Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Chipotle Barbecue Bean and Corn Salad

I was so inspired by this recipe on Food Blogga last night, that I had to switch up my menu and make it for tonight's dinner. I mean, look at Food Blogga's pictures! I was drooling from the first glance. So I stopped at the store on the way home, picked up all the ingredients, and made it almost as soon as I walked in the door from work. I wanted to make sure it had time to chill for a bit before dinner, as the recipe states that it tastes best after a few hours.

It's so delicious! Tangy, smokey and spicy. I love it! We've really been enjoying the Black-eyed Pea Salad lately (which I've now taken to making with garbanzo beans and edamame instead of black-eyed peas), so I'm thrilled to have another chilled bean salad to add to my repertoire.

I made a few minor adaptations to the recipe: I used 1 whole red onion instead of 2 green onions, because I'm a red onion fanatic; I omitted the red bell pepper, because bell peppers are crazy expensive these days; and I added some diced avocado. Oh, and I just realized that I omitted the oregano because I was in a hurry, and just didn't notice it. Woops.

This is great just eaten plain with a fork as a main dish, or scooped up with chips as a dip, or served as a side dish. You really can't go wrong with this. And it's vegan! Woohoo!

Thank you, thank you, Food Blogga, for an amazing recipe! It's guaranteed to become a favorite in our home.


Chipotle Barbecue Bean and Corn Salad
Makes 4-6 servings

1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
3-4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped, plus 1-2 tablespoons of adobo sauce

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 red onion, coarsely chopped
2 ears sweet corn, kernels removed from the cob
1 (14.5 oz) can of black beans, rinsed
1 (14.5 oz) can of red kidney beans, rinsed
1 (14.5 oz) can of chick peas, rinsed
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano

To make the sauce, whisk together all ingredients in a medium bowl, and set aside.

To make the salad, heat olive in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and corn kernels. Saute until lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat, and add to a large bowl. Add rinsed beans, and sauce; stir until well combined. Gently stir in the fresh herbs. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled, though it tastes better if allowed to rest for a couple of hours.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Lentil Haystacks

We first had lentil haystacks several weeks ago, and we were instantly smitten. They're delicious, filling, fresh, and almost ridiculously inexpensive. I figured we would start to eat them all the time, but given my reluctance to repeat recipes very often, we haven't had them again until tonight. And, as with so many other things, I'm kicking myself for not having them sooner. These haystacks rock!

I love that they can be customized to each person's liking. Meg had just rice and lentils. Lydia had rice, lentils, cheese and olives. Brad had rice, lentils, cheese, salsa, onions and sour cream. I had rice, lentils, vegan monterey jack cheese, salsa, onions, olives and cilantro. Fabulous!


If you're trying to feed your family (or just yourself) on a budget, or if you're just trying to trim your grocery budget, definitely give this recipe a try!

Lentil Haystacks

1 cup dry lentils
4 cups water
4 cups hot, cooked rice (brown or white)
assorted toppings, such as cheese, red onions, sour cream, jalapenos, sliced or shredded vegetables, salsa, olives, capers, salad dressing, etc.

Combine the lentils and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 20 to 30 minutes, until lentils are tender.

Serve lentils over rice, and top with desired toppings.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Weekly Menu - week of July 27

Sunday - dinner out

Monday - Coconut Milk Dal, flat bread

Tuesday - Lentil haystacks

Wednesday - Chickpea and spinach stew

Thursday -Greek salad, hummus, pita bread

Friday - leftovers

Saturday - undecided (my mom will be here and I want to get her input first)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Cheesy Scrambled Eggs

The kids wanted to cook breakfast this morning, so Lydia browsed through her many cookbooks for kids, and settled on Cheesy Scrambled Eggs with fun-shaped toast.


The kids did this all by themselves, and I'm very proud of them. Lydia still needs to focus more and pay better attention to the recipe instructions, but she's definitely showing improvement!

They spread their toast with some mayhaw jelly that Brad's cousin Emily gave us for Christmas. I've only ever seen it around here, but if you can find it in your area, it's delicious! It has a nice, mild, mellow flavor, and the best I can compare it to is the pomegranate jelly my mom used to make when we lived in Spain. There were several pomegranate trees on base, growing wild, and we could pick a bunch of 10-gallon pickle buckets' full for free. Imagine how much that would cost at the store. Yikes! Anyway, the mayhaw jelly has a similar flavor to pomegranate jelly, and is so good on toast.

I had more leftover Thai Tofu Wraps from last night, since the eggs obviously weren't vegan, but the girls loved them!

Here's Miss Meg, proudly sporting her Monkeywoman t-shirt from Mary. Please forgive the bedhead, since this was Saturday breakfast, and we're being lazy this morning.


And Lydia gives the breakfast a thumbs up!


Cheesy Scrambled Eggs

3 eggs
3 Tbsp milk
1 tsp margarine
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
bacon bits, if desired (we used Bacos)

Whisk together the eggs and milk. Melt margarine in a skillet over medium heat. When the margarine is melted and bubbling, add the eggs. Leave them alone for 1 minute, then stir gently until the eggs are scrambled and set. Remove from heat, add the cheese, and stir until the cheese is melted. Add bacon bits, if desired, and serve immediately.

Friday, July 25, 2008

At last!

Finally! A real blog post! With pictures AND a recipe! Hooray!


Tonight we had super yummy, crunchy, crispy, fresh, spicy, zest wraps stuffed with fresh veggies, grilled tofu, and a drizzle of peanut sauce. Oh, baby! I can't even begin to tell you how much these hit the spot. They were exactly what I've been craving! They're also fairly quick to throw together, which is a nice because Brad is taking off in a few minutes to go do his monthly Navy Reserve drill period in New Orleans, so we were able to maximize our time together before he goes.

These are great for a light meal, but if you're craving something heartier, you can also stuff the wraps with jasmine rice and chopped peanuts. Deeeelicious!


Thai Tofu Wraps with Peanut Sauce

1 block extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp soy sauce
4 leaves green cabbage
1 cup bean sprouts
1 cup shredded carrot
1/2 medium cucumber, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Very hot water
Large flour tortillas

Cut the block of tofu in half horizontally, then slice into sticks, about 3/4" x 1/2" x 3". Set aside. Heat a grill pan or Foreman Grill. Brush lightly with vegetable oil, then place the tofu on the grill and drizzle with soy sauce. Grill 3 to 4 minutes per side (no need to flip if it's on the Foreman Grill), or until it firms up somewhat and has pretty grill marks. Set aside.

Toss together the cabbage, bean sprouts, carrot, cucumber, vinegar, sugar, cayenne pepper, and salt. Set aside.

Whisk together the peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, brown sugar and cayenne pepper. Gradually whisk in hot water until it reaches a good consistency for drizzling. Set aside.

Now it's time to assemble the wraps. Heat tortillas in the microwave until soft and pliable. Place a handful of vegetable mixture on the tortilla, top with 3 strips of tofu, and drizzle with peanut sauce. Carefully wrap up and place seam-side down on a plate until ready to serve.

These can be served warm, chilled, or room temperature.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Dinner recap

Well folks, I am once again boring. Last night I made the super yummy Black-eyed Pea Salad, which is quick becoming a standard for us, except this time I used garbanzo beans and edamame instead of black-eyed peas. It was delicious, satisfying and sooo easy. I didn't get any pictures because I was sick yesterday, and it's something I've made bunches of times already.

Tonight we're having leftovers from work. This is decidedly not a vegan meal, but it just seemed the responsible thing to do, since it's free. It was really yummy, spicy, creamy pasta with chicken (which I picked out of my serving) and garlic bread. Look at it! So delicious!


And now, I have to say that I'm really torn. I love to cook, and I love cooking and eating vegan food. It's important to me for so many different reason, all of which I've detailed before. But I'm torn, because nearly every single day there are scads of leftovers at work. If I don't bring them home, they get dumped in the garbage. I'm not talked about just the meager pickings left after everyone has eaten; I'm talking about entire untouched pans of food. Last week I brought home a massive pan of lasagna. Today I brought home more pasta than would fit in a 9x13 pan, and at least 4 baguettes' worth of garlic bread. It seems downright wrong to let that food be thrown away. The problem is that almost none of it is vegan. So what do I do? One of the biggest reasons I'm vegan is because of the global ramifications of a non-vegan diet. It's such a gross misuse of resources. But what's worse? To let days' worth of food be throw in the garbage because it's not vegan, or to go ahead and eat it and not take up any more resources in buying other food? I am really, really torn. I love to cook, and I want to adhere to a vegan diet, but it seems stupid to spend money on groceries every week, when I could feed our family almost completely on leftovers from work.

So what to do? Any insight would be greatly appreciated. I'm just not sure what do about this. :sigh:

In other news, I registered for my Fall semester classes last night, and I am SO excited to get started! Classes start in about 4 weeks, and I'm dying to dive into them. I'm taking all upper-level classes this semester, which should be a lot more fulfilling. Yippee!

I'll leave you with a picture of something I made last week, but forgot to blog about. These are spinach and mushroom enchiladas, which I was not terribly pleased with. They were good, but not great. I also made spanish rice with green sauce, and refried beans from scratch. Overall a very satisfying meal, although I'll tweak the enchiladas quite a bit next time.


Monday, July 21, 2008

So much for cooking

Well, I was all set to dive back into the kitchen this evening, but the leftovers from today's lunch at work were just too tempting to resist. We had a huge burrito bar catered in, complete with steak, chicken, tortillas, black beans, refried beans, pico de gallo, lettuce, spanish rice, guacamole, sour cream, cheese, tortillas, salsa, chips and queso dip. At lunch, I made myself a huge taco salad, then I brought home a little of everything for tonight's dinner. I made a big bowl of rice and just piled the toppings on. Yum!

So hopefully tomorrow I'll be back in the kitchen for reals. I doubt there will be something so vegan-friendly at work tomorrow. ; )


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Weekly Menu - week of July 19th

We're back from our weekend away! It was seriously one of the best weekends I've ever had. Brad's friends are two of my favorite people, and it's the most wonderful thing to spend time with them. I wish we lived close enough to see them more often!

We got home after dinner, but I'll be back in the kitchen tomorrow, and I'm really looking forward to cooking again after a week off. Here's my plan for the week. A lot of it is stuff I've made before, so it's not a terribly exciting menu, but it all sounds really good right now, so I'm going with it!

Sunday - dinner out, on the way home

Monday - Thai tofu wraps

Tuesday - black-eyed pea salad, spinach, french bread

Wednesday - spicy grilled tempeh, roasted potatoes, salad

Thursday - Greek salad, hummus, pita bread

Friday - leftovers

Saturday - kids' choice

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Ok, so evidently leftovers are incredibly boring. We've managed to go this whole week with only cooking one meal (enchiladas on Monday, which were very unremarkable and not so great, unfortunately), and have been otherwise subsisting on leftovers, and food I bring home from work. The other day I brought home an entire 24"x12" untouched pan of lasagna that was left after lunch, so that's now in 4 big gladware containers in the freezer. Score! I won't eat it because it has loads of meat and cheese in it, but it's great for lunches for Brad and the kids, and it was going to get thrown away otherwise, so I'll take it!

But that brings me back to my original point: leftovers are boring. I have no food items of interest to blog about, and that makes me sad. We're going out of town for the weekend tomorrow (to visit some of Brad's college friends in Auburn), but I promise to be back in full cooking mode next week. I miss working in my kitchen!

Also, I haven't decided for sure, but I think I may end up bowing out of Tuesdays with Dorie. Many of the recent recipes haven't been at all interesting or appealing to me, and many of them are difficult to veganize, so it's been hard for me to participate. The rules are pretty unflinching and stringent, so it doesn't leave me a lot of room to stay on. I'll think about that this weekend and decide for sure next week, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to give it up, with much sadness. :sigh:

Well, I hope you all have a great weekend, and you can rest assure that Brad and I will be having a marvelous time in Auburn. I love that town!

Peace out.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Weekly Menu - week of July 12th

Brad and I just spent a good hour making a list of all the food in our pantry, fridge and freezer. I've tried really hard not to amass tons of staples in our kitchen, and instead just buy them as I go, but the inevitable has occurred over the past 6 months here, and stuff has piled up. It's time to use that stuff up. Our goal this week is to cook primarily from what we have on hand, only going to the store for perishables and other minor recipe components. If anyone is really interested, I can post the contents of our kitchen, but unless someone requests it, I'm going to leave it out.

As much as I despise leftovers, we're also committed to eating more of them. :big sigh: It's so hard to motivate myself to eat them, especially since I enjoy cooking so much, but it just makes sense financially, and it's the responsible thing to do. Man, I hate being responsible sometimes. But it will be interesting to see how much we save by doing so. Already we're only spending about $75/week on groceries for 3 meals a day, which I think is commendable, but maybe we can trim that budget even more. We'll see. We'd like to trade in Brad's '02 Mustang for a more fuel efficient car, so trimming our food budget could give us more to put towards that loan, if we decide to go for it. Hmmmm, so much to think about.

Anyway, here's what I came up with for this week menu. All we should need to buy is some french bread (and maybe I'll just make that myself), and fresh veggies for the green curry and the orzo salad. Nice! Talk about a cheap week!

Sunday - leftover spaghetti, salad, french bread

Monday - spinach and mushroom enchiladas, spanish rice, salad

Tuesday - leftover enchiladas, spanish rice, salad

Wednesday - green curry vegetables with rice noodles

Thursday - orzo, chickpea and roasted vegetable salad, french bread

Friday, Saturday & Sunday - out of town for the weekend! Woot!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Oh, how I love gingersnaps!

Gingersnaps are one of my favorite cookies, and my mom has the best recipe EVER. My freshman year of college, my roommate would go nuts every time my mom sent them in a care package. I don't know what it is that makes this recipe so awesome, bu you know, it's just one of those things you don't question. They rock. That's enough for me.

I veganized them this evening, with equally fantastic results. The only non-vegan ingredient in the original recipe was an egg, so I just substituted a ground flax seed and water mixture. They were delicious, spicy, crispy on the outside with just a little chewiness in the middle. The perfect gingersnap, in my opinion. Nice! They're great with a cup of tea, or a glass of almond milk. Dig in! Vegan gingersnaps! Hooray!


Vegan Gingersnaps

1 Tbsp ground flax seed
3 Tbsp water
¾ cup all-vegetable shortening
1 cup sugar
4 Tbsp molasses
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
¼ tsp cloves

Preheat oven to 375.

Whisk together flax seed and water. Set aside.

Cream together shortening, sugar and molasses. Add flax seed mixture, beating well. Sift together dry ingredients and add to batter, mixing well.

Roll into 1-inch balls; roll in sugar. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes for soft, chewy cookies, or 12 minutes for crispy cookies.


Veganized Burger for a Bunch

I think I blogged my recipe for Burger for a Bunch back when I first started up this blog, and transfered all of my recipes over here. It's an incredibly old school recipe, something my mom (and her mom, I believe) have been making for ages. It's one of those awesome recipes that has a whole bunch of ingredients, but they're all things that you usually have in your kitchen, so it doesn't require a trip to the store. Gotta love that, right?

Veganizing it was really easy, although next time I think I would just leave out the vegan cheese. It just doesn't taste right, and I'd rather go without it than to have that fake cheesy flavor in it. Other things I changed were using lentils instead of ground beef, and vegannaise instead of mayo, vegan margarine instead of butter, and so forth. Easy peasy!

So yeah...not the most attractive meal, but I don't care! It's good!



Burger for a Bunch

lentil filling (below)
1/2 cup mashed potato flakes, divided
2 Tbsp. melted vegan margarine
2 cups flour
1Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup vegan margarine
1/2 cup soy milk
1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
1/2 cup shredded vegan cheddar cheese (optional)

Prepare filling as directed below; set aside.

Preheat oven to 375.

Combine 1/4 cup of the potato flakes with melted margarine; set aside.

In large mixing bowl combine remaining 1/4 cup potato flakes, flour, sugar, cream of tartar and baking soda. Cut in margarine until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add milk and mayonnaise; blend until a soft dough forms. Divide in half; shape into balls. Roll out one ball on floured surface to 9" circle. Place on greased cookie sheet. Spread filling to within 1/2" of edge and sprinkle with cheese. Roll out remaining dough and place on filling; seal edges with a fork. Brush with soy milk and sprinkle with reserved potato flake and butter mixture.

Bake for 20-25 minutes at 375 until golden brown.

This recipe may be made ahead of time. Cover and place in refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Bake 375 for 20 -25 minutes.

Lentil Filling

4 cups cooked lentils
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3/4 cup mashed potato flakes
3/4 cup catsup
1/4 cup sweet relish
1 Tbsp. salad mustard

Saute ground beef, onion, salt and pepper until browned. Add all the remaining ingredients and blend well.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Bibimbap is still a work in progress for me. I'm always afraid that I'll burn the rice on the edges, but then I end up taking it off the heat before it develops a good crust. Grrrrr. You'd think I'd learn by now.


We discovered Bibimbap at our favorite Korean BBQ place in Japan, and we were instantly hooked. I don't have the proper stone bowl for making it at home, so I use a Le Creuset saucier instead. I think I may have Brad suck it up and pay the money for a real stone bowl when he's in Japan next month, but we'll see. The Le Creuset works for now.

This should have a raw egg on top, which is then stirred and tossed with the rice mixture, cooking it sort of like fried rice, but there's no real way to do that and keep it vegan, so we left out the egg. I also substituted diced tofu for the typical ground meat. It was still really good, and incredibly filling. This is not an authentic recipe, just my own attempt to make it as best I can, but I think it's a pretty good approximation. ; )


2 Tbsp sesame oil
3-4 cups cooked rice
1/2 cup extra-firm tofu, finely diced
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp grated ginger
2-inch section zucchini, julienned
2-inch section carrot, julienned
1/2 cup bean sprouts
1/2 cup spinach, cooked and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup mushrooms, finely diced
2 Tbsp hot chili sauce

Combine tofu, soy sauce, sugar and ginger. Toss gently to coat. Set aside.

Add the sesame oil to a stone bowl, and heat over high heat until smoking, tilting to coat the inside. Add rice, pressing it against the sides and bottom of the bowl. Arrange tofu mixture, zucchini, carrot, bean sprouts, spinach and mushrooms over the rice. Pour the hot sauce in the middle.

Continue heating bowl, if necessary, until rice is crispy and brown on the bottom and edges. Use a spoon to combine the mixture thoroughly, being sure to get the crispy bits off the bottom and edges. Serve immediately.


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Vegan Nasty Nachos

I did it! I successfully veganized my beloved Nasty Nachos! And it was really easy, too. Just substitute canned black beans for the ground beef, and cheddar Veganrella (or other vegan cheese) for the cheddar cheese, then do the rest as usual. It couldn't be easier! I used 2 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed, but next time I think I'd use 3.

I've said it before: this isn't a pretty dish, but the taste more than makes up for it. Yum!


Monday, July 7, 2008

General Tso's Tofu (and my favorite bento box)

When we got Chinese take-out last week, Brad got General Tso's chicken, and I'll admit it: I was jealous. And I set out to make a vegan version. It was surprisingly easy. I found a recipe on, and it was really tasty. The only thing I would change is the ridiculous amount of cornstarch it called for in the sauce. An entire HALF CUP of cornstarch for less than 2 cups of liquid? Are you kidding me? I should have gone with my gut and used less, but I figured I'd go ahead and try it per the recipe the first time. Big mistake. The "sauce" wasn't even saucy; it was thick gelatinous, jiggly mass. I think 2 Tbsp would be more than enough next time. But the flavor of the sauce was fantastic, and I wouldn't alter the rest of the ingredients a bit.


I'm taking leftovers to work tomorrow in my very favorite bento box. I bought this on the shopping street in Kamakura several years ago, but this is actually the first time I've used it. I used to pack bentos for the kids for lunch every day back in Japan, and had tons of fun doing it. I have literally over 100 fun bento boxes, most from the 100 Yen Stores, and accessories to go with all of them. Sooooo fun! Here, though, the kids qualify for free school lunches (poor college students that we are), so I'm not going to throw money away on food if they can get it at school for free, and all those bento supplies are in boxes in the garage. :sigh: I've been using a few of the less kid-oriented boxes to take lunch to work, and dug out this one so I can use it tomorrow.


Look how cool it is! Three stacking trays, with a cute little bunny on the lid, and the coolest carrying contraption. I love this bento box!


General Tso's Tofu

2 Tbsp cornstarch
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger root
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin
1 package extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed
1 cup cornstarch
1 cup vegetable oil
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 Tbsp crushed red pepper

Whisk together the 2 Tbsp cornstarch, water, garlic, ginger, sugar, soy sauce and mirin. Set aside.

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. While oil is heating, cut tofu into 0.5" x 1" cubes; toss with the remaining 1 cup cornstarch. Add to hot oil and cook several minutes, shaking occasionally, until tofu is crispy and lightly golden brown. Drain on paper towels, and discard all but 1 tsp oil.

Return pan to heat, and add green onions and crushed red pepper. Cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk soy sauce mixture and add to the pan. Whisk and stir until the sauce boils and thickens. Add tofu and toss to coat.

Serve with rice and broccoli.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Weekly Menu - week of July 5th

Sunday - Leftovers

Monday - General Tso's Tofu, rice, broccoli

Tuesday - Meat-free Nasty Nachos, salad

Wednesday - Bibimbap

Thursday - Burger for a Bunch, salad

Friday - Mushroom enchiladas, refried beans, salad dinner out

Saturday - dinner out Spaghetti and veggie sauce, french bread, salad

Saturday, July 5, 2008

4th of July food

We've had a whole weekend of 4th of July celebrating! Thursday we bought fireworks for the kids, and had an absolute blast firing them off our back porch. I haven't done fireworks since I was 15, and we all had SO much fun! Friday we went over to my mother-in-law's house for the afternoon, then late that evening we set off the rest of our fireworks. We found out that they're illegal in our city (although we're not sure if we are within city limits or not), but you couldn't tell it from the rockets' red glare all over our neighborhood. I couldn't believe how many people were doing fireworks -- and huge ones, like professional display quality. I had no idea you could even buy those! We got one really nice one for free because an employee was tossing it to someone else when we were shopping, and she aimed badly and it hit Brad instead. She felt bad, so she said we could have it for free. Ok! It shot off 36 incredible exploding, spinning fireworks. So cool! Our whole neighborhood was shrouded in smoke from the collective fireworks displays by the time we finally went to bed. Crazy, but oh, so much fun!

Today we're going to Brad's aunt and uncle's house for a 4th of July BBQ pool party, which I'm sure will be equally as much fun. I made several goodies to bring along.

Another batch of sorbet, this time adding some lime juice to the pineapple-orange-ginger mixture. Yum!

And this big bowl of vegan potato salad, using a horseradish vinagrette instead of mayonnaise. Oh, baby!


And a big fruit pizza, veganized so I can eat it, too. Can't wait!



And we're off! See you tomorrow!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Lazy dinner

I had a monster busy day at work today, traffic was horrible all the way home, and we went right back out as soon as I got home, to buy fireworks for the kids. I whipped up a quick, easy, lazy dinner, and it was so good! I soaked some rice noodles in hot water, and mixed up a simple peanut sauce of peanut butter, mirin, soy sauce, ginger, sugar and cayenne pepper, then tossed it with the noodles and some cubed tofu. I wish I'd had some bean sprouts and carrots to add to it, but this worked in a pinch. It doesn't get much easier than that!


Brad, who doesn't care for anything peanut buttery, opted for some Coco curry and rice. Now that we know he's going back to Japan next month, and can stock up on more packs of it, we don't have to be so stingy with it anymore. Hooray!


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Ice cream, sorbet, and TWD scones

This is going to be really short, unfortunately, because it's late and I'm just now getting a chance to sit down and blog. Busy day! Let me just do a quick recap, then I'm off to bed.


I'll start with the TWD scones. They're awesome! Since I'm trying to not eat dairy, and Brad doesn't care for dried apples, I just made cranberry scones instead. Some of the changes I made:

I soaked some Craisins in hot water to plump them up, instead of dried apples
I omitted the cheddar cheese
I used soy milk with vinegar in place of the buttermilk, and a mixture of soy milk and water instead of apple juice,
Instead of an egg, I used 1 Tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 3 Tbsp water, and an additional 1 1/2 Tbsp baking powder,
Instead of butter, I used all-vegetable shortening.

It worked really well! Brad, his mom, and the kids all loved them! I'm still amazed that the egg and buttermilk replacements worked that seamlessly in this recipe. And I absolutely love what the little bit of cornmeal added to the scones! I never would have thought to include that!


I give these scones a huge thumbs up! Woohoo!

Next let's move on to the frozen desserts I made yesterday and today. I ended up not bringing the vanilla custard to work to make ice cream, because it separated and was all weird this morning when I got it out of the fridge. I did bring the pineapple-orange-ginger sorbet, though, and it turned out beautifully! So yummy! Brad bought an ice cream maker on the way home today (after not being able to find one yesterday), and I put the custard in to freeze. I didn't eat it because of the whole dairy thing, but the kids loved it. Hooray!


The sorbet is by far my favorite, though. The orange and pineapple are so fruity and tropical, and the little bit of ginger I added really enhanced the flavors and gave it a nice kick. I love this stuff! But I did that one better. I put it in a glass like so:


...and the I topped it off with Malibu coconut rum. Oh, baby! What an incredible drink! I may have to just keep some sorbet on hand all the time so I can have one of these whenever I want. YUM!


Off to bed for this tired girl. Good night!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Busy night

Guys, I'm embarrassed to say that I'm going to be late yet again with this week's Tuesdays with Dorie installment. Ugh! I despise tardiness (you have no idea), so this is particularly upsetting for me. But it's been a busy day today at work, and then I also have to make ice cream for an employee birthday party tomorrow, so I just didn't have it in me to make the scones tonight. I'm really excited to make (and eat!) them, so watch for them tomorrow!

I'm excited about the ice cream I'm making, too! We don't own an ice cream maker, but a co-worker brought hers to work for me. I made the custard for vanilla ice cream tonight, then I'll dump it in the machine when I get to work in the morning. I also made a batch of pineapple-orange sorbet, which doesn't require churning, so hopefully that will turn out as well. I can't eat the vanilla ice cream (and didn't want to try out a vegan version on my co-workers), but I'm still excited to see what everyone thinks of it! I'll update about that tomorrow, too.

For now: good night!