December 7th, 2005

damn artichokes

don't get me wrong, I LOVE artichokes. I love artichokes so much that I bought about a dozen of them. Sadly, I got sick of steamed artichokes every day, so eating them really became a chore. A few got moldy. Well I just found a fantastic way to prepare whole artichokes that is new to me. Frying! When in doubt, fry it up! First I quartered them and cleaned out the choke. Then I trimmed off the extra leaves that aren't so tasty, though a few did get left on and I just had to nibble the yummy parts off the crunchy parts. Then I tossed them in a pan with a little bit of hot oil, and fried them up until they were golden brown. I ate them with a little salt, pepper and some rice cooked with tomato paste. Super yummy! Next time I want to try some garlic and spices and maybe some sort of breading.

creamy spinach and rice casserole

after figuring that there probably is such a thing as too much apple cake (I know! I really just wanted to save some for later), I decided it'd be a good idea to start dinner. besides, it'd take my mind off of apple cake.

apple cake?! where?

okay, okay. I made a creamy spinach and rice casserole (my first casserole ever) from a recipe also found on vegweb. I'm sharing with an omnivore who likes creamed spinach, and hopefully it'll go over as well as the balsamic portobellos I made last week.

while cooking the sauce, I was a little worried that the casserole wouldn't turn out well or be very hearty. it never really looked "pasty" as the directions said, but I didn't want to add what I thought would be too much flour. the recipe didn't involve many spices at all, so I used five cloves of garlic and added nutmeg, garlic powder, and onion powder. I was generous with salt, pepper, and basil, and also sprinkled the top with nutritional yeast (and a bit more nutmeg) before popping it into the oven. I had a little taste once it had cooled off and I like it- it reminds me of a casserole my mother used to make. what's your favorite (simple) casserole? please share!

here's the recipe: creamy rice and spinach casseroleCollapse )

gingerbread houses

Making gingerbread houses for Christmas has been a tradition in my family for the past 6 or 7 years and it's about that time again. This is my first year as a vegan and I'm running into some difficulties. Our recipe for gingerbread was easily veganized (as it only contained one egg that we replaced with Ener-G to much success) and it's pretty easy to find some vegan candy/snacks for decorating, but I'm having trouble coming up with a way to replace the royal icing. I know I saw a post not too recently requesting a royal icing recipe, but it was for cookie decorating and all the responses seemed mostly to produce a thin icing that took hours to harden. I need something that will be similar to non-vegan royal icing; it has to be able to harden in a few minutes and it has to be able to get really super hard and hold up pieces of gingerbread.

I know I'm going out on a limb, especially since this question was just asked, but if anyone has any experience with vegan gingerbread houses, I'd really appreciate it!!!
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