Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Day 26 - MIA

Sorry darlings. I've had a lot of weird stuff going on including midterms, work and stress eating. This is a sort of a random post chronicling the past couple of days at all, not related to a theme AT ALL.

This past Sunday I ran the Run Like Hell 10k with some pretty awesome ladies. It was zombie themed and I totally meant to have a full costume, but makeup had to do. Libby did a spectacular job at zombie beer wench, though. This is my favorite photo from the day. I heart Portland.
The race had advertised vegetarian chili, so I was prepared to eat plain bread with bananas. Imagine my pure delight when we came across this sign. Race fuel is NEVER vegan!
 Annnnnnnd, just because.
The other day I tried the new tofu bahn mi sandwich at Hot Lips Pizza for lunch between classes. The herbs were very fresh but the sandwich was very, VERY plain. I was somewhat disappointed. It's better than pizza, though, right?
And then we get to tonight. Taco Bowl Wednesday. My unadorned bowl below: pink Madagascar rice (thanks to Vida Vegan Con!), refried beans and sauteed kale and tomatoes.
And here we have what I really eat. My new favorite thing (besides bbq soy curls!) is the melty cheez sauce from the Ultimate Uncheese cookbook. YUM.
On a final note, this is my new favorite beer from BridgePort Brewing the Kingpin Double Red. And I'm a blonde now.
Yes, I do wear that jacket all the time. It's cold in my house.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Day 21 - A Loosely Based Post on Scottish Food

Hello! Long time, no see! 
We are still continuing on the Scotland theme, but I must be very liberal when it comes to my interpretation. For example, fish and chips is not Scottish in origin. At least, not according to Wikipedia. Portland happens to be home to a cart called the Frying Scotsman, whose biggest sell is their fish and chips. So, I made beer battered tofu (from Vegan Brunch) and chips. That's the same, right?
I have to be honest, my tummy was extremely unhappy with this food choice, despite how delicious it was. I tried to think ahead and eat a big salad beforehand, but I suffer from an overeater type syndrome. As in, I overeat. I only had 3 of these triangles, but STILL. It's become apparent fried food does not belong in my cliquey stomach.

Our second dish of the week is Shepherd's Pie. But, instead of pulling from a traditional recipe, I bastardized the hell out of it, using up whatever was in my fridge.
Hiding underneath those delicious potatoes is delicata squash, summer squash, broccoli, mushroom, onion and corn. I made a gravy of equal parts EB and flour, coconut milk and soy sauce and baked the thing for 15 minutes. Seriously, you could anything in here, as long as it goes with potatoes. I served (myself) bbq soy curls, because I am an addict.

The final Scottish entry for today is the delicious beer I drank at Rogue between classes yesterday. Yes, I drink beer before class. I'm at school for 11 hours and have a rather large break at two, resulting in a visit to the Rogue pub ON campus. This beer is called McRogue Scotch Ale and it is delicious.
Tomorrow I'll be revisiting a vegan haggis! I tried one in Glasgow that I keep trying to replicate and yet fail. Well, not exactly fail. I mean, it's still tasty. It's just NOT THE SAME.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Day 19 - A Love Letter

Dear whiskey (whisky),

You warm my heart and soothe my soul.

There is nothing I can do without you by my side except drive or operate heavy machinery.

I don't spend too much time with you, but when I do we both have to agree it's pretty magical.
I would love to pay more for your love, but I am broke and sometimes I have to settle with Mr. Daniels or Mr. Williams. I hope you understand.
Thank you for delivering your smoky affection when I need it most.
Love, Me.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Day 16 - Gnocchi! Fantastico!

Dear gnocchi,
You had me at potato.
Love, me.

It is no secret I am a fan of potatoes. My bar food of choice is fries. When dinner needs to be fast, I mash potatoes. They find their way into bowls and casseroles. The humble potato is this frugal vegan's drug of choice.

When I first bought Vegan with a Vengeance, I had only tried gnocchi once, and it was at Portobello. I knew I had to try and recreate it. It's incredibly easy to make, just a little time-consuming. But SO WORTH IT.

Last night I made it with a tomato pesto sauce and threw a salad on the side as I need to get SOME greens in me. It was delicious.
I've even had gnocchi in Italy. We took a train to Pisa and stopped into a little cafe for lunch. The gnocchi was amazing, but it was probably just because we were in Italy :-)

And on a random note, the baking powder biscuits in VWAV combined with Tofu Mom's white country gravy and caramelized onions is pure magic. I may have eaten some gravy with a spoon.
One more night of Italian goodness! Scotland is next on our tour.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Day 15 - Riiiiiiisotto.

Risotto was one of those dishes I didn't make (or really even try) until after I was vegan. I was officially hooked. I've never had the dairy laden version, but my sweet husband tells me mine is better. Neener neener.
During the the third MoFo, I actually wrote a recipe for carnival squash risotto, seen here. It still gets the most hits of all my posts, which I get a little bit excited about.

On Thursday night, I made another version of risotto out of my trattoria book, a baked tomato risotto.
It just sort of tasted like tomato-y rice. Not that it wasn't good, but come on! Risotto means creamy!

Tonight is Gnocchi Night. I am of the excitement.

Friday, October 14, 2011

MoFo Hump Day!!

 We're halfway there, and we have a theme song courtesy of ridiculously awesome vegan Leslie Hall. Look out world!

Have a listen here!

I eat the finest cuisines, in the finest of places
Stuff my mouth full and always say thank you.
But if it's raised in a cage, and it can't even move,
if it's hormone filled and in a bad mood.
I'm gonna pass on that.
Reach for something better.
The only milk I'll drink comes from the nipple of a soy bean.
Veggies make you live forever, and they seem to taste much better.
when they're cooked and grown with love.
So give a chef who knows what's up a hug.
Momma just can't seem to get it,
Papa he just rolls his eyes.
When I tell them I'm much healthier, they just say that it's all lies.
But beans, nuts, fruits and veggies can really fill the belly.
Get you vitamins you need, shiny hair and extra speed.
Don't take that meat-wich any further,
I want a marinated, deep fried, hand-tied mushroom burger.

I like it!

We gotta stand strong for our feathered furry sometimes scaly
animal friends and their little babies.
'Cuz I wouldn't want to live in a cage in a dark warehouse killed at an early age.
Pumped full of hormones, sleeping in my feces.
Never met my mother, raised by machines.
Never get sunshine never get green, but that's just me.

[That girl loves fruit leather.]

So ask us what we're eating.
Delicious and repeating, fruits and veggies are so nice.
With a slice of tempeh,  yes, I'll have that twice.

Don't forget the legumes!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Day 13 - A WINNER!

 Janet! You won! Email me your address (if I don't find you first through your own email)!

As for the Italian theme, this is a total copout of a meal. Yes, I googled "quinoa Italian broccoli" and the internet gifted me this. But it was totally delicious. You should GTS. It just happens to be super fast and easy to make, a blessing in such rushed times.
We just scarfed down some baked risotto and acorn squash, I'll tell ya about it tomorrow!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Day 10 - A Long Train to Italy


Today, we enter our second week of Mofo, which means I'm venturing into Italian cuisine.

When we were planning our first trip to Europe, Jeff suggested we go to Florence. I didn't know much about the city and did not expect it to have the impact it did. Someday, I will go back!

When we first arrived in Florence early in the morning after suffering through an all night train from Paris, we were told our room wouldn't be ready until at least 2pm. We left our stuff with the manager and wandered around the corner. The first thing we saw was the Duomo, Florence's most beautiful cathedral (well, in my opinion). The second thing we saw was a little cafe. I was suffering from a rager of a headache, so we stopped in and got two delicious espressos.

That espresso knocked the headache straight out of my head.

Every single thing we ate after that was just as fantastic and I've really come to appreciate the simple yet rich dishes of Italy.

Wandering around Wordstock, a non-profit book festival put on every year in Portland, I ran across a book for $6 that I had to have, and it came in very handy tonight as I made my first Italian dish of the week.
It's not Nonna's Italian Kitchen, but it's chock full of recipes waiting to be made!

Our first dish was Penne in Spicy Tomato Sauce, or Penne all'Arrabbiata. I used angel hair instead of penne, but otherwise stuck to the recipe. Can we say...garlicky?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Day 8 - Seitan!

For my final French dish of the week, I made seitan bourguignon. Instead of trying to veganize something by Ina Garten or Guy Fieri (really) I decided to try Taymer Mason's recipe, seen here. You should totally check that link out, her photo makes it long so much more appetizing. I mean, look:
Isn't it funny how the least photogenic food is also the most delicious? I used the seitan cutlet recipe from Veganomicon and it turned out perfect.

So, I'm having another giveaway. Would you like some of these, stuffed in a surprise goodie bag with some other fun vegan items?
Leave me a comment (with your email!) and I'll pick another winner on Wednesday. Due to shipping, I'm limiting this one to the US and Canada. I'm sorry, my worldly friends! I'll have another chance for you!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Day 7 - Pastry May Just Be The Death Of Me.

This is not a pain au chocolat.
This is a biscuit filled with chocolate. Maybe I could call it a scone, but with less fat.
It's delicious, but not the same.

At first, I had no idea what happened. I followed this recipe to a T, subbing coconut spread for the butter, soymilk powder for the milk and ignoring the egg thing. I put the ingredients into the bread maker as instructed and chose "large loaf." 90 minutes later, I had a pan full of flour. So I tried again, trying the "small loaf" setting. Nope, still flour.

Instead of throwing everything out, I attempted to save it. I added water until it turned doughy and proceeded on. The coconut spread melted, so in between the battle with the rolling pin, I stuck the dough in the freezer to chill. I ended up with chocolate biscuits.

Looking at other recipes, it seems there was too little liquid (ya think?). But there were 6 reviews (6!) exclaiming how good this recipe is. Maybe these people have NO idea what a pain au chocolat is. Or how much liquid a recipe really needs. They probably just looked the photo and reviewed it.

So, I'm getting over it. For dinner tonight, our final foray into French cooking, I'm making seitan bourguignon. I bought some delicious, vegan AND cheap French wine, the type that proudly states, "Cotes du Rhone." Of course, I had to try it, to ease my chocolat failures.
Everything is better with wine.

ps, those are not highlights. At least, not highlights of the chemical kind. Sometimes my hair is just naturally awesome.

pps, coconut spread is also naturally awesome, and I'll be giving some more away tomorrow!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Day 6 - This is not French.

Maybe French was the wrong cuisine to tackle in this first week. The tastiest dishes I found to make were also the most time consuming, time being the most precious resource right now.

Tonight I made the Curried Udon Noodle Stirfry from Veganomicon. I subbed green beans (haricots vert) for the red pepper but otherwise stuck to the recipe. It's a favorite and somewhat fast to make.

This dish is decidedly NOT French, but it incorporates two things that scream "FRANCE!" to me. First, the curry sauce is a roux, a sauce made of equal parts fat and flour. Roux is a French word, the translation escapes me as I've been out of French classes for years. It seems to mean "brownish" though.

Second, haricots vert. This single phrase is my most favorite in the French language. I have NO idea why, I just love how it rolls off my tongue.

So....yeah. It was delicious. And vegan. GO MOFO!

This recipe for pain au chocolat will be veganized tomorrow, once I acquire the chocolate bar required. OH HELL YES.

ps Sarah! Please email me your mailing address so you can get your prize! Otherwise I'll have to pick someone else.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Day 5 - Random

This food is not French, unless the French are the inventors of hummus. I have to confess, I've been working 30 hours a week and going to school full time and I'm not used to budgeting my time for, say, meals. So, maybe plan on getting stuff like this.

Last weekend a couple of good friends and I went to Hood River for a Fresh Hops Festival. The beer was delicious, the pours were excellent and the half of a sourdough loaf I consumed with my beer mateys soaked it all up well. Before we imbibed, though, we stopped at a little restaurant called Celilo, where they made over one of their sandwiches vegan style.

That's a hummus sandwich with microgreens and pickled squash. It was really, really good.

Also, I fell in love with Double Mountain's IRA (reincarnated as the fresh hopped Killer Red) all over again. And got a little silly.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Day 4 - A Winner!

We have a winner!

Sarah said...
Oh, I even have a picture! I made these sweet potato quinoa pancakes from Brendan Brazier's thrive and this happened - - and I never screw up pancakes, so it really wasn't my fault. Sad. Oh, and a green smoothie with avocado in it - blech.