Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Aloo Gobi Potatoes & Cauliflower + Spices

I've never made Aloo Gobi before, though we've eaten it several times at Electric Lotus. I found the recipe in La Dolce Vegan! and thought it was easy & fun to prepare. As Art said, "Yours isn't as saucy as Electric Lotus'!" and I'm pretty sure he was talking about the food. He was right, and we both missed the sauce. But this was also good, so we decided we'll make it again with other Indian dishes -- or at least something other than a French baguette!

Do you have any Indian dish ideas? I just bought a couple Tasty Bites - Bengal Lentils & Bombay Potatoes, both of which are vegan, delicious, quick, & saucy!

It's really all about the spices! (aren't these 2 packets of organic Turmeric & Garam Masala cute?) Here's the recipe spice list:
Fresh Ginger
Hot Pepper (I used Pasilla)
Fresh Garlic
Garam Masala
Sea Salt
Fresh Cilantro

Monday, May 29, 2006

Peanut Butter Banana Oat Bundles & Peanut Butter Dip

I still had some brown bananas around so I turned to Vive le Vegan! and found a recipe for Banana Oat Bundles on pg. 32, which was perfect because it calls for 2 large, over-ripe bananas. Dreena suggests adding some nuts or chocolate chips, but I happened to have peanut butter chips, so I tossed about half a bag in the mix. These are sort of a cross between a cookie, a mini-muffin, or scone, and the word "bundle" is a perfect description. We had ours for breakfast and found them quite delicious and satisfying. Dreena can get 12-15 from this recipe, so maybe mine are "too big" because I made 9. But they were cooked all the way through, so whatever. I gave one to my neighbor and we ate the rest over the next couple days. Everybody liked them, and this is my favorite "use up the ripe bananas" recipe.

The peanut butter chips made me think of a recipe I was going to test for Catherine, so I pulled out the food processor and made her Peanut Butter dip to go with the bundles and some apples slices. I like using same flavors to compliment different dishes, you may remember that I tested Catherine's pumpkin dip with pumpkin bread. Again, the the peanut butter flavor was really enhanced and it was a perfect union. We really liked this dip, Catherine! Liv kept saying, "More Peanut Butter. More Bah-beanna!"

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Southwest Quinoa Salad & Marinated Cucumbers

I cooked way too much quinoa. Partly because there were other recipes using the grain that I wanted to try - one was the "As-You-Please Grain and Bean salad" on pg. 70 of the New Vegan cookbook. It's a mix-and-match recipe which is a super handy format for using ingredients on hand. With fresh cilantro in the fridge, I went the SW route using: Quinoa, Black Beans, Baby Corn, Sunflower Seeds, Red Onion, Cilantro, Sesame Oil, Wine Vinegar, Sea Salt, & Tamari. Lorna's "menu" consists of 6 categories: The Basics (3 C. cooked grains & 1 C. cooked beans, For Crunch, For an Herbal Accent, For a Pop of Intense Flavor, For Color Contrast, Oil, Acid, Seasoning. You choose items from each category to create your own unique salad. I love this concept.

When I blogged about getting the cookbook, Gourmet Vegetarian Feasts by Martha Rose Shulman, KleoPatra commented that she had the cookbook and wanted to make the marinated cucumbers on pg. 130. This got me thinking about the cucumbers my mom used to make when I was young. I have tried unsuccessfully to make them several times, so I was happy to have a recipe to follow. I cut the cucumbers differently though; my mom would cut them in circles leaving the seeds, and mine are spears with the seeds removed. It's a nice summer side dish to have in the fridge because it tastes better the longer it marinates.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Banana Pancakes & Quinoa Summer Salad

We have some bananas that are too brown for any of us to enjoy. I like mine when they've barely turned yellow, and so does Liv - Abi is less picky, but even these were beyond her. I didn't want to waste them, so I turned to my cookbooks and found a recipe for banana pancakes on pg. 40 in La Dolce Vegan! Though the King of Pancakes still reigns in our family, these were quick & easy to make and thoroughly enjoyed.

Completely inspired by Dreena's
Quinoa Spring Salad on pg. 71 of Vive le Vegan!, I came up with my own version using ingredients I had on hand. Starting at 12:00, you see quinoa, tomatoes, shredded carrots, red onion, sesame seeds, sugar snap peas (from our garden!), and corn (cut off the cobb), and my dressing.

My dressing recipe - "Cilantro Vinaigrette"

1/4 C. Wine Vinegar
2 cloves garlic
1 Tsp. Dijon Mustard
1/8 C. Cilantro
1/3 C. Olive Oil
1.5 Tblsp. Agave Nectar
Sea Salt

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Pumpkin Raisin Loaf & Pumpkin Dip

I ran into Starbuck's for a gift certificate, and also got a slice of pumpkin bread for the girls to share because it looked like the healthiest thing available. Liv & Abi haven't eaten pumpkin before so I was a little surprised that both girls devoured the bread. I can make that, I thought to myself. Well, I could if I had a recipe! :o) I was pleased to find this one in The Everyday Vegan by Dreena Burton. I had all the ingredients and I followed the recipe exactly, using golden raisins and vanilla soy milk. The bread was perfect! The girls liked it as much...maybe more than the Starbuck's bread! I did too.

There was some pumpkin left over from the loaf, and recently I received some recipes from Catherine to test for her cookbook, one of which uses a smallish amount of pumpkin. Perfect! I used the balance of the pumpkin to create this yummy pumpkin dip to go along with some pears & apples. Catherine is right, kids love to dip things, and double-dip, and I even saw some triple-dipping today! Dipping the fruit was a big hit for the kids, but my personal favorite was something slightly different......

I know what you're thinking, and you're absolutely right. The pumpkin dip was amazingly delicious spread on top of the pumpkin bread! They complimented each other perfectly. Thanks for letting me try out your recipe, Catherine!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Creamy Hummus

There are some dishes I can make without a recipe -- one is guacamole and another is hummus. I've made hummus countless times and enjoy experimenting with different flavors. Recently, I bought Tahini for the first time and decided to follow Dreena's recipe from Vive le Vegan! for hummus since I had all the supplies on hand.

I didn't have as much lemon as I would have liked, so I substituted Lemon Essence Perrier for the water and think that the bubbly made it light & fluffy.

The hummus was super delicious! The whole family liked it. The next day, it was even more tasty, so I put some hummus on black bread and used my new Cut-N-Seal to make little pocket sandwiches.

Dijon Mustard Brussel Sprouts

I had some brussels sprouts on hand and wanted to cook them differently, so I thumbed through a couple cookbooks and I found this one in La Dolce Vegan! by Sarah Kramer. It was easy, quick, & deliciously different. I trimmed the ends & cut the brussels sprouts in half and put them in my rice/veggie steamer for about 6 minutes. While the brussels sprouts were cooking, I sauted organic Walla Walla sweet onions with Dijon Mustard in some sesame oil. Then added the brussels sprouts, seasoned them with sea salt, and served with pasta. Brussels Sprouts are rich in vitamins K & C.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Crispi Squares

It was time for something sweet, so I thumbed through Vive le Vegan! and came up with these delectable treats! I followed Dreena's recipe, except I did not use hemp seed nuts or cranberries. Art does not like dried fruit to mingle with his chocolate and I'm yet to find some hemp seed nuts in my area. Dreena says to stir the chocolate chips in with the rest quickly so they don't melt too much. You gotta be lightning quick with this, and you can see that my chips melted completely. We're cool with that - we love chocolate no matter what! Another keeper recipe.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Books & Dishes

I'm so excited to have a new vegan cookbook. "The New Vegan" by Lorna Sass. Anybody heard of this? The dude in the bookstore said that Lorna Sass rocks their world. They are a vegan couple and they exclusively cook from this cookbook and another written by her. That's quite a recommendation, so I decided to give it a go. Some recipes that sound darn good include: Stuffed Collard Rolls with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce, As-You-Please Grain and Bean Salad (like Vegan Lunch Box's Magical Loaf Studio in that you choose from a menu), Sweet Polenta with Maple-Glazed Walnuts (is that one talkin' to ya, Catherine?) Anyhow, you'll see some vittles from this cookbook in the near future.

I love used books, and this one is a great find. "Vegetarian Feasts: An International Selection of Appetizing Recipes for All Occasions", by Martha Rose Shulman. A nice bonus is the chapter titled "Vegan Main Courses." Some yummy titles include: Curried Millet with Garlic, Potaje De Garbanzos (Tomato and Chickpea Stew), Soybean 'Ground Beef', and Leftover Grains Muffins. Anybody know about this cookbook?

I also picked up these cute books for the girls. Olivia is in love with Maurice Sendak's "Little Bear", so that was a must grab. And "At The Seaside" was a natural choice since we were playing at the beach daily.

I found some Fiesta Ware for a great price in an antique shop. The colors just don't look right in the photo -- the pink should be more of a carnation and the yellow is mellow. She only had 3 yellow cups & saucers, but I guess I can easily pick up another to even it up if I want. The pink is supposedly retired.

My favorites are these two plates. Again, the color isn't right -- they are the softest hint of pink. On the back, they are stamped with "Portugal." I hope I can capture the pretty color of these plates sometime soon, perhaps with a dish from one of the above books.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Jess's Daily Grind & Midweek Munchies

Harmonias Midweek Munchies Meme
A Veg*n Meme

What wonderful foods did you bring home from the grocery store?

Midweek Munchies: What Vicki is contributing for the week:

A while back, Jess of Get Sconed! mentioned The Daily Grind and said "...if you're ever in the Portland area you should stop by..." Well, we were in the area, so we did! It was a great stop for us -- convenient off the freeway, amazing food, fun experience, delightful neighborhood to explore, and a beautiful park close by. Thanks so much for the suggestion, Jess! You're lucky to have such a friendly natural foods store near you.

There it is! The Daily Grind.

Look at all the wonderful vegan baked goods there are to choose from!

Beautifully organized bulk bins of all kinds! Mostly organic.

This is my purchase: Sesame Tahini, Yaya Popcorn, Tempeh Burger, & Vegan Marionberry Scone (Wish I had bought every scone they had -- would have eaten them all!)

Couple Questions: Does Tahini need to be refrigerated after opened?
What are your favorite ways to use Tahini?

Links to other Midweek Munchies

(If you participate, leave your link in the comments and I'll post it below; or, you can post in the comments)

Click here for the Midweek Munchies code
Click here for Harmonia's blog

Trackbacks, pings, and comment links are accepted and encouraged!
Technorati Tag:

A special thanks to Running2Ks and Rift for all of their help with coding, graphics, and encouragement for this project.

PURPOSE of Midweek Munchies: Put together by a small group of Veg Women, we hope to spread the word about healthy vegetarianism while obtaining idea starters for meals, recipes, learn about new products, and meet other female veg*n bloggers. Visiting and commenting on other participants lists are encouraged but not required. Have fun and Go Veg!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Famous Chef's Beach House

We had no idea when we rented the beach house that it was a designated landmark. When we saw the plaque on the house we didn't know why it was a landmark until we started "snooping" around to find clues.

We saw this framed photo and newspaper clipping on the curio cabinet shelf in the dining room. But we didn't recognize him. Do you?

Then, we saw this newspaper clipping framed and hanging on the wall in the living room. Ah ha! James Beard. Hmmm, even with a name to go with the face we still didn't know who he was. Do you know who he is?

What we did recognize was the photo of the house! "Our" beach house was originally his family's.

James Beard is a famous chef! Here is a picture of three of his books they had at the house, and a link to his other books. Who was James Beard you may ask....

And now that I know, I see his name in lots of places. For instance, look at this cute kid's cooking web site: Spatulatta -- and notice the award in the upper left corner!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

My Birthday Meal

Here's my birthday cake. Usually, the birthday person decides what kind of cake they want and it is baked by the rest of the family. Last year, I had chocolate cake with cherry frosting. Since we were at the beach house, it wasn't practical, so I picked this out from the grocery store. It was a double layer white cake with vanilla pudding in the middle and chocolate frosting. Can you make out the numbers through the blazing fire?!

Art picked out the vino! Nice picks, honey.

Art said he'd cook me whatever I wanted for my birthday! That's the kind of guy he is. So I said stir-fry. On the right burner, you see the veggies: green beans, carrots, celery, and cabbage was added later. On the lower left burner is some Morning Star "steak". On the upper left burner is risotto with fresh asparagus. It was perfect!

The lighting is funky, but here's the finished plate. He added some grapes on the side, and fresh roasted almonds on top of the stir-fry. Major Yum.

C'etait tres bon, merci. Complimentez le chef de ma part!

Friday, May 5, 2006

Pampered Chef

My friend had a pampered chef party recently, and I received my order last night. Each item comes with a "use and care/recipe cards" insert which I'll highlight:

1. Pastry Blender -- Includes a "perfect pie crust" recipe. Says it's also handy for mixing streusel toppings and mashing avocados for guacamole. Will not rust & is dishwasher safe.

2. Flour/Sugar Shaker -- Includes recipes for simple shortbread buttons, powdered sunshine kisses, and cinnamon tostada chips. Also gives 3 simple shaker toppers (cinnamon sugar, Mexican cinnamon sugar, & crazy colored sugar). Uses for the shaker include: celery salt, colored sugar, flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, coffee drink mixes, etc.

3. Cut-N-Seal -- Hot or cold pocket sandwiches, appetizers, pastries and tarts. This tool cuts, seals and crimps the filling between two layers of bread, pastry or other type of dough. Recipes include: Petite Pizza Puffs, Apple Cranberry Tarts, Cherry Turnovers, & Sandwiches. Cold filling ideas: Peanut butter & jelly, Spinach dip, Veggie Meat. Hot filling ideas: Pizza, broccoli & cheese, pie filling, smart ground.

4. Medium Scoop -- This heavy duty scoop is the right size for portioning muffin batter into mini-muffin cups, creating falafel balls, mellon balls, or scooping perfect size cookies. They include a recipe for Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies.

5. Twixit! Clip Combo Pack -- These clips provide a sure seal for all types of bags and are safe in the freezer, microwave or "boil in" bags. There are 10 multicolored clips in the package - 2 giant, 4 large, & 4 small. Creative uses: clip strings of tea bags together for brewing large amounts, launder delicates in a pillowcase closed with a clip, help squeeze toothpaste out of the tube, fill a damp cloth with ice and close with a clip to create an ice pack, and seal bread, frozen vegetables, chips, etc.