Friday, November 30, 2007

Cauliflower All Done Up Indian Style

Sometimes you see something out there in blogland and you immediately know that you want to make it. This is one of those. Another one is Bazu & Daiku's pecan pie, which I'm going to make this weekend with a bit of a twist.


Mahanandi's Gobi Kasuri Methi with Golden Raisins just sounded soooo good. I just happened to have a head of cauliflower in my fridge that I was planning on cooking later in the day. I was overjoyed to see a yummy new recipe for my "white broccoli" (as Roman calls it). I had to leave out the raisins, unfortunately, because I can't have any dried fruits on my cleanse. (too much sugar). I looked in a few markets and couldn't find any of the kasuri methi (sundried fenugreek leaves), but I'm not going to give up. This still came nicely, but I bet the extra flavors would have made it even better.

I wasn't quite sure of the ingredient measurements, so I guessed. The next day there was a new blog post using the same recipe, but adding potatoes (aloo). Yum! I'm going to try it that way once I can get my hands on the kasuri methi. I also used canned tomatoes instead of fresh. I just have issue with buying those nasty cardboard-like tomatoes in the winter time. It seems so unnatural.

I ended up adding some fenugreek seeds instead of the fenugreek leaves, but that wasn't really the best idea. I brought this for lunch yesterday and today and today it was slightly bitter because of the seeds. So don't do that if you're tempted.

I don't really know what to call this, since I didn't add two of the ingredients in the name and I can't very well just call this "cauliflower" now can I?


Indian Cauliflower Yumminess

2 Tablespoons peanut oil
4 cloves slivered garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 red onion, chopped
2 cans chopped tomatoes
1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
1/4 cup grated coconut
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chile powder

In a large pot over medium heat, warm the peanut oil. Once it's hot, add the garlic, cumin and mustard seeds. Cook for 3-4 minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic.

Add the onion, tomatoes and cauliflower and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the coconut, turmeric, salt and chile powder and simmer for another 10 minutes or so.

Serve over basmati rice. This makes 4-5 servings.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thyme Roasted Autumn Veggies

I blame Isa for the way this dish tasted. Because of her and Terry, I always have thyme in my fridge. Not only that, but I have both rubbed and whole leaf thyme in the cabinet. Yeah... I'm like a thyme junkie now. Dang it, I've caught the fever.


So I've been trying to make a concerted effort to eat with the seasons as much as possible. I'm trying harder to buy locally, though sometimes it's an inner conflict between local and organic. Most of these veggies are locally grown, thanks to the awesome markets near my apartment. I was kinda jealous of everyone having their awesome Thanksgiving feasts so I made this and some wild rice soup to make myself feel better. This is my first year in Canada, so I'm still adjusting to Thanksgiving being in October.

If you make something like this, you really don't need to follow a recipe. Just get some root vegetables, chop them up and put them in a pan with some oil and some kind of spice or herb. Just walk around the market and throw root vegetables willy-nilly into your basket and pick whatever herb smells freshest. (Ha, I just said willy-nilly!)

Thyme Roasted Autumn Root Vegetables

3 small turnips
2 parsnips
1 beet
15-20 brussel sprouts
4 cloves of garlic, diced
1 small onion, coursely chopped
2 fresh thyme, chopped (I think i probably used a bit more, I just used up what I had left)
4 Tablespoons olive oil

Preheat your oven to 375F.

Peel and chop the turnips, parsnips and beet. You'll want to make these smallish, but not tiny so that they cook fully. Clean the brussel sprouts and cut them in half length-wise. Put all of the veggies into an oven-safe dish and toss with olive oil, garlic, the onion and thyme. Stir gently so that the beets don't turn everything pink. I just used my hands to mix everything up.

Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007


I just realized that I never posted the awesome Latin dinner that I had, courtesy of Veganomicon recipes. I think with all of the Vegan MoFo posting, I somehow thought that surely I must have already talked about my dinner awesomeness.

You've waited long enough! On with the food porn! You are about to see Black Bean and Acorn Squash Empanads, Chile-Cornmeal Crusted Tofu, Green Pumpkin Seed Mole, Salsa Verde and Sour Cilantro Cream all from Veganomicon. Yum! Plus, I threw in some Love Muffins because they seemed to fit nicely with the other food.


Let's start by talking about the empanadas. Yes, I realize that they look more like dumplings than empanadas. I don't know why I shaped them like that. I think my acorn squash was super huge and I ended up with a ton of filling, so it ended up working out that I piled it in like that. I just sorta rolled up the edges and squashed them to the middle. Not authentic, but effective.

I wasn't quite sure what to expect from the flavor, but it was a nice balance. The squash was just slightly sweet and nicely offset by the chiles that I added.


Ooh, now you're thinking about those sauces and wondering what those are. I realized only after making everything that I made three green sauces. I should have added some color somewhere, but this is what sounded like it would taste good. At least it's three different shades of green! If you're going to make all of this stuff, do what I didn't - make the sauces a day or two ahead of time. I'm crazy for making all three of these, but damn were they good. I had a bunch of extra Pumpkin Seed Mole and Sour Cilantro Cream, so I put them in containers and put them in the freezer. I'm not sure how well the Sour Cilantro Cream will do since it's tofu based, but I'll surely blog about it whenever I decide it's time to eat it again.


And the Chile-Cornmeal Crusted Tofu... This is a fantastic way to bread and cook tofu. It's got a ton of flavor and goes well with all of the sauces! I've seen on the PPK forums some people talking about making sandwiches with the leftovers. A great idea and one that I'll definitely try the next time I make these. I don't make sandwiches very often, but I guess chile tofu is cool enough for me to put it between bread and give it a go.


Everything kept well in the fridge. I ate leftovers of this for a few days and even took some to work. As long as you keep your sauces separate, you're golden. The tofu isn't as crispy reheated, but that's to be expected.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Hey, look! More fennel!


Yeah, I made fennel again. Yum! I didn't get all fancy like last time. I pretty much just piled together a bunch of stuff that I had already. I still like the other fennel recipe the best, but this is good, too and cleanse-friendly!

Fennel and Greens and Lentils, Oh My

2 Tablespoons oil (I used grapeseed)
1 bulb fennel, chopped
1 bunch red chard, rinsed and torn into pieces
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup lentils, cooked (I just used 1 can, which is roughly a little bit more than 1 cup, but whatever)
2 cups cooked brown rice

Saute the fennel in the oil over medium heat. Stir occasionally and cook it until the fennel just starts to turn golden in places. Throw in the garlic and saute for another minute or two. Add the red chard and a splash of water. Put a lid on the pot so that the chard will steam a bit, lifting the lid to turn everything with tongs a few times. Once the greens are all wilty, you're done!

Layer brown rice, lentils and your fennel/greens mixture on a plate. You can add salt and pepper if you want. I added some salt-free Spike for some extra seasoning and flavor.


Monday, November 26, 2007

Raw Breakfasty Stuff

So I'm experimenting with some raw food. I have to admit, I'm a little bit intimidated. I don't know why, it's not like some random carrot is going to bitch slap me or something. Part of it is that I don't have a dehydrator or a Vita-Mix or a juicer. Not to mention that all of my appliances except for my beloved immersion blender are in storage. :(


I'm going to do a review of the raw "cookbook" that I bought once I've made a few more things. When I went to the store, there were only 3 raw cookbooks, one of which had no pictures, this one and the one I really wanted that cost CAN $45. Some bookstores around here are giving the US price on things because of the current exchange rate, but even that US price was $35 - more than I was willing to spend at the time. Soooo, I ended up buying Ani's Raw Food Kitchen by Ani Phyo. It's really annoying that this chick feels the need to have a picture of herself on every other page. I get it, you think you're cute. Get over it. But that's another post...

The first thing I made are these coconut breakfast cakes. They were hella easy and soooo yummy. I'll definitely be making them again. They're so fast and easy, too. They were quick enough to put together in the morning before work even. Top them with some kind of fruit or yogurt, or hell, even some syrup if you want. There are some great recipes for fruit syrups in the book, but they all need dates and I can't have dried fruit while I'm on this cleanse. (Too much sugar.)

I love any reason to use flax seeds, and this is a sure winner. I'm going to be making these frequently for a fiber-rich breakfast that gives me a good amount of energy. And it tastes good, too.


Coconut Breakfast Cakes Originally published in Ani's Raw Food Kitchen by Ani Phyo

2 cups whole flax seeds or 3 cups flax seed meal (ground flax seeds) (I used the ground flax)
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 cup agave or maple syrup (I used agave)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup water

Put the flax meal, coconut oil, agave, salt and water in a large bowl and mix well. Form four balls and flatten into a "pancake" shape, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.

To serve, top with sliced fruit like bananas and/or chopped nuts like walnuts or almonds. Drizzle with syrup or a pat of margarine.

These will keep for four to five days in the fridge. Makes 4 servings.

Optional: Mix blueberries or walnuts into your breakfast cake mixture.

I halved this recipe and made 6 little mini discs. I had 3 for a serving.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

November New Foods #2 - Fennel

Hey, guess what? Fennel is yummy! Yeah, lots of you already knew that. I got so many great ideas from here and the PPK forums on what to do with fennel. I ended up sort of making my own dish about a week ago. And wow! I'm totally going to keep adding fennel to things now. The flavor is light, but fresh and adds some delicious savory notes to meals.


For the first time using fennel in something, I sure hit a homerun, too. If you never make anything that I blog about, you might want to try this. I think this is surely one of the best things I've created in a very long time. I only wish I had made more of it. If you can't find the tofurky sausage, or don't want to add that sort of thing, you can replace it with some spicy seitan or marinated tofu. If you leave it out entirely, I suggest you add a pinch or so of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to give it a bit of a kick. Not too much, you don't want this to be spicy, just a little bit warm. Also, don't feel like you have to use hazelnut oil, you can use olive oil, but if you have it or want to try it, it really added a huge amount of flavor.

These veggies are about to turn into yumminess!

Sauteed Fennel Awesomeness

3 Tablespoons hazelnut oil
1 shallot, diced
2 Tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
1 fennel bulb, chopped
3/4 Cup white wine (or vegetable broth)
1 bunch greens (I used red chard)
2 tofurky kielbasa sausages, sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (I just used the entire bunch, I think it was a little more than 1 cup)

In a large pot over medium heat, saute the shallot in 2 Tablespoons of hazelnut oil for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the sage and fennel and stir to make sure everything gets a bit of the oil on it. Saute for another 5 minutes or so. Don't let anything burn, you just want the fennel to start to barely start to brown.


Add the wine and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the wine has reduced to just a couple tablespoons. Add the greens and saute until wilty.

Meanwhile, in a separate pan, saute the sliced tofurky kielbasa in the other tablespoon of hazelnut oil. You want the sausage to get fairly browned on both sides. Add the sausage and tomatoes to the pot with the fennel and cook for about 3 more minutes, stirring often.

This makes 2 main course servings or 4 side dish servings.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Birthday Food!

The night before my birthday, we out to Harambe for dinner. It's my favorite Ethiopian restaurant in Vancouver. The food is always excellent, not to mention reasonably priced, and every time I go, it just makes me want to go more often.


We had the vegetarian combination platter. Yum! I love eating the injera from the platter when it's gotten all good and soaked up with sauce and spices. I can't remember the names of the different things on the plate, I need to write it down next time. Suffice it to say that everyone is wonderful.

And I found out one of the most interesting things about Ethiopian food... The next night, the night of my birthday, I had a gathering and we all drank a bit more than we should have... One thing led to another and I came home to leftovers. I think Ethiopian leftovers have got to be the perfect food for coming home after a night of beer. Seriously, try it some time. :D

Friday, November 23, 2007

Persimmons & Haiku

I was going to post about fennel today, but I decided to do persimmons instead. One hour to spare to get my Vegan MoFo post in for the day at that! Never let it be said that I'm not dedicated! I just got home from the killer Juliette and the Licks show and even though I still can't hear exactly right just yet, I'm still blogging. Because really, all I need to hear is inside my own head for this.


The other day I was going to talk about persimmons, but I got stuck trying to think of something witty for the title. I was out of funny that day, I guess. So I randomly started petitioning my friends to say something funny about persimmons. One of them told me that I should do a persimmon haiku. Well, I didn't write them, but two of my friends did.

Scott's Haiku:
persimmion unripe
grows wild in japan
tastes bitter

Roman's Haiku x2: (He thought I said permission at first... lol Like the evil friend that I am, I made him do another one with the correct word)
roman likes red cats
permission was not given
to wear them as hats

roman did not use the rules
persimmon he did not use
roman is a dope

So now that we've gotten that out of the way...

I was going to make the persimmon bread over at the Fat Free Vegan Kitchen, but they were almost two dollars each and I couldn't remember how many I would need for the bread. Probably more than I wanted to buy, I'm sure. They were organic and already ripe, though, so that's a bonus.

A lot of people were saying to just eat the fruit like it is or to put it in a salad. I chose to put it in a salad with raspberries, cherry tomatoes and baby romaine lettuce. I drizzled some hazelnut oil, balsamic vinegar and lime juice on top. It was so yummy. I definitely want to eat persimmons again. The flavor was light, but full. Not too sweet, but definitely not an absence of sweetness. Sort of the fruit version of a cupcake without the icing, I guess.


The salad was great, and something I'm going to have again very soon. I just started this cleanse - one of those ones with a ton of pills and liquid herbs to take, but it also restricts my diet a little bit for the two weeks that I'm on it. I can pretty much eat all of the fruits and vegetables that I want (with some restrictions - like no tropical fruits - too much sugar, no mushrooms - they can harbor yeast, and other stuff like that). I'm only allowed to have 20% of my diet be from legumes or other protein sources, even some grains are included in that group. I can eat all of the brown rice, buckwheat and almonds that I want, regardless.

To be extra healthy and cleansy, I also wanted to try and eat raw for at least two of my meals while I'm doing this. I've never really tried to make raw food before (salads don't count), so this is a bit of an experiment. I bought a raw cookbook, which I will review in another post and I'm searching the internet for some easy raw things I can make without a dehydrator or blender. All of my kitchen appliances are in storage at the moment except for my immersion blender and a cheap electric mixer that I picked up. That limits me a bit, unfortunately. Not to mention that some things I can't make because they call for foods that are on my do not cook list.

This weekend is going to be a little difficult. I always bake at least one thing, though usually 2 or 3 on the weekends, especially when it's cold outside like this. I bought a bunch of winter veggies to do something interesting with, so I'm hoping that will help me quell the urge to make cupcakes or bread since I can't eat anything with flour or sugar either. It's not so bad. It's only 5 days in and already I'm starting to feel better.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Survey (Since you guys are all eating instead of reading anyway)

Because it's Thanksgiving in the US and all you guys have your fat pants on so you can keep shoveling in that vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake, I'm going to do that Vegan MoFo survey that's been going around. That and I've just started a cleanse a few days ago and I have a killer headache. Bleh.

1. Favorite non-dairy milk?
Silk soy milk. I usually get the kind with extra Omega oils if I can find it.

2. What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook?
Ethiopian food from Papa Tofu, Pumpkin Saag from Veganomicon and Urban Vegan's Orange-Scented Cranberry Almond Biscotti.

3. Topping of choice for popcorn?
Sometimes I make a brown sugar glaze for it, but usually I just eat it plain. I'm gonna try making it with nooch, though, I keep hearing how great that is, but it never occurred to me.

4. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure?
I've had a lot. Recently I got the great idea to add some leftover stuffing from making stuffed mushrooms to angel hair pasta. It tasted like cardboard pasta. Nasty. Never do that.

5. Favorite pickled item? Crisp kosher dills! Though I do have a weakness for pickled beets.

6. How do you organize your recipes? I bookmark things on the internet into a "Recipes" folder. I also have a little notebook where I write down in SJ recipe speak recipes.

7. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal?
I would love to start composting, but living in an apartment in the city, it's not really feasible. Plus, I haven't a clue what I'd do with it since I don't have any plants. I do put as much down the disposal or into veggie broth as I can.

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)?
Mangos, hashbrowns (with Cholula!), lima beans

9. Fondest food memory from your childhood? My Grandma on my mother's side used to make the best food. I remember it fondly, especially her holiday cookies.

10. Favorite vegan ice cream?
Double Rainbow Cherry Chocolate Chunk. Though I haven't been able to find it since I lived in Dallas. :(

11. Most loved kitchen appliance?
My KitchenAid stand mixer. I love, love, love that thing. Since it's in storage right now, my current favorite is my new immersion blender. I use the hell out of that thing. Best $40 I ever spent.

12. Spice/herb you would die without?
cumin and basil

13. Cookbook you have owned for the longest time?
heh. I have that old Better Homes and Gardens cookbook with the red and white checked binder. I think I got that when I was a teenager. I still refer to it for some things, too.

14. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly?
Plum jam is my current favorite. Yum! I used to die for my Grandmother's pear preserves, though. I miss that.

15. Favorite vegan recipe to serve to an omni friend? cupcakes are probably the thing I make most for omnis. But for real food, I like to make vegan chicken and dumplings. It always throws people off to have something that's such a typical southern comfort food and have it be delicious and vegan. Plus, I love it and any excuse to make it is a good one.

16. Seitan, tofu, or tempeh?
tempeh is my favorite, but I probably use tofu and seitan the most.

17. Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)?
Breakfast! For me, whatever time I eat first is still breakfast, even if it's noon.

18. What is sitting on top of your refrigerator?
My cat Paige, a trivet, 2 pot holders and a coffee pot that I don't use but came with my apartment.

19. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking.
veggie broth, cherries, pierogies

20. What's on your grocery list?
Tea, raspberries, apples

21. Favorite grocery store?
Drive Organics

22. Name a recipe you'd love to veganize, but haven't yet.
Hmmm... that's a tough one. One of my hobbies is veganizing omni recipes, especailly typical southern stuff. I guess one thing I'd like to tackle is southern barbeque.

23. Food blog you read the most (besides Isa's because I know you check it everyday). Or maybe the top 3?
I check all of the blog links on your right every day.

24. Favorite vegan candy/chocolate?
Green & Blacks Chocolate. I don't really eat much candy or chocolate, I'm more of a salty/savory kinda gal.

25. Most extravagant food item purchased lately? Organic Persimmons

26. Veganaise or Nayonaise?
Veganaise. Though I don't really like mayonaise sort of things. I will use it only in certain things.

27. What is one recipe or ingredient or cooking technique that you've become familiar with in the last year that you can't imagine you ever lived without?
I had never used seitan until I bought Vegan with a Vengeance. Now I make it all the time.

28. Name a fruit or vegetable that you have yet to try, but want to. Cactus pears

29. Make up your own question to put here (and answer it!)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Let's Talk About Broth, Baby

Yeah, it's not that exciting. But maybe it is to you! I got this idea from someone else's blog on the Vegan MoFo blogroll. I forget who. Whoever you are, thanks for having the idea!


I made some veggie broth last Saturday. Yummy, homemade veggie broth. The coolest part was that I was cooking some other things and just kept adding the veggie scraps to the pot. That was kinda fun and it made me feel like I was being all green and awesome for using my veggie scraps.

In the pot went carrots, celery, parsnips, dill, thyme, sage, parsley, shallots, an onion, garlic, leeks and fennel. Yep. That's right. I made fennel. :D More on that later in the week, though. :D


The coolest part... I always save old containers, wash them out and reuse them so I had a ton of soy yogurt containers. I filled each soy yogurt container with 1/2 cup of broth. Then I filled muffin pans with 1/4 cup each and put the whole shebang in the freezer. After the muffin pan broth was frozen, I put the frozen broth pieces into a larger container in the freezer. Now I have some perfect recipe sized broth for when I need just a little bit!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Margarita. On the rocks, frozen or cupcake?


I never have tequila. Every time I want to make the Margarita cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, I'm annoyed at myself because of that. I know I could have just left it out. Dammit, I wanted to have tequila in my cupcakes, too! Really, let's face it, when someone offers you a cupcake and then tells you there's liquor in it, it does make the cupcake even more interesting and therefore more exciting to eat.

I finally bought some tequila (and brandy, but that's another post) and I finally made these cupcakes. Holy crap on a stick, batman, these are awesome. I love the taste of fresh lemons and limes in baked goods. There is so much awesome lime juice and lime zest in these.


Just look at the batter! You can see how cute the green lime zest looks swimming in there. Don't get the wrong idea. The cupcakes aren't sour at all. The organic limes I used gave such a fresh burst of flavor without any bitterness. Yum!

Because I'm currently obsessed with mini cupcakes and mini muffins, I made these tiny also. Sort of like having a shot of margarita, but in cupcake form. Not that people drink margaritas as shots unless it's upside down... but I digress. The secret to filling your mini muffin cups without making a mess - use a cookie scoop!


Obviously you can also use the cookie scoop for cookies, but it rocks for filling tiny muffin cups, too. I got this at either Michael's or Target and I know it wasn't more than $3 or so. It's totally worth getting one even if you only make mini muffins/cupcakes every now and then. Besides, it also makes cookies easier and more uniform.


Monday, November 19, 2007

Yo Momma! No Wait... Mac Daddy!


Yay Veganomicon
! I made the Mac Daddy last week. Yum, yum, yum! No, it doesn't taste like cheese and it doesn't really taste like Kraft Dinner, but it does taste freaking fantastic. If you're making this for just yourself, you might want to put on some elastic pants because it makes a lot. The recipe says that it freezes well, but for some reason I can't see myself suddenly having the urge to unfreeze pasta. Maybe I'm just weird. Well, yeah, I am weird, but that's other issues...


I ate my Mac Daddy plain first and then the next time I decided to add some steamed broccoli and Emeril's Essence. (I forking love that stuff sooo much.) I like to try things just as they are the first time I eat them and then start getting crazy later. I would have added more than just the broccoli, but I got busy and kept forgetting when I was at the market. No worries, that just means more variations to try next time. It might be a little while before I make this again, though. Not that it wasn't good, but I ate this for almost a week. Next time I'll make a half batch, that'll be a better portion size.

I did love the nooch sauce. The crumbled tofu was one of my favorite parts. It added a nice depth of flavor and texture. The thyme in the sauce was also a nice touch.

I am loving making all of the new recipes in Veganomicon. If you haven't picked up a copy yet, do yourself a favor and get one. You won't be sorry.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sunday Food Porn

Yeah, that's right. Get ready to wipe the drool. I made Katie's Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls today. Holy hell these are good. I've succumbed to the peer pressure. I've been seeing these on everyone's blogs and finally got around to making them myself. And damn. What a great thing to make on a lazy Sunday. Well, not so lazy... I took a long walk down to the market, did lots of laundry and cooked like a crazy person. But that's how I love to spend my Sundays, so that rocks.


I resisted the urge to tweak. Not that I won't next time, but some things were a little different than the way I normally make cinnamon rolls. I typically make cinnamon rolls every few months or so and I wanted to try it someone else's way for a change. Nothing like breaking out of your mold and expanding your horizons, right? I think I'm also expanding my waistline, but that's another story.

I invited Roman over to have a roll after they came out of the oven this afternoon. We each had two warm cinnamon rolls with a hot mug of Vitasoy's Peppermint Chocolate soymilk. Yum! I had been looking for that stuff all over town and finally found it this morning. Soooo yummy. Just the right amount of peppermint, not too overpowering. A little sweeter than I normally like my hot chocolate, but I don't normally sweeten mine hardly at all. I know, I'm weird like that. It was a nice snack and a great combination of flavors with the pumpkin cinnamon rolls. I felt like it was a very fall thing to be having even though it was actually a bit warmer than it has been outside today. I actually opened my windows for a few hours!

Okay, back to the awesomeness of pumpkin cinnamon rolls... The dough itself was fantastically smooth and elastic. Just perfect. 10 minutes is hella long to knead the dough and it made me yearn for my KitchenAid mixer that's in storage. Oh, dough hook, how I miss you. I set a timer so I wouldn't slack and try and pretend that the 10 minutes was already up.


The filling slid out of the dough a bit when I was rolling it up. One thing I'll do next time, something I typically do, is melt the Earth Balance and brush it over the dough, then rub the sugar mixture into it. It helps the filling stick to the dough a bit better.


Okay, let's see those pumpkin cinnamon rolls again... Then, run, do not walk to Don't Eat off the Sidewalk and bookmark the page so you can make these, too.


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Fesenjun Tofu


I haven't posted this one yet because I had so many other things that I was excited about. This is the Fesenjun Tofu recipe from the recipe section over at the The PPK. This is one of those recipes that was just sorta okay. I didn't hate it, but I didn't really care for it, either. I think it just wasn't what I expected. I found it to be a bit too sweet. I think I'd also rather have the tofu cubed or sliced and marinated in a sauce rather than crumbled.

I think the best thing about this was that it got my brain going on ways to make a pomegranate marinade/glaze for tofu. Personally, I would prefer something that is more savory than sweet. I have some ideas and some leftover pomegranate extract, so I might try out some things before too long.

Feenjun tofu over basmati rice with a side of kale.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Flowering Tea

Because today is my birthday, I'm gonna talk about tea. Well, really, I'm gonna talk about tea another time, but I'll leave you with a picture of one of my new obsessions - flowering tea.


I forget exactly what kind this is, but it was in a variety pack of Numi tea. The flowering stuff is not only super yummy, but it's also really fun to watch. The tea leaves are sewn together, so you don't always know what it will look like until it blossoms. Put the little tea package into a clear glass teapot and then pour almost boiling water over it. Put the lid on so that it steeps and wait. It'll start blooming almost immediately.

Yes, the tea is a bit on the expensive side, but you can use each blossom 3 times, so really it works out to be not so bad when you think about it like that. Just make sure not to steep the tea longer than 3-4 minutes each time and you can definitely get 3 uses out of it.

Also, my cats like to watch the tea blossom also. They're fascinated by it. And that amuses me.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

What do you do with...

The markets near my apartment always have the coolest produce. There are always a ton of things that I've never tried, which is quite exciting. I've decided to start a new trend of trying at least one new veggie/fruit each month. Sometimes I might do it every two weeks just because I'm crazy like that.

The problem is that I don't know what to do with things sometimes. Sooo... I've pirated some pictures from the internets and I'd like to hear from anyone who might have any ideas of how to cook these things that are at the market right now!

If you have a link for a recipe, that would rule, too.




Cactus Pears

There are some other things right now also, but I forget. I'll have to make a list the next time I'm at the market.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tofurky Sausage Saves Breakfast!

Okay, so there wasn't really anything wrong with breakfast that needed saving, really. But these sausages are damn good. I only just discovered them a few months ago and now they've become one of those things that I make sure to have all of the time. I go through phases with breakfast. For a while there I was addicted to the Vegan McMuffin (and I still salivate when thinking of them). Then I went through my tempeh bacon period. Right now it's all about the tofurky sausages.


I'm not normally one to buy a ton of fake meats and stuff. I try and stick to veggies and grains or seitan and tempeh and tofu. Every now and then it seems like the faux things just sort of fit with what I'm making, though.

I also have a confession to make... I eat breakfast all the time. Sometimes I'll eat it for dinner a few nights in a row. It's a fast and easy way to have a yummy dinner when I'm too tired to cook. The trick is to keep a bag of frozen potatoes in the freezer for hashbrowns. Sometimes I'll also cook some polenta or make some toast to go with everything. Sometimes the sausages go on the side, though lately I've been loving mixing them in with the potatoes.

As luck would have it, my potatoes didn't really brown the one time I was taking a picture of them.

And I have to thank Roman for introducing me to hot sauce on potatoes. I made fun of him for it until I tried it one day. Yay for hot sauce on hash browns! Especially Cholula. Even better... the Garlic Cholula. Yum! I can't find that one here in Vancouver, sadly. I'll have to have one of my friends in Texas mail me some. That's right... I'm gonna get people to mail me some hot sauce. You're jealous. I know it. ;)

Too bad I just ate dinner... now I want breakfast. Maybe I'll just make a nice cup of tea instead. Oh yeah... there's gonna be a post about tea in the near future. Yay tea!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

VWAV Potato Asparagus Soup


Some days it's harder than others to have the energy to make dinner. Especially when you get home from working a 12 hour day. I don't know how I manage it sometimes. This is where soup comes in and makes itself even more awesome than it normally is.

You get home from work and it's dark outside so early and you're tired and the kitties are yelling for their dinner and all you want to do is sit the hell down and relax. Feed the cats, realize you have no leftovers and sigh. But wait! You have a big pot. And this big pot really likes it when you fill it up with stuff. What stuff? It doesn't always matter. Lots of times when I make soup, I'm just randomly throwing in whatever veggies or grains are still in the refrigerator.

This particular day, I had some asparagus that I really needed to eat and some potatoes just hanging out on the counter. Yay! Potato Asparagus soup! This Vegan with a Vengeance recipe rocks because not only does it taste wonderful, it's super easy and fast. Enter my most excellent immersion blender and I don't even have to go through the step of pouring the soup in a blender or food processor to puree it.

In all fairness, I make this soup even when I'm not feeling tired or lazy, but it's a lifesaver for those very days when you barely have the energy to open the cabinet and peer inside.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Mini Pumpkin Chocolate Cupcakes with Spiced Vegan Buttercream Frosting


So I've sort of made it a habit to bring cupcakes to work every week now. I think it's selfishly because I absolutely love seeing all of my coworkers eating vegan yummies and then slipping by to grab another one and another one... When I make regular sized cupcakes they go fast. I decided that not only are mini cupcakes cuter, but it makes it easier for more people to get one. And the people want to eat 2, or 3 or even 4 of them still get their chance. Seriously, a few people had 4 of these babies.

I just got this new frosting thingie that I like to call my frosting gun. I need a second one and a holster. Then I have to find someone to have a showdown with on a dirty street while tumbleweeds roll past and Ennio Morricone music playing in the background. Until such a showdown happens, I'll use my frosting gun for good instead of evil. Or maybe for evil instead of good, depending on how you look at it. It makes piping frosting amazingly simple and more importantly, less messy. Yay! I hate cleaning out frosting bags and getting frosting all over my hands because I always fill the bags too full. But no more! Now my trusty frosting gun will make swirls and leaves and roses for me.


I have to admit that I just like the way the batter looks all cute and pumpkiny with it's chunks of chocolate awesomeness.

I had some leftover pumpkin to use up, so I decided that I would make the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. I didn't have chocolate chips, but I did have a few bars of bittersweet chocolate, so I chopped those up instead of using chips. To top it all off, I made the Fluffy Vegan Buttercream frosting and added a liberal amount of pumpkin pie spice to it.

This is the second time I've made these cupcakes, the first time was for the cobweb cupcakes that I made on Halloween. I will definitely be adding these to my regular cupcake rotation. They're absolutely fantastic. And I like to tell myself that they're good for me. You know, the pumpkin has vitamins and the chocolate has antioxidants. Yeah... that's the ticket.


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Vegan Love Muffins

Yeah, that's right. Love muffins. And you really should say it like a 7 year-old taunting someone if you're feeing jaded. Loooooooove muffins. Then roll your eyes and eat one. You won't care about that stupid love crap anymore after you've got one of these in your mouth.


These would be fantastic as a good morning breakfast for someone on Valentine's Day or your anniversary or a birthday or just on a day when you want to be awesome. Or hell, just eat them all yourself and then tell people about them later. Either way, you'll have a smile on your face.

So, I woke up yesterday morning and my first thought was of muffins. Specifically or corn muffins. I must have been having dreams about food or something because normally it takes me at least a few minutes to think about food when I first wake up. After feeding my kitties, I was still feeling all inspired and motivated so I decided to see what kind of muffin my sleep-addled brain could think up. I had a cute little organic pomegranate that I had been meaning to use, so I though, hell, add this. And hey - wouldn't rosewater smell soooooo nice?!

The only thing I wish I had done was add some of the pomegranate concentrate that I have in the fridge. So, if you have some of that or even just some pomegranate juice, substitute that for some of the liquid in the recipe and you'll get a ruby colored love muffin.


Also, this was kind of exciting because it's the first time I've ever used silicone baking stuff. I've been pretty skeptical of those things, but when I saw mini muffin cups in different colors, I really wanted to try them. Plus, that meant I didn't have to wash a muffin pan, and I am so down with that.


Love Muffins

1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup soymilk
1 teaspoon rosewater, optional
1 Tablespoon fresh orange zest or 1 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon ground flax seeds
3 Tablespoons water
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

Preheat your oven to 375 for mini muffins or 400 for regular sized muffins.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, soymilk, rosewater, orange peel and vanilla. In a little cup, using a fork, mix the ground flax seeds with the 3 tablespoons of water and then add to the bowl with the wet stuff in it. Whisk all of that together until combined.


Add the wet ingredients to the dry in 2 batches, stirring gently after each addition. Be careful not to over stir. And definitely don't use an electric mixer. You want everything to be just combined. Now gently fold in the pomegranate seeds until they're evenly mixed in.

Fill muffin cups and bake 20-25 minutes. Leave them in the pan for about 5 minutes after they come out of the oven, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Slather with some Earth Balance and enjoy!


Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Infamous Chickpea Cutlets Come to My House

On my trip to Seattle last weekend, I went down to Barnes & Noble and got my hot little hands on the Veganomicon. It still hasn't been released in Canada and I've been so jealous of everyone else that already had theirs.

Interestingly, I noticed that the employees at the Bellingham, Washington Barnes & Noble can't spell worth a damn. Even though there are books above the very shelf that the label was on with the same word they were trying to spell, they still spelled it wrong.


Yeah... good one, Barnes & Noble.

So it seems like the two things from Veganomicon that are the most popular in vegan blogland are the Jelly Donut Cupcakes and the Chickpea Cutlets. The very first night that I was home from Seattle, I made those awesome Chickpea Cutlets. Yummy!


I was also craving some sort of potato so I also made the Herb Scalloped Potatoes. They were so delicious! I decided to make the mustard sauce for the cutlets also. Even cooler, I needed to get mustard from the market and they had this amazing Tarragon Mustard. That really made the sauce something special. I definitely think you should try and find some sort of fun flavored mustard if you make this sauce. Not that it wouldn't be great all on it's own, but the extra little punch of tarragon... mmmmm!