Monday, December 31, 2007

I need my greens!

Is anyone else sick and tired of sugar and rich food? I sure am and I've actually been eating in moderation. I am ready to go back to a healthier and fresher way of eating. For breakfast, this beautiful rainbow chard was speaking to me, along with some zucchini. I sauted it up in my cast iron with a spray of olive oil, onions, garlic, red pepper flakes and nutmeg. Topped off with nutritional yeast and sesame seeds, it was the perfect way to start the day. I have some leftover as well, which will be great in a wrap, soup or quinoa pilaf.

I made a cranberry sauce out of fresh cranberries, fresh orange, apple, cinnamon, nutmeg and stevia. I love to stir this into soy yogurt and high fiber cereal for breakfast which I'll be doing this coming week.


The last of the white bread to grace my house for a while. I had a couple pieces of my homemade bread from the holiday dinner as well as about a cup of the Chipotle Split Pea soup. I turned the soup into fabulous veggies burgers.. which were awesome on the toasted bread. I got 4 burgers out of that cup of soup. Awesome! I served them with habanero strawberry ketchup.

I hope that all of you dear bloggers have a wonderful and safe New Years Eve and that this new year is your best yet!

I am excited about the new year and know that it will be a time of growth and change for me and my family.

I am super serious about losing this excess weight this year. I have come a long way and kept a good portion off, but I'm ready to lose the rest. I can't wait to blog for healthy and delicious vegan food!

Peace and Love!

-melody

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Holiday Dinner

I had my family for the holidays in my apartment. It was cozy hehe.. But absolutely wonderful. I was surprised that we pulled it off in such a small space. I made food and everyone took home lots of leftovers. This was some hummus. Delicious and satisfying.
My mom made the apple pie, Here it is before the top crust was added.
My super small kitchen. It is such a change to try to cook here. I still haven't brought over my dishes, so this meal was not presented well. I missed my dishes. Oh well, it tasted great!
Bread, hummus, tabouli, veggies, pita chips, non-vegan lasagna.. there was more, but it didn't fit on the table..
Hummus, veggies and pita chips
Big ass sesame bread
Hummus
More big bread!
Chocolate Mint Pie
Chipotle Split Pea Soup
Soup all dished up
BBQ'd tofu sammie.. the perfect fuel for breakfast before all the cooking
BBQ tofu wrap from the other day..
Salsa in the works for my brother and SIL. I usually make them a gallon. They love it. It is really good. Like the best salsa ever!
Tabouli made a day in advance, along with the salsa.
My beautiful niece.
With her daddy.

Monday, December 24, 2007

knock out the cold!

This may not look like much, but it was packed full of low fat flavor! I made a simple lemon/flax vinaigrette and tossed it with baby arugula and homemade bbq'd tofu. Delicious! 2 cups of my vinaigrette has less than 200 calories and you'd never know it was low fat by the flavor.
I used Lightlife Smart Bacon in this simple take on a BLT. Homemade wheat bread topped with vegenaise, avocado, lettuce and a roasted red pepper instead of tomato. The avocado and red pepper really compliment the smoky bacon. Great lunch. I don't buy a lot of faux meats, but I do enjoy them on occasion.
Sometimes, there's nothing better than an big ole bown of oatmeal. I had this for dinner during the cold from hell. Whole oats cooked with stevia, nutmeg, apples and cinnamon and topped with soymilk and walnuts.
As I mentioned, I had the cold from hell. I made this super spicy pot of stew to eat for several days, In fact, I just finished the last bowl for breakfast this morning. It had 2 very large jalapenos, 1 small green pepper, 1 small sweet potato, onion, lots of garlic and 1/4 cup of choppped ginger. I also inclued veggie broth and a tiny bit of salsa and around 2 T of natural peanut butter.
Cooking away... notice how I'm cooking in much smaller portions? I still had enough for 4 very large bowls of the stew, which was perfect. I added a pound of broccoli, lime juiced and cilantro at the end and topped it with even more spice.. Siracha!
It was almost too hot for even me to eat. Wowza!

My brother, his wife and kids are coming over Wednesday to my apartment. I will have 10 people in this teeny tiny place. I'm going to cook a feast.. I'm not sure of my menu yet. I'll decided when I get to the store to see what looks good. Wish me luck. It will be a tight fit! Of course, I'll post pics.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Simplicity

I adore borscht. It is such a fabulous cold weather soup. Hot off the fire, with roasted garlic tofu sour 'cream', it hits the spot on a cold winters day... and it is cold and snowy and I'm sick.
Having a pot of soup on the stove is sometimes the best medicine.
These lemons have seen better days, but I was determined to use them. Honestly, I have been throwing food out. I hate that. I am learning the whole cooking for one. In the past week, I have thrown out 1/2 container of mushrooms, homemade 'cheese', half a loaf of bread, scallions and garlic. How sad is that? I will figure this out.
I eat salad almost daily, even though it's winter. I decided to utilize my lemons in a very low fat flax lemon vinaigrette. With mustard, garlic, stevia and vegetable broth as a base, the golden flax meal and lemon complimented the flavors and textures well. I will definitely be dressing my organic baby arugula with this mixture when I get more of an appetite back.
Roasting vegetables is my absolute favorite way to prepare them. Here is a simple preparation, only tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper. Cauliflower and whole garlic cloves are charred to perfection. I only used a couple sprays of extra virgin olive oil, so this is very low calorie way maximizing the flavor of simple veggies. Try it with any of your favorite vegetables. You won't be sorry.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

In which I clean out the fridge....

It is cold and wicked snowy today.. my mom and I braved the storm and drove to town to spend the day with my kids. I had planned on stopping at the store to buy provisions, but the snow and ice made it impossible. Literally. I got stuck half way into the parking lot (with half of my car in the middle of a busy street) until a nice man shoveled me out. I brought cilantro and limes and 1 package of tofu from my apartment, but other than that, I had to rely on what Mark had in the house. This butternut squash thai curry was delicious. Served with brown basmati rice it hit the spot on this frigid day. They have a bunch for the week as well.
This was one of my home clean out the fridge meals. I had about a cup of whole wheat pasta leftover, lots of homemade chunky marinara and and bunch of roasted cauliflower. Throw in some lentils, fresh spinach and fresh basil and this huge bowl of food was delicious and full of more flavor than you can even imagine. All for under 500 calories!
My mom is on a strict cleaning ayurvedic diet... so she basically can eat split mung beans, basmati rice and veggies. Of course, I had to add a ton of siracha to make it more palatable. This was spiced with a lot of fresh garlic and ginger and just a tiny bit of curry powder. Lemon juice and cilantro rounded it out. Not the best ever, but not horrible either. My mom was pretty horrified that I was taking a pic and posting it on my blog though. HA! She doesn't get the whole food blog thing.
The boys were out shoveling so much,so I baked them a clean out the fridge carrot cake. I based this very loosely on Isa's awesome cake in VwaV.. using fresh orange, dried cranberries, dark chocolate chunks, 1 banana,raisins and hazelnuts. The topping was just fresh orange juice, powdered sugar, orange zest and vanilla. Not healthy as I used brown sugar, white flour and oil, but not horrible either. I love carrot cake. I had one small piece, but wanted more.

I woke up this morning to SNOW in my bedroom.... quite a bit of it. Not sure where it's coming from.. all in all, I'd say there was around several gallon containers of it (I scooped it out)... I was FREEZING last night.. I took a picture and sent it to my landlord. He was pretty shocked. I'm sure he'll fix it soon.
My mom and I are staying the night at my old house with my kids. I have to wake up at 4:45 am for work tomorrow.. boy, that will be hard. I hope the roads aren't too icy since we have to travel 90 miles each way. oy.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Simple meals

Easy chili, made with some leftover (frozen) fat free refried beans. The salad was dressed with a mango habanero salsa (store bought) and lots of pepper.
It is SOOOOO odd cooking for one. I don't like it. I don't really cook anymore. I will have to change that. My mom is coming for a visit and I'm sure I'll do more cooking for us. This was just whole wheat angel hair with my simple marinara and baby spinach, with nutritional yeast stirred in.
Tofu scramble is another thing I've been eating. The leftovers work great wrapped up in the low carb lavash I buy. (I buy it because a large lavash only has 100 calories!)
This was a falafel burger on a mini whole wheat pita with my homemade low fat "goddess" type dressing.
Salad with the lowfat "goddess" dressing.
Chipotle Spit Pea soup with yellow squash. Later in the week, I mixed leftover pasta with the soup and it was a delicious meal.
Wilted escarole salad with toasted walnuts and my homemade low fat balsamic flax vinaigrette. I LOVE this salad so much. The dressing is delicious and so incredibly low in calories and fat, but doesn't taste like it.
My doggy of course! I WUFF her!

I teach a soup class tomorrow night. We'll be making Black Bean Quinoa Chili, Chipotle Split Pea, Alphabet Vegetable, Italian Lentil and Dahl.

I am teaching quite a few classes this spring. 10 , I think.

Hopefully, I will have some more exiting posts in the near future. I am boring myself with the food I've been eating! All of the food above, I've been eating over and over again for the last week.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Comfort food

I like to cook some of my kids favorite foods so they can easily re-heat them when I'm not there. We are supposed to get a big storm tomorrow and what goes better with a snow day than comfort foods? The Good Stir Fry. Their all time favorite food. I've posted many pics of this dish on this blog, I'm sure. It is more of a stew than a stir fry, but it was given that name years ago by my kids, so the name stays. Spicy coconut/ginger/garlic broth with potatoes, tofu and green beans pairs perfectly with brown rice, lime and cilantro... and of course, Siracha. I made a huge batch with 2 containers of tofu, 2 lbs of green beans and 3 potatoes. They will probably kill it off in 3 days.
Vegan alphabet soup. Again, you've seen this many times... and the recipes for this soup and the stir fry are in the blog.. just do a search if you're interested in them. When I was a girl, the canned version of this was a huge junk food splurge for my mom and was an all time fav. I like my version better.
Tofu and veggies in a mushroom/nutritional yeast gravy. Topped with potatoes.
Unfortunately, I didn't make quite enough potatoes to cover the dish as I would have liked, but it will still be good.
Pressure cooked Chili Beans... They can be mashed and turned into refried beans or eaten as is over rice. I also made a big pot of brown rice. I took a quarter of the beans home with me. They are delicious.
Huggies. Perfect Huggies
I have a day off from work tomorrow because of the storm. I still may go into the lab if the weather permits. Last night, I photographed a Semi-Formal dance at a high school. It was a lot of fun. It was amazing to see how grown up the girls looked compared to the boys.