Thursday, December 18, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I was so excited, and as I watched in excitement they cooked up this delicious portobello burger. I love portobello burgers of all types, but I have to say, I think this one was my favorite!! And to go along with it I whipped up some Smoky Chipotle Black Bean Soup (watch for a post to come). Get some portobellos and get grillin'.
Monday, November 17, 2008
After 18 months of teaching yoga things have fallen into place, and I'm finally working toward the certification I've been wanting for so long. So, as you can imagine, there's a lot of reading and a lot of study involved. Therefore, my blogging may not be as frequent.......however, I could surprise you, I do love blogging about all of the great vegan food we eat, so just keep me on your feed list, even if the posts get few and far between!!
Anyway, the photo posted above is a dish from a week or so ago. I had 2 sweet dumpling squash from the CSA that I needed to use, but I didn't really know what to do with them. The Urban Vegan had a post a while back about stuffed squash, so that's what I decided to do with it. However, Rob isn't really a fan of squash, but he is a fan of curry, so I just whipped up this Thai style curry using green curry paste, coconut milk, brown sugar, lime juice and a big mix of veggies (including the squash that I cut out of the bowls), and served it all inside these cute sweet dumpling squash bowls.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
On to the top shelf...On the right, you see stacks of frozen tortilla (corn and flour), we eat lots of tortillas. Stacks of frozen beans, mostly black eyed peas and pintos at this time. The green lid canister is black beans, the ball jar behind that is vital wheat gluten, as is the bag to the right of that, the container behind the wheat gluten is bread crumbs. That bag of wheat gluten is sitting on top of a box of phyllo dough, and in front of that is a bag of ginger root. On the left side of the drawer you see a container filled with stuff for smoothies (there are blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and bananas). In front of the smoothie stuff are stacks of frozen pancakes, next to that are teething rings. Behind the teething rings in the purple lids is frozen pumpkin puree (2 cups there, but I still have 2 pumpkins on the counter that I need to cook, puree and freeze). Behind the pumpkin is a baggie with seeds left over from planting the garden this year. And ice packs for lunch boxes behind that.
Now the refrigerator. This obviously is the main section of my fridge. Here we keep yeast, coconut milk yogurt, gelatin free "jello", silk creamer, flax oil, flour of all types, tahini, Better Than Sour Cream and Better Than Cream Cheese, flax seeds, citrus fruits, avocados, applesauce, Earth Balance. Looks like there are some mushrooms there and also some cider. And of course, containers of left-overs In the drawers are my fresh herbs and veggies, tofu, Tofuky deli slices, tortillas and pitas.
And, in the door, various sauces and jams, soy milk, rice milk, water and wine. Plus, Earth Balance Shortening and Buttery Sticks.
So, that's it. That's what this vegan keeps in her refrigerator. I considered showing you my pantry but it's such a disaster. Maybe this will motivate me to get in there, clean it out and snap a photo.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
To celebrate election night and support our candidate, I baked up some "Elitist, Chicago Style" Deep Dish Pizza. I used my usual crust, baked in 8 inch cake pans, and topped with crushed tomato, shallots, artichokes, red bell pepper, crushed red pepper, sliced mushrooms and Follow Your Heart Mozzarella. What a delicious way to celebrate what appears to be a victory for us liberals!!
Let's see......one evening last week I made up a big batch of falafel, and some Hummus en Fuego to go along with it. I got the idea for the hummus from the 101cookbooks blog, but I didn't follow Heidi's recipe exactly. Basically I just made my regular hummus recipe, adding in a few tsp of hot chili oil. Then, I drizzled it with a few more tsp of chili oil when I served it. This hummus was delicious. Stella, my 2 year old, loved it so much she was eating it with her hands!! She loves everything HOT!!
For Halloween I wanted to have something that I could get ready and feed the kids early (read: before they went trick or treating), but that would still be tasty later when Rob and I were ready to eat. Plus, I wanted something to kind of fit the season and the theme of Halloween. So, this Black and Orange Chili is what I came up with. In my haste to get dinner going I didn't write down a recipe, but basically this chili is started by sauteing onions, celery, carrot and garlic. Then I added in some diced sweet potatoes, cumin, chili powder, oregano and about 4 cups of vegetable stock. Bring chili to a boil, allow sweet potatoes to start to soften, then add LOTS of black beans. Heat through and serve. The kids really liked this, and I felt good that they'd filled up on something healthy before trick or treating!! Of course, Stella can't eat any of the candy she collected, and I did allow Mairin a few pieces of non-vegan chocolate from her stash. Since then the candy has been sitting untouched in the closet.
And finally, I just wanted to share with you one of the lovely birthday presents the kids gave me. I got this beautiful cupcake tree, and some fantastic heart shaped muffin cups. The muffins you see on the tree are chocolate chip muffins that I've shared the recipe for before.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Anyway, while I like lots of savory squash dishes, I really do like pumpkin best in sweet, dessert type dishes. Following are my "veganizations" of two pumpkin recipes I love.
Pumpkin Crumb Bars
1 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup Earth Balance, room temperature
2 cups pumpkin puree (or one 16 oz can)
2/3 cup hemp milk (or other non dairy milk of your choice)
1/3 cup light brown sugar
Ener-G egg replacer for 1 egg
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
Preheat oven to 375. Combine oats, flour, 3/4 cup brown sugar, salt, baking soda and Earth Balance in bowl of stand mixer. Mix until crumbly. Reserve 1 1/2 cups crumb mixture and press remaining mixture into a 13x9 baking dish that has been sprayed with canola oil. Bake crust for 10 minutes.
In the meantime, prepare filling. Combine pumpkin, hemp milk, brown sugar, egg replacer and spices. Beat until smooth and well blended. Spread over crust, sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture. Return to oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until filling is set and crumb topping is golden brown. Cool in pan and cut into bars. These can be served at room temperature, but I prefer them after they've been refrigerated.
Whole Wheat Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup unbleached bread flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cloves
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 Tsp canola oil
1 6 oz container vegan yogurt (I used vanilla Coconut Milk yogurt)
1/4 cup + 2 Tbs water
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350. In bowl of stand mixer combine dry ingredients. Mix to combine well. In a small bowl whisk together all wet ingredients. With stand mixer running, pour wet ingredients into dry. Combine just until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour batter into 9x5 bread pan that has been sprayed with canola oil. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove from pan and cool on wire rack until completely cooled.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Fast forward a few days, and the apples were out for dinner once again. This time I made "Sausage", Apples and Onions with Apple Cider Sauce. For this dish I used Tofurky Kielbasa style sausage, but you could use any vegan sausage you like. I browned the sausages in a little olive oil in a large skillet. When the sausage is browned, remove it from the skillet and set aside. Add to the skillet 2 large apples (sliced) , and 1/2 large onion (sliced). Saute apples and onions for a few minutes until apples begin to soften (don't let them go too far, you don't want them to turn into applesauce), return sausage to the pan then add in about 1 cup apple cider vinegar that's had about 1 tsp arrowroot powder whisked into it. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for a few minutes until sauce begins to thicken. I served the sausages on top of a heaping mound of mashed potatoes with a side of cornbread. Again, another perfect autumnal meal. The sweetness that the apples and cider added to the sausage was perfect. My picky eater, Mairin, gobbled up every bite of sausage!!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Apple Crisp is so delicious.......as you can see, we couldn't even wait until the photo was taken before we dug right in. It's a wonderful dessert any time, but especially great when the local apples are in season and it's made with apples fresh off the tree. I used Jonathan apples, but any tart/sweet cooking apple will do. I make my apple crisp with the skin on the apples, because the pectin from the skin helps to keep it thick. I'm sure most of you have an apple crisp recipe floating around somewhere, but some of them can require quite a lot of ingredients. This one is simple to assemble, with only a few ingredients, and bakes up in about 40 minutes. It's perfect served with vanilla vegan ice-cream or drizzled with vegan vanilla yogurt (preferably coconut milk yogurt).
4-5 large cooking apples, cored and cut into bite sized pieces
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
dash nutmeg or allspice
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 stick Earth Balance margarine, cut into pieces
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
Preheat oven to 350. In a 9x9 baking dish combine apples, 1/4 cup brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. In bowl of food processor combine flour, oats, Earth Balance, and rest of brown sugar. Pulse until margarine is broken down and mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle crumb topping over apples and bake for about 40 minutes until you see some juices of the apples bubbling up around the edges, and crumb topping is golden brown. Serve warm.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
As the weather is getting colder and colder, soups and stews are becoming more frequent on my menus. Just a few weeks ago, The Urban Vegan posted about her pasta fazool, reminding me that it had been ages since I'd made or eaten pasta e fagioli. I'm so glad she reminded me. It's warm, hearty, and so comforting. I won't post a recipe, because I'm sure you all have your own recipe for this dish already (and if you don't, I'm sure you can find one quite easily on the internet), but I hope I've reminded you that it's time to make pasta e fagioli for yourself.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
When we were up a Huber's a few weeks ago I picked up a jar of their Chow-Chow. I've been meaning to make my own, but I'm just too damn lazy these days, and when I saw it on the shelves I had to buy it. I mean, locally grown, locally produced, and locally canned, it doesn't get any closer to homemade.
In the south chow chow is typically served over pinto beans, but I didn't have any of those, so I cooked up a big batch of black eyed peas and served the chow chow over that. Rob is usually not a fan of beans as a main dish, but he indeed liked them when served with a big spoonful of chow chow on top. Mairin claimed to not like them, and Stella preferred hers without chow chow....oh well, that leaves more for me I guess.
To go along with the beans I cooked up some greens, loosely based on Chessa's ravings about these smoky greens. Now I say loosely, because I was actually missing most of the ingredients and I didn't have collards. So, my concoction was a combo of mustard greens and kale from the CSA, I didn't have mushrooms, and I didn't have chipotle in adobo (but I did have bottle of Frontera chipotle sauce which is basically ground up chipotle in adobo, so I used that), and finally I didn't follow any of the measurements in the recipe because I didn't have 5 lbs of greens, so I just threw things in here and there. I have to say, the results were damn good. These were by far the best greens EVER!! I can't wait to follow the recipe and find out what the actual results are.
And, what's a southern Beans and Greens dinner without cornbread? Well, it's not complete, that's what I say, so of course, there was a big pan of cornbread to accompany the meal. Oh, and some southern fried potatoes and onions from the CSA as well.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I wanted the soup to be kid friendly, and I didn't want the vegetables to overshadow the small alphabet pasta. Therefore, this recipe does require some tedious chopping. But your kids will feel so special that you've made a meal "just for them".
2 Tbs Olive oil
1 onion, diced small
2 ribs celery, diced small
2 carrots, diced into small cubes
3 small yukon gold potatoes, diced into small cubes
3 cloves garlic, minced (optional only if your kids like garlic)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp thyme leaves (dried)
1 tsp oregano (dried)
1 14.4 oz can diced tomatoes with juice
6 cups good quality vegetable stock
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn kernels
8 oz alphabet shaped pasta, cooked and drained
Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large soup pot. Add onion, celery, carrots and potato and saute until veggies are becoming soft. Add minced garlic, bay leaves, thyme and oregano. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss around in pan until fragrant. Add tomatoes and their juice, using juice to de-glaze pan if needed. Add vegetable stock, peas, and corn and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until ready to serve. Check seasoning and add extra salt if needed. Just before ready to serve, add pasta to pot, stir to heat through. For the adults, I added a few Tbs of chopped fresh parsley to brighten the flavor a bit.
To finish the meal I made the classic childhood favorite, Oatmeal Raisin cookies. I used Dreena's wheat free recipe from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan. These cookies are absolutely perfect. They taste exactly like a cookie your grandmother would have baked for you when you were a child.
So, get cookin', and make a special meal for you kids tonight!!
Monday, October 13, 2008
A while back when I was reading over at The Veggie Patch, I saw a link to a recipe for vegan queso. I also received my VegWeb weekly recipe e-mail and there is a very similar recipe there as well. Now, I haven't really missed cheese at all, except for queso. There have been a few times that we've eaten at Q-doba and I have longed to dip my chip in some of that warm, gooey queso. There happen to be lots of vegan queso recipes that involve melting soy cheese (which can sometimes prove tricky, and quite honestly, just grosses me out a little), or involve some combination of ground nuts. Imagine my delight when I stumbled upon a soy free, nut free cheese recipe!! I put it on my list of things to make soon, and a day when I didn't feel like cooking felt soon enough!! I whipped up some of the queso (which takes about 5 minutes), poured it over a pile of tortilla chips, with some black beans, diced onion, black olives, and chopped cilantro. Voila, nachos!!!
This queso is fabulous!! It has been awhile since I've had queso, but I do think this one is very close in flavor and texture to it's dairy laden counterpart. It hasn't been quite so long since Rob's had queso, and he too thought this one was amazingly close to dairy queso. I've got so many ideas for this deliciously cheesy dip, you can expect that it will be made around here quite often. And as an added bonus......you don't feel fat, gross, and guilty after you eat this queso, even if you eat a ton!!
Thursday, October 9, 2008
This year has been quite and Adventure indeed. This started out as a vegetarian food blog, and has now morphed into a vegan food blog. As I learned more and more about the effects of farming both on the animals and the Earth, I couldn’t help but take the next step and switch to Vegan. I feel better both physically and spiritually for having made the switch, and I can’t imagine ever going back. I’m now living an almost entirely vegan lifestyle (save for a few exceptions, like my non-vegan deodorant that I just can’t find a good replacement for). Rob has converted to vegetarianism 100%, and both he and the girls are embracing veganism with only a few exceptions (like I still can’t convince them to order pizza without cheese). I’ve even convinced a few people to try out more vegan and vegetarian options.
I’ve learned a few things along the way as well. First, I’ve learned that being vegan isn’t nearly as hard as everyone assumes it is. I’ve learned that I love seitan, but that I prefer not to make it from scratch. I’ve learned that pizza is good……maybe even better…….without cheese. I’ve learned that vegan eating in Chicago is fabulous, but in Indianapolis, not so much. I’ve learned not to be afraid to scramble tofu, it’s really good, and really easy. I’ve learned that I LOVE vegan cupcakes. And finally, I’ve learned that I’m much more creative in the kitchen than I thought I was!!
In short, it’s been a great year. This blog has served it’s purpose well, and I look forward to sharing another year of my Adventures in Vegetarianism with you.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
When I think of fall I think of cool weather, vibrantly colored leaves and bon fires. Of course, no bon fire is complete without S'mores.....................hence, S'mores cupcakes from VCTOTW. These are definitely reminiscent of S'mores, but they aren't spot on. I think they could be improved with a bit of Marshmallow Fluff (do they make vegan Marshmallow Fluff??) instead of the buttercream. Another idea might be to attempt to melt down some vegan marshmallows to drizzle on the tops. Maybe a vegan marshmallow hidden in the center of each cake? I don't know, they just need a little more marshmallow-y-ness!! Also, if you decide to make these, don't fill the muffin tins full, as directed......these babies rise and the result will be less than pretty tops (see photo below).
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Cinnamon Icing
from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
This past week we received 2 large butternut squash, so I decided to make them into a soup. Served with a salad loaded with diced fall apples and dressed with maple-dijon vinaigrette, it was a delightful fall meal.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Let's be clear before we even get started.....these in no way have any nutritional value, and perhaps aren't an ideal breakfast on a weekly basis, but on rare occasions, I say "what the heck, go ahead and indulge"!
Just like baking bread, there's something so satisfying about making these rolls from scratch. The end result is incredibly rewarding. I've done homemade cinnamon rolls a time or two before, but the recipes have always called for large amounts of eggs and egg yolks, so I decided to give it ago and try to create egg free cinnamon rolls. I have to say that the end product was quite nice. In fact, far better than many of their egg laden counterparts. And, quite professional looking to boot!
As with the ciabatta, cinnamon rolls aren't a spur of the moment decision.....unless of course you like to eat breakfast about 3 hours after you wake up (which happens to be lunch time around here, but hey, cinnamon rolls for lunch, who am I to judge??)
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
2 tsp sugar
3 tablespoons warm water
1 cup vanilla soy milk
2 tbs Earth Balance margarine
3 cups unbleached bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
pinch ground cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbs ground cinnamon
1 Tbs melted margarine
Mix yeast, sugar and warm water in a small bowl, stir to dissolve yeast and set aside until the mixture becomes frothy. Heat milk and margarine over low heat until warm, then remove from heat. Combine flour, salt, nutmeg and pinch of cinnamon in bowl of stand mixer fitted with dough hook. Turn on mixer briefly to combine dry ingredients. Slowly add milk and margarine mixture, followed by active yeast mixture. Continue to knead in mixer until dough becomes smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Turn dough out into a well oiled bowl and cover to let rise, about 1 1/2 hours, or until double in size.
Punch down dough and let rest for about 10 minutes. In a small bowl combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Turn dough out onto a well floured surface and roll into a 12x16 rectangle. Brush dough with melted margarine then spread cinnamon sugar mixture on dough, leaving about 1 inch at one end of the dough.
Tightly roll the rectangle, pinching dough as you go (the width of your roll should be 12 inches). When you get to the uncovered end, brush with margarine and press to seal roll. Cut roll into 12 equal parts, and lay them in a well greased baking dish, with as much distance as possible. Cover dish and allow to rise for about 45 minutes, or until all rolls are touching. If using the next morning, cover baking dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.
Preheat oven to 350. Brush tops of rolls with melted margarine and bake for 30 minutes, or until rolls are slightly browned. Allow rolls to cool slightly, then frost while still warm. (I like the icing melted, and the rolls warm. You could cool the rolls completely to keep the icing from melting if you desire.)
Cinnamon Roll Frosting
1/4 cup Earth Balance
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbs vanilla soy milk
Beat Earth Balance with a hand mixer until soft and fluffy. Add confectioners sugar in 3 batches, beating in between. Continue to beat margarine and sugar until fluffy. Add extract and soy milk and beat until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
The Moroccan tagine is named for the vessel in which it is cooked. I don't have a proper tagine, but a large stock pot will work just as well. Traditionally tagine is slow cooked, however this is a relatively quick cooking version with some of the veggies broiled in the oven rather than braised on the stove top. This recipe is adapted from a recipe over at Vegan Soul Power, however, the recipe there didn't quite jive with the ingredient list and I increased the seasonings, so I'll post my version of the recipe here. I served the tagine over French Cous-Cous, with a side of pita for dipping (or stuffing......Mairin enjoyed her tagine stuffed inside the pita like a sandwich). The ingredient list looks long, but it should be mostly pantry staples (I think fresh thyme was the only thing I bought special for this dish)