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Archive for veganmofo

southwestern stuffed acorn squash – veganmofo 8

3930562108_f07c8dec17We received two beautiful acorn squash(es?) from our neighbor’s garden, so, for dinner tonight, I modified and veganized this recipe from Eating Well magazine. Here’s my version:

Vegan Southwestern Stuffed Acorn Squash

Ingredients:

  • 2 acorn squash
  • 6 ounces Soyrizo
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 teaspoons chili powder, according to your preference
  • 1-2 teaspoon ground cumin, according to your preference
  • 2 cups chopped cherry tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Several dashes hot red pepper sauce, to taste (I used Tapatio, the hot variety)
  • 1 cup shredded vegan cheddar or Monterey Jack (I used Daiya’s cheddar)
  • Prep:

    1) Cut squash in half horizontally. Scoop out and discard seeds. Place the squash cut-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until tender, about 45 minutes. When the squash are tender, reduce oven temperature to 325°.

    2) Meanwhile, lightly oil a large cast-iron skillet; heat over medium heat. Add soyrizo and cook, turning with a spatula or wooden spoon, until heated through and lightly browned, 5 minutes or so. Add bell pepper; cook, stirring often, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, chili powder and cumin; cook for 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes, beans, salt and hot sauce, scraping up any browned bits. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until the tomatoes are broken down, 10 to 12 minutes.

    3) Fill the squash halves with the soyrizo/bean mixture. Top with cheese. Place on the baking sheet and bake until the filling is heated through and the cheese is melted, 8 to 10 minutes.

    IMG_1100Beautiful squash(es?)!

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    We had them with a green leaf lettuce, carrot, and cherry tomato salad.

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    Terrible photos, but a delicious autumn dinner. Try it!

    tofu scramble – veganmofo 7

    3930562108_f07c8dec17I didn’t go to classes today. I’m pretty sure I have a sinus infection. I’m completely sure that I have something that makes me dizzy & lightheaded & mildly nauseated all the time, and walking + bussing + learning + more bussing + more walking = too hard today. Boo.

    But! I decided to silver-line that bummer situation – by taking advantage of my extra morning time and making myself a hot breakfast. tofu scramble

    Tofu scramble! And toast! <3

    I used Isa’s recipe from Vegan Brunch this time ’round, upping the garlic (of course!) and throwing in some spinach. Mmmmm. Added some sprouted grain toast and delicious coffee, and it was fantastic. mmmm scramble

    I love scrambled tofu. LOVE it. I love it more than I ever loved scrambled eggs. And I love that this recipe makes heaps, so I have leftovers for the next couple of days.

    mmmm, hot chocolate – veganmofo 6

    3930562108_f07c8dec17My husband asked me, in that way of asking that isn’t so much a question as an anvil-sized hint, “Don’t you want to make some hot chocolate?” Why, yes, darling. Yes, in fact, I do. It’s wet and chilly and this past week didn’t have nearly enough joy.

    Dinner was a Boca burger and fries. Um, technically, that meal was dinner AND lunch, as I was not so great at feeding myself today. Oops? Anyway, I didn’t photograph it, because everyone know what a Boca burger and fries looks like. Of course, everyone knows what hot chocolate looks like, too, but that didn’t stop me! cocoa

    hello kitty mug

    Because a Hello Kitty mug makes everything taste better. yay fall!

     Good Karma whole grain rice milk and Ibarra Mexican chocolate. Oh! And some Sweet & Sara marshmallows (torn into little pieces) on top. Yes, of course I have Dandies, but I didn’t want to open a package just for two marshmallows. I wish I’d had a can of Soyatoo Whip – that’d been even better than marshmallows.

    My husband spiked his with cinnamon schnapps. Not me. Not ever, no way, me and cinnamon schnapps are DONE FOREVER I MEAN IT. We had a bad breakup.

    I know it’s not much of a post, y’all, but hot chocolate! Mexican hot chocolate! Is love!

    food for sickies – veggie pho – veganmofo 5

    3930562108_f07c8dec17No, I don’t currently have any sort of plague, but I did two weekends ago. I caught a cold on a Friday and had bronchitis by Monday. Saturday and Sunday were fairly miserable because I couldn’t breathe and couldn’t taste. When the no-sense-of-taste phase of a cold is upon me, not only do I find it most disagreeable, I also find myself craving intensely spicy and flavorful foods – like, maybe if I eat the right thing, magic will happen and I’ll be able to taste it and everything will go back to normal. It rarely works, of course, which just leads to more frustration.

    My most recent illness was no different. This time, I was fiercely desirous of a specific dish, though – veggie pho. I was consumed with the thought of that delicious concoction. I was driven to distraction, desperate for it, and my husband, who sometimes really is perfection, made his way out into the night to acquire some. It was fairly late, and, despite being a Saturday night, places that served pho and were still open were few. He ended up at a restaurant on Queen Anne called The Signature, which had a drool-inducing menu and kept blessedly late business hours.

    In addition to the gotta-have-it soup, he also delivered to me tofu spring rolls (vermicelli, lettuce, cucumbers, herbs, and tofu rolled in rice paper) and salt & peppered tofu. salt & peppered tofu w/spring roll

    The spring rolls were fresh, cool, and utterly lovely; the tofu was cleanly, warmly crisp and heavy with garlic chunks and cilantro.

    The soup, though, oh, darlings, the soup!  heavenly pho

    That heavenly, spirited broth – loaded with slippery noodles, cool chunks of could-not-be-fresher vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, snow peas, carrots), crunchy bean sprouts, and lusciously soft tofu; spiked with basil, cilantro, jalapenos, freshly-squeezed lime juice, and obscene amounts of sriracha hot sauce and chili-garlic paste. Divine, ambrosial, perfect soup! Soup of looooove and all things good! It was a bowl of beauty and delight. I shiver with pleasure thinking of it even now. And it was just a little bit magical.

    junk food friday – vegan cream cheese wontons – veganmofo 4

    3930562108_f07c8dec17Sometimes, when my kid’s away and my husband’s working late, and it’s just me and the cats and Six Feet Under on DVD (which I can’t watch when the offspring’s home, obvs), I like to have a Junk Food Friday. In the past, this was more like Ordering In Friday, but since money is An Issue, I go DIY and make my own.

    Back in my pregan days, I loved crab rangoon. LOVED. When I lived on the Oregon coast, I’d drive over two hours just to eat it. Sometimes I’d make my own, but it was never quite right. Of course, I would never eat it now, but I have missed it these past few years. So I decided to make my own crabless crab rangoon. My husband called them “faux crab wontons”, but since there’s no faux crab, I guess “vegan cream cheese wontons” might be more accurate. Anyway! My kid’s away, and my husband’s not here, so I fixed myself a mess o’ cream cheese wontons, and had myself a sweet little Junk Food Friday.

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    I don’t have a recipe, per se, since I pretty much just throw stuff together. I toss a few cloves of garlic into my food processor and mince them. I used more than a few tonight – more like several to many. If you are a person who doesn’t like too much garlic, 2 or 3 cloves would probably do you just fine. I, personally, don’t believe that there is such a thing as too much garlic, and I probably ended up using 8 cloves or so. I know, that’s a lot, and these particular wontons had that garlic bite that makes your tongue hurt just a little, but sometimes I like that.

    Okay, so, mince some garlic, then add a tub of Tofutti’s Better Than Cream Cheese (I buy the non-hydrogenated variety so I can pretend to be virtuous), a generous sprinkling of red pepper flakes, and a splash of (low sodium) soy sauce. Blend it all up – make sure it’s well-mixed and everything’s incorporated, but try not to overdo it, because you don’t want the mixture to get runny. It’s better if it still has a little body and firmness to it. Plop a dollop of the mixture into a wonton wrapper (read your labels, as many brands aren’t vegan!), and fold it up. You’ll want to have all your wontons made before you start cooking, because trying to deep-fry some while still assembling others is an excellent way to end up with a bunch of burned wontons. Once all your wontons are assembled, heat a couple of inches of oil in a deep cast-iron skillet – a wok would work perfectly, too, and you could even use a heavy-bottomed saucepan. When the oil’s hot – add a couple of drops of water to the oil when you fill the pan; when the water sizzles, you’ll know that the oil’s hot enough – put a few wontons into the pan. Don’t overcrowd the pan/pot/wok – you don’t want to have the oil temperature drop precipitously, or have the wontons stick together. Tonight I used my 10-inch Lodge cast-iron, and I put 6 or so wontons in at a time. Fry them until they’re a lovely golden color, keeping in mind they will continue to darken a bit after being removed from the oil. You also might want to turn them as they cook – they float, so I’ll flip them about halfway through, to ensure even cooking and color. Use a slotted spoon – or, even better, a wire skimmer; I don’t have one but I really wish I did – to remove them from the oil. Drain them on paper towels or a brown paper bag.

    For the filling, you could also add one or more of the following: green onions (this would make for a more authentic crab rangoon experience, but I abhor all onions), worcestershire sauce, minced ginger, lemon juice, cilantro, mayonnaise (bleurgh), water chestnuts. I intend to try them with a small amount of kelp powder and/or minced nori added, to give them a bit of a fishy taste.

    You’ll want to eat them while they’re still hot, but not so hot that you’ll end up maimed from molten cream cheese. Eat them with sweet & sour sauce, or hot mustard, or sriracha sauce, or chili garlic sauce. Eat them and be filled with joy. IMG_1091

    my ultimate comfort food dinner – veganmofo 3

    3930562108_f07c8dec17Though I have no intention of turning this into a personal blog – that’s what my LJ’s for, hey? – I have to say that this week has been painful and difficult on many levels. Hence the still-spotty blogging frequency.

    Because this week’s been a whole lot of terrible with a generous helping of sad, I’ve been thinking about comfort food. There are a number of foods that I reach for when my battered soul needs soothing; depending on the situation, it could be anything from steel-cut oats to chocolate cream pie, grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches to nachos, mock tuna salad to potato chips soaked in pickle juice (seriously, TRY IT), chocolate almond milk to a cheap white zinfandel.  But when life is extra kick-you-when-you’re-down, and the world is harsh, and everything is hurty, there’s only one dinner I want.

    I spent 9 of my most formative years – ages 6 to 15 –  in Texas. I hate cliches but live the whole “you can take the girl out of Texas…” chestnut. I still say “y’all”, and maintain that it’s one of the most useful words ever. I still secretly want the Cowboys to win, even though I loathe football and avoid it at all costs. I still unconsciously slip into my drawl when prompted by external stimuli – an episode of “Designing Women”, country music, “Steel Magnolias”, talking with someone else with an accent. I still drop the “g”s from my -ing words; I have to make a concerted effort to correctly pronounce “royal” and “oil”. I still adore cowboy hats and want a couple of pairs of cowboy boots. I still refuse to leave the house in sweatpants or similar garb.

    And food? Y’all, please. I still love Frito pie, salted tomato slices, Dr. Pepper, ranch-style beans, food slathered in BBQ sauce and cooked over charcoal, chili, hushpuppies, chicken-fried [insert vegan chicken analog here], Tex-Mex, Big Red Soda, pecan pie…I’ll stop now. So, see, it’s no wonder that I want what I want when I most need comfort eats: comfort food

    Meat analog, smothered in gravy. Mashed potatoes, also smothered in gravy. Sauteed greens. Homemade biscuits (not pictured).

    Sometimes I can’t bear to dirty another bowl for biscuits, so we’ll have locally-produced whole wheat sourdough instead. dinner 9-14 2

    My love for Cedar Lake chops knows no bounds. F’real. I love those things so much I buy them by the case. I season ’em and pan-fry ’em until they’re brown and beautiful and a little bit crispy. I mash my (skin on!) potatoes up with lots of Earth Balance, soy milk creamer, salt, and fresh black pepper. I saute my greens with heaps of fresh garlic and red pepper flakes. I ladle the chops and potatoes with Road’s End Golden Gravyclose up comfort

    It ain’t good for me. It’s probably bad for me, actually. It uses a couple different packaged foods, a category of noms I generally try to avoid. The greens are the only nutritiously redeeming part of the meal. It’s definitely a “sometimes” dinner (thanks, Cookie Monster). But man alive, it warms my heart and soothes my soul in a way that no other foods do. With this in front of me (especially with my kid next to me and an episode of Buffy cued up on the DVD player), all is right with the world – at least for a little while.

    “I forgot to plan for dinner” dinner – October 12 – veganmofo 2

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    Apparently I have a knack for grossly overestimating my time-budgeting capabilities. Before this quarter started, I really did think that I could manage homework, studying, offspring time, cat time, spouse time, friend time, me time, and still be able to spend a couple of hours making dinner every night. Yes, I did. People can do that! Some people! I am not those people. Perhaps, had I not gotten bronchitis right as school began, at the same time that my husband got the (probably H1N1) flu, things would be different. But. All of those things happened, and the bronchitis took longer to get over than I thought, and last Friday was the stupidest Friday in the history of ever, which wrecked my entire weekend… all of which is to say: I’m behind on schoolwork, I’m behind on housework, I’m behind on blogging, and I haven’t been able to do meal planning or trips to the market since mid-September. And this is the sort of dinner that gets thrown together when I’m trying to catch up on homework and laundry while also baking a cake to use up the last of the carrots and we have very little in the house and I had no plan in place.

    I like run-on sentences. A lot.

    gyros!

    Gyros. You know, sorta. Food for Life’s Ezekiel pita bread (of course), which I wrapped in foil and warmed in the oven and which pretty much fell to pieces as soon as we touched it. I sauteed Viana’s Veggie Gyros strips, which I’d had several months ago and remember being much MUCH better than they were tonight. And HOLY GOATS is that stuff high in sodium! Anyway. Topped with green cabbage, orange tomatoes, and Karam’s Garlic Sauce (I talk about that stuff a lot, I KNOW, but it’s incredible and we use it all the time). IMG_1081

    They were tasty enough, I suppose. Feel my enthusiasm!

    I miss cooking real foods.

    Oh, yes, I made a carrot cake, per the offspring’s request. IMG_1082

    I used the recipe from The Joy of Vegan Baking (doubled), and I used Ener-G egg replacer instead of ground flax. Which may explain why the cake was more falling-apartish and less, uh, cakey. And, weirdly, the walnuts in the batter got super crunchy while the cake was baking. I reduced the sugar by one-quarter, and it’s still really sweet. And, um, I had a mishap with the nutmeg, so…yeah, it’s got a little bit of a nutmeg punch in the mouth. Though Colleen recommends using the grating blade on your food processor to make quick work of the carrots, I found the carrot shreds much too large and coarse; next time I’m going to take the time to grate them by hand using the wee side of my box grater – it’s less like coleslaw and more like cake that way. carrot cake

    Seriously, look at those carrot pieces – they’re practically chunks! Oh, also, this is a photo of my son’s slice of cake, and he made an attempt to demand some sort of remuneration as the cake’s “agent”. Yeah, he’s 15 and he thinks he’s funny.

    I used Terry’s & Isa’s VCTOtW cream cheese frosting recipe. I just like it.

    Assignment! Tell me your favorite vegan hangover foods and cures, please!