Monday, September 6, 2010

Goodbye summer 2010...

*Sigh.* This time of the year is always hard. No more camps, BBQ's, sleeping in, or whatever other mindless activities I choose to do over the summer. It always ends with a weekend at my lakehouse with our family from Pennsylvania that come up, which is a good closing to summer even though its sad. :(

On the bright side, we had tons of fun. Lots of cooking, boating and being cold in the water while tubing, playing guitar, and dancing. My dad and aunt took over the kitchen, so I was pretty distant in terms of cooking :D I did contribute though, I cooked a day before we went up to the lakehouse so I wouldnt get in the way of their intense cooking trance. I made:

Spanikopita (Spinach pie) from vegan with a vengeance: (!!!)

Since I'm 1/2 Greek, I felt the need to make a traditional greek dish sometime in the near future. And why not veganize it?!?! I had a spanikopita recipe sitting around in VwaV, and even though I was a bit aprehensive of the... TOFU... (and whether my family would be OK with it) it turned out great! Phyllo dough is hard to work with, I wont lie. The trick is to keep it damp, but to not actually let water touch it. (While you work with it.) Oiling it is a crucial step, or it will get all dry and burnty and NARSTY. But for my 1st time working with it, I think I pulled it off :)

1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for brushing phyllo

2 bunches fresh spinach, rinsed, long stems removed

1 bunch scallions, thinly chopped and trimmed

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup chopped dill

2 lbs firm tofu, drained and pressed

1/3 cup fresh lemon joice

2 tsp oregano

dash of nutmeg

3/4 cup ground walnuts

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1 tsp salt

several dashes black pepper

1 box thawed phyllo dough

In a large pan, sautee the spinach, scallions, garlic, and dill in the 2 tbsp of oil. Sautee until completely wilted ansd soft, and a good amount of liquid has sweated out of the greens. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temp.

In a large seperate bowl mash the drained tofu until a smooth but grainy consistency. Take the cooled spinach mixture and squeeze out as much liquid as humanly possible, then add it to the tofu. Add the lemon juice, oregano, nutmeg, nutritional yeast, ground walnuts, and the 1/4 cup of olive oil. Mix well with your hands, and then add the salt and pepper. Taste the mixture, it should taste pleasantly salty and tangy. Make sure the filling has cooled to room temperature before stuffing the phyllo dough for the spinach pies.

[There are 3 methods of making the spanikopita, and I chose the triangle method, because it served the most.]

Traditional triangle shape:

Preheat oven to 350'F. Take 2 sheets of dough, brushing olive oil generousley on 1 sheet, then layering the other sheet on top of that, then brushing that with oil. Score the stacked sheets lengthwise into 3 strips. With the short end nearest to you, place scant 2 tbsp of filling in the top left corner of the long rectangle. Grabbing the corner of the dough, fold it rightward so it forms a triangle, fold it towards the left to form another triangle, and continue folding this way until you cant fold any more. Wrap the remaining bit of dough around, underneath the triangle. Brush with lots of oil and bake on a baking sheet for 10-12 minutes, until deep golden brown and puffy. YUM!!

I also made a pan of coffee fudge brownies from The Kind diet, which were FANTABULOUS. No pictures though... :( UGH.

Today I did some shopping with my mom at trader joes, and I got some things to have for the week. I start at a new school tomorrow and we eat lunch at 10:47 in the morning! EWW!!! So I figure I'll be able to stomach peanut butter/almond butter/hummus sandwiches that early and maybe a snack for later. But thats a bit early for me :/

I got some ingredients to make a lazy casserole from VwaV, cuz I was hungry and it seemed yummy. (Did that rhyme? Not really.) It was chickpea broccoli casserole, and for the first time I've made any casserole of sorts, it was freaking delicious.

Totally easy. Just a one pot kind of deal. (Or casserole dish, in this case.)

3 16 oz cans of chickpeas (I threw in a can of white kidney beans-even better!)

1 large onion, chopped thinly and quartered

3 large carrots, shredded

1 head broccoli, cut into small florets

2 tbsp thinly sliced chives

1/2 cup bread crumbs

3 tbsp olive oil

1 cup veggie broth

1 tsp salt

(I added a little white pepper, black pepper, and a few tablespoons of this fabulous nutritional yeast stuff.)

Preheat oven to 350'F. In a large bowl mash the beans well, using a fork or potato masher. Add the chopped vegetables and mix well. Add the bread crumbs and mix, then add the oil and mix again. Finally, add the vegetable broth and salt (and other spices + nut. yeast if you are using it) and mix once again. Transfer the ingredients to a 9x13 inch casserole dish, and cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 more minutes. Serve hot. :)

Talk to you guys later...wish me luck tomorrow!


  1. Good luck tomorrow Olivia!!! Ruth Kraut

  2. beautiful posts! loving your presenation!
    still haven't cooked with phyllo dough but this post is really motivating to try it out.