Monday, December 17, 2007

What's for Dinner?

Everything seems so busy the closer to Christmas it gets. I didn’t even make it to the grocery store this weekend. I had to scrounge around the kitchen on Sunday to put together a nice dinner, which I wanted to do especially for Chase since he had to work until after 7:00.

I started with something I thought Chase would really enjoy – Tofu Pie. I mixed together a pound of crumbled tofu, 2 cups of brown rice, a can of red beans, a whole sautéed onion, a cup of chopped carrots, a half cup soy milk, some garlic, rosemary, thyme, and red pepper flakes in a huge bowl. Then I stuffed and packed it into a deep dish 10-inch pie plate and baked it forever. Here it is out of the oven.

It was huge!

I don’t think Chase was able to eat even one-eighth of this pie. It’s a good thing he likes it because it will last him quite a while. I made the Mustard Sauce from V-con to put over the pie. I put some on chickpeas and it was yum!

For a side dish I made Cabbage and Peas. I thawed half a bag of frozen peas, then sautéed them with Indian spices - cumin, tumeric, fennel, and garam masala – and then added in half a head of sliced green cabbage and let it soften. We both enjoyed this a lot.

Always room for roasted veggies – this time potatoes, onions, tomatoes, and green peppers.

Here is Chase’s plate…

… and here is my plate - no soy for me.

I’m quite tired of seeing and smelling sugary sweets, as cakes and cookies and candies from clients and vendors arrive at my office at least 3 times a day (and are eaten up in a matter of hours). But Chase likes to have dessert and I came up with something that turned out quite nice. I love the recipe for Pineapple Lemon Bars in Vive, especially the oat crust. Pineapple and lemon seemed a little too “sunny” for the day, so I made the recipe into Apple Cranberry Orange Bars. I subbed in one fresh chopped apple and about ¾ cup dried cranberries for the pineapple, and orange juice and zest for the lemon.

We had it warm with a scoop of Rice Dream, but melting ice cream is not a pretty picture.

I also made lots of my ever popular Texas Trash for office gifts. If you need an addictive snack to have on hand during the holidays, I highly recommend it.

I am super stressed with many unexpected and very large expenses this month and not able to bring joy to those I love with the gifts I had hoped to give them. So I leave you with this quote which comforts me – a reminder of the true spirit of the season.

The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. -- Burton Hillis


Lori- the Pleasantly Plump Vegan said...

that Texas Trash sounds like something I would SOOOOO love. i'll be making that soon.

Kumudha said...

So many wonderful dishes!
I'm now craving Cabbage and Peas!

Sheree' said...

I love cabbage! I have one sitting in the fridge waiting to be used and I think I just found out what to do with it. Everything looks fantastic!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Your food always looks so good. How do you do it?!

MeloMeals said...

Everything looks great! I love the clean out the fridge type meals because you have to get so creative.

I'm sorry you've had so many expenses this time of year.. your quote says it all though.. family is really what is important.

Anonymous said...

that clean out the fridge looks awesome!!i love the quote

Vegan_Noodle said...

That is definitely the true spirit of Christmas! I love your Texas Trash, ha ha! I might be making some of that to snack when I go stay with my parents out in katy (feels like a whole different city!)
And how lucky Chase was to come home to that dinner. You are so creative in the kitchen. Your pea and cabbage dish combines mine and John's different veggies loves (him cabbage and me peas) :-)

Ruby Red said...

stress stinks! money just makes things so complicated poo on that.

your tofu pie looks so good... and so HEALTHY! ahhh i love it! chase should just send a couple slices my way if he has trouble finishing the whole pie. :)

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

oh my goodness I wish that all the food YOU made was the answer to my "what's for dinner?" question - you never cease to amaze me with the dishes you come up with!! especially the Texas Trash snack - so cute! :0D

bazu said...

Thanks for that quote, Diann. It really helps, this time of year, to be able to pause, collect our thoughts, and meditate on what's really important. I hope that all the stresses of this month pass you by quickly!

Your sunday dinner looks lovely, as usual. The cabbage/peas side dish looks like something I would make and love. Speaking of love, Texas trash, yay!

Ashasarala said...

That's a lot of food! That could last me about a week, I think... except for the roasted potatoes. Those would last five minutes!

For a few years now, I've been reminding my friends and family not to get me anything because I won't be doing any shopping, other than for my baby nephews. It's too stressful and too much of a financial nightmare. And they are fine with that. Actually, they're more relieved that it's one less person on their list. Like the quote says, the holidays are about family. So I am excited to make good food and spend time with everyone.

I'm sure people will understand that you weren't able to get them the biggest and bestest gifts. Everyone's going through the same thing!

Judy said...

Wow, that pie is huge, but it looks awesome. I will have to try something like that soon.

I really like the quote at the end, it's a good reminder of what really deserves celebrating.

Candi said...

That's the biggest pie ever! I'm sure I'd love it, and thanks for the idea!

Your dish looks so health, Diann. I'm curious if you ever get really drained and tired? You eat SO well and must feel great because of it. I've been so tired lately, but I'm making cupcakes and junky foods to add to the holiday stress! Your dishes make me realize that I need to be more careful about what I eat.

Your desserts look good! Texas trash is a great gift to pass out!

I love the quote you added at the end of your blog. How completely appropriate. I feel so stressed out trying to get everything done in time and make sure everyone is happy. (oh, except me!) It's tough. I am not going crazy with gifts this year, and I'd love to make home made cards with that exact quote inside and afterwards, write to each person why they are special to us. (and maybe add a small container of texas trash to it!) :) Home made gifts are the best. Thank you for the quote. You are very giving, and I'm positive your friends and family realize that and are not interested in material things from you.

Happy Holidays to you!

Island Folk said...

Your recipes are awesome!!! There are too many that I can't wait to try them out. I've been eating brown rice everyday for years and have been making brown rice yam cake etc, but had never tried brown rice tofu pie. You are very creative!

urban vegan said...

That quote puts it all in perspective...

I always feel stufed after visiting your blog. Happy Holidays, Diann!