Saturday, November 9, 2013

Eggplant Fries from Señor Wong

Not the best lighting in a dim bar, but these are some new delicious eggplant fries with vegan cilantro aioli from Señor Wong\ in Downtown St. Paul. They were wonderfully crispy - coated in panko and fried. I am excited to have them again really soon!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Chik'n Dinner with All the Fixin's

Wow. This came out of nowhere!

After a long time of thinking about what to make for dinner, I settled upon some Gardein Scallopini Cutlets. I wanted to try them in the George Foreman Grill.

For sides, I initially wanted brussels sprouts, but found that our frozen ones were waaaay too old and freezer burned, so instead I used mixed frozen veggies. I really wanted gravy, because I always want gravy, and figured some instant mashed potatoes would be a perfect vehicle for that. I also threw together a lemon-butter-parsley sauce for the veggies and chik'n. Finally, some whole cranberry sauce pulled everything together.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Pho Noodle Soup with Tofu

Ack! This week completely escaped me for food blogging!

Hopefully this week I will be more consistent.

This week also marks VegFest Minneapolis 2013! It is coming up already! I will be volunteering at the festival, so come check it out!!!! Lots of fun and food!

OK. So the photo above is a quick soup I threw together. Again, I got major help from the Pacific Vegetarian Pho Soup Base that I added to thinly sliced garlic and onions. I threw in vermicelli rice noodles, then removed from heat and stirred in some "power greens" which was a mix of spinach, baby kale and baby red chard (mainly spinach).

For the tofu: I grilled them on the George Foreman Grill for a bit, then slathered on some quick cilantro-ginger-hot pepper sauce, cut into mini triangles and set on top of the soup.

What can I say? The temperature is dropping here and soup is comforting and fairly easy to make.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Kimchi Soup with Tofu, Shiitake Mushrooms, and Veggies

Confession: I have never had kimchi.

Until now!

It is really common for kimchi to have fish sauce in it, so...not vegan. However, vegan/vegetarian kimchi does exist! I picked up some from Trader Joe's and have been hanging onto it for some time, not sure of what to do with it. Well, tonight it became part of a soup.

I started with some thinly sliced onion and sauteed it in coconut oil until translucent. I added mini sweet bell peppers sliced into strips and thinly sliced garlic - 1-2 cloves. Then some frozen shiitake mushrooms, an entire container of firm silken tofu (the little ones in the aseptic containers). I cubed half the tofu block and just tore the other half into chunks. Then I poured in a bunch of broth - I used Pacific Vegetaria Pho Starter soup base, along with some water and soy sauce. I brought everything to a boil, then turned off the heat and added a handful of baby kale and some cilantro.

This was a pretty easy, tasty soup. I had a ton left over for more than one lunch. I would maybe use a different base if I made this again and I added a lot of spice later on because it was not spicy enough for me.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Pizza Tortilla Wrap with Vegan Ranch Dressing

This wrap came together because I was craving pizza, and then realized I picked up some Yves Meatless Pepperoni the other day from the co-op.

I started with an organic tortilla & spread out some strained tomato sauce that was kicked up with garlic salt, olive oil, & red pepper flakes. I sliced up 2 mini sweet bell peppers and fanned the pieces out on the tortilla. Then a bit of Daiya cheddar shreds, some pieces of torn-up peppered Tofurky deli slices, and then a few of the aforementioned Yves meatless pepperoni. Zapped it in the microwave until the cheese was melted.

I swirled on some "accidentally vegan" ranch dressing I found in the $1 area of Cub Foods for a final touch.

The ingredients of the dressing: water, vegetable oil (soybean oil), modified starch (corn or potato), salt, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano powder, pepper powder, monosodium glutamate, vinegar, xanthan gum, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, bht, artificial flavor, caramel color, sucralose, FD&C Yellow No. 5 color. Contains: SOY

It tastes really similar to when I mix some powdered dip mix into Vegenaise. It's pretty good, does a decent job replicating ranch for me.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Masu Sushi & Robata - sushi, drinks, appetizer

Masu Sushi & Robata has made several "best-of" lists since it opened a few years ago. I finally made it out to the NE Mpls location (they have opened a second location at the Mall of America).

Masu is great! They have a separate vegetarian/vegan menu as well as a gluten-free menu.

For an appetizer, I had some vegetable tempura. Delicious! A good mix of squash, eggplant, and other veggies:

Also had a great vegetable sushi roll. I think this was called a firecracker? Had some veggies rolled up with rice and nori, then coated in crushed wasabi peas and some sriracha/hot sauce over the top. Awesome:

I also had a delicious drink and brought home a caterpillar roll (vegan-style) for Mr. Coconut.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Sandwich Saturday - Tofurky Bologna & Vegenaise

Whoops! Fell a little behind this week. Thought I would post a sandwich Mr. Coconut made last week that he insisted I photograph because it looked so nice. It tasted great, too!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Foxy Falafel - Restaurant

After finally making it over to the Foxy Falafel food truck, I knew I had to try out their brick-and-mortar restaurant soon.

I was able to pop in for happy hour with a friend, which features an incredibly exciting $0.25 falafel ball special. That's right, all the falafel balls you could want at a mere twenty-five cents a piece. The happy hour also includes a dollar off most sides and drinks.

We ordered two of each type of falafel (curry, regular, and beet) two sauces (spicy Harissa and green tahini) and a pickle plate.

I ordered the hard lemonade habanero Bellini, while my friend had a mimosa. Yum! I really want to go back and try some of the other dishes, like Harissa potatoes.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Chik'n w. Peppers & Pineapple

I've been imagining this dish for over a week.

I need to get pineapple. I became fixated on getting more pineapple into my life beginning a week and a half ago. At first, juice seemed the best way to incorporate pineapple into my diet. Then canned fruit, frozen, fresh - until I landed on whole, peeled, cored, pineapple at the grocery store. Two, please.

With about three quarters of one pineapple: dice the fruit up into medium-large dice. Add small dice red onion, chopped cilantro. Pineapple salsa.

Gardein Chick'n Scallopini pair nicely with sweet bell peppers, white onions, and brown rice along with the fresh salsa. Finish with a good dose of a chimichurri sauce and some creamy, fresh avocado slices.

Everything about this dish was tasty. The flavors really compliment one another and it was cool to see the flavors in my mind take shape in reality. Mr. Coconut quickly finished his dish and enjoyed it.

I was trying for fancy plating, but it did not turn out quite as I imagined. But it tasted great.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Gardein Breakfast Sandwich

Frozen, two to a package, veggie sausage, English muffin, rice cheez.

These are not great, but my main issue with the product is why Gardein chose to not use Daiya slices for the cheez. The cheez slice that they have is not very appetizing, does not melt very well.

Overall, I had high hopes for these and they fell a little short. Fine for me to keep at work for a quick breakfast or snack when I don't have time to make anything substantial for breakfast.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Silk Iced Latte

Ok. I have waited years...years to have a product like this on the market. Is it a sugary caffeinated mess? Absolutely.

When I was younger I was obsessed with This Stuff. That powdered "International Coffee" was a delicious sugar bomb that I loved.

Bottled Frappuccino? You better believe I drank an obscene amount of those in my day.

Alas...none of those drinks (as well as countless other coffee-based premade beverages) are vegan. I thought I would never be able to enjoy a premade coffee drink again. Until....

I enjoy these immensely. They come in vanilla and mocha, and are way sugary, but I don't mind. I love black coffee for the most part, with an occasional flavored coffee drink, but these just hit my nostalgia zone in a satisfying way. I keep seeing commercials for the Almond Breeze Iced Coffee but have yet to see them in real life.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Food Trucks! Hola Arepa & Red Smoker

This is probably the last time of the season I will be able to get an arepa from Hola Arepa. This time, I got guac on the side, and added some hot sauce.

I also hit up the Red Smoker BBQ food truck and got some vegetarian chili with no dairy. It was made with kidney or pinto beans, and topped with green peppers, onion, cilantro, and cucumbers. Not too bad, I added hot sauce, because I always add hot sauce.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

DDOW Thai Coconut Farmer's Market Soup

Part two of this week's Delivered Dish...

From the website:
Thai Coconut Farmers Market Soup (V, Paleo, GF, soy-free, no added sugar) Like a vegetable chowder but with Thai flavors and coconut milk. Simmering it with corn cobs add extra sweetness. Expect some chopped collards or kale.

The soup was great. Nice coconut flavor. It had potatoes, corn, greens (collards?), carrots, and tomatoes. I added some spice because I love spicy food, but other than that I ate the soup as-is. Great as always.

Next week for DDOW: ratatouille and polenta!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

DDOW Black Lentil Salad

This week from Delivered Dish...

Lentil Salad!

From the website:

Black Beluga Lentil Salad in Sesame Ginger Dressing (V, GF, no added sugar; will contain a little soy) These beautiful organic lentils were another fun special-order from Purcell Mountain Farms (Idaho). I’m hoping they don’t lose their jet black color when cooked.

This was delicious! I really enjoyed the black lentils - the cabbage, celery, and cucumber gave a great texture and the light dressing gave a nice zing to the whole thing. I ate this both warm and cold over greens (spinach & kale). I also added a little chile pepper action because I love spice!

I also got a Thai Coconut vegetable soup, which I will review tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Veg Fest 2013!

Very exciting - the second annual Veg Fest is going to happen in Minneapolis at Coffman Union on the UMN - Twin Cities Campus! A fun time of vegan food, animal activist speakers, and great music. And it's all FREE.

Saturday, October 26, 2013
10am - 4pm
Coffman Union
(300 Washington Ave SE Minneapolis, MN, 55455)

SUPER excited for this event. Last year was a blast, and I know that it will be more popular this year since the festival is during the academic year.


Olive Tapenade w Betta Than Feta - World Vegetarian Day

Happy World Vegetarian Day!

I wanted olives, badly. What to do with them? I completely forgot to add them to a pasta dish I made (Mr. Coconut does not care for olives so I add them to my own dish from time to time). What if....

I took the last kalamata olives (10, max) and 1 big garlic clove, blended in the magic bullet along with lemon juice and a hot pepper. Result was an olive paste.

For the "feta" - I took some high-protein tofu (It's very firm) and crumbled into a small container. Probably 1-2 cups of crumbled tofu, loosely packed. Good dose of lemon juice & salt, stirred tofu. Then a teaspoon of Vegenaise, a teaspoon of nooch, and a tiny, tiny bit (1/8 teaspoon, if that) of black salt (kala namak) to give a hint of cheesey eggy flavor. Seriously, only a TINY bit.

It's best to let this sit for a while and let the flavors meld. I kept adding more lemon juice and more salt until it was about the taste I wanted.

This would have been nice on some fancier bread, but all I had was regular whole wheat bread. Toasted up, sliced into triangles, and coated with the olive spread. I am excited to try this tofu "feta" again soon, and let it hang out even longer to get more flavor.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Spaghetti with Vegan Sausage and Vegetables - Vegan MoFo 2013

Thin spaghetti noodles, Gimme Lean sausage, cherry tomatoes, Organic strained tomatoes (for sauce), and some frozen veggies (carrot, bell peppers, onion, broccoli).

Simple and satisfying.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Mini & Regular Waffle Cinnamon Rolls - Vegan MoFo 2013

I didn't invent these or anything, but WOW they were AWESOME. I used a tube of refrigerated cinnamon roll dough, store brand. Immaculate Baking Company is a brand that makes accidentally vegan cinnamon rolls as well.

For the regular size waffle rolls, I simply placed a roll into the waffle maker and closed the lid until reached desired doneness. For the mini-sized rolls, I broke the dough up into smaller bits before rolling them into their classic shape and placed into the waffle iron. The icing was from the container. Next time I will do the mini size for all the rolls.

Friday, September 27, 2013

DDOW - Romesco Rice & Garbanzo Veg Za'atar Salad - Vegan MoFo 2013

Another DDOW! This will be the last DDOW of Vegan Month of Food, but I intend to continue posting these beautiful and tasty dishes whenever I get them.

This week's featured dishes were great, as always. I mixed them together and really enjoyed it. I didn't have any greens, but it would be fantastic on top of kale or arugula or spinach. The bean salad had cucumbers, cabbage, and some fresh herbs. The rice was great too.

From the Website:
Garbanzo Bean & Veg Za’atar Salad (V, GF, soy-free, no added sugar) Za’atar, a spice mixture popular throughout the Middle East, comprises ground dried thyme, oregano, marjoram, toasted sesame seeds and salt, and also often ground sumac, which has a lemony tang. You might encounter it sprinkled on hummus at restaurants. Confession: I bought a large bag at Holy Land Deli on Central Ave, a local mecca of affordable spices. Run, don’t walk.

Rice Romesco (V, GF, soy-free, no added sugar; contains almonds) Romesco sauce is a classic Catalonian simmered sauce of mostly red bell peppers mixed with ground nuts. The carrier here is organic brown rice. You can eat this dish cold or hot. By this week, inexpensive pecks of peppers should be all over the Farmers Markets (a peck is approx 8 dry quarts, with 4 pecks to a bushel). Take advantage of the harvest bounty and make a couple quarts at home to slather on everything (can freeze).

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Cheezy Broccoli Soup/Puree - Vegan MoFo 2013

This was a fun experiment. Broccoli soup was one of my favorite soups as a child. So much so, it was my choice of birthday meal shared with my less-than-enthusiastic fellow five-to-seven year olds.

The "cheez" is a mix of blended (soaked) cashews, nutritional yeast, and coconut milk beverage along with some pimientos, salt, lemon juice and a tiny tiny bit of Kala Namak (black salt).

The broccoli is 2 bags of frozen steamers along with a little bit of peas leftover from another meal. I pureed everything together and made a soup-like meal. Not terrible, not blow my mind soup, either. I garnished with black pepper and red pepper flakes along with a touch of chimichurri sauce.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Go-To Remedies for Colds - Vegan MoFo 2013

I must admit, Auto-Posting is a wonderful thing that I only started using during this Vegan Month of Food 2013.

It is great to do a slew of posts in one day and schedule them to post during busy weeks, or worse - when sickness strikes.

Well, today I've been struck.

My personal philosophy of how to cure myself while having a cold includes the following:

  1. Only spend a small portion of the time wallowing in sickness. Everyone needs to feel those "poor me" sick feelings once in a while, but that attitude will not help at all in the long run.
  2. Watch at least one new (to me) movie, preferably a good one. (Binge-watching TV on streaming service of choice is acceptable, but at least one movie.)
  3. If at home during the day, watch The Chew.
  4. Drink lots of liquids (mainly tea & water), eat berries, and drink broth. The spicier the better.
  5. Shower. At least once. It makes me feel human again. Same goes for brushing the teeth, and probably time to buy a new head for the toothbrush.
  6. Step outside at least once. Even if it is just to check the mail or bring recycling to the curb.

So far today, I have done very little on this list other than drink broth. (And I am halfway through today's The Chew.)

Thankfully, the broth I made today was pretty tasty and easy! Still have some left. I boiled 2-3 cups (half to three quarters of a liter) water, added a bit of a veggie bouillon cube and a small chunk of mild miso paste. I then cut up (with kitchen scissors) half a jalpeño as well as 4-5 dried chiles I had on hand. I want it to be as spicy as possible. In a small magic bullet, I blended ginger paste and 3-4 large garlic cloves and added it to the broth. Brought everything to a boil, then simmered for a minute or two. I added fresh lime juice at the end, and drank out of a mug.

Crescent Samosas with Chimichurri - Vegan Mofo 2013

What am I going to make for dinner? - this thought ran through my head all the way home. Constantly flipping through ingredients I know I have on hand and weighing out whether I needed to pick up anything on the way home.

From pasta to taco night to taco pizza, nothing seemed to feel right. My mind's eye went back into the fridge and clicks off ingredients: vegan sausage (Gimme Lean), peas...crescents. Scanning the pantry and counter, I rested upon potatoes and was sold.

Once I got home, I started washing some potatoes (little reds and yellows) and sliced them into as evenly shaped and sized pieces as possible. I tossed them in a small bowl with olive oil and crushed whole garlic cloves that I tore apart with my hands. Onto a foil-lined tray for the toaster oven. Before I placed it in to bake - I also covered the tray with foil, poking 3-4 slits for ventilation.

As the potatoes started steaming, I opened one tube of crescent dough, and laid them out on a plate to become more malleable.

I did a small dice on one quarter of a large onion and started to slowly sweat the onions in a pan. At least 15-20 minutes were spent just sweating these onions out on really low heat with a little coconut oil. Once I was satisfied with the onions, I removed them from the pan and got the Gimme Lean out. Sliced off a couple chunks, and seasoned with curry powder & paprika before sauteing in the onion pan, splitting up the sausage until they were smaller chunks and added the onions back along with the peas I had already cooked the day before.

Once the potatoes were soft, I threw them into a bowl and mashed, with a little butter (not much!), then added the sausage-onion-pea mix in with some of the potatoes. I carefully placed a big Tablespoon of the mix onto a crescent triangle, then closed the dough around it and carefully placed it onto the toaster oven tray and baked a little longer than recommended, flipping the crescents over. This made about 8 samosas total.

The sauce was similar to the chimichurri sauce I did earlier this month.

Great and fairly easy, though somewhat labor-intensive. This would be even better if there was a mixture already made and then just use the leftovers the next day inside these crescents. Next time I would probably mess around with the dough a little more.

A look on the inside:

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Pad Thai with Fried Tofu - Vegan Mofo 2013

Dim bar lighting does not lend itself to food photography, but I work with what I've got. Pad Thai with crushed peanuts, bean sprouts, green onions, lemon and lime wedges, and probably some other things I am not thinking of. From Señor Wong.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Baked Tofu with Cilantro Ginger Sauce & Apple Mint Beets - Vegan MoFo 2013

Alas, this was not made by me, but it is from a local co-op's deli. The sauce on the tofu was thick and almost pesto-like in consistency. The beets were great, with hints of fresh mint and tart apple cider vinegar throughout the dish.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

DDOW - Heirloom Bean & Veg Cassoulet w. Rosemary - Vegan MoFo 2013

I am a little late on posting this from last week's second part ofdelivered dish of the week.

From the website:
Heirloom Bean & Veg Cassoulet with Rosemary (V, GF, soy-free, no added sugar) A lightly braised stew of market veg and giant heirloom scarlet runner beans (and regular red beans). Good with crusty bread, a glass of wine or all by itself. Cool beans!

A hearty bean stew, basically. I realized that I have never had scarlet runner beans while eating this. They are huge! And I want more! I served this with some pretzel crackers for crunch. Great dish!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

DDOW Raw Zucchini Noodles w. Tomato Sauce - Vegan Mofo 2013

Another week, another Delivered Dish!

You can check out other DDOW posts by clicking the tag below or here.

For today's dish, I am going to highlight the raw zucchini noodle dish. From the website:
Zucchini Linguine with Raw Tomato Sauce (V, Paleo, GF, soy-free, no added sugar) Carb-free pasta! Fresh sage and oregano flavor the simple sauce. Super low-cal.

I must say, other than this time last summer, I don't know if I ever really had zucchini noodles before. And that last time didn't count too much as I had the noodles with spaghetti. This dish was light, refreshing, and flavorful. Even though the yellos is what you can really see, which I assume is yellow squash, the green zucchini is definitely in the dish throughout. It came packaged with plum tomatoes throughout, as well as some basil and other herbs. This may inspire me to make zucchini noodles on my own!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Zesty Bean Dip - Vegan Mofo 2013

I've made bean dip before, and this will not be the last time I make bean dip. Hang in there, we are a little over halfway through Vegan Mofo, and I have a busy week.

I made this dip a little different than I've made other dips in the past. I blended up some onion, 3 big garlic cloves, 1-2 Thai Chili peppers, cumin, dried coriander, and water. Then simmered that mix in a pot, added half a veggie bouillon cube, and then added one can vegetarian refried beans. This was really soup-like, and I simmered it down for a while. It thickened even more as it cooled in the fridge. As usual, the flavors become more intense as time goes on, so this would be really great made the day before. I can rarely have it last that long in the house.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Clear Noodle Soup: Mushroom Edition - Vegan MoFo 2013

Halfway through Vegan Month of Food 2013!

Remember that soup from yesterday? Well, there were about three portions total, but we only had a bowl a piece. So I ate the rest later, except this time I used mushrooms. I sauteed mushrooms in the same pan that the mock duck had gotten all crispy in and was able to deglaze the pan, making the mushrooms even more delicious. Added hot peppers, arugula and kale, as well as cilantro. Spooned this mix over the last bowl of soup, garnished with lime and cilantro.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Clear Noodle Soup w. Mock Duck - Vegan Mofo 2013

Can you make me some soup? Mr. Coconut asks.


"Soup" means one of three varieties of instant ramen or rice noodle soups in the pantry. Flip through the food we have in my head. I mentally mix and match flavors, textures, colors.

ginger garlic onion greens - will arugula work? - rice noodles peppers - jalapeno or Thai? - tofu mock duck what vegetables do we have soy sauce coconut oil hot sauce

Got it.

One can of mock duck - drain, rinse, tear into smaller pieces. Coconut oil to saute in a pan while water boils for the broth and noodles of this soup:

Spicy Thai chili peppers get tossed in with the mock duck, along with a good pour of soy sauce. Seasoning powder into the boiling water, along with the rice noodles. In the mock duck pot - a handful of kale and turn off the heat for both pots.

I ladle broth and noodles into the bowl, then place the greens and mock duck on top of the soup. Garnish with limes and cilantro.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

DDOW - Spicy Chile Verde w. Beans - Vegan Mofo 2013

As promised, here is the Spicy Chile Verde with Beans from this weeks Delivered Dish of the Week order. From the website:

“Spicy Chile Verde with Beans (V, GF, soy-free, no added sugar) An opportunity to see why chef Crescent Dragonwagon in her book Bean for Bean insists there is no substitute for Santa Fe Green Chilies from New Mexico. With green bell peppers.”

This had a ton of vegetables, as you can see. It actually had quite a bit of broth, too, but for the sake of the photo, I emphasized the veggies and beans.
I enjoyed this dish – it was a satisfying lunch that I will have more of tomorrow. I added a little bit of spinach because I add greens to as many things as possible if I have them around, and adding them to soups is one of my favorite ways to incorporate greens easily.

It was not quite what I expected – but then again, most of the dishes I have received so far are different than what I expected – and that is great. I love the semi-unexpected surprise of trying new foods or foods prepared in different ways than I would. It has been really invigorating and inspiring for my own cooking.

Next week for DDOW, I will be getting (and blogging) a container of Zucchini Linguine with Raw Tomato Sauce as well as a container of Heirloom Bean & Veg Cassoulet with Rosemary. Sounds great!!!!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Cous Cous w. Mushrooms and Veggies - Vegan MoFo 2013

It started with mushrooms.

I just wanted to cook some mushrooms.

Home, after an uneventful but nonetheless long day, especially after running to the grocery store to pick up a few things.

Hungry, but also too tired to think of such complexities of putting an actual meal together. Yet tossing a chik patty in the microwave and calling it a day was not appealing. Plus the groceries needed to be put away. Ugh. So it started with the mushrooms.

Nothing special - just some shiitake mushrooms from the store. Pan, toss, sizzle.

Kale!, I thought - I have KALE. That would be great with mushrooms. It's worked before.

So kale went in, more groceries placed inside the freezer.

Whoa, totally forgot about these veggies! Luckily, they were only from a couple days ago, so the cooked frozen veggies went in, along with their coats of olive oil. Then went some already cooked previously mentioned Trader Joe's Harvest Grains Blend along with a handful of spinach. Last, but not least, went in a tiny bit of Trader Joe's Vegan Mozzarella Shreds.

Creamy, carby, comforting.

DDOW - Cuke, Corn & Hominy Salad - Vegan MoFo 2013

Another Delivered Dish of the Week (DDOW). Again, from One Dish at a Time's Tracy Yue, I ordered and received a quart of this lovely chilled salad made up of hominy, corn, and cucumbers, in a perky cilantro lime vinaigrette. From her website:

"Cuke, Corn & Hominy Salad in Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette (V, GF, soy-free, no added sugar) As well as being the basis of Posole stew, chewy hominy (rehydrated treated white corn kernels) is surprisingly nice in salads. I’ll use raw sweet corn for added crunch and because it’s frankly easier than par-boiling. The local sweet corn has been great this season."

One of my co-workers asked me what hominy was and my reply was "corn? Is that right? Is it just corn...but not?" I realized I didn't really know, which typically ends with me scouring the internet or other sources for information. From Wikipedia:
"Hominy consists of dried maize kernels which have been treated with an alkali in a process called nixtamalization."

Umm...ok? Why?
"To make hominy, field corn (maize) grain is dried, then treated by soaking and cooking the mature (hard) grain in a dilute solution of slaked lime (calcium hydroxide) or wood ash, a process termed nixtamalization. The soaked maize is washed, and then ground into masa. When fresh masa is dried and powdered, it becomes masa seca or masa harina."

Huh. Information for the day.

Tomorrow I will highlight the second dish I received for this weeks DDOW, Spicy Chile Verde with Beans.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Farmers Market Quinoa Salad - Vegan MoFo 2013

This was a dish made of a lot of fresh herbs and veggies from the farmers market, along with some quinoa. The veggies included: cucumbers, kale, peas, as well as mint and basil. The quinoa also had some olive oil in it. I added sliced almonds and some nooch at the end.

Great stuff!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Bean & Vegetable Salad with Chimi dressing - Vegan Mofo 2013

Whoops!  Lost this weekend, but still making great food.  Hopefully this week I will get the chance to fix some of the goofy formatting that has been happening.  It is the first time I have been blogging via iPad, phone, and computer on a rotating basis.  

Getting Delivered Dish of the Week over the summer and again starting last week has inspired me to make more awesome vegetable-packed dishes.  This is a salad I made for lunch at work last week.  One 15ozcan of white beans, half a medium green bell pepper (diced), cherry tomatoes sliced in half, shiitake mushrooms, diced jalapeno, parsley, one baby cucumber (peeled), and that crazy chimichurri sauce I made earlier.  Great stuff, though the mushrooms were not a great fit.  This would be great with greens like spinach or arugula, but I was out.  I am excited for this week of Mofo - I will highlight another DDOW and maybe have a couple treats from local restaurants.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Tofu with Chimichurri Sauce - Vegan Mofo 2013

I am obsessed with watching food competition shows - or really, any food television show at all. It helps me become inspired, even when watching people cook non-vegan food. This dish did not come from any particular show or dish, but it was definitely a great experiment.
The veggies were the least impressive feat - just some simple steam-bag frozen veggies.

The starch used here isTrader Joe's Harvest Medley, which contains Israeli cous cous, red quinoa, split garbanzos, red and green orzo. REALLY simple to cook - boil water/broth, add some of this mix, bring to boil again, then simmer (covered) for 10 mins.
For the tofu: I drained a 16 oz block of (I think ) extra firm tofu, then sliced into rectangles of a size I felt was manageable, then baked them for about...30?...minutes at 350F. I then pan-fried them in coconut oil until they reached my desired crispiness.
The chimichurri-like sauce was the crown jewel of this dish. At first, I was just blending 4-5 Thai Bird's Eye peppers with 3-4 cloves of garlic with an idea to make some hot sauce. Then, I decided to add the rest of the fresh parsley I had on hand as well as the juice of a small lemon. The mixture was not balanced at all, so I added a dash of avocado oil, a little hunk of cucumber, and some coriander chutney (one of my all time favorite condiments to keep on hand). It evened out nicely sorry, MAGNIFICENTLY. Seriously, it was an awesome sauce that I want more more more of.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Delivered Dish of the Week - Vegan Mofo 2013

Over the summer my office started to get delivered lunches from One Dish At A Time, chef Tracy Yue's Delivered Dish of the Week service. She produces a menu about 4-6 weeks ahead of time of. Two choices each week to get in either quart or pint deli container sizes. Always vegan options, most also gluten-free and/or paleo, among other things. I have really enjoyed getting these, and plan on getting them throughout September and will feature what I get throughout Vegan Mofo.

This week: a Quinoa Kale Salad in Horseradish Vinaigrette and a Roast Beet & Cabbage Salad with Tahini Dressing.

The verdict: great! Scratch that, the beet dish was FANTASTIC, the other dish was still great!
I ordered one quart of each which for me resulted in enough food for two lunches. The photo truly does not do it justice.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Coconut Curry #321 - Vegan MoFo 2013

I know what you may be thinking, "really?! *another* coconut curry dish?"  It is true, this is one of my favorite go-to dishes.  I decided to lay off on posting this sort of dish unless I had something new to share.  Well, I do have some new things to share about the coconut curry dish I made a couple weeks ago.  

Most of the dish is fairly typical: mock duck, rice noodles, some green beans and Thai peppers.  The sauce even seems typical - coconut milk with yellow curry powder.  However, I really wanted to punch up the sauce so I took some time with it.  I crumbled in a veggie bouillon cube and at least .13-.25 cup  of fresh sliced jalapeños into it and let it simmer for a while to really get that flavor from the peppers.  I also added a bit more coriander powder and some lime juice.  Simple steps to vastly improve one of my favorite simple dishes of all time.  Of course, I don't always have all of those ingredients, but when I do, I will certainly be adding them again.  

Monday, September 2, 2013

Simple Tacos - Vegan MoFo 2013

Vegan MoFo is here! 

Today I made a quick lunch - black beans, corn, fresh salsa, and guacamole in flour tortillas.  I cooked the beans and fire roasted frozen corn (from Trader Joe's) with a little liquid and a Maggi bouillon cube.  The salsa was blended cherry/grape tomatoes, garlic, salt, a jalapeno pepper, some dried coriander, cumin seeds, paprika.  I was out of cilantro so did my best with what I had on hand.  Guacamole was Wholly Guacamole brand.  Took me about 15 minutes from start to finish. 

Saturday, August 31, 2013

2013 Vegan Mofo Eve...

I FORGOT VEGAN MOFO WILL BE SEPTEMBER INSTEAD OF OCTOBER THIS YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!! Whoops! Whatev. I was able to sign up to be on the blogroll over at Vegan MoFo. So........No theme (again) but aiming for a high percentage of posts for the month. I have been kicking around plenty of ideas of things to cook so this is the motivation I need! I had a ton of fun participating last year and imagine this year will be no different. So enjoy your Saturday, everyone, and see you tomorrow.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Foxy Falafel Food Truck - Stoplight Platter

Today I was able to be in Downtown Minneapolis around 11am, which is when most of the food trucks open for business. 
I was SUPER excited to come across Foxy Falafel, which I have been meaning to try for a long time.  (They just opened a brick & mortar restaurant last year, too!)

I tried the Stoplight Flafel Platter: 2 pieces of the curry, beet, and regular falafel (6 total); cabbage. cucumber, tomato, hummus, served with pita or corn chips.  I added some of Foxy's homemade pickles and some hot sauce.  It was delicious!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Vegetable soup for a snowy April night

That's right, it is April 22nd and it is snowing on MN.  Not a flurry, or a light dusting of snow, but several inches are falling outside.  I like winter, but enough is enough. 

So I channeled my never ending winter blues into some vegetable soup.  Pretty standard: onion, garlic, white beans, frozen mixed vegetables, one small can of tomatoes.  What makes this soup unique - Anaheim peppers diced up, as well as a lot of shredded cabbage.  I had a lot of bagged raw coleslaw mix, and needed to use it up.  Salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, veggie broth and water make the rest of the soup.