07 February 2011

Photo Dump! Part the Second.

I found a bunch of food photos on my computer that I've never uploaded. Now's as good a time as any.


Flatbread with zucchini, leeks, potatoes, Daiya and olive oil


Tropical Veggie Burger
-burger-Amy's California burger, pineapple, tomato, spinach, peanut sauce (amaaaaazing)
-sauteed collards with leeks
-sweet potato fries & BBQ sauce

I got the idea from some blog, but I have *no* idea where. Whoops.

Tropical veggie burgers

Burger closeup

Burger closeup

All we ever make are flatbreads, and it's been so long, I forgot what these are.
-Left: zucchini, potatoes, onions, Daiya (I think)
-Right: Red pepper, zucchini, Gardein chicken, Daiya (I think)

All we ever make are flatbreads

Happy Birthday, Mike! These were for the guitarist in Fred's band Samantha. VCTOTW chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream.

Happy Birthday, Mike~

We had extra buttercream from Mike's cupcakes, so Fred and I made another batch. I titled this photo "yours look like houses, mine look like hairdos". Oh, the things you think of under the influence.

Yours look like houses, mine look like hairdos

Happy Birthday, Matt! These were for the cheese buyer at work, and his favorite flavor is strawberry. I used the VCTOTW raspberry recipes and switched everything to strawberries. Matt and his girlfriend continue to rave about these to this day.

Happy Birthday, Matt!

Urban Vegan Rock Cakes are one of my favorite morning recipes. So easy. So simple. So delicious.

Rock Cakes

Vegan Brunch Mixed Berry muffins. Classic. Awesome. Classically awesome.

Mixed Berry Muffins

I told Fred I'd make him cupcakes in return for doing me a favor. I don't remember the favor, but the cupcakes were damn delicious. VCTOTW pumpkin with cinnamon spice icing. I used pecans instead of chocolate chips. I'm not really a chocolate kind of girl.

Fred wanted cupcakes

Grilled Daiya and tempeh bacon. Yuuuuuuum. Though, I used waaaaaaay too much Daiya. With some Amy's butternut squash soup and some apple cider, it was a tasty lunch.

The measuring tape in the back has been donated to my roommate's cat. She loves that thing. It's one of her favorite toys. Weirdo.

Grilled cheeze, soup and cider

AFR Classic Black Bean and Veggie Chili. Classic is right. I'd been craving an uberveggie chili for a while, kind of like the veggie bean chili from Whole Foods. I'd like to add some more beans, maybe chickpeas next time. Yums.

AFR Black Bean Chili

This blurry little camel found his way into my beer one night at Danny's. I think he just wanted some of my Lagunitas IPA, one of my favorite brews.

Beer Camel

This concludes the old photos on my compy. I have some more on my camera.

06 February 2011

Photo Dump! Part the First.

So, I've mostly been avoiding posting because I'm super lazy about uploading photos from my camera to the computer and then from the computer to the internet and then from some random place on the internet to my blog without uploading them everywhere individually. I think it's a giant pain. But! I just joined the rest of the 21st century and learned how to use Flikr like a normal person. Jeez, K. What is wrong with you?

So, here's a bunch of photos. Some I've talked about on the PPK forums, and I'll link to my thoughts/posts about them. Some are just here for kicks.

Here we go!

First: AFR 2nd Ave. Vegetable Korma - warming and delicious. Perfect for this crazy Chicago winter. There isn't as much rice as it seems. I made a little bowl of rice in the bowl so I could get it in the picture. Made awesome leftovers for work.

PPK cookbook  challenge #2 - AFR part 1

VCIYCJ Rocky Road cookies - I subbed Dandies for the white chocolate chips. I made these for myself first, and I think my oven was off. The mallows exploded and got a little hard. I made them again for a work meeting with much better results. They were softer, the Dandies kept their shape, and the omnis gobbled them up. So many compliments!

rocky road cookies with dandies

AFR Tortilla Soup - Super flavorful with a lot less heat than I expected from the 3 peppers in the recipe. Another winter winner. It's way better with real tortilla chips, instead of baked, FYI. The baked chips ended up a little soggy.

IMG_1784PPK cookbook challenge #2 - AFR part 2

Candle Cafe Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart - I saw this at Whole Foods one day and had to grab it because I've heard such amazing things about Candle Cafe. It was really tasty and rich. I loved that it was more peanut butter flavored than chocolate flavored. I'm not really a chocolate girl. They had a few other items from Candle Cafe. I have to check those out soon.

choc peanut butter tart

AFR Caulipots and 40 Clove Chickpeas and Broccoli with a Gardein Chickn cutlet thinger - This is my new standard I-don't-want-to-cook-and-I'm-sick-of-soup meal. Caulipots! Such winners. This batch was a little persnickety. The cauli part of the caulipots needed to cook longer. I figured it out. The 40 clove was good, but I was expecting something a little saucier. When I made it again, I experimented with some different sauces and gravies. The AFR nooch sauce is awesome with the caulipots. And the Gardein. I also found some leftover V'con mushroom gravy in the freezer, so I had it that way one day. The AFR chickpea gravy is another natural, super delicious pairing.

Though I don't have a photo, I made another batch of caulipots, and kept eating them like this. They're also good with some VWAV garlicky kale. Holy crap, I shill for the Moskovitz empire a lot. VWAV was my first vegan cookbook, and the first cookbook I ever actually used. I'm on the bandwagon. Yep.

PPK cookbook challenge #2 - AFR part 3

Breakfast! I made breakfast sammiches with VB Tofu Benny tofu, some store-bought tempeh bacon and AFR nooch sauce on an english muffin. So good! With a cara cara orange (my favorite citrus), some roasted sweet potatoes a la Vegan Brunch, and coffee from my old shop, this was a killer breakfast. And the ingredients reheated well for the rest of the week (though the potatoes were all gone that day. Nom.).


sammich close up

09 January 2011

Oh, hey.

How's it goin'? I disappeared from Blogger for a while. That was fun. Or something.

The holidays got a little crazy. I took Fred to Springfield for the first time. He met the entire extended family. That was interesting. Despite the giant spread they always have, nothing is vegan. Fred and I made an entire dinner for me. In hindsight, we should've made something much, much simpler, but we did a seitan en croute, mashed potatoes with Vcon mushroom gravy, stuffing with cranberries and pecans, and the VWAV gingerbread apple pie. My sister was awesome enough to make a three sisters chili which was pretty delicious.

Fred finally got to meet my brother. He also had his first horseshoe, this local dish that's something of an abomination to a vegan. Traditionally, it's texas toast open face with some ground beef, layered with french fries and covered with cheese sauce. It's intense. One of these days, I'll veganize it. I've been thinking about it for a while.

Christmas was strange, but only because it was the first time I didn't go home ever. Some awesome friends from work took Fred and me in for Christmas dinner. Our hosts made some awesome bruschetta, some amazing bread, and two cassoulets, one vegan for me, and one with pork for everyone else. The other couple brought a cheese plate and bottle after bottle of amazing wine. Fred and I made Vcon moussaka to bring along with the VWAV raspberry blackout cake. Everything was incredibly delicious.

Just before Christmas, my shoulder started feeling a lot better, so much better that I called my orthopaedist and moved up my appointment. I had a feeling that I could get back to work before the new year. He said I was improving a lot faster than he'd anticipated, so I was cleared for work. Yay! I started back on December 29. Thankfully, since I went back when I did, I didn't have to deal with all the insurance mumbo-jumbo of starting the new year/new month without working.

Prior to heading back to work, I ordered Appetite for Reduction and have been cooking the shittake out of it. There have been few non-AFR recipes around here lately. So many reasons why this book is so timely. Since I've gone back to work, my schedule is a little crazy. Most of the recipes are pretty quick, so I don't have to spend all day in the kitchen. I gained some weight during my leave, and AFR is all about making super-tasty healthy food. I'd also been thinking of incorporating more veggies in my diet, both in quantity and the types I buy. I started off exploring cauliflower and broccoli, two ingredients I've shied away from in the past. AFR is really showing how much I really do love vegetables. My 16 year old self would be totally freaked out by everything I'm eating these days.

I'm definitely glad to be back at work, but I had to step down from my position. Now I'm just a regular team member. I've been struggling to figure out what my place is there now. It's pretty clear that I'm well suited for more responsibility than most of my fellow TMs, but my TLs don't really have a plan for me yet. We've all been talking about it in the last week or so. Hopefully we'll get it figured out.

I hate when blogs say 'oh, hey, I'm back', and then they never post again. I'm fairly certain that won't happen, but I'm not making any promises. There's a cookbook challenge on the PPK starting tomorrow, so I'll try to blog about all of that. Here's hoping it goes better than MoFo.

18 November 2010

MoFo Day 18! Sweet potato black bean quesadilla

What do you call a quesadilla without queso?

I've been thinking about making something to this effect all week. I bought a bunch of sweet potatoes, intending to use them for soup, but I really haven't been in the mood for soup lately.

Tonight, I needed something quick to make for dinner. I was in the middle of baking cookies for the midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, when I realized I needed to eat.

I always have a few cans of black beans on hand, and I happened to buy some (oh so photogenic) red chile tortillas the other day. So, naturally, I thought about the awesomeness that is sweet potatoes with black beans. I was too hungry to roast the potato properly, so I zapped it in the microwave for about 6 minutes. I peeled the skin away and smashed it up with some olive oil and chile powder. For the bean layer, I sauteed some black beans with a little olive oil, a tomato and some Frontera Chipotle Salsa. Add slices from half an avocado, and it's a surprisingly filling meal. In fact, I'm sitting here, picking at the last quarter because I'm pretty damn full.

17 November 2010

MoFo Day 17! Jerk Seitan

When I made pho the other day, I made a double batch of seitan. That second half paid off today. After physical therapy, I was super hungry. I had a quick banana to stave off hunger. Then I pulled out Vegan with a Vengeance and flipped to the Jerk Seitan recipe. I had everything to make it. Yay!

Well, I did sub out a red pepper for the suggested green pepper, because green peppers are unripened little devils. The sauce was really good. The spices were right on with the jerk flavorings I've tried in the past. I would have liked a little extra heat, but that's easily solved in the opening paragraph. Next time I try this, I'll add a serrano. I served the seitan with some brown rice and roasted sweet potatoes with olive oil, salt, chili powder and ginger. It was a tasty, easy little dinner. And there are plenty of leftovers.

16 November 2010

MoFo Day 16! Party recap and three kinds of cupcakes

Last night was the 'We Miss You, KK' party. Sadly, I don't have any pictures of last night's festivities. I was having too much fun to drag my camera out of my bag. I do have some really, really terrible pictures of the cupcakes I made. Don't say I didn't warn you. Ugh. I don't know what was going on with the light in my living room last night, but it was gross. I promise they looked way, way better in person.

I made three different cupcakes: strawberry, cookies and cream, and gingerbread. All the recipes came from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. For the strawberry, I used the vanilla cake recipe and added extra strawberry flavoring. The frosting is the Raspberry Buttercream recipe, but I used replaced the raspberry syrup and extract with strawberry. I thought the icing looked too thick, so I added extra strawberry syrup. Unfortunately, I had a heavy hand, and it started to run. The cookies and cream use the variation of the chocolate cupcakes that's listed in the book. The gingerbread have Lemon Buttercream on top. Oh! Fred did most of the decoration. I had PT last night, and I didn't have time to make the icing and decorate and get ready when I got home. He's awesome. I love him!

The gingerbread were definitely my favorite. I was pleasantly surprised because I haven't been the biggest fan of gingerbread over the years. These were nice and mellow and include crystalized ginger. Yum! Also, I really love lemon-flavored anything.

The party was a lot of fun, and the food was great. And it was all vegan! I'm gonna do some bullet points, so the awesomeness doesn't get lost in one giant paragraph.
  • The hosts, Matt and Kim (no, they don't like the band), made some awesome guacamole, and Matt grilled up a ton of yummy vegetables--mushrooms, zucchini, asparagus, potatoes, onions, etc.
  • Jodi made a squash salad with roasted kabocha and buttercup squash, pomegranate, pepitas and arugula with an apple cider dressing. It was really delicious.
  • Randi made oatmeal cookies. They fell apart a little, but tasted great. Sadly, Randi couldn't stay, because her dog was sick last night. I hope he's okay!
  • Dave, one of our wine vendors, brought a bunch of wine for everyone to share (the hangover I've had all day tells me that I definitely partook in his generosity).
  • Chris and Mandy made a seven layer taco dip with vegan sour cream and Daiya.
  • Our friend Freddie, who quit months ago even showed up with a veggie tray.
  • Kojak, aka Whiskers (seriously epic facial hair), made what we all dubbed 'Banana Dicks'. He drenched banana halves in an aged rum and brown sugar sauce, grilled them up and served them with vanilla ice cream for the omnis and coconut sorbet for me.
  • One of my favorite dishes of the night was this shepherd's pie that Richard, my team leader, made. He used Uptown's seitan, Gimme Lean chorizo, cheddar Daiya, spinach, mushrooms and potatoes, of course. He likes to give me shit for being vegan, so I so stoked that he made that. Richard worked in a ton of kitchens over the years before he came to Whole Foods. I wasn't surprised it was delicious, but I didn't expect him to go all out with the substitutions like that.
Everyone seemed to have a great time. It made me miss work, if only for the company. I got to see so many people I haven't seen in a while, and it was so nice to catch up with everyone. I love everyone I work with, and I missed the people who couldn't make it. My friend Julie even showed up. She had my position before me, but transferred to another store to be closer to home. I was super excited to see her, because she's truly one of the most awesome people I know, and I've missed her ever since she transferred.

So, a lot of thanks and love to everyone who came! And thanks for such awesome vegan food! I love you guys!

15 November 2010

MoFo Day 15! My second ever BLT


Last week, some douchenozzle broke the passenger’s window in my roommate’s car while she was at work. She didn’t have a day off until Friday, so she couldn’t get it replaced until then. We got a lead on a place that could fix it for cheap, but it was waaaaaay west. Like, in the ghetto west. C set out for the body shop, but after about 20 minutes, she called me. She’d gotten a little skeeved out, turned around and asked if I would go with her. I agreed, because who wants to drive to ghetto alone. Honestly, it wasn’t that bad, but I could kind of see where she was coming from.

Anyway. On the way back, I asked if we could take a quick pitstop to Whole Foods. I saw a post about BLTs the other day on someone’s blog, and then the next day, my roommate had a TLT, with smoked tofu instead of bacon. I had everything I needed to make my very first BLT, except Vegenaise, and I didn’t know where else to get it. When we finally got home, I made and ate my first BLT. I didn’t take a picture or post it that day, because I was so hungry that I totally forgot. Apparently, I’d also forgotten that I bought a jar of Vegenaise a while ago, and it was still in the fridge. I couldn’t remember how long ago I bought it, but it smelled and tasted fine.

Yesterday, I was so busy making a bunch of cupcakes for tonight’s ‘We Miss KK Potluck’, that I forgot about dinner. I could have heated up a bowl of soup, but I didn’t feel like it. That first BLT was so delicious, I wanted to recreate it.

So, a little tempeh bacon, some thick slices of roma tomato and Vegenaise make a delectable BLT. But the L is missing. I never keep lettuce in the house--I much prefer spinach as my everyday green. So, I guess I still haven’t had a BLT, but a tBST. I’m pretty sure the sandwich police don’t care.