Ramen

Ramen, the cheap college food staple, has become the newest food trend. Apparently people stand in line for hours to eat burgers with a bun made out of ramen noodles. At H’s request, I veganized the ramen burger.

You can use whatever burger recipe you want. I tried to do something with Asian flavors and threw in the ramen spice packets. For the bun, I cooked two packages of ramen (drained and rinsed) and combined with about 1/3 cup of Vegg. I formed 4 patties by using mason jar lids covered in tin foil and refrigerated them while I made the burgers. I topped the burgers off with bok choy and a spicy ketchup. It was good, but I wouldn’t stand in line for hours to get one.

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Whole Foods sells these vegan ramen flavors. Most, if not all, ramen sold in stores by me contains animal products. While it makes decent buns, it also is an easy snack, especially when you’re sick.

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And that concludes a very unsuccessful Suburban Vegan veganmofo. Apparently I overestimated how much I could blog this month. While I’m still not on bed rest, moving around has become more of a challenge. I’m lucky if I’m making one meal per week.

Chocolate Cupcakes

Today is Vegan Mania in Chicago and I am so sad that I cannot make it this year. I’ve been the last two years and it is a great event with tons of delicious food and great speakers. But we have so much work to do to get the nursery ready and if I go to Chicago, I need to go to the Land of Nod to get sheets. I don’t have time to go to Vegan Mania and Land of Nod and make it back to Woodstock in time for a 4:00 wedding. So, if we get everything done today, then we’ll go to Chicago tomorrow for a reward. We’ll get sheets, have lunch at Native Foods and get milkshakes at Chicago Diner. Happy Birthday to me! If you are in Chicago today, you better be going to Vegan Mania and eating Temptation soft serve ice cream for me and pre-ordering a coat from Vaute Couture.

Not going to Vegan Mania means that we’ll be able to stop by the Loft BBQ for lunch. So, of course, I made cupcakes for the occasion – chocolate with peanut butter frosting & sprinkles and cookies & cream.

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Butternut Squash & Chickpea Stew

One of my running friends also has twins and recommended joining the local multiples club. The group has play dates, book clubs, and mothers night out events. It also puts on a huge resale and offers meal support for new twin moms. I doubt I’ll take advantage of the latter because I think a vegan meal request would be too overwhelming for most McHenry County residents. But I’m more than glad to share the vegan love with other new moms. So I signed up to bring a butternut squash and chickpea stew with couscous and chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting for dessert. It stood out a bit from the chicken pot pie and meatloaf.

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All wrapped up and ready to go.

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Treeline Soft Cheeses

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Crystal Lake Health Food store has started selling Treeline Treenut Cheese. I tried the scallion flavor first.  I spread it over gluten-free crackers. It was good; it would have been even better with a glass of red wine. A lot of vegan cheeses are poor substitutes for the real thing, but nut based cheeses seem to be the exception.

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I used the herb-garlic flavor to make macaroni & cheese

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 12 oz. Macaroni or other Short Pasta
  • 6 oz. Treeline Cream Cheese
  • 3/4 c. Almond, Coconut, or Soy Milk
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Pepper

Cook pasta according to package.

Heat olive oil. Add non-dairy milk and stir. Add Treeline Cream Cheese and stir until combined.

Season with salt and pepper and combine with pasta.
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It’s not as good as VegNews’ famous mac & cheese, but it’s tasty and it’s quick and easy. We ate it with a Gardein grilled chick’n salad.

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Lemons & Blueberries

I have a friend who pins the most amazing looking baked goods on Pinterest. It’s my morning routine: feed the cat, grab a cup of decaf and curl up on the chaise to view Mary’s pins. Usually I just look, but every once and a while one makes it into my “Recipes that need to be veganized” board. One of those was a lemon blueberry yogurt cake.

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Lemon-Blueberry Yogurt Loaf

Veganized from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen

Loaf:
1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain coconut yogurt
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons ground flax seed
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (approximately 2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen, thawed and rinsed

For the Lemon Syrup:
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar

For the Lemon Glaze:
1 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottom and sides of one 9 x 5-inch loaf pans; dust with flour, tapping out excess.

In a large bowl, whisk flax seed with 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon of water. Set aside for 5 minutes.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
In the large bowl, whisk together the flax eggs with the yogurt, sugar, lemon zest, vanilla and oil. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.

In a separate bowl, mix the blueberries with the remaining tablespoon of flour, and fold them gently into the batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing loaf to a wire rack on top of a baking sheet.

While the loaf is cooling, make the lemon syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir together the lemon juice and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once dissolved, continue to cook for 3 more minutes. Remove from the heat; set aside.
Poke holes in the tops of the warm loaf and brush the top with the lemon syrup. Let the syrup soak into the cake and brush again. Let the cake cool completely.
To make the lemon glaze, in a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and 2-3 tablespoons of the lemon juice. The mixture should be thick but pourable. Add more lemon juice if the mixture is too stiff. Pour the lemon glaze over the top of each loaf and let it drip down the sides. Let the lemon glaze harden, about 15 minutes, before serving. I used less glaze than the recipe called for and it was very good, but the glaze is delicious, so I’m sure using the whole amount would be pure sugar bliss.

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Blueberry lemonade

With the remaining lemon syrup, lemon juice and some frozen blueberries, I made a glass of blueberry lemonade.

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Vegan MoFo 2013 – Twinsies

The Best Pumpkin Muffins from Vegan with a Vengeance.

White chocolate chip & walnut

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My very first vegan cook book (bought in 2006); it’s seen better days.

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It’s Vegan MoFo 2013! This year it’s in September; I guess to get away from the 200 posts on pumpkin baked goods from previous October and November vegan mofos. So have a pumpkin muffin! The recipe title is accurate. As she was eating a white chocolate pumpkin muffin, my friend described them “the best.”

I haven’t been a very active blogger since I became pregnant. While I may have physically recovered from morning sickness, my motivation in the kitchen never bounced back. I imagine finding time to blog with two infants will be a challenge, so Vegan MoFo came at the right time this year. In honor of the twins, this year’s theme is Twinsies: similar but different foods (like pumpkin muffins done two ways), product reviews of two flavors, getting ready for the babies while eating enough protein for a multiples pregnancy.

White chocolate chip pumpkin muffins

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Walnut pumpkin muffins

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Together

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Vegan Adventure California – Part 3

We considered taking the coastal highway back to San Francisco, but ultimately 5 hours in a car was too much for me. Regardless of which way you go, it’s a beautiful drive between Mendocino and San Francisco.

The Coastal Highway –

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Mendocino County –

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I didn’t need the Ravens’ cookie or scone though, because I found a vegan restaurant in Petaluma thanks to my VegOut app. The Sunflower Center is a gluten-free vegan restaurant with a significant number of raw options, but does have a good selection of cooked items (I knew I could get H to go there if it was all raw). H had the shiitake mushroom pizza and I had Lydia’s favorite salad with a side of black beans for protein (adding in what I expected to eat for dinner, I was severely short of my protein requirements on Friday). We shared a mint chocolate volcano for dessert.

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Our road trip buddy

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Coming into San Francisco…

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