Breakfast Casserole

What is this? It’s Mom’s Breakfast Casserole from Vegan Brunch. Was it good? Eh, yeah. Was it a lot of work? Hells yeah. Would I make it again? Er, no. My husband really loved it, and it did feed us for three days. But I don’t know that I would make this version again. I’m pretty sure I would try to find a good veggie sausage for the top layer, because the tempeh wasn’t quite right. And there was a little too much tofu in my tofu layer, and waaaaay too much paprika on the potatoes. And where were the onions? THE ONIONS? I liked the cheese sauce, but there was no warning that I shouldn’t put all three cups of it on there. Or was that the way it’s supposed to be? I think I’d like to try this again with a little Daiya pepperjack cheese. Yum.

Beets, beets, beets, beets…

Baked tempeh. Homemade rolls. Little cute orange segments. One pound of beets. A $2.50 box of wild rice. Dinner!

I feel like I should have added the cliched “priceless” at the end of that list. But I’m gonna go with–this was good. Not great, not…OH MY WHAT? AWESOMESAUCE. It was just, you know, different. Very orangey. Very…I don’t know what. My husband couldn’t really place the flavors, except to say they were complicated, and he was shocked to discover he liked beets. I would make this again in one of those moods when I had two hours to kill and didn’t really know what I wanted to eat. Or, it may be more of a fall food than a spring food. Who knows?

The rolls though…seriously. Just made with leftover english muffin dough. They were stellar. That dough is the most perfect dough recipe in the whole world. Lucky me, I get to make it every week!

Recipe from Appetite for Reduction.

Super Bowl Week!…the gravy bowl

Don’t you wish there was an actual Bowl game called “The Gravy Bowl”? I would so watch that. And I do not understand football. Do not try to explain it to me. I will not get it.

This isn’t like the Indiana Jones ride, you can look into the gravy bowl’s eyes and not head to your doom. Seriously, this was AMAZING. I took the time to steam the tempeh (always steam the tempeh) and the marinade rocked it. Actually, this marinade was very close to one I used to make for chicken, so it had a familiar taste to it. But better! So much better! And the gravy.

I want to take a moment of silence for that gravy.

Creamy, salty, rich…oh, gravy. GRAVY! You are always gravy to me. Also, perfect brown rice again, people. And decent sautéed mushrooms (they were sadly cold by the time I got everything together–should have made them last). And there it is, my old frienemy kale. I know you’re good for me. But eating you makes me feel like I’m chewing on old newspaper. When I make this again (and I WILL) I’ll probably use asparagus instead of kale, because who doesn’t need more asparagus in their life?

Recipes found in Appetite for Reduction. Except for the mushrooms, which you make like this–

Sautéed Mushrooms:

  • 1&1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (any kind you like)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, sliced
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp thyme (if you aren’t putting this on something else with thyme in it)
  • 1/4 cup white wine

Oil up your pan with some cooking spray and set to medium-high. I use cast iron, because it rocks. Toss in the mushrooms, and let them get browned on one side. Don’t touch! Now, stir them about and throw in your garlic. Keep cooking until both garlic and mushrooms are a little brown (but don’t burn the garlic, it will taste horrible). Add the thyme, salt & pepper, and stir it for a few seconds. Add the white wine to the center of the pan, and watch to make sure it cooks out. Remove from pan and use to top something delicious.

Epic Polenta Stuffing Fail

Let me start by saying that today has not been the best day. Nothing horrible happened, mind you, it was just one of those cotton-in-my-head days where nothing gets done but naps and cooking. I suppose that sounds awesome, but for me it means a missed opportunity to clean the house, or do something fun (other than cooking, which I do love), or get some well needed vitamin D. Also, this may be my shameful secret, but I absolutely hate to nap. I hate it. When I wake up from any length of nap, I feel groggy and weird and I don’t feel right the entire rest of the day. This may be why I had such a hard time with a newborn, I felt like this for two months solid.

Anywho, I was looking forward to one of my favorite Appetite for Reduction dinners, Tamarind BBQ Tempeh and Polenta Stuffing. Last time I made the stuffing, it was perfect–little crispy browned squares, succulent sautéed veggies, the exact right amount of spices. It made me want to cry in its deliciousness. Cut to tonight–mushy, mushy polenta, undercooked veggies, bland as all get out. Boo! I think the problem was that I made my own polenta, and I made too much of it. And I didn’t cook it until it was SUPER FIRM. Next time, I am just buying that stupid $1 tube at the store and having a delicious dinner. So there!

The BBQ tempeh was still good, though I need to remember to cut the squares smaller, so I get less bitter flavor. Or I should just steam them first, but I am lazy. I so look forward to my Sunday dinners, and this was just…sad. Boo.

Astoria, Oregon (Part I)

I’m back from vacation! It was great, except for the very last, last little bit where my plane left 3 hours late. Oh, and the part where I had to kindly tell two people to stop having sex with each other on the plane directly across the aisle from my daughter. Nice.

Anyway, the food! Did you know Oregon has awesome vegan food? You did? Well, then…you should keep reading anyway.

Our first road trip stop was in Astoria, Oregon. It’s the home of Kindergarten Cop, the Goonies, some horror movies, awesome houses, a great co-op, and delicious food.

My favorite place was the Blue Scorcher Bakery & Cafe. It’s all vegetarian, and extremely vegan and kid friendly. If and when I get the opportunity to live in Astoria, I would love to work here.

For breakfast, I had the Tempeh and Toast. I actually started eating it before I took the photo, it was that delicious. Also, full disclosure, the milk you see in the photo is for my daughter, who is not a vegan, and it did come from a cow. If that makes you uncomfortable, I’m sorry.

I wish I made tempeh this flavorful and wonderful. And what is it about Oregon that makes all the salad greens taste wonderful? Like magic.