Monday, October 25, 2010

Blueberry Oatmeal!

Just a quick post describing the awesome breakfast I had this morning. I wolfed it down so quickly I barely remembered to breathe. The original recipe can be found HERE on Chocolate Covered Katie.

My oats this morning:
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup almond milk
1/4 cup silken tofu
1 tsp cinnamon
2 packets splenda
1/2 cup frozen blueberries.

Soak oats and milk overnight. In the morning, cook for about 2 minutes in the microwave. Pour all but blueberries in blender and blend. Microwave frozen blueberries for about 1.5 minutes and add in at the end. Stir up and you are done. It tasted like blueberry cobbler. SO GOOD.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Seitan Stroganoff

I was craving this tonight - I made it vegan but it can easily be made dairy. The recipe (from mom way back when) Only with vegan ingredients subbed in:

1 tsp smart balance
1 package seitan
1 white onion
1/2 package sliced white mushrooms
1 Tbsp vegan worchestershire
1 cup veggie broth
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp mustard
1/3 cup red wine
1/3 cup sour cream (I used the better than sour cream stuff- I like it)
Na++ and pepper

Saute seitan in smart balance. Add onions and mushrooms and saute until soft. Add worchestershire and saute until all brown. Add flour to broth, then pour into side of pan and stir until thickened. Incorporate into the rest of pan. Add mustard (take it easy, it can overpower) and wine. Let reduce just a bit. Add sour cream, salt and pepper and that's it. Serve over noodles. Yum.

Crustless, Eggless Quiche

Doesn't sound very fun, eh? Well, let me tell you - this quiche tastes GREAT. I couldn't believe how smooth the tofu gets from a whirl in the food processor- it was unreal. I saw the recipe HERE initially, on This is Vegan. The original recipe can be found HERE. I left the sweet potato out because I didn't have one, though I didn't feel I was missing anything!

Garden Quiche:
1 package firm tofu
1 small onion
1/2 yellow pepper
1/2 red pepper
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/4 tsp tumeric
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. miso
1/2 cup nutritional yeast

Saute Veggies.

Put the rest of the ingredients in food processor and blend.

Fold together and bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Let sit and eat! I had mine with a nice salad with some of my balsamic dressing from yesterday.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Portobello stacks with Chevre and Tomato

My Aunt has a handy rule for cooking and entertaining. She suggests learning to make 5 menus really, really well. That way - you know if you need to quickly impress someone you know the end product will turn out great. And, if you constantly entertain the same people, you can rotate to the next menu and it seems like you are just full of recipes that turn out perfectly each time.

Her go-to Vegetarian entertaining menu consists of these stacks... portobello mushrooms marinated overnight in teriyaki marinade (I used Carribean Jerk tonight and it was amazing), covered in thick slices of chevre cheese and tomato.

General directions:
Marinate mushrooms overnight
Place on tin foil and cover with remaining marinade
Grill in tin foil about 20 minutes
Add slice of cheese and top with tomato (and breadcrumbs if you have them)
Close grill lid and let cheese melt
Assemble on plates filled with 1/2 arugala and 1/2 couscous

Drizzle home-made balsamic over arugala and top with mushroom stack

Drizzle more balsamic on the plate - top with roasted asparagus (tossed with EVOO and balsamic, roasted at 400 until you can smell the balsamic)

Balsamic (I didn't measure):

2 pressed garlic cloves, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, mustard, seasoned salt, basil leaves, squirt agave. This was probably the best dressing I've made so far.

And there you are... a great looking plate for the neighbors or whoever - in no time at all.

The wine tonight - Antanjo Rioja Tempranillo. The nose? Definitely some dark cherry and even black licorice. The mouth feel is considerably smooth and very mouthwatering. There is a hint of spice and almost chocolate amongst the berry flavor. It was only $7.99 at World Market- and well worth it. Absolutely delicious.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tofu fajitas

I am running a new study- so that means I work past 5 almost every night until I finish. Meaning dinner has to be quick, quick, quick. Tonight I worked until 7:15, and Dave called me 3 times to see if he was resigned to death by starvation. He had already left the house - assuming I had died and left him to perish- and made me go meet him for Asian once he got ahold of me (mind you, our house is FULL of food, he just refuses to even make a sandwich).

Anyway- yesterday I made my favorite quick recipe of all time - Sizzlin' tofu fajita's from Nava Atlas' Vegetarian Family Cookbook. (My very favorite cookbook of all time).

Basically you just toss some baked tofu, pepper and onions in olive oil and lemon juice and roast. I garnished with some cilantro, corn and black beans - and that's it. 15 minute meal.

While reading the new Vegetarian Times I enjoyed Luna and Larry's Coconut Milk Ice cream- cherry amaretto flavor. It is out of this world creamy and delicious. It really just tastes like straight up coconut milk with cherries in it. You must try it!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pumpkin, Chickpea and Red Lentil Stew

Like every body else in the world- I love PUMPKIN. In fact, my most favorite place in the world is PUMPKINVILLE! In addition to pumpkin-flavored baked goods that are so abundant this time of the year, I also love recipes using actual pumpkin. Last year I made THIS recipe for pumpkin black bean bake (without the beef), from better Homes and Gardens* ... and it was great. However, I vowed never to touch an actual pumpkin again after making pumpkin puree. It was a total pain in the butt and tasted almost identical to the canned variety. My mother sent me THIS recipe - and it looked like a winner. So I actually peeled and seeded a pumpkin.

I just made and devoured this, and it was great. Perfectly spiced and easy to throw together!


pound pie pumpkin peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
15-ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
medium carrots, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 large onion, chopped

cup red lentils
Tbsp tomato paste
Tbsp grated fresh ginger
Tbsp lime juice
Tsp ground cumin
1/4 Tsp Na++
1/4 Tsp ground turmeric
Tsp ground black pepper
cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Throw everything but the cilantro into a slow cooker. Cook for 7-8 hours on low, or 4-5 hours on high.

Garnish with cilantro. Serve over Israeli couscous (I throw a dried ancho chile in mine for a kick of flavor).

The finished product. Yum. Verdict? Make it.

*The actual magazine that taught me to cook back in 6th grade - high school. It worked!

Bagel and Lox Breakfast Casserole

My husband has been reminscing of all the "bad-ass food" I used to make when we first got together and I was an omnivore. For our first date I made him chili-rubbed tilapia with mango salsa, roasted peppers with balsamic vinaigrette, sauteed cherry tomatoes in rosemary infused olive oil and chili mashed potatoes (yes, I still remember). His favorite was Chicken marsala- which I loved to make for him because there are only about 3 ingredients involved in the dish. I began to feel bad - so I decided I would make him something as a treat for the week.

He also has a hard time maintaining his weight (he loses very quickly unless he eats quite a bit - the opposite of everybody else on the planet pretty much) so he has been getting skinny, and I make it my personal mission in life to keep him at a healthy weight (he once got down to 133 - oh boy). He loves salmon so I figured I'd throw together a breakfast casserole for the week for him to eat rather than cereal. There were about 20 eggs in my fridge so it helped make a dent in a food I don't even eat. This recipe is not vegan or vegetarian (as I know not everyone is who are reading this!) so though I will not eat it- I feel some of you may enjoy this simple dish that takes care of breakfast for the entire week. This recipe is loosely based on a recipe I found on my whole foods iPhone app:

5 cups cubed bagels (I bought mini Thomas' bagels)
2 cups spinach leaves
1 container either smoked salmon or nova trimmings (the trimmings are cheap at whole foods)
8 eggs
2 cups whole milk
2 cloves minced garlic
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 tsp sage
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Layer bagels, spinach and salmon in pyrex dish. Mix eggs, garlic, salt, pepper, sage and milk together and pour over other ingredients. Cover with tin foil and bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Take off foil and bake for about 10-15 minutes longer. You want the bagel pieces to look nice and browned. I can't vouch for taste- but it looked pretty good!

Friday, October 15, 2010


Here are my thoughts on Uggs.

The first picture of Brittney spears wearing smelly-inside Uggs while it was 90 degrees in California surfaced circa 2006! At this time I was still an undergrad - and I thought they were ugly. However, I realized that I did live in Western New York, and if boots were in style, than I should embrace the trend. We all want warm feet while walking around in 4 feet of snow, right? Well, the craziest thing was that UGGs are not water proof, and become saturated with snow, thus getting your feet wet, and then FREEZING (literallly) while you are wearing them on your feet during let's say, I'don't know, a December 20th Bills game? Well, I threw mine out after that I decided that they sucked and that yes, they truly are hideous.

I was back up in NY last weekend checking out a post doc program I would definitely be interested in if it were funded- and I kept seeing Uggs. Yes, yes, Uggs are UGLY- but really, why are people still wearing them? It's 2010 now, years after the trend emerged.

Here is my theory on when trends should end: when they reach the 12 year olds.

If the shoes you are wearing, or really any piece of clothing on your body, is currently being sold at Claire's Boutique.... you should consider giving up on them.

That's all I have to say about that.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pumpkin Oatmeal... my life is now complete

The other day I remade some banana peanut butter oatmeal, and I happened to add some cinnamon. It reminded me of banana bread, one of my favorite foods. Then I took a trip down gustatory memory lane to the time when I tried to add pumpkin puree to my very favorite banana bread of all time and it ended up COLLAPSING and I was very sad. Then suddenly I decided that I needed to try to make pumpkin oatmeal.

I had a test run yesterday that tasted all right, but today I NAILED IT. This oatmeal was so good I could barely stand it. Thank you CCK, for introducing me to blended oatmeal. This was the best breakfast of my entire life.

Pumpkin oatmeal:
1/4 cup oats
1/2 cup plain almond milk
1/4 cup silken tofu
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/8 cup So Delicious Coconut Creamer
1 shake of cinnamon
1 shake of pumpkin pie spice
1 packet splenda*

Cook oatmeal and milk in microwave for 3 minutes. Add it all to blender (I used my new magic bullet) and blend. I heated mine up in the microwave for a minute so it was nice and warm for fall. Oh. My. God. Try it. You must. Now.

*SPLENDA - yes I use it. Sucralose i is manufactured by the selective chlorination of sucrose (table sugar), which converts three of the hydroxyl groups to chlorides. Basically it's chlorine attached to a sugar ring. Since our bodies cannot process chlorine, the chlorine and sugar passes through the digestive system unaltered, therefore not allowing our bodies to drive calroies from it. I figure there is Chlorine everywhere - water, the POOL, and I am always swallowing it anyhow- so how much could it hurt. Right? It's a personal thing!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Stir-fry with seitan

I had been craving this dish for quite some time, even though I had only made it once before - way back in June. The original recipe can be found HERE on Eating Well.

The adjusted recipe

1/2 cup mirin1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp hoisin sauce2 Tsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp Na++
2 Tbsp safflower oil canola oil, divided
1 package chicken flavored seitan
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
3 scallions
2 cerrano peppers, seeded and pith removed
4 sliced carrots
2 bell peppers, thinly sliced
1 cup steamed asparagus

Mix the ingredients: mirin-salt together and whisk. Add Tbsp of oil to pan (I use my cast-iron) and saute seitan until nice and browned. Add ginger and cook for a minute or two. Add vegetables and cook for maybe 5 minutes, until they are soft-ish. Add sauce to the pan and cook until thickened. Easy, and quick! Very, very delicious!

The beer wasn't mine, but husband Dave thought it complimented the color scheme of the food nicely. He had his over noodles, but I had it just in a bowl.

PS- I had this popcorn for an after dinner snack. mmmm

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Blueberry Vinaigrette

I had to work late tonight... I had two participants scheduled to come into lab. Both were drug positive, so it was not a day of much success. Nonetheless- I had tons of crap to do at work after arriving early and unshowered as a result of yet another ASAP email from my advisor. Really? I had to work until 8pm. I don't want ASAP emails at 9am. So today was long and crappy. Because of the torturous day ahead of me, I had set out some of my mother's home made pasta sauce to defrost so I could make a quick dinner when I returned home*. I didn't want to just put it over sauce, but I was also feeling lazy - so there was that. I searched "marinara" on every vegan site until I found this picture, and I figured I would add some sausage.

It ended up smothering some spinach linguine with the sauce, in addition to some tofurkey sausage. I made some garlic bread alongside for old time's sake.

The salad (contains cheese, I was craving it - sorry!)

mixed greens, pickled beets, steamed green beans, blue cheese crumbles, apples and walnuts. All topped with blueberry vinaigrette.

Making dressings is easy- and once you start doing it you really begin to hate anything out of a bottle. There's nothing to them- oil, vinegar, mustardc(to help emulsify the dressing- i.e. not let it separate) and some sort of flavoring mixed with herbs. If I have time I make a fruit syrup to use as a base- but on a weeknight I just use jam.

Basically, I just put some blueberry jam into a bowl, added enough balsamic to cover it and a squirt or two of dijon mustard, and whisk. Add olive oil (about equal to the bulk of what is already it the bowl) and whisk again. Add herbs, or pressed garlic if you want, and keep on whisking. If you like it thicker, add more jam. And there it is, your very own dressing.

* Yes I suppose husband could have boiled the pasta and warmed the sauce... but I even asked him to do so - he said he'd just eat a snack and wait for me. Oh dear.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Banana Peanut Butter Oatmeal

I shouldn't be blogging as I am going home to NY and am being picked up in 30 minutes... but I can't help it. My breakfast is so awesome. I finally broke down and got a new blender, and decided on the Magic Bullet. SCORE. That meant I could finally have blended oatmeal again. Today: Banana peanut butter

1 frozen banana- melted in microwave for 4 minutes (CCK's melted banana trick)
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup water
1 rounded tsp Peanut butter

Cook oatmeal and water 4 minutes in microwave. Melt banana 4 minutes in microwave. Combine with peanut butter and splash of almond milk in your magic bullet. HEAVEN

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Stolen Bowl

My friend gave me THIS recipe a little while ago, for stir-fried sweet potatoes. I bought some, planning on making them alongside some sort of food good in the coming weeks. Then I saw THIS post on her blog, and knew that I'd have to go all the way and incorporating it into a Buddha bowl/Harmony bowl/Holy crap I could be a vegan bowl... or as I have now dubbed it, the Stolen bowl. I made it almost exactly as outlined on Erin's blog, but I used tofu rather than tempeh - and somen noodles.

The tofu:
Some mirin
Some soy sauce
Some hoisin sauce
Some agave nectar

Press tofu, cut into cute little cubes and toss into the sauce you just pre-mixed. Put in 400 degree oven until you smell burning.

The stir-fry: somen noodles, peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, sauteed sweet potaoes, sriracha, tahini sauce. OH dear it was good. Even my massively carnivorous husband ate it up and declared he was taking the leftovers for work tomorrow. YUM.

I have to share my version of the sweet potatoes recipe (based on what I had in my house) in case NY Times ever takes it down and you can not access the deliciousness:

1 tsp grated ginger (jarred ginger is super awesome, not at all like jarred garlic which is nasty)
2 sweet potatoes
2 Thai chiles, seeded
Peanut oil to coat
Na++ and pepper

Put the grating blade on your food processor and grate potatoes (I was a tad worried since my processor is so flimsy, but even my P.O.S. got the job done). Saute in oil with ginger and chiles. It's done in about 10 minutes. Even a non-stick pan became filled with gunk- so beware. I had to deglaze three times and the pan is still soaking in the sink now. But oh my foes and oh my friends, it was worth it.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Chocolate Chia Pudding

I love chocoate, and I am always open to new ways to get low-calorie chocolate sources into my diet. I found this recipe here, on Love Veggies and Yoga. There's nothing to it - chia seeds, almond milk, stevia and cocoa powder. Put it in the fridge overnight and you have a snack full of omega-3's and almost devoid of all calories. Yay!

Notice that the pudding slid to one side of my container during its transport to work. Look closely and you can see how I spend my lunch- reading journal articles!

Friday, October 1, 2010

*ULTIMATE* Vegan Chili and corbread muffins. om nom nom nom

I'm sure everyone has had the experience when you are sick of having the "worst" day. That is- the day you feel your absolute worst out of all the crappy sick days. Well, hopefully today was the worst of this stupid sickness. I slept 12.5 HOURS last night- right through to 11:30 am this morning. Holy crap. I guess I needed it. I went into work for a few hours, and still had some energy to stand up when I got home, so I threw together tonight's dinner and placed it gently into the slow-cooker and laid back down. Below are my variations on recipes from Vegetarian Times' past February issue.

I added a few things to the chili, mainly sweet potatoes and tomatoes- both of which I love. The seitan added a wonderful meatiness to the dish. I would highly recommend this for a fall dinner! My tomatoes:

Ultimate Vegan chili: Original recipe
2 Tbsp EVOO
1 large onion, chopped
2 sweet potatoes, microwaved until soft (about 5 minutes)
1 chipotle chili in adobo, drained and minced
8 oz. mushrooms
1 quart cherry tomatoes
1 cup chopped carrots
1 package seitan
3 Tbs. tomato paste
2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. herbs de provence
1.5 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp celery salt
1 can kidney beans
1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp vegan Worchestershire
1 tsp cinnamon (trust me, it makes a big difference)
cilantro to garnish
sriracha for each serving

Heat EVOO, saute onion, chuck into slow cooker. Add mushrooms to pan with some H2O, saute until brown, add to slow cooker. Add the rest of the veggies and seitan, spices and everything else to the slow cooker. Put on high and let sit for 4 hours (ish). Garnish each serving with cilantro and sriracha.

Cornbread muffins: Original recipe
1 cup plain soymilk
1/4 cup vegan margarine, melted
2 Tbsp agave nectar (or maple syrup if you are made of money)
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp ground flax seed
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup frozen corn kernels

Pre-heat over to 375. Melt margarine in mixing cup. Add soy milk and the remainder of the wet ingredients, and mix with fork. In large mixing bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Add wet to dry. Put the corn kernels right back into the mixing cup and thaw in microwave. Add to remaining ingredients.

Pour ingredients into muffin pan. I don't use those little muffin cup things- I think that they make everything taste funny. So I just grease the pan and ladle the batter right in. Bake for 20 minutes - and let sit for 10. When they are done, it's time for chili. Then you can eat and go pass out on the couch, like I am about to.