Monday, February 16, 2009

we have a winner! + some foodz

So I don't know how to copy the random number generator thingie into my blog, so you're just going to have to trust me on this one.  Our winner is commentor #66 who just happens to be:


who also just happens to be new to veganism, so this is a deserving winner indeed.  I certainly hope that this makes your transition to veganism slightly easier (not that it's THAT hard).  I need you to email me asap with your first name, last name, and email address so that I can forward it on to the peeps at and they can get you your gift certificate!  (find a link to my email addy on my profile page, buddy, and step to it, because I'm not sure if there's a time limit on this.)

.....lag time.....

Sorry, took a break there to shoot a couple emails, haha...  Easily distracted, I suppose.  Anywho, with all the sadness of my contest being over, allow me to cheer you up with some food.

This is what I had for dinner last night!
rotelle w/spicy tempeh and broccoli rabe* from Vcon

*Except I used rotini because I got the wrong box and regular broccoli because broccoli rabe does not exist in the minds of the people of Huntington, WV.  So sad.  Still, this was mighty tasty!  And with Michael's help, it came together quickly.  My only complaint is that it's dry.  I thought I used enough oil, but since I'm still slowly getting over my oil phobia, this might not be the case.  Who knows.  Anyway, the flavor was awesome.  I love tempeh more and more.  And I'm always looking for an excuse to put broccoli in stuff.  I wish I just liked it steamed as a side veggie...  But alas, it is destined only to be incorporated into things here.

I served this with these bad boys:
the best bread product i have ever produced

Michael's grandparents gifted us their breadmaker because his grandma prefers to just bake bread.  Or so she told me!  I think the honest to goodness truth is that the breadmaker is crazy!  See, while it was kneading my dough (just plain old white bread as a test batch - but done with bread flour), it kept shaking and shimmying all over the counter.  Which didn't seem quite right, but...who knows.  So at one point it had shimmied itself sideways so Michael moved it back and the damned thing shut itself off.  Jerk machine!  It wouldn't just start again where it was.  And I didn't want it to just start over, for fear of overkneading.  After much huffiness on my part (I do mope at times, I swear I can't help it), I let the stupid dough rise in the oven and made rolls out of it, not having much hope for any success. 

Wrong!  They turned out beautifully. flour must make a difference?  The question is this:  is it worth it to spend $4 on bread flour when I can get regular flour (but shitty bread) with $1 flour?  I'm not sure yet.  The other problem is this:  my store does not have any whole wheat bread flour.  Only white.  And I've been trying to eliminate as much white flour from my diet as possible.  Does anyone know if I add wheat gluten to my dough, will it help?  Because I bought a freaking oven thermometer thinking that my oven was screwy, but it's spot on.  It has to be a flour problem.  

Whatever, until I find the answers to these mystical questions, let us revel in the happiness that is this:
fluffy, fantastic bread

I was in a cooking mood yesterday.  Before I attempted the bread, I made this stuff for lunch:
that's buckwheat!

My last trip to the health food store, I bought buckwheat accidentally instead of barley.  Hey, same first letter, gimme a break.  Anyway, I had no idea what to do with the stuff.  But I was in the mood for a grain/pilaf type lunch yesterday, so I tried it out (lunches can fail with less disappointment than dinners, imho).  It's awesome!  Very creamy and tender and totally easy to cook.  I cooked it with some fire roasted tomatoes, black olives, and lime juice, then added cumin, smoked paprika, garlic & onion powder, more lime juice, salt & pepper when it was done.  And Michael added in some tamari, which somehow made it just perfect.  Topped with cool and creamy avocado, this lunch was smooth on the palate and kept me full for hours and hours.  Seriously, I ate this around noon and wasn't hungry again until after 7, which is unheard of for me.

And finally, upon my request, Michael made this for my lunch today:
chickn parmesan openfaced sammie

This is basically exactly the same as our vday pizza, but on a much smaller scale.  It was the perfect lunch today.  Savory and slightly sweet, filling, but not so huge that I felt all bloated and sleepy when I got back to work.  Which to me is the perfect lunch.  And aren't we all just living our lives to find the perfect lunch?


Vegan_Noodle said...

Yay for winners!! I'm about to announce the winner of my giveaway as well :-)

Wow, I think I could eat that whole thing of bread... it looks that good.

T said...

That buckwheat looks surprisingly delicious! Love the idea of adding avacado on top. And the bread looks to die for... what goodness!

Erin said...

Congrats to the winner!

That's funny about your bread machine. My bread machine doesn't hop, but my blender does sometines. Jerk machine! Hah.

The rolls look delicious. I have heard that adding vital wheat gluten to regular flour will get you the same results as using bread flour, since the only difference is the protein amount is higher in bread flour. When I make bread with regular whole wheat flour I add 2 Tbs wheat gluten, and while I can't say for sure that it helps, it certainly doesn't hurt.

Anonymous said...

Could you make me one of those open-faced sammies, too? Pleeeeeeeaaase?
I'm also all drooly over that bread. And over my keyboard. Sigh.
Congrats to the winner!

Anonymous said...

I struggle to get my head around which flour to use sometimes. I always use strong white bread flour for my pizza/garlic bread dough, and for cinnamon rolls, and it comes out yummy. But I'm not sure if it comes out differently with other flours as I've never tried. It's all a bit too technical for my tiny rabbit brain.
And the breadmaker sounds possessed! No wonder Michaels Grandma palmed it off on you (I mean gifted! Honest to blog!) Teehee!

Anonymous said...

I want that broccoli dish! That recipe is one of my favs since it's so spicy. YUM!

Wow, those rolls look delish! I say, who cares if it doesn't work out perfectly as long as it tastes good!

Virginia said...

i have never had buckwheat. when i made my monthly HFS trip next week i may check it out!

jessy said...

those rolls look so awesome, Jessica! i'm glad they worked out. sounds like your bread machine may be possessed! ahahahaaa! we do add wheat gluten to our flour, but we bake with whole wheat flour. we add 1 tbsp wheat gluten per cup of whole wheat flour. i don't see why you can't add some to your white flour. and i think if you want regular flour to be more like "bread flour" you need to spoon the flour into your measuring cup so that it's nice & fluffy (i believe bread flour weighs less than regular all-purpose flour) - and not too heavy. we knead our bread dough for a good solid 7 minutes. although whenever we make rolls (the dough for rolls is made with more a little more water/rice milk because you want the dough to be almost kinda tacky, not as smooth as bread dough) we use a little rice milk (maybe a few tbsp) instead of all water, and we feed our yeast with a little sugar, too. bread can be tricky & fussy. our house is often times too cool to get the bread to rise up properly. this may sound weird, but we find that a box helps. we'll place the bread dough (that's been covered with a clean damp kitchen towel) to rise in a sunny spot in our home. then we cover the bread pan with a big 'ol box - the box warms up in the sun & the bread rises better. it's kinda strange, but the "hot box" totally works for us. man, i wish i had some of your rolls. mmmmmmm!

huzzah for some broccoli-tempeh pasta of awesome. you're not the only one with an oil phobia. i find that if i'm making pasta that isn't going to have sauce on it - it helps a bit if i rinse the noodles with water when they're done so some of the starch washes away. normally we don't rinse, because the starch kinda grabs on & holds the sauce, but for a sauceless pasta, try rinsing it. the lack 'o broccoli rabe must be a west virginia/virginia thing - 'cause we have broccoli & broccolini, but i can't ever find any damn broccoli rabe! jerks! argh!

those open faced sammies look so good. i want one right now! i have never had buckwheat - i think i need to grab some next time i'm at the natural foods store. yay!

Earthlove. said...

This chickn parmeasan sammie looks REALLY good. Im gonna have to try it.

Tami (Vegan Appetite) said...

Your rolls are a thing of beauty!

I ♥ puggies said...

The food looks so yummy! And congrats to your winner!

Evilsharon said...

I just came across your blog (Sorry, I can't remember now which blog I was reading that linked to yours).

I was wondering what recipes you are using with your bread machine. It seems that all the recipes in the book that came with mine call for milk and eggs and I am a little hesitant to just experiment with egg replacer. I know when I buy bread at the store, I can find bread that doesn't have either of those ingredients but I would rather make my own. I just don't have the patience to do it by hand.

Love your blog. Thanks for sharing.