Monday, April 23, 2007

Odds and ends

We've had some random food around the house these days, and I have been trying to come up with creative and new ways to use it all up.


For this one, I used an idea that I stole from DGMGV and her pizza toasts. We had leftover lentil pasta sauce, so I spread it on slices of bread and topped with some FYH mozzarella, and broiled it until the cheese got brown and bubbly. What a fun way to use up leftover marinara sauce!


Here we have a wrap that uses up some of the leftover southwest-style hummus... I added half an avocado, some sprouts and some spinach, and tomato slices, and then a dash of hot sauce and lime juice. Yum. The other hummuses are almost gone--I have had several meals that consisted of hummus and veggies and baked tortilla chips. Incidentally, everyone who tasted them thought that the garden hummus was the best after a day of hanging out in the fridge...


Speaking of avocados, we have several that we have been frantically trying to use up. Breakfast one morning consisted of a TLT sandwich with avocado slices... except that I always use spinach, not lettuce, so this is really a TST I guess. The tempeh bacon recipe comes from VWaV. This also helped use up one of our three blocks of tempeh! I could eat TSTs all day long--I absolutely love them. What really makes them good is when the tomatoes are "real" local tomatoes, not the spongy off-season ones that I all but refuse to buy.


Here, I tried making Jess's lightened-up New Farm mac & cheez, using some of my Eden Organics whole kamut elbows. What did I think? It was good... maybe a little bland for my tastes. I cut back a little bit on the salt in the recipe, but I guess I should not have done that. Next time I won't. I also added some mustard to give it a little tang, and I thought that was a good addition. I might add just a bit more next time.


Yum.


I took this cue from DGMGV as well, and made the Revolutionary Spanish Omelet from VWaV. I halved the recipe because my cast-iron pan is small, and I only had half an onion anyway. It looked really pretty when it was in the pan...


But the bottom tore out when I tried to turn it onto a plate. I kind of touched it up for the picture, but you still can tell that it didn't exactly come out in one piece.


I served it with some garlicky kale, and an herbed ketchup sauce in lieu of the roasted red pepper-almond sauce that Isa provides. It was pretty good, but it wasn't as spectacular as I thought it might be. I think it had too many potatoes in it--next time I will cut back on them so that I can actually taste some of its other elements. I will make it again, though--it was not nearly as intensive as I thought it was going to be.

Have you seen Stranger Than Fiction? Bob and I watched it last night, and it was a cute movie. Will Ferrell plays an IRS agent, and he audits Maggie Gyllenhaal, who owns her own bakery. There was one scene in the movie where she baked cookies for Will Ferrell, and he was eating them hot out of the oven. That drove me crazy--as soon as the movie was over, I was in the kitchen baking cookies!


I tried Dreena's Oatmeal Raisin Cookies from TEV... wow. Even as someone who doesn't usually go for oatmeal raisin cookies, I am telling you that these are amazing and that you should go make them. If you need any more impetus, watch the movie first--then you'll want cookies, I promise.

The movie also reaffirmed that I have got to have my own bakery/cafe some day. It makes me so happy to bake for people or to cook them breakfast or to make them lattes... It was funny, watching the movie I felt like I was faced with two sides of me--the boring tax accountant side, and the spunky baker/fighter for social justice side. And it wasn't hard for me to decide which one I want the "real" me to be...

I've got something fun planned, probably for this weekend or so. But I can't tell you about it until then! Stay tuned! Happy Monday!

18 comments:

bazu said...

Ok, your odds and ends are inspiring! You've stolen everything I've wanted to steal from DGMGV! That mac & cheese looks stunning. I have to give it a try now.

Linda said...

wow - i wish having random things around the kitchen turned into your creations!

i liked stranger than fiction. i want to own her bakery. and i love that it inspired you to bake!

Kati said...

Yes! When I watched STF, I wanted my own bakery, too! I finally decided that I couldn't do it, though, because it would give me an excuse to eat waaaay too many baked goods... Those cookies are a must-try now, thanks!

I'd love to try the Spanish omelet and the mac & cheese, too - yum!

Jackie said...

I have the same problem looking at Vegan blogs makes me want to rush in the kitchen and make the same things. Thank goodness I don't have all the ingredients or I would get as fat as a house.

Love your odds and ends and what they made :)

Thanks for the visit. I must admit I take flax oil mainly in veggiecaps form more often than have it in my food.

Courtney said...

I just got Vive! from the library and I am so excited to start cooking from it! Over the weekend I made the lentil pasta sauce that I saw on your blog, and while it tasted good, it did not look as good as yours always does! It didn't get as "thick" as yours looks...I guess I will have to keep working on it!

Your odds and ends look great!

Courtney

Carrie™ said...

The pizza square looks delicious. The thing that really caught my eye here was the wrap. And the TST, and the cookies, and the omelete. OK, everything looked awesome! Well done with odds & ends I must say.

laura jesser said...

Bazu, DGMGV does a lot of steal-worthy things, doesn't she? Let me know what you think of the mac & cheese!

Linda, I loved her bakery too! Did you notice the Food Not Bombs flyer on her bulletin board? I thought that was too cool.

Kati, I know what you mean--even if you just "sampled" everything you baked in one day, that's an awful lot of cookies, pies, pastries, etc. to consume. I'd have to have a whole "quality control" staff so I didn't have to do it all myself!

Jackie, I do have that problem with blogs too, especially if more than one person posts about it in a short time span. I should look at taking flax oil in capsule form... though I'm drinking a nice flaxed up smoothie right now, inspired by you. ;)

Courtney, hooray for libraries that actually have vegan cookbooks! None of mine do, so I always have to buy or get as gifts. Hmm, we let our pasta saucce cook a bit longer than the book suggested--that might be why it thickened up more. I also think cooking longer helps bind the flavors a little more.

Carrie, LOL - thanks! I do that too, when I read blogs and everything looks equally delicious...

Johanna3 said...

very creative!! the cookies looks very good.

maybepigscanfly said...

Oh I just love wraps filled with yummy veggies and hummus of course. I too am a fan of the sprouts! That mac and cheese looks so yummy- I must remember to give it a try. And those cookies- I've actually been eyeing them for awhile, as oatmeal raisin is one of my favorite kind. Now I just need an excuse to make them.

I hope you get to have the fun you planned for this weekend! And I'm definitely with you on opening a cafe!

-Teresa

scottishvegan said...

Your wrap looks lovely…so fresh and yummy! It’s funny how when I made the Spanish Revolutionary omelette it looked totally different from yours and DGMGVs. Maybe cos I don’t have an iron pan and used a dish instead…?! I’ve seen Stranger Than Fiction and I thought her little bakery looked really cool but I couldn’t do something like that… I would eat all the cookies before the customers got any! Your cookies looks gorgeous…I would definitely come to your bakery when you open it!

KleoPatra said...

Nothing odd about the ending to all the random food around your house there, Laura. Absolutely love the pizza toast and the mac & cheez... wow! Who needs "KRAFT" icky fake stuff?

TST, that looks so good, repeat after me... (wondering if Weird Al could set that to Michael Jackson's "PYT" (Pretty Young Thing)... hmmmmmm... maybe i should e-mail him!? :o) Ha ha!)

Herb ketchup, 'eh? did you make that?? i just use Heinz...

i haven't seen that movie, it sounds really good. i've been catching a few of late on DVD... "Invincible" and "The Italian Job" (swoon on Mark Wahlberg) and also am going to watch "CHICAGO" this week...

i think it is very cool that you are becoming more comfortable with knowing some of your own goals... as in opening up a bakery/cafe. We have a groovy vegan bakery here in the Ocean Beach part of San Diego, called "Stephanie's Bakery" and it is quite popular. Would love to watch yours become reality, wherever your road leads you, Laura!! The "real" you indeed. Those cookies look EXCELLENT!! Great photo at the end there. Really puts it out there in all its glory...

springsandwells said...

Hi Laura!
:) I've been really in the mood to make some cookies - so I'm super psyched to read a good review of these. I even thought yesterday "I wonder where I can find a good oatmeal-raisin recipe?" Now I know!

Also - we are on the same wavelength - because I was thinking about TLTs today and how much I LOVE them - and how great that it's tomato season again. I still haven't tried that VWaV tempeh bacon, but maybe I will sometime soon.

hope you're doing well!

aTxVegn said...

I sure thought I left a comment before, but I'll try again. Your sammies look great, esp. the SW hummus wrap! We loved the mac n cheez. I think I added in some crushed red pepper to ours.

I often dream of opening my own bakery or a spice shop where I bake and put out samples. Your cookies turned out perfect!

theONLYtania said...

Ahh what a great entry! You've really been cooking! I'm jealous, your FYH cheese melted much better than mine did, hehe. Your wrap and sandwich both look good, mmm avocado.
The mac and cheez looks really good, I need to get around to making it. I was bummed with that spanish omelet though, I thought it was apple pie first :-P
Your cookies look great! Hey, if you open a bakery I'll be your first employee!

stonielove said...

aw, everything looks fabulous - but the photo of your wraps just made me hungry... it's not even close to lunch time yet!

peace,
stonielove

laura jesser said...

Johanna, thanks! :)

Teresa, any excuse to make cookies usually works for me! Seriously, if you like oatmeal raisin then I think you'll really like these..

Scottish vegan, I looked up your omelet and yes... it does look different! You're probably right--it's probably the pan that makes the difference. LOL - It would definitely take training to not sample too many cookies!

Kleo, your comment about "Weird" Al made me crack up! Remember, he did Michael Jackson's "Beat It" - and made it about food! I see a possible trend... I wish we had a vegan bakery here - that's another reason why I'm determined to start one! "Chicago" is a great movie - I hope you enjoy it...

Amey, that's funny that we both thought about oatmeal-raisin cookies AND TLTs. The VWaV tempeh bacon recipe is one of my favorite recipes from that book - it's just so good... I can't wait to hear your review of the cookies! :)

Diann, crushed red pepper sounds like a really nice addition - I'll have to try it. A spice shop? That would be too awesome! (LOL - I hate when my comments get lost in cyberspace...)

Tania, I have found that the thinner you slice the FYH the better it melts... these were almost paper-thin slices. I guess the omelet does look a little like apple pie - sorry! But hey, if I had a bakery you would be the FIRST person I'd want to work with - you've really got a knack for baking, girl!

Stonielove, LOL - I find the best time to blog-hop is right AFTER a meal, so I don't have that problem! ;)

Emily said...

hi laura! i just found your blog through squirrel's vegan kitchen. it's great! i'll definitely be using some of your recipes. do you mind if i blogroll you on mine??

http://yumdc.wordpress.com

laura jesser said...

Emily, I'm glad you found me! Of course you can blogroll me--and thanks for the link, I'll be checking your blog out pronto!