Tuesday, November 24, 2009

AB-No-C Sandwich

One of my all-time favorite restaurants here in Albuquerque is Annapurnas World Vegetarian Cafe. Almost everything on the menu is vegan, and if it isn't, they can make it work for you! Such is the deliciousness that is the ABC Sandwich. Avocado, Tempeh Bacon, and Cheddar Cheese. When I ordered mine for the first time, I ordered no cheese, no tomato (because tomato is my enemy), and instead of the chipotle dressing, I got garlic Vegannaise. There are three different choices for bread. Yeah, three. I got mine on fococcia. Yum! It was so darn good. The bacon was crispy and delicious, the avocado was ripe, and it comes with spinach in it as well, which adds a nice, healthy punch.

I just had to make this myself.

I went out in search of my own AB-No-C Sandwich ingredients. I bought the spinach. I bought Tempeh Bacon. I bought some rustic bread to use. Then I decided that this needs to go in the panini press. AND I need to use Vegannaise Aoli instead of the garlic Vegannaise. Oh boy, it was tasty. My mouth is watering right now. Seriously.

AB-No-C Sandwich
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes

4 servings

8 slices bread of your choice, something good & hearty
2 tbsp soy butter (I use Earth Balance)
1/4 cup Vegannaise
2 tbsp Vegan Pesto
2 cups baby spinach
2 ripe avocado
2 tbsp olive oil
1 package Tempeh Bacon

1. In a steamer, steam the baby spinach until just tender. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine the Vegannaise and pesto until smooth. This makes your aoli. Yes, you will fall in love with it and want to put it on everything. It's ok.

2. In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Cook the Tempeh Bacon slices until they shrink up a bit and are crispy. Yum, crispy Tempeh Bacon!

3. Slice up your avocado! Make sure it's nice and thin so it doesn't bulk up the sandwich unevenly. Now assemble your sandwich! If you're using a panini press, make sure it's heated to medium-high heat. Lightly butter your bread, place it on the panini, then layer your aoli, bacon, spinach, and avocado. If you're not using a panini, don't butter, just layer and enjoy!!!

This sandwich is amazing, especially served with a cup of soup. It's perfect for summer. It's perfect for winter. I'm going to make it over and over and over again! Stay tuned for the amazing cupcakes I served for dessert with this sandwich...

Monday, November 16, 2009


I haven't had the opportunity to post anything over the past week. My wonderful, beautiful, best friend & sister is here in New Mehico with her two daughters. (I am making a vegan chocolate cake tonight since it's Hannah's 5th birthday, so there will be a new recipe up!) Since I still read all my favorite blogs (Jaclyn's Vegan Yumminess, SkinnyRunner, Better Together), I would like to share this wonderful giveaway from one of the most wonderful girls and best bloggers in the blogosphere, Living and Loving In L.A..

I don't know how I've never heard of Chia Seeds, but Chia Seeds Direct is giving away a 3-lb bag! I hope I win this generous giveaway so I can actually try them! But even if I don't, some lucky winner is going to reap the benefits of these little guys.

Go visit Living and Loving In L.A. for all the rules. The best rule of all is that you need to follow her. That should be a rule everyone lives by regardless of Chia Seeds.

Keeping my fingers crossed!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Vegetable Pot Pie

This week has been one of those weeks where I look in my pantry/fridge and think, "What can I cook for dinner tonight?" Cody & I are really frugal when it comes to grocery shopping; we make one big trip a month and just go to the market for odds and ends. We've been waiting to go this month since MY SISTER & HER DAUGHTERS ARE GOING TO BE HERE TONIGHT!!!

I spent the entire day Sunday cleaning my house, inside and out. I didn't really feel like cooking something crazy, but I also was famished and knew a sandwich wouldn't do. I took a few peeks in the fridge and this is what I came up with.

Vegetable Pot Pie
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

1 15-oz can peas & carrots, drained
3 potatoes, peeled and diced
2 cups plain soymilk
2 tsp Vegetable Better Than Boullion (or two boullion cubes)
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
2-3 tbsp cornstarch mixed with water to make slurry
1 Pillsbury Crescent Creations

1. Preheat oven to 350° F. In a medium sauce pan, add potatoes and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender. Drain; combine with peas & carrots.

2. In a small sauce pan, heat the soymilk, boullion, oregano, and black pepper (and any other spice you think might go well!). Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Slowly add the slurry, making sure to stir. Boil until desired thickness.

3. Place the vegetables in a casserole dish. Cover with the sauce, then cover with the Pillsbury Crescent Creation, making sure to cover the vegetables completely. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

I must say, this was super easy & super tasty! There were a few too many peas in there for me as they are not my favorite, but it was still good. Especially as leftovers! Yum!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Black Bean & Corn Quesadillas

I love quesadillas. They're so versatile. You can put just about anything in them, and chances are, you can make them without having to go to the store for any ingredients. This was the case last night.

I'm battling a cold, desperately trying to fight it off fast before my sister & her daughters fly out here next week. One thing that seems to help is spicy food...viva New Mexico! I work at the most amazing New Mexican restaurant, plus I love to cook New Mexican food, so my cold has been doused with firey salsa and chile sauce.

One of the first vegetarian dishes I ever made were these quesadillas. They're sweet, spicy, and easy to boot.

Black Bean & Corn Quesadillas
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

2 tsp olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 (15.5-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (10-oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup salsa (go hot or go home!)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tbsp soy butter, divided
8 (8 inch) flour tortillas

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onion, and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in beans and corn, then add sugar, salsa, and pepper flakes; mix well. Cook until heated through, about 3 minutes.

2. Melt 2 teaspoons of the soy butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Place a tortilla in the skillet, top with some of the bean mixture. Place another tortilla on top, cook until golden, then flip and cook on the other side. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.

You can easily throw in some soy cheese, if you'd like. Cody put some chopped green chile (surprise, surprise) in his, along with some habanero powder he made. He also asked if we had any sour cream...then proceeded to tell me I should have put some on mine because it's the 'effin' balls'. Yes, it was Tofutti sour cream. It was not real. And he ate it. And loved it. Mwahahahahaha!!!!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Veggie Sausage Gumbo

This weekend I got a few texts from someone I've known for years, talking about all the vegan goodness they made this weekend for their family. My friend, Melissa, is a Marine, a wife of a Drill Instructor, and a mother of 2. She's someone who has always said that she might be able to go vegetarian, but she'd miss seafood too much. Well, I'm happy to announce that Melissa has started to test the waters of vegetarianism! Yes, this is a vegan blog, but since this recipe is vegan AND I'm overly impressed with her decision to give this lifestyle a whirl, Melissa is guest blogging today to share her first recipe and her first experience. Thanks, Missy!

For someone who is married to a guy from Louisiana I have come to love a good seafood gumbo. But, since I'm gonna be embarking on this whole vegetarian thing I figured I would need to find a new way to make it! I stumbled around the internet for a while and came upon this recipe (I would share the site but I don't remember what it is, and there really wasn't anything else yummy looking on there). It's super easy and doesn't take long (I added time on just to get the celery how I wanted)! Not to mention it's really good! It hasn't been tested by the husband yet, but I'm pretty sure he is going to like it! (He has been a bit skeptical of my whole decision to go veggie, but he is coming along for the ride, he ate tofu scrambled "eggs" this weekend...and actually liked them!) On the recipe it said that it serves 4, but it made a lot more than that (yay, leftovers)! So, for those that are like me and don't know what the heck they are doing yet and want to make something easy, this is a good start!

Veggie Sausage Gumbo

1 cup frozen okra
16 oz veggie "sausage links", cut into 1" pieces
2 tbs whole wheat flour
2 tbs vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
1 lg onion chopped
1 lg green pepper chopped
2 cloved garlic chopped (I used a bit more than this, but I love garlic!)
1/2 tsp dried thyme (I just put as much as I thought I needed)
1/4 tsp ground red pepper (I used a lot more, but I wanted it spicy)
1 16 oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup celery chopped
5 cups vegetable stock
salt (opt)
tabasco (opt)
2 cups cooked rice

1. Fry the okra, set aside. Lightly fry the sausage, set aside.
2. Combine tlour & oil in large pot, stirring constantly. Saute over medium-high heat for 1 min. Add okra, onion, pepper, garlic, thyme, ground pepper. Cook for 1 min on med, stirring.
3. Stir in veggie sausage, tomatoes, celery, vegetable stock. Cook for 15 min or till done. (I set it on low and let it simmer for about 30-45min. The celery took a while to soften up)
4. Serve over rice.