Sunday, February 6, 2011

Girl's Weekend!

This Saturday, my sister and a  wonderful German exchange student, Laura  headed to Manhattan from Rye to meet up with me and indulge in some much needed girl's only time!

We met at Hampton Chutney for some yummy dosas.  Laura doesn't eat wheat or dairy, I am vegan, and my sister is vegetarian, so with that combo eating out takes a little bit of research...but Hampton Chutney hit the spot!  I had a spinach, spiced potato dosa with mango chutney.  Let me also say that this thing was HUGE yet light enough of a meal that I didn't feel that gross eating out feeling.  I feel like a lot of places just over serve you...and when I saw the size of the dosa I was mortified...but it was a nice pleasant full...not a "oh my gosh I can't even walk" full.

We wandered around LES and went to a great bookstore, and headed over to Broome street for none other than babycakes!  We got some vegan and (for Laura) gluten free treats to take home.  I got the cookie sandwich and a caramel crunch donut.  With my healthmonth challenge, I allowed myself 2 days of processed foods per week.  Looks like this will be one of those days! 

We headed back to Brooklyn as it was rainy and dreary yesterday, and proceeded to hit up three, yes THREE grocery stores to prep for an awesome meal at home.  Also, as three women prepping for a sleepover, we went overboard...of course!  The meal plan was:

Shirley Temples
Pineapple Cashew Quinoa Stir Fry
Root Beer Floats
and some sort of movie snack. 

This is what we got: 

And yes, not only did we get Vanilla Soy Ice Cream for our root beer floats, but we also got Peanut Butter Zig Zag...which is hands down the best ice cream, non-dairy OR dairy I have ever had in my life...and I stand by that statement. 

Apparently we forgot that we had already stoked up on cupcakes and treats from babycakes, because we just kept going with the movie snack food! 

For dinner we made Pineapple-Cashew-Quinoa Stir-Fry (recipe from Veganomicon). 
It was a pretty quick recipe, certainly not seasonally appropriate right now, but it was very yummy! 

1 cup dried quinoa, well rinsed and drained
1 cup pineapple juice
1 cup cold water
1/4 tsp soy sauce

4 ounces cashews, raw and unsalted
3 tbsp peanut oil
2 scallions, sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 hot red chile, sliced into very thin rounds
1/2 piece ginger, peeled and minced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 cup frozen green peas or cooked edamame
1/2 cup basil leaves, rolled and sliced into very thin shreds
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
10 ounces fresh pineapple, cut into bite size chunks (about 2 cups)
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp vegetable stock
1 tbsp mirin
lime wedges for garnish

PREPARE the Quinoa first: Combine the quinoa, juice, water and soy sauce in a medium sized pot. Cover, place over high heat and bring to a boil.  Stir a few times, lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 12-14 minutes until all liquid has been absorbed and the quinoa appears plump and slightly translucent. Uncover, fluff and let cool.  (I cooked the quinoa for only 10 minutes, as I have a gas stove).

For best results, place the quinoa in an airtight container and refrigerate overnight. If you're in a hurry, chill the covered quinoa for at least an hour. When ready to use, break up any chunks of the cold quinoa with a fork.  (I didn't do any of this, I just allowed the quinoa to cool while I prepared the rest of the stir-fry). 

Use the largest nonstick skillet you have (at least 11 inches in diameter) or a wok. Have all of your ingredients chopped and easily within reach.  Place the cashews in the dry pan and heat over low heat, stirring them, until lightly toasted, 4 to 5 minutes. 

Remove the cashews from the pan, raise the heat to medium and add the peanut oil, scallions, and garlic.  When the garlic starts to sizzle, add the sliced chile pepper (I couldn't find a red chili pepper so I substituted a serrano pepper) and ginger.  Stir-fry for about 2 minutes, then add the bell pepper and peas.  Stir-fry for another 3 to 4 minutes, until the bell pepper is softened and the peas are bright green.  Add the basil and mint, and stir for another minutes before adding the pineapple and quinoa.  

In a measuring cup, combine the soy sauce, vegetable stock, and mirin.  Pour over the quinoa mixture.  Stir to incorporate completely and coat the quinoa.  Continue to stir-fry for another 10 to 14 minutes, until the quinoa is very hot (it helps to use two spoons/spatulas to scoop the quinoa around).  

Serve with lime wedges and additional soy sauce.  (I skipped this step). 

Veganomicon forgot to mention this step: put the cashews in the dish!  Hahaha, I was like wait...what happened to the cashews? Add them at the end I guess?  We chopped ours up and added them last minute.  

After dinner, we naturally put on jammies and gathered around my computer (sweet home theatre) to watch Whatever Works, and have root beer floats.  It was Laura's first time ever having a root beer float, and I recounted the days of root beer floats for breakfast (one of my 3 month stretches of being a super adult).  

Then it was time for the farmily to all sleep. 

This morning I made us super-fast-or-we-will-miss-our-train Tofu Scramble before they headed back to Rye to enjoy this beautiful day.  


-1 pkg firm tofu, drained and pressed (I cover the tofu with a towel and put a cast iron pot on top of it to soak out the water)
-one yellow onion
-3-4 cloves garlic
-kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
-chopped tomatoes (I added tomatoes and hot chilis)
-a generous amount of curry, salt, and pepper

Heat olive oil in a saute pan or skillet over low heat.  Add garlic and onion and cook until garlic is aromatic and onions are translucent.  Raise heat to medium and add tofu, crumbling with your hands as you add.  Stir-fry tofu and add copious amounts of curry while cooking.  Once all tofu is coated and browning nicely (about 4 minutes), add kalamata olives, tomatoes and continue cooking, always stirring to avoid burned tofu.  Add chopped basil and plenty of salt and pepper to season.  

Serve piping hot! YUM!

A super fun and successful girl's sleepover, but wait...OOPS!  We forgot to eat our cupcakes!  

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