Saturday, December 10, 2011

Veggie Pita Pizza

I needed a reprieve from my endless studying for finals, (and some sustenance), so I took a cooking break. I made this "pita pizza" on whole grain flat bread. I used plain strained tomatoes dressed up with Italian herbs, red pepper flakes, and garlic salt. Then I layered a bed of greens (blend of spinach, arugula, watercress, and a couples other I think). On top I put the zucchini, broccoli, and portobellos that I had sauteed in the tomato sauce. I drizzled it all with a lil olive oil and baked it on 375 for about 10 minutes. It turned out deliciously crispy and satisfying!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy 1 Year (and 3 days) Anniversary to our blog!

I can't believe we started this blog a year (and three days) ago. Thanks to all our readers (David and Mrs. P) for reading! I hope you all have had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am always so thankful to have all the love in my life that I have. This year I am mostly thankful for growth and love. I am spending this year's day of thanks at The Farm of Peace in Pennsylvania with Josh and his family. I have had the most variety of beautiful vegan food I have ever had continuously since I have been here, starting with a super yummy vegan pumpkin pie Josh's mom created. She composed the crust of pulverised almonds, almond flour and coconut oil. The filling was composed of tofu, pumpkin, spices and a little agave nectar. Then she spread a thin layer of chocolate on top made of coconut oil and cocoa. She then went above and beyond and got vegan whipped cream which is made from cashews and almonds. It was also awesome. I will have to go into more detail about all the other foods I've had here later. But until then, I hope everyone had a happy turkey day, in the most literal sense, of course!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hare Hare, Krishna Krishna!

This is the meal that I had on Tuesday at the Hare Krishna lunch. Soooo yummy, sooo addicting! My mouth is watering just looking at it!

Feelin' Fancy? Try Parsnip-Apple Bisque!

Ok, the pictures definitely do not do this delightful soup justice! I looked up a bunch a recipes for parsnips, and I came accross several that pared the root vegetable with apples, so I decided to give it a try. I splurged on some very special ingredients for this one, making it oh so decadent! Here's what I used:

6 Parsnips
1 Honeycrisp Apple
1 Shallot
Vegetable Broth
Soy Milk
1 tsp. Truffle Oil
Rubbed sage, cumin, black pepper, ground ginger, garlic powder, marjoram, and freeze-dried chives

I peeled and chopped the parsnips and apple and chopped the shallot, placed them all in a pot with the cashews in the vegetable broth and simmered for about 15 minutes. I added the truffle oil and seasoned them with all the spices and herbs above. I then transfered it all into a blender and pureed it all until creamy and smooth. I transfered it back to the pot and added the soymilk. Once it was all heated through and seasoning was adjusted to tasted, it was done! E Voila! Dinner for royalty! (Or my pajamas.)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Thanksgiving Oatmeal

This steamy hot bowl of love warms my heart on a chilly November morn. It has all my favorite flavas of Thanksgiving: pumpkin, cranberries, pecans, vanilla and cinnamon.
I am thankful for soooooo many things...but mostly this oatmeal.


I created this dish to combine David's 2 favorite foods: mashed potatoes and lasagna. It was a pretty scary experiment, but it turned out great! The mashed potatoes actually filled the place of the texture of the ricotta cheese. Though starch was most definitely the star, it was a yummy treat!

I used an eggplant marinana sauce from a jar, and I made my own "cheese" (in place of mozzarella) using silken tofu, arrowroot powder, an improv. combo of soy nuts and pecans, garlic, and spices. I used whole wheat lasagna pasta and sliced zucchini, squash, and sauteed mushrooms and spinach. For the mashed "potates", I used a bag of small purple potatoes and mashed them with soy milk, Earth Balance, fresh garlic, salt and peper. I topped it all with whole wheat breadcrumbs.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Lentil-Kale Soup

Since I've had this every day for about a week now, I figured I give ya a visual! This is the famous "lentil-kale" soup. Bam!

Very hearty and cozy on a cold night like tonight!

Friday, October 14, 2011

From the Archives

I was cleaning out my e-mail inbox today and found one in which my mom attached a couple pictures from a meal I made a while back. I remembered this meal: Black Bean Cakes with Guac., Salsa, Arugula, and Soy Sour Cream and Potato Salad with Warm Miso Dressing.  Enjoy the feast for your eyes!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Dinna Partay

This is a little belated, but I thought I'd stick these picks up here. A few weeks ago when my sister came to visit, we had a big dinner party with the fam. and significant others to celebrate. I made stuffed peppers, marinated baked eggplant, zucchini, squash, and bellas, red potatoes, a big salad with "cesar" dressing, a huge fruit salad, and for dessert: lemon squares and rumnog-pecan cookies!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pumpkin Mousse

As the weather cools down, a little voice in the air seems to tell me to eat every meal of every day. I have had pumpkin oatmeal each morning, and I can never seem to get enough! As an afternoon treat, I whipped up some pumkin mousse today. I varied a recipe I found on the Healthy, Happy Life blog.

I used:
Most of a can of pumkin
1/4 package of tofu
about 1/4 cup cashews
splash of vanilla soymilk
about a tblsp agave nectar
pumkpin pie spices

I whipped it all up in a blender, froze it for 15 min., and put it in the fridge for a couple hours. This is definitely something I'd love to play around with, as it has an infinite number of delicious variations (topped with cashew cream, pecans, crumbled graham crackers, etc.)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Blondies and The Fort

Greetings! I'm just gonna skip the whole "sorry I haven't posted in so long" monologue and jump right in. My cousin/ roommate Sara and I just baked some Snickerdoodle Blondies. We mostly followed the recipe, but we substituted coconut butter (shredded unsweetened coconut blended to a buttery consistency) for the nut butter. They're cooling right this second, but from what we can tell they're pretty tasty. Except Sara thinks they're not very sweet, which reminds me: we also substituted 3 and a half packets of Truvia for the sugar. The half packet is not because we're weird and rigid. We would have added 4, but I used half a packet earlier in my coffee.

Before they entered Ovenland

Aaand upon their return from Ovenland (Sara snuck a nibble).

Overall I would say these are a win. They have the dense and hearty texture of a good homemade baked good, but they don't provide the sugar high and overall feeling of lethargy that usually follows.

Now a little non-food update. Probably the coolest thing to "write home about" is The Fort. We built The Fort shortly after living in our apartment (named Neverland...just so every time we head home we get to yell "Off to Neverland!") Anyways, it's made of hand-me-down fabric, the skeletons of a couple cots, the cardboard box my bike came in (Thanks Mom!) and looots o' love! 

The Entrance tunnel

The Entrance again (from within The Fort)

The Ceiling

Sara's artwork to fill up an unwanted gap

Me (left) and Sara (right, obvi!) riding down Electric Feel in our canoe.
Our ex-pet Josh Mouser...hope you're happy wherever you are, little guy!

The Fort. Notice the family portrait by Sara on the mantle. We are riding Falcor from The Neverending Story. Oh! and to the right of that portrait is the picture of all of us from my Farewell Dinner party. :)

Welp, that's it for me! 
Happiness and peaceful thoughts,

P.S. I miss you Dan! And love you to Neverland and back!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sunday Brunch at All Saints Cafe

My favorite meal of the day is easily breakfast. This summer, I have gotten into the routine of having steel cut oats with fruit almost every day. (If I'm feelin really fancy, I'll make a smoothie.) Sometimes life gets in the way of routine, and my 3 summer classes and move have successfully sabotaged my breakfast ritual. I've been craving vegan comfort food, (probably because I'm so stressed), so I was SO excited to find this! At one of my favorite coffee shops here in Tallahassee, All Saints Cafe, they offer a delicious and soul-warming comfort-food Sunday breakfast! All their food is always vegan, which is a huge plus, and I am never disappointed with the taste. The breakfast is no exception! They offered two choices: the biscuits and gravy plate, and the zucchini waffles. I chose biscuits and gravy (pictured below). The hot and fluffy biscuits are smothered in creamy gravy, served with tater tots, grits, and a delicious scrambled tofu. The portions are huge, so when I get this, it's usually my only meal of the day. I'm so thankful to live somewhere where this kind of food is offered and loved by many!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Magic with a Metal Ring: The Alamo

A highlight meal from the Syracuse trip was this creation I made for Jessica and her friend and me. Jessica named it the Alamo due to the Southwestern flavors. I wanted to create something fancy and impressive-looking, and equally impressive-tasting! We all agreed this met our expectations! (And exceeded them in Jessica's case, who admitted she wasn't too pumped for an all-vegan meal).

This creation would have tasted just as good without the presentation, but we eat with our eyes first, right? I had no idea it would be so easy to use this metal ring to make the meal look so fancy. I just put the ring on the plate, piled in the mashed sweet potatoes first, and layered the rest of the components on top, removed the ring, and voila!

The actual components to the meal were simple, so I"ll just list them here.
  • 2 mashed sweet potatoes with Southwest seasoning
  • 1 can black beans, 1 can corn, mixed, with S.W. seasoning
  • Roasted tomatoes and portobello mushrooms
  • sliced avocado
  • sauteed spinach with garlic and lemon
  • a dab of mashed sweet potato on the top with blue corn chips on top to garnish
  • the decorative sauce on the plate was a pre-made Mexican flavor blend I got in a tube
This whole meal took about 15-20 minutes to put together! 

Voyaging in Syracuse

I spent the last week or so in Syracuse, NY for Jessica's graduation! It was the perfect vacation, filled with friends, wine tasting, and plenty of delicious food! The following pictures chronicle a small portion of my vegtastic tasting journey. There were also some fantastic Italian restaurants where I enjoyed some freshly-made whole wheat pasta primavera and plenty of vino! I also made dinner with Jessica and her friend two nights, and those meals came out splendidly as well! I was so glad they enjoyed the vegan meals and we had a lot of fun in the process!

We started out at Strong Hearts, one of my faves. Jess had the "egg-trick sandwich," which is their vegan breakfast sandwich ("egg" and "sausage") on an English muffin. We both had the curry pumpkin soup with asparagus as well. (MMMMMmmmmmm!)

 I enjoyed this roasted veggie panini with chipotle potato salad!

For one meal, I ate at Mimi's Cafe, where I ate this delicious hummus/veggie sandwich on a brioche bun and a cup of veggie chili.


On campus, there is an eatery that specializes in juices, smoothies, and healthy fare, so I stopped in for some lunch. I had the "70's Veggie Wrap," which had plenty of fresh veggies, sprouts, and avocado. It came with their homemade chips and salsa. I also had their strawberry-orange-banana smoothie with flax seed. So yum!                      

This trip was truly a vegtastic voyage! Bails, I can't wait to see you and make some delicious and unforgettable memories!!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Bella Burger Heaven

Sometimes I get tired of veggie burgers, or just don't have time to make a healthy one from scratch, so I love the marinated portabella mushrooms as an alternative! I just marinate them in balsamic vinegar and Italian seasoning and then bake them for a few minutes. Sooooo yum!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Missed birthdays & Tofu in Brownies

Dani, you look absolutely beautiful in all of your birthday pictures. I miss you so! I am so so impressed (but not surprised) by your family and David's birthday gifts to you. What a lucky girl! I wish we could have celebrated our birthdays together this year! We'll just have to make up for it by getting extremely drunk and talking about how in love we are when I come home to visit.

As far as food goes, I did some vegan baking earlier this week. When I'm anxious, I bake. I was very anxious earlier this week due to being completely alone for two days straight. It's Spring Break right now and all (3) of my friends and my roommate were gone and I was stuck here for work. So, I baked. I made oatmeal raisin banana-sweetened cookies adapted from one of good ole Susan V's recipes and then made vegan brownies with tofu! I had had a block of tofu sitting in my fridge about to expire so I decided to try baking with it. It turned out great! I forgot where I found the recipe, but they turned out super dense, moist and yummy. The only bad thing is that I was limited on ingredients and had to use a bit of white sugar (ew).

Anyways, I love you very much and really enjoyed your subliminal message today. It obviously worked.

Soooo much love from me to you :)

My Vegtastic 21st Birthday!

I spent my actual birthday in Syracuse with my sister. She took me for sushi and it was delicious! I gained a new appreciation for the Florida winter as I got bundled up to go out into the snow. (I am impressed with your adaptability, Bails!) Jessica threw me a little party and we went to a karaoke bar. She also took me to a vegan restaurant that was amazing!!! It was called Strong Hearts Cafe. From there I got a vegan chocolate-coconut cupcake and ate it with vegan ice cream. Back in Jacksonville, I celebrated with my grandparents and my mom and David at Maggiano's. My mom surprised me with a beautiful vegan carrot cake from Whole Foods! Everyone loved it! And check out the message she had them write on it! Haha! It was like you were there!
The next day David took me to Orlando! We ate and drank around the world at Epcot. We had dinner in China and I was impressed with my tofu-veggie stir-fry! Who knew Disney could be healthy? It was the funnest. It turned out to be the best 21st birthday I could have imagined!