I must profess my love.
I can’t keep it inside any more.
I’m in love.
With this salad dressing.
I’ve gone through two bottles of it in two weeks.
It’s just so.so.good.
Natural too, with a respectable ingredient list. Vegan.
Must. Keep. Eating. It.
If you haven’t had it yet, go out and get some. Pour over a Hugh Jass Salad. You won’t regret it.
This post is going to be one where both my mother and grandmother laugh at me because they have no idea what I’m eating.
Today’s breakfast was brought to you courtesy of the edible perspective, who introduced me to popped amaranth. I’m always looking for tasty ways to sneak in protein, and I was interested when Ashley mentioned this easy meal.
I bought mine in the bulk bin at Whole Foods, because I wasn’t so sure at first. Turns out popped amaranth is a delicious, wholesome breakfast (or anytime meal!).
Popping the amaranth is easy. Just heat up a skillet, toss in a bit of amaranth, cover and shake the pan until it all pops. It takes only seconds for it to pop. The proper temperature is essential because it burns easily! Play around with what works best on your stove. I may or may not have burned several batches before I hit the sweet spot.
After it’s popped, it’s time for the toppings! Amaranth tastes pretty bland on it’s own, so I added in some strawberries. Next time I would also add some sweetener, maybe some maple syrup? I could use sweetened rice milk, too. I definitely want to try amaranth with some nuts and a glob of sunflower butter!
The texture of amaranth is probably the weirdest part. It’s all so tiny, it feels like eating the inside of a beanie baby.
Obviously I didn’t care because I ate the whole thing.
The grains are light and airy, just like popcorn, and it does taste like breakfast cereal! Amaranth and quinoa are in the same family (pseudo-cereal), and apparently you can pop quinoa the same way. Who knew?
I haven’t been a big fan of cereal since I gave up Special K and stopped drinking cow’s milk, but I might just have to make room for a new favorite.
Why is Mama Pea’s Mmm Sauce so delicious?
Well, to start, everything she makes is delicious.
I read about this sauce and it sort of reminded me of bitchin’ sauce, so I knew I had to make it. Oh my peas. Now I know why everyone in the blog world is going gaga over this sauce. I also discovered why it is called mmm sauce.
I stir fried some cubed tofu in it a few days ago. I had it atop a black bean burger and sweet potato fries last night. Today, I had it today with onion rings.
Vegan Baked Onion Rings (with mm dipping sauce)
one medium sized yellow or white onion
flax egg: 1/4 c ground flax seed + 1/2 c water
breadcrumbs + a bit cayenne + salt + pepper
all purpose flour
- Prep the onion by slicing it into rings. Try not to cry.
- Set up a little station by putting the flax egg in one bowl, flour in another and the breadcrumb mixture in another.
- Take each onion ring, dip it in the flax egg, then the flour, back to the flax egg and then in the breadcrumbs. It gets messy. But it’s so worth it.
- Lay on a baking sheet (mine was dirty) and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until the edges start to look crispy.
- Let cool and devour with mm sauce. Mmm.
I can’t remember the last time I had onion rings before today. I do remember one time in 2009 I went to a restaurant in Columbia, South Carolina with some friends and I ended up ordering something like 6 baskets of fried food. I was flirting with vegetarianism at the time, and I very mistakenly thought that eating only fried vegetables was a healthy vegetarian way. Uh. No. Anyway, I’m thinking onion rings were included in my smorgasbord of crispy organics.
The best onion rings are at the Varsity in Atlanta. They will absolutely give you a heart attack and they’re more of a once-a-year type treat. My version is nowhere near as greasy but eerily close to the deliciousness.
Light, refreshing, crispy. The perfect compliment to mm sauce. I just made a double batch of the sauce. I suggest you do the same.
In other, unrelated news, I have this song stuck in my head. Someone help me get it out?
A few weeks ago I was walking around Whole Foods, minding my own business, when I came across the pastry case. I’m normally not a big sweets person so I took a glance and started to move along. Before I could get anywhere though, my eyes were punched by this glorious sign:
Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies? I was immediately intrigued. I like peanut butter. I like vegan things. And I enjoy cookies. So why not? I picked one up.
I don’t know what it is about these cookies, but I.love.them. They’re the perfect combination of crispy and chewy. Get yourself to a WF and eat one. Actually, pay for it first. Then eat it.
Peanut butter cookies always remind me of the holidays. My family makes a TON of cookies in December, and PB cookies are always thrown in there somewhere. We usually make them topped with hershey’s kisses or criss cross fork prints. So classic.
Let’s face it though, peanut butter cookies are just another (very effective) vehicle to get peanut butter to my face.
Join me as I attempt to celebrate all the ridiculous food holidays! You can
laugh at check on my progress and learn all about the challenge here.
Unlike most other food bloggers, I don’t chronicle every single thing I eat day in and day out.
Quite frankly, I eat some variation of the same thing every day, with a few random things thrown in here and there.
For breakfast I usually have a green monster. The basic ingredients are the same: frozen banana, some other frozen soft fruit, (usually strawberries or blackberries) rice milk or water, spinach and some other add in, such as cocoa powder, peanut butter, chia seeds, cinnamon, oatmeal or golden raisins. Sometimes I drink it straight up like a smoothie and other times I enjoy it in a bowl topped with granola.
Lunch is pretty much a Hugh Jass salad. I throw in chickpeas or black beans, a ton of other vegetables, sometimes cheese and oil and vinegar or dressing to top it off. Lately I’ve been using buffalo sauce as a dressing. So spicy and delicious.
Snack consists of an apple, Triscuits and hummus, peanut butter sandwich thin or raw veggies such as carrots or bell peppers.
Dinner is the only wild card in the day. I usually end up having some sort of one-dish meal, because they are easy and can be dinner for multiple nights, frozen for leftovers, or eaten in place of the Hugh Jass for lunch. I usually thumb through some of my cookbooks and pore over my bookmarks on the weekend and pick out a few things I’d like to make. I try to focus on ingredients I already have in an effort to be budget-friendly. Lately I’ve been cooking a ton from Veganomicon.
Dessert is sometimes the food holiday (because a lot of them are desserts for some reason), a mini dairy free ice cream sandwich or banana soft serve.
So there you have it. This is what I want to eat most every weekday, with slight variations here and there. Weekends are unpredictable, with time to bake, make pancakes and cook up a storm, who knows what I’ll be making.
Oh, that’s right. YOU will know. Because I broadcast it on the internet every day.
If you live anywhere near a Mellow Mushroom (I’m talking within a 100-mile radius), drop what you’re doing and immediately get yourself there. Once you’re seated, order the tempeh hoagie. I wish you could see how serious my face is right now.
This hoagie is the most delicious thing I have ever put in my mouth.
If you are not lucky enough to live by a Mellow Mushroom, you need to make one at home. I’m about to tell you how so listen (read?) carefully.
Mellow Mushroom’s Tempeh Hoagie
makes one sandwich
one hoagie roll
1/4 c sliced mushrooms
1/4 c diced onions
2 oz tempeh, crumbled
4 tbsp teriyaki sauce
1 oz feta cheese, crumbled
1 tbsp pesto
1 tbsp mayo
handful of sprouts
Place the tempeh, onions, mushrooms and teriyaki in a plastic bag and allow to marinate for several hours or overnight.
Mix together the pesto and the mayo to make.. wait for it.. pesto mayonnaise! Set in the fridge until needed.
After the tempeh has been allowed to marinate, warm in a skillet over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until everything is heated through and the onions are soft.
Cut the hoagie roll in half lengthwise. Spread the pesto mayo on one side of the hoagie roll. Top with sprouts.
Place the tempeh on the other half of the hoagie roll and top with feta cheese.
Try not to burn your mouth on the melty goodness.
Growing up, I never called a sandwich like this a hoagie. They were mostly “subs” as in submarine sandwiches or Jersey Mike’s Subs. Sometimes they were grinders, but I only referred to them as such when I was taking them to the beach. What do you call sandwiches like these?
Whatever you call it, there’s no denying that it’s delicious. I’m seriously considering putting this on top of my “if-you-were-on-a-desert-island-and-could-only-eat-one-thing-forever” list. Don’t be scared off by the tempeh or the sounds-like-a-weird-combo of pesto and teriyaki. I promise you will devour every last bit of this sandwich. And then promptly make another one.
Excuse the cheesy rhyming title. I’m crazy.
I went back to the book sale today because everything was half off, and let’s just say I went a little bit, um, overboard.
Okay, let me explain. Most of the books (as in, the majority of them) were only one dollar. Regularly priced. Since everything was half off today, most of the books were 50 cents, with the other books coming in at a dollar or two, max. I scored that whole stack of books for $26. Yes, twenty.six.dollars. That brings my book count over two days to 59 books, for a grand total of $39.
Anyone selling a bookshelf?
In between buying books and buying more books, I made a delightfully refreshing breakfast. I consider it breakfast because it’s full of fruit and fiber, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to start having one for dessert every night too.
Hippie “Neapolitan Ice Cream” Parfait
makes one vegan parfait
1/2 c frozen sliced strawberries
2 tbsp dry oats
1/4 c rice milk, divided
1 medium frozen banana
1 tbsp dark cocoa powder
1/4 c granola, divided
- In the food processor, combine the strawberries, oats and 2 tablespoons of the rice milk. Puree away until the mixture is about the consistency of italian ice. If you find the strawberries aren’t blending well, add a little more rice milk.
- Layer half of the strawberry puree in a glass. Set the other half aside, in the freezer if you want.
- Layer half of the granola atop the strawberry puree in the glass.
- Using the same food processor (you don’t even need to rinse the mixing cup out), blend the banana and chocolate powder. If needed, add up to 2 tablespoons of rice milk. Be patient, the banana will come together after some patience.
- Gently spoon the banana mix over the granola and strawberry in the glass. Top with a bit more granola, then the other half of the strawberry mix.
- Finish the whole cup off with more granola. Eat. Be refreshed. Enjoy.
Crunchy, sweet and satisfying. It gave me a ton of energy for all the vicious shopping I did today, and held me over for several hours.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to my kitchen to make another one. Or twelve.
So this morning I woke up at the crack of dawn to go to hot yoga. Yes, I’ve lost my mind. Let me back up a bit.
I have never been a morning person. I do enjoy being awake and productive in the morning, but the whole process of waking up, getting out of bed, freezing my tush off, not being in the six tons of fluff that is my bed. It’s terrible, really. My bed is so soft, so plush, I never want to get out of it. In college I slept in a loft and I purposely put the alarm clock across the room (much to my roommate’s dismay) so I would have to get out of bed to turn it off. Of course once I got out of my loft it was much too much effort to get back up into it. So I ended up napping on the futon one too many times. Too bad our futon was a death trap.
ANYWAY. The point of the story is that I don’t like waking up in the morning. And yet I did to go to yoga. The class I went to this morning was the classic hot yoga, Bikram Yoga. We did a series of 26 poses and held them for a bit. It was challenging and I definitely got my heart rate up as the room was a sweltering 106 degrees. Yowsa.
The class I went to last Saturday was a flow class, Vinyasa Yoga. The room was only 98 degrees but I definitely worked harder then because it was non.stop. I still haven’t decided which one I like better, but I definitely have decided that I’m in love with hot yoga.
After sweating out approximately 89% of the water in my body, I had a smoothie in a bowl (tupperware?), topped with granola. It was so very delicious. And such a pretty color.
After that, I figured I needed some vegetables, so I made zucchini muffins. What’s that you say? It’s national zucchini bread day? HOW CONVENIENT.
Vegan Zucchini Muffins (adapted loosely from Smitten Kitchen)
makes 12 muffins
1.5 tbsp flax seed + 3tbsp water to make a flax “egg”
1/3 c canola oil
1/2 c water
1/2 c sugar
1 c grated zucchini
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c all purpose flour
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1.5 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a muffin tin or use muffin cups.
- Put all ingredients into a big bowl. Mix. (Yes, this is seriously how I bake. And it works.)
- Drop batter into muffin tin by the 1/4 cupfuls until all batter is distributed evenly.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of muffins comes out clean.
- Let cool. Try to make a zucchini muffin tower. Fail. Use toothpicks to make a zucchini muffin tower. Succeed in making leaning tower of zucchini muffins for a few brief seconds. Photograph. Eat one or six when they fall.
So yum! Muffins, anyone?
Sometimes I am impulsive.
Take today, for example. The blood donation truck was outside my workplace. My co-worker said, do you think we should donate blood? I said yes.
I’m not one of those people who hates being stuck or has an aversion to blood. I don’t particularly like being prodded with a sharp needle though, so I was initially a little nervous. However, after vigorous questioning, a finger stick and about 10 minutes of collection, I was done. I left feeling lighter, with a tummy full of HFCS and a free t-shirt that is a size too big. Woo?
There was nothing impulsive about today’s food holiday. I made cashew butter a little while back, so when I saw today is Chocolate Covered Cashews Day, I simple topped some butta with chocolate chips. DONE AND DONE.
It was a tasty little snack after my good deed of the day.
I’ll leave you with this beautiful song. It’s all I could think about as I was donating, and it calmed me down. Bon Iver is so soothing.
Thank God tomorrow is (good) Friday!
The fun thing about my food holiday project is that I get to make/experience things I wouldn’t have gotten to otherwise.
Pineapple upside down cake is one such thing. I’ve never even had pineapple upside down cake, much less bake it. When I saw today’s food holiday, I knew I had to get creative. I definitely couldn’t eat an entire cake by myself, so there was no point in me making one. A quick Google search later, I was on my way.
Vegan Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes (adapted from Vegan Good Things)
for six cupcakes
2 tbsp Earth Balance
1/2 can pineapple rings, drained, juice reserved
1/4 c light brown sugar
3 cherries, halved
1/2 c all purpose flour
1/4 c sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 tbsp Earth Balance
1/4 c pineapple juice
1/2 tsp ground flax + 1 tbsp water to make a flax “egg”
- Preheat oven to 350. Brush the melted butter around six cupcake cups. Sprinkle flour over each cup, invert and lightly tap out excess flour.
- Scoop out 1/2 tsp melted Earth Balance into each cup. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp packed brown sugar over the butter. Break up the rings and place them around the perimeter of each cup. Place a cherry half in the center of each cup.
- Combine all the ingredients for the cupcakes in a stand mixer. Mix on low until all ingredients are incorporated. Elbow grease will work too, if you don’t have a stand mixer.
- Dole out the batter on top of each pineapple mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
- Let the cupcakes cool for a few minutes before running a knife around the edges to loosen them. Place a cooling rack on top of the cupcake pan and invert the whole thing. Gently tap on the bottom of the cupcakes and they should come right out. If the pineapple falls off/apart just put it back together.
I was a little nervous to flip when my cupcakes came out looking like this. The cherries had exploded all over the place.
I used frozen cherries because I wasn’t about to buy maraschino cherries, all laced with their HFCS and Red#40.
When I flipped them over though, they were gorgeous. The cherries themselves aren’t as pretty but they did give some of my cupcakes a lovely pinkish tint.
These cupcakes are mightily delicious too. Perfectly spiced, they remind me of holiday time.
I’m thinking about bringing some to my coworkers tomorrow. If they last that long.