I’m late for Vegan MoFo

I meant to do a post yesterday, I really did, but the day got away from me with all the shopping and cleaning and, especially, hanging out with my niece and nephew for the evening.  They are only 2 & 4 but are fabulous eaters, thanks to their dad (my brother)  and mom’s love of good food.

I am not a photographer, and my good kitchen full-spectrum light has been broken for months (I’m getting a new one on Tuesday), so these aren’t even close to professional pictures but I try to capture some of the deliciousness of the food I cook.

I made baked falafels for the first time, from Appetite for Reduction.  They tasted great but the texture was, of course and expectedly, not the same as fried.  They were also a bit on the mushy side which was my mistake.  As Eric said, I’m not sure they were far enough removed from hummus.

As you can see from the table, we wrapped them in pita, with tomato, cucumber, parsley and red onion for toppings.  The green sauce in the jar is Green Goddess Garlic Dressing from the same book.

I ran the Run for the Cure today in Halifax.  It poured, before and during, but it was good.  I raised some money and the firm I work for sponsors us.  Since a 5 km run is a bit short for me I ran across the finish line and kept going home.  I took a picture when I got home but I was so wet and bedraggled looking it’s going to stay unseen.

This was my post-run brunch: Scrambled tofu with spinach, leftover falafel patties with the green goddess dressing, Montreal bagel and sliced kiwi.

Accompanied of course by a large mug of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee from Java Blend, one of my favourite places in Halifax.  I think I’ll do a whole post on coffee in Halifax/Dartmouth later on.

Vegan Diner simple supper

I borrowed the new cookbook Vegan Diner from the library a few weeks ago because of the raves it was getting on the PPK.  Most cookbook s I am happy to borrow from the library and return three weeks later but the very best ones I have to buy.  My copy of this one is coming.  I love the recipes and the layout is excellent

So tonight I made the Old-Fashioned Tomato soup – so easy and so delicious. 

On the weekend I had made the Great Smoky Mountain Cheeze, but substituting hickory liquid smoke for the smoked paprika.  The consistency is good, like a soft cheese – sliceable but still spreadable.  I toasted some leftover rosemary focaccia (recipe from Veganomicon) and spread on it some of the smoky spread.  Dunking it in the soup made it all more delicious.

Salsa success and pie failure

I went to the Halifax Seaport Farmer’s Market on Saturday for the first time.  I had gone occasionally to the old market (and still go there sometimes)  but hadn’t ventured to the new one, mainly because of the crowding issue.  I often go to the Dartmouth market, which is crowded, too, but much smaller, and I know the vendors.

What did I find at the market?  Tomatillos! And jalapenos, onions, red tomatoes, cilantro.

Last winter, while reading some Cooks Illustrated magazines a friend had given to me, I read a fascinating article on blueberry pie.  I am not a master pie maker but I had tried several times to make non-runny blueberry pie with no success.  I have to admit I didn’t follow the instructions exactly.  I had to use some frozen berries but since those were the cooked ones I didn’t think it would matter.  I also used a gravenstein apple instead of a granny smith and I think that was a big part of the problem.  I wonder too if their blueberries were the big high bush ones instead of my tiny wild Nova Scotia berries and if there is a difference in the chemical makeup, especially when they are cooked.  I am going to try again but this time with more thickener.  I am eagerly anticipating my new Vegan Pie In the Sky book which is due to arrive in a few short weeks.

 

As you can see, it still tasted good.

I’m back

It’s been a long time.  I’ve been cooking, most of the time.  After a stellar day yesterday where I cooked up a storm I thought I would pop back in here.  Mainly because I made oatcakes and wanted to post “my” recipe for them.

These are the oatcakes I remember eating as a child, but my memory is bad so maybe they are just the ones I like best.  Here is the recipe, adapted from New Maritimes Seasonal Cooking:

1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 cups oatmeal (I use the oats specifically called Steel Cut Scottish Oatmeal from Speerville Mills, but Bob’s Red Mill makes them too)
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup cold shortening (I use Earth Balance)
1/2 cup cold water

In medium bowl, combine brown sugar, oatmeal, flour, baking soda and salt.  Cut in shortening using pastry blender until small crumbs form.  Drizzle about half the water over the dough while mixing with a fork.  Add more water as necessary to make a ball that holds together well but is not too sticky.  Roll out on a floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick.  Cut into shapes and place 1 inch apart on a baking sheet (I use parchment paper to line them).  Bake at 375F for 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned.  Let sit a few minutes on the pan and then transfer to a wire rack.  These store well and also freeze well, which is good because if you cut them in small circles like mine there will be at least 6 dozen.

I also made a beautiful tofu scramble this morning after my 10k run to Shubie Park.  Onions, peppers, tomato and spinach, California herb tofu from Acadiana Soy Products, with a side of toasted Boulangérie La Vendéene froment with homemade blueberry jam.  And a large mug of coffee, of course – still drinking the delicious Nicaraguan beans that I got in Calgary at Fratello.

 

Vegan MoFo is over but I can’t stop…

taking pictures of my food and writing about it. It’s fun when I have time.

Today was day three of my new job. I don’t get home until 5:40 now so I have to be more prepared for supper-making. I leave for work later, too, though, so I have time for a little prep in the morning if I need it.

This morning I made a marinade of apple juice concentrate, dijon mustard, rosemary and garlic and sliced up some tofu to put in it.

Arriving home, I turned on the oven to pre-heat while I  chopped some shallots, garlic and red pepper for a rice pilaf. Marinated tofu in the oven, veggies sauteeing, rice and vegetable broth added, broccoli ready to steam – dinner was ready by 6:30.

A piddly plate of food - I ate more than this

I couldn’t resist making a batch of cookies while the oven was on.

Chocolate Fudgy Oatmeal Cookies

Gratuitous Princess picture

 

Cinnamon buns with no cinnamon – oops

This morning at 3:30 AM, as is sometimes the case for me, I was lying in bed mentally gnawing over things I won’t mention here because this blog is about food, not my existential angst. After a half hour of inner turmoil I decided to get up and catch up on my internetting.

While sitting here I started to get hungry and thought to myself, I could make some cinnamon rolls. So I jumped up and got out one of my favourite cookbooks, Veganomicon, for the Maple and Brown Sugar Pinwheels recipe. I had made it once before and while we didn’t care for the orange and cardamon, the sweet dough is delicious so I was going to add some cinnamon to the brown sugar filling and have cinnamon rolls.

Unfortunately, at 5:30 AM my mental faculties aren’t always the sharpest. Some of you may remember the raccoon incident. I rolled out the risen dough, spread it with margarine, and sprinkled on the brown sugar. It wasn’t until much later (when I bit into one) that I realized I had forgotten the cinnamon. So we have butterscotch rolls instead and they are almost gone.

I wanted to try a different recipe with the seitan I had made a few weeks ago and tonight made the Almost All American Seitan Pot Pie, again from the ever-trusty Veganomicon. It was delicious. Missing from the picture are the sides of green beans and spinach.

The two holdout meat-eaters refused to even try it. It’s going to be a long week, month, year, since I have decided I am not cooking anything non-veg any more.

While the pot pie was baking I whipped up an apple crisp with some of the many apples hanging around looking shiftless.

Orange you glad it’s not Thanksgiving?

Are all you non-US citizens sick of hearing about Thanksgiving? Luckily today is an ordinary day here in Canada. Maybe for me not so ordinary – it was the last day of my four-month posting at [unnamed government agency]. Coincidentally, it was also the day for the CEO and CFO to travel around to the different divisions and bestow their grace on us. I got a cup of mediocre coffee and a fabulous orange out of the deal. Sorry, no picture of the orange.

Tonight was a roasted potatoes night.

Beautiful crusty brown roasted potatoes with rosemary and thyme

I added the onions too early and they were blackened - I actually like them that way

 

I also had a large green salad and an Yves sweet Italian sausage. I had eaten all of the salad and half of the sausage before I remembered I was supposed to take pictures, so here is a picture of the partially-eaten sausage, slathered in million dollar relish, yellow mustard, and ketchup.

A Garrison’s nut brown ale completes the pub-like meal and I am ready for my three day weekend.