Saturday, September 29, 2007

I love my freezer

Roasted cherry tomatoes, fennel, onions and garlic. This was eaten on a homemade bread with white bean dip and used as a base for soup and some pasta sauce that is in the freezer.

Super fast dinner of fresh pico, guac, tofu sour "cream" with roasted garlic, corn tortillas with homemade salsa verde and my taco cheddar style "cheez". The only thing missing was chipoltle lime black beans, but it was hot and I didn't feel like making them that night.

White Bean Soup. I adore my pressure cooker so much. Everyone should get one! This soup only took 30 minutes and was insanely simple. Just beans, veggie stock, garlic, thyme, red pepper flakes; topped with evoo, smoked paprika and more thyme.

One ugly wrap. Fortunately it tasted better than it looked. Turkey style seitan, dijon mustard, romaine, smoky aoili, tomatoes and onions on a sun dried tomato whole wheat tortilla.

I had some spinach I needed to use up, so I made a lower fat spinach/walnut pesto. So freaken good. I used some of the leftover tofu/roasted garlic sour 'cream' instead of oil. This is in the freeer for a meal later in the week.

I was cleaning out my freezer, and I found a bag of frozen brussel sprouts. Now, I love me some roasted sprouts, but fresh is best for those in my opinion. What to do? hmmmm... I had some of the leftover taco "cheddar"... onions, garlic, carrots, celery, potato, veggie stock, earth balance meet the sprout! You all managed to compliment each other into a great bowl of soup. I topped it with smoked paprika and some fresh cilantro.

Toaster oven pizza. This was on a homemade whole wheat cruts with lots of veggies, homemade sauce and some cheddar style "cheez".
Ribby ribby rib. More goodness from my freezer. I love being able to have a stockpile of easy food to prepare on the nights when I'm so busy! It's a good thing we like sandwiches so much. I actually am not a huge fan of seitan anything, so I can only stomach these maybe once every 3 months or so. Mark and Turin love them though.

Pizza Pizza. Made the crust in the bread machine. Whole wheat with sesame seeds. Topped with tons of veggies, veggie pepperoni and FYH cheese. Kids did not like the FHY... they like my cheez better and of course, dairy cheese the best. At least they ate it.
I'm super busy cooking for a party tomorrow. Woohoo!
Hopefully, I'll be able to post pics of all the food, but I have to get permission first.

Monday, September 24, 2007

A couple of things..

It was Andrew's 16th birthday on Saturday! I can't believe fast time flies. He requested a blueberry cheesecake. I veganized it and he had no idea. Good stuff. He had a party at a gaming center with 9 of his friends. I made baked ziti, garlic bread and salad. the ziti was not vegan, so no pic. At least that's my story.. in reality, I have been cooking a lot, but rarely taking ANY photos. Probably because I've been talking so many photos at my job!
I made some 'meatloaf' based on the recipe from Cozy Inside.
I had real intentions of following the recipe, but of course, I didn't. Maybe one of these days I will. We loved the meatloaf. Half of it is in the freezer. We ate some for dinner and this sandwich was a great lunch. It's on my homemade spelt bread. I had some leftover mixture, so I turned it into veggie burgers. 6 in total. Talk about a bang for your buck!
I have several meals in the freezer for the week. Clean out your fridge enchiladas. I will force myself to take a pic of them when we eat! I also made a polenta pie with caramelized onions, cabbage, garlic and kidney beans and individual frozen pizzas that the kids can eat for snacks when they get home. The toaster oven will be perfect to re-heat them.

just a flower on the side of the road..

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Spice of life

This is one of my favorite dishes to throw together. Totally healthy and simple to prepare, they are great to keep in the fridge for a quick dinner. You can serve them over rice with a side salad, inside a burrito, or add a smidge of curry paste and fresh ginger for great indian flavor.

Spiced Lentils
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 5 cloves garlic, pressed
  • pinch salt
  • 1 c dry lentils
  • 1 vegetarian bouillon cube
  • 4 c water
  • 1 cup packed fresh cilantro chopped finely
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 t umeboshi vinegar, rice wine vinegar or lemon juice
  1. In a 12 inch non-stick skillet, place olive oil, red pepper flakes, cumin seeds and salt. Turn heat to medium-low, and slowly bring the ingredients up to temperature. This will take around 20 minutes. The garlic should caramelize. Do not rush this step, as this is VERY important to build the base flavors of the dish. Now, wash the lentils and add them to the skillet. Turn heat up to medium (5 on my electric stove. This is as high as I go with my non-stick skillet. ) and toast the lentils for several minutes. Add the bouillon cube and water and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes or so, or until the lentils are cooked. Turn off heat and add cilantro, tomato, pepper and vinegar. Taste and adjust seasonins if need be.
  2. Enjoy!
  3. Serves 3-4 as a main dish over rice

This was a delicious tofu fish style sandwich. At Cafe Indigo, they served a "Tofishy" sandiwch. This was inspired by that. I cut out the fat and added a lot of flavor. I keep these tofu 'fish' filets in the fridge all the time. I served it on a 60 calorie, whole grain pita with homemade tartar sauce. I used half vegenaise and half tofu, capers, roasted garlic, onion powder, fresh dill, relish, mustard, lemon juice and zest.
I've been making tofu chicken style cutlets like this for a while... which I use in sandwiches and tofu "parm", but I think I'm partial to these fishy morsels for the time being.

I just LOVE salsa verde. It is a staple in our house all the time. It may not photograph well, but it sure does taste good!

Salsa Verde
  • 6 tomatillos cut into quarters
  • 1 large onion cut into thick slices
  • 5 serrano chiles
  • pinch salt
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 t cumin seed
  • 1/2 t coriander (ground)
  • 2-3 cups water (enough to reach the tops of the veggies)
  • 1 veggie bouillon cube
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1 cup packed cilantro
  • 1 t umeboshi vinegar
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • In a large cast iron over medium-high heat, place tomatillos, onions, chiles and a pinch of salt. Allow the vegetables to blister and turn brown. This will take several minutes. Toss the pan several times or turn with a spatula so all sides of the veggies get some color. Add the garlic, cumin and coriander. Stir or toss several more times for 3 minutes. Add the water and bouillon and cover. Bring to a strong simmer/boil for around 15 minutes. Uncover and add the contents of the pan into a large blender or food processor along with the lime juice, cilantro and vinegar. Process or blend until smooth. Allow to cool, then taste for seasoning and add more salt/pepper or lime juice if necessary.
Yield 3-4 cups

Simple and easy fried rice with leftover brown rice, leftover baked tofu and broccoli.

I think I'm addicted to the sweet potato/adzukin bean and beet green combo. This had lite tofu as well, along with teriyaki glaze, cilantro, black sesame seeds, cilantro and lots of fresh ginger, served over soba noodles.

This morning, I pressure cooked a pound of organic black beans ($1.00) and used half of them to make 10 burgers. The other half was mashed and mixed with the salsa verde for a delicious refried bean mixture to use in recipes later in the week. I just LOVE frugal cooking. The beans were mixed with homemade chipotle citrus bbq sauce, fresh cilatnro, onions, garlic, oats and flax meal. They held together perfectly and are delicous and healthy.

Mark's lunch. Forgive the cheese in the pic.

Chipotle Fudge Brownies.... omg.. these are soo amzing. I am going to try my brownie recipe without the chipolte one more time and then it's off to my testers! I think I may have done it.. managed to create the perfect vegan brownie! .. and while it's not low calorie or low fat, it is somewhat healthy.

Friday, September 07, 2007

no frills...

This may be the laziest post ever... I have been cooking, but just busy with work, so my pics and blogging have been put on the back burner..
This salad was my take on on a Greek Salad. Tofu feta, kalamata olives, roasted red peppers, tomatoes, onions, cukes and my Green Goddess dresssing on top of baby beet greens was a perfect match. This was dinner several nights last week for me...

This was a beginning of an amazing meal. I am not feeling so good, so by the time i put the meal together, I wanted to jump in the shower and just relax, hence no pics of the finished products.
I sauted Adzuki beans (which I pressure cooked), onions, garlic, cumin seed, coriander, oregano, ancho chile powder and sweet potato with some fresh tomatoes and veggie stock... and cooked until all the veggies were tender... then I layered whole wheat tortillas with homemade vegan cashew cheez, salsa and salsa verde.. topped with guac and 'sour cream', this meal was devoured by everyone.. I have leftover filling, so I'm sure I will make another batch and take pics...

Monday, September 03, 2007

Lots of food

Herbed 'Feta', veggies and olives along with some homemade crusty bread was a great for lunch snacking. I also made a big salad and a Green Goddess dressing which I did not photograph. The dressing, 'feta' and the bread will be going in the cookbook.

Speaking of the cookbook. Thanks for all of the testing request emails. Right now, I have around 20 people testing. I feel more comfortable keeping it to people that I "know" at the time being, but that may change in the future. I am saving all of the requests. I got over 100 emails, and it totally overwhelmed me, so keeping it closer to home feels like the right thing to do. I hope you all understand.
Our BBQ went well. I made a batch of my Low Fat Spicy Noodles which were devoured. I almost always have a batch of these in the fridge and I'm sure you all are getting sick of seeing them on this blog!

This was a delicious Black Eye Pea dip, along with some homemade crusty bread.
Summer Black Eyed Pea Spread (it tastes so much better than it looks or sounds!)
-3 cups cooked (and drained) black eyed peas or 1 cup dried black eyed peas, pressure cooked with kombu for 25 minutes
-2 large cloves garlic
-2 t umeboshi vinegar
-3/4- 1 t kosher salt, depending on personal taste
-1/2-1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, depending on personal taste
-1 T fresh thyme (I think the fresh thyme is very important. I haven't made this with dried thyme, but if you do, I'd add a scant 1 tsp.. but please use fresh if you can)
- 4 T extra virgin olive oil
-2-4 T fresh lemon juice depending on taste (2 is around half a lemon, 4 the whole lemon. I used the whole thing.. but start with half and then add more to suit your personal taste)
-1/4 t ground coriander
-Garnish: 1 medium tomato, fresh chives and and drizzle of olive oil and freshly ground pepper.

Method: Mash the peas with a potato masher, add the pressed garlic and the rest of the ingredients. Taste and adjust seasoning. Let cool if the peas are just cooked or chill if canned. Add more lemon juice or salt if needed. I served mine with homemade crusty bread, baby spinach, tomatoes and vidalia onions.
Total crap pic, but this was our spread. My All American Burgers, Marinated Seitan Cutlets, Seitan Turkey Breast, Homemade Chipotle BBQ sauce, Spicy Noodles, Big Salad, Homemade Bread, Store bought buns, a tiny bit of dairy cheese for the meat eaters (everything else was vegan, of course), Black Eyed Pea dip, Spinach, Onions and Tomatoes.
I was going to bake a cake, but we were all pretty full, so I didn't. It was a fun, simple time with friends.

This was my husband's lunch today. Seitan, peppers and onions on an onion bun, with spicy mustard , baby spinach and chipotle sauce.

My lunch. A 60 calorie pita, topped with the tofu feta, homemade marinara and veggies. Delicious and totally guilt free. I have lost a total of 45 lbs in the past year. (I have more to lose still)
I am not doing weight watchers anymore, but I do try to limit the excess fat and calories and the low carb pita bread at 60 calories and the lavash at 100 calories has been a huge help.
My kids wanted french toast this morning, so I created a new recipe for them. I lied and told them it was made with eggs and they believed me. This recipe will be going to my testers as well, as it is made with several secret ingredients.

Super healthy breakfast muffin. Whole grains and sweet potato come together in a tender muffin. Sugar free and great for a quick breakfast. I like to have healthy muffins for the kids to grab in the morning, as well as for myself. I am often out the door by 5:45 am.. and will work straight through until the afternoon, so a portable breakfast is a good thing.