Friday, November 7, 2008

Veganomicon Overload

Dare I say that I finally like tempeh?  I dare.  I don't know what it is, but lately...  I like it.  I never used to like it.  But there ya go.  I think, for me, the key is to marinate the holy hell out of it (after boiling the life out of it) in order to render it more likeable.  The texture still gets to me after a bit, but...  I'm getting over it.  Oh!  Another key is to slice it as thin as possible before marinating.  You know, so there is more surface area for the marinade to attach itself to.  Here's the recipe that sealed the deal with me:
i want it again.  now.

Yes, that is the hot sauce glazed tempeh from Vcon.  Originally, I really just wanted a whole lot of the soft poppyseed polenta (also from Vcon) and some brussels sprouts.  But I knew that wouldn't satisfy my Michael's raging hungerbelly.  I had made the hot sauce marinade and put it on tofu once before, and knew it tasted super yummy, and since I had some tempeh, well...  there you go.  It ended up being a full-on comfort food meal.  Especially since the brussels sprouts had like...waaaaay too much EB on them.  I also added another 1/2 cup of cornmeal to that polenta recipe so that it would be more...gloppy instead of soupy.  If you've made this before, you know what I'm talking about.  Anyway, you should make it.  The flavor is subtle and delicious and it's warm and filling and PERFECT.  But make sure you make it with veggie broth (or bouillon like me) and not water.  Duh.  

Next up is a meal that should have tempeh in it, but does not since the grocery store sucks.  Here's the story (there's always a story, isn't there?):  I wanted to make the southern corn pudding (haha..still from Vcon).  My parents make it all the time and absolutely rave about how wooooonderful it is.  But it has cilantro in it, therefore Michael didn't want it.  I explained that, though I too hate cilantro in general, you can't taste it in this dish.  I promised!  It ended up with him getting to choose what we made with it, as a compromise.  Aren't we nice?

He chose the baja tempeh tacos (guess where this one's from?).  Which, funnily enough, also have cilantro in them.  Anyway, cool.  But no tempeh at the store so we did those evil Morningstar Chickn Strips.  Which aren't really evil I suppose (though...they sort of freak me out now that I don't eat them as often), but they are expensive.  Like, $4.  And I would swear on my life that there are fewer of them in a bag now than there used to be.  Anyway.  We made the stuff for the tacos.  I knew immediately that I would not like the slaw...because of the ginormous amount of vinegar involved.  I hate vinegar, guys.  When I can taste it in something, I'm done.  It gags me.  The smell is almost worse.  I just. hate. it.  No one seems to ever understand this about me, but I swear it is true.  I don't even like balsamic vinegar.  Yeah, that's right.  Start throwing stones as you see fit.

Whatever, though.  Fine.  They seemed to be really awesome.  All of it did.  And easy!  Plus, the beer marinade gave us an excuse to buy a 6pack of mexibeer!  (which I incidentally drank none of for some reason.)  
and look how tasty they appear!

The corn pudding was so beautiful.  I baked it in the cast iron skillet.  I use this thing all the time...  what did I do before it?  Thank goodness for birthday presents.
so festive!

Can you tell from the language I'm using how hopeful I was that it would be awesome and how sad I was when I liked....none of it?  I know, I'm terrible.  Jeez.  Well, I tried out my first taco like a real trooper with the slaw and everything the recipe actually calls for.  All I tasted was vinegar.  That was it.  Just...vinegar in my mouth.  

So fine.  My second one, I took out the slaw and ate it with lettuce.  Somehow...I still didn't like it.  I don't know what's wrong with me.  Michael LOVED it.  Like, seriously.  He kept raving about how he wants this to be in our rotation of things we make all the time.  Hmm..  well, is there still hope for the corn pudding?  I would like to say yes.  The flavor was really, really wonderful.  But it wasn't like the bite that I had at my parents' house.  Because the corn got really gummy and stuck to me teeth in a bad, bad way.  Maybe Mom and Dad blend all their corn and pepper mixture and not just 2 cups of it.  I'm not sure.  But the texture was really off-putting for me.  I will, though, be trying it out again.  I have hopes that I can make it good, because the flavor really was quite tasty.  
happy go l(y)ucky dinner!

Oh, my other problem was that I used a whole wheat tortilla as you can see...and it was stupid.  It kept breaking and I ended up with 2 hands covered in various sauces, which was icky and annoying.

I'm full of complaints tonight, aren't I?  I'm sorry.  I'll end on a happy note.  Cuteness.
bill murray lying on my halloween wig (that i wore last year)

ghostface killa lies down sideways and it is hilarious.

Have a good weekend, guys!  It's gonna be rainy and chilly here.  Hmm...was that a...hint?


Georgia said...

Haha - Nat is so similar with coriander. He calls it "stinky ant weed" and I am a little sad that he doesn't like it but it is not like he doesn't like basil or something (so I am rather lucky as I can live without coriander but not basil).

I LOOOVE polenta - I have yet to try the poppyseed recipe from VCon - I will have to do it.

Anonymous said...

I keep seeing Cilantro mentioned on blogs but I didn't realise that it was Coriander until I read Georgia's comment and then bothered to Google it (duh!).
Vinegar wise - I think I got more than my fair share of vinegar loving tastebuds- I put malt vinegar on literally everything at the moment, I'm like an addict :o) But I can totally appreciate your hatred of it (I can't stand the smell or taste of cloves in a similar way).
And thanks for the cute cat shots, I love seeing those guys :o)
Enjoy your weekend.

miss v said...

well, i guess we aren't really bbff (blogger best friends forever), because I LOVE vinegar. seriously, i put it on everything. but i guess i can learn to understand (and do my best to convert you... hey, you didn't like tempeh and now you do). ;)

that corn pudding stuff looks pretty good, although i'm not a fan of gummy corn stuck to my teeth. so i'm looking forward to hearing your modifications... have a great weekend.

Anonymous said...

If you're still having tempeh doubts, go try the bean balls/meatballs Jessy posted at Happyveganface yesterday. I made them for dinner last night and wow! freaking amazing!
I love all that kitty love, too!

Mandee said...

Haha, my bf hates all herbs, especially basil so I leave them out if we're going to have the same meal.

I love the hot sauce recipe too, yum

Your cats are gorgeous, I love their names too :)

Erin said...

I had the same turning point with tempeh a while back. At first I didn't like it, then I was like "eh", then one day I was all "holy crap, tempeh is great" and now I crave it all the time.

Vcon southwester corn pudding is one of my faves, so good!

Your white kitty is hilarious. It's like he's in an Escher picture or something.

aTxVegn said...

I haven't achieved tempeh love yet, and I need to since I can't eat tofu.

Your kitties are so cute!

jessy said...

tempeh was a tough one for me to love, too. took some serious time, and i still have to steam it before i enjoy it. i agree - slice it thin & marinate the hell outta it. indeeds!

i can't argue with you on the texture thing - and gummy corn - gross. sticks to the teeth and that's something my ass won't tolerate! the corn pudding was pretty though (and hooray for use'n your glorious cast iron)! sorry it wasn't as good as it looked. now on to this vinegar thing - while i do love vinegar i freak'n ABHOR me some nutmeg. more so than my hate for cilantro (ahahahaha!). if i can taste nutmeg in anything - game's over. so i hear ya on not like'n the slaw for the tacos. but they look super scrumptious! we've gotta got tacos on the menu for tonight - those combined with the Giants game (and mucho beers), yeah - it's gonna be awesome!
oh yeah, i also wanted to add that your polenta makes me want to make some creamy polenta. and i'm not too sure if there is such a thing as too much earth balance. mmmmmmmmmmm!

hope you're staying warm & dry - and i hope you're having the most glorious football sunday of fun!

Erica said...

Hey, it's pink from VW. I HATE vinegar!! My fiance loooooves it, ick. I hate the smell more than anything. He puts Tabasco on everything, and all I can smell is vinegar. Whenever I'm cooking up some "Irish Nachos" (chunks of potatoes w/ "sour cream" and fakin bacon and green onions, he'll throw some vinegar on the potatoes when i'm not looking. EWW!! Thought I'd let you know you're not the only one out there.

michelle said...

I didn't like tempeh until I started boiling the hell out of it either. It's weird how your tastes can change though, 'cause I totally munch on it raw now. But yeah, it's way good doused in sauce/marinade.

Cute kitties! I have a black kitty too (and he has a little white tuft too!) <3

Sal said...

hold on, you have a cat named Bill Murray???? I think I love you!!

The food looks sooo tasty as well.

aTxVegn said...

Hey, to answer your question on my gingerbread post - my recipe does NOT include the additional flour needed, so you can use up more of your 4 flours!

K.E.N. said...

i love the Corn Pudding, but i haven't made in so long. so thanks for reminding me! i also need to make that leek and bean cassoulet ppkers keep talking about, i love biscuits! said...

i just made that corn pudding recently (I adapted it a bit but otherwise) -- and omg it was awesome!!

pixiepine said...

Fine looking kitties!

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