Since I may never be able to find the cable thingy that gets photos from my camera to the computer, I will resort to sending you to other blogs to see the wonderful food that awaits you. I did indeed make these dishes, but there is no photographic record on my end since I have given up all hope of being able to share photos anytime soon. In reality, I have been so incredibly busy enjoying spring with my family that I haven't really looked for said cable. I promise I will...at some point.
First up is Vegan Planet. Robin is my go to gal for a quick, yummy, inexpensive meal. She never disappoints. I love her cookbooks and she is incredibly generous on her blog posting lots of great recipes (all the more reason to run out to your local book store and buy her cookbooks, if you ask me). My husband came home from work the other night and was hoping I would have dinner hot and waiting for him on the table, per normal (insert lots and lots of laughter). The day was too nice to spend inside so the kids and I were playing at our park when he arrived home. I could tell he was pretty hungry and I had nothing at all planned, but I didn't let on. I went to Vegan Planet, found Spicy Coconut Noodles and was back on track for wife and mother of the year. My family probably thought I planned this meal in advance, but I like to fly by the seat of my pants most of the time. I used broccoli instead of peas and I didn't have cilantro or parsley (I don't usually have fresh herbs until I grow them myself), but we did buy some celery from the farmer's market. We aren't huge celery fans (we use it a lot in soups or other things, but it isn't something we go looking for unless a recipe calls for it), but we were told fresh celery is very different from the stuff we can buy in the store. The tops of the celery smelled so good so I used them in place of the cilantro/parsley and it was super yum! I am a celery convert. I think we may have to grow some next year. I also added the soy sauce, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, and ginger while I was still stir-frying the tofu and it worked really well. I might make it a tad spicier next time, but everyone loved it just the way it was.
Next, is Happy Herbivore. I promised the boys I would make Lindsay's Vegan Black Bean Brownies since her post. I just never seem to have cooked black beans and bananas at the same time in the house. We try to shop once a week and bananas disappear the day we go shopping and since we usually buy fair trade organic bananas, I don't restock them through the week. We eat a lot of beans around here...a lot. At least once a week, I soak six to eight cups of dried beans (this week it was 3 or 4 cups of black beans and 3 or 4 cups of pinto) to cook and then eat throughout the week. 1 cup of dried beans roughly equals 3 cups cooked (a can of beans is a little less than 2 cups). So, we are talking at least 18 to 24 cups of beans a week (or 9 to 12 cans of beans). You can see why we don't often eat canned beans and why when people ask how to cut down on their food budget I usually suggest buying dried beans (in bulk, if possible, we buy 25 lb bags from our buying club or local food co-op, but most natural food stores will be happy to order them in bulk as well). Now, my kids love beans. Dema and Josie often beg for a bowl of plain cooked beans while I'm cooking. Black bean burritos and black bean burgers are our quick lunch and/or dinner when I'm in a hurry. Beans and brown rice is always a hit. So, I'm not trying to sneak beans into the family, but they saw the picture of the brownies on Happy Herbivore and begged for them. I can't believe I put it off until today because they are so incredibly easy. All three kids gobbled most of them up before Rob got home tonight. I didn't put the optional sugar in and I'm glad. They were plenty sweet. The 1/3 cup of agave nectar seems excessively expensive so I might have to figure out a sub (maybe dates). I love agave nectar, but 1/3 cup in one recipe is tough for me to swallow. I would also think about using flax seeds instead of oats, but they are great for when you crave something quick and sweet and chocolaty, but also want something somewhat good for you. They are also gluten (if you have gluten free oats) and soy free for those of you avoiding gluten and/or soy. I might cut down on the cinnamon as well, but now I'm nitpicking because they are good. Rob likes desserts which aren't too sweet, but he wasn't super impressed. I think it was the gooeyness (didn't bother the rest of us) so I might work on that next time. He wasn't surprised when I told him they were made with black beans because that is how I roll, but I don't think he would have guessed on his own. I've made desserts with lima beans before from David's Pure Vegetarian Kitchen, but it has been a while. I think I'll try the Vegan White Bean Strawberry Blondies next, but I'll make the brownies again. The kids will make sure I do.