Friday, April 30, 2010
Yesterday for lunch Chris and I wanted something light. Chris has been diligently tilling the garden for two days straight, and it looks amazing.
I wanted Chris to get alot of water in him yesterday after being in the heat all morning, so I came up with a fruity lunch. With it I served a tofu sandwich, nothing to write home about, just tofu I cooked in a skillet with some cheese melted, kinda like an egg sandwich of sorts, except no egg...lol
We ate about half of the fruit and I am going to juice the rest!
Last night we had a huge rainstorm, complete with thunder and lightening. My computer wouldn't pick up any signal at all and I ended up watching The Mentalist reruns.
I am off to pick up some dog food and a few little items I need. I will be back later to post something I am sure!!!!
Thank you to those who commented on the salad. I named it Sunshine salad, combining several different thoughts into it!
Hope you have a great day!
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
It seems like it took forever. This is all that Chris was able to till before he headed off to work today, but it is a start. I am not going to be able to do the above ground garden beds like I wanted this year, but that just gives me something to look forward to next year!!!
I have been busy today, I was able to get the entire yard mowed now that the riding mower is running again! I pulled weeds and ran some laundry, did the dishes and I am sorting through all of my old magazines picking the recipes out I want to try and recycling the rest..
I even got licked by a cow today! Isn't that the coolest thing ever!!!! My husbands best friend Dave is a wonderful man and a wonderful friend to my husband. They share things like friends do, Chris helps cut firewood, Dave lends us his tiller.
Dave has a farm that he bought for very little money and it has loads of room for Dave and his family to roam. He recently purchased some calves and they are beautiful and friendly. I have never had a cow stare me in the eyes before or try to lick my face, so it was surprising to say the least. I had great fun and cannot wait to go back out!!!
When we got back I decided to make lasagna because it is fast and easy, plus you can make it ahead. I remembered Alicia's delicious looking green ricotta and went to see what I needed to make it, if you would like to see the original recipe go here: http://veganepicurean.blogspot.com/2009/12/vegan-neapolitan-lasagna.html
Now... you know me, I am not one to follow recipes exactly. I try I honestly do, but I have a way about me that has to change everything. So here is my very loosely based Neapolitan lasagna recipe...
1 1/2 cups prepared tvp with browning seasoning and fennel
1 tbls. red pepper flakes
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp. cracked black pepper
1 tbls. yellow miso
1 tsp. italian seasoning
1 tsp. oregano
Mix everything together, taste to see if seasonings are right. Use to crumble on lasagna. Would be good used on top of pizza too, or calzones!!
8-12 oven ready lasagna noodles
1 1/2 jarred spaghetti sauce or homemade
1/2 pkg. extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
1 pkg. firm silken tofu, drained
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. nutritional yeast
2 tbls. yellow miso
1/2 tsp. salt to taste
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 recipe of italian sausage
12 oz. frozen spinach, defrosted and drained
1 large zucchini, sliced lengthwise
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced thinly, also lengthwise
Place the tofu's in a large bowl along with the spinach and remaining ingredients. Using your hands smash everything together, you can use a food processor if you like. When everything is mixed the way you would like it start assembling your lasagna.
Place about 2/3 of your sauce down top with your noodles, I used four, to start. Top your noodles with 1/2 of your ricotta mixture and the cover with more noodles, continue until you have reached the top of the pan ending with the sauce. Place thinly sliced zucchini over sauce and then top with tomatoes.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove foil and bake an additional 25 minutes.
Let cool for about 15-20 minutes, slice and serve.
2 cups coleslaw mix (the kind without the dressing pkt.)
1 cup romaine, shredded
1 cup spinach, shredded
1 pear, washed and sliced thinly
1 tangerine, peeled and split into sections
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
Ingredients not approximate
1/2 c. vegenaise
1 tbls. agave
juice of one tangerine
1 tsp. poppy seeds
Mix together taste for seasonings.
Mix your salad ingredients together and pour dressing over, toss to coat, eat immediately.
Dinner is served!
So I have a salad with no name, would you like to help me name it?
I hope everyone enjoyed a little sunshine today, has a big cup of green tea and is settling in for the evening!!!
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Today was my remicade day...again... Take 2, and everything went great. They had to float my vein, but that is ok since they were able to find it!!!
Since Remicade is like a chemo, I am always exhausted for a couple of days after, so last night I went ahead and made dinner for today!!!
A few years ago I was watching Diners, Drive ins and Dives, one of my favorite Food Network shows and they were in a diner in New England talking to the chef about American Chop Suey. One thing led to another and I veganized it and called it New England Goulash. I like to serve it with Garlic Mashed Potatoes.
New England Goulash
1 medium onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1/2 can tomato paste
1 28oz. can tomato puree
1 can diced tomato's
1-1 1/2 c. prepared tvp with browning sauce, and some fennel seed added to taste
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper
Sea salt to taste
1/2 box Ditalini pasta, or any shape you prefer
1 recipe of garlic mashed potato's
In a large pot bring 8 cups of water to a boil, add your pasta and cook according to directions on package. In a large skillet, water saute your vegetables, celery, onions, and carrots. When crisp tender add your tomato paste, tomato puree and diced tomato's. Add seasonings and let simmer for 15-20 minutes. Drain pasta, and add to your goulash sauce. Cook until heated through, serve over mashed potato's.
This is a real yummy, soul satisfying meal! Although, I am the only one in my family that really likes tvp. So I will eat this for several days and send some with Chris for lunches. The garlic mashed potatoes really highten the flavor of the goulash and makes it super filling.
I like it alot.
I think that you will like it too, it is very easy to make and even beginning cooks can make this!
This is carb loaded, but sometimes that is the only thing that satisfies!!!
I hope all of you are enjoying your evening and I will talk with you soon!!!
Monday, April 26, 2010
"Tuna" and White Bean Salad
3 tbls. Olive oil,
1/4 spanish onion, minced
2 stalks celery, minced
2 carrots, peeled and minced
1 tbls. Thyme
1 can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 tbls. soy sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 tbls. Balsamic Vinegar
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
Drain and rinse beans, place in a bowl. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Let refrigerate until the flavors have had time to combine. I served mine on romaine leaves.
While no one is going to fall for this being tuna bean salad, it does really have a meaty bite thanks to the garbanzo beans.
This would be lovely stuffed into radicchio leaves also.
I used the oil, but I do not think you need it with the veggie broth, and I will not use it next time. I followed the recipe very loosely from the original. The original recipe called for cooking all the ingredients together and then letting it cool and then eating it. That sounded more like a soup to me, so everything is raw but the beans. I will make this again, especially this summer. I will change the balsamic vinegar to a white wine vinegar or a rice vinegar, just because I think it will be more pleasant visually!
I hope you try it!!!
Sunday, April 25, 2010
As many of you know I could corner the market on veggie, fruit and relish trays at my house. I make one for almost every meal, holiday, birthday and BBQ.
I love the ease of vegetable platters. Even Sunday brunch has a fruit tray!!!
Veggie, fruit and relish trays are eatable art in my eyes, depending on your mood you could have a Monet or a Salvidor Dali. I lean more towards the Monet. I like everything orderly (can you say type A) in its place, decided by color and size.
I love veggies plain but my husband loves to eat dip with his, so I inevitably create a dip or buy one when I feel lazy. Like today.
I shop at the beautiful cookery store in Hutchinson, Kansas. It is called Apron strings and it is a wonderland for grown up foodies! They carry Le Cruset and tasting spoons, aprons of course, and some food items. I adore the dry dips that they carry.
This dip was supposed to be spinach and I just grabbed, it must have wound up in wrong box.... But, being me, I am up for surprises and I decided to make for tonight's dinner of pizza and veggies!
This dip was not designed for vegans, but you know me. It wasn't that tough converting. I am not going to rewrite the recipe, I think you can see it just fine. Another thing I like about this dip, it contains no msg, salt or preservatives. I added vegenaise and soy sour cream instead of the dairy and since I had no kalamata olives I threw in some black olives from the fridge.
The simplistic veggie tray, Top left to bottom...Wedged roma tomatoes, sliced celery, carrot sticks, cucumber slices. I buy almost all organic fruits and vegetables, if your cucumbers are not organic, please peel the skins.
This is an easy way to get your daily allotment of raw in your diet, if you added a fruit tray it is practically a meal all by itself. Sometimes this is all I eat all day and I love it!
I have no food to share today as we are just winging here. Chris had to work and it threw off our Sunday brunch, so Chris is getting us some pizza and I am whipping up a salad and a veggie tray. If it ends up being something stupendous, I will come back and post it!
I thought I would share with you 20 reasons why I am happy......
1. The color teal
2. The smell of rain coming
3. My pets, they are each individual and wonderful
4. My house
5. Italian Food
6. Michael Buble singing the classic crooners songs
7. Swope Park Zoo
8. Morning Glories
9. My Garden
10. My husband singing
11. How artistic my youngest daughter is
12. The way my oldest daughter sings and hums when she is happy
13. When my husband cooks
14. The smell of laundry on a clothes line
15. Watching Amish buggies go by
16. Garage sales
17. Antique store treasures
18. Losing 5 pounds
19. Bridal wreath bushes
20. The taste of a slightly under ripe banana
What makes you happy??? I cannot wait to hear about it!!
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Shouldn't everyday feel like a Saturday??I have been busy doing laundry and cleaning. We have some vicious dark clouds looming over our house right now.
It is just awesome (insert sarcasm) to live in tornado alley!
Today felt like an oriental day!!! Are you sick of my Chinese food yet?
I love egg rolls...Let me rephrase, I love my egg rolls. My egg rolls have always been vegan, unbeknowst to most people. Family members that think they must have meat at every meal don't even flinch when I serve these. They have almost no spice, but tons of vegetable flavor!
Egg rolls, The Vivacious way
1 pkg. Broccoli slaw
1 pkg. Coleslaw, without mayo dressing
1 pkg. Baby portobella mushrooms, chopped fine
1 cup scallions, chopped
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 pkg. vegan egg roll wraps (found in oriental grocery stores)
In a large skillet water saute your mushrooms and scallions until wilted, add remaining ingredients and saute until crisp tender. Let cool completely.
I should tell you, all of these would have been baked if not for a united front put up by my family..Sigh.....unhealthy heathens!
I haven't made Korean Soup for a long time and I thought it would pair nicely with the egg rolls.
Friday, April 23, 2010
There you were tall, dark and ice cold. I knew you were forbidden, but my mother was in town and I was alone. I knew I had to have you!
The sound of the bottle top popping off of the glass bottle was so enticing....how could I resist you?
I smelled you first, caramel and sugar. Then I went for the taste. Oh my goodness...I was hooked immediately. You and I have had a love/hate relationship.
Sometimes I have cheated on you with Diet Coke, once with Pepsi, but honestly....just too sweet for me, I like a swarthy soda...I have enjoyed you with spanish peanuts, and popcorn at the movies, in the bathtub and even on the road tucked next to my hip. You have never been too far from me.
I almost left you once before when you changed, but you have so much flavor I was drawn back when you went back to your old self....
Coke, we need to talk....I have changed....really it isn't you....it is me. We want different things in life. I want my freedom back, and my waist...
I will always love you, please don't cry.....But water has my heart now....
No, no don't beg. I am through.
So buh bye Coke. It was fun while it lasted!
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Start by opening a box of tofu. No need to drain it today. I wanted the soft feeling to mimic the feta.
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 c. red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped (2 tsp.)
1 tbsp. Dijon-style mustard
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 c. water
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate in a container with a tight fitting lid. This will keep for months. I figured it up and it is only 10 calories per three teaspoons of dressing.
So this should not shock you one bit.
This is by far the most ridiculous burger I have ever seen.
I was surfing, a usual morning practice ,when I came upon this blog http://chomposaurus.wordpress.com/ and there was this burger....
Beware: if you pop over there to read the post, there is foul language and a slight attack on organic hippies....
America has a horrible reputation for being the fattest nation...SO.......Lets help premote that, by building a heart attack burger and then advertising it, because some people cannot help
LEVEL ONE: A bun, grilled with cheese and bacon. It supports a 7 oz. cheeseburger, chicken fried bacon, chili cheese dog-burger, 7 oz. cheeseburger, and chicken-fried bacon.
LEVEL TWO: Grilled cheese with bacon, a 7 oz. cheeseburger, chicken fried bacon, chili cheese dog-burger, 7 oz. cheeseburger, and chicken-fried bacon.
LEVEL THREE: Grilled cheese with bacon, a fried egg, cooked to order, topped with onion rings and garnished – no, crowned – with Faribault Creamery cheese curds.”
Calories: Approximately 10,000. Cost: “$25, not counting medical care. By the way, we are not liable for injury,” warned the establishment “You WILL be asked to sign a waiver”
Can I be honest with you? Really honest, and upfront?
People disgust me with their caveman mentality over food. My own husband does it , and I am tired of it.
His theory is, if he gives up cheeseburgers and lives an extra 3 years...that is 3 years without cheeseburgers.....exasperated sigh....
When will everyone realize this is an epidemic. You do not need to eat like rabbits. You can occasionally indulge, but please...never...ever....ever....EAT THAT BURGER!!!!
But if we are being really honest, it did cross my mind ever so slightly to create a vegan burger just like this. I, just for once want to see a burger loaded with sprouts and mushrooms, and veggie patties and such....Should I do it???? Is it proving anything really?
Or, would I be falling into the, My burger is bigger than you burger and it is healthier too, competition for dummies?
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
I give you Chris' small... Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies
Sigh.....I leave him alone for one minute and I get cookies the size of a baby's head! The scale of these cookies are ridiculous! That is a full size cookie sheet....
This is a Corelle saucer....it is a fairly nice size plate. The darn cookie fills the center with no problem!!!!
So Chris thinks this is hilarious, I think it is mildly cute ( do not tell him I said that) and Kaiti is in cookie heaven....
He made 16 cookies out of a recipe that makes 36 regular sized cookies...
Silly, silly man.....But I love him!
Enjoy your cookie!
I was talking to Alicia http://veganepicurean.blogspot.com about Mexican food today and she suggested I make quesadilla's.. WOW, what a brilliant idea. I have not had a quesadilla in forever!!! So I set out to make them!!!!
Since Chris was off today he offered to help me chop everything for dinner! The man is a chopping fool and he makes incredible food, even if he swears he cannot cook!
I told him he is the sexiest sous chef I have ever had, and he was so thrilled by the compliment he made the Mexican oven potatoes too!!! I love how flattery will get you everywhere!!!Here is the spice mix for the Mexican potatoes. From left to right, black pepper, salt, Cajun seasoning, onion powder, and garlic powder.
Chris cut the potato's into wedges and then lightly oiled them and spread them on a cookie sheet.
Next I started the quesadilla's. Now about this time realized I only had spinach tortilla's and I thought, ehh...why not!
So I start plating and realize we have a very green dinner......sigh....
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Make your own, silly!
It isn't hard and it is super cheap!!!!
Get your favorite tofu! Mine is Nasoya Organic extra firm tofu.
Place it in a nice non rusty bread pan.
Cover it with a slightly smaller non rusty bread pan. (the key is non rusty)
Notice how tall the bread pan is in this picture.
Lets make a meal...shall we?
Add 1 tsp. sesame seeds and some teriyaki sauce, or if you are lucky enough to find a teriyaki sauce with sesame seeds in it like me, add that instead. What ever you like. I just wanted a taste, so I added about 1/4 cup. Be careful about sugar content in teriyaki sauce and preservatives, try to find a really good one!