Bistro Beet Burgers

Ohmehgawd! These are fantastic (apologies for the bad photo)! They are from Isa Chandra's Isa Does It book, and are the Bistro Beet Burgers (p82). They are flavorful, they do what few veg burgers do- coagulate nicely, and they aren't a boat load of work. I made "slider" size burgers to be sure that they cooked all the way through and made them on a cast iron skillet (which I am forever loyal to). These were also served up on pretzel buns (or a sliced pretzel baguette), which elevates any burger to amazing heights (ala Kumas Korner in Chicago <3 )

Chickpea Salad Sammies

Hey stranger! Yeah, it's been awhile. I think I mentioned last time how all-consuming my job is. So much so that I rarely cook now and when I do, I never think of photographing or talking about it anymore. Until today :) I'm home sick, and had to get up and feed myself. I had seen Isa Chandra's post about Chickpea Salad Sammies the other day and decided to try them. It's a super simple, fast recipe (here: that made for a darn fine lunch. I would like to experiment with other mayos (I used Veganaise) and spices/ flavors. This is pretty clean and simple- but still, tasty. Hope to see you again soon!

Seitan Curry Salad

Another Beans and Barley recipe- I was trying to nail down how to recreate the tofu curry salad at Whole Foods. This was a super awesome alternative, and, I think, maybe even better than the whole foods one. I love the texture of their tofu or whatever they use, so that's one point in their column, but this one has so many amazing flavors, that it wins. I used the "chicken-style" seitan from RFD's book, the sauce (for lack of a better word) is Veganaise based, which I truly would not have thought of on my own. Then there's; carrot, celery, scallions, garlic, parsley, ginger, curry, turmeric, salt and pepa, and the seitan. Shockingly, even Davey liked it (he hates mayo with a passion). Thanks again to that fella who sent me the Beans cookbook- it continues to be awesome!

Hummus and Tabouli Pita

This is barely cooking- which kind of makes it more awesome! As you can see, I haven't been cooking anything new much lately. I was flooded with work before Christmas, which was fantastic, but left us eating a lot of prepackaged sauces and dinners.

This could involve a lot of cooking- or not. It's my version of a pita sandwich that I had on Christmas Eve when we had family in town that were allergic to cats (and vegan food too, kinda). We went to Casbah cafe in Silverlake, which I have only been to once despite having lived around the corner for two years. After eating this sandwich, I wished that I had a time machine so that I could've been enjoying Casbah's food since 2009. This sandwich is a combination of flavors that I would never have paired and it's amazing. Here's the stuff:

Pita Bread
Avocado (about 1/2 per full pita)
Mixed green salad tossed in balsamic vinaigrette
capers (my addition- the restaurant serves it with olives on the side)

See what I mean? Balsamic with Hummus and Tabouli? But it's fantastic! So, you can see how this could be more involved- you could make your own vinaigrette, hummus and tabouli. I made my own dressing but got the rest from whole foods deli. Their tabouli is a bit too minty- next time I'm making my own. But, this was faster and easy to put together while working 12+ hour days!

A note about the blog

This pic is from Veg Nosh's heyday. When I didn't have a day job (10-7or 8 daily) and could cook elaborate meals a few times a week and then photo them in daylight (it's dark by the time dinner is done now). It's been really challenging. Coupled with the fact that I need to bring a lunch despite working as a designer for a restaurant (they have pretty much zero vegan food). Also, there's no refrigerator or microwave there, so it's pretty much a set of circumstances set up to test my veganhood. And, so far- so good. I found that if I wrap a cold dish in reuseable ice cube sheets that it stays cold until lunch. I got a hot food container and can heat things up in the morning and they stay pretty much warm until lunch (I don't want to think about food safety issues with this).

What I did find is that a few meals are good for this newfound lifestyle of not a lot of cooking time at night and the stupid lunch situation. They are:

Mexican Quinoa Salad
Seitan Enchiladas (cooked on Sunday, when I had some time!)
Hummus Wrap (that was a great one)
Cold Penne Salad
Peanut Noodle Salad
and Seitan Tacos (for quick home dinners)

No one ever said that being vegan wasn't a pain in the bum at times (or if they did- they're probably trying to convert someone or they have a personal chef).

Still, despite the inconvenience, I'm not rethinking it. I do long for the days when I could labor over dinners for hours on end multiple times during the week. But, the steady income is a good trade off!