Wednesday, February 29, 2012

#60 Smoky Tempeh Bacon, Broccoli and Cheese Quiche


This recipe is from Spork-Fed. I used Tofurky tempeh bacon and Daiya cheddar cheese. The filling was easy to make and was super tasty. I ran into trouble with the crust though. I had a hard time getting it to a good consistency and it didn't turn out well :( It was crumbly, not flakey. But I'm pretty sure if I made it again I could fix it. It obviously needed more wet ingredients. I don't know what i was thinking.

The filling made up for the crust though! Sean and I both liked this and I will definitely make it again.

Served with a salad

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

#59 Mushroom Stroganoff

I am so excited about this recipe!! It came from Vegan Junk Food. One of my amazing birthday gifts from Lynzie :)

I used eggless dumpling noodles from Ralph's. Funny name but they were on sale for a buck, and exactly what I think stroganoff needs to be served on. Glad I bought an extra bag! The boiled noodles are tossed with some EB spread and chopped, fresh parsley.

The sauce is basically, mushrooms, onions, and sour cream (another recipe from the book). It is so easy! Tofu, oil, lemon juice and salt. I love that it is so simple. Way better, and less expensive than purchasing a tub.

I'm most definitely going to make this again. Everyone really liked it. Even Max, the mushroom hater!

Thanks Lynzie!!

Monday, February 27, 2012

#58 Stuffed Shells (finally!)

So...I finally made those stuffed shells. Yay me! This recipe is from Color Me Vegan. It's a fun cookbook organized by color. This recipe is from the red recipe section. It's not a new cookbook, but it's new to me!

I was supposed to make these last Wednesday and I kept putting it off for one reason or another. One of the reasons being that I was afriad it would take a long time to prepare. But by the time the pasta was cooked the filling was done! So the prep time was actually under 20 minutes. I don't have a piping bag, so I put the filling in a ziplock bag and cut a smallish hole in one corner. This made it easy to squeeze the filling into the shells. I popped them in the oven for 40 minutes and DONE!!! Wooo! Very easy and super yummy. 
before I put them in the oven and spooned some extra sauce on top

Finished! Baked and served with a mixed greens salad

Sunday, February 26, 2012

#57 Veg-Mex Salad

This salad could also be called "clean out the fridge/cupboard salad". It consists of spring mix lettuce, canned pinto beans, frozen corn, Gardein chicken strips, red bell pepper, carrots, verde salsa, and avocado. I love creating colorful, satisfying meals with whatever is on hand. Salsa as dressing is one of my favorite things!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

#56 Roasted Egglpant and Spinach Muffuletta Sandwich

This is my Vegas road trip food. It started a few years ago when Michelle made it for the drive to Vegas for her bachelorette party. This sandwich was loved by everyone in the car- including the eggplant hater (Nicole) and the bell pepper hater (me). Now whenever I take a trip to Vegas, I have to make this for the drive. I make it the day before my drive because it has lots of steps and letting it sit overnight in the fridge makes it taste delish!

If you haven't sweat your eggplant before cooking it you really should. It's an extra step but it's worth it.
Eggplant slices sweating in a colander in the sink.

The Olive relish is the best part. I always make a little extra to eat with crackers or bread. It's made with kalamata and garlic stuffed green olives, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, olive oil and spices.
ahhh! yummmm!!!

Eggplant on top of olive
spinach and bell pepper on top of eggplant
 After the eggplant is roasted and cooled enough to handle you start layering the goodies on a big halved sour round (with some of the inside scooped out, making a shallow bowl). Layer after layer of yumminess!
 Put the lid on and start smashing it down. As suggested, I use my big cast iron to press it. Wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and foil. I leave it in the fridge over night.

It's Huge...
...or is it?

Sean sliced it up before we hit the road to Vegas (We saw Elton John!! OMG!!). He re-wrapped each slice and put it in the cooler. We ate on the drive and again as a late night snack.
 This recipe is from Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. This is a must have vegan cookbook!

Friday, February 24, 2012

#55 Navajo Tacos

I originally planned for these to be burritos. Then I read on the back of the the Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Tortillas: For the unique Taste of New Mexico, try these serving suggestions. So I did! My version of the Navajo Tacos had vegetarian refried beans, brown rice that I mixed with salsa, romaine lettuce, avocado, and a little extra salsa on top. It was really filling! Like eating a tostada with a fork and knife. What was my beverage of choice? You guessed it, Mexican Coke!!!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

#54 BLT Sandwich with Kale Chips

Wednesday's BLT
This is a true story:
So yesterday I was going to make stuffed pasta shells for dinner...but Sean had a late lunch so I made myself a BLT using *Tofurky Tempeh Smoky Maple Bacon. It was my first time having this bacon. OMG. Yummm! I loved it. As I was eating this yesterday, I honestly thought to myself, "This is so good. Why don't I eat this everyday?" That's the moment I fell just a little bit in love with this sandwich.

I had no idea that I actually would- eat it everyday. But today, the same thing happened. I was going to make those stuffed shells but Sean had a late lunch. When he told me he wouldn't be hungry for a big dinner, I was actually kind of excited. I mean this is the beginning of a new love, so of course I couldn't wait to reunite with my beloved sandwich. I wanted that sandwich- but knew I had to treat it right if was going to be just as good the second time around. So I went to the store and bought an avocado, some kale chips and a beer. I recreated it. Only this time it was better!

I don't want to ruin a good thing. Tomorrow I will not have a BLT. . . or will I?
Today's BLT

*If you are curious about tempeh, this is a good introduction to it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

#53 Patty Melts

I can't even begin to tell you how delicious these were! I used Gardein burgers, daiya cheddar, sourdough rye, sliced Bubbies dill pickles, grilled onions, and special sauce (Vegenaise mixed with ketchup). It was so filling, I didn't even care that I burned my sweet potato fries! A bottle of cane sugar Coca-Cola from Mexico was the perfect beverage :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

#52 Chicken Pot Pie with Herb Biscuit Topping

I have a new cookbook! Woooo!! I recently got Spork-Fed by Jenny Engel and Heather Goldburg. I love new cookbooks and was super stoked on this one because there are so many pictures of the recipes. Pictures always inspire me to cook.

For my first venture into this cookbook, I made the Seitan Pot Pies with an Herb Biscuit topping. I made a couple changes though....I used Trader Joe's Chicken-less Strips instead of homemade seitan. I had a bad experience making seitan once that left me mildly traumatized. I will try again! Someday. I also added some potatoes and skipped the bell pepper. Bell pepper and I don't really get along.
I don't have individual sized ramekins so I made a large one and scooped it into bowls.

Once I had everything prepped and ready, the execution of this dish was pretty simple. I was a little alarmed but the gooeyness (is that a real word?) of the biscuit dough. I checked the book and was relieved that they mentioned it would be sticky.

Sean and Nicole both said YUM!

 I really liked this recipe. When I make it next time, I think I'll add a little more broth than it calls for for. I'd like it to be a little more saucy. I think the addition of the potatoes changed the consistency.

Even though it wasn't raining today, I have a feeling this is going to be the new rainy day dinner.

Monday, February 20, 2012

#51 Mimosas, Munchies, and Mermaids!!

All we're missing is Joe (Peretti, not Trader!) hahaha

We are still in party mode!

In honor of Rachel Flax, we had a meal of appetizers...and so many mimosas! Absolutely everything came from Trader Joe's. This is what happens when you shop hungry: almond sparkling wine, fresh squeezed orange juice (unpasteurized and NOT from concentrate) falafel chips, pita bite crackers, French baguette, kalamata baguette, whole wheat pita bread, Mediterranean hummus, bruschetta sauce, eggplant garlic spread and olive tapenade spread.  SHEESH!  Thank you TJ's for the quickest, easiest, yummiest feast!

The leftovers...lucky me!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

#50 Stuffed Portabella Mushroom Dinner

This is a dinner I've been making for years! It's a tasty dinner that I used to make all the time. I actually kinda forgot about it. Sean was definitely happy that I remembered it! :)

I start by making a garlic butter spread. I mash together Earth Balance, 2 minced cloves of garlic, salt & pepper, parsley and basil with a fork. I spread the butter on the mushrooms and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. I flip the mushrooms once 1/2 way through to get the buttery sauce all over the mushroom.

While the mushrooms are cooking, I rinse and briefly steam a bunch of spinach. I top the mushrooms with spinach, sprinkle daiya mozzarella and top it all off with bread crumbs. I put the mushrooms under the broiler on low until the cheese is melted and the bread crumbs are browned.

While the mushrooms were cooking, I had a pot of rice pilaf cooking on the stove. There was also asparagus that I had rubbed in olive oil and dusted with salt and pepper cooking in the oven with the mushrooms. Before serving I halved a lemon and squeezed the juice on the asparagus. YUMMMM!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

#49 Who needs real food when you can have lots of snacks?!

I'll say it again: Who needs real food when you can have lots of snacks? Today is Michelle's and our friend Nicole's birthday party. These are the snacks I made: roasted fingerling potatoes, chili cheese dip (vegetarian chili with vegan cream cheese) and raspberry brownies!

I got to watch Michelle hack open a young coconut. It was pretty amazing! She does it with one hand behind her back- yes, she's that awesome. Any way she hacked open a coconut, poured out the water, spooned out the flesh, and threw it all into the vitamix with some cut fresh pineapple. We put it in fun glasses with mango rum. Coconut water and rum is our signature drink. And by "our" I'm referring to Michelle, myself and our dear friend Sara. The three of us invented it... so we naturally coined it as the "3 Bitches."


Friday, February 17, 2012

#48 Mad Cowboy

First of all, I'm having camera issues. So I know this picture isn't great. My camera went missing after the Halloween party I had I my house :( I kept thinking it would show up and it still hasn't. Anyways...on to the food!

This is my version of a Mad Cowboy from The Native Foods Cookbook. I love loaded baked potatoes and this is so packed full of deliciousness that it is filling enough to be a complete meal. Woo!
Yep! That's Some Black Creek Dressing on top! Ohhh yeah!!!

This is a big baked potato with a little Earth Balance mashed into it. On top I lay down some steamed rainbow chard. I top the chard with Trader Joe's Chicken-less strips that I have sauteed and mixed with some BBQ sauce. I pour some corn on top of that and top it all off with some ranch dressing!

Like I said this picture is terrible. It looks so corny (meaning lots of corn). When I make this again, I'll take another picture and replace it. 

What I really like about this recipe is that it's open to interpretation. I know when Michelle makes this it looks completely different. If you're new to chard, this is a good recipe to try! Something amazing happens when you eat chard on a potato :)

This is one definitely worth trying!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

#47 Spaghetti & Meatballs

Every time I ask my family what they want for dinner, the boys always say spaghetti! Mia doesn't like it but unfortunately it is so fast and easy, I make it often. The whole wheat spaghetti, spaghetti sauce with mushrooms, meatballs, and broccoli came from trader joes. I add the broccoli to the pasta water a few minutes before the pasta is done. I sprinkled a lil Daiya on top just because I have it and want to use it up before it gets bad. I had breadsticks but they were all moldy :( too much information? Sorry. I hate it when that happens though.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

#46 True Love Polenta Hearts*


With yesterday being Valentine's Day, it seems like this recipe should have been posted yesterday. But when I thought about it... it really made more sense for this recipe to our 46th post.

Some couples have cutesy nicknames for each other. Some couples speak in what can only be interpreted as language all their own. Some couples have a special song that reminds them of each other. Some couples have an anniversary date, for example: 4/6. For one couple that I know, their anniversary (4/6) has taken on a life of it's own. They see the number 46 everywhere. It's obvious to me that they are crazy- in love ;)
4 ingredients were used to make the zuchinni boats. 6 ingredients were used to make the polenta hearts.

This is the Polenta Hearts recipe from The Vegan Table. It was my first time trying the recipe. It was easy to make and it came out so cute!! 4 of the 6 ingredients in the polenta hearts are: fresh herbs, sun dried tomatoes, cornmeal and soy milk. The recipe stated to let the polenta set in the fridge for an hour. But I was so hungry I think I pulled it out after about 46 minutes. 46 minutes was plenty. It had set well enough to cut them into cute heart shapes. I fried them in a little olive oil to brown them for about 4-6 minutes on each side.

Zucchini boats are something that I've been eating since I was probably 4 or 6 years old. I used to love it when my mom would make them for me. It's broiled zucchini. To make them, you just need to halve or quarter a zucchini. Poke a few holes in each boat. 4-6 holes will do. Spread some Earth Balance on the top. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper and stick it under the broiler (on low) until they turn nice and brown.

I made a tomato sauce to spread on the plate. This was a delicious meal! I definitely recommend making this! But you need to plan ahead so you can let the polenta set in the fridge. I think it's worth the wait to be able to cut it into a fun shape. I didn't have a heart shaped cookie cutter, so I cut them free hand. I had a lot left over. If only I had a small cookie cutter, I probably could have cut out like...I dunno... 46 little hearts!

*This post is dedicated to Ryan and Michelle Lewis!

Mmmm! Dessert!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

#45 Galentine's Day Salad

I'm always making my version of salads I've had in restaurants. This one came from PizzaSalad in Thousand Oaks. It's called the Lithari: Fresh spring mix, sweet bell peppers (roasted and fresh), fresh mushrooms, hearts of palm, tossed in Goddess dressing, topped with walnuts.

Life has been busy lately and hearts of palm were as festive as I could manage. <3

Monday, February 13, 2012

#44 Chili Dogs

The main ingredients
My simple dog
Sean's fancy dog
This is the perfect lunch for a cold, cloudy day! I used Field Roast Frankfurters, Hormel Vegetarian Chili, Daiya Cheddar and a bunch of veggies from our fridge and garden.

I think I love these frankfurters for all the wrong reasons. I love that they are strung together, wrapped in a casing. It makes me think of Lady and the Tramp. The hot dogs themselves are a bit too salty for my liking. The saltiness of the dogs and the saltiness of the chili were a little overwhelming. In the future, I won't use these for chili dogs. They do have a great flavor but I think they'd pair better in another dish.

Sean smeared his bun with vegenaise and mustard then topped his with a tiny bit of chili and piled on onions, avocado, two kinds of chili peppers, sour cream and paprika. His definitely looks prettier than mine with all those toppings but I like mine plain :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

#43 Raw tomato bread & Hemp hummus

I picked up an amazing 4# bag of organic tomatoes from my local farmer's market. They tasted homegrown and were a steal compared to buying them at the grocery store. I used half of them to make raw tomato bread in my dehydrator. I made hemp hummus to go with the bread. The recipes are from one of my favorite blogs, Choosing Raw. I made open face sandwiches out of the bread with the hummus, cucumbers, more tomatoes, and some spinach. I usually use sprouts and avocado but I didn't have any on hand.

Friday, February 10, 2012

#41 Chinese Food

This meal is what happens when you shop while hungry. I'm embarrassed to say that every thing you see came from the freezer section of Trader Joe's (except for the yummy l gyoza dipping sauce I made). We had: brown rice, Gardein mandarin orange chicken, vegetable gyozas & egg rolls (no egg ;) and the Asian vegetables that Lynz shared previously. It was quick and satisfying! I loved having a little bit of everything :)

#42 Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes

This is the only meatloaf I've ever liked.
I really love this recipe. It comes together nicely and it tastes so good. I got this recipe from another blog, ChowVegan. I love the ketchup on top and it's chewy texture. Click here for the recipe and a far better picture!

I made some mashed potatoes with 3 russets boiled in vegetable broth. I mashed them with Earth Balance and a little soy milk. I added salt and pepper to taste.

Sean made the salad. He used all the the veggies we had in the fridge! Carrots, tomato, sprouts, onion...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

#40 Simple Sandwich

It's not fancy but oh so good!
Sometimes the best things are simplest. This bagel sandwich is filling and delicious.
Smear one side of a toasted bagel with vegan cream cheese (My favorite is Follow Your Heart) and the other side with mashed avocado. Layer lettuce or sprouts, tomato, a slice of deli meat and onion if you like it. I'm not a fan of raw onion so I left it out.

Yum! Prep time is 10 min or less! EASY!!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

#39 Amazing Mac & Cheese

So delicious!

This is the best mac and cheese, ever.

The recipe is from VegNews, one of my favorite magazines.  This is another recipe that I double but I also make extra of the cheese sauce. This time I did a triple batch.  Everybody loves it and wants to eat it on everything!  I used gluten free brown rice noodles from Trader Joe's and sourdough bread for the breadcrumbs.  I serve it with steamed broccoli and extra cheese sauce drizzled on top.

Ready to blend!

Potatoes, carrots, shallots, onion, and water
Ryan makes me call him over to watch when I blend the veggies into cheese.  He seriously thinks its magic.


Here's the link to the recipe, go make it!
The Best Mac and Cheese Recipe

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

#38 Sausages in a Blanket

Corn on the cob and a fresh salad make this seem just a little more healthy ;)
The sausages are Tofurky Beer Brats. I cut the brats in half then wrapped them in croissant dough (the kind from the can). I baked them in the oven according to the directions for the dough. They come out brown and hot all the way through. Every once in a while I'll buy the dough and stuff the croissants with different things, like broccoli and daiya cheddar or a little leftover pizza sauce and cheese....perhaps you'll see some of the other variations in the future ;)

While the sausages are baking I prep the corn and the salad. The salad is simple: lettuce, tomato and avocado. Take a wild guess as to what dressing is drizzled on top! Yes, of course you're right. It's Black Creek Dressing. I promise the next salad I post will have a different dressing!

If I had kids, I'd make them this for dinner and yell this out when it was done: Fun Fast Finger Food Forever!

Monday, February 6, 2012

#37 Lasagna w/Roasted Cauliflower Ricotta & Spinach

I haven't been this excited about dinner in a long time. Thankfully, it did not disappoint!

Before baking

Another recipe from my current fave, Appetite for Reduction.  I took a few of the variation options: sliced fresh tomatoes on top (in addition to sliced kalamata olives), sautéed mushrooms, and roasted bell peppers.   I also added a shredded carrot and a light sprinkling of Daiya cheese that I had on hand.  I've made this before with no boil gluten free noodles, but this time I used boil first whole wheat.  They were so much better.  For around 300 calories per HUGE serving (it serves 6) this is an amazing meal! It would be extra special with a side salad, but for a weeknight I felt okay just serving it with a sliced baguette.

All baked and ready to dig in!

We all adore this lasagna! The kids had second servings which is extremely rare. They didn't even ask for dessert afterwards which makes me think all of their dietary needs were met (or they were just stuffed!) It makes me so happy that they love such a veggie filled dinner. We were talking about how most colors of the rainbow were present tonight. In Roy G. Biv order: tomatoes, carrots, yellow roasted bell peppers, spinach, kalamata olives, and brown mushrooms (I used cremini aka baby portabellos), and white cauliflower. While there's no blue, we felt that brown and white made up for it!  If you haven't already purchased this cookbook, you must do so now and make this lasagna!!

There's a link right here....whatcha waiting for?!?