Saturday, November 6, 2010

Lazy Saturday - Lazy Did not Pay!

I love a good, lazy weekend. Today I drank my breakfast... by having a soy coffee misto at Starbucks. That is the way I think I need to start more days. I spent my morning with my oldies volunteering at their garage sale. I was given the important position of the white elephant table. I am always in awe of what people will buy... and even more so on how little it takes to convince them. I sold Christmas Villages, coats, VHS and books on Cassette (The woman didn't even think she had a cassette player!), leopard print foot stools, fanny packs and many more things I can't even name. Something about the oldies makes me happy. I love that it is perfectly acceptable to complain and whine all day and everyone just puts up with it. Now don;t get me wrong it's not all whining and carrying on, but there is rarely a day when I don't hear something.

After having to get up early I decided to have a pasta lunch. I have a simple pasta sauce recipe from the Everything Guide to Vegan Cooking Cook book and I loosely follow it to make my own dish:

Pasta with Green machine sauce
- 3/4 cup of soy milk (or whatever you have on hand)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp vegan butter or margarine
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
- 1/2 pack of frozen spinach thawed and drained
- Pasta - use one that catches the sauce well like macaroni, or penne
- salt and pepper

(Note - I didn't use exact measurements when I made mine, but this is generally what you need)

1. Boil water and get the past going, cook to the package instructions.
2. As the pasta is cooking, combine the soy milk, butter and garlic over medium heat until melted. Whisk in the flour and let it cook until it begins to thicken
3. Add the spinach, nutritional yeast and salt and pepper and cook until heated through (5-8 min)
4. Combine with pasta

I garnished with some fresh basil. Parsley would have been yummy too.

For dinner, I continued with my lazy Saturday by throwing together a quick stir fry. I had this meatless 'chicken' in the fridge for a while now and decided to try it here. Let me tell you before anyone sees this and thinks it sounds like a quick and easy dinner. I learned my lesson.. Yves Fake chicken is not very good. I did not like it at all! On top of that, I went really lazy and just used some frozen veggies as the base of the stir fry. The veggies were good, but the dish really lacked the luster of a yummy veggie meal. It looks drab and boring.

So see below or what I did. Then I will tell you what I wish i had done!

C+ Stir Fry
- 2 tbsp of oil, I used Sesame
- 2 cups of frozen veggies, I used a Japanese blend
- Hand-full of mushrooms, chopped
- half a head of cabbage (or 2 cups) chopped
- Mince Ginger, about 1 tsp
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 2 tbsp soya sauce
- 1-2 tsp of vinegar (Rice or umeboshi plum)
- 1 small pack of noodles (I used Udon), cooked
- 'Chicken' strips.

Heat up a wok and add sesame oil. Once the oil is hot, add the frozen veg and cook for a couple minutes, then add the rest of the ingredients and cook for 10-15 minutes.

Now... Knowing that this is really like a 4 out of 10. Here is what I would change:

  1. Fresh Vegetables. I know this, and in a pinch a combo of frozen and fresh could work, but really the more fresh, the better the taste
  2. Fake Chicken - this is not good. It definitely had the consistency of meat, but the taste was just weird. Maybe if you had a heavy sauce you could mask the flavour, but not good otherwise. Tofu or Seitan would have been much better.
  3. Cabbage - I used green and it just wasn't right. Bok Choy would have been much better.

So after a mediocre dinner, I decided to make cupcakes! I had all the ingredients to get things going, but not much of a recipe to follow. So I did what most people would do and googled for guidance.

I used the linked recipe to start with:

To this recipe I switched up the spices a bit. I had cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and all spice. I also put a bit less oil in the recipe, probably closer to 1/3 cup than 1/2 cup. The batter was a bit more dense, but it worked out ok.

I would say as they were, these were somewhere between a muffin and a cupcake. They were much more dense than most cupcakes and not very sweet. That said, they were still very yummy... but thought they needed an icing to send them into the world of cupcake.

So, I made a simple vanilla frosting and called my sister for colour inspiration. She chose green...

This, may have been another mistake. The colour was a weird slime colour and I put too much millk in the icing, so no matter what I did, I couldn't get it to thicken enough.

So now these cupcakes had to be eaten with a disclaimer... They really were much yummier than they looked.

All in all it was an OK day. Lots of cooking and really lots of lessons learned about the value in fresh food. I'll leave you with a picture of my favorite roommates.... Meet the Piggies!

All caught with their mouths full.... They had all fresh food.. They refuse anything else. I could take a lesson from them!

Night all

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