Pancakes, Smoothies, Alfredo, Breaded Tofu...oh my!

I am now only a week away from finishing summer school. But that also means that I have 3 exams next week, and a presentation on Evolution of the Factory Farm and the Implications of our Agriculture World. Im madly excited about the presentation, but its a class on Western Civilization, not really on America. So most my sources from home only speak from US perspective, so its going to be a bit of work to get all the facts from the UK and EU. But Ill do it, and Ill probably over do it. When it comes to writing papers on animal rights and environmentalism I want them to be perfect, I want the person to feel some emotion, I want the reader/viewer to find something through my words. The class is 10 people, so its not large, so I hope that since it is smaller group, people will start to question, as PETA says, authority. I hate using phrases PETA uses, but this one is true. But my only issue is I got some sort of cold this week. I am filled with mucus and my head is extremely congested. I got home from school each day this week and slept. So I have not started yet, Im still on a rough outline, which is nerve wrecking since the presentation is on the 3rd. I also have an exam on the 2nd, so I have two big things to deal with this weekend. But I still don't feel, sooo.

Today I got the paint for my new room at my house and the paint for my bed frame. Since I am moving out, my mom wants my room for the new main guest room. So I am moving back to my old room, though Im okay with it as it has the walk-in closet and better circulation of heat/air. My mom will be painting the room this week, then we'll set up my room for home. After its all set up, I can disassemble my bed that is going to my new apartment and paint it! Im really excited, if you can tell. I doubt anybody wanted to read that load of crap. I move on the 22nd, so after summer school is over. I'll go back to work and will then start the packing.

Well moving on to the good stuff. My week in food!

Last Sunday I woke up and was craving a hearty breakfast. I decided to make the pancakes from VwaV. They turned out really well. I had a bit of trouble with my pan, but its been awhile since I made pancakes so I don't think I pre-heated the pan for long enough before I started the first pancakes. But by the end, they were perfectly browned and even. I served it with a nice fruit salad and a smoothie. My mom got me one of those bullet blenders. She knows I make a ton of smoothies so it is great for my small new space. This smoothie was with: pomegranate-blueberry V8 juice, orange juice, fresh mango, watermelon, and blueberries. It was delicious, perfect pair to the great breakfast.

The next days I had a lot of leftovers and wraps for meals. I also got a chance to try Amy's Organic Tuscan Bean & Rice Soup. It was delicious I highly recommend it. It was thick and hearty, the perfect soup for a long day. I have two more of her soups to try.

A few nights ago my mom told me that my grandparents were coming over for dinner to have fettuccine alfredo. She told me to figure out what sauce I wanted. I was like uhh, alfredo? I saved a link from PPK's forums of an alfredo sauce a few people were raving about. It was entirely too easy to make, just needed extra firm tofu, milk, arrowroot, and spices. I highly enjoyed it, it was thick and creamy and everything an alfredo should be. I made half the recipe, but I still had a huge amount of leftovers (3-4 servings). So tonight I heated up some penne and peas and had it all over again. Im quite full and it was so lovely the second time around. I still have a third and fourth time to try it. My sister is even going to take the recipe and make it for her vegan friend.

My mom has been highly supportive of my switch to veganism. I dont think she is highly amused or excited, but she would never tell me I wasnt allowed. We had gone to our local library a few weeks to look for cookbooks or other books about veganism, but they had none. Other libraries had a ton, but I didnt really think of it, I like now now now. Damn impatient gal. But my mom went and ordered cookbooks for me from the other libraries. I got home a few days ago and there was the Student's Go Vegan Cookbook, Veganomicon, and the Vegan Microwave Cookbook

The Student cookbook is nice because it is small and short recipes, but Im not sure if that translates to poor instructions. My only issue so far is there is a lot of ingridients she uses that I dont have readily in the house. So I haven't made a recipe from it yet, but I will! I want to try her recipe for Tofu Feta Cheese, Steadfast Winter Soup (who cares if it aint winter!), Maple-flavored Brussel Sprouts with Carrots and Toasted Pecans, Apple Crisp, and tomorrow Im making her Carmalized Onion, Walnut, Sage Pizza. I was going to make it tonight if I found a pre-made dough that was vegan...no luck. Out of the 3 in the store, one had dried honey, another whey, and the other parmesan cheese. I dont get why companies find it necessary to load a simple dough with all these extras. My mom was like well its just cause
you don't eat it, ergh. I have gone through the first two thoroughly and have marked what recipes I want to try before I buy them. Its a simple dough, it should not have so many extras. So tomorrow Im going to make the pizza dough from VwaV, Ill make two doughs, so that my mom and dad will have a pizza as well tomorrow. I was going to make Isa's pesto sauce, but 3 cups of basil is a lot, and we didn't have any basil plants in our herb garden. Though, now we do! Two plants, they look great and smelled great, so Im excited for them to grow, and then ill make the pesto!

So far I've read most of the preparatory guide of Veganomicon. It is helpful, and is definitely a guide that I would love to have just around the house when I want to cook veggies/beans without freaking out. I always hate when a recipe will tell you to roast a veggie, but then not tell you how long, temperature, etc...but now with this cookbook no more googling. I also love the humor of Isa and Terry in this one, they really play off each other and is fun to read. So far I have made one recipe. The Chile Cornmeal-Crusted Tofu. We ended up not having cornmeal, so I substituted the cornmeal with polenta. They were so easy to make, spices, cornmeal, and lime zest make up the breading. Isa gives the option of frying or baking, but to stay a bit healthier I baked them. It was the perfect amount of spices with the sweetness playing off the lime. I had lime infused rice. I wanted brown rice, but I realized I was pressed for time. Thank god I have a rice cooker, so I was able to scramble ready for class while my food was cooking. My mom was going to have brussel sprouts with her dinner, so I told her to put it in the steaming tray that came with my rice cooker, its so convenient. I cant wait for next year when Im pressed for time at school, just put some rice and veggies and some marinated tofu and steam it all. Quick and painless meal.

I am also planning to make the Chewy Chocolate-Raspberry cookies tomorrow. There are actually so many different sweets from that cookbook I want to try. For example the Not-Tella, Chocolate Chocolate Walnut Cookies, Vanilla Ice Cream, Blueberry Brownies, Smlove Pie, need I go on?

I will look at the microwave cookbook a bit more. I know she got it for me because of the convienence. It will be nice to see how she converts traditional recipes to quick meals. Which is a must when you are a student living on your own. Im not sure I will be buying that cookbook, but Ill definitely hope to learn those little tips.

Okay, now I MUST go work on my presentation. I have a ton of research to do, and only 3 days to do it. I slept the afternoon away, then watched the final rounds of the spelling bee. A bit behind I might say. Oh my.


Kati said...

Hey I didn't realize you lived in Chicago! I lived there for about a year before moving back to NY in August. Nice town - love Karyn's Cooked and Chicago Diner.

You must try the double chocolate walnut cookies from V-con - I just made them for the third time yesterday and they're phenomenal.

Good luck with your school work!

Ruby Red Vegan said...

I hope the paper and presentation go well -- it sounds like you have the drive to make them both great! I tried the Chile Cornmeal-Crusted Tofu last week, too. I liked it a lot baked, and the lime zest was so good in it. I do want to try frying it in a little bit of oil sometime and see how the taste compares, though!

The fettuccine alfredo sounds so excellent! I haven't had vegan alfredo, but now sounds like the time to try it since you said the ppk recipe is so good!