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I’d been saying for a while now that I wanted to make some homemade dog treats for Rotti, our Yorkie, since his birthday was this month (yesterday, actually).  Knowing that I would do this eventually–and by eventually, I mean sooner rather than later–D was kind enough to purchase a dog bone-shaped cookie cutter for me.  I perused the web in search of a quick recipe that I could whip up in no time after a long day at work, and I found one via Manifest Vegan.

I altered the recipe a bit, using the almond butter and unbleached AP flour that I had on hand.  I baked these on parchment paper for 30 minutes.  The recipe easily made 30 dog biscuits using the cookie cutter that I had.  It only took a few minutes after I’d pulled them out of the oven before D was asking for one…for herself.  Haha.  I told both she and Rotti not to fight over the cookies; I’d made plenty! 😉  I’m glad the birthday boy loved the treats, though.  He sure does love his veggies.

The handsome boy after taking a bite of his biscuit

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The exciting life of being a resident doesn’t afford me much time to cook.  Usually, I bake, because I seem to have better luck baking than cooking.  D’s the chef; I’m the baker.  However, I like to do my part when I can, and I’d rather not leave cooking for just special occasions.  My goal is to cook at least one dinner for us a week, but depending on my schedule, that doesn’t always happen.

I had the day off today, so earlier in the week I planned to cook dinner tonight.  I’m a recipe follower, and recently D dug out from still packed moving boxes my copy of Veganomicon:  The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook.  I bought this book a couple of years ago when I was on my second attempt at going vegan (third time’s a charm, eh?).  Infamously, I once tried to make seitan from a recipe in this book, and I failed miserably, though I’m sure the failure was due to the user, not the recipe.  Because I’d failed I was afraid to try to make anything else from this cookbook…until now.  With a tighter resolve to be vegan and a newfound like (though, slowly I will admit, although D’s gyros are the bomb, but I digress…) of all things made with vital wheat gluten, I decided I’d make Veganomicon’s Chickpea Cutlets.

Chickpea Cutlets

I used vegetable broth as opposed to water and lightly fried them in olive oil in a skillet rather than baking (the baking option was listed in the actual cookbook and not in the posted link).  I am including a view from above the plate so that the perspective can be seen of their size, but I’m also posting an up close shot, as it shows more detail texturally.

Chickpea Cutlets, Up Close

I believe we’re the last vegans on the planet to try these.  I think the flavor of them is very tasty, but I think next time I’ll make them even thinner just so they’re a bit crispier on the inside.  With the cutlets, and also from Veganomicon, I made a vegan Caesar salad with homemade ciabatta garlic croutons.  OMG, yum.  D would have been blissfully happy had I only made this, but she said she really liked everything.  She said she just hadn’t realized how much she’d missed Caesar salad until tonight.  She also kept snaking croutons when my back was turned, and I had to chase her out of the kitchen.  Heh.  The only thing I did differently from the recipe was add approximately a teaspoon of vegan Worcestershire sauce.

Vegan Caesar Salad with Roasted Garlic Croutons

Finally, I just steamed up some broccoli in our bamboo steamer.  I added nothing to it, because broccoli is so, so, so good unaltered (though we do sometimes sprinkle a bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice over it from time to time).

Steamed Broccoli

I emerged from the kitchen unscathed, aside from a burn on my finger from tossing the croutons halfway through baking.  I was going to make dessert (that’ll be a separate post) to accompany dinner, but I’m stuffed, and I’m enjoying our new sofa too much to move.  🙂

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Iced Oatmeal Cookies

Iced Oatmeal Cookies with Currants and Cranberries

I haven’t had much time lately to post anything I’ve made. D, however, has been a vegan chef supahstah! 🙂 Her food is quite excellent and very, very yumyum.

Anyway, there are a whole bunch of us at work that have January birthdays, and last week there was a mini-celebration for us. I figured, though, that being vegan in this setting would be challenging, so I wanted to bring in something so that I could enjoy the celebration and introduce people to vegan goodies. I found a recipe for cinnamon rolls, but they had almost 500 calories each! As much as I love me some cinnamon rolls, I’m not, at this point, willing to lose focus on losing weight.

After searching a little more, I came across a recipe for iced oatmeal cookies in the February edition of Vegetarian Times. These cookies were fantastic and had only 99 calories per cookie. I used currants and cranberries instead of raisins.  Mmmm. And, I heard compliments on them from the people at work as well as from D. 😀  The recipe, I’m assuming, will be available on their website when they update it for February.  If not, scurry on out to your nearest bookstore and pick up a copy!

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What happens when you take frozen bananas and blitz them in a food processor for several minutes?  Well, let me show you:

Frozen Banana Soft Serve

Mmmm, heaven in a bowl.  I stumbled upon Gena’s recipe for banana soft serve, and she’s right.  Her post is life-changing.  Just, wow.  So freaking easy, good, and good for you!

I jazzed it up with her suggestion of the agave chocolate syrup (again, ridiculously easy to whip up in seconds), and I toasted some walnuts to throw on top.  (To make this a raw dessert, don’t toast the walnuts.)

All I have to say right now is that I truly feel sorry for anyone with a banana allergy!  I can’t wait to test my creativity with variations of this.

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Today’s D’s 29th (+ xx) birthday!  (I’ma soooo get beaten for that one.)  Since moving here we’ve been exercising and eating healthily, rarely eating sweets.  In fact, we’ve both lost quite a bit of weight since June, and we continued that trend all throughout the holidays.  So, needless to say, D really didn’t want cake for her birthday.  However, I (the real sweetie hound) wanted to bake something for her, so I decided to make Herbivore Dinosaur’s fabulous apple cider donuts instead.  I altered the recipe slightly, in that I substituted coconut milk for the soy milk, used whole wheat pastry flour for my flour, and only used 24 oz of vegan shortening.  I also cut the recipe in half, and it made roughly 10 donuts and 10 donuts holes.

Apple Cider Donuts, unfrosted

I did frost some of them with the frosting listed in the recipe, but mine turned out to be the same color as the donuts, so there was no need to photograph those.  Plus, they’re now in my belly.  Mmmm, tasty.  Anyway, D said she loved them, so that’s what really matters.  🙂

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Like many others around the country today, D and I decided to have a more traditional New Year’s Day dinner full of foods that represent luck, prosperity, and comfort.

Colcannon (steamed cabbage, mashed German Butterball Potatoes, unsweetened coconut milk, salt, and pepper)

Braised apples with sautéed kale and currants

Black eyed peas cooked in vegetable stock with mirapoix, bay leaves, and cinnamon stick, with chopped carrot tops for garnish.

Whole wheat cornbread with whole kernel corn and minced serrano peppers

We are happy. We are stuffed. And now, we’re in desperate need of a nap. 😀 Ah, yummy bliss.

Happy New Year everyone!

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This is the meal D and I had for Christmas Day dinner. Coincidentally, it was so good and there was enough left over that we had it again tonight! I said to D, after scooping the last bit in my bowl onto my spoon, “I don’t know how anyone could not like collard greens.” Sure, where I’m from in the South, collard greens are a sloppy, almost brown in color, inedible side dish served in some generic chain restaurant (like Cracker Barrel), and most people I know wouldn’t touch ’em with a ten foot pole. But, I betcha if they’d all try it like this, their opinions would change. I know mine did. The currants in the dish add a lovely, nice, sporadic touch of sweetness.

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