The Godmother & My Veggie Drawer

Please excuse me. I’m having a food-gasm over here.

It’s Day 2 with my Griddler grill/panini press, and in another attempt to use up some leftovers, I accidentally recreated my second favorite pizza joint sandwich, vegan style:

The Godmother, from Nancy’s PizzaOven Baked Breaded Chicken Tenders with Red Sauce and Melted Mozzarella Cheese, served on Homemade Garlic Bread

Oh, yes. Yes. YES!

Not coincidentally, my ultimate favorite pizza joint sandwich also comes from Nancy’s. Of course, now that I’m neither eating chicken nor cheese, I will have to find a way to recreate this one as well:

The Chicken Club – Oven Baked Breaded Chicken Tenders, Fresh Bacon, Melted Mozzarella Cheese, Lettuce, Fresh Roma Tomatoes, and Creamy Garlic Sauce served on our Homemade Garlic Bread

I bet I could make a wicked-good vegan garlic sauce! The rest is cake, since I already figured it out.

Behold:

Godmother Panini (vegan)Starring:

– Chickpea Cutlets from Veganomicon

– Mom’s Marinara from Appetite for Reduction

Daiya mozzarella (best vegan cheese evah!)

– A little bit of Earth Balance (vegan butter)

Supporting act:

Salad

Help! I'm running out of vegetables!

Mixed greens, a grated carrot, and a handful of alfalfa sprouts doused with Sanctuary Dressing (also from Appetite for Reduction). The produce drawer in my fridge is looking pretty sad at the moment. Not even a cucumber to be found.

Tangent!

My veggie drawer typically contains:

– 1 bunch of kale (for making kale chips!)
– 1 cucumber
– 1 avocado (OK fine, avo is a fruit, so what)
– 1 red pepper (I know, I know! Red pepper is technically [botanically] a fruit too. But I eat it as a vegetable!)
– 1 bunch of broccoli
– 1 onion (yellow or white)
– 1 bunch asparagus
– Leafy greens (either an organic spring greens mix, or a mixed greens with spinach type thing)
– 1 bag of carrots

Those are my weekly go-to’s, mostly for salad purposes. Other veggies find their way into my fridge, but the list above is pretty much what I buy every week. Since there’s only one of me, I have to go to the grocery store weekly because I can only eat so much before it goes bad! Luckily, being a Perimeter Shopper at the grocery store, it’s easy to get in and out quickly. Sometimes the asparagus turns into green beans. Sometimes the broccoli becomes cauliflower. There’s usually 1 dinner veggie and a ton of salad veggies.

What’s in your veggie drawer?

Leftovers Day

It was leftovers day here on this lazy Sunday, the last day of Spring Break. This didn’t really feel like Spring Break; the weather was not spring-like, and it wasn’t really a break for me. However, I did manage to do a lot of shopping and a good amount of cooking.

The most significant acquisition of my Spring Break shopping spree was this Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Stainless Steel 12 piece cookware set. It came highly recommended by a food blogger that I enjoy reading, Vegan Burnout. I still, of course, spent days reading reviews and whatnot. I definitely needed a new set of cookware. My existing hodge-podge of a set consisted of scratched-up nonstick pieces from when I got my first apartment 17 years ago (yikes! Math be damned!) and from a housewarming gift when I bought my first house 8 years ago. Every time I have gone to cook something recently, I have had to pretend I didn’t see the flaking nonstick stuff… which led to pretending that the pots weren’t leeching chemicals and carcinogens into my food…. It didn’t matter as much when I only cooked once a year, but now that I’m cooking at least several times a week, it concerns me.

So, enough of that! I chose stainless because I have 2 pots that I love. They’re both stainless, and are both pieces from a set of Revere cookware that my parents got as a wedding gift 37 years ago (awwww!). So it seems I like stainless steel, and will not have to fear the chemical nonstick stuff. Done and done.

I also added a Cuisinart Griddler Jr grill/griddle/panini press to my arsenal. I do own an ancient George Foreman grill (the first one ever made, I think). It just doesn’t work very well anymore – but it too is nearing a decade old. Like I said in my Welcome post – I really never cooked until 2010! These gadgets just collected dust in my cabinets.

Other nifty items of note: a cookbook holder, an olive oil spray bottle, a couple new cookbooks, and an Eye-Fi memory card for my little camera (that will hopefully result in me shooting more of my kitchen adventures to post here).

I tested out the Eye-Fi with today’s lunch. (Impressive little device, actually – I’m surprised at how much I like it. I wish they made it in a CF version for my big camera – but a friend mentioned the possibility of using an SD-to-CF convertor. Looking into that).

First up, I made a sandwich out of some leftover Falafel (from the recipe in Isa Chandra’s Appetite for Reduction).

Outside, this sandwich used a special “ancient grains” bread from the local grocer’s bakery. It listed spelt flour and amaranth flour, amongst others. It was so crusty on the outside and soft on the middle! So good. I plan to get some more use out of my bread machine too – and recreating a bread like this is high on my list of things to do. Inside this sandwich, I stuffed leftover falafel, cucumbers, and some Sanctuary Dressing (also an Isa recipe), with more dressing on the side for dipping. I whipped out the new Griddler to try toasting this sandwich and.. mmm mmm mmm.

With it, I tossed together a salad of spring greens, crunchy tempeh crumbles, leftover grilled leeks and peppers (from yesterday’s pizza adventure), some alfalfa sprouts, and… I think that was it – with Sanctuary Dressing. (That stuff is SO delish, at only 40 calories per 1/4 cup!)

saladI try to have a giant bowl of greens, every single day.

I’ve still got some of that grilled leek & peppers pizza to finish up, and some no-meatballs in the infamous grape jelly/chili sauce marinade. (For the record, the omnivores at yesterday’s family gathering ate the no-meatballs right up – and my mother, the picky eater she is, even asked me to leave her some leftovers). Vegan meatballs ftw! Unfortunately, the marinate was chock full of high fructose corn syrup, as I was too time-pressed to make it from scratch for a nice organic version. Gotta pick your battles.

I hope to get in one more good bit of cooking on Monday before my schedule gets crazy again.

I’m looking at registering for the midwest Warrior Dash. Who’s in?! What’s better than a 5K through obstacles, mud, and fire?!

Adventures in Chopping

Tonight I bring you the first in a series called, “Adventures in Chopping.” Sure, wielding a big, sharp knife may be child’s play to most of you, but to me? It’s confusing, intriguing, and simultaneously terrifying.

You see, I’m clumsy. ’nuff said.

At any rate, I’ve got a long day ahead of me tomorrow, and I know I will not be waking up early enough to feed myself properly. Since I now have a fridge full of produce (thanks to Peapod), I thought I’d better get chopping (literally and figuratively). I decided to make tomorrow’s breakfast tonight, so I can just grab it and go as I sleepwalk out the door in the morning.

The adventure started like this:
Googling how to chop peppers

Yes, I had to Google how to chop a bell pepper. I also had to Google how to chop an onion. Now you hush with the laughing!

It took me a good half hour to chop up one red pepper and one onion, but there was no bloodshed – and that’s a primary goal, right?

chopped red peppers

Mission accomplished.

On a side note, I have to share tonight’s dinner. I wouldn’t normally be so ga-ga over a sandwich, but this was the most delicious lunch meat I’ve ever had in my life… no joke. I will have to review it properly at some point. It was deli sliced herb turkey breast made by Applegate Farms – the organic meat company that touts, “There is no mystery to our meat!” The product description: “Our tender juicy turkey breast meat is lightly salted, coated with an earthy herb mix of parsley, rosemary and sage, then slowly roasted.”

I think that herb mix was more heavenly than earthy! Mighty tasty.

Applegate Farms Herb Turkey Sandwich

I wish I’d have gotten out the fine china for a sandwich of that caliber of deliciousness! (For the record: the sandwich was turkey breast with lettuce, mild cheddar cheese, and a little mayo on whole grain bread, with a side of vanilla yogurt with blueberries – all organic, of course!)

EpicOrganic.net