Friday, October 31, 2008

tempeh pasta with other awesome stuff in it

Happy Halloween, everyone.  I'm not feeling too awfully festive, but who knows where the night might take me.  Michael and I are carving a pumpkin in a little bit, so maybe that will trigger my spirit.  My dad got me a killer pumpking carving kit, and I have yet to use it since I've been sick.  Tonight is theeeee night!

Ok, so dinner last night was fucking amazing.  I'm not gonna lie.  And I totally made it up all by myself, so you get to see a recipe!  You are so lucky.  Also, Michael put together the recipe for the bars that you remember so fondly, so you, my dear readers, get not just one (no!), but 2 recipes today!  I spoil you, I know.  Enough of that, on to the food.
 feast your eyes on that 

Last night I wanted pesto.  I've been sitting on some basil for awhile and it needed using up.  But...pesto wasn't enough.  I had 2 blocks of tempeh in my fridge, awaiting the day that I got over my fear of eating the tempeh that has black all over it.  But then...  pesto and tempeh on pasta alone didn't sound that appetizing.  So I did some other cool things.  Anyway, here's the tempeh, sizzlin' away in the skillet after I marinated it:

And then I added some stuff:
with the addition of fire roasted tomatoes and some artichoke hearts

Are you ready for this recipe?  Ok.

Pesto Tempeh Pasta with Tomatoes and Artichokes

1 box whole wheat thin spaghetti
1 block of tempeh
1 15 oz can of artichoke hearts in brine 
1 15 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes
1 batch of basil pesto (of your choice, about 1/4 - 1/2 cup)
2 tsp capers, minced
1/4 cup plain soy milk

For the marinade:
3 cloves garlic, minced
juice from 1 medium lemon
1/4 cup bragg's (or soy sauce, or tamari)
a few Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp 'chicken' seasoning (your choice..mine's kroger brand)
1/2 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp oregano

First, cut your tempeh into strips.  Thin as you can make 'em.  Simmer them in boiling water for about 15 minutes, then drain.  While that's going on, make your pesto.  I made mine with: garlic, olive oil, pine nuts, basil, nutritional yeast.  Set aside.  Also, whip up your marinade.  Just put everything in a tupperware and stir.  Once your tempeh is drained, put it in the marinade and let it hang out for at least 45 minutes.  If you put it in a tupperware with a lid, shake it up every 20 minutes or so (the marinade won't be enough to cover, so shaking is key).  

Once you're getting closer to hungry for dinner, bring a pot of water to boil for your spaghetti.  Prepare that according to package, drain, set aside.  While your pasta is boiling, get a large skillet, pour in the marinade from the tempeh (including the garlic), and heat it up til the garlic is sizzling.  At this point, add the capers and the tempeh.  Leave that alone until the tempeh is brown on that side, then flip them and let brown on the opposite side.  Then add your cans of artichoke hearts (drained) and tomatoes (not drained).  Stir frequently until everything is bubbling nicely.

You'll probably need to rinse your pasta with hot water because it's stuck together.  Do that, and then add it back into the big pot.  Add the pesto and stir it in as best you can (it might clump, that's fine, it'll work itself out).  Then add in the tempeh mixture and the soymilk.  Stir until well mixed.

It's so good.  
tasty, hearty, basily, yummy, wonderfuly

It really is fantastic.  I had some leftovers for lunch and I'm still not hungry.  It's filling, kids.

And now for the recipe of Michael's bars:

Triple t(h)reat bar


4 cups oatmeal

1 cup brown sugar (I used sucanat )

2/3 cup melted butter, plus more for greasing pan (I used EB)

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 cup corn syrup (I used agave nectar, molasses and maple syrup)


1 (12-ounce) bag chocolate chips (semi – sweet)

2/3 cup chunky peanut butter (I used creamy then added whole peanuts and lightly added salt before putting on the chocolate )


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Butter a 9 by 13 inch pan. In a large bowl, mix the oatmeal, brown sugar, butter, vanilla and corn syrup. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan and bake 15 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes.

For the Frosting: Combine chocolate chips and peanut butter in a double boiler and melt. Mix well. Spread on baked and cooled cookie bars. Refrigerate until frosting hardens.

Cut into bars.

Get it?  Triple Threat or Triple Treat?  He's clever.  Anyway, go make some badass pasta and finish it off with a decadent oatmeal peanut butter chocolate bar.  You might gain a couple pounds, but it's cold outside.  You  need more padding.  

So this is the end of Vegan Mofo, huh?  I'm pretty proud of my posting this month.  I learned that I really love to blog and I love sharing my ideas with the world at large and getting some totally awesome ideas in return.  Thanks for coming along on the ride with me, guys!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

food that cured my sickness. and a contest, what!

First off - Georgia wanted to know how the loaf held up over the next couple of days.  The answer is: really well.  It didn't crumble or anything.  In fact, it stuck together remarkably well.  I used a potato masher to mush all the stuff together though, so maybe that made it more like a brick.  By the way, her blog has some totally awesome recipes and she lives in Australia (which is ultra cool) so you should go over there and check it out!

Second of all, I want to point out that I did not have the energy to cook while I was sick!  I made that loaf before I got sick in the first place, and the only thing I contributed to the spring roll meal was the beans (which is just putting stuff in a pot and letting it simmer).  Same with last night... I only made one component of the meal, because again, I felt icky.  Michael is the hero here!  I think some of you think I'm superwoman or something, haha...  No, I can't do anything while I'm sick.  

Anyway, as of today, I feel a lot better.  Still kind of blah, but I'm not achey, which is AWESOME.  I can deal with sinus congestion when my body doesn't hurt.  And my throat is less sore.  Yay!  I attribute it 100% to chocolate, oats, and nachos.  They cured me.  When I got home yesterday, Michael had made me some bars!  They were oaty and chocolatey and peanut buttery and so so so so good.  I think he got the recipe from food network, but he changed it around a lot.  The peanut butter at the top was the reminded me of Reese's cups.  Oh..I miss those sometimes.  But these were way better
just look.  look at it!

 He also, per my request, made up some hot chocolate.  I sent him the recipe via text message: soy milk, cocoa powder, sugar, chocolate chips, vanilla extract.  It was so good.  SO good.  I might make some here in a minute, actually.  I haven't had good hot chocolate in a long time, and it was perfectly hot and sweet and wonderful.

We decided to make nachos for dinner.  This is a relatively easy thing for us to whip up.  Michael makes the 'meat' and beans and chops the veggies,  I usually make the guacamole and cheeze sauce.  It took me too long to make the sauce last night though (I was dragging pretty bad), so he made the guac.  And it was better than mine.  Yeah, I said it.  He did an awesome job.  
mound of perfection

Anyway, chips piled high with tvp, corn, refried beans, olives, lettuce, scallions, cheeze (spicy style), salsa and guacamole is a sickness cure.  Who knew?  I went to bed after not even finishing my plate and woke up feeling refreshed.  

The moral of this story is, first of all, find someone to take care of you when you are sick.  Then, have them make you chocolatey things and nachos.  You'll be better in no time!

By the way, I only got 1 suggestion for a Halloween costume!  Come on, guys.  I really have no idea what to go as!  You have until tomorrow at like...8 pm to think of a costume that I will wear to a party for like an hour.  It's cold, here so...  no skimpy slutsuits, please!  Tell you what.  I'll up the ante a little bit.  The winner of my Halloween Costume Idea Contest will receive a box of cookies from me.  How's that for incentive?  Now lets get those ideas flowing, ok?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

loaf of veggie awesomeness. and spring rolls!

Thank you all for your get well wishes.  I am not really feeling much better, but today I am resigned to being sick.  Yesterday it hit me like a sack of bricks.  But Michael took good care of me (and is now kind of sick, himself).  I went to work anyway, which was a huge mistake because I hate my job enough when I don't feel like I'm about to fall apart...  That and my boss likes to say things like, 'If you ate some meat, you'd feel better' and 'You need a cheeseburger!  That'll set ya straight!' which makes me more annoyed than anything else on this earth.  I have a crappy immune system because I had mono when I was 18 and now I just catch things.  Apparently, veganism hasn't helped it out much yet.  Oh well.  Anyway...on to the food.

This loaf was waaaaay better than my last loaf.  I'm not even going to link to that last one.  That's how much better this loaf is.  
yeah...i used flash in that picture

I based it off this recipe from VegWeb, but changed it around to make it even better.  Instead of cilantro and the curry powder, I added a bunch of dried sage and thyme and I used 2 cups of brown basmati rice (cooked) instead of 1 cup of regular.  Also, when I sauteed the veggies, I added in a big handful of spinach leaves and a bunch of fresh basil.  Oh!  And I also added a stalk of celery, diced.  And I added more like 1/4 cup nutritional yeast instead of 1 tablespoon.  I really didn't change it that much...  It ended up so savory and so yummy.  I surprised myself, even.
better than any meatloaf in this world

I roasted a head of garlic, which got added to mashed potatoes.  I added a couple cloves to those green beans (canned by my mom!) too.  Michael made up a packet of accidentally vegan turkey gravy.  All in all, it was a damn good dinner.
and we finished the leftovers for lunch today, oh yes.

Then yesterday I got sick.  Boo.  Michael surprised me at lunch by making a potato and onion soup.  I'm not totally sure what was in it...but here's a basic idea:  red potatoes, red onions, liquid smoke, garlic, earth balance...flour...and now I've run out of ideas.  Whatever was in it, it was really good.  I'm not a HUGE potato soup fan, and I was impressed by this one.  The onions made it perfect.
michael put bacos on his

I had planned for spring rolls, but was honestly unable to help with them at all.  Luckily, Michael stepped up and made them for me.  I did make some coconut beans (black beans, black eyed peas, coconut milk, scallions, garlic, cayenne, and cumin) which were topped with avocado and mango.  The spring rolls contained green cabbage, carrots, scallions, and ginger tossed in some hoisin sauce.  We didn't realize that you're supposed to maybe saute your filling first because we thought that the steaming of the rolls would soften everything up.  The result was a tad crunchy for both of us, but I still thought they tasted totally awesome.
asian and carribean's a wonderful thing

Michael said he liked my beans better than the spring rolls, but I think he's just being a little overly critical of his own cooking.  Which I can totally understand because I do that too, sometimes.  We also whipped up a sauce each.  Mine is peanut butter, soy sauce, ginger, rice wine, and cayenne; Michael's is chili garlic sriracha and soy sauce.  My sauce was a little too thick...  but they were both really yummy.  I liked mixing them together.

All in all, besides being sick, I've had a couple of really good food days.  I wanted to end out vegan mofo with a bang, but...  I'm not sure that my energy level is up to it right now.  We are slacking a bit on dinner tonight, I think (but it'll still be good...just good sick kid food).  And then Friday is Halloween (by the way, I still have no idea what to go as.... any ideas for me? keep in mind that i'm poor).

But this is my 27th (26 about food) post this month, so I feel pretty damned good about that.    

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


i am sick.  i made awesome food last night too.  but i will try to post tomorrow.


Monday, October 27, 2008

deep dish pizza and dinner at my bro's house

I promised pizza, and I do not disappoint!
chicago-style deep dish pizza

Yeah, that's right.  Deep dish pizza.  That's my cast iron skillet you see that pie of awesomeness nestled in.  Do you have any idea how long it's been since I've had deep dish pizza?  Guh...a long, long time.  Even before I went vegan, I stopped eating this stuff because it's just so bad for you.  Like sooooo bad.  Greasy cheese.  And lots of it.  But not this one!  This is a pizza filled to the brim with: spinach, fresh basil, tomatoes, green peppers, shiitake mushrooms (mistake), onions, garlic, and a full recipe of cashew ricotta from Vcon slathered on top.  Just look:
you really only need one slice of this bad boy.

This would have been even better with olives and banana peppers, but I forgot to buy them.  Oh well.  That messy piece in the back is the first piece out of the pan...  it's not easy to get out.  I found the cashew ricotta to be a tad bit lemon-y (1/4 cup of lemon juice?  hmm) so I added some extra salt and a dash of beet sugar, which cured it immediately, and it was especially good after sitting in the fridge for a couple hours.  The crust has my usual additions of dried basil and garlic powder.  My only complaint was the mushrooms.  They just tasted...weird.  When I ate my second piece (for lunch the next day), I picked them all out.  Blegh.

On Sunday Michael and I went to my brother, Jonah's, house for dinner.  This was their first venture at vegan cooking, so they went on the delicious (and foolproof) route of veggie soup.  And it was SO good.  Terri (his lovely wife) made this up in her crockpot (genius!).  It's a tomato base, and if I remember correctly contained: green beans, carrots, corn, peppers, peas, and garbanzo beans.  She also added a little bit of salsa to add some flavor, which it totally did.  Michael picked up on the slight cilantro taste immediately, which he later clarified meant that cilantro, in small quantities, actually makes things taste good.  And boy did we love this soup!  
big pot 'o soup for a big group of people 

Terri also whipped up some lovely rolls:
i could not love bread more.  it's just not possible.

These were tender and fabulous and just absolutely perfect dipped into a big bowl of this:
so. frigging. good.

We finished off dinner with the last of Michael's birthday cupcakes (I love that my family doesn't care if baked goods are a week old, as long as they still taste good).  The cupcakes were enticing enough to get my niece to eat her veggie soup.  She promptly ate all the icing and then the dog snagged her cupcake.  I love families!  Endless entertainment.  The evening was rounded out with some watching of Jonah rock out to Rock Band and coloring + puppet making with my neice.  My nephew made the evening better just by being so darned cute (despite being impossible to put a diaper on).  

Must you have pictures?  Ok.  I hope J & T don't mind me putting up pics of their kids on my blog, but they're so darned cute that I can't stand it.  

Observe, the proper way to hold a baby:
And a slightly less proper, but still functional, way to do it:
can you believe he's only like 7 months old?  trenton, not michael.

And here is Allie, somewhat unhappily holding her new kitty, Lisa:
i'm hard pressed to decide who's cuter, here...  but allie wins in the end.

Until, that is, you see just how tiny and adorable Lisa is when paired next to a grown person:
i say 'grown' rather than 'grown-up' for a reason, hahaha...

Ah.  So as you can see, a lovely gathering.  My brother and his family are totally rad.  Next time, though, they're coming here and I'm gonna show 'em that vegans eat more than veggie soup ;)  (just kidding, guys, i eat a crapload of soup, honestly.)

Saturday, October 25, 2008


I accidentally made jumbalaya last night.  I have no idea how it happened.  There was drinking involved, and lots of hungry dumping of random things into my rice cooker.  Here is what I threw in:  leftover brussels and leeks (that were in a thyme and rosemary broth), 2 cups brown basmati rice, 1 can diced tomatoes, 1 can chili-style beans, 2 cups veggie broth, 2 cups water, 1 packet of taco seasoning, and some garlic powder.  And here's what came out:
i love happy accidents

It was totally delicious.  I burned the crap outta my mouth though, because it was so hot.  Thank goodness for rice cookers, too!  Just dump in, wait 20 minutes, and dinner is ready.  And you guys?  Brussels sprouts done this way are fricking amazing. 

Anyway, I'm not sure what about the combinations of these flavors makes jumbalaya, but that's exactly what it tasted like.  If it only had some chunks of veggie sausage... mmm.  And it wasn't just me being a drunkie, either.  I had leftovers for lunch and it was still good.  So, uh...if you ever happen to randomly have any of those ingredients and aren't sure what to make for dinner, just combine them all and hope for the best.  At the very least, it will be warm and filling and not gross.  As we all know, grossness sometimes happens when you drunkenly enter your kitchen to make dinner late at night.

And that's it, kids.  We watched a special on pizza on food network earlier, so I'm feeling a gigantic pizza surprise for dinner.  Oh, and this won't be just any pizza, by the way.  I have a sneakiness up my sleeve, oh yes.  I also have like a bajillion loads of laundry to put away now (guh, I hate the laundromat).  Yeah!  Clean clothes!

Friday, October 24, 2008

corndog bread! and cookies...much needed cookies.

I like corndogs.  However, I am a bit fry-phobic.  It just seems...unnecessary to fry stuff, most of the time.  All that added fat, for what?  I say that anything that can be fried, can probably be successfully baked.  Oven baked fries?  sign me up.  Baked mock crabcakes?  yes, please!  So why not corn dogs?  Well, they have to be battered, which wouldn't hold up in the oven, really.  All of this is an example of the roundabout conversations Michael and I have had over the past few months as to how to get a corndog into our dinnertime without frying it.  Then he had a brilliant idea:  encase the dogs in cornbread.  Now, I will admit, after he came up with this, I researched it a little bit and saw a few blogs with corndog muffins.  Well, I didn't wanna screw with muffins.  So I made cornbread with hotdogs in the middle of it.
i couldn't get to it before michael cut it

I used the skillet cornbread from Vcon, and it worked perfectly.  Since the cast iron skillet was preheated in the oven, the bottom layer of batter firmed up pretty quick so that I could put down a layer of cut up hotdogs without them sinking to the bottom.  Slather on the rest of the batter, bake, and voila!  Corndog bread.  And it was good!  We ate it with some ketchup and mustard, baked beans (that I spruced up with spicy mustard and some vinegar), and these:
roasted brussels sprouts, broccoli, and leeks

The leeks didn't mush up like I thought they would, but this was still pretty yummy.  I just put them all in a pan, sprinkled with fresh rosemary, dried thyme, garlic powder, and pepper, then poured on a little veggie broth.  Cover with foil, roast in a 400F oven for 30 or so minutes.

All in all, it came together quite nicely.
it works best when you smoosh all this together to eat

Earlier in the evening, I had made a batch of cookie dough to refrigerate until after dinner, so they could be freshly baked when we ate them.  I made some pumpkin chocolate chip cookies from Celine's blog, Have Cake, Will Travel.  If you haven't been there yet (where have you been!?), go.  She comes up with some fabulous ideas for baked goods that will make your knees tremble.  These are the first recipe on that page:
oh so perfect cookies

These cookies are amazing.  I had to modify because I didn't have any arrowroot, but I found something online that said 1tsp arrowroot = 1 Tbsp wheat flour.  The recipe calls for 1 Tbsp arrowroot, so I used 3 Tbsp wheat flour.  It made them a little dry, so I then added more pumpkin.  Didn't make any difference, in my opinion.  These are SO GOOD!  This is my first recipe tryout from Celine's blog, and I'm happy to say that she's a genius.  These have the texture of a really fabulous oatmeal cookie (not the kind with coarse chunks of grind the oats in this cookie) with a lovely pumpkin flavor and sweet chips everywhere.  Any recipe that calls for the same amount of chocolate chips as it does flour, I'm game.  So!  Very well, Celine, I am convinced of your complete awesomeness now.  I did manage to make 8 cookies instead of 6, thank goodness.  Seeing as I ate 3 of them last night, I'd be sad if they were all gone so quickly.

Next up, the results from my 3 hour baking spree on Monday.  Vegan Addict got her package and put up pics, so I will now show mine!  Although...I think hers might be better.  First up, Lemon Poppyseed Crackle Cookies from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan.  These were really, really, really amazing.  I kept a couple of each thing I made
little drops of lemony wonderfulness

Next up are cookies that I based on the carob-carob chip cookies from the same book, but didn't have carob anything (or any real reason to use it), so I put chocolate everywhere it said carob.  Those are crushed cashews on the tops.
much chocolatey goodness

For a sort of healthier option, I made the hearty autumn muffins from Vegan Dad.  I reaaalllly liked these.  They are just slightly sweet with nice little apple chunks and not too many raisins.  Pumpkin-y, but mostly spicy.  Not like hot know what I mean.  Plus, there is a full cup of bran (wheat and oat) in these.  So, yeah.  They're good for that reason too.
i love my vegan muffin tops

That's it for now...  I don't think I'm cooking tonight, but you never know.  I might whip something up.  But I just had a giant bowl (i.e. an entire package) of popcorn with nutritional yeast and am going to a party later, and I have the feeling (given my mood this evening) that I will be happy to dine on the remainders of those pumpkin cookies and go straight to bed.  But we shall see.

Hmmm?  What's that?  You want a cute and cuddly kitty picture?


Well, ok.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

squash bisque and pumpkin sausages

Yeah, that's right.  I've eaten soup 3 times in the past week.  Wanna make something of it?  I didn't think so.  Because soup is awesome, when it's done right.  And this soup, my friends, was done completely and totally right.  If you haven't been over to VeganYumYum yet to make the Delicata Squash Bisque, do so immediately.  I have never had a soup this good.  Ever.  Michael and I ate the entire pot and then lolled around on the couch/floor (not enough room for both of us on my stupid loveseat to lounge) with bellies full of pure love.  Speaking of love, look how Michael put little hearts in his soup with the cashew cream:
darn that boy and his creativity!

We've decided that once I get rich and famous from my silly food blog, I will do most of the cooking and he will do all the presentation and be my photo helper by holding the lights.  We make a good team.  What you see there on the side is some pumpkin sausages I made.  Except....  they weren't as good as I wanted them to be.  They were good.  Just not great.  And they would have been great if I hadn't chickened out at the end and added fennel to them because I was  nervous that all the sage I put in wouldn't be enough flavor.  Result?  They tasted like nothing but fennel, and I only added like 1/2 a teaspoon of the stuff.  Frustration!  They would have been so good otherwise.  Well, also I used a different brand of wheat gluten than I normally do and it has a strong taste, for some reason.  They tasted gluten-y.  So, with the complete and total eradication of fennel and using my normal gluten, they would have been great.  I'll give you the recipe (with the right way to do it) when I get it right.  We also decided, for the sake of color, that the dish required a little sauteed salad of spinach, clover sprouts and cherry tomatoes.  It was pretty good.  
but nothing tops this soup.  nothing.

I feel like I haven't said enough about the soup.  It's just so good.  The cashew cream is what makes it so good.  It's smooth and creamy and soooo savory...  I could eat this for the next 2 weeks and not be sad about it for a minute.  I mean really, do yourself a favor here.  I didn't have 3 pounds of delicata squash (we had 2) so I subbed in a small butternut.  I also used 'chicken' bouillon instead of homemade veggie stock (no time no time! and i was out of veggie bouillons).  Still awesome.  

The reason soup is so big on my mind right now is that I'm freezing already.  Ok, I just looked at a thermometer in my apartment and it says 66F.  Why am I so cold?  I don't know, but I always am, and I feel like I'm colder than usual this year.  Which doesn't make sense because I weigh 10 pounds more than I did this time last year.  Insulation?  Psh.  Not working.  I honestly, right at this moment (and for the rest of the winter) have a space heater pointed directly at me on full blast.  We don't heat our apartment with anything but space heaters (our gas heater is old and crappy and ineffective and expensive), so it gets mighty chilly in here.  Just wait til it snows outside.  I will be complaining more than you can imagine.  That being said, soup is perfect for those cold nights with no real heat in the apartment.  I even tossed off my blanket and turned the heater away from me for a few minutes during and after eating it last night!  

In other words, I like being warm.  Not hot, just warm.  I bet if our apartment had real heat, I wouldn't eat soup so much.  At this point, I want to spend as much time in the kitchen with the oven on as possible, so...  I'm gonna go bake some cookies.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Michael cooks! and, a package :)

This has been an interesting day.  Still dealing with some stabby tummy pains (but no nausea, yay!) and also having my first run with Cup!  If you don't know what that is, click the link, but not if you're my dad.  You just might not wanna know, Dad.  But click it if you wanna - it's not bad.  So.  Yeah.  It's been interesting.

As you can see from the title of this post, this is all about Michael cooking for me.  And what a sweet and awesome boy he is!  (barf, i know, but it's true!)  Since I was a sickypoo yesterday, he made me dinner!  And what an awesome, brothy, spicy soup he came up with.  Oh yes.  This is a variation on a soup that my brother, Jimmy, and his wife once made for us when we had dinner together.  I have to hand it to them, it was a valiant effort at a vegan meal.  But...we were still hungry afterwards.  So this time, Michael amped it up a touch and we were fulll full fulllllll afterwards.  It didn't hurt that we ate the entire pot ourselves, instead of just one bowl, haha...  This is right up Michael's alley, too, because it is a Japanese inspired soup.
japanese veggie soup with soba noodles

Recipe?  Ok.

Japanese Veggie Soup with Soba Noodles

1 onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
4-5 carrots, sliced
1 head of napa cabbage, sliced in big chunks (bok choy would be ideal here, so use that if you can find it...we couldn't)
1 small red sweet pepper, thinly sliced
1 pint oyster mushrooms, sliced in big chunks
1 packet soba noodles (you know how they come in a package with like 3 or 4 bunches?  one of those bunches)
3 veggie bouillon cubes
1 'beef' bouillon cube
8 cups water (you could also just use 8 cups of veggie broth, instead of water and bouillon)
1-2 tsps sesame seeds
1/4 cup (or more, to taste) tamari (he used part regular, part wasabi tamari)
cayenne pepper to taste
sesame oil, for sauteeing
scallions (thinly sliced) and clover sprouts for garnish, optional

Prepare the soba noodles and set aside.  In a big soup pot, saute the carrots, onions, garlic, and sesame seeds in the sesame oil, until onions are soft.  Add mushrooms, saute another minute or so, then add the cabbage (or bok choy) and saute another minute.  Add water, bouillon cubes, tamari, and cayenne, bring to a boil.  Take down to a simmer for  about 20 minutes, until carrots are tender.  Then, assemble!  Put a nice handful of soba noodles in the bottom of the bowl, cover with soup, add garnishes, eat. 

 It's so simple, and so delicious, and so perfect on a sick day when you want something other than a knocked-off chicken noodle soup.  Mm.  MMMMM.  We ate it with chopsticks.  I love anything I get to eat with chopsticks.  The oyster mushrooms are perfect too, but as you may know, I am partial ONLY to oyster mushrooms.  I dislike all others at this point, but I'm trying to get better about it.  They are nice and chewy, but they lack any real 'mushroom' flavor that grosses me out.  And they're thin, unlike portabellas, which almost seem to squeak when you chew on them, they're so meaty and ...blegh.  I kind of like shiitake mushrooms, but only just barely.  Someday, maybe, I'll be a mushroom lover, but for now, it's only oyster mushrooms.  Anyway, this soup was completely and totally rad, and Michael did an awesome job.

Then!  I came home for lunch today, and Michael had lunch ready!
yes, i ate both those burgers.  what?

He put a combo of BBQ sauce and liquid smoke on the burgers from Monday night, and reheated them in the oven with the end of the tots.  The real totally cool part though, is that he made some coleslaw from scratch to go on top!  It was the hit of the meal.  And he had a big mug of my favorite tea (constant comment, yesssss) ready for me.  Is he not the most bestest boy on the planet?  I think he is.  

Last, but DEFINITELY not least, I received a package today from Amy of Vegan Addict.  Michael further showed how great and patient he is by not opening it until I got home from work.  We had arranged a package swap last week when I talked about how I'd never had Tings and wanted to try them.  Well!  I got much more than just Tings!
the most fabulous package

Here is what I got:
2 packages of Tings (2!)
a bag of vegan white chocolate chips (get ready for cookies, yo)
brown rice marshmallow treat (that if you look close, you can see that's just an empty wrapper, because we were so excited that we ate it before i took a photo...)
a bag of chocolates
elderberry witches (gummies!)
a badass foodfight sticker
and a handmade card!  with owls!

There was also a FoodFight button, which I promptly put on my jacket.  Yay!  The Tings are really good.  Not what I expected, but seriously delicious.  They're like Cheetos in that they are the same shape and have that corn crunch, but not really 'cheesy' which I am fine with, because the flavor they do have is really natural and yummy and makes you not feel like crap when you eat them.  Awesome!  The marshmallow treat was sooooo good too.  Michael's not a fan of the witch gummies, but I like them, so more for me, yeah!  I made Michael wait until after dinner to open the chocolates, but they look perfectly fabulous, so I can't wait to try them later!  Thank you thank you thank you, Amy.  This was just what I needed.  I hope you like your package!  And if you haven't ever headed over to Vegan Addict, please do so.  Her blog is super rad!

Now, I need to go make dinner.  So I'll catch ya later.  It's almost the end of the week, yesssss.