Sunday, March 18, 2007

Green (but not Irish) Food

We’re not Irish, but if we can celebrate with food, we will! We’re a day late, but for dinner tonight we had a green meal.

Okay, I did make IRISH Soda Bread. I got the recipe off Vegweb. This was my first time to make it and I’ve never eaten it before. I’m not sure if it turned out right, but the texture was dense and chewy and for a plain bread, surprisingly flavorful.

Appetizer, a green salad - Broccoli Salad.

Mixed greens with lightly steamed broccoli florets, red onion, sundried tomatoes, raisins, and toasted pumpkin seeds, and a citrus garlic dressing. Confession: I squeezed an orange into my favorite fatfree garlic dressing. What could be better than a broccoli salad!

On the side, Garlic Mashed Lima Beans (why not?) ….

1 bag cooked limas, 3 cloves garlic, soymilk, a tiny bit of EB, and S&P, all blended together in the food processor because they didn’t mash very easily with a masher. These were just as good as any mashed potatoes, and in my mind much healthier.

For the entrée, Blackened Chik’n and Tempeh with Avocado Cream. I used the recipe for Blackened Tempeh from Real Food Daily to season and bake Lightlife Chik’n Strips (just had to try them!) and tempeh strips. The strips were served over avocado cream and drizzled with a maple soy sauce, both recipes I got from the April Bon Appetit and both delicious. The marinade and blackening seasoning were excellent, really spicy. You could have a little of the avocado cream to keep it spicy or a lot to mellow it out. The chik’n and tempeh were equally delicious. Our green plate.....

And for dessert, Green Apple and Green Grape Pie in an oatmeal crust.

Kinda weird looking, huh? This was totally experimental. I sliced the apples into a bowl and tossed in the grapes. I used your basic apple pie spices and some fresh nutmeg, a little brown sugar and cornstarch, and mixed altogether. Then I picked out the apples and layered the slices onto the crust, then put the grapes over the apples. I wasn’t sure how long it should bake, so I just baked it until the apples were soft, about 40 minutes. The sweet green grapes paired perfectly with the tart apples, and the texture contrast of soft apples and plump grapes popping in your mouth was…. unusual, but nice! We did have a little trouble with the grapes rolling off of our forks. Here’s a slice.

Earlier this week I made an Indian Chickpea and Rice recipe that I got in my Veg Times email. I used quinoa instead of rice.

It wasn’t near as spicy and flavorful as what I made last week, but it was a good weeknight meal. The recipe called for raisins, so I used some red raisins I found at the store. (I used them in the broccoli salad too.) They’re new, have you seen them and/or tried them? They’re really red and I think they taste pretty good!

I also made a spicy tempeh and broccoli stirfry and a cold cucumber and tomato salad to go with it.

My sister and nephews arrive tomorrow from Alabama for a week long visit, and Chase will be out of town on Sunday, so I’m not sure how much cooking I’ll get to do or if I’ll have much time at the computer. I’ll leave you for now with VCTOTW chocolate cupcakes with white icing, Aunt Diann’s welcome for her nephews. Not my best work, but I think the boys will like the cute sprinkles – dinosaurs, fish, stars & moons, etc.

Have a great week!


KleoPatra said...

Diann, i love yer greens! The more green the merrier, i say.

That pie is kooky. i love it!!

The spicy tempeh dish with the broccoli looks awesome. I'm a big fan of cukes 'n' tomatoes in a cool salad.

Nice soda bread, too. Very interesting; i've never had that.

I love the blue pad/placemat your myriad lovely items are on. A royal blue colour, pretty.

LOVE THE CUPCAKES!!! The toppings are all unique and look so good. Wonderful Aunt Diann! Nice of you to make those for the nephews and your sis.

(P.S. My mom was born on St. Patrick's Day but we also celebrated it (her b'day) as you did (St. Pat's Day), a day late! No worries.)

Anonymous said...

Your tempeh plate is presented so beautifully. I like Kleo's description of your pie - kooky! It is and it looks/sounds wonderful. Plus, it's totally in keeping with your green theme.

I hope you have a nice visit with your family. If all else, at least you have cupcakes! You can overdose on sugar and be high the whole visit. Tee hee!

bazu said...

Happy st. Paddy's day! I love Irish soda bread. Mashed lima beans sound good to me! I've always wanted to try mashed peas, too. And I agree with Kleo and Crystal, a very artful plate. When I first saw the photo of your pie, I didn't have a clue what it was, but once I read your description, I fell in love- I must try a piece!
Have a great visit with your family- they will love the cupcakes, for sure.

funwithyourfood said...

happy st pattys :)

as per usual, i love any and all cupcake

springsandwells said...

Mashed lima beans?? That's cool!!! They look so, so beautiful and such an enchanting color. It looks like you had a super fun St. Patrick's day.

Thanks for the red raisin tip, I'll keep my eyes out for them!

I hope your cupcakes go over well!

Twisted Cinderella said...

Love the food! It looks wonderful. I love how creative you were with the pie!

SusanV said...

I love the mashed lima beans. It's going to the top of my "to-make" list!

Have a great time with your family.

Veg-a-Nut said...

Your mashed lima beans are awesome! I am going to make those for sure. Maybe DH will eat them and not know. Your St. Patty's meal looks great. Actually everything looks great. I torture myself every morning at work looking at everyones posts and wish I was at home cooking. Thanks for sharing!

Emmy said...

That Broccoli Salad looks yummy! I love any salad with toasted pumpkin seeds. I've never seen mashed lima beans before. What a nifty idea! All the food looks delish. I hope you have a lovely visit with your sister and nephews. Those cupcakes are so cute. I wish my aunt would make me vegan cupcakes....she just buys non-vegan Sam's Club cupcakes. Ick!

Kati said...

That pie is too cool! You're so creative, Diann. I'm sure your nephews will love the cupcakes...and if they don't, then you can send them my way! ;) I will have to try the mashed lima beans - they look very pretty.

madeinalaska said...

Oh Diann you are just full of surprises aren't you? First w/ the smashed lima beans then w/ the pie.
A+ for being so creative!

laura jesser said...

Oh, your plating is so lovely for your green meal--you could be an Iron Chef contender with that! And the meal sounds delicious--how creative to have mashed limas (and the chik'n and tempeh with avocado sauce, mmm). The pie sounds totally weird but cool, and I bet it would taste pretty good--I can see apples and grapes going together! You are so creative!

scottishvegan said...

What a delicious looking dinner! The grape and apple pie looks fantastic! Like Bazu I couldn’t figure out what it was from the photo! You are so inventive!

Anonymous said...

How nice that your sister and her family are coming to visit. I'm sure they'll love your welcome cupcakes.

I wasn't sure what was on top of your pie. It kind of looks like blanched almonds -- what a great idea to use grapes.

I hope you have a nice visit with your family.

vko said...

What a lovely green dinner! The lima beans are brilliant- what a beautiful color.

All your food looks delicious. Those cupcakes look pretty damn good for not being your best work, I would buy one or three or nine.

Anonymous said...

all looks great , but certainly the pie looks very different and good, i like it. you are very creative!

Mikaela said...

Oh. My. Goodness. I have never seen grapes in a pie like that! :)

Susan said...

This is what you call "eating green." ;) Every dish looks delicious, though I must admit, I'm especially drawn to the apple and grape dessert. What a fantastic idea! Thanks! Looks like your company is in a for a treat.

aTxVegn said...

Thanks, everybody! I've officially renamed the pie "Kookie Pie"! I asked Chase to get it out of the fridge when it was dessert time and said "Remember, it doesn't look like pie. Just look for a pie plate." He came back in with it and said "Good thing you told me that cuz I would have never found it."

Melody said...

yay! It was you who did the mashed limas! Thanks for the great idea! We loved it. I'm going to link this post to my post..

Karina said...

I love the mashed limas, too. I made refried limas [we call them butter beans] the other night and they were fab.

Question: Where do you find gluten-free seitan? I thought all seitan was made from wheat gluten?

I know there is some gluten-free tempeh out there, but I've not seen GF seitan.


aTxVegn said...

Hi, Karina. I make seitan with a combination of flours, but it does contain mostly wheat gluten. I make it for my son. And I am diagnosed as gluten intolerant, not celiac. So if I just give food with gluten a taste, I'm not damaging myself (although I realize it's not good for me).

- Diann :)

Karina said...

Hi Diann,

Ah, okay. I wondered. :-)

I must be honest here, I worry about newly diagnosed celiacs and young celiac vegans reading "gluten-free vegan" in your blog title and assuming that recipes with seitan and spelt are safe and gluten-free. [It's so confusing when you're first diagnosed, trying to learn wwhich grains are safe, and which grains are toxic.]

For those with celiac [like me] even a crumb of gluten triggers the immune system to attack the body.

I'd hate for anyone to get sick from a misunderstanding - as I'm sure you would.

I know that is not your intention.