Monday, June 30, 2008

Vegan Blueberry Lemon Poppyseed Bread

In an attempt to halt the growth of back fat, and not have to buy a new summer wardrobe I purchased a Jillian Michaels DVD which I work out to on days when I'm not running (so, every other day). The DVD is called the 30-Day Shred and it's made up of three 20 minute workouts; you begin at workout 1 and then proceed to workouts 2 and 3. Workout one was hard, but I only needed to do if about 5 times before I felt that I should move on to workout 2. Um... Holy Shit Balls, workout 2 will literally make you gargle your heart, it is so damn hard - the workout video is only 20 minutes and about 12 minutes into it I was crying for my mama and asking for a time-out. My legs were shaking, sweat was dripping off my face, I was grunting and panting...I'm so glad I was home alone when I was doing this, because a pretty sight it was not. So, I endorse this product for a super ass kicking 20 minute workout. Wowza. I'm sore today. Do I think I'll be shredded in 30 days? No, but I think that maybe the back fat will have disappeared, hopefully.

This recipe is one I made up. I hope you like it. Let me know if you try it. It's vegan, It's Blueberry, It's Lemon and it has crunchy poppy seeds in it. How could you not love it.

Vegan Blueberry Lemon Poppy Seed Bread
zest 1 lemon
juice 1 lemon
1.5 tbs poppy seeds
1 C fresh blueberries (put in freezer for about 30 minutes before using)
2 C flour
1/4C applesauce
1/4C canola oil
1/2 C sugar
1/4 C soy milk
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbs honey (can be omitted if you do not consider honey vegan, I know the jury is still out for some people)

Combine the oil, applesauce, sugar, soy milk, honey (if using), lemon juice and zest in a bowl. Mix to combine. Sift together the flour, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt, add the poppy seeds and mix to combine, add to the wet ingredients and incorporate. Fold in frozen blueberries. (Batter will be thick) Place into a greased loaf pan, sprinkle raw sugar on top.

Bake 375 for 45 minutes.

Rating = So Damn Good

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Shrimp with Spicy Peanut Sauce

So, I'm starting to run again, which is AWESOME. What is not awesome is that in the mere 4 weeks that I was forced to take off from running, I've lost considerable stamina and speed, and I'm pretty sure that I have gained back fat. Back fat which, I believe is starting in the spot between my boob and armpit, and then continuing around to my back. Seriously, I haven't really gained any weight, maybe two pounds at the most, but my body feels God awful and smooshy, not like it did when I was running 10 miles a day, and I wonder, how long it will take for my body to snap back from its forced running sabbatical. I just feel so gross, yack...ugh, and no amount of time on the elliptical machine makes up for pounding the pavement for an hour plus a day, it just doesn't. I think I've officially hit my mental limit with not running, I need my "me" time, my alone time, my repetitive foot in front of the other time. Please leg, please continue to get better because I can't handle much more of this. Pretty Please.

Also, I've recently gotten some comments from anonymous posters berating me on my use of foul language. Here's an idea assholes. If you don't like my language, don't read my fucking blog. No one is making you, no one sat your ass down in front of the computer, forced you to type in my url, and then forced you to read my posts. Also, if you're going to be all high and mighty about my use of language, please don't do it under the veil of anonymity, if you believe so strongly in your convictions don't hide behind an anonymous post you spineless weasel, leave your name.


So what do you do when you buy a jar of peanut butter called The Heat is On, peanut butter blended with fiery spices, well, you make spicy peanut sauce out of it. And it is delicious. I must say that I love this peanut butter, I have also bought their other flavors Crunch Time, Cinnamon Raisin Swirl, White Chocolate Wonderful, Dark Chocolate Dreams, and Smooth Operator. All Delicious.

So, here's what I made with The Heat is On - I'm not really sure what else to do with it.
I got this recipe from Recipezar and modified it a little.

1 package vermicelli
While making the sauce, prepared vermicelli to package instructions. Drain, return to pot.

2tbsp sesame oil
1/2 c chopped green onions
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup sliced celery
1-16oz can bean sprouts
3 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tbs ground ginger
1/4 c honey
1/4 c The Heat Is On peanut butter
1/4 c reduced sodium soy sauce
3 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 lb raw shrimp

Heat the sesame seed oil in a heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add green onions, carrots, celery, garlic and ginger. Saute until vegetables soften, about 4 minutes. Add honey, peanut butter, soy sauce and vinegar, mix well. Add shrimp and bean sprouts and simmer until cooked through.

Pour sauce over pasta and toss to combine.

I served this with a great crisp sweet white wine and it was amazing.

Rating = So Damn Good

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Maple Mustard Dressing | Vegan

Saturday I decided it was time to move my peppers and tomatoes that we're lovingly started from seed by E out of the playpen and into the big boy pots so they could grow up nice and tall and give me some delicious free vegetables because God knows groceries aren't getting any cheaper anytime soon.

So, off to the garden store I went to by terra cotta pots, organic potting soil and organic plant feed. Because we are still in the retirement village until next month I don't have a large outdoor workspace, so I had to cover the kitchen counter with bags and do my repotting inside. p>

As I opened the bag of organic potting soil I nearly passed out. This bag smelled so horrid. It smelled like a very large horse had crapped in a ziploc bag, sealed the bag up tight and then placed it in the direct glare of a thousand burning suns to fester and blossom, apparently ripening on the exact day I bought it and opened it in my kitchen.p>

I can only hope my little plants appreciate the stock with which they are now planted in because it is some grade A shit I'm sure, at least it smells that way. Please plants, grow up big and strong to I can put you in my belly.

Onto the food.

I really enjoy making my own salad dressings, and this one was so super easy and so good you just have to try it. Yes, it's another recipe from the Veganomicon cookbook, but I'm going to give you the recipe for free because, come on - it's just dressing. However, I did have some of this dressing left over and I used it as a marinade for a few tuna steaks that CB put on the grill and it was delicious as a marinade as well. Whatever, go nuts with it.

Maple Mustard Dressing Veganomicon
3 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp dijon or whole grain mustard
3 tbsp grapeseed or nut oil
1/2 tsp mustard powder
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Whisk all ingredients together and store in an airtight container. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Sweet 17...Go Celtics!

For now. For right now. Boston is Title Town. Way to go Celtics.
The fans were literally jam packed, 15-20 deep, lined up to see the duck boats drive by. I had a birds eye view from CB's office, and it was just amazing. Another great day in Boston sports history.
We beat LA!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Vegan Lemon Coconut Bundt Cake

Yes, I know, this picture sucks. Sorry, but the cake is so super moist and lemony and yummy, please get past the picture already and just make this cake. This was the cake that I made for my sisters birthday; and everyone loved it and was just all ape shit over how good it was.

This was a recipe straight out of the Veganomicon cookbook that I have told all of you to buy because it is awesome. This also means that I am not going to post the recipe because I don't want to break and copyright rules, and also because you should get off your lazy ass and go buy the book. So if you want the recipe, leave me a post with your email so I can first criticize you for not buying the book, and then just give you the recipe.

Also, just a little note to the woman who sat next to me on the orange line this morning. - We're all tired, we all stayed up to watch the Celtics, this does not give you the right to fall asleep on the train and continually smash your head into my shoulder as you nod off, over and over again. The continual pattern of your eyes getting heavy, you falling asleep, your body going limp and then your head slowly falling to the right, hitting my shoulder, and then you waking all dazed up not knowing where you are, got really really obnoxious the third time you did it. Just get yourself a big ass cup of coffee and wake up already.

So, if you want the recipe, send me a post.

Rating = So God Damn Good

Monday, June 16, 2008

Spinach and Eggplant Lasagna...ish

I say ish, because I didn't work from a recipe here, I just sort of layered a lot of ingredients together and put it in the oven. Here's what I did.

I sliced the eggplant very thin, laid them on a cooling rack and then sprinkled with salt to sweat out some of the moisture and bitterness of the eggplant. Next I rinsed them and dried them. I then took a bowl of olive oil and a bowl of bread crumbs. I took the dried eggplant and dunked it in the olive oil and then coated it with bread crumbs and placed the eggplant slices on a baking dish and cooked in a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes on each side.

in a sauce pan I sauteed 1/2 yellow onion with three cloves garlic. I let the onion get soft and then added a 28-oz can of diced tomatoes and a 6-oz can of tomato paste. When this was all mixed together I added a cup of vegetable stock and herbs as I saw fit (oregano, basil, etc) I let this simmer for a while so the flavors would meld together.

I took a 16-oz container of low fat ricotta and added salt, pepper, oregano and basil to taste.

I shredded a 16-oz block of fresh mozzarella and grated about 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Reserve 1/4 cup to top the lasagna with at the end.

I just used fresh spinach leaves, taking time to remove the stems.

Lasagna Noodles:
I used 12 no boil noodles.

Take a glass baking dish, add enough sauce to coat the bottom. Place three lasagna noodles on the bottom. Add enough ricotta cheese to cover each noodle, place three baked eggplant slices to each lasagna noodle, sprinkle on a little mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, place enough spinach on each lasagna noodle to cover each one, sprinkle more cheese on and then place a little sauce on top. Repeat this two more time, then top with the remaining three lasagna noodles, and the rest of the sauce and cheese (not the reserved cheese).

Cover with foil and bake in a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, remove the foil, top with the reserved cheese and bake for another 15 minutes until the cheese is browned and bubbly.

I'm sorry this isn't a real recipe that you can easily follow, but this is what I did, I just sort of threw it together as I went.

Rating = So Damn Good

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Pickled Post

We're back, and it's quite possible we drank our weight in wine on our vacation. I don't think Chris is showing his teeth in this picture because they were starting to turn purple from all the pinot noir that we had ingested that morning, yes you read that right, morning. Some of the vineyards open for tastings at 10:00 am and we were there. This picture was taken at Duck Pond Cellars where we had a tour of the facility, and got to have a futures tasting, of a wine straight out of the barrel. See below.

This was a lot of fun, and Nita our tour guide was a hoot. I don't recommend drinking a lot of the wine straight out of the barrel because, actually, it pretty much sucks.

One of the really cool things that we did on vacation, was stay at a bed and breakfast that was part of a real working farm. The owners let you get as involved with the farm as you want, so I took the opportunity to milk a goat early in the morning. After I milked the goat I got to make fresh goat cheese out of the milk that was collected the day before. Very Cool. Below are picks of me getting to know Jillie (that wasn't her name, but that's what I called her) and then me actually milking her. I could only get her left one to work, absolutely no milk came out of the right one for me.

Check out that milking action!

The trip was great, but I'm glad to be back home and hopefully will start cooking again soon.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Update....Stealing Away

Holy Shit Balls it's been a while since I last posted; here's the 10 second update. I've moved, gotten my bumb leg started on the rehab process, had my gastroscopy and discovered that I have a hiatal hernia and work got very very busy, all within about a week and a half, needless to say - not so much quality time spent in the kitchen. I did make a lovely vegan lemon coconut bundt cake, and a great eggplant and spinach lasagna, but guess what? You have to wait until next week to see and hear about my great culinary creations, because I'm heading to Oregon Wine Country tomorrow and I can't wait. Yes, I'm sure that drinking wine for five days solid will do wonders for my acid reflux, but no pain no gain right.

Anyway, this trip has been long awaited and even longer deserved so see you next week with great recipes and hopefully some great pictures and new wine tips from the trip.

Also - if anyone knows of any great places that I have just got to see in and around Portland please leave a comment and let me know.