Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pumpkin Saag

Another new favorite from Veganomicon
This its vegan at its finest...naturally delicious.  No imitation anything..just good food.
First, you need to bake a pumpkin and get all its guts out:

Here is a picture of the pumpkin after a decent bit of baking time.  Afterwards, I peeled the skin off and chopped the flesh up into cubes.

I didn't end up with enough spinach since I used most of it for a cooking project earlier in the week.  After I put everything together I set it in the fridge for a few days until I could get back to the grocery.

I like my saag really smooth without big chunks in it, so I put it in the blender after I got more spinach.  Here is what it looked liked cooking in my pan.

I thought it needed some more "Indian" flavor, so I added in nearly double the amount of spices the original recipe called for.  I served this over brown rice that I cooked in vegetable broth.

I ended up stirring some peanut butter into mine, because it happened to strike my fancy at the moment.
This was a delicious recipe and will definitely make its way into my cooking repertoire.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Well, I didn't actually get a bingo.

Last week, Below Zero suggested we go downtown and wander around to see what trouble we might find.  We started at the cheap parking lot, then we flipped a quarter each time we got to an intersection to see which direction we might go.

Above you see the view at Fountain Square.  We also found a little coffee shop, one that I've heard of but never entered.

Below Zero was a bit hungry, so when we found ourselves on Vine Street, we headed straight for Hamburger Mary's.  Wouldn't you know, it was BINGO night!

We started out with two BINGO sheets apiece...then some nice folks that were leaving gave us theirs two!  Mwa-ha-ha-ha.  Epic BINGO!

Neither one of us won at BINGO, but thats ok.  It was super fun to play.

Our travels for the evening ended at Mary's.  I had to get home to get to sleep since it was a work night. 


Monday, October 25, 2010

Vegan Pizza

This is a photo essay of my first time using Daiya, which is vegan cheese.
Having never tried vegan cheese before, I can't say I was impressed or disappointed. 
Likes:  It melted like regular cheese

Dislikes:  It looked like fake plastic was melted on my pizza, and it didn't really taste cheesy.

First, we start with homemade dough.  I used this recipe.
Here is the dough in the bowl, getting ready to start and uprising.

Then, I convinced my sister to try some GT's kombucha.  To make it a special event, I poured it into a champagne glass.  :)  She tried the guava flavor.  She gave it a good try, and drank at least half the glass.  It just didn't tickle her I gladly helped her finish it.  I need to put my kombucha in champagne glasses more often.

While all that kombucha goodness was going on, I was preparing eggplant.  Slicing and salting, rinsing, then coating in coconut oil.

Sprinkled with Italian Seasonings
Now I am pre-baking the dough a little bit.  This makes it so the toppings don't burn while you are waiting for the crust to cook.  You also avoid mushy middle.
I made my own sauce as well.   In the future, I will use caution with my crushed red pepper flakes!  I got a new jar and they are much more potent then the ones I had before.  This ended up being pretty spicy sauce.

I also made my own pesto with cilantro, almonds, and basil (the basil was grown right in my very own backyard!)


Add in some cilantro

some almonds...

so good i was eating it with a spoon

Unfortunately, there wasn't enough pesto to cover my entire (giant) pizza crust.  So I had a little bit without anything on it.  That part of the crust got burned and I broke it off and threw it away.

And here are a few pictures of the finished product:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fancy Roast Chicken

I'm testing recipes to cook for a meat eating friend over the Thanksgiving holiday.  Since I haven't been cooking with animals at home much, I decided I'd better start now and try out some recipes.

Enter this recipe:  Sexy Saturday Night Roast Chicken
Except I didn't make mine on a Saturday, and it didn't really look like hers...but was tasty.

Here are the key ingredients.  Chicken, lemon, and prosciutto (pro Shoot oh...kind of).  Oh, and fresh sage leaves.  not pictured.  I promise I didn't eat them. is the sage.  and the prosciutto...which is a dry, cured ham.  If you know my eating habits very well, you'll note that I like to consider myself a ham aficionado.  I really enjoy ham.

But alas, this is a blog post about chicken.  So I will let the chicken have the spotlight.  Just remember, there is secret ham involved.
Chickens like it hot and fast, so I cooked this one at 450 for about an hour.

 and a super artsy fancy foodie shot for good measure:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Vegan Mushroom and Spinach Strata

Sunday morning, I thought a fancy breakfast was in order.  I had this recipe in mind because it made lots of servings and looked like it would reheat well so I could eat it all week.  I was right.  :)

Start off with a little mushroom and a little onion, and sautee all nice:
Next I needed to make the custard.  No heavy cream or cheese here!  Just some soft tofu, mustard (for eggy color), corn starch, and lemon juice.
All blended up:
Add some spinach in to the yummy mushrooms:

Note, the following is the last orderly looky purty picture for this post.  Next, you mix in some cubed bread.
You blend it all together until it looks so messy you think you should probably just throw it out...
And here are three photos of the nom nom nom nom n om nom...delicious...nom n om nom...product

nom nom nom nom nom....

This was, in fact, terrific.  I got 4-5 breakfasts out of it.  yay!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

You know whats tasty?

Acorn squash.  It turned completely orange, so I figured it was about to spoil and I'd better cook it.  So, acorn squash.  Stuffed with this:
Quinoa Chickpea pilaf!  Major ingredients:  Quinoa, chickpeas, garlic and onions, indian style spices like cumin, little bit of tomato paste.


I've really got to start taking pictures of the finished product before I sit down and nom it all up!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Vegan Picnic Takeover!

I suggested a picnic as a fun evening activity and Below Zero agreed.  Low and behold Below Zero is also a big fan of vegan cuisine and has a cookbook collection to boot!  I was treated to a delicious feast at Sawyer Point last week.

Here is the appetizer.  Bruschetta made from Findlay market tomatoes and fresh basil.  Some onion, garlic, and oil too I would bet.

 Next up was a delightful chickpea salad:
There was also a salad made out of greens and peppers (Also found at Findlay):
There were a few items I didn't get pictures of, such as a Vegan BetterFinger that I picked up at Park + Vine along with a few fancy sodas...or the Cranberry Pumpkin scones I made from the Veganomicon cookbook.  What can I say.  When you are eating dessert, its hard to put it down long enough to take a picture.

But, I did manage to get a picture of my meal:

Of course this was only that start of my nom nom nom nom noming.  A little bit of everything, mixed together.  That is baked tofu on the right...I didn't get a proper picture of that earlier.

Summary:  Delicious vegan food enjoyed with a view of the river and good company!  Win.

Give me noming or give me death!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Sauteed Seitan with Mushrooms and Spinach

I attempted to make this recipe from Veganomicon back at the beginning of October.  However, I didn't realize I had tempeh and not Seitan (Say-Tahn...a low fat, high protein, firm textured meat substitute).  I got a pretty good laugh out of it when I figured it out.  So, if you are interested in Smoky Grilled Tempeh, my consolation prize recipe based on the ingredients I actually had, visit this post.

The first step of making Sauteed Seitan with Mushrooms and Spinach is making Seitan.  Here is what I used:

The best part about this recipe is that I'm pretty sure I re-created the soup base for Ramen noodles.  Apparently, all you have to do is mix vegetable broth with soy sauce.  It smells just like Ramen.  I saved every last drop of the broth, even froze some for later.  I love Ramen, and now I have organic broth and can make my own.  Yay!

Here is everything getting mixed together:
And formed into little patties, ready for cooking.  Next time I think I will try to shape it like meatballs.  heheehee...
Then you simply put it in the broth you made and you boil it.  You can do this in the oven, but it was easier for me this way at this time.  Maybe next time I will try the oven.  So, when they are done, they look exactly the same.  Though I think they expanded in size a lot.  It's hard to tell from my "before" picture.
Now, you may think I'm done because it looks like I have little non-meaty hamburgers.  But you are wrong!  I still have to make it sauteed and add mushrooms and spinach!
Slices seitan, sliced mushrooms, slice onions
Here is everything cooking in the pan.  Thyme is such a wonderful flavor on mushrooms.
And that, is the delicious final picture of my dinner.  This made two or three meals.  I also had some leftover rice from the Wild Rice Yam Pancakes that made a nice side dish.