Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: I Ate This. It Was Delicious.

awesome

This was a weekend brunch-for-one that I made just for me when no one else wanted to eat anything. Toast, slightly mushed up veggie burger (Amy's California burger), a bit of Daiya cheddar, and a bunch of miso gravy on top. I can't believe how good it was.

J.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Tale of Two Smoothies

I'm been on a morning smoothie kick ever since the Man of Science and I started this temporary arrangement of living at my parents' house. I just don't feel like anything else first thing in the morning. It's partly because I'm a Hobbit and I need to eat, like, seventeen times a day. So for the last few months, first breakfast has been a smoothie of some variety and second breakfast is something carby, like a muffin or bagel, later on when I'm at work or driving somewhere.

These are two new smoothie variations that I've enjoyed recently. You'll note they both call for frozen bananas, which is how I roll. Partly because I don't like bananas in their basic, mushy, slimey, banana-flavoured form, but I do like the milkshakey bulk they add to smoothies when they are frozen and blended. You can use whichever bananas fit with your own banana opinions.

almond butter and raw cacao banana shake

Raw Cacao and Almond Butter Smoothie

1 small frozen banana
2 tbsp almond butter
1 1/2 cups almond milk
2 tbsp unsweetened raw cacao nibs

Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

mango lassi smoothie

Mango Lassi Smoothie

1 small frozen banana
1/2 cup mango chunks (I used frozen ones)
1/2 cup plain vegan yogurt (I used So Delicious Coconut yogurt in its "original" flavour)
3/4 cup unsweetened soy milk
1/2 tsp ground cardamom

Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

Both of these recipes are easily messed with. For example, you may like thicker or thinner smoothies than I do, and so you can just add more or less liquid. You could also easily vary which kind of milk you use if you have nut or soy allergies. Go nuts! (Or don't if you're allergic and forgot your Epipen.)

Some Notes!

-I just can't seem to shut up about the new River Cottage BBC TV series, "River Cottage Veg Every Day", so I'm going to post about it here as well as talking about it to anyone who will listen. I like the River Cottage shows anyway, because they focus on simple cooking and local, sustainable eating. But this latest one features only vegetarian food and host Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (I'd say that was the most British name I'd ever heard except that a girl from my high school moved to London and found a boyfriend named Rorington Smithe) has really intelligent things to say about why everyone should eat less meat. Plus it's beautiful and clever and gentle like a lot of British television and he has a great garden and an Aga stove, so what else could you ask for, really? There are quite a few recipes that use dairy and eggs, so if you're a super sensitive vegan type, you'd probably want to give it a miss.

whole house

-If you are interested in my life beyond food, you may want to check out the blog I'm keeping to record the progress of our new house as it is built. Right now there are lots of construction site photos, but I try to jazz them up with my witty narrative. The link is here if you want to check it out.

J.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Saturday Breakfast

breakfast at Megan and Dave's

On Friday I went to a dance party at Raw Sugar and then got to sleep over at Megan and Dave's house. In the morning Megan and I ate oatmeal and talked about cardigans. It was perfect.

J.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I Fought the Slaw and the Slaw Won

purple slaw

I couldn't resist using that title. Even though it would seem more accurate if I'd tried to make a slaw and been defeated by it, which was not the case. This slaw is a winner, yes, but I was not defeated by it. I ate it happily. Everybody wins. I guess I'm just a lover, not a fighter.

So, there was this cabbage. It was in our vegetable crisper and it had been there for several weeks. My family has never been a cabbage eating family and so I kept forgetting it was there. But I was hesitant to get rid of it, since it is really the last vegetable from our summer CSA share and it seemed a shame to just give up on it. You can pry my local vegetables from my cold, dead hand.

dirty cabbage

So I poked around and looked at a bunch of recipes, then threw caution to the wind and forged ahead with my own vegan franken-recipe. And you know what? This was really damn good. Crunchy and flavourful and a bit sweet. My parents and the Man of Science and I ate this as a side dish with some tofu-pecan sliders and oven-baked sweet potato fries for a Saturday night dinner. "I want to have this every night," said my dad when he finished his meal. Too bad we're only living with my parents for another six months or so.

purple slaw

Purple Cabbage Slaw

1/2 one medium sized purple cabbage, cut into thin shreds.
1/2 one sweet yellow pepper, sliced thinly
1/2 one sweet red pepper, ditto
2 fuji apples, peeled and cored and sliced thinly
1 very small onion, sliced thinly

Dressing

1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise (I used Vegannaise)
1 tsp agave nectar
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl.

Combine all dressing ingredients, mix well.

Toss salad ingredients with dressing. Leave in fridge for half an hour.

To serve, garnish with sesame seeds and parsley if you want to be all fancy.

This served all four of us and we had about half of it left over for lunch the next day. The taste gets even better when it sits in the fridge, so leftovers would be great to take for a few workday lunches.


purple slaw

J.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: A Spoonful of Sugar

Mary Poppins

It's not food related, but I do like to post about my Halloween costumes (except last year's This-Sarah-Palin-Costume-Is-Making-Me-Hate-Myself-When-I-Look-In-The-Mirror debacle). This year I had a great time making myself a Mary Poppins costume. It all came from Value Village save the tights and shoes which were already mine and the daisies for my hat which my mother kindly brought home for me. And yes, the Man of Science did dress up as Bert the Chimney Sweep. Click the photo to go to Flickr and see a few more shots if you're so inclined.

J.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Lazy Vegan Oatmeal Cake. For Lazy Vegan Bloggers.

Lazy Vegan Oatmeal Cake

So, I guess it's become clear that Vegan Mofo broke me this year. I fought the Mofo and the Mofo won. That's never happened to me before. I always complain about it, sure, but I have never just given up the way I did this year. I guess maybe it's not a good idea to take on a daily posting challenge when the entire rhythm of your life has just changed dramatically. My new living-with-my-parents routine doesn't leave a lot of time free for blogging about the cooking I'm doing. Mostly I cook tried-and-true meals that can be prepared quickly when I arrive home, hungry, after my new post-work commute. Even the lunch-documenting plan failed when I got busy at work and started forgetting to take photographs of what I was eating. Which was boring anyway. Not great blogging fodder, even if I felt like sitting down at the computer after the day's meals were all cooked and eaten. Actually I do want to sit down in front of my computer when the day's meals were all cooked and eaten, but that is mostly to watch The Big Bang Theory on DVD.

But now that Mofo is over and I can feel free to go back to my manageable weekly posting schedule, I am feeling more optimistic about the blog. Blogtomistic, if you will. Let's celebrate. Look, I made you this cake.

Lazy Vegan Oatmeal Cake

One of the benefits of living with your parents is that your mom does the dishes. One of the other, and perhaps more relevant benefits of living with your parents is that you have access to all the recipes your mother kept for things you liked to eat when you were a kid. This cake, originally called "Lazy Daisy Oatmeal Cake" was one of the things I liked a lot as a kid. When it came time for my get-back-in-the-game recipe, I knew this was it. It didn't take much to veganize the cake, a bit of Earth Balance here and some flax seeds there. No trouble. Like I said, this is a cake for LAZY people.

mom's recipe

Right now you may be asking, why is this cake so great, Jennifer? It kind of looks like a lumpy, 1970's healthy cake. Well, my friends, the cake itself is, well, a bit of a lumpy 1970's healthy cake. But it is delicious. Sweet and moist and lovely. But what really makes this cake is the topping. The ingredients for the topping are pretty basic, but the fact that you add the mixture to the cake after its been baked and then put it under the broiler to get all melty and brown and crunchy, is what makes this cake so awesome. If you like brown sugary, coconutty, oatmeally things then get on it, friend. Make this cake.

Oatmeal Cake Topping

Lazy Vegan Oatmeal Cake

1 1/4 cups boiling water
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup vegan margarine (I use Earth Balance)
2/3 cup unrefined regular sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp flax meal mixed with 6 tbsp warm water
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

for the topping:

1/4 cup melted magarine
3 tsp soy milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped walnuts (pecans would work, too)
3/4 cup shredded coconut

Heat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9X13 cake pan. I used a glass lasagna pan.

Pour the boiling water over the oatmeal and set aside.

In another bowl, cream the 1/2 cup of margarine with the 2/3 cups of regular sugar and brown sugar. Add the vanilla and the flax mixture and mix well.

Sift in flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Stir to combine. Add oatmeal, stir to combine.

Spread batter evenly in pan and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. The cake won't rise up very much, which doesn't really matter.

While the cake is baking, mix all the topping ingredients together. When the cake is done and has cooled slightly, spread the topping over the cake and brown under a low temperature broiler until the whole topping is darker but not burnt. The sugar and oil will get all melty and then crunchy. It's fantastic, trust me.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or just eat a piece on its own right away because "I need to take a picture of it for my blog anyway!"

J.

Lazy Vegan Oatmeal Cake