Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Cabin Fever = Too Much Cooking

Last week I was sick and missed work Thursday and Friday. Saturday we had four inches of rain. Sunday we got the arctic blast. Monday I went to work, but the roof had collapsed in 2 places from all the rain and we had to go home. Tuesday it sleeted and snowed (really!) and the entire city shut down. I finally got to the office today at noon. While stuck at home, I went through all my cookbooks, cleaned, and cooked to stay warm and busy. Here's what it looked like from my front porch yesterday afternoon. Yes, this is all it takes to bring Austin to its knees.

I don't remember when I cooked all this stuff, so I'll just put up the pics and briefly comment.

These are mini tofu puffs I found at the asian market. They come in a big bag and are terribly cute.

All I knew about them is they need to simmer in something to take on flavor, so I put them in potato soup. They tasted very similar to dumplings, but definitely had a deep fried flavor.

I also got a package of kung pao "chicken" from the asian market. I made a stirfry, but this stuff looked and felt so much like real chicken it freaked me out. The flavor was great, but see how it looks exactly like shredded chicken? I keep adding veggies to this stirfry and telling myself it's not really chicken, but I don't think I'll ever be able to finish it.

Pumpkin lentil soup and salad lunch.

Peasant's meal of my crockpot pinto beans with brown texmati rice and shredded Brussels sprouts.

Broccoli with hemp seeds.

Roasted cauliflower.

Raw fruit dessert - bananas, cherries, and raw chocolate.

Three Sisters Stew (plus edamame) over texmati rice.

In going through all my cookbooks I rediscovered some great books, including a bread book that had a recipe for quinoa bread. I love this bread! It baked up beautifully. It's light in texture and the quinoa got crispy like nuts or seeds would.

Maybe tonight for dinner I can lay out a buffet of leftover soup, bread, sprouts, cauliflower, beans, rice, and stew, but not kung pao chicken!


laura k said...

I definitely loooove to cook at home when the weather's freezing--it makes the place so cozy! Everything, as always, looks spectacular, but I especially like the soup and salad meal--looks so healthy. And the beans and rice and Brussels sprouts looks good too. I may even be convinced to try Brussels sprouts again--I've never liked them before.

Quinoa bread? That sounds fantastic!

Emmy said...

I hope you're feeling better. What miserable weather. How scary about the roof collapsing in spots at your work!

Wow, the kung pao "chicken" really does look like real chicken. Freaky! Oooh, the pumpkin lentil soup looks fab. What a perfect loaf of bread. How neat the bread has quinoa in it. That's really interesting :)

erica said...

Wow, so much food. We had three inches of snow here this week and I WISH they would have let me stay home. Alas, the ships never stop sailing around :(

I made a quinoa sunflower seed type bread when I was GF and baking my own breads. It was very dense but good.

Judy said...

I always love looking at your food pictures. It all looks so good.

I got freaked out by TVP chunks once before, when I wasn't even veggie. It just reminded me too much of really chewy chicken, like tendons or something. I never ate it again - TVP chunks, that is; I eat chicken all the time.

Quinoa bread sounds really interesting. I'm assuming you used flour as well...?

Anonymous said...

Yum!! Everything looks so good. Perfect comfort food for a vegan. :)

I am definitely going to try the shredded brussel sprouts. You're the 2nd (or 3rd) person to talk about them lately and I'm intrigued. How did you cook them exactly?

I just saw this big article on roasted cauliflower in a magazine this month. I couldn't wait to try it but cauliflower was so expensive here during my last shopping trip, I decided to wait to make it. Did you like the way it tasted?

aTxVegn said...

Judy, I kept looking for veins in that "chicken"! For the bread I used cooked quinoa and a mix of whole wheat and bread flour.

Crystal, I did a post on Sept. 29 with complete instructions for the Brussels sprouts. Ever since I prepared them this way, it's the only way I like to eat them. And I don't know what's up with the price of cauliflower - one day it's 1.99 a head, the next it's $3 a pound! This may sound weird, but when I roast it with a little garlic and salt, I think it tastes like popcorn and I even pick at it room temp like a popcorn snack.

bazu said...

ooh, all your food looks so good, I wish I could stop by for the buffet. Mmmmm. I have to admit, I do have a thing for mock meats- especially at Asian restaurants when they're *so* realistic, I find them fascinating! (I once had mock fish with an actual skin made out of nori- so crazy but so good). Feel better soon!

Crystal said...

Ok, I have to laugh about your weather situation. I did some work in Austin for a few months for the good 'ol government back in 2002. When it rains in Austin, it POURS!!! It's unbelievable and one of the most amazing things as a visitor.

However, as a worker when your roof leaks, it sucks. Since we were on a contract deadline, there could be no downtime...I remember cutting up a garbage bag and taping it over my cube so the drips would roll off and land on the floor instead of landing on me. It was a ridiculous scene, but was like that for a week. Crazy memories.


Kati said...

That "chicken" really does look like chicken! J won't touch anything that's meaty like that, but I don't mind so much. I recently had some really good fake wings. mm mmm

Your buffet sounds delicious! The bread looks great, too. I love crunchy things in baked goods. I made some muffins with millet in them once and they were incredible - I bet the quinoa would produce a similar effect.

Kris said...

Wow, you may have been stuck at home, but you were definitely not without food!

We had 3 inches of snow in Portland on Tuesday morning and it shut us down for 2 days, so I hear you. This El Nino is doing some crazy things this winter... but global warming isn't real... :P

That bread recipe sounds interesting, quinoa? What sorts of flours do you normally use in your baking to avoid gluten?

Amey said...

Yumola! I love that salad and pumpkin soup... also the quinoa bread. Really, the food you makes always looks so delicious and healthy and flavorful - perfect!

aTxVegn said...

Hi, Kris. The sun hasn't shone here in 10 days. It's not icing anymore, but it's still raining - yuk!

I normally bake with oats and store bought GF mix - Bob's Red Mill or Arrowhead Mills, both are great. Otherwise, I bake with whole wheat, take a bite, and then give the loaf away.

Thanks, Amey!

Ruthie said...


My parents got iced in their house, too!!!!! :) My sister said she had to scrape half an inch of ice off her car with nothing but her old student ID. Hee-hee, REVENGE!!!!! :) Just kidding... it was always so fun when it iced up in San Antonio. People go absolutely nuts!

That fake chicken looks like it would make FANTASTIC shredded "chicken" tacos!! Maybe I can get you to send me some!? There are no Asian markets within like 500 miles of here. :) I haven't had a good chicken-like taco (think Taco Cabana) in over 11 years. Chicken tacos were one of the first foods I ever learned how to cook, when I was in the 6th grade. Email me if you're interested in being my fake-chicken-hook-up. :) veganruthie * yahoo * com.


Anonymous said...

As always, your food looks terrific! What does roasted cauliflower taste like - do you have to spice it up a lot? It looks really good.

Candi said...

Aww, that photo of the weather doesn't seem like enough to cause a stir, but it must be for your area! I'm glad it gave you lots of time in the kitchen anyhow! That seemed to work out well!

I love all the foods, but mostly the raw fruit salad!! Raw chocolate on top makes it too perfect!! lol! :)

Harmonia said...

Everything looks wonderful!

Anonymous said...

How funny! You must have been both the 1st and the 2nd person to blog about the roasted cauliflower. That cracks me up. I hate it when I see a recipe I like and think about making it later and then forget where I saw it. But with so many blogs, it's hard to keep everyone straight.