Monday, February 21, 2011

VegNews Vegan Alfredo

If you have the March-April edition of VegNews, you might have seen the recipe for fettuccine alfredo. If you haven't yet, you've got to try it.

I tried to find the recipe published online, but I couldn't find it, which is a shame. I think they send out the edition to subscribers before it hits the shelves in the stores, so I'll keep looking for it. Maybe when they update their website with the March-April edition, the recipe will be available online.

The sauce is your average cashew cream variety with some pine nuts thrown in, then thinned with water, lemon juice, and some garlic, nutmeg, and black pepper. (I left out the nutmeg for a fussy eater.)

The recipe didn't call for it, but I added a tablespoon of white miso, a few drops of ume plum vinegar and extra garlic...for garlic lovers, this is a great vehicle for some intense garlic action. Oh yeah, and I tossed in a handful of mozzarella-style Daiya, since I had some in the fridge I needed to use up. It all came together for a tasty sauce.

Then, I sauteed some yellow pepper, slivered garlic, (in keeping with the intense garlic theme) and broccolini to toss with the pasta and the alfredo sauce. Garnished with green onion slices and fresh oregano, it was a flavor bomb. Oh, and don't forget plenty of fresh ground black pepper.

It hit the spot with some spinach and roasted eggplant rollups: thinly sliced eggplant brushed with garlic-infused olive oil and a pinch of sea salt, then roasted until brown and garnished with a squeeze of fresh lemon. They're tasty little treats; we ate most of them before they made it onto the plate! 

Roseann LaPonte
Rosanne Tobin

Monday, February 14, 2011

Heart Beets

St. Valentine's greetings!
Like many, I enjoy taking this opportunity to make heart-shaped food, and beets seem especially conducive to this type of thing. Heart-shaped dining commenced early, with a heart beet salad and some pizza with heart-shaped beetaroni :

Beetaroni pizza with mushrooms, red onions, and Daiya vegan cheese

Beetaroni? Yes, it's so cool. I'm sure many of you already know about it, but if you don't, you'll have to check out Ricki Heller's original post about this ingenious idea.  It's basically thinly sliced beets slow baked in a smokey, spicy, garlic-y marinade. The end result really does go well on pizza: lightly smokey, spicy and tender..adds a nice color too. I never ate or liked pepperoni before going vegetarian (seemed suspect to me), but, that's another story.

I didn't have a cookie cutter, so I made a little stencil to guide the heart-shaped cuts...cutting the raw beets was much easier than cutting the cooked ones in my experience. (I'll use the cut-out scraps in salads throughout the week.)

Here are the beets in the marinade, pre-baking:

And then out of the oven. The marinade bakes into the beets and as the liquid evaporates, the little beets curl up a bit:

Sorry, no heart-shaped dessert, but we did enjoy some raspberry beer: Lindemans Framboise Lambic. It's like raspberry soda, but with a little punch. The apple flavored one is good too. According to, Lindemans' beers are vegan friendly.

Happy Valentine's Day!! 

Roseann Laponte Tobin

Friday, February 11, 2011

It's February! (?)

How did it get to be almost the ides of February and me without one blog post?  I'll tell you how: I've been thoroughly enjoying 'comment mode'...sitting back, relaxing, having a beer and letting you guys do all the work, heh-heh.

But seriously, I think I've been in a time warp; I've been telling myself for the last week or so "it's only the beginning of February, plenty of time for everything"...only to find that it's almost the middle of the month and I've not done anything useful in blogland.

First, I'm going to be useful and mention a fun swap that Cassie at Vegan Fox in the Snow has organized. Basically, she's pairing people off to exchange homemade vegan bookmarks...that's this month's theme anyway. It's sounds like fun, as well as easy on the pocket book. I'm already trying to think up a bookmark design. Check it out.

I'm also fostering 3 rat girls from the animal shelter. They were found in the apartment of a deceased person, where they were in a sorry state and half starved. They all needed medical attention. They've been at my house for the last week, and they're getting plenty of love and good food and doing great! Two of them are hairless. They love to sleep piled up together:

Kat (the little one in front) had to wear a rat-sized version of those cone collars they put on animals so they won't bite at their stitches etc. It was awful. She was such a miserable little trooper through all that; it broke my heart to watch her. Rats use their front paws to eat and clean their noses, and they groom themselves meticulously...she couldn't reach her face with her paws and she was so frustrated trying to eat and not being able to groom. I cleaned her nose for her, but she would have much rather been doing that herself! I'm so relieved her operation was successful and her stitches are healed, and she is so happy to be rid of that collar!

As far as food goes, I snapped a few pics of recent dinners...when I take photos after dark, they turn out dark and yellowy, but whatever.

Spicy Sichuan Eggplant from Authentic Chinese Cuisine by Bryanna Clark-Grogan. I added tofu, peppers, and green onion to the recipe. Plenty of sambal oelek to garnish. I've made several recipes from this cookbook and they have all been delicious.

Homemade taco bowls with tostones. I used the homestyle refried beans recipe from Viva Vegan, but left them whole instead of mashing them. Don't worry; it got all messy and delicious as more salsa and hot sauce was liberally applied and munching commenced.

To make  the tortilla bowls I followed this ingenious method, devised by talented Debbie over at Heath Seekers Kitchen. Actually, the whole dinner was inspired by her post: Thanks Debbie!

Unlike Debbie, I used store bought spinach tortillas instead of making them from scratch. The store bought kind are less elastic than raw dough, so I used some unwaxed dental floss to tie the tortillas around the dishes and make them bake without popping out at the sides. Works a treat...but, if you use ready-made tortillas, you have to watch them closely so they won't burn.

More of Vic's seitan steaks, this time in an oregano-scented tomato sauce with capers and sauteed artichoke hearts, onion, and mushrooms. The pic does not do justice to the deliciousness of this.

Some tofu phad thai, again with loads of sambal oelek.

A salad I took to work:

I flippin' love nutritional yeast on salad! Actually, I should say I love nutritional yeast blended with walnuts and a pinch of sea salt, which is what I use with some soy sauce or Bragg's aminos and cider vinegar...super yum!

Here's my boring desk at work...if you look closely, you'll see that I'm diligently working on the slides for the afternoon meeting gazing at Shen's blog.

Have a good weekend!
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