Friday, January 11, 2008

Dinner and dessert?

So after being bored and not having much to do during the day yesterday, I decided to make something scrumptious.
I first made these chocolate chocolate chip cookies..which turned out like such

I was excited to find out that the Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips were vegan! They're so delicious and they made the cookies just perfect. Everyone enjoyed boyfriend told me I have to make them for when he comes to visit! :)

As for the recipe:
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grind 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of flax seeds in a blender until it becomes a powder. Add 1/2 cup of soy milk and mix for another 30 seconds. In a large bowl, sift together 2 cups of flour, 3/4 cup of cocoa, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. In another large bowl, cream together 3/4 cup canola oil and 2 cups of sugar. Then add in the soymilk/flax mixture and mix. Add 2 teaspoons of vanilla. Fold in the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in batches. When it gets too tough to stir with a spatula, use your hands to make a doughy texture. Add the chocolate chips. Then place on 1 inch balls on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Viola!

That brings us to the other boredom dish I made..A chipolte taco salad..

I was a little skeptical of the dressing ingredients, but it turned out pretty good. A bit spicy though, I might use a little less of something next time I make it.
The dressing was 1/3 cup chopped cilantro, 2/3 cup soy sour cream, 1 tablespoon minced chipolte in adobo sauce, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 4 teaspoons fresh lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt.
And in the salad i just put 4 cups of romaine lettuce, I grilled up some of my chkn slices (i used morningstar), 1 cup of halved cherry tomatoes, a diced up avocado, 1 can of black beans, 1 can of corn (both rinsed & drained)

The salad itself was delicious ( I'm a huge fan of salad with lots of stuff in them!) But perhaps less spice in the dressing. You be the judge.

I go back to my apartment for school the day after tomorrow, so I probably won't cook up any more concoctions until I'm back there. It's hard to cook there though because I'm always either working for dinner time or something else comes up. Hopefully i'll find more time to cook this semester though. I'm excited!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Goodbye dairy, hello vegan world!

Yes, rumors are true.
After many years of contemplating and wishing I had the balls to make the transition of being a vegetarian to being vegan..I'm finally doing it.

I'm not sure what made me finally say it was really time. I mean, I knew that I would eventually one day, but right now is interesting. I suppose a new year, a new diet change? Or maybe it was the recipe book my aunt had given to me for Christmas, Skinny Bitch In The Kitch. After reading the introduction I saw that the two authors were vegan so I knew the recipes in it would be good. Just reading the introduction for the book about their views on meat and dairy, made me see how much I loved these skinny bitches. I was so intrigued by their views and ways of expressing them as well as their recipes, that I thought I should get their first book, just entitled Skinny Bitch. It didn't have recipes, and it wasn't exactly a "diet book", but basically just shared their thoughts and views on the meat industry, consuming dairy, eating unhealthy, buying organic products, etc. Though some may find their writing to be a bit rude with their somewhat vulgar language, I find it to be an entertaining way to hear about what they believe in.

So I took the approach in making my first recipe out of the book. I tried the "East Coast Lasagna." I originally wanted to make the fettucini alfredo, but due to lack of good vegan food variety, I could not(there is no vegan parmesan or vegan creamer to be found in this small town, even in the health food store. ) SO the east coast lasagna it was. I was excited because I made the sauce from scratch and even the ricotta cheese(tofu in a food processor with a few other ingredients to spice it up.) The pasta was whole wheat and I used Morning Star beef crumbles as the "meat" and soy mozzarella cheese in it as well.

So after it taking about 2 hours to make and cook, I was excited to try it myself, let alone let my family have some! It was shared between myself, my mother, my father, and my extremely picky boyfriend who usually denies anything healthy and has all his sandwiches vegetable free. Go figure.
Anyway, aside from the onions in the sauce, my boyfriend actually liked it! I was quite pleased with that. My parents seemed to like it as well, but they were both a bit skeptical at first. There was a lot of leftovers though, so I've been heating up pieces for quick dinners thoughout the past week. Still tastes amazing after being reheated a week later in the microwave! Job well done!

So there you have it. I can be vegan, as well as make a delicious lasagna for even meat eaters to enjoy. I've seen so many good recipes online, you have no idea how excited I am to get in the kitchen and start cooking!