Thursday, January 31, 2008

Keepin' It Simple

This may seem like a simple meal but it actually took a bit of time to prepare. I made Broccoli with Garlic and Soy Sauce served on a bed of brown rice. I guess it is a pretty easy dish to make. But, the flavors are so robust your mouth will scream with joy.

Broccoli with Garlic and Soy Sauce:

I always make my rice with vegetable broth instead of water which gives it a great flavor.

I used the recipe from Ina Garten's page (the Barefoot Contessa) at the Food Network website. I will make this again and again. It's really good for just a little broccoli dish.

Recipe at:,1977,FOOD_9936_28477,00.html

This is the last post of January. We're one month into 2008 already. It's incredible...literally IN-CREDIBLE!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Asian Flair!

A good noodle dish is always satisfying and one with some asian spice can really get me going.

I got a cookbook a few years ago as a gift called, "Rachael Ray: 30 Minute Meals." I was just looking through it recently and decided that I should give it away because almost every dish centers around meat and dairy. Although, if creative, I could recreate some recipes to be meat and dairy free, sometimes I just don't want to have to think or have an imagination after I get home from work. However, I have found a couple meals that were vegan right out of the book. And I took a chance and made something from it this chilly day.

Sesame is a pungent, strong flavor that I truly love. It's so full-bodied, so vibrant, yet so mysterious at times. It makes for a great flavor for a cold noodle dish.

Sesame Noodles (recipe follows pic):


1/4 cup soy sauce
2 T tahini
2 T sesame oil
1/4 tsp or 2 pinches cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp or 2 pinches ground ginger or 1" piece ginger root, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound cappellini (angel hair pasta)
3 green onions, sliced thin, ends trimmed
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
sesame seeds and crushed red pepper flakes for garnish

In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, tahini, sesame oil, cayenne, ginger, and minced garlic until smooth, set aside. Cook pasta according to package directions and then drain in a colander and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process. Give the noodles a few good strong shakes to get the water out. Pour noodles into a large bowl and toss with soy sesame sauce until well-coated. Stir in carrots and green onions. Serve sesame noodles with some sesame seeds and red pepper flakes and enjoy.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Down Home Comfort Foods

As almost everyone knows, I love a good hearty, savory meal. I often frequent the Vegan Soul Food stall at a local farmer's market and I am really excited about the new prospects for their business. They are going to open a restaurant at some point and I have the feeling that I will be there pretty often during my weekends spent in Oakland. I posted about the food that I get from the stall awhile ago and I think they deserve another appreciation from me.

I love salty food, food that just fills you up and makes the palate smile on a ray of sunshine, the kind of food that you could eat and indulge on and love and eat all day and night. Luckily, making vegan foods that are hearty and tasty are quite healthy and helps maintain my weight and energy and craving for "junk"-type foods.

Potato Salad:

There are a few different types of potato salad that are popular in Europe and North America. The most common being either a creamy salad or an oil-based salad. I recently read that America and Northern Germany both favor the creamy version and Italy, France, Southern Germany, etc. favor the oily potato salad. I can definitely see that this is true because when you see a potato salad in the US it's almost always one made with Mayonnaise (or in this case, Vegenaise.)

I still have to perfect a great version of the Potato Salad as the one I made had a little too much onion for my personal taste.

Italian Vegan Sausage, Pepper, Onion, and Rice Bake:

I love using herbs and spices. You can change the character, flavor, color, and even texture of a dish just by adding a few pinches here and there. I also enjoy a good baked dish. I brought together a few of some of my favorite ingredients to make a super-savory dish that can be enjoyed by all: omnivore, herbivore, or frugivore.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Super Simple Party Dip

Ahhh dip. People always gather around a good dip at a party and chat amongst themselves without a care in the world. I didn't have a party but I enjoyed making a dip for myself anyway. It has only a couple layers and is very easy to make.

The bottom layer is a bean layer:

1 16oz. (448g) can Vegetarian refried beans
1 small can Diced green chiles
1 envelope taco seasoning (make sure it doesn't contain milk or cheese)

Mix all ingredients together and spread onto a medium or large serving dish

The next layer is the Guacamole:

2 ripe avocados
1 TBSP. lemon juice
hot sauce (to taste)
salt (to taste)

-Mash avocado in a bowl with a fork and mix in the rest of the ingredients.
-Spread on top of bean mixture

And last but not least:

1/2 large tomato, diced
1 small can sliced black olives, drained

Sprinkle over top of Guacamole and serve with your favorite tortilla or potato chips.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Garlicky Cream of Celery & Potato Soup

I always buy vegetables from the store whenever it's called for in a new recipe. I always buy celery but I usually only use two or three stalks before the whole head goes limp so today I decided to make my wilted celery a star-attraction dish. I made some soup out of the celery. And, let me tell you, it was the most amazing cream soup I have made so far. It's not an overwhelming celery taste but it has enough flavor to proclaim it Celery Soup. I recently bought a little bottle of Spike, which is a great herb-spice mix that went well into the soup. I'm sorry, but I'm so lazy I don't wanna put up the recipe right now. If you want to taste this awesome soup just send me a comment. Wow, this soup is great...and for the first time, I didn't waste a single part of the head of celery. I'm so proud.

Tofu McMuffin

I truly do miss Egg McMuffins from McDonalds, but that's okay because there are always vegan alternatives. In this case, almost the whole recipe consists of vegan alternatives to fast food breakfast standards. Instead of egg I used tofu. Instead of bacon or sausage I used veggie Canadian Bacon. And, instead of american cheese, I used some Soy Mozzarella Cheese. Unfortunately the "cheese" didn't want to cooperate and melt but it tasted great anyway.

Fuck You McDonalds.

Creamy Artichoke Salad

I love creamy salads and this one is no exception. I have made pasta salad, potato salad, faux egg salad, etc. This recipe is the almost the same as the Faux Egg Salad that I posted earlier but without added salt and instead of tofu I used artichoke hearts. This is great for picnics and potlucks or just when you crave a quick and easy meal that's light and lovely.

Enchilada Casserole

I guess I haven't posted in a while. Anyway, one day last week I was really craving some enchilada sauce flavor but I wasn't sure what I should make. I was thinking about just making some vegan enchiladas, then I thought enchilada soup sounded good. Then I saw a recipe for an Enchilada Casserole from the Fat Free Vegan Kitchen blog which looked awesome. I made the dish and it was great. I love Enchilada Sauce...I could eat it from the can!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Squashy Squash Bread (Zucchini Bread[or is it zookini])

I love the snow!! Unfortunately, it hardly ever snows down in the Silicon Valley but we do get a few dustings of snow on the hilltops during winter. We recently had a few cold storms and it rained a lot in San Jose but the hills got a little bit of snow. Too bad I didn't have extra time to go up the road and play in it. In the picture below you can barely see the snow. It's at the very tops of the hills. I wish it would snow down here in the valley though.

Michelle made a wonderful Zucchini bread for New Year's Eve and I was really craving to make some of my own. She gave me her awesome recipe but I decided to use a different one because I didn't have all the ingredients on hand, but I found a recipe where I did have everything. It was easy to make and it's the first "quick bread" that I have made. I have made Focaccia and Pizza Dough before, but never anything like this.

The bread turned out pretty shallow because I used too big of a bread loaf pan.

I can't wait until the next holiday season. It would be great to get some mini loaf pans and wrap the loaves in some decorative paper with a ribbon and give as gifts.

The bread looks so shallow that the picture below looks as if it could be biscotti. Oh, by the way Michelle, my Zucchini Bread held together really well. The next time I go to Whole Foods I will try to remember to buy you some Ener-G Egg Replacer powder. It works wonders.

Aaaahhhh! I'm dreaming about my breakfast tomorrow: Warm Zucchini Bread with margarine. :)

Thursday, January 3, 2008


My favorite new ice cream:

Tonight I made an easy pizza that was plain but really tasty. Pizza Con Le Patate! (Potato Herb Pizza)

I just made a basic Pizza Dough then topped with thinly-sliced potatoes, rosemary, dill, salt, pepper, and olive oil. I sliced it up and ate it with a vegan Ranch Dip. It takes a bit of time for the dough to rise but the actual preparation in all took about 20 minutes. But waiting for the dough to rise, the pizza assembly, and the baking altogether took about 2 hours. So worth it!!