Monday, November 30, 2009

German Cabbage Soup (Krautsuppe)

Alright, the pigging out has got to stop! I've been a naughty naughty thing and have eaten so much indulgent foods this holiday weekend. Pumpkin pies, apple tarts with cashew cream, biscotti, bread stuffing with mashed potatoes, gravy, potato chips and chocolate chocolate chocolate! I tell you there's nothing more satisfying than laying in bed watching a dvd with a bar of chocolate by your side. Trader Joe's dark chocolate truffle, Ritter Sport marzipan and Anassa orange marzipan with dark chocolate have been my friends.

So to start off healthier this week, I opened up my favorite cookbook 'Olive Trees and Honey' and made the German cabbage soup recipe. It's very simple: cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, onions, potatoes and veggie broth flavored with caraway seeds, salt and pepper. And it tastes so warm, comforting and very delicious. To make it heartier, I added about a 1/3 cup cooked rice to my bowl at lunch. I wouldn't mind having this every week.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Hurrah for Vegan Biscotti!

I think I must be dreaming. I haven't had a biscotti in a million years it seems! When I went vegan, I pretty much said goodbye to these sweet cripsy italian cookies that I loved having with a coffee. The biscotti that you can buy at your local coffee shop or specialty store were off limits because of the ingredient list which traditionally contains eggs. Today I was craving biscotti and after shopping at Whole Foods and ogling the pretty holiday biscotti packages, I decided that I would make my own today. I knew there were a couple recipes in Veganomicon so I hurried home and got to work. I used the 'Almond Anise Biscotti' recipe but omitted the anise as I didn't have any. I also ran out of canola oil so I subbed olive oil with no problems. And instead of whole almonds, I used slivered almonds, mmm! The egg replacement in the recipe was ground flax seed that was whisked with soymilk. They did the trick and in about an hour, I had beautiful golden crunchy biscotti!

They were so heavenly dunked in coffee.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Vegan Pumpkin Waffles

I so had this for dinner. I felt really guilty and full of white flour and sugar afterwards but then I thought, 'what the hey! it's the holidays!'. This is the recipe from 'Vegan with a Vengeance'. I think I may have messed up because while the outside was semi crispy, the inside was a little mushy. I was playing around with the amounts of sugar (I decreased it by a bit) and the amount of oil and pumpkin. So it was very much my fault for fiddling around with the recipe. But the taste was good and I ate all of it with melty Earth Balance margarine and maple syrup. I was so sugared out after I finished that I had some salty/sour sauerkraut and pepperoncini to balance my taste buds out, haha!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks.

Over the years on Thanksgiving, my whole family gets together at an aunt's house to celebrate together and eat together. It's usually a gigantic Thai-American potluck and boy, can our family eat! Our family parties last all day and into the night with non-stop eating. It's quite amazing and makes me laugh when I think about it. I won't be partaking this year at the family party because my mom has to work all day today. We decided to have a small dinner tonight for the 5 of us here at home (me, husband, brother, mom and dad). I'll miss seeing my many many cousins but I know that christmas is just around the corner and I will most likely see them at the holiday shindig in December. I'm so grateful to have such a large family who all enjoy being in each other's company and always want the best for each other. I can't imagine not having them in my life. I am thankful for so many things in my life, number one being my family.

So as this is a food bog, on to the food!

I made this Tofu Dinner Loaf last year as well. It's wonderful and bakes up firm and sliceable. I love it with orange herb gravy. Recipe here.

My plate: tofu loaf with orange herb gravy, stuffing (I used the vegetarian stuff in a box, not homemade sorry!), green bean casserole, glazed dijon carrots and mashed potatoes and cranberry/mandarin sauce. All very simple recipes that took no time at all!

The best part of the meal is dessert I think! Here is my favorite vegan pumpkin pie with a spelt crust.

A slice served with maple sweetened cashew cream!!!!! Recipe is here. This cream is unbelievable! I used rice milk instead of the water in the recipe and a little more maple syrup than usual. So freaking creamy and delicious!!!

I also made a VERY EASY AND QUICK puff pastry apple tart. Seriously, all you need to do is slice a few apples and toss them in sugar and lay 'em out on a piece of frozen puff pastry and bake! This was yummy as well.

Here's a bonus pic of my baby. He had a "Thanksgiving Day" flavored dog food today to celebrate.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ramen for Dinner.

Found these instant noodles at the Thai market. They are "Long Life" brand and have a three ingredient list that I liked: flour, salt, water. It's a departure from "Top Ramen" or "Maruchan" brand noodles that contain god knows what in them: palm oil, hydrogenated this or that, msg and other fun stuff. Wanted to give these noodles a try and see if they are tasty enough.

See? Ingredients: flour, salt, water. It doesn't say on the package but if you want to boil them in water, it took 5 minutes for them to be cooked. The package comes with 8 bundles of dried noodles. I used 2 bundles.

And they passed the test! They were great with broth, tofu and veggies. Slurp slurp!

Heat a small pot of water (about 3-4 cups) on high heat. Add chunks of carrots, onions, tomato, celery, scallions and chopped cilantro. Add 2-4 TB mushroom soy sauce, 1/2 tsp sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Add cubed firm tofu. Bring to a boil and simmer until vegetables are tender. Taste for salt and add more soy sauce as necessary. Cook packaged noodles and drain. Add noodles to a bowl and pour broth over along with vegetable and tofu. Serve!

Monte Cristo Sandwich

This was breakfast. Two slices of french toast slathered with vegan mayo with veggie bologna and melted Tofutti cheese in between. Not healthy but so yummy.

Monte Cristo Sandwich
(Makes 2 sandwiches)

1/2 cup soymilk
2 Tbsp unbleached white flour
1 tsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp sugar
pinch of cinnamon
4 bread slices
4 slices Yves veggie bologna or Lightlife veggie ham (or any deli meat alternative of your choice)
2 slices Tofutti American slices
powdered sugar

Whisk together first 5 ingredients while heating up a pan sprayed with oil. Dip one bread slice in mixture on one side then quickly turn over and dip the other side. Do not leave it in too long or it will get soggy. Fry on both sides until lightly browned. Set aside and continue with the other bread slices.

To make a sandwich: Set french toast slices aside and keep the heat going in your pan. Place two bologna slices in the hot pan. Place a slice of cheese on one bologna slice. Flip the other bologna slice on top of the cheese so the cheese is sandwiched in the middle. The cheese will start to melt. While they are frying, spread Vegenaise on both slices of the french toast. Place bologna/cheese combo on on slice and sandwich with the other. Spray a little nonstick spray on your pan and fry your whole sandwich on both sides to firm it up more and get a golden color. Repeat with another sandwich. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pizza with Daiya Vegan Cheese

Hello melty gooey vegan cheese that is Daiya! Found some shredded Daiya at Whole Foods and decided to make this yummy pizza. It's got tomato sauce seasoned with za'atar, chopped garlic, tomatoes, onions and sliced olives.

This cheese is very melty and to me tastes kind of similar to Follow Your Heart. (I think I might like the taste of FYH better...) I liked it well enough but would not go out of my way to have it on pizza every time. It was nice to have a change from cheeseless pizza.

And to go with my "lounging on the weekend and watching dvds in bed" theme, I brought a tray to my room. I topped the pizza with arugula salad. Also on the tray, homemade baba ganouj/sundried tomato hummus with cucumbers for dipping and a gingerberry kombucha. I enjoyed all of this while watching 'Death on the Nile' which was most excellent!

Later on, I brought tea and dessert to bed. The tea is Cameronian gold blend and dessert was Fabe's chocolate chip cake.

Considering this is a "health food" brand of cake, it was still very moist and sweet enough (it's not sweetened with sugar, but rather barley and chicory syrup).

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Shepherd's Pie

There's nothing better than digging into a bowl of comfort food on the weekend while kicking back on the couch watching tv on dvd. This pie came together quickly with veggie crumbles, frozen veggie mix and mashed potatoes. The gravy was flavored with red miso, red wine and veggie broth. It was delicious!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Catching Up...

Hey all! Been missing in action the past week and a half because my camera cord broke so I couldn't upload anything. I finally got a new cable so I'm able to show you what I've been eating. Sorry about the bad lighting!

Soba noodles with ginger peanut dressing. Served with sauteed spinach. Recipe here.

Thai red curry with tofu, sweet potato and eggplant on top of somen noodles.

Dinner in bed. Egyptian lentil soup, salad and Fabe's chocolate cake. The cake was good but veeeery health foody tasting.

Falafel night! Baked not fried.

Falafel sandwich with cucumber garlic sauce (cucumbers, cilantro, garlic, vegan mayo, lemon juice)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Casserole-ing It.

Hot from the oven, bubbling away...a casserole is a one pan meal that you can dish out on a plate, grab a fork and happily eat in front of the tv. This is what casseroles mean to me. There is something so comforting about them. Not only is it easy and quick to get on the table, but it's economical. It always makes a lot. You can eat it all week if you want. I made my favorite standby: quinoa veggie bean burritos, enchilada style today. I've made this dozens of times and it always gives me the same result. Like warm hugs, this dish will make you feel comforted and cozy inside.

My plate of yumminess with added avocado. In case you're wondering what the orange blobs are on the top photo, it's Vegenaise!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thai Sukiyaki!

We were originally going to have pasta with garlic and olive oil for dinner because there was nothing else to eat but my mom came to the rescue and made us Thai sukiyaki! I love this dish. It's a noodle soup dish made with vegetables and meat (in my case, tofu cubes) and mung bean noodles (also known as cellophane noodles or bean thread noodles). The secret is the "sukiyaki sauce" which is made from soybean curd, chili and garlic. When you mix the sauce into the soup, it turns a wonderful red color. It's spicy and savory and yummy yummy yummy. I was happy eating this and making happy noises all throughout dinner. Thanks Mom!

Sukiyaki sauce.

Big bowl of sukiyaki! Slurp slurp!

Thai Sukiyaki Recipe (from mom)

Water for broth
Thai "Healthy Boy" brand mushroom soy sauce
salt, pepper, minced garlic, pinch of sugar
cubed tofu
veggies: sliced green onions, mushrooms, bok choy, chinese broccoli (gai lan) or regular broccoli, napa cabbage, celery...whatever you want!
mung bean noodles aka cellophane noodles, bean thread noodles. In Thai, "woon sen"
Thai "Pantainorasingh" brand sukiyaki sauce

Make soup broth for 2 servings:
Boil a few cups of water (a small pot), add mushroom soy sauce, salt, pepper, garlic, a pinch of sugar. Add vegetables and tofu and cook for a while until veggies are tender. Add more mushroom soy sauce to taste if needed.

Meanwhile soak mung bean noodles in cold water until they soften and expand in size. Mung bean noodles are usually sold in 4 small bunches in a package. 1 bunch is good for two people. If you want more noodles go ahead and use 2 bunches. Then boil water in separate pot and cook them for however long it says on package. It's usually not very long because they are so thin.
More about mung bean noodles/bean thread noodles here.

Put a serving of drained cooked noodles in each bowl and pour broth/veggies/tofu over. Add 2-3 TB of Thai sukiyaki sauce to the bowl and stir through. The more sauce, the spicier it will be.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Egyptian Potato Soup

This will be dinner tonight along with a crusty baguette that my husband will pick up from the market after work. Recipe is from the 'Olive Trees and Honey' cookbook. A very simple and naturally vegan recipe that is simply prepared with potatoes, onions (or leeks), garlic, celery, water, bay leaf, turmeric, salt, pepper and lemon juice. I used red potatoes with the skin on and added a little cumin (my favorite!).

Monday, November 2, 2009

Want Some Dim Sum?

Dim sum is like the greatest thing ever. It's like a chinese version of tapas, an array of light dishes which can make an excellent dinner. Dim sum may include something like what I made tonight: yummy dumplings of steamed dough with a tasty filling and dipping sauce. One year on my birthday back in my omni days, my friend and cousins took me to a local dim sum restaurant. It was so fun getting to choose which dishes we wanted from shu mai to steamed buns and dumplings of all kinds. Unfortunately a veggie dim sum place is nowhere to be found here in Los Angeles, at least not to my knowledge. Tonight's dinner featured only one dish of tofu and veggie potstickers with a homemade sweet and sour sauce served with coleslaw. If it was the weekend, I would have made a few more dishes to heighten the dim sum experience. But just having these and salad was completely satisfying.

Recipe for potstickers here. (This time I steamed them in a steamer basket instead of pan frying first!)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Tempeh Sausage Pastry Puffs

Happy World Vegan Day! To celebrate, I opened up 'Vegan Brunch' this morning and made the "Tempeh Sausage Pastry Puffs". WOW. WOW. WOW. These are amazing. The tempeh "sausage" crumbles are wonderfully spiced with sausage seasonings like fennel, rosemary and thyme and encased in a golden flaky shell. I used store bought puffed pastry that was vegan and it made it all come together so easily. I also used the new Trader Joe's brand of tempeh which tastes great. My husband really loved these. He said they were awesome. And coming from a man who loves sausage pizza, that is a compliment!