Thursday, January 29, 2009

Vegan Quesadilla

As promised, pics of my dish bean dip turned into a quesadilla. Today I munched on some blanched kale and brown rice with it. This was a much needed, well balanced lunch.

On a sad note, my little man Rufus has passed on. you may remember when I got him.

He had to be rushed to the emergency vet last night. Needless to say I got little sleep and am upset about his passing. It's times like this that I need to remember to nourish my body with tasty healthy food.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bean Dips

Here in America the SuperBowl time is upon us. I've been making a few new bean dips and I've discovered my favorite way to eat them: pan fried in a corn tortilla. It tastes very similar to a quesadilla.

Example of what I mean:
Cilantro garlic hummus inside a pan fried corn tortilla with some cucumber chips and guacamole on the side... YUM

I made a white bean dip today with roasted garlic and onion. I haven't gotten a chance for pictures but I'll takes some and post soon. Visuals always sell a dish for me ;)

Do you have any "junk food" SuperBowl dishes you're going to make?

I'll probably make these quesadillas and something with sweet potato, maybe LOADED sweet potatoes.


Monday, January 26, 2009

Grain Burger

At the end of the week I always have a little left over grain or beans or old veg in my fridge. My favorite trick for using this stuff up is burgers. If you have a food processor this is really easy to do. Throw in your leftover grain, beans or veg and vroom it for a few pulses and then you have your burger base. Form the mix into patties and coat them with flour. You can bake or fry them. This weeks mix included:

Leftover barley
garlic (it's STRONG so if you can roast it, I suggest doing that)
celery (with leaves)

My patties are coated in blue corn flour and fried
I topped it off with some avocado and sea veg. Perfect quick meal!

Do you ever transform your leftovers into something new?


Friday, January 23, 2009

Cherry Rose Water Muffin Recipe

Hey guys,
A couple of days late but the recipe is here! This is a mini batch of muffins. It only makes 12 mini muffins.
1/2 cup wheat flour
3 tablespoons "milk"
3 tablespoons oil
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
a cap-full rose water
a cap-full vanilla
a cap-full almond extract
1/4 cup chopped dried cherries
2 tablespoons agave

Pinch of salt

Preheat oven at 325 degrees.
Combine all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder/soda and salt) in a bowl. In a seperate bowl combine all wet ingredients (everything except the cherries). Pour your wet ingredients into dry ones and gently stir. Once everything has come together add your chopped cherries. pour into your mini muffin tin and bake for 12-20 minutes

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Cherry Rose Water Muffins

No those are not giant cherries, they're mini muffins. My favorite part of these muffins is how the dried fruit re-hydrates while they're baking. When you take a bite there's a pleasant plump cherry surprise inside. I've been focusing on measuring and taking notes so I can post complete recipes on here more often. With that said, I left the recipe at home haha
I'll be back tonight to post it but not before LOST! If you're a fan be sure to watch tonight. I'll be at a LOST pizza party until late. I'm excited for it!
See you tonight with the recipe for these mini muffin delights

Monday, January 19, 2009

Green in San Antonio

Who loves random mini road trips? I do!
When a friend asked if I wanted to go to San Antonio for the day to look around and try their vegetarian restaurant Green I quickly agreed. I didn't actually want to stay at home and do dishes or clean anyway.

Seeing as this is the only all vegetarian eatery in San Antonio I fully support it. The staff was welcoming and kind. We ordered the Buffalo Tofu Fingers to start off. Oi! I'm not sure I get these again. They're FAR too greasy and I'm not sure they actually cooked the tofu first. This is a dish better suited for a new veg person who's looking for old comforts, too intense for me.

My main dish was the Sesame Chickin. The two sides I chose were brown rice and kale. I'd say a it was pretty balanced meal and the portions were large (who doesn't like that?). I ate half of it for lunch and the other half for dinner. The wheat meat chickin reminded me of country fried steak but in a good way. I very much enjoyed it although the kale had some red pepper flakes that kept getting caught in my throat which made me cough a little.
On a scale of 1-10 I would rate this a 7. Decent food, not spectacular, and I would go back again to try a different item because some of those sandwiches were tempting.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tempeh Filled Soup

If you ask me, fried tempeh is just about the best thing ever. I can't think of an easier or better way to use tempeh so I usually end up frying it just because it sounds so darn good to me. Since you can't eat fried tempeh by the bowl alone (well you can but you really shouldn't), I usually end up placing it on top of a soup or salad. Looks like today was a soup day eh?

This soup wasn't anything special really. A mirepoix (carrots, celery, onion) shitake mushrooms, miso, finally I added some parsley and the celery tops at the end. The highlight of the meal was definitely my beloved tempeh.

On Saturday I'll be assisting in my first class at school. I'm a little nervous but I'm sure I will survive. I may be exhausted because it's 4-5 hours long but I need to earn at least 160 assisting hours before I can graduate so I need to get started already.

Anyone have any fun weekend plans?


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Vegan Oatmeal Cream Pies

To be technical these are Vegan Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Pies with a Cashew Cream filling. That title seemed a little too long for some reason.

I think I love coworkers birthdays more than my own. I get to bake something that I've never made and everyone gets to try it. Don't get me wrong, I bake on my birthday too but there's something about baking for someone else that makes me joyful. Do I sound like Betty Crocker? Martha a little? Gesh, I better stop that.
I used a recipe from La Dolce Vegan (of course I modified it). I’d like to make a LOW fat version of this recipe because it’s just far too much butter for me. The cookies do taste good though.

Oatmeal cookies

½ cup vegan margarine (at room temp)
¼ cup maple syrup or agave (you can add more for a sweeter cookie)
2 cups rolled oats
½ cup flour
¼ cup “milk”
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon of cinnamon (optional)
¼ cup of nuts (optional- I like sliced almonds)
Chocolate chips to taste. About a ¼ to ½ a cup

Pre heat your over to 325 degrees. Cream the margarine with your sweetener and vanilla. Add the oats, flour, milk, baking powder, spices, nuts and chocolate to the margarine mixture. I started with a fork and then ended up doing it with my hands and almost kneading it. I prefer smaller cookies so I scooped the dough into teaspoon size balls but you can use a tablespoon for larger cookies. You must shape these cookies and press them flat, they will not spread while baking.
Place on oiled cookie sheet. For smaller cookies bake for 8-10 mins. Larger cookies will take from 15-20 minutes.

Cashew Cream
1 cup cashews
¼ cup H20
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1-3 tablespoons agave
Large pinch of lemon zest

Soak the cashews for at least 8 hours. Place in food processor with all other ingredients and blend until smooth. You can really change this recipe up a lot (add spices, different extracts…). The most important part is soaking the nuts. You can change the amounts of most anything else to suit your taste.

I’m the only who has tried these so far but I like them!


Friday, January 09, 2009

Sweet Potato Noodles

While perusing our Korean market in town I found some noodles that were labeled as Sweet Potato Noodles. One of my favorite restaurants has a dish involving sweet potato noodles so I was set to replicate it.
I made a pressed salad and added it (plus all of it's wonderful juices) to my already cooked noodles. The pressed salad was great, as always, but I need some sort of sauce on the sweet potato noodles. They were a little too dry for me, I'm not sure what they add to keep everything so moist and flavorful. It looks like I need a to experiment more for this dish.

As soon as I got home from CA I made a batch of azuki beans and I've been adding them to meals throughout this week. I had azuki beans and avocado along side my noodle dish. This meal was extremely filling and I almost couldn't finish.
I want to cook with azuki beans more. Do you have any good recipes? My favorite is azuki and squash but this avocado one was fantastic as well

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Turtle Mountain- Vegan Ice Cream

Turtle Mountain sent me a BUNCH of product to try. I'll admit, I haven't gotten through even half of it yet but it's not for lack of effort ;)

When the box arrived at my work I announced a mini ice cream party in the kitchen but by the end of the day I was walking around and handing ice cream bars to everyone in my department.

I must say, it was fantastic to be popular for a day.

Honestly, I was curious what regular omnivores would think of this "crazy" vegan ice cream.
Nope, I didn't tell them it was vegan (I didn't lie either). All I said was this is ice cream made with coconut milk. That didn't freak them out too much.
Everyone liked the bars but all said they could taste the coconut flavor, which wasn't a bad thing.
The woman who sits next to me mentioned her husband was lactose intolerant but made himself sick with ice cream all the time because he missed it. *hint hint* I told her he could eat this and not get sick.
Now they have a new treat in their house and only 2 complaints
1) It's a little pricey for a pint of ice cream (around 5 bucks)
2) Her son eats the vegan ice cream that's for his father instead of eating his regular stuff. haha

Anywho, this is my favorite flavor so far. I was tempted to save it for last because I knew I'd love it.

This is a close second favorite. Note that you can't really taste much coconut in either of these flavors.

Mint chip is my coworkers family favorite so far.

And these seem to be everyone's favorite bar. I ran out of them at the office on the first day during my mini ice cream party :)
I already was a fan of using coconut milk in vegan ice cream because of the texture it provides but the variety of flavors in this line is fantastic. Be prepared for a coconut-y flavor in most of them as well as a higher price tag.
The chocolate peanut butter swirl is DEFINITELY worth it though.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Miso Ginger Soup

After having the mushroom barley soup on Christmas with my family I decided to do a different variation of the recipe.
This is a barley, shitake, miso, ginger soup. It still has the mushroom barley flavor combination but now with an asian twist :). At the end I added some celery tops and green onion to brighten up the flavor and color of the soup. I don't like a big bowl of soup that's only one color.

Now I have some big news that I've been sitting on a little while:
Turtle Mountain has sent me a bunch of vegan ice cream to taste test!

My next post will include tons of tasty frozen treats.


Friday, January 02, 2009

Back In Austin

I've been MIA for a week visiting my family and friends in CA. YAY for being back in Austin and double yay for it being a Friday so I have the weekend to recover from my trip home. My internal clock has been taken for a spin. As soon as I was accustomed to CA time, I'm back to Austin and up for work.

I haven't downloaded any pictures yet, believe me I have tons of pics. So I'll just gloat about my favorite Mexican food ever!

I made a road trip to San Diego for the food and to visit my friend Julie.