Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 30: Full circle...

The last day of MoFo? Already?! This is the first year I've ever blogged every day of MoFo, the first year I've ever done pictures even semi-regularly, and somehow... the first year I haven't felt burnt out on food blogging by the end of it. Hmm.

Today I ended up more or less recreating the first day of MoFo with some slight variations! So if this sounds familiar... that's why. We're right back where we started really.

Breakfast! A whole wheat sesame bagel with plain Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese and tomatoes.

The Emperor LOVED the Tofutti, which cracked me up. I sort of tolerate the stuff... I used to be a big big cream cheese eater in my pregan days and sometimes I need something to fill that niche. But I wouldn't say I love Tofutti's cream cheese. I need to have some sort of vegetable with it... preferably tomatoes, but cucumbers are okay too. The Emperor picked off the tomato and licked the Tofutti off of as much as the bagel as I'd let him. (He ate a bit of bagel too, though.)

Snack! A Pippin apple and a soy latte at Peet's. I really had to fight the Emperor to get to have any of this apple. He was really, really into it. I've created a monster.

Mmm, lunch. We've got tempeh noodle salad, Korean spinach salad, and Samurai snack mix. As an experiment, I put a fork in the noodles and a fork in the spinach and set them both in front of the Emperor. He looked at them for a few seconds, then snatched up the spinach fork and began shoveling the stuff in. Ha ha. He's such a funny guy.

Now this is different than the first day of MoFo. This is a really fantastic dinner, mostly prepared by that wonder of wonders, my husband. (See, he can cook a LOT of stuff other than stir fries!) Trinidadian roti, urad dal with a tarka, and Punjabi-style kabocha squash.

Can I tell you something surprising? The SQUASH is the star of this show. It is so, so, so good. I tend to think of squash as a filler vegetable, but there's something really beautiful about it here. Another vegetable cooked in the same spices just wouldn't do the same job. Ah, it's really good.

And the flatbreads are phenomenal too.

And if you don't believe me, check out this bonus picture:

Well, friends... that's it! That's MoFo! Thank you for reading, and... we'll see you a little sooner than next year, nudge nudge, wink wink.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 29: Pumpkin French Toast!

Is today the saddest day of MoFo? I guess tomorrow (the last day! already?!) will be, but... today I managed a scant two pictures for MoFo. Alas.

I always find the first day home from vacation to be kind of like this. I'm always a bit mopey and unmotivated. Which leads to not a lot of interesting food I'm afraid.

But here we go, here are my two pictures!

Pumpkin French toast! Recipe out of Vegan Brunch. This completes my pumpkin breakfast trifecta for the fall... I've now made pancakes, waffles, and French toast.

This was really good, though its texture tended towards the eggier, wetter French toast that I remember from my pregan days. Also, the seasoning is a little intense, which surprised me, because I usually think pumpkin swallows up most of whatever it's spiced with. Still very yummy, and perfect with maple syrup, which I don't usually enjoy.

Stir fry for dinner! Tempeh, kale, bok choy and soba in a miso-sake marinade. Guess who made this? That's right, stir fry master J! He could tell I was mopey and made me something good to eat... I think...

The Emperor loved this so much. He ate a ton of tempeh, a ton of bok choy, a ton of kale. The one part I didn't see go in his mouth? The NOODLES. He has such strange tastes for a little kid.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 28: Home again, home again...

I have to tell you guys, today almost defeated my MoFo streak. I am sooo exhausted. How can sitting in the car for 14 hours make a person so tired?! Then my laptop randomly stopped seeing the network even though every other computer in the house can see it, then Blogger didn't remember that I'd already written most of the post, and on top of that I couldn't find the card reader... whew. But I made it anyway!

Here's what we ate!

Breakfast at the Greenleaf Restaurant in Ashland, OR. Can we talk about the good things first? Good things: the breakfast potatoes are fantastic. The service is really good. Soy latte: very nice. Rye toast (dry, no option for EB and the only apparent jam was stuff with HFCS as the first or second ingredient, yuckers) was fine.

It looks like a great place to eat if you're an ovo-lacto vegetarian and probably quite passable for a vegan lunch or dinner.

But breakfast. Oy. The only thing I could clearly see on the menu (and this is another poor point: while vegetarian items are clearly labeled on the menu, and the restaurant clearly has an idea what vegan means, there's NO indication what is and isn't vegan on the menu!) that was vegan was this tofu scramble.

And there's no two ways to say it. It was bad. It was a really bad tofu scramble. The tofu was not seasoned at all. It had every vegetable in the world in it, where I would have preferred a few really good vegetables. Also, and I know this is me, but I don't want carrots in my breakfast scramble. Ever. Or both red AND green cabbage. Disappointing.

Snack! This is the Emperor eating a whole wheat raspberry bar from The Olive Pit in Corning, CA. The Olive Pit is a store that is about 85% olives, 10% other snacks, 5% random gifts. And it has a little cafe. These raspberry bars are about the only non-olive vegan things in the place, but I really like them so it works out okay for me. He likes them too.

Dinner at home! Not a very exciting feast, but we're glad to be home after our loooooong day. Store bought hummus and baguette with an okay pinot noir. Passable fare for tired, hungry people.

BONUS PICTURE! Here's the Emperor observing ducks at Lithia Park in Ashland.


We just got in (well, about an hour ago) from Oregon. We left around 4:30 a.m., so didn't make particularly great time, but we did stop and have breakfast and other things, so no big surprise there.

I have MoFo pictures to go up today but! Aaah! I'm not sure where the card reader is. Somewhere in one of my bags.

As a sneak peek, here are some things I think we got pictures of:

- Greenleaf Restaurant in Ashland, OR
- Snack at the Olive Pit in Corning, CA
- dinner at home!
- many cute baby pictures!

More on this hopefully later tonight. The Emperor is helping me write this post and he says "hi!" Well, the closest thing he says to hi is "HUH DOH" which we think is him trying to say "hello." But you know what I mean. Once he goes to bed, I'll dig out the card reader and hopefully we'll get our MoFo on.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 27: Quality, not quantity...

Well guys, I failed at eating more things so I could take more pictures of things. It seems like mostly today I had coffee (not pictured). The Emperor seems to be feeling off and that kinda throws everything for me too. Alas.

But here's what we DID have! It was all really good.

Toast for breakfast. Rosemary potato bread with Earth Balance, and two slices of whole wheat cranberry walnut bread with almond butter.

Broccoli and crackers with Sabra hummus. We mostly make hummus at home these days, so it's kind of a treat to have store hummus sometimes! I like the Sabra stuff too. It's generally super creamy.

Stir fry! Guess who cooked this? You guessed it. This is J's creation. Very tasty, AND Grandpa got the Emperor to eat cooked broccoli, to which he has previously been resistant.

And finally, your bonus picture!

Emperor sleeping again.

I have to go pack to go home. Ugh. Don't wanna. (Especially since we're just coming back in three weeks... can't we just stay until then?!) Not sure what tomorrow's post will be yet-- we're going to try to push through in one day again, yucky though that is. More later!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 26: Thai food and leftovers...

And not much else. I had breakfast, too, but somehow missed it in pictures-- it was toast with EB. Very exciting.

We went to visit J's grandmother in the hospital, and on the way back, we stopped for a meal at Thai Country in McMinnville.

Here's their appetizer soup. It's basically a somewhat spicy vegetable tom kha with tofu. When we were here over the summer, the server confirmed that it was veg-safe. Pretty tasty.

Here's the Emperor drinking some water. Mmmm, water.

Spicy eggplant tofu special. Super delicious, though on the greasy side. (Oh well.) The Emperor ate a bunch of the tofu cubes out of it but he was also stealing food from his dad at the same time, so I don't think he ever got to the eggplant. He DID take a big bite of barely cooked onion at one point, which was kind of gross, but he seemed to like it.

The Emperor at the dinner table. You'll notice he sits in a grown up chair like the distinguished young gentleman that he is. He's also really been working the fork and the spoon lately and impressing everyone with his ability to feed himself.

Look familiar? Yup, that's a tasty plate of Thanksgiving leftovers! The root veg only got better overnight, and it was very tasty to start with.

That's all! Tomorrow's likely our last day in Oregon for this trip, and I'll uh, try to eat some more stuff so that there's something to actually post here.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 25: THANSKGIVING!

Short but sweet.

Breakfast! Peanut butter toast and pomegranate.

Root vegetables and tofurky sausage.

Parker house rolls.

Parker house rolls, root veg, wild rice & apricot stuffing, fruit salad.

Emperor Pie!

Finally, your bonus picture:

Grey asleep on the couch before Thanksgiving dinner.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 24: We made it to Oregon!

We had a fairly uneventful drive to Oregon. It was QUITE long... we got in the car about 4:30 a.m. and got out of the car about 10 p.m. It's not usually quite so long, but it took us almost 3 hours to get through about a five mile stretch at the Siskiyou summit. Snow, ice, and stopped traffic... for no clear reason. That sucked, but the rest of the drive was great.

Today we've been kinda just moseying around J's parents' house and recovering from the drive. Here are some things we ate:

Breakfast! Peanut butter and banana on whole wheat toast... J's mom made the bread.

Snack! Apples and peanut butter.

More snack! Hummus on the same whole wheat bread as breakfast.

J & breadstick. You can tell that he knows breadsticks are serious business!

Black bean stew & brown rice with homemade breadsticks. The stew was really good... it had cumin "by the tablespoonful" which is something I always like to hear. I ate a ton.

Also ate a Clif Bar and some crackers throughout the course of the day. And coffee and tea.

Here's your bonus picture! We stopped at Lithia Park in Ashland for about half an hour and let the Emperor run around, and he just had a grand old time.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 23: ROADTRIP!

Guys, I am secretly on a road trip right now. If all goes according to plan, this should hit the internet about the same time as I hit my in-laws' house in Oregon. But I'm actually writing it ahead of time, in case we're delayed or just too crispy fried to post on the internet when we get there.

So you know what the best part of a roadtrip is? No, it's not 16 hours of This American Life on your ipod, nerd. The best part of a roadtrip is the SNACK! Being trapped in a car is the perfect excuse to nibble and nosh all the live long day.

May I present to you: our 2010 Thanksgiving drive snack feast!

Vegan pigs in blankets! Yesssssss! We were going to bring sandwiches and then decided to make a batch of these instead. It's our first ever piggies-in-the-car experience (foodwise; our (guinea) piggies travel with us all the time!) but I'm pretty excited.

Samurai snack mix! Rice crackers (Emperor, J), smoky almonds (J, me), wasabi things (J, me), pumpkin seeds (Emperor), dried corn kernels (everyone?). Something for everyone in here.

Vanilla almond granola. This is specifically for the Emperor, but I'm almost definitely going to steal a bite here and there.

Sesame sticks. Another one we all like.

Three apples and a pomegranate! (Three apples and a pomegranate walk into a bar, and the bartender says...) Yum.

Kale chips. Yuuuuck. These are for the boy.

Grapes! Mostly for me and the Emperor.

Yogurt! Again, for us to split.

Red Vines! J swears it's not a road trip without Red Vines. Being from the east coast, I always feel a little disdainful towards Red Vines... they're like Twizzlers, but worse. But I will probably see fit to wallow my mouth a couple of these along the way.

So there you have it. We've got enough food to feed us for like a week... and isn't that what Thanksgiving's all about?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 22: Delmarette & Dal!

So today was our last day in Santa Cruz before Thanksgiving break. We're heading up to Oregon quite early tomorrow morning to go visit J's family. I took the Emperor into town for a bit of fun today... he's got a loooong day of car riding ahead of him tomorrow.

Here's what we ate!

What is it: Tofurky on whole grain bread with leftover eggplant-dill spread. Plus a coffee (with almond milk) and a Pippin apple.
My thoughts: Tasty! Filling! It's better than bad, it's good! This eggplant spread is actually a really nice sandwich condiment, and somewhat healthier than Vegenaise (my number one condiment of choice).
Emperor's reaction: He ate a nibble of the crust, then greedily snatched a bit of tofurky out of the side. Which is really funny, because he mostly doesn't care for tofurky.

He was also very greedy about the apple. Lately I have to more or less wrestle him to get a bite of the apple. He doesn't really want to eat much of it, but he wants to carry it around, biting it and sucking on it. He had a bit of a temper tantrum re:sharing this one with me. Sad, but kind of hilarious and cute at the same time. (As hilarious and cute as a tantrum can be.)

What is it: Whole Soy cherry soy yogurt.
My thoughts: I've said it before. This is more or less the only soy yogurt I like, and I really freaking like it.
Emperor's reaction: He loves it too. I was only going to buy one-- to eat in the car tomorrow-- but he got SO excited when he saw this in the store that I ended up buying two and splitting one with him right away.

What is it: Soy latte with house-made pumpkin spice syrup at the Delmarette in Santa Cruz
My thoughts: Oh so good. Sorry the picture's kind of bad... the table was wobbly and the boy was delighting in shaking it while I tried to take the picture.
Emperor's reaction: He loved the tiny spoon.

What is it: Sea salt-vinegar kale chips.
My thoughts: A lot of people recommended these to me after hearing how much the Emperor likes kale. They were on sale so I decided to take a gamble. And I am sorry to tell you, these are every bit as horrible as I thought they would be. They are everything I don't like about kale, all in one spot. The stems are like ROCKS and are absolutely the worst part. Yuck.
Emperor's reaction: Um, he loves them. REALLY loves them. I think he thinks I'm letting him eat wood chips or something. He kept going back for me. There's no accounting for taste...

What is it: The "Ichabod" sandwich at the Delmarette. Pumpkin-walnut pate with avocado and pea shoots (I think?) on a delicious grainy bread.
My thoughts: Too bad I'm taken, I'd marry this sandwich. It is VERY rich between the walnut and the avocado... but really, really, really good.
Emperor's reaction: He loved it as much as I did, except for the sprouts. He ate 90% of the avocado off of one slice and about a third of the rest of the slice (bread and pate).

What is it: Urad dal with an onion-mirasol pepper-cumin seed tarka on top of a bed of brown rice.
My thoughts: Simple, flavorful, amazing dinner. I love dal + tarkas so much.
Emperor's reaction: He loved it! I think this is the first time he's had urad dal. He kept stealing bites of mine and got pretty mad when he realized my bowl was empty. That's my kid!

And last but not least, here's your bonus picture for the day.

Q: How can you tell the Emperor is my son?
A: He drinks sriracha out of the bottle, just like mom.