You are currently browsing the monthly archive for March 2009.

Hey everyone!  It’s been a couple of weeks since I last blogged.  This month flew so fast!   This month wasn’t that great for me since I got strep throat!  I was put under the dreaded antibiotics for 10 days!  It turns out this is the only way you can cure strep throat, with antibiotics.  I tried salt and water in the beginning and it seemed to work but after a week I felt very tried so I went to the doctor who prescribed me those antibiotics!  I really hate antibiotics!  Anyway, I’m feeling a lot better now! 

Raw Pasta

 Zucchini Pasta with Raw Marinara Sauce

I recently got Raw Food/Real Worldfrom the library as I was searching for new cookbooks.  The cookbook has some of the most amazing food pictures I have ever seen.  I got the “uncookbook” so I can learn more about raw vegan food.  I was impressed!  I still didn’t try any of the recipes but I did make something raw of my own.  I made a very easy raw zucchini “pasta” with a raw marinara sauce.  All I really did was peel some zucchini into thin slices and then I made a quick sauce in the food processor.  It was really tasty!  I felt really good after eating it, for some reason I had a lot of energy after eating it.  I don’t plan on going fully raw, but I am interested in trying various recipes and hopefully I just got a juicer yesterday! 

Here’s some Baked Pumpkin Ziti I made last week from Veganomicon.  I never got around to making this awesome recipe  last fall.  This Baked Pumpkin Ziti was the first recipe I made from Veganomicon!  It’s a favorite of mine!  It’s so tasty!

Baked Pumpkin Penne Edited

Baked Pumpkin Penne

Finally, some Chana Masala! Chana Masala was  one of the first Indian foods I have tasted.  I never tried to make it until earlier this week.  I looked at various ways to make Chana Masala, and came up with a great recipe!   It’s really tasty, and I plan on making it next month again!   I think it’s going to be a new favorite because it’s so easy and flavorful.  I’ll share the recipe soon!   I was so happy that it tasted like the Chana Masala I had first tried.  I’m really enjoying exploring Indian food.  I really like watching Manjula’s Kitchen and other Indian cooking shows on youtube.  I also like reading  Hooked On Heat which has a lot of information about Indian cooking. 

 Chana Marsala

Chana Masala

Well that’s about it for now!  I hope to blog again very soon!

Hey everyone!  This week I was really craving Indian food!  I normally don’t make Indian food that often, in-fact I really only made it a couple of times at home and ate it a couple of times at Indian restaurants. Anyway I saw a Red Lentil Dahl recipe on the The Post Punk Kitchen recipe corner a while ago. I have been meaning to make it for quite sometime and I finally made it this past Monday. This was the first time I made a Dahl. When I was making it I wasn’t sure I was going to like it because I was a bit skeptical of all the spices that were going in it. There were a lot of awesome spices in the Dahl. This dahl made my house smell so nice and fragrant! Now let’s get to the good part! After 40 minutes of cooking my first dahl was done! I made some brown basmati rice which I flavored with some cardamon and I also made some steamed broccoli to accompany my dahl. Now dahl isn’t the most good looking dish in the world but I tried to make it look nice. I plated everything up and started eating.

red lentil dahl

Red Lentil Dahl, Basmati Rice and Steamed Broccoli

I was amazed at the flavor of the dahl! As I was eating it I could almost taste each spice I had put in it. It was so flavorful and delicious! Each day the dahl got better and better until it was all gone! Isa never let’s me down and I am so happy she created this awesome dahl recipe! I will definitely be making more dahl and Indian food frequently! I think I am hooked on Indian food now! I really suggest making this recipe as soon as possible, it’s so good! 

This week I also made some delicous pumpkin cookies which were testers for Isa and Terry’s upcomping cookie cookbook! These cookies are pure goodness! I enjoyed them so much, I ate the whole batch in less than 24 hours with a little help from my mom! The recipe only used half a can of pumpkin so I was left with more pumpkin!

Pumpkin Cookies

                 Pumpkin Cookies

Guess what I made?

I made the Awesome Pumpkin Muffins from Vegan with A Vengeance! I really wanted to take a picture of these but I ate almost all of them. These are my favorite muffins, they are so delicous! I wish I had a picture to show you all!

I do have another picture of my dog Madison in the snow this past Monday. It snowed a whole lot this Monday! We even got a snow day. It was a great chance to take some awesome photos but my brothers kept throwing snow on me in an attempt to ruin my camera so I had to go home! Luckily I got a few, this one really stood out of the few pictures I took of Madison.

madison in the snow 2

Look at her head, it’s covered in snow!  She had a blast in the snow on Monday!  She really loves snow!

I really love Tofu as you have probably noticed!  I am a big fan of Tofu’s clean taste and ability to absorb so many different flavors.  I am always looking for different ways to prepare Grilled Tofu.  I am a big fan of Balsamic Vinegar!  I love everything about it, it’s a staple in my house.  I always dress my salads with a simple Balsamic and Extra Virgin Olive Oil dressing.  Salad dressing is not the only thing you can do with Balsamic Vinegar.  It works really well for Tofu!

I use Balsamic Vinegar as a base for the tofu marinade which is then turned into a delicious glaze!  This Tofu is really tasty.  I have been playing around with the recipe for a few months and I think I finally got it right!  This Balsamic Glazed Tofu has a slightly tangy taste with a touch of sweetness.  It can be made grilled or baked, I tried both ways and both turn out really tasty!  Like I said earlier the tofu marinade does not go to waste because it is reduced into a scrumptious glaze! 

This Tofu is great served in a number of ways.  I like to serve it with a grain and a vegetable side or chopped over a salad.  This tofu recipe is great for the summer time when you are looking to fire up the grill even though it’s winter now!  Here’s the recipe:

Balsamic Glazed Grilled Tofu 1

Balsamic Glazed Tofu
Grilled Version serves about 2-3 people, Baked Version serves about 3-4 people.

1 pound Extra-Firm Tofu, drained and pressed

For the Marinade/Glaze
1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1/2 – 1 Tablespoon Agave nectar (This depends on how sweet you like it, if you like it more sweeter use ! tablespoon or more.
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cloves of garlic smashed
A Pinch of Thyme, Oregano, Rosemary, and Marjoram. (Feel free to use any of your favorite herbs or leave them out completely if you wish)

You can Cut the Tofu anyway you like, I like to cut it into triangles or slabs.
For Triangles
Cut the Tofu in half diagonally. Now take the two tofu triangles and cut them into three triangles each. For the baked Tofu, cut it into 4 triangles each. You should get 6 triangles for the grilled tofu and 8 for the baked tofu.
For Slabs
Cut the Tofu width-wise into 5-6 pieces for grilled tofu and 7-8 pieces for the baked tofu.

After you have the cut the tofu, mix all the marinade ingredients in a mixing bowl.  I like to marinade the tofu in an 8 by 8 baking pan.  Pour the Marinade over the tofu.   Marinade the tofu for at least an hour.  Turn it  halfway through.  The longer you marinade it the better!

When the Tofu has marinated take the tofu out and set it aside. Strain the marinade to remove the garlic. Preheat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the Marinade mixture to the saucepan. Bring it to a boil. You want to keep it on a medium simmer. Cook the marinade for about 10 minutes until it starts to thicken and look like a glaze. Remember to keep stirring unless you have a non-stick saucepan. You want to keep an eye on it to prevent it from burning, it happened to me once so that’s why I bring it up. I actually burned a saucepan from doing this a while back!

For Grilled Tofu
Preheat a Cast-iron grill pan to medium-high heat. When it is hot, place the tofu on the cast iron grill pan. Grill the Tofu about 2-3 minutes per side. If your tofu is cut into slabs, grill the tofu 1-2 minutes per side and then turn it 90 degrees to form cross-hatch grill marks. As the Tofu is grilling, brush it with the Balsamic Glaze.

For Baked Tofu
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the tofu on a slightly greased baking sheet. Bake the tofu for about 20 minutes. Then flip it over and bake it for about 10 minutes. Brush it with the glaze towards the end because you don’t want the glaze to burn. If you like a chewier tofu place it under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, make sure to keep an eye for it!

Enjoy!

I got a lot of things to share with everyone tonight!  Sorry for not blogging for a while.  Last week I was a bit busy so I didn’t have time to blog.   Luckily I found some time tonight!   

Brocolli Rabe and Spicy Temeph Pasta

Last Monday I made the Spicy Tempeh and Broccoli Rabe Pasta from Veganomicon.  This was my second time making this pasta dish.  The first time it was super bitter from the Broccoli Rabe, I didn’t enjoy it much the first time.  I decided to give it another chance with spaghetti this time because it was all I had.  My mom prepares Broccoli Rabe very well so I decided to ask her about the secrets.  My mom says broccoli rabe has to be blanched for one to two minutes and then dropped into ice cold water.  Just like tempeh where it has to be boiled for a couple of minutes to remove the bitterness, broccoli rabe benefits from the boiling water too.    I decidedto try the blanching and it worked great!  The blanching defiantly removes some of the bitterness of the Broccoli Rabe making it taste pleasant..  I really enjoyed the flavorful spicy tempeh and the slightly bitter broccoli rabe.  I will now make this tasty pasta dish more often.  I hope everyone reading this blog has Veganomicon, if you don’t I highly suggest getting it!  Isa and Terry have taught me so much about cooking!   

Moving along on Wednesday I made and Albanian recipe.  It is called Pita or Burek, in Albanian.

Albanian Pita

My family mostly calls it Pita, I’ll refer it to Burek since it is more popular way to say it.  There are many versions for Burek there is a coil version similar to the picture and a regular square version.  I still havn’t learned how to make the dough fully by myself.  My grandma made the dough for this pita and I made the filling.  My mom is so good at rolling Burek dough, she can make its nice and thin.  My grandma made it a bit thicker which is how she makes it all the time.  It is very rare for Albanians to have recipes, we usually just eyeball everything.  I ask my mom where are your recipes and she says “they are all in my head”.  Next time I want to actually develop a recipe for the dough which should be fun!  You can always take the easy route and just use phyllo dough but then it would be more like a Burek.  I used a mixed mushroom filling for this Burek.  Tradionally the two major fillings are cheese or ground meat and sometimes spinach/cheese.  My mom always develops interesting fillings for Burek.   She came up with this one a while back when we bought a lot of mushrooms.  The first time my mom made it I was suprised with how good it was.  I really love mushrooms and I was so happy my mom invented this new filling!  I don’t have the recipe ready completely.  I want to create an easy to follow recipe for Pita/Burek and will probably have it up soon!

 Eggplant in Tomato Sauce

Another dish I made this week was eggplant in a tomato pepper sauce.  This was very easy to make.  I just cut an eggplant into small triangles and then pan fried them.  I then made a quick tomato pepper sauce with fresh tomatoes and some canned, onions, garlic, and a green pepper.  Seasoned it with some oregano, thyme, and of course salt andharvest-blend.jpg pepper. I threw the fried eggplant into the sauce and simmered it for a few minutes and  Voilá I had an awesome dinner!   I normally don’t like eating summer vegetables in the winter time but sometimes you get that craving for a summer vegetable.  Although this eggplant dish doesn’t look too photogenic it was very tasty!   I served it with a delicous product I just discovered at Trader Joe’s.  It’s called Trader Joe’s Harvest Grain Blend, it basically features Israeli couscous, along with red and green orzo, split dried garbanzo beans, and red quinoa.  I really like it because it cooks up so quick and it has so many different things in it.  Next time your at Trader Joe’s pick this up, you’ll love it!

I’ll leave you with my dog,  Madison.  This is her first appearance on my blog!   I took this picture a while back but I just had to share it with everyone know because she worked so hard on our little “photoshoot”.  In this picture she is in the snow, which it is actually snowing right now as well.  Look how serious she is!  I am so excited for tomorrow because my school has issued a snow day!  My school rarely gives out snowdays!  It’s supposed to snow a whole lot here in New York!

Madison

Madison says Hello to everyone reading!