Tempeh Wrap!

I recently received a review copy of The I Love Trader Joe’s Vegetarian Cookbook written by my friend and seasoned author, Kris Holechek Peters. It contains 150 recipes using foods from the much loved and unique grocery store chain, Trader Joe’s. Don’t let the title fool you, there is a vegan version of each and every recipe! I hastily made a list of the recipes I wanted to make and strolled over to my local TJ’s this afternoon. I don’t shop there often but I do like the nifty products they carry alongside standard grocery items. The first recipe I tackled was the Tempeh Wrap.

The Tempeh Wrap is a whole wheat tortilla filled with seasoned tempeh crumbles, lettuce, shredded carrot, olives (my favorite!), and cream cheese (I used homemade). I added diced avocado because it’s a requirement for my sandwiches. This wrap was really enjoyable! It doesn’t take long to prepare and it is nutritious, filling, and inexpensive.

Stay tuned for more recipe reviews from The I Love Trader Joe’s Vegetarian Cookbook!

Waffles Before Age

Tuesday was my birthday and I discovered that elderliness is creeping up on me way too quickly. I long ago predicted that my teeth would fall out before my hair turned gray, and would you believe that I woke up with sore teeth and gums?! Luckily I took the day off from work so that Tim and I could enjoy the sunshine and warm temperatures (it almost reached 60 degrees-in February!!!). Nice indeed. 

We started the day by taking a long bike ride up to Flavour Spot, a waffle sandwich cart in Portland with several vegan options. We each opted for a crispy waffle wrapped around two veggie sausages and drizzled with a maple/margarine spread. Delicious! We had also packed along a big thermos of tea to enjoy with breakfast. After we finished the first round of waffle sammies, I decided it would be smart to try the Nut Fluffer too. A Nut Fluffer is a waffle wrapped around peanut butter and Ricemellow. Who are we to resist? Tim and I shared the Nut Fluffer.

Here are some photos:

nut-fluffer

veggie-sausage-waffle

tea-from-thermy

Afterwards we sat in a nearby park and warmed in the sun while digesting breakfast. I also thought fondly of my co-workers seated in front of their computers… Heh, heh, heh…

The rest of the afternoon included a bike ride to a huge art store we had never visited (future W.I.P. Wednesday post perhaps?!!), Tim making me cupcakes (twice), and an awesome dinner. The story behind the cupcakes is quite humorous and sad at the same time. I had chosen Chai Latte cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World as my birthday treat. Tim eagerly mixed the batter and then asked me to fill the muffin pans. I had filled two muffin cavities when Tim realized he had forgotten to add the oil. The batter went back into the bowl and the oil was stirred in. The batter went into the muffin tins, baked, smelled amazing, and came out of the oven as golden cupcakes. And then… They sank into dense, heavy, rubbery pucks (we decided that adding the oil too late and mixing the batter too much as a result caused our disaster). Tim insisted I choose another recipe since the first batch wasn’t too tasty. I decided on chocolate cupcakes. He let me frost them:

nods-cupcakes

nods-cupcakes-2

These super chocolatey cupcakes made my day!

For dinner we made Jessy’s Tempeh Meatlessballs with Green Rice. If you haven’t tried this recipe yet, you really ought too (I have posted about it before, here)! It has become one of my top ten all time favorites!!! It is incredibly tasty. We topped ours with a tahini sauce.

tempeh-balls-and-green-rice

The evening ended with a movie and an extra cupcake (or was it two?). 

And just because I love food in bowls, here is a photo of the dinner Tim and I made this evening:

crazy-stir-fry

 

This was a compilation of veggie odds and ends: carrots, broccoli, shiitakes, peas, red bell peppers, kale, and tofu. Tim made an awesome stir-fry sauce and we served the result over chow mein noodles (the non-crunchy ones) and sprinkled black sesame seeds on top. 

That’s it. I’m off to have a cupcake. If Tim isn’t looking, I’ll take his too.

Tempehtational

What a nerdy title, right? Ha. Who cares!?! I’m so full of yummy food that my mind is looped in loops. What yummy food you ask? Maybe I shouldn’t tell… Ok, ok I’m weak, I’ll tell you. Tim and I made Jessy’s (of happyveganface fame) Green Rice and Tempeh Meatlessballs for dinner. This meal is so incredibly delicious!! The rice is perfectly seasoned and loaded with spinach; the tempeh meatlessballs are fun to make and a lovely complement to the rice. In fact, this is the best tempeh recipe I’ve made. Try it!! I can see (in the near future) using the mixture for tempeh burgers. Indeed. Tempeh burgers and some sweet potato fries would be great after a long day at the office!

Who doesn’t love food you can eat in a bowl?

On a separate note, remember when I posted about Portland’s first Let Live Animal Right’s Conference? Well, now you can view video footage from the event!!! The Let Live organizers have also started a monthly series of talks that are free and open to the public. There have been two so far; the next one is on December 28th and features Isa doing a talk on culinary activism. Hooray!! If you don’t live in Portland, or can’t make it to the events, keep checking the above site for new videos. You will learn a lot, I promise. A lot.

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.