Hey folks. Earth Week and our vegan challenge week was nuts (ended last night with Laura of Guilty Vegan Pleasures cooking us wonderful fried rice and blackberry pudding), Earth Day is sure to be crazy as well, and on top of it all I had a geology field trip (in which I ate healthier than all my omni campmates) last weekend. Cherry on the cake: it was JP's birthday (birthweek, rather, since the festivities lasted from giving him a 22oz. of the Full Sail Original Nut Brown Ale on Wednesday and went until our date on Friday night). So there's a massive backlog of foodpics here for y'all to oogle. I made a fantastic brunch today for us and some friends, and unfortunately forgot to take any pictures. HOWEVER! I made a fantastic chipotle-cilantro crema sauce all by my lonesome, and it will be the first recipe I post here, once I make some more of it tomorrow, as it all DISAPPEARED into hungry vegan tummies.
So enough rambling, on to the pics:
Balsamic vinegar/tamari/vegan worcestershire glazed tofu on quinoa and kale
Inspired by this post from Lelly's Vegan Kitchen on a night that I was VERY hungry and very stressed. Very easy: I just poured on splashes as I fried a slab of tofu on a pan.
Italian quinoa and tempeh
Leftover quinoa with parsley and whatever was lying around in the fridge, and sauteed tempeh. JP's creation!
Steamed veggies and tempeh over brown rice with sweet & sour sauce
This sweet and sour sauce recipe from VeganYumYum has become a staple in our house. I only add 2 Tbsp. sugar instead of 2 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. and it tastes just fine. It's quick and simple and tastes amazing. Plus it makes me DEVOUR any and all steamed vegetables in it. We do carrot, onion, any color bell pepper, snow peas, mushrooms, broccoli (and pineapple)...many possibilities. I usually scavenge the market's "50% off" produce shelf for ideas.
BBQ baked tofu, seared portobello mushrooms, asparagus w/Vegenaise, and brown rice
I finally made something else from Veganomicon...sorta. I used bottled BBQ sauce. We cleaned out the fridge and it needed to be used, so... :P Anyway it was dang good, especially along with those amazing mushrooms from Eat Drink & Be Vegan! and asparagus that my mommy sent home with me from California.
Apple pie-crumb cake muffins
Wow. These are one of my new favorite recipes from VwaV. Very coffee cake-y, but the apple juice, grated apple, and apple chunks make it a party in my tummy. These got rave reviews from the brunch folk this morning.
Vegan birthday dinnarz!
On to the birthday celebrations...JP's mom had us over for dinner on Thursday for JP's birthday, where she made us kickass vegan lasagna (from one of the Moosewood cookbooks) with zucchini and spinach and tofu ricotta and portobello mushrooms, and also amazing sweet potatoes and garlic bread. She sent us home with a huge pan of leftovers (lunch yesterday and no doubt dinner tonight). This is from lunch yesterday. It inspired me, as I had never made lasagna even as an omni and it intimidates me. So many NOODLES! The JP-mommy kindly invited me over to get a tutorial. I can't wait! We went to Sweet Life Patisserie (lovely bakery/cafe in Eugene that has gorgeous vegan desserts) afterwards and I of course forgot my camera. I got a piece of lemon poppyseed raspberry cake and JP got a slice of chocolate peanut butter silk pie.
Then on Friday I took JP out for a swanky date at Ratatouille in Eugene, a beautiful (though pricey) vegetarian/vegan restaurant that opened just last year. We've been there three times now and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves each time. Despite the price tag, the portions are actually pretty big - I leave full every time, and the time we got dessert there, I rolled out the door like what's-her-face in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Almost everything on the menu is vegan (there's like one or two things with cheese, that can be left off easily), and it focuses on local organic ingredients so the menu changes a lot.
Shepherd's pie with sauteed mustard greens
JP's Shepherd's pie was amazing, with parsnips, carrots, mushrooms, and some other veggies, and the potato crust on top was delectable: crunchy on the very top and creamy further down. We'd never tried mustard greens before and found them to be delightfully peppery. More investigation is required.
Blue corn empanadas
I ordered the blue corn empanadas, which ZOMG if I had to eat something every day for the rest of my life, it would be these. They were spicy and delicious, filled with corn and green olives and tomato and I think carrot and many yummy things, and came with black beans over salad greens, with this smooth beautiful vegan crema sauce, and dollops of this amazing spicy chipotle cream, which is where I got my inspiration for my chipotle-cilantro crema, the recipe for which you'll get later. Anyway the flavor and texture combinations in this dish blew my mind: spicy and smooth, warm and cold, the crunchy outsides of the empanada and the warm soft insides...I ate every last bit (and a few bites of JP's shepherd's pie, haha! Just ask Kelly, I'm like a food ninja.)
Triple chocolate layer cake with caramel coconut pecan frosting
And JP came home to a German chocolate birthday cake! The frosting was kind of hard to make, mostly while I accidentally put too much coconut milk in, but oh is it worth it. And it actually gets better a day or two later. I used the Triple Layer Chocolate Cake from Dreena Burton's recipe blog and the frosting from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. It's hard to believe there was a whole cake sitting on the counter on Friday and now there's...much less than that. Oops.
I'll leave you with us looking studly for our datey-poo. :3