Saturday, January 30, 2010

New Recipe

At dinner time tonight, I realized that we didn't have food for dinner, so I created something new. Hubby really liked it so I thought I'd throw out the recipe for everyone. :)

1 1/2 cans tomatoes (I used Italian seasoned and 'chili ready' because that's what was in my house)
1 batch of vegan cheeze sauce
1 - 12 oz package smart ground meat substitute
Salsa (to taste)
Cooked rice

Puree cans of tomatoes (I did this because hubby doesn't like chunks of tomatoes)
Add tomatoes and meat substitute to a skillet. Simmer until warmed through. Add a dollop of salsa (or a bottle, whatever makes you happy)
Add cheeze sauce to taste, and simmer until everything else is ready. (I know, I'm really bad at instructions, sorry).
Cook corn according to package instructions
Cook Rice according to package instructions

Put rice in bowl, add tomato/meat mixture, put corn on top.
I mixed mine all up and thought it was wonderful. Hubby ate it in layers (without the corn 'cause he doesn't like corn).

It was really good and I had everything laying around the house to make it. Hubby said that he'd eat it again, so it must have been good for the meat eaters! :)

Let me know what you think if you try it, and what changes you made or would make.

Happy Eating!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Veggie Munchkin

I've been doing an experiment with my daughter over the last few weeks. I have replaced her meat at lunch time, with other sources of protein, peanut butter, yogurt, protein rich veggies, and some mock meats (mostly home made seitan) and I have noticed some really cool things. The first thing I've noticed is that she's eating MORE! She's always been a really picky eater and she's never really eaten that much. She's always been healthy and strong so I've never really worried about it, but she could go days at a time without eating much at all. Now, she eats and eats and eats and it's all healthy! The second thing I've noticed is that she seems more energetic. She's 3, so it's not like there's ever been a LACK of energy, she just seems to have more positive energy. We've been working on more than just eating, we've also been working on watching less TV and spending less time playing Dora on the Wii, so maybe that's part of it, but she's doing an awesome job playing and entertaining herself.

OK, I know this isn't really anything that any one else is concerned with but it's exciting to me to see my daughter start making healthy choices regarding food. It took me many years to figure out how to make good food choices and the benefits of making good food choices. I hope to give her something that I didn't have growing up. I want her to embrace trying new foods and I want her to view food as something that nourishes her body, not something that eases pain. I hope that I can learn those things too so she can see me living my life as a healthy example to her!

Happy Eating!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Ah-ha Moment

This weekend I had an Ah-Ha moment while trying to plan our meals for the week. I'm trying really hard this year to be more organized than in years past. I've come up with a new daily and weekly schedule to help me keep my house clean and somewhat organized (I do have a 3 1/2 year old, so total organization is beyond my grasp and I'm OK with that) and it's been very helpful. The kitchen hasn't devolved into utter disarray yet, and the table, which is typically our catch all, has been cleaner than it used to be. (Still not perfect, but a HUGE improvement) So this weekend, I decided that it was time for me to come up with some sort of system that would make preparing a weekly menu and grocery list less dreadful. I love cooking and I enjoy going to the store (I go alone and it's glorious), but I have always HATED making the list and menu. I decided to do something about it. I talked to my wonderful hubby and told him that I needed an hour or so a week to figure out our food stuff. He said that was fine, so we made a schedule for when to do it. (Which is much easier than trying to do it while I have a 3 1/2 year old running around like a mad child) I also sat down and made a list of all the meals that we (all three of us) really like, then I made a list for me, and one for hubby. I also made a list of recipes that I want to try (which is extensive) and I have it broken down into things I think he'd like and things just for me (he's working on a list of things that he wants to try on his own too). I also found a template that has breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack in a nifty little chart - that looks nice. I've decided to start planning 2 weeks at a time and work my way up to a month at a time. I don't see me ever going past a month, but I guess it could happen. I'm also going to commit to trying something new at LEAST once a week. Some weeks might have 2 or 3 new things (depending on what I run into and how adventurous I'm feeling)! Now all I have to do is figure out coupons and how to save $100 a month and I'll be set!! :)

Let me ask you this, how do you plan meals? How far in advance do you plan? Do you have a wonderful system for couponing or saving money that you'd like to share?

Happy Eating!! (And Planning)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Nutty Ginger Seitan

Last week I made Ginger Seitan from the How it all Vegan! cookbook. It was good, but maybe a little too salty (thanks to my fiddling with the recipe, I'm sure!) It made enough for two adults and hubby wasn't home, so I had a bunch of left overs. Yesterday for lunch, I decided to see what I could do with it. I rinsed off the ginger sauce, added peanut butter and apple juice and heated it in the microwave. Oh my goodness! It was WONDERFUL! The ginger and peanut went so well together and it wasn't too salty this way. I ate it with carrot sticks because I'm cool like that (read lazy).
Anyway, I thought I'd share it with my 3 readers!

Happy Eating!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Super Fast

As mentioned in a previous post, munchkin has gymnastics on Tuesdays which requires a quick dinner. We don't get home until 6:15 which is normally when we're sitting down to eat. Sometimes hubby will fix dinner for us, but tonight we're having Super Fast Leftovers! :) We watched a couple of adorable girls (2 1/2 year old twins) this weekend and we made enough spaghetti to feed a small army so tonight we're having left over spaghetti. I know it's nothing too exciting, but we'll add some steamed broccoli and apple slices on the side and it will be splendid and healthy! (We use whole wheat spaghetti) Even when we don't have spaghetti made, this is still our fast, go to meal. It's easy, it's fast and munchkin eats a ton of it! And if that wasn't enough, it's CHEAP!!

So, what is your Super Fast go to meal?

As a side note "Super Fast" is what my daughter says she is any time she runs somewhere. She'll run like a mad child then say "Momma, I'm supper fast!" So while reading the words "super fast" imagine them being said by a 3 year old. It's cute. :)

Happy Eating!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Broccoli and Seitan Stir Fry

On Wednesday, my sweet meat eating hubby asked for Nutty Broccoli w/rice and Seitan! Score one for team vegan! Munchkin ate it too! It was very exciting! (as evidenced by the plethora of exclamations points!!)

I bought seitan, which was kind of strange because I normally make it myself, and it wasn't as good as what I make (maybe it was just that I wasn't used to it, but still, we like mine better...and it's cheaper to make it myself). Hubby and munchkin don't like their broccoli crunchy, they like it steamed to almost mush, so that's what I did. Then I added the seitan and the nutty broccoli sauce from How it all Vegan. I didn't measure things this time, I just used peanut butter, apple juice and soy sauce. I served it with organic brown rice cooked in organic veggie broth. It was delicious and healthy!

On a non-food note, let me take this moment to remind you to backup all the files on your computer. Buy an external hard drive, pay for a website to back it up for you, do something to back up your stuff. Our computer crashed 2 nights ago and we have a years worth of pictures (about 2,000 pics total) that aren't backed up anywhere! I was in a panic! Thankfully, our computer is now working and this weekend we're going to go buy an external hard drive.

Happy Eating (and computing)!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Artichokes, Capers and Sun-dried Tomatoes

My daughter, who is 3 1/2 has gymnastics on Tuesday evenings which leave dinner to hubby. Normally I try to have something really easy (like spaghetti and a jar of marinara), but tonight I went with Artichokes, capers and sun-dried tomatoes. The recipe is from How it all Vegan! and it was FANTASTIC!! Granted, darling hubby forgot the capers, but still, it was amazingly delicious! Munchkin and hubby wouldn't eat it though. They thought the artichokes were yucky. I think munchkin might have tried it if meat man hadn't told her she wasn't going to like it before she had a chance to try it. Grrrrr...anyway, it was a wonderful treat to have my sweet meat man fix me a nice vegan dinner. Maybe I'll start making him cook more often. :)

Oh, I don't have exact measurements for the recipe, but here are the basic ingredients.
Artichokes (1 can)
An onion
Sun dried tomatoes
Lemon juice
Salt, pepper, basil and thyme

Saute the artichokes, then add onions and garlic, let it simmer for awhile, add tomatoes, lemon juice (just a little), capers and spices. Toss w/pasta. It calls for Rotini, but we used penne and it was good.

Happy Eating!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Nothing Food Related

I normally stick to writing about food, but today I'm going to venture into my life. I guess in some ways it has to do with veganism, but not really in the way that you'd think. I love being vegan and what I'm about to write shouldn't be used against veganism, it's just my opinion about my don't get pissy with me. :)

When people talk about going vegan they mention all these changes that happen. They lose weight, they lose the aches and pains in their bodies, their mood improves...I don't think any of those things happened for me. I didn't go vegan for health reasons, but still would have enjoyed experiencing some of those positive benefits. I didn't. I'm still 30 pounds over weight, my knees still hurt when it's cold and my mental health is as rollercoasterish as ever. I want to spout the benefits of eating a healthy vegan diet, but it's difficult for me to do that when I haven't actually experienced them. I do have a sweet tooth and I eat a bit more junk than I should. You can be an unhealthy, junk food vegan. Just because you're vegan doesn't mean that you're going to be a picture of health and beauty. If you go vegan for health reasons I think more needs to be done than just cutting out animal products. You have to switch to a whole food diet. Eliminate processed foods and cut way back on the junk (like the chocolate brownies that I'm currently addicted to). I love being vegan and I'm not going to stop, I just don't think it's some magical cure for all of life's problems and it's sometime presented in a way that makes one think that it is.

OK, I'm done with my little rant now. Let me know what you think.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Nutty Broccoli

Last night was another new meal and it was AMAZING!! We had the nutty broccoli (from How it all Vegan!) with brown rice. Hubby and I both devoured it! I actually didn't make enough for us to both get full, but it was very very good, and it was simple! Steam the broccoli, cook the rice and mix peanut butter (or any nut butter), soy sauce, and apple juice together over medium heat. Next time I'm going to stir fry the broccoli with some onions, garlic (I looove garlic) and seitan then add the peanut sauce to the stir fry. I was going to post pictures, but I took one bite to try it and couldn't stop. Before I knew it my plate was empty...sorry! :)

If you don't have How it all Vegan! I suggest you go buy it. Right now. Go!

Happy Eating!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Mexican Casserole

I mentioned yesterday that this week was filled with brand new recipes for EVERY dinner! Tonight's new meal was Mexican Casserole. I've had them before but I was trying a new recipe which, surprise surprise, I didn't actually follow. The recipe was from Cooking Light and was actually vegetarian (not vegan, but still it's better than nothing). Here's what I did and what I'd change.

1 cup of brown rice (cook before using, but I started with 1 cup of uncooked rice)
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 an onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, diced
some jalapeno, diced
1 can of tomatoes (would use petite diced next time)
cheeze sauce
sour cream (Tofutti Better than Sour Cream)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Cook the rice (I cooked it in 1 cup veggie broth, 1 cup water)
Saute onion, garlic and jalapeno (until translucent)
Add tomatoes to the pan with the onion, garlic and jalapeno
In a casserole dish spread cooked rice evenly over the bottom, dump the beans on top of the rice and spread out, then dump the tomato mixture on top of the beans. Top it all off with the cheeze sauce.
Bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes until hot all the way through.
Serve with sour cream and salsa

Next time I think I'll use a 16 oz jar of salsa instead of the tomatoes, jalapeno, onion, and garlic. Then I could just throw it together without having to cut or saute things (yes I'm that lazy).

I hope all that made sense - My brain seems to be on vacation right now. :)

Happy Eating!

New Meals for the New Year

I got three new cookbooks this weekend! How it all Vegan (HIAV), The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen(TMVK) (meat man actually picked this one!), and Skinny Bitch in the Kitch (SBITK). Last night I tried a soup and a bread out of HIAV. I made the rustic tomato lentil soup and a Linzed version of the Harvest Herb Bread (I changed most of the herbs and omitted the raisins and nuts). Both were fantastic! Meat man didn't mind the soup (although he thinks lentils feel like peas so he won't eat them) and he really like the bread! It was a great first new meal for the new year. This week is full of new recipes! I'm going to try to make a point of blogging more often.

If you don't own How it all Vegan! go buy it! Right now. Go. Why are you still reading this? You should be going somewhere to buy this book. ;)

Happy Eating!