Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Yum Yum Tofu.

This has got to be the yummiest way to eat tofu. Pan fried and smothered in a sweet plum-hoisin glaze. I got this recipe from Vegan Dad's blog and I've made it a bajillion times, it's so good! It's the only time I feel like it's ok to fry. I served it with jasmine rice and coleslaw. Deliciousness.

Just a heads up...
Tomorrow is the first day of VEGANMOFO (Vegan Month of Food). Me and a bunch of other bloggers will be busy cooking and eating and writing about vegan food for the whole month of October. The goal is to blog every single day or at least as much as possible. I will do my best and I know it will be great because I always have a list of delectable dishes in my mind that are just waiting to be made. The list is long!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Miso Vegetable Soup with Glass Noodles

Been having some tummy issues since Sunday. This morning I thought I was recovered but started feeling a wee bit nauseated in the late afternoon at work. I imagined having a comforting soup like this when I got home. I boiled some water, added a bunch of different veggies: broccoli, celery, carrots, scallion, tomato and zucchini, mushroom soy sauce, fresh ginger and miso paste. I also added bean thread noodles (aka glass noodles, mung bean noodles or cellophane noodles) to the soup for slurping. It was the perfect thing. My stomach felt better instantly!

I found a cooking video online for Thai mung bean noodle salad that is so cute, made by a mother and daughter. Reminds me of me and my mom! :) You can easily veganize this recipe by replacing shrimp with tofu, chicken broth with veg broth and soy sauce for fish sauce!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Chocolate Loaf Cake & Breakfast in Bed.

I made this moist and perfect loaf cake yesterday using this recipe and on a whim added a small mashed sweet potato to the batter. The sweet potato flavor didn't come through at all but it made the cake very moist and fluffy and hold together so well. I've made this cake in the past and sometimes it would be a bit crumbly but this time it was utterly perfect, slice after slice. I topped it with a sweet cinnamon glaze made with powdered sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and soymilk.

Breakfast in bed again! This time while watching my latest Netflix arrival: Mrs. Dalloway. On the tray: Darjeeling/Earl Grey tea, buttered toast, a dish of raspberry soy yogurt with bananas and a slice of cake. It was all delightful.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Desert Rose Restaurant in Los Feliz

This my friends, is a beautiful portobello and vegan cheese panini that I had at lunch today. I visited my dear friend B who just moved to the Los Feliz area. We decided to have lunch nearby at Desert Rose. Pretty place on the corner of Hillhurst and Prospect with a lovely outdoor patio shaded by a multitude of umbrellas. Good thing for them because even at 10:30 when we arrived, it was already getting very hot! This place is great because not only does it have a full brunch, lunch and dinner menu for your omni friends and family, they have a separate vegan menu with dishes ranging from appetizers, salads, pizza and sandwiches. They don't have a vegan brunch or much of a dinner selection unfortunately but hopefully that'll change in the future! I was quite happy with the selections I was offered this morning. My panini was so freaking delicious! The portobello was beautifully seasoned accompanied by melty vegan cheese (I believe it was Daiya) and some kind of sun dried tomato relish or pesto. The sandwich was served with crispy fries and mixed greens. Yum! I was so overwhelmed by it all that I could only eat half of it. I saved the rest for later. Can't wait to try this place again. Would like to try their pizza and the garbanzo and edamame salad which looked really good too.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Sandwich Sandwichy Sandwich...

I was in the mood for a sandwich today but realized I had nothing to put in one! So I flipped open 'Vegan Planet' and turned to my favorite faux tuna salad recipe. It's really good and easy to make with mashed chickpeas, almonds (I used cashews today), nori flakes, celery, scallion, vegan mayo, dijon mustard and sweet relish (my addition!). On toasted multigrain bread smeared with buttery Earth Balance margarine, fresh green leaf and juicy tomato, I was in sandwich heaven.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Penne with Summer Vegetable Sauce

So the first day of Autumn has passed but it certainly still feels like summer here in Southern CA. It's downright hot and nasty right now. I probably should have made a salad for dinner but opted for this summery vegetable pasta made with fresh and beautiful produce: eggplants, zucchini, red bell peppers and mushrooms. Oh, and canned plum tomatoes from Italy! It was adapted from a recipe from 'The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen' cookbook. It was a delicious celebration of the bounties of summer. Goodbye Summer, I'm looking forward to Fall now!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Breakfast in Bed: Raw Strawberry-Banana Pudding and Toast!

I whipped up this decadent raw pudding this morning that was so thick, rich and creamy. It was really yummy and filling too. Yes, it's healthier than most desserts but it's not low fat because of the nuts.

Raw Strawberry-Banana Pudding

1/2 to 1 cup raw unsalted cashews (I didn't really measure but think I used close to a cup!)
8 dates, pitted
6-8 fresh strawberries
1 frozen banana

Soak cashews and dates in hot water for at least 20 minutes. Drain water. Blend all ingredients in a blender until thick and creamy. Serve with fresh berries on top.

Edited to add:

This is dinner tonight. It's a cauliflower, potato and mushroom gratin adapted from Brian McCarthy's Broccoli and Cauliflower Gratin from The Vegan Family Cookbook.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Quinoa-White Bean Salad

Made a big tupperware of this for the week. It's very simple. 3-4 cups of cooked and cooled quinoa was tossed with red peppers, cucumbers, grated carrot, chopped onions, white beans and tossed in a red wine vinegar-lemon juice-garlic-olive oil dressing. After chilling for a couple hours, it's ready to be enjoyed either on it's own or as a side dish. I'm probably going to enjoy this with a Trader Joe's spinach pizza or a leftover black eyed pea burger or maybe as a sandwich filling inside a pita with lettuce and tomato.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Black Eyed Pea Potato Burgers and Date Loaf Cake

I was in the mood for burgers today. I had some black eyed peas that I wanted to use as well as leftover mashed potato from last night's dinner. I mashed the peas and combined them with the potato, along with chopped onions, garlic, red pepper, zucchini, jalapeno, grated carrots, bread crumbs, smoked paprika, cumin and all purpose seasoning. I baked them for 35-40 minutes in a 400 degree oven, flipping halfway. They came out so nice and flavorful, crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.

Served on a pita with lettuce and garlic-dill aioli.

For dessert, I made a date loaf cake that came out so moist. I used whole wheat flour and sucanat in place of the white flour and regular sugar. I use this recipe all the time and it always comes out perfect.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Shepherd's Pie

Made this pie in about 40 minutes using the leftover "taco meat" from last night, some frozen veggies, mushrooms, homemade miso gravy and instant mashed potatoes (sorry, it's a weekday!). The miso gravy is so good. Find the recipe here. Make sure to substitute vegan margarine for the butter. I also added a little veggie broth as well. Can't wait to eat this when I get home from work!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Taco Night!

Three over-stuffed white corn taco shells filled with refried beans, soy "ground beef"*, lettuce, guacamole, salsa and a white sauce made from Vegenaise (vegan mayonnaise) mixed with lime juice and chili powder. Super yummy.

*Just wanted to note that I used Morningstar Farms Grillers Crumbles for these tacos. The package that I used was one before the company reformulated their recipe in January. Every package of this product that was made since January will now contain milk and egg which makes the product no longer vegan. This is upsetting. I will most likely switch to another brand or make my own soy ground from TVP granules from here on out.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Muffins for the Weekend & Thai Red Curry

Delicious muffins that I made yesterday and today. I finally cracked open my brand new copy of 'Vegan Brunch' and made the "Bakery Style Berry Muffins". I used strawberries in mine. I also made fluffy banana-cinnamon muffins from a recipe I adapted at vegetarian times. Find the recipe here.

And a simple Thai red curry with potato, carrot, eggplant, mushroom, zucchini, tofu and onions. Mmm.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Meze Supper.

Tonight husband and I wanted to dine on an assortment of appetizers or "meze". I was happy to make a dip of chickpeas and fava beans (not quite hummus because I only had about 1/2 cup of chickpeas), za'atar in olive oil with fresh tomato and onion as well as a light eggplant dish, Misaqua'at Betinjan bil Laban or 'Browned Eggplant with Yogurt'. I used plain unsweetened soy yogurt* and added about a tablespoon of vegan mayo for more creaminess. Try as they might, soy yogurts just do not have the same texture nor flavor as regular dairy yogurt. The vegan mayo added to it made it much creamier and it was simply flavored with salt, garlic, cumin and coriander. This recipe is from a Iraqi cookbook I have called "Delights from the Garden of Eden". The recipe is also online here. The eggplant was really good (well, anything that is fried is good!) and the salty olives and pita were yummy accompaniments.

Chickpea & Fava Bean Dip with Za'atar topped with fresh tomato and onions.

Yummy fried eggplants with garlicky soy yogurt!

All together...

*Note: The best plain unsweetened soy yogurt is Wildwood Organics. The other brands plain are just way too sweet.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Tea for One.

Ah, weekend! There's nothing better than a restful and relaxing weekend after a long and hard work week. I did a bit of shopping this morning and afterwards came home to make another marble loaf cake. While that was in the oven I watched an episode of Agatha Christie's Poirot and then later made a tray of "tea for one" to take to my room. I enjoyed this light supper while watching 'Desperate Romantics', a mini-series about the Pre-Raphaelite painters. On the tray: hot ceylon tea with soymilk and sugar, an "everything" bagel with Tofutti non dairy cream cheese, marble loaf cake and fresh nectarine slices.