lunch

Vegan MoFo 2015, Day 2: Meal From My Childhood

2. Recreate a meal from your childhood.

I had a hard time deciding what meal to choose, but finally I decided on a meal that brings me many good memories: chicken soup with blueberry muffins.

I have no idea how that particular combo came about, but somehow it did, and as with most of my mom’s meals, main dishes were always paired with a particular side (such as green peas+kraft mac and cheese+fish sticks, or homemade mac and cheese with ham+canned green beans).

When she made chicken noodle soup, she always made a big batch, and we would eat it for dinner with freshly-baked blueberry muffins, and then she’d put the rest in a glass gallon jar in the fridge and we’d get a couple more meals out of it.

I’ve already posted the blueberry muffin recipe here.

For the chicken soup, I haven’t found a recipe yet that *quite* smacks of the yummy one my mom used to make. Zsu Dever’s Comforting Noodle Soup in Everyday Vegan Eats is one of my favourites, and Sarah Matheny’s Tofu Noodle Soup (pictured below) from More Peas, Thank You is another – closer to my mom’s soup, especially in appearance.

Tofu Noodle Soup

My mom used tricolour rotini a lot in her soup, and the baked tofu chunks in this one add a lovely meatiness to the soup. I’ve made this soup for my mom, and she really liked it too, despite not being a fan of tofu! Score!

sig

Categories: lunch, soup, vegan, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2015, vegetables | 1 Comment

2015, a Recipe Odyssey: July Edition

Well, this has been a whirlwind month. We went to Spangle, WA for Restoration International‘s Northwest Family Retreat. It was great. It was my fourth time going, and the first time that I felt like a normal human being and actually thoroughly enjoyed it from beginning to end.

Things are starting to come on in the garden, too. I’ve been picking blackberries almost daily this week. Green beans are on, but I keep forgetting about them. Oops. We harvested one cauliflower so far. Tomatoes are coming on and the cabbage is putting on heads. The sunflowers are blooming.

But also my little Lou Who (who will be three next week – THREE!) is blooming. About three days ago I decided it was Time to Use the Potty, and she has not only done all her business in the toilet (barring a couple puddles on the floor the first day and one yesterday), but she’s woken up with virtually dry diapers in the morning as well. This is too easy. I keep waiting for something to go Drastically Wrong – I mean, GooGoo was over three when I started her training and it took her MONTHS before she got anything close to this proficient (and even now at 5 1/2, we still have a fair amount of Incidents. Please know, I’m not putting down GooGoo, I know every child is different, and she is highly sensitive, possibly has sensory issues, so, yanno – I’m just saying that, in comparison, that’s why this feels too easy.)

Here’s what I made! Grouped by source. (And not necessarily in order, because since I’ve been gone and/or ridiculously busy for a large chunk of this month, and this post has fallen through the cracks for weeks.)

From Vegan With a Vengeance, 10th Anniversary Edition:

1. Lemon Poppyseed Muffins – I actually really liked these, and I have never liked lemon poppyseed anything, ever.

2. Pancakes, raspberry-lime variation – For a pancake, this wasn’t bad. (I’m not a pancake fan, but I like to try different ones since my family loves pancakes and hey, why not?)

3. Cherry-Almond Muffins – I made this in loaf form and I liked it, but didn’t love it.

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 2.12.43 PM

4. Tempeh Sausage – I made this ahead of time and froze it for use in…

5. Tempeh Sausage and White Bean Gravy – which was SO EASY to make, and we ate it on…

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 2.10.50 PM

6. Baking Powder Biscuits – Okay, so honestly I was a bit blah about trying a biscuit recipe, because a biscuit is a biscuit is a biscuit, right? Well, these were amazing. I’m guessing it’s the use of two fats instead of just one, maybe? I did half white, half whole wheat flour, and these were so light and delicious and perfect.

As for the gravy, I really liked it, despite that it looks a little like barf on a biscuit. Mr Pine Nut thought the flavour was too strong, but I really enjoyed it, largely because the tempeh added a lot of bulk but I really didn’t taste it so much, as I do it many recipes.

7. Lentil-Walnut Burgers – I decided that I’d try something I heard about subbing zucchini for mushrooms. It worked great! I have these made up and frozen now for future meals, but I did try one of the ones that broke. It had a great flavour. My primary gripe was that they were tremendously soft and flipping them was almost impossible. I had to bake them way longer than the recipe said. Soooo… next time I think I’ll have to add in more breadcrumbs or something.

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 6.39.04 PM

8. Pumpkin Waffles – These were a hit! Not only did they have zero issues sticking or falling apart or things like that, but they tasted great. 😀

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 6.39.26 PM

9. Oatmeal Pumpkin Cookies – Of course I had to use up the remaining cup of pumpkin from the waffles, so, uh, THESE. These are going to be a regular. They are amazing!

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 2.01.56 PM

10. Maple Walnut Scones – These were good, but I thought I’d like them more than I actually did.

11. Berry Scones – But I liked these even better. I used fresh-picked (like literally freshly picked) blackberries from right outside our house. The girls liked these too and overall they were more of a hit than the maple ones.

[12. ETA: Apple Pie Crumble Muffins – Oh man these were good.]

From Veganomicon:

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 2.26.43 PM

13. Mexican Millet – This was really good and paired perfectly with…

14. Black Beans – …these. The only negative I have is that I didn’t make a double batch, because they were licked clean!

From Isa Does It:

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 2.13.34 PM

15. Lentil-a-Roni – SO GOOD! And easy. Definitely would make again.

From Vegan Brunch:

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 2.13.14 PM

16. Zucchini Spelt Muffins – I tried really hard to like these, but I just didn’t. I hate zucchini. 😦

17. East Coast Coffee Cake, Jam Swirl Version – oh om nom nom.

From Vegan Diner:

18. Mushroom Burgers – And nope, I didn’t use mushrooms! I used zucchini. These turned out really well and I was pleased. They are a little softer than the usual burgers I make, but still held together really well. I haven’t tried them yet; as with the lentil-walnut burgers, these are actually going to be used more next month.

Cookbooks [or other sources] represented in July: 5

Did I meet my goal? Nope. But I didn’t expect to, and I’m impressed with myself for having made as much as I did!

See you next month, with August’s recipe report!

sig

Categories: breakfast, brunch, challenges, cookies, dairy-free, dessert, entrees, garden, GooGoo, Lou Who, lunch, pasta, scones, travel, vegan | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

2015, a Recipe Odyssey: June Edition… AND a Six-Month Sum-up!

Here’s what I made! Grouped by source.

From Vegan With a Vengeance, 10th Anniversary Edition!:

1. Roasted Garlic White Bean Soup – I didn’t have time to roast the garlic, so I did what Veganomicon recommends and subbed 6 fresh minced cloves. I also threw in some rice that I had leftover in the fridge. It was really tasty and I will make it again.

2. Raspberry Chocolate Chip Blondies – These tasted a bit like slimy wet sugar, and the texture was super weird and not at all looking like in the picture. I was so sad and have no idea what on earth I could have done wrong. 😦 We ate them, but they were just… off. And this made me sad.

3. Tofu Dill Sandwich – YUM!

4. The Best Pumpkin Muffins – Okay, so technically I’ve made these before, but there were apparently some slight changes made to the recipe for this new edition, so I say it counts.

5. Carrot Raisin Muffins – Very nice. Low sugar, low oil, tender and tasty.

From Vegan Casseroles:

6. Cheesy Broccoli Casserole – Today I made the cheesy broccoli casserole from Vegan Casseroles, minus some nooch because I RAN OUT. #vegankitchencrisis Also, I was sick and my brain was in a fog, so I accidentally dumped way  more than 2 cups of rice into the casserole dish and already had added the sauce and stuff before I realised. Dumb. It still tasted good, but I did have to add more salt. I’d make it again too.

7. Regular Cheese Sauce – for the above.

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 4.30.54 PM

8. Rice and Beans Casserole – Different from what I expected but it was very good and the girls liked it.

9. Nacho Cheese sauce – for the above.

10. Chickpeas and Rice with Dill – Liked this very much. I think I’d reduce the tahini a bit next time, because the flavour was very strong.

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 4.30.03 PM

11. Jambalaya – This was okay but not that exciting.

From Whole Grain Vegan Baking:

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 4.29.16 PM

12. Pineapple Upside-Down Cupcakes – I left the sugar out of the pineapple mixture to make it less sweet, more like a muffin. It was actually perfect that way. They turned out great and I was able to flip them out of the muffin tin after 10 minutes (the recipe says 30, but I didn’t have time to wait). The girls did not like them. They ate all the pineapple off the top and then handed me the rest. Their opinion notwithstanding, I’d make these again.

From Isa Does It:

13. Island Black Bean Burgers – I didn’t do the salsa, just the burgers. They were fairly easy to make. I don’t think I needed to add the broth, though. They were very soft and wet and so I had to bake them longer. They were really tasty though – super rich, deep, but not overpowering flavour!

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 4.28.23 PM

14. Cucumber Ranch Bowl – This was good. Not a favourite, but it was fine.

15. Mini Chocolate Cherry Loaves – SO GOOD. I left out the almond extract as per my usual. My mom loved these too!

16. Everyday Pad Thai – I love pad thai but I don’t think I’ve ever had it without eggs. This was fantastic and so easy. I used roasted salted cashews instead of the peanuts so that Lou Who could try it if she wanted. But at the moment I don’t remember if she did try it!

From Vegan Pie in the Sky:

17. Lemon Mousse Pie – This was a crazy, insane amount of work to make. I did it for company so I made a double batch in a 13×9. First I had to bake gingersnaps to make the crust, and then zest and juice approximately five thousand tiny lemons (they were cheaper than the big ones). So I was kind of fretting and complaining and I told that pie IT BETTER BE GOOD.

And you know what, it was. It was absolutely out of this world. Everybody raved about it. So I’d definitely make it again. WIN!

One thing to note though: when pouring the lemon topping layer on, use a spoon and gently drizzle it around. I did that at first with excellent results, and then got impatient and tried to drizzle it from the pan and ended up disturbing the other layer and there wasn’t a clean definition in those spots between layers.

From the interwebs:

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 4.27.15 PM

18. Cinnamon-Clove Fresh Cherry Pie – On our way home from the Yakima Valley I stopped at a fruit stand on the spur of the moment and they were selling the last of their Rainier cherries for ONE DOLLAR A POUND. Now, I have to admit Rainier (or any other yellow cherry) are not my favourite, but that’s a sweet deal and everyone else in my family loves any kind of cherry. So I bought a few. 18.2 pounds, to be exact. And then I brought them home and dried about half of them, froze some, and made this pie with some.

It was really good. I cut the sugar in half (these are sweet cherries, for cryin’ out loud – really sweet, like off the charts sweet. Mr Pine Nut tested them with his beloved little brix thingie.) My only complaint was that the cherries were super huge and I really should have chopped them into smaller pieces first just to keep it easier to eat. But flavourwise, it was excellent, and I’d definitely consider making it again.

From Veganomicon:

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 4.24.50 PM

19. Mac Daddy – So for some reason when I told the girls this stuff was called “Mac Daddy”, they thought that was the funniest thing they’d ever heard and proceeded to work “Mac Daddy” into every sentence at the lunch table. Better yet, they loved it the first day and loved the leftovers and asked me to make it again.

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 4.25.50 PM

20. Tempeh Shepherdess Pie – This was all right. I subbed TVP for the mushrooms. I heartily approved of the potato-to-filling ratio (translation: THICK LAYER of potatoes, yum!) and I got to try my broiler for the first time EVER. I think actually I’ve never broiled anything, ever, at any time.

Cookbooks [or other sources] represented in June: 7

Did I meet my goal? Only just!

I’m not sure how July is going to pan out. I have grand intentions to share some great recipes with you for camping-appropriate food, but I cannot PROMISE anything, just that I’ll do my best. I don’t have a set goal for July due to its busy-ness, but I’ll still keep track of what new things I make, write a post, and jump back on the challenge in August!

***

And as promised, a sum-up of the first six months of 2015!

Isa Does It, 24
Veganomicon, 18
Interwebs, 13
The Veg Feasting Cookbook, 12
Vegan Brunch, 11
Whole Grain Vegan Baking, 9
Vegan Bowls / Everyday Vegan Eats, 8 each
Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day 7
Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar / Vegan Casseroles, 6 each
Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World / Vegan With a Vengeance, 5 each
Vegan Diner 4
Appetite for Reduction / More Peas, Thank You / Vegan Simplicity / Ten Talents / Vegan Pie in the Sky, 1 each

141 total

sig

Categories: challenges, dairy-free, dessert, lunch, side dish, vegan | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

2015, a Recipe Odyssey: May Edition

Whatever stuff I want to say, followed by more stuff. [I put that as a text placeholder, and it amused me so much I decided to leave it. (Yes, I am very easily amused.)]

I was kind of on a lemon kick this month for some reason. I made two kinds of lemon cake, lemon cookies, and was all ready to make a lemon pie……. and then ran out of lemons and money.

See, I managed to completely exhaust my food budget just over halfway through the month, which kept me from trying a few of the things I wanted to make, but aside from the absence of LEMON PIE in my face, the main trouble was at that point I had only one stick of butterlike substance left in my fridge, and BARELY ANY CHOCOLATE. But we’re survivors, and there are only 2 more days in the month. We can do this.

In other news, walnut pollen has unleashed in fury upon our area, and I immediately proceeded to become ill with what I believe is a sinus infection. Woohoo. #notactually

And even though it’s a couple days to the end of the month, I’m posting this now because I’m not planning to make anything else new. Too tired and sick.

Here’s what I made! Grouped by source.

From Everyday Vegan Eats:

Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 5.33.21 PM

1. Split Pea Soup – It’s impossible to take an appetising photo of split pea soup. It just is. It will always look like sludge or poop. However, this soup was very simple to make and very delicious.

From Vegan Diner:

Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 5.33.06 PM

2. Blackeyed Peas – These were good, but not exciting enough that I think I’ll ever make them again. They were a nice protein addition, along with rice, to our salads that day.

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 8.01.29 PM

3. Noodle Soup – I did not like this, but could not lay my finger on why. It seemed so… I dunno, soupy… so I added a quart of canned green beans just to bulk it up a bit.

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 8.10.08 PM

4. Smoky Seitan Roast – This is super tasty.

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 8.10.00 PM

5. Pastrami-Style Seitan – This is just okay.

From Isa Does It:

Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 5.32.56 PM

6. Sesame Slaw – OH YEAH.

7. Garlic Curry Fries – I’ve had these on a past menu plan at least once already and just didn’t actually get around to making them! My verdict: too spicy. I did two batches, one with the curry powder and one with just the salt and a teaspoon of garlic powder, and nobody really liked the curry ones much, but the plain ones were snarfed down with abandon. I’m not sure whether this method will be a regular in the future or not. Isa claims it becomes easier each time, and that may be true…

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 2.02.41 PM

8. Norah’s Lemon-Lemon Cookies – These were amazing!

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 8.08.47 PM

9. Wild Rice Soup – Both Mr Pine Nut and I LOVED this! It had a delicious, deep flavour that I loved.

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 8.09.02 PM

10. Lemon-Blueberry Loaf – Sans blueberries, because I had none! I simply could not get my icing sugar to un-lumpify, hence the unsightly blobs of sugar in the glaze, and I turned them upside down because they sank in the centre. They tasted fantastic though! Would definitely make again – I look forward to blueberry season!

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 8.01.50 PM

11. Dragon Noodle Salad – Delish dish, this. Lou Who couldn’t eat it because of the peanut butter, but I think she’d have liked it, so I may try it with almond butter next time. And we ate it with:

12. Sesame Baked Tofu – This was a hit with everyone! We love our tofu around here. 😉

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 12.42.20 PM

13. Cauliflower Pesto Pasta – This was SO GOOD! Even the kids loved it. I used spinach instead of basil for the pesto, because I like the taste better.

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 9.19.19 AM

14. Sinfully Wholesome Waffles – I think I have a new favourite waffle recipe! I was not sure if I’d like these, but I really really did. I topped them with crushed pineapple.

15. Scrambled Chickpeas – These did not win the approval of the junior Pine Nuts, but the senior Pine Nuts loved them!

From Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar:

16. Chai Spice Shortbread – I subbed dried cranberries for the chocolate, because I am very picky about combining chocolate with certain things, such as chocolate with pumpkin (blegh), and the spices in this are a combo that Does Not Go with chocolate in my mind.

From Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World:

17. Lemon Macadamia Cupcakes – I doubled this and did it as a 13×9. It was okay, but I think after three experiments with macadamias, I have come to the realisation that I really just don’t like them much! And I feel kind of guilty about this, because everyone is supposed to like macadamias!

From Vegan Brunch:

18. Chelsea Waffles – I’ve wanted to make these forever, but don’t have barley malt syrup. Someone pointed out that right there it says you can sub maple syrup (which I also don’t have, but I do have agave and maple extract, and what kind of vegan cook would I be if I didn’t wing things?) Anyway, they were super tasty!

19. Gingerbread Waffles – These were great; GooGoo wasn’t fond of the chunks of ginger but ate them nonetheless.

From Whole Grain Vegan Baking:

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 9.22.39 AM

20. Raisin Bannocks – I’ve been wanting to make these since I got the book last month, but was waiting for my discount grocery to get more vegan yogurt in. They finally did! These are so tasty and I will definitely make them again (but plan ahead a little more because there are a lot of steps I wasn’t prepared for. Note to self: READ RECIPE BEFORE STARTING.)

21. Carrot Cashew Loaf – I made this in my 8.5″ springform pan instead of a loaf pan, because I was skeptical of it actually being baked in 30-35 minutes in a loaf pan and I was in a hurry. I subbed agave for the maple syrup and more milk for the yogurt. Mr Pine Nut and I both enjoyed it. I ate mine with apple juice on it. Lou Who ate hers; GooGoo was not impressed.

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 9.22.25 AM

22. Double Cranberry Scones – I’m a doofus and set the oven for 350 instead of 375. I was so frustrated wondering why they were taking like half an hour instead of 15 minutes to bake, and then it hit me. That aside, these were SO SO SO SO SO SO GOOD. And also called for yogurt. Yay for 20 cent containers of Co Yo from Grocery Depot!

From Veganomicon:

23. Carrot Pineapple Sunshine Muffins – SO good. Ditto the yogurt comment above.

From the interwebs:

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 9.18.52 AM

24. Spiced Yogurt Muffins – And to use up the rest of my yogurt I made these, with a few changes. I used half white/half whole wheat flour, reduced sugar to 1/3 cup, used melted cocoanut oil for the butter, and 1/3 cup aquafaba for the eggs. These were so good. I will totally make these again when I have yogurt to use up.

Cookbooks [or other sources] represented in May: 9

Did I meet my goal? Yes!

See you next month, with June’s recipe report! (It’ll be an interesting month, because I’m not going to be home for various parts of it. But I think I can still hit my 20-recipe goal!)

sig

Categories: challenges, dairy-free, lunch, soup, vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

2015, a Recipe Odyssey: April Edition

I had a disaster that sabotaged some of my meal plan for this month. It was a “somehow the upright freezer door was not closed for an undetermined period of time and everything in the freezer was warm” sort of disaster. So I quickly had to use up some things, so I made tater tot casserole again and a bunch of smoothies and things to use frozen fruit in. I was thankful not to lose as much as I might have; there were spices, flours, and jams in there and I know those are all fine. I did lose probably 8 or so packages of lima beans (boo!) and some seitan pepperoni and a number of quart bags of frozen cooked pinto and kidney beans. Some stuff that was still cold I popped in the other freezer.

So I skipped out on some of the meals I had planned to make because of this disaster, the ones that I hadn’t bought anything specially for the purpose of making.

In other news, I turned 32 (halfway to 64, wheee!) and I bought several cookbooks with my birthday money: Whole Grain Vegan Baking, Vegan Diner, Vegan Casseroles, and the new edition of Vegan With a Vengeance. So now my Isa collection is finally complete (well, once VWaV gets here! it’s not released yet!) and I have loads of new things to try!

Here’s what I made this month! Grouped by source.

From Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World:Screen Shot 2015-04-05 at 1.36.52 PM

1. Cocoanut-Lime Cupcakes – I’ve been dreaming about making these for a while, and since we were all sick I held off. Until my birthday. These were delicious and I would totally make them again, especially the frosting because lime is SO GOOD.

2. Chai Latte Cupcakes – I didn’t have black tea, so I used Stash apple-cinnamon-chamomile tea instead. They were okay. I wasn’t really fond of the cocoa powder on top; it just seemed too bitter to me. I don’t think I’ll make them again, but if I do, I’ll just do them naked or with a little basic frosting.

From Everyday Vegan Eats:

3. Leek Potato Soup – I really liked this and it was very simple and yet very flavourful. Much more to my liking than the recipe I tried in January. Also, both GooGoo and Lou Who like it! Every time GooGoo says, “I DON’T WANT ONIONS” I tell her, “They’re not onions, they’re leeks.” She buys it and there is Peace at the Dinner Table.

Screen Shot 2015-04-10 at 7.54.02 AM

4. Báhn Mì Burgers – Must admit the whole idea of this “báhn mì” thing is alien to me. I keep hearing about it but had/have really no idea what it IS. That being said, I am SO IMPRESSED with these burgers! They actually held together and cooked properly in my skillet – something I have NEVER been able to achieve with any other burger recipes! So excited. The pickled veggies were very easy. I used radishes and carrots, and no sugar. (And they tasted amazing!)

Screen Shot 2015-04-19 at 4.38.59 PM

5. Minestrone – This was a big hit! Mr Pine Nut and I both loved it, and it’s already on next month’s meal plan again.

6. Hungarian Tomato Salad – I loved the flavour of this, but for the amount of tomato/cucumber called for, my veggies were absolutely drowning in the dressing! We had to fish the veggies out with a slotted spoon.

From the interwebs:

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 12.36.57 PM

7. Teriyaki Chickpeas Bao – I’ve been wanting to make these ever since I saw Vegan Richa post them to Facebook, and I was not disappointed. I used up some sort of homemade Asian sauce I’ve had in my freezer forever, and I had some cilantro so I threw in a bit of that minced up. Super yummy. There wasn’t quite enough filling for all my buns, though, so some of them I just steamed as buns with no filling. I also had some trouble getting my first batch extracted from my steamer, so they mostly didn’t look super gorgeous. Tastewise, they were great, and even GooGoo ate them!

8. Pita Bread – THIS WAS SO EXCITING! It puffed! It pocketed! It tasted awesome! I actually made this twice this month. The first time I did it as dictated in the recipe; the second time I used about a 50/50 ratio of white/whole wheat flour. I actually liked them better the second time, and they even seemed to puff better.

From Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day:

Screen Shot 2015-04-10 at 7.55.09 AM9. Cabana Cheese Sandwiches – You GUYS, this cottage cheese is the BOMB. It’s totally like real cottage cheese! I didn’t have tomatoes, but I served this on the green monster rolls I made and froze last month with the lettuce and topped it with dilly beans.

Screen Shot 2015-04-10 at 7.54.18 AM10. Pesto Pitzas – I had to sub dried basil for fresh. My only complaint was they were a bit salty, so I would skip adding salt to the pesto next time. The cheese has enough plus the flavour of the capers. It was kind of a lot of work for the results – just four pita pizzas, which was enough for Mr Pine Nut and me, but nobody else – so I don’t know that I’ll rush to make it again, BUT I was so excited about the cheese, because it actually does melt! It didn’t melt so much on ours, but on the plain pitas-with-cheese for the kids it melted more.

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 3.04.10 PM11. Hot Brown Sandwiches – I wanted so much to like these, but the sauce was way too noochy and I just didn’t like the flavour combinations or the fact that they were sort of hard to eat. The smoky tofu bits, however, are a definite “will-make-again”. YUM.

12. Bulgur Hummus Wraps – I’ve wanted to make these ever since I won this book during MoFo 3 years ago, and I’m just now getting to it. But they were SO good! I served them in pitas instead of tortillas. This is a definite success in my opinion.

13. Beans Not on Toast – I’ve made the bean part of this before and eaten it on actual toast, but not the waffles, so that’s what qualifies this as a new recipe. 😉 The waffles were great! I was a bit worried they’d seem overly sesame-oily but I hardly noticed it at all in the finished product. I would definitely double the waffles next time though, because four waffles in this family of four was Not Enough.

14. Navajo Tacos – Oh man. These were astonishingly good. I’ve wanted to make these ever since having the book but the frying part seemed like So Much Work, so I didn’t ever get around to it. I doubled the recipe and we ate almost all of it.

From Vegan Brunch:

Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 8.28.48 PM15. Raised Waffles – These were really good! They did not taste yeasty to me, which I was a bit worried about (I’ve tried yeast-raised muffins before and they just taste like flavoured bread, basically) and I will definitely make them again!

16. Tofu Omelette – I did a half batch of this because I had half a package of silken tofu in my fridge to use up. They were tasty. More noochy than eggy, in my opinion, but good. Half of one was plenty for me. I filled them with chopped red bell peppers that I sauteed in oil and liquid smoke with some fennel seeds.

Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 6.09.13 PM17. Lemon Poppyseed Muffins – These were okay. I always hope I’ll find a poppyseed recipe I’m super excited about but it hasn’t happened yet! I forgot to add the salt, but they were pleasant with some Nucoa and raspberry jam. 🙂

From Whole Grain Vegan Baking:

18. Raisin Bran Muffins – Super good!

19. Onion Caraway Loaf – I don’t have beer around 🙂 and I didn’t have seltzer water either, which was the recommended sub, so I subbed some of the veggie stock I just made. I’m not sure if it affected it. The bread was nice, I wouldn’t say fantastic, but it was eaten.

20. Spelt Rye Crackers – I didn’t have any spelt flour handy so I used wheat. I liked these but maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for caraway seeds, because neither this nor the loaf above really wowed me. And I love rye bread and caraway seeds, so I dunno.

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 7.06.29 PM21. Blackberry Allspice Muffins – Muffins great; blackberries must have been bad because they tasted weird.

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 7.05.56 PM22. Apricot Cardamom Cake – I liked this. It was a bit too cardamom-y for my taste – I think I might replace part of it with cinnamon next time – but I would make it again. GooGoo ate a piece but didn’t want any more, and Lou Who didn’t ask for seconds either.

Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar:

23. Macadamia Ginger Crunch Drops – Loved the dough, was not as crazy about the cookies. They were slightly too crunchy. Maybe I overbaked them. I think this would lend itself well to a bar cookie though and if I make them again I may do it that way.

Cookbooks [or other sources] represented in April: 7

Did I meet my goal? YES YAY.

See you next month, with May’s recipe report!

sig

Categories: birthdays, breakfast, brunch, challenges, dessert, lunch, salads, sandwich, soup, vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

2015, a Recipe Odyssey: March Edition

So I mentioned in this post that I was going to try a monthly meal plan for March, sticking within my budget of $25/week for food. How did it go?

  • Week 1: I spent $19.47 on groceries.
  • Week 2: I spent $24.09 on groceries. Cutting it close! All necessites for my week’s plan.
  • Week 3: I spent $20.30 on groceries. Roughly $10 0f that was absolute necessities for my planned menu, and I got some extra goodies! (okay, it was mostly bell peppers and avocados.) I ended up not doing all the planned meals because I had lots more leftovers than previous weeks, plus I was sick.
  • Week 4: I spent $26.60 on groceries. This included what I needed for the little bit of overlap for the last couple days of March.
  • But I did end up using the rest of my money buying a couple staple/pantry items that I’ll use next month too.

Keep in mind, we do have loads of bulk stuff stored in buckets from More Prosperous (or simply more reckless?) Times of the Past, and we have a separate line item for bulk food (and I spent all but pennies of that $50 this month aside from the above), so the above is strictly fresh veggies and staples like oil and sugar.

Speaking of oil and sugar, I bought a regular bottle of veggie oil and a 4lb bag of sugar for Week 1. As of the end of week 3, the oil had been long gone and another bottle half-used, and the sugar is all but gone. I find this disturbing.

Here’s what I made! Grouped by source.

From More Peas, Thank You:

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 2.15.48 PM

1. Corn Chowda with Cornbread Croutons – GooGoo has been pestering me to make a potato soup for weeks now. I finally make one, and will she eat it? No. Sigh. She did like the cornbread croutons and the side of broccoli, though.

 From The Veg Feasting Cookbook:

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 4.11.56 PM

2. Carrots in the Raw – This salad was very easy, requiring few ingredients, and went great with the burgers we had for lunch. I left out the raisins and just added some extra pumpkin seeds instead, because fruit in a vegetable salad is just weird to me. The following day we had the leftovers on top of lettuce. Yum.

Screen Shot 2015-03-07 at 2.42.30 PM

3. Cumin Carrot Soup – This became steadily more disgusting the more of it that I ate. Mr Pine Nut thought it was good, but I heartily disagreed. I couldn’t taste cumin at all; even though I reduced the pepper it was way too peppery; worst of all the texture was just gross. Will never make again.

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 8.09.31 PM

4. Turkish Lentil Soup – SO good. I was a little concerned, because the cinnamon smelled really strong while it was cooking, but as far as taste went, I didn’t even notice it. The flavours were all blended perfectly with nothing overpowering anything else. I was pleased, and would definitely make this again. Way better than the vomitous carrot sludge.

Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 4.13.58 PM

5. Spicy Yellow Dal – I didn’t have toor dal, but the book suggested subbing yellow split peas, so I used green split peas. It took a lot more than 2 cups of water to cook the peas, but this was overall quite a simple dish to assemble and it was very tasty. It was at the edge of my heat tolerance level, but very good. We ate it with rice and steamed broccoli.

Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 7.22.28 PM

6. Mexican Black Bean Salad – This was fairly simple to throw together, and it was a meal for Mr Pine Nut and I (with the addition of lettuce, and some bread on the side). It had a good flavour, but the recipe called for no salt. I added a tiny bit, but more wouldn’t have hurt. I’m not sure I’ll make it again, but it was fine.

Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 2.44.37 PM

7. Cabbage Curry – This was SO easy, and very tasty! I added the garbanzo beans to make it a meal, but the flavour was great and the heat level perfect (that is, not very hot. :-)) It’s a dry curry, and you could really use any veggie (or combination thereof) instead of the cabbage – cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, &c.

Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 7.24.29 PM

8. Cream of Veg Soup – This was just okay. Mr Pine Nut and Lou Who loved it; GooGoo wouldn’t touch it, and I didn’t finish mine. It was better than cumin-carrot soup, but I found it just too salty even though I’d diluted it considerably.

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 3.01.13 PM

9. Chickpea Mash Stew – I really liked this, despite it being totally different from how I envisioned it would be. Lou Who loved it too!

10. Super Noodle Soup – Very basic. The special thing about it seemed to me just that all the veggies get cut up very tiny (1/8″ dice), and I had to add a lot of extra salt and some garlic powder because it just didn’t have much flavour without. It was good, but I don’t think I’ll rush to make it again.

11. Pulao Rice – This was pretty easy. I used brown rice so I changed the water proportion and cooking time, but it came out very nice and I liked it. I wasn’t super fond of the whole idea of having to pick out all the whole cloves, cardamom pods, and other such things though.

Screen Shot 2015-03-29 at 1.06.13 PM

12. Chickpea Curry – I was prepping my ingredients for this and it calls for a 4-oz piece of ginger, thinly sliced. I only have (frozen) grated ginger, so I got it out and the frozen glob I had weighed exactly four ounces. The problem is that four ounces of grated ginger is like… a CUP’S worth. So I called out into the twitterverse and got confirmation that for the amount of curry, that seemed like an awful lot. So I decided to do 2 ounces instead. The end result was a curry with a good flavour… under an intense heat. I burned my entire digestive tract raw and had steam coming out my ears from eating it. So yeah, I doubt I’ll be making this again.

13. Saffron Rice – I made this to go with the abovementioned curry as per the book’s suggestion. It was okay. I wasn’t overly thrilled with it.

From the interwebs:

14. Parmesan Muffins – A friend made these and raved about them, so I decided to try them, because I need to get more savoury muffins into my culinary repertoire. They were excellent! I used flax instead of eggs (so 2T ground flax and 6T warm water), and I was too tired/lazy to make my favourite almond parmesan so I just used some Daiya mozzarella shreds I had in my freezer. And I left out the sugar.

15. Brownie Coco-Nut-Butter Cups – !!!!!!! YUM !!!!!! So, I made these for a potluck and forgot to take them with me. Oops. What a tragedy. 😉

From Vegan Simplicity:

16. Vegan Red Beans and Rice – This was good, but not great, which seems to be (so far) my reaction to most of Mark Anthony’s recipes. I bought this cookbook when he came and did a presentation/cooking class at our church and really haven’t used it much yet, so I definitely want to give it more of a chance before passing judgement. At any rate, this called for 3/4 cup of vegan margarine. O_O It also didn’t *look* super appetising.

17. Sri Lankan Style Mixed-Bean Soup – No picture; it looked sludgy and not super appealing, kind of pooplike, so like the red beans above the visual appeal was nil. But it tasted pretty good.

From Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day:

Screen Shot 2015-03-29 at 1.06.30 PM

18. Green Monster Bread (made into bagels/rolls) – I used rye flour and caraway seeds in with this and like it a lot! It seems a tad on the sweet side, so I think I’d reduce the sugar next time, but aside from that this was a definite “something I’d make again”. Way to sneak some kale into my girls’ diets (and mine).

Ten Talents (1978 edition):

Screen Shot 2015-03-29 at 1.05.56 PM

19. Carrot Salad – I thought the combo of carrot/pecan/cocoanut seemed a bit odd, but decided to try it anyway, and it was really good! Also very simple. I served it on a bed of lettuce/cabbage just to give it more variety but I would totally make it again.

Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar:

20. Cornmeal Poppyseed Biscotti – I hate lemon poppyseed bread. That being said, these were really good! I was surprised. I don’t know that they’ll be something I’ll make really often, but I brought some home from a potluck and know I’ll eat them. 🙂

21. Rocky Roads – I’ve had these before but haven’t made them before, and my suspicion that I’d like them better without the almond extract was completely correct. They are addictive, amazing, and I think the dough would be the perfect chocolate cookie base for a whole bunch of mix-ins. I’d like to try it plain too.

Everyday Vegan Eats:

Screen Shot 2015-03-29 at 1.05.45 PM

22. Chickpeas and Dumplings – A bit too salty but it was really yummy anyway!

23. Black Bean Feijoada – Really, really good!

[ETA: 24. Macaroni Salad – I made this on a whim the last day of March, and it was GOOD]

Cookbooks [or other sources] represented in March: 8

Did I meet my goal? Barely! I was worried the last week or so that I wouldn’t hit 20, but I did.

See you next month, with April’s recipe report!

sig

Categories: bread, challenges, cookies, dairy-free, dessert, lunch, salads, side dish, soup, vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Chicken Rice

One of the things I ate a lot as a child was that very yellow Lipton chicken rice. I remember having a curious love-hate relationship with it. It was good, and it was pretty, and yet I got sick of it so quickly. Maybe it was too salty for me. Boxed and packaged food usually is.

GooGoo wanted a picture of her food.

GooGoo wanted a picture of her food. I don’t know why she had the grumpface on.

But, I decided it would be fun to try to recreate this in vegan form. So, keep reading for the recipe.

***

Today’s musical selection has nothing to do with chickens, rice, or Lipton. It is, however, nostalgic for me, and that is reason enough.

***

In a heavy-bottomed pan, stir together:
1 1/2 cups brown rice
1 clove crushed garlic
2 T oil
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 T chicken seasoning
1/8 – 1/4 tsp turmeric

Turn on heat and cook rice for about 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly, to toast rice.

When the oil is beginning to absorb, add:
3 1/3 cups water

Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer. Allow to cook about 35 minutes. Turn off burner. Let stand 10 minutes before removing lid and fluffing with fork.

_MG_4125

sig

Categories: dairy-free, gluten-free, lunch, nut-free, recipes, side dish, soy-free, vegan | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Garden Pasta

We have green beans coming on, and I wanted to think of something to do with them besides, ya know, just steaming them. (Not, of course, that there’s anything wrong with just steaming them.)

So here is what I did.

I cooked 1 pound of shell pasta and rinsed it and set it aside.

In my food processor, I ground up:

1 heaping cup green onions
1/4 lb seitan/gluten
1 handful of fresh basil leaves (16 leaves, if you want an exact count)

Then I steamed 3/4 pound of fresh green beans whilst I chopped 2 cups fresh tomatoes.

Then I drained the beans and dumped all of the above components into a big pan, stirred in a little salt and oil and warmed it through.

photo

It was simply delightful and delicious, although neither Lou Who nor GooGoo would touch the green beans.

sig

Categories: dairy-free, garden, lunch, nut-free, pasta, recipes, side dish, vegan, vegetables | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Corn Bread

When I first met Mr Pine Nut, he was more or less constantly engaged in a determined effort to make Really Good Cornbread. Except he didn’t want to use a recipe.

I tried to convince him that Baking is a Science, and Requires Accurate Measurements, but he wouldn’t believe me.

So we had quite a few pans of rather heavy cornbread together, unless I was cooking, in which case I used the recipe on the cornmeal bag, like my mother had always done. It came out okay, though it never seemed to be as nice as when my mom made it.

Eventually I got the recipe my mother-in-law had used when working in a retirement centre kitchen, and I’ve used it ever since with good success and very few adaptations (the original called for eggs, so that was my main change). It always comes out perfectly, except when I try to use flax eggs in it. Flax eggs do NOT work in this recipe. I don’t know why. I’ve tried a number of times and with varying amounts of water. So I stick with the Ener-G egg replacer for this one.

_MG_9656_medium

The amount in black give you for either a pie pan or 9×9″ square pan. The amount in red gives you a 13×9″ pan batch.

Corn Bread
1 c (2 c) corn meal (sometimes I use a blend of corn flour and corn meal)
1/2 c (1 c) wheat flour
1/2 c (1 c) white flour
2 T (1/4 c) sugar
1/2 T (1 T) baking powder
1/2 tsp (1 tsp) salt
1/2 T (1 T) Ener-G egg replacer
2 T (1/4 c) water
1/3 c (2/3 c) oil (can do half applesauce)
1 c (2 c) non-dairy milk (any will work, and water will do in a pinch)
1/2 c (1 c) frozen corn (optional)

Now here are the SuperComplicated(tm) instructions!

In bowl #1, combine all dry ingredients.

In bowl #2, combine all wet ingredients.

Transfer contents of bowl #1 to bowl #2 and stir just until combined.

Pour into a sprayed pan and bake at 350. The 8×8″ will take roughly 20-25 minutes, and the 13×9 at least 30 minutes.

The toothpick test works this way for this recipe: at the end of your baking time, if it comes out clean, let it go another couple of minutes.

You can also do this in a cast-iron skillet with excellent results. I’ve been doing it that way a lot lately.

sig

Categories: bread, dairy-free, lunch, nut-free, recipes, side dish, soy-free, vegan | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

The Nonfire

_MG_3552

Aren’t those just bright and cheery?

So, Skittles are vegan, if you didn’t know that. No gelatin!

But this post isn’t about Skittles. It’s really about our nonfire. I would have posted about this a long time ago except that I’ve had all kinds of computer issues and then I couldn’t find my card reader to get photos off my camera. So forget that this happened almost two months ago.

As you may recall, last year we had a bonfire. This year, it was kind of wet, and we actually have a house fit to throw a party in, so I decided to have a nonfire instead. I mean, there was a fire in the woodstove, but that hardly counts aside from HEY, IT WAS WARM. And dry. And inside.

We invited a lot of people from church and elsewhere and had a lot of no-shows. All the people who ended up coming were from church. I’m not complaining! Except, yanno, as always, I had way too much food.

_MG_3549

It was March, so I went with a St Patrick’s Day kind of theme. So it was all GREEN and RAINBOWS and stuff. My Irish flag veggie tray was a thing of beauty… at least to me. We also had crackers, pretzels, hummus, guacamole, chips… and the star of the meal was the scalloped potatoes. I mean, what’s an Irish themed meal without potatoes?

As with my chickpea potpie, I faced the dilemma of needing it to be soy and nut free. Usually I use a cashew-based sauce. But I decided to try it with an oat milk based sauce, since that worked in the potpie. And it worked for the potatoes too! They were a hit and so delicious. Want the recipe? Well, here it is.

Soy and Nut Free Vegan Scalloped Potatoes

To make the oat milk:
Soak 1 c oats in 5 c water overnight. Add 1/16 tsp salt in the morning.

Blend for a couple minutes and then strain. This makes one quart of milk.

When you’re ready to make your potatoes:

Peel and slice 8 c potatoes. Boil in 3.5 c water until partially cooked (7-10 minutes). Drain potatoes and arrange in a sprayed 13×9 Pyrex-type pan, and set aside.

In a saucepan stir together:
6 T oil
1/2 c onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped

Sauté onion in the oil about 2 minutes. Add garlic.

Add:
6T unbleached flour
1 tsp salt
1-2 tsp of a favourite dried seasoning (I used dill)
3 c oat milk
Stir dry ingredients in first, then add the milk very gradually, stirring thoroughly to prevent lumpage. Stir constantly over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat again.

Pour sauce over potatoes. Cover pan tightly with foil. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 25 more minutes.

_MG_3556

Aside from the food, we had good music, good visiting, and an entertaining escapade with some shrimp that mysteriously appeared in someone’s contribution of supposedly vegetarian Chinese takeout. Train Boy climbed high up in a fir tree and didn’t die. Yep, all in all a good evening.

It was very interesting because we had a different group of people than the usual group that comes to our bon-or-non-fires, so the dynamic was totally new. That was fascinating for me to observe. Is that weird?

And, in closing, here’s a picture of rainbow-hued chocolate chip cookies to brighten your day.

1975220_574077986021137_775113239_n

sig

Categories: dairy-free, dessert, entertaining, entrees, freezer meals, lunch, nut-free, recipes, soy-free, vegan | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Blog at WordPress.com.

In the Soup Together

A "Black Dove White Raven" Fansite

declare the causes

i will tell the world

Creative Wending

cooking, crochet, and a few things inbetween

The World of YA

a podcast by and for YA readers

Vegan Needs

Vegan Lifestyle. Vegan beauty, Food, Reviews & More

the taste space

steam, bake, boil, shake!

Too Cheap for Pine Nuts

Plant-Based Food and Other Stories

The Vegan Cookbook Aficionado

Compassionate Eating For Everyone

Made of Stars

Simply vegan

veganinbrighton

This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees

Storyfied Blog

we're all just stories in the end

Mostly Bliss

The healthiest response to life is joy

Eat.Plants.Live.

...a movement for living food and loving life