Thursday, November 12, 2009

Today I made butternut squash soup.
I like doing things all in one shot. Once my oven was heated I knocked off three ingredients in one shot.

Cut one butternut squash and cut in half length wise. Scoop out any seeds. Bake at 400 degrees for an hour. Also bake one yam. Also bake 3 cloves of garlic.
Peel and cut two apples.
Peel and dice two small onions.
In ten minutes take out the garlic, allow to cool and then scrape the garlic into a pot. Also add the onions.

Come back to the oven in an hour. Take out the butternut squash and allow to cool enough that you can scoop the flesh into the pot. Allow the yam to cool as well and then peel and put it's flesh into the pot. Add the onions and turn on the burner. Once the onions and garlic are aromatic add a dash of nutmeg and several dashes of cumin and cinnamon.

Here's where we may differ: I add half the apple now and half after I blend it so that I have apple chunks. Some people like purely smooth soup and so should add all the apples now.

After mixing and cooking for about 5 minutes, put the soup in a blender and pulse till smooth.
Transfer back to a pot (add the rest of the apples if you chose to save some) and two tablespoons of maple syrup and vegan butter.

Stir over medium heat and add a dash of salt and pepper.
Voila. Delicious, warm.

And here's some spiral pasta I put together with broccoli, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, leftover garden tomatoes, baby bella shrooms and the last of the basil and oregano with some vegan buttah. I load it with nooch.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I used to hate sushi: the consistency, the flavor, the way it looked as well.
For years I raged against it when my friends were going through sushi eating mania. I'd order tempura instead.

Then, somewhere along the way I decided to like it. My friend Shan can remember me making a concerted effort to like it: after all, it was healthy and I loved all the separate ingredients.

Shan didn't believe I'd like it. And while I wasn't forcing myself, I certainly kept trying to open myself to it slowly but surely.

Eventually I fell in love and I've been avocado roll crazed ever since. So much so that I learned how to make it about two or three years ago.

I've tried various fillings but my favorite remains avocado (I'm obviously still picky) and I love dipping them in roasted sesame seeds. Ohh man.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Ich kaufe gern!

My poor bank account. It hates me right now.

We had a fight because both Abeer and I really desired Candle Cafe again and my bank account was all like "what? were just there. Come on now, what have we been working for together? Don't let love blind you. I miss you like the desserts miss the rain. You're suffering a total eclipse of the heart..."

With the stress of midterms continously draining me I just had to indulge.

I got the porcini crusted seitan which is basically seitan cutlets on top of delicious mashed potatoes on top of fresh local string beans on top of broccolini with gravy all over. Say what?

Ohhh yeah. It was so good.
Abeer had the Cajun Seitan Sub which I think included aioli. All I know was that it was delicious.
We finished the meal with mystery cheesecake. The waitress was unsure of the flavor. It wasn't up to Candle Cafe standards for my tastes but it definitely was still worth finishing.

I hope my bank account can forgive and forget.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

(Soymilk, pumpkin spiced vodka and pumpkin liquer...oi)

So my best friend had a Harry Potter Halloween party last Saturday. I decided to make cupcakes and ended up making raw chocolate truffles as well (in a move of solidarity towards my boyfriend who's trying to eat more raw).

So I blended half a banana, a cup of dates, a half a cup of coconut oil and added them to a cup of cocoa powder in a bowl along with 3/4 a cup of processor-chopped almonds and a fourth a cup of walnuts. I added several tablespoons of agave nectar too. Then I rolled them into balls in more ground almonds and let them set in the fridge.

Those measurements are an estimate so I would just keep mixing things till it resembles a thick goop that'll be just malleable enough to make balls.

Then I made cupcakes from a box recipe using one and half bananas (three eggs worth, basically) and a tbs. of ener-g egg replacer mixed into the dry mix before I mixed the wet ingredients. Also, for the 3/4 cup of water (or whatever the box mix calls for) I used vanilla chai tea.

Just as I was settlingdown my friend sent me a text "Can you bring an appetizer?"
I peeled the skin off a yam I had half-baked earlier, thinly diced an apple and threw them into a frying pan with some earth balance, a drizzle of agave, a dash of nutmeg, a dash of cinnamon and a touch of ground cardamom.
I took some spring roll papers I had and dipped them in a bowl of hot water. I put a meatball amount of the yam-apple stuff into the middle and rolled them up. My boyfriend and I experimented a little with the shapes.

Then I made an impromptu dipping sauce out of half a cup of coconut milk, two tbs. of cocoa powder, a dash of cardamom, a tsp. of cinnamon and a tiny dash of nutmeg.

The food went over very well.

As if we didn't eat enough that night, after the party we took a trip to Foodswings in Brooklyn. Foodswings is the vegan junk food capital of the world (that might not be official but I believe it to be true).
It's also a land of neutrality where vegans can take their omnivore friends to impress them with meat-emulation.

The wings are delicious and the butterfinger mlkshake is amazing.
I wouldn't suggest the chili dogs though...they were bland.

Regardless, Foodswings is a destination for any vegan (especially those who don't have many vegan eateries in their hometown)

Here is an example of what goes on at Foodswings:

Monday, October 26, 2009

When I was a kid and we were too poor to really buy anything else, my dad would pack me tuna...sometimes in sandwich form and sometimes in containers. It really didn't matter because I always got made fun of because it smelled. The experience of biting into soggy bread was never as bad as the humiliation I'd feel as one by one all the kids would say how gross I was.

Regardless of the traumatic association with it, every once in a while I get a craving for something like tuna.

That's when I make myself this simple snack:

Spread hummus onto crackers (especially sesame seed ones, yum) and top it with cut up green pimento olives and tomato pieces. It satisfies my taste-buds like whoa and no fishies (nor my ego) get harmed in the process.

Friday, October 23, 2009

I made banana chocolate bread from Veganomicon a week or so ago for my friend's birthday party.

Praise Isa! It was delicious as always.

The birthday girl happens to be a really talented singer/songwriter and here are her legs performing with our other talented singer/songwriter friend (I need to steal some skills). And the real star, Dobby (her pup) is stealing the show.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Köstliches Essen.

I've never made pies before. Generally, I'm intimidated by baking.

I had a day off recently and my pie adventure started when I decided that the extra apples in my kitchen weren't going to last forever.

I ended up making an apple pie with the apples, cinnamon, a dash of nutmeg and a tablespoon of the berry jam I got from Woodstock recently (featured in earlier post). It came out great but next time I'll half the whole wheat flour (I also used quinoa flour too) I used in the crust with white flour.

Regardless, it was really good for a first try and I paired it with some pomegranate chip ice cream.

I had some extra dough and I thought that maybe I'd try something else while the oven was on.

I have always loved pot pies whether I was eating Swanson pot pies when I was a kid or Amy's vegan pot pies now (which I've been noticing have disappeared from my grocery store lately). So I filled these with baby bella chunks, peas, carrots and potatoes as well as a gravy I made out of vegan butter, nooch, onions, one clove of garlic, apple juice, whole wheat flour, two tiny peices of celery and carrots. I pureed all the gravy items and then added the vegetables to the pot to cook in the gravy for a couple of minutes.

One the dough was in my pie dish I poured the gravy/veggie mixture and baked.

Oh man, it was just so good. My lover kept asking for more and more days after. It made me happy he enjoyed it so much and I certainly agreed with his enjoyment of it.

I also made this cute little pie with the last bit of extra dough. Twas adorable.

After a sleep over I made him one of our favorites: grilled avocado sandwiches. I mince and sautee some onions in the frying pan. I cut an avocado open, de-pit, salt it and lightly mash it within it's skin. Chop some tomatoes and butter one side on two pieces of toast.

Set the onions aside once they're cooked and keep the pan on. Plop the bread butter-side down on the frying pan and layer avocado, onions, nooch, tomatoes and more salt if you desire and top with the other piece of bread (butter side up). Once the bottom of the sandwich has toasted nicely carefully turn the wich over and cook the other side.

Oh meng.

Ich möchte Candle Cafe.

Roosevelt Island to the right, Manhattan to the left, to the left.

My boo and I took a stroll over the 59th street bridge and walked over to Candle Cafe.

First we saw the actress who played Hermoine Granger while walking on 2nd ave. She was sitting at an outside cafe enjoying the day as much as we were. Then we settled in at Candle Cafe and ordered seitan chimichurri kabobs, otherwise known as glowing salvation:

He had the Parmigiana sandwich.

I had the cashew alfredo fettucini and we finished with the pumpkin bundt cake.

Everything was so good, I can't over exaggerate that.
I'd like to cook this way. I was considering buying the Candle Cafe cookbook but I read bad reviews for it online.

I understand why they'd want to keep the magic unobtainable.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Tonight I made lo-mein with my friend Shan. We cut 5 cloves of garlic, one onion, two tbs. of fresh chopped ginger and sauteed it. I boiled some noodles on the side. I added the eggplant and some more oil to fry it, then the mushrooms. Then I added the noodles and several dashes of soy sauce and eventually the broccoli.

For dessert we munched on left over figs from our fig tree. I'm sad it's slowly yielding less.