Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Day 11

Romaine & Tomato salad with Balsamic Vinegarette
Garlic-clove French bread with "Eggless" (tofu) Pate

This was a great tasting, almost ready to eat from the store, dinner that I was able to enjoy between grocery shopping and getting ready for the Trick-or-Treaters to hit the front door! And there's plenty left for tomorrow's lunch! Yay!!

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Day 10

Beef-y Seitan Cutlets and Balsamic Chard

Remember those seitan "steaks" I had simmering in the crockpot on Day 8? After cooking them, I froze half and kept half in the refrigerator for tonight. I decided I wanted them prepared a simply as possible so I could really taste them; I didn't want them covered with a sauce, etc. So I coated them lightly with toasted bread crumbs and sauted them a bit of grape seed oil. The only other thing I added was a sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper. These guys are really good!!! I honestly had my doubts. But now I believe they even have enough flavor and texture to satisfy my carnivorous son! I definitely will be making them again. Directions can be found in Ellen's Kitchen.

Tonight I served the cutlets with some steamed Swiss chard with a bit of balsamic vinegar and sesame seeds. A great meal!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Day 9

Oh, no...leftovers again!!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Day 8 - Thanks, Tricotine!!

Did I tell you that Lady Tricotine is the one who I first heard from about the 30-Day Pledge? She has already completed two weeks and lost 8 pounds! I didn't weigh in before taking the pledge, but I know I do feel all my "systems" are working better (if you know what I mean). Check out her blog!


And now for a little baking for next week's (almost) Vegan Banana Oatmeal Cookies. "Almost" because I did not have any vegan chocolate chips on hand. I did still have some Belgian Milk-Chocolate Chips in the cupboard which contain a bit of milkfat. I decided to use them rather than waste them. My next batch will be all vegan...promise!

As I was stirring the cookie dough, I got some on my fingers. It dawned on me that I could go ahead and lick my fingers and not run the risk of salmonella poisoning since these goodies have no raw eggs! You mean all these years and I've been depriving myself of raw cookie dough!!! Dang.

The finished recipe turned out wonderfully. It's also pretty versatile. Don't like nuts? Leave them out or replace them with raisins. Don't have white and brown sugar? Use all of one kind. Out of whole wheat flour? Use all-purpose or a combination. Add a little cinnamon or allspice. However you make them, please make some soon... and share with a friend!

Vegan Banana Oatmeal Cookies
  • 1-1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2/3 cup beet sugar (or vegan cane sugar)
  • 2/3 cup vegan brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp non-dairy "cream" or "milk"
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 very ripe banana, mashed well
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, soda, salt and sugars. Blend well with a wire whisk. In another bowl, mix wet ingredients together. Add to flour mixture and stir well. Stir in oats, chocolate chips and nuts.

Drop by heaping tablespoonsful onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake for approximately 10 minutes until edges are golden brown. Let set on cookie sheet for a minute or two and then move to a wire rack to finish cooling. Store in an air-tight container...if they last that long!!

Today I was reading more about seitan. For those like me who don't know much about it, it's a wheat gluten product that can be cooked and flavored to resemble meat products. With the holidays looming, and the expectation of a house full of omnivores, I wanted to start trying my hand at making my own meat analogue. The only thing I remember reading about it in the past was how long it took to knead and rinse the flour to get the gluten to hold together. After doing my homework, I was delighted to find that most of that work has been eliminated with the use of vital gluten flour. I followed (mostly) a recipe from Ellen's Kitchen and I'm really happy with the results. In fact, I have a second batch simmering right now!

The first is in chicken-like pieces. I simmered it on the stovetop in a great chicken-y flavored vegan broth. Although it looks pretty blah...(but then, so does boiled chicken meat) really is tasty! I can already imagine the many uses for it.

A bonus...I used the leftover simmering broth to make a wonderful soup for lunch. I just added some of the leftover roasted potatoes from last night's dinner and a cup or so of frozen mixed vegetables. Perfect!

The second batch is supposed to taste more like beef. I shaped the gluten into patties or "steaks" and have it simmering in my crockpot as we speak (so to speak). Stay tuned!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Day 7

The weather is getting colder and I was really craving comfort food. But I'm determined not to fall back into old habits. So here is my vegan version of Meatloaf and Potatoes...

Dinner Loaf and Garlic-Herb Roasted Potatoes

It doesn't look much like meatloaf, but was pretty satisfying. Next time I'll add even more herbs and garlic. And don't worry about the lack of green on my plate...I had a HUGE amount of steamed veggies at lunch!!!

Ingredients: tofu, rolled oats, bread crumbs, onions, garlic, basil, oregano, pepper, V-8 juice, vegetable boullion, olive oil, Yukon Gold potatoes.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Day 6

Gotta love those easy nights!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Day 5

Peanut and Broccoli Noodles with Tofu

I used to make this dish with chicken. Tonight I substituted sauteed cubed tofu and it was wonderful! Give it a try. It's even better cold the next day for lunch!

Ingredients: whole wheat spaghetti, peanut butter, soy sauce, water, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic, pepper flakes, broccoli, tofu, olive oil, peanuts.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Day 4

Tonight was a Trader Joe's easy dinner of Baked Polenta with a sprinkle of Parmesan and Greens with Envy veggies (mixed with last night's leftover peas). Dessert was some of my pal's vegan milk chocolate with almonds. I am happily full!

Day 3

My 19-year-old son came over to make dinner for the two of us. Mmmmmmm.

Pasta (with canned sauce), Parmesan and Green Peas

...And guess who got left with the dishes?!!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Day 2

Tonight was Pad Thai with Tofu.

(No photo...sorry. It was gone before I remembered the camera!)

Ingredients: rice noodles, vegan Pad Thai sauce, tofu, peanuts, mixed vegetables (spinach, edemame, asparagus, green beans, broccoli). It was yummy, but needed lime and time!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Day 1

Dinner is a Crockpot Vegan Gumbo over brown rice...
spicy and filling!

Ingredients: okra, tomatoes, corn, onions, vegetable stock, salt, pepper, garlic, allspice, cloves, hot sauce, one sliced Tofurkey Italian Sausage. (Alas, no bell peppers due to an allergy.)

Pledge to Be Veg!

I've accepted the challenge! I will eat a vegetarian diet for the next 30 days...and maybe longer! If you are up for the challenge, go here and sign up!!