Friday, February 27, 2009

Two Dinners

Sorry about no post yesterday. That time of the month and my stomach as acting up again. Actually, I shouldn’t complain to much. It used to be like this for 3 weeks out of the month, till I went on birth control pills. However, it hasn’t come back since I had to stop taking them (since I could no longer afford to buy them or see a doctor, even at Planned Parenthood). One or two days a month, I can definitely live with.

But onto dinner last night. Yes, I did eat dinner. It wasn’t till later in the evening that my stomach started to act up. I made, what for a better term, would be a ratatouille lasagna with the leftover ratatouille and some of the polenta. The idea came from a recipe I have for a lasagna made with vegan pesto and polenta. However, finding vegan pesto in the Tampa area is just not possible and I really didn’t want to make any. But the recipe got me thinking and I wondered why something similar couldn’t be done with ratatouille. It worked, but I would do it differently the next time. The better way to do this would be to brown the rounds of polenta in some margarine, or even better, some olive oil. Warm up the ratatouille at the same time and make little stacks on the plate, sprinkling some vegan parmesan in top of each level. Then you have no need to put it in the oven and it looks a little nicer.

Tonight’s dinner is using up some leftovers. The kale, from Tuesday, and some of the Macadamia crusted seitan from last week. I cooked the kale down with some splashes of orange juice, tamari and a bit of garlic and ginger. The seitan was just reheated in the toaster oven and then sliced up and laid on the kale with the sauce. Sounds like an odd combination, but it was quite good. The kale was a bit sweet and salty and then the richness of the nut crusted seitan gets mixed in with that. And you get a bit of heat from the ginger. Kale is starting to grow on me, so it might be appearing a bit more often. Unfortunately, that will depend on how easy it is to buy small bunches of it, since the TeddyBear will not even try it.

All for this week. See you on Monday.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Stir Fry Vegetables and Raw Cashew Cheesecake with Mangos

Dinner was what I was trying to have a few weeks ago. I went back to my standard frozen stir fry vegetables and was happy to find for once, that it did not have a big chunk of broccoli in it and nothing else. However, the vegetables are not what this is about today, this is really about the glaze used on them, Sweet and Spicy Curried Miso Glaze. This is a sauce I found over at, a site that has tons of vegan recipes. It sounded like an interesting mix of ingredients, so it has been in the recipe book till I could give it a try. And the taste is quite interesting. It was not hot, nor spicy, nor salty, but a bit of all three with an bit of sweetness as well. I most likely could have put in more curry paste and miso, but was afraid of using to much initially. The glaze could also have mellowed from sitting in the refrigerator for a few weeks. However, I liked it just as it is and this may become my regular glaze for simple stir fries, since I really don’t want to overwhelm the vegetables and it doesn’t make a lot of glaze.

As a bonus you get to see the desert I have been eating for a the past few days. Lunch for me was late today, so I ended up eating it with dinner. This is the Raw Vegan Cashew Cheesecake from the July/August 2008 Vegetarian Times. I wanted to see if it would work to just eat the filling and not make the crust. So far it has been sitting in the refrigerator since Monday, and has set up and stayed quite firm. Of course, for me it isn’t quite raw, since I didn’t use raw agave nectar nor fresh squeezed lemon juice nor vanilla seeds, but it is still quite good. Definitely a keeper.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Seitan and Polenta Skillet with Kale

This dish is an adaption of the Seitan and Polenta Skillet with Fresh Greens in Vegan Express by Nava Atlas. For some reason, I thought the dish had kale, not Bok Choy and spinach. Since I didn’t realize this until after all the shopping was done, I decided to make the recipe with kale instead; figuring that the kale would be an acceptable substitution.

And boy is this really good. it has all these flavors and textures going at one time. The balsamic vinegar adds a nice touch of sweetness to the richness of the seitan and the kale. The polenta is crispy on the outside and soft inside, which is a nice contrast to the chewy seitan and somewhat still crisp kale leaves. And this is all with simple and basic ingredients and technique. This is a dish I could easily slip into making once a week, if I wasn’t careful.

If Vegan Express is not in your cookbook set and you need recipes that are easy and fast. This is the book for you. All of the recipes in the book are able to be made in anywhere from 15-45 minutes maximum. She also has some unrecipes for vegetables that make simple side dishes to help complete a meal, make a sandwich or a salad. Many of the dishes come with suggestions for how to turn the dish into a full meal for a family. She even has deserts. Since the book is now available as an eBook, you don’t even have to wait for the shipping. Both and have it for about 20 bucks. You can have it 5 minutes after ordering. Now if I could just get a nice slate touch screen computer to be attached to the refrigerator.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Yes, I am having that classic French vegetable dish, ratatouille. Of course, I am about two years late, since I should have tried it the summer when that Disney movie came out. And now wonder why I haven’t had it before. Oh, that’s right, eggplant. Had to get past my eggplant reaction to give it a try.

The recipe I used surprised me though. I thought that one would taste all the herbs in it and garlic, considering all the seasoning that is used. But it wasn’t overdone. Since eggplant it a sponge, it probably needs to be over seasoned to taste correctly.

Now here I just had it on rice, but later this week, I am going to try it in a “Ratatouille Lasagna” with polenta rounds. Since I have a ton of leftovers, that should be different way to eat some of them.

Sorry about the steam, dinner was hot from the pan.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Easy Corn Cakes with Pantry Mole Rojo and Seitan

This is a recipe of Isa’s that I found over at The Veggie Patch by Vegetation. It is supposed to have corn waffles as the base for the seitan, veggies and mole sauce. Unfortunately, I have no waffle iron and no place in the kitchen to keep one, so it has been on hold for me till a suitable replacement was found. And thanks to SusanV over at Fat Free Vegan, a replacement came my way, Easy Corn Cakes.

Now my Easy Corn Cakes don’t look as nice as hers do. That may be due to the fact that I skipped the egg replacer. The recipe already has chickpea flour in it and I figured that they would be fine without the egg replacer, since it was such a low amount. I also skipped the hot pepper flakes, since the mole was going to be have enough heat in it. I should have had my pan on a higher temperature and then they might have come out better. They were still good though, with the taste and texture reminding one of cornbread.

I only really made one alteration to the Pantry Mole Rojo and Seitan, adding corn to the pepper, onion and seitan mixture. Just trying to get an extra veggie in there. However, in retrospect, I should have used less chili powder (note to self: chipotle chili powder is hotter than you think it is). It is far to spicy (had to eat a piece of bread after dinner to cool my mouth) and I couldn’t taste the chocolate in the mole. However, the mole is quite good and is much easier to prepare than the one in VCON. Will now have to try the dishes with mole from VCON to use up some of the sauce, since this recipe makes a ton. Should have done what Vegatation did, make only half a batch. There is enough mole in the refrigerator for weeks.

All for this week. Leftovers tomorrow so see you all on Monday.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Easiest Curried Amaranth with Veggies

Part of dinner tonight is this recipe from And it was quite good, but I do not get the serving size. Or maybe that is because the original uses quinoa and I used amaranth. But still, a single serving of this must be huge.

As I said earlier, the quinoa was exchanged for amaranth in this because I just cannot get past the sprouted look of quinoa. And I have tried. Amaranth is its cousin, however, so I am most likely not missing out on any nutrition. The spices and the green beans (sub for the peas) were mixed in after 15 minutes so that the spices could be stirred through and the frozen green beans heat up. The veggies are prechopped ones from the produce area. I decided to use the Lemon Cilantro Crema on top and mix the shredded carrots in with the amaranth, since I don’t have any cilantro. Very good. Quite spicy. When I finally get a job, this is a great dish to take to work. Oh, and that is more the Broccoli Slaw from last night, on the side.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Macadamia-Encrusted Seitan with Mango Broccoli Slaw

That decadent plate you see is a result of this recipe from the VegCooking site. To bad the TeddyBear doesn’t like broccoli, or this could have been Valentine’s Day dinner as well.

And even though all this doesn’t look like it goes well together, the slaw is a perfect foil to the seitan. It is crispy, a bit sweet and spicy. With an added plus of orange juice in the dressing that makes the iron in the broccoli slaw more available to the body. And broccoli slaw, is that just not a perfect invention. A very sneaky way to get people to eat the one vegetable most people hate, broccoli. The mango in the slaw adds a very nice touch. In fact, you could almost eat the slaw as a dish of its own.

The seitan is from a double batch of my Baked Seitan Steaks I made this morning. The steaks are so thick, that they had to be cut in half so that they would cook through properly. Unfortunately, when roasting the macadamia nuts, I overdid it a bit. Not a nice way to learn that 10 minutes in an oven, can be different than 10 minutes in a toaster oven. Don’t think it affected the fried seitan all that much, though. The macadamia nut flour make them very rich tasting after frying. Which is counter balanced quite well by the slaw. All in all, a very good dish.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Chicken Fried Seitan

Dinner was about using up leftovers. The left over shredded cabbage from the wraps last week turned into coleslaw (and expect to start seeing more cold dishes, summer has returned to Florida). Which I normally don’t like, but was able to find a nice vinegar based dressing that wasn’t to sweet. I also used the unused batter and breading from LoLo’s Fried Seitan last week on my regular seitan recipe, just to use up as much as the batter and breading as possible. And it worked great. Nice to know that her breading makes any seitan taste good and crispy when fried up. Especially since the TeddyBear really likes Lolo’s recipe. I had enough to batter and fry an entire batch of seitan I made today and have enough left to do at least another half batch. It will make some very nice sandwiches over the next week or so.

On top of the seitan is some BBQ sauce. I had planned to make Bryanna’s Bourbon BBQ Sauce, but found that I didn’t have enough dijon mustard. Don’t have any garlic powder either. Oh well, both on the grocery list now. Will just have to make next time. At least I have the fall back of making this sauce.

One more thing before I go. If you are a regular reader of Becks-I am not a Rabbit’s blog, I hope by now that you have read it for the day. If not, you can find it here. And Becks, if you are reading this, please consider coming back to blog land. We will miss your humor and creative cartoons. And If you need help, just remember that some of us do have experience with what you are dealing with, and are here to help you. Please, do not be afraid to ask.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Meatless Loaf and Pound Cake

First, I finally made the Mini Meatless Loaves from River over at Wing it Vegan. But it almost didn’t happen, because I realized that I had no tomato sauce in the house, right when starting the recipe. However, I did have plenty of tomato paste and half remembered something about using tomato paste thinned with water to make a quick replacement for tomato sauce. So that problem got solved rather easily. The ground seitan worked great as a replacement for the veggie crumbles and I even added some green pepper, just for some extra flavor. Since I had no way of making more of my emergency “tomato sauce” for the topping, I decided to just cook it all up in one loaf and cover the loaf with catsup. Mine doesn’t look as nice as what River or Becks made, but it tasted really quite good. This will make a nice sandwich for lunch tomorrow.

And speaking of lunch, I did remember to take a photo of the wraps today. I kind of borrowed the idea from Isa’s recipe for the Cornmeal Chili Tofu Sandwiches from VCON, by using shredded cabbage as the base for the baked chick-fu. The chick-fu wedges aren’t whole, like in Isa’s recipe, because in this case it seems to be easier to eat if they are in pieces. However, I might have to try just using the wedges as some point, because then the wraps might be easier to roll-up.

I also tried to make the Vanilla Yoghurt Pound Cake from VCON today. It was a partial success. Per advice I got over at PPK forums, it seemed that the best way to replace the pureed tofu was with more yoghurt. Mandy suggested using ½ a cup of yoghurt to directly replace the tofu, but I decided to only use ¾ of a cup total of yoghurt. The batter seemed to be correct and it looked great out of the oven, however as the cake cooled it collapsed in the middle. I cooked it for 58 minutes and the knife did come out clean when inserted, so am not sure if this is a structural problem or if I just didn’t bake it long enough. The ends of the cake came out of the loaf pan rather cleanly, so it doesn’t seem that the cake was under baked. The pound cake is also quite moist. Apparently, this recipe was originally all yoghurt, but was changed to add some tofu. Now I wonder if the tofu helps add some structure. If so, then maybe another egg replacer would be better to use. It does taste quite good, however. And I was able to salvage at least 2/3 of the loaf, so it wasn’t a total loss.

Tomorrow looks like leftovers again, as usual. So I will see you all on Monday.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Potato and Parsnip Curry

I had planned on having Sweet Potato Curry tonight, but had a minor problem. No sweet potatoes. I thought there was at least one in the crisper, but while cutting up the veggies for the curry, couldn’t find it and realized that I didn’t have any. Since I had already planned on adding a leftover regular potato and some parsnips to the curry, the recipe just got altered to also add some snack size carrots as well. So sorry about how monochrome it looks.

Even without the sweet potatoes, this was still quite good. And it was no where near as spicy as I expected it to be with the tablespoon of curry paste in the dish. Coconut milk and potatoes are wonderful for cutting down the spicines. I added about 1 tablespoon of soy sauce to round out the flavors and that made it just perfect. Now I just need to make sure I have sweet potatoes the next time I make it.

Just an update on the Cornmeal Chili chick-fu. I had it today in a wrap with shredded cabbage and some more of the Lime (or Lemon) Crema and it was quite good. No pictures, since I wanted to test the idea. Will take some the next time.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Cornmeal Chili Burmese Tofu

After the debacle of last night, I am so happy that my experiment worked. The experiment was to make the Cornmeal Chili Tofu with the Burmese Tofu. The chick-fu cooked up nicely in the oven and did not have an “eggy” taste when eating them. The spices on the coating were what I tasted, not the chick-fu underneath. But the next time I do this, I will make less of the batter and maybe use less spices. Even with using chipotle chili powder and ancho chili powder in place of the regular chili powder and cayenne, it was still quite spicy. Even the Lime Crema (or lemon in this case, since I had no lime juice) from the Baja Tempeh Tacos didn’t really cool them down. Now I want to try them in a wrap or something to see how they taste cold. But that is for tomorrow.

On the side is the last of the Broccoli Polenta and some steamed cauliflower. And I finally found a better way to eat cauliflower then using cheese sauce. Here I am using the Citrus-Date-Sesame sauce from VCON and have found that it makes the cauliflower taste quite good. the richness and sweetness in the sauce adds some flavor to a somewhat bland vegetable.

List of substitutions I am doing it this way, since I have so many today

Cornmeal Chili Tofu

Tofu: replace with Burmese Tofu
Cayenne powder: replaced with ancho chili powder

Lime Crema

Soy yoghurt: replaced with Soy Delicious Coconut Milk Yoghurt plain
Grapeseed or avocado oil: replaced with canola
Lime zest: had to leave out since didn’t have any
Lime juice: used lemon since that was all I had

All for today. See you tomorrow.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Dinner Annoyance

Sorry, no pictures tonight. My dinner, through no fault of my own, turned out to be neither vegan nor vegetarian. I had planed to have a vegetable stir-fry with a nice sweet, spice and salty sauce that I found up on vegweb. Unfortunately, the dinner kit I bought to use as stir fry vegetables (which I will sometimes do, because they have better vegetable combinations) turned out to: one, have sauce nuggets in it instead of a sauce packet, and two, those sauce nuggets were not even vegetarian. Won’t bore you with the details, but needless to say; I am a bit annoyed. This is what I get for not reading ingredients. But who would have guessed that the kit, that comes without meat added, would not even be vegetarian. It is to bad really, because the sauce is halfway decent and would be great with seitan. Which is also something I have done in the past as well, in place of the meat. Guess I am going to have to find another way to get decent stir fries and not start with fresh vegetables. Not that I have a problem using fresh vegetables in a stir fry, I just usually don’t have the odds and ends that makes one easy to put together. Might just have to start looking at the stir fry vegatables from my local whole foods store when in there. At least I know that it is vegan. Or the other option is to get a kit from the produce section of the store. At least those are vegan as well.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday Leftovers

End of another week, and as usual for me, all leftovers for dinner. The kale is from the bunch that was used for last night’s dinner. Simply wilted in a pan and then some of the Citrus-Date-Sesame sauce over it, out of squeeze bottle. I am recycling my agave nectar bottles for sauces. The Broccoli Polenta was done under the broiler this time, since no pan was available. Happy to report it works just as well under the broiler as browning it in a pan. And yes, I am still eating on the Samosa Potatoes. However, they should be done by next week. Which means that I can make more food.

All for this week. Have a good weekend.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Marmalade Seitan with Kale and Rice

I know that this looks like a tester for Valentine’s Day, and it would be if the TeddyBear liked kale. However, he does not. But if you are looking for a nice meal for your significant other, this is not a bad one to do.

This is a dish that LoLo over at Vegan Yum Yum did last April. She did it with tofu, but notes that one can use her Seitan Cutlets as well. If you have not seen her recipe for seitan cutlets before it is a bit different. First of all because it uses a “milk” as part of the liquid. And second in that the cutlets are braised on the stove top in a skillet. And you need a decent sized skillet. I have at least a 13” skillet and it was crowded. I also had to use an extra cup of water, since my skillet does not lid. I also used the “chicken-style” stock powder from Bryanna Grogan. Even though I made a complete recipe of seitan, only one found it’s way into dinner. The others will be for Sunday supper.

Per LoLo, this recipe is supposed to serve two, however I made it over for one. So one seitan cutlet, half the marinade, and half a bunch of kale. She used Israeli Couscous, but I didn’t have any of that around, so steamed brown rice it was. Which is one of her options, if you don’t have the couscous. And I didn’t have any almonds, unfortunately. That would have definitely added to the dish.

As I said earlier, this would be a nice dish to do for Valentine’s Day. The marinade cooks down with while the seitan bakes and makes a nice thick sauce. Unfortunately, the marmalade I used somewhat overshadowed all the other flavors, so this would be a good dish if you have a lightly flavored marmalade you like. Now if I could just plate my dishes and do pictures as nice as Lolo’s.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Broccoli Polenta

Back to VCON tonight with dinner.

The only reason I have put off trying the Broccoli Polenta (VCON, pg 114) was that I didn’t want a bag of polenta to stay around the kitchen forever. And since I am the only one in the house who will eat polenta, it will be here a long time. I also was not sure about the combination of polenta and broccoli. However, my mind has been changed. I could not belive how good this was for the simplicity of the ingredients. And it also fits very well into the “planned leftover” idea, since I only need to pan fry what I want to eat at any one time. This might even be good to take in a lunch box, if it is fried up the night before and then reheated in a microwave. However, the next time this is made, I think it will be molded in a loaf pan instead of any of the options that Isa gives you in the recipe. That will make it a bit easier to get uniform slices.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Basic Broiled Chick-fu

Back to the chick-fu experiment tonight. Since the previous experiment with marinating and baking was a crash and burn, I was in hope that this recipe (Basic Broiled Tofu, VCON pg 126) might work better. And to my great surprise it was a success. Even though the chick-fu did get a bit overdone, this does seem to be one recipe that works for both tofu and the chick-fu. It must be due to the broiling, but the chick-fu did not really develop that eggy taste it can when pan frying it. Also, the soy sauce and lemon juice from the braising sauce works well with the chick-fu; since you do get that salty, tart taste on your tongue when eating the triangles. Guess this means I am going to have to make the Dill-Tahini sauce and try the Greek Tofu Benedict sometime. And also make some extra to see how they are in a pita sandwich. The Tofu Florentine is also on the menu now as well.

Now I will have to wonder how the chick-fu will taste with the cornmeal and chili treatment (Chili Cornmeal-Crusted Tofu, VCON pg 125).

Monday, February 2, 2009

Spaghetti Squash

Tonight was an experiment in new food, the spaghetti squash. I decided to try it after seeing them appear in a few blogs lately and just realized recently that these are actually somewhat available in my grocery store. Never had one before, since not the kind of food my mom would make. I was pleasantly surprised. It wasn’t a big mess to make and actually quite easy, considering I started with a whole one. This would have been easier with a half of squash, but didn’t know that was available till today; so a whole one it was. I had no problems putting two holes in it with my big knife and just stuck in the oven, on a tray, for 1 hour at 375°. It cooled in the oven while making the rest of the dinner, breakfast potatoes and Harvard Beets. Once they were all reheating, I just cut it in half, scooped out the seeds and then the squash meat with a fork. Cooked it with some Smart Balance, minced garlic and some Mrs. Dash Southwest seasoning. And I must say, not to bad. Though I did not expect the strands of the squash to be crispy, it has a very nice neutral flavor. This is definitely going into the vegetable rotation. At least while I can find it.

Sorry the picture is so dark. I have overhead light where it was taken, but it is very dark outside due to weather today. So no extra light from outdoors. Guess I should have used a flash. Oh well, still learning how to take pictures.