Monday, August 9, 2010

Revamping Recipes

 A few posts back I waxed poetic about how much we loved Seitan Piccata recipe from Veganomicon.  It was so tasty.  I really like that recipe, but it uses regular potatoes for the mashed potatoes and you need to have seitan on hand to make it.  I decided to revamp this recipe using cauliflower steaks and sweet potatoes instead of russet potatoes.

Making mashed potatoes out of sweet potatoes is pretty simple: boil chopped sweet potatoes for 30-45 minutes until soft.  Drain the water.  Mash in a bowl with some almond milk and Earth Balance.  Season with salt and pepper.
To make the cauliflower steaks, I cut the head of a cauliflower parallel to the table while sitting stem down approximately an inch thick.  I don't know if that was the best approach as many of my "steaks" fell apart.  Next time I may try cutting them perpendicular to the counter to see if that works better (it may not).  I then dredged them in WWPF (whole wheat pastry flour) and fried them in oil like the Veganomicon recipe.

The whole thing turned out quite tasty.  It was nice to be able to eat a slightly healthier and easier version of this dish. 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Asian Sensation

I've been going hiking up in the mountains on the weekends before going to the local farmers market.  I love the farmers market.  I was up hiking around the other weekend and saw this drawing on the water tower thing up there.  I thought it was pretty funny.

While at the farmers market I picked up some tasty veggies.  Among which was this enormous zucchini.  It was the size of a baby's leg!  I was looking for some fun ideas for the veggies I purchased and came across Chef Chloe's blog.  She had some fun Asian inspired meals that looked tasty and I wanted to try.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Curry Chickpea Salad

I've always enjoyed a good chicken salad back during my meat eating days.  Since becoming vegan I've eaten plenty of egg-less salads using tofu in the place of the eggs, but never made a chicken-less one.  The recipes I've found typically use tempeh, but I am getting tired of constantly using soy in my meals.  Lately I've been scaling back on those ingredients and looking around for possible replacement.  Chickpeas seemed like a good start.

I always found it funny how many names there are for chickpeas.  There's chickpea, garbanzo bean, Indian pea, and Bengal gram.  Chickpeas are also considered one of the longest cultivated vegetables in the world.  I also found out, via handy dandy Wikipedia, that India produces the most chickpeas in the world by quite a large margin.  About six times as much as the country in second place: Pakistan.  And of course, chickpeas are an excellent source of protein.  Now on to the recipe!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sprout some Sprouts!

I don't know if it gets much more hippie-like than growing your own sprouts.  Sprouts are a great source of nutrients, are considered a superfood, and are delicious!  My fav to grow are fenugreek sprouts, primarily because the seeds are very accessible to me.  Whole Foods sells them in the bulk spice section and they are very easy to grow.  Other sprouts are delicious as well like broccoli, radish, sunflower, alfalfa, etc.  The process is pretty much the same for all these seeds, so google possible sprout choices and go to town!

The process is basically rinse and repeat until sprouts start to develop.  To start off you want to find a glass jar and a mesh lid.  It can be as elaborate or inexpensive as you want.  To make mine I got a bell jar and the tradition lid.  The lid typically is a metal disk and a ring that screws on.  I cut a piece out of some crappy nylons and then secured it to the jar with the ring, ditching the metal disk part.  This allows you to be able to drain off water without having all your seeds/sprouts escape.

Once you have your jar set and your seeds picked out, fill the bottom of the jar with seeds; I use about 2 spoonfuls for the fenugreek seeds.  Cover the seeds with water and let soak overnight.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Delicious Cookies

Mmm chocolate chip cookies!!  Normally I hate to turn on the oven during the summer.  Lately we've had non-stop 90 degree weather.  Today it got up to 93 degrees.  Tomorrow it's supposed to be 91 and Thursday it's supposed to be 94.  Ick. 

Occasionally, like today, a storm rolls through and the 90 degree weather takes a nose dive.  That day I happened to bust out quite a few meals and my bf felt bad, so he baked me some "Cowboy" cookies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar.  These ended up huge and delicious.  Nothing beats getting delicious homemade cookies without having to bake them yourself.

If you want to give them a whirl yourself, here's the recipe.  The cookbook is awesome; I'd definitely recommend you get a copy.  The Rocky Road cookies are also very, very good.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Gray goo

Have you ever made something that looks repulsive but tastes delicious?  I think to most people my morning smoothies have a strange tinge, but are quite tasty.  The combination of green leaves, red strawberries, and blue fruit doesn't combine to some beautiful color, that's for sure.

The food I made the other night might take the cake though.  It's what I would imagine liver pate to look like...

The pic isn't great, but it's basically gray goo.  A spreadable gray goo, similar to hummus in consistency.  What makes it gray?  Mushrooms!  I'll admit when I made this recipe and peered into my food processor, I was a bit put off.  How could something that looks like that, taste good? 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Late Nights and Lentils

Last night, which was a Sunday no less, I drove an hour up to my place of business to have a teleconference with a person I'm training in India.  I was at the office from 9:15-midnight and didn't get home until 1am.  It's amazing all the things that are different when you don't follow your usual routine.

For example, it usually only takes about 45 minutes to get there and back on a normal day.  There's never much traffic, but the distance is far.  Last night however, I failed to take into consideration that they do all the roadwork construction at night.  Luckily for me, I missed it going in to work, but I was significantly slowed down coming home, despite the late hour.  I'm impressed by those construction workers laying pavement at 1 am.

Additionally, the on ramp to the highway up at my office was closed, which meant I had to drive on a frontage road for a bit before I could get back on.  Driving on a frontage road is scary because you never know what sort of creature is going to pop out and scare the crap out of you.  I saw a couple of little dark creatures (like the size of a gerbil) dart across the road and a raccoon who shrank back when my lights blared it in the eyes.  It definitely had me freaked about a potential deer encounter.

Once I got to the office, I found that the normal entrance I drive through was padlocked closed.  I was a little concerned, but I'm still good on time, so I try the second gate.  This one is closed too.  Now I'm starting to freak out, because if I can't get in I'm basically going to have to turn around and go home, waste a night, and have no way to easily let my counterpart in India know what happened until an hour after I miss the start of the meeting.