Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mexican Cold Soup

For some reason, that statement has always seemed wrong to me. I think of soup and I think steamy, hearty, belly-warming soup. "Cold soup" means you didn't heat it up in the microwave long enough!

Boy, was I wrong! A friend of mine made some Mexican Cold Soup this weekend and it looked and smelled AH-MAZING. I knew that I had to make some. This soup is 1. Perfect for summer (and it's still warm in New Mexico!) 2. Easy easy easy to make! 3. Doesn't require any cooking whatsoever. Anyone can make this soup!

Mexican Cold Soup
Prep time: 5 minutes

2 10-1/4 oz cans tomato soup, plus 2 10-1/4 oz cans water (like you're making tomato soup!)
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 - 1 1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper (I used 1 1/2 tbsp and it's spiiiiicy!)
1 1/2 tbsp cumin
1 cucumber, peeled and diced (I cut around the seeds as well, but that's optional)
1 avocado, diced
24 oz corn
3-5 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped, plus more for garnish

1. In a large bowl, mix the tomato soup with water, lime juice, and spices. Add the vegetables and cilantro. Let soup get chilled in the fridge for at least an hour. Stir and serve!

*I know the sodium is through the roof here. Don't add any extra salt! There are also plenty of tomato soups that are low sodium now. I didn't have any in my pantry, so I just used regular soup. There are ways to lower that number! All in all, this soup is great for you. And the cayenne pepper? That's belly-warming. :)

This soup is hearty, filling, spicy, and yes...cold. So easy to make, so easy to eat. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Potato Cakes

'Ello, blogosphere!
What has it been now...a month since my last post? For those of you who I'm close to in real life, not just the wonderful world wide web, you know about all the craziness that has gone down the last few months. Everyone else, just know that I'm back. I'm cooking again, I'm baking again, and I'm sharing again!

My best best BEST friend, Marissa (teacup tattoo!), has a wonderful man in her life who happens to be from England. The three of us chat quite a bit (thank you, Blackberry...) and Mr. England talks about British food all the time. I don't know if it's because he's aware I'm a fat kid at heart or if he wants to show off all the tasty treats England has to offer. Either way, you won't hear me complaining!

Last week, I was home in New Hampshire when he mentioned Potato Cakes with Mushy Peas. I'm not going to lie: if I read that on a menu somewhere, I wouldn't order it. Maybe just the Mushy Peas part of it. I do love a good Latke, though, so after he went on about Potato Cakes, I decided I was going to whip up a batch for my mother and I.


Even the Mushy Peas! So good, in fact, I brought some to my sister and she wanted the recipe. Then I brought one into work this week and forks were coming in from all angles. My boss started expanding on the idea: Sweet Potato Cakes, anyone? Adding scallions? Sour cream?

The possibilities are endless. And inexpensive. My kinda dish!

Potato Cakes with Mushy Peas
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15-20 minutes

3 large potatoes, peeled, diced, and boiled
2 tbsp Earth Balance soy butter, plus 2 tbsp for frying
2 tbsp - 1/4 cup unsweetened, full-fat soy milk
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 - 1 tbsp parsley
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 - 1/2 cup unbleached flour

*I know the measurements aren't really exact. Since potatoes come in different sizes and starch levels, each batch might use a different measurement.

1. After you boil the potatoes, mash together the soy butter, milk, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. You're basically making mashed potatoes here! Add the flour, starting with 1/4 cup. You're looking for a doughy consistency. It shouldn't stick to your hands but it shouldn't be too dense.

2. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, melt the remaining soy butter. Form pancakes with 1/2 cup of the dough. You want them to be about 1/4-inch thick. Fry till a dark, golden, crispy brown and flip. When the other side is crispy, remove from heat and serve immediately.

Mushy Peas
Prep time: 2 minutes

2 cups frozen peas
2 tbsp soy butter
2 tbsp unsweetened soy milk
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Duh! Mush everything together! :) Serve with the freshly made Potato Cakes. I like my Mushy Peas right on top so each bite gets an equal amount of deliciousness.

Please promise me you'll try to make these! I'm a girl on a budget now and these are inexpensive, delicious, and you can make the dough and stick it in the fridge! You can eat them just like this, or maybe make them for breakfast like a hashbrown, or even a late night snack! Enjoy, ladies and gents!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Boston Cream Cupcakes

At a time like this, ladies and gents, a girl needs cupcakes. Chocolate and vanilla and cream filling...OH MY!!!
It's been a crazy summer. Not awesome, not exciting, just crazy. Things are very different and everything is upside down, but I'm still baking and I'm still vegan, so here we are!

These cupcakes are fancy! They take a bit more work than regular cook-and-frost cupcakes, but they're worth it. I promise. They're in three parts: the cupcake, the filling, and the ganache. It's work, but you'll love them!

Boston Cream Cupcakes
Prep time: 20-30 minutes, plus cooling time
Cook time: 20 minutes

Golden Vanilla Cupcake

1 cup plain soy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cups unbleached flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350° F and line muffin pan with cupcake liners.

2. Whisk the soy milk and vinegar in a measuring cup and set aside a few minutes to get good and curdled.

3. Beat together the soy milk mixture, oil, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Sift in the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix until no large lumps remain.

4. Fill cupcake liners two-thirds of the way (I use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to make sure they're all even) and bake for 20 to 22 minutes till done. Transfer to a cooling rack.

(Just so you guys know what Agar Agar looks like...here's a picture of the kind I use. It's in the Asian section and is a must for any vegan kitchen!

Vanilla Vegan Pastry Creme

1/2 cup soy milk
1/2 tsp agar powder or 1 1/2 tsp agar flakes
4 tsp arrowroot
6 oz soft silken tofu (half of a Mori-Nu package)
1/3 cup superfine or castor sugar (I just blended regular sugar until it was the right consistency)
Pinch salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Pour 1/3 cup soy milk into a small saucepan; keep the remaining soy milk in the measuring cup. Sprinkle agar powder over the soy milk in the saucepan and cook mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and continue to cook for about 4 minutes. The agar will be dissolved when the soy milk appears smooth, and a spoon dipped into the mixture does not have any undissolved agar flakes or powder flecks sticking to the spoon.

2. Whisk the powdered arrowroot into the remaining soy milk in the measuring cup. Pour the arrowroot mixture into the agar mixture in a steady stream, stirring the whole time. The mixture will cook and get very thick in 1 to 2 minutes, and when done it will resemble a very thick pudding. Remove from heat and set aside. Place it in the refrigerator and allow it to set for at least an hour.

3. Crumble tofu into a blender, add the sugar, salt, and cooked arrowroot mixture. Blend till creamy. Add vanilla extract and blend again. Scrape mixture into a container, cover, and put in refrigerator to chill and firm up, at least an hour.

Rich Chocolate Ganache Topping

1/4 cup soy milk
4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp pure maple syrup

1. Bring the soy milk to a gentle boil in a small sauce pan. Immediately remove from heat and add the chocolate and maple syrup. Use a rubber spatula to mix the chocolate until it is fully melted and smooth. Set aside at room temperature till ready to use.


1. Make a hole in the center of each cupcake by poking with your CLEAN finger (just sayin'.). Very gently press the sides and bottom of the hole to make it a little larger. You'll want the space to be able to fill in with lots of custard.

2. Fit a pastry bag with a large round or star-tipped nozzle, then fill bag with firmed pastry creme. Fill only halfway to make handling the bag easier.

3. Fill each cupcake with pastry creme, trying to get as much filling as possible into the cupcakes. Cupcakes should feel noticeably heavier. Remove any excess creme on top by wiping with a knife or finger. Spread tops of cupcakes with ganache. Chill until ready to serve.

There you have it! A little bit of Boston, no matter where you are.

Is there anything you want to see used in a recipe? Some crazy ingredient or a dish that you really want to try vegan?

PS: Stay tuned for a long-overdue giveaway!!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Beer-Battered Onion Rings

When most people hear or think the word VEGAN, their brow furrows and they think, "What do you eat??". It isn't all tofu and fake meat, my curious little friends. I don't like food that tastes like twigs. I don't gather leaves outside and boil them in a broth of Burt's Bees and Whole Foods leftovers.

Great tasting food.
This girl can eat, I promise. Maybe it's not rotting carcass and maybe it's full of ingredients that confuse people even more than the phrase, "I LOVE TOFU!", but I love me some tasty grub.

Most days, I eat really well. I try to stick to 1200 calories or less, give or take depending on how hard I work out (or how hard I sit on the couch). Some days, however, I need comfort food.

Whether it's a fat day:

...or a bad hair day:

...or just a plain, ol' broken heart:

...comfort food really hits the spot. Maybe you'll feel a little guilty the next day, but nothing makes this girl feel better than something greasy or chocolatey or not-good-for-you. Hopefully these days don't last long, so I say SPLURGE!!!

That's why I love these onion rings.
1. They're beer-battered. I heart beer.
2. They're fried. I don't eat fried food often, but it's yummy.
3. They're onion-y. No one wants to be around someone who's eaten straight-up onions, unless they're eating them with you, so dig in.

Beer-Battered Onion Rings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: However long it takes to get them greasy-brown

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup beer (Bud Light for a bad hair day, IPA for the heart)
4 tablespoons Earth Balance, melted
salt to taste
1-2 large onions, sliced into rings
1 quart oil for frying

1. In a HUGE pan (or deep fryer, if you have one, which is crazy!), heat the oil to 375° F. If you don't have a thermometer, here's a trick: splash a drop of water in the oil and if it "freaks out", you're good to go.

2. Dip the onions in the batter. Try not to let a lot of it drip off; immediately and carefully drop the onion into the oil. Repeat! Make sure you don't overcrowd them. You can flip them over if you want, just to check the color. When they're golden brown, carefully take them out with a pair of tongs and place them on a plate covered in paper towels to absorb the greasy deliciousness. Do this until all your onions are cooked up. Sprinkle with salt to taste.

Serve this with leftover beer, then a full one. I dipped mine in a mixture of ketchup, vegan mayonnaise, and hot sauce. They were heavenly.

That's it, my dears. Remember: when all else fails, food is there for you. Spoken like a true fat kid. :)

I hope this Tuesday finds you with good hair, skinny jeans, and a happy heart!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

"Chicken" Salad

Goodness gracious!!!
Can you tell it's been a busy summer??? I just looked and saw that I only posted FIVE TIMES last month. I promise, it's with good reason. After visiting with my mom:

...going to Wisconsin to see some of our darling friends get married (and meeting some of the nicest people in the world!!! I love Wisconsin!!!):

...and having a visit from my best friend (she's Canadian, it's been 7 years, and it was the best trip EVER!):

(We got matching tattoos! We're avid tea drinkers. Tea has been there for us when jobs and boys and catty girls and the party scene haven't.)

...I'm a little tired and looking forward to some down time. Not before I share this amazing recipe with you, though!

I was at the grocery store the day that my MerMer left. My other favorite friend in the world (yeah, I have a few of those!), Missy, had sent me a text about the "chicken" salad she had just made. I asked for the ingredients, bought them, and within 20 minutes, was eating it. She laughed a bit at me because I had made it so fast, but it sounded so good!

(Quick background on Missy: we've known each other for years. For some reason, when we lived on the island of Okinawa together, we weren't vegan or even vegetarian. Now that we're no longer almost-neighbors, she decided to jump on the vegan bandwagon with me and we're both so aware of what we eat and how are bodies handle it.)

Missy & I 4 years ago:

Missy & I last month:

Going vegan has done a body good!

Anyway, I digress. This is a food blog, after all. :)

"Chicken" Salad
Prep time: 5 minutes

1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup Vegenaise
1-2 celery stalks, diced
1/4 cup green onion, thinly sliced
Black pepper, to taste (I used TONS)

1. Mash the chickpeas with a potato masher until there's just a few big pieces left. Add the other ingredients, mix, and enjoy thoroughly. Which you will. :)

Here's your nutritional value for REAL chicken salad (as seen here):

...and here's the value for THIS "chicken" salad:

Look at that protein and fiber! AND IT'S DELICIOUS, PEOPLE!!!
Cody gobbled this stuff up.

I don't know why you're still reading this. You should be at the store or going through your fridge, figuring out if you can make this. :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Lentil Loaf with Basil Mashed Potatoes

June has been a faboosh month! I like to think that it's because of my Rob Pattinson calendar. My thoughtful & loving husband gave me a Rob calendar for Christmas and every month on the first, when I turn the page over to see a new picture of Robby, I pretty much know what kind of month it's going to be. This picture brought an insanely awesome June:

I've been able to spend time with family, reconnect with old friends, attend the final PDub, saw Iron Maiden and Dream Theatre, went camping. I'm going to see a whooooooole slew of old friends in three days when we go to watch two of our friends get married (I get to sing at their wedding and spend it with my husband in a tuxedo. :)), then the rest of the month is spent planning and shopping and cleaning and FREAKING OUT for my Marissa's arrival on July 1. It's been seven years since I've seen her beautiful face and I couldn't be more excited to spend a few days with her!!! And heck...with July starting off like that, it has to be a good month, right? We'll see, Edward. We'll see.

Other good things that have happened this month? The food.
I can't lie, it's been amazing! I've got some pretty awesome recipes to put up...from foreign desserts to camping food. Another reason July should be great. :)

This next recipe is pretty awesome! It kinda made me feel like the wife I was 4 years ago: making full-course, full-fat, meaty, cheesy, standard American meals. I might sound like I hated this, but I didn't. I didn't know any better then, and cooking was how I really started showing my husband how much I loved him. I wanted to make all the delicious foods my mom made us, too. As I got better with cooking, I did it more. I think that has a lot to do with why I stayed so heavy for so long. Anyway, I digress. This meal is such a healthy alternative to the traditional meatloaf dinner. We had to use some basil from the garden (yesssss......), so I decided to try a basil butter to put in the mashed potatoes. Huge success. :)

Lentil Loaf
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

Tomato Topping

1 6-oz can tomato paste
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp onion flakes (or 1/2 tsp onion powder)
1 tsp garlic salt

Lentil Loaf

Lentil Loaf

1 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 block extra firm tofu
1 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup red pepper, chopped
1 tbsp Tomato Topping (recipe above)
3 tbsp yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup lentils, cooked and drained (I used black lentils!)
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp ground mustard

1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Mix the tomato topping together first because you're going to need a tablespoon to mix into the lentil loaf. The rest will be set aside to coat the loaf when its assembled.

2. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to a skillet on medium heat. Add chopped onions and the peppers. Let cook until onions are transparent, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Cool.

3. In a food processor, chop oats for 5 quick pulses. Set aside.

4. Drain tofu well and press with hands until all excess water comes out. In a mixing bowl, mash tofu with a fork or use grater to coarsely grate. In the same mixing bowl combine cooked onions and peppers, 1 tablespoon of tomato mixture, oats, corn meal, lentils, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, 1 tablespoon olive oil, thyme, cumin, chili powder, parsley, salt, sugar, garlic salt, onion powder, ground mustard and mix until well combined.

5. Spray a large sheet of foil with cooking spray to form loaf on, place on cookie sheet. On top and in the middle of tin foil form loaf mixture into loaf that is 2 1/2 inches high and 4 1/2 inches square. Coat top and sides with tomato mixture. Cook loaf for 20 minutes, then cover with tin foil and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before cutting.

I have to admit, I didn't LOVE meatloaf growing up. In fact, I think it was in the bottom 10 meals. Not that it wasn't good, I was just convinced that I didn't like onions or peppers. You can only lie to yourself for so long!

As far as the mashed potatoes go...I just put 1/4 cup of Earth Balance with a pinch of garlic salt and about 1/3 cup of fresh, packed basil leaves in my little food processor. I blended it until smooth and used that instead of regular butter along with soy milk to mash my potatoes.

Now a few questions for you!

It's officially summer. How do you plan on spending it?



Running off to Mexico?

Some other fabulous way you can't wait to tell me about?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Berry Pie

Of all the holidays on our calendar, the ones that really make me happy are Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July. Both of them have no presents. Thanksgiving is about being thankful, seeing family, friends, and eating amazing food allllll day. July Fourth celebrates our wonderful country. Pretty much everyone looks forward to these holidays. It's hard to be disappointed...unless your Tofurkey is a little dry. :)

Memorial Day is another great holiday. Most everyone gets a long weekend, there are nonstop BBQs, beer drinking, maybe some fireworks, and lots of great tributes to the men and women who have served our nation. This year, Codester and I went to the family's house for some BBQ. We had a great batch of roasted asparagus (which means to us that it really is summer), amazing potato salad ala Dei, a white bean chili, recipe coming shortly, and some amazing desserts. D.E.I. made blueberry crisp that had some of the biggest blueberries I've ever seen. I made a strawberry & blueberry pie that I topped with some coconut whipped cream. Look how great this is!

Yes, I know my crust isn't all that pretty. I still haven't mastered fluting. It tastes delicious, however, and I think it makes is look kinda rustic. Ha!

Berry Pie
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

1 9-inch pie crust, cooked
3 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 cup blueberries
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp corn starch
1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

1. In a large bowl, mash 2 cups strawberries with a potato masher. You want these to get really mashed up, so don't go easy on them. Add the sugar, corn starch, and lemon juice.

2. Pour the strawberry mixture into a medium-sized sauce pan and warm over medium heat, stirring constantly. Bring to a small boil, continuing to stir, and reduce heat to low. Cook until it resembles a jelly. Remove from heat.

3. Gently fold in blueberries. Pour into prepared crust, smoothing out as much as possible. Arrange the remaining sliced strawberries and blueberries on top of the pie. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.

Coconut Whipped Cream
Prep time: 5 minutes

(This is how it's done, ladies & gents. I haven't made whipped cream because the thought of using tofu scares ME. This is light and fluffy and has the sweet hint of coconut.

1 15-oz can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup powdered soy milk
1/4 tsp vanilla, if desired

1. Make sure you refrigerate the can of soy milk for at least 4 hours. This will really help it separate. Open the can and scoop out only the hardened parts. Leave the milk for something later, like curry.

2. Beat the coconut milk on high until light and fluffy. This could take up to 8 minutes, so if you have a stand-up mixer, rock it. Sift in the confectioners' sugar and powdered soy milk. Continue to beat for 2 minutes. Add vanilla, if using.

You can put this stuff in a decorating bag. You can dollop it with a spoon. You can use your (washed) finger to taste it right outta the bowl. It's so good. Seriously.

I hope you try this pie for summer...maybe even for Independence Day!!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Soft Corn Tacos

I love Mexican food. Mexi-Cali, Tex-Mex, and especially New Mexican. I've been saving up pictures of some amazing vegan dishes, all from the restaurant I work for, La Salita. If someone were to ask me what the difference is between Mexican and New Mexican food, I'd quickly reply, "THE CHILE!!!" No one does chile, like New Mexico...and no one does red chile like La Salita.

Sometimes when I'm standing up at the window at work, waiting for food orders, certain smells will catch me off guard and I'll crave whatever it is that smells so good. Lately it's been corn tortillas. More specific: soft corn tacos. Here's my tasty soft corn taco recipe that even includes a little La Salita Red Chile, which you can order HERE.

Soft Corn Tacos
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

4 corn tortillas
1 cup Textured Vegetable Protein
1 cup boiling water, plus 1/4 cup water, divided
1 tbsp olive oil
Shredded lettuce
(Tomato, if you want it.)
Vegan Cheese
Red or green chile

Taco Seasoning
This is a little something I always have in my cabinet, ready to go. It's so much better for you than that pre-made, high-sodium, store-bought seasoning!!!

1 tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper

1. In a large bowl, mix TVP with boiling water and let sit for 10 minutes.

2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add hydrated TVP, Taco Seasoning, and 2 tbsp of water. Mix to combine. Cook for about 5 minutes; if more water is needed, add by the tablespoon until you get a nice taco "meat" texture.

3. To heat your corn tortillas, place tortillas on a plate, cover with an inverted plate, and heat for 30 seconds in the microwave. Assemble tacos with some chile, taco meat, veggies, cheese, and whatever else your little heart desires.

That's it, my dearies! Not much to it! We love these tacos, and I'm sure you will, too. Just know they're a tad bit messier because they're soft corn! And if you don't steam the corn tortillas, chances are, they're going to break on you. Just sayin'!

Does anyone happen to know what the difference between Mexi-Cali and Tex-Mex is?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Seitan Piccata with White Wine and Capers

There are three things I love more than anything else in the world:

My husband:

My family:

My friends:

This blog is about all three. :)

Let's start with the why.

The reason I made this dinner is because I was showing a lil' love to C-Dog. My wonderful mom was here visiting for about a week...and then I was going to California to visit with my sister, her amazing girls, and my aunt and cousins...so I hadn't really been able to make him a nice meal. This was to make up for that. :)

That takes care of husband and family...2/3 of my list....now on to friends:

One of the sweetest and most darling friends that I have, Erin, is a constant reminder that there are good people in the world. She's so thoughtful, it gives me the thoughtfulness bug and makes me want to be kind to other people as well. I love her for that. When we first became friends, she sent me an autographed copy of The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone. It's such an amazing read and has a plethora of amazing recipes. This recipe is from the book, given to me by a good friend. There's the last third. Bring on the recipe!

Seitan Piccata with White Wine and Capers
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

Seitan Cutlets

1 cup vital wheat gluten
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp basil
3/4 cup vegetable broth
2 tbsp tahini

1. Prepare some aluminum foil by tearing off 4 10-inch pieces. Get a steamer ready and start heating water.

2. In a mixer or large bowll, combine the vital wheat gluten,nutritional yeast, onion powder, salt, and basil. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the broth and tahini. Stir the wet mixture into the dry until well blended. Knead gently 10 times. Quickly divide dough into 4 equal pieces.

3. Take a piece of dough and shape and flatten it into a thin oval-shaped cutlet. Place it on a sheet of foil, a little higher than center. Fold the bottom of the foil over to meet the top, and then fold the two edges over about 1/2 inch to form a seam. Continue folding the foil by half inches until it reaches just above the cutlet. Flatten the cutlet down a little more, and then fold the left and right edges in the same way until the packet is snug around the cutlet. Repeat with all pieces of dough.

4. Place the packets flat into the steamer and cover. Steam for 25 minutes. Keep packets sealed until you’re ready to use them.

White Wine and Capers Sauce

Whole wheat flour for dredging
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup diced shallots (I used scallions because it's what I had on hand)
1/2 cup diced onions
1 tsp chopped garlic
1/4 cup drained capers
1 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup vegetable broth, preferably homemade
2 tablespoons unbleached flour
4 tablespoons soy margarine
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2-3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated black pepper

Dredge the seitan in the whole wheat flour, shaking off any excess. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over high heat in a large skillet. Add the seitan pieces, and saute until crisp and golden brown, about 30 seconds per side. Transfer the seitan to a serving platter or individual plates.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the same skillet. Add the shallots, onions, garlic, and capers and saute, stirring frequently, until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the wine, and cook, stirring frequently, until reduced by half. Whisk in the lemon juice, and cook until the sauce has reduced a bit more, 1 to 2 minutes longer.

Whisk in the broth and the unbleached flour, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer for 1 minute to thicken. Whisk in the margarine, parsley, salt, and pepper. Pour over the seitan, and serve immediately.

I paired this with some wilted baby spinach and mushroom couscous. It was quite tasty, I can't lie. Especially since I drank a glass of the delicious Pinot Gris I used to cook with. ;)

This blog really brings me to a new level of hippie-ness and really makes me realize how intertwined we all are. You can't take anyone out of the equation. On that note, I need to go hug a tree and tie-dye some shirts.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Hello, bloggies! I'm so sorry I didn't get to announcing the winner of my Endangered Species Chocolate Giveaway. I ended up going to LA this weekend...and San Diego...and Lake Forest...and had the most amazing time. I visited with my sister & her girls (along with our family friend, Melissa) who surprised my cousins out in California. I was able to see our Marine Corps friends that I haven't seen in 2 years and it was the most long overdue visit in the history of visits. I took part in the final PDub. My Marine Corps friend, Missy, who is also Vegan, came up with her beautiful family and we spent the day in the pool then ate at an entirely Vegan restaurant, The Wheel of Life. If you're ever in SoCal, you seriously need to try this place. Here's us with our first taste of Vegan shrimp!

Such an amazing weekend. There was very little sleep but the smiles and laughs were overflowing.


Stephanie @ The Grant's Giveaways is going to be getting a gift basket from Endangered Species. Send me an email with your address, Stephanie! :)

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Vacations and Giveaways!

Hey, everyone! I've really been slacking this month on my blogging, but I promise, it's with good reason! My beautiful mother was here, visiting from New Hampshire. We were just busybusybusy. It was seriously nonstop! We had some amazing adventures and it still makes me sad to think she's already gone. I feel like time goes by faster when you want it to slow down. Here are some pictures from our trip:

We went hiking to hot springs, cheered at an Isotopes game, took the train to Santa Fe, and ate some delicious food along the way. She was here to help me celebrate my birthday and made it one of the most memorable days of my 28 years. I love you mom! <3

Since I've been so busy, I haven't been cooking up new stuff, so I'm going to do a giveaway. Have you tried Endangered Species Chocolate yet? This stuff is sooooo good. They're awesome enough to have sent me some samples and they're going to put together a gift basket for the winner of this giveaway!

Here are the rules!

1. Leave a comment telling me what your all-time favorite kind of chocolate is.
2. Go to the Endangered Species Chocolate webpage and tell me a something you learned!

Extra entries:

3. TWEET ME! Go post a link to this giveaway on Twitter and leave me a comment and link letting me know you did.
4. Link back on Facebook and, you guessed it, leave me a comment letting me know you shamelessly plugged my giveaway.
5. Have a blog? If you link back to this giveaway on your blog, you get FIVE EXTRA CHANCES to win so leave one comment with the link to your blog and 4 extra comments for being so awesome.

I'll announce the giveaway next Friday, June 4th. Which will be an awesome day in its own right. :)

I hope you've all had a wonderful week so far! Any big plans for Memorial Day?