Tag Archives: bell peppers

Happy Halloween! Quesadaiya and Chocolates!

Happy Halloween, everyone! After Thanksgiving, it may be my favorite holiday. Okay, so I really like Christmas and Hanukkah too–shoot me!

My costume this year is GREAT – I’m being one of my favorite characters in all literature/pop culture: Alice (in Wonderland). I’m so excited to get ready and go out with my friends, although the big 5-college party here, Harwood Halloween, is pretty disgusting (Imagine thousands of drunk, sweaty, scantily clad students in a dark, underground parking garage; liberties are taken). I won’t be getting crunk, as it were, but I do plan on having a lot of fun and looking illegally cute.

What’s the perfect Halloween treat? Orange and black quesadilla, of course! Or should I say, quesaDAIYA?!

Cheddar Daiya cheese +black beans + Food for Life Whole Grain Gluten-Free Brown Rice Tortilla = not only appropriately festive and absurdly delicious, but absolutely allergen-free! Daiya, made of cassava root (a.k.a. tapioca) is free of soy, casein, lactose, gluten, eggs, corn, and nuts, and the tortilla is as it’s named–gluten-free! In other words, move over casein-dillas! There’s no one who can’t enjoy the comforting richness that is a quesadilla! I swear I’m done with quesadilla wordplay.

Of course, being the good little vegan that I am, I added some veggie power in the form of bell peppers, red onions, and fresh cilantro.

I’ve had Daiya on zpizza before, but this was the first time I’d used it myself. I picked up a pack of both the Cheddar and Italian at Whole Foods yesterday, along with the tortillas, craving the microwave quesadillas of my childhood after-school snacks.

Daiya definitely delivered. It literally melted exactly like cow’s milk cheese in the microwave, and tasted phenomenal. The tortillas were great too! I’ve never had them before.

Stringymeltylovelovelove.

CHOMP.

Of course, you can’t have Halloween without candy. But I’m classy, so I went with some fancy vegan chocolates that my wonderful vegan superstar friend Stephanie got me from Whole Foods.

One.

Two.

Three.

The first one was your basic chocolate caramel. Except better, because it definitely had a hint of warm autumn-y spices. The second was also caramelish, but with a nice, crunchy almond in the center. My favorite by far, however, was the raspberry jam-filled apostrophe! (Haha, isn’t that the best way to describe that shape?!) It was not only printed with a gorgeous design, but the gooey, sugary filling was to die for. Plus, it reminded me of oozing, bloody guts, which is perfect for Halloween.

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Sweet Potato and Tempeh, Together Again + Broccoli Quiche!

Sweet potatoes and tempeh have always been two of my favorite foods, but recently (starting with my Sesame Scrambled Tempeh and Kale with Sweet Potatoes), I’ve begun to realize that the only thing better than tempeh or sweet potatoes are tempeh and sweet potatoes together. So, to continue the trend, of course I had to make the Sweet & Sour Chipotle Tempeh with Sweet Potatoes from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan! This guy’s been bookmarked forever, so it’s about time!

This dish is absolutely loaded with good stuff in addition to the tempeh and sweet taters, like pineapple and bell peppers! Also, be warned, the recipe title does not lie – the sauce really is sweet (among its many ingredients are 1/4 cup unrefined sugar, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1/2 cup ketchup, and 1 tsp molasses, and that’s coupled with pineapple and sweet potatoes). My dad and I thought it was great, but it was a little too much for my mom. I think next time I might knock the sugar down a tiny bit, but only a tiny bit – it is supposed to be “sweet and sour” after all!

I served it, as Dreena suggests, alongside some Coconut-Lime Basmati Rice, also from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan. Sprinkled with cashew bits:

The rice is great – simple enough to yield to the bolder flavors of the entrée, but the coconut milk and lime juice/zest give it just enough character to give it a presence as a side dish.

Next up, my first eggless quiche (or maybe my first quiche, for that matter)! I made the Classic Broccoli Quiche from Vegan Brunch to serve as my family’s breakfast–or lunch, or dinner, or midmorning snack–throughout the week. I followed the recipe to a tee, except for adding a little extra turmeric for maximum egg color-replication power! Bow chicka bow bow! I used a Wholly Wholesome whole-wheat pie crust instead of making my own (the same crust I used for my Peanut Butter-Carob-Cookie Dough Pie, actually!) Oh, and I did add a significant amount of salt to taste, in case you give this quiche a go! Since Isa told me to, I decorated it with cherry tomatoes like a good girl.

Mmm, so delicious. I’ve definitely been quiche-deprived since going vegan. As it was in the oven, I wondered why Isa didn’t call for the same “eggy”-tasting black salt here that she calls for in her omelets. Don’t get me wrong – the quiche ended up being awesome as it was, and maybe black salt wouldn’t work well. But that said, I’d like to try it next time with some black salt and see if the addition would make it even more quiche-like. Gotta love experiments.

Look, the little tomato on top is as shriveled as the colons of all the omnivores who are eating nasty, egg-laden quiches.

Oh, did I mention that my sister and I whipped up Dreena’s Maple Banana Loaf a couple days ago? Oops! Because we definitely did!

Banana bread is probably my favorite–and most nostalgic because I always loved my mom’s growing up–baked good, so I’m always on the lookout for new recipes so I can someday proclaim one of them to be the ultimate banana bread. The Lower-Fat Banana Bread from Veganomicon has always been my go-to, but this one was probably just as good (and had less fat: only 1 Tbs of oil!). Next time, I might make it without chocolate chips though so the maple flavor could really shine through because I didn’t think the bread actually tasted like maple. It was more like banana bread that happened to be sweetened with maple syrup, ya know? Still, I thoroughly enjoyed the very small portion that I allowed myself to have since I’m still trying to avoid gluten for the most part.