Thursday, October 27, 2011

Chana Saag, Brown Basmati Rice and Two Chutneys

Date:  10/28/2011
Cook:  Jen G.
Menu: Chana Saag (Indian Greens with Chickpeas), Brown Basmati Rice, Green Chutney and Sweet Carrot Chutney

The Vegan Slow Cooker continues to be a great resource. Tonight I made Chana Saag (with kale) and served it with brown rice and two chutneys: a green chutney and a sweet carrot chutney. It was my first time making both-- I'd add some salt to the green chutney next time, and less sugar to the carrot chutney. Heaped in a bowl all together, it was a delicious meal.

I delivered the goods to Jen at one of our local bookstores, where we gathered around Terry Hope Romero, who was swinging by our fair town to talk about baking, pie, Thanksgiving, life and stuff like that. Oh. I have a new book about making pies. Yes. Vegan Pie in the Sky.

There is a Boston creme pie calling my name.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mushroom Hot Pot

Date:  10/24/2011
Cook:  Jen C.
Menu: Mushroom Hot Pot with Black Pepper Grilled Tofu

Jen cooked up a delicious mushroom hot pot, inspired by today's post on the PPK. It was another instance of me feeling very grateful for meal group since I had a long and unpleasant day, including driving for 6 hours and eating lunch at what some people refer to as the world's worst restaurant (without hyperbole). Living in such a vegan-friendly place, one does get a little accustomed to restauranteurs taking veg*ns into account.

Jen's soupy meal was deliciously flavored and added much needed warmth and flavor to my day. It was eaten so quickly that there is no photographic evidence of it's existence.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Mushroom Soup. Scallion and Corn Cornbread.

Date:  10/20/2011
Cook:  Jen G.
Menu:  Mushroom Soup, Fresh Corn and Scallion Cornbread, Pumpkin Puff Cookies

Every once in a while I enjoy a good mug of mushroom soup. I like the recipe found in La Dolce Vegan although I'm not all that picky. I paired it with the Fresh Corn and Scallion Cornbread from Appetite for Reduction which was tasty though somewhat lacking in loft.

For dessert I made Pumpkin Puff Cookies, also from La Dolce Vegan. We shared them freely and widely and they proved to be very popular with everyone (or else I just know really polite people). I loved them and justified eating a large number of them because they are totally healthy because they have pumpkin in them. I excel in justifying things like that to myself.

Slightly flat but very good cornbread full of scallions and kernels of corn.

Popular pumpkin puff cookies .

Friday, October 21, 2011

Gnocchi Soup

Date:  10/17/2011
Cook:  Jen C.

Jen and I had shared a lunch of leftovers together this afternoon but she still provided us with a soup for dinner (pictured here with a piece of bread from yet another loaf of No Knead Bread). With autumn in full swing, the chilly weather makes soup eating even more important.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Burritos Filled With Potatoes

Now this is an autumnal meal I can appreciate.

Date:  10/20/2011
Cook:  Jen G.
Menu: Mashed Potato and Edamame Burritos with Quinoa; Tortilla Soup

Mashed Potato and Edamame Burrito Filling from The Vegan Slow Cooker intrigued me and I must was delicious! It was really simple and makes a very tasty eating time experience. I made Tortilla Soup from La Dolce Vegan and it was chock full of black beans and corn and brothy and good. I also cooked up a pot of quinoa to throw into the mix.

I had two regrets about this meal. One was that I left the burrito filling in the slow cooker for waaaaaay too long and the condensation from the process caused the filling to become more watered down than was probably warranted. I hasten to add that it was still delicious. The other concern was that my tortilla chips for the soup were hella stale, dude. Learn from my errors, friends.

Jen C. and I got to have this meal in each other's presence because she came over to make felt flowers as favors for a shower we were planning. Mashed potato burritos and craft night...heavenly.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Burgers! Salad! Pickle!

Date:  10/11/2011
Cook:  Jen C.
Menu:  Raw Sunshine Burger with Raw Sundried Tomato Ketchup and Kale Salad; Homemade Pickle

I adored this meal but for once, we were not all in agreement and I was not in the majority. One person in my house didn't like the burger and one person in my house refused to even try it because it was served, for crying out loud, on bread and not a bun. Heavens to Murgatroyd. Who cares, right? Apparently sometimes kids do.

Jen C. is serving this yummy sunflower seed based burger now over at Go Lightly, and I recommend that you run (don't walk) over to get one as soon as possible. That kale salad is delish, as well. It goes without saying that it is extremely healthy.

Oh, p.s. - I love pickles.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

From the Vault: Summertime

Due to a back to school night situation, we will be bringing you our regularly scheduled meal group meal...tomorrow.  In the meantime, please enjoy thinking about back when it was the early days of summer and the Eastern seaboard was experiencing a heatwave.

Cook:  Jen G.
Menu: Cold Soup, Rice and Quinoa Salad and Watermelon

The soup was disappointing to me, it was missing a depth of flavor. The grain salad was standard and prosaic. But the watermelon....delish.

Now I'm even MORE nostalgic for summer.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Sweet and Sour Tofu, Tomato Basil Salad, Rice and Bread

Cook:  Jen G.
Menu:  Sweet and Sour Tofu, Tomato Basil Salad, Brown Basmati Rice and A Loaf of Bread

I don't eat raw tomatoes, but a pretty little salad like this one makes me wish that I did. Also, I don't have a great track record with rice preparation but this batch came out well!

The tomato basil salad was fresh from our little garden. The basmati brown rice was fresh from the shelf of a nearby Trader Joe's. The sweet and sour tofu recipe was from The Vegan Slow Cooker. (I slow cooked it a little too long so it was somewhat on the mushy side, but the flavors were still delish). 

One hard working slow cooker. Note that my meal somehow didn't look as nice as the photo in the cookbook. Paging my food stylist...

And the bread....I always love to talk about how much I love the No Knead Bread recipe published a few years ago in the NYT. It is nearly foolproof and I have proven this a few times by seriously mucking up the directions. I heartily and nerdily enjoy coating it with different seed/grain combos each time (um, btw: wheat germ kind of burns in the 450 degree oven). Today I used half whole wheat flour and half white for the dough and chose to coat with some Irish oatmeal mixed with a bit of coarse sea salt and black sesame seeds. Our loaf came out really nicely.

My love for the No Knead Bread knows no bounds.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Lasagna, Oh You

Cook:  Jen C.
Menu: Lasagne, Curly Kale Salad and Blood Oranges

Jen delivered a fine, veggieriffic lasagne to my porch just when I needed it most. I cannot begin to describe what a relief it was to pop that sucker into the oven and not have to worry a whit about preparing dinner that night because I was really running with other projects, as was the other person capable of meal preparation in our home.

We all really liked it, my kid is a big lasagne fan and loves to deconstruct the layers. I prefer a more tidy approach to my own lasagne ingestion but either way you slice it, it was great. We all loved her idea of tossing some black beans into the mix.  The kale salad was a perfect side.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hello, My Friends, Hello

Date: 09/29/11
Cook:  Jen G.
Menu:  Thai Pumpkin Coconut Soup; Amaranth, Roasted Tomato and Basil Terrine; Jelly Doughnut Cupcakes

 I do declare! Our meal group has been back in swing for a few weeks, and here it is already the first full week of Vegan Mofo, and yet this is my first post in a whiiiii-lllllle (say it like Oprah would). In my defense, because not posting this far into Mofo makes me defensive I guess, its been hella busy, and not always in a good way. But then, sometimes in a good way.  

I also have news! First, I have to let you know that Stefanie has had to say goodbye to our meal group due to some dietary changes she is implementing. However, we still get to hang out with her, even if you don't know what she is eating any more. Second, Jen C. has introduced a raw vegan cafe into the mix over at Go Lightly! I'm finding myself partial to her Save the Tuna on raw onion bread. Locals and near-locals, check her out. Yummy smoothies and desserts too.

So lets get to what we all come here for: talking about the food!

I got a copy of The Vegan Slow Cooker and I Literally Walk Around Town With It. For example, today it went on a journey to a school, a Starbucks and a French cafe. It gets around town. And it is good. I am impressed. I'll be doing a full-blown review of it over on Vegbooks after I make a few more things from it to verify it is as solid as I currently think it is, but its a gift that keeps on giving, in a really good way. Take, for example, this Thai Pumpkin Coconut Soup. Very warming and quite simple to prepare. 

I wanted to make something with amaranth and concocted this little terrine using amaranth and ingredients from my teeny tiny garden. I am not sure that it was a hit but it wasn't bad or anything. It also totally didn't match the flavor profile of the soup, but sometimes that works. Sometimes, perhaps even this time, it doesn't.

Finally, those doughnut cupcakes from Veganomicon. My kid calls them muffcakes, a hybrid of muffin and cupcake. We ate a lot of them that day. Isa and Terry tell ya to let the tops get stale for optimal yummyness but they have never lasted long enough for that to occur in our home.

Post-immersion blending, this soup is just waiting for delivery.

Isn't that just a happy scene? Slow cooker burbling away, amaranth awaiting chilling and roasted tomato and basil stuff all mushed up in the food processor.

I just love these sweet delights.