Where We Live

This is all I’ve got for today. It says it all.

Soup, Cookies and the Fate of the Baby Artichokes

I love soup weather. This one is Udon with Shiitakes and Kale in broth. Well, almost. I used chard instead and added the seitan. If I could only make one soup for the rest of my life, this might be it. It’s perfect for lunch.

Here’s what became of the baby artichokes! I fried them as suggested at the PPK and they were really good! They remind me a little of brussel sprouts. Even though I put them in water with lemon juice before cooking them, I couldn’t believe how quickly they were turning brown.

This is also my first attempt at homemade gnocchi (VwaV). Eh. The dough should have been stiffer (or something). Maybe I should try some made the right way before I attempt them again. I think I need gnocchi therapy. The sauce is a tomato, sundried tomato, roasted red pepper concoction that was really good though. The Roasted Mushrooms are from V’con. We’ve had them a bunch of times.

I’ve been slacking on doing test lately. But I still managed to make these Bakery Style Double Chocolate Chip Cookies from Autumn Vegan and Garrick. These have to be tasted to be believed.

Tonight’s Dinner: Chipotle Quesadillas.


Yay! We made it there during open hours. The food was wonderful and completely worth the drives. Both drives- even the time they were closed. It was a snowy, cold day.

The restaurant has a kind of industrial/white table cloth vibe. Very crisp and clean. Considering the fact that it’s in Akron (which is historically a rubber/steel city), they really did a terrific job being part of the environment. There are pictures of vegan actors and musicians displayed and an elegant, yet comfortable monochromatic feeling.

Lunch is served from 11-3 Monday through Friday. We started with the Italian Banana Peppers filled with Fresh Herb Risotto and Soy Mozzarella with Fresh Basil Lime Sauce. These really weren’t my thing, but my husband loved them. I could tell they were prepared well, I’m just not crazy about that kind of pepper texture. It’s me.

Then we both had a cup of soup. Honest, they didn’t serve it to me sloppy looking like that. I’d eaten some before I took the picture. It’s Minestrone alla Genovese. It was really tomatoey and had a good balance of spices.

Jim got the “Tuscan Garden Steak Panini.” It was good…and came with a delicious side salad with olives, chick peas and tomatoes and some kind of Italian style dressing. (This sounds like one of their appetizers for dinner, if you add feta and crustini on the side).

My “Rockin’ Burger” was the very best thing we ordered. The menu says it’s a veggie burger from the famous “Corky’s”. I’m a little stymied by that, but googled it and found that there is a Corky’s restaurant in Canton that serves a vegan burger… it may be the same and it may not. It came with red onion, balsamic ketchup and a side salad with an amazing aged balsamic dressing. The bun was whole wheat and really soft, but didn’t fall apart at all. Yeah, I was impressed. We both agreed that it was the best vegan burger we’d ever had.

The Bakery had 2 pies: an apple and a strawberry rhubarb which looked the same except for the filling. The only thing this place needs is a kick-ass vegan baker, and it would really be stellar. As it is, I’m not complaining. Well, maybe I am just a little-I wish it were closer to us. It’s an hour and a half drive.

They were pretty busy for a Monday lunch and while the menu is vegan, it isn’t intimidating for meat eaters. I’d guess the majority of the people in the restaurant were omni, judging from the conversations we overheard…. and the fur and leather coats which abounded. But that’s ok, at least they were trying something new and supporting the place. (Look at me! I’m a little ray of sunshine on a cloudy day. Or trying to be. I have a good attitude about people wearing animal skins.)

Here are a few more pictures. I didn’t take any of the dining room because of the other customers and the flash. They’re open for lunch from 11- 3 Monday through Friday and for dinners starting at 5. They only serve dinner on Saturday. This purple in the Bakery/Coffee Shop is the only real color I saw, except for the flowers on the table. You can see part of the patio, too. It would be wonderful in the summer!

There are a couple of art galleries nearby but they weren’t open when we were there. I’ve also heard that Akron has a great art museum, too.

The servers and hostess were wonderfully friendly and someone from the kitchen brought out one of dishes and also made small talk. Everyone was really warm.

I can’t wait to go back for dinner! I’m still regretting the fact that we didn’t get the Tuscan Fries with Rosemary Soy Butter and Tofu Ricotta that “Chrissie promises are the best fries you’ve ever had.” I’m thinking they’re the best fries that I didn’t have. Next time.

Check out the menus. Lunch first. The bottom four scans are dinner.

If Puttanesca and Piccata Had a Love Child….

That’s what she’d look like. And here is what she is made of.

Love Child Pasta
1Tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup sliced shallots
1/2 cup red onion, sliced thinly
1/2 red peppers, thinly sliced
handful or two of olives, cut in 1/2
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic or more
8 oz chicken seitan (about 1 1/2 cups) in chubby little chunks
6 oz bag of spinach
4 artichoke hearts, cut a little
1 Tbsp capers
1/3 cup sundried tomatoes (I used the oil kind, drained)
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (for seitan)
1 Tbsp white wine (for seitan)
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp basil
1 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup white wine
salt and pepper
12 oz pasta (cook it)

This is gonna be a little loose (we’re talking a love child here), but here goes.
Heat the oil in the pan to saute the seitan. When it’s kinda done, add the tablespoons of the vinegar and the wine. When absorbed/evaporated, remove the seitan.. add a little more oil to the pan if you need it. Start cooking the veggies in this order, adding some when the earlier one is done: shallots and onions, then red peppers, then shrooms and garlic… artichoke hearts, capers, sundried toms, olives. Add the spices to taste ( you may need a little more). Cook a minute, then deglaze with the 1/2 cup wine, add the lemon juice and spinach. Let the wine reduce and the spinach cook, check for salt and pepper, then toss it all with pasta.

Super flexible and easy recipe, once your chopping is done.

Flexible and easy.. no wonder there is a Love Child.

We finally made it to Vegiterranean when it was open! We had a wonderful lunch- details tomorrow!

Seitan au Poivre

This is going to be a quickie post because I’m having too much fun in the kitchen today, but thought I’d blog about last night’s dinner. It’s a recipe from Bryanna Clark Grogan– and it is super simple and is a total seitan pepper bomb. Really addictive! We had it with rice pilaf and asparagus. Everything is better with asparagus, by the way. I spent my first 30 some years hating it and now I can’t get enough.

Here’s what I’ve got cooking in the kitchen:

Chicken Cutlets (Bryanna) -for the freezer
Seitan Cutlets in the crockpot (Bryanna) – for the freezer
Chipotle Seitan (DEOTS) – for Wednesday night, if not before. I promised an omni friend quesadillas.

This is all really cool, except now I want cookies. We’ll see.

Ooooh– one more thing. If you email Bryanna and ask her nicely, she’ll email you some recipes to try from her newsletter.