Monday, November 26, 2012

Pumpkin-Coconut-Tofu Curry

I had half a can of coconut milk and half of a giant can of pumpkin left from making Thanksgiving desserts. Also in the fridge, I had an onion, some tofu, and frozen veggies. What on earth could I make with coconut milk, pumpkin, and tofu? I turned to Google for an answer, narrowing it down to curry, and then finally selecting this recipe. It turned out pretty darn well and was a great reminder of why having a well-stocked spice cabinet is important. I even had curry leaves, because my old lab neighbors gave me some after they returned from India. :) I served it over quinoa, but forgot to add the cashews on top.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Tempeh & Red Bean Jambalaya

Since I had Thanksgiving at a friend's house, I did not have leftovers last night. I ended up going to Chipotle since I didn't really want to cook. Funny, I know. I rode my bike for 1.5 hours yesterday and then watched a bunch of movies. Anyways, I didn't want to go out for dinner again tonight, so I soaked some red beans for tonight's meal. (Although I admit, I did go to Starbucks in Rice Village with my labmate today so I'd have a hot drink while we window-shopped.) I saw this recipe in Vegan Planet and it's been a long time since I've had tempeh. I made a little bit of rice to serve with this dish, although you can't see it under the jambalaya. The recipe calls for file powder, which I recently found at Whole Foods. :)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Vegan Thanksgiving

Now that I'm a postdoc, there are some rules about vacation time. I'm not allowed to use my vacation time until I've been employed for 6 months, it has to be approved by my boss, and I have to log it on my time sheet. So lame. This means that I didn't get to go home for Thanksgiving this year, because it's so far away and I have to drive with the cats. I was planning to cook a Tofurky and all the sides for myself, then maybe get together with my labmate who is also single and living far away from family. I got invited to an all-vegan Thanksgiving at a friend's house though, so I went to that. (My labmate got invited to her former advisor's house so I didn't feel bad that she passed on my invitation to the vegan dinner.) I met the girl hosting dinner at the vegan potlucks, so I trusted that everything would be tasty and I would be safe. We had mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, cranberry bread, mushroom soup, corn pudding from Veganomicon, walnut mushroom pate from Veganomicon, a Turkish dish made with bulgur wheat (guest contribution), couscous and chickpea salad (guest contribution, purchased at Whole Foods), Field Roast en croute, a Gardein roast, and my desserts - pumpkin pie with Mimic Creme whipped cream and fudge from Chloe's Kitchen. I'll try to find out the recipe sources for the cranberry sauce, cranberry bread, stuffing, and mushroom soup.
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The most ironic part of the day was the fact that the religious guy, who talked about his faith quite a bit and tried to sound smarter than everyone, stole a bunch of the mushrooms in the soup. The market he bought them at provides paper bags for mushrooms, instead of the usual plastic produce bags. He put a bunch of fancy, expensive mushrooms in with the cheaper cremini mushrooms. You weigh produce and print your own label at that market, so he claimed all cremini mushrooms and essentially stole the other mushrooms by being undercharged. Just another reminder why I despise organized religion. "Listen to me blab about my church, even though I'm a klepto!" I commented that I would feel uncomfortable doing that and I frequently correct people when they over/under-charge me at the store. He justified his actions because the store provides a paper bag that you can't see through.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pumpkin Alfredo

I had some leftover pumpkin in the fridge again, so I found this simple pumpkin alfredo sauce recipe. I used less pasta, since I didn't have a full box in the pantry. That's why the sauce looks so thick. I served this pumpkin alfredo sauce with wheat pasta, a Gardein turkey-style cutlet, and broccoli. This was a quick meal thrown together on Sunday night. I just wasn't feeling cooking something complicated after having to work part of Sunday afternoon.

Monday, November 19, 2012


On Saturday night, I attended VSOP's Thanksliving. I sat with a few other girls that I've met at previous events. We laughed and had a good time. Next year I'll know to bring my own servingware. I felt SO guilty using paper and plastic! I'm pretty tired today, so I'll keep this short. :)

Appetizer - raw mushroom pate served on a mushroom and some flax crackers made by Pat Greer's Kitchen, there was some spinach-artichoke dip from Radical Eats but it didn't last long (so no photo of that)

Main dish - Gobble roast (homemade seitan roast) with gravy, sweet potatoes with Dandies, cornbread stuffing, green beans, salad, and cranberry sauce by Chef Sabali of Vegan Comfort

Dessert - mini cupcake from Zibble (perhaps pumpkin flavored) and pumpkin pie from Sinfull Bakery
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Friday, November 16, 2012

Pumpkin Cornbread & Baked Beans

As soon as I saw this recipe, I knew I had to make it! Baked beans and pumpkin cornbread! I used wheat-based all-purpose flour, so I didn't need to use the xantham gum listed in the recipe. I slow cooked my white beans, instead of using canned beans. I found the BBQ sauce listed at Target for just over a dollar. Talk about a great deal! Served this with a side of broccoli and enjoyed it for several days. NOM NOM NOM.

Tomorrow I'm going to a catered vegan Thanksgiving dinner and I hope to see the new Twilight movie this weekend too!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Southwestern Mac (& A Rant)

I attended my work's Thanksgiving luncheon today. I had placed a vegan meal request two weeks ago. The admin I initially contacted denied my request, as did someone ranked above her. Instead of wallowing in rejection, I contacted the admin for the institute's director. She got his permission to accommodate all special requests, and we spent an entire day getting my meal selected. Surprise, surprise - it didn't arrive at lunch today. There was only a salad for me. I requested a pasta dish, side salad without dressing, and fruit for dessert. I was livid. Eventually, the mean admin that initially rejected my request tried to offer to have the little cafe next door to make my lunch. I told her that I didn't even want that dish at that time because I was so annoyed. I said I was planning to leave for lunch at Chipotle, which she offered to reimburse me. After that conversation, a meal was brought to my table. They *almost* got it right. They soaked the pasta dish in some vinegar-based dressing, even though I specifically said I don't like dressing (and mustard) in my initial email request. Thanks for trying, but the food was brought me to an hour after everyone else's food was served and it was wrong. To make it worse, she wanted to hug after our conversation. I hate being touched by people that I don't know, so that made me a bit uncomfortable. The highlight of the day was my vegan mini pumpkin pie from Sinfull Bakery.

OK, thanks for letting me whine about that. I've been meaning to post this photo for a couple days. I made this over the weekend, since it's definitely not the healthiest dish. So much Daiya cheese! Two cups! I found the recipe on Pinterest and veganized it using Daiya vegan cheeses, Helen's Kitchen soy chorizo, and plain soy milk. I added some green onions and avocado cubes since they were lurking in the fridge. I didn't bake it since I was hungry.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Cookie Butter Cups

Last night, there was the monthly vegan potluck. It seemed like more people came a little late this time, so my plate photo doesn't do justice to some of the items that ended up on the buffet table. I was able to get a couscous and chickpea dish, a rice dish, and a nutritional-yeast based mac and cheese dish on my second plate. The little cupcake in the middle is likely from Zibble, a local company. I brought cookie butter cups, but mine did not have the fleur de sel listed in the recipe. They turned out fine without the salt. One of the cups is at the front of the plate in the little white wrapper. They were all gone at the end of the night! This was pretty simple, so I can see making peanut or almond butter cups in the future.
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Friday, November 9, 2012

Little Tacos

I recently saw natural corn tortillas at the grocery store. No preservatives! I thought this was a great excuse to make something like a street taco. But by the time I made tacos, they had developed little mold spots. Lesson learned! Use them immediately. I went to a closer grocery store and bought some more corn tortillas. I pressed a block of tofu using my Tofu Xpress, then marinated it using a Mexican-style marinade. I cut the tofu, a bell pepper, and an onion into cubes before tossing everything into a heated skillet. I warmed the tortillas in the microwave and cut an avocado into cubes while everything was cooking. These were easy to assemble and fun to eat. :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Friday, November 2, 2012

Pumpkin Mac!

I had some canned pumpkin and plain soy milk left in the fridge from the pumpkin spice cupcakes (see post here). I remembered seeing butternut squash and pumpkin cheesy sauces on Oh She Glows. I decided to give the pumpkin recipe a whirl. I served my mac and pumpkin cheese sauce with wheat pasta, broccoli, and Gardein seven grain tenders (not in the photo). So yummy and pretty simple to put together. I think I saw canned squash next to the pumpkin at Whole Foods, so I'll keep that in mind for a future dinner idea.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Double Take Dip!

Seriously, if you look at this photo, you'll think I melted some Velveeta with my salsa. NOPE! I had never tried Velveeta-based queso in my life until 2006. My mom never cooked with Velveeta at home, but my brother-in-law made the Velveeta mac and cheese from a box a few times when he was first married to my sister. However, in my last year of college, my roommate introduced me to queso made with Velveeta and salsa in the microwave. Since going vegan, I have tried to melt some vegan shredded cheeses with salsa, but the consistency was never what I remembered. I found Wayfare vegan cheese spread recently. When I opened the container and saw that it was fairly dense, I knew what I had to try... Ta-da! QUESO LIVES! The color and the consistency were so similar to my favorite unhealthy snack. I served the dip with some chips, avocado cubes, and fat-free refried beans (recipe from Appetite for Reduction). NOM NOM NOM!!1!