Monday, September 19, 2011

What I Ate Yesterday

I am working on cleaning up my act a bit. For some reason every October I get these incredible sweet cravings and I thought I'd try to do better dietwise before the cravings hit.


It is finally cool enough here to go back to oatmeal for breakfast. This version has blueberries, bananas, rice milk, agave nectar, and ground flaxseed. I have two cups of green tea with lemon a day but I am going to try to cut back to one.


Lunch was leftover soup - the Summer Minestrone from Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special with some wonderful cranberry beans. I put some leftover roasted red pepper hummus on a slice of Trader Joe's Whole Grain Fatfree Bread.



I'm trying to drink a green smoothie every afternoon. This one had collard greens, Swiss chard, dandelion, banana, pear, coconut water, freshly grated ginger, and some chia seeds. I bought the chia seeds for their wonderful Omega 3 content but I've discovered they make you feel really full which I like in late afternoon.



Dinner was my Tempeh Reuben Panini, some steamed sweet potatoes, corn, and green beans with a mustard sauce, and kale chips. I ate a lot more of the kale chips than shown here! I also had another bowl of the soup later last night while trying to suffer through the Emmy Awards.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Recipes I've Tried

I have decided to participate in VeganMoFo this year. VeganMoFo (Vegan Month of Food) takes place in October and involves blogging as frequently as possible (some participants manage to do it daily) with delicious plant-based meals. My theme this year will be testing recipes - each recipe will be from a different vegan cookbook in my collection. (Yes, I have a lot of cookbooks!) I'm going to call it 20 Vegan Recipes from 20 Vegan Cookbooks and each recipe will be photographed along with the cookbook of origin.

Here are a few recipes I've tried lately. This first recipe wasn't a success. It was called Mango Custard in the recipe email from VegNews but I guess I'd call it Bland Mango Chunks. DH and I tried it but most of it got tossed. I have both agar flakes and agar powder and I used the agar powder specified. Agar is a gelling agent made from a sea vegetable that is most often used to make non-dairy cheeses firm. In this recipe it was mixed with coconut milk, mango, and agave nectar.



This plate of food shows several recipes from my Labor Day menu. The Tempeh Sloppy Joes recipe is from Dr. Neal Barnard's Get Healthy Go Vegan. It is my favorite vegan sloppy joe recipe. You can find the recipe HERE. Along with a salad is the Mac and Shews with tomatoes added from Post Punk Kitchen. I attempted to reduce some of the fat and sodium in this recipe which was a mistake. The secret ingredient is sauerkraut and I'm not sure it added much but again the problem could have been my modifications.



This final photo shows some delicious California Rolls I made. The recipe is from The 100 Best Gluten-Free Recipes from Your Vegan Kitchen by Kelly Keough which I have out from the library. Instead of sushi rice, quinoa is cooked with slightly more water and spread on toasted nori. Tahini is drizzled on top, then veggies (I used carrots, broccoli slaw, and red onion), then soy sauce. I also added some wasabi paste. I thought these were excellent and I may just use quinoa for all future California roll attempts. The recipe is HERE.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Cookbook Review: Quick-Fix Vegan by Robin Robertson

I received a temporary PDF copy of Robin Robertson's Quick-Fix Vegan from Netgalley. Robin Robertson is one of the most prolific vegan cookbook authors with over twenty cookbooks in print. She also wrote Quick-Fix Vegetarian in 2007. I used Amazon's look inside feature to check the older book and I didn't see any recipe repeats so I assume this is a completely new book.

Quick-Fix Vegan will be available for purchase in October according to Amazon. Chapters are: Starters and Snacks, Stovetop Suppers, Pasta Express, In Short Order, Speedy Salads, Snappy Sandwiches, Easy Make-Ahead Bakes, Sauces and Condiments, and (Almost) Effortless Desserts. There is a quick intro on how to set up a vegan pantry. The recipe collection includes some basics like Cream of Mushroom Soup with more unusual offerings like Seitan Forestiere.



Here are the Nicoise Salad Wraps. Sauteed tofu seasoned with soy sauce and balsamic vinegar is mixed with vegan mayonnaise, basil, roasted red peppers, shredded lettuce mixed with balsamic vinegar, oil, and sugar, and olive tapenade. Because I didn't have olive tapenade, I used her recipe to make my own. I liked these but because I also made the tapenade I thought they were a bit time-consuming for the finished result. 



The Black Bean Sunburgers were very easy; actually they were possibly the easiest veggie burgers I've ever made (other than slices of tofu or marinated whole portobellos).  I thought they were tasty and I liked that the sunflowers in them gave them a bit of a crunch.



Here is the Zucchini Frittata served with a tomato/olive/basil topping. It was absolutely delicious so I was disappointed it never set up. I cooked it longer both on the stovetop and under the broiler but it still had the consistency of scrambled eggs. The leftovers were excellent spooned on whole wheat toast.

I believe all the recipes I made were finished in under 30 minutes but they did involve some vegetable chopping and sauteing and a normal amount of dirty dishes to wash. If you are really in a hurry and only have 10-15 minutes to make dinner, check out Nava Atlas' The Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet. I'd estimate the recipes in that book are about 90% vegan.
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