Monday, July 16, 2012

Vegan Caesar Salad

My lovely friend Robin happens to also have the cookbook Veganomicon. So, one day while I was lounging in her kitchen watching her clean (Hey, I offered to help.), she was pointing out recipes that she'd tried that she thought I would like. I was telling her about a scrumptious vegan Caesar salad that I'd gotten from the Vegan Van when it had been on the Auraria campus, and she told me that Veganomicon had a great recipe for Caesar salad. I pulled out my copy and and tried the recipe and it was FABULOUS! I've made it a couple of times already. I have a feeling it'll be my go-to recipe for my sack school lunches. Now, I was in a hurry the first time I made it, so I didn't actually follow the instructions very well. Oops. I liked the result so well that I am always going to make it that way though. I did not make the croutons. For the dressing, I just threw everything in the Blend-Tec and blended to my heart's content (Afterward I read how the almonds were supposed to just be pulsed and then mixed in with the dressing. Whatever! I like it blended!). I also left out the salt. I did not chill the dressing either - I was way too impatient for that. I just chopped up two heads of romaine lettuce, put some dressing on it, and mixed it up! There is enough dressing for a salad of about 15 people - just so you know! Worked out great for me because I buy the huge bags of romaine from Costco, and I ate the salad happily for three days. I put ground salt and nooch on top of the salad (I thought the nooch sent the delicious salad completely over the top in delectableness!) and served sliced pepperoncini with it. I don't know if pepperoncini are normally served with Caesar salad, but they were wonderful with it. This recipe got a definite thumbs up from me and my husband (My oldest daughter thought it was awesome, too. The other kids ate it, but they were quite as thrilled as we were.). I will be recommending this recipe and making it a lot. Try it - it's delicious!

Here is a picture from one of my salad lunches with some hummus, falafel, and John's Tahini Dressing (from May All Be Fed).
Here is the first time we had it with a fruit salad. So good!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

What do vegans eat?

I think it's always pretty funny when people ask me in an incredulous voice, "What do you EAT?" They think that if you don't eat meat and especially if you don't eat dairy that you must eat very boring foods. I think it's funny because I've never met an omnivore who eats nearly the variety of food that we eat. Actually, most of the time, people haven't ever tried or sometimes even heard of many of the foods we eat. So, it makes me giggle. I've been taking pictures of our meals (shocking, I know! LOL) randomly, so that I could post pictures of what vegans eat! Here's a few:

Oat patties with marinara sauce, roasted veggies (carrots, potatoes, beets, parsnips, sweet potatoes with herbs, olive oil, balsamic vinegar), and chili

"Haystacks" Chili, tortilla chips, spinach, tomatoes, salsa, "cheese," avocados

Bean burgers, beet greens, chips and guacamole, cucumbers, roasted potatoes, roasted carrots, and raw onion "bread"

These are sandwiches I made with a gf flat bread I found at Vitamin Cottage. Inside of the bread I put hummus, avocado, cucumbers, pickles, spinach, tomatoes, sprouts, and seasoned tofu.

Roasted asparagus (love springtime asparagus! I try to make it at least once a week during the early spring because it has such a short season.), beet greens, mashed potatoes, gf garlic bread with marinara sauce

Roasted asparagus, sauteed spinach, kiwi, oat patties with marinara sauce

Mac and "cheese," tomatoes, fruit salad (bananas, oranges, kiwi, raisins, and coconut with orange/mango juice and almond extract)

Tonight's dinner: sauteed spinach, mashed potatoes, roasted green beans with nooch, BBQ tofu, onions, and peppers (green, red, and orange), and fruit (bananas, kiwi, oranges, and plums).

Since I am in school and not able to blog as frequently as I would like, I think I'm going to do more of these posts! Well, that and it is fun. :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Southwestern Black Bean and Corn Chowder

My eight year old daughter and I made Southwestern Black Bean and Corn Chowder from Vegan on the Cheap last night. I am going to put this recipe in the win category even though most of my kids didn't eat it. That was my fault! I accidentally bought the hot chiles instead of the mild ones, and then I thought, "Well, it's just a little can in a big pot of soup!" Oops. I LOVED it! It was too spicy for most of the kids. My twelve year old was with me. My husband thought it was okay, but he's not a fan of soup. Put all those ingredients on a plate without the broth, and he'd love it. He grew up not liking soup, and so he thinks he doesn't like soup. Just one of his quirks! LOL. I love him anyway! This recipe is easy, healthy, and quick. I love it, and I wouldn't definitely recommend it!

I also made oat sausage patties (forgot the veg broth powder though - they were still okay, just a little more bland than usual) and roasted root vegetables. The root veggies didn't quite get done, but I still enjoyed them.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Almost Instant Chickpea Tomato Soup

My eight year old daughter and I made Almost Instant Chickpea Tomato Soup out of Vegan on the Cheap tonight. This one is definitely ho-hum at best. I'm not sure if I want to play with this one or not. I mean it was super easy and healthy which are big plusses, but no one really had much interest in it. I think the soymilk in it was a bad idea, and I actually like soymilk. Blending some cashews and water might give it a better flavor. It also needs more spices, and I thought that using fire roasted tomatoes might give it a better flavor. I don't know. So far, I have really enjoyed this book, so I kind of hate to give one of the recipes a bad review, but I just can't get around it tonight. Tonight's recipe was a flop. If I play with the recipe, I'll definitely post the results. I don't have a picture because I got a new phone that is not set up yet, and I was too lazy to go upstairs and unplug my husband's to use! Sad, but true. :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Peanutty Pumpkin Stew

I'm posting my first mediocre recipe review from Vegan on the Cheap. I made the Peanutty Pumpkin Stew the other night for everyone. I have to say that it was pretty tasty. It was a bit bland for my taste, but my family gobbled it up. I think I will sneak in a few more spices the next time I make it. It is packed with super healthy ingredients, so it will definitely be on the table again. The part that wasn't so great was that the cooking times were WAY, WAY off. That was very frustrating. It took a very long time to cook. I think the next time I make it, I will try it in the slow cooker. I do have a picture, but my phone is shattered at the moment, so I'll have to post it later. My recommendation for this recipe is to plan ahead. The cooking time is WRONG, but the recipe makes a very nice soup. I'll post again after I make it in the slow cooker.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bean Burgers

Tonight my kiddos and I made this recipe: Bean Burgers. I have to say that while it wasn't bad, it wasn't all that good. I had double the amount of oats, and they still didn't set up well. It just wasn't a very good recipe. It was good enough though, that I want to play with it. Today's food:

Breakfast: granola with soymilk
Lunch: Clean out the fridge day! leftover Thai, adzuki beans with butternut squash, hummus/salsa with rice crackers and snap peas
Snack: Clif Builder Bar
Dinner: Bean burger patties with mixed greens, salsa and nooch, grape tomatoes, apple slices, and some snikiddy "fries"

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Day 13

Today was another weird day because I had a choir retreat all day and then an evening out with my husband. So, no new recipes for today, but here's the food for today.
Breakfast: two strips of tempeh bacon, fruit, and OJ
Lunch: BBQ tofu, peppers and mushrooms, tortilla chips, fruit, and veggies
Dinner: Thai food that I can't remember the name of and fried tofu

Friday, January 13, 2012

General Tso's Tempeh

Tonight I tried a recipe from another blogger that I loved! The recipe is called General Tso's Tempeh. My whole family ate and liked this recipe. Now, it was a lot of work, but it was worth it! It's not something I'll make on a busy night. I changed it up just a little. I steamed the tempeh for 20 minutes ahead of time. I have found steaming the tempeh first cuts that bitter taste. Because of that, I cut the amount of water I cooked the tempeh in. I think I put in less than half, but then I added a little bit when it got dry. I used chili sauce instead of Sriracha, Bragg Liquid Aminos instead of soy sauce, arrowroot instead of corn starch, and I didn't add the sherry. I quadrupled the recipe. Well, technically, I quadrupled the amount of tempeh and sauce. I also added in a bunch of steamed broccoli and chopped up a bunch of green onions. I made fried rice to go with it. I steamed brown rice, then heated up my skillet and put a small amount of oil in it. I threw in some frozen mixed veggies and let them cook for a bit. I put the rice in and put some Bragg in with it. I cooked that until it was a little crispy. I served the tempeh over the rice, and it was fantastic! I also made the ambrosia salad from the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart meal plan that I made a few days ago. That is just really delicious.

The rest of the day's food included:
Breakfast: cornflakes with soymilk
Lunch: Country Beans with quinoa, lettuce, salsa, nooch, and corn tortillas
Snack: Clif Builder Bar

Survey time!

Okay - I saw this on Happy Vegan Face's blog, and I thought it would fun to do! So, here goes....

1. What's your favorite gluten-free flour?
Amaranth flour - it makes yummy pancakes, and even more importantly - GRAVY!

2. What have you always wanted to deglutenize, but haven't yet?
Potato Knish

3. What's one of your favorite xgfx meals to make?
Pizza. People think pizza has to be unhealthy to be delicious, but that is just not true!

4. Your biggest gluten-free success that makes ya most proud?
Gravy! What can I say? I'm Southern.

5. Most "epic xgfx fail"?
Biscuits. Sadly, they were little rocks. I haven't given up yet though.

6. What product do you wish was xgfx that isn't?
Tofurkey products

7. If you could pass along one gluten-free tip to a gluten-free newbie, what would it be?
Don't think about having to replace every gluten product with a similar non-gluten product. Think of it as an adventure in a whole new way of eating - one that is healthy and will make you feel fabulous!

8. What's your favorite xgfx product?
Crunchmaster crackers

9. Is there anything you miss being gluten-free?
Sometimes I just want bread.

10. Any xgfx techniques you've learned that have been most helpful?
Don't rely on processed gf foods. Look at different ethnic foods for finding interesting gf food.

11. Have you found a favorite gluten-free pizza dough recipe that makes your heart sing?
I have some I like, but I don't think I'd say makes my heart sing! :)

12. Xanthan gum. Do you or don't you? Love it or leave it?
I really have no opinion on this one.

13. Favorite gluten free prepackaged bread.

14. What's your favorite way to nosh on quinoa?
I made a curried lentil stew with quinoa recently that was fabulous.

15. Name five of your most coveted pantry staples.
Nutritional yeast, jarred pimientos, Crunchmaster crackers, raw agave nectar, organic salsa, dried beans

16. If you could only buy three gluten free flours to last you for three months, what would they be?
amaranth flour, garbanzo flour, potato flour

17. Any xgfx ingredients you are intimidated about trying?
Nothing intimidates me in the kitchen!

18. Favorite place to buy foods?
Costco - I have a family of 7, and I can buy so many bulk organic items there.

19. Favorite meal when dining out?
That's a hard one - I'd have to go with anything Thai.

20. Freebee - insert your own question and have fun with it!
What would you say to someone who says, "You're vegan AND you don't eat gluten? What do you eat?"
LOL - I think I could talk their ears off for hours answering that one. I eat things on a daily basis that many people have never heard of.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Cream of Broccoli Soup

Tonight's "salad bar:"

I am still doing the 21-Day Kickstart - I just haven't posted in a few days! Two days ago, I was involved in a concert at Boettcher Hall in the Denver Performing Arts complex with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and The Spirituals Project Choir, so things were a little busy! I cannot remember what I ate that day. Oops. And I was kind of sick yesterday, so my brain's a little fuzzy on that, too. So, I'll just skip to today!!!

Tonight's dinner!

Today I tried a new recipe from PCRM called Cream of Broccoli Soup. It was pretty good. I made it in the middle of the day, so not very many tried it. My 12 year old didn't like it, but to be fair, she was sick. My two year old couldn't get enough. She ate a huge bowl of it, and then had some more. It's a recipe that I'll keep. It wasn't my favorite, but it was definitely a keeper. I also pulled out an old favorite recipe from Vegan Planet tonight. For supper, we made a "salad bar," and the kids loved it! These kiddos are used to eating salad, but they seemed to really dig they way we did it tonight. I'll definitely make that a permanent part of our salad routine!

Food for today:
Breakfast: yogurt with granola, green smoothie
Lunch: Cream of broccoli soup with rice crackers
Dinner: green salad and adzuki beans with butternut squash
Snack: hummus/salsa with rice crackers and a Clif Builder Bar

Cream of Broccoli Soup:

Monday, January 9, 2012

BBQ style portobellos and tofu

This picture is awful! I snapped it though as I was grabbing my food and running out the door! I had a major rehearsal to get to tonight, so there was no time for retakes. Hopefully it'll give you the idea though. I'm in week two of PCRM's 21-Day Vegan Kickstart, and I tried another of their recipes tonight. It was FABULOUS! I completely and absolutely loved it. It's called Barbecue style portobells, and it is supposed to be just for portobello mushrooms, but only a couple of us in my house like mushrooms. I made some baby 'bellas with the recipe, but I also sauteed some onions and tofu for the rest of the sauce. I doubled the sauce using Bragg Liquid Aminos for soy sauce to make it gluten free. This recipe is easy and delicious. I ran out of mild chili powder yesterday, so I cut the amount of chili powder in half and used chipotle chili powder. It was a tad spicy! Oops. My older girls and I liked it (although the younger one said it was a little too spicy), but apparently the rest of the family said, "TOO SPICY!" I really liked the smoky flavor of the chipotle though, so next time I will add one tsp of chipotle chili powder and three tsp of mild chili powder (remember I'm doubling the recipe). I will also add more vegetables with the tofu. Delicious! I highly recommend it.

Today's food consisted of:
Breakfast - cinnamon-raisin oatmeal
Lunch - leftover Broke Bean Stew, hummus/salsa and rice crackers, carrots, and tomatoes
Snack - Clif Crunch bar, a dark chocolate square, and a banana
Dinner - BBQ baby 'bellas, tofu and onions, roasted potatoes, steamed carrots, and guacamole and tortilla chips

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Broke Bean Stew and Ambrosia Salad

Today's dinner was fabulous! I tried two new recipes. One I got from PCRM's 21-Day Vegan Kickstart, and the other one came from The Biggest Loser website. Broke Bean Stew is super healthy, super easy, and super tasty! Be forewarned though - if you use the amount red pepper flakes that it calls for, it will be SPICY! I didn't put in what it called for, and it was still spicy. It was perfect for me, and my older two daughters liked it, too. Everyone else thought it was too spicy, so I'll have to tame that down next time. :) I put extra spinach in the bottom of my bowl then ladled on the soup.

The ambrosia salad was simple, but it was really tasty! Everyone loved it. Here is the video about how to make it:

The rest of the day's food looked like this:
Breakfast - a Lara bar and a green smoothie
Lunch - a veggie/tofu stir fry with brown rice and a green salad with peanut dressing (my son and I had a day out today, so we went to Thai Basil for lunch)
Snack - a square of dark chocolate - yum!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Curried Lentil Soup and Buckwheat Blueberry Pancakes

I was going to try and blog for each day of the 21-Day Kickstart, but I keep forgetting! Yesterday's food consisted of:
Breakfast - green smoothie
Lunch - Curried Lentil Soup and leftover Peanut Noodle Salad (pictured above)
Dinner - Curried Lentil Soup, carrots/celery with guacamole

I tried this recipe Curried Lentil Soup yesterday, and I LOVED it! I changed it up a bit to make it gluten free. I added two less cups of broth, cooked some quinoa and added that at the end of the cooking. This recipe is fantastic, and I highly recommend it!

Today, I had a choir retreat, so it was a potluck. I made the Peanut Noodle Salad recipe to take. For breakfast I made Buckwheat Blueberry Pancakes. This is another recipe that is a big WIN! These are gluten free and delicious. They are very Southern, and well, being Southern, I LOVE them!

Lunch was potluck, but I stuck with Peanut Noodle Salad, a dish my friend made with brown rice, black beans and some chopped up veggies with some salsa on top, and a few grapes.

I had a snack of a Lara bar and dinner was a soy yogurt with granola.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Peanut Noodle Salad

Today is Day 4 of PCRM's 21-Day Vegan Kickstart. I forgot to post yesterday. I didn't try any new recipes, but I wanted to post what I ate anyway. So, here's what I had: breakfast - green smoothie and yogurt with granola; lunch - tomato and fresh basil with rice crackers, hummus/salsa with carrots, and oranges wedges; snack - Clif crunch bar; dinner - leftover Southern beans and greens

Today has been: breakfast - green smoothie; lunch - Southern beans and greens, salsa/hummus with rice crackers, and salad; dinner - Peanut Noodle Salad and roasted potatoes.

The Peanut Noodle Salad was the latest recipe that I've tried from Vegan on the Cheap. This one was a big win! Everyone loved it. I got thumbs up all around. It was easy, cheap, and healthy! I did things a little differently. I used wide rice noodles instead of linguine and Bragg Liquid Aminos instead of soy sauce to make it gluten free. I didn't bake the tofu. I put a little oil in a pan and cooked the tofu with some Bragg. I didn't put in red pepper because when I pulled mine out it was going bad. Oops. The recipe was great! I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Southern Beans and Greens

Today is day 2 of PCRM's 21-Day Vegan Kickstart. Today I made Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal. It was pretty good. I think it would be better with a banana cut up in it and maybe some nuts. I'm going to try it again. I also made a green-ish (ran low on greens!) smoothie. Lunch was a Clif Builder Bar (peanut butter/chocolate - yum!), an orange, and a tofu spring roll with peanut sauce.

For dinner, we had leftover of the Hoppin' John Salad, which after eating twice, I have decided I don't like. We also had hummus/salsa and tortilla chips and Southern Beans and Greens. I put garbanzo beans in the slow cooker today (with kelp). Tonight I made the recipe with those beans with a cup of the cooking water with some veggie broth powder. Oh my goodness! It was fantastic! I did not put in Tabasco sauce because it is gross, but I did put Cholula on it. It was so delicious! I will be making a pot of this to portion out to take to school with me. I had seconds. I highly recommend this recipe. Next time I will also put in more greens than I did tonight. I didn't measure; I just used the bunch of kale that I bought at Whole Foods. I forgot to take a picture of my plate, so here's a picture of leftovers in the pot. :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Hoppin' John Salad

Today was the first day of PCRM's 21-Day Vegan Kickstart. I did not make the oatmeal that they had on their website, but I do plan on making it tomorrow! I made these: Gluten-free Pancakes with blueberries and a green smoothie. Yum!

For dinner, I made the Hoppin' John Salad on their website. It was okay. It was a little too lemony. If I make it again, next time I will add more tomatoes, less lemon juice, and more salt. I added pepper as well. I served it over spinach. We had salsa/hummus with tortilla chips with it. Decent dinner. Since it was family game night, we had popcorn with Bragg Liquid Aminos and nooch for a snack! Here is the video about the salad.