Thursday, October 29, 2009

Broken Promises




To start off, I am breaking my promise to not mention Daiya for the rest of 'mofo. Why? Because today I procured about 2 pounds worth of "Block Cheddar." Thinking that this has to be the most amazing find ever, I brought it home. My drive home was anxious, as the smell drifted out of my bag, despite the tight wrapping of said block. My car reeked of CHEESE. Not of fake-smelling-weird-chemical-cheese, but it stank of the real deal! This only made my anticipation worse. I cut off a slice about 1/4 inch thick. I cut that slice into 6 rectangles. I got out 4 saltine crackers. Placed 4 pieces on the crackers, leaving 2 unadorned pieces to savor on their own. Took an eager bite of one of the lonely chunks. Nearly spit it out. Not good. Actually, it tasted quite like I remember cheddar, but the texture definitely left something to be desired. I placed the 2nd lonely piece on another cracker, knowing I would not eat it cold and alone. Still, not good at all. I was beginning to get depressed. I placed the remaining 4 cheese and crackers on a plate and zapped them in the microwave for 30 seconds...guess what?



PERFECTION!!!

I sincerely recommend the following:

DO NOT eat Daiya Block Cheddar cold, on it's own, or on a cracker.

DO enjoy it on a grilled cheese, or other toasty sandwich, or any other place you'd enjoy a thick, melty, gooey, stretchy bit of cheese.

DO continue to enjoy the shredded variety on pizza, in mac and cheese, tossed in a salad, or any other way you can think of to use it.

The key (for me, anyways) to enjoying Daiya, is to melt it.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Squashkin Butter!!!



Today, I received a little box in the mail. Inside was a little blue note with a cute little birdie drawn on the front, and a jar of home made Squashkin Butter from the lovely and wonderful Amy of Tahinitoo. When I visited Portland over the summer, I had the pleasure of meeting Amy (and Tim) and she gave to me a jar of home made Vanilla Cherry Jam. That was soooo great, so I knew I was in for a treat when I got this jar of deliciousness.

So what did I try it on first?



Toast, of course.

Thank you Amy! So, so, good. It really put me in an Autumnal mood.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Lumpy Gravy



Sometimes dinner that doesn't look very good, really hits the spot. This completely colorless meal was so full of flavor and so easy to make, I didn't care that it looked like crap (literally!!!)



I am working on a cutlet recipe that tastes like a combination of chicken fried and salisbury steak. I'm pretty sure I have the flavor down, so I just gotta remake it again, to double check the measurements, then I'll share, I promise.

Pictured above is the cutlet, smothered in lumpy brown gravy with a side of mashed potatoes. This meal almost reminds me of a TV dinner.

*Bonus points if you know who had an album titled "Lumpy Gravy" without clicking on the link!

Monday, October 26, 2009

I have finally met my match!



Yep. That's right. Joni has finally met a veggie burger that TOOK ME DOWN! I couldn't even finish half of it! What? Joni? Not finish a burger? Yep. It was so big and so delicious, I wish I could have, but I failed.

What is this burger you say? It's the new Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger at Native Foods. Let's just work our way through this bad boy layer by layer...

Thinly sliced layers of marinated seitan, carmelized onions, tempeh bacon, daiya cheese, FOUR CORN BATTERED DEEP FRIED PICKLES, lettuce, red onion, tomato, carrots, vegan mayo and barbecue sauce, all on a soft whole wheat bun. WHOA!


Picture from the Native Foods Website:

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday Breakfast



Geez, with breakfast being my favorite meal of the day, you'd think I'd make it more often! I took advantage of a few free moments this morning to make myself a BIG hearty breakfast.



Let's start with the scramble. A basic crumbled tofu-turmeric-garlic-onion-salt and pepper combination with some Daiya tossed in at the end for good measure. The potatoes were just some frozen shredded potatoes fried up and served with ketchup. The tempeh bacon was simply marinated in about a tablepoon of liquid smoke mixed with about 1/4 cup of maple syrup and then pan fried until crispy.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Night = Pizza!



Sure, any one of us could make a kick-ass-home-made-yeast-risen pizza, but, after a long, long work week, everyone deserves to have dinner delivered in a big, flat box. Even us vegans. The trick is to find a delivery joint that will deliver vegan pizza. Just find out the ingredients in the crust at your local pizza joint, and order it cheeseless with your favorite veggies on it. If you want to, doctor it up with some vegan cheese and enjoy! Even those of you that live in the least vegan friendly cities don't have to go pieless. Little Caesars has a vegan crust, as well as the breadsticks, as long as you specify "no-cheese."

I also live outside the delivery zone of any vegan pizza delivery joints, so tonight, mine is the "Crispy Thin Crust" from Domino's with mushrooms and roasted red peppers (and some added Daiya.



Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies



Have I already told y'all how much I am in love with Bob's Red Mill Coconut Flour? Well I am. I love the soft texture and the slightly sweet and slightly coconut-y flavor. I have been trying to replace most of my all-purpose flour with this in my baking lately. Tonight I tried it out in some cookies, and I think it worked out fantastically.



Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups creamy no-stir peanut butter
1 cup evaporated cane juice (sugar)
1 cup coconut flour
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup nondairy milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line two cookie sheets with parchment or a silicone baking sheet.

Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix well until everything is well incorporated and you have a crumbly dough.

Grab about 2 tablespoons worth of dough and form into a ball, then flatteninto a cookie sheet.

Place 12 cookies on each sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, or until crackly on top and just beginning to brown.

Allow to cool at least 5 minutes before transferring to a rack ro cool completely.

Makes 2 dozen cookies.

Pretend it's still Wednesday!



I totally fell asleep on the couch last night after an emotionally draining 2 episodes of Ghost Whisperer (Does anyone else cry at the end of every single episode?) so I didn't post last night. Just pretend it's still Wednesday, and later tonight I'll post for today.

This post contains no recipes, rather it is a list, per se, of things I would have if I could create my dream kitchen.

To start things off, my dream kitchen would have concrete floors and countertops.


It would have a restored commercial stove.

It would have a HUGE walk in pantry.

It would have open rack shelving.

It would have a butcher block island.

It would have a hanging pot rack.

It would have pendant task lighting.

It would have a proofer/oven combo.


It would have UNLIMITED spice storage, a couple of these card catalog cabinets should do the trick.


It would have a WALK-IN cooler.


It would have a commercial sink.

It would have an indoor herb garden.

Let's not even get into appliances!!!!

And, finally, a couple of these Lawyer's Bookcases for cookbook storage.



Yes, I would need a lot of space to make this happen, but a girl CAN dream!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sometimes, a big ol' bowl of taters is all I need.



And by big, I mean really big. These taters were just a plain box of instant potato flakes, doctored up with garlic powder and chives...and yes, that is an insane amount of Earth Balance.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Truth is...



I've been eating leftover soup, and cold cereal for the last 2 days. Not very exciting. But you know what is exciting? 500 Vegan Recipes comes out on November 1! That's less than 2 weeks away!

Here's a little teaser to get you as excited as I am:

Seitan en Croƻte
A juicy, savory seitan wrapped in a flaky pastry crust… Need we say more?



Inside Shot:


The Recipe:

2 cups (288 g) vital wheat gluten flour
1 cup (120 g) whole wheat flour
1/4 cup (30 g) nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup (235 ml) beef flavored vegetable broth (or plain veggie broth)
1/2 cup (120 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup (60 ml) soy sauce or tamari
3 tablespoons (50 g) tomato paste
1 tablespoon (45 g) prepared stone ground mustard
2 teaspoons liquid smoke
2 sheets vegan frozen puff pastry

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4).
Have ready a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat such as Silpat.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together, gluten flour, wheat flour, nutritional yeast, parsley, paprika, garlic powder, and pepper.
In a separate bowl, mix together broth, oil, soy sauce, tomato paste, mustard, and liquid smoke.
Add wet to dry and knead together until well incorporated and until moist dough forms.
Let rest 20 minutes.
Thaw puff pastry according to package instructions.
Form into a loaf (similar to a meat loaf shape) and place in the center of the baking sheet.
Bake, uncovered, for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
Increase the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C, or gas mark 5).
Cover the loaf entirely with one of the pastry sheets, tucking the edges underneath the loaf.
Slice the other sheet into 10 even strips for weaving. Weave the strips, on the diagonal across the top of the loaf. Tuck loose ends under the loaf.
Sprinkle a little paprika and parsley on top for color.
Return to the oven and bake an additional 20 to 25 minutes, or until pastry is fluffy and golden brown.

Yield: 1 loaf (about 8 servings)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Traditional Childhood Classic Updated



It was raining all day yesterday, so knowing I was going to be off work today, I prepared to make soup...but wouldn't you know it? It ended up being sunny and 80+ degrees today. Still, I was determined to enjoy some home made soup.

I decided on Roasted Tomato and Garlic Basil. Served up with it's natural companion, a grilled cheese. (I promised I wouldn't post about Daiya anymore, so let's just concentrate on that soup, 'kay?)



To make the soup, I preheated my oven to 350 degrees F. I sliced about 10 roma tomatoes in half and placed them cut side up in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with a Silpat. I liberally drizzled olive oil all over them and then sprinkled on about 2 tablepoons of dried basil, and salt and pepper. I also added about 12 whole cloves of garlic to the mix, and baked them, uncovered, for about 40 minutes. I transferred the roasted tomatoes and garlic to a pot along with any of the remaining oil left on the Silpat. I added 1 cup of veggie broth and 1, 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes along with their juice to the pot. I brought it all to a boil, reduced it to a simmer, and simmered for about 10 minutes. I used my immersion blender to puree the whole pot and it was done!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Veggie Grill Treated me to Dinner for my Birthday!



If you sign up, Veggie Grill will treat you to a free birthday dinner too!



We ordered Chill Out Wings (bite sized chillin’ chickin’ with tangy BBQ sauce and chipotle ranch) and Dan dined on a Chipotle BBQ sandwich (shredded veggie-steak, marinated in tangy BBQ sauce, with chipotle ranch, caramelized onion, lettuce, tomato) and a side of Steamin' Kale (tender kale with a ginger-miso dressing and roasted sesame seeds). I ordered up a Santa Fe Crispy Chickin' sandwich (crispy fried chillin’ chickin’, lettuce, tomato, red onion, avocado, southwestern spiced vegan mayo) and a side of Sweetheart Fries (scrumptious sweet potato fries, seasoned and served with chipotle ranch) and for dessert we shared a piece of carrot cake. Our whole meal, including my agave sweetened strawberry lemonade, and Dan's Fat Tire, only set us back $20, since VG comped my sandwich, drink, and dessert!

After dinner, we rode the "Big Wheel." I do not think I like ferris wheels. In fact, I'm pretty certain.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

You're Gonna Love My Nuts!



Oh my, happy birthday to me indeed!

Dan got me the infamous SLAP CHOP! And boy, we're gonna make America skinny again...one slap at a time!




Here's mine:


And here's my nuts:

Monday, October 12, 2009

Garlic Puff Twists



Inspired by Barry's Bakery French Twists (The Original Flavor, which in my opinion is like crack in a tub, I mean, seriously, I could eat them all in one sitting!) we decided to make a savory version of these to go along with dinner tonight.

Start off with a package of frozen puff pastry dough, thawed according to package instructions. Cut the sheet into strips about 1" wide by 4"-5" long.



Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment or Silpat. Twist each strip a time or two and lie onto the sheet. Repeat with the remaining strips.

In a small bowl, melt about 1/4 cup of Earth Balance mixed with some garlic powder, paprika, a little salt and some dried basil. Brush each twist liberally with the melted butter mixture.



Bake at 400 degrees F for about 15-20 minutes until golden and flaky.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

CHEAP vegan eats from Big Lots



Every now and again I like to peruse the aisles of Big Lots just to see what there is to see. I usually pick up some random "gourmet" stuff for super cheap.

Here's my latest haul:
2 jars of Hummus ($2 each)
2 containers of Garlic Powder ($1 each)
2 containers of Onion Powder ($1 each)
1 container of Imitation Bacon Bits ($1)
1 container of Ground Cumin ($1)
3 varieties of fettucine ($2 each)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Taco Tuesday...on Thursday!



Taco Tuesdays...we think about it every Tuesday and sometimes we remember to make 'em. Well, this Tuesday got away from us so Taco Thursday it was. Tonight's tacos featured red chile flour tortillas, TVP taco meat, refried beans, lettuce, green chiles, taco sauce, and, yes, more Daiya. (I promise to stop posting about Daiya, as soon as my batch runs out, which I fear will be soon, and even if I buy more, I promise to refrain from posting anymore about it, at least during 'mofo...deal?)

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2012 Copyright/Permissions/Disclaimers

All recipes written by me, Joni Marie Newman, unless otherwise noted. Please feel free to refer to or link back to any of my recipes, but please ask for permission, or remember to give credit when reprinting recipes in their entirety. I do provide links to affiliate programs (such as Amazon) in which I receive a small commission for items purchased. I do not provide paid reviews. All reviews done on products or books are of my own unsolicited opinion. On occasion I may receive a book or product to review. I will note when this is the case, but rest assured, it will not affect the authenticity of my review. Thanks!--Joni