Posts Tagged ‘vegan’

My default breakfast is cold cereal with almond milk, preferably with fresh fruit.   But sometimes I want something else, so I was excited when in a copy of The Vegan Diner, I found a recipe for a whole grain pancake mix.  It’s always great to have something homemade that’s also quick, delicious and healthy, which this recipe is. (more…)

I see that on the Food Network there’s an upcoming vegan episode of “Cupcake Wars” which, in the interest of full disclosure, I must admit I’ve never watched. No matter. It reminded me that I just don’t get the cupcake craze. I don’t get paying $3 or more for a single something that I can make a dozen of at home for the same price and that generally are just little pieces of cake (maybe tasty, maybe not) covered with way too much, way too sweet frosting. I’ve never been the person who asks for the corner piece that also had part of the decorative frosting on top of the just-covering-the-cake frosting. I ask for the middle and probably take most, if not all, the frosting off as well. (I do, however, enjoy watching the creation of the masterpiece cakes on “The Cake Boss”, although I’m sure I couldn’t or wouldn’t afford them, so it’s not that I have an particular hatred of cakes in general.)

I’d always thought (when I thought about it at all, which I didn’t for most of my life prior to the event) that when I got married, I’d either have cheesecake or carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. Most wedding cakes I’d ever had (or had avoided) were tasteless and not worth the calories. A cheesecake wedding cake would have had to be either flat or set on wooden tiers and it would have been a NY style cheesecake, dense and rich. However, when I was actually thinking about wedding cakes, my thoughts turned to Arabica, http://www.arabica-cafe.com/, an independent coffeehouse in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, with killer carrot cake. At the time, there was only one location, in the only-slightly-post-hippy area of Cleveland Heights called Coventry. I went in and asked if they did wedding cakes. The reply came that they never had, but that they would ask the baker. He said he would and did I want carrots on the sides. I did not. But the cake was so good that people at the reception were offering to take pieces home if there were any left. And it looked good, too.

I’ve made cheesecake that required 40 ounces of cream cheese and tasted like heaven, a made-from-scratch chocolate cake that was amazing and recently, a vegan chocolate cake with boiled chocolate frosting that was so good, not only would no one know it was vegan, they’d want to make it themselves for company. Even though I’m not a big cake person, I get all those. But I don’t get cupcakes and certainly don’t get cupcakes that cost half the price of an entire loaf of artisan break. Maybe it’s just me. But I’ll take the bread any day.

I’m not an innovative cook, I just find good recipes. But occasionally I come up with something that tastes good and is easy. Here’s my latest tiny contribution to the world of food and to making your life just a little bit easier. Enjoy!

Janet’s Easy Lunch Bowl

Chickpeas
Artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
Avocado, diced

Put chickpeas in the bottom of a bowl. Put the artichokes pieces on top of the chickpeas. Top with avocado pieces. I told you it was easy. But it tastes good and is fast and nutritious as well.

You may use plain artichoke hearts, marinated artichoke hearts (in which case, you can use some of the marinade as a dressing) or some of the artichoke tapenade from Trader Joe’s. It’s not really called tapenade, but I don’t remember offhand what it is called. It’s basically chopped up, marinated artichokes, from the taste of it and a very tasty taste it is, too. Anyway, any of these work well. If you use plain artichoke hearts, you might like some sort of marinade. Or you might not.

When I made our bowls today, I added some chopped scallions/green onions. Yum! This works well on top of salad greens, too. Feel free to innovate from here.

Here’s another delicious appetizer, dessert or tapa recipe, based on a tapa we had once at an excellent (and excellently priced) tapas restaurant in Naperville, Illinois, Macarena Tapas, http://www.macarenatapasnaperville.com/.
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My Best Date Ever
Ingredients:

Dates, chèvre, bacon or prosciutto, honey

1. Remove the pits from the dates.
2. Stuff each date with chèvre.
3. Wrap with bacon or prosciutto
4. Broil (turning if necessary) until bacon is cooked or prosciutto is crisp.
5. Plate and drizzle with honey.

Perfect as an appetizer, dessert or tapa.
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Finally, cucumber slices topped with olive tapenade are excellent. To gussy them up a bit, top with a toasted walnut piece.

For just over a year, I’ve been eating, while not strictly vegan, especially since honey’s considered not-vegan, at least mostly vegan. Overall, it hasn’t been that difficult, definitely not as hard as when our younger daughter was eating gluten-free. But to eat vegan or even vegetarian while on the road is very difficult unless you bring your own food. It’s even hard to eat healthily or to find any vegetables other than in a salad but vegan/vegetarian is almost impossible. Plaza eating facilities tend not to offer veggies or even much fruit, so I pack my own food, either purchased or from home.

For “fast food”, sometimes I stop in downtown Cleveland at Aladdin’s Middle East bakery for some of their amazing bean salad, steadfastly avoiding the gyro sandwiches. Subway’s veggie patty is pretty good, even cold and I have them pile on lots of veggies. Today, we had a couple of Trader Joe’s Super Spinach salads and for snacking, I like ABC Trek mix, also from TJ’s, a tasty, healthy mixture of raw almonds and dried fruit. With tea brewed before leaving and some dark chocolate, I’m all set for a healthy eating experience.