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halloween! – veganmofo 15 and final

3930562108_f07c8dec17Yeah, I’m totally going to cheat and call this a VeganMofo post – even though I’m posting it November 1, it’s about yesterday. So there.

HALLOWEEN! We had a party! I made some foods! Please view many, many photos!

spooky cupcakesSpooky vanilla cupcakes tinted either purple or green, topped with vanilla buttercream (recipes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World). purple cupcake!

Purple cupcake!

green cupcake!Green cupcake!

mummy cupcakesMummies! Red velvet cupcakes with piped vanilla buttercream (again, recipes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World). more mummies

vegan mummy cucpakes take over the world

even more mummies

red velvet

Vegan mummy cupcakes take over the world!

ooooohummusoooooSpooky black bean hummus with garlic sauce and bone toast.

guacamoldy

“Guacamoldy”! Made it in the food processor instead of mashing by hand, to make it a little bit more reminiscent of slime.

white bean aioli“Vampires of the world, beware” white bean aioli (from Veganomicon) with sourdough toasts (bone, moon, and bat).

shaped sourdough toastsBats, and moons, and bones – oh my!

crispy flour tortillasOven-crisped whole wheat flour tortillas.

june cleaverJune Cleaver! Get it? Cleaver! Hee! With lethal chopping action and delicious vegan cupcakes!

ooooh spooky cocktailHuzbean and a spooky bubbling cocktail.

mrs. cleaver tipples a bitJune Cleaver does like her bloody poison.

hello fatherMrs. Cleaver shows Father Karras some “hospitality”. “That Regan girl had nothing on me, Father.”

Farewell, Halloween 2009! You were spectacular and I will miss you.

See more photos – and some video! – here.

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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!

pumpkin cupcakes (and a pumpkin) – veganmofo 10

3930562108_f07c8dec17October makes me want to make truckloads of pumpkiny baked goods. I am far from alone in this, I know. Last week, I made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies from The Damn Tasty Guide to Vegan Baking and inexplicably failed to get a photo before they were all gone. I’d put Halloweeny sprinkles on them and everything! Happily, they were all nommed up at our pumpkin carving on Saturday…which meant we were out of homemade baked goods! Oh, darn, I had to make something new! ;)

So I made Isa’s & Terry’s Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, and topped them with their cinnamon glaze.

IMG_1142IMG_1143IMG_1145IMG_1146IMG_1152IMG_1154 2

I even put them in Halloween-themed cupcake liners! I know this is a silly number of photos, but they’re just so pretty. Oh, and delicious. Tiny bat-wrapped morsels of autumnal heaven.

And I finished carving one of my pumpkins! IMG_1137

Yay! I love Halloween!

 

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