Veganmofo: Yummy Pizza

So we had some yummy pizza last night…I know we were all about the mashed potoates but it just didn’t happen so hopefully tonight it will. But we ran around and didn’t get home until late and then we wanted to watch the debate so we made a quick pizza using this wonderful crust:

It was so good. Not too thick, but not too thin and it held our topings of mushroom, marinara, green onions and sundried tomatoes perfectly.

Veganmofo: Comfort Food

Tonight we are having a big bowl of comfort food- mashed potatoes. Neil received a big bag of potatoes from a guy at work and now we have to use them. The plan is to make some yummy Montreal Chicken Spice Mashed (rather whipped) Potatoes. They will then be topped with vegan gravy, french fried onions and to add a little green we will have some salt and pepper roasted brussel sprouts on the side. I know not the most well balanced meal but we have been craving something warm, creamy and comforting in these last few cold and rainy days in VT.

Vegan Gravy (adapted from Vegetarian Gravy on http://www.vegcooking.com/)
3 Tbsp. Earth Balance
3 Tbsp. corn starch
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock (I like to use Veggie Better than Boullion)
3 Tbsp. dark soy sauce salt and pepper to taste
• Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the cornstarch. Stir over moderate heat for a few minutes until the flour turns brown.
• Pour in the water or stock and stir slightly until thickened. Simmer for 10 minutes, then add the soy sauce and a little seasoning to taste, if desired

For the Potatoes:
4 potatoes, diced
3/4 cup soy milk
2 Tbsp. margarine
1 T Montreal Chicken Spice (trust me makes all the difference)

Cook the potatoes and then add the remaining ingredients and whip with electric beaters.

For the Brussels sprouts:
1 bag frozen sprouts (fresh if you can)
1t salt
1/2t pepper
4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
• Defrost sprouts slightly and then cut them in half, arrange in a baking dish, and set aside.
• Mix the salt, pepper, and olive oil and pour the mixture over the Brussels sprouts. Bake in a preheated oven for about 25 to 30 minutes at 375 degrees F. Turn after about 15 minutes to ensure even cooking.
Makes 4 servings

Veganmofo: Dinner Tonight

Sesame Soy Curls with Asparagus and Roasted Garlic Couscous

Serves Four

1 package Dry Soy curls

2 Tbs Oil

2 Cloves Garlic, minced

2t chili flakes (I like mine spicy)

1 box frozen asparagus

2 Tbs Sugar

5 Tbs Soy Sauce/Tamari

2 Tbs Rice Vinegar

2 tsp Toasted Sesame Oil

Sesame Seeds for garnish.

Place soy curls in a bowl and cover with boiling/near boiling water. Let sit for 10 minutes or so to re-hydrate. Once hydrated, squeeze out any remaining liquid.
Heat a wok over high heat and add oil. Add soy curls and stir-fry until browned. Remove curls from the wok and add garlic, chili and veggies (using more oil if needed). When asparagus is bright green and tender-crisp, add soy curls back into the wok. Add soy sauce, sugar and vinegar and toss well. Drizzle sesame oil over the top. Taste a soy curl and adjust seasoning if needed.

Serve over Roasted Garlic Couscous

I am using Near East Roasted Garlic & Olive Oil Couscous

Friendly Fall Feast


With fall quickly approaching (if not here in all but date only), Lindsay and I have been looking forward to making good, hearty, stick to your ribs type of meals with all the lovely food we have been able to get at the local farmer’s market as well as from our own garden.

As I’ve gotten older, fall has definitely become my favourite season. I love the crisp smell in the air, the changing colours of the foliage (and now that I’m in Vermont, it’s even more beautiful than back home in NB), cuddling close to my lover to keep her warm at night and not to mention being able to wear sweaters and long sleeve shirts again.

Lindsay had a couple of her girlfriends down visiting from Burlington today and we decided to take advantage of that and go all out and make a four course meal featuring all kinds of different local goods. After some searching online, Lindsay found a good inspiration for our fall feast on Vegan Yum Yum. We spent the morning at the Farmer’s Market in Montpelier picking up the rest of what we needed to prepare our feast for our guests.

To start, Lindsay made a green salad using mesclan mix and spicy sprouts and a maple vinagrette made from Vermont maple syrup, dijon mustard and balsamic vinegar. It was a nice light start to the meal.


For the second course, I made a roasted squash soup out of three different squashes that we had grown in our (organic) garden at Lindsay’s parents house in Waterville. The three varieties of squash we used were acorn, buttercup, spaghetti. We cut each of the squash in half, drizzled olive oild over them, and roasted them in the oven for 45 minutes at 425 F. I started the soup by sautéing a medium sized onion and four large garlic cloves (from a local organic farm at the Rutland, Vt farmers market) until they were tender, being careful not to burn them. At this point I added the squash, fresh thyme, fresh sage and vegetable stock and let the soup simmer for some time allowing the squash to become more tender and the flavours to come together. At this point, I used an immersion blender to puree the soup and then added soy cream (which I made using soy milk, flour and some sugar) as well as Vermont maple syrup. After mixing that in, I seasoned the soup with sea salt and fresh pepper to taste. I made the soup a five or six hours before dinner which allowed the soups flavours to develop even more. I think the mix of the different types of squash gave it a nice flavour that you wouldn’t experience if using just one type of squash.

Following Lindsay and I made a variation on Shepherd’s pie using lentils rather than ground meat (obviously) or a meat replacement. The base of the meal was sort of a stew made using lentils, peas, veggie stock, fresh sage, fresh thyme, garlic, carrots, and onions (the last three all from the local farmer’s market). She used a flour and water slurry to help thicken the stew. We topped the stew off with a couple scoops of whipped yellow potatoes that we had gotten from the farmer at the Rutland Farmer’s market the weekend before. It turned out really well and is something we would definitely make again (and I’m really looking forward to eating the leftovers)

Of course, no meal is complete without dessert. And no fall dessert is complete without pumpkin (well, I think so at least!). For our final course, Lindsay had prepared Pumpkin Whoopie Pies from a recipe that she had gotten from Vegan Yum Yum. They turned out better than I ever could have imagined. I think Lindsay was most excited by the fact that she finally got to put our kitchenaid to good use. The flavour for the cookie batter came from the pumpkin puree, molasses, allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg. She then made a cream cheeze frosting using vegan cream cheeze and icing sugar. Of course being the loving husband that I am, I volunteered to taste test the batter. It reminded me of a molasses cookie but more sweet and rich. The whoopie pies were a great finish to the evening and I can’t wait to eat the leftovers tomorrow 🙂

We have decided to sign up as members of a CSA with Pete’s Greens and are looking forward to making the most of all the amazing fall and winter vegetables that we will be getting from them.

What a little research will find you….

So I have spent the morning doing some research on restaurants- specifically chain ones. I was just inspecting Uno’s and i found that their Balsamic dressing isn’t vegan:

BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE

INGREDIENTS: soy oil, balsamic vinegar, water, salt, sugar, xantham gum, spice, garlic, fish oil, caramel, pg alginate, calcium disodium, paprika.

kinda scary to think that balsamic vinaigrette would have fish in it!

CPK has a vegetarian menu and it detials the vegan options:
http://www.cpk.com/menu/vegetarian_%20gluten.pdf

also BE AWARE Panda Express is NOT vegetarian they use a chicken base!

Legal Seafoods:

Vegetarian Box (vegan friendly) 17.95
Asian flavored stir-fried vegetables, Thai red coconut curry sauce, cashews, tofu and brown rice

Yummy Kung Bao Chik'n

Last night I made stir fry veggies with May Way’s Kung Bao Chicken over whole wheat couscous. It was amazing the flavor was just right and it had a little spice to it and the texture was great (I bet it could even fool grandma!). It was great to finally eat something so yummy considering that the last thing we tired from May Way was the prawns and they were awful. So far we have tried
BBQ Pork – receives an A
Chicken Legs- receives a B
Prawns- receives a F-
Kung Bao Chicken- Receives an A+

I have pictures to come I just need to upload them. And of course I just got to work with my beautiful creation of sesame-peanut noodles and I forgot to take a picture!

A Picnic Dilemma….

So tomorrow is my department picnic and it’s a pot luck so everyone is to bring something…of course I’m the only vegan in my department….as well as the only vegetarian. There is one uy who is really into vegetarian/vegan cooking however he’s the exception out of the other 35 people. I checked the list today and there is very little for me to eat, so this is what it boils down to- whatever I make is what I am going to be eating so it better be yummy! (of course haha).

I have decided to go with sesame peanut noodles because I think that it will go over relatively well with everyone. Some might think it is strange but I hope people will be willing to give it a chance I mean really unless you have a peanut allergy most everyone I know enjoys peanut noodles.

I found this recipe for Seasme-Peanut Noodles and I think it will work great with a few alterations

Adapted from:
Sesame-Peanut Noodles
by Ted Allen
from The Food You Want to Eat
(Clarkson Potter, 2005) (found on http://www.leitesculinaria.com/recipes/cookbook/sesame_noodles.html)
Serves 4

Kosher salt for boiling noodles
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
1/3 cup roasted peanuts, cashews, or whatever nuts you have
1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon mirin or sherry (see Note)
2 medium garlic cloves
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more if you like it spicy)
1 English cucumber (also called hothouse cukes — the long, skinny ones), peeled
1 pound soba noodles (I really don’t like the taste and texture of Soba Noodles so i am going with fettucine)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 scallions, green parts only, sliced 1/4 inch thick on an angle (I like the white part too so i am mixing them in and garnishing with the greens)

I am also going to top with some bean sprouts and shredded carrot to give it some color and crunch!

Directions
1. Bring a large pot of salted water (1 teaspoon salt per quart of water) to a boil.

2. Meanwhile, toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until they turn golden brown, about 5 minutes.

3. In a food processor, combine the peanut butter, sesame oil, peanuts, soy sauce, vinegar, mirin or sherry, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Process to a purée. Stir in half the toasted sesame seeds.

4. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon; discard the seeds. Slice the cucumber halves crosswise about 1/4 inch thick; set aside.

5. When the water comes to a boil, add the noodles and cook until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain very well, shaking the colander until it stops dripping, and dump into a bowl. Add the peanut mixture, cilantro, and black pepper, and toss to coat. Turn out onto a large platter. Arrange the cucumber slices around the edge of the platter, sprinkle the scallions on top, and sprinkle the remaining sesame seeds on last. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Note: Mirin is a sweet Japanese rice wine; you’ll find it in the Asian section of your supermarket.

I am going to save some for dinner tomorrow night because my husband loves peanut noodles and top it with some yummy smoked tofu.

Pictures to come! and updates on how well it goes over!