This past weekend we celebrated Easter. For me, as a non religious person, it’s just another food holiday, which are my favorite! I love making new and special meals to share with family. After a backyard Plastic Easter Egg Hunt for the kids I got to work in the kitchen preparing 2 dishes to bring to my Mother In Laws house.
First up was a Gluten Free/Soy Free/Nut Free-Vegan Carrot Cake. We have some allergies in our family (!) and as the only vegan in the family I wanted to make sure we had a dessert that everyone could eat. I’ve never made a full size Gluten Free cake before so I was a little nervous at how it would come out. As is my nature I tend to not test new recipes out before hand for holidays or events. Its a terrible habit but one that I’ve been able to get away with and managed to get away with again…phew! The cake was a huge success! It was full of hand shredded carrots and a ton of spices. The spiciness of the cake was everyone’s favorite part of it. It was loaded with cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg.
To decorate the cake I made a peachy pink vegan buttercream that I spread out as smooth as possible and piped some little decorations around the edge of the cake. I found some unsweetened coconut in my baking cabinet and sprinkled that on top.
Just before serving the cake my daughter and I added some handmade decorations that she made for the cake earlier in the day to make it more festive. It was adorable. I highly recommend letting your kids help decorate a cake with some of their drawings taped to long wooden skewers.
My husbands Aunt declared that this cake will be her new birthday cake. She loved it that much and I will be happy to make it for her again.
Seitan and Mushroom Roulade
For the vegetarian main entree I made a Seitan and Mushroom Roulade. I only had half a plan for this part of the meal. I know I was going to saute onions, seitan, carrots, mushrooms, garlic and spices and then deglaze the pan with tamari and red wine and then do something with filo dough. First I was going to make individual “cigars”. Then I was going to make individual wrapped pockets. In the end I didn’t have time for anything “individual” and a roulade was just to thing to speed things up! I saved some of the seitan simmering broth and we used that as a jus sauce. It was a nice a festive main entree.
On my plate next to the roulade were Thyme Infused Spring Vegetables and Asian Sauteed Asparagus, both made by my mother. I didn’t eat a lot because I was saving room for the cake! Which we served with Trader Joe’s Soy Vanilla Ice Cream. It was the perfect Holiday Meal.
I had a breakfast date with my husband and son today while my poor daughter is slaving away at a 2nd grade education. I like when we can take these little outings with just one of the kids. Its nice to pay all of your attention to one instead of two. We did miss her though.
My husband took the morning off of work so he and our son could get haircuts. It might sound like a weird things to take off of work for but when your barber goes to Italy for 3 weeks there are A LOT of people who are in need of a cut! We waited an hour this morning and left with 6 people waiting their turn.
Before we went to the barber we headed to Starbucks for breakfast. This is an example of me eating vegan in a very non vegan place. Yes they have soy milk. But that’s it. Besides some bags of nuts or a raw granola bar there isn’t much for a vegan to eat. Luckily the bagels our local Starbucks carries are vegan, except for the cheese one obviously. I alway’s bring along some Earth Balance and my trusty bottle of Nooch (Nutritional Yeast). Its our favorite way to eat our bagels around here!
Seitan Bacon and Arugula BLT
I have 2 favorite summer sandwiches. A BLT and a Tomato and Mayo Sandwich. Especially when they are made with Heirloom Tomatoes that I grow in my own garden. Unfortunately this year all 4 of our tomato plants failed miserably. In fact our whole garden failed miserably thanks to The Marx Brothers.
Its’s also taken us all summer to get to our local Farmers Market held each Saturday. When we finally did go I picked up the most beautiful tomatoes. They were so delicious. You can taste the sunshine that helped grown them. So perfect. After buying these tomatoes I promptly made my us some BLT’s subbing Seitan Bacon for the “B” and Arugula for the “L’. We usually enjoy my own Coconut Bacon on our BLT’s but this time the Seitan Bacon is from the Upton’s Naturals brand and the mayo I use is by Just Mayo. My love for Just Mayo might just be a whole other post.
Tomato and Just Mayo on Toast
I like my bread slightly toasted, I like my mayo to be on the bit of way too much mayo and my tomatoes need to be perfect. Plus lots of salt and fresh cracked pepper. I can easily eat 2-3 of these at a time, but I don’t, usually. We lucked out with some great store bought cherry tomatoes that I sliced in half for some Tomato and Mayo Sandwiches. Its one of the first times I’ve had store bought tomatoes be good enough for these sandwiches.
We are hopeful that next year our garden will work out so we can eat these with tomatoes straight from out backyard.
Seitan Chicken and Waffles
When your sister works from your home to watch your kids when you have to go to work and then requests breakfast for dinner you go all out. This was so much fun to make. We’ve never had the omni version of this meal so I think some of us were a bit skeptical, my husband mostly. We all loved it. Since I was in a pinch I used Van’s GF Waffles. Next time I’ll definitely be making my own waffles. Frozen waffles tend to be thin and crispy. I would love something with more texture.
Her favorite vegetable is Brussels Sprouts so I made them in her honor. They were the perfect side for this meal according to she and I. My husband hates them but to his credit he tried them because they smelled so good. My son didn’t even look at them and my daughter was bribed, by my sister, into eating 2 of them for $1. I think she ended up liking them. They are delicious dipped in maple syrup!
Chicpea Piccata over Mashed Cauliflower and Zucchini Noodles
She has actually been minding my kids a lot lately so one night she said she wanted something healthy. I asked if she could bring her Veggetti over. I’d been hearing a lot about this contraption from her. Everyone is her building seems to be using one. I made a simple Chickpea Piccata with Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes. She Veggetti’d 4 zucchini for the meal. This time I was the skeptical one but ended up loving it. The texture of the raw zucchini went great with the rest of the fully cooked meal. I couldn’t stop eating it. My daughter couldn’t stop eating the Mashed “Potatoes”. After her second helping I broke the news that it was more cauliflower then potatoes. Her eyes may have bugged out a bit but she continued eating.
Seitan, Mushroom and String Bean Tacos with Cilantro Cream
One night we dined on tacos. I quickly threw these together. We had some packaged seitan that needed to be used and some random veggies so I sauteed them all together for the tacos. Served them with some chopped heirloom tomatoes and a quick cream made with Just Mayo, chipotle sauce and lime juice. These tacos definitely had some heat to them and I loved the crunch of the string beans inside the taco. Some simple sauteed kale rounded out the whole meal.
These were all delicious meals that I can’t wait to make them all again!
(Sneaky) Sloppy Lentil Joe’s
I was feeling sneaky the other day. I know there are foods that I like to eat that my husband will turn his nose up at just by the name. Sloppy Joe’s are one of them. I really wanted them though. I haven’t had them in years. I set about making them without telling my family what I was making. They were already excited because I had make homemade ciabatta rolls for dinner so why ruin that excitement?
As my husband wandered in and out of the kitchen he kept remarking how good it smelled as I lied about what I was making. I was making “lentil stew” which I guess is kinda true. Finally I had to confess about what I was making because my smile was giving me away that I was being sneaky. I didn’t confess though until after I had him try it. Thankfully he loved it!
I sliced opened our homemade rolls and piled on the Sloppy Lentil’s for my husband and I while I put a small amount on my kids rolls. If they don’t see it they will eat it and that turned out to work in a way. R liked it at first then decided she didn’t. M just thought he was eating a roll. He had no idea that the roll had lentils and some veggies hidden on it. It was a successful dinner in my eyes.
Sloppy Lentil Joe’s
(depending on how you fill the sandwiches)
1 pound cooked lentils
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium sized onion, small diced
1 red bell pepper, small diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 16oz can of tomato sauce
1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
2 tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon agave
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a large 12 inch saute pan over medium-high heat. Saute the onions and red bell pepper for 5 minutes before adding the garlic and cooking until the onions and peppers are soft. 10-15 minutes total.
Add the chili powder and saute 1 minute.
Stir in the lentils, tomato sauce, whole grain mustard, molasses, agave and apple cider vinegar and cook for 10-15 minutes so all of the flavors can combine.
Season with salt and pepper and serve on toasted ciabatta rolls!
I made some roasted potatoes and a nice side salad to go along with this recipe.