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: