Monday, December 12, 2011

Meal Plan Monday....oh look shiny stuff!

Who else is kind of overwhelmed with the holidays this year? We have so much fun stuff going on, you probably won't see too much of me until January, I just keep getting distracted. The next few weeks are going to be dedicated to pantry meals, clearing out the fridge, and keeping it cheap. In short.....lots of beans, pasta, and rice. Here is a little of what I've got planned in no particular order....

Cabbage curry, curried lentil dip, toasted pitas and brown rice

Pita pizzas and steamed veggies

Apple soup and the best ever skillet jalapeno cornbread

Spaghetti and a warm spinach salad

Pupusas and refried beans

Stuffed shells

Battered n' baked chickpeas with rice

Chickpea pot pie

Wild rice stuffed portabella mushrooms

Throw in some leftover nights and a few Christmas parties, and there's are menu up until Christmas. I still have not figured out the Christmas menu though....I'm really slacking. What are you making for the holidays?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Meal Plan Monday:Operation get rid of those holiday lbs....oops

Did you know that I'm a naturally thin person? *snickergigglesnort** Ok, so that's not true at all.

I've fought long and hard to keep myself in a healthy weight range. The only things I drink on a daily basis are coffee, water, and tea. I don't eat second helpings, and I try to fill my plate with mostly veggies. When I lose weight nowadays it usually averages out to about a 1/4lb loss per week....that doesn't even register on some scales. Pretty discouraging, especially when a lot of my friends post-partum pounds just "melt off ". That's why I say 'fight', it's an on going battle with myself because even though I eat whole, healthy foods for the most part I have my weaknesses.....still....after eight years of deciding to eat healthy, sometimes I slip.

The battle is much easier than it was at first, I don't ever crave fast food, or processed box meals, or pop. In fact, when I'm on the road I get pretty antsy for fresh fruit and veg. However, I do find myself longing for foods that I really should limit, like fried corn tortillas, big heaping bowls of pasta, and sweets. And there are all sorts of foods I just downright should-not-eat! For example, potatoes.


Guess what I had a lot of this past week?



Did you guess potatoes?



Very good. Let us try another.



Guess who gained 4lbs this week?


So......today is a new day, and this week is all about filling my body with lots of good foods that will be much kinder on my system than last weeks menu.


Monday- Red beans and rice with leafy greens and steamed veggies

Tuesday- Tortilla soup (soups are fabulous because they can be low calorie, and yet doctored up with toppings and biscuits for my kiddos who need the extra energy)

Wednesday- leftovers! As well as some jalapeno cornbread

Thursday- More soup, I haven't decided what kind

Friday- Pupusas and fajitas made with whatever veggies I have lying around

Saturday-Pizza and steamed veggies, maybe some sort of chickpea salad this dinner will be served on a picnic blanket in front of the tree for night feast so there will probably be other picnic goodies involved, I just don't know what yet.

Sunday...I don't remember....I'm currently typing this while seated on my couch, there is a little boy halfway onto my lap who crawled up here a good hour ago, asked to cuddle, and promptly fell asleep. My original meal plan is entered into my phone....which is somewhere....Due to the cuteness factor of aforementioned toddler, I'll not be getting up to retrieve it.

Well now that you know a little more about me I'd love to hear about you!


Have you ever felt like you are battling yourself to get healthy? Who wins.....live to 110 self...or I want another handful of chocolate chips and peanut butter self? Do you get right back up on the wagon? Any tricks to coax chocolate chip lady on up there?

I like to write lists, so when I'm lacking motivation I think of all the reasons I should be good to my body. Watching my kids grow, having more energy, less back pain, and sleeping better at night are great motivators. Even when the numbers on the scale don't budge.


Other Meal Plan Mondays:







**I do in fact snort when I giggle. Truth.



Monday, November 21, 2011

Meal Plan Monday: Operation clear out the fridge!

This week will be full of eating, traveling, packing, unpacking, family and fun. What it will not be full of is cooking. I'm actually very excited. This will be my second year traveling up to Indiana to spend Thanksgiving with my sister and her family. I'm going to bring some pumpkin pie filling that I have already made and frozen (I'll make the crust and bake the pie up there), and some cookie dough truffles. I'll also be bringing a bunch of our favorite pantry foods and snacks. So most of this week I'll be trying to clear out the fridge, that's about as exciting as it gets I'm afraid.

What are you making this week? Are you hosting or traveling? Do you have a meal plan up on your blog?


As always I'd like to extend an invitation to the other meal planners out there. If you do a vegetarian meal plan Monday and would like my blog to link back to yours please let me know! The more the merrier! I'd love to have a long list here of vegetarian meal plans for people to peruse....I just love that word...don't you? Peeeeruuuuse....In addition, I also really love to peruse things...It's a word, and an action that I genuinely like.

ok...

I'll stop now.

Sorry for wasting your time.



More meal plans from blog land

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Meal Plan....Tuesday

It's Tuesday, but it totally feels like a Monday so that is how I'm justifying this being late. :) This morning I didn't have my baby carrier so I had to hobble a long carrying a baby, pushing a stroller and managing a five year old who likes to play hide and seek on walks. It made me really appreciate my baby carrier, especially when my two year old decided he wanted to get out of the stroller and fell into a large pile of duck poop. When we got home my potty trained though poor at aiming two year old managed to pee on almost every surface of the bathroom, including himself. We also got some super bad news today. Definitely feels more like a Monday than a Tuesday. However, there is one way that this is incredibly, fantastically, above and beyond better than a Monday....Tuesday means Mexican food night, and that pretty much cures all manner of minor aggravations.


Monday: We had spicy eggplant unmeatballs. They were fabulous.

Tuesday: Taquitos

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday: Tortilla soup

Friday: Indian spiced sweet potatoes and peas, pitas, curries broccoli and basil, and lentil dip

Saturday: Leftovers/pumpkin pie

Sunday: Cornbread and sourdough stuffing, and a field roast of some sort




Other vegetarian meal plans

Monday, November 7, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

Last week didn't go exactly as planned. I ended up getting sick, and not having lentils...those two things really have nothing much to do with each other. However, when I was supposed to be making lentil croquettes I ended up making curried pea patties instead, and when I was supposed to make stuffed jumbo shells I ended up whining and groaning like a pathetic little wimp on the couch until my husband picked up takeaway. That in mind I'm still not at my best, let's all just pretend like I wrote something witty and informative here ------------->



aaaand pause for laughter/critical thinking







Monday: Leftovers, if I have time I'll work on taquitos

Tuesday: Taquitos

Wednesday: Chickpea pot pie

Thursday: Pasta bake

Friday: Leftovers

Saturday: Soup and rolls

Sunday: I don't know.......honestly.....my head hurts /whimper *aaaachooo*




Other Meal Plan Mondays

Monday, October 31, 2011

Meal plan Monday

Well last week was a success, I stuck to the meal plan and everything went pretty well. The froggie face pizzas were a hit! My son insisted on giving his pizza a mask so that he could be a super frog (not pictured), and it looked not unlike a certain group of martial art using young adult turtles that I remember fondly from my youth. Perhaps when they are old enough to watch said show I'll make these again. Along with the food listed in last weeks meal plan I also made time to make a caramel apple spice cake, and two batches of empanadas which are now in my freezer....minus the one I had to test.....to make sure they would be suitable to eat. ;)

Alright...so on to this weeks vegetarian meal plan. I had some super fancy stuff planned out for this week, but then I realized that the holidays are fast approaching and I'd rather put money into our holiday meal, also there's all sorts of fun goodies to be baked around this time of year and I know that if I have a simple meal plan it will enable me to have time for that.

Monday- Leftovers!!! Leftover chili, cornbread casserole and broccoli. I might make some rice too.

Tuesday- Empanadas or tacos, I haven't decided yet, and succotash on the side.

Wednesday- Lentil croquettes and a spicy tomato dipping sauce. Maybe some roasted root veggies if I have time.

Thursday- leftovers if we have a bunch....oooor...kids eat free night at Earth Fare (I'm not so secretly secretly hoping we run out of leftovers and get to go to Earth Fare, I know the kids are too). Make chickpeas

Friday- Falafel Friday! Falafel in a pita pocket with leafy greens chopped cucumber and a spicy sauce.

Saturday- Pumpkin stuffed jumbo shells with a creamy sun dried tomato sauce. I'm making a double batch to freeze. (Soak black beans)

Sunday- For lunch white bean sandwiches with sun dried tomato aioli, and for dinner black bean taquitos with a creamy tamatillo dipping sauce.



Other vegetarian meal plans in blog land



Monday, October 24, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

Are you the type of person who falls off of a horse and gets back up again? I'm the type of person who falls off of a horse, and realizes I've lost my keys. I will go look for my keys and on the way maybe notice some flowers. The flowers may be purple, this will remind me of a friend who I would love to have coffee with...mmmm....coffee....must go make some coffee.....

wait....

what horse?

By this point it is eleven o' clock at night and I have neither the time nor the energy to ride horses. So I shall leave it to another day.

In this scenario the horse represents being organized, the friend is Lilac Barries, and the coffee is coffee. We are in the process of (trying to) selling our house and in the midst of projects, and decluttering I've forgotten my meal planning and list making. It's been kind of disastrous. Well that's where you come in Blogland*. I'm going to start putting my vegetarian meal plans on the web for the world to see. I'm hoping this will keep me accountable to start actually making weekly meal plans again. I also truly hope this will inspire others to make their own meal plans. Or supposing you are just starting out down the vegetarian road, I hope this helps you to get an idea of what I eat on a weekly basis (hint...it's rarely salad!)

If you have your own vegetarian meal plan up at your blog feel free to leave a link in the comment section. If I have time I'll start putting links in the actual blog itself. I'd love for people to be able to come to this site and look over lots of ideas for a typical week in the life of a vegetarian or vegan. If you don't have a blog you could also leave your meal plan in the comments section, or maybe just one or two ideas you have for the week. I'm excited about this....so let's get started!


Monday
Chickpeas and veggies in a spicy tomato and onion gravy served with rice and pitas

Tuesday
Fajitas in the crock pot? I don't know how this one will work out, but I've got a class that night so I need a crock pot recipe to keep me from going loco.

Wednesday
Beans, apple wasabi slaw, and rice

Thursday
Leftovers...yay

Friday
Froggie face pita pizzas (if these work I'll post pictures) and pumpkin rice balls

Saturday
Soup, pumpkin pull apart rolls, and roasted potatoes

Sunday
Chili and cornbread casserole


Other vegetarian meal plans:























*Yes we are still in the midst of one of my delusions......errr...scenarios, in it I am the Empress of Blogland and I get to wear a pretty pretty dress.



Sunday, October 16, 2011

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Pretzel Chocolate Chunk Cookies


Mmmmhhhmmmm.....That's what I said.

Up until a couple of weeks ago I was eating pretzels outside of my cookies like an idiot. What was I thinking? Now I'm eating pretzels in my cookies and it has literaly been life changing. They add just the right amount of crunch, salt, and solve the ever difficult problem of trying to decide between a sweet or a salty snack.

Now......I have to make a confession, the title is a lie. I made these with sun butter not peanut butter. I did use a peanut butter oatmeal cookie recipe for reference, but being a nut free household I substituted with sun butter. The chocolate chunks were from Enjoy Life, and I must say it was nice to have a chunk of chocolate that I didn't have to chop off of a candy bar. It made the process much easier.

All I did was take the peanut butter oatmeal cookie recipe from "Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar" and add one cup of chocolate chunks, and two cups of broken pretzel pieces. Please don't spend another day restricting your pretzel eating to a sometimes snack. Pretzels want to be loved, they want to be liberated, they want to be in cookies.....ok, perhaps that's a bit overboard.....but you really have no idea how seriously I take cookies. It's one of my things that I do a lot...eat cookies, and take them seriously that is. And if you want to be a cookie serious taker person too (blarg with the English language and the writing bad and such) I highly suggest you check out this book. We all know how incredibly bad I can be at baking when left to my own devices, but Isa and Terry's books have given me confidence and the ability to troubleshoot when I'm baking. And people aren't scared anymore when I say, "I've made cookies!". I leave them wondering not what I left out of my baked goods, but what I've put into them.





Sunday, October 9, 2011

Slow Cooker Sweetpeatato Chipotle Soup


I'm kind of shocked I haven't posted this yet, it's a super easy vegetarian crockpot recipe that I've made 3 or 4 times since baby sparkles made her grand entrance. Not only is it easy to make but it freezes well too and contains some of my favorite things sweet potatoes, chipotle chilis, and cilantro.


What you need

1 1lb bag of dried peas
2 onions peeled and diced
2-3 sweet potatoes peeled and diced
2 bay leaves
1 tsp turmeric
1 1/2-2tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2-1 cup cilantro washed well
1/2-1 chipotle chili in adobo with seeds removed
6 cups of water
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp sugar or honey
1 can of coconut milk

What to do
Rinse and drain the peas and add them to the crockpot along with everything EXCEPT the tsp of lemon juice and the tsp of sugar. Cook on low for 4-6 hours until everything is mushy. Add the lemon juice, sugar, coconut milk and more salt to taste. Remove the bay leaves. If desired, let cool and puree in a food processor. My kids would not eat this lumpy, but happily gobbled it up after it had been pureed and served alongside rice.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Citrus Ginger Winter Squash with Green Curry Sauce


This post is for Grace over at Going Green. I've come away from this past year and a half of blogging with a lot of things. But the best thing by far has been the friendship with other blogging friends. A while back Grace asked me for a recipe for green curry, but then I got pregnant......and then I moved....twice....then I had a baby. It's been kind of a crazy year, and Grace has been more than patient. This recipe went over very well with my husband and I hope it was worth the wait.

For this recipe I marinated (read lots o' prep time) acorn squash in a zesty marinade of citrus, soy, and ginger and pan fried it (mostly because it's too hot to roast). Then I used the leftover marinade to make a creamy sauce. I bet pumpkin could be used to replace the acorn squash, and you could always toss in a protein such as tofu or tempeh but you might need to double the marinade. I served this over rice.


What you need:

1 acorn squash
3tbs soy sauce
3tbs oil divided
1tbs orange juice
1tbs plus 1tsp lemon juice divided
2tbs plus 1tsp brown sugar
3tsp minced ginger divided
1/4tsp-1/2tsp red pepper flakes
2 cloves of crushed garlic
3 heaping tsp green curry paste (more to taste)
1 can coconut milk
3tbs chopped cilantro
3tbs chopped basil
salt to taste

Cut the acorn squash in half and scoop out all the seeds and goopy stuff. Then carefully slice the squash.

In a large ziplock bag combine 2tbs oil, 3tbs soy sauce, 2tsp minced ginger, 1tbs orange juice, 1tbs lemon juice, 2 tbs brown sugar, and red pepper flakes. Squish the bag around a little to mix the marinade. Add the acorn squash, seal tightly and refrigerate for 2 or more hours.

After two hours take the squash out of the fridge. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. After getting the pan nice and hot lower the heat to a little below medium and add the squash plus four tablespoons of the marinade and 1tsp of ginger. DO NOT THROW OUT THE REMAINING MARINADE. You will be using that in the sauce. :) The squash is going to spit and sputter and possibly steam, and that's ok. You want all the sugars to start caramelizing, just don't burn it to a crisp. I cooked my squash for about 25 minutes. Ten minutes, then I flipped the squash, then ten minutes on the other side, then a final five minutes covered.

Turn off the burner and remove the squash and set it aside in a covered dish taking care to leave any liquid in the pan (we're about to get all fancy up in here).

Now we are going to deglaze the pan......mmhhmmm you heard what I said...someones been watching food network, and that someone is me. Add the rest of the marinade to the pan and heat over medium heat for a few minutes or until all the wonderful caramelized bits of goodness come off of the bottom of the pan.

Now add the curry paste, 1tsp sugar, 2 cloves of garlic and cook stirring frequently for two minutes.

Add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Simmer for ten minutes and stir in the basil and cilantro.

Remove from heat and add the last 1tsp of lemon juice and salt to taste (I added about 1/4tsp).

You have two options here, you can peel the acorn squash and plate it up that way spooning the sauce over the squash. Or you can do the pretty (ehem jerky) thing that I did and plate it all up with the peel on. Very aesthetically pleasing, but it forces those you are cooking for to peel the squash on their own.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sweet n' Spicy Chili with Blackened Onions


My husband says this is the best chili ever. Not the best vegan chili, or the best soy free chili,
but the...
best...
chili.......

...ever


My two year old says, "Mama can I has some more chiwi please." (He's unbearably cute and loves his chili). My daughter says, "can I just have beans and rice"......she's not a chili fan. I don't know about best chili ever, but this is a darn good recipe and you can certainly add (or subtract) things to adjust to your personal tastes. It's also easy to make, vegan, and soy free (check your ingredients carefully), and I've fed it to carnivores with good results. I topped mine with avocado, crushed tortilla chips, and cilantro, and I really wish I'd snapped a picture beforehand because it is a lovely chili. I guess you'll just have to make it to find out for yourself. :)

What you'll need

1tbs oil
2 onions sliced
3 cups cooked (seasoned to your liking) black beans
1 28oz can of baked beans
1/2 cup soy free BBQ sauce
2tbs plus 1tsp chili powder (divided)
1/4 tsp salt plus more to taste (optional)
cayenne, jalapenos, or other spices to taste

Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add the onions 1/4tsp of salt and 1tsp of the chili powder. Cook for 10-20 minutes stirring occasionally until desired doneness. I like them almost burnt, but you could lower the heat and go for a more caramelized (browning) effect. Now add the onions to a large pot and stir in the rest of the ingredients. Heat through. It's that simple. Add whatever toppings you like.



What are your favorite chili toppings?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Kind of a Jerk Tacos: Spiced Sweet Potatoes, Black Beans, and Jerk Sauce


Because I didn't have all the ingredients that normally go into a jerk sauce these are only "kind of a jerk" tacos. Grilled sweet potatoes, seasoned black beans, jerk sauce and lettuce tossed with some chopped up cilantro and a little lime juice* make up these tacos. Feel free to add avocados, onions, cheese or cheeze and to replace the lettuce with slaw if you're feeling really ambitious.

This dish was inspired by a trip to Taco Mamacita on a recent vacation. Their taco uses fried plantains, a mango salsa, and flour tortillas and was delicious. I prefer the crunch and lighter flavor that corn tortillas bring to the dish. I've also omitted the mango salsa because I am not a chef in a restaurant, I'm a mom of three and have to fit all my dinner prep in between things like nursing babies and cleaning poop off of the walls (don't ask).......
oookay then....

All good and hungry? Let's start on that recipe.

This is actually pretty easy to make if you already have seasoned black beans in your freezer like I do. If not, then I think you could heat up a can with some garlic, cumin and chili powder and get a similar effect. Long term though I really think everyone should have some seasoned black beans in their freezer, they are great for so many things, nachos, soups, tacos, black bean burgers. This recipe could be further simplified by using premade taco shells. Garden of Eatin' is a good brand for taco shells. :)

What you need:
Seasoned black beans (about 2 cups)
jerk sauce (I had no rum and baby sparkles doesn't like it when I eat chili so I omitted those and still had a yummy sauce)
Taco shells (I made my own out of corn tortillas)
2 cups chopped lettuce tossed with 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro and lime juice to taste
3 large peeled and sliced sweet potatoes
1tbs olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
dash of cayenne
Large Ziplock freezer bag

Add the olive oil and spices to a large Ziplock bag and add the sweet potatoes. Close and shake until sweet potatoes are evenly coated with spices. Grill (or pan fry..mmmmm) until cooked throughout, flipping once. Take care when adding sweet potatoes to the grill to not inhale the spices like someone I know who shall remain nameless (**cough**) . Assemble the tacos as desired.

The hubster and I ate these with the works, I omitted the jerk sauce for the kids. These were the best dang vegan tacos I've ever made. They hit all the right notes for me, the crunch of the shells the sweet spicy contrast of the sweet potatoes and the jerk sauce. Definitely a winner.


*Big thanks to my friend Kelli who suggested adding cilantro and lime to the taco lettuce, it really gives it a pop.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Vegetarian Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is a big deal in our house. Any occasion that permits me to eat Mexican food is a big deal, so Cinco de Mayo, Tuesdays, and every third Sunday or so rank pretty high on my list of good days.

Originally I was to be spending tomorrow evening at an appreciation dinner. Due to sick contagious kiddos I will instead be spending tomorrow night at home, much to my husbands delight. Unfortunately I had nothing planned out, but a plethera of old recipes to choose from, so I think we will be ok.

Vegetarian or vegan burritos

Oh my! I almost forgot about this dish, it was so tasty! I can't believe I haven't made it since.

These are so simple it's ridiculous, even my super A.D.D sleep deprived self can make them.

These are very tasty, and another great taco for hot days. Great for avocado lovers, and well received by those who have tried them.

After having some fajitas in California with just a hint of tequila in them I couldn't resist but try them out on my own. You could most certainly omit this ingredient if you like.

This enchilada sauce is super simple and (check your ingredients) gluten and soy free! Winning! You could use it as a substitute for any enchilada recipe you like.

Looking at this I am thinking I will be making ALL of these in my near future....perhaps I shouldn't blog while hungry.

Other ideas....
Nachos - This is another really simple idea, use beans you've made or if you must use canned check out Amy's brand organic refried beans. Let family members add their favorite toppings, jalapeƱos, avocados, olives, diced onion, grilled veggies....you get the idea. You can make it as simple or elaborate as you like.

Seven layer bean dip....or seven layer bean dip casserole Once again, you can totally customize this to suit your families needs.

Tamales! If you have access to tamales go for it. Be they from your freezer, your favorite restaurant, or your local farmers market (If this is the case I don't wan to hear about it, I'm so jealous you don't even know). Serve with beans and rice.


...No fooling.....I seriously just took a break to make some chips and dip....alright...I'm settled again...

Mexican "pizza"
You can easily make your own Mexican pizza in the toaster oven. Brush a corn tortilla with olive oil and toast until crispy. Add toppings such as refried beans, salsa, cheeze, cheese, and olives. Heat again until warmed through. Add more toppings such as chopped tomatoes, lettuce, onion, jalapeƱos...etc. This has always been a favorite in our house, it's quick, easy, and an excellent meal on a hot day as it doesn't require the use of an oven.

Now that I've made the decision that much harder for myself, I'd love to know what you are planning on making.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

To my readers

Dear neglectarinos,


My poor blog, my poor readers. You all deserve a big apology, sprinkled liberally with some explanation (and a smidgen of excuses). I've been pretty absent ever since the start of this pregnancy, and I'm grateful beyond words for those of you who have continued to stop by and read my recipes. Thank you so much.


When I started this blog I was unsure of what I wanted to do with it, and where I wanted to go. I can tell you the sirens call of advertising and racking up readers has tempted me more than once. Neither of those are bad things, but I felt I should have an idea of where I was going before I started on that road. I think I mentioned that in my early blog days I was contacted by a website that wanted me to do an online vegetarian cooking show. I am not what you would call 'camera friendly'. I sweat and shake profusely when forced to talk in front of people, even in casual settings. If you are lucky I would make it off camera before vomiting......that would be a lot of luck. As much as "girl who makes a curry then vomits" would be a youtube hit I'm sure, I just didn't think I was ready for that kind of fame. Before coming to any conclusion on the matter one way or another, I deleted the email on accident......sigh.


The point of that confession being this, as much as having a cool company to back me in advertising, or the fame that would come with being "that vegetarian girl that vomits while cooking", what really warms my heart, and what makes me feel like I've accomplished something is hearing from you! When I hear that a child has tried a new veggie as a result of my blog, or that someone has made and liked one of my recipes or discovered a love for a meal without meat I'm overjoyed. That's why I will continue on with my blog, sporadic as it may be.


I'm not sure if I've complained about it on here or not yet, but we've been busy. After being away from home for quite a while we came back to pick up the pieces from stormageddon 2011. Our losses were nowhere near as much as some of our neighboring towns in the recent storms, and my heart goes out to those who lost their homes and their family members. We did however loose part of our chimney, a little of our fence, and our ENTIRE fridge and freezer contents. Anyone with children with allergies knows you need freezer meals, especially with a new little one on the way. So I have been busy in the kitchen restocking our freezer, and hoping, and praying that we don't lose power again before baby number three makes it's appearance. Meanwhile my two big kids are fighting off a stomach flu, and pneumonia/sinusitis, I fully expect them to trade illnesses by the end of the week. In short, I've been cooking, but not uploading photos, or properly documenting, and I don't expect to have any consistent blog routine set up again anytime soon as there are more pressing matters at hand.


I'd like to once again thank all of you. I have plenty of old recipes I'd like to invite you to try out, as well as the lovely ladies over on the right somewhere who have their own blogs that they post on quite a bit more frequently than I do. I'd also like to say that I'm working through about 600 emails in my inbox right now, I'm working on those as well. I do plan to continue when time allows. Baby sparkles is due May 25th, and you may see me once or twice before then, most certainly once in a while after that.

Sincerely,
Mama

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Creamy Garlicky Asparagus Soup

No picture tonight, but I wanted to get this recipe up before Easter because I think it would make a super yummy addition to any Easter dinner. This soup was souper (hehehe) flavorful, and other than that, what sets it apart from other asparagus soups? For one it's vegan, and two it pairs really well with homemade croutons or garlic rubbed crostini. I think next time I make it, I may prepare it like french onion soup with the big hunk o' crusty bread on top. Usually I would have used olive oil, but I bought some soy free Earth Balance to use for baked goods, so I decided to use some in this soup.

What you need
1 bunch asparagus washed and trimmed
1 peeled baked potato
2 tbs butter, "butter", or olive oil
1 diced onion
3 cloves chopped garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 cups veggie broth (I used low sodium)
1 can unsweetened coconut milk

Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. Add trimmed asparagus and boil until tender. Mine took about 6 minutes.

Drain and set aside.

In the now empty pot melt two tablespoons of "butter" or olive oil over medium low heat and add the diced onion, salt, and pepper. Cook until translucent. Add the garlic and cook one to two minutes more, taking care not to burn.

Remove from heat.

Place asparagus, potato, and onion mixture into your food processor and blend until smooth slowly adding veggie broth.

Pour into a pot and stir in coconut milk, salt, and pepper to taste. Heat through and serve along side crusty bread.


I'm an asparagus purest. I usually like it grilled, or sauteed with light flavors like butter and lemon. I was truly worried that I wouldn't do the asparagus justice and would regret pureeing the daylights out of it. However, I really enjoyed this dish, and so did the hubster and kiddos. I will be making it again.

What's on your menu this Easter?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Drunken Veggie Fajitas

Here you can see that I used mostly sweet potatoes and onions for these fajitas. Also pictured; refried black beans, smashed avocado, and the fact that I still don't know how to work a camera in a way that results in aesthetically pleasing food.....a fact that I'm not all too concerned about to be honest.


These veggies came out very flavorful, a lot of tang from the lime, some sweetness, a little heat from the cayenne, and a bite of tequila. The marinade makes quite a bit because I had to add more lime juice and tequila after a rather unfortunate kitchen catastrophe...you will understand when you get to that part of the recipe. Still it came out rather good in my opinion. The only thing I would change is to maybe add a clove of garlic next time. Served with some corn tortillas (you can use flour if you like), black beans, Spanish rice, mashed up avocado, and some lime and cilantro sour cream this was a complete and super tasty meal that was thoroughly enjoyed.

Fajita Marinade

What you need
3/4 cups lime juice
4 tbs tequila
1 tbs bruised cilantro (press the cilantro with the back of a spoon to bruise and infuse cilantroy goodness into the marinade)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1 tbs brown sugar

more salt and cayenne to taste

What to do
Whisk together all ingredients and pour over veggies. Stir to coat. Refrigerate 1-2 hours. Using a slotted spoon transfer veggies from container to grill or frying pan and cook until done. Add salt and cayenne to taste a few minutes before veggies are fully cooked.

What I did
Whisk together all ingredients except 1/4 cup of lime juice and 1 tbs tequila. Pour over veggies in a sealable* but non airtight container you friggen idiot. Proceed to shake, and turn container upside down.....aaaaahhhhnd panic a little as you watch your marinade run all over the counter. Collect yourself, add an extra 1/4 cup lime juice and an extra tablespoon of tequila. Breath.....it's going to be ok.....dinner will be super tasty anyway.

I'm not going to tell anyone what they should or shouldn't do here, but I'm going to strongly recommend you try this recipe out by following the first of the two examples.



*Why isn't that in the dictionary? It should totally be a word, I know what it means...I should add it. Also on my list 'cilantroy', both are pretty high priority to be scrabble valid words if you ask me.


P.S. I missed you. :)

P.P.S. Formal apology, hormonal ranting, and gushy complimenting to follow.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Dessert Quesadilla





I <3>
You will need fresh tortillas for this, they are not super easy to find everywhere. Though these are cooked, they will need to be cooked again to achieve the brown "puffy" look of regular store bought flour tortillas. If you are in California you will probably be able to find them in your supermarket, in other states try a Mexican grocery store if you have access, check out local restaurants, or complain, whine and moan at your grocery store manager until they give in and find some for you.
`


I used a dark chocolate spread that I got at World Market for this dessert quesadilla. I like it because it happens to be dairy free, and peanut free... and delicious. You may remember it from an earlier (not so nut free) post of mine.* The jar says it may contain traces of some nuts, but thankfully we don't have to worry about trace amounts. You can use Nutella if you like, but I'm pretty positive Nutella contains nuts and dairy......so that's a no no for us right now.

All you have to do is heat some butter or "butter" in a pan over medium heat. When the butter is melted and hot add the tortilla, it may sputter and bubble a little, that will give it some nice golden brown spots. If your tortilla starts to burn, or you have molten butter flying all over the kitchen, please turn down the heat. Add a spoonful or two of dark chocolate spread (or whatever you happen to be using) and as it starts to melt spread it out to cover the tortilla. If I had chocolate chips I might have tossed a few in there for extra chocolaty goodness at this point. When your tortilla is cooked, and your chocolate is melty and gooey add strawberry slices to one half of the tortilla add a drizzle of honey (optional) and fold in half. Viola, you are ready to dig in.

This was enjoyed by all (was there any doubt?). I can't wait to use other filling combinations. I love the fact that it's a super quick, super tasty, egg free dessert that we can all enjoy. If you want to fancy it up a bit you could serve it with ice cream, or coconut ice "cream". This is one circumstance where I would opt for fake butter instead of an olive oil substitution to make this vegan. Also important to note you should be looking for tortillas that don't contain lard.

Update: Oops! Upon further examination I didn't use this chocolate spread in my earlier recipe. I used chunks of chocolate...still a good recipe though, and worth checking it out. I'm leaving the link in. :)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I will not get sick(er) sandwich : avocado, artichoke, and spinach oh my!



I'm still alive. I'm still cooking. We have just been in transition mode for a while. First off we had to clear out the fridge for a vacation. Now, actually on vacation, I've been doing much less cooking. Above and beyond that, I have been doing next to no picture taking, which results in (as you may have noticed).....no blogging. For those of you here to hear about the sandwich feel free to scroll to the last paragraph where you will find what I'm sure is at the forefront of your mind (as it is usually in mine)...food.

Also.......have I mentioned this....


Certainly not the finest picture of me on the interwebs.........certainly not the worst. Yes amongst the packing, traveling, unpacking, settling in, getting sick and getting better I have also (not so) patiently been biding my time awaiting the day when I can bend freely and cough without wetting myself...in other words, I'M HAVING A BABY!!!!!! :)

Perhaps you remember back in October when I hurt my arm. This was directly followed by morning sickness of doom and a sharp decrease in blogging. Well I'm feeling better now, but I'm not in my kitchen. I am not sure how much blogging you will see in the next few months as I rely on things I can make with few ingredients, but I felt you all deserved a heads up. Thank you so much for reading! You have no idea how it warms my heart to hear of people cooking and enjoying my recipes or discovering new veggies they thought they didn't like. Please hang in there while life happens and expect to see me getting back into the swing of things after the little nursling is born and has started eating only 10 times a day instead of 12....should be somewhere around October.

Now for that sandwich. My little ones had been booger faced (you are hungry now right?) and cranky for a few days when I determined not to get sick......I failed....however, the cold didn't hit me nearly as hard as it did everyone else....that may not have anything to do with this sandwich, but it sure was tasty. Definitely worth a try. I also ate plenty of citrus and loaded up on water.*

I took two pieces of bread and toasted them in the toaster oven. If you are using butter (or "butter) you will want to add it after the bread is toasted. If using olive oil you can brush it on ahead of time. I sprinkled one clove of fresh (not jarred) chopped garlic on the bread and spread on some artichoke spread. Then I added thick slices of avocado, seasoned with salt and pepper, and topped the whole thing with heaping handfuls of baby spinach. Voila. If you are not sick, and would prefer a more understated sandwich you could certainly add the garlic before cooking so that it cooks up a bit and you don't get that raw garlic bite. Add cheeze or cheese if you like, but I think this veggie filled sandwich is pretty good as is.


*I am not a doctor....(though you might find me dressed as one at Sci-fi conventions but that's besides the point) more importantly I am not your doctor. I am not qualified to diagnose or treat you, I am qualified to make you a super tasty sandwich. Though I don't feel this needs to be said, if you are dying go to a doctor......you can read my blog later.

P.S. I did notice all the horrific run on sentences and other errors when I read through this. I felt since it has been a month since I last posted, and because I don't know when I'll get another long stretch of free time....I had better just hit that publish button now, and work on that later (maybe...you know me). So here we go....
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