Thursday, February 10, 2011


So, a slight diversion from the healthier theme of my cooking - brownies!! I found what proved to be quite a tasty vegan brownie recipe on I was a little apprehensive, because of the amount of oil - 1/2 cup oil with 1/2 cup water, 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar... I only use olive oil, and there was a pretty strong taste of olive oil when the batter was raw, but the end product is very good :-)

I made a half recipe, used Hershey's Special Dark cocoa, and added about half a cup of Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips. Baked it in a cake pan, because I couldn't find any square pans! The recipe said it would be gooey, which this wasn't, but, my oven isn't the most consistent with its temperature, so it might have been hotter than intended.

Here is a picture - I love the contrast with the chocolate chips being lighter than the bread!
no idea why half the picture's dark...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Anasazi (Fava Bean) Chili with Quinoa

A timely post! Tonight, I made a different kind of chili...

Recipe Source: Vegan Planet: 400 Irresistible Recipes with Fantastic Flavors from Home and Around the World by Robin Robertson
    "Anasazi Chili with Quinoa" - page 320

I didn't have anasazi beans, or either of the alternatives it suggested - pinto or kidney, which was weird - usually, I have loads of black, pinto, and kidney beans. Guess I need to go to the grocery with a list!! I decided to go with fava beans, though. Go figure, I have a somewhat more obscure bean... A few pages back in this cookbook, it said that fava beans are meaty, and this recipe said that anasazi is a "sweet, meaty bean." Close enough, right?
I also didn't have the small red bell pepper it called for, so I used a can of chopped mild green chilies.

This is a relatively standard chili - some chopped onion cooked until soft in olive oil, add the spices (chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt), add chopped/diced tomatoes, beans, and water, let simmer for a bit. I used a can of no-salt-added diced tomatoes and a can of fava beans. I don't think I gave it the full 30min of simmer time it called for, but it seems to have been long enough - probably closer to 10-15min. Serve over cooked quinoa. I made a half recipe, and that seems to have been a good amount of food for 2.

It seems to have turned out pretty well - a bit spicy, but that seems to be a common theme with Robin Robertson's cookbooks - her chilies have a nice kick to them - not a bad thing at all! My brother liked it too! I like the combination of quinoa and the chili - much better than rice. And the fava beans became very tender with cooking. This is definitely a recipe to repeat!

Here are pictures --
Starting to simmer...

Ready to eat. You can't really see it, but there's quinoa underneath...

Penne (or Rotini...) With Creamy Asparagus Sauce

This is rather delayed, but I still wanted to post this... This is from early in January 2011.

Recipe Source: 1,000 Vegan Recipes, By Robin Robertson, ©2009
    "Penne With Creamy Asparagus Sauce" - page 207

I made a rather tasty pasta meal - it was Pasta (I used rotini) with "Creamy" Asparagus Sauce. It was quite good, however, the term creamy is a bit of a stretch. It was mostly a combination of cannellini beans and asparagus, half of it chopped up in the food processor (i.e. blender, since I didn't have a food processor at that point), and then mixed into the un-blended portion. Seeing as I followed the recipe pretty carefully, I'm not sure what texture it should have been, but it sure wasn't the creamy I was expecting... I was expecting something more the texture of an alfredo sauce. I will probably try this recipe again, next time, with fresh, instead of frozen, asparagus. And with plain, instead of original Silk soy milk as the liquid.
Here are pictures - it looks kinda weird, but it really was tasty!!
Minus the pasta, all cooked...

Ready to eat!

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Welcome to my new blog. I decided, after watching the movie Julie & Julia, that it would be cool to do something similar. You should really watch that movie if you haven’t… I plan to cook my way through a vegan cookbook, trying each general recipe at least once. Meaning, I’ll try any main ingredient once, but if I really don’t like it, then I’ll skip other similar recipes, or substitute that ingredient. I will try to post something each time I cook, including a picture or 2, or 10…

This goes along with a goal to try eating more vegan foods. I don’t necessarily feel that strongly about being vegan, but I know that I eat a lot better when I have something rather strict to focus on. And, I felt so much better during this past November when I decided to try sticking to a vegan diet for a month. I made it almost a month before finding myself at my parents’ house for Thanksgiving. That month was amazing. I lost a little weight, had more energy because I was eating better, and felt better about myself in general. I really think the vegan aspect was relevant – I have eaten what I would define as a very healthful omnivorous diet before, and didn’t feel anywhere near the effect.

I am also making a point to get some physical activity, most days of the week, so I may throw in some pictures/commentary from that too. General life may well trickle in as well, but I’ll try to keep tags accurate.

Comments, suggestions, etc are certainly very welcome. As I have benefited greatly from other people’s blogs in the past, I intend to keep this blog public,  however, comments will be moderated to the best of my (reasonable) ability.