Friday, March 27, 2009

Faux Fish – Almost Have It

For dinner tonight had leftovers (the Zucchini Mediterranean Style) and my latest attempt at the soy free vegan fish (can also be gluten-free as well). While the attempt to use rice flour as a thickener failed (regular flour also) the patty somehow managed to cook up fairly well. And the best news is that I think the flavoring is now correct. I did the same thing as last time, but doubled all the seasonings; except for the ginger. I also put some seafood seasoning in the panko crumbs that were used for the breading. All the flavors blended well. Not sure if it tastes “fish-like”, but it probably tastes as much like fish as marinated to is able to do so. Now all I have to do is make another bath and use oat flour instead of the rice flour. If that works, the recipe is done.

However, my refrigerator is full to the brim at the moment with leftovers I need to eat. So rather than bore you with things you have already seen, I will not post much next week and may not post at all. So will see you either a few days next week, or the week after that. Have a good weekend.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Lunch and Dinner

First off, you get to see my lunch today. It was very simple; Tabbouleh (store bought) and some of the Almond “Feta” (coated in Italian spices and put in oil) on shredded romaine lettuce (from the bag). Nice easy cold lunch. All I had to do was grab things out of the refrigerator and put them on the plate. Which was good, since I spent a good part of the morning making Hazelnut Scones from VwaV (breakfast tomorrow morning, with some chocolate coconut milk yoghurt from Turtle Mountain). I think I got my greens today, don’t you.

For dinner, since there is Sweet and Sour Lentils in the refrigerator, I decided to make some Gobi Aloo to go with them. For those who have not had Gobi Aloo before, it is an Indian curry of potatoes and cauliflower. There are a ton of recipes on the web for this. The one I am using is one of the many up at In this case the it is a fairly dry curry, but this dish can also be more stew like as well. Again, it just depends on what recipe you grab. The spices can be different also. In this case, it uses cumin, garlic, ginger, turmeric, paprika (smoked paprika, since that is all I have in my spice rack) and Garem Masala (along with some fresh coriander that I didn’t have). I have never had this before and really liked it. A bit of spice, but not so spicy that it burns your mouth. A very nice compliment to the Sweet and Sour Lentils and the flatbread on the side.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spring Spaghetti

I came up with this because I have been a bit bored lately, and had some cooked spaghetti that needed to be used. The spaghetti is left over from making the Nearly Raw Tahini Noodles, because somehow I ran out of dressing before the other ingredients. Not wanting to make more dressing, with only having about one serving of noodles left; I realized that they would need to be part of something else. First I tore the leaves off about three stems of kale, washed, tore and steamed the leaves in my small stove top steamer. Since I also had a partial bag of pepper and onion stir fry mix in the freezer, I decided to stir fry that with some corn. Once the veggies and kale were done, then I filled the small frying pan up with water and put the spaghetti in it to heat up. Once that was warm, I then put everything into one container, sprinkled on some Mrs. Dash Italian Seasoning and shook it up to combine. Then a quick dump on the plate, a sprinkle of “Parmesan Cheese” and take the bread that had been warming in the oven. It ended up a like a warm pasta salad, and was a quite good.

The bread on the side, is something that I made up this afternoon. It is from a batch of no knead bread that I found on Bryanna Grogan’s site. One of a few that she has been experimenting with lately. All I did was take a big handful of bread from the container in the refrigerator and cut it into four pieces with my pastry scraper. I rolled each piece with my rolling pin (a POM’s glass) into a circle and then cooked them up in my small non-stick pan. I used a bit to much flour, but they turned out really well. This idea may be a keeper. And in case you have seen this before and wondered if it worked, let me tell you that it does. Now I need to see how it works for pizza crusts.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Baked Seitan Cutlets

Again, a real simple dinner. I made some seitan this afternoon and cut one of the steaks in half vertically, cut the ½ cutlet in half horizontally to make two cutlets. The cutlets got coated in an “egg wash” of chickpea flour and water, then coated in panko bread crumbs mixed with some Jamaican Jerk seasoning. Place in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes and done.

The kale was just as simple. I just stripped the leaves off of about 3-4 stalks, rinsed them, cut them up into strips and put them in a hot fry pan. Once they started to cook a bit, I added some orange juice and tamari and cooked them all down. The kale got done before the sauce got glazy, so the kale went on the plate while the orange juice and tamari mixture cooked down. Once it cooked down to a syrup, the pan came off the heat and the kale were added back to get glazed. Then back on the plate.

This all took 15-20 minutes of prep and another 15-20 minutes of cooking. It all went together nicely at the end. A lot of strong flavors, but they did balance each other out. The Dijon Beets were a great side for this, since they were cold and helped to cool my mouth a bit. Also Florida has started to warm up again, so I really don’t want to eat any more warm food than needed.

And for those of you looking for something different to spread on toast and other things, I have an interesting recipe for you, Coconut and Cashew Bread Paste. I have made this three times and love it. The spread definitely makes your toast a bit more substantial and it is great on English muffins also. Unfortunately, I am not going to make it again until I get a food processor. This just doesn’t work in a Magic Bullet. However, for those of you with food processors and decent blenders, you might want to try it.

As an update on the rice milk. I tried some today and while it is different, it isn’t to bad. However, the almond flour will have to go in the next batch, since it never seems to get properly mixed into the “milk”. I might also have to add a bit oil, just to make it homogenize a bit more. So still work in progress, but quite close.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Zucchini Mediterranean Style

This was a simple dinner and just perfect for a cool, rainy day in Florida. I found this on and really liked it. This is a very simple dish and really lets the veggies shine through. The only seasoning is some oregano. I did cheat on the onion and pepper by using my frozen pepper mix and didn’t have enough zucchini, since they had been sitting in the refrigerator for a week, waiting for me to make this. But it was still quite good.

In other news, I made my rice milk base last week and mixed up my first batch today. Have yet to taste it, but it does appear rather “milk-like”. Will let you know once I drink some. I did write down how the base was made, so you can have my recipe also.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Yesterday and Today

Yesterday I had a job interview at 1:00 so had a late lunch and then a late dinner. Since I just wanted something quick, easy and filling; the Chickpea Patties made another appearance. This time as a sandwich with BBQ sauce. originally I had planed to give the potatoes on the side the “Ellie Krieger” treatment (steam, smash and bake), but they were not the correct shape for that. So I ended up making Fingerling Fries from Vegan Express. The potatoes I couldn’t fit into the pan went under the broiler. Either way still good. That is just some steamed corn on the side. A nice, simple filling dinner after a long day. In case you are wondering, I found out this morning that I didn’t get the job. Oh well, once I found out what it was, I really didn’t want it anyway. Good pay, but long hours, and long term contract with no idea of when or if I would ever become a permanent employee. So just as well.

Dinner tonight was about using up some leftovers, again. The seitan is about the last of the Macadamia-Encrusted Seitan, that has been sitting in the freezer. I just put them in the toaster oven the same time as the sweet potatoes and they were done at the same time. The sweet potatoes were done a bit differently, I dribbled on the marshmallow sauce after they were on my plate, instead of putting it under the broiler. Might keep doing it this way, since it tastes just as good and is easier to do. The broccoli were just steamed and then sprinkled with my “Parmesan Cheese” I have been using (almond flour, nutritional yeast, and mustard powder). This was also good and I will have to try this with cauliflower. Easier to make and don’t have to keep around a “cheese” sauce to put on them. Also a bit healthier, than the “cheese” sauce would be.

Hope you all have a good weekend.

*edited becuase I should have referenced Ellie Krieger instead of Rachel Ray

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Chickpea Cutlets with Mole Sauce

Tonight’s dinner was an experiment. I was wondering what the Chickpea Cutlets from VCON would taste like with the mole sauce I have in the refrigerator. I am happy to report that they taste quite good. The mole sauce compliments the patties quite well. And now that I have that sauce diluted properly with vegetable stock, it no longer tries to fry my mouth. This is definitely worth some repetition and further experimentation. I wonder how it would be with spaghetti squash patties underneath? Will have to try.

Now I know that the side of mashed sweet potatoes with marshmallow topping, may not seem like it goes with the rest of the dinner. However I still have the topping from Thanksgiving and Christmas, so I decided to use some of it up. The sweetness was rather nice, since it did help cut some of the heat from the mole.

Not a bad little meal for midweek.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Nearly Raw Tahini Noodles

Dinner is another Lolo recipe and perfect for the early spring/summer heat that seems to have now descended on Florida. The best thing about this is that you can prep everything ahead and just put it together when you decide to eat. Unfortunately, I don’t have a big enough container at the moment to hold the entire dish, so I had to put it together on my plate. I just layered some of the precooked, refrigerated pasta, shredded carrots, shredded cabbage (from a coleslaw mix) and some chopped up broccoli. Then I just added about 4 teaspoons of the dressing and mixed it up with my hand. After mixing it, I drizzled another teaspoon of the dressing on top. Unfortunately, I took the picture and started eating it without sprinkling some sesame seeds on top, but that was remedied after a few bites.

If you are not sure about raw food or Tahini, but you want to try it; this is the dish for you. The noodles are cooked, but the veggies are raw, though Lolo does give you the option of lightly steaming the broccoli. The veggies are also smaller sized, so they are easier to eat in a raw state. If you want to get away from some of the prep, I would think that this would also be good with broccoli slaw (for the broccoli and cabbage) and carrots are easy to find pre-shredded. The Tahini flavor is not overwhelming (this from someone who is somewhat ambivalent about it, by the way), and Lolo does give you the option of replacing half the Tahini with peanut butter.
So whether you need a dish for a hot day, or just want to test the waters for raw food or Tahini, this is something you need to try. It might become me regular lunch this summer.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Catching Up

Thank you for all your well wishes. You will all be happy to know that my fingers are much better today, with just a hint of a blister on my pinkie left. It should be gone in a day or two. And I am usually not so accident prone in the kitchen, but when I get busy and distracted, these things will happen. Vegetation, your suggestion of anesthetic crème is a good idea, but since we have limited first aide supplies, I had to settle for some aloe. Works just as good.

You will all be happy to know that I did not starve during all of this. On Friday for lunch I had some stir fried rice with some of the leftover stir fried vegetables in the refrigerator, rice and more the Sweet and Spicy Curried Miso Stir Fry Sauce. A nice simple lunch I could make easily with one hand.

For dinner I had some fried seitan with green beans and Dijon Beets. The seitan is coated in the leftover breading mix from when I made Lolo’s Fried Seitan Steaks a few weeks ago. Oh, trying to bread anything with one hand is an experience I suggest you avoid, very messy. The Dijon Beets are from the PDQ Vegetarian by Donna Klein. First thing I have made from this book and a nice way to eat beets. Basically you just heat up the canned, sliced beets and then coat in a dijon vinaigrette. Here they are warm, but you can eat them room temperature as well. And I really like this book from Donna Klein. It is based around products you can buy at the grocery store, such as pre-prepped and frozen products; so it works well for the way that I cook. Many of the dishes also seem to hold up well over a few days, so planned leftovers are an option. I believe that this is one of her first books, and like her other ones, it contains no recipes with tofu. Expect to see more from here.

Dinner tonight is Sweet and Sour Lentils, more of the Dijon Beets (room temperature this time), rice and steamed cauliflower with Citrus-Date-Sesame sauce from VCON. The recipe for the lentils is from Not quite sweet and sour enough for my taste, but is nice in that it doesn’t make a lot. I have another recipe from Recipezaar, but it makes a ton, since you start with ½ lb lentils. Both are good though. The Dijon Beets were quite good from the refrigerator, so when I do finally get a job, they will be a nice addition to my lunch boxes.

All for today, see you tomorrow.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Kitchen Accident

Sorry for no post yesterday. I won’t be able to do one today either. Had a minor kitchen accident yesterday that resulted in my burning the finger tips of my right hand. Need to remember that a pan that has been in a preheating oven is hot LOL. They are better this morning, but my pinky has a huge blister on it. So typing is limited at the moment. Thank goodness for slates (my laptop can be in either slate or laptop mode). However, the pen input is not great for major writing. So see you on Monday.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Fresh Stir Fry Vegetables

Dinner tonight was a treat. I didn’t get to my natural foods store till yesterday and had planned on buying some kale, but was unable to find where they had it in the store. However, I find some of their fresh stir-fry vegetables, so I grabbed those instead. Don’t think they buy these packs, so I would guess that they come from vegetables that are a few days old from their fresh produce section. Generally the vegetables included are onions, bell peppers, zucchini and bok-choy. Not a bad combination and the only one I have found that has a cabbage in the vegetable mix. The whole tray makes enough for two meals, so the veggies I didn’t eat tonight went back into the refrigerator after being cooked. I will cut them up a bit more and put them in wraps for lunch. Oh, and that is more of the Sweet and Spicy Miso Curry Glaze on top.

I also made some rice milk today, since I had to make some rice for dinner. And I learned one big lesson. Do not make it with molasses. Yes, the molasses does add iron and other nutrients (which is why I added it to the recipe), but it makes the milk brown. I think I will stick with agave or light natural sugar in the future. But I do plan on making my own rice milk for drinking, simply to save money. And I most likely will not make this recipe again, since it is easier to start with uncooked rice. This one would be convenient, if you are someone who often makes rice during the week, however.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Crispy Sweet and Sour Seitan

This is another Lolo recipe. In fact, great minds must think alike, since Vegetation made this just last week. I had planned on making it last week as well, but never got any seitan made, so had to push it off till today.

Sorry that picture looks so bad, but just could not get the camera to take a good shot. Don’t know if it is because the battery is dying or just how I plated everything. If I had to do this again, I would put the broccoli and carrots in a ring around the sauce and seitan in the middle of the plate. Despite how it looks though, this was really good. And just to make it a bit different, I used one of Lolo’s variations that she gives with the recipe, the one for “orange sesame”. Since I didn’t have fresh orange rind, I used some of the dried from my spice rack, and only 1 tsp instead of the tablespoon; figuring that dried orange rind would be stronger than fresh. The sauce does end up with hints of orange and sesame, not overpowering, but a nice taste on the tongue. So even though the picture looks bad, dinner was quite good.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Soy-Free Vegan Fish (Success)

Yes, you are reading that title correctly. I fiddled with the rice-fu mixture by adding some oat flour and it seemed to solve the problems I was having (stickiness). Unfortunately, it didn’t help the flavor of the final product. They don’t have quite enough flavor, but tastes quite fish-like when the tarter sauce is added. I also need to add some seafood seasoning mix to the breadcrumbs as well. At this point; only one, maybe two more batches are needed for me to get the recipe correct. I will need to see if it works as well with rice flour in place of the oat flour. But think, we can have vegan fish that isn’t tofu based. And yes, in case you are wondering. It is quite good, even at this point.

This is my dinner tonight

And this was my lunch on Saturday. I had the filet as a sandwich with oven fried french fries.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Creative Leftovers and some Information about Me

First of all, had some of the ratatouille on the side. Am I glad that this reheats so well. Next to that is a flatbread with some of Bryanna Grogan’s Almond “Feta” (page down a bit and you will see the recipe) melted and spread over it. And under the flatbread are some spaghetti squash pancakes.

First, the spaghetti squash pancakes. They came from the listing on Recipezaar I use to cook spaghetti squash. At the end, the recipe suggests mixing the leftover squash with some flour and making pancakes out of it. I was a bit skeptical, but it works very well. The flour mixes with the moisture on the squash and makes a bit of a batter, holding it together when frying. These could definitely be useful.

The flatbread and the “Feta” were an experiment. I had come across Bryanna Grogan’s recipe for the Almond “Feta”, and was a bit intrigued. Especially since the instructions did say that you could soak the “cheese” in a brine and it would not dissolve. I can see why now. With all the agar and cornstarch, there is no way that this is going to dissolve in liquid. Now does it taste like feta. Don’t know about that, since never really had any feta in my pregan days. It does have a strong, salty taste; so in that respect it is very feta-like.

The flatbread is the Mediterranean Flatbread from Toufayan. I must confess that it is not soy free, they do use soy flour in it; as an egg replacer, according to what I learned from contacting the company. Since I have recently deduced that I can have about ¼ to ½ a serving of soy a day, some soy will seep into my diet. However, very little of that will be at home. Once I figure out how to make a decent flatbread, I won’t need to buy this anymore. The recipe that Bryanna Grogan has for the refrigerator risen bread dough look most promising, in this regard.

So that was dinner for tonight. Nice way to use up some leftovers and also try something new. All for this week. One more thing before I go. Since I accidently revealed my age in my last post. Let me just add that I am 40+. My mother has this thing about having to much presence on the web makes you un-hirable (she actually googles my name to see what I am doing and have done), so that is why I have to do all this under a screen name. Once my employment situation gets settled, e.g. I find a job and am not worried about loosing it, I just may reveal myself. That will not happen anytime soon, however.

The screen name and name of the blog come from the nickname that the TeddyBear has for me and a mythology, as it were, that he is creating. The blog name comes from a time that he accused me of taking the covers from him, in the middle of the night and made a remark about “the republic of bunny". In the mythology, I am Snugglebunny of The Republic of Bunny and he is TeddyBear of the Land of the Free Teddy Bears. It basically plays off the differences we have in our personalities. I keep telling him that he should write children’s books, but he won’t listen to me.

Well now that you know more about me than you ever thought you would, go and have a good weekend.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Frozen Vegetables Lo Mein and Stir Fry Sauce

Dinner was really simple tonight. Used up the last of the soba noodles and frozen vegetables in the freezer. Then used some more of that stir fry sauce I used last time. Did it Lo Mein style this time, just to make it different.

Was planning on doing something else, but still don’t have any energy after this morning. Spent the whole morning taking civil service tests so I can get on a list to be a library assistant in a Hillsborough County library. Mind you, this didn’t get me an interview. Only on the list, if they decide to hire and then decide to interview me. The data entry test was bad enough, but the written test was hard. I felt like I was back taking my ACT or GRE again, and I haven’t had to take a standardized test in over twenty years (oops, just gave a way my age a bit). I forgot how draining they can be. I took my GREs (general and psychology) in one day and that was not a good idea. Then I went to work at McDonalds for my evening shift (pregan days). I was half brain dead for two days after doing that. Hopefully, this will result in me getting a job, since it has cost me a fair amount of money, gas and time up to this point.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Vegetable Goulash

I’m visiting La Dolce Vegan for dinner tonight with Sarah Kramer’s Vegetable Goulash. But had to make a few alterations to the recipe. The marjoram got left out, since I didn’t have any; a bag a baby carrots was the sub for the chopped carrot; I am not that fond of pinto beans so I used a can of great northern beans; a 14 oz can of chopped tomatoes subbed for the large, diced tomato and I used smoked paprika in place of regular paprika. Now after all those changes, I am sure you are wondering if it was still good. I am happy to report that it was. However, I could have used a bit more paprika. I only used the minimum of 1 tsp, since the smoked paprika can be a bit overpowering. Another teaspoon would not have hurt it at all, so it was a bit under seasoned for me. That was alright, though, since it you could really taste the vegetables. And the cauliflower absorbed the all the flavors, so it was not at all bland. I will definitely have to keep this in mind for my lunch box, when and if I ever get a job again.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Seitan Mole with Vegetables and Rice

Dinner tonight was really simple. Just rice and corn steamed together. Some spaghetti squash added to that. Then some sliced (reheated) seitan and some of that mole sauce I made a few weeks ago. It all melded together quite well. And it wasn’t to spicy this time, since I remembered to dilute the mole with some vegetable stock to thin it out. Cuts the heat also. Still have a ton of the sauce also, so expect to see it once or twice a week till gone.

This was also a good dinner in that it was quite filling. And since Florida has officially had another cold front (thought we were through last week), it is darned cold here again. They say it will be back in the 80’s by the weekend, but I am not holding my breath. It seems like every cold front this year has come down to us. This is not the reason I moved from Kansas.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Soy Free Vegan Fish Part 3 (or is it Part 4)

Yes, I am still trying to use the rice Burmese Tofu as a fish replacer. This time was the closest so far.

For those of you that have not been following this saga (as it were). The first try was to replace the tofu in this recipe with the rice tofu, but change nothing else. It worked, kind of. Another try was to season the rice tofu before it set up. That was a crash and burn, since the miso caused the rice-fu not to set. And another try was an attempt to marinade the rice-fu, also a crash and burn. This time, the attempt was influenced by this recipe:

1/3 batch rice Burmese tofu, smashed after setting up
1/4 cup diced onion
1 tsp chickpea miso
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger, grated
1/4 cup quick oats, ground (turns into oat flour)

edit: added oat flour to what was left over from this batch and it seemed to do the trick, apparently still some moisture in the rice-fu after setting, amount is just a guess for now, will have to make another batch to get accurate measures, also need to add more miso but garlic and ginger may not change, making rest of batch tomorrow but will bake this time

Combine the onion, miso, garlic and ginger in a small food processor/blender. Blend till combined. Mix the paste into the smashed tofu, till blended evenly. Take 1/3 cup and make into patties. Coat in breadcrumbs (mixed with optional seafood seasoning). Fry in skillet.

It tasted a bit like fish, but had to much ginger in it and maybe not enough miso and onion. They also did not stick well together while either cooking in the oven (tried first) or when pan frying. I still have some of the mix left and will add some oat flour to it, to see if that solves the problem. I also need to make the cakes earlier and let them sit in the refrigerator to firm up a bit before cooking. If these steps don’t work, then I have another idea to try. Unfortunately, I currently do not have enough rice flour to make another batch. So it might have to wait for a week or two. However, I have found anther recipe for the rice flour Homemade Rice Milk Base. (vegetation are you paying attention).

P.S. This is vegetarian, since I am still trying to use up some old bread crumbs.