Sunday, November 21, 2010

super foodie post

Please pardon what is probably about to be a somewhat random post - there will be at least one connecting thread: everything will have to do with fabulous vegan food!

Most of the time when I post my menu, I do so at the conclusion of the post.  However, it seems like the best place to start this one, considering my Ode to Cookbook Browsing and my Look What I Can Do posts this week.  So, I did finally sit down with a glass of Beaujolais and Vegan on the Cheap last night and figured out what we're eating this week:

1. Caldo Verde with Vegan Gourmet grilled cheeses.  This looks like a hella hearty soup - potatoes and kale work together so nicely, texturally, taste-wise, and nutritionally.  I love the combination of the smooth, squishy potatoes with the chewy, stern kale.

2. Savory Sausage and Peppers which was dinner tonight, so you'll read more in just a moment, but I'll give you this one little hint:  it was so freakin' good.

3. Tropic of Tempeh Tofu - It really makes me sad that Mister crumples into a heap of hurt whenever he eats tempeh, because I really like it and never get to eat it.  Nevertheless, this recipe looked way too good to bypass just because Mister can't eat the main I changed the main ingredient.

4. Better Bean Burgers with oven fries and these super-slick "burger thins."  I can't wait to make this and photograph it because these things are awesome - they're like the Macbook Air of bread products.

5. Tuscan White Bean Pizza because Mister loves pizza and I love Mister.  And I love pizza.  And all things Tuscan.  Plus, it takes a pretty picture.

So, tonight's dinner was Savory Sausage and Peppers and it was delightful.  How can you go wrong with a skillet supper involving diced Tofurky, bell peppers, and sliced potatoes (among other things)?  Also, there is something magical that happens when you add thyme to potatoes.  It seems like most people associate rosemary with potatoes, but I think they missed the boat - Thyme is where it's at.

It looks just as good as it tasted.  Between the intensity of the Italian Tofurky and the herb and salt-rich sauce, I was able to limit myself to just one-and-a-half servings, preserving a decent bit of leftovers for later this week.  This dish smelled phenomenal while it was simmering, even drawing Mister away from his computer and into the kitchen (all 7 steps) to see what smelled so tasty.  I wasn't at all surprised that it tasted as good as it did, but its inherent attractiveness shocked the heck out of me.  I mean, look at it - it's gorgeous!

Breakfast was also stupendous - a girl has to get fueled up for a fun day of grocery shopping and baking for work potlucks, right?  As promised, it comes with another recipe.

Banana Pecan Oatmeal
serves 1 (but easily multiplied)

1 banana
1 cup of nondairy milk (I used Almond Milk)
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup pecan pieces
1 Tbsp agave nectar (although I find the banana, when very ripe, is sweet enough)
cinnamon sugar for sprinkling

Bring nondairy milk to a light boil.  Shake in oats, stirring, then reduce heat to low.  Simmer 3-5 minutes, stirring often.  Meanwhile, break the banana into pieces and place it in a microwave-safe bowl.  Nuke on high for 45-60 seconds, then mash to near-liquid consistency with your spoon.  Pour oatmeal into the same bowl, along with half the pecan pieces and stir to combine with banana.  Taste and add agave nectar if necessary.  Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar (if using) and remaining pecans.

Tomorrow will bring three blessings (we have to counteract that whole Bad Things Come In Threes thing somehow, right?):

1. For me: When I leave work tomorrow night, I will be halfway through my work week :)
2. For everyone at work: we're having a Thanksgiving potluck and surely, tasty food will abound.

Applesauce Softies from VCIYCJ, more in a minute

3. For YOU:  finally, after all your patience, The Great Chocolate Round-Up.  Yes, I promise.

So, Essene was having a sale last week and I took the opportunity to stock up on BOGO Santa Cruz Organic Applesauce.  There are a ton of amazing holiday recipes which recruit applesauce as a fat replacer, binding agent, or just plain fabulous flavor to incorporate into autumn eats.  One of the reasons I don't have a pantry is...well...because there's no room for one.  Honestly, I would give up my dishwasher to have space for a pantry.  The other reason I don't have a pantry is because even though I have the purest of intentions, when there is a sale that causes me to get things I wouldn't ordinarily buy or have no specific use for right now, I bring them home, thinking I'll store them somewhere until I need them, but then they stare at me until I do something with them.  Such was the case with my applesauce, so when I remembered this afternoon that I have a potluck at work tomorrow, I decided to try my hand at the Applesauce Softies that have been softly whispering to me since I got the book (within days of its release to bookstores).

The first step of the recipe involves reducing the applesauce by simmering it until it becomes more dense and concentrated.  The recipe says this should take about 25 minutes, but it took me about 45 minutes to reduce the sauce from 1 1/3 cups to 2/3 cup.  I had hoped that the simmering applesauce would fill my home with the tasty scent of autumn and apples, but it really didn't smell much as it evaporated the juices into the air of my apartment.  The cookies, on the other hand, smelled amazing!  Mister and I did a small sampling, to make sure I wouldn't accidentally poison my work-mates.  The taste is subtle but they are pillow-soft and rather light for cookies.  The best thing to compare them to would be muffin tops - the kind you want to eat, not the kind that make you avert your eyes out of courtesy and self-preservation.

One last tangent, then I'll let you go dream of chocolate in anticipation of tomorrow's round-up: I stopped into Essene today for my last test chocolate, a pizza crust, and hand lotion (can you develop a more disparate shopping list?) and came away with a bonus prize.

That is an organic Winesap apple.  Until today, I was unaware of their existence.  I still haven't eaten mine - I will probably save it to savor for breakfast on Wednesday morning, but I fear that I will become addicted to these the way I have recently become addicted to Honeycrisps.  I fear this because they are not inexpensive, but heavens!  Look at how red that apple is!  The deep crimson apple, along with my newly ebony hair and perpetually ivory skin made me feel something like Snow I took a cheesy picture: enjoy!


  1. I love your menus. And thanks to your adoration of beaujolias, I bought some today. I like it!

  2. Welcome! I'm glad you gave Beaujolais a try - now is definitely the right time of year for that. I'll be diving into the Beaujolais Nouveau over Thanksgiving and I can't wait. Enjoy!