Monday, June 28, 2010

Barbecue Tofu, Califlower Poppers, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

Tonight I felt like mashed potatoes and barbecue tofu. I had a head of cauliflower that needed to be used up as well so I made Cauliflower Poppers.

I used THIS RECIPE I posted on VegWeb awhile ago for the mashed potatoes.

I used THIS GRAVY RECIPE from My Veggie Kitchen. I made my gravy on the stove though instead of using the microwave.

I used my typical technique for the Barbecue Tofu. I pressed the tofu (With my new Tofu Press!), cut the tofu into cubes, put the tofu in gallon-sized ziploc with about 1/4 cup of cornstarch, fried the tofu in some oil until golden, turned off the heat and added about a cup of barbecue sauce and stirred to coat.

***** If you have leftover mashed potatoes that are no longer creamy enough, mix in some vegan mayo and the creaminess shall return!*****

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Family Dinner at Loving Hut Vegan Restaurant

Loving Hut is a new restaurant to my area. There focus is mainly Asian food and they have the meaty texture thing mastered. It is located in Ladera Ranch, but they have many other locations as well. The enviornment was awesome just like their food. I took pictures mainly of what me and my BF ate. Here it goes!

For an appetizer we had the Glory Sushi, yum!

For an Entree I had the Spicy Cha Cha, which is vegan shrimp with cajun style spices. It was really delicious.

My BF had the Asian BBQ Chick'n, which I liked even better than my dish. I stole a few pieces from him.

For dessert I had the Strawberry Cheesecake, it was really good, texture and flavor were spot on.

My sister had this Banana Chocolate Cake. It was alright, the cheesecake was way better.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Vegan Sausage Mc Muffins with "Egg"

This recipe totally satisfied my craving for a good breakfast sandwich. My BF loved them too!

- 1 log of Lightlife Gimme Lean Vegan Sausage, optional
- 8 vegan English Muffins
- Vegenaise & Ketchup, optional
- 1 14 oz block Extra Firm Tofu (Drained only, not pressed, not previously frozen and thawed)
- Oil for frying
Rub Mix:
- 4 tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
- 1 teaspoon Black Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric

- Shape the vegan sausage into 8 patties.
- Fry the vegan sausage in some oil until lightly browned on both sides, set aside on a plate covered with a few paper towels.
- While your vegan sausage is cooking, cut tofu width-wise into 8 slices.
- Place all rub mix ingredients in a shallow pie pan or tupperware and mix around.
- Coat the tofu by placing 1 slab at a time into the container of rub mix and shaking it around, turning over if needed. Place the coated tofu on a plate. You will probably have a bit of rub mix leftover, discard it.
- When your sausage is done cooking, add some more oil to the pan and fry up your coated tofu. Fry your coated tofu slabs until they are a bit crispy and golden on both sides.
- Place cooked tofu eggs on a plate with paper towels.
- Time to assemble your sandwich! Toast english muffins in the toaster, slather the toasted english muffins with some Vegenaise, then top with the vegan sausage and tofu egg. Dip in ketchup.

Friday, June 25, 2010

VegWeb's Vanilla Cupcakes

I love this recipe for Vanilla Cupcakes off VegWeb! I have made it a few times now and it never disappoints. I never change a thing, except for baking the cupcakes a bit longer due to my crappy oven.

I frosted my cupcakes with store-bought Duncan Hines Classic Vanilla Creamy Home-Style Frosting which is vegan according to PETA.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Dinner at Dad's 6/23/10

 So yes, it's not my typical dinner night at my Dad's, but he wanted me and my Sister over to celebrate our birthdays (Her's was the 22nd). My Step Mom cooked up some amazing vegan grub as usual and made a vegan birthday cake for me and my Sis (Vegan as well).

 She made some amazing Flautas (Taquitos made with flour tortillas) stuffed with goodies like Soyrizo, baked potato, vegan meatballs, and peppers. Served with salsa and guacamole.

I also had a salad with romaine, carrots, olives, and baby corn topped with my favorite salad dressing: Private Selection (Kroger/ Ralphs store-brand) Poppy Seed!

Here is our amazing Vegan Red Velvet Cake with Vanilla/ Tofutti Cream Cheese Icing!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Easy Peasy Szechuan Seitan & Treader Joe's Vegan Ice Cream

So I got home from Vegas around 7 PM with nothing in the fridge except a few Seitan "Steaks", some onions, bell peppers, and a half used bottle of Lawry's Szechuan Marinade. I also had a few other random side dishes: Vegetarian Baked Beans topped with green onions and Easy Elotes (Canned corn that has been heated + vegan mayo + pico de gallo seasoning)

I made a stirfry of course!

- 3 cups worth of Seitan, thinly sliced or cut into small chunks
- 1/2 cup Cornstarch
- A few tablespoons of Oil for frying
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, thinly sliced
- 1/2 a White Onion, thinly sliced
- 1 8 oz can of Sliced Water Chestnuts, drained
- 1/4 cup Green Onions, thinly sliced
- 3/4 to 1 cup Lawry's Szechuan Marinade

- Put seitan in a gallon-sized ziploc with the cornstarch and shake until the seitan is evenly coated.
- Fry seitan in a tablespoon of oil until golden (no cornstarch showing), then add the bell pepper, white onion, and water chestnuts. dd more oil if needed.
- Once the veggies start to turn translucent, add green onions and the Szechuan Marinade. Stir around until everything is evenly coated.

Trader Joe's Vegan Ice Cream, 2 more flavors: Chocolate and Chocolate Chip Cherry.

I bought these today at TJ's. The Chocolate was good but not as great as the other flavors. I tried the Chocolate Chip Cherry at my Dad's and it was just as yummy as I remembered!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Vegan in Vegas!

Wow, so my first time being vegan in Las Vegas was way easier than I others have led me to believe. I stayed at the Monte Carlo to celebrate my 26th birthday with my vegetarian boyfriend, Erik.

HERE is a really good link that helped me out tremendously! Yes, on occasion I settled for something less than spectacular but I really didn't feel like I missed out on anything. Here are a few ideas for your next trip (I obviously snacked as well but these were actual meals):

Thursday, June 17th:

-On the way to Vegas I stopped at Taco Bell and enjoyed a Bean & Cheese Burrito (Minus the Cheese of course) and grabbed a bag of Baked Lays to snack on.

- That night, I ordered the Rubio's Gourmet Grilled Portobello and Poblano Tacos from the food court at the Monte Carlo Hotel (Sans the Toasted Cheeses and Creamy Chipotle Picante Sauce). I also scooped up tons of their free Green Salsa to accommodate the pile of Tortilla Chips that came with my meal. I also used the Green Salsa as an additional topping for my amazing tacos. Rubio's gave me Pinto Beans on the side, which the claimed were vegetarian (Pinto's are always sketchy to me), but next time I will opt for a side of Black Beans minus the Cheese they pollute their beans with by sprinkling it on top... I picked the unnecessary Cheese off my Pinto Beans (Yes lame, but I was hungry and had already gone back to my room).

Friday, June 18th:

- Dinner was Papa John's. They deliver to Vegas hotels until 1 AM! I got a Large, Original Crust Pizza, loaded with Pineapples, Olives, and Jalapenos. We just about finished it!

Saturday, June 19th:

- Late lunch was at Komol Restaurant (Thai food). THIS RESTAURANT IS AMAZING!!! Huge vegan menu, awesome atmosphere, and sinfully delicious food that is actually spicy when you ask for it that way. I will go back for sure, especially since I will be fantasizing about the Sweet and Sour Gluten (Chinese Style) until then.

Sweet and Sour Gluten (Chinese Style)

Hot and Spicy Vegetables with Tofu

 Spicy Ground Gluten Noodle

- Late dinner was another trip to the Monet Carlo food court. I had a 6-inch Veggie Delight from Subway on Italian Bread (Vegan for sure), topped with Mustard, Sweet Onion Sauce, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Red Onions, Olives, Banana Peppers, and Green Bell Peppers.

- I also got side of Mixed Vegetables from Sbarro, that I generously seasoned with 2 small packets of both salt and pepper. The guy working there said the veggies were only seaoned with garlic and olive oil. I was hesitant, but after eating a bite I didn't taste anything odd, so I believe these veggies are vegan.

Sunday, June 20th:

We stopped by Ronald's Donuts which offer mainly vegan donuts! They were fantastic in so many ways (Though I must admit I haven't eaten a donut in probably 2 years). The Chocolate Bar filled with Vanilla Soy Cream was TO DIE FOR!

Chocolate Bar filled with Vanilla Soy Cream

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Barbecue Tofu and Lots of Veggies!

Tomorrow I am off to Vegas for my birthday for 3 days, so I will make sure to take lots of vegan foodie pics while I am there and give some restaurant recommendations and reviews!

Tonight, I had some veggies and tofu to use up so I made Barbecue Tofu, Roasted-Garlic-Creole-Flavored-Zucchini, and Pan-Fried-Creole-Seasoned-Broccoli! These are really not even recipes just quick and easy meal ideas.

For creole seasoning THIS BRAND is the most fantastic seasoning on the planet... Great in soups and on any type of veggie! Buy this brand seriously, I have tried others.

The Barbecue Tofu was way easy:
- Press the tofu for about 20 minutes and cut it into cubes.
- Place the cubes into a gallon sized ziploc, add about 1/4 cup of cornstarch and shake the bag for 30 seconds.
- Fry up the tofu in a tablespoon-ish of oil until golden on all sides, turn off the heat, and add 1 cup* of barbecue sauce. Mix the tofu around in the pan until the tofu is evenly coated.

*I used only 1/2 cup in the picture and ended up putting the tofu back in the pan and adding another 1/2 cup... The saucier the better!

For the Roasted Creole Flavored Zucchini: 
- Preheat the oven to 375 F.
- Cut up the zucchini (As many as you want to use) width wise in thumb sized slices, then half those slices width wise. Place slices in a large glass casserole dish.
- Press 4 cloves of garlic (Optional) and add that to the dish as well.
- Spray zucchini with cooking spray and sprinkle generously with creole. Shake the pan around for a minute so everything gets coated.
- Roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Sprinkle more creole if needed.

Pan-Fried Creole Seasoned Broccoli:
- Grab as many broccoli florets as you feel like eating.
- Fry them up in some olive oil or cooking spray.
- Once you broccoli is to the crunchiness of your liking, add a generous amount of creole.
- Mix the broccoli around a bit more in the pan to coat the broccoli evenly.
- Broccoli is better on the crisper side versus mushy... Yuck.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Teriyaki "Beef"

This dish is super easy-peasy... Made it in like 15 minutes.

- 3 cups Seitan, cut into chunks (Store bought or My Go-To Recipe)
- 1/4 cup Cornstarch
- 4 big handfuls fresh broccoli florets
- Half a container (4 oz.) of Mushrooms, halved or quartered depending on size
- Sesame seeds for garnish
- Oil for frying
- 1/2 cup Trader Joe's Soyaki Teriyaki Sauce or Soy Vay Veri Veri Teryaki Sauce
- 1 tablespoon Cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon Water

- Place seitan chunks in a gallon-sized ziploc bag. Add the 1/4 cup of cornstarch, close the bag, and shake for a minute until seitan chunks are more evenly coated.
- Add about a tablespoon of oil to a large heated fry-pan or wok. Add coated seitan and fry up till the seitan turns golden.
- Meanwhile, mix together the 1 tablespoon of both cornstarch and water and add it to the 1/2 cup of teryaki sauce and mix it up.
- Add broccoli to the pan with a bit more oil if needed. Once the broccoli is bright green and beginning to de-crisp add the sauce and mushrooms.
- Cook a few more minutes or until the mushrooms are cooked to your liking. The sauce will thicken really fast because of the added cornstarch so that will be the least of your concerns.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with rice.

VegWeb's Butternut Tofu Stuffed Shells

This recipe off VegWeb for Butternut Tofu Stuffed Shells is awesome! My first time eating butternut squash too! Being vegan is awesome because it forces you to get out of your comfort zone and try new things to widen your options!

The things I changed were:
- Adding 2 cups of kale to the tofu and butternut squash mixture... Not really recommended though, since the filling was really bitter at first (Probably due to an old batch of kale) though I couldn't taste the bitterness in the leftovers.
- Doubled the garlic and onion powders as well.
- I had enough filling to easily use an entire box of shells, double what the recipe recommends!

I will be making this again for sure!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Tomato Bisque from The Conscience Cook by Tal Ronnen

This soup was pretty awesome but it took like 1.5 hours to make so um, ya. That is one of the main reasons I really don't use my cookbooks that much.

The only changes I made: 
- Didn't bother straining everything through a fine mesh sieve because I am lazy and I don't have one.
- Used about a teaspoon of dried thyme instead of fresh because I have no other use for fresh thyme.
- Didn't bother with the fresh parsley garnish because of laziness.

One of the best tomato soups I have made so far but very time consuming.

I would be stoked if he was my cook though... I don't understand why Oprah gave up the vegan thing after her whole "vegan cleanse" and her ranting and raving about how fantastic she felt. But whatever. That's life.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Dinner at Dad's 6/11/10

This week at my Dad's, my Step Mom cooked up some yummy spaghetti noodles and flavored them Asian-style with some teriyaki sauce, tofu, and veggies. She also fried up some vegan egg rolls and wontons that I dipped in a mix of sriracha and sweet chili sauce.

I also tried mung beans for the first time and they were good! She made a thick soup-like dish with them and served it over some brown rice. Yes it looks gross but it tasted so good!

For dessert I tried another flavor of Trader Joe's vegan ice cream, Cherry Chocolate Chip, and oh my was it magical!

Friday, June 11, 2010

VegWeb's Cheesy Bean and Cheese Enchiladas

Gosh, I have no idea why I waited so long to try THIS RECIPE! It's fantastic and I really didn't change much.

I just added 2 tablespoons white miso to the "Cheese" Sauce (I swear this gives the sauce an even "cheesier" flavor), used white beans instead of white kidney beans, and sprinkled some green onions on top before baking. I served them up with a dollop of Vegan Sour Cream.


And, USE FLOUR TORTILLAS!!! I had only 7 flour tortillas. The recipe needs 10 tortillas, which I'm assuming mean flour because of how much filling there was. I decided to make a small caserrole using some corn tortillas, topped with Daiya Vegan Cheese, since I still had quite a bit of filling to use up due to my lack of flour tortillas.

The casserole was good, the enchiladas were out of this world! I even gave some leftovers (Of the enchiladas of course) to a non-vegan coworker, who raved about how amazing they were!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Chocolate Banana "Milk"Shake

I have been making these for quite awhile now... Sometimes I just use chocolate soymilk, some times I use vanilla almond milk and add some Vegan Chocolate Syrup.  Either way, magic in a glass.

Today here's what I did:

- 1 frozen Banana, broken in a few chunks
- 1 & 1/4 cup Vanilla Nondairy Milk of choice, the sweetened variety
- 2 to 3 tablespoons Chocolate Syrup
- Ice Cubes (Use only a couple for a thin shake maybe four or five for a thick shake depending on size)

Blend it up until smooth and creamy!