hungarian scramble

Brunch

I had Welsh Rarebit on my menu for today, but since Kate chose to make a Cheese Sauce for her baked potatoes, I decided there is such a thing as too much cheese. So, I made a Hungarian Scramble. Hungarian because they add paprika, onions, green peppers and sausage. I used a Tofurkey sausage (Whole Foods had them on sale this week.) and lots of nutritional yeast. The scramble turned out fluffy -as fluffy as tofu will ever get - and soft and moist. Don't forget to let your tofu steam (add a few tablespoons of water if you have to), covered to get this texture - that of eggs - and add some black salt. I found my receipt for an Indian market where I bought some a few months ago: $1.15 for a medium package. Cheap. 

We had some bagels so I gave making Korozott a try - a Hungarian spread made of cheese, onions and paprika. I used some grilled onions for the spread, a clove of garlic, 1/2 slab of soft tofu and a package of Tofutti cream cheese. This was something my dad would make every Sunday and my version is pretty close to it. Creamy,a  little spicy and the flavor of the paprika (Szeged brand) is nice and prominent. The kids loved it! I was surprised; as a kid this was not a favorite of mine - I thought it too bland. There are more and more benefits to this vegan thing.

Cost Breakdown:
bagels: $3
cream cheese: $2
tofu (scramble and spread): $4
pepper and onion: $2
Tofurkey: $3
spices: $1
Total for brunch for 8 people:
   $15.00




sin carne asada tacos

We had Mexican tonight.

'Carne Asada' translates to 'roased meat' and it tends to mean a BBQ, party, get-together, etc. The meat is usually marinated in a lime based marinade or rubbed with seasonings before being grilled.

I marinated my Firm Seitan, after slicing it thin on the diagonal, in a blend of garlic, lemon, orange, lime and olive oil. I let it sit in the marinade while I prepared the sides and the toppings. I made an ancho salsa with dried ancho peppers, tomatoes, cilantro and whatever was left of the marinade - not to worry, this is not meat so I can use my marinade however I wish.

I grilled the seitan slices on my grill, put them in a tortilla and topped it with my salsa. Some avocado, lettuce or nondairy sour cream would also be very appropriate.

Yum, Yum.

I LOVE Sin Carne Asada - smoky, flavorful, spicy (if you want it to be), juicy. Yum. Everyone loves this, and I love that.

Cost Breakdown:
seitan: $4
tortillas: $4
lemon, limes, orange: $3
garlic, cilantro, spices: $2
Total to feed 10 people:
$13.00




falafel

Picnic

Probably the only thing better than eating falafel at a picnic is making falafel - once you find an easy, quick, tasty recipe, that is.

If you are searching for the perfect falafel recipe, look no more.
For those that are unaware of what falafel is, it is ground chickpeas, parsley and carrots, made into balls or patties and are typically fried in plenty of oil. Not here, oh no! Frying them in a teaspoon or two will get you crispy and delicious flalafels. This recipe is not any more complicated than opening a can of beans into a food processor along with the veggies. Buzz, form into patties and pan-fry.

The tahini sauce is made with yogurt, garlic, homemade tahini (much cheaper than buying at the store), lemon juice,a little olive oil and a dash of sweetener.

The kids loved it. I loved it. David will love it, too.

Cost Breakdown:
pita:$1.50
chickpeas: $2
vegetables: $3
tahini and yogurt: $1
lemon: $.50
Total to make 10 patties, 5 servings:
$7.00





eggplant and zucchini stroganoff

European Night

I have made stroganoff before, using seitan or tofu or some other meat substitute, but tonight I used all vegetables. Except for the pasta, there is no processed anything in this dish. No sour cream substitute or soy cream or anything that you need to get off the shelf at the grocers.

I seared criminis, Japanese eggplant and zucchinis. I sauteed onions, garlic and peppers. I blended 1 c cashews with 3 c water and strained it through a nut bag. I added 3 T of Bryanna's homemade chicken-style broth mix and heated the whole thing together. As I've blogged before, the fresh nut milk thickens when heated. To sour it up a bit, I added 1 T of white balsamic vinegar.

I cannot find non-egg, wide noodles at the stores here, so I made them using lasagna noodles that I sliced into thick strips after cooked.

Heaven on a plate. So, so good.
Even the kids who do not like zucchini loved this. Of course, they said it would have been even better without the zucchini.

Not the adults! Perfect as is!

Cost Breakdown:
cashews: $1
nutritional yeast: $.50
eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms: $5
onion, garlic, pepper: $1
lasagna noodles: $2
Total to feed 8 people:
$9.50



buffalo baked potatoes

Kate wanted to make baked potatoes for her lunch.
 Yes, the second potato dish in as many days. You know how we like to double up on the good things! Well, I couldn't say no, but I did ask her to make something with it. She chose to steam broccoli and make a cheese sauce.

She baked some huge potatoes in the toasted oven (less hot than the big oven) and steamed some of the florets.

She made a killer cheese sauce using a simple bechamel sauce that she seasoned and put about a cup of Daiya cheddar in. To make it special she added diced tomatoes and Frank's Hot Sauce - the original Buffalo Sauce , uh, sauce.

This was phenomenal! I added some sliced red cabbage onto mine, some extra hot sauce and there was no need for any wings to be involved except when the flavors took to flight.

Fabulous, Kate. So glad you made baked potatoes.

Cost Breakdown:
6 huge Russets: $4.50
broccoli: $3
Daiya: $2
Almond milk: $1
tomato, cabbage and Frank's: $1.50
Total to feed 6 people:
$12.00




caramelized chickpea and chard over polenta

This dish started out so well!
I caramelized onions with chickpeas and garlic. The onions became sweet and the chickpeas were beautifully crispy. Then I put chard in it. Well that ruined it for the kids. I put it over a creamy polenta and sprinkled it with lemon zest.

When I tasted the chickpeas and onions, they were lovely. Delicious, sweet and a bit salty. The chard I'm afraid is too earthy. Kale or spinach would be much better in this dish. I've now tried over and over to make chard but the flavor is too deep for my family. I thrown in the towel and given up! There are some things that are not sanctioned by my family; chard is one.
 Sniff. Sniff.

Cost Breakdown:
polenta with almond milk: $2
chickpea: $2
chard: $3
onion, garlic, spices: $1
Total to disappoint a family of 5:
$8.00



jamaican veggie purses

Jamaican food is African inspired, so it is appropriate for our Tuesday Night meal. This one comes out of Vegan Soul Kitchen by Bryant Terry. I picked up this book when Vegan.com spread the word that it was on sale for $8. This  has to be one of the better cookbooks out there. I've had great success with many of his recipes, and this one is no exception.

He uses coconut butter in the crust and coconut milk in the recipe. There are fresh cut corn, fresh shelled peas (CSA), carrots and shredded cabbage. The salad is cucumbers and tomatoes in a dressing of lime, lemon and orange juices, from the same book.

Excellent meal, although Cat does not like coconut milk - tastes too odd. The other two gobbled it up.

Cost Breakdown:
crust: $2
vegetables: $2
coconut milk: $1.50
salad: $2.50
spices, onion, garlic: $1
Total to make 6 purses:
$9.00





We have a bunch of blueberries and since blueberry season is almost over, and since GiGi at Veganville blogspot has a recipe for said blueberries and coconut milk, it was destiny.

Great dessert; thanks GiGi!

latkes

Cat cooked our meal today. She adores potatoes of any shape and kind, except when her mother mixes it with cauliflower or turnips or something.

In honor of the potato, she made latkes. She doesn't pan-fry them in a bunch of oil; she uses maybe a teaspoon of olive oil just to get some color on them and then bakes them for 10 minutes to make sure the potatoes are cooked. She loves them with ketchup - a fine, fine way of having food of any kind, but she will not snub her nose at the traditional applesauce and Better Than Sour Cream.

She has become quite proficient at making these and they are mightee-fine.

Cost Breakdown:
3# potatoes: $3
onion, carrot: $1
flour, baking powder, nutritional yeast: $1
applesauce: $3
Better Than Sour Cream and ketchup: $1
Total to feed 4 people as a meal:
$9.00





raw mexican cabbage boats

Raw Night

I made a Mexican-style stuffed cabbage boats. I used soaked sunflower seeds, onions and garlic to make the filling. But since I am beginning to see that a lot of raw foods that are trying to imitate other meals are utilizing nuts and seeds, I wanted to add something different. So, I also chopped up fennel, zucchini and summer squash and mixed it with my seed filling. Not so say that nuts and seeds are not good for you, on the contrary, they are immeasurably so, but I am seeing that there is some dependency on them. All things in moderation.

I topped it with a salsa of avocado, spring onion, and yellow and red tomatoes. 

As for the cabbage, I attempted to dehydrate some leaves to see if I could get a crunchy shell. Nope. It turned out brittle and the color was off. I'll try marinating it in some olive oil next time.

The boats were Mexican influenced with the addition of chili powder,  chipotle chili powder and lime zest.

Very filling and delicious! I'm actually looking forward to raw nights. Not only is it easy and quick to make, but it tasted good.

If you make this, though, do not stuff the leaves as much as I did - not enough leaf for the filling.

Cost Breakdown:
2c sunflower seeds: $3
cabbage: $2
tomato, avocado,lime, onion, garlic: $3
zucchini, squash, fennel: $3
Total to make 10-12 boats:
$11.00




reuben

Family Favorite

Oh, I remember the first time I served a Reuben to my kids...the nose-snubbing you would not believe they gave it! Now, it is a family favorite that they all rave about. You'd think they just received a new video game or something.

I make my Reuben with my Corned Seitan recipe. The seitan recipe is enough for 12 sandwiches. Seitan freezes very well, so making once will feed you many times.

If you want to have the pink color that corned beef has (which is caused by the addition of saltpeter - a nitrite and hence questionable, anyway), after slicing the seitan thin, soak it in a can's worth of beet water. It picks up the color but there is no beet-y aftertaste.

Thousand Island dressing is nothing more than veganaise, pickle relish, onion and ketchup.

For those who are leery of sauerkraut, do not forget that fermented vegetables are truly healthy for the body. Good sauerkraut - I make my own - is nothing more than cabbage and salt, maybe some caraway seeds. Not even water should be added since the cabbage is fermenting in its own liquid.

Cost Breakdown
bread: $2
sauerkraut: $1
1,000 Island : $1
Daiya: $3
seitan: $2
Total to make 5 sandwiches:
$9.00








warm walnut spinach salad

Lite


Our lunch on Sundays is lite because our dinner is a family favorite.

W had a warm spinach salad today, inspired by Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson. She adds sweetener to her dressing, but I omitted that because I soaked my walnuts. The pungency that you taste when eating the walnut is tannic acid. If you soak the nuts in filtered water for a few hours to overnight, the tannic acid is rinsed away. It is not only better for you, but it also tastes better.

We added apples, radishes and cherry tomatoes. A toast with a little garlic rubbed on it completed our lite lunch.

Now we are ready to stuff ourselves with Reuben. Kidding. You should never 'stuff' yourself. Bad example for the kids.

Cost Breakdown:
apple: $1
tomatoes: $1
radish: $.50
spinach: $2
lemon, walnut, oil: $2
bread: $1
Total for a satisfying lunch for 4:
$7.50




versatile blogger award

I have been very honored to receive the Versatile Blogger Award from four fabulous Bloggers! I am truly humbled by their thoughtfulness.

The Homegrown Gourmet is herself a fantastic cook, with two cookbooks to snap up, and a blog where she showers us with creative ideas on how to make many vegan items from scratch. Great ideas, JillyAn.

The Mom Chef is immersing herself in all those great, and sometimes not so great, magazine recipes. She tests and reports to her audience her successes as well as failures. Thanks for being the human test-subject, Christiane.

Simply Healthy Family is blogging about creative ways to feed her family the best way possible..with great, healing foods. We are all learning in this world and she has a wealth to share. Many thanks, Gwen, keep 'em coming.

My Little Sweet House is this wonderful mum blogging about her delicious recipes and...get this, her Croatian family's food. Croatian food has got to be absolutely tasty so be on the lookout for my vegan versions of her dishes. Can't wait for European nights! Thanks for the ideas, Sweetums!
Now for the difficult part: 7 things about me.

(1)
I gave birth to my three wonderful children at home. It was the most fantastic experience and I would never want to do it anywhere else if possible. I am very grateful for the lady I worked with in my teens who enlightened me to this very pragmatic and personally gratifying option.

(2)
 I homeschool said children; I guess we didn't think that being vegan was enough of an adversity. I thought for sure they would want to attend public high school when they get there, but so far, neither my two older ones wish to. Homeschool is much like homebirth; if I can, why shouldn't I? David and I are blessed that we can financially and emotionally be able to gift this experience to our children. Yes, they are social and socialized :)

(3)  
My family immigrated to the United States from Hungary when I was 7. Although we had permission from the US government to enter, we did not have permission from the Hungarian government to depart. When my family was seated on the plane bound for the US, officials came on board with the intention of removing us. The pilot informed them that the plane was US territory and that they should deboard.

(4)
I was a pre-med in college, with a dual major of chemistry and mathematics. Then I had a baby and decided I couldn't stomach childrens' pains.

(5)
In spirit I became vegan in middle school when I had to give a report on animal experimentation. It snowballed from there. In life I became vegetarian in college when I read a brief article about a pig farm that ended with a piglet's eyes saying, 'Help me.' I became a vegan when my husband and I decided that our children should not be doomed to health and physical afflictions because we were going to continue eating animals and their milk and eggs.

(6)
My father has traced our lineage back 500 years. In every generation and in every branch of our family, someone has been in the food industry. I was determined NOT to be the chosen one in our family. I failed.

(7)
When the children move on and David and I retire, we are moving to Montana and living off the grid.

Whew! There is nothing like looking over your life and realizing how mundane it is, lol!

Now for the easy part: Nominating other blogs.

(1)

This is the blog of Erik Marcus, the author. He is poignant at times, pissed-off at others, informative and so darn opinionated. He gives great advice, writes with passion and insight. His book, Meat Market, is the reason I am blogging.

(2)

This is Tamasin Noyes' site, author of American Vegan Kitchen. I was very glad she wrote this cookbook, because I would have had to otherwise. I've met her and her husband and they are two of the sweetest people on the face of the earth. Down to earth, kind and generous. It is folks like her who make me believe there is still hope for our species.

(3)

I have blogged about Bryanna Clark Grogan before. Hers was the first cookbook that offered recipes that were super delicious and successful! Until then, our little vegan family was floundering around. I have also had recipes published in her Vegan Feast newsletter. Another super sweet and talented woman. Here, here for great vegan chefs!



The following bloggers found me, but because they did, I am the better for it.
(4)
Go Vegan Meow
Jacklyn is herself blogging to show how great vegan eats are.

(5)
Vegagyerek
This is a Hungarian blog in Hungary! She has great recipes and wonderful anecdotes.
 In Hungarian.

(6)
Vegan Luvies
Amy is a relatively new vegan well on her way to becoming one of the great vegans herself.

(7)
Foodalution
Megan is exploring her creative cooking side and has some great food.

(8)
write.click.cook.listen
How does food harmonize with music? Yeah, that's what Tender Branson makes happen. Check him out.

(9)
Vegspinz
She is not DJ Karma for no reason. Rhythm is not just in her moves, but also in her food and life.

(10)
Veganville
GiGi is witty and has a sparkling, fun personality. This is a woman you'd want as a neighbor to gossip with over the hedge. Great food and words!

(11)
Epicurean Vegan
A young-vegan herself, she blogs great information about health, the world and food.

(14)
zomppa
Belinda (with the help of Tsering and Patty) asks some deeply important questions concerning our connection with food. Inviting people to converse about their relationship with the foods they eat, she brings it all together.


There are so many more great blogs out there, but my fingers and time does not allow me to list them all! In case I get another one of these cute awards, I'll at least have more great bloggers to choose from!




Rules for nominees:

Thank the giver.
Post 7 things about yourself.
Pass the love onto other blogs you enjoy.




sausage-style beans with grilled green beans

Continental

I have been craving mashed potatoes topped with Italian Sausage drenched with a flavorful sauce. Since I didn't want to use seitan or soy again, although Tofurkey makes a great Italian Sausage, I needed to get the flavor of Italian sausage in some other way. I chose beans since we haven't had our weekly quota of legumes. I seasoned the beans with ground fennel seeds, crushed chili, Hungarian paprika and garlic. I added a chopped tomato to help get some sauciness into the beans and splashed on some balsamic vinegar for a tang.

I served it over mashed potatoes and topped it with grilled green beans cooked crisp-tender. I infused some olive oil with garlic, chili flakes and fennel seeds, and used the oil for the green beans and I stirred the strained solids into my mashed potatoes.

So, I achieved what I set out to do - infuse the flavor of Italian sausage into my beans, achieved wonderful texture and grilled flavor with the green beans and got my creamy mashed potatoes to tie everything together.

Nice.

Cost Breakdown:
3# potatoes: $3.50
almond milk, olive oil, garlic, spices: $2
beans: $2
tomato, green beans, onion: $3
Total to feed a family of 5:
$10.50
  



spinach and mushroom strata

Brunch

I made this recipe on May 1. It is from 1,000 Vegan Recipes by Robin Robertson. I have been a fan of Robin's books since the first one I picked up way back when - Vegan Planet.

Back to the recipe: It says it makes 6 servings, but after I assembled it, I knew this would be too much for my family and I didn't picture this as all that popular as a leftover. So, I put it into two square cake pans and froze one. I grabbed it out of the freezer today and put it in the toasted oven - more welcome during the summer, and baked it for a little over an hour.

It turned out just as good as the first time and I didn't have to lift a finger. My kind of brunch.

The dish has spinach, mushrooms, onion, tofu, a little cheese and cubed bread.

Cost Breakdown:
onion, garlic, mushroom: $2
spinach: $2
tofu: $2
bread: $2
cheese: $2
Total to make 6 servings as written:
$10.00



roasted beets on crostini

Hike Day

We were supposed to have a picnic, but the weather was only cooperating for the hike. Although we went home to eat, this certainly can be picnic fare or even a lovely appetizer or lite meal.

I roasted some beets, and sauteed some minced onions in balsamic vinegar. This softened the onions, reduced the vinegar to a sweet syrup and got rid of the extra acid. I made a dressing for the beets with Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, smidge of agave, the onions, the reduced balsamic, a dash of dill weed and salt 'n pepper.

The 'feta' I had left over from a few weeks ago. It kept really well, covered with oil, very much like sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil. I mashed it up, added a crushed-to-smithereens garlic and seasoned it with salt, pepper and dill, echoing the beets. For good measure, I topped it with some of those beautiful sprouts. They reflected the earthiness of the beets magnificently.

Slapped 'em on some toasted bread - crostini - and we were all set. 

 Uncommonly good.

Cost Breakdown:
beets: $2
bread: $3
feta: $2
onion, dill, olive oil, Dijon, balsamic: $2
Total to make a bunch of these (20?):
$9.00




wheat-meatloaf

European Night

This loaf is based on Hungarian Fasirozott. What makes a Hungarian meatloaf Hungarian? The onions are sauteed first with 'bacon' - in my case olive oil and a little toasted sesame seed oil for taste and instead of breadcrumbs we use rice. I used ground seitan, which if homemade, actually sticks together well. I also added flax seed meal to help the binding in case my seitan wasn't enough. The flavors were spot on, the texture excellent, it was moist and it held together. I believe I've covered the criteria for a meatloaf. I did not add the obligatory ketchup on the top, but some family members, who shall remain anonymous, added a generous portion to their helpings.

Cost Breakdown:
1/2 of a portion of homemade seitan: $1.50
flax: $.50
rice: $.25
vegetables: $1
tomato paste: $.50
Total to make 7 servings:
$3.75




california club

Usually, I insist that when the kids cook, they actually cook something.  Once every 10 weeks I ask each of them to come up with 10 meal ideas. That way they don't have to worry over it weekly. Once every 10 weeks or so I also allow to assemble a meal. Cat made this sandwich, one of her all time favorites, with tomato, Veganaise, Follow your Heart, Tofurkey, lettuce, and avocado. I add sprouts onto mine, as well. These little babies were hand raised by me. If you haven't grown sprouts, yet, you should.

Three easy steps:
In a wide mouth quart mason jar with a 'sprout lid'
1) Soak 2-4 T seeds for 8 hours in filtered water to cover.
2) Drain and flip upside down in the dish draining rack
3) In the morning and evening, rinse seeds with a little water.

Keep them upside down to drain always. They are ready when their tails are 1/4-1/2 inch, 3-5 days.When they are ready, put them in a big bowl of water. The seed shells will float to the top where you can skim them off. Drain very well and store them in the same jar they sprouted in.

Cost Breakdown:
sprouts: $.50
bread: $3
avocado and veganaise: $3
tomato, lettuce: $1.50
Tofurkey and Follow your Heart: $5
Total to make 5 sandwiches:
$13.00



american lasagna

It is Italian/Pasta Night


This is the best lasagna. Period. Well, maybe Bryanna's Italian Lasagna with Bolognese Sauce is a rival :)

This is not a vegetable lasagna, because my kids' first question after 'What is for dinner?' is "Is there anything weird in it?' Define 'weird' as 'vegetable.' Ahh. Gets old. I do not know how they overlook the fact that the ricotta-style filling has 8 cups of spinach, but I don't care! They love it and as long as there are no odd bits of zucchini or mushrooms to bite into, they are happy. If it was up to me, there would be pieces of zucchini and eggplant and pepper and mushrooms, but, alas, I leave this one alone. For now.

This lasagna is easy to make, and I hope that is not just because I've been making it for over seven years. It has 5 layers of: pasta, spinach-basil tofu filling, ground Boca, Daiya-Follow Your Heart cheeses, homemade pasta sauce. I use Whole Foods No Boil Lasagna noodles, but I've had success using regular lasagna noodles and not pre-cooking them. Just make sure to cover your pan very tightly with foil (doming it a bit so the cheese does not stick to it) and extend the cooking time about 15 minutes. Adding a 2-3 T of water to the bottom of the pan before assembling the lasagna gives extra insurance of it getting cooked properly. 

This has to be one of our more expensive meals, but putting things into perspective, each generous serving is $2.70. You can't even buy a frozen meal for that much.

Cost Breakdown:
noodles: $2
spinach, basil, tofu: $8
Boca: $3
tomatoes: $5
onion, garlic, olive oil: $1
Daiya and Follow Your Heart: $8  
Total for 10 servings:
$27.00





tom kha

Asian Night

When we have the chance to go to a Thai restaurant, David, Mikel and I always want the Tom Kha soup - a coconut-lime soup. Invariably though, there is either fish sauce in it or it is made with chicken stock. There was a time we received it with a piece of chicken, even after interrogating the server; makes you think they weren't being completely forthright...maybe?

If we are able to find a place that follows our one simple rule of 'no animals in our food,' they charge an arm and a leg for a teeny, tiny bowl. It just makes more sense to make it at home and load it up with all your favorite vegetables, fungi or soy products. 

This soup should really be called Tom Yum, but that is this same soup without the coconut milk - so unfair.

We made ours with shiitake, green beans, red peppers, spinach, carrots, shallots and basil. This is one of those Thai meals, that although would be even better with the addition of kaffir, lemongrass and galanga, tastes spectacular with just lime, lemon zest and ginger. This is so because I've gone to the extent of having gotten those exotic ingredients, but not tonight. Still totally wonderful.

Cost Breakdown:
coconut milk: $3
homemade stock: $1
lemon, lime, basil, ginger: $3
vegetables: $3
fungus: $2
Total to feed 6 people your way:
$12.00




chili bean dip and homemade baked tortilla chips

Mikel will do just fine on his own when he moves out - as long as he has beans and pasta, because that is what he likes to cook - Mexican and Italian. Today he cooked up some chili infused bean dip and made some tortilla chips.

Please note the 'chips' are homemade, the tortillas themselves were homemade by Whole Foods. It really is a snap to bake some tortillas to wind up with chips. Needless to say, he did a great job and he was done in a jiffy.

 I am not one to look at a 'gifted pot for the lid' - he cooked and I did not have to. 

Cost Breakdown:
tortillas: $3
beans: $2
2 avocados: $3 (sale at WF)
tomatoes, onions, garlic, spices: $1
Total to feed 4 people:
$9.00





raw collard wraps

Monday Night is Raw Night

It seems my children have gotten used to the idea of Raw Night. I didn't say they've gotten to like it - just that they now remember to moan...'oh, yeah. It's Raw Night,' sigh and walk away.
No matter! Onward we go!

Tonight's culinary delights involved a marinated collard wrap, encasing a puree of fresh-shelled peas and kohlrabi. The puree is mixed with walnut pieces, slivered spinach, bean sprouts and minced Fresno peppers. Accompanying the wraps are a cucumber salad, marinated shiitake and nama shoyu vinaigrette.

I found the meal well-balanced, the flavors, textures and colors all complementing each other. David thought it wasn't bad. Kate liked it. Mikel and Cat humored me tasting the wraps. Mikel told me making raw taste good is hard. After I gave him a Mom-look, he amended that to getting him to like raw is difficult.

When dinner was almost ready, Cat sprang on me that it is her Half-Birthday. Great! So? Well, we have some dear friends who do celebrate all five of their children's half birthdays, and since I was just jumping out of my skin that my daughter was doing math of any kind, I immediately set to work to produce some dessert in celebration. ...a raw dessert.
Mudslide Pie.

No fear, blog readers, desserts of any kind - raw or otherwise- are always welcome at our house! Desserts are not collards, after all.

By the way, this pie has three fillings - almond butter, chocolate and vanilla. My blender needed to be cleaned thrice. And the food processor once. This is a gluten free, albeit not soy free dessert - the thickener is soy lecithin.

Cost Breakdown:
1/2 collard bunch: $1.50
filling: $4
mushroom: $3
1/2 cuke: $.50
nama shoyu, limes, pepper, oils: $2
Total to feed 3 people:
$11.00









gluten free and fat free biscuits

Like I said before, my kids simply do not care if they have the same things in a row. Last night we had Seitan and Dumplings (read: biscuits) and today Kate wanted to make Biscuits.

We make a whole wheat biscuit that is fat free. This is probably the fifth time she has made these. The kids love it and I don't cringe when they put Earth Balance on it because I did not add fat to it.

Today I tried my hand at making gluten free biscuits, thanks to Simply Healthy Family blog. It certainly can't hurt to be moderate about wheat - one of the key reasons why we don't eat anything exclusively, like soy. Too much of a good thing is not necessarily a good thing, and all that.

I made them the same way we make the regular biscuits, just replaced the whole wheat pastry flour with GF flour. It needed a half cup more flour than wheat recipe, but I still didn't want to add xanthan gum or fat. Because they were still a little softer than the wheat ones, I baked them in my cast iron biscuit/cornbread pan. I'm sure a little more baking time would be nice, and preheating the pan would be great, too, to get them golden brown. In the end, they are fluffy, held together, are light and tasty. I'm sure adding 2-4 T of fat would make them even better, but like I said, my kids would add it no matter what I did to the batter.

Cost Breakdown:
Regular:
whole wheat flour: $.50
almond milk: $.50
chives, bak. powder: $.25
Total to make 6 biscuits:
$1.25

GF biscuits:
GF flour : $2
almond milk: $.50
chives, bak. powder: $.25
Total to make 7 biscuits:
$2.75





WW, FF on right
GF, FF on left


...and dumplings

Sunday Nights are Family Favorites

So what do you call a dish that originated as 'Chicken and Dumplings' and morphed into 'Seitan and Dumplings'. Naturally, the seitan is flavored and tender. So should it be 'Tender Seitan and Dumplings?' Sounds good to me!

This huge pot of lovely 'Tender Seitan and Dumplings' uses half a recipe of Tender Seitan, baby carrots, onions, celery and homemade feather-lite dumplings. Besides all the other junk that is in that name brand biscuit mix, there is a ton of fat. I used 4 T of Earth Balance in my whole wheat biscuit mix, and even that was painful. Fortunately, they came out just as light as they had in the past when I made them with half-a-cup of fat.
 I wonder how low I can go?

I used Bryanna's Vegan Chicken-style Broth from her site for the flavor pop and  nutritional yeast for added vitamin B12, which by the way, is important even for omnis - there are many people who are B12 deficient even eating animal products. B12 is actually made by bacteria and the animals eat them and then humans eat the animals. With all the factory farming these days, and the feeding of grain to the animals, there is a huge reduction in the animals' consumption of B12. 

Cost Breakdown:
dumplings: $1
seitan: $2
vegetables: $1
nutritional yeast: $.50
hemp milk (dumplings) : $1.50
Total to feed 8 people:
$6.00 





new england chowder

On Saturday Nights we eat 'local' - in other words, we eat American or Mexican or, if there is such a thing, Canadian. If anyone knows of any Canadian-based food, lmk.

Tonight I made something Mikel has been requesting for a while, but I haven't been able to make because of the lack of oyster mushrooms at my local market. Luckily, there are times when I will be able to order if from my CSA. Mikel was very grateful that I did not substitute for the oysters - they are his favorite - and the only mushroom he likes. Luckily, if you are not a fan of fungus, you may replace them with anything, really - roasted corn, roasted peppers, turnips, seitan, baked tofu, cauliflower, the list goes on.   

The soup is thickened with arrowroot - which is not only better for you but is also a more stable thickener than cornstarch. I made homemade stock to which I added some seaweed, too. I seasoned the soup with Old Bay, Tabasco, Worchestire sauce, salt and pepper.

When I was growing up, my parents owned a seafood restaurant and this was one of those dishes that I really loved, but couldn't really have; we weren't well off and the clams were for the paying customers.

Everyone loved this (but Cat) and serving it in a bread bowl adds mightily to the appeal.

Cost Breakdown:
mushrooms: $5
bread: $5
almond milk: $1
homemade stock: $.75
onion, garlic, pepper, spices: $1
Tabasco, arrowroot, worshech...sauce: $1
potatoes: $2
Total to impress 5 people:
$15.75
Total to make 6 servings without bread bowls:
$10.75