Archive for November, 2009

Hearty Holiday Vegetable Pot Pie

November 29, 2009 7 comments

Being from New Zealand, Geoffrey has always had a soft spot for pies. Recently, Sublime teased him by adding a delicious Pot Pie to the menu only to take it out a few months later. We’ve heard rumors that it will make a comeback during the winter, but in the meantime, we’ve been busy trying out different recipes on our own. I found a couple online that were OK, but not quite as good as Sublime’s. Geoffrey made Isa’s own Pot Pie recipe in Veganomicon which was the bomb, but still missing something. Finally, I found a bit of information that helped light my way: Sublime’s recipe uses a marsala sauce base. So, off to the kitchen I went determined to create something I could proudly serve Geoffrey during our belated Thanksgiving celebration.

As you can imagine, my experiment was a grand success, so here it is. I used Isa’s recipe for the crust because she is the Goddess of all things baked and there really is no reason to mess with perfection. I am planning to make this again for our Christmas dinner.

1 Basic Single Pastry Crust (recipe below)

1 potato, peeled and cubed
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
3 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup onion, diced
1 tbsp garlic, minced
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
3 tbsp flour
1/2 cup red wine
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth, divided *
1 bay leaf
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp rubbed sage
1/2 tsp celery salt
salt and pepper, to taste
8 oz seitan, cubed
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup frozen peas

1. Prepare Basic Single Pastry Crust, steps 1-3.

2. Parboil potatoes.

3. While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the sauce. Heat olive oil in large saucepan or stockpot. Add onions, garlic, mushrooms and saute until mushrooms are tender. Stir in the flour and cook about 1 minute. Use wine and 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth to deglaze the pan. Keep stirring until mixture thickens.

4. Add bay leaf, spices, salt, pepper and seitan to the sauce and cook for another 5 minutes until flavors are blended.

5. Combine remaining 2 cups vegetable broth with cornstarch. Add to the sauce mixture along with the potatoes and peas. Cook for another few minutes, stirring gently, until mixture thickens.

6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pour mixture into baking dish and set aside to cool. Continue with Basic Single Pastry Crust, steps 4 and 6. Using a fork, poke a few holes onto the top of the crust.

7. Bake for 45 minutes, until crust is lightly browned. Allow pie to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

* I used Imagine No-Chicken Broth.

Basic Single Pastry Crust

Excerpted from Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Jerry Hope Romero (Marlowe & Company, 2007). Copyright 2007 by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Jerry Hope Romero.

Makes 1 pastry crust

Time: 20 minutes, plus chill time

This recipe produces a flaky, all-purpose, unsweetened pie crust. We used to get incredibly frustrated with pastry crusts because they are so temperamental—but now we know the secret. Make sure all of your ingredients are cold as can be—you should even refrigerate the flour. This way, the pockets of fat will stay pockets of fat and provide you with the flakiness you so desire. Baking powder and a touch of vinegar tenderize the flour for even more flakiness. Finally, a humble piece of baking parchment keeps the pastry from sticking and also makes a handy vehicle for flipping your pastry into the pie plate.

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup cold non-hydrogenated vegan shortening
1/4 cup cold water, plus 2 tablespoons if needed
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Add the shortening by the teaspoon, but you don’t need to be precise about this. You just want to add it in small chunks in three batches and then cut it into flour with each addition. Cut the shortening in until the dough is crumbly and pebbly.

2. Combine the vinegar with 1/4 cup of the water. Add the mixture to the dough in three batches, gently mixing it into the dough with a fork, until the dough holds together when pinched. If need be, add up to 2 tablespoons more water.

3. Gather the dough into a ball and knead gently a few times, just until it holds together. Sprinkle a clean work surface with flour, then flatten the ball into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.

4. When ready to roll out the crust, place a large piece of baking parchment on your work surface. Unwrap the dough and place it on the parchment. Sprinkle your rolling pin with flour and roll the dough into a 12-inch circle. It may slip around a bit from the parchment, but that’s okay, just work steadily and gently. Your crust is now ready to use.

5. If using as a bottom crust, lift the parchment and flip the crust into the pie plate. Tuck in and trim the edges.

6. If using as a top crust, lift the parchment and flip the crust onto the filling. Trim the edges and press with the tines of a fork to get pretty edges, or pinch the circumference with your thumb and forefinger.

Categories: Main Dishes, Recipes

11.20 – 11.26

November 27, 2009 Leave a comment
Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
11.20 11.21 11.22 11.23 11.24 11.25 11.26
rest run
rest spin
rest run
1h 10m
Categories: Training Logs

Dinner: Quiche

November 24, 2009 2 comments

Quiche !, originally uploaded by speedvegan.

I met my friend Jen for dinner at Sublime this weekend. She ordered the Tuscan Quiche which is one of my all-time menu favorites. Since then, I’ve had a major craving for it. Then, a fellow vegan made Isa’s Classic Broccoli Quiche and blogged about it. All signs were pointing to Quiche, so I had no choice but to whip up Isa’s recipe.

I didn’t have time to make my own crust, but it was delicious nonetheless. You can find the recipe in her blog or in her awesome Vegan Brunch book.

Categories: Food for Thought

Homemade Focaccia

November 22, 2009 3 comments

Bread !, originally uploaded by speedvegan.

Geoffrey and I went to a bread making class at the Whole Foods Lifestyle Center a few months ago and left with a great recipe for Focaccia. I finally got around to trying it out on my own.

This was my first attempt at making bread from scratch all by myself. I’ve always been intimidated by the bread making process. It seems so elaborate and complicated whereas I’m a fan of meals that are quick, easy and flexible. To my surprise, I loved it. Kneading the bread, a tedious and repetitive task, seemed to squash my stress away. The time flew by and before I knew it, I had a perfectly kneaded ball of dough.

The results weren’t spectacular, but I am looking forward to trying it again and soon. I feel an addiction coming on. But first, I must eat this entire loaf of bread all by myself. It’s a rough life.

Categories: Food for Thought

11.13 – 11.19

November 20, 2009 Leave a comment
Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
11.13 11.14 11.15 11.16 11.17 11.18 11.19
rest Half Marathon rest rest spin
Categories: Training Logs

Dinner: Tofu Curry

November 19, 2009 2 comments

Dinner: Tofu Curry, originally uploaded by speedvegan.

We made a vegan version of 28cooks’ Crispy Baked Tofu with a Quick Curry Sauce for dinner. It was yummy !

Categories: Food for Thought

Holiday smile

November 17, 2009 Leave a comment

Holiday smile, originally uploaded by speedvegan.

Today’s adjustment was just cruel. I figured that with 7 months to my "target date" the orthodontist couldn’t pull any new tricks on me. I am a little naive. He changed both wires today. He added some "indentations" to the lower because one rebel tooth is still out of alignment. Then he changed the top wire to one he referred to as an inverted curve wire (or something like that). Sounds fun, huh ? It’s painful ! He also sent me off with new, stronger elastics. Oh what fun. I think it’s going to be a painkiller kind of night. On the plus side, my Spinning class was canceled, so I don’t have to teach. Yay ! And I don’t get to be tortured again until January 4th, two days before we leave for NZ. Fourteen hours in a plane with no food is not the way I want to start my vacation, so I hope he’ll be kind to me next time.

Categories: Life with Braces

2009 13.1 Marathon Ft Lauderdale

November 15, 2009 10 comments

Strong to the finish !

Chip Time: 1:52:51
Average Pace: 8:37
Overall Place: 469 out of 2030
Age Group Place: 20 out of 201

Splits (Garmin Data)
Mile 1: 8:39
Mile 2: 8:16
Mile 3: 9:13
Mile 4: 8:39
Mile 5: 8:46
Mile 6: 8:23
Mile 7: 8:33
Mile 8: 8:32
Mile 9: 8:30
Mile 10: 8:30
Mile 11: 8:32
Mile 12: 8:25
Mile 13: 8:27

Some days, the stars align and everything just works. These are the days that help me forget about days like last Sunday and keep me racing. Today was one of those days.

I picked up my race packet on Tuesday, only two days after last weekend’s Half Ironman. My feelings about the HIM hadn’t finished sinking in yet, but I felt the need to move on. I’ve been accused of “filing things away until I am able to deal with them properly.” I should have remembered that before rushing to write my HIM race report as I left a lot unsaid. Maybe someday I’ll write a good rant about that. Or not.

I was nervous about today’s race. After running my worst Half Marathon last weekend, the thought of slipping into those same shoes for another 13 miler only 7 days later seemed like a very bad idea. I’d been looking forward to today’s Half Marathon because it would be the last race of the year for me and quite frankly, I am burned out and looking forward to a few weeks of rest. However, the thought of ending the year with another bad race made me anxious.

I took it easy yesterday, did all the typical race prep stuff and tried to go to bed at a reasonable hour. I woke up around 4:45am, had breakfast (toast with peanut butter) and drank plenty of water. The race was nearby. Geoff dropped me off 20 or so minutes before the gun went off. I stood in my usual pace corral wondering what pace my legs were actually going to run today. I lost a bit of confidence last weekend.

Some of my friends were racing as well, but I wasn’t feeling particularly social. I was actually looking forward to having 13 miles alone with my thoughts. We set off and immediately my heart sank. I felt like I was running a decent pace, but people were passing me left and right. I glanced at my Garmin, 8:16, and breathed a sigh of relief. I wanted to stick to an 8:30 pace, so I was fine.

Along the route I saw some familiar faces which I acknowledged enthusiastically. I felt good. Somewhere between miles 4 and 5, two drunk girls were on their way back from what seemed like an all night of drinking around the beach. One of them seemed cold in her tank top and asked one of the runners if he was cold. The runner responded “no, but I’m not drunk either.” Things like this happen out there. I wish I could remember more of them. Sometimes it’s the comic relief that keeps you going.

As the miles added up, my legs started to feel tired though nothing was hurting or feeling uncomfortable. I ate when I needed to, drank regularly and thoroughly enjoyed the perfect weather. It was in the 60s, sunny and just breezy enough. Oh what I would have given for this kind of weather last weekend, but I digress. As my legs grew more and more tired, it was hard to push the tempo. Still, I kept it around 8:30 and finished strong. I walked over to meet Geoffrey after crossing the finish line and still had a bit of spring in my step. I’ve never felt so good after a race. One of the first things that Geoffrey said to me when he saw me was “you don’t look like you just ran 13 miles.” I certainly didn’t feel like I had.

I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end an exhausting year of racing. There were some good times along with some bad, but overall, a lot of valuable lessons learned. I haven’t finalized my schedule for next year. I want to first take some time off and give my mind and body and chance to recharge. But I can tell you this, next year will probably involve fewer races, some PR attempts, and perhaps a new challenge. ;-)

Bling, bling !
Categories: Race Reports

11.6 – 11.12

November 13, 2009 Leave a comment
Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
11.6 11.7 11.8 11.9 11.10 11.11 11.12
- – -
- – -
Half Iron Triathlon swim
rest rest
Categories: Training Logs

Dinner: Pasta

November 12, 2009 2 comments

Dinner: Pasta, originally uploaded by speedvegan.

I had a major craving for Mac ‘n Cheez so Geoffrey whipped up Vegan
Dad’s tried and true recipe. Yum !! Then we went to see The Men Who
Stare at Goats.

Categories: Food for Thought

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.