Saturday, September 26, 2015

VeganMoFo Day 26: A Totally Great Thrown-Together Dinner

Today's MoFo Prompt: "It's cold and rainy and there's a snow drift outside your door! What are you going to make using the ingredients you already have?"

my garden is so sad and dry. It's like a graveyard out there.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Excuse me while I stop laughing. Whoever wrote this prompt obviously doesn't live in California, where it seems like it will never rain again, and we are all withering on our own vines. Anyway, I went along with it. During MoFo season, I always end up will all sorts of odds and ends in my fridge and freezer! Plus, this time of year I become a compulsive produce hoarder - because there is just so much natural bounty and glory and I want to eat it all. Sometimes it is hard for me to accept the reality that in actual fact, I can only eat dinner 7 times a week. 

every week i go to the farmers market with my friends and they are sadly accustomed to me constantly searching and re-searching for my list. Sometimes it ends up in my front pocket, then my back pocket, then my outer purse pocket, then inside the purse, then inside the farmer's market bag... ha ha. I am so dependent on it.

The other thing is that I am quite a little planner. I plan out what I am going to make for dinner for the next few days, then I go shopping and buy what I need for the meals I decided to prepare. I know it sounds crazy, but otherwise I just end up buying a bunch of random stuff that then rots and goes bad because I don't know what to do with it. Still, even with all that compulsive planning, I often end up with an extra zucchini, or maybe some things I bought for lunches - but then I ended up having leftovers instead... Then the fridge fills up with things that Were Not Part Of The Plan. Ha ha. 

So, please, with that in mind, I'll understand if you are alarmed at the fact that I was actually able to throw this abundant dinner together based on aimless items in my fridge and pantry (and garden).

 First, I made some fresh salsa. I've been making a lot of fresh salsa this summer. So simple: tomatoes, 1 jalepeno, lime juice, cilantro, garlic clove. All equal to glorious levels of yum.

See that green creamy stuff - that is the Mexican Cobb Salad Dressing from "The Complete Guide to (Even More) Vegan Food Substitutions."** I had bought the ingredients for it, and hadn't made it yet. Verdict: outstanding! spicy! I took out the oil, and had an extra chili so that's why it turned out so spicy. This dressing is SO good - thick and creamy and filled with flavor. After I took the picture, we globbed on a big mound of this stuff, with some salsa and stirred our bowls all around.

Next I actually cooked up from-scratch some beautiful large beans that some friends had grown in their garden and given us as a gift. I cooked them up with some cumin, garlic, oregano, and onion. They were SO GOOD. As you can see, they turned out huge and a deep dark color. I wish I had more because these were possibly my favorite home-cooked beans ever!

Probably my #1 standby veggie is cauliflower. I love it so much, in so many forms. This time, I took one whole head, cut it into florettes, and roasted it. Just a tiny bit of sprayed olive oil, and salt and pepper. So simple and so good.

Another quick and easy favorite food for me is the recipe for the tofu cubes from The Oh She Glows Cookbook. I've modified it a bit by adding a tablespoon of nutritional yeast, and I just spray the pan with oil, rather than using the amount the recipe calls for. These little tofu cubes are so tasty that I could easily eat a whole pound of tofu without batting an eye. But I always practice self-restraint, and either give half to Mr VE&T or save the other half for Tomorrow Me.

Last but not least, steamed kale. I like kale all sorts of ways, but with so many other fancy and more established flavors in this meal, a nice giant mound of simply steamed greens was just what the doctor ordered.

Maybe it's not always so bad to be a food hoarder after all! I would have fared pretty well in this fictional snow storm. Meanwhile, I'll go back to dreaming about rainy days. The weather people are saying we might get a super heavy rainy winter, which would be great... but I'm afraid to hope.

Giveaway Winner! 
** speaking of "The Complete Guide to (Even More!) Vegan Food Substitutions," I realized that I never announced a winner for this giveaway. I got all caught up in MoFo Madness! I used a random number generator to select Charj as the winner! Congrats! Please send me an email at ameyfm (at) yahoo (dot) com, so that we can get you your copy! 


  1. yessss if I don't plan I end up with stuff that ends up going bad! Like, right now I have a fridge full of produce I bought without planning so today I need to sit down and work out what to do with it all (then spend the day cooking).

  2. Beautiful bowls! I totally over buy at the market this time of year but make good use of the freezer cause I refuse to waste food!

  3. Ha! I lose my list all the time too. I don't know if you have a smartphone, but I've started just taking a picture of it with my phone before I leave the house. I always lose the paper list, but never my phone!

  4. Haha, I can relate to a lot of this post- the shock at running out of cumin, the need to meal plan, the loosing the list! My partner is the opposite, he likes to be spontaneous rather than meal plan so we often split the week into which days we'll each cook.

  5. Cauliflower, what can't you do!

  6. I am also a food hoarder, so I understand how you can put together such a varied meal without leaving the house. ;)

  7. I am a big food planner too! I always pick my meals on Saturday, and then make a list of all the ingredients that I need and go food shopping. I always have a meal plan so usually only have the veggies I need each week for the plan.


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