Tuesday, July 29, 2008

so nice to be home...

BBQ Seitan Medallion w. Roasted Beets

Everytime I serve beets I tell Peter or whomever I am feeding them too to remember that they ate beets the next day when they go to the bathroom. But guess what? I never remember and I alway's fear that I'm dying or that my crazy kidney infection has returned. So dumb.

So remember that you ate beets!!

I made seitan cutlets the other day. Normal size ones not just the one giant one. The giant one is good for slicing and dicing. The normal size ones make for a much nicer presentation. What is above couldn't be simplier. It is my new go to food for lunch when I have extra cutlets soaking in the fridge.

Dip the moist seitan into panko (not much will stick but that is ok).
Pan sear on both sides for a minute or two.
Pour some BBQ sauce on top of the seitan and place in the oven 400 degrees for about 10 minutes. (i just put the pan I've seared them in in the oven.)

So satisfying.

Crab Reno (almost 11 months!!!!)

While sitting on the beach last week I noticed a crab crabbing along on the beach that looked a lot like my daughter. It turned out to be my daughter. She loved the beach and the ocean water. More of that to come in another post.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Ocean Grove

Jenna + Peter (not really)

So that ain't us. But it could be! You never know! I'd give you all nightmares if I put a pic of myself in a bathing suit.

We are leaving, at some point, today for Ocean Grove, New Jersey. It's a little over an hour away but Traffic.com is telling us it's going to take 2 1/2 hours. So we are just hanging out until it says otherwise. Lucky for us we also live right next to the Parkway so we just have to look out our window to see what the traffic conditions are like.

We will be back next friday. Earlier if Weather.com has it's way. Thunder storms are scheduled for the ENTIRE WEEK!

Have a great week everyone!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

What the....?

Mustard-Tamari Glazed Seitan w. Asparagus and Simple Potato Pancakes

Really..what the fuck?? I had made such a commitment to myself that I was going to post everyday up until our beach vacation this Saturday and I've failed. Summer has gotten to me and Reno has gotten to me. She is needing my undivided attention lately and is only happy if I'm laying on all of our couch cushions on the floor watching her stand and raising our arms over head going "TA DAAAA...TA DAAA...TA DAAAAAAA!" She is "napping" in her play yard rignt now. By "napping" I mean laying down, singing to one of her toys. She will fall off soon and then it's off to the land of many dirty dishes for me. While I have these few precious seconds....

...I've still been obsessed with mustard and seitan. I took the rest of the GIANT cutlet from a post or two below and sliced it in odd shapes, to make it look more appetizing, plus I like odd more then even and can even get a little OCD about it. Enough into this glimpse of my crazyness..I sauteed the seitan w. garlic and then added the asparagus towards the end. I like my aparagus crisp once it starts getting too soft I'm turned off. At the end of cooking I made a mixture of whole grain dijon mustard w. tamari and a little bit of olive oil and poured it over the seitan/asparagus mixture and stirred until everything was completely coated. The result was delicious!! The texture of the seitan was perfect and meaty and complemented the sauce perfectly. Asparagus and mustard are a perfect combination as well.

Simple Potato Pancakes

Before I decided to make the seitan for this dinner all I was really planning on making were Potato Pancakes. I love them. Peter loves them even more that I do. I usually add all different types of stuff to my pancakes but decided to kept them very simple (and thick.) I also HAND GRATED these suckers! Now that's love and you can taste it!

Simple and Thick Potato Pancakes

makes: I have no idea

2 large red skinned potatoes
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tea salt
fresh black pepper to taste

*grate the potatoes with a box grater into a bowl and drain most of the liquid when finished. (if I grate these is a processor I don't drain because they become nice and moist...with a box grater they seem to become way more liquidy)

*add to potatoes the thinly sliced onions and minced garlic and combine. Then add the flour. If the potatoes are still really moist after adding the flour keep adding a few tablespoons more of the flour at a time until the mixture holds together nicely.

*add salt and pepper.

*pour enough canola oil into the biggest pan ya got until it covers the bottom of the pan. When oil is heated I take a big spoon and scoop up a pile of potatoes and gently drop them into the oil. Don't press them flat at this point. When the bottom is golden brown after 3-4 minutes flip the pancakes with a spatula and then press them flat and cook another 3-4 minutes or until golden brown.

*remove the pancakes from the pan and place on a plate or baking sheet tray lined with paper towels or a brown paper bag to soak up some of the oil and sprinkle with salt. Keep them in a warm oven while you cook the rest of the potato pancakes.

*Serve with cold applesauce (room temperature just won't do) or tofu sour cream.

Monday, July 07, 2008

That's one BIG cutlet ya got there!

Mustard-Tamari "Crusted" Seitan w. Sweet Potato Chips and String Beans

Before I get to the BIG cutlet let me show you what I made with 1/2 of it. I was thinking about how much I like mustand and how much I like seitan so I decided to combine the two. Earlier in the day I made a GIANT cutlet instead of making separate ones. The only reason for that is that I didn't feel like wrestling with 4-6 pieces of gluten that didn't want to stretch. I only wanted to wrestle with 1 piece of gluten that didn't want to stretch. When it was time for dinner I was trying to think of a way to combine the mustard I so love with it and came up with a crust. The thing is though I went about "crusting" the seitan completely wrong and I knew it before I even started and just continued to do it anyway.

Friends of our came over just to shoot the shit with us while I was making dinner. It was around 8:30 at night and I didn't want to set up my 3 bowl make even a bigger mess method. I just decided to add all of the crust ingredients together into one bowl with the seitan and mix. Now while I'm doing this I know that the crust WILL NOT STICK! but I do it anyway it's fun to be rebellious and it was a moment of madness. Needless to say I was correct in my crazy thinking and it didn't stick at all. When it came time to cook it I just threw it all in the pan together and sauteed it. Some stuck (because I forced it to). Most of it didn't. It was still damn delicious and I was eating the rest of the "crust" out of the pan after our friends left around 11.

Crust ingredients: panko, whole grain mustard, tamari, olive oil. I will be adding additional ingredients to the crust the next time I make it and I will crust it properly. Bad me. Bad bad me.

Sweet Potato Chips are thinly sliced and tossed in olive oil and salt and baked in the oven on parchment paper.

Stringbeans are blanched in water.

BIG Seitan Cutlet

Ahhhhhhhh the cutlet! I think this is now my new favorite way of making seitan. One GIANT cutlet simmered in the over (i always write over instead of oven.) with broth made from one of those broth cubes. I never use those unless if I'm making this seitan. I've made it before with both homemade broth and store bought broth and it's just not the same. It must be made with broth cubes. Not any ol' broth cube at that...Rapunzel Vegan Vegetable Bouillon w. Sea Salt is the only way to go. I don't know what it is about it but it just makes the seitan taste perfect.

The cutlet recipe by the way is from the mighty Veganomicon.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

It was bound to happen..

Doesn't Deserve A Title Curry

I pride myself on knowing how to cook. I also know that I cook well, most of the time. Even when I don't cook well the food is still passable. That dish up there was not passable. The son of a bitch didn't even want to photograph well. Jerk! At least give me something you no good for nothing curry!

I really wanted curry. So I made a curry. I use to make curries all the time. For some reason this one didn't want to taste good. I did all my usual tricks to make it passable but nothing worked. Was it the almonds that I used instead of the cashews that I usually use but wanted to save for another dish? Was it that I didn't put tomatoes in the curry this time? Curry powder old? Did I forget a secret ingredient? What was it? Maybe the red pepper was bad? I'll never know and I guess that's OK. Cooking a bad meal has made my brain wake up again and I've been thinking about food nonstop ever since and have come up with some new ideas for some new recipes. That makes me excited. The fact that this curry is still in my fridge doesn't make me excited. Peter says he will eat it...NEWS FOR HIM..if he doesn't take it to work on Monday it is in the TRASH!


How does that song go? "The shit is bananas B-A-N-A-N-A-S!"

Reno thinks bananas are the shit! She put this one to a slow death the other night. Some got in her mouth. Some was plastered all over her body, clothes and face. The rest was on her chair. Oh yeah. Some was also in her hair. At least she didn't throw it on the floor.

She also thinks Avocado Sandwiches are the shit.

Friday, July 04, 2008



The lovely people at PROBAR contacted me awhile ago asking if I wanted to try out some of there new products. Never to turn down free food I said "YES!" Peter was pretty excited as well when the package came.

We received 5 bars. Not included in the picture is the Maple Pecan bar. We ate that one right away before I even thought of taking a picture. It turned out that the Maple Pecan was my favorite of the bunch. My least favorite, and I new it would be before even trying it, was the Kettle Corn. There is just something about the name Kettle Corn that turned me off. It just wasn't for me. For the other flavors they were all equally good. They were very filling and very high in fat. Even though they are meant to be a whole food meal replacement bar I'm thankful Peter was all too happy to split each one with me.

I would buy these if I came across them in the store. I'm sorta wishing I had a Cocoa Pistachio one right now.

Thursday, July 03, 2008


Chipotle Split Pea Soup (Tester) w. Sunday Salad

This was our lunch on Sunday and it was perfect. Joanna has giving us testers another great recipe to try out for her. The soup was slightly spicy and split pea tasty. Best of all is that there is basically no fat used at all and you wouldn't know it unless someone told you. That type of cooking makes me happy.

Sunday Salad w. Garlic-Lemon Vinaigrette

This is called Sunday Salad pretty much because I made it on Sunday. It was nice using non bagged salad for once with baby spinach, which was bagged. Some blanched string beans and chopping red bell pepper thrown on top and then drizzled in a garlic and lemon vinaigrette which I created while the soup above was cooking. For me this was a very satisfying meal.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Lost and Found: Tempeh

BBQ Tempeh w. Sauteed Mixed Vegetables

A lot like Tofu, up until recently, you never really see Tempeh on my blog. It is one of those proteins that I purchase quite a bit that gets lost, has his picture put on a box of soymilk and is then eventually found in the back of my fridge..but it's too late by then. He's gone and there is nothing that can be done. To me this is very funny because when I first became a vegetarian waaaaay back when, tempeh is what I tried, liked and ate quite a bit. How I lost this love a fare with the fermented product is beyond me. A few weeks ago I purchased another 2 packs of tempeh! What? I decided I will not let him see yet another fridge death and cook him up.

I first need to admit that I've never made my own BBQ sauce. This time is no different. That tempeh up there is marinated and baked in a store bought jar sauce who's name escapes me. It isn't anything special but it's still good. I'd like to make my own sauce but when the mood strikes I don't have any ingredients on hand and don't want to go to the store to buy them.

The tempeh was first steamed for about 10 minutes. Then placed in a square glass baking dish and covered with the BBQ sauce and marinated for about 30 minutes before being put in a 400 degree oven until it became all sticky and gooey flipping once or twice. The tempeh was succulent and sweet and I couldn't stop eating it. I have a few pieces leftover and am wishing that I had a ciabatta roll and some coleslaw to make a yummy sandwich.

The veggies were just sauteed with oil and WHOLE CLOVES of garlic! That was nice.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Pizza aint a swirl no more..it's a roll.

So Improved Pizza Roll

So this is my exciting post. I realize it might just be exciting to me. After a Street Fighter II Pizza Party in May I found myself with a leftover piece of dough and made a Swirl out of it. It was fun and delicious. The problem was that the dough inside the swirl didn't bake as much as I wanted/needed it too. I didn't have a problem with it since I'm a rawish dough lover but to share it with people I needed to do something else. Thats when I got to thinking about Cinnamon Rolls. The process of making and rolling these up are pretty much the same.

This time I used a multigrain dough that I purchase from Whole Foods. I love making my own dough but with Reno it's hard to do during the week (and even weekends). I rolled the dough into a large rectangle. Spread on a really thick cashew ricotta and then topped it all of a mix of sauteed veg: broccoli, peppers, onions, garlic, zucchini, thyme. Rolled it up and sliced it about 2 inches thick. These are then carefully moved onto a parchement lined baking sheet (dusted with cornmeal) cut side up not touching one another. You have to shape them a bit if they get all wonky while transferring but wonky can also add some charm to these rolls.

The last time I made these I was able to get all of my cashew ricotta into the roll. this time I wasn't. I wasn't sure what to do with the extra since I knew if I saved it for another use it wouldn't get used. After standing in the kitchen with the ricotta in one hand and a spatula in the other for a minute or two I decided to mix it into the tomato sauce I was making. After I mixed it in I though I made a big mistake. After I tasted it I knew it was the right thing to do. It made for a nice thick and creamy pink sauce and added an extra depth of flavor to the whole dish.

For a fancy presentation I poured the sauce into the bottom of the bowls and placed one Pizza Roll on top. One roll was enough for all of us especially with the extra ricotta in the sauce. I was very happy to have leftover rolls for lunch the next day.

So there is my exciting post. It's not rocket science but I was excited I made it better. This will be a great dinner to serve to guest.