Thursday, October 2, 2008

Vegan MoFo 1 & 2!

No, I just couldn't watch everyone else do it and not join in (that's right, I'm one of those). Actually, I had every intention of doing my first entry last night, but it sort of sizzled out after I watched this really mediocre movie called Smart People. Heard of it? It was OK... but it fizzled, and I fizzled, and you know. I went to sleep.

So, as a result, this post is going to be filled with food and pictures. Part of the reason for that is because I think Phil and I spend too much on food, so I've decided to start making as many things from scratch as I can. Mind you, I go through this phase fairly often and it usually fizzles, too! But I'm hoping this will stick for at least a little while. Because I'm broke. At any rate, this decision means that I have a lot of cooking/ baking to do, so I started today after work, and I'm pretty proud of the results.

But first I wanted to share another Phil Meal, made and eaten last night:

Fancy pasta by Maestri Pastai, which is made in Italy and therefore is super expensive. Well, the bag (1.1 lbs.) was $5.50 or so, so I guess that's expensive but not super expensive. Phil made the marinara, and "meat"balls from GimmeLean, ground beef style. If you're interested in making meatballs from this stuff, I suggest heavily seasoning it and maybe adding some bread crumbs, or something that will give some variation to the texture!

And then I made a salad:

Using a dressing on the back of an Eden Soy carton of soy/rice milk. Not bad: walnuts, pepitas, cremini schrooms and dried Turkish apricots over a bed of fresh spinach.

So, what did I do today? Well...

I made granola:
Rolled oats, rolled rye flakes, cashews, almonds, pepitas and dried Turkish apricots, with very little sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and a wet mix of molassas, juice, applesauce and water. Most granola is so sweet, but this is not, and that's great by my book.

... dinner tonight:
Mashed potatoes, frozen chopped spinach sauteed with garlic and olive oil, and the Southern Fried Tofu from Vegan Vittles. This was awwwwesome.

And my biggest achievment today:

Vegan Dad's Farm-Style Whole Wheat Bread. Just as his recipe/blog entry boasts, this loaf is light, soft, and versatile. The dough was really easy to work with, it rose beautifully, and the end product is great (even if my loaves aren't perfect!) I'm looking forward to making this bread often and mastering it (and maybe adding some yummy seeds, too)! I'm freezing one loaf, and eating the other this week.

Happy MoFo, y'all!


Alice (in Veganland) said...

Argh, we also spend a lot in groceries, and I have to start saving for my unemployment month/s... For me, more than making everything from scratch, the trick would be to eat everything that's in the pantry! I'm sure I have enough food for a couple of months...
Your bread looks really good, it's a shame that I'm not a bread eater (I've never been, it ends up stale every single time).
Have fun with VeganMoFo!

EmLit said...

I have that movie on my queue, I'll probably watch it regardless. I've also found that the gimme lean sausage style makes really good meatballs. I prefer it to the ground beef style, actually. Mike used to roll in some red pepper flakes and (I think) some parmesan cheese from time to time, I'm sure you could do the same with a substitute. They are especially good if you cook them with the sauce for a bit. I am so hungry.

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Oh yay for homemade bread! Mine's all gone at the moment; can I have some of yours?

Claire said...

Char, have you tried beanballs from veganomicon? beans are always cheaper than gimme lean and the most expensive thing in the recipe is wheat gluten, and you could probably replace half that with regular flour and just knead extra long to make the balls. or maybe throw in some TVP? i find that fake meat is the most expensive, as well as snack and conveinience food. so i've been buying less junk food and making subs (oven baked tortilla chips from FFV rock) and buying cans and even dried beans instead of fake meat.

sometimes i forget to cook what's in the fridge, or eat what's in the pantry, so meal planning helps. even just looking in your cupboards and saying- "okay, coconut milk something monday, tomato sauce based whatever on tuesday" can be helpful. it takes effort for me to not be so emotional about what i want to eat that night- "that doesn't sound good" comes up often. but, if you have fresh ingredients and good recipes, you can usually talk yourself into anything once you start cooking. and homemade beans tasted way better than canned.

my next things are to get rid of the other convenience foods like tj's pre-cooked brown rice, which i suck at making but the packaging is wasteful, and spray oil. it's so wasteful and i don't actually think it saves you many calories with as much you need to use to help things brown or not stick. there, that just made me quit them. and i can try to make rice in the pressure cooker on sundays for the week. okay, long enough. hope some of these ideas help!

Binx said...

hi claire!

I have started to cook beans more, but i STILL don't have veganomicon, believe it or not, so i haven't made the bean balls! we try not to eat much processed fake meat or dairy, since it is expensive, and everything tastes better when it's homemade anyways... but i do have a few naughty indulgences, like tofutti better-than-cream cheese and tofurky deli slices (they're so thin! i love that). Phil always uses waaaaay too much when he cooks with fake meat, like once he put an entire package of tofurky deli slices on my sandwich, and i ate most of it without realizing, feeling sort of gross and not knowing why!

so, needless to say, i agree with everything you just wrote.

hope to see you soon...

ashley said...

Look at all of your cooking! Good for you! That pasta looks so interesting. I'm always tempted to buy those fancy, expensive pastas!

Bethany said...

It all looks so good!

I have vegan vittles, but have never made their southern fried tofu - which is lame because I love that dish.

That pasta looks really cool. reminds me of a fancy wagon wheel pasta - which is one of my favorite shapes for mac 'n cheese.