Saturday, October 31, 2009

Last day of Vegan Mofo

Ok, today is officially the last day of Vegan Mofo. I have missed a few days this week, but have made up for them with weekend posts, so I don’t feel that bad. In fact I think that I have posted 23 as of today, so that isn’t half bad for just planning to post on weekdays.

Today let me show you what I had for breakfast today. And it will make all of you soy free very happy, because we again have a sausage replacement that we don’t have to make. When I was shopping yesterday at Rollin Oats, I found that Sunshine Burgers has a new product, a breakfast patty. I looked at that and realized that it could have some possibilities, so I picked up some English muffins, knowing that at home I had rice cheese and some of Bryanna’s Chickpea Chilla mix still in the refrigerator. Vegan Egg Muffin, here I come.

Vegan Egg Muffin

The “egg” was an idea that I has been floating in my mind for a while. I knew that it cooked up quite well as an omelet or crepe, but wondered how it would do if I cooked it up in a smaller mold to make an “egg”, that could be put on sandwiches. So last night, I tried out my idea using ¼ cup of the Chickpea Chilla cooked in a 2 ½ size biscuit cutter (that is open on top). As you can see from the sandwich, it worked quite well and looks most egg like. I got two from what was left from the batter and put them both in the refrigerator till today.

This morning, I toasted the English muffin in the toaster oven and then heated up the Chilla “egg” in the toaster oven as well, while heating the breakfast patty on the stove. Then it was just a matter of assembly. Bottom of the English muffin, breakfast patty, “egg”, rice cheese and then the top. This was quite good, but I forgot how thick these sandwiches can get. However, it would be great for taking into work and reheating in the microwave, since all you would have to do is reheat it from the refrigerator. You don’t even have to cook the breakfast patty, since it just needs to be defrosted and heated to eat. And the Sunshine Burger Breakfast Patty is a very acceptable sausage replacement. I just wish they gave you more than three in a box.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mixed Summer Vegetable Sauce with Bow Tie Pasta

Sorry about missing yesterday. My life is really hectic right now with this tax class. And I only have time for a quick post today. I also don't see really doing any cooking till after this is all over. When you lose 3 hours of your day to something (plus study time), it really affects how one schedules the rest of your time. And I am sure my eating is suffering as well.

This is lunch from yesterday and probably will be lunch or dinner for today also. Just some of the Summer Vegetable Sauce from The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen on some bow tie pasta. The pasta is from the organic line that DaVinci has, which I didn't even know existed. And I checked it is good old pasta, just semolina flour and water; like pasta should be. 

All for now.  See you on Friday. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Vegan Mofo Survey

I really had no time to do any cooking today.  So I thougth this might be the time to roll out this survey that has been passed around.

1. Favorite non-dairy milk?

Rice is my everyday milk, but I will also drink almond and homemade cashew milk also.

2. What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook?

just check out my Monday posts

3. Topping of choice for popcorn?

don’t really eat popcorn, but nutritional yeast sounds good

4. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure?

my first attempt at making peanut tofu, I think the peanut milk was overheated and the curds were so small they went through the cloth lining the mold

5. Favorite pickled item?

my grandmother’s homemade sweet pickles that my dad used to make, otherwise bread & butter pickles from the store

6. How do you organize your recipes?

I use Living Cookbook, but I also have some in OneNote and others saved as files on my system, they will all get into one place someday

7. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal?

trash and garbage disposal

8. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods...what would they be (don't worry about how you'll cook them)?

chocolate, peanut butter, coconut (I know, it should be there already)

9. Fondest food memory from your childhood?

My mother’s cinnamon rolls made with a potato roll recipe she got from the local agriculture office. She would cover them in chocolate pudding and coconut for me.

10. Favorite vegan ice cream?

Coconut Bliss and Purely Decadent with coconut milk are a tie

11. Most loved kitchen appliance?

My new blender. I can actually do things with it now.

12. Spice/herb you would die without?

Curry (does that count)

13. Cookbook you have owned for the longest time?

My very first cookbook was one put out by Betty Crocker for kids, but I also have the Little House Cookbook as well. The first one I bought for myself was Laurel’s Kitchen Recipes.

14. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly?

pink grapefruit marmalade, Stonewall Kitchen makes a really good one

15. Favorite vegan recipe to serve to an omni friend?

my finace loves Sloppy Sams (a sloppy joe variantion made with lentils)

16. Seitan, tofu, or tempeh?

well I can’t eat tofu or tempeh, so it would have to be seitan

17. Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)?

doesn’t matter, I eat to live and don’t really live to eat

18. What is sitting on top of your refrigerator?

storage containers, cornstarch, baking powder

19. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking.

a bag of ground flax seeds, nutritional yeast, hamburger buns

20. What's on your grocery list?

changes from week to week, but always veggies, bread, walnuts (I eat about a pound a week)

21. Favorite grocery store?

My main shopping is at Publix (they are close enough to walk) but I also go to Nature’s Food Patch in Clearwater, Nature’s Finest in Gulfport (St. Petersburg) and Rollin Oats in St. Petersburg

22. Name a recipe you'd love to veganize, but haven't yet.

not sure yet

23. Food blog you read the most. Or maybe the top 3?

Oh, boy. I read a ton. More than is in my blogroll. However, those are my basics. I must have about 50 in my RSS folder.

24. Favorite vegan candy/chocolate?

rice milk chocolate bars

25. Most extravagant food item purchased lately?

the three pounds of raw peanuts to make peanut tofu, and I also plan on buying some coconut butter to help me use up all that peanut pulp

26. Ingredients you are scared to work with?

I really haven’t found anything yet I can’t deal with. But then I am not that adventurous.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Final Week of Vegan Mofo

I’m not going to do a menu this week, since I plan on only making two new things. The Black Beans and Potato Cakes (which may or may not get made again due to refrigerator space) I had planned on making last week and I also plan on making the Curried Udon Noodle Stir Fry from Vcon. However, this week will see my main meal being eaten at lunch not dinner, because my tax class starts today. That schedule is four nights this week, four nights next week and two nights the week after. Needless to say it will mess up my evenings because it runs from 6-9 pm. It also means eating lunch and dinner earlier than normal, since I will be leaving for the class about the time I usually eat dinner.

I also did a lot of research this weekend to find some ways to use all the peanut pulp I will soon have on hand. I found an interesting cookie recipe up at The Sunny Raw Kitchen that looks promising. It doesn’t use a dehydrator and I would think it would work as well with peanut flour (or nut pulp) as it does with cashew. Now anything I make will only quasi-raw, just to let you know, since I don’t buy the virgin coconut oil nor raw agave. And in this recipe, I am tempted to use regular chocolate chips, instead of making the raw ones suggested. I also found a recipe for Raw Reese’s Cups that looks promising as well. Unfortunately, this weeks schedule is going to force me to wait until Friday for more peanut tofu experiments. But that gives me time over the weekend to make some raw treats.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Iron Chef Vegan Mofo Entry

The ingredients this week were peanut butter and apples. I figured that they were something I could do something with and while this is not the most inventive idea (I took the apple peanut butter wrap idea and ran with it a bit). It is quite good.

Apple Peanut Butter Desert Chimichanga

1 tortilla, burrito sized (or more if making more than one)

1 apple, chopped

1 banana, sliced

1-2 Tbs peanut butter, smooth is better but chunky is alright also

Drizzle of dark agave nectar

Chocolate chips (optional, but add a nice taste)

Walnuts, chopped (optional)

Take the chopped apple and sliced banana and sprinkle with some lemon juice, so that if you don’t use them all know, you can eat them later without being brown. Spread the peanut butter on the top ½ of a burrito size tortilla. Add the apples and bananas, drizzle the agave nectar, then add the chocolate chips and walnuts. Fold like a burrito and place on a heat pan until one side is crisp. Roll over and cook until the other side is crisp. Let cool, slice and eat.

Simple, easy to make and quite good. I used a Fuji, but a baking apple would be better, just couldn’t find any today. So there you are, enjoy.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Wayfare Cheese: A Product Review

This may be the best soy free cheese to come onto the market (which I say never having tried Playfood cheese). You open the continuer and it looks like something you would make at home. The amazing thing is that it is oatmeal based and all the ingredients are pronounceable. If you have ever made your own cheese sauce at home, then you may have noticed that the oatmeal based ones are a bit smoother than the nut based cheese sauces. And for some lucky reason, we Floridians get this early in the game not late (like MimicCreme, which I found today I can no longer buy).

I first saw this at Nature’s Food Patch in Clearwater around Labor Day and bought some of the Cheddar Cheese style spread to try on crackers over the holiday weekend. I was quite impressed, you could put this in a dish and no one would realize it was vegan cheese, let alone soy free. I would have said something before now, but wasn’t quite sure how to use it, since neither the company’s website nor the containers give any suggestions. Then I saw this over at A Bear’s Fare and realized it may be more useful than I thought. Even though, just to have a soy free cheese spread for crackers is a big win in itself.

Today I bought some of the Cheddar Cheese style dip and have used it twice, for a quesadilla (lunch) and a grilled cheese sandwich (dinner and suggested by A Bear’s Fare). I didn’t mean to use it twice in one day, but was not really hungry, so wanted simple things to eat. All I can say is that you have to at least give this a try. The dip is more like a semi set cheese sauce, when you open the container. And I find you can scoop it out and spread it with a spoon quite easily. The cheddar flavor isn’t overwhelming, which may or may not be a good thing. The cheese does actually melt, much to my surprise, since it has no cornstarch or arrowroot in it (per the ingredients). Needless to say I am quite pleased and can’t wait to see if it will also make a nice rotini and cheese for one.

Now I haven’t tried the other flavors yet, but would suspect that they are also quite good. What I really would like to get my hands on would be the sour cream, since there are no vegan sour creams on the market that are soy free. Alas, I have not been able to find that yet in the one store I know carries this line. I am not really a sour cream user, but there are some recipes where you need it as an ingredient and it is a bit of a pain to always have to make it yourself.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Breakfast for Dinner, Part 2

Yes, I am doing it again. This time it was with the Chickpea Scramble (from Vegweb), more of the Sweet Potato Hash (from VwaV) and a Flatout wraps.

I know I have been promising this for a little while and finally got to it tonight. I did make two minor changes to the recipe though. No mushrooms, because my mushrooms went bad in the refrigerator and no sour cream because I didn’t have any soy free vegan sour cream. However, I don’t think it hurt the dish. It may not photograph well, but does taste quite good. And it will most likely be great in a wrap with some cheese. I don’t know if it should be called a scramble or maybe stir-fried rice for breakfast, since it seems more like a stir-fried rice recipe. Along that line of thought, I may season it differently next time with some yellow curry and smoked paprika. In fact I think you could season this in a few different ways. You could go Italian, Indian, Cuban or Asian; depending on the spices or sauces you added. It could be most versatile.

P.S. What is going on with Blogger.  Is anyone else unable to import pictures from Flickr or other services on the web. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Using Leftovers

Tonight was about using leftovers, specifically a half of eggplant and a half of spaghetti squash. And since it is starting to heat up here again, the idea was not to use the oven.

The spaghetti squash was easy. I just put it in the toaster oven for about 10 minutes, let it cool and then scraped it with a fork to pull out the meat. All the insides went into a small pan with some olive oil and nutritional yeast. Stir it around a bit and done. Simple and quite good, also.

The eggplant was a bit harder. I thought about using a recipe I have for Barbecued Eggplant (from Vegweb), but really did not want to use the oven. However, it did occur to me that if the eggplant was diced fairly small and cooked on the stovetop, then covered with BBQ sauce, that could also be good and would make an open face sandwich. And that is exactly what I did, and yes it was quite good. The sauce I used is Annies Naturals Organic BBQ Sauce Sweet & Spicy. It is so good that I may never make my own sauce again. Just the right balance of sweet and heat. Also bonus, it is soy free.

On the side is just a simple salad of romaine, carrots, celery, and radishes; then topped with Drews Raspberry Vinaigrette. If you are looking for raspberry vinaigrette, this is not a bad one to use. It has a nice raspberry flavor. I still have some of the salad in the refrigerator and the rest of the eggplant is going on it in a wrap for lunch tomorrow. Should be good.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Breakfast for Dinner

Just had another wonderfully cool day in the Tampa Bay area. I am really going to be a bit unhappy when we warm up at the end of the week. I really like not running the air conditioning and running up a near 100 dollar electric bill in our tiny apartment.

Dinner was breakfast, for me today. I figured with the cool weather and lack of humidity, it would be a perfect day to make the Sweet Potato Hash from VwaV. The only thing I hate about this dish is cutting up the sweet potatoes, other than that I could easily make this weekly. Tonight it is paired with some more of the Puttanesca scramble made with Bryanna Grogan’s Chickpea Chilla. And since I cannot find any watercress around here, I use frozen spinach. I do lose some nutrition in squeezing out the thawed spinach, but that can’t be helped. A very nice little dinner.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Menu for Week of October 18

Here is the tentative menu for the week. As you will notice, since I neither got to the Chickpea Scramble nor the Sweet Potato Hash last week, I just moved it forward to this week. I think you will also notice that I have a lot of leftovers in the refrigerator right now. That does happen with me, every couple of week or so. I just make too much and don’t eat enough. But a lot of that should be cleared out this week. So next week will be a big week of cooking for me. However, next week will be busy for me also, since I will be starting a tax preparer course for a local company and hopefully be able to work tax season and make a bit of money.

I am also going to have to change what goes into my meals since it appears that fall has finally come to Florida, for this week at least. The low at TIA was 48 this morning, which is a new record. Unfortunately, the forecast for the week shows the temperatures going back up to the mid-80s by week’s end. I have some soups and chilies I would really like to make, but not until it cools off and stays that way. Which the way our fall is going this year, that may not be until December.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Spaghetti Squash and Mixed Summer Vegetable Sauce

Fall is finally making its way to Florida. We have a cold front that is hitting us tonight and the Tampa Bay area has had rain off and on all day and the highs for the weekend will be dropping into the 70s. It has been so warm here that we have been setting new records for record lows for the month, because the lows have been in the mid to high 70s. For the next few days, that will be the highs. This means that I can again use my oven. And that meant I could finally make something that I’ve had for a couple of weeks, spaghetti squash.

I got this on my last trip to my store in Clearwater. They were up front and in a nice bushel basket. Now normally I don’t buy spaghetti squash unless it is already pre cut in half, since I was not sure if I could do that at home. However, I saw this fairly small one and thought it was just the right size to work with at home. So into the basket it went and it has been just sitting until it cooled enough to be able to use the oven.

It cut in half much easier than I expected and the seeds came out fairly easily. After about 40 minutes in the oven, I took it out to let it cool enough to scrape the meat out with a fork. While the squash was in the oven, I also heated up some the Mixed Summer Vegetable Sauce, thinking that it would work well with the squash. Once the squash was cool enough to handle, I scraped it into the pan with the sauce and mixed them together. Then pour on the plate and eat. Not a bad little light dinner.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Peanut Tofu: Not Good Beginnings

I am not going to talk about my dinner tonight, since all I had was a smoothie (peanut milk, peanut pulp, banana, frozen cherries, agave nectar and chocolate powder), walnuts and my daily brownie. For some reason I am just not hungry and I have learned that when I don’t feel hungry I shouldn’t eat because it can really upset my stomach. But I do have a few things to talk about tonight.

The first is my new Oster blender. So far I have used it today to make the peanut milk for my peanut tofu attempt and the smoothie I had for dinner. This blender is far superior to the Magic Bullet, due to its size and power. The smoothie came together quite easily and I didn’t have to worry that if it ran to long the lid would stick. The peanut milk was also a cinch to make. And I am going to have to check how much milk I am getting from each cup of soaked peanuts, because I think it is more than one quart; which is what I expected to get. The nut pulp I am getting as leftovers is so fine it is like nut flour. I may have to try and make raw peanut butter cookies out of it. So am I happy that we spent the money on it, not really; however now I don’t understand why I didn’t do this sooner.

I also made an attempt at the peanut tofu this morning. Unfortunately, the attempt was a failure. I made the peanut milk, added the nigari and let it sit. Curds and whey did form, but when I poured it into the mold, it went right through the cloth that came with my kit to line the mold. Apparently the curds were too small. I went back to Pangea and looked at the ingredients again and noticed that they actually use two coagulants in make the Nufu Tofu, nigari and calcium sulphate. Not sure as to why they do this, but it appears this will not be as simple as we all hoped. However, I would think that we can duplicate the process or figure out another one that works also. I’ve sent an email asking for help to Brenda Wiley (she provided the tofu directions as Bryanna Grogan’s site) and am waiting for a reply. Hopefully she can come up with an idea or may even figure it out and let me know how to do this.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Orzo and Mixed Summer Vegetable Sauce

Today started somewhat like yesterday. I was making the peanut milk to make the first attempt at peanut tofu and what should happen; my lid is stuck to the Magic Bullet container. It is currently in the freezer, to see if I can get the pressure inside reduced so that it will come off. However, last time this happened, it took a few days for me to get the lid off. Therefore, I now have a new Oster blender (that my fiancé was nice enough to buy for me) and the Magic Bullet will be retired. Tomorrow I should be able to make my first batch and I will have something to report tomorrow night. And I have found one way to reduce the nut pulp from this. The finer you grind the nuts, the less pulp you have in the end. But I am still going to be overrun by it.

Since I had to go to the store today and buy some more bread, I also picked up an eggplant to make the Mixed Summer Vegetable Sauce from The Mediterranean Vegan. Mine doesn’t look quite as nice as what Kmouse put up on PPK, the eggplant is cut a bit too big, but it was as good as it looked. I had it with some orzo that was sitting in the fridge as a leftover from another recipe.

I may have to take another look at this book. It may be more useful that I originally thought on first look. Even if I don’t use the recipes as written, I can take bits and pieces and use those as in other ways.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Puttanesca Scramble Variation and Salad

This has not been a good day. I went to grab my eggplant to make the Mixed Summer Vegetable Sauce from The Mediterranean Vegan and found that it had gone bad on me. Ok, I thought, plan B; I will make the Puttasesca Scramble with Bryanna Grogan’s Chickpea Chilla and a salad for dinner. So I start to make my salad, and in the process of getting the romaine head out of the bag, the other two fall out onto the floor. I have had to put way to much produce down the drain today. Not happy. I don’t like to waste food and we are too poor to really be able to do so. Like I said, not a good day.  At least the food was good.

I did take a few liberties in making the scramble. Since I had no fresh herbs, I had to use dried and all of the herbs, capers and tomatoes went in together after the garlic was finished. I also used jarred minced garlic, since I normally don’t keep whole garlic around and was unable to find any pre-sliced garlic in the store. After cooking the tomatoes and seasonings, I left about a quarter of it in the pan and then stirred in the cut up pieces of the Chickpea Chilla (which were made as normal, except for omitting the tomatoes). I then let it sit on the stove and let the omelette get hot and covered in the tomato scramble mixture. The idea worked much better than I expected.

The salad is just romaine, carrots, celery, and radishes with some Drew’s Raspberry Vinaigrette. It was just the right thing to cool my mouth off after eating a few bites of the scramble. And a cool side dish on a very hot night in Florida (we are still in summer down here).

Monday, October 12, 2009

Menu for the Week of Oct. 11

I think this will be the workaround (print screen, Microsoft Paint, save as jpeg file, upload) for putting my weekly menu online and not having to retype it. Actually I just wanted to show off my computer. As you can see above, I write my menu in OneNote. How do I do that you ask? Simple, I have a convertible laptop/slate that spends most of its time in slate mode. Much better to use when you have chronic tendonitis in my hands, as I do. Now I do type some things, such as this blog post, but my typing is limited. I hope to do more with dictation, but that is currently waiting for Windows 7.

I moved the Summer Vegetable Sauce and Vegan Mozzarella Cheese to this week, since I was unable to make them last week. I also have some scrambles I am making as well. The Chickpea Scramble is something I have wanted to try and I am taking a different take on Isa's Puttanesca Scramble from Vegan Lunch. I am making the Sweet Potato Hash from VwaV simply because it will work well with most of the main dishes for this week and the sweet potatoes in the market are decent again.

Friday, October 9, 2009

I Do Eat Sweets

If any of you have taken the time to look through some of my past posts, you would think that I live a fairly virtuous life, as far as food goes. One thing I don’t talk about a lot is sweets. And to tell you the truth, I don’t eat a lot of surgery things. Since I don’t really eat a lot, I try to no fill up on empty calories. However, I do like to have a treat every day and sometimes will make something special for a holiday. Today I want to tell you about two things I had over Labor Day weekend.

The first is this huge brownie I made and put some Coconut Bliss ice cream in between the layers. The recipe for the brownie is a clone of the No Pudge Brownie mix that I found up at Recipezaar and is vegan if you omit the egg whites. The mix even works with the single serving recipe for the No Pudge Brownie. Here I made a quadruple batch (but would have been just fine with a double or triple) and then split the brownie in half and filled it with Coconut Bliss ice cream. And I drizzled some chocolate syrup over it just to add more chocolate (I’m a chocoholic). These brownies are as dense and fudgy as the store bought mix and the ice cream was great as a filling. And just to let you know, my regular daily treat is a single brownie made with coconut milk yogurt, chocolate if I can find it.

The second is an interesting cake I found at Vegweb called a Cinnamon Roll Cake. I made this because I felt like cinnamon rolls, but don’t have the space to make them in my kitchen, so this seemed like an acceptable substitute. On top is a fudgy chocolate icing and some coconut. Just the way I used to enjoy cinnamon rolls as a kid. I altered the recipe a bit and put the cinnamon layer in the middle, since I wasn’t sure how it would work with a regular frosting, instead of a glaze. Also quite good and I really need to make this again. Maybe around Thanksgiving.

So as you can see, I do eat the sweet stuff occasionally. But like all things, I do try to keep it in moderation.

Just a reminder that I am not posting on the weekends and I will see you all back on Monday.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

What to do with Leftovers

This is something we all have to deal with as home cooks. Not only leftovers from meals, but for those of us that make our own soy or nut milks, those create their own leftovers as well.

Both lunch and dinner for me were leftovers today. Lunch was a plate of the Bok Choy rice from Vegan Express (with the cashews and oranges added now). For dinner I had more Curried Orzo Salad with Mock BBQ Pork and added some peanuts to the orzo dish, just to round out the meal.

Now that I am going to start making peanut tofu, I have just discovered that I have a new leftover problem, peanut pulp. If I was making regular tofu and had a lot of okara to use I could always do what SusanV suggests at Fat Free Vegan, make cookies. Or I could do what Bryanna Grogan does at Notes From the Vegan Feast Kitchen; make Okara Parmesan or Okara Miso Pate. But I’m not, so what can I do with peanut pulp?

I may do the same thing I did with the cashew pulp I had from recently making a few batches of cashew milk. I used the pulp to make Coconut & Cashew Bread Paste from Recipezaar. But when you have up to 3 cups of peanut pulp a week that may not be enough. I faintly remember reading on other blogs and possibly up at the PPK forums that people have used the pulp for cheese spreads and as binders in other dishes. But I’m not sure how to go about that. So you tell me, what are some of our favorite ways to use up the pulp left from making nut milks? And do you have any good recipes?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tofu Bacon

Yes, I know that title sounds strange coming from someone who doesn’t eat tofu. However that is what I had with my dinner tonight and also earlier this week. However, it was not made with regular tofu. I made it with a new product from Sunergia Soyfoods called Nufu Tofu or tofu made with peanuts. Unfortunately, I can only get the Herbed Hickory flavor here, so I decided to see how it would work as“bacon”. And I am happy to tell you that peanut tofu works quite well.

This is the plate of my tofu bacon I made on Sunday. The recipe I used is from AllRecipes. It is quite easy to make, but the marinade is more a paste than a liquid. However, it does give the tofu a definite bacon taste.

And what did I first do with the tofu bacon. Why I made TLT’s of course, using a wrap though because I was using grape tomatoes. It was good, but the next time I do this it might be easier to east if tofu bacon was cut up and mixed in with the lettuce and tomatoes.

And this was dinner tonight. I took the last of the tofu bacon and heated it up in the toaster oven. It was then put on top of the Simple Vegetable Orzo (this time seasoned only with olive oil and nooch). On the side is some steamed broccoli topped with vegan parmesan. Reheating the tofu bacon just made it better and it worked quite well with the orzo. This would make a great lunch at work as well. Can you reheat tofu bacon in a microwave?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Asian Inspired Dinner

Tonight’s dinner, if not truly Asian; definitely had all the flavors one would expect in an Asian meal. And that was with me forgetting part of the ingredients for one of the dishes.

The rice dish you see is the Bok Choy, Edamame (Green Beans), Cashew and Orange Rice from Vegan Express by Nava Atlas. This was the highlight of the meal even though I forgot to put in the orange (from a can, since I couldn’t find any Clementines at the store) and the cashews. With the oranges and cashews balancing out the teriyaki sauce and sesame oil, it would have been even better. However, it does have Bok Choy; so at least I got some leafy green vegetables with dinner.

Next to that is Mock BBQ Pork (page down till you see the recipes), which is a recipe for seitan I found over at the Vegetarian Resource Group. This is a bit different way of making gluten, because you start with plain gluten that you flavor after poaching the gluten log. After the marinating the gluten pieces, you then bake them and at that point they are ready to use. Like I said, a bit different. And I would not make these again, unless they were going into a stir fry. That seems to be the best way to eat them.

The last item I had for dinner is some broccoli. I had been planning on doing the Spicy Sesame Broccoli, also from Vegan Express, but I don’t have any more containers for the refrigerator. Since I need to use these up, I just decided to put some broccoli in the oven, to heat up with the Mock BBQ Pork and then topped them with some Gomasio, from the refrigerator. For those of you not familiar with Gomasio, it is a condiment from Japan usually used on rice in bento boxes and is salt covered sesame seeds. I used it to add some extra flavor and nutrition to the broccoli.

So that was dinner. One hit, one miss and on filler. All in all not bad

Monday, October 5, 2009

Menu for Week of October 4

As promised on Friday, here is what I plan on cooking for the week. Some of it is from the past week, that I have yet to finish; but mostly it is new dishes. I had hoped that I could just import this from OneNote and then paste it up on the blog, but Blogger doesn’t work that way; apparently. So I am going to have to type it in below.

Before I give you my weekly menu, however, I want to tell you how it comes about. Usually on Wednesday I start to search through both my paper cookbooks, ebook cookbooks and my electronic Living Cookbook for recipes to make for the next week. I am basically looking for recipes that will work well together and will last well throughout the week. Some weeks I also look for specific ingredients, such as eggplant or kale. I try to get a good mix of vegetables over the course of a month. If anything, my diet is deficit in green leafy vegetables, and I haven’t quite found the way to remedy that situation, since I don’t eat a lot of salads. I guess I need to find more recipes that use them as a component.

Rotelle with Mixed Summer Vegetable Sauce TMV pg. 119 (however, I forgot to get the pasta at the store, so will have to use some orzo I cooked up this past week, may not make till weekend, have no more containers for the refrigerator)

Get Your Groove on Veggie Burgers (in the freezer, from

Mock BBQ Pork (from

Bok Choy, Edamame, Cashew and Orange Rice Vegan Express (using green beans in place of the edamame)

Spicy Sesame Broccoli Vegan Express (not making this week, have no more containers for the refrigerator)

Simple Vegetable Orzo (leftover)

Curried Orzo Salad (leftover, from PDQ Vegetarian)
I also have a few other things that will round out what I eat for the week, such as walnuts, brownies, fruit, rice and some sauces.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Simple Vegetable Orzo

Simple Vegetable Orzo is something I made up this week to use a as side dish. Between the vegetables and orzo, I get to kill two notional birds with one dish, servings of veggies and carbs. And since I eat things multiple times in one week, tonight is the second night I had this. The recipe leaves the seasonings up to you; so I used olive oil, Mrs. Dash Italian Medley blend and a generous sprinkling of nooch (nutritional yeast).

Along with the orzo I had some Burmese Tofu, done in the smaller and quicker way that Vegetation came up with on her blog. Its round, because the best dish I had to mold this was a small ramekin. The chick-fu was just sliced and then baked in the toaster oven. Didn’t need to do anything fancy to it. I’m really just using here for my protein for dinner.

Earlier this week I had it as the side dish for my all time favorite veggie burger (at least for the moment). Here it is on the side (with the same seasonings as above) of a Get Your Groove on Veggie Burger. I like it because it is lentil based, and as I am anemic, I need all the lentils I can get. I also like that you can add whatever veggies you like to it, so I use this as an opportunity to put some more mushrooms in my diet. Mushrooms are not one of my favorite things, but I do realize that they are a needed vegetable that I had to figure out how to eat. Since they are also in the orzo, I get a nice serving of them here.

Thus ends the first two days of VegaMofo. I will only be blogging on weekdays, so no posts this weekend. Hopefully, that will allow you all to catch up on the huge public RSS listing of participating blogs. I don’t know about you, but I am a bit overwhelmed. Correct that, extremely overwhelmed. All those blogs are turning my mind to mush. But I have also found some that I may continue to follow after this is over. Look for next week’s menu on Monday.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Vegan Mofo Day 1

It’s that time of year again. Time for a month of showing how great and varied vegan food can be.

Last year I just missed this and only read the blogs. This year, will be my first to participate and I am looking forward to showing people that great vegan food doesn’t have to have tofu or tempeh in it. Since I am soy intolerant most of what you see will be either seitan based or bean/lentil based. But that doesn’t mean that I am greatly limited. Sure there are some things I really can’t do, like “vegan fish”, but there are other dishes I can make. I even managed to find a cookbook lately that only had grain and bean recipes in it. Some of those will appear this month and in the future here.

I also plan to do some experiments with my new great find, peanut tofu. I know, doesn’t sound quite right. However, there is a commercial version and I would really like to make it at home, since it would give me a lot more options in dishes. I am buying my first batch of raw peanuts tomorrow and will have a tofu kit in the next week. Hopefully I can make it work.
There will be some things with the Burmese Tofu as well. It is such a simple dish and great for a quick dinner, so I don’t want to forget about it either.

I want to warn you that I eat a lot of leftovers, since I more or less cook for myself. Over the years I have figured out how to re package them, so I hopefully won’t bore you too much with them.

On Mondays I am hoping that I can show you the food plan for the week. The way I do it is in OneNote. I look at what is left over from the week before and also what is in the freezer. From there I look through all my recipes and figure out what to eat for the next week.
The last week of this will probably be devoted to quick and easy dinners; since that is the week I start an income tax preparation course. The class starts at 6, which means I have to eat a bit earlier than normal. And if I have picked up a short contract assignment by then, it will mean a real quick dinner on the fly. However, the class is very near a Chipotles, so I might just go there one night for dinner; especially if I am working.

So hope you enjoy what you see. If you have not been here before feel free to look around. I have some tutorials on Burmese Tofu and a list of soy protein free products that are vegan (to bad it isn’t longer). If you know of any product I may have missed, let me know and I’ll add it to the list.

All for now. See you tomorrow.