Sunday, October 28, 2007

Chowin' Down

Once again, this week was pretty busy on the food front. I had to use up the last of our garden bounty, and VwaV inspired me to team my remaining grape tomatoes with pesto and pasta. I made my usual pesto with fresh basil, ground almonds, garlic, olive oil, sundried tomatoes and salt, then mixed it with sautéed grape tomatoes and onions, and finally tossed it all with pasta and olive oil. It was a really great way to end this past season - I'm already looking forward to next summer's garden! Although, that's not so hard to believe - Ottawa winters are dreadful and we always look forward to the nice weather!

Later in the week, I made Orange-Glazed Tofu and Broccoli from The Vegetarian Family Cookbook. Oddly enough, it tasted just like this. But it seemed way easier! I'd definitely make this again in a heartbeat. And I liked it with the tofu, since seitan seems to be turning my stomach these days.

On the baked goods front, I think I've nearly made every muffin recipe with VwaV. I have been tempted by the Ginger Raisin Bran Muffins, but since I'm not a fan of raisins nor crystallized ginger, I made a couple of subs to include nuts and a chopped pear. I'll definitely make these again, as I really liked how they tasted just like something from a bakery - not too soft and moist like my muffins usually are!

Last night, I decided to make something from the November/December 2007's issue of VT - I've been looking to add to my salad repertoire, and the Spinach-and-Orange Salad with Almonds and Honey-Sesame Dressing fit the bill. Now, I didn't want to use the honey, so in my usual fashion, I substituted half the amount of honey with maple syrup, and the other half with agave nectar. Omigod - this salad was great! Very easy too. I also drizzled my leftover dressing from my plate onto my leftover Orange-Glazed Tofu and Broccoli serving - I'm so refined :( I hope my mother doesn't read this, but I figure it was better than licking my salad plate clean (which, of course, I NEVER do...)

Tonight, Kyle and I made separate batches of Sarah's Stew - his with meat, and mine featuring Yves Chick'n Tenders (due to my recent non-fondness of seitan, I've been using these, which oddly enough, I can stomach). Here's the recipe:

Sarah's Stew

6 large potatoes, unpeeled and diced into 1-inch cubes
1 head cauliflower, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
2 large onions, diced
2 cups savoy cabbage (optional)
2 cups celery, chopped
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 jar tomato paste
2 teaspoons marjoram
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon celery salt
pepper to taste
8 cups vegetable stock
1 ½ tablespoons Spike seasoning

*Yves Chick'n Tenders, optional

Heat oil in an extra large cooking pot. Add the vegetables. Stir well for 2 - 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste, herbs, Spike and pepper, then pour in the stock and tenders (if using). Stir well, and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover pot and simmer for 30 minutes. By this time, the water should have been absorbed and the vegetables will be tender. Tastes way better the next day.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Greatest Hits!

Wow, I didn't realize how many pics I've taken over the last few weeks! I guess I did some good eatin'!

First, I made a few things from recent issues of VT. From September 2007, I made the Greek-Style Panini with a couple of substitutions - crumbled tofu instead of feta and I also spread some pesto on my sliced baguette. These were tasty! It did tempt me to add a panini griller to my appliance collection, but a weighted pot was a great stand-in on top of my grill pan. I teamed this up with a Carrot Soup from an old issue of VT - it used a whole giant bag of baby carrots that I chopped in the food processor then blended with leeks and other ingredients in the pressure cooker.

Next, I made another quick meal from October 2007's issue - Stir-Fried Udon Noodles with Bok Choy. It was very tangy and tasty!

I also made a delicious recipe from Bryanna Clark Grogan's Almost No-Fat Cookbook. I had this book tucked away in my kitchen bookcase with full intentions to make the Pineapple Sweet and Sour Stir-Fry, but never seemed to get around to it. Am I ever glad that I finally did! It was another quick meal, as I used Yves "Chicken" Tenders. It was very flavourful with the sauce and the pineapple! I received many compliments from curious co-workers as the smell of my reheated leftovers wafted over the cubicle walls.

I also tried a couple of recipes of my own - I roasted some butternut squash in my slow cooker with onions, garlic, ginger and maple syrup, then when I got home, puréed it up with some veggie stock to make a yummy soup.

I also used some leftover meatballs from making this again, to serve on top of brown long-grain rice. For the sauce, I mixed equal amounts of chili sauce and organic grape jelly - just like my mom does for regular meatballs. Tasty!

From VwaV, to continue with Tracy's challenge while we count down the days to the Canadian release of Veganomicon, I made Banana-Pecan Pancakes. I used whole wheat flour as my only sub...delicious! They were light and fluffy, just like Isa said they would in the lead-up to the recipe!

Finally, I wanted to save this entry for last. After describing numerous carrot mishaps here, here and here, I finally had success with the Carrot-Raisin Muffins from VwaV!!! This was a major victory for me! They were extremely yummy, especially with the addition of walnuts! I won't be too adventurous again, as the dried cranberries I added were not a good idea.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The All-You-Can-Grab Buffet

Here's my contribution to the housewarming that we went to on the weekend. VWAV's Tofu Dill Salad Sammiches:

As Sarah described, as soon as they hit the buffet table they were being gobbled up by the obviously starving omni crowd. This wasn't the venue for extolling the virtues of vegan food, it was the kinda time and place where you grabbed what you could and growled at anyone who looked longingly at your plate. The omnis didn't even use plates, so the vegans had to forage for what they could.

Considerably less attractive than Sarah's stellar dessert were the Pumpkin Pie Brownies that I made.

But I really enjoyed the pumpkin-chocolate combo - the spicy pumpkin really set off the rich chocolate base.

For my Vwav challenge, we had One Night in Bangkok (well, two) - I made both the Brooklyn Pad Thai and the Thai Green Curry;

(The pad thai photos got lost in cyberspace. Or camera space. There's only one terribly blurry photo left. I won't make you dizzy.)

I went with tamarind in the pad thai sauce vs the lime juice. I think next time I'll try half of each, for extra extra flavour. I really liked the dish. For the curry, I'll throw in more veggies next time, like broccoli and maybe carrots. Thai restaurants always serve those fancy-cut carrots. I don't know how to do that.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Heaven on Earth

Omigod - Isa's Chocolate Smlove Pie is to die for. I can't really say much else because it was just that darn good, as it was devoured at a family housewarming party tonight. Fortunately, Tracy and I managed to serve ourselves and our immediate family before the other vultures came along! I think most of the non-vegans who ate the pie were on too much of a chocolate high to notice or care that tofu was a main ingredient.

I was nervous about how long the recipe was in length, but happily surprised that it didn't really take much effort at all to make. I used a whole package of water-packed silken tofu that weighed more than the pound called for in the recipe, so I skipped adding the liqueur/soymilk option for the filling. It turned out great. I'm also glad that I read somewhere on the PPK to make extra maple-candied pecans - what a great little snack to have leftover!

Honestly though, anyone who hasn't already made this should really do so immediately! I can't believe I had stored this recipe in the back of my mind for as long as I did!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


It's definitely harvest time! I bought six pie pumpkins from Farm Boy and spent my holiday Monday roasting...

Puréeing and packaging...

and Muffining! I tweaked the VwaV Best Pumpkin Muffins Ever recipe to use whole wheat flour, egg replacer and some applesauce that would have otherwise rotted in the fridge (it was still fresh when I used it!). They were amazing. I also made a Pumpkin Pie for Thanksgiving, but I ate all evidence of that.

I also tweaked my own recipe for Pumpkin Scones. I cut out circles, and instead of using the Drizzle part of the recipe (I was getting lazy at this point), I just sprinkled some cinnamon on top of the icing.

With all of that, I STILL have loads of pumpkin left over to store in the freezer to make more yummy pumpkin treats throughout the winter - hooray!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Six Down

I tucked a few more VwaV recipes under my apron strings.

Mushroom and Sun-dried Tomato Risotto

The flavours are heavenly. I may try it in the pressure cooker next time as the stirring is labourious.

Sweet Potato Hash (a keeper for sure, featuring spinach here)

The most heartiest vegan dish around, Stewed Tofu and Potatoes in Miso Gravy

Braised Cauliflower in Three-Seed Sauce

(Hot-Sauce Glazed Tempeh from Veganomicon makes an appearance there - it is SO good. I need to go buy more tempeh)

Apple Pie Crumb-cake Muffins

And scrumptious, scrumptious Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies.

Pete came home with six more sugar pie pumpkins. I get the hint.

Veganomicon is set to ship from Chapters on November 1 (my birthday - certainly a sign). Must. keep. cooking...

And I obviously need to switch up my placemats once in a while.