Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Kosher for Passover, as interpreted by an atheist

Since some of our co-op members keep kosher for Passover, our co-op is doing the same. Tonight I served a simple mushroom, kale & tofu dish (modified from Real Simple) over quinoa (which is a seed, not a grain, apparently, and therefore okay.) The side dish was baked sweet potato fries.

I love sweet potato fries, they're so simple & tasty. I know I make them often, so I hope no one else is sick of them :) I did finally figure out why some of them kept coming out mushy though. I was using my airbake pans to roast them, and the pans weren't getting hot enough to really sear the outsides. That's great when you're making cookies, less awesome with vegetables. The ones I made on a standard cookie sheet lined with foil were perfect. Need more regular cookie sheets, I guess!

I feel like I am finally getting back into my stride after a really bad funk the last couple weeks. I know my meals had suffered some, but hopefully that's all behind me now. Sometimes, mama-ing is just HARD.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Giant Chipotle White Beans

I have long-adored Heidi Swanson. This recipe for Giant Chipotle White Beans caught my eye a few months ago and then, literally days later, a friend brought it to my house for dinner so I got a chance to try it.

It had been on my mind to cook it for coop and I jumped on it this weekend. I veganized it by leaving out the cheese and David and I both agreed that we like it better this way. It's a layered dish made up of a base of the bean, kale, adobo and tomato bake with the addition of whole grain breadcrumbs and a drizzle of fresh cilantro pesto.

I served it with marinated tomatoes and bell peppers (due mostly to the fact that the lettuce I had been hoping to use for salads went bad) and crusty bread. I wish I'd snapped a photo of the dish b/c I love the look of it with its enormous white beans but we ate the whole dish before I had a chance to take one. Actually, I ate most of it. David likes the dish, but not as much as me who really really really loves it. :)

One of these days, I'm going to have to break down and get Swanson's cookbook. Absolutely every recipe is wonderful and I love her attentive culinary process. When I make a Swanson dish, I never feel that I'm just slapping ingredients together. Yesterday, with Citizen Cope playing on the player and a Dos Equis on hand, cooking this dish was really fun.

Friday, March 26, 2010


Last night I served a Indian tofu curry to the co-op. It is a recipe I created and it orginally called for seitan, but after it was tried by some of my testers, they suggested tofu. They gave it rave reviews and I have to agree, we thought it was delicious. And even better with the tofu. I served it with brown rice and chickpea patties. The chickpea patty recipe came from vegweb. It had more of a falafel taste to it. Which I was not going for. They were tasty and the boys liked them which is great since Arthur is Mr. Pickypants. Josh loved the meal. Hope everyone enjoyed it as well.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ribollita soup & salad

It was a warm day today! Almost too warm to pull off this soup!

I served a Tuscan-style soup called Ribollita. It means "reboiled," which is reference to the fact that it tastes even better the next day, and in true Tuscan form, it is UGLY. According to The Soup Peddler, their cuisine is usually a bowl of brown mush, and that's exactly what mine looked like! I must have gotten something right, even though I couldn't find the exact recipe. I did my best to recreate The Soup Peddler's version of this soup.

I had hoped to serve this with some sort of baked fruit dessert, maybe pineapple upside down cake, but it was just too hot to turn on the oven this afternoon. I'll manage my time better next week & get the baking done in the morning. Instead of a dessert, I put together a simple side salad. Since the soup is so hearty, and full of vegetables, beans, and bread, it really limits the appropriate sides, but a lighter salad worked well I think. I hope it was enough food for everyone.

The carrots, kale, and herbs in the soup were all from my garden, so this meal cost about $10. (!)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday's meal sponsored by Wheatsville

Coming off a very busy week and an out of town guest in for the weekend, I really had no time to cook for Monday's meal, especially since I had to go back to work today. So, I used my 10% off owner's coupon at Wheatsville that was expiring yesterday to provide the following meal:

That would be popcorn tofu served with buns, shredded lettuce, orange bell peppers and tomatoes, pesto and pecan white bean salad, a kosher dill pickle and an Endangered Species vegan dark chocolate square.

I forgot to send along a fancy vegan mayo, but I just added regular veganaise to ours. Yum!

It is wonderful to have really good vegan options in town for days like today, when all I could do with the limited energy I had was pack food in containers and send it along. Okay, I did shred the lettuce and slice the peppers and tomatoes, too.

With the discount, it wasn't super expensive - about $37 for all four meals. Plus, I was able to restock my Organic Mexican Velvet Roast coffee, which helped me get out of bed this tired, tired morning.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Stu. Who is Stu? I meant to say "STEW". Ha ha. For my co-op meal this week, I made an Irish stout stew. I veganized the recipe from allrecipes.com. It was served with mashed potatoes and cupcakes for dessert. We liked the stew. The cupcakes were a bit of a disappointment. The recipe if from VWAV and it is the lemon cupcake recipe. There was not enough lemon in the cupcakes. I was going for a strawberry lemon cake and could not taste any lemon whatsoever. The icing tasted lemony, the cake, not so much. Of course cupcakes are always a hit with the men in my family, so they didn't care whether or not there was enough lemon.

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

St. Patrick's Day fare

Since tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day, I decided to get into the spirit a day early & made a corned "beef" and cabbage dish, served with a brown gravy, baked colcannon patties, and a basic soda bread.

All of the recipes were from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen, and yet again, they were wonderful! I added too much soymilk to my colcannon puffs, so they flattened out and became patties, but YUM. They were all gone before noon at my house, and my husband ate most of them. He kept asking, "Can I have another?" to which I would reply, "You're eating kale! Have as many as you want!" Casper even chowed down on two of them! Definitely making those again.

I had to make two rounds of soda bread, since the first recipe was an epic fail. Switched to Susan's recipe she lists with the corned "beef," and it worked much better. I'll leave out the sugar next time though. I prefer a saltier soda bread.

All told, the meal cost about $20.

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Moroccon it Meal...

Last night I served a Moroccan inspired dish. I made Moroccan baked tofu with a Moroccan spiced salad and sauteed collard greens. The tofu was marinated in spices overnight and then baked. The salad is a rice salad recipe from Vegan Fire and Spice. I made a few changes to my liking and to be more cost efficient. The salad can be eaten hot or cold. The greens were sauteed in a bit of oil and sea salt. Our two little guys loved the rice salad. Which was another "high five" in my book since our picky guy Arthur has been turning his nose up to everything lately. I liked the whole meal and the health benefits from it. I looked up the nutritional value of this meal and it is full of so many great nutrients. Tasty and healthy. Yay!

Cost of the meal-$18

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Black Bean & Quinoa Loaf

Dinner tonight was a black bean & quinoa loaf, fresh bread, and apple & pineapple fruit salad.

It felt like every time I tried to make anything today I ran into a road block, so lots of things got improvised and some ingredients got forgotten (the almond meal from the loaf, for one!) The bread rose too much the first time around and not enough the second time. I meant to make roasted asparagus for a side, but between Friday & today the price went up from 77c/lb to 2.99/lb, so that plan got axed. Add in a baby who wanted to hold my hands and walk circles around the house for HOURS and today was a bit disjointed!

I hope despite everything, dinner was edible! It seemed okay on our end at least.

Monday, March 8, 2010


So, I've been wanting to do this meal for a while and it turned out to be fun, tasty and healthy. I made bean and roasted veggie burritos, homemade salsa and guacamole. I served additional beans and rice on the side and sent along fresh strawberries.

Not the best picture, but I had to snap one quickly while the kids were briefly settled at the start of dinner.

I can't post to specific recipes since I used a hodgepodge of sites to get me started and mostly made this up as I went along.

My mom's been cooking pintos since I was a little girl and beans with cornbread or tortillas was one of my favorite and most satisfying simple meals growing up. She made a pot of beans or peas most every week. Ala mom, I slow-cooked these with onions and spices (thankfully remembering to soak them overnight Sat night even though I had to get out of bed at 11pm when I remembered I had forgotten to do so). I roasted the veggies (a variety of bell peppers with onions and yellow squash) with olive oil, Mexican oregano, sea salt and freshly ground pepper. For the rice I used jasmine but cooked it in the rice cooker with veggie broth for half of the water, layered in some of the homemade salsa and added limas to the rice served on the side (borrowing from Curra's - I had hoped to mimic the rice served with their meals but didn't quite replicate it even though it was fine).

I thought I was disappointed with the guacamole I made last night (it seemed too oniony) but it tasted great today and made a perfect garnish to the burrito along with the salsa.

Last, even though my salsa wasn't very spicy, I was really pleased with it b/c it was my first attempt at homemade salsa and I loved how fresh it tasted compared to what we purchase even in the fancy jarred varieties. I will be continuing to make my own salsa, adjusting the spiciness especially with my David in mind who loves it the hotter the better. The VitaMix is a salsa-making dream!

The biggest win was that Erin tried everything. She helped herself to salsa and guacamole, rice and burrito. She loved serving herself these familiar foods. And even baby Rory chowed down on the rice.

Friday, March 5, 2010


Mint chocolate chip cookies.

Homemade foccacia fresh from the oven.

I will not be posting a picture of the soup I served to the co-op last night. After sitting down to our dinner table to eat it. I was embarrassed that I sent it as a meal. Wow, did it suck. It was recommended by a friend who raved about it. It was a Tuscan white bean soup. It was more like noodles with a little broth and hidden beans. Terrible, just terrible. It was so bland that our picky guy Arthur ate some thinking it was plain noodles. The only redeeming quality about the meal was the homemade foccacia and mint chocolate chip cookies. I will definitely have to redeem myself next week. I think this meal goes down in the books as the worst co-op dish ever. Wowza!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Seitanic Red Bean Jambalaya

Tonight's meal with Seitanic Red Bean Jambalaya from Veganomicon. This is a repeat, as I've already made this recipe for the first week of co-op, but I figure enough time has passed to make it okay.

Sides are roasted sweet potato wedges and sauteed broccoli w/ garlic. The potatoes didn't crisp up the way I wanted, so apologies on the slight mushy texture. They're still tasty :)

The whole meal cost about $20.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Tortilla Soup

I always feel a little shy posting about the food when it hasn't been eaten yet (even by me, though I did take a taste!). But here goes anyway. I made FatFreeVegan's latest recipe: Tortilla Soup with Pinto Beans.

I love tortilla soup and am always annoyed at how difficult it is to find it vegetarian. Mr. Natural makes a good one and I have been known to use the Central Market tortilla soup prep kit to make my own, but I've never ever made it from scratch.

This one calls for roasted dried peppers (I used anchos), chipotle chile powder and Mexican oregano. From what I tasted last night it has a solid bite, but nothing overwhelming. I'd call it flavorful, which is just the way I like it b/c I don't really care for sweating through a meal.

It's served with avocado and lime, of course, and baked corn tortilla strips. I really liked making the latter and feel much better about adding these to the soup instead of the bagged and fried variety. I like that they're heartier and denser than a fried chip but still quite crunchy. I can't wait to get home tonight and put a big bowl of this together for dinner.

Served with soup: spinach, mushroom and red onion salad with dijon vinaigrette and fresh, organic strawberries.