Category Archives: Food

Bouldin Creek Coffeehouse

Bouldin Creek Coffeehouse is one of my favorite places to eat and hang out. It’s casual, comfortable, and makes a great place to study or work on projects (as long as you don’t come during one of their really crowded times). Their coffee is great, their vegan cornbread is great, and their tofu scramble is great. My only complaint is that sometimes their portions are inconsistent (maybe it has to do with different chefs at different times of the day(?). Still, I wouldn’t hold it against them. Everyone should eat here – it’s good. While it’s all vegetarian, I’ve taken many meat eating people here and they always find something they’re excited about eating. Although those who get the scrambled eggs end up regretting it – the tofu scramble is just way better and much more flavorful.

I pretty much always get their El Tipico or their Tofu Broccoli Salad with tofu scramble. I should probably branch out and try something new, but I eat out so infrequently…it’s hard for me to want a change. Why mess with a good thing? If I ever try something new, I’ll post it here. For now, here’s a photo of the Tofu Broccoli Salad. Don’t you with you were eating it right now? I do.

Vegan Stuffed Zucchini

I’m not very good at posting sequentially after each potluck – I just post photos as I come across them.

Here is one I came across recently from the stuffed food potluck we hosted a while ago.

Everyone made such amazing food that night. We had stuffed mushrooms, stuffed chard leaves, stuffed tomatoes, stuffed peppers, two different kinds of stuffed shells, and some other things I wasn’t able to fit on this plate.
I made stuffed zucchini and I got so addicted to them that I’ve made them twice since then.

Basically I cut each zucchini in half, then sliced it lengthwise. I got a spoon and scooped out all the insides. I sauteed onions, garlic, tomatoes in olive oil, then added breadcrumbs and the leftover zucchini pulp. For the first batch, I added soy sausage…but I don’t think it was necessary. I can’t remember the spices I used, but I think I used thyme, oregano, and fresh basil and parsley. I may have also used paprika, Bragg’s liquid aminos, and a small amount of flour. I added a ton of nutritional yeast, mixed it all together into a big mush, heaped a scoop into each zucchini shell, then sprinkled more nutritional yeast on top. I lined them all in a baking pan (no need to grease it because they exude a lot of liquid) and baked them at 350 for about 30 minutes.

Vegan Wontons

For our mini food potluck, I made vegan wontons.

I steamed mine, but this vegan wonton recipe has instructions for steaming and frying methods.

To make the stuffing, I took leftover curry (which had about 20 or more ingredients in it) and blended it to make a paste.

I mixed the curry paste with crumbled tofu,

steamed chinese broccoli,

bamboo shoots,

minced wheat roast from White Mountain Foods,

lemon juice, nutritional yeast, onion powder, Bragg’s liquid aminos, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.

I made a quick dipping sauce by mixing soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, and agave nectar.

Folding the wontons was fun and relatively easy, but I learned that you should always cover the metal steamer with oil or margarine and not pile the wontons on top of each other.  I learned this the hard way, but luckily I had enough wonton wrappers that I could afford to make some mistakes. Anyway, just cook them in small, manageable batches – otherwise they’ll end up looking like this:

Many wonton wrappers from Asian grocery stores are vegan, but some are not. Just be sure to check that you got the ones without eggs. This brand is the kind I used:

Beets!

Beets are beautiful. I especially like them when simmered in orange juice and ginger….but I also like them baked, canned, pickled, or pretty much any way.

Shredding beets is fun too. Beets make me feel like a messy little kid who doesn’t care if the fingerpaint dies her hands for days and leaves a dark red stain on everything else she touches. It’s fun to be messy sometimes.

Don’t toss the beet leaves – you can eat those too. With a dark red vein that runs through the middle of each leaf, beet greens look a lot like rainbow chard. You can cook them similarly as well. Here are some quick and easy instructions for cooking beet greens.

East Side Pies

East Side Pies is a block down the street from me. It’s a fairly new business and I’m happy they’re around. Their crust and tomato sauce are both vegan. Cheese is included automatically, so as long as you order your pizza without cheese, you have yourself a delicious vegan pizza.

I was feeling crappy yesterday, so I decided to order a pizza from them (If you’re vegan, you have to order a whole pizza, rather than just a slice). They offer many great specialty toppings, such as asparagus, habaneros, broccoli, artichoke hearts, eggplant, and red potatoes. Each extra topping is either $2 or $2.50, depending on whether or not you get a small or large pizza–so it’s best not to get carried away or you’ll end up spending a lot of money.

A small (14-inch) pizza is $11 with a choice of sauce. Vegan-friendly sauces include hummus, black bean spread, and spinach curry.

I ordered a small pizza with spinach curry sauce, eggplant, roasted garlic, and fresh basil. This ended up costing $16, which is not bad considering you can split it with 2 or 3 people depending on how hungry everyone is. The pizza came out looking yummy like this:

One thing I like about East Side Pies is that their crust is very thin and crispy – more like a cracker than a dough. I like this because I’d rather save my appetite for all the toppings rather than filling up on bread. But if you’re the type of pizza eater who prefers thick, doughy pizza crust, you may not love this pizza.

Also, I’m not sure if they normally cut the pizzas into slices, but this came uncut. That was fine with me because I was taking it home. It was fairly hard to cut though, so I can see that being problematic if the customer takes it straight to the park or tries to eat it in their car or something.

Anyway, my pizza would have been great as it came, but being the indulgent sort of person I am (and the stingy person who doesn’t want to pay extra for lots of toppings), I took my pizza home and added more toppings that I had in my kitchen. I added onions, tomatoes, chard, mushrooms, poblano peppers, black olives, black pepper, nutritional yeast, and sprouts.

This pizza was so good!

50’s Potluck, Vegan Style

A few weeks ago, we had a fifties themed potluck. There was a pretty large turnout with some really amazing food. It was also fun because I got to dress up! My grandma actually made this apron in the fifties. I love this outfit so much, I wore it 3 days in a row.

I didn’t get a change to take pictures of all the food, but here are some:

These creations are exactly what I think of when I think of the fifties:

green bean casserole

“beef” stroganoff

“tuna” casserole

I forgot what the cook told me was in it, but it actually did taste a lot like tuna. I don’t know how he did that – that guy is amazing.

This one was my favorite – Fruit cocktail “jello” mold made with agar agar.

Vegan Meatballs

I made two different variations of vegan meatballs the past few days.

Both were good, but the second batch turned out better. I didn’t chop my seitan bits small enough for the first batch, so the meatballs were a little too chewy. Adding rice and water chestnuts to batch 2 was also a good decision – it helped the make the meatballs crunchier. Most of the other additions/deletions in batch 2 were based on what I had left in my kitchen. Next time I make meatballs, I want to add more nuts and seeds (maybe pecan pieces). While I really liked the rice, I might want to try lentils or black beans next.

batch 1: seitan (homemade and minced), shredded carrots, chopped onions, garlic, and celery, poblano peppers, pumpkin seeds, Bragg’s, nutritional yeast, thyme, oregano, paprika, tomato paste, parsley, small amount of flour

batch 2: seitan (homemade and minced), shredded carrots, chopped onions, garlic, and celery, cooked white rice, water chestnuts, nutritional yeast, paprika, thyme, oregano, cayenne, barbeque sauce, ketchup, small amount of flour

Here is how I made them:

  • Make seitan (you can buy it packaged if you don’t have a lot of time).
  • While the seitan is boiling, preheat the oven to 300 degrees and chop up all the vegetables and nuts.
  • Cook them with the spices in a big wok.
  • When the seitan is finished, pull it apart with your fingers, chop it into tiny pieces, and added it to the vegetable mixture.
  • Taste mixture and add spices if needed.
  • Add a little bit of flour to form a pasty substance.
  • Roll small balls with your hands (about 2 Tablespoons of mixture), place on a greased cookie sheet, and bake until brown. Check often and rotate if needed.

Tofurky Leftovers Contest

Turtle Island Foods, the makers of Tofurky products are having a Tofurky leftovers recipe contest.

Here are some things I made recently from the leftovers of a Tofurky roast:

Tofurky Pate

Tofurky Stir Fry

Tofurky Corn Cakes 

Tofurky Stuffed Mushrooms

Vegan Banana Bread Bunt Cake

I made banana bread the other day using a recipe from The Post Punk Kitchen.

I doubled the recipe, used 2 more bananas, 1 cup more of soy milk, and added chopped up pecans and walnuts. I didn’t use vanilla because I didn’t have any. I tried to use almond extract, but I spilled it all over the floor instead. Oh well – at least the kitchen smelled nice while I was cooking. I was a little worried because the recipe said to “pour batter into the pan.” My mixture wasn’t at all pourable. I scooped mine into the pan thinking it might turn out too dense and hard, but to my surprise, it was actually very moist and fluffy. I highly recommend this recipe. I gave the cake to my friend Sammy for his birthday.

Couscous and Arame Salad

This salad is so easy to make and so addictive. I made it for our most recent potluck and I’ve been eating the leftovers for breakfast the past 3 days!

I like arame because it doesn’t taste as fishy as most seaweed and it has the texture of noodles. Come to think of it, the Israeli couscous also has a noodley texture. So I guess this creation is kinda like a tangy noodle salad (only healthier and without actual noodles).

Here’s what you need for a nice big bowl of salad that will last you a while:

  • 1 package of dried arame
  • 2 cups-ish of Israeli couscous (larger than regular couscous)
  • Sauce (apple cider vinegar, tamari or Bragg’s liquid aminos, agave nectar, fresh ginger, fresh garlic)
  • sesame seeds

Here’s how you make it:

  1. Heat 2 cups couscous, 4 cups water in a pot. Once it starts boiling, reduce heat and cover. Should take about 15-20 minutes. Check periodically so it doesn’t burn.
  2. soak arame in warm water for 15-20 minutes. It should puff up and double in size.
  3. while arame is soaking and couscous is cooking, chop up 3 or 4 cloves of garlic, shred 1 or 2 tablespoons of ginger, and combine garlic and ginger with the wet ingredients listed above. Stir, taste, and adjust as necessary. Add chili garlic sauce or sriracha sauce if it is too sweet.
  4. Combine arame, couscous, and sauce in a large bowl. Mix in sesame seeds. Shredded carrots are a great addition if you have them. Red cabbage or radishes would probably also be pretty.