Friday, July 25, 2008

Mmmm vegan mac 'n cheez

Actually, this has been a pretty vegan-filled week. Except for the delicioso pizza from last night...Trader Joe's boboli-type crust topped with homemade pizza sauce and plenty 'o melty mozarella. The hubby and I agreed, it was really better than delivery! Little bean ate her little pizza-lovin heart out.

Tonight was the vegan mac 'n cheez, from vegandad's recipe. I tried a taste of it right out of the blender, and I was really impressed. I made it with tiny ziti, which was a fun size for the baby. She doesn't like regular macaroni and cheese, but definitely ate a good portion of this version. She was still hungry for something else, though, and polished off a man-size bowl of rice and black beans. Sheesh, this kid can eat!

Midweek I made seitan & udon noodles with peanut sauce, based on the VWAV recipe. Really good, but the little bean totally avoided it. She seems to avoid peanut butter for some reason. Maybe a good one?

Last weekend the hubby and baby made pumpkin waffles from VWAV. They were outstanding, and really enjoyable with tempeh bacon and maple syrup. Mmmmm. They freeze and reheat very well, too.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

My first meetup

I went to my first meetup event with SD Vegetarians Unite this afternoon. We met at Madras Cafe, a south indian all veg restaurant on Black Mountain Road. There were about 20 people of all ages there, it was so awesome. I met some very nice vegetarians and vegans and it was a lovely relaxed time. Hmmm, how much of that was due to the little bean being home with her dad???? I refrained from talking about her the WHOLE time, but she did come up in conversation ;) It was a buffet lunch, with 20 different dishes, most of which I couldn't name. The curries are different than the standard indian fare (no tandoori, matar paneer, etc). The spicy eggplant was my favorite, but I also loved the dosa with lentil filling. Yum. It was very cool to eat somewhere with 100% vegetarian offerings. After lunch I went to Ker & Little, the huge indian market next door, with a neat woman from the meetup. I picked up tamarind paste and rosewater, which I haven't found anywhere else, and also, some Paneer!

Which led to...the hubby making homemade Palak Paneer for dinner! He used the recipe from the Fullerton SRF indian cookbook (ca. 1980), and I whipped up a small batch of garam masala to use. It was great, and the little bean cleaned her plate. I think using fresh spinach helped the deliciousness. It was also fun to put as much paneer as we wanted in it, usually those are the small jewels you have to hunt for in your big old pile o spinach.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

It's hard to cook when it is hot

It has been about 78 to 80 degrees indoors this week, and not too much of a breeze is coming from the ocean. I decided to make Margarita Cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, and they were really fun to make with the little bean. She stirred all the ingredients, and because they were egg-free, she got to taste the batter. She really enjoyed helping. The cupcakes turned out perfectly, unfortunately it was too warm inside for frosting. It totally melted. However, it tasted great!

Last night I made Tortilla Soup from the Real Food Daily cookbook. No picture of my own, but there is one on the link. It went together in 20 minutes and cooked up quickly too. Both my mom and husband, tortilla soup connoisseurs, slurped it up. This will definitely be a go-to recipe in the future. The little bean even enjoyed it, and she is so-so on soup.

For lunch today I made Zucchini Rice Gratin from Gourmet magazine. It was more time consuming than I usually do for lunch, but it was delicious. I reduced the amount of oil and salt they called for, and still thought it had plenty of flavor. I also used 1/2 cup of rice, since my 1/3rd cup measure was missing. I'll also use brown rice when I make it again. I don't usually cook with fresh tomatoes, but I am going to start doing that more often. Sadly, both the tomatoes and zucchini were from the store. My poor mom's garden was totally destroyed this summer by various and sundry animals. Mostly rabbits I think. Next year we'll have to fence in the vegetable garden. Sigh, I had such plans for an abundance of summer veg. Oh well.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Something new and exciting!

I made vegandad's hot wings tonight! I left the hot sauce off a couple for the little bean, and used popsicle sticks for her to hold on to, and she totally dug it! G & I finished the rest of them with a spinach & homemade roasted garlic crouton salad that he put together. I can't wait to use this recipe again and again. It was soooo fast and really delicious. No preservatives and junk like the Morningstar version (although, man they are good), and wayyy cheaper. Vegandad is right again, kids love to eat anything on a stick.

Tomorrow the little bean and I will be making cupcakes. I'd hoped to go to the beach, but I have a sore foot and I think I'll keep it out of the sand.

By the way, we are officially venturing into pottytraining land, so staying home is probably in everyone's best interest! A couple little piddles, but nothing too scary. She really likes her potty, that is a relief. It is just getting her to recognize when she needs to go, before she starts going. She definitely prefers the cotton training pants to diapers, and I love that they are reusable.

PS, for the non-veggies (ie G), I will explain the cartoon from my previous post. That is a piece of tofu, not an ice cube. Therefore, the tofu burger is not cruelty-free from the tofu's point of view. Sigh, I thought it was so funny.

Not cooking anything new and exciting

Killa sushi rolls last night, G & I snarfed the whole batch. Usually we have something else substantial with there are usually lunch leftovers. Had a couple of artichokes, sharing most of them with the little bean. She is so funny to watch dip the leaves and scrape the artichoke loveliness. She was game for sushi-tasting, but it isn't quite her thing. Brave for trying though!
We got a ton of groceries yesterday (we meaning G), and I borrowed 2 cookbooks from a super-cool vegan neighbor this weekend. The Real Food Daily cookbook (I love to use parentheses) (G & I ate at RFD in Santa Monica a few years ago...DELISH) and Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. Tooooooo many choices, we'll see what I whip up.
I'll go out today with a funny (Click to see bigger on their site):

Friday, July 11, 2008

Finally slowing down

We have finally had a chance to slow down after a whirlwind start to this month. Before we took a last minute trip for the 4th, I made VWAV's delicious jerk seitan with garlic kale and baked sweet potato chips. Chips baked in the oven, not chips made from baked sweet potatoes. Does that make sense? It all went together so nicely.
And here was our 4th of July destination!

5 adults and 1 toddler in Aunt E's remarkable little cabin and a couple of tent annexes. We had a totally veggie weekend, the three ladies sharing the cooking responsibilities. We had ratatouille with rice pilaf and corn & bean salad the first night, courtesy of my MIL. Imagine throwing that together after a 10 hour car ride!!!
The next night we had a great saucy veggie & potato dish from Aunt E and the last night was my turn. Of course, I stuffed everyone full of Trader Joe's guacamole and organic tortilla chips before dinner, but there was still room for black bean tacos, whew. Wish I had a picture of all the fixings: flour tortillas, of course the beans, shredded mexican cheese blend, green onions, lettuce and spicy salsa. It was really good.