Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Spicy Saturday Feast

Last night for dinner we made.....

Jamaican vegetable patties from Vegan Soul Kitchen. A lot of work, but very worth it. Not only do they taste yummers, the spices in the filling make your kitchen smell amazing while it is cooking.

I was missing one key ingredient, turmeric, for the dough, which would have given the patties a nice yellow glow. But through the magic of iphoto, I have added it here! We had a nice arugula salad with a simple lemon vinaigrette on the side- perfect combo. This cookbook has yet to let me down, and there are still so many recipes left I want to try! Fried green tomatoes, anyone?

For desert, we made Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. I had a strange experience with these cookies- they didn't taste so tasty warm out of the oven... a cookie experience I don't think I'd ever had before. However, when they cooled they were chewy and delicious and had a nice spicy kick to them!
Look out!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

In With the New

I am drawn to the complicated. Ask anyone who knows me well, and they will surely agree. Guess what? New year, new me. Newly veganized, for one, (and finally so, I'm sure Lindsey will say!), and secondly, I've had enough of complications. One of the biggest challenges of any lifestyle change is figuring out how to simplify it enough to incorporate it into your everyday routine. I am on a mission to find meals to make that require no more then five ingredients, and that can be prepared in almost as little time as the convinience food I rely on. (Luna bar, anyone?). It is a subtle shift, but making meals is an integral part of being well, so for me the shift is an important one. These fajitas were my dinner tonight, and my lunch tomorrow. They also feature seitan, our blog's favorite protein source. Enjoy!

-1 package of chicken-style seitan
-1 large green pepper, cut as you like
-salsa (I am partial to Newman's Own Mild)
-whole wheat fajita wraps

Heat a large skillet, and cook seitan until browned and thoroughly warmed. Add the green pepper when the seitan is almost done cooking (it is easy to tell, but a good rule of thumb is when nearly half the seitan is browned on the exterior), and stir-fry until browned.
If you would like, heat the fajita wraps in the oven, and then assemble as desired. Top with salsa.
There are many other fajita toppings that you can think of adding, so be as creative as you like! Or, keep things as simple as you want to. It might do you some good.

Monday, January 18, 2010

My Day Off

Most (sane) people take the Monday of a three day weekend to sleep in, curl up with a good book, take a long nap, watch seven episodes of The Millionaire Matchmaker... While I love doing all of those things, I spent today in the kitchen, cooking like a mad woman.

I have to say, I seem t
o have cooked up a storm, on top of dealing with a glass shower door that completely shattered covering our bathroom in mountains of tiny pieces of glass (long story), vacuuming the living room, and doing all of the laundry!

I began the day chopping up sweet potatoes and some celery root I got at the farmer's market to make soup...

The soup was based on a recipe recently given to me by my friend and coworker, Liron, and featured sweet potatoes, coconut milk, and curry powder... I turned out, dare I say, velvety!

I had been meaning to cook some dried chickpeas I've had in the pantry- that's a piece of kombu seaweed in the pot- apparently this is a great way to get nutrients into the beans you are cooking (thanks for the tip, Prysm!!!)

I made some granola for the week ahead, using up odds and ends in the pantry... I made it extra coconutty by using coconut oil instead of canola or sesame oil...

Granola close up!!!!!!

Since the oven was on anyways from the granola, I decided to throw a whole head of farmer's market garlic in to roast. When it was done, I threw it in the food processor and made pesto!

The chickpeas looked so good I decided to roast some and toss them with white truffle oil. They are supposed to be for a salad, but I already ate most of them... Whoops!

Phew! I think I am ready for that nap I never took...


I had been looking for a vegan brownie recipe that was reminiscent of how I remembered non-vegan brownies tasting for a long time now... however, most that I had found called for silken tofu, not really my thing when baking. I had made these brownies from The Vegan Scoop before, to put in ice cream, but had yet to make them to enjoy straight up by themselves. Saturday night I made them, using the author's suggestion to add some peanut butter, and cut them into hearts (a little experiment for some upcoming Valentine's baking).

I packed them in some tupperware and headed to dinner in Jersey City, where I think they were a hit, especially heated up with a scoop of coconut vanilla ice cream on top. The problem now is there are still some left over, and I'm in trouble, cuz I CAN NOT STOP EATING THEM!!!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Over and Done With

I can think of no better way to start a weekend off then with a vegan BLT made with tomatoes, spring greens, sprouted bread, vegenaise, and smart bacon. Top it off with some avocado for a complete meal and you'll be humming all day long.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Holiday Madness

Due to weather delays, Lindsey and I had to cancel our gingerbread face-off. Sadness. We had such a good time making them together two years back, which encouraged me to get a little too ambitious for my own good and purchase a book you may be familiar with called The Gingerbread Architect. Having a architect in the family (hi Chief!), the standards were a bit higher then usual, and to be clear if this is a tempting thought for you for next year...this is ADVANCED baking. Veganizing the basic recipes is straightforward enough, though, and even though the elegant brownstone I had envisioned ended up looking more like a yet-to-be renovated duplex in a soon-to-be gentrified neighborhood, it was a fun project to take on.
But that was then, and this is now, or rather it was two weeks ago to be exact, and with flight delays on the east coast and a major snow storm in mountain country, it became apparent that the houses were going to have to be put on hold at least until next year. None the less, I needed to do some kind of holiday baking, as Lindsey insisted, with or without my partner in crime.
Lindsey was kind in sending me the link to the vegan gingerbread recipe from VegNews, and I used the icing recipe for the cinnamon rolls for decoration. Keeping it simple, I simply added a few of multi-colored sprinkles and called it good. I even sent a few on a whim to my Grandma-gingerbread is her favorite!
I have to say, they were delicious! Usually by the end of the house-making I don't want to be close to anything even faintly smelling of ginger, cloves, molasses nor tasting anything as sweet as icing, so this time around keeping it simple and enjoying the cookies themselves was a nice touch to my time away from the grind. Vegan or not, I can't imagine anyone not liking these.