Thursday, January 29, 2009
This may not look like it, but tonight’s dinner was a chick-fu scramble. More veggies than the chick-fu, but only because it was for dinner. In the morning, I just crumble the chick-fu into the non stick pan and cook it up alone. I sprinkle on some nutritional yeast and that is it. Of course, that won’t really do for dinner and I didn’t have a lot left, so veggie overload it was. As advertised on the PPK forums (long thread, please do read through) the chick-fu does get eggy tasting when cooked in a pan. I know that JohnP over at The I-40 Kitchen has done it in cubes, but Dearess over at Veg-am has just crumbled it and both seem to work fine. Still mastering the technique, since I never got to practice with the tofu before doing this. However, I will give you one piece of advice if you are planning on trying a scramble. If you recipe has any liquid in it, put it in last and consider skipping it totally if only added for flavor. The chick-fu has enough eggy taste by itself and unless is it cooked up fairly firm, the chick-fu may dissolve on you in the middle of making your scramble.
All for today and for the week. I again have a fridge full of food and won’t be making anything new till next week. One of those leftovers being the failed “meat” loaf, which I seemed to have turned into a nice spread accidentally. Not a hummus, but not sure what it is either. At least it is still edible. See you next week.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
However, tonight is not about the stir fry, but about the noodles. I do love soba noodles and contrary to how they are usually eaten, I like to eat mine warm in a stir fry or a lo mein. Cooking for myself, as I do most nights, however; I very seldom buy them because I don’t want to be stuck with a big bag of uncooked noodles or have leftovers. Also trying to portion them out is a pain as well. But I found this bag at one of my grocery stores that solves both problems. The bag has the noodles proportioned into single servings and it only has three servings in it. This is just perfect for someone like me. Once it is open, just stick it in the refrigerator for safe keeping until the next time. And no mess of trying to portion out the noodles and having all of them fall out of the bag and onto the floor. Now the next time I want to make some, just get the bag and pull out a bundled set of noodles. Easy as pie.
All for tonight. See you tomorrow.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
I am not sure, but my guess is that I pureed the eggplant, chickpea, walnut, capers and olive (didn’t have any sun-dried tomatoes) mixture instead of just processing it till chunky. That is what I get for using a hand blender instead of a food processor. And despite the appearance, it tasted quite good. However, the texture is closer to hummus than a meatloaf (maybe I made a new dish?). At least the corn and Harvard Beets were good. I wonder if this will be good cold. It might be my lunch tomorrow with the naan still in the refrigerator.
If after this, any of you think that this still sounds interesting, you can find the recipe here.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Under the naan (more in a minute about that) I have my take on the Somosa Stuffed Potatoes from VCON. Since I couldn’t plan ahead on this, the recipe had some heavy alterations. The biggest was that when it says to add the onions and carrots, I also added the potatoes (bought pre chopped), garlic, ginger, and the spices. If I could have planned ahead, the potatoes would have been pre-cooked and added as the recipe says. Once the potatoes were done, then I added green beans (in place of the peas) and once they were warm, the lemon juice. However, they did not go back into potato shells and into the oven. That part of the recipe really doesn’t work for me, since I would be the only eating them and have no freezer space. This way I can keep them in the refrigerator and just reheat as needed.
The naan was something I found that wasn’t vegan, but only had to replace the yoghurt to turn it into a vegan bread. And just to answer any questions anyone has had, the coconut milk yoghurt can be used just like regular yoghurt. That is what I used in these, and they have no carry over coconut flavor in the final product. They went together really easily also. However, instead of rolling the dough out and cutting it, I just cut the dough into four pieces and hand stretched them on the cutting board, with a bit of flour to stop them from sticking. Then each one just went into a hot fry pan and you see the final result. These just might become a staple for me, since I cannot buy vegan naan around here.
The cauliflower were easy. This is the second way that I will eat it willingly. In fact, I may like it curried more than with cheese. The cauliflower were just cut in to flowerets, steamed in the pan with some water. Once they were done, the water was drained and they were put on the plate for a bit. Some Smart Balance and curry were put in the pan, and once the curry powder was cooked enough to get rid of any grittiness, then the cauliflower were put back in the pan and stirred till evenly coated.
All in all this was a good dinner. The other dishes were a great complement to the Black Eyed Peas & Brown Lentil Pineapple Curry. I should have done this the first time around.
I will do the Mediterranean “Meat” Loaf tomorrow, after getting some chickpeas. You guys will love it. Think a “meatloaf” with eggplant, chickpeas and other seasonings.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Milk and Cream
All nut/seed/grain milks are soy protein free, may contain soy lechitan
MimicCreme: soy and gluten free, nut based, per site do plan on future international distribution
Rice Whip by Soyatoo: canned whipped vegan cream, now available at Cosmos Vegan Shop
Soy Delicious Coconut Milk Yoghurt: multiple flavors, can use to replace soy yoghurt in cooking
Smart Balance with flax seed oil: does contain soy oil and soy lecithin, does contain lactic acid (per query, sugar beet based)
Earth Balance Soy Free Margarine: see info here http://www.compassionatecooks.com/blog/2009/03/soy-free-earth-balance-has-arrived.html
soy free, dairy free, gluten free, vegan, see my review here
Panos Brands Vegan-rella: rice based, see review here
Galaxy Foods Vegan Rice Cheese: have purple on the label
Playfood: cashew based, plan an international distribution according to temporary website (website currently not operating, company may be out of business)
Road’s End Organics Chreese: soy and gluten free, sold as a dry mix, can buy in bulk
Daiya Vegan Cheese: not yet on the market, only available in select food service establishments, not yet available retail
Wayfare Food: cheese spreads, dips and sour cream made with an oatmeal base
Purely Decadent Coconut Milk Ice Cream
Coconut Bliss: see review here
Rice Dream Ice Cream
Amy's Organic Cakes: chocolate and orange (they both are vegan), review of chocolate cake,
Sunshine Burgers: sunflower seed based hamburger patties, see review here
Amy’s California Burgers: mushroom based, soy and gluten free
Bahama rice Burgers: rice and grain based
White Wave seitan: may contain soy sauce
Sunergia Soy-Free Nufu Tofu: made like tofu but with peanuts, comes as Herbed Hickory and Sesame Ginger, see what I done with it here
Chickpea Miso: can use just like a regular miso, soy free
Amy's Kitchen also allows you to search the products due to various diet restrictions
*edited 2/6/09 to add miso and coconut milk yoghurt
*edited 5/6/09 to add Daiya cheese
*added Rice Whip Cream
Thursday, January 22, 2009
I had not realized that it would be so cold, or I might have made other plans this week, but these “crab” cakes were a good reminder of summer produce. And they are really easy to make. The only annoying thing is the grating of the zucchini, one of the times I wish for a food processor. The last time I made these, I was still lacto-ovo and made them with egg white. This time two teaspoons of chickpea flour was used as an egg substitute and it worked just fine. Of course, how much one uses is dependent on how wet the zucchini are at that time. The comments on this recipe do suggest salting and draining them once they are grated, but I have always skipped that step. I don’t know if they taste like crab cake, since I never had one in the pregan days. However, these are rather nice and until I can figure out how to use the rice Burmese tofu as a “fish” they will most definitely do.
Speaking of the rice Burmese Tofu as a “fish”, my latest attempt was a disaster. I tried to season the rice-fu before it set up and used miso to add a salty flavor. For some reason the miso changed the texture and it never set once refrigerated. The next batch will be made with water that has been flavored with seaweed. Hopefully that will then go on to give the batch a “fish” like flavor and things like ginger, onion and garlic can be used in the breadcrumb coating. Unfortunately, all of my containers are in use at the moment, so this will have to wait for the weekend at the earliest. Since the fridge is now full, leftovers are on the menu for dinner the rest of the week, so tomorrow I will put up the list of soy protein free cheeses, milks and meats I have making. If you have any that need to be added, just put them in the comments and I will add them to the list.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I actually have had this for a few months, just haven’t got around to eating it yet. For those of us who can’t eat soy, gluten or nuts, this chreese mix is a godsend, since it contains none of these and is manufactured in a soy, gluten and nut free facility. And the best thing is that it tastes like cheese, or at least a very good approximation. It is also exceedingly easy to make and only takes about 15 minutes once, the water is boiling for the pasta (boxes with gluten free pasta are also available). Now mine looks green, since I added some broccoli and cauliflower to the pasta when cooking. I didn’t plan on them falling apart when mixing in the chreese sauce, but that didn’t seem to affect the flavor. And if someone wanted to sneak some cauliflower into a picky eater, this would be a good way to do so.
Road’s End also has gravy mixes, the chreese mixes by themselves (single packet and in bulk) and also nacho chreese in jars (ready for use, but dang expensive). I have yet to dislike anything from them that I have tried (so far two gravy mixes and the Shells & Chreese). I just wish the chreese mixes were available locally. But if I have to, at some point in the future I will order the chreese mixes in bulk.
Now if you would like to try this, but can’t find it locally or are spending to much money on it already, there is a cloned recipe for this over at Fat Free Vegan. Apparently Susan V’s daughter is quite addicted to this and she was tired of having to mail order it. I tried it in my pregan days (when looking at going vegetarian) and to my surprise, liked it. This was one of the things that convinced me that I could eat this way, even without soy.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Such as flatbread from Joni Newman over at Just the Food. Used a bit to much flour however and cooked on a bit to hot of a pan. Still not to bad for a first attempt. Am going to make them bigger in the next batch, since want them for pizza shells and sandwiches.
Also the cookies for the week. Found these over at 101 Cookbooks. Hopefully the TeddyBear will like them, since he will only eat oatmeal in disguised forms (he has a texture problem with cooked oatmeal).
And then the curry for dinner. Now there are a few shortcuts here, since I don’t have a pressure cooker. The lentils were done yesterday and kept in the refrigerator (due to the mishap of burning them), the black eyed peas are from a can (drained and rinsed), frozen and chopped onions (just hate chopping onions, so once I found these they are kept around) and peanut butter for the cashew butter. After all that, this is fairly good. However, two complaints. The first is that it doesn’t have enough pineapple and the second is that it doesn’t have enough vegetables. Of course as part of a balanced diet, it doesn’t hurt to only have beans and lentils for dinner, occasionally. But since I really like the sauce, this will get some changes the next time it appears. I am going to drop the black eyed peas (except when eating on New Year’s Day) and adding corn, green beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes and some cauliflower. That should make a very nice one pot meal.
Tomorrow is going to be comfort food, since the Tampa area is supposed to get a hard freeze overnight and be quite chilly the rest of the week.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Don’t know why the picture is so dark, didn’t use the flash and thought I had more light from overhead.
Friday, January 16, 2009
If any of you think that I live on quesadillas, let me tell you that at one point in my life, I nearly did. I used to live in Lawrence, KS (in my pregan days) but worked in the Kansas City area, so my daily commute was 30 minutes to an hour, depending on where my temp assignments took me. Since there were some nights that I just could not face cooking when I got home, quesadillas filled the gap. I came up with a filling of the pepper and onion stir fry mix with corn that I could make ahead and put in the refrigerator. It was nice to know that I could have a quick and healthy (and cheap) dinner when I got home and had it sometimes up to 3 times a week. Especially in the winter, when the commutes were not fun.
All for this week. Have a good weekend.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
This is a very simple meal, really easy to make, but tastes really good. It is another recipe I found up at vegancoach.com. However, I did use more seitan than the recipe calls for, since ½ cup didn’t seem like a lot. I also used my frozen bag of stir fry pepper mix, just to make the prep easier. The only part of this that was seasoned was my dinner portion, since the leftovers are definitely going into quesadillas and maybe even a pizza. And like I said at the beginning, it tastes really good. If I was working, this would easily be a go to week night dinner. And the leftovers would be great for lunch, since all they would need is a trip to the microwave. This does not make a lot, which is another plus; even though when you look at the recipe it may not seem that way. Once the peppers and onions cook down, it ends up being less than one would think.
All for today. Fridge is filled with leftovers right now, so no cooking anything new tomorrow. However, I will introduce you to my new favorite chocolate chip cookie.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Once the filling was made, the quesadillas came together really easily. Just spread the mashed, seasoned sweet potato filling in the tortilla and fold. Then all one needs to do is wait for it to brown on one side, and then flip over to brown on the other. I did skip using the margarine on the tortilla, since I found that my tortillas don’t stick and seem to brown without it. These are a bit spicy, but not heat spicy; just warm spicy. And a very nice, different way to eat sweet potatoes.
The green spot you see next the quesadillas, is spinach. I had a bag that was bought for another dish, and needed to use up before they went bad. Since spinach is not one of my favorite things, I decided to cook it in a dash of mirin, soy sauce and some hot pepper flakes. But I forgot how much spinach cooks down, so that is why it looks so small on the plate. I actually started out with about between ¼ to ½ cup of raw spinach. It was actually quite good, so will have to do this again.
See you tomorrow.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Dinner tonight was much better. It was a bit spicy, a bit sweet and a bit salty.
I found this over on Allrecipes.com and veganized it. Really very simple to do with this one; just use seitan, instead of chicken and replace the honey with agave nectar. And it also has my favorite vegetable and fruit in it as well, sweet potatoes and mango. I didn’t discover mangos till I came to Florida, but one bite and I was forever in love with them. Sweet potatoes I have always been in love with and could never get enough of them. However, I did not make it as spicy as it could be. Two tablespoons of the Tabasco Chipotle hot sauce was more than enough and I skipped the hot pepper flakes, they would have made it to hot for me. With the chipotle sauce, it was hot enough for my tastes. Oh, and I didn’t feel like cooking up any rice, so just had a warmed pita bread on the side.
Monday, January 12, 2009
So now I can say I tried it, but was underwhelmed. However, if you do not want to make your own faux cheese and don't mind the price, this may be an option for you. Oh well, win some, lose some. See you all tomorrow.
Friday, January 9, 2009
Now I have only had the chocolate so far, but it was wonderful. And as a plus, the coconut milk does not seem to really put a heavy underling coconut flavor; which was my problem with Purely Decadent Cookie Dough. Either that, or I am just getting used to the it and not registering the coconut flavor when eating the ice cream. Coconut Bliss also has different flavors than Purely Decadent. And the next one I have to try is the Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge. Will it taste like frozen Nutella? Hope so. And the one after that would be the Cappuccino. Coffee flavored ice cream, can’t wait.
And as another stamp of approval, even the TeddyBear likes it. Since he has refused, so far, to try any of the non-milk ice creams I have floated his way, this is amazing. He also said that the coconut taste was not to pronounced, so maybe I wasn’t imaging it wasn’t there when I was eating it. Now if I can only get him to drop his Haagen-Dazs addiction, which he shouldn’t have since he is partially milk intolerant any more. This just might retrain his taste buds.
So let me say it again, run to your nearest store and see if they carry this yet. If not bug them until they do. Unfortunately, they are not shipping this internationally, as of now. However, that could change in the future. Even MimicCream is making plans to ship overseas. Vegetation, you may get MimicCream before I do. Don’t you just love it, I can get coconut milk ice cream, but not a soy free cream substitute (unless I mail order) and may get it later than people overseas. The irony.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Tomorrow I am going to give you my review of Coconut Bliss ice cream, since dinner will be nothing new. And next week, I may have pizza since the only decent rice based vegan cheese (or so I understand) has finally made it to my neck of the woods. That would be VeganRella. I have checked, as much as I can; they have very little web presence; and it is not only soy free but also may be gluten free. The store I shop at this weekend had some the last time I was there and hopefully they still do, or I will be most unhappy because it will be at least a week until I can get some of it then. The other store around here that carries it is in Clearwater, but I am only close by when the oil gets changed in my car. And that will be one week from Saturday. So if no pizza next week, then pizza in two weeks.
See you tomorrow.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
These are called Seaside Cakes (at the bottom of the page) and are supposed to be a vegan replacement for fish patties. When I saw them, it occurred to me that it may work well with the rice version of the Burmese Tofu. They are somewhat different from most “fish” replacers you may see. The base of the patty is a roux thickened gravy, or I guess that is the best way to explain it. Making them went fairly well, or so I thought, until I tried to form them and put the breadcrumbs on them. That was when I realized how sticky the “batter” (for a better term) seemed to be. It also seemed to get softer the more I worked with it. However, once they were formed and breaded, the cakes did get stiff once put back in the refrigerator. And once they were in the pan, they seemed to fry up rather well; but still stayed soft and never really got very firm. I have some ideas about why these problems occurred: from the “base” not being thick enough to not having enough of the rice-fu in the “base” at the start. So this is worth some more work on it. Because it may work out in the long run.
The tarter sauce on top of the cakes is homemade, just to let you know. It is sweet pickle relish, a dash of lemon juice and this mayonnaise (suggestion, use a heaping ¼ cup of almond flour in place of the almonds to make it easier). And this dinner is only vegetarian tonight since I am using up some old breadcrumbs I had bought and didn’t realize they were not vegan. Why simple breadcrumbs in the store brand have egg and milk in them, I have no idea; but these do. Since I refused to potentially waste my panko breadcrumbs or any of our Ritz style crackers; these were used instead.
Tomorrow night the theme continues.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Dinner tonight again hits a round food, in this case Amaranth Potatoes Patties. For those of you not familiar with it, amaranth is an ancient grain; as is quinoa. However, amaranth is from central Mexico and associated mostly with the Aztecs. It was part of the yearly tribute that would have to be paid to the king and priests, along with corn. The Conquistadors banned it after the Spanish conquest, due to its association with Aztec festivals. It has recently made a comeback due to its high protein value, especially lysine. And some people see it as a crop of the future for developing countries, since it will grow under a multitude of conditions. Personally I prefer amaranth to quinoa, since I can’t get past the sprouted look of quinoa.
Unfortunately, the Amaranth Potatoes Patties were somewhat disappointing. They stick to the pan (and a nonstick pan at that) like you would not believe. On the second one I followed the advice from the recipe and coated it in chickpea flour (but any flour would work also) and it went slightly better. At least it would come out of the pan and had a nice crust on it. They taste rather bland even with all the nutritional yeast and the ½ tsp of onion powder and garlic powder I used in place of the other seasonings. Of course a bland side dish is not a bad thing when you have something that is high in flavor. Before these are made again, I think some flour needs to be added to the potato mixture to make it less sticky and more dough like.
The Sweet Potatoes Hash with Five Spice and Watercress (Vw/aV ) was much better. However, if you don’t like Asian flavors, this is not the dish for you. Five Spice powder is a mixture of different spices that when put together are the basic Asian flavors in a nutshell. The basic flavors are sweet, sour, salty, bitter and savory. It goes great with the sweet potatoes and also the spinach (since I couldn’t find any watercress). The chick-fu was a nice addition, since it toned down the spice just a bit so that I didn’t find it overwhelming. The leftovers are going to make for some great breakfasts.
That is all for today. Tomorrow is a big experiment, so if dinner tomorrow doesn’t have something round in it, you will know it crashed and burned.
Monday, January 5, 2009
Dinner was more of the stuffing pancakes (I know, I am getting somewhat tired of them also), but the one is the middle of the stack is an eggplant pancake. This is something I found over at Vegetation’s original blog vegetationramblings, but she got it from Susan V over at the Fat Free Vegan. While they both did them Florentine style, that was just a bit to much for me, so I had it plain. And while I am still somewhat ambivalent about eggplant, it was really quite good. The oregano really came through the other flavors and went very well with the herbs in the stuffing. Unfortunately, I don’t have any soy free ricotta or they just might be made into a single serving of a lasagna eggplant pancake stack. Something to try in the future.
On the side is just some steamed corn and steamed cauliflower with cheese sauce. Now the cheese sauce it interesting. Apparently if you mix the Gee Whiz 2:1 with “milk” (your favorite kind, just make sure it is unsweetened and plain) it makes a cheese sauce. This just might keep Gee Whiz errantly in my refrigerator since I hate broccoli and cauliflower and really can only eat them with a cheese sauce on them. If only I had some pasta shells around to make a single serving of “mac and cheese”. Oh well, next time.
Friday, January 2, 2009
Hope you all had a happy New Year’s Day. TeddyBear and I just basically did nothing on the 1st but watch some football or play on our computers. I had food for noshing, since neither of us wanted to make any formal meals. Unfortunately, neither he nor I felt very well on Tuesday or Wednesday, so we didn’t stay up and toast the new year. First time in a long while I haven’t done that. However, I did do the cherry juice and Asti Spumati for breakfast and it was really good. Nice to have something different. I also had the Coconut Pie Pancakes from La Dolce Vegan and if you are into coconut, you have to try them. For the day we had some bread and topping for bruschetta, crackers (Back to Nature Classic Rounds) and some Gee Whiz Spread, Oreos, and some strawberry ice cream for the TeddyBear. Neither one of us ate much, but we were really not hungry either. One day a year won’t kill us.
For dinner tonight I had something that was intended for New Year’s, but we never got around to them. “Rib” patties for Vegan McRibs. I must confess the McRib is one of my pregan weaknesses. I used to work at McDonald’s as well and can still tell you how they are made. For the patty I used this recipe from Celine at Have Cake, Will Travel; but instead of making them into “ribs”, they were made into long patties for a submarine bun. The BBQ sauce is a new recipe, it is from here (minus the hot sauce and liquid smoke). It has a really good flavor, is easy to make and also doesn’t make a lot; winner on all three accounts. For the sides there are steamed corn and Cheater Baked Beans from VCON. If you haven’t tried them yet, you really should. They taste as good as any baked beans one may buy in a can and at least you are sure they are vegan. Since I didn’t have a light molasses (blackstrap molasses is all I keep around), I mixed equal parts of blackstrap molasses and dark agave for the light molasses in the recipe. It seems to work just fine.
That is all for this week. See you on Monday.