Post-Op

Today I had surgery, and as a result, I am fairly immobile for the next several days. Two positive things result from this. First, I got a super-cool ice pack that ties around my abdomen and is reminiscent of the fanny-pack days of the beloved 80′s, so at least I can recover in style. And second, I can have a few legitimate days off from work!

The best cure in my opinion for post-surgery discomfort is…COOKIES! That’s right, cookies. After a long afternoon of napping I decided to make peanut butter cookies from a recipe I found in my mom’s recipe box a while ago. I liked these very much.

 

Pita Surplus, a Mini Post

Well, since I have an overwhelming surplus of frozen pita ball dough in my freezer, tonight seemed like a good night for falafel. The best part about pita is that you can freeze the dough balls and then thaw and bake them in a snap! The falafel recipe is from Vegan with a Vengeance. Although I must admit, I did not make these. My boyfriend did. So he deserves the credit! It was nice to come home from work, sit my lazy self down, and eat some falafel…sooooo good (and big step for me…there was an entire onion in the falafel! so hooray, I ate onion). Dessert was a chocolate wacky cake (recipe from one of Mollie Katzen’s cookbooks for kids, I think it was Honest Pretzels) and some chocolate-mint-fudge soy ice cream. Sadly, there are no photos, but trust me when I say that everything was top notch delicious!

 

Growing into Veggies

Growing up as a child, I was an insanely picky eater (and very unruly as well)…the worst. If my mom put a vegetable (almost any vegetable) on a plate in front of me, I can guarantee you I didn’t eat it. In fact, the kitchen table at my parent’s house still has dents on it that I left from bashing a spoon against it, in protest of eating mashed potatoes (repressed memory creeping up on me here). My mom once made me sit at the dinner table with peas smeared on my cheeks because I wouldn’t eat them (my mom isn’t mean…trust me!). But, nothing…NOTHING, compared to my dislike for the lovely onion. In college, I put tomato sauce through a sieve to remove onion, and I would dissect every meal until each little bit of onion was safely piled up on the opposite side of my plate. Gag. My point? Well, I am proud to say I am no longer so terribly fussy. I actually love veggies! I am still working on the onions…but I certainly do not throw fits at the dinner table anymore!

With that unnecessary intro, Easter dinner (and dessert) both contained veggies! Since my family and my boyfriend’s family all live back east, we have spent the last seven or so Easter holidays by ourselves…which is still very fun!

On to some food!

Our dinner consisted of the Tempeh and Green Beans with Mushroom Miso Gravy over Quinoa (from one of my favorite cookbooks, Vegan Express), and a side of mashed sweet potatoes. This meal had plenty of mushrooms, red pepper, green beans, carrots, and… mashed potatoes (see mom? I love potatoes!).

For dessert, I made the Carrot Cake Cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. Oddly, I only had enough batter for ten cupcakes…yummy regardless of quantity though! My cupcakes also sank a bit in the center, but that’s where the frosting comes in. Frosting hides all cupcake flaws. Speaking of frosting, there is never enough…

And finally, in keeping with the adoration of veggies, tonight’s dinner: the Asparagus and Spinach Pizza with Sun-Dried Tomatoes from…ummm…Vegan Express! Yes, this was very tasty. I changed the recipe a bit to flavor-up the silken tofu-based sauce by adding oregano, basil, cayenne, and a bit of Follow Your Heart cheese. The crust was homemade.

Speaking of asparagus, here’s a joke I made up (answer appears after photos):Q: What kind of weapons do Veggie Cops carry?

A: Vee-guns (get it?!) and Aspara-guns! Hahahahahaaa!

Alright. Enough.

A Spring Montage, Seitan Gyros, and Something Sweet…

Happy Spring! The weather here in Portland today was lovely and sunny, so I went on a walk and took some photographs. The flowers are blooming everywhere and the bees are pollinating, and with that said…

I made Seitan Gyros (from Vegan Express) for dinner with Rosemary Roasted Potatoes (also from Vegan Express, but without the olives). The pitas and the seitan (recipe for the seitan from Vegan with a Vengeance) were both homemade.

And finally…dessert! The combination of chocolate and peanut butter is a favorite among many, including myself. And since tomorrow is Easter, I wanted to make some peanut butter eggs. Instead of an egg shape I decided on an orb shape. So really, these are peanut butter orbs. Simply peanut butter mixed with some powdered sugar and a little Earth Balance, dipped in melted chocolate. These are difficult to stop eating. I always freeze them hoping that the wait to thaw them will deter me (and my boyfriend, who sneaks these from freezer to mouth without the thawing) from snarfing them all up in minutes. Sometimes that method works, and most of the time it doesn’t.

That’s it. Hopefully I will have some time tomorrow to post whatever ends up on the Easter menu!

A Cookie Recipe

Tonight for dinner I made the Big Quesadillas with Black Beans, Broccoli, and Portobello Mushrooms from Vegan Express (sorry, no photograph). This was a lovely combination of flavors, especially when topped with the Instant Roasted Red Pepper Sauce (also from Vegan Express). Served with some tortilla chips, salsa, and fruit, this was a mighty filling meal.

I also made cookies. Awhile back, I tried to start my own vegan cookie company called…Cookie Addict (see a pattern?!). But, I lost motivation and I am a terrible self-promoter, so that idea soon fizzled away. Being an avid baker, I still make the cookies I had planned on selling. These particular cookies are called Lemon Zingers. I created these when my cookie-muncher-of-a-boyfriend demanded (oh so politely) a lemony cookie. They are topped with a lemony icing and are crazy lemony all the way through. I think they taste equally great without the icing, but the cookie-muncher says “If they don’t have the icing, they aren’t Lemon Zingers.” With that said, please try this recipe and let me know how they turn out for you.

Lemon Zingers

1/2 cup Earth Balance (or other vegan margarine), softened
3/4 cup unrefined sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 egg replaced (I use Ener’G Egg Replacer)
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
Zest and juice from one small lemon
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Beat the margarine and sugar until fluffy. Add your replaced egg and  extracts. Blend some more (a stand mixer or hand mixer work well here). Add lemon juice and zest. Beat some more. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Combine the two mixtures and beat until a nice dough forms. I use a 1 1/2 tablespoon-sized cookie scoop to drop these onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Bake for about 9-11 minutes. My oven is temperamental, so keep an eye on yours!

For the icing, whisk together 1 cup of powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. I always add some extra lemon zest, so you can too. Spoon a small amount of icing onto cooled cookies, and spread to cover cookie top. Eat and be happy. These are LEMONY.