Also- I made beans! And they worked! Thank you thank you thank you for all your suggestions! I just barely overcooked them, but they were still delicious and easy. Hoorah! You will see them featured in my pictures for the week.
I've had a very busy week, and kept meaning to blog sooner, but it was all topped off with an extra busy weekend - and here you can see the photographic food evidence of my busyness!
One week ago, our special little nephew CW spent the night. We had a wonderful time together. He is such a sweet special little guy, and I am just nuts about him. The next morning we snuggled in bed together with the doggies, went to the beach, and then took him to his summer kids program. I was very excited, because I got to make him a lunch! :) I was chanelling Jennifer Schmoo over at VeganLunchBox! He helped me plan his lunch, and here's what we put in it: a peanut butter & jelly sandwich, a baggie of bing cherries, a Mountain Raspberry Juice Squeee, 2 dried fruit thingees, a Cashew-raisin-chocolate peanut baggie (from Sunspire), and a calcium candy. I know it's a lot of fruit, and no veggies... sigh. Little CW is really NOT into veggies. Although my mom told me later that he'll eat carrots with ranch dip. I'll try that next time. :)
A nice, fresh stir-fry - lightly cooked. It's got broccoli, butter beans, tomato, basil, kalamata olives, and red onions. Yum.
I made the tacos from Real Food Daily. They were good, but it would have been just as easy to make tacos any ol' way. I do LOVE that RFD chicken style seitan though. Also, look what I got at the Farmer's Market: CORN!!! Hoorah! It's sooooo good.
The next night, I had my cousin's husband over for dinner. My cousin's out of town, so it was fun to just visit with him. They are following the Eat To Live diet right now, so it was fun to cook him up an ETL-friendly dinner. We had Tacos again, but with more options (and more corn!)
I cooked up a package of the Lightlife chick'n strips with some carrots, & some zucchini from our neighbors' garden. I seasoned it with the beef fajita seasoning from The Joy Of Cooking - garlic, lime juice, a tiny bit of oil, red pepper flakes... very easy & VERY good.
These are the beans I made all by myself! Hoorah! I mixed in some cumin and fresh salsa for the tacos. Mmmm.
Here's my taco plate: some fajita mix, some beans, some seitan taco mix, some lettuce & salsa. Deeelish!
Here's a picture of my veggie garden! I finally built my planter boxes, & am feeling quite proud of myself. I got every thing planted about a month ago. I have 5 types of tomatoes, basil, dill, cilantro, an eggplant, a pumpkin, two butternut squashes, and hyperactive row of chard. Yum!
I ate a lot of nice meals like this during the week. Some of my beans (yay!), some sliced up collard greens, some carrots, zucchini, cumin, and salsa. Easy, quick, and delicious!
Do you remember those old, irritating ads that said "Don't hate me because I"m beautiful" ? Well, I say "Don't hate me because my grandparents grow raspberries!" I picked about 3 quarts of berries in 1 hour. And, that's after their berries were picked the day before & the day before! I had a lot of baking to do this week... and there was a certain raspberry goodie I've been wanting to make. I was baking for a big charity event called "The Concert In The Orchard" that my mom has helped with for many years. Our mutual friend Toni does a LOT of baking for the event, and makes lots of vegan fruit pies - but I still wanted to help out. Plus, I just really love baking! And spreading the vegan love through baked goods!
First up is the Raspberry-Cornmeal Tart with Raspberry Sauce from "Voluptuous Vegan." It's a very elegant dessert, beautiful & not too sweet. It's got an almond crust, a sweet cornmeal batter with raspberry puree & raspberries on top, with almonds. Lovely!
Next up, a double batch of Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes from VCTOTW. I've had my eye on that recipe for a while, and I finally had a reason to make them! They rose more on the outside of the cupcakes, and had a little hollow spot in the center. I fixed it by just pouring a little chocolate ganache into the well & covered it with a sprinkle of powdered sugar. Ouila! These were quite a hit.
I also made a double batch of the Hazelnut Cupcakes from VCTOTW. Half of them were filled with the delicious Hazelnut Mocha Mouse, topped with Ganache and chopped hazelnuts. The other half were given the "linzer torte variation" treatment: filled with raspberry jam (made from last fall's raspberry harvest), & topped with ganache & raspberries. Ooooh. I LOVED both of these so much. Amazing!
Here's one of the hazelnut mousse ones, cut in half. I combined two Isa techniques to fill these. I cut out a cone of cupcake from the top. Then I sliced off the cone, so I was left with a flat little lid. Then I pushed my thumb down to make a well for the filling. Put in the filling, & cover up with the lid. Easy & flawless looking with a little ganache on top!
So, that was a lot of baking! When I went to drop off all my goodies at Toni's house before the concert... I spotted a bunch of apricots in her kitchen. In fact, she had two AMAZING-smelling apricot pies in the oven. She offered me a half flat for $15, and I could not resist.
here's my sideways picture! :) We have been eating them NON STOP and loving every bite. They are blenheims. As Toni pointed out, they are often smallish and bit ugly, but totally amazing on flavor. Boy, was she right. This afternoon I used the softies to make a big batch of apricot jam - we got 7 jars out of it!
After dropping off the baked goodies, we took off for our friend Kate's wedding. It was a LOVELY wedding, with perfect sunny weather, great music, lots of love & friendship, and great food. Our mutual friend Talya cooked up an amazing offering of food. She specializes in Ayurvedic cooking, and is really an amazing chef. Here's my plate from the wedding: a warm kale salad full of tasty flavors, a quinoa salad, and some amazing coleslaw. The dessert was frozen banana "ice cream" made with the champion juicer - decorated with edible flower petals & served with homemade chocolate nuggets with ginger, cranberries and almonds in them. YUM.
After all that, I was pretty pooped out last night ... not to mention the two-and-a-half hour yoga class I went to! So, we had an Amy's cheeseless pizza from the freezer with a couple of nice big salads. Such a nice summery meal.
And that brings us to tonight! Tonight I had a bit of a vision... made up of lots of things in my fridge that needed to be eaten! I used my new birthday mandoline (yay!) to slice up an eggplant and a giant zucchini. I put those on the grill and then sauteed up a sliced onion, chard stems (from the garden!), and garlic. I separately sauteed up some chard & collards. I had a barely used jar of Trader Joe's Organic Marinara sauce, so I got that out. I had some of Susan V's White Bean Pesto from yesterday's lunch, so I got that out. And I had half a block of silken tofu, so I made that into some tofu ricotta. In the end I made a noodle-less lasagna kind of creation with white bean pesto, tofu ricotta, tomato sauce, and all the veggies - in lots of layers. I sprinkled some pine nuts on top. It was amazing... I loved it & Musty did too (he had 3 servings just to prove it!)
Hope you've all had a great weekend!