Junk Food with Waffles

Ok, I’ll admit it right off. This isn’t the healthiest post I’ve made, but what the hell. Over the last few days, we’ve had some great tasting food and that is what really matters.

Just to make a healthful effort (first impressions are everything, right?), here are the Blueberry Waffles from today’s breakfast. Believe it or not, it’s the chocolate walnut waffle from V’con (minus the cocoa, nuts and chips) with blueberries added. What a delicious breakfast- with perfect waffle crispness which can sometimes elude me.

Next up: tempura. There’s been some talk at the PPK about deep fryers and it had been years (I mean years) since we’d had tempura. I followed Isa’s recipe which is based off Tofu 666′s recipe with club soda. The dipping sauce is leftover Vietnamese Seitan Sandwich dipping sauce just thickened up a little. That ghostly white blob in the back is rice.

Just to round out our junk food weekend, we also had pizza. I made peanut brittle for my husband, too. I hate nuts so haven’t tried it, but supposedly it’s good. I’ll never know for sure. 57 Five Star reviews at Recipezaar can’t be all wrong.

Tonight’s dinner: Spinach Lasagna from Yellow Rose Recipes with my first vegan cheesecake for dessert!

New Cookbook Fun

My copy of Yellow Rose Recipes came before Christmas but with the holidays, I didn’t do much besides flip through it. I just got to try a couple of the recipes… here they are.

This is the Black Bean Soup. The text says it is the only black bean soup recipe you’ll ever need and I have to agree. I was reluctant to try it since I’m kind of tied to my own version, but I had that new cookbook itch. This recipe blew mine away. My husband came home from work and I casually said, “Taste the soup. Let me know if you think it needs anything.” His reply was, “Ohmygod, it’s so good. Let’s eat right now. ” So we did, with the cornbread (recipe below) I always make along side. I make the cornbread in a small cast iron skillet. Feel free to add herbs (rosemary is great!) or to increase the sugar if you prefer sweeter cornbread.

We also tried the Mustard Seitan Cutlets. If anyone knows even a little about my veganism, they know that I’m a seitan fanatic. Try these and you will be, too. They’re easy, quick and would even impress omnis. Full of flavor! I paired it with the Baked Risotto from VeganYumYum for a really fantastic meal.

Dinner tonight: Pizza and Salad.

Dana Sly’s Cornbread
This cornbread not only won the Blue Ribbon at the Iowa State Fair, but was also published by Cook’s Illustrated. Dana was 11 years old at the time.
Serves 9

2 Tbsp. ground flax seed
6 Tbsp. water
1 C all-purpose flour
1 C cornmeal
1/4 C sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. table salt
1 C soy milk
1/4 C canola oil

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 425 degrees. Spray 8-inch-square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the ground flax seed, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer the ground flax seed in the water for 3 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt until well-combined.
  4. Add the ground flax seed mixture, soy milk, and canola oil to the flour mixture. Beat just until smooth (do not overbeat.)
  5. Turn into prepared baking pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  6. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes; invert cornbread onto wire rack, then turn right side up and continue to cool until warm, about 10 minutes longer. Cut into pieces and serve.

Looking Forward to 2008

I read somewhere that it is traditional to have a noodle dish for New Year’s. It was an Eastern custom and the long noodles signified long life and all kinds of good stuff. It’s not as if I needed an excuse to do something with noodles or Asian food. I could eat Asian food nearly every day and never tire of it. I’ve been accused of trying to do that with our menus if I tell the truth. Last night’s dinner used a variation on the peanut sauce from VwaV tossed with noodles, topped with a stir fry of broccoli, snow peas, red peppers and seitan.

Over the weekend, I had this terrific idea for a red pepper and portobello panini sandwich, with a side salad dressed with a balsamic maple dressing. Instead, we ended up with this French Onion Soup. The mushrooms didn’t look so hot and the greens weren’t so green. The soup turned out ok.

We also had another version of Tofu666′s Marsala. This time with seitan made from V’con. That seitan recipe is my all time favorite. It helps that it’s so easy, too. From now on, I’m making it in batches 2 1/2 times the recipe size so I can keep some in the freezer. The Marsala is so different made with seitan! It’s an awesome recipe and delicious both ways.

While they aren’t resolutions, I have some goals for 2008.

  1. Eat less sugar (except for cookie testing, of course),
  2. Learn to make sushi,
  3. Learn to make pierogies,
  4. Experiment with more grains,
  5. Exercise once in a while (it won’t kill me!),
  6. Learn to really use our camera so I can take better pictures,
  7. Scour the net for more great vegan recipes from bloggers,
  8. Increase my awareness about my own actions,
  9. Be less reclusive so that I can…..
  10. Be a better advocate for veganism.

Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year, filled with new experiences and much happiness.

Other Food from VegiTerranean

In case you were wondering what else we had:

Spaghettini with Marinara and Gardein Meatballs

We’ve been eating nearly the same thing every time we’ve been to the restaurant and decided we had to shake it up this time. We don’t get there often enough so we still want that burger that is the best vegan burger ever… so branching out was a big step. The marinara sauce kind of had a California feel to it, very fresh tasting. The meatballs had a lot of fennel to them and were ok. I was never much of a meatball eater so they didn’t floor me. Jim really enjoyed it, but I was much happier with what I ordered.

Chicken Panini with Balsamic Tomatoes

This sandwich was fantastic! I was a little afraid of trying the Gardein chicken. Most ‘meat’ substitutes really turn me off. (There was a particularly bad experience with tofu dogs). But considering how much I love seitan, I tried to rationalize that it wouldn’t really be that different and was worth a try. The flavor was great and the texture was very chickeny but not in a bad way.

We’re already looking forward to going again. This is the only restaurant that we really feel safe eating in and it’s worth the drive. At this point, as much as I love the food, I’d go back just for that cheesecake!

Forget My Earlier Post About a Baker

Disregard my previous comments about the idea that Vegiterranean needs a baker. Apparently they had one the whole time…. it seems all the desserts were selling out before I could get any. Clearly a good sign. But just to update things, since my earlier post I’ve had 3 desserts there but only got a picture of one of them: The Cheesecake. It deserves capitals since it’s the best cheesecake (vegan or not) that I’ve ever had. I’m not sure what it’s made from but it’s going to launch me on a vegan cheesecake making marathon that probably won’t be the healthiest thing. I’m already researching recipes. I can’t wait to get started!

We’ve also tried the apple cranberry pie which was delicious. The most visually stunning dessert we had there (when I didn’t have the camera!) was a key lime napoleon. Wow! It had avocado in it (I’m looking for key lime/avocado recipe, too) and was fantastic! The napoleon crisp part reminded me of those waffles we used to get at the fair, whatever they’re called. I’m wondering if they deep fried phyllo dough? They weren’t oily at all, though…..questions, questions.

If you have a cheesecake recipe you love or know about the key/lime avocado idea, please let me know! I’d be super grateful.