Monday, April 25, 2011

Who Am I?

Just a quick post this morning as I have found myself, yet again, with a bit of time to spare before work (seriously, who am I? This is such a weird feeling). I thought I would show you two yummy eats from recently.
Grilled Oasis garlic sourdough bread with Earth Balance stuffed with Tofutti cheese singles, sliced tomato and red onion. A little bit of comfort. On the side, lettuce and tomato topped with a Costco veggie patty. These things are really good. They are sold in the deli section of Costco and are 100% vegan and delicious.
So, I'm sure you've all heard of peanut flour by now. I'm sure you've probably also heard the rumor that Trader Joe's is discontinuing this incredible product. Of course I discovered it right at the tail end. Se la vie.

My friend Rachel was making some cookies to give to some people at an event and I joined her to help bake (and steal goodies). Rachel does not eat 100% vegan but is very open to vegan food and often makes it on her own. In addition, she eats mostly gluten free which is something I haven't really experimented with much. One of the cookies she made that night were Averie's Vegan GF Peanut Butter Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies with Peanut Flour.  Name is a mouthful, taste is unbelievable. I went right home (after Trader Joe's) and made a batch of my very own. Seriously, you have to try these. I took them to a family event and everyone raved about them and one person even asked for the recipe. Now if only I can figure out how to grind peanuts into peanut flour without making peanut butter....

Friday, April 22, 2011

Those Silly Fates

So, in a stunning twist of fate, yesterday I was up early enough to blog before work and today? Up 50 minutes after my alarm went off, 20 minutes before I had to leave for work. I felt perpetually behind today. Fortunately, towards the end of the day I picked up steam and kicked this days behind. After a productive day at work, I spent some time in my garden (so many of my seedlings have sprouted indoors and will be ready to go outside soon!), I played through a few levels of Portal 2, I made the best dinner and attempted to make a single version without apple sauce of Mama Pea's Chocolate Lava Cake. I made a lot of substitutions including coconut oil and butter in place of apple sauce and using 1/2 whole wheat pastry flour and half peanut flour. I also tried to divide the recipe by 5 to get a single serving. I don't think I used enough flour. It was just ok.

As for dinner, here, take a look.
It all started out with needing to use up some green onions. And some chard. And an avocado. Ooh and I have sun dried tomato tofurkey sausages. Oh, hell yeah and leftover mashed potatoes and cauliflower. Amazing. I cooked the green onions in my tiny cast iron and then added in some garlic and the greens as well as some salt, pepper and lemon juice. Once cooked, I added half to a mashed avocado and added the leftover mash to the cast iron. This dinner made me sooooo happy. It was unbelievably delicious!

Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Weird Kind of Morning

Usually when my alarm goes off I do not want to get out of bed. I consider myself mostly a morning person. I am definitely not a night person (I'm usually in bed by at least 10 every night), but I'd almost always rather stay in bed than get the day started. Today, not so much. I was out of bed with gusto when my alarm went off and as a result, I'm almost ready for work a full 30 minutes early. Your benefit I suppose. Here are some things I've been meaning to show you.

I bought a box of the Amy's Bistro Burgers and regardless of the fact that I had no buns and had to improvise with a pita, managed to make a fairly good recreation of a quarter pounder from my youth. Tofutti cheese singles are not the greatest thing ever, but in combination with other foods they make for some decent nostalgia.

Quarter pounders don't typically have tomato, but I did, so there. This was delicious by the way.

I went through a couple of weeks where I was making burritos like every other day. I developed this lovely technique of putting the burrito seam side down on a hot cast iron skillet to keep it from opening. Genius? You tell me.

Mostly I use refried or whole beans with rice, lettuce and salsa for the boyfriend and add in some avocado for myself, but these were tofu scramble, greens and potato burritos.

My boyfriend never really shops for food. He works in a grocery store 2 days a week and usually the only thing he'll buy is bananas but one day he bought a couple of things including some chocolate for me! And here's how I used it.

First I mixed some peanut butter with some oats and I think a few mini chocolate chips.

Then I added on the melted chocolate and it was almost like a lazy, more healthy resee's. Only more healthy in that it had oats. Delicious.

One day I was wandering the interwebs when I came across the idea for cinnamon roll pancakes. The recipe was not vegan so I just winged it the next morning, before work mind you. The cinnamon swirl kind of cooked into the pancake instead of staying clearly swirled, but topped with a drizzle of icing, these were unbelievable.

Not exactly every morning food.

And finally, I leave you with the tofu omelette that I made Sunday morning. My boyfriend was not a fan as they were a bit more mushy than he would have preferred, but I thought they were delicious!

Alright, that's enough from me as it is now almost time to leave. Thanks for keeping me company while I wasted time before work!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Roasted Pepitas

Ok, so just a quick post today. I have a tendency to notice bruises every now and then that I believe indicate a bit of an iron deficiency. Last week, I was feeling it. In my process of looking up iron rich foods, I discovered pepitas are high in iron. So I stocked up on raw pepitas.
 Separately, I had purchased a tiny new cast iron skillet at a garage sale a few months ago. It's almost the size of my hand.
Put the two together.

Yummy! Cooked over a medium heat and stirred occasionally until they started cracking.  These were a bit addicting just on their own. I also ate them on a salad and in a bit of a trail mix. And I thought I would never find a use for that tiny thing. Perfect!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Good Results

To me there is something about baking that just makes me so joyful. I find very few things in life bring me as much satisfaction as taking something out of the oven. When that something is beautiful and tasty as well? I bet they have these muffins in heaven.

Last night I stumbled across a recipe for beet blueberry muffins. I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned it here before, but I have made beet brownies that were delicious. I even brought them into work and no one knew there were beets hiding inside. Of course, beets in a muffin of the non chocolate variety is no easy thing to hide. Good think I like my food funny looking. I think it spices up life. I altered the original recipe a bit in two ways. The first batch I made without beets and with apple sauce instead and for both batches I changed up the flour types.

Blueberry Muffins

3 Tablespoons non-dairy milk
2 Tablespoons lemon juice

1 ¼ cups apple sauce
½ cup canola oil
¾ cup sugar sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup high gluten bread flour flour
1 ½ teaspoons non-aluminum baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda

1 cup blueberries, fresh (sliced in half)

I mixed the lemon juice and the soy milk in it's own dish, then combined the apple sauce, oil, sugar, vanilla and salt together. I whisked the dry ingredients and then added both the wets. Then I folded in the halved blueberries.

Add by ice cream scoop (or utensil of choice) into 12 silicone or paper muffin cups.

I fudged the temperature as the original recipe tells you how to roast beets but I left the oven at 400 degrees for this version. 25 and they were perfect. Original recipe actually called for them at 325. Or maybe you don't even know the real temp of your oven and it wont matter. I set mine for 400 lately and it shoots up to 450. Se la vie.

Without further ado...
I think it's the bread flour that did it, but the un-beet muffin is light and fluffy with a beautiful top. Delicious. Then I made a second batch for myself. The same recipe as above, but puree 2 beets to replace the apple sauce. I think mine was a bit thick and could have used a bit more non-dairy milk, but they turned out equally delicious. I would seriously say that these are the best home made muffins I think I have ever made, vegan or not.

I only have one set of silicone molds so I made the second batch without anything and I wish I had some paper lines because the bottoms lost their beautiful pink color. Hope you enjoy!

Monday, April 4, 2011

This Post Is About Muesli

Sometimes, typing the first few words is often the hardest. That simple transition from what you will be doing to what you are doing can sometimes be tough. I find often in life that the things I dread or procrastinate doing, are often made monumentally worse only in my head by putting them off. Today has been a day where this has been made clear on a number of occasions.  All day at work I didn't really want to go to the gym. It wasn't that I was super tired, or anything was wrong, I just didn't feel like exerting the energy to go to a class at the gym. In the end, I reached the end of my work day and told myself to suck it up and just go to the gym. I could always half ass it if I really didn't feel into it once there. But in the end I had one of the best work outs in a long time. Once home, I sat at my computer for a good hour and a half procrastinating blogging. Not because I don't enjoy it, but because it takes time and effort to edit pictures and think of something to say that doesn't sound like rambling. After my computer procrastination, I further procrastinated blogging by going to the kitchen to reheat pizza for dinner. While in the kitchen, I procrastinated doing the dishes in the sink for a few minutes until I finally decided to just put away a few of the dishes in the dish drainer. Once I started, I put everything away and washed everything in the sink in a matter of 15 minutes. Finally, as I sat down to eat my dinner, I decided to just download my pictures from my camera and see what I had to work with. Within minutes I had discarded the crappy ones, chosen some to edit and decided on a post. A few more minutes and I had edited them and that brought me to here. It is amazing how just a simple step towards the things you want/need to accomplish can snowball. But enough with the philosophical random musings...I have food to show you!

A couple weeks ago I was at a grocery store that I do not normally shop at. It is a Mediterranean shop with many foreign foods but also a fair number of mainstream products as well. I was taking extra time to peruse everything to see if I could find anything new and different, and while I did buy some not so normal items, that is not what this post is about. This post is about muesli. Bob's Red Mill muesli, specifically.

I had just seen some people posting about muesli days before this and I had never had it before so I decided to try it. I can't say where any of my inspiration for this meal came from as I tend to read through blogs that I don't normally follow and forget where I see things. I don't think the inspiration came from any one person though. Regardless, here's how I have been enjoying my muesli.
Thinly slice banana and add about a tablespoon of peanut butter

Microwave for about 30 seconds until banana is nice and mushy and then stir, stir, stir
Add in 1/4 to 1/3 cup dry muesli
Stir, stir, stir some more
Add in about as much soy milk as muesli
And stir, stir, stir some more
Mmm, banana, pb, muesli mush
  Don't let the mushy texture fool you into thinking this is not a delicious breakfast. I was amazed at how good this was considering that I added no maple syrup, no cinnamon, no chocolate...I have been eating it most mornings for breakfast before work and I am not tired of it after almost two weeks. Which reminds me, my boyfriend always ate a good amount of bananas but I never really did. Well, since I've been eating this breakfast and I have been making a few smoothies lately, we have been going through a lot of bananas and I may or may not have bought 9ish pounds of bananas from 3 different stores yesterday. The Mediterranean market is the only store in town I know that puts overripe bananas on sale and I got some for .49/lb!

Well, that's it for me tonight. Hopefully I'll be back sooner next time, I just need to remember to take that first step.