Monday, May 28, 2007

Super Easy Tofu Scramble (and my favorite)

Sure, we've all made 'em before. and there are a myriad of ways to do so, but this one is my personal favorite and very, very easy.

Start with a block of extra firm tofu that has been well pressed to get out as much water as possible. Often, I'll even wrap it in a dishtowel and put in the 'fridge overnight.

heat oil in pan and crumble tofu into pan, sauteing until lightly browned...this never happens quickly, in my experience, no matter how much water I get out of it.
then add a splash or two of tamari ( i use the low sodium) and then some nutritional yeast. this will not only give it more depth of flavor but till make for better browning of the, i add some chopped onion and garlic and saute until the onion is beginning to brown and is very fragrant....mmmmmmmi like to add some sliced mushrooms now, and allow them to cook off most of their liquid, adding another splash of tamari and maybe some more n.y. ( i love this stuff, so i tend to be heavy handed with it). add your favorite spices. for me in a scramble? I'm a fan of the sea salt, pepper, oregano, and thyme blend. i just love the combo in my tofu.
now for the green! 'cause i don't know about you, but i love green veggies in the morning. this particular morning i used spinach. just chop it up and add, sauteing until it wilts. but i do so love some broccoli, kale, or asparagus in it's place when i have it.serve in a whole wheat wrap and top with some shredded fresh organic carrot with a side of your favorite fruit. i've still been enjoying all the navel oranges as of late with breakfast. yum!voila! easy and tasty breakfast in no time flat with very simple ingredients. honestly, i just loved the pics i snapped of the tofu from this particular morning and thought it would make for a fun post.

A Wedding Story

the second wedding we attended this year was the Captain's sister's. the most amazing part, aside from the union of two beautiful people who truly love one another, was that i got to marry them!!! i got ordained via the Universal Life Church and now am a card-carrying clergywoman. the writing of their ceremony and being the one to officiate their desire to be wed was the most rewarding thing I've ever done, truly.

the day of the wedding, i wrote the ceremony in my little journal here, on the upper deck, with the breeze blowing off the ocean, the sun warming my skin, and a little jack johnson on my ipod, making all right in my little piece of the world. we rented this house for a week, and it was so great to share it with family and friends. the owners are wonderful, generous people (actually, the wife turned out to be my husband and his sister's teacher from kindergarden!), and we're already saving up to find time to go back for a getaway.
Being the officiant and unofficial weddingcoordinator, i snapped very few photos which is sad because 1) it was an amazing wedding from beginning to end and 2) all the vegan fare i provided was gobbled up way before the 150+ guests made a dent in the catered food! Guess VWaV's edamame samosas aren't just my favorite! I also watched the 2 qts of salsa be devoured, a quadruple batch of dill tempeh pate from the Native Foods cookbook and VCTOTW's margarita cupcakes were incredibly yummy (and with a wedding on cinco de mayo, festive to boot!).

Sadly, i have nary a picture of any of the spread or the guests enjoying it, but i do have the usual pics you can count on me for while at the beach....

our view
the usual shots of the ocean, i tell ya, i'm totally obsessed with taking pictures of the way the light hits the water as it comes rolling in....or 'n the cap'n taking in the beach and the treasured time we got to spend together.we made friends with some of the local wildife. if only i could've gotten a clear pic of the squirrels that spent the day hangin out on the decks. they were hilarious, and our niece was totally enthralled by them.'m a sucker for pics of the wildflowers near the coast. so beautiful. i framed this one as a gift for the bride's mom, aunt, and grandmother, a token from the amazing weekend she was married.and the cap'n and our niece, this is my favorite picture from the trip. i've already had it printed and framed so I can see it every day.this trip is not without some food pics for ya, tho. we did host a family bday party the night after the the bride is allergic to wheat, we enjoyed lemon/artichoke pesto on shredded zucchini with sundried tomatoes and hempseed. ( i love this, and i know you've seen it multiple times on this blog before hehe)the ppk's walnut lentil dip with lots of extra garlic for a little zing and some lime juice. this was a hit with the fam. they really dug it.and my beloved soba noodle salad from Veg., nothing new or exciting in the way of foods, but it was a beautiful week i just had to share with you. once the wedding photographer gets all the photos to the bride, i plan to make a web page with the ceremony and pictures to tell the story and will link to it here for anyone who is interested.

next up, our San Fran trip and what I've been cookin up at home lately.
hope everyone is having a safe and happy holiday weekend!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Before we begin....

to catch up, I want to share with you these...
how beautifully alive in their time of death...
it speaks volumes and beyond if all i have to say right now.
may their presence inspire me
to find such beauty in all that i do,
in all that i take in,
and all i leave behind.

food on the way...promise! ;)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

And We're Off.....Again!

I've yet to get a moment to catch my breath, sit down, kick back, catch up on everyone's blogs, but I just found out that today I get to tag along on a trip to San Francisco with the Cap'n. I've only ever been to CA once (San Diego) so I'm beyond excited!

During our short stint home, I've been enjoying the bounty of spring with a few early mangoes
VWaV's Curried Mango Tempeh Salad is so very scrumptious, the minute they are in season near you (i always jump the gun a bit and start picking the ripe ones up immediately every May) I highly recommend you whip this up and let it sit in the fridge overnight, give the flavors a chance to meld and devour it the next day.

I also was so excited to see tomatillos again in the grocery store. You know what this means.....a TON of salsa. yay!
we used it with some fake chik'n strips some canned vegan refried beans, guac, shredded greanleaf lettuce and organic corn tortilla shells for some killer quick tacos.

i've said it before and I'll say it again, salsa is my most favorite condiment. I love to enjoy it on a baked potato with some steamed broccoli.....come to think of it, if i can get my butt in gear and packed this morning....that's totally what i'm having for lunch!

So, I'm excited about the driving we're planning in wine country but more than a little put off by the lack of vegan wineries along the way. At least the scenery will be nice? Then I'm overwhelmed by the possibilities that lie ahead for vegan fare in San Fran, and thanks to the suggestions of the beautiful and amazing goddess Madness, we already have reservations for Millennium Sat and plans to visit some other great vegan stops along the way.

Can't wait to share! Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Back From the Beach

And from officiating my sister-in-law's beautiful wedding on Cinco de Mayo. So much great food(here's me on number three of what turned into six dozen of VWaV's Edamame Samosas with Coconut Mint Chutney....they were a HUGE hit and devoured well before the omni food. yay!)

and wonderful people, I can't wait to share it all, once someone emails me pictures as I was entirely too busy to take any! ;)

And what's a girl to do when she gets home and finds herself in the midst of unpacking what seems to be her entire pantry (amazing, the things you bring when you know you'll be doing a whole lot of vegan cooking while away) and has no perishables in the house?It's Road's End Organics Shells & Chreese! After a few tries, this stuff has totally grown on me and now I love it as a quick fix in a pinch.
I add extra soy milk and nutritional yeast and frozen organic PEAS! to mine.
While I'd rather make my own..sometimes the kitchen's just not stocked for it (or anything else, for that matter) and this made a fine substitute when I looked up and realized it was dinner time with no dinner fixins in the house!

And I can't not mention these, as I've been living off of them in the midst of all the wedding planning chaos of the last couple weeks
I've a new-found love for Tofurkey slices (my favorite is the pepper version but i'll take plain if they don't have it). I've been enjoying them in wraps and pitas with green leaf lettuce, red onion, tomato, sometimes cukes, and a bit of Vegannaise. A quick, easy, tasty lunch or dinner. Last night I paired it with some of the amazingly sweet strawberries I picked up on our way home.I couldn't keep CJ away from then while snapping a pic, even he thought they looked and smelled yummy!

I have an old post or two I never got up, a recipe, and the trip update all to be posted soon. I still have to update my links and clean up the blog once I feel settled back into the house, but I wanted to say hi and let you all know I can't wait to start catching up on all of your blogs and see what fine creations you've got up that I'm sure to be inspired by!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Recipe: Patty Cakes and Tiramisu Cupcakes

I typically like to make my own veggie patties, and I like for them to be based around nuts, 'shrooms, and legumes. I recently, however, posted about these little patties o' goodness in finding ways to use up the 'shroom fondue I had leftover and a block of extra firm tofu. A quick spin around the internet and some additions of my own led me to one of my new favorite patty varieties. 'm callin 'em Patty Cakes...well, because they're just so darn cute! I started at and perused this recipe, then adjusted it a tiny bit to suit my tastes and incorporate the 'shroom fondue. Here's what I came up with... Patty Cakes 1 T. olive oil (or safflower, sunflower, or grape seed oil)
1 block extra firm tofu, pressed and mashed

1/2 c. rolled oats

1/2 c. wheat germ

1 T. onion powder

1 1/2 T fresh parsley

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp basil

1/2 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 c. nutritional yeast

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

2 T. low sodium soy sauce

1/4c. grated sweet onion

2 heaping T. '
Shroom Fondue (plus more for serving) Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients well. Consistency should be sticky enough to form patties. If not, add a little flour or additional nutritional yeast. Heat oil on skillet and then heat patties for about 5 min per side or until both sides reach a golden brown. Try not to flip too many times so that they'll retain their form. Place patties on baking sheet lightly coated with oil and place in oven for 20-25 min. this will help to firm up the inside of the patties. Allow to cool enough to eat and enjoy on their own, plated on top of more fondue, or in a sandwich of your choosing! These were so good, they didn't last more than three days in our house. So much for freezing 'em for when my next veggie burger craving strikes! Looks like next time I'll be making a double batch!

Speaking of double batches, we just returned from my brother's wedding in VA. While I was the only vegan there, and my mom is a pseudo-vegetarian (she still eats sea-food) the huge pot of Naked Tofu Marsala, the double batch of Dill Tempeh Pate, and the Tempeh Stuffed Mushrooms (whose leftovers turned into Tempeh stuffed peppers at our family sit down the following night, what a great idea!) all vanished in a flash, making this vegan very happy!

The best, though? I FINALLY broke down and whipped up a double batch of VCTOTW's Cupcakes to serve with the wedding cake (what?! you can't expect this vegan with a sweet tooth to not bring dessert when the wedding cake is TiramisuTres Leches! ;).
These were aMAZing, and nothing short of a huge success (though, does anyone know why the recipe calls for 2T. cornstarch in the batter? we didn't have any and I skipped it and these were perfect. weird). We even had to steal some away so family members would each get a taste. (we're Italian, remember? we never pass up a good VEGAN! tiramisu!) I also used the leftover batter to make two little single Tiramisu Cakes for the Bride and Groom to take with them.This weekend we're off for the Cap'n's little sister's wedding. I am the officiant (how crazy is that?!) and overall coordinator, but that's not gonna stop me from contributing: six dozen samosas with coconut mint chutney (ala VWaV) made yesterday and frozen, a quadruple batch of Dill Tempeh Pate, some Lentil Walnut Pate, 2 glorious quarts of the infamous Larry's Amazing Salsa, and what kind of wedding on Cinco de Mayo would be complete without VCTOTW's Mucho Margarita Cupcakes?! Not this one! Can't wait to make 'em!

Then we celebrate a family birthday Sunday night and an undetermined cupcake variety will also be enjoyed by all (see? 'm cupcake crazy! i knew cracking open that cookbook would prove dangerous! hehe)

Hope everyone has a safe and happy Cinco de Mayo weekend, I'll be sure to bring back pictures of the wedding spread upon our return from the beach.