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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pumpkin Socca with Red Onion, Garlic, Black Pepper

This socca is another snacky little recipe that I haven't been able to get out of my head since MoFo. The desire to make it is not abated by the fact that Caitlin continues to make gorgeous socca recipe after socca recipe (most recently this one, which I ALSO plan on making... hopefully before the next MoFo.)
A couple years ago, my friend and I visited the South of France and so many people and guidebooks told us we had to try the socca there. We did, eventually, at some outdoor stand in a small town in Nice and I remember that neither of us were too excited about it. It was salty and greasy and I have no idea why I so badly wanted to make my own version! But Caitlin gets rid of the grease, baking her socca and adds pumpkin and red onion. I couldn't see how that would possibly be bad.
And it wasn't.

Um, yeah, not bad at all. I ate half the pan in a night. I think my favorite parts were the little bites of garlic.I added ground black pepper into the batter as well, but you can't really taste it. I think a bit of spice would be really good in this socca, mellow as the pumpkin makes it.

You can also see that it's kind of chewy and dense in the middle; less crispy than the socca we had in France. This is a ridiculously easy recipe to make, so do it! It's gluten-free to boot!
I feel like I've asked this before but what is YOUR favorite way to use chickpea flour? The bag gives a recipe for making hummus with chickpea flour but that just seems really bizarre to me.

Monday, February 27, 2012

PPK Cherry Chocolate Chunk (Muffins)

So now that I'm set with veggie burgers for days (truly the recipe that keeps on giving) and don't need to think twice about what's for lunch, the nagging question was, "Well, what then?"
I eat a dessert after dinner most days. I think of it as something nice to seal the meal, so to speak. And since I'm eating it almost daily, I'd prefer it to be something fairly healthy. Sometimes it's raisins or other dried fruit, sometimes it's a mint, and sometimes it's a handful of chocolate chips. I usually prefer it to be chocolate.
Enter the latest installment of Isa Moskowitz's low- or no-oil treats: Cherry Chocolate Chunk mini loaves. She's been killing it lately with her mini loaves and these (which I baked into muffins) are no exception. I love the turn she's taken for healthier baking post-AFR (and post 39) but her wit is still totally intact: These are fun "but not underwear-in-your-purse-looking-for-a-cab-at-4:15-am fun. That’s cupcake fun. Let’s have some loaf fun," she writes.

Frozen cherries are pretty expensive, though, so I bought a bag of "Cherry-Berry mix" from Trader Joe's and, uh, picked all the cherries out. A couple frozen blueberries made it in to the batter too.
They were pretty simple to mix up, cooked quickly, and are awesome eaten warm with the chips still melty. (Okay, so technically I ate them as a mid-day snack and not a dessert. Can you blame me?)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Earth Burgers on Not Really Buns

Like many of you, I'm sure, I collect far too many cookbooks - with best intentions, of course - and never end up using them. They get lost on the shelf, perused and put aside, I cook from whatever I have, or rely on recipes on the internet. I'm trying to put a stop to that and deliberately picked up a cookbook I would otherwise have no reason to - but who really needs a reason?
I pulled Joni Newman's The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet off the cookbook shelf and flipped through. I'm pretty sure G strongly influenced my purchasing this book. Joni's books are inventive, gorgeous, and a lot of fun to read but I personally don't eat the way her cookbooks would have it. G is the burger person. I like...salads.
So we compromised. I made the Earth Burger, which is full of veggies, has simple ingredients I either had on hand or could easily buy, and was even photographed atop a salad! At the same time, it wasn't something I would have come up with on my own and sounded hearty enough that it would be an actual burger and something both G and I would enjoy.
The recipe calls for 2 cups of cooked rice - so I started that first and at the same time, worked on Amey's recipe for english muffins. While The Best Veggie Burgers has recipes for buns and rolls, I opted for the muffins because they'd been bookmarked for a long time and I feel like they're more versatile (i.e. I can eat them anytime! I'd feel weird eating a burger bun for breakfast or a snack.)

Amey's came out way better looking than mine did and I had a hell of a time forming the balls, but they taste exactly like I remember english muffins, even if they're too thin to "fork-split." The most fun part is rolling them in cornmeal!
SO. Bread part down, rice having cooked, I set to the burgers. Chop, mix, pour, let sit, and bake. Easy. The recipe (you can find it online here!) calls for sauteeing mushrooms and garlic in a skillet but I needed the skillet for the muffins and I also didn't feel like that step (and that extra oil) was necessary, so I tossed them raw in with the rest of the ingredients. The veggies and rice make for a pretty chunky mixture and I wasn't sure everything would hold together, but it did (vital wheat gluten and soy flour do the binding work.)

They are browned and crispy on the outside from the wild rice and corn, and chewy inside. I served mine on a salad (romaine, spinach, celery, avocado, red onion, tomato) with a tahini-mustard dressing.

And G had his on a muffin.

We both really enjoyed the burger. Haxan was very interested in them too.
I'd like to keep exploring the veggie burger book. A lot of it relies on TVP, wheat gluten, and some processed ingredients a bit more than I'd prefer but recipes that apply are clearly marked as "Wheat free" or "Soy free." Browsing through, there's a Oktoberfest Kraut burger, an Ethiopian Berbere patty, a Super Quinoa burger, and a Potato Samosa burger - all of which I'd especially like to try, and soon.
Joni does what she knows and does it well so I can't wait for the next time. Does anyone else have this book? Or have a favorite type of burger?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Snacky Day, Cats

Apparently being on vacation and having a ton of free time makes me less productive - not more. I have not made anything fun yet.

Pumpernickel bagel with Toftuti cream cheese, coffee.
Snacking later, an apple with raw almond butter and a green Vega bar. This means no proper lunch.

Spirulina snack:

Orange juice, powdered ginger, lemon juice, spirulina.
Then I met G for dinner (how lazy can I get?) at, where else - Champs.

He ordered the Reuben (seitan on rye bread with sauerkraut, cheese, dressing) but wasn't too pleased, mostly due to different expectations. I didn't taste his but I thought it was a little funny that his Reuben included melted cheese (Daiya most likely). I'd still like to order it sometime, though. It sounds good and now I know what to look for.
We shared a side of oven fries, which were delicious as always. I had been snacking all day, so I went light and got a garden salad. Even that simple dish was good. Spring mix, sunflower seeds, sprouts, cucumber and tomato in a ginger-sesame dressing.
And two mini chocolate chip cookies to go.
I promise, tomorrow I will make something. Or at least eat something fun.
Here are some cat photos until then.

The cats have found some common ground in realizing they both love our bed. They are bonding and not really fighting. Actually, Samson doesn't get off the bed all day. It's kind of cute.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Raw til AFR dinner: 40 Clove Chickpea & Broccoli

Chia pudding to power me through the morning.

chia, rice milk, raw almonds, golden mulberries, chopped cranberries.
I was in a rush this morning and went out with a friend last night so I didn't prepare a lunch. I walked across town in the beautiful "winter" sunshine to Lifethyme to pick up something fresh from their raw food bar.

This is zucchini pasta in pesto over a salad mix (mache, red cabbage, tomatoes, pea shoots, red onion) and a bit of raw cauliflower hummus on the side. The hummus was a bit bland on its own, but delicious with the salad. The store is pricey but has really top quality prepared foods and a juice bar.
I snacked on a Pure Blueberry bar and came home and made dinner. I can't remember what got this recipe stuck in my head, but I tried out a new recipe from Appetite for Reduction: 40 Clove Chickpea & Broccoli.

This is G's bowl, with his random ass carrot craving.
It was pretty quickly thrown together, even though I had to cook the chickpeas first (I e-mailed G during the day: "Can you soak some chickpeas please!!!"). I'm a huge fan of garlic and an even bigger fan of easy meals and simple ingredients. Like Isa writes, it's nothing to go crazy for but it's definitely a staple meal that vegans will appreciate.
Also, tonight begins some randomly scattered vacation time. At work, we have to either take our days or lose them (i.e. we can't get it paid out) and I always forget about it until the last minute, so I have nine days of vacation to use between now and the end of March. Hopefully I will be making a lot of fun things in the upcoming month or so to show you guys. If you have any suggestions on recipes to make, I'll gladly take them - or if anyone in NYC knows something fun going down, let me know. I need to get out of the apartment occasionally so as not to go crazy. Idle hands, ya know?
Have a good night.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Great, Weird, Good, Great

In that order.
After another one of Malin's gorgeous breakfast chia posts, I figured it was time to do it right. Usually I mix my morning chia with oats and use water rather than a mylk but this morning I used a typical chia pudding preparation recipe.

This is 2 TBS chia seeds, about 1/2 cup rice milk, a couple chopped cranberries (formerly frozen), chopped raw almonds, cinnamon, and a bit of vanilla extract soaked overnight. This morning I added half of a chopped apple. Really good stuff.
Lunch was weird because it was more weekend leftover stuff thrown into a container.

Red beans, rice, onion, red bell pepper, steamed broccoli and green beans. In a tamarind-date chutney with a little sriracha. IDK, don't ask. It wasn't bad. It kept me full. It was like a bizarre chili that I slightly regretted eating afterwards. Can't win 'em all.
Dinner was good but frustrating. Still perfecting the art of the sushi roll.
One roll with brown rice, spinach, cucumber, bell pepper, carrot.

T'other roll with hummus, spinach, cuke, bell pepper, carrot.

Dippping sauces of sriracha and some sesame-ginger marinade/dressing G's mother brought over once.

Joe, you can laugh at this one. I won't blame you. They're hard to slice.

Emmy's Organic raw mint chip macaroon. Bomb. And tea.
As for the cats, they are not friends but G and I went to work and came home to a fairly normal scene. They have their designated areas and when forced to be in the same room with each other, they avert their eyes. But it's okay. I'm mostly worried because my mother's cat is taking medicine - which is why he's with us and he HATES it. I can get him to swallow the pill sometimes (coating it in olive oil and nooch worked well last night) but usually it takes a couple tries and he still chokes it back out. He has also not eaten or drank anything that I know of! I'm hoping that will pass.

                                             Here he is hiding behind the shower curtain...

Sunday, February 19, 2012

We Stay Brunchin'

Everytime G and I head home from Champs (which is often, lately), we pass a bagel store. We are obviously too stuffed at that point to fathom eating a bagel but the idea has gotten stuck in my head. So I went for a walk this get bagels. Sad how the only times I leave my house are to eat food, buy food, or go to work.
G was feeling poorly this morning and was still asleep when I got back, but I couldn't help it and dug in:

Pumpernickel bagel, Tofutti cream cheese, cucumber, red onion, and black pepper. With black tea. Yes, and thank you. Has anyone perfected gluten-free bagels yet?
I did have a semblance of a lunch after this.

Raw kale salad (same as yesterday's) with tempeh and a tahini-sriracha sauce. But that was really only to pass the time until I could bake brunch, part II:

Coffee Cake from Vegan Brunch. Oh yes.
I guess the brunch-y food today reflected the mood around here. My parents left to visit my sister in Spain today, so their cat is staying with us for 9 days. I'm glad to have today and tomorrow off so that Haxan (my cat) and Samson (theirs) can get acclimated. She used to live with me at the folks' house but we stayed mostly on the top floor. I don't know how well Hax and Sammy ever got acquainted. He's an old, sleepy, shy baby and she...well, she runs this town.
She is not happy with the sitch. Check out these two photos G took:

Can you see her in that bottom photo?!?
I know some of you have multiple cats - and even multiple species - in the house. How long did it take for the pets to get used to each other? And how much danger do you think they actually pose for the other? I can't stay home all the time to make sure they aren't fighting! I'm also a little afraid of them "acting out" and peeing all over the place. Although, for now, Samson won't come out of his cage so I guess that won't be a problem. I feel so badly for them both!
Anyway. Hope you all are enjoying the long weekend. I'm off to eat more greens and less cake.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Two Dinners, Raw Dessert

G's dinner:

Spaghetti, artichokes, and meatbelles in sauce. Greg usually uses the Trader Joes frozen meatless meatballs but he felt that these were a satisfactory substitution. G ProTip: "If you've never tried spaghetti and artichokes together, try it. It's good but when you have a meatlessball in there it really takes it over the top. Also, stir that shit up so it's all coagulated. And let it marinate for a while. In the juices. [sic] In the context of traditional Italian cuisine, some would scoff at this method but you can't be, like, eating a......" [I stopped listening at this point. Something about forking a ball.]
my dinner:

Kale salad (olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, nooch, onion, tomato, shredded carrot) topped with tempeh cubes and sriracha.

GoRaw Ginger Snap Super Cookies for dessert. I saw these a while back on Lauren's blog and G and I have had other flavors but I always wanted to try these (I love anything ginger flavored.) They're always sold out at my Whole Foods so I snagged them when I could. They're pretty tasty! You can pick up on the coconut texture but not the flavor, which make them slightly chewy but they have a great crunch. Even though I consider raw snacks like this treats for myself, they cost less than either the broccoli or the kale I also bought today, so I can justify that (they were on sale though.) Although I probably won't eat a whole crown of broccoli in one sitting.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Two Lunches

Just writing that title has gotten the Spin Doctors' Two Princes indelibly embedded in my head so I'll just share that...You're welcome.
Nothing novel around here lately. Lots of the same smoothies, loaded miso soups, salads, and overnight oats. Here are two lunches, though, that deviated a bit from the usual.

Spinach, roasted sweet potato, tomatoes, and Isobelle's meatballs, or as I like to call them, meatbelles. Some of them were too big to really stay together well but the taste was really good. I did add fennel seeds and oregano to the mix, and I recommend trying to flip them halfway through baking, so they cook more evenly.

And today was steamed beet greens with rice and cherry tomatoes.

We usually buy beets with the tops already cut off but I love the greens so it's a treat when I get them still on. They're so delicate and delicious. Unfortunately, I over-salted both the rice and the greens but the tomatoes cut that a bit.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Vegan Valentines

Post-Punk Kitchen's Raspberry Truffle Brownies for the co-workers, who I may not all love all of the time but there's something to "we're all stuck here together."

They got really good reviews. "Yo Maud, yr brownies killed it!" "You are a vegan baking shaman." (actually the most hilarious/awesome praise I've ever gotten.) I can't take credit, really. If you like dense, rich, flavorful and multi-faceted treats, these are it. As Isa says, they are "healthier" not healthy; no added fats - keeping in mind they do contain 4 oz. straight melted chocolate - and not too much sugar.
After work, G and I went to...Champs!
G got a side of fries with chipotle mayo and a black bean burger, after much deliberation.

"Best fries I've ever had."
I had a hard time deciding too, but followed in my mom's footsteps from when she took me out and got the banh mi. Super spicy (jalapeno peppers AND sriracha!), sans vegan mayo.

It was freaking huge and we passed on the desserts. NEXT TIME.
We came home, finished a movie, drank some wine, and now I'm sleepy.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Food. Yurp.

Breakfast smoothie:

Spinach, spirulina, frozen banana, frozen raspberries, ginger, agave.

more nori rolls. With quinoa, spinach, bell pepper, and enoki mushrooms rearing their heads. Side of sriracha.
Snacks in the meantime...ants on a log, carrot sticks, lots of dates with almond butter, and pickles, oddly....

Salad (greens, beets, carrots, bell pepper, tomato, cucumber) with tofu, avocado, sweet potato. Covered in lemon juice, nooch, and pepper.

For those of you who may not have seen: Vegan Pick-up Lines.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

miso soup, some more

Nothing spesh; just keeping with the Asian theme. I thought this miso bowl was pretty today.

I'm always in love with Zoa's variety of mushrooms so I thought I'd do it proper here and buy some cute little enoki mushabooms (shabooms).
Similarly, I also had seaweed and ginger in my snack earlier:

Gingerade (my fave) GT's with spirulina. Mad probiotics today, which is good cuz G made me bake cookies and they turned out crappy but I'm still eating tooooo many of them.
NO PHOTOS OF DINNER! Dinner was cookies; there, are you happy? Oof. Don't look at me like that.