December 28th, 2009

Help for dinner

Hi! I need some more help. I am in Paris, and trying to come up with an amazing vegan meal for my dad and his wife. However, this whole cooking without any kind of pre-packaged food scares the heck out of me. I went to the grocery store today and while it was HUGE! it didn't seem to have all that much food. It had clothes and furniture and all kinds of scary stuff, but not the rows of canned beans and tomatoes that I am so used to.

So - I found some giant bags of gnocchi, which I love. I would love to make some for dinner, but the problem is that I don't how to make tomato sauce without a can of tomato sauce. I can make a wine-based sauce, there's lots of wine about. But how? And the grocery store had these lovely giant eggplants. And tomatoes, and just about every other usual vegetable. And bread as a side is great. There's plenty of stores around that have the traditional bread without the egg wash. And what can I throw in for a bit more protein?

His wife is making ratatouille for dinner tonight, so I need to make something that is slightly impressive. They're also not giant pro-vegan-ers, so I for sure need some help.

ETA: On second thought, one of the other grocery stores probably has canned tomatoes and that kind of stuff, and I am going to try to stop by that grocery store tomorrow, so I could probably use some canned stuff too. Probably.
unschooling, homeschooling

Improvised cooking appliances help! No stove, no oven.

My stove is, according to the nice repair man, trying to kill me. So while I am waiting for a replacement, it is unplugged and inoperable.

I have two crockpots, a tempermental toaster oven and an electric teakettle. I also have a camp stove and a gas barbecue, but it is supposed to be cold and rainy all week, so I'm not thrilled with the idea of trying to use them.

I do not have a stove, broiler, rice cooker, steamer, oven or microwave.

The meals I bought groceries for this week were:

Sweet Potato black bean enchilada casserole (pantry mole from vegan brunch, steamed, cubed sweet potatoes, layered with beans and tortillas and baked)
Asian veggie stir fry with tofu and rice (I have mushrooms, onions, shredded cabbage, peppers, carrots, zucchini, tofu and broccoli for this)
French onion soup topped with Daiya cheese in a bread bowl
Reheated lasanga leftover from Christmas- I guess I can reheat that in the toaster oven, maybe. I hope. Because it was yummy and I'd hate to waste it.
Veggie burgers and sweet potato oven fries (I can reheat the frozen burgers in the toaster oven, but they need a side, and I'm stumped)
Uncheese fondue with bread, apples, and blanched broccoli
Tofu Florentine with mock hollandaise and oven roasted potatoes
Maple baked lentils (which I can manage in the crockpot), baked squash, steamed broccoli, and quinoa.

So I need help figuring out how to cook the veggies and the grains, or alternative recipes that will use the same ingredients. Gah. I am SO not amused.

I've got a well stocked pantry and spice rack, but I want to make sure to use up the fresh veggies so I don't waste them.


I rarely eat nuts, but I eat beans (lima) in soups and salads. I use Morningstar Farms products as my main source of protein (mostly the veggie burgers and crumbles, not so much the breaded items.) Is this good? I know they are a good source of protein, but are their products HEALTHY??

Veggie soup, broth

I have a question.
I cook veggie soup (vegetable s in veggie broth), but sometimes I don't have the time to stop and make the soup (or the money to run to the store and stock up on more vegetables)... so sometimes I just have hot veggie broth as my meal.

Am I still getting good nutrition from the broth?
(I know "not as greatly as if you ate the vegetables") but it's better than replacing my veggie soup with junkfood.

So, in your opinion is drinking the veggie broth as a replacement ok?
Bones Belts It Out

Mole Enchiladas Three Ways

I was inspired by the mole enchiladas at Rancho's in San Diego. For their fillings they have one with beans, another with tofu and another with just avocado. Since my grandmother gave us a squash last week, we decided to do a filling using that instead of the avocado (which isn't very good anyway, just in case you go there) and just used canned vegetarian refried beans.

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Allergy-and-omni-friendly party foods?

Hi all!

Just looking for some party foods, for a New Years'. I'd planned to make a little geodesic dome out of gingerbread (piparkakut), to take and share. Buuuuuuuuuuuut I just remembered -- one of the attendees is celiac. Don't know how many other people will know to accommodate for him, but don't have the time (or the money) to remix with rice flour. Plus, something always goes wrong. It either absorbs too much water from the air and collapses away from the joins -- curse you, Australian summer! -- or buckles weirdly when I try to add the toffee. (And that doesn't even make sense. =/)

So, with three days to go: does anyone know of any quick and easy party foods that I could put together?Obviously it can't contain gluten, but nor can it contain traces of any sort of nut. It's really the nut part that's throwing me, since so much of my own diet involves them in some way. Fruit salad's always an option, but I always end up being the only person eating it. Something like joulutorttua (Finnish jam pastries) or teeny tiny cupcakes could be an option, but I haven't worked with other flours enough. Otherwise, I might just bring the dome and fill it with wheat-free lollies.

It would be fantastic if someone could help. =) Sorry for the essay!