Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Assortment of meals

One of Bob's friends recently wanted to take him out as a late birthday present, and he kindly allowed me to tag along. The restaurant was Clocked!, our local vegan-friendly diner with meat and cheese analogues to cover nearly every item on the menu. Bob opted for their hummus sandwich--they have a tasty hummus that seems to be pretty unique in the area of restaurant hummuses.

I chose this cheezeburger--and ended up discarding half of the enormous bun just so I could get a taste of something other than bread. It was tasty vegan junk food, and what really made the flavor great was their kickin' basil-jalapeño sauce.

Speaking of analogues, it has been on my mind for quite some time to try the Classic White Uncheeze from Vegan Vittles. Finally I got around to it, and I added liquid smoke as the recipe suggested for a smoked flavor. It's pretty tasty in my opinion--better than the Follow Your Heart stuff that we have purchased before. Next time I'll add more of the liquid smoke, which only comes through very subtly in this batch. The texture is somewhat firm but a bit crumbly, and I have not even tested its melt yet.

Bob tasted this and said "This would be good with that Seitan O'Greatness." 'Nuff said. A few hours later:

He's right. They do go very well together.

I had some local, organic zucchini on hand, and lasagna on my brain... so what ensued was this spinach and mushroom lasagna with zucchini in place of lasagna noodles. Here you can see it in its several stages of development:

I enjoyed it the evening I made it for dinner, but I have enjoyed the leftovers even more, as it firmed up much better upon refrigeration.

I don't know how much I'll be around in the next couple of weeks. I have my next exam this Friday the 6th, and then next week I'll be cramming for my last exam which I have scheduled for Monday the 16th. On top of that, we'll be packing for our upcoming move to Atlanta, also scheduled for the 16th... AND I am going to be in my best friend's wedding which will keep me occupied for most of Friday and Saturday of next week. I may not have a chance to post again until after we're in our new apartment, so in the meantime, happy cooking!


Candi said...

Hi Laura!

I'm happy you tagged along for that belated birthday dinner! your cheezeburger looks like awesome vegan junk food to me!! The basil-jalapeño sauce sounds great. I've never had that before!

Oh my goodness... that cheese you made looks perfect! The liquid smoke option is a good one. Good tip to know to add more than suggested if you want to taste it! I love the photo you took too...like a magazine shot! Mmm...Vegan Vittles has to be my next cookbook purchase!

The tray of cheeze and crackers and "greatness" looks very good!

Yum on the veggie lasagna! You are creative!

I wish you the best of luck on your upcoming exams! Also, good luck with the move! How exciting. You are a busy one, for sure! We'll be here for you when you are able to get back online though. I'd love to see a photo from the wedding and the move! :) :)

Take care!

healthnut said...

Everything looks great! The bread in the first picture looks really interesting :)

theONLYtania said...

I haven't made that seitan o'greatness yet.. I am ashamed! You have some good looking meals there!
That lasagna looks amazing. I wish my food was that neeattt! Well if you aren't around, good luck with the move! I expect to see pictures of the new pad! Happy fourth of July! :)

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

That cheez loaf looks extraordinary! I agree about the liquid smoke - it just gives homemade 'cheez' that extra something. When I made the 'gouda' I didn't enjoy my non-smoked batch at all.

Everything looks super good, as always! I would have done the same thing with the bun, my goodness.

Courtney said...

The cheese looks so good! I have Vegan Vittles but have never made that one...I think I will give it a try! Agar makes me nervous, however. I just have not had success with it in past recipes! Yours looks so yummy, though, I am inspired to give it another go.

Good luck with your exams and your upcoming move! I know how stressful moving can be, but exciting too!


VeggieGirl said...

wow, you're going to be busy!! I look forward to your return, with lots more delicious-looking recipes to share!! :0)

urban vegan said...

good luck on your exam and your big move.

that homemade cheese looks almost exactly like the Shreese you can buy at Vegan Essentials.

Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

WOW! That's all I can say. Wow!

Everything looks so yummy and tasty and pretty. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that marble-y bread on the first picture too - how pretty.

bazu said...

Good luck with everything, Laura. I know you'll rock your exams.

All your food looks enticing as usual, but I'm especially wowed by your cheese and the cheese and seitan platter. One thing I miss since becoming vegan is the whole cheese, cold cuts, and crackers snacking idea and you've inspired me to give it a go.

Kate said...

Oh yum everything looks so good. I really like the look of the bread the hummus sandwich was made with.

laura jesser said...

Candi, I think I'd recommend Vegan Vittles on the whole... it's good for staples, but I don't really make "meal"-type recipes out of it very often. The cheese is good though. Thanks for your compliment on the photo--that means a lot coming from you!

Healthnut, I know--marbled rye. Very crafty.

Tania, you will definitely see pics of the new place! Oh, and DEFINITELY go make the seitan. Now. :)

Jess, smoked gouda was once one of my favorite things... Now I can't even remember what made it special apart from the smoky flavor, so I'm sure with more flavor this cheese could be perfectly satisfying!

Courtney, I have only used agar on a couple of occasions, but from what I can tell you just have to cook it with the liquid until it's totally dissolved, and turns clear. Then you have to work quickly so it doesn't set before you're ready!

Veggie girl, I look forward to my return too--I'd much rather be doing this than studying 24/7! Ha!

Urban vegan, that's interesting--I wonder how the taste compares. I still haven't convinced myself to purchase food online--I have too many conceptions of potential mishaps, and those online retailers tend to be expensive! If only I could find vegan white chocolate locally... sigh.

Tofu mom, thanks! I love that bread too, and only wish I knew how to do such a thing myself!

Bazu, I missed that too. I hope you do give it a go, and that you are not disappointed!

Kate, thanks! And maybe someday I'll learn how to make my own marbled rye--and I can teach everyone else!

Don't Get Mad Get Vegan! said...

You've inspired me to try that cheeze. I've been wanting to make one I end up liking so I can pair it with the Seitan O' Greatness. Like Bob, I've been thinking it would make a superb pairing.

love the zuke lasagna. looks wonderful!

Best of luck on your upcoming exams and happy moving!!!

aTxVegn said...

Great job on the cheese. And the veggie lasagna is awesome!

Best of luck on your exams, Laura!

Caty said...

Your cheese looks really good, about a thousand times better than anything you can get out of a packet. And your lasagne looks really good, I love the idea of using the zucchini istead of the pasta sheets.

Best of luck with your exams and I hope the move goes smoothly!

madeinalaska said...

ummm,,, ya, can I stop by? I could sure go for your seitan and cheese! your 'cheeze'looks great I tried making some a few years ago.. I should try again huh?
good luck on your exams!
happy fourth!

maybepigscanfly said...

Wow that bread is really cool looking on Bob's sandwich (I guess I wasn't the only one thinking that).

I've never made a block uncheese and to be honest the idea kind of scares me. Is it firm like hard cheeses?

Yum, your lasagna looks superb.

Good luck with the Exam. (you sure do have a lot of those- too many!)


Kris said...

Wow, everything looks great and I love that spiral bread. I like using zucchini for lasagna, too. Heck, I like zucchini for anything!

Good luck on your tests!

Monika K said...

Ah, the life of a student - does it ever really slow down...? (-: Good luck with everything, hope to see you back soon!

laura jesser said...

DGMGV, it really is a good pairing, and for me it's a nice comfort food. I hope you do find a recipe that you like a lot!

Diann, thanks a lot!

Caty, I'm really excited that the cheese came out better than the expensive Vegan Gourmet stuff! I love replacing pasta whenever I can--regular pasta makes me feel bloated and blah, but zucchini makes a great substitute.

Julee, sure you can stop by! Did you like the cheese recipe you tried several years ago? I think I would recommend this one--it's very basic, and there's a lot you can do to make it your own. It was fun to make too!

Teresa, like I mentioned, the texture is somewhat firm but also a little crumbly. It's not at all like a spreadable consistency, but it's not super firm either. LOL - My exams are just about over!!!

Kris, I heartily agree--zucchini is an amazing and versatile veggie, and I love it that they're in season now!

Monika, I am looking forward to a serious slow-down in just a couple of weeks! :) Thanks!

b36Kitchen said...

i can't believe how cheese like the cheeze looks like...and the platter of cheeze, seitan o greatness and crackers would make me a very happy girl right now if i had that at my home.


Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

I love the different layers of your lasagna - so pretty! Have you tried melting some of the cheese yet?

Courtney said...

I just made the cheese--it was so good! Thanks for reminding me about the cookbook too--I really like Vegan Vittles and all of the recipes in it!


Melody Polakow said...

Your cheez looks awesome! I also love the lasagna with the zukes.. I do that as well and it's sooo good. In fact, I like it better than with noodles..

good luck with the exam.. I'm sure you don't need it..

Veg-a-Nut said...

I just noticed your new header or at least I think it is new. I love it whether it is new or not. Love it love it love it!!!

vko said...

yum yum and more yum. All too delicious looking. Hope your exam went well & happy packging!

Jody from VegChic said...

Funny, I was just looking at that cheeze recipe this morning. It looks good and your advice about the extra smoke is helpful.

That lasagna looks amazing. I've got lots of zucchini from the farm, so I may be going that route soon.

Yowza, that is one big burger bun!

Midwest Vegan said...

Happy belated birthday to Bob! I hope he had a great day. Everything looks so good. I've been reading through your posts and your entry for Urban Vegan's contest looks really good (I always loved cream puffs). I hope your move goes smoothly.

Carrie™ said...

I'm sorry I'm so far behind on commenting. I love the bread used to make Bob's sandwich. Your lasagna looks magnificent! I would love to try that but Jim like his noodles. Hmmmm....if I didn't tell him.....
I'm really intrigued by this cheeze. It looks like it could pass for an aged cheddar. I've never made cheeze and I should really try because it's my big downfall. Commercial vegan cheeze is not very good. Have you tried that Sheese? I keep looking for it because it sounds awesome. Did your cheeze melt?

Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

Big props to you on Urban's contest, Laura! Your profiteroles look fabulous & I want to try your French recipe soon. Lucky girl winnning a box of UV candy! :)

aTxVegn said...

Yay, Laura! I knew your cream puffs were amazing. Congratulations! I hope the exams and moving is going okay.

stonielove said...

i haven't made the seitan o'greatness yet either, but it seems like it's a really good stuff. i didn't even know you can make "uncheese" from scratch. i'm curious now...

Johanna3 said...

what a wonderfull post!