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Monday, March 31, 2014

Spring Clean Out the Pantry Time

The other night, my roommate threw a Twin Peaks Black Lodge birthday party in our apartment:

Looks pretty cool, right? It wasn't bad but I am not a super social person (surprise surprise!) and started getting sort of anxious with all the people and noise in my apartment and with the BLACK LODGE VIBES and then the roof of my room started leaking because it was raining and ahhh I just got really stressed out.
So today I cleaned (like I do most Mondays) and sage-smudged the apartment (to dispel leftover bad spirits) and welcomed Spring cleaning in other aspects too. Like the kitchen.
Clean out the freezer smoothie:

Smoothies are easier than stir-fries for me: I never have sad, must-use, leftover vegetables in the fridge because I eat them before that happens. But somehow the freezer gets stuffed with forgotten bananas, frozen fruits, nuts, and other things (like a huge bag of vegetable scraps I meant to make soup with, but will probably just compost.)
Anyway, this smoothie had frozen collards, frozen pineapple, frozen banana, coconut flakes, flax seed, spirulina, ginger, and water. It tasted slightly flat, probably from the freezer-burned pineapple but whatever.
This is the pantry stuff to work through, plus black beans (now soaking) and brown rice (5 lbs.)

Chickpeas, Israeli couscous, rolled oats, millet, and lentils.
The lentils and brown rice went into something that I should have made a bazillion times already: PPK's Quarter Pounder Beet Burgers. I like lentils, I like beets, and usually have them both, so.

I baked them rather than cook them in a skillet, and used mustard rather than dry mustard powder, but otherwise I followed the directions exactly. They held together very well (Andy); they only look a little crumbly mostly because I didn't oil the baking sheet.
The Israeli couscous went in a simple grain salad sorta thing for tomorrow's lunch:

cous cous cooked with FAKE saffron, drained + cooled, thrown with zucchini, bell pepper, raw sunflower seeds, onion, and kalamata olives. Plus lemon juice, black pepper, and tahini. No fresh herbs, I wish I had some.
Anticipate lots of oatmeal, guys.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Wild Ginger, Domestic Tofu

Wild Ginger before seeing Wes Anderson's new film, Grand Budapest Hotel (really, really liked it. Has anyone else seen it?)

I picked something different this time: udon noodles with kim chee and soy protein. Pretty good, though I'd always like more vegetables.They were generous with the kim chee - some nice chunks of cabbage in here.

 G got Pad See Ew - long, flat noodles with broccoli and a black bean sauce.

                                  Through the water out the window on to Bedford Avenue.
Tried to remember and recreate Isobelle's mustard-dill roasted zucchini and tofu:

The sauce I threw together was about 1/2 cup German mustard, 1/4 c. olive oil, 1/4 cup sherry, some agave syrup, and about 3 TBS chopped dill. This was enough to cover a huge zucchini and about a pound of slabbed tofu, but I wish I'd had more leftover to serve. I brushed the sauce on top of the slices and baked it in preheated oven for about 45 minutes, flipping halfway through.
It worked well for the zucchini, but the tofu didn't absorb much of the sauce. Next time I eat it, I may make a second batch of the dressing, or maybe drizzle a tahini-miso mixture on top.
I miss Isobelle. Have a good weekend.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Undisclosed Food from a Disclosed Location

A collection of other food gone undisclosed this last week or so:

                                        GF toast with almond butter and apricot jam

Tomato soup with red curry paste, rice, and cilantro

                                               Sweet potato, tomato, spinach, lentils

                                                                   Raw cashews!

Smoothie season is upon us! This was a clean-out-the-freezer edition: spinach, frozen mango, frozen banana, coconut flakes, water + rice milk. Alongside coffee.

A quick dinner. Zucchini slices, tomato, avocado, millet. Drizzled a miso-tahini sauce over it all post-photo.
                Delicious and pretty fruit salad: mango, banana, blackberries, coconut flakes.

Another gorgeous, delicious, vibrant smoothie. This is the beet n' berry smoothie from Choosing Raw. I've made it before. Was low on berries (had only 1/2 cup) so I bulked it up with spinach and raw vegan protein powder.

                                                Yin Yang bubbly French press coffee

Vegetable sandwich: sundried tomato hummus, zucchini, carrot, red onion, avocado on toasted ciabatta bread

And, Ridgewood on a beautiful clear afternoon. Empire State Building straight on til morning:

Friday, March 21, 2014

Sacred Chow for a Blessed Spring

Hello and Happy Spring! Hopefully things are getting brighter and warmer for you all.
I took Thursday off (and today) to celebrate... G and I spent the afternoon at the Jewish Museum to see an Art Spiegelman exhibit that is about to close. It was pretty comprehensive and informative and fun (at the same time, kind of depressing... if you've read Maus, you'll understand.) The rest of the museum was interesting; I especially liked one wing filled with modernist sculptures.
I didn't really get any shots of the museum so here is a pile of petals discarded from farmer's market flowers. This is somehow representative.

After the museum, I was pretty hungry so we went back downtown to Sacred Chow, for which I had a Groupon. I'd been there a couple times previously, but not since they re-did the inside and the menu. Abby has a review of that here.
There was still plenty to like and I thought the prices were fair (maybe because I was really only paying half, with the Groupon) but I would definitely return. I agree that the tables were small, though: G and I both ordered the three tapas meal (for $19.50,) which came on two plates each, which meant we had to use the adjoining tables, but since it was about 4:30 on a Thursday, there wasn't a crowd so it worked out.
G and I both ordered the vegetable kebabs:

They were tasty and came with a nice, light lemon sauce.
G also ordered the black olive seitan and eggplant rollatini to round out his meal:

He liked the texture of the seitan; I tasted a piece and thought it was nice and flavorful. The eggplant rollatini is a bit of an obsession for him, and since he had recently eaten "the best eggplant rollatini he'd ever had" (a non-vegan version,) he was a little less pleased with that dish.
My other two sides were sesame collards and Indonesian tempeh:

I really loved the tempeh! I love tempeh in general, and am so used to eating it plain in salads that I forget it can be really amazing when cooked and prepared well. The spices on the tempeh were great. It was maybe a little salty, but paired with the plainer collards, it was perfect.
And um, just to fill out the Groupon, we ordered dessert:

This is a butt end of a brownie. It's always a little odd to be served a corner piece, but I can't expect them to throw out 4 corners of a baked good. It was still very good, though the sauce on top was a little thin and didn't really add much.
That was my very full day. From the restaurant, I ran to work to loan a friend a book, then to therapy, then to visit another friend, who is a bit under the weather, then home again home again to see my best lady:

So, yes. Happy Spring. Here's to greener things....

Monday, March 17, 2014

Drinking Too Much

There was no beer or even whiskey today, sadly. Just lots and lots of caffeine. The day started with a cara cara orange, some almonds (more than are in this picture) and two large cups of coffee.

Lunch had some greenery involved:

                                        raw collards, rice, lentils, and red bell pepper
As I was not partaking of the water of life, I decided to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with more green. This peppermint-matcha tea is a recipe from Aimee. You can find it, and others on this page.

This was really nice, and although I totally did not need the caffeine it didn't make me jittery or anxious... though I did get a lot of cleaning and organizing done... I added stevia to the finished drink.
Repeat of the other day's miso soup for dinner. Collards, seaweed, mushrooms, rice, tofu, onion, etc.
That was pretty much my boring, liquorless day.

Saturday, March 15, 2014


Oof my belly. I was a little unprepared food-wise today and ended up eating a little too much of things I try to generally eat in moderation...
I had baked matcha muffins on Friday night using this recipe, and ate one for breakfast (with an unpictured banana.) (I also ate the second one in the bag later in the day.)

They're good but they're not LPQ-level. However, I will probably make them again because I have a pricey bag of matcha to use up. I might use some ideas from this recipe too.
THEN, one of my managers at work sent a co-worker, Marta, and I out to buy snacks for our floor as thanks for working on a huge, tedious order a couple weeks ago. She managed to shake $40 out of upper management to feed our little mouths. We gleefully ran through the farmer's market and Whole Foods.
Not all of what we bought was vegan, but a fair amount was, some of it was even gluten-free, and we also took into consideration that another co-worker can't eat chocolate. Here's the spread, and my girl Marta's thumbs up on the sweet job she did presenting the SNAX (this is about half of what we got - the rest was at the managers' desk.)

back row: pretzels, two kinds of hummus (v), popcorn
middle row: Seaweed rice crackers (v), pita (v), farmer's market apple cider donuts (sadly not v)
front row: Back to Nature cookies - chocolate chip and peanut butter sandwich cookies (both v), mini pumpkin loaves, brownie bites
I ate two pieces of pita with hummus, a couple chocolate chip cookies, some seaweed crackers, and a peanut butter cookie. Not badddd but still oof. AND for lunch, I went to Paradis, where the only vegan option was more gluten:

Kale and orzo with artichoke hearts, olive, and sundried tomatoes. I also found two flecks of cheese in there that made me angry. I flicked 'em away and continued eating. WHY PARADIS WHY??
You might think that was enough food for the day but I made miso soup for dinner:

With rice, tofu, onion, collards, seaweed, and shiitake mushrooms.
Now I clutch my stomach and watch Anna Karenina. Good night!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Here is some Food.

The sweet cinnamon zine loaf. From the top it was all cool and swirly, inside was visually disappointing, and weirdly pinkish? But it tasted great.

Especially with a bit of Tofutti cream cheese:

This is a photo of a banana. I ate it.

This is a photo of a salad I made for dinner that was SO long in coming!! There are croutons from a bagel I burned, like, 4 months ago and always forgot about when making a salad.

This had spinach, avocado, tomato, carrot, tempeh, and CROUTONS later to be topped with tahini-turmeric dressing.
This is a big bagel for breakfast.

Pumpernickel with Tofutti cream cheese and chunky tomato slices. No onion, alas.
A stir fry, sans rice:

onion, garlic, ginger, bok choy, broccoli, shiitake mushrooms, carrot, tempeh with sesame oil, rice vinegar, scallions, and soy sauce.
A vegan and gluten-free chocolate chocolate-chip cookie from Paradis. This was one dank-ass cookie. It was sooo moist inside, in a good way, and it took me forever to eat. G refused to take even a bite. Afterwards I felt like I had had a shot of a double espresso. The texture was also crazy! There were maybe coconut shreds and oat flakes in there? But not a really noticeable amount. It was like shoveling sweet mud from the banks of the Mississippi into my mouth.

Something much simpler: a gluten-free slice of toast with Earth Balance and apricot jam. After that Mississippi mud mayhem, this was a cleansing April shower. I ate this as breakfast today...

alongside a super juicy orange...
and (soy) milky black tea.

Happy Daylight Savings time! This is a late-afternoon shot, would you believe it? The sun was still in the sky around 5. I liked the light and thought it made the kitchen look really warm and cozy, alongside some soup I'd made, the dishtowel, and the top of the French press.

Mz. Thang in her spot on the couch:

And, finally, a mistake. I must really be jumping the gun on Spring because I thought these were pussy willows on the tree until I got closer and saw they were still left-up Christmas lights.