Friday, February 22, 2008

YRR Spice Cake

Oh, how I hate posting delicious new recipes without pretty pictures!

Tonight I wanted something sweet, but was too tired to put forth too much effort and wanted it to be simple from ingredients I knew I had on hand.

Enter Joanna's amazing Spice Cake from Yellow Rose Recipes (with cream cheeze frosting, of course). It whips up super fast, cooks up in a flash (tho, i admit, I had to bake mine for an additional 10 minutes to get it firm in the middle...then it was perfect!), and tastes light while still rich with flavor (and i even went with the water variation instead of adding chai tea, for the obvious reason). Made in an 8x8 pan, it serves up nine perfectly portioned pieces of yum. I loved it.

I do admit that the frosting is a bit more cream-cheezy than I like. Maybe next time I'll back off the Tofutti Cream Cheeze a bit and just add more powdered sugar? Even a simple glaze would be great on this one. Honestly? I'd eat this light and fluffy cake all on its own!

While I don't have a picture of it's delectable-ness...feast your eyes on this belly! 28 weeks...and to think NOW is when I'm gonna start getting huge! This is the part where being five feet tall means baby makes her own room to grow! ;)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

All Is Well and A Recipeless Recipe!

Thank you all for your best wishes on the baby front. The doctor's visit today was all good news. Glucose test? Passed! Amnio fluid? No big deal! Baby and Momma? Doin just fine! Yay! So now I can just relax and enjoy the rest of this ride. Only three more months to go!!!!

I'm embarrassed to admit just how much time this pregnant vegan has spent in front of the tube and out of the kitchen of late. In my lounging, I found that a certain Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup commercial seems to frequent the airwaves waaaaaay too often. Totally turned off by the idea of cream of mushroom soup and chicken in a casserole, I found that, in spite of this fact, a very, very good idea was born.

And here it is (granted, I had some vegan 'cream' of mushroom soup in the freezer so you'd have to sub whatever soup you saw fit. a broccoli or asparagus type would be good, i'm thinking).

This ain't no recipe but it sure is YUMMY! (i apologize, the battery charger for my camera is still missing, and I'm too stubborn to go buy a new one when I know good and well that thing is in this house somewhere!).

Preheat oven to 375 (i think i started mine at 400 then dropped it down to 375)
Rehydrate one bag o' soy curls either in warm water or broth, your choice.
Heat 1 Tbs Earth Balance in large skillet over medium heat.
Add one cup of brown rice and saute until it becomes opaque.
Add one diced sweet onion and about four cloves of minced garlic, saute for two min or so.
In a bowl, whisk together about two cups of soup with a cup of soy milk, a cup and a half of water, and a heaping 1/3 cup of nutritional yeast.
Add that to the skillet along with the drained soy curls.
Bring contents in skillet to a boil.
Stir in a bag of spinach, chopped, remove from heat.
cover skillet with lid (or foil if yours has no lid) and place in oven for one hour.

go do something relaxing.
remove from oven when it's all done and allow it to sit, uncovered for about five minutes.
(this is where, if one is so inclined, you could top it with some FYH cheese.)
dish it up with more nutritional yeast and some cracked black pepper.

I should note here that, before this meal, I'd never dreamed of cooking rice this way. I was certain that, after an hour, my rice would not be cooked and the whole meal would be a bust. I was soooooo wrong!

Oh yeah, we're eating this yummy goodness for days!
serves a ton!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Here She Is......

Little Taylor Louise! Isn't she amazing? I still can't believe how surreal this whole experience is, even when staring at her perfect little face.

During the u/s yesterday, the sonographer found that I seem to have an amount of amniotic fluid that is on the higher end. As I did the glucose tolerance test yesterday, I should know tomorrow if it is due to gestational diabetes. Taylor's stomach was full, though, so we were told that that is a great sign, that she is swallowing effectively and that a problem with her development in that area is not the reason for elevated amniotic fluid levels. I'm trying with all my might not to investigate further on the internet and just let the doc tell me what's up tomorrow. I did do a home blood sugar test this morning upon waking up and found it to be a bit high. Lucky for me, there's a dietician in the family so if that is the problem, I should be able to manage it just fine. Expect for me to get a battery charger and lay off the baked goods, only blogging the healthiest of meals for myself and my little love.

Overall, the results were normal, with this kid weighing in at a whopping 2lbs 9oz and falling within the 82nd percentile. I'll be sure to keep you posted and, hopefully, get my butt in gear and back to blogging more vegan fare....with pictures! (tho, i can't promise they'll be anywhere near as spectacular as what you've gazed upon up above ;)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Woe is Me!

I've been doing a little cooking lately, trying a few new recipes, but I've managed to totally misplace the battery charger for my camera....which, of course, had a dead battery from the moment that the first new thing came out of the oven. go figure!

Not to fear, tho. I'm on a mission to find that darn thing! and fast!

So, let's see. The things I've made lately that I didn't get to blog about:

From Veganomicon:
Chewy Chocolate Raspberry Cookies
- wow! wow! wow! these are incredible! the raspberry flavor is more in the aftertaste, they're certainly more chocolatey than anything else (granted, I used mostly dark, dutch processed cocoa as that's what we had), but texture is soooooooooo amazing. totally a little crispy on the outside and chewy once you bite into them. LOVE them! I'd love to follow Veggie Girl's lead and try them with orange maramalade next time. For me, chocolate raspberry and chocolate orange flavor combinations are equally divine!

Hot Sauce Glazed Tempeh
- i reeeeally liked how the marinade truly dispelled that bitter tempeh taste that is so hard to eliminate from store-bought tempeh. Mine didn't look nearly as rosy in color as some of the other versions that i've seen on people's blogs. I did broil mine as I do not currently own a grill plan. either way, this stuff is super yum! I had it the first night dipped in my Blue Sheese Dressing with a side of steamed broccoli and....

Messy Rice
-Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, Messy Rice is good. i don't know about you, but i'm a huge fan of cardamom. I love the flavor this lended to the rice. I think that pairing this rice with Julie Hasson's new seitan sausage recipe would be really good, but I haven't tried that fauxsage yet.

I did make a wrap of the leftover tempeh, crumbled in a pan in a touch of olive oil. once it browned i added some leftover messy rice, then added the steamed broccoli i still had and sauteed it all together. I sinfully grated some FYH mozerella to bind it all together and threw it in a garden herb wrap for a super delicious wrap for lunch today. Man, i love leftovers!

from My Sweet Vegan

Graham Fig Scones
- i've been wanting to try something from this cookbook but just couldn't decide. a quick glance in my pantry to see what i had caused me to try my hand at these. They are truly unique in texture and flavor. very hearty....i adore the figs in them. my only complaint is totally my fault. nearing the end of the dough preparation, I noticed that my plain soy creamer was no longer any good. i did have some hazelnut soy creamer and used that. what doesn't taste better with hazelnut? i always say! but i think it lent too much a sweetness to these otherwise perfectly flavored scones. they were still especially scrumptious, but i think they're likely even more so when prepared as directed. I served mine up to myself for breakfast with a side of fresh sliced strawberries. what a great way to start the day!

this is the part where i know i cooked up a couple more new things, but without the back log of pics to guide me, i can't remember what they were! i blame the little one brewing. seems all my brain cells truly are working on getting her ready to be here in a few months! ;)

speaking of....tomorrow we're having the 3D ultrasound done!!!!!!! you can bet i'll be posting the pics of that that they give us as soon as i can! we cannot WAIT to lay eyes on our little girl!

til then!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Hot, Hot, Hot!

It's a really good thing I thought to throw together this cooooool salad plate for the Cap'n and I to share before my first at-home venture into making panang curry at home. The easy peanut sauce (natural peanut butter, agave, water, red pepper flakes, ginger) over cucumbers, tomato, chickpeas, and carrots was light, tasty, refreshing, and did wonders to cool down our palates after enjoying this dinner.

Panang Curry Soy Curls with Snap Peas, & Yellow Bell Pepper over Jasmine Basmati Rice.

I was so excited to find a Panang Curry online that didn't contain shrimp paste. Immersed in my glee, I read the directions on the can of paste and just went with it, not tasting to see just how much heat we'd be dealing with. Just look at all those little flecks of HOT in that sauce! I loved it, but it would have been even better just a bit more mild. Next time I'll definitely use just half the paste, cut it down with coconut milk and save the rest for another great curry night!

Basically, I just rehydrated the soy curls, then browned them in some peanut oil. I removed them and briefly sauteed the peas and the pepper until the peas were a vibrant green, but still crisp and removed them from the heat.
According to the directions, the paste was sauteed in a little oil then half a can of coconut milk was added. The curls and the veggies were added, that simmered for couple minutes before adding the remaining coconut milk was stirred in. The only change I made was to add agave which I thought added a subtle sweetness that really brought out the curry flavor over the heat.

Tofu Scramble (They Never Get Old!)

If you're like me, you have a half a block of tofu hangin out in the freezer at any given moment. Ya see, I often will make some tofu dish for dinner that I've halved then put the remaining, unused tofu in the freezer for a later date. One of my favorite breakfasts is to remember to take that tofu out of the freezer the night before, give it a good squeeze in the morning, and scramble it up in the easiest way. With this one I heated a little olive oil, added the tofu and got it to lightly brown a bit, then added some tamari, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and turmeric, then sauteed some more. Next goes in a heap of nutritional yeast and a big handful or two of spinach. Saute that until the greens are wilted and viola! Easy, fast and super tasty!

I like scrambles such as these for when I'm low on fresh produce. There are seemingly always greens in the fridge threatening to go south should I forget to use them, and lucky for me, I love me some leafy greens in the am! This, a piece of toast, and some fruit or juice. Does it get any better than that?

Saturday, February 02, 2008

My Favorite Staple Meal Of Late

This meal right here is the reason for my often sparse posts. I make up a huge batch and eat it aaaaaaall the time. Kind of the vegan's answer to hamburger helper in that it's easy, hearty and tastes so good!I make one cup (dried) of brown rice and one cup (dried) lentils. When the rice is spending the last ten minutes off the heat but still covered and the lentils are juuuust about done, I saute a chopped sweet onion with about four cloves of minced garlic, seasoning only with salt, pepper, and paprika. I then chop up a whole bag of spinach and, after the onions have started to caramelize, add that and saute til it's wilted. Once everything is piping hot, I mix it all together in a big bowl with a ton of nutritional yeast and an embarrassingly large amount of shreeded FYH moz. cheeze.

This is my new weakness. I can think of worse things to live on! ;) I know that I should probably forgo the cheeze for a cheeze sauce like the one in V'con or one of the other tasty varieties in the land of all things vegan, but this stuff really hits the spot as is every time.