Monday, February 22, 2010

Bake the Bad Days Away

A week or two, I was starting to get stressed with all the schoolwork and stuff that I had going on. (I'm still really stressed, but due to other things now.) Seeing as I had a banana in the freezer that had seen better days, it was only natural that I make banana bread! I used the recipe from Veganomicon, but I also subbed a portion of the whole wheat pastry flour out with spelt flour. (I'd like to say that I was inspired, but I was really just running out of wwpf and figured spelt would add more character to the crumb.) That, in combination with my bright idea to add a half cup of chocolate chips (both dark and white), produced one of the best loaves that I've ever had.

I've got some big cooking plans coming up too, so hopefully my posts won't be so sporadic. This Friday, I'm getting together with a bunch of ppkers for a meet-up split between Syracuse and Ithaca! If that wasn't enough, I also finally bought a bamboo mat to make sushi since I haven't made any since my Berlin days. Plus, I bought another bulk package of tempeh, so there might be a certain recipe in V'con that will be calling my name very soon...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Leftovers Inspire the Nonconventional

Lately, I've been having some interesting food adventures. Realizing that I have 32 cookbooks (what... I can't help myself!), I feel obligated to try out more new things as opposed to my standard go-to recipes. Also, despite the winter cold and snow, I'm trying to still get a decent amount of vegetables while decreasing the fat or creamy based recipes. Plus, I've been trying to stretch things and switch up leftovers so that they don't get boring. Which brings me to the pound of mixed greens and spinach that I bought two weeks ago. Yes, you heard me right, for some reason I bought lots of greens for myself. I did the typical salad and sandwiches but I mixed things up a bit when the greens were losing their prime.

The first experiment doesn't include a picture, simply because the result wasn't very photogenic. Using some leftover silken tofu in my fridge as well as a few handfuls of greens, I improvised a variation on the vwav tahini sauce, which also included pulverized chili flakes, a nice addition if I do say so myself. This sauce was folded into quinoa with corn and peas. A quick yet tasty meal. But I had lots of sauce leftover, and inspiration struck...

Unconventional lasagna! I had a partial box of whole wheat lasagna noodles languishing in my cabinet, so I was able to whip up a mini one in my loaf pan. The layers consist of pesto, which used up the last of the greens, the aforementioned tahini sauce, and hummus instead of cashew ricotta, sour cream, and tomato sauce! The hummus was great, as it was homemade, and this most recent batch was better than normal for some reason. (I blame it on guessing some of the amounts instead of measuring.) With the greens and tahini overlap, the flavors complimented each other quite well, along with the added spiciness of the chilies. I would highly recommend this combination if you are in the mood for a non-tomato based lasagna!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A tempeh love affair

When I first came back to school, I spontaneously grabbed a 2 lb package of bulk tempeh while at the co-op instead of the usual 8 oz package that I usually get. Why, you ask? Because the bulk one is only $7 or $8 while the small one is $3 a pop. Simple economics even a budding chemist can figure out. Most of it was used to make recipes that I already knew and loved (and will blog about, since I got creative), but tonight was different. I finally tried my hand at tempeh bacon from Vwav.

After letting it marinate all day while I was on campus, I decided to keep it simple. Above is the naked open faced sandwich with toasted homemade bread, greans, tempeh, red peppers, and avocado. On top, were a generous few dollops of Caesar dressing from Veganomicon. (For some reason I was mentally unhinged enough to buy a full pound of mixed greens/spinach earlier this week. So much salad has been consumed in the past 24 hours, and more creative methods may need to be devised soon...)