May 17, 2013 by Angie
I am in love with fake chicken nuggets and fake chicken strips. Whenever I’m near a Yard House I beg to go there so I can order their Gardein Chicken Tenders doused in their amazing honey mustard sauce. It tastes like heaven. The frozen Gardein Seven Grain Crispy Tenders are a big favorite of mine as well for a ridiculously easy meal at home. Because of my devotion to fake chicken tenders I have had my eye on this recipe for crispy breaded tofu strips from Oh She Glows. She includes a recipe for homemade sweet potato fries but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.
I served the crispy breaded tofu strips with Alexia brand sweet potato waffle fries and my homemade honey mustard sauce based off of this recipe. It’s questionably veganized in that I use Vegenaise instead of mayonaise but there is still honey in there. I’m a bit of a honey mustard snob and this sauce is perfect in my opinion.
To be honest, while the texture of the of the tofu strips was great, I found them to be a little bland. The honey mustard sauce was a necessity for every bite. I would suggest either adding a lot more spices to the breadcrumb mixture or making these on a day when you just need an excuse to eat a lot of honey mustard sauce.
Category baking, recipes, savory, vegan | Tags: , tofu | No Comments
May 15, 2013 by Angie
For dinner tonight, I made a vegetarian version of this recipe for a taco casserole. It’s like a Mexican lasagna! The layers are Morningstar Farms Grillers Meal Starter Crumbles mixed with fire roasted tomatoes, green chiles, and spices, then vegetarian refried beans, then reduced fat shredded Mexican cheese, followed by spinach tortilla strips. After the last tortilla strip layer I covered with some salsa and a lot of cheese and baked for about 40 minutes.
What I did is not too different from the original recipe but here’s my ingredient list for your convenience.
a package and a quarter of Morningstar Farms Grillers Meal Starter Crumbles
1 16-oz can of vegetarian refried beans
1/2 of one 4-oz can of diced green chilies
1 can of fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
salt to taste
a little sprinkle of cayenne pepper
2 flour tortillas, cut into 1″ strips
about a third of a jar of salsa
2 cups reduced fat Mexican blend cheese
sliced avocado for serving
I pretty much went over the directions already and they are also not very different from the original recipe. I used much less green chiles and put them in the crumbles mixture only. I ran out of ingredients and space in my pan after only two layers of the tortilla strips so I stopped there. I had to bake longer than thirty minutes in my oven to get everything bubbly and melty. Next time I will probably do a layer of tortilla strips on the bottom too to hold everything together better and make it more like a lasagna. Robbie and I both really liked it so there will be a next time!
Category baking, recipes, savory | Tags: , beans, cheese, Mexican | 1 Comment
May 12, 2013 by Angie
My parents came to visit for Mother’s Day weekend and to see our new house. I got the chance to cook a few meals for them in my luxurious new kitchen including this new-to-me recipe for vegetable enchiladas. I used this recipe from Recipe Girl which is adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe. The enchiladas are filled with yummy cheese, green onion, spinach, corn, and black beans. It calls for making the enchilada sauce from scratch which I highly endorse as it was infinitely better than the canned sauces I’ve eaten.
I used a different brand of tortillas than the author suggested. They are low-carb and high fiber tortillas that come twelve in the package instead of the recommended sixteen. I used up all the enchilada stuffing with just twelve anyway so it worked out. I needed a second glass pan because I couldn’t fit them all in my “lasagna” pan. Aside from using different tortillas, the only other changes I made were to use reduced fat shredded Mexican cheese and to half the amount of corn (Robbie is not a fan of corn).
The vegetable enchiladas were a hit! I’m not usually that into enchiladas but I really enjoyed these. Robbie and my parents really liked them too and I don’t think they were just being nice because my dad had seconds and Robbie said these are definitely worth making again.
Category baking, recipes, savory | Tags: , beans, cheese, Mexican, spinach | No Comments
May 10, 2013 by Angie
It’s a falafel party! Robbie and I love this baked falafel recipe from Kalyn’s Kitchen. It’s got protein from the chickpeas and, because it’s baked not fried, it’s not oily.
Here are most of the falafel ingredients in the food processor. I used about a can and a half of chickpeas (rinsed) instead of dry ones because I can never find those at my grocery store. I used dried parsley for the same reason. After processing these ingredients, I added the baking powder and whole wheat flour and pulsed a little longer.
Here’s the falafel mixture. It goes in the fridge for a few hours.
When it’s just about dinner time, take the falafel mixture out of the fridge and separate into small patties. I got 11 patties. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and oil a cookie sheet. Put the falafel patties on the cookie sheet and flatten them down a little with your hand. I think it’s advisable to flip the patties over half way through.
Serve with onion and tomato slices, hummus, and (if you’re into it) pita pockets.
Category baking, recipes, savory, vegan | Tags: | No Comments
May 7, 2013 by Angie
Tonight’s dinner was an old South Beach Diet favorite (bikini season is coming blah blah blah). It’s baked tofu with soy sauce and green onion from Kalyn’s Kitchen. I don’t have sesame oil so I skip that part and it’s still delicious. We had asparagus doused in olive oil, salt, and pepper baked in the toaster oven as our side.
It takes an hour to bake the tofu but other than that (inactive) time required, it’s very simple, so incredibly tasty, and low-fat and low-carb.
And because we can’t be too healthy, we drank this tasty Tempranillo with our dinner, courtesy of Robbie’s Tio/Padrino.
Category baking, recipes, savory, vegan | Tags: , tofu, wine | No Comments
May 1, 2013 by Angie
We put the beers in the fridge Sunday night and Robbie cracked one open Monday night. They’re REALLY carbonated and not as hoppy as Robbie would like but the taste is pretty good!
There was sediment at the bottom so he poured it slow and didn’t get a full glass. Overall, it was fun to try brewing at home but it was a lot of work for eight beers when we could buy twelve delicious ones at Publix in ten minutes. I’m glad we tried it. Maybe the key is to do five gallon batches to make it worth all the work.
Category adult beverage, recipes | Tags: , beer, homebrew | No Comments
April 21, 2013 by Angie
We had a pizza party last night! I made my usual whole wheat crust and topped with our favorite toppings: spinach, artichoke hearts, garlic, tomato, and basil (from my window sill basil plant – I felt fancy about that). The big difference this time was homemade vegan mozzarella cheese! I tried this new vegan mozzarella recipe I saw on Reddit. It was fantastic!
I’m an admitted dairy cheese addict and thus very skeptical of “fake” cheese. The cashew queso recipe from Post Punk Kitchen is my one exception. I’m big time in love with that fake cheese so when I came across this recipe for fresh margherita style mozzarella made with cashews I wanted to give it a try. It’s also great! Cashews are magic! I think this stuff is so much better than Daiya. It’s a lot less labor intensive than the cashew queso and really comes together pretty quickly. Here’s a photo of the leftover cheese after I topped the pizza.
And one more photo of the pizza because I think it’s pretty.
Category baking, recipes, savory, vegan | Tags: , spinach | 1 Comment
April 16, 2013 by Angie
The time to bottle the beer has come and gone. We didn’t have any helpers this time and we were trying to keep the room dark for the beer’s sake so the photo quality really suffered.
This is what the beer looked like after fermenting for two weeks.
First we had to sanitize everything including all the used beer bottles.
Clean beer bottles and a jug of sanitizer.
Next we dissolved three tablespoons of honey into a half cup of water and poured that into a sanitized pot. Then we tried to use the setup that came with kit to pump the beer out of the carboy and into the pot with the honey mixture without carrying all the sediment over. The kit setup is tubing with a (crappy) clamp and a racking cane. It didn’t work out so we switched to the auto-siphon setup I bought because I read a lot of reviews where people said the kit’s plan didn’t work for them. Auto-siphon is far superior!
Once the beer was in the pot with the honey mixture we had to re-sanitize the auto-siphon and tubing then pump the beer/honey mixture into bottles. We got eight bottles total.
Happy worker bottling his beer using the auto-siphon.
Next Robbie sanitized the bottle caps and used the neat bottle capping machine I bought as part of his birthday brewing set to clamp the caps onto the bottles.
Neat bottle capping machine
Now we wait two weeks while these precious babies sit in the darkness of our spare bedroom. I’ll be back to report on their drinkability!
Category adult beverage, recipes | Tags: , beer, homebrew | No Comments
April 5, 2013 by Angie
Mad Men returns on Sunday! I’ll be enjoying a Skinny White Russian as I watch the two hour premiere. It’s another easy to make adult beverage. Start with a rocks glass with some ice in it. Pour in a shot or 2 of vodka, a shot of coffee liqueur, then top it off with unsweetened soy milk and stir.
The coffee liqueur I got is really strong so I think I’ll go with 3/4 of a shot next time. I couldn’t drink these all night because they’re too decadent but it’s a very tasty dessert drink to start the evening.
Category adult beverage, recipes, vegan | Tags: | No Comments
April 2, 2013 by Angie
For dinner last night I made tortilla soup for the first time. I used a recipe from The Vegan Slow Cooker by Kathy Hester to start and made some of my own changes and additions.
vegetable oil (my addition)
1 medium-size yellow onion, minced
2-3 tsp minced garlic
1 box of Pomo Chopped Tomatoes (instead of crushed tomatoes)
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 can of El Ebro black beans, rinsed (my addition)
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth (instead of the suggested water)
juice of 1/2 lime
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder (increased from the original recipe)
1/4 tsp garlic powder (my addition)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 c tequila (optional, I included it though because why would you ever skip tequila?)
(original calls for 1 tsp of agave nectar or maple syrup but I skipped this)
1 package of West Soy Chicken-Style Seitan (1 lbs 2oz)
fried corn tortilla strips (my addition)
handful of fresh cilantro, washed and chopped (original recipe says to add 2 tbsp fresh cilantro in the slow cooker but I only used it for garnish)
1. Heat the olive oil in a pan and saute the onion and minced garlic until translucent.
2. In the slow cooker, combine the onion and garlic, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, black beans, vegetable stock, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and tequila. Cook on low for 6 hours. The original recipe says to puree the soup with a hand blender after six hours. I didn’t do this because there were no giant chunks in this soup and it’s not the kind of thing that will become creamy (like a potato soup) so I thought it would be better left whole.
3. About half an hour before you’re ready to eat, brown the seitan in vegetable oil. Add the browned seitan to the slow cooker and turn it up to high.
4. While the seitan is warming, fry corn tortillas in olive oil. Cut the fried tortillas into strips to use as a garnish.
5. Slice the avocado into pretty wedges and wash and mince the fresh cilantro.
6. Serve the soup into bowls and top with avocado wedges, fried tortilla strips, and cilantro.
Verdict: This soup is soooo good! Robbie and I have only ever had tortilla soup at Mellow Mushroom because it seems to have chicken in it everywhere else. Their vegetarian version is pretty awesome but Robbie said he liked mine better I will definitely make it again – probably soon before my second container of seitan expires. If you decide to make it I strongly suggest going all out with the garnishes. It takes some time but the fried tortilla strips and avocado wedges are what make this soup so special.
Category recipes, savory, slow cooking, vegan | Tags: , beans, lime, Mexican, seitan, soup | No Comments