Monday, January 28, 2013

(925) chefs d'oeuvre

So it snowed two Fridays ago, and it iced over last Friday, and the Monday of our second week of classes was a holiday. I am having a hard time adjusting to my school schedule because of all the days we've had off. It has been nice to have days off, but I would rather just get back in the mood of going to classes and doing homework all day long. It has been incredibly cold outside but I'm just glad it's not raining anymore!

Snow day breakfast: joy tea, garlic roasted sweet potatoes, vegan buttered toast + a scramble with shiitakes and green onions. So lovely.

Not so great vegan brownies I made the night it snowed. 

Peanut butter agave nectar GF waffle + Happy Herbivore's peanut butter cup smoothie//Everyday Happy Herbivore

Bella tacos from the same cookbook above! These weren't as flavorful as I hoped, but still had a great "meaty" texture, was filling, and the homemade taco sauce was awesome! They were incredibly easy to prepare too//Everyday Happy Herbivore

I have been trying to cook from the same book all week (can you tell?) so I made the sweet and sour tempeh. I served it with brown rice and broccoli, then cooked shiitakes with garlic in a mixture of soy sauce, olive oil + toasted sesame oil. This was so amazing! The tempeh gets so tender from steaming it, then the sauce really seeps through it. I miss Chinese take-out a lot, but this was even better//Everyday Happy Herbivore

1 shot bourbon/1 orange slice/1 bag orange tea/8 oz. water/1-2 T ginger syrup//shutterbean

Starting to realize how perfect orange ginger toddys are before bedtime.

I sort of went on this mission to make an Indian feast this weekend...and I must say I succeeded! Here is jasmine rice and Indian roasted cauliflower with potatoes. These were really flavorful and they soften up quite a bit! A great side to serve with the spicy dish below//smitten kitchen

Sometimes simple is not the route I want to take with some dishes. I remember having this chana masala for my 20th birthday and wanted to recreate it. It was pretty spicy from the jalapeno, but the flavors were perfect. There is a mild kick of ginger that is lovely. I am also kind of sick currently, so this is great to clear my sinuses! This, and the recipe above, came together easily with just a little prep on the morning of. Indian feast success! //smitten kitchen

And the feast continues...with brunch! Here are polenta grits and joy tea, with this tofu scramble puttanesca being the main star. I had everything to make this scramble and let me just say, it is the best tofu scramble I've ever had! The flavors of kalamata olives, capers, tomatoes and a TON of Italian herbs/oregano/thyme really make this scramble sing. I will certainly be making this and other scrambles from "Vegan Brunch" again. I am going to include some recipes from this book as well this week; I can't recommend it enough! //Vegan Brunch

This didn't last very long, at all. Still drooling.

New adorable Parisian lamp in the hopes of making my apartment a little cozier. This has been quite the lovely weekend, and a rough past two weeks of classes, but I'm ready to make things a little easier and get in the swing of school again! 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

(914) le frêne

The first week of school is almost done! This is definitely a good thing, but the weather this week has been awful! And of course we're expecting snow tomorrow...I hope if it DOES snow, we can at least stay in. That would be lovely! My semester looks like it's going to be full of reading: in French, in English lit and in French lit. Excited but already ready for it to get moving haha. My second film, and my first one, both sold out! Things have been busy but I've been making some really delicious things too, so here we go!

Remember the soy chorizo I bought a while ago? Well I finally used it in these sweet potato black bean chorizo enchiladas (made in the slow cooker!). The recipe has 5 ingredients and spends anywhere between 4-8 hours in the slow-cooker depending on the heat. I suggest you make them when you won't be home because I was so anxious to eat them that I didn't cook them as much as I could've haha. They were perfect! Just spicy enough, flavorful, delicious. I don't have the recipe link because it's from an amazing book so I suggest you all just buy it because it's great and perfect for vegans! (or if you really need it, just post a comment with your email haha) //the vegan slow-cooker book

This was my second vegan bowl that I've made: a red curry miso roasted vegetable bowl with tofu and quinoa. The vegetables are tossed in a tangy sauce and roasted in the oven, along with tofu, then tossed with oven wilted swiss chard, quinoa + soft tofu. It wasn't my absolute favorite but still nutritious and filling! //love + lemons

My film series was featured in the Go Triad! insert in the paper!

Wilted swiss chard, extra garlic with a half-ass alfredo sauce (this begged for mushrooms but had none). I just cooked pasta after steaming the swiss chard. In a skillet, I cooked some garlic in vegan butter, then added nutritional yeast and vegan milk, brought it to a slight boil, then added it to the pasta and swiss chard. This stuff was spicy! Still amazing though. i'm starting to think I might need to keep mushrooms on hand at all times...

Leftover extra firm tofu = tofu scramble with shredded carrots + avocado toast! I've found the best tofu scramble spices: nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, dried thyme, curry powder, paprika, tumeric, and garlic powder. I still need to play around with the flavors though! Next time I'm going to try adding a bit of GF soy sauce. 

Perfection combo: French Connection cocktail, vegan sushi with GF soy sauce, and fries with ketchup [from Cowfish in Charlotte].

Lavendar lemonade and macarons for me. Brought home meringue tarts for my mom.

My dad's birthday was last Saturday. I never know what to get him so I usually try to bake him something. Last year I made some amazing vanilla bean cupcakes with chocolate frosting, but this year, I wanted to try something different. I made the Tortuga Rum Cake from the Happy Herbivore Everyday cookbook. It was lovely! Just enough rum, with a hint of orange in the glaze, and it gets better as it sits. I highly recommend this book (everything is vegan!) for anyone. For my substitutions: 1 C GF oat flour, 1/2 C sorghum flour, 1/2 C tapioca starch + 2 tsp xanthan gum. //happy herbivore everyday cookbook

I love pasta bakes but most of them involve me subbing out the cheese for Daiya, which I am avoiding as much as possible. Luckily, this sweet potato surprise is a great substitute for any pasta bake! This one is made with a garlic coconut milk sweet potato sauce, green onions, and GF panko breadcrumbs on top. It's great for the weather being so gross and is even better the next day. //love + lemons

I have been dying to make acorn squash apple I did, in the slow-cooker! I adapted a delicata squash pear soup from the vegan slow-cooker book above and it was fabulous! It was great to come home to after walking in the rain all day. The addition of thyme and rosemary pairs perfectly with the vegetables/apples as well. On another no-Daiya note, I have been craving grilled cheese. We all know that I love grilled cheese. Not eating Daiya isn't that hard, but it's without a doubt the best cheese substitute out there. Well, I found a grilled cheese made with out it, and with pantry staples! (What?!!!) It uses things like nooch, almond milk, GF flour etc to make a spreadable cheezy sauce. The recipe is from the same Happy Herbivore book above (you should really check it out!). //

Do you ever have plenty of food to eat, but just feel like making something else for a quick meal? This happens to me every once in a while. The way I plan my meals is so that I only end up cooking 3 days out of the week (that's the beauty of living alone!). I usually eat off of one recipe for at least 2 days and I try to stretch it as far as I can, sometimes by freezing leftover soup or turning leftover components into something different or sharing with my parents. I know I'll be eating the soup above for at least two more days, and I've been eyeing this roasted garlic sweet potato recipe. I also made garlic red pepper wilted spinach and green onion scrambled eggs. So amazing! Good thing garlic is great for your health, and keeps away vampires, because I eat so much of it! //naturally ella

Sunday, January 6, 2013

(903) c'est toujours ensoleillé

The holidays are over! Yay! They were great and I got to spend lots of time with my family, which was great. I had a very quiet New Years. I have to say, I am ready for school to be back (in 1 week!) so that my life can have some sort of a routine again. I am really excited for this semester because of all the great French literature I get to read for my French lit in English translations class. I am also taking the second part of a British lit survey I took last semester, which will briefly cover some gothic lit! Okay, enough geek switching to foodie mode.

I love having leftover vegetables to do something new with. I cooked brown rice pasta with I sauteed mushrooms in vegan butter and Italian seasoning. I then added two cloves of minced garlic and red pepper flakes, then added it to pasta. It was absolutely amazing! Some of the best things I've eaten have been last minute and with out a recipe (I need to do this more often)

Doing some vegan cookbook reading and drinking a lovely GF beer

What my New Years Eve consisted of.

Mise en place: something I am trying to incorporate into my cooking as much as possible. 

It may have been a day late, but this hoppin' John bowl is out of this damn world. In Isa's book, Appetite for Reduction, she explains the components of "the vegan bowl": a grain, a protein (beans, tempeh or tofu), a green/vegetable and a sauce. Pulled together, the vegan bowl is a nutritious, versatile meal that you can make a million different ways. On New Years Eve, Isa posted this AMAZING bowl recipe on her blog. I immediately bought the ingredients and made it the next day. I opted for short grain red rice, which she used, and I absolutely love now! (I just got two bags of long grain from WF for .99 each!) The red hot tahini sauce is addictive, and the entire thing comes together beautifully. The tomato parsley salad was a great addition. I suggest you all make this bowl now, especially if it's your first vegan bowl! (it was my first!)//post-punk kitchen

My sister made an amazing GF lemon tart for New Years! I loved it with a dollop of vegan vanilla yogurt on top.

Roasted romanesco cauliflower with lemon, pepper and toasted almonds. So amazing!

New Years Day brunch: scramble with potatoes, peppers and eggs using a scramble starter I got my mom for Christmas. So good! 

Hazelnut chai tea with almond milk in my mom's Christmas mug. So good and I am in love with this mug.

Treat yo'self lunch at Printworks Bistro: the Pimm's #32

More from brunch: roasted green beans with a mushroom roasted root vegetable and quinoa stuffed pumpkin. Amazing and all vegan!

Got tired of my tea cluttering two cabinets and my spices being all over the place, but I also didn't want to take up room on my counter with a spice I turned one of my drawers into a spice drawer! I figured this is the easiest way to see all of my spices, with out taking up a ton of room, and keep them organized! I also put my teas in three cubbies on my cabinet by type of tea. Yes. I have THAT much tea.

Cute little GF beer I'm trying tonight. I love the strawberry and honey notes!

Lazy dinner tonight. Salmon with thyme tomatoes and leek herb fingerling potatoes from Whole Foods with homemade quinoa I prepped for lunch tomorrow. So amazing and filling.

I am hosting my first Criterion film this week and am so excited!