Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Seared Portobello Fajitas

Seared Portobello Fajitas

Ole! When you need a quick meal, few things are more delicious and time-friendly than fajitas. Being a working mother of a very active Supertoddler, I am always in the need of a quick meal, and Seared Portobello Fajitas {page 125} were not only fast, but featured one of my favorite foods on earth - the portobello mushroom.

I followed the recipe exactly, deviating only to add about 1/2 a red bell pepper I had hanging out in the fridge. I was actually surprised there were no bell peppers in the recipe to begin with - nothing screams fajitas like peppers! The flavorful ingredients seared up so quickly, I hardly had time to heat some tortillas and sort out a side dish. Major flavor for very little effort - what a great combination!

The Ninjahusband took the leftovers for lunch the following day, and said they were even more delicious. This would be a great thing to make a double {or triple} batch of to have around for lunches throughout the week.

-- Your Friendly Neighborhood Batgirl

Monday, June 28, 2010

Chocolate Coconut Brownies

Coconut Brownies

Um yeah. I admit that I may have been conceited about my brownie-making in the past. I even named one of my own recipes "Marry Me Brownies" because of the number of marriage proposals they've gotten me throughout the years. Count me sufficiently humbled. Chocolate Coconut Brownies {page 436} are hands down the best brownies I've ever had in my life. Everyone who tasted them agreed.

The brownies are made rich with both coconut milk and shredded coconut, and the added chocolate chips boost them to that down-right-decadent level. I used dark cocoa powder {I always do, I have a slight love affair with it}, and these dark little brownies were fudgy, moist little morsels of heaven on earth. Not only do they taste fantastic, but the smell that was wafting through my house while they baked...I cannot even describe. I could scarce keep my hands out of the oven until they were finished.

Coconut-haters obviously wouldn't find these enjoyable {although really, if you hate coconut, you are grumpy and probably not enjoying life anyway - I jest, I jest}, but I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a single other individual alive who could resist these babies.

Dozens of thumbs way, way up on this recipe {I shared the brownies with my coworkers}. I already have repeat requests for them to make an appearance at Tuesday Treats in the near future. {Every Tuesday I make treats for my coworkers and bring them into work.} I think I will selflessly oblige {and enjoy every savory lick of the batter in the process}.

-- Your Friendly Neighborhood Batgirl

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Tamari-Dijon Marinade [Pan-Seared Seitan with Herbed Potatoes]

I had just made simmered seitan (a.k.a. “wheat meat”) for the first time and was looking to do something with it aside from freaking out about how I’d just created, from flour and some vegetable stock, cutlets that looked and felt and, uh, kind of smelled disquietingly like slices of pigs. But they weren’t!

So I was ready to pan sear them and serve them alongside some herb-baked potatoes. Not, however, before marinating them in some Tamari-Dijon Marinade (page 576). I chose it because it’s composed solely out of standard-pantry ingredients. I wasn’t expecting much, given the brief list of pedestrian ingredients. To my surprise, I couldn’t’ve chosen a better marinade. Uncomplicated, it was the perfect accent to the honest simplicity of my meal.

I’ll most definitely be keeping the Tamari-Dijon Marinade in mind for the next time I need to give something a good pre-preparatory soak.

-- Ulpia, gives savory baths to slices of wheat - -

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Macadamia-Cashew Patties

Macadamia-Cashew Patties

Nothing is more stereotypical of being vegan than the ubiquitous veggie burger. Most think of the frozen variety - flat, flavorless, more like a mere apology for not being a burger than an actual food item. You all know those burgers. Well rejoice, because I'm here to tell you, Macadamia-Cashew Patties {page 119} are anything but boring.

Slightly sweet, and complex in flavor and texture, these patties could liven up any meal or gathering. They are very flavorful, and cook up nicely. My only complaint is that you have to handle them carefully or they may break apart. Treat your burger well and it will treat you well, though. At least, that's my philosophy on the matter.

I served these on thin buns w/ homemade vegan mayonnaise {see previous post}, mixed baby lettuce, slices of ripe roma tomato, and radish sprouts. This made for one healthy, sophisticated, and satisfying meal.

The Supertoddler and Ninjahusband both enjoyed them immensely. These golden little gems are definitely going into regular rotation.

-- Your Friendly Neighborhood Batgirl

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Vegan Mayonnaise

Vegan Mayonnaise

Let's be honest, mayo, any mayo, even if it's delicious homemade Vegan Mayonnaise {page 573}, is not very photogenic.

Although it will never win any beauty contests, this mayonnaise is dynamite! First off, the ingredient list is short, and is made with things I generally have on hand. The ingredients are inexpensive, to boot. Secondly, it is super fast to make! Literally 5 minutes and voila! Vegan mayo! Third, it is MUCH lower in calories and fat than your standard mayonnaise {even a vegan mayonnaise}. This stuff has no added oil or fat in it at all - not a drop! Last but not least, it is YUMMY. So yummy! It has a tangy but pleasantly smooth flavor. I don't usually like the flavor of mayo enough to really put it on much, but I can see myself becoming very addicted to this stuff. I've already used it twice today.

First off, I used it to make a delicious classic macaroni salad:

Macaroni Salad

{Please note: my cute kitty bowl. NOTE IT!}

It gave great flavor and creaminess to the dish without overwhelming the over flavors and textures. I'm sure it would be KILLER in potato salad as well.

Secondly, I decided to make my grilled corn Mexican-style by slathering some on the corn and sprinkling it with paprika:

Father's Day Dinner

You know you've got a good mayo on your hands when you like the taste of it enough to put it on your corn. This was DYNAMITE.

All in all, I am extremely thrilled to have found this lower fat, lower calorie, inexpensive, easy, and DELICIOUS alternative to store-bought vegan mayo. Try it today! You won't regret it.

-- Your Friendly Neighborhood Batgirl

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Spice Cake with Mango and Lime

Spice Cake with Mango and Lime

One of my favorite things about summer is the abundance of ripe, juicy, delicious {and cheap!} mangoes. Nearly daily you can find me standing in my kitchen, eating pieces of mango straight off the knife I used to cut it, moaning to the Ninjahusband "Oh man, is there ANYTHING on earth that tastes better than a mango?"

{In case you're curious, the answer is no. No, there is nothing on earth that tastes better than a ripe mango.}

Therefore, Spice Cake with Mango and Lime {page 451} is the perfect summery dessert.

Because I was having a crowd for dinner, I doubled the recipe to yield a two-layer cake. It was easy to throw together, standard cake protocol. The batter was really thick, but baked up beautifully.

The recipe suggests using mango puree in place of the applesauce, which I did, even though it required a trip to the Indian market to acquire said puree. It really bumped up the mango flavor, and I'm glad I went to the trouble.

The cake was heavily spiced {but not overly spiced} with cinnamon, allspice, and ginger, and those flavors complimented the mango and tangy lime perfectly.

I frosted the cake with vegan cream cheese frosting, and it paired perfectly. Everyone who tried the cake loved it - in fact, there's just one small piece sitting alone on the cake pedestal now, waiting for someone to come along and snatch it up.

I think I might be that long as my Ninjahusband-someone or my Supertoddler-someone doesn't get to it first.

-- Your Friendly Neighborhood Batgirl
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