Nourishing the mind, body, and soul along the vegan highway.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Stir-fry and Korean Style Seitan

After therapy I was hurting and just down in the dumps. I am tired of this "game". Anyway what does one do when they are depressed? Cook, what else. I was not sure what to make and supplies are low so it was time to clean out the fridge. "STIR-FRY" of course! While the spaghetti noodles were cooking I did a quick stir-fry of celery, green onions, carrots, bean sprouts, peas, and broccoli. My sauce was a creation of hoisen, tamari, garlic, and agave nectar. Turned out to be a very satisfying lunch.

Here is a batch of seitan I made up for meals later this week. I ground up 2, half pound packages, which are now in the freezer to be used later and sliced up another half a pound to be used for tonight's dinner. I used the seitan recipe from Joanne Stepaniak's book, "Dinner for Two".

Korean style seitan. I made a marinade out of tamari, rice vinegar, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, ground ginger, and green onions. Then I put the sliced seitan in to marinate for about an hour. Once most of the meal was cooked I gave the seitan a quick fry in a nonstick pan along with the leftover sauce. To accompany our Korean style seitan we had wild rice, steamed broccoli, green beans, cauliflower, and some fresh pineapple and kiwi. The family really enjoyed dinner tonight.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Crazy two weeks of sewing and leftovers

Happy Memorial Day to all! Boy have the past 2 weeks been a whirlwind. Brandie and her sweetheart were invited to "War". For those of you who don't know what that is, it is like going back in time to the early Medieval times. This was a 4 day bash out in Petreo, California over Memorial Day weekend. There is Merchants row, sword fighting, a carnival with games of the period, music, dancing and classes to learn everything from beading to shoe making. They have a big feast and good old fun. Once sundown hits everyone must be dressed in "Garb" (clothing for the period), or they must leave the park. I have been sewing Brandie and Micah's outfits. I was worried what to make, so Brandie researched and we got a very good idea. With my back injury I could only sit at the sewing machine for 15 minutes at a time and them I would recline or lay down. I finished the clothes at 12:30 on Friday afternoon, 40 minutes before they headed out. Brandie ended up with one dress, 2 tunics, and a belt. Micah ended up with 2 pair of pants, 2 shirts, and one tunic. Brandie went to the thrift store and picked up solid color sheets, which were turned into Medieval clothes. She picked up a couple yards of material at Wal-mart for a buck a yard too. I love that she is so thrifty. Anyway they had a good time below are the come pictures when they got home.
I love this picture of them. They have such nice smiles. Here Brandie hasher tunic over her dress. She said she would get hot and take it off. I am kinda glad, since she looked so cute in her dress.

Brandie's dress from the front. Micah hand stitched their little bags on their belts.

Good job, Son! Almost done!

Back view of Bandie's dress. Shoot, the pattern called for a zipper, something they did not have back then. I sewed in little loops of cord so we could weave the dress closed. We had fun.

Our Medieval couple!

Now you have seen why we ate leftovers for the past couple weeks. I just didn't have it in me to do too much cooking and sewing. Don't you just love your freezer in times like these.
So here are some goodies we munched on.

Before we found out about the kids going to "War", I made a huge pot of Pinto beans. I cooked them with "no-chicken broth, canned green chilies, cumin, chili powder, onion and garlic. Lucky for us Pinto beans are a magical bean that can be turned into tacos, burritos, soup, and stew.

Here is a recipe for a Couscous salad that Brandie changed a bit from the original on Susan's site, which orginated from Vegan Fusion.

Mt. Carmel Couscous Salad

1 3/4 c No-Chicken Broth, 1 c Couscous, 1 c Tomato, chopped, 3/4 c Cucumber, seeded and chopped, 3 Tbl Italian parsley, minced, 2 Tbl Lemon juice, fresh squeezed, 1 Tbl Balsamic vinegar, 11/2 tsp Garlic, minced, Sea salt, and Black pepperto taste

Bring broth to a boil. Remove from heat, add the couscous, cover and allow to sit until all liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Then fluff it with a fork and let it cool. Once it is cool add the remaining ingredients. It says it makes 2-3 servings, but it fed us more than once. Check out the original recipe from Vegan Fusion

Thank goodness for left over "Mac and Cheeze" This is my adaptation from Susan's "Baked macaroni and cheese" Our families favorite. You can see my recipe here

Please check out Susan's recipe:

Veggies getting ready to be roasted. I love roasted veggies!

Simply steamed broccoli and cauliflower.
Somehow we survived and I am done sewing for awhile and ready to cook! Hope I didn't bore you all too much, with family photos on this post. Off to the kitchen.....

Monday, May 14, 2007

Blueberry Muffins, Spicy Black Eyed Peas, Calzones, and Susan's BBQ Seitan Ribs

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day. I was given the surprise of my life. My sister flew in from Texas to surprise both my mother and I. I didn't have my camera with me, but will get pictures before she leaves next Saturday.

Saturday was cooking day. The family requested Susan's lasagna again. http:// Since I just made it and posted a picture I didn't take another one this time. When making it this time the only thing I changed was adding grated zucchini instead of sliced. I made extra filling to use in my Calzones. Melody made some beautiful ones last week and I had to try my hand at them. Brandie and I loved them. I made 6 so we could have them for lunches too. The crust was made from my Bread machine cookbook. They are filled with the leftover lasagna filling, crumbled Gardenburger sausage patties, olives, my marinara sauce and some vegan Parmesan cheez. Brandie loves the sausage patties and said I should put more in next time. I think I would prefer a bell pepper and onion filling. We both agreed they were fantastic. Brandie's sweetheart took on for lunch and loved it. Micah is her omniman. He had no clue what was in it, but sure loved it. We served it with some fabulous tomatoes. They are not organic, but are pesticide free and grown in California.

I used my bread machine to make the dough, but I am sure you can prepare it by hand. I would make a yeast sponge first.

Whole wheat pizza dough/calzone recipe:

3/4 cup water

1 1/3 Tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 Tablespoon vegan sugar

3/4 t. sea salt

1 cup whole wheat bread flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/2 t. gluten

2 t. yeast

Add all the ingredients to your bread maker and start dough cycle. When the cycle is completed place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest for 20 minutes.

Oven temp: 425 degrees for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

The dough made into 6 pieces = 3pts on weight watchers. :o)

I have to give credit to Susan at again. Susan I love your blog. It is so full of yummies. We fell in love with her Cranberry Orange Walnut muffins so I wondered if I could use blueberries. I changed the recipe a bit, but please visit Susan's site and try her delicious recipes.

These are fantastic!


Blueberry Orange Walnut Muffins:
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup whole wheat white flour
1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 water
1/2 tablespoon egg replacer powder
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup soy milk
1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Spray the muffin pan with non-stick spray. I used my new silicone muffin liners I got for Mother's Day.
In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients: flours, flax seed meal, sugar, egg replacer, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. When you have finished sifting you will have quite a large amount of bran left over just dump it in. I like to sift so I don't get baking powder and soda lumps in my batter.
In another bowl, stir together water, orange juice, soymilk, apple sauce, and vanilla. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the liquid. Stir just to until all flour is moistened;DO NOT OVER STIR OR YOU WILL HAVE TOUGH MUFFINS. Fold in the frozen blueberries and walnuts. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
* Bake for 12 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of one muffin comes out clean. Remove muffin pan to a wire rack. Cool for 5 to 10 minutes before carefully removing muffins from cups. Makes about 14 regular-sized muffins.
14 muffins = 2 points each on Weight Watchers
* When I made Susan's cranberry muffins they only took 12 minutes to cook, but this blueberry muffin recipe took 20 minutes. I am not sure if it was the silicone muffins liners or the changes I made required a longer cooking time.

Diann over at made some wonderful Spicy Rice & Black-eyed Peas, a recipe she found over at Susan's site. I substituted some fire-roasted tomatoes for the stewed tomatoes. I would like to try this recipe again without the sub. Brandie loves them, but I think the fire-rosted tomatoes over powers the rest of the ingredients. Diann's photo looks so much better than mine. Please visit her site and see how good they really look.

Last, but by all means not least Susan's BBQ Seitan Ribs. We throughly enjoyed these. They do puff up and are a bit thicker than I thought, but they are so quick and easy to make. I did elimated the liquid smoke. I am not a big fan of smoked flavor. I also used regular paprika because I have never been able to find the smoked kind. Baked seitan is the way to go. I used my indoor electric grill and they came out nicely. DH loves this comfort meal. What more could you ask for; BBQ ribs, baked potato, corn, and slice tomotoes. I think some coleslaw would have been nice too.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Brandie and Daddy Planting our Garden!

Here are some of our beauties. Sweet basil, purple basil, regular tomatoes, jelly bean tomatoes, zucchini, and chives. We sure hope we have success.

Here is our baby sweet corn, green beans, and more tomatoes. DH went nuts with the tomatoes. He planted a bunch of seeds, which leaves us with a bunch of tomato plants. Good thing our family eats them by the bushel. :o)

Our sweet Brandie working the soil with her dad.

It was some really tough ground. Thanks to my dad they finally got a reprieve by using his tiller. That made things move really fast.

There are our little green beans planted by Brandie. She is also planting the corn in this picture. In the end, Brandie also planted cucumbers, cauliflower, and lettuce.
Thank you Brandie for all your help.

Last but not least a cute picture of Tilly, one of our fur kids, playing in daddy's sock drawer.

Aren't fur kids cute?

Busted! Now she is ready to escape. :o)

Monday, May 7, 2007

Quiche, Sweet potato fries, quinoa, and a strawberry shake

We have found the breakfast food of champions. Susan's Mini tofu quiches. If you have not tried these I beg you too. I have disliked eggs most of my life. Even before I became vegan, eggs had to be smothered it cheese and salsa just to politely tolerate them. I read the reviews from Susan's post and knew I had to try them. When they were almost done cooking I touched the center to see if they were done and thought to myself, ewww they feel like eggs. I am happy to say they are fantastic and remember this is coming from someone who hates eggs. Now DH who loves eggs ate 3 of these right off the bat. He thinks they are great. Brandie made hers into a lil sandwich. Her version of a "vegan mc-muffin". They don't look as big as Susan's, but it might be the pan I used. Next time Brandie and I thought broccoli might be really good in them. I did add an extra 1/2 Tablespoon of yeast (we love nutritional yeast), but other than that I followed the recipe to a Tee. Thanks gain Susan for this masterpiece. I do know to double the recipe. These were gone lickety split. Everyone check out Susan's site.

Weight Watcher points:
Using lite silken tofu 0 pt each or 1pt for 2, 3 or 4 pieces.
Using regular silken tofu 1 or 2 pieces = 1pt, 3 pieces = 2pt, 4 pieces = 3pt

Yes, we are still eating falafel. Who can get enough of it. I made some sweet potato fries, which Brandie is now in love with, steamed green and red cabbage, broccoli, some yellow squash hiding behind the cucumber sticks, tomatoes, and another new kick, pickled beets. Let me tell you. We do not care for canned pickled beets. We don't like the taste or texture, but we found some jarred pickled beets that are free from preservatives and nasty stuff. They say they are like the German sweet and sour beets, although I have no idea if they are or not, they are great and are nothing like the canned varieties.

I just love quinoa! So I thought I would make a quick quinoa pilaf. Considering quinoa cooks in no time this is a very easy dish to make. I sauteed green onion, garlic, and shredded carrot in some No-Chicken broth. Once the veggies were getting soft I added a cup of quinoa and 2 cups of the broth. Put on the lid and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. Right before it was done I added some frozen green peas. Dinner also included Gardenburger "vegan" Chik-n patty with homemade guacamole on a sprouted wheat bun, cauliflower, green beans, and some broccoli. We are in love with avocados. My guacamole is so easy. I cut up an avocado and tomato. Mix them up really good. Then I add granulated garlic and salt and pepper to taste. It works as a fabulous spread on sandwiches and when DH wants a salad I puree it more and it is a wonderful dressing.

Tonight's dinner was very colorful. We had the leftover quinoa pilaf, pickled beets, yellow corn, "Eden's Baked Beans", yellow squash, zucchini, sliced tomatoes and some black olives. I think we did it! We got all the colors of the rainbow in this meal. I know, it looks like a strange combination, but healthy and tasty is big in our house. It just feels good to eat healthy.

A quick strawberry shake for dessert. Fresh strawberries, soy delicious vanilla, and some Silk vanilla soy milk. What can get better? We found some organic baby cookies that are really good. Silly yes, but fun to be a kid!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Leftover soup, falafel, and veggies.

Simple, but good. I had some leftover vegetable bean soup and potato leek soup in the fridge. There was just enough of both to make a yummy lunch. I combined the two and added some bow tie pasta and there you have it. One yummy lunch. I just had to share because the soup was really good and the little bow-ties looked cute in the picture.

I keep cooked beans in the freezer for quick meals and I used the last of mine with the chili I made the other day. So today was the day for restocking. I cooked black beans, white beans, and pinto beans. I spread them out on cookies sheets when they are done, once they are cool I package them in 2 cup servings. Needless to say, after that I was done cooking. Brandie has wanted falafel so I cheated tonight and used the dry mix that you add water too. It is a quick meal in a pinch. I did steam some yellow squash, broccoli, rainbow chard, and cooked up some frozen corn. We are hooked on Bryanna's Fat free brown yeast gravy, so I made a pot of that too. Added some yummy tomatoes and dinner was done. Delish!

When Brandie walked in the door from work today she said she was starving. I am glad I got her favorites made. She had the falafel and a Vegan Gardenburger. You can see here that she decided to put her rainbow chard on her bun. When I asked how it was, she gave me the thumbs up since her mouth was full of yummies!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Black Bean Chili, Potato Leek Soup, Bread, Veggies, and GOO!

Brandie's dinner of leftover lasagna with veggies. She plated it so nicely she asked if I wanted to post it. I told her of course! So here is her lovely dinner.

I found a great 9 grain bread recipe on Dori's site. Make sure you read the comments. This is where she posted the recipe. It is delicious. I made it yesterday and there is less than 1/3 of the loaf left. It is so good. I used white whole wheat flour, whole wheat bread flour, and substituted millet for the sesame seed.

We served this with our Potato Leek Soup. So good!

I had a couple leeks laying around and figured Potato Leek soup was on the menu. I sauted the celery, onion, garlic, and leeks. Then I added 8 cups of No-Chicken. Once that came to boil I added 6 cups of cubed potatoes. Simmer until the potatoes are fork tender. I added 2 T. of Earth Balance, 1/2 cup of light soy milk, and seasoned it with salt, pepper, and a bit of fresh nutmeg. I garnished the soup with some sliced green onions. It made 13 cups of soup. DH, loved it. He ate 2 cups for dinner. Even with the earth balance it is only 1 point per cup on weight watchers.

I have made this recipe before, but it is so good. This time I used 2 cups of black beans and 1 cup of pinto beans. You can find it at Susan's site It is amazing chili and really fun to make. I had never used dry chili's before and this recipe teaches you how to use them. The bread is Four Grain Cornbread that I also found on Susan's site. The bread tastes really good, but next time I will put it in a loaf pan instead of forming a round and cooking it on a cookie sheet. After the second rise it had spread out instead of rising up. It has the flavor of english muffin bread. We really enjoye the texture of millet. Give it a try, you won't be disappointed.

Tx made some great roasted yellow squash, so I had to give it a try. I sliced some zucchini, yellow squash, onion, and some chopped garlic misted them with olive oil and them cooked them at 375 for about 20-30 min. Sweet as sugar! Check out Tx's site she always has great recipes and ideas.

Over at Tex's blog she had also made the most wonderful brownies. I figured DH would be in Heaven. So I thought I would give them a try. I have a hard time with too much sugar and white flour and too much fat so I could not leave well enough alone. The recipe called for 1/2 cup Earth Balance ( I used 1/4 cup and 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce), 1/2 cup flour ( I used whole wheat pastry flour), flax eggs ( I used Ener-G egg). They looked beautiful in the pan and DH loved cleaning the bowl (He is such a kid), but when they cooled they were goo! Simply GOO! Never the less DH loved them. I am not sure if my changes killed them or what. Please try the original recipe because they are getting great reviews. Anyway here is the picture of GOO!