Thursday, May 22, 2008

past few

Indian Croquettes w. Lemon-Garlic Stringbeans and Broccoli

First I was going to make my favorite veggie burger then realized that I didn't have kidney beans after I already started cooking the food. All I had were chickpeas and I didn't want them in my veggie burger. The meal quickly took a turn to being Indian inspired. I sauteed butternut squash w. garlic and onions until soft then added the chickpeas and mashed it all together in a wooden spoon. Added some ready to be tossed cilantro, slivered almonds and just cooked quinoa and mashed some more. Too help hold it all together I added some vital wheat gluten. All this together made a perfect moist croquette after lightly frying them in some olive oil. Since this wasn't a planned meal I didn't have anything to make a nice little curryish sauce for it so I just topped it off with fresh cherry tomatoes. Turned out that was all that was needed. These were even good the next day out of the fridge cold and then later for lunch warmed over some mesclun with a lemon and olive oil dressing.

Last Minute Enchilada's

Last night was our last Wednesday Night Potluck for a few months. The weather is getting nice. The sun is staying out to at least 8:30 so we need to do other things besides eat and watch reality tv every Wednesday.

I had know idea what to bring this week. Friends were already bringing a potato dish and all I could think of making was Potato Pancakes which would make no sense because we would all be in a carb coma. 30 minutes before I was to leave I had an idea. I don't think I've ever made enchiladas before but that is what popped into my head. I had leftover Kabocha Squash that I roasted a few days before and have been feeding to Reno since then. She was getting sick of it as was I serving it to her so I used it in the Enchiladas.

I chopped up some garlic, onions and jalapeno which were then sauteed in olive oil. Then I added a can of drained and rinsed black beans and the leftover squash. I felt it needed something tomato-y so I added maybe 2 tablespoons of this hot salsa that we had leftover from the pizza party. (That salsa was HOT! Just the 2 tablespoons heated up the dish to incredible levels!) I stuffed it all inside some corn tortillas and topped it off with 1/2 a jar of Salsa Verde and baked, covered with foil, in the oven for about 20 minutes. Took it out and dumped the rest of the jar onto the tortillas and took it to my sisters and just kept it warm in her oven until dinner time.

I'm happy to say it all went over well except that it was just a little bit too spicy for some. I'm happy that one was left so that I can eat it for lunch today.


Some homemade Parsley-Pinenut Pesto tossed into cute little pasta topped with string beans and zucchini sauteed with garlic. I for some reason love zucchini with pesto pasta dishes. I highly recommend that you give it a try.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Pizza Swirl

So I made a big oops! this weekend. I had a pizza party and didn't take any pictures. It also wasn't just any ol' pizza party. It was a Street Fighter II Pizza Party a la my husband's wish. We had a lot of friends over, ate a lot of homemade pizza and had a Street Fighter II competition which I lost miserably and my husband won. It was surprisingly a good party. It was actually the first party we have ever thrown in either of our apartments!

Anyway I had a leftover pizza dough and some topping left in the fridge and used it up with the help of cashew ricotta to make a completely new dish for dinner last night.

I rolled out the leftover dough into a rectangle and spread a layer of a really thick and creamy cashew ricotta on it. Then topped it with a leftover mix of sauteed onions, orange, yellow and red bell peppers, zucchini, broccoli and herbs de provence. Carefully rolled it up into a log (like if you were making cinnamon rolls). Then rolled the log into a ball. Which kinda reminded me of a sleeping kitty.

Inside shot close up

At first I wasn't sure how to cut the thing after it was done. We then decided that cutting it into wedges was the best and obvious way to go. Let me just say that this was great! You have the crusty outer layer of pizza dough and then creamy layers of ricotta, veggies and dough inside. I served it with a Red Wine Tomato Sauce.

Friday, May 16, 2008


I took part in the May Care Package Swap on the PPK forums this month. It was my first time participating and I'm so happy I did. Below is what I received from my partner Catalina!

Asian Grocery Goodness

Baked Coconut Rolls

Soursop Candy



I'm really looking forward to using the sausage seasoning.

Rice Cake

Asian Grocery take II

Chocolate and Cashews

Cabernet Conserves

The whole lot all together.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Southern Fried Tofu w. Sauteed Spinach, Carrots + Zucchini

I do eat tofu. Usually it's blended into a sauce, or made into ricotta, or desserts. It's rare that I actually squeeze and press a block of tofu, cut it up, cook it and eat it. Since my sister really likes Tofu I've been experimenting with it the past few Tuesdays (she's comes over every Tuesday). Last Tuesday I just cooked it Buffalo Style like I do with Seitan all the time. Which turns out to be a great way to serve Tofu to a Tofuphobe.

This Tuesday I fried it up Southern Style with a thick coat of crispy batter. It was really good. It was a last minute decision to make it this way so we just had ketchup to dip it in. Next time I'll make a Chipotle Aioli or even an Agave Mustard to go along with it. I'm slowly becoming a drain it, press it, slice it, cook it, eat it tofu girl.

To get the batter nice and thick I first dipped it into some soy milk mixed with Dijon Mustard (whole grain mustard).

Then into a flour mixture of:

unbleached white flour
nutritional yeast
i wanted to add onion and garlic powder but couldn't find it for the life of me so add those as well. I eyeballed everything so I can't give you even approximate amounts at this time. Next time It will be all measured out.

Dip it back into the milk/mustard and then again into the flour mixture. This will give it a nice and thick coating that will fry up really well in oil.

I'm looking forward to eating the leftovers pieces in a wrap or on a roll with some greens and mayo.

Chickpea Salad w. Avocado on WW Pita

I love making Chickpea Salads. I've been making them for years and each time they are completely different from the last time. Sometimes I put cornichon pickles into it. Sometimes I go heavy on the mustard and mayo. Sometimes there is curry powder added. Sometimes non of the above and I go a completely different route. This one was heavy on the mustard and mayo and made for a nice spicy mix w. red onions, celery and garlic.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Happy Mothers Day (after)!

Blueberry Pancakes w. Tempeh Bacon

Happy momma's day to all you mom's out there!

I made Mothers Day breakfast for us yesterday which included Blueberry Pancakes from VwaV and some store bought Tempeh Bacon. I love making breakfast but it's something I don't do very often. By the time Reno is fed and ready for the day Peter or myself just drive to Whole Foods to get some breakfast pastries and some Starbucks coffee's. It's a waste of money and gas especially since I have all the ingredients I need to make us breakfast and morning caffeine drinks, an espresso machine (for me) and a French Press (for him) at home. So I'm hoping to bring you more breakfast goodness to look at each weekend.

oh yeah..I need to tell you what blueberries I used for these pancakes. I picked up some Wymans Frozen Wild Blueberries. They are the best and I will never use another type!!

Chocolate Chip-Walnut Brownies

Mothers Day dessert! We went to my in-laws for mothers day along with my parents yesterday for a nice sit outside BBQ. I brought along the 3 bean salad w. warm cumin lime dressing (yellow rose tester that I posted about a few post below) AND some of brownies! I love these brownies. These are a version of another version of another version that I make all the time. The recipe still needs some work before it's the perfect version of the original brownie recipe.

Reno (8 1/2 months)

Ms. Reno enjoying her first Mother's Day celebration w. her Dad. What was she saying all day mothers day?


What a little punk!

Saturday, May 10, 2008


View outside my kitchen

Yesterday I woke up to another rainy-go no where day.

Gorilla Espresso A Go Go

The type of day where you need a double shot of espresso with a bit of Green + Blacks Hot Chocolate mixed in. (an ever so slight amount)


You also need some Shells and Chreese for lunch.


Then some Chili w. Kidney Beans, Cashews + Chocolate.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Vampires need not apply...

Seitan Wrap w. Raw Spinach, Avocado and Aioli served w. Garlic-Rosemary Fries

Seriously, garlic is oozing out of my pores. I had some seitan in the fridge that
reminded me of the kind my last job had. Which in turn reminded me of my favorite after work snack I would make for myself while I was finishing up my shift. This is my at home version of that wrap. Crispy seitan sauteed in a bit of olive oil with a ton of garlic which I put in a wrap w. raw spinach and avocado. The aioli was some mayo w. garlic and onion powder, paprika, cayenne and basil. I didn't have much mayo left, only about 3 tablespoons in total, so it was a very thin layer on the 2 wraps but the perfect amount because the spices were so heavily used and strong in flavor. I was very pleased as was Peter. It filled the craving.

Garlic-Rosemary Fries

To add on to the garlic overload of tonights dinner I decided to throw a ton of garlic onto the fries I had in the oven along with some fresh rosemary I got from my mom. There is no reason to eat plain o' fries when you can dress them up. Then again a plain fry dipped into an amazing mayo is heavenly.


Whoa! That's a huge clove! No camera trickery there my friends! That one clove was used for the seitan and the fries. I ran into the supermarket the other day for garlic and they had nothing. I searched and searched. Nothing. Then I found some elephant garlic hidden under some packs of basil. I couldn't believe how huge these cloves were. Half of this beast would have been more than enough for the whole meal and I love lots of garlic. It was funny having to slice it and dice it like an onion. I'm a fan.

Friday, May 02, 2008

take out or stay in

Veggie Heaven Appetizer Dinner

Believe it or not from time to time I don't feel like cooking. Especially if Reno is being a beast for 5 days straight and Peter is going out. We don't eat out much or even take out much. Our food at home taste better, is better for you and also cheaper. My sister was coming over and mentioned she got $20 for helping a friend and I told her she should buy us dinner with that $20 since she didn't want the money anyway. She did! We settled on Veggie Heaven our only local vegan restaurant in Montclair, New Jersey.

We decided that we would order a bunch of appetizers instead of a separate entree each to have an assortment of good stuff.

Starting with the red strips at the top of the plate:

BBQ Ribs (my new current obsession)
Sesame Noodles
Chicken Nuggets w some sorta sweet fruity sauce
Dim Sum
Scallion Pancakes

This was all perfect and filled a craving I was having for Chinese Food. We also ordered cheesecake (for me) and green tea cake (for nicole) but I forgot to take a photo. I love their cheesecake but I don't love the green tea cake. It's just not a flavor my tastebuds agree with, Nicole however loves it.

Hoisin-Maple Seitan

My new favorite marinade. My mom made a marinade for grilled corn on the cob that I used on some seitan while I was down there this weekend. It was great! I've changed things around a bit and added maple syrup to the mix just to give it an extra something that I think it needed. This is one of those marinades that taste better after it is cooked and the bit of maple caramelizes a bit. I need to play around with the amounts of each ingredient a bit and then I will post the recipe next week sometime.

3 Bean Salad w. Warm Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette

Another Yellow Rose tester recipe from Joanna. Really really good! So colorful. Great for the hot days of summer that will soon be approaching. I can see making this on a Sunday and eating it the rest of the week for lunch or as a side to dinner.

Late July
mini pb sandwiches

I try not to buy these too often simple because I could eat the whole box without even thinking. I love them and I love the design on the package so much that I hate to recycle it when I'm finished.