Breakfast - Biscuits with Gardein Sausage and Daiya
Normally, I just blog about dinner, but well, it’s the first day of VeganMoFo…
We woke up a little stiff and worn out from Dragoncon and the six or so miles we’d walked on Saturday, but we were all ready for the Japan Dolphins Day demonstration (see a photo album here). A vegan needs his or her energy for these things, so I decided to make some fresh biscuits. Now, biscuits are really important here in the South. Having been raised in the Northeast, I have no family recipe or secret knowledge of biscuit making. The first time I ever tried them from scratch was in my early twenties and I essentially made hockey pucks. After that experience, I bought frozen ones in the grocery store, or after going vegan, ignored biscuits altogether, except at places like Dough Bakery where they make effing amazing biscuit sandwiches. Anyway, apparently vegans make better biscuits because I am now able to make big, tall, fluffy biscuits to rival any your Southern grandma made. My favorite recipe for biscuits is in Vegan Diner. When making biscuits, you need to be gentle with the dough and as the recipe instructs, don’t twist the cutter or they won’t fluff up correctly. We like ours a little on the large side, so I use a big cutter and I leave the dough a bit thicker before I cut it. You could use any vegan margarine in these I’m sure, but we like to make our own butter (recipe here) and it’s perfect for these biscuits. We made breakfast sandwiches using Gardein sausage and Daiya cheese. Super yummy.
Lunch - Black Bean Tacos with Zucchini, Spinach & Avocado
We had some Venezuelan Black Beans (Viva Vegan) leftover, so we decided to make tacos for lunch. I realized we also had half a zucchini and half an avocado, so the only logical thing to do was to toss those in, too. There’s a tapas bar down the street from us that makes these really good black bean tacos with zucchini and sautéed spinach, so our tacos were going to be similar to those. (There’s also a recipe for black bean tacos with zucchini and olives in Appetite for Reduction.) All I really did was sauté the zucchini with a little bit of red onion, then the spinach. I cut the avocado into chunks and added a few to each taco, and topped them with a little bit of chipotle salsa. We made a quick salad to go with it and voila! Fancy looking but really easy lunch.
Dinner - Creamy Red Chard Pasta with salad and garlic bread
I kind of have a thing for chard – it’s so beautiful and so yummy. I happened across this recipe on The PPK and since it used my other favorite thing, cashew cream sauce, I was all over it. We were out of linguini, so I used fettuccine instead. Once you get the prep done, it’s really very easy to make. The pasta boils while you sauté the veggies and mix in the sauce. I really liked the red wine in the cashew sauce, and while it may seem like a lot to use an entire onion and 8 or 9 cloves of garlic, it's really not. The creamy sauce, the wine, the onion and garlic all just blend perfectly together. I completely forgot to put the toasted pin nuts in at the end and it was still amazing, so if you don’t have any on hand it won’t be a big deal, but I think it would be better with it. Either way, this one will definitely be going into our regular rotation. Even though we had salad for lunch, we always have one with pasta dinners so Seth made another one. He makes the best salads. We’ve gotten into the habit of making our own dressing rather than buying bottles of it. I just like the freshness of it and love knowing exactly what’s in it – no need for a degree in chemistry to decipher the label. Our favorite Italian dressing is from the Chicago Diner Cookbook – it’s super easy and delicious. Seth also made a batch of his 8th Deadly Sin garlic bread. It’s definitely not health food, but it’s so good. First, get a baguette (the Trader Joe’s mini ones are great for this). Slice it any way you like, in half and then across into smaller pieces, simple slices like crostini, whatever makes you happy. Go ahead and heat up an oven (we use our toaster oven) to about 400. Then, take most of a head of garlic and mince it finely. Yes. Most of an entire head. Next pour some (a few tablespoons) of olive oil into a small pan and heat it up. Once it’s good and hot, add the garlic and sprinkle in some dried herbs (oregano, thyme, marjoram, basil) and a little salt. Cook the garlic and herbs for just a few minutes, you want the garlic to start to turn gold, but not to brown. Spoon the oil and garlic mixture over the slices of bread and bake for about 10 minutes or so, until the bread and the garlic gat a little brown. Eat the bread and feel happy inside.