March Cookbook Challenge!

From the lovely minds of the PPK, I've signed back up for a cookbook challenge to cook at least a few things from an honest to goodness book.

I also signed up for a cookbook swap with the Halifax Veg*n FB group, and got two cookbooks from another HRM Vegan. So this Month I am cooking from those.

So Far~!
Challenge : Cook from the book
Book : Martha Stewart's Meatless
Impressions: lots of easy/basic intro to making vegetables taste good, reliance on fresh ingredients and simply showcasing basic cooking techniques.

This is likely a book I really enjoyed flipping through and have bookmarked about a million things to make, but for the most part I will likely use this book for inspiration or a basic direction rather than a true every day go to book. Like a lot of non VEGAN specific authors/books, it does some pretty tasty vegan dishes and sides but mostly its a lot of making vegetables not taste bad and nothing that is super mind blowing (but maybe PPKers/authors like Isa, Terry, Joanna, Kelly, Katie, Kittee, Julie, Joni etc have ruined me for other authors)

Now the good stuff, photos and recipes tried!

Roasted ChickPea/Eggplant Stew
This was super easy and one of those dishes I could see myself turning to when there is wayward eggplant in the fridge on a busy week night. Eggplant aside, I always have the rest of the ingredients if I sub dried herbs for fresh (because im not a millionaire).

I love that the recipe has everything roasting on one pan all at once to make it an easy throw together, the stew was very thick and tasty the next day with Vegan Naan for lunch. It was pretty earthy and salty, and definitely good but not something I would go out of my way to make

Roasted Chickpea/Eggplant Stew PG136-137
Italian Baked Eggplant with Seitan

This was another recipe that was pretty easy to make because I had a huge batch of julie ( famous seitan sausages I needed to use up. The recipe looks way fancier in the picture, but I left my roommate jae in to prep and he said he found it a little cumbersome/involved for a week night meal. The end result was good, but someone not quite what I envisioned. I might try this one again with a more hands on approach, overall it was a decent filling one dish meal but the steps of breading the eggplant wasn't as low key/tasty as I had hoped. Still good and gave us lots of leftovers and didn't feel like we were missing anything by eating this by itself (since it has eggplant, tomato, spinach and seitan)
PP. 168-168

It also photographs much better.

There is another eggplant dish, I am regretting not trying for a simple dip. I have a feeling the simpler recipes are where this book will really shine showcasing vibrant fresh produce and ingredients w

I think in the future, I would try breading all the eggplant, it seems like this dish aims for a more casserole like dish and our presentation might be to blame for it's middle ground achievement.

I still really love reading through this book and have a weak spot for Martha, so while I wouldn't pay full price for this book and feel it's target is better suited for non-veg*n looking to learn how to eat more vegetables or even learn how to cook some veg*n food. I will probably buy this guy used or on sale, because I am a sucker for well edited books with lots of photos

Working VeganMofo: Tips for non-breakfast folks during the busy week

Sadly no photos today as this post is coming from you during my lunch break at work, but I wanted to send out some love for VeganMofo <3 br=""> If you are anything like me then breakfast is generally one of those meals you know you should eat but can never quite figure out what I want to eat or can stomach so early in the morning. Mostly, its a struggle to function without coffee and harder still to make breakfast and get out on time.

Breakfast cereal is an easy solution but just doesn't cut it for a full morning of fuel and make ahead muffins or oatmeal seem great but I am pretty well a savoy breakfast fan 98% of the time. So what works best for me is the old stand by of fake bacon/ham and hasbrowns/roast potatoes which when you work in the morning or are busy rushing to school can be a bit hectic.

My solution although basic seems worth sharing and honestly makes a huge difference in my mornings. The night before or beginning of the week I wash and chop enough potatoes for either the next morning or the next couple of mornings. Dice some onion/garlic and toss the cubed potatoes, garlic/onion, assorted seasoning and oil into a bowl/tupperware container and shake them to coat. Place it in the fridge and have them ready when you get up simply preheat the oven to 400, toss them on a pan and jump in the shower.

For fake bacon or additional fillers I marinate the tofu over night and toss it on to bake part way through or simply pan fry it once the potatoes are nearly done.

How to unfuck breakfast for busy VeganMofos

The night before/Sunday Evening:

  • Dice enough potatoes for your morning crew or for a couple of breakfasts
  • optional: dice an onion and 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • Toss the potatoes and garlic with a few dashes of olive oil and your favourite seasoning (Rosemary, oregano, paprika, cumin, coriander, pepper, salt, cajun spice mix, savory, thyme etc) optional as well sesame seeds for added nutrients
  • place sealed bowl or tupper ware with potato mix into the fridge and shake to coat (bonus this allows you to use less oil when cooking)
  • In the morning preheat oven to 400, add the potatoes to a pan and grab your shower. Awake to hashbrowns on a weekday .

Veganmofo: I spy... Chickpeas!

I've been thinking alot about the simple art of easy eating. Which although they can be the most rewarding meals, they are often the least blogged and least shared.. but why not? They are fantastic and honestly when writting your thesis or facing deadlines they can be a live saver.

Writing them down or holding onto the links help my frazzled brain remember the things you always plan to make that seem too easy to even exist. They've been popping up on all my Mofo feed readers so I'm gonna pass some of them along you to.
Click the photos to jump through to the original blog posts!

Tuxedo Cat's Chickpea Cumber Salad
Why Yes I do Eat Potatoes: Simple Salad
Or their Falafel
Cake Makers to the Stars- Kittee's Pudla

Plant Powered -Pumpkin Chickpea Curry

 Joyful Girl: chickpea Avacado sandwich

 Snarky Chickpea- Pot Pie!


Veganmofo: Favourite blog post oldie

Sometimes the simplest of posts are the best. There are so many brilliant vegan food blogs it almost seems like a cop-out to call on the ppk's blog. But heck, it's just so swell.

Obviously Isa has all kinds of amazing recipes, tempting photos and glorious colour close up shots of said food.

But one of the posts I love refering people to, especially students, is the big old pot of bean post!

So simple, but sometimes contextualizing a plan for say.. what do you really do with that giant pot of beans you just cooked? hits it home.

PPK Blog What to do with a big pot of beans.

Meal planning is something I'm a bit obsessed with and it makes a lot of sense yet somehow I never seem to be able to stick with even my looses planning attempts and these kind of voyeuristic posts really help me get a feel for planning.

Plus beans are the go-to food for cheap living, so there is a bonus
Black Beans:
Day 1 ? Black Bean Burgers
Day 2 ? Chili
Day 3 ? Sauteed with Greens
Day 4 ? Tamale Pie
Day 5 ? Black Bean and Quinoa Salad
Day 1 ? Dill Hummus Sammiches
Day 2 ? Moroccan Chickpea Stew
Day 3 ? Falafel
Day 4 ? Chickpea Samosas
Day 5 ? Chickpea Hijiki Salad Sammiches
White Beans
Day 1 ? Pasta Fagioli
Day 2 ? White Bean Quinoa Croquettes
Day 3 ? Roasted Garlic and White Bean Soup
Day 4 ? White Bean and Tempeh Sausage Patties
Day 5 ? Vegetable Soup with White Beans

Chickpea Salad Variant with pickles!
Obvious these are just some guidelines but what are your favorite bean dishes? or beans even?

My Chickpea pot might look more like this

Day 1 Chickpea Cutlets
Day 2 Chana Masala (I use kittee's dal recipe or YRR)
Day 3  Chickpea Salad (which I though I'd blogged about before. Lazy style onion/celery/garlic/chickpea/vegan mayo +acid)
Day 4 Pot pie!
Day 5 Chickpea Noodle Soup Vcon
Day 6 Scrambled Chickpeas!

Day 7 Salad with chickpeas on top (because they are so good! Or Roasted chickpeas)

My black bean list would include tacos, YYR Refried Black Beans, AFR Mango Black Bean Salad, and YRR Black Bean Soup

Veganmofo: Fuck yes pumpkin! Pumpkin Pie Loaf/Muffins

This recipe is a based of Yellow Rose Recipes Aloha Bread and The PPK's Pumpkin Bread and various PPK pies with coconut milk.

I didn't write down the exact ratios so please let me know if you try this! This recipe made a double batch of muffins and fairly large loaf for me.

Pumpkin Pie Loaf or Muffins

  • 2 cups white flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
    2 tps baking soda
    1 dash of salt
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
    2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 TBS cinnamon
  • 2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp mace
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp all spice (or Chinese five spice if your out like i was)
  • 2 generous cups pureed pumpkin
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    1/2 can coconut milk
    1/3 cup toasted coconut (Optional any add ins like chocolate chips/nuts would be good too)
  • earth balance for greasing

Preheat to 350 degrees and grease muffin or loaf tins with earth balance. If using coconut and it is not pre-toasted spread in single layer on pan and watch closely until colour changes.

Mix all your dry ingredients into a bowl in the order listed (I would advise sifting because I ran into issues with the baking soda clumping). Whisk together until evenly distributed. Add spices and stir again.

If you roasted the pumpkin previously like I did you can skip the preheating (just turn it down to 350 to cool)and go straight to pureeing pumpkin. Make sure to have all your pumpkin pureed in case the mixture is too dry, you don't want the wet baking soda to sit around long.

Add your pumpkin, oil, vanilla and stir to incorporate. Crack open the coconut milk and add roughly 1/2 can until the batter reaches a good consistency. Fold in your toasted coconut or other toppings.

Now divide the batter into greased muffin tins and loaf pans (I did a double muffin tin and large loaf, alternatively you can do more loaf pans or muffins to suit your preference).

Place trays into heated oven, as I had both double muffin tin and large Pyrex loaf pan side by side the muffins took approximately 40 mins and the loaf pan was done in 80 mins.

Set timer for 30 mins to be safe and check on muffins or set timer for 40 mins to check on loafs. You want an knife inserted to come out clean, if not return to oven for 20 min intervals. Remove and place on cooling rack these are super moist and might pull apart while they are still warm (messy but soo good). Allow to cool before storing in fridge with plastic wrap or in container.

 Closer look. Tasty
Enjoy alone or with Earthbalance or jams!

Veganmofo: I've been busy

Feels like I am missing out on most of the magic that is mofo. But I guess the good news is I will have an overwhelming blog roll to check out soon enough right?

Highlight to x-mas vacation maybe, I'm hoping to keep the mofo-magic going by continueing to work on my draft posts and keep cooking and blogging. Because let's face it, I've kinda fallen into a lull.

Sometimes when we all get stressed out or busy it's easy to stop cooking, or eating, grabbing the occasional take out or eating out becomes the band-aid solution or frozen pizzas, and let's face it no one wins there.

It's not sustainable on my budget, or it is but thats a good 100+$ in the long run that could have gone towards student loan. So it's time to pull up the boot straps.

How to get yourself motivated when your so busy? For me it's been grabbing some pumpkins from the market. One or two 2 am cooking marathons brings back the ease, the desire and the motions a bit of prep in the morning here, a stop to the store there, sure it might take a few days but 10 mins a day leads to a home cooked meal somewhere right?

Veganmofo: Fuck yes pumpkin! Thai Pumpkin Soup

So along with spuratic posting comes my theme of spuratic themes for Vegan Mofo. Perhaps my favourite of all the various theme's I've been experimenting with is Fuck yes Pumpkin! which as the name suggests is me making pumpkin shit!

And I will never, ever, ever get tired of it.

Starting off with something simple inspired by the now closed Satisfaction Feast in halifax n.s. canada where they made some wicked soups one of which was a thick, creamy, spicy pumpkin soup called Thai Pumpkin.

Thai Pumpkin Soup
  • 1/2 medium pumpkin roasted and pureered [roast for an hour at 400]
  •  1 can coconut milk
  • 3 tbs red thai curry paste
  • 2 tbs corriander
  • 3 tbs cumin
  • 2 tbs paprika
  • 2 tbs yellow curry powder
  • 1 inch ginger minced or grated
  • 3 large garlic cloves minced or grated
  • 2 large onions minced
  • 3 tbs olive oil or margerine
  • 4 cups homemade vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper
To start roast and puree pumpkin (or pull some from the freezer to defrost) and chop the onions. Preheat your oil/margarine in a large dutch oven on medium heat. Once heated add your curry paste and cook for a few minutes. Add spices and cook for 2-3 mins string/scrapping the bottom to get everything toasted and bubbling.

Now add your onions and salt continuing to stir and cook until the onions are translucence (5-8 mins). Things should be smelling pretty good and you can now grate in the ginger and garlic. You want to make sure everything cooks and the flavours develop but nothing burns so adjust heat as needed.

Once things are smelling good, add your pumpkin and stir/cook for 5 mins. You want to make sure the spices/onion are evenly throughout the pumpkin and it is heated through. Slowly pour in your stock until you reach the desired thickness cover and boil for 20-30 mins stirring occasionally. The soup should thicken up a bit and smell awesome. Turn down the heat and add the coconut milk, stir to thicken.

Here you can either eat immediately or if your patient you can let it cook for a bit more to mix up the flavours.

Eat with bread/naan or toppings:
  • cajun roasted pumpkin seeds
  • coarse sea salt
  • earth balance swirled
  • crushed chili flakes
  • drizzle of siracha or hot sauce
  • vegan coconut yogurt swirl

Happy Fall Mofo-ers!