Thursday, October 1, 2009

Vegan Mofo day 1: i'm back.

I figure the best way to get back into blogging is to start up with Vegan Mofo again. I know I've been a terrible bloglady as of late, but I do have a reason or two. September was a bit insane. My birthday was at the beginning of the month and I got...engaged! Yep, Michael popped the question and I said yes and ever since, the wedding (ok, mostly the food) is all I can think about. We're getting married next October, I have a year to plan, and it is consuming most of my waking thoughts. So...excuse my little absence from the blogworld last month. I've still be cooking and eating and farmers marketing, so let's jump right in with a quick overview of some tasty things that have been brewing in our kitchen.

Might as well start with my birthday foods.
what better way to begin a post than with cake?

Excuse the crap photo of my lovely birthday cake. This is our family's (accidentally vegan) wacky cake that I have been eating since my very first birthday (presumably). My mom dutifully makes this for me every year, even though I'm 27 years old and living 3 hours away. I think it's because the last time I tried to make it, I royally screwed it up, thus disgracing my family name. Anyway. She now tops it with the chocolate buttercream icing from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World...and it is even more divine than ever. We also found some sorbet (raspberry and lemon) to go along nicely. And she made two cakes, so Michael and I ate on this for over a week. (My mom rules.)

That evening we went out and I forgot to take pictures of my Mexican veggie pizza, but Michael and I made a trip to Athens, OH a few days prior and I remembered to bring my camera.
best balls on the planet

We traditionally go to Casa Nueva for my birthday dinner, as they have nice vegan food and a great beer selection and prepare local and seasonal fare. This year we started with tofu albondigas meatballs in their housemade bbq sauce (which was fantastic) atop a bed of jasmine rice. I could have eaten a couple plates of these and been done with dinner and it would have been just fine. They were amazing. Stayed together perfectly. The sauce was sweet and tangy, with some flavor that reminded me of my mom's Christmas molasses crinkle cookies, which sounds weird, but was in fact awesome.
adorable little salad

Next up was a salad comprised of baby greens and sprouts and a terrific lemon-basil vinaigrette. Perfect.
yum yum

Our entree was a stacked enchilada with seasoned tofu and the veggies of the day (tomatillos and green beans). It also contained a vegan queso cremosa (uh...fake cheese sauce) and was topped with some smoky salsa. The tofu was, as always, delectable, and the addition of those two strangely compatible vegetables was a huge hit. The beans lent a nice crunch while the tomatillos were smooth and nicely sour. I could barely finish this, but finish it I did. We took a nice, long walk afterwards.

Sometime before or after that, I made these things:
sweet and sour chipotle tempeh with sweet potatoes

This recipe is from Eat, Drink, and be Vegan...and I didn't really like it. Michael loved it, don't get me wrong, but it was just a teeny bit too sweet for me. I've never really liked the main part of my dinner meals to be sweet, so this isn't too surprising. Still, it was delicious in its own right. Just not the right that goes up my alley.
this looks like an octopus

But it's not. I made some seitan cutlets (my own concoction) and layered it all up with some couscous and steamed spinach. Michael made a lovely little mango salsa to top it all off. This was a delicious and relatively easy little meal.
goddess garbanzos

Another recipe from ED&BV. The true hero of this mixture is the apples in the salad. They add this lovely little crunch and just a hint of sweet. I'm assuming this is supposed to feed a family of four for 2 days of lunches, but we polished it off in one sitting.
lemony garlic pasta

Gosh, another ED&BV recipe. I had forgotten I made so many this past month! This one was stellar. Absolutely amazing. It wasn't overly saucy, but there was plenty of sauce to stick to the noodles...incredibly garlicky...and some walnuts added a good crunch and some protein. That woman is amazing.

And that's it for me today. I have to be at work in a little bit and Michael is nursing some horrible sickness that has been going around (and somehow I haven't caught it yet). I need to force some soup into him (some impromptu thing I made with fake chicken bouillon, scallions, garlic, ginger, chili garlic sauce, and noodles...and it's pretty tasty for the non-sick, too). I still have backup food to show you, so expect to see me back here tomorrow!


miss v said...

congrats on the engagement. i got married in october, too - it's a beautiful month!

MorganfromWV said...

Congrats on the engagment!!! The food looks very yummy!

michelle said...

Ohh, Congrats!! Don't let the planning consume you TOO much. :)

I've missed reading your blog and am glad you are going gung-ho into VeganMoFo! Those goddess garbanzos are calling my name.

KTBuns said...

Okay, you've convinced me to by ED&BV. :D That pasta is calling my name!

Happy MoFo-ing!

Ricki said...

Happy Belated Birthday--and CONGRATS on your engagement! Whoo hoo! (and ED&BV is a great book, no?) :)

nora said...

i thought the sweet n sour chipotle tempeh was too sweet too, but i still liked it. next time i'll just cut back on the sugar a lot, i think.

the lemony pasta looks so good!

and i wanna make that chickpea-apple sandwich stuff!

KZ said...

Great comeback! And congrats!

Susan said...

Congratulations on the engagement. :) That is so exciting!

All the food looks great. I have acquired ED&BV only relatively recently and these are all recipes I haven't made yet. I agree with you, I am not a super big fan of sweet in my main course, and have a bit of a rocky relationship with sweet and sour because of this! More tangy sour, less sweet, an no chunks of pineapple please!

Liz said...

COngratulations on the engagement and those "meatballs" in barbecue sauce sound awesome! And vegan! And Rad!

Chelsea said...

Congrats! And I want fancy vegan Mexican food! That enchilada plate... mmmmm!

The Voracious Vegan said...

That cake has convinced me to eat a slab of chocolate for lunch, instead of the salad I had planned. And that pasta? Divine!

T said...

Congrats on the engagement, that's so exciting! Food is definitely the most important part, I don't blame you for obsessing. :)

Your birthday dinner looks fantastic, that's funny that your family cake was already vegan.

jessy said...

congrats, congrats, CONGRATS to you both, Jessica! i'm so superexitedandhappyfaced for you two! wedding planning = fun (even though at times it can get just a tad stressful, or at least it did for me.). an october wedding sounds wonderful!

i'm so glad you're mofo'n!!! buttercream icing wacky cake is one helluva way to start vegan mofo. mmmmmm! i'm loving all your eatz, too - from the lemony pasta to your seitan cutlets with coucous & spinach. i've gotta check out the chickpea salad recipe from ED&BV, and try the chipotle tempeh as well. i'm up for a little sweetness in my dish, but not a ton - maybe i can tweak it a bit. hooray for tasty bbq balls (tee hee!), a rock'n salad, and one plate of enchiladas that looks gloriously good. i can't wait to drool over more food porn of yours....

i hope michael is feeling better super soon - and i hope you don't catch what he's got. fingers crossed!

happy mofo & happy october times!

Bex said...

I love that mofo gives us a good swift kick in the butt to get blogging again.
I love EDBV, so many yummy recipes. You food looks so tasty.

eileen said...

congrats on your engagement!

so, the molasses cookie overtones in the barbecue sauce? that totally makes sense, since bbq sauce often has brown sugar or molasses in it! I make this version from joy of cooking which calls for brown sugar, subbing molasses in (and leaving the worcestershire sauce out) and it is fantastic! especially good for baking or grilling. use it to make bbq tempeh, and swoon with delight!

Maria said...

Everything looks so delicious! Thanks for sharing!

Dawn (HealthySDLiving) said...

Congratulations on your engagement!!! :)

Vegyogini said...


I absolutely love ED&BV. It's such an incredible book filled with healthy, delicious recipes!

Tami (Vegan Appetite) said...

Congratulations on your engagement!

All that food looks delicious.

Stay healthy!

Morgan said...

I can't believe you came to Athens!! I live here!! Casa is definitely my favorite resturant in town. You should check out Salaam, too, if you ever have a chance. I went there for dinner tonight.

They have kick butt falafel, hummus, and cous cous. I got the cous cous for dinner and hummus to go. LOVED it, as always.

Debra said...

It all looks so good!!

Sal said...

YAY glad you're back and congrats on the engagement.

your birthday food all looks awesome, especially the cake! :)

aTxVegn said...

Happy Birthday and congratulations on the engagement! Your birthday dinner looks wonderful.

Erin said...

Congratulations to you and Michael! That's so great. Good looking foods, too.