Friday, January 21, 2011

Vegan Food For The Crooked Soul

Remember the era of "Chicken Soup for the Soul", and all the spin-offs from that book?  Comes to mind this morning, because I am crooked.  Downright cranky, crooked.  Partly because I was woken by a strange dream of a nasty high school teacher reprimanding me for not finishing my homework (analyze, anyone?)... and partly because it's been a busy week with things going on with the girls, and then a wonky morning with a screaming toddler and miscommunication with hubby about events of the day hubby screwed up... and here I am, quite a grouchy sort.

I've cooked and that's not helping.  Had chocolate, and even that didn't help (much)!  So, I thought I'd blog, maybe some photos of vegan food will brighten my crooked soul!  Plus, I haven't posted any of my food pics for a while, so now's a good time.  I realized yesterday that I haven't even taken many photos of my food lately.  I really need a new camera.  A good one.  I have one of these little Canon powershot cameras that is good enough for most photos, but it's really challenging to take good food photos unless I have some natural light to work with.  Given the pissing-down rain we've had in recent weeks, there's not much opportunity to shoot photos outside.  Also, I've been more focused on finishing edits with my recipes and book that I haven't been snap-happy.  I've rambled.  That happens when I'm cranky.  Well, it happens all the time actually.  Anyhow, shall we get on to some photos?  Here's some stuff that will be in the next cookbook:
Almond Roasted Cauliflower
Almond Roasted Cauliflower.  This recipe has even me liking cauliflower - and one of our daughters can eat the entire dish.  Still working on hubby, nah, forget that.  Too grumpy to bother.

Creamy Grilled Eggplant Dip
Creamy Grilled Eggplant Dip. Not the best photo (dang camera), but this dip is a switch-up on baba ghanoush (don't give me heck on the spelling today).  Often baba can be bitter from the tahini, as well as the eggplants.  This recipe grills the eggplants first until smoky and caramelized, and then combines with raw cashews and other seasonings for a creamy, smoky dip.

Caramelized Onion and Hemp Hummus
Caramelized Onion and Hemp Hummus.  Think I'd do another book without a couple hummus-type recipes?  This recipes borrows sweetness from caramelized onions to combine with earthy hemp seeds and chickpeas.  The result is surprisingly addictive!

Caribbean Fusion Stew
Caribbean Fusion Stew.  Deeply comforting and nourishing, with an exotic edge combining beans, veggies, and plantains in a curried coconut broth spiked with lime.  I love this stew, in fact I'd love to have it tonight, but I've done enough food prepping already today.

Next bunch of food porn I'll squeeze in the sweet treats.  They'll be in order for me today anyhow!  Alright, I'll try to shape up my mood now.  But, if I happen to cross paths with any of you today, you've got my apology now - in advance!

Food-unrelated (but topical) question:  When you're feeling cranky, do you throw on something colorful to feel better, or stick to the black/brown/gray stuff in your closet?

The effects of diet do not start at puberty.  Food choices exert noticeable effects much earlier, even in the toddler years. [Vegetarian children] grow up more gradually, reach puberty later, are much less likely to die of heart disease or cancer in mid-life, and overall live years longer than people raised on typical Western diets.  (Food For Life, Dr. Neal Barnard)


Kristin said...

Yum! Everything looks amazing, although I'm definitely drooling over that eggplant dip. I'm also sending you good vibes so your mood improves. Perhaps some yoga?

Dreena said...

thanks Kristin, and you know, I even did some yoga this morning too! Maybe a stiff drink is in order. ;) (mood is shaping up *slightly*...) thx.

Nichole said...

mmm, those look good!

hope the rest of your day goes better!

Michelle @ Housewife in the Raw said...

First - my comment verification is blesses - which has to be the best verification code I've seen in a while. Blessings to you!

Second - I love cauliflower and can't wait to see your recipe for that.

Third - when I'm cranky I find it helps to get dressed like I'm not a stay-home mom. I actually fix my hair, wear my cute jeans and cute (but washable) top and then, whenever I catch a glimpse of myself throughout the day, at least my outsides look put together. Do you ever do that? Hope your day improves or that at least you get a early night to put the day to bed.

Born to be Vegan said...

That baba dip looks AMAZING!!! When I'm pissed off I find if I do something constructive (reorganize a closet or something) I feel better. If that doesn't work and I'm that upset sometimes a good cry is in order...doesn't really solve anything but sometimes it helps to just get it all out. Then maybe a good stiff drink while you soak in the bathtub will work!

Sarah said...

Dreena, these look delicious. I want to thank you for your inspired recipes--we enjoyed Kids Dynamo Hummus with dinner, and Easy Pleasin' Oat Bars for snack today. By the way, do you use chia seeds? I've become a little addicted! My kids love them in fruit salad. They are so good for you and the texture is fantastic with fruit. Hope you're feeling better!

tweal said...

Hey Dreena, I hope you're feeling a bit better! Just wanted to give a shout out to that cauliflower - it is hands down the BEST way to prepare and eat cauli, I can easily eat the whole dish of it! I think I might go make it right now - thanks for reminding me about it.

p.s. if chocolate didn't work, then yes, a stiff drink may be what you need ;)

Becky said...

That hummus looks great. Caramelized onions are the best!

When I'm feeling grumpy, I need some good music to lift the spirits. There's nothing like dancing around the living room with the kids to some upbeat tunes to lift my mood. Sometimes I have to ease into it with some wallowing-in-self-pity, slow songs, though! Like, "Bad Day" by Daniel Powter. For some reason that one always makes me feel better. :)

Junia said...

interesting info about the vegetarian diet and children! thanks for sharing!

when i feel grumpy, i put my favorite shirt that makes me feel pretty/happy. :)

i love caulflower everything!!!

Dreena said...

Michelle, I couldn't agree more about how you dress at home. Even when I'm at home all day, I usually like to wear my regular jeans/pants and shirts, rather than really sloppy clothes, and yes, get put together! Just makes me feel better and more productive. There's so much to do most days that I don't really get in gear until I'm dressed and ready! (blessings to you too, I like that) :)

Sarah, I do use chia seeds! Some of my new recipes will include them too - like Chia Banana Muffins, Whole-Grain Chia Pancakes, and then some other recipes using chia (or flax) to help give body/structure to some dishes. Also good to sprinkle on cereal or put in smoothies. Really healthy stuff, right?! Nice idea putting them in a fruit salad, never thought of that!

Thanks guys for your notes, fun to read your "pissy day" tips! To answer my own question, I couldn't decide on color yesterday (figures!), so I wore a bit of bright and a bit of black, along with my jeans I like to wear and that felt a wee bit better!!!!

Colleen said...

Caramelized Onion and Hemp Hummus - that's the best thing I think I've ever heard of!!! Can't wait for the new book.

Also, looking forward to a tasty cauliflower recipe - my husband is resistant.

Wanna Be Vegan Mom said...

curl your hair and put on some lipgloss- and some colorful clothes. Unless you want to stay cranky :)

Sometimes staying in PJ's and taking a nap helps...

I want that eggplant dip recipe, I can't wait!

Vegan Georgia said...

When I'm moody (which I am right now because of the weather - East Coast for me), I usually end up wearing black, but I often eat orange food, like sweet potatoes, which makes me feel better :) Hope your weekend improves!

veget8ive said...

I hear ya! When I'm in a crummy mood I don't even bother with what color clothes I'm going to put on. I just run around naked. Invigorating.

HayMarket8 said...

I really am digging the fusion stew idea! It seems amazingly rich!

Michelle said...

These look amazing.... I was a Vegetarian almost one year ago. NYE my hubby decided to one up me and go Vegan...haha to my shock. So now I have been cooking Vegan the last few weeks. I discovered your books and now we have wonderful recipes. Cant wait to see these.

I usually Clean and organize when I am in a mood.... when say a closet looks great again, makes me feel good and Ive accomplished something... although its in sweats...

To Whom It May Concern, said...

I'm actually doing a research thesis for my undergrad studies at ucsd and my topic pertains to vegan food blogging.
I feel as though blogs, of any form are an interesting way to be able to connect to people of similar interests. For me, when I made the switch to veganism (a little over a year ago now) I sought out blogs as a means of a support system.

I was wondering if you could give me some insight into why you specifically keep a blog? Why you started blogging? and what, if anything, you feel you gain from others blogs?

Any insight you could give me into the importance of blogging for you would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your time,

ps. Anyone who has anything to say on this topic, please feel free to email me!

Jess T. said...

mmm...the eggplant dip looks so good!

to help myself cheer up from the winter blues, sometimes will paint my nails to give myself a little pop of color!

TheVeganAsana said...

That stew looks super fantastic!
Bad moods are no fun, huh? I think it helps to put on something bright and fun. Maybe a pair of silly socks or your brightest cardigan. Hope the mood has improved and today is much better and thanks for the blog.