Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Reading Week!

Woot! I have this week off from school so I've been cooking a lot, slacking a lot, rekindling my love affair with the food network...I went to a movie last night, the Prestige...see it! It is so good! Anyways lets get straight to the food, since there is a lot of it.

First, I never got around to posting a picture of my laptop lunchbox...
In the thermos is La Dolce Vegan's macaroni and cheese with some soy hot dogs mixed in. Mmmm, and it was still hot at lunch time! I also had a regular salad with Annie's Goddess Dressing on the side, some grapes and a quick trailmix made from almonds, pumpkin seeds and Jordan's Morning Crisp oat clusters with dark chocolate chips. To drink, I got some Natura soymilk drink boxes from the grocery store. These are good! I enjoy the Natura brand. Campus also sells soymilk in the cafeteria now, but I don't like the So Good brand.

Also, from LDV, I made the green bean zasmashka (whatever that means) as a side for dinner. Its a really simple recipe of steamed green beans and a bread crumb mixture browned in margarine. Nothing too special, but it does go nicely with the beans.
I also made the creamy tropical fruit salad (LDV). Yum yum yum! I'll be making this again, with or without the sauce. The base combination of fruit is perfect for any fruit salad. The creamy sauce is really good too, with pineapple juice and mayonnaise. It gets better as it chills too. The salad has apples, grapes, kiwis, strawberries, bananas, mandarin orange and pecans.
Yesterday I made the mushroom sausage pizza, also from LDV. It required some prep work, but it was worth it. The sausage was seitan from LDV, cooked in a sausage flavoured broth. It was eerie how much my kitchen smelled like meat...I didn't know what to think! And it tasted meaty too, like sausage or pepperoni! I made a semi-whole wheat pizza crust, and the toppings were the sausage, red onion, shiitake mushrooms and shredded soy cheese. It was delicious...and so filling, I only had two slices ;)
sausage pizza
Dessert was boston cream pie from Sinfully Vegan. A rare "almost miss" from this book. This was the most frustrating dessert I've ever made, but I managed to make it edible (no way was I wasting all that food!) First off, the recipe called for a ten inch springform pan, but I only had a 9 inch, and didn't want to buy a new one just for one recipe...so the recipe said that a 9 inch pie tin worked just as well. Yeah...right. There was soooo much batter, it would have all spilled out of the tin...so I used a cake pan. The cake rose so much, it split on the top. And the bottom wouldn't cook, despite the fact that the rest of the cake was already cooked. So by the time it was cooked, I had a crisp outer shell around the entire thing. I had to shave off the bottom of the cake...blah, I don't want to talk about it anymore. Despite the cake mishap, the tofu vanilla "pudding" filling is yummy and so is the chocolate glaze. All in all, its a good dessert, and I will be trying it again...with a springform pan. The author also has many variations on the traditional pie, so I'll probably try those instead.
I also made a few appetizers from La Dolce Vegan. Nana's pesto pin-wheel rolls and shook n' cook zucchini. The rolls turned out alright. I can't get vegan puff pastry here so I used frozen crescent roll dough, like the recipe said. But the dough kept coming apart, so I ended up mushing it all together and rolling it out. I didn't use enough pesto, that's my one complaint. I'll be making these again for sure, they make good snacks.
The zucchini was fabulous! I'll be experimenting to see if I can bake them, because the shook'n'cook breading (with cornflakes) tends to fall off the zucchini when you fry it. But it was soooo good. I ate a whole zucchini like this in one sitting. You can also use the breading for pickles, tofu, seitan, etc. The zucchini was dipped in Caesar dressing and then dipped in the breading. I also ate it with some extra Caesar dressing to dip in.
fried zucchini

Ok, last one I promise (for now). The freedom french toast from LDV. The dip for this recipe is made from silken tofu, maple syrup, cinnamon, etc...The recipe was enough for four slices. I ate two for breakfast, and wow was it yummy. I topped it with some icing sugar and maple syrup, of course. I went to have the last two as a late night snack after work that day, but Billy stole them from me...he loves them! I'll definitely be adding this to my breakfast repertoire. He doesn't need to know there's tofu in it.
Alright, Billy wants to go shopping...sigh... hahaha


Judy said...

WOW! You did a lot of cooking, and it all looks great!
I just recently received my LDV (ordered from ebay) but I haven't made anything yet. There is so much I want to try, and I'm not even veg(etari)an!

Melissa said...

Haha...Judy, that's awesome. LDV is so great you don't have to be veg*n to enjoy it...make wolffie's derby pie from the dessert section!!! yummers.

Renee said...

Hi Melissa,

Is puff pastry the same as Phyllo Pastry? I found some at Food Basics on Lasalle and it's vegan. Sorry can't remember the brand name but that's where I got it.

Have a great day


Melissa said...

Hi Renee, Welcome back :)
No, I don't think they are. I've worked with phyllo before, which is the thin sheets that you layer on, right? I'll check out Food Basics though, since its so close, and I'll get my cousin to check it out, he works there!

raising_kahne said...

mmm...french toast=yumm! I had a lot of french toast growing up, but I havent tried a vegan version yet. Perhaps I will soon. Everything looks so good, especially the pizza. : ) Kinda freaky how it resembled real meat, huh? That's one of the reasons Im kinda scared to try tofurkey, etc.

This saturday is our family's thanksgiving dinner at out house. It was very unexpected, so im trying to rush and have some stuff to cook so my family(who thinks veganism is weird/crazy/stupid/annoying, etc.) wont tease me *as* bad. Do you have any suggestion?? I wanted to make the tofu pot roast, but have yet to find the book. However, I do have the GOV, so if you know anythiing that's really yummy(especially cookies!) Id would love any help I can get! :)

Melissa said...

If you like mushrooms, make the portobello mushroom bake on page 147! It is awesome. But, I don't know if omnis, who make fun of you no less, would be receptive. It tastes really good though. Are you cooking just for you, or for everyone??Another "fancier" one would be the dinner crepes on p. 157. Those are yummy too. Ooo, and the baked stuffed eggplant. Wow there's lots of great choices in GOV. As for cookies, my favourites were the cranberry almond ones and the banana walnut bars (you can ice them). The death by chocolate pie on p.194 is yum too.
Hope you find something that works for you!

raising_kahne said...

Well, I want to make something that would make more than just for me, but I doubt they will touch any of it if they know it's mine. So far, Im planning on making the Sunflower Lentil Pie(but use red lentils), Lemon Rosemary potatoes, Roasted tomato soup, and Chickpea Ratatouille, and cookies. All from Vive so far. Im hoping everything will turn out fine.

Melissa said...

That sounds like a perfect menu! I would everything in sight ;)

Carrie™ said...

I haven't tried the faux sausage but I should for pizza. What a good idea. I'd like to get one of those lunchboxes. I take my lunch almost every day. It's usually leftovers from the night before. How is the Natura chocolate. I haven't tried it?

Michelle said...

my kids also like the Natura brand soymilk, and it even seems to be a bit cheaper than other brands. another good one is Earthshake. it's soy and oat milk together. yum.

Melissa said...

carrie, the natura chocolate is great. I still prefer Silk, but until I can get that in a juice box, Natura it is. :)

Michelle, do your kids like the strawberry flavour?? Mmmm it brings back childhood memories.

Michelle said...

they do like the strawberry :) and the chocolate and the vanilla :) the higher sugar ones, of course! LOL