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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pumpkin Brownies

Hello on the 31st day of the Vegan Month of Food!  And Happy Halloween!  Today I have a post about my delicious pumpkin brownies, as well as a summary of this Vegan MoFo and what comes next.

Pumpkin Brownies


Ingredients:
--Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownies mix
--1/4 cup applesauce
--1/3 cup vegetable oil
--1/3 cup water
--1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
--1 can pumpkin
 
 
Combine the brownie mix, applesauce, vegetable oil, and water.  Add the chocolate chips and stir well.  Grease a pan with vegetable oil cooking spray and pour in 1/3 of the brownie mix, spread out across pan.  Next, spoon out and spread around a layer of 1/2 the can of pumpkin.  Then another layer with the second 1/3 of the brownie mix, followed by the final half of the pumpkin, and then the final 1/3 of the brownie mix for the top layer.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes.  Let stand and cool before slicing up the brownies.
 
Cooling
 
They are very mushy, but so delicious!  

Lovely layers
 
This Vegan Month of Food was very successful overall.  I was able to post for each of the 31 days and I did try some new recipes and experiments, though I did not crack open a single cookbook.  Ah well, you can win 'em all.  I was able to find several awesome new blogs to follow, such as Bite me, I'm vegan, Fellowship of the Vegetable, and KZ Cakes.
 
Going forward, I am certainly going to be trying new recipes, but cooking and baking (and blogging about it) are going to be less of a priority than my writing since the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) starts tomorrow.  I have no idea what I am going to write a 50,000-word novel about, so today will be a major brainstorming day for me.  The past two years I've done NaNoWriMo, I've had an idea weeks before I actually had to start writing, so this will be a new experience in my third year of the challenge.  Regardless of my lack of preparedness, I am very excited to be getting back into the swing of writing.  Blog posts here will be less frequent, though I may include a Thanksgiving post.  
 
To all my readers, thank you so much for reading my blog.  It's a simple thing, really, but it's nice knowing that when I publish these posts, there are people out there reading what I've written.  It gives a purpose to the process, which is fun in and of itself but becomes that much more satisfying when I know that others are being reached by my words.  Thanks to all who commented throughout the month; I love interacting with readers/fellow bloggers!  To my vegan readers, keep fighting the good fight and living the good life.  Keep on with your vegan advocacy in the many creative ways you have been--through writing, photography, cooking, baking, speaking, and being an example of a happy and healthy vegan individual to others in your life!  To any of my readers who are not vegan, I encourage you to check out some of the resources listed on the sidebar, especially the amazing Vegan Kit.  It is full of information, resources, recipes, and more!  And if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to comment and ask!
 
Much love to all, and I hope you enjoyed this Vegan Month of Food as much as I did!
 
Mr. Boogie had fun, too. 

 
Peace.  :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Lazy Tuesday Post

Hello on the 30th day of the Vegan Month of Food!  I hope everyone made it through the storm safely.  There was a lot of wind and rain here, but all we experienced was the power flickering on and off several times last night, no actual power outage.  I got a lot of reading done, snuggled with Mr. Boogie, watched a random old VHS movie with my mom and aunt, and chatted with my sister on the phone (which kept disconnecting on my end).  Today I have a lazy day post, but I will be making my pumpkin brownies tonight, so I am excited!

Vegetable Soup with Orzo


Heat up a can of Progresso Garden Vegetable Soup, along with about 1/3 cup orzo, in a sauce pan.  Serve with vegetable crackers.  Nice and simple, warm and filling.

Mr. Boogie posing during his photo shoot this morning.

Peace.  :)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Squash Lasagna

Hello on the 29th day of the Vegan Month of Food!  Today I have a post about what I made for dinner last night--lasagna with green and yellow squash (a simple variation on past Vegan MoFo post Lasagna).  I hope everyone is staying safe, dry, and warm with all the weather going on out there.  I'm making sure to post early just in case anything happens with the power; I have my priorities in line, as you can clearly see.

Squash Lasagna


Ingredients:
--lasagna noodles

--spaghetti sauce

--vegan mozzarella

--green and yellow squash

--garlic salt



While boiling the lasagna noodles, shred the vegan mozzarella and chop up the green and yellow squash (I used more of my previously chopped and frozen squash).  Line the pan with a thin layer of spaghetti sauce.  Put down the first layer of lasagna noodles, another layer of spaghetti sauce, and then a layer of vegan mozzarella and squash.  Repeat for as many layers as you would like (I did three layers total) and sprinkle some garlic salt atop the final layer.  Cook until the mozzarella is nice and melted.


When I went to serve this, I was really nervous because it was a lot more saucy than usual (I'm thinking because of the frozen squash), but it turned out amazing.  I loved this version of the lasagna; it was delicious and filling, and best of all, I have leftovers, hahaha!


Peace.  :)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Green Squash Pizza

Hello on the 28th day of the Vegan Month of Food!  Today I have another pizza post, this time with green squash as a topping.

Green Squash Pizza


Ingredients:
--pita
--spaghetti sauce
--vegan mozzarella cheese
--green squash
--garlic salt
 
 
Spread a few spoonfuls of spaghetti sauce onto the pita, add the vegan mozzarella, chop up and add some pieces of green squash (mine I had already chopped up and frozen, so for me it was a matter of prying them apart, haha!), sprinkle on some garlic salt, and then cook the pizza.  Serve once the pita's nice and crispy and the "cheese" is melted.
 

I liked this version of the pizza, but I think that, overall, I prefer broccoli as my green of choice for a pizza topping.  The green squash topping might have been better had it been fresh, so maybe I'll give it another chance someday.

 
Peace.  :)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Cauliflower Confetti Pasta

Hello on the 27th day of the Vegan Month of Food!  Quick and fun recipe for you tonight.

Cauliflower Confetti Pasta


Ingredients:
--3/4 cup medium shell noodles
--several chunks of cauliflower
--handful of spinach
--1/2 cup shredded vegan mozzarella cheese
--spaghetti sauce
--garlic salt


Add the shell noodles and cauliflower to boiling water; lower heat.  Add spinach when noodles are almost done.  Cook for about five minutes more and then drain out the water.  Add in the vegan cheese and spaghetti sauce (about 4-6 spoonfuls, depending on how saucy you want it to be).  Stir up the mixture, breaking up the cauliflower into tiny "confetti" pieces.  Let simmer on low heat until mozzarella cheese is nice and melty.  Serve with garlic salt sprinkled atop.


Peace.  :)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Yellow Rice with Kidney Beans and Spinach

Hello on the 26th day of the Vegan Month of Food!  I'm not exactly sure what I'll have as my final five posts, but I'm pretty sure that my pumpkin brownies will be among them since I've been looking forward to making them for Halloween again!  Today I have a dinner recipe that, even though I put it together without much planning, ended up turning out well.

Yellow Rice with Kidney Beans and Spinach


Ingredients:
--Carolina Yellow Rice mix

--1 T olive oil or vegan margarine

--1 2/3 cup water

--1/3 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

--handful of spinach, washed


Prepare the yellow rice according to package directions.  Add in kidney beans after the rice has been simmering for at least five minutes, and add in the spinach when the rice is almost done.  Serve with corn and potatoes.


Peace.  :) 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Soy-a-Roni

Hello on the 25th day of the Vegan Month of Food!  Today I have another recipe I put together, using the leftovers of the sloppy joe mix that I had made for my Sloppy Joes.  It's a nice and simple vegan version of "Beef-a-Roni," so I naturally decided to call it "Soy-a-Roni."  I'm so clever.

Soy-a-Roni


Ingredients:
--1/2 cup elbow macaroni noodles
--at least 4 T prepared sloppy joe mix
--spaghetti sauce


Cook the elbow macaroni noodles; drain and return to the cooking pot, mixing in sloppy joe mix and a few spoonfuls of spaghetti sauce.  Stir and simmer on low heat for a few minutes, and then serve.  Enjoy with tortilla chips.


This was nice and filling, so I give it the thumbs-up for an awesome leftover meal. 


Peace.  :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Broccoli Noodle Soup

Hello on the 24th day of the Vegan Month of Food!  Only one week left!  Today I have my perfect-for-a-cold plain and simple broccoli noodle soup.

Broccoli Noodle Soup


Ingredients:
--2 cups vegetable broth
--3/4 cup rotini pasta
--1 cup frozen chopped broccoli


This is pretty much the simplest recipe to make when you aren't feeling well, but really want something warm to fill you up.  When I made this yesterday, I was growling and grumbling the entire time, and I honestly didn't even feel like eating any vegetables (which tells both you and me that I really was sick, haha), but I tossed in a cup of frozen chopped broccoli because I knew I needed some greens, and I ended up enjoying them anyway.  I also had some vegetable crackers to dunk in the broth, and it was a nice filling meal overall.


Today, I am already starting to feel better.  My throat feels a bit scratchy still, but at least I'm not stumbling around like a vegan zombie anymore.  "GRAAAAAAAINS!"

Mr. Boogie's Gene Simmons impression

Peace.  :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Chocolate Chip and Oatmeal Cookies

Hello on the 23rd day of the Vegan Month of Food!  This post today is not a recipe of my own, but it is certainly delicious, and one that I love to make.

Chocolate Chip and Oatmeal Cookies


For ingredients and directions, see the following recipe on food.com, Vegan Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Nut Cookies.  For the first ingredient, I chose to use peanut butter.  The only other differences for me were that I used plain, all-purpose flour instead of whole wheat flour and that I left out the nuts at the end.


I love making big cookies, so I got 12 cookies total out of this batch.  I could make a lot more if I made them smaller, but bigger cookies are always better, at least in my book.  :)


Zach's family had Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday, so I brought these along for dessert (yes, we had an early Thanksgiving, haha!).  Vegan options for dinner included rice, corn, and sweet potatoes.  The sweet potatoes were nice because I haven't had them in a long while, so I enjoyed them.


But back to the cookies--these are probably my favorite cookies ever.  They are so nice and soft and chewy!  I also love just the simple process of baking them.  I love mixing all the ingredients together; I was literally dancing around the kitchen as I was making these cookies.  And any leftover cookie dough, I get to enjoy while the cookies bake.  But the best thing is that this cookie dough tastes and smells exactly like what I think of when I think of "cookie dough."


Peace.  :)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Tomato Nutted Pilaf and Chik'n

Hello on the 22nd day of the Vegan Month of Food!  Tonight I have a nice simple recipe, just a different version of what I did with a previous post.

Tomato Nutted Pilaf and Chik'n

 

Ingredients (nutted pilaf):
--2 1/4 cups water

--1 T olive oil

--
Casbah Nutted Pilaf mix
--1/2 cup chopped cherry tomatoes

 

Bring the 2 1/4 cups water and 1 T olive oil to a boil, add the nutted pilaf mix and seasoning.  Lower heat and let cook covered for about 15 minutes, then stir in chopped cherry tomatoes and let cook for about another 20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.  Cook a Boca Chik'n patty, and serve along with the nutted pilaf.  Enjoy with lemon water.



I liked this version of the nutted pilaf.  It wasn't anything majorly exciting, but the cherry tomatoes contributed a nice flavor, and I had a good amount of leftovers. 

King-of-the-Mountain Boogie

Peace.  :)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sloppy Joe Burrito

Hello on the 21st day of the Vegan Month of Food!  Today I have a nice and simple recipe utilizing leftovers from previous posts Sloppy Joes and Another Lazy Saturday Post.

Sloppy Joe Burrito


Ingredients:
--about 1/2 cup prepared sloppy joe mix
--pita
--leftover snap peas and mushrooms


Re-heat the sloppy joe mix on the pita.  Re-heat leftover snap peas and mushrooms separately, then add on top of the sloppy joe mix.  Fold up the pita to make a burrito.  Enjoy with tortilla chips.


I liked this leftover meal a lot, especially because the snap peas and mushrooms were actually way more enjoyable this time around, as part of the burrito.  It's definitely a recipe to keep in mind when I have leftover sloppy joe mix.


Peace.  :)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Another Lazy Saturday Post

Hello on the 20th day of the Vegan Month of Food!  No new recipe tonight, just a post about a dinner from earlier this week with leftovers and quick fixin's.  


Menu:
--leftover mushroom vegetable soup
--snap peas and mushrooms (with soy sauce and lemon)
--plain potato
--garlic rolls
--lemon water


The leftover mushroom vegetable soup was good; I added a little less than 1/4 cup water to it before re-heating it since some of the liquid had gotten absorbed.  The rolls were nice for dunking in the soup.  My mom was just going to make the snap peas plain--cooking them in olive oil, with soy sauce and maybe garlic salt--but I decided it would be interesting to try adding chopped mushrooms and lemon juice.  It wasn't.  (I didn't like the way they turned out, because a) mushroom overload with it already being in the soup and b) the lemon was way too strong.  But my mom liked it, so I guess that balances out.)  Not much to say about a plain potato, haha, though I did end up adding some ketchup to it, so it wasn't completely plain.  And finally, the lemon water--a nice touch, but probably only something I'll do when I have a lemon I'm wanting to use up.  Otherwise, plain water is more my style.

Mr. Boogie, on his new favorite perch, with my sister's soccer blanket.

Peace.  :)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Sloppy Joes

Hello on the 19th day of the Vegan Month of Food!  Quick post tonight about the awesomely delicious sloppy joes that I made yesterday.

Sloppy Joes

 
Ingredients:
--Fantastic Foods Sloppy Joe mix
--1 3/4 cup water
--1 T olive oil
--3 oz. spaghetti sauce (package calls for tomato paste, but I didn't have any on hand)
--2 slices Ezekiel bread (didn't have buns, but I really wanted those sloppy joes, so I was willing to improvise, and one of the slices was the end slice, so that's close enough to a bun, right?)


Prepare the sloppy joes by bringing the water to a boil, then adding the mix, oil, and sauce.  Lower heat and let simmer until liquid is absorbed.  Serve on toasted Ezekiel bread, with french fries and a salad, and enjoy the delicious messiness that is a sloppy joe.


I loved this sloppy joe; combined with the fries and salad, it was a great meal, and I didn't notice the amount of spiciness until I was about halfway done.  (The first time I made this mix, it had seemed overly spicy to me from just the first bite.)  All in all, it was a nice dinner, and there was plenty of leftover sloppy joe mix that I will use in other recipes.


Of course, a photo of Mr. Boogie to bring tonight's post to its close...


Peace.  :)