Monday, May 07, 2007

Mother's Day My Way

Since I’ll be eating out on Mother’s Day at a vegan unfriendly restaurant, I pretended this Sunday was Mother’s Day and cooked whatever I wanted. I wanted to eat and play. There were some experiments, a pasta dish using my colorful corkscrews, sushi from my new cookbook, and dessert.

Our sushi appetizer was pretty basic (nothing fancy for our first attempt) - nori rolls with cucumber, red pepper, green onion, and carrots, sesame seed garnish, pickled ginger, wasabi paste and tamari for dipping. Sushi should be a meal in itself. It’s rather stressful to prepare as an appetizer while you have a whole dinner yet to make. But it was fun to see how the rolls turned out and of course yummy to eat. This was our first roll. Obviously we still need practice, but I got the wasabi leaf down!

Experiment #1 – Two-bean Loaf. I layered lima beans on top of red beans in a loaf pan. I pureed the beans separately and added ground oats and seasoning to each. I made a maple, soy, ketchup sauce for the topping. I baked it for 40 minutes, added the sauce, then baked another 10 minutes.

Before baking…..

…. and a slice.

A successful experiment in flavor. Not so much in appearance. It puffed up a lot while baking, then sank as it cooled. I think my pan was a little too small. The slice looks like it’s smiling. I will keep working on it because it tasted great, held together, and was very filling.

Pasta – the sauce is made with onions, roasted red peppers, peas, corn, olives, arugula, and a small amount of tomato sauce. I seasoned it with fresh basil, oregano, sea salt, and crushed red pepper flakes. I thought the sauce was so pretty.

For the noodles - once cooked I added a little olive oil, nutritional yeast, and fresh parsley.

I love the spiciness of arugula, and the sweet peas and corn were a great complement and just plain fun to eat in a pasta sauce. This was so colorful and tasted fantastic and there were no leftovers.

Experiment #2 – Broccoli Crepes. First I made “Tangy White Bean Sauce” from The Saucy Vegetarian. It’s tangy from Dijon mustard and lemon juice, perfect for broccoli, which is why I decided to go ahead and add chopped broccoli right into the sauce. Next I cut the broccoli into stalks, trimmed the stalks, then steamed them until they were tender. Just before dinner I heated the sauce and made “Savory Crepes” from VWAV. I wrapped the crepes around the broccoli, then topped them with the sauce. It was just as I had envisioned, like Crepes Divan without the chicken and cheese! This too was great and a nice departure from the usual plain old steamed chopped broccoli. This picture doesn't bring out its true beauty.

After finally finding the crepe recipe, Amey confirmed it was a good choice. Thanks, Amey! I made the first "throw away" crepe, then Chase took over and really got the hang of it. He did an outstanding job.

With the sushi rice, pasta, crepes, and oats in the bean loaf, we could have done without bread, but I baked one of my favorites, Oat Walnut Muffins from Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons. I love their sweet, nutty flavor.

I don’t know why I didn’t want a chocolate dessert, so I’m afraid you’ll have to endure ANOTHER strawberry dessert. I found beautiful organic giant strawberries for $2.20 a pound! I used “Blueberry Orange Crisp” from TEV as my inspiration for Strawberry Lemon Crisp. I now love the combination of sweet strawberries and tart lemons. I do not own an 8 x 12 pan as the instructions called for, so I made a thinner version in my 9 x 13.

I served it with extra strawberries on top.

What a great Mother’s Day! We were stuffed and had a blast cooking and eating. I’m afraid I must end with a complaint, though. What is up with quality control these days? Take a look at this mutant shaped pasta we found amongst our corkscrews!



erica said...

The sushi looks gorgeous, I'm so impressed that it was your first attempt!

Anonymous said...

What a great Mother's Day meal - so much better than the over-priced buffet. It's nice that you're going with your mom anyway, even though there's not much you can eat. You're a great daughter.

I love the wasabi leaf -- very artistic.

Veg-a-Nut said...

Diann, You made a wonderful spread for your early Mother's Day! YOur broccoli crepes are a winner. I am going to have to try these.

I have the vegetarian soups for all seasons, but have never made those muffins. There is another muffin to try.

Your baked bean loaf looks good and it made me smile.

Ok, the mutant pasta is kinda weird. I looked at that and wondered, "what the heck is that".. Than laughed my self stupid. :o)

Anonymous said...

those sushi are your first try?! they look absolutely wonderful! i liked your wasabi leaf :) i'd very much like to try everything else you made - especially that two-bean loaf! i think it's pretty the way it turned out :)

Judy said...

Once again, it all looks amazing. I'm really impressed by your smiling bean loaf - it sounds great, and I think it looks kind of cool.

Crepes are great, but kind of a pain to make, and I have to admit, I've never really gotten my technique down.

That deformed pasta is almost obscene looking.

springsandwells said...

Great stuff!

The bean loaf sounds so good. I am trying to include more beans and legumes in my diet, and I need ideas... so if you ever get around to perfecting that recipe, please share it with us!

Also, that pasta sauce looks delicious... so many colors.

I'm so glad that the crepes worked out just as you envisioned!! Hoorah! Don't you just love it when that happens?

I know what you mean about chocolatey desserts... I think the spring and summer weather makes fruity desserts more appealing.

I love the mutant noodle!

ps. thanks for loving Snoopy! He's such a little sweet pea.

Mikaela said...

Well, happy Mother's Day! Love the oat bean loaf - you're so creative :)

bazu said...

Happy Mother's Day, indeed. Happiness is a good meal, and that meal looks fantastic. I've really been craving sushi rolls lately. That bean loaf is so creative! The broccoli crepes look decadent, and I'm sure they were your favorites! I have to admit, I'd go for a piece of that strawberry crisp first. It's calling out to me.

Mutant pastas- they are taking over the world! Watch out, vegan cupcakes. =)

Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

Mother's Day "your way" is what it's all about! I'm a fan of your smiling bean loaf - how creative! lemon & strawberry sound like a great combo!

Vegan_Noodle said...

My goodness! You must have spent all day cooking, what a feast! I am considering making my own sushi for the first time soon, hopefully mine turns out half as good looking (never had good a steady hand with those things). I am stressing right now about what to make my mom for mother's day, hopefully I can come up with a meal as good as yours!
Check out another texan vegan's blog (mine)if you're interested....

laura jesser said...

That mutant pasta sure looks weird... eesh. Your sushi is gorgeous, and I adore the wasabi leaf! I have that sushi book and haven't made much use of it... you're inspiring me to change that.

I'm so glad you threw yourself a mother's day bash--you deserve it!

Vincent Guihan said...

I think the smiling slice is a great presentation. It's hard to get food to defy gravity like that. That's one freaky noodle there.

Kati said...

Whoa that pasta shape sure is weird! Everything else looks delicious, though.

I bet strawberries and lemon would be a great combination - I'll have to take a look at that recipe. And don't worry about making too many strawberry things - they have such a short season that you have to take advantage of it...I know I have been.

I'm so impressed that that was your first sushi roll! I can't believe it. My biggest problem is always cutting it into pieces...I end up with smushed sushi, usually. My knife probably just isn't sharp enough. Your wasabi leaf is so cute, too!

And I would gladly take a piece of that bean loaf. You're so creative!

Happy early Mother's Day!

Dori said...

Happy Mothers Day, early to you. Chase did a great job on those crepes. I laughed at the pasta, I'd send it back to the company and ask for a new one. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi there. I really love your blog and I also live in Austin. I was wondering what the name of the asian market is that you always go to. I would love to check it out.

b36Kitchen said...

i love mothers day your way...what delicious food..and a fantastic first attempt at sushi rolls!! I also like the mutant corkscrew. :)


aTxVegn said...

Hi, Anon and thanks! The asian market is MT Supermarket at N. Lamar and Kramer. It's huge and you will love the whole shopping center. Let me know how you like it!