Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I am in a New Year's Eve Food Coma.

I bought a Field Roast Celebration Roast about a week ago and thought I'd make it today. Never had it before so it was my first time trying it. I roasted it in the oven on a bed of onions and poured over an orange juice/soy sauce/olive oil marinade and let it roast for about 45 minutes.

What a feast! The roast was really really good, it was tender and tasted really flavorful. I prepared the gravy using a tub of Tofurky "giblet" gravy and whisked into it over medium low heat: 2 TB olive oil, 1 TB orange juice concentrate, 1 tsp. soy sauce, 2 tsp. mixed herbs (sage, thyme, rosemary), 1/4 cup red wine and black pepper. I let it simmer until it thickend a bit.

Hello Magical Coconut Cookie Bars from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar! These are before they are cut into bars.

They don't look much like the photo in the book but who cares? These are freaking delicious. The layers go like this: cookie crust (made out of crushed CATS Cookies for People from Trader Joe's), coconut milk/brown sugar concoction, chocolate chips, sweetened coconut and chopped walnuts. Sugar Coma.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Pasta With Greens, Garlic and Chile and More Roasted Spuds.

More cooking from River Cottage Veg. I made more roasted spuds to go with the leftover sauces from yesterday. Double carb lunch!

A very simple pasta recipe from the book with kale, garlic, onions and chile. I also added Parmezano Sprinkles which is a vegan parm recipe from The Ultimate Uncheese cookbook.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Roasted Potatoes with Mojo & Chocolate Torte with Bittersweet Ganache

I tried my first recipe from the River Cottage Veg book and it was a success. It was roasted potatoes with two kinds of mojo: Mojo Picon and Mojo Cilantro. These sauces are perfection. Each one required a whole bulb of garlic. Insanely tasty. The picon had roasted red peppers and chile. I want to make these all the time now. Also on the plate, a pretty salad and a blob of leftover muttabal from a lebanese restaurant we went to last night.

In Fran Costigan's Vegan Chocolate cookbook, this is called "Bittersweet Ganache-Glazed Chocolate Torte To Live For". It really is. Intense and chocolatey and moist.

Xmas foods.

Tempeh sausage pastry puffs from the Vegan Brunch book.

I thought the recipe would make good sausage rolls. I was right.

Boston vs. Brooklyn cream pie cupcakes and espresso oatmeal cookies from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World and Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar.

It is always a pleasure to receive beautiful cookbooks for xmas! Hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Meals on Toast.

Otherwise known as an open face sandwich, right? I'm big on stuff like this. Today I made Mary McCartney's saucy mushrooms and tomatoes on toast which is so good that I've made it a million times already. But today I got some really nice tuscan style pane from Trader Joe's. I don't have pics but later on I had another meal on toast, a slice of the same bread, toasted, buttered (Earth Balance) with avocado slices, Sriracha sauce, salt and pepper. Yum. Other things to eat on toast: hummus and thinly sliced tomato, peanut butter, banana and agave syrup, Heinz beans, Earth Balance and marmite, vegan cream cheese and pepper jelly, chickpea salad with melted vegan cheese...the list goes on.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Vegan Beef Stew

Got this recipe idea over here. It uses seitan but instead I used rehydrated soy chunks. I didn't bake my stew in the oven, I just cooked it in a dutch oven on the stove for several hours on very low heat with a lid on it. I added a little more liquid to mine as well. Also other additions: green beans, celery, portobello mushrooms and marmite. I'm not big on eating soy chunks all the time but today I really wanted something meaty and comforting.

Bubbling over the stove.

I wanted to serve the stew on top of noodles that were like egg noodles. I found these at Vons and they are vegan and have no eggs yay!

So hearty and filling.

These are the deluxe cocoa brownies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. I liked them but they were a little too cakey for my liking. It is mostly my fault, my oven is wonky. I'm a fan of dessert so these will keep me happy for the weekend.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

One Pot Chili Mac with Soy Chunks.

Not a great pic but if only you could taste this. I really enjoyed this hearty one pot meal. I do love throwing things in a pot and walking away. Works best on weeknights. I've made this a few times before and copied and pasted my recipe below with additions and substitutions in brackets. I added soy chunks to this which made it so meaty. Because I used them, I needed to add more water. If you feel it is drying out too much, feel free to add a little more boiling water to keep it moist and saucy.

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 (I used 4 TB today for more sauciness.)
2 TB chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 TB chopped chipotle peppers (I added this today.)
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups dry elbow macaroni pasta
2 1/2 cups boiling water (you may need about 1 cup more if you're adding soy chunks)
1 jar of spaghetti sauce, any kind (I subbed 1 can diced tomatoes and 1 can tomato sauce today.)
1 14oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed (I used black beans today.)
1 1/2 cups soy chunks

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, soy chunks, 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.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Vegan Steak and Mushroom Pie

The veggies.

Some ingredients.

The insides before topping with puff pastry.

From the oven to the table, all puffed and golden!

On the plate with a side of mashed potatoes. This is the best comfort food ever.

The Recipe:

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 tsp vegemite or marmite
1 TB tomato paste
1 TB vegan worcestershire sauce or soy sauce
1 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.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Hope you're home with friends and family, cozy and pleasantly full! I sure am. This Thanksgiving was low key as it was just me and my husband. My parents and brother went out of town so I didn't make a gargantuan amount of food as I usually do. We ate two plate of food and have been relaxing on the couch with a glass of wine and Twilight Zone marathon on the tv. I am now blogging from the comfort of my couch with a cup of holiday black tea nearby. The following is what we ate today.

First up, Tofurky Roast! I swear, every year it just tastes better and better. I roasted mine on top of carrots, turnips and onions with a delicious olive oil/soy sauce/orange juice/herb marinade.

Delicious herb stuffing from The Vegan Family cookbook. My husband complimented me on this and I was glad because he's used to boxed chicken flavored stuffing. Homemade is best!

First time for me making a sweet potato casserole. I got this recipe from Susan V. here. It's very good but so sweet. I'm not used to adding sugar and syrup to sweet potatoes, but I'm glad I tried it. I only used two sweet potatoes so I pretty much halved the recipe.

I gave these vegan Yorkshire puddings a go. I was very scared but I'm happy I tried. They didn't come out puffy and light like the traditional ones but these were quite nice. I would add less salt next time. I used Jeni's recipe here. I subbed almond milk instead of soy and all purpose instead of bread flour which could be why they didn't turn out how they should.

My plate. Everything was so delicious!

And for dessert, german chocolate cake! I used Susan V's recipe here.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Roasted Butternut Alfredo

The perfect fall vegetable...

Makes the perfect fall dish. This is a recipe I got from The Post Punk Kitchen. Seriously delicious, creamy and comforting. Make it today! Find the recipe here.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Vegetable soup, Hummus avocado and chili jam sandwich, Granola bars.

I want to eat more veggies. Coming from a vegan, that sounds kind of funny. I feel like I've been eating way too many carbs lately. Toast, bagels, pasta, crackers have been my snacks of choice a lot. I made this soup because it has lots of veggies: cauliflower, spinach, tomatoes, carrots, onions, celery, zucchini, green beans and cabbage as well as kidney beans. It's so delicious. Always comes out great every time I make it. To flavor it right, I add veggie broth powder (homemade) and a touch of Marmite. Mmm...

I finally found a good chili jam that I could use for this sandwich recipe I found in Mary McCartney's cookbook. It's Braswell's Jalapeno Pepper Jelly that I found in the kosher section of Albertsons supermarket. It's so good! This sandwich was amazing. The hummus was homemade with chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt and a little water. That's it. I hate store bought hummus that add all kinds of other stuff like cumin, ugh!

Another Mary McCartney recipe for Granola Bars To Go. Mine came out a little burnt but still good.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Bean Tostada and a Grain Bowl.

Today's lunch was a delicious tostada that had refried black beans, corn, sauteed garlic kale and potatoes and avocado.

I also prepared a grain bowl for my lunch tomorrow. Quinoa, spinach, sauteed tofu, yellow tomatoes, sweet potato, cranberries and miso tahini dressing.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Grilled veggie sandwich, Lunch plate, Garlic Sauce and Cake.

My second attempt at making a Paragon-style vegetarian sub sandwich. (See the previous post about Montreal.) I finally did it right and made it with a soft and tender french roll that worked perfectly. The grilled onions, mushrooms and green peppers were so good!


Saturday lunch plate. Fresh bread, whole grain crackers served with hummus, garlic sauce, bruschetta and olive salad. All homemade by me.

This garlic sauce was really simple to make but I made way too much! I used instant mash potatoes since that is what I had, lemon juice, 10,000 cloves of garlic (no, not really - maybe 10), olive oil and salt. I whizzed it all in the blender and made about 2 cups.

And to celebrate the weekend, I made a cake. This is a pumpkin apple cider upside down cake. I got the idea from the Midcentury Menu blog. I liked this recipe so much I tracked down a copy of the vintage book it came from called "The Apple Kitchen Cookbook"(1967) and bought it. Watch this space for apple centric recipes!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Good Eats in Montreal.

Just got back from a nine day holiday in Montreal. I haven't been back in 8 years and it was so nice to be there again. This is the first time being vegan in Montreal though. I think I did ok. If I had stayed longer, I would have explored more vegan/vegan friendly restaurants. I was staying at my in-laws house, so we did a lot of hanging out and cooking at home which was fine with me!

The day after we arrived, we popped into L'Inter Marche on the corner to get a few staples. Bagels are a must. Montreal bagels are usually not vegan, made with egg and honey but I was able to find some packaged ones without any animal products yay! The hummus is by Fontaine Sante which I think is the best tasting packaged hummus I've ever had! We went through two or three tubs on this trip.

This is what my husband and I were looking forward to eating. He grew up in St. Leonard, which is primarily italian and the italian bakeries make the most delicious tomato pizza/bread. I was afraid it would be non-vegan, but alas, it is!

And it was nice to find soy milk at a little shop.

Another thing we looked forward to eating. Flakies! They are very crap for you but so good. Flaky layers of air and just a bit of "cream" and fruit filling. As far as I know, this is vegan. The ingredient list is dreadful, don't read it.

Found vegan margarine at IGA supermarket. I jumped for joy.

First meal I made was a simple pasta dish with chickpeas, olives and tomato sauce.

Second meal I made at home: pho! The bowl is tiny because they didn't have larger bowls. It worked well. It was delicious.

Home cooked meal #3. Mary McCartney's Courgette and Lemon Spaghetti. I made it without the cheese of course. Super good. Find the recipe online here.

That amazing hummus and Mary McCartney's saucy mushrooms and tomatoes on toast.

My husband's best friend and his wife took us out to Scaroli's Ristorante for great pasta. I got the primavera which was really tasty. Being vegan I run into a lot of "bland tomato sauces" at italian restos and this one was completely opposite. Full of flavor and even had caramelized red onions in the veggie mix.

Every vegan who visits Montreal eats at Aux Vivres. A friend of ours took us there and we had a great meal.

I ordered the seitan souvlaki plate. Really good stuff.

I had to order dessert. They bake their cakes, pies, brownies in house and I had a really hard time choosing. I decided on the "uncheesecake" with blueberry sauce. Amazing!

We had a quick lunch at Amir on St. Denis one day. I had the falafel pita and yummy garlic potatoes.

Paragon restaurant is a great little no-nonsense eatery in St. Leonard that makes really good submarine sndwiches. I ate there twice on this trip.

This pic does not do it justice. They grill mushrooms, onions and green peppers that are sliced thin thin thin and smother them in a toasted roll with shredded lettuce and tomato on top. I asked for no cheese and no sauce which I'm assuming is dairy based.

So after a 6 hr flight where I had to wake up super early in the morning, I arrived in L.A., headed straight to Vons and picked up ingredients to make my version of Paragon's sub. The insides were good but the bread is all wrong. Too hard, too dense. I need to find the perfect airy french roll for this. Keep your eyes on my blog, I will make this again.