Archive for October, 2010

The McVeggie Salad Experience.

Back in the day when meat and I shared a one-sided relationship, the “Cobb Salad” was my salad of choice.  Enter tons of balsamic vinagrette and other toppings that I’m sure you’ll all too familiar with but would also rather not recall.  Those days disappeared long ago, but my attempts at recreating an indulgent TGI-Fridays style salad have remained. We can all agree that a salad feels best when it leaves you feeling light and refreshed – but there are those salads that beckon you with their come hither dressing which you can’t say no to all the time.

How fortuitous that Fresh Express would challenge bloggers to use their salad mixes to pull together a creative recipe – when I had a recipe I have been dying to share (*as part of the FoodBuzz Tastemakers Program, I received coupons for Fresh Express Salads).  Does this recipe contain processed vegan foods? Yes.  Is it delicious once in awhile? Absolutely.

Enter: The McVeggie Salad

Ingredients:

 

I really, really love this salad.  Once you step off an elitist soapbox you may be carrying around (not pointing fingers, just saying!), you’ll probably like this salad in all it’s creamy, crunchy, crispy glory.  You may even trick some of your omni friends into loving it too.  It’s that tastilicious that I’ve run home craving it and thanking the heavens that this meal is so quick and down and dirty to throw together.  And thanking the Fresh Express gods over there who shared the mecca of coupons with me.

 

And guess what?  GIVEAWAY TIME.

The kind folks at both FoodBuzz and Fresh Express hooked me up with a ton of coupons to explore their many salad bags – which happen to come in handy when you work until 7:30 most nights and are too hungry to start rinsing and chopping away at salad. POINT IS, if you are interested – leave a comment with your favorite salad and I’ll be happy to mail you FOUR COUPONS for a free salad bag or kit.

What’s your favorite way to indulge in a salad? You have until Friday, October 22nd to comment! Winner to be chosen at random!

October 19, 2010 at 7:50 pm 8 comments

Food for One

On a beautiful Saturday morning, when all I dream of is sleeping in, I woke up to an alarm to hit up some hot frikkin yoga. YES. It was fantastic and sweaty and I left in the most starving of states. The mission? A vegan oatmeal pancake “for one”, that had a bit of a protein punch.  I think I’m at 90% success. Veruca watched closely as I combined the ingredients.

  • 2 1/2 tbsp unbleached flour
  • 2 1/2 tbsp oatmeal
  • 1/2 tbsp protein powder (I used chocolate Vega)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 banana, mashed
  • 1 tsp sweetener of choice

Mix the dry ingredients in separate bowl. Mash banana & add 1/2 of almond milk and desired sweetener, mixing until smooth. Add to dry ingredients with remaining almond milk, stirring until smooth.  Pour onto heated pan/griddle until bubble and flip. When edges curl up, it’s done!  Makes 2-medium pancakes for one, about 250 calories!

Now these pancakes were actually very delicious.  I was skeptical.  First, because they kept sticking to the pan (probably because I didn’t spray the pan).  Second, because I had run out of syrup and pancakes just always beg for syrup – especially with a protein powder sucking some moistness out of it.  WELL, I was pleasantly surprised that these were delightful, moist, and sweet.  No need for syrup!  They filled me up for a few hours to boot, hooray!  I will totally return to these, with a well sprayed pan.

D and I then went out to pumpkin pick (sans camera) and oogle at aplacas (I love love love them).  I pretty much lounged around inside all day due to my lazy Saturday exhaustion, which called for a nap.  It also called for the Trader Joes pumpkin bread mix to be taken off the shelf and be put into practice.  For as much as I love to cook from scratch, I couldn’t pass up this delight.

I’m no fool, I know it calls for eggs.  Which to me, meant Ener-G Egg Replacer.  I hadn’t replaced eggs in any form of a mix before, so this was my first attempt. I think the muffins rose pretty well, and are so very incredibly moist and tasty!  D’s only complaint (after he said they were good) was that they are a bit too moist on the bottom.  Which to me reads: cook a little longer.

Early to bed – off to Philly for a friendsie reunion!  Happy long weekend friends!

October 9, 2010 at 10:20 pm 3 comments

A very orange dinner.

In the continued spirit of all things fall, tonight’s dinner was an ode to everyone’s favorite bloggie vegetable: the butternut squash.  Once upon a time I spent hours hacking at a full squash to get to the inside, and after breaking a knife and nearly my own hand, I vowed never again.  So thankful it comes pre-chopped at most grocery stores.

I haven’t been cooking dinner much due to D’s being in law school most nights, but I decided as the weather changes that I miss making dinner, and vow to cook it at least 2x a week. So tonight’s dinner was an attempt at mixing some autumn with some Mexican. So doable.

I found a recipe for “Butternut Squash Enchiladas” on vegetariantimes.com and it was pretty much what I was going to do anyway.  Here’s what I changed:

  • Used about 12 ounces of butternut squash – cubed and microwaved for 10 minutes, then mashed
  • Used Tofutti cream cheese (approximately half a container)
  • Used Daiya to top the enchiladas
  • Swapped out the green onions for a chopped green bell pepper
  • Nixed the cumin & nutmeg – the adobe was flavor enough!

It was very very orange indeed – especially coupled with the Spanish Rice (which btw yellow rice not even vegetarian, read labels peeps!). And no, not a healthy dinner – but the butternut squash does take it up a notch in that area.  This was one of those decadent and divine dinners that you savor every bite of – so rich in flavors.  D went back for seconds, which carries a lot of clout around here in terms of re-makeability.

Definitely makes enough for leftovers (see: tomorrow night’s dinner) and fills the belly big time.  I forgot that I had become un-Daiya.  After using it again tonight, I think I still am. Back to the faux-cheese hunt I go.  But not before I enjoy an orange-colored pumpkin chocolate chip cookie!

October 4, 2010 at 8:35 pm 4 comments

Woodstock Animal Sanctuary.

Since I learned of the Woodstock Animal Sanctuary I have been dreaming of taking a field trip to visit all the lovely animals that were lucky enough to reside there. The owners take in animals that were victims to animal cruelty and provide them with an environment of love.  Who can’t get behind that?

The weather today called for absolute fall perfection, and so my friend Sarah and I drove north 2+ hours to meet and tour the farm which houses  over 200 animals including cows, pigs, goats, lambs, ducks, hens, roosters, geese, and turkeys. We were given a tour by one of the owners of the sanctuary, who called over all the animals (BY NAME!), shared some of the animals’ sad history, and shared some information about the torture involved in dairy farming and how to implement a vegan diet.  I think for people who are not quite as informed as many of us, this may be a bit of a shock.  The tour was really informative and so fun!  Please enjoy some of the photos of all the lovely animals we got to meet today!

Afterwards we headed over to a vegan restaurant which had a pretty awesome menu, called Garden Cafe on the Green in Woodstock, and both enjoyed the sweet potato black bean burger. The rest of the afternoon was spent enjoying the perfect fall day and reveling in all things autumn!

How’d you spend this perfect fall weekend?

October 3, 2010 at 8:20 pm 7 comments

Autumnal Treats of the Pumpkin & Apple Variety.

Today was a perfect fall Saturday, definitely the way I imagine all fall weekends should be: chilly and sunny and spent outdoors with a hoodie. Last night I got the baking itch and with 1/2 a cup of pumpkin left from my oatmeal this week, I knew that pumpkin chocolate cookies were exactly what was called for.

D and I made these together in California four Octobers ago (I can’t believe it was that long ago!) when he was visiting me after a day of pumpkin picking and goat petting – and we haven’t returned to them since.  I followed the recipe from The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes for “Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies”.  What turned out was exactly as light and fluffy as the non-vegan cookies D and I made years ago.  The only change I’d make is subbing pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon – more of that pumpkiny flavor! Dee-lish!

Apple Cider Donuts!

Okay so back to tonight – we were closing out our day out and passed by some apple cider. My eyes lit up and I told D I could make us apple cider donuts.  He asked if I was serious – and the jug came home with us.  The recipe search was far more complicated.  I decided to wing it and just used vegan margarine (Earth Balance) and 2 Ener-G egg replacers and followed Emeril’s recipe. Instead of frying, I baked the donuts in my donut pan at 350 degrees for 13 minutes.  Glazed with a 1 cup powder sugar + 1/4c apple cider glaze dipped in sugar/cinnamon. D approved!

Best enjoyed with some hot apple cider (check!) and a horror movie (check!).

October 2, 2010 at 9:15 pm Leave a comment


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