Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 30: Last Day!

It's the last day of Vegan Mofo!! Yea! It has been really fun. It seems like the month just flew by. Congrats to everyone who participated! Even if you didn't do a post every day, every post counts. I haven't been able to keep up with the google feed. I apologize for not visiting everyone's blog often, but I'll make my way through the old posts slowly. Be prepared for random comments on everything four months from now.

For today, I made a couple of recipes from Appetite For Reduction and I am in love. I can tell you right now, these are going to be regular meals in my house. They are very low in points and so satisfying. The korma is a great way to use tons of veggies in your dinner. You can toss most veggies in there without a problem. It's great. And curried chickpeas with greens has been a favorite dish of mine at Indian restaurants for years. Every time I tried previously, the spices or texture was off. I'm so glad I now have a recipe to make it right!

Curried Chickpeas and Greens 

2nd Avenue Vegetable Korma 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 29: My Favorite Cookbooks

I want to give a shout out today to some of my favorite cookbooks that I use regularly. I've mentioned some of them here and there, but some of the ones I neglected this month need their own shout out, since I didn't get to share one of their recipes (I should have planned this MoFo better). Any (or all) of these would AMAZING gifts for this gift-giving season.

1) Vegan With A Vengeance: This book totally changed my cooking. Before this, my vegan cooking mainly took the form of omni recipes with mock meats in place of the meat. Not very tasty. VWAV taught me how to cook. The Scrambled Tofu, Pancakes, Basil-Tofu Ricotta, Matzoh Ball Soup, and Brooklyn Pad Thai have become indispensable regulars on my kitchen table because they're quick, easy, or the very best thing I've ever eaten.

2) Yellow Rose Recipes: I make the Tamale Pie from this book often. It's tastes fantastic and it's so easy to throw together. Actually, that's an accurate description for all the recipes in this book. So quick and easy and delicious. It's out of print now, so if you're lucky enough to have snagged one, keep it close to your heart. If you don't have it, try to snag one of the few used copies available out there.

3) The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur: I just got this book and I'm already in love with it. Just browsing the recipes takes all day because there are SO many. I've only made the Soft Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies so far because that's all I had on hand, but everything looks so good. Some of the creative recipes in here include Piña Colada Cookies, Peanut Butter Cup Cookies, Thin Mint-type cookies, Chocolate Peppermint Cream Bars, S'mores Bars, classics like snickerdoodles and chocolate chip, and an entire section of no-bake cookies for those summer days when turning the oven on is out of the question. I can't wait to get in there and start making everything.

4) Anything at all by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and/or Terry Hope Romero: I am convinced that these two wonderful women are literally unable to make a recipe that isn't delicious. Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World is the reason I'm known as the cupcake girl wherever I go. The Magical Coconut Bars from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar are truly magical, as they seem to disappear from the pan within moments of making them. Viva Vegan puts canned refried beans to shame and makes me hate Taco Bell. Veganomicon made me star of many potlucks. And Vegan Brunch has replaced the question "What should I make for breakfast?" with "What ELSE should I make for breakfast?!" Don't get caught up in the assumption that this is only for breakfast, though. The quiche, crab cakes, and sausages are just a few of the recipes that are wonderful for lunch or dinner as well.

5) Appetite for Reduction: This one's not out yet, but I already have it on pre-order. It's another one of Isa's--filled with healthy, wholesome recipes. If you head over to Amazon, you can use the "Look Inside" function to check out the table of contents. I dare you to read it and not pre-order the book. It's impossible

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 27: Broccoli-Potato Soup with Fresh Herbs

This recipe is from the amazing cookbook, Veganomicon. If you don't have this book, I feel very sorry for you, because your life is incomplete. Seriously though, get it. The recipe calls for dill and mint, but you can substitute any fresh herbs or leave them out altogether.  

Broccoli-Potato Soup with Fresh Herbs

2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 Onion, Medium - Cooked
3 Garlic Clove
1/2 tsp Tarragon, Dried
1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
1 tsp Salt
6 cups Organic Vegetable Broth
2 lb Potato, Fresh Raw
4 cups Broccoli
1/4 cup Dill Weed, Fresh
1/4 cup Fresh Mint

Heat a soup pot over medium heat. Satué the onion in the olive oil for 5 to 7 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic, tarragon, black pepper, and salt, and cook for 1 more minute. Pour in the vegetable stock and add the potatoes. Cover and bring to a boil. Once the soup is boiling, lower the heat and let simmer for 15 more minutes. Add the broccoli and cook for 15 more minutes.

Use an immersion blender to blend about one-third of the soup; we like to keep it chunky with lots of whole potato chunks. If you don't have an immersion blender (get one!), transfer about one third of the soup to a blender of food processor and purée, then add it back to the rest of the soup.

Add the fresh dill and mint, then let the soup sit for about 10 minutes to let the flavors meld. Serve!

Vegan MoFo Day 26: Potatoes

I love oven roasted potatoes. I could eat a million. The best part is that it's so simple to make. I usually put the cut up potatoes, and maybe some onions, in a big bowl (leave the skin on) and sprinkle seasonings over the top. I change the herbs I use based on what else I'm making for dinner, but I find that a simple blend of salt, pepper, and a little Italian seasoning mix go with most dishes. Then you just have to toss the potatoes around to get them evenly coated and put them in a baking dish that has been sprayed with olive oil. Cover with foil. Bake at 425 degrees for 40 minutes or until tender. Check on them often while they bake and stir them around so they don't stick.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 25: Happy Thanksgiving!

My favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner is the stuffing. I used to make Stove Top every year. Every flavor has chicken broth or milk or something, so when I went vegan, I switched to Pepperidge Farm. But I felt it was time for my stuffing to grow up. Most of what I eat doesn't come from a box/package. Why should stuffing be any different? I wanted a "plain" stuffing without sausage or nuts or whatever. A thread on the PPK forums led me to this recipe. Perfect! Everyone in my family loved it.

Because it was such a hit, I took it a step further. I had seen this recipe for stuffing wrapped in puff pastry and it was on my mind, so now that I had a really good stuffing recipe, I went for it. I used store-bought puff pastry, but you can make your own if you're up for it. And I used Gimme Lean Sausage in place of the sausage. It was amazing. One modification for next year: a layer of thick gravy in the center, Stuffin style (seriously, check out those stuffins; they're amazing).

Along with that, I also had Tofurkey (of course). I roasted it with potatoes, onions, and carrots.  Super yum.

Vegan MoFo Day 24: Stuffed Turkey Nuggets

This post over at my friend Megans''s blog, Henry and Zelda, really had my mouth watering. Little seitan nuggets stuffed with stuffing? Amazing. I had to make them myself. I made a little stuffing. It was just the boring store-bought in-a-bag kind. A more sophisticated stuffing will be posted tomorrow. The seitan is Joanna Vaught's nugget recipe. The dough is very wet, but don't worry. It's supposed to be like that, since it's baked. You don't want them to be dried out.

I had problems rolling out the dough, even between to sheets of parchment paper, so I gave up on that idea. Instead, I took little bits of stuffing and made a few small balls and flattened them out a little. Then I took some seitan dough in my hand and flattened it out. I put a ball of stuffing in the center and wrapped the dough around it and just plopped it on the cookie sheet. It worked out pretty well. And they were so delicious!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 23: Product Review

One of my favorite products for last-minute meals is Gimme Lean Sausage. It's a little pricey, so I try not to go nuts with it because my instinct is to eat it with every meal to enjoy the tastiness constantly. And it's easy, you just spray a skillet with a little oil and brown the sausage in whatever form you want--patties, crumbles, meatballs, whatever. Just remember to get your hands very wet before handling it. It's quite sticky and water will keep it from sticking to you.

How do you use it, you ask? Here are some ideas:
  • Form into small patties or links and serve as a side for your scrambled tofu or on a biscuit.
  • Top a lightly toasted and buttered (earth balanced?) roll, scooped out bagel, or toast with a larger patty and tomato, raw spinach, and/or red onion. Only 3-5 points (depending on what kind of bread)!
  • Crumble and add to lasagna.
  • Form small balls to have with pasta.
  • Use the crumbles as a pizza topping.
  • Or use in any omni recipe that calls for sausage. Like stuffing!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 22: Gayke!

In the beginning of the month, Louzilla announced a contest on her blog, Loony Louzilla Lovegood Letters. It's a gay cake decorating contest. And omg I had to enter. I love all things gay, I love cakes, I love themes, I love rainbows, and I love a good contest!

So I spent last weekend baking up a storm. My plan was to make a six-layer cake. Each layer a different color of the rainbow. Usually, I have problems with cakes of multiple layers. I'll try to cut off the domed top of the layers and end up with a lopsided cake, a rounded top despite my efforts, and the frosting in between would ooze out on the sides from the weight of the layers. This time, the gay was with me. It came out perfectly:

So here's how I did it:
I used the Golden Vanilla Cupcake recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. I made two double batches and divided it into 6 bowls. I put about a cup and a half of batter into each bowl and put a generous amount of food coloring. I thought some would be too light because even after a lot of coloring, the red still looked pink. But hakuna matata, the colors intensified after baking.

I had two pans, so I made two colors at a time. Putting each layer on a cooling rack to cool while the others baked. While they all cooled, I made a double batch of the butter cream frosting with very little soy milk. I wanted it to be stiff enough to hold up the weight of all the layers. I cut the domed top off all the layers and started stacking them starting with purple at the bottom and a thin layer of frosting between each. This is what they looked like all stacked up (the colors on the side all have a golden kind of look, but the top and inside of each layer looks more vibrant):

I knew I wanted to do rainbows along the side, but I didn't want to do just frosting because it's been done. Thanks to Top Chef: Just Desserts, I came up with the idea of colorful circles. The contestants on Top Chef had to make an edible fashion, so Morgan made a dress with chocolate sequins. It looked beautiful. I remembered that and wanted to do something similar. So I did it with fondant.

And while I was thinking of ideas for decorating the top, my aunt suggested twinkies and I knew that I just had to incorporate a twinkie in some way, so I thought I'd use names for gay people! Perfect! So the finished product has a twinkie, a fairy, and fruits (molded out of fondant), along with more names written on star-shaped signs.

 The other entries are up and voting has begun! Click here to see all the awesome entries and vote for your favorite gayke!

UPDATE: I won!!

Vegan MoFo Day 21: Spinach

I really like spinach. I put it in any pasta dish I make and I often have it as a side dish with whatever else I'm eating. And of course, it goes on almost every sandwich I make. I'll eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The best thing about spinach is that it's zero points on weight watchers. The worst thing is that a huge bag will cook down to just a couple of cups.

My method of preparing it is very simple. I mince a couple of garlic cloves into a skillet and add a little water. I let the garlic cook on medium heat for less than a minute and then add all the spinach. I mix it all up, lower the heat way down, and cover. Once it's just barely wilted, I add salt and pepper, stir well, and remove from heat. The residual heat will wilt it a bit more and you don't want it to get too mushy.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 20: Vegan on Long Island

One of the hardest parts of veganism is dining out. If you go to a "regular" restaurant designed for omnivores, you'll most likely end up eating a plate of french fries or a plain salad. Boring! That used to be the only options for me. Long Island isn't exactly flooded by vegans, so the options always seem few and far between. But we do have some decent restaurants out here with good vegan options.

My personal favorite is 3 Brothers Pizzeria (212 N. Long Beach Rd., Rockville Centre, 516-766-3939). It is amazing! They have a full vegan menu (that is way better than their omni menu, if I may add) that includes appetizers, entrees, pasta dishes, salads, and more. And of course they have pizza. Get the buffalo seitan pizza. Or the tofu pesto. Or grilled portabello. Heck, get anything. It'll be wonderful, I'm sure. I have been there several times and everything I have ever ordered has been top notch. Alfredo: yum. Tofu parmagiana: delicious. Mozzarella sticks: OMG. Calzones: to die for. Buffalo wings: fantastic. Pizza: my reason for living. Do I really need to go on?
As if you needed more incentive to go here, they also carry cakes from Vegan Treats for dessert. And as of last weekend, they started a full vegan brunch menu featuring pancakes, scrambled tofu, tofu benedict, french toast, and more. I cannot wait to try this. I'm drooling just thinking about it. For now, here's a picture of tofu parmagiana pizza:

Other places with satisfying vegan options on Long Island:

Green Melody (Asian cuisine), 519 N. Broadway, Jericho, 516-681-5715

Tula Kitchen, 41 East Main St., Bay Shore, 631-539-7183

FeelGoods Café, 412 North Country Rd., St. James, 631-390-8545, feelgoodsforlife.com

Hunan Cottage, 135 Central Park Rd., Plainview, 516-349-0390

Little Fu's (Chinese), 1739 Peninsula Blvd, Hewlett, 516-295-2888

Cornucopia Natural Foods Deli, 39 N. Main St., Sayville, 631-589-9579

Cinema Arts Centre Cafe, 423 Park Avenue, Huntington, 631-423-7611

Rising Tide Deli Counter, 42 Forest Ave., Glen Cove, 516-676-7895

Tiger Lily Café, 156 East Main St., Port Jefferson, 631-476-7080

Meritage, 14 Station Rd, Bellport, 631-286-3300

Ariana Café (Afghani cuisine), 255 Main St., Huntington, 631-421-2933, arianacafe.com

Greeny's Café, 55A N. Ferry Rd., Shelter Island 631-998-3744

Provisions Café, 7 Main St., Sag Harbor, 631-725-3636

Naturally Good Café, 38 S. Etna Ave., Montauk, 631-668-9030

Green Earth Organic Café, 50 E. Main St., Riverhead, 631-369-2233

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 19: Harry Potter

Today, I bring to you vegan Harry Potter themed treats! For the last movie, I made these:

I couldn't make anything special for this movie, but I also couldn't go to the midnight showing, so it was okay. I'm definitely going all out for Part 2. I'll be making nearly everything from Dumbledore's Vegan Army and then some. Or maybe I'll just make a bunch of stuff next week, because I just can't wait.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 18: Sexy Low-Fat Vanilla Cupcakes

Today,  a cupcake recipe. I often use these as my default vanilla cupcake recipe because they're so good. Instead of frosting, top them with fresh fruit mixed with a tiny bit of jam or preserves. Or just leave them plain. They're great either way.

Sexy Low-Fat Vanilla Cupcakes

1/2 cup vanilla soy yogurt
2/3 cup fat free vanilla or plain soy milk
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 tbl canola oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbl cornstarch
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners

In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt, soy milk, applesauce, oil, sugar and, vanilla. Sift in flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and mix.

Fill the cupcake liners three-quarters full. Bake 22 to 24 minutes until a knife or toothpick inserted through the center of one comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

pread cupcake with a few thin layers of spreadable fruit at room temperature. Neatly and evenly spread the layers for the most attractive appearance. Decorate with fresh fruit.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 17: Mofongo and Tempeh

Do you have Terry Hope Romero's Viva Vegan? If you don't, go out and get it now. It's amazing. The first recipe I made from it was Pan-Fried Tempeh with Sofrito. It now makes regular appearances at my dinner table. Basically, it's tempeh that is pan-fried with really amazing spices.

I like to serve it with a lower-fat version of mofongo. Mofongo is usually made with fried green plantains, so it's not exactly low in points. My family usually makes it with boiled plantains instead.

No-Fry Mofongo

4 green plantains, peeled
1 small or medium garlic clove, minced (to taste)
salt, to taste

Boil the plantains until tender. Transfer the plantains to a large bowl, add garlic and salt and mash together. You don't need to mash a heck of a lot, just let it stay coarse. If you want, drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil over the mixture.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 15

I don't have anything really exciting for today. I just want to talk about how much I love tofurkey. Tomorrow at work, we're having a thanksgiving feast which, of course, consists of almost all non-vegan foods. So I made a tofurkey for dinner tonight so I could take the leftovers to work tomorrow. The first tofurkey of the year is always the best thing ever.

I roast it in a dish with potatoes, carrots, and onions. And I never use the basting liquid recipe they recommend. I take some veggie broth, add a bit of soy sauce, garlic, thyme, and just a bit of olive oil. It's not all that different from the one on the box, but it's just stuff I usually have immediately nearby.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 14: Tater Tots

Have you ever had mini tots? They are amazing. There's more surface area and therefore more crispiness. I like the fluffy insides as much as the next guy, but sometimes I want more of the outside. I like to have a plate with some small and some big, for variety. The alphabet ones are really good too. What's your favorite shape for tater tots?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 13: Mac and Cheeze

Mac and Cheeze

Today, I bring you another recipe from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen--Mac and Cheeze! I usually don't like vegan mac and cheezes because I don't like the taste of nutritional yeast. This one isn't too noochy, though. Just enough to me used to the flavor of it. And to bring back lovely memories of youth, I add cut up cooked tofu pups.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 12: Mofo Survey

This survey was created by a bunch of us on the PPK forums. And it looked fun, so I'm doing it too.

What's your favorite spice or spice blend?
I think cumin wins as most used spice

You have $20 to spend on fresh groceries and produce for the whole week (with a fairly well stocked pantry of dry goods, legumes, grains, and spices). what do you buy?
Tofu, spinach, kale, tomatoes, peppers. Basically whatever veggies are cheapest/in season.

What's your favorite way to make tofu?
Soaked in a teriyaki-type marinade and baked or dry-fried with kale over rice.

Vegan guilty pleasure?

If you could make anyone vegan, who would it be?
Obama. That would be fun.

If you could only read one other vegan blog, what would it be?
The ppk blog.

Were you always interested in cooking, or did veganism change the way you saw and interacted with food?
I always liked to cook, but never like this. I never created recipes or took pictures of my food before. I used to cook just because I was hungry, but now I want to share ideas with others so we can learn from each other. It feels like more of a community now.

Excluding analogues, what new things have you tried that you probably wouldn't have as an omni?
70% of the vegetable I now love--like kale, swiss chard, bok choy, brussel sprouts, mushrooms, etc. Well, I probably would have tried it, but I wouldn't have given it a real chance. I would have made up my mind before it even touched my tongue.

What is the one vegan staple that everyone seems to love, but you can't get behind?
Nutritional yeast. Sorry, I just hate it.

What was your first "wow, I'm such a stereotypical vegan" moment?
Hmmm, I can't really remember. But when I first went vegan, I didn't really have a stereotype formed in my mind. The couple of vegans I knew were so different from each other.

First recipe you veganized?
I think it was pepper steak. I got veggie steak strips and used the same marinade I used to use for pepper steak. It wasn't very good. 

What would you like to veganize, but haven't yet?
A bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich. It's doable, just haven't yet.

Favorite kitchen utensil/appliance?
I have this small spatula/turner that I use all the time. It's short and black and made of plastic. It's thin enough to get under tofu and sturdy enough to use to flip around veggies in a stir fry. It looks a little like this:

Most disastrous kitchen failure? 
I made biscuits using baking soda instead of baking powder. It was horrible. I had been really excited about the biscuits. Maybe it's not the most disastrous, but definitely one of the saddest.

First vegan cookbook?
How It All Vegan

What question about being vegan do you HATE answering?
"Where do you get your protein?" "Do you eat cheese/milk/fish?" But I think the number one MOST annoying one is "What do you use instead of eggs/milk/etc. for cupcakes/cookies/etc?" Geez, people, I don't substitute everything; maybe the recipe has a whole different structure! Did you ever think that maybe the recipe never called for eggs? To me, it's like asking "Who's the man?" in a lesbian relationship.

If you could tell the world one thing about vegans, what would it be?
We're not all crazy. Most of us don't hate you for eating meat. Sometimes it's hard, but the hardest parts are usually due to veganism not being respected and accepted in our society. We'd like it if you tried. We'd love it if you ate a vegan meal at least once in a while. I understand that it's hard to say goodbye to cheese forever, but just because you don't want your favorite animal products to be gone forever, it doesn't mean you have to have it every day.

Funniest vegetable?
Broccoflower: Is it broccoli? Is it cauliflower? Who knows?

What is a family recipe you have veganized?
Rice and Beans and Pollo Guisado

Weirdest food combination?
 I don't really like fruits in savory stuff, like pineapple fried rice.

Is there something you wish you could veganize, but can't/couldn't?
Velveeta Mac and Cheese.

Favorite non-dairy milk?
Trader Joe's regular soy milk.

What’s one “vegan myth” you’d like to squash? 
We don't always crave salad! I'm not going out to a restaurant for iceberg lettuce or french fries! And I swear, we're not all crazy. It's just me.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 11: Vegan on the go

Do you ever have those days where you're hungry but your fridge isn't very well stocked and you don't feel like going out to buy something? Or maybe you just had a rough day and you want something really quick but also really filling? Instead of settling for a boring bowl of cereal or half a bag of potato chips, I turn to fast food. Sure it's not the healthiest, but it's a nice when hunger and laziness attack at the same time.

The veggie subs at Quizno's are vegan if you get it without the cheese and dressing. The small is 6 points, but a little boring. I love to add some smoked tempeh and chipotle mayo (see below for how to make these). The points will vary depending on what kind of tempeh and vegan mayo you use, so just figure that out and add it to the 6 points of the sub (it'll probably be 1 or 2 points). Yum!

To make the really easy smoked tempeh and chipotle mayo:
For the tempeh, just toss a few slices into a small pan and sprinkle it with some liquid smoke and soy sauce. Pan fry until lightly browned. And for chipotle mayo, just put some vegan mayo (I use Trader Joe's Reduced Fat) in a blender with some of the sauce from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce. The amount really depends on how hot you want it, so start with a little and work up. I usually make a bunch and keep it in an empty mayo jar, so it's ready when I need it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 10: Fritata

Asparagus and Sun-Dried Tomato Frittata

This frittata is from Vegan With a Vengeance. The recipe is here, at Pink Stripes. It has a great texture and it is really filling.  

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 9: Spicy Tempeh over Pasta

Spicy Tempeh over Pasta

4 oz Tempeh, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup water, plus more to prevent sticking
2 tsp soy sauce
1 clove garlic
2 tsp Italian herb mix (I use Penzey's pasta sprinkle, you can also just shake on various herbs separately)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 cups broccoli, cut into florets
6-8 canned artichoke hearts
1 cup spinach
1/4 cup marinara sauce
2 cups cooked pasta

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add tempeh, water, and soy sauce. Heat, stirring occasionally, until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Add garlic, herb mix, red pepper flakes, broccoli and some more water. Heat until the tempeh is browned and broccoli is tender, but still crisp. Add everything else and mix together until the spinach wilts.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 8: Chick'n Pesto Sandwich

Today, I reach into my file of feeling-sick-and-too-lazy-to-cook dinners. Behold the Chick'n Pesto Sandwich.  A month or two ago, I made Isa's fantastic edamame pesto from the ppk blog. It makes a good amount, so I used a bit of it for my pasta then and froze the rest in small containers so I could thaw and use as needed.

Chick'n Pesto Sandwich

1 Serving of Trader Joe's Chicken-Less Strips
1 tsp. Italian Dressing (I used some of the marinade from the jar of artichoke hearts)
Pinch of garlic powder
1 3-point roll, lightly toasted
2 Tbsp. prepared edamame pesto (thawed if frozen)
1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. olive oil
4 long strips of roasted red peppers
2 or 3 marinated artichoke hearts
a few slices of red onion

Spray a skillet with a little oil and add the chick'n strips and Italian dressing. Heat over medium-high heat for a minute and add a sprinkle of garlic powder. Heat until the chicken strips are lightly browned. Set aside.
Spread a tablespoon of edamame pesto on each side of the roll. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar and olive oil over the pesto. Pile on the chick'n strips, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, and red onion on one side. Fold the other side over and eat. 

Vegan MoFo Day 7: Banana Everything Breakfast Cookies

These cookies are from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar (the Brekky Banana variation of the Banana Everything Cookies on page 85). They're especially good with a hot cup of tea!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 6: Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

 My posts for this weekend are a bit off because I spent the weekend upstate. I made food to bring along in case I got hungry. This recipe from Veganomicon was perfect. It's listed as Lower Fat Banana Bread, but I opted to follow the optional suggestions and make it as muffins and with a few chocolate chips added. They are yummy and flavorful and pretty filling too. Perfect for a road trip when you're hungry and need something to hold you over til you get to your destination.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

2 large or 3 small very ripe bananas
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place liners in a muffin tin.

In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas really well. Add the sugar, applesauce, oil, and molasses, and whisk briskly to incorporate.

Sift in the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Use a wooden spoon to mix until the wet and dry ingredients are just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 18 minutes (it took 50 for me). The top should be lightly browned and a knife inserted through the center should come out clean.

Friday, November 05, 2010

VeganMoFo Day 5: Super Easy Pudding Pie

Chocolate Oreo Pudding Pie

This is a really easy desert idea. I use regular soy milk, but you can try low fat or another milk if you have it. I recommend using Cook and Serve pudding instead of instant, but it's more for texture than anything else. The instant pudding doesn't firm up, but it's still yummy, so go for it if it's all you've got. It'll just be messier.

1 box Jell-O Fat Free Cook and Serve Pudding
2 cups soy milk
3 or 4 Oreos
1 ready-made graham cracker crust

Prepare the pudding with the soy milk according to package directions. Break up the Oreos and add them to the cooked pudding. Pour into the graham cracker crust and let it cool. Is that easy or what?

Thursday, November 04, 2010

VeganMoFo Day 4: Broccoli Chick'n Pasta

Today for MoFo, I tried this recipe from the Fat Free Vegan Kitchen. I wanted something quick and easy and I have some chicken-less strips from Trader Joe's to use up, so this recipe was just what I needed. I altered it a bit to make it a smaller serving (And I didn't want a ton of leftovers like with the stir fry a couple of days ago). Here are my amounts:

Broccoli Chick'n Pasta

3/4 cup whole wheat pasta (measured when dry)
1/2 a small bunch of broccoli
2.5 ounces of chicken strips
1/2 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp basil
pinch of red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

The recipe instructions are the same, but instead of a whole cup of cooking liquid, I used about 1/4 cup.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 3: Must have kitchen tools

I didn't cook anything fun today (still have lots of leftovers from yesterday). Instead, I'm going to talk about some of my essential kitchen tools.

 My number one favorite object is my garlic press. I got it from Pampered Chef years ago and I use it every single time I cook. You can put a whole clove in there without even peeling it or anything and it all comes out perfectly. Unfortunately, we lost ours and can't find it anywhere! We have some other kind sitting in our drawer, but it sucks. Doesn't press a thing. I hope I find my beloved soon.

I got the Misto® oil sprayer in the beginning of September and it quickly became one of my most used kitchen tools. I love this thing because it cuts down on waste and cost. Just $10 and I won't have to buy another aerosol sprayer for years. Another benefit: no propellants. It's just straight up oil in there. No chemicals or anything. Yea! It holds about 1/3 cup of oil and that lasts for quite a while. All you need to do is pump it a couple of times before using it.

Cast Iron pans are also fabulous. Once it's well seasoned, it's more nonstick than a nonstick pan. I absolutely love it. I use it for practically everything. And mine isn't even fully seasoned yet. This is pretty much constantly on my stove top.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 2: Rice Vermicelli Stir Fry

Welcome to day 2 of Vegan MoFo! Today, I made a stir fry. Yum! The secret to stir-frying with very little oil, is to add little splashes of liquid periodically. The wok should be hot enough and the amount of liquid small enough that it sizzles and disappears very quickly, but it'll be enough to keep the veggies from sticking.

Rice Vermicelli Stir Fry
Note: This recipe makes a huge amount. Halve it if you don't want to eat leftovers for the next week.

15 oz extra firm tofu

1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tsp agave nectar
2 tsp grated ginger
2 tsp rice vinegar
2 tsp fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp chili sauce

2 tsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp grated ginger
1 medium scallion, sliced
1/2 cup carrots, cut into matchsticks
1 bell pepper, chopped
4 oz mushrooms, chopped
2 cups broccoli, chopped
1 head bok choy, chopped (separate the leafy part from the stalk)
2 cups bean sprouts

10 oz. rice vermicelli*, cooked

Cut tofu into small cubes; place in a small bowl. Mix together ingredients for the marinade and pour over tofu. Let sit while you chop all the veggies.
Heat 1 tsp of oil in a big wok over medium-high heat. Add the tofu (reserve the marinade) and stir-fry until browned. Remove from wok and set aside.
Heat remaining oil, add garlic and ginger and cook for a bit. Add scallion, carrots, peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, and bok choy stalks (save the leafy part for later since it cooks quicker). Drizzle in some of the leftover marinade. Stir fry until all the vegetables are tender, adding more marinade as needed to prevent sticking. Add bean sprouts and the rest of the bok choy. Pour in remaining marinade and continue to stir fry until the bok choy is wilted.
Finally, add the noodles and mix it all up. You might have to transfer to a bigger bowl/pan to get everything together.

*I used these thin rice vermicelli from my Asian grocery store (the brand...ahem...Golden Cock). You could use any other kind of noodle, I'm sure.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Welcome to Vegan MoFo!

Welcome to the fourth annual Vegan MoFo!!
I used to go through so much tofu all the time because I'd eat half a block (or more) worth of scrambled tofu for breakfast at least a few days a week. It didn't occur to me to add vegetables.  And even when I did consider it, I thought most vegetables didn't "go" with it. Finally, I spent a weekend at the Omega Institute for the Women and Power Conference. For breakfast, they had a scrambled tofu with all sorts of vegetables and it was so good! Now I make my scrambled tofu like this all the time, just using whatever veggies I happen to have in the fridge.

Quick and Easy Clean-the-Fridge Scrambled Tofu

This recipe uses the spice blend from Isa's scrambled tofu recipe in Vegan With a Vengeance. It cooks up quickly and it's so versatile--just use a bit of whatever vegetables you have in the fridge. I usually measure out several batches of the spices and keep the mix in an empty spice jar so I can just shake out a bit at a time.

2 tsp olive oil 
1 small onion, chopped  
1 clove garlic, minced
7 1/2 oz extra firm tofu, crumbled or cubed* 
1/4 cup zucchini, chopped  
3/4 cup broccoli, chopped  
1/4 cup red or green bell peppers, chopped
1/3 cup cremini mushrooms, sliced thinly
1 tsp ground cumin  
1/2 tsp dried thyme  
1/2 tsp paprika  
1/4 tsp ground turmeric  
1/2 tsp table salt
1 cup spinach, torn into bite-sized pieces  
1/2 cup plum tomatoes, diced  

Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Add tofu, zucchini, broccoli, peppers, mushrooms. Saute until the vegetables are tender. Add spices and mix it up. Cook for a few minutes, adding splashes of water if necessary to prevent sticking. Finally, mix in the spinach and tomatoes. Cook just until the spinach wilts. 
Serve with tempeh bacon, toast, home fries, or even on a bagel.

 *There's a great debate when it comes to scrambled tofu: cubed or crumbled? I do a combination. I usually cut the tofu into long strips and then tear small bits off. Best of both worlds.