So many good eats!

March 14, 2011 at 12:56 am | Posted in cooking, Life, tempeh, tvp, utah, vegan, vegetarian | 1 Comment
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Hi! It’s been about a month or two since I’ve posted last. Sorry about that. I have just been so busy working overtime and long days that I have had no motivation to blog, just too pooped. But that hasn’t stopped me from cooking up some great food. When I downloaded the pictures to the PC today I was overwhelmed, with 115 pictures! Can you believe it? That’s a lot of food. I have been experimenting a lot with recipes from Appetite for Reduction. Its a great cookbook, if you don’t own a copy run out and get one right now! I think I must make that Jerk Asparagus twice a month now as it’s so darn tasty. I am also a bit obsessed with the Cajun Blackened Tofu too. My husband said it was a little bit spicy though, so if your not a pepper head like me you might want to tone down the spices in the recipe a little. Here are some of the pictures of things that I’ve cooked over the past month.

Rainbow Chard with Shells, TVP, and Daiya

Not healthy, but yummy tasty comfort food. And it tastes pretty kid friendly too

Fronch Toast with real Maple Syrup.

Smokey braised turnip greens and tempeh.

Italian tofu with uncheese bread and Panko n herb Cauliflower.

Seitan taco night!

A salads not complete without raw sunflower seeds!

Chickpea Seitan patties with Coconut Rice and Jerk Asparagus

Leftover Chickpea Cutletts with Mustard Sauce and Rainbow Chard

 

Thats all for now. I’ll post more later. 🙂

Red chard where have you been all my life?

February 3, 2011 at 9:28 am | Posted in cooking, Life, vegan, vegetarian | Leave a comment
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I have been trying to make dinners that consist of a vegetable, a protein, and some sort of bread and/or a second vegetable. Last night I cooked Red Chard for the first time. Absolutely beautiful and tasty.  This was the first time I have cooked Red Chard, I have cooked White Chard in the past, but I think I prefer the red. It had a real nice taste and texture, and paired well with the skillet pasta with red sauce I made as the main course. Greens are so simple to cook and so tasty. So far my favorite greens are Collards and Turnip greens. They are so delish it makes me question why the only green I ate growing up was Spinach? I enjoy my greens with salt, pepper, Tabasco, and a little Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar.

Skillet Macaroni and TVP

Ingredients

2 cups prepared tvp “beef”

Large pinch of hing

  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped fine

    1 cup elbow macaroni

    1/2 (29 ounce) can tomato sauce

    1 cup broth

    1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

    salt and pepper

    1/2 cup shredded vegan cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. Cook TVP in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat about 3 minutes.
  2. Add oil, red pepper, and hing in skillet and cook, covered, until softened, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add macaroni, tomato sauce, broth, and oregano to skillet and bring to boil.
  4. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve.

Basic Vegan Ground Beef

Ingredients

1 cup TVP
1 cups water
3 to 4 tablespoons Bragg Liquid Aminos or soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 to 3 tablespoons oil
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
a couple shakes of liquid smoke (optional)

Directions:

1) Place dry TVP in a skillet and cover with water and about 2 tablespoons Bragg Liquid Aminos or soy sauce. The water should completely submerge the TVP.

2) Cook over low-medium heat until the water is completely absorbed.

3) Add the oil, seasonings and more Braggs, if desired. Fry over low-medium heat until the chunks are firm and the mixture resembles ground beef.  Stir occasionally to make sure that it cooks evenly and does not stick.

Please note that these measurements are approximate, feel free to adjust as you see fit. The same method should work for any amount of TVP, just keep in mind that it will double/triple in size once the water is added.

The most perfect sandwich, ever.

January 11, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Posted in baking, cooking, dehydrator, Life, vegan, vegetarian | 1 Comment
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No really, this is the most perfect sandwich I have ever had. After eating this particular sandwich I realized that I really can be vegan the rest of my life. The sandwich I am talking about is the Hummus, Tempeh, and Cucumber Wrap out of Skinny Bitch in the Kitch. These Skinny Bitches know whats up too as every recipe that I have used out of this book is easy and foolproof. This was my first vegan cookbook, back when I didn’t know what seitan was. No really, one of the recipes calls for seitan and I bought tempeh. It took me an entire year to figure out why the recipe came out so bad. My husband makes the best hummus, he is the Hummus Master and I made the tempeh. I guess that makes me the Tempeh Mastah. Basically the sandwich is a hummus wrap filled with cucumber, tomato, and tempeh. (The book has cucumber, lettuce, and tempeh.) We wrapped them in warmed whole wheat tortillas. I steamed the tempeh before I cut and fried it in the spices. Steaming tempeh before use reduces some of the bitterness and makes it more ready to absorb flavors. Steaming tempeh also gives it an undeniably moist and delicious texture. The spices and flavoring stuck nicely to the tempeh forming a tasty crust.

Fried tempeh.

Worth the effort.

I am currently making tofu jerky in the new dehydrator that I got for Xmas. It’s not done yet, but it will be soon. Well I hope so because I don’t want to have to stay up all night waiting for it. It’s been in the dehydrator for almost four hours. I have tempeh in the marinade right now that I plan on dehydrating overnight, I did not steam it before marinading as I want the jerky to have a chewy texture. I am also afraid that steaming it might cause it to fall apart in the dehydrator.

Tofu jerky in the dehydrator.

Here is the recipe I found online. I kept seeing it everywhere so I figured this must be the “official” vegan jerky recipe. Then I found it that it’s by my vegan fashion heroine Sara Kramer out of How It All Vegan. I still don’t own any of her cookbooks, but my house smells like jerky and I can’t honestly understand why I don’t yet. This will have to change sometime soon.

     

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 3 to 4 tbsp liquid smoke
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1 tbsp onion powder (devotees use hing instead of garlic and onion powder, about a tsp.)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder or 1 clove crushed fresh garlic
  • 1 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp agave
  • 1 pound firm or extra firm tofu
  •  

In other food news I ate the most delicious prasadam bagel for breakfast this morning. Thank you Aarti. 🙂 It was a sweet little mini bagel. I now wish all bagels came in that size as I didn’t have to slice it to make it fit in the toaster. And I covered it in Toffuti Better than Cream Cheese.

Mmmm, prasadam...

Being on vacation has been wonderful. It’s enabled me to relax, center myself, and detox from caffeine and oodles of processed foods. (Thank you evil yet convenient work vending machines.) This vacation has enabled me to spend some much needed time with my husband to as he took this week off with me. I have been working almost non stop since our honeymoon ended. The last six months have passed very fast and I don’t plan on letting this year pass nearly as fast. I am going to stop and smell the roses more often, or in this case stop and smell the Toll House Cookies.

Gooey....

I used the “official” Toll House Cookies recipe off the internet but instead of eggs I substituted flax seed meal and water and I added about a teaspoon of baking powder. They rose nicely in contrast to last time where they barely rose at all. Last time I made these cookies I used Egg Replacer mix and they were extremely dry so I believe the flax seeds and baking powder were a better choice but not the correct one. The cookies were crumbly this time and had a nice mealy taste to them due to the flax but they were not dry and hard. Next time I bake these cookies I will add apple sauce to moisten them up and see how that goes. If that fails I will substitute out the flax seeds and apple sauce with plain soy yogurt and see how they come out.

Here is the recipe.

Original Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies:


2 1/4 Cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup soft butter (margarine)
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs (I used powdered Energy egg replacer)
2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup nuts (I left these out)

Combine flour, soda, and salt.
Beat butter, both sugars, and vanilla in a large bowl. Add the egg substitute and beat once more. Slowly add the flour mixture until well combined. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
Drop rounded tablespoons of batter onto baking sheets.
Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for 9-11 minutes, or until golden brown.

PAN COOKIE VARIATION: PREPARE dough as above. Spread into greased 15″x10″ jelly-roll pan. Bake in preheated 375ºF oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack.

The most perfect dinner ever

January 6, 2011 at 2:22 am | Posted in cooking, Life, vegan, vegetarian | Leave a comment
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It really was the most perfect dinner ever. Three courses, like real people eat: Smoky Grilled Tempeh out of Veganomicon, Swiss Chard, and Roasted Red Potatoes. Problem is that the pictures I took didn’t come out, well at all.

What are you planning on changing or doing in the year 2011? Are you making any new years resolutions? I am not making any resolutions, but I do have a few goals to meet by the end of the year.

1. Be a better devotee of Krishna, by this I mean chant more, attend the temple more (not necessarily Sunday programs, but go to do seva and classes).

2. Be a purer vegan, no more making exceptions about what I eat to be polite. My stomach can’t handle these exceptions.

3. Loose about 30 pounds. I just joined the 21 Day Vegan Kickstart with PCRM and return to the gym tomorrow after a very long absence.

Plantain Tacos and holiday eats.

December 30, 2010 at 2:37 am | Posted in cooking, Life, utah, vegan, vegetarian | Leave a comment
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Haribol! How were your holidays? Good I hope. Did you receive any vegan or vegetatrian gifts? I recieved a few. My mother in law blessed us with a crock pot and a dehydrator. I am so exited! My dear husband gave me this really cool Vegetarian/vegan hoodie and Isa’s new cookbook Appetite for Reduction. This is perfect crock pot weather and I have so many things to dehydrate!

Now that the new year is almost upon us a real blizzard has come to Utah. It snowed a couple of inches in the blink of an eye and it was snowing sideways! Now isn’t that crazy?

For Christmas we decided to forgo the Tofurky and have a Greek Feast! It was pretty good. We prepared falafel, hummus, tabouli, tzatziki, and gyros marinated tempeh. All in all it was a pretty nice alternative. For dessert we ate pastries from Cakewalk Bakery in Salt Lake.

I had a hard time finding a good  marinade recipe for the tempeh. Any suggestions?

A few weeks back we had a craving for tacos and we made Plantain and black bean tacos! Yum! These tacos are my fave quick lunch to make as if I already have some salsa and guacamole prepared I can get them ready in 30 minutes or less.

Thank you for reading! More exiting meals to come!

Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

December 15, 2010 at 7:36 pm | Posted in cooking, Life, utah, vegan, vegetarian | 1 Comment
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Shepherd’s Pie is one of those foods that is traditionally thought of to be meat laden and very heavy, however I am lucky enough to have no pre-conceptions of how one should taste as I never once ate a Shepherd’s Pie growing up. Many traditionally meaty foods I have never eaten until I was vegan.  My first Shepherd’s Pie experience was from the frozen section of Trader Joe’s. Oh how I miss shopping at Traders. Why there are none in Utah is beyond me. It was sooooo good! It had tvp inside and mashed potatoes on the outside. I lived off them for an entire winter, and then like most foods I am obsessed with from Traders they just stopped stocking them one day and they never returned. Fast forward to last winter. Vegetarian Times magazine had an amazing recipe post for Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie. It is one of my husbands favorite dishes that I make. The filling is turnips and cannelloni beans. Yum!

Today’s item review is for Galaxy Nutritional Foods Vegan Cheese Slices, American flavor.

I like these a lot, especially since they have been reformulated. They are easy to find and have a nice texture very similar to real processed cheese slices. I haven’t yet  tried to eat them out of the plastic by themselves yet. This vegan cheese tastes great and has a nice melt to it. I put them on everything: veggie burgers, sandwiches, etc…I do however wish for a Jalapeno Jack flavor though…. 🙂

***** out of 5 stars

They reminded me of pork chops…

December 5, 2010 at 2:07 am | Posted in cats, cooking, Life, utah, vegan, vegetarian | 2 Comments
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I made seitan cutlets for the first time a few nights ago.  They were pretty good, but I made them a little chewy, and when I took them out of the oven I remarked to my husband that well, they look a little bit like pork chops. They were small and kinda round, and had a brownish tint to them. Well, I fried them in a little oil and served them up with some Spicy Boiled Collards and realized that they had a similar texture to the pork chops I remember eating as a kid- chewy. CHEWY. I was sad. Next time I’ll add a bit more water to the initial gluten mixture in the hopes that they are not chewy. I followed the recipe to the letter, and have I ever mentioned that I am not always good at taking instruction? I’ll keep you updated on the seitan cutlets when attempt two happens. Still, not bad for a first try.

See what I mean?

Does anyone here use Mimic Cream? I read about it on one of my fave blogs, Veganize it… Don’t Criticize it! And I can’t wait to try it. Apparently Good Earth in Provo sells it.

Down home vegan

December 2, 2010 at 3:46 am | Posted in cats, cooking, Life, utah, vegan, vegetarian | 3 Comments
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Wow, tonight’s dinner was so good I had to blog about it when it was still fresh in my mind. I made Hot Sauce Glazed Tempeh with mashed potatoes smothered in Jalapeno Corn Gravy. Wow, talk about delish broke food. 🙂

Both recipes come from Veganomicon. (Normally I would just embed links for everything, but the link thing on WordPress is still broken.)

Hot Sauce Glazed Tempeh
By Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Ingredients:

1 8 ounce package of tempeh

1/2 cup broth
1/4 cup hot sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (juice from 1 lemon)
hing
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Bring a pot of water to boil.

Whisk all marinade ingredients together in a bowl large enough to fit the tempeh slices.

Cut the tempeh in half widthwise then cut each of those squares diagonally to form 4 large triangles. When the water is boiling, add the tempeh, lower the heat and steam for 10 minutes.

Use tongs to remove the tempeh and then immediately place them in the marinade bowl for 1 hour, flipping them every now again to cover with the marinade.

Preheat a greased grill pan over medium high heat. To grease it, brush lightly with olive oil or if you have a spray bottle of olive oil, that works, too. (Get a spray bottle of olive oil already!)

Grill each side for 5 minutes. When the second side is almost done, spoon some of the marinade over the tempeh and let cook for 30 more seconds.

Alternative broiling instructions:
Preheat the oven broiler. Place tempeh in a rimmed pan (I like to use my cast iron pan for such purposes). Spoon some of the marinade over it and broil for 5 minutes. Flip it and spoon some more marinade over it and cook for another 5 minutes. When the second side is almost done, spoon some of the marinade over the tempeh and let cook for 30 more seconds.

Jalapeno Corn Gravy

Ingredients:

1 cup veggie broth
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp olive oil
hing
2 jalapenos, diced
2 cups corn
1/4 cup milk (I used almond)
2 tbsp lemon juice

Saute the hing and jalapenos in the oil for 5 minutes, until soft.
Add the corn and cook for 5 minutes.
Mix cornstarch and broth together in a bowl. Add broth mix and milk to pan, stir, and let thicken for four minutes. Remove from heat.

Transfer to blender or food processor and puree. Add lemon juice to taste.

I felt like such a grownup eating this.

Things soon to come: seitan, more greens, and fudge!

Something to be thankful for…

December 1, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Posted in baking, cooking, Life, vegan, vegetarian | Leave a comment
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A vegan Thanksgiving is something I am sure that the animals are thankful for. Our Thanksgiving was 99.999% vegan as I used Amy’s Semi-condensed Mushroom Soup for the green bean casserole which had a little bit of butter in it. I was afraid of using a non-condensed soup in my casserole as normally make this dish traditionally with  Cream of Mushroom soup and make it my one non-vegan meal of the year. I subbed out silken tofu for the cream. My husband liked it, but I thought it was a little bit off. Hopefully It’ll come out better for Christmas.

Tofu Pumpkin Pie

Cranberry Chutney made by my dear husband. 🙂

Cranberry Chutney Rules! Perfect blend of sweet and spicy.

Note to self, put more marinade in next time. The taters stuck to the dish.

Green bean casserole.

Mashed squash, yum! Also my husbands idea.

Dinner, is served.

Thanksgiving dinner was great. A few things I feel the need to improve- such as the Tofurky. I have cooked many a Tofurky in the past and I have never had one dry out on me like it did this year. I guess I just need to use more basting sauce next time. I thought I used enough, but I guess I was wrong. I also forgot to buy carrots to put with the potatoes and that was a real bummer. I also need to find a solution to my green bean casserole crises. To me, it just isn’t a holiday dinner without it and I want it to be both vegan and flavorful. For all the flavor and texture I lost I almost wish I’d just made it the normal way with the canned cream of mushroom soup. I don’t want to make it gourmet or sophisticated or anything, I just want it tasty and vegan. Any suggestions folks?

Lasagna MoFo

November 29, 2010 at 6:00 pm | Posted in animals, cats, vegan, vegan mofo, vegetarian | Leave a comment
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I wanted to make sure that I did a Lasagna post this MoFo as I want to dispel the myth that lasagna is difficult to make. All you need are a few simple and relatively inexpensive items: Vegan Cheese (optional, but sometimes I like it on top); quick cooking lasagna noodles;  can spaghetti sauce; about one cup of small chopped lightly steamed veggies of choice (I recommend zucchini); tofu ricotta (quick recipe is one 1 lb mashed tofu, a little lemon juice, salt, nootch, and thyme all mixed together) and one chopped roma tomato. Here are the steps:

1. Layer sauce and tomatoes on bottom.

2. Place dry pasta on top of sauce and tomatoes and cover with more sauce.

3. Layer Tofu Ricotta on next

4. Another layer of lasagna noodles and sauce with diced tomatoes.

5. Layer on steamed veggies and diced tomatoes.

6. Another layer of pasta, sauce, and cheese.

(The cooked and uncooked dish looked almost the same)

I undercooked it due to some problems I am experiencing with my oven. Due to this it fell apart and dose’nt resemble lasagna so there are no pictures of it plated up. I recommend cooking it for about 40 minutes covered and another 10-15 uncovered.

Today’s product review is Whole Soy and Co. lemon yogurt. Yum. I was very pleased. It tasted almost like the real deal.

Rating: ***** Five out of five stars

Cuteness!

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