Vegan Chubosaurus

what this fat vegan eats

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chickpea tacos of looooove – April 20 (and earlier!)

Oh, chickpea tacos! Surprising, delicious, quick, easy, did-I-mention-delicious-because-it-can’t-be-said-enough chickpea tacos of love and tastiness and bliss and all things good. We have these a lot. We probably have them more than anything else (with the possible – possible! – exception of our ultimate comfort dinner), and my son requests them almost as often as said comfort food. We love them. We looooooooooove them (that’s me channeling Beth from Newsradio, and if you get that reference, you are awesome).

First, the recipe! From Happy Herbivore; also linked above:

Ingredients:

  • 15 ounces chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp tamari
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 recipe taco seasoning (Lindsay likes this one)
  • 8 whole taco shells

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400F. Whisk tamari, juice & spices together. Add rinsed chickpeas and toss until well and evenly coated. Place chickpeas on tray, spray with oil and bake 20-25 minutes, until crunchy. Assemble tacos with chickpeas, arugula or lettuce, tomatoes and eat. 

So, there you go. Now, on to how I make/eat them. I usually use the taco seasoning recipe recommended in the recipe; it’s quite tasty (Lindsay recommends omitting the red pepper flakes, but I never do, as I love the spicy). I have another taco seasoning recipe I use sometimes; let me know if you’d like the recipe and I’ll post it. I don’t use those pre-made packaged seasoning mixes.

I also never use pre-made taco shells, because those taste, to me, stale and redolent of the cardboard and plastic they’re packaged in. Usually, I fry my own taco shells from organic corn tortillas, which you’ll see in the photos below. Sometimes I fry them flat and we have chickpea tostadas. Sometimes I use whole wheat flour tortillas and we have soft tacos. Most recently I simply warmed the organic corn tortillas we favor over a burner on my gas stove until they were soft, pliant, and lightly toasted.

I never have cooking spray in the house because I can’t tolerate the thought of propellants and unrecyclable aerosol cans, so I drizzle the chickpeas lightly with olive or canola oil and toss them to coat before sliding the baking sheet into the oven. I also like to stir them partway through baking.

We usually top them with shredded romaine lettuce, chopped tomatoes, and chopped black olives. Once upon a time I used to neatly slice a whole can of black olives, but I am far too lazy impatient for that now, so I tend to open the can and have a go at them with my kitchen shears (yes, while they’re still in the can – I learned this trick from an 85-year-old woman named Melba that lived at an adult foster home I worked at a million years ago). (We really like Santa Barbara Olive Co.’s canned black olives – they don’t go bonkies with the salt and the olives are yummy.) I always adorn my tacos with generous lashings of Tapatio sauce (the hotter the better). If I have some cheddar cheezly, homemade salsa, or a ripe avocado, those’ll go on too.

And because I live with a teenager, I ALWAYS double the recipe.

You want to see some pictures, right? Good, ’cause I’ve got lots.

These are from last September. They’re dressed with lettuce, tomatoes, and Teese nacho cheese sauce; homemade fried shells.

These are from last October. They’re wearing (heh) green cabbage, yellow heirloom tomatoes (DEAR SUMMER PLEASE HURRY UP), olives, Tapatio, and shredded cheddar Cheezly; homemade fried shells. 

And these are from a couple of weeks ago. Fire-warmed soft corn tortillas, shredded lettuce, quartered grape tomatoes, chopped olives, ripe avocado slices, and Tapatio.

So great. So, so great. I even have omnis asking me to make these for them! Now you should make some, too!

ribollita – soup week #3

My kid is awesome. I took him three different recipes – one for “cheesy” cauliflower soup, one for potato soup, and one for Vegan Planet‘s ribollita – and asked him to choose one for tonight’s dinner. I was sure he’d pick the potato soup, as his favorite – even more favorite than tortilla – soup before I became vegan was this cholesterol-laden (heavy cream! several cups of sharp Cheddar!) concoction called Cheesiest Potato Soup. He surprised me, though, and picked the loaded-with-cabbage ribollita. Awesome.

RIBOLLITA (4-6 servings)

  • 1 small head green cabbage, quartered and cored
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (I totally left this out – onions are the bane of my existence, etc. etc.)
  • 1 stalk celery, diced (I rarely have celery in the house, but when I do, it just seems wrong to make a soup without it)
  • 1 medium carrot, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (yeah, I used, um, eight)
  • 2 small white potatoes, peeled and diced (first: I never peel my my potatoes; second: I used 5 or 6 wee Klamath Pearls)
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste blended with 1 cup warm water
  • 5 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked or one 15-ounce can borlotti or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (I used cannellini)
  • 4 to 6 slices Italian bread, toasted (I used a whole wheat sourdough from a local bakery [Essential Baking’s Pain du George, for you locals])
  1. Cut the cabbage into 1/2-inch-wide strips and set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion celery, carrot, and garlic (I always add some salt at this point, to help the base vegetables sweat a little). Cover and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the cabbage, potatoes, diluted tomato paste, stock, bay leaves, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the vegetables are soft, about 45 minutes. Add the beans and cook for 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaves, then taste and adjust the seasonings.
  3. To serve, place a slice of toasted bread in the bottom of each bowl and ladle the soup over the bread. Serve hot.

This was quite tasty and very filling, and an excellent choice for a windy, cold, and blustery night like tonight.

tortilla soup – soup week #2

Tortilla soup is a big favorite around here. It’s probably the soup my son asks for the most, spanning pretty much his entire lifetime. I had a basic chicken (euuurgh) tortilla soup recipe for many years, before I gave up eating animals. Now I tend to jump from recipe to recipe, no longer having “the one”. Tonight’s was adapted from Keni‘s second vegan recipe zine, and it was incredible.

  • 4 cups diced red potatoes
  • 1 T oil
  • Several cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 14.5-ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 T chili powder
  • ½ T cumin
  • 2 tsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 16-ounce bag of frozen corn
  • 2 T corn meal
  • 1 cup soy/rice/etc milk
  • juice of one lime
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • Cayenne, salt, and black pepper to taste
  • 6 corn tortillas, cut into strips
  • possible toppings: salsa, hot sauce, chopped avocado, vegan cheese, vegan sour cream, guacamole, lime wedges, chopped tomatoes

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. Boil potatoes in a soup pot until barely tender. Drain, reserving the cooking water.
  3. Sauté the garlic, jalapeno, bell pepper, celery, and carrot in oil until soft. Add chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt, and sauté for one more minute. Add one cup of the potato water, the potatoes, tomatoes, and broth. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, place tortilla strips on a cookie sheet and bake until crispy.
  5. Remove half of the soup and purée in a blender or food processor until fairly smooth. Return soup to pot. Add corn, cornmeal, soy milk, half the cilantro, lime juice, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Simmer for another 10 minutes.
  6. Place a few tortilla strips in the bottom of a bowl. Ladle soup over tortilla strips, topping with fresh cilantro and a few more tortilla strips, as well as any other toppings you’d like!

I like mine with fresh, cool avocado:

Ooohhh, all pretty for the picture.

All mixed-up and ready for nomming. YUM.

This is really good with a cold beer – Pacifico would be perfect, but I had a Heineken (no Pacifico in the house, alas) and it was mighty fine.

she returns! with chickpea soup! – soup week #1

Oh, blogosphere, I missed you! Between week o’midterms two weeks ago, and week o’visiting friend in hospital last week, I have had zero time for cooking, much less blogging about cooking. But this week! Well, despite having an alarming amount of homework due, the completion of which is an impossibility if I intend to sleep before Saturday, as well as a fever, I got myself back into the kitchen tonight. And I am returning to blogging with a theme! The offspring and I have decreed this Soup Week. The weather here is even more Seattle-in-November than Seattle in November usually is, and believe me when I tell you that it’s the perfect week for soup. Lots of soup.

We started, tonight, with Chickpea Soup with Golden Spices, from Mollie Katzen’s Vegetable Heaven.

Recipe!

–  4 15-ounce cans chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
– 1 T extra virgin olive oil
– 2 C minced onion
– 4 T minced garlic
– 2 tsp salt
– 1 large carrot, diced
– pinch of saffron threads
– 2 tsp cumin seed, lightly toasted
– 2 tsp dry mustard
– 1/4 C fresh lemon juice
– black pepper and cayenne, to taste
– 2-3 T tahini, optional
– Optional, for the top: minced cilantro, parsley, or mint; a drizzle of sesame oil; 2 medium ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion (I leave this out entirely, of course, as onions are my sworn enemy), half the garlic, half the salt, and the carrot, saffron, cumin seeds, and mustard. Saute over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until the carrot begins to soften. Add the chickpeas and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and cook, covered, for about 20 minutes. Add the remaining garlic and salt, along with the lemon juice (I didn’t have this tonight, and the soup really is better with it), black pepper, and cayenne to taste. You can also add some sesame tahini at this point, if desired. Puree the soup in a blender or food processor until fairly smooth. (You might want to add a little extra water if it seems too thick.) Taste to adjust seasonings. Serve hot, with a spoonful of diced tomato, a small amount of cilantro/parsley/mint, and possibly a drop or two of sesame oil on top of each serving, if desired.

I chopped up the last orange tomato from our neighbor’s yard (the last remaining reminder of summer in our kitchen), and instead of cilantro, I added a dollop of leftover homemade salsa. Mmmm…my salsa is fabulous. And so is this soup – it’s one of my all-time favorites and I usually make it several times in autumn and winter. Tonight we had it with a very simple salad (red leaf lettuce, cucumber, tomato).

junk food Friday – sushi! – veganmofo 14

3930562108_f07c8dec17The kid’s spending the night at a friend’s house, and the huzbean worked late. It was just me, and the cats, and “Pushing Daisies”, and you know what that means – junk food Friday! Tonight it was maki (again), which is on the healthier end of the junk food spectrum, but still – white rice and fried tofu are not exactly health food.

mmmmmmakispicy tofuCripsy tofu, sriracha, and garlic gomasio. tofu and avocado

Cripsy tofu, avocado, and garlic gomasio. tofu!

Blurry crispy tofu strips with garlic gomasio (seriously, y’all, I’m not exaggerating when I say I use that stuff A LOT) and a healthy puddle of sriracha.

sushi junk food friday!Junk food Friday maki of lurve!

Here’s our great big bowl of candy, all ready for tomorrow night: trick or treat

This is my costume from two Halloweens ago: little dead riding hood 1

little dead riding hood 4

little dead riding hood 2

little dead riding hood 3

Little Dead Riding Hood!

Happy Halloween Eve, darlings!

tomato soup and grilled cheese – veganmofo 13

3930562108_f07c8dec17It’s definitively autumn, with more than a hint of winter, this week in Seattle. The skies are grey and frequently falling; the temperatures are in the 40s; some of the trees are already bare, the ground beneath them graveyards heavy with brown and yellow leaves. On days like this – and I know I’m not alone here – I really want the sort of warm and comforting meal my mom would set before us on cold, wet nights. What does that mean?

SOUP. Specifically, tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. Though my days of canned tomato soup (just add a can of milk!) and greasy grilled cheddar sandwiches are over, I made a meal that was just as warm and homey as the ones I had when I was a child – and about a thousand times more delicious.

tomato soupI made Lolo‘s Spicy Tomato Chickpea Soup from Vegan Yum Yum. It was scrumptious. True, it bore little resemblance to the canned stuff of my childhood – but that’s a good thing. It was spicy, flavorful, filling, and yummy – in short, perfect.

My sandwich was thinly-sliced Daiya cheddar and a sprinkling of nutritional yeast grilled between two hearty pieces of Ezekiel bread. It melted beautifully, tasted fantastic, and was heavenly dipped in the tomato soup. grilled cheese

Look at that beautiful meltyness!

Sometimes I want a dessert that isn’t a cupcake. CRAZY TALK, I KNOW. I sliced up a local apple and drizzled it with Woodring Northwest‘s Agave Chocolate Sauce, which is divine. apples and chocolate

Erm, I guess that’s slightly more than a drizzle. Heh.

tostadas – dinner of quickness – veganmofo 12

3930562108_f07c8dec17My sister called right as I was getting ready to start dinner. She lives in Oregon and we hadn’t spoken for a couple of months. I took the call and tossed my dinner plans out the window. We only talked for an hour, which is quite a short call for the two of us, but I still didn’t have time to make the soup I’d planned on making. I reminded myself that days like this are why I keep prepared foods on hand, checked the freezer and pantry, and had an idea.

tostadas!Tostadas! I crispified some corn tortillas,  sauteed some Morningstar Farms Meal Starters Chik’n Strips (I know they’re owned by Kellogg’s now, and I rarely buy their stuff, but I’d heard that these were made with the super-buzzed-about Gardein, and I wanted to try it), heated up some refried beans, chopped a tomato (from the neighbor’s garden) and some cabbage and half an avocado, and voila! Dinner! thing 1

I seasoned both the beans and the strips with this mixture*. I topped my tostadas with generous dashes of Tapatio. I ate a bunch of last night’s leftover cripsy kale, too.

thing 2They were fast, they were easy, and they were sooooo good. I kept making happy noises as I ate.

The kid and I were at Target today (another thing/place I try to avoid), looking for components for his costume. We struck out, but we did come across Jones Soda’s limited-edition candy corn-flavored soda. Yes, we bought it. I don’t think the kid would have let me leave Target without it. So we had some with our dinner tonight.

a most alarming colorIt was awfully difficult to photograph, since it’s kinda the same color as my table. it was good, though; though the kid doesn’t think it tastes like candy corn, I do (we both agree that it’s tasty). And for this candy corn-loving vegan who’s made sad every October by the lack of vegan candy corn (one of these years I’ll make my own), it was a nice little treat.

*I discovered this mix from Happy Herbivore‘s amazing chickpea tacos, which I’m sure to blog about soon – they’re a favorite at our house, and I make them A LOT.

seitan success! – veganmofo 11

3930562108_f07c8dec17I’ve tried my hand at seitan a number of times. Though I’ve experiemented with a number of different recipes, only a couple have really made me happy. One, not surprisingly, is the Seitan O’Greatness. The other is Julie Hasson’s Spicy Italian Vegetarian Sausage (also not surprisingly). What do these two recipes have in common? Yep – no boiling/simmering. Like oh-so-many vegans, I have trouble making a decent simmered seitan that isn’t brainy or spongy or otherwise freaksome (I’ve also had some baked seitan cutlets turn out weirdly bready). That was, my dears, until yesterday.

Yesterday I decided to give stovetop-simmered seitan another try. This time I was inspired by Joanna‘s chicken-style seitan recipe in her truly fab Yellow Rose Recipes. I’m not sure what possessed me to make seitan on a day when I had several chapters of Angela Davis’ Women, Race, and Class to read, along with a Social Psychology chapter and two chapters in my ASL textbook – it couldn’t POSSIBLY have been homework avoidance and procrastination. Nope. Not me!

Let me tell you, dear readers – I am in love with this recipe. My seitan was beautiful. Nicely textured, well-shaped, deliciously flavored. When I pulled those cutlets from the broth, my heart soared. I might have done totally did a happy dance in the kitchen.

I saved four for last night’s dinner, and put the other six in the fridge (still in the broth). I dredged the still-wet cutlets in a mixture of whole wheat bread crumbs, whole wheat flour, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, thyme, oregano, freshly ground black pepper, and a dash of cayenne. Since the cutlets were still broth-dampened, I didn’t need to dip them in milk first. After coating them, I pan-fried them until golden and crispy. I made a millet-quinoa pilaf (from Passionate Vegetarian), steamed brussels sprouts, and Punk Rock Chickpea Gravy from Vegan with a Vengeance.

cutlet of joy!Oh, beautiful cutlet!

This was also the first time I’d tried the Punk Rock Chickpea Gravy (I KNOW) – holy goats, y’all, it is INCREDIBLE. I don’t know what took me so long! I want to put it on EVERYTHING.

om nom nom nomLook at that! 

steamy!Heh. Dinner steamed up the lens and made the picture all hazy.

sprouts of lurveBrussels sprouts are my all-time favorite vegetable. It’s true! They are the absolute best thing about winter produce. I love them passionately! I love them most roasted, but last night I steamed them, in the interest of time. My kid doesn’t like them at all (nutty!), so I got them allllll to myself. <3

Last night’s cutlet love dinner was so good that my kid asked if we could have it again tonight. The teenager wanted leftovers! Wahoo! I was only too happy to comply, and tonight I added some crispy roasted kale to our plates.

This will be my go-to seitan recipe for the foreeeable future and possibly forever. Joanna’s awesome. That said, I do intended to designate one week next month – probably after midterms but before Thanksgiving – “Praise Seitan” week, which will entail trying a different seitan recipe every night for seven days. Anticipation!

soup and pumpkins – veganmofo 9

We had some friends over for pumpkin carving and dinner tonight. It was fun, beautiful, and nourishing in many ways. We made jack o’lanterns, ate pumpkin cookies, watched the Powerpuff Girls, loved on their baby while getting to know their teenager, and deeply enjoyed every minute of it. offspring & pumpkin

My kid guts his gourd.

huzbean & pumpkinMy huzbean guts his.

Our friends brought over some Field Roast Italian sausages and chunks of roasted butternut squash. I roasted up two Delicata squashes we had in the fridge, and I turned it all into a delicious soup. delicata

Gorgeous roasted Delicata squash. Yeah, I totally left a sticker on one during roasting. Whoops.

soup!

Squash and Italian Sausage Soup!

Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash – halved and seeded
  • 2 Delicata squash, halved and seeded
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 ounces (1 package/4 links) Field Roast Italian Sausage
  • 2 small shallots, choppd
  • 12 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried sage 
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram 
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 cup soy creamer or heavy cream substitute 
  • Directions:

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat the squash halves with 2 teaspoons of the oil. Season the inside with salt and pepper and place cut-side down on a baking sheet. Bake until very tender, about 45 minutes – check the Delicatas at 30 minutes, as they may roast more quickly. When the squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and reserve. Discard the peel.

    Heat the remaining oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat, and add the sausage. Cook until golden brown, breaking up with a wooden spoon. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until the onions are wilted and starting to caramelize. Add the garlic, sage and marjoram, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the cooked squash, broth, and water, stir well to combine, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    With a hand-held immersion blender, or in batches in a food processor or blender, puree the soup. Return to pot, add the cider vinegar, and stir to combine. Add the cream, adjust seasonings to taste, and warm soup if necessary. Serve!

    IMG_1123We also had a lovely salad and my favorite seeded baguette. IMG_1125

    Salad!

    happy wineAnd a tasty Syrah with a happy bottle!

    me & the girlMe, and the baby, and, uh, a giant tub of Earth Balance. She was so happy to be wearing my Halloween barrette!

    bat pumpkinOur friends’ teenager’s bat pumpkin.

    jack o'lanternMy husband’s freehanded jack o’lantern.

    joker pumpkinMy kid’s stellar and creepy Joker pumpkin.

    <3 <3 <3

    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?)!

    IMG_1109

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

    IMG_1108

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