Sunday, August 31, 2008

Peach-Blueberry Cobbler

I slightly modified the recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance for this cobbler because I only had 5 peaches (the recipe calls for 8) and a crapload of tasty blueberries. Plus, blueberries and peaches are soulmates and they want to be together. In a 450° oven. True!

This cobbler was way tasty and even my little brother (who spurns most of my baked goods) gobbled it up. The only downside was that I didn't refrigerate it so it wasn't so good after 3 days. Fortunately, there was only one piece left. So refrigerate! Or eat really fast.

If you google "peach cobbler" and "vegan with a vengeance", googlebooks will give you the recipe. And then your conscience will hiss at you to buy the book. Oh, and here's a hint! Slice the tops and bottoms of your peaches with a little "x" - they'll be easier to peel that way. Then blanche them for 30 seconds or so, maybe less. I had a hard time getting the pit out because the peaches were a little squishy, so I might have blanched them for too long.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Carrot Bisque

Up until 2 years ago or so, I wouldn't eat anything with even the smallest amount of carrots in it. Look how far I've come! One day I had some carrots in soup, then I had it shredded on salads, and suddenly I'm peeling so many carrots that my hands change color!

This soup was a big hit with my whole family. It's basically just carrots, curry powder, and coconut milk - what's not to like? The taste surprised me, I was expecting it to be super-carroty but it was actually somewhat sweet and savory (probably due to the coconut milk).

3 lbs. carrots, peeled and diced into a little smaller than half-inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
2 Tbl. peanut oil (vegetable oil will do)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbl. curry powder
1/2 tsp. salt
a few dashes fresh black pepper
3 c. vegetable broth or 1 bouillon cube dissolved in 3 c. water
1 (13 oz can) coconut milk
1 Tbl. maple syrup


In a stockpot over low-medium heat, cook the carrots and onions in the peanut oil for 7 to 10 minutes; cover and stir occasionally. You want the onions to brown but not to burn, although if they burn a little bit it's not the end of the world. Add the garlic, curry, salt, and pepper; saute for 1 more minute. Add the 3 cups of broth, cover, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the carrots are tender.

Add the coconut milk and bring to a low boil. Turn the heat off. Use a handheld blender to puree half the soup [I pureed the whole soup]; if you don't have one, then puree half the soup in a blender and add it back to the soup pot. Add the maple syrup and stir. Serve hot.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Vegan's Hundred

A list of 100 things a vegan should eat before they die, courtesy of Hannah!

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

1) Copy this list into your own blog, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Post a comment here once you’ve finished and link your post back to this one.
5) Pass it on!

1. Natto
2. Green Smoothie
3. Tofu Scramble
4. Haggis
5. Mangosteen
6. Creme brulee
7. Fondue
8. Marmite/Vegemite
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Nachos
12. Authentic soba noodles
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Taco from a street cart
16. Boba Tea
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Gyoza
20. Vanilla ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Ceviche
24. Rice and beans
25. Knish
26. Raw scotch bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Caviar
29. Baklava
30. Pate
31. Wasabi peas
32. Chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Mango lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Mulled cider
37. Scones with buttery spread and jam
38. Vodka jelly
39. Gumbo
40. Fast food french fries
41. Raw Brownies
42. Fresh Garbanzo Beans
43. Dahl
44. Homemade Soymilk
45. Wine from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Stroopwafel
47. Samosas
48. Vegetable Sushi
49. Glazed doughnut
50. Seaweed
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Tofurkey
54. Sheese
55. Cotton candy
56. Gnocchi
57. PiƱa colada
58. Birch beer
59. Scrapple
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Soy curls
63. Chickpea cutlets
64. Curry
65. Durian
66. Homemade Sausages
67. Churros, elephant ears, or funnel cake
68. Smoked tofu
69. Fried plantain
70. Mochi
71. Gazpacho
72. Warm chocolate chip cookies
73. Absinthe
74. Corn on the cob
75. Whipped cream, straight from the can
76. Pomegranate
77. Fauxstess Cupcake
78. Mashed potatoes with gravy
79. Jerky
80. Croissants
81. French onion soup
82. Savory crepes
83. Tings
84. A meal at Candle 79
85. Moussaka
86. Sprouted grains or seeds
87. Macaroni and “cheese”
88. Flowers
89. Matzoh ball soup
90. White chocolate
91. Seitan
92. Kimchi
93. Butterscotch chips
94. Yellow watermelon
95. Chili with chocolate
96. Bagel and Tofutti
97. Potato milk
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Raw cookie dough

So I still have a long way to go, but at least there's nothing I won't try. I like the idea of working my way through this list because there are lots of things that I would like to try, even if they are kind of scary [natto and raw scotch bonnet pepper, I am talking to you].

Monday, August 18, 2008

Sloppy Joannas

I'm not exactly a connoisseur of vegan sloppy joes but I've tried quite a few recipes and, while they were all nice, I hadn't been able to find a recipe that really delivered what I wanted. Until now!

These sloppy joes are TVP-based, which I found a little intimidating because I had never used TVP before. My worries were unfounded though, as the resulting texture and flavor was definitely superior to my previous faux-beef crumbles attempts. Plus I'm pretty sure a bag of TVP is cheaper than the crumbles.

Sloppy Joannas are also very omni-friendly. I brought some in for a luncheon at work and was (pleasantly) surprised at the end of the day when I found the tupperware nearly empty. I received several compliments - one of my omni coworkers even said that she went back for seconds.

I made a couple small changes from the original recipe: I added a couple squirts of ketchup and 2 tablespoons or so of maple syrup. I opted to only put in 8oz. of tomato sauce and skipped the cayenne pepper completely (I prefer my sloppy joes to be sweet-ish, not spicy). All in all, great vegan comfort food.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Veggie Bite

Veggie Bite is a 100% vegan fast food restaurant. I went to the South-side location because it's only about 25 minutes away from me. The big question I have is - why didn't I know about this months ago??

The first time I went, I had the Fajita Wrap. I don't know what I was expecting, but this thing was huge. I ended up eating it over the span of three meals. I could have eaten it in 2 meals, probably. I bet I could have eaten it all in one go if I fasted for a day or two beforehand, but I'm not that dedicated to fajitas (yet!). It was so delicious though. Messy, very messy, so don't try to eat this in a car or riding a bike, but fine as long as you have a napkin on hand. The most impressive part was how well-proportioned all the ingredients were! There is nothing worse than biting into a wrap and getting a mouthful of iceberg lettuce (well, maybe biting into a wrap and getting a mouthful of cockroaches or something would be worse). Not a problem here!

My friend Andrea ordered the Buffalo on Rye. She described it as, "Delightful!" I had a bite and the fake chicken was really good - way better than Boca. Although it freaked me out a little. I think that if it came from a restaurant that was not completely meat-free then I would have been very suspicious.

I also ordered some BBQ nuggets (this is a sad picture) that I think were baked BBQ tofu. These smelled so good in the car-ride back home and they did not disappoint. I don't think that they are meant to imitate meat at all and I liked that especially.

Andrea and I also split a very tasty strawberry shake (although I don't think anything will beat the shake I had from Sip in Portland).

I don't have any pictures from the second time I went to Veggie Bite, but I'll write about it anyway.

I ordered a burrito and was pleased to find that it was distinctly different from the fajita wrap, although equally large. I think it was wrapped in a spinach tortilla - fun! Green!

My brother ordered either a chili dog or a chili-cheese dog, which he was pleased with but didn't seem crazy about. He also had a gyro and he was VERY happy with that. The only problem he had was that the pita fell apart.

There are still several things on the menu that I would like to try and I am excited to visit Veggie Bite again.

Banana-Pecan Pancakes

You know how the top of banana bread is the best part and, while the rest of the bread is also good, you are the most excited about eating the top? It might be just me, but I'm right. These pancakes taste exactly like the top of banana bread. I ate a few of them with Earth Balance and syrup, but then I ate the rest unadorned and cold. I prefer the latter! I think the recipe was only supposed to make 9 pancakes, but I easily ended up with 15 or so.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt

Admittedly, I am not a big fan of yogurt. But it is full of cultures that are good for my belly so when I heard about So Delicious' new coconut milk yogurt, I was interested. I really think So Delicious is onto something with using coconut milk (they also have a coconut milk ice cream line that is tasty).

I've only had the Strawberry-Banana so far and it was very yummy. I don't know how the consistency compares with other yogurts (it's been... quite a while since I've last had yogurt) but I wasn't nauseated by it - major plus! I ate it very quickly, as opposed to how I used to eat yogurt, which was very slow and I was reluctant to take each bite. I let my dad have a bite (he thought it was good, if a bit sweet) and then I remembered that I neglected to tell him what flavor it is and he is allergic to bananas. Oh well!

Conclusion: This yogurt may cause you to attempt patricide, but it's worth it.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Tamari Roasted Chickpeas

This is the first time I have used one of Dreena's recipes and it left me asking myself why I didn't make this sooner. Chickpeas and agave nectar? Be still, my heart! The recipe is very easy and, while the chickpeas do take a little while to cook, the recipe itself is not time-consuming. I predict that these chickpeas are going to be making many repeat appearances - in my tummy.

You can find the recipe on Dreena's website (Tamari Roasted Chickpeas) or find the recipe in Eat, Drink, and be Vegan.