Tuesday, January 31, 2012

#31 Manilow's Minestrone

  You may have noticed that I make a lot of soup. So when I say that this is one of my favorites, that's saying something!  Another one from Native Foods, Manilow's Minestrone soup is chock full of veggies, beans, noodles and herbs.  It is so flavorful and filling. You can just feel yourself becoming more healthy while you're eating it!  The recipe makes a large portion that lasts a few days around my house (I don't even have to double this one!).  


I keep the noodles separate so they don't get mushy and just add them to each bowlful. This time I used Mrs. Leeper's organic rice vegetable twists. They were really good and added even more color to the soup. 

  One of the many things I love about Tanya's soups is she uses water and soy sauce instead of veggie broth. I love my Better than Bouillon but it's really nice just using water and having it still end up so rich in flavor. Having said that, I'm going to start doubling the water/soy so we end up with a more brothy soup.  It's probably due to the fact that I use more veggies than are called for but we just never have enough juice! 

  This would be a great soup to freeze individual portions of.  For lunches or just to have on hand when you don't feel like cooking.

Well, this wraps up January! We officially have a whole month under our belts! Woohoo!!

Monday, January 30, 2012

#30 Pad Thai

Pad Thai with a few extra sprinkles of red chili flakes

This recipe is from The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. I opted to used both of the suggested veggie choices, broccoli and snow peas. Rigby, my parrot was happy I chose both veggies. She got a little of both too! I also had a few left over mushrooms, so I threw those in too. It's not a traditional Pad Thai ingredient, but I really liked it. In addition to the veggies, there are rice noodles (cheap from Trader Joes), tofu (pan fried) and bean sprouts. 

The sauce was easy to make. I was worried that I didn't mix it well enough- It's hard to mix Peanut Butter into liquid! But it all melted into the noodles and sauce when I added it.

This dish was savory, sweet and a little spicy. The recipe didn't call for it, but since I used creamy Peanut butter for the sauce, I topped each plate with some peanuts. I also saved some raw scallions to throw on top. These two ingredients gave our plates a needed crunch!

The Vegan Table was my first favorite vegan cookbook. My favorites change all the time! Somehow or other I missed this recipe. So glad I found it! Yay!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

#29 Cheesy, Oozy Guacamole Bean Dip

The Kind (for) Life!

This is one of my all time favorite things to make!  It's from Alicia Silverstone's The Kind Diet.  Lynzie and I have decided that this is the book we will recommend/lend to people when they ask for a good starting place towards vegetarianism and veganism.  When the book first came out, I was hesitant to purchase it because the first half of the book is info and I was mainly interested in recipes.  Lynzie bought it right away and raved about it. It wasn't until Alicia came to Vroman's bookstore in Pasadena for a book signing that I caved and purchased my own copy.  I am SO glad I did!  Even very pregnant, she was so bright and bubbly, down to earth, friendly and so nice (even to the grumpy, confrontational man that hogged the question/answer session) she easily became my favorite vegan celebrity!  I love how approachable she makes the lifestyle and sprinkles in some macrobiotic education too.  On to the food.....

One for the Family and one for the Slumber Party!!!

I've made this dip for many potlucks and my family requests it for dinner a lot too.  I wasn't too keen on heating up avocado and sour cream (I use one tub of Tofutti brand, it's 12 oz. the recipe calls for 2-8oz containers but the one has always worked out well for me)  but I am glad I gave it a try.  Everyone raves about it and comments on how it's so much better than a traditional 7-layer dip.  It's so true!  I do reduce the amount of Daiya on top.  I agree with Lynz that it's flavor can easily overpower a dish.  My 2 cup bag was enough for both of the dips.  Unfortunately I only have a picture of it before baking...I took it to our grown up slumber party and we tore in to it before I had a chance to take a warm, gooey, post heating picture.

Visit Alicia's website for inspiration, rad products, and tons of great information!

And buy her book!  Don't wait around like I did!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

#28 Enchiladas

This is the vegan version of the enchiladas I grew up eating. 
A dollop of sour cream and some sliced avocado are perfect on the side!
The first thing I do when making enchiladas is heat up the tortillas. I cook them directly over the open flame on my stove with the help of my trusty tongs. Heating them makes them soft and rollable. Uncooked tortillas tend to be dry and break apart when you try to roll them.

Pour enchilada sauce on the bottom of your baking dish. I'd say no more that a quarter inch deep. After cooking the tortillas, I dip them in enchilada sauce. I don't make my own. I usually use Las Palmas canned sauce (mild or medium).

I put the filling in next. Put the filling close to one side of the tortilla. I layered my fillings in this order : olives, green onion, Gardein strips (I sauteed 2 Gardein Scallopini and then cut them into strips), and topped it with cheddar and mozzarella style Daiya cheese.
Roll the tortilla, tucking in the filling as you roll. I do this all in the baking dish that I'm cooking it in. Continue rolling until you've filled the pan. Pour extra sauce on top with a little extra cheese. Cook at 350 for 10-20 minutes.

What they look like before going in the oven. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

#27 Hamburgers!

Gardein Burger and Fries

Sometimes you just want a burger.  These hit the spot and came together super fast.  While the crisscut fries were in the oven baking, I cooked up the Gardein burger patties in my cast iron skillet, toasted the buns and gathered the lettuce, tomato slices, pickles, and avocado.  Pictured is half of my burger...don't worry, I ate the other half too!

I had reduced fat Vegenaise and dijon mustard on mine.  Max had yellow mustard and Mia had the RF mayo and ketchup.  Or so we thought.  Turns out I mixed up buns and gave Mia the 2 bottoms and Max the 2 tops. hahaha!  Oh well, it's good for them to mix it up ;)

Ryan had a bite of mine, he was still full from lunch.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

#26 My Favorite Salad S1:E1

My Favorite Salad: Season 1, Episode 1
This is a salad you will definitely see in another episode later this year.

I pile the ingredients in this order:

Chopped romaine

Homegrown alfalfa sprouts (thanks for the kit, Michelle!)

Chopped avocado, cucumber, and tomato 

Corn (I warmed up some from a can)

Sliced Gardein Chipotle Crispy Fingers 

Fried tortilla strips

Black Creek Ranch Dressing (NF recipe)

I also drizzled some BBQ sauce around the plate for a little sweetness.

Oh Yummmm!! I'm not kidding when I say that I could eat this once or twice a week. I love the flavor, texture and temperature variations in this salad.  
Crunchy: romaine, sprouts, cucumber, tortilla strips and crispy fingers.  
Creamy: ranch, avocado
Spicy: Crispy fingers  
Sweet: BBQ sauce, tomato and corn
Warm: crispy fingers and corn  
Cool: ranch, lettuce, avocado, cucumber, and tomato

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

#25 Black-eyed pea and red pepper soup

This is another one from Vegan Family Meals by Ann Gentry. It is such a colorful, tasty, and fresh soup. I especially love the collard greens and cilantro in it! I serve it with cornbread from Recipes from the Heart by Tonya Beaudet (The Spot's cookbook) with EB spread and a drizzle of agave nectar.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

#24 Scallops and Veggies Over Brown Rice

This is a frozen meal delight!

Let's start with the vegan breaded scallop. It's by Sophies Kitchen. Sophie's Kitchen makes vegan seafood! This is the first time I've had their breaded scallops. It was good! The consistency of their products trips me out just a little bit... it's chewy- kinda like how I remember shrimp being (I haven't eaten seafood in probably 16 years though- so don't take my word for it) because it's made with konjac/elephant yam root. It's definitely worth trying. I can totally get behind Sophie's Kitchen seafood. They are an environmentally conscious company which is totally rad. In fact, 5% of their net profit goes toward ocean preservation. You can pick up some of their products at Whole Foods in the freezer section. If you're feeling like trying something new you should pick up a package. Sean sauteed the scallops in a little sunflower oil, browning each side.

I cooked up the Asian Vegetable with Beijing Soy Sauce package from Trader Joe's frozen section along with some extra fresh broccoli. Sean beautifully drizzled the Beijing sauce on the top. I recommend doing this instead of cooking it with the veggies. The sauce is strong and can slightly overpower the veggies.

All this was piled on top of some brown rice. This really was tasty and easy to make!

Monday, January 23, 2012

#23 Tofu Scramble Breakfast

I forgot how much I love a good tofu scramble. This one is from Vegan Brunch, by my favorite cookbook author Isa Chandra Moskowitz. It's the basic scrambled tofu with the onion, red bell pepper, spinach, carrot and avocado variations. Tofu scrambles are a fantastic way to use up those random veggies hanging out in the fridge. The tempeh bacon is also from VB. I've had a double batch of it in the fridge for about a week. I've loved being able to cook it up anytime I want. Mostly at breakfast but it was really great with some sourdough toast when I got home from the bar the other night ;) the rest of the meal came from Trader Joe's. Frozen hash browns, ketchup, SD toast, and EB spread. YUM!!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

#22 Hey good lookin', whatcha got cookin'?!

How's about cookin' somethin' up with me? 

Hey, sweet baby, don't you think maybe we could find us a brand new recipe? 

Pizza for dinner!! I buy the pre-made pizza dough from Whole Foods, Daiya cheese and toppings. I usually get most of the toppings from the WF olive bar. This time I bought: green & kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes, garlic, fresh tomato, mushroom and onion. I also cut up some Field Roast Deli Slices. 

While the oven is preheating to 450, I open the bag of dough at place it on the stove to rise. Roll and toss the dough. Sean is a tossing pro! I'm too scared to try tossing it because if I dropped it I'd have to make something else for dinner.

 I think the trick to making really good pizza with Daiya is to use it sparingly. It melts really well, so you don't need a lot of it. I think less is more! If I use the deli slices again, I'll put them on the last 5 minutes. They got a little too dark- but still tasted good. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

#21 BBQ sandwich

I'm loving Gardein lately! I used the BBQ pulled shreds, La Brea Telera Rolls, and Lynzie's slaw. Corn on the cob on the side, slathered in Earth Balance Spread to complete this quick and easy dinner. Everybody loved it and wanted seconds!

Friday, January 20, 2012

#20 Pasta Genovese with Green Beans and Potatoes

This is a recipe from the Linda McCartney On Tour cookbook. Linda has always been one of my heroes! I bought this book many years ago and continue to use it. It's out of print now but you can still buy used copies.

Pasta+Pesto+Potatoes+Green Beans = My favorite dish from the cook book.

I buy the bag of mixed baby potatoes and fresh green beans from Trader Joes. You absolutely have to use fresh green beans-not frozen. Part of what makes this dish so good is the little crunch you get from the steamed green beans. I like using the bag with the red and purple potatoes for some extra color. The recipe says to boil the potatoes until they are “soft but tender.” I did that this time (I think it’s hard to get them to a good consistency without stabbing them a million times to check), but most of the time I just fry them in a little olive oil so they keep their shape and don’t fall apart.

I love those purple potatoes!

This wasn’t one of cookbook's vegan recipes because traditional pesto has parmesan cheese. Instead, I used the leftover pumpkin seed pesto I mentioned on the 8th. Sean modified it by adding a little vegan sour cream to it. This made it creamy and extra delicious! We topped it with a little estra basil and pumpkin seeds.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

#19 Split Pea Soup...

...with tempeh bacon and chipotle cream.

From The Conscious Cook by Tal Ronnen. This soup is so flavorful. The leeks, garlic, and shallots just melt away, leaving behind the most intense flavor. So cozy and satisfying. I had the chipotle cream on hand from mango taco night and the tempeh bacon is from Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Yum!!
All the veggies sautéing with my favorite spice,  Smoked Paprika!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

#18 Chickpea Picatta

spinach on the bottom, caulipots with chickpea picatta on top
This is one of my favorites from Appetite For Reduction. It's filling and has one of my favorite ingredients...potato! The bottom of the bowl is a bed of spinach. I usually use arugula but I had some spinach to use up. On top of the spinach is a healthy scoop of caulipots, cauliflower/potato mashed (caulipots are a great way to sneak in an extra vegetable for picky eaters). Topped with the chickpea picatta sauce. I LOVE this sauce! It is easy to make (lemon juice, white wine, shallots, capers and garlic), especially if you use a mandolin to thinly slice the shallots and garlic. I've made the picatta sauce with out the chickpeas and poured it over a gardein scallopini in the past for a "chicken" picatta.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

#17 Harvest Kale Salad...

Extreme close up!

...with sweet mustard tempeh and saffron-orange tahini dressing.

I love this salad! The recipe is from Vegan Family Meals by Ann Gentry. It is a bit time consuming but again, I double the recipe so I can eat it during the week for lunch. It took me 2 1/2 hours from start to finish. I usually make the dressing and almonds a day or two ahead of time. The tempeh can marinade overnight and the veggies can be roasted in advance also.

This salad is satisfying on so many levels. First there's the kale, spinach, cucumber, and red bell peppers. Next are the roasted yams and beets. Then there's the intensely flavored tempeh that's braised in it's mustardy marinade and the dressing, which is light and full of complexity. I love the tahini in it! Last but not least are the crunchy, glazed spicy-sweet roasted almonds.

This was the first night in a long time that the kids didn't ask for dessert afterwards. I really think its because the salad hits all the things we crave: crunchy, creamy, warm, sweet, cold, spicy, salty, raw, cooked...you get the picture!

Monday, January 16, 2012

#16 Camping Food

I went camping this weekend with a fun group of friends. I cooked dinner ahead of time so we would only have to reheat. I made Tempeh Sloppy Joes from The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. This is one of my favorites from the cookbook. It's always a hit- even my meat eating friends like it! I followed her suggestion and added white beans to bulk it up and make it a little heartier. It was delicious as always.

Before I gave up dairy I was a huge fan of KFC cole slaw. After trying a couple recipes this one is my favorite! It's sweet, crunchy and tastes good for days! I found the recipe on food.com and adjusted it to make it vegan. It's always a crowd pleaser!

  • 4 1/2 teaspoons tarragon vinegar
  • 6 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 1/2 cups Veganaise
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 heads cabbage


    1. Mix oil, onions and sugar.
    2. Add tarragon vinegar.
    3. Fold in Vegenaise.
    4. Pour over grated carrots and cabbage.
    5. Fold in well.
    6. Refrigerate in an air-tight covered dish.

    After cooking, I put the sloppy joe filling in a jar and heated it up when we were ready for dinner. I topped each with some pickle and served it with the cole slaw (which stayed well in the cooler).

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

    #15 Red Chile- Seitan Tamales

    So Delicious!!!

    Please go buy Viva Vegan by Terry Hope Romero. Right now! These tamales are so delicious and not as intimidating as you think. If you just take it one step at a time and space it out over a few days, the final step isn't that bad.

    I start by making the steamed red seitan. I always make a double batch of this because it's hardly any more work and it's so nice to have it on hand. I really like what freezing does to the texture so it's perfect!

    Dried Ancho and Guajillo Chilies
    The next day I worked on the red chile sauce. Again, I make a double batch. I find roasting the whole dry chilis to be tedious but the flavor is so worth it.

    All set up!
    The Filling

    The final day I soak the husks while I bring the sauce and seitan together with onion and bell pepper to create the tamale filling. Then I make the masa. I set up a table in my living room, put on a movie, and settle in for an hour or so.


    By now, people usually start pestering me about when they'll get to eat tamales.  Almost there!  They take about an hour to steam. Since I doubled the recipe, I steam them in 2 batches. It's nice to have enough to let people eat their hearts out and know that you still have a whole batch steaming to eat throughout the week, freeze for later, and share with friends
    It's a fun project for a weekend.

    Saturday, January 14, 2012

    #14 Tempeh Provençale

    Another yummy meal! I made Tempeh Provençale, Roasted Lemon Potatoes and Go Get Yo’ Greens with Gomasio all from the Native Foods Cookbook. Everything was really easy.

    I’m obviously on a tempeh kick and I’m loving it! I feel like I’ve never enjoyed tempeh so much. If you don’t know what tempeh is… It is made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans into a firm patty. It is a complete protein food that contains all the essential amino acids. The “fermented” thing used to freak me out but I promise it’s tasty. It has a delicious nutty flavor to it. The provençale sauce that I poured over the top had artichoke hearts, olives, capers, garlic, fresh tomato, and white wine.

    The lemon roasted potatoes came out crispy and tasty! I would have never thought to roast them with a little lemon juice. The tang was subtle and went perfectly with the tempeh. The greans are sauteed kale topped with gomasio and a little ume vinegar. Gomasio is a toasted sesame seed/salt combo (about 1c. sesame seed:2 tsp salt). It's a crunchy healthier alternative to plain salt.

    Kale, Potatoes, and Tempeh topped with provençale sauce

    Friday, January 13, 2012

    #13 Mango Tacos

    A plate?!?!
    The Money shot
       Ryan has been requesting these tacos for some time now.  After I advised everyone to stock up on Gardein products, I saw that they were on sale for $2.99 each at Ralph's.  Exciting!! That is such a great deal.  I got the seven grain crispy fingers for the kids and the chipotle lime crispy tenders for the adults (they're a lil spicy).  While those were in the oven I made the mango salsa: mangos, cucumber, red bell pepper, cilantro, orange juice, salt and pepper (some jalapeño would have been nice but mine hid in the veggie bin until after I was done).  The tortillas are from Trader Joe's and they were so good!  Soft, thick, and perfect for those who can't decide between flour or corn. Add sliced avocado, shredded cabbage, squeeze of lime, and some chipotle cream from The Conscious Cook by Tal Ronnen and you're set!  I usually purchase mango papaya salsa from TJ's but they were out and I'm glad they were.  My salsa was less expensive, easy, and so much more fresh tasting.

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

    #12 The Hollywood Bowl

    Today was the first day I exercised in over a year. Yikes! I'm going to be so sore tomorrow. The only exercise class that I've ever actually liked and committed to is The Bar Method. Which also just happens to be a favorite among celebrities. When I read the description for The Hollywood Bowl from the Native Foods Cookbook, I knew it was the perfect dinner for tonight. Chef Tanya described this dish by saying, "Honor the celebrity within yourself and enjoy a favorite of the Hollywood set."
    The Hollywood Bowl and a little extra Thai Peanut Sauce...and a yummy beer
    The meal was easy to make! What you see above is brown rice topped with steamed veggies and a drizzle of Thai Peanut Sauce. I topped it with steamed marinated tofu, chopped green onions and pinch of extra red pepper flakes. I followed the suggestions in the cookbook and steamed carrot, cauliflower, broccoli, and zucchini.

    I didn't pay attention and followed the recipe for the sauce exactly. I didn't realized until I was done that I had just made two and a half cups of sauce when I only needed a half cup. Oops! Now I guess I'm forced to make the Thai sticks to use up the rest of the sauce! ;)

    This was good! I definitely recommend it. This would be a fast meal if you make the sauce (cut the recipe in half!) and marinate the tofu a day ahead.

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012

    #11 Pho King Yummy Soup

    The Beginning
    Haha!!  One of my new favorite pantry items is this soup starter.  In the starter, I simmered some fresh shitake mushrooms, baby bok choy, and shredded carrots.  After the veggies were tender and it had been transferred into my famous white bowl, the real fun began!  I added dry fried tofu (a technique I learned from AFR) mung bean sprouts, red jalapeño slices, paper thin white onion slices, tons of cilantro, mint, a squirt of lime, a few dots of Sriracha (aka Cock Sauce) and a drizzle of hoisin.  Phew!  It sounds like a lot, but to me, each of these ingredients are essential. I need a fork and spoon to eat this, I don't know how people use just chopsticks!

    The Middle
    The end...and proof it's soup!

    Tuesday, January 10, 2012

    #10 Breakfast For Dinner

    This is my favorite thing to make for breakfast . . . or like in this case dinner! This is a vegan version of eggs benedict. I used the Native Foods cookbook for the hollandaise sauce and the tofu marinade (lemon garlic variation). I bought a panini loaf from trader joes. I halved it and sliced it into small rectangles. I toasted them in the broiler and topped them with baked tofu, steamed spinach, sliced avocado and tomato, and a big serving of hollandaise sauce. While the tofu was baking (for 30 minutes or so), I steamed 4 baby artichokes that I picked up from Trader Joes. We dipped the artichokes in hollandaise and a yummy dip that Sean made of: melted Earth Balance, lemon juice, garlic, thyme and rosemary. Yummmy!!

    If  I had woken up early enough on Sunday, this would have been perfectly paired with mimosas!

    Monday, January 9, 2012

    #9 Orange Chicken and Sesame Kale

    It was getting late and I had no idea what I was going to make for dinner. I was super stoked when I discovered a package of Gardein orange chicken in my freezer. I also had a box of Trader Joe's frozen Organic Brown Rice on hand. It's definitely pricier than making it the old fashioned way but only takes 3 minutes. For nights like these it's worth the cost! I usually steam some broccoli to go with this meal but the only fresh veggie I had was kale. I sautéed it in some toasted sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and red chili flakes.  I put the lid on it and let it steam a bit. Then I sprinkled on some soy sauce and sesame seeds to finish. YUM!! Crazy fast...15 minutes from start to finish. Everyone enjoyed it but the kids found the kale to be too spicy. When you see Gardein on sale at your local Ralph's, grab a few bags and stock up your freezer. You'll be so glad you did one hectic night in the future. Way faster than delivery and healthier too!

    Sunday, January 8, 2012

    #8 Eggplant Rollatini

    For Dinner I Eggplant Rollatini from the Native Foods Cookbook. This was a lengthy process. I had to make tofu ricotta, pumpkin seed pesto, and sauteed tempeh patties. I choose to make it on a day when I wasn't in a rush and plenty of time.
     I'll start with the pesto because that's what I made first...the recipe called for a tablespoon of salt. Yikes! I followed the directions even though I didn't want to put that much salt. In the end it was too much salt!!! Even Sean, the salt lover of the house, said it was a tad salty. 
     Next, I made the tofu ricotta. This was delish!! I plan to eat the leftovers in a sandwich. I think this is my new tofu ricotta recipe. 
     I sauteed the tempeh using sunflower oil and the simple deglaze recipe from the cookbook. This was the first time I've cooked tempeh with the deglaze and it was amazing. I kept snacking on it while I was cooking. 
     The eggplant was where I ran into a little problem. . . I sliced the eggplant on a mandolin to keep them all uniform and "sweat" the slices in a colander. When I tried sautéing the slices, the slices started to fall apart because of the seeds. I decided to lay all the slices on a cooking tray, spray them with oil and then broil them instead. This ended up being a total time saver as well! When they were cool enough to handle, I started to make to the rolls. This was actually easy! 
    Inside each roll is the tofu ricotta and a few cubes of tempeh.

     The recipe suggested serving it over rice- but that sounded weird to me so I served it with angel pasta and steamed broccoli. This was a really good dinner. It also looked beautiful. I would make this again if I was looking to impress! 

    Saturday, January 7, 2012

    #7 Soul Bowl

    See?  A different bowl!
    If you've ever eaten at my house, chances are you've had this before.  It's one of my favorite quick fix comfort foods.  The cornbread recipe came from The Spot's cookbook, Recipes from the Heart by Tonya Beaudet.  If you're ever in Hermosa Beach, you must eat at this vegetarian restaurant (pickup a copy of their cookbook while you're at it!).  I make the gluten free version and it's so moist and cake-y nobody can even tell.  I love baking it in my cast iron skillet.  It adds extra iron to our diet, produces a gorgeous brown crust, and makes me feel all old fashioned and country.  Add some kidney beans, steamed greens (usually just red or rainbow chard but tonight we also had spinach and collards) and a drizzle of that Native Food's ranch we keep talking about.  I added more ranch after I took the picture...shhhh.  I promise the next meal I post will be on a plate.  Ryan was kind enough to point out that all of my meals so far have been in the same white bowl.  I forced myself to change it up tonight.  Hey, I'm just trying to make it easy for Spaceboy to figure things out ;)

    Friday, January 6, 2012

    #6 TV Dinner

    A vegan TV dinner...what?! Hahaha!!! I think this counts as a TV dinner because most of it came out of the freezer (I'm on vacation- so I'm not on my best behavior in regards to my kitchen activity) and I watched TV while I ate it.

    What you see here is Gardein's Seven Grain Crispy Tenders, Mahatma Saffron Rice, what used to be frozen green beans and the Black Creek Ranch that Michelle posted about yesterday. I cooked everything according to the directions on the packets. Towards the end of the green bean cooking process, I added earth balance, salt, and fresh ground pepper (sometimes I use cayenne instead of black pepper).

    *This meal was perfectly paired with several episodes of The Wonder Years.

    Thursday, January 5, 2012

    #5 Cauliflower Pesto Soup

    Post blending
    Another favorite from Appetite for Reduction!  This soup is crazy simple, fast, and yummy.  The first time I made this soup, I used my Vitamix to blend it all up.  It was delicious, but felt a little like a sauce.  Tonight I used my new cordless immersion blender (as recommended by Isa).  Same yummy flavor, amazing new texture!  It has the mouth feel of a potato leek soup and is now visually more appealing.  Not having to clean my blender is a huge bonus!  We also had a green salad with the Black Creek Ranch dressing from the Native Foods Cookbook.  This is my (and Lynzie's) go to ranch recipe.  Fast and easy, it tastes just like the dairy version.  Everybody cleaned their bowls.  Yay!