Now, where were we?......
VWaV's Edamame Samosas, complete with coconut mint chutney (wow, i could pour this stuff on just about anything and love it. sooo yummy!) with a side of Isa's coconut rice (thanks to my handy new pressure cooker....got a great deal from smartbargains.com on one that they were selling out of) and some steamed spinach with garlic.
this was an incredible meal. felt like we were dining out, you know, 'cept for the crazy messy kitchen we faced after our dinner. hehe. i will totally make this again, can't wait to make it for guests, and LOVE that the samosas freeze so well and the chutney comes together in no time and is truly delectable.
Even our little kitty Coda was keen on these little pockets of yum...as we soon found upon tackling the aforementioned messy kitchen. She nibbled a few of the samosas still cooling on the counter. too funny! our cats always seem to make the best testers!
I really can't say enough how much I'm loving Vegan Planet's Tuna Free Salad. I call it TuNot. I've made it both just as the recipe states and with celery salt instead of celery when we were out, and both times it's just perfect! I've enjoyed it on crackers, pita, as a sandwich, but my favorite is like so, in a garlic/herb wrap with avacado, carrot, and some fresh ground black pepper. This stuff is so simple and really nice for a quick lunch or snack.
On a night I particularly didn't feel like cooking much, I fished a box from Pacific Natural Foods, their Organic Butternut Squash Soup, out of the pantry, sauteed some garlic, olive oil and a huge bunch of beautiful organic kale, and viola! easy satisfying dinner was served. I think there was some bread warmed out of the freezer as well. I do admit, the sweetness of the soup made the kale seem more bitter than I typically find it. This must be why I normally saute spinach in it's place. Still good this way, tho.
The next morning, a repeat, but one of my most favorite breakfasts (and i love that it will last me a couple of days), my take on VwaV's Sundried Tomato and Zucchini Frittata (Isa uses asparagus, but I just love it with zuke). This stuff is a cinch to throw together and has the flavor of a veggie lasagna. The fresh basil makes it wonderful. I often make up some roasted potatoes with this but just toasted some homemade bread instead this week.
Speaking of homemade bread....the Cap'n got me a nifty breadmaker for xmas. Even tho I've recently just found I have a deep love for the art of kneading your own dough, of immersing myself in flour and creating wonderful baked breads from simple vegan recipes, I was excited and figured this new appliance would just make more recipes available to me. It appears I'm still working out the kinks of my particular machine. I followed the manufacturer's directions and the recipes directions perfectly and still I came out with two lumps of dense, hard, though totally delicious whole wheat oatmeal bread.While it's obviously not the sliceable sandwich loaf I'd been hoping for, it spurred the idea for dinner with which it paired marvelously....
Bean and Barley Stew with Bread and a crisp salad with homemade ginger dressing (dressing recipe at bottom of post). For the stew, I took a recipe off the package of barley (which now I can't seem to find anywhere) and added one can of great northern beans, one can of Cannellini beans, and an extra can of tomatoes. This made soo much stew that I brought it with me out of town for a meal and froze the rest for a later date. I love how the barley stays firm and pops in your mouth while the beans lend it a creaminess. The rest of the ingredients were just onion, celery, carrot, herbs, and veggie stock. very basic but extremely tasty and filling.oh yeah, i guess we did decide to roast some brussel sprouts to lay in the middle. shocking, i know ;)
Here's my plate at a recent family birthday dinner. They had ribs on the menu and know that I always come prepared with my carry along cooler of vegan goodies, but they were so accomodating to me so that I could have similar fare. They saved some of the potatoes from the potato salad and I mixed mine with Vegannaise, roasted brussel sprouts, salt, pepper, and a tad bit of pickle relish. They saved me some plain slaw which I threw together and, while not your typical slaw recipe turned out pretty interesting! I mixed in mine a bit of Vegannaise, tamari, fresh ginger, garlic, salt, pepper, and some fresh squeezed orange juice in lieu of lemon as we had oranges for our Blue Moon beers. This was good if not great and I'd make it this way again maybe without the tamari as it's a bit overwhelming flavorwise. The beans were totally veg as were the greens, wich were collard and sooooo very good. See? ya don't need a ham hock to make good greens! You also see a bit of my bread fiasco slathered, a bit too enthusiastically, with EB. Hey! I knew I wouldn't be indulging in cake, after all! ;)
But what did I do for a bit of protein? We had nuts to snack on before our meal, lots of raw veggies, and I whipped up this for the fam, as it's quickly become a favorite among all who try it, Native Foods' Tempeh Pate. This stuff is addictive! We eat it happily with Wasa Crackers.my salsa also made an appearance as I'd gifted them some recently. This little pepper dish kept needing refilling. yum!
all that great food and a nice fire.....sigh. Back at home I was having a craving for something old and something new. The old? A favorite at our house, Mac Uncheese 'N Peas! the new? Dreena's Artichoke Spinach stuffed Portabellos from TEV. Oh.....wow....are....these....good. I ate two. burp. 'scuse me!
for the Mac Uncheese, I have yet to find one I like better than the one from The Nutritional Yeast Cookbook. I just add about a cup of frozen organic peas before baking, used the remainder of my ww oat bread for bread crumbs (this was outstanding. such a great mishap was never before had in my kitchen!). The Cap'n couldn't stop commenting on how perfectly the crumb topping compliemnted his already much beloved macaroni dish.
I am just floored by how simple, healthy, and out of this world tasty the stuffed shrooms are. how did i miss this recipe? my mouth is watering right now at the thought of doing them again soon! I urge those of you who've yet to try this one to do so imMEDiately!
While out of town visiting the Cap'n's fam, I came across these, the only fake meat product I'm totally smitten with...They don't sell them near where I live anymore so I snatched some up to bring home knowing just what I wanted to do with them....Fajita Chik'n Tacos!!!
I just saute them in a skillet with fajita seasoning then stuff them into hot corn taco shells with tomato, lettuce, avacado, Tofutti BTSC, and fresh homemade salsa. My favorite kinda dinner. Quick, easy, and always fantastically tasty.
And when I run out of taco shells the next day but have corn chips and all the makings leftover? Taco Salad! Yum!
Next, we have the Mac Uncheese leftovers with the addition of this product, Sheese, of Scotland, and a side of steamed spinach with garlic...
I gotta tell ya...for all the hype and great reviews of this product on Vegan Essentials, where I bought it? I dont see how it tastes any different from Vegan Rella. It tastes like a smoky blue cheese and is supposed to be cheddar. It's entirely too overwhelming for me, doesn't melt at all, and is $10 for one round of it! The Cap'n loved it, tho so it's not a total wash, but I won't be purchasing this one again. I think I just need to give up on fake cheeses. I don't think any of them are all that good or even necessary. I just can never help but try a new one...just to see. ;)
wow. I think I'll stop now and leave the last couple items, including the most AMAZING breakfasts as of late, for my next post. sorry that was so incredibly long!
That Ginger Dressing
(I think this is a copy cat recipe for a chain Japanese restaurant. not sure where I got it but I've been using it for years as my go to ginger dressing recipe when I'm wanting to make my own)blend together in blender or food processor until smooth:
1/4 c. chopped onion
1/4 c. peanut oil
2 T rice wine vinegar
1 T water
1 T grated fresh ginger
1 T minced celery
1 T tamari or soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt