Foodie (Photo) Friday #5: Eating out, Pumpkin/Chocolate muffins, Tofu Satay

Hello hello! It’s foodie (photo) Friday! Annnd… I did not make much food this week because I ended up going out to eat quite a bit.  I’ll talk about my dining experiences first before going on to the food pictures and recipe reviews:

I went to a burrito place that had seitan as a filling option (which I was very excited about) in Amherst, Massachusetts,  an Asian restaurant in Providence, RI  (the menu had mostly Thai and Chinese dishes but also some Cambodian I believe) where I got orange crispy tofu, garlic eggplant, and sticky white rice, and then tonight to The Grange in Providence where I got a pretzel bun po’ boy with fried oyster mushrooms, vegan remoulade, pickles, lettuce, and cole slaw.

It’s a big toss up between whether I liked The Grange or the Asian food better. I want to say I liked the Grange more. I was so excited when I was eating that sandwich. The flavors in it are amazing. And all the textures together worked really well. A mix of 3 crunchy elements (the pickles, lettuce, and mushrooms) and two soft/creamy (the bread and the remoulade). I was worried that the restaurant might not live up to the hype I’ve heard about it, but I was impressed by the food at least. The only complaint I may have but am undecided about is that I found the atmosphere kind of weird, it was noisy and too dark (I don’t really like dark restaurants, but maybe that is because my vision is not great in the dark? I honestly do not know!

The Asian restaurant (called Gourmet House) had a lot of options for tofu which is always a sign of a good Asian restaurant for me. Almost all the dishes you could choose tofu or tofu and vegetables with. The orange tofu was so good. I was not expecting it to come the way it was though. This tofu was more like what I remember the sauces being when I was an omnivore and had ordered lemon chicken. It was a thick, citrus-y orange flavored sauce, with no hint of soy sauce or anything that I was expecting. I liked it so much I may have gone a bit overboard by eating the whole plate of it. Oops. And the eggplant and rice were also very yummy. I liked the stickiness of the rice, I don’t think I’ve actually ever had sticky rice before. It’s kind of sweet. The eggplant was savory but also had a sweet flavor to it at the time. The eggplant itself melted in my mouth.

Sorry I didn’t take any pictures of my food at the restaurants, I was embarrassed to do so, heh.

Anyways, on to what I made from some tasty recipes this week.

The first:

venus chocolate pumpkin muffinsVenus Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins from Bake and Destroy by Natalie Slater. These are half and half pumpkin/chocolate muffins with a streusal topping. They’re difficult to make half and half so they look good, but they do taste pretty good. Next time I might omit the walnuts in the pumpkin, because I’d like a stronger pumpkin flavor. I think the walnuts might overpower it.

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Also I had a hard time with my oven getting them cooked well enough. Even with the max time listed with the recipe they were still totally liquid in the middle when I put a toothpick in the center, I think I cooked them for 5-10 minutes more. I honestly cannot remember, sometimes my oven is a bit weird lately.

Overall, these tasted pretty good and the recipe was pretty straight forward and easy despite having to make 3 separate parts so I give it a 4 good banana, one bad banana. It lost one good banana because it just didn’t have that “wow” factor when I tasted it. But they’re good otherwise.

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Second, was Tofu Satay from The 30 Minute Vegan cookbook.

tofu satay

I made it into a bowl with some quinoa and added extra peanut satay sauce on top. The satay sauce was perfect, it tasted exactly like the kind of peanut satay sauce I like, that I remember getting from the Thai restaurants I have been to. Sometimes people and companies make a type of peanut satay that doesn’t taste this good, maybe without coconut milk and less of a peanut buttery taste, but this was amazing. The tofu came out pretty good, but I wish I had baked it longer until it got a little more crispy, except I was hungry and impatient so oh well. The addition of raw scallions and red pepper made it a complete and tasty meal all together with the quinoa. So yay! I think this probably deserves a 5 good banana rating!

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That’s all, folks! I have some couple neat ideas for a few different kinds of posts this week, hopefully I’ll get some time to post them, but I do have some exams coming up as well, so I don’t know! But I hope so!

Until next time!

In deliciousness,

Laura

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Foodie (Photo) Friday!

Starting this week, every Friday I plan to post pictures of the food I’ve been making (with recipes and reviews, if possible) since the last Foodie (Photo) Friday entry. This first entry has a bit more than a week’s worth (and some things I made may be missing because they have been included in my other blog posts or I couldn’t get a good picture of it before I ate it all), but they’ll typically convey a week of food making. Some weeks will probably have way less food in them than others, if I eat a lot of leftovers or prepared vegan foods, so keep that in mind. Aside from writing this blog, I also go to college and do other stuff. heh.

 So without further ado, let’s get foodie:

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Cajun quinoa cakes with lemon dill sriracha remoulade

Cajun Quinoa Cakes with Lemon Dill Sriracha Remoulade

Recipe here

Review: Meh. These were very difficult to cook, because they didn’t mold together very well and I didn’t want to add more flour (my own fault though probably). The quinoa cakes themselves were pretty good, although keeping them in the oven like the recipe says to do dried them out considerably more after they were fried. So they became very crispy and…not moist which would have been tastier. The remoulade was gross, in my honest opinion. I do like sriracha, but I guess I’m not a “Sriracha Lover.” Also, have you seen how much sodium is in 1 tsp of sriracha? As someone who is trying to improve her blood pressure, this is not a good thing. My bottle of it has 2,500 mg in one TEASPOON! And this recipe called for 1/4 cup! So if I ever wanted to make this again I’d try and use less sriracha. It was way too spicy for me anyhow. I think maybe a tbsp would be better than a 1/4 cup!! But even then, I think I should personally avoid it. I just like to try people’s original recipes first before I tweak anything in it (unless I know they’re using way too much salt, pepper, oil, etc and the recipe will be okay without it)…

Anyways, I’m gonna rate this a 3 good banana, 2 bad rating, mostly because the quinoa cakes themselves were decent.

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Spinach Artichoke dip

Spinach and Artichoke dip

Recipe here

(my photo is the main picture there because there were not any pictures uploaded yet until I did! but I didn’t create the recipe)

I ended up adding a 1/4 cup daiya cheddar shreds to the recipe. It is quite good, and is pretty healthy. I’m not sure how to describe this recipe but there were no issues with the directions or ingredients and it is pretty standard tasty spinach artichoke dip. I wish I could find a recipe though with silken tofu that doesn’t have a strange after taste, but thems the breaks, I guess 😉

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Pretzel burger slider

Pretzel Burger Sliders

Recipe from Vegnews Magazine August 2013 Issue (No link, sorry!)

Okay, first of all the pretzel buns were difficult to make but I will not complain about that because I knew that would be the case…My only regret is that I didn’t follow the recipe carefully enough and probably left out two pretty crucial ingredients which is probably why they do not look exactly pretty. But they came out good enough to eat. The slider burgers are decent, but a little chewy because they have a cup of vital wheat gluten in them but don’t boil or precook them in any way before baking. They were also really moist. They taste good with the whole package, but probably not by themselves or in a different presentation. The smoked cheddar sauce recipe that was suggested to make in the recipe series was my favorite. The last time I made one of the other burger recipes in this section of the magazine the pepper jack cheese sauce was good as well, so I expected the cheddar to be good too, and it did not disappoint. I wish I could find a way to make it less lumpy, though.

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Baked Zucchini Fries with Bloomin’ Onion Dip

Baked Zucchini Fries with Bloomin’ Onion Dip

Recipe here (note: to veganize use 2 flaxmeal eggs or powdered egg replacer and water to an egg white thickness, vegan Parmesan, vegan margarine, vegenaise, agave or bee free honee)

My only complaint really (which is kind of a big one) is that these take forever to make. And they don’t translate very well with the flaxmeal eggs, if I make them again I may try using unsweetened almond milk instead and see if the panko coating sticks better. However, the caramelized onion “bloomin’ onion dip” is what makes this recipe worthwhile. It is amazingly yummy.

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Matzo Brei

Matzo Brei

Recipe here (by my absolute favorite cookbook author, Chloe Coscarelli)

I’ve never had an actual matzo brei before. I’m assuming it maybe is made with eggs and is sort of like an omelet? That’s the picture I get when eating this delicious vegan dish. I did make a few changes, I only used 1/4 tsp salt and pepper, and reduced the oil for the veggies in half because it also had 4 tbsp of margarine in it (to keep it fairly healthy). My only real complaint of any sort is that it might be even tastier if the matzo in it has a bit of a crunch left in it. I let it get completely soggy, and I don’t know if it’s supposed to be that way, but I bet it’d be yummy with a slight crunch! I ate this for breakfast and loved it, and my non-vegan brother did too! 🙂

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That’s all for this Friday’s (the 13th! good luck!) edition of Foodie (Photo) Friday! Let me know if you try any of the recipes I linked to and how you liked them/whether you agree with my reviews, etc! Bon appetit! (As my brother would add, “Don’t eat your feet!”)