Sunday, November 28, 2010

MoFo 18: Stick a Fork in Me...

I'm done. The shirt's from etsy, I found it fitting (ah, so punny). I made it almost the whole month of MoFo, I'm impressed! The next couple of weeks are raging up to be killer as I truck on towards finals week. I have 4 exams, 3 quizzes, 2 practicals (timed preps on teeth in the lab for a grade) to go 'til the 7 finals that will test my limits in "finals week." I had the nice long weekend and almost felt like a real human being again...
It will be quiet here for a few weeks. When I get a break for the winter holidays things will start to get cooking again!

Friday, November 26, 2010

MoFo 17: Thanksgiving Dinner

We had a lovely Thanksgiving day! The sun was out and it was beautiful here in San Francisco. I did have to hit up two stores (two because I forgot portobello mushrooms for the above dish and had to run out again), but it all came together--even if it was 2 hours later than expected.

Above is the porcini and pecan pate with some fresh french bread for spreading. This was delicious! I was a little concerned as I was making it because it didn't seem like it had enough different ingredients to have more than a musky mushroom taste (what with the dried porcinis and the fresh portobellos), however it didn't taste overly mushroomy at all. It was super smooth and tasted creamy and decadent. Definitely a winner.

Next up was dinner. Here we have festive chickpea tart, cranberry and orange salad, and green bean casserole. The tart was a recipe from Dreena Burton, and like everything from her it was just fantastic. This tart is like fall blended together and put in a crust; it's got chickpeas, spinach, dried cranberries, onions, and is perfectly spiced. I made the flaky pie crust from Vegan Vittles to put it in and that was great as well--best part: no shortening in the crust! We topped the tart with the yeast gravy from The (almost) No Fat Cookbook, a nice simple nutritional yeast based gravy. The salad recipe I adapted from swell. I used a baby spinach and arugula mix instead of kale because the guys are not the biggest fans of kale, especially uncooked. I also swapped out dried cranberries for fresh. I doubled the amount of orange juice, orange slices, and avocado, and halved the amount of oil. I didn't bother with the balsamic reduction drizzle because there was enough going on already. This salad was fabulous! I loved the combination of all the fruit with the greens. Yum! Lastly on this plate of goodness was green bean casserole. This recipe was modified from cute and delicious. I swapped out fresh boiled greenbeans for the canned and caramelized onions for the can of french-fried onions. This also turned out great! The noochy sauce was deslish. I loved having so many vegetables on our plates, it made dinner not feel so heavy...and it left room for the amazing dessert we had coming. Behind the dinner plate are some roasted chestnuts. I'd never had these before and a friend brought them over with her. Interesting, but good! She was raving about the chestnut and lentil pate from Veganomicon; I may have to get on that.

Alright, and here's dessert! It's the chocolate cinnamon babka from Vegan Dad. We had a bit of trouble with this recipe since it's written in ounces and I don't have a kitchen scale. So, I just kept adding flour til it seemed like the right consistency to me--and it worked! Crisis averted. This looks much more complicated to make than it really is, perfect for entertaining! I didn't realize there needed to be a second rise after adding the chocolate layer and twisting it up, and since I didn't have time I just skipped it. It puffed up quite a bit while cooking (and we had let it rise the first time for about 5-6 hours), so it worked out just fine. Let me tell you, this is delicious! Once it's cooked the cinnamon flavor doesn't really hit you, it just adds to the bitterness of the chocolate and makes it taste so good. This will definitely get made again.

Being the klutz that I am I of course didn't make it through the day without a battle scar. I hit my arm against the rack in the oven (right above where my oven mitt covered) and ended up with this lovely. Luckily it doesn't hurt...I'm so tough.

Here were the beautiful arrangements we had for the table. I put together the mums and sunflowers and my friend brought over a beautiful bouquet with purple kale as the main component! Gotta love people who appreciate the beauty of vegetables! We also had some cute little pumpkins and a kabocha squash mixed in with some candles. I plan on roasting these babies up and making something with them (I've never had kabocha before, ideas?). Hanging out on the counter there is also a plastic Yoda...He's from a cereal box years and years ago (at least 9), and ever since my dad and I have taken turns hiding it back and forth, seeing how long it would take for the other to find it and just how creative we could. He's been in showers, pillowcases, suitcases, car trunks, purses, food--he gets around. Now that my parents live in Florida it's longer in between the hidings. I left him at their house for him to find last time I was out there in June; I got him back today (my dad snuck him to my brother when he was visiting in September for my brother to hide), he was tucked in along with the groceries. Oh, Yoda where will you go next...

Weird traditions--just another thing I'm grateful for. Here's hoping you had a wonderful day with good food and great company!

If you have photos of your vegan Thanksgiving dishes there a couple of blogs that would love the pictures for some epic food posts: Quarrygirl and Lunchboxbunch.

Also, if you feel like winning some awesome cookbooks: Robin Robertson is giving away her last cookbook of MoFo, Party Vegan. And Ricki is giving away the cookbook of the winner's choice!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

MoFo 16: And a Very Happy Thanksgiving to You!

Hey y'all. To any celebrating today I hope you have a very happy Thanksgiving!

I decided to go all crazy this year and make everything from scratch. We're also making everything from other people's blogs this year!

So, here's the menu for tonight:

Appetizer: Porcini and Pecan Pate, originally seen on Vegan Good Things.

Main dish: Festive Chickpea Tart from Dreena

Side #1: Cranberry and Orange Salad from Swell, with a few modifications.

Side #2: Green Bean Casserole from cute and delicious, also with a few modifications.

Dessert: Chocolate Cinnamon Babka from Vegan Dad.

We've got a few things taken care of already and we'll be eating dinner at normal dinner time with my brother and a friend from school. I'm thankful for so much (including Safeway being open at 3 PM for me to able to pick up something I forgot...) and it's nice to take time to take time out and remember that. I'm mostly glad I'm not at school today and can just relax and spend time with friends and family.

From my home to yours a very happy Thanksgiving (or happy thursday to those not in the states)!

I'll be back tomorrow with pictures and reviews for everything we made today!

Monday, November 22, 2010

MoFo 15: Kitty Love

No food or roundups today...I have to study up a storm tonight for my Human Anatomy final tomorrow, so I'm just gonna post some cute pics. My cats are super-adorable (of course not all the time, they're very good at running amok) and have been helping me cuddling with me and being their cute little selves. Above they're hanging out in the kitchen while we make some food.

Here's Tosh helping me learn about Oral Cancer--that slide must be important!

Brody reminding me that I should take time out to get a sweat going!

And this last one melts my heart! I had a few stuffed animals around from years ago and Tosh has pretty much taken all of them as his personal playthings. This Flounder is just about as big as him and he carries him around in his mouth, tosses him, and here uses him for a pillow. He's also taken an Eeyore and a Banana Slug (UCSC mascot) for his own.

I'm so thankful to have these little guys in my life. They make me smile every day!
Have a good night!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

MoFo 14: Savory Breakfast Tempeh and Corn Muffin

Sometimes when I wake up I don't want something sweet, but I still want a baked good. What a dilemma! I searched for a good, long time before deciding that there wasn't a recipe I could find for exactly what I was craving: a corn and tempeh sausage muffin. I found plenty of corn and bean muffin recipes though, so I adapted one for this concoction. I decided to use the recipe for Tennessee Corn Pone Muffins from Vegan Lunch Box and subbed the 1 cup of cooked beans for 1 cup of cooked tempeh sausage crumbles (any corn muffin recipe could work here though). I used some random recipe that I can't find now for the tempeh, but I'm sure the recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance (and on PPK) would work well, probably better, because mine lacked a little flavor. You'd only need 1/2 of the recipe though.

The corn pone muffin batter was super crazy thick. I'm guessing the 1 cup of cornmeal and 4 tablespoons of ground flaxseed might have had something to do with that. It made it a little hard to work with. The recipe also says it makes 12 muffins--no way! we filled the muffin tins about 1/2 full and got about 8 muffins before the batter was almost gone. Once they were filled to 1/2 we topped each one with some of the tempeh sausage crumbles, then put one more spoonful of the corn muffin batter on top to hold the tempeh in place a bit. Then just a sprinkle of nutritional yeast on them and into the oven. They were very tasty! I ate like half of them throughout the day. I still want to work with this because I think it can be even better, but I'd still call this a success!

Check out: I'm super-excited for the latest installment of Harry Potter. I've read all the books...multiple times. I won't have a chance to go see it 'til I'm out for the long weekend for Thanksgiving though (thanks Anatomy final). I'm glad other people are excited too: check out these adorable cupcakes over at Cute and Delicious to celebrate!

Win! manifest:vegan has a giveaway of an adorable rhinoceros messenger bag for her birthday; Vegan Appetite has a copy of The Vegan Girl's Guide to Life; and Baking is Hot has some fabulous items from Le Creuset up for grabs.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

MoFo14: Survey Time

I didn't feel like doing a regular post today, so I decided to fill out the survey that's been making its way around the MoFo blogs. The picture above was some cactus we bought recently. My boyfriend is in art school and needed some cool food to photograph, so those came home with us. He took this photo, it's easy to tell that it wasn't me because it's way better that what I can do. I don't think I'm patient enough to be an artist...Anyway, I'd never had cactus before, so after he was done shooting it I looked up how to cook it! We cut off all the needles, wiped off the slime that comes out after doing so, then cooked it up with some asparagus and made fajitas. It was super-good. Another scary food tackled!

And now, for the survey!

1. What is one food you thought you’d miss when you went vegan, but don’t?

String cheese, I used to eat that stuff all the time

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

All sorts: avocado, mushrooms, onions, eggplant, spinach...I was verrry picky pre-veg

3. What vegan dish or food you feel like you should like, but don’t?

Kombucha. I don't get it, it's disgusting

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

Without a doubt: water

5. What dish are you famous for making or bringing to gatherings?

Either a dessert (usually cookies because they transport well) or hummus

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

It's not a rule, but I usually don't like nuts in cookies or brownies--it just ruins them

7. What’s one food or dish you tend to eat too much of when you have it in your home?

Kettle Chips Salt and Black Pepper. I don't like too many chips but these are terribly addicting

8. What ingredient or food do you prefer to make yourself despite it being widely available prepackaged?

Hummus and veggie burgers

9. What ingredient or food is worth spending the extra money to get the good stuff?

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

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

If I'm stressed I'm a gigangtic snacker. I like to keep Clif bars around for quick on-the-go snacking and hummus and fruit for when I'm home

11. What are your favorite vegan pizza toppings?

Cashews, tomatoes, and good

12. What is your favorite vegetable? Fruit?

Favorite veggie is kale; favorite fruit is tomato (oh, you wanted something more "fruity?" I also love strawberries)

13. What is the best salad dressing?

The house tahini dressing from New Leaf Market. I'm still trying to recreate it, or at least something comparable

14. What is your favorite thing to put on toasted bread?

Avocado and tomato. Second would be Earth Balance and Tofurky (don't knock it 'til you try it!)

15. What kind of soup do you most often turn to on a chilly day or when you aren’t feeling your best?

If I feel like cooking: Chickpea Noodle Soup from Veganomicon. If I don't: Anderson's Split Pea from a can

16. What is your favorite cupcake flavor? Frosting flavor?

I don't have a favorite, but you can't go wrong with chocolate...or margarita, or spice, or...yeah cupcakes

17. What is your favorite kind of cookie?

Plain old chocolate chip, freshly cooled from the oven (when they're still warm, but not melty)

18. What is your most-loved weeknight meal?

Dragon Rice Bowl from reFresh

19. What is one dish or food you enjoy, but can’t get anyone else in your household to eat?

Brown rice with steamed kale, seaweed, sesame oil, soy sauce, and sesame seeds. To me this is like perfection in a bowl--I'm alone in this at home

20. Favorite non-dairy milk?

Trader Joe's Chocolate soy milk. I love that stuff, if I didn't stop myself I could probably drink the entire carton in one day.

21. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure?

When I made cookies by myself from scratch for the first time, I was about 10. The directions said 2 1/4 cups flour; silly me put two one-quarter cups (1/2 cup) of flour. I didn't know why it was written that way, but I went with it. Needless to say it was a runny mess...runny all through the oven. I still get teased with that story. I guess I could have far worse stories, luckily I've never lit the house on fire or anything

22. Favorite pickled item?

Dill pickles, the giant ones

23. 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)?

Tofu, peanut butter, and chocolate

24. Fondest food memory from your childhood?

My grandmother making chocolates with me, teaching me how to paint on designs. That was fun...she recently passed away and this memory still makes me smile. The chocolates were in the shape of teddy bears!

25. Favorite vegan ice cream?

Purely Decadent Turtle Trails (vanilla ice cream with caramel swirls and chocolate-covered praline pecans)

26. Most loved kitchen appliance?


27. Spice/herb you would die without?

Garlic and cinnamon

28. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly?

Strawberry. Raspberry is a close second

29. Favorite vegan recipe to serve to an omni friend?

Sweet and Sour Tofu with Broccoli and Almonds from Vegan Yum Yum

30. Seitan, tofu, or tempeh?

Tofu, but I'm a fan of them all

31. Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)?

Dinner on a non-crazy night. Breakfast on weekends is also nice on a lazy day.

32. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking.

Bananas, blueberries, peas

33. What’s on your grocery list?

Nutritional yeast

34. Favorite grocery store?

Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Rainbow Co-op (SF)

35. Name a recipe you’d love to veganize, but haven’t yet.

Chicken and dumplings

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

Oh She Glows. I don't know how Angela does it, but she usually updates twice (!) a day and has tons of great-looking recipes

37. Favorite vegan candy/chocolate?

Not candy, per se...but Rice Dream makes these mint chip ice cream oatmeal cookie sandwiches that are so good! Divvies caramel corn is pretty awesome too

38. Most extravagant food item purchased lately?

Dr. Cow tree nut cheese

And there you have it. I'm a little sad that I wasn't able to answer pumpkin to any of these answers because I really do love it, but alas, no survey can cover everything.

Cool goings-on in the blog world today:

1) Want an original way to use up Thanksgiving dinner leftovers? Hannah from Bittersweet has got you covered with a Thanksgiving quiche!

2) I have a bag of TVP granules sitting in the cabinet that's been there for months now. I know I bought them with some recipe in mind, but I can't remember what it is. Well, now I'm glad I have them because manifest:vegan has a recipe for a pasta bolognese that looks fan-tastic!

Also quite a few giveaways going on, up for grabs: So Delicious products at An Opera Singer in the Kitchen; Caribbean Vegan at Cake Maker to the Stars; and Skinny Bitch in the Kitch
at Weekly Vegan Menu. Good Luck!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

MoFo 13: White Bean and Roasted Garlic Soup and Focaccia

I don't know what caused me to stop on this recipe in Vegan with a Vengeance, but I'm glad I did. It was another night when the fridge was pretty bare, so this dish worked out perfectly. Besides the time it takes to roast the garlic this soup comes together super fast. It was so good too! It tastes rich and like it took a long time...gotta love the complexity that simple roasted garlic can add. I'm not the biggest fan of white beans, because of their tough texture, but I love their versatility and when they're blended up (like in the biscuits with white bean gravy also from VwaV) then they're right up my alley!

We like to have something to dip when we eat soup. Cuz we're super classy like I made the focaccia from The Urban Vegan to great results. I loved that everything was just tossed in the food processor to be mixed up and then baked. I cooked it a tad too long, so it was a little tough, but still good. Some fresh herbs in place of dried would take this fantastic little flatbread to new heights.


1) Remember the obligatory green bean casserole at holiday dinners? I remember really liking the crunchy onions (even though I didn't like onions...I guess if you fry anything) but the rest left me wanting to gag. Not so with this version from cute and delicious! A cheesy nooch sauce has replaced the cream of mushroom soup and now it just looks yum-my.

2) Something that makes my heart happy: Babycakes is now serving up vegan, gluten-free baked goods at Walt Disney World. I think my love of Disney has been made quite apparent (especially the last few days--I really need a vacation) and this makes me so excited. They're one of the few parks to actually have veg options at almost every single restaurant and to cater to vegan or other dietary needs at their fancy sit-down restaurants. I've had some of my best meals in restaurants ever at DisneyWorld (especially at California Grill and Jiko--the latter even has a vegan menu); they send the chef out to talk to you and make up something special based on what you like--it's awesome! Where they were lacking was the dessert department, although a couple of their shops do now sell Divvies, but looks like they're taking care of that now too!

3) I recently had the opportunity to eat at Encuentro in Oakland. It's an all-veg wine and tapas bar. It was a bit pricey, but it was good. We ordered the vegan cheese platter and I loved the idea of the different nut cheese spreads and pates. I want to put one together sometime for my next house party...maybe Thanksgiving or Christmas. Anyway, over at Vegan Good Things is a porcini and pecan pate (recipe from Gather in Berkeley, and a nominee for one of the 10 best restaurant dishes of 2010) that looks so tasty and would be the perfect accompaniment to a lovely vegan cheese platter.

4) My mom's signature dish used to chicken and dumplings. My whole family loved it--she made it well. After being away for awhile that's the dish we would always ask for, it was also what I missed the most after going vegetarian. She's since come up with some great vegan recipes (her black bean soup is amazing) for when I visit, but I think it's about time we try to veganize this old family favorite! Tofu Mom over at Tofu 'n' Sprouts has been doing a different post about gravy for the entire MoFo. Yup, I didn't know it was possible either, but she's doing it and doing it well! Today is a recipe for "Chicken" Gravy with Dumplings--it's full-on comfort food and I can't wait to try it out!

Win! This week Robin Robertson has a copy of Vegan Fire & Spice
up for grabs.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

MoFo 12: Tamari Roasted Chickpeas

Extreme close-up. Straight from the oven. I'd heard a lot about these little beauties from Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan (recipe also posted on Dreena's blog) and decided, being the chickpea lover that I am that it was finally time for me to try them. They were tasty little guys, the perfect amount of salt. I think if I were having a party or needed something to mindlessly munch while watching a movie these would be perfect, but for everyday snacking I'll just stick to my dear friend hummus.

Now for a round, round, round-up! (That's repeated because it's three days' worth and I'm trying to be clever, not because I have a typing stutter...)

1) Soup! Again! I've never put quinoa in soup before because I've never thought of it. It definitely seems like a good idea and this Holiday Soup for the Soul from Oh She Glows looks fantastic.

2) Weekly Vegan Menu has been veganizing restaurant favorites and this time it's Red Robin. While I was never a big fan of that restaurant (alright, they have good french fries) the veganized Bruschetta Burger looks mighty good!

3) I think I've just found what I'm making as my Thanksgiving entree: this decadent looking Festive Chickpea Tart from Dreena's recipe blog. I can't remember making any of Dreena's recipes that haven't been amazing and this seems seasonal and perfectly unfussy.

4) To go with it I think we might need some of these Cranberry Coolers from manifest:vegan. I love the color, and I think the addition of some spiced rum would be the perfect holiday drink, if you're of the imbibing type.

5) Just when I was starting to think I'd seen it all when it came to pumpkin recipes, Christy from The Blissul Chef pulls out the wild card of Pumpkin Hot Chocolate! Mmmhmm...if that doesn't have my name written all over it I don't know what does.

6) Amey at Vegan Eats & Treats has mofo travelled her way to Hungary in the form of Hungarian Eggplant Paprikash. I love eggplant when it's cooked well and this sure does look cooked well. Since it also doesn't look like eggplant I might even be able to get my boyfriend who typically doesn't like it to give it a go. I have to admit I picked this post not only because it looked tasty, but because it reminded me of "When Harry Met Sally." I never knew what paprikash was, and Harry says it at some point to Sally. I don't remember where, but trust me it's in there. That movie is one of my favorites.

Win! Yummy baking goodies are up for grabs at Diet, Dessert, and Dogs. And An Opera Singer in the Kitchen has a giveaway for Fresh and Fast Vegan

Thursday, November 11, 2010

MoFo 11: Caramel Corn

I've never been a fan of popcorn. While other people munch away happily at the movie theater (in fact I've known people who want to go to the movies sometimes just so they can get some popcorn) I don't see the appeal. However, if you cover it in sugar then I'm a believer! I picked up a bag of Divvies caramel corn as a sweet snack while in Disneyworld last year and ever since then I've been wanting to make my own (I've also recently tried their kettle corn, which is also great). This was my first attempt. I found the recipe on VegWeb (using their handy dandy iPhone app). It was pretty good. It wasn't super special though. A few days later I tried again and using the variations I left out the margarine and added peanut butter. Wow was that a winning combination! My only complaint is that the popcorn doesn't get firm. And after a few hours it was a little bit soggy. There's a recipe in the latest VegNews for a chocolate caramel corn and it has directions to bake the popcorn after adding the caramel to firm it up. I think I'll try that one next!

This was also the first time I tried popping my own popcorn kernels. I found them in the bulk section and followed these directions from wikihow.

Blog posts to peruse:

1) I grew up making just about nothing from scratch. My parents were busy and it was convenient not to. In fact, I honestly didn't know until my adult cooking years that it was even possible to make certain things without a bag mix (silly, I know). The first time I made a cake myself I was amazed. I had a bit of that same old feeling when I saw this post on pumpkin nog over at Manifest:Vegan. I have no idea what's in traditional eggnog (egg?), but it's another one of those things that never occurred to me to make from scratch or to make a different version. This one sounds great. So warming and perfectly spiced for this time of year.

2) Oh, Isa. Another fabulous looking recipe over at the PPK, this time for Cashew Vegetable Korma. I was looking at this post at school and I had someone come up to me and ask me what I was looking at because it looks amazing. I have to agree!

3) I've made several different recipes for chana masala (here's one, and another). I love it. I've been wanting to find a recipe for one that's a little saucier and this one over at Oh She Glows looks like it might fit that bill perfectly! Also, this recipe for garlic pumpkin mashed potatoes with spinach that Angela wrote up later the same day sounds sooo good.

4) mmm...these baked tofu steaks with mushroom gravy look so tasty. This recipe is from Veggie Belly and the texture of that tofu looks perfect!

5) Pretty much the only way I'll eat cauliflower is if it's curried (here and here) or spiced up like crazy (like here). So, naturally this spicy cauliflower with sesame seeds from 101 Cookbooks spoke to me. It said "eat me." Who am I to argue with talking cauliflower?

6) This gingerbread house post from the gluttonous vegan has visions of sugarplum fairies dancing in my head. I can't believe it's almost Christmas-time! Her gingerbread house looks adorable (and tasty). It reminded me of when I first went to DisneyWorld with my family (heavy on the Disney in the post, but I love it...). It was on Christmas eve and decorated so beautifully. The details they go to are just unbelievable--I mean check out this gingerbread house! It is actually the size of a house. Now if only it were vegan...

Win! Robin's at it again. This time she is offering up a copy of Vegan Unplugged. Noelle over at an opera singer in the kitchen has some coconut products from Coconut Secret up for grabs.

MoFo 10: "Live through this and you won't look back"

Another late one tonight. I was at school til after 7, then was at a Stars show. They are one of my favorite bands, and so amazing live! Every time they come I try to see them because their music is so beautiful it's made me cry and I never want their shows to end. Since I'm home late and still have to study for another exam that's tomorrow I will leave you with the lyrics to one of their songs that struck me the very first time I heard it years ago and still does. I have been known to listen to this on repeat for hours...

Your Ex-Lover is Dead:

God that was strange to see you again
Introduced by a friend of a friend
Smiled and said 'yes I think we've met before'
In that instant it started to pour,
Captured a taxi despite all the rain
We drove in silence across Pont Champlain
And all of the time you thought I was sad
I was trying to remember your name...

This scar is a fleck on my porcelain skin
Tried to reach deep but you couldn't get in
Now you're outside me
You see all the beauty
Repent all your sin

It's nothing but time and a face that you lose
I chose to feel it and you couldn't choose
I'll write you a postcard
I'll send you the news
From a house down the road from real love...

Live through this, and you won't look back...
Live through this, and you won't look back...
Live through this, and you won't look back...

There's one thing I want to say, so I'll be brave
You were what I wanted
I gave what I gave
I'm not sorry I met you
I'm not sorry it's over
I'm not sorry there's nothing to save

I'm not sorry there's nothing to save...

Also, here's the link to the video on youtube. I'll be back tomorrow with more MoFo goodness and lots of links for the roundup. Good night!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

MoFo 9: Quick Lo Mein

Robin Robertson has a much prettier photo (and the recipe!) for this dish on her blog. This is another winner from Vegan on the Cheap. I used wide rice noodles in place of the spaghetti/linguini because I had them and I thought they'd go better with the flavors anyway. While it is my firm belief that just about anything can taste great covered in sriracha and sesame seeds, this is abnormally good. I got a "you can definitely make this one again" from the boyfriend. That usually indicates it as a winner! This also packed up perfectly well for lunch the next day.

Posts to check out:

1) I love soup. It's usually fairly simple, filling, and makes a lot so it's great for leftovers. So great for the weather we're having right fact I made soup for dinner tonight...not from a can! I made this one that Sofia blogged about from Viva Vegan! (post to follow eventually). So, here's a soup recipe roundup from LunchBoxBunch!

2) Our Veggie Kitchen has a recipe inspired by a food cart in Portland (blast them and their abundance of vegan food carts). It's for a tofurkey cheesesteak and it looks yums!

Win! Ricki from Diet, Dessert and Dogs has a giveaway for Lucini Cinque e' Cinque. Click over to her blog to find out what that is and how amazing it looks!

Monday, November 8, 2010

MoFo 8: Pepita Fettucine with Spinach and Cranberries

It's 11:47 PM now, this is gonna get in late. I was at school before 8 this morning for an exam, then class from 9-5. After that I had to do some work in the simulation lab (we all have our own dummy with a giant mouth we can put plastic teeth in to work on) until 9:30. My boyfriend picked my tired cranky butt up and we just grabbed some Chipotle for dinner. That place has been my savior for a quick, cheap (for the city) satisfying dinner. Now I have a few minutes to relax (which I spent reading blogs) before I study for a bit, then head to bed so I can have another crazy day tomorrow.

The above recipe was made last quarter, back when I still had time to plan out meals, shop, and then make them. This quarter is hitting me hard (it's supposedly the hardest of the 3 years) and our meals (or lack thereof) have seriously suffered. This dish was fantastic and quick to throw together. It's sweet and spicy all at the same time and because it's pasta it's comforting going down. Next time I make this I'd use less dried cranberries than called for because I thought there were just too many, but otherwise it is another fabulous recipe from Vegan Yum Yum.

I think I was just so excited to finally be home, but here's quite the round-up for today:

1) While I'm a big fan of cooking and eating a nice warm meal, sometimes the simplicity and sheer goodness of the flavors present in raw food dishes is unsurpassed. This recipe for cucumber clubs from Raw on $10 a day (or less!) looks so refreshing and satisfying.

2) I'm also a bit under the weather and this roasted garlic, apple, and butternut squash soup from eat well. live well. be well. looks like just the thing to help me feel better! Now if only I could find someone to make it for me...

3) On the more decadent side of things, how about these german pancakes with chestnut mousse and chocolate sauce from vegalicious? Um, yes please! That picture is drool-worthy.

4) Quarrygirl had a write-up of the first vegan beer fest that was held in LA over the weekend. It looks like there was fabulous food and drink and hopefully they'll make it a recurring fest so I can go sometime!

5) Over at the paupered chef there's a fabulous comparison of canned vs cooked from scratch chickpeas along with the ultimate taste-test: homemade hummus. I've never made chickpeas from scratch day.

6) Some more butternut goodness over at vegan.chicks.rock (every time I type that I always want to type "yes they do!", so now I did) with a butternut squash gnocchi with buttery sage sauce. Sounds and looks perfectly autumnal and would make a fantastic Thanksgiving meal.

7) Since no vegan's recipe repertoire can be complete without some sort of legume loaf (nut, lentil, bean), how about this one: lentil and mushroom loaf with savory potato filling from Wing-It Vegan. While it's not the most photogenic of all the foods out there it seems like a great winter meal to come home to as these nights get colder and darker.

8) Sofia, who I've had the lovely pleasure to meet, at carnal vegan has another appetizing soup, chipotle sweet potato bisque, that I'm now dying to make. I won't have the perfect accompaniment of homemade fresh bread bowls, but I can admire from afar.

9) And now, to kill with sugar shock is the amazing looking maple turtle cake over at fragrant vanilla cake. I have no words...

Win: Joni from justthefood is hosting a giveaway for 2 copies of the book she coauthored, 500 Vegan Recipes!

While not from a blog, if you haven't had a chance to read the NY Times article that's circulating, "While Warning About Fat, US Pushes Cheese Sales," you really should. It illustrates not only what's wrong with cheese, but also what's wrong with our nutritional guidelines and food regulations and subsidies in this country.

And with all that, I bid you a very good night!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

MoFo 7: Basil Scalloped Tomatoes and Croutons

This is a dish that I saw over on Oh She Glows and just knew that I had to make instantly. Unlike many recipes where I think "oh, that looks good. I'll keep it in mind next time I'm looking for things to make," when I saw this one I was like "zOMG, I need to make that now!"

This was still summer time and heirloom tomatoes were at their peak of beauty and freshness. I reduced the amount of parmesan, just sprinkling a little bit of Parma! on top and used sourdough bread for the croutons. It was fabulous; like heaven in a casserole dish. The only caveat is after it sat for a bit it started to get really soggy, so this one will not save well. This wasn't a problem because we both went back for seconds (and thirds) and polished all of this off. This was pretty quick to throw together, so great for a weeknight!


1) Dreena has a post about grow-at-home mushroom kits, and she has a giveaway for one. I've seen these around the internets and I have to say they're pretty cool. I love the idea of growing things at home, even if I do only live in an apartment where my cats kill anything that tries to grow. One day I'll have a yard...maybe.

2) Over at Vegan.Chicks.Rock is a review of a muffin recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance that I've never seen before: Apple Pie Muffins. They look great and I'm gonna have to take her advice and make these so that I too can have a happy tummy.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

MoFo 6: White Bean and Barley "Risotto" with Kale and Tempeh

So I have this bad habit of shopping online. I'm so busy with school most of the time, and it's so convenient that pretty much everything I could ever need is available to be shipped to my door that I do take advantage. With Amazon as long as the order is over $25 it ships for free; because of this I have been known to just add things to my cart that I'd been thinking about purchasing, usually cookbooks. It sometimes doesn't save money, but other times, amazingly enough it does (cuz shipping can be hellza expensive). I know I have a problem; I doubt I'll seek help. A few of the cookbooks I've accumulated this way I have been extremely happy with and, as so, glad that I was "forced" to get the one the above recipe comes from: Vegan on the Cheap. This is the first recipe I tried from it and I loved it!

The flavors in this risotto were great. I subbed cremini mushrooms for white (because white mushrooms=blech to me), but otherwise followed the recipe. The tempeh is cooked separately first to give it a "smoky" taste and it added a lot. This dish was hearty and was great the next day for lunch as well. This was also my first time working with barley. I'd had it in restaurants before, usually in soup, and have liked it, but I'd never found a particularly tempting recipe. Until now!

I know as per the MoFo agreement weekend posts are not necessary, but I felt like it anyway. So did lots of other bloggers! Here are some posts to check out today:

1) My friend Kelly over at Kohlrabi and Quince has a great post up about a crazy-ass run we did last weekend called Warrior Dash. There was a big group of people we knew who were there and it was painful, but a good time!

2) Amey at Vegan Eats and Treats is trekking along on her way through the world's foods, today she's cooked up some food from Cuba!

3) Wing-it Vegan is spending her MoFo time cooking up eats from other blogs! This week was all beets, and it ends on a sweet note with beet cookies! It's crazy-sounding, but the results are beautiful.

4) Over at Cake Maker to the Stars Kittee has a guest blogger today talking all about the fabulous vegan sandwiches available here in San Francisco. From the list I have only tried Ike's and it definitely delivered, maybe one day I can try out some of the others. The vegan "cheesesteak" from Jay's Cheesesteak and the torta from Gracias Madre sound like winners to me!

Friday, November 5, 2010

MoFo 5: Double Chocolate Orange Cookies

I had originally set out to make the chocolate mint cookies from The Joy of Vegan Baking, but alas I was out of peppermint extract. I had almond and orange available, so I decided to go with orange. Who doesn't like chocolate and orange?! It reminds me of those gigantic chocolate oranges they sell at World Market; I was only ever allowed to have those around the holidays, usually they were a gift in our stockings. I haven't had one in years, I doubt they're vegan.

Anyway, these turned out quite good. A little zest along with the extract would have been better, but it's hard to go wrong with a double chocolate cookie!

Here are some blog posts that I especially liked today:

1) Step-by-step directions to make your own Double Chocolate Hazelnut Candies on G Living. These are super cute! I've only ever tried my hand at making candy once but I'd like to try it again since they make such nice gifts or party treats.

2) Monday Baker has settled on quite the original theme for MoFo: using a phone application to randomly pick a recipe for dinner and then make a vegan version. Today was the unveiling of the first recipe, Pepper Seitan Cutlets with Chocolate-Port Sauce. It didn't turn out well, but it's fun to read anyway. Wishing better luck on tonight's dish!

3) Delicious looking pumpkin muffins (with recipes!) over at LunchBoxBunch. Again with the pumpkin, Nichole?! I know, sorry, but these looked too good to pass up--especially that cream-topped one!

Win! Lazy Smurf has a giveway for a pack from Tasty Bite and over at Vegan Planet Robin has a coupon for a tub of Nasoya Tofu Plus.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

MoFo 4: An Ode to Hummus

I have found my absolute most-favorite "plain" hummus recipe in the whole wide world! This is the creamy hummus from Vive le Vegan! and it's sooooo good. This is not just my opinion by the way; my boyfriend and several of his friends have also attested to this fact. It's made even more amazing by topping with a bit more extra-virgin olive oil and paprika. What makes this hummus so great is all the lemon juice; not only is it perfectly creamy, but it's also mouth-smackingly tart. And garlicky. Oh man, I'm in love. This has been the only hummus I've made in months because I just can't get enough. For all of you that love hummus out there (this should be everyone!) you have to try this one!

Dreena knows her hummus. In Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan there's an entire chapter devoted to this lovely food. I've made a few of them: Curry Chickpea, Peanut-Sesame, and Black Bean Orange (which I don't have a photo or post for as of yet; when I do it will obviously be showcased in the same Pyrex bowl as all the others, lol). When I made a cookbook as a gift for a couple friends of mine who were getting married I was sure to include plenty of hummus recipes because they have always been big fans of the hummus I brought to parties. In fact, I was told in no uncertain terms that I was to always bring hummus with me. This is my secret weapon to be loved at parties--now it's out. Do with it what you will, but I hope it's used to make the world a better, more hummus-filled place...

Now, for a MoFo Roundup! Here are some cool blog-happenings today:

1) Butternut Rancheros over at PPK. Looks and sounds delicious!

2) Thanksgiving meal ideas from Chloe over at her blog. The Harvest-stuffed Portobello Mushrooms look fabulous. I'm a big fan of cashews in my food and I always seem to forget that until I see a recipe that calls for it and I'm sucked in (the pineapple quinoa cashew stir fry from Veganomicon is a perfect example of this).

3) Kathy from Lunch Box Bunch has a recipe for Cool Mint Chocolate Rice Crispy Squares today. I have not had a rice crispy treat since becoming vegan and I used to love them. I need to get on that, maybe with this recipe.

4) Meet The Shannons has a Vegan French Dip Sandwich. No, I'm not blows my mind too! It looks great.

Want another chance to win a book? Hannah at Bittersweet has a copy of The Vegan Girl's Guide to Life: Cruelty-Free Crafts, Recipes, Beauty Secrets and More
by Melisser up for grabs. Check it out!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

MoFo 3: Stuff and Things

I don't have time to rummage though my SD card and resources to talk about a meal tonight. I've got an exam friday morning, so I've got to get to studying. However, I can't miss's what caught me eye today:

1) Chocolate Cherry Amaretto Milkshake Shots from Manifest:Vegan. Yes, please! Also, she's got a giveaway going on for some Coconut Bliss ice cream, check it out if you like free stuff (and who doesn't?!).

2) An Oktoberfest Party over at Vegan Homemade. Such a great idea, mixing two great things like vegan food and beer--you can't go wrong!

3) Amazing looking Super Fudgy Brownies at Not a Rabbit. I've been looking for the perfect vegan brownie recipe, with the crackle on the top like I used to love--these ones look pretty good!

4) Science meets food over at Notes from the Vegan Feast Kitchen; I love learning about why food reacts the way it does and Bryanna's talking all about onions today.

5) Over at VegSpinz: some amazingly creative Halloween decorations inspired by Harry Potter.

Like more free stuff?! There's a giveaway at LunchBoxBunch for the Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook: 100 Great Recipes, Photographs, and Voices
(you need a Twitter account to enter), Robin Robertson has a copy of Vegan on the Cheap: Great Recipes and Simple Strategies that Save You Time and Money
up for grabs on her blog (I have this one, it's awesome!), and over at Vegan Appetite win a copy of American Vegan Kitchen

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

MoFo 2: Veggie, Quinoa and Chickpea Salad

Guess what?! This is the first post I have for food I actually made in my new apartment! Finally getting somewhere now.

This was one of those I have all this stuff I need to use before it goes bad meals. I just cooked up some quinoa and grilled some zucchini slices, then tossed those with Romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, avocado slices, and garbanzo beans. On top I poured sweet and tangy salad dressing from Oh She Glows. It was filling, simple, and tasted great.

Alright, now for my roundup for the day:

1) Over at Meet the Shannons, this totally adorable couple is veganizing the Big Red Betty Crocker cookbook. While I wouldn't want to try everything they make--they use a lot of mock meats and many of those freak me out, like for this "shrimp scampi." Today, however, while not a Betty recipe, looks amazing: Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting.

2) Over at Vegan Planet, the brilliant Robin Robertson (author of so many amazing books, check her out if you haven't) has made some Yuba-Wrapped Veggie "Eggrolls." Genius!

3) Allyson over at Manifest:Vegan posted about a scrumptious looking Super Easy Winter Squash Stew. I agree it does look super easy and I will definitely try this one out!

Monday, November 1, 2010

MoFo 1: Tofu, Spinach and Daiya Lasanga

Welcome to MoFo! There are over 500 bloggers participating this year--vegan bloggers out in full force!!! I'm going to spend the month catching up with my cooking posts and doing a daily roundup of my fave blog posts of the day.

The dish above I'd been hearing rave reviews about, and I have to say that it lived up to the hype. It's the tofu spinach lasagna from The Vegan Table. I added the Daiya, because as you may know I was swimming in the stuff,and it made a very nice addition. I know I said that I had found a new favorite lasagna back in December, however this one is definitely a contender for that so coveted spot. It's also a bit easier. For the sauce I used the basic marinara recipe from Veganomicon, it's my go-to and it's always great! I really recommend this dish for that lasagna-loving person in your life.

While every dish from Colleen's book hasn't been amazing (case in point), this is one amazing lady who does know what she's talking about. She's one of my vegan role models, have you heard her podcasts?! Or checked out her website, Compassionate Cooks? She just released a new book, Color Me Vegan. I haven't had a chance to check it out, but it sounds really fun.

Hope you all have a great night, I got to this post in just in the nick of time. If you have a chance, check out my fave vegan blog posts of the day:

1) The always-adorable Amey from Vegan Eats and Treats is blogging her way around the world this MoFo, first up: Mexico!

2) Angela at Oh She Glows has come up with an amazing looking recipe, a cake in a jar--perfect single serving size!

3) Over at Vegansaurus, they're posting a recipe a day of Chef Tal Ronnen's Gardein Thanksgiving menu. Today is Sage and Pumpkin Seed Crusted Gardein with Cranberry Cabernet Sauce! Imagine serving that to your loved ones this Thanksgiving. I bet it would blow their socks off. I'm gonna have to keep this in mind for my celebrations. Also, don't miss the first recipe of a beet and orange salad!

4) Also from Vegansaurus: they're getting a new vegan chef/blogger each week to veganize the winning recipe from the Bravo show Top Chef: Just Desserts. This week it's a fried lemon pie with salted caramel ice cream...whoa! They're on week seven, don't forget to check out all the other amazing veganations!

5) Seeing as I'm a lover of all things pumpkin, and not only this time of year, Ashley over at The Edible Perspective got me salivating with her Baked Pumpkin French Toast. It's pumpkin food porn madness over there!