11/30/10

Chocolate Chip Scones



A woman who works at my son's school got laid off. Today was her last day. I like her. Always helpful and nice to my guy. Damn budget. So this morning I got up and made chocolate chip scones from Very Vegetarian. Super simple. I think there are six or so ingredients. Flour, baking powder, salt, margarine, vegan milk, and sugar. Then add a bit of currants, nuts, or chocolate chips. Good to go. So light and not too sweet. Just right. I dropped by the office to say bye to our friend and let her know that she was greatly appreciated. Nothing says "thank you" like a homemade baked good.

11/29/10

My gal is 3!

Well once again I did some major cooking over the four day weekend and NO food pics to show for it.  I just get so overwhelmed with cooking and a sick kid, that not everything got done.  I did make the pumpkin ziti from V'con.  Lily loved it.  Said I should make it more often, she's right.  I didn't make it to the mushroom stuffing.  Bummer, I was really looking forward to that.  I still have all the ingredients, so I can make it this week. Simple salad with homemade dressing was refreshing with all of the heavy cooked items.  My poppyseed rolls from Vegan Brunch were okay.  Could have been better.  All my fault.  Plus I made sweet potato casserole from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen.  That was hands down the best thing of the day!!!  So good!  For dessert was vanilla cupcakes (that were pink from beet coloring) and pink frosting too.   The frosting on Lily's cupcakes was awful.  I was so busy trying to get it all done, that I rushed the frosting.  It curdled.  Lily didn't care, but I was upset.  All Lily wanted was to see something pink on top of her pink cupcakes, so that was a success.

11/24/10

Nog



As soon as Halloween passes, my kids and I start looking for Silk Nog and Pumpkin Spice. I have to ration it out, not allowing them to suck it all down that very first day. My preferred way to drink it is warmed with a little whipped soy cream on top.

Life is a little nutty right now. Holidays and all. Tomorrow is appetizers at my brother's house. After the vegan food freakout two years ago (he got upset that my mom veganized some of the family dishes and refused to eat), I am just stopping by for appetizers. Then we're heading over to a friend's house for a vegan feast. I'm making pumpkin ziti from V'con, mushroom stuffing from Joanna's cooking zine, a simple salad with a raspberry dressing, coconut sweet potatoes from Joanna's zine, and cupcakes to celebrate my daughter's third birthday which happens on Friday.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

11/22/10

Veggie Grill with my guy



On Saturday night, Henry and I had a movie date. We went to see the new Harry Potter film at the Dome theatre in Hollywood. That won't mean anything to folks outside of Los Angeles, but for me, growing up that was the theatre to see the blockbusters. Huge screen, I mean HUGE! Before heading all the way to Hollywood from West L.A., we stopped at Veggie Grill on Sunset Blvd and Crescent Heights. This is one of Henry's favorite restaurants, so I knew he would be pleased.

Henry always orders a plain V-burger, sweet potato fries and pickles on the side. As I have stated before, my guy is one picky eater. It's amazing that he'll eat the sweet potato fries. I usually go for a salad or a side of kale and the bbq wings. Due to the weather being a little on the chilly side, I went for the soup and salad combo. Soup was barley in a tomato base. The soup hit the spot. I had to stop myself from licking the bowl. I chose the kale salad with corn salsa, quinoa, walnuts, and a ginger dressing. I am not a big fan of ginger but the dressing was good.  My favorite part about the salad was the quinoa. Nice addition. I'm going to have to experiment with that one at home.

As far as the movie, everything we had hoped for! Can't wait for part two.

11/19/10

Our Vegan Disneyland Adventure



The other day we went to Disneyland. Slim pickings already for vegans when you are going to a place like that but even slimmer when you have allergies, food aversions, and Crohn's disease in your party. My husband has Crohn's. He was diagnosed when he was about 18 years old. He does really well with it. No surgeries so far, he doesn't take any medications, and he feels pretty good most of the time. He's noticed that fatigue and food effect him the most. He can't eat anything with a thick skin (okra, corn, green beans) and if he eats too much wheat or nuts, he has some issues. Being vegan has really helped him a lot. Then there is my son. Picky eater!!! Drives me crazy most days. Plus he can't eat corn or pineapple (intolerance). With corn he gets a wicked stomachache. Just brutal. Really sends him spinning. Corn is actually a really hard one. Corn syrup is in everything! He wishes he could eat popcorn like everyone else when we go to a movie but it just isn't worth the reaction. And pineapple gives him a rash, like the one my daughter gets from apples. So far our daughter eats just about anything but can't eat apples.

 

So when we get ready for a big adventure like Disneyland, we have to bring snacks that will get us through the day without effecting the health issues in the family. I knew that D-land had plain pasta with a tomato sauce that was vegan. So that covered our daughter, my husband, and me. Henry won't eat it. I would rather go eat rice, beans and corn tortillas at the Mexican food restaurant but can't tempt Henry with the corn. So I made seitan for him to snack on throughout the day. Seitan that my husband can't touch because he would be down for the count. My go to recipe is from Nava Atlas. It is in The Vegetarian Family Cookbook. Then there was fruit. I'm not paying D-land prices for fruit. Packed tangerines so that Lily wouldn't get upset with us eating apples. Dessert, you have to have something sweet for the kids. You pass a lot of lollipops, popsicles, and other sugary items while in the land of Mickey. Henry can't eat any of it since they are packed with high fructose corn syrup. So I made Rock Road cookies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. Last I packed some juice boxes to make sure that it didn't have any corn syrup or apples in it. If any room left in the bag, I throw in trial mix, some seaweed, and nutrition bars. Oh, I also threw in a small container of nutritional yeast for us to sprinkle on our pasta. Give it a little something something.

11/18/10

I made bagels!!!!



Well it seems that my daughter has developed an apple intolerance. We have noticed for the last couple of months that she gets a rash on her tush every so often. At first we thought it was a new detergent...nope. Then we went to apple juice. Seemed to show some signs of improvement. And now with there being such a stockpile of apples in the house due to my choice of theme for Veganmofo.... we see that anything with apples seems to turn her butt bright red. So sad, this girl loves her red apples. Loves to just munch on a bowl of peeled, sliced up, crisp apple. She is very sad about this discovery, too. So to help her have an easier time, we won't be buying apples for awhile. Giving her body a break. Which means that I won't be blogging about foods I make with apple as the main ingredient. Let me have a moment of silence......Okay. Done.

Over the weekend, I cracked open Vegan Brunch and decided it was time to attempt making bagels. ( I had thought about doing it ever since the book was released in the middle of 2009. ) I live two blocks away from a bagel place that we like, but why walk two blocks when you can make 'em right there in your home? And guess what? The family loved them. Ate them in two days kind of love. So I made another batch of bagels. So good. They don't take that much time and they don't call for a long list of ingredients. Flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and water. Good to go. If you have some poppy seeds or sesame seeds around the house, you can doll them up, but it isn't necessary. Perfect just the way they are. Sometimes it pays off to face your cooking fears, it did for me.

11/16/10

Apple Mango Salsa





Most of the recipes I found for apples were desserts or sweet. Not surprising since apples are naturally sweet. I wanted to take a break from this. I went looking for something that I hadn't thought of. I found a few potato-apple soups, dressings, and then a salsa. In You Won't Believe It's Vegan, there is an apple salsa. I based my salsa off of it since I've never made salsa before but I changed a bit, too.

2-3 honeycrisp apples, diced
1/4 mango, diced
1/3- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
one bunch of green onions, used white and some of the green
2 jalapenos diced
some lime juice ( I think I used 3)
and salt to taste.

The original recipe called for mint, a different type of apple and less jalapenos. I added the mango because I had some on hand. This salsa is sweet, so I wanted more heat. I could have added another jalapeno for sure. It needs more kick. I might even add more lime juice and a red onion next time. I found myself searching for the juices in the bottom of the bowl. If you eat it right away, you might just taste the apples. So let it sit and marinate in the fridge for awhile. My favorite thing about this salsa are the colors. I love the green, yellow, and red. Pretty food always helps with the experience.

11/12/10

We interrupt apples for an emergency broadcast





As I've talked about before, there is a Yummy Cupcakes bakery down the street from my work. Yesterday I had a craving. A craving for something sweet. Headed on over to Yummy Cupcakes and there were two vegan choices: chocolate with vanilla frosting or peanut butter. I went for the chocolate/vanilla. I scrapped up some of the frosting, since it is too much for me. Don't worry though, I didn't let it go to waste! The cake itself was a little dry, thank goodness for my cup of tea. Helped to wash it down. Don't get me wrong, the cupcake was still delicious. Just wish I had headed over a little earlier in the day, closer to baking time.
This weekend is the celebration of the Brentwood store opening. They are giving out free goodies and having a drawing contest for the kiddies. If you are in the area, head on over.

11/11/10

Best snack ever



For years I have been a Granny Smith type of gal.  Granny Smith for my apple crisp, pies, snacks, etc.  Once I had kids, I started trying different apples so that they could decide for themselves what was their favorite.  My son is a Granny Smith kid and my daughter loves red apples, any kind of red apple.  Don't try to give her a green apple, she'll turn her nose up at it and demand something red.  With our exploring, I have come to love Honeycrisp apples.  So good.  Firm, sweet and a little tart in there too.  Yesterday I was lucky enough to grab one for my mid-day snack.  Grabbed a little peanut butter and I was loving life.  Don't get me wrong, Granny Smith is still number one for me, but it's good to branch out.  Live a little, as some folks say.

11/10/10

Waffles for another day


Once again I received inspiration from Katie over at Don't Eat off the Sidewalk.   She had posted about how she cooks a lot of food on one or two days during the week.  That way you always have something to eat.   Over the weekend, I had one of those days.  Home with only one of the kids while the other one had a playdate ALL day long.  Lucky me!  I cracked open Vegan Brunch and decided to make waffles.  After reading the choices, I decided on raised waffles with cinnamon and apples.  They smelled delicious while cooking in the waffle iron.  I don't know how they taste yet due to the fact that I froze the entire batch for us to eat on one of our busy weekdays.  And guess what?  Tonight is the lucky night.  Tonight is going to be the waffles, tofu scramble (we use this one from  Get It Ripe) , and fruit.  I'll let you know how they taste.

11/9/10

Pre-Thanksgiving




Over at Don't Eat Off the Sidewalk, there is a fun event called Iron Chef.   I considered joining in the event.  I even went shopping to get everything for soyrizo tempeh samosas.  Only problem was, once I thought about mashed potatoes, all I wanted was a Thanksgiving type meal.  So I passed on the samosas and went for  seitan, mashed potatoes with golden gravy, and dressing.  500 Vegan Recipes has an apple sage fauxsage recipe that is quite tasty.    So that was the obvious choice for me this month.  The seitan recipe is super easy to throw  together.   A few ingredients, mix, wrap it foil, and bake in the oven for ninety minutes.  Plenty of time to get the other food ready.  I already had a box of cubed bread pieces in the pantry, so that was easy enough to prepare with a little celery, onion, margarine, and veggie broth.  Throw that in the oven with the seitan and get cracking on the potatoes.  Luckily I was able to find a fresh bunch of asparagus in the fridge and the meal was set.  I like to roast my asparagus with a little olive oil and salt.   Sad to say the kids were not impressed with this meal.  My daughter ate a bowl of golden gravy (sorry not in the picture) and my son snubbed the entire meal.  My husband and I didn't mind, more for us.  After two servings, we were stuffed!  I packed up the leftovers, which has fed us lunch for the last two days. Win win.  

11/8/10

Mom's Apple Crisp




My mom wasn't much of a cook from scratch type of person.  She always told me that she learned all of her recipes in Home Ec class in middle school.  Tuna noodle casserole, green bean casserole, salmon croquettes, etc. You get the picture.  Most of the stuff came out of cans and was blended together in one casserole dish.  She had four kids and worked outside the house.  Her life was packed with things to do and not enough time to do them.  So there aren't any bad feelings here.  She fed us and made sure there was plenty to go around for the growing teens in her house.  My fondest food memories from childhood are Sunday breakfast that my Dad always made (probably giving my Mom a chance to sleep in) and holiday cooking.  Thanksgiving was probably my favorite.  There was the usual turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole.  For dessert we either got a pumpkin pie from Marie Callendar's or Mom made her apple crisp that she served with vanilla ice cream.  I never liked the pie, so I was always happy to see her peeling apples knowing that the crisp would be coming.

This weekend the kids and I met up with a friend for a playdate and food.  She didn't feel like cooking but thought we could eat at Veggie Grill in West Hollywood and go back to her place for dessert.  I needed a simple dessert that would go well with her homemade ice cream.  Mom's apple crisp to the rescue.    I don't know where Mom got the original recipe, maybe it came from Home Ec class, too.

Mom's Apple Crisp

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Peel, core, and slice three pounds of apples  (I use Granny Smith) and toss with juice of 1/2 lemon.  Mix 1 tbls cornstarch (I use arrowroot), 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and 1/8 tsp nutmeg.  Add this to the apples and mix again.  Making sure the apples are coated.  Put apple mixture into 1 1/2 qt baking dish.  In a medium sized bowl, mix 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, pinch of salt, and 6 tbls of margarine.  Mix with your fingers until margarine has broken down and you have a crumble mixture.  Add 1/4 cup sliced almonds.  Sprinkle this over the apples.  Put in oven and bake for 45 minutes.

Super easy, really delicious, and perfect with a scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream.

Thanks, Mom.

11/5/10

Granola time!




It is hot, I mean really hot, in Los Angeles right now.  I feel robbed.  Where is my cold Fall weather?  I want to bake, make soup, eat some comfort food, and get out the blankets.  No chance.  Not this week.  So with the heat, I didn't want to do much cooking.  Didn't want to heat the house up anymore than it already was.  Then I realized that granola wouldn't have the oven cranked up too high.  I could handle the 275 degrees for thirty or so minutes.

Vegetarian Family Cookbook by Nava Atlas has a granola recipe that caught my eye, Cinnamon-Apple Granola.  The recipe called from raisins, which I didn't have, but I did have dried cherries.  So that was an easy substitute.  Also, I used agave syrup instead of maple syrup.  Maple syrup is just so expensive and I couldn't bare using 1/2 cup for the granola.  The most work was cutting up the dried apples.  I used scissors, which I'm glad I did, made it so much easier than chopping with a knife.  The walnuts are just perfect with the other flavors.  I'm really loving the spoonfuls with the walnuts.

11/4/10

Muffins to start your day




Last night while the kids were getting ready for bed and mellowing out, I grabbed Vegan Planet and whipped up a batch of  Spiced Apple Walnut Muffins.  Super simple, which is always a plus.  The recipe calls for one grated apple but you can substitute applesauce if you want one less dirty appliance.   There is only a small amount of brown sugar, so they are not super sweet.  Perfect to go along with your morning cup of tea.  My only complaint is that I didn't make a double batch.  These babies are going fast.  

11/3/10

Goddess Garbanzos for lunch





Weekday mornings I am always in a rush.  Making breakfast for two kids, making lunch for myself and my 9 year old son, and getting us out the door before the last bell rings at his school.  You would think that by now I would have some kind of system that has me making lunches the night before, to save me time in the morning.  But I don't.  This morning I knew I didn't have anything at work for lunch, so I pulled out Dreena Burton's "Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan" cookbook.  There is a simple recipe that is perfect for picnics or weekday lunches called Goddess Garbanzo.  Except for the Goddess dressing, everything else might be on hand in your pantry.  Garbanzo beans, vegan mayo, salt, celery, apples, lemon juice, tahini, kelp (if you want a "fishy ocean" taste) and some pepper.  You can eat it on toast, put it on crackers, or eat it straight.  Probably good on a salad, too.    Now I have lunch for the next three days.  Finally, saving myself some time in the mornings.  

11/2/10

Oatmeal pancakes with apple compote






Monday through Wednesday nights are really hectic in our house.  Monday our son has circus gymnastics, Tuesday he has baseball practice, and on Wednesday it's cartoon class.  All of these classes take place at or near dinner time, so the schedule gets thrown off.  Last night we arrived home after 6:30pm with two hungry, dirty kids.  I set up the bath and took a look in the kitchen for what was on hand.  Breakfast for dinner quickly became the only reasonable choice.  Put the hashbrowns in the oven, got the Gimme Lean sausage cooking, and started making the batter for Eat Your Oatmeal pancakes from Vegan Lunch Box.   The flour is oat, which you can easily make yourself by throwing some oats in a blender.  I really like these pancakes because you don't need any maple syrup, it's already in the batter.  Plus there is applesauce in the batter, so that adds a nice taste with the touch of cinnamon.  I served them up with a  little applesauce for dipping and  quickly make  an apple compote for me.  By 7:30pm, kids were fed and clean.  Ready for bedtime stories.  We had made it through another hectic Monday.  Now what to do for tonight?

11/1/10

Vegan Mofo 2010



Today is the first day  of blogging about vegan food for the month of November.  I've participated twice before.  I didn't know if I was going to go for it again this year, but here I am.  Giving it a go.  This year I'm going to try and stick with a theme (forgive me if I stray here and there).  

The theme of the month is.......