Sunday, March 31, 2013

New Veg Cookbooks!!

So... a very good friend of mine and I have had this running joke that she's going to just deliver me this gigantic box of goodies one day because she's been holding onto not only my Christmas present, but my birthday present as well. She's unfortunately never having the opportunity to actually give me said gifts. This is 100% my fault because during the winter months I become this secluded, unsocial hermit where I just lay around my house in squalor and hibernate all day but, I digress.

Well she finally found the golden, opportunistic moment to bequeath me with my much appreciated loot and WOW does the woman KNOW ME!!

Check this out- vegan/vegetarian cookbooks! The way to this gal's heart for sure.

Now, I am a major dunce at times and thought that the cookbook meant spirited by "Yay! Feisty Vegetarian!" but NO!

NO.... NO... NO...

It's spirited because every recipe has BOOZE IN IT!! BOOZE! I am so jazzed because I'm a firm believer that things are automatically made fancier simply by sploshing a bit of wine into it.

Upon realizing this, I immediately scoured the recipes looking for something that I had all the ingredients for and boom.

It was go time.

 I cannot tell you how many times I've been bummed about vegan/vegetarian cooking simply because it makes some of my beloved kitchen utensils obsolete. Like my gigantic Le Creuset stew pot. When will I utilize such a thing that clearly calls for large stew-making endeavors?  And what stew would I make that would take that long? Or what about braising? I know that there's tons of veggie recipes that call for that but guess what- I didn't have a cookbook to tell me how. 

Until now <3


With a yummy side salad 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Happy B-day to me!

So last week was my birthday, I have finally hit that age where I'm no longer excited and spouting the number out like some willy nilly P.Y.T. That's alright though, with age comes wisdom and I'm happy to say I'm finally growing confident and comfortable with who I am as a person- and I dig it.

I celebrated my b-day by going home to visit the family and taking a long overdue trip to Columbus, OH.

Now, some of you are probably thinking that Ohio is just this vast land of cows, Amish people, and factories with NOTHING to do unless you enjoy cow tipping, porch sitting, and pie? (I don't even know what others think of Ohio, I'm sorry that was lame) But you are WRONG people! Dead wrong! Columbus is an amazing, trendy place to be- there's something for everybody. There are tons of fantastic restaurants, awesome shopping centers, college football, we have the arena district, German village, short north (artsy cultural area), a wide variety of club scenes, etc. And most importantly for me, there are plenty of vegetarian/vegan foodies who with them bring along their amazing foodie products into the stores.

They just re-opened the Whole Foods on Lane Ave. and wow is it big and awesome. I was rather indulgent while I was there and I got an entire pound of their vegan general tso's 'chicken', a whole grain baguette  truffle butter, a brick of Italian flavored tofu, 2 chunks of Kerrygold cheddar cheese, some vegan mozzarella teese, and a wedge of Daiya's new(er) chedder style cheese.....

Have you had this? It's awesome! I feel like a few years ago it wasn't even a thing to dare to dream of, a palatable cheese substitute. I eat this crap on everything! Crackers, fruit, sammies, whatever! Now it does say that it melts but... I prefer the shreds for melting purposes, this is great just cold. It's super, super potent in taste though so a little bit goes a long way- same with real cheddar cheese actually. 

After Whole Foods, we attempted to go to the Cabela's store that just opened up, but it was so utterly packed I couldn't handle it. Afterwards we went to dinner and then back to my brother and sister-in-law's to chill and have drinks.

I think it's safe to say that I have this all consuming addiction to cookbooks. I just have to look at them, read through them, and OWN them. It's a sick, sick obsession and I just can't stop. Luckily, my sister-in-law let me borrow one of her vegan cookbooks that she had, otherwise I would have bought it on Amazon by now. 

I let this cookbook fall open in my lap and I was immediately hooked. The recipes are so simple and incredibly cute. The author is a stay at home mom and it's clear that she really loves her kids. I think the book has such a good vibe, she's really devoted to only giving her little girls clean and healthy food, it's refreshing to see parents so interested in their kids nutrition and health. 

Also, there's a recipe in there for something called a crack wrap. Yup. I wanted to try it just because of the name alone. 

It's basically a tortilla smeared with hummus, sprinkled with vegan cheese, and melted into ooey gooey perfection. I can definitely see why she named it as such, it is addicting. Also only 6 WW points! Woo woo! Next time I eat it, I'll take a photo- I was just too dang excited to eat it the first time. Oops. 

Dinner tonight: Chana Masala, an oldie but a goodie in my meat-free recipe bank. 

I'm convinced that no Indian food really is that photogenic, it's just a saucy mess of awesome. Oh well, I apologize for that. 

If you would like to get your chana's on, here's the recipe.

I sub the lemon juice with a can of lite coconut milk to really give it that full, rich curry flavor I so desperately love. Oh, I also let the said coconut milk reduce for 10-15 minutes on high.

If you split that recipe into 4 servings, it's 7 WW points incidentally. 

That's also lunch tomorrow- yay for not having to strain myself packing!