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September leftovers

October 5, 2010

It’s leftovers time again! These are some of my favorite posts to write, because they’re so random and varied. Here’s the breakfast I’ve been addicted to since the beginning of the summer: fresh, plump raspberries with coconut milk yogurt and hempseeds.

I’ve found the perfect blondie, but I’m still in search of the best homemade vegan brownie. I thought for sure these would be winners in the “richness” department (especially considering they contain a full CUP of coconut oil!), but no dice. Believe it or not, they were dry. The hunt continues.

Matt and I have hardly eaten out all summer, and I’d been craving Thai food like nobody’s business, so we hit up Bangkok Pavilion one Friday night. I got good ol’ pad thai, vegetarian, WITH egg. Pad thai puts the “almost” in “almost vegan” for me.

Matt got a tofu and veggie stir fry of some sort (couldn’t tell you which one, sorry!).

On a Sunday afternoon, we stopped by the annual Greek Food Festival at the Orthodox Church of the Annunciation. We should have gone earlier, because they were out of all veg dishes (even hummus!) by the time we arrived (though one nice woman did give me a consolation prize of a handful of olives and a piece of pita). But the desserts were the important part, anyway, and we splurged on (from left) galaktobouriko (a phyllo-enclosed custard dish), a triple chocolate cake that was called (amusingly enough) chocolate kok, and a pair of chocolate almond rolls. Ok, so, let me revise my earlier statement—pad thai and Greek pastries put the “almost” in “almost vegan” for me…

A couple co-workers and I have “Bagel Fridays,” and with this one (whole wheat, split and lightly toasted) I ate a banana (I like ‘em way ripe), plus a squeeze pack of Justin’s cinnamon peanut butter (to keep it from being a total carbfest).

Being such a fan of Living Harvest‘s Tempt hemp milk, I figured it was time I try their hemp milk ice cream. This Coffee Biscotti flavor was yummy, and I loved that there were actual cookie chunks inside. Matt and I split this pint, finishing it off in one sitting. Oops!

Another pan of brownies, another semi-disappointment. I baked this batch with the recipe from The Joy of Vegan Baking. They were tasty, sure, but they had that TOO-fudgy texture that I’ve experienced in all too many low-fat brownies. ::Sigh:: Next!

This was an interesting and somewhat successful attempt at “eggy” vegan fried rice. That’s not egg you see there—it’s a blend of silken tofu, nutritional yeast, and some other stuff. I tried to pan-fry the mixture, but it never solidified, so I stuck it in the oven to try and bake it firm. It kind of worked! Some parts were overly chewy, and other parts were underdone, but with some tweaking, I think I could make this a winner.

Q: How do you guys like the new layout?! Is it too spring-y? Too girly? Too anything-else? I’d appreciate your feedback!

If you like this, you might also like…
August leftovers
Restaurant July leftovers
Homemade July leftovers

30 Comments leave one →
  1. Tracy permalink
    October 5, 2010 2:14 pm

    I do love the berries that you have on the header, but considering that we’re going into fall I would have expected, if you were going to change it, that you may go to more of the fall type things, gourds and whatnot 🙂

    It is very cute though! And the leftovers look oh-so-delicious! Good luck on finding us an awesome vegan brownie to make lol 🙂

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 5, 2010 2:55 pm

      True. I guess my thinking is a) I wanted a more raw-themed look, and b) I figured it might keep my spirits up (and anyone else’s) through the winter! But if everyone thinks it’s a little TOO bright and cheery, I may reconsider.

      And re: brownies, I will not cease my quest until I have found the best! Promise 😉

      • Tracy permalink
        October 5, 2010 3:15 pm

        Very true about keeping the spirits up, I definatly do love the theme and now that you have explained the motive behind it, it makes more sense to me! 🙂

        • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
          October 5, 2010 3:17 pm

          I really appreciate your feedback! Thanks Tracy 😀

  2. October 5, 2010 2:21 pm

    Hey, here’s my vegan brownie recipe… these are the gooiest brownies I’ve ever eaten….. hope you like it!

    Vegan Brownies

    250g plain flour
    400g sugar
    65g cocoa powder
    3g baking powder
    6g salt
    235ml water
    235ml rapeseed oil
    5ml vanilla essence

    Pre-heat oven to 175°C. Mix dry ingredients. Add liquid and mix well. Spread evenly in a 9×13″ pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes (you can make them in any size pan you like, but if it’s deeper they will need longer in the oven – I usually do mine for 40-45 minutes) until the top is no longer shiny. Let cool for 10 minutes.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 5, 2010 3:16 pm

      How funny that to my American eyes, the numbers in that recipe are gibberish!…wow, clearly I need to brush up on my metric system. That’s a little embarrassing 😛

      Nonetheless, this looks like a solid, simple, straightforward brownie recipe. I’m going to have to break out the kitchen scale and give it a try sometime soon. Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. October 5, 2010 3:52 pm

    I love the new layout. It looks like a big berry smoothie, which is a good thing in my mind.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 5, 2010 3:53 pm

      That’s kind of what I was going for! Yay! Thanks 😀

  4. October 5, 2010 5:18 pm

    I do like the new layout! Berries are merry, and keep well in the freezer for the winter too.

    This was a fun and varied post too – Thai and Greek food in the same post isn’t something you often see, but having spent time in both countries it touched some sweet chords for me.

    I think ‘glutenfreegoddess’ (Karina Allrich) has some pretty good vegan and gluten-free brownies on her blog – if I’m making something that isn’t ‘low sugar,’ her blog is my go-to for gf-vegan.


    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 6, 2010 2:27 pm

      Very true! There’s no reason berries can’t be appropriate winter fare 😉

      I have been to Greece but not to Thailand. Would love to go someday, if only for the street food!

      And thanks for the brownie tip—I’ll check it out 🙂

  5. Matt permalink
    October 5, 2010 7:22 pm

    My Thai fare was pretty good except for the tomatoes they threw in there. The Greek desserts were good but I can’t say they were worth the trip. I would take ASF’s brownies over them even if the recipes weren’t quite right.

    Still, a successful month. I’m happy to report that after a couple months of mostly vegan diet, I have lost between 10 and 15 pounds. Considering I work out so intermittently, this amazed me. Thus success!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 6, 2010 2:32 pm

      There was tomato in the stir fry? Odd. Greekfest would have been FAR more worth it had the buffet been properly stocked 😦 And aww, how sweet that you enjoy even my crappy brownies… 😀

      Did you hear that, people?! Matt’s lost 10-15 lbs in a few months’ time—eating MORE THAN EVER! And he didn’t even have weight to lose, really (he’s gone from 170-175 down to <160). Score 1 for “Heganism”! 😛 Hehe. I’m proud of you, honey!

  6. October 5, 2010 7:28 pm

    Hey – liking the new layout, it’s more relaxing than springy! Glad to see you indulge on some “eggy” treats. I think I would label myself “almost vegan” at this point – vegan as much as possible at home but allow myself some wiggle room outside of the home to make life less stressful and enjoyable. ! 🙂

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 6, 2010 2:37 pm

      Ahh, so you partake in the eggy side of life on occasion as well?
      Two big thumbs up on your current almost-vegan status/philosophy 😀 Wiggle room is the way to go!

      And thanks re: the layout!

  7. October 5, 2010 8:07 pm

    I like the layout! It’s lovely and “clean”, if that makes sense. Also… chocolate kok? I don’t get it. Why is that funny?


    I also desperately want that coffee biscotti ice cream. Wanna know what non-dairy ice cream I have access to here in Canberra? Vanilla soy ice cream, and chocolate soy ice cream.



    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 6, 2010 2:40 pm

      Thank you! That makes perfect sense, and is exactly what I was going for.

      Why, “chocolate kok” is funny because it sounds like you’re talking about a chocolate rooster. Of course. 😉

      Aw, I hope the nondairy ice cream industry can sense your virtual tears, and send coconut milk and hemp ice cream to your part of the world ASAP!

  8. October 5, 2010 9:10 pm

    I like the layout and especially the header. I made the best brownies this weekend combining two very similar recipes. They were slightly crackly on top, moist, chewy, dense but also just slightly cakey. I am not sure I will ever need another brownie recipe. Of course, they were full of fat and sugar and not at all healthy, but sometimes it’s not about body health but about mind and spirit health, right? At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 6, 2010 3:04 pm

      Thanks Allison! I made it myself ::modest blush:: even though I’m not a techie at all!

      Um, your brownies? They sound AMAZING! Would you be willing to share the recipe? Pretty please? 😀

  9. October 5, 2010 10:59 pm

    That looks like a whole load of deliciousness.

    I think there is a very fine line between a perfectly moist brownie and an overly mushy one… Good luck on your hunt!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 6, 2010 3:10 pm

      Thank ya!

      I think I would tend to agree with you. Moisture is essential, and even better beneath a crackly top. I’m looking for chewy edges and a melt-in-your-mouth center. If you see such a recipe, please send it my way! 🙂

  10. October 6, 2010 2:12 pm

    Glad to see you also have a month of leftovers. I am going to start doing that too! We just started budgeting a lot more now so I am going to have to be MORE creative than usual. 🙂

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 6, 2010 3:14 pm

      Yup yup! I’ve been doing these “leftovers” posts since my first few months of blogging 🙂 Can’t wait to see more of yours!

  11. October 6, 2010 2:21 pm

    I agree with the berry smoothie comment about your lay-out. And that’s a good thing, because smoothies are delicious.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 6, 2010 3:17 pm

      Excellent! Glad to hear it. And smoothies are the bomb, yo!

  12. October 6, 2010 4:17 pm

    Hi, it’s Jennifer from Living Harvest. Thanks for the nice shout out of our Tempt hemp ice cream. I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed the Coffee Biscotti!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 6, 2010 9:17 pm

      Hi again, Jennifer! The boyfriend and I really liked the coffee flavor; I think we plan to try mint chip next. 🙂

  13. October 6, 2010 6:04 pm

    I love your new header/layout. It’s bright and fresh, has good color, texture & clarity! As usual, great job!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 6, 2010 9:18 pm

      Thank you! That’s what I was going for. Sounds like most people are liking it, even though it’s not at all wintry (maybe that’s WHY they like it!).

  14. October 6, 2010 6:10 pm

    I like the layout- although I don’t remember the old one. 🙂

    The brownies look bomb even though you say they were dry- they look fudgey and delicious. Hmmm… I must make some soon… And I’m loving your pad thai dish! Looks really REALLY good.

    My next mission is to try that coffee biscotti ice cream!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 6, 2010 9:20 pm

      Heh, my old one had chickpeas in the header. Buuut, it’s time I went a little more “raw”…

      The brownies DO look really good, don’t they? Why oh why did that not translate into awesome texture? ::sigh:: Ah well. The pad thai made it all better 😉

      The ice cream was good; hopefully I’ll have a chance to try their other flavors soon!

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