Sunday, April 15, 2007

A Full Course

I was craving chickpeas, so I made one of my fave recipes from Vegan Planet - Chickpeas with Zucchini and Rosemary (or something like that). It was very simple, and quite filling.

When I asked Kyle what he was hoping to eat this weekend, he mentioned a salad. We have a few old stand-bys, but I decided to try something new. From 125 Best Vegan Recipes, I made the Waldorf Salad with Cranberries. The dressing, once mixed, was pretty blah, but surprisingly, once incorporated with the cranberries, apples and walnuts, it tasted really good!

To finish things off, I modified my own recipe for a coconut cream pie to turn it into a Key Lime Pie. When I had cravings for Key Lime Pie in the past, I had used this recipe, but was always grossed out by the requirement for packaged vanilla pudding and fake cream cheese that is laden with hydrogenated fat. My version was good, but a little too jelly-like, so I have to work on making it a little creamier. But with a tasty graham crust, it is quite heavenly!

Monday, April 09, 2007

VT Crazy!

I went on a bit of a spree with the April 2007 issue of Vegetarian Times. I'm finding that after close to two years of seeming to cater to new vegetarians who mainly eat mock meats, they are featuring many more vegan-friendly recipes. Hooray!

I first made the Banana Walnut Bread. I was quite excited to use the agave nectar in my pantry for the first time, so I couldn't wait to see how it would fare in this recipe. I followed the instructions nearly all the way, but I used soft whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose, and used a few teaspoons of vanilla extract instead of the 3 tablespoons (!) that were called for. The verdict? Although I found that my version nearly matched the appearance of the mini-bread that was pictured on the page, I found the bread very bland and much preferred my own recipe.

Next, I made the 'Meatloaf' that was meant to be used in sandwiches. With a base of firm tofu and 'ground round', it was delicious! I even used old-fashioned oats instead of quick cooking oats, and although I was worried about the impact, the loaf turned out great.

I added some baked cubed sweet potatoes (4 small sweet potatoes with 1/3 cup veggie stock with a teaspoon of dried thyme baked at 375 degrees for 40 minutes) to serve along with it. I think it was my third time trying to convince Kyle that sweet potatoes were tasty, but to no avail. It's too bad that I've been unsuccessful in making them taste good to him, as they're so good for us!

Finally, I tackled the Vanilla Pound Cake with Lime Glaze. Since my loaf pan was occupied by the 'meatloaf', I used my muffin tin to make individual-sized poundcakes. Again, I followed the recipe nearly to a T, except I used whole wheat flour instead of cake flour, and doubled the amount of icing sugar for the glaze so it wouldn't be so runny. The verdict? Absolutely heavenly. To die for. Delicious. I only wish that I didn't take such a blurry photo.

As I typed this entry, I saw my 'bunny' - a friendly little visitor to my barren backyard. He's so darn cute. Kyle and I are planning to put in a garden this spring, so unfortunately, we'll be fencing it off so that 'bunny' doesn't eat all of our vegetables.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Sweet 16

The youngest of our two cool teens turned 16 on Tuesday, and the five of us celebrated the big event last night, complete with VCTOTW's basic chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting. The liners featured Strawberry Shortcake, as per Princess's request.

It was worth the indulgence. Of course, we sent the birthday girl packing with a few cupcake leftovers so we wouldn't eat them.

As the book suggests, I added 1 tsp of rosewater to the icing for a sweet sixteen scent.

Aahh, to be young again.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Salad Standoff

As a parent trying to make sure her child is fed the best diet possible, getting all the essential vitamins and minerals, I carefully concocted a salad for Princess, with the things she likes, as well as some new things snuck in, confident that it would be appealing enough to not become a dinnertime battleground. I present to you, the salad that surely every kid would eat.

Well the avocados were rejected immediately, and even had to be hidden in a napkin so they weren't visible during dinner. The strawberries went over well. The cucumbers were half-eaten to become moons, the tomatoes disappeared somewhere and the lettuce became "wraps" for the carrots. Quite a few fava beans fell victim to the floor, and therefore the dogs, but at least three were consumed under my watchful eye in order for the meal to qualify for dessert, which was by request a vegan s'more (no pictures of that, as it wasn't very appetizing, even for chocolate).

For the adults in the crowd, the salad dressing was amazing.

Guacamole Dressing

1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tblsp chopped cilantro
1 chopped green onion
1/4 tsp sea salt
dash of ground pepper
just less than 1/2 cup organic extra virgin olive oil

It satisfied my daily craving for guac.

And tonight for dinner, I tried another recipe from Vegan World Fusion Cuisine, strangely named Tara's Pad Thai.

It was very authentic, and Pete gave it a Tony-the-Tiger "Grrrrreat!". I found the order of ingredients in the book confusing, and the result was that I accidently added the sesame oil to the sauce, so if you make it, don't say I didn't warn you.

Thus far into the book, I have not discovered who Tara is.