Monday, December 29, 2008
I was really pleased with the flavors and textures of this whole meal, but I was quite disappointed when I plated everything up and realized it was all kinda tan. There's veggies on this plate, I promise! :) Mono-toned or not, this was a really tasty meal that I would definitely try again! Happy Hanukkah!
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Right after I got this tree on Christmas Eve, I made Rosemary Mashed Potatoes for us, and served it with BBQ Seitan and Garlic-Roasted Brussel Sprouts....so gooooood!
She even made TWO vegan apple pies for us! Whoa! Here they are, ready to cut and devour... And here's a big slice, full of appl-y goodness...
All in all, this Christmas vacation rocked! Tomorrow, it's back to work and real-life...but I am so glad I got to spend some quality time with my family! Oh, and make and eat lots of really tasty, homemade food!
Friday, December 26, 2008
For Christmas morning breakfast, I made RRE's Cinnamon Rolls from the Bjorked Off blog! I made them with whole wheat flour, so they are a little tanner than your average cinnamon roll...but much healthier! Here they are, ready to be baked:
Then, because one dessert simply isn't enough for a holiday, I made the Mexican Wedding Cookies from the Joy of Vegan Baking. These are so good! They are like little balls of pecan shortbread with powdered sugar, and they just melt in your mouth! I think these were my mom's favorite!Okay, I know another dessert may sound crazy...but I had to make another vegan dessert to take to my dad's house for another Christmas celebration! These are coconut haystack bars, which are something that we sell at Main Squeeze, where I chef, so I borrowed the recipe from there to make at home. It is a shortbread crust with a coconut-pecan-chocolate chip filling...made sticky with barley malt syrup...and drizzled with melted dark chocolate post-baking! These are so perfect! A little bit of everything you would want in a dessert, without being overly sweet!To wash all of this feast down, I recommend some Chocolate Peppermint Stick soymilk from Westsoy!! A nice alternative to the usual Soy Nog enjoyed by vegans at the holidays (which I also love), plus who can beat chocolate and mint together in a creamy, cool drink?? Not me, that's for sure!
Monday, December 22, 2008
For example, we had a family Christmas this weekend, and I was able to make this Holiday Quinoa Salad without getting anything special from the store! Holiday flavors and good nutrition are a combination that's hard to beat! While your parents may not be stocked with quinoa, you could easily substitute rice or any grain for the same tasty creation!This is simply quinoa my mom had, and I added a holiday-spiced teabag to the boiling water to cook with the quinoa. This really added a nice, mild flavor to the quinoa!! When the quinoa cooled, I tossed it with canned mandarin oranges, parsley, toasted almonds, spinach, red onion, and dried cranberries. I made a simple dressing to put on it of dijon mustard, olive oil, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and some spices, including chili powder and cinnamon! It was really good and easy, too! I just dug through the cupboards and put random things together that seemed like they would taste good!
There are some easy rules/things to look for when at a family member's house who is non-veg, and you want to whip up some grub to please your tastebuds and possibly even impress your family!
1. Canned fruits and veggies....maybe not your ideal choice at home, but work really well when away! Canned tomatoes are seriously soooo versatile!! Fresh produce is obviously even better, if you can find them, but don't hold your breath :)
2. Dried or canned beans...a staple in kitchens, even of the non-veg variety! Rice and beans, anyone?
3. Dried fruit...essential for snacking, salads, etc. Always at your family member's house who is "trying to eat healthier." When are they just going to go vegan already???!! ha.
4. Nuts or seeds...protein is key for keeping up energy during the stress of the family holiday gatherings! Look for them in peanut butter, too!! Best eaten by the spoonful, of course!
5. Oatmeal....the perfect breakfast in a non-veg house: no cereal labels to stress over, no soy/rice/hemp milk required, easy and quick to make, warm and delish!! Try drizzling with some maple syrup and cinnamon, which pretty much everyone has! mmmm....
See, you too can not starve or stress when you are away from home, in a country bumpkin town, with a bunch of carnivores! hooray!
Here's the whole dinner my veg mom and I made (yes, I am really lucky my mom is veg and goes out of her way to buy me vegan stuff and wants me to cook for her when I come home! she is awesome!!!) The Holiday Quinoa salad from above, Tofurkey roast with stuffing, and Steamed Green Beans with Caramelized Onions. So good!!! God bless Tofurkey, seriously.
I even made a pie for dessert! Pecan Pie (Bryanna's recipe from the Vegan Feast Kitchen). Pecan Pie is the best pie fyi. Best when topped with some Soyatoo whipped topping and a big mug of hot coffee. This is Christmas in a crust.Before I left, my mom requested her favorite breakfast: scrambled tofu! She even went out and bought all the veggies for it! Bonus! This is probably the best scram-fu I've ever made!! It is onion, garlic, red and green bell peppers, mushrooms, spinach, yellow and zucchini squashes, seasoned with Bragg's, hot sauce, turmeric, and salt 'n pepper. Served with whole wheat toast...and black coffee, of course!! I'm glad she requested this, because it was amazing!
For my first night back to my real house in Columbia, I wasn't much in the mood for cooking after having to try and be creative for a few days, so I made an old favorite: Soba Noodles with Veggies, Baked Tofu, and Homemade Peanut Sauce! This dish NEVER fails! perf.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Go buy yourself some beans, folks!!
Friday, December 12, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
mugwort soba noodles with baked tofu, veggies, and a homemade peanut sauce
Okay, now on to the chocolate taste test! Our local natural foods market, Clover's, starting carrying this limited edition Chocolove chocolate that is single-origin, fair-trade, and from a 2007 vintage cacao bean crop! I adore chocolate in all ways, so when Steven and I saw that there were four different varieties, he had the genius idea of doing a taste test! We are now well on our way to becoming chocolate connoisseurs!! The four varieties were: 76% cocoa from Tanzania; 72% cocoa from Ecuador; 70% cocoa from the Dominican Republic; and 60% cocoa from Grenada. They were all some of the best chocolates I have ever tasted...perfectly creamy with a good bite, and a wonderful balance of sweetness and bitterness. We did a side-by-side comparison of the four and here were our results (we cleansed our palates in between, of course!)
1. Grenada 60%
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Soyrizo with Local Peppers and Corn, Quinoa, and Avocado
....Topped with some Soyatoo Vegan Whipped Cream!
Then there's a holiday must: "Egg" Nog! I always buy the soy variety by Silk, but Clover's started carrying a Rice Dream soy nog, so I had to try it! I must say that the flavor is great and definitely tastes like the holidays. Yuuuummy spices and all that jazz! But, being rice milk, it is just not quite as thick as I would want a nog to be. And I like it thick! Steven says this is good on granola, though! mmmmm!! I would for sure recommend this if you aren't down with soy, though, cuz it is really tasty!
Rice Nog by Rice Dream! Glorious!
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Meal one, for lunch, was at my family's house, where I made all of the food for Steve, my mom, and myself (everyone else had to fend for themselves!! vegan power). I made the following:
--Tofurkey Roast with Mushroom Gravy
--Chili-Maple Glazed Sweet Potaotes and Chestnuts
--Garlic-Roasted Brussel Sprouts
--Double Cranberry Chutney (from Veg Times)
--Uprise Bakery Cranberry Pecan Rolls with my homemade Apple Butter
Yeah, we were STUFFED! I think Tofurkey roasts are my favorite thing about this holiday!!
Thanksgiving two was for dinner at Steven's family's house....
Saturday, November 22, 2008
My Perfect Meal: Quinoa, Tofu, Sweet Potatoes, Kale, and
Earlier this week, a bunch of my friends, all of whom happen to be roommates with Steven, had birthdays...Since they all live in the same house, I made them all one batch of cupcakes to share. With the recent COLD weather I wanted something "warm"feeling, so I made the Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes from VCTOTW. I whipped up a Cocoa-Cinnamon Buttercream to top them off...and they also got a little kiss of powdered sugar!
These cupcakes are soooooo good! I absolutely love the combination of chocolate, cinnamon, and cayenne....it makes you feel all warm and happy inside. The coconut milk and cornmeal make them have an awesome texture, too! Make these! I might go so far as to say they trump an actual mug of hot chocolate...but maybe I would just like to enjoy them together :)
Even though I am appreciating this alone time, I think I am ready to cook for two again!