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Archive | October, 2012

Roasted Tomato and Basil Marinara

31 Oct 319305_4214928888979_1374736457_n

About 4 months ago, Ken and I spent 10 days in New Orleans for a vacation/work conference. After the first few days of exploring antique shops and restaurants in the French Quarter and the Warehouse District, I relaxed in our hotel and watched about 8 1/2 consecutive hours of Food network.

Between meeting Ken for lunch and going out for dinner, I watched an old Ina Garten episode that featured a vodka sauce recipe. I wanted to try it as soon as we got home. The original recipe called for cream, which I substituted with Tofutti sour cream. However, if you have a cashew cream or even some leftover pine nut cream from my previous post it would be even better. I’ve also made it without the cream entirely and it’s still extremely delicious.

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Vietnamese Spring Rolls

30 Oct Vietnamese Spring Rolls

After a friend was seriously injured in my apartment in Washington, I spent the night in the hospital and went straight to work. The last thing I wanted after my shift was to go back to the place of the accident. I was graciously invited to have dinner with a Vietnamese family and the meal is something I’ve never forgotten.

They served a family-style spring roll meal-there were rice noodles, bean sprouts, chopped herbs, stacks of wrappers, and a table-top stove for cooking meats. After everyone arrived, we sat down and the fun began. Each person would dip their wrapper in a bowl of warm water, swirl, and the top with any of the ingredients-roll them all up in the wrapper and devour. I ate until I couldn’t eat anymore and slept like a baby in the car ride home.

Spring rolls usually involve shrimp or shredded pork in some way, but I think they’re even more delicious without those ingredients. After you get used to soaking the wrappers, this is an easy, delicious, and mostly raw lunch.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

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Vegan French Onion Soup

27 Oct French Onion Soup

Even though I made this 7 hours ago, I can still smell it when I walk in the door. This is a recipe that will make anyone who enters your home ask, “What smells so good?” It’s so simple it barely even needs a recipe and easily veganized.


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Moussaka with Pine Nut Cream

24 Oct Moussaka with Pine Nut Cream

I’ve been bookmarking this recipe on every computer I’ve had for the past 4 years. And when those computers crashed, I bookmarked it again. But for some strange reason (read:laziness) I never got around to trying it. I recently had a Wednesday where I had nothing to do but shop and cook. My favorite 🙂

Save this for a Sunday or a day you have plenty of time, because the prep takes a few hours.

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Pad Thai

23 Oct Pad Thai

Story time guys!

When I was young and innocent (read: 18 years old) I ran off to Washington in pursuit of love and an education. I lived outside of Seattle for over a year and had a lot of new and exciting experiences. Riding a city bus for the first time (which became a daily routine), getting my first real job (Thanks Nintendo!), and catching a shark (it was a small shark.)

Some of my best memories from Washington came from tasting new dishes-I ate oysters straight off the beach, had a first date at a pho place when I didn’t even know what the pho-ck it was, tried my first yellow curry, ate soto ayam that I helped prepare with an old Indonesian man and hated it. One of my favorite memories is sitting on a hillside near the Pacific Science Center and eating pad thai during my first music festival. I’d heard of pad thai, of course, and there was a tent serving it there-It was amazing. I ate my own plate and someone’s leftovers. The combination of sweet and sour and cilantro and bean sprouts is something I crave.

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Mapo Tofu

22 Oct Mapo Tofu

All I’ve been wanting today is something spicy. Mouth-numbingly spicy. I want it to burn my lips, my mouth, my stomach. Mapo tofu is the only answer.

This isn’t a perfect recipe. It’s probably not true to the dish (mapo tofu usually had szechuan pepper) nor are the measurements perfect. When I make this I add what feel right. Sometimes I need more sugar. Sometimes I need more black beans. It’s one of those great pms-week dishes because it’s fiery and angry but can be sweet and salty.

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Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

21 Oct Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

Confession time: I constantly crave comfort food. For me, comfort food is my mom’s homemade Velveeta mac and cheese. There’s nothing that compares when I’m having a bad day…especially if you add peas.

Unfortunately, since I’ve gone vegan, I’ll never get to have Velveeta mac and cheese again (although, Daiya cheddar wedges come scarily close to Velveeta.) For a while when I lived on my own, I’d make a nutritional yeast sauce for over my macaroni, but it always ended up tasting a bit like garlic and curry.

I found a recipe for pumpkin mac and cheese at Oh She Glows and wanted to try it. If nothing else, it gives me a chance to use up that can of pumpkin puree I won at Peoria’s Pumpkin Festival. Continue reading

Deconstructed Sushi

20 Oct Deconstructed Sushi

I love sushi.

Let me say that again: I LOVE sushi!

Some days though, I don’t feel like rolling it and cutting it and setting it up nicely. I just want to eat! In those cases, I make my deconstructed sushi bowls.

I got the recipe/idea for this a few years ago when my father was undergoing a quadruple bypass surgery. When you’re in a waiting room, even Reader’s Digest magazine is enough to keep your attention for just a few minutes.

The ingredients are easy-anything you would normally put in your sushi. I used carrots, cucumbers, green onion, avocado, and shiitake mushrooms for this. In the past (preveganism) I used crab, shrimp, cream cheese, or smoked salmon.

The only difficult thing is the rice. The rice is really what defines sushi. If you’re not using the proper rice, then this is just a raw stir-fry.

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Pumpkin Chili

19 Oct Pumpkin Chili

Today was cold, drizzly, and miserable. I was inspired by a half-full can of pumpkin puree in my fridge to make something warm and filling. Why not chili?

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Aside

Finally…

19 Oct

I’m joining the world of blogging!

I know you’ve all probably been sitting at your computers, anxiously awaiting the day I would finally post recipes for all the pictures I’ve posted. Well, here it is! 

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