Friday, October 30, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Last night was a case of the former. The night before we were spent from a long day of play. It was a gorgeous day and we took full advantage taking Taylor to the park. Once home, bath time and nightly chores needed to be taken care of so takeout seemed like a GREAT idea. The Cap'n wanted Chinese, and since I was in the mood for tofu, I ordered the Szechuan tofu and a side of veggie Lo Mein. While the Lo Mein was ok (never enough veggies), the tofu was too soft and the sauce for it was passable, at best. I didn't even touch the white that came with it.
Come dinner time last night my leftovers were glaring at me while I prepared to make a quick dinner and I knew I'd have to use them up or just toss them entirely. Heating them in the microwave and eating them that way was not going to satisfy so I created these instead Szechuan Takeout Patties. Certainly not health food they sure were a big improvement. They were actually very good! Basically, I had some black beans and some steamed carrots from part of Taylor's dinner (that kid eats best in the house, she loves simple, unseasoned fare). I mashed up some black beans and added them to the tofu which I also mashed up, removing it from the sauce. Some of the sauce became part of the patties but I didn't really add more than what came along with each little clump of tofu. I tried to get some of the peas and carrots that were in the sauce incorporated into the patties as well. I next grated some fresh ginger because I love the stuff and had some on hand from the samosas. I heated up the white rice and added almost the full pint of that. Once mixed, it was a rather loose and wet mixture so I made a slurry of Ener G Egg Replacer and water (about the amount you'd use to simulate two eggs) and stirred that in.
Having only a flavored Stir Fry Oil to fry them in, I went with that. I think it's peanut and soy bean oil based with garlic, ginger and chili.
I fried them in little patties until really brown. Maybe a couple minutes each side on med/hi heat.
I won't lie and say that they held together fabulously. They didn't. They had to be ever so gently turned and most of them stayed together, but not all of them. The rice got really brown and crispy (yum!) and the flavor of the Szechuan sauce was just barely there, which was nice. Once they cooled they were even tastier! I served them up over some heated leftover sauce and topped with the carrots (like you see above).
I loved them so much that they didn't stand a chance of lasting very long. It was all I could do not to snack on them after dinner. The leftovers were devoured with breakfast cold, right out of the fridge by Taylor and I.
Another leftover success!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Sorry I've totally dropped the ball with Vegan MoFo. I've been swamped bridal showers and weddings, oh my! I am an ordained minister and writing the ceremonies is such a labor of love for me to totally labor intensive. I've spent so many hours at the computer that blogging has not been something I've wanted to do. I also spent a LOT of nights making samosas a la VWaV, three dozen for a bridal shower and then six dozen miniature ones for a wedding last Saturday. SIX DOZEN! They're really fun to make up to about three dozen, I say. ;) They were a hit and I'm really glad I could help round out the happy couple's menu, but whew! I'm glad that's over. I don't have a picture of them (tho I just may take one of the dozen or so that ended up back in my refrigerator), but I do have this...this is what I snacked on while making them. I threw a couple scoops of the filling in a warmed pita and Mmm Mmm Mmm! was able to keep chuggin along. If you haven't tried these babies yet, get to it! They're incredible!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
and Mmmmmm, roasted cauliflower! or roasted any veg really, no gravy necessary!
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
1. the recipe calls for four cups of onion, or two medium sized ones. I had two med-large sweet onions on hand and that's what I used. I diced them fine in the processor and knew they wouldn't measure to be four cups, not even close, two if I was lucky (and I wasn't. sigh), but I didn't really worry about it, just moved on to caramelizing (Mmmmm, at least the house has smelled amazing all day!).
2. once I mixed the wet and dry ingredients, I noticed my dough was super dry and crumbly. It shouldn't just stick together while mixing with a spoon. Adding the last quarter cup of gluten seemed like a really bad idea so I added water until the consistency was better but just adding it and mixing with a spoon wasn't gonna cut it. So, I worked the additional liquid in with my hands and, in the end, felt like the dough was a bit overworked.
2. While I wrapped the seitan up tight and made sure to wrap it in two different directions to make it secure, secure it was not. Somewhere in the last thirty minutes the seitan busted thru and ripped open the foil, leaving it exposed to the steam directly.
So, I used it today for a simple sandwich and Taylor seems to enjoy nibbling on slices of it just fine, but I'm now craving a more moist and juicy variety and I think I'll be boiling some very, very soon.
Until then, I have an idea to revive my dry slabs and will hopefully be sharing the successful outcome in tomorrow's dinner!
oh, and sorry 'bout the lighting in these pics. It's late and apparently the lighting in my kitchen is REALLY yellow. yikes!
I like these best on some earthy whole grain bread with sprouts, avocado, tomato and Veganaise. But I liked this one just fine last night on some oat bread with Veganaise, organic ketchup, and diced pickle. This and some Cascadian Farms Spud Puppies and I had plenty of time to chase down Taylor for bed time!
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
For a while, I was using a vegetable peeler, and wasting a LOT of zuke since I wasn't peeling the innermost part of the veggie that houses the tiny seeds. Then I braved my garage (black widows, anyone?!) and dug out of the countless bins we've stored there since moving to this house one of my most favorite kitchen tools, the Saladacco Spiral Slicer!
Love this thing. I've only really ever used it for zucchini and carrots, so $24 bucks may seem steep to some, but I've honestly used it SO many times in the few years I've owned it (especially when I'm cooking for others, so fast!) that it seems justified. Plus it's fun and requires no electricity!
I've linked to Amazon for anyone who's interested, but laughed when I read reviews. People have less than great things to say about my beloved kitchen tool, but I'm still really happy with it. It's never given me any problems. I quickly slice the zukes (or whatever) so that I have long pieces that fit in the Saladacco, it locks just fine for me, spin out my veggie, and snack on the 1/4 inch disc that's always left over when it's done spiraling. When making for a large group, I just saved the multiple little discs of 'wasted' zucchini for a salad or snack the next day.
That said, feast your eyes on the benefits of owning that little number...
Topped with a little nutritional yeast (ok, a lot)...
then some super easy homemade red sauce* and a generous sprinkling of hemp seed!
*I was going to link to an entry where I'd recounted my own version of easy red sauce, but I found that it doesn't exist. No real recipe, but I typically make it when I see tomatoes lying around that I fear will go bad if I'm not inspired to eat salads. It goes something like this...
Toss tomatoes in boiling water until skin puckers. Remove and slide skin off of the fruit. Chop. Heat olive oil in sauce pot and add a few minced cloves of garlic. When just browning, add tomatoes. Here I only had two medium tomatoes on hand so I added a can of no salt added tomatoes (didn't drain 'em) to my sauce pot. This made enough sauce for two people (or...me tonight...and me again tomorrow some time!). Add a bit of tomato paste to get the consistency you want (tho it will thicken up nicely as it simmers, the longer it simmers the tomato paste helps it from being so watery) and a pinch or two of sea salt, some onion powder, oregano, and a healthy pinch of sugar. If you have fresh basil, it's wonderful at the end. And obviously, you can add onion or any veggie you like at the beginning, but I prefer a quick, unadorned variety of tomato sauce. Allow to simmer for as long as possible. The longer the better. I threw this together in a flash at lunch time and it was perfect by dinner. So yeah, that's not a real recipe, but it's pretty forgiving and so fresh enjoyed over the zucchini.
Here's to hoping I figure out what to post for Vegan MoFo in the coming days. I have a wedding to officiate on Saturday for a family member and their rehearsal dinner being hosted at my house this Friday! Sadly, I'm just providing the place to have the shower and they'll be having a BBQ. I won't even be contributing any vegan fare for the event as I also have a beautiful friend's bridal shower to contribute to for Sunday. THAT I'll certainly blog about, but I'll be tempted to try and keep up with the toddler and all the events and Smart Dog it for the meals ahead but for your sake let's hope I don't!
I think I can, I think I can, I think I can......
Monday, October 05, 2009
This time, there was no time for pressing or crusting tofu, but a twice baked potato proved easy and really hit the spot. I baked the potato, cut it in half, scooped out the middle and added about a teaspoon of Smart Balance, a healthy dose of nutritional yeast, about a tablespoon of plain soy yogurt (who needs Tofutti?), garlic salt, fresh black pepper, and steamed broccoli I already had on hand. I stuffed that back into half the potato that it came from (the other half is in tact and will be part of lunch tomorrow!) and broiled it for a few minutes until the top was nice and golden.
Not exactly the stellar, fancy dinner one would typically be excited to blog about, but ya know what? It was SO GOOD. And simple, and cheap, and gluten free, and vegan, and could be thrown together easily while a silly toddler is at one's feet demanding to be held, played with, danced with, and basically just causing a typical 17 month old end of the day ruckus. To me? THAT's something I can sink my teeth into!
Sunday, October 04, 2009
*I sauteed the corn and red pepper in my giant iron skillet pan and had my heart set on baking it and serving it in that as well, but I think I'll have a post in the future about the woes of trying to work with a less than perfectly seasoned iron pan and how to fix that. Also, carrying that puppy plus blanket, toys, and toddler in tow across a couple sports fields to get to our destination would have been more than I could swing!
Oh, I should also mention that a ppk'er had a great idea for making this dish for a pot luck setting by way of portioning it out in muffin pans and cooking that way to create individual servings. As I'd never made it before, I wasn't sure if it was really going to be more like a bread or a pudding and I didn't want to overcook it and have it be dry. As it turns out, it cooks up like a perfectly moist, soft bready pudding so I think it'd have been fine either way!
Saturday, October 03, 2009
Friday, October 02, 2009
I've tried my share of veg hot dogs and these are, by far, the best to me. I don't particularly like hot dogs to begin with (nitrites, sodium, fat, and animal parts aside). But sometimes, a little quick stroll down childhood memory lane works in a pinch.I just threw them in some whole wheat store bought buns and, much like I enjoyed them as a kid, topped with mustard only. Before bed I snacked on some more fruit and called it a day.
Not exactly blog-worthy. I will say, however, that if you do like veg hot dogs, this brand is great because they're fat free, low calorie, not too bad in the sodium department, and tastes eerily like the real thing. On the grill, the texture is a wee bit soft but a lot closer than some of the other dogs out there.