Sunday, October 28, 2007


My life has been really weird lately. Certain things have just not been right, and it's been throwing me off. I would tell you the details, but I can think of a couple of people who would be rather put off to discover that I had posted these things out on the internet... so sorry for my vagueness. Let it suffice to say that I've learned that I need friends here in my new city--and coming from a college environment where making friends happens almost effortlessly, I've had a hard time adjusting to the fact that most of the people I care about are now far away from me and that I have to take the initiative if I want to establish relationships here. As always, I do really appreciate all of your comments and thoughts and prayers...

I spent last week out of town on business, but I have some pictures to share with you from before then. Let me start out with a couple quick weeknight meals.

Baked potato with steamed broccoli, a quick cheesy sauce, and fresh black pepper. Quite comforting and easy... and if you cheat by cooking the potato in the microwave it's even easier. (Yes, I cheated this time.)

One of my favorite easy meals is cooked legumes tossed into a pan with kale that's been sautéed with garlic and red pepper flakes. These black-eyed peas were waiting in my freezer for a night like this. Bob made The Grit's Super Seven-Spice Potatoes to go on the side... he really likes that recipe.

Here's another attempt at the perfect hummus. It was quite good... but still not quite perfect. I tried to be heavy-handed with the olive oil, but it goes against years of being a health-conscious cook. Next time I'll ask Bob to add the olive oil--he's not shy.

It had been months since Bob and I made a homemade pizza. Finally I got up the energy to make a pizza dough, and I used Kris's recipe from DTV. Oh my goodness, there's no going back to any other pizza dough recipe, for this one achieved perfection. It was so soft and delicious and the edges puffed up nicely--and I used 100% whole wheat pastry flour. I topped this pie with homemade pizza sauce and pesto, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, red onions, and green bell peppers.

Here's a close-up of the crust. Yum.

Nava Atlas's African-Inspired Quinoa-Peanut Stew--thick and creamy and filling, yet at the same time kind of gentle on the tummy. I really liked it. Bob said it was just "all right." Looks like I get the leftovers!

Another quinoa-centered meal--Quinoa-Spring Salad from Vive! I can't remember the last time I actually followed the recipe for this, or even looked at the recipe... because it's so adaptable. This time I added chickpeas, green sweet peas, roasted red peppers, chopped cucumbers, artichoke hearts, green onions, cilantro, toasted pine nuts, and a simple vinaigrette.

One of my go-to lunches is a wrap sandwich. It's more portable than a traditional sandwich, and I prefer the wrap style anyway because the flavors of the fillings are not forced to hide behind the bread.

These are Balsamic-Glazed Portobella Mushrooms from VWaV. They made a delicious wrap with steamed Swiss chard and roasted red peppers, though I had forgotten how much mushrooms cook down. Next time I'll have to make about twice as much. They have a lovely, sweet-smoky flavor.

A recipe I've been meaning to test for Melody for quite some time--her Seitan Turkey Breast. I finally got to make it this weekend. It's very good, very savory. As she suggested, I pan-cooked the slices to give them a crisp crust.

The seitan turkey made an excellent wrap with steamed raab greens, roasted red peppers, and a dab of dijon mustard. Quoth Bob, "This seitan is almost too convincing." But that's a good thing--he really liked it!

Now that all the food blogging is done, I have some exciting news to share. Meet our new fur baby!

This is Marzie. She was born to a stray mother--a couple Bob knows found momma cat hanging out around their porch one day with her new babies. They took the cats in and set about finding homes for the kittens. Marzie is sweet and playful, and every day she gets more accustomed to her new home.

Okay, okay, enough with the pictures!

That's all. I'll be around again soon!


Courtney said...

Changes and moves can be very hard--I moved recently and had similar-sounding problems. I hope that you are adjusting, slowly but surly, and that things do get better for you! I will keep you in my prayers!

Your food looks fabulous. I made Melody's seitan turkey too, but it never occurred to me to put it in a wrap...yum! Thanks for the great ideas!

Marzie is adorable, by the way!


The Little Vegan said...

Oh Marzie is SO CUTE! I've always wanted a black cat (I don't believe the myth that they're unlucky-- they're too sweet)... but my mom and sister are allergic, so for now we just have dogs (my dogs would also LOVE for us to get a cat!).

That quinoa stew looks especially yummy. And I would SO be your friend (offline) if only I lived near you! But who needs friends when you have such an adorable kitty ;o)

Johanna3 said...

cute cat!

the food looks as always so good!

i hope you feel better soon.

VeggieGirl said...

so happy to see you back in the blogging world - I do hope that everything will get back to normal and get 100% better for you.

mmm, your kale & legume dish, as well as the pizza and wrap sandwiches (one of my go-to meals as well!) look ESPECIALLY delicious - glad to see you've been able to do such fabulous cooking lately!!

Marzie is the epitome of cuteness!! ahh!! :0)

Chris said...

Wow! So much great food! The seitan in particular looks great.

And of course Marzie... so adorable!

maybepigscanfly said...

oh my oh my, where to begin? First off, I hope that everything is going well in your life with friends and all. I totally know how you feel and I know that you'll make friends in your new part of town!

Wow the food! I really need to try making my own pizza crust- your's looks awesome. All your wraps look so yummy. Do you have a favorite tortilla that you use?

Congrats on the new member of the family!

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

Good to see you back!! Hope things are getting better! The food sure looks good...

The pizza crust - is "DTV" the "Damn Tasty Vegan" cookbook? I need to try it.

Glad you liked "my" Quinoa Soup from Nava's book. Yours turned out so nice and thick. Yum!

Last of all, the kitty is ADORABLE!!!

Sam said...

Glad to have you back to the blogging world! The seitan turkey looks great, I need the recipe for that one! Marzie is the cutest! If I wasn't so allergic to cats I'd have one just like her!

scottishvegan said...

Hey Laura, hope things are going better for you now. I know what it’s like to be in an unfamiliar place and not have your friends and family around. I’m sure you’ll make new friends soon as you seem such a sweet person! Marzie is such a cutie! I am sure she will help cheer you up a little! Your food all looks fab… I am especially loving that pizza!

aTxVegn said...

Welcome back, Laura. It looks like you've got a great new friend. Marzie is too cute!

All your dishes look wonderful with all the pretty veggies. I've been anxious to try the peanut soup, so I'm glad to know you liked it. And that pizza crust looks really really delicious!

bazu said...

Marzie is an adorable little girl! And so lucky to be adopted by kind souls like you and Bob.

Laura, your first paragraph made me scream "we are kindred spirits!" I never realized how easy making friends was in college, and how difficult it was hanging on to them and/or making new ones after college. It doesn't help that I've moved around about a million times and so have my friends, and now they are scattered all around the world... anyway, I totally understand where you're coming from, even if I don't know the specifics of your situation. You can email me whenever you want to talk or vent!

Speaking of kindred spirits, I swear we have the same taste in food! My dinners resemble yours- some yummy combination of beans, greens, and other veggies. So satisfying.


Jackie said...

Marzie is sooo cute, just what you need to cuddle at the moment when you are so unsettled after the move.

At least your cooking isn't suffering going by all the wonderful meals shown :)

Vegan_Noodle said...

Welcome back Laura, hope you start adjusting more and more to your new city. It does take time.

Marzie is such a cutie! What amazing eyes. I so wish I wasn't allergic to cats so I could get one...

I've been wanting to try a new pizza crust, since I've been using the same one for awhile now (and it's good, but I need a change up). I have enjoyed the of DTV recipes I've tried, so I'll have to give that one a shot. Your pizza looks very tasty... I love artichoke hearts on pizza.

And that seitan turkey breast, wow!

Kati said...

Your meals all look fantastic! And Marzie is such a cutie...but you know that I'm probably partial to black and white kitties since I have two.

Hope you're continuing to feel better!

Ron and Ginny said...


Welcome back. I pray that you find some wonderful kindred spirits. :-D What luscious food! Thanks for the pictures and the ideas. Your kitty is extremely cute. She reminds me of our kitty, the late Panda.

In Christ,