Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Beer Battered Tofu Tacos & Moco Loco

I was inspired by a Dean boy to beer batter something...Well, I modified the recipe, no fish (duh), extra seasoning and I made the meal a taco meal! Beer battered tacos with Sriracha slaw (Matt is warming up to the slaw!)...

I wish the beer batter stuck a bit more, but it was really tasty, fluffy and puffy batter! So puffy that some of my tofu looked like Twinkies at one point! Served with red rice and fresh off the tree lemons! 
By now you know I watch a lot of cooking shows. I always get inspired by non-vegan food to recreate it and make it vegan and easy. Moco Loco was one such dish that screamed to be made vegan. 

I made these black bean burgers with a slight spice modification, served it over organic basmati with a packet of vegan golden gravy mix...If I had planned a week or so in advanced I would have maybe bought and added a Vegg Egg on top to make it a true Hawaiian classic...Matt called  this meal interesting, I thought it was good and was way easy to put together after the gym!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Citrus Tempeh

Our neighbor has given us a box of citrus fruit! Tangerines, oranges and lemons. Besides making fresh squeezed OJ for Matt in the morning I have been using it in marinades.

I mixed the juice of a small grapefruit, orange and a bit of lemon with Braggs, pepper and olive oil. I marinated the tempeh for an hour and baked it covered in foil for 20 minutes, flipping once and then leaving it uncovered and baking for 10 minutes. I find covering the tempeh with foil lets it steam in the flavor. I used the rest of the lemon to make lemon brocolini from the Meatless cookbook. I served it with a side dish from my childhood spaghetti with Earth Balance and vegan Parmesan cheeze. Simple but flavorful with all of the fresh from the tree citrus.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

DIY Heart Tote

I was inspired by the DIY section in the current issue (Fed 13) of Foam magazine for this simple project. Instead of stamping a pair of jeans I had a blank canvas bag that was sitting in my craft pile waiting for some action. I also switched up using a cardboard cutout to a foam cutout for my shape since foam is easier to cut.

Supplies needed: canvas bag - washed, dried (no fabric softener), a sheet of craft foam, fabric paint, cardboard for stamp and a piece large enough to insert into bag, glue/tape and a few cotton swabs or a paint brush. Try to iron the bag out if you can. My attempt here was not great but once I inserted the cardboard in the bag it was smooth.

First cut out a shape with your foam.You can free hand it or draw then cut. I did a simple free hand heart. I cut out a small square of card board to use as my stamp backing and glued it down using basic kid's school glue. If you use glue it will need to try for a few hours. You can also use double sided tape or a glue dot to attach the foam to the cardboard.

Insert cardboard square the size of your bag into the bag. Smooth out the canvas. Apply fabric paint onto your stamp using a paint brush or cotton swabs if you are like me and cannot find your brush! Do not use a lot of paint, a nice even coat will be cool. Press the stamp onto the fabric with a steady hand for a few seconds and gently peel off. Continue doing that in a random or not so random pattern. Have fun! If your paint is not showing up enough or leaving gaps go over the area with the cotton swab/paint brush dipped in paint.

I will be using my new bag at the market tonight picking up some food! I try to use reusable bags as much as I can! The cuter the better! If the bag gets dirty  (which I wash my bags once a month) you just want to turn it inside out and wash it on a gentle cycle, maybe by itself the first time around....

Thursday, January 17, 2013

BBQ Tempeh Chili & Baked Breaded Tofu

So one of my goals for 2013 is to try at least 2 new recipes a month, so far I am making new to me recipes few times a week! I often get stuck in food ruts and I am always looking for new recipes that will satisfy both Matt and I.

I bought a bag of panko bread crumbs when I was at Whole Foods, because buying vegan bread crumbs around  here is not working out. So I wanted to make something that included them right away. Usually in the past I just used bread crumbs as a baked mac and cheeze topper...I decided to try the crispy baked tofu recipe from Chow Vegan. I used a 30 oz block of WildWood (my go to tofu). I served it with stove top mac and cheeze, a baked potato and BBQ sauce for dipping. It was good, however next time I am going to eliminate 1/2 of the bread crumb, I had so much left over after breading the tofu. Also I will be playing around with spices to kick it up.

In the current issue of Vegetarian Times there is a article on 5 ingredient chili mixes. I was curios. Matt and I both like BBQ, pinto beans and tempeh, while I like we went with the BBQ Tempeh Chili recipe. It was easy to throw together after a trip to the gym. I baked some sweet potato pieces as a side (which Mar ate most of unless I wanted to get scratched up). It was good, simple and made a nice sized pot.

What recipes are you making lately that you love? Any food goals for 2013?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Oakland & Berkeley - Yet Again

On Friday we hit up Oakland and Berkeley for food and fun! We tried some new things out this time around.

After hearing so many good things about Timeless Coffee Roasters we had to go grab a snack and a drink. I did not know everything was vegan, mainly because only some things said vegan and there was no menu. I did know what to get since viewing pictures people have posted around various sources.

We had to get the spicy hot chocolate with almond milk - it was national hot chocolate day and again after seeing it posted I wanted that! We shared that and a piece of carrot cake. I bought coffee and cherry pistachio biscotti to take home.Yummy all around!

Oakland Whole Foods had us searching for eczema cream (did not find) and vegan jelly doughnuts (which we found and were not to impressed with). I bought all of the hickory flavored Primal Strips for Matt's lunch because we hardly find that one here and it is his fave flavor. Oakland Whole Foods has got to be our fave Whole Foods location.

Off to Berkeley - which took us 30 minutes to get to, but we saw some cool houses and such. Why to Berkeley? Natures Express and GiGi of course! I got to have a kale and avocado wrap (which she ordered too) and a side of vegan chat. Our significant other chatted as well and oddly ordered the same meal!

We were in Oakland for a concert, the concert turned out to be not so great - house party and freezing cold. However, we had a great time! We will be back soon!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

BBQ Tempeh Tacos With Sriracha Slaw

We like tacos, we like BBQ and I was craving the texture of tempeh (am I the only one who finds comfort in the texture of food?) so the BBQ tempeh taco with Sriracha slaw was born! Served with red rice and lemon and you are good to go. 
I just pan fried the tempeh (cut into long fingers) in olive oil till browned. Added some BBQ sauce to coat, turned the heat down low, covered the pan and steamed the slices in the pan for about 10-15 minutes. The slaw is pretty basic: broccoli slaw mix, a dollop of  Vegenaise, a hefty squirt of Sriracha and a drizzle of lemon juice. Everything was served up in warm corn tortillas.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Taco Time: Soyrizo & Potatoes

I finally got Matt to try Soyrizo! He did not want to (he did not like chorizo growing up), then I made him tacos with it last week, he liked it a lot so they appeared in this weeks menu as well! Simple and cheap, I place a few chopped potatoes in a pan with olive oil, cover and heat on medium-low for 15 minutes till the potatoes are about fork tender. I then add the Soyrizo, stir them and give them another 10 minutes to cook.

I first had chorizo in 7th grade in home economics. It was not a staple in my house or something I saw a lot of so I did not really have lots of experience with it. I do love Soyrizo though, in scrambled tofu, in chili or with fried potatoes! It is tasty! A lot of meat-eaters grab Soyrizo over chorizo, because the health factor and no one wants to eat really crappy-scary processed parts!

When I worked at the mall years ago a taco stand would make me a potato and salsa burrito in the morning. It is something I still love to eat. I grew up with fried potatoes and I cannot eat a baked potato without hot sauce so they just go well together! I am hungry now!!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Theo Spicy Chile Chocolate Bar

So as we know I am a fan of chocolate and spice. So when I came upon this bar over the weekend you know I had to buy it and try it!

The chocolate is rich and dark, it is the predominant taste, the ones that hits you first and stands out. Then a bit of orange flavor comes in and on its tail a spicy kick! The spicy kick is not overwhelming but it is there and it does warm up your mouth. All the flavors mix well together and compliment each other.

If you are looking for some sweet spice to kick off the new year, then grab this bar!