Food Love

I got this fun little exercise from the Legally Vegan blog.  It’s the Vegan’s Hundred, which I believe is 100 foods (that are vegan or can be veganized) that all vegans should try.  I feel like I’m a pretty adventurous eater so I wanted to give it a try!  There are a few things on here which I’m not sure I know of, but I won’t cross them out because I’d try anything once.  I could look them up but I am too lazy, and let’s face it, if I don’t know what it is, chances are I, um, haven’t eaten it.  Also, I’m not sure how you veganize something like haggis or caviar, but in my non-vegan days I did have the real things so I will bold stuff like that as well :b

Here are the rules:
1) Copy this list into your own blog, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Post a comment here once you’ve finished and link your post back to this one.
5) Pass it on!

1. Natto
2. Green Smoothie
3. Tofu Scramble
4. Haggis

5. Mangosteen
6. Creme brulee
7. Fondue
8. Marmite/Vegemite

9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Nachos
12. Authentic soba noodles
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi

15. Taco from a street cart
16. Boba Tea
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Gyoza

20. Vanilla ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Ceviche

24. Rice and beans
25. Knish

26. Raw scotch bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche

28. Caviar
29. Baklava
30. Pate

31. Wasabi peas
32. Chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Mango lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Mulled cider
37. Scones with buttery spread and jam
38. Vodka jelly

39. Gumbo
40. Fast food french fries
41. Raw Brownies

42. Fresh Garbanzo Beans
43. Dahl
44. Homemade Soymilk
45. Wine from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Stroopwafle

47. Samosas
48. Vegetable Sushi
49. Glazed doughnut
50. Seaweed
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi

53. Tofurkey
54. Sheese
55. Cotton candy
56. Gnocchi

57. Piña colada
58. Birch beer

59. Scrapple
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Soy curls

63. Chickpea cutlets
64. Curry
65. Durian
66. Homemade Sausages

67. Churros, elephant ears, or funnel cake
68. Smoked tofu
69. Fried plantain
70. Mochi

71. Gazpacho
72. Warm chocolate chip cookies
73. Absinthe

74. Corn on the cob
75. Whipped cream
, straight from the can
76. Pomegranate
77. Fauxstess Cupcake

78. Mashed potatoes with gravy
79. Jerky

80. Croissants
81. French onion soup
82. Savory crepes
83. Tings

84. A meal at Candle 79
85. Moussaka
86. Sprouted grains or seeds
87. Macaroni and “cheese”
88. Flowers
89. Matzoh ball soup

90. White chocolate
91. Seitan
92. Kimchi

93. Butterscotch chips
94. Yellow watermelon
95. Chili with chocolate

96. Bagel and Tofutti
97. Potato milk
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Raw cookie dough

Funnnnn 🙂

A Mega-Post for the Greater Good

Ooookay!  It’s time to put up all the pics I have from the last few weeks in one big post.  I’ll understand if no one reads it, but I really really want to get on a regular posting schedule and blog about what I cook when I actually cook it, like the rest of the food blogging world does!  Honestly I admire all of you–I am still relatively new to this so bear with me this one time and hopefully after this I can maintain a regular schedule! 

Enough of that…on to the food!  I made a couple of recipes that I’ve seen used frequently in the vegan food blogosphere, which I had been dying to try out!

First up was Blackened Tofu from Eat, Drink, & Be Vegan by Dreena Burton. 

I made mine with tofu that had been pressed, frozen, and then defrosted (because I always prefer the texture of tofu that has been frozen!).  I served it up with some couscous tossed with a tiny bit of extra virgin olive oil and some chopped cucumber from our garden (which I will miss so much now that I’m in Boston!).


Couscous Closeup


A Perfect Little Meal

So simple and soooo delicious!  Definitely something I will be making often during the semester. 

I have also now successfully made the Tamari-Roasted Chickpeas, also from ED&BV, that I have seen on so many people’s blogs, and that have made my mouth water every time I’ve seen them!  Actually my mouth is watering now just thinking about them…


Made with fresh rosemary, which I highly recommend

For a really fantastic, light summery meal, I made the Chickpeas along with Kalamata Walnut Tapenade from Vive Le Vegan by Ms. Burton.  It kind of has the look of used coffee grounds, but if you are anywhere near it you can smell the delicious olive-y aroma and you will know that it’s more than edible! 🙂

I served this to Dad and M, with some crackers to go with the tapenade.  I ate my tapenade with a whole-wheat mini-bagel, and my chickpeas over a spinach salad, which contained the chopped remnants of one of the largest white mushrooms I’ve ever seen:


Apologies for the slightly horrifying no-makeup pic, but this mushroom was intense

I loved loved loved the chickpeas, and I liked the tapenade alot.  The only issue I had with the tapenade was that it was incredibly salty.  I think this is due to the olives I used, not to the recipe.  The recipe actually calls for “sea salt to taste”, but I don’t even think I added any, and it was still super-salty!  I would definitely make the recipe again though.  And as for the chickpeas, I’m pretty sure they will be made weekly here in my Beantown (how appropriate!) kitchen 🙂

Here is a pic of my little spread (a little went a long way!):

Last night, I got around to making Snobby Joes from Veganomicon. 

I love this recipe!  My roommate (not vegan but very veg-friendly–hi K!) liked it too.  I actually ate it with tortilla chips (as seen above)–maybe that’s weird but it was delicious!  I’m planning to freeze the leftovers to use all semester long. 

Actually I spent alot of the week cooking freezer-bound meals, including the Chickpea Cutlets from Veganomicon, which I’ve posted about before.  I also made Veggie Burger Patties, from Josh at My Vegan Cookbook.  I actually made these last week for a barbecue at my parents’ house, and this week while being industrious I doubled the recipe and froze eight of these beauties to eat when I will be too busy with Civil Procedure reading to even boil water for pasta!  Here is a piccie:


Do you love my mom’s little fish plate? I do!


Closeup

This recipe is a great find.  They are quite hamburger-like, insofar as I enjoy them best on a big ol’ bun with lots of ketchup, mustard, lettuce, and tomato.  I’ve also eaten them on an English muffin with salsa and that was very enjoyable too 🙂 

During my last week at home, there was another fun, simple little meal that I’d like to share. This one did not from books but consisted of one recipe-in-the-head and one recipe-from-Panama. Fresh Herb and Tomato Pasta Saladand Patacones (aka “Tostones”).

For the pasta salad, I first went a-picking:


Beautiful garden tomatoes, with some cucs thrown in for good measure


The finished product

It contained fresh chopped basil, cilantro, and fenugreek, the chopped tomatoes, and a drizzle of balsamic. It tasted so fresh and delicious and was great served cold.



Plus patacones!

These are patacones con ajo. Basically you wash, slice, and salt a plaintain, then deep fry it until it gets a little darker in color. You then flatten it (in Panama they use an authentic volcanic rock for the smashing but we used the side of a cleaver). In this case, we slapped on some crushed garlic before smashing. Then you fry them again until crispy. Totally unhealthy but totally delicious 🙂 Something we all need once in a while!

Finally, on to the soups!!  On one of my last nights at home, Dad and I whipped up the Ancho-Lentil Soup with Grilled Pineapple from Veganomicon, a recipe which I had been eyeing from the first time I ever cracked open the book!


First we made the ancho chile powder!


The finished product

Heaven.  That is all there is to say about that.

And finally, Tomato-Rice Soup with Roasted Garlic and Navy Beans, also from Veganomicon, which I made this week and which is happily chillin out (pun intended) in my freezer as we speak 🙂

Oven-roasting garlic was a new experience for me, and squeezing the soft goo out of the cloves was slightly disgusting but oddly satisfying. This soup is just delicious, filling and satisfying. And pretty easy to make too! I pretty much am gunning to make every soup recipe featured in this book, because these ladies know their soups and it is well worth the effort!

Okay I’m done! Congratulations if you’ve reached the end of this monster post!!!

A Lovely Evening

Sorry I’ve been MIA for a few days…I’m finally up in Boston and getting settled in!  I love it so much here already and I’m actually really excited about starting classes next week! 🙂

I wanted to post about a wonderful meal that I shared with E, J, and J’s girlfriend a few weeks back.  It consisted of the following:

Sauteed Seitan with Mushrooms and Spinach  and Fresh Rosemary Focaccia, both from Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero

Sunny Pineapple Yogurt Cake with Orange Glaze from Eat, Drink, & Be Vegan by Dreena Burton

I was so proud of making the focaccia; it was my first time making bread!  I used fresh rosemary from our neighbor’s garden and it was pretty good.  Eaten with olive oil, it was divine.  (And it smelled like heaven of course…I love rosemary!)


Focaccia



Seitan


The Whole Meal (this was the night after I made the tomato basil sauce shown in this post, so I served the leftover sauce–which was even better the second day after the flavors further melded overnight–with pasta.)


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And of course, dessert!!

All in all, it was a fantastically fun night with some of my favorite people, and I was happy with the way the food turned out.  E especially loved the seitan dish, and J’s girlfriend was a big fan of the tomato basil sauce.  J liked the focaccia and I even got him to try a bite of seitan (he’s not a terribly brave eater normally). 

On a side note, I am happy to report that my stove in my apartment in Boston is highly satisfactory (though it gives off alot of heat!).  I spent most of today cooking up stuff to put in the freezer that I can eat throughout the semester.  And just for fun, I would like to share a photo from earlier this evening, when I baked Dreena’s Chocolate Chunk Spice Cookies (which I’ve made before and which I love intensely).  Here they are, pictured with a magical sign that was a gift from my mother, and that is highly appropriate and relevant to my life.

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Keep It Simple

Yikes, I’m still so far behind in blogging about my meals of the past week!  But they were all special and I want to give each the attention it deserves 🙂  So, we are still harking back to last weekend, when I was home alone.  One night J was out with friends so I was cooking just for me; I made a really simple dinner using a recipe out of a fantastic cookbook which I have not yet featured on here, The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen by Donna Klein.  I’ve had it for a while, and I couldn’t understand why I’d yet to make any of its recipes!  (Sometimes I think maybe I let my Dreena Burton obsession cloud my life a little too much haha).  Anyway the book is awesome and is filled with naturally vegan Italian and Greek recipes…great for if you’re having omni guests and want to serve food that is familiar and not “scary” vegan. 

Anyway, I made Roasted Greek Potatoes with Oregano and Lemon (no, the recipe names aren’t terribly original) and ate some broccoli on the side.

 

These were simply delicious, and made the whole house smell amazing.  I’d definitely make them again as a side to a larger meal, but this small and simple meal was more than enough for little old me 🙂  I’m excited to try a few of the risotto recipes in this book also!

Home Alone

I am finally ready to post about my delicious weekend!  My parents were away taking M on college tours, so J and I were doing a Macaulay Culkin, with me basically doing everything, of course.  But I did manage to fix some lovely dinners for our lonesome selves. 

For the first one, I made a tomato basil sauce using fresh ingredients from our garden.  Check these beauties out:


I love this picture! Summery garden goodness!

I sauteed some garlic and onions in olive oil, then added the fresh chopped tomatoes from our garden.  We didn’t have enough ripe tomatoes to make the entire sauce, however, so I also added the better part of a large can of crushed tomatoes.  Then I added shredded basil from the garden, as well as salt, fresh ground pepper, and dried oregano.  I let it simmer for about an hour.  It was that simple!  And soooo delicious!

On the side, I cooked up some sliced portabello mushrooms.  First I sauteed garlic in olive oil, added the mushrooms and cooked them a few minutes until they were soft, then I poured in a little bit of riesling and let it simmer for a few more minutes. 

Here is the final dinner: homemade tomato basil sauce, portabello mushrooms in garlic white wine sauce, and whole wheat spaghetti, with a glass of riesling as accompaniment 🙂

I ate it al fresco and loved every bite!

Happy Birthday J!!

Today is my little brother’s 21st birthday!  I’ve had this recipe for Jagerbomb Cupcakes for months, planning all along to use it for this occasion.  It’s from omnomnom.com.  For those who don’t know, a Jagerbomb is a drink that consists of a shot of Jagermeister liquor (that has sort of a licorice/Dr. Pepper flavor) dropped into a glass of Red Bull energy drink and then chugged down.  My brother loves these, hence the perfection of finding a vegan Jagerbomb cupcake recipe.

However, this recipe was kind of a SFS situation.  Sorry For Sucking.  I am sick with a gross cold which sucks, and I think my brain isn’t working that well so that could be one explanation.  Another explanation is that Jagerbombs suck so the cupcakes suck by default.  The final possibility is that the recipe sucks.  But I’m fairly certain that it’s one of the first two.  And probably the first one.

However there is still a possibility that J will in fact like the cupcakes (since he hasn’t tried one yet) so there is still hope that I am not a sucky sister.

I post this so that anyone who looks at my blog will know that not all of my baking efforts are successful, or even attractive.  This blog keeps me honest!


Here are the little beasties


Green Eggs and Ham?

I invented the icing shown in the second picture in an attempt to improve the taste of the finished product.  Note that the authors of the recipe included a frosting as part of the recipe, but I didn’t use theirs, so shame on me.

Sigh. SFS.

Great Green Glob of Garden Goodness

Sorry that my “I’ll post tomorrow” became “I’ll post a week later”…it’s been a crazy week!  I am trying to get myself organized to move up to Boston next weekend, plus my parents and sister were away for a few days so I was the woman of the house–I spent tons of time cleaning, taking care of Farley and Bailey, and cooking up a storm!  I will have to do a separate update with all of that good stuff 🙂  Alot of it involved the use of our garden jewels, so you see, it all ties together!

The stars of our garden this summer are definitely the cucumbers, but the tomatoes which are now proliferating will soon give them a run for their money!  Here are some pics of our beautiful cucumbers:


Dad cutting from the vine (look how big the leaves are!!)

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A beauty


A basket of goodness

These cucumbers are delicious!  We’ve actually found that the smaller ones are yummier because the bigger ones have alot more seed density.  But yesterday I made a fantastic snack out of one of these; I just sliced it up and tossed the slices with a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar, oregano, and salt.  Soooooo good!

On to the tomatoes!  We have a few different varieties and have already had a bunch of ripe ones, but right now most of the crop is green, and I have a feeling within a few weeks we are going to be inundated all at once…but I’m not complaining!


A lovely cluster on the vine, almost ready for picking


A beefsteak, which still has some growing to do…it’s going to be huge!

We also have been feasting on our Swiss chard!  Our favorite way to prepare it is sauteed with a drop of olive oil and some roasted garlic.  Oh, I just love it and can’t get enough of it!  Here is Dad snipping some for one dinner last week:

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And lastly, or should I say, soon to come, is our squash.  The leaves are gigantic and we have lots of flowering going on (see picture below) but the plants have yet to produce any fruit, so we shall see!

The garden makes me so happy! 🙂