Thursday, September 26, 2013

Wiener-schnitzel with Mushroom Gravy

I didn't set out to make wiener-schnitzel when I first made this years ago, I was just looking to make a cutlet similar to the famous chickpea cutlet of PPK fame but more like chicken patty consistency. Confused? Me too. Instead of chickpeas I use white beans, like great northern, but any creamy white bean will do. The only other things I do different from the chickpea cutlet recipe is I don't add the breadcrumbs to the bean mix, I leave it out and coat the patties with it prior to cooking and I change up the seasoning to suit whatever recipe I am making. We absolutely love this recipe and it always turns out well so we make it often. On this occasion we served it with a mushroom and onion gravy that perfectly offsets the crispiness of the patties. Add a simple salad and some leftover mac-n-cheeze and you got comfort food, y'all!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

S is for Spaghetti Squash

I could prolly get away with making this week squash themed as this is my second day in a row of squash dinners. I still have kabocha soup to make with my leftover roasted squash from yesterday. I didn't actually make this dinner, K did, and I have to give props where props are due. So thanks for the healthy and delicious dinner K! I did make our salad (not pictured) and garlic bread though so I wasn't completely worthless. If you have never cooked with spaghetti squash before, go get some. It is the easiest thing in the world to make and is good for you too!

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Take a sharp knife and cut the squash in half lengthwise (be careful!) Then pierce the flesh a few times.
Place squash halves cut side down in a glass or pyrex baking pan with 1/2 inch of water.
Bake until the sides are soft, about 30 minutes.
Take out and cool for a few minutes.
Turn over squash and use the tines of a fork to scrape the squash out of the shell, or leave it in the shell like we did.
Add your sauce and viola! Dindin!

I am not sure what was in the sauce except for mushrooms, fresh basil and tomatoes. More than that I would guess. I added some fresh basil to the top for some extra goodness and color. Arrivederci!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Kabocha Mac-n-Cheeze

Recipes using Kabocha squash have been traveling around on blogs for a while now but I could never find any at the grocery store, until a few days ago. I snatched one up and decided to use it following this mac-n-cheeze recipe (she uses butternut squash).   
Creamy Goodness
It turned out well and definitely looked like mac-n-cheese. I don't think it tastes like mac-n-cheese as much as my favorite recipe, Isa's Mac & Shews, but it is seriously creamy and delicious all the same. I think I will try the recipe again as the weather cools down as it is comfort food at its finest. I am sure you could fancy it up a bit too, use linguine noodles instead, fry some sage leaves, or add some truffle oil to the sauce. 

I used about half of my roasted kabocha squash and saved the other half to make soup. Kabocha is very creamy when roasted so it should make for a yummy blended soup. I will definitely buy this squash again, the flavor is terrific! What is your favorite kabocha recipe?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday Mini Food

I swear I am not getting paid to promote Gardein products (but I would, hint, hint). We have been pretty busy lately with work and other projects, like volunteer tutoring for kids falling behind in their subjects in school. We have gravitated to the quick and easy for lunches on the weekends and leave our major cooking for dinners. So Gardein really comes in handy but it isn't cheap so I doubt this will really become a habit once all the crazy settles.

We grabbed some chicken tenders yesterday and some vegan Hawaiian style rolls to make little sliders today for lunch.  The rolls are accidentally vegan which was a nice surprise. I remember my mom used to get the King's Hawaiian bread as a treat sometimes and we would toast up a slice with some butter and jam, delish! I lightly toasted the rolls, added a pickle, some Vegenaise, Daiya swiss, and the tenders. Pretty tasty little treat!
The weather in Austin is so amazing right now because of a cold front we got on Friday, so we had a nice little picnic in the backyard. Check out the little creek behind our house. I took this Friday, the water is almost gone now. I wish it was like that all of the time though, it was awesome.
Crazy Rapids

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Farm Life

No food pics today so I will instead post some pics of the dog in Louisiana last weekend. He really loved farm life!
One seriously happy dog!

Morris and his new lady friend. Bella

Ridin' large

Swamp dog!
See you tomorrow!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Szechuan Stir Fry

So Gardein products are pretty much everywhere now, right? If you are in a place that does not have easy access to these products you should definitely change that. This stuff is good and insanely convenient. I have discovered a weird secret about locating Gardein, Target carries more varieties than any other store in Austin, especially the new products they are coming out with. I have found their turkey breast and gravy, chicken sliders, and the newest one I decided to try, szechuan beefless strips.

Check out that broccolini!

I sliced up some yellow onion, red bell pepper, and garlic to stir fry with some beautiful broccolini while I baked the strips in the oven (following package instructions). Instead of rice, I decided to use rice stick noodles for this meal.The sauce packet included looked on the small side but I amped it up a tad by adding some sriracha (surprise, surprise) and it was just enough to coat everything well.
Rice stick goodness
I must say, Gardein has done it again! I thought the beefless strips would be similar to the beefless tips but they are different in a way I wouldn't expect, in texture and seasoning. Good stuff! And who would have thought Target would be the go-to store for these products? Do you have a strange place to get your find vegan goodies?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Burrito Mania

Here in Austin we eat our share of Mexican food and within the past few weeks have started making burritos at home. Crazy, right? Here is something even nuttier, I had never made burritos before in my life ever, and now I am an expert! In fact, we have been so busy (lazy) lately, that burritos are our go-to dinner choice more often than not.
These burritos are stuffed with black beans, brown rice, tomatoes, red peppers, spinach, avocado, and vegan sour cream. I don't know why they look so tiny in the pictures but trust me they are huge!

I squirted some Yellowbird habenero sauce both inside and outside of the burrito above because that stuff is super fly. Yellowbird is from Austin and I linked the kickstarter they have going right now if you wanted to check it out. Basically if you love Sriracha, you will more than likely love Yellowbird too. See you tomorrow! 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Casa de Luz

Casa de Luz is a macrobiotic place here in Austin and it is a healthy vegan paradise! If you ever find yourself in Austin go directly here and eat. The atmosphere is super duper hippy new age but that is part of the fun. There are usually people there 'laying hands' which is when someone sits in a chair and someone else stands behind them with their hand in the stop position kind of near the sitting person. Yeah, I don't know. Anyhoo, the food is the reason to go. I think the price is $12 and you get your own drink, soup and salad. I think the soup was either sweet potato or pumpkin and coconut milk. Whatever it was is was so smooth and comforting. The salad is the bizness though, I could eat this salad all day everyday. It is just greens but the dressing they make is heaven. Haven't a clue what it is made of.

Pretty Entryway

When your food is ready they will bring it to your table. You don't get a choice on what food they bring. . On this day it was a veggie enchilada (check out that sauce!) greens with lemon, brown rice, kidney beans with suncheese, and purple sauerkraut. Very wholesome and filling but not in that gross buffet way.
Casa de Luz is a very unique place, rather than try and describe it to you I added a link to their vision statement. Go check out the menu too, it changes daily based on what is available but is usually mexican type food

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Road Tripper!

Since I missed yesterday I will add a bonus post today about a yummy sandwich that I made to eat on the first part of my trip. The sandwich was supposed to be my lunch but I couldn't wait to eat it, it was that good!

I took 2 slices of sourdough bread added one slice of Daiya cheddar and one slice of Daiya swiss with pickle and tomato slices. Grill that baby up and dig in! This sandwich is tops! What do you eat on road trips?

Cancer Busting

I went to Louisiana last weekend with my mom and my brother to a middle of nowhere town as a retreat in a way. My mom was diagnosed with lung cancer about 5 years ago and we beat it but a few weeks ago was diagnosed with bone cancer. So we rallied and decided to take a nice weekend and visit the property of my grandfather in Reeves, La. where my mom grew up. We still own most of the land there and it holds wonderful memories for all of us. My brother and I eat pretty healthy and we also wanted to show my mom how easy it can be to cook delicious meals using whole foods. The grocery stores are sorely lacking in the way of organic and vegan foods but we picked up some nice veggies and greens for the juicer. We juiced and had oatmeal with fruit in the mornings and I made us dinner in the late afternoon. We were staying in an RV so the kitchen area/utensils were less than desirable but we made do. The first night I cooked some spaghetti noodles and tossed them in a simple peanut sauce then added some fresh veggies.
Mom mixing pasta in a tub

Fresh Cukes!
I cooked up some black beans and made some veggie patties with them using some of the oatmeal and about a cup of our morning veggie juice pulp. They turned out great, a bit flimsy but I was pleased with the results.

I don't have recipes for these I just eyeballed it and mashed it all together. I served the patties with a fresh green salad piled high with veggies and some sauteed sweet potatoes on the side. I was pretty pleased with all of e meals we made and my mom really like them too! Let's hope some of it sunk in and she starts eating with more veggies and less processed, sugar free, terribly bad for you food. She is not of fan of juicing and calls it her 'medicine' but I think it will start to grow on her the more she does it. I really want her to watch Forks over Knives, I think that would explain the idea behind a whole food diet better than I can. Does anyone have a success story regarding illness and food?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Juicy Juice

I am going out of town today and will not be able to post again until Monday. I am traveling back in time where there is no internets or cell phone service. Or I am going to the boondocks of Louisiana. Either way technology hasn't made it there yet. I will once again have to play catch up when I get back. In the meantime I will leave you this delicious juice of apples, spinach and beets.

Sammy likes it
The Whole Gang!

Here is a rare shot of all the pets in the same area, Francis is on the left, Sammy you have met before, and that is Morris in the front right. Have a good weekend! 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Orange Is The New Crack

Tonight we wanted something quick and wholesome for dinner. We had some sweet potatoes from the farmer's market that I cubed and baked in the oven for about 20-30 minutes. I steamed some tempeh that I also cubed and added to the sweet potatoes in the oven. While that was cooking I put on some brown rice. In the past I have had some trouble getting rice to come out the way I like it, it either either too gooey or too crunchy. What vegan can't cook rice you ask? Oh hi, nice to meet you. Anyways, I have recently found that cooking rice like you would pasta works perfectly. If you have stupid rice issues like me give it a shot! You basically fill your medium sized pot about 3/4 with water, bring to a boil and add your rice. Do not cover! Check it after about 20 minutes, if done, turn off heat, drain, add back in the pot with the lid on for a few minutes. Easy peasy. 
Back to the dish, while the potatoes and tempeh were baking I chopped up some kale and green onions, and grated some carrot. I lightly oiled the kale and tossed it in with the potatoes when they were almost done baking along some crystal's hot sauce and a butt load of nooch. When it was done baking I added the carrots and green onions. Pile it onto the brown rice and you got a seriously good meal. Add more hot sauce if desired.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Dad's Famous Bean Sandwiches

We all have some weird food that we like to make and mine is a bean sandwich my Dad used to make for my brothers and I when it was his turn to cook. We loved bean sandwich night because it usually meant we got to eat them in front of the T.V. Of course his recipe wasn't vegan but it was good and very messy. It also isn't really a sandwich either since it is served on a slice of toast. I mentioned buying some Daiya cheddar slices on sale the other day and I decided the perfect way to test them would be on this sandwich.
They were so good I went back to the store while they were still on sale and bought some Swiss slices as well (more on this soon!). And also on sale was Upton's Naturals Bacon Seitan. Very tasty!
 I usually use wheat bread for this but any sturdy bread will do, just make sure it will be able to support the beans and not get too soggy. My Dad's recipe uses ketchup on the beans, we sometimes leave it out (or forget) so you can too.

Dad's Famous Bean Sandwich Recipe (1 serving)
1- slice bread (I used sourdough but wheat works)
1- slice vegan cheese
2- slices vegan bacon
1/2 C- vegan baked beans (I used canned)
1/2 TB or to taste- ketchup (optional)

Set toaster oven or oven to broil. Cook beans on stove top or in microwave. While the beans are cooking, get your bacon nice and crispy. Toast your bread. Time to assemble. Take your toast and place it on an oven safe pan. Add your baked beans on to the toast. If desired add the ketchup. Lay the bacon on top of the beans and then your slice of cheese. Put sandwich under the broiler until nice and browned or melty. EAT!

On the side is some dirty okra using the okra we got at the farmer's market. Love me some dirty okra! What are some weird comfort foods that you make?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Taco Tuesday

I am not doing the taco cleanse, although I think it is a genius idea, instead I will do taco Tuesday. I had some vegan sour cream that needed to be used up so I made some spicy ass tacos. We recently went to the hot sauce festival and scored tons of ridiculously spicy sauces. I cooked up some pinto beans and flavored them with Yellowbird sauce, which is similar to sriracha but way hotter.

You can't really see the ingredients from the pics but aside from the beans there is rice, spinach, arugula, tomatoes and sweet peppers on top of the sour cream. I also added more hot sauce, not gonna lie, it hurt a bit.  

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Lazy Sunday Pizza

It has been threatening to rain all week in Austin and I really thought today would be the day. It wasn't. There is nothing quite like a good rainy day spent watching movies and pigging out. Alas, it wasn't meant to I have no excuse except extreme laziness. I made olive pizza though and it was the bomb.
Popcorn Tofu at 11 o' clock

Can you see the slice I made with Wheatsville's popcorn tofu? That was the piece I savored for awhile.
I am not a huge fan of Daiya shreds so I use Follow your Heart mozzarella for pizzas. I did recently snag some slices of Daiya cheddar on sale and I must say they are not bad at all, not too Daiya-y. I will be featuring them on my Dad's famous bean sandwiches soon so hang tight.