Tuesday, June 28

A Buffet of Recent Eats

I've had a bunch of pictures hanging around for a while, so instead of reviewing each recipe I thought I would just post the pretty pictures.  Enjoy!

Jerk Asparagus and Chickpea Piccata
Appetite for Reduction

Chicken Salad Sammy
The Best Veggie Burgers

Curried Red Bean Pilaf with Walnuts and Raisins
Vegan on the Cheap

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Pie 

Cajun Beanballs and Spaghetti
Appetite for Reduction

Thai-Style Pineapple Rice Salad
Vegan on the Cheap

Fronch Toast with mango coconut salsa
Vegan with a Vengeance

Wednesday, June 8

It's summer..

and that calls for a nap!

Farmers' Market #3

Date: Saturday, June 4
Location: Downtown Springfield, IL
Total Purchase: $15.75
Cucumber $1
2 Zucchini $2
2 Summer Squash $2
Asparagus $4
Micro Greens $2.50
Jalapeno Plant $1 
"Ugly" Tomatoes $2.25
Green Onions $1

Tuesday, May 31

American Vegan Kitchen.. revisited!

We've been doing a pretty good job keeping our cookbooks active since the challenge ended.  We've probably made something out of American Vegan Kitchen at least once a week.  One of our favorites is still the Coconut Bacon Bits, but here are some other goodies:

Seitan Po' Boys
These were the perfect flavorful and messy sandwich!  Aside from making the seitan (which I did the day before) they were also pretty quick to make.  We served them on French bread, as suggested, with pickles, mustard and a little extra mayo.

Brew City Stew
We used the extra seitan to make this stew.  The seitan really picked up the flavor of the beer, which I didn't expect.  It was really hearty and gave us enough to dinner and leftovers for lunch.

Brewpub Tater-Tot Pie
This might not be the prettiest dish, but it was definitely one of my favorites from this book.  We used a can of kidney beans in place of the TVP and omitted the mushrooms, otherwise we followed the recipe.  Again, the flavor of the beer really came through in this, so pick a beer that you like!  This is a relatively quick meal to keep in mind for the fall or winter.

Monday, May 30

Unhealthy splurge

I'm not saying I eat healthy all the time, but I try to stay away from greasy, fried foods.  If I have chips, I make sure I'm at least eating them with some fresh salsa.  I bake almost exclusively with whole wheat pastry flour.  But.  These cheese curds have nothing healthy about them; they were a total splurge (which we ate with a big, green salad loaded with veggies, if that's any consolation) and totally worth it.  I used the batter for beer-battered tofu from "Vegan Brunch" and cubed up half a brick of Follow Your Heart nacho cheese (that was Chad's pick; I would have gone for almond cheddar).  Although the result was melty, greasy and delicious, it will probably be a while before I make these again!

Keep the burgers coming!

I thought another post about burgers would be fitting for Memorial Day.  We've still been loving "The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet" and it seems like every recipe we try is better than the last.

Pintos and Rice Burger
This burger is so easy!  Joni even says something like, just mash all the ingredients together.  It takes no time (unless you forget to make some rice ahead of time, in which it will take you almost an hour.  Ugh.) and is so delicious.  We cooked these on our George Foreman grill, which we probably haven't used in two or three years.  They had a nice crispy, crunchy crust and were dense, but chewy on the inside-- just perfect.  We topped them with a healthy scoop of guacamole, some green onions and a few cilantro leaves.  I think these would hold up well on the grill and can't wait to make these again and share their deliciousness.

Potato Samosa Burger
I've never made a real samosa before, but we bought a big bag of potatoes from Trader Joe's, so I thought I would give this a try.  They turned out super tasty, almost like a fancy mashed potato-ish burger.  There were lots of seasonings, but next time I might even double them.  We ate this with a smear of vegan mayo.

Super Quinoa Burger
Chad did most of the work for this burger.  The ingredients are pretty simple, quinoa (2 cups!), beans, peas, cashews, tahini and a couple spices.  They are super flavorful and have very little oil, so they're a healthy choice, too.  We made these on the Foreman grill and they turned out great.  Joni also suggests that this can be used as a side if you don't form the "batter" into burgers, which is definitely something I'm going to keep in mind this summer!

Bacon Cheeseburger
We saved these to grill outside today-- with the temps over 90 and humidity through the roof, I didn't want to turn on the stove or oven and it was a good excuse to leave the air conditioning for a bit.  Plus, I worked up a sweat just kneading this dough for five minutes!  I made a few adjustments to the recipe, subbing a mix of barley and cracked wheat for the TVP and cutting the oil in half.  They have a ton of flavor going on, from the bacon (we used coconut bacon bits from AVK), peanut butter, liquid smoke, nooch and more.  After I formed the patties (which were about 1/2 c each), I stuck them in the freezer for just about 15 minutes to firm while we preheated the grill.  They held up well and since I oiled them, even got great grill marks!  They turned out perfect-- a little crunch from the grill, super flavorful and a little chewy in the center.  Next time, I might even make a double batch, just to have some extras on hand in the freezer.

Sunday, May 29

Farmers' Market #2

Date:  Saturday, May 28
Location:  Springfield, IL
Total Purchase:  $12.75
Organic Lettuce 2 bags at $3.00/bag
Radishes $1.25
Green Tomatoes 2 medium at $1.25
Asparagus just over a pound at $3.00/pound
Dog treats $1.00

I don't think I've ever bought radishes, but these were so pretty I couldn't say no!  Schatzi was apparently intrigued also!

Saturday, May 28

Gardening.. To Go!

Since we are back and forth all summer, we never get to plant a real garden.  This year, I decided that I wanted to at least try some herbs, so in early April I bought top soil, organic seeds and colorful pots and planted our favorites.  We have cilantro, basil, parsley (this is the little gray pot, which I obviously didn't grow from a seed), sweet red pepper seedlings and tomatoes (which have already been sent to my mom's for transplant).  So far, the basil has yielded enough for two small batches of pesto and seasoning for other dishes.  We've also used the parsley and cilantro for a few things.  It's so nice to just pick and cook, instead of running to the store and hoping for something fresh.  Next year, I think I'll branch out.. hopefully to some bigger pots and more veggies.  For this year, I'm content with my mini-garden to go!

What are your favorite fresh herbs to plant?  What have you had the most luck growing?  Least luck?  Good luck to all the other gardeners out there!

Summer is in sight!

The end of the school year is quickly approaching.  My desk is scattered with papers and final exams.  In less then one week, I will be enjoying another beautiful summer break!

This is my fourth year teaching in my current position, so in high school terms, it's kind of like I'm a senior.  Actually, it means that the Freshman I taught my first year are all grown up and graduating!  I've had only one student who has been in German all four years and one student who I've taught three of the four years, so I had to take the opportunity for a picture with them before they went out into the big, real world!  (One of them even built me the awesome podium a few years ago in his shop class!)

Monday, May 23

Farmers' Market #1

Date: Saturday, May 21
Location:  Medford, WI
Total Purchase: $13.00
Maple Syrup $10.00
Rhubarb $3.00

Monday, May 16

Cousins' Weekend 2011

My mom has five sisters (and one sister-in-law who you would think, if not for her height, was one of the sisters) who are all really close.  Those five sisters and one brother have more than a dozen children, over half of which are girls, who are also really close.  For years, the sisters have planned yearly "Sisters' Weekend," where they all meet up somewhere fun and have a weekend filled with sister stuff.  For the last few years, the cousins have followed suite and have planned "Cousins' Weekend."  Cousins' Weekend is usually something cheap, such as camping, as the six regular participants have been in some stage of schooling, unemployment, or otherwise short on cash.

This year, we finally went close to all-out-- we rented a beach house in North Carolina, where my cousin Alyssa just finished an internship.  Spring in the Midwest has been rather undesirable, so we were all looking forward to a bit of sunshine and warm weather.  I got up early two mornings and ran along the beach (one morning barefoot, which was awesome!)...  We watched the sun rise over the ocean...  We spent a whole day being lazy on the beach...  We decorated foam visors with puffy paint and seashells...  We crammed into the backseat of Alyssa's car and explored the city.  It was by far the best cousins' weekend to date and will be hard to top next year!  Here are a two of my favorite pictures from the weekend...

Friday, May 13

Bring on the Burgers!

My latest addition to my cookbook collection is "The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet: 101 Globally Inspired Vegan Creations Packed with Fresh Flavors and Exciting New Tastes" by Joni Marie Newman that came out on May 1.  I pre-ordered it through Amazon was excited to find it at my door when I came home from school the last week in April.  This looked like it would be the perfect book for summer grilling.  Well, first of all, the book itself it gorgeous.  It's heavy for a paperback, with thick,colorful pages and pictures for about every third recipe.  To boot, the recipes are great too!

So far, we have tried three burgers:

grilled, topped and ready to eat!
Our first burger adventure was the Chipotle Sweet Potato Burger.  Chad and I love all things chipotle, so this was an easy choice.  The burger had a great texture from a combination of baked sweet potato, tofu and cashews.  We grilled these outside, which could have gone better.  Next time I will take Joni's advice and freeze the burgers before grilling them.  We had a lot of burger stuck to the grill, but they were delicious, regardless.  We topped them with avocado and tomatoes and skipped the buns.  I also made a side of black bean and rice salad with some homemade chipotle mayo.

baked to (almost) perfection
The next burger was the Jamaican Jerk Burger.  We had some leftover seitan from making Seitan Brew Stew (from American Vegan Kitchen) earlier in the week, so this burger was really easy to throw together.  I don't know if I added too much liquid or not enough dry or what I did, but this burger never really held together.  We baked it, so it wasn't a big deal, but it turned out to be a crumbly, yet tasty, burger.  We'll definitely have to experiment a bit more with this one if we want to grill it.  I enjoyed the flavor from the pineapple and hot peppers. 

Tonight we made Garlicky Ranch Potato Burgers.  I am pretty much in love with these burgers.  They were SO easy to make and were FULL of flavor, despite an ingredient list shorter than 10 ingredients.  This is definitely a recipe to keep in mind, because usually have everything on hand.  They were like bulked up, super tasty hash browns in burger form.

Tuesday, April 26

Adventures in AFR

A few weeks ago, I finally bought Appetite for Reduction and have been loving it!  We have made two or three things each week and already have a few favorites-- including Baked Falafel.  So... here are some recent pictures and thoughts on some delicious meals!

The first thing we made was Baked Falafel, which we have made probably half a dozen times now.  Last night, Chad was even successful making them solo.  The first time we made them, we just ate them plain for a snack.  Since then, we usually make a big salad with cucumber, tomato, red onion (for me) and tahini dressing.  The recipe is so easy, just throw the chickpeas and some other ingredients in the food processor, blend until smooth, mix in a few other seasonings, form and bake.  They can be ready in right around 30 minutes, so it's a surprisingly easy weeknight meal.

The second thing we tried was another salad-- Pad Thai Salad with Peanut-Lime Dragon Dressing.  We doubled the veggies and added some pan-fried tofu triangles to make it a meal.  Since I've been in love with anything Thai and peanutty lately, I thought this salad was amazing... lots of fresh veggies and flavor.  I also liked making the dressing from scratch.  There are a bunch of recipes for dressing in this cookbook that I'm planning to make.  I like that you can adjust the seasoning, oils and such and know exactly what you're eating.  Plus, you can always taste freshness!

The remaining recipes in random order:

Herb-Roasted Cauliflower and Bread Crumbs
This was a simple side, but was SO flavorful.  The bread crumbs and herbs make the cauliflower taste rich and buttery.

Mac & Trees with Easy Breezy Cheezy Sauce
Another vegan mac and cheeze recipe to add to my arsenal!  This had a good flavor, not too rich.  The big stalks of broccoli (or trees) bulked it up and added more flavor.  I think I used a whole box of whole wheat pasta and still had enough sauce to go around.

Lasagna with Roasted Cauliflower Ricotta & Spinach
This recipe used a combo of cauliflower and tofu to make a ricotta-like filling and black olives on top in place of cheese.  It was really filling and made enough for dinner and lunch for me and Chad.  I can see this becoming a fall and winter favorite.

Curried Chickpeas & Greens
Another really quick and delicious meal.  This was the first time that I used mustard seeds, garam masala and I also finally bought fresh ginger.  I LOVED this recipe.  It was so flavorful from all of the seasonings (I think there is something like 10 different spices), tomatoes and kale.  I'm already looking forward to making this again!  (This picture is from my phone.  Somehow my camera battery was dead for over a week!)

Arabian Lentil & Rice Soup
I don't know how I missed taking a picture of this one.  Chad will probably say it's because he made it, which he did, but that's not why there is no picture.  This was made with creamy red lentils and jasmine rice, with its own share of veggies.  It was also a good way to use up some of our homemade veggie broth (it's taking over the freezer!).  I think we had enough of this for a few left-over lunches, so that was a little bonus.

I think that's it... so far.  I'm loving this book and there is so much that I still need to try!  I love that, like Isa's other books, there is such a variety of recipes.  There are safe favorites (like Mac & Trees  and Classic Black Bean & Veggie Chili) mixed in with other recipes that I wouldn't normally seek out (like Curried Chickpeas & Greens and Curry Laksa). I'll let you know what else I try soon...

Sunday, April 17

Happy Birthday, to ME!

Two weeks since my last post!  Now that poms, basketball and the Cookbook Challenge are over, I've been surprisingly busy doing nothing.  Actually, I've been cooking from Appetite for Reduction a lot, so I'll have to do a post on that soon.  BUT... last Thursday was my birthday, so I thought I'd share a picture...

Sunday, April 3

Kayla & The Giant Penny

I did it!  I have my very own, hard-earned giant penny medal!  The Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon was yesterday.  It was a perfect race day-- 50s, slight breeze, partly cloudy.  I ran with one of my co-workers, Gretchen and it felt like a surprisingly quick route.  There were a few hills that I thought were going to kick my butt, but I recovered pretty quickly.  Best of all, I finished with a personal best time of 2:16.43, which is almost 15 minutes faster than my previous best!  On to the next... 

Friday, April 1

Cook Book Challenge Week #12

Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World
Toasted Coconut Cupcakes

Another cupcake that does not disappoint!  This recipe calls for chocolate, coconut and coffee.  I skipped the coffee, but they were still delicious.  I also played with the frosting a little and used a regular butter cream recipe with a little coconut.  It didn't come out the best and drooped a bit, but still tasted great.  AND since I'm totally obsessed with the Quick Melty Ganache, I had to add some to these cupcakes (I used coconut milk in this, too).  The last touch is to add toasted coconut flakes to the top.  We stored these in the fridge and managed to have dessert all week!

Monday, March 28

Cook Book Challenge Week #12

Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World: 75 Dairy-Free Recipes for Cupcakes that Rule
Peanut Butter Cupcakes

I made these Peanut Butter Cupcakes a couple weeks ago to take to friend.  Of course, Chad and I had to sample a few too.  I used some almond milk and some coconut milk  and whole wheat pastry flour instead of all-purpose flour, otherwise I followed the recipe.  The cupcakes were amazing-- super thick and moist on the inside with a little crisp on the edge for the first bite.  I think the molasses really heightened the peanut buttery flavor.  I topped them first with banana glaze (a little whipped EB and banana with a splash of vanilla and some powdered sugar), then Quick Melty Ganache and chopped peanuts.  I was so happy with how well they turned out.  Mmm, just thinking about these makes me want to whip up another batch...

Saturday, March 26

Cook Book Challenge Week #11

Vegan Brunch
Wednesday's Menu:  Red Flannel Hash and Chorizo Sausages
Thursday's Menu:  Navy Bean Gravy

I should be out running this morning, but I think my stomach is still trying to decide what to do with the greasy goodness of last night's Beer-Battered Tofu.  What else is there to do, but to eat a bowl of cereal and finish blogging about this week's meals?

On Wednesday, we made another pretty simple meal-- Red Flannel Hash with Chorizo Sausage.  I have to admit, this was the first time I bought a beet.  I've never been a huge fan, so I don't go out of my way to find or eat them.  Chad, on the other hand, loves beets, which is why he picked this recipe.  It came together really quickly, just chop the potatoes and beet, heat in a pan for a bit, then toss in the oven.  Before we chopped everything for the hash, I started the sausage, which is basically steamed seitan in sausage form.  The dough was pretty wet and I had just enough vital wheat gluten, but they turned out pretty perfectly.  Next time, I'll make sure to wrap them in extra aluminum foil, because each sausage exploded out of it's wrapper in the steamer.  I chopped two into slices and pan fried for a bit before serving.  This meal was pretty filling and definitely had a "meat and potatoes" feel.  Next time, I would make sure to plan for a fruit or vegetable on the side. I can also see adjusting the beans and seasonings in the sausage for different occasions, because it was fairly easy to make.

Our third meal of the week was Navy Bean Gravy with "buttermilk" biscuits.  This gravy was amazing!  Biscuits and Gravy is another one of my favorite breakfast meals.  So far, we've only used the Gimme Lean Sausage with a basic butter, flour and milk gravy.  The Navy Bean Gravy doesn't even compare!  It's so thick from the blended beans and flavorful from the surprisingly few seasonings.  After the gravy thickened up a bit, I added about a cup of pinto beans and a teaspoon of fennel seed to give it a little sausage-y flavor.  I will definitely make this gravy again, because it is WAY better than my simple gravy!

At the end of the week, I loved "Vegan Brunch" as much as I thought I would.  I checked this book out from the library, but it might need to join my collection soon!  We really enjoyed everything we made this week and recipes were all pretty quick and simple.  There are still many things I really want to try, like the Bagels, English Muffins and Scones.  Someday, I'll get through everything!

Friday, March 25

Cook Book Challenge Week #11

Vegan Brunch
Tonight's Menu:  Beer Battered Tofu

We've been busy in the kitchen with this cookbook all week, but I HAD to post this today.  One thing I've really missed lately is going out to a Friday night fish fry.  Well, after tonight's dinner I have nothing to miss!  Beer Battered Tofu more than exceeded my expectation.  It was really easy to prepare and absolutely delicious.  We used sunflower oil to fry and Sam Adams Boston Lager for the batter.  Each piece was super crispy and the beer was very flavorful.  We served it with loaded baked potatoes (with Coconut "Bacon" Bits from AVK) and a big spinach salad to feel a little healthier!  I was looking forward to this dinner all week and it did not disappoint!

Tuesday, March 22

Cook Book Challenge Week #11

Vegan Brunch
Tonight's Menu:  Peanut Butter Waffles and Revamped Tempeh Bacon

First of all, yum!  I've been looking forward to "Vegan Brunch," because what's not to love about brunch?!  We started the week out with two pretty simple recipes.  The Peanut Butter Waffles were delicious and super filling.  They weren't as peanut buttery as I expected, but I can't really complain.  We topped them with sliced bananas, maple syrup, powdered sugar and a few extra peanuts.  I was full after the first one, but managed to eat a second!  Next time, I think I will use crunchy peanut butter, because Isa suggests it will give the waffles more peanut flavor.  In other waffle-related news, I finally figured out how to make the perfect waffles with my 5-year old waffle iron.  I usually have it set to the highest setting and my waffles split in half, but tonight I remembered to turn in down to medium-high and, like magic, all the waffles came out perfectly!
We've made the Tempeh Bacon from "Vegan with a Vengeance" before and it was pretty good... but the Revamped Tempeh Bacon is unbelievably better.  It tastes just like, if not better than, the Fakin' Bacon we buy at the store and is way cheaper to make.  I loved the flavor combo and although I thought that one tablespoon of liquid smoke might be overpowering, it was perfect.  I added all of the marinade to the pan after the pieces "fried" for a little bit and let it simmer down.  They came out with a nice little crunchy, crispy bite.  I have a feeling we might make this often now, especially since we just stocked up on tempeh from Trader Joe's!

So, that was dinner tonight!  I don't even think I have room for dessert while I watch "Biggest Loser."  Maybe that's a good thing... 

Sunday, March 20

Meatout and One Year Vegan!

I planned on writing this post tomorrow, but then I saw a few things on twitter about "Meatout."  Upon a little more investigation, I found the website meatout.org, a "grassroots diet education campaign."  You can read more at their site, but this is what it's about:

What is Meatout?
On (or around) March 20, thousands of caring people in all 50 U.S. states and two dozen other countries get active to host educational events for Meatout- the world's largest grassroots diet education campaign. Activists distribute free food, educate their communities, and ask their friends, families, and neighbors to "kick the meat habit” and explore a wholesome, compassionate diet of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

The other reason for this post is that tomorrow I will be "officially" vegan for one year!  I pretty much went "cold-turkey" from omnivore to vegan after watching Food, Inc. and reading "Skinny Bitch," but I started keeping a food journal on March 21st, so I'm considering that my jumping off point.  The picture I've included in this post is my small collection of books that I've acquired in the last year.  I've checked some others out from the library, borrowed some, but these are the books that have really helped me get to today.  I could go on and on about everything I've read and the changes I've made, but I can honestly say that I feel great and I couldn't be happier with my life right now!  

I thought it would also be fun to share a few pages from my journal on what I ate and thought the week:

Sunday, March 21
Granola and Soymilk
Apple Waffles with Maple Syrup
Mediterranean Quinoa with Naan
Fresh Pineapple

Shopped at Meijer today.  I was surprised by the whole vegan "meat" selection that I never noticed before-- sausage, hot dogs, cheese and tofu.  I'm coing to make chili with cornbread and lasagna this week.  Also, bought almond milk to try.

Monday, March 22
Granola Bar, Soy Yogurt
Quinoa leftovers
Gnocchi with Pesto
Peanut Butter Cookies and Soy Milk

Tried soy yogurt today and it was really good!  Baked cookies tonight-- long prep, but it was worth it.  Had a glass of soy milk with my cookies, ugh!  Definitely need to try some other brands or something new!

Thursday, March 25
Apple, Granola Bar
Oatmeal, Soy Yogurt, Banana
Chili, Spinach Salad, Cornbread
Peanut Butter Cookie

Yum!  Made the best cornbread!  It was so good with the chili.  Very filling dinner and already looking forward to leftovers!

Friday, March 26
Apple, Soy Yogurt
Chili, Cornbread
Lasagna, French Bread, Red Wine

Made Kelly's old tofu lasagna recipe tonight.. yum!  I used Follow Your Heart Vegan Mozz Cheese and it was better than I expected!

Thursday, March 17

Baking for Saint Patty

We didn't do anything special to celebrate St. Patrick's Day today, but I did bake a loaf of Irish Soda bread using this recipe from VegNews.  I used two cups whole wheat flour and one cup all-purpose flour and it turned out perfectly-- crunchy outside, soft and super moist inside.  It was just enough to satisfy my little Irish craving today!

Tuesday, March 15

Cook Book Challenge Week #10

Viva Vegan!: 200 Authentic and Fabulous Recipes for Latin Food Lovers
Last Night's Menu:  Cuban Black Bean Soup
Tonight's Menu:  Sweet Potato-Chipotle Bisque

I've been looking forward to this week for a while, because 1) I LOVE Mexican and Latin-inspired cooking and 2) I don't own the book, so I've really only looked through it a few times at Barnes and Noble.  I decided to start out the week with two easy soup recipes.  My jaw is still quite swollen and stiff, so I can't handle much chewing action and the weather has been perfect for soup, but these soups were no compromise on flavor!

Last night we made the Cuban Black Bean Soup.  Black beans have long been my favorite bean, but lately we've been eating far more chickpeas, so I was excited to get back to the black beans.  We even made an extra batch while we were at it.  This soup was pretty simple, but very flavorful.  You soak the beans overnight, simmer for a couple hours, add the Sofrito (which is garlic, onion, bell pepper, tomatoes, seasoning), season with liquid smoke and lime juice and serve!  For the minimal amount of ingredients, like I said, it was really good.  Terry lists the liquid smoke as optional, but I would definitely recommend it. Chad had two bowls and a piece of pie in the time it took me to eat just one bowl... someday I'll be able to use my molars again!  I had leftovers for lunch today with some cornbread, and it was just as good as last night.

Tonight we made an equally easy and delicious soup-- Sweet Potato-Chipotle Bisque.  The ingredients were minimalist in this recipe, too and I followed everything, only using coconut oil in place of olive oil.  It was super easy for me to eat, because once everything is softened you blend it (potatoes, onion, garlic, chipotle) and then add "cream" (I used coconut milk), lime juice and cilantro at the end.  It was so fresh and flavorful and the smokiness from the chipotle made the soup taste thicker than it was.    We served this soup with cilantro-lime rice and black beans.  It was very light and filling and ready in less than an hour.

Not sure what we're making tomorrow, but I'm looking forward to soup for lunch again!

Monday, March 14

Pi Day... Why Not?!

I was more excited that today's date, 3/14, is one month until my birthday, that I almost forgot it's also Pi Day.  Luckily, this email reminded me that I should be eating PIE!  So, here is how I celebrated Pi(e) Day:

I sort of winged the recipe, but it turned out as good as I had hoped.  It's a peanut pastry crust with a (thinner than planned) chocolate layer and a peanut butter layer topped with chocolate ganache.  It was just sweet enough, without being too rich.  Here's an idea of what I did...

Peanut Butter Chocolate Pi Day Pie
Crust: (Adapted from "The Best 50 Dessert Tarts")
1/2 c margarine
1-3/4 c whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 c peanut flour
1/3 c finely chopped peanuts

Mix all ingredients and press into pan.  Bake 10 minutes at 400.  Allow to cool while preparing the filling.

Filling: (this is where I winged it)
1 13 oz carton silken tofu, divided
a few tbsp creamy peanut butter
a few tbsp baker's chocolate 
a few tsp sugar or agave 
a splash of vanilla

Place chocolate and sugar or agave in a small saucepan and melt over low heat, stirring occasionally.  While the chocolate is melting, place half the tofu, peanut butter and vanilla in a food processor.  Process until smooth and creamy.  (Check on chocolate)  Scrape into a small bowl and set aside.  Once chocolate is melted, add the remaining half of tofu, chocolate and a sprinkle of sugar into the food processor.  Process until smooth and creamy.  Scrape into the pie crust and spread evenly.  Carefully spread the peanut butter layer on top.  Refrigerate until almost ready to serve, at least 1 hour.  Before you are ready to serve, prepare chocolate ganache (I used the Quick Melty Ganache from VCTOTW) and drizzle over entire pie.

I don't think you can really mess this up, it's pretty basic.  I'm off to enjoy another piece while watching the finale of "The Bachelor."  Happy Pi Day to all :)