Friday, December 3, 2010

Lovin' From The Oven

Shockingly, my brother and I did not go on a hike today. I don't know if it was the previous days trek up Humbug Mt (pics shortly) that left me embarrassingly sore or the fact that it was really quite cold, but I spent the first part of my day stressing about life, the middle listening to my dad's Detroit firefighting stories and the end preparing a vegan feast for my family that got me out of my funk.
That's my dad second from left
My mom and brother had decided earlier in the week to eat vegan for a few days and in honor of that (and my own desire to cut out animal products) I decided to try a vegan mac n cheese recipe I've seen in the blogging world for the past year or so.  Unlike most recipes, this doesn't contain nutritional yeast (also known as hippie crack) and is really pretty healthy for a traditionally cheesy pasta dish.
Cooking at my mom's house is so wonderful with her stocked cupboards and equipment.  These days it's even better with her weekly CSA share from a local farm.  Today's share was full of acorn squash, turnips, red and yellow peppers and carrots.  Amazing.
To start the meal I halved the acorn squash and tossed them in the oven along with whole red peppers.  To prepare the mac n cheese I followed VegNews recipe as closely as my ingredients would let me though I only made a half batch.  I was afraid it wouldn't be that great and I didn't want to waste food so I cut it in half.  We only had whole wheat past so I used that, next time I think I will "splurge" and use white pasta. Since Port Orford has limited stores, there were no raw cashews so I substituted tahini. Also, I didn't have a vegan butter substitute so I just added a tablespoon of oil in lieu of butter.  Overall, it was pretty good; in fact, it grows on you so much you want more and more.  Next time when I try it with cashews and white pasta and a little more liquid I think it will be delicious.  And come on, does mac n cheese get any healthier than this?
It doesn't photograph great, but it's good!
 Also? Roasted squash and peppers and tempeh are delicious with the pasta.
To continue my vegan cooking spree I followed Isa Chandra Moskowitz's Carrot and Raisin Muffin recipe and they were delicious: not too sweet but totally satisfying.  Isa is by far one of my most trusted vegan cooks and she's pretty darn cool too.

Apparently that wasn't enough for one day so I whipped up a double batch of chocolate chip cookies for my mom to take to work tomorrow to pass out to the volunteers and inmates out on work-release (isn't my mom the sweetest?).

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