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VeganMoFo #7: Love for Isa

I had the best intentions of blogging the hell out of VeganMoFo. But as always, complications arose. First off, my oven broke, making a recent trip to the farmer’s market a new kind of hell where everywhere I looked I saw beautiful fall vegetables just begging to be roasted. But today, thanks to $180 and a man named Ivan, I’ve got an oven again. After nearly three ovenless weeks, what’s a girl to bake? Cookies! I decided that in between making Matilda’s Halloween costume (my first very amateurish adventure in this kind of frightening arena) and finally getting up another blog post, I’d throw together one of my favorite easy cookie recipes, pumpkin oatmeal cookies from Vegan with a Vengence. They have flax seed, walnuts, molasses, and oats in them, so they’re practically health food, right? Well, except maybe for the white flour, sugar, oil, and chocolate chips. But that’s at least a balance of good and bad, so I’m going with it. I can’t wait to eat some tomorrow, as they are way better the next day, nice and chewy.

And while I’m proving that roughly 82% of my culinary repetoire relies on Ms. Isa Moskowitz, I might as well write about last night’s dinner, seitan chops smothered in apples and ginger. I had to saute the apples, since the oven was not yet fixed, but they turned out great. And even though I think I misread the seitan instructions just a bit (I formed the dough into four chops before boiling, meaning I had very thick chops in the end) and had a bit of trouble getting the breading to stick (that never quite works for me), they turned out great. The inside was so tender, a little like a super dense bread. Maybe due to the altered boiling technique, maybe due to the chickpea flour, but this seitan was very different from any other I’ve made, and I loved it. Spongy yet toothsome. It was a nice balance, as were all the flavors in the dish. I took it easy on the ginger, as I’m just getting over a long-held hatred of the stuff, but it came out totally mellow and warm and wonderful. And really, what’s better than getting to eat apples and cranberries for dinner? It was sort of like eating a totally sophisticated version of my oh-so-high-class childhood favorite, pork chops and applesauce.

Two of My Favorite Quick Meals


Sometimes I get jealous when I hear people say that everything they know about cooking they learned from their mother. I sure didn’t. Everything I know about cooking–and pretty much everything else–I learned from Martha Stewart. It infuriates me to watch her current show, because she just kisses minor celebrity ass while throwing a few things in a pot, and it’s impossible to actually learn anything. But once upon a time Martha took me from Minute Rice to risotto. And half of the recipes I turn to again and again come from Martha, one of my favorites being soy-glazed tofu and carrots. It’s simple, it’s sweet and salty and crunchy and mushy, and it always makes my husband, Dan, happy. Sometimes I add other vegetables (like the asparagus here) or serve it over rice, but most of the time the tofu and carrots are enough to totally satisfy. If only I could keep the broiler from turning the cookie sheets all burnt and nasty.


The open-faced seitan sandwiches from Table for Two by Joanne Stepaniak is another winner. I must make this once a week. It takes maybe twenty minutes and is super comforting, especially when it’s cold outside. And the saltiness goes perfectly with mashed sweet potatoes (which I love so much, I’ve been known to eat nothing but for dinner when I’m home alone).

And because the tofu and carrots pics turned out so well, here are a couple more.


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