christian. vegan. lover of life.

Recipes of the Week – lots of veggies! May 23, 2009

Filed under: recipe,vegan — Jessica Dixon @ 10:01 am

Are you enjoying having several recipes on one post? Some weeks, only one thing I cooked was particularly worth mentioning, but lately I’ve been cooking good meals a few times a week, so I hope the documentation of them here is helpful to you.

Rice noodles were my hidden kitchen ingredient this week. I used them to make a Coconut Veggie dish, which also used up an open can of coconut milk I had leftover from making a terrible raw corn chowder last week. The veggie dish was good the first night, but even better the next day because the rice noodles absorbed most of the liquid. I also found it to be an awesome pasta substitute. There are few things I love more than pasta, but I could definitely use these noodles instead on occasion. The vegetables I used were broccoli, mushrooms, and very thinly sliced carrots. It was very good.

I also made broccoli mushroom casserole. I left out the cheese, but it tasted good. Very creamy and not bland at all, which is what I was expecting because of the simplicity of the sauce.

And finally, creamy peanut kale. I generally hate kale, but this was good. I made cous cous to go with it and changed the recipe some, adding broccoli, using tamari instead of Braggs, and leaving out hot spices. The chili powder was important to compliment the peanut butter though, so I left that in and a bit of cumin. I adjusted the ingredients in the sauce until it had a very thin consistency, fluctuating between adding water and broth.

Since I bought a huge bag of kale for this recipe, I chopped up the rest, reserving some for kale chips, and froze it to use in soups or smoothies at a later time. The kale chips weren’t bad, though I think the recipe would take some perfecting. The ones that turned out really crispy were pretty good. If you don’t hate kale, you’d probably enjoy them. At the very least, it’s a great way to get some greens into my diet, which I tend to naturally shy away from.

I’m really loving meal planning. It’s time-consuming to make a menu for the week, but I’ve really been utilizing what I have here at the house (my fridge and freezer are now half empty!) and my meals have been healthier. I’m also managing to stay well within my budget, which I love!

Hope you’ve had a great week of cooking. πŸ™‚

 

Recipes of the Week – Chickpeas! May 16, 2009

Filed under: recipe,vegan — Jessica Dixon @ 10:20 am

My “cleaning out the pantry” cooking continues. I found 3 cans of chickpeas in my cupboard. I don’t know when I bought them, but I know it was before I discovered I really don’t like them. However, in an attempt to use them up, I searched online for some recipes and found three that I thought I might enjoy:

1. Pasta with Garbanzo Beans and Spinach
-I chopped up some frozen spinach I already had for this recipe and added some dry mint. It turned out quite nicely. I’m not sure I would make it again (I don’t really like cooked spinach), but it was pretty good.

2. Chickpea Broccoli Scramble
-Delicious. I used a bit too much curry (don’t use the full amount suggested if you don’t like too much spice), but I really ended up liking it and looked forward to eating the leftovers, which is a good indication that it’s a winner. I’ll make it again.

3. Chickpea “Egg Salad” Sandwiches
-Awesome! These were absolutely great. Tasted just like egg salad, but cruelty-free and healthier. Also comes together really quickly. I forgot to put in the onions and did add some turmeric for color. I will absolutely make them again.

Generally, these recipes are inexpensive and I had most of the ingredients already, which is great. I’m finding that the foods I really love to eat aren’t expensive, but I love to grocery shop and I love variety, which is why I spend so much each week on groceries. In an effort to be a more financially responsible consumer (as well as not be wasteful), I created a meal plan for this week and actually stuck to it, which meant I really didn’t have any other foods in the house that I could eat as an appetizing or healthy substitute for whatever I had planned to make for meals (cereal for dinner just doesn’t appeal to me anymore). This was an experience in discipline and also helped me be more aware of my food consumption habits. I plan to continue this coming week.

 

Recipe of the Week – Kasha & Zucchini Casserole May 9, 2009

Filed under: recipe,vegan — Jessica Dixon @ 12:00 pm

Another recipe to use up ingredients in the house…Some time ago, I bought Kasha. I’m not sure why or what I even used it for, but I was rummaging through my cupboards the other day and found about half a box of the stuff. A quick internet search brought up this recipe, which is copied below with a few of my own tweaks. The end product is absolutely delicious! I will definitely make it again.

(not my photo)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup kasha
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (I used No-Chicken broth by Imagine)
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 2 medium zucchini, cut in matchsticks
  • 2 small onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup soy cheese, grated and divided
  • 1 1/4 cups soy creamer

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Chop zucchini and onion.
  3. Grease a 2-quart casserole or 2 individual sized casserole dishes.
  4. Prepare kasha according to package directions, using the vegetable broth and egg substitute (Ener-G is what I used).
  5. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil.
  6. Add zucchini, onions, salt and pepper; cook and stir until tender and lightly browned.
  7. In a bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the soy cheese and the soy creamer; stir in cooked kasha.
  8. Spread 1/3 of kasha mixture in prepared casserole; top with half the zucchini-onion mixture and then a thin layer of cheese (the cheese will likely not melt).
  9. Repeat layering with 1/3 of kasha, the rest of the vegetables and another layer of soy cheese. Top with remaining kasha mixture and spread evenly.
  10. Cover with foil and bake until hot, about 20 minutes. Then broil for another 5-10 minutes, uncovered, to brown the kasha.

Makes about 4 servings. Prep time is about a half hour, depending on how long it takes you to chop the veggies.

The recipe that this one was copied from actually calls for sour cream in place of the creamer. I might try that next time to see how different it is, but the soy creamer gave it a really creamy sort of texture, which I loved. One other bonus: it’s gluten-free! πŸ™‚

 

Vegan Poutine!!! May 8, 2009

Filed under: recipe,vegan — Jessica Dixon @ 8:17 pm
(not my photo)

I have been craving poutine lately. It is probably the one thing I loved the most about Canada while I was at school (and still an omnivore), and in my opinion, my college made the best poutine ever. I don’t think I’ve made it since going vegan. So, because I have some vegan cheese here at the house for another recipe (which you’ll find out about tomorrow!), I tried my hand at making it. I’m totally blown away!

Ingredients:
-McCain’s 5-minute fries (these are so bad for me, but so yummy and some days I just can’t resist them)
-vegan mozzarella cheese (shredded and melted in the microwave)
-vegan brown gravy (i used a packet gravy this time, though I will likely make my own in the future)

It’s absolute heaven! Yum yum yum. More proof that vegans don’t miss out on anything. πŸ™‚

 

Heaven Song – Phil Wickham May 7, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jessica Dixon @ 10:42 pm

I really can’t wait till Phil’s new album comes out this fall. “Heaven Song” is the last song on the record and is gorgeous: “About a month back I was going through the list of songs that will be on the album, and I felt like the ending one hadn’t been written yet. I wanted a sweet and simple song that would act as a period at the end of a sentence of songs that largely focus on eternity. So I wrote this one. It’s called Heaven Song.” (quoted from his blog)

 

Recipe of the Week – Raw Tacos! May 2, 2009

Filed under: recipe,vegan — Jessica Dixon @ 10:15 pm

Copyrights prevent me from posting the exact taco recipe, but I’ll post a variation of the one Matt Amsden has in his un-cookbook “Rawvolution.”

1/2 cup raw walnuts
cumin, nutmeg, cinnamon (or other taco seasonings) to taste
1/2 T Braggs (maybe a little more) —it’s a liquid raw soy sauce alternative
salsa
vegan sour cream
1 large Romaine lettuce leaf
1 cup shredded lettuce

Simply grind the walnuts in a food processor, dump into a small bowl, add spices and Braggs and mix thoroughly. Spread mixture onto the Romaine leaf, top with fresh salsa (or jarred), sour cream and shredded lettuce. Roll (or fold) and eat!

This took me less than 5 minutes to make and was pretty tasty. Next time I may try something different than Braggs because I’m not a huge fan of it. And for people who don’t like walnuts, the taste of them is hardly detectable. I happen to enjoy walnuts, so not a big deal for me. And, I thought I would be hungry after eating something that seems so “lacking” in hearty ingredients, but I honestly don’t know what I was thinking because the walnut portion alone contains 10g of protein and 4g of fiber, plus tons of omega-3 fats! Yay!

This would be pretty healthy if I used fresh salsa and no sour cream. Makes 1 serving.

not my photo, but it pretty much looks like that πŸ™‚