Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Perfect Sunday

Today was a delightful day. I woke up at around 9am and cooked some soup for breakfast (Christmas lima beans, carrots, and celery). Sundays are my day to clean up the house a bit, so I cleaned the bathroom and swept the floors and cleaned the baseboards. Then I snuggled with the animals on the couch and worked sudoku puzzles. It was so warm (maybe 50?) and the sun was streaming in the windows.
Then I whipped up some wheat-free chocolate chip cookies for desserts this week. At around noon a friend came over and we did yoga for a couple hours. Then I did a little grocery shopping and got started cooking. I took my time and decided to cook exactly what I wanted, even if they didn't really go together.
This is Tinkyada pasta with Tofu-Walnut Balls. I remember seeing a recipe for these balls that called for baking them first and then covering them in an apricot glaze and baking them again...but I can't find the recipe for the life of me. But these were really good, too.

Tofu-Walnut Balls
In the food processor, combine:
1 1/2 cups oats
1 package of firm tofu
4 Tbsp tamari
1 cup walnuts
1/2 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp sage

Then scoop up balls/blobs of the mixture and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 400F for about 20 minutes, flip and bake another 10 minutes.

I served these with a nice sweet & smoky tomato sauce- kind of a hybrid between a usual tomato sauce and barbecue sauce.

Sweet & Smoky Tomato Sauce
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion
1/2 tsp salt
1 16 oz. can diced tomatoes
6 drops liquid smoke
2 Tbsp. apricot preserves
a splash of tamari

Saute the onions in the olive oil until the onions begin to brown, then add remaining ingredients and simmer about 20 minutes.

I also really wanted sushi. This sushi has steamed tempeh marinated in tamari, carrots, chives, red pepper strips, and wasabi veganaise. Yum!

While everything was finishing cooking, I had time to work out on the elliptical machine. Then Mike and I ate dinner out on the deck (we had to wear jackets, but at least it was kind of warm). After dinner we played boggle- Mike won, but it was really close.

Then I took a long bath while working sudoku puzzles. And then Dirt was on TV. And throughout the day I got about 3 loads of laundry done.

Can a day get any better?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Rice CrispyCakes

I know I already posted a picture of this cupcake, but I really needed to work on the recipe before posting that up. But after sampling about 3 more tonight, I think I'm ready.

I really tried to preserve the texture of a rice crispy treat in this cupcake, but found that it's nearly impossible to keep rice crisp cereal crisp when encapsulated in cupcake batter. So I've settled for ooey gooey melted rice crispy treat centers inside of gluten free cupcakes. If you call that settling.

Unlike most cupcake baking, you have to make the frosting first, as it serves double duty.

Ricemellow Frosting

1 cup Ricemellow Creme
2 Tbsp Earth Balance margarine
2 Tbsp vegan shortening (I like Earth Balance's)
2 cups of sifted powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
dash of ground cinnamon

Cream together the Earth Balance and shortening in a mixer. Then add the Ricemellow Creme and mix until well combined (it will be gooey). Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time and mix slowly at first, then on med-high speed to fully combine. Last, mix in the vanilla and beat until smooth. Keep this frosting at room temperature until ready to frost the cupcakes.

Rice Crisp Centers

tsp oil (for greasing muffin tin)
1/2 cup of Ricemellow Frosting
1-1/2 cups of brown rice crisp cereal ( I like Erewhon's Organic)

Grease a mini-muffin tin. Fold rice crisp cereal into the frosting until it forms a sticky ball. Press rounded tablespoons full of the mixture into the mini muffin tin and refrigerate until firm (1-2 hours is fine). Now these are fabulous just as they are, but they make great centers for cupcakes, too.

Rice CrispyCakes

1 1/3 cups rice flour
1/4 cup potato starch (or cornstarch)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 cup soymilk
1/3 cup oil
2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp ground flax seeds

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Combine dry ingredients (flour through xanthan gum) in a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. In a separate bowl or jar, combine soymilk, oil, vanilla, and flaxseeds. Stir this really well to activate the gumminess of the flax. Then add the liquid ingredients to the dry and stir until thoroughly combined. Spoon about a tablespoon of batter into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Then place one mini rice crispy treat on the batter. Then fill the liners with the remaining batter. This should make 12 cupcakes. Immediately place these in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes*. Let cool almost completely before frosting. This is one case where the cupcakes should be ever-so-slightly warm when frosting because the gooey Ricemellow Frosting looks really pretty when slightly melted. And it gets really thick, so it doesn't hurt it to melt a bit.

*Note: It is tough to tell if they are done because the crispy treat will block a toothpick inserted into the cake. So you might want to do one cupcake without the treat inside, just to serve as a "doneness tester". Or you could just live dangerously. I can tell you from experience that children (and adults) will still love these even if they are undercooked- and there's no eggs to worry about!

This is my official Cupcake Hero entry for the month. I always seem to wait until really close to the deadline to enter, even though I knew my entry idea the moment I read the theme ingredient of marshmallows. Hmm... What does that say about me?

Unfortunately, I seem to have just missed the deadline for "Go Ahead Honey, It's Gluten Free". But I might just send it in anyways for kicks.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Miso, PB Rolls, and Tamarind Trees

Before I started this blog I chronicled my adventures in cooking on my MySpace page. In January 2007 I had just finished reading Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz and was fermenting everything (Part One and Part Two). I've been fermenting a big crock of soy miso in my basement since then. It was supposed to be an 18 month ferment, but the miso smell in the basement is getting to be a bit much. So when we were cleaning the basement today, I decided to pack it away into jars to refrigerate.

Now I've got 4 pints of miso. That should last a while. (Don't worry, Sarah, I'm saving some for you!)

Today I tried out Bryanna Clark Grogan's version of "No Knead Bread". Except I used all whole wheat flour. And I experimented a little.

This is a free form crusty whole wheat loaf with thyme, basil, and coarse ground sea salt on top. It went perfectly with some chili marinated olives!

I wanted to make rolls with the rest of the dough, but then got an idea. Since I'd probably give the kids peanut butter on the rolls anyways, why not put peanut butter inside the rolls?
I greased the muffin tin really well and put a blob of dough in the bottom. Then I added about a teaspoon of peanut butter and topped it with a flattened disk of dough. I pressed it down all around the edges to make sure it sealed. Then I baked them for about 10 minutes at 450 degrees F. I also filled some with Tofutti cream cheeze and apricot jam.

These are just screaming to be served at a tea party. Or in my lunch box tomorrow. Or both.

This next picture is of one of my favorite things that I rarely make, even though it's insanely easy.

This is a Chocolate Soda. If you've never had this old-fashioned soda shop treat, you just have to try it. My mom used to take us to the Old Orchard Pharmacy in Garland, TX to get ice cream treats and I loved getting chocolate sodas. You just mix up a few tablespoons of chocolate syrup and soda water in the bottom of a glass. Then you add 2-3 scoops of chocolate ice cream. Top it off with more soda water to fill the glass and then stir. It gets really foamy and fizzy and chocolatey. It's like a fizzy milkshake. Except that sounds kinda gross, and this most definitely is not.

Here's a great photo of Mike and I at the Como Park Conservatory. The whole family went for my birthday. It was so great to be in the balmy tropical greenhouses while it was snowy outside! The conservatory has a whole greenhouse devoted to food-related plants. There are tamarind trees, orange trees, cinnamon trees, black pepper plants, mango trees, cacao trees, and basically every tropical food plant you can think of. Needless to say, this is my favorite room and always a treat to visit. If only I had a greenhouse like that in my backyard...

Friday, March 21, 2008

Birthday Week

I haven't posted this week, but it's not because I haven't been cooking. Here are some of the highlights:

Coconut Curry Tofu. On Sunday I taught a class on cooking leafy green vegetables and had 3/4 of a can of coconut milk and 1/2 can of diced tomatoes left over. So I mixed them together with some ginger, garlic, lime juice and red pepper flakes and marinated tofu in it overnight. The next day I baked the tofu until crispy, added the marinade to steamed potatoes, carrots, kale, and onions, and served it all over brown rice. I was so impressed that the kids liked this one. It was really rich from the coconut milk and very filling.
This is out of order, but these are the rockin' good pancakes we had on Saturday after our maple syrup tapping adventure. After seeing all that sap, we really needed some pancakes!
I baked these cupcakes for the Cupcake Hero contest. The cupcake batter contains brown rice crisp cereal and the topping is basically the marshmallowy goo that would hold together a rice crispy treat. I call them Rice Crispy TreatCakes. They're gluten-free, too! I used RiceMellow cream for the marshmallows.

And last but not least: My birthday cake.
I didn't decide what flavor I was making until half-way through my birthday. I was thinking about an Italian Cream Cake, but wanted some chocolate somewhere in the cake. Then I saw an apricot almond cake recipe that looked good. So this is kind of a combination of all three ideas.
Vanilla cake with chocolate-cream cheese filling, apricot jam filling, and vanilla-coconut cream cheese frosting.

It was everything I wanted in a birthday cake. And don't feel sorry for me because I baked my own birthday cake- Getting to bake the cake was like a birthday present.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Things I learned today:

1. Whoever said that you shouldn't lick the beaters or eat tons of batter doesn't know what they're talking about. Today I avoided a terrible crisis by licking the whisk while making brownies. If it wasn't for my impatience for chocolatey goodness, I'd be stuck with a full pan of completely unsweetened brownies right now. And that would be a travesty.

2. When you're feeling a bit sensitive and have already cried because you cut you step-son's hair crooked and accidentally cut your finger in the process, and ended up taking him to an obnoxious kids' hair salon to finish it up, the best thing you can do is camp out on the couch with 2 cats, a dog, a batch of brownies, and Netflix.

3. When your brownies are the kind without oil from the Joy of Vegan Baking, it's more than acceptable to top them with ice cream to make up for the missing fat content.

4. Making a double batch of pancakes for yourself and 2 hungry 8-year-olds doesn't mean you'll have extras to freeze for breakfasts this week. It just means that each of you will eat 6 pancakes.

5. No matter how many times you ask a kid if he needs to go to the bathroom before going on a hike, he won't go. He will wait until you are a good half-mile into the woods exploring deer tracks and maple syrup tapping before hearing the call of nature.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Meemaw's Saffron and a Chipotle Omelet

Tonight I made the Revolutionary Spanish Omelet from Vegan with a Vengeance, but with some great variations. Instead of potatoes, I used a mixture of garnet yam and sweet potato. In addition to saffron, I added a chipotle pepper with some adobo sauce. Then instead of the roasted red peppers in the almond sauce, I used chipotle peppers and a little soy yogurt. I used firm silken tofu, not soft regular tofu because that's what I had on the shelf.

Now technically these two varieties are really sweet potatoes. The "yam" variety of sweet potato isn't a yam at all, it's an orange-fleshed variety of sweet potato that is different from the true yam that is native to Africa. The USDA requires that all "yams" also bear the name sweet potato. Names aside, they're both delicious!

Now this recipe calls for saffron threads and in the past whenever a recipe calls for saffron, I omit it... but not because I don't have any.

Years ago, (perhaps 15...oh, jeez...) my meemaw gave me some spices she got in Grenada. She saw I had an interest in cooking and knew I would appreciate these fine and (then) fresh spices. I treasure these spices. I treasure them so much that I have not used them in 15 years. Instead of appreciating them by using them, I've hoarded them and carted them from Texas to Minnesota, taking them out only to look at their faded labels and imagine how my meemaw also treasured these little bags, including the valuable saffron. But today I used it! After all these years, the saffron still has a great scent, rich flavor, and beautiful color. Amazing.

I sauteed some red chard to go on the side of the omelet and dressed it with salt, pepper, and some lemon juice.The little chipotle pepper in the omelet is very mild so that the other flavors (including the saffron) can sing through. The Chipotle Almond Sauce, however, has a good spice and zing to it.

I'm baking a Mulberry Pie for dessert, but it's still in the oven. I'm trying out an oat crust, so I'll post pictures if it's any good. I've got to use up all the mulberries in the freezer before the tree starts to bloom again!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

100 Posts and some Dal Balls

So I missed celebrating my 100th blog post. This is the 102nd. So I'll celebrate that instead. Yay! 102 Posts! Who'da thought I'd end up sticking with this?

Sorry my last post was such a complaining-fest. And thanks for all the great comments- It's good to know I'm not along in this big world!

Today's featured dish is a bit odd...Perhaps because it was Mike's idea? Nevertheless, it was a great idea and once tweaked a bit, will be fantabulous. He cooked red lentils and polenta separately and then mixed them together with "chicken" broth powder and sage and some quinoa flakes to make little balls (dal balls). Then he baked them on a parchment lined baking sheet for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees. They ended up crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. We served them over rice with gravy on top. They were a great texture, but a little short on flavor.

The next night I cut the leftover (very solid) dal/polenta mixture into triangles and breaded them with a nutritional yeast, garlic, crushed rice crisp cereal mixture and greased a baking sheet up real good before baking them. These reminded me of fried cheese or fried chicken or something. Again, the flavor was not very strong, but the texture was awesome. We had these with beans and rice and coleslaw. I recommend wrapping it all up in a corn tortilla with some homemade salsa!

Tonight I tried to duplicate one of my favorite soups from the Seward Co-op. While I do all my grocery shopping at my co-op, I always check out the Seward when I venture over the great divide to Minneapolis. When I was in grad school at St. Kate's campus nearby, I had this knack for randomly going to the Seward on days when they were serving their Vegan Cashew Mushroom Soup. Like every time. It's pretty much the most rich, creamy, amazingly delicious mushroom soup you've ever had. In case you live nearby, they're serving it this Friday!

Anyways, since I hold this soup on a golden, diamond-studded pedestal, my version did not live up to its namesake. But it's still really good! I think the trick is to use an insane amount of cashews in a fancy Vita-Mix blender. Unfortunately, I don't have a blender like this and was too lazy to even try my food processor. So I used cashew butter because it was on sale last month.

Cream of Cashew and Mushroom Soup
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 lb. white button mushrooms, cut into chunky slices
1 portabello mushroom, cut into bite-sized slices
4 cups of almond milk (or other non-dairy milk), unsweetened
1/2 cup raw cashew butter
ground black pepper and salt to taste

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until lightly browned. Add thyme and mushroom and continue to cook for a couple of minutes, stirring frequently. Then add most of the almond milk, reserving about 3/4 cup. In a little bowl or jar, mix cashew butter with the reserved milk until smooth. I used a little whisk and it worked nicely. Then add to the soup. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for about 30 minutes until soup has thickened a bit. Serve with more black pepper and some extra cashews on top!

Note: I know Rachel Ray and everyone else says that you shouldn't wash mushrooms or they'll absorb water and get tough. Yeah, yeah, just wipe them with a damp towel. I completely disregard these instructions anyways, but you certainly can for this because you're putting them in SOUP. That's liquid anyways, so a little water won't hurt anything and at least they won't have dirt on them.

For anyone that lives in the Twin Cities: I'm teaching a class on cooking leafy greens at Mississippi Market on Sunday March 16th and a class on using neti pots for relieving sinus congestion on March 19. Plus, in May we've got a couple more vegan cooking classes. Check out the website for details.

Saturday, March 8, 2008


Every so often Mike expresses his feeling that all the other parents at the kids' school look at him weird like he's a serial killer. "We're just so different from them," he'll say. I usually try to reassure him that we're not really that different. All our lives probably involve taking care of kids, trying to keep a house clean, and fitting in time for a relationship. We might look a little rough around the edges, but we're essentially the same.

Nothing like a trip to the mall to give me a reality check. We are different. I'm not sure I can pinpoint exactly what it is, but we don't exactly fit in with the "Standard American Person" (SAP). I went to the mall thinking I'd surely be able to find a couple of new shirts and maybe a pair of new pants. I'm not too hip to the new fashions these days (I've had a good number of my clothes since high school and even those are thrift store finds), so I was pretty disappointed with my selection, along with several other things.

Here are my disappointments:
*Victoria's Secret bras without underwires come with about an inch of padding.
*Having one of my tattoos inspire patronizing laughter from an ex-IT guy cashiering at Radioshack.
*All the shirts were shaped like potato sacks with garish primary colors in geometric patterns on cheap synthetic fabric.
*Every woman I saw was wearing an obscene amount of make-up. Was there a beauty pageant at the mall today?
*The woman at Panera looked at me like I was insane when I asked for a side of hummus and a demi-baguette. "Um, the hummus is for the sandwiches."
*The guy at Guitar Center told me I really needed a plastic bag even though I said I'd prefer not to have one. "You'll need to show the guy at the door that you bought this stuff. You'll need a bag." I had to refuse the bag again and assure him that a receipt could verify my purchase better than a bag.
*Then I realized I forgot something at Guitar Center and I had to explain the no-bag-thing to another cashier.

Can't a girl just get a non-padded, non-underwire bra while wearing no make-up and then have some hummus and bread? Can't she just say no thanks to a plastic bag and find some plain and simple cotton shirts that look nice with her tattoos?

Apparently not.

I suppose its our values that are different from the S.A.P. Or maybe just the way we live out our values. Maybe it's because we're vegan, or because we're non-violent, or don't want to buy stuff for the sake of buying stuff. Maybe it's because we're feminists, or because we're co-op folk, or because we ferment miso in the basement. Maybe it's because we like old-fashioned stuff, or are environmentalists, or only shower once a week. Perhaps it's my tattoos, Mike's beard, or our poor fashion sense.

Whatever it is, I know it's not changing and I know there's lots of people out there that we do fit in with. They just weren't at the mall today.

Great Beginnings

When Mike asked yesterday, "What time does Pizza Luce open for brunch?", I immediately started craving their Portabello Florentine. Nevermind that Mike was on the phone with a friend at the time and clearly was not asking ME to go to brunch. I still let my taste buds get the best of me.

So this morning, while he is out with his friend eating a tofu scramble, I'm at home with the kids eating this wheat-tastic breakfast of my dreams. What we have here is a light and fluffy biscuit (I say "light" because they rose so well. Not low in fat by any stretch of the imagination) with pan-fried sausage and kale, topped off with a homemade gruyere sauce. While none of these ingredients is from my own recipe, and therefore not technically original, I think that this dish is more than the sum of its parts. And it's a great way to begin a weekend.

The biscuits are from Vegan with a Vengeance, the Sausage is from Everyday Dish, and the Gruyere is from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook.

I'm always doubtful when trying out a "cheese" recipe that attempts to mimic a fine cheese I enjoyed in my pre-gan days. But this time I was truly impressed with the likeness to a nutty, aged gruyere. It complemented the spiciness of the sausage and melted into the soft biscuits like you wouldn't believe. I ate two plates full. So did each of the kids.

The next new beginning of today is the baby lettuce sprouts that popped up in my basement "greenhouse". I wasn't sure the temperature was getting high enough for the seeds to germinate, but here they are! I think I'll go ahead and seed some other plants now that I know

Look close. You can kinda see them.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Pad Thai and Tap Shoes

In my desperation to see something growing when it's still 7 degrees outside, I started sprouting some mung beans a few days ago. So today I made some pad thai with them- I also included a good 2 cups of shredded cabbage, another cup of shredded carrot and about a cup of cilantro, so this was a veggie-heavy dish. The sauce was loosely based on the Brooklyn Pad Thai from Vegan with a Vengeance. In my humble opinion, this was the best Pad Thai I've ever made. I love a ton of carrot and lime juice in my Pad Thai- and tofu cooked in plenty of sesame oil.
So my adventures in learning to clog just got more interesting. I decided that before investing in some real clogging shoes, I should try cheaper tap dance shoes while I'm still figuring out if my body is capable of dancing. I was thrilled to find vegan tap dance shoes at Payless for only $24. Perfect! Look how freakin' cute these are!

Except my legs are so sore from practicing yesterday that I can barely move today.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

True Love

Let this post serve as evidence of my undying love for macaroons. And Third Street Bakery in Duluth. Their wheat-free vegan *Edited because these are "BEEgan", not Vegan* macaroons are the best I've ever had. They aren't a classic macaroon- they are way more rich and dense. They are like a meal.I'd like to also declare my love for those Spicy Italian Sausages I last posted about. I mixed them up with my leftover pasta and ratatouille and added some home-cured olives, balsamic vinegar, umeboshi plum vineger. AMAZING!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Everyday Foods

I have few random food pictures from the last week...I tried to think of a theme for them all, but I don't think there is one. Except maybe everyday foods for us. Okay. That will work.
So here they are:

This was a snack plate I put together for the kids and I last week. It includes carrots, celery, apples, blood oranges (amazing right now!), and pecans. The dip was just a mix of tahini, garlic red pepper miso, soy yogurt, and tamari. It's amazing how a great dip can make a couple of 8 year olds devour a plate of veggies!
This is just one reason why I love my sweetie so much. It takes a lot of love and an amazing amount of restraint to save the last one of these to bring home to me. Mike made these for his coworkers last week- Hot and toasty Lifestream gluten free waffles with melted peanut butter, melted chocolate chips, and a scoop of Rice Divine vanilla ice cream on top! Wow! It was hot and cold and chocolatey and so peanut buttery that my whole mouth stuck together.

This stir-fry broke all expectations with its deliciousness. I don't aim high when cooking on Monday and Tuesday nights. These are our busiest night when the kids have extra homework. So I didn't expect much and was pleasantly surprised. I marinated some tofu with tamari, garlic, and sesame oil and baked it for about 20 minutes. Then I stir fried broccoli, carrots, and green beans and mixed up a sauce of all the leftover marinade, orange juice, ginger and cornstarch. This one is a keeper.

This was my dinner tonight. I made a ratatouille out of some zucchini, eggplant, and tomatoes that were about to go bad. This really hit the spot served over top of some pasta with some Parma- and it only took about 20 minutes.
Now the ratatouille would have been delicious with some Spicy Italian Sausage added to it. But I figure that if I've already eaten 2 entire sausages dipped in dijon mustard for lunch, I should probably not eat any more today! I tried taking about 6 pictures of this sausage and Trouble kept jumping up and getting in all the pictures. So they are all blurry and serve as evidence that kittens like vegan sausage almost as much as I do.

Tonight was my "Shopping Co-op on a Budget" class at the co-op. It went really well- we had a full house and some folks even stayed afterward to say how much they appreciated it. I think this one is a keeper (plus, it's free and you can't argue with that). With prices of grains and soy going up, I'm starting to think about expanding my garden this year. (As if I needed an excuse to do that).

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Clogging, Planting, and Jackfruit

This weekend the weather was warm and I was feeling restless. So I started some new things. Last night I decided I wanted to learn to clog Appalachian style. Now anyone who knows me knows that I really can't dance (except the jitterbug and the Charleston). But I'm so fascinated by clogging and everyone says it's really easy. So I found a how-to guide online and learned a few steps last night. If nothing else, it's good exercise.
After that organic farming conference I can't stop thinking about Growing Power's growing methods. They don't have tons of land or really warm weather, but they found a way to grow tons of amazing food all year round in a sustainable way. The temptation to try growing food in my basement got the better of me today. So off I went to Menard's to get some grow lights. An hour later I had everything I needed to start my seeds indoors.

Now I know this set-up is pretty common around these parts for starting seeds. And I have good advice online. But I'm really wondering if I can use this method to grow full sized lettuces in my basement in the winter. I've got great lighting, soil, and water...

So we'll see how it turns out. Of course, growing indoors requires more electricity...and our electric/gas bill is already too high. I'm hoping this won't add too much to the bottom line.
Now to set this grow center up in the basement I had to haul an entire carload of stuff to the Goodwill. I had moved everything I wanted to give away into the basement for storage until Spring, thinking that I'd have a garage sale or something. Realistically, I know that garage sale will never happen.

And just in case you're wondering, it's not a good idea to make a huge pile of clothing, packing peanuts, and electronics in the basement of a 100 year old house. We'll just call that pile Mousie Hilton and I'll let you imagine how fun it was to clear it all out.

Now for the food:
The stories of barbecue jackfruit have been circulating around vegan blogs for a while now, but I haven't been completely convinced of their deliciousness until I saw Sara's from Vegangelical. I had to try this. It is the perfect solution for someone who can't have gluten, but is craving that texture that usually only seitan (or meat) can give.
So I sauteed some onions and cooked up my jackfruit.

Then I mixed up some barbecue sauce and simmered it until my kale, smokey navy beans, baked potatoes, and Oat/Cornmeal biscuits were done. Yum! I can't believe how tender and delicious that jackfruit is! It's exactly how I remember barbecue brisket or pulled pork being.

Now I have to let all that food settle so I can do some more clogging. Something tells me I shouldn't do that with a stomach full of barbecue.