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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???

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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?


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