Thursday, May 28, 2009

Kind of Drippy.

hey, yo.

wow, lots of foodstuffs for you today!

first up (above) we have some yummy pasta with sauce.

do you ever do this? where you mix it all up together and let it cook up hot? kinda reminds me of a cafeteria...

i used some fancy pants spaghetti sauce from the coop (no corn syrup) and doctored it to my taste. turned out pretty good!

2 T oil
1 onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 t oregano
1 t salt
1 t italian seasoning (remember to crush those spices up between your fingers, folks)
splash balsamic vinegar
1/4 t ancho chile powder

Saute onion, then garlic in oil. Add spices, vinegar and salt. Add sauce. Simmer for a bit while your pasta boils.
Mix up with your pasta and serve hot.

oh, man, this was good! of course, everything was fried, so what do you expect?

1 can garbanzos, drained
1 1/2 carrots shredded
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 T oil
1 pkg water pack extra firm tofu
1 t cumin
1 t salt
1/2 t ancho chile powder

Heat your oil in a large cast iron skillet over med high heat. Add your garbanzos (watch out, those garbanzos can spit!). Stir around and add salt and cumin and ancho chile powder. Add the garlic in there and then the carrots. Keep stirring on high heat.
Lower heat and add the tofu- I boiled the tofu for ten minutes, as is my standard operating procedure these days (I think it makes it firmer), then cut it into cubes- stir around until tofu is hot and spicy too and then serve over rice! So good!

I made bagels again, this time with 3/4 C whole wheat flour replacing one of the cups of flour. I also added 1 t of cinnamon, just to mix it up a little. They turned out good (a little chewy, but good).
Here is an old favorite- Taco Ring! I think I got this originally from Fairly Odd Tofu Mom... I used the reduced fat crescent rolls and they weren't as insanely addictive tasting, but still good.

2 cans reduced fat crescent rolls
1 package Boca 'ground beef'
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 C minute rice, uncooked
1/2 C frozen corn
1/2 C salsa
1/2 C bulk dry uncheeze mix
1 T oil
1 small onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced

Take yer crescent rolls out of the frig.
Let 'em sit.
Meanwhile, boil up 2 C of water in your microwave safe dish in the microwave and then, slowly (I mean, add a few grains rice, first, to make sure it's not superheated) add rice. Let that sit.
Heat oil in a large pot, saute onion, then garlic.
Add Boca.
Add uncheeze, salsa, pinto beans and corn. Add rice. Mix well and heat on medium heat, covered.
Meanwhile, take a baking sheet and oil it well.
Lay out your crescent roll triangles with the points facing outwards. You will overlap the wider ends on the baking sheet, leaving a circle approximately 6" in diameter in the center.
Put 1/4 C of the bean mixture in the center of the base of every two triangles. Wrap the two triangle ends over the mixture and press them together with the dough in the center.
Bake at 375 degrees for 20m.
Cut into 8 wedges and serve with salsa, vegan sour cream and sliced black olives.

This was just some hot buttered pasta with tofu and fingerling potatoes. Sounds just like what it is- made the pasta, boiled the fingerlings right along with the pasta, boiled up some silken tofu, then cubed it then sauteed it with garlic and Earth Balance and added the pasta and potatoes in there too. Served with a side of green beans (from a can!) seasoned with sumac and salt. Nice and filling.
And here is the ubiquitous spicy peanut sauce spaghetti. It was pretty bland as I didn't add any ginger or basil or even cumin, oh well.

1/2 C peanut butter
1/4 C soysauce
1 t salt
1/4 C brown sugar
splash rice wine vinegar
1 clove garlic

Blend. Thicken on stove (you can see I didn't thicken mine enough or drain my pasta enough- the sauce is kind of drippy). Mix with spaghetti. Yum, supper.

So, I finished The Stand with a side detour into "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies".
Okay, first off, don't read the unabridged version of "The Stand". I mean no disrespect to the King, but whoah. That was long.
SPOILER America sure loves it's sacrificial heroes, doesn't it?
Long on dread and short on action, NOTHING HAPPENED until way into the book, and then it was sadly disappointing when the bad guy turned out to be a straw man- or was he? Dun, dun, dun. I may try to read "It" some day, but I think after that, I'll be done with Stephen King.

The P & P & Zombies was fun! Don't go into it expecting a super ton of zombie action- I mean, it was there and all, but it sort of strangely ended up as an accompaniment to everything else. Funny, yes. A whole new thing, no. But that's not what it's meant to be.

I got "American Psycho" from the library. Hm. I have a hard time reading books where the goal is so obviously to make me ?hate? the protagonist... we'll see.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Subtle, he is not.

Greetings, fellow earthlings.

Oooooooh man has it been a while.

Let us begin.

First up, last night we had chickpea cutlets.

My husband is not a great fan of these (I know!) (it's the vital wheat gluten chewiness) but since they are so easy and I like them, we have them every once in a while.

I stayed with the recipe, except that I didn't have enough vital wheat gluten, so then I added more bread crumbs, but then when I added the water it wasn't like a dough any more so I added more flour, and more, and more... well, you get the picture. Still good. And, oh yeah, I used parsley instead of thyme and sage. And added some garlic granules as well as fresh garlic (double garlic!!!).

The sauce I used is from another quick and easy garbanzo based meal "Quick Saucy Garbanzos". It's good! This time I remembered to add more water after it cooked down too thick so that it was actually pourable (it's something I'm working on).

It was kind of strange to eat rice as a side. Do people normally do this?

2 cloves garlic
2 T oil
1 C soymilk
2 generous T flour
1/2 t salt
dash pepper
1/4 C nutritional yeast

Blend. Heat. Serve.

And here is a casserole!

Actually, it's not REALLY a casserole- I made up all the ingredients, put them in a casserole dish and let them sit in the (now turned off from making tater tots) oven until my family was home to eat it all up!

So. Tater tots, ground 'beef' with seasoning (I think I used some ancho chile powder, some chili powder, garlic and onion gran and salt and pepper thankyouverymuch), 1 C mixed vegetables and sauce (Dragonfly's bulk dry uncheeze). Aaghl aghl aaaaa... it was good.

And here I continue my quest to perfect the sloppy joe. This time I used 1 C red lentils and 1/2 C TVP. I was out of tomato paste so I used ketchup (ouch, that makes me cringe- trying to avoid that, you know- ketchup in cooking). I think the TVP helped with the consistency. And I like the spicing on this one- molasses it is! If I make it again, I may double the spices or something. And next time I'm going to use tomato paste and 1/2-1/2 C brown sugar instead of the ketchup. Sugar is bad, but not as bad as corn syrup, right?

1 C red lentils, rinsed
1/2 C TVP reconstituted in 2 C boiling water, undrained
1 T oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 C ketchup
1 T italian seasoning
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 T molasses
1 t onion and garlic powder
1/2 t mustard powder

Saute yer onion, then garlic. Add spices, mix well. Add ketchup, molasses and apple cider vinegar and mix well. Add lentils and TVP (including the water you reconstituted it in) and another cup of water. Cover, bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer, stirring often, until thick.

This one counts as a fail. Except the cornbread. For some reason (and I have made this chili before) I thought pineapple was a good thing to add to chili. It was a phase. If I'm going to stick anything in my chili, it's going to be chocolate from now on.

Actually, later when I made it again as a lunch, I added some chili powder and it was good then (duh).

1 25 oz can black beans, drained
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can crushed pineapple, drained
1 can tomato paste
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T oil
1 T brown sugar
2 t cumin
1 t oregano, ancho chile powder, cocoa, salt
1/2 t cinnamon
2 C water

Saute onion, garlic. Add spices and seasonings, tomato paste, beans and finally water. Cover, bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, until thick.

And finally we have a tasty dish that looks strange- dumplings with veg and chickpea gravy.

Oh how I love to make dumplings. Boiling dough. How fun is that! Make some today.

And the sauce was good, too!

2 C flour
2 t baking powder
1 t salt
4 T Earth Balance margarine
1/4 - 1/2 C water

Put a BIG pot of water on to boil.

Mix flour, baking powder and salt in food processor. Add EB until it looks like a coarse meal. Sloooowly add water until the dough pulls away from the bowl and sticks to itself.

Roll out into a 'snake' and divide into 16. Roll each of these in flour and place on plate.

When the water is boiling, lower the heat to a rolling boil and tip the dumplings in. Cover and DO NOT PEEK for 10m. Remove with slotted spoon.


1 can garbanzos, undrained
1/4 C nutritional yeast (I forgot to add this in the original post- bad blogger)
1 t onion powder, parsley and salt
1/2 t garlic granules
2 T veg broth (powdered)

Blend. Heat. Serve. Serve over dumplings, if you're smart.

Okay, now that we're all caught up on food, I'll catch you up on my reading.

Still reading "The Stand". There.
No really, I must say that I am getting a wee bit tired of King's having all his characters have a sudden gust of certainty that "it will all end in a bloodbath". Subtle, he is not.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Is That So Wrong?

Hello, hello, hello!

What do we have here? Why, it's a chili topped sweet potato! One of my favorite dinners!
About 4 hours before you have to eat, wash off your sweet potatoes and place them in the crockpot (I always make an effort to say 'slow cooker', but in my heart it's really a crockpot. I've decided to give up on the high-falutin' 'slow cooker' and just call it a crockpot from now on. It just never came naturally.).
Cook on high 4-6 hours or until tender. And, oh, man, are they ever tender! I have not found a better way to make a sweet potato!!! I usually do four, but I have a huge crockpot.

Anywhoo, after you've got that going, then a little before supper (less than an hour), make the chili toppin's and you're golden!

This time I did it this way...

1 big can black beans (25oz I think) undrained
1/2 can diced tomatoes
1/2 onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t ancho chile powder, cocoa, salt, cumin, garlic granules, oregano*
2 t apple cider vinegar
1 T oil

Saute onion in oil, add garlic, throw in spices, add tomatoes and stir and mix until most of the liquid is gone. Dump in black beans, cover and simmer. Uncover and simmer until thick how you want it and add the apple cider vinegar. Boom.

*didja notice how I did that, there? I just used 1 t of everything- hee!

And here is an unremarkable dinner, except for the tofu!!!
Wow, I liked this.
I used my bulk uncheeze mix I had made up, rice and broccoli as you can see, but let me tell you how I did the tofu!
First, I got out my water packed extra firm tofu out of the refrigerator and stabbed it open. Anyone else get a thrill from stabbing open the package and ripping down the sides with a knife? Just me, then? Hmmm... moving on....
Then I boilt it! Fer 10m! Just 'n like I always do!
Then, I pressed it. Wow, am I crazy or what, boiling, then pressing my tofu!
Then I sliced it in two and put half in the fridge and cut the other half into tiny little cubes which I then proceeded to fry the heck out of in 1 T olive oil with a generous dash of pepper and salt.
They were crispy, flavorful bits 'o goodness! Do it today!

Well, let's see, when I last left you, I was reading gosh knows what. I did, however, find solace in "Alas, Babylon". What a crackin' good book! One of the first apocolyptic novels, I thought it was fun to see how the genre started out. A leetle chauvinistic, but then, those were the times, I guess. We've come a long way, baby. But it was nice to read a normally narrated story, I really enjoyed it.

Then I started "The Rift" but stopped shortly after the gratuitious sex scene. The story was sort of jumpy and I wasn't really getting into any of the characters.

But then, oh joy, oh joy! "The Stand" which I had requested, came in at the library. Gosh, if I ever live someplace where the library is far and not right on my way to my daughter's preschool, I will be a sad puppy. Anyway, "The Stand" I got was the unabridged or whatever one and it's like, 1,000 pages long. But hey, so far so good! A little horror-y for my taste, but what do you expect from Stephen King. It's different enough from other apocalyptic stuff I've read that that makes it interesting. More later.

Oh, and this past weekend I was at Shepherd's Harvest Fiber Festival and now I want an alpaca. Is that so wrong? Actually, two alpacas, you're not supposed to keep them alone.

I thought this picture was so awesome, it so captured the day. Dudes in the back are using those big grills to make heart attack inducing burgers, dude in the front with the flannel. And people walking around with animals. I think those are alpacas but I don't want to tip my noob hand and get any comments informing me that they are llamas.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

That Would Be Awesome.

Do you know that they make CHOCOLATE Pez candies?!? What is the world coming to, I tellz ya!

Oh well. Here we have a few of our more recent suppers...

After my recent success with tortillas, I was excited to make these again (yes I did use Crisco)! I decided to use one of my favorite crock pot recipes as the filler. Conveniently it is actually taco/burrito filling. I've changed it a little from the original so that it works for our family, the greatest change being the change from barley to bulgur.

Aaaaaaand I finally remembered to pick up an avacado at the coop this week! Hoorah!

And I got to try out a sour cream recipe, too, so that was fun as well.

So here's how I made the fillin's this time...

Bulgur Burrito Filling

1 25oz can black beans, undrained
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 T oil
2 t cumin
1 t onion gran, garlic gran, salt, ancho chile powder
1 C your favorite salsa
1 C bulgur
2 T chopped cilantro (I had some in the freezer)
2-3 C water (I added some as I went along)

Mix it all up in the crockpot, set on high and cook until tender 4-5 hours.

Meanwhile get your tortillas mixed up and risin'.

At the end, make yer 'sour cream'.

Tofu Sour Cream

1 12.3oz pkg silken extra firm tofu
1 T oil
1/4 C water
1 t sugar
1 t apple cider vinegar
1/2 t salt
1/8 t citric acid

Of course if you don't have citric acid around the house (I mean, who doesn't?) you should just take a peek at the original recipe. Other places I've seen it on the intarweb suggest using only 2 t lemon juice. We left off one of the t's of apple cider vinegar because we don't really like tart things here at chez centrepullball. Voila!

Well, I am still working through "Rides A Dread Legion" by Feist. No, not that Feist. That would be awesome.

No, no. First of all, the title. Rides a dread legion.

Okay, now, there is a lot going on so far in this book, lots of introducing characters, backstory, history etc. etc. and I guess if I had the other two books already and loads of time, I'd keep going. As it is, I may bail. This would make great light reading for a long winter, but it's spring and I'm in the mood for some post-apocalyptic reads...

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

How Could You Go Wrong?

Hey peeps!

Here is a delicious, yummy supper we had last night!

Red lentil curries are a popular dish at our home, and this one was super easy and good!

First, I was just going to make some rice and cover it with the cheeze sauce. That seemed so lame.

Then, I thought, hey, I'll add some red lentils to that sauce.

Then I thought, hmmmm, why not just make it into that curry I was thinking about making... and I'll keep the cheeze sauce in there just for kicks. Yay! I'm glad I did! It turned out really good!

Red Lentil Curry

1 C red lentils, rinsed
heaping 1/2 C Dragonfly's bulk dry uncheeze sauce mix
2 T Patak's curry paste
1 can coconut milk

Mix it all up in a sauce pan. Boil until the lentils are tender (maybe 20-30m? I just did it while the rice was cooking). Add water as necessary to keep the lentils from sticking too much and to keep it 'saucy'.
Meanwhile, make your rice.
Serve. Yum- dinner!

I suppose you could add a can of full fat coconut milk to anything and it would taste good! Can you imagine- this dish had the goodness of coconut milk, the cashews in the cheez sauce AND the rich, oily goodness of the curry paste!! How could you go wrong?!? I couldn't.

Still reading "Flora Segunda". Geez, this kid can get away with anything!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Does this book make me look juvenile?

Hello folks!

Well, nothing much exciting this weekend... lots of yard work, actually.

I thought I'd try boiling some water pack tofu, just like I boiled the silken tofu, to make scrambled tofu, and it turned out really well!! I kind of used the spices from this, and added onion and garlic granules because I was too lazy to chop (now, that's lazy!). No, actually, I justified it to myself by saying that the onion and garlic granules 'allow for the flavour to permeate the entire dish'. So there you go. Next time you don't want to chop an onion, just pretend you're making sure that all oniony goodness is equally distributed throughout the dish. Don't say I never did anything for you...

Scrambled Tofu

1 T oil
1 T Earth Balance vegan margarine
1 block extra firm water pack tofu
1/4 C nutritional yeast
2 t cumin
1 t salt, onion, garlic, oregano
pinch pepper, turmeric and paprika

First, boil your tofu for 10m. I just plopped it in a saucepan, added water to cover, covered it and put it on the stove on high. You should keep it at a low rolling boil so it doesn't get too crazy in there.
Meanwhile, boil your pasta (or rice or whatever grain).
Toward the end of your tofu boiling time, heat up your skillet to med high and melt the margarine together with the oil.
Drain the tofu and slice it into little cubes.
Plop into your skillet and gently stir around until the tofu turns golden.
Add your spices, then the nutritional yeast.
Place entire skillet into oven and broil on low while you drain the pasta.
Serve hot.

I thought the boiling and the broiling made the tofu easier to work with in a scramble, but I may just be delusional. How's that for a rousing endorsement? No, really, I think it kept the tofu from just crumbling into tiny pieces in the skillet which is usually how my scrambles turn out. Like mush. So yay! Broiling may have been overkill, but hey, it kept the tofu hot while I scampered about getting everything else set to go.

Here is a soup, much like many of the red lentil soups I am wont to make, but with 2 important differences! I know you are waiting with bated breath.

I made it in the crockpot AND I added a can of garbanzo beans.

I know, be still my heart.

Red lentil soup WITH garbanzos

2 C red lentils, rinsed
1 can garbanzo beans, undrained
6 C water
1 T olive oil
2 t cumin (say it with me now, KOO-min)
1 t coriander, sumac, salt and onion powder

Put the oil in your crockpot and let it heat up a little on the 'high' setting.
Add in the spices and mix around.
Dump in the lentils and mix.
Add water and mix.
Cook for a few hours until lentils are tender.
In a blender or food processor, blend the garbanzos along with their water.
Add to the soup and mix.
Serve hot.

This makes a lot of soup, but it is oh so good.

So I have been on a run of books lately that just aren't doing it for me.
First there was "Wave" by Walter Mosley. Yeah, that was just too creepy for me, couldn't handle it. Just not into creepy and I wasn't convinced it was going to be worth it.

Then, I started reading "Swallows and Amazons" which I am convinced is good, and I can't wait to read through the series with my girls when they get older, but it was just moving much too slowly for me right then. Will get back to that one.

Anyway, I was all excited when I started "The Years of Rice and Salt".
Meaty, adult fantasy fiction with lots to sink my teeth into!
BUT a) I was bummed when I found out Kim was a man and b) felt like I was going to be reading it for years. The characters kept changing every chapter and even though their names retained the same first letter (I think one kept being a 'B' name) I just could not hang. Loved the premise, SPOILER; reincarnation, just couldn't concentrate enough or get engaged enough to continue on (hey, I got through, like, half of the book, guys!).

What can I say, first, I want wholesome non-creepy entertainment, and I get it with Swallows and Amazons and then I complain it's too slow.
Then I want meaty adult fantasy and I get it with The Years of Rice and Salt, and I complain because it's too philosophical and hard to follow.

So then I went back to another book I started (just a few pages) and now I'm reading that. It's not great, but "Flora Segunda" will do. I am waiting for the hammer to fall on this little girl who is doing all this crazy stuff unbeknownst to all her elders. Yes, it is Juvenile fiction. Does that make me juvenile? We'll see.

Friday, May 01, 2009



I made this, and it came out brown.

That's what I get for using pinto beans instead of Northern. My Target does not have northern beans, however. AND it tasted great!!

I also added too much water (I used 1 C soymilk and 1/2 C pasta water) and even though I simmered it on the stove for what seemed like forever, it still was a little soupy. My bad. I got a little ahead of myself, there.

Maybe next time I'll make it and add some browning sauce and call it pasta and gravy. Haha.

Or maybe next time I should just make it with white beans (gotta get me that pressure cooker) and add the water/milk a little at a time as I should have done!

Anyhow, my family loved it and ate and ate and ate it all up! I think this one will become a repeater!

1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 t salt
1 t garlic granules
1 t parsley
1/4 t pepper
1 C soymilk

1/4 C Earth Balance
1 C frozen peas
1/2 box pasta

Boil up your pasta.
Toward the end, dump in the frozen peas, let them simmer and then turn off the heat and cover until you're ready to drain the pasta and peas.
Blend up your beans, soymilk, garlic gran/powder, salt, pepper and parsley.
Pour into a saucepan, add the Earth Balance and heat until thick.

Oh, and I finally got my hands on "World War Z". Yay- a zombie book!! Zombie fans, unite! Do you know what the vegan zombie said? Huh, huh? Do ya? 'Graaaaaiiiiinns.'. Oh, ho, ho, I crack myself up!

Anyway, I was completely engrossed with this book and could not tear myself away. So fun to read!!!! Really, I think anyone would appreciate this book. For example, I would recommend it to my father-in-law, and I really don't think he has much interest in zombies. He's more of a civil war guy. But he would totally appreciate it!

It is also broken up into little sections, so if you have more self-control than I do, you could theoretically put it down and pick it up fairly easily. Thought provoking but not dense, it is a great read.