♥ Quickie Meals

I would not have made a good professional mover. Aside from the heavy lifting requirement, I have discovered that I am far too organized (anal retentive) to succeed in that field. Apparently. Yes, this from the woman whose label maker still gives her goosebumps, but, c’mon guys: bathroom items packed with living room items and kitchen items packed with garage items: really?! By the time this is over, I will probably have two of everything since I find that it is easier to buy a replacement rather than open half a dozen boxes looking for one single item.

I still have not located all of my cookbooks, but I did find the important ones. Since I haven’t felt very creative lately (living out of boxes can do that to a person), I have been whipping up our favorites from the few books I have located so far. I think Belgian Style Seitan With Dark Beer from Vegan Planet may be J’s all-time favorite dish (it’s that cooking with beer thing again!). We serve it over House Shirataki Fettuccine Noodles.

And another one of our Robin Robertson favorites: Red Hot Chili Tofu from Vegan Fire & Spice (her picture on the blog is far better than mine, but trust me when I say that this easy dish tastes incredible). Just to try something different, I dredged the tofu in almond meal before wok frying it. Since the rice maker is M.I.A., we enjoyed this dish over Shirataki noodles again with some extra sauce.

The great thing about the Creamy Caesar Salad recipe from The Vegan Table is that it makes enough dressing for at least two meals. We tossed our salads with Yves Lemon Herb Chicken Skewers (we removed the skewers and cut the “chicken” into cubes) and garnished each salad with fresh diced tomatoes. We skipped the crouton recipe and, instead, we enjoyed fresh, hot artisan bread with our salads: 100% Whole Wheat Bread With Olive Oil from Healthy Bread In Five Minutes A Day.

And there are days that even these simple meals seem like too much work. I never tire of the ridiculously easy (and ridiculously delicious) baked potato. I didn’t realize how much I loved baked potatoes until I had a properly prepared baked potato:

Forget the aluminum foil and forget the microwave (two things I try to avoid, anyway). For the best baked potato, all you have to do is remember to put the potatoes in the oven an hour in advance. That’s it!

Scrub the potatoes, prick several times with a fork and roll the still-wet potatoes on a plate liberally sprinkled with kosher or coarse sea salt. Bake at 400F for about an hour, depending on the size of the spuds. Organic potatoes (always eat organic potatoes!) are generally smaller than regular potatoes, so the baking time may need adjustment.

We brush most of the salt off the skin before eating the potato, but the crispy skin still retains a lovely salty flavor. The inside of the potato is melt-in-your-mouth fluffy, unlike the steam-cooked result from aluminum foil or the microwave. We top our potatoes with Earth Balance non-dairy butter, Tofutti non-dairy sour cream, Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds and chopped green onion. J likes vegan “bacon bits” on his, too.

My copy of The Happy Herbivore Cookbook arrived after we did, which is fortunate because if it were packed in one of these many boxes I probably wouldn’t have found it yet! We are loving the quick and delicious Eggless Egg Salad for lunch, served on homemade bread with packaged shredded cabbage tossed with sesame oil and rice vinegar. Easy, filling and oh-so-good!

Someday, I will have a fully functional kitchen again. And my house will be organized and neat. And my broken nails will grow back. And I will be well-rested again. But I do not think that I will be eating any better!


13 responses to “♥ Quickie Meals

  1. You’re eating great! I love quick meals! I like the idea of the seitan over the tofu noodles– will definitely have to try that.

  2. I am one of those people who packs kitchen items with bathroom items. It’s not cool. I hate that I am not so well organized. Next time I am going to hire you.
    All your food looks pretty and delicious, especially the chicken skewers.

  3. cadryskitchen

    Coming from a person who has moved twice in the past year, I feel your pain. When I was packing, I made a point of writing “Cookbooks” on the outside of my cookbook box and “Coffee pot” on the outside of my coffee accoutrement for easy locating. A girl must have her priorities, you know? Still, it looks like you’re eating deliciously well! I totally agree with you about how to bake the perfect potato. To my mind, aluminum foil ruins the baked potato experience. It’s all about the slightly crunchy outer skin.

    • Oh, if only I had labeled the boxes! Every box of books is simply labeled “books”, regardless of what bookshelf they came from. So, there are probably 20 boxes that are simply labeled “books”. Grrrr! Fortunately, I wouldn’t part with the coffee pot, etc. and I kept it with me and hauled it myself. A girl absolutely has her priorities!

  4. Baked potatoes are my ultimate comfort food, but mine never look nearly so decadent or delicious! Gotta try that salt-crust idea next time, at least… I think there just might be potatoes for dinner tonight now!

  5. Hi! I’ve been following your blog for a while but I think this is the first chance I’ve had to leave a comment. Your food looks so delicious, my husband practically put his finger through our computer screen pointing at the Belgian Style Seitan with Dark Beer recipe and saying, “That looks great, I want to make that!” (He’s an organic homebrewer, I think the beer hooked him as much as anything else!) 🙂 And we have Fire & Spice but have never tried the Red Hot Chili Tofu, which looks fantastic, so we’ll have to try it.

    Totally agree with you on organic potatoes, we won’t eat the so-called “conventional” spuds ever-ever. (Which are often also genetically modified!)

    I feel your moving pain too – spent my childhood and most of my adult life moving every 1-3 years (or more), though we’ve been in our current home nearly 19 years. (But have been getting it ready to put on the market this month ~ maybe it’s like childbirth, after a certain length of time you forget the extreme pain of selling, buying and moving and decide to do it again!) 🙂 I remember when we moved to this house, how I started out so organized, carefully wrapping everything and making it all fit like a puzzle in the meticulously labeled cartons. By the end I was just hurling everything in whatever containers I could scrounge, willy nilly! (It was a local move of just 40 miles, so I could get away with that to a point). We also just gave a lot of stuff to the friends who helped us. They’d hold up something and compliment it, and tired of packing, loading and hauling stuff we’d say, “You can have it!” 🙂

    Hope you get all settled in soon and enjoy your new life in Tahoe!

    • That’s funny, because I have been a lurker and reading your blog, too. 🙂 I need to quit being so lazy and comment more! I love the name (and the origin) of your blog. What a cool story!

      If your husband is a homebrewer and a meat & potatoes guy, you should make the steak and stout pie for him. J practically dances on the table when I make that one! I couldn’t find a vegan stout, so he was happy to oblige and brew it for me, so long as he could have the pie frequently!

      I have done your kind of move more times than I care to recall, too! I have moved dozens (and then some) of times throughout my life, but this is the first time that we took the military up on a full expenses paid move. You get what you pay for, though. Aside from the property damage (it’s just stuff), I can’t find a darn thing and my manic attempts to locate one thing (or book) results in piles of paper and stuff, that I wasn’t looking for, strewn all over the place! That is what kills me – and it’s sheer torture to my (anal retentive) personality type!!

  6. LOL – you’re busted! 🙂 I’m happy to hear you’ve been doing a little lurking yourself and that you like my blog’s oddball name and the story behind it. 🙂

    I absolutely hate being disorganized, so I empathize with you completely!

  7. Okay, now I have to try that beer seitan recipe! Vegan Planet was my first vegan cookbook – now dog-eared and falling apart – and I still haven’t made that one! I think it’s because seitan was a weird and unfamiliar food when I first got the cookbook. I still have never bought storebought seitan, but I should. I made it from scratch once and it was a project!

    Hope you find all your cookbooks soon!

  8. Homemade seitan is so much easier if you use the vital wheat gluten flour. I made it once (ONCE) doing the old school method with regular flour and rinsing a gaziilion times. No thanks! Veganomicon and La Dolce Vegan (gee, wonder where these books are in my boxes?!) have great and easy seitan recipes. And Vegan Dad, of course!

    We used Gardein beefless tips in this seitan dish (it’s wonderfully tender and chewy) but our standard store-bought brand is usually Yves Heart’s Desire Meatless Beef Strips (a firmer texture) because it was so easy to find where we lived. Whatever type you use, it always goes over well with curious non-veg type of people!

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