Friday, August 21, 2009

Pizza Delivery

The ultimate in quick and dirty dinners.

This is the Santa Fe from ZPizza: chipotle pesto, Daiya, veggie crumbles, red onions, corn, serrano chilies, tomatoes, and fresh cilantro.

Excellent job! Very impressed with what they've done. And even more impressed they brought it to my front door for a mere $1.50 extra.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Slapdash Drunk

I'm almost embarrassed to admit this. Almost.

Last night, at midnight, so I guess that was technically "today," I made a meal. Of sorts. I really had no business being around knives or fire, but then again I like both, so whatever.

The current food stock in my house is running low and a rummage in the freezer resulted in the following:

BBQ "pork" sauteed in BBQ sauce. Added brown rice and TJ's roasted corn. In a separate pan I steamed some broccoli and garlic powder. Two pans, approximately 10 minutes start to finish.

Am I proud? Not really. Was it a complete meal? Indeed. And not bad tasting either. Had my skills been a bit less cloudy I would have done a few things differently (such as not let the rice and corn cook with the "pork," as this made it a tad mushy), but sometimes the drunken "I need foodz naow" takes over and you do what you can. At least I got something green in there.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Coconut Tempeh Curry

Let's say you get home one evening around 7:30. You're hungry. You've had a long day. You're tired. The idea of "shopping" your pantry and fridge doesn't sound very appealing. This was my scenario one night last week, but thanks to a decently stocked fridge/freezer, even without a plan, I had a meal ready to go in about 15 minutes.

There was leftover cooked rice in the freezer, so I grabbed that and got it to defrosting in the microwave. While that was spinning away, I found some coconut curry marinated tempeh strips in the fridge, and also a container of Maiya Kaimal coconut curry sauce. I diced the strips and put those on to saute in a pan with a few spritzes of cooking spray.

While that was browning, I grabbed a bag of Trader Joe's frozen stir fry veggies from the freezer.

The tempeh only took a few minutes to get as brown as I like it (which is pretty brown!), and when it was done I transferred it from the pan to a plate. Added the frozen veggies and a couple tablespoons of the coconut curry sauce to the pan. Once they cooked down a bit, I added half the container and let them simmer on low. By now the rice was thawed and warm.

I had a delicious coconut tempeh curry ready in about 15 minutes thanks to some convenience products. Would a long-simmered sauce be better? Yes, and when I have time, I do that. There's a lot of satisfaction that comes with creating something from scratch and letting it do its magic to become delicious food. But for most of us, especially on the weekdays, we just need to get a tasty and reasonably healthy meal on the table. I tend to have things like this on hand for just such occasions. I didn't really have a plan for the tempeh or the sauce, and I bought them weeks apart. But remember that many things can be frozen! So when you find something on sale, or if it's getting a little too close to the expiration date and it doesn't look like you're going to get to it--freeze it! A quick defrost in the microwave works for a lot of things, and if you can think to transfer it from the freezer to the fridge before you leave for the day, it should be thawed by the time you return home.

Oh, and for all you curry haters out there, this was not overly "curry-ish" at all. Even The G-Ma was crazy about it, and she's not one for anything spicy or too "weird." This was very mild, but really tasty and super easy. I only used one pan, 15 minutes, and made a meal that could feed four or provide leftovers for one or two.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Welcome to the Quick and Dirty Vegan!

Hello out there in Vegan Land! Welcome to my new blog, the Quick and Dirty Vegan. This will be somewhat a carryover of my former blog Veganything, but with a renewed focus on preparing, finding, consuming, and enjoying quick and dirty meals.

All too often I hear, "Oh you're vegan? You must cook a lot." Or, "Wow, you must spend a lot of money on food." Or, "It must take a long time to cook like that." And the ever popular, "I could never eat like that. I love _____ too much and I don't have time to cook."

Well, it's time to dispel those myths and get some good food in our bellies the quick and dirty way! Will my food always be made from scratch? No. Is it always healthy? No. Will foodies be impressed? Probably not. But let's face it, most of us have a lot to do in our daily lives, from jobs to family, to finding time for friends, school, getting ourselves around town, downtime, and the all-important sleep. If you're anything like me, you admire beautiful food creations that combine skill and creativity to create artistic and delicious dishes. But if you're anything like the "get real" side of me, you have neither the time nor the inclination to devote hours to producing such decadence.

That's where the Quick and Dirty Vegan comes in. No more excuses. No more whining about time or skill in the kitchen. It has never been easier to find or prepare a vegan meal or snack, and everyone can do it. Hopefully, cooking newbs will gain confidence and the "aha moment" that they're pretty damn good at feeding themselves and others; and maybe the more advanced among you will appreciate a "day off" from your normal cooking frenzy.

So, let us commence with the tips, tricks, recipes, cookbooks, product reviews, and whatever else helps us be quick and dirty vegans. Cuz yeah, you know you like it like that.