That's right, I've been having anxiety nightmares about this day, and here it is despite it all! It's VEGANMOFO, the VEGAN MOnth of FOod, where I swear on my firstborn that I will post at least 5 times a week in an attempt to share some more of the vegan food love. I'm excited! I'm scared! Help/Squee!
I'm not really sure what you can expect from me. Maybe some talk about why I am vegan. Maybe about how I first went vegan at 17. Maybe some food writing review. Maybe some stuff about this awesome gardening class I'm taking, which of course relates to the awesome food I will grow to eat. Maybe some restaurant reviews. Maybe about being a vegan mom to a mostly vegan toddler. But definitely a lot of food. That much I know.
I'm going to ease into this by just talking a little bit about what we've been eating lately. This week over at The Post Punk Kitchen Forums, the cookbook challenge is to utilize Veganomicon. The idea is to focus on new-t0-you recipes, which can be hard for me because that book has so many tried and true faves! So we're splitting the difference here.
This was a new to me recipe. First of all, I'm an idiot, let's just get that right out there. We don't keep hot sauce in the house - we just don't. For one thing, we have like 5 kinds of hot things that I typically sub for hot sauce, like chiptole tabasco, chili-garlic sambal, pickapeppa sauce, siracha, chipotle in adobo and a variety of hot spices. Second, I was kind of under the impression that hot sauce was less like ketchup (which always tastes pretty much the same no matter what kind you buy) and a lot more like snowflakes - each one is it's own flava/experience. Apparently, this is not so. After reviewing that this recipe was really hot (and we love the spice) - keeping in mind I DID NOT USE HOT SAUCE, but rather a combo of the tabasco, sambal and pickapeppa - I got about 10 comments on the boards that it's not hot at all you idiot, use real hot sauce (including one from Isa herself! I am forever shamed!). So, now I know. Use something that comes out of a bottle labled "hot sauce," you asshole.
So? So. My bastardization of this recipe yielded supa-spicy tempeh, but I have since begun the mending of my ways and have indeed purchased a bottle of "hot sauce" which I am now to understand isn't at all hot, it's just a clever name. Do I have that right? Good. I will be retrying this recipe sometime soon, as it appears to be a fave of the folks on the PPK boards, and I love a good tempeh recipe. Sheesh. I feel like I just came out of confession.
As an aside, we served this wicked hot tempeh with some really freaking awesome grilled corn on the cob and a green salad with leftover tahini garlic dressing (from VWaV). I lubed the corn up with some olive oil and sprinkled on some chili powder pre-grilling, and then after it came off added just a bit of earth balance and a sprinkle of sumac - YUM! Silas, the 2-year-old, was an especially huge fan of the corn, which I don't think he had ever had in cob form before. Now we know. Handles = fun food for toddlers. Duh.
Chickpea Cutlets, Mushroom Gravy and Rutabega Puree
So we are longtime fans of the chickpea cutlets. I love anything salty and savory and chewy and filled with dense protein-substances. I love how quick they come together. And I love the baking option, which requires very little of my attention.
The Mushroom Gravy was good - I think I would add a little more saltiness next time, because my broth powder (Bill's Chick'nish) is very low in salty flavor. I used a bunch of mystery mushrooms from our Mushroom CSA (how wicked is a mushroom csa? very!), I think they might have been baby shiitakes, but seriously, not sure. It came out great, I would definitely make this again. Who doesn't love gravy?!?
The Rutabaga Puree - ok. It was fine. I don't know, it was a little...rutabaga-y. Duh. I guess the thing is, it looks a lot like mashed potatoes, which are like one of my top 5 favorite foods, but they don't taste like mashed potatoes and the mouth feel is different. And with that cutlet and gravy, I guess my palette was kind of like "give me the mashers, you freaking idiot!" and instead I provided a completely non-sequitor, thai-inspired rutabaga puree. Another operator error. I might try it again if I get another rutabaga in my CSA box, but I can't see seeking out another rutabaga just to make this. But it's really fine, and seriously, anything with coconut milk automatically gets 5 extra points. As you can see, I added the cilantro.
Oh and those green beans in the background? Those are the Lemony-Broiled Green Beans from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan. Practically instant and delicious, yay!
Ok, off to prepare the eggplant for some parmesan tonight. I think we're going to use some fabulous pine-nut creme to top that off with, yay! Until tomorrow then.