Reunited

Look what I found! Yep, that’s right–it’s my favorite beer and the thing I miss most (aside from the people) now that I’ve moved away from Seattle. What a happy girl I am!

What’s Cooking: Carrot Cake Oatmeal

Mmm…. so good. I wish I was eating a bowl right now.

Shopping List

1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup water
1 carrot, shredded
a handful of raisins
a handful of walnut pieces
a splash of vanilla
a dash of salt
several shakes of cinnamon
a spoonful of cream cheese frosting (vegan cream cheese blended with powdered sugar)

 

Step by Step

It seems silly to even be listing out the directions. All you do is cook the oats in the water until they are soft and then stir in everything else. It’s not complicated, but the flavors work together so well. As you can from the ingredient list, it’s not an exact science. Just toss things in until it tastes perfect to you.

Enjoy,

A

What’s Cooking: Veggie and Tofu Pad Thai

Over the weekend, I made a completely vegan meal for my Aunt & Uncle and my grandparents. I was nervous and kinda stressed as I picked the menu because I wanted to make sure they left with a good impression of vegan cooking. I finally settled on pad thai. Derek and I used to make it in Seattle, but we used eggs, so the recipe needed some tweaking. But I was pretty sure I could pull it off. I know I won’t be convincing my Grandpa to give up meat any time soon, but he conceded that the meal “wasn’t awful” and the others said it was very good.

I ended up making enough for at least ten people, so I’ve tried to scale it down for a 4 person-serving. Be warned though, I didn’t follow a strict recipe and I didn’t write down my measurements so this is just a guide. Feel free to make adjustments if you try it yourself.

Shopping List

for the peanut sauce-

3 heaping tablespoons of peanut butter

2 tablespoons of soy sauce or Bragg’s liquid aminos

1/2 teaspoon cayenne chili powder (more or less, depending on how spicy you like)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons orange juice

2 tablespoons hot water

1 teaspoon orange zest

for the noodles-

1/2 package of rice noodles

1/2 package of super firm tofu, drained, pressed and cut into small cubes

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup of broccoli pieces

1 cup of cauliflower pieces

1 cup of carrot pieces

1 cup of bean sprouts

1/2 lime- save other half

1/3 cup chopped green onions (for garnish)

1/3 cup peanut pieces (for garnish)

orange and lime wedges (for garnish)

Step by Step

To make the sauce, mix the peanut butter and soy sauce in a microwavable dish. If it’s tough to stir, pop it in the micro for about 30 seconds. Then stir in the other ingredients. Taste and adjust depending on what you like. Derek wanted it to be citrusy so I used equal parts orange juice and water, but you could leave out the juice all together if you wanted the peanut flavor to be more prominent. I just kept mixing until it tasted right to me.

Once your sauce is all set, cook the tofu over medium-high heat until the cues are browned on all sides. When that’s done, place the rice noodles in a bowl of hot water (make sure they are completely covered) and let them soften while you cook the broccoli, cauliflower and carrots. We just steamed our veggies in a big wok but you could also try roasting them.

When the veggies are done, add the tofu, noodles, bean sprouts and sauce and mix until everything is covered in peanutty deliciousness. Squeeze the juice from half a lime over the noodles. After your serving is on your plate, top with some green onions and crushed peanuts. Add a couple wedges of citrus fruits and a sprinkle more of cayenne powder and you’re all set.

I like to mix a little brown rice in with  my pad thai (and so does Rebecca) but Derek and my aunt thought that was strange. So do what you want. The dish is great on it’s own but a little brown rice never hurt anyone.

Vegan Report: Month Six

Last week was my 6 month vegan-versary! To celebrate I convinced Derek to let me interview him on the topic. He’s such a sweetie. 🙂

How do you feel about Arikka being vegan?

It’s fine with me but it’s clear that I will never get a surprise salmon meal again. (Author’s note–early in our relationship I attempted to cook a nice salmon meal for Derek. It was kinda a fail, so I doubt he would want me to try that again anyways.)

Do you like eating vegan with her?

Yes. Sometimes I don’t know what to cook but I’m always happy with the meals she cooks.

What’s the most challenging thing about having a vegan girlfriend?

No pizza. No nachos.

Can you confirm that Arikka’s not sneaking cheese and/or Ben & Jerry’s?

I can confirm.

Have you noticed any changes in Arikka? Positive or otherwise…

She’s happy with her diet and she’s a much more creative cook. But her sweet tooth has not gone away.

Do you think you’ll ever convert to vegan?

Probably not. Although I’m happy to support Arikka, I’m comfortable with my food choices and I don’t feel the need to make a change.

What’s Cooking: Coconut Banana Pancakes

It’s been awhile since I shared a recipe, so I thought I’d try to make it up to you by posting a delicious breakfast recipe that’s perfect for the weekend. I just whipped up these pancakes this morning–I’m still eating them as I post this–but they were too good to keep to myself.

Shopping List

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 tbsp baking powder

1 tbsp flax meal

1/4 cup rolled oats

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

a dash of salt

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 teaspoon maple syrup

1 well mashed banana

a handful of walnut pieces

coconut oil for greasing the pan

Step by Step

Begin heating skillet to medium heat.

While that’s warming up, stir all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mash the banana then add the coconut milk and syrup. Pour the wet into the dry and stir until combined. Add walnuts.

Once the pan is hot, spread a tiny bit of coconut oil to prevent the pancakes from sticking. Scoop spoonfuls of the batter into the pan and spread it out a little so they cook all the way through. Flip after a few minutes until they are brown on both sides. Top with sliced bananas, walnuts and maple syrup.

This recipe makes enough for two people (but if Derek doesn’t wake up soon, I might eat them all myself).

Happy Weekending!

Reasons Why I’m Looking Forward To This Weekend

1. Derek’s spring break is starting so I get to keep him for nine(!) days.

2. Aunty Sharon & Uncle B. are coming over for dinner on Saturday.

3. I get to finish reading Catching Fire (Are you reading The Hunger Games yet? You should be.)

Full Speed Ahead

I feel like I’m sprinting through my days lately. I make a list (or three) every evening before leaving the office of the things I hope (or absolutely need) to accomplish the next day. In the morning I get straight to work. It’s only when my stomach begins to growl that I realize it’s lunch time. And then I blink and it’s the end of the day. How does this happen?

Since I’ve been working later than usual, I’ve been planning ahead a little more than I typically do. And then I pat myself on the back for taking such good care of myself — thanks Weekend Arikka for picking out my outfits for the week so I don’t have to struggle with what to wear in the morning and for cooking all the meals so that I don’t have to think about what to eat when I get home. You really know how to make a girl feel loved.

There’s good news though. Since the work days rush right past me, it never feels like I have to wait too long for the weekend to come.

Serious props to everyone who can juggle it all–and still manage to stay up past 9:30pm. It’s not easy trying to be a grown-up.

On that note, I’m going to bed.

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