Home cooked goodness.

January 7, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Posted in baking, cooking, Life, vegan | Leave a comment
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I took a week off work and it’s allowed me to cook again. 🙂 In the last three days I have made some pretty amazing meals: steamed veggies over a baked potato; Breakfast sandwiches; Raman with vegetarian beef balls; pizza (!!) with Daiya Cheese; and today’s lunch which was Southern Beans and Greens with cornbread. Not all of these meals even required a whole lot of planning or prep work and were just created out of things I happened to have in my pantry or fridge. The leftover steamed veggies were used as pizza toppings. I am addicted to eating REAL Asian Raman (not that Nissan crud with no taste, go to your Asian grocer and read the ingredients to make sure its vegetarian.) so I always have some in the pantry and I have some Vegetarian Beef Balls that I bought a while back and had no idea what to do with them. The Raman I ate yesterday was Beef Ball Flavored so I fried a few up and added them to the soup. The tofu in my breakfast sandwiches yesterday was also left over from when I made it last week for something else. And the greens I made today were Turnip Greens and the recipe called for Kale, but I used what I had on hand. It is not hard to eat a healthy balanced diet provided you always keep a stock of veggies and greens on hand.

Steamed veggies over a baked potato with nutritional yeast & olive oil.

Breakfast sandwich with baked tofu and tempeh bacon.

Vegetarian Beef Ball Raman Soup.

 

Homemade vegan cheese and veggie pizzas.

 

Southern Green Beans and Turnips with Cornbread.

And here are the recipes. The greens recipe is from the PCRM website and was todays recipe of the day on the 21 Day Vegan Kickstart that I am taking part of. I slightly modified the recipe by cooking it in a crockpot and substituting Turnip Greens for Kale. The cornbread came out of Skinny Bitch In The Kitch and is my favorite cornbread recipe as it halves easy, and is perfectly moist and a little sweet.

Southern Beans and Greens

Makes 4 servings

This traditional Southern combination creates a beautiful dish with a heavenly blend of flavors and a surprisingly meaty texture. Serve it with rice or another grain on the side. It also makes an excellent topping for warm corn bread, or a delicious filling for pita pockets, tortillas, or chapatis.

1 cup vegetable broth or water
3 cups drained cooked or canned beans (your choice of any kind)
1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic
4 cups chopped fresh kale, stems and center ribs removed, lightly packed
1 teaspoon olive oil
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
Tabasco sauce, to taste

Combine beans, broth or water, and garlic in a large saucepan. Place chopped kale on top of beans and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until kale is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in oil, salt, black pepper, and Tabasco sauce to taste.

Cornbread

  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup silken tofu
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • Parmesan cheese to toss on top

Preheat oven to 425F.  Oil a 13×9-inch baking pan.  Set aside.

In a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients.  In a blender, combine the milk, tofu oil and honey, pureeing until smooth.  Add the milk mixture to the cornmeal mixture, stirring just until combined.  Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.

Bake the cornbread until golden brown — about 20 minutes.  Transfer to a cooling rack for 10 minutes, then remove the cornbread from the pan and return to rack to cool completely.

Serves 6-8

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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

Linguine in Lemon Cream Sauce

December 14, 2010 at 12:59 am | Posted in cooking, Life, utah, vegan | Leave a comment
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I am trying to be more frugal and make wiser grocery store trips. I am upset that food gets wasted and decided to write a meal list for two weeks and try to target 7 dishes. The meal list is as follows: Sweet Potato Shepard’s Pie , Cauliflower Mash, Mexican Food, Masala Cornmeal Brussels Sprouts , Linguine in Lemon Cream Sauce, Mustard Sauce, and Chickpea Tagine.    Sone of these I have made a million times with consistent success last winter so they were easy choices: Sweet Potato Shepard’s Pie, Mexican Food, and the Chickpea Tagine. The rest of these just looked good and had economical ingredients.

So far I have made the Linguine in Lemon Cream Sauce. It was pretty good, but my husband liked it more than I did. I also think it would have tasted better if I had followed it as written, with real cream cheese. I used Tofutti cream cheese which I don’t think tastes very much like cream cheese but I use anyways. The sauce just tasted a little off to me, but in all it was a satisfying meal in 30 minutes.

I recently had a lucky find at the grocery store, some biscuit cutters with fluted edges. They were inexpensive and I was so exited! I decided to break them in last week and made biscuits and gravy with tvp sausage. This was my first time using all purpose wheat flour instead of pastry flour on the biscuits. They were good and tasty, but I prefer a flakier biscuit so back to pastry flour. I found the most amazing white gravy recipe on Chez Bettay The Vegan Gourmet. I prefer to make my own soy crumbles out of tvp, but in a pinch breaking up patties would work pretty nice too.

Stuff we have tried lately.

The Sweet and Sour stuff was good. It tasted a lot like all the other vegan “meat” we get from the Asian grocery store. We were not in the mood to eat any grains the night we ate this so we put it on top steamed broccoli and zucchini. These fake meats are nice to have around the house for work nights and lunches on days off. I just microwave them for 2 minutes.

The product I am reviewing this week is Smart Deli Turkey Slices. Yum! I eat these alot and they taste great and are inexpensive. They are also pretty easy to find as I see this brand whenever I go to a major grocery store like Smiths or Wynco.

**** 4 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!

Mofo Tofu

November 29, 2010 at 4:54 am | Posted in cooking, Life, utah, vegan, vegan mofo | Leave a comment
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Mofo Tofu almost sounds like something I would expect to find in the perfect hipped out vegan Asian fusion restaurant I wish existed. Mofo Tofu is Isa’s recipe for Italian Marinaded Tofu out of V’con pressed in a Tofu Express I served the tofu with boiled Turnip Greens.

Overall I really liked the tofu marinade recipe but I felt overall like the tofu needed a sauce or something to go with it. But I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what type of sauce would be good on it so I just sprinkled on some nootch and drizzled jalapeno infused olive oil on it as I’m out of Tabasco. The Turnip greens were inspired by the Spinach and tomatoes recipe out of the same cookbook and came out amazing, but I will use less water/broth next time.

I was very impressed with the Tofu Xpress: http://www.tofuxpress.com/ I pressed my tofu and went to bed. When I woke up it was less than half the size it was the night before. I cubed it and placed it back in the Xpress container with the marinading lid and went to work. Nine hours later I cooked the tofu. It was pressed consistently and evenly and seems to be of sturdy construction. It is very small, just a tad bit larger than a pound block of tofu so I can see why some people own more than one.

Rating: ***** out of five stars

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