Chickpea Cutlet Burger with frizzled leeks, Green Bean Fries, and Corn on the Cob

Make New Friends, But Keep the Old

Make new friends, but keep the old…

My dinners these days often revolve around two central questions: what produce do I have in my fridge, and more importantly – what’s about to go bad? Today’s answer to the latter: green beans. I love me some fresh green beans, but the word “fresh” wasn’t really true any more in describing these particular beans. Still, I bravely picked through the container and separated the questionable beans from the salvageable ones. (If I die of green bean poisoning tomorrow, you read it here first).

Luckily for my green beans, I just picked up the sequel to one of my all time favorite cookbooks. I’m a huge fan of Clean Food by Terry Walters, and the new Clean Start looks to be even more exciting. Since I’ve of course already read the book cover to cover (yes, I read cookbooks for fun), I knew my green beans had a solid future.

They would become Green Fries.

I don’t think I’ve ever really fried anything, aside from the brief stretch of time when I actually owned a little deep frier. I’ve never fried on the stove-top, though. I tend to avoid frying things (pesky calories and all). Tonight, though, I had some green beans, and I had a new cookbook, and doggone it, I felt like frying something.

For the record, a) frying stuff is dangerous. I could’ve used a reminder before I embarked upon this journey. b) Fried green beans are good, but I’m not sure they’re better than roasting them to eat as fries. The texture is a little better, but might not be better enough to be worth the trouble (and calories) of frying. That said, I still ate a ton of them.

So, green bean fries are my new friend (roasted or fried!)

To go with my green bean fries, I made an old favorite standby – chickpea cutlets from Veganomicon. So easy. So good. Such awesome leftovers. And I actually remembered to add the spices this time.

And I grilled a corn-on-the-cob.

Nom.

Chickpea Cutlet Burger with frizzled leeks, Green Bean Fries, and Corn on the Cob

Chickpea Cutlet Burger with frizzled leeks, Green Bean Fries, and Corn on the Cob

Word to your mother. Now go be a good scout and eat some plants.

Chickpea cutlet sandwich with creamy garlic

Sandwich Experimentation

I’m the happiest foodie version of myself when eating with my hands. I love sandwiches and finger-foods. After an accidentally awesome sandwich creation a couple weeks ago, I vowed to recreate my favorite pizza joint take-out sandwich: the Chicken Club from Nancy’s Pizza.

Last night, I attempted my first batch of the secret ingredient: the creamy garlic dressing.

Now, I don’t have the slightest idea of the ingredient list of the original dressing on this sandwich – so I’m just going to have to wing it by flavor!

After digging through my vegan cookbook collection and coming up empty, I searched the interwebs for a vegan creamy garlic dressing. My first attempt used this recipe, supposedly from the Chicago Diner (meat-free since ’83!). It turned out much too bland. I added some additional garlic, some fresh basil, and a sprinkle of Garlic Gold (the Italian herb blend) – and while that did make it quite tasty, it’s not quite there. Also, the consistency is much too thin.

Still, that didn’t prevent me from trying the dressing on a sandwich! I made up another batch of Chickpea Cutlets from Veganomicon (and had a total cutlet fail – forgot half of the seasonings. Funny, they still turned out alright – since I’m smothering them in dressing anyway).

Behold: phase one of my quest to veganize the Chicken Club sandwich from Nancy’s:

Chickpea cutlet sandwich with creamy ranchYeah, it’s not much of a club sandwich – I was too tired to make tempeh bacon. This was really just an attempt to get the dressing right, after which point I’ll proceed with the rest of the sandwich. But boy – it sure is a delicious process 🙂

I think my next attempt at the dressing will use silken tofu, similar to Isa’s Sanctuary Dressing recipe (which I am still enjoying almost daily!)

(There’s some Daiya mozzarella on there too). Kale chips and a ring of fresh pineapple on the side. Nom!

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?