Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Say Hello To My new Little Friends....

I've always been a huge fan of Silk's Plain Lite Soy Milk. It was the only choice for me...until now.
I came across Silk's newest variety, Silk Plus, at my last trip to the grocery store. This Silk Plus is fortified with Omega 3's and DHA, and the taste is great!

In this same trip I found myself searching for my vegan margarine staple, Earth Balance, and stumbled upon this, insteadAfter a quick comparison of the two, I opted to try this version as it's lower in sodium and in fat. The true test will come, I'm sure, when it's time to bake up a vegan confection. Stay tuned for that!

Next onto an experiment that was NOT my friend...cornmeal coated chicken style seitan, baked not fried.

I know that you can bake the seitan instead of frying it with great results, but I DO NOT recommend doing such after coating it with white cornmeal. The cornmeal just stayed powdery and never fully browned, even though I lightly sprayed it with oil before putting it in the oven.
Live and learn! The sides were fab, though...mashed sweet potato and spinach with wild rice. yum!

For a lazy dinner, I defrosted some of the Bean 'n Barley stew I made a while back. This stuff is reeeeally great. Served with a bunch of sauteed spinach with garlic and the last of my whole wheat biscuits.
I've finally found the package of barley that I adopted this recipe from and will post it below. I really love the flavor of this stew and how the barley just pops when you bite into it. Amazing all over again out of the freezer, too!

With the biscuits all gone it was time for another baked item in the house. This time? La Dolce Vegan's Kissin Cousins Oat Bread.
Think corn bread without the corn but with oats instead. It's a bit crumbly but not terribly so, a little sweet and all kindsa good. I made it with the intention of using it as sandwich bread but have been enjoying a thick slice lightly toasted with a bit of Smart Balance instead.

Craving Mac UnCheese, I thought I'd venture away from our usual variety (from the Nutritional Yeast Cookbook) and test one out that uses tofu in the sauce and doesn't rely on flour, either. This one was from Veg Web
The claim was that this was the Best Mac and Cheese in the Entire World....Seriously, and many reviews said the same. The verdict? blech! we didn't like it. The tamari was too overwhelming and it just didn't measure up to our favorite. I like the idea of adding protein by way of tofu in the sauce, but the flavor was all wrong for our palates.

even a side of our favorite broccoli didn't make it easier to get down.
the worst part? it makes a TON!

We decided a yummy dessert treat was in order that evening.
This was just a simple dish of sliced bananas and fresh strawberries (the berries had been macerating in the fridge with a little sugar during dinner. yum!) topped with a sauce made from Toffuti Better Than Cream Cheese and some Florida Crystals and some shaved 85% cocao dark chocolate.

Adopted from Bob's Red Mill's Hearty Hull-less Barley Soup

Bean 'n Barley Stew

3 T vegan margarine
1 large onion, diced
3-4 Carrots, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
1 tsp salt
1 T dried Basil
1 T dried Oregano
1/2 - 3/4 c. dried Parsley flakes
6 1/2 c. hot water or veg. stock (I like to use Vegan Planet's basic veg. stock recipe)
2 c. hull-less barley
3 cans crushed tomatoes
2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed (I used one Great Northern and one Cannellini, as that's what I had)

makes a ton and freezes really well! i belived i even halved the recipe and still had a bunch to freeze.

Brown the onion in margarine (this reduces the acid of the onion). Add carrots, celery, salt and cook for a few minutes. Add water or stock, herbs, and barley. Bring to a boil and cover. Lower temperature and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Mix in tomatoes and beans and cook for an additional 30 minutes, making sure to not run out of water/ stock and add as needed, if needed.

enjoy!

8 comments:

scottishvegan said...

I love that soy milk! It used to be called Silk Enhanced and I panicked when I thought they had stopped making it, but was hugely relieved when I realised it’s just repackaged and renamed as Silk Plus…phew!! I love the fact that if I have some soy milk every day I don’t need to worry so much about my Omega 3’s!
I have some seitan simmering as I read this and am deciding what to make with it…I guess it won’t be baked and cornmeal coated :)
Sorry, your macaroni cheese wasn’t so good… but your stew sounds gorgeous and that bread looks so delicious.

Candi said...

I love that SoyMilk too! We always have some on hand. :P

Thanks for the Smart Balance review! I always get Earth Balance, but if this one is slightly better, then I may try it too!!

Aww, too bad about the corn meal on the setian. I was SO eyeing those side dishes though!!!! Yum!

I had to laugh at the mac and cheeze. I did the same thing the first time I tried to make it. It was toooo tamari tasting, and it made TONS. I was going to give it to our dogs, but I felt bad for the dogs, so I threw it all out. What a huge waste! Is the other one you mentioned a good recipe? I need a really good one since I am afraid of having another mac-disaster again!

The dessert looks so good!!

Veg-a-Nut said...

Your barley stew looks delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I have been wanting barley and hadn't decided on how to make it. Now I know. Bummer about your mac and uncheese. Our family loves Susan's version Baked Macaroni and Cheese. It is very low in fat. We have been in the same boat with a disaster that made a ton. I have started cutting all recipes in half when I am not real sure about the outcome.

Oh, I am very excited about the Silk. That is all we drink. Thanks for the tip.

Linda said...

you always have such impressive spreads! i cant wait to try this barley recipe. your bread and barley look amazing!

laura jesser said...

Too bad about the mac 'n cheese... but the bean & barley stew looks right up my alley and I'll be happy to try it! I wondered when Smart Balance would finally decide to have a vegan formula... Let us know how you like it.

Douglas said...

Hi,

I have read your blog many times before and am a big fan. I haven't posted though until now. I dont know how into animal rights you are but Silk is owned by Dean Foods. Dean Foods is the biggest dairy products manufacturer in the united states. They are responsible for more cruelty to animals than any other dairy "company" in the world. Google Dean foods.....

I used to love Silk too :)

Douglas said...

Hi,

I have read your blog many times before and am a big fan. I haven't posted though until now. I dont know how into animal rights you are but Silk is owned by Dean Foods. Dean Foods is the biggest dairy products manufacturer in the united states. They are responsible for more cruelty to animals than any other dairy "company" in the world. Google Dean foods.....

I used to love Silk too :)

Freedom said...

That's so cool you found two new products to try in one shopping trip! And all your photos are great. I really want to comment on your last post - I am 100% behind you on that one. Choosing not to compromise our beliefs does not make vegans difficult, it makes us respectable and true to ourselves. We need to make omnivores realise that we are entitled to make choices just like they are. If someone is allergic to peanuts you aren't going to expect them to eat a dish with just a little bit of peanut sauce in it to avoid being 'difficult' - in the same way, you should not expect a vegan to eat something containing dairy etc. I'm very interested to hear your e-mail response!