Friday, October 28, 2011

Restaurant Review: Veggie Galaxy, Central Square, Cambridge, MA

My son came down to Boston for a visit yesterday and we ended up eating at Veggie Galaxy in Cambridge.  We were both really excited to actually eat in an all vegetarian (and mostly vegan!) restaurant.  I have actually NEVER been to a fully vegetarian restaurant where I wasn't the one doing the cooking, so I'm sure you can imagine my intrigue.

I have to preface this and all of my restaurant reviews:  I don't really enjoy going out to eat very much.  I have worked for too many years in restaurants to ever fully relax and not SEE too many things and expect a higher level of service/food quality than most people do.  Plus, I am super frugal, and it irritates me to spend money on food that I often feel I can make just as good at home..

BUT... that being said, I will be going back to Veggie Galaxy.

When you walk in, you are greeted with a huge dessert case filled with amazing looking vegan goodness! Even Lemon Meringue Pie! ... the desserts looked AMAZING, but I'm sad to say I did not partake in any of them.  Both Andrew and I were too full , but I will be going back to give them a try.  Forgive the pictures in this post.. it is always awkward taking pics in restaurants and the lighting is atrocious.. plus my son was NOT comfortable with me snapping away...  but don't these look yummy?



YUMYUMYUM!!

I just wish they offered a dessert sampler plate! 

Veggie Galaxy is VERY clean which I love.  It has an open kitchen which for many people is a great thing..  I'm not a fan really just because I can't stop watching the interactions between people and I pick up on all the annoying restaurant language.  I am SOOOO glad I'm not working in restaurants anymore. Woo hoo!

.. but that being said.. the staff was courteous, prompt and our server gave us the correct amount of attention.  The only thing I wish she had done differently was told us about the nightly special.. BUT maybe it was sold out by the time we got there.  In the future, I would recommend asking about the specials. (I only knew about them after the fact because of their Facebook page.)

Now onto the food.  Andrew got a malted frappe..  I'm not sure if it was vegan, because of the malt, but the ice cream was definitely vegan.  He loved it.  He ordered the non-vegan Mac and Cheese with Veggies and a side of potato salad.  He was not impressed with the Mac and Cheese.  He said it was too saucy and had very little flavor.  He said the breadcrumbs on top were the most flavorful thing about it and he expected the sauce to be MUCH cheesier and more flavorful.  He gave it a 5 out of 10.  He loved the potato salad though.  He refused to let me take a pic of any of his food. 

I went all out and ordered the Beer Battered Smoked Tofu, Fries and Coleslaw.  

Now, I really have to preface my review I RARELY eat fried foods.  Maybe once a year.  The last time was tempura at a Japanese restaurant..  and that was not greasy.  This plate of food was VERY greasy.  Too greasy (although I ate it all like a total pig)..  The tofu was smoked and like it says, that was the predominant flavor.  The sauce was described as a "Caper Dill Aioli."  Well, sorry, but there was very little flavor other than smoke in the tofu/sauce.  I was disappointed.  Don't get me wrong.. it was good.. (I ate it all)... but not very flavorful and that, my friends, is why I feel frustrated going out to eat.  The sauce should have had fresh dill, lemon zest, much more garlic and more tang. I have made these sauces as a Vegan Chef in restaurants and I never would have put that sauce out and called it a Caper Dill Aioli. I also would have seasoned the batter and tofu more.. it was just bland.. the salt level was perfect, but spices ARE your friend...   *SIGH*..  now this may be a  New England thing...  I don't know.  The slaw was dripping in oil (maybe because it was UNDER the tofu steaming.  I think it should have been crisp, tangy and not oily at all so it could have cut the oil of the rest of the dish.  The fries were lovely.. seasoned with rosemary and black pepper. Malt Vinegar would have complimented this dish nicely..   I would give the whole dish a very average 5 out of 10. 

It probably sounds like I am being really picky, but I am... and this is why I am not a fan of going out to eat.... BUT I will go back and try another dish... because I LOVE the fact that they are serving mostly vegan food... and I won't get anything fried.  Their sandwiches and burgers looked really good.. thick cuts of housemade tempeh bacon...  they have housemade vegan cheese.. so I am definitely wanting to give their Club sandwich and Reuben a try.  

The prices were what I would expect, we paid $33 for our meal of two main dishes, one side dish and one frappe. (not including tip)..    


450 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 

617-497-1513


*Going out to eat is NOT included in my $3.33 a day budget. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

20 Minute Curried Lentils and Spaghetti Squash


It's no secret (especially for those on my Facebook) that I love to eat savory leftovers for breakfast.  This morning, I was craving something hearty, warming and spicy and this stew came together in about 20 minutes.  I had cooked spaghetti squash, lentils and salsa which I turned into Curry in a Hurry.


Spicy Lentils and Spaghetti Squash
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 onion, diced
  • ½ poblano pepper (or green pepper), diced
  • Heaping ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Crushed red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 5 big cloves garlic 
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
  • Tony’s creole seasoning to taste
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup salsa
  • 2 cups cooked spaghetti squash
  • 1 cup cooked lentils
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup cilantro
  • Siracha to taste
  1. Saute the spices, onion, garlic, ginger, veggies and Tony's for several minutes.
  2. Add water, salsa, squash and lentils. 
  3. Cover and cook over medium hi heat for 15 minutes
  4. Finish with juice of 1 lemon, siracha, cilantro and season with salt/pepper to taste
  5. ENJOY! serves 2

I want to thank everyone for their comments and support on my last post. How I wish that NO ONE related to what I shared...    I am very encouraged to know that many of you have worked hard to overcome this struggle as well....  the private emails were also very much appreciated. 

Today my son is coming to Boston for a visit.  It is raining and cold, but we'll brave the weather and find some fun stuff to do.  We're definitely going out to eat... but I probably won't bring my camera.. but I will be reviewing whatever restaurant we go to!  Tonight we are seeing THIS concert which I expect to be pretty cool! 

Have a great day! 

Monday, October 24, 2011

One Month, Weight and Life Update

A month ago, I moved to Boston!  Time is such a strange thing, because sometimes it seems like I've been here forever and other times it seems like I just got here.

Things are going really well.  I LOVE it here.  Living in the city is a huge change, but a very welcome one.  I don't miss my car at all and the only thing I miss about Portsmouth is my dog.

I just got back from spending the weekend with her and we had a lovely time together.  She's doing great and is totally doted on by her dad (my x-husband).

I've been learning more and more about myself with this move.  I realize that life is too damn short to be stuck doing what I don't love doing!  I have made it my personal mission to create a life that is fulfilling on many levels.  I do have to figure out a way to push myself out of my comfort zone a bit in order to accomplish this though.

I have lost 11 pounds in the past month without really trying. I am obviously walking places because I don't have a car, but mainly, I have been keeping trigger foods out of my home.. and it helps to have a roommate who is aware of my propensity to overeat. Just speaking about it takes away the power, which is really cool.

I have notices how much I feel protected by my weight though.  On several occasions, I have found myself in some not so great areas of town around groups of men and the thought went through my head, "I'm so glad I've overweight right now."  No cat calls, no rude and invasive behaviors....  I felt safe.

I do have a history of sexual abuse and rape which is all tied into the weight gain.  I have not really used this blog as a place for personal purging, but I can't be authentic if I don't share that this is a HUGE (no put intended) part of my weight history.  I know I am not alone either and I REFUSE to carry the shame and fear inside of me for ONE MORE DAY.

I was thinking of how I would feel safe as I lose the weight and I think that I am going to look into some self defense classes...  that would be quite empowering!  I admit, that my dog makes me feel VERY SAFE... she is a Pit Bull and walking down the street with her is like having a huge protection... for every creepy guy who asked, "Does your dog bite?" I answer, "When she needs to."  ... but frankly, she would only ever bite a human if they were trying to hurt one of her people.  She's much more likely to lick you to death and bang in to you with her butt wiggles and tail because she's sooo excited to meet people!

So that's my one month update.  I plan on updating my weight loss progress on the 24th of each month ..

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Heathier Brownies and Banana Soft Serve

I made these brownies the other day when I was craving something sweet...

I haven't tested this totally.. and trust me.. this is NOT a dessert or real brownie.. but it is a healthier alternative for those who want that.  I would NEVER serve this and call it dessert. I also can NOT guarantee results if you are not using KAL stevia powder.. this is the stevia I use. I don't have experience with other types so any questions about them I can't really answer.

Breakfast Brownies:

  • 2 cups barley flour (or gluten free all purpose mix, or oat flour)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 VERY SCANT teaspoon KAL Stevia powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup golden flax meal
  • 1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree (no sugar/spice added)
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup cooked beans of choice (puree these in a food processor with the melted chocolate 
  • 3 squared melted unsweetened chocolate (melt in microwave for 60 seconds, let sit for 1 minute)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Method:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350
  2. In a large mixing bowl add the first 7 ingredients, whisk well
  3. Make a well in the center and add the pumpkin, oil, and the pureed bean/chocolate mixture
  4. Clean out the food processor with the 1 cup water, dump into bowl and add vinegar
  5. Mix until VERY WELL INCORPORATED
  6. Grease a 9 by 13 pan and pour mixture into the pan
  7. Bake for 35 minutes, cool completely before serving. 

Banana Soft Serve Recipes:

http://melomeals.blogspot.com/2010/11/frugan-goodbye-mofo-and-banana-peanut.htmlhttp://melomeals.blogspot.com/2010/11/frugan-goodbye-mofo-and-banana-peanut.html

Clean out the fridge Creole/African Black Eyed Pea and Veggie Stew


I have a lot of catching up to do here.. I've been cooking everyday and writing recipes, but for some reason, not posting here.

I'm settling in nicely to Boston.  I LOVE it.  The deals I've been finding are amazing too!

I made this clean out the fridge veggie and black eyed pea stew the other day that I ate for several days.  The longer it sat, the better it was.

I used what I had on had, but feel free to use the veggies in your fridge.  This was a total fusion dish.. african/creole.. asian?

Clean Out the Fridge Stew
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • pinch cinnamon
  • pinch nutmeg
  • pinch ground cardamom (or 4 cardamom pods)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or better yet, 1 tablespoon fresh, stirred in just before serving)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup minced, fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon Tony's Creole Seasoning or Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 eggplant, diced
  • 1/2  red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 poblano pepper, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 small head savoy cabbage (or regular green cabbage)
  • 1 cup salsa 
  • 2 cups cooked black eyed peas (or other cooked bean)
  • water or broth to keep mixture from sticking (between 1-2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley or cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • freshly ground pepper and soy sauce to taste
Method:
  1. In a heavy bottomed skillet, heat the oil and spices over medium heat; add onions, garlic, and ginger; sprinkle with the Tony's or Old Bay
  2. Add the veggies, salsa and water. Cook for several more minutes, then cover and cook for 15 minutes. 
  3. Finish dish with parsley/cilantro, vinegar and salt/soy sauce. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then check again for seasoning. 
  4. Serve over cooked brown rice, quinoa or millet. 
YUM!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Chickpea Tostadas

I love savory breakfasts and yesterday I enjoyed these spicy Chickpea Tostadas.  They came together in about 20 minutes.  First, I popped the corn tortillas in the toaster over to crisp up while I prepared the filling.
Chipotle Chickpeas:
  • 1 t olive oil
  • 1/4 t cumin seeds
  • 1/2 t coriander
  • 1-2 teaspoons chipotle powder or smoked paprika if you don't like heat, start with 1 and taste
  • slight pinch cinnamon
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas 
  • 1/4 c salsa
  • 1 T cilantro chutney
  1. Saute onion and garlic with the spices for 10 minutes
  2. Add chickpeas, salsa and chutney, heat through
See how easy that is?  You can make a big batch and freeze by tripling the recipe..  I topped the tortilla with the last of my Smoky White Bean Spread , shredded Savoy Cabbage , Arugula and Pico...  so yummy! 

I hit up Haymarket which is an open air produce market in Boston knows for its deals and wow, I was impressed. I am going to do an entire post about it, but to give you an idea of the bargains... I got a HUGE bag (3 lbs) of baby arugula for $3, all of the bananas you see for $1 and the garlic for $1

I am eating BETTER in Boston which is going to be yet another post!  

Tomorrow, I am meeting with the founder of Fair Foods! I am really excited about what could potentially evolve... a big part of the reason I wanted to move to Boston was to get involved in Food rescue and bringing access and education to those in food deserts...  

Friday, October 14, 2011

Simple Black Bean Chili


The other day I cooked up a pound of dry black beans and have been using them in various ways..  burgers of course, but also Breakfast Brownies (recipe coming tomorrow).   I had around 2 cups of beans leftover this morning, so I made a batch of simple Black Bean Chili.  Last week, I made salsa, which I used in this recipe, but feel free to use jarred salsa if that is what you have on hand. (But make my salsa just once because it is really good!).  I also used my Cilantro Chutney to add a zing to the chili, but you can just use lime juice or even apple cider vinegar in a pinch.   I have to thank one of my facebook peeps (I don't remember who it was) who gave me the idea to use oats in chili!  She tried making my 3 Ingredient Veggie Burgers, but for some reason they didn't hold together, so she made soup out of them and said it was really good!  The oats add great texture and a silky mouthfeel to the soup.

Simple Black Bean Chili
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 heaping tablespoon chili powder
1 onion, chopped
1 small stalk celery, diced
1 large carrots, chopped
½ teaspoon Tony’s Creole Seasoning or salt
1 medium potato, chopped
2 cups cooked black beans (if your beans are salted, add less Tony’s/salt)
½ cup salsa
½ cup rolled oats
4 cups water (plus more if needed)
½ cup cilantro
Dash liquid smoke
1 tablespoon cilantro chutney
Pico (fresh tomato, red onion, cilantro, lime juice and a pinch of salt)

Some of my favorite flavors! I added some crushed red pepper flakes too. 
I ate it for breakfast and lunch. Yum! 
Do you enjoy savory breakfasts?
I do! this was another bfast.. black beans, salsa, hickory smoked bean spread, collards and avocado!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Restaurant Review: Lucy Ethiopian Cafe 334 Mass Ave , Boston, MA


So it's my first Boston Restaurant Review!  Just a disclaimer, the money I spend eating out does not come from my $3.33 a day budget.

So, I pretty much live around the corner from this restaurant.  I noticed it several weeks ago and was super excited to give it a try.  I went in last night and to see if they had any vegan options and imagine my delight when he handed me the take out menu! (Pic ^)
I wish I could remember this name of this man... I think he's the owner...  anyway, he was very nice and we chatted a bit about the food and I asked if I could take pictures.  I didn't get dinner last night, but told him I'd be back today for lunch.
Lucy's Ethiopian Cafe has is full of great art and other things to look at.  I spent some time just walking around and enjoying everything.  I met a lovely woman named Meaza who chatted with me about her culture and the food.  She even let me take her pic! 

Now of course, I'm sure you're wondering...  

What about the food?

I elected to get take out and got the Addis Combo which consisted of Miser Wot, Kik Aletcha and Spinach.  I told them I like things extra spicy, so they gave me some extra sauce.  I came home, plated it up began eating. 

The Injera was really really good on it's own and the portion was very generous.  I was impressed by the quality of all of the food.  I could tell the spilt peas were much fresher than the split peas I buy at the grocery store (in reality, I would love to know where they buy their legumes!)..    I would have liked much more spice in the peas, but as you guys know, I am obsessed with spice... and heat.  Fortunately, the extra sauce they gave mixed in perfectly with the dishes and was full of amazing flavor!  I LOVED it.  The spinach was really fresh too.. and lightly seasoned... but again, the extra sauce really made the dish.  The Miser Wot was seasoned really well (but of course, I added more of the sauce)...   

The dish was $8.99 plus tax.  With tip, it came to around $12.00 which I felt was a fair price.  

I will DEFINITELY be eating here again.. (and frankly, I will have to exercise some self control since it is so close to my apartment!)...  if you go and you love spice, make sure you ask for extra sauce!  

I'm not the only one impressed...  they've been written up numerous times and have great reviews on Yelp too! 

Good food.
Good People.
Cool Art. 
Vegan Options. 

If you're in the Boston area, definitely hit up Lucy Ethiopian Cafe! It's located at 334 Massachusetts Ave. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

New Commenting System, Cilantro Chutney and More Fair Foods!


First of all, thank you all so much for the great comments/tips/suggestions/support in yesterday's post when I talked a bit more about overeating.  I really appreciate all of the comments! In fact, I finally have bit the bullet and installed a new commenting system, so I can easily reply to your comments.  I never quite know where to reply, back at your blogs or under the comments?  Some of you don't have blogs, so I figure this will be a great way to keep everything streamlined.

Keeping trigger foods out of the house is the number one way I have been able to keep things under control, especially here in Boston since I have to walk to get all of my groceries!  Last night, I was really craving pizza and sugar and crap... but I finished off my 3 Ingredient Veggie Burgers and felt wonderful satisfied!  It also helps that my roomie and I are on the same page about eating and getting healthy!  Having her support means a lot to me.

I realized something very powerful that I am going to share in a post tomorrow yesterday while walking to pick up my wonderful $2 a bag produce from Fair Foods... and speaking of Fair Foods, here is what I got in my $2 bag yesterday!  I was really thrilled with the cilantro, but it needed to be used immediately so I made a fast chutney/sauce to preserve it which will keep very well for the next two weeks!

I added some of this sauce to my burgers and wowza!.. so good! I will also be using it this week in a 20 Minute Chana Masala which I will be blogging about soon. 

Cilantro Chutney
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 habanero pepper (or jalapeno for milder heat)
  • 1 large onion, rough chop
  • 4 cups packed cilantro (washed very well)
  • ½ teaspoon toasted cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon roasted coriander powder
  • 1 tablespoon Tony’s Creole Seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
Method:
Process garlic in food processor first so it is very broken up, and then add the rest of the ingredients (except the oil) and pulse until very well combines.   Place in a glass container and add the oil. Stir and refrigerate.

It's a beautiful day here.. I'm going to head out soon and bring my camera with me and take a long way to work this afternoon.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sushi Roll Up & More about compulsive overeating

I've been craving Sushi for the last 3 weeks, but have been too lazy to make it.  I'm not sure why, since it really doesn't take a lot of effort...?

I decided to make a super yummy Sushi Wrap instead for lunch yesterday and I'm so glad I did.  I used the last of the daikon and spiralized it into noodles, chopped up some carrots and made a quick Tofu Salad to stuff inside with baby collards and avocado.  So so good!  It totally hit all of the flavor notes I was craving and filled me right up without being too heavy.  I love using Nori in place of bread.  Here's the recipe I used for the tofu salad:

Tofu Salad 
  • 4 ounces extra firm tofu, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon vegan mayo (I used my hickory smoked white bean spread, recipe coming the next time I make it) 
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • 1 big clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • siracha to taste 
  • 1 tablespoon chopped celery
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger
  • soy sauce or braggs to taste
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • Wasabi to taste
  • splash apple cider vinegar
To build the wrap, I placed the greens on the bottom, then the daikon, tofu salad, avocado and cilantro and wrapped it up.   For a Raw version, you could use either my Sprouted Lentil and Sunflower Pate or my Eggless Egg Salad.  

Simple. Delicious.Healthy. 

I am finding it MUCH easier to moderate my eating here.  Having a roommate helps... because I have told her about my issues with Compulsive Overeating.  I think sharing honestly with people is a HUGE step in overcoming this.  I find it MUCH harder to control myself when I go up to Portsmouth.. and when I stay in my X's house.  This is the house I used to live in and I think I immediately go back to feeling like I did when I felt trapped in an unhappy marriage.  I am learning a lot about myself with this move and so far am really really happy I took the chance to change my life! .. and just look at the Sunrise I get to see every single morning! 



For those of you who have issue with overeating, what do you find helps you the most? 

Monday, October 10, 2011

My kids favorite meal!

So my son Andrew has been in Alaska for almost 6 months and he came home Saturday morning!

Andrew turned 20 last month and the last 6 months have been really difficult for me having him so far away, but he's home now and I'm soo thrilled!  My son Turin also came home from college for the weekend and I went back up to Portsmouth to stay with them (and my dog).  I am really really grateful that my X-husband Mark is so gracious with his home and that his girlfriend, Allison is so understanding and supportive with me spending time at the house.  It is a definite win win situation for all of us! (and allows me to be with my dog as well!)..

My kids requested their favorite meal which they named "The Good Stir Fry" way back when they were 6 and 7.  Back when we lived in Iowa, we used to go to a Thai restaurant and get this potato and green bean coconut curry. When we moved to NH, I was craving it, so I set out to make it and the first time I did, since I served it over rice (and my kids called everything served over rice a Stir Fry) my kids kept saying, "This is such a good stir fry mom." and from then on, they would ask for it by the name The Good Stir Fry.  It's funny because I have posted this recipe several times in the blog, but I don't think anyone has yet to make it.. and it is literally sooooo delicious.  It is a forgiving recipe and you can use whatever veggies you have on hand.  My kids favorite are potatoes, green beans and broccoli.  I used green beans, cauliflower and potatoes in this version.  You can also use sweet potatoes in place of regular potatoes.  I have use kale and collards too.. it's all good!  If you make this, don't be afraid to season WELL with the soy sauce and siracha! ...  You can also reduce the amount of ginger because 1/4 cup is a lot, but that's how we like it in our house... but maybe start with 2 tablespoons for regular people.

The Good Stir Fry
  • 1 T coconut or toasted sesame oil oil
  • 1 t cumin seeds
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 2 t ground coriander
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 10 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1/4 cup freshly diced or grated ginger root
  • pinch salt/pepper
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
  • 2 c chopped waxy potatoes ( around 2 )
  • 1 lb green beans, broccoli, or other veggie of choice 
  • 1 cup coconut milk mixed with 1 cup of hot water
  • 14 oz extra firm tofu, dry fried 
  • 1-2 c veggie stock or water
  • Soy sauce to taste
  • Siracha to taste
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • Optional: 2 Kafir lime leaves 1 T lemongrass
Method

  1. Dry Fry Tofu ( and do the rest of the prep while you are doing this )
  2. Heat a heavy bottomed 4 qt pot to medium heat, add oil and spices; toast for a minute
  3. Add onion, garlic, ginger, salt and pepper. Saute for 10 minutes
  4. De-glaze with vinegar
  5. Add potatoes, coconut milk , tofu and stock.
  6. Bring to a strong simmer. Cover and let cook until the potatoes are done, around 30 minutes, then add the veggies of choice, cover and cook for 10 more minutes
  7. Season with Soy sauce, Siracha, Lime juice and Cilantro. If you are using the lemongrass and lime leaf, add to the onion mixture in the beginning. 
  8. Taste and adjust seasoning, serve over rice
You can also substitute your favorite legumes, seitan, or tempeh for the tofu if desired.  I've made a similar batch of food with kidney beans with GREAT results

We had a small family get together last night for Andrew.  Both my kids play guitar, so they jammed together and it was a great night. 
Andrew's bday was in Sept, so my X MIL made her famous family bday cake for him..  (I didn't have my tripod with me and it was dark for many of these pics hence the blur and bad lighting!)...  





Friday, October 07, 2011

Simple Sugar, Wheat and Soy Free Carrot Breakfast Bread & Whole Foods Groceries

As I'm settling into my new kitchen, I am slowly starting to build my staples again and one of my favorite things to have on hand is what I refer to as Breakfast Breads.  I got a bunch of carrots from Fair Foods and I had white beans on hand, so I created a super simple version of one of my favorite recipes.

Normally, I would use Bob's Red Mill baking mix and even though I do have some, I am saving it for pizza crust!  Last week I bought some Old Fashioned Oats at Trader Joes, so I figured I'd just make oat flour from it and use that in place of the baking mix.  It worked perfectly!

I used pressure cooked white beans in their liquid, but you could just open a 15 oz can of beans and use that with the liquid they come in.  Just make sure to omit the salt if your canned beans contain salt.

You could also sub lentils, chickpeas or any other cooked legume for the white beans.  This is a super forgiving recipe, but do make sure to let it cool completely before eating or it will be mushy and the stevia taste is strong at first. It changes completely after it is cool.

Carrot Ginger Breakfast Bread

  • 2 cups old fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon Kal Stevia Powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom
  • Pinch salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons fresh ginger
  • ¾ cup dried unsweetened coconut
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1.5 cups white beans and their liquid
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons psyllium husk
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
Pre-heat Oven to 375
1.       In a food processor, process oats into flour; place in mixing bowl with the rest of the dry ingredients.
2.       Next, pulse the ginger and carrots in the food processor until really broken up
3.       Add the beans, water, psyllium, oil and vinegar and puree until smooth
4.       Add to the dry ingredients
5.       Grease an 8 by 8 square pan and bake at 375 for 45 minutes.
6.       Let cool completely before serving

I had about a cup of white beans left, so I made a really delicious Smoky White Bean Dijon Ailoi Sauce/Spread.  I should have written it down, but I didn't...  I will the next time and share it here because this one's a keeper!  It was delicious on burgers made from my leftover split pea soup.


Finally, I spent even more money on food yesterday at Whole Foods, but I am replacing some staples and splurging a bit.. (just look at the $5 on avocados!)  I'm still determined to stick to my $3.33 a day thing, and I do have a the beginnings of a pantry being built.  I'm making some salsa when I'm done here.

Here's the Whole Foods List:
  • Apples $5.70
  • 2 28 oz cans diced tomatoes @ 1.69 each
  • organic cilantro 1.69
  • habaneros .24
  • organic ketchup 1.99
  • bag refund= -.05
Total= $12.95 

Total spent this month: $46.29  

Can I do it?  I think I can! 

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Trader Joes Haul and Yummy Sandwich


I was short on time for lunch today and ran in the door to make this delicious Tofu Salad Sandwich.. basically, I used THIS recipe, but sub'd tofu for the chickpeas.  I love it both ways.  If you are looking to kick your sandwich up a notch, then definitely try give this a try! 

I used Ezekial bread, organic baby collards, tomato and my super simple white bean mayo (based on this recipe, just leave out the lecithin and water for a super cheap and yummy soy free mayo... I am going to be making more tomorrow, so I'll post the revamped recipe in the next couple of days!)

So, I TOTALLY splurged today at Trader Joes (it's only a half mile walk from my apt!).. I think that thanks to Fair Foods , I will still be able to manage my $3.33 a day this month even though I have already spent $33.34 at Trader Joes and $2 yesterday ...

Here's what I got at Trader Joes:

  • Corn Tortillas 1.49
  • Ezekial Bread 3.99
  • 2 jars marinara sauce @ 1.99 each (I was going to make my own, but canned tomatoes are really expensive in Boston, so it was cheaper to buy the sauce)
  • 2 lbs frozen organic broccoli @ 2.49 each 
  • Pickles 2.29
  • 3 packages extra firm tofu @ 1.79 each 
  • 4 organic avocados 4.99
  • garlic 1.29
  • ginger 1.39
  • 2 limes @ .29 each 
Total: $33.34

This getting used to sharing a TINY kitchen with a room mate has been interesting... and challenging.. I am starting to change how I'm doing things a bit and I'll be interested to see how I morph a new system.  I am still cooking beans and utilizing the freezer, but on a VERY small scale compared to how I used to.  

Yesterday morning I made a big pot of Split Pea Soup (based on this recipe ) and I have been enjoying that.  This morning, I added some baby collards and a tablespoon of quinoa to it while it was re-heating and had it for breakfast. 

All in all, life is good.  I am starting to figure out a small routine and am getting used to things.  

My son Andrew is coming home on Saturday from Alasaka!.. I haven't seen him for over 5 months, so I am VERY VERY excited!  My younger son is coming home from college for the weekend and I'll be up in Portsmouth on Saturday with them....   I can't wait to have both of my kids and dog in the same room. That is bliss.