Tag Archives: VWAV

Brunch

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I was going to go out for the expensive brunch I have been eating most Sunday’s lately. It isn’t ridiculously expensive–it’s downright cheap when you think of all you get, including many vegan goodies–but it’s certainly more expensive than I could make at home. And, it’s fun to break out my cookbooks and make food the way I like, and feed my friends and family.

I didn’t make anything new today, unless you count the smoothies, which are slightly different every time I make them. This time they had orange juice, bananas, frozen mixed berries, frozen mangoes, frozen raspberries and a fresh peach. I had forgotten how much I like fruit smoothies–the main point of this offering was to make sure there was at least one thing the children would consume without complaining! I served them in ice cream sundae dishes to make them even more fun.

We also had blue flannel hash from Veganomicon, and the asparagus and sun-dried tomato frittata from Vegan with a Vengeance. I’ve made both of these recipes before, so I wasn’t surprised that they turned out awesome. We had a little bit of veggie bacon brought by my friend, some banana bread with carob chips made by another friend (given to me after she spent the day watching my daughter, which is probably a bit backwards, not that I am complaining!), and some grapes to round out the meal. We had some good conversation about books while we ate, and everyone had a great time. We are definitely going to do this again.

Here is an aerial view of our brunch, picture by my friend Andrea:

Here is my plate of yummy brunch goodness. See how the stem on the grapes looks like a big preying mantis? (No actual bugs were harmed during the making of this brunch ;-))

Several things

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Why did I think I would get back here during the holiday season? I have been busy, busy, busy. On the bright side, I have done a lot of good cooking, but almost no writing. Here are some updates on the many topics I have thought about blogging in the past few weeks.

Having Friends Over for a Thanksgiving Meal

This is the meal with 3 other vegetarians sitting at the table, plus two friends who were just along for the totally vegetarian meal. We had a great time, and ate way too much food!

First, the appetizers–I made the dill dip I referenced in my last post, and my friend Tracey brought over olives cooked in crescent roll dough. These were SO GOOD! It may be a very 70’s dish, but who cares? While we munched and I finished other things, I instructed Tracey in the making of the cranberry upside down cake from Urban Vegan. She did a great job! That was one of the best cakes I have ever had, just the right amount of sweetness without being too much.

I made:

A Tofurkey roast with carrots and onions
The gravy that came with the roast
My veggie sausage stuffing
Cranberry orange sauce
Pecan pie

My friend Andrea brought:

Nut loaf (pecans and sunflowers seeds, with rice and other yummy stuff)
Red potatoes
Mashed potatoes
Sweet potatoes
roasted Brussels sprouts with lots of pepper (so I didn’t steam the broccoli and cauliflower that I had purchased for the meal)
Some spiced apples that we forgot to get out of the microwave until after everyone was totally stuffed

We had some wine, and we played Boggle after we ate. I loved having my friends from different spheres over–one couple who have a daughter in S’s class, two moms of boys in M’s class, and Mandy, my friend from high school. Everyone got along and I had a great time.

An Update on the Egg Thing

I had some eggs for breakfast the other morning, and they tasted kind of yucky. That was partly because the egg whites were still a little runny (shudder), but also, I think I am getting over the weird craving, whatever that was all about. I don’t fantasize about eating eggs anymore, and I can easily look past the eggs in the morning to grab something else for breakfast. I don’t know what that whole thing was all about, but I am glad it is over. I am still not cutting eggs out entirely, but I am making it a much more occasional thing.

Christmas cooking

I had friends over for Christmas Eve, and I made Snobby Joes, from the teaser recipes on the Veganomican page over on The PPK. I also made a bunch of Herb Roasted Potatoes from Vegan with a Vengeance, because I wanted them for Christmas breakfast, but I didn’t want to get up over an hour early to get them ready. I thought both recipes were delicious, but the kids thought the joes were a bit too spicy. Next time I will tone down the chili powder, because I want this to be a kid-friendly recipe.

I did get up a little early on Christmas morning to make the asparagus and tomato fritatta, also from Vegan with a Vengeance. Wow, was that so good! After my mother ate a serving and talked about how good it was, I told her that it was a tofu fritatta, and she was surprised. She asked, “There’s no egg in this at all?” Nope, and it was extremely yummy. I think it would have been even yummier with the sun-dried tomatoes that the recipe called for, but my mom doesn’t like those, so I used fresh. I have enough trouble getting her to eat my “weird” vegetarian food, I don’t need to start on a bad note with something she doesn’t even like. I heated up the potatoes in the oven right after I pulled out the fritatta, and they were great.

New Cookbook

No one gave me a cookbook for Chirstmas, but my brother gave me a gift card to Border’s, and Veganomican was the first book I picked up. I have been drooling over that book since it came out, but I was holding off and spending my money on gifts for other people. I went right to Border’s the day after Christmas though and picked up the book first thing! I cannot wait to start cooking from that book!

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That’s all the news that’s fit to print for now. Have a happy new year, everyone!

Dinner, fast!

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I haven’t been around much now that it is summer, but I haven’t forgotten my blog entirely. It’s just that summer is so much less structured, all my habits change. My children spend a lot of time with their dad (6 weeks, in 2 week chunks), and I am not home much during that time. It just gets so lonely here when they are gone. Why, yes, I do know that I am pathetic, why do you ask? 😉 The kids came back this weekend, though, so I have been cooking again. I am trying to cook up what I have in the house, both to use up stuff I don’t have room for in my storage-challenged new kitchen, and to save some money, so cooking is a bit of an adventure these days.

I came home from work today with no idea what to make for dinner, so I hit the cookbooks. Now, I love my Vegan With a Vengeance book, but at 6:30 this evening, every recipe I looked at needed an hour’s marinating, or 30 minutes on the stove followed by an hour in the oven, or 3 labor intensive components that had to be baked for 45 minutes after they were assembled. So, they obviously weren’t happening.

Next I turned to The Vegetarian Family Cookbook, by Nava Atlas. I’ve mentioned this cookbook before, but it’s been awhile since I looked at it, and I had forgotten just how wonderful it is. I quickly found a delicious recipe that I mostly had the ingredients to make, and I was able to throw together a good nutritious dinner while I chatted with a friend for about 20 minutes. The boy ate well, and the girl didn’t complain too much, which is a victory with her. Of course, I threatened her with dire punishments if she said anything bad about the food—she is always doing that, and then the boy has to say he doesn’t like it, just like his big sister. But, if I can get her to keep her opinions to herself, he almost always really likes what I make. I have to say, if you like good food that is not difficult to make and that appeals to a wide array of people, you need to buy this book.

Stewed Tofu with Corn and Tomatoes

1 pound firm tofu
2 Tbsp light olive oil
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes (the original recipe called for fresh tomatoes, but I didn’t have any)
3 cups cooked corn (I did one can, drained, because that is what I had)
4 scallions, sliced
1 tsp paprika
Freshly gound pepper, to taste
Minced fresh parsley or cilantro for topping, optional (I used cilantro, yummy!)

Slice the tofu and press between paper towels or clean kitchen towels, then dice the slices into small cubes. Heat the oil in a wide-bottomed skillet until just hot, and gently fry the tofu, stirring, until the pieces are mostly golden. I added the scallions, giving everything a quick stir at this point, then added the tomatoes, corn and paprika, stirred everything together and ground some pepper on top, stirred again, and let it all simmer gently for about five minutes. Of course, you could add salt at this point, but I never cook with salt, so I didn’t. I ladled the stew into bowls and topped my portion with chopped cilantro and more freshly ground pepper, but neither of the kids wanted any cilantro. Very good and easy, we will definitely be having this again!