Saturday, January 22, 2011

Braised Cabbage with Seitan

John bought a huge head of cabbage that we have been slowly working our way through, we had leftover seitan from a stew recipe earlier in the week and leftover brown rice. So, this came together really quickly. We were out of garlic so I sprinkled garlic powder and onion soup in for flavor. The recipe is from Appetite for Reduction (Big suprise! I have been making something from it almost everyday since I brought it home).

Portobello Pepper Steak Stew

I am working my way through the recipes in Appetite for Reduction and have not been disappointed with one so far. I highly recommend this book to anyone that wants more veggies in their diet, no (or less depending on who you are!) meat, and lots of low-fat nutrition.

As for this recipe, it will be made again...many times! We dumped the stew over crusty ciabatta rolls. The flavor of red wine, fennel seeds, and portobello mushrooms was mouthwatering.

Garlicky Mushrooms and Kale with Chili-Lime Rubbed Tofu

The tofu was great. The concept of "rubbing" the spices on saves the time of marinating. The mushrooms and kale were very tastey also. Both recipes are from Appetite for Reduction and there is a nutritional bit about kale that states it provides around 10% of our daily requirement in one cup. Because kale shrinks down so much, it is easy to eat 4 or 5 cups in a meal.

Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad with Grilled Tofu

So. Good. Another score from Appetite for Reduction. The salad is topped with a Peanut-Mint Gremolata that is heavenly. The dressing is sweet and spicy with soy and lime flavors. A combination of tofu, lettuce, vermicelli noodles, veggies, and mint made this salad such a satisfying meal.

Chickpea and Chorizo Style Soup

When we were in London in December we went to an Animal Rights Fair. Heather Mills was there selling her cookbook, Love Bites, so I bought an autographed copy (all profit goes to charity). The first recipe I followed from it was this really delicious soup. Coconut oil is used in most of the recipes and I love the subtle addition of the flavor. The ingredients for the soup are tomatoes, chorizo style sausage (I made this recipe), onion, garlic, celery, kale, chickpeas, veggie stock, salt and pepper. It all cooks into a really flavorful and filling soup. Half of it is blended in a food processor for a bulkier base.

Many of the recipes call for a specific brand of meat substitute, one I think Heather Mills was a part of creating. Because I do not have access to the brand, I will figure substitutions out. The cookbook is full of curries, salads, soups, dumplings, tarts, and really simple recipes.

2nd Avenue Vegetable Korma

This curry recipe is very basic (flavored with curry powder, garlic, ginger, and other spices) but pleasantly a low-fat version from Appetite for Reduction. We served it with Basmati Rice. The cook book says active time is 20 minutes and total time is 30. It took the full 20 prep minutes just to wash and chop all the veggies. So again, these times are not realistic for us! But, I still say the recipes are worth the extra few minutes they take us.

Hodge-podge meals this week...

I have been in a slump so cooking has been very simple recently. John and I pooled our energy one night to make roasted veggies, tofu, and sauteed cabbage.

The veggies were coated in a mixutre of white wine, dijon mustard, oregano, and pepper and then (over)roasted. The green beans shriveled up a bit too much!

The tofu was cooked on the stove with olive oil and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast, salt and pepper.

The cabbage was cut into shreds and cooked on the stove with an onion, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

This is quinoa salad with sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and olives. The dressing is a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and lemon juice. 

And we had this for breakfast one morning. A tofu scramble consisting of red peppers, broccoli, spinach, garlic and a splash of soy. The potatoes are diced sweet potatoes roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Chipotle Chili with Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts

When I was in the U.S. recently, I bought two cans of Chipotle Peppers in Adobo sauce because they are awesome, so many recipes I have call for them, and they are nowhere to be found in Denmark.

This was the first recipe, from Appetite for Reduction, that I cracked a can for and it was fantastic! It recomfirmed my love for the peppers and the sauce. Smokey, spicey, and stores well in the freezer because you will never use the entire can in one recipe.

I must say, I continue to love each recipe that I make from this cookbook but I am ready to acknowledge that the time estimates are not reasonable for me. This chili said that it should take 20 minutes to prepare but it took me significantly longer. Washing and/or chopping, dicing, or slicing  an onion, 4 garlic cloves, chipotle peppers, sweet potatoes, and brussel sprouts was well over the 20 minute mark for me! And that didn't include the measuring and adding of the other ingredients. With that said, I am not bothered by the extra time, it is just worth noting to others that might expect something this delicious in an overly impressive amount of time!

Baked Falafel and Black Bean Hummus

John had a "guys night in" and I was recruited to make snacks. I kept it simple with chips, salsa, and homemade guacamole. Then I added a bit of complexity by making Baked Falafel from Appetite for Reduction, Black Bean Hummus from this recipe, and Whole Wheat pita bread from this recipe.

The falafel (gluten- and soy-free) had a nice flavor but due to the lack of oil, it was a little dry. I also started with dried chickpeas, soaked and boiled them. I feel like this is a cost-effective technique for salads and things that use the chickpeas whole. But, for a recipe requiring the chickpeas to be creamy, canned seems to work better for me. For a low fat version, I give it a thumbs up. If you are expecting greasy, crisp falafel, find a different recipe!

The Black Bean Hummus was a little bland. I am not sure what it needed, but I will find a different recipe next time.

I have only positive things to say about the pita! I can't imagine ever buying pita again knowing how easy it is to make.

Sushi Roll Edamame Salad

I can't say enough about how much I enjoyed this salad! Both John and I want to reduce our portion sizes this year and eat more salads. And, this is going to be easy and delicious now that we own Appetite for Reduction! There is an entire section dedicated to salads that are complete meals on their own, or could have tofu or a side veggie added, if you are really hungry or serving it to guests.  

My favorite part of this salad is the sliced pieces of a Nori sheet. Combined with rice, edamame, veggies, and a homemade Green Onion-Miso Vinaigrette, it is like eating an open faced sushi roll and getting salad greens at the same time!

The salad is also completely gluten-free.

Bhutanese Pineapple Rice with Red Thai Tofu

Both recipes are from Appetite for Reduction and both are delish! When I make each of them again it won't be together. They both use basically the same spices and flavors: garlic, ginger, red curry paste, etc. The green beans are simply roasted with salt and pepper and a light spray of olive oil.

I have been cooking many recipes from this cookbook and none have failed me so far. I have noticed a significant difference in the amount of oil that remains in the bottle since I brought the book home. One of my goals for this year with cooking was to reduce our use of oil...check!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Christmas Presents for the Vegans in Your Life

For Christmas, my adorable sister-in-law, Terra and my brother, Craig bought us the cookbook Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. We LOVE it! So far, I have made three recipes but can't wait to try them all. The ingredients lists are short and simple, but packed with flavor. Nutritional information is included with each recipe. And, a majority are soy and gluten free, or give alterations to make them such.

Everyday Chickpea-Quinoa Salad ( because you could eat this EVERYDAY and never get tired of it!!!)

 Shaved Brussels Sprouts

Lotsa Veggie Lentil Soup


And, they also bought us a milk frother! So, John made Oat Milk Lattes today.


Welcome 2011!

John, me, Sarah, Thea, Morten

We celebrated New Year's Eve with our neighbors, Thea and Morten. Thea made the BEST vegan meal! Her and Morten are not vegan so it was incredibly thoughtful and considerate that she made everything vegan! Not to mention, delicious! 

 For dessert, vegan Cream Cheese brownies and Baked Apples. Happy New Year!!!

Vegan Travel Highlights: Florida

I lived in Florida for 3 years but was not a vegan during that time. So, we did a lot of planning before we left. We started in Orlando and attending the wedding of one of my absolute favorite friends, Debbie. Her and her family are not vegan or vegetarian but are very open to the fact that I am and they do not take my dietary choices personally. So, I had fruit and oatmeal for breakfast, lots of salad, and roasted veggies and tofu for dinner.

We then drove down to the Florida Keys and stayed on Key West for four nights. For breakfast, we ate at a cute place called Help Yourself. They had great wraps, including a tempeh breakfast wrap and vegan french toast along with salads and curries.

They also had a section of ingredients available for purchase. And, these little raw, chocolate coconut bites! We managed to get through two containers in our 5 days there!

 Our favorite dinner spot is called The Cafe. We ate there three nights in a row! Here was our meal one night: Stuffed Peppers and Seitan Sandwich with bean salad. 

We left the Keys and drove to Central Florida where John's mom and step father live just in time for Christmas. They are over 90% vegan so we had an amazing vegan Christmas dinner together.  The menu included Nut Loaf with Mushroom Gravy, Steamed Asparagus, Eggplant Tart, Sweet Potatoes, and Pumpkin Pie. I will link to the recipes when I get them from John's mom!

Vegan Travel Highlights: London

I am finally home in Denmark after a month of traveling. London, Portland, Key West, and Central Florida were my destinations and ALL had yum vegan food to offer. Here are a few of the highlights!
London Restaurants:

Beatroot:  Great lunch spot. You select a small or large box and they fill it completely full with delicious vegan salads, sides, and entrees. Cheap and very filling.


Rootmaster: Gourmet vegan food served on a street car. FUN!  A bit on the pricey side but the service was excellent and the atmosphere was priceless! 

Mildreds: Small restaurant but cozy and a huge menu with simple, comfort food or gourmet-feeling choices. Busy and slow service but awesome food.

Zilli Green: I think this place is owned by the same guy as Mildreds. We ate so much delicious vegan food while in London but I particularly remember this meal. Sure, it could be the cheesecake! But everything was just so good.

Saf Restaurant: Sunday roasts are a big deal in London and this place offers one vegan style. We had brunch here and started with the Raw Vegan Cheese plate. Amazing. We also had an excruciatingly expensive almond milk shake. Good but not $9 good.  

Ms. Cupcake: We seriously chased this lady down! She doesn't have an actual store; instead she sells at other stores or markets. We found her at an animal rights fair. Really, really good cupcakes and a huge variety of flavors!

We also went to the Borough Market. Really cool place to walk around...and EAT!

Soup (can't remember the name of the stand but they had a dozen soups to choose from and the ingredients were very clearly displayed...lots were vegan.)

The Veggie Table: Heavenly vegan burger! 

And finally, worth mentioning but the photo didn't turn out: Vitao. Vegan and raw buffet. 
London is vegan paradise for eating out. Such an awesome city!