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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!

What I Ate Wednesday – Cool Slaw Edition!

25 Jul

Hey Happy What I Ate Wednesday!

This is what I ate yesterday!  Happy What I Ate Tuesday!

My food was not all that exciting on Tuesday, but it was pretty tasty.  I started work at 8 instead of my usual 9am start, since I was quitting earlier to go to a doctor appointment. I woke up and scarfed down some Ezekiel toast with chunky natural peanut butter and a smoothie made with mixed tropical fruits, plain unsweetened almond milk, vanilla brown rice protein powder, and stevia. Good stuff!

Around midmorning I got really sleepy and not so great feeling. I sort of moped around for a while until lunchtime.

Guess what? I ate a salad! Yep, I always eat a salad. This one had lots of veggies, edamame, and red pepper hummus. I picked up a random tub of hummus at the not-so-great grocery store across the street and I think I might throw it out. Not so great.

I went to my doctor appointment and didn’t really think I’d be out long. But I ended up sitting in the waiting room for a long time, which was no big deal. Like three ladies were in labor. I wasn’t in labor. I can wait!

When I got home though, I was hungry. I had a run coming up, albeit a short one, so I had some fruit to try to keep my belly calm. Nectarines are so good!

I forgot to take a picture of my pre-run coconut date roll. Whoops!

Paul and I ran our short three miles at around 7. I felt like I was working way harder for the speed I was going at. But it was super windy and wind makes me breathe funny. We both felt, well, winded when we were done. But we got it done and that’s what counts! Tonight is five miles. Whoop whoop.

After watering/fertilizing the garden, we came in to make dinner. I had this idea that portobello mushrooms and guacamole would go together well, and Paul wanted cool slaw. I hadn’t made cool slaw in a while, so we both got what we were craving!

So we grilled portobellos, sliced them and ate them in pitas with guacamole, lettuce and tomato. Yum! The cool slaw was awesome both on the side, and tucked inside the pitas Baha-style. You might be wondering what cool slaw is. Well, it’s only the most awesome low-fat vegan coleslaw recipe around. It’s Cool Slaw!

Cool Slaw
adapted from Appetite for Reduction

Ingredients
1/4 cup raw almonds, soaked at least one hour
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp. chopped shallots
5 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. agave nectar
1/2 tsp. sea salt
fresh ground black pepper
2-4 Tbsp. reduced fat Vegenaise, to taste
1lb. packaged cole slaw mix or shredded cabbage

Directions
Add the drained cashews, water, shallots, vinegar, mustard, agave nectar, salt and pepper to a blender. Blend on high until the mixture is smooth, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula if needed.

Combine the coleslaw mix or cabbage to a bowl, and add the dressing from your blender. Mix well to combine. Add Vegenaise to taste.

So good! I like the recipe without the Vegenaise, but with it is a whole ‘nother level. But I put Vegenaise on lots of things, so. Blush.

So there we go. I capped the night off with a skinny person beer.

Butternut Squash with Chili Powder

10 Nov

My grandparents give me tons of food. Recently, they gave me some butternut squashes (and a huge head of cabbage but that’s another story). So I have no idea what to do with squash. I like acorn squash mashed up with salt, and one time I made a really bad spaghetti squash casserole, but me and squash aren’t good friends. So I said, “Hey Ellen, what do I do with this thing?” She suggested baking it with oil drizzled on it and some chili powder and I said, “Hot damn!”

There’s not really a recipe. Cut it up. Put what you want on it (chili powder and cayenne pepper is what Ellen used I think) and bake it until it’s soft. Ding!

-Bret

Pineapple Baked Beans and Jalapeno Corn bread Muffins

16 Jun

Ellen came to visit me over the weekend and I knew if I didn’t have food waiting for her she would punch me in the mouth. I wandered around the internets for awhile looking at recipes for inspiration and feeling out my own hungries for ideas, and decided that I wanted something that involved beans and barbecue sauce. Apparently in this country they call that “baked beans.” Oh and putting pineapple in there seemed like a good idea too, so I did that.

Ingredients!

2 cans of pinto beans

1 medium sized onion

1 8 oz. can of crushed pineapple

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1/3 cup barbecue sauce

Directions!

Directions? Oh! Just dump all that stuff into a kettle and cook it for a long while or put it in a pan and bake it for awhile or put it in a crock pot and let it cook for a good long time. That was easy! So, since that’s so simple you can make something else. Buy some cornbread mix and make cornbread muffins. Fold in one jalapeno and make it a little spicy. Yum!

Now Ellen won’t punch you in the face when she gets here!

-Bret

Roasted Asparagus and Cauliflower

2 Jun

Oh hey. Remember me? I write food blog posts. Well, I finally have some money again and I want to get back into cooking tasty and healthy things that haven’t been collecting dust in my cupboard for a few months, so ta-daa. Roasted veggies!

Whoops. That’s a little blurry.

Ellen gave me this idea. I had all sorts of asparagus in my fridge from some pasta that Ellen made and I had a head of cauliflower since my grandma likes to give me food and this is what she gave me when she visited. So Ellen told me how to roast vegetables which I’d done once before with brussel sprouts but had forgotten and away I went.

I got a roasting pan, threw in some cauliflower, some asparagus, and some mushrooms. I sprinkled olive oil, lemon juice, salt, black pepper, and garlic on top. Then I put it in the oven at 450° for 40 minutes. It was really, really good. Roasting vegetables brings out some really good flavor that you otherwise may not meet.

Now I gotta find something else to do with the rest of this asparagus and cauliflower…

-Bret

Chili Beans with Onions and Sweet Chili Sauce

16 Apr

My grandmother likes to give me fuckloads of food. If I go visit her I always seem to leave with a box full of mason jars and then inside those mason jars is food. The problem is that the mason jars always contain one type of very specific food. Once it was applesauce. Another time it was sauerkraut. Then it was pickled beets. This time? Chili sauce that my grandpa made.

So what the eff am I going to do with all this crazy chili sauce? “Put it on hot dogs!” my grandpa said. NO. NO TO HOT DOGS. I mean maybe I could get some of those veggie dog things but I figure like most mock meats they’re more expensive than they need to be and maybe they taste funny. I can do mock meats every so often but I’d rather do beans or fruit or veggies or soy.

Did I mention I’m broke? I’m broke. I bought an accordion recently and I’m really happy about that and I bought a t-shirt that has a shark high-fiving a gorilla on it and I’m happy about that too and I bought Electroplankton for the Nintendo DS and if Play-Asia ever ships it I’ll be happy about that as well. Buuut… now I’m broke. So! I made do with things I had on hand. Chili beans! Leftover shallots! Chili sauce! I did buy the potato but that’s okay.

Chili Beans with Onions and Chili Sauce!

Ingredients!

1 tablespoon oil

1 15 oz. can of chili beans of some sort

1/2 onion, chopped – I used two shallots and if you like shallots a bunch maybe you could too

1/4 cup of sweet chili sauce

red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper or maybe a habanero pepper

sour cream or your favorite sour cream substitute

Directions!

Okay, so this is a super-simple recipe that is barely worth talking about, but basically heat your oil in your skillet. Drop in your onions and cook them until they’re translucent. Now add your beans and your chili sauce and, if you’re feeling brave, a habanero pepper. If you’re not habanero brave (and I don’t always feel habanero brave) you can add cayenne or red pepper flakes to your taste. Let it cook and bubble until it’s nice and hot. Okay, now you can serve it! I ate it over a baked potato but I bet it would also taste good served over a crusty roll or rice. Add a dollop of sour cream-ish stuff! I need to work on my dolloping skills because the dollop in the picture? Not very pretty. But it tasted good!

I’m going to try to get the recipe for my grandpa’s chili sauce because it’s real good!

-Bret