Thursday, July 31, 2008

Hey Hoe! Let's Go!

There's really nothin' better than a hot bowl of beans, greens, and cornbread. I picked up some Borlotti beans at the farmer's market a few weeks ago. I couldn't resist their cute pink and white specks. They were still in the pod, so I shelled them and tossed them in the freezer for later use.

That use came this week when I made these tasty Borlotti Beans with Kale and Tempeh Bacon Chunks:

I was a little sad that the beans lost their specks after cooking, but they still tasted delicious! I don't usually put tempeh in my beans, but so many Southerners spike their beans and greens with bacon, so I marinated some tempeh in my bacon-ish marinade. The smokiness really stands out in the beans. I may start adding tempeh more often.

And no bowl o'beans is complete with some type of cornbread. Rather than bake a big batch, I opted for Southern Fried Hoe Cakes:

These are like tiny cornbread pancakes fried in vegetable oil in a cast-iron skillet. I'm using the recipe for my cookbook, but I think I may try them next time with diced jalapeno.

Legend has it the cakes were called "hoe cakes" back in the day when field hands would cook them over an open fire in the mouth of a shovel or hoe.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Peaches and Cream

Lately, all the vegan bloggers have been posting pics of luscious homemade soy cream. Since I don't own an ice cream maker (and am too cheap to buy one), it feels like they're all laughing in my face.

Well, I'll show them! I borrowed my mom's ice cream maker last week. Take that, soy cream makers! I used some of my fresh farmer's market peaches to create Peaches & Soy Cream:

Yea, yea ... I know this pic would look better if I owned an ice cream scoop. But as a vegan, there's really not much need for one since our ice cream mostly only comes in half-pints that are perfect for eating straight out of the container.

Anyhow, this was dreamy. The peaches were pureed so the texture was all velvetly, creamy goodness. I adapted the recipe from the Strawberry Swirl Ice Cream in last month's Vegetarian Times.

Peaches & Soy Cream
4 medium-sized peaches, peeled and diced
6 oz. silk tofu (1/2 of package)
1/2 cup French Vanilla soy creamer (or plain would work too)
1 Tbs. vanilla extract

Puree the peaches and tofu in a food processor. All creamer and vanilla and blend until smooth. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions.

On a much sadder note, I made this Gado Gado for dinner before making the ice cream:

Why would this tasty veggie dish slathered with peanut sauce be sad? Because I puked it all up after I ate it. That's why. And Gado Gado is not a pretty sight in its regurgitated state. I'll spare you the details, but you get the idea.

I used Mollie Katzen's recipe from The Moosewood Cookbook (spinach, yellow rice, broccoli, carrots, red cabbage, sprouts, tofu, onion, and a peanut sauce). And it tasted great ... except for the spinach. It was New Zealand Spinach from the farmer's market and it tasted nasty and bitter.

So I'm blaming the spinach for my vomit-y troubles. Or it could have been that muscle relaxer I took on an empty stomach. My neck still bothers me from a few past injuries (car wreck, pilates incident), so I took one that night before eating dinner. Probably a bad idea.

Whatever the case, it ruined me on Gado Gado. I'll likely never eat it again. I used the leftovers tonight to make a tasty stir-fry minus the spinach and peanut sauce.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Summer Bounty

This is my favorite time of year. Sure, it's hot enough to grill tofu on the sidewalk, but that hot summer sun makes for ripe, luscious fruits and veggies. For example, check out MY FIRST TOMATO!!!

This is the first fully-ripe, edible bit of produce I've ever grown (aside from fresh herbs). It's a Cherokee Purple heirloom tomato (though it looks a little red), and even though it's from my plant, I really owe my neighbor Wes credit for keeping it alive. He waters it daily when he waters his other plants. It'd be dead by now if it were up to me (now do you see why I've never been able to grow anything?).

Though you can't tell in the photo, the bottom of the tomato was rotting a bit. I trimmed that part off and immediately devoured the rest, slice by juicy slice. Wow! I've eaten Cherokee Purples, but this was so much better than any tomato I've had before. It didn't even need salt!

For dinner that night, I made Fried Tofu Ricotta and Hickory Smoked "Cheddar" Stuffed Squash Blossoms:

I picked the blossoms up at the farmer's market Saturday morning but wasn't sure what to do with them. So I made some quick tofu ricotta and shredded some Hickory Smoked Sheese (good stuff!) for stuffing. Then I battered them in a whole wheat flour/soymilk mixture and fried them in safflower oil.

Here's what they looked like before frying:

On the side, I made Grilled Peach Salad with Faux Feta:

The peaches were also from the farmer's market, courtesy of the local Jones Orchard. I sliced them in half and threw 'em on the grill for a few minutes to bring out the natural juices. Look at these babies:

Then I sliced them and laid them over fresh arugula (also from the farmer's market) and topped with Sunergia Mediterranean Herb SoyFeta and a homemade balsamic vinaigrette. That, my friends, is what summer is all about!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Raw Party!

On Saturday night, our Memphis veggie group, Food Awareness, got together at Vaughan's house for a raw potluck and screening of the raw-cumentary, Supercharge Me.

The film, a parody of Morgan Spurlock's Supersize Me, features a woman's journey through a 30-day detox/cleanse/raw food program. She enters the program to lose a few pounds, and not only does she accomplish her goal, but she discovers a whole new way to eat healthy. The film even shows a colonic in action! Gross, but intriguing! Now I kinda want one!

But poop stories aside, here's the delicious spread of raw foods prepared by our token raw foodist member Judith:

Besides a ton of fresh veggies and fruits, Judith prepared flax crackers, dehydrated onion "bread," mini raw "burgers," some tasty onion spread, pesto, and guacamole for dipping. Yum!

Stephanie from the Poopie Bitch blog made the prettiest, tastiest (mostly raw) sushi ever! She made the Spicy Tempeh Rolls from the Veganomicon. Can you believe this was only her third time rolling? She's got skills.

I brought a Raw Cashew Cheesecake from the latest issue Vegetarian Times:

This was so simple to prepare. The filling is made from cashews, lime juice, coconut oil, raw agave, and vanilla. And the crust is macadamia nuts, dried coconut, and medjool dates. It actually tastes a little like cheesecake, but mostly it's just yummy in its own way!

At the end of the night, Stephanie (Poopie Bitch) and I enjoyed some fresh fruit:

And special thanks to Vaughan for letting us meet at his house and use his movie room to screen Supercharge Me:

Also, I should probably thank my friend Greg for helping me create my new banner! Though I was a photojournalism major in college, I have since lost all my Photoshop skills. So Greg had to help me cut the picture out and stuff. By the way, that crazy cooking lady in the pic is me in a wig!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Wangs and Thangs

Though Buffalo wings aren't exclusive to the South, folks down here love 'em. Sometimes, funny Southern accents make "wings" sound like "wangs." That's why I've named this recipe Hot & Spicy Seitan Wangs:

Mmmm-mmmm, these truly were finger-lickin' good! The recipe is definitely going in my cookbook.

I tested the recipe two ways — frying the seitan wings in oil and baking the wings in the oven. After both methods, I threw the fried and baked wings in the wing sauce together and mixed them all up. I wanted to see if I could tell a difference in taste between baked and fried. And honestly, I can't tell at all!

So I'm putting both sets of instructions in the cookbook, but I highly recommend baking since the sauce is loaded with Earth Balance. It's never a good idea to slather a fried food with butter, right? At least not good for the waistline.

I dipped the wings and some organic carrot sticks in Organicsville Non-Dairy Ranch Dressing (didn't have any vegan bleu cheese dressing, but that would have been even better). By the way, I used Frank's Red Hot Sauce for the wing sauce, and I gotta say, it's the best hot sauce I've ever had in my life!

On the side, I veganized my Granny's Creamy Corn Casserole:

That recipe is going in the book too. This stuff is DELICIOUS! It's a casserole of frozen corn, vegan cream cheese, green chilis, and pimentos. That red stuff on top is paprika for a cool 70s retro casserole look. The creaminess of the dish was the perfect compliment to the spicy hot wings.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Enchiladas for Breakfast

I love hearty, savory breakfasts! On Sunday night, I scrambled some tofu with black beans to heat up throughout the week as Breakfast Enchiladas:

They're not technically enchiladas because they're covered in peach salsa rather than traditional enchilada sauce. But they look like enchiladas, so that's what I'm callin' 'em.

Each morning this week, I've heated three corn tortillas in a dry skillet and then filled them with the tofu mixture, a little salsa, and shredded Teese. I also sprinkled Teese on top with more salsa because I'm greedy like that. Then I popped them in the microwave for 2 1/2 minutes, and voila, breakfast is on the table.

Bianca's Breakfast Enchiladas
1/2 lb. tofu
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 to 4 dashes hot sauce
12 corn tortillas
Vegan cheese, shredded (optional)

Spray a skillet with cooking spray and turn on medium heat. Crumble tofu into skillet and mix in seasoning. Cook, stirring often, until any water from the tofu is absorbed and tofu is hot, about 5 minutes.

Add black beans and hot sauce and cook until beans are hot, about 5 minutes.

While tofu/bean mixture is cooking, warm corn tortillas in a dry skillet over low heat. Warm each side for about 45 seconds to 1 minute.

Place about 3 tablespoons of the tofu/bean mixture in the center of each tortilla and roll up. Place rolled tortillas in a baking dish and top with salsa and vegan cheese. Bake about 10 minutes or until vegan cheese is melted (or at least hot … it doesn’t always melt) or microwave for a couple minutes until cheese is melted.

Serves 4-5.

By the way, the super-duper awesome Jenny at Small Space Sweets passed me the Brilliante Weblog Award!

Now I'm supposed to nominate a pass it to seven others. So here goes. The Brillante Weblog Award goes to:

Steph at Poopie Bitch
Nikki at My New Vegetarian Life
Katy at Legally Vegan
Cyn at What the Hell Does a Pink-Haired Girl Eat?

Thedalyn at The Palatial Palate
Justin at The Chubby Vegetarian

Lady Liriel at The Vegan Grindhouse

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

On Top of Spaghetti!

In Memphis (a.k.a. "barbecue capital of the world"), everything comes slathered in tangy barbecue sauce ... even spaghetti. Traditional BBQ Spaghetti is piled high with pulled pork and 'cue sauce fills in for marinara. My vegan BBQ Spaghetti is served with a mountain of tangy barbecue tofu:

I admit the picture does make it look like someone threw up on top of spaghetti. But just know that the tofu version of this dish looks ten times more attractive than its meaty counterpart. Pulled pork is not pretty.

Anyway, this is another recipe for my Southern vegan cookbook. I used the same barbecue tofu recipe that I use for my Barbecue Tofu Mushroom Sandwiches, which calls for crumbled tofu, minced mushrooms, and my special sauce (recipe's in the book...sorry). I did add minced green bell pepper to the spaghetti dish though because it seemed like a good thing to do.

I scarfed this down after my workout this evening, along with a iceberg lettuce salad slathered in Organicsville Non-Dairy Ranch (the best thing ever for vegan ranch lovers!). The only thing missing was the traditional red-and-white oilcloth that typically covers the tables in Memphis barbecue joints!

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Before reading the Veganomicon, I'd never even heard of moussaka. But for some reason, the Eggplant Potato Moussaka with Pine Nut Cream kept calling, "make me! make me!" I'm pretty sure it was the idea of Pine Nut Cream that had me at hello.

Warning: You're about to see an ugly photo of a delicious dish. There's really no way to make this dish pretty. But trust me, it's freakin' delicious.

See? Ugly. But really tasty. It reminds me of lasagna with roasted, sliced veggie layers replacing the lasagna noodles.

In a casserole dish, you layer eggplant, potato, and zucchini slices (I used half zucchini/half summer squash because I had some squash that needed to be cooked). A cinnamon-spiked tomato sauce goes between a couple layers, followed by homemade whole wheat breadcrumbs (the Vcon calls for white bread crumbs, but I think that's crazy).

Finally, the layers are topped with a succulent, velvet-y pine nut cream made from silk tofu, pine nuts, garlic, and some other stuff. It's a little like tofu ricotta but way better. In fact, I might make the pine nut cream to use in a vegan lasagna dish sometime.

In case you're wondering, Wikipedia says the traditional Greek version consists of red meat or lamb (icky-poo!), eggplant, tomatoes, and a white sauce. I'd trade potatoes and squash for red meat any day!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Vegan Buttermilk Biscuits and Fakin' Bacon

On Monday night, I whipped up a batch of my Whole Wheat Buttermilk Biscuits to eat for breakfast throughout the week:

The recipe's going in my cookbook, but I've been tweaking these things for months. It took a while to get the recipe light and fluffy. They're made with whole wheat pastry flour, so they're kinda healthy-ish ... though there's non-hydrogenated shortening in them too. You can't make good biscuits without shortnin' (that's what we call it in the South).

I sliced these babies open, slathered 'em with Earth Balance, and drizzled 'em with a good amount of sorghum (which, as I mentioned in an earlier post, is similar to molasses but not so intense).

On the side, I had Tempeh Bacon, which is also going in the cookbook:

The recipe involves marinating the tempeh slices and baking them. I used to use tofu slices for this recipe, but I feel like tempeh does the bacon-y marinade more justice. It has the proper bacon mouth feel too....I love the phrase, "mouth feel." It's so weird.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes!

My favorite farmers, Keith and Jill Forrester of Whitton Farms, have been selling adorable heirloom cherry tomatoes at the Memphis Farmer's Market for several weeks now.

Aren't they beautiful?! I'm not sure all the varieties, but there are definitely some baby Cherokee Purples and tiny Sun Golds in there. Also, I LOVE the little pear-shaped one!

They charge $4 for a large box, but I've hesitated to buy them because I've been afraid they'd go bad before I'd eat them all. I have a huge fear of produce going bad. I think it's the Food Not Bombs mentality. When I used to volunteer with them, we dumpster-dove for produce that was past its date but still edible. We turned what was being thrown out as waste into tasty vegan meals for the homeless. Now the idea of letting anything go to waste irks me to my very core.

So I'll be eating lots of cherry tomatoes this week. I worked a handful into this tasty lunch — Tofurkey Italian Sausage with Heirloom Tomatoes and Basil on Whole Wheat Spaghetti:

I needed to use up the rest of my 4th of July Tofurkey, and this was the perfect way. For a sauce, I drizzled a little olive oil. Then I sprinkled the pasta with Parma and garlic powder (because I was too lazy to chop up fresh garlic). Delish!

Global Fusion

Sometimes it takes me a while to get around to making recipes. I have a HUGE recipe wish list - notes I've taken while reading cookbooks or flipping through foodie mags. Unfortunately, there's only one of me and though I'm a big eater, I can only take in so much.

That's why I'm just now getting around to making the Jamaican Curried Tempeh Tacos from the May 2008 issue of Veg Times:

These were totally worth the wait. Tempeh and onions are simmered in pineapple juice and seasoned with lime zest and cilantro. After piling the tempeh onto corn tortillas, I topped the tacos with chopped red pepper, mesclun mix, and chopped peanuts.

The recipe actually called for mustard greens instead of mesclun, but I didn't have any mustard greens. I also added salt even though the recipe didn't call for any.

In keeping with the fusion theme, I also made Mexican Millet from the Veganomicon:

This stuff is awesome! It reminds of the boxed Spanish rice, like Rice-a-Roni or Lipton Sides, that I lived on in college. Yet, it's made with healthier whole grains. I really should eat more millet.

On a side note, the millet called for jalapenos. I chopped one up, and when I sampled a piece of raw pepper, it was extraordinarily hot! Like the hottest jalepeno ever! After cooking into the millet, the hotness was masked a bit. But my fingers are still ON FIRE!!!! I cut the pepper at least six hours ago and they're burning just as badly as they were right after I cut into the pepper. Does anyone know a home remedy for this?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Calzone Zone

I didn't realize that I'd never made calzones until I saw Jessy from Happy Vegan Face's scrumptious calzone pics a few weeks ago. It seemed like a fun challenge and a great way to take advantage of the meltiness of Teese.

I stuffed these babies with homemade pizza sauce (from Vegan with a Vengeance), Tofurky Italian Sausage, Teese, artichoke hearts, and black olives:

The picture isn't the best, I know. But calzones aren't that attractive on the inside. Trust me, it tasted way better than it looks!

I made a homemade pizza crust using the recipe from VwaV, but I subbed whole wheat pastry flour to make it healthier.

Unfortunately, I didn't realize that one should assemble a calzone in the pizza pan one plans to bake it in. I assembled the first one on a plate and attempted to pick it up and move it to the pan. Oops! The whole thing fell apart. I saved most of the filling for the next calzone, but the dough was coated in hot tomato sauce and was totally unsalvageable. Luckily, I had enough dough left to make three calzones! Yummy!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I Heart Cooked Food

The day after a raw food detox (see yesterday's post) always reminds me how much I adore cooked food, even when it's 90-something degrees outside. So tonight, I cranked up the oven and the outdoor grill to create two yummy warm, soul-soothing dishes.

After seeing the Veganomicon's Curry Tofu on Julie's Kind Kitchen blog a few days ago, I knew I had to have it:

I'm going through a bit of a curry phase right now. Yesterday, I had Curried Carrot Salad and the day before I had a frozen Bombay Curry veggie burger. In keeping with the theme, I marinated some firm tofu overnight in this tasty mixture of curry powder, cumin, veggie broth, and other stuff. Then I tossed it on the grill for a few minutes. Totally delightful! I love the grill marks!

On the side, I veganized my Granny's Squash Casserole:

It's a baked dish with brown rice, yellow summer squash from the farmer's market, soymilk, and other seasonings. The recipe's going in my cookbook, so I'm not gonna divulge. I'm pretty proud of this one. I swear it tastes just like the non-vegan casserole my Granny makes.

I don't have a lot of experience with baking raw brown rice in the oven, so I was worried it wouldn't turn out. Her recipe calls for white rice, so I had to adjust the oven temperature a bit to compensate for the longer cooking time. I also covered the dish with aluminum foil.

After an hour in the oven, the rice was still hard and I had a mini-freakout ... partly because I was afraid it wouldn't cook correctly and also because an hour had gone by and I was freakin' starving! But her recipe says to cook for 1 1/2 hours and so I waited another 30 minutes. Like magic, the rice cooked to a perfect creaminess (thanks to the soymilk). It reminds me of risotto, only baked.

By the way, some people have asked about my cookbook in the comments section. Basically, I'm putting together a cookbook of vegan Southern and country cuisine. So far, I've got a little over 100 recipes developed (honestly haven't counted in awhile), and my goal is 250. I don't have a publisher yet, but I'll cross that road when I come to it. And I'll eventually need testers, but I've get that side of things organized first.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Raw Food Tuesday

Each month, I do a one-day raw food cleanse. It's kind of a quick detox from processed crap, coffee, and alcohol, and it's also a way for me to experiment with raw recipes. I usually do my cleanse on the first Monday of each month, but because I didn't realize flax crackers take eons to make in the dehydrator, I had to push it back one day this month.

For breakfast, I had a Purple Smoothie:

It's made with 1/4 cup hemp seed, 1 cup water, 2 tsp. agave nectar (not raw ... I can't find the raw kind around here), 1 frozen banana, 3-4 frozen strawberries, a handful of frozen blackberries, and 1/4 cup raw oats. Tasty, cute (cuz it's purple), and it kept me full until around 11 a.m.

At 11-ish, I snacked on celery sticks. Then at lunch, I had a Raw Sunny Burger with Baby Spinach and Tomato Slices sprinkled with Parma (raw Parmesan that my dad ordered from Cosmos Vegan Shoppe):

I adapted this from a recipe in an old vintage vegan cookbook called The Cookbook for People Who Love Animals by Michael Klaper. My mom's friend found it recently at a thrift store in a tiny Arkansas town. Totally lucky find!

Anyway, I think the book was intended for hippie commune use cause all the recipes make a crapload. The Sunny Burger recipe made 40 BURGERS! Using the ingredient list as a guide, I cut the recipe down like a million times to make 2 patties. And I changed some ingredients around based on availability.

Raw Sunny Burgers
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 carrot, grated
1/2 beet, grated
1 stick celery, chopped
Nutritional Yeast
Sesame Seeds
Soy Sauce (also not raw, but if you can find Namo Shoyu, buy it!)

Grind the veggies and seeds in a food processor. Add a splash of soy sauce and enough tahini to make the mixture pasty but not liquid-y. Blend again. Add 1/4 cup or so of nooch and blend again. Shape mixture into two patties and roll in sesame seeds. Note: If mixture is too liquid-y to shape into patties, add more nooch. If too hard, add more tahini.

Of course, I was actually starving again by 2 p.m., so I snacked on more celery at my desk. Before hitting up my boxing class at the gym at 5:30 p.m., I munched on a Pistachio Larabar. Unfortunately, I got a little dizzy-headed in my gym class even though I'd been snacking all day. Has anyone else had this problem when eating raw and doing extreme physical activity?

I rushed home after the gym because I was famished. I tore into this plate of Curried Carrot Raisin Salad, Crudite with Satay Sauce, and Jalapeno Flax Crackers:

The carrot salad is pretty simple — 3 carrots, one handful of raisins, 1 tablespoon safflower oil, a squirt of agave nectar, a good sprinklin' of curry powder, and a pinch of Himalayan salt.

For the Satay Sauce, I referred to a recipe in Alive in 5: Raw Gourmet Meals in Five Minutes by Angela Elliot. It's basically miso, nooch, agave, and tahini. Good stuff for veggie dippin'.

Finally, the highlight of my entire day were these crunchy flax crackers. I can't stay out of them! But that's partly because I can't stay full on this crazy dietary regimen.

Anyway, I borrowed my parents' dehydrator a few weeks ago to make these. Here's the recipe

Jalapeno Flax Crackers
1 cup flax seed
8 sundried tomatoes
1 jalapeno, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
Handful of fresh basil
2 tsp. fresh oregano
Salt to taste

Soak the flax seed and tomatoes overnight. The next day, drain excess water off flax and tomato mixture. Then add veggies and herbs. Process mixture in the food processor for a moment, just until veggies are well-minced. Make sure most flax seeds stay intact. Spoon onto small squares cut from a waxed paper roll and place on dehydrator sheets. Dehydrate for 12 hours or until crisp. Carefully peel crackers from wax paper.

Note: Some of the paper stuck to the bottom of a few of these, but I ate it anyway...probably not the best thing to do, but you can't taste it. I hear they make special dehydrator non-stick sheets though.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Four Years!

My boyfriend Paul (a.k.a. The Dutchman, cause he's half-Dutch) and I celebrated our fourth anniversary at Arrington Vineyards, just outside Nashville:

It's a winery owned by Kix Brooks from Brooks and Dunn, which is apparently a popular country band. I hate country music, so I don't know anything about them except dude makes some darn good wine. The winery is located in a beautiful rural area marked by rolling green hills and lots of trees.

We had the Riesling, which was hands down the best Riesling I've ever had. I'm usually not a fan of white wines because they're too sweet, but this wasn't nearly as sweet as some other Rieslings I've had. I prefer reds, but they give Paul heartburn.

I packed a light picnic dinner, which we ate on a wrought-iron table on the winery's large deck. We split a loaf of Rosemary Olive Oil bread:

I made the Picnic Caviar from the latest Veg Times (black and pinto beans, corn, bell pepper, oil, and vinegar), but I left out the red onion and cilantro (because Paul is picky) and added tomato (because I can):

It was perfect for dipping my Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos in. Also on my plate are chunks of Teese!

Note on the Doritos: As far as I know, these are vegan. That's what Peta says, and though there was some debate on the PPK boards recently, I e-mailed someone I know at Peta for re-assurance. And she backed up their claim. If you know something un-vegan about these (like hidden natural flavors), please DO NOT tell me. I really like these and would prefer not to know ... besides, I rarely eat them cause they're totally unnatural and super-fatty. They're reserved for special occasions.

For dessert, we munched on strawberries and peaches, but I forgot to take a picture. Of course, you know what strawberries and peaches look like ...

Friday, July 4, 2008

Smoothies, Sammichs, and Sausage (the fake kind)

Tonight at our monthly Food Awareness vegetarian meeting, Lee demonstrated how to make a green smoothie:

Lee's a cool guy. He'd been experimenting with raw foods a lot lately, and he swears when he eats blueberries, he sees colors more vividly. The grass was definitely greener after this yummy smoothie of frozen bananas, kale, strawberries, and blueberries. I don't have any photos of the finished product, but trust me, it was delicious.

Last night, I veganized a simple Paula Deen recipe for Tomato Sandwiches with Basil:

These were a perfect way to enjoy ripe, juicy summer tomatoes. And it's super easy. Here's the veganized recipe:

2 slices tomato, drained on paper towels for 10 minutes
4 slices whole grain bread (I used Ezekiel Sprouted Grain bread)
Handful of basil leaves
1/3 cup Veganaise
1/8 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. seasoned salt
1/8 tsp. dried dill
black pepper to taste

Mix the spices and mayo together. Spread on bread and place one slice of tomato and a few basil leaves between 2 slices. Cut the bread into a circle around the tomato slice. Repeat. Refrigerate, covered with a damp towel, unless ready to use.

On the side, I made Vegan Sweet Potato Sausage Balls with a Cheezy Dipping Sauce:

These are going in the cookbook, but they're basically a veganized version of traditional sausage balls made with real sausage, cheese, and Bisquick. My mom used to make them all the time, and I loved them before I gave up meat in '94. This is the first time I've attempted to make them vegan (or even vegetarian), so I was pretty impressed. Note: Though it is vegan, I did not cheat with Bisquick for these. I used good old-fashioned whole wheat pastry flour.

The dipping sauce (not pictured) is basically a traditional noochy cheeze sauce.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Blackberry Love Muffins

I don't own the widely acclaimed My Sweet Vegan by Hannah Kaminsky ... yet. But I was lucky enough to receive a "Meatless Mondays" email from FARM Sanctuary earlier this year that include Hannah's recipe for Strawberry Love Muffins. It's also posted here.

Unfortunately strawberry season is already over here, but my friend Aaron brought me a big ole' batch of blackberries last week. So I subbed fresh blackberries in place of the recipe's frozen strawberries to make Blackberry Love Muffins:

I also substituted whole wheat pastry flour instead of white flour and evaporated cane juice in place of sugar.

These are so moist and tasty. They're slightly heavier than a cupcake, but if you slathered the tops with frosting, they could probably pass. I've been eating them every morning this week, and it feels like having dessert for breakfast ... but in a healthier, muffin-y way.

If you haven't tried this recipe, I highly recommend it. I've also made these with blueberries, and those were yummy too. Any berry will do.