Friday, August 29, 2008

Thai Tofu & Veggie Pizza with Peanut Sauce

Spicy Thai pizza with peanut sauce was one of my favorite pizzas back in college. Zeek's Pizza in Seattle makes a fantastic one, though it was difficult to find enough people interested in splitting one to make it worthwhile to order, so I didn't get to indulge very often. Zeek's also makes an awesome BBQ chicken pizza, so I was happy to settle for that instead.

A friend online mentioned last week that she was going to make a Thai pizza like this, and I immediately added it to this week's menu. I made my very simple pizza dough, patted it out on my pizza stone, and glazed it with a little olive oil. I loaded it up with bean sprouts, shredded carrot, coarsely chopped red onion, soy sauce basted grilled tofu cut into chunks, little broccoli florets, and loads of fresh cilantro. I put mozzarella cheese on Brad's half, but left it off mine. Pizza is something I'm usually willing to splurge on, and veer out of my mostly vegan diet for, but I really don't need it for this pizza. I also whipped up a quick batch of peanut sauce, which we drizzled over the pizza after it came out of the oven, as well as a dish of it on the side for dipping. I also garnished the pizza with chopped peanuts and crushed red pepper.


The verdict? Delicious! I love homemade pizza, and I love unusual pizza, so this satisfies both. I honestly didn't even miss the cheese.


I'd also like to give a shout out to my sweet husband Brad, who decided while he was in Japan that he wanted to become a vegetarian, too! Hooray for Brad! He's not at all interested in going vegan, which I can understand, but I'm proud of him, and excited for both of us, that he's an "all the way" vegetarian now! He's been completely meat-free for a week and a half now, and said that he feels better than he has in ages. Way to go, Brad!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Weekly Menu - week of August 24th

Sunday - dinner out

Monday - Lentil tacos

Tuesday - Grilled burritos made with leftover taco fixings

Wednesday - Thai tofu, vegetable and peanut sauce pizza

Thursday - Chickpea Salad

Friday - leftovers, most likely


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Hooray for hummus!

I was so disappointed after last night's hummus disaster, so imagine my delight when I went the the lunch room today, and saw that a huge spread of Greek food had been catered in for lunch!! There were lamb gyros, chicken shwarma, rice pilaf, tzatziki sauce, hummus, pita bread, and Greek salad. Oh, baby!

The food wasn't a big hit with my co-workers, but hey, all the better, because more food for me, bitches! Yeah! I had a huge plate of salad, a scoop of hummus, and a round of the most fabulously chewy pita bread. There were literally stacks of leftovers, so I was able to bring home an entire tray of hummus (leaving another tray and a half behind), about a dozen rounds of pita bread, and a big bowl of salad, which we happily dined on this evening.

Look at all that hummus!


Hooray for leftovers! And hooray for hummus!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Greek-ish Salad

Well, dinner tonight was a bust. Brad came home today (woohoo!), and had requested hummus, pita bread, and Greek salad. I make a kick-ass hummus, so I was happy to oblige, but it was an utter failure. I first realized that I didn't have garlic, so I tried to just substitute garlic powder instead. Bad, bad idea, I know. I hate garlic powder and think it makes everything taste awful, but I did it anyway. Then I decided to healthy it up a little by using liquid from the canned garbanzo beans instead of olive oil. Again, bad, bad idea. It's just not the same. And then I used too much of the liquid, and the hummus was terribly runny, so I tried to thicken it up by adding some chickpea flour. It did thicken it up, but it gave it this dry, beany, floury flavor. ICK.

So it was decided that I would run to the store and pick up some garlic and more garbanzo beans. Before I left, though, I figured that instead of letting the icky hummus go completely to waste, we could feed it to the dogs. So we put some scoops of it into the dogs' food bowls, along with their Puppy Chow. Yeah. Even the dogs wouldn't eat it. Talk about a recipe bomb!

I came back from the store and began mixing up the hummus, and only then did it occur to me that I had used the last of our tahini in the first disastrous batch of hummus. UGH! I tried to make it work anyway, by using just a spoonful of peanut butter (someone swore years ago that it's the only way to make fantastic hummus), and a drizzle of sesame oil, but sucked.

Needless to say, we did NOT have hummus with dinner tonight. Instead I made a big salad of lettuce, grape tomatoes, green bell pepper, olives and garbanzo beans, tossed with red wine vinegar, olive oil and dill. Brad had feta in his, too. It was good, and very filling with some pita bread on the side, but we did really miss the hummus.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Weekly Menu - week of August 17th

Sunday - leftovers

Monday - spaghetti, sauce, salad

Tuesday - spaghetti pie, salad

Wednesday - hummus, Greek salad, pita bread

Thursday - lentil tacos or taco salad

Friday - burritos with leftover taco fixings

Saturday - dinner out

Friday, August 15, 2008

My very most favoritest dinner

I've lost count of how many times I've made this Black-Eyed Pea Salad since I first discovered the recipe 2 months ago. It's become my go-to recipe, something I can easily throw together when we need a quick meal. I love this salad! It has evolved somewhat since I first made it, and now I use 2 cans of garbanzo beans and about a cup of edamame instead of black-eyed peas. I like it a lot better this way, since the garbanzo beans and edamame have more of a bite to them.

I made this salad tonight, since Lydia is having a sleepover with her friend, and I wanted something yummy enough to tempt me away from their pizza. ; )

You can see my original post about it here.



Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pumpkin Peanut Soup

This is one of those recipes I've wanted to try for ages, but haven't had a chance to. Brad doesn't care for pumpkin, and he despises peanut butter, so this soup is definitely not something he's interested in eating. But since he's still in Japan, and I happened to have the ingredients on hand, I jumped at the chance to finally try it. It totally hit the spot, and was easy to throw together. After tasting it, I know Brad would hate it, but this will go on the list of things to make in the future when he's out of town. Gotta love a husband who travels, right? ; )


I think this would look really pretty garnished with some cilantro and chopped peanuts, but hey, I made it work with what I had in the pantry!

Pumpkin Peanut Soup

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1/4 cup chopped shallots
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon thyme
3 cups vegetable broth
1 15-oz can pumpkin
1 14-oz can light coconut milk
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
salt and pepper
cayenne pepper

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and shallots. Cook and stir for several minutes, or until onion is softened and translucent. Add garlic and thyme, and cook for 1 minute longer. Stir in vegetable broth and pumpkin. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat. Add coconut milk and peanut butter. If desired, process in a blender or food processor until smooth, then return to stove to heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle individual servings with cayenne pepper, if desired.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Weekly Menu - week of August 10th

Sunday - dinner out at Cheeburger Cheeburger for Lydia's dinner

Monday - chickpea salad, garlic bread

Tuesday - leftovers

Wednesday - spaghetti, marinara sauce, salad

Thursday - lentil tacos

Friday - burritos

Saturday - leftovers

Monday, August 4, 2008

Pumpkin Baked Ziti with Caramelized Onion and Sage Bread Crumb Topping


Yet another fabulous Veganomicon recipe! This is another that I've been wanting to try for a long time, but that Brad would never go for. He doesn't like pumpkin in any capacity, so I've put it off until now, knowing that my mom would be all for it. It was awesome to have my mom's help in the kitchen. She's the one who taught me to cook when I was younger, and is a foodie just like me. I loved cooking with her tonight!

And this's to die for. As with my previous Veganomicon posts, I'm not going to share the recipe with you. I know others have, but I just don't think it's cool to do so. I strongly urge you to go pick up a copy of this cookbook. It's not let me down yet!

This recipe was my first time making a vegan ricotta substitute, which turned out beautifully. I honestly can't believe that tofu, cashews, olive oil, lemon juice and some seasoning can taste like ricotta. What a find! The ricotta is mixed with pumpkin, caramelized onions, and spices, then tossed together with the cooked pasta. On top are some gorgeous toasted bread crumbs and walnuts.

Good golly, this recipe is amazing!


Sunday, August 3, 2008

Weekly Menu - week of August 3

Here's our plan for the week. We're eating out a bunch because my mom is visiting, and we're trying to see all the family while she's here.

Sunday - dinner out

Monday - Pumpkin pasta, salad, french bread

Tuesday - Spinach and potato enchiladas, spanish rice

Wednesday - dinner out

Thursday - dinner out

Friday - Pineapple quinoa stir-fry

Saturday - probably dinner out again

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Creamy Asian Pear and Tempeh Salad with Wasabi Dressing

Brad left for Japan this morning, which is very sad for me, but my mom is visiting, which means I have the opportunity to try out a bunch of recipes that I've been interested in, but that didn't appeal to Brad. Gotta take lemons and make 'em into lemonade, right? I'm so excited that my mom is here, and am looking forward to spending the next 10 days with her. Hooray!

The first recipe on the list was Creamy Asian Pear and Tempeh Salad with Wasabi Dressing, from Veganomicon. I won't give out the whole recipe, since I don't want to step on their toes, and because I think everyone out there should go pick up a copy of this awesome book. But I will tell you that the salad contains tempeh, pear (no Asian pears to be found today, so we just used a Bosc) , green onions, and a spicy Vegenaise-based dressing. Oh, baby!


I served mine on some absolutely delicious sprouted soy wheat bread, toasted, with baby greens. That, with an apple and some blueberries, made a delicious lunch.