Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pasta Bolognese

Are you ready to try something amazing?! This is the Super Easy Pasta Bolognese from Manifest:Vegan. So good I was asked to make it again the following week and visitors were happy just eating the leftover sauce with bread. I'd say that qualifies as success! The TVP takes on a slightly too sweet flavor; the first time I thought it was the brand of tomato paste I used (I caved at the store and bought the cheap stuff at like 10 cents a can), the second time I used my usual all-natural one and it was better but still sweet, so I'm guessing it's the wine or balsamic vinegar--I might cut those down next time. Regardless, it's scrumptious. This is comfort food at its best. Paired with garlic bread and a salad (the one in the background had roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, olives, and a basic vinaigrette) and you're all set for making people's tummies happy!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Lazy Sunday

I thought about going to lab, then decided against it. While there are definitely things I could work on, there's nothing that I *have* to work on, so I decided to just have a nice carefree day. Of course, that included cooking! For lunch I whipped up two more recipes from Appetite for Reduction that I've been meaning to make: Butternut Apple Soup and Sweet Potato Drop Biscuits. I actually had the pleasure of trying the biscuits yesterday at Isa's demo at the Ferry Building Farmer's Market (she made Roasted Vegetable Thai Green Curry Stew and these biscuits). So, I already knew they were good. The soup had been on the schedule to make for weeks with said butternut squash hanging out on the counter, but it's just been so warm here lately that it didn't sound good. I just sucked it up and made the apartment ridiculously warm by having the oven and stove going--sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

Anyway, the soup was fabulous. While the process of peeling and cutting the butternut squash can be a little daunting, on this lovely, relaxing day it went smoothly--and Isa's instructions helped too! I used Fuji apples here because that's what I had in the fruit bowl and once all the prep is done this comes together quite easily. The pairing of the soup and the biscuits is quite nice too. The soup is sweet and spicy and the biscuits are a very different sweet and they blend beautifully. This makes a TON of soup, so be prepared for lots of leftovers or halve the recipe.

I also decided to make some sweet treats for people at school. I had originally decided on chocolate-covered strawberries, then I thought those might be difficult to transport without melting and sticking together, so I searched around for something using those ingredients that might be more carry-to-school friendly. I found these cookies from Messy Vegetarian Cook and decided to give them a try. They looked adorable, like little chocolate strawberry love letters. Here's how mine turned out:

I think I was a little too generous with my filling. While they're not all going to win awards for beauty they do taste good--had to do something with those ones that completely fell apart. I did have some that turned out really good though, like this one:

Some lucky soul will get that beauty tomorrow! Lesson of the day: less can be more when it comes to filling chocolate fruit cookies (or just cut larger squares). I followed the directions except I needed to add a little soymilk to my batter in order to get it to hold together, maybe 1 tablespoon total.

Hope everyone has a fabulous remainder of the weekend and a Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

40 Clove Chickpeas and Broccoli

I happily received Appetite for Reduction for Christmas. After reading about this dish online for a while now--it was a tester's fave this was on my list to try first. It didn't disappoint. I screwed it up a little bit because sometimes I lack the ability to pay attention to details (what'cha gonna do?). I just threw everything in the casserole dish at once instead of adding the vegetable broth at a later time; regardless it worked out great. This makes for a very light dinner--not always what I'm looking for, but for a weeknight it's fabulous.

I love that this book uses tons and tons of veggies in all the recipes and incorporates lots of beans, along with tempeh and tofu. So easy to find awesome things to pair together. Highly recommend! Also, Isa is gonna be at the Ferry Building here in SF this saturday during the Farmer's Market doing a demo from this book. I plan on checking it out! I've been wanting to go to this supposedly amazing market since I moved here. I'll have a bit of free time the next couple of weekends so I'm excited to get out again.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Cornmeal Waffles

And I ate them all!!! No, not really. I played nice and shared. These were the cornmeal waffles from Vegan Brunch. Thus far I had only tried the chocolate beer waffles, and while they are amazing, I figured it was time to branch out a little. These were the only others that I could make with ingredients I had on hand--though I do plan to get around to the ginger ones and also the Chelsea waffles eventually. While I'm not a huge pancake fan (too dense) I love me some waffles, so it was a happy day when I realized that there were so many different types possible. These ones were interesting. Interesting good, but still interesting. They use quite a bit of cornmeal so they had a bit of a grainy texture and they had the cornmeal flavor, yet were also sweet. I enjoyed them. Another thing that I love about waffles is that the remainders can just be bagged up, popped in the freezer, and then reheated in the toaster Eggo style whenever your heart desires. These didn't even need maple syrup to be fabulous. I just popped them in the toaster and ate them plain on my walk to school--brought some warmth to my cool morning.

Do you have a favorite waffle recipe or flavor?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Vida Vegan Blog Conference

Have you folks heard of Vida Vegan?! It's gonna be this totally epic vegan bloggers conference in Portland this August. I've decided to go! I know I'm a bad blogger (2 months since last post, yay first post of the new year!) and a deeply indebted (thanks federal government) student, but I want to go badly and I figure I deserve to treat myself.

During my Winter break I decompressed for a week (read: slept and caught up on TV), then visited some friends (who were starting to wonder if I was still alive), celebrated the holidays, and finally got out to see some of the sites of our fair city. It was fabulous and completely refreshing. Now school's started again and it's go-go-go. I am however making it a priority to exercise a lot more and make good meals (even if it means eating dinner at 10 PM) because I was just not feeling so good the last 2 quarters. We're 4 weeks in to this one already (where does time go?!) and I'm feeling so much better. I'm even doing better at school (part of this is that I've actually learned something these last 2 quarters, so that helps).

Anyway, I have been cooking and I look forward to posting. Even more, I look forward to this conference and meeting many other fabulous vegans, including those whose blogs I read. Any one else attending?

And, yeah...Happy New Year!