Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday VeganMoFo round-up

Well, it's Friday, so I decided tonight's VeganMoFo would be a blast from the past... a Friday Food Round-up! Do you guys remember these from last year? It's when I would inundate you with way too many photos of food from the previous week? Good times. I stopped doing that because, well, those posts were a bit much. But, since VeganMoFo is all about revisiting the past, I thought I'd do a (shorter verstion of) a round-up this week.

All through this post, I will give little thrifty tips. As you guys know, Daiku and I are eating out of the pantry until Thanksgiving, trying to keep supermarket shopping down to a bare minimum. There are many reasons for this: one, we are a bit broke this month, and trying to save some money for the holidays. Second, this is the time of year when it's good to clean out the pantry, eat all those things you've said you'll get around to, and make room for a new year's worth of stuff. Third, and my favorite reason, has to do with the upcoming holiday, centered all around food. I find the feast/famine dichotomy fascinating. Before gorging ourselves on the holiday, it's fun to meditate on what it means to be able to do so. The bounty of food that we have, the amount of choice we can exercise, and the meaningfulness of being able to feast whenever you want.

Ok, more about Thanksgiving later- for now, on to the round-up!

Ok, the first photo is definitely not something we ate! Here is a brand of margarine in the supermarket that caught my eye because of its impossibly cheesy 70's-style packaging. It is vegan, but possibly the most vile stuff you could ever see. Not only is the margarine artificial and extremely unappetizing, but the sticks have a whopping FIVE grams of trans-fats per serving! Definitely one for the "Frankenfoods" file... If you want vegan, or kosher, or parve margarine, why not give Earth Balance a try? It's not hydrogenated. It's not artificial. It's not scary. Yikes!

Here are banana-wheat bran muffins from Veganomicon. I replaced the wheat bran with oat bran, because that is what I had, and I mixed a handful of walnuts into the batter. Finally, I topped each muffin with walnut halves and maple sugar before baking.

They came out very well, and they are part whole-grain and not too sweet, making them perfect for breakfast.

As soon as Hannah posted about these vegan butterscotch chips on her blog, I knew I had to try them, just for fun. They are a bit too sweet and artificial-tasting to enjoy out of hand, but they are perfect for baking, especially because I haven't had butterscotch since going vegan!

When Celine posted this cookie recipe on her blog, I noticed that I had every single ingredient in the house- score! - so I immediately baked them. Trust me- you can't go wrong with a Celine recipe, especially one involving chocolate, butterscotch, whiskey, and extra chunky peanut butter! This recipe used rice flour, which made the cookies tender and crumbly and good. I want to bake with brown rice flour more often now!

You know how disorganized I am about getting around to trying recipes? Well, how about if I tell you that this is SusanV's peach upside down cake- that she posted in early AUGUST? I had saved and frozen some peaches from my big haul this summer, and after I baked cookies, I figured, hey the oven's on, I might as well bake some more. So, after months of drooling at the recipe, I finally got to make it.

And it was good! I used date sugar for the caramel part on the bottom of the cake, and it worked much better than I thought it would. I love the lemon flavor in the cake- this recipe is a winner. I'm glad I have tons more peaches saved in the freezer, because I want to have this again!

Here's a tip- if you ever make biscuits, save the little bits of dough that are left after cutting them, and freeze them in a baggie. Then, whenever you make soup, you have ready-to-go dumplings at the ready! Last night, we made this kitchen sink soup: potatoes, onions, garlic, red wine, cabbage, radish, cauliflower, celery, tomatoes, peas, everything we had in the fridge, plus some millet! Today, when re-heating the soup, we dropped some frozen biscuit dough in there and voilà- veggie dumpling soup! It was so good- warming, hearty, filling. I want to try this method to make some chicken-dumpling soup, too. Maybe with some thyme, dill, not-chicken broth? Some sage? What are the dominant flavors of chicken soup?

Finally, here's a deep-dish sourdough pizza. I feel so spoiled now that we have home-made pizza practically every week. I promise not to go off on a sourdough tangent here...! At first, it seemed as if we had nothing in the house that would be a pizza topping. But, a can of crushed tomatoes made the sauce. A cheezy sauce came together with some flour, oil, soymilk, nooch, and seasonings in about 2 minutes. A couple of pieces of tempeh were transformed into sausage (using this recipe - my favorite!). Some onions were caramelized. And before we knew it, we had a deep dish, awesome pizza for about $1.50. Making your own pizza and toppings is such a good feeling- and such a quick dinner!

Ok, that was my blast-from-the-past Friday Food Round-Up! I promised it wouldn't be too painful, right?

On a final note, we had our first snow in Syracuse today. Everything outside became very quiet and very pretty, very quick! Here's a shot of our backyard this morning. Good night, all!



Celine said...

that last picture is award-winning worthy. it made me laugh my butt off!

vegetalion said...

1.) GORGEOUS desserts.
2.) vegan butterscotch chips?!
3.) this might sound dumb, but in what kind of dish do you cook it?
4.) I'm so glad I left NY. My sister said y'all got a bit of a blizzard!

bazu said...

Vegetalion, I'm not sure which one you are referring to for #3! The pizza was baked in a cast iron skillet. Is that the one you meant?

maybepigscanfly said...

Yay for veganmofo and blast from the past! Ok butterscotch chips- of course I'm jealous. And homemade pizza! Why don't I live in Syracuse so I can just show up at your door?

THe snow looks gorgeous!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Looks like a great week in food! I never did make that upside down cake- darn!
I LOVE SOURDOUGH STARTER! Isn't is the best?! I haven't used mine for a pizza crust yet, do tell..

Unilove said...

Hello Bazu:

As always, your photography is incredible, and your posts entertaining, but that last pic was unexpectedly brilliant.

Always a good read....

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Too many food photos? No such thing!

How lucky you are to have the leftover peach cake-- a delicious vegan treat, and all you have to do is defrost it!

Tami said...

Everything looks so good! Especially the cookies. I really want to try that recipe.

That's a great tip for dumplings from the freezer.

What a wonderful post!

Rural Vegan said...

I had to laugh at the peach upside down cake. I've had that recipe printed out since August too, but some of us did not make out like bandits at the farmer's market and bring home 30 pounds of discounted peaches... I'm still jealous.

aTxVegn said...

The food roundup was always so fun! I wish I had butterscotch chips around here. Everyone's cookies look so good. I want to recommend two of Celine's recipes using rice flour - Rice Flour Banana Muffins (I added chocolate chips) and Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies.

I love the biscuit tip and I'm glad I'll never see snow like that down here!

VeggieGirl said...

I LOVE round-up posts - especially when they're filled with tantalizing food photographs such as these!!

the banana-wheat bran muffins (nice substitution for the oat bran!), butterscotch cookies (ahh, I'd SO purchase the butterscotch chips if it didn't have hydrogenated oils!! such a tragedy. oh and yes, ALL of Celine's recipes are infallible), peach upside-down cake (I'd love to make that, but the recipe intimidates me a bit), vegetable-dumpling soup (brilliant idea with the biscuits! love it!), and the deep-dish pizza all look so magnificent and mouthwatering!! yum!! this post wasn't painful at all!! it was pure delight!! :0)

oh and the snow started to fall here, this past Thursday - where did autumn go??? it practically went from summer to winter!! :0(

Village Vegan said...

Oh, I used to LOVE your friday food roundups! You should do them more often!

I love your striped you remember where you got them? And do you remember how last year it was in the 70s around this time of year (at least it was in NYC). Crazy, crazy weather.

Not buying any new food until Thanksgiving is a really good idea. I think I'll try to do that too, though I'll probably have to pick up some veggies. But no new pantry items!

Hannah said...

Nice use of the butterscotch chips! I agree, that does sound like one killer combination!

By the way, I think I might have nightmares about that margarine now.

Jody from VegChic said...

Occasionally, I'd actually see Mother's margarine at my aunt's or grandmother's house because it is kosher Passover and non dairy. I agree, it is horrifying stuff.

BTW - I got a new cookbook at vegfest that has this strange brocolli gelatin roll thing. It reminded me of those cheesy cookbook you guys have. I've been meaning to scan and email that recipe to you.

Everything else looks so good. Man, I've got to feed my sourdough today.

Butterscotch chips, I am sooo jealous. Next time I am in CT for work, I can go to PriceChopper. We don't have any around here really.

Snow kitty!

Freedom said...

I used to love your Friday food round up! All those pretty food pics in one hit!
Oh and I never can get my head around those words that differ from here to where you are... when I read the bit about biscuits I though "EWWW... biscuits in vegetable soup?!?" But then I realised that by biscuits you mean savoury scone things. In Australia, biscuits are always sweet... I guess they would be cookies to you? Ah the confusion :-)

the little one said...

Thanks for the idea for left over dough! It is brilliant! Also loved that pizza recipe. My food intake wasn't stellar today so this post was definitely bittersweet for me. Here's hoping tomorrow's food ends up better . . .

Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

Ah I LOVE the food roundup posts! Every single photo was great (OK, well, maybe the margarine not so much).

I had some catching up to do... I couldn't agree more with the "Food in Wine" post. I use it a lot - simply because I think drinking an entire bottle of wine all by myself at one sitting every night seems a bit ...uh...much!! So I always seem to have three half-used bottles in the fridge.... "Hmmm, would this marinara taste better with a splash of Chardonnay, a Merlot or some Cabernet?" Yeah, I'm a wine-O!

Anonymous said...

I can't even believe that margarine. Disgusting!

I was doing pretty good - going through all of my pantry foods but I fell off that wagon a month or so ago and started buying up new stuff. I just see these new recipes and can't help but want to make them. When I was going through my pantry/freezer I didn't grocery shop for 3 1/2 weeks. Nothing! We had plenty of frozen veggies and fruit to get us through. What helped me though was taking inventory. Then I wrote down meal plans. That way I didn't use the frozen broccoli as a side dish and then get bummed later because I could have (and should have) used it in a casserole instead.

You've inspired me to use it up again!

I had a sourdough starter but it died. It kind of made me sad to use it though because I always lamented about how sad I was that it didn't make great whole wheat bread/pizza dough, etc. Have you found a way to work it with whole wheat?

Like you, I can always find some totally random pizza toppings (when I would otherwise think my kitchen is bare) and it turns into a wonderful (and surprising) meal.

b36Kitchen said...

I can't believe how much I've missed your friday food round ups..they were so nice to see after a week of work. But I have to say I do like reading your blog any day you post.

Emilie said...

sourdough pizza and snow? oh, what a perfect post.

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