Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tax Season is Finally Over

Yes, I know that tax season officially ended (in the US at least) on April 15th, but I have spent the last couple of weeks recuperating from it.  Sorry that I didn’t do any posts while running the tax office, but I did not realize how exhausting it would be, until I started the season.  Near the end, I didn’t even do a lot of cooking, simply because I didn’t know how busy the office might be and when or what I would be able to eat.  Most of my meals the last couple of weeks before the 15th were either sandwiches (made with Field Roast), and quick stir fry with frozen vegetables, Pop-tarts (the Brown Sugar Cinnamon without icing are vegan) and Larabars.  Not exactly healthy, but they kept me going.  And since the 15th, I really haven’t done a lot of cooking either.  It is so easy to just sit down and do nothing. 

I do plan on getting all the pictures up of what I did do, and will most likely do it in just one post.  It may be all pictures, but that may be the easiest way to do it. 

As for this week, I’ve done a few things.  The first is I made my absolutely favorite dessert out of Vcon again, the Banana Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding.  I made it with the SilkAlmond Original and used dark Agave in place of the maple syrup.  Since the almond milk is already sweetened, I only used 1/4 cup instead of the 1/2 cup called for in the recipe.  As you can see, it came out just right and isn’t to sweet.  If it hadn’t been sweet enough, that would have been easy to solve with some chocolate syrup drizzled over it. 

Banana Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding

This isn’t what I had planned on for dinner, but what I had planned on eating, seemed a bit to much for dinner tonight.  I’ll eat it tomorrow.  Since I still had two of the Home-style Vegan Meatloaf in the refrigerator, that seemed like an easy main dish and decided that a side dish of sautéed frozen spinach and corn would make a simple dinner.   All I had to do was finish the mini meatloaf in the toaster oven, since I only partially baked them when they were made last week.  While that was baking, I put the spinach and corn in the non stick skillet and cooked them till the spinach was done.  I added a bit of Mrs. Dash Italian Seasoning to the veggies and a ribbon of BBQ sauce to the mini meatloaf. 

Homestyle Vegan Meatloaf

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Joe’s Oat Patties: A Product Review

I started to see these little bags of oats and spices pop up on store shelves around here in the past few months. It turns out they are a new veggie burger that is sold in mix form called Joe's Oat Patties. They have a few flavors, including Taco, but the one I selected to try is the “Meatless Chicken”. Part of the reason I selected this is that their website has a recipe for “Chicken Salad” to use in sandwiches. Since I was still putting my food list together for starting back to work, I thought that if this worked, it might be nice to use as something to bring for lunch to work. And since it is soy free, that is a big bonus.

The mix is basically oat and quinoa based, with various spices and other ingredients, depending on what type of veggie burger it is supposed to make. The directions to make each mix are the same: for one bag of mix, combine it with one cup of hot water of broth, let sit for 10 minutes, stir well. Once the mix is cool, then shape and fry up. You can also scramble the mix, which means to cook it up and move it around until you get smaller pieces until they are done. I did two things with the mix. I used the single batch directions to make a single pattie, and then I scrambled the rest to turn it into a “Chicken Salad” sandwich spread.

Joe's Oat Patties

Here is the single pattie mix made as to mini chicken patties on some potato rolls (acting as buns). The sauce on the bun top is some Annie’s BBQ sauce. On the side is some steamed green beans and simple potato pancakes (leftover mashed potatoes and flour, and then pan fried). Amazingly enough, the patties do taste chicken-like. And you would never know that this is just grains and other ingredients mixed together and cooked up. I don’t know if you can get 6 patties from each batch, they would be quite thin.

Chicken Salad

The other thing I did with it is make a “Chicken Salad”. I was going to use the recipe on their website, but decided to just make a traditional recipe with mayo, mustard and pickle relish. I “scrambled” the rest of the mix by making the left over mix with ¾ cup of water and then putting spoonfuls of it into the pan. As they cooked up, I broke them into smaller pieces until it was all in fairly small pieces and cooked through. At that point I put it in the refrigerator until cool and mixed in the mayo, mustard and pickle relish. It may not look that great, but tastes quite good. I took the last of it in my lunch on Monday, and it was a nice way to start the week.

So there you are. Quite an interesting new product and the best thing is that it is made here, near Orlando. I don’t know if this will ever go national or overseas, but this is one of those things that is worth a try if you see it on the shelves in your area.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Field Roast Meatloaf

Hope you all had a happy New Year. Teddybear and I did absolutely nothing this year. We didn’t even stay up till midnight or drink any Asti. Maybe I’m getting old?

I also haven’t been cooking a lot. I was sick the week before Christmas and then spent the week before New Year’s planning for when I went back to work in January. I also spent the last two weeks of last year worrying about my new job. Being a new tax preparer is bad enough, but running an office just adds to it. So far it has gone fairly well, but the rush starts next week, so we will see how things are then.

Field Roast Meatloaf

The Field Roast Meatloaf was something I picked up, thinking it would make a nice, quick dinner. Little did I know at the time, it would be a perfect comfort dinner for a cold week in Florida. And if you like the sausages or the Celebration Roast from them, you will love the meatloaf. If you fed it to an omni, they may not believe it is vegan. The directions suggest that you coat it with something when heating it, so I made a sauce of equal parts of some Annies Original BBQ sauce and some leftover cranberry sauce from Christmas. It added a nice touch of a little sweetness and a little spice.

On the side are some corn and an interesting little side dish called Korean Style Romaine, part of my plan to get more greens in the diet. It is basically sliced romaine lettuce that is seasoned with a hot dressing of sesame oil, garlic, ginger, soy sauce and hot pepper flakes. You pour the hot dressing over the lettuce and let it sit for 30 minutes, and then it is ready to eat. It is a bit spicy, but it could easily be made without the pepper flakes; if you want it milder. It is also a different way to eat your lettuce.

I also have some other things to show you this week, including an interesting new product that is made in Florida. So see you all later.