Monday, April 28, 2008

Falafel and disappointed vegetarians.

Falafel, Tahini Sauce, Pita, Mesclun, Couscous Tabbouleh

Did you ever go to a party and meet other vegans/vegetarians and be a little disappointed in them? These people were very nice. They came to a BBQ with a cooler of food to cook for everyone, which made me so happy. They mention that they bought seitan, I was THRILLED, I ask did you make it yourself? I got looked at like I was purple and had 5 heads and no hair. "No" they said "we did make falafel once."


Who would have though that I would finally meet other non meat eaters who bring a cooler of food to a bbq and they don't cook. I'm not saying you have to cook but it would be nice to meet some that do like to cook once in awhile.

I invited friends over the other night and since I had "we did make falafel once" on my mind I decided to make myself some falafel for the 20th time or so. This was a cross between 3 recipes I usually switch using. The sauce was simply tahini, lemon, salt and water just mixed with a fork until it became a happy saucy consistency.

Couscous Tabbouleh

This is one dish that came to mind the day I went shopping for ingredients for the dinner party and i'm glad it did. Couscous, tomato, cucumber, parsley, garlic, lemon, salt and pepper. It is the perfect picnic salad in my book and gets better the longer it sits in the fridge.

Falafel Pita w. Tahini Sauce


Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Shake

Having guests over for dinner? You MUST serve dessert. Even if that dessert is blended up goodness.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Anniversary and Special Cupcakes

Seitan Taco's topped w. Mesclun and Apple-Radish whatever served w. Creamy Black Beans

Yesterday (april 22) was our 2nd wedding anniversary. 2 days before that (april 20) marked we believe 13 years together! Holy moly! We celebrated the day in between and went to NYC to eat at Blossom. I didn't take any pictures because the lighting in there isn't for picture taking. I can say it was a delicious dinner and Peter wants to go back again. Now onto the meal I made for our real anniversary.

Seitan Tacos! These were one of the best taco's I've made in awhile. It was all because of the Apple-Radish (relish, salsa, slaw? i don't know what to call it). The taco seasoning was kinda spicy so the cool, crisp taste of the apples and radishes really complemented the whole dish.

I cooked my black beans differently too. Instead of chopping up the jalapeno I just left it to cook in the beans whole and then took it out before serving. It made the beans so much more spicy this way and so much more delicious.

Chocolate Mint Cupcakes w. Mint Buttercream and Hot Pink Sprinkles

Instead of a cake we had cupcakes at our wedding. Chocolate cupcakes with hot pink buttercream. While making chocolate cupcakes yesterday I decided to add some mint extract to everything after I found it in my pantry. The buttercream was a little toothpastey but in a good way. The cake was moist and perfect. I didn't want to spend extra money on food coloring so hot pink sprinkles were the way to go to recreate the "look" of our wedding cupcakes.

Chocolate Mint Cupcake w. a COOKIE baked inside!

I had some chocolate mint cookies on hand and decided to see what would happen if i buried one inside an uncooked cupcake. If you look hard enough you can see it in the middle of the cupcake pictured above. It came out great and I'm going to experiment more with cookies in the cake.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Grilled Cheese

Vegan Grilled Cheese w. Sundried Tomatoes

What? Really? Never in a million years would I have though I would want to try a processed vegan cheese. I've seen people write about these Rice slices on other blogs and then saw them in the food store and though I'd give em a try. I was surprised that there was nothing weird about them, taste wise, or any other way really. They really reminded me of the processed cheese's of my youth that I would only eat melted on burgers or in grilled cheese. I could never just unwrap a slice of cheese and eat it. The same goes for the vegan cheese. It's just wasn't my cheese eating style.

I made the above Grilled Cheese yesterday for lunch while I was cleaning and preparing dinner for friends who were coming over later (more on that meal in my next post). I was hungry and wanted something quick and for once in my life didn't want a PB&J. I melted some Earth Balance in a pan. Unwrapped 3 slices of cheese. Threw on some marinated sun dried tomatoes and cooked it up. I couldn't believe my eyes when the cheese actually melted. I couldn't believe my taste buds actually liked this.

Final verdict.

Will I make this again? [x] yes [ ] no

Will I make homemade tempeh bacon? [x] yes [ ] no

Will I put said bacon and sliced tomato on my next grilled cheese? [x] yes [ ]no

Do I now want a PB&J because I just mentioned it in this post? [x] yes [ ] no

Thursday, April 17, 2008

what my bay wants my bay gets...

Broccoli Rabe + Sundried Tomatoes over Angel Hair Pasta

My "bay" being my husband requested this pasta for dinner and he got it. My sister likes to believe that this is all we eat. Maybe we use to eat it 2 times a week for months and months but to be honest it's been a really long time since I've made it. It has everything a delicious pasta dinner needs. Broccoli rabe, sun dried tomatoes, lots of garlic and good quality olive oil. There is usually a splash of balsamic vinegar added but I forgot and nobody noticed.

Mesclun, Avocado + Bacon Bits w. Agave Mustard Dressing

I was eating this dressing out of the blender with a spoon! The dressing is another Yellow Rose tester. There is a Mexican place in the next town over that makes a killer Honey Mustard dressing. It's not vegan so I've been making my own version with agave and mustard..blah blah blah...with very good results. Joanna's recipe though is knocking them all out of the park. DELICIOUS!!

Spicy Peanut Sauce Marinated Setian w. Sauteed Broccoli and Garlic Fries

I made the Peanut Sauce from the post below again and this time marinated some sliced seitan in it and grilled it on my not so great grill pan. I would marinate everything in peanut butter if I could. What would have made this dinner even better is if I doubled the sauce and saved some to serve over the grilled seitan.

Broccoli is just sauteed. Simple.

Garlic Fries..Potatoes tossed in oil and baked at 400 degrees in the oven. When they were very close to being done I tossed in some chopped garlic and cooked for about 5 minutes more or until garlic is cooked but not brown. It's one of the best ways to cook and eat fries.

Now I'm going to show off my child...

Reno 7 1/2 months

I took her to see the Cherry Blossom's with my in laws last Saturday. She was so excited to grab the branches and shake them all over the place. She was covered in blossoms.

Reno 7 1/2 months

She is using everything and anything to pull herself up with. I left the room for a minute and returned to see this. Reno is also starting to let go of what she is using to hold herself up with because she thinks that she can stand on her own. This has caused a few heart attack moments for me recently.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Spicy Peanut Sauce a tester.

Spicy Peanut Sauce

Another tester recipe from Joanna at Yellow Rose Recipes. Peanut sauce is something I make a lot so it was fun making someone else's for a change. My how different our sauces are. Mine are usually cooked and contain a lot of peanut butter and orange juice. Joanna's is not cooked and contains a lot less peanut butter than mine and no orange juice. They are both equally delicious and I plan on adding the tester into my arsenal of easy sauce recipes.

Sauteed Broccoli, Zucchini and Green Beans over Brown Rice w. Spicy Peanut Sauce

Too bad there wasn't any leftovers. The above sauce tossed with gently sauteed green veggies = a delicious week night dinner. I couldn't understand why the broccoli tasted so damn good in this dish and then I figured out that the sauce found it's way into the nooks of the broccoli! It was such a nice treat to bite into a broccoli floret "filled" with peanut sauce. leftovers.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

oh sweet buffalo!!

Buffalo Seitan Wrap w. Ranch Dressing

I just ate this for lunch and had to talk about it and you might not want to get too close to me because I stink after eating this. Since Peter has been gone I've been eating most of my daytime meals cold out of the fridge. The day before it was pierogies. Today it was Buffalo Seitan leftover from last nights dinner. My eye's were bigger than my stomach last night when I was making dinner for me and my sis. I have a lot of leftover seitan. While I was making Reno her breakfast today I saw it and remembered how I would eat cold Buffalo Chicken out of the fridge in my omni days...well i'm happy to say the cold Buffalo Seitan didn't disappoint. I've been picking at it all day. I decided to stop picking and make a wrap. What you see is a fat-free wrap spread with homemade ranch sauce, some baby greens and a few pieces of the seitan. If I wasn't trying to cut back on the amount of food I eat in a day I would have had another.

This also got me thinking about all the awesome Buffalo salad's i've eaten in the past. I'm going to have to create one next week I think..complete with candied pecans and tempeh bacon. Maybe and avocado or two!

Friday, April 11, 2008

9 pm Pierogies

9 pm. Pierogies

Peter has been in Indianapolis since last Saturday and doesn't come home until this Sunday! That is 8 days! Too long. I haven't been cooking much. 3 days I was away at my parents. The rest of the time i've been eating out or eating more Chick Salad. It's not easy to cook when you are home alone with a 7 month old who is crawling and climbing up onto everything, as well as pulling electrical cords out of the walls.

Last night however I did cook. Not from scratch but from a bag. My sister bought over pierogies which I sauteed in earth balance buttery goodness with some onions. We didn't get to eat them until 9 becaues Reno was over tired and didn't want to sleep even though she was exhausted.

They were delicious with just some salt and pepper. They were even good cold for breakfast today.

Friday, April 04, 2008

food soulmates??

Chick Salad a tester recipe for joanna at Yellow Rose Recipes

Is there such a thing as a food soulmate? I'm lucky to be a tester for Joanna's new cookbook Yellow Rose Family and so far am loving all the recipes. They are right up my cooking alley and style. Some are versions of recipes that I've made for myself over the years and others are dishes I've always wanted to make. I believe her meals and my belly are a match made in heaven.

The Chick Salad above is my new current favorite dish. It has grapes in it! I've never heard of such a thing. It was the first recipe I've tested since my move this past weekend and I've already made it twice and will make it a third time this weekend when Peter goes away.

I even turned it into an appetizer below:

Chick Salad
as an appetizer

Spaghetti with Portobello Cream Sauce another Yellow Rose tester

This was good...really good. Nice and creamy and a little sweet. I think it might become our new standby pasta dinner.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

We've moved!

We are in our new apartment! After 3 day's of moving (friday, saturday and sunday!) Thank goodness for great friends and family who helped with the whole thing. I'll post a few pics when we are unpacked and semi set up, which might take a week or so since Peter is leaving for an 8 day business trip this saturday. boohoo.


One of our past Wednesday Potlucks was appetizer themed. My favorite thing when going to certain Italian restaurants is when they give each person a piece of bruschetta when you sit down. It's such a great way to start a meal except when places put cheese on it. Cheese has no business being on such a thing!

I can't wait until tomato season is in full swing here in Jersey so I can make a batch of this, keep it in the fridge and eat it for days on end as it sits, marinates and gets tastier with each passing day.

Balsamic Portobello Sandwiches with Basil Mayo + Tomatoes

If I could eat one sandwich for the rest of my life this might be it! It is a very easy to veganize recipe from bon appetite magazine that my mom made while we were visiting for Easter. The ciabatta rolls are buttered w. Earth Balance and toasted. The mayo is Veganaise, roasted garlic, fresh basil and a splash of balsamic. The mushrooms are cooked in Earth Balance and balsamic vinegar and topped with fresh tomato. I could taste it now as I think about it..mmmmmm...the warm toasted buttery bread melting the mayo into the crevices of tomato and mushrooms..mmmmmmmmmmmm.............

Monkeys holding heaven together.

Raspberry Blackout Cake from VwaV

We celebrated my sisters birthday the saturday before Easter. You cannot buy vegan desserts in south jersey where my parents live. My sister isn't vegan but was finishing up her 3 month vegan challenge so I made this cake for her which is now a family favorite.

Sliced to eat. Topped with raspberries to be found.


Re in her Easter dress..she actually managed to keep it on all day without messing it was a miracle!