Monday, January 31

Cook Book Challenge Week #4

Vegan with a Vengeance: Over 150 Delicious, Cheap, Animal-Free Recipes That Rock
Today's Menu: Soup!
Soup #1 Chili Sin Carne al Mole
Soup #2 Curried Split Pea Soup

Assuming the weather holds out and we have school all week, this is going to be another busy week for us.  We planned ahead by preparing two crocks full of soup last night.  Also, this week's cookbook "Vegan with a Vengeance," is probably my favorite vegan cookbook.  Maybe because it was the first one I bought, maybe because it's just that awesome.  Either way, I'm looking forward to trying a few new things this week... starting out with soup!

First, the chili.  We just threw everything in the slow cooker to make preparation easier.  Also, we didn't have any seitan on hand, so we skipped that and replaced the jalapeno with chipotle.  Other than that, we followed the recipe pretty closely.  I had a bowl for lunch today with a few tortilla chips.  I couldn't finish the whole thing though, because the soup was really rich.  I don't know if it was because I used Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder that it was so strong or maybe I added a little too much molasses?  It was filling, smelled good cooking all night and Chad really liked it, so I'm not sure.  If I have any more, I'll probably add some more chili powder or broth.  It would also be good with cornbread, something with a simpler flavor.

For dinner, we ate the Curried Split Pea Soup.  This was also a pretty easy recipe to make using the slow cooker.  If I make it again, I would saute the onions and garlic, like the recipe called to do, to make it more flavorful.  I also used some veggie broth that was left over from the chili.  There wasn't as much curry flavor as I expected, but it was a good soup for a cold, wintry night!  It actually reminded me more of my mom's split pea soup than I expected.  I also made a loaf of homemade artisan free-form bread to go with the soup, instead of the suggested rice.  AND ever since we had the Fettuccine Alfredo last week, Chad has been obsessed with nutritional yeast!  We always dip this bread in balsamic and olive oil, but all he could think about after school until we ate was spreading EB and "nooch" on his bread.   I'm not sure which he likes more, eating the nutritional yeast or saying "nooch." 

As I finish typing this, I received word that school has been canceled for tomorrow!  I'm off to enjoy my evening...

"Snow" Day!

 Schatzi's hiding from the weather too!
School was let out early today, due to some nasty weather we're supposed to get.  This morning started out overcast, then around lunch tiny little snowballs falling from the sky turned into ice, then rain.  The rain/sleet/ice is supposed to continue through tonight and eventually turn into snow.  Chad's school also let out early and all after-school activities are canceled.  We're both home now... enjoying a glass of wine and some homemade pita chips and hummus!

Sunday, January 30

St. Louis & Schatzi

this is what $200 looks like at Trader Joe's.. yikes!
Earlier this week, we decided to make a trip to St. Louis this weekend.  The highlight of the trip?  Trader Joe's!  And if you're going to drive an hour and a half for groceries, you have to make it count.  As you can see, we piled the cart full and left the store almost $200 poorer.  This is a place that I don't mind spending money... although, Chad would argue there are a lot of places at which I don't mind spending money!  I like that, other than checking for the usual dairy/egg ingredients, we don't have to scour the labels for unknown ingredients, high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors and so on.  We also finally went in with a shopping list for dinner for the next two weeks.  We should only have to purchase fresh produce, otherwise we're probably set for a good month on staple pantry goods.  Of course, a few unnecessary things usually make their way into our car.  Here are some new things we bought on this visit:
1.  Pound plus dark chocolate bar:  As the name implies, over a pound of dark chocolate!  I've read that this is great for baking.  I stuck it in my baking box right away, so I'm not tempted to nibble on the giant block of chocolate.
2.  Organic Ruby Chai Tea:  Chad has been kind enough to make tea for us each morning, so I picked up a new variety.
3.  Brown Jasmine Rice:  I usually stick to the basic long-grain brown rice, so I thought I'd venture into the world of Jasmine rice.
Sea Salt and Turbinado Sugar Dark Chocolate Almonds:  "Roasted almonds drenched in dark chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt and turbinado sugar."  How could I resist that?!
5.  Salt & Pepper Ridge Cut Potato Chips:  Chad grabbed these, but I'm sure I'll sample a few.
6.  Rice Sticks:  These were a perfect find for only 99 cents, since Pad Thai is on this week's menu. 

We also stopped for lunch at Sweet Tomatoes.  I love their salad bar, and they had two prepared salads that I'm going to try to recreate for weekday lunches-- Fiesta Couscous and Wheat Berry Curry.  They seemed simple enough, so I'll see what I can do. 

"I'll shake for a treat!"
While we were stocking up on groceries, Schatzi spent her day at the PetSmart Spa!  Okay, not really a spa (she's not THAT spoiled), but she was bathed and groomed.  She's snuggled in bed right now resting after her rough day. 

Also, yesterday I became the proud owner of a library card!  I checked out "Vegan Brunch" and "How it all Vegan," so I hopefully I'll find a few new recipes to try out in between the cookbook challenge!

Now it's time to organize the pantry, straighten up the house, and relax a bit before another crazy week begins!

Saturday, January 29

Vegan Pizza Day!

Chad and I celebrated Vegan Pizza Day with a BBQ "Chicken" Pizza for lunch. 

Here's how today's pizza came together:
Basic Pizza Dough recipe
Trader Joe's Chicken-less Pulled Chicken in BBQ Sauce
Daiya Vegan Mozzarella
Veggies: Spinach, Chopped Carrots, Diced Red Pepper, Sliced Red Onion
Extra BBQ
1. Prepare pizza dough per instructions. 
2. Preheat over to 350. Using half the dough, roll and stretch to fit desired pizza pan.  Bake 10 minutes.
(Refrigerate or freeze remaining dough)
3. Remove from oven.  Cover with a thin layer of BBQ.  Cover evenly with spinach.  Add "chicken."  Sprinkle with veggies and mozzarella.  Season with black pepper.
4.  Bake 15-20 minutes until crust is browned and cheese is melted.
5.  Slice, admire and enjoy!

Cook Book Challenge Week #3

The Urban Vegan
Friday's Menu: Fettucine Alfredo and Choco-Coco-Oat Bars
Today's Breakfast:  Better Than Buttermilk Pancakes

dinner's ready!
Friday's dinner was Fettucine (capellini, actually) Alfredo.  It was really quick to make and I followed the recipe pretty closely.  A few changes I made were using about half of the pasta, cutting the Earth Balance from six to four tablespoons (I just couldn't bring myself to use ALL the butter), adding a few Italian seasonings and fresh broccoli.  The sauce was pretty easy to make.  I read somewhere else that people had trouble with the sauce thickening, so I added a bit more than a tablespoon of cornstarch and a little extra nutritional yeast.  The sauce still wasn't "thick," but it was an okay consistency.  It was pretty flavorful, but not exactly "Alfredo."  I haven't had fettucine Alfredo in years, even though I used to LOVE it, I couldn't bring myself to eat it, knowing it's so unhealthy.  This sauce wasn't quite as rich, but it was a decent substitute.  It was also really easy to make, so I can't complain there.  We served it sprinkled with extra nutritional yeast and a glass of wine!  Some crunchy garlic bread and a fresh side salad would've been a good addition.

crumbly goodness
I always like to make a dessert or something special on Friday, since we have extra time, so I flipped through the dessert chapter.  I found "Choco-Coco-Oat Bars" and had everything I needed.  As chance would have it, I had picked up some random ingredients at Whole Foods last time we were in Madison (coconut oil, unsweetened coconut flakes and dark chocolate chips), which was just what I needed for the recipe.  I haven't used coconut oil before, but as soon as I opened the jar, I could smell the amazingly sweet scent-- not what I expected from oil.  I also used a little to grease the pan.  I love the smell and hopefully I'll find another use soon!  The bars definitely satisfy a sweet craving, without being too incredibly unhealthy.  I'm not sure what I did, but they didn't exactly turn into "bars," more of a crumble.  Maybe I didn't let it cool long enough before digging in.  The way it turned out, I can imagine it would be even better with a scoop of coconut ice cream!  (Note: this morning they have cooled into real bars.)

topped with EB and syrup
This morning Schatzi woke us early (by early, I mean before 8:00), so I whipped up the pancake batter right away.  I left the batter pretty thick; the recipe called for up to an additional four tablespoons of milk.  I greased the griddle with coconut oil (yay!), and it gave the pancakes just a little added sweetness.  As far as pancakes, I would say they were pretty standard, nothing too exciting or out the ordinary.  I planned to make the apple cinnamon variety in the recipe, until Chad snacked on the apple earlier in the week!  Not a bad recipe, but not one I'm super excited to make again.

Another week of the challenge is on the blog.  What did I enjoy about The Urban Vegan?  I really liked the Chickpea Chili Burgers; this is definitely something we'll make again and probably often.  I liked all the variety in her recipes, even though we stayed pretty simple again.  I didn't recognize a lot of the recipes, so that may have added to my apprehension.  I don't think this is a book I'm dying to buy, but I would check it out from the library again and try a few more things.

When I asked Chad what he thought about last night's meal, his only comment was "Good."  Guess that answer is good enough :)

Friday, January 28

Ready for the Weekend

I feel like I've been on the go non-stop for the last two weeks!  Last week, especially, was a crazy week at school.  Even though it was a short week, I was gone on Wednesday for a PBIS conference and Thursday morning for CPR training.  There were other meetings, practice and paperwork during the week... AND worst off all, I only had one prep for the entire week!  I feel like I'm still catching up this week.

To make things a little better, last week I started a Maerchen (fairy tale) unit with my German 3/4 class.  It's one of my favorites!  There is a lot of grammar, culture and history to discuss.  We ended the week by watching The Brothers GrimmI think it will end up being a five-week unit and hopefully, the kids (the majority of which are male) enjoy it as much as I do!

On top of that, Chad's basketball team has been playing in their regional tournament (which they won last night!).  I've had the difficult job of keeping book, which is really just to help me watch (pay attention to) the game.  The dance team and I have also been hosting our annual Kiddie Camp at the elementary school.  I've been making the rounds between all three schools in our district!

I've also managed to stay up-to-date with my training scheduleAs the weather has been cold and snowy, I've been running inside and making use of my gym membership.  I've been trying to keep a pace of at least 10:00 miles on my training runs.  It might seem slow, but my fastest half was at a pace of 11:30.  Since I'm only training eight weeks, I thought I should try to pick up the pace... we'll see how that turns out. 

So, here's to a relaxing weekend!

Wednesday, January 26

Cook Book Challenge Week #3

The Urban Vegan: 250 Simple, Sumptuous Recipes from the Street Cart Favorites to Haute Cuisine
Tuesday's Menu: Curry Cashew Casserole
Tonight's Menu: Chickpea Chili Burgers

This week's cookbook, as listed above, is "The Urban Vegan."  To be honest, I've never looked through it before last weekend, so I'm looking forward to some more new ideas.  It's also the first time I've checked out a cookbook from the library.  All sorts of excitement!  Without further ado, the food...

Chad was in charge of last night's dinner-- Curry Cashew Casserole.  He didn't say much or complain about it, so I'm assuming it was pretty easy to throw together.  I did help a little by making the cashew butter with raw cashews in the food processor.  I don't know if the raw cashews made a difference, but I had to add a little oil to bring it together.  The only other change he made to the recipe was using curry powder in place of curry paste.  The recipe had lots of veggies-- broccoli, tomatoes, red pepper-- but lacked some kick from the spices.  I think next time I would add extra curry and maybe even crushed red pepper or cayenne to make it more interesting.  We served it over brown rice, and it ended up being a satisfying meal.  With a few changes, I would make this again as a quick weekday meal.  (I only snapped one picture before my camera battery died, so it's not the best quality.)

so good..
Tonight's menu included Chickpea Chili Burgers.  Chad did most of the work again tonight (yay!) and I just had to finish blending, forming and frying the burgers.  I wasn't really sure that I would be very impressed with them and wasn't sure about the bread and oats in the mixture, but they ended up being more than I expected.  They have a different texture than most other burgers that we've tried-- crispy on the outside and chewy, but smooth on the inside.  Definitely a good "different."  We topped them with guac, tomatoes and chipotle mayo (my easy recipe below).  They were so good, we both ate two, loaded with toppings!

Chipotle Mayo
1 chipotle pepper in adobo, seeded
1/2 c Nayonaise or Veganaise
squeeze of lime juice

Add pepper and Veganaise to food processor.  Blend until smooth.  Squeeze lime juice into food processor.  Pulse a few more times.  Chill until ready to serve.  (Pretty easy, huh?)

I'm typing this in our kitchen, while Chad is cleaning up and washing dishes... perhaps I should go help?

Sunday, January 23

Football Food

The Packers and Bears are just about to take the field for the NFC Championship game.  Chad and I are staying home to watch the game and snacking on game day food.  Here's one of our favorites that's super easy to make:

Better Than Taco Dip
1 15 oz can refried beans
1 ripe avocado, mashed
13 oz silken tofu
1 c cooked vegan chorizo
1tbsp southwest or taco seasoning
dash of chipotle or chili seasoning
1 c shredded lettuce
handful grape tomatoes, quartered
handful black olives, sliced
tortilla chips

1.  Mix tofu in a small bowl or blend in blender until smooth.  Mix in seasoning.  Set aside.
2.  Spread beans to evenly cover the bottom of a pie dish.
3.  Cover beans evenly with avocado.
4.  Cover avocado with tofu mixture.
5.  Sprinkle chorizo over the tofu.
6.  Sprinkle lettuce, tomatoes and black olives to cover dip.
7.  Refrigerate until ready to serve!
8.  Serve with tortilla chips and cold beer!
(Variation:  Omit chorizo and seasoning.  Add 1 can Ro-tel tomatoes to blended tofu.  Prepare as normal.)

GO Pack GO!

Saturday, January 22

Breakfast and Books

Looking forward to a lazy weekend, since haven't had a weekend without plans since December!  Our big plans are making Orange Cranberry Muffins for breakfast and spending the rest of the morning at Barnes and Noble. 

Maybe a new book or magazine?  We'll see if I'm feeling crazy :)

Friday, January 21

Cook Book Challenge Week #2

Tonight's Menu:  Pumpkin Baked Ziti with Caramelized Onions and Sage Crumb Topping

This dinner was the real deal, grown-up meal!  I've heard lots of raves about this, so I was looking forward to trying it myself.  Also, being that it was the last thing I made this week, I had to made some adjustments and substitutions.  The first thing I made was the cashew ricotta.  We picked up a bag of raw cashews at Trader Joe's last month, so I was good there.  The rest of the recipe was pretty much thrown together... no lemon- so I subbed water and a squeeze of grapefruit, and I accidentally bought silken instead of firm
tofu.  I think it still turned out okay, considering it was my first attempt. 

don't let the picture fool you, it's delic!
Next, the caramelized onions.  The recipe called for two, but as Chad "detests" onions, I reduced it to one.  They smelled so good, and surprisingly right around the 12-15 minute mark, they began to brown.  This was easier than I expected.

The final step, where I cheated the most, was the sage breadcrumbs.  The recipe tip said that these "make the recipe," but as we didn't have a crumb of bread in the house to start with, I had to use the boxed ones we had in the pantry.  We were out of walnuts, so I used pecans (which were pretty amazing).  AND finally, I couldn't bring myself to use a full 1/4 cup of margarine, so I just tossed in a "healthy" spoonful and away toasted my "homemade" sage breadcrumbs. 

I tossed the pasta in the pumpkin mixture, spread it into the pan, sprinkled generously with breadcrumbs, and let it bubble away in the oven... while I cleaned my now disastrous kitchen (dirty food processor, dozens of mixing bowls, spatulas, pans and crumbs galore).  The first bite made all the work well-worth it!  The cashew-ricotta-pumpkin mixture was rich and creamy, the onions were a sweet contrast, and the flavorful breadcrumbs added just the right crunch.  I'll definitely make this again, and maybe I'll even use all the right ingredients and make my own bread crumbs... maybe!

Now that Veganomicon week is over, I'm happy with my selection of recipes.  Even though I played it safe (BBQ and Mac Daddy), I'm looking forward to trying some more adventurous recipes from the book.  There's so much left to explore!

Thursday, January 20

Cook Book Challenge Week #2

Last Night's Menu: BBQ Seitan & Crispy Coleslaw and Wheat-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

messy bbq goodness
Mmm.. Last night was a good night for food!  Actually, going back to Tuesday night we decided to try our hand at homemade seitan.  I've been a little intimidated to try making it, but using the Simple Seitan recipe and tips from the PPK (cold broth, simmer in slow cooker) it turned out better than I hoped!  It was very similar in texture to packaged seitan that we've bought from the store and easier than I expected.  I also tossed the coleslaw and dressing to let it flavor up overnight.

going in for a monster bite!
Wednesday's job was pretty easy, since we did all the difficult work Tuesday night.  We just had to slice the seitan, pan fry it and assemble the sandwiches.  We served it on store-bought ciabatta rolls, which were a good choice.  Next time though, I'd probably heat them in the oven for a bit or toast them in the pan.  The first bite of the sandwich was exactly as I expected-- a little heat from the BBQ sauce, cool and crunchy slaw, and a sloppy mess falling everywhere!

Since dinner was pretty quick, I decided to bake some cookies for dessert.  I found Wheat-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies and had everything I needed.  They use oat flour instead of wheat, which I made by blending some old-fashioned oats.  I think it made the cookies crunchier than normal wheat flour.  I also subbed toasted almond oil from the Oilerie for the canola oil and almond milk for the soy milk.  As a bonus, the librarian at my school is gluten-free, so I can share some of the deliciousness with her!

As if signing up for the race wasn't enough motivation to run, the three cookies I had for dessert should do it...

Wednesday, January 19

Abe & the Giant Penny

So, last night I finally made the commitment and signed up for the Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon.  No more making excuses, no more ignoring it, I have to start running now!  I also have to admit, one of my biggest motivators for this run is the finisher's medal-- a giant penny!  Hopefully, in just over two months on Saturday, April 2nd, I will be proudly wearing my very own giant penny around my sweaty neck!

With that said... guess I'd better go lace up my shoes!

Monday, January 17

Cook Book Challenge Week #2

Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook
Today's Menu
Breakfast: Pumpkin-Cranberry Scones
Dinner: Mac Daddy

I received "Veganomicon" as a Christmas gift from Chad's parents this year.  I was so excited, because I always flip through it at the bookstore and think of it as "The Betty Crocker of Vegan Cooking."  I've tried a few things so far, but this week I'm adding to the list... 

served with sliced blood oranges
Breakfast is my FAVORITE meal of the day, so I was excited to have some extra time this morning.  I love pancakes, waffles... the usual breakfast suspects.  Veganomicon has some delicious recipes-- Chocolate Chip Brownie Waffles, Blueberry Corn Pancakes.  Chad didn't want pancakes or waffles, he wanted tofu scramble.  Veganomicon doesn't have a recipe for tofu scramble.  We almost settled on a bowl of cereal, but I finally found Pumpkin-Cranberry Scones and we agreed on that.  As a bonus, we already had everything we needed!  I also finally had a good reason to use my new Penzeys spices from Chad's mom.  I don't know if it was my flour (I don't buy white all-purpose, so I always have to adjust), how I cut in the butter, or my inexperience in scone-baking, but we ended up with more of a cake than the dry, crumbly scone I was anticipating.  Either way, they were delicious and just the right thing to munch on while we disassembled the Christmas tree and packed away the decorations.  

looks good enough to eat?!
On to dinner... I've really been craving mac and cheese lately.  A while ago, I made my first vegan attempt with Stovetop Cheezee Mac from "Vegan on the Cheap."  I wasn't super excited about it, but it made good leftovers as Chili Mac.  So, when Isa and Terry warned in the blurb that this is a recipe to share with "vegans and vegetarians" because people are "sketchy about nutritional yeast," I was a little worried myself.  In the end, it was better than I hoped.  I followed the recipe pretty closely, only I didn't realize that I was supposed to make a double batch of the Cheezy Sauce and tossed in some frozen spinach that I had on hand. It turned out rich, creamy and delicious.  I topped it with some Adobo seasoning for a little spice.  Chad claimed the leftovers for lunch, so I guess we've found another keeper!

Tomorrow we're going to try home-made seitan for later in the week... hopefully I have more luck with that than the scones!

Family Time

Chad and I both have a three-day weekend, so we made a trip to Fondy.  It turned into a busy weekend, full of visiting!  

ready for the game!
On Saturday, I met Keesha for coffee at the Blue Goose, along with mom, Shanna and Aunt Janet.  Then Kelly and the kids also came home in the afternoon.  For a quick lunch, I made falafel using a mix from Fantastic World Foods.  I was surprised by how tasty they were, being they were so easy to make.  Mom, Kelly and even Henry loved the "balls."  They definitely weren't Holy Land Diner-quality, but I'll keep them in mind for something quick and easy.  Finally, in the evening we saw most of the Will's at a Packer party hosted by the Walters.  The first half was really exciting and action-packed, but I think I spent more of the second half talking than watching the game!  It's so nice that we've been seeing them so often lately.  Dad would be happy!

We planned to leave in the early afternoon on Sunday, but instead had another full day.  We started out with church, then mom and I went to the Outlets, where I made a few (un)needed purchases!  When we got back to mom's house, Chuck, Janet and Aaron stopped for a visit.  I haven't seen Aaron since my wedding, so it was nice to catch up with the Halfmans!  By the time we finally packed the car and left, it was after 5:00!

I almost forgot... my mom gave me a pair of mittens this weekend.  They're a very special gift, because they were no doubt knit with love and they have lots of special memories attached to them.  She had been working on them over the last two months while she and dad were waiting for doctor's appointments, in between testing and scans at the hospital and lazy nights at home.  This weekend, she finally finished the last thumb! 

My goal today is to be super-productive and finally get our house back in order!  Maybe breakfast will even be from Veganomicon to start out the challenge for week 2... wish me luck :)

Thursday, January 13

Cook Book Challenge Week #1

Appetite for Reduction
Last Night's Menu: Chipotle Lentil Burgers
Tonight's Menu: Classic Black Bean & Veggie Chili and Fresh Corn & Scallion Corn Bread

Chipotle Lentil Burger pre Pita
Yesterday was the perfect day for chili-- cold, snowy and windy (Chad even had a snow day!), but instead of having soup two days in a row, we opted for the lentil burgers.  Also, since Chad's basketball game was canceled and I had nothing after school, we had plenty of time to make dinner together-- yay!  Skipping the chili was no mistake... these burgers were AMAZING!  I love everything southwestern, so these were perfect for me.  We followed the recipe almost exactly, except we skipped the zucchini.  Buying zucchini in the winter is a sad thing-- it's always small and waxy.  I was worried about the texture, but they stayed together well and (since I haven't made them before) I didn't even miss the zucchini.  We served them with avocado, cherry tomatoes, cilantro and lettuce inside of a pita.  P.S. Today I made sure Chad read and reread the recipe to only include ONLY 1/4 c chipotle peppers!

swirl of Tuffuti and sprinkle of Daiya
Tonight's dinner was Classic Black Bean & Veggie Chili with a side of Fresh Corn & Scallion Corn Bread.  I followed the recipes pretty closely, but made a few adjustments to the chili.  Mainly, I didn't have zucchini (again) so I skipped it and added chopped broccoli and some leftover mashed sweet potato (from Monday).  Chad loves chili and I'm always up for another recipe, so we were looking forward to tonight's dinner.  The chili turned out great, the seasoning was just right and it was just chunky enough.  The cornbread, on the other hand, didn't turn out quite as expected.  I don't know if my corn was not completely thawed or I mixed it too much, but it had more of a spoon bread texture.  I couldn't cut it into the cute triangles that Isa suggested, rather we had to plop it onto our plates.  It still tasted okay and went well with chili, but I'll have to do some more experimenting with this one.  

After making 5 new recipes from "Appetite for Reduction," my favorite thing (other than the fonts in the book!) is the amount of veggies in each recipeThe soups and the burgers were loaded with a variety fresh veggies and a few canned for ease.  Also, the two biscuit recipes I made called for whole wheat flour.  Everything was fairly quick and easy to make, and super tasty.  I can see all of these recipes finding their way into our usual rotation!

On to the next... 

Tuesday, January 11

Cook Book Challenge Week #1

Appetite for Reduction
Today's Menu: Tortilla Soup

Yum, Yum, Yum!  I didn't get home until late tonight, so Chad was in charge of dinner.  He said the soup was really simple (bonus!).  He did make a few intentional changes-- black beans instead of pinto, chipotle peppers in adobo instead of jalapenos, and one UNintentional change-- a CAN of peppers, instead of the two the recipe called for!  We adjusted the spice by adding extra broth and a can of tomato paste.  This is definitely something we'll make again soon!

Now, off to bed to dream about a snow day tomorrow :)

Monday, January 10

Cook Book Challenge Week #1

Appetite for Reduction
Tonight's Menu: Buffalo Tempeh & Sweet Potato Drop Biscuits

I've decided to participate in the PPK's Cook Book Challenge #2.  Each week there is a new cook book and I'll try at least three recipes from each.  I'm looking forward to adding some new things to my arsenal! 

Wasn't sure if I was still going to make this once I got home from school, but I stuck the sweet potatoes in the oven, steamed the tempeh and began marinating.  The prep work turned out to be nothing and clean up was easy.  

The actual cooking went pretty quickly, too.  I put the biscuits in the oven, and they finished just as I was finishing the tempeh.  I think this is the first time I've actually "prepared" tempeh, rather than just steaming it and tossing it in a salad. 

Both dishes were tasty, but I'm not sure they paired very well.  I think the Buffalo Tempeh would be better with a salad or steamed veggies and maybe seasoned black beans.  The biscuits would be really good with a stew or Thanksgiving-like dinner.  I think I'd also try swapping the nutmeg for Cajun seasoning for another meal.

So, that's that... Cook Book Challenge day #1!  All that's left is to clean the kitchen :)