Thursday, October 20, 2011

I can't believe I just veganized that...

Hey MoFo'ers! I hope this is a better late than never game. 'Round Megatarian land this has been Megan Month of Stress. ENOUGH WITH THE STRESS!! More with the food. I'll catch up, really, I took a bunch of pics and made a bunch of food. What better way to start in the end of the month than with a food that probably should not have been veganized, but as I type, the boy is sitting in the recliner beside me making yummy sounds.

Here's how it started.

KFC started running commercials for their NEW KFC Famous Bowl... with Bacon. The boy and I were watching TV and this commercial aired. I admit it, I married an omni with a junk-food-tooth. I think he may have started drooling. I told him he better not get that because he'd probably die on the spot. He pouted. I looked up nutritional info - the original bowl has almost 700 calories and over 2000 mg sodium. That's WITHOUT bacon!! NO!! I said. More pouting. OK OK I THINK I CAN VEGANIZE IT JUST DON'T BUY IT! He perked up. And so... tonight I veganized the KFC Famous Bowl with Bacon.

And here's how...

This was actually more complicated than I had expected, and I didn't exactly have everything I wanted to use. A KFC bowl is mashed potatoes, corn, fried chicken bits, gravy, cheese, and bacon.

Step 1: Make mashed potatoes (I used a half dozen organic red skin potatoes, skins on, mashed with earth balance, unsweetened original almond milk, a splash of apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper)

Step 2: Heat corn (Frozen corn + boiling water)

Step 3: Prepare Gardein Chick'n Tenders according to package directions

Step 4: Make Gravy (broth + poultry seasoning + nooch + tamari + cornstarch/almond milk slurry)

For cheese I used melted We Can't Say It's Cheese spread, and for bacon I used fake bacon bits.

Now here's the trick with these steps. You actually have to have everything ready at the same moment. Once it's all ready, layer and enjoy! This was where my fatal flaw came in -- I put gravy on top of everything, and the gravy is SUPPOSED to go over the potatoes with everything on top. This apparently did not ruin the integrity of the dish. The boy's only complaint was that the cheese texture was wrong. I hadn't planned on making this tonight; if I had I would have bought some Daiya shreds, but all in all yummy noises prevail*.

(* I'm not included in the taste test because I hate mashed potatoes!!! This actually looks really gross to me. Anything mashed potatoes based does. BLEH! But it's apparently quite good. The boy licked the bowl)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

CSA Share Week 4

Our shares are starting to get bigger! Still plenty of lettuce and cabbage, and I have to admit, at time of posting I have 2 1/2 heads of cabbage in my refrigerator. In my own defense, I also went out of town for a few days following the pick up of this week's share, so I didn't cook for a few days. I've begun sharing some of my share with my good buddy Erica, as our garden is also starting to produce and I've already got squash coming out my ears. I think squash pickles are going to be in our future!!

This week was lemon balm, lettuce, yellow squash and zucchini, swiss chard, garlic scapes, a broccoli crown, and some cabbage.

Not pictured -- I made a big pitcher of iced tea with the lemon balm. It isn't pictured because it tasted like cough drops and I ended up dumping it. It was worth a shot. haha.

I gave one yellow squash to Erica and she can tell you what she did with it! The other I sauteed with some olive oil, garlic, parsley and some shell peas from the garden. This was served with Tuscan Baked Beans made in the crock pot (great to keep the kitchen cool!) and a Kalamata roll from the co-op.

Lettuce and broccoli were both used in my tofu lettuce wraps and sauteed broccoli. I simmered tofu in some broth infused with sesame oil, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and cilantro from the garden. I then sauteed up some bell peppers, celery and carrots and crumbled in the tofu and added some black sesame seeds. It was served in lettuce leaves alongside some broccoli sauteed in the rest of the tofu simmering liquid.

So neat and tidy!

I then had a "cleaning up the veggie drawer" night where I made EPIC VEGETABLE PASTA!!! It has mushrooms, corn, zucchini, garlic scapes, broccoli, eggplant, chard, spinach, garlic, fresh parsley and basil from the garden. Basically every veg drawer scrap there was!

I didn't get to the cabbage this week... hence the reason they're building up. I think one will go home with Erica this weekend. Maybe I'll make her contribute to this project too!!

CSA Share Week 3

Now the problems come in. Now I actually have to remember what 3 weeks ago looked like. Oof, got all caught up in life and things. I did get results from said medical tests back - my digestive system is permanently screwed up from some infections I had, I have cyclical nausea and vomiting syndrome, and have gastritis. At this point it's just a battle to manage symptoms. I think the moral of this story is don't let your appendix burst.

Onto happier things... CSA SHARE!

This week we got some more nappa cabage, cilantro, spinach, squash, garlic scapes, and red leaf lettuce.

The squash, along with some other veggie friends, got seasoned and quick roasted under the broiler.
Took them, along with some of the fresh spinach and hummus and made some lovely vegetable wraps, which we enjoyed with some sweet corn on the cob.
The cabbage got turned into Asian cole slaw with jicama, carrots, apples, and a peanutty dressing. Shown here with a Southwestern Tofu Burger and some of Kali's awesome tofu.

The lettuce was turned into a giant taco salad, with black beans seasoned with cumin and chili powder and tomato paste and some of the fresh cilantro. The rest of the cilantro and some garlic scapes went into the zesty cilantro lime dressing.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

CSA Share Week 2

I actually just picked up CSA Share Week 4... so I'm a few weeks behind, as usual. I had busy things, and sick things, and medical procedure things, and vegan potluck BBQ things, so BUSY!

Week 2's share contained Easter Egg Radishes, Nappa Cabbage, Lettuce, Spinach, and Garlic Scapes.

Garlic Scapes met up with Broccoli this week in a Broccoli Pesto stirred into whole wheat elbow macaroni, served along side carrots sauteed in Earth Balance and Dill and Gardein Crispy Tenders.

I sauteed the cabbage and spinach with red bell pepper, carrots, more garlic scapes, and what was supposed to be thin sliced 5 spice seitan, but my food processor mostly turned into ground seitan.

The lettuce and radishes went into a salad with a homemade vinaigrette and topped with a modified version of Chickpea Hijiki Salad from VwaV (no carrots; diced celery, dill). The boy looked at me like I was insane when I put this on his plate.... then ate two massive plates full of salad.

Now, with any luck, I'll get week 3 posted before week 5!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Homegrown Veggies

This summer we are going to be overflowing with home grown veggies! First, we expanded our garden. It is now approximately... gigantic! 25 ft long by 25 ft wide surrounded by chicken-wire bunny fencing! It is so awesome. I planted stuff we haven't planted before, and all the usual things like tomatoes and peas and eggplants. I've also planted herbs in the garden this year, whereas in the past they've all been in pots. We have herbs in pots too! I love fresh herbs.

In addition to the garden, we joined a CSA! The joining of the CSA occurred before we finished expanding the garden. For those perhaps not in the know, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. You buy a share of a farm, and in exchange you get locally grown yummy veggies every week for the growing season! We joined the Otter Hook Farms CSA, which conveniently offers a half-share, for those of us with crazy gardens. I pick up at the co-op after work on Thursdays, which is also convenient because it's on my way home! (for the most part.)

This is what we got in our box last week:
Left to Right you've got mixed salad greens, scallions, radishes, rapini and a pile of garlic scapes!

Here's what they all turned into!
The scapes made friends with some basil and made this super yummy pesto! It was 1 large bunch of basil, 1 handful of scapes, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup pine nuts, a few tbsp nutritional yeast, the juice of a lemon, and salt and pepper to taste. A little spin around the food processor and you've got delicious zesty pesto!

The rapini (aka broccoli rabe) was sauteed in olive oil with garlic, red pepper flakes, and lemon zest, topped with a few pine nuts.

The radishes and mixed greens went into a roasted portabello mushroom salad. This is based on the recipe in Veganomicon, though I marinated the mushroom in equal parts balsamic vinegar, tamari and water with oregano, basil, and rosemary. I roasted them off in the oven, and they're sitting on a bed of salad greens with chickpeas, avocado, radishes, and cherry tomatoes. (The boy's salad also included onions)

Not pictured, the boy ate the scallions in his eggs in the morning.

Meanwhile, in the Kaleyard... (pretend there aren't tons of weeds, ok? It's been downpouring and the weeds are VERY happy. So are the veggies, so I guess it's only fair. Also pretend there isn't a damned basketball hoop pole there :| We're still addressing that issue)


Peppers! Basil! Squash of many varieties! Beans! Peas!
The shell peas are flowering!

Tomatoes on really, really, really big stakes.
The kale is growing like mad, but it's hard to tell with all the weeds. The cauliflower and cabbage and things are getting really bushy!!

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Summer tiiiiime and the livin' is easy!!

I was working at the co-op this afternoon and a woman was buying a huge bag of lemons. She commented that she and her daughter are hooked on homemade lemonade. I thought "mmm.. lemonade" then I thought "MMMM... ORANGEADE!!"

My grandma used to make Orangeade, and when my Mom was a kid one of her jobs was making the orangeade. My mom used to make it for us when we were kids, maybe once or twice a summer because honestly, squeezing all that fruit is a bit of a hassle! She had an old fashioned metal citrus press and you'd have to put all your weight on it (we were kids, remember?) to press the juice out. Sure, mixing storebought orange juice with lemon juice would be faster, but it wouldn't be the same!

I don't really know my grandma's recipe. If I asked my Mom, she might have an idea of the proportions, but my Mom is in Italy right now, and incommunicado, so I winged it. The end result is delicious, though much lighter and more refreshing than my Grandma (and Mom's) Orangeade. The reason being that my Grandma's secret ingredient, we joke, was sugar. It's only sort of a joke, she put sugar in everything. The reason I'd only ever eat my Grandma's potatoes and carrots as a kid? She cooked them in sugar, not even kidding. So I think that if you doubled the amount of sugar I used, you'd get about what my grandma made... except Grandma didn't make simple syrup, your Orangeade was just gritty until the sugar dissolved. Try it with one cup of sugar -- or double it if you like things really sweet!!

This recipe is 2 weight watchers points plus per 8 oz cup. (For comparison, for those of you not playing this game, 8oz of plain old orange juice is 3 points)

1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 6 lemons)
2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice (about 6 oranges)
1 cup of sugar, mixed with 1 cup of water and heated in a small pot until dissolved ("simple syrup")
10 cups water

1. Mix everything together.

2. Pour over ice. Drink.

3. Wow this is an easy recipe!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Jicama Slaw

*Yawn* <----STRETCH----> Spring already is it?

Hmm.. seedlings... must be spring!

It was a long snowy winter during which I started a new job THANK GOD! My life is so much better now, what without having to drive all over the county (with gas at $4/gallon, tyvm) and not coming home reeking of cigarettes and cat urine. Yes, my new research job is paradise in comparison. But alas, the blog did fall to the wayside. I'm going to try to do better!

Big change in our house as of late -- the boy joined weight watchers. As such, I am now calculating the points value of everything I make. This is a bit tedious at times, but I figured since I've already done the work, I'll include the points value for anyone else who may be weight watching. And, for the record, the boy has lost 5% of his body weight in the past month! (I've also lost 3 lbs, though I'm not even doing weight watchers!)

One change I've made is that I'm just making a metric ton more vegetables for dinner every night. Instead of having a starchy side and a veggie side, we have 2 veggie sides. Instead of having pasta for an entree, we have pasta with a side of extra protein or vegetables. This recipe I invented randomly thinking about how much I enjoy jicama. I thought "Now wouldn't that make a lovely slaw?" and damn it does! I combined Jicama, Apples, Carrots and Cabbage for a delicious side dish that I've been eating every day since I made it! (I'm glad it's good, because this recipe made a LOT of slaw!)

The other big change in my house, kitchen in particular, is my CUISINART FOOD PROCESSOR!! The boy bought it for me for Christmas! That made prepping this about a million times easier since it shreds veggies like a dream! Certainly could be done on a box grater too, but watch your knuckles!

So pretty and purple!

Jicama Slaw
1 medium jicama (mine weight approx 1 lbs)
1 small head of purple cabbage (about softball sized)
2 large carrots
1 large granny smith apple
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp sesame oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

1. Shred all the veggies and mix them up together.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients.

3. Combine the dressing and the veggies and mix well. Add salt & pepper to taste. Allow to sit for a bit to let the flavors mingle.

I found that the flavors got even better the next day! The sesame oil really mellowed out and the vinegar tanged up some! It yielded approx 7.5 cups of slaw! Hence my eating it daily.

WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS PLUS: 1 point per cup of slaw