Tuesday, July 31, 2012

#213 Pigs in a Blanket

Lynzie and I had these naughty snacks for dinner while we watched a movie. All I did was wrap tofu dogs in crescent roll dough, and bake them! We enjoyed them with ketchup, BBQ chips, and beers. Although they seemed naughty, they were only 150 calories each. Don't ask me how many I had, I'm not telling!

Monday, July 30, 2012

#212 Trattoria Pasta Salad with White Beans and a Sun-dried Tomato-Walnut Dressing

Whew! That title is a mouthful!!! The recipes for the Trattoria Pasta Salad with White Beans and  the Sun-dried Tomato-Walnut Dressing came from Appetite for Reduction.

I made it last night for our picnic at the Starlight bowl. I wanted to make something that would go well with the muffaletta sandwich Michelle was making. I knew I wanted to make a cold pasta salad and when I came across this recipe I knew I had to make it. This had white beans, red onion, bell pepper, arugula, and kalamata olives. The dressing was amazing!! I loved that there wasn't any oil in it. 

I love that I've had this book for so long and am still finding new things I love!! If you haven't bought this book yet, buy it!!! 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

#211 Muffaletta Sandwich

Perfect Picnic Plate!

This was what we ate at our Starlight Bowl picnic.  I made the Roasted Eggplant and Spinach Muffaletta from Veganomicon.  It is an old favorite, we always make it for our Vegas road trips.  It's a great make-ahead meal.  In addition to the eggplant and spinach, it's stuffed with roasted bell peppers, and an olive salad (kalamata and garlic stuffed green olives, sun dried tomatoes, dried herbs, white balsamic vinegar, and olive oil) So tasty!

Lynzie made the delicious pasta salad, I'll let her tell you about it later.  For dessert we had Rice Krispie treats made with Dandies Marshmallows.  Not pictured is the potent Red Sangria which I drank too much of! yikes :)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

#210 Handmade Taquitos

This dinner was all Sean! I just took pictures and sampled everything as he was working. Sean said the most important thing to do is microwave the tortillas in a damp towel for 20-30 seconds. This softens the tortillas and makes them easy to roll. If you skip this step, your tortillas can rip when you roll them. 

We made...ah hemmm... Sean made 3 different kinds of taquitos: Potato, soyrizo, and garden. Use the pictures below as a guide for how much filling to put in each tortillas. Roll them tight and then stick a toothpick through to keep them together. 

We fried them in canola oil, turning them once half way through. 

We ate these with spanish rices, beans, fresh pico de galllo,  and guacamole.

Yumm! Thanks Sean!


Friday, July 27, 2012

#209 Wild Mushroom Stroganoff

This recipe is from Chloe's Kitchen. It was really tasty and quick. It was sweeter than I thought it would be, I think it was the tomato paste I used. I bought a tube from Whole Foods. I love the idea behind it because I usually only need a tablespoon or two for a recipe. I didn't notice until afterwards that it is double concentrated. I'll remember to use half the amount next time and see if that works better. You can also freeze tomato paste. I scoop tablespoons of paste onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Once they're frozen through, I stick them in a ziplock bag or Tupperware container. As long as they're frozen individually first, and kept frozen, they won't stick together.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

#208 Greek Style No-Queso Quesadilla

This meal was was two recipes. Both in The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. I used her hummus recipe and her recipe for a No-Queso Quesadilla. 
Yes, another quesadilla!!! This one was really good and easy to make. I made my own hummus! Making your own hummus is super easy. If you haven't tried making your own you totally should. These quesadillas use a very small amount of hummus so you'll end up with lots of left overs. I put my left overs in an empty sour cream container.

 On a side note....I recommend saving used containers. You can reuse them instead of plastic bags or buying storage containers. 

I smeared some hummus on one side of a flour tortilla and sprinkled kalamata olives, chopped tomato, chopped parsley and red bell pepper. I wanted to put some chopped red onion in there too (for Sean-not me!) but I guess I forgot to buy one at the store! Oops! 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

#207 Avocado Pesto Pasta take 2

Since I had all the ingredients on hand, and Lynzie raved about it, I made Avocado Pesto Pasta for dinner tonight. It was quick, easy, rich, creamy, and delicious! Using basil and cherry tomatoes from the garden made it even better! One day I'll be able to use homegrown avocados too! Well, one of these years anyway. Thank you to Chloe for another fantastic recipe, Lynzie for the inspiration, and Seany for the pesto basil plant ;) YUM!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

#206 Summer Sundae

It's summertime so I think we should all be eating ice cream all the time! 
I made this for dessert and it was delicious. I used vanilla ice cream and topped it with mixed berries. I bought a bag of frozen fruit. I microwaved a small handful for a about a minute. I broke two lemon snaps in half and put them in the bowl. I loved the combination of sweet lemon, tangy berries and creamy vanilla ice cream. Yumm!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

#205 Disneyland Dining

This weekend, the kids and I went on a mini vacation to Disneyland. I had such an easy time finding food! Not only do they have a ton of vegan dining options, but they let you bring food in!! I brought 3 huge hoagie sandwiches, a bag of chips, water bottles, a box of cookies, and a ton of fruit. I couldn't believe they were cool with it! The only bummer is having to carry it around with you. They do have lockers you can use, located next to a picnic area even. Next time I'm going to have the kids bring a backpack and we can all carry our own loot. We probably saved $60 by bringing all that stuff in with us.

Venti Soy Misto!

Did you know Disneyland now has 2 Starbucks stores? Not just coffee shops that brew Starbucks' coffee, but full-on Starbucks! Better than the ones in grocery stores or Target. Probably pretty even with the Barnes and Noble versions. It was fantastic to be able to get my usual drink and at the regular price too! I'd pay a bit more for my already too costly coffee at Disneyland. Look how cute the cup is!
This Mediterranean Plate can be found in California Adventure
 For lunch, I got a great Mediterranean plate. After checking with the cashier's list of ingredients (super handy!) we figured out that all I had to do was sub steamed rice for the rice pilaf. Awesome! Along with the rice, I had a tofu and veggie kabob with chimichurri sauce, a grilled pita, and cucumber salad. $10! Next time I'm getting a blue moon beer to go with it. I was still working on my beloved iced mocha this time around. 


For dinner we ate at Tortilla Joe's in Downtown Disney. I love this place! Amazing chips and salsa and great vegan options! To drink I had a spicy mamacita margarita (tequila, lime, agave, cucumber, and jalapeños) yum! My Aunt and I shared the garden enchiladas with green cilantro rice and black beans. All that I had to do was ask for the queso fresco on the side. The enchiladas were spicy and stuffed with zucchini, spinach, bell peppers, and onions. Since we shared an entree, we splurged on table side guacamole. This was the best one I've ever had! I swear she used 4 avocados, it was worth the $12. I'm so glad we shared, we still ended up with too much to eat! 
While I strongly suggest bringing in a meal and definitely a water bottle or 2, i couldn't be happier with the vegan options available at Disneyland. If we could get some vegan ice cream options it really would be the Happiest Place on Earth! Next time I'm taking Lynzie. Maybe we'll show you the veggie po' boy, gumbo in a sourdough bowl, or portobello Philly style sub!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

#204 Wannabe Sage Soul Bowl

Whenever I go out to eat I almost always order the same time each time I go there. The restaurant becomes the item off the menu. Sage in Echo Park has become the Soul Bowl.

I love this bowl. Every time I eat there I love it more and more. I love it so much, I decided I needed to attempt to make it. Before I tell you how I did it...I just want to say this was really good. Sean and I both loved it. . . But it was not as good as theirs. In fact eating my version, just made me want theirs more.

Ok so first I made a quick pickled cabbage. I shredded purple cabbage and shoved it into a large mason jar. I also added a few jalapeño slices on the top. The kind that are already pickled in a jar. I made the brine by boiling water, white vinegar and pickling spices. I poured the cooled brine through a sieve and into the mason jar. I stuck it into the refrigerator for a few hours. When I took it out the cabbage was a pretty purple color and had a tangy and spicy flavor from the jalapeños.

In the mean time I had I lot of work to do because there is a million components to this.

I baked a yam.

Cooked up some quinoa

I heated some black beans.

I sautéed kale in a garlic, onion, olive oil mixture.

I cooked some Gardein buffalo wings. I made these in place of the delicious macaroni and cheese ball that comes slathered with a spicy sauce.

I browned a few slices of polenta (I bought it from TJ's).

I put a little bit of everything in the bowls. I smeared a little bit of Follow Your Heart horseradish sauce on the polenta- just like they do at Sage. This was so tasty. Sage came up with the perfect flavors and textures for this amazing bowl.

If you haven't been to Sage before, you seriously need to go.


Friday, July 20, 2012

#202 Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich

This was soooo yummy! We picked our first eggplant from our garden this week. I knew I wanted to make this for dinner. I used Vegan Junkfood for the recipe. She makes the breaded eggplant and puts it on pizza. Mmmmm! Doesn't that sound good? I need to try it. I used it for the sandwich and it was amazing. I spread a little marinara on each layer of eggplant and sprinkled a little daiya mozzarella. I put it in the broiler to melt the cheese.

Yummy! Make it!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

#200 Stuffed Zucchini Towers and Fresh Gazpacho

Can you believe all this came from our front yard?!?!
 To the left is our latest harvest from our garden! I've decided that Sean is like the best farmer ever! Just look at that! We were so excited but also a little freaked out because we had so much food! We made two amazing dishes. First, Sean made a fresh gazpacho. Mmmm! I've shared his gazpacho recipe with you before so I'm not going to redo it. But I have to share a picture from this last batch! 

The next thing I made was stuffed zucchini. I actually was inspired to do this from a pin on Pinterest. I love finding things that one of my non-vegan friends pinned and then veganizing it!  I found the original source on a blog. Here is her non-vegan recipe. I used hers as the foundation for mine. First I hollowed out a couple zucchinis. For fun, I made them all different heights. 

Next, I browed an onion and a couple garlic cloves in olive oil. I added some soy crumbles. When it was nice and browned, I added my favorite red sauce. 

I filled the zucchini cups and baked them in the oven at 350 for about 30 minutes. Then I topped it with a little daiya mozzarella and baked it for 10 minutes more. 

I served them with a side of gazpacho. Yumm! It doesn't look like a lot of food but I promise it was!! YUMMM! YUMM!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

#199 Patty Melts

Tonight we had a diner classic, patty melts. The whole family loves them. I start by sautéing sliced yellow onions in some canola oil. I season them with salt and a lil pepper. While the onions are cooking down I get the veggie patties going. Mix some vegenaise, ketchup, and relish to make a thousand dressing. I think all patty melts should come on rye bread and have lots of pickles! Once everything is heated, I put it all on the bread with slices of Daiya's Cheddar Wedge, and grill it in some earth balance buttery spread. It comes together pretty quick and is really filling!

Monday, July 16, 2012

#198 Avocado Pesto Pasta

This recipe came from Chloe's Kitchen. Avocados have been on sale and we have an abundance of basil growing in our garden...so I obviously needed to try this. I was a little worried this would taste like guacamole (not that I don't love that!) but I was totally wrong. The avocados gave the pesto an awesome creaminess. This was so yummy. I served it with some garlic bread. 

I recommend having everything ready and to mix the sauce in right before serving. When it gets really warm, the avocado loses it bright green color. This is something I will definitely make again!! 

Oh! I almost forgot to mention...this was done FAST!!! I love when that happens!! Yay, Chef Chloe! Another successful dinner :)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

#197 Hollywood Bowl Picnic

Happy (almost) Birthday Lynzie!!!

Last night Lynzie, Sarah, Sheena, and I went to the Grease Sing-a-long at the Hollywood Bowl. It was my first time there and I had a blast! As part of Lynzie's early birthday present, I prepared some yummy food and drinks for us. First up were Nutty, Chocolate Popcorn balls. They were rich, salty, sweet, and gooey. To drink we had 2 different white sangrias. The one with mint and ginger in it was the favorite. We also had our beloved almond champagne :) I also got to do something I have always wanted to try, making croissants! It was a long, arduous process but I think they turned out great! Especially since yeasted breads and I haven't always gotten along. I stuffed the croissants with curried tempeh salad. I tweaked a recipe from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's The Vegan Table. I wanted to replicate the tofu curry salad that I loved from my former workplace Jimbo's in San Diego. Success!! I used pineapple instead of apple, cashews instead of pecans or walnuts, and dried cranberries instead of raisins. It was delicious! I also made CPG's lemon bars from her book The Joy of Vegan Baking. This was my first time making these, I usually make the ones from Veganomicon. This recipe was quicker, easier, and I liked these ones better! The lemon filling was so tart and creamy. Lynzie thought it tasted like a lemon meringue pie...minus the meringue. I agree! Lemon desserts are our favorites. I also brought along some leftover mini banana breads I had made for Odin's 1st birthday. The recipe is from babycakes so they are gluten and sugar free. Sheena said they were her favorite part of the meal! Lots of work went into this picnic, but I think it was worth it! I love eating delicious vegan food that I didn't have to prepare and I think Lynz enjoyed it too! Everybody around us had takeout from places like CPK (good idea) or KFC (yuck) or crazily overpriced food from the venue ($8.50 for hummus and pita chips?!? Yikes!) I don't even want to think about how much the wine costs....I can't wait to go again next year when we will enter, and win, the costume contest! Maybe we'll have weenies. With relish of course!

Pretty good for my first attempt, right?
Lettuce from the garden :)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

#196 Breakfast on the go!

I started my first week at summer camp on Monday. Before Monday, I was in super vacation mode. . . Sleeping in and skipping breakfast! Now that I'm back to working, eating breakfast is a must. I've been making this for myself a few mornings a week. cinnamon raisin bagels are pretty much the only thing I like raisins in. I spread cream cheese on it and done! It's perfect for eating in the car on the drive to work!

Friday, July 13, 2012

#195 Grilled cheese and tomato soup

I am in love with the daiya wedge cheeses. This was my first experience with the cheddar one. I like it more than their shredded cheese. I made a grilled cheese, on sourdough, with tempeh bacon and a side of tomato basil soup I bought from Whole Foods. Perfection!!! The cheese melts, is so creamy, and no strange after taste! Hooray!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

#194 Chicken Tacos

I've posted about these before. I'm doing it again because they are so delicious and the last picture kinda sucked. These are made with Gardein "chicken" strips. I bake them and then slice them into pieces.

I cook the tortillas over an open flame.

I fill these with chicken pieces, shredded cabbage, avocado, cilantro and tomato.

The real scene stealer is the tartar sauce on top. I make it all to taste and don't measure anything out. Here's what goes in it: finely sliced onion, minced capers, sweet relish and a squeeze of fresh lemon. If you were to try and force me to give you measurements, I'd guess it's about a tablespoon of all the mentioned ingredients in about a cup of vegenaise. If you want to make it, I encourage you to play with those ingredients, adding until it tastes perfect to you! Mmmmm! I love these tacos!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

#193 Chick'n Fried Rice

This was a super lazy, frozen meal. It was so hot today, this was all I could manage! First I browned some Gardein Chick'n Scallopini. Then I stir fried TJ's Vegetable Fried Rice. While the rice was cooking, I chopped up the Chick'n. When the rice was heated, I tossed in the chopped Chik'n. It took a total of 10 minutes. The kids loved it and I loved being in and out of the hot kitchen so quickly!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

#192 Butterfinger Ice Cream

Sometimes my mom teases me and calls me a genius. Yesterday, I actually felt like one. I'm sure I'm not the first person to have done this, but I did come up with this on my own.

So here's my genius idea:
I took out a pint of soy vanilla ice cream and set it on the counter to harden a little.

I crushed a Chick-O-Stick.

I melted down some TJ's dark
chocolate chips.

I coated the Chick-O-Stick pieces in the chocolate.

I put the chocolate covered pieces in the freezer to harden again.

I scooped out some of the ice cream and put it in a bowl.

I sprinkled some of the candy prices on top, then put more ice cream on top. I continued to layer until all the candy was used up.

I smushed and stirred it all together until it was nicely mixed.

I transferred the ice cream back into its original container and returned it to the freezer and counted down the moments til dessert!

This was amazing!!! It's my new favorite dessert :)