Of course we’ve been cooking!

So, another week has gone by again with no time to post 😦 . But as the post title says, we have plenty of homemade foods to share. First, I’ll start with the vegan cheesecake which I mentioned several posts ago and finally got around to making. This recipe is the main vegan one that seems to be floating around the internets. It can be found here, and recently the Little Vegan made it too.

Ok, so I followed the recipe exactly and it came out perfect. I haven’t had “real” cheesecake in a long time but I seriously think this could pass for the real thing. I made the crust by crumbling cinnamon graham crackers and mixing it with a little bit of canola oil and blackstrap molasses to make it just moist enough to press into a pan. For the strawberry topping, I just warmed up some thawed and halved frozen strawberries with some sugar to taste and pureed half of the strawberries to make a thick sauce. This sauce also went well with some Van’s Belgian waffles later in the week.

After eating these waffles I have now added waffle iron to my long list of culinary wants! (UPDATE: As brought to my attention by Veggiegirl, these waffles are NOT VEGAN! I thought I checked the ingredients carefully, but alas, I am not perfect. I managed to miss the bee vomit (i.e. honey) on these waffles. That is the only non-vegan ingredient in these…why can’t they just take it out?!? Oh well, live and learn! We will not be buying these anymore and all the more reason to get my own waffle iron! 🙂 )

I also tried my hand at another raw dish this week. Every time I go to our co-op I see a raw spinach quiche in their refrigerated section but it costs mucho dinero, so I decided to try and make my own. I used the pecan-spinach quiche recipe I found on this page as a guideline. For the bottom “crust” of the quiche, I blended almonds that had soaked overnight with some spices and pressed it into the plate (which I then let dry out via the method I used for my flax seed crackers). For the filling, all I did was puree about 2 cups of spinach with 2-3 cloves of garlic, a cup of pine nuts, a couple of slivers of avocados, some mushrooms, and spices (nutmeg, salt, pepper, paprika, and garam masala). I topped it with some mushrooms that had soaked in Bragg’s liquid aminos (not entirely sure if this is considered raw or not) and paprika.

I’m not really sure if I liked this or not. I ate about four bites but to me it seemed more like something I would spread on crackers and not something I could eat a whole plate of, so I actually did finish it by eating it with crackers. So technically I didn’t eat totally raw that night but I am glad that I tried the dish and still haven’t given up on experimenting with raw dishes! Hsauce stayed away from this dish because it looked too much like guacamole to him and he doesn’t like guacamole…weirdo!

This week, Hsauce wanted to have “sushi night”. Sushi making is so fun and so incredibly easy and waaay cheaper than if you went out for sushi. Hsauce had already made the sushi rice (refrigerated cooked sushi rice mixed with rice vinegar, some sugar and a tiny amount of salt) while I was at work so all that was left to do was prep some ingredients and start rolling when I got home.

Here you can see some of what we used: avocados, baked tofu, carrots, cucumbers, Sriracha sauce, hoison sauce, and Tofutti cream cheese. We also used some sesame seeds, sweet chili sauce, and homegrown sprouts. When making sushi, we always have two water cups. One large cup of warm water to put the sushi cutting knife in to prevent stuff from sticking to it and another smaller cup of cooler water for our fingers when we spread the sushi rice onto the wakame to prevent it from clumping on our fingers. And as usual, we ended up with a ton of sushi!

Just as pretty as what you pay for at a restaurant don’t you think? We had it with miso soup (made with miso barley, which you can buy in a tub, seaweed slivers, cubes of tofu and mushrooms) which I didn’t get a photo of.

Another Asian inspired meal we had this week was fried rice with grilled tofu. Fried rice is also really easy and works best with day old rice. In this case I had Hsauce make some rice while I was at work and then stick it in the fridge. When I got home I threw some chopped veggies into a wok on medium high with some Earth Balance, threw in the rice, added a handful of fresh basil leaves, some Bragg’s Liquid Aminos and some salt and pepper and was done. Hsauce grilled the tofu slabs which had been marinating in a sweet chili soy sauce marinade all day. I had this dish for leftovers for work one day and my office mate commented on how it smelled “really good”. Yay!

To celebrate the arrival of fall weather (finally!!!), I also made a si
mple squash side one night. I just halved an acorn squash and hollowed out the seedy inside. I then put a few tablespoons of Earth Balance in each half along with a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar, sliced Gala apples, nutmeg, cinnamon and a bit of salt and pepper. I put this in the toaster oven on about 400F for about an hour. When I ate this, I smooshed all the liquidy goodness with the squash to make “sweet mashed squash”.

And this weekend I made some carrot-raisin muffins from VV. As usual, Isa’s recipe came out perfect! I can’t wait to be able to order her new cookbook, Veganomicon.

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