"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

Monday, January 30, 2012

Vegan kielbasa?

PPK vegan Italian sausage

PPK vegan smoky maple sausages

PPK thread- spices to create different kinds of vegan sausage

Hopefully I can steam up some kielbasa this week.  My daughter (an unrepentant carnivore) really wanted me to get some meat kielbasa yesterday when I went grocery shopping.  However, 1) I couldn't find kielbasa and 2) I really do not want to buy meat if I don't have to.  So... I am going to try making vegan kielbasa.  Then I will see how it works in stew/soup.  I would like to use it in a vegan version of HamBeens 15 bean soup.

Chili cook-off

Our church had our annual Chili Cook-off this weekend.  I made what can only be more correctly termed a stew, of cannelini beans, black beans, tomatoes, onions, yellow bell peppers, chili powder and a hint of cinnamon.  I really should have made it the night before (the actual meetup was after services Sunday morning.  This was a quick fix which I threw together just before we left, around 8:30 AM).  Even so, I was asked for the recipe and I found that flattering.  Additionally, even though I didn't win this year, our youth group won, to the tune of $175.00 towards their mission trip this summer.

Vegan Colcannon!

I took the recipe in the link and made it my own.   I omitted the leeks (since I didn't have any) and did not use nutmeg.  I used about three TBSP of Earth Balance spread to add some flavor, as well as plenty of salt and pepper.  My kids LOVED it (although they DID add mayonnaise - non-vegan mayonnaise - to the mixture).  I think I will try this again with either leeks or onions.  Oh, and I used Nature's Market Soy Milk, since we don't have the 8th Continent brand here.

Monday, January 16, 2012

I can't believe I forgot...

...to mention that I also made, over the weekend, a shepherd's pie.   Pretty simple.  Vegan mashed potatoes - mmm, yummy.  I like them better than the old dairy-laden ones - topping innards consisting of bagged frozen veggies thawed & sautéed with tempeh to make a satisfying filling.  My mom LOVED them.  I am definitely making this and using tempeh again.

Here and there

Well, this weekend has been a very nice change of pace.  Four days off.  In a row.  It's times like this it pays to work for the feds.

Anyhow, I made chili again.  And this time, I forgot the corn.  It wasn't as good. :(  But still edible+.  I used a package of Hambeens Beans, without the flavor pack, and added some leftover baked beans, and the usual suspects (bell pepper, onion, garlic)  Brian said it was too spicy, which surprised me, because I put the same amount of chili powder in it that I did before, though I did add some cumin.  Maybe the cumin put it over the top for him.  Also, that 1/8 tsp cinnamon.  I think I may up that to ¼ tsp and see how that works.

This morning, The BEST Pumpkin Muffins from Vegan With A Vengeance.  I LOVE that cookbook.  It is already looking raggedy ass because of all the cooking I've done with it.  Oooh, and the pancakes - made those twice this weekend.  The first time (Friday) I left one of them in the skillet too long, but it still tasted pretty good.  Yesterday, they came out perfect.  Mmmmm.

Later today, I will be making hummus, as well as some bean burgers (leftover chili, you know).  I am finding that making up my own recipes is quite fun.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sweet three-bean vegan chili


@ 1 TBSP olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium sweet onion, diced
1 red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, diced
1-4 oz can mild chilis
1-15 oz can black beans
1-15 oz can kidney beans
1-15 oz can canneloni beans
1-15 oz can sweet corn
1-15 oz can diced tomatoes
1½ tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp cinnamon

In a large stew pot, sauté the garlic, onion, and bell pepper until the onion is translucent.  Add the chilis, all the beans, and the corn, and stir. (Do NOT drain the beans or corn)  Add the tomatoes, and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer, and add chili powder and cinnamon.  Simmer for at least 35 minutes, or until it tastes done.

I had some of this last night, served with tortilla chips crushed on top.  YUM!

This can also be made by cooking dried beans in the crock pot, then adding all ingredients except tomatoes.  Tomatoes should only be added to the crockpot during the last hour of cooking, after the beans are tender.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

It's a New Year

After a much needed break, I'm back, both here online and at work.   Some of the more interesting moments of the past couple of weeks are as follows:

Last night, I came to the realization, after cutting myself chopping a spaghetti squash in pieces, that meat cleavers are not of much use at all except to injure oneself if they aren't aimed properly.  I think I'm going to get rid of mine.

Omnivores CAN cook vegan meals AND make them taste good.  Marcus made his pasta sauce with chopped veggies and tomato sauce.  MMMMM.  The man has inherited his father's extensive abilities in the kitchen.  Now to convince him of this.

It IS possible to put everything I need for several days in a cooler, and still eat too much.

Tofurkey is one of the best inventions known to man, followed closely by Veganaise.  Finally something to change up with peanut butter for lunch.

Just because I'm vegan doesn't necessarily mean I will eat healthy all the time.

And - Chinese food for Christmas dinner ROCKS.