Thursday, October 25, 2012

Quick and Easy BBQ Sandwiches

 When I say "quick and easy", I'm not kidding. You might already have thought of this, but in case you haven't or you need a reminder, here it is: mix some bbq sauce (most brands are vegan) with some (drained and rinsed) canned beans, heat it if you want, and slap it on a bun. Seriously, that's it. Add some corn and mashed potatoes for a very midwestern take on "2 veg and a protein". This is one of those things that's good to make if you're cooking more than one meal for your family and don't want to be overwhelmed by more than one complicated thing at a time. It's really good, really quick, and just a comforting, nice meal.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Chickpea and Leek Soup

This yummy soup comes from Jamie Oliver. I've simplified it, veganized it, and made it several times-- that's quite a testament, because there are many things that I only make once or twice. I love the combo of butter (margarine) and olive oil and it's all just very tasty. And so quick and easy that it's perfect for these days when we're never sure if it'll be chilly or not. Without further ado... the recipe:

Makes about 8 cups
  • 1 tablespoon margarine
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  •  1 clove garlic (optional)
  • about 4 cups sliced leek (about 2 leeks)
  • 2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (I use Swanson Flavor Boost packets mixed with water bc they're cheaper and take up less room)
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
  • Prep your leeks: remove tough green parts, rinse the outsides, and slice into thin rings. Rinse very well in a colander or salad spinner. Lay on a towel to somewhat dry if using a colander, spin the thingy if using a salad spinner. This can be done a couple of days in advance if you want. Also, whatever I don't use in the soup, I freeze in baggies and it's so easy to just scoop a 1/2 cup or so out for stirfrys, pasta, or whatever you're making later.
  • Add leeks, margarine, oil, and minced garlic to a pot. Cook over medium heat until leeks are fragrant.
  • Add chickpeas and cook until slightly toasty.
  • Add veggie broth and water and bring to a boil.
  • Add nutritional yeast if you want (I think it enhances the taste).
  • Eat a bowlful, curled up on the couch-- or at a table if that's your thing.
  • Enjoy!
Per cup: cals: 155kcal | fat: 3.85g | carbs: 27.98g | prot: 7.57g

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Birthday Cake!

My birthday was last Friday and my sweet, sweet husband got me a vegan cake! He called everywhere in town, and guess what? There is not a single slice of vegan cake being sold anywhere in or near Wichita Falls, Texas. One bakery, Margie's Sweet Shop, is actually testing recipes and should have a vegan option in the next six months-- so, "yay!" for my next birthday, if we're still here then. Anyway, the only other option for purchasing a bakery cake was to get it shipped, which turns out is really expensive. Sooo... my dear, creative husband paid one of his classmates to make one! (Thank you, Jessi!) It was delicious, and made even more delicious by the fact that it was a surprise and that I didn't have to make it myself! I love cooking, but I make almost every morsel that goes in my mouth, and I love getting a break. So thank hubby, for a great day and for such a wonderful surprise!

I also got an air popper (I've been having popcorn almost every day, yum!) and a cherry pitter (I haven't had a chance to get to the store to buy cherries yet.... so that one's waiting to be used), and a target gift card (woohoo!), and various monies from parents and grandparents (thanks guys!).

On a different note, my camera died the other day. It most of the time now will only take insanely overexposed pictures, so pics on the blog for now will probably be ipod or phone quality, but I hope to get a new one at some point!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Avocado Fries

Crispy, crunchy, creamy, vegan baked avocado fries. Is this too good to be true? Nope. Dangerous? Yes. These are crazy-ridiculously good.

I've had the idea for these kicking around for awhile, but I couldn't figure out how to make the coating stick-- mustard is the perfect solution and adds great flavor (this method is also great for tofu nuggets, but more on that later).

Makes 16 fries-- with cal info for each one individually, so you can decide how many you want!
  • an avocado
  • 1/4 cup mustard-- any kind you like, I've used dijon and spicy brown
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs 
  • Slice your avocado into 16 slices-- I find if I cut it into 4's I can peel the skin off and keep the avo intact.
  • Using a fork and your fingers, coat each piece in mustard, scraping a bit off so that it's not too thick.
  • Then coat it in the breadcrumbs, patting it down to ensure good stick-age. At this point, remember to use one hand for wet (the mustard) and the other for dry (the breadcrumbs), or you'll end up with a crazy battered claw-hand.
  • Also, panko breadcrumbs are sold in the Asian or baking section, and they're lighter and crispier than regular breadcrumbs and they don't have any cheese in them, which so many breadcrumbs do.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 8 minutes, flip, and bake for another 5 minutes.
  • These lose their crisp after a while, so warm up in the oven if you store them for later.
  • These are super great on their own, no dipping sauce required (for me, at least). Eat up!
Per fry: cals: 31kcal | fat: 1.71g | carbs: 2.72g | prot: 0.49g

Check out that creamy center and crispy exterior, and if you look closely, you can see the mustard sandwiched in between!