Monday, September 29, 2008

September 29th, 2008

Dinner, September 29

Our CSA farm that we work at once a week has yielded tons of tomatoes, peppers and squash. With so much each week, Ashley and I were thinking only one thing: Taco Party!

Soy chorizo with peppers
Vegan queso
Home Fries
roasted, marinated squash
black beans (spiced and seasoned)
lettuce, tomato
three kinds of pie

Because we used so many free vegetables, this allowed us to use some of our $50 shopping budget to spend on frivolous items, like pie shells, vegan cheese, and avocados for guacamole.


Dinner, September 29
The peppers, tomatos and onions were all from the farm. These we chopped with the mega chopper tool and sauteed with some cumin and garlic.
I got some taco seasoning and dehydrated soy crumbles from the store. I rehydrated the crumbles with about 2.5 cups water per cup of crumbles. I think I should have used two packets of seasoning for optimum taco power.


Dinner, September 29
Rotel dip with Velveeta Cheeze was my favorite thing when I was vegetarian. When I figured out how to make a tasty vegan version, I knew I was set! I made it last year for Christmas and my family really liked it, too. Since Velveeta is so fake tasting (in a good way) and the Follow Your Heart is also fake tasting (in a good way) this makes a good party queso.

2 packages follow your heart cheddar
1 package follow your heart mozz.
3 cans rotel

Serves 30 people

Dinner, September 29

To make a punk rock double broiler, fill the bottom pot with water and boil. Place a metal mixing bowl on the top and place cheese and rotel inside.
The mozz. doesn't melt that well so I put it in the blender for a few minutes.


Dinner, September 29
How will we cut up all this squash?

Dinner, September 29
I bought this little gadget at Target for $20 and it has been such a time saver for tackling literal mountains of vegetables.

Marinate in:
1/2 c balsamic vinegar
1/2 c braggs
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp sage
2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp nugmeg
1/2 tsp chili flakes
2 tsp maple syrup

bake at 250 F for two hours

Here is a blurry picture of squash in the oven:
Dinner, September 29


Dinner, September 29
These are easy as, well, pie!

Peanut butter pie with graham cracker crust
Blend peanut butter, sugar and mori nu silken tofu in blender. Pour into graham cracker pie shell. Top with frozen strawberries.

Strawberry pie with chocolate crust
Heat strawberries and sugar in sauce pan for 8 minutes. Transfer to blender. Blend strawberries and silken tofu. Pour into cookie crust.

Mint oreo with oreo crust
Blend 8-10 oreos with cocoa powder, sugar and silken tofu. Pour into cookie crust.


Dinner, September 29
These were 59 cents each at Fiesta. We ran into our friend Samir at the grocery store near our house and lured him to dinner with the promise of guacamole. That boy loves avocados. He has one tattooed on his leg!

Ashley got a wild hair and made home fries which were nice and crispy.

Here's the spread:
Dinner, September 29

The Verdict from house members:
- Many members ate the dessert before and after the meal (quelle surprise!)
- Becca proclaimed it her "ultimate vegan wet dream fantasy meal"
- We made SO. Much. Food. Which was appreciated by late comers.

What we listened to while cooking:
Le Tigre
The Country Music Station

Thursday, September 18, 2008

September 8th, 2008

September 8 Rawish Meal
Say "Yes!" to France!
In honor of the bike-in movie at Spider House tonight, The Triplets of Belleville, we decided to make a French meal.

September 8
Ashley versus the groceries.
The large bucket is for collecting coconut water and you can clearly see the giant stack of tofu beside her.

Creamy Garlic Salad Dressing
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup shoyu
10 cloves garlic
1 cup oil
a little pepper
the best salad dressing on the face of yum!

This dressing was stupidly good. We ate it over greens and spiralized beets. It would also go well with a cold noodle salad.

VEGAN QUICHE - 5 kinds
September 8
We made the quiche crust from scratch and saved about $10 by doing so. I used the recipe from Veganomicon and let it chill for about 30 minutes.
This went in the quiche
While I prepped the quiche innards of tofu and tempeh, Ashley prepped little bowls of veggie fillings to go in the quiche. Pictured above is tomato and basil.

To prepare the tempeh: simmer 3 tablespoons earth balance with fresh diced garlic and scallion. Add 1/3 cup shoyu and 1 cup water. Simmer tempeh for 20 minutes.
Quiche mixture before blending
This is the filling for the quiche:
1.5 blocks of tofu
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
4 tablespoons yellow mustard
4 tablespoons shoyu
Mix in:
green onions
cooked and spiced tempeh, one block
Quiche mixture all blended
Quiche mixture all mixed up - woo hoo!
Quiche before cooking
Little quiche before baking. Look at what a good job Ashley did on those crust ridges! I baked this little guy for about 1.5 hours at 350F (our oven sucks and everything takes 2x as long).
Vegan Quiches
Basically I repeated the above steps (making the basic filling in the blender, then adding the veggies and mixing them all together) for the rest of the quiche.
Finished Quiche: tempeh, tomato/basil, squash, pepper x 2

Raw Celery Soup
In a blender, Ashley mixed up whole lot of greens (basil, broccoli, celery), garlic, dill and cashews with coconut water. Salt and pepper to taste. I think we made 4 blender fulls to feed our crowd.

Spicy Cocoa Truffles
Coconut Meat, 1 cup
Almonds, 2 cups
Cashews, 1 cup
Dates, aprox. 5
Agave, 1/2 cup
Vanilla Extract, 2 tablespoons
Cocoa Powder, 1 cup
Cayenne Pepper, 1 teaspoon
Nutmeg, 1 teaspoon
Cinnamon, 5 teaspoons
all blended into yum and altered to taste.
Cussing Spices
Don't forget the secret ingredient!
Spicy Cocoa Truffles
Using a ice cream scoop, I made individual truffles and put them in the freezer to harden.

September 8 meal
Salad with spiralized beets (raw)
Creamy garlic dressing (raw)
creme of celery soup (raw)
Quiche: tempeh, tomato/basil, squash, pepper
Spicy Cocoa Truffles (rawish)

September 8 meal
What a spread!

The Verdict from house members:
- Many members ate the dessert before and after the meal (quelle surprise!)
- The soup was a big hit
- The quiches that we let cook longer turned out better
- People actually like beets!!!

What we listened to while cooking:
Dolly Parton - Little Sparrow (whole album)
Eels - Blinking Lights and other Revelations (whole album)
The Faint - Misc. songs

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

September 1 Let's Get Rawdy

Let's Get "Raw"dy Menu

A new semester, a new crop of housemates. We lost about 6 house mates and gained 7 I think, so there has been a small readjustment period where we have new cooks in the house. Ashley moved into HOC in June and we became fast friends because we both love going to the juice bar, swimming in Barton Springs, farming, and listening to country music. When the prospect of us cooking together this term looked promising, I ordered three new cookbooks: RAWvolution by Matt Amsden, The Self-Healing Cookbook by Kristina Turner, and The Raw Food Detox Diet by Natalia Rose.
Garrison Keillor once said that July is the only month in which country people actually lock their car other country people won't sneak in and put squash on the front seat! We brought home several different kinds of squash from the farm this weekend, including zucchini, butternut and yellow squash.

You can see the pile of squash she's peeling in preparation for spiralizing.

Ashley Spiralizing Squash
I'd never seen anything spiralized before, it was very neat. It only took her 45 minutes to make a giant bowl of squash noodles. We let them sit out at room temperature for about 4 hours and they had a firmer texture by the time we sat down to dinner.

Spiralized Squash
The finished squash noodles.

I set about the task of harvesting coconut water from young coconuts. We went to a giant Asian market and were able to get these coconuts for $1.50 each. I hacked at them like a lumberjack and poured the water into a large measuring bowl. I scooped out the meat into heaping piles and carefully shaved off any of the husk. These were very fun to prep, it was almost like shucking oysters! Fresh coconut meat was very sensual in the mouth and not very sweet. I used the coconut water in the whole dinner: for the soup base, to water down the alfredo, to sweeten the tea, and to sweeten the halvah. I used the coconut meat to thicken up the alfredo sauce.

Tomato Basil Soup
Tomato Basil Soup
Coconut water, tomato, celery, fresh basil, garlic (lots!), lemon juice, olive oil, shoyu, sea salt all blended up.

Large quantities of fresh peeled garlic were available at the Asian market and I'm glad we chose to get that because BOY did we use a lot of garlic for this soup. I made the recipie X 4 and I think I used about 18 cloves for the whole thing.
Normally I dislike gazpacho-type soups but this one was so flavorful and interesting that I didn't feel let down. I also feel really good this morning from eating all that garlic!

Almond Halvah
Almond Halvah
Every raw/macrobiotic cookbook I read all put emphasis on dessert as an essential. Why argue with the pros?

Almond Halvah
Granted, this looks like oatmeal, but the juxtaposition of tahini/almonds/agave was very very good.

Almond Halvah
Ashley and the official taste-test. Holy moly look at all of our bulk and spices in the background!
Let me just take this time to say that this dinner was probably the most fun I've ever had (un)cooking. For one, we didn't have to turn on the gas stove, which makes our non-airconditioned house even hotter. Texas in September is just as hot as Texas in July! Also, since it was mostly prep work, we only prepped from 2:30 - 5:15 and had time to swim in our backyard for a good hour before dinner was served. It was very relaxing and not stressful.

Around this time we took a Le Tigre dance break and jumped around the kitchen.

Amelia and Ashley
Posing with the dinner.

Let's Get "Raw"dy Menu
Here is the dinner all spread out.

The completed dinner
White iced tea with coconut water
Tomato Basil Soup
Green salad with raw Italian dressing
Spiralized Squash pasta
Almond Halvah

The Verdict from house members:
- Lots of chewing
- "this is really good"
- Many members ate the dessert before and after the meal

Former members have tried to cook raw in the house and their previous failures caused deep skepticism by current house members. I think we turned their feelings around with this meal!

What we listened to while cooking:
Loretta Lynn/Jack White - Van Lear Rose (album)
The Ditty Bops - Wishful Thinking
Port O'Brien - I woke up Today
Gnarls Barkley - Run Away
Time - Jungle Love
Le Tigre - Deceptacon
Le Corps Mince de Francoise - Bitch of the Bitches

Until next week!