Thursday, November 10, 2011

Roasted Potatoes & Field Roast Sausages

This was one of those meals that came from trying to get rid of a few odds and ends of things and turned into something really delicious. I've actually made this again since because I liked it so much. The best part is that you pretty much just throw everything into the oven and forget about it until the timer goes off. You could use this as a side dish for dinner or brunch or just eat it as a meal for breakfast. Either way, it's filling and hits the spot.

Just throw whatever you want in here - anything you're trying to use up the last of. I do think that the tomatoes kind of make it, though. I've been big into roasted slices of tomatoes lately so maybe that's just me.


Throw in some clean, chopped potatoes (I don't know how much I used, pretty much just enough for an 8" x 8" pan.), dice a few shallots or an onion and a few cloves of garlic and toss them with a bit of olive oil. If you're adding any other veggies, put them in now as well. Put the dish in the oven at 425 F for about 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, stir in a chopped Field Roast sausage (I used the chipotle flavored ones), some herbs (fresh or dried - herbes de provence is a good choice here if you're unsure) and stir everything up a bit. Add some sliced tomatoes to the top and bake for another 30 minutes. Let everything cool for 5 minutes before you start eating. Add some hot sauce or nooch or whatever you like.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Nacho Bar Madness

Nachos are one of my favorite food groups. I love them so much that sometimes if we're out at a bar or something I'll order no-cheese nachos just to have them. I always get weird looks when I do that, but whatever. I make nachos at home sometimes, too. Those are usually those lazy nights when I'm staying in and watching some stupid movies or a Vampire Diaries marathon or something. Nachos are good for that.

Please ignore the timer in that picture. I forgot to remove it from the table when I took these. We were doing laundry and timing the loads, not timing how long we had to eat. haha

Of course I was totally stoked when Sara Beth had some nacho bar ingredients listed for her recipe testing. Oh, yes. I am so on board with this. It's really not that hard to convince me to eat nachos, though, so to be honest. 

The only bummer about this meal was that I forgot to buy avocados earlier in the week so they'd be ripe for guacamole. Also, I was supposed to make some pico de gallo, too but the tomatoes at the store looked skeezy so I just bought salsa instead. No matter, everything was still awesome. 

The nacho cheese is the star of the show. James almost lost it when he tried this. It's cashew based witha  secret ingredient to give it that awesome tang that nacho cheese has with some spices added in to give it a bit of something extra. I am so in love with this stuff. I will be making this quite often.

This is tempeh taco "meat". I've always just used one of those flavoring packets when making something like this so it was super cool to make the flavoring totally from scratch. I love tempeh, so this was extra wonderful in my books. We had some leftovers from all of this and made some sandwiches out of the tempeh and nacho cheese. That stuff is pretty awesome to put on a sandwich or in a wrap, actually.

Last, but not least, I made some sour cream. This was crazy simple and really delicious. It went so well with everything else. You could easily make this the day before if you wanted to, which is always a cool thing. Also, I think this could stand in for any kind of store bought sour cream you might use. Score!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Braised Tempeh & Fluffy Couscous

I've been cooking up a storm these last few days. I have this week and next week off work in between contracts. Yay for staycations! I've been way busier than I thought I'd be between renewing my drivers license and running to the market and cooking and all those fun errands I finally have time for. I can't believe this week is already almost over. This is really the best time that I could be doing some recipe testing, though. I've been making an average of 2 different things each day right now. So awesome. It's been a blast, I hope I get to keep doing stuff like this.


One of my favorites from Terry Hope Romero's upcoming international vegan cookbook is the Braised Tempeh with Green Olives and Preserved Lemons. Tempeh and I are good buddies already, so any excuse to do something new with it and I'm in. This stuff was fantastic. I've been wanting to try preserved lemons for a while (the recipe for this will also be in the book) and I already love olives. So delicious. So there's tempeh, some caramelized onions, green olives and preserved lemons and a few other things. It's easy to put together and so good. I was excited to eat the leftovers.


I decided to pair this with Terry's Fluffy Spiced Couscous. This is a cool recipe because you can customize it depending on what else you're making. I haven't made couscous in ages. I don't think I'll wait so long to make it again, though. This came out fluffy as promised and full of flavor. I put dried apricots, preserved lemons and pistachios in mine. Yum!


Between testing for Terry and Sara Beth, we've been eating so well lately. It's awesome because I never have that problem where I have no clue what to make for dinner. I just find a recipe on the list that I haven't tried yet and there you go. I'm going to try making some granola bars this weekend. Awesome, right?


Monday, October 31, 2011

Walnut Spice Sticky Cake

It's the season for recipe testing! I'm also testing for Terry Hope Romero's upcoming international vegan cookbook. It's a delicious job, let me tell you. Doing all of this testing for Terry and Sara Beth have really put me on a mission. It's so much fun trying new things. I've been inspired by different techniques and flavor combinations and will definitely carry some of that over into my own recipes.

I totally took a bite out of this before I took the picture. I couldn't resist.

Today I made Terry's Walnut Spice Sticky Cake. I don't normally make cakes because it's just the two of us here and it's sometimes hard to eat a whole one. The sacrifices you make sometimes! This cake is not one that's likely to sit around going bad, that's for sure. I literally just finished eating a piece of this and I'm holding myself back from having a second piece. I will definitely have another one after dinner tonight.

Fresh from the oven!

This walnut cake is made with spelt flour, which I love and has just the right amount of spice to give it flavor without being hot or too overpowering. There's a bit of orange zest in it and an orange syrup poured on top after it comes out of the oven. I much prefer cakes like this to the kind with frosting. I'm not a frosting hater, but normally I scrape most of it off because it's too much sugar for me. I feel like I could eat a piece of this for breakfast and not start the day off on a sugar high.

Okay, maybe I will have another piece. Just a small one.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Veggie Fritatta and Sunshine Smoothies

I've been recipe testing for Sara Beth Russert's upcoming cookbook for the past few weeks. I've been really loving everything I've made so far. I think you guys are going to love this cookbook. I've already found some things that will definitely be making it into a regular rotation at our place. Two of these are the Veggie Fritatta and the Sunshine Smoothies.


As I'm sure you can tell from the photos, there are greens in the smoothie being all sneaky and stuff. You can't taste the greens at all, which surprised me. It was so yummy, I've made these a couple of times since I originally tested the recipe. Perfect for an afternoon snack or with your morning breakfast. These smoothies aren't frozen, which is the way I typically make mine so no brain freeze first thing, either. Just lots of fruits and greens and vitamins and yumminess.


This veggie fritatta was crazy awesome. I don't know how many this is supposed to serve, but we ate half of it between the two of us for breakfast along with our smoothies. Then, a few hours later, I was still thinking of how good it was and ate the rest of it all by myself. I can't say enough times how good this was.


Maybe you shouldn't try and eat this all in one sitting like I pretty much did. You'll sure want to, though.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Simple Brown Gravy

I just realized that I said I'd post a simple brown gravy recipe and then never did. Oops. I don't have any pictures of, but it pretty much looks like you'd expect a brown gravy to look. This is great to go with the Vegan Holiday Roast or stuffing or pretty much anything you need gravy for.

Here is a picture of two of my cats instead. These two are sisters and I always catch them snuggling. This was probably one of the funniest contortions they've been in.

Here's the great thing about this gravy. You can make it just bare bones and it tastes great or you can add a thing or two to jazz it up a bit if you want. I like to add mushrooms to mine so I'm going to give you the recipe with the mushrooms added. If you don't like mushrooms or don't want to do that, just leave them out. Add some fresh herbs if you want. Thyme, marjoram or sage would be nice with this. Also, if you're out of vegetable broth you can either add in some broth powder with water or just use water instead.

Brown Gravy

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3/4 cup mushrooms, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup flour
3 cups vegetable broth
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup soy sauce

Saute the onion, garlic and mushrooms in the oil over medium heat until the onions are transluscent, about 7 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together the broth and water and whisk in the flour.

Slowly add the flour mixture to the pot with the onions and mushrooms. Turn the heat up to medium-high and stir constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. Turn the heat down to simmer, still stirring often as your gravy starts to thicken. Add the soy sauce and cook for about 5 more minutes.

Remove from heat and blend the gravy until it's almost smooth. (Or make it totally smooth if you don't want any bits of onions and mushrooms in your gravy.) An immersion blender is great for this but if you don't have one, a blender or food processor would be fine.

Return the gravy to the pot and cook for another 10-15 minutes as your gravy finishes thickening. Whisk in some more water if you find it's getting too thick.

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Halloween Round-Up

I've been thinking about making something fun and festive for dinner on Halloween night. Those cute little pepper jack-o-lanterns I discovered yesterday might just be the thing. If I make that, I still need something spooky for dessert. I've done some neat cupcake things in years past so I might do something like that again. As I've been thinking about all of this, I decided to do a bit of a Halloween round-up today. Here are a bunch of things that I've made before and I'm seeing on other people's blogs right now. Are you making anything Halloweeny this year?

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Spiderweb Cupcakes and Chocolate Spider Mini Cupcakes - I brought these to work a few years ago and they were quite the hit.

Vampire Cupcakes! They "bleed" when you bit into them. These are really easy to make, too. I included the tutorial on how to do this in the blog post.

Hannah made these adorable little pumpkin candies over on Bittersweet.

Ghosts are popping up everywhere at Fancy Flours!

VegSpinz made her own Candy Corn last year and now you can, too!

Aren't these falafel spiders just the cutest?! There's a great recipe for falafel on this page from Veggie Bellly's site, too.

How about some sweet potato-chocolate swirl muffins from the Vegan Cookbook Afficiando?

I would swear there were some more Halloween things popping up in the MoFo this year. Maybe I'll do another round up this weekend if I find some more.