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Vegan MoFo 2016!!! Pineapple Not-So-Fried Rice!

3 Nov

Hi all!  Welcome to the Vegan Month of Food (MoFo) 2016!  This is the event when vegan food bloggers from all over the world post on their blogs as many days as possible for the whole month.  Check out all the other bloggers posting an amazing variety of plant-based deliciousness!

As you  can see,  I’m a few days late in my first post but that’s okay.  I plan to be quite kind to myself as I participate in this years blogfest.  In the past, I’ve made myself a little nuts thinking I had to post every single day or I just wasn’t doing it “right”.  This year, I plan to share some great vegan food and recipes as much as it works for me throughout November and have fun doing it.  No pressure.  Ahhh…  I hope you enjoy and get some good ideas!

Two nights ago, I made a delicious recipe from Chef Chloe Coscarelli’s  first cookbook, Choe’s Kitchen.  It’s called Pineapple Not-So-Fried Rice and it was so delicious!  The pineapple is such a nice sweet counterpart to the curry spiced rice and crunchy cashews.

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I made a few changes to the recipe….She called for tossing the tofu cubes with soy sauce and baking.  I decided I wanted a more interesting marinade for the tofu and found one in Terry Hope Romero’s cookbook Salad Samurai.

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This Red-Hot Saucy Tofu was fantastic and added a spicy complexity to the final dish.  I will definitely use this marinade for other things…I can imagine cauliflower roasted in this red hot goodness.

Lastly, Chef Chloe’s recipe did not call for roasting the cashews before adding them to the dish but I would highly recommend it.  This keeps them crunchy in the stir fry process.

This recipe makes a large amount.  Good for 8-10 servings.

 

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Transitioning to Vegan-Enjoy Cooking Again!

12 Jan

Last Saturday night we had some friends over for dinner for a vegan feast.  They aren’t vegan but my husband, Jim, had been raving to Craig about my cooking while they were making beer together.  (Thanks, honeybunch!)  Anyway, as I’ve shared with you before, my interest and excitement about cooking has been re-ignited since I transitioned to vegan.  It has inspired me to try many new recipes and cooking techniques as well as become more familiar with a wide variety of plant-based ingredients.   I keep thinking, if only everyone knew that you don’t need any animal products to produce luscious food!  I’ve been having a great time making delicious, healthy food made only from plants. On Saturday we toasted (with the tasty, home-brewed beer that Craig had made) to good health, good friends, good food and the fact that no animals had been harmed in the making of our fabulous meal.

Here’s the menu:

Lemony Artichoke Dip with pita crackers (from Terry Walters’ Clean Food)  So, so, so good!  Kristin was surprised this is made so thick and creamy with cannelini beans.

Massaged Kale Salad with Apples and Golden Raisins (This was originally written with Gorgonzola, which I omitted).  Craig could not believe how good kale could taste and had second helpings!

Eggplant, Green Beans, Pumpkin and Basil in Coconut-Tomato Curry (from Mollie Katzen’s The Vegetable Dishes I Can’t Live Without) This was a big hit!

Zesty Basmati Rice with Cinnamon and Cumin (from Terry Walters’ Clean Food)

Sesame-Walnut-Ginger Broccoli (from the same Mollie Katzen cookbook as above)

For dessert, I had been wanting to try Turtle Mountains’ Non-Dairy “Ice Creams”.  We decided to compare a couple with chocolate and peanut butter involved, since I love that combo.  Kristin liked the creamier texture of the Coconut Milk concoction, while I preferred the bigger chunks of peanut butter in the Zig Zag.  But really?  Both were incredibly delectable and I believe difficult for most to detect the lack of dairy ingredients.

Purely Decadent Coconut Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl (YUM!)

Purely Decadent Non-Dairy Chocolate Peanut Butter Zig Zag Soy Ice Cream (YUM!)

The Vegan Feast was a smashing success!  All recipes were requested and shared. So, as you are Transitioning to Vegan, get back in the kitchen and do  some home cooking!  Feel the zen of creating healthy, comforting, compassionate food with your own two hands. It really is a wonderful way to express your creativity and we all know that making time to express our  creativity on a daily basis is part of living a vibrant life!

On another note, I want to again express my appreciation for all the wonderful chefs out there who share their recipes so freely.  The three sources mentioned above are just a few of the many who are spreading the word about how delicious it can be to eat more vegetables.  Check them out!

Do you have favorite go to sources for veggie recipes?  Please share!

A Visual Tour of My Saturday Morning in Ann Arbor

30 Oct

Okay, this has nothing at all to do with being vegan.  However, wouldn’t it be nice if all these Mud Bowl participants and spectators were vegan?

Giant Rutabagas at Farmer’s Market!  My mother-in-law introduced me to the delights of eating these monster vegetables.  So, so good!  By the time I saw these, I already had too many veggies to cook up so I checked with the farmer to make sure she would have some next week and the answer was Yes!

Have you been to the Spice Merchants at Kerrytown Market yet?  They carry an amazing array of spices, teas and grains as well as artisan crafted sea salts beyond your imagination.  All of their offerings are arranged in such an aesthetically pleasing display that invites you to look into each jar and be surprised by what it holds.  Yes, that’s Wild Porcini Sea Salt, Vintage Merlot Sea Salt and Spanish Rosemary Sea Salt.

Black Lava Sea Salt, White Cypress Sea Salt and Pink Hawaiian Sea Salt

Habanero Sea Salt, Chile Verde Sea Salt and Chipotle Sea Salt

Those pictured are just a few samples of the varieties of sea salt offered at this treasure of a shop.  I’m going to attempt to make some vegan candy and caramels so I bought some Fleur de Sel Sea Salt and some Candied Ginger.

After shopping for my sweet nephew, Gianni’s, birthday gift, I headed home with my goodies.  I didn’t even show you the tomatoes, kale, spinach, radishes or spicy salad mix I bought!

Here, however, is my giant parsnip!  All ready to be peeled and chopped to go into……..

Quinoa, White Bean and Kale Stew from Appetite for Reduction. Healthy, Delicious, Comfort Food!  Mine looks very pretty with the red quinoa I bought at Spice Merchants!

Cranberry Walnut Tabbouleh

24 Oct

I found some fresh mint at the Farmer’s Market last Saturday and wanted to use more of the parsley that is still overflowing in my herb pot on the deck.  The first thing I think of when I think of parsley and mint is tabbouleh.   This tabbouleh is not your traditional one with tomatoes and cucumbers but a little sweeter and chewier with dried cranberries and chopped walnuts that have been toasted.  It’s become a family favorite.  I hope you enjoy it, too!

Cranberry Walnut Tabbouleh

1 cup bulgur wheat

1 cup boiling water

1 cup chopped fresh cranberries (I used dried instead and added it to the bulgur before I added the hot water)

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/4 minced red onion

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, toasted

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

1 1/2 tablespoons walnut oil

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine bulgur and 1 cup boiling water in a large bowl.  Cover and let stand 30 minutes or until water is absorbed.  Fluff bulgur mixture with a fork.  Stir in rest of ingredients and toss gently to combine.