Monday, August 30, 2010

have i mentioned my new food processor?

i may or may not have brought up the fact that i am the proud owner of a 9-cup brushed stainless cuisinart food processor.  i love this appliance.  i also love hummus.  and so the story begins.

i made hummus.  the end.

1 16 oz can of garbanzo beans
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
juice from half a lemon
garlic to taste
salt to taste
cumin to taste
any combination of spices, oils, peppers, etc. that you deem appropriate

put everything into the food processor and process it until creamy.
these are the flavor combinations we've come up with:
original - nothing fancy
jalapeno - added chunks of jalapeno and additional cumin
spice blend - added a random assortment of spices from my spice rack until i got a taste i enjoyed
beet - added beets and more lemon juice

orange "chicken"

A was checking out vegweb, as she often does, and found an incredible sauce recipe.  seriously incredible.  like lick the plate clean incredible.  like if you ordered orange chicken at a restaurant the sauce on our plate could not even compare to this sauce incredible.  plus, it's pretty easy to make - which definitely boosts the incredible-ness.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
red pepper flakes to taste
2 teaspoons cornstarch + 1 tablespoon water

saute the garlic and green onions in olive oil then add water, orange juice, lemon juice, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, and red pepper flakes.  bring to boil and reduce heat.
dissolve cornstarch in water and add it to the mixture, stirring constantly.
continue cooking until it reaches a consistency that makes you feel happy.
we've made this dish twice and A has been in charge of the sauce both times (it could be due to the fact that she loves recipes).

to prepare the tofu, i  followed a similar procedure to the one we used for the baja tacos.  i set up four bowls.  one with lemon juice, one with flour, one with a veganaise and soy milk mixture (we had no soy yogurt on hand) and one with tortilla crumbs.  cut the tofu into bite-sized pieces and dip them into each bowl (in the order listed).  then, using a cast iron skillet, fry the tofu until golden brown.

we served the tofu and sauce over a bed of sushi rice alongside steamed broccoli and peapods.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

avocado soup

as previously mentioned, i moved into a new apartment at the end of may.  as a house warming gift my mother bought me a food processor.  it is a thing of beauty:

the presence of this new appliance in my apartment prompted A to investigate recipes that required the use of a food processor.  she found a recipe for avocado soup.  she made said soup while i was at work.  i must admit to feeling a twinge of jealousy regarding the fact that she used my beautiful new kitchen appliance before i did, but this feeling quickly faded since she did, after all, make me dinner.

avocado soup:
3 limes
3 cups water with ice
3 avocados, halved and pitted
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 small jalapeno pepper with seeds, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
fresh cilantro, chopped
flour tortilla, cut into strips for garnish
olive oil (to fry tortilla strips)

basically you throw everything but the tortilla strips and oil in the food processor and process it until smooth.  while this is happening, take the tortilla strips and fry them in oil until crispy.

ladle the soup into bowls and add tortilla strips and chopped cilantro to garnish.  A served the soup alongside a black bean and corn salad.

my opinion of this soup: kinda bland.  A agreed.  the consistancy of the soup was good, if you are a fan of thick soups along the lines of butternut squash puree, etc.  i, however, am not a fan of thick soups - they tend to remind me of baby food or things served in nursing homes to people with no teeth.  and despite the fact that A claims i am an 80-year-old man trapped in a 25-year-old woman's body, i need food with texture.

*side note* there is some truth to her claims of my geriatric nature.  quote from me while driving home around 11pm: "wow.  i'm suprised to see the lawrence bus running so late at night with all the budget cuts lately."

basically, the soup lacked flavor.  in the event that this dish gets repeated, i would add more garlic, possibly cumin, and cilantro to the mix.  my opinion of the black bean and corn salad: delicious, full of flavor, pretty damn good.

black bean and corn salad (A did not give me the recipe and since i don't use recipes anyways, i'll just give you the basic run down):

cook a cup of brown rice and let it cool.
add one can of drained and rinsed black beans.
add one can of drained and rinsed corn kernels or cook some corn and cut the kernels from the cob.
saute chopped green peppers, maybe some onion, minced jalapeno and minced garlic.  add this to the bowl.
add chopped cilantro, cumin, salt, pepper and anything else you think would taste good.

as i said, the black bean and corn salad was freaking delicious. and A even cooked the rice on her own - i was so proud.

bottom line: disappointing christening of the food processor but delicious black bean salad.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

So when we said May had been busy and we were going to get better at posting - we lied. Our summer has been equally as busy as our spring.  We did manage to do plenty of cooking however and even took pictures of some of them.  Finding time to post them was the difficult part. So we are going to post them all now in one big hoorah. We also thought we'd share some pictures of our exciting summer adventures.
There was midsommarfest, pride, Amber's wedding, The Great Urban Race and Market Days. All were a great time. Even though we did not win the race, truth - we just barely finished it. But we finished it and that was the point.

Our Adventures:

Oh and our team name for the race: Geeks Who Eat :)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Delicious "faux" fish tacos with cilantro cole slaw

It was 90+ degrees yesterday. We wanted something not too heavy but still filling. I found this recipe for Baha Tofu Tacos w/ cole slaw on

It turned out AMAZING!!
I get alot of my recipes from this website and this is by far in the top 3. I made a few adjustments as I cooked so this isn't exactly what is on the website. We both agreed it will be made again, in the near future. Most likely for other people so we can share the joy.

Cilantro Cole Slaw Dressing:
1/3 c lime juice
2 Tbl sugar
1 Tbl vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin
2 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce


I found this way too spicy so i added a little bit of soy yogurt till I found it tolerable. (vegannaise or more lime juice would probably work too)

Chop 1 1/2 cups of cilantro

Add to Cole Slaw Mixture (I prefer broccoli slaw)

Toss in dressing


Baha Tofu:

Divide one package of extra firm tofu into approx 8 equal pieces.

Set up 4 separate bowls
Bowl #1:
1/4 c lime juice
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin

Bowl #2:
1/2 c flour

Bowl #3:
1/3 c plain tofu yogurt

2 c of tortilla crumbs

Rub all sides of tofu with the lime rub. Then dip the tofu in all the bowls (in order) and cover the tofu completely. Pat in the bread crumbs so they stick and don't fall off.

Fill a cast iron skillet with about an inch of vegetable oil. Heat to frying temp. They say 365 degrees.

Fry tofu. L handled this part. She did an excellent job of not burning them (or herself) and they were a nice golden brown at the end.

Let them cool on a paper towel.

Make tacos.

We used flour tortillas, lettuce, tomato, onion, guacamole and then topped it with the cilantro cole slaw.


fear not, the geeks remain

We both realize it has been over a month since we posted anything. May was filled with adventures in things other than food (pictures are provided as evidence of this fact). A had finals, a bachelorette party, and a bridal shower to throw for her wonderful sister who is getting married next month. L moved into a new apartment and happily assisted with all the party prep.

Regardless of the time spent hanging streamers, creating bridal bingo cards, unsuccessfully attempting to squeeze an overstuffed leather couch into a very tiny doorway, we still made time to cook and eat. There are pictures. They will be posted.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

adventures at the asian market

last thursday afternoon we examined my refrigerator, assessed its contents, and set a menu for dinner: red thai curry. we headed to the local grocery for the missing ingredients. this resulted in frustration: no curry paste. we walked a couple blocks south to the asian market - success. this place was neat. in addition to all the necessary ingredients, we also found some interesting extras: shelves full of colorful asian candies, chopsticks, rice cookers, 50-pound bags of every variety of rice imaginable (including black rice), live crabs and prawns crawling out of wooden crates, fresh produce - the majority of which neither of us could name. two items of particular interest: fried tofu blocks and frozen vegetable spring rolls. we purchased all the ingredients for curry along with the fried tofu and spring rolls.
we cut the blocks of tofu into bite size pieces and threw them and the veggie rolls into a pan with a little olive oil. toasted until golden brown. served with three dipping options: gyoza sauce, red thai chili sauce, and garlic ginger sauce. excellent afternoon snack.
red thai curry for dinner. no images as we didn't want to highlight our geekiness by taking food pictures in front of our dinner guest, punky, who probably wouldn't have minded or even noticed an increase in geek factor.

1 medium onion, diced
1 tbsp oil
2 gloves garlic, minced
2 tsp red curry paste (be certain that it doesn't contain oysters or any other fishy ingredients)
1/4 cup water
1 can coconut milk
1 block firm tofu (not the fried tofu mentioned above, although i suppose you could opt to use it)
several basil leaves (chopped)
vegetables - we used red pepper, orange pepper, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots
salt to taste

cook the onions in a large pot until translucent.
reduce heat, add garlic and curry paste, and cook for about a minute.
stir in coconut milk and water and bring to a boil.
add vegetables and return to a boil.
reduce heat and cover for 2 minutes.
add tofu and basil and simmer, partially covered, until vegetables are tender.

serve over rice - we used jasmine brown rice.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

bbq extravaganza, part 2

this morning we woke up and the fridge was full of delicious leftovers from the bbq.
A's dad showed up to finish the yard work so we decided to put together a bbq, part two.

i grilled the veggie dogs.
A made up some more coleslaw.
and i grilled the fruit that elizabeth brought over yesterday but we didn't get a chance to eat.

fresh pineapple and black plums.

i soaked the fruit in cold water and then drizzled it with balsamic and sprinkled some brown sugar on top.

bbq extravaganza

A scheduled herself for a random saturday off. we decided it would be the ideal time for a bbq.
as A was preoccupied with maid of honor duties and homework, i was put in charge of planning the menu for said bbq. i think i did good work. i may have gotten a little obsessive regarding the planning aspect - i sent A an email complete with recipes, pictures and a grocery list organized by section of the store.

at any rate, the menu:
freshly made guacamole (i make this often. it gets eaten. it's delicious) and salsa with tortilla chips

main course:
chicago style vegan hot dogs (we purchased two varieties from whole foods: "tofu pups" and "good dogs". most preferred the "good dogs" because they were "smokier" but i liked the "tofu pups" for their consistency). in order to cook the dogs we boiled them on the stove in a pot of water and then placed them on a lightly oiled grill and cooked until the skins started to blister.
hot dogs were served with a beautiful array of condiments. being from chicago, i did not allow ketchup (except for punky who whined until she was given ketchup. she even offered to bring her own ketchup - in packets).

a true chicago style hot dog contains:
the dog
poppy seed bun
tomato wedges
diced white onion
dill pickle spear
sport peppers
yellow mustard
celery salt
side dishes:

coleslaw (see sassy joe post for recipe and pictures)

grandma graves's baked calico beans (this recipe is based on the recipe handed down from my great grandma. when i asked my grandma for it, she wrote it out on a nice little recipe card.)
i had to tweak it a bit since the original recipe called for 4 slices of bacon and worchester sauce, which contains anchoives.
i did my best to get an image of the recipe card. it didn't work.
so here's the recipe:
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp yellow mustard
1/2 cup molasses
1 can pork and beans (vegetarian)
1 can lima beans
1 can butter beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can garbanzo beans
1 tsp salt
drain and rinse beans.
saute the onions.
put eveything in a crock pot.
cook 3 hours.
no crock pot? it's cool. bake covered at 350 for 30 minutes. bake uncovered at 325 for 30 minutes.

beet and orange tomato salad:
4 beets (ideally these should be different colors. this is a source of disappointment for me because we struck out at several stores in our attempts to find golden beets) i only used about 1 1/2 beets because the ones we got were rather large.
1 bunch watercress (i opted for 1/2 bunch watercress and combined this with some of the beet greens)
1 orange tomato (this was used for added color due to the fact that we were not able to procure various colors of beets)
1 part real maple syrup
1 part balsamic vinegar
1 part dijon mustard (i used stone ground horseradish mustard)
2 parts extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste

i cleaned the beets, cut off the tops (left about 2 inches on), drizzled them with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt, wrapped them in tin foil and put them in the oven for 1 1/2 hours at 375. you'll know they're done when they're tender and you can easily stick a knife in them.
peel the beets. slice the beets. slice the tomato. wash and dry greens. arrange salad. drizzle vinaigrette on top.

we invited friends who brought beer (this is the key. if i'm cooking, you're bringing beer).
it was pretty damn good.


friday morning was filled with mowing the lawn, trimming trees and pulling weeds from the garden in hopes of planting vegetables next weekend.

friday lunch (and saturday breakfast)

we made falafel - the box kind (easy)

added mixed greens, red onion and tomato
and then topped it with delicious vegan tzatziki sauce
served on pitas (we accidentally got the flat bread so it was more falafel taco than pita pocket but it worked fine)

vegan tzatziki sauce:

1 1/2 c vegan mayo

1/2 seedless cucumber (diced small)

3 cloves garlic (minced)

1 tbsp lemon juice

handful of chopped dill

red pepper to taste

salt/pepper to taste

Saturday, April 24, 2010

saturday brunch with the damsma family

i will not take credit for the food displayed here. i will, however, give thanks to lynne (definitely not vegan) who investigated and prepared delicious vegan brunch options.
grand prize: "bacon", potato, and green onion frittata (background, green casserole dish)

1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4-5 green onions, chopped with green and white parts separated
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium potatoes, shredded
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 lbs firm tofu
2-3 tbsp soy sauce
2-3 tbsp faux bacon (bacos are, in fact, vegan) definitely not healthy but completely vegan

saute garlic, onion, and white part of green onions in olive oil.
increase heat and add potatoes, salt, and pepper.
cook for 15 minutes.
blend tofu, soy sauce in food processor until creamy (lynne chose this option. i would've just mixed with a fork)
fold in bacos, green part of green onions, and potato/onion mixture.
pour into casserole dish.
bake 30-40 minutes @ 350.

runner up: crumb cake (foreground)
1 cup soy milk
1 tbsp vinegar
1/3 cup soft tofu
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
3 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder

blend soy milk, vinegar, and tofu until smooth.
in a separate bowl mix flour, brown sugar, 2 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ginger, salt, and oil.
combine 1 1/4 cups of this mixture with walnuts and remaining cinnamon.
combine remainder of the flour mixture with baking soda, baking powder, and blended tofu mixture.
spread this into 9x13 pan and pour the walnut mixture over it.
bake 30-35 minutes @ 350.

sassy joes continued

for those who are interested and enjoy recipes (as i do):

creamy vegan coleslaw dressing:
2/3 cup vegan mayonnaise
2 tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 1/2 tbsp sugar
salt to taste (just a little)

sassy joe details:
almost a pound of tofu
brown in a tablespoon of molasses
add a 6 oz can of tomato paste
add sauteed vegetables
let simmer
add water as needed for consistency

i added ketchup, horseradish mustard, oregano, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper to flavor it while it simmered

i also added rice vinegar.... too much of it. so L suggested i add sugar to conteract it. it worked. so if you add vinegar be careful.

make sure you keep stirring it from the beginning so it doesn't burn and stick

~A aka the sassy chef

sassy joes

at work all day friday. ten hours.

i walk in the door and am greeted with a kiss and a beer...and, about 30 minutes later, a delicious meal. it was supposed to be a surprise.

a peek in the kitchen:
the cutting board was covered with diced vegetables: tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, and peppers (green and jalapeno).
since everything we eat contains vegetables, this did not really reveal much.
there was also a bowl of tofu - mashed with a fork.
again, nothing too revealing.
bottles of ingredients filled the counters and i spotted a package of whole wheat buns.
ideas were starting to form.

as i sat on the the couch smoking a cigarette, watching chopped, and drinking a beer, i could smell said diced vegetables being sauteed.

a trip to the fridge to grab another beer revealed a delicious coleslaw prepared with shredded broccoli, carrots, and red cabbage and coated with a mixture that involved white wine vinegar, sugar, and veganaise.

more couch sitting, cigarette smoking, tv watching, and beer drinking. in the kitchen, tofu was being browned with molasses.

the sauteed vegetables were added to the tofu along with spices, vinegar, ketchup, sugar, horseradish mustard, a can of tomato paste (there may have been other ingredients, but i was watching tv so i'm not quite certain).

essentially, the contents of the pan were placed on the whole wheat bun and we ended up with sassy joes - i call them sassy because the chef was sassy. said sassy joes were served alongside the delicious coleslaw to produce a meal reminiscent of childhood. it was delicious.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


text messages:
A: Now on to food - what should we make thursday? Did u have an idea?
L: I have not even considered our menu. Generally I leave the planning up to you, but I'll investigate possibilities tomorrow.
A: or i can either way. I feel like it should be pretty - like colorful for our first picture event.
L: Yes ma'am. My thoughts exactly.

the following day:
A: i was thinking of something with wasabi for dinner tomorrow.
L: i like wasabi and i love you.

So sushi was the choice.

We had the sushi mat, rice vinegar and sushi rice so all that was needed was nori and veggie fillings. We just wandered around the produce department and picked things out.

We decided on:
asparagus (quickly blanched)
shitake mushrooms (marinated in soy sauce and sesame oil)
tofu (pressed)
carrots (painstakingly matchsticked)

the sushi rice was easy and delicious.

cook it.

cool (original instructions recommend using a fan to help the cooling process - we passed on that) and toss in 1/3 cup rice vinegar, 3 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp salt.

make the rolls with any combination of the fillings.
(rolling them is simple and there are helpful picture directions on the nori package)

serve with soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger. the end.

Sunday, April 11, 2010