Yes, it’s Phoenix so it was still 105F today. But, it’s technically fall, so I felt like soup and broke out the crock pot this morning. I combined soaked pinto beans, water, garlic, red onion, green chilies, Better than Bouillon olive oil, salt and diced tomatoes and let that puppy roll. Later in the afternoon I added in cumin, enchilada sauce, chile powder and hot sauce. Finally near the end of the cook in the afternoon, I added in a few chopped up corn tortillas. At the end, 10 minutes before serving, I blended a cups worth in the blender and then re-added it for thickness, I added in more salt and a few more tortilla strips. I served it up with some leftover chives and tortilla chips. I’m feelin’ hot, hot hot!
Today wore me out. Crazy day at work. On the up side, I made a delicious dinner. The best therapy for a crazy day is lots of potatoes. Lemon garlic mashed potatoes with chives to be exact.
and what goes better with potatoes? Steak and creamed spinach. I broiled marinated mushrooms, laid them on a bed of spinach mixed with soy sauce and Tofutti cream cheese. That was finished off with sweet caramelized onions. Now to my couch to fall asleep.
Before I get into the fun that we had today, a recap of Wednesday’s dinner. Stuffed peppers! These were totally awesome. Best stuffed peppers I’ve ever made. Rice, onions, mushrooms, and lots of chopped artichoke hearts. Topped ’em off with ketchup which carmelized perfectly under the broiler. I think the trick to peppers is letting them cook long enough to soften. I think we baked these for a hour and they were just perfect.
On to the big date day! Ryan planned a lovely afternoon and evening to celebrate having survived a busy work season. This was probably the toughest year yet, just because of how many hours I was working. But, all that work made the indulgence that much sweeter. Ryan started out the afternoon with a massage at the Buttes Marriott resort. 1 hour listening to calming music and having the masseuse work out the kink that’s developed on my left shoulder. Ryan spoils me rotten! After that, I drank copious amounts of water, cleaned up in the ladies locker room and then we headed to dinner. We headed to the Biltmore and made it to True Food Kitchen for our 7:30pm reservation. I’ve been there once before and loved it. It was fun to go back and explore even more of the menu.
One of my favorite things about their menu is the beverage menu. They have all sorts of fancy non-alcoholic drinks. I got the Red Moon made with Pink Grapefruit, Yuzu, agave and soda. I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather since yesterday. Sinus problems, fuzzy head, headachey, I figured a good shot of vitamin C would keep it from getting worse. Ryan ordered a honey lemonade.
For the appetizer, we had the Lettuce Cups stuffed with Shitake Mushroom, Tofu, Cashew and Ginger. They had such an intense umami flavor and the butter lettuce was velvety. I could have eaten 20 of them.
For the main course I ordered the TLT – Tempeh Lettuce and Tomato. It was on perfectly toasted bread with smooth avocado. The tempeh bacon was perfect and the flavor was right on. Could have fooled me that it wasn’t your standard BLT! I had sweet potato hash as the side. Roasted and carmely. I love the little crunchy bits.
Ryan ordered the mushroom ravioli. It had chanterelles, organic ricotta and a kale pesto. I had to have a bite or two. Yes, not vegan, but sometimes the foodie in me overrides everything. It was divine! The pesto was light and garlicky. The corn and tomatoes made it very summery.
For dessert we split the chocolate cake with non-dairy ice cream. This cake was like heaven and had crunchy cocoa nibs to add texture. I could have crawled inside that little bowl. Good thing they gave us little spoons, otherwise I might have swiped the whole thing in one bite.
Not to be that cheese-ball who brags about her awesome husband, but I can’t help it. He’s amazing!!!! Thanks for a wonderful day Ryan.
Comfort food has been on the brain. Tonight I busted out Veganomicon and selected the Tempeh Shepherdess Pie. For some reason this recipe hadn’t been attempted because there was something about it that turned me off. Not sure what that was, especially now that I’ve made it and love it! I followed the recipe except for adding Earth Balance to the potatoes and carrots and Tofutti Cream Cheese to the filling. Mmmmmm…warmed me all the way through….even thought it’s still 100 outside.
I know it’s not Thanksgiving yet. But, I had green beans and needed to do something with them. This green bean casserole is green beans, zucchini, and mushrooms baked off with a sauce of onions, Earth Balance, Tofutti Cream Cheese, miso and soymilk infused with dried mushrooms all topped off with crunchy snack mix and slivered almonds. Big hit that should be making it into my holiday rotation.
Just taking a break from putting the final touches on a keynote presentation I’m giving tomorrow. I found out on Tuesday that a student leadership camp this weekend lost their keynote speaker at the last minute. I seized the opportunity to get more public speaking time under my belt and will be headed up to Payson, AZ in the morning. It’s a new presentation and I hope it goes well. I’ll be video taping it, so perhaps I’ll be able to get some clips up on the blog.
Meanwhile, here’s a fun recap of another wild and crazy, but very delicious week!
Black and Brown Rice as a bed for…
Curry! (this one contains coconut milk, potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, carrots and seitan)
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies – it might be 90 degrees outside, but I need cookies!
Ignore the goober in the picture, but focus on the delicious Lemon Hommus! This stuff is so amazingly good!!!! I’m usually a make your own hummus kinda gal, but this stuff is so silky smooth and super sassy with a lemon bite. Totally worth the extra pennies.
Last night I got home at 9:30pm, so in no mood to dirty up the kitchen, I pulled out a frozen pizza. This is Amy’s No-Cheese pizza. The crust is fabulous. DiGiornio has got that tagline for “It’s not delivery”, but I think Amy’s giving him a run for his crispy crust money.
Pre-dinner plan conversation with self:
“I’ve got cherry tomatoes, spinach, Tofutti cream cheese and tortillas. Tortilla pinwheels? Too Paula Dean. Hmmmm…what the crap do I do? We had Mexican food for lunch. Can’t do Mexican again in the same day. Right? Right? Well, where is that written? Hell, let’s get crazy.”
Went to the store and got a yellow onion, mushrooms and salsa and was ready to make enchiladas. I had a vision of creamy spinach mushroom enchiladas. So, I set to work. Sauteed onions and garlic until carmely then added in sliced button mushrooms and a Tablespoon each of cumin and chile powder. Next up threw in some of that Tofutti until melty. Covered that all with spinach and salsa and covered it until the greens wilted. Onto the stuffing! I put down some salsa into the bottom of a casserole, rolled up flour tortillas stuffed with the mushroom filling and halved cherry tomatoes. Easy enough so far, right? Then covered that with the rest of the jar of salsa, and baked covered at 375 for 20 minutes. Uncovered it next, cranked up the heat to 400 and baked an additional 10 minutes. I served that all up to Ryan with avocado slices and he was so happy. He said this is his favorite enchilada yet and that he wants to put in a pre-order for his next birthday. Well, I guess that all worked out!
Too, it’s very camera friendly. I’m ready for my closeup Mr. Deville!
My tastes have been simple this week. Not sure what to chalk it up to, but I’ve been dreaming of plain veggies with Earth Balance. Literally, I laid down for a brief nap after work and started thinking about roasted carrot. What to have for dinner? Easy enough. Enter dinner of my dreams:
Two nights ago I had to get away, so I went and browsed the beautiful aisles of Whole Foods. I don’t let myself in there very often because I always overspend, but I always feel so at home amidst all of the specialty items, Peanut Butter Pows, and produce straight out of Martha Stewart Living. Here’s what happened after a blitz of Whole Foods:
Tuesday night I was working until 10pm, so I was spent by the time I got home and needed something that made me feel like a kid again. For some reason rice and soy sauce takes me there. I don’t think we ate an inordinate amount of rice and soy sauce back in the day, but for some reason I have positively associated memories. I did that up with some plain steamed broccoli and instant miso soup. I washed it all down with a virgin mojito. Refreshed!
Going backward further, Monday night was broccoli again, but a fun frozen delight for the main dish. A bit pricey, but the Gardein Buffalo strips are fabulous! They don’t completely fill that wing sized hole in my life, but made it pretty darn close! Good heat on them, too.
My friend Elliott’s birthday is today. I threw him a party with everyone else from work. Elliott’s from Spain, so I wanted to do tapas of sorts to honor the spirit of his heritage. It hit my favorite blogs and Epicurious.com for ideas:
Sweet Potato Bites from Show Me Vegan
I put my own spin on them by also including pinto beans, extra adobo, green chilies and dusted with paprika:
Queso Dip from Show Me Vegan
This stuff is so good. Last time I did it was for a Super Bowl Party. Still just as good! Good idea is to buy a salsa that has corn and black beans in it. Makes for a fun extra texture.
Olive and Artichoke Tapenade from Epicurious
Very nice consistency, though a bit too much lemon, which is a lot coming from a lemon-holic!
This next one might seem a bit out of season. Elliott’s nickname is Santa. Long story, but needless to say it necessitated I make Wing-It inspired Santa hat cupcakes. The frosting was vanilla, the cake Strawberry.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY SMELLIOTT!
Never made pizza before…I mean, the crust… from scratch. Gotta say it went pretty well given my first ever crack at it. Not the crispy flaky crust I was hoping for like I had a Anthony’s a few weeks ago, but good enough that we finished off the whole pie.
I just used a recipe I found on All-Recipes that called for yeast, flour, water, sugar and salt. I topped it with leftover mushroom spaghetti sauce, canned artichoke hearts and fresh bell pepper.
Great Sunday night in with a Netflix.