Tag Archives: entree

Halloween!

1 Nov

Hooray! Yesterday was Halloween! And today I am sad because I have to wait a whole year for it to happen again.

We started our celebrations early by heading to Rochester last weekend to visit friends and have fun. It was great! We got to hang out with friends, sleep in (!!!!!!), go to a museum, eat sorbet/frozen yogurt with ENDLESS TOPPINGS, and drink lots of cider with whiskey.

Before we left on our journey, I made a tasty dinner:

 

This is yet another meal from Appetite for Reduction, Unfried Fried Rice and Lettuce Wraps with Hoisin-Mustard Tofu.  I’ve made the tofu before, and it is one of my favorite things.  The rice was new.  It came out perfect!  I cooked the rice earlier in the day so it had some time to cool down before I unfried it, and it was wonderful.  To bulk it up a little, I added some steamed carrots and butternut squash cubes.  The butternut squash was a random thing and I wasn’t sure how it would taste.  It worked, though!  It gave a little bit of sweet, and the added sriracha added heat.  So good.

We were back in New Hampshire for real Halloween, and I celebrated during the day by doing a Zombies, Run! mission on my lunch break.  I had sore legs from weight training the day before, but I managed to evade the zombies anyway.

Paul and I both had crummy days at work, so I wasn’t sure we wanted to do anything for Halloween night.  But we managed to put our grumps away for a while, and headed out to Portsmouth.  It was our first time there, but I had heard that they know how to do Halloween right.  And they do!  There was a Halloween parade going on, but we missed most of it.  No worries, though, we had other plans.

We headed for a quick bite to eat at The Friendly Toast, a diner-style restaurant that my friend Colleen had raved about.  They have a decent selection of vegan-friendly foods, good beers available, and the most wonderful, kitschy decor.  It wasn’t very crowded, thanks to people being too busy cavorting in the streets, so our food came quickly.  We both had the Vegan Valhalla – a burrito filled with brown rice, portobello mushrooms, and tofu.  I had mine with home fries, which I was so glad to hear were not cooked using butter!  Yay!  Paul had sweet potato fries, and they were fantastic.

It was also nice that they had soy milk for the coffee.  Yeah, it’s such a small thing.  But Concord seems to not know that soy milk or any non-dairy milk drink is a thing.

Anyway, our main plan for the night was to go see Texas Chainsaw Massacre at the Portsmouth Music Hall Loft.  One of my favorite movies, and one Paul had never seen before.  The crowd was small and full of friendly people, and they had special cocktails available for the night (you can even bring them right into the theater – holy crap I love this place!)

We both had a drink called the Massacre:

 

It was made of vodka, tequila, and ginger ale.  Whaaaat?  Tequila and ginger ale?  I know ginger ale (or beer) goes well with a lot of liquors, but I’d never tried it with tequila.  And well, it worked.  Now, to make them at home.

We had a lot of fun at the movie, people were really into it and I left feeling happier than I have in a while.  Thanks, Portsmouth!

Advertisements

Eating Other Blogs

18 Oct

I made the most fantastic dinner last night.  But I didn’t come up with the idea myself.  Actually, dinner goodness was thanks to two great blogs: The Vegan Crew and A,B,C, Vegan.

Usually when I see a recipe online, I start thinking about ways to make it different, or better, or how to remove animal products to make it vegan.  But this was perfect – Mushroom Alfredo Sauce with Chik’n and Mushrooms.  I didn’t change a thing, other than using a product other than Beyond Meat because I can’t get that in the backwoods of New Hampshire.  I also threw a little crushed red pepper on top because I like my sweet with spicy.

 

Paul said it was one of the best dinners I’ve ever made.  I agreed!

I want to put this pumpkin alfredo on more things.  I want to eat cauliflower rice more often (our cauliflower is usually mashed).  I want to eat chik’n and mushrooms with spinach.

Thank goodness there are leftovers!

Make this!

HOLY SHIT VEGAN NACHOS

18 Aug

This is really exciting, guys.  Vegan nachos.  I gave myself a belly ache with these things.

I got so excited that I instagrammed my vegan nachos.  Then I frowned a bit because I got so excited that I instagrammed my vegan nachos.  Then I ate them and I was happy again.

 

There’s not a whole lot to this recipe.  For my birthday, Paul bought me some Nacho Teese.  I love Teese.  I was holding onto it for a special occasion.  This was it.

Holy Shit Vegan Nachos

Ingredients
 
vegan pita breads, as many as you want to eat
1 15oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup salsa (whatever you like, I used Hot Green Mountain Gringo
1 cup Boca crumbles
1 Tbsp. curry paste
pinch of cayenne pepper
diced tomatoes, to taste
Nacho Teese, to taste
jalapeno slices, for topping
extra salsa, for topping
reduced fat Vegenaise, for topping

Directions
1) Preheat oven to 350F. Cut each pita into triangles, I got six from each pita. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray, place the pita triangles on it, and spray with a little more cooking spray. Bake until crispy, about 10 minutes or so.
2) While the pitas are toasting in the oven, place the black beans, boca crumbles, 1/2 cup salsa, curry paste, and cayenne pepper in a small pot. Cook over medium heat until the crumbles are cooked through and the combination is thickened.
3) Heat your Nacho Teese in the microwave, until molten and awesome looking.
4) Assemble! Place your pita wedges on a plate. Top those wedges with some of the black bean-boca mixture, some diced tomatoes, and your Nacho Teese. Top that with some more salsa, jalapeno slices, and some vegenaise (sounds gross? It’s good) and whatever else you might want to top it with.
5) Fuuuuuck. Eat that stuff.

Also, I like this article so much. Thirteen mile run tomorrow! It will be “slow”. I’m saving the .1 for my official half marathon 🙂

Chickpea Taco Calzones

20 Sep

Oh hey I’m back again!  Really, I am so bad at this blogging thing.  I make food, I take pictures, I plan on writing a blog post.  Then I’m unhappy with the pictures and I decide not to write anything.

But hey, I’ve been making some delicious food.

I was at an antique shop with the boy and I came across a big bookcase full of cookbooks.  Most of them were vegetarian or vegan!  I decided to pick up The Vegetarian Epicure Book Two by Anna Thomas.  Flipping through the book on the drive back home, I realized I wanted to cook every single thing in there.  So, I’m starting from the beginning!

I made my first recipe from it  yesterday, but I’m going to back up a bit because I made some delicious food the other weekend and I want to tell you about it.

Lately I’ve become a fan of Healthy Food For Living and last weekend I came upon the post for Taco Calzones with Avocado Cream.  I showed it to the boy and we were both making our hungry noises, so I decided they should be made.  But without meat!  So I proposed we make them with my favorite taco filling: chickpeas.

Since I changed this recipe around a little bit, I figured I would share it!

Chickpea Taco Calzones

makes 4 calzones

1 lb. prepared pizza dough (I bought Wegmans whole wheat pizza dough, which is surprisingly delicious for a pre-made dough!)

2 tsp olive oil

1/4 cup chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, pressed

1 can drained and rinsed or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas

1/2 of a green bell pepper, chopped

taco seasoning to taste (I used Trader Joe’s)

1/4 cup salsa (I used Trader Joe’s Garlic Chipotle Salsa)

2oz. reduced fat cheddar or monterey jack, shredded (I used Organic Valley Reduced Fat Monterey Jack)

1) Preheat oven to 450F, place a pizza stone on the middle rack.

2) Divide your dough into four equal portions, and roll them out into circles about 1/4″ thick.  Set them aside while you prepare the filling.

3) Heat the olive oil in a medium frying pan, add the  onion and cook until translucent.  Add the chickpeas and cook until heated through.  Mash the chickpea and onion mixture coarsely, leaving some big chunks of chickpea.  Add in the green pepper, garlic, and taco seasoning.  Continue to cook and stir until mixed thoroughly.  If the mixture is sticking to your frying pan, deglaze with a little bit of water.

4) Stir in the salsa, remove from heat.

5) Divide the chickpea mixture among each dough circle, placing it on one half of the dough and leaving a 1/2″ border to close the calzone.  Top the mixture with some shredded cheese.

6)  Fold the other half of the dough over to close the calzone, and pinch them shut.  Pierce the tops of the calzones with a fork to allow steam to escape.

7) Place the calzones onto the preheated pizza stone with a spatula or peel.  Cook for about 15 minutes, or until the calzones are browned on top and puffy.

Thanks so much to Healthy Food For Living for the great recipe and inspiration!  Please do check out the original post, it contains directions for freezing and reheating (which I didn’t try as it didn’t take us long to feast through these babies).

We ate it with the avocado cream (also included in the original post linked above!) and additional Trader Joe’s salsa.

I’ll be back soon with the results of my first recipe from The Vegetarian Epicure, Book 2 adventure.  Also, I’ll introduce you to the boy that’s been eating all this food with me!

– Ellen

Eggplant Ball Z

7 Mar

Guys, I really want to make a Dragon Ball Z joke but I actually know nothing about it.  I’ve come to realize just how geeky I am these days, but I guess it could always be worse.

But anyway, there are plenty of other ball jokes I could make, right?!

I wont.

I’ve had all sorts of meatless meatballs.  Some I’ve bought pre-made, many I’ve made myself with things like Gimme Lean or TVP.  I’m almost positive you could make them with lentils, but that is still on my list of things to try.  This time, I made them with eggplant!

Eggplant is one of my favorite vegetables.  As far as vegetables go it is not very nutritious, but it is a vegetable and it is low in calories and high in fiber.  It also sucks up a whole lot of oil, so it can easily be not very healthy at all.  Luckily, the eggplant balls I am going to share with you are made with minimal oil and the eggplant is softened mostly by steaming.  Sure, you could fry them instead of baking if you’re into that sort of thing.

They would make a good appetizer or even a strange version of eggplant parmesan if you want to use some fake or real cheese and a marinara sauce.  I served them with rice, a marinara sauce, and a green salad.  I would also recommend seasoning these to taste, as they would probably benefit from a mixture of spices that I didn’t think to use.  Or even a seasoned breadcrumb mixture, making sure you don’t choose one with cheese in it if you’re not into cheese.

Baked Eggplant Balls

makes 15 – 18 1″ balls

1 Tbsp. olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium eggplant, peeled and cubed

4 Tbsp. water, or as needed

2 prepared Ener-G egg replacer eggs, or equivalent egg substitute product

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

3/4 cup breadcrumbs

1 cup parsley, chopped

salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes to taste

1) Heat oil in saucepan or skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic and cook until just browned.

2) Add the eggplant and water.  Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the eggplant is softened, 20 – 30 minutes.  Add more water if needed.

3) Remove eggplant from heat and mash.  Add egg replacer, nutritional yeast, breadcrumbs, parsley, and seasonings.  Mix until well combined, adding more breadcrumbs if needed.  Place in fridge to cool for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, pre-heat oven to 350F.

4) Form eggplant mixture into 1″ balls and place on greased cookie sheet.  Bake for about 30 minutes, until golden on the bottom.  Serve with marinara sauce!

Good looking balls, no?

Gingered Vegetables and a Swiss Chard Pie!

21 Jun

I do lots of traveling for work, and spend quite a few nights in hotels.  I usually bring food with me, get a hotel room with at least a refrigerator if not a microwave also, and cook for myself.  Eating out is good once in a while if I can find an interesting restaurant, but I have to admit that eating canned beans, couscous, and a salad is getting boring.  So today I decided to cook up a bunch of food to take with me!

The first thing I made was the Savory Swiss Chard Pie from FatFree Vegan Kitchen.  I swear Susan comes up with the best, healthiest recipes.  Swiss chard, yum yum.  I haven’t had any of this yet but I did clean out the pie plate with a fork after I put the pie into individual containers.

I’ve never eaten chard stems before, and this recipe uses both the stems and leaves.  Woah, every bit of that vegetable is tasty.

I also cooked up some vegetables tonight.  For dinner tonight, and for the week.  So many vegetables, they barely fit in my largest frying pan.  So here we’ve got some gingery vegetables!

Ingredients!

5 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped

2 medium onions, quartered and separated

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. chopped fresh ginger

1 Tbsp. chopped garlic

2 lb. red potatoes, cubed

8oz. green beans

4 medium carrots, cut in matchsticks

Directions!

Place the potatoes, green beans and carrots in a large pot of boiling, salted water.  Bring back to a boil and cook for about five minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

While this is cooking, heat the olive oil in a LARGE frying pan.  Cook the jalapenos and onions until soft.  Add in the ginger, garlic, and some salt and pepper to taste.  Cook this over medium heat for about five minutes.

Add the potatoes, green beans and carrots to the frying pan.  Cook over medium heat until everything is cooked through.

Word of advice: if you’ve got more ginger, ADD IT!

So now I’ve got lots of food packed up to go to Utica with me.  So much cheaper, healthier, and vegan than most of the food I find on the road!

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

Stuffed Cabbage (I’m blogging again!)

28 Nov

This one goes out to my mommy!  When I was a kid, I had a real love/hate relationship with stuffed cabbage.  My mom would make up a big stock pot of cabbage leaves stuffed with rice and ground beef all cooked in tomato soup.   It tasted amazing.  The beef would get red from the tomato soup and it looked raw and that would make me queasy.  But anyway, mom, your stuffed cabbage is awesome and sometimes I crave it even though I don’t eat meat anymore.  Bret and I have been on a real cabbage kick, and it’s becoming one of my favorite veggies to have around because I’ve found that I can keep a head of it in my fridge for weeks and just hack away at it and it won’t go bad.

 

So since I’ve had cabbage laying around, I decided to take a stab at making meatless cabbage rolls.  Yeah!  Here’s what I did.

 

Ingredients!

 

12 leaves of cabbage (man it’s hard to separate cabbage leaves when it’s raw.  I guess the idea is to cook the whole head of cabbage  and then remove the leaves.  Tricky!)

1 cup red lentils

½ cup brown rice

15oz. tomato sauce

1 tsp. garlic salt

¼ tsp. black pepper

½ cup chopped onion

¼ cup chopped green pepper

 

Directions!

 Cook the cabbage leaves in boiling water until they’re soft and pliable.  Like I said, this is tricky.  Be careful!  I ended up with lots of ripped leaves.  Drain them and set them aside.

Cook up the lentils and the rice and mix them together with ½ cup of the tomato sauce, garlic salt, black pepper, onion and green pepper.

Put about ¼ – 1/3 of a cup of the rice and lentil mixture into each cabbage leaf and roll it up, tucking in the sides.  Place them seam side down in a 9×13 pan.  Once you’ve filled all of the leaves, pour the remaining tomato sauce over the top.  Cover the pan with foil and bake in a 350F oven for about 40 minutes.  Uncover and eat!

 

 It’s not exactly my mom’s recipe, and I would like to try it again with tomato soup.  I need to get tips.  Mom?

 

– Ellen

Braised Tempeh

11 Nov

I’ve been on a podcast kick, and I subscribed to this one that told me how to braise tempeh. The lady in the podcast pronounced tempeh way differently than I do but that’s okay. I forgive her. If you want to see the podcast checked it out here.

It turned out a little scorched but was yummy and I learned how to not scorch it for next time.

 

-Bret

Tempeh Hot Wings

8 Oct

Bret will hurt me if I don’t post the hot wings we made.

Last week or the week before I went over to Bret’s place after work. He put me in charge of deciding what to have for dinner. I’ve been reading random vegan hot wing recipes for a while and hadn’t tried any yet, so it was time to do that.

For some reason, I crave vegan hot wings. Even when I ate meat I hated the sight, smell and taste of chicken wings. It must be a combination of the grease, meat and buffalo sauce because the meatless version is totally badass. We cooked up an 8 oz. package of tempeh and shared it between the two of us and we both wanted lots more. Just thinking about them makes me want more, actually.

Drool.

Bret has a story about going to Foodswings and eating their vegan buffalo wings and how they’re very tasty and I’d like to see how they stack up to mine. And have one of their vegan milkshakes.

There is also a burger joint in Ithaca that apparently makes tofu wings. I can almost guarantee my wings are better, but I’m going to give them a try.

This recipe was insanely easy. Here it go!

Ingredients!

1/3 cup flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. thyme

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. onion or garlic powder

1/2 cup or so panko mixed with whatever seasonings are around (I think I used oregano and salt and pepper and maybe basil)

1/3 cup soy milk

8 oz. tempeh

1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce (aww yeah, I used the original stuff)

2 Tbsp. Earth Balance

1 Tbsp. ketchup

Directions!

Slice the tempeh into however many slices you want to use. I cut it into eight pieces, which were a good size. Boil the tempeh slices for ten minutes or so, then drain and rinse with cold water.

While the tempeh is boiling, get out three bowls. In one, mix the flour and spices. In another, mix the panko and whatever spices you want to throw in there (or buy seasoned panko, I just couldn’t find any). Put the soy milk in the third bowl.

Preheat your oven to 400F. Make sure it’s not set to broil, because for some reason Bret’s oven magically gets set to broil just about any time before we use it. Anyway, also get a baking sheet ready with cooking spray or with a light coat of oil. Take your tempeh wings and dip them first in the soy milk, then in the flour, then in the soy milk again, and then in the panko. Place each on the baking sheet when done. Lick your fingers between each wing because even though the batter will look kind of gross on your hands, it’s really tasty. Once you’ve coated all of the wings stick the baking sheet in the oven and cook them for 10 minutes on each side.

While the tempeh is in the oven, mix the wing sauce, Earth Balance, and ketchup in a small bowl. Microwave it until the Earth Balance has melted, and stir it all up. Once the tempeh comes out of the oven, cover it with the sauce and toss the pieces around to make sure they all get coated.

– Ellen