Monday, December 27, 2010

Fried Garlic Olives

My Grandma makes fried, garlic stuffed olives. That's right, large green olives. With whole garlic cloves inside. Breaded and deep fried. Wow. I was beyond excited to try these at Christmas, but much to my dismay the breading contained eggs. I immediately thought to myself, "This would be SO easy to make vegan!" Some of my homemade breadcrumbs, a little cornstarch, voila!

I usually purchase the "gourmet" olives at Whole Foods. They always have a great selection, from kalamata to garlic stuffed to you name it. I also believe that BJ's or any of those giant "membership club" stores carry GIGANTIC jars of garlic olives. If garlic isn't your thing, use your favorite kind of olive, but larger sizes works better in this dish.

Fried Olives
  • 1 cup large size olives, I prefer garlic stuffed
  • about 1/4 cup oil reserved from olive jar
  • 1 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • vegetable oil for frying
Place olives in a small bowl. Make sure they are completely coated with oil from their jar. If not, lightly coat with the reserved oil. In a large, shallow bowl combine the breadcrumbs and cornstarch. Set up a working station, from left to right place the bowl of olives, followed by the breadcrumb mixture followed by a large empty bowl. Working in small batches, place olives in breadcrumbs and toss to coat all over. Place coated olives in empty bowl. Continue until all of your olives are completely coated with breadcrumbs. Heat your vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a frying pan. When oil is hot carefully drop olives in a few at a time. Make sure not to crowd the pan or the olives will stick together. After 1-2 minutes olives should be a nice golden brown. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels or brown paper bags to cool. 
These make a great antipasti option along side roasted red peppers, marinated artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes and a nice crusty bread. 

Cookies with chips in the batter?!?!

OHMYGOD I need to make these cookies as soon as I get back to my own kitchen.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Danielle('s) Snacks

Since it's the time of overindulgence, let's talk junk food. Gourmet junk food. And by junk food I mean chips. My all time favorite junk food snack. I prefer the sea salt kettle chips, but a close second are the Terra Chips Sweets and Beets.
Danielle Snacks

Tonight while shopping in Marshall's I stumbled upon the "Danielle" royal sweet potato chips. I examined the package making sure the expiration date was okay (2012), and promptly made my purchase.

These really came in handy when I was suddenly starving and waiting for my aunt and grandmother in the middle of the mall. I tore open the package and dove in. Inside were delicious, crunchy, sweet little pieces of heaven in a bag.

What I loved other than the sweet and slightly savory taste was the thicker cut of these chips. It made them extra crunchy and actually quite filling. Still, this didn't stop me from devouring the whole (2 oz.) bag in a matter of seconds.
Only 2 ingredients, fresh royal sweet potatoes & non-hydrogenated palm oil and a surprisingly low amount of sodium (10 mg), for chips. Not to mention, these were a steal at half the price you would pay at a specialty shop, or even Whole Foods.

I also found a bag of banana chips, but historically I've never liked banana chips, so I passed on those... for now. However, I happen to know there is a bag of the roasted coconut chips waiting for me in my stocking...
I definitely cannot wait to try all of the flavors, and just might splurge and pick up a few bags on my next trip to Whole Foods...

Coming up after Christmas- kitchen appliances, my pantry staples, a few words on the word "vegan" and my Sunday tradition of macaroni and gravy (otherwise known as, sauce). 

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Ready for the oven...
Since going vegan, there are very few food items I have really missed. Up till now I have been able to either veganize or substitute my favorite foods. However, my heart shrunk to Grinch size when I realized I couldn't have any of my grandma's cookies. 
The cookies I am talking about are my family's cookies which are made only on Christmas (and sometimes Easter). There is a variety including "grandma's cookies" (basically just flour, butter and sugar topped with sugar icing), folded, jelly filled cookies, pizzelles, struffoli ("struffola") and pignolis. My absolute favorite are the pignolis. Each bite is filled with chewy, almond-y goodness that reminds me of sitting at my grandma's kitchen table on Christmas day. 

Imagine when I discovered there was a vegan pignoli recipe in existence! It can be found in the Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar by who else, but Isa & Terry from The PPK. Today was the day to take the recipe for a test run. Just unwrapping the almond paste sent me into a sugar induced squeal of delight. Maybe it's just me, but I could just sit and smell almond paste all day long. (Burt's Bees almond milk hand cream has the same exact scent as almond paste, by the way. It makes my mouth water...)

 If these last more than 5 minutes here I am hoping to save some for myself for Christmas... but I might not be able to stop myself from eating every last one today.

The recipe can be found on The PPK, here. (No, I don't own the book, yet. Ahem, Santa.)

Friday, December 17, 2010


Tonight was one of those nights where I get home from work, get busy doing mundane things, and then BAM! I'm starving. I wanted noodles, and I wanted them now. Luckily, last night I stumbled upon a great post showcasing noodles on house vegan.

Here's what mine looked like (in bad lighting).
I've been craving the Garlic Teriyaki Noodles (snack #5) since last night. Instead of a snack portion, I bumped up the volume to make it a full dinner. I used 1lb. of whole grain linguine and made my own teriyaki by simmering Braggs and a little sugar until it thickened up a bit. For an extra kick I added a dash of ground ginger. Other than that I followed the original directions. I think next time I'll toss in some broccolini or maybe even some fresh baby spinach. Tofu? The possibilities are endless.
What I loved about this meal is that it was super quick, required few ingredients (things I always have on hand) and satisfied my need for noodles in no time.

I suggest you try it out, it is delish! Thanks house vegan! 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Let it Snow

Snow is falling. Rilo is laying on my feet, keeping me warm. I'm sipping my hot, ginger tea. If only I wasn't coughing up a lung and feeling like death.

No food today, I'll be noshing on the leftover lo mein that T surprised me with last night.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Soup Day

I woke up this morning craving my mom's spinach egg drop soup. It was the perfect thing on a cold day or anytime you're feeling under the weather, which for me is actually pretty often. Since my mom is 300 miles away, and I can't find a quick & easy substitution for "egg drop", into the fridge it was to whip up a new soup. Here's what I came up with.

Sick Day Soup
-3 scallions, roughly chopped
-3 carrots, cut into small coins
-2 cloves garlic, grated/minced
-handful of mushrooms thinly sliced (I used cremini, about 10-12)
-a bunch of baby bok choy, roughly chopped
-1 cup of barley
-Braggs to taste (optional)

Saute the scallions and carrots in a drizzle of olive oil over medium high heat for about 5 minutes. Add garlic, saute for a minute then add mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms until they are nice and soft, about 5-7 minutes, then fill the pot with water ( you can also use some vegetable stock, I just didn't have any). Bring to a boil then add barley. Give it a quick stir, after it boils a minute turn it down to a simmer. When the barley is almost done, add the bok choy. At this point, I just left it on a low simmer until I was ready to eat (as you can tell I wasn't exactly timing this one). I finished it off with a splash of Braggs, a couple of shakes of celery seed and a few generous cracks of freshly ground pepper.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Miso Soup & Garlic Toast

 I was sent home early today with a fever. Good thing I made that soup last night! It made for a delicious and soothing breakfast this morning when my throat was on fire. Anyway...
After a quick stop at the co-op for some of my go-to cold remedies, (garlic, ginger, lemons...) I came home to another steaming hot bowl of miso. I completed my lunch with some garlic toast, one of my favorite snacks and sore throat remedy. I'll be in bed the rest of the day with my tea...

Feeling a cold coming on? Try this...

Ginger Miso Soup
-water (about 6 cups)
-Bragg's liquid aminos (or tamari/soy sauce), to taste
-1 generous tablespoon miso paste (whatever kind you prefer/have around)
-1/2 block of extra firm tofu, cut into small cubes
-fresh grated ginger, to taste
-1 small piece kombu, rinsed and cut into thin slivers (optional)

Combine water and Braggs in a soup pot over high heat. Mix miso paste with a little bit of warm water in a glass or measuring cup until miso is dissolved. Add miso to water with tofu, ginger and kombu if using. When the soup begins to boil, turn it down to low and simmer until you are ready to eat.

Garlic Toast
-2 slices whole grain bread
-Earth Balance margarine
-2 garlic cloves, finely minced or grated
-dash of freshly cracked sea salt

Toast your bread and while still hot spread with Earth Balance and garlic. Sprinkle with salt and enjoy while still warm.

Time for me to gargle some cayenne...

Monday, December 13, 2010

This is just the VEGANning!

Sometimes I jump out of bed to make Miso Ginger Soup at 10:00 pm. And sometimes while making the soup, I decide to start a blog.
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