Saturday, July 31, 2010

Weekend Batch Cooking & 7 Layer Dip

Weekends are when I do the majority of my cooking and prepping for next weeks meals. Today I made 3 batches of seitan. 2 of the batches were "Red Seitan" from Viva Vegan! For the 3rd batch I used the same technique and ingredient proportions but added different spices and flavors so the seitan would be more suitable for Asian style dishes (I added brown sugar, sesame oil, ground ginger, black pepper, and crushed red pepper). Look at all the seitan I made!

Tonight I am getting together with some of my old work friends. They are always amazed by the delicious vegan dips I bring along and of course spit out the typical, "How is this vegan, it tastes sooooo good" kind of lines. Yes people, vegan food tastes amazing... Not all of us vegans spend our days wondering the forest in search of twigs and berries... But anyway, here is my amazing vegan version a 7 layer Dip!

- Bottom Layer: 15 oz can or 2 cups Refried Beans
- Layer 2: About a cup of Guacamole (I mashed up 2 avocados and mixed in some lime juice and salt to taste)
- Layer 3: 1 container of Tofutti Vegan Sour Cream mixed with 1 packet of Taco Seasoning
- Layer 4: 1/2 cup of your favorite tomato based Salsa (I forgot this layer... Oops)
- Layer 5: 3.8 oz can sliced Black Olives
- Layer 6: About a cup of Diced Tomatoes*
- Layer 7: About 1/4 to 1/2 cup thinly sliced Green Onions

*(I used 3 Roma's and removed the seeds) I also added 2 minced Jalapenos to the tomato layer since I forgot the salsa*
 So pretty from the top as well!

 While I was busting my butt in the kitchen I also enjoyed one of my favorite smoothies: Watermelon (I left out the agave... I had an awesome melon this time around!)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lazy Dinner

So I just can't get enough of these Grilled Tofurkey Sandwiches!!! This time I had 2 english muffins to use up... Fantastic as usual!
I also made a cake referred to as "Pouding Chomeur" from The Vegan Mouse and it was pretty good, but definitely not very pretty... I was planning on taking it to the monthly birthday celebration at my work but decided against it. I would give the cake 3.5 out of 5 stars though for taste.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Easy Peasy Wet Bean & Rice Burritos

 I love me a wet burrito, especially one filled with leftover homemade Mexican rice and refried beans (Courtesy of my BF's mom). I also have an addiction to onions of any form, so I added a bunch of minced white onion on top of these bad boys.

What you need:
- Flour Tortillas
- Leftover Refried Beans
- Leftover Mexican Rice (Rice a Roni Spanish Rice is vegan I believe if you're lazy)
- Tofutti Vegan Cream Cheese (Optional)
- Red Taco Sauce (La Victoria Red Taco Sauce Medium is my favorite!)
- Minced White Onion (Optional)
- Your favorite toppings (I chose fresh Diced Tomatoes and Creamy Chipotle Sauce)

What you do:
- Prepare your favorite burrito toppings
- Heat flour tortilla/s in the microwave for 30ish seconds
- Put tortilla on a plate and add rice, beans, and vegan cream cheese (These were all leftovers straight from the fridge).
- Fold tortilla up burrito style, with the burrito seam side on the plate (Repeat previous 3 steps if you want 2 burritos at once)
- Top burrito/s with red taco sauce (Spread with a spoon) and then onions.
- Microwave for 2 to 3 minutes
- Top with your favorite toppings and enjoy! Easy Peasy :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Another Batch of Empanadas!

I made Empanadas again! I am getting better at making these puppies with every batch! I have learned to roll the dough nice and thin and assemble them on my cutting board (She says to use the palm of your hand, which I find frustratingly impossible). Next time, I am going to try stuffing them with something from my imagination instead of using the recipe for the filling. Viva Vegan! is a really good cookbook you should definitely check it out!

Served with the "Green Aji Sauce" sauce out of Viva Vegan!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Vegweb's Super Yummy Cheesy Pot Pie

I made this Super Yummy Cheesy Pot Pie for dinner tonight and thought it was pretty yummy. I would give it 4 out of 5 stars this time around but next time I'm sure it will be even better!

***Update: I thought this pot pie was much better the second day as leftovers!***

I used the veggies listed in the recipe but doubled the broccoli, added half a chopped white onion, and used Melty Cheese for the vegan cheese sauce. I also made my own pie shell using the empanada dough recipe for "Richer Wheat Dough" out of Viva Vegan!

 Things I did wrong:
- I should have nuked the potatoes for longer than the other veggies because they weren't cooked all the way when my pot pie was done.
- Next time I will use only half the empanada dough recipe and roll it much thinner, my crust was too thick.
- I should have used the whole recipe of Melty Cheese. I saved some (Like 1/2 cup) to feed my addiction to Vegan Nachos.... Oops
- Also make sure to have a pan under whatever you're baking the pot pie in, mine started bubbling over and got all over my oven.
- I should have added more spices to jazz the filling up. I did add salt and pepper even though the recipe didn't call for it but the pot pie was still a bit bland.

Easy Vegan Meals on Vacation in a Small Farm Town

This weekend I visited with my BF's family in Reedley, California. Reedley is a small town about 4 hours (Of psychotically fast driving courtesy of my BF) north of my home in So Cal. Surprisingly, I found tofu a plenty, frozen vegan burgers, non-dairy milks, and even Vegenaise so cooking vegan really wasn't much of a problem.

My BF's mom has never tried tofu before, so the first night I cooked up some Simple Tofu Taco filling (I left out the kale). We used the filling to make burritos stuffed with some of my BF's mom's amazing home cooked refried beans and Spanish rice plus avocado slices, diced tomatoes, and shredded lettuce. Easy and delicious!

For an early lunch the next day, his mom had already prepared some homemade breakfast potatoes. I added some chopped green bell peppers, onions, and seasoning to the potatoes and cooked some of my Barbecue Tofu to go along with the meal. Another success!

I was also recently nominated for The Versatile Blogger Award by the Weekly Vegan Menu! The lovely lady who runs this blog seems like a "super vegan" I swear! She has 3 amazing vegan kids who help her cook up a storm, she is beyond creative with her meals, and truly gifted in her recipe creations and photo taking skills! Honestly, I am so honored people are actually looking at my blog I am so stoked right now!

So to go along with my nomination 7 things about me:

I am obsessed with condiments. I would die without my ketchup, vegan mayo, and homemade vegan ranch! God bless you Vegenaise!

I cry whenever I see that HSUS Commercial on TV with Sarah McLachlan's "In the Arms of an Angel" song playing in the background.

I love Romantic Comedies and Scary Movies!

I get insanely happy when I find new uses for old jars that I rinse out and save, I don't know why... Yes I collect glass jars, especially pickle jars! I also love reusing ziplocs!

I am obsessed with comfy clothes. The first thing I do when I get home from work is put my PJ bottoms on along with some flip flops (Summer) or slippers (Winter).

I hate clutter. I throw everything away, sell, or donate it. My BF is the exact opposite and clings to his old possessions. I think we balance each other out though :)

I really have only one pet peeve, when people step on the back of my shoe. I get pissed!

Other blogs I love:

Obvious ones:

Not as well-known but amazing:

And... I would like to mention:
This blog is just starting out but is/ will be amazing :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Easy Peasy Fried Rice and Sweet & Sour Tofu

 I am going to take a short vacation this weekend but I just wanted to post about this easy meal I made with minimal food around... Though I did have a block of tofu waiting for me when I got home from work, pressed ever so perfectly in my Tofu Press!

I made about half a recipe of my Sweet & Spicy Fried Rice. For the veggies I used a frozen peas and corn mix as well as some thinly sliced green onions. I also added half a block of extra firm tofu that I had coated with a little cornstarch and pan fried until golden (I did this first and added it to the fried rice towards the end). I love eating rice with Roasted Seasoned Seaweed you should try it!

The other half of the block of tofu was also coated with cornstarch and pan fried until golden but I added some of my favorite store bought Sweet and Sour Sauce that needed to be used up.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"Chicken" Fajitas

Tonight I wanted my dinner and I wanted it quick! I made a bunch of seitan this weekend using recipes from my new Viva Vegan! cookbook so tonight I decided to use half a batch of White Seitan for the "chicken" in my fajitas. I also used some leftover "So Good, So Green Dipping Sauce (Green Aji Sauce)" as a topping.

- Half a batch of White Seitan or 12 oz store bought "chicken" style seitan, cut into strips
- 1 bell pepper total, I did half a green and half a red, sliced lengthwise
- 1/2 a large white onion, sliced lengthwise
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped small (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon each: thyme, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne, and oregano
- 1/4 cup water
- Oil for frying
- Corn tortillas
- Favorite fajita toppings, I used shredded romaine, diced tomatoes, and that green sauce!

- Get your veggies and seitan prepped and spices out on the counter
- Put some oil in a big fry pan or wok and add your seitan, cook until it begins to turn golden.
- Add your onions, peppers, spices, and water and cook until veggies are cooked to your liking and water has evaporated.
- Turn off heat and add cilantro, mix around a bit so cilantro is evenly distributed.
- Heat up your corn tortillas, add fajita mix, and top with your favorite toppings

 White Seitan


Monday, July 19, 2010

Vegan Sushi with Baked Teriyaki Tofu

Last night I threw a block of tofu in my Tofu Press so that I would have perfectly pressed tofu today. This morning I decided I wanted to make vegan sushi for lunch and what better to go in vegan sushi than baked tofu? Nothing. Especially Teriyaki flavored baked tofu! This is only my second time baking tofu and this time it turned out perfect, I think I might be baking tofu more often now!

Teriyaki Baked Tofu:
- Press tofu, preferably in a tofu press
- Marinate tofu in about 1/4 cup TJ's Soyaki or Soy Vay Teryaki Sauce for an hour, preferably in your Tofu Press with its handy marinating lid!
- Preheat oven to 400F
- Take tofu out of marinade and cut tofu in 1/4 inch slabs
- Spray a glass baking dish with cooking spray and place tofu slabs in the dish. Top tofu with any remaining marinade
- Bake for an hour, flipping tofu over after 30 minutes.
- Allow cooked tofu to cool a bit and it will stiffen up and get that wonderful baked tofu texture!
***I cut these slabs in half for sushi making***

My vegan sushi consisted of:
~ Pickled Daikon Radish (It's yellow and comes refrigerated you can find it at an Asian grocery store)
~ Avocado
~ Pickled Carrots (Carrots left to sit in a mixture of water and rice vinegar for at least an hour)
~ Cucumber
~ Teriyaki Baked Tofu

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Delicious Bagel Spread & More Vegan Nachos!

Today I was busy making a batch of both Red and White Seitan and Empanadas from my Viva Vegan! cookbook so that I would have leftovers to use up this coming week. I really love this cookbook, so sorry that I can't seem to shut up about it.

So today I kept the meals I actually ate pretty easy.

For breakfast I had a bagel, smothered in vegan cream cheese (Tofutti Brand) and topped with a mixture of half a mashed banana and some strawberry jam... Yum!

For lunch I had some more Vegan Nachos, topped with some unusual extras like pan fried Red Seitan and Pickled Red Onions, both from Viva Vegan!

Dinner was a few of the Empanadas I made today, served up with a delicious green sauce  from Viva Vegan! called "So good, so green dipping sauce (Green aji sauce)." This sauce is awesome with the Empanadas and also makes for a good salad dressing. The sauce is a mix ingredients such as lime, cilantro, green onions, romaine lettuce and vegan mayo. I added probably double the amount of vegan mayo called for though cause I love my sauces and dressings creamy.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Viva Vegan!'s Sweet and Spicy Seitan-Potato Empanadas

I hate to do this, but I am talking about a cookbook recipe and not a recipe I can actually give you a link to... But here is Viva Vegan! on Amazon if you want to buy it. These Empanadas were A LOT of work, definitely something to do on the weekend so you will have leftovers to snack on throughout the week. The Red Seitan used in this recipe is to-die-for! This will most definitely be my new go-to seitan recipe! I like that most of the recipes in this cookbook don't have too many crazy ingredients and most recipes seem totally doable, unlike some of the cookbooks I have. So, enough with the blabbing, here are the pictures!

Red Seitan (The recipe for Red Seitan produces 4 of these little loaves):

Empanada Filling (Potatoes, raisins, green olives, peas, carrots, onions, and Red Seitan in a delicious gravy sauce):

Baked Empanadas:

Inside the cooked Empanadas:

The only problem I had with my first attempt at empanada making was that I must have not rolled the dough thin enough because I didn't get 10 empanadas worth of dough and I had like half of the filling left... More empanada making this weekend!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Vegan Nachos!

So I made some nachos again for a quick dinner tonight. Vegweb's Melty Cheese is da bomb! Along with the Melty Cheese, I topped my nachos with...

Homemade Guac (Mashed haas avocado + a little lime juice + salt)
Vegan Tofutti Sour Cream
Diced Tomatoes
Thinly sliced Green Onions & Black Olives
Canned Vegetarian Re-fried Beans

***Please use soy milk when you make Melty Cheese, I tried Almond and thought it tasted gross***