Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Turkey Day, Indeed!

Say hello to Juniper!Inspired by Candi on this eve of giving thanks, I've decided to commemorate each Thanksgiving from now on by Adopting A Turkey from Farm Sanctuary.

I had no sooner read her blog and posted that I think it would be amazing if everyone who did not eat turkey on this day each year took it a step further and supported the care of a deserving bird, when I clicked over to the turkeys to sponsor and Juniper here gazed right into my very core.

I knew it was meant to be when I went back and actually read the quote under Juniper's adorable picture, "Start an evergreen tradition by adopting a turkey instead of eating one.” How cool is that?! My sentiments exactly!

I haven't eaten meat in over ten years, but donating to Farm Sanctuary and helping them to give the animals there the best life possible gives that decision renewed meaning for me. So, thanks Candi, for being such an inspiration...thanks to FS, for all they do to actively make the world a better, more compassionate place....and thanks to Juniper, for giving me that look and clinching the deal.

Happiest Holiday, everyone! I'll be back soon to share in the goods I bring to the family table this year.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

MillenniYUM, his and hers

For my birthday last year, the Cap'n surprised me with The Artful Vegan after our trip to San Fran. While an amazing and inspiring cookbook, it's chock full of ingredients I've either never heard of or can't get my hands on, and many of the recipes are pretty involved. I did make Seitan Skewers that were divine so I know it's worth the's just not getting much use just yet in our kitchen.

He also ordered their first cookbook, The Millennium Cookbook, but it took until just last month for it to get to me! It has a bit more of their 'basics' in it and I can see me relying on this cookbook a whole lot more than the other. Knowing I wanted tempeh, I just had to try their tempeh marinade. Knowing, also, that the Cap'n loathes all things tempeh, I decided to improvise. The marinade calls basically for two packs of tempeh. Having only one anyway, I made the whole marinade but dumped in a half bag of soy curls to fill up the rest of my baking dish before putting it in the oven. The recipe calls for cooking the soy in their marinade in the oven for an hour and a half. This was more than ample time to clean up the kitchen, chop some spinach and garlic, whip up some rice, and convince my pregnant self that all the alcohol would cook out in both the marinade (it calls for nonalcoholic red wine but i opted for cooking wine, as that's what we had) AND the marsala sauce I so love and haven't had in ages. I boiled the heck out of it so I'm sure it was okay to consume, right? ;)

The verdict? BEST DAMN MARINADE EVER. Seriously, I opted to thin out the tempeh by slicing it in half to make it two long thin versions of the original block then cutting it in thirds. All the bitterness of typical, store bought tempeh? Gone! (even the Cap'n tasted it and admitted it was the best flavor he'd ever experienced from tempeh!) And the soy curls? Oh. My. Dog. Fantastic. I took them out of the marinade, coated them in cornstarch, and browned in grapeseed oil before topping with the marsala. I should admit that not all of them even made it to his plate as I snatched up a ton and ate them right out of the pan, sans marsala. Soooooo good!

The tempeh, I did the same but with flour rather than cornstarch. I cannot wait to try some of their other ideas. This cookbook was definitely worth the wait, even for this one amazing recipe, and I'm sure it won't be the last I dive into anytime soon.
Don't let my five month wait put you off ordering it, tho. I just ordered it for my sister and have already received confirmation that it's on it's way!

And yes, this meal was so tasty, so delicious that each of our plates deserved more than just one pic a piece! Best add the Millennium Cookbook to your Giftmas Wish List!!!! ;)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Po' Boy Goodness

This was the first recipe I intended to try once I got Veganomicon, but it's taken me til now to get to it.Chile Cornmeal Crusted Tofu Po' Boys....or at least a Po' Boy much inspired by the original recipe. The tofu is made as is called for in V'con, but all my cabbage had since been eaten (mmmmm, coleslaw!) or gone bad since buying it for this recipe, leaving me with an improvised shredded carrot and spinach slaw, all on a store bought vegan hogie bun.

I so meant to heed Isa's cry for pickles on this one but totally forgot about them til I was halfway through my sammich. Ah, well....tomorrow then! The leftovers are plenty and that will make a superb lunch tomorrow!

This is reeeeeeally good, but I think letting the tofu get to warm and not eating super hot makes the flavor stand out much more than it would if you devoured one pipin hot right outta the pan. just sayin. ;)

Friday, November 09, 2007

Perfect Pumpkin Pregnancy Cookies!

Or, as Isa likes to call them in VWaV, Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies.I'd bought some pumpkin a while back, knowing I wanted to make something but not sure, exactly, what that something would be. A recent discussion with my aunt about where my iron comes from spurred these delicious, chewy cookies.

In consulting Becoming Vegan, I refreshed my memory as to what the best sources of iron are for a vegan. This recipe is loaded with just such sources:

walnuts, 100g = 2.4 mg iron (also high in omega-3's and protein)
blackstrap molasses, 1 Tblsp = 3.6 mg iron (an iron powerhouse!)
raisins, 1/4 cup = .9-1.1 mg iron
oats, 1/2 cup = .8mg iron
even pumpkin has more than most meat sources! 1 cup cooked = 1.4 mg iron
(granted, the myth that meat is the best source for iron is surely not lost on anyone reading this, but i was a little shocked to find that only liver and organ meat (ew!) contain substantially more iron than non-meat sources. things like milk, cheese, chicken, and salmon each contain less than 1mg of iron per serving!)

So there ya have it! Want to put a little more iron in your diet? Make these amazingly good cookies and be sure to eat more than one! Yeah, that shouldn't be a problem ;)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Spicy but not Tempeh from Veganomicon

Oh wow, if you haven't made this one already, what are you waiting for?!?!
We don't have access to fresh tempeh where we live and the Cap'n is adverse to putting anything remotely resembling packaged tempeh near his mouth so I opted to make this mouth-watering dish with these,trusty Soy Curls! (kinda gross, how like chicken they look, no?) Good thing they taste amazing (and have a great texture) when cooked in a great sauce and this is a fantastic one indeed!

I followed the directions exactly, but did to rehydrated Soy Curls what was called for for tempeh. Oh, and I did back of the red pepper flakes, only adding a teaspoon rather than one and a half because the Cap'n always calls me out for making things too spicy....and...I did sprinkle the top liberally with Nutritional Yeast as I do all pasta dishes, but I didn't mix it in as I like to have it full flavor in a bite here and there but not necessarily flavor the dish throughout. We devoured this and I'm already salivating thinking of my lunch today....leftovers! YUM!

This one is truly a winner and I cannot wait to make it for fellow vegans and omni's alike. The flavor is unmatched, and it's really easy to make. Food aversions be damned, this one will certainly be made again and again!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Next Up, White Bean & Leek Cassoulet!

My second Vegonomicon venture and TOTAL success...Living in FL, I'm used to hearing about everyone else's fall days inspiring cool weather fare full of autumn vegetable and warm tasty goodness far before I join in the fun. Typically? I actually savor every last hot day we have....but ever since my copy of Veganomicon arrived and I littered it with bookmarks of recipes I'm just dying to try I've been hoping for even a hint of fall to make this dish.

Today I got it. It was sunny and beautiful AND cooler than it's been all year. Sitting out on our porch reading and taking in the breeze got my butt in the kitchen to throw this one together. It's super easy, the biscuits are light and soft and the stew totally satifying, and it's simple enough to let the true flavors of its ingredients shine.
From all the Mmmmmm's heard from both myself and the Captain while enjoying this dish, I'd say Veganomicon must be chock FULL of home runs!

As you can see, my copy of V'con is already warped on a few pages. Good thing this one's hard copy of VWaV is so battered and splattered it's a true testament to just how much vegan yummy is found within it's pages.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Chickpea Cutlets

I had no sooner posted last night about not really having much desire to cook when I was struck with a need to crack open my Veganomicon and whip up a comfort food meal to end all comfort food meals. The Chickpea Cutlets come together in a flash (we opted to bake them, and they were know what that means....they'll be even more sensational when fried! ;) I mashed some yukon potatoes, roasted some brussel sprouts with tons of garlic, and threw together my go-to gravy (flour, nutr. yeast, olive oil, soy milk, tamari, gravy masters, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. amazing every time!), and served it all with a potato roll, 'cause comfort food is only made better when you throw in extra carbs.

oh, if only blogger had smell-o-vision!
Mmmmmmm.... let's hope that between Veganomicon, ED&BV, and the two new cookbooks I currently pre-ordered (Vegan YumYum and Yellow Rose Recipes from Herbivore), I'll be blogging more regularly again in no time!

the White Bean and Leek Cassoulet is already calling my name!