I tried to post this two nights ago....
I have to admit, when I first bought "Vive le Vegan" by Dreena Burton, I thought the recipes looked too difficult, or sounded too bland, or (a popular reaction on my part) contained too many ingredients that I didn't have pantry-ready.
However, I have changed my tune for sure! As part of the November cookbook challenge over at
Veggin' Out, I was determined to make use of this still-fresh-looking vegan cookbook.
My first recipe, which I'll admit isn't that easy to do in a blender (even if it is a Vita Mix), was the Sunflower Lentil Pie.
I had one mishap - my lentils absorbed all the water sooner than I realized and burned to the bottom of one of my pans - total mess! But I managed to get it cleaned up quickly. However, once the lentils were done, the food processor/blender does the rest of the work. Be prepared for many stops and starts, as this is a very sticky mix. Many different things season the pie, including ketchup and tamari (I used Bragg's).
I had some steamed, haricot vert green beans (frozen from TJs) and some mashed sweet potatoes - my favorite! - along with the meal
The pie was absolutely delicious. It also makes a wonderful, week-long meal. I've been cubing it up and putting it in my lunch box. I swear it tastes like meat loaf, minus the meat. Although, I think the similarity comes from the sweet, ketchup looming in the background. This still keeps some good crunch to it as well.
Here's a picture of my lunch. I've been taking something simliar every day this week.
I made the recommended sesame mustard dressing for the pie - and it was perfect. A tangy dressing featuring tahini, dijon mustard, agave nectar, garlic and apple cider vinegar really added to the mellow flavors of the pie. Also, I used my immersion blender for the first time in a while - I've been missing out!
I also made a dessert - the Pineapple Lemon Bars. These were yummy! Although, I can't seem to find unsweetened, shredded coconut, so I had to use some with sugar - I should have just decided to make something else, but I really wanted these. I may look into ordering coconut online, because I like baking with it. I didn't post any pictures of this because I didn't get any good shots.
I've also been getting creative with my side salad plate presentation. It's fun to make simple things pretty for yourself. I'm in the process of using up this bagged salad from TJ's - and I'm not getting it again. It's the herb salad mix and it just had too many flavors mingling for my taste in a salad.
In other news - as I mentioned in my previous post - we got a new fridge! I'm getting used to the shape. It's a little thinner than our previous one, but sticks out more. Look at how much more ridiculous this makes my kitchen look:
I like the way the fridge part is arranged:
But the freezer is a little tight:
Okay, really tight.
I'm very intrigued by the extra space this gives me to the left of the fridge. It's completely hidden from view, which has its pluses. I bought two cheap, particle board cubby shelves and put them together over the weekend. It fit perfectly and still offered some space for the recycling bags. I hate seeing unused space.
This is a crappy picture, but the cubby shelf is almost as tall as the fridge and I'm planning on placing my small appliances (mini processor, immersion blender, etc.) along with some other stuff. Haven't quite figured out exactly how I'm going to organize everything. My goal is to get my kitchen organized and as efficient as possible, because it's very small, which makes for crazy cooking sometimes.
Another update - my gym habit is going well. Although, just as I was keeping to my promises, which include going to the gym every day after work and packing a healthy, vegan lunch everyday, I came home after work today and bought some Thai spring rolls (veggie, of course) from my favorite spot and a soda - ack! I'd done very well for the past week, but it's time for my period, which makes me weak for fried spring rolls. I didn't go to the gym tonight either, because I'm so sore from a workout yesterday. I tried working out with one of those blow up balls that you balance on, and lemme tell ya, it's not easy. I have new respect for the balance ball.
Whew...that was a very long post, but I had plenty to update. I may have some more exciting news soon, as well as more food posts - stay tuned!