Vegetarian Family

A Peek @ Food We Eat & Things We Do!

Friday, June 30, 2006

Moosewood & Crockpot

I'd heard so many wonderful things about the Moosewood Cookbook, that I wanted to see for myself. I snagged this one on ebay, and it's a 1977, hardback edition. (Are they all? Curious if there was only one pressing?) This is one of the most charming cookbooks I've seen. It has wonderful hand-drawn illustrations and scripts, recipe notes, and personal touches. It's as if a friend wrote down all her favorite recipes and artfully doodled on each page. It's hard to describe, so look:

How cute is this picture titled 'How To Eat A Tostada'? ~ underneath the drawing is an entire paragraph on how to eat ~ ending with:

"...Eat it sitting down, holding the plate under your chin to pick-up what drops as you progress from one end of the tostada to the other. If you need two hands to eat it, find a trusted friend to hold up your plate for you."

Here is part of the page for 'Cream of Asparagus' Soup. This book is vegetarian, which I suspect could easily be veganized. Any Moosewood fans out there? Which recipes have you tried? Veganized any of them?

I also picked up this little cookbook on ebay. The recipes are divided by countries: Passions of Italy, Colors of Mexico, Asian Delights, Irish Epicurean Delights, America's Favorites, and Slow-Cooker Desserts. I'm looking forward to cooking our first meal in the Slow Cooker ~ just throwing everything in, setting the timer, forgetting about it, & seemingly insta-meal. Any Crock Pot fans?

Dori first got me interested in getting another Slow Cooker - we sold ours years ago when we went veggie thinking it was just for meat. Silly us! Anyhow, we're back in business, and we were happily surprised to find that our new Crock Pot was expecting....when we unpacked her, she had this cute 'Little Dipper' inside. Perfect for hot dips like Creamy Spinach Dip, Chocolate Fondue, Artichoke Dip, etc. Nice bonus.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Carrot-Raisin Muffins & Easy Pleasin' Oat Bars

Liv loves to help in the kitchen, and I'm pleased that she enjoys cooking. My little kitchen helper is especially good at stirring the dry ingredients while I mix the wet. I usually call off the items as I measure and toss in the bowl, and she gets especially excited when I start working with the teaspoons. When I say "teaspoon" she hears "tastespoon" and wants to sample everything with these cute little spoons that must be for tasting. It tickles me so much. Here she is concentrating very hard on keeping the flour, sugar, etc. in the bowl.

Her favorite thing to cook is muffins, and I decided on the 'Carrot-Raisin Muffins' in VwaV. It's a good stand-by recipe because we usually have all the ingredients on hand, and they were good. They aren't the most exciting muffin I've ever tasted, but they were all gone before I cleaned up the kitchen. Sometimes good is better than exciting when you're really hungry.

I had 2 overripe bananas, and like a sleep-walker, I opened up Vive for the 'Banana Oat Bundles', but I glanced at the 'Easy Pleasin' Oat Bars' and decided to toss the sorry bananas and make these instead. Why? Well, I had made the bundles quite a bit, and had never made these. Plus, I think it'd be kinda cool to have made every recipe in Vive before Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan! comes out. It'll be a toughie, because it's hard not to get stuck on one recipe and make it over & over instead of trying a different one. Anyhow, with the Oat Bars, Dreena suggests adding different flavors and textures, so I added Let's Do Organic coconut and chocolate chips. These easily pleased me! They are delicious & nutritious.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Orange-Glazed Beets, Quick Asparagus Saute, & Creamy Hummus

I really love beets, especially the orange ones. They are less messy than the red and the flavor is so sweet. I had some organic beets on hand, and instead of making them my regular way, I decided to turn to the cookbooks. I found 'Orange-Glazed Beets' in VwaV and busted out my veggie peeler - something I never use when it comes to beets. What I usually do is trim off the top and boil - leaving on the skin. Then after the beet cools, voila! the skin just slides off - leaving a naturally juicy beet. I'll go back to doing that next time. For the asparagus, I also decided to use a recipe and found Dreena's 'Quick Asparagus Saute' in TEV. The asparagus was perfect! But inquiring minds ask, "Why does asparagus make your pee smell funny?" On the plate, you also see: lemon for the asparagus, fresh apricot, & citrus sparerib cutlets.

Earlier that day, we were famished! I kicked into auto-pilot and made Dreena's 'Creamy Hummus' from Vive by heart. It's because I *heart* this recipe! I threw some fresh parsley in the food processor for some added zing, and topped off with a fresh tomato. This was gone in no time at all!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


We eat more than toothpaste. Well, most of us do, though Olivia might be happy enough to just eat the toothpaste off the brush and skip meals. Don't get me wrong, she does a good job brushing, but wants several rounds of toothpaste per toothbrushing session. We have 3 bathrooms, so I'm prepared with toothpaste/brushes in each, cuz ya never know when the urge will strike. Yesterday, she brushed her teeth about 8 times with at least 2 different kinds of paste each round, and would have more if I hadn't redirected her...

Here's our toothpaste line-up:

1) Top row: this is the grown-ups' all-time favorite: Nature's Gate Herbal Creme de Mint.
2) Second row: with 3 vertical tubes, and a 4th tube being swiped is: Logodent Kids Zahngel Erdbeere (which is German for strawberry....I think - it's an old, empty tube), Gerber Natural Mixed Berry, Tom's of Maine silly strawberry, Logodent Zahngel (with a different package and design, different paste?)
3) Nature's Plus Animal Parade very-cherry
4) Doctor Burt's Orange Cream

My mission was two-fold: 1.) Which was her favorite toothpaste? 2.) Exactly what was in the toothpaste? After several taste tests, we had a winner! *drum roll, please!* Hands down, she chose Doctor Burt's! I was surprised because the label is boring and it's orange flavored. (all the others are sweet strawberry or cherry jel) But mostly, I was pleased to read the label: (filtered water, vegetable glycerin, natural chalk, natural clay, orange oil, baking soda, yucca extract, vegetable oil & beta carotene, xanthan gum.) Other than the last thing, I know what it is, so I'm feeling much better about my daughter's toothpaste tendencies.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Glazed Citrus Scones & Daisies

I was at the Post Punk Kitchen and read in one of the forums how The Urban Vegan made VwaV's Glazed Orange Scones with lemons instead. I love lemon, & that sounded amazing so I had to give it a try. I went to the fridge and only had a 1/2 lemon and 3 limes. My wheels were already in motion and decided to make do with what I had, so I made mine citrus. (this photo was taken the next day after a store run) The scones keep really well in the fridge and allows for the glaze to harden, though I admit to eating 2 hot & sticky ones right off the press. The scones are surprisingly easy to make and oh so delicious. My new favorite ingredient is zest!

I had to include some flowers from the garden since they echo the yellow & green of the lemon & lime. The colors of summer!

Four girlfriends & I are throwing a baby shower for a dear friend. For the menu, we'll each bring a bread item along with a fruit or veggie item. I'm seriously considering these scones, only with the intended orange flavor. Any menu ideas for me? A bread item? A fruit or veggie dish?

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Toasted Quinoa Salad

This dish was inspired by Creative Kismet (link to see a slightly different recipe w/a fresh photo, and lots of other cool things), who was inspired by Vegetarian Times May/June 2006 issue. I was taken with the recipe for two reasons ~ first because she toasted the quinoa, and second because she didn't rinse the quinoa first to remove the natural bitterness. No bitterness here ~ just a more nutty, toasted, earthy, groovy flavor. Thanks for the recipe & inspiration!

This is what I did:
1/2 C. Almond Slivers
1 C. Quinoa
2 C. Water
1 Carton Grape Tomatoes
1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
1/4 C. finely chopped Parsley
1/4 C. Olive Oil
3 Tbs. Fresh Lemon Juice

1. Toast almonds in a skillet over medium heat 4-5 minutes, or until fragrant and golden brown. Set aside.
2. Toast quinoa in the same skillet over medium heat 4-5 minutes or until light brown and beginning to pop. Stir in sea salt and 2 Cups water. Cover, and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, and simmer 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Transfer to serving bowl and let cool.
3. Add all other ingredients. Garnish with lemon wedges and parsley. Creative Kismet served hers on a bed of lettuce, which is lovely.

Check the Vegan Club for more quinoa recipes!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Potato Chickpea Garlic Soup

Inspired by Michelle of Tiger the Lion, who was inspired by Jess of Get Sconed!, who was in turn inspired by this recipe. I was looking through some emails I had sent myself with recipes I'd seen on blogs that I wanted to try someday. This one caught my eye again, so I decided to make it even though it's hot as H - E - Double Toothpick outside.

This is what I used:
4 C. Vegetable Stock
2 C. Water
10 Whole Cloves Garlic, halved
1/2 Red Onion, quartered
1 Stalk Celery, cut into 4 big pieces
1 Can Chickpeas
1 Lg. Potato, washed & diced + skin left on
Sea Salt & Pepper to taste

Put everything except the salt and pepper into a large pot, cover, bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 mins, until potatoes are super soft. Puree in the food processor, reserving some whole chickpeas. Return to pot, season with salt and pepper to taste.

I garnished mine with fresh basil from the garden, and some heart biscuits I made with extra dough from the "weiner wraps". This soup was so easy to make, and I'm a potato & garbanzo fiend, so I was happy with the results. Thanks for the inspiration everyone!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

"Weiner Wraps"

Back in April I attempted some weiner wraps and they could have chipped a tooth they were so hard. So I was happy to see a weiner wrap recipe in The Vegan Family Cookbook. The dough is really easy to make, and is actually a "drop biscuit" recipe. I wonder if the book has a typo, because it calls for 3/5 C. Olive Oil ~ none of my measuring cups work with fifths, so I did slightly less than 3/4 and it all worked out fine. Is the 3/5 odd to you? Anyhow, I rolled out the dough, gave some to Liv to roll out too, cut the dough to size, covered the Tofu Pups up, and put them in the oven. Easy.

The dough was light and fluffy, and really perfect! I served the weiner wraps with naturally sweetened applesauce (no high fructose corn syrup), 2 grape eyes, and a celery stick smile ~ and you can see the other smile this meal produced! I really like this new cookbook!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Midweek Munchies & Cookbooks

Harmonias Midweek Munchies Meme
A Veg*n Meme

What wonderful foods did you bring home from the grocery store?

Midweek Munchies: What VICKI is contributing for the week ~ but first, new cookbooks:

The Vegan Family Cookbook ~ Table of Contents: snacks & dips, soups, salads & dressings, vegetables, side dishes, breakfast, lunch, dinner, beverages, breads, desserts, miscellanious recipes, glossery, conversion chart, a well-stocked vegan pantry, and a protein list ~ over 400 recipes! There aren't any photos, but the book makes up for that in it's simple format and extra room for notes. I already cooked one recipe from this cookbook (post later) and can tell that I'm going to love this book.

Healthy Cooking for your Kids ~ This book isn't vegan or even vegetarian, but I picked it up because it looked worthy of $5. Table of Contents: nutrition, breakfast, lunchs & lunchboxes, party, family meals, & treats. There are some vegan friendly recipes: fruit smoothies, cereal fruit cupcakes, tomato soup, souffled baked potatoes, apple + carrot muffins, couscous salad w/roasted butternut squash, crispy vegetable bake, & others. There is a photo on every page along with fun serving suggestions.

Now, Midweek Munchies. This list represents approx. 2 weeks worth of groceries, and 4 chain grocery store receipts + 2 Co-op receipts. * = organic

Van. Silk
Plain Silk
4X Morningstar Breakfast Strips
Chix Nuggets
Veggie Ham Slices
Morningstar Pattys
Smart Ground
*Nasoya Silken Tofu
Shedds Soybean Margarine

*Dried Blueberries
*Sweet Brown Rice
*Adzuki Beans
*Unbleached White Flour

* Pure Maple Syrup
Dijon Mustard
Kettle Chips
Flax Seed Bread
*2X Cannellini Beans
*Pacific Veg Broth
Black Eyed Peas
*Vanilla Extract

*Red Seedless Grapes
Yukon Potatoes
Russet Potatoes
Pasilla Peppers
Portobello Mushrooms
Red Bell Pepper
*Gold Beets
Yellow Onion
*Collard Greens

2X Fuchs Jr. Natural Toothbrush
Logodent Strawberry Kids Toothpaste
Burt's Bees Kid's Toothpaste
Nature's Gate Herbal Creme de Mint Toothpaste

Links to other Midweek Munchies

(If you participate, leave your link in the comments and I'll post it below; or, you can post in the comments)

Click here for the Midweek Munchies code
Click here for Harmonia's blog

Trackbacks, pings, and comment links are accepted and encouraged!
Technorati Tag:

A special thanks to Running2Ks and Rift for all of their help with coding, graphics, and encouragement for this project.

PURPOSE of Midweek Munchies: Put together by a small group of Veg Women, we hope to spread the word about healthy vegetarianism while obtaining idea starters for meals, recipes, learn about new products, and meet other female veg*n bloggers. Visiting and commenting on other participants lists are encouraged but not required. Have fun and Go Veg!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Happy Father's Day!

I'm a proponent of beginning with dessert, and I'm so pleased to begin with 'Coconut Heaven Cupcakes' from Vegan with a Vengeance. These are easily the best cupcakes I've ever made (vegan & non), and possibly the best I've ever eaten. They are dense coconut cupcakes topped off with fluffy coconut icing. I used coconut extract instead of vanilla in the cakes & icing, let's do organic coconut, and topped them with a blueberry for color. The recipe should really come with a warning label for dieters "You can't eat just one". I'm telling ya...these are so delicious, and if you like coconut, you will LOVE these cupcakes.

Olivia painted a picture for Art. She said it had a yellow and a blue sun. She made finger prints all over and fingerpainted a bird. We only had blue, yellow, & red ~ and she mixed to also have orange, green, & purple. Every year, I pick out a new bedtime story and write Happy Father's Day & the year with a Sharpie. This year, I picked up, "What Am I?" It's a really cute animal guessing game book. Speaking of guessing on.

While she painted, I made 'Banana Bread' from "The Vegan Family Cookbook", which touts that this will be the best banana bread you will ever have! It is really good. Among other ingredients, this recipe call for egg replacer, 2 very ripe bananas, soy milk, & silken tofu. The bread also fills the house with a wonderful aroma, and I think this loaf would have gotten more attention if it weren't for the coconut cupcakes! (the only downside of beginning with dessert)

A guessing game: What vegetable do you think this is? Hints: It has thick skin, golden roots with purple shoulders. They are carrot-sweet and slightly peppery, with a golden flesh that tastes like a cross between a turnip and a yellow-fleshed sweet potato. Here is the mystery vegetable after being peeled, cubed and boiled. Below, you'll see it mashed with soybean margarine & sea salt. Comment on your mystery veggie guess & I'll comment back later with the answer.

I had a lot of fun cooking Art's Father's Day dinner. I began cleaning the collard greens by cutting out the spine, folding the leaf in half, & cutting into strips. I put the collard greens into a large pot, covered with water, added some sea salt, & brought to a boil, reducing the heat for an hour. Then, I changed the water, added some onion & soybean margarine and brought to a boil again. In a skillet, I browned each side of the Veats Bites, then added some Island Teriyaki sauce by Soy Vay along with some fresh green beans and a half can of pineapple ~ & let that simmer together. On the plate you see: a dual bed of mashed mystery vegetable and jasmine rice, topped with collard greens and veats bites & a thick tomato slice. Art called this 'Soul Food' and said it was the best meal I've made him. Wow! Happy Father's Day.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Sesame Asparagus, Maple-Mustard-Glazed Potatoes and String Beans, & Portobello Mushroom Burgers

The 'Sesame Asparagus' recipe is from VwaV (pg. 124) and is the new house standard for straight up asparagus. It is a basic recipe which enhances the flavor of the vegetable ~ not covering it up. I was without rice vinegar, so I substituted red wine, and they are topped with toasted black sesame seeds.

I had intended for the 'Maple-Mustard-Glazed Potatoes and String Beans' from VwaV (p. 113) to go with the Portobello Burger, but I only skimmed the recipe and didn't notice that it takes over an hour to make. So, I whipped up the asparagus quickly for the meal, and continued with the potatoes & beans. The flavors in this dish are perfect, I just finished the last of it cold from the fridge. The recipe calls for yellow onion, but we didn't have that on hand so we went with one red onion.

Here is the potato dish out of the oven. We sampled a few spuds, then put the rest in the fridge. My daughters ate some for lunch, we had some the following dinner, & I just finished the last as a snack. The flavor is a blend, as there is no one flavor that sticks out. It's a small secret in our home that I really don't like mushrooms. However, I did gag down a few bites of the portabello burger. Art sauteed it in a tablespoon of butter for 5 minutes, turning once, and adding cheese and a lid for the last minute. It was tasty, but I didn't finish my burger. Just a bite of a mushroom is a big deal for me, so I'd say the portabello burgers were good, served on onion buns with lettuce, tomato, ketchup and mustard.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Creamy Potato Leek Bake & Garlicky Kale + Tahini Dressing

I found some info. on leeks: the leek is a member of the onion family, but the flavor is much more refined, subtle, and sweet than the standard onion. European chefs call leeks "poor man's asparagus." Asparagus is actually a distant relative of the leek, residing in the same Lily family as onions. Although giant leeks do not make for great eating, Britain holds a yearly competition and awards a prize to the largest leek, which can range from 4 to 5 inches in diameter. In 640 A.D., the Welsh wore leeks in their hats to distinguish themselves from the enemy during the battle between King Cadwallader of Wales and the Saxons.

Art requested a potato dish, so I looked through a few cookbooks, and came up with 'Creamy Potato Leek Bake' from Dreena's Everyday Vegan. There are 3 layers in this dish: Potato, Leek (what you see on top of this picture), & an optional soy/rice parmesan. I spaced on the Arrowroot flour, so Art & Liv made a store run and couldn't find it either, so I substituted the same amount of Corn Starch. Another major "DOH" is that I didn't have thyme, oregano, or savory! I didn't substitue for the spices, and this dish was really delicious plain! This is one of those warm comfort foods, probably ideal for winter but it's been a bit rainy (odd for June) and it really hit the spot. I'll make this one again.

The 'Garlicky Kale with Tahini Dressing' came from Vegan with a Vengeance. I was excited to try a recipe from Isa's cookbook other than fries (which are really great). I like this recipe because after getting the fresh kale & parsley all the other ingredients are always on hand. Art is a "big kale eater" (not big in stature, but rather "big" as in large quantities of kale consumed!), and he says it could be better, so we'll collaborate next time. This time, I cooked it (my first time), and I ate it (not a first), and thought it was delicious (also a first). So there'll be more kale in our future. Also on the plate, you see Vegetarian Sparerib Cutlets.

To go with the kale, I made Isa's 'Tahini Dressing' and stored it in this water bottle. We always consider the packaging when we buy things, and normally something like this would stay on the shelf. But take a look at the beauty of this bottle. It has that awesome self-contained rubber cork which is perfect for storing things airtight, so we splurged that day and bought 2 French Leamonades just so we could reuse the bottles. The leamonade was good too!

Oh, and I also made La Dolce Vegan!'s 'Green Bean Zasmashha' without snapping a photo. This recipe only has 3 items: breadcrumbs, green beans, & Earth Balance ~ extremely simple and surprisingly tasty.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Garden, Bundles, & Recipe Testing

"What are we doing today, boss?"

How about finishing up the garden spot that we
started back in April? I had found some raised garden bed plans in Sunset Magazine, showed them to Art, and said, "Think you could do something like that on the side of the house?" He didn't follow the plans, & came up with something better, "It's all up here," he says pointing to his head. You can see the pipe arch, which will hold a netting to keep out birds, squirrels, deer, & whatever else.

I love that Art didn't buy much stuff for this project. He reused some old boards that were torn-up from the deck last summer, and only had to buy the nuts & bolts. The frames are 2 boards tall, and has a wire netting underneath to deter the groundhogs.

We put down 4 of my mosaic stepping stones and framed the beds with a perennial thyme ground cover. Inside the boxes, on the right, there is a cherry tomato, basil, habanero pepper, 2 other pepper plants, & marigolds. The box on the left has a yellow squash, 3 peppers, & marigolds. (marigolds in the garden help repel pests) The pepper plants are a mystery ~ Art said the tags were mismatched in the store, so we have 5 unknown varieties of pepper plants.

Digging in the dirt works up an appetite, so I cooked up some 'Banana Oat Bundles' from Vive le Vegan! Our bananas were really big & made the batter runny, so the first group on the bottom row looks more like cookies. I added more oats and the top 2 rows look more like little bundles. Olivia kept saying, "These are yummy cookies!" She really likes helping with this recipe because she can lick the banana puree, & I can feel good about all the ingredients. This time, we added some chocolate chips, I used cardamom instead of cinnamon, and they are

Here is a recipe that I tested for Catherine. It is her healthier, veg version of Sloppy Joes ~ 'Sloppy Lentils'. I've heard lots of chatter about Sloppy Lentils, but this is my first time making it. Her "Party Of One" recipe yield was the perfect amount for us. I ate one, the girls shared the other, and I spooned up the remaining from the saucepan. It was a perfect lunch for us. I thought that I had all the ingredients when I began, but as you can see, we're missing the pretty green color. Next time. Awesome recipe, Catherine, thanks for sharing it with us!