Friday, May 31, 2013

Chili Cheese Dogs!

YES, chili dogs! I made the buns using the recipe in Vegan Diner. I used active dry yeast and proofed it (put in the warm soymilk and sugar for 10 minutes before adding to the mixture). I don't keep instant yeast in my pantry. This recipe has not failed me and I've made it 3 times now. I used a 50/50 split of whole wheat pastry and all purpose flours for these hot dog buns. I made a simple chili by cutting this recipe in half and cooked the beans and the chili in my little slow cooker. I used Daiya harvati for the cheese and Field Roast Frankfurters for the hot dogs. Yum! Perfect meal for summertime!
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Thursday, May 30, 2013

March Against Monsanto

Last Saturday, I participated in the global March Against Monsanto. I was surprised to see a couple hundred people at a protest in Houston, but it wasn't as exciting as protests I've attended in other cities. The march route was pretty short and most people weren't even chanting. Oh well. Still a fun experience with my friends. I went with a bunch of vegans, including a law student guy. We had a great conversation on the march. We had lunch at Freshii at the Galleria, a fancy mall in a wealthy area. We went out to the route and got some flyers to hold up. I got a sign from a mother who couldn't hold two signs and push a stroller. I handed the sign off to someone else when we decided to leave. Recycling at its finest! After being out in the sun, I decided to make a simple dinner - basmati rice, frozen veggies, tofu (quickly pressed), and tamari ginger sauce from The 30 Minute Vegan's Taste of the East. Quick & easy!
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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Chocolate Raspberry Pie

This was supposed to be a tart, but I do not own a tart pan. This came out as a very thin pie in my pie pan. Whoops. The pie crust was a little difficult and stuck to the pan in a few places, even though I sprayed baking flour spray on the pan first. Oh well, the pie was still tasty! I would love to get a copy of the Whole Grain Vegan Baking book that contains this recipe, since it was so highly praised on the Olives for Dinner blog here. Love that blog and all its cool molecular gastronomy posts! This pie was well received at a potluck at my friend's house this past weekend. I joked that all the pies I've brought over look exactly the same - brown.
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Tuesday, May 21, 2013


I'm a vitamin addict. I found out one of my supposedly vegan vitamins was not actually vegan. They were marked vegetarian, but the WF employee assured me that they were vegan. I didn't look into it and recently discovered they use sheep's wool to make lanolin, which is a precursor to synthetic vitamin D3. The company was feeding the lanolin to algae and calling that vegetarian. Ugh. I'm now taking Mega Food's vegan daily vitamin, a vitamin D2 supplement (D2 is usually the safer vegan option for vitamin D), and an iron/B12 combo. The vegan daily does have iron, but only 75% of the daily recommended amount. I've been keeping my iron in the good range taking 122%, so I'll need to consider if I need the 200% the two supplements provide together.
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Monday, May 20, 2013

Eli's Earth Bars

I've seen Eli's Earth Bars several times in the Whole Foods' candy aisle, but the name makes them sound like health food. They're actually candy bars! I learned this on Food Fight's facebook page last week. There are two bars at my store - peanuts/peanut butter/caramel/chocolate and almonds/coconut/caramel/chocolate. The coconut almond bar was my favorite, because it reminded me a lot of a Samoas cookies. The peanut bar reminded me of a Snickers since it had big chunks of nuts in it. I'll buy these again since my WF store no longer carries Go Max Go bars. :)
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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Beyond Meat Pot Pie

There is a new faux chick'n product out called Beyond Meat. I've read reviews about it that were really positive, but one of my friends gave it an OK review when it was served at a local pizza place. I didn't intend to try it anytime soon, but I saw a $1 off coupon on facebook. When I went to my local Whole Foods to buy a pack, it was marked as a sale item with $1 off. With $2 in savings, I figured I had to buy it for $1.99! That's cheaper than any other fake meat product. Period. Even a bag of Gardein is $5-$7. I recently saw a recipe for potpie on Vegan Heartland that got me considering Beyond Meat as something to buy. Once I picked up the package, I knew I was going to make that potpie! I decided to use solid coconut oil instead of shortening, so I basically had a biscuity crumble topping and a bottom layer pressed into the pan. Not exactly the crust as intended in the recipe, but I couldn't bring myself to use 1 cup of shortening for a dish I would be eating by myself as two dinners. The Beyond Meat strips were tasty, but a little soft. I was expecting a little more texture, even though they are chewy. They do look meaty though. I chopped them into cubes and they almost looked like precooked chicken cubes. Weird! This potpie was tasty! Don't judge that I'm using a square pan, I need my pie pan for tomorrow's dessert. :)
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Friday, May 17, 2013

Tamale Casserole

I signed up for VegNews email a while back. A recent email included a recipe for tamale pie by Betsy DiJulio. She wrote several Mexican-themed recipes for the magazine recently. I was able to find a copy of the recipe online here, but it's not easy to read. I soaked one cup of dried black beans and cooked them in my little Crockpot. I also made my own seitan. I used this recipe from FatFreeVegan for the seitan, but used Mexican spices instead of the garlic and ginger listed. I also didn't add nutritional yeast this time because I'm out of it. I like to mix the peanut butter, soy sauce, and sesame oil together first, before adding the water. I find that recipe to be a versatile baked seitan recipe. I used all the black beans (slightly more than 2 cups cooked) and all the seitan to make my filling. There was no way that all that food was going to fit into a little pan, so I used my 9"x13" casserole dish. For the masa harina layer, I used coconut oil instead of canola oil. Gotta love buying a Costco size jar of coconut oil. I served my tamale casserole with avocado cubes. Yum!
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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Chocolate Mint Cookies

After a rough day at work, I had to bake! I made the chocolate mint cookies from The Joy of Vegan Baking. I made them bite-size to share with friends. Yum! They went pretty quickly at kickball!
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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Maple-Glazed Carrot Cupcakes

As I said in my last post, I went to the monthly vegan potluck this past weekend. I wanted a simple dessert recipe. I picked the maple-glazed carrot cupcakes in Chloe's Vegan Desserts. I actually ran out of all purpose flour, so I used a 50/50 split of all purpose and whole wheat pastry flours to make these. It turned out much better than I expected! They were gone within 5 minutes from the potluck table and several people said they came out so moist. The recipe says it makes 16 or 18 cupcakes, but my pan only holds 12 cupcakes. I decided to use the remaining batter to make some mini-loaves to keep for myself. Evil, I know. ;)
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Monday, May 13, 2013

Southern Food

After this weekend's vegan potluck, I went to a friend's place. He's growing a garden in his backyard. He offered to cut some leaves off his giant collard plants for anyone that wanted them. I took a giant bag, they were free! I sauteed some onion and garlic, then tossed in chopped collards and let them cook down. When I made my bowl, I sprinkled a little coconut bacon on top. I made cornbread using the simple recipe in Quick & Easy Vegan Comfort Food, adding in some green bell pepper, poblano pepper, and jalapeno pepper. The peppers were starting to look really sad in the fridge. I served these with BBQ tofu, using the shortcut to BBQ sauce in this recipe. I buy that brand BBQ sauce all the time, so this was super convenient. I made more BBQ tofu tonight for this week's kickball nights, except I used a homemade BBQ recipe from Quick & Easy Vegan Comfort Food.
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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Lentil & Poblano Pepper Tacos

When I made tamales, I used a recipe that had a filling and the masa dough. I didn't use the filling to make tamales, but the recipe looked pretty good. It had lentils, peppers, onion, and corn. Looked like a yummy combo, so I decided to make it into taco filling. I cooked my lentils from scratch. Instead of using canned/jarred peppers, I cut up a couple poblano peppers until I reached 2 cups volume. I used a jalapeno for some heat. I put the cooked lentils and raw diced peppers into a container to store in the fridge for a couple days. Yay advance prep work! I sauteed the onion, then added the lentil/pepper mix to the skillet. I sprinkled on a little homemade taco seasoning. While that was cooking, I warmed up my taco shells and made guacamole. This was pretty filling, but I still had a few cookies for dessert! I had to take my cat in for an ultrasound on her GI tract. Since she had stomach surgery, she's been vomiting a lot, sometimes with hairballs, and not having regular bowel movements. Turns out that her GI motility is decreased in the stomach and small intestine, so she was vomiting because her stomach was too full. The vet gave an injection to reduce the nausea, as well as pills to stimulate the motility. Her large intestine has excess gas, so she's taking a probiotic powder with her wet food. I've been giving her daily Laxatone as well to prevent hairballs. I'm hoping we're on the road to recovery for good this time! :)
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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Crispy Orange Tofu

Another recipe from Chloe's Kitchen! That book is pretty incredible. The last time I made crispy tofu, I used coconut oil and the tofu didn't brown nicely. It was crispy, but it didn't turn brown. To make this recipe, I used a little bit of canola oil and the tofu browned beautifully. I fried all the tofu, but only added back half of the tofu to the pan to mix with the sauce. I didn't want soggy leftover tofu. Served over rice with frozen broccoli. (Can you tell I buy the frozen broccoli in bulk at Costco?) I also added half of a green bell pepper lurking in the fridge to the dish.
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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tofu Popcorn Chick'n

Since I wrote that post yesterday about using up the tamale leftovers, I realized I never mentioned what I served with the leftover mac and cheese. The baked mac and cheese recipe in Chloe's Kitchen makes a large pan, so it took me 5 dinners to make it through all that food! The first three servings were with the BBQ soy curls (posted here), but the last two servings were with tofu popcorn chick'n. I made the tofu popcorn chick'n as a half recipe each night so that it would be fresh. The flavor was good, but I liked the chick'n better when I rolled the tofu chunks in bread crumbs after dipping in the recipe's batter. I served the tofu chick'n and mac and cheese with some frozen broccoli (my go-to quick vegetable side choice!).
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Monday, May 6, 2013

Random Bowl

I have a bunch of stuff left from the tamale meal in the fridge. I decided to make some cilantro lime rice, cooking up rice as usual in the rice cooker and then sprinkling in some lime juice, cilantro, and salt after it was done cooking. I only added stuff to the amount of rice I was going to eat, because I didn't want the lime juice to make the rice for tomorrow's dinner gross somehow. I had the rice, some of the leftover black bean tamale filling, an avocado, and some sauteed veggies (chopped spinach, diced cherry tomatoes, and cubed zucchini and squash). Simple and I already paid for it. ;)
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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Cinco de Mayo


Mango-Sprite virgin daiquiris from Pioneer Woman, but I used frozen mango chunks and omitted the ice.

Refried beans from Appetite for Reduction using beans that I soaked and cooked in the big Crockpot.

Sauteed zucchini and squash... Gotta have veggies!

Tamales with two fillings

(1) spinach, mushroom, onion, and garlic

(2) black beans (soaked and cooked in the little Crockpot), chipotle peppers, diced cherry tomatoes, green bell pepper, and carrots

I used this masa dough recipe and loved the visual instructions. I will try that filling out soon!

Avocado cashew cream to smother on the tamales!
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I regret soaking all my corn husks. I tossed them after soaking because I didn't want them to get funky, but I still have leftover fillings. Need more husks!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Pancakes & Waffles

Every so often, I want breakfast foods for dinner. I've recently tried two new recipes. The waffle recipe is very basic. I used a 50/50 split of all purpose and whole wheat pastry flours, so I skipped the xantham gum. I added a pinch of salt and a sprinkle of cinnamon. This recipe yields 2 waffles in my waffle iron, a hand-me-down from my sister. I always use a little Earth Balance and real maple syrup on my waffles and pancakes. I served these with some fruit and a protein smoothie.
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The other day, I made the pancake recipe from Chloe's Kitchen. The recipe is for blueberry pancakes! I've never liked blueberry pancakes, but I was willing to try this recipe since the photo looked so good. These were tasty and fluffy, but I'm unsure if I would use blueberries in my pancakes again. The pancake itself was delicious, but I'm weird about fruit in pancakes. I love that this recipe makes just 4 pancakes, perfect for a single gal like me. I was able to keep 2 as leftovers for another meal. I served the pancakes with tofu scramble and soy yogurt. The tofu scramble had carrots, orange bell pepper, baby bella mushrooms, jalapeno, onion, and garlic.
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Friday, May 3, 2013

Snacking Vegan Style

It is no secret that I love snacking. Before Beverly moved away, she brought me a jar of salted caramel from Sweet Ritual in Austin, TX. I served it over chocolate ice cream by So Delicious. The coconut ice creams are better than the soy ice creams.
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I was in Louisiana last weekend for the wedding of my two friends. They've been dating off and on for 7 years. They've been together the last few years without an off period and they finally tied the knot last weekend. One of my favorite things about spring and summer in Louisiana is the sno-ball. It's a shaved ice treat, but the ice is a very specific texture. It's soft and fluffy almost, not chunky like a sno-cone. I had to try the King Cake flavor!
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I scratched my throat on a piece of crusty baguette bread in Louisiana, which made my throat sore most of this week. I haven't been remotely sick in 6 years, so I was a little cranky and paranoid about getting seriously ill. The last time I was sick, I had to go through 5 rounds of antibiotics, use an inhaler and a nasal spray, and take codeine and cold meds PM to sleep. I had fluid in my lung. After stopping by the clinic at work to ensure that I didn't have strep, flu, or bug germs (from a bug found in the take-out bag from that sandwich!), I went by the little cafe for a ginger ale, a banana, and Nature Valley PB bars (surprisingly honey-free!). In addition to having a sore throat, I had to take my cat back to the vet for vomiting. Looks like it's just hairballs, which may become an issue now that the hair bands aren't in her stomach to catch loose hair. Definitely a rough week!
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