Archive by Author

Best Pumpkin Muffins

24 Jan

Vegan with a Vengeance, you’ve done it again. This time I made your Best Pumpkin Muffins recipe, and I think it’s my favorite muffin recipe in the book. Not too sweet, and moist and good and spicy.  I only have one more muffin recipe to go and then I’ll have made every muffin in the book!

-Bret

Advertisements

Vegan Enchiladas and Cilantro and Lime Rice

15 Jan

Ellen and I haven’t had a lot of luck with enchiladas in the past. The last time we tried it, it ended up tasting like tin can. This time was a bit better. We used Paul McCartney’s vegan enchilada recipe (well, the filling part anyway) and I also made lime and cilantro rice that is apparently served at a restaurant I’ve never heard of called Chipotle’s. I’d like to make the enchiladas again with refried beans on top and maybe find some way to firm up the tofu before putting it in the filling, but it was all good. Oh, and the rice is great. I am supersensitive to cilantro and it’s easy to turn me off to a dish by adding too much, but the amount in this is just right.

-Bret

TVP and Habanero Chili (Cashew Remix)

4 Jan

Cooking is a learning experience. I thought about making this post like I’m a cooking expert, but I will let you in on a secret. What I am going to tell you is how I plan on making this chili next time. This time my normally awesome chili was not that great. There’s two big things I learned.

The first is, if you’re going to use canned tomatoes find a brand that you can rely on. I bought the el cheapo Topps brand of crushed tomatoes to make this recipe, and I regret it. For one, it tasted funny. For two, it was not crushed tomatoes. It was tomato sauce. I thought maybe I had forgotten what crushed tomatoes are supposed to be like, but Ellen confirmed it. Laaame. Probably the best course of action is to use fresh tomatoes which is something I’m beginning to experiment with but that can take a long time. So from now on I am not going to skimp when it comes to buy canned tomatoes.

Second, cashews soften up when you cook them. It didn’t occur to me that they would. So, I’ve modified the recipe to take that into account. Soft cashews aren’t horrible, but it’s not what I wanted. I wanted a nice, crunchy consistency. Putting the cashews in too early also cooked the flavor out of them.

So one lesson, one minor modification. But that’s what makes cooking fun. If your tastebuds are operational, you can judge the quality of what you’ve made, and you can adapt for next time! Also check out the sweet bowls Ellen’s sister gave her. I need to get some nicer plattering dishes. Anyway!

Ingredients!

2 tablespoons vegetable oil of your preference

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 yellow onion, chopped

3 habanero peppers, diced (use gloves if you’ve never cooked with habaneros before)

2 28 oz. cans of tomatoes – I use one can crushed and one can whole but you could do whatever

2 15 oz. cans of appropriate chili beans – if you like beans a lot throw in another can

1 cup TVP (this measure could be off because I just dumped a bunch in by eyeball – it might have been closer to 2)

1/2 a small bottle of Dos Equis

1 1/2 cups of roasted cashews

Directions!

Put the oil in the bottom of a big kettle. Saute the bell pepper and onion until it’s nice and soft. Now just dump in everything else. Yeah! Dump it!

So, I dump the beans in water and all but some people think that’s a bad idea. If you agree, rinse the beans off and and add, like, two cups of water.

Add cumin to taste! Or not. Ellen thinks it’s just fine without cumin, and I have made some very good cuminless chili before. The kettle before this on that I made turned out really, really good without it. The habanero gives it a good flavor and heat.

Then let it cook for a long time. Like, until the TVP gets soft, but since this is chili if you just put it in a slow cooker and leave it alone it’ll be good.

Before it’s all ready to serve, dump in the cashews. Let the chili cook for another minute or two, and it’s ready.

-Bret

New Year’s Snacks: Pita Chips and White Bean Dip

1 Jan

Happy New Year!

Ellen and I went to a New Year’s party at our friends’ house. Since Ellen is more considerate than I am she asked if we could bring anything. The answer was yes – snacks! So Ellen decided to make white bean dip and I worried about what I should make and then decided on pita chips. They would go with just about any other dip that was served there, and especially with Ellen’s white bean dip.

So the way to make it it is easy. Take a pita, cut it in half. No, not into two half-moons. Cut it down the sides so that you have two discs. Now brush both sides with olive oil. Okay, now cut it into quarters, put it on a tray, and bake it for about 10 minutes at 375°. When the chips are crisp or crispyish, they’re done. I seasoned mine with garlic powder and coarse salt. They were good!

-Bret

Yeah New Year’s snacks!  Really, my consideration was just an excuse to make white bean dip, because I’ve really been craving it.  Plus the people that threw the party are some of the best hosts ever.  They always give us food and make tasty drinks whenever we’re there.  It makes me want to be a good host.  Maybe someday I’ll get a couch for my apartment and then have somewhere for people to sit and then I can start trying to be a good host.

But anyway!  I made dip!

White bean dips are pretty easy.

I took two 15oz. cans of cannellini beans, rinsed them and drained them and mixed them in my blender with three cloves of garlic, 2 tsp. of fresh rosemary, 1/2 cup of parsley, and the zest and juice of a lemon.  Then I whizzed it around in my blender until it was a dip.  If you have a better blender than I do, it will probably be ready really quickly.

It went perfectly with Bret’s pita chips!  Hooray for teamwork!

– Ellen

Mocha Chocolate Chip Muffins

31 Dec

Another Vegan with a Vengeance winner. These were practically dessert. And you can find the whole recipe on the PPK! It is tasty and everyone should make it.

-Bret

Vegan Macaroni and Sheez

30 Dec

Hey two posts in a day. I’m trying to clear out my backlog of entries I wanted to make before the New Year, though. Ellen and I are talking about getting on some kind of consistent schedule since we are definitely making good food (last night was Tofurkey roast and I had an adventure making my own pizza sauce from fresh tomatoes and etc. etc.) and I’d like to do it with this New Year. We’re making some snacks for a New Year’s Eve party so maybe it’ll be about that. And then I go away for a week to meditate but I’ll be back.

But hey what does that have to do with vegan mac and sheez? Okay, so I have this book called The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook that my original vegan mentor recommended to me a long time back. I made one recipe out of it that was pretty crappy and never looked at it afterwards. Well a little while ago Ellen picked it up and flipped through it and started talking about how awesome it was. She was right. It’s awesome. So I decided to try out the mac and not really cheese recipe. Okay, first of all, it’s really really rich and fatty. Second, it’s pretty dang tasty. I didn’t get any pictures of it in a bowl but check this out. That on top is not cheese. It was good. But yeah, it’ll be 2010 before I make it again.

 

 

-Bret

Pre-GWAR Dinner at Taj Restaurant: Binghamton, NY

30 Dec

Me and Ellen went to see GWAR awhile ago and we wanted to get food before we went, so we found this Indian place on the internet. Indian is pretty much always a safe bet for vegetarian if not vegan food. We pulled up and it was this tiny little place that sold some Indian food and some Mediterranean food and there was this guy in the dining area watching Indian talent shows on the TV and clapping and laughing loudly. I liked that guy a lot.

We ordered two veggie curries which were pretty much our only option, but then the waiter was like, “Want us to make two different curries and then you can share?” Thanks, guy. That’s awesome.

So, let me put this out there. The food was really inexpensive and it was good. It wasn’t the greatest ever but I’m used to paying twice as much as I did for a curry. The food was a little buttery and so it made Ellen sick because she doesn’t really eat stuff with butter. Umm maybe she can write about what she thought because I don’t want to speak for her.

But I really liked the place. The one curry kind of tasted like Campbell’s vegetable soup but the spinach curry they made was really good and you could get samosas for super inexpensive. It was basically cheap but pretty tasty Indian food.

-Bret

Ginger Raisin Bran Muffins

29 Nov

I am still making muffins. This time it was Ginger Raisin Brain Muffins from Vegan with a Vengeance. Though I’m starting to cheat on Vegan with a Vengeance with The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook. Pictures from food I made out of that coming soon! Now check out my muffins!

 

-Bret

Braised Cabbage and Apples

28 Nov

Okay, I’m going to explain this to you real quick because it’s super simple. Chop up however much cabbage you want and and however much apple you want. Cook it in a dry skillet on high heat until it’s browned up a decent amount. Add a few splashes of a good red wine. Cover and turn down to meadium low. Let it cook until the liquid is virtually gone. Sprinkle a bit of sugar over the top. You’re done. This stuff is so tasty it’s like dessert.

 

-Bret

Vegan Hot Chocolate

12 Nov

This isn’t really a recipe or anything. I just want to brag that Ellen made me vegan hot chocolate with soy milk, Ghirardelli cocoa, and a whipped soy stuff. It was really good.

It is a fact proven by science that hot cocoa tastes better when someone you love a bunch makes it for you.

-Bret