarb from her garden and half of the strawberries were also from her garden. It was probably the most delicious pie I have ever had.

Our next cook off is going to be a pizza contest and we are going to break out the beer that is currently brewing in our closet.

16 July 2011

Grilled Pizza

Yes, another pizza post. This time, we grilled the pizza!

We used similar toppings as in the last post: tomato sauce, potatoes, olives, onions, rosemary, salt, pepper

We tried both parcooking the crust and not parcooking and I liked it both ways, but my husband preferred to not parcook the crust.

Roll out crust in circle, place on a clean grill over hot coals. Add the tomato sauce and toppings. Put on the lid and cook until the bottom is browned and toppings are cooked through.

If you want to parcook, place the crust on the grill, cover with top. Cook until brown on the bottom, turn over and put sauce and toppings on. Cook until everything is browned and warmed through.

We both really liked this a lot. The grill marks and flavour from the grill is amazing. I would like to do this again!

15 July 2011

Thai Green Curry

I had been wanting to make my own curry paste for a while and when I saw this on the Fat Free Vegan blog, I decided it was time to do it.

I followed the recipe pretty closely from the blog.

Making curry paste is incredibly easy with a food processor. Put everything in and pulse until combined.

I did not use tofu in my curry and for vegetables used potatoes, carrots, and onions. I also used a can of coconut milk and kale.

I served with jasmine rice.

We both really enjoyed this a lot. The curry paste has a fantastic taste and I used about twice as much as was called for in the recipe. I like things hot!

14 July 2011

Fauxstess Cupcakes

The last couple of weeks, I have been craving sugary foods and decided it was time to make the fauxstess cupcakes from Vegan with a Vengeance.

You can find the recipe here.

My "fluffy white icing" did not become fluffy or white. I think it was because I made it with natural sugar instead of the plain white stuff and my shortening was slightly melty from it being so hot here in New Hampshire.

I could not find black cocoa powder, so I just used Dutch Processed and they came out fine.

My husband and I each had one and then gave the rest away to people at school. This was super duper sugary, but good. I don't think I would make them again.

13 July 2011

4th of July Barbecue!

Both my husband and I had the day off for the 4th of July and we decide to be 'merican and grill us some grub. I don't think that this is what most people barbecued.

Field Roast Sausages
Corn on the cob
Onion/bell pepper/cremini mushrooms on lemon grass sticks
Sriracha Tofu
grilled lime
grilled nectarines

Light charcoal and wait until they are covered in a white ash. Place delicious food across the grill. Cook until grill marks appear and food tastes smokey. Devour.

My friend Meghan sent me the recipe for the Sriracha tofu because of my deep love for the tasty sauce. I had to make it as soon as I could and it did not disappoint. It was spicy, sweet, and really hot. My husband said it reminded him of fermented fish paste he had when he traveled through Thailand and Cambodia. As in, it tasted exactly like that. I used tofu that was already in cubes, so I just wrapped it in foil and put in on the grill.

I got the idea to make the skewers on the lemongrass sticks from the cookbook Fresh and Fast Vegan Pleasures, and it sounded like a good idea, but putting the veggies on it was a pain because I had to use an actual skewer to make the hole before I could place it on the lemongrass. Also, it did not impart much flavour. Would not recommend.

Oh my goodness, has anyone tried Field Roast products before? I think I had maybe one item when I was living in Portland, but since moving to the east coast, I haven't seen any of their products carried out here. At my local hippy store, I saw a package of the sausages in the freezer and decided to try them out. Oh man, sooo good. They are unlike any other analogues I have had. They are even better than the ones I make at home.

Barbecuing limes offers an amazing flavour. Put the cut side on the grill until grill marks appear and then squeeze over food. It gives everything a smokey lime goodness.

Barbecued nectarines are not as tasty as grilled peaches, but they were still pretty tasty.

All in all, a successful 4th of July dinner!

12 July 2011


Unfortunately, I made this about a month ago, and I can't remember how I did it. I do remember it being freakishly tasty though.

Looking at the picture I believe the ingredients are:

Arborio rice
Better than bouillon vegetable paste
shiitake mushrooms
fresh oregano

I know that I followed the standard recipe for risotto - heat up a pot of broth to simmer and add 1/2 cup measures to the rice/vegetables. Maybe it was using the farmer's market veggies that made it so tasty.

I remember us talking about this meal all evening and my husband telling the guys on the game he plays how tasty it was. So make risotto, it is good.

11 July 2011

Thai Tofu Cake

I have curry paste kicking around in my fridge from making the green curry the other day, so today I decide to make another recipe from the Fat Free Vegan website.

I followed the instructions as given on the blog.

First off, this was really really really tasty. I added about double the curry paste. I used panko bread crumbs for the breading. I used hijiki instead of arame seaweed. For the dipping sauce, I used white balsamic vinegar. I baked half of the cakes and cooked the other half in my cast iron skillet. I think I liked the texture of the ones baked better. Also, I think next time, instead of adding the full 1/2 cup of broth to the tofu mixture, I will just add enough for everything to hold together. It became pretty runny after adding the broth and hard to handle. I don't think I let the mixture sit in the fridge for the recommended 30 minutes and maybe if I had, then it would stick together better.

The leftovers from this went into the lunchboxes for tomorrow. Seriously, this was really good.

EDIT: My husband also thought that these were magically delicious.

Polenta with chickpeas, spinach, mushroom

I just threw this together based on what I had in kitchen and it came amazing. This was my first time making polenta and it came out tasty, but I am not planning on making more any time soon.

2 cups water
vegetable better than bullion paste
3/4 cup polenta
5 oz shiitake mushrooms
1 cup frozen spinach (I used frozen because that is what I had, but feel free to use fresh)
1 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed
fresh oregano

2 heads of garlic

Boil water and the bullion paste. In a slow and steady stream, whisk in the polenta. Continue to whisk nearly constantly until it comes away from the sides of the pan and has a "shiny" texture. This should take about 15 - 20 minutes.

When the polenta is done, place the polenta in an 8x8 pan and smooth the top. Cool in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or preferable longer. When the polenta is cooled, it sticks together.

Roast the garlic: chop off the top of the head of garlic. Drizzle with olive oil, wrap in foil, and place in a preheated 350F oven for about 40 minutes, or until brown and soft.

Heat a cast iron pan over medium heat and add some olive oil. When the pan and oil are heated, add squares of the polenta and cook until browned on both sides, about 8 minutes.

While the polenta is cooking, in another skillet over medium heat, add a splash of olive oil and cook the mushrooms until softened. Add the spinach and chickpeas and heat through.

Place a piece of polenta down and top with the mushroom mixture. Garnish with the fresh oregano and roasted garlic.

This was crazy delicious. I had the problem of the browned part of my polenta sticking to the bottom of my pan when I went to turn it over, but I think it was because I had not allowed the polenta to cool sufficiently. I made this a while ago, but I am pretty sure that my husband liked it as well.

10 June 2011

Pasta and toast

This is a dish my husband has perfected. It is easy, delicious and uses a minimal amount of dishes.

spaghetti or other pasta - fettuccine, etc
onion, chopped
garlic, chopped
dried basil
dried oregano
red pepper flakes
Muir Glen Pizza sauce

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and leave in the strainer. In the same pan that you used to cook the pasta, melt some olive oil and butter like substitute over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until brown and softened. Add the basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, and sauce and stir to combine. Add the pasta back to the party. Serve with fresh basil and toasted bread.

We both really like this, a lot. And slowly, my husband has ramped up the red pepper flakes to the point where my mouth burns for a while after eating. It is great.

09 June 2011

Baked Ziti

My husband and I have been watching the Sopranos via Netflix over the last few months. Both of us, after watching them devour delicious plates of pasta can't make enough of our own pasta. All I want to do is drink big glasses of red wine and eat copious amounts of ziti. So that is what we are doing. This is a recipe based on one from Your Vegan Mom. A fantastic blog, by the way.

1/2 lb ziti or other type of tublar pasta.
1.5 cup tomato sauce (we use the Muir Glen Pizza sauce)
onion, chopped
garlic, chopped
red pepper flakes

Cashew Ricotta
8 oz soft tofu
1/4 cup whole raw cashews
1 T. lemon juice
dried basil

1/4 c. bread crumbs
2 T. nutritional yeast
1/4 t. salt
1 T. olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400F. Lightly grease a 8x8 glass cooking dish.

Boil the pasta under al dente. It will cook a bit more in the oven, but not too much, so make sure it is almost to your desired tenderness. Drain and set aside.

Sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil until tender. Mix in the tomato sauce, we used about half a can, but please use more if you like it saucier. Add the red pepper flakes to taste. Mix the tomato sauce with the cooked pasta. Put the pasta/sauce mixture in the prepared pan.

Cashew Ricotta
In a food processor, grind the cashews to a powder, then add the tofu and lemon juice. Blend until smooth. Add the salt, basil, and sriracha to taste. It is pretty bland at this point so taste and adjust to your liking.

Mix the bread crumbs, nutritional yeast, salt, and olive oil together. I had to use more bread crumbs in order to cover the casserole to my desired thickness.

Gently mix the "ricotta" into the pasta. Then cover the top evenly with the topping. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake for about 10 or so minutes more until browned and bubbly.

We did not use enough sauce. I think the pasta absorbed a lot of the sauce during baking and the pasta came out pretty dry. Next time, more sauce!

My husband, even though this gave him wretched heart burn, loved this. I thought it was super tasty and amazingly easy.

22 May 2011

TVP Tacos

My husband and I both love Mexican food and though this is for sure white people Mexican food, it is still tasty.

1 cup TVP
1 cup water/broth
chopotle powder
black pepper
cholula hot sauce

1 - 2 avocados
fresh corn
diced onion
black pepper
lime juice

cholula hot sauce
lime juice
black olives
pickled jalapeños

corn tortillas

Boil water, add the TVP. Remove from heat and allow the TVP to absorb the water. Season to taste.

In a cast iron skillet, warm up a small amount of olive oil. Add an ear's worth of fresh corn. (Frozen would probably work as well, maybe 1/2 cup). Stir and allow to cook until browned and toasty. Smash the avocado and add the rest of the ingredients to taste.

Make the taco assembly line, warm up a tortilla, add some TVP, guacamole, cilantro, hot sauce, and a bit of lime juice and any other toppings.

Hmm, I love TVP tacos. It reminds me of the tacos at the Bonfire from the summer my husband worked there.

We had these for dinner and a few hours later, I found my husband digging through the leftovers making another taco. I guess he liked it!

Speaking of leftovers, we try to have none because neither of us really eat them, so next time I would probably only use 1/2 cup of TVP rather than a full cup. There was quite a bit leftover after making 4 tacos.

21 May 2011

Almond Fudge Cookies

Another recipe from Table for Two. This cookbook is pretty fantastic for easy, whole (non processed) food. The recipes usually only use about 5 or so ingredients and they are all non processed stuff. This book helps me stick to our food budget because I don't really have to buy expensive items for the recipes.

whole blanched or slivered almonds

1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup oat flour
3 T cocoa/carob powder
1/4 t baking powder
pinch of salt

1/4 cup maple syrup
3 T vegetable oil
1/2 t vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Place the almonds aside.

Mix together the dry ingredients and add the wet ones. Only combine until just mixed. It should a thick dough.

Take a couple of tablespoons of dough, roll into a ball and place on a cookie sheet. Repeat until all the dough is used up. Place a whole almond or a few slivered almonds on top.

Bake until cooked through, about 12 - 15 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool completely.

I made these in the morning before going up school and brought them up to my office. My office mates enjoyed them. I thought they were a little dry, but tasted really great with my Bengal Spice tea. Dip a portion of the cookie in and eat. So good. Also, I could really taste the salt in the cookies. Maybe I should decrease it even more or maybe eliminate it.

20 May 2011

Crispy Tofu Sticks and quinoa with vegetables

Last week, my husband had to be at a ethics training in the morning and he asked if I could take care of lunch. I slept in for a bit, and then looked through Table for Two for inspiration for the tofu and various vegetables sitting in my fridge.

Crispy Tofu
1/2 lb extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
bread crumbs
nutritional yeast
chipotle powder
black pepper

Quinoa and vegetables
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup water/broth
broccoli (or other various vegetables)
black pepper

Crispy Tofu
Cut the tofu into six sticks. Combine the breading up to the flour in a shallow pan. Put flour in another pan. And water in another pan.

Bread the tofu by rolling a stick in the flour, then immersing in the water, then rolling in the cornmeal.

Fry the sticks on a cast-iron skillet with a small amount of olive oil, until all sides are brown about 3-4 minutes per side.

Quinoa and vegetables
Boil the water and add the quinoa. Cook until the water is absorbed, about 12 - 15 minutes. Add the spices.

Sauté the garlic, onions, and mushrooms until tender. Add the broccoli and a tablespoon or two of water to help soften it. Season until tasty. Add the vegetables to the quinoa and chill until ready to serve.

We both really enjoyed the the tofu sticks once we added a bit of sriracha sauce on top of them. They still had a good flavor otherwise. If I would make them again, I would marinate them before doing the breading and frying bit.

The quinoa was okay. It became a bit gummy, maybe because I made it on the stovetop instead of in the rice cooker which is what I usually do. We didn't eat that much of it, but it wasn't bad.