"Oh, I may be on the side of the angels...but don't think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock, The Reichenbach Fall

Thursday, November 24, 2011


We had a lovely Thanksgiving.  The spread wasn't as big as I originally planned.  I made gluten-free pumpkin bread, which was very crumbly.  We also had gado-gado, rice noodles, Brussels sprouts (the only thing that didn't turn out all that well; they needed to be roasted a bit longer and at a higher temperature), broccoli, a shepherd's pie, and Alison brought a ham roast for the omnivores (truthfully, it did NOT look tempting; she didn't like it very much).   

Learning point for gluten-free cooking:  When baking using gluten-free flour, you need more moisture in the mixture.  Now one suggestion is upping the oil, but that is way too much fat.  As it is, the recipe for the pumpkin bread called for an entire CUP of vegetable oil.  Perhaps sub applesauce or something like that?

Later in the day, Alison's Aunt Susan Spillane came to visit; I had not seen her in a number of years, and it was wonderful to catch up and take some pictures with the family.  My kids are growing up.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude

After my rather apocalyptic dream last night, I'm glad to awaken to life the way it is.  I dreamed we were attacked, and that there was impending death and destruction.  I'm truly grateful that this was only a dream.  Despite the fact that we will do a fair share of cooking tonight and tomorrow, it is still good to sit down at table and give thanks for all we have. I guess I'm just a bit nervous about my first vegan Thanksgiving.  We're having a brunch in the middle of the day, rather than an extensive evening meal, since my daughter and her husband are committed to going to his aunt's house for dinner. 

Now, the menu:  First of all, gado-gado.  Amy insisted upon this.  It's virtually her favorite thing we make at home.  So that means LOTS of roasted vegetables of all kinds.  And pasta.  Maybe even some rice, but I doubt it.  AND pumpkin muffins.  AND pumpkin bread.  I might make some spaghetti for peanuts as well, since now I know I can veganize it.  And since one of our family members has celiac disease, everything will ALSO be gluten free.  Yes, and a vegan shepherd's pie.  AND herb biscuits (using the recipe in Vegan Brunch) with Navy Bean Gravy (I believe that is in Vegan Brunch also).  We also found a recipe for Southwestern Corn Pudding in VB, so I will try that.  We've made pretty much everything before, except for the last three items, so it is just a matter of doing all the work.  We will be busy.

UPDATE:  I am also hoping to make the cinnamon rolls from VB, but I don't know if I will have the time.  I will have to make them at home, so if I DO make them, I will have to wake up REALLY early in the AM.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

And Vegan Church for ALL!

This morning is the third Sunday of the month and liturgically, it's Christ the King Sunday. However, it is also, for ME, promote Vegan Baking Sunday! Every third Sunday of the month, we have a fellowship time between Sunday School and the Divine service. So it's time for me to promote veganism by providing tasty baked goods. Today, I baked what I bake best: http://www.theppk.com/2008/10/super-moist-pumpkin-bread/ (Super Moist Pumpkin Bread, recipe posted by Isa Chandra Moskowitz on the PPK) and The Best Pumpkin Muffins from Vegan With A Vengeance. The last time I took the muffins to church, I got asked for the recipe two or three times, at least. Looking forward to church!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Seitan - my first try

Seitan with Satan - Heavy Metal Vegan Cooking In the video, they use the seitan recipe from Veganomicon. I went back a little and used the one from Vegan With A Vengeance. The only difference I noted was that the recipe in VWAV has tomato paste and lemon zest in it. I didn't have a lemon, so I put a couple of squirts of lemon juice in the recipe instead. It will be interesting to see how it turns out. It is simmering for an hour. Then it has to cool for an hour. Smells pretty good.

Did I mention nutritional yeast smells pretty good?

UPDATE: I think I need to follow the recipe a bit more carefully. AND I think I want to use water to make it rather than vegetable broth. Gonna try the recipe in Veganomicon next time.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Gado Gado again

Gado-gado has become a favorite in this house.  Tonight, we're having it with steamed carrots, roasted broccoli and cauliflower, and pasta. 

One of the problems we've had recently when we've made this is that it is too thin and watery.  Well, I decreased 2 cups coconut milk to 1½ cups, and did the same with the water.  Additionally we added onions (my vegan version of the recipe, here, does not include onions, but we love them, so in they go).  The kids love this recipe, and it's quite easy once you get the ingredients together, if a bit messy.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Spaghetti For Peanuts - VEGANIZED!

I did it!  And it worked!  I took Diet For A Small Planet's Spaghetti For Peanuts and made it vegan.  It worked beautifully and tasted pretty good.

You can find the original recipe on page 254 of the 20th anniversary edition.  For copyright reasons, I don't want to reproduce my veganized version here.  My substitutions were as follows:  for the margarine I used Earth Balance (note to self: use a different kind of EB.  The whipped stuff was kind of greasy); for the low-fat milk I used soy milk (2 cups; worked beautifully and the sauce wasn't quite so heavy); and for the cheese, Daiya.

Now, I don't know about anyone else, but when I have cooked with Daiya before, it didn't melt all that good.  I decided to up the temperature of the oven from 350ºF to 360ºF.  And instead of baking for 25 minutes, I baked the dish for 40 minutes.  This seemed to do the trick; the Daiya Cheddar Style melted pretty good.  However, you want to eat this before it gets cold enough for the Daiya to get gooey, because when it cools off, it gets a rubbery consistency.  Hopefully the food chemists out there will eventually make a vegan cheese that is a lot more like real cheese.

Results:  Well, it tasted good.  The peanuts were a bit old; I will use fresh roasted ones next time.  Something else I need to do is process the peanuts longer so they are more of a mealy consistency.  I don't like them to be peanut halves.  And I won't use quite so many of them.  (FYI, I did not stick with the proportions in the printed recipe; I added a lot more of everything because we were hungry.)  Another thing I'd like to try is cashew cheese instead of the Daiya.  Or maybe Follow Your Heart vegan cheese.

In a nutshell:  I'll do this again.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Looking forward to doing some cooking this weekend.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Weekend...

...has come to an end. Nothing all that great food-wise. We had gado-gado last night. The kids prefer steamed veggies, I prefer roasted. I did roast another turban squash. mmmm. Yum.

I just received Vegan Comfort Food. Can't wait to try some of the recipes.

In non-food news, I've started playing clarinet again.

I just don't want to let the weekend go, but I must. 4 AM comes really early.