Sunday, January 20, 2008

Food, Glorious Food

We are on an Oliver kick here lately. Parker likes to go around singing the songs from Oliver! and we've also seen Oliver Twist and we are working on reading the book. Oliver comes up almost every meal these days. It really has hit an empathy cord with Parker and he seems to have a new appreciation of the abundance of food we have available to us.

I haven't blogged about food for a while so I'll catch up now on some of what we've actually documented. Although I don't know it was all "glorious", it was all yummy!

Last weekend we had a gaggle of neighborhood kids in an out of the house all day. I was cooking for Pasta E Fagioli from Veganomicon (I used whole wheat shells and canned butter beans I had on hand) for my kids as a snack and Parker invited them all to eat. The kids who tried it (one said he didn't like anything "vegan" so he just ate an orange, which of course is vegan, but I didn't point that out), loved it and had seconds. I also had baked tofu on the table for when my kids were dashing around they might grab some. This was a hit with the neighbor kids as well. I wish I had a picture of them all eating it up, but this is just a picture I took of Parker's plate with some flax oil drizzled and nutritional yeast sprinkled on top and baked tofu on the side. Later in the day, a couple more neighbor kids were added to the mix and I decided to make some hot chocolate from scratch to warm them up. I was inspired by some blogs I'd read and the recipe in The Joy of Vegan Baking. Rob watched me poor an entire back of vegan chocolate chips, about 4 cups of soy milk, 2 teaspoons of vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a saucepan and stir until it came out as the most decadent hot cocoa I've ever tasted. It was actually a little too rich for some of them to finish it (Parker and the oldest girl had no problems). I didn't have any vegan marshmallows so I put out a bunch of bananas and sliced apples and the kids dipped them in the cocoa (Dema also dipped some orange slices and plain tofu in his, but he is like that). All the bananas and apples were gone and the kids were pretty happy. I hope they weren't too hopped up on caffeine and sugar when they went home. I've decided this hot chocolate is for adults unless I cut it more with soy milk for the kids. When it cooled it was almost like a pudding. The kids thanked me at the end of the day for all they yummy eats.

Here is a random breakfast picture with pancakes (which I've gone from making once a year to making at least once a week) from The Joy of Vegan Baking and vegetable tempeh pan fried in Bragg's Liquid Aminos. I prefer the plain tempeh, but this was good and we ate what was left over as sandwiches for lunch (this is only half of the pancakes because the boys had already eaten the rest and none of them were left over). Speaking of pancakes, I made FatFree Vegan's Golden Spice Pancakes for dessert the other night. The kids really liked them, but I don't have pictures. The batter was very dry so I added 1/2 cup more orange juice and I didn't have any oranges so I used orange extract instead of orange zest.

Josie doesn't want to be left out of all the fun and has started to bring whatever we have in our hand to her mouth. Here Rob is sharing his apple with her. She's been teething (I can feel two pointy teeth on the bottom, but don't see them yet) so this is probably just to make her gums feel good, but she loves to suck and teeth on apples. I hope to delay solids, but she may take after Dema and start feeding herself before she has teeth. She gets very vocal when you take her apple away. She likes to suck on carrots as well, but I will limit it to these two foods for a while. We don't have any allergies, but I have a lot of friends who do and I'd like to be careful.

I was inspired by Lindy Loo's post to make Quinoa Puttanesca the other day. I'm linking to the Post Punk Kitchen recipe since Lindy's post on it was a little, well...this is a family blog after all, but we enjoy her blog and if you aren't faint of heart check it out. If you would rather your recipes be G-rated then go to the link above. I just thought I should give credit where credit is due since I don't have time to hang out at the Post Punk Kitchen, I rely on other vegan bloggers to sift through all the recipes for me. Back to the Puttanesca, well a combo of Puttanesca and Arrabiata from Nona's Italian Kitchen is my "go to" pasta sauce. Everyone enjoys it and I can whip it up in a few minutes. I never thought of serving it over quinoa before, just whole wheat pasta or gnocchi. I made the sauce in the recipe instead of my own, but I didn't have a 1/2 cup of capers! so I just used what was left in my jar. The recipe called for 1/4 cup white whine and I am embarrassed to admit I had to call Rob to figure out how to open the bottle of wine. I haven't opened a bottle myself for a long time, but I finally got it. We will definitely have this again and I suggest mixing the quinoa into the sauce instead of just pouring the sauce over the quinoa. Quick, easy, and everyone liked it. Here is Dema enjoying a lunch of Quinoa Puttanesca, carrots w/peanut butter, and an apple.

Speaking of quinoa, I made a dessert of quinoa, frozen bananas (the melted into the quinoa at it heated), cinnamon, vanilla, and dates the other night inspired by Qunioa Breakfast from the Vegan Family Favorites. I warmed up the leftovers for breakfast next morning with added rice milk. Sorry, no picture.

I finally made the Pumpkin Baked Ziti with Carmelized Onions and Sage Crumb Topping from Veganomicon Saturday which everyone in the vegan blogging world has been raving about. It was very good, but I would cut up the onions a bit more for my boys. My sister and her boyfriend came over for dinner and I have to confess this picture is after we all ate so the kale is the tiny bit which was left over so the plate looks a little sparse. Rob steamed the kale with garlic and as usual it was d-lish so it was almost gone when I got around to the picture. I made the Apple Pecan Coffee Cake from Vegan Family Favorites (actually, the boys made it and I helped out), but it took forever to get done so I took this picture with Dema almost attacking me to get to the coffee cake with Soy Delicious vanilla soy cream on top. The boys really just wanted to eat the apples out of the coffee cake so I should have just baked some apples. I used walnuts instead of pecans. When I make this again, I'll chop the apples smaller and add a lot more of them. I don't know why it took forever for it to finish cooking. Our oven temperature is not accurate, but I tried to compensate for this.

Rob soaked some chickpeas last night and I had some potatoes I needed to use up so I made Chana Saag Aloo from Vegan Mania (thanks Lisa for introducing me to this great site). I would add more potatoes and use kale instead of spinach next time. I also made Cauliflower Dal with Panch Phoran from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen since she so highly recommended it. Rob had to go buy the panch phoran and some fresh spinach so he picked up some whole wheat roti while he was out. I served the curries over brown basmati rice. Parker took this picture of his plate and he ate two more plates like this before the day was over. I have been craving Indian food so this hit the spot.


A. said...

Hello! I surfed to here from another vegan site (I forget which one) a while back and just wanted to leave a comment that I love your blog! It's become one of my daily reads. I'm a vegetarian, but a lot of people in my family are vegan. I don't have kids yet (soon, I hope!), but it's great to read about what you feed your kids. Thanks for writing a great blog.

VeganLinda said...

A., So glad you like it! It is a lot of fun and nice to know people read it. :-)

Leeanthro said...

How do you bake your tofu? One of our early adventures in vegetarianism resulted in slimy tofu and it turned my husband off. But he likes the tofu from Green Jade. I think my daughter would like the baked tofu. Any suggestions for a dipping sauce that a 3-year-old would like?


VeganLinda said...

Leeanthro, the secret to good baked (or fried for that matter) tofu is a. buying the right type of tofu (not silken...I like White Wave without the water) b. pressing the water out of the tofu prior to baking (just put tofu (out of the package of course) wrapped in a towel between two plates with something heavy on top of the plate to press it down. There are a lot of great marinade recipes out there and then bake. For this quick one I just did Bragg's, orange juice, and nutritional yeast, but there are a ton of great ways to make tofu taste delish.

VeganLinda said...

Oh I forgot, dipping sauce. Well, my 3 year old would dip anything in Drew's Tahini Goddess salad dressing (one of his favorite snacks is steamed broccoli with this), but I know that isn't probably what you were thinking. He also eats tofu right out of the package and dipped it in his hot cocoa the other day so maybe I'm not a good one to ask. Seriously, there are several dipping sauces we like...I'll try to post about them this week.

half pint pixie said...

oooh that chaana saag aloo looks yum! I've added it to my list of must-cooks.
Hot-choc wise, if you use some coconut milk in it, it is rather amazing :) Found that out courtesy of Dreena Burton's latest book, yum!

VeganLinda said...

Half Pint Pixie,
I have Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan, but I can't find it (I have cookbooks all over the house since I read them like novels). I will have to do coconut milk the next time I have hot cocoa and hopefully I'll find Dreena's book soon.