Saturday, April 18, 2015

Vegan Quinoa Tacos with Black Beans, Corn and Guacamole (the veggie plot is ready. . . tomatoes beckon, asparagus not so much)

I blame this meal on Hillary. And the media. If I see her one more time ordering "that" food, I swear. Were there moments when I was ready to cave-in, get the car and go forth in dark sunglasses to my favorite lunch spot? Absolutely. But cooler heads prevailed and my own food pantry beckoned, and here's what we had instead. (Let's hope the media can spend the next year and a half focusing on something more relevant than Hillary's attire and sunglasses at a "refueling" stop from her campaign bus.) 
Don't. Get. Me. Started. 

This dinner came together in a snap and was only a two-pan clean-up. I love quinoa. Maybe even more than rice. (I've been known to combine the two!) I've been cooking a lot more lately with grains. Or at least trying to incorporate more of them into our dinners. I would typically go with lentils in my vegan taco dinner--but this proved a very worthy dinner entree. The next day, we had them for lunch--cold. No re-heating necessary. Really good. Tons of protein, fiber and iron. Skip to the bottom for the recipe.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Vegan Eggplant Almond Enchiladas from Moosewood (a puppy drama moment involving chocolate...gaahhhh!)

I swear, if it weren't for the Moosewood cookbooks in my collection, some nights, there'd be no dinner. I mean that literally. When the pull of kitchen apathy strikes, or major puppy trials--I find inspiration in their recipes. These eggplant almond enchiladas have earned a place in our dinner rotation (when I can find a "decent" eggplant in the middle of the country, in the middle of winter/early spring!). Say what you will of the combo eggplant/almonds--it works and it works deliciously. I'll tell you up front, there are a few pots and pans needed to bring this delicacy to the table in all its glory--small price to pay to do this right. You'll make your own enchilada sauce (which is no more than cumin/garlic enhanced diced tomatoes), then there's the toasting of the almonds, and the eggplant filling--which from a "throw together" standpoint is really not that big a deal, I mean you're already in the kitchen, right. Make it worth while and bring your cooking self out. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Vegan Banana Bread Pudding Crumb Cake that Happened by Accident (eat cake, ice foot, get better. . . a running nemesis strikes and honesty about the past catching up to you)

 
This is a happy accident cake. During our major snow storm this weekend, an incredible urge to bake using bananas overcame me. I have scads of recipes for banana this and banana that--mostly in bread or muffin form. Then there is my other favorite form: cake. I'm a little behind on my recipe "trying"'--that is, I cut recipes out, stuff them in a folder and wait for a moment when I'm not lassoing training a puppy, to try and file them into my very stuffed three-ring binders. Well. Whatever. I just remembered cutting a recipe out, banana something and crumbs were involved. It actually was supposed to be a coffee cake--you know, something you'd have for breakfast. Does this cake here look anything like a coffee cake? My eyes say no. But, my curiosity said, Well, there goes two perfectly over-ripened bananas into a cake that didn't quite come out a cake. . . until my first bite and I was like, whoa--what just happened here? DID I JUST ACCIDENTALLY CREATE A VEGAN BREAD PUDDING. (Which I will admit has been missing from my life since our pre-vegan days. No regrets, just some taste buds that have food pang memories working.) And there it is.  

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Pistachio Cardamom Shortbread Cookies (perfectly "crumbly". . . for this winter slump)

Sometimes a really good cookie can rescue me from a really bad day. We woke to bitterly cold winds, temperatures in the single digits--and only expected to climb to the teens--and a layer of new snow on the ground. (At least we don't have a hundred inches of snow, things could be so much worse)--I shouldn't complain. Then there was a rambunctious puppy under foot whose only desire in this world involves chasing, running, and gnawing. Little can be done to keep her "down" and quiet other than wearing her out with games of indoor hide and seek and little short trips outside. I was desperate for a break and thought she would find her chew-bone more exciting than my leg, arm, kneecap or hip--so I began pulling together the ingredients for this amazing shortbread cookie. I love, LOVE, love these.
I whipped these up in no time, before my second cup of coffee, even! They were almost too easy. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Vegan Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies with Extra Chocolate Chips (and a smidgen of hazelnut flour I had left over from a "flour-buying" spree: Love. These.)

I took our food pantry completely apart one afternoon. I re-sorted, re-arranged and basically brought some sanity into the kitchen. In my journey to creating a much neater, more organized life, I discovered I had amassed four different flours (aside from your basic all-purpose and bread flour). So really, I had like eight flours on hand (plus two gigantic bags of slivered almonds!) Why? I remember having this really crazy notion in November (when we all have visions of a "Jimmy Stewart" kind of holiday): "Wouldn't it be great to make ALL kinds of cookies this Christmas with ALL kinds of different flours!?" That'd really UP my cookie baking game!. . . And then the really busy time of December and reality of life/puppy raising set in and here I was in January staring at four bags of flours I had no idea what to do with. The hazelnut flour spoke to me the most. I was NOT going to let this bag perish. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

It's Been too Quiet. . . But I Like it That Way (knitting/sewing over food right now and a Frankie moment)

It's difficult blogging during these winter months. So much of what keeps my attention lately has little to do with food, but more to do with keeping busy, not focusing too much on the news and generally taking a hibernation approach to life. This weekend DH and I ventured out "quickly" on a short jaunt that ended up taking up half the day and him saying to me when we got home, "This shopping stuff is exhausting and sucks the life right out of me." Really? Welcome to my world, sweetie. Someone must run the household. Someone else must go to work. I really try not to drag him along when there is shopping to be done, but this go around, he actually wanted to see a gadget "in person" at the Big Electronics store, so I indulged his wish and out the door we went. We wear hats, glasses and plenty of hideaway outer wear to keep most people from approaching us. We wish a sign could dangle from around our necks reading, Caution: Introverts Entering, No Interaction Required! Amazon is our most favorite place to shop, if truth be told. But that requires a delivery person to bound up to our door and creates another whole set of anxiety (aside from the Jehovah people--omg, don't get me started). But I am completely off track in what I was originally going to talk about.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Vegan Spice Cookies with Chocolate and Zesty Citrus Glaze (How the "Problem" of Christmas Gets Solved)

The miracle of Christmas for me isn't what you might imagine it would be. The real miracle is that I make it through the C-R-A-Z-Y. This is my second round of cookie baking. The first round of cookie-palooza went out in boxes and packages. I love doing this and it sort of makes me happy--for a bit. Then there is the second needed push I have for that little extra that I set aside for just us--and when I find it, I know it. I found it in this cookie. For what it's worth, I am thrilled I took a little extra time to "find" just the perfect, newest cookie recipe to try. Thrilled because this cookie--filled with warm cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg and then chocolate!, and citrus--met all my criteria for a superb trifecta of delicious and solved the problem of blah-Christmas-cookie-baking doldrums. (And kept me from going nuts chasing a five month old Pyrenees puppy out from under the Christmas tree for the one hundredth time. . .Gahhhh!)  

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