Veganly Delicious

Julie-Juliaing one cookbook at a time.

Annnd We’re Back!

It’s just been a very couple of weeks. Last week, there were no pictures as I forgot to photograph the Jalapeno Poppers. (so freaking good, so they were just going into my mouth, rather than stopping to take the time to photograph them). and… wow, I can’t remember what else I made. But it was all good.

Except for the lasagna.

I really wish I knew what went wrong with that recipe. I think it could just be I’m not a white sauce girl. Or a tofu in lasagna kind of girl…

Or it just wasn’t good. (for me).

I did also try a new cheese – Follow Your Heart. (but as I had to chuck the entire thing away, I don’t know if I liked it… it melts great though!).

This weeks menu is fairing a lot better. And I am remembering to take pictures.

 

Breakfast is.. well. Breakfast Biscuits.
I made the buttermilk biscuits (which are REALLY good) with the tofu egg and seitan sweet sausage I actually decided when I made the sausage, instead of making them into links, just make them into little patties. Better decision.

Lunch is Meatball Soup.
Oh. my heck. this is now hands down one of my top five favourite soups ever. EVER. I added my own spice mix to this (Just a touch of Mrs. Dash and some exra pinches of herbs here and there), but the overall base (and the meatballs) were amazing. I am actually going to make the meatballs again (just as hamburger patties), do a sear and have them for my weekeend meal.

Dinner is Chik’n Fried Steak w/5 Minute Garlic and Spinach. (with Mashed Potatoes).
This is good.I did not use the Basic Seitan recipe, instead of I used Vegan Sandwiches No-Cluck recipe. It’s my favourite. (plus it tastes like chicken) ūüėÄ But everything else was good. A touch more salty, I think I would not add the salt (I don’t have Bragg’s Liquid Amnios yet, I am using up my Tamari right now, but she calls for that + some salt, and I think the extra salt just kills it in the gravy). and the coating was a bit salt-y too. But it’s still yummy.

The garlic spinach.. I think I let it ‘wilt’ too much. It was .. not yummy. (for me) I am a texture girl after all.

Dessert is baked apple sorbet. Yes, you can totally come over. (this was not in the book, but I saw the recipe and needed to try it ASAP).

Pictures to follow.

1 Comment »

Lasagna Woes and Canning Fun. (AKA hello? is this thing on?)

Is anyone reading this?
Am I just talking to myself? (I often do this).

I hope people are reading this. ūüôā

Okay – so for a belated birthday gift I decided to get a canner. This was totally going to be my summer project, and then summer got away from me, and then I figure, well what the heck, why not? So I did. And I have to say I am so, very happy that I did. So this is why I have made rhubarb butter (like I said before) but I’ve also got 6 lbs of strawberries just sitting in some sugar (and 3 lbs are with lemons) ready to make some preserves. Also – I’m making peach jam. JAM.

But the sad tale is – I’ve also ran out of sugar. I think this is the first time ever I’ve been sugarless.
(needless to say other baking and stuff I needed to do needs to be on hold until I can get to the organic grocery store for some vegan sugar).

 

This weeks menu was “Let’s use the stuff up in my fridge before it gets too bad”. Also I really wanted to embrace the comfort food aspect because it was been a horrendously. horrible. bad week.

Sadly – the cucumber died before I got to use it.

It was – Jalapeno Poppers.
this took about 20ish minutes to actually slice them all, clean them up and stuff them. (I only bought 6 – because I forgot my grocery list and thought I needed 6) – ¬†the stuffing actually went into all of the 12 (so it makes me wonder what the heck I would have done had I had 12? and 24 to stuff. These are … okay. (I think it would have helped had the breading really crisped up).

 

White Lasagna.
Man. this took for.ev.er to make. FOR.EV.ER. (a tip. should you make this, start steaming all your veggies first. I didn’t see all the “steam till tender” parts so i had to actually stop – do that, and then continue with everything:

I used a new vegan cheese (Follow Your Heart), instead of Daiya (FYH actually melts really well, and grates really well). ¬†I don’t know how it tastes. it tastes…okay. Lasagna is one of those things that tastes better the longer it has a chance to sit. But as the only seasoning is Italian seasoning, some salt and pepper I have a feeling it’s gonna be a bit bland. (My mom actually asked me what I was thinking and always over season the lasagna).

I actually need to get a big lasagna pan too. I used my biggest one and oi. Thank goodness I had the foresight to put a baking sheet underneath it all.

 

Lemongrass Soda. (on hold until I get some sugar)

Chocolate Zucchini Pecan Muffin (on hold until I get some sugar).

Meltable Sugar Cookies
Really yummy. I didn’t frost them. I don’t think it was really necessary even if the calories allow you too. These really do kind of melt in your mouth.

Tomorrow I’ll be making:
Vegetable Noodle Soup with Sweet Potato Drop Biscuits. (sans biscuit pan. Boo)

the fruits of my labour (seriously all those strawberries get preserved).

and crispy risotto cakes. (should i feel bothered to actually bake them. but I figure since the oven has to be preheated anyway why not? I’ve also got some chickpeas soaking but I am more in a popcorn kinda mood. (so i’ll be breaking my own rule and will be repeating recipes – maybe. we’ll see)

Leave a comment »

Painful Weekend. Scrummy Eats.

I have had the most painful weekend ever.¬†Painful. I slept wrong ¬†so now I’ve got the most ever loving pain bubble in my back and neck, which is causing my arm to go numb. And I sleep on my arm, so imagine waking up to the biggest case of pins and needles two days in a row.

Then – I had a big case of heartburn. (but lunch – Avo-pasta with Apple-Sage Sausage was totally worth it).

Then I had some oil splash into my eye. (Yes. I screamed like a girl. Yes, I freaked out – but I’m fine).

This morning, I had more oil splash my arm.

The moral of the story – Oil is totally not worth it. (Okay, maybe it is).
So I am nice – here are the hash browns from last week. Like I said they were okay – but I think next time I will either double the recipe or just make them bigger. But they did go well with my meal, so all is well that ends well.

Speaking of which. I actually contacted the author of the book! ūüôā Alicia is a very sweet lady. I needed to know what I did wrong regarding the sausage patties, and she really helped with the trouble shooting of them. I’m not going to make them again any time soon, we’ve got an entire book to work through (or mostly the entire book). but I will re-do them. Basically, what I needed to do was have a half puree/half dry mixture. And NO wet hands. I think for me it’s going to take a bit to get there but we will.

If you also remember, I said I did some canning last weekend. (and if I didn’t, guess what! I did canning last weekend!) I made peach butter (not the jam in the book, I didn’t have pectin). and rhubarb butter. Here’s a lookie loo.

the left is Rhubarb with (organic) white sugar/cinnamon, the left is Rhubarb with dark sugar and ginger. Both are yum.

My friend and I felt like just making them different from the book (FYI- Food in Jars). We followed the basic recipe, but we actually reduced the sugar that was in the book (JB’s suggestions, and we added cinnamon to the original. Then I was like, well what would dark brown sugar do, and we were like, I dunno, hence, we added a blend of dark brown sugar, white sugar, and some ginger. (To offset all that delish molasses goodness). They were awesome. My summer project this year was to actually can. Well, i got off to a really slow start, so I do intend to pickle and can a lot¬†next year.

As I said, I also did peach jam, which was really yummy, and we added some cinnamon to that too. The peaches were well roasted. (I did want to get Food in Jars. It isn’t a vegan book,but things in there can very easily be veganised. I’m thinking swapping the honey for maple syrup or brown rice syrup (probably the latter). And I want to make curd! Which is very veganisable. Swap the egg yolks for some corn starch, and you have got a delish, creamy curdy fruit… curd. Minus the egg. See. Where on earth would we be without Google, I tell ya, I never want to know.

But – you want to know about this weeks menu! I was actually really good and kept prep times too! ūüôā

Saturday Night:
Baked Risotto:
Prep-Time 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes.

So this meal is totally weekend-nightable! In the book it says serve immediately. Eh. I never pay attention to that!. take a look of the final product with all the creamy Earth Balance and nutritional yeast (aka Nootch).

The orange bitties are carrots, and the yellow isn’t corn – it’s the yellow zucchini that I found at the organic health food store. Next week’s menu is going to include “Crispy Risotto Cakes” (technically to use the leftovers, but I figure, I’ll just double the serving size – because believe it or not this is less than 160 calories), and make another fresh batch then crisp it up. It will be still under 1.5 hours. ūüôā

I love risotto – when I was living in Korea, I had a really nice pregan meal of chicken risotto (with honking big mushrooms). I never really had anything like that since, but risotto is really big in vegan circles, so I know i’m going to be able to have this over and over again.I reckon this will win itself a sticker.

Chickpea Catacctore
Prep-Time: less than 15 minutes
Cooktime-30 Minutes
Chickpea Soak Time – overnight
Slower-cooker: 8 hours.

Remember y’all. I use dried beans (and really ever rarely to make enough to freeze ). These went for eight hours.I find doing it for 6 hours still makes the chickpea hard-ish, while the eight hours gives it fresh from the can taste (for me). Anyway, if you just remember to do this and go on your way – it doesn’t factor into your prep time at all. Also – the timing is off because this is where I had oil splash into my eye.

Anyway – this made up quickly. As I was screaming “my eye! my eye!” and washing it under cold water, my roommate took over (Thanks). But my garlic burned (which is what Alicia said this will happen if you don’t stir constantly, so I added a pinch of roasted garlic powder. (I love this powder, I swear to goodness. ¬†I will use any and every excuse to use it).

I’ve never really had any kind of caccatore in my pregan days but I am just assuming this is a version of a meat based tomato sauce that you’d serve up over… pasta or something. The suggestions were called for either rice or quinoa. I chose¬†quinoa because A: I was already having rice in the risotto, and B: I’ve not had it for a while. and I was using this for my lunch, I figure, let’s

the sesame is in the oil. no seeds.

just have a very powerful protein lunch. With a side of the¬†sesame¬†broccolini, it will be very complete and very yummy. (speaking of the broccolini, I am just going to say, while I was a firm believer of “boil it dead” steaming it is so easy and you just get to keep that vivid green colour I’m just going to steam all the time now (Unless of course I have to boil it dead) :). The broccolini took less than five minutes and less than a minute prep. Have it on hand, and it’s done in no time.

It will be kind of weird to have an “Italian” based meal with something akin to an Asian flair (with the sesame oil and all) but I think it will compliment each other very much. ūüôā (I also am going to have this with the risotto. Lots o’ greens!

We interrupt this to show off the yummy hush puppies. (I am embarrassed to admit, I ate these all yesterday. They never stood a chance). Which is why I made stove top Sticky Bun Popcorn as well.

stovetop style. really good!

If you remember – last time I made barbeque popcorn, I used my air popper. Which, I do not mind using at all. I feel it’s quick, easy, and you can get like a single serving right off the bat, which is good. (Much better than you know, buying a bag of chips. I like chips, but I like popcorn better, except when it gets stuck in my gums). With the stop-top, you get that.. well great tasting flavour you want from popcorn, (a bit more calories, due to the oil, I think) but still really quick. the Air Popper was like less than 5 minutes, this took 20 minute start to finish.

And now. the star of our show. The one I was really concerned about. The blueberry cornmeal pancake. First of all I think I have to admit a few things:

  • I am not the biggest pancake fan in the world. They’re okay, but I like waffles better.
  • Mostly because I suck at making them.
  • I don’t like blueberries.

fresh in the pan.

So. there we go. But these were like awesome. I think I have a weird kind of cornmeal. This stuff is really course and dry and everything, (not silky smooth like the one I get at the bulkfood store. I should really take a picture of the two side by side next time I get some bulk-store cornmeal). But this has got some bite to it!

This took about 5 minutes to put everything together, and another 10 or so to actually make. So very easy to do in the morning if you’ve got your stuff together. I think blueberries make this. (I think raspberries would too. Strawberries, I doubt it). I topped off my poor broken mis-shapen ones with the peach butter and a tipple of maple syrup. (There is totally not enough to share with my roommate. So sad. Also not enough to last for the week. Double so sad. And I’m not really going to make another batch for the rest of the week. I do have cold cereal).

 

breakfast of champions. Peach butter, maple syrup, and the blueberry cornmeal pancake, nommmy nommy.

I’m going to get some milk now and make some mint tea.

Honestly though – when people ask me what I eat as a vegan – just look above. Nothing processed, all organic for the most part, and so easy and quick to make. And most of this stuff is gluten free too. It’s like a inside the park home run.

Leave a comment »

Hush Puppy!

When I was a little girl. (from like 8 to 12) my uncle and aunt used to drive to Florida. It was so awesome because I got to see America, and have American things.. like Musketeer bars, and Milky Way Bars (which ended up being in Canada anyway, and Milky way is a Mars Bar. I was 8. work with me).

But my favourite thing was when we hit the South (Carolina, Kentucky), is that we got to have¬†Southern Food. I didn’t really care about everything else (grits, fried everything). I wanted Hush Puppy.

Now, I know what you are asking.

Liv, what is, pray, a hush puppy. (also you are asking, do I always add “pray” when I ask a question. Yes. Yes. Yes I do.)

A Hush puppy is a corn meal, onion-y, garlick-y fried dough mess of a yum in your tum. I kid you not. It’s just awesome. And now people can add actual corn, and bacon grease (yuck!) and whatever. As we never had pork for religious reasons, I’m assuming the hush puppies¬†I had was Piglet free. But truthfully for a bowlful of some puppies, I didn’t care.

Why are they called hush puppies? You’re asking me? I’m Canadian, go ask a Southerner.

Naturally. I decided to make this from the book.  These are technically supposed to make 18. However, we had a few issues.

  1. I didn’t have a mini muffin pan
  2. I have yet to bake anything that had a suggested serving size and I reached it.

So instead of 18. I got 11 pretty nice baked hush puppies. (Yes baked. it’s¬†low cal vegan, y’all. It wasn’t going to be fried. Shame).

The one, teeny, tiny tweak I made to this recipe was the addiction of garlic. For me, hush puppies need garlic. I wasn’t going to grate them in there (ooh, an Idea for next time), so I added a tsp of roasted garlic powder. These just made them all pop.

Happy belly.

After Who tomorrow, I’ll be making everything else including pancakes). Pictures to follow.

Leave a comment »

If Broccoli & Asparagus were to ever Fall in Love..

Okay first things first:

I know. You are missing pictures of the popcorn (it’s in the book – also. my popcorn will not really… work the same way as Alicias. I have an Air-Popper, ergo, I don’t need to mix with oil, while she does. So it kinda worked out because it’s actually lower-cal. (SCORE!) but It tastes. well. airpopped.

Leftover Rating of Menu 1:
8/10. The Black Bean Sausage (crumbles) tasted great for the week. Ditto the Chickpea Cheese. (hummus y’all. less oily hummus). everything stood the test of time except the Hashbrowns. So I figure these are more of a “You have people come over, and you decide, hey, Let’s make hash browns).

(but truth be told. I wasn’t SUPER impressed with them. They made an awesome lunch accessory but I feel like they could have been bigger (actually they could have been I did 1/4 instead of the 1/3) but I just like store bought better.

Chickpea Cheese (HUMMUS). I am going to use as a snack or something. i don’t think it will go bad right away. I have a LOT left over. The salsa (Yummy) I will make a tonne of it and can it for next year.I think Tomaillos are out of season now. boo.
Almond Granola WILL be made again. I got 6+ servings out of it (1 cup each). and it was yummy. I do suggest mixing your fruits (like 1/8th cup of everything. Prunes, ironically made the difference).

Breakfast lasted me for a long time. Which, I have to say, good job granola and pumpkin milk. (Now I have to say that breakfast #2 has a lot to live up to).

Lunch as well, by the time I got home I was hungry.

Dinner…. we had issues. I was hungry every day this week after dinner. (so. of course I had some sorbet and some more popcorn – and a gingerale I was slightly sick to my tummy). ¬†I’ll report if this is a standard thing.

I have to say I am off to a good start.

 

Book Finds

I was so good. I lasted. A lot longer than I had to be. Really. But when you have a new¬†Celine Steen¬†&¬†Tami Noyes book coming out (Albeit May 2013), you’d pre-order it too right? Especially if it’s a¬†baking book. With¬†whole grains. I mean, hello, it’s practically essential. Also – I preordered¬†Gluten Free & Vegan Bread. I¬†had¬†to. Again. Essential. Not to say I intend to give up gluten. Gluten and me. we’re buds. But I¬†love¬†bread. And I love making it. (well learning how to). It reminds me of watching my mom and grandma make bread. So if I could A: make bread, B: make vegan bread, C: make my vegan bread gluten free.. I think that’s a win win win situation. Also – it will D: save on BUYING vegan bread, because y’all. vegan bread’s expensive.

Plus they aren’t coming out until next year so I have plenty of time to save up and cook more for you all. See. logic.

 

Food Finds

I found Peanut Butter & Co Peanut Butter. This was like beyond amazing. I’ve wanted to try these forever and – while I don’t think they are Canadian wide yet, they¬†were at my supermarket. On sale. Plus a discount. And this was a super market I never really go to. Yeah. Score one for me.

 

Menu #2

Now this is what you really wanted to know, and the title of the blog post. Well. we’re going to be cooking with broccolini this week. What is, pray, broccolini? Well – it’s broccoli and asparagus exploded into one spiffy veg. It really looks cool. Mine is organic (so it cost more, but I actually got more. It was 5.99 a lb and I spent 7 dollars on it. Eek, I know. BUT. the other supermarket had.. “Broccoli spears” which looked like my baby broccolini, but it was 2.71 per bunch. And the bunch was small. So I would have had to spend at least 6+ on it, to get my lb, so this way I have my lb + its organic. Win.

This week’s adventures in Low Cal Vegan cooking is

 

Breakfast:
Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes. w/Peach Butter
not¬†the spiced Carolina Peach jam. I think should I be able to get peaches for 79¬Ę again OR get 3lbs for a good lot, I’ll probably make some of it. if not, I won’t. I don’t really feel like worrying with peaches right now anyway.

Almond Milk (Silk).

this one is going to be tough. I am not the biggest fan of fresh blueberries. I know. I am weird. I also don’t like it in baked goods. Yes. I know. I am weird. Especially when my favourite pregan doughnut was a blueberry fritter. loaded with blueberry jam… work that one out.¬†

Lunch
Sesame Broccolini with Chickpea Catacctore & Quinoa
(power-protein lunch!)
with applesauce (Yes. I have a thing for applesauce. I intend to can a bucket load).

Dinner
Baked Risotto! I found yellow zucchini at my health food store and I figured that was as close to summer squash as I was going to get right now. The things I do for you people because I had to HUNT for that Leek. (yes the leek of all things).

 

I’m also going to be making hush puppies. (for the weekend and other snacking). most¬†likely¬†Sticky Bun Popcorn. There was going to be some sugar cookies too – but alas I forgot the cream of tartar. Maybe next week.

This week is¬†Bean week. So this meal is 100 percent soy free should you you know, purchased soy-free items. (the book isnt’ ‘marked’ soy free or whatever, but I think it’s often good to know). Like I said, I eat the big vegan Four of proteins: Seitan, Tofu, Tempeh & Beans. So I cycle. Seitan, Soy, Bean. (rinse and repeat). I know that it might not always be so clear cut. (e.g.: a lot of this books tofu recipes includes seitan as well). but I think as long as I try, I am not ‘overdoing it’ on any one food group. (even though, seitan is really yummy).

 

Oh – and to answer the question: I¬†will be using Alicia’s seitan recipes in the book – unless she calls for storebought. Then I will whip up some Gobblers, Moo-Free & No Cluck Cutlets from Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day.
Time for some Torchwood.

Cooking commences tomorrow, and¬†maybe¬†I’ll actually give you a look of a plated dish of food…. ūüėČ

 

3 Comments »

Sprouts, Cheese, Salsa and Granola… Oh My!

So I started doing most of these Friday Night. (The Sausage – I want the fennel to develop, so these will have a quick fry up). I also did onion and bell peppers for the quesadillas today but these are a “make the day of”. So I did everything else.

Almond Granola.

 This was the first thing I made this morning. (and I honestly had meant to check the timing on everything else I made, but I get into this Rachael Ray cooking zone or something and I forget, I take breaks, etc). This literally takes about 30 minutes to make start to finish. There were optional fruit choices one can do Рso I did all of them (1/8th cup of 4 instead of 1/4 cup of 2).

(Prunes, Apricots, Cranberries and Currants).

This came together, and cooked and cooled under an hour and Alicia says it’s good on the countertop. So We’ll see about that.

How do I feel about this? This isn’t the first granola I’ve made. It was easier and certainly drier than my first batch (the last one called for applesauce for sweetness, and I used a different puffy cereal). It tastes…flat. Like she forgot to add salt to it or something. I think a pinch of¬†Himalayan Sea Salt would have brought out the yumminess of everything. But having this with some milk will do.

This will be made again simply for the “snack” factor and the east factor.

 

Gingered Brussels Sprouts

You know – I’ve never steamed vegetables before. Ever. I am a boil it until it’s dead kind of girl, so it took me a couple of minutes to figure out how my new steamer basket worked. (and then I went “oooohh”) and then I stuffed it all of Brussels sprouts and was curious how on earth it was going to get all tender, popped the lid on it and did what I needed to do to make the ginger sauce. And colour me surprised. It totally came out awesome

 

I think I’ve had Brussels sprouts once ever. But these are really good.¬†

It took less than ten minutes for these. (well, fifteen once you take in the quartering). I did not, however have vermouth. I do not drink, and while I do have red wine and white wine for Seitan making or whatever, unless the recipe allows the wine to come to a high temperature to burn off the¬†alcohol I don’t use it. So long story short, I pulled out my white wine, herbed it up and added it to the mix. It tastes fine to me.

 

Chickpea Cheese.

 

I don’t know why she just didn’t call it cheesy hummus. Truthfully, I wasn’t expecting to be “cheesy” like, but it’s like a thick spread of nootchy goodness, with a nice punch of Hungarian Paprika. (this is my go too. I have three. Hungarian (sweet), Spanish (smoked) and American (bland). I NEVER use my American, always opting for the Hungarian, unless I need smoked. Call me snotty). ūüôā ¬†Anyway – this was a three day event as I don’t use storebought chickpeas ¬†I don’t think a lot of people realise how fast it is to make your own beans.

I know what it looks like but it’s good.

Slow Cooker Way:

1 cup (or more) of beans (remember they double in size after they soak)
Rinse and put about 2ish inches over it and pop it in the fridge.
Take it out the next day and rinse again – and then put into the slow cooker
Cover with water (again about 2-3ish inches) a splash of oil, a pinch of salt, add some
Kombu (it’s a sea weed, it helps you not toot as much), 5-7 hours later – beans!

Stovetop Way

Do everything I just said,but put in a pot, cover it up and leave it alone for 1-2 hours.
(I find though slow cooking it gives it that fresh from the can taste).

But back to the recipe – I ended up dumping everything in the food¬†processor¬†and woila. And then of course my friends proceed to tell me how gross it looks. It’s not the sexiest food thing ever but it really does taste delish. (I bet the next day once the flavours marry, will taste better). But “cheese” it ain’t. It’s a hummus spread. So I think making some crackers would be in order the next time I make this.

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

I forgot to chop in the cilantro. Crud.
I also, somehow, forgot to buy seranno peppers…or they are hidden in my apartment. (I hope this isn’t the case).

So when in doubt, use what you have, which was in this case, chiplotes in adobo sauce. I haven’t really tasted it yet, I’ll let you know, and I know this will now change the caloric balance of the recipe.(eh). But I needed a pepper, right? ¬†This was the longest to make due to the roasting of the tomatillos. But it all came together really quickly, and then… Wham!

wham-pow! yummy salsa

 

It’s one of those things – once you now know how to do it – why would you really go and buy it again. I love salsa. LOVE it. and had I known it was super easy to make (and in theory, it shouldn’t have been that surprising – hello. Tomatoes, veg, = salsa). but I never really do it. But it is good, good food.

I haven’t actually tasted it yet, (but it smelled delish). I am going to wait to spoon it over the quesadillas which will be made again, tomorrow. (the plan is to saute everything up, and then have it spread-able, and just eat when I need it.

 

Tomorrow I will show you

BBQ Popcorn. (and maybe sticky-bun, I do have friends over).
Hashbrowns
Pumpkin Seed Milk
and the put together queasadilla. ūüôā

Now I have food to munch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment »