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Posts Tagged ‘veganism

It’s almost Halloween! Got any fun plans?

I’ll admit to not really having a whole lot going on (other than a whirlwind trip to a party in Vancouver, BC, tonight) but I have a goofy costume idea. No way, nuh uh, I’m not tellin’ yet! I’ll let it be a funny surprise next week. 🙂 Stay tuned for details!

We’re starting to feel a chill in the air here, though, which makes it great to chow down on comfort food such as these burritos! I first discovered them years ago when cooking for two friends–one a vegetarian, the other trying to eliminate eggs and dairy from her diet. At the time, I had no vegan recipes in my repertoire (my, how things change). I tried this one, and–we were pleasantly surprised! I’ve since made it for several gatherings (including this past weekend’s yoga retreat) with great feedback!

So, do try out these…

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos
from Moosewood Restaurant Lowfat Favorites

5 c peeled cubed sweet potatoes (small 1/2 inch cubes–you don’t want to be boiling forever)
½ tsp salt
2 tsp canola oil
3 ½ c diced onions
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 T minced jalapeno
4 t ground cumin
4 t ground coriander
3 15 oz cans black beans, drained
2/3 c lightly packed cilantro leaves
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 tsp salt
8 flour tortillas

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Place sweet potatoes in medium saucepan with salt and water to cover. Cover and bring to boil, then simmer ‘til tender. Drain and set aside.
3. While potatoes are cooking, warm the oil in a medium skillet and add onions, garlic, and chile. Cook on low until the onions are tender, about 7 minutes. Add the cumin and coriander and cook 2-3 minutes longer, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and set aside.
4. In food processor, combine the black beans, cilantro, lemon juice, salt, and cooked potatoes. Puree until smooth. Transfer this mixture to a large mixing bowl and mix in the cooked onions and spices.
5. Lightly oil a large baking dish. Spoon about 2/3-3/4 c of filling in the center of each tortilla, roll it up and place, seam-side down, in the baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake about 30 minutes until hot.

If you want, you can top these with fresh salsa and/or with sour cream (they wouldn’t be vegan anymore, but that’s up to you). Yum yum!!!

So, what’s your Halloween costume this year? Or… are you going to keep me in suspense, just like I’m doing with you–a taste of my own medicine???

Hey, it’s the end of the week!

And seeing that October is fast on its way, I’ve been making a few soups (even though–Seattle, weird weather, here. Why were we sunny and 70 for a bit again yesterday? Not that I’m sending it back…). Conveniently, The Daring Cooks’ challenge for September involved making broth or stock from scratch (then, the more super-involved folks cleared the sludge from their broth to make a consomme. While it’s a great learning experience, I happen to like the flavor of the sludge… and I don’t make homemade broth often enough…)

Yes… this is the first challenge I’ve posted in months. It’s not that I haven’t participated: but I try to keep recipes here relatively healthy, for the most part, and the past several months have been super-rich (uh, cheese-based gnocchi with creamy tomato sauce being one example…) The end product of this challenge–onion soup with cheese-herb brioche–also wasn’t the healthiest, but I’ll share with you how I made the veggie stock to start it all.

While the stock took time, once I got the veggies rough-chopped and in the pot with water, I could just let it go, boiling for hours. And it made enough for 4-5 servings of soup plus another dish on top of that!

So, here’s my recipe, give or take:

Homemade Vegetable Broth
adapted from the internet

1/4 c vegetable oil
4 medium yellow onions, diced
6 medium carrots, rough sliced
4 large ribs celery, rough sliced
2 leeks, rough chopped and rinsed well
1 3/4 oz dried mushrooms (I used shiitake)
2 medium tomatoes, diced
2 large broccoli stalks, rough chopped
bouquet garni (I just tied together a bunch of fresh parsley, three sprigs of fresh thyme, and a bay leaf)

**Note that I haven’t added any salt. I prefer to add salt to the final dish rather than to my broth.

1. In a large (your largest possible!) stock pot, heat the vegetable oil on medium. Add all ingredients except for the bouquet garni, and let the veggies “sweat” until soft.

2. Cover the veggies with cold water… about 3 quarts. Bring to a low boil. Drop in your bouquet garni, and cover the pot.

3. Reduce the heat to a low simmer, and let your broth simmer for about 2 hours. Strain your broth, and discard the solids.

Your broth is now ready for use in such wonderful dishes as this onion soup that I made:

onion soup

Or, use it in a risotto, or another grain dish, or your favorite veggie soup, or… the possibilities are endless!

And… you now see how easy it is! That’s my favorite thing about veggie broth: no bones or meat carcasses to deal with… yet it’s still so much tastier than something from a can!

So tell me: what are you guys going to do with your veggie broth? Come on, be creative! 🙂

Wow, it’s almost the end of Friday, and I’m finally posting this! Between scoring a last-minute sale on a collectible item and having to drive to deliver it, then having a dental emergency this afternoon, the day is gone! (At least we scored on the old archery set… yay!)

It’s nights like tonight that I want to throw something together that’s nutritious, flavorful, and fast. I have an answer for you! It’s a bean salad, but not the overly-marinated, lifeless bean salad of our parents’ generation. (Ick.) This has fresh vegetables in it! (Which also means… it really only keeps one day, so eat it up fast!)

Mediterranean White Bean Salad
loosely based on a Mark Bittman recipe

3 c cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 c chopped tomatoes
1 c chopped cucumbers (seeded)
3 tbsp finely minced red onion (I like to soak slices in ice water for ~15 minutes, first. Takes the bitterness out.)
1 tsp dried, or 2 tsp fresh minced mint
1 tsp dried, or 2 tsp fresh minced oregano
2 tsp minced fresh garlic
Juice of one lemon (about 3 tbsp)
About 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp paprika
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

1. Place the beans, tomatoes, cucumber, and onion in a large bowl. Stir to combine.

2. Make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice, garlic, mint, oregano, and paprika. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while still whisking, aiming for emulsification. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, and whisk again.

3. Pour dressing over bean mixture, and stir to combine. Adjust seasonings (salt and pepper) to taste.

There–less than 15 minutes if you’re a quick chopper! Again, I recommend finishing this within a day, to keep the veggies crisp.

**If you’re really daring… add some crumbled feta. Sometimes, I live life on the edge like that.

Anyone else have a favorite quick bean salad variation? (I have another one to share later–think Moroccan spiced chickpeas…)

Have a great weekend! I’ll be out playing with the band both days…

Howdy! What’s up?

So it seems like I’ve been working my way through Mama Pea’s reciPea list recently, trying to find new uses for nutritional yeast (it’s good’n’good for you!). I found another yummy one last night, and I’ll be making another batch to share over the weekend!

This one is Pizza Quinoa Casserole. The base starts simply with quinoa cooked with veggie broth. Then, it gets mixed with a luscious, tomatoey, rich sauce containing my precious nutritional yeast and a few other seasonings. Bake it, top with whatever pizza toppings you prefer (keep it vegan or use real cheese), and… in less than an hour, you’re good to go! Cheesy, high protein, nutritious… best yet, really tasty!

Here’s the recipe, straight from her website:

Pizza Quinoa Casserole

I’m spending this weekend (Friday/Saturday/Sunday) in downtown Seattle at Balanced Body’s Pilates on Tour! While I’m doing this to earn continuing education units to keep my certification current, I’m excited to deepen my understanding to use Pilates in a rehab setting.

Or am I a complete dork for being excited about a professional conference? (I’m sure someone out there is, right?)

So it’s not Friday…. but I’m sugar-hungover from the not-surprise birthday party my friends had for me last night (long story… one of the group accidentally got phone numbers mixed up on the group text invite. All in good fun, though!) Since I knew all about it ahead of time, it meant I could try out these cookie cupcakes from Jessica’s blog. I think the cookie recipe will become my go-to chocolate chip recipe!

(I now have enough leftover frosting to frost an army. Anyone care to join my army??? Really. I’ve had it with sugar!)

To offset the OD on sweets, I tried something MAGICAL this past week. It’s a sauce that comes together in your food processor in less than 5 minutes. It’s vegan, it’s healthy, it’s a good source of B-12 if you are vegan… and it’s DELICIOUS. I swear to you, it’ll get you to eat mounds of veggies, so long as they’re covered in creamy, cheezy, lightly curried Mmmm Sauce.

I don’t want to steal Mama Pea’s thunder, so I’ll post the link to her blog right here:

Mmmm Sauce

So, what do you do with it?

Dip veggies. Dilute with a little water and use as salad dressing. Use its healthy goodness as a dip for fries. (I won’t tell.) It would probably make a great spread for sandwiches in place of mayo. Heck, the first batch I made went straight onto a whole bag of romaine! (sauce delivery mechanism.)

Caveat: do be sure to find and use nutritional yeast for this recipe. It’s an inactive form of yeast, and lends this (and other) recipe a nutty, cheesy flavor–while staying vegan. This is a relatively new ingredient in my world, and I’ve really enjoyed its flavor! Try looking for it in the bulk section of your health food store or Whole Paycheck.

Once you try this, there’s no turning back! It earned its name with good reason. I always have to have a batch of this sauce in my fridge. (And it’s savory, so it really counteracts all of the overly SUGARY from yesterday.) Make it, and tell me how you’ve used it! 🙂

Happy Father’s Day! I hope you all are doing something nice. I was raised by my grandfather, so I just posted some fun memories of him on Facebook. He was a small business owner, too, and taught me a lot!

The past two days’ Trust30 prompts have also been about “the one goal you want to accomplish in life”. Perhaps if they want to hold this challenge again, they should take a read through the prompts for redundancy prior to publishing them… unless one of them is totally different, I’ve had it!

So now, remember my goals lists from before? (Those were so long ago! part 1 part 2) I’ve been listing these in parts, so that I can tell you why each one is important to me. So, here goes with the next 10!

Goals 21-30
21. Post (and hopefully sell) and item on etsy.com I’ve done a bit of fairly simple painting and artsy things here and there, and recently, I’ve gotten ideas for how to create products/monetize my talents. Why not at least try? What does it hurt?
22. Finally finish the plan at 100pushups.com This was a fad on a lot of the running and fitness message boards for quite some time. I’ve tried so many times and give up partway through, because about halfway through, their plan ramps up too quickly (unless you’re an 18-year-old boy). This is not only a lesson in strength, but also a lesson in patience. I need to learn that it’s OK to repeat weeks in the plan.
23. Create videos for Pilates project… Not saying too much about the project yet, but I’ve gotten some advice about videocameras that are good to use. I’ve made progress on this goal!
24. Compete in a Sweet Adelines competition Nerd alert! OK, I sing with a young, vibrant female barbershop chorus. They compete each year, and I missed this year’s due to my surgery. I want to go to next year’s, so this goal should be easy! The only thing that I imagine might hold me back would be money… so, work work work!
25. Attend a unique small-town festival Kinda vague, eh? And I haven’t put my finger on it. I went to the Fremont Solstice Festival yesterday, but other than some naked folks in the parade, it didn’t feel that unusual.
26. Finally finish the kitchen remodel This will make me happy, to have a space that looks complete.
27. Make a list of “10 things that made me happy” every week for 3 months Awww, crap. I guess I have to start this, now, eh? (how’s that attitude? hee hee!!)
28. Eat vegan for a week See, my gut would LOVE for me to eat vegan. It’s not quite happy with dairy, and also not thrilled with meat. But I like these other foods… (and I believe that humans need nutrition from omnivorous sources) I’d like to challenge myself to plan my nutrition from vegan sources for a week. This will probably be one of the hardest of the 40 goals.
29. Participate in the Global Reading Challenge—start with easy I realized that most of my–and probably most Americans’–reading is American/European. I’m trying to expose myself to more and different viewpoints.
30. Take a trapeze class Both from a “facing fear” and an “it looks fun” viewpoint–and also, because my body can do it!

Now, since the first 20 have been out there for a month, what have I done?

  • I’m in the middle stages of planning a yoga/Pilates retreat for late August!
  • I’ve been working on losing 10 pounds. The scale fluctuates between 1-3 pounds down, but my clothes are definitely a lot looser!

I guess that’s all I’ve done, so far. I’ve had lots of business-growing tasks that have overwhelmed my life–also not a bad goal!

How are all of you doing with your goals? List them here, on your own blog, or somewhere public–be accountable!

Finally–again, happy Father’s Day!

Summer is almost officially here!

(Well….. sort of. Do you live in the Northwest, like me? It’s still cloudy. “Warm”, to us, is high 50’s. I am one of a handful of people seriously plotting an escape. Of course, now that I’ve said that, The Universe has started to conspire against me with several job opportunities, all here. Waaahhh. Feel sorry for me. 😉 )

Anyway. I’ve decided to call off the Trust30 writing challenge until a better writing prompt comes along. The past few days, every prompt has been some manifestation of “list your top five dreams, and what has been holding you back from pursuing them?” Considering I’ve already written about that twice during the challenge, I’ll refrain from boring you all anymore… Maybe I’m just not the target audience for the challenge.

Now, for the recipes!

For those of you who live in areas that have been either blessed or cursed by the sun, I thought I’d remind you of one of my favorite salads. I’ll be tossing this together in a bit and taking it to a housewarming tonight. It’s a Recipe Friday from last year, and it is…

Hot And Sour Slaw

You can make it as hot as you like, but the base of the salad is bok choy and red bell pepper. The sour comes from apple cider vinegar. Simple, quick, and fabulous! 🙂

Now, for the Recipe Friday Double Feature

Earlier this week, I was intrigued by this vegan Curried Barley and Chickpeas from Anne at Fannetastic Food. Curry, barley, chickpeas… three things I love!

I made it, and… it was just OK. I let it sit for about 30 minutes, and it was scrumptious! The problem was that I tried to eat it hot! And it’s much better cold. Much, much better.

Both are recipes I wouldn’t hesitate to take to potlucks–they will get eaten up! (The salad is very colorful!)

Happy weekend! What will you do to celebrate the first week of summer?

I’m baaack! (still catching up!)

This was a good one! Healthy, and vegan, too! (Well until you decide to top it with cheese and sour cream. But that would be your choice, right?)

Recently, I was poking around for healthy soups and stews to have around during our wintry February June weather in the Northwest, and I found this, which also uses part of the monster pile of quinoa I acquired. I traded out the kidney beans for garbanzos because I prefer the flavor, and… I totally spaced out on adding the corn. But I’m sure it would taste great! (Heh.)

Aside from a little time for veggie chopping, this went together really quickly. Hearty, tomatoey, and you can make it as spicy as you want! (Bruce didn’t miss the meat! That’s an amazing endorsement!)

Quinoa Chili
adapted from Food.com

2 cans garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 bell pepper (any color), chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (more if you like it hot!)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2/3 c quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 c frozen corn
1 (15.5 oz) can tomato sauce
1 c water

1. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onions, and saute until tender.

2. Add salt, garlic, pepper, and spices; saute 5-10 minutes.

3. Add rinsed quinoa and stir. Add corn, tomato sauce, and water to onion/quinoa mixture. Simmer 20 minutes.

4. Add beans to the pot and simmer another 15 minutes.

5. Serve as-is (which tastes perfectly fine!) or with your favorite toppings: cheese, sour cream, avocados…

There! Finally got you your “Friday” recipe! And just in time for chili season. 😦 Hopefully we’ll break out of this weather rut soon… I think some of you on the East Coast need to give us a few degrees to balance us out, eh?

Once again, I sing the praises of the chickpea! It is, by far, my favorite of all of the beans. Something about its creamy, nutty flavor just blends wonderfully with so many cuisines, don’t you think? And without chickpeas, we wouldn’t have hummus! (what a crime!)

This stew has a simplistic name, but when I first tried it, I was sold. It’s simple to make, and combines iron-rich spinach with the vitamin C in tomatoes, which will release the iron in the greens. Furthermore, the beans are a great protein and fiber source. And, enough with the nutrition—the garlic, rosemary, and tomatoes together just plain taste good!

Chickpea and Spinach Stew
from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 pinches red pepper flakes
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp fresh or dried minced rosemary
¼ c chopped parsley
1 c peeled, diced tomatoes, fresh or canned
3 c cooked chickpeas or 2 15-oz cans, rinsed
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 bunches spinach, stems removed

1. In a wide sauté pan, heat the oil over high heat. Add the onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, paprika, rosemary, and half the parsley. Saute for 2 minutes, then lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft, about 12 minutes.

2. Add the tomatoes and chickpeas, season with salt and pepper, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, cook the spinach in the water clinging to its leaves until tender. Add the spinach to the chickpeas, taste for salt, and season with pepper. Serve in pasta plates, top with extra virgin olive oil if desired, and garnish with the remaining parsley.

Mmmmmm! Great comfort food going into mid-October!

As we transition into cooler times of year, I’m looking more toward soups, stews, and risottos. This has been a go-to recipe of mine for a while. It’s a dairy-free risotto, and meat-free as well. The original recipe calls for tarragon, but I substituted fennel seed the first time I made it, since I had no tarragon on hand. Bruce understood that there was no meat in the dish, but the flavor of the fennel tricked his tastebuds into believing there may be some sausage… and he happily scarfed down consumed the meat-free dish!

This risotto uses Arborio rice, which is a standard in risotto preparation, and it also contains wild rice, which is high in fiber and potassium. I’ve modified the original in a few places. This dish is truly outstanding.

Wild Risotto
from Vegetarian Planet

1 cup water
1/4 c uncooked wild rice
4 c water or vegetable stock (I suggest stock)
2 tsp olive oil
6 scallions, both white and green parts, chopped fine (I use regular onions sometimes. Tastes just as good, though you don’t get so much color in the dish.)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ c uncooked Arborio rice
½ c dry white wine
1 tsp chopped fresh tarragon, or ½ tsp dried tarragon (I use fennel seed, crushed)
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
2/3 c coconut milk (light works great)
1 c fresh, or frozen and thawed, peas (I can’t stand peas, so I’ve always omitted these)

1. In a saucepan, bring the 1 c water to a boil. Add the wild rice, cover the pan, and reduce the heat. Simmer 25 minutes. Drain the rice.

2. In a saucepan, bring the 4 c water or stock to a simmer, and keep it hot.

3. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Saute the scallions and garlic over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add the Arborio rice, and stir it for 2 minutes. Add the wine, the wild rice, and the tarragon. Cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes, then add ½ c of the heated stock or water. Stir frequently until the liquid is absorbed, then add ½ c more water or stock. Continue adding the water or stock in this manner, waiting between additions until the liquid is absorbed and stirring frequently. After about 18 to 20 minutes, most of the liquid should be used, and the rice should be tender but still slightly chewy.

4. When all of the stock or water is used, add the tomatoes, coconut milk, and peas. Stir the mixture, and simmer it, stirring often, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Serve at once. (I find it reheats well, too!)

Enjoy! This is a great dairy-free risotto. So many recipes need cheese or butter to avoid blandness, but this one is great! Try it, and tell me what you think!


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