Monday, October 27, 2008

Family Kentucky Weekend

Despite our extremely sluggish departure, we met up with my brother and sister-in-law Friday afternoon in northern Illinois to begin the drive to western Kentucky for a family gathering. It was also our first full vegan weekend without the convenience of our kitchen, and we managed just fine. Our traveling companions were kind to go with us to Chipotle on the way to and fro so that we could have a full meal on the 10 hour trip each way.

We got to hang out with all 12 members of my immediate family, including my 3 month old nephew and 2 1/2 year old adorable niece. The weather was gorgeous and the company wonderfully refreshing. I love you all.

Our cooking was somewhat stunted, of course, but with a trip to the tiny natural food store and some conventional produce, I managed to make Papa al Pomodoro, a bread-tomato-white bean soup and Greek Potatoes. I'm actually awaiting another pan of Greek Potatoes I put in the oven an hour ago. I make them about once a week, or more when we're uninspired. It's roughly based off of a Moosewood Cookbook recipe, but with insane amounts of garlic and oregano, and the addition of cayenne. We also top with more raw garlic and lemon juice, oregano, cayenne, and a splash of fresh extra virgin olive oil to coat it all together.

It was nice to hear the accolades from family members that have checked out the blog and even passed it on to vegan friends. I'd love to hear comments, recipe requests, and suggestions from anyone and everyone about the site. I like knowing I'm not posting in a diary without an audience.

Being out of town reminded me how appreciative I am of the natural food stores we have here, especially our beloved co-op Outpost. Now to get creative with all the cauliflower in the fridge... Pictures of purple cauliflower will be forthcoming.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Inspired Week

Last weekend Chris made a suggestion to get us out of a food rut. Each week, revamp an old favorite recipe and also try at least one new recipe. I think we did at least 2 of each this time around. Maybe that will count for this week too if we don't have time to be as creative again.

I had bought a head of orange cauliflower, steamed it, and we had the basis for several quick meals.

Revamped recipe: McCormick One-Step Quick Chicken

In college, my mom gave me a "one-step" seasoning and recipe for chicken breasts. Chris, the seasoning expert, has long since mixed the seasoning with our own spices. Per the recipe, chicken (or in our case, cauliflower) is cooked in olive oil with onions and peppers, add some white wine, spices, a can of tomatoes, and simmer. Top with teese.

I love Muir Glen and we discovered they now have No Salt Fire Roasted Tomatoes! They read our minds. I was going to write to them and suggest/plead that they make them without added salt. It's not on their website yet but I've seen it in two stores now, so I will vote with my dollars to promote their wonderful product. The fire-roasted flavor is so good in anything Italian. They will be featured in future posts, I can assure you.

New recipe: Best. Sandwich. Ever.

This wasn't a recipe, but I made the most amazing sandwich. In our curious moments at the grocery store, we have bought fake meats occasionally and then hardly use them. Having smoked Tofurky in the fridge, I decided a sandwich and broccoli sounded delicious the other day. So it included sprouted flourless bread, 2 almost insignificant slices of Tofurky, sliced red onion, tomatoes, and cucumber, alfalfa sprouts, and romaine lettuce with Nayonaise. The picture makes me want another. Oh, and to make it more "turkey club" like Chris put a little liquid smoke on the cucumber to make it resemble bacon, and it worked, haha. And I roasted broccoli with a bunch of lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil.

It's amazing how my tastes have changed after eating this way for the past 6 months. I get major cravings for vegetables. So late-night snacks will often be mixed vegetables of some sort.

This week it was asparagus with red onion and Borsari herb and salt seasoning.

Another night I made myself mushrooms with poblano and jalapeno peppers, onion, and mexican oregano.

We also made a couple new Indian dishes and revamped General Tso's but Chris will blog about those since he's the ethnic chef.

The cat who ate too much

Click the picture to see his tongue

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Mmm Refreshing

When we lived in Cincinnati, we would get La Rosa's pizza every so often. We tried their BLT salad which has a creamy garlic dressing which is amazing. The innovator he is, Chris made a substitute for it with some additions to Nasoya's Creamy Italian dressing- oregano, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic, and it's really good. A cool crispy iceberg salad is refreshing, and we use bacuns, chopped roma tomato, and red onion to top it off. I guess it could be called BOLT salad with the onion. We use onion and/or garlic in practically everything we eat. Some might be turned off by this. I can't imagine food without the allium genus.

The colors look weird in this picture, I guess I should have put the plate on the dark granite countertop like I usually do.