Monday, May 24, 2010

Better Late Than Never - WW Vegan Bake Sale Pics!!!

Ok it's been weeks since we had the very successful Tempe version of the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale at Loveland Boutique in Tempe. I've had school projects and computer issues going on, so I apologize for the delay.  The sale was truly a smashing success. We had a steady stream of very happy customers. Many of them bought in bulk and several asked if we would be there every week. This proves my theory that the East Valley is in dire need of a vegan bakery.

We were able to raise $650-ish for Arizona Boston Terrier Rescue, which I find amazing. Thanks to everyone who baked (you guys rock more than words can say!), helped transport, and came out to support the sale. A special thanks to the lovely ladies at Loveland. They are totally awesome. Make sure you go check out their adorable clothes and accessories. I have to shout out to Rikki Cupcake too. Without her, this would never have been so successful. Woot! I'm posting a few pics here and the link to the rest. There was so many amazing goodies that you must check out. Here is the album in Flickr.

Willow and Lil' Beans

Rikki's Amazing Mini Cheezecakes

I made Lemon Coconut Bundt cake with Blueberries from VCON

Tracy brought towers of deliciousness

Hand Made Peanut Butter Cups by Kenike from Chicos and Beans


Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Next Food Network Friday Challenge is June 4th - Rachel Ray

Ok folks. This next challenge is for you Rachel! This one is chock full of Yumm-o. I can't even believe I typed that. This next challenge will will be doing a remake of Rachel's Spring Chicken Roll-Ups with Lemon Dijon Pan Sauce.

I'm trying to figure out how this can be made to match the fitness and diet goals for my 30 day challenge. I may have to stray a bit from the original to get it done...or I may have a cheat day. You will have to check back on the 4th to see which one happens!

Tami Noyes of Vegan Appetite will be posting the results of the challenge. If you haven't checked out her blog yet, you really should. She posts some scrumpdillyicoius food and has awesome contests. As a bonus she is really cool too!

I hope some of you will take the challenge and give this one a try. We usually come up with very different interpretations. I'd love to see your versions!!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

30 Day Challenge

Hey Folks - I'm going to be taking more time off of hi calorie cooking to focus on a fun challenge. I've been testing for Isa Moskowitz's Appetite for Reduction cookbook for some time now. At the same time I have been testing for Carla Kelley's Vegan Bake Sale. Needless to say, no weight has been lost in the interim. I am embarking on a 30 day challenge. I will be eating mostly Isa's low fat recipes for 30 days. I will also be exercising (as I feel this is truly the best way to lose weight and be fit).

Coincidentally, two of my friends happened to be doing their own challenge to lose 5% of their total weight in 30 days. I have to lose quite a bit more weight than my slim friends, so this is a big challenge for me! I will be posting before and after pictures...scary for me. If I am feeling very brave, I may even post my numbers.

Fret not my friends. I will not be lacking for delicious food. Check out some of the test recipes I will be indulging in for the next month and beyond.

From the upcomong Appetite for Reduction.

Chipotle Lentil Burgers


Yummy Gravy (Yes it is low fat thank you very much!)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Food Network Friday - Jamie Oliver

Hello my little blogatrons. I am so sorry I have been remiss in my blogging duties. We've had surgery recoveries, dog adoptions, and graveyard shifts to attend to. We also had a freaking awesome vegan bake sale in between, which I must blog about next. It was epic!

This week's FNF challenge was a remake of this Jamie Oliver recipe. I found it very curious that Mr. Oliver works so hard to bring healthy cuisine to school lunches but feels it is just dandy to use pork, bacon and it's grease in this recipe. Not exactly going to give him a glowing report card on healthy cuisine here. In his defense, he does also incorporate red peppers and chard which both pack a great nutritional punch. Check out Vegan Appetite website to see the other interpretations.

When I go about my conversions, I do my best to try and stay true to the original recipe as best I can. For this conversion I had to do a little math as it is written in metric measurements. He also makes use of the term a small handful which can be a bit subjective. Sometime I have to let go of my inner Virgo and just run with it.

For the chops I did a variation of a seitan tester from Isa Moscowitz's upcoming Appetite for Reduction cook book. You could really use any simmered seitan recipe that tickles your fancy. This one is nice because it is wetter than some others. It lent itself very well to being stuffed. For the "bacon" I used another tester from Julie Hasson's upcoming Vegan Diner; Smoky Curls. Yummy for the tummy. I had a hard time not eating them all before I finished the dish. I honestly think you could make a meal out of the beans alone (2 servings) if you didn't have the time or the inkling to make the chops, but they are truly special. If you have the time you should make them.

Here we go...

Moorish Seitan Chops
4 servings

For the filling
1/2 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
a few dashes of fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sherry
1/4 teaspoon olive oil
2-3 teaspoons raisins (if raisins are dry, rehydrate in hot water for 5-10 minutes and drain)

1 recipe simmered seitan (1 lb)

1 tablespoon Earth Balance
1 tablespoon All Purpose Flour
1 cup Beefy vegetable broth
1 small sprig rosemary


1/2 cup Smoky Curls or vegan bacon, plus a little extra set aside for garnish

1 Tablespoon Earth Balance
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced into 1/2 inch chunks
1 large red onion, diced small
1 15 oz. can butter beans (or other white bean)
1/2 cup beefy vegetable broth

2 bay leaves
1 sprig rosemary, leaved removed and coarsely chopped

1/2 lb baby chard or regular chard leaved coarsely chopped
As a little side note I got the chard, oregano, and rosemary out of our garden!!!!!

Using a mortar and pestal grind fresh oregano, salt and pepper. Add raisins, sherry and oil and grind until paste is formed.  Divide into 4 equal portions. Mix seitan recipe together. Divide into 4 pieces. Flatten into 5 inch rounds. Spread filling over half, leaving 1/2 inch border. Fold other half over and seal edges. Simmer as directed. Let seitan chill for several hours or overnight.

Once seitan is chilled start the beans. In medium sized saute pan or iron skillet heat Earth balance and olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and pepper. Saute 5-10 minutes until onions are translucent and pepper are just starting to soften. Add curls or bacon. saute for 2 more minutes. Add butter beans, vegetable broth, bay leaves and rosemary. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add chard and simmer for 2-3 minutes until it is wilted.

While beans are simmering. Make sauce and cutlets.

For Sauce:

Melt EB. Add flour and cook for 5 minutes on low heat to make roux. Slowly pour broth in whisking constantly until roux is incorporated. Add sprig of rosemary. Let simmer on low until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

For cutlets:

My preferred method is to use a large iron skillet on the grill. I find the grill give a beautiful even heat and sears the cutlet perfectly. Heat the grill on the highest setting. When grill is very hot put very well oiled iron skillet directly over the flame. Give it about 5 minutes to get very hot. Add cutlets and sear for about 5 minutes on one side. Make sure to spray uncooked side generously with spray canola before flipping. Sear other side for about 3 minutes. Turn grill to the lowest setting and let cook for about 5-8 more minutes being careful not to burn. As an alternate method this can be done on the stove top with an iron skillet or griddle pan.

Keep cutlets warm while you finish the other items.

To assemble:

In a shallow bowl or high sided plate dish out 1/4 recipe of beans to make a bed for the "chop". Place seared chop on top. Drizzle with 1- 2 tablespoons of the sauce. Garnish with sprig of fresh oregano and crispy vegan bacon bits.

Inside shot