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

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Quiet Homemade Christmas

Happy New Year! Just a post full of Christmas love!

DH plays Santa for some families in church ever year and this year we got to be Santa for our grandson. We spent Christmas eve with Brandie, Micah, and Jr. Jr. was not even afraid of Santa! Here is myself, DH (Santa) and Jr. What a happy boy!

This is a wonderful vegan basket of goodies from a very good friend of mine and her husband. Chuck got a nice shirt, socks for me, popcorn, hot chocolate, hand lotion, organic sparkling apple cider for New Years Eve, the DVD of Sleeping Beauty, pita chips and more. N & E, Chuck and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Thanks to Bethany I made roasted butternut squash seeds. They were so good that they disappeared shortly after coming out of the oven. :o)

This years economy made way to a homemade Christmas. This is a little wooden house and family that Chuck makes from wood. Then I do the painting. This one is Brandie, Micah, and Jr's. Brandie loves skulls so I painted the family in hoodie's with skulls. I am so glad they liked it.

DH made this wonderful wooden toy for Jr. It rolls across the floor and makes the sound similar to those stand up toys (popcorn popper). Jr loves it. Brandie loved it so much she asked her dad to make some more in different sizes so the sounds are different. DH has already made Jr. 2 more. A new tradition has been born. Grandpa has to make Jr a wooden toy each Christmas.

Another shot so you can see. The dowels in the middle are the ones that make noise as it rolls.

Because we spent Christmas Eve with Brandie and the family Christmas day was quiet and simple. Tofurky roast was the main attraction.

What a mess, but boy is it good. Susan's Green bean casserole, potatoes and gravy, carrots, broccoli, stuffing, and the best cranberry sauce ever thanks to Veggie girls great advice.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Picked Garden Goodies Before the Freeze

Looks like our garden will be nearing it's end. I think winter has finally arrived.
We have a freeze warning beginning tonight, which is not good for the garden. One good thing is that I didn't have to do much thinking about dinner. Picked some veggies and made up a quick rice and lentil dish, dinner served. The rest of the garden will be covered in burlap tonight and we will hope for the best.
Here is dinner: tons of steamed zucchini, sauteed kale, 3 kinds of lettuce for a green salad, topped with fresh tomatoes, and a mixture of wild rice, brown rice, green and red lentils cooked in "no-chicken" broth, onions, and garlic.
Now I am off to the garden to tuck the veggies into their burlap bed.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Home grown goodness!

We have had some crisp cool weather along with some light rain the past couple of days so we just let Mother nature water the garden. Today with clear skies, back out to our garden I went. Needless to say our produce enjoyed Mother natures gift and have blessed us with some delicious goodies. I picked some Romain lettuce, tomatoes, and DH brought in about 17 jalapenos.
Here is one of out tomato plants

We still have maybe 6 or 7 heads of Romain lettuce growing.

Future popper.:o)
Now, most of you know that I am not a huge fan of super "HOT" foods. Don't get me wrong, I love a good dish of spice just not the kind that burns my mouth so bad that I can't enjoy or taste the food. DH on the other hand believes the "HOTTER" the better. I wanted to surprise him with something fun and with all those jalapenos I figured why not make something that I have never made nor eaten. Jalapeno Poppers. Seeing that I never liked cream cheese, the kind from a cow, poppers have never been in my diet, but tofutti cream cheese I love so why not give them a shot. I found a recipe on the Tofutti website and went for it. DH dipped his in salsa of course and I dipped mine in organic ketchup. Can you say delicious? Oh my gosh! DH was thrilled and so was I. If any of you out there want to give them a try, here is the recipe I used. I have also put my version of it below. The ingredients are the same with the addition of seasoning the flour and bread crumbs and the directions are a bit more detailed.

Vegan Poppers

12 jalapeno peppers, sliced in half lengthwise, tops and seeds removed
8 ounces Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese (I use the one without transfats)
1 cup soy milk (I used plain)
1 cup flour (season with salt and pepper)
1 cup bread crumbs (I used a mixture of homemade and panko seasoned with salt and pepper) oil for frying


Cut the peppers in half and scrape out the seeds. Keep the halves together because you have to put them back together. Fill each half of the pepper with Tofutti and put the halves back together.
Put the soy milk and the flour into two separate bowls.
Dip the stuffed jalapenos into the soy milk and then into the flour, making sure that they are well-coated. Allow the coated jalapenos to dry for about 10 minutes.
Dip the jalapenos into the soy milk again and roll them through the breadcrumbs. Allow them to dry then repeat the process to ensure that the entire surface of each jalapeno is coated.
In a large skillet or deep fryer, heat the oil. Deep fry the jalapenos for about 3 minutes or until golden brown then transfer them to paper towels to drain.

I still have some peppers left so I whipped up a batch of Jalapeno Corn Muffins thanks to Beverly Lynn Bennett, The Vegan Chef.

We finished up this delicious meal with a wonderful, cooling green salad dressed with a Dijon mustard and cilantro dressing. Quick, simple, and tasty.

Go for it folks!

You know you want to. :o)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Going where we've never gone before!

DH and I decided it was time to try something new, go where we have never gone before, and expand our horizons with new and different foods. Now I know that many of you out there are much more adventurous and these will not be new to you, but we have to start somewhere. DH and I were watching the Christmas special on Food Network and DH got his first new food recipe to try, Parsnip Puree. For those of you who do not know my DH is a very sweet omni, but willing to try everything. Off to the store we went in search of our new ingredients.

With that said, I bring you Mr. Organic Celery Root also known as
Celeriac and Vegetable Octopus.
Wikipedia definition: Celeriac may be used raw or cooked. It has a tough, furrowed, outer surface which is usually sliced off before use because it is too rough to peel. Celeriac has a celery flavour, and is often used as a flavouring in soups and stews; it can also be used on its own, usually mashed, or used in baked dishes. Celeriac is not as widely used as some other root vegetables, perhaps because it is harder to prepare and clean: Celeriac can leave quite an unpleasant taste in the mouth a little while after eating.

Now we can't forget the star, Mrs. Parsnip.

Wikipedia definition: Until the potato arrived from the New World, its place in dishes was occupied by the parsnip and other root vegetables. Parsnips can be boiled, roasted or used in stews, soups, and casseroles. In some cases, the parsnip is boiled and the solid portions are removed from the soup or stew, leaving behind a more subtle flavour than the whole root and contributing starch to thicken the dish. Roasted parsnip is considered an essential part of Christmas dinner in some parts of the English-speaking world. Parsnips can also be fried, or be eaten raw.

Parsnip Puree
The orginal recipe, which you can find here, has bacon, butter, and whole milk. I used Earth Balance, unsweetened soy milk, and chives.

As dinner was served, I waited to hear what DH had to say about his new found food. "Well it is very smooth and very sweet!" I had to agree with him on the sweet, but I liked our new recipe and although DH cleaned his plate, seconds were not in the future. He said, " I hope Brandie likes it because there are leftovers." Thank you DH for having such a open mind.
What will be next you ask? I already have my ingredients and will share them with you later this week. :o)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Blogging buddies make my week a success!

This weeks food has been made possible by 3 really super blogging buddies. First I need to send a big thank you out to Julie of for her enchiladas recipe. Our ladies group at church has a progressive dinner each year for Christmas. This year the theme was Mexican and the main dish was enchiladas. Seeing that I wanted to eat too I needed to make vegan enchiladas, which I have never done. I emailed Julie and the same day I received an email from her describing how she makes them. Thank you so much! I followed her cooking directions along with a yummy filling of black beans, sauteed leeks, chili powder, red pepper flakes, garlic, cumin the addition of some Gimmi Lean "meat" and some extra Follow Your Heart Cheddar Cheeze over the top of 2 big cans of enchiladas sauce. They were the hit of the dinner. People were shocked to see me eating them and kept saying, "Thought you were vegan". Well, vegans can have just as much fun as the rest of you. Ladies were tasting from my plate and going to get some of their own. Good thing I made 2 pans of them. Sadly in all the hurrying I forgot to take a decent picture so this is all I have to offer. They are so good!!! Boy I want to make some more!!!

My next big Thank you goes out to Becks for asking Jess if I could have her mum's awesome vegan biscuit recipe. Mum, I want to thank you for your fantastic recipe and Jess for allowing me to try them. You have an awesome MUM!!! I have not had a decent biscuit since going vegan 2 years ago. As you can see I had a comfort meal of biscuits and gravy. Brandie made some scramble tofu to go along. Thank you so much sharing!

Ok everyone, lets see what yummy comfort meals we can all come up
with as our weather turn chilly!