Sunday, December 28, 2008

Attempting to Fool (or rather, Outsmart) the Omnis

Stops you right in your tracks, doesn't it? This is the vegan version of my dad's amazing lasagna, which we have always had on Christmas Eve since I can remember.  It is pretty basic with whole wheat noodles, cashew tofu ricotta from Veganomicon, bell peppers, an improvised tomato sauce, and a secret ingredient or two.  Even though my brother complained about the lack of meat, he still went for seconds.  Wouldn't you?

We served a similar lasagna last year when we had family friends present for dinner in addition to my family.  It was my first holiday season as a vegan, and I was nervous as to how the improved version of this tradition would be received.  I was amazed when one of our guests was raving about it and totally blown away when my dad revealed that it was vegan, and thus non-dairy.  Such a reception is what any vegan would love to have from the average omnivore, and I'm glad to have gotten it during  my first vegan Christmas.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Not enough sugar?

The holiday baking has begun.  Just about all the sweets that my family will have this week will be made by me (excluding the apple pie tomorrow, which, luckily, is vegan).  Monday was round one with me baking the YRR spice cake for my mum when she went to a get-together.

Then, of course, can't forget about the peanut butter pie.  This stuff is seriously addicting. It wasn't quite as good as when my roommate made it, but it was still tasty.  The rest of my family loved it and would never have guessed that the main ingredient was tofu.  I'm not sure if my brother actually did figure it out since I never told him nor did he complain (as is the case whenever I serve him something with tofu).

Tonight, the sugar coma was induced by chocolate white chocolate chip walnut cookies, which was a variation on a recipe in Veganomicon.  I got some white chocolate chips in a care package swap on the ppk in October, and I was so excited to finally get to use them. (I had been saving them for something special.) These were amazing, and my brother could not stop eating them. I started to get scared that there wouldn't be any left for tomorrow!

Tomorrow I'll show off the vegan lasagna that I made, which bended the usual Christmas Eve tradition just a bit.  Plus, I'll be making falafel for myself and hopefully making the rest of the family jealous.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Old pictures and Plans

In my attempt to take pictures of desserts today, I found some old pictures from Thanksgiving.

Here is the pumpkin pie I made at the last minute because my dad didn't tell me that he wanted a pumpkin pie until there was no time to make a better one. This is from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen and is without a crust. Not sure if I am a big fan of the lack of crust.  On top is some Soyatoo straight from Deutschland that I brought home just for the occasion in August.

This is just a basic scrambled tofu from VwaV with homemade vegan sour cream plus hot sauce on the side. The pancakes are from VwaV as well and are banana walnut.  Not a bad way to start the day if I do say so myself.

With the semester done and finals finished, I won't have to worry about school for three weeks. This means that I'll be at home trying to get my very omni family to eat vegan food.  Next week we'll be on vacation, but I managed to sit down with my dad and sketch out a basic menu.

Monday: Non-traditional pizza with roasted eggplant and garlic hummus from YRR, homemade 2/3's wheat crust, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, and Trader Joe's soy chorizo.  Very different but very tasty.

Tuesday: Southwestern bean chili in the slow cooker. Then I'll make corn bread to serve with it.

Wednesday: Our traditional Christmas Eve lasagna made vegan. Whole wheat pasta will be coupled with cashew tofu ricotta, tomato sauce, bell peppers, possibly spinach and some other secret ingredients.

Thursday: I'll be trying to ignore the very non-vegan slaughtered pig that the rest of my family will be eating. The sides will be vegan though, and I have decided to make myself falafel since I have a ton of chickpeas from tonight's hummus as well as parsley.

Friday: Tempeh Shepards Pie. This will be a good way to use the mashed potatoes from the day before and the tempeh that I brought home with me. Plus, a vegetarian friend highly recommended the Veganomicon recipe.

Hopefully there will be plenty of pictures and updates in the next few days and couple of weeks!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The resurrection of roommate bonding Wednesdays

Wednesday has returned with a vengeance!  Even though I am busy preparing from finals last week, I took a well-deserved break from Physical Chemistry homework to cook the main portion of dinner. (Two of my roommates helped as well, and the other vegan made this wonderful peanut butter pie with chocolate. You would not even guess that it contains a whole block of tofu!!)  We felt so fancy tonight with a main course, appetizer, and dessert.  The meal consisted of the penne vodka sauce from Veganomicon and spinach artichoke dip (except with Swiss chard instead of spinach) from Don't Eat Off the Sidewalk.

Wow. Just wow. If you haven't made the penne vodka sauce yet, do it now! I added a bit more garlic than the recipe called for and guessed on most of the measurements, but it was so flavorful.  We usually don't keep much hard liquor around the apartment, but one of my roommates hosted a party over the weekend and was left with an unopened bottle of vodka.  We weren't sure what to do with it until I thought of this pasta sauce.  The dip with chard was an excellent variation, though next time I might add even more chard than I used.  The pie was unbelievably peanut buttery.  I cannot wait to make it at home during the holidays because my family would never guess that it contains tofu.  (Score one for veganism!) Plus, drizzling chocolate on the bottom and on top makes it absolutely irresistible.  All of this was rounded out by a bottle of red wine.  It was a most excellent combination, and I am absolutely stuffed.

Coming soon: This weekend I will be baking chocolate stout cupcakes and cookies for two friends who have had recent birthdays.  Yay for pre-final exam stress reducing baking!