Monday, December 22, 2008

Pot Roast Part 2

So, what do you do with leftover pot roast?

First, make some onion rolls.

Then, make the mushroom fondue from (recommended by Don't Get Mad, Get Vegan - yay, she's back!)

Then, saute some seitan, drizzling with soy sauce and Worcestershire. Also fry up some sliced onions until caramelized. Pile it all on a roll with some barbecue sauce and get ready for major deliciousness!

Here is my favorite barbecue sauce. My aunt used to make it when I was a child. She was really ahead of her time as a cook, especially for that time period. Every meal was from scratch and delicious. It seemed exotic to me to have a casserole she prepared, because we had barbecued meat and frozen veggies every night at home. Although this sauce was served with turkey (prepared on a rotisserie outside - a totally foreign concept to me), nowadays it is great on tofu!
6 T minced onion
3 T margarine
1 c ketchup
1/4 c vinegar
2 T brown sugar
2 T Worcestershire sauce
2 t prepared mustard
1/8 t salt
Saute onion until margarine until tender but not brown. Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer 10 minutes.
I recommend that you don't cut down on the fat - it really makes the sauce rich and delicious!
For dessert, butterscotch pudding from The Joy of Vegan Baking. You know the graham cracker shells are vegan, right?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Pot Roast!

This is the Pot Roast from Vegan Lunchbox. It is made of seitan, cooked in a yummy broth (wine, tomato paste, etc.). The raw seitan was seasoned, too - I tasted it raw and it was even good then. Then it is seared before simmering - more extra flavor. The broth and some of the veggies are pureed for the gravy, which also included a couple of tablespoons of red lentils for thickening - genius! I think seitan lovers would really like this. Even I thought it was pretty good. But for me, all seitan has that cardboard taste. I think it must be like how for some people, cilantro tastes like soap! What is the secret to delicious seitan?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Dinner of All Nations

This is what happens when you visit the supermarket right before dinner. I had already planned the tofu for dinner. It is "Breaded Tofu Picnic Slices" from a book called "The Urban Picnic" (not vegetarian or even vegan, so I was pleasantly surprised to see a vegan recipe.) It is tofu marinated in soy sauce, ketchup, and toasted sesame oil, then breaded in panko and sesame seeds. I needed some stuff from the store, and I saw the sushi, edamame salad, and cucmber salad and thought they would go well. Then I saw the plantains - they are the frozen Goya ones, and they are really good! I picked those up for the Carnivore. Then some spinach sauteed in garlic and olive oil, Italian style. (Funny, I have been making this for years, but the Carnivore recently declared his love for it after having it in a steak house.) So, a real mish mash, but a delicious one!

We are having a snowstorm today. There are only about 2 inches on the ground now, but we are expecting 6 inches. I tried to bring my daughter to school before, but turned around when I saw people spinning out on the hill near my house. So she will miss her holiday party. But hopefully the snow will make up for it! Hmmmmm, sounds like a soup and bread night!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bad Santa!

In the beginning, Santa seems like a good idea. After all, most of us have fond memories of him. He's happy and jolly and brings presents. And when your kids are babies, it's so cute to have pictures of them on Santa's lap (that is, before they are old enough to be afraid of him). Then, you realize you have to tell lies for 10+ years. You begin to use him as a threat (as in "I sure hope Santa doesn't hear you talking to your sister like that!") And the questions - "Why can't Santa bring the WII? Isn't he magic?" (Because Santa's profit sharing is worth half what it was a year ago). And "Why do we have to bring toys to the poor children? Doesn't Santa bring them anything?" (Still don't have a good answer for that one.)

Sorry for the bah humbug. Mostly I like the holidays. Here is the best part:

(They are sitting in the sled from the movie "Elf" - for some reason it appears at our local fire department every year.)
Happy holidays, everyone!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Cozy Meal for a Stormy Night

I was out of sandwich bread for school lunches, we were having a nor'easter, and I didn't want to drag the kids out to the store in it. I dug through my recipe pile and found this whole wheat oatmeal bread. (I can't provide a link because I don't know where I got it from - now I add the names when I copy recipes down!) I actually made it the old fashioned way - kneading and baking in the oven, as opposed to the bread machine. Wow, forget working out, just make bread! Great upper body workout. I can never get the shape quite right - it just doesn't rise as high as a commercial loaf. Maybe a smaller bread pan? Anyway, it tasted good and beat going out in the storm, and it didn't cost $4 for a loaf!

Since it was stormy and I was being domestic, I made Sicilian Split Pea Soup from Bryanna Clark Grogan. This was really yummy, especially perfect for a cold rainy day.

For the salad dressing, I made Cumin Cinnamon Vinaigrette from Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan. It was outstanding! In addition to cumin and cinnamon, it also has my favorite, ground cloves. I used lime juice instead of lemon and olive oil insteaad of walnut, but everything else was the same as the recipe called for. Homemade dressings rock!

We had our first snow last weekend. We forgot to close our umbrella for the winter! The snow all melted in a day - we went from 22 degrees to 65 in 2 days! Crazy weather.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Food Waste

There are some food items that I buy that I consistently end up throwing out. I don't really know why - I don't buy stuff that I don't like, and usually I have something in mind to make with them. But there you have it. The common offenders are mushrooms, celery, scallions, and avocados. The first three I like okay, when they are mixed with other things. But I love, love, love avocados! So I was really annoyed at myself when I had to throw yet another one out yesterday. One I saved and made guacamole on Earth Balanced toast, one of my and my daughter's favorites. Another good way is sliced on toast with Veganaise. Now does anyone have a mushroom favorite?

Friday, December 5, 2008

This is "Holiday Portabello" from the Horizons cookbook. Isn't is beautiful and festive? It was also so easy and fast. Basically roasted portabellos with a flavorful (low in fat too) gravy, garnished with cranberries and pepitas. I served it over a bed of polenta. Here is my polenta secret: use regular old cornmeal! I know purists will scoff, but who has time to stir constantly for 45 minutes for the real thing? To me it tastes the same. Just use a ratio of 4:1 water to cornmeal. Boil water, add salt, and drizzle in cornmeal slowly (so it doesn't lump), stir for a few minutes, and you are done. Sauteed/steamed brussels sprouts: put trimmed sprouts, 1/2 c water and 2 T Earth Balance and some salt in a pan. Bring to a boil, simmer for a few minutes covered, then take off the lid and cook till water evaporates. I added some Dijon and tarragon, but it is also good without. The whole meal was on the table in less than half hour!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Beanballs and Spaghetti

Here are the beanballs from VCON. I am probably the last to try them. They are pretty good. Nice flavor. Beanballs always have a kind of strange texture to me, but that is me, not the recipe! I fried them instead of baking because I love that olive oil goodness. They were tasty on a big pile of spaghetti. Yay, carbs!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Pantry Dinner

In the spirit of all the posts about using up what's around, here is a yummy dinner of odds and ends from the pantry and fridge. My beloved frijoles borrachos (pintos simmered with beer, scallions, and tomatoes), guac, corn, and mangoes. Colorful, fast, and delicioso! My kids don't eat a lot of veggies, so I have started serving fruit at dinner. Anything to get those antioxidants in!

Look how chubby this cutie is. He has been snacking on our Halloween pumpkins. If you are wondering how I got this close, the photo was taken through my kitchen window. I think he was posing for us!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Another Use for Leftover Pumpkin

This is an attempt to re-create a canned chickpea stew made by Goya. It was good, although not as good as the original. I think some extra seasoning would make it better. Why try to duplicate it when it is so easy to open the can? Good question. It does contain something called "artificial ham flavor," which they also sell separately. I believe it contains MSG, which I am not sure is the best thing. Anyway, it's a good way to use up half a can of pumpkin!

Spanish Chick Peas

½ small onion, chopped
olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced
½ green pepper, chopped fine
1 can chickpeas
½ can pumpkin
½ c chopped tomatoes
1 c water
½ t smoked paprika
½ t regular paprika
1 T soy sauce
1/4 t salt
5 shakes liquid smoke
Frank’s red hot sauce to taste

Saute onion in oil until starting to brown. Add garlic and pepper. Continue sautéing until peppers are soft. Add all other ingredients. Simmer until hot and flavors are blended.
Served with Fingerling Fries from Vegan Express:

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Unfortunately I do not have pictures of my lovely vegan spread to share with you, because I did not have a vegan spread. This year was the first time I have ever hosted Thanksgiving. I never have because of the turkey thing. I have never cooked one, nor will I ever in the future. So someone else always hosts. Usually we all drive to New Jersey to visit my sister-in-law and her family. No one wanted to go this year, so we got elected to host. The Carn-in-laws brought the turkey and all the sides. So I made appetizers and desserts.

I made the Pumpin Cheezecake from Just the Food, which I can highly recommend. It was delicious - perfectly spiced, creamy, and fluffy. I also made the Gingerbread Apple Pie from VWAV. I didn't like it at all. I'm not sure why this one didn't work. I did enjoy the flavor from the gingerbread spices, but the crust was the wrong texture and the apples were dried out instead of juicy. I know it was not my oven, as I have a thermometer to check the temp. Oh well, by the time everyone gets to dessert, they are too stuffed to eat anyway! I guess it was a good holiday to be thankful for the people and forget about the food!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

An Old Friend

The other day my daughter asked for pasta with artichokes. I'd forgotten about a dish I used to make many years ago - kind of a sweet and savory sauce. I thought about it a while and it gradually came back to me (I think). Sorry the measurements are vague. It is really quick and easy, and tastes pretty good, too!

Pasta with Artichokes

olive oil
1 red onion, sliced
2 or 3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 can artichokes, sliced
handful of sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
half a handful currents or raisins
dried basil, Frank's Red Hot Sauce, s & p to taste

Saute onion in oil until soft. Add remaining ingredients and cook 10-15 minutes. Serve over ziti. In the old days we topped it with grated Romano, and the contrast was yummy. If anyone knows a good vegan version, let me know.

The tomatoes are topped with bread crumbs mixed with Italian spices and olive oil, and broiled until browned.

Thanks to River of Wing it Vegan for giving me a butterfly award! Check out her blog- it's fabulous (especially all those Halloween posts!)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Soup and Bread

Is there anything more comforting on a cold day? We having been having temps in the low 30's. It was actually snowing a few flakes this morning! This is what I remember November being like when I was a kid. It was winter - no 70 degree days like we have been having the past few years.

Anyway, I had planned to make the Samosa Soup that Krys had sent me awhile back. Then I saw that Diann had made the same thing this week! The recipe she printed is very similar to what I have. It is delicious, although I don't think it tastes like samosas. Krys said she doubled the spices - that sounds like a good idea in retrospect (not the cayenne, though - I halved it and it was enough!)

I have seen "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day" mentioned on a few blogs. I got it from the library and tried the standard loaf. The premise is to make a big batch of extra wet dough and store it in the fridge for a couple of weeks, breaking off pieces and baking as you need. You really can mix up the dough quickly, and on baking day all you have to do is shape it (also very fast). Of course there is still rising and resting time. But if you fit it into your schedule when you are just hanging out anyway, it can work. I think this book will go on my wish list!
The dough rising.........
Shaped loaves resting.........
The finished loaves of ciabatta. Nice crust, and nice airy crumb.
I also made a baguette from the same dough. French and Italian bread from the same dough? I don't know if it's authentic, but it sure tastes good!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Bowl of Mush

Yes, it really is a bowl of mush! Well, some of us who should know better would rather eat deep fried tofu (and bags of chocolate chips)than healthy whole grains. SO, here is a relatively painless way to eat those whole grains (and no, those famous o's are not whole grains, even though the box alludes to it - don't you love when people tell you this?)
This is a bowl of cooked amaranth. I made it after reading about it in The Passionate Vegetarian (this is a great read even though not vegan - most of the 1000+ recipes have vegan suggestions). I didn't follow the directions exactly, but changed them to fit into my morning schedule. I toasted the raw grain for a few minutes as directed (some of the grains pop just like teeny tiny popcorn!). Then I added water and brought to a boil (ratio is 1 1/3 water to 1 grain). I turned off the heat, covered it, and when I was ready to eat a while later, it was ready for me! No stirring, boiling over, crusty pot, etc. Plus, it tasted great with flax, vanilla Silk, cinnamon, and a few walnuts. For those of you who don't hang around the house in the morning like me, make it the night before and reheat in the micro. Now if only I could find a way to like quinoa!

Monday, November 17, 2008

All You Never Wanted to Know About Me

Hey, I've been tagged by River to share random facts about myself. I actually love these things because it helps you to get to know people. Since most of you have already done this I won't tag anyone specifically, but if you haven't, please join in so we can get to know you, too!

1. I have moved around a lot in my adult life (for my husband's job). I'm now living here on Long Island where I grew up, but spent 7 years in the midwest (Chicago suburbs and city of Milwaukee) and 1 year upstate NY. Well, actually in Sloatsburg, NY (home of the thruway rest stop and not much else), where if you say upstate they get mad. But to us, anything north of Manhattan is upstate. My favorite was Milwaukee, where they have festivals all summer long (they even have a special park to hold the festivals), in the winter when there is too much snow, you can just walk to the bars, and they allow open beers in the street (do you see a theme here?)

2. We had our children late in life (mostly because of #1 above). Assumed after three years of trying that we couldn't have any, bought myself a Mustang convertible, and promptly found myself pregnant. Proceeded to have 3 babies in 4 1/2 years (Mustang long since traded for a mini-van).

3. Decided at age 26 to learn to play the violin. Took lessons for 4 years, played in community orchestras, and had lots of fun. Never got very good, but it doesn't matter much as long as you can blend in with everyone who's better than you.

4. I love to travel and have been fortunate enough to do a fair amount. Even visiting local cities and visiting their tourist attractions and going on all-around tours is so much fun. I love to drive through neighborhoods and eat in the restaurants that the locals enjoy. And when you are a fan of classical music as I am, it is pretty awesome and humbling to actually stand in a house where Mozart wrote music.

5. I am a total sugar junkie. Especially chocolate. Dark, dark, chocolate. After having my kids, I would buy the extra large bags of chocolate chips and consume at least one a week. Fortunately, nursing a baby burns lots of calories, and super fortunately, they were not bothered by anything I ate.

6. I am also an exercise video junkie. This helps with number 5. Please recommend your favorites to me.

7. I love Disney World. I never went a a kid, and it was one of the first places I visited when I could travel on my own. I thought it was a magical place even before I had kids. Everyone said don't bring your kids there when they are young, because it is too overwhelming for them. But we did, and they loved it. It is the best when you have a picture of Mickey Mouse rocking your baby to sleep. My husband hates the place! But I want to bring my own little princesses there one more time when they are a little older so they will remember it.

So, that's me! How about you?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Untraditional Mexican Food

We love Mexican food! We have been obsessed with it ever since we were teenagers. We have a restaurant in town that has been there since then. There was only one other Mexican restaurant on all of Long Island at the time (well, there were probably some in Queens and Brooklyn, which is technically LI, but we in the suburbs don't count it as such.) When we were first married, we would pinch pennies that we didn't have in order to be able to go there. At that time, we could eat a huge meal there for under $20, including sangria, appetizers, entrees, and tip. Being young, we could fit all that in, along with many bowls of chips and salsa.
Nowadays, the tab at that restaurant is over $70! And we can't eat nearly as much. Why is it that you can eat less as you age? That, along with the complications three young children bring, means that we have our Mexican at home more often than not.
My guacamole is very simple. Just avocado, salt, minced onion, coriander, Frank's hot sauce and the secret ingredient. I discovered it once when I mistook it for coriander - it is ground cloves! Just the slightest pinch. I know it sounds improbable, and traditionalists will scoff, but everyone loves it and asks "what's different?" And please, no lime juice!
The refried beans also have an unusual ingredient - cinnamon. This recipe comes from "the Best of Jenny's Kitchen." Jenny writes that these are the best refried beans she has ever eaten, and I have to agree. This book is ancient and I'm sure out of print, so I feel safe in offering the recipe, with full credit to Jenny, of course!
1 1/2 c dried pinto beans
5-6 c water
1 1/2 onions
1/4 c olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 c chopped fresh or canned tomatoes
1/4 c diced mild green chilies
2 T lemon juice
2 t salt
1/4 t cinnamon
1/8 t ground cloves
Cook beans with water and 1/2 chopped onion until tender, 2 1/2 - 3 hours. When beans are tender, heat olive oil in a large sillet. Chop the remaining onion and saute with the garlic until golden. Add tomatoes, peppers, lemon juice, salt and spices. Begin adding beans, a cup at a time, and mash, adding liquid as necessary. Cook over very low heat until very thick, an hour or more.

Monday, November 10, 2008

What's Wrong with our Health Care System

What do you think the price tag was for this work of art? The doctor charged $300 to look at the cut, which was separate from the $400 to stitch the cut. Plus a few other miscellaneous charges for a total of over $700. Meanwhile, the doctor was sitting on the sidelines eating a sandwich, while it was actually a PA that stitched me up. Outrageous, right?

But wait, that was only the doctor's bill. I also received a bill from the hospital for over $1,500! This included $1,044 to occupy the bed for 20 minutes, $280 for the needle and thread, plus a few other charges for antiseptic, tetanus shot, etc.

Maybe the new guy can fix this mess.

P.S. If your cabinet doors are not shutting properly, don't try jamming them closed, and then when they don't shut, open them up. That's when all the plates fall out on your tile floor, smash, and slice open your bare feet (duh)!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Simplest Soup of All

This is so easy, yet so tasty. It is from Diane Kochilas's Greek Vegetarian. It's just chickpeas (dried are a must), sauteed onion, bay leaf, rosemary, olive oil, lemon, and salt (add lemon and salt after chickpeas are cooked, and drizzle olive oil on top to serve). I don't know how such a simple combination of ingredients can be so good, but it is perfect. Even better the next day (and I am not a fan of leftovers!)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Shore Dinner

When I was a kid, my mom used to make shrimp bisque and broiled flounder in lots of butter. This was actually a huge treat for us, because we had steak all the time (my folks barbequed every night, even in winter).

Being in Boston last weekend made me yearn for the seafood I no longer eat. The shrimp bisque was a really easy recipe: 1 can tomato soup, 1 can green pea soup, 1 cup cream, 2 cups milk, 1/2 c sherry, and 1 lb. frozen shrimp. The cream and milk subs were obvious and easy (don't you just love that soy cream? So much better than the cow version with its yucky aftertaste (same for the cream cheese).) Canned tomato soup is vegan, even if it does have HFCS. The green pea soup is not - it contains butter. I cooked some spit peas until really soft and pasty, adding onion and garlic powder, and of course, my favorite Old Bay. For the shrimp, I thought broiled tofu would work well, but I wanted to have that as a sub for the flounder. Instead I made up some seitan chunks, boiled in broth with seaweed, then broiled in EB with (what else) Old Bay. Hey, I think I finally found a way I enjoy seitan! The soup was pretty good - I think it was actually the large amount of sherry that I enjoyed so much in the original!

I didn't love the broiled tofu. It wasn't bad, but not great. The texture was too crispy, which normally I prefer, but not in this case. I remember seeing a recipe once for tofu simmered in a rather large amount of butter. The tofu was supposed to absorb and swell up from the butter. Then you were supposed to add fresh parsley. I think I will try that next time - I do love my EB, after all!
Isn't it awesome that we can get fresh sushi at the supermarket?

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Nostalgic Lunch

Once upon a time, we lived in Milwaukee, WS. It was a really fun time in our lives. We made some great friends who happened to live a few doors down from us, and we spent tons of time with them. It is a party town (where else can you walk around with an open beer in the street?), with special festivals all summer. In the winter, we would just walk to the bar when we wanted to go out and there was too much snow to drive (obviously this was before children). We had moved there for my husband's job, and since I couldn't find a job of my own and we basically lived on the campus of UWM, I took classes even though I already had a degree. It was like being 20 all over again.

There was a really great natural foods store called Outpost. They sold a prepared tofu spread that I just loved. I guess it was a local manufacturer because I have never found it since. Once I posted about it on some recipe board, and someone sent back a couple of recipes. One is from Simply Vegan. It sounded like it might be close: tofu, celery, carrot, onion, tahini. I added in tamari and a little Old Bay. Not exact, but it satisfied my craving and was a tasty lunch on rye with some tomatoes and chopped onion.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I've Got 'em!

Way back when, I saw a post about butterscotch fudge brownies over at Vegan Dad. I have wanted to make them for so long, but couldn't find any vegan butterscotch chips, even on the internet. Someone had blogged that Price Chopper brand chips were vegan. Price Chopper is a regional supermarket here in the northeast. We don't have any on Long Island, but they have them upstate NY. So I was excited that I would be able to get the chips when we went to Lake George in the summer. Well, the Price Chopper in Lake George is about 5 square feet, and they carry only the basics (why are butterscotch chips not considered basic?) So no chips this summer.

Anyway, this past weekend the Carnivore and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary with a quick trip to Boston (why, yes, I was a child bride.) On the way home, we stopped for breakfast, and there was a Price Chopper in the same lot! Yay, I scored 5 bags of vegan butterscotch chips! (They are still full of crappy ingredients, but no milk.) I will let you know when I try the brownies.

Boston is a lovely city. I have not been there in many years. We had lots of fun doing touristy things. Our hotel was beautiful but far from everything - we figure we walked about 15 miles in those 2 days! The kids had fun with their cousins and aunt and uncle. How much does my sister-in-law rock? She not only takes on my three kids but sends them home with clean laundry!

Not much to write about food-wise. I should have asked for recommendations before we went!

This pizza place was recommended to us by a friend who grew up in Boston. Look at the line out the door! Apparantly there is always a line regardless of the time of day or night. I had a pizza loaded with veggies that was pretty good, but not worth waiting in line for. The Carnivore had the regular pizza. Not to offend, but I will be an egocentric New Yorker and say the best pizza is right here at home. I have tried many cities, and it is just not as good.

This is what I looked like after walking 10 miles with the Carnivore. He walks so fast that I basically have to jog to keep up. I actually had shin splints after that first night.......

And here is the happy couple on the big day...........

This dinner was the night before we left - it's called use up all the produce in the fridge that won't last until we get back. Collards with onion and tomato, rice, eggplant with miso sherry veganaise glaze, cukes, tofu with tomatillo sauce. Why eat out - the food is so much better at home!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Another Dinner From the Freezer

Please excuse another post about convenience foods, but Trader Joe's once again came to my rescue. They have a penne arrabiata that is so good. Straight from the freezer! You don't even have to cook the pasta - just open the bag and heat. A little sauteed corn and zucchini on the side and you have dinner in 10 minutes! (Now if only they could take the milk out of my favorite chocolate raspberry sticks.)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What to Make for Dinner?

I have a habit of printing out a gizillion recipes from the internet, throwing them in a drawer, and never making them. I have a whole huge stack that I go through frequently, thinking I will get rid of some of the older ones. I should throw out anything from 3 years ago that I haven't made, right? Then I think "that looks good and this looks good," and put them back in the drawer. Well, I was trying to think of something for dinner, and decided to grab whatever was on top and just make them. Luckily I picked two winners!

I saw this Salt 'n' Pepper Tofu at happy vegan face (originally from PPK) and it is just so good - you must make it! That is sauteed escarole on the side.

This Smoky Chickpea Soup from Bunnyfoot is also wonderful. It has saffron in it, which I got from Trader Joe's at a great price.
Isn't it cute?
I made these seed crackers that I learned at a cooking class to go with the soup. I used my leaf-shaped cookie cutters in honor of the beautiful fall weather we've been having.
The only downside of all this cooking is the dishes!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Comfort Food

What to have when you are totally stressed out and the kids want macaroni again? Trader Joe's Veggie Masala Burgers. These things are awesome! Yes, they are too high in fat and too low in protein. But they taste great and at 120 calories apiece, not too damaging. They are basically Indian-flavored latkes. Great with ketchup!

No pic, because we all know what veggie burgers look like, but how 'bout these cuties?

(The beautiful Lake George in the background.)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Mango BBQ Tempeh

I am always searching for ways to make me like tempeh. It is so healthy and protein rich that I feel I really should eat it. I always like the first few bites, but then the rest not so much. I find it needs a really strong marinade or sauce, which basically covers up the taste of the tempeh. The boiling before hand doesn't seem to make a difference to me - it still has that slightly bitter taste! (But oddly, when I have been over-indulging in sweets, I crave tempeh, usually in the form of a chicken-style salad (although I never liked chicken salad!))

This tempeh is from Horizons: New Vegan Cuisine (the second book). (Oh, how I envy Urban Vegan and her proximity to this restaurant.) It is tempeh baked with Mango Barbecue Sauce. First, you boil the tempeh in salted water. Then you marinate and bake it with a spice blend mixed with oil. Then you add the barbecue sauce and bake a bit longer. Tempeh lovers would probably enjoy this a lot. I thought it was good for tempeh, good enough to save the leftovers for a sandwich. The kids gagged it down after threats to their Halloween candy stash!

I did enjoy the mashed potatoes with Krys's Easy Cream Gravy. One of my kids refuses to eat mashed potatoes - did you ever hear of such a thing?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Technology and Granola Bar Blues

I have a really ancient computer. So old that the operating system (Windows ME) is no longer supported by most applications. When I go to download pictures from my camera, I can't use the software that came with the camera for this purpose - I have to cut and paste when the camera is connected as an outside storage device. Sometimes this doen't even work - sometimes the computer does not recognize the camera as an additional drive. I have no idea why it works sometimes and not others.

Anyway, today it decided to work so I have some pictures. I was trying to make granola bars since my kids like to take them for snack at school. The good ones (i.e. healthier versions) are $4.29 for a box of six. As you can imagine, this adds up pretty fast for three kids. Sadly, the healthy version of commercial foods are always more expensive than the cheap crap with so many ingredients I can't even read the label. I was excited to find this recipe because it had lots of good stuff and no added oil (fat came from almond butter). Don't they look good in the pan?

Then I took them out.......

Now my kids have some yummy granola for breakfast! (Is it wrong to feed your kids cereal with chocolate chips?)

Look at my messy fridge......that is because we have my food, his food, and their food..............

And here is a picture of my little bakers (non-vegan cupcakes supervised by the Carnivore, but I think it's nice that he bakes with his little girls).