Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Yuba Noodles, Peanut Stir-fry, and Sweet Tater Hash

On my last Trader Joe's visit, I picked up a box of the frozen Tofu Sheets everyone has been talking about. They're really just yuba sheets, and I can get those at my local Vietnamese market, which is much closer to my house. But they were cheap at TJ's, and the internet is all the rage about them, so why not? I wasn't sure what to do with them, but I googled and found this Creamy Sesame Noodles with Yuba recipe on Bon Apetit.

This has somen noodles and sliced tofu sheets in a soymilk-based broth, seasoned with miso, sesame oil, and some other spices. It was super creamy and very different from my usual ramen. The tofu sheets gave the noodle dish a nice, chewy texture. Next time, I'd like to try this vegan chicken made with the tofu sheets.

I also picked up a jar of Trader Joe's Peanut Satay Sauce on that trip, so that was a good excuse to make Spring Rolls with rice paper, tofu, carrots, and cucumbers. But I still needed a main dish, so I made Thai Tofu Red Curry with zucchini, mushrooms, tofu, red curry paste, and coconut milk. No recipe, just threw some things together and served over brown rice.

Here's another peanutty dish: Peanut Sauce Stir-fry from Plant You. A savory-sweet peanut sauce coats tofu, carrots, onions, bell pepper, and snap peas. I love every dish I've tried from Plant You, and this was no exception. Carleigh's recipes are always so very flavorful. I could eat this sauce with a spoon by itself.

I've also never made a bad dish from Tabitha Brown's Cooking by the Spirit, and I loved her Sweet Potato Hash for breakfast this week. I grated the potatoes very finely in the food processor before sauteeing with peppers and spinach. It's topped with guac, salsa, and Kelly's vegan parm. Field Roast Apple-Sage brekky sausages on the side!

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Vegan Tuna, Brewery Burrito, and Scram

I've been reading Tabitha Brown's Feeding the Soul, which is her self-help book filled with Tabisms, but it also has a few recipes, including one for a Vegan Tuna Melt. Now, I never liked real tuna. But lately, I've been craving vegan tuna. I bought some canned Tuno on clearance at Sprouts (haven't eaten it yet!), and I picked out the recipe for the week. It's made with hearts of palm, lots of spices, seaweed, and a mayo-based sauce. And then it's grilled on a sandwich with vegan cheese. 

Even though I didn't like real tuna, I loved this! It had a mildly fishy taste from the seaweed, but it wasn't overwhelming. And the texture of the hearts of palm was perfect.

And speaking of Tabitha Brown, I'm also working my way through her Cooking by the Spirit cookbook. I've had my eye on her Pumfu Scramble, with soy-free Pumfu tofu (made with pumpkin seeds). She avoids soy for allergy reasons, and I thought it'd be fun to try a tofu-free scramble. But I couldn't find Pumfu. So I decided to make the recipe using tofu! It was heavy on veggies with mushrooms and kale, and unlike most scrambles, this one didn't have turmeric. So it had a different flavor. I loved it topped with the suggested Kelly's vegan parm. 

Last Saturday, I met some friends for post-run beers at Soul and Spirits Brewing. I'd run 12 miles that morning, and I only had a smoothie after. So, I got pretty hungry by midafternoon. Luckily, the Tacos Mondragon food truck that was parked there had Veggie Burritos. This was good and hit the spot! It had rice, beans, and corn salad. They were out of hot sauce, but that would have been a nice touch.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Belated Valentine's Day Dinner!

Paul worked late on Valentine's Day this year, so we pushed our Valentine's dinner to Sunday, his only day off. And I waited too late to try and make reservations. Most of the places we usually go for a vegan-friendly fancy meal were booked up. And then I remembered this little Italian place, Marciano, across from my pharmacy that always looked empty. I even sat in the pharmacy lot one day a few months back and googled it to see if it was even open. I learned then that it was, and despite always looking empty, it had good Yelp reviews.

So we called Marciano, and they had plenty of space! And they had vegan Fettuccine Primavera on the menu. So to Marciano we went!

There were only about three tables full at 5 p.m. on Sunday, and while we were there, about three more tables filled up. But there was still plenty of space. The servers were super nice, and we talked to another couple who ended up there for the same reason we did — it was the only place they could find a table for Valentine's dinner.

We were served bread and homemade pesto when we were seated, though I requested olive oil for dipping since pesto isn't usually vegan. I ordered a glass of chianti and the Beet Salad to start. This salad was awesome! It's big beet chunks, mixed nuts (almonds, pistachios!), and balsamic dressing. I had them leave the goat cheese off. The free bread was really good, too.

For my entree, I had the Fettuccine Primavera, and I have to say, it was the best I've had in Memphis! Most places around here treat primavera as an afterthought with a few tomatoes and maybe some artichokes mixed into a bland pasta. But this had a ton of veggies (mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, corn, tomatoes, and artichokes) and a very flavorful olive oil-white wine sauce.

Paul ordered a steak and said it was one of the best he'd had, too. This place is definitely a hidden gem!

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Three Meals, Same Bowl

I didn't plan it this way, but all three of today's food pics are in the same bowl. I only have one of these pasta bowls. It's shallow and wide, and I love it, so I use it all the time. Last night, on Valentine's Day, it held my Sausage & Veggie Pasta from Tabitha Brown's Cooking by the Spirit. Paul had to work late on Wednesday, so I had a little solo V-Day at home with an evening run, pasta and The Office, and a nice bath. This had Field Roast chorizo (spicy!!), zucchini, kale, mushrooms, and tomatoes, and it was so good. 

On my last Trader Joe's trip, I picked up some Vegan Bolognese Ravioli and served that in my fave bowl last week with Victoria Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo. This ravioli was awesome, and the insides were stuffed with a lentil base, so they felt kinda healthy. I served the ravioli over a pile of sauteed kale and mushrooms.

And finally, here's a non-pasta dish in my pasta bowl. I also picked up some Trader Joe's Riced Cauliflower Stir-fry, which had a nice sesame oil flavor with corn, peas, and peppers. I added some of TJ's Baked Tofu and had a TJ's Veggie Spring Roll on the side. I've almost worked through all of my Trader Joe's treasures, and I'm a little sad about it. Trader Joe's is such a long drive from my house so I rarely go. I may have to make another special trip.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Galentine's Day Fun!

Tuesday was Galentine's Day, so 16 of our Memphis Hash House Harriers harriettes (aka the lady hashers) got together for a big girl dinner at the Beauty Shop. Because we had such a large group, they designed a special menu just for us. And they made sure to include several vegan options because three of us are vegans!

Here's one side of the table and the other side. The best thing about joining the hash group this year is having so many new besties! 

I ordered a glass of beaujolais wine and the Tennessee Wild Mushroom appetizer to start. These grilled shrooms were in a sesame, saffron, coconut, kaffir lime, and lemongrass broth with ponzu. Yum!

And for my main dish, I picked the Lucky Pot, a rice noodle ramen bowl with more of those same coconut and lemongrass flavors with crispy tofu, pickled onions, corn, and avocado. This was excellent! I did pick off most of the basil though because I'm not a big fan of Thai basil. 

Monday, February 12, 2024

Slutty Vegan Birmingham!

This past weekend, I traveled with the Memphis Hash House Harriers to Birmingham, Alabama, for the Birmingham Red Dress Run. Hash groups across the country have red dress runs for charity, and some kennels (that's what we call clubs in the hash) make their red dress run a big festival. The actual trail was run (okay, more like walked) on Saturday, but we all arrived from Memphis on Friday night.

There are only a few vegans in our group, and only two of us attended the fest. But Slutty Vegan's Birmingham location was just one mile from the hotel, so most of our group carpooled over for dinner. I've been wanting to try Slutty Vegan for years! But I've not been to a city with one. My last Atlanta visit, where Slutty Vegan is based, was years before they opened. And I was so excited to see the Birmingham location was so close to our hotel. This isn't all of our group, but here are some of us. 

This place was so fun! It's takeout only, and when they call you to pick up your order, one of the workers sings "You gotta bust a move for your food!" And you're supposed to dance for your food. We all had a lot of fun with that! After everyone had their stuff, we headed back to the hotel and ate together at big tables in the ballroom. 

I got the One Night Stand, a burger with vegan cheese, bacon, and slut sauce. Not sure what was in the slut sauce, but it was really good. The burger came with fries, but I ordered on the automatic ordering system, and that wasn't clear. So I also ordered extra fries. Oops. Those who ordered from a person at the counter were told the burgers came with fries, so that's something good to know if you ever visit.

Loved this place so much! And I'm glad I finally got to check it out. Now if only we can convince Pinky Cole to open a location in Memphis ...

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Tteok Bok Ki, Smash Burger, & V-Day Treats!

Last week, I made a rare trip out to the Trader Joe's in Germantown. It's about 35 minutes from my house in Midtown Memphis, so I don't get out that way much. And in rush hour traffic, it ended up taking me 45 minutes to get there. I get off work at 3:30 p.m., and I forget that most people are off at 5. So, yea, I should have left earlier. But anyway, I got a lot of stuff! 

I picked up a pack of frozen Tteok Bok Ki — Korean rice cakes with a gochujang-based sauce. I love these little rice cakes, and it was convenient to have the sauce already made. I just added tofu and broccoli to make a full meal. I'd definitely recommend this!

Here's another quick dinner: Impossible Smash Burger Patty Melt. I sauteed some mushrooms and onions and then smashed them into an Impossible patty and topped with Daiya mozz. And then all of that was tucked into two slices of Dave's Killer Bread. Air-fried fries on the side!

My parents always surprise me with a Valentine's gift. And last week, this little care package arrived in the mail. It's a little bag of vegan sweets! I've already dipped into the cherry chocolates, the cookie dough bar, and the fruit bites.

Monday, February 5, 2024

Happy Imbolc!

The pagan celebration of Imbolc was Friday. It's the cross-quarter day between the winter solstice and spring equinox, so it means we're now more than halfway done with winter. Yay! On Friday, I lit some candles around the house and made the Spinach-Artichoke Dip from the Llewellyn's Sabbats Almanac. It wasn't a vegan recipe, but it was easy to veganize with Vegenaise, Tofutti cream cheese, soy yogurt, and Daiya mozzarella. 

This dip, served on freshly baked sourdough bread, was my whole dinner Friday night. I didn't want to eat anything heavy because our hash group had a moonlight trail run at 7 p.m. So this made a nice pre-run snack. I've been enjoying the leftovers with tortilla chips, and it's hard to stay out of!

But later in the weekend — on Sunday — I made a proper Imbolc feast using more recipes from the Sabbats Almanac. I made the Hearty Stout Chicken using Morningstar Farms strips, msuhrooms, carrots, parsnips, herbs, and stout beer.

And I also made the Irish Boxty Pancakes, which are potato pancakes made with both grated and mashed potatoes. I served the pancakes on the side Sunday night, but for Monday's lunch, I served the stew over the pancakes. And that was excellent!