Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Yummy Lentil Stew

I've had an episode of Get Fresh with Sara Snow recorded since December. She made a lentil stew on it that sounded delish. I finally made it tonight. I sounded like it would be big enough to have for dinner and throw the leftovers in the freezer for after Baby T is born. It was! Well, it might not have been if the kidlets hadn't had a friend over. They were more interested in playing than eating tonight, but that's okay. It was really yummy. It cooked so long that the lentils fell apart and made it creamy. It was an awesome comfort food that was healthy! Even dh (the self avowed soup/stew hater) said he liked it which is good because it's going to be made again! Here's how I made it.

2 C red lentils
8 C water
2 tbsp "chicken" broth powder
several kombu strips
1/2 tbsp cumin
1/2 tbsp thyme
1/2 tbsp oregano
bay leaf
1 large can of diced tomatoes

Chop all the vegetables. Mix lentils, water, broth powder, potatoes, celery, carrots, kombu, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then simmer covered for 30 minutes. Add spices, zucchini, and tomatoes and simmer for another 15 minutes or until lentils have broken down and veggies are tender. Remove bay leaf and enjoy!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Green beans with tomatoes

A friend of mine who is expecting a baby the same time as me, posted a link to a recipe for tomatoes and green beans. It sounded good, and I had some fresh green beans, so I decided to make my own version of it! Here's the original version Aunt Kate's Green Beans in Tomatoes. My kids LOVED this dish and came back for seconds, so I'll definitely be making this one again! Here's my version:
Green Beans with Tomatoes
2 lbs green beans
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp minced onions
black pepper to taste
Mix the tomatoes, tomato sauce, and herbs in a large pot. Put the green beans in with the tomatoes and cook on medium high heat until the green beans are crisp tender.

I also made a version of honey baked lentils that was really great, but I need to tweak it a little. I'll post it later. I also tried a recipe for chipotle mashed sweet potatoes. Trey really liked that one, but unfortunately, no one else did, so that one got scratched!

Every St. Patrick's Day, I make Irish Bean Stew! Normally, I make a meal full of green/Irish stuff. This year, I was just too tired, but at least we had a really healthy meal! With the Stew, I steamed broccoli and cut up tomatoes and sweet peppers. With that we had carrots and made a cashew/pimiento "cheese." It was really delicious.

Last but not least - Livi's bentos for this week! She loves her bento boxes and loves taking pictures with them! This one has grapes, a boiled egg, Cajun jerky, soy cheese, snap pea crisps, gf pretzels, strawberries, and gf Pamela's cookies.

This one has gf pretzels, strawberries, grapes, a Pamela's cookie, a veggie dog, carrots, and soy cheese.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Tempeh Hot Wings

First let me say - these are absolutely, positively, freaking fantastic!!! I loved them! I will make them often! I got the original recipe off this site: Don't Eat Off the Sidewalk. I changed the recipe to make it gluten free and to my liking! :-) I bought the tempeh at the Aurora Vitamin Cottage, and unfortunately they only sold one kind of tempeh. So, they were pretty thick. Next time I'll just have to bite the bullet and drive to Whole Paycheck - uh, Foods - to get the long, thin kind. I think they'd be way better with the thinner tempeh. I didn't think about getting a picture of just the hot wings until they were almost gone, and my picture is weirdly orange. You can get the idea though. Dinner was so fabulous tonight!

Here's the recipe for the tempeh hot wings:
2 pkgs of tempeh
1/2 C amaranth flour
1 tsp salt
4 tsp thyme
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1/3 C soymilk
8 tbsp margarine
4 tbsp hot sauce (I used Tapatio)
8 tbsp ketchup
3 tbsp agave nectar

Cut the tempeh into fairly small triangles. Boil water. When the water is boiling, put the tempeh in and let it boil for 15 minutes. Drain and cool enough to handle. Mix amaranth flour, salt, thyme, paprika, pepper, and garlic powder. Have a bowl with the soymilk and a bowl with the flour mixture ready. Dip each tempeh piece in the milk and then coat with the flour mixture. Put them on a greased baking sheet and spray the top with olive oil spray. Cook in a 400 oven for ten minutes - flip and then cook for ten minutes more. While the tempeh is cooking, prepare the sauce. Melt the margarine in a saucepan and then add the hot sauce, ketchup and agave. Keep the sauce hot. When the wings finish cooking, put in a bowl and coat well with the sauce.

I would have liked to have had the wings a little hotter, but Trey and Beth thought they were just fine! Next time I'm going to have to make two batches - one a little less spicy for Ray. He liked them, but the poor kid went through about 8 glasses of water! :-) The rest of dinner consisted of basmati rice with sumac, roasted asparagus with lemon, roasted potatoes with lemon/garlic seasoning and chile powder, sauteed mushrooms and sweet peppers, and a green salad. Aaahhh - it was yummy!

Cashew Fruit Dip

I made the cashew fruit dip again. I really like it. It's not overly sweet. It does taste better if you make it ahead of time and then let it chill. This recipe makes a pretty good amount, so if you're feeding a smaller family, you might want to cut it in half.

1 C raw cashews
12 oz. Vanilla Whole Soy yogurt
1 tbsp agave nectar
1 tsp cinnamon
Blend really well, chill and serve!

Saturday, March 14, 2009


I have to say that being a gluten-free vegetarian seems to set one apart! A lot of the mainstream books that focus on being gluten-free, also focus a lot on meat eating. The first book about celiac and gluten sensitivity that I read was insane about it. I swear, this woman thought our ancestors ate a diet that consisted of about 75% meat! You'd think we were more like lions and tigers than apes biologically. Oh well. Thanks to Vegetarian Times, I found a website community dedicated to gluten free vegetarians! Woo hoo. Vegetarian Times is a great magazine, and over the past couple of years, they seem to have gotten pretty in tune to the growing gluten-free vegetarian community as well. Many of their recipes are naturally gluten-free. Unfortunately, the first article and recipes that I saw dedicated to gluten-free were pretty nasty. I think they tried a little too hard, but it was a step! I think they even mark their recipes gluten-free now. Although, I usually don't pay much attention to the gf markings on recipes. There is still too much confusion that they are often wrong. I just read for myself. Anyway, it was nice to find a gf vegetarian community. There are several different message boards. They're a bit quiet, but I'm sure as more and more people find out about it, it will become much busier. Check them out: Vegiac.

I tried a new recipe (sort of) that I found in VegNews. It was for a creamy cashew dip. It was so yummy! I changed it a bit, but because I only had so much of certain ingredients, I didn't measure anything - I just threw them in! I am going to make it again, measure the ingredients, and then post a recipe. It was so fabulous. The kids loved it, and so did I! I also made quick tacos. I used a soyrizo that is gf and super yummy. We were in a hurry, so this was just a quick meal to throw together. The kids ate every bit of it though. I think the older kids had 5-6 tacos a piece. You'd think they were filling up a hollow leg. LOL.

Monday, March 9, 2009

March Madness Bentos

My daughter's school intramural basketball tournament starts tomorrow. So, in honor of that, I made her a special bento for lunch tomorrow. The "basketball" is half an orange that I drew on (Yes, I know - my artistic skills are lacking! LOL.) Also in the top tier is a peanut butter "sandwich" on a gf graham cracker with words in chocolate sauce, just raspberries, and gf pretzels. The bottom tier has peanut rice noodles with carrots and broccoli.

For dinner tonight, I made orange-chile broccoli stir fry with rice, and a salad with a peanut sauce. The sauce was adapted from a recipe in an Asian cookbook my darling husband got me for Christmas. It was okay, but it was very vinegary. It definitely needs work. The salad was romaine, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, and tofu.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Lots of things!

This post will be kind of disjointed, but I have a lot of things to put on it! This first product is a salad dressing that my kids love. They like to dip veggies in it. It's dairy free, and as far as I can tell, gluten free as well.

This was our celebratory desert tonight! :-) My husband got a job, so we decided to splurge, and get Tofutti ice cream bars. I do believe I have raved about Tofutti products on here before, but they are the best commercial vegan deserts ever! The sparkling cider has been in the fridge since New Year's Eve when we were all too sick to drink it. We figured it was time to break it out.

After my husband was laid off, I slashed out budget which included our food budget. Well, the way I know how to eat cheaply is by eating pasta, homemade bread, homemade muffins, etc. I figured - a few weeks wouldn't kill us. Holy cow! If I had any doubts about how gluten affected my children, I don't now! They may be able to handle small amounts, but the overload sent their systems into meltdown mode. I think I'm still shell shocked from it all. LOL. Anyway, it wasn't worth it. My new goal is to find ways to eat gluten free cheaply. I know there are many people in the same boat, so I'll be blogging about it from time to time. Tonight I made roasted potatoes which are so delicious, cheap, and gluten free! Peel and chop up a bunch of potatoes (remember - family of 6 - so we chop up A LOT!). Then, throw them in a big ziploc bag with oil and spices - shake - throw them in the oven at 400 for about 40 minutes - and prepare to partake in the yumminess. I used a packet of onion dip mix last night. This dip is more expensive than the regular grocery store brands, but it doesn't have all the crap that they have either - plus, as far as I can tell it's gluten free. Even with it being more expensive, it's still a cheap meal. You can use other spices as well - another favorite of ours is to use a garlic/lemon mix that I have in a big container.

These crackers are another product that we enjoy. The smokehouse flavor are gluten free and vegan. They are really good. The best ones are the ranch flavor, but they do contain dairy unfortunately.

Last but not least - a picture of our lunch. It was kind of a weird combo, but everyone chowed down! I made a peanut butter smoothie (dates, soymilk, vanilla, peanut butter, and ice) which the kids love! I also made some rice and beans, chopped up some fresh tomatoes, and put out salsa to eat with corn tortillas. With that, I made the green/citrus salad that I made the other night (I forgot to put on the almonds, darn it). Like I said, weird combo - but it all disappeared!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Spinach/citrus salad

Tonight I made two new recipes. The first was an asparagus and lentil dish that was okay. It needs some work though. I am going to play with the recipe and see if I can get something we like better. The asparagus was super yummy though. I broiled it in the oven with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and then sprinkled lemon juice on top of it. It was fabulous!

The salad was a variation on one that I've made before, but the dressing was brand new. My mom told me about it a while back. It was a big hit with everyone. Even my oldest son, who has decided for the time being that he doesn't like salads, nibbled on his. The salad consisted of spinach, romaine, sliced red onion, mandarin oranges, and sliced almonds. I usually have walnuts in my spinach salad. I liked it with the almonds. I'm going to have those more often. The recipe my mom gave me for the dressing called for apple cider vinegar which I was sure I had until I opened my cabinet and found red wine vinegar. Oops. I used that instead though, and it was really good. Here's my version of the citrus dressing:
1/4 C grapeseed oil
1/4 C orange juice
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp agave nectar
Shake well!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Scrambled Tofu Burritos - again - and a yummy orange smoothie

I made scrambled tofu burritos again last night. This time, I took the time to measure out the ingredients - okay, some of the ingredients. So I have kind of a proper recipe! LOL. The spices are measured out anyway. I didn't drain the tofu as well this time, and it was a bit mushier. I will be more careful of that next time. Here's how I made it:
chopped carrots
chopped celery
chopped pepper
chopped onion
19 oz "cotton" or Chinese style tofu, drained, pressed, and crumbled
1 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chipotle chile powder
1 tsp ground mustard
2 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
1 tbsp no-salt seasoning (I use Costco's organic no-salt seasoning)
cooked hashbrown potatoes (I used two potatoes that I cooked on low heat with olive oil and water until they were done)
chopped tomatoes
sliced green onions

Cook the first four ingredients in olive oil until they are softened. Mix the tofu with the spices then add to the pot. Cook until the tofu is browned a bit. Add the potatoes and finish cooking. Add the tomatoes (I put in 5 I think), green onions, and spinach (I put in two large handfuls that I chopped a bit). Turn off the heat, cover, and let the spinach wilt a bit. Serve with corn tortillas, salsa, and hot sauce. Enjoy.

This recipe makes a lot - remember there are soon to be 7 in my family!

Tonight we had leftovers of the burritos, and I made a yummy orange smoothie to go with it. Everyone loved it. It was super simple, too. I used agave nectar, but I think next time I will throw in dates instead. Honestly, I forgot I had them! The smoothie was 1 1/2 C of orange juice, 1 1/2 C soymilk, vanilla, a banana, about a tablespoon of agave nectar, and a bunch of ice cubes. Blend and drink!