Liverpool Pt. II

My second day in Liverpool started with a nice breakfast at Brasco Lounge. They have an entirely separate vegan menu, and I ended up settling on their vegan breakfast plate. This was my first time trying baked beans since getting to Britain, and I was pleasantly surprised that I liked these. I usually find the American kind much too sweet. I’m more of a fan of savory breakfasts, so this hearty plate was right up my alley.

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The restaurant was conveniently located near the Liverpool Museum, which is a great free (!) place to explore. The best part for me was their large exhibit on the history and movement of transgender people.

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Albert Dock is also nearby and holds a few entertaining things to see. My favorite of which was the giant Echo Wheel. Although I’m not a huge fan of heights, I rode it anyway and had a great time being terrified on the squeaky ride.

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While wandering around the dock, I was drawn into a candy shop due to their amazing jelly bean portrait of The Beatles. Inside, I found some vegan vanilla Liverpool candy canes, which my inner tourist insisted I try.

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As a bonus: here’s a yarnbombing I saw at St. John’s Gardens.

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Veggies Galore

The best thing about summer is the abundant fresh vegetables that are in season. During this time, most of my meals are vegetable based. I wish I could find things like tasty tomatoes and flavorful corn all year, but alas, I will just enjoy them while they’re available.

Veggie soft tacos with mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, corn, and salsa.
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Tasty lentil tacos with lettuce, tomato, and sriracha vegenaise. I’ve never had lentil tacos before, and was pleasantly surprise how meat-like the texture is. Lentils are also healthier and more economical than vegan beef crumbles, so lentils will be my regular taco-filler from now on.
Lentil tacos

Sauteed mushrooms seasoned with Slap Ya Mama, ketchup for mushroom dipping, steamed corn, and fried squash.
???????????????????????????????Quinoa-polenta sticks, and a salad with cucumbers, olives, and Italian dressing. I enjoyed the quinoa-polenta because it is one of the few recipes I’ve liked that involves quinoa, which sadly is a food I am not super fond of. Plus, once baked, it was easily sliced into sticks which are perfect for dipping into ketchup or BBQ sauce.

???????????????????????????????Fajita salad which is sauteed mushrooms, red bell pepper, and onions, fresh salsa, and mashed avocado all on top of a bed of lettuce.

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Linguine with basil and white bean sauce from Vegan Planet. It’s supposed to be sage and white bean sauce, but all we had on hand was basil. It turned out delicious and my roommate Ryan was surprised how such a creamy sauce could be made without dairy and with beans instead.

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Easter Treats and Eats

I hope everyone had a good Easter! My Easter was full of friends and good food, so I would count it a success.

The University of Montevallo’s Family and Consumer Sciences Student Group had an Easter-themed bake sale on Wednesday. For that I made pumpkin spice cake bunnies with cream cheez frosting.

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I also made cookie dough bites from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. These were a great hit and multiple people kept asking “There aren’t any eggs in these?!” Um, no. I’d prefer vegan cookies over a case of salmonella any day.
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For actual Easter day I had a lovely lunch with Peter and our friends Charlie and Sierra. Then afterwards we spent time playing board games and making Easter things.

For a festive look, I knitted this adorable bunny hat. I used Slip Slip Knit’s knitting chart for the bunnies.
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Instead of the traditional egg-dyeing, I went an animal friendly route and got some blank plastic toys from Hobby Lobby and decorated them with markers.

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For lunch we had a mish-mash of snacks.

I made some tea sandwiches with whole wheat bread, sliced cucumber, spicy sriracha bean dip, and Vegenaise.
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Avocado hummus with pita chips
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I used my go-to potato skins recipe, but got lazy and boiled the potatoes with the skins on and mashed them with the other ingredients (minus the onions and Tofutti cheese). They had all the taste of potato skins, but without the added effort of scooping out the filling.
???????????????????????????????And for dessert Sierra made this delicious spicy peach pie. Can you believe this is the first pie she’s ever made? I never would’ve guessed.

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Slow Cooker Love

My Valentine this year is my slow cooker!… Okay, not really, it’s my boyfriend. But if I didn’t have Peter, I’d be writing a card for my slow cooker. For Christmas my mom got me the The Vegan Slow Cooker cookbook and she also gave me her slow cooker, which she didn’t use any more. I brought those two things to my dorm after the winter break ended, but didn’t actually use them until just last week. And wow, I never knew a delicious meal could be so easy. I just throw in a lot of ingredients, turn on the slow cooker, and return after class to a hot yummy meal waiting on me.

The first recipe I tried from Vegan Slow Cooker was the Philadelphia-Style Cheesy Portobello Sandwich. The mushrooms, along with some thinly sliced onions and bell pepper, cooked down in some seasonings into a chewy steak-like sandwich filler with its own gravy. Soooo good. I was out of cheez, so I just put it on a bun along with some Vegenaise, lettuce, and tomatoes.

The next recipe I tried was the Smoky Mac and Cheese. But I am picky about how I like my mac and cheez, so I left out the chili powder and liquid smoke, so it was basically just plain mac and cheez. That didn’t mean it was just regular though, that was possibly the best mac and cheez I’ve ever eaten. Whole wheat macaroni cooked down with plain soymilk, cheddar and mozzarella Daiya, and some special seasonings. You can tell it’s amazing because Peter and I ate this whole recipe (all 6 servings) in just two days.

The only recipe I’ve used in the slow cooker that wasn’t from the cookbook was when I made a doubled up recipe of Mom’s Chili. I also mixed it up a bit and replaced the recipe’s kidney beans with black beans, and added corn. It wasn’t too pretty after it finished cooking, but it sure tasted good.

Double the slow cooker power with chili mac! Using leftover mac and cheez and Mom’s Chili. Peter and I enjoyed this as our Valentine’s Day dinner together. Not very romantic, but very tasty.

And now on to some older food pictures:

Here is a lovely cinnamon bun I had for breakfast a few weekends ago. One of my sister’s friends is vegan also, and he brought over vegan doughnuts that evening. I managed to snag one and enjoy it for breakfast the next day.

I promise I’m not obsessed with chili, but Sigma Tau Delta (the English Honors Society that’s on campus) was having a chili fundraiser last week! Of course, they had the gross omnivore chili, but they also had some wonderful vegan chili. It had two types of beans, and some tasty tvp in there too.I love this stuff and I wish they did the fundraiser more often than once per semester.

And lastly, some semi-healthy convenience food. I was starving after getting out of sewing class, and quickly cooked up some Gardein Orange Chick’n, but left off the orange sauce and covered it with barbecue sauce instead. I piled some on top of pre-cooked Spanish rice, and voila! A not-too-bad-for-you and fast dinner.

And in honor of this being my Valentine’s Day post, I’ve decided to share my nerdy gift I gave to Peter. Here is a picture of the Pokemon themed card and a love Pokeball magnet made out of perler beads. In return, he gave me an adorable poem he’d written himself. I hope everyone had a good Valentine’s Day!

Frito Pie

My mom made chili this week and after seeing Miss V’s frito pie I felt the need to re-create the frito pies I used to enjoy from Sonic.

So I got a big bowl and put fritos in the bottom, added the chili and then topped it with cheez sauce.

For the sauce I shredded up some Follow Your Heart chedder cheese and melted it in a small sauce pan and added plain soy milk until I got the consistency I wanted. It really satisfied my craving.

My mom makes great chili. She used to use meat, but when I went vegetarian she just doubled the beans. It’s really good.

Mom’s Chili

Ingredients:

One medium onion, chopped

1 TBSP canola oil

1 can (14 1/2 oz.) red kidney bean, undrained

1 can (14 1/2 oz.)  navy beans, undrained

1 can (14 1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained

1 can original rotel Rotel

1 1/2 TBSP chili powder

1 1/2 TSP ground cumin

1/2 of 1 packet taco seasoning (make sure it’s vegan)

1/4 TSP garlic powder

Directions:

Heat a large pot to medium-high heat and add oil and onions. Cook until onions are translucent and fragrant.

After  the onions are done, add everything else into the pot and heat until boiling, then turn on to low heat and keep at a simmer for 30 minutes. Then serve! Super easy.