For Old Time’s Sake

If I didn’t recognize it already, yesterday my line sister outright said it: “you stay busy.”

Yes, yes I do. It’s not even on purpose, but I have so many great people in my life and so many varying interests and commitments and events that there’s always something going on. It’s great, but what it means is that I have to constantly rearrange my priorities. Often, cooking finds itself on the chopping block (get it? hehehe). I still cook for myself, but most times they’re uninteresting meals that consist of a buncha stuff that I throw together in a pot or pan.

But a few nights ago, I decided to ditch my workout to cook some veggie burgers. I had carrot pulp that I saved after juicing and I always wanted to try making veggie burgers with leftover carrot pulp so I gave it a go. I looked up a few recipes online, but didn’t find a specific one I wanted to use. Instead, I just took ideas from here and there.

image
Mmmm, all those yummy veggies mixed all up in there!

To give it more volume, I mashed in some black-eyed peas with the carrot pulp. I would have rather used black beans, but I didn’t have any. I had black-eyed peas. So that’s what I used. I was making steamed broccoli and corn as a side, so I figured may as well add some of that to the mixture as well. I chopped up mushrooms and threw them in and some bell peppers and garlic too. I thought to add chopped onions, but by this time I was getting tired of cutting and mashing so I skipped the onions.

To help it stay together I put some flaxseed meal in a little bowl with water, let it thicken a little then used it as the egg substitute. I didn’t measure anything out, but I think I should have because I ended up needing more.

Lastly, was the seasoning. I kinda just pulled stuff out and threw it in:

Black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, cumin, hot sauce, smoked paprika, liquid smoke, a little ground ginger, a lot of Mrs Dash Original and Mrs Dash Onion & Herb

image
Confession: I ate a small piece of one after taking this picture

This is what they looked like when they were almost done. When I tried to turn them over, they started to fall apart, so I let ’em cook a little longer before attempting to flip again and they were fine. Guess I got a little impatient. Oh, and I realized about half way through the preparation process that I had no bread of any sort, so I just ate them as patties with my broccoli and corn on the side. It was good. I was happy. Who wants to workout when you can eat instead?

Advertisements

Spotlight On: Quiona

Stole this photo from OrganicJar.com

This may look like rice or something, but it’s not, it’s quinoa! What is quinoa? Well, that’s where it gets a little fuzzy. You see, it’s generally thought to be a grain, but according to The World’s Healthiest Foods website, it’s actually related to leafy green vegetables. Who would have thought?

Anyhow, a few days ago a friend of mine asked about different quinoa recipes and it got me to thinking how much I missed quinoa. I used to eat it a lot, but the last time I ran out it took me forever to restock. But alas, not too long ago I remembered to pick some up while I was at Trader Joe’s. I just so happened to decide to make quinoa stuffed bell peppers for lunch on Friday. I didn’t have any specific recipe, but I bought a soy chorizo (also from Trader Joe’s) and I knew that it would give the quinoa a good flavor.

So I just sautéed garlic, onion, minced carrot and diced green bell pepper then added the soy chorizo. While that was cooking, I cooked the quinoa.  Even though it is actually related to leafy vegetables, people think it’s a grain cause it acts a lot like rice. So I cook it the same way I cook rice (which is on the stove since I don’t have a rice cooker), except I use veggie broth instead of water to give it a little more flavor. Once the quinoa was done, I added it to the soy chorizo and sautéed vegetables and threw in a few chopped Roma tomatoes. After cooking everything together long enough for all the flavors to mix, I just spooned it all into a bell pepper that had been steaming while I was preparing everything else. I must say it turned out pretty darn good. That was lunch on Friday.

For dinner on Saturday, I made roasted vegetable over quinoa. The night before, I tried a roasted eggplant recipe that was delicious so I wanted to try without using a recipe. Instead of using olive oil, garlic and basil like I did for the eggplant recipe, I mixed garlic, lemon juice and Italian seasoning then poured it over the left over eggplant, a few Roma tomatoes, green bell pepper and stuck it into the broiler. I cooked it for a few minutes then flipped the eggplant around and cooked it for a little longer. While everything was in the broiler, I cooked quinoa seasoned with a little Garlic & Herb Mrs. Dash. Once it was all done, I put it in the bowl. The veggies were a little too lemony and wouldn’t have been that good on their own, but quinoa tempered the lemon and soaked up some of the juices from the tomato so it worked out well together.

Then today, I made a pecan quinoa and had it with French style green beans for my mid-evening snack. The pecan quinoa was a recipe that I saw in one of my food books. It was pretty simple and straight forward. I just sautéed garlic then added quinoa, veggie broth, chopped up parsley, white pepper and pecans and cooked it until I didn’t see too many little white spots in the middle of the quinoa (if you’ve cooked it before you know what I’m talking about).  I just steamed the green beans and seasoned them with various Mrs. Dash flavors, some white pepper and a little Himalayan pink salt (more minerals than table salt).

So that was my weekend with quinoa. I’d say me and quinoa had a good time. As a side note, my mom loves this stuff. Every time she and I have a conversation about food, she brings up quinoa and how much she likes it. And with good reason. I think I’ve read that it’s the only non-animal complete protein. It’s also a good source of other good stuff.

See?

If you’re interested in trying quinoa out, you can try substituting it in any recipe that uses rice or you can try one of the suggestions on SavvyVegetarian.com

Happy Eating!

A First For Everything

If I had to guess, I would say that most people reading this have never had Brussels sprouts. I hadn’t either, until today.

Tonight I made Creamy Cruciferous Risotto with Bulgur Wheat (instead of brown rice), a recipe that I found while searching FatFree Vegan Kitchen. I was looking for something quick that would use up the last of my cabbage. This was perfect because it was simple, fast and I had all the ingredients, including the Brussels sprouts.  I just happened to have some left over from my fast. You might be thinking, “wasn’t that a while ago?” Yes, it was. I guess Brussels sprouts keep well. They’re a cruciferous vegetable related to cabbage. The World’s Healthiest Foods website has a lot of good things to say about the health benefits of eating them. I guess that’s why some of my vegetable juice recipes included Brussels sprouts juice. Continue reading “A First For Everything”

Stuff I Eat

Here are some pictures of stuff I’ve eaten lately that were just chilling in my phone.

imageThis is one of my favorite snacks. Apple with mashed banana & almond butter

 

imageGrilled “cheese” & tomato sandwich with steamed broccoli

 

imageBlack bean chili salad

 

imageRoasted Peppers Stuffed with White Beans with spinach and an eggplant recipe from one of my cook books. It may look like mush, but it was good

 

imageTahini Penne (Whole Wheat) with Broccoli and Lemon

 

imageScrambled spinach and tofu on double-fiber toast

 

imageArugula salad with tomatoes, carrots and tofu topped with pomegranate vinegar

 

imageNorth African Chickpea and Kale Soup

Mango Breakfast

When I went to the fridge this morning, guess what I found…. a MANGO! I had completely forgotten that it was in there. I had full intentions of making a smoothie with it until I realized I didn’t have a banana to smoothie it with. I ate my last one yesterday. Blast! So I had to figure out what else to do with my surprise mango.

Getting my inspiration from the Lunch Mango Cucumber Noodles dish on Raw on $10, I just cut the mango in chucks, added some chunks of cucumber, squeezed some lime juice over it and seasoned it with red pepper flakes, parsley flakes, Onion & Herb Mrs. Dash and Extra Spicy Mrs Dash (which is not all that spicy really).

It came out pretty good, although next time I have mango and cucumber, I’ll cut the cucumber into smaller pieces. The cucumber didn’t stand well on its own. The mango is really the star of this simple dish.

Bloody Cabbage???

I failed photography in high school.

I know that has nothing to do with what I ate tonight, but I just wanted to point that out because I feel guilty sometimes for not having the photographic skills to make my food look like more than a blob. In this case, a red blob.

Okay, so with that said you may be wondering what the heck my red blob is. It’s cabbage… and stuff. Despite the lack luster picture, it was pretty good. I was quite proud of myself because I just threw this together after coming home from the gym starved. My parents used to make cabbage a lot when I was growing up, so this is basically a dish I’m pretty accustomed to, with a few additions. I bet you’re wondering why it’s red. It’s cause I added beet. 🙂 I had some beet root left over from my juice fast and I didn’t want it to go to waste so I added it.

Here’s everything that’s in there:

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

2 medium carrots, coarsely julienned

2 celery stalks, chopped,

1  beet, grated

1/4 head of cabbage, chopped

3 oz extra firm tofu, cubed

1/2 cup organic low-sodium vegetable broth

1 tbsp Bragg Liquid Aminos

Black Pepper

Garlic & Herb Mrs. Dash

Red pepper flakes

Dried parsley (don’t ask why, just felt like adding something else)

Putting it together was pretty simple and straight forward. I used an olive oil cooking spray to sauté the onions, carrots and celery. Then I added the beets and cooked a little longer, till it looked like the carrots were getting soft. Then I added the cabbage, tofu, veggie broth, the Liquid Aminos, and all the seasonings and cooked somewhere between 5 to 10 minutes, I wasn’t really paying attention to time. It was just long enough to cook the cabbage. Then I put it in a bowl and ate it (stopping halfway through to take a picture).

I’m trying to come up with a cute name for it, but…. I got nothing…. Oh well, I’ll just call it dinner.

Food and Friends

image

I love my friends, I love my food, why not combine the two?

For the past few weeks, a few of my girlfriends and I have been having our ladies night. This week it was my turn to host so since I love food, I wanted to cook something for them. What ended up happening was even better: we cooked everything together!

We made kale with tomatoes and falafel sandwiches. The kale recipe was one that I got on the Whole Foods Market website and wrote about a little while ago in this post. Calina, in the pink, was in charge of preparing the veggies and chopping the tomatoes (which she would have done faster if she could chop and talk at the same time).  Shawnte was in charge of the falafel. They came out really good (once I let her use more oil). We used a falafel recipe from Allrecipes.com, with just a couple alterations.  We replaced the bread crumbs with ground up oatmeal and replaced the egg with 1 tbsp of flaxseed meal combined with 2 tbsp of water. To get a good consistency for the falafel, we had to add more oatmeal than the amount of breadcrumbs the recipe called for, maybe about  1 1/2 cups, but I didn’t measure.

To top the meal off we had whole wheat pita bread, garlic hummus, both from Trader Joes, and sparkling cider.

Calina wasn’t thrilled with the falafel, but really like the kale. And Shawte really liked the falafel, so overall I’d say the meal came out good. More importantly though, we had a great time cooking together, so it was a great night!

Indian Night

This was my dinner tonight. It was good.

Both dishes are Indian Dishes posted on Susan V’s Fat Free Vegan Kitchen recipe blog site. Have I ever mentioned that I love that site? If I haven’t, I’ll say it now: I love that site! I saw these two recipes while I was perusing the site a few days ago, decided to have an Indian night sometime this week and went out to buy all the ingredients.

I was especially excited about the okra dish because I’ve never eaten, not to mention cooked, okra before. From the picture on Susan’s site, the okra didn’t look all gooey like I’ve seen cooked okra look before. I must admit, I was a little worried while I was cutting up the little green guys cause the ooze was getting on the knife, but she had note about making sure to throughly dry the okra to keep it from getting slimy. So I did.

The preparation of the okra was fairly simple and straight forward.

Toast some cumin seeds, sauté some onion and garlic, add seasonings and okra and cook until browned. Boom, boom, blam. Bhindi Masala done.

The other dish, which is an eggplant and chickpea curry, was slightly more complicated. I had to cook, peel and cut the eggplant first and all the spices weren’t added simultaneously. But it wasn’t too bad.

After I got all the ingredients in the pan, I was able to get the kitchen cleaned while both dishes were cooking. That was an added bonus. Usually, I leave the kitchen looking like a tornado blew through it (one of the benefits of living alone).

I would post the recipes on here, but I think I’d be breaking some copyright rules or something. At the very least, I’d be going against Susan V’s request that they not be reposted. So go to her site so you can see the original recipes for yourselves. While you’re at it, browse around her site. She has a lot of great recipes that carnis and omnis alike would enjoy.

 

Bhindi Masala &  Eggplant and Chickpea Curry

Quick Dinner

I decided to post what I had for dinner tonight because it was such a fast, easy, tasty meal. If you’re not a mushroom person, then you probably wouldn’t like it but if you are, Portobellos are great because they’re so hearty and easy to cook. All I did tonight was sauté some minced garlic in about 1 1/2 tbsp of olive oil with rosemary, thyme and marjoram. Then added the mushroom, a little lime juice and a pinch of sea salt. I cooked it covered for about 15 mins, turning it a couple of times. I also heated up some frozen spinach I had in the freezer and added a little Liquid Aminos. The result is what you see to your left.

Soup Season

Let me introduce you to tonight’s dinner: Ethiopian-Inspired Red Lentil Soup

Lately, I’ve been on a real soup kick. I printed out a buncha soup recipes from my girl SusanV at FatFree Vegan Kitchen that I wanted to try and bought all the ingredients I needed for the first couple soups. Or so I thought I did. I thought I had more red lentils than I actually had. I had plenty green lentils, but I knew that they take longer to cook so I thought to add split peas. I wasn’t very comfortable with this substitution, so after I added some split peas to my lentils, it occurred to me to use quinoa instead. It’s not necessarily “Ethiopian-Inspired,” but I knew that it would go pretty well. And it did. I’m glad I didn’t use too many split peas because they took a lot longer to cook too.  And I didn’t have each of the spices that the recipe called for, but I wasn’t too worried about that. I just added more of the spices I did have 🙂

Overall it came out pretty good. Then again, it’s kinda hard to mess up soups. Maybe that’s why I like making them so much? At any rate, here’s the recipe:

Ethiopian-Inspired Red Lentil Soup

1 large onion, chopped
1 pound potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 + 1/4 cup red lentils (picked over and rinsed)
3 cups water
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2-3 tablespoons berberé spice mixture, below
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 pound green beans, fresh or frozen, cut into bite-sized pieces
1-2 cups water
salt to taste
3-4 cups fresh spinach

Berberé Spice Mixture (mix all together and store in jar):

1 Tbs. ground cardamom
1 Tbs. ground coriander
1 Tbs. fenugreek
1 Tbs. ground nutmeg
1 Tbs. ground cloves
1 Tbs. ground allspice
1 Tbs. cinnamon
1 Tbs. paprika
1 Tbs. turmeric
1 tsp. cayenne (use more to taste)
1 Tbs. ground black pepper
1 Tbs. ground sea salt (optional)