Bad Blogger

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Wow, I’m a really bad blogger… but at least I got the twitter feed to work!

Now I can get back into it without having to manually post. Now, what should I have this blog be about?

Mac and Cheese SUCCESS!

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I am happy to report that I found an edible and quite tasty mac and cheese recipe (thank you vegangela!) and here’s the recipe. It’s creamy and cheesy, but not oily (which is what sometimes happened when I’d make the very unhealthy versions of this pre-vegan).

As you can see, I also added some peas because, well, I love peas. Though, on a side note, I would recommend halving this recipe (as noted on vegangela’s post), not only because it makes A LOT of sauce, but it overflowed in my food processor, and I have a decent sized food processor.

Immediately after this photo was taken, I wolfed down this bowl of cheezy noodles and now have a very happy smile on my face.

Mac and Cheese FAIL

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Apparently I’m totally ok with posting my fails on the internet. I tried to make mac and cheese (easy, right? wrong.) for a simple dinner. I use the Uncheese Cookbook for a recipe, and it smelled so bad I didn’t want to taste it. But I did. Mistake. It was gritty and just yuck.

At this point the noodles were in full boil and needed a quick fix. I flipped to another recipe and it was better, but still not great. At least the pasta is totally awesome brown rice and rad shaped (big swirly cork screw shapes, you cant see it in the photo but that’s what it is).

Anyone have a good (vegan, obs) mac and cheese recipe? Something not too terrible for me that will bring back my faith mac and cheese?

Pancake Amazingness

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I made pancakes. Were they FANCY pancakes? No. Were they magic pancakes? No. Were they pancakes that look like pancakes but are really something else? Umm, no. They were your standard, run of the mill pancakes from VWAV. And they were YUM!

Batter with whole wheat flour and applesauce instead of oil!

It was a bit thick, but I smoothed it out a little and it cooked up nicely. (I used a little spray oil in the cast iron skillet. I need to use this thing more often.)

Flip!

And repeat, stack and EAT!

The truth is, I only ate two of these and saved the rest for breakfasts for the week. A little maple syrup and a glass of almond milk. Quite delicious!

 

Pesto

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I have a confession to make. I am a… PROCRASTINATOR. Like, really a lot. Even for things I want to do, I put them off until the last minute and often decide to not do them at all. What do I do instead? Who knows.

So anyways, for the last few weeks, I’m been saying I’m going to make pesto with the plethora of basil I grew in my garden. You didn’t know I had a garden this year? Well, I did. It was amazing, but a little shorter lived than most gardens since I gave up on the outdoors at the beginning of August. (Long story short, too many mosquitoes and not enough bug spray in the world to keep them away.)

Ok, back to the basil. I finally picked it yesterday and got two large bowls full. I can’t even begin to estimate how much that would have cost in the grocery store, but I would have never made pesto if I would have had to buy the basil fresh.

First step: clean the basil. I just soaked it in some water and rinsed a few times to get all the dirt and possible bugs off it.

I then whirled it through the salad spinner to dry it quickly. Seriously, this is one of the best inventions and one of my most time-saving kitchen gadgets.

Then all the ingredients into the food processor and another minute or two of whirling.

After a few batches, the prep area becomes quite messy. I like to freeze the pesto in freezer bags. To make this fulling-of-the-bag process the least messy, I like to put the bag around a cup (as seen in the yellow cup) and fill with the pesto. This technique also prevents pesto from getting in the seal of the bag or on the outside of the bag.

And the final product!

I used this recipe to make the pesto, but cut the oil in half, subbed walnuts for the pine nuts (I’m not made of money!) and cut the salt way down as well. Pesto is a recipe that can be made a bunch of different ways depending on your taste. Experiment and find out what you like best!

There are also lots of recipes out there that don’t use any oil, but I’ve never tried any of them with success yet. Since most of this pesto is going to my brother (for some reason, he totally fell in love with it when I made it two years ago and has been asking for more ever since), I stuck with a recipe I knew would be good.

Taco Friday!

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Today was a special day because my boyfriend (who is quite amazing if I do say so myself) cooked a vegan meal for me. Yes, you heard me right. He made me tacos!

They were so delicious that I ate more than I should have (one… maybe three more). And the major bonus of the evening was that the meal was complete and ready to be devoured WHEN I ARRIVED! So no waiting, no letting my stomache just growl and beg for food. None of that. Just totally delicous tacos and the most wonderful company a person could ask for. Oh, and we watched a episode of The Office, which had some funny parts (I laughed on the inside). And then we played Warcraft and I dominated the battlegrounds. Yeah, we’re geeks like that.

Learning from mistakes

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I tried to make another home-cooked meal today. “Tried” being the operative word there. Argh. It was an epic fail. Epic. Fail.

Ok, so maybe that was an exaggeration, but it didn’t taste good enough to eat instead of a few pieces of buttered bread. I tried to make a vegan meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Maybe that’s how meatloaf is supposed to taste (I’ve never eaten the animal version of the stuff), but I didn’t really care for this recipe. And the mashed potatoes were… gritty. Anyways, I tried it and now I can move on.

And my puppy will have some treats for the next few days.

Chocolate Chip (wait for it…) COOKIES!

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I like cookies. I especially like chocolate chip cookies, and I had a hankering for cookies tonight but didn’t want to get the ones at the grocery store with 187 ingredients that I couldn’t pronounce. I also needed something to post for Vegan Mofo, and since I ate leftover Alfredo for dinner (OMG so yummmmmm), I needed something quick.

So I used a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe and altered it a bit so it wasn’t so unhealthy (basically reducing the sugar and swapping out the oil for applesauce). The results were both edible and dunkable (in a small glass of almond milk, how else?).


The batter (yummy and vegan, so no worries eating this stuff!)


Into the oven (they spread)


Fresh out of the oven (Wait? How do people do that?).

Ingredients (all ingredients are rough estimates):
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup brown sugar (can be reduced if you’d like)
1.5 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
2.5 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 – 1.5 cup vegan chocolate chips

Combine the wet ingredients well. Sift in the dry ingredients and mix just enough to combine. Portion out as big as you want (I did a heaping tablespoon and it made about 36 cookies). Bake at 350 degrees F for 12-15 minutes.

It’s still a treat, not to be indulged in every day, but I will still enjoy every bite. And take the rest to work and give away to friends. Laughter, like tasty cookies, are best when shared. :)

G’nite!

Alfredo for the soul

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It’s always a challenge coming up with ideas to take to work for lunch. I usually find that by lunchtime, the food I have packed no longer seems appealing no matter how hungry I am. Is it because I’m a bad cook? Maybe.

What I do know is there are certain foods that are less likely to get me to think TAKEOUT. Fettuccine Alfredo is one of those dishes. Except… it’s usually so unhealthy that having it everyday for lunch just wouldn’t work. That is, until I found this recipe from Happy Herbivore. I truly LOVE this site (and her cookbook) for great, lowfat meals.

I used a brown rice pasta and added some broccoli (a lot of broccoli) and some chick’n strips (not a lot, but enough for variety). I portioned everything out for lunches for the week, making sure to have at least half the bowl be broccoli.

I’m also thinking of adding some peas to A) add some more nutrition and yumminess, and B) gross out my coworker because she hates peas (you know who you are!). Though it’s mostly for the yumminess since I do love peas.

This is the first time in a long time I know I’m going to be eating my lunch and enjoying it. Now I just need to figure out what I’ll be making for breadfasts and dinners for this week. Hmmmm… Ideas?

Day 1 of Mofo – a mix of recipes

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Today is the first day of my first-ever Vegan Mofo! Yes, my enthusiasm may not makeĀ  it past today, but that isn’t going to stop me from the excitement I feel for all this vegan deliciousness.

I wanted to start off both the annual tradition of October and vegan food, as well as a new commitment to myself for choosing to eat healthier and more whole foods with recipe that would get me back into the kitchen cooking (not just reheating or boiling pasta). I chose banana bread because A) I have a huge bag of super ripe frozen bananas in my freezer and B) it’s quite chilly outside and a hot bread just sounded delicious. I got the recipe from an old e-cookbook from Happy Herbivore called Awesome Fat-Free Banana Bread.

I also made a tofu scramble for dinner which was super simple and completely rocked the house. These measurements are exact. Feel free to use more or less of any of them to your own tastes.

Tofu Scramble

  • 2 blocks extra firm tofu, pressed
  • 1.5 tsp garlic powder
  • 1.5 tsp onion powder
  • 2-3 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast

In a large skillet at medium to medium/high heat, crumble the tofu and allow to cook for a few minutes, moving the tofu around a little bit, breaking it up to your own liking. Add in the garlic powder, onion powder, soy sauce and nutritional yeast, stirring everything together until well coated and hot throughout.

Yeah, it’s a pretty standard tofu scramble. I think it goes really well with a few slices of buttered toast, but it’s pretty amazing just by itself. I kept it simple this time around, but I also like to add in fresh mushrooms or green peppers or even some fresh spinach and let it wilt down. It reminds me a lot of scrambled eggs, but without any of the unpleasantness of what eggs actually are (ie. chicken menstruation).

First day of Vegan Mofo and I’m pretty happy with making two recipes (more cooking than I’ve done in a while). Now I need to find some things to make tomorrow, and also need to find a kick ass recipe for lunches for work next week.

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