Saturday, October 23, 2010

What I ate at a wedding.....

I just thought I'd do a quick post and show you all the amazing stir fry that was provided to the vegetarians at our friends' wedding last weekend! It was probably the best stir fry I have ever had, and it even featured shiitake mushrooms - which, as I've mentioned before, I am far too cheap to buy for myself.

The beautiful couple - thanks for having us, guys (and for feeding us so well)!

Paul and I, stuffed full of stir fry and perhaps a bottle of wine in.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Open-Faced Sandwiches (Rainy Day Lunch)

I have been an embarrassingly bad blogger lately. I keep saying I am going to post more, and then I don't. Fall is by far the busiest time in my year and I just have not had the time for creative cookery. I haven't even had the time for uncreative cookery. No time to even roast a simple squash, one of my most favourite fall activities.

I signed in expecting my followers list to be non-existent, but it hasn't budged. Thank you for sticking by This is Vegan! I wish I could send each and every one of you a cupcake as a consolation prize for my uselessness.

Today I bring you a post featuring a lunch that Paul put together for me one rainy afternoon as I was rushing in between my morning and afternoon shifts at work. He picked up a couple bowls of the daily soup at Kara's Smart Foods (always fresh, always vegan, always makes my stomach grumble while picking up my weekly veggies - this day it was a roasted tomato-basil). He also made delicious open-faced sandwiches on the fluffiest of white breads (banished from our grocery list because of their addictive properties and lack of any substantial nutrition, he went out and bought them from our favourite bakery just for this occassion).

They come together as follows:

Fluffy white buns, halved
Drizzled with olive oil
Topped with caramelized onions, roasted red pepper and alfalfa sprouts
Sprinkled with a little bit of mozzarella Daiya
and put under the broiler for a couple minutes (just until the Daiya melts - you will want to keep a close eye so that your precious sammy doesn't burn).

Best husband ever!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pumpkin Baked Penne with Caramelized Onions & Sage Breadcrumb Topping

This coming Monday is Thanksgiving here in Canada, which means that this week in local supermarket you can't swing a Matt & Nat purse without knocking over a display of pumpkin puree (I may have stolen and slightly modified that quote from an old guilty pleasure of mine - Sex and the City).

I really should have just made puree out of one of the thirty million squashes I have stockpiled, but dealing with whole pumpkins can be such a pain and my sanity is worth more than the $1.99 it cost for the can of puree.

This recipe comes from Veganomicon and I was a bit wary of it at first, as I don't really care for tofu takes on cheeses (ricotta, feta, etc.) and I'd never had pumpkin with pasta before. But it's fall, and by the time I reached the third pumpkin puree display in the supermarket I figured the universe was trying to tell me something.

Although the ingredients list is a bit lengthy and you have to make a few things prior to making the actual meal (the cashew/tofu ricotta, caramelized onions and the sage breadcrumb mixture), it comes together in the casserole dish relatively quickly.

Cashew/tofu ricotta with pumpkin puree, brown sugar and herbs/spices mixed in.

Caramelized onion

Sage breadcrumbs

The only complaint I have with this recipe is the enormous amount of breadcrumbs required - about 2 1/2 cups. When all was said and done there were more breadcrumbs than there was pasta. However, this is probably because I used the premade breadcrumbs that I had kicking around my freezer. For this recipe, the authors encourage processing old bread in a food processor until it is coarse but not too fine, whereas my breadcrumbs were practically a powder. If you make this and decide to use store bought breadcrumbs, I'd cut the sage breadcrumb portion of the recipe in half.

The recipe is found in Veganomicon (listed as Baked Pumpkin ziti), but someone has also posted it here. It's quickly become one of our fall favourites. It would make an awesome side dish for Thanksgiving dinner, if you're still looking for harvest meal ideas!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

What, pray tell, is more wonderful than the smell of fall root vegetables roasting away in the oven on a chilly and rainy day?


Which is why I have an obsession with purchasing squash, which is rapidly turning into an unhealthy addiction. There is no reason I should be leaving any kind of market or grocery store with a bin full of squash that is so heavy that I myself cannot physically lift it, but this time of year I just can't resist a shelf of beautifully displayed butternut, acorn and kabocha squash. And so I buy more and more and more - until every cupboard and every shelf in my kitchen is overflowing with squash.

It's getting to be a serious problem. So I've been making a lot of soups in an effort to thin the ranks a bit.

Butternut squash purees are pretty classic. They always taste good, they usually involve very little work. I will tell you what makes this one (recipe found in Vegan with a Vengeance) stand out - the hint of maple syrup stirred in right before serving. How fall-ish!

I can't find the recipe anywhere online so it looks like you are just going to have to go out and buy the book. And if you do I highly recommend trying the mango-ginger tofu and the potato and tempeh sausage pizza.

Now, I'm off to buy groceries. And most likely come home with more squash.

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