Saturday, January 30, 2010

Crafty Vegan Food Adventures #4

I was a cooking fiend yesterday. I love throwing things together on the fly, especially when they turn out as delicious as my Friday Snow Day spree. I didn't take pictures of most of what I consumed because I was a ravenous beast. However, everything I made was so quick and delicious that I wanted to share.

For breakfast, I had a bowl of steel-cut oats with cinnamon and maple syrup. This held me over for about 45 minutes. Something about the cold makes me constantly hungry. Nevertheless, I waited until noon to throw lunch together.

I carefully considered what we had in the apartment (minus the emergency rations since big mean boyfriend wouldn't let me touch them :P) and decided I needed to use up my portobello mushroom, spinach and avocado. From there, I came up with a spinach salad topped with roasted portobello and a dijon dressing, my favorite go-to. I marinated the mushroom in olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a clove of garlic before roasting it on foil for about 10 minutes in a 425 oven. To make the dressing, I mixed together a little olive oil (around a teaspoon), about 2 teaspoons of red wine vinegar (it's also delicious with lime juice instead), about a tablespoon of dijon mustard, and three dashes of cumin. Just cut up the mushroom when it's done and top the spinach with it and the dressing. On the side, I had guacamole and whole wheat tortilla chips. I rarely make guacamole at home because my love is allergic to avocados, so I didn't have all the ingredients. So, I mashed up the avocado with the juice from half a lime and a couple of spoonfuls of chunky salsa. To make the chips, I used SnackFace's method from two whole wheat tortillas (365/Whole Foods brand). I topped with salt and cayenne. The whole meal was delicious!

Almost immediately after, I decided to make a vegan cappuccino in my French press. I read about the process initially on Hungry Hungry Hippie's blog, but then I read somewhere else that you don't even need a special frother -- a regular French press works. So I made my French press coffee, cleaned out the press, heated some almond milk for one minute in the microwave, threw it in the press, and pumped. The result was surprisingly authentic. Now, non-dairy milk does not froth up as much as the cow variety, but it's close. I topped with a dash of cocoa powder and a little sugar. Delicious! I'm making another one today.

And I actually have pictures of the rest of my food! I bought chickpea flour recently to make these insanely good Brussels sprouts and have wanting to try something else with it. I have Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian cookbook, which I love to read but barely use. She has a super-easy recipe for farinata that I decided to whip up for dinner. Oh my goodness, it was ridiculously easy and insanely good. Basically you sift together 2/3 chickpea flour and 1/3 teaspoon of salt, then slowly combine 1 cup of water to remove all the lumps. Let it sit for 30 minutes. The basic recipe doesn't have any spice, but I added a teaspoon of Italian seasoning here. Preheat the broiler. Now put a tablespoon of olive oil in a 12-inch, oven-safe frying pan (mine was only 10-inch but worked great). When it's hot, pour in the batter. Then top with black pepper and another two tablespoons of olive oil. (I only used one more because we were out. Tragic!) It'll cook about 4-5 minutes, until it starts to firm. Once this happens, transfer it to the broiler for about four minutes, until it's golden and gets a few brown spots. Eat it as soon as you can get your hands on it! The recipe says it serves 2-4, but I ate six of the eight pieces all by myself. Here's a picture taken in my kitchen with terrible lighting after I had eaten half the farinata:



I topped it with crushed red peppers for a little more kick. I think it would be awesome with some sun-dried tomato and cheese, if you're so inclined. A blurry close-up:



If I hadn't made it myself, I would have sworn it was full of eggs. It had such an interesting, frittata-esque quality.

My taller half and I needed -- yes, needed -- dessert. I'm low on a lot of supplies, including white sugar, chocolate chips (totally out), and vegan butter (also totally out). Luckily I found a cinnamon coffee cake recipe in The Joy of Vegan Baking that worked with what I had. I'm not going to reproduce the whole recipe here, but you can find it by using the "search inside this book" feature on Amazon. Anyway, for a cake with no butter in it (canola oil instead), this sure tasted rich and buttery. The topping was my favorite part, though I omitted the walnuts because my love is not a fan. Check out the first two tiny pieces I ate:



Mmm . . . so good! I actually preferred this room temperature to warm. It was even better as breakfast this morning with a mug of Choice Irish Breakfast Tea. (And you gotta love our Paris map plates. They're from Target.)

So that's my Friday cooking adventure. The snow stopped falling, but not before it left us several inches (4-8 is the area report -- I'm not good at estimating). Still, we're hoping things will clear up enough for us to get out this evening. We have tickets to see August: Osage County tonight, so here's hoping we won't be snowbound!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are one amazing, wild chef (with one mean boyfriend, not letting you into the goods)!

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