Dinner guests


chickpea cutlets with nutritional yeast/mushroom gravy
lemony garlic potatoes and brussel sprouts

Had my mom and her husband over for dinner a little while ago. This the first time I’ve had them over for a meal that I made and also the first time they’d been to Shawn and my apartment. I had wanted to make the chickpea cutlets from Veganomicon for awhile and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

First off, I have to say I love using vital wheat gluten. It’s so much easier than spending the time taking however many cups of flour to break it down yourself. When I made these, I was only able to buy a small package at the market but as of this week they now sell it in the bulk section. Sounds like more seitan for dinner (and of course chickpea cutlets).

These were really delicious and unlike a lot of protein substitutes I’ve had. I would like to experiment using different ingredients using the same basic formula. The potatoes and brussel sprouts were also inspired from Veganomicon. While they were quite tasty, they were a bit undercooked, which I’m not sure if that was because my oven wasn’t hot enough or if I was rushing. No one complained though.


lemon poppyseed cupcakes with lemon curd filling
I also made these cupcakes for dessert. Even though I love frosting, I really enjoy making cupcakes without it whenever I can. These cupcakes from My Sweet Vegan turned out really well. They were sweet but not too sweet and I was really excited about the lemon curd filling. I didn’t have any small cookie cutters at the time to cut the holes in the tops so I just tried to cut them with a small knife. They’re not the neatest ever but I think cute nonetheless. I’m going to have to try to come up with some fun fillings for cupcakes.

squash

It’s not very often that I make genuinely pretty dinners. Especially because we love things like mashed potatoes and gravy, which while delicious, aren’t all that photogenic. At the store the other day I decided I needed to buy some squash since there was such a good selection and I’ve never really made anything with squash besides zucchini. 

So I picked out some lovely delicata squash without any idea what I would do with it. I decided that even if I couldn’t find a recipe I liked it would serve as good decoration in the mean time. Luckily I found an exciting recipe on gothamist for chickpea stuffed delicata. The chickpeas are fried and mixed with a cranberry wine syrup. It was a really nice mix of flavors and textures sweet and savory. Of course, it looked pretty too which I was pleased about. Not to mention it was quite different from the usual meals we make and very quick to prepare.

chow mein

This weekend Shawn and I went out for Chinese food at Mao’s Kitchen. They have some really good vegan options, like a harvest soup that I adore. For some reason though, every time I eat there, I can’t seem to make up my mind on what I want to eat. I think part of the problem is that while checking out the menu, I cross the noodle section and always want chow mein noodles, but of course, they’re all made with egg. Once you get in the mood for something it’s hard to get your mind on something else.Luckily, I came across some chow mein noodles at the store the next day and to my surprise they were vegan! Yay! So I whipped up some spicy chow mein with bok choy and mushrooms. So good!

I also got a ton of fun stuff at the store so I’ll be making some other exciting treats this week.

berry crumble

Here is a black raspberry and blueberry crumble I made. The important thing with this is that the crumble on top is really great and could be used with any fruit. It is great with peaches or apples or berries. I’m not usually into blueberries but I love how they look with the black raspberries and the flavors are very complimentary. Here is the recipe…

Crumble top
3/4 cups all purpose-flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup non-dairy butter

Filling
(sorry my measurements are a bit, well, sketchy)
1 bag frozen black raspberries
1 bag frozen blueberries
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp arrowroot powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Defrost the fruit in a saucepan (or microwave) and pour into pie pan. Stir in sugar and arrowroot powder until it is dissolved in the fruit juices. Set aside.

Pour dry ingredients into a bowl and combine. Cut non-dairy butter into chunks and add to bowl. Use your hands to rub the butter into the dry ingredients until they form crumbly balls. Sprinkle on top of berries.

Bake for 40 minutes or until crumbles are golden brown.

Another option with this is to leave out the arrowroot powder all together, depending on the fruit, or substitute regular flour.

I’m supposed to be posting more this month but man it’s quite a bit harder than I thought. Mainly because I spend all day in front of a computer at work and don’t really want anything to do with my laptop when I get home. I would much rather be baking. Anyway I’m trying to get back on track.

Halloween Treats!

These little ghosts might not be scary but they’re so tasty. I tested out a new recipe for cappuccino and espresso cupcakes. I happened to make these before I made dinner so I had to test out the batter…which was possibly the best ever. Seriously.

Shawn and I also decorated the sugar cookies I made last night. I think I got a little carried away but it was so much fun!

I really can’t believe how good these cupcakes are. They’re not like your typical vegan cupcake either. I’ll post a recipe when I’ve got it worked out. The espresso cupcakes turned out cakey and the cappuccino cupcakes are crispy. I’d like them to be a little more alike. I just topped them off with some regular vanilla buttercream frosting but think something a little more exciting would bring these guys to a whole new level of cupcake. You might think I’m kidding. I’m not.

All these treats are for a Halloween movie marathon we’re having. Oh and we’ll be making pizza of course. Can’t wait!