Weekly Wednesday Round-Up – Raw Pasta, Pita Pizza, and Whole Foods

I want to start doing a weekly Wednesday roundup of yummy meals I’ve made. Basically anything I’d put in the PPK’s Food Porn section, but doesn’t deserve an entire blog post.

One of my first raw food meals ever (not counting salad)! Spiralized zucchini and rich marinara sauce.
raw pasta

The mini restaurant inside our local Whole Foods has a vegan sandwich! It’s toasted sour dough bread with balsamic tomatoes, arugula, onions, and basil hummus. Served with a side of roasted red skin potatoes.

Whole Foods sandwich

Fried tofu (from Whole Food’s hot bar) and mashed cheezy bacon potatoes.
fried tofu and potatoes

Pita pizza with mushrooms, onion, bell pepper, and nutritional yeast.

pita pizza

Veggie stir fry with kale, tomatoes, onion, bell peppers, zucchini, and mushrooms all piled on top of brown rice. rice stir fry

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Tea Time (Vegan MoFo #11)

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Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones focuses on an orphaned boy, Cat. Although his older sister, Gwendolyn, is also orphaned, it’s quite hard to feel bad for when she’s nothing more than selfish and mean throughout the book. She’s a powerful witch, something she holds over her magic-less brother. But despite all this, Cat stays by her side because Gwendolyn is all he has. Or at least, that’s what he thought.

Then one day they receive a letter inviting them to live with Chrestomanci, the world’s most powerful enchanter who is blessed with nine-lives and is tasked with making sure magic is used properly. He has heard of Gwendolyn’s powers and wishes to be her mentor. As they are swept away to his castle, the siblings meet Chrestomanci’s refined children, Julia and Roger. While the two like Cat, Gwendolyn’s sour attitude makes the children immediately dislike her. Because of this, Cat is torn between remaining loyal to his sister (and last remaining family member) or embracing his new home and its lovely residents. Soon Gwendolyn becomes frustrated with the little acknowledgment of her giftedness and begins plotting. Her scheme could possibly un-glue the very fabric of time and space inbetween the known dimensions, and it’s up the determined, yet very ordinary, Cat to stop her.

Cat enjoyed the tea. It was the first time he had enjoyed anything since he came to the castle. There were paper thin cucumber sandwiches and big squashy eclairs. Cat ate even more than Roger did. He was surrounded by cheerful, ordinary chat from the Family, with a hum of stocks and shares in the background, and the sun lay warm and peaceful on the green stretches of the lawn.” – Charmed Life (paperback) page 62

I attempted to make a cucumber sandwich for lunch. And I did make it, it just wasn’t very tasty. I combined several herbed cucumber sandwich recipes and made mine with fresh basil and cucumbers on whole wheat bread. The basil was a bit overwhelming and the cucumber had a bitter aftertaste (maybe because it was a large cucumber?). Anyway, it was cute thanks to my star cookie cutter, which made me feel a bit better about it tasting gross.

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Sandwiches, Scones, and Game of Thrones

The weather was extremely nice last week, so Peter and I had a picnic at the park. There we munched on these grilled pizza sandwiches (which had pizza hummus and Daiya inside) and cucumber slices dipped in Italian salad dressing.
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I made a batch of Mom’s Chili, which I ate with crackers. I skipped using canned beans though, and cooked up some dried black beans and red beans the day before in the slow cooker. Then I mixed them with the rest of the ingredients to make the chili.

???????????????????????????????The next day the leftover chili was turned into a “Frito pie”. With layered crushed Frito corn chips and chili then smothered in healthy cheese sauce.

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Tomato-rosemary scones from Vegan Brunch. I’ve actually never baked scones before, but these were extremely easy to make and very delicious. My favorite way to have these is warmed up with a pat of margarine in the middle.
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Soft tacos with Upton’s Naturals chorizo seitan, Daiya pepper jack, lettuce, and tomatoes. It was my first time trying the Upton’s seitan. I really liked the taste and texture of it, but the small amount of seitan per package for a fairly high price (at least at my local Earth Fare) was not worth it.
???????????????????????????????“Chicken” parmesan, made with soy-tan dream cutlets from 1,000 Vegan Recipes (which I breaded and pan-fried), with melted Daiya mozzarella, all on top of spaghetti in a creamy marinara sauce, and sprinkled with nutritional yeast.
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Lentil and veggie soup, which I mostly made because I needed to clean out my refrigerator’s produce drawer. It has lentils, onions, corn, carrots, tomatoes, green beans, peas, potatoes, and lima beans which were all cooked in a garlic tomato broth.

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For our three-year anniversary, Peter got me (along with a few other things) The Unofficial Game of Thrones Cookbook. I’m a big fan of the television show and hope to begin reading the books soon, so I was super excited to have these recipes based on the series.

Our local gaming group is actually starting a GoT roleplaying campaign, so for our session I made Arya’s Apricot Tart to share. Except there are no fresh apricots available around here, so we settled for peaches. To veganize the recipe I subbed Earth Balance for butter, coconut milk for heavy cream, and I used this recipe for the crust. It turned out delicious with a flaky crust, juicy peaches, and buttery crumble topping. I can’t wait to try more recipes from the cookbook.

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Post of the S – Spaghetti, Sandwich, and Soup

Okay, so I have a hard time coming up with cute titles for these posts. So there are others meals in here that don’t start with S, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t just as yummy as the food included in the titles. 😛

I am way behind on posting regular food pictures, so don’t be too surprised when I mention Halloween in this post.

Tomato herb couscous (recipe coming soon!) and barbecue  Morningstar chick’n strips

Mushroom spaghetti and salad with balsamic vinaigrette.

The glorious thing you are about to see below is an artichoke-bacon chicken salad sandwich. This is probably the best sandwich I’ve ever had. It’s not very healthy, so it will have to be only made on occasion, but anyone who likes chick’n salad should try this.

Peter’s family made a wonderful dinner the other day. I had a Boca burger patty with A1, roasted sweet potato, steamed broccoli, and fried green tomatoes.

The Family and Consumer Sciences Student Group at UM had a Halloween bake sale and so of course I had to make lots of vegan treats!

Carrot cake cupcakes with cheez cream frosting
Peanut butter cereal “bars”, which fell apart so I just mooshed them into balls

Cookie dough bites (from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar) dipped in chocolate

Soy-Tan Dream Cutlets (which are amazing!) with buttery pasta
Potato soup with bacon bits

The Vegg – a Review and a Recipe

The lovely people over at the Vegg sent me a sample of their product, the world’s first vegan egg yolk, to review. I was super excited because I had seen some of the dishes made with their product and it all looked yummy, plus the company seems to have a good heart since 10% of their net sales are donated to Compassion Over Killing.

Once it arrived in the mail, I made the one eggy thing I had really been missing since going vegan, scrambled eggs. Sure, tofu scramble is good and all, but still not the same thing. I followed the Vegetarian Recipe Club’s recipe for the scramble, using only 3/4 cup of water and minus the green onions, and then to make it similar to my pre-vegan dishes I threw in a sprinkle of Daiya cheddar and chopped Light Life “bacon”.

It was SO GOOD. I cannot emphasis how delicious this was and creepily similar to eggs. The texture of the tofu was eggy, but the flavor of the Vegg was what made it all stand apart from a traditional tofu scramble. After making this, I decided that even if every other dish I made was a failure, this made it worth buying.

I know that the Vegg boasts many uses to replace egg yolk and even has a spherification method, but since I never liked egg yolks in my omnivore days, I will not be reviewing that use of the product.

But the next way I used the product was to make a Vegg patty, which I made by mixing 3 tbsps of Vegg powder, 1 cup of water, and 1/2 cup of flour. I then cooked them like pancakes, using a oiled skillet and flipping them over once bubbles began to rise on the surface. The patties were then put onto an open faced English muffin with some Vegenaise, tomato slices, and chives. These were very yummy and reminded me of a good version of the uber-processed egg patties that are used in sandwiches at fast-food joints. These patties would be fantastic in a biscuit with a little margarine.

And the last thing I made with the Vegg was my own recipe! The recipe is for Vegg breakfast bites, kinda like a quick thing to grab in the morning if you don’t have time to sit down and eat. Plus since these babies pack 6 grams of protein per muffin, it’s a filling way to start off your day.

Vegg Breakfast Bites

Makes 10 muffin sized “bites”

Ingredients:

14 oz. firm tofu

1 cup cooked quinoa

3 tbsps Vegg powder

3/4 cup water

2 tsps minced garlic

1/2 tsp of each: onion powder, black pepper, and salt

1/2 cup chopped vegan bacon (I used Light Life bacon style strips)

1/4 cup loosely packed chopped basil

Directions

Preheat your oven to 400º.

In a food processor, blend the Vegg and water, then slowly add in pieces of the tofu until a smooth texture is achieved.

Put the tofu/Vegg mixture into a bowl and mix in the rest of the ingredients.

Grease a muffin tin and pour the mix into the pan, and it should make about 10 breakfast bites.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, checking for done-ness by an inserted toothpick coming out clean.

Let them cool, then enjoy! These are surprisingly good with dipping sauces, I enjoyed mine this afternoon with some ketchup and “honey mustard” dip.

So all in all, I would definitely recommend trying the Vegg. It is fantastic scrambled, fried, baked, or cooked many other ways. Check out the Vegg’s website for information on where to it is available in your area.

Lazy Snow Days Make for Lazy Bloggers

Laziness has gotten the better of me, I meant to post at least once more last week but failed to. Last Sunday night it snowed almost an entire foot at our house, more than I’ve ever seen in my entire 17 years of living here in Alabama. Of course that meant we were stuck at home for several days because of icy roads (and crazy drivers).

I should have used that time to bake and cook like a maniac, but I mostly ended up just making fast and simple things like salads, soup, and sammichs. Below is a picture of one of my favorite combos ever: A grilled cheez and tomato soup. I made this after trecking through the yard with the doggies and building a snowman.

Being stuck at the house also meant lots of knitting and sewing being done. This cute pirate bunny was whipped up over just two short days. Though at first I intended for him to be a regular bunny, I realized I only had one black stuffed animal eye left so I improvised and he turned into a pirate! If you want to try making a bunny for yourself (or any of the other animal options they had) you can find the pattern online here at the Petite Purls website.

Disney Trip and Ethos Kitchen

*gasp* Do my eyes deceive me?! Is that my sister actually eating and enjoying broccoli? Only one thing could cause this: Ethos Vegan Kitchen in Orlando, FL.

My entire family went on vacation to Orlando this week to visit Disney World and just take a break from the daily grind. We left last Friday and came back on Wednesday.

On Saturday we ate at Ethos Vegan Kitchen. It was sooo good. I was super excited because it was the first time I’d ever been to a 100% vegan restaurant.

So here’s what everyone ordered:

My mom and I got the mac ‘n cheez (which is only available on Saturdays) and it was delicious.

I could taste that they used Follow Your Heart chedder soy cheese, but it’s way better than when I attempt to make my own home-made mac ‘n cheez with it. It was creamy and rich, but not too heavy.

My dad (the hardcore carnivore) got the Samson Burger. Here’s the description from the menu:  A grilled black bean burger served with lettuce, tomato, red onion, sprouts, spicy mustard, and ketchup. It comes along with a side of blue corn chips and salsa.

It was a huge sandwich but my dad managed to gobble down the whole thing and said it was really good.

My sister got the Sheep’s Pie. Here’s the description from the menu: A meat-free version of Shepherd’s Pie for our sheepy friends. Sautéed broccoli, carrots, peas, and onions in a veggie brown sauce topped with mashed potatoes and oven-baked to perfection. Served with bread.

This dish was so good that my vegetable-hating sister actually ate the broccoli and carrots in it. She shared a bite with me and it was super yummy.

If you’re anywhere near Orlando, go and eat at Ethos! The food was great, the servers were nice, the restaurant had a nice relaxed vibe and some insane art work too.