Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Cooking Catch Up and Merry Christmas

Hey everyone! I have a good nine days off and I have been meaning to post but you know, things happen. I revamped two previous mistake recipes. Falafel burgers and potato leek soup. The first time I tried falafel burgers their recipe was from my mom’s Cooking Light and we made them together and they ended up being way too wet. The potato leek soup was originally made by my mom but it was left with chunks of potatoes and leeks. In this recipe, I decided to blend it to make it creamy.

One of our Christmas traditions is to have coffee cake while opening presents. This year my mom and I made a vegan coffee cake that came out, in my opinion, better than the original because it was a lot less sweet. I would like to wish everyone happy holidays and hope everyone is enjoying being with family and friends at this time of year.

Potato Leek Soup

Falafel Vegan With a Vengence (pg 98-99)
I put it on whole wheat pita bread with tomato, avocado, and spinach.

Coffee Cake recipe from theppk.com

I took a picture of all my food related presents. I got a measureing cup, mini cake pans, a box grater, vegan carob chip cookies, chocolate covered coffee beans and almonds, dark chocolate worlds, and Vive le Vegan (by Dreena Burton), and Student's Go Vegan Cookbook (by Crole Raymond). I can not wait to start using my new books!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Cupcakes At Last!!!

When I try an ingredient for the first time, I usually go on a cooking binge and attempt to incorporate it in as many dishes as possible until I am well acquainted with that food. I have been playing with tempeh lately and I can safely say that it is becoming a must have staple in my refrigerator.

Now, the moment you (or at least I) have been waiting for...
I finally made cupcakes!!! I have been oh so busy and just never had the chance to use my new book. Yesterday my friend Lauren came over for an unofficial "birthday party" for me, and well, what is a birthday party with out cupcakes? They were so amazing and moist and perfect. Enjoy the pictures.

Tempeh over salad

I used three grain tempeh and sautéd it in a cast iron pan with a little bit of soy sauce. I put the chunks of tempeh over a green salad with lettuce, spinach, carrots and tomatoes with oil and vinegar.

Sexy low-fat vanilla cupcakes with chocolate mousse topping

From Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. Cupcakes page 41 and chocoalte mousse pg. 155.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Tempeh Time

I finally had time to cook over the weekend! I have never tried tempeh before and now I think it could become one of my favorite foods. The weather is getting colder (19 degrees on Friday morning) which means it is time to make some chili. The chile was just the thing to bring me into the could winter months.

1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 medium yellow or white onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1or 2 cans of beans (I prefer kidneys, but any will do)
3/4 Cup prepped textured soy protein (TVP)- will explain below
2 tablespoons Cumin powder
2 tablespoons Chili powder
1 serrano or jalapeno pepper, diced (more or less, whatever you prefer)
1 28 oz. can stewed tomatoes, crushed with juice and all
olive oil

Prep the TVP: simply add the 3/4 cup of textured soy protein to 1/4 cup very hot water, and stir. When the textured soy protein fluffs up and absorbs the water, you're ready.

Heat large stock pot over medium heat, and pour in a few tablespoons of oil. Add the first four ingredients, and saute for about 5-7 minutes (the more you saute here, the less time it will take to simmer later).

Add the tomatoes, beans, spices, hot pepper, and textured soy protein. Stir all the ingredients, and add water if it gets too thick. Let this simmer for an hour, at least, and more if you have time. The longer it simmers, the better it tastes! You can adjust the spices as you wish, I usually just eyeball the quantities so these are best estimates.


I used seasame tempeh and sautéd it in a cast iron pan with a little bit of soy sauce. I ate it on whole wheat bread spread with sesame tahini.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

A Very (almost) Vegan Thanksgiving

I have been taking a break from Vegan Ventures for a long long time and I am sorry but I needed to neglect my food blog because I just had too much work. I am all caught up for now (as best as I can be at least) so I can finally add my pictures. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, whether you had tofurky, Chinese food, or PB&J for your feast. My grandma brought the turkey (no comment) and I was in charge of making all the sides. I made pumpkin crusted tofu from VWaV for my main food, mashed sweet potatoes, corn bread, sugar snap peas, creamed spinach, and a pumpkin pie. No one in my family knew the sides were vegan and my grandparents even ate the tofu, and liked it. All in all it was a very successful first vegan Thanksgiving.

Yesterday was my birthday and I was going to make brownies but, again, I was too busy writing a huge paper for bio. My mom made vegan chocolate chip cookies from this allergen free mix (ie. no wheat, eggs, dairy, soy, peanuts...). I am not allergic to anything but at least they were vegan and very tasty. I am going to try to do some baking over Christmas break.

Corn Bread

Pumpkin Crusted Tofu
from Vegan With a Vengence
Previous post

Sugar Snap Peas

Pumpkin Pie

Crust recipe Pumpkin pie recipe I used firm silken tofu and I put the tofu in the blender until uit was smooth

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Back; After An Insane Week

I have not cooked in such a long time but I finally got to it last night. I just had such a hard week of midterms and a family emergency that took up all my attention.

Stirfry with brown rice noodles

I cooked red and green pepper, spinach, shiitake mushrooms, and tofu in the wok with some soy sauce. Then I put it over brown rice noodles. So simple. So good.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I have mid-terms next week, so I will be MIA for a while. I have off Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, and I am going into the city with my mom in search of some good vegan food/items. Any suggestions? I made lasagna about a week ago and it came out so good. The tofu was well hidden. So well in fact, that I am going to serve it to my grandparents one day (*gasp*). Last night I stir fried veggies and tofu in the wok. We don’t have a hood that sucks the smoke out of the house which caused a lot of smoke to fill the kitchen. I love my wok anyway, I asked for it for Christmas a few years ago (so a teenager would rather get a wok for Christmas than a new cell phone; stranger things have happened). I also think everyone should check out this website. I do not care too much for MTV (I am a Fuse girl all the way. Those of you who live in NY/NJ area know what I am talking about). I do commended MTV for airing these commercials though. Maybe it will get people more aware, or at least more accepting, of eating veg.

Recipe from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen (I am in love with her blog)

I made my own sauce and omitted the black olives. Read the directions carefully, you have to cook it for an hour.

Stir Fry

Broccoli, cremni mushrooms, spinach, adn tofu.
I cooked the tofu for and took it out. Then I cooked the broccoli and mushroom.
I added the tofu and put in a little bit of soy sauce and added the spinach at the very end. Not the extra long chop sticks for stiring.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Last Thursday, I went pumpkin picking with my mom. I have been doing this every year for basically my entire life, and I was not about to break the tradition. It was a great chance to test out my camera. I have been taking pictures whenever I have time, and learning how to use all the professional features (exposure, aperture, shutter seeds, things of that nature). I also made black bean burgers a few days ago. I know it is really cold out, but I grill all through the year (even in the snow). I just bundle up, and go for it. I swear, I live in California in my head. On Saturday, I went to Veggie Heaven and got take out. It is an amazing Chinese restaurant that my mom and I love (and my dad thinks is just okay). I got moo shoo veg chicken. It tasted so good. I bought a pumpkin lantern at AC Moore (it’s right next to Veggie Heaven). Hope everyone had a good weekend.

Black Bean Burgers
(On a whole wheat bun with BBQ sauce)
My recipe

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


I am back! I got back late Sunday night and have a had an extremely homework saturated week so blogging was put on the back burner for a while. As I said before, I went to visit my brother at college. he goes to George Mason in Fairfax, Virginia. He is actually transferring after this semester because he does not like it. Mason is a commuter school so the campus is dead most of the time. We went down for family weekend. Instead of doing the activities the collage had planned, we went into Georgetown and shopped all day Saturday. Georgetown is like a mini New York City that is a lot cleaner (I have nothing on NYC, but G-town is almost spotless). The town had tons of upscale stores (Banana Republic, Urban Outfitters, American Eagle, J. Crew, and even Armani and other designers), it also had some great little shops. I have come to the conclusion that I love Georgetown. We ended up eating of this very antivegan restaurant for lunch. The only vegan thing was salad, which I got. I lived on peanut butter, soy yogurt (the hotel had a fridge), fruit, the banana bites I made, and the fruit and nut bars I made, the whole weekend. We ate dinner at Panera Bread and I got the black bean soup (yum!). Before we dropped my brother back off at Mason, we went I for lunch. We were driving around and we came to a vegetarian restaurant called The Sunflower. My brother and my dad actually agreed to go in, and my mom (being almost totally vegan, when convenient) was all for it. It was a cute little Chinese/Japanese/Americaish/other style place. I ordered the Organic Braised Tofu (the picture was with my camera phone). It was tofu, broccoli, and other asian veggies in a ginger sauce. It was very good. We also ordered a piece of vegan pumpkin pie (the entire menu was vegan upon closer review). Anyway, that was my weekend.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Away For The Weekend

I am dieing to make cupcakes! Sadly, I am going to have to keep you in suspense until next week. I am going to visit my brother in college this weekend and I do not want to have left over cupcakes sitting in the fridge while I am gone. I am sure my family could have eaten some before we left, but I do not want any cupcakes wasted. My brother loves my banana bites (as you can see by this post). I baked a bunch today to bring to him. I could have brought him cupcakes, but they are just too hard to transport and I do not have a container that they could fit in without getting squashed.

Banna Bites
(Original post)
I found letting the batter sit for 5 mintue before you scoop it out helps them hold their form. I do this while I am preheating the oven.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Getting Ready To Take Over The World

I have been so busy getting to know my new camera these past couple days, that I haven't had the chance to post my pictures from the weekend. I had a lot of homework and studying to do on Sunday (almost the entire day) so on one of my breaks I wanted to experiment with the fruit and nut bar recipe. They came out so amazing and I think I am going to continue to tweak this recipe. I also used silken tofu for the first time to make eggplant “parmesan” . My whole family loved it and I think the picture came out very good. When I got home today, a small box was waiting for me at the door. I picked it up and saw the smile synonymous with Amazon.com. I literally screamed out loud because it was, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World (by Isa Chandra Moskowitz [who also wrote Vegan With A Vengeance] and Terry Hope Romero)!!! I, of course, had to take a picture of it and read it from cover to cover as I waited for my pictures to load. I am so souped to start making cupcakes! The book was not suppose to come until November, 2nd, so I am not prepared with cupcake papers (but I do have a piping bag). Stay tuned for cupcakes...
Fruit and Nut Bars
I took this recipe and changed it to make these energy style, very healthy, bars. If you have the prepackaged prunes then all you really need is a 1/2 cup to do this recipe.
1 cup whole spelt flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup prune puree (or one 2.5 oz baby food container of prunes)
1/2 cup chopped dates (2 whole dates)
1/2 cup chopped driedapricots
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and knead with your hands until well blended. Press the dough into a parchment paper lined (or lightly oiled) 8 in. by 8 in. glass pan (or some would call a square casserole). Cut into squares before cooking. Bake for 25 minutes. Keep in the refrigerator.

Vegan Eggplant Parmesan
This recipe is from Fatfree Vegan Kitchen. I have had this recipe in the "to make" section of my recipes binder (yes I am that organized). I wanted to save it until I had my camera. I used hemp bread to make the bread crumbs because I conveniently ran out of bread that day. I also used the almons instead of the vegan pamesan. I ended up baking it for 45 minutes because the eggplant was just too tough. It was a great recipe that I will be making again. I am planning on eating some left overs when I am done here.

Vegan Cucakes Take Over the World
I can not wait to start baking!

Saturday, October 07, 2006


I have been saving for a good camera for as long as I can remember. Photography has been my passion from a very young age. I used to want to be a food photographer. Now I can finally pursue my hobby as a photographer; as well as producing fantastic pictures of my cooking adventures. I have had my Nikon D-50 for less then 6 hours., and I already love it. There are so many features I have to learn, and some I don’t think I ever will. Hope you all enjoy the new quality of my pictures as I strive for higher quality cooking.
My first food subject, the picture is so clear!
Pita with avocado, tomatoes, and fresh spinach
If you compare this picture to the other pita picture in a recent post, the difference in quality is astounding.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Spinach; Oh, How I Missed Thee!

Now that the quarantine on the amazingly flavorful green leaf has been lifted, it is time to celebrate! I used fresh spinach (not from a bag) to make these two dishes. First I made an all spinach salad with tomatoes and carrots. Then, I made grilled pizza with spinach and yellow peppers. We need to support spinach in it’s time of need.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

3 Day Weekend!!!

I had a three-day weekend because of Yom Kippur. I am not Jewish, but for those of you who are, I hope you enjoyed your day; especially your break-fast. The three-day weekend gave me a chance to catch up on some much missed cooking. On Saturday, I made some hummus which I ate on a whole wheat pita with campari tomatoes, crisp lettuce, and crunchy cucumbers. Then on Sunday, I had to go to the Fall Festival in my town and help out, because I am in the National Art Honors Society. I had to paint kid's faces for an hour. One community service hour down, 19 more to go. Before I had to leave, I decided to try this recipe for fruit and nut bars that was just screaming to be made.


Fruit and Nut Bars

This recipe is from Jennifer Shmoo, of Vegan Lunch Box, and can be found here. It is part of my on going quest to bake no added sugarl, no oil, Eat to Live friendly, foods. I did not have enough raisins, so it was made up of mostly apricots. I also used pumpkin seeds and almonds because I did not have walnuts. I think I am going to use this recipe as a base and change it around a little bit.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

A Very Chile Day

I woke up this saturday morning to find that the temperature must have forgotten the inbetween warm and freezing weather, and went straight for absolutely frigid. I had prepped some granola the night before that was now ready to bake. I love having the oven on when it gets really cold, it feels amazing. On cold nights, soup is almost mandatory. I made this awesome chile with TVP (textured vegetable protein). I also baked some corn bread to have on the side.

I changed my original recipe because I had the cooking time wrong.

3 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup peanuts
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, or more to taste
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup maple syrup

Combine dry ingredience in a plastic container. Pour the maple syrup on top until everything is lightly saturated. (You can use more if you think you need it, but if you use to much your granola will be a hunk). Cover the container and let it dry in the refrigerator overnight. This allows the flavors to seep in. (If you must have granola you can just cook it now, but the drying overnight really enhances the flavors).

The next day:Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put parchment paper on a cookie sheet and spred the granola out in a single layer. Bake for 20 minutes (depending on the oven). The granola should be completly dry and crunchy when cool. Enjoy with your favorite vegan milk of choice (I like vanilla soy), add it to a trail mix, or just take along plain.

I always change the amount and type of nuts and seeds I use. You can do anything you want, as long is it equals a cup. You could also add raisins after cooking.

I found the recipe here: http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=12858.0. I think it tasted very good. I have never used TVP before, so it was a good experience. I like the texture the TVP gives it, and the added protein.

This was also a vegweb.com recipe: http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=5729.0. It tasted like the real thing! Nice and moist and perfect.