Smoothie mania!

October 25, 2012 at 11:01 am | Posted in VeganMoFo | Leave a comment
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Bluey-green smoothie from “Quick & Easy Vegan Comfort Food”

I love smoothies.

They are so easy to make and you can throw almost anything into them, coming out like perfection. It is like juicing but easier.

Well, maybe I was a LITTLE wrong about throwing everything together for perfection.

My first smoothie that I made was the cucumber cooler from Alicia Simpson’s “Quick & Easy Vegan Comfort Food.”  It includes a cucumber, cantaloupe, dates and apple juice. I subbed apple juice for apple cider and I thought I was good to go. WRONG. I forgot to check the dates for pits. My last batch of dates had no pits in them, so I just assumed this for these dates (and I was in a hurry.)

When I took a sip, it tasted like pepper. I couldn’t drink it! I was so upset and never got a chance to make another one.

I moved onto Simpson’s bluey-green smoothie. She said it was more purple, and that she was right. I remember blueberries, some lettuce leaves and possibly a banana. I think maybe some soy milk was added, too.

It was yummy! I love blueberries so anything with that in it is OK by me!

Do you have an awesome smoothie recipe? Please share!

My favorite smoothie is from “Celebrate Vegan” by Dynise Balcavage. I taste-tested for her book and fell in love with the post-race protein shake. Bananas, peanut butter and chocolate? YES!

Apple-pear butter fail

October 23, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Posted in VeganMoFo | 2 Comments
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See the char? Yummyy …

When I decided to do Vegan MoFo 2012, I looked all over Pinterest for some recipe ideas. It’s not like I am in need of recipes — I have more than 20 cookbooks, an inbox full of emails, bookmarks on my computer and now Pinterest.

I still compiled a list and tried to hack away at it. I really enjoyed the idea of making apple-pear butter. We had just finished off our peanut butter (except the spicy one that Batman is hoarding away for a rainy day) and I figured this easy, peasy recipe would go great with my strawberry jam I made in June. Organic, local and made in my kitchen to last through the winter? YES, PLEASE!

Continue Reading Apple-pear butter fail…

Vegan McDonald’s switch: ‘egg mcguffin’

October 23, 2012 at 10:00 am | Posted in VeganMoFo | 2 Comments
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Egg McGuffin by Alicia Simpson

Breakfast sandwiches always stare at me when I get up early enough to eat breakfast and happen into a Sheetz or other fast food place, like McDonald’s. The fact they come from a fast-food place doesn’t make them healthy, but I am hungry for one nonetheless.

It has been a long time since I had a breakfast sandwich.

And then I stumbled upon the egg mcguffin recipe in Alicia Simpson’s “Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food,” and all I could do is think “YESSSS!”

I was super excited to make these, but there was going to be one modification: the vegan meat. I needed Lightlife Smart Bacon for another recipe, and vegan breakfast sausage patties are hard to come by (though I did find new ones by Gardein in Baltimore Saturday night.)

Flaky, toasted bread? Check. Faux meat and cheese? Check. Then came the tofu “egg,” which surprisingly held up well and tasted similar to eggs (without the cruelty), even if it gunked up my Magic Bullet blender.

It was great and kept me full to lunch, which is a rarity these days. It can be quite high in calories, especially for something I am not used to eating in the morning (I ate two. They were just too yummy.) But it great after a run or gym time before work.

I recommend making the tofu “egg” patty the night before, because it is a pain when you are rushing in the first place. Also, melt the cheese with your toaster oven on the bread if you have one.

I can’t wait to make more. I highly recommend these for the busy person who needs a dish with a good amount of protein in the morning.

Creamy black bean soup

October 22, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Posted in VeganMoFo | Leave a comment
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I know, I know … I should have been blogging for the past two weeks. It got busy before New York Comic Con, and then I got busy afterward. That, though, is for another post.

I am moving on to creamy black bean soup. I used the exact recipe from “Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food” by Alicia Simpson.

It had a few, simple ingredients and maybe 20 minutes, tops. AMAZINGLY, it was creamy and hardy, minus soy milk or any type of fatty, vegan creamer.

It was a perfect dish for busy me, who wants a hearty cup of soup at the end of a long day during the fall.

Unfortunately, no photos! I guess it was just too yummy. I do have photos for other recipes from Simpson’s book; posts to come soon.

Add some spice: Easy Veggie Chickpea Biryani

October 7, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Posted in VeganMoFo | 1 Comment
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Yummy lunch, here I come!

I love my crock pot. I also love chickpeas. And the other night for dinner, I combined both of them for some awesome food.

I once again cracked open my “The Vegan Slow Cooker,” and all I needed to buy was a can of chickpeas and a box of brown rice. I was making Easy Veggie Chickpea Biryani.

I threw in some cauliflower, sweet potatoes,onion, some bell peppers, the chickpeas, garam masala, cinnamon and some spices. I had to put coriander instead of cumin, and I used my vegan beef bouillon instead of chicken.

Eight lovely hours later and a small pot of brown rice, I had dinner, lunch and a few more meals later.

I love Indian food, mostly because it contains chickpeas and can be poured over rice. *yay carbs!* And I now have a whole pot of it to myself.

Trying something again: Sweet Potato Kugel

October 5, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Posted in VeganMoFo | 2 Comments
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I had tried to make Kugel once before, when I was taste-testing for a cookbook (This cookbook.)

It was made with noodles and it turned out badly. I don’t know if it was me, or I am not used to this Jewish tradition.

According to Wikipedia: “Kugels are a mainstay of festive meals in Ashkenazi Jewish (Jews of Eastern European descent) homes, particularly on the Jewish Sabbath and other Jewish holidays or at a Tish. Some Hasidic Jews believe that eating kugel on the Jewish Sabbath brings special spiritual blessing …”

Apparently it is a pudding or casserole, and it makes sense now because it is a PAIN to bake!

I used this recipe by Healthy Bitch Daily. I shredded and grated my arms off, realizing later I should have used my food processor. The apples were super juicy, so I probably didn’t need the 1 cup of apple juice (which is what I used.) And I used almonds instead of walnuts, because I was all out of walnuts. Oh, and I added a smidgen of soy flour, because I didn’t want to waste another bag of matzoh for barely a 1/4 of a cup needed still.

I then baked it for 45 minutes. I touched the cake and it was mushy still. I baked for another 45, until it was golden brown on the top, just like the recipe said it would be 90 minutes prior. Well, when I eat it, it is still a bit mushy inside.

Now, I like the sweet potato one better than the noodle one. I think the regular noodles didn’t serve it well, as egg noodles aren’t vegan-friendly.

I will say it looks NOTHING like the photo on the Healthy Bitch Daily website suggests. Bread or cake? Not so much. Will I make it again? Probably not, but at least this time, I will eat it and it won’t go to waste.

Comfort food: Smoky mac ‘n’ cheese in the crockpot

October 3, 2012 at 11:09 am | Posted in VeganMoFo | 1 Comment
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I almost forgot to take a photo! It smelled and looked so yummy!

It’s another dreary morning here in Pennsylvania. It rained very hard yesterday, which I got stuck in while needing to fill my tires. They always like to give me the low tire pressure signal when it is down-pouring.

I went to sleep hearing the rain, and woke up with still another cloudy day. We won’t get relief from this mess until Friday, though it is warmer outside today (read: humid.)

Also, it has been getting chilly and I really need to pull out the winter clothes.

That only means that comfort food is on the way!

I love my crockpot, despite it being quite dysfunctional. I made the cheater chili in it, and took another cue from The Vegan Slow Cooker to make smoky mac ‘n’ cheese.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am on a budget so about $9 was sucked up buying Daiya cheddar and mozzarella for this mac and cheese. I really wanted it, obviously. It also calls for some soy milk, some pasta, and some liquid smoke. I threw in a little chili powder for a kick, because it suggested chipotle powder mix and I had none.

It was scrumptious and I actually got FULL from eating it! (note: I rarely get full from eating pasta, no matter how much of it I eat.)

Though, I wish it was a little more smoky and had a little more of a kick. That was my fault with being so cautious while adding the spice, so now I know.

It lasted me a good two days, though I did eat it over three meals. I wish I could have made it last longer, but I was lazy last night and not in the mood to cook.

What is your favorite thing to cook in a crockpot? What are some other recipes to use Daiya in? (I have a bunch left over!)

Confession: I am a junk food vegan

October 2, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Posted in VeganMoFo | 5 Comments
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I will come out and say it: I am a junk food vegan. I love it. I work for a CSA, I have gained weight and I need to eat better.

BUT when I am down or need something yummy to soothe my soul, I reach for a small bottle of ginger ale, a bag or chips or french fries and some pasta DRENCHED in nooch (also known as nutritional yeast.)

I also am a carb-aholic. Pizza, pasta, bread, fries … OH MY! And yum yum!

But this all is bad for my (high) cholesterol, my recent weight gain and my self esteem. I usually gain weight in the winter as I retreat with my seasonal affective disorder (undiagnosed but totally there), my cold hands wrapped around a nice, warm, big bowl of rigatoni and Earth Balance.

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For some reason this summer, I got out of control. I just got sick of counting calories. Then it was training for races and I let my diet get out of control, because I did burn off those calories, right? I lost 8 pounds, and gained them right back.

And now, with so many things to do at my new apartment,  and I am still not used to my new schedule, I haven’t been to the gym. In about more than a month. I also go to bed at 10 p.m. anymore, so I only have four hours after work to get anything done. Again, cleaning, cooking, baking, unpacking …

I wish I could be that vegan who eats veggies for every meal and not a bit of carb and be satisfied. But I can’t be. My IBS hates it, too.

Do you have any tips on fixing my junk food vegan diet?

Potluck kicks off Vegan MoFo

October 1, 2012 at 10:44 am | Posted in VeganMoFo | 1 Comment
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My cheater chili, left, covered by tortilla chips, and the apple cider doughnut in the upper right. Clockwise: some no-named rice dish, spicy peanut salad, and a little salsa near the chili. Middle: potatoes and green beans.

I started Vegan MoFo 2012 a day early at the potluck for my CSA. Crew members and share holders gathered in the cool, fall air for some great eats and good conversation. I stayed about two hours until the sun went down.

It has been a hectic weekend, with visiting my family and driving to see my sister at college. It was fun but exhausting. I was really looking forward to the potluck, and couldn’t wait to bring my goodies.

I made cheater chili from The Vegan Slow Cooker and apple cider doughnuts from September 2009”s Vegetarian Times. My doughnuts aren’t mini like the recipe suggests, as I have a full-sized-doughnut pan. I had to make a double batch to get about 18-20 doughnuts.

I am not a big fan of chili, but I LOVED the cheater chili.  It is SUPER easy to make, though a little watery from what I think the texture of chili should be. I was told to add some tomato paste to the mix. Also, it was just spicy enough for me, and I am not a fan of spicy. It says to add chili powder and Tabasco sauce to taste, and I think that is a good suggestion, especially for those who are not fans of the very spicy foods.

Also at the potluck was a few vegan choices, such as sliced potatoes with green beans, a rice dish and some spicy peanut salad. Everything was yummy and I went back for seconds!

I have four more posts to go for the week, and hopefully I make some awesome things! I try to put myself on a budget for each month, only spending about $25 a week to make good things. Let’s see if I can do that this week!

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