Sunday, December 11, 2011

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread Pudding.

This is a good one for the holidays. I got the recipe from 1,000 Vegan Recipes. I used a day old french loaf that I knew was not going to be eaten so I used it for this. I also had exactly 1 cup of pumpkin puree leftover from Thanksgiving that was hiding out in my freezer. 45 minutes later, we have bread pudding. It was so good, soft and tender with holiday flavors. Yummy.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Indian craving.

Went out with my girlfriends last night and had some delicious vegan indian at Electric Karma in L.A. It really got me in the mood for it again so I made this potato, spinach and chickpea curry today. AND I made homemade roti for the first time. It was dead easy. Recipe here. For condiment, I had some jarred tamarind chutney that I thinned out with lemon juice and added ginger and cilantro. This food was very satisfying.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Once a Year Lasagna.

It seems I only make lasagna once or sometimes twice a year. I could be wrong but that's what it feels like. I don't know why because I LOVE lasagna. Making a vegan one is super easy and just as good as any other. The trick is to have a good creamy "ricotta" that will give you that cheese-like taste and texture. I use the cashew tofu ricotta recipe from Veganomicon. Today's lasagna has spinach, mushrooms, onions, carrots and a nice tomato basil sauce.

Out of the oven.

And plated. View 1.

View 2.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

After Thanksgiving Foods.

This morning I was in the mood for a fluffy stack of pancakes so I went with my go-to recipe from Vegan With A Vengeance (also in the Vegan Brunch book). The recipe makes PERFECT pancakes. No eggs or dairy necessary!

When I was little, I used to make scrambled eggs with slices of processed Kraft singles on top which would melt and make the eggs very cheesy. I recreated that today with scrambled tofu and Daiya vegan cheddar. I sort of mixed in small slices of Daiya into the tofu while it cooked in the pan. It got all melty and gooey.

Yesterday's lunch was a very simple congee (rice porridge) made with carrots, celery and leftover Tofurky bits. Sriracha is a must when eating congee.

Fast donuts made out of Pillsbury crescent roll dough. Deep fried and dunked in cinnamon-sugar!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Vegan Mouse Thankgiving.

My Thanksgiving dinners for the past five years have been pretty much the same old comfort foods that I love. If you look at my past photos, they probably look very similar to this. Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday!

Roasted brussels sprouts are amazing.

Roasted sweet potatoes are even more amazing.

Homemade herb stuffing was very tasty!

Actually, I've only had the Tofurky roast for the first time last year. Isn't it cute? I basted it with an orange juice, olive oil, soy sauce and fresh herbs mixture.

The whole lot. Also pictured: dijon glazed carrots, green bean casserole and lots of mashed potatoes and orange-herb gravy.

Pumpkin pie with maple cashew "cream".

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Greek Beans, Lebanese Rice and Egyptian Basbousa.

Last night my husband and I had a romantic night out and for dinner, we had Lebanese food which I'm crazy about. Got me in the mood to cook Mediterranean food this weekend.

I made "Gigantes" which are baked lima beans in a tomato and dill sauce. If you hate lima beans, try them this way. They bake up so tender and creamy with a simple and beautiful flavor combination of dill, tomatoes, onions and olive oil. The recipe is from "The Greek Vegetarian". I also made Lebanese rice pilaf. I love the little vermicelli noodles in it. The recipe is from "Tables of Lebanon".

For dessert, Egyptian basbousa! This is a very sweet semolina cake that has been drenched with sugar/orange flower water syrup. I got the recipe here. I used vegan shortening instead of butter, omitted the eggs and replaced with a little almond milk and 1/2 a tsp of cider vinegar. And I substituted soy yogurt for the yogurt.

This dessert is amazing! It's so tender and incredibly moist from the syrup. I think I need to work on the liquid to dry ingredient ratio. My cake fell apart a little because it was so moist. But that did not stop me from enjoying the hell out of it!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Lentils again! Egyptian Koshari.

Me and lentils are having a love affair this week! Since I've been veggie (over 5 years), I've grown to really love lentils. I think it may be my favorite protein source. Not only are lentils great for protein, they also lower your cholesterol, provide you with B vitamins, iron, fiber and no fat! One of the best things I love about them is that they are easy to cook and can be made into beautiful dishes like indian and nepali dahl, soups, curries and tonight's dinner, Egyptian koshari. Koshari is a quick, cheap vegetarian dish made of rice, lentils, pasta and tomato sauce. It's even quicker if you already have cooked rice in your kitchen like I did. I didn't have macaroni so I used mini penne. Worked great! Here's the link to the recipe. I didn't put fried onions on top because I was lazy but next time, that is happening for sure. Feel free to add spices like cumin, curry powder etc. to flavor the sauce.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Ok, bear with me...

I know I haven't posted a lot in the past weeks so I apologize in advance that the photo you are going to see in this post is of the poorest quality. I just had my house fumigated you see, and after moving back in tonight after work, I was desperate for a warm and quick meal. I rooted through all my double bagged pantry goods and came up with red lentils, spices, vermicelli noodles, an onion and garlic. This is what I made, which is my take on a middle eastern lentil and noodles soup. Try it, it's so comforting and delicious! I was in such a hurry to eat, I forgot to take a photo of my bowl, so you'll see a pic of the leftovers at the end of this post.

Lentils and Noodles

1/2 cup red lentils, rinsed
4 cups water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 tsp. cumin (I couldn't find my cumin so I used garam masala, which is an indian mixed spice blend of cumin, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. Hey at least there's cumin in it!)
1 tsp yellow curry powder
1/3 cup vermicelli noodles, broken up
1/2 onion, chopped
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste.

Place lentils, water and garlic in a pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat and let simmer until lentils get soft. In the meantime, saute the chopped onion in olive oil until nice and browned. Add the cooked onions, tomatoes, spices and noodles to the lentils and simmer on medium low until noodles are done. Stir as you go so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot. Season with salt and pepper. The soup will thicken up as it sits. You can eat this on it's own or on top of rice with a squeeze of lemon.

Picture of my leftovers that had been sitting for a while.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A little break from food posting...

Say hi to Buster.

He would say hi back, but he's shy.

Oatmeal, Walnut, Sultana and Cranberry Cookies

Mmm. Recipe based off this one here.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Oven Baked Dirty Rice

I was gifted with an amazing new vegan cookbook called The Complete Vegan Kitchen and I couldn't wait to use it. Tonight I made the dirty rice that was super easy and baked in the oven. I love these kinds of recipes where you throw stuff in a dish and sling it in the oven. I added black beans to my rice to add some protein. A very quick, tasty and complete meal for midweek. Can't wait to try more recipes from this book!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Moroccan Lentil Stew and Homemade Harissa

I love to throw stuff in a pot and call it dinner. This is what happened tonight after a long day at work. I've made this before using this recipe, but this time I took some liberties and used red instead of brown lentils, and added other veggies like corn and zucchini. On top there is a blob of North African style chili paste, also known as "harissa". I love to eat this stew on top of rice. Lentils and rice. You can't go wrong.

I must have been anticipating a Moroccan/North African flavor because I made the harissa over the weekend. I used New Mexico and Japones dried chilies, LOTS of garlic, mint, coriander, caraway, cumin and olive oil. It is SO FREAKING GOOD.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Veggie Chopped Salad & Cider

Dinner was this beautiful chopped salad with sauteed veggies, sauteed tofu, garlic croutons and homemade ranch dressing.

After being tossed in ranch.

Washed it all down with Magners.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Black Bean "Chilaquiles". Sort Of.

A bag of fresh tortilla chips from my local latin market gave me the inspiration to throw this together. I didn't have any vegan cheese so I made a creamy sauce made from plain soymilk, onions, garlic, pureed dried chilies and nutritional yeast. I layered the chips with the sauce, black beans cooked in a zesty tomato sauce and corn kernels and baked in the oven for 20 minutes. Came out tasty!

With a dollop of Vegenaise on top. Yummeh.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Indian food craving.

When I crave Indian, I must have it! I went all weekend craving a good curry and even though I had a lentil dahl at a non-indian restaurant on Saturday, it didn't cut it. Came home and made my favorite: channa masala. I usually add peas to mine so I don't think that part is authentic. But the taste was amazingly authentic. I ate it with rice, mini chapati and tamarind chutney to complete my indian feast. Recipe here.

Friday, September 23, 2011

One Pot Chili Mac.

I love easy cooking, especially on a Friday night after a long work week. I just want something fast and instantly gratifying. This one pot chili mac was the perfect thing. It was completely made up on the spot with a few ingredients. I love that you don't have to cook the macaroni seperately, it all goes in the same pot with the sauce!

One Pot Chili Mac

3 TB olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1/2 a large green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 TB tomato paste
2 TB chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups dry elbow macaroni pasta
2 1/2 cups boiling water (put the kettle on while you chop veggies)
1 jar of spaghetti sauce, any kind (I used Prego Veggie Smart)
1 14oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

In a large pot on medium high, heat olive oil and saute the onion, bell pepper and garlic until veggies get fairly soft. Add tomato paste and spices and stir to coat veggies in spices. Add the macaroni, boiling water, spaghetti sauce and turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Add kidney beans and stir. Lower heat to medium and cover. Cook for about 10 minutes and then stir pasta to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pot. Cover again and cook for another 7 minutes. Remove lid and stir for 3 minutes or so to make sure pasta doesn't stick to bottom of the pot. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

"Steak" and mushroom pie.

My neighbor was the one who inspired me to make this dish. She had a photo assignment to photograph the pub food at Ye Olde King's Head in Santa Monica. Her photos of the steak and mushroom (or it could have been steak and ale) pie looked amazing. I said to her: "I'm going to make that!" And so I did.

This is the filling of soy chunks, vegetables and mushrooms in a savory gravy.

Finished pie out of the oven.

I didn't have potatoes so I made cauliflower mash instead!

Steak and mushroom pie

3 TB vegan margarine + 2 TB olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
2 ribs celery, sliced
1 cup dry protein soy chunks rehydrated in boiling water until soft.
2 TB flour
1 cup veggie broth
1 tsp red miso
1/2 tsp vegemite or marmite
1 TB tomato paste
1 TB vegan worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp thyme
1 container mushrooms sliced
salt and pepper to taste
frozen puff pastry sheet, thawed (a good vegan brand is Pepperidge Farm)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Put the kettle on and boil water and pour over soy chunks in a bowl and let sit until soy chunks are soft.

3. Drain the hydrated soy chunks and put them in to a bowl. Add a couple of TB of flour and toss to coat the soy chunks.

4. Heat margarine in a pan on med high heat. Add soy chunks to pan and brown evenly, about 5 minutes. Remove soy chunks from pan and set aside.

5. Add oil to the pan and add the vegetables. Cook for a about 4 minutes. Then add vegetable broth, miso, marmite, tomato paste, worcestershire sauce and thyme to the pan. Cook for a few more minutes and then add the mushrooms. Add the soy chunks back to the pan, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and cover and simmer until veggies are tender.

6. Pour mixture into a baking dish and top with puff pastry sheets. Bake for 20 minutes or until pastry is golden and puffy.

Pie poured over cauliflower mash. This was SO TASTY.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hot Days and Salads.

It was a hot day and I was in the mood for a salad for dinner. So I texted my husband from work with a grocery list. My salad has romaine, arugula, sauteed tofu, cranberries, and walnuts. I made a really good dressing with walnut oil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dijon, agave and soy sauce.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Orzo with White Beans and Greens

This is a very simple yet delicious recipe for orzo, a tiny rice shaped pasta. I sauteed a combination of mustard, turnip and collard greens in olive oil with garlic, white beans, grape tomatoes, fresh dill and olives. Then I tossed with cooked orzo, added more olive oil and lemon juice and topped with bread crumbs. Recipe adapted from The Olive and The Caper Cookbook.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A Quick Vegan Caesar Salad

When inspirations strikes you have to go with it. I came home from a nice outing with my husband and I had in mind for dinner some kind of greek dish with orzo, beans, mustard greens, dill, olive oil... But then I got lazy and when I saw that I had romaine, tofu and a day old french bread, I decided to change gears and throw together a quick caesar salad. Here's what I did.

First, I made homemade croutons. I cubed a loaf of day old french bread and tossed them with olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper. I baked them in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, I sauteed cubed tofu in olive oil, soy sauce and some seasonings. This takes only about five minutes. You can use what you like. I had sansho spice which has a mixture of red chili, seaweed, sesame and sansho pepper. Set tofu aside to cool.

When croutons are done, set them aside to cool as you make a quick dressing. I stirred in a salad bowl, 1/4 cup of vegan mayo with a 1/2 teaspoon of dijon mustard, garlic powder, a dash of salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil and red wine vinegar. I tossed some romaine lettuce in the dressing, then added the croutons and tofu. Dinner was great! Tomorrow, stay tuned for that orzo dish. It might just happen.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Good stuff to eat.

Sorry, been so lazy with the blogging lately! I've had several meals that I forgot to blog about and here's one of them. It's fried tofu with a tamarind/hoisin glaze. That's coleslaw on top.

Kidney bean curry when I was craving indian food.

Deeelicious flaky and tender biscuits! They are great on their own and perfect with margarine and jam. Me+tea+biscuits=happiness.

I got this recipe from bazu over at the ppk forums. Here it is veganized:

Recipe James McNair's Buttermilk biscuits:

1/2 c. solid vegetable shortening (I used Earth Balance stick)

2 c. all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. soymilk whisked together with 1 tsp. vinegar

Position rack in middle, preheat oven to 400
spray baking sheet with oil or line with parchment, set aside
in a bowl or food processor, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt. cut in the shortening with your fingertips or a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. (I used a fork) Add soymilk/vinegar and stir just until the mixture sticks together.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly and quickly, about 30 seconds. using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out about 1/2 inch thick. using a floured 2 1/2 inch round biscuit cutter, cut out circles. Place onto the prepped baking sheet.

Bake until lightly browned, 10-12 minutes. Serve piping hot.

I got about 10 biscuits out of this, plus a bunch of loose ends that I'm saving in the freezer to use as dumplings.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Chili Dogs and Chinese Chicken Salad with No Chicken.

Yesterday's chili made fantastic meaty chili dogs! YUM! Veggie dogs are Lightlife Smart Dog brand which I found at Albertson's.

Didn't really go with my chili theme but I've been craving a good asian slaw with a spicy peanut sauce which had peanut butter, cayenne pepper, sesame oil, rice vinegar, cider vinegar, agave and soy sauce. I made the salad with napa cabbage, green cabbage, carrots, cilantro, cashews, mandarin oranges and fried chow mein noodles. It was so fresh and tasty.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Vegan Cowboy Chili and Cornbread.

I know this is more fall food than summer food but really, who turns down a steaming bowl of chili with a slab of cornbread? I've made this cowboy chili before. The trick is soaking dried chili peppers and pureeing them and adding the dark red emulsion into the chili. It creates a very complex flavor with some great heat. For the "meatiness", I used tvp chunks and tvp crumbles. Recipe here.

This is the famous PPK cornbread that I absolutely love. Makes good corn muffins too!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Another Salad and Microwave Chocolate Cake!

Wow, these salads at home are starting to get better and better. I've had three in three nights so far. This one has butter lettuce, radicchio, arugula, tofu, cranberries, raisins, walnuts and pluots with a dijon/balsamic/sesame dressing. Was good.

Ok, so this is for the desperate only. There's a recipe on vegweb called "Absolutely Divine Microwave Cake" and let me tell you, if you are craving something sweet and you have to have it now, then follow this recipe. I didn't have chocolate chips so I used dairy free white chocolate. I've made it with chocolate chips and it's better that way. My chocolate topping is Pillsbury dark chocolate fudge frosting melted in the microwave and poured on top. I know I know, microwaves are not the top choice to cook in but I was desperate!