Sunday, March 14, 2010

Vegan Girl Scout Cookies!

Since I purchased the book, Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar (also known as VCIYCJ), I have been dying to make these Lazy Samosas, after the traditional Samosa cookie with coconut and chocolate (one of the best combinations in the world!). Since March is Girl Scout cookie time around here, I figured it would be a good time to try these out.

As you can see by the photos, they look remarkably similar.

As you can't tell by the photos (here is a shot of the chocolate drizzle before it cooled) they tasted AMAZING!!! Totally cured my GS cookie craving....the only thing they were perhaps missing was the hint of caramel. Otherwise, coconutty goodness! Four awesome stars **** My local Veg Group got to scarf the rest of these down...

I also made the Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. This was my first real pregnancy craving (more on that, later). I was impressed by how easy these were but not surprised at how yummy. I like mine soft, so I followed the directions for those style. Only complaint? Bigger please! Three and a half stars ***1/2. After a couple of these, my cravings disappeared, mostly because my sweet tooth was still on a hiatus.

Next up from VCIYCJ were these Mocha Mamas. I made them for a friend who had just had knee surgery. They have a hint of coffee in them, which makes for a delicious soft chocolate cookie on the inside, a tiny bit crispy on the out! The drizzle also had coffee extract in them. Very delish and the recipient reported that they only lasted a day in her certifiably non-vegan house! Three and a half stars ***1/2.

Here's a yummy close up...

So.....while my stomach still has trouble handling OJ and dried fruit (esp first thing in the morning), it apparently has not problem eating "real" sweets again! After my birthday, when I had some money to spend, I ordered several treats from Vegan Essentials (one of my fav online stores). Here, you can see the new, air-puffed marshmallows called Dandies (haven't broken into those yet, but they do feel soft!), Pecan Marshmallows made by Sweet and Sara (holy vegan cow!!!! - these were OUT OF THIS WORLD! Soft, chewy, handmade marshmallows with a crumbly pecan and sugar topping - I ate these pretty quickly!), a Mahalo Bar (similar to an Almond Joy - I'm saving that one for my 9th month), and also from Sweet and Sara, a S'More cookie thing that I really got for Mr. PLV (although he shared a bite - yum!). Reminded me of those Pinwheel cookies from my childhood. Every single item was worth the price of shipping and handling!!

Meanwhile, I did do some non-baking...I do have to eat healthfully for baby!

To use up some baby spinach, Eat, Drink and Be Vegan's Palak Soyabina Paneer (fofu stands in for the paneer, hence the "soyabina"), which I've made before and Mr. PLV really enjoys. Great spices - an authentic Indian dish! Four stars ****

We experimented by making our own Mexi Meat from TVP, using a recipe from the new book 500 Vegan Recipes, which I checked out of the library. It was really, really good in these tacos with Nacho Soy Cheese! Three and a half stars ***1/2. Great flavor.

Vegetarian Times had been tempting me with recipes as well. This Indian Samosa Pie came out pretty tasty, although we both agreed that there was too much filling. And, I had some personal crust issues, but otherwise, not bad! Two and a half stars **1/2.

Here's a nice shot of the inside.

Lunches were beginning to bore me (tired of wraps with hummus and greens!), so this Farro Salad with Chickpeas and Marinated Artichoke Hearts from another library book, Whole Grains for Busy People, did the trick. I used wheat berries in place of the farro, and regular water-packed artichoke hearts. Good, but I ended up wanting more artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes in the mixture. Three stars *** and a nice change of pace! Very filling.
I copied the recipe for this Cauliflower and Tofu with Tikka Spices from another library book, but can't remember which one! It was good, though. Great way to get the wonderful nutrients in cauliflower! (Which include: protein, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium and phosphorus, and also a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic Acid, potassium and manganese - phew!) Served with brown rice, a dollop of soy yogurt, and a great mango chutney.
Meanwhile, I had some phyllo (filo) dough that needed to be used up (it had sat in the freezer for way too long!). Vegetable-Arame Strudels from Vegetarian Times magazine (I think!) to the rescue! The sea vegetable was a perfect hint of flavor and all the yummy veggies inside were just scrumptious. Not too difficult!

The sauce, however, sucked. Mostly because I opened the jar of sundried tomatoes to find they had gone bad, so the sauce was just red pepper and silken tofu. Blah to taste, kind of cool color, though!

So....I'm stopping here on that semi-successful note. I have to say that taking an hour to do this particular blog post is an enjoyable but tiring hour. In my 8th month now, I have a very healthy, very active(!), perfectly sized baby girl waiting to join me in May (I say this not to brag or jinx myself, but to prove that vegans can have healthy babies, easily!), and she takes up my every spare waking moment (and often wakes me from the sleeping ones!), leaving me little time for pleasures such as this. We are planning to use cloth diapers (including at day care), to breastfeed, to have all used clothing and other "accessories" as much as possible, and to share with her the joys of stepping lightly on the planet and living healthfully. We are also planning on starting her life as a vegan. All of my time is now spent (when not at work), on preparing for this new little life (she'll be our first!) and I can barely find the energy to cook, nevermind write down the recipes like I used to in my little notebook, nevermind take photos and blog about them. So, while I don't plan on ending this blog (I would like people to be able to reference it and see how great vegans can eat and to find other links), I do know my weekly posts will become monthly ones, if that. So, I ask you to bear with me, keep checking back, and go (or stay) VEGAN! :)