Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

Well, Thanksgiving 2009 has come and gone. I hope yours went well and you were able to gather with family and friends. My fiancé and I had a simple dinner, but that is all you need when it is only the two of you.

Thanksgiving 2009 Plate 1

This is the first plate I had yesterday. On it is Celebration Roast with Vegan Brown Gravy (from Lindsay at Happy Herbivore), candied sweet potatoes, potato roll (from Wal-Mart), and some steamed corn. If you have not yet made Lindsey’s gravy, please give it a try. It has very few ingredients and comes together quite quickly and is also quite flavorful. The candied sweet potatoes were simply a roasted sweet potato, candied with some brown sugar and water then drizzled with some marshmallow ice cream topping. Perfect for a serving of one, since they were only for my (my other half won’t eat sweet potatoes).

Thanksgiving 2009 Plate 2

On my second plate, I had another potato roll, mashed potatoes and more of the brown gravy as well as finishing up the last of the Cranberry Waldorf Salad in the refrigerator. After all that, I was way to full for desert; but since I have been eating Lindsay’s Pumpkin Brownies all week don’t feel sorry for me since I have not been deprived of having pumpkin.

Hope you all have a good weekend.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Chickpea Scramble, Take Two

I hope all of you in the US are enjoying this Thanksgiving eve. Hopefully, your weather is better than ours in Florida is at the moment. Fall has definitely arrived here, but that has brought us rain off and on all day today. It may clear up tomorrow, but we have a front in the area, so who knows. It has cooled down, no more highs in the 80s, but the humidity is still here. Once that goes away, the weather will be great. But I really shouldn’t complain about the rain. We need a winter with high rainfall and a normal rainy season next year to have our drought declared over.

I am not doing a lot of cooking for Thanksgiving, don’t really need to with just the two of us. I will be heating up the Celebration Roast and potato rolls (from Wal-Mart) tomorrow, make the mashed potatoes and gravy, roast a sweet potato for me and steam some corn. Neither one of us is into really big meals, so that will be enough. And I will most likely have some Celebration Roast leftover to make some sandwiches on Friday and even possibly into Saturday. This is fine; since I will be the only one eating any leftovers (my other half doesn’t like to eat them).

Asian Chickpea Scramble

However, I have done some cooking. In fact, I made the Chickpea Scramble again, but this time tried to give it more of an Asian flavor. I added baby bok choy and cooked the bok choy and red bell pepper in vegan oyster sauce before adding the chickpeas, rice, corn, green beans and shredded carrots. It worked out really well; the vegan oyster sauce definably changed the flavor profile of the dish. The next time I do this Asian variation however, I am going to use more Asian vegetables, such as baby corn and water chestnuts. In fact, I am also looking at doing a Mediterranean variation and a Latin America variation (with black beans) as well. This recipe just has so many possibilities.

All for today, and I will come back on Friday to show you my Thanksgiving dinner.

Happy Thanksgiving

Monday, November 16, 2009

Things I Have been Cooking Lately

Sorry to be away for so long. Due to my tax class, I really did not cook at all the first week of the month. But that is now completed (I passed) and may result in some work starting in January, but I won’t know about that till December. And I have been cooking a lot, since my refrigerator totally ran out of food.

Curried Udon Noodle Stir Fry

The first thing I made was on November 6, the only day that week with no class. I decided to make the Curried Udon Noodle Stir Fry from VCON, which had been on my list for the past few weeks. It turned out fairly good, but I did make a few errors. The first was making the roux for the gravy; I don’t think I did it correctly. Either that or it is supposed to be much thicker than I realized. The second error was in trying to warm up my precooked udon noodles in a colander under hot tap water, when I should have used a pan with hot water instead. As you can see, they all broke apart. I will just have to try again, because even with all those errors, it was quite good. But a visit to Just Hungry may be in order to learn more about Japanese curries.

Seitan and Polenta Skillet with Fresh Greens

The next time I was able to get some cooking done was after the class was over, last Wednesday. I made the Seitan & Polenta with Fresh Greens from Vegan Express again. This time I got the bok choy, but decided to use Vegetation’s variation of seitan sausage. The sausage I used was the Field Roast Italian Sausage. They had been sitting in the freezer just waiting for it to cool down a bit (and it has finally) so that I could make this again. I think that Vegetation may have been onto something, because using sausage just seems to make this recipe better. If you know of someone who thinks that vegan food is bland, feed them this and they will change their minds.

The last three things were part of lunch today, but I made them last week. Just did not get any pictures till today.

Black Bean and Potato Patties

First, my lunch today was one of the Black Bean and Potato Patty from 366 Ways to Cook Beans, Rice and Grains; my latest cookbook purchase. It is not a vegan or vegetarian cookbook, but all the recipes are by default vegetarian and most can be veganized quite easily. In this case, I substituted chickpea flour for the eggs and used panko breadcrumbs. Put some salsa on top and these are quite good, they would be good plain as well.

On the side is Cranberry Waldorf Salad. It has all the standard items in a regular Waldorf Salad; apples, celery and walnuts and adds crushed cranberries to the mix as well. If you are still looking for some salads for your Thanksgiving dinner, this would be a good one to think about, since it lets you put cranberries on the table in a way more people may find to their liking.

Chocolate Chip Scones

The last item is my desert for today; the scones from VwaV, done as the chocolate chip variation. I had to use my only and last container of MimicCreme to make them, but it was worth it. They definitely are a different texture when using crème instead of all milk. Unfortunately, since I can no longer get MimicCreme that will mean that I have to make my own with cashews or use the So Delicious Coconut Milk Cremer when making these.