Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Vegan MoFo Day 18: Brunch in Oklahoma City

This past weekend we visited my mother-in-law in Oklahoma. Always a relaxing and fun time. This visit included a trip to the toy store so Grandma could spoil Jackson and Olivia with some new toys, including a hundred little green and gray army men.

One morning we met some friends for brunch at Picasso Cafe in Oklahoma City. Right away, I was digging the mix-your-own-mimosa setup.

I had the Chicken-Fried Portabella with white sage gravy, home fries, and grilled asparagus. If you don't know what chicken-fried means (I didn't until I lived in Oklahoma), it refers to taking a piece of meat, like steak, and breading it and frying it, like fried chicken. In this case, a portabella mushroom was substituted. It was so good -- crispy, crunchy breading on the outside and hot, juicy mushroom on the inside. The home fries and asparagus were excellent as well.

Vegan MoFo Day 17: Fall

This post was supposed to happen yesterday, but we went out of town for a long weekend and I'm just now sitting down to type it. Better late than never!

Olivia had a dental cleaning this morning. She was a superstar in her shades. This was her first time at the "big girl" dentist (i.e. Mama, Daddy, and Jackson's dentist) and she was excited to show what a big, brave kid she is.

Then we came home and probably negated some of the effects of the tooth cleaning by baking up a batch of sugary, chocolatey, gooey Pumpkin Pie Brownies. It's fall and I am ushering it in properly by hoarding cans of pumpkin. These brownies are just the beginning of our decorative gourd season food festivities.

Happy fall!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Vegan MoFo Day 16: Falafel Feast

Tonight I made a few dishes from The Garden of Vegan that seemed to go together. We had Extraordinary Quinoa Tabbouleh and Mo-Mo's Falafels with Mo's Tahini Sauce

The tabouli is chock-full of veggies. Cucumber, tomato, scallions, carrot, and radish. Throwing in some kalamata olives isn't a bad idea, either. 

Jackson gives a half-hearted thumbs up...too busy clearing his plate.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Vegan MoFo Day 15: Three Meals

The other night we met my parents for dinner at Kerbey Lane. I had the vegan breakfast platter: pancakes, tofu scramble with queso, and sausage patties. The pancakes of the day were chocolate-chili-cinnamon. I thought they would have just a hint of chili, but man, they were hot! I tried to drown the spiciness in maple syrup and was only partially successful.

Yesterday we met friends for a lunch playdate at Central Market. The line at the cafe was out the door, so I decided I would pick something from the prepared foods section instead of waiting in line. While Jackson and Olivia played "zombie chase" on the playground, I enjoyed veggie sushi. It came with peanut sauce rather than the wasabi and ginger I was expecting, but it was still a good, light lunch.

Finally, a homemade meal, and one that couldn't be lazier. I heated 2 cups TVP with 2 1/2 cups water and a packet of taco seasoning. Once the TVP was rehydrated, I scooped it into taco shells with lettuce, tomato and hot sauce. Dinner!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Vegan MoFo Day 14: Dragon Hunters

This morning we went in search of a dragon named Draka. I heard about this mythical creature over the weekend and knew we had to seek her out.

Draka is an art car built from an old van and two trailers. Apparently she won some awards in her day and made some trips to Burning Man. Now she sits abandoned in a produce distributor's parking lot.

I've lived in Austin for several years, and yet there never seems to be a shortage of unique stuff like Draka to go check out. It's one of the things I love about living here.

For dinner I made calzones, using the Calzone Dough recipe from The Garden of Vegan.

I filled them with faux pepperoni (recipe from Vegan on the Cheap), tofu ricotta, and spinach, and served them with marinara for dipping. The dough was easy to work with; they turned out great and we'll definitely make them again, since the variety of fillings is practically endless.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Vegan MoFo Day 13: Tiny Dancer and Karate Master

Today went by in a flash. It felt like I spent most of the day shuttling to and from the rec center. Olivia had her first dance lesson this afternoon.

Then we rushed home and I made a quick dinner, Matthew's Spicy Tomato Peanut & Kale Pasta from La Dolce Vegan.  It's an odd-sounding recipe, but it's actually fantastic. And if you use a mild chili sauce like I do (or omit it, whatever), it's a very kid-friendly pasta. I do recommend doubling the amount of kale called for, because it cooks down to almost nothing, as you can see below. 

Then it was back to the rec center for Jackson's first karate class.

Time to flop onto the couch and not move until bedtime! See y'all tomorrow!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Vegan MoFo Day 12: Ethiopian, Heck Yeah!

This weekend we treated ourselves to Ethiopian food at Aster's. Some friends have been surprised when I say that Jackson and Olivia love Ethiopian food. Although I don't cook this cuisine at home often (I think I've made it a grand total of one time -- that needs to change!), the ingredients are quite familiar to my kids...lentils, potatoes, greens, bread. They both love lentils. And of course they love a chance to eat an entire meal with their fingers! So when I asked Jackson if he wanted to go eat Ethiopian food, his response was, "Heck yeah I do!"

While we waited for our meals to arrive, our server thoughtfully brought out little dishes of alicha miser (mild lentils), potatoes, and injera (the spongy bread used to scoop up the food) for the kids, so they didn't have to wait.

Soon the rest of our food arrived. We ordered two vegetarian samplers, and everything arrived on a giant platter. What a feast! The sampler included fasolia wat (mixed veggies in a cinnamon sauce), gomen (collard greens), alicha miser (mild lentils), keyi miser (spicy lentils, my favorite), atakelt wat (cabbage, green beans and carrots in turmeric sauce), potatoes, and timatim fitfit (spicy mixture of mashed injera bread, jalapenos and onions).

Another view of the spread, from Jackson's viewpoint.

After eating our fill, we were off to Cabela's so Tony could pick up some camping gear. Jackson and Olivia were more interested in the boats.

Playing camping...hopefully we'll do some of the real thing this fall.

The aquarium is a welcome change from the rest of the store because it features live fish rather than taxidermied woodland creatures.

Tony has so much love for giant catfish.

Then we made one more stop at the health food store to pick up a few staples. I also treated myself to some snacks: cranberry kombucha and Hail Merry macaroons...

...honeycrisp apples a.k.a. the best apples...

...and pistachios. Wonderful pistachios, indeed.

Hope you had a good weekend!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Vegan MoFo Day 11: Last Splash

I'm not sure if today was really our last visit to a splash pad this summer, since the one by Zilker Park stays open year-round. But I'm a Breeders fan, so I'll stick with that post title nonetheless.

I'm so glad that the sun is finally, little by little, giving us a break so that we can play outside again. The high today was only 100. Compared to 106 last week, I'll take it.

Afterwards, we cooled down in a different manner of speaking. We stopped at Sweet Ritual for vegan ice cream. Jackson and Olivia both chose cookies n' cream "monkey cones." Can you see the little monkey face? Cute.

I had a double cone with a scoop of horchata topped by a scoop of nutter butter.  As a peanut butter fanatic, I wanted the nutter butter to have a stronger peanut flavor, but the horchata flavor was perfectly cinnamony, with little pieces of almonds mixed in.

For dinner, I made po'boys. Tony fried up the last of the okra from our garden, and I stuffed it into hoagie rolls along with lettuce, tomato, pickles, Veganaise, and hot sauce.

With that, Vegan MoFo is half over! Hope y'all have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Vegan MoFo Day 10: 3.5

Tonight we had dinner with my parents to celebrate Olivia's half-birthday.

We met them at La Margarita in Round Rock. Olivia chose the peanut butter and jelly taco...just a tortilla spread with PB&J.  This is a pretty genius kids' menu item if you ask me.

I had the veggie enchiladas with ranchero sauce, hold the cheese. 

Happy 3 1/2!