Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Black-eyed peas & greens

One of the cheapest sources of vegan protein is beans! I decided to change it up this week and make black-eyed peas. I found a recipe in The Vegetarian Slow Cooker to combine black-eyed peas and greens. I cooked the beans in my slow cooker, then combined the rest of the ingredients in a stockpot for ~30 mins. The recipe called for already cooked beans and to cook everything in the slow cooker, then adding the greens 20 mins before the dish was finished. The recipe suggested spinach or chard, but I think collards could be good match based on the Southern New Years' tradition to have black-eyed peas and collards for good luck and money. I used a whole bag of spinach, as well as adding in the last of a bag of matchstick carrots. I should note that I omitted the fennel, because I have no clue what it tastes like and I hate that the seeds taste like licorice. I served this over quinoa.


A reminder about beans - ALWAYS sort out your beans to check for debris before soaking. Look what I found in my chickpeas - a rock!!!! Can you imagine biting into that thing?! You'd break a tooth! Anyways, I'm soaking the chickpeas tonight, cooking them tomorrow evening, and using them in a new falafel recipe on Thursday. Can't wait! Love falafel!


Monday, August 29, 2011

Jamaican Theme

I am always looking for new ways to prepare tempeh. It's a fermented soy product, so it has an unusual taste. It's full of protein and it's supposedly easier to digest since it's fermented. I simmer it for 20 to 30 minutes before using it in a recipe to get rid of some of the bitterness. I decided to try tempeh with a Jamaican jerk spice rub. I found the recipe in my copy of Vegan Fire & Spice. I also made Jamaican baked vegetables from the cookbook, but I omitted the dark rum since I didn't think to pick some up while I was out shopping. Overall, pretty tasty. I loved the sauce made for the vegetables because it had a ton of different layers of flavors. :)


Thursday, August 25, 2011


When I'm feeling lazy, I either make pasta or some kind of curry. Tonight, I went the curry route. Used a box of tofu, two cans of diced tomatoes, and fresh onion, garlic, ginger, carrots, eggplant, bell peppers. I even went extra lazy and used a pre-made curry spice mix that I bought at a local Indian grocery store. I served this over quinoa.


The last few weeks have been an emotional roller coaster for me, but I've been so blessed to spend some time this week with several different groups of friends that I adore. Definitely the pick-me-up that my soul needed. :) But the stress definitely makes me want to take the lazy route in the kitchen, especially when the weather is so terrible.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Korean BBQ Tofu with Kale and Snow Peas

I absolutely love tofu, so I was excited to try the recipe for Korean BBQ Tofu in 30 Minute Vegan: Taste of the East. The marinade was tasty, but I wish I had let it marinate for more than an hour so the flavor would have really soaked into the tofu. One of the suggested sides was kale and snow peas, another recipe in the book. It was meant to be served raw, but I sauteed the kale and snow peas. I served these with some rice.


Friday, August 19, 2011


I love brinner (breakfast for dinner), so tonight I made pancakes, tofu scramble, and soy chorizo. The pancakes recipe is from 30 Minute Vegan. This was the first recipe I've ever made that uses coconut oil. The recipe calls for spelt flour or using all-purpose as an alternative. I used a 50/50 mix of whole wheat pastry flour and all-purpose flour. The tofu scramble had multicolored bell peppers, yellow onion, shredded carrots, and cherry tomatoes, and was seasoned with nutritional yeast, cumin, and turmeric (for color). The soy chorizo is made by Frieda's. Yum.


On a side note:
I posted this video on my facebook earlier this week, but I absolutely love the clip. I adore Anderson Cooper and this clip shows him giggling uncontrollably.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ugliest Dinner Ever

So this is incredibly unphotogenic, but it was tasty enough. It's a layer of polenta topped with onion and tomato sauce, "taco meat" made of TVP, pinto beans, corn, and nacho cheese sauce. The recipe for the tamale pie, taco meat, and nacho cheese sauce are all in Yellow Rose Recipes.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

DJ Wop

Listening to one of my favorite pieces of music by DJ Wop right now as I'm preparing figures for my next manuscript.

The intro says this:

How do you know you're dealing with a bad paradigm?
Simply... see if you have confusion
See if your present way of thinking
Solves your present problem
See if you're buried by dilemmas
You don't know which way to go
But to get one thing you lose the other
Yet you want them both
That's a dilemma

Love this mix. Love, love, love this mix. It fills that void in my heart for my life back in Louisiana. I miss that life sometimes. I feel so homesick for it sometimes. I won't say everything was perfect back there, but there was a simplicity in loving my life and all of the wonderful people in it and knowing that they loved me back the same way. That deep, deep bond of love, loyalty, and respect isn't always easy to find in friendships, but when you do find it, cherish it! :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Falafel & Tahini Sauce

I love falafel. When I saw a recipe for falafel in Hearty Vegan Meals for Monster Appetites, I knew I had to make it. I decided to bake these, instead of frying them. I served them in whole wheat pita bread with lettuce and tahini sauce (recipe is with the falafel recipe). Very delicious. :)


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Quinoa burgers

I made the quinoa burgers from Vegan Diner. I love quinoa burgers, but I can never seem to get them to hold together when I flip them in the pan. Oh well, still tasty, even if they're in two pieces. Served these on thin buns with lettuce, sun-dried tomatoes, and a little ketchup. On the side, I had mixed veggies and oven-baked onion rings from Appetite for Reduction.


Friday, August 5, 2011

A Shining Star Amongst Failures

This week was marred by a couple kitchen failures. The silver lining is that one dish was incredible and I can't wait to make it for my mom when I'm home next.

I made orange chipotle tempeh wings from Hearty Vegan Meals for Monster Appetites. My wings looked nothing like the appetizing photo in the cookbook. I served these with steamed broccoli, which got over-steamed unfortunately. However, the oven baked onion rings from Appetite for Reduction were amazing! They were the star of this meal. I only made onion rings from one onion (half of the recipe), but I needed many more bread crumbs than the calculated amount based on the recipe. The recipe calls for cold almond milk, but I used cold Silk creamer since it was in the fridge. I like to think the creamer is more reminiscent of buttermilk than almond milk.


The other bust was the Thai bowl from Yellow Rose Recipes. The sauce recipe was just ... unpleasant. It called for rice vinegar and mirin, which I thought were the same thing. I ended up mixing up the measurements for these two ingredients, but I don't think that is what doomed the dish. The flavor combination was unusual - rice vinegar, mirin, peanut butter, soy sauce, peanut oil (used sesame, but whatever), chili oil, mint leaves, and lime juice.... Gross unfortunately. I trashed the noodles that I tossed in the sauce, but ate all of the veggie toppings and fried tofu that I made to toss in the dish. I hate wasting food, but luckily the noodles were super cheap (less than $2) from the Asian market.