Vegan MoFo 2015, Day 4: Weird Food Combo That I Love

4 Tell us about a weird food combo that you love.

I ONLY EAT NORMAL FOOD. *skulks about, shifty-eyed*

However, I frequently say my husband has zero taste buds. He has gained some notoriety with some of our friends over the years because of his interesting concoctions. A few weeks ago, while the girls and I were happily enjoying our granola and smoothies, I looked over and watched in mild and mounting horror as I saw my husband pour raw oats and a bit of granola into his bowl, and then topped it with – I’m not even kidding – cold leftover cooked cereal, beet chunks, and smoothie.

Then last night, I gave the girls potato soup for supper and they wanted plums on the side, so I pitted some plums. Next thing I know, GooGoo has forked up her plum and is dipping it in her soup, “because it’s HOT”, and “I want my plums in my soup”. Pretty soon Lou Who decided she also Had to Have Plums Chopped Into Her Soup, because It Was Too Hot. At first I was like… no… and then sigh… and then I chopped plums into their potato soup. And as they snarfed it down with abandon I thought in my head WHOSE CHILDREN ARE THESE WHY ARE MY CHILDREN EATING PLUMS IN POTATO SOUP. And then I remembered my husband’s beet chunk raw oat smoothie cold cooked cereal… thing… and I understood. Sort of.

But here’s something I do that people tell me is weird, even though as far as *I* am concerned, it’s perfectly normal: savoury french toast.

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This past Sunday for breakfast, I made french toast and tofu bacon, and I spread mayo on the french toast and ate bacon on it. It was astoundingly fabulous. I’d like to try a lemon-dill french toast sometime, but I haven’t gotten around to it. Yet. 🙂

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Categories: breakfast, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2015 | Tags: | 2 Comments

Vegan MoFo 2015, Day 3: Quick, Easy, and Delicious

3 Quick, easy and delicious.

I’m usually pretty good at getting lunch on the table by noon, our scheduled lunchtime. When it comes to supper, though, I tend to be a little less organised. Supper is at 5.30, and sometimes it’s 5 when I realise, “Oh, um, maybe I better fix something.” It’s our lightest meal of the day, which helps. So, what do I make when I have only half an hour?

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*Whip out some muffins. If I preheat the oven right away and don’t waste time mixing them up, I can generally have those ready in half an hour. And who doesn’t like muffins? I’ll frequently serve them with popcorn and fruit of some kind. The ones above are piña colada muffins – recipe here.

smoothie

*If I don’t have time for muffins, I’ll often do popcorn and a smoothie. I posted about smoothies here and also here. Usually I do not bother with a recipe for smoothies, because smoothies, like soup, are one of my catch-all, whatever-I-happen-to-have-around kind of things – but my absolute favourite smoothie recipe *ever* is Sarah Matheny’s Sunrise Smoothie from More Peas, Thank You. About once a year I’ll buy some mangoes for that and it is SO HEAVENLY.

Happy granola is happy.

*If I don’t have time for popcorn and a smoothie, I’ll bring out the granola (assuming any is made – usually I have it), rolled oats, and dried fruit, and we’ll have that with milk or fruit sauce or yogurt or whatever happens to be available in the fridge at the time.

I posted a granola recipe here some time ago, but I have a new favourite that is now my standby! Here it is, adapted slightly from Give Them Something Better.

Note: If you’re gluten-free, you can use gf oats and a gf flour blend in this to make it suitable!

In a big bowl, combine:
12 cups of rolled oats
1 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c unsweetened cocoanut
1 1/2 c nuts, chopped (my fave is sliced almonds, or a blend of almonds+cashews, but any will do, including sunflower seeds if you’re broke)

In a smaller bowl, combine:
1 1/2 c water
1 c brown sugar
1/2 c oil
2 T vanilla
1 1/2 tsp salt

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones. I use my hands to mix up the granola, because that’s how I roll. Then I pack it into two glass 13×9 baking dishes (packing it seems to help it be chunkier after the first stirring, which I love). Bake at 300 and stir every 20 minutes until done. It’ll usually be about 2 hours.

A lot of times I’ll double this and freeze half until we need it. It freezes wonderfully and makes my life a bit less complicated. If you do this, you’ll want to make sure you rotate your pans when you do your stirring.

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Categories: breakfast, recipes, vegan, vegan mofo 2015 | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

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!

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

Vegan MoFo 2015, Day 1: My Breakfast

1 Rise and Shine! It’s MoFo time! Tell us about your breakfast.

Ever since the early days of my pregnancy with Lou Who, Mr Pine Nut has cooked breakfast almost every single morning. In those days, I was too tired to drag myself out of bed early enough, and after she was born, the routine had been well-established, and I am so thankful that I don’t have to think about that meal, too. (I do often make Sunday breakfast, which is generally more like a brunch.)

Sometimes the breakfasts he makes have been inedible. Like the time he sneaked some lentil flour in when I had a lentil aversion during the abovementioned pregnancy, thinking that I’d surely never notice. Nice try! 😉 But with few exceptions, he feeds us well. 🙂

Generally, he has an informal rotation of potatoes in varying forms, hot cereals, pancakes, and waffles. He doesn’t use recipes, so the breakfast table is always a testing centre for his experiments. But we are willing guinea pigs, and as I said, he does well.
This is what he made us this morning: a mixture of millet and oats (he grinds the whole grains with water in a blender before cooking). I topped mine with walnuts and dried cranberries, and had some cantaloupe afterwards.
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Categories: breakfast, vegan, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2015 | 2 Comments

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.

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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…

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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.

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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. 😀

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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!

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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:

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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:

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

From Vegan Brunch:

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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!

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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.

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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.

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

From Whole Grain Vegan Baking:

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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!

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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.

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4. Smoky Seitan Roast – This is super tasty.

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

From Isa Does It:

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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…

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

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

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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!

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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. 😉

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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:

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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!)

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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.

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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!)

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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):

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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:

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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

2015, a Recipe Odyssey: February Edition

Things that have happened this month:

  • I broke my blender jar – again (SIGH)
  • I ran out of regular sugar, which has forced me to be Creative with Liquid Sweeteners, because I have plenty of those, and also kept me from making cookies, which is good for my body and not good for my sugar-loving mouth
  • We had our annual nonfire and it was fun
  • I tried a bunch of new recipes!

Here’s what I made! Grouped by source.

From Veganomicon:

-1

1 and 2. Chickpeas Romesco with Saffron-Garlic Rice – These were both fantastic and went together great, just as they suggested. Definitely would make again!

3. Chili Cornmeal Crusted Tofu – Failed to get a picture of this one. I liked this just okay. I think my cornmeal wasn’t quite fine enough and I didn’t have lime zest so it lacked that lime punch. The coating stuff was like twice as much as I actually needed though, so I froze the rest of it for later use.

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4. Potato Leek Cassoulet – I wasn’t super duper impressed with this one; it seemed bland. I imagine that more salt would probably have been the answer, but while I can add salt to the stew, it’s hard to add salt to already-cooked biscuits. The leftovers I heated the next day I added some more salt to anyway and it did help a lot. So I may possibly make this again and just keep that in mind.

Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 4.03.40 PM

5. Beanballs – So I had some kidney beans in the freezer from a while ago and when I saw this called for kidney beans it was an immediate sell. They were really easy and tasty. Neither of my children were impressed, however.

Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 8.39.47 AM

6. Double Pea Soup with Roasted Red Peppers – I subbed frozen lima beans for well over half the peas called for because I thought I had more frozen peas than I did. Oops. Anyway, I was concerned I wouldn’t like this soup because of all the random seasonings in it that I would never ever use in pea soup. I didn’t really like the soup, but it was actually not to do with the seasonings, I just found it really blah somehow.

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 2.16.23 PM

7. Spinach Noodle Kugel – I had such high hopes for this. I subbed kale and collards for the spinach because that’s what I have at the moment, and only about 1/3 the weight called for – and, guys, I just really don’t like collards and kale. There also seemed a tremendous imbalance between the greens and the pasta. I can’t imagine using 30 oz of frozen spinach in here, let alone that much kale.  I would like to try it again, with spinach.

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8. Lemony Potato Wedge Things – (yeah I’m too lazy to go look up the actual recipe name) I had these going for probably about an hour, the last half of which I cranked the oven up to 400. They never really browned like they were supposed to. BUT, they really tasted good!

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9. Soup With a Really Long Name – (see comment on previous recipe’s title) This was SO good! I subbed oregano for the thyme, because I ran out of thyme. Somehow that always happens when I go too crazy making Isa recipes! :-p Anyway, I would definitely make this again.

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10. Rosemary Foccacia Bread – DE. LISH. US. My children adored it as well. We ate it with seasoned pinto beans.

From the interwebs:

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11. Cranberry Paleo Muffins – Another recipe I found to try using my Christmas cocoanut flour in. These were the most disgusting things I have ever tasted in my life. Even my husband couldn’t eat them. If he can’t eat them, they really must be bad. Seriously, do paleo people actually EAT this stuff???? I took a tiny bite and gagged, as did both my children. Mr Pine Nut gamely picked out the cranberries from his, but declined to take a second one.

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12. Cranberry Orange Upside-down Cake I had exactly enough cocoanut flour from my Christmas bag left to make this. Of the three recipes I tried, this was easily the best, but it was still weird. I think I should have baked it a little longer, and arrowroot just has a weird texture. The flavour was good. It’s all about texture, which is kind of also a big deal. I won’t be in a rush to make it again, and I have no desire to run out and buy more cocoanut flour, because I’m simply not impressed.

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 11.32.06 AM

13. Tofu Mr Pine Nut made tofu once, a very long time ago (when we lived in the trailer). It came out soft, but good. I like, nay, LOVE tofu, and because of our finances right now I was thinking maybe I better learn to make it and save us some money. Well, the process went great until the cold water step at the end, when my blob of tofu decided “Hey, I’ll disentegrate into a bajillion bits!!” Not cool, tofu. Not cool. I’ll definitely try again, but preferably on a day when I’m not also doing a ton of other things like I was this day, and ask around for some input from tofu-making connoisseurs.

14. Okara Crab Cakes I had plenty of perfectly good okara out of the lame tofu deal, though! So I tried this recipe. It was good. Not my favourite thing ever, but good.

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15. Okara “Chicken” Nuggets – These were SO good! This is definitely going to be a go-to with future okara. I did the procedure a bit differently than outlined – I wrapped the mixture directly in foil and dumped it in a steamer basket in a covered pot. I did not do the breading and frying, which I’m sure would be good, but these were good just on their own too! We ate them with carrots and mac and cheese.

From Isa Does It:

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16. Spicy Slurpy Spaghetti Sauce – Oh MAN this was hands down the best sauce EVER I will never make another sauce again! (Yes, crazy Pinterest peeps, I’m mocking you.) Seriously though, this was the best sauce I’ve ever made, and it was so easy. I subbed a combo of paprika/smoked paprika for the pepper flakes, since Mr Pine Nut is not a fan of heat, and I blended it in my food processor to hide the “stuff” (tomato chunks, onions) from GooGoo. GooGoo is not a fan of tomato anything, but she slurped this stuff right down with her linguine. Score!

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17. Classic Baked Tofu – Loved the flavour; didn’t love the texture. I think next time I’ll cut thinner slices and skip the parchment paper; I like my baked tofu to have a bit more of a chewy crust than this one ended up with (even after being in the oven way longer than called for!) But I’ll definitely make it again. I had it with steamed broccoli and chicken rice. It was a super delicious meal.

Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 4.09.01 PM

18. Meaty Beany Chili – This was okay; I did not add the sweetener and I’m glad I didn’t; I like my savoury food to be savoury, and somehow the cloves made it seem sweet enough already. Not sure I’ll make this again.

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 3.56.30 PM

19. Lentil-Quinoa Stew – I had only 3/4 cup of quinoa and I probably used only 1/2 pound of kale. Despite the kale (I am so not a fan) it was very good!

Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 6.48.32 PM

20. Dilly Stew with Rosemary Dumplings – This was amazing. I forgot to put the navy beans in (I don’t even know, guys) but it was still insanely delicious. When I heated the leftovers the next day I added in some of the navy beans with them. Either way it’s great.

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21. Cheddary Broccoli Soup – Not a huge fan of this, although Lou Who snarfed down three bowls and had the rest tonight for her supper, cold, because she was in too much of a hurry to wait to warm it up! GooGoo was also not a fan. It tasted vaguely vomitlike to me when I first tasted it out of the pot, and when I reheated it for our Friday night supper it at least no longer tasted like vomit. It was, however, ridiculously noochy, and I’m really not a huge fan of nooch. It was worth a shot, but I don’t think I’ll make it again.

From Vegan Brunch:

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 11.31.16 AM

22. Toasted Cocoanut Chocolate Chip Muffins – I loved the mango ones from last month, so I tried the chocolate chip variation. I had to do a lot of subbing because I’m out of, oh, sugar, and getting low on oil. So I used melted cocoanut oil and instead of the dry sugars used 1/4 cup agave. They turned out nicely and tasted great.

From Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World:

23. Carrot Cake Cupcakes – These were really good, despite the fact that I do not believe raisins belong in a carrot cake. I would leave them out next time, but I did very much like the overall flavour! I did a double batch in a 13×9 pan to take to a potluck.

Cookbooks [or other sources] represented in February: 5

Did I meet my goal? Yes, plus 3. Yay!

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

sig

Categories: bread, challenges, entrees, side dish, soup, tofu, vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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