19 November 2017

Vegan Viands #20: Vegan Brown Sugar Cookies

Yesterday was my mother's birthday; she would have turned 66. Growing up, my dad did 98% of the cooking at our house. He also made pies. But my mom, she was the baker. Cookies, cakes, sweet breads - those were her primary culinary home. I've shared some of the things she was noted for, such as Christmas wreath cookies, chocolate chip zucchini bread, and rhubarb bars.

One year, my mom got a giant recipe book filled with nothing but cookies. I remember her going through the book and exclaiming over the recipes. I think that most of the cookies in the book got made at least once, but one recipe kept returning: brown sugar cookies.

I think what made these cookies a hit was some combination of the crunchy/chewy cookie, the frosting that is reminiscent of the frosting we all put on our birthday cakes, and the group effort necessary to frost the cookies before the frosting set.

Since we were headed to a party last night, I wanted to bring a dish to share. I'm sure that the memories of my mother brought these cookies to mind. Making and sharing them with others was a wonderful way to honor her memory.



16 October 2017

Chickpea Tart with Roasted Vegetables

Some very dear friends of ours got some wonderful news just about a week ago, which meant a celebratory dinner was in order! They have a 3 month old baby at home, so I offered to cook and bring over dinner for our celebration.

Since one of these friends is gluten-free, there's always a fun adventure figuring out what we can all eat. While talking about our celebratory dinner, Shana remembered this delicious chickpea flour tart that we first had at our vegan potluck. It's gluten-free and soy-free and sounds like something that should not be good. But it really is amazing. Since the first time we had it, I've deviated from the recipe a bit, but also decided that we needed something else to eat with the tart. The recipe below was born (and devoured).

Somewhere between a quiche and a custard, this tart and the veggies were just the celebration we needed. Well, this and the baked apples I made for dessert, but that's another post.



04 October 2017

Lazy Dinner Paustages (Pasta and Vegan Sausages)

Sometimes a Lazy Dinner is just what you need.

The past few weeks have been incredibly busy for us. For two weeks straight, we had something on the calendar for every single night (and weekend days, too). Part of the busyness includes the classes Shana is taking, part of the busyness was due to the festivities surrounding the inauguration of Earlham's 18th President, and part of the busyness is that we like to see our friends. I loved all of our activities, but I also love that things have calmed down just a little, and we have the occasional evening with flexibility. Tonight was one of those nights.

We'd planned for easy meals all week (mostly), just because I knew that I wasn't going to want to spend a lot of energy on making dinners after all that we'd been doing. This dinner, paustages, was one we'd not had in a long time. It was quick and delicious; just perfect for hectic nights.

You may be wondering why we call this dinner paustages. Well, it's mostly because I love playing with words. While not a perfect example (we took some liberty with letter order), our made up dinner name is essentially a portmanteau, which is the combination of two words and their meanings. Common examples are things like smog (smoke + fog) or brunch (breakfast + lunch). Plus, paustages is just fun to say!


02 September 2017

Maggie's Vegan Zucchini Boats

This year, we doubled the size of the garden. With extra space, I was able to grow a greater variety of veggies and decided to grow zucchini. My zucchini is...prolific. Talk to many folks who grow zucchini and they'll tell you the same thing.

As it turns out, growing a ton of zucchini is a blessing and curse. I've made batches upon double-batches of zucchini bread. We've grilled more zucchini than any summer before. And as much as I love both of those options, we needed something else to do with zucchini. 

Given that zucchini grows well in most gardens, a google search for "things to do with zucchini" brings up list after list of options. A number of these lists included some kind of zucchini boat: a hollowed out zucchini stuffed with ingredients, baked to deliciousness. While I loved the idea, I didn't love any of the recipes I found. Most recipes were filled with cheese and/or meat, while some were nothing more than flavored rice - not what I wanted. 


Instead, I took the idea of zucchini boats and ran. Where I ended up is a delicious and healthy recipe, full of protein and garden-fresh summer flavors. Infinitely customizable, add or remove ingredients to make this into something you'll eat, if only to switch up how you're consuming zucchini. 

13 August 2017

Southwestern Salad with Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette

It's a long story, but a few weeks ago we were gifted with a number of salad kits - you know, the kind that have all the ingredients inside the bag and all you have to do is mix them together.

While the free salads were nice, none of the included salad dressings were vegan-friendly. I decided I'd make up my own dressings to coordinate with the ingredients in the bags. My first attempt at a dressing for one of the salads was a smash hit with me, Shana, and some friends of ours who just had a baby (we took them lunch). I made it again with the second kit and it was just as good.

We've been all out of the salad kits for a while, but I had a craving for this salad. After a quick search of my local grocery store, I realized I could get all the ingredients and could just make my own! This simple,healthy, and delicious salad is great for warm summer days.