Photo Wrap Up

Because I still have photos and recipes from last year on my computer that have yet to be blogged, I decided today would be little words and a whole lot of pictures. Not all of the photos are very good, so bear with me. I just had to get this off my chest/to do list.

Baby Corn with Peppers in Sweet Teriyake sauce from Happy Herbivore

Hot Sauce-glazed tempeh and Messy Rice both from Veganomicon

Tofu and Broccoli in Spicy Peanut Sauce from happyveganface

Peanut Ginger Noodles (i think) from The Picky Vegan

Potato Latkes from The Vegan Table

I think I can sleep easy tonight. Have a good weekend everyone!

Udon Noodles with Sesame Tofu & Pumpkin Muffins

First off, I wanted to tell you all my lack of ability of finding the "&" key. Believe me I know it is located at the number 7, but for some reason my poor little fingers sit idle looking for the key, which forces me to look down at the keyboard. Mrs Greene, I am sorry I failed you, I was your best student in both Introductory Keyboarding classes, and yes people I did get As without even trying. booyah. I took Keyboarding class as my freshmen elective of high school. I loved it, Mrs Greene had a deep voice with a southern drawl mixed with discontent. I would spend about 40 of the 50 min class online playing games (before myspace's time!). Anyways, thought I'd share that with you guys. But I am a good typer, speedy (120wpm, just took the test!), accurate, and all that jazz (hint, ill be looking for a job in a few months!). Way off track here, thank you number 7.

This sunday I decided to actually cook. I'm becoming lazier and lazier, but I am so stressed and strapped for time that most of the time I look to my freezer, pasta, or take-out. I had been drooling over Vegan Dad's recipe Udon Noodles with Sesame Tofu. I had great luck finding udon noodles in the store, but I was confused since the package said Wheat pasta and Gluten-free on the front label...hrm. But I don't worry about gluten, so it didn't worry me. They were also flat and not cool rounds ones like I have always had, but that was okay. I'm just being extremely harsh on these noodles. Like always, I love vegan dad for his simple recipes, easy to follow instructions, and the constant feed back he gives to our questions. Obviously the sesame tofu was the main feature of this dish. The tofu was to be fried, but I am trying to stay away from frying anything, so I drudged my tofu with a little soy sauce and the sesame seeds, it worked to get the tofu and sesame to bind, then just heated my oven to 400degrees and had the tofu in for 20 mins. While my tofu baked I prepared my noodles and veggies (orange and red peppers, carrots, and green onions). The sauce was nothing other than soy sauce, hoison, and rice vinegar. But since I cannot find rice vinegar no matter how many times I ask confused looking grocery workers I used a smidge of white vinegar and added a bit extra hoison. The recipe was so satisfying, barely any work to be done for such a delicious meal. I had plenty of leftovers for the next day and enjoyed it just as much.

Since, I had so much extra time while making my dinner I decided to finally make the VegNews Newsletter's Perfect Pumpkin Muffins. Unlike Caroyln who posted the recipe, I didn't have too great a success with the muffins. I have a feeling I just do not like putting tofu in any of my deserts. I have had no luck with them. I think it also has to do with my hatred of putting baked goods in the fridge. The tofu then spoils quickly and ruins your baked good. I mean, they were good and all, and I enjoyed the flavors, but next time I would just use apple sauce or something other than tofu. They were quite rich in the sugar and oil department, so definitely a treat that shouldn't be indulged. I think I have to throw away the 5-6 that I have left as they are starting to smell weird. They look good, taste good, but being in microbiology makes me wary of everything i touch, look at at, sit on, and especially eat.

And to finish this post off. HAPPY DIWALI!
I hope everyone has a great celebration. I really wish I got to spend more time in India and be there for Diwali, just means i will have to go back. I know you have all seen this picture in another post, but it is a picture of Ram and Sita at the temple my host mom went to every day.


Veggie Biscuit Pot Pie and Veggie Curry Pockets

What is better than vegetables and bread? Vegetables in creamy sauces surrounded by bread. Both of these recipes did just that.

Joni from just the food. had a very enticing recipe in photo and in flavors which she called Vegetable Curry Pockets, very appropriate. These pockets were simple to make as she wasn't making her own dough, but using frozen puff pastry dough, that sounds good with me. So while my puff pastry was defrosting I went ahead and made the filling. The filling, which I failed to get a good picture of is filled with carrots, broccoli, and peas that are laced within a curry cream sauce (margarine, soy milk, and veg broth). It makes my mouth water just thinking about it. I had issues filling my pockets, and it got a little messy. But mess doesnt stop taste, so no problem there. I also ended up having a ton of extra filling, but again, no problem. Why throw it out, when it can fill pita pockets or be topped on rice, etc.

The pockets were amazing. Pipping out hot with such a creamy delicious insides. I've said creamy a billion times already, so you get my point. The flavor was perfect, subtle spice from the curry and sweet from the butter. In other words, I will definitely make this recipe again. And highly recommend it.

Lindsay at Happy Hervivore had my second recipe of creamy and breaded goodness. Her version, a deconstructed pot pie entitled Veggie Biscuit Pot Pie. Now, Lindsay went all out and made her own biscuits. We all know, I need simple and quick to be able to survive. I bought the vegan Pillsbury dinner rolls and baked them while making the filling. The recipe, somewhat similar to the filling of the first was mostly made creamy by vegetable broth, soy milk, and corn starch. Then I had frozen peas, corn, cauliflower, and broccoli with my favorite all-season spice, Season-All. Took less than 15 minutes for this meal to be ready. With no prep and only one pot and one baking sheet, this could easily count as a simple meal that warms me up just thinking about it. Creamy sweetness is exactly what I want to taste when I need a fast break from the world. This recipe will definitely be added to my normal line-up.


Simple Meals

Some days it feels great to know your meal will be ready from start to finish in less than 10 minutes. With barely any dishes and barely any prep, what else could be better. Every Monday I am in school from 9am to 8:30pm with few breaks in between. It sucks...
So, I have an hour and a half I have to get dinner in my stomach and be ready for my last class of the day.

Some days I will just eat a frozen meal from Amy's Kitchen, others I will run to Qdoba, and like yesterday I found a quick meal in my fridge that would also satisfy me beyond any belief.

The past weekend I had gone to a farmer's market and Whole Foods. I had gone with expecting to buy only a few items, and left with two full bags and 100 dollars out. Yes, 100 dollars. There is a reason I dont go to Whole Foods too often, I feel like a kid in a candy store.

At the Farmer's market, I bought the best looking sweet corn, which I couldn't let it sit in my fridge for much longer, so the corn is what I designed my meal around. I had also gotten gardein's bbq pulled pork. They are new mock meats that are so high in protein and fiber that it is almost unbelievable. I paired my 'pork' with spinach and cream cheese on toast. Now, this meal had more salt and 'butter' products than I am used to, so I had to have a salad to go along with it.

I don't know why, but I highly enjoyed this meal and savoured every bite. It was everything I could have asked for on a stressful day. And with only one pot and my plate to clean up, it made my life a whole lot easier.

Satisfying and quick, what are your favorite simple meals?


Broccoli Risotto

Last week I realized that I had a package of Arborio rice in my cupbard for almost an entire year without being opened. I decided to open it and then two days later I finally gave in to making some risotto. My reason for not making it? I am lazy and thought it would be too much work and stirring. What gives!? Man, is that a wake up call. I need to get back into the kitchen and make sure that I dont get that lazy again with food.

I looked through my barren fridge and saw that I had zucchini and broccoli left. I decided on the broccoli (if you didn't figure that out from the title...). I sort am on an off mode with zucchini, i love it then i avoid it, weird. I typed into good ol google "broccoli risotto" and used the first recipe I found which came from cooks.com. I've only ever watched my mom make risotto, so I really had no idea what it entailed...

It was the simplest thing ever. My hand never got tired and it was sort of fun. I got so excited when I had finally mixed all of the veg stock with my rice. A pretty good pay off when I had waited so long to use the rice.

I pledge that I, Sarah, will not wait a year until I next make risotto.


What better way to spend a saturday morning than with like-minded individuals.

This morning my campuses environmental organization (well 10 of us) headed over to a Milwaukee breakfast hot spot called Hotch-A-Do. It is right next to one of the biggest/most known veg friendly restaurants in the city, so I really never noticed it. But it was sure not to be missed. Although the menu really only had a few vegan friendly items, one of the first items on the menu is their vegan burrito. As described by their website menu: "Generous portions of tofu, green peppers, onions, morning spuds, vege chili, all wrapped in a grilled flour tortilla Includes a side of our homemade salsa and topped with fresh avocado." Does that description not get you all? I had it mind even before we got to the restaurant. So when the menu arrived, I had no reason to even look at it.

There was a run/walk for the local children's hospital, which meant streets around our school were all closed, couldnt cross the street, and members of our group ran it, so well by the time the race was over we were all starving. This meant my appetite was HUGE! I was so ready for my burrito to arrive. But in the mean time I got to engulf some delicious and fragrant Rishi Peach White Tea. We all got to know each other better as 6 of the members were new this year. I still remember everybody's name!!

Our food finally came. Three of us got burritos (although, mine was the only vegan) and the rest got eggs or pancakes/french toast. It so happened that all that ordered the burritos were sitting next to each other. Pretty much all were drooling over how good they looked, we sure didn't eat our words or spit. It was the best breakfast burrito I have ever had. Ever. It was perfectly seasoned, perfect amount of tofu, perfect amount of their amazing chili, and fresh avocado can never be beat.

We all were so full after brunch. It was so great getting together with a group from campus. It looks like this will be a recurring event in the club, so can't wait til the next food event. Mhmm food.

Afterwards I headed to Whole Foods to get my hands on the vegan candy bars that I keep hearing about from Go Max Go Foods. They are designed to mimic famous candy bars (Three Musketeers, Snickers, Milky Way, and Almond Joy). I ended up not finding them, fail. But I ended up finding a bit over 100 dollars worth of other goodies. I know, don't judge. It had been 4 months since I went on a proper visit, I got a little carried away. I left with natural acne solution kit, vegan potstickers, 30 Clif Bars (89 cents!!!), Teese moz cheese, and other delicious vegan specialties that I never eat.


Lunchbox time

So one of my favorite days of the week is when I get to pack my cute little Laptop Lunches lunchbox. The company even has a new version, 2.0. It allows to switch up the size containers within the bento box, as their are no longer any more ridges on the bottom of the container. Great idea, as now there is a large sandwich container, and lids for all of the container sizes. So far this semester, I only get to use it once a week, but now that I am an intern at the crime laboratory, I will get to use it as well on Thursdays and Fridays. I definitely will be able to make new friends with my cool lunch box.

pb&j, carrots w/ hummus, apple, oreos

pb&j, curried potato salad, celery w/ peanut butter, vegan fruit snacks (costco!), and a fortune cookie
my fortune was: 'Teaching means learning twice'
i was satisfied.


Buddha Bowl and Channa Saag

It is October...How the hell did that happen? I cannot believe that I have already been in school for a month and that I am only a few weeks from the middle of the semester. I am excited that it is already half over, but this also means that my applications for graduate school are needing to be completed. But no fretting, I have it all under control. Well, maybe not the paper I am supposed to have finished by Saturday night (did I mention it is a minimum of 12 pages!).

This week I have spent most of my meals hitting up Subway and Qdoba and my freezer. I am close to being completely out of all food, so I have a long, long list of groceries to get this weekend. But I love grocery shopping, so it will be fun to take a break from Amy's frozen dinners and Boca chicken nuggets.

This first meal comes from one of my favorite bloggers jessy, or happyveganface. Her recipe sweet 'n spicy adzuki buddha bowls. Now, I still have yet to find adzuki beans in any of the stores near my house. Ill have to try a middle eastern store next time, as they tend to have beans that I've never heard of. So I switched up the recipe slightly to fit my needs with kidney beans instead of adzuki. But the bowl was full of fresh veggies, cashews, and the most delicious, simple, and light sauce. The sauce was mostly just agave, soy, sriracha, ginger, and a little vinegar. I was so highly impressed with all the flavors, I dont know why but the sauce hit the spot in so many ways. And it has every time I've made it. I also have made the meal for my family and they loved the freshness to the recipe too. Filling, fresh, and light. I dont even know what else to say, but yum.

Now that I am missing Indian food so dearly, I keep wanting to make every Indian recipe I see. So I decided to made Vegan Dad's Channa Saag recipe. Spinach has somehow become one of my favorite vegetables (my mom would be proud) and I always adore chickpeas. A simple, quick recipe perfect for a weekday. It was sweet from the wilted spinach, tomatoes, and onions, and nice and spicy from the garam masala and chili powder. I enjoyed every bite.

So obviously, my writing skills and food loving adjectives are quite low at the moment. I am hoping it is being stored in a reservoir for my Buddhism/Feminism paper. I want to get at least half of it done today, but that looks dismal. And the final countdown begins.

Happy October, happy mofo-ing!