Sunday, December 8, 2019

Spinach and Chickpea Stuffed Shells

After I went vegan, I tried to make stuffed shells with a tofu ricotta because one of the YouTube vegans swore up and down that it was the most amazing stuff ever and you couldn't even tell the difference between tofu and ricotta.

She was wrong.

It was terrible.

So I've been skeptical about trying anyone else's ricotta substitutes, let alone a recipe like stuffed shells that highlights said ricotta substitutes, but then I stumbled across a 6-year-old recipe from some dude named Andrew Olson and I figured it was worth the risk:

This recipe makes the filling out of chickpeas, cashews, and spinach--all things I'm willing to eat on their own (tofu, not so much). So this afternoon I took the leap and made the shells.

People. They were incredible.

Oh my god.

Look at 'em:

Look at 'em some more:

They're yummy, they're filling, they're healthy, and they're not a total pain in the ass to make. In fact, you could probably do all the prep in advance, freeze a tray of these, and just stick them in the oven when you're ready to eat.

My only complaint is that the filling seems a bit gritty, but I think that's my blender's fault more than anything else. Next time I might blend the filling in shifts to see if that helps, but even if it doesn't, I will still make this on the regular because DAMN is it delicious.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Vegan Pumpkin Pie is My Superpower

Dear citizens of the Internet:

I am writing to you at this time, fully interrupting your holiday merriment and whatnot, to inform you that I am--100% confirmed--a vegan goddess. Yes, you read that right. My vegan awesomeness has officially transcended this dimension and become supernatural, otherworldy, and downright magical.

I have made a vegan pumpkin pie. And it. was. BOMB.

I swear. I didn't know this was possible. If I had known this was possible, I would have made one a long time ago. I would have...I dunno...attempted world domination or something, because in a universe where I can make a vegan pumpkin pie that is EXACTLY as phenomenal as traditional pumpkin pie, anything is within my reach. I am an unstoppable diva, and I defy you to prove anything different.

(Please don't prove anything different. I deserve this high.)

Look at this pie in all its poorly-photographed majesty:

I know. It's a little ugly, but just think of it as one of those evolutionary self-protection things. The pie thinks if it looks cracked and lopsided, no one will want to eat it.

Well the joke's on that pie, because it is completely irresistible and delicious.

I am mind boggled.

Or, I would be, if I weren't a goddess.

If you would like to replicate this luxurious, heavenly, perfect pie at home, you can find the recipe from Lisa, aka The Viet Vegan: I followed the suggestion in the comments to whip the aquafaba with sugar before folding it into the pumpkin mix, and I think it really helped the texture. But even without that, I would drink this batter with a straw. It's that amazing.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled holiday festivities. I'll be over here with my pie.

Friday, September 27, 2019

What I Ate This Week

Hello, blogosphere. Nice to see you again.

Aside from that superfast, super low quality post from yesterday, I have not had time for blogging lately. Lots and lots of stuff has been happening. I got a new job (it's boring). I got a new place to live (it's beautiful). I got new roomies (I love them). And I completely forgot how to feed myself, because sometimes my brain is stupid like that.

Luckily, I have lots of people who care about me, and they have kept me from keeling over while my brain has been on the fritz.

Most notably, one of my friends took me to The Little Grill Collective in Harrisonburg, VA on Sunday and we shared a whole pile of delicious vegan food.

It looked prettier before we ate it, I promise.

Our meal included buckwheat pancakes, some kind of fried potato hash thing with mushroom gravy, a chunky tofu scramble (made from local tofu, no less), a soy sausage patty, and veggie chili. Everything was great; I would definitely go back again.

For me, the best part was actually getting to share food with someone. I love it when people eat vegan food with me, but this was the first time I'd ever sat down in a restaurant and been able to split dishes with someone. It was fun to taste different things and talk about them and pick favorites together.

I've also eaten things at home, a fair number of which I have managed to screw up in one way or another.

For example, I made zucchini carbonara from Hot for Food, because it's delicious and I love it.

Except I undercooked my pasta and didn't bother to measure half the ingredients, so it turned out a little less than ideal. It's still one of my favorite recipes, but...definitely follow the recipe.

In honor of the first day of fall, I ate all kinds of autumnal things the first half of the week. I veganized my pumpkin muffins and they were outstanding. I drank sparkling cider and munched on apples. I even attempted a pumpkin pie smoothie, but here's the thing about pumpkin pie smoothies: when you make them, you should definitely not accidentally add half the ingredients for a pumpkin pie smoothie and half the ingredients for a Chunky Monkey smoothie and then blend it all up like nothing's wrong and try to drink it. It won't be good. Take my word for it.

I also made curry, partly because I wanted curry and partly because I bought naan and let it expire and then had to scramble to find a way to feed a bunch of people a bunch of naan before it went moldy. If you want to try it for yourself (expired naan or no), I have the recipe posted here.

Aside from that, I've just been surviving on hummus. Like all the rest of the vegans.

Hope you're doing well, blogosphere. Catch you next time.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Curry ala Greg

Once upon a time, there was a guy who thought veganism was stupid, but he wanted to get into my pants, so he cooked me curry.

His name was Greg.

This is his recipe.

Full disclosure: This is not some kind of love potion curry. It's delicious. It's totally worth making for yourself or sharing with a date. And maybe you'll get lucky. But Greg didn't, and I make no promises for anyone else who makes it.

Here's what you'll need:

2 onions
3 carrots
Sweet potato (one big one or two little ones)
Seasonings: ginger, garlic, turmeric
1 head broccoli
1 can chickpeas
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can coconut milk
4oz red curry paste
Peanut butter

Here's what you do:

1. Cook some rice. Whatever kind you like. I don't judge. If your auntie lets you use her rice cooker, do it that way.

2. Chop all the veggies.

3. Put the onions in the pot with the oil and let them do onion-y things until they are soft. Shake in some seasonings until you think it smells good. Then dump in all your cans of stuff and all your veggies and maybe some water if the cans of stuff don't cover the veggies, and cook it until the veggies are soft. This is a very specific recipe.

4. Stir in a big spoonful of peanut butter.

5. Serve over rice.

That's it. Best wishes for your curry-related conquests. You got this.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Southern Comfort Food Feast (feat. vegan Potato Salad)

This weekend, I did a miraculous thing and finished my homework early. That left me with a whole Sunday afternoon with nothing to do. This is an absurd freak of the universe, because the last time this happened...was probably like six years ago.

I decided to make the Country Fried Cauliflower from Hot for Food's "Vegan Comfort Classics" cookbook. Ambitious for a whim, I know, but that's not all.

I decided it would be the perfect time to create a southern comfort food feast.

So I made potato salad.

Guys, I have made potato salad exactly once ever before in my life. It wasn't good.

My grandmother used to make potato salad, and I always enjoyed that, but between moving out and going vegan, her potato salad became a distant memory. I asked for the recipe once, but to no avail. She did it all by taste, she said.

I thought that was bologna, but what are you going to say to your grandma?

But today, folks, I did it. I made potato salad from scratch with no recipe (okay, with kind of a recipe), and I even did the thing where you taste the food and decide it needs salt and then taste it again and it's perfect.

I'm officially a 5-star chef. You should kneel before my bowl of potato salad.

I served up my deep fried veggies with barbecue sauce, potato salad, a scoop of mac and cheese, and some green beans. I'm not even kidding, it was a feast fit for kings. Southern, KFC-lovin' kings.

Plate with mac and cheese, green beans, potato salad, and fried cauliflower

For anyone else looking to improv their own potato salad, here are the notes I jotted down while stirring stuff together:

4 russet potatoes
2 stalks celery
1/2 sweet onion
Vegan mayo
Dijon mustard
Onion powder
Garlic powder
Apple cider vinegar

- Chop potatoes into bite-sized bits, but not too skinny.
- Cook potatoes until fork tender.
- Rinse in cold water.
- Add to bowl with other stuff, stir together, chill.
- Maybe add parsley or chives next time.