Monday, March 31, 2008

Pasta with Mixed Veg

Tonight I tossed together a very simple dinner using some leftovers in the fridge. DR wanted me to use buckwheat noodles, but I vetoed that idea in favor of whole wheat pasta. The sauce is olive oil, mushrooms, the leftover asparagus/mushrooms from Za'tar the other night, spinach, and some chopped up leftover canned tomatoes and their juice. I added a little salt and Italian seasoning and tossed it all with the pasta. Very good! On the side, I cut up some romaine and put a little orange-sesame dressing on it. Part of me thought we had some dressing in the house, but the OS one was it!

I've been having some issues getting good pictures the past few days. My hands have been more shaky than normal from my medication (or it just too cold in my apartment!). My plan is to set up a mini-photography area in the house with good light and (hopefully) a tripod to get the shakies out, but I think my camera, on lower battery, is also part of the issue. Who knows?!

Sunday, March 30, 2008


DR and I had a good time at the potluck today. I'm sure pictures will follow! I was thinking about dinner. I had leftover cheeze, seitan'o'greatness, and some pizza dough from the potluck. I was thinking of making a pizza when DR suggested Stromboli. I've never had a "real" Stromboli, but the idea of rolling everything into the dough and baking it seemed like a good plan.

Essentially, I took about 1/2 c mushrooms, 1 c cheeze, and the end hunks from the SOG and blasted them in the vitamix until they were all chopped. I when mixed them together and spread them onto the dough, which I had spread out in a large rectangle on the counter. I rolled it up and stuck it in the oven. Yum!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Za'atar Mushrooms and Asparagus

Tossed this together for dinner tonight. Not too shabby for a last minute meal! Za'atar is a blend of spices, herbs, and seeds used in the cuisine of several Middle Eastern countries. The one I have is a Lebanese blend that my friend J gave me!

Za'atar Mushrooms and Asparagus
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1 lb asparagus, broken into 1 inch pieces
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 TB Za'atar spice blend (this is a Lebonese spice I believe. I'll have to wiki it)

Steam sautée the mushrooms, asparagus, and garlic over medium heat, adding water to keep things from sticking. Sprinkle in the za'atar. Continue cooking until veggies are done to your preference.

Here, I made some amaranth and served the veggies on top. It was pretty decent. This was my first time making amaranth and I'm not sure how I feel about it. A bit salty for me! It also looks a little sketchy to me so I might try making flour with the rest of it if round two of trying it doesn't work out.

Spinach Dip

S, DR and I are hitting up a vegan potluck tomorrow! We're excited to see all our friends and have been working on preparing some tasty dishes to take along. Among them is this spinach dip, which I just tossed together. I spent some time hunting for a recipe that used what we had in the house, but didn't find one. This one is really good.

Spinach Dip
1 box silken firm tofu (Mori-Nu)
1 c thawed frozen chopped spinach (drained)
1/2 c vegan mayo
2 cloves garlic
1 packet vegan onion soup mix (don't ask why I had this in the house!)
1 TB lemon juice

Combine everything in a food processor or vitamix and blend until combined. Refrigerate overnight to let the flavors develop. However, I will admit that it tastes pretty good fresh out of the food processor!

Makes 2 cups

Veggie Mac'n'Cheeze

Tonight we decided to go downhome with some classic comfort food: mac'n'cheese. I've been eating a lot of junk this week (as much as a vegan can do that!) and wanted to make a healthier version of mac'n'cheese. I had spent a little time in the afternoon making some uncheese for a potluck I'm going this weekend so I tossed some of the leftover stuff in the vitamix and ended up with this creation. It still needs a little work, but it was a nice blander cheezy dish. It also makes a gallon, so its good if you have a crew to feed.

Mac'n'Cheeze with Mushrooms and Spinach.
1 palmetto (from a jar)
1/3 c nutritional yeast
2 c water
2 cloves garlic
1 squirt of prepared mustard
2 handfuls (1 c?) raw almonds
splash of soysauce
1/2 silken firm tofu
2 spoons tahini (2-3 TB)
generous squirt of lemon juice
1 tsp onion powder
2 heaping spoons cornstarch

Combine all of the above in a blender and blend until smooth. You can add in spices or whatever you like--this is a base recipe by far!

Next, place 8 oz (about 2-3 cups) sliced mushrooms in a large frypan with a dash of oil and a little water. Cook on medium heat for about ten minutes, or until they are soft and juicy looking. Add in 2 c frozen chopped spinach (or a few handfuls fresh) and heat until cooked though. Pour in the cheeze mix from the blender and bring to a low boil for a few minutes. This will result in a thickened cheeze sauce.

To serve, pour onto pasta. This amount made enough sauce for one pound of elbow macaroni.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Lentils and Friends

Tonight: Lentils. They are such an innocent staple in the vegan kitchen. However, with the right spices and a little effort, they can be transformed into a lot of great dishes, such as these Tamarind Lentils from Veganomicon. A couple friends had been touting the wonders of this dish, and I finially got around to making them (which is odd it took so long, since I cook Indian dishes several times a week!). It's pretty simple to make--lentils, some spices, and a tamarind-agave-tomato paste stirred in at the end to add some goodness. I replaced the tamarind paste and sweetner with some yummy tamarind chutney my friend J got me last month. They added just the right "yumm" factor for this dish! I served them on some brown long grain rice and added some quick, fun samosas on the side.


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