Sunday, September 24, 2006

Bday Dinner

I have several pic to post..

First, Coconut Curry Sweet Potato Soup and homemade Rye Bread

sorry for the blur.. batteries were dying again. My camera is very fussy. Why can't I upload pics here? I am getting really annoyed. I can only post them in HTML.

Andrew wanted Salad, Garlic Bread, Baked Ziti and Cheesecake for his bday dinner. I made both vegan and non vegan baked ziti and a total non vegan cheesecake, which I did not take a pic of. I also made the BEST EVER CARROT CAKE.. vegan of course, from VwaV.. only I used walnuts instead of macadamia nuts due to the insane price. These vegan desserts are soo good! I've always hated cake because of the eggs. I could taste them in everything. Same with cookies. It's a good thing I don't have a sweet tooth.

Salad and vegan garlic bread (from scratch)

The best ever carrot cake, with a lemon nutmeg glaze

The whole spread.. the vegan baked is on the left. It's hard to tell the difference from looks alone. The next time, I will try to pass it off... I have tons leftover for the freezer! I'll let you know it if passes the test when I serve it again.

The Bday boy.. this was the best shot I could get of him, due to his wanting to goof off. Happy 15th bday Andrew! Excuse my tacky panel in the backround. I really need to paint my kitchen. Can you paint over panel? Who in their right mind would put panel in a kitchen???

Thursday, September 21, 2006


First of all,

Welcome to the world, Arwen Guinevere!! You made your appearance at 6:55am today, covered in vernix

,so it is obvious that you were not "OVERDUE" !!!.. even though you were 10 lbs, 4 oz!! woohoo!

The mainstream medical establishment isn't always right. Her first "due" date was Sept. 18th, but then they did an ultrasound and changed it. It sickens me to think of how many babies are forced into this world before they're ready..

by the way, my SIL did not tear or rip, even though her baby was so big! Midwives and gentle birth and water birth can prevent so much!

I haven't seen her yet. I will probably see her on Sunday... my son's 15th birthday is tomorrow and we have a ton of band stuff this weekend... so Sunday will be the first day we can make it.. plus, I think they will want to rest. They were up all night! I can't wait to hold her and see her and smell her.. and of course, I will post pics.
*note to self*
"Self, buy more memory for the camera."

It is anticlimactic to blog about food.. but I will.

I made a marinara with veggies and tvp and served it over whole wheat pasta with a dollop of basil tofu "ricotta" from VwaV.. but I also used some leftover Kale from the day...
I also steamed cauliflower and broccoli to go along with the dish. For dessert, I made a smoothie with soymilk, frozen banana, cocoa powder, stevia and coconut extract. Very good. No pic of the smoothie though.

I can't wait to hold my neice!!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

More cooking

First, no baby yet... my poor SIL, she's got to be going insane. I really hope that she does not allow interventions and will have a natural birth.. (unless there is a medical reason, of course)

Yesterday, I did some batch cooking. I do this all of the time, but rarely take pics of the finished products.


Sauteed Kale with Garlic, Crushed Red Pepper, Nutmeg and Lemon Juice

Tahini Sauce, (tofu based, no oil.. adapted from VwaV)

Bean Burgers (made from leftover Chili from the other day)

Steamed Green Beans tossed with the Tahini Sauce, Sauteed Zukes with crushed red pepper, thyme and onions

Cooked Seitan , marinating in homemade BBQ sauce

Sausage Patties

For dinner last night, I sauted some tofu, onions and bbq seitan and served it over couscous. We had veggies on the side. No picture though. I HAVE to get more memory for my camera. I can't take more than 8 pics at a time.

I also made bfreakfast burritos for my kids... they have to be out the door at 6:50am, so breakfast is not something they want to deal with. Having these on hand is great, since they eat them up. I made them with eggs, but next time, I will make them with scrambled tofu and see if they still like them. I added sauted peppers, mushrooms and onions to the eggs and put some ketchup on the tortilla before rolling them.

Send baby vibes!!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Lots of pics

Yesterday, my brother, his wife, her mother (who is visiting from Florida) and her son came for a visit. My poor SIL is almost 42 weeks pregnant and sooo ready to have the baby! She's beautiful though, isn't she?
and sorry for all the big pics, I still can't upload. when it says click "done" there is no done button to click! grrr

I love this pic because she's looking at my brother and smiling at him.

Did I mention that I'm SO EXCITED TO MEET ARWEN?

I made a bunch of good food.. I only took pics of the soup, focaccia and quacamole. The soup was a Veggie Chili. I used onions, garlic, green and red peppers, serrano chiles, chipotles, sweet potato, zucchini, salsa, veg stock, tomatoes, lots of spices, black beans, kidney beans and chili beans, tvp, orange juice, cilantro and a touch of lime.

I also made 2 quarts of my salsa. I have less than 1 cup left. Can you believe that?
We bought several bags of Red Hot Blue Corn Chips and I baked some corn chips for myself. I was pretty cool that everyone liked my baked chips as much as the store bought ones.
The focaccia was made from white whole wheat flour and sprinkled with fresh rosemary, garlic infused olive oil, sea salt and black pepper. I made it very thin, so it was more like a cracker focaccia.
It was my brother's birthday on Friday, so I made a pan of blondie brownies with rasberry and chocolate from VwaV. Everyone LOVED them. I used an entire bag of dark chocolate chips for the 9 by 13 pan instead of 1 cup because my brother asked me to. They were so surpised they were vegan! I had a small piece and was very impressed. I sub'd stevia for 1/2 the sugar in the blondie dough, used sucanat for the other cup of sugar and stevia with the raspberries. I did not take a picture because they were NOT pretty at all.
The only dairy we had on the table was some sour cream to top the soup. That's it! Normally, I would have put cheese out too, but no one seemed to miss it.
I am thrilled that my entire family is eating so much less dairy than they used to. I leave cheese out of so much and they don't even seem to notice. It's awesome!

This morning, I put my Vita Mix to good use and made a Carrot/Apple/Ginger smoothie. I took 1 granny smith, 2 carrots, a large piece of peeled ginger, a tiny bit of stevia, ice cubes and water and blended up a great juice! My oldest son and I shared it.

For lunch, we had some leftover focaccia with tofu salad, sprouts, tomato and avocado. I didn't take a pic.. My batteries were dying when I was taking the juice pic. I also made some Plantain Fries. I bought 3 plantains a week or so ago and have been wondering what to do with them. I decided to cut them up like fries and spray them with cooking spray and cook them in my cast iron. They were really good. I served them with the BEST sauce ever.. my strawberry-habanero sauce mixed with ketchup. omg... so good. The next time, I will bake the fries though. I think they will be even better that way. I'm sure they'd be totally delicious deep fried, but I will never do that.

My "diet" has been going great. I have been doing a great job listening to my body and eating when I'm hungry and stopping before I'm full. I did have a small piece of the blondie brownie yesterday, but that was OK with me because I waited until I was hungry to have it. Everyone else at it pretty close after the meal. I also had 1/2 a piece. I will allow myself a dessert like thing once a week or so. I am NOT counting calories, I am just trying to get in touch with my hunger and make smarter choices. I don't believe in "diets".. I believe in permanent lifestyle changes.
It's been a week or so since I've had vegenaise and I don't miss it at all.

oh, almost forgot.. my brother brought me these!

Sunflower Sprouts

Thursday, September 14, 2006

More cheesesteaks.. mac and chees

I haven't been cooking a whole lot. As most of you know, I tend to do big batch type cooking and then eat from that..

Over the last several days, I made a Cajun Red Bean and Okra stew.. it was OK... not perfect... so I was kind of bummed. I didn't take a pic.. It was hot and spicy and full of veggies, so that was good for my "diet".. which I am not thinking of as a diet. I am thinking of it as listening to my body and cutting out excess calories.

For bfast yesterday I had a large salad with romaine, sprouts, red peppers, green peppers, red onions, baby spinach, carrots, avocado, nutritional yeast, homemade low fat ranch, hemp seeds and lots of black pepper. I should have taken a pic because that was my favorite meal of the day.
For lunch, I had a "Philly Cheesesteak" on a whole wheat pita. I sauted shredded seitan, mushrooms, garlic, onions, jalapenos, marmite and a pinch of dried oregano in cooking spray until they were brown and somewhat cripsy, but not burnt. I added a piece of Vegan cheez... this a a new brand in my store.. they come wrapped like tofutti, but dont' have hydrogenated oils. They are OK... they don't melt... but they are very expensive.. something like 3.99 for 8 slices. Rip off it you ask me!

For dinner, we had whole wheat pasta and broccoli with a tofu based "cream" sauce. I used quick oats to add body to the sauce and reduce the cashews. I only used around 1/2 cup of cashews for an entire pound of pasta and 1.5 lbs of broccoli. It was quite good and my kids and husband liked it, which is the biggest test.
We also had an arugula salad with very low fat/sugar free sweet/sour creamy dressing and a bit of Hemp seeds.. no pic of the salad though..

I have been trying really hard to listen to my body and stop before I'm full. This has been very eye opening. For instance, yesterday for lunch I used an entire whole wheat pita for my sandiwch, but realized I was totally satisfied eating half of it. I still have half a sandwich, wrapped in the fridge.. which I will probably have for lunch along with a frozen fruit smoothie. Normally, I would have eaten the whole thing.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Soup and Sandwich

OK, so the pic will suck big time... for whatever reason, I was not able to take a good pic of this lunch, but it was delicious. I think I was too hungry and I was shaking a bit.. my camera is VERY sensitive..
The soup is my version of "Vegetarian Vegetable".. you know, the soup in the can.... I usually use alphabet pasta, but my store was out of it, so I used plain soup pasta.
The recipe is simple:
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp rosemary, dried and crushed
1/2 tsp dried thyme, crushed
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, optional
1 lb frozen mixed vegetables
3-4 red potatoes, diced
3 oz tomato paste
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
2 bouillon cubes
splash vinegar
1 tbsp dried parsley
4-8 oz dried small pasta, alphabet pasta
2 quarts water at least, more if needed..
-In a 4 qt soup pan, heat oil, garlic, onion and spices...over med heat, until you can smell them. Add frozen veg, potatoes and tomato paste... along with the garlic and onion powder, bouillon and water. Bring to a boil. Boil for several minutes... then turn heat down and cover; then simmer for 20 minutes. At this point, add the vinegar, parsley and pasta and more water if necessary. Simmer for 15 minutes, then cover and let sit for 20 more minutes. Add salt/pepper as needed.

The sandwich was sprouted grain bread with garbonzo bean "tuna"... I used my low fat ranch dressing in place of vegenaise.. and topped it off with 1/4 avocado....

Now that I am watching my weight, I am aware that I would have been more than satisfied with 1 sandwich half... I must eat when I'm hungry and stop before I'm full.

words to live by.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Cookies, farewell and mooshi *edit with BBQ sauce recipe

Last night, my son had a friend over for dinner. I made a simple fav, angel hair with marinara. I also steamed some green beans and broccoli and made a quick mustard vinaigrette to pour over them.
For dessert, I decided to win one over to the vegan side by making Peanut Butter cookies with chocolate chunks. The recipe is from Vive. Her Peanut Better cookies. I added a bit too much peanut butter, so I used quick oats to bind it. Also, I used around 1/2 cup of chocolate chips, stirred in at the last moment.

OMG, they were sooo good. I made small cookies and actually got 22 cookies from the batch. My son's friend kept raving about how good they were, and he agreed that vegan cookies ROCK MAN!!

Dreena, you are a cookie Goddess! My kids LOVE you!

As I've mentioned, I need to lose weight.. (funny how I just blogged about cookies.. but I only ate 1.. I'm not a huge sweet fan, fortunately).. so, I've decided to bid farewell to a calorie laden favorite of mine.. Vegenaise. I just like it too much. I will use my remaining vegenaise for my kids and I bought myself some Nayonaise, which I like. When this is done, I will be making my own "mayo".. I would never use Earth Balance on my food like I do Vegenaise... and it's just as fattening.
Here's my first sandwich with Nayonaise. It is full of processed fake meat, which I enjoy about once every two weeks or so.. but it's low in calories. The sandwich was on commerical whole wheat with nayonaise, dijon, lettuce, tomato and pickles.. oh and the "salami".. the entire sandiwch had 330 calories and 20 grams of protein. I ate it for bfast and am not hungry yet and it's 3:30 pm.

For dinner, we are having MooShi Seitan.. I also used a bunch of cilantro in this recipe.. we'll be eating it over brown rice, as it is very brothy.. It's my favorite way to eat it.
This pic really sucks, but food is not always pretty.. I also added a lot of bean sprouts to this recipe because I needed to use them..

My SIL is going to have her baby any day now! She was due yesterday... My neice.. Arwen! I am sooo excited... You will see many pics of this baby.. that's for sure! I can barely think about it without crying... to see my brother hold his daughter for the first time.. omg.. it doesn't get better than that! Since I know what an amazing experience it is to see your child... for the first time.. man... he is going to be sooo overwhlemed and amazed.. It is amazing.
I can't wait to meet her!!

Several of you asked about my BBQ sauce recipe.. I usually throw things together, depending on what I have on hand..

Yesterday's sauce was made from:

1 tbsp canola oil
2 small onions, diced
4 cloves garlic
1 6oz can tomato paste
18 oz water (fill the can 3 times)
dry mustard to taste.. (I don't measure).. but probably at least 3 tbsp
about 2 tbsp molasses (again, to taste)
a tiny bit of Kal Stevia
about 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 capful liquid smoke
Louisiana Hot Sauce to taste
1/2 tsp Marmite (not necessary)
around 2 tbsp Vegan Worcestershire sauce.. (I have a bunch made up from a recipe.. I have to find that recipe again, since I'm almost out)
-basically.. saute the onion and garlic and a pinch of salt in the oil... until nice and fragrant.. then add the tomato paste. Allow it to caramelize for several minutes, then deglaze with the water and vinegar. Add the dry spices and remaining ingredients. Fine tune it to your liking.. this is only an approximation, as I don't measure much.

Friday, September 08, 2006

seitan setian seitan

First of all, thanks for all the nice words on my last post. I do have faith that something great will come my way. I know I have a lot to offer.

Now, onto happier things.

Blogger still won't let me upload pics, so you're stuck with the big ones...

The other day, Crystal blogged about seitan. It's funny, because the recipe she used was the very first recipe I used to make seitan and it was probably one of my favs. I admit that I'm not really a huge fan of seitan, but I do like to eat it now and then and my husband and younger son love it, so I make it weekly. I used pretty much the recipe she posted, but added 1/2 cup of soyflour as well (and more water). The broth I used was lipton onion soup mix because I have a bunch of it on hand. The recipe made 6 cutlets. I added sage, thyme, rosemary, tons of pepper and nutritional yeast to the hot broth when it was done and let the cutlets marinate for several days.

This morning I made a quick BBQ sauce and simmered them for 45 more minutes. Here they are cooling on a plate:

Then I coated them in flour and fried them in my cast iron (sprayed with cooking spray):

I turned one cutlet into a sandwich for my husband's lunch:
.. sorry for the blur.. I don't know what happened there.

My lunch was an arugula salad topped with a cutlet. The dressing is a homemade "ranch". I used silken tofu, vinegar, onion powder, fresh garlic, dried parsely and lots of pepper. It is a thin dressing, but I like it that way. I also added about 1 tsp of olive oil to it.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Curried Sweet Potato Soup with Red Lentils

Curried Sweet Potato Soup with Red Lentils and Brown Rice

This recipe is based on a recipe I tested for Catherine.

It was wonderful... as was the original recipe.

I did not get the job.... and I'm not one to go on and on, but man... I feel that the reason I was not hired was because I am overweight. This is not the first time I've been rejected from a job... I have applied to many jobs within my skill level over the past several years. I'm pretty much sick of it. In fact, I'm way more than sick of it.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

tART, Please Momma, Please

Ok, so I'm sure you all know about the deviantArt contest that Urban Vegan is having. Here is my submission.

It's a Pina Colada Cream Tart..

"Please Momma, Please? I'm being sooo good!"

This is a simple tart.. I came up with the recipe with pantry staples.


1 cup all purpose flour, sifted
1/8 tsp Kal Stevia
scant 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp soy milk
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 capful almond extract
1/4 c canola oil

Mix together all of the ingredient with a fork until you can make a ball with the dough. wrap the ball in plastic wrap and let it chill for 30 minutes. Make the filling:

1 19 oz can pineapple, juice reserved (canned, not fresh)
1 Tbs agar-powder
1/2 cup cashews
1.5 cups vanilla soymilk
1 capful coconut extract
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 tsp Kal Stevia
juice of 2 limes

Drain the pineapple juice and mix it with the agar powder in a saucepan. Let it sit for 5 mins or so.
Put the remaining ingredients in a strong blender and blend until totally smooth.
Turn the heat to hi and bring the agar and juice to a boil, whisking constantly. Add this mixture to the cashew mixture and chill for several hours.

Pre-Heat the oven to 425. I used my convection toaster oven.
Roll out the dough and fit into tart or pie pan. Prick holes all over with a fork, then bake for 10 minutes. If you don't have a convection feature, bake for around 15 minutes.

let the shell cool, add the chilled filling.. (you may need to whiz it up again in the blender or food processor to get it nice a smooth)
Top with coconut, blueberries or any other fruit you desire. Mango would be out of this world.

I also made an Enchilada bake for lunch today. I served it with a simple salad. The dressing is tofu based "honey" mustard using a bit of apple cider and maple syrup to sweeten it.