Sunday, April 28, 2013

BBQ Soy Curls and Mac & Cheese

I bought a bag of Soy Curls in Austin and I knew I wanted to make something BBQ with them. I tried to make the smoky curls recipe from Vegan Diner, but I didn't think they were very flavorful. I poured some of my favorite BBQ sauce into the skillet to make them delicious. I served the soy curls on the hamburger buns I baked using the recipe in Vegan Diner with some shredded lettuce and a sprinkle of Daiya. I served these with the baked mac and cheese from Chloe's Kitchen. The mac and cheese recipe makes a 9" x 13" pan, so the mac and cheese leftovers lasted longer than the sandwich leftovers.
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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Homemade Andes Mints

I have been browsing the web trying to find ways to use the vegan white chocolate chips I bought in Austin. You can order them on Amazon here, but I did not want to commit to multiple bags without trying them first. I stumbled upon a recipe for homemade Andes Mints on a vegan blog. I immediately knew that I *HAD* to make them. I used to love Andes Mints! They were incredible!! I'd recommend lining your pan with parchment paper, because my chocolate stuck to the glass pan.
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Friday, April 26, 2013

Caribbean Lentil Patties

When I was at the Texas VegFest, I bought a copy of Caribbean Vegan. I saw many interesting recipes, but I picked the lentil patties as a weekend afternoon project. I made the dough in the afternoon, so it had time to chill. I loved the flavor of these patties, even though I used a little bit of jalapeno pepper instead of scotch bonnet or habanero pepper. I decided to use up the extra bunch of kale in the fridge to serve as side dish. I seasoned the kale with many of the same spices used in the patties. I wish I would have made more turmeric wash though so the whole patty top would have looked yellow. I can't wait to make more recipes from this book!
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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Quan Yin - Houston, TX

My friend Beverly loves Quan Yin. She requested that we go there for our last meal together. She accepted another postdoc position in Stonybrook. We went to Quan Yin with another one of our vegan friends and we split the dishes between us. We had a sweet and sour soup as a starter, then split the salted tofu, orange peel chick'n, and some grain-based fish dish. I'm really going to miss her. It's not everyday I meet another vegan scientist. I saw her one more time after this meal when we made s'mores in her oven using the giant Dandies that I bought in Austin.
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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Homemade Pizza

Miss Adie is recovering from her surgery, so it's time to start blogging again. While I was home with her all day after bringing her home from the vet, I decided to make pizza from scratch. I used the dough and sauce recipes from Vegan with a Vengeance. I topped it with some Daiya mozzarella shreds, Phoney Baloney coconut bacon, Kalamata olives, sauteed onions, and sauteed mushrooms. I loved it! The dough recipe makes enough for 2 thin crust pizzas with a 14" diameter. I didn't get mine quite that big, but they were still delicious. The sauce recipes make enough for 4 pizzas, so I froze the unused half in 1 Tbs aliquots in a silicone ice cube tray. You only need 1/3 cup sauce per pizza to prevent the dough from getting soggy.
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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Kitty Surgery

After taking one of my cats in for an aural hematoma a couple weeks ago, the other cat vomited a couple times during the week. I thought they were developing allergies, but the vomiting cat's were more severe. After taking her in for another exam and a X-ray, the vet determined that she had something foreign in her tummy. She was rushed into surgery and 1/4 lb of hair bands were removed from her belly. They were VERY nasty!! Several were stuck together with hair and food. Based on their appearance, the vet said they've been in there a looong time. Based on the time frame she would have access to the cabinets where these were stored in my previous apartments, she likely ingested them in 2011. Yikes! I think a stomach X-ray will become standard at their yearly exams after this whole ordeal. I've spent $1300 at the vet in the last 3 weeks! I also put all small hair accessories into a mason jar, even though she has yet to try to open the drawer they were stored in. I'm just waiting on her to have a bowel movement, but she'll have to go to vet again if she doesn't poop by Monday. I've been keeping the cats separated by placing a baby gate in the stairwell. They're in the same room right now for the first time since Tuesday morning, but I'm supervising so that she doesn't mess up her sutures. Anyway, I just wanted to give an update. I'll be back to blogging about food this weekend or early next week, I've got a couple photos waiting to be turned into posts. :)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Kale & Mushroom Stuffed Shells

There is a recipe for tofu ricotta in Artisan Vegan Cheese. It has non-dairy yogurt added for creaminess. There is also an almond ricotta recipe, but I didn't have enough almonds for that recipe. I sauteed some onion, garlic, kale, and portabella mushrooms to mix with the tofu ricotta. I used the Italian veggie marinara from Victoria Vegan Sauces. It was still marked down a little at Fiesta. I could see chunks of artichokes through the glass, so I blended it to make it smooth. I even bought some Daiya mozzarella to sprinkle on top! Yum!
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Friday, April 12, 2013

Chana Saag

I came from work earlier this week only to realize that I hadn't set out beans to soak and cook for this recipe. I walked to the grocery store and bought two cans of chickpeas. This Chana Saag recipe is from the Forks Over Knives Cookbook. It only calls for two cups cooked chickpeas or one 15 oz can. I decided to use two cans, as well as two jalapenos and two tomatoes. The cookbook is oil-free, but I decided to saute in a little coconut oil instead of water. I also added the shredded carrots left from the moo shu tofu dish. I put everything into the biggest pot I own so that all the spinach would fit. The spinach released a lot of water into the pot, so it seemed too liquidy with the non-dairy milk called for in the recipe. I served this over basmati rice.
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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Moo Shu Veggies & Tofu with Chinese Pancakes

I am still in regular contact with my vegan inspirations. The couple is married and is raising a lovely vegan daughter. The husband does most of the cooking and he recently recommended the Moo Shu veggies from Chloe's Kitchen. I took his suggestion to only roll out and cook the pancakes that I was going to use at that meal. I should have cut the tofu into bite-sized pieces, but I thought the pancakes would be a little bigger. So delicious! One of the things that I love about this book is that the ingredients are all widely available. I did buy shredded carrots and cabbage to make things even easier. :)
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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Texas VegFest in Austin

I went to Texas VegFest in Austin yesterday! The temperature was 80* and there was plenty of sun. I was in my element. There were speakers, food vendors, samples, and non-food items for sale. First, I'll list all the things I ate that I did not photograph - Nada Moo coconut-based ice cream in mint chocolate chip, Plant Fusion vanilla protein powder (they mixed it with water and it was SO smooth just from shaking to mix), tamales from Vegeria, a sample of Upton's Naturals bacon-style seitan, pizza dip samples from Christy Morgan's demo, and Indian fritters from another speaker. We wanted to try Good Seed Burgers, Red Rabbit donuts, and Arlo's food truck, but they were all sold out by mid-afternoon! My friend was able to get a coffee donut from Red Rabbit in the morning, but I thought they were selling cupcakes so I passed. Lots of booths were out of food by 4 PM. Insane!

Once we entered the park, I made a beeline for the Food Fight! Grocery booth, where I bought Phoney Baloney coconut bacon, sea salt Cocomels, and the best tote bag in the history of tote bags. It says, "NEVER READ THE COMMENTS." That's the #1 rule of the internet! They have a storefront in the Portland vegan mini-mall, so it was fitting that they were positioned next to Herbivore clothing, another tenant in the vegan mini-mall. Of course, I had to buy a couple shirts from Herbivore. I love a good message shirt. I bought one that reads "Bacon Had a Mom" and "Love Life No Matter Whose." Cute! I have quite the collection of message shirts.
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I also took the chance to buy specialty items from local Austin businesses. The Rabbit Food Grocery booth had Soy Curls (one of the things I asked Food Fight to bring on their fb page), Choc & Nut spread (a vegan alternative to Nutella that is palm oil-free, unlike Justin's brand), white chocolate chips (can only buy as a 3-pack on Amazon here), and Beanfield nacho chips (after trying a sample at the Beanfield booth, I had to buy these Dorito-like chips). One of my friends bought a raspberry coconut Dillo (they make vegan Twinkie knock-offs).
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There were plenty of vendors, but I stopped at the MonkeyWrench Bookstore table to buy a copy of Caribbean Vegan. I had seen online that the book included a seitan ham recipe. The author stopped updating her blog for a long time, so I was afraid the book was going to go out of print. I snatched up a copy. They had plenty of other vegan books, not just cookbooks. I regret not buying Christy Morgan's Blissful Bites cookbook from this table, but I knew I was already over my spending limit and going to spend more...
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For an early lunch, I had an order of lentil shepherd's pie with sweet potatoes from Happy Vegan Bakery and a mint chocolate cupcake from Capital City Bakery. For a late lunch, I had a combo plate from Aster's Ethiopian. I've never had Ethiopian food before, but the injera bread intrigues me. For only $7, I figured it was cheap enough to try and there wouldn't be the embarrassing moment of not liking it in front of the chefs (like what would happen in a restaurant). It was so good! The greens were a little bitter, but the spiciness of the red dish compensated and they were a great combo in the bread. For dinner, I had a little funnel cake (but I don't know the name of the vendor) and two tamales from Vegeria (not pictured). These meals were spaced apart, so I actually felt pretty good all day. I was expecting to feel stuffed and disgusting by the end of the day. I was satisfied and ready for a shower and bed by the time we got back to Houston. :)
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Because there were demos and talks throughout the day, I got to meet a few vegan celebrities. I stopped Christy Morgan to tell her to write about her training on her Blissful Chef blog, even if it's on a separate tab, because there's not that much information out there for vegans doing HIIT or serious endurance sports. There are a few blogs and books, but the more information available on being an incredibly active vegan will help dispel the myth that we don't eat enough to be athletic! I also stopped Ayinde Howell, a chef/entrepenuer who started the I Eat Grass blog. He seemed really cool, but we missed his talk because we were outside eating (shocking!). One of my friends *really* wanted to see Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's talk. I thought she seemed a little stuffy on her fb page with some of her status messages, so I was pleasantly surprised by her talk. She seems to really be reaching out to non-vegans and encouraging them to make the transition. She used humor and she was engaging. I had no intention of buying one of her books, but she was doing a book-signing after her talk. I bought The Joy of Vegan Baking and my friend took a photo with her. I was bummed that Isa Chandra Moskowitz could not attend, because I had intended to get a photo with her and get her to sign my Vegan with a Vengeance cookbook (my first vegan cookbook!).
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I also bought jumbo Dandies. Usually they're so small. I had no idea that they even made such a large marshmallow. I bought two bags, but I plan to give one as a gift to my friend that was supposed to go with us. This are the perfect size for s'mores! We totally could have used these at the recent luau party!
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Of course, there were free samples! Wheatsville Co-op gave us a mini Larabar and a few printouts. Raw Revolution was handing out 100 calorie bars. I picked up a tiny bag of Crunchmaster gluten-free cracker, plus some Lundberg wasabi rice chips and short grain brown rice. There were samples of hummus, Clif bars, and a few other things that I didn't stop to try.
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Oh yeah, I bought two cookie sandwiches from Capital City Bakery to bring home. One is oatmeal creme and the other is fluffernutter (PB cookies with a marshmallow filling). Yum!
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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Failed Artisan Cheese Becomes Lasagna

Since I'm still a new Vitamix owner, I get nervous when I use it on the high setting. I didn't let my cheese (Brie or Gruyere from Artisan Vegan Cheese) blend long enough, so I thought it needed more liquid. It didn't, I just need to follow the instructions. I decided to use the cheese as a spread, since it was never going to solidify. I cooked some lasagna noodles and sauteed some portabella mushroom slices while the noodles cooled. Since zucchini and squash take very little time to cook, I just left them raw in the lasagna. I made the homemade marinara that I posted recently, since I had leftover crushed tomatoes, pine nuts, and basil. After assembling the layers, I placed this in the fridge overnight since I knew the next day at work would be very busy. When I came home, I popped the lasagna into the oven and went about my regular routine of washing my face, changing clothes, and taking care of the cats. Perfect!
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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Chickpea Tacos

I did not go grocery shopping for the week's dinners over the weekend. *gasp* On Monday, I got off the shuttle and walked to the grocery store. Since Monday was one of those draining, boring days at work, I decided to buy some Gardein tenders and thick cut sweet potato fries for dinner. I had every intention of serving them with frozen broccoli (a staple food at my house!). Instead, I bought a box of Back to Nature chocolate chunk cookies. While I was at the grocery store, I figured I should get food to make dinner the other nights of the work week. I decided to make chickpea tacos! I had dried chickpeas in the pantry and a lone onion in the fridge, so I needed shells and produce. I bought three colors of bell peppers, two jalapenos, three small avocados (one per meal), and a bag of shredded lettuce (judge away!). I cooked the chickpeas in the Crock Pot while I was at work, then came home to saute the veggies and warm the shells. I used this recipe for homemade taco seasoning. I didn't use as much salt as listed, instead I used ~1/2 Tbs iodized sea salt. Yum! These will be delicious leftovers!
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