Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

I hope 2010 was great for you and that 2011 will be even better!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Doesn't this just scream "Yule"? It sure does!! I hope all of you have a wonderful holiday!!!

Dear santa, all I want for Christmas is...

a little motivation.

Anyway... Almost packed ONE WHOLE BOX today. Did you see the word I slipped in there? Almost.

I did however throw together a quick lunch that was pretty tasty using left over chickpeas and rice. I saw this nifty video on youtube last night on how to make Jemzeela rice made in a traditional way which inspired me. So with that stuff in mind, I threw a bunch of curry spices, cloves & ginger into a pot with rice and chickpeas... added some chopped kale, nuked it (LAZY!) and then added some tofutti sour cream. Pretty tasty. :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy (belated) solstice!!

How COOL is it to have a solstice WITH a lunar eclipse?! Too bad it was raining here... I ended up going to bed instead of expecting a miracle of a clear sky.

Anyway, I've been super busy working retail with the fast approaching holiday so I haven't had a lot of time to motivate myself to actually COOK a meal. I've been quite down the past few days (weeks?) as I really miss my family during this time of year so comfort food is definitely something I've been craving!

I used to LOVE tuna salad growing up and in this chilly weather it reminds me of summer days at home. Or even better, summer nights by the bonfire and the sound of frogs and crickets chirping chirping all around. I had a can of chickpeas readily available so I whipped up some vegan tuna salad. Now - I fully admit, I don't make this completely as the recipe states, as... well, I'm from the north, and where I come from you don't put pickles in tuna. I also left out the nutritional yeast this time... and since I've made it so often I tend to not measure out what I'm doing. I just add a little of this, add a little of that - until it looks good. This is always what gets me into trouble, but I had a little luck this time. :P

Anyway, I generally use green onion (any other type of onion tends to make me feel yucky), celery, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), veganaise (I prefer it over nayonaise), and some tamari (shoyu, soy sauce, liquid aminos), salt & pepper to taste. Spread it on some toasted bread, eat. Nom.

Now keep in mind - I don't add kelp powder... I don't have any. However it doesn't NEED it, in my opinion. I just eat it as I would any other mayo-like salad. :P It really helped with the comfort food craving. :P

Friday, December 17, 2010

Chicken and stars soup :D

Today I made something I've been wanting to make for YEARS. Chicken soup. When I found Edward & Son's not chick'n bouillon cubes I thought it would make awesome chicken soup and apparently I'm right. I tossed it into a pot with some carrots and celery (should have added onion, forgot - but it was good without it), baby bok choy, West Soy's cubed seitan (I diced it), and tiny pasta stars! Total love. I should also mention - I think this is the first time I've had seitan. I did just recently buy a box of vital wheat gluten but haven't gotten the courage to try it yet... After today though, I might very well do it - I saw a recipe for a seitan roast which sounded really good...

I would have taken a photo of the soup but I ate it all before I thought of it. :P

I have a new love affair with leafy greens... especially kale, however I went to a local chinese grocery and got a bag of baby bok... its incredible if you just steam it a little... *love*

OH! I was SO blessed earlier in the week when a (meat eater) friend of mine gave me a tupperware container of peanut butter balls. She told me she wouldn't try it so essentially I was her guinea pig :P She looked up the recipe online, I don't know where she found it but she wrote it down for me. Its basically peanut butter, carrot, raisins & oats. Fabulous.

Here's the recipe:


1/2 cup granola
2 Tbsp packed brown sugar (I know some of you might not consider this vegan - beggars can't be choosers - replace it with another sweetener!)
1/4 c raisins
1/4 c or 1/2 LG carrot
1 c 100% natural peanut butter (She used smucker's)

Dir: Mix all ingredients together except peanut butter (easiest to mix by hand). Mix in peanut butter 1/2 cup at a time. Roll into balls, refrigerate overnight to firm up. You can also dip them into a vegan chocolate to make a hard coating (uh, reeses pieces - but better - anyone??!).

I really loved these (I think there are only 3 left out of like 15) and so did Michael which just blew my mind.

At least - I thought that blew my mind. (Off topic moment) - Michael told me today he wants to have a kid in "the next few years". I feel like the typical man in this situation - the woman mentions kids and the man starts to consider camping in a remote location where no one can find him. Yikes. I think we need to discuss getting a surrogate mother or adoption.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Snow in Knoxville TN is a big deal. We got all of maybe TWO whole inches and the entire city seems to be shut down... schools, colleges, stores, the office at my apartment complex.

Anyway... been in a bit of a funk lately and the only food I've been able to pop out that was edible are bagel sandwiches.

Today's bagel sandwich - Tofutti sour cream, a sprinkle of flax and sesame seeds, lettuce, alfalfa sprouts & green onion. Was pretty tasty, even Michael liked it.

I also made banana bread! I had three perfectly disgustingly over ripe bananas that needed using so I mashed them up and added a bunch of stuff (sunflowers and flax seed) - unfortunately had to use white sugar (yuck) as i'm out of agave... and then sprinkled pepitas on top (Michael's request). It tastes ok, but I've grown to dislike the flavor of white sugar... I've been smothering it with the apple butter I made a week or so ago. Still absolutely awesome. :D I'd give you the recipe but I sort of mashed two together and added stuff neither called for... SO its kind of hard to help you with that... maybe i'll add them later.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fail! Oh well. :)

Well, a failed attempt at a macaroni & cheese dish with a sweet potato base failed a couple days ago. My attempt at resurrecting it by making it into a "hamburger helper" type meal made it just barely edible - but given two options, this and something you've eaten every day for the past 2 weeks - you'll probably choose whatever it was that you'd eaten every day for the past two weeks. Seriously. The recipe was just not as good as it claimed to be.

I froze a big portion of it for "I have no time to make food" type meals. It may end up staying in the freezer until we move, at which time it will end up in the trash bin.

Since then... I've been feeling little to no motivation to cook. However the "big day" is coming up: Ie: grocery shopping day. I got a coupon in the mail, $6 off a $60 purchase at my local grocery. He and I have been trying to be frugal about our groceries - so we're trying to spend a max of $35/wk. SO this means I need to shop for TWO weeks worth of food. Its a trying task! I can't plan meals ONE week ahead more or less TWO. Also - I eat a ton of fresh veggies... which I can't purchase ahead that far. So i'll have to plan around that too, perhaps buying frozen or freezing fresh. With the money I save I will be able to buy a couple things next week, but less than $10 worth.

I had hoped to make a big meal today, Cabbage rolls, stuffed acorn squash, stuffing and banana bread... but was unmotivated. Plus Michael came home and needed the computer so I didn't have access to the recipes I pulled up. I hope to go ahead with the meal tomorrow, but I'm not going to get my hopes up.

Tonight, I followed a recipe from a book that I borrowed from the library The Starving Students' Vegetarian Cookbook - Fried Spaghetti. It basically called for spaghetti, onion, garlic, some herbs, and tomato paste. I was relatively disappointed by it, but also intrigued at the concept - added a little Newman's Own spaghetti Sauce and it was great :) Sockarooni is currently my absolute favorite spaghetti sauce evar. I will probably try tweaking this recipe in the future, as it seems like there could be flexibility with it.

Edit to add: I FORGOT! I tried to make food again last night using this Spicy Eggplant recipe... and it was not popular with the boy who has texture issues. Apparently "mushy" is not palatable. I could have done without the eggplant. I thought the spicy sauce was AWESOME and will make it again - I did have to adjust with the addition of cornstarch to thicken it as it was really really watery. I poured it all over collards, brown rice and green beans for a tasty side dish *heart*

Monday, December 6, 2010


So, this past weekend was long and grueling for both Michael and I. He had a 15 page paper to write due today, as well as a presentation on said paper today. Which meant I didn't get the computer very much at all over the weekend. What does one do when they have little to no computer access?

Oh, they cook. He said "I want brownies, or cake." so - I found a super easy peasy recipe for vegan chocolate cake, complete with vegan frosting!!!!

Talk about the shiznit. I read somewhere on one of the many reviews that someone had used instant coffee in place of cocoa, so I decided to use coffee (already brewed) in place of some water. It wasn't very strong as I had watered it down pretty good, but I used it in both cake and frosting. Also, I added cinnamon and nutmeg in the frosting for a little holiday pizazz. Wish I had had walnuts! Only complaint - the cake was a little dry on the outside... but absolutely fine on the inside! I think next time I will either half the recipe and use a smaller cake pan or make two pans instead of one - it just took much longer to cook on the inside then it did the out.

The frosting has STAYED CREAMY all night long! Its freaking awesome! WOO HOO. I only frosted half the cake out of fear that it would just be TOO MUCH chocolate. I was wrong :P

Friday, December 3, 2010

Apples, apples and MORE APPLES!

Ok, so like - a couple weeks ago Michael & I stopped at a local farm and bought a pretty big bag of mixed apples. From what I remember it had: Granny Smith, Arkansas Black, Blushing Gold (it was blushing SOMETHING), Mutsu, and maybe Fuji... possibly other varieties I can't remember. Anyway I happened to have the luck of finding my absolute FAVORITE apple evAr... (Blushing Gold-?-) and a ton of other delicious apples - the only one I DIDN'T like was the black one... I think I probably should have learned not to eat dark apples from Snow White, but I always hated Disney.

I think I just got off track - so, we had a ton of apples. Not to mention I think they were like, procreating in the crisper drawer in the fridge. I have to say I've eaten at least 10 apples since getting the bag and when I counted the remainder today I had over 20... however, Michael had brought some home from school - Red Delicious. So I would say there were probably 25 or so apples in that bag when we bought it... at least. For 2 people, that is a helluva lot of apples.

Today - I did an apple cook-off. I made applesauce, zucchini apple bread, baked potato latkes (which required some of the previously mentioned applesauce) & I have apple butter cooking in the crock pot.

The latkes were ok, but totally missing something - quite possibly the fried in oil flavor, I'm not sure. I think next time I'll use some kind of seasoning salt or something to add a little more flavor. I got the recipe for the Latkes here. The Meet The Shannons websites is one of my absolute favorites for vegan meal ideas. I also got the zucchini apple bread recipe there (here). :) I've made this recipe once before using fresh zucchini, today I used up the frozen that I had in the fridge... If it hadn't been a little freezer burned, I would not have been able to notice any difference at all in flavor. Today's bread was SUPER moist. I also was lazy and didn't cut the apples up very fine... so it was a bit chunkier. Also, I didn't have walnuts *sob* so I used sunflower seeds instead as I wanted SOME kind of protein as this is a bread I'll eat for breakfast.

The applesauce was a simple recipe I found online here, I just wish I hadn't added the full amount of Cinnamon, I generally like mine without it... but am trying to teach myself that it is best to follow the original recipe the first time and make adjustments later & since I suck at cooking - I'll leave it to the people that know how to do it. :P

A picture of the Zucchini Apple loaf I made - unfortunately I didn't think to take a photo until after I started munching on the larger, prettier loaf of the two... so this is a photo of the smaller loaf, after it had been put on a cooling rack (upside down! Oops :) )

Above is a photo of the latkes I made. Nom. :D