Friday, April 20, 2007

the Evolution of Dinner

It all started with this,the yummy Sunshine burger I picked up recently on my weekly trip to the health food store. I love that they're quick, convenient, totally vegan, and full of nothing but good things. Then I thought, hey, so are the patties I make at home and freeze...I reeeally need to do that again soon!

So I thumbed through a few cookbooks for inspiration and settled on TEV's Millet Black Bean Burger, but tinkered with it a bit to suit what I had on hand. I followed the recipe mostly but used two cups of millet, one of leftover brown sushi rice, 1/2 a can of adzuki beans instead of the black and smashed the other half and dumped 'em in as well, 1/2 a med onion, mixed in 1T whole wheat flour to bind rather than coat, used just over a tsp celery seed to replace the celery, added about three shredded organic carrots and then, looking at thisI realized I didn't have time to make patties, only stuff it all in a loaf pan and walk away for 45 min. I enjoyed this with TEV's Miso Gravy and a salad, realizing it didn't need to be put in a sandwich at all. The gravy is great. I never have seasoned rice wine vinegar, only plain, so i upped the agave a tad. This made the gravy a bit sweet rather than savory which complimented this loaf perfectly!

I also doctored it up the following night and served it on a bed of sauteed spinach with tons of garlic and topped it with a roasted portobello mushroom before adding the gravy. this seems to be a serving suggestion for many of my meals...spinach, loaf, 'shroom, gravy, done! and sooo good! while I love this gravy, it's sweetness over a savory tasted left me wanting something different. We needed a different flavor with which to enjoy the remainder of the loaf (not to mention the realization that this gravy's appearance mimics that of, quite frankly...yeah, that made us want something to change things up in a hurry. hehe)

so off i went to the internet to hunt down a recipe I know I'd found and hoped I'd bookmarked for a vegan mushroom fondue. I stumbled on this a while back and have been wanting to try it ever since. All I have to say? WOW! Even before you blend in the mushrooms (using my handy new KitchenAid mixer that Amazon alerted me was only $29.99 recently for a limited time, woohoo!) this fondue is perfect as a dip, a sauce, something to suck down a straw, whatever! adding the mushrooms (i used half baby bellas and half regular, white variety) just adds the perfect earthy, shroomy flare, if you like that kinda thing. and we LOVE it!

So, earlier in the day, I'd baked LDV's Easy French Bread (went all out and used only unbleached white flour, no whole wheat...for shame! ;) and baked up a log of Susan's Pepperoni Seitan as well. I didn't have ketchup so I just used more tomato paste and added about 1/4 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes (in olive oil) and about a handful of fresh basil and a bit more water to make a s.d. tomato basil variety. This was AMAZING! if not a tad dry, like real pepperoni. Next time I think I'll either play with the water a bit more or try and combine both the Seitan O' Greatness recipe with this one.

We plated the leftover loaf, the Seitanroni, and some garlicky roasted brussel sprouts with a side of french bread.It was more a spooning over your food event, only dipping the bread, but oh my! were our tummies insanely full and our taste buds totally satisfied!
You'd think the evolution of this dinner would stop right there, right?
think again!

with more of this 'shroom fondue/sauce leftover and no straws in the house we had to find even just one more way to enjoy it!...ok, maybe two.

On our next trip to the regular grocery store, we picked up some gnocchi. I'd only had it once before in my life, and the Cap'n had never tried it. I've seen it all over vegan blogs and realized the ingredients were all vegan so in the cart it went.

Once home, I made up some EB spread for some of the french bread by mixing it with nutritional yeast, garlic powder, oregano, and basil. That went in the oven with the leftover brussel sprouts for about ten minutes. Meanwhile I boiled water for the gnocchi and heated up some sliced Setianroni. Once the Seitanroni was hot, I removed it from the heat and covered it, using the same pan to saute the gnocchi once done, then removed that and covered it.

I then took half a can of no salt added tomatoes that I'd had leftover in the 'fridge and sauteed them a bit in that same pan with some tomato paste, onion powder, garlic, basil and oregano. Once nice and hot I dumped it into a large coffee mug and zapped it with the handheld to a sauce. All this time I nuked the 'shroom fondue sauce til it was good 'n hot.

And here ya have it folks, the meal to end all meals at our house. My Italian Great Gramma would be ever so proud! Saucy Gnocchi with 'shroom cheeze sauce and my Easy Tomato Sauce for Two, roasted brussel sprouts and a side of vegan garlic bread.

I cannot even begin to go on and on and on about how great the flavors of this are. I should definitely make up a master recipe for it and post it soon. it's so worth it, but I just love that it came of almost all favorite kind of new meal!

I did say there were two uses of the 'shroom fondue, didn't I? Speaking of recipes...remind me to post one for these puppies later, as well
tofu patties (I know, I know, we've all had those before...but this recipe is my favorite tofu variety I made up, usually I'm a bean and nut kinda patty girl)! I had 'em for breakfast plated on top of some of the 'shroom fondue sauce then topped with some sauteed mushrooms (leftover in the fridge as well) and a bit of sprouts. I love real food for breakfast!
We're off for the weekend, but I hope to come back and update my links and all sorts of things (that I've totally been slacking on for far too long) with my blog upon our return. Hope everyone has a safe and happy one!


bazu said...

That is gorgeous- I love the evolution of this dinner! I'm always looking for new vegan fondue recipes- otherwise my poor Ikea fondue set sits all alone and unused in the cabinet.

Anonymous said...

Al of your food looks soooo good and mouthwatering!

Can you tell what and how you made your tofu patties?


scottishvegan said...

Amazing! You are so inventive! The fondue looks gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

wow so much beautiful food!

i will love to remind you about the tofu burger, they looks very tasty!

Jackie said...

What a wonderful meal. Has made my tummy grumble LOL

Judy said...

Ooh, where to begin? It all looks lovely.

On the rare occasion that I buy veggie burgers, I remind myself that I can make good or better burgers at home. And yet I never do. If I did, I'm sure it would end up as a loaf instead, like yours did, which is still great.

And if I liked mushrooms, then I'm sure I'd find your mushroom sauce enticing. But I don't, so I don't :)

aTxVegn said...

That is a whole lot of fun and tasty looking food! I hope you will post some recipes.

laura k said...

Wow, what a huge post--and I love the way it all came together so helter-skelter. Fun! Your narrative was riveting--I found myself thinking, "Oh no! What's she gonna do now?!" And I must try the mushroom fondue.

Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

You really get down with dinner - it all looks so fabulous that I don't know where to begin... love the black bean loaf - much easier than patties & I bet the miso gravy was perfection on it. LDV's easy French bread is one of my favorites.

KleoPatra said...

AWEsome. Wow.

I would love to show THIS post, this incredible post filled with some of the best food i've seen, to all the someones who say, without me getting a word in edgewise, something like this:

"Yer vegetarian? Oh, yer vegan... gosh, what do you eat? You can't eat anything!! What do you eat? Salads, huh? Wow, don't you get tired of just eating salads? You do eat fish, don't you? You must miss meat... you do, don't you?"

*rolling my eyes*

Great post. Thanks for this validation on what we CAN and what we DO eat. If only i could make this like you do!!!

Amey said...

oh that's a great post!
I love watching the one meal morph into the next! So creative and yummy looking.
:) amey

Twisted Cinderella said...

Whata a wonderful post! I love the evolution of dinner!

Neva said...

That all looks so good. I was just commenting elsewhere that I need to buy some cookbooks. I'm going to have to buy LDV if it has French bread! I think your loaf looked beautiful both before and after baking. The ingredients are so colorful and inspiring. Yay food!!

Kate said...

All your food looks fantastic! I love being able to go to the health food store and find pre made vegan food, it reminds me that the whole world isn't completely anti vegan.

Kate said...

*p.s do you sprout your sprouts yourself? I have had problems with sprouting.

Candi said...

ooh yum- the tofu patties are looking so good.

I'm really staring at that mushroom fondue though! Thank you so much for the recipe! I would love to try it. I recently made mushroom gravy, which looks a little similar and was really great on mashed potatoes! :) I'm excited to make the fondue though!

Hope you are doing well!

Anonymous said...

aw, everything looks VERY nice! thank you for sharing :)

Michelle said...

what an awesome way to take TEV's burgers and make your own loaf!

Aurelie said...

Wow, what a long post! It's funny how dinner evolves over time, isn't it? Have you been nominated for the food blogs awards yet? Or is it too late?