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

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Happy One Year Anniversary to Boo's Blog!

Happy Blog Anniversary to me!!!

One year ago today I stepped into the unknown world of blogging. I am thankful to all my blog buddies for their inspiring blogs to help me on my way. I missed my One year Vegan Anniversary, October 1, 2007, that was a rough time with our Tilly and sickness. I have been watching the calendar and was not going to miss this Anniversary! This has been one of the greatest adventures to me. January 1st will be 15 months for me as a vegan a lifestyle I would not give up for anything. It is because of all you in blog land that made my transition so easy. So a great big THANK YOU along with a MERRY CHRISTMAS & A HAPPY NEW YEAR to all who have given me inspiration, shared recipes, and friendship!

Christmas morning brunch.

I don't care much for orange juice. I like the real thing, the whole fruit.

My parents are habitual coffee drinkers. They always have a pot on and a cup full. We don't drink coffee nor even have a coffee pot, but I sure can make a mean cup of soy milk hot cocoa, which everyone enjoyed.

Susan's Skinny Fig Bars. Not only are these delicious they are really fun to make. I pressed the fig filling out on wax paper until I had the shape of the pan I was using. Then I put it on top of the crust and slowly peeled the paper away. It worked like a dream. These were a big hit. My mom called me yesterday to tell me she had eaten a some more of them. Thank you Susan!

Bryanna's Waffle Iron Hashbrowns. I also got this recipe from Susan's site. Another fun dish to make and also very delicious. DH who hates cooked carrots loved these. Brandie who also hates cooked carrots did not like them. Now I don't know if it is because she is pregnant and her taste buds have a mind of their own or if she really could taste the carrot. DH could not taste the carrot and therefore loved them. I guess everyone out there should give them a try and decide for yourselves. I think you could make them without the carrots, but I want to try substituting the zucchini for the carrots or sweet potatoes!

Of course what is a brunch without quiches. Susan's Mini Crustless Tofu Quiches are the only way to go. I didn't have any mushrooms so these are filled with red bell pepper, green onions, and garlic. My dad didn't even know they were made from tofu and loved them. Susan's right about making more. I only had enough tofu to make one batch, which meant we were limited to only 1 or 2 each. Sorry for the blurry picture.

Here are the show stoppers. I have been making my "Cinnabons" for years. They are vegetarian, but this year they needed to be Vegan. It worked! You could not tell the difference between the veggie and vegan ones. I am in Heaven! Granted these are only made once a year unless there is a really good reason. They are moist, delicious, sweet, and totally void of all nutritional properties. :o) Well, there is tofu in the frosting so that may give them a tiny boost of nutrition. They are 100% white flour, sugar, earth balance, and more sugar, but they are a family tradition and therefore we figure once a year we are allowed. I have a yearning to try them with whole wheat pastry flour and agave and see what happens. I will keep you posted on the outcome. Hmmm maybe stevia?

I leave you now with my plate of Christmas yummies and another thank you for helping to make this year one of my best years yet!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Split pea soup, Marinara sauce, and cookies!

Is my hubby the only one out there that turns into a small child when he is sick? What would they do without us? My DH has been sick since last Friday, actually it started last Thursday night. Sore throat, stuffy nose, little cough, but by Saturday we were in the midst of full blown nastiness. Poor guy! He had sinus surgery on Wednesday and then got sick. Now he is a stuffed up, hacking mess. He was miserable and misery loves company. I finally got him in a better mood with Split Pea Soup. It is hard to believe that after 10 or more years of marriage he decided to try it. (He was sure it would be gross, look at the color?) And now it brings a smile to his face even when he is sick.
Sheree's version of Split Pea Goodness
1/2 onion, chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 potato, chopped
1 cup dried split peas ( I use a mixture of yellow and green)
2 T. barley
4 cups "no chicken broth"
1 tsp dried basil
salt and pepper to taste
Saute the onion, carrot, and celery for about 5 min. Then add your minced
garlic and cook for about 3 more min. Next add the broth, peas, and basil.
Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours. Keep an eye on it and stir often. Split pea soup gets thick and can burn on the bottom. I have had it take as long as 3 hours for the peas to get tender. Once done I use my immersion blender and puree it a bit.

I have posted about this before, but it is such an amazing marinara sauce. If any of you out there are testing for Melody and haven't tired this you are really missing out. It is a very simple sauce, but has a kick from the red pepper flakes. I would love to share it with you, but it is a tester. I add some ground seitan to it and you have an amazing meat sauce. We ate one batch in two days. It was so good I made another batch to freeze and keep on hand. We had some wonderful garlic bread with it. Definitely no fat free, but oh so good. I minced about 3 cloves of garlic, mixed it with some Earth Balance, and olive oil. Spread it on your favorite sourdough bread and broil until little garlic crispies appear. Another smile from DH sad sick state.

In our home the word cookie is not allowed. You see our fur babies know exactly what that word means. Therefore when we want cookies we will ask where are the round things. lol I have posted about this recipe before, but they are so good. I had hid the recipe because we were getting out of hand making them. Apparently DH is on the mend and wanted some "Round things". He was hunting everywhere for the recipe. He wanted to make them while I was at work and surprise me. He didn't find the recipe, but when I got home we pitched in together and got the job done. This recipe is from Have cake will travel and it is the simplest recipe you will every make. I know it by heart. (That tells you how often we make it) Anyway DH made 6 delicious cookies. He was very proud of himself being this was his first attempt. By the way, the recipe calls for 1/6 of a cup of soy milk and nut butter, which equals 2T and 2tsp. Check out the recipe and indulge for the holidays! Oh, we make ours with vegan carob chips. Oh SO GOOD!

I hope you all are staying well, but if the bug gets you feel free to try my soup and see if it works. If it does you will no you are on the mend when the cookies come out of the oven. :o)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Pecan crusted french toast, ribz, potatoes, and more!

Where to begin? I went to download my photos from my camera and realized I had quite a few to post about. So we will begin with my new found breakfast recipe. As many of you know I don't eat traditional breakfast food at breakfast time so here is what DH and I had for lunch today. Pecan Crusted French Toast from a new cookbook called Skinny Bitch in the Kitch. Lindsay over at Happyherbivore posted about it and couldn't wait to try it. I have been on a waiting list at the library for a few months waiting for this book and I was notified the next day that it was in. Thank you Lindsay! Yeepee! So here we have it. This is incredible French toast and it is healthy too. I did make mine with bread I had on hand, but it could have been even healthier if I would have used whole wheat bread. Oh, by the way the book Skinny Bitch is about a couple girls who changed their lives by going vegan and they mince no words throughout the book on the why's, where's, who's, and what's to going vegan. The book uses language that I personally don't ever use, but I learned real quick that the information, the ease of reading, and the style of the writing was fantastic especially to those who are not vegan and those of us who sometimes just need a reminder of why a healthy vegan is better than a junk food vegan. I cried and was sick to my stomach while reading one of the chapters where people who work at slaughter houses gave quotes of what really goes on in these horrible places. Needless to say I would recommend the book, but it is not for children due to language. They also have the cookbook mentioned above.

We had leftover meetloaf, baked potato and our new found cornbread recipe from the PPK kitchen. Hubby loves unbleached flour in his cornbread, but I am going to try it with whole wheat pastry flour next time. (I really don't like using the "white flour"...) It is really good cornbread. Diann made the same bread this past week and had it with her yummy chili. Go check it out!

I know was all have baked potatoes, but this picture was so pretty I wanted to post it. Just a baked potato, chili, corn, and some green onions. Delish!

This was what I had for breakfast 2 days in a row this past week. Left over chili with some added corn, pasta, and nutritional yeast. Tasted just like a goulash dish I grew up with. Yum!

Brandie had a craving for Susan's ribz. I can't blame her they are a regular meal for us and besides they agree with baby kidlet. Anything that will stay down with morning sickness is the way to go. I know it is winter, but when you have your handy dandy indoor grill all things are possible.

Look at those lovely grill marks. My DH got me this grill last
Christmas and I can't thank him enough!

That it for now. I am headed back to my favorite room in the house, my kitchen!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Cheesecake, lentil soup, muffins, and more

Well, I am back. Thanksgiving as you know was not the best kind of celebration, but I am indeed thankful for all your wonderful words of comfort, thoughts, and prayers as I was going through this rough time. I won't try and tell you I am over my grieving since I cried again this morning while looking at my last post, but I will be OK. On to food. I did cook a Thanksgiving dinner, which Brandie and Micah enjoyed. They enjoyed it so much I forgot to take pictures except for dessert. I must say these two recipes are fantastic and you all should try them. The one on the left was Susan's Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake with a homemade vegan graham cracker crust and Bryanna's tofuless pumpkin pie with a whole wheat crust I purchased.

Susan's Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake has two layers. I love both of them and have already stocked up on come tofutie cream cheese for Christmas dessert. I certainly hope I can wait that long. It is so, so good. Thank you Susan for sharing this AWESOME recipe.

Bryanna's pie is a home run for those who don't like the tofu taste in your pumpkin pie. She give optional ingredients. This time I used the option of adding some molasses, which gives it a darker, richer taste and look. I enjoyed it, but Brandie said she likes the normal version. It is so dark and rich looking that many might think this is a chocolate pie.

Brandie revised this cookie recipe from Susan's site. She was so proud of her yummy creations. They are oatmeal, carob chip cookies. Good job BJ, they are delicious! She left out the cocoa, added carob chips, lessened the sugar to 1/4 cup, and used maple syrup in place of the corn syrup

Most nights have been simple leftovers or quick meals. Nature's burger as I have mentioned in the past is a great meal when time or energy are lacking. I quickly cut up some potatoes into fries, steamed them, and popped them in the broiler with a mist of olive oil and sea salt. I had made some really good Spelt Hamburger buns weeks ago and took them from the freezer. With the Nature's burger mix soaking in boiling water, potatoes cooking, and corn heating, I threw together a green salad. In no time at all we had a very filling and delicious dinner.

Diann over at Eat'nVeg'n made some wonderful Pumpkin, Millet, and Chocolate Chip muffins. You must try them. You toast the millet before mixing it in the batter. When these delicious muffins are done they have a wonderful aroma and ever bite you get a tasty little crunch. Brandie and I went nuts over these. With her morning sickness these are one of the many foods that seem to stay down. Thank you, Diann!!

Finally a comfort food that is perfect for this time of year. Warm lentil stew or soup. I have lived on this for the past week and it is the best breakfast. I know many may think this weird, but I really don't care for traditional breakfast, except for my scrambled tofu! I love to have a high protein breakfast. Many cereals are tasty and nutritious, but I am starving an hour later. Now don't laugh, just give it a try. Ok, I don't just eat soup. I have a routine. I have to get to work so early just for parking that I arrive an hour before I really get paid so I always bring my breakfast and enjoy it while reading your blogs. On work days I always have 2 grapefruit, then my weird breakfast item with an orange. Since I at work before 7 am this breakfast keeps me going until 11 or so and then I eat another orange and an apple. Well, they say to get 9 servings of fruit and veggies a day. I don't think any of us have a problem with that. I will end my LONG post with my lentil soup/stew recipe and head for the kitchen. It is cold and rainy outside and I hear my kitchen calling me. Have a great day!

Lentil Soup/Stew
4 cups "no Chicken" broth or veggie broth
1 cup brown or green lentils, rinsed
1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
2 medium carrots
1 small onion, chopped
1 large stalk of celery, chopped
7 cloves of garlic, minced (we always use a ton of garlic)
1/2 cup of tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons of dried basil
1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
Saute the carrots, celery, and chopped onions until the onions are almost transparent. I use broth or water, but you could use some olive oil too. Add the garlic and stir for about 2 minutes. You don't want to burn the garlic or it becomes bitter. Add the remaining ingredient, bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for about 45 to 50 minutes until the carrots and lentils are tender. The flavors in this stew only get better day after day. Enjoy!