Saturday, December 13, 2008

broke ass vegan food

Oh how I love Saturdays.  It's 5:24 pm and I am sitting in my bathrobe and listening to The Postal Service on vinyl.  The television hasn't been turned on since my hunny left for work and it's been nice and quiet here.  Besides the records.  And I have time to talk to you!

Dinners recently have been a bit...creative, lets say.  After doing my Christmas shopping, I am totally broke until payday on Monday (not to say I spent a lot, I just don't make a whole lot of money, so what's left over after bills is never much anyway).  That means no running out to the store for this or that for any certain recipe.  We do have quite a bit of food around, but it's all ingredients to different recipes, it seems.  None of it wants to go together.  And we have zero fresh vegetables, which I can't stand.  Still, I'm pretty proud of my last two dinners!  

First up, chorizo by way of Jes at Cupcake Punk (recipe here).  I just happened to have almost everything I needed for this recipe on hand, so that worked out well.  I subbed in 4 grated cloves of garlic for the garlic powder (I'm out...sigh) and put a veggie bouillon cube in with my water and other wet ingredients since I don't have veggie broth powder stuff.  Here's how they turned out:
look how huge!

You can see some of them got a bit squished because this recipe makes a lot of sausage and my steamer is not big.  Like at all.  However, that doesn't really matter.  The verdict on taste?  Michael says this is the best sausage I have ever made.  And I agree.  It's wonderful!  We both really like the other sausage recipe I use, but this one had a spicy yumminess to it that was just perfect.  So thanks, Jes!  Everyone, go over there to her blog for this recipe because it is to die for.  Seriously.  

Anyway, I had some frozen peppers and onions in the freezer and a can of diced tomatoes, so we put that on top.  The bread you see is some flatbread I made that I'm not really happy with because it was kind of thick and chewy and not really the way I wanted it to be.  But it did its job of holding our sausage sammies together (sort did kinda break after it cooled), so that's fine by me.
monster sammie!

Next time I make those sausages (because there will be a next time, oh yes), I will probably make 6-7 sausages instead of the 5 huge ones.  It was just...a lot of sausage to take in at once.  I ended up cutting mine in half lengthwise and then making the sammich.  So that means I could probably make 10 sausages, actually.  Not bad for not going to the store at all, eh?

Dinner last night was a bit more challenging, because it was freezing cold in the kitchen and I didn't want to spend a lot of time in there making different components to a meal.  This meant I needed to make a casserole, basically.  But without veggies?  Well, I found 5 baby carrot sticks and a small bunch of green onions in the crisper.  That had to do.  Here's how it turned out:
wild rice and tofu dish of nom nom nommm

I actually thought this was really good.  It has capers in it though, so Michael liked it less.  I liked it so much though, that I thought I would give you the recipe, in case you were in need of something that was yummy, but doesn't have a bunch of veggies if you don't have them either.  That's homemade tofu in there, by the way!  It was so good.  I swear, I want to only make my own tofu from now on.  It's so fresh and takes up flavor very nicely.  The only thing is that I can't get it to be super firm like the tofu I buy.  Any suggestions?  Let me know.  In the meantime, here's the recipe:

My Fridge Is Empty Casserole

1 cup wild rice
1 block of tofu (firm?), cubed (i didn't press mine because i was afraid it would fall apart, but press yours if you like)
5 green onions, sliced
5 baby carrots (or one regular carrot), diced
1/2  15 oz can of artichoke hearts in brine (not in that oily stuff the sometimes come in), roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp capers, chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 veggie bouillon cube
1 Tbsp vegan butter (EB)
1/4 cup white cooking wine
2-3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
juice of one lemon
2 1/4 cups water

Preheat oven to 425F.  Throw all that stuff in an 8x8 casserole dish and stir it up.  Put it in the oven and in about 20 minutes, stir it so that the bouillon (now dissolved) and butter (now melted) are incorporated.  Then leave it in the oven until the rice is done and the better part of the water is absorbed, probably another 30 minutes or so.  

My cooking time was a little wonky because I originally had it in there at 350F for an hour and the rice just wasn't cooking, so then I jacked it up to 450F for 20 minutes or so and it was done.  I figure a little less than an hour at 425F will be a fine cooking time.  But don't be afraid to increase the heat and cook a little longer if it's not done in an hour.  Just keep an eye out.

That sounds more complicated than it was.  Really, it took me 10 minutes to get everything in the dish (and this is while I was making it up as I went along).  Then just...wait.  If you have a caper hater in your house, take them out of the dish and then stir them in to your individual portion.  This is what I've been advised to do from now on, because apparently I've tried to sneak capers into one too many dishes.  Michael cannot be fooled!  He has, one might say, a sophisticated palate.  Meaning that he can tell when I'm being sneaky.  

Anyway, hope you are all having a lovely weekend.  Remember that it is possible to eat good vegan food even when you're extra poor around the holiday season.  


Anonymous said...

That sausage look great! I love making my own...I find they taste better than store bought!

Georgia said...

Oh I had bookmarked that sausage recipe too - but we still have some others in the freezer so I thought I would wait until we use them up. Glad to hear how good they taste (and that I should make smaller sausages rather than a few larger ones!)

BTW I nominated you for an award.

Jes said...

Yaaay! I'm so glad you guys loved the recipe! I wish I could take credit for the seasoning mix--that's all Bryanna--but I'll take some credit for the finished recipe. :)

I'm feeling you on the broke-payday is Monday-no veggies phenomenon. Luckily we're going out of town Thursday, so I just have to make it till then.

Anonymous said...

Your snausages look so yum - and that sammie gave me sammie envy!! Being on a tight budget isn't easy - we often do lentils & rice or something similar. It's not very sexy, but it's healthy!

Anonymous said...

Those snossages have just gone on my 'to do list'. Thanks for the heads up!

Anonymous said...

Heehee~ I'd already flagged the recipe in my RSS feeds....I thought it sounded familiar! Silly Rabbit.....

Virginia said...

yay for broke ass yet CREATIVE vegan food! i have been so lazy in the kitchen lately, i need to get outta my funk.

annette said...

Amen to that (possibility to eat well when vegan and poor). My boy and I have been eating a lot of taco bowls and stir-frys these days. Yum.

aTxVegn said...

I tried to finish my gift-buying this weekend too, so it's scraps for the rest of the week here as well. I can't wait to try those sausages and they look perfect with peppers on a sammie!

Anonymous said...

speaking of kick-ass food name, you get the crown!
wishing you tons more monies asap.

jessy said...

damn, girlie - i never would have guessed these were broke-ass vegan mealz. they look super scrumptious to me! mmmmmmmmmmm! sorry you're outta garlic powder - i looooove that stuff so much. my favorite is to put a bunch of garlic & onion powder in some melty e.b. for smearing on bread. gooooood god it's awesome. but anyways. on to your foods! :)

the sausages look PERFECT! they sound sooooo awesome! i'm dig'n your flatbread sammie, too - sorry the bread didn't turn out how you wanted it to, but it looked like a tasty vehicle for awesomeness though! the casserole looks sooooo good, too! i love the name of it! ahahahaa! that's the best! :D we're having casserole tonight as well - with some peas tossed in! mmmmmm! i need to look into making my own tofu. i'm not too sure how you can get it to firm up. but i'll do some research and let you know if i find anything!


sarchan said...

I can sympathize a bit. I've been trying to clean out my fridge in preparation for being away for a month, and it's resulted in a lot of wierd odds and ends. Looks like you've been making out a bit better than me, though. The other day I made "scrambled tofu" = crumbled firm tofu sauteed in olive oil with vegesal, pepper, garlic powder, and nooch. Yeah...

Sal said...

haha, I often have broke ass casserole days. They are great for making the most of the slightly dodgy looking stuff festering in the fridge!

Joanna said...

holy crap! that chorizo looks out of this world.

i love this random meal of yours. it does sound good. the 5 baby carrots is just too funny.

whenever i put tofu in a casserole or chili, i always brown it first in some veg. broth or olive oil. after it sautes for about 5-7 minutes on medium-high, it's gotten firmer and doesn't fall apart once it's combined with everything else.

as for homemade tofu, i've never tried making it so you're on your own for that one!!! good luck.

Crystal said...

Well I have to admit that I have yet to be brave enough to try and make "sausage" or any kind of seitan.. I have actually never had either. But yours looks tempting- and makes me want to make it soon! I love being creative with what is in the pantry- or whatever is left over in the kitchen. I actually think that is alot more fun than just reading a receipe!! I'm glad yours turned out yummy- and I personally LOVE wild rice! And don't fret- your not the only broke one!!

Anonymous said...

Cheap food is often the best food...especially when it's dead easy to make, too!