Monday, November 26, 2012

(862) action de grâces

Well, let's see what's out of the way: Thanksgiving, Black Friday, the busiest weekend of the year at Starbucks, my last real weeks of school...I guess that's a lot! I have been incredibly busy since last week but I only have this week and exams left in class, then I'm done! Yay! I also made a vegan Thanksgiving for the first time this year and everyone approved!

New favorite tempeh dish: sweet peppers and tempeh cooked down in a mixture of soy sauce, lime juice, and cilantro. So flavorful and delicious! //greens + seeds

 So this exists at my new can all imagine how stoked I was to see this. 

 Black Friday morning shift late breakfast at 1 PM: hashbrown egg cups from Ashley smothered in ketchup with leftover homemade biscuits (below).

 Pretty much made everyone eat something green on their Thanksgiving plate that wasn't mushroom soup drenched green bean casserole (yuck!): warm carrot ribbon and kale salad with toasted almonds. //Mince + Type

 This is my first year of not eating meat during the holidays. Until I moved out, I ate meat a few times a week, but never everyday. For me personally, I find it easier and cheaper to cook from bulk grains and beans, vegetables, and fruits. This is just my personal opinion however! It's easier for me to prepare things that are vegan usually, and this goes for baking as well. It also ends up being healthier in the long run! I strangely don't really miss bacon. I do eat eggs, honey, and fish, which is why I can't claim to be 100% vegan. But I still try to branch out my "veganism" as much as possible. This vegan lentil "meat" loaf exceeded everyone's expectations. My dad even ate it, who tried to get me to eat turkey this meal haha. It is flavorful, moist, and tastes like the real thing! //Tasty Yummies at Healthful Pursuit

 Yay for doing other new culinary things: I made my first from scratch pie crust! I made the mistake, however, of not greasing my pie pan (because I'm an idiot) but it turned out great. My dad hates pumpkin pie for some reason so I made this vegan chocolate pecan. It was incredible flavorful and custardy for not having any eggs! I would love to make this into mini tarts sometime. //The First Mess

 I have made biscuits before with bacon, brown sugar, and GF all purpose flour. They were good, but these almond and chickpea flour, honey laced biscuits with coconut oil are AMAZING. They taste better than the ones I ate for years at meals. My mom and dad are hooked on them, so I guess I will have to make them from now on. They only took 5 minutes to pull together too. //Elana's Pantry [note: I used 1.5 C almond flour, 1 C chickpea flour, 1/4 C melted coconut oil and 1/4 C honey]

 Vegan thanksgiving plate! Everything was delicious, especially alongside a glass of Beaujolais Noveau

 Had a little pre-Thanksgiving get together with some friends to watch ThanksKilling, which is terribly amazing. I made this vegan bean dip, which was super easy to pull together, and they made mango salsa and guacamole. This comes from one of my new favorite vegan blog finds! //For Reals Mom

Now that all of the Thanksgiving dishes are cleaned, the leftovers are gone, and the shoppers finally told themselves to go home, things are somewhat back to "normal" before Christmas hits in a month. I am really looking forward to being over with school so that I can try new things in the kitchen. I made this amazing rosemary vegetable soup with white wine, kale and potatoes. It is very filling and delicious! I hope it gets really cold so I can eat this for a few more days! //Vegetarian 'Ventures

Monday, November 19, 2012

(855) hail mary

Well at least I know now that these two weeks in November will always be slightly crazy. My birthday, then two of my best friends' birthdays, then Thanksgiving, then Black Friday, then see where this is going. I am still trying to get back to my normal cooking routine, which I did somewhat this week. 

I miss chicken noodle soup. I used to eat the Campbells kind all the time when I was kid. I found a pretty good replacement with kale, carrots, and white miso: chickpea noodle soup. I ate this soup for days with lots of pepper and crackers. 

new job, new shirt. 

cooking with wine: practicing for France.

I've had this recipe from chickpea magazine hanging over my head for a while now. I changed it up a little bit just to make it easier on myself: I used leftover frozen mac+cheese sauce (from here), I used extra mushrooms, and just ended up slicing the squash and roasted it with olive oil, salt, pepper + herbs de provence. If anything just go roast acorn squash with herbs de provence. The lavender in the herb blend plays wonderfully off the squash's sweetness.

Traditional French wine for us Frenchies

Tomatoes, red onions, peppers, mushrooms, kalamata olives, roasted garlic paste, swiss chard, roasted herbed potatoes. Sticks and Stones promised me an amazing GF/V/daiya-free pizza, and I got it.

Kathryn's birthday!

I have never breaded/fried tofu, but this turned out pretty well. I would've liked the tofu to be fried a little more evenly, but it was still really good for being vegan/GF! I used to love orange sesame chicken as a kid. From Vegetarian 'Ventures.

Second night of birthday celebrations. Last night of drinking I need for a while...

Practicing latte skills at Geeksboro with almond milk, which is incredibly hard to froth.

I went crazy on Friday and made the orange tofu, these cookies, and the nuts below within about 2 hours. I think I was trying to ignore my homework since I was so excited to go out. Anyways, these cookies come together in minutes, are healthy, and taste amazing! The honey and ginger work so well together here.

Toasty nuts from Sara's book: walnuts, cashews, almonds, pecans, sesame seeds, raw quinoa, herbs de provence, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, paprika, salt, pepper.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

(849) coming of age

So I turned 21 about a week ago. It was a fun week filled with alcohol, friends, gifts, and not doing too much schoolwork. Now it's back to reality: final papers, exam studying, being broke/realizing how much alcohol costs, and realizing I can longer eat Daiya cheese (ugggh). Here are a few of my favorite pictures from my birthday week. 

I made my first ridiculous cake for the costume party: Deb's roasted apple spice sheet cake. It took forever to make but apparently it was amazing. I never got an actual piece, but I got lots of good feedback!
My costume for the film costume party: Alice from "Alice Sweet Alice" (1976). 

Nurse from Kill Bill, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Alice Sweet Alice, and Ratatouille in the back.

Birthday wine from my sister.

Happy I could finally wear this dress, these heels (and drink!!)

First cocktail/legal drink: French 702, consisting of elderflower liquer, gin, lemon syrup, and champagne.

First shots: royal flushes.

Cider and beer with my two favorite girls at MCoul's!

End of the birthday night. Can you tell I had fun? 

We will now resume with the normal foodie posts later this week!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

(839) golden apples of the sun

This post will pretty much sum up my last week of being a "non-adult". There was a bit of a delay in posting this because of a, let's call it a "mishap of sorts", this past weekend. But all is well now and I'm back on my feet! Trying to cope with the fact that I'll be 21 in a day and a half. Where has time gone?

A not so impressive slow cooker corn cabbage soup with amazingly impressive baked tofu sticks. These tofu sticks are so easy to make and they are the closest thing I've tasted to actual chicken nuggets...which is why they are slathered in ketchup. I also enjoy baked rather than fried, and fresh parsley! They were awesome to snack on all week. 

It's funny how I constantly crave the same things at the same time of the year. Zucchini and squash really shouldn't be cooked right now, but I still had some from the farmer's market. I wanted to do something good that showed off how delicious they are. I remembered a favorite pasta bake I made last Halloween from Joanne. The herbs de provence here really makes all of the flavors pop. I used homemade marinara sauce that I made in the slow cooker all day (not pictured but AMAZING) which made it even better. The vegetables get sooo tender. 

I feel like I am always in this "polygamous" relationship with veganism. I eat pretty much 90% vegan, but I still eat honey. Marshmallows don't scare me, nor do eggs. If I'm in a real cinch I will cook an egg or two, but I'm not too keen on chicken or beef anymore. I will also gladly order fish at a five-star restaurant. So I can't call myself a vegan, even though I rarely eat non-vegan things. Eggs are primarily consumed through baking, and well, I can't tell myself that honey is bad. I already can't eat a lot of things, so why cut my options out? How does everyone else feel about this issue?

Anyways, I finally finally found Medjool dates at my local co-op, worth a pretty penny I might add, and I also finally made salty medjool caramel for apples on Halloween. So easy. So good. And it's vegan. 

I was set on making a raw caramel apple pie for Halloween dinner, but after I saw these bars, I couldn't get them out of my head and just had to make them. I used GF rolled oats, vegan Earth Balance sticks, and the rest is totally vegan. These are essentially coconut milk pumpkin pie on an oatmeal shortbread crust, topped with chocolate, coconut, and almonds. I don't think I need to explain myself more (and they're pretty!)

I had dinner with my parents on Halloween, as always, and she made me vegan pepperjack grilled cheeses and fall vegetable soup

Forgive the bite taken here, but I finally tried out flatbreads! I picked up some chickpea flour after hearing so much about it and seeing so many recipes with it. These flatbreads were amazing and had great texture/flavor. I cooked them a bit longer than I should've but still great. I used pesto I froze in the summer, which turned out great, and added vegan pepperjack cheese. These are probably versatile for every season!

Breakfast is great when you want to try something new, and you just happen to have everything for it. I made Sara's sesame date yogurt cups: dates smashed with sesame seeds layered with vegan cinnamon yogurt and topped with flax cereal. Delicious, simple, and naturally sweet.

Let me guess. You probably hate turnips, right? Like I did when I was 5? Well I hope you don't hate them because this soup is so good. This soup has few ingredients, and is made even better by the accompanying greens pesto. I am always wary about pestos, especially vegan ones, but the flavors are just right: nutritional yeast, orange blanched greens, pecans, balsamic vinegar, so so so good. I hope I have some leftover to freeze. But the soup and pesto together is unstoppable. It's getting cold outside, so you better make some!

My birthday is Monday so maybe I will make some sappy nostalgic 21st birthday post.