Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Creamy White Bean Soup

When I feel like eating simple, no-frills food I like to turn to Gillian McKeith's cookbooks. Her recipes are very wholesome, basic and healthy yet full of flavor. I made the 'Creamy White Bean Soup' from the Slim for Life book. It's very simple: onions, garlic, leeks, parsley, coriander, veggie broth and white beans. I'll probably have a rocket salad with this for dinner.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Pancake Breakfast & Iraqi Eggplant Casserole

This morning we had pancakes (Vegan w/ a Vengeance recipe) and veggie sausages. The sausages are Lightlife's Gimme Lean ground veggie sausage which I shaped into little links. They were perfect with the fluffy pancakes and maple syrup!

Not the most photogenic dish... This is the eggplant casserole recipe from my Iraqi cookbook "Delights from the Garden of Eden". It has eggplant, onions, peppers, garlic and chickpeas in a savory tomato sauce. The recipe called for too much liquid I think so it was still a little watery at the end but I didn't mind that much. Next time I make this I'll decrease the liquid a bit.

Casserole served on top of couscous with a garlicky yogurt sauce, pita and arugula and cucumber salad. So delicious!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Avocado Sandwich & Xmas Cookies

Avocado, tomato and Daiya cheese sandwich. Been living on these sandwiches the past few days. We got several giant avocados that had to be eaten asap! They were delicious.

I made these cookies for christmas: chocolate chip, white chocolate and rainbow chip plus pumpkin oatmeal raisin. 

My boss made me these cute christmas tree cookies that were creatively dyed green with liquid chlorophyll! They were so soft and sweet. There were more but I ate most of them on the way home from work yesterday!

We spent xmas eve with our dear friends/neighbors and watched National Lampoon's Christmas vacation. My omnivore neighbor surprised me by making these vegan chocolate chip mint cookies! She went all the way and used spelt flour, agave syrup and grain sweetened chocolate chips. They were gorgeous and so yummy!

Dozen after dozen, I saw these come out of the oven. They are so beautiful.

Here's my neighbor holding up a plate of her first ever vegan homemade cookies! I was so touched that she made these for me. She said vegan baking was easy! :)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Food rundown.

Thursday night's dinner: macaroni with esme's special sauce (delicious!) with steamed carrots and kale. Haven't made this sauce in so long and so glad I thought of it. Husband approved!

Saturday's lunch: romaine salad with red cabbage, cucumber, homemade croutons and tahini dill dressing,

Saturday's dessert: parsnip-carrot cake with a mess of a cream "cheese" glaze (didn't set up at all!) Got the recipe for this cake in a bargain book I found at Borders called 'The Ultimate Book of Vegan Cooking'. I had problems with the batter because the recipe didn't call for enough liquid so I had to add some in increments. Good thing the cake turned out. It was wonderfully spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and very moist but the frosting recipe was a disaster. It didn't ruin the taste so I was happy enough.

Saturday's dinner: glorious quesadilla with Daiya cheese, roasted red peppers and caramelized onions. This is a vegan copycat of Giada's Italian quesadilla recipe. Amaaaazing.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Lentil Dal and Alu Matar

Indian food is one of my favorite cuisines. Today I made two dishes: Red Lentil Dal (adapted ppk recipe) and Alu Matar from "Flavors of India" cookbook.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Two-Bean Chili with Bulgur

Got this recipe from a cookbook that my husband got me for x-mas last year which I haven't had the chance to use yet. It's called "366 Delicious Ways to Cook Rice, Beans and Grains". Considering it's got a whole section on beans, there were no more than 2 or 3 chili recipes. This one looked interesting to me because of the use of bulgur for thickness and texture. I've never tried that before so this was a first. I think I like this much better than using soy ground crumbles. I tried a little bit for lunch and it was deliciously hearty and spicy. Will be having again for dinner which will go very well with "buttered" whole wheat flour tortillas.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Eat Your Greens!

Mmm, kale! I sure do love this dark green leafy that I've been eating a lot of lately. I'm sure to some of you, the idea of eating a serving of dark green vegetables plain is not desirable in the slightest. Which is why it's a good idea to pair it with something that will make you love your greens. Today I made two sauces that I ladled over steamed kale. Both were absolutely wonderful!

First up is this delicious garlicky sauce that was invented by my friend Lauren. She eats kale by the ton and uses this sauce that she whipped one day. She is addicted to it and I think I will be too! She ran the recipe by me today and I came home and made it. It takes not more than 3-4 minutes and is worth the preparation. This is what you do: Chop finely a few cloves of garlic. Heat some olive oil (I used about 2TB) in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add some Earth Balance margarine, just a bit for some saltiness. Add chopped garlic and saute until it lightly browns. Then add nutritional yeast flakes(I added only 1/2 cup, Lauren uses a full cup!) and then add some water little by little while stirring to make a sauce with the thickness you prefer. Season with black pepper and cayenne. Pour over steamed kale and toss to coat.

Second sauce is the Tahini Dill sauce from Veganomicon. Super easy to make as well in your blender. It's a wonderfully smooth and creamy sauce made with tahini, dill, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, water and vinegar. The recipe called for balsamic but I used red wine vinegar instead. Very good on fresh salad too.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Weekend Food: Lasagna & Coffee Cake

I've been craving a lasagna forever. I haven't made one in months and months. All week I imagined this lasagna filled with creamy cashew-tofu ricotta with spinach, eggplant, zucchini and roasted red peppers.

First layer of noodles, sauce, sauteed eggplant and zucchini...

Next comes cashew-tofu ricotta with spinach, more sauteed eggplant and roasted red peppers, yum!

After an hour in the oven. Topped with Follow Your Heart vegan mozzarella.

I had so much leftover noodles, sauce and filling that I made another smaller pan of it. Anyone want this?

This was so good.

For dessert, Vegan Brunch's East Coast Coffee Cake with fig jam swirl. Deelicious with tea!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Pot Pie, Tea Sandwiches and Gardein Buffalo Wings

This is an adaptation of Vegan Dad's pot pie. I didn't use seitan but used chickpeas instead. I had a spelt crust in the freezer that I wanted to use and for the top crust, I used an oil based recipe which I cut into pumpkin shapes. I added a few things to the sauce/filling, namely 1 tsp. white miso, 1/2 tsp. vegemite and 1/4 tsp. dried thyme.

The other day I bought a package of Gardein buffalo wings to try out. I had them with cucumber sandwiches and salad. To be honest, I wasn't crazy about them on their own. The texture was good but the taste was kind of weird. I think they would be better in a sandwich with other things.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Easy Berry Cobbler

I made this last night when I got a sugar craving. It was very easy and quick and doesn't require that many ingredients. I wish I would have had some non dairy ice cream to go with it!

Easy Cobbler

1 cup all purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 cup plain soymilk
dash of cinnamon (optional)
1/4 cup vegan margarine like Earth Balance
3 cups frozen mixed berries, thawed OR frozen peaches OR frozen mangos (or any frozen fruits really!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Thaw frozen fruit and reserve the juice.
Put all dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the soymilk and a dash of cinnamon. Mix the batter until all ingredients are incorporated.
Meanwhile put the vegan margarine into a baking dish. Put the dish into the oven to let the margarine melt completely.
After it is melted, take the dish out of the oven and pour the batter on top of the margarine. Spoon the fruit and juice on top of the batter.
Bake for 35-40 minutes. The batter will rise up around the fruit.
Let it cool after taking it out of the oven. I find it tastes better after it has cooled. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Rice Casserole

Another warm and comforting casserole for a chilly day. I've made this before. It's the "Potato and Chickpea Curry with Rice" recipe from Vegetarian Times. It's so easy to throw a bunch of things in a dutch oven or covered casserole and bake for an hour. I made 1/3 of the recipe and added green beans and eggplant to my casserole and served it with sauteed garlicky kale. I should have doubled the amount of eggplant in it because they shrunk to almost nothing! But still, this was really yummy.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Burger Night.

I love to make homemade burgers. Whatever beans I have in hand are what I use along with other things like tofu, garlic, onions, grated carrots, bread crumbs, etc. I do eat frozen veggie burgers now and again but homemade are always better. I've made these 'smoky tofu and bean burgers' before and I don't think the recipe has ever failed me. They bake up wonderful, firm on the outside and tender on the inside. I like to serve them with grilled onions and a homemade thousand island sauce (vegan mayo, ketchup, relish, lemon juice, salt, pepper, hot sauce).

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Daiya Cheese Quesadilla

This was a quick lunch for me before I head out for work. I've had Daiya before on homemade pizza which I liked but having it in a quesadilla I loved! For some reason, the combination of melty cheese inside a grilled flour tortilla with buttery earth balance margarine made it taste just like real cheese. I can't wait to try this again and maybe add grilled vegetables to it.