Category Archives: cooking and baking

Yoga, brainstorming, family time, bundt pan, interview

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Wow, I actually got to yoga twice this week! That hasn’t happened in a long time. Random times and random classes, but both good in their own way.

About all I accomplished today besides that, is some grocery shopping, and meeting with an old acquaintance about her fundraising ideas and reviving a great animal issues magazine she used to produce. It was nice to brainstorm together. Bonus: She said she barely recognized me and that I looked great! She hadn’t seen me in about 6 years and even though it didn’t seem very drastic to me, I gradually lost quite a bit of weight after becoming vegetarian then vegan, and I guess it shows.

Tonight, we hung out as a family, made pizzas, made pineapple upside down cake in the new bundt pan, and watched some Big Bang Season 5. I had planned to work on more show notes, but I guess that will have to wait until tomorrow. Ooh, now we can make this bundt cake recipe.

This weekend, in addition to show notes and schoolwork, I’m going to read a good portion of Jenny Brown’s The Lucky Ones, since we’ve set up an interview with her for next week. We met Jenny last year and she was so friendly and funny—I can’t wait to talk with her again.

Trying out the Chickpea Crêpe

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I tried a new Robin Robertson recipe tonight {from VegNews Magazine}. Although I’ve used chickpea {garbanzo} flour before for batter in french toast, etc., it’s never occurred to me to try a crêpe. And a quick internet search brings up all kinds of tasty-sounding variations.

Chickpea Crepe

Chickpea Crepe

Crispy Chickpea Crêpe ingredients: chickpea flour, salt, pepper, minced fresh rosemary or basil, water, minced red onion, pitted kalamata olives.

I used basil and capers {instead of olives}. And I forgot about the onions, even though I had plenty available. The verdict: not bad. Hubby happened to come home just as I was trying it—he had a piece and liked it {before he knew it was made out of chickpeas, which he doesn’t usually care for}.

Even though I really like chickpeas, I think things made with chickpea flour have a slight aftertaste. The flour has a really strong taste before cooking, but even after there is still a slight hint of something that you have to get used to. Nevertheless, I’ll try this again. It’s a quick and easy way to put together something filling that’s not made of wheat. {We bake our own bread, and there’s always plenty of dough or baked slices around, and I get tired of it.} It also might work for a breakfast dish.

garden, collard wraps, worm compost bin, magic, yahtzee

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My collard wraps

My collard wraps

Today I bought collard wrap ingredients purposefully very similar to Angeline’s. Here’s what went into them:

  • Collard leaves, blanched for 60 seconds or so {I might do them a little more next time as the stems were the tiniest bit too chewy for me at the big end. I gently patted them with kitchen towels to dry.}
  • Carrots, shredded in the Vitamix
  • Cashew cheese {Cashews simmered in salt water and soaked for about an hour total, then drained and blended with fresh water until very smooth in the Vitamix. I didn’t clean out the leftover carrots before making the cashew cream, which made the cashew cream a lovely buttery yellow color}
  • Purple cabbage, roughly chopped {Next time I would chop it a little finer to avoid chunks}
  • Spinach
  • Lots of avocado {1/2 an avocado per wrap}
  • Kalamata olives {I accidentally bought the pitted kind, so they took a while to pit, but they were worth it}
Overall, the collard wrap tasted very similar to the wraps I was trying to emulate. I did feel like it lacked a little something, so I ended up adding some vegan Worcestershire that I had mixed up a while back, and also some Dijon mustard. Those added just the kick it needed. 

 

Today I also:
  • got a bunch of new library books
  • bought a tomato plant to replace the one that froze
  • roped my hubby into helping me create the worm compost bin setup
    • meaning I watched while he drilled all the air and drainage holes in the plastic bin
    • I didn’t let a lack of worms stop me from starting to fill it with shredded paper and a week’s worth of kitchen scraps
  • played magic online and then Yahtzee (not online) with the hubs.
  • hung out with 7 pretty sweet animals
    • {it was a kid-free weekend}

Angeline’s fantastic raw collard wraps

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Collard Wrap from Angeline's Bakery

Collard Wrap from Angeline’s Bakery

I’ve been thinking about this fantastic raw collard wrap from Angeline’s Bakery for days now—I may need to try to recreate it this weekend. Apparently the wraps are so popular that they have a hard time keeping up with the demand. The ingredients include:

  • Large, tender collard leaf wrap (blanched?)
  • Cashew cheese
  • Finely grated carrots
  • Cabbage
  • Spinach
  • Lots of avocado
  • Kalamata olives

Vegan crepes buffet

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Crepes Buffet

A few days ago when I was in tax haze, I woke up craving weekend pancakes, wondering if I could take the time to make them. Smells must have wafted up to my room, because when I went downstairs, my older step-daughter was well into making vegan crepes! They were beautifully thin, and very tasty. {I’ll have to ask her which crepe recipe she found, and report back.} Here’s a pic of our little crepe buffet. I’d like to try them again, on a slower weekend day.

Toppings: melted vegan chocolate chips, coconut flakes, raspberries, grapefruit glaze {we had grapefruits to use up}.

Ramping up for the week: An afternoon of cooking and baking

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I spent most of the afternoon and evening cooking again. {This involved using and cleaning the Vitamix 3 to 4 times, but was totally worth it.} Probably I was procrastinating finishing those taxes, but I also had news research to do and just didn’t feel like spending time in front of the computer. Plus, I really wanted to get a bunch of stuff made so that we could start the week off with prepared food. I think this is everything:

  • My typical weekend Breakfast Scramble
  • Hummus
  • Seitan {Basic Seitan recipe from The Sexy Vegan Cookbook. What’s different about this recipe is the addition of russet potatoes. I never have very much luck with seitan. This one turned out a little better than usual—not terribly puffy and the taste is pretty good. I think it will make good sandwiches.}
  • Egg-less Egg Salad
  • Two loaves of bread
  • Double-Apple Muffins {I made this name up. The Basic Vegan Muffins with Fruity Variations recipe is from Vegan Holiday Kitchen. We were out of yogurt and applesauce, so I made some quick applesauce in the Vitamix with two red Pink Lady apples and 1 green Granny Smith, skins on. I added just a bit of water. It was fantastic just like that—somehow tasted like it had sweetener and cinnamon in it. So I used the homemade applesauce in the recipe, and ate the leftovers. Then I diced up a couple more red apples to mix into the batter at the end (the recipe called for peeling, but why lose those nutrients and fiber?—I left them on). I also added the few raisins we had left and some cinnamon. I baked them in the mini muffin tin. They are tasty, but not too sweet, and will make good snacks this week. Although I should have tripled the batch, because with 5 people they won’t go far.}
  • Tahini Garlic Dressing {this was yesterday, but I forgot to mention it}

We ate the split-pea soup for dinner. It was a little thinner than I’d planned on, even though I used 3 cups of split-peas, but still tasty. Tomorrow, when some of the water evaporates, it’s going to be just right.

Skype, taxes, sweet potato split pea soup, and chocolate cake

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We spent several hours at the studio earlier today configuring Skype to work with our equipment; I think we’ve got it all worked out now and are ready to use it for interviews. It sounds a lot more clear than the phone patch, and is bound to be more reliable, so we’ll see how it goes.

This evening I dove into tax prep and I think I got it about half done, which is great. I’m a little bit more caught up with bookkeeping this year, and not a lot has changed from last year, so it should be relatively straightforward. But it’s still 6 separate tax forms, so it takes a little while to get everything organized, plugged in, and reviewed. I can’t wait until the day that my husband and I are able to file jointly instead of separately—that will save some work on my end and potentially some money, depending on the year. We’ll be claiming the kids next year too, so that will be a positive changes for taxes as well.

I also got a split-pea soup with sweet potatoes going in the crock-pot. I seasoned it with liquid smoke, dulse, tarragon, cumin, and chipotle powder. {I was able to pick up a big bag of split-peas and one of lentils at Cash&Carry the other day; it’s a store that caters to restaurants and business owners.} They’re not organic, but those two aren’t on the dirty dozen list, so I compromised this time to help with the budget. So now I have half of a pan of polenta lasagna and the soup to start the week’s meals off when the kids get home tomorrow evening. I’d really like to start meal planning for the week, so that I can better stick to a budget. But the thought of taking hours to pour through cookbooks or online looking for recipes that seem doable and then compiling the ingredients is daunting and is the kind of thing I could waste hours on. I’ll figure something out.

I also made chocolate cake tonight. And then didn’t eat it. I was craving it for a few days, but it’s now pretty late, I’m full, and it just doesn’t sound good. Rats.