Saturday, February 23, 2008
Happy Vegan Anniversary!
I was dying to blog about this last week, but didn't have much energy....so, here's a huge catch up!
In celebration of my birthday (remember, last year we went to New York City and The Candle Cafe?), this year was spent in our nation's capitol (we just call it, 'DC') to visit the Holocaust museum and the modern art museum (the Hirshhorn). I guess it was appropriate that we finally went to Sticky Fingers Bakery and Cafe, since I realized it was also my two year vegan anniversary! Hard to believe I've been without real cheese for that long- jk! I don't even miss it anymore. The horrible treatment of cows in the process to give me something that's not even that healthy for me, is worth missing every bite. So anyway, here is a famous sticky bun (which I ate ALL BY MYSELF - what a hog! - no, really, I rarely eat sweets, so I deserved every bite! Besides, I didn't get a cake this year :( so this was my cake...) alongside my husband's choice, which happened to be a wicked awesome Cowvin Cookie (oatmeal cookie bars with creamy filling).
This was after I had scarfed down most of this sandwich (well, I only ate one half of the bread - white bread is so low in nutrients!). This TLT (tempeh bacon, lettuce, tomato) sandwich was perfectly crispy and salty with a toothy bite, crunchy lettuce, and perfect layer of Vegannaise.
Here's my husband's choice: a Reuben (vegan, of course). He thinks it would have been better heated up (they do have a microwave right there for you to do so) but I still think it was really good - perhaps better than my TLT?? Doesn't look as pretty, though... :) The best thing about Sticky Fingers was walking in and looking at all the food and thinking.... I can have ANYTHING here I want! It was overwhelming to have so many choices, when I often barely have one in most chain restaurants.
Speaking of pretty, here is a shot (a pretty good looking one, if I do say so myself) of my lunch for the week: Eat, Drink and Be Vegan's Peanut Sesame Hummus with seaweed rice crackers. I laugh when I think about how different my lunches are from everyone else's that I work with! And they are different every week. I enjoyed this with organic baby carrots, celery sticks and snap peas. Neat flavor and twist on the traditional hummus!
But for some reason, I couldn't stand the taste of the raw snap peas! They were acrid tasting - maybe even bitter?- and I couldn't eat them even with the dip. So, I used up some rice noodles and cellophane noodles I had kicking around, along with some frozen veggies, edamame, and fresh veggies I had leftover, to make The Everyday Vegan's Ginger Hoisin Noodles. Yum! I loved this dish. I was so proud of myself for thinking to use up so many things and not waste moola.
In the spirit of trying to use up leftovers and not spend money, I tried to use up my fresh parsley with the Candle Cafe Cookbook's Tabbouleh. It contains very healthy bulgar wheat, as traditional tabbouleh does. Unfortunately, the cost of the tomatoes (even though I used canned because good fresh tomatoes are nowhere in season), onion, garlic and bulgar completely offset the cost of the 99 cent parsley bunch because.... it sucks! I really hate to say that, and honestly, the taste is great. It's just that the taste LINGERS........the red onion, even though I cut it down from the recipe, is just too much to take. I couldn't stand my own breath after eating this dish for lunch today! I don't know what I'm going to do with it. Pick out all the onion, I guess? I've had this problem before with too much onion in this cookbook's recipes.... watch out if you're making a savory dish from there! I've had lots of tabbouleh in my lifetime, but never as pungent as this!
Next up, I made some Blueberry Bounty Buns from Vive Le Vegan for a friend who just had a baby. With almost no sugar but an incredible sweetness due to the blueberries, I knew these would be good for her and her little one. They have lots of ground oats and whole wheat flour, and very little oil, which is as healthy as you can get! My only complaint was how flat they were (more like muffin tops) and how delicate. I also made Vive's Apple Hemp muffins, which as usual, were moist and nutty and goooood! I think that this cookbook is one of my favorite vegan cookbooks ever - everything comes out great!
Last but not least are these Rosemary Tofu Balls from TEV. Don't they look beautifully golden? I had a craving for spaghetti sauce this week, and wanted something to go with it. I had some fresh rosemary to use up (here we go again!) and the rest of the ingredients were easy to pull together. Because it only used half of a container of tofu, I cubed and stir fried up the rest of it to eat with my ginger hoisin noodle leftovers this week.
And here are the results. I was a little disappointed in the tofu balls, as I thought they would taste like non-meatballs (I've made seitan ones before that are great!), but they had a different, curious flavor to them. My husband said they tasted like this sandwich meat spread he grew up eating. I don't think he cared for them much. I thought they were nice and crispy on the outside, but a tad pasty in the middle. Overall not bad, but I probably won't make them again anytime soon. However, the sauce was the real kicker. A nice organic, tomato-basil sauce from Bertolli.... and it sucked! It was watery, too sweet, and not very flavorful. I will make my own next time or use my standby - Del Monte's canned sauce - only 99 cents! And the money comes full circle, I guess.... Happy eating this week! And happy vegan anniversaries to everyone else out there celebrating.