Leftover Magic: Open Face Rice and Bean Sandwiches

Ok, guys.  THIS.  IS.  INTENSE.

Like, I mean, the best thing I have eaten in a long time.  Including desserts.  I think...

I mentioned making this cheese before, but I never really wrote about it.  IT IS AMAZING GO MAKE IT RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There.  Got that out of my system.  Now, really.  Go make it.

Going from bottom to top:
Diced avocado


Saturday Dessert Plate #3

Allllright... newcomers would include failed fudge.  Obviously, I won't be posting THAT recipe..
(the white blobs are the cookie dough.  Sorry about that, I was just too tired to fiddle with it.)
But non-fail pb-oatmeal cookies from Chocolawty!  Dang, I LOVE that women.  She's amazing at creating healthy desserts.  And you really can't go wrong with peanutbutter and oatmeal!  Changes:
made a half batch
used corn starch
subbed applesauce for the coconut oil
used PB2
used half baking stevia and half stevia extract in place of the erythritol


Quinoa and Veggies

I think the pictures speak for themselves.

A light, refreshing summer dish.

Adapted from Vegetarian Adventures

Base: cooked quinoa (water : quinoa = 1.5 : 1) seasoned after cooking with
garlic powder
tofutti herbed cream cheese
chopped fresh basil
vegetble bouillon
Topped with panini-grilled red bell pepper, onions, and carrots.


Meat n' Potatoes Salad

Yes, this is vegan.  ;)

And we can just pretend that I didn't forget the sweet potatoes in the picture...

I remembered them before I ate though...

Adapted from HHL

Base: iceburg
Toppings: a few sliced sausages, diced granny smith [apple], boiled fingerling [potatoes], boiled/cubed sweet potatoes
Dressing: well, just sprinkle the salad with nooch, a southwestern-ish seasoning mix, and drizzle with mirin.


BBQ Baked Tofu and Pintos

Ok, I have a confession to make...


Dang, that stuff is so addicting...

Alright, first up, cut up enough 1/4 inch-ish tofu slabs to cover a 9*13 casserole dish.  This should be about 1 block, depending on what size you buy.  Then press the tofu.  Lay the tofu in a single layer in the casserole dish, and *smother* with bbq sauce (can you tell I'm trying to use it up?)  Bake for 20 minutes at 375, flip, bake for another 15 minutes, then broil for 3 minutes. 
While that is going, saute up a chopped small-ish red onion, and a chopped bell pepper - about the same amount of bell pepper as onion.  Mix the veggies with ~3 1/2 cups cooked pinto beans, 1/4 cup ketchup, 3 tbsp molasses, 3 tbsp sugar free maple syrup, ~1 tsp liquid smoke, 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp paprika, 1 tsp dried mustard, and a 4oz can of hatch chilis.  If you can get your hands on fresh hatch chilis, all the better, but I couldn't :(.  Anyhoo, spread this over the tofu, and then top with sweet potato tater tots (again, I WOULD link to a recipe here, but they turned out kind of bad...) - or, you could just smaaaaaaaaaall dice sweet potato and mix with cinnamon and call that done...
Bake this entire thing for about 20 minutes.  It should be nice and bubbly!


Rice 'n Bean Burgers

What's that?  You're tired of seeing burgers, you say?


My burgers, though, are like snowflakes...

Each one is different! ;)

Adapted from HHL
Mash up 1 1/2 cups red kidney beans until only a few remain whole.  Mix with 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice, a generous 1 cup mashed sweet potato, ~1/4 cup nooch, ~3 tbsp chili powder, liquid smoke, paprika, a few tbsp bbq sauce, a splash of cider vinegar, and sauteed garlic and shallot.  The mixture should be fairly sticky - if not, throw in some sugar free maple syrup (or just add some anyway...).  Now, drop the burgers (like drop cookies, only bigger!) onto a baking sheet, and bake at 375 for 20 minutes or so.  They should be nice and crunchy!  Serve on buns, with pickles, avocado, and tofu mayo.


Saturday Dessert Plate #2

I think I'll start posting this every Sunday.  Some things remain the same, and some change!
See last time's plate here.

Newcomers and updates:

The candied almonds were completely frozen this time, and the texture was much better.  The taste is still somewhat off, but that *might* be remedied next week... stay tuned!
Made some orange cardamom mousse!  It's not that hard... really.  Chuck into a vitamix: 1 small peeled orange, ~8 oz tofu (I used half silken and half firm because that's what was readily available), 1/2 tsp cardamom powder, a small splash of almond milk, ~1/4 cup sugar free maple syrup, ~3 tbsp stevia (might want to add more, it could have been sweeter), and 3 tbsp cocoa powder.  Blend until smooth - and further.  The texture of this was great, with the help of Mr. V!  Just slightly puffy....  Recipe adapted from Oh My Veggies.
No-bake chocolate-PB balls!  The texture was a bit odd - still needs some work.  But the flavour was all there.  Mix together 2 tbsp brown rice flour (might go with oat flour, or straight up oatmeal, next time), 2 tbsp almond meal, 1  scant tbsp cocoa powder, 1 tbsp stevia  (would add more next time), a heaping tbsp PB2, and enough sugar free maple syrup to make a dough-like substance.  Chill until firm.  Recipe adapted from Chocolawty.


Lotsa Low-Cal Vegan Pancake

Sorry the pics are bad... I dunno WHY the stupid colour is off.  But I was in a rush this morning, and didn't really have time to fiddle with things...

So, anyhoo, here's the promised single serving, 10 minute, low cal (about 240 for the entire recipe), vegan pancake recipe.  This, I'm thinking, will be the base for sooooooooooo many other recipes \

Adapted from Soul Shine Vegan

Mix together 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 1 tsp baking powder, and a pinch of salt.  In another container mix 1/2 cup almond milk, 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp flax meal, and 1/4 tsp vanilla extract.  Pour the dry into the wet, and mix well.  Add any additional ingredients now.  Let rest for 10 minutes.  Cook like normal pancakes: pour into a pan or something (I used the flat side of my panini press), and cook until firm on one side; flip and repeat.  Serve.

For this variation, adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie, I added chopped strawberries, bananas, and chocolate chips, and dipped the finished pancakes in my tofu sauce!  So easy, and so yummmmyyyyy!


Peach & Tofu Salad

These are a few of my faaavourite things:

Tofu and almonds and avocado and peaches...

Quick, healthy... summer!

Adapted from HHL

Base of iceburg, topped with sliced peach, avocado, raw almonds, and tofu slathered with bbq sauce and grilled.
Dressing... yeah.  Just throw on whatever you happen to have - something light.  The bbq sauce will provide most of the dressing, just add a splash of mirin or balsamic vinegar.

Was that easy enough for you? ;)

Oregano Quinoa Soup

Oh, yeah... I chose the best day to make soup!

Hottest day this week... 108.  You've GOT to be kidding, right?

Bleck.  Oh, well.  I needs my soup.  ;)

(This BURSTED with oreganoy-goodness!  I literally whacked off about 20 stems from my plant.  Although it's so big right now that it doesn't look like any was taken off...)

Adapted from Cooking Light
Veggies: carrots and onions
Stuff: quinoa, lentils
Seasonings: veggie chicken bouillon, liquid smoke, nooch, a bit of soy sauce, paprika, and more fresh oregano than I care to talk about (I was plucking that stuff off the stem for a good 10 minutes!)
Finished with a corn starch slurry and seitan.


What's Up Wednesday #6

Interesting article about agave - Why I Never Use Agave Nectar.  I never knew this stuff!

I tossed leftover veggies/setian on a bbq sauce - slathered bun, and called that dinner.  (Ok, so I had my usual soup and salad too...)

Friday was a MASSIVE cooking session for me! 
First up, I made Colby Cheese from Ordinary Vegetarian.  This was my first time trying agar... THAT STUFF IS SO WEIRD.  No kiddin'... I omitted the lemon juice (all my lemons went into making lemonade!), used 2 roasted bell peppers, cashews, and straight up sesame seeds instead of tahini.  It smelled fabulous...
Secondly was a strawberry bbq sauce, which also smelled really good.  I slathered it on tofu slabs, and stuck that on a sandwich.  Uh, YUM!  (Adapted from Vegan Yack Attack) Changed to the sauce: half recipe, 3/4 cup strawberries, add a bit of water, and ~1/4 cup sugar free blueberry jelly... I ran out of strawberries...

Lastly was this super-awesome-amazing salad dressing from Fat Free Vegan.  I followed it pretty closely, just doubled it, used a shallot in place of onions, and used sesame seeds in place of tahini.  Oh, gosh, this is the BEST dressing I have made in ages.. Susan is such a dressing genius.

And on Tuesday, I made a little army of vegan sausages!  OK, guys, repeat after me: I will read the instructions in the recipe and not blindly assume that all water goes directly in the dish.
I totally added the two cups of water to the gluten... and you can imagine how watery THAT turned out... -_-  Oh, well.  I ended up omitting the apple part of the sausages, using 1/2 cup oat flour in place of oats, 1 1/4 cup gluten, and 1/4 cup brown rice flour in place of rice.  They actually turned out realllllly good, though.  Although they did need about 45 minutes of baking time, not 30.  But, still, I think the flavour can best be discribed as 'calming', if that makes any sense at all...

One last thing... this morning I made Coffee Gingerbread Oatmeal... mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
Good stuff.  I made bottomless oats, and then added the banana and spices from this recipe (and stevia), using instant coffee powder in place of brewed coffee.

Oh, sorry, I lied.  HERE's the last thing... I made a coffee flavour of my b-fast tofu dip, which went very well with pizzerts.  Just blend silken tofu, almond milk, instant coffee grounds, and stevia.


Weeeird Pizza

Is there such a thing as a weird pizza?

Well, my friends, I think I found it.

Pizzas are like stir frys: you can pretty much throw anything on them!

Adapted from That Was Vegan?

(all is cooked on the panini press, except tater tots)
I used the normal crust.
Slathered with bbq sauce.
Topped with cooked setian, bell pepper and onion.
And sweet potato tots.  I WOULD link a recipe here, but the one I used didn't turn out all that great... they kind of fell apart.  But they were seasoned with chili powder and cinnamon - the flavour was excellent!


What's Up Wednesday #5

Lemon poppy seed oatmeal!  Again using this bottomless oatmeal recipe, and adapting the flavouring from The Oatmeal Artist.  Notes on the oatmeal: You have to let this stuff simmer for about 2 hours - as long as possible, really.  The idea is to force the grains to absorb as much water as possible.  Also, leave the lid on your pot - this will keep the water in, and force it to be absorbed.  The more liquid that escapes, the smaller the portion!  However, I have ended up having to leave the lid off for a few minutes right before I eat the oatmeal, in order to not have it SO liquidy.  To the oats I added: juice of 1 lemon, a bit less than 1/2 mashed banana, ~2 tsp poppy seeds, ~1/4 cup sugar free maple syrup, ~3 tbsp baking stevia, and ~ 2 tsp cinnamon.

More oatmeal (again, using the bottomless oats recipe), this time with CHOCOLATE!  Yay, giant bowl of chocolate [oats] in my tummy right now!  Basically, I added 1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder, a few hazlenuts, and a whole pile of stevia, adapted from Chocolawty.  Uh, YUM!  (You know, this really makes me think that I need to get some stevia extract.  All of this powdered stevia is getting a bit overwhelming... )

Attempted, and HATED, this cereal.  Erm... wow, epic fail, right there, guys!

I started a new anime - Soul Eater.  Boy, I am SUCH an anime freak.

My computer totally got infected with a virus on Friday, and I spent all Friday and the better part of Saturday babying the poor thing.  Luckily, M and I were able to fix it, and all is well now... I hope!

Guess what!  Home made lemonade: 1/2 lemon to 1 cup water, and stevia to taste.  YUM!  It's so easy, why haven't I tried this before?


Rice, Black Bean Sauce, Grilled Veggie and Seitan

I very quickly learned that this was not a summertime dish.

But, after sweating through an hour of having 3 burners on (I made ramen soup on the same night)...

I was more than happy with the results!

The sauce was just right, and how I DO love paninied veggies!

First up, cook up some brown rice.
Next up, saute a hefty amount of chopped garlic in a sauce pan, then add 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, 1/2 cup water, 1 scant tbsp nooch, generous tbsp soy sauce, 1/2 tsp worchestire sauce (Annie's is vegan), scant tsp onion powder, 1 bay leaf, 1/4 tsp powdered ginger, 2 tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp cumin, 2 tsp dried or fresh (remember fresh is better!) oregano, liquid smoke, juice of 1 large lime... whew, I think that's it!  Oh, right, mix up a corn starch slurry and add that too.  Then let your mixture bubble away for abut half an hour, until nice and thick.  It will taste veeeeeeery good, I promise!
Finally, grill up some sliced bell pepper and onion on a panini press, and add seitan strips (the first recipe) when they are about 2/3 done. 
Finally, plate everything up!

This looks really complex, but it's not, really.  PROMISE.

Dessert Plate

Yes, I really did eat all of this.  No, I'm not fat ;)

So, I suppose you want to know what was on my plate of decadence!  (BTW: I work out for 2 hours every Saturday, so I eat dessert.  It all comes out a wash, you know?)

Going from left to right, top to bottom:
2) Single serving pb cookies from Foodie Fiasco (using PB2, and baking - I think microwaved things taste funny)
3) Home made candied almonds.  A work in progress, definately, but here's what I did (adapted from VegWeb).  In a small pot over medium heat, combine 2/3 cup water, 3/4 cup stevia, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and 1 tsp guar gum.  Bring to a boil-ish and add ~1/2 cup almonds.  Keep stirring, and the mixture will caramelize/reduce, and become more of a coating for the almonds.  At this point I stopped, dumped the almonds onto wax paper coated with nonstick spray, and cooled them.  Next time I will try baking them and see if the coating hardens up.
4) (next row) Lemon pistachio rice crispie bar from Chocolawty!  Woooooooowwwwwwwwwwwww!  These babies are amazing!  The lemon and pistachio is such a genious combination.  Changes: halved the recipe, used lemon zest in place of lemon extract, used sugar free maple syrup in place of rice syrup, pulverized pistachios in my Vitamix for the pistachio butter, used powdered stevia in place of stevia extract, skipped the protein powder (I might have used another flour in it's place, but I can't remember), subbed stevia + soy milk for the honey, used shredded coconut in place of the coconut oil, and skipped the jam (forgot it, actually).
Wow, that was a LOT! ;)
5) Cookie dough from Chocolawty!  This stuff is made with chickpeas.  I FINALLY got up my courage to make a dessert with chickpeas... and I won't lie, you can kind of tell it's not your normal flour and butter.  But that does NOT mean it tastes bad - it's just different.  I will totally be having more chickpea desserts in the future - they're good, in their own right.  Surprisingly good, really.  Changes: halved recipe, stevia + molasses for the brown sugar, used straight up almonds in place of almond butter, and used more stevia in place of the stevia extract.
6) PB pretzel nuggets, store bought goodness.  I REALLY can't get enough of these things.
7) Home made chocolate covered almonds.  You melt chocolate chips in the microwave and dip your almonds in there.  Hm... sounds hard! ;)  Hey, it just struck me, I should do double dipped almonds next time... they WERE a bit skimpy on the chocolate!
8) Whew!  Ok, so I have redesigned these Chocolate PB Pretzel Sandwiches.  You mix PB2, stevia, and soy milk to form a paste, sandwich that between pretzels, and smother it in melted chocolate.  MUCH healthier, and I can now make just the right amount for me! 


Mushroom-y Burgers

Yeah, there are more than a MILLION veggie burger recipes out there.

 So, really, this one is just a drop in the bucket.

 So, tell me, does it look like I care?  I'm gonna post this, either way! ;)

Adapted from WTHDAVEA

In a blender (I used Mister V), finely chop/blend 1/2 lb criminis, 1/2 carrot, 1 small red onion, and 1 clove garlic.  Don't sweat it if there are a few big chunks.  (The mixture will look pretty gross... sorry!)  Pour into a frying pan, and saute for about 8 minutes to get the onions cooked.  Stir together with 1/2 cup dried quinoa cooked with 3/4 cup water, ~1/4 cup nooch, ~1/2 cup flavoured bread crumbs, 1 tbsp flax meal, paprika, a bit of bbq sauce, Italian seasoning, and a splash of soy sauce.  Cook for ~20 minutes on a panini press (just plop some blobs on the press and kind of shape them into burgers).  Serve with buns, pickles, burger-tofu-mayo, and cheeze sauce.