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

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!


Rural Vegan said...

I think lentil stew for breakfast sounds perfect! I don't eat traditional breakfast foods often either, but on a cold morning I could go for stew! Susan's pumpkin cheesecake looks awesome, think I will try that for Xmas.

MeloMeals said...

I have eaten leftover soup so many times for breakfast. You are after my heart with this recipe.. it has even more garlic than my usual! I often use 10 cloves per 2 c dried lentils!

You rock my socks!

I'm sorry the grieving process is still so hard. It's OK that you are still so sad. I have been too when losing precious pets.

aTxVegn said...

Hi, Sheree! I'm so glad you and especially Brandie have been enjoying the millet muffins. I have one left in my freezer and then I will make some more!

It's still not soup weather here, although I did have some lentil soup when I took Chase to lunch earlier this week. We went to our fave spot downtown and it was crazy busy. My soup wasn't so good and they served Chase's falafel wrap without the falafel! Oh, well....

I know you're still sad about losing Tilly and I'm sorry. I still cry over pets I lost years ago.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the recipe. I'm sorry the grieving process is still so hard on you, i wish you get better soon.

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

welcome back, Sheree!! Hope all is as well as it can be.

mmm, the double-layer pumpkin cheezecake and the tofuless pumpkin pie look FABULOUS!! as do the cookies!! and you KNOW that I'm thrilled by the fact that Brandie replaced the chocolate with the carob - yay!!! :0D

your dinner plate, Diann's muffins (her recipes are stellar), and YOUR stellar lentil soup/stew (my favorite legume!) look positively delectable.

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

*Thoughts and prayers still coming your way*

That pie and cheezecake look divine! I wish I could take them right off the screen!

And your lentil soup sounds so much like a lentil stew recipe my family makes and loves, so I'm sure it tastes wonderful :o).

Don't Get Mad, Get Vegan! said...

Everything looks soooo good. I've been craving lentils lately, thanks for the recipe, a hearty soup is just what I need!

to return the go to gravy is sans recipe but very easy. quantities are approx but you just work it until you get the flavor ya want!
heat about 2 c. soy milk in micro.
heat a T of olive oil in sauce pan over med. heat.
add 1/8 c. flour and 1/8 c. and create a roux
add soy milk slowly, whisking to avoid clumps. you may need more...when i do i just add some hot water from the tap as it's simpler.
then i add a little gravy starter, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, tamari and sea salt all to taste until i have the flavor i want.
when it starts to bubble, reduce to low and serve on everything!

so much love to you..i know the pain from losing such a cherished friend pretty much always lingers...but when you start to see that they are all around you, that they never actually leave, that they are just released from pain or age or discomfort in their earthly body it helps to ease the pain of missing their warmth and their personality right there with you every day. the next thing of beauty that really takes your breath away? know that Tilly is there, it is her gift to you.

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

None of my Dallas friends have blogs... yet. Maybe I'll inspire them haha.

Anonymous said...

Your lentil stew looks like comfort in a bowl -- just the thing to soothe a wounded soul. Good thoughts coming your way -- I'm sorry about Tilly.

(this is midwest vegan - I switched blogs)

Judy said...

The pies look lovely, and I am glad to know I am not the only one whose pumpkin pies turn out brownish. I can't wait to try those muffins too, thanks for reminding me. And that stew at the bottom looks fantastic, and I'm not laughing about the breakfast thing since last week I had chicken noodle soup for brekkie two days in a row. Kept me full too!

Jen said...

Hi Sheree, Thanks for your nice comment about my pot pies! I'm sorry about you losing Tilly. Comfort food is a good thing when you're sad... Take good care of yourself.

Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

Ahhh.... nothing is better than lentil soup. Nothing! Not even vegan cheesecake... well.... ok... maybe that's a tie.

I also wanted to tell you how sorry I am about your precious kitty. We went thru the same with our beloved doggy this past summer and it still is fresh in my heart and mind... {hugs} to you and your family...

Jenni (aka Vegyogini) said...

I still grieve the loss of my kitty who passed away 5.5 years ago. I'm amazed that it's even been that long. My thoughts are with you.

Thank you for the lentil soup recipe. I love soup and will give yours a try! Oh, and I eat a grapefruit per work day with my lunch. :)