Saturday, April 18, 2009

busy week!

This has been an awesomely busy week, and am I ever glad to see the weekend!  Between friendly hang-out times, work, and new haircuts (for Michael and me both), it's been a whirlwind.  I don't have a lot, foodwise, to show for myself right now, but I do want to show what I ate at my parents' house for Easter and a couple lovely meals in between then and now.

Once I got back to the old home on Saturday, I learned that my parents had a fun and easy meal planned out - burgers!
i know i'm not the only one eating veggie burgers on easter.

Mom and Dad got me the original vegan Boca burgers (yum!) and I whipped up fries for all of us.  Three kinds: regular potato for my dad, sweet potato with bread crumbs and parmesan cheese for my mom, and sweet potato with cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, salt and pepper for me.  I don't know about the other two, but mine were awesome and went perfectly with my burger.  I could definitely just eat veggie burgers and sweet potato fries for just about every meal...  But that wouldn't be very interesting, would it?

In the morning, my brother and his family came over and we all had a nice brunch together.  The only thing I couldn't (and obviously didn't want to) eat was the turkey.  Long live my awesome family for being so darned accomodating!  My mom made some asparagus with olive oil and lemon and Dad made mashed potatoes with soymilk and no butter, which I mushed up with an avocado for me (so, so good).
asparagus heap

I made a tofu scramble that everyone seemed to like, and these freaking amazing pancakes from Veganomicon:
could eat one million of these, please

They're the blueberry corn pancakes, and if you haven't made them yet, please.  Please.  Do it.  Everyone in my family thought they were fantastic, and really, they were.  The only thing is that I found I needed to add an extra 1/4 cup of flour to the batter because it was really watery.  I don't know if this was a typo in the book (like it should've called for 1 cup flour instead of 3/4 cup) or if I messed up, but I was being pretty careful, so I don't think it was me.  But you never know.  Anyway, if your batter seems too watery, don't be afraid to add in that extra bit of flour.  They were perfect.

As if that wasn't enough - my lovely Mom and Dad made an Easter basket for Michael and I to share that was full of vegan candy and other awesome stuff!
jealous much?

They printed the candy list off Peta and were able to find such radness as: twizzlers, jolly ranchers, ring pops, cracker jacks (omg omg omg!), and these little sour bunnies that are like sour patch kids, but way better.  They also got me these little prep bowls that RULE.  They have measurements on the insides of the bowls so I don't even need to use my measuring cups (if they're dirty and in the sink, which is often the case).  Those are all the food/cooking related gifties, but you can see if you look close that they extended their radness into gaming territory.  Plus some stuff for my skin that's great, too.

Soooo that was Easter.  All in all, it was filled with fun, food, and hilarious children hopped up on so much sugar that I definitely did not envy my brother's drive back home.  2 hours of pure insanity, I'm sure!

So this week, we've extended our pantry challenge, but I did break and go buy some vegetables after I realized one day that all I had eaten the day before was basically bread.  And now I'm trying to not eat so much bread in order to detox from it (though I broke on that last night as well, but not too bad).  Therefore when I got soydogs on sale to surprise Michael with, I needed to figure out what to eat mine with, since I didn't want a bun.  I came up with this:
sauteed veggies and brown rice

I cooked a giant mass of brown rice to eat with dinner and as leftovers throughout the week with various things.  The veggies are some yellow squash, zucchini (both on sale really cheap, yay!), onions, garlic, and cherry tomatoes, plus a bunch of dried dill.  They made a perfectly filling side next to a couple bunless soydogs.  

Then I used the leftovers the next day to made these bad boys:
collard wraps, what what!

I got this totally rad idea from our good buddy Melomeals over at her blog which showcases her and her family eating for $3.33 a day.  She's doing something really great over there, by the way, so you really need to check it out.  Her food is amazing, it's super inexpensive, and you have to admire her for making the best out of tough times.  As far as I can tell, there is not a specific post about her using collard green leaves for wraps instead of bread, but she does it quite often for her lunches.  It's such an awesome idea!  And delicious, I might add.  The bitterness of the collards is cut by all the fillings you put inside.  I did blanch my leaves for about 30 seconds to make them more bendy, but I guess you don't really need to do that.  Try it out!  

Also at the grocery store, I found some pasta shells on the super cheap since their box was dented (um...who cares?!  but thanks for the discount, Kroger).  I made a nice little mac n cheeze with them, plus frozen brussels (thank goodness for Kroger card savings, seriously).
yurm yurm yurm

I based my sauce off the nacho sauce recipe from Yellow Rose Recipes...  except for some changes.  I subbed in unsweetened soymilk for the water, took out the jalepenos, realized I didn't have any turmeric so added paprika and mustard powder instead, then decided that it wasn't sweet enough so I added about a teaspoon of agave nectar.  It was kind of haphazard, but turned out pretty great.  We were watching LOST anyway, so it's not like we were paying too much attention to our plates.  

This next one was from before the grocery shopping this week, and is pretty impressive as such, I think.  Sesame baked tofu from Accidental Vegan with peas 'n' corn (woo frozen veggies last forever), and some couscous that Michael had made over the weekend while I was gone.  
unfortunately, that tofu looked better than it tasted

Well, let me correct tasted fine - it was just way, way too salty.  The recipe calls for 1/2 cup soy sauce, and next time I make it, I will absolutely sub in water for half of that.  Or use reduced sodium soy sauce or something.  The flavor was really great though...  lots of tahini and nutritional yeast.  But we ended up scraping off the outside crust and just eating the baked tofu goodness inside, because we simply could not handle all that salt (and I'm usually a much have been unbearable then).  Still, the veggies and the couscous were yummy.  All in all, it was a decent, and very quick, meal.

Last night, Michael got a sweets craving.
and made these

'These' being the white chocolate macadamia cookies from Eat, Drink & be Vegan...  except with cashews and peanut butter instead of macadamias and macadamia butter.  They're really great!  And apparently, fast and easy, because he basically had them in the oven before I even realized he was making them.  Treats and surprises!  What more could you ask for?


T said...

Your family must be pretty awesome and laid back! I'd love a meal like that anyday (especially the sweet potato fries, yum!)

Love the idea of those collard wraps! I also like how you're using a lot of cheap stuff and frozen veggies- we're on the same wavelength because I'm definitely trying to save money too.

And I'm making those cookies asap, yum!

Anonymous said...

SweetP fries!!! YUMMY!

Love all the delicious meals...and cookies =)

aTxVegn said...

This is a lot of food for not cooking very much! Your Easter weekend sounds like it was perfect, and what a great goodie basket you got. Yay for greens and squash season!

Jes said...

Easter looks like it was a smashing success! Yums for the sweet potatoe fries!

Anonymous said...

You *know* you weren't the only one eating veggies burgers for Easter girly!
I really miss collard wraps! I was in the states for 6 weeks last summer and I think I ate them five times a week at least - Love Them!
Your parents sound so sweet, Jessica. I love that they go out of their way for you and are so sweet to Michael.

Virginia said...

yum!!! i have had raw collard wraps before and it was OK but the collards were a little too "green"? tasting...and bitter? maybe if i blanched them it would have helped, might try that for the future.

michelle said...

Sweet potato fries with every meal; YES PLEASE!

I tried wrapping stuff in leaves this week too! 'cept I tried blanched swiss chard and didn't work as well as I wanted. Will try collards or kale next time!

I'm mega-jealous of your easter basket! So thoughtful of your parents.

saveyrgeneration said...

I wish my family would give me Easter goody baskets. heck, I'd settle for them being accommodating.

Mihl said...

I'm totally in love with those pancakes! Everything else looks so good. You know how to make people hungry ;)

Anonymous said...

There is so much delicious food in this post!!!!! And yes, I am jealous of your Easter basket.

Erin said...

Your Easter basket is awesome! Your family must rule. All the food looks great too!

jessy said...

i'm with ya on being able to eat veggie burgers and sweet potato fries for just about every meal! that would be most glorious, fo 'sho! and even though it wouldn't be interesting, it would be deeelicious!

your family is just too awesome in whipping of lots of yummies that everyone can enjoy - so soooooo awesome! and your parents HOOKED IT UP with the easter baskets - hells yeah, Jessica!

sweet jeebus, a 1/2 cup o' soy sauce! damn! that's almost like that linda mccartney recipe you tried a loooooong time ago (i think it was you - it was forever ago, so i'm sorry if i totally mixed this all up!) that called for some absurd amount of olive oil. people go a little nuts sometimes, methinks! it's been too damn long since dan & i have enjoyed some mac 'n cheeze - we need to make some soon! huzzah for discounted pasta, too! that calls for a doublehuzzah!

totally gonna try out using collards for wraps - and i love your plate of brown rice 'n veggies to accompany those bunless dogs! i love how inexpensive zucchini & squash can be...

i still have yet to make those blueberry v'con pancakes. probably because SOMEONE doesn't like blueberries (that would be the mushroom & mustard hating dan! ahhhhhahahahaa!). but i'm gonna have to make them for myself sometime, fo 'sho!

you know how to rock out the tasty eats, Jessica - and now not only do you have me craving brussels, but i really want some cookies! mmmmmmmmmmmmm!

p.s. - you should totally post a picture of your new haircut! i think that would rock! :)

Eric said...

What a great idea....mashed potatoes and avocado. I'm gonna try that next time I make some mashed potatoes.

Those fries look good too!

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