18 October 2006

What's New: Kitchen Stuff, Washing Method, Co-Op Location, Soup Recipes & Faux Baking

It finally feels like fall here. That means nice temps in the 80* degree + range, sunny days and a bit of rare rainfall. I also finally broke out my hoodie for night time because once the sun is behind the mountains it gets chilly quickly. I have been wondering when I was going to start craving autumn foods and the time has finally come! I have about 10 pounds of apples in the fridge that are quickly releasing gases and ripening all other foods, and need to be turned into something, or plain eaten. Even though it has been cooler outside, I still eat ice cream as much as possible (soy, not cow, for those new readers). Here we have a newer version of my infamous fruitshake with a lot less ingredients. This is Double Rainbow Soy Vanilla Bean ice cream with 365 organic soy milk, organic hemp seeds, tons of blueberries and a few Newman's O's. Oh yum.

Above is my new veggie and fruit washing method. Dreena has a wonderful method for washing produce and I decided to do the same. What a time-saver. I love having everything cleaned at once, ready to go in the fridge, and I don't have to worry about those extra steps while prepping food. This is my real dish drainer, but I have converted a smaller one, but deeper for my new washing method. I highly recommend trying this. It really cuts out a lot of time in the long run. Thanks Dreena!
Ah, yes... fridge photos. This is craziness I tell you! The co-op is in the process of moving. The new store will be open this Saturday and I don't know how I am surviving all week without the co-op. Oh wait, I do... look at all this produce and other good stuff I stocked up on. I'll be fine for a long while! One day stuff was 25% off and then Julie let me know that the next day it was 40% off! I stocked up both days. The first day was mostly bulk items that you can't see because they are in the pantry, not fridge (minus hemp seeds for 60% off!), and the organic oj with pulp. The next day is where I really went crazy. You will see 4 pomegranites on the bottom left. I love pomegranite and have since I tried them in first grade. I asked the lady if they were "by the pound" or "each" and that would make a difference in the size I would buy. She didn't know, and I was holding 2/4 of them and she said to just "take them". Sweet. Then she looked over and saw the other 2 lonely guys and told me I could just have those also! I got 4 free organic fresh poms (not that crappy POM company that refuses to stop testing on animals) and that really added to the bonus of the overall sales. I am happy.
The fridge looks ridiculously full, but there is a lot that was not new from the co-op, I could only buy perishables and frozen stuff for the sale anyway. For example, that chocolate stout beer that's been sitting there for months. And some leftover pastas (you will see below), always many kinds of "milks", and lots of tofu I keep on the middle shelf. Plus some kiwi and other produce I already had... I did splurge on certain items such as Tofurky, miso and Men's Bread, items that are usually more costly, but not this time. There's also stuff that I keep on hand all the time tucked in the back (wheat germ, extra Earth Balance, pita breads). Oh, and those are Virgil's cream soda's but I found out after reviewing my reciept, they were not on sale. Ray really likes Virgil's brand (I'm not a soda/carbination fan).
As per Julie's request, here's what I got (the second day for 40% off)... all organic.
Soy Delicious creamy orange bars, 2 Virgils cream sodas, oj with pulp, boylan's black cherry soday, soy whip cream, non-hydrogenated Tofutti cream cheese, frozen peppers (a few bags), 2 blueberry spelt donuts, frozen edamame, naan bread, many limes and lemons, a green bell pepper as big as my face!, yellow bell pepper, 2 red bells, 6 jalepenos, Asian pears, a red pear, a bunch of red chard, oranges, poms (free), white miso, Rocky Road Soy Delicous, White Chocolate Raspberry Double Rainbow ice cream (yes, 3 ice creams 40% off), hemp seeds, 2# carrots, 10# apples, Tofurky, Men's Sprouted bread that I forget the name of the brand. Total = $44 including multiple bag discounts. That's a lot of stuff, I'd say.
I am really proud of myself for creating this soup above. I am also really surprised and proud of Ray for liking the soup, as I thought he'd turn his nose up at it. Overall, this is a thick soup, and I froze the leftovers and plan on serving it over rice or quinoa. Probably quinoa.
Leslie's Chickpea and Red Lentil Soup (yes, a real recipe)
1/2c green peppers, diced
1/2 medium onion, diced
3 carrots, sliced and peeled
1c veggie broth
2c water
1 15oz can chickpeas
14oz can diced fire roasted tomatos
1c red lentils, rinsed and drained
1t salt
few dashes black pepper
1/2t tumeric
2 cloves garlic, minced
1T olive oil

Method: In a 3 quart stockpot, saute onions and carrots in olive oil until onions are translucent. Add garlic and saute for a few minutes longer. Add the rest of the ingredients and cover. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to simmer. Simmer for about 30 minutes, or until lentils are soft and soup has thickened. *Edit to add: to make the soup like the photo, simply blend 1/2 the soup with an immersion blender or take 1/2 the soup in batches and carefully blend in a blender or food processor. Enjoy as a soup/stew or serve over a grain. Makes almost 3 quarts.

Now on to the seasonal goods. I haven't used the oven since December and I am really starting to miss using it now. Especially smelling all the wonderful baked goods, besides eating. Since I still wasn't going to use the oven, I decided to make something oven-like and pretend it was baked. I made an apple crumble to top vanilla soy cream. Oh yum! I am finally starting to make my own recipes again which is nice because I tend to make pretty good random stuff. Here's the recipe for my faux-baked apple crumble.
Leslie's Faux-Baked Organic Apple Crumble
serves 4
3 large apples, keep the peel on, diced
3 handfuls of organic rolled oats
1 handful walnuts (toasted yourself or untoasted is ok)
1 handful pecans (same as above)
1/3c maple syrup
pinch of sea salt
1T brown rice syrup
1t blackstrap molasses (for added nutrition)
1t cinnamon, ground
1/4t nutmeg, ground
Method: In a small pot or skillet, toast the nuts and oats until you smell the wonderful aroma, and not anything burnt, about medium-high heat. Mix in the syrups, salt and molasses. Reduce the flame and stir for about 5 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients, including the chopped apples, and mix around. Heat for a few more minutes and take off the stove. Cover the pot and let the heat steam the apples to get a bit softer for 5 minutes. Serve over ice cream (or plain) and enjoy.
View from the pot.
Ok, I promise this is going to be the last of the pesto. Well, the last photo really is. I decided to have a go at an easy, quick, dense meal. I had one leftover pesto that I made a while back and took that out of the freezer. I really wanted more than just pesto so I skimmed through VwaV and decided on the Creamy Alfredo Suace. I've looked at the recipe before but finally needed a photo for convincing. I am sure glad I made this but I never was a fan of alfredo sauce, so this was a bit too creamy fo me. I do like the flavor though. I will modify next time. And, this plate below is 2 servings, not one, we sort-of slid our halves onto each plates.
This is the last of the pesto for real. This is strictly pine nuts. Follow my recipe in the post below and sub pine nuts for any other nut in the recipe. Yum.


aTxVegn said...

Your food always looks amazing. And what a great haul you made at the co-op!

I think you've convinced me to keep my blender out. I usually use soymilk and ice cubes instead of ice cream, but those shakes are so filling and the possibilities are endless. How about your apple crumble on your fruitshake?

Kris said...

Hey Leslie! What foodie-goodness! I wish I had the will to make shakes, I'm too lazy to get my blender out, make them and clean it. I need to get an immersion blender!

I love poms, too. When I was a kid the fun was taking them apart, it was like a treasure hunt because whenever you thought you were done, there were always more! You got such great deals at the co-op!

I will be trying your soup recipe really soon! It sounds great and I love thick, hearty soups. I could practically live on them.

Pesto is the besto! Your pasta looks great!

Megan the Vegan said...

those drinks look amazing. the soup sounds awesome too. I'm jealous of your coop sale!

OkraMary said...

Leslie! I've been meaning to post about it (but of course, haven't had time), but I made your pesto recipe (with both walnuts and pine nuts) and Oh My...it is so delicious!! Seriously, it's my favorite pesto so far. I was worried it would be too thick for pasta, but I added a bit of the hot/salty cooking water and it made it sooo creamy.

Anyways...without gushing too much about the recipe, I just wanted to say it's great!

raising_kahne said...

Just know that I am jealous of you for those awesome deals! Look at all that amazing produce!!! Do you eat the Tofurky and the Tofutti cream cheese or are those for Ray?? Your 'Baked' apple crumb looks delicious and I liked that you leave the peel on. There's so many recipes that I pass by because they try and peel everything, and I like the peel on because of all the goodness in it! As usual, th epesto looks amazing as well!

Oh and btw, I have made your banana bread twice noe in less than a week, it's delicious!

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

1 - I would love to go grocery shopping with you because I think we have a really similar stock pile on fun sales mindset!

2- I made the alfreda this week as well, yet it looks so different!

Julie said...

YAY! What a great post! I got screwed when it came to fresh fruits and veggies at the co-op...each time I went there seemed to be very slim pickings. Oh well.

Your two recipes look awesome! mmmm...soup!

I am so excited that the weather is getting cooler! We should go on a picnic and bring yummy vegan food to share!! God knows we both have enough food for two.

Great post!

Candi said...

Your fruitshake looks so good! I hardly ever have that many fruits though - fresh or frozen - all at once. Lucky you!

I read what Dreena wrote about washing all the produce first, and loved the idea! It is great to be able to grab fruit or veggies and eat them right out of the fridge!(Your fridge look perfectly stocked!!)

Your soup looks great! I love chickpeas. And the apple crumble! YUM! Nice work! :) Also, we can never have too much pesto! It looks great!

Harmonia said...

I think this is my favorite post of yours! First, you activated my sweet tooth! Then, I must say that the soup looks great! I am very much into soup right now! Then, I am jealous of your frig...btw...can you come organize mine??? The Apple Crumble is delightful as well! YUM! And you know how I LOVE pasta! I'm there!

Hope all is well with you and drop by when and if you have a chance.

theONLYtania said...

Hey! I envy your fridge, I wish I could be that well stocked! And sure.. you post a soup recipe now.. I could have really used that this weekend! Well.. I can use it now anyway :-P

The apple crumble looks really great too.. haha I love this:
"..toast the nuts and oats until you smell the wonderful aroma.."

What an awesome measurement of how long you should toast them for hehe.

Lindy Loo said...

That soup looks DAMN good.

One question though: did you toss some of it into a food processer or something? Because it looks a lot less chunky than I would've thought, given the directions...

laura jesser said...

Beautiful creations, Leslie! I love those shakes--they look so tasty. I'm glad your "fall" has finally kicked in, and I'm glad you invented a no-bake apple crisp for the occasion. I wish your co-op would move here...

bazu said...

Oh my gosh- serious refrigerator envy going on here. And I love pomegranates- they really signal the season for me! Leslie, everything you make looks so good, that apple crumble, that pasta, ahhhh...
I've heard rumors that our food co-op might be moving to a bigger space, do I dare hope for a sale like the one you had?....

madeinalaska said...

well now that was quite a haul from the store.. saving money always makes me glow! bravo.
nice soup combo! chick peas and lentils!

kaivegan said...

I don't know where to start with this since:
a) I haven't made a comment in any blog for a gazillion years,

b) There's soo much goodness in one post to comment on,

c) I admire all the energy and the thoughtfulness you put in making food, and

d) I see TWO recipes- in one post!

Way to go and I look forward to more of these "recipe business." Not too often, of course! I know that would be asking too much.

Thanks for the thoughts and visit on my kinda neglected blog! I'd try to not be so quiet (anymore) when I visit yours.

Tata for now. Be back soon. <3<3<3

Nicki Baker said...

Just saying hi. I'm a vegan and currently living in AZ too.

b36Kitchen said...

I love that your apple crumble is "faux baked"! I'm definetly going to try that recipe. I also share your passion for pesto. I make it all the time. I had it for dinner last night and will probably use the rest tomorrow night. It never gets old. Bye the way I love your blog!


Eat Peace Please said...

I just commented to everyone, in a nice long post, and somehow deleted it. I am so frustrated and upset right now, so I don't know when and if I will comment back.

I do thank everyone for the kind comments, and I will try to write back (again) soon. It was so good the first time...

Chris said...

Oh man... Newman O's, soy cream and blueberries... I'm drooling... And that apple stuff looks sooo good too.

funwithyourfood said...

heyhey you got tofutti cream cheese? I thought you didn't like that stuff :). you always have newman's O's. You're the person that reminds me I need to go out and buy more hehe


Anonymous said...

I'm back! And just in time to for this great post. I love fridge pics. Are you really supposed to keep the Mori-Nu tofu in the fridge? I always keep it in the pantry.

I think your soup sounds delicious and I have all the ingredients so I'll probably make this up any day now. It's perfect for fall. Here, fall means 50 & 60 degrees. We have 8 huge trees in our front yard and it's covered with yellow leaves. Fall is such a great time of year.

Kris said...

Leslie, I can't even tell you how many times I've responded to my own blog or someone else's and it's deleted itself. Beta is SO frustrating!

laura jesser said...

I meant to tell you, I LOVE that soup recipe and will definitely try it!

Urban Vegan said...

I always feel so inadequae when I read your blog. You are amazing!

Your fridge is so organized.

maybepigscanfly said...

Wow this post is so chalk full of goodness, that I just don't know where to start. Of course I love the fruitshake- any drink that turns out a beautiful purple like that is just pure awesome. Oh and the picture of your fridge is fun- I'm super jealous about your major score on the cheap food. Nothing makes me happier than when my fridge is full- especially with healthy cheap stuff. Also, I'm looking forward to making your version of lentil soup- I'm a big lentil eater, so I must try this soon!

glad to see that you're getting some "baking" in!

Eat Peace Please said...

I'm trying this again. Sorry for the delay, I just wrote the comments before and they all deleted. Here we go again...

ATxVegn, thanks for the kind comments. I really think you should keep your blender out, it makes everything so much quicker and easier. Plus, you will find you use it more and more. No thanks on the apple crumble on the fruitshake. That’s a bit much for me believe it or not.

Kris, keep that blender out on the counter at all times! It makes life in general easier and if you clean it right away, it’s always ready. I seem to have piles of dishes all the time, but always a clean blender and spatula! Yes, get an immersion blender. I got one plus a bunch of gadgets with it (that I don’t really use) for $25.

Megan, the co op sale was indeed wonderful.

OkraMary, I am so happy you liked the pesto. I just made some again last night (although I promised no more pesto!) I just love it so much too. I always add cooking water, I forgot to mention that. Thanks for sharing your opinion.

Savanna, the Tofurky was for Ray (it’s gone now) and the cream cheese is for me but I plan on making a frosting with it, not plain on bagels (yuck). As for peels, I leave them on most everything, with some exceptions. I’m glad you love the banana bread. It’s something I really miss coming out of the oven.

Jess, 1. I would love to shop with you too. We would have a great time shopping and then eating! 2. Your alfreda does look very different. What did you do?

Julie, you got screwed! That sucks, but from your list it looks like you made out alright anyway! I still have some produce, but I have already got some more of a few things. I still haven’t been to the new place, have you? Yes, a picnic would be awesome. The weather is wonderful right now.

Candi, it is so much better pre-washing everything. I can’t believe how much more I use and quicker now that it’s pre washed. I highly recommend it to everyone. Thanks for your comments.
Harmonia, thanks for your kind comments. I got your email and I am sad that you are leaving. I hope you are ok. Yes, I’d love to come organize your fridge. It is simple and natural to me.

Tania, you live in a dorm room… you will have plenty of life left to stock your fridge. Besides, don’t you just have one of those mini ones?! I am glad to hear your teeth are better. You are seriously killing me over at your blog.

Lindy Loo, yes, I used an immersion blender for ½ the soup. I forgot to mention that (sorry) but if you didn’t see already, I have an edit.

Laura, thanks for your comments! I am glad I invented the faux baking too. I have made the crumble a few times now.

Bazu, you are funny with your raving comments! If your co-op is moving and you don’t hear of a sale, you could always request one. I guess it depends how far the move is and how much inventory and time there is. Our sale was fantastic.

Made in Alaska, it was a haul from the store. I knew I’d buy most of the produce eventually anyways, so for 40% off, it was quite the deal. Thanks for your comments.

Kai, I am so happy you visited. A, I know it’s been a gazillion years since you commented. I’m glad you did. B, yes, I do pack a lot into one post. C, thank you for noticing the energy I put into foods. It seems to be a lot more of a challenge without an oven. D, yep, there are 2 real recipes in one post. You did see that correctly! Thank you so much for popping in. I enjoy when you do.

Nicki Baker, hi! Where do you live in AZ? Thanks for visiting and commenting.

B36kitchen (Jenna), it’s faux baked because there’s no way it was going to be really baked. I had pesto last night as well (although you commented on the 19th and it is now the 23rd). Thanks for your kind comments and your visit. I hope to see you back.

Cris, yeah, I think I am having issues with the newmans o’s. I need rehab or something. Thanks for the comments.

Teddy, I don’t like tofutti. I do like frosting, so we’ll see what happens!

Crystal, I’m so glad you commented! Where are your posts lady?! You aren’t supposed to keep the tofu in the fridge because it has a special aseptic package to enable shelf life, but I keep them in the pantry and fridge. I always have about 4 in the fridge for when they are ready to go. For some reason I think they are better pre-cold and especially when I use them for cool or room-temp things. Even if they get cooked, I still like cold tofu. No worries.

Kris (again), yeah, re-writing all this is a pain in the ass, although I really wanted to respond to everyone since I’ve been bad lately. The second time around isn’t as good, but will do.

Laura (again), try the recipe. Tell me what you think.

Urban Vegan, inadequate? Why? Thanks for your kind comments. To me the fridge isn’t really organized, it’s just “where stuff goes”. It’s easier when I am cooking and taking inventory before the store.

Maybepigscanfly, thanks for your kind comments. I’ve been enjoying having a full fridge, it’s nice. Let me know what you think of the soup recipe.

Jody from VegChic said...

Fall...80 degrees... It was 46 degrees when I was driving to work this morning, lol!

Man, that's quite the deal you got at the coop

Soup looks amazing...I'll need to cook up some soups soon. The faux apple crisp is a great idea as well.

Guac may be one of my new fav foods. I used to hate avocado, but my tastes have changed.

Vicki said...

this all looks fantastic, leslie! for some reason, i just love to look inside other people's fridges -- yours makes me want to stay for dinner! :o)

raising_kahne said...

mmm, a frosting?? Are you planning on making no-bake cupcakes?? : )

I have a random question about flour. I usually only use whole wheat flour, and the brand I have says on the ingredients: 100% hard red wheat flour. Does that mean that it's actually whole wheat, and not just wheat flour?? Sorry, I know it's probably a dumb question, I was just stumped.

Eat Peace Please said...

Jody, ok, it's 70s and 80s lately. Still nice. Ray used to hate guac or any avocado until I made it for him. Now he can't believe how much he likes it.

Vicki, oh do please come for dinner. I'd love that!

Savanna, your flour probably isn't whole wheat unless it says hard red whole wheat. Otherwise, it is just a hard red wheat turned to flour that still has the good stuff taken out. Check the whole label, see if there are any signs of the word "whole" but if not, sorry to say this, it isn't whole wheat. But... it is way better than white flour or regular wheat that is just white and dyed with molasses. Does this help? Oh, and it is not a dumb question.

raising_kahne said...

It says on the front "Traditional Whole Wheat Flour","100% of the wheat germ and bran" hmm...I cant believe I just noticed this. Perhaps I should start reading the ingredients more carefully.

Carrie™ said...

Thanks for the fridge shot. Whew! Good to know other people's fridges look like mine.
Love the sounds of your soup. I've gotta try that!

Miriam said...

Thank you for the delicious looking recipes and thank you for the to-die-for pictures of the pesto pasta and alfreda sauce. I really don't know what else to say, this post is awesome!

p.s. been trying to comments for days but either blogger has been annoying or emaline has been annoying.

Tasha said...

Everything looks delicious!! I wish my fridge looked like that!! Heck, I wish everyone in my house was vegan... :(

Very nice blog!