Friday, October 31, 2008

VeganMoFo: Lentil Soup

The last night of VeganMoFo already! That was a fast month. Tonight we had my hands-down favorite meal, a mung dal soup, and salads. No Halloween trick-or-treaters have stopped by; we have an emeregency bowl of Newman O's on hand.

This month I was inspired by the creative efforts and passionate, funny writing of so many amazing vegan bloggers. I'm planning to keep reading about everyone's cooking adventures and will continue to post my own here. So more dinner photos, some recipes, and holiday baking to come.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

VeganMoFo: Sweet n' Sour Mock Duck

Never before this month did I realize how much bok choy we consume in our lives. Tonight was a sweet and sour mock duck. Our vegan cat is nuts for mock duck. She gets crazed whenever someone opens a can, assuming it is the blue gluten can. She demands to inspect the contents of every freshly opened can, usually to find that something less appealing is inside (baby corn, coconut milk, tin tomatoes, etc.). Tonight she fished her wish.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

VeganMoFo: Survey Catch Up

I thought I'd tackle a few of the fun surveys before the month is up. Here are two.

Survey I:

1. Favorite non-dairy milk?
Living Harvest's hemp milk.

2. What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook?
My friends want my to try and make pumpkin ice cream for the fall season. Plus, forever I've been wanting to make Matthew's Spicy Tomato Peanut & Kale Pasta from La Dolce Vegan. Then anything from Get it Ripe! which I finally purchased and looks great.

3. Topping of choice for popcorn?
Nutritional yeast or hot sauce.

4. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure?
I baked brownies recently that were like bricks.

5. Favorite pickled item?
Dilly beans, okra, beets, cukes, any pickled veggies really.

6. How do you organize your recipes?
Ever growing cookbook collection with many loose leaf recipes falling out of each tome.

7. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal?
Trash and garbage disposal for now. Compost someday, when living less urban.

8. 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)?
Fresh berries, dark leafy greens, and lentils.

9. Fondest food memory from your childhood?
All the just picked produce from our farm, especially corn.

10. Favorite vegan ice cream?
Any ice cream I make. Temptation also is great.

11. Most loved kitchen appliance?
Our toaster oven because it is like a mini-stove.

12. Spice/herb you would die without?
Cumin is important. We ran out the other day and I almost died.

13. Cookbook you have owned for the longest time?
My mom's copies of Laurel's Kitchen and The Joy of Cooking.

14. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly?
My mom's black raspberry jam, which is great spread on anything.

15. Favorite vegan recipe to serve to an omni friend?
Cupcakes or other desserts usually do the trick. Also nourishing, homemade soups that wow Progresso fans.

16. Seitan, tofu, or tempeh?
All three, please.

17. Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)?
Weekend, low pressure baking is my favorite.

18. What is sitting on top of your refrigerator?
Cloth napkins in container and vegan cat food. Possibly the cat.

19. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking.
Broccoli, whole wheat tortillas, vodka.

20. What's on your grocery list?
Brown rice and dried beans are staples.

21. Favorite grocery store?
Our new, next door Safeway has to win for convenience. I do wish we had a local coop.

22. Name a recipe you'd love to veganize, but haven't yet.
Ethiopian honey wine, could we make an agave version?

23. Food blog you read the most (besides Isa's because I know you check it everyday). Or maybe the top 3?
I'm still new to regular blog reading and need to catch up.

24. Favorite vegan candy/chocolate?
Green & Black's vegan chocolate. The espresso bar is the best.

25. Most extravagant food item purchased lately?
Umeboshi plums.

26. Ingredients you are scared to work with?
Arrowroot, phyllo dough, pie crusts.

Survey II:

1. What was the most recent tea you drank?
Yogi ginger tea, to which I am addicted. I like the feel-good quotes on the tea bags.

2. What vegan forums do you post/lurk on? If so, what is your username? Spill!
I'm not a vegan forum poster but I've been meaning to lurk more.

3. You have to have tofu for dinner, and it has be an Italian dish. What comes to mind first?
An old favorite from when I first went vegan was red sauce with loads of crumbled tofu stirred in, served atop penne and broccoli.

4. How many vegan blogs do you read on an average day?
I generally read a few from my daily google alerts for the word "vegan."

5. Besides your own, what is the most recent one you've read?
Through this blog, I've discovered and enjoyed cravin' veggies, Heathen Vegan, Life on the Vegan Highway is good!, The Pink Apron, Spotted Devil Cat and his Vegan assistant, and more.

6. If you could hang out with a vegan blogger that you haven't met, who would it be, and what would you do?
It'd be fun to sample some of the amazing food that everyone is cooking. Especially the creations of Tami from Vegan Appetite.

7. If you had to base your dinners for a week around one of the holy trilogy – tofu, seitan or tempeh, which would it be?
Maybe tempeh. It'd be a hard challenge because I do like to mix it up.

8. If you had to use one in a fight, which would it be?
Frozen tofu blocks would do well in a fight. Or a soft tofu pie in the face.

9. Name 3 meals you'd realistically make with that tough protein of choice!
Reuben-style tempeh sandwiches, grated tempeh sloppy joes, and Asian-themed tempeh stir-fry.

10. What's a recipe in vegan blogland that you've been eyeing?
Sweet potato rosti made by Heathen Vegan. I haven't had rosti since I was a teen, traveling in Canada.

11. Do you own any clothing with vegan messages/brands on them?
Herbivore and Spicy Brown t-shirts are my yoga class staple. Very ahimsa duds.

12. Have you made your pilgrimage to the 'vegan mecca' yet? (Portland, duh)
No. Portland, ME was pretty vegan friendly when I visited this past summer.

13. What age did you first go vegan? Did it stick?
Yes, 25 and it stuck. I was a well-intentioned but misdirected lacto ovo vegetarian before that.

14. What is the worst vegan meal you've had? Who cooked it?
Home cooking for me is the best stuff, tasty and nutritious. I eat out at least once a week and the worst is when it turns out the restaurant's dish isn't vegan as promised. Most recently, this happened at Teaism in Penn Quarter, when I found a large chunk of raw, uncooked meat in the veganized tempeh plate. Not cool.

15. What made you decide to blog?
Blogs are a nice way to capture and share the vegan lifestyle. They are proof that vegans don't starve or just eat raw tofu every night. Plus, this particular blog is a nice visual tribute to the culinary talent of my boyfriend Matt.

16. What are three of your favorite meals to make?
I love vinegar and we often make three dishes that feature it: vinegar burritos, vinegar-garlic pasta, and hot and sour soup.

17. What dish would you bring to a vegan Thanksgiving-themed potluck?
Man, I would love to go to such a potluck. I don't think our family celebrations this year will be "gentle" Thanksgivings. We do have supportive moms, so we'll have lots of veg options. If it was all vegan food, I'd probably break the Thanksgiving mold with a portable seaweed salad.

18. Where is your favorite vegan meal at a restaurant? How many times have you ordered it?
At Java Green, I get the chicken rice bowl with lots of hot sauce. I think I've had it a dozen times at least.

19. What do you think the best chain to dine as a vegan is?
Maoz falafel is really good. We ate at many locations on a recent trip to Barcelona. They also have locations in NYC and Philly. The DC location is coming soon.

20. My kitchen needs ………
Pie pans. I want to make pie someday.

21. This vegetable is not allowed in my kitchen…..!
Iceberg lettuce.

22. What's for dinner tonight?
Leftovers, I'm thinking because we have lots of food in the fridge.

23. Compose your perfect vegan sandwich, right now.

Tofu hoagie from Fu-Wah in West Philly. It's perfect.

VeganMoFo: Veggie Burgers and Roasted Brussels

These are photos of last night's dinner. Sometimes, you gotta do the quick veggie burger thing. These are Amy's Kitchen All American veggie burgers with nayonaise. Roasted brussels made a good side.

Monday, October 27, 2008

VeganMoFo: Chili Mac, Roasted Veg, Beans

Here are dinners from last night and tonight. Chili mac is a good way to use leftover chili to make a new dish. I never had chili mac before moving to DC, where they make a good veggie version at local Hard Times Cafe locations. (Hard Times serves it with spaghetti but penne works well too. Their veg chili has peanuts, which is an interesting option.)

Roasted vegetables are great comfort food and use up a lot of odd and end veggies. We generally eat them for holiday suppers. The green beans were another roasted side and here's a big salad.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

VeganMoFo: Chili

Last night we watched college football on television (okay, I read during most of the game) and had super satisfying veg chili with many toppings. Toppings included: chopped pickles, chopped onions, pepperoncinis, tortilla chips, and hot sauce. The chili itself featured: onions, celery, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, black and cannellini beans, mushrooms, and beer.

Matt has alerted me that I have some comments on this blog. I'm so happy to have them. And embarrassed at my inexperience and daftness, not noticing sooner. Dear readers, I promise to post some recipes before this month is out.

Friday, October 24, 2008

VeganMoFo: Mac n' "cheese" and hot n' sour soup

Tonight was a dinner style mac n' "cheese." Basically this is a pasta dish with a nutritional yeast/soy milk sauce. Usually this is a quick Sunday lunch option, for when we are out of leftovers. So it is "dinner style" only because it is unusual to have it for dinner.

Last night was hot n' sour soup. Plus the usual salads.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

VeganMoFo: Dal and beans

Here is another recent dinner. We have lots of half used cans of coconut milk from the ice cream recipes, so this dal became rich with that addition. And it became orange with yams and extra tasty with asafoetida, my favorite secret ingredient. The beans are roasted in the toaster oven. And a mid week salad, getting low on supplies.

VeganMoFo: Bread, Ice Cream

A recent injury has been an excuse not to post to this blog (and squashed my fall marathon running plans). However I did make some VeganMoFo creations this past weekend. Here are photos of the basic whole wheat bread from Laurel's Kitchen. I doubled the recipe and froze some loaves. And here is a bowl of banana chocolate chip walnut ice cream and coffee ice cream, recipes from Veganomicon. I think the coffee ice cream recipe is the winner thus far.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

VeganMoFo: Soup Too

Tonight Matt made soup with veggies from our Thursday Farmers' Market. Bok choy, collards, potatoes, broccoli, tomatoes, and zucchini. Plus frozen corn from my folk's farm. In a soup mood, now it is Fall. Also, I made banana chocolate chip walnut ice cream from Veganomicon but I'll save to post a photo until Saturday. That's when I get to dish it out to my excellent friends who gifted me an ice cream maker for my birthday. Good investment that gift.

VeganMoFo: Soup

Last night I cooked dinner. I roasted asparagus and made the very fatty coconut curry red lentil soup from Sarah Kramer's La Dolce Vegan. Unlike Matt, I generally need recipes to cook and had my eye on making this soup for awhile. In fact, I tend to accumulate the ingredients but never make anything. So I finally got to open the jar of curry paste I bought months ago and use some of the red lentils I collect. Also made a big salad. Anyway, it looks like Sarah Kramer's book tour is bringing her to DC and I'm excited. I really like her new cookbook Vegan A Go-Go and have already traveled with it. The section about her mugging and being safe when traveling was especially moving.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

VeganMoFo: NYC Eats

Here are some photos from a recent trip to NYC. I didn't capture nearly enough of our food excursions. We were with omni friends who loved Red Bamboo best. Also had great meals at House of Vegetarian in Chinatown and Wild Ginger Brooklyn. These photos are of the sangria brunch special at Counter with a tofu scramble, home fries, soy sausage, greens, toast, and tea. Also street shot of a Vegan Treats brownie and iced coffee from Atlas Cafe. I wish the Vegan Treats people would come out with a cookbook. And I wish DC had half the cool restaurant options of NYC and more street food options.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

VeganMoFo: Chinese food

Here are two dinners Matt made before we jettisoned DC. First is a stir fry with bok choy on brown rice. Second, a lo mein style dish with the leftover veggies. Two accompanying salads and grilled green beans. Wow, we've been eating alot. I'll post NYC travel photos tomorrow.

VeganMoFo: Ice Cream

I'm catching up on photos after a fine Friday off and long weekend trip to NYC. On Friday I made my first batch of ice cream. It was the chocolate recipe from Veganomicon. Gosh, ice cream making is all new to me. I was worried when the stuff wouldn't harden but some extra time in the freezer seemed to solve it. I'm going to have to order a copy of Vice Cream.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

VeganMoFo: Pizza with Teese

Finally finishing off the Teese log by topping a Papa John's no cheese vegan whole wheat pizza. It was alright, the whole wheat crust helped. Papa John's has an online system, so it is easy to order the no cheese version. We've had some few pizza snafus in the past. Even now we check with fingers crossed for mozzarella or Parmesan.

This Fall, Wednesdays are going to be my night to hustle up dinner. Maybe next time I'll carry out from somewhere more impressive. Or, heaven forbid, cook something myself. I did make the usual big salads.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

VeganMoFo: Pasta with Butternut Squash

Tonight Matt roasted butternut squash and made this freestyle pasta dish. It doesn't even have a proper name, but we've had a variation of it in the past. The butternut squash came from Kramer Gap, a store on Rt. 45 back home in Central PA. We finished off the greens from the Farmers' Market and are almost totally out of produce again.

Monday, October 6, 2008

VeganMoFo: Tortilla Lasagna

Tonight's dinner was tortilla lasagna with whole wheat tortillas, fava beans, corn, peppers, onions, and teese. This is one of the many tasty dishes that we rarely have and it is all my fault because I tend to forget its existence. Makes great leftovers for lunches. Also we had fava beans and teese on our salads.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

VeganMoFo: Kung Pao Tofu and Bok Choy

Tonight Matt made a saucy kung pao tofu with local bok choy that he scored at our Farmers' Market. It was really excellent. Just reading wikipedia article on kung pao chicken and it says that California Pizza Kitchen has a kung pao spaghetti dish. Boy, it looks unhealthy. We are going to have to try putting this on whole wheat noodles sometime. I do love tonight's brown rice version.

Meanwhile, I got a new bottle of Sriracha, which is my latest addiction, at the lone shop in D.C.'s Chinatown with food items. We also had teese on our salads with my mom's very delicious pickled beets.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

VeganMoFo: Sticky Fingers to go

Dashing off to a futbol game with Sticky Fingers haul. Sticky Fingers is an amazing vegan bakery in D.C. The items are: Two breakfast sandwiches. (They travel so well, perfect for planes, makes your seat mates jealous.) Plus a chicken nugget wrap which the counter staff said was the tasty new sandwich. And wings, my boyfriend's favorite splurge item. Also had to get a log of teese for later meals.