Sunday, January 28, 2007

Another week...

Did you all catch the new story about a lucky duck in Florida? She was shot by a hunter and spent two days in the refrigerator. When the hunter's wife opened the door, the duck looked up at her and she had her daughter rush the poor duck to the vet. Fortunately it is now recovering at a wildlife sanctuary. Link to article.

What else? This afternoon I went with a friend to see the movie Babel. I'd wanted to see it in the theatre, but didn't make it earlier. Thanks to the Oscar buzz, it is back. It is a very interesting movie that I enjoyed. One 30 second scene which wasn't all that necessary to the movie, stuck out to me because of the audience's reaction. In preparation for a wedding ceremony in Mexico, one of the actors kills a chicken for dinner. It was more graphic than necessary and the packed theatre expressed disgust rather audibly.

Situations such as these both perplex and frustrate me. There were likely few other vegetarians or vegans in theatre, yet everyone was shocked and revolted by what happened on screen. How is it that people can compartmentalize where their food comes from and then sit down to dinner?

Anyway, on to good vegan food. Sorry about the dark photos, they were taken with my cell phone. On my raw days this week I stuck to fruit and salads again which means not many pictures. To the right is grape tomatoes with some evo, basil, and crushed pesto LivingNuts. These sprouted raw nuts come from Maine. I originally found them while there for work. These babies are a little expensive, but they have an amazing taste and I order them every once in awhile. To the left is kale and collard salad. It is the same salad I made last week with swiss chard. I also blended up a noteworthy smoothie with coconut water, banana, raw cacoa powder, and raw almond butter.

It has been so cold here and of course when it was 10 degrees outside it was on my raw days. The very next day I cooked up a batch of Spicy Peanut Eggplant Shallot Stew from PPK. I'm pretty sure this is a teaser from the new cookbook. The verdict... I like it, but probably not enough to make it again. This soup was a lot of work and I had higher expectations for it. It seems like the lemon overpowers the peanut butter which is rather disappointing to me.

Last time I was in Maine for work, I picked up some of Little Lad's Not Cho' Cheese. This stuff is great and unfortunately, I've been unsuccessful at duplicating the recipe as of yet. It is made from potato, carrot, lemon juice, soybean oil, water, and "spices". What did I make with it? Pure comfort food... Mac and cheese with slices of soy dogs. On the side is Asian style broccoli. I've posted about this before. Just steam broccoli and add a dash of soy sauce, sesame oil and cracked red pepper. Yum!

Lastly, oven baked tofu. Also on my last trip to Maine, I picked up a bottle of Soyvay Wasabiyaki on clearance. I'd read about it, but this is the first time I actually saw it. How lucky am I to find it for half price? Anywho... I marinated slices of tofu in the Wasbiyaki (teriyaki with wasabi) then baked it for about 45 min in the oven at 425. I like to use my toaster oven as it uses less energy (no need to fire up the gas stove for 6 slices of tofu). Turn it once about halfway through cooking. I'm a now a Soyvay fan! Tommy also dug this tofu.

Thanks everyone for the well wishes regarding my knee. Every week it is getting better. I actually picked up a trainer for my road bike and I've been using that to keep up the exercise and also help rehab my knee.

Hope you all had a great week and that your are staying warm if you are in the North East!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Lots of New Recipes

My knee is still recovering, but I'm doing much better. Though stairs are still a bit difficult, I am back to some active stuff. Monday was a work holiday for me and I gave the treadmill a go. I managed a slow mile (3.5 mph), but I was able to jog. I'm pretty psyched about that.

Anyway, onto the food...

The generous folks over at LightLife sent me a mini cooler full of their products. I've purchased Lightlife brand foods before, but this actually gives me a chance to try some items I might not normally purchase. Ha! Now I finally need to try tempeh again. (I've got some tempeh issues.) They also sent me a link to give out for you to print a LightLife coupon. I'll try to keep posting it as I use up the rest of the cooler pack.

While watching the news last week, there was a chef from a restaurant in Boston's North End (Little Italy) called NEBO. They demo'd a recipe for Tagliatelle with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe. I easily veganized it with LightLife sausage and some veggie broth. Oh, and I hate I used chopped dried apricots. Since it was a test, I made it without and then later added them. I actually kind of enjoy the spicy, saltiness without the fruit; however, it is tasty with apricots as well.

BTW - You can sub fettucine for tagliatelle if you have trouble finding it. Check out the wiki article on tagliatelle for an interesting read.

Broccoli Rabe ---I'm not a huge fan. I think this is the first time I tried it and I found it to be rather bitter. When I make this dish again I might just use broccoli or spinach.

Since I needed to use up the rest of the sausage, I made some vegan waffles and patties for breakfast later in the week. The recipe for Ginger Buckwheat waffles came from vegweb. These were ok. They definitely needed less ginger. I added some cinnamon, but they were still lacking something. I'll have to keep searching for a good vegan waffle recipe.

I've mentioned before that I'm preparing more raw foods. I'm trying to eat raw at least 2 days a week for the year. Last week, I failed to take photos. Today was raw day and I did snap pics of almost everything. As you'll see, I'm keeping it very simple for now.

Breakfast was just some fruit as I rushed out the door. For lunch, I packed the fixings for guacamole and mixed it up at the office. Instead of chips, I used chopped romaine lettuce squares. In addition, I brought some carrot salad. The recipe was from Rawsome!: Maximizing Health, Energy, and Culinary Delight With the Raw Foods Diet. It looks very plain, but the orange and cumin pack some flavor.

For dinner, I decided on a smoothie and a side of greens. The smoothie was mango, banana, and freshly squeezed orange juice. The greens were based on a recipe using kale and collard greens from Raw Food Made Easy For 1 or 2 People. I used rainbow chard. Wow, this really surprised me. I'd never really eaten raw swiss chard before and didn't have high hopes for it. This is a great dish that I'd make again with any type of greens.

It is very simple. Chop up the greens with some basil and garlic, then mix by hand (important, to mix the dressing directly into the leaves) with lemon juice, olive oil, and bit of salt. The recipe called for a dash of cayenne which I skipped. Let it rest for 10 minutes and enjoy.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Time Flies

I keep planning on posting and then the day whizzes by and I've forgotten to post yet again. Over the holidays, I did quite a bit of cooking, though I only managed to document a few of the recipes. As usual, I've been lurking at other blogs. I was blown away by some of your holiday creations.

Anyway, here are the recipes I did photograph.

Organic cabbage was on sale, so I made up "veggie ribz" and cole slaw. The slaw is just red and green cabbage with carrots, celery seed, some vinegar, and a bit of soy mayo. You might notice 3 flavors of "ribs". Two are BBQ sauces. The third (and slightly scary colored one) is Ah So Sauce. I saw a jar at the supermarket and picked it up awhile ago. My mom sometimes cooked Chinese (non veg) stuff with this sauce. When I was a kid, I loved it. The verdict now ---not bad, but I prefer regular BBQ sauce.

Since I still had leftover cabbage, I gave this recipe for cabbage soup a try. Of course I used veggie broth instead of beef broth. This soup is surprisingly simple and the dill really added a lot flavor. Unfortunately, it didn't photograph all that well.

We have a restaurant chain here on the east coast called Bertucci's. It is pretty decent Italian food. One of my favorite side dishes there is the spinach and artichokes. I noticed a can of artichokes on my pantry shelf, so I cooked them up with spinach, evo, and a dash of pepper. The photograph isn't all that impressive, but I scoffed it up.

Onto junk food...

I saw Bryanna's Gingerbread People on another blog and decided that I must make them. Originally I skipped icing, but then I went in search of a vegan icing recipe for them. This led me to Jennifer's post about vegan icing for Schmoo. I used her idea and mixed some VitaSoy Holly Nog with powdered sugar. I'm lazy, so I made it a little on the watery side so I could just dip the cookies rather than spreading on the icing. These cookies were a hit. People couldn't believe they were vegan.

Side note - I'd seen others post about the VitaSoy Peppermint Chocolate drink. Though I like the Holly Nog, I didn't have incredibly high hopes for the new flavor. Boy was I wrong! I'm in love the Peppermint Chocolate soy milk. ---Soooo good. It is on clearance at many supermarkets now, so get it while you can!

Speaking of peppermint chocolate, I saw these great chocolate candy cane cookies on Jess' blog. She actually got the recipe from FueledByPopcorn. Since I am obsessed with the VitaSoy Peppermint Chocolate, I figured I'd give these cookies a try. That day, I was being difficult and didn't feel like following the recipe exactly. I cut down on the margerine by 1/3 and used apple sauce instead. Apple sauce is sweet, so I cut down on the sugar by about 1/3 as well. Lastly, I was worried that the cookies would be too minty, so I cut down on the mint by 1/3. These were some tasty little buggers. When I make them next time, I'd cut out even more of the mint.

Over the past few days I've been experimenting with raw foods. I'm actually digging some of the new recipes I've tried and I'll do my best to post some photos. Tomorrow, I meet my dad for dinner, so I will be having my first cooked meal since Sunday.