Thursday, February 28, 2013

Another Pie for Potluck Lunch

My friend hosted another potluck last weekend. I brought strawberry truffle pie last time, so this time I brought chocolate mint pie. The truffle pie was made from cashews and coconut, proving to be a calorie bomb. She invited more people this time, so I wanted to bring a lighter pie to leave room for everyone's dishes. I selected the chocolate mint pie because it's made using tofu. I used the same walnut and date crust though, since the host is still on her elimination diet. She can eat soy now, but still can't eat wheat. We had fresh fruit, mushroom risotto, homemade sushi (!), fried faux meat from a local vegetarian place, my pie, plantain and tofu stew with rice, tabbouleh, and baba ganoush. My friend sent the links for the stew, noting that she used vegetable broth in the stew recipe and used this marinade recipe to make tofu taste like ham. After we hung out and played a card game, we had some gluten-free and vegan cake that was frozen after Lunar New Year. We didn't get to the cake then, so my friend froze it and we decided to serve it this weekend. Overall, a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon and meet some new people.
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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Tofu Parm

I put some tofu in my Tofu Xpress this morning with no idea what to make with it tonight. I looked at several recipes on my Pinterest, but I decided to just stick to one that didn't require a trip to the store. I settled on tofu parm served over whole wheat pasta. I used wheat bread crumbs (the Whole Foods' 365 store brand), nutritional yeast instead of parmesan cheese, and skipped adding a vegan shredded cheese to the top before baking. I also used plain soy milk and cornstarch to dip the tofu in before breading. I learned this technique on Oh She Glows here. I think this would be much better if the tofu was marinated first, perhaps with the Italian tofu marinade from Vegan with a Vengeance.
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Monday, February 25, 2013

Annual Red Beans & King Cake

Every year, I make red beans and King Cake. I even bought Camellia brand dry red beans this year. I always use the red beans recipe on FatFreeVegan and the King Cake recipe on KitteeKake. She has posted new gluten-free versions this year too. The red beans recipe calls for chipotle peppers. After using just one pepper from the can, I blended the rest and aliquoted it in 1 Tbs portions into an silicon ice tray. Each tablespoon is equal to one pepper with some sauce, so I can freeze the portions and pull out one cube every time a chipotle pepper is needed. Just a way to stretch those pennies, friends! I didn't get a photo of this year's King Cake, but Mizz B got a lovely photo of her King Cake at the last vegan potluck. Her King Cake was way prettier than mine! I've never made a King Cake quite as beautiful as hers!
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Sunday, February 24, 2013

General Tso's Tofu

I came home from work last week wondering what to cook for dinner. I popped some rice in the rice cooker, adding some frozen broccoli to the steaming basket close to the end of the cooking time. I pressed my tofu for a few minutes using my Tofu Xpress, then decided to make this General Tso's recipe after a quick look at my Pinterest Tofu board. I love sauces and this was a simple sauce to put together. I used my Microplane tool to grate the ginger and garlic. I keep a chunk of ginger in the freezer for quick recipes like this. I tried to fry my tofu using coconut oil, which made it crispy but it didn't get the golden color I wanted. That golden color would have been there if I used vegetable oil, but I wanted to try using coconut oil (one of my 2013 resolutions).
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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Star Pizza - Houston, TX

There is a local pizza place that a bunch of my coworkers recommended, Star Pizza. I had a friend over last weekend for pizza. I've never seen my friend eat SO much in one sitting. I was impressed. I ordered a veggie pizza. Turns out Star Pizza will bake your pizza with vegan cheese if you provide it. I ran to Whole Foods, bought a bag of Daiya, and took that to Star Pizza. It was crazy busy, so my friend met me there and we waited for our take-out pizza. We ended up talking for a few hours and cracking jokes. It was a nice way to spend a weekend night. It was a nice change of pace to have just one person over, instead of a group of people.
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Friday, February 22, 2013

Vegan White Cheddar Popcorn

Turns out Earth Balance makes vegan white cheddar popcorn, in addition to the Puffs. They make some other new popcorn snacks. This stuff is SO addictive! It's the healthier, vegan version of that white cheddar popcorn in the black and white bag. YUMMY! I can eat half a bag in one sitting... No shame here. ;)
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PS: I ate the entire bag while dealing with various government agencies and credit bureaus today. Turns out someone used my SSN last year to file a fraudulent tax return and got a "very large" return. I hope that person in Albany, Georgia, gets caught and punished! Now I have to file by mail and send in some extra papers about how I did not defraud the government last year. FUN!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Green Seed Vegan - Houston, TX

I had a birthday recently. The big 27! You don't get anything special for turning 27. I was a little sad about having a birthday without seeing my family, but a friend invited me to do something to celebrate. I decided to stay in on my actual birthday. I filed my taxes and spent part of my refund on online shopping. I ordered some books and the new Twilight DVD. I watched some movies rented from the Redbox. Judge away! ;) To celebrate, I got my friends together for dinner at Green Seed Vegan. It's a little place, but a couple of my friends recommended it. I ordered the Illy Cheesesteak sandwich made with mushrooms and a side of cauliflower nuggets. The sandwich was just mushrooms and vegan Daiya cheese, but I wish it had onions and peppers too. All my friends ordered paninis. I was hoping they'd have shakes, but they only serve ice cream in the summer. I would like to return since it was tasty and pretty cheap.
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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Southwestern Mac & Cheese

This recipe is from the Forks Over Knives Cookbook. The cheese sauce is made from a cup of nutritional yeast, cashews, and tahini. I added a little water to get the Vitamix started. I cooked my black beans, instead of using canned. This was a hearty dinner! The cheese sauce is used in lots of recipes in the book, so I'm glad that it was tasty. I sauteed the veggies, tossed the beans and frozen corn in the skillet to heat up, and then mixed the pasta, sauce, and fillings together. I also left the last portion in the fridge for days and it was still fine after microwaving. I used two jalapenos to give this a kick. All this needed was avocado!
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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Curried Tofu Sandwich

I made the curried tofu recipe from Appetite for Reduction, but used spinach instead of arugula. I decided to sprinkle in a little Daiya cheese, leftover from having a friend over for pizza a couple weeks ago, and serve this on the buns leftover from the tofu po' boys. Cleanin' out the fridge vegan style! This was a simple, wholesome, and delicious dinner. It was perfect for a busy weeknight. Great with sweet potato fries too!
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Monday, February 18, 2013

Lunar New Year with Mousse Pie

I went to a friend's house for lunch last weekend for Lunar New Year. She made a chili (well, a stew since it was too runny), gluten-free vanilla muffins with nuts, and Loh Mai Chi (a glutinous rice flour ball with sesame seeds inside and coconut on the outside). One of our other friends brought the savory foods - marinated mushrooms, bell peppers, and olives. My friend invited someone new too. He brought fruit and a gluten-free & vegan chocolate cake from Whole Foods, but we were too stuffed to open the cake. I brought the dessert that we did eat - chocolate strawberry truffle pie! I made the pie using my Vitamix, but I did presoak the cashews for a few hours. I made the crust using the fudge babies recipe, just adding 1 Tbs cacao powder to the mix. This was extremely delicious and we all enjoyed it. I will definitely try more of CCK's pie recipes. I also made Oh She Glow's coconut whipped cream to top the pie. Yum!
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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Vegan Girl Scout Cookies

I've been busy spending time with friends and working lately. I also had a birthday recently. I've got a ton of stuff to blog about, so I'll start with one of the more exciting posts. Since moving to Texas, I have discovered that the local Girl Scouts order their cookies from ABC Bakery, instead of from Little Brownie Bakers. I haven't had a Girl Scout cookie in years, because the Little Brownie Bakers supply Florida. All of the Little Brownie Bakers' cookies are spiked with milk-based ingredients. The ABC Bakery offers some vegan cookies! There are the Thanks-A-Lot (a vanilla cookie with a chocolate coating on the bottom), the famous Thin Mints, and the Peanut Butter Patties (known as Tagalongs from LBB). I was so surprised to find out this was true, after reading about vegan Girl Scout cookies years ago on Go Dairy Free. (Here's a recent version of that article.) I, of course, ordered the Thin Mints and Peanut Butter Patties. I wish Samoas were vegan, but hey, I can't complain too much!
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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tofu Po'Boys

I had intended to make these sandwiches for Sunday night. They would have totally fit with the NOLA location for the Super Bowl. However, I stuffed myself with Mellow Mushroom pizza on Sunday afternoon. My friends and I drove nearly an hour to the nearest Mellow Mushroom. When dinnertime rolled around, I was still full. I ultimately had some water and a few cookies well after dark. On Monday night, I decided to make the sandwiches. I pressed my tofu, but then dipped it in a soy milk-cornstarch mixture and rolled in cornmeal seasoned with lime zest, cumin, and cayenne pepper. The recipe comes from Veganomicon, but I found it online. I baked the tofu, then served it on a wheat rolls. I know it's traditional to use French bread, but the ones I saw at the grocery were way too thick. I didn't want a bread sandwich! I sprinkled a little Daiya vegan cheese in the bun, then added lettuce, tomato slices, and pickles. This is a "dressed" sandwich, minus the traditional mayo. I made a small portion of sweet potato fries to serve on the side.
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Friday, February 1, 2013

Vegan Cheezy Poofs

Thank goodness the bag is small, because these Earth Balance vegan aged white cheddar puffs are sooo good!