Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Happy April!

I haven't posted in a couple of weeks, but I've been cooking! Things are going really well with Billy's "weekday vegetarian" transition, which has really turned into "vegan at home" more so than a weekday/weekend thing. Whatever the label, it is really nice to have a vegan household and fridge!

Before I get to the food, I just wanted to say something about posting recipes. Over the years, I've had some requests from readers to post the recipes that I feature. Most of the food I post comes from cookbooks and recipes written by other people. I know there is a lot of grey area when it comes to posting recipes, and yes I could technically post these recipes as long as I give credit to the author. However, I do not feel comfortable doing so as it is not my intellectual property. It is my intent for readers to see some meals from these books and then decide for themselves if they would like to purchase the cookbook themselves. That being said, if I find a link to a recipe that I am blogging about, and permission has been given by the author to post it, or better yet, the author posted it themselves, then I will provide a link to the recipe. I hope this makes sense to everyone!

Veggie Pot Pie- Skinny Bitch UEC
The crust for this pot pie is phenomenal! I usually am terrible at getting a good, flakey pie crust, but this recipe did the trick! The filling is basic veggies in a creamy roux sauce. Next time, I want to add some tofu, tempeh, meatless chicken or beans to add some protein.

Roasted Cherry Tomato Pasta- La Dolce Vegan
I had some cherry tomatoes to use up so I made this simple and yummy pasta dish. The only thing I didn't have was fresh basil so I just subbed dried instead. I also added some baby spinach to the boiling pasta before draining it.

Billy loves his Easter chocolate, so I made some homemade eggs for him...vegan of course! I just melted chocolate chips with a pat of vegetable shortening, then stirred in Rice Crispies and plopped it into my egg mold from Bulk Barn. Delicious! I think Billy ate 7 of the 8 eggs I made and would have had more but I cut us off!

Cholay and Aaloo- Skinny Bitch UEC
This is chickpeas and potatoes. Spicy and delicious! I will make the potato cubes smaller next time to cut down on cooking time, but this is a very satisfying dish. Here's a link to the recipe. If you don't have this cookbook, I highly recommend it, it's my favourite vegan cookbook of the last few years.

Old Fashioned Chelsea Waffles- Vegan Brunch
We didn't do groceries last week and just decided to live off of whatever was in the fridge and pantry (I spent a fabulous weekend in Toronto with some girlfriends and didn't get back in time to do groceries). So one night, I decided to do breakfast for dinner. These waffles are very simple but have an awesome crunchy outside and soft inside. They freeze really well, so I popped the leftovers into the toaster in the morning.

Pasta with Swiss Chard and Red Kidney Beans - Supermarket Vegan
Another tasty and simple pasta dish. Kidney beans with wilted swiss chard, onions and a few other basic seasonings. Billy liked this one! This cookbook does not disappoint either.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream- The Vegan Scoop
Our latest adventures of the frozen kind...I made this ice cream with coconut milk and coconut creamer so that it would be soy free. It's really good! I was hoping for ribbons of jam in the ice cream but the mixer kind of well, mixed it all in!

Homemade Burger Buns- Greyt Vegan Life
Billy was craving burgers, so we picked up some Lick's Nature burgers. I don't usually get them, just due to higher calories and trans fat, but with Billy transitioning his diet, its more about satisfying his cravings...we'll worry about the health aspects later! I made the buns from the recipe at this blog, and they are awesome! I had my bun with an Yves veggie burger.

Bean and Veggie Wrap- Supermarket Vegan
These are made with a white bean and roasted red pepper puree and topped with baby spinach. Very garlicky! I think if I make these for work lunches again I will be cutting the garlic in half (raw garlic gets stronger the longer it sits). Overall, they are good.

Bulgur and Quinoa with Chickpeas- President's Choice Blue Menu
I picked this us in the freezer aisle for a quick lunch or dinner option. It's pretty good. Nothing wonderful though, which is maybe why its been discontinued...

Orange Sesame Grilled "Chicken" Tenders- Veganize This
I bought this cookbook so excited to make all the awesome "veganized" versions of my favourite foods. Doritos? Escargot? Twinkies? Sign me up! Except, most of the recipes are dauntingly long and time consuming. Every once in a while I get inspired and try one of the easier looking recipes...such as this one! I did the seitan making and marinading, and Billy did the grilling. These are pretty good! The recipe can be found on the author's blog here.

I am experimenting with making my own household products (toothpaste, shampoo, etc) to save money and reduce my environmental impact. One easy way to do this is to make your own dog treats!
I made this recipe for peanut butter oatmeal treats, and made them bite size. Our dogs are given treats for doing their business (it is very hard to potty train dachshunds!) so I didn't want to be giving them too many big treats a day. The dogs love them and they only have four ingredients which you probably already have in your pantry. Bonus points for not having to veganize the recipes.

The dogs also LOVE dehydrated sweet potato slices...which are not cheap at the pet store. Really, its just sweet potatoes and the dogs go berserk for them. So I bought a few and dehydrated them myself in the oven at 250F for three hours.

And lastly...homemade bread-maker bread! This bread was delicious and did not last long. We live right by a bakery so whenever we are out walking and smell the freshly baked bread, we start drooling. It was nice to have that smell in the house but it will not be occurring on a regular basis...not good for the waistline! We ate this just slathered in Earth Balance margarine!!