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Monday, November 29, 2010

Mo-Fo Twenty-Two, the Move

Well, that's over with. My back hurts. I am getting too old for this crapola, but not too old to use the word "crapola."
I couldn't post yesterday night because we didn't have the internet so I sort of wandered the rooms aimlessly orienting myself and not so aimlessly unpacking.
There wasn't really much we could eat since we tried to get rid of a lot of it before the move but we came up with sweet potato and black bean mash. It had cayenne, cinnamon, and paprika thrown in. Thanks to my mother for the saucepan, because we don't own one of those yet - I've always lived with someone who had one.

I also needed something else - I had a carrot and a few Carrs' Whole Wheat crackers, which I really like.
And G's plate with mine on the clearest kitchen table I will ever have. He had some sort of veggie patty.

Here's La Grande Tour! (of the kitchen)
As you come in, on your left is the typical NY tiny stove, no counter, and sink:

Straight ahead is my favorite arrangement aka we have no cabinet space. While that IS true, I do really like this and the kitchen is large enough to handle it. It's actually better to have utensils and appliances at hand like this, and maybe having the cookbooks right there will inspire me to USE THEM. Haxan holding it down.

To the right is the refrigerator and table. No Harley Quinn appearance yet.

And something else I really love but perhaps gives me too much room and will make me buy too much is the pantry! We went to Home Depot right down the block and got this easy set-up to put in a kitchen closet:

Tomorrow's post will be on the task of filling a pantry! I love this stuff...Greg was working on the living room and hanging shower curtains and artwork while I organized the oils in size order on top of the fridge. Oy. Tomorrow's post might also feature a real meal, but not today - I set off the fire alarm trying to make dinner and that scared me away. For now, anyway; I gotta use that thing to make pretty much every Christmas present this year.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Mo-Fo Twenty-One, TG re-cap and Giveaway Winner(s)

Sorry for not posting earlier - I've been lazy. I hope everyone's Thanksgivings were wonderful. Mine was not particularly notable but I guess that's a good thing. I saw some family I don't see often and my brother is home from Texas! The food was all absolutely delicious. I didn't take any photos (my brother did, though - maybe he got some shots of the food in but I'm pretty sure he was aiming for the people!) but my meal included roasted sweet potato, roasted potatoes, braised Brussels sprouts and escarole, my chickpea cutlet (which got burned while re-heating! Boo), my chard tart, cranberry sauce, butternut squash with onions and rosemary (amazing!), parsnip-leek-and ginger soup, roasted beets with dill - not to mention flatbreads, olives, baby tomatoes and probably some other appetizer type stuff. It sounds like a lot - and there was quite a spread, but I think I took pretty well controlled portions of the stuff. The only dessert I could eat was the one I brought - Hannah's recipe for white gingerbread, which had no molasses, but maple syrup instead and fresh ginger, lemon zest and some other amazingly fresh spices. It was so good - and other people thought so too!
The non-vegans had SO many dessert options - a cranberry-walnut pie looked particularly great.

Here are the two Chard-Fennel tarts I made:

Pumpkin cookies with White Chocolate Chips for Greg's family's feast, followed by the White Gingerbread loaf:

And perhaps the best part of Thanksgiving, the next-day-leftover plate: Chickpea cutlet with cranberry sauce, Brussels and escarole, and cherry tomatoes. Not quite the same without the family yelling around the table ;)

I'm roasting a sweet potato for dinner tonight (unnecessary but I couldn't get enough) and I had some of the tart for lunch. UM so yeah. Other than that, I'm cleaning the fridge out soon because we're moving tomorrow.
AND THE MOMENT YOU'VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR: The winner of the Vegan Lunchbox giveaway is....

Send me your addy, Cadry (couldn't be helped) and I'll send you the book!
Oh - also. The last giveaway was for Lorna Sass' Short-Cut Vegan and the winner of that one passed on accepting the prize. THIS means that after a second drawing, the winner of Short Cut Vegan is...Sheramy. (I promise - I'm just not going to take another photo of my clammy hand)
So, if you're still interested, Sheramy, contact me.
(antimaud at hotmail dot com)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mo-Fo Twenty, Colorful Eating

Today's lunch was quite beautiful. Oh and tasty! I took a slice of the pumpkin lasagna and layered it over some arugula and topped it all with the roasted vegetables from last night's dinner. Nooch and black pepper rounded it out. Oh yes they did.

I was in a rush to eat because I had to pick up a few more groceries and I didn't want to get caught in a long line in my lunch break. I wish I'd taken more time to savor the food because I didn't need as much time at the store as I'd thought.
Dinner was easy because I was really hungry when I got home - a salad and two pieces of toasted rye bread with avocado and cucumber slices with hot sauce. I didn't think to take a picture, I'm sorry! Just imagine more vibrant green colors (here).
Then I moved on to some SERIOUS color, but unfortunately the goods were a bit of a dud. I made corn muffins with a cranberry sauce topping. The sauce was sort of my recipe and I cut back on sugar a lot:

(Frozen cranberries, apple cider, lemon zest, balsamic vinegar, about 3 Tbs sugar)

and the corn muffin recipe was from The Joy of Vegan Baking but I used applesauce instead of oil. I thought this plus the cranberry sauce would make for a really moist muffin but I didn't think about how I was using whole wheat flour...and virtually no fat...
Anyway, they are a little dry. I also expected the blob of cranberry sauce to sink into the middle of the muffin but that didn't happen, the dough being pretty dense.
I was going to bring these in to work to kick off Thanksgivingy stuff, but I'll keep them at home where I can heat them up and smother them in more jam or Earth Balance.
Oh well. Maybe some other time. They look pretty though.

The cranberry sauce totally stained the wooden spoon I stirred it with! I still have about 4 oz. of it left. It's pretty tart on its own, but I'm thinking it'll be good with some fruit in oatmeal.
Oh, hey - PS! One last cookbook giveaway! This one is for Jennifer McCann's Vegan Lunch Box. That Amazon link lets you see the Table of Contents and Index (the index is more helpful to see what recipes are in the book). I used to read her blog a lot, which I think is updated less these days now that she's a fame cookbook author, and bought this book as soon as I saw it came out. However, I don't know that I've made a single recipe from it in the three or so years I've had it. Oops. It is a little bit more about meal plans and pleasing a child's picky tastes than it is about coming up with novel recipes. It also relies on pre-made food more than I really enjoy.
That being said, the recipes look simple and easy and if you actually are cooking for a child (or an omni or a new vegan - or if you are any of these things yourself), they are good for transitioning. This is not to say there is nothing interesting in the book! There's a Wheat Gluten Pot Roast + gravy recipe, breadsticks, Cherry Chip Brownies, Fruit and Nut Bars, Vegan Fondue (!), etc. Look through the index for a taste.

So, to enter this giveaway, make me feel better about my muffins and tell me one of your recipe fails. Or maybe you all are perfect. Quite possible. Winners will be announced SATURDAY this time because I'm moving Sunday!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mo-Fo Nineteen, Roasted and Groceries

I went to my mother's house today to help a little bit with the Thanksgiving prep and we wound up roasting chestnuts! I had done this once before with Greg to make a comic for my food zine:

This is the recipe from Veganomicon. We totally messed it up because I was busy being smitten (and drunky) so we burned the chestnuts. Oh also there was no temperature dial on the oven! Anyway, I didn't burn the chestnuts today and I was an old pro at scoring them with an X. They smelled delicious but my mom and I tried one. She liked them but I didn't really care for them much. She then transferred them to the grill outside to get them charred and crunchier, and I left. Maybe they came out better.
Despite it being about 60 degrees today, I kept with the roasting theme and after running to a few different grocery stores and the farmer's market in the city and somehow forgetting something at each place, I roasted up: Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli. Helloooo Brassicae! I also tossed in some vidalia onion and chopped garlic and topped it with lemon juice, olive oil, black pepper, and sea salt. I held off on any spices to keep things pretty neutral.

Would you believe Greg has never had a Brussels sprout before??
So I ate a side of those topped with a little nooch and had a bowl of salad with tofu on the side. It was all very tasty.

The only problem is that roasted chopped garlic looks very much like roasted chopped cauliflower and now I'll be bending my breath for a while.

I had a handful of white chocolate chips and raisins for dessert.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mo-Fo Eighteen, Harvest Lasagna

Chomp. I made some sort of something. I'm good at those. A while back (we're talking 2+ years here), I saw a recipe for baked mac&cheese with butternut squash in it, and while I can't remember where I saw it or if it was even vegan, the idea stuck with me. Almost three years later I...almost made it.
I didn't want to buy vegan cheese, I didn't want to buy macaroni noodles, and I didn't want to buy a butternut squash, but what I did have around was plenty of pumpkin, some lasagna noodles, and a sort of idea of how to make vegan cheese. Kind of. I layered the whole thing out in a lasagna pan because I figured pureed pumpkin is a lot like tomato sauce and I just ran from there: pumpkin mixture, noodles, cheese layer, pumpkin mixture, cheese layer, noodles.

I only have a photo pre-baked, but it crisped up and browned pretty nicely. I'm sure you'll see some leftovers pics. I had a piece with a small salad of spinach, arugula, carrots, broccoli, and a few mushrooms.

Pumpkin mixture:
About 20 oz (I used most of an already opened 28 oz. can) pureed pumpkin
water to thin
crumbled dried sage
1 tsp. sea salt

Cheese sauce:
7 oz. extra firm tofu
2 cloves garlic, minced
sea salt
2 Tbs. soy milk
1/2 Tbs. Earth Balance
1 Tbs. tahini
1/4 cup nooch
black pepper

-Cook your noodles and set aside.
-Preheat oven to 375*
-Blend pumpkin mixture together and set aside
-Blend tofu, sea salt, garlic and soy milk in a food processor or blender until smooth. Pour into a saucepan with EB and let heat. Gradually and stirring, add tahini, nooch, and spices. Add more soy milk if needed but you don't want this to be too thin. Mine was a little more liquidy than tofu ricotta.
-Spread pumpkin mixture into pan, and layer.
-Top with bread crumbs, crumbled dried sage, and more salt and pepper.

This recipe was okay. I would play around with the cheese sauce a little more if I were to make it again. I got confused halfway through preparation as to whether I wanted the dish more like the mac&cheese of inspiration or lasagna, which I'm more comfortable making. Maybe I'll just try to find that mac&cheese recipe. In the meantime, this is filling and tasty. The sage is essential!

One more thing: congratulations to Ali on winning the giveaway.

Ali - I know you said you're always only 10 minutes away from a meal; maybe this book will help you cut it down to 5! E-mail me your address (antimaud at hotmail dot com)and I'll send it out as soon as I can.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Mo-Fo Seventeen, part 2

For posterity's sake.
I shamelessly showed you all the dirty and disorganized inside of my fridge and now figure I'll shamelessly give you a tour of my (sizable for Brooklyn but still) pretty tiny kitchen in which I've been cooking, baking, and MoFoing for the last year.
I'm moving in a week and I guess I just wanted to give this place its due. Plus I like to see what the inside of other people's homes look like. Hopefully you do too. Again, I just got home and am half-packed up for the move, so please disregard the mess.

Stove, etc. with map of the world to the left

"Counter space" (my ass) and sink. Note the lovely busted cabinet door. What's a girl gotta do to get a super around here?

Fridge with a baby Harley Quinn on it! Lots of tasty stuff in it.

Cat dishes, cymbals, two big cans of pumpkin, the one lonely window with the beautiful and very crooked curtain I sewed, table

The messy table (with reading material) and bad cat Haxan pulling at the recycling.

She's served me well. Obviously you can see that I spend a lot of time in the kitchen at the computer and not just eating. How are your kitchens decorated?

Mo-Fo Seventeen, different survey

Taken from Lindsay, though I may have seen this and/or done one like this before.

1. Favorite non-dairy milk?
Pacific Unsweetened Almond Milk. The Vanilla one is great too. Though for baking I like to use Trader Joe's Unsweetened Essential Soy milk.

2. What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook?
- Seitan sausages - Pumpkin pasta and - I don't know, give me some ideas!

3. Topping of choice for popcorn?
Nooch and cayenne

4. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure?
Pumpkin Pie Brownies for Thanksgiving last year and the "chickpea dish" that was mostly garlic...

5. Favorite pickled item?
Well, pickles. If I could be sure that kimchi was vegan, I'd say that, though.

6. How do you organize your recipes?

7. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal?
In a Brooklyn apartment, trash is the only viable option.

8. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods...what would they be (don’t worry about how you’ll cook them)?
Spinach, tempeh, apples

9. Fondest food memory from your childhood?
Eating creamed-chicken (I know) pasta in the front doorway on a hot summer evening with the wind blowing in.

10. Favorite vegan ice cream?
I've really only had Toffuti Cuties. They are good.

11. Most loved kitchen appliance?
Food processor!!

12. Spice/herb you would die without?
Hot pepper flakes

13. Cookbook you have owned for the longest time?
Personally, Vegan with a Vengeance

14. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly?
Seedy unsweetened raspberry or apricot

15. Favorite vegan recipe to serve to an omni friend?
I'm betting our lasagna would be a winner.

16. Seitan, tofu, or tempeh?
Tempeh, actually, though I don't use it enough.

17. Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)?
Late afternoon, so I have time to make a nice dinner and a baked good to follow!

18. What is sitting on top of your refrigerator?
Microwave, oatmeal, red wine vinegar (does that have to be refrigerated?), a few baking dishes, cooking oils, cereal, tin foil, plastic wrap, parchment paper, sandwich bags, bags of dried lentils, beans, and grains, and a basket filled with linens and bread crumbs :)

19. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking.
ground flaxseed, white chocolate chips, and frozen pie crusts

20. What’s on your grocery list?
Apples + bananas, chard and fennel, chickpeas, garlic, garlic powder, onion, tomatoes.

21. Favorite grocery store?
I love wandering around Whole Foods for variety but my heart lies with Tony's Natural in Bed-Stuy for bulk nutritional yeast and Caribbean tunes. Oh I also love Rachel's in Ridgewood for fresh, cheap CHEAP produce and traditional Polish goods.

22. Name a recipe you’d love to veganize, but haven’t yet.
Lots of Martha Stewart cupcakes. Maybe homemade ice cream?

23. Food blog you read the most (besides Isa’s because I know you check it everyday). Or maybe the top 3?
- - -

24. Favorite vegan candy/chocolate?
I really like just straight up chocolate.. Ritter Marzipan is badazz. Oh and Yummy Earth Organic hard candies are pretty tasty.

25. Most extravagant food item purchased lately?
Vegan white chocolate chips?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Mo-Fo Sixteen, Some Weird Meal

Can someone tell me what this is and why I'm eating it?

It wasn't bad...but definitely nothing to MoFo about. Though here I am. MoFoing about a bowl of what could loosely be defined as pumpkin soup: Pumpkin, soy milk, hot sauce, and a handful of arugula because I'm obsessed with the stuff. I didn't even heat it up. I don't know why I feel like I'm in a rush to eat but I do.
A little more normal to round out the "meal" was an open-faced sandwich on dark rye with hummus, more arugula, and mushrooms on it.

I'm going to be cat sitting next week, as well as trying to cook Thanksgiving meals - either at the cat-sit house or at the apartment here, which may or may not have a working oven. I'm also trying to pack for moving all whilst not freaking out. There is a bunch of food in the house that needs to be eaten and I'm eating bread and arugula??
I'll pick up the pace soon, I hope.

Mo-Fo Fifteen, Slacking, so a Product Review

I've been really slacking off on the blogging front. Eating I totally have under control, though.
Breakfasts are oatmeal, etc. Lunch is always a salad. Dinner of late has been rye bread with hummus, mushrooms, and arugula. Seriously, I love that peppery green! I've even been passing up my beloved spinach!
You guys don't want to see the same stuff over and over. However, today I bought one of these for the first time ever, fueled by some sugary need.

Has anyone else tried these? What do you think? I usually like something sweet after my meal, but this was really too sweet for me. I'm more used to a vegan dark chocolate and this (maybe this is what some people like about it) was more light and milk-chocolatey. It has also been a VERY long time since I've had a Three Musketeers bar, which is what this Buccaneer imitates (I do like their clever name associations) and I can't remember if I ever liked them. The Buccaneer may have been better if it had something in it to break up the creamy, cloying sweetness - more like the Mahalo. Anyway. Nothing healthy here but maybe I'll at least have something tasty to show you tomorrow.
What's your favorite vegan junk food?
Don't forget to enter the Short-Cut Vegan giveaway. Don't forget to drink enough water.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mo-Fo Fourteen, Festivities and Another Giveaway

It's been pretty warm here in NY this past week (not complaining) but I am trying to remember that the holidays will soon be upon us.
I pretty much have in mind what I'm contributing to the Thanksgiving meal (vegetable tart, chickpea cutlets (not stuffed), maybe some veg side, and white gingerbread from the VegNews Holiday cookbook) and I'm planning mostly on baking or crafting for Christmas presents.
However, the early Christmas spirit apparently lit upon me as I slept (I dreamt of sewing cushions or something) and I woke up and made lunch with the few vegetables we have in the refrigerator:

Spinach, arugula, chopped mushrooms, cauliflower, and cherry tomatoes. I topped it with the red wine vinaigrette I've been liking a lot lately and some hemp seeds.
Dinner was pretty much the same, except way better and maybe one of the best salads I've had lately: no cauliflower, but it included chopped black olives and the stuffing from the other day sort of as a croutony/roasted vegetable addition. SO good. I wish I'd taken a photo of that instead.
So ALSO, I made Kris' Cheesecake for Your Pumpkin Piehole Muffins in keeping with the Harvest festivities. These are good...I perhaps healthified them a bit too much (about half the filling, no oil, less sugar), but they will get eaten. Mine aren't as pretty as hers either because I don't have a pastry bag, and the filling wasn't so thick so it kind of ran everywhere.

I'm also a dope and didn't add those delicious looking pumpkin seeds because I don't have any. I usually like a lot of add-ins, so this bit of crunch would have been welcome. But like I said, they will get eaten (look out, co-workers).

When there are generous, talented bakers like Kris sharing so many recipes online, why do I have so many cookbooks?? Because I love them. And you do too. Right?
So enter my next cookbook giveaway: This time, I shall part with Lorna Sass' Short-Cut Vegan.
This cookbook includes quick recipes with what also looks to be a quick clean-up: lots of one-pot cooking, curries, and stir-fries. If you can believe it, I haven't made a single thing from this book but damned if Orange-Scented Lentil Ragout or Cabbage and Potatoes in Mustard Sauce don't sound like they'd be worth it even if there were no shortcuts. Gingered Quinoa with Butternut Squash and Beans also sounds great.
Now I'm almost wishing I could keep the book around just a little longer, but I know that's foolish on my part and selfish when one of you lovely folks could be enjoying this. Sass also has a few easy desserts, but less baking than I usually tend to like. There are tips for storing for the long run (heat and eat - homecooked!) as well as interesting food history tid-bits and trivia.
It's good stuff! All you need to do to enter this giveaway is to keep with the holiday festivies: Tell me one of your favorite holiday memories.
Personally, I look fondly back on the Thanksgiving my mother first tried to make gravy and thought it was too greasy, so she threw lettuce leaves into the pan to soak up the oil and my aunt, thinking my mother knew some fancy trick totally let her continue. Man is my family ridiculous. And wonderful.
Okay, good luck. The winner will be announced on Sunday.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mo-Fo Thirteen, mostly Green Beans

Hey guys. This'll be a quick one. I am tired and was very hungry when I got home tonight because I try to never let more than four hours go between meals or else I get cranky but I went to an event tonight about nerdy radical research (hollaaaa) and didn't have a chance to eat (although Bluestockings technically has a vegan-friendly "cafe" - meaning they serve muffins and coffee from behind the regishtrer). Going to Bluestockings is always dangerous - I ALMOST picked up Jae's second book but restrained myself. I wish I had seen her speak there those weeks ago!
Anyway, when I got home I wanted something quick that wouldn't be too heavy, seeing as how it was kind of late and I don't really like to eat much later than 9. I ended up with:

Miso broth with chopped spinach, mushrooms and red pepper flakes and a plate of green beans. I also had a few mini multigrain crackers and a mini dark chocolate bar I picked up from TJs today, just cuz. I spent too much again, and I'm not sure how since we still need more vegetables. But I got arugula, which made a damn nice salad for lunch. No photo, sorry, but I'll probably be recreating it tomorrow.

What's your quick go-to food or meal?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mo-Fo Twelve, She Went There + Giveaway Winner

Well, hey alright. First order of bidness: Using my super technological skills (aka cutting up paper and drawing on them), I tossed a bunch of numbers in the air and picked:

Congratulations, Jenny. I hope the cookbook serves you and your kiddies well. I'll mail it out soon. People are going to think we're in cahoots if we keep winning each other's giveaways like this. For those of you who didn't win, I've got another cookbook giveaway coming, so don't fret.

But what's that in the background, you ask? Even Isa herself gave a "GTFO" to this amazing use of brain power. DUH! Stuffed chickpea cutlets. So I made em. After far too long of figuring out what exactly stuffed cutlets were stuffed with, I realized: it was stuffing. Another duh. I don't remember much liking stuffing as a kid and it's been a long time since I've eaten it as an adult, so I wasn't even really sure what went into it, but after talking with G we decided ours would have olives, nuts, and peppers as well as the standard bread and onion.

I toasted the bread first with some olive oil on a baking sheet, then mixed it with the other ingredients. I also poured in some red wine to moisten the deal. The spices I tossed it with were paprika, thyme, nutmeg and black pepper. I threw it all back on the baking dish and heated it back up while I worked on the cutlets.
Here they are, out of the oven.

I plated it with a small salad of spinach, raw green beans, and more olives! with a dressing of lemon juice, garlic, red wine vinegar, olive oil, black pepper (that's what's in the strawberry jam jar) and some nooch.


Super good and filling AND I'm proud of my first attempt stuffing. I want to see how the cutlets hold up for tomorrow because this would be great at Thanksgiving, DUH.
Does this make up for my usually boring MoFoing? I made cupcakes this morning and I'm working on a new zine too!

Mo-Fo Eleven, Vegan Heaven

I stole that from Greg. Borrowed it. Totally made it up myself.
Anyway, "seasonal flavors" are rocking the shelves - Pumpkin, gingerbread, and cranberry flavors are everywhere: Clif bars, beers, Sweet and Sara. It's funny, when you think about it because fall and wintery flavors are really the only ones that come out especially at a certain time. I guess the fall is more about spices than fresh fruits like you find in the bounty of spring and summer, and those are easier to approximate than actual foods. Hmm. But wouldn't a plum or peach flavored granola bar be amazing? Or a cherry-studded vegan marshmallow? Rainwater flavored beer?! Okay, maybe not.
Anyway, today's breakfast was inspired by "seasonal flavors" and all the gingerbread love that is about to be going around. Also I had some sketchy accidentally-vegan ginger cookies on the kitchen table that needed to be finished and NEVER TO BE BOUGHT AGAIN. Hence, gingerbread oatmeal:

She ain't too pretty but she sure was tasty. Oatmeal topped with plain soy yogurt, a chopped green apple, ginger cookie crumbs, ginger powder, cinnamon, and a little maple syrup. Yup! The ginger flavor actually wasn't too pronounced..nor was it very sweet. If I'd had some raisins, I'd put those in. I bet this also would have been good cooked with apple cider instead of water, but that's for next time.
This would be a pretty comfy Christmas morning meal.
Tonight I'm planning on cooking up a storm, so there will be another post later and I'll let you know who won the giveaway! Goo luck, yes, goo.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mo-Fo Ten, Tempeh and Veg

I was going to title this, "Mo-Fo Ten: We signed with a pen" but I don't think I need to get that lame. Anyway, we signed the lease on a place today (but have you SEEN the kitchen??) so that is happy.
We were both pretty ready to eat by the time we got back but I guess wanted something a little more special (that's warranted, right?) than the usual slap a sandwich together and salad on the side.
With what we had in the refrigerator, we ended up with chopped spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, green beans, cauliflower, and tempeh which I threw into a pan with chopped garlic and vegetable broth. Everything was braised until the spinach reduced, and meanwhiles I threw in salt+pepper, paprika, and a little bit of cayenne pepper.

It was pretty good. It was an off-the-cuff thing, whereas the tempeh probably would have been a little better marinating for a while first, but whatever. Also I wish some spices were more pronounced, but it was tasty and filling. Oh! Also, in that photo you can see that my Sarah Kramer Go Vegan 2011 calendar has arrived from VegNews. I had originally only intended to get the digital holiday cookbook (and corresponding cookie book DUH) as tipped off by Hannah but Bianca always raves about the Sarah Kramer calendar recipes (and I love calendars), so I figured I'd pick one of those up too.
However, I'm not quite as patient as Bianca is, and had to flip through the calendar to see the recipes already. Only 2 months early, what?

Anybody else have any happy vegan purchases/presents lately? Oh and don't forget to enter the cookbook giveaway. If you want.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mo-Fo Nine, Giveaway Time

I haven't been putting much effort into the eats of late, seeing as how all my free time is spent panicking or meeting people about an apartment G and I are moving into. This should all be over soon - he and I are hopefully signing the lease for a really cute place tomorrow. Maybe then I'll bake some celebration food.

What I want to share for now is one other aspect of this impending move that's making me nervous: the amount of freakin books I own. I work in a bookstore, receiving (or seeing other people receive) about 75% of everything that comes through the store. This, paired with my tiny bit of an obsession with purchasing every single vegan cookbook out there lends to a very hefty collection. Here's most of them, but I know I'm missing at least one other (Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau - Wherefore art thou??).

That makes 48, if you're counting. SO here's where you, the lovely reader, come in.
I'm going to give way one cookbook for the last three weekends of the MoFo Month.

First up is Student's Go Vegan Cookbook. It took me a long time to decide whether or not the title was grammatically correct, and I'm still not sure. That aside, it's a solid little book with a lot of simple and quick recipes with a short recipe list and easily acquirable ingredients. I've made a few recipes from it: Cinnamon-Maple Granola, Marinara sauce, and Quinoa Tabouli but it's not really necessary for me to hang on to. A few other recipes that pop out at me as intriguing are: Indonesian Tempeh Stew, Rustic Olive Rolls, Ten-Minute Brownies (!), and Sweet-Potato Wraps with Chutney. This is the Amazon link, if you're interested in checking that out.
So, to enter the giveaway, just leave a comment on this post listing your top three cookbooks. I'll let you know who won on Sunday. In the meantimey - let your friends know (preferably ones who will cook for you).
Oh, and here's my cat in a bag. It's relevant because it's a Whole Foods bag!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Mo-Fo Eight, What's the Going Rate?

On Mondays I like to get my chores and errands done for the week, which includes a grocery outing, though it's usually supplemented throughout the week. G and I were a little busy, trying to look for apartments, schedule times to see apartments, the usual work schedule, his band practice, my anxiety (yes, I'm so worried about time management I have to schedule time in my planner to freak out), life's usual loops, etc.
So I swept and mopped and worked on my food zine, mostly to clear up the mess of magazines I have, clipping recipes, food ideas, news, comics...and put the rest out for recycling. Again, if anyone is interested in receiving a copy of my vegan zine (with recipes, comics, poems, essays, food news and ramblings), leave a comment, or e-mail me at antimaud(at)hotmail(dot)com. Hey, Kittee! Want to trade? When I finally had time to run out to the market to pick up some produce this was the haul:

Acorn squash (so excited to use this), bell peppers, tomatoes, loose beets, mushrooms, Organic Girl 50/50, broccoli, and "health" bread. The total for this was 10.45, which I know because I save receipts (I know). Sometimes I am too lazy to go to more than one store in a day, but I usually know-if not where the best deals for the week are-where the consistently cheapest staples are.
So my question to any readers who stumble upon humble FoodFeud is: you guys are coming from all over the world. What is the cheapest produce by you? How much do you pay for your "produce staples" - that is, the perishables you always use, always buy, and always need to have on hand? Do you shop at farmer's markets to avoid fluctuating seasonal prices? Do you clip coupons and shop around with a planned grocery list, or do you purchase on impulse any vegetables you see that strike your fancy?
I've mentioned before my menu-planning proclivities. Most of these vegetables went right into the huge weekly salad G and I make (and have sorely been missing of late), but the Acorn squash is dying to be stuffed with chickpeas and quinoa (both of which I have in the pantry and do not want to move with).
The mushrooms...well, I may just pop those suckers one by one into my mouf.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Mo-Fo Seven; Pear Pie with Cashew Cream

PPCC! Well, actually this is a recipe for a pear tart since a pie technically is covered and a tart is traditionally only one crust.

This was easy, which is not to say it was a complete success. I guess it's just good that I got something edible without much effort.
Pears are delicious. However, I usually pass them over in favor of apples in the fall, really for no good reason. G and I stopped to get some groceries but realized we didn't really need to. However, it's been a while since I've baked something and I had been meaning to but was a little busy (or lazy) but Sunday is a weekend day (and Daylight Savings so I technically had a WHOLE NOTHER HOUR OF LIFE!) so I took some time and made this for dessert.
First I soaked 1 cup raw cashews in 1 cup warm water for an hour.
I preheated a frozen crust in a 400* oven for ten minutes, then took it out and let it cool.
While that heated, I peeled 2 Bosc pears and sliced them, as well as minced about 1 TBS. ginger.
I threw the pear slices and ginger into enough apple cider to cover them, and cooked them until they got soft.
While the pears cooled in the liquid, I added the cashews and about 1/2 cup of the soaking water into a food processor with maybe 3 TBS maple syrup, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1.5 tsp vanilla extract.
When the cashews were blended to creamy, I spread about 1/3 of the mixture into the pie crust. Then I layered the pear slices on top (Reserve the pear/cider liquid). Add another layer of cashew cream, and top with more pear slices. Top with cinnamon and a sprinkling of brown sugar.
I then baked it in the 400* oven for about 20 minutes and let it cool.

This was all I did to the pie yesterday, and G and I ate it and he declared it "breakfasty," which pretty much means not sweet enough. It definitely was a subtle sweetness, which I'm fine with - the problem was that the store-bought crust was a bit too salty. To remedy this, today, with the leftover pear/cider liquid, I added about 1/4 cup of brown sugar and let it come to a boil and reduce on the stovetop. I then poured this over the top of the already cooked pie and let it cool. I think it helped; we'll see what G has to say about it.

If I were to make this again, I'd make my own pie crust so that I could control the salt, etc. I also might still make the cider syrup for the top, but pour it on before the whole pie was cooked.
Anyway, that's that.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Mo-Fo Six

Hey guys. It's the end of my workweek, and I'm a little bit tired and as you saw from my photos of the refrigerator yesterday, there wasn't much to work with as far as today's eats go.
Instead, I'm going to participate in one of the surveys that's making the MoFo rounds. I got this one from Ali, who seems to be constantly making beautiful and healthy meals with such care and love for herself and husband. Nice stuff.

What is one food you thought you’d miss when you went vegan, but don’t?
Probably cheese, though I didn't give much forethought to becoming vegan and jumped on in anyway.

What is a food or dish you wouldn’t touch as a child, but enjoy now?

I don't think I was really too picky as a child, though my mother might contend that. The only things I remember hating were her disgusting meat dishes, and I sure as hell don't enjoy those now.

What vegan dish or food you feel like you “should” like, but don’t?
Hmm, I don't know! Fresh figs, maybe? I'm not a huge fan of rice, which is a pretty important staple...

What beverage do you consume the most of on any given day?


What dish are you “famous” for making or bringing to gatherings?
I like to change things up and not make the same thing too often, but my co-workers know I'm usually good to bring in some baked good (cookies or muffins usually) every once in a while.

Do you have any self-imposed food rules (like no food touching on the plate or no nuts in sweets)?

I generally like to finish one "segment" of my plate before moving on to the next - all the salad, then the sandwich. Also, when I eat mixed snacks like trail mix or colored candies, I'll eat all of one type or color together, and then move on. But no, I do not separate my salads!

What’s one food or dish you tend to eat too much of when you have it in your home?
Dried fruit doesn't last long. Nor do cookies or chips.

What ingredient or food do you prefer to make yourself despite it being widely available prepackaged?
Most baked goods. I know even the ones that I make aren't healthy with the oil and sugar and such, but at least I can control the amounts and I know that real foods without chemicals are involved. Plus, it's cheaper and more work - that way I don't make eating sweets a habit.

What ingredient or food is worth spending the extra money to get “the good stuff”?
Real chocolate. Steel-cut oats. Organic fruits and vegetables, when I can.

Are you much of a snacker? What are your favorite snacks?

Yes! I like crackers or vegetables with hummus, dried fruits, or sometimes I'll sip a juice throughout the day.

(Here's today's snack)

What are your favorite vegan pizza toppings?
This doesn't happen often. Broccoli and olives, maybe? Sun-dried tomatoes.

What is your favorite vegetable? Fruit?

This changes a lot, really, but my fallbacks are probably spinach and apples.

What is the best salad dressing?

I usually just use mustard and balsamic vinegar but that tahini-lemon one I made was pretty good too.

What is your favorite thing to put on toasted bread?

Avocado or nut butters.

What kind of soup do you most often turn to on a chilly day or when you aren’t feeling your best?
On a chilly day, I want something hearty like vegetable soup with noodles. When I'm sick, I stick to miso broth.

What is your favorite cupcake flavor? Frosting flavor?
Pumpkin with cream cheese frosting.

What is your favorite kind of cookie?
Chocolate-chocolate chip. Or something chocolate/coffee.

What is your most-loved “weeknight meal”?
Salad and a sandwich. Easy peasy.

What is one dish or food you enjoy, but can’t get anyone else in your household to eat?
I think we have pretty similar tastes. He eats some things I wouldn't but he's always willing to try what I make.

How long, in total, do you spend in the kitchen on an average day?
Well, cooking/prepping/baking/cleaning up/snacking, I'd say maybe two hours and a half hours? but don't listen to me, I have no idea.

Okay. I need to get off the computer for a bit and read something that isn't a food blog. Let's hear it for Dorothy Day.

Friday, November 5, 2010

MoFo Five: Stayin' Alive

I'm really sorry for all these ridiculously geeky post titles. But I am happy to report that I am alive and the previously mentioned marathon headache is non-existent today! Thanks for all the Get Betters and headrub recommendations :).

Today's post is going to deviate from the usual a bit. I'd like to introduce you to My Refrigerator. I'm sure you're all mildly acquainted with some similar technology. It keeps food cold and fresh.
In my non-computer time, I am a book and paper nerd and make a food zine called Marmalade Umlaut, which has a circulation of - oh, four or five people (I'm mad fame). If anyone is interested in a copy, leave me a comment or email me at antimaud(at)hotmail(dot)com. It has food memories, food news, original food poetry, occasional comics by my very good friend and cartoonist extraordinaire Gregorinksi Farrelloreli, plus some recipes and random ramblings. ANYWAY, I also have the occasional feature entitled "Wot's In Yr Fridge??" to give readers a glimpse into a typical vegan's refrigerator and what we vegans do with these bizzare "carrots" and "Goddess Dressings" (pagan heathens that we are, we worship the fungi that sprout from the expired bottles. Right?)
So, here's a real glimpse into my refrigerator. Let's start at the top. Ghosts from yore call it an ice box, I like to call it my freezer.

In it, we've got: two! bags of vegan white chocolate chips, a TJ dark chocolate-almond bar, walnut pieces, frozen pie crusts, Ginger Newman-Os, ground flax seed, Gardenburgers, ground coffee, the roommate's Czechoslovakian booze, and frozen pumpkin-cranberry muffins. Also, my roommate's bacon and homemade not-vegan strawberry ice cream.
Next up:

Looks like...not much, I know. Jarred tomato sauce in the back, pickles, the beginning of a dressing (olive oil with garlic and lemon juice), dried figs and raisins, red carton is soy milk, the green carton is vegetable broth, in the back is apple cider. Then is Bolthouse Farms Green Goodness drink, a mixed bag six-pack that I'm working through..., OJ, hemp milk, and sticking out a little in the back is No. 1 Pimms Cup liqueur. So sue me! 2nd shelf is cat food, miso paste, Earth Balance, hummus behind it, a pot of the quinoa and veg, hamburger buns and organic lemons. On the bottom we have more bread, Tofutti cream cheese, tofu, a container with half an avocado, soy yogurt behind that, mushrooms and 1/2 a zucchini, MORE BREAD, 1/2 an onion, and tempeh.
Finally, the condiments and such:

cranberry-apple butter, homemade tahini dressing, soy sauce, maple syrup, tahini, Annie's dressing, almond butter, Braggs' nooch, veg margarine, baking soda, lasagna noodles, more dressing and my baking things - applesauce, cornmeal, hemp seeds, cat treats (okay I don't bake with these), sugar, confectioner's sugar, and flour hidden somewhere in the mess.
Unpictured is my crisper, holding carrots, one cucumber, and a red onion.

Phew! So that's a lot. I know it doesn't sound like a lot of healthy food or vegetables, but this was taken after our dinner (which means the last of the salad was gone) and before going food shopping (which I should do tomorrow, or maybe Sunday when I'm off work). This is about when I start menu planning/grocery list planning.
Here's tonight's dinner, whipped up from last night's leftover with a few added vegetables:

Quinoa, sliced grape tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli, mushrooms, and the tahini dressing.

So, what about you? What's in your fridge? What are you looking forward to throwing together from it? Going to clean it soon? I am. I swear.