Sunday, April 11, 2010

Cheeze and Chick*n

It's been a pretty gorgeous week here in Baltimore. Sure, it was hot as hell for a couple days, but now it's mellowed to a more tolerable warm, sunny, breezy spring. We've had the windows open and are basking in the pre-summer glory. Kitty is marking the season by shedding her winter coat all over the house. Thanks, Kitty.

The season makes me want to get my garden started. I found some self-watering pots at IKEA for dirt cheap. My mom sent me some seeds and gardening books, including a book specifically about gardening in self-watering containers. The plan for this year is to do most of the veggie gardening in front of the house. Mind you, I live in Baltimore city. In a rowhouse. Across the street from two pretty high traffic dining/drinking establishments. I'm hoping I can get away with the more public planting without anyone destroying my little planties. Last year's garden did well out back on the slab, but it just didn't get much sunlight. 

Last year's garden

We're hoping to grow some good veggies this year. I think I'll start with lettuce, swiss chard, and some herbs. Also, I'm genetically obligated to grow some tomatoes. My parents have a seed company that specializes in heirloom tomato seeds, which they started the year I was born. I used to hate tomatoes, but now I've seen the light. Kevin's still not a big tomato lover, but we're slowly winning him over. He likes tomato products, just not straight-up 'maters.

He requested grilled cheeze sandwiches and soup the other night. I'd splurged on some cheddar Daiya. Of course, grilled cheeze sandwiches have to be paired with tomato soup, so I made Vegan Yum Yum's Spicy Tomato Chickpea Soup. Super easy to make, and pureeing chickpeas along with the tomatoes makes it proteinaceous. (Like my new term?)

I whipped up some quick stuffed potatoes, which I topped with Daiya. The recipe was inspired by the Veganomicon samosa-stuffed potatoes that Annie made for us a while back. I wasn't crazy about these. Annie's were definitely better. These had mushed potato, broccoli, and tempeh for a "cheddar/broccoli/bacon" theme. Oh well.

Then we had even MORE fun with Daiya in some burritos. I made Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burritos from Donna Klein's Supermarket Vegan. Kevin ordered the book on a whim when placing a recent Amazon order. It's full of recipes that require only easily accessible, mainstream vegan ingredients. No Ener-g or Gardein or Teese. Good for when we don't feel like driving around the Inner Harbor to get to Whole Foods. 

Not a pretty shot. I slightly modified it to include fresh white sweet potatoes (instead of canned,) refried black beans from TJ's instead of mashed whole ones, and frozen corn for some texture. Please don't mind my bite marks. I was hungry!

And now for the grand finale... Let me tell you what Mr. Kitchen Kevin has been up to. He's been showing me up, making ridiculously yummy food and having friends over while I'm stuck at the hospital. (We knew I might be at the hospital, and I told him to proceed as planned regardless.) One thing we miss most is Indian food. It usually contains ghee, which is dairy. This is particularly crappy because we have an awesome Indian/Nepalese cafe just a couple blocks from us. It's owned by a very friendly man who's a folk music star in Nepal. He's, like, super famous there, but here in Locust Point he's just happy to make you some authentic Nepalese food. We need to get up the chutzpah to inquire about ghee-free preparation. 

Anyways, I digress. So, Kevin and I love love love tikka masala. He had the fancy pants idea that he could make it from scratch with Gardein. If you haven't tried Gardein, it's pretty awesome. It's almost identical chicken, and it's not full of processed crap. It's some gluten, some soy, and "ancient grains." He used this recipe to marinade the Gardein, then cook it up on skewers in our Broiler from Hell.



Gardein Tikka Masala

Our vegan buddies Annie and Wiley were going to bring me leftovers to the hospital since vegan food is scarce at good ol' AAMC, but luckily the tardy baby decided to finally make an appearance so that I could stumble home at an almost reasonable hour. Nearly 24 hours and two babies later, there's not much better than eating a really great meal, watching It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and crawling into bed.


  1. You should post a picture of the sauce, too.

  2. This all looks delicious (esp. the potatoes & tikka masala)!! I just picked up my first bags of Daiya today and can't wait to get to playing!