It’s a Great Time to Be a Vegan!

I seriously just had one of the best vegan weeks ever.

Last weekend, H and I went down the Cape and headed over to Wellfleet’s Oysterfest with a bunch of our friends.  And wouldn’t you know, in the middle of an oyster-themed event, they had a vegetarian vendor!

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Apparently Karoo is an omni South African restaurant in Eastham with tons of veggie options, but for Oysterfest they only brought the veggie stuff. The menu looked so good (and was 100% vegan)!
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H and I split the samosas, which were DELICIOUS, especially topped (okay, doused) with sweet fruity chutney.
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And I got the Kibbi:
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I’ve had vegetarian kibbi (or “kibbeh”) a hundred times but I’m not sure I ever had one made with pumpkin.  It was really good!  Most of all I was so excited to find a new vegan-friendly dining option on the Cape!

On Monday, my first post as a contributing blogger went up on Chic Vegan!  I wrote all about vegan Halloween treats, including these skull cupcakes:
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Click here to read the post!

Then on Tuesday, I went to the farmer’s market, where I bought incredible local rainbow chard and apples, and saw the most beautiful sunset.

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There was also a full rainbow over the market, but I only took a mental picture of that because photographs of rainbows never really capture that moment.

Then when I got home, this was waiting for me:Vegan Week 004

Ahhhhh I have been so excited for Isa’s new book and it’s finally here!  I would buy anything this woman writes, truly.  She is brilliant and hilarious, and this book is amazing.  It is full-color with truly stunning photography and styling, and obviously the recipes are just so on-point.  I’m about halfway through (yes, I always read my cookbooks cover-to-cover) and I’ve already bookmarked more than I can count.  One of my biggest goals this year (which I have actually managed with some success!) is to make dinner for H and me most weeknights.  I know this book will help with that and I can’t wait to start cooking out of it.

I also enjoyed some downright delectable food this week.  One of H’s co-workers brought a box of his homegrown squash to work one day, which resulted in us having a butternut squash in our kitchen that must have weighed 5 or 6 lbs.  I roasted it early in the week and we’ve been eating it six ways to Sunday since then.  I also toasted the seeds and those have been an additional delight.

Here it is mashed on a sandwich with baby beets and romaine lettuce from the farmer’s market:
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Or featured in one of the yummiest salads I’ve ever had:
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This contained a bunch of local produce (romaine, carrots, and red bell peppers which I roasted) plus the squash and its seeds, tamari roasted chickpeas, baby beets, red onion, and olives, topped with a drizzle of garlic-infused olive oil.

Thursday night H and I watched the Red Sox dominate Game 1 of the World Series while we enjoyed one of our new favorite weeknight recipes, Butternut Squash Mac ‘n’ Cheeze from Oh She Glows (click for recipe).
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I am obsessed with this recipe.  I always prepare it with some steamed broccoli or another green and add liberal amounts of smoked paprika and cayenne pepper to it.  If you already have a roasted butternut squash on hand like I did, you can make this in as little time as it takes to cook a pot of pasta.  It’s absolutely perfect and we both love it!

So as you can see, it’s been a terrific week filled with wonderful vegan things, but it’s not over yet!  Tonight H and I are going out to dinner to celebrate our two-year anniversary at The Elephant Walk, a French-Cambodian restaurant in Boston that has really excellent food and atmosphere, and a large portion of their menu is or can be made vegan.

AND…

Tomorrow and Sunday is the Boston Vegetarian Food Festival and I am SOOO excited!!!  I plan to show up with an empty stomach and a full wallet and leave in exactly the opposite condition.

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If you are anywhere near Boston this weekend you HAVE to check this out!

Happy weekend!!!

Vegan MoFo Yellow Week Recipe Roundup – Chickpea Edition

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I couldn’t go through a whole week of yellow foods without having at least some celebration of the chickpea!  Today I am sharing some recipes that showcase this wonderful legume.

Each and every one of these is a tried and true favorite of mine.  I can attest to their deliciousness AND the fact that they come together quickly.  This means that they are all great weeknight meals, and make great leftovers too!

From Cookbooks
Lemon Chickpea Lentil Soup from Eat Drink & Be Vegan by Dreena Burton (click for recipe)
Lemon Chickpea Lentil Soup

Tamari Roasted Chickpeas also from Eat Drink & Be Vegan by Dreena Burton (click for recipe)
Tamari Roasted Chickpea

Chickpea Quinoa Pilaf from Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terri Hope Romero (recipe reprinted here)
chickpea quinoa pilaf

From the Blogosphere
Chick & Split Pea Curried Gravy (click for recipe) by How to Feed a Vegan (an oldie but goodie!  I posted about it way back in 2009!)
Chick and Split Pea Curried Gravy

Maple Mustard Beans and Greens by Tina Haupert of Carrots ‘n’ Cake, for Health.com (click for recipe)
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I made mine with frozen Swiss chard and corn (I didn’t have peas)

Chickpea Flour Pancakes Two Ways:
Jumbo Chickpea Pancake (click for recipe) by Angela of Oh She Glows
Chickpea Flour Pancakes with Cauliflower and Shiitake Mushrooms (click for recipe) by Vegan Richa
Teriyaki Tempeh - Cauliflower Shiitake Chickpea pancakes

If that photo doesn’t make you want some, I don’t know what will!

If you have a favorite chickpea recipe, please share it in the comments!

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!!!