Displaced Stay At Home Californian in rural N. Carolina

The Many Faces of Joy

The Many Faces of Joy

Friday, January 6, 2012

Week One

Wow, what a week. Lets just say for starters that cooking good vegan food; and I emphasize the word GOOD in my sentence, takes a lot of money, prep and work. I have been to the following grocery stores to find ingredients this week: Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Marina Foods, Safeway, Pasha's Market and Kyo Po Market (my Korean favorite). I tend to only shop at one market per week so this week was a real trip into what the local grocery stores have to offer and at what price I'm willing to purchase it.

Drug roll please - here is what our week looked like in food:

Monday night - Mad dash to Kung BBQ so I could eat as much fish cake and greasy meaty goodness before my vegan month began. This place rocks and the soup blows my mind. The side dishes are fresh and crunchy and nothing is too salty which is saying a lot for a Korean place! The restaurant is decorated well and has a nice feel to it, and the staff are polite and responsive.

Tuesday night - We had one of my old fall backs for comfort food, good old Jamaican Stew Peas and Rice with Spinners (dumplings). It was made with vegetable broth and coconut milk and the dumplings were held together with soy milk and water instead of milk. I thought it was rich and delicious. This is also one of my husband's favorite dinners and so I enjoy making it and enjoy watching him eat it.

Wednesday Night - Soup Night is always a fun night and after smelling a pot of creamy roasted red pepper soup made by my good friend Karen Lewis on New Years Eve, I had been dreaming of roasting my own peppers so I made Savory Roasted Red Pepper Soup and yes it is vegan. I blended up some silken tofu with lemon juice and used it to make the soup creamy like Karen's (only she used cream) and it did the trick! I was really happy with this soup the only downside was the 4 hours it took to make it. OK, maybe it was only 3 and a half hours but it was definitely time consuming.

Thursday night - Vegetable Pot Pies made with homemade crust. I took several recipes and blended them into my own recipe, but the outstanding flavor of the pie was the fresh sage and thyme that I got at Trader Joe's. So outstanding was the flavor that my pickiest of picky children finished every last vegetable in her pie!

Friday night - tonight it was a recipe from the book Cook 1.0 a fresh approach to the vegetarian kitchen by Heidi Swanson. This woman is an amazing cook and I am not sure why she doesn't weight 322 lbs but in the meantime, she makes whole grains and vegetarianism and vegan-ism and getting back to the basics with food look and taste amazing. The meal I made was Citrus Tofu and Long Bean and Walnut Stir-fry and it took me less than 1 hour to get in the front door and sit down to eat. Fast, delicious, fresh, vegan and wholesome. For rice I used 2 cups of short grain Calrose rice with 2 cups of Korean mixed grains which contains oats, brown rice, black glutinous rice, buckwheat, red lentils and pearl barley. It was sticky and thick, brown and hearty and we will have plenty for tomorrow warmed up with a little Sriracha Red Rooster and leftovers.

Lucky for me I made plenty to have later and plenty to freeze because I am going to take a 2 day break now from cooking, shopping, prepping, chopping, dicing, slicing, freezing, bagging, mixing, basting, boiling, frying, stirring, baking, and just eat the items above. I think I'm becoming a vegan!

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