I bought some garlic and scallion scapes at the farmers market last week. (The farmer was surprised I knew what they were. Sad.) I made a White Bean and Garlic Scapes Dip from Ciao Chow Linda, which is super easy and tasty.
I had it with pita bread for breakfast and in a wrap for dinner (H is still eating leftovers from his extravagant meal on Monday).
Tonight I made naturally gluten-free peanut butter cookies from One Green Planet, my new favorite blog. I’m always looking for great recipes for gluten-free baked goods for H to bring into the office. My gluten-free cupcakes aren’t quite there yet, but these are fabulous. Just 5 ingredients, so it’s easy to whip together. And who knew you could make cookies without flour?
H was in the city on Monday, so I
had pie and wine for dinner didn’t cook. Tuesday is Hillstriders with cheese-less Domino’s pizza by the lake. It’s been almost a week since I cooked dinner!
On Monday I downloaded the Martha Stewart Everyday food app, which is a waste of $2.99. It has crashed about 10 times and it takes forever for a page to come up. However, I did manage to get in a search for spinach (to use up the bags I bought at the farmers market on Saturday) and I came across this recipe for Fusilli with Spinach and Walnut Pesto. I had all the ingredients except the pasta, but once again Jewel’s Italian section disappointed me. There was no fusilli, so I bought some brown rice spiral pasta.
To veganize, I obviously left out the cheese, but I also decreased the amount of pasta so I could add cannellini beans and there would still be enough pesto to cover everything.
- 1 bunch spinach (about 1 pound), trimmed and washed
- 3/4 cup walnuts, toasted
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 12 ounces brown rice spiral pasta
- 2 cups (or 1 can) cannellini beans
- Add spinach and 1 tablespoon water to a large skillet set over medium-high. Cook, stirring constantly, until spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes. In a food processor, combine spinach, walnuts, oil, and lemon zest. Process until mixture forms a smooth paste, scraping down bowl as needed. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente. Reserve 2 cups pasta water; drain pasta. Return pasta to pot and add pesto, tossing to combine and adding enough pasta water to create a sauce that coats pasta. Mix in beans and serve.
This dish is so simple, but very flavorful. It’s probably a good thing I didn’t make this Monday night; I might have eaten the whole pot.
H and I went to a matinee showing of X-Men First Class and we both thought it was great. X-Men is probably the only comic book turned movie series that I really enjoy and I could listen (okay, and watch) James McAvoy all day long (right, Margaret?). It was at least as good as the original, if not better.
It was almost four when we got out of the movie, so we had a late lunch/early dinner at Krystal Thai, one of the two Thai restaurants in Crystal Lake. This is our second time here and I think I like it a little more than Wild Orchid, even though they misspelled “Crystal.” They will make almost any dish vegetarian, which they clearly state on the menu and their tofu is better than Wild Orchid, in my opinion. I ordered the vegetarian spicy Krystal Eggplant with tofu and it was very good. Unfortunately, they use an American spiciness scale. I asked for a four on a scale of 1 to 5 and it was more like a 2. A little kick, but not spicy.
After lunch/dinner, we stopped at Jewel to pick up a few things for the week. H saw a display of Edwards Hersey Chocolate Creme Pie. He thought it looked so good that he picked one up and brought it over to me. The picture on the box does look delicious, but I’ve had it before and it tastes disgusting. “I can recreate that,” I said, and so we added Tofutti cream cheese, silken tofu, and Newman O’s chocolate cream cookies to our basket.
This is the inspiration:
This is the finished product:
Serving it was very difficult. It’s not very pretty on the plate. Maybe if it sets a little longer it will be easier to slice. However, it tastes great (much better than the store pie). It earned an “H’s favorite” tag.
Chocolate Creme Pie
- 1 package Newman O’s Chocolate Creme cookies (minus one, because you have to eat one while you are making the pie- it’s too hard to resist!), ground to crumbs in food processor or blender
- 4 tablespoons margarine, melted
- 1 pound silken tofu
- 8 ounces tofutti better than cream cheese
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 cup vegan chocolate chips + more for sprinkling on top
- Rad Whip
- Chocolate syrup (I used Santa Cruz’s organic chocolate syrup)
- To make the crust, spray or butter a springform pan. In a large bowl, stir together the cookie crumbs and the melted butter. Using your fingertips, firmly and evenly press the mixture into the bottom and sides of the pan.
- In a food processor, combine tofu and Tofutti cream cheese. Add sugar, lemon juice and vanilla. Pour about half (no more than half) into the crust and spread evenly.
- Melt one cup of chocolate chips and add to the food processor with remaining tofu/cream cheese mixture. Pour the chocolate on top of the plain layer.
- Refrigerate for at least one hour and remove side of springform pan.
- Decorate the top with rad whip, chocolate syrup and chocolate chips.
Quick rad whip:
(To do it properly, click here.)
- 2 tablespoons cashew butter
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 3/4 cup soy milk, divided
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons agar agar flakes
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Let agar agar flakes soak in 1/2 cup of soy milk for about 10 minutes. In a pan, bring soy milk and agar agar flakes to a boil, stirring constantly. Let it boil for about one minute and then remove from heat.
- In a food processor, combine cashew butter, coconut oil and 1/4 cup of soy milk until smooth. Pour into a large bowl, add sugar and whip with electric beaters on high.
- When soy milk/agar agar is cool, pour into bowl with the rest of ingredients and whip with electric beaters on high again. Add vanilla and whip some more.
- Chill in freezer or refrigerator until cold and firm.
Yesterday at our post-run breakfast, Walt ordered pancakes and they looked delicious. Of course, the diner’s version is not egg or dairy-free, so I stuck with my tomato & avocado sandwich on rye. But today I made “Perfect Pancakes,” which is in both Vegan with a Vengeance and Vegan Brunch. They really are perfect, even better than non-vegan pancakes I made years ago. Yesterday, we went to Armanetti for a wine tasting and picked up a bottle of Patrizi Moscato d’Asti. It’s a great brunch wine. Sweet with a little sparkle.
The new Armanetti store in Woodstock is really nice. The wine manager Chris is super nice and extremely knowledgeable. It’s also right next door to Outdoor Recreation, where we bought this:
Now H and I can go biking together and we can join my running friends on their Sunday morning rides. I’m also going to start riding to work instead of driving!
Tonight I was going to make gumbo from Piggin’ out in Dixie, but I forgot the okra. Fortunately, I decided to pick up some organic romaine lettuce that was on sale. With leftover rice from the Spicy Tofu Stir Fry and a package of Gardein beefless tips, I was finally able to make this recipe from The Happy Home Blog. I don’t even remember where I found this recipe; this page has been up on my computer for over a week. I’m glad I saved it though, because it was really good. Four simple ingredients for an easy & delicious dinner.
I don’t know if I’ve ever dreamed about it, but I do like falafel and I love Mediterranean food! I have wanted to try I Dream of Falafel ever since I walked by on my way to the federal courthouse several months ago and saw the words “vegan-friendly” painted on the window. Unfortunately, a lot of my court calls are at 9 or 9:30, so I’m back on the train as it is opening. But today I had a 10:30 status, so as long as it went quickly, I could stop by IDOF, grab something to go, and be on the 11:30 train.
For once, everything went as planned. Our motions were granted and I was off to get falafel. I ordered the Vegan Platter, which is HUGE, and an Arabian tea, which they didn’t have (next time!). The vegan platter has hummus, falafel, Baba Ganoujeh, Jerusalem salad and, I think, the last thing was Fattoush salad. Then you get to pick veggie toppings and a dressing (strongly recommend the spicy tomato!) This is seriously a lot of food; it was my breakfast and lunch and I still didn’t finish it all. It was kind of a mess when I got to the train. It tastes a lot better than it looks.
It comes with a piece of pita bread, so you can make your own sandwich.
You also get a punch card with your first purchase. After 10 visits, you get a free lunch. Hopefully, there isn’t a time limitation, because with my schedule, it might take me a couple years to go to IDOF 10 times.
This happy pig will be able to eat everything I make from his cookbook, because none of his friends will be harmed in any of the recipes.
After a night of honky-tonkin’ in Nashville, we went to the Ernest Tubb Record Shop, which resulted in an early morning purchase of Piggin’ Out in Dixie: A Real Southern Cookbook. What could be more fun and challenging than veganizing Southern food, where they even put little piggies in their vegetables.
It’s back! This week for Martha Stewart Monday I made Spicy Tofu Stir-Fry with Peanuts. It’s a quick and easy weekday dinner. This morning I pressed a block of extra firm tofu, cut it into cubes and marinated it while I was at work. When I came home from work, I pan-fried the tofu in a cast-iron pan until brown. Then I followed the instructions in the recipe. I would suggest omitting the water though. I used one serrano pepper and half of a jalapeno pepper, so it was fairly spicy. I also added red bell pepper because I had some extra from last week’s mango salsa.
Spicy Tofu Stir-Fry
- 1 teaspoon + 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- juice from 1/2 of a lime, divided
- 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
- Sriracha sauce to taste
- 1 package firm tofuplus
- 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 to 2 serrano or jalapeno chile, thinly sliced crosswise
- 8 ounces snow peas (about 3 cups), stem ends trimmed
- 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 2 tablespoon chopped roasted peanuts
- 1/2 cup basil leaves, torn
- Press tofu for one hour; then cut into cubes.
- For the marinade, mix juice of one lime with soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of peanut oil and Sriracha sauce. Marinate tofu for at least an hour.
- In a cast iron pan, heat oil over medium-high. Add marinated tofu; cook until browned on both sides.
- Add garlic, chile, snow peas, and red bell pepper; cook until veggies are a little soft; stir in lime juice, peanuts, and basil.
- Serve over steamed rice.
For dessert, I made Lemon Cream with Blackberries, which is a light summery dessert with only 200 calories. I used agave nectar rather than honey.
Lemon Cream with Blackberries
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup agave nectar
- 1 package (12 ounces) silken tofu, firm or extra-firm, drained
- 1 cup fresh blackberries
- Combine 2 1/2 teaspoons of the lemon zest, lemon juice, agave nectar, and tofu in a blender.
- Puree ingredients until smooth, scraping down sides of blender with rubber spatula as necessary.
- Divide lemon cream evenly among four bowls or serving glasses. Garnish each portion with blackberries and reserved lemon zest. Serve immediately or refrigerate.
Apparently sauerkraut and horseradish are the same thing in my mind, so when I saw a recipe requiring sauerkraut, I didn’t buy any because I have a jar of horseradish in the fridge. To avoid going back to the store, I made a variation of this recipe for Reubens from Growing Healthy Sprouts.* I added a couple spoonfuls of horseradish to the dressing. The sandwiches were great! I served it with spicy Gramp’s Gourmet pickles.
I also made a salad with a variation of the spicy citrus vinaigrette from Veganomicon.
*I found Growing Healthy Sprouts from Vegansaurus. They are doing a series on Happy Veggie Kids, which is so adorable and I wish I was that smart when I was a kid.
To be honest, I am not a huge fan of dim sum, but H loves it and it’s much better for him to go with a group, so he can get more dishes. Every time we go into the city, he tries to get a group of friends together for dim sum in Chinatown. Phoenix is one of my favorite places because it has steamed dumplings (a lot of places just have fried spring rolls) and it will let you order off the menu if you are vegetarian. The managers can be pretty rude if you try to do that with dim sum dishes. I ordered the vegetable dumplings, which I kept all to myself.
And the crispy tofu with spicy salt, which I shared with everyone. After yesterday’s low protein intake, I needed to make sure I ate more than vegetables today.