Tonight was quesadilla night. Just a quick and easy meal we threw together with some tortillas, fresh spinach, and vegan cheese. No big deal, right?
Well, my friends, check this shit out:
Daiya vegan cheese is the only vegan cheese that performs this way. And it tastes like pure love. The Daiya Italian Style is pretty good too, but I'm currently in deep with the Cheddar Style. If you haven't had a chance to try it, I strongly suggest it!
Ken and I are heading to Boston this weekend for the Boston Vegetarian Fest, so I'll be sure to come back with lots of food pr0n. Enjoy your weekend!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Whoa, I sure did suck at VeganMofo this year, didn't I? I had every intention of posting regularly, I really did. Sadly, this month I had some personal issues that kept me away from the computer most days. But I'm back, baby!
I recently picked up a "new to me" cookbook that my friend Michelle recommended. The recipes in The Complete Vegan Cookbook focus more on lighter, healthier fare, which I can use a lot more of in my life. The first recipe I made was for a Rice Bake with Black Beans, Corn and Tomatoes. I used brown rice for added nutrition. This recipe made a ton of food for way cheap. And the leftovers seem to taste better and better every day, too. Especially when we melt a little of the Cheddar Daiya on top. Oh my. On night one we had it on top a bed of spinach, with a dollop of Tofutti Sour Cream.
No, generally I don't need a cookbook to tell me how to make beans and rice. This was a little different as the rice was baked in the oven, rather than on the stove or in the rice cooker. I think that helped the flavors really soak together. Good stuff, for sure.
A few weeks ago we checked out a new vegan restaurant near us. Loving Hut is a national chain that just recently appeared in metro Atlanta. It's such a pretty place, it really is. And they put a lot of effort into making their food and drinks pretty. Sadly, most of the food we tried was lacking in flavor. It wasn't awful, just kind of bland overall. But we will definitely give it another shot and order something different next time. We started with basil rolls, which were probably my favorite part of the meal.
I ordered the Au Lac Crepe with vegan ham, tofu, and bean sprouts.
Ken stared at his bland pile of lo mein noodles most of the evening, wishing for an extra splash of soy sauce or two.
For dessert, Ken ordered a root beer float that he actually loved. I forgot to take a picture of it because I was too busy running my mouth with friends. But I didn't forget dessert. I ordered Sun & Moon, which was two cookies with a couple scoops of soy ice cream. This was pretty tasty, and made me feel a little better about my poor choice of entree.
The people at Loving Hut are so amazingly friendly, and it's such a clean, peaceful space, that I do want to try it again sometime.
More soon, I promise!
Sunday, October 11, 2009
I never kick a cookie out of bed, as long as it's vegan. But there's something extra special about a chocolate chip cookie. I think chocolate chip cookies are like a warm, soft hug. They have the power to soothe, to heal, to... promote tooth decay. Dang, I love a good chocolate chip cookie.
I pretty much try every vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe I come across. My usual go-to recipe is from Dreena Burton's Vive le Vegan. This recipe is fast, and produces a soft, not-too-sweet cookie without the use of margarine. Overall, a solid cookie recipe.
But tonight, I may have found my new favorite in this category. The recipe is the Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies from 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes. Taste-wise, these cookies are the shizz. Appearance-wise, they are super adorable. I mean, just look at them!
My only complaint I have about this recipe is that I hate using a whole cup of Earth Balance margarine in one batch of cookies. Believe it or not, and despite how my ass looks in these jeans, I do try to watch how much saturated fat I consume. But, hey. They're cookies, after all. And darn good cookies, if I do say so myself.
Do you have a favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe you care to share with me?
Saturday, October 10, 2009
I never really ate french toast before going vegan. I suspect the reason was because of the egg coating that the bread was dipped in. I never could stomach the strong sulfur scent that eggs gave out. Pretty urpy, if you ask me. However, I can totally get behind fried bread covered in maple syrup which makes vegan french toast right up my alley!
Ken is the french toast maker in our household, and his recipe of choice is the Fronch Toast from Vegan with a Vengeance. Here is some Fronch Toast Ken made us using baguette bread:
Probably the best vegan french toast I ever had (short of my sweet husband's french toast, of course) was from Pick Me Up Cafe in Chicago this past Summer. The bread was so huge!
I baked up a batch of French Toast Muffins recently, too. The recipe is from 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes. I think the recipe is great, but I healthified these a little too much with whole wheat pastry flour. I will definitely use more all purpose flour next time for a lighter, fluffier muffin.
A few weeks ago, Ken and I went on a road trip to upstate New York. Our main reason for traveling was to attend and exhibit at the Capitol Region Vegetarian Expo, but we also made a point to make a side trip to Woodstock to visit Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. Before we went to the sanctuary, we stopped at a nearby vegan cafe called Garden Cafe. This place was cute, cute, cute. Of course Ken ordered the vegan french toast:
The Garden Cafe French Toast was good, and did the job. Nice reasonable portion, with some warm apple compote on the side.
That's all the french toast I have for you, so I will leave you with some of my favorite pictures from our visit to Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. What a beautiful place for these animals to have a safe home!
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Oh, how we love to eat tofu scramble in our household. "Breakfast for Dinner" happens with Ken and I at least once per week. Not to mention Sunday brunch! Tofu scramble is really one of the easiest things in the world to make, and it's incredibly versatile. You can throw whatever veggies in there you want, or enjoy it plain. You could go with some fancy specialty scramble, like Southwestern scramble or Asian scramble, or keep it simple with whatever fixings you have on hand that day. Everyone who enjoys the 'foo scrambled seems to have their preferences on how to prepare it, and that includes me. But I will still eat a scramble at a restaurant prepared any-which-way, even if it's not exactly how I would prepare it at home. I only have one rule that must not be broken in order to properly enjoy a tofu scramble:
The tofu needs to be crumbled, not cubed in order to be called a scramble. I'm not saying cubed tofu isn't tasty, but it ain't a scramble unless it's crumbled. If the 'foo is cubed, then you're crossing over into stir fry territory!
But hey, to each their own. In case you are wondering, here is my favorite way to scramble up some tofu.
Basic Tofu Scramble
1 block extra firm tofu (not silken) drained well
2 cups of your favorite green, like spinach or chard
1/2 cup any melty vegan cheese, grated. I like Daiya Cheddar or Teese Mozzarella.
2 Tbsp plain soymilk
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp onion powder
Some oil for the skillet
Coat the bottom of a large skillet with oil and preheat to medium high on stove. While the pan is heating, crumble the tofu into a medium size bowl. with a fork, mix in the soymilk and soy sauce. Once the liquids are incorporated, add the spices and mix well. Try not to break up your tofu crumbles too much, or the scramble will be mushy.
Add the tofu to the heated skillet and gently press down with a spatula. Top the tofu with the grated vegan cheese, then cover the grated cheese with the 2 cups of greens. The greens will wilt down as steam rises through the tofu. When the tofu appears golden brown on one side, gently flip the tofu and scramble up the toppings. Continue to cook until tofu is browned the way you like it.
Ken likes to eat his scramble with ketchup, but I'm more of a purist. And we both love a piece of toast or a bagel half to help scoop the good stuff up to our mouths.
So now tell me: how do you like your tofu scramble?
Saturday, October 03, 2009
I've always heard folks say that there's nothing more rewarding than eating food straight from your own garden. And talk about eating local! How about walking outside to pick your salad? So Ken and I decided to try this whole vegetable gardening thing out with some fall plants. We purchased some little plants at the beginning of August, and most of the plants have really taken off. It's exciting!
The romaine lettuce is looking tastier each day:
One rainbow chard plant is towering over it's little sibling:
The kale is doing good, though still suffering from a few worm bites:
This is the sad part. Our little spinach plant is pitiful. I don't think the little guy is gonna make it:
It's pretty fun to see such pretty, healthy food growing on our back porch. Well, except for the spinach. That's kinda sad. I hope we can keep the rest of them alive and well so we can put them in our stomachs soon!