Thursday, July 30, 2009

Noodles with Ginger Peanut Sauce!

Boy was this ever good! I got this recipe from the latest issue (I think it's Sept.?) of Vegetarian Times. I forgot the actual name of the recipe but it was simple, quick and perfect for hot summer days. It only requires you to boil up some pasta (soba noodles in recipe but spaghetti here in real life), chop up some fresh veggies (in this case red peppers, cucumber, carrot and cilantro...I added steamed asparagus), blend up a quick peanut butter sauce flavored with yummy things like rice vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, lime and agave syrup and toss all together. It was absolutely divine.

Note: If you look at, you will find the recipe there. I don't think it's up quite yet because I just got the issue in the mail but if you check back later next month, the recipe should be there.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Kidney Bean Mushroom Curry

I was in the mood for my top comfort food: curry. I adapted this from a mushroom masala curry recipe that I got from a blog which no longer exists, otherwise I'd point you to the recipe. I will post it here so you can try it if you like.

Kidney Bean and Mushroom Curry

1 TB canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
1" piece ginger, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 TB Earth Balance margarine
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 large tomato, chopped
2 TB tomato paste
1 TB chopped jalapeno or 1/8 tsp cayenne
2 tsp. garam masala
1 cup plain soymilk
1 container fresh mushrooms sliced
1 14oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup water
fresh cilantro, chopped

Heat oil in a pot and saute onion, ginger and garlic until they soften. Add margarine and let it melt, then add cumin seeds and fry until everything browns. Add tomato paste, chopped tomato, jalapeno and garam masala and cook for a few minutes. Add mushrooms and stir around some more before adding soymilk and water. Let come to a boil. Add beans and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add cilantro at the end. Serve hot with rice.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Tortilla Casserole and Baklava

Tortilla casserole. Black beans, potatoes, zucchini, red bell peppers, onions layered between flour tortilla pieces and doused with homemade enchilada sauce and "cheezy" sauce.

Baklava mmm...recipe from Tables of Lebanon cookbook. So freaking good. It'll send you on a sugar high so watch out!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Cheater Baked Beans!

Not the best picture of all time but this is my kind of dinner. I love love love beans and couldn't wait to try the "Cheater Baked Beans" recipe from Veganomicon. It was so easy to just pop open a couple cans of beans instead of soaking dry ones overnight. One day I'll do baked beans the real way. But tonight I wanted them fast so I decided to cheat. I paired them with a baked potato and a fresh salad. Super super good and filling too.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Classic Broccoli Quiche, Vegan Style.

I do love a good quiche. This one is a perfect one. It's a recipe by Isa Chandra Moskowitz which you can find here. It's creamy and delicious, perfect served room temperature on a hot summer day like today. I'll be serving this to my father in-law and aunt in-law who will be arriving from Montreal tomorrow! I've got lots of good food planned for the next three weeks during their visit.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Black Bean Moroccan Veggie Tacos?

Dinner tonight was really tasty! I cooked up some chopped onions, added a can of black beans and leftover Moroccan veggie stew from the weekend (which consisted of the last bits of sweet potato, carrot, black olives, zucchini and chickpeas), mashed them all together while adding taco seasoning and La Victoria medium taco sauce. I stuffed them into crunchy taco shells, added lettuce, cilantro, tomato, fresh salsa and went to town. The sweetness from the stew added a little something something to the black beans. Yum. I'll probably never get the chance to have this again so I enjoyed three hearty tacos.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Simple Lunch and Moroccan Tagine Dinner

I wanted to eat my lunch on our backyard patio today. I kept it simple with freshly made hummus, cucumber salad, Trader Joe's spinach pizza and pita for dipping. It was perfect.

I enjoyed it all with Reed's Cherry Ginger Brew.

Dinner was a little more complicated only because I did a lot of chopping. I based this stew off of the Vegetable Tagine recipe from 'Classic Vegetarian Recipes from The Middle East and N. Africa' cookbook. It has loads of things in it: sweet potato, carrots, onions, garlic, tomatoes, yellow pepper, eggplant, zucchini, chickpeas, black and green olives, cilantro, cumin, cinnamon and a bit of tomato sauce and water for some sauciness. This tagine requires you to bake it covered in the oven for about an hour and a half. I served it with healthy brown rice because I didn't have any couscous. Delicious! The flavors melded so well.

Very satisfying stew.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Shells n Cheese please.

This dish was a result of a fortunate accident that happened at work. We make raw vegan kale chips covered in "cheezy" sauce and then dehydrate them, package them and sell them to health food stores (like Whole Foods!). Anyway, I was in charge of making the cheez sauce when I overheated the VitaMix and turned the raw sauce into a hot soup! So obviously the cooked sauce was unusable. So into two cartons it went and my coworker and I could do as we please with this cheez. I heated it up and cooked some pasta shells, tossed it all together and topped it with panko. It got baked for about 10 minutes and put under a broiler for a few. It was yuuuuuummy! (sorry can't give away recipe for cheez sauce!)

Monday, July 13, 2009

When in doubt, make a sandwich.

I couldn't figure out what I wanted for dinner so I made a sandwich. Well two actually...

This is a sunflower seed paté wrap (recipe from Ani's Raw Food Kitchen) with lettuce and red bell peppers on a tomato/basil tortilla. Really good but I was still hungry afterwards and craving sweet...

Peanut butter and jelly on the left, peanut butter and agave syrup on the right. Just right on sesame toast.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Spanakopita and Scones.

My husband requested these delightfully flaky spinach pies for today so I woke up real early to make them in time for the Dodger game at 11am. Really early for baseball but our boys are playing in Milwaukee so time zones and all... I'm not going to lie, to prep these pies and bake them took me about 2 hours. It's quite a process. But in the end it's all worth it. The recipe is from Vegan with a Vengeance.

Out of the oven.

Since the oven was on, I whipped up another batch of cranberry-raisin scones. Here's a shot looking down a ziploc bag full of scones. Breakfast and tea snacks for the next few days!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Curry & Scones.

I have Brian McCarthy's book 'The Vegan Family Cookbook' and I've only made a few things from it which have been absolutely stellar. I decided to try another one today. This is the "Tomato Garam Masala with Garbanzo Beans" which is kind of a saucier version of channa masala. It's very tomatoey and a little light on the spices so I upped the garam masala and added cumin, cayenne, coriander, ginger, cumin seed and mustard seed. I also added potatoes which was a good idea. Very yummy, saucy and comfort foody.

Really good cranberry and raisin scones. An easy easy recipe that I got from I love this site. You'll find the recipe here. I used half whole wheat flour and half white flour. Yum yum. I want to eat these all the time! They are great with a cuppa tea.

A pat of Earth Balance margarine make it even better.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Healthy Chimichangas.

These are the "Gimme Chimis" from a book called 'Eat Drink & Be Vegan'. They are not really chimichangas because they are not deep fried. I kind of wish I deep fried them but I'm not that crazy. I followed directions to pan fry them in olive oil and they came out very pretty looking. These were okay. I am pretty sure they would have been better had I not deviated from the written recipe. I used black beans instead of pinto, tofu instead of tempeh, omitted the cinnamon and cloves and used a tomato and basil flavored tortilla. I changed way too many things. If you're curious as to what's in them: black beans, zucchini, green pepper, red pepper, onions, garlic, tofu, chipotle hot sauce, oregano, cumin, chili powder, salt. I will probably try them again following the recipe exactly. The book looks great though. There are a ton of recipes that I want to try.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Easy Peach Pita Tart

A scoop of Trader Joe's Soy Vanilla ice cream would have made this dessert perfect. I was dying for something sweet today and my mind was thinking "cake" but I wasn't about to bake a cake from scratch so I came up with this simple summer treat. It is a whole wheat pita spread with margarine, sprinkled with about a tablespoon or so of brown sugar, adorned with thinly sliced ripe peaches, brushed with marmalade jam and sprinkled with cinnamon. It went in the oven on a baking sheet for 10 minutes at 350 F degrees. The result was really nice. Soft and tender peaches on a sweet buttery base and crispy shell.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Thai Karee Curry and a Frozen Banana Treat.

What to do with fresh asparagus, red bell peppers, zucchini, potatoes and tofu? Make a thai curry. I fall back on curry all the time when I have lots of vegetables to use up. I made a thai curry today using coconut milk and karee curry paste. It's super spicy and perfect with some white jasmine rice. I might turn this into a soup later in the week by adding water and lime juice.

To cool down from the furious heat of the curry I had this delightful treat for dessert. It's frozen banana chunks (that I froze last night in little ziploc bags) topped with warm unsalted peanut butter, a sprinkle of chocolate chips and a drizzle of agave syrup. Really really good.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Peach Muesli and "Hamburger" Macaroni Dinner.

This is Jamie Oliver's "Pukkolla" muesli with freshly chopped peaches. I looove juicy peaches in summer!

Ok, so this came out of my craving for a childhood favorite "Hamburger Helper". It's funny because I don't really remember what it tasted like. Was it as good as I thought it was? Anyway, I went online and found a recipe for a dry seasoning mix that I adapted and used to flavor my dish. You'll see in the recipe below. I do have to say that this dish wasn't as "saucy" as I wanted it to be. Maybe next time I need to add more liquid or tomato sauce or something. But it was tasty and very very filling.

I still wanted the macaroni to be saucier so when I came home from work I made up a quick thickened sauce of tomato sauce, water, ketchup and soy sauce and dunked the pasta back in to simmer for a few minutes. The result was much much better. I've edited the recipe to include these few extra ingredients.

Much saucier wouldn't you say? It was delicious. My brother came over and I served some to him. He ate two big bowls of it!

"Hamburger" Macaroni Dinner

1 cup dry textured vegetable protein (tvp) rehydrated with 1 cup hot water in a bowl, set aside. (or you may use a bag of Morningstar Grillers Frozen Crumbles -no need to rehydrate)
13 oz. macaroni
2 TB olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 a large green pepper, chopped
1 cup button mushrooms, sliced
3 TB dry seasoning mix (Recipe at bottom of post)
1 tsp chili powder
1-14oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
2-8oz. cans tomato sauce
2 1/4 cups hot water
2 tsp red miso paste
2 TB soy sauce
1 TB ketchup
1 tsp cornstarch mixed with a little cold water to dissolve

Cook macaroni in water per package directions. Meanwhile...

Heat oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Saute onions, garlic and green pepper for a few minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until vegetables are tender. Add the hydrated TVP and then add dry seasoning mix and chili powder. Stir to combine seasonings and tvp. Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and hot water. Bring to a boil while stirring. Add miso paste, soy sauce and ketchup and stir to dissolve. Add cornstarch/water mixture to thicken. Lower heat to simmer for about 5-6 minutes. When sauce is thickened, add cooked and drained macaroni to it and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper and let simmer for a few more minutes.

Here's my adapted dry seasoning mix recipe:

1 1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbs. garlic powder
2 Tbs. dried parsley
3 Tbs. onion powder
1 Tbs. salt
3 1/2 Tbs. veggie bouillon powder (or you can use nutritional yeast)
2 tsp italian seasoning
1 tsp paprika

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Veggie and Mushroom Burger

Today's lunch. I used up the broiled mushrooms and veggies from yesterday and added grilled onions. I usually make my own burger patties from scratch using beans and tofu but I was lazy and heated up a Boca vegan burger instead. They are ok but not as good as homemade burgers. The sauce is just ketchup and vegan mayo with a shot of hot sauce. Very good burger which I enjoyed with a bloody mary cocktail (not pictured).

Saturday, July 4, 2009

4th of July Food.

A very simple and understated menu: Broiled veggies and mushrooms, baked potato and salad with strawberry/jalapeno/balsamic vinaigrette. I marinated the veggies in a garlic/olive oil/vinegar marinade and broiled them on a skewer. I also made the "Backyard BBQ Sauce" from Veganomicon. I brushed some sauce on the veggies while they were broiling. It was the perfect sauce: tangy, sweet and smoky. This was a perfect meal for today which left lots of room for...(wait for it)...deep fried donuts!

I made these because they remind me of childhood. When I was little, my mom and aunts used to fry up pieces of dough for us kids and we just loved them. They didn't add any sugar or anything but these little nuggets of plain deep fried dough were so good. They were golden and crispy on the outside and soft and tender on the inside. I remember thinking they must have made their own special dough for this but found out it was actually Pillsbury Crescent refrigerated dough! It's not in the least bit healthy but I decided to go for it and make some today. (the dough is vegan by the way!) I made some plain like I remember and some of the donuts sweet by dipping them in cinnamon and sugar. The sweet ones tasted like churros!

And you have to have a cocktail to enjoy with all of this food. This is seltzer water, sour cherry syrup and vodka!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Jamie Oliver's "Pukkolla" Muesli + Enchilada Style Burritos Again!

No need to cook this delicious breakfast! I got this muesli recipe from Jamie Oliver's cookbook "The Naked Chef Takes Off" and I adapted it to be vegan by subbing rice milk for the cow's milk. It only required stirring up the dry ingredients (oats, bran, dried fruit, nuts) the night before, portioning out a bowl, adding grated apple, rice milk and storing in the fridge. Next day I added more rice milk, some banana, cinnamon and I had myself a nutritious breakfast. Try it, you'll like it. Today it worked very well for me because after a long dog walk in the sun, I wanted a cool breakfast, not a hot one. The recipe happens to be posted online here. (I didn't have dates so I used both dark and sultana raisins in mine!)

I enjoyed my breakfast on the patio in the backyard. Was wonderful...

Buster relaxing after a long walk.

I was craving a burrito and lately when it comes to burritos, I've been turning to this "enchilada style" quinoa/bean/veg burrito every time! I do change up the veg or beans depending what's on hand. Today I had spinach and pinto beans. These always come out good. I'm much happier to use quinoa instead of rice as it has a better nutritional content. It's got protein, fiber, iron AND calcium! The topping I used today was tomato sauce flavored with chipotle chili powder and a vegenaise/lime juice drizzle on top. I really like the creaminess of it which reminds me of sour cream. Recipe for burritos here. Feel free to change up the veggies or use a different style of bean.

Here's the filling of quinoa, pintos, spinach and tomatoes. I used canned tomatoes that I accidentally forgot to drain the juice from so this was a little more wet than normal. But still very good.

Oh yeah.