The last day of the year is always a weird day for me. I’m always sad that the year is over, and always happy and excited that a new one is just about to begin. This year things are a little different though. Since 2013 wasn’t that great a year for me, I’m not so sad to see it go. I’m looking forward to 2014, and know that there are many amazing things waiting just over the horizon. I hope everyone has a lovely New Years Eve, and I wish you all the best for the New Year too. Enjoy your celebrations!
We’ve been celebrating rather quietly this year. Yesterday was my husband’s birthday and so we spent a lovely day together. Each year on his birthday I make him a special dinner of his choosing. Sometimes he wants something elaborate and sometimes he wants something simple - this year it was kind of in between - he requested sushi! We both love sushi, he even more so then me, and while I don’t find it particularly difficult to make it, it is usually time consuming. When I asked what kind of sushi he wanted he shrugged and said “Whatever you want, you always make great sushi.” and so I decided to try my hand at making the Tempeh Nori Rolls from Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero’s book “Veganomicon.” I really don’t use this book enough and so I was happy to try the recipe out.
|Tempeh Nori Rolls|
I guess you could say that the Tempeh Nori Rolls are a kind of take on a spicy California roll. You mash steamed tempeh with vegan mayo, and chili sesame oil, and then spoon it over your rice, and topp with green onion and avocado before rolling the whole thing up. I’ll admit after tasting the tempeh mix I added just a touch of garlic and salt to the tempeh and really the final product was fantastic. We loved these rolls, texture-wise I think they were spot on.
For our second roll I just made a simple cucumber roll - no recipe required. It’s just Nori, Rice, Thick sliced cucumber, and a smear of Chipotle Vegenaise. Super quick, super easy, but super delicious especially that Chipotle Mayo!
To go along with our sushi I baked up a box of Vegan Calamari. My husband used to love calamari before we were vegan, he used to eat it any chance he got, and so when I saw this vegan calamari at the store I thought I’d get it for him so that he could try it out. Now, I’ve never eaten a calamari in my life - never was one for squid, octopus or anything weird like that, so I can’t say how this compares in taste to actual calamari. I can say that I liked it, and that the texture is about what I’d imagine actual calamari to be like. Chewy, and in my opinion it tasted a bit like what I remember chicken tasting like. We dipped our Calamari in Follow Your Heart Tartar sauce and the sauce was absolutely delicious. My husband really loved them, but I’m not sure this is something I’d be dying to have again. Great for the novelty factor though.
Today the celebration continued with a combination birthday/New Year’s Eve party - which is currently still in progress, I snuck away for a few minutes!! - Every NYE we have family and friends over and order Pizza - or in recent years It’s been a pizza/Chinese Food combo. This year the omni’s ordered pizza and Chinese food, and this year I decided to make my own pizza from scratch since I had the time, and since I’ve been really enjoying pizza making lately.
Pizza is my husband’s other food. I think if he had the choice he would probably live off of sushi and pizza for his entire life, and so It was the perfect food to celebrate NYE. When I picked up that box of calamari I came across a bag of frozen vegan meatballs and decided to try the Meatball Pizza in Julie Hasson’s awesome little book “Vegan Pizza” It’s a pretty simple recipe, Marinara, vegan meatballs, daiya mozzarella, and minced parsley - and it was so damn good. If you want to know a secret I’ve always hated meatball pizza. As an omnivore I thought it was pretty nasty, I think I only ate it once! As a Vegan, I thought it was great, just another example of how my tastebuds have changed since going vegan. I guess it turns out that I was never so much a picky eater as I just didn’t like the taste of meat in the first place.
|Caramelized Onion and Artichoke Pizza with|
For our second pizza I made the Caramelized Onion and Artichoke Pizza with Balsamic Reduction from Lane Gold’s book “Vegan Junk Food.” Again this was a very simple recipe, onions, garlic, daiya mozzarella, artichokes and a balsamic reduction made with balsamic vinegar and sugar. It was so tasty, so oniony, we couldn’t get enough!
And of course, no birthday celebration would be complete without dessert. Every year in addition to a delicious dinner I make my husband a cake of his choosing. Well this year he didn’t want cake, he wanted cupcakes! - Yes more cupcakes, because he apparently didn’t get enough on Christmas. - He requested the Cookies and Creme Cupcakes from Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero’s book “Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World” and so I was happy to oblige him. Unfortunately I only had 4 candles left, but you get the idea. We sang happy birthday, he made his wish, and now we’re playing board games until it’s time to ring in the New Year.
|Cookies and Creme Cupcakes|
Until Next Year! Stay Safe - Be Happy.