Quick Fiesta Salad and Homemade Ice Cream for Dessert

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Had this salad ready in about 15 minutes. First, I put some rice in the rice cooker. Then I made the guacamole (2 avocados mashed with 1/2 jar of Pepper Pete’s salsa). At this point, I started frying a black bean burger over medium heat. Next I shredded a carrot and chopped 4 leaves of romaine. After a flip of the burger and a check of the rice, it was ready to plate. I sprinkled it all with vegan cayenne Parma! and a smoky tomato vinaigrette.

And for dessert, I blended 1/2 frozen banana with about 1/2 c vanilla soy yogurt, 1/2 c soy milk and 2 tsps powdered peanut butter, then froze for an hour. Excuse my laziness of Instagram quality photos.

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Spicy Thai Noodles with Tofu

After a day full of two jobs, multiple meetings, homework and spin class; needless to say I was in a hurry to eat tonight! I made a quick Thai noodle dish and the first step was putting an easy marinade together before leaving for the gym. A combination of garlic cloves, Bragg’s aminos, chinese ginger, rice vinegar, agave, and some water (it was really salty!).

Once I returned home I got a pot of water boiling, threw a bag of frozen veggies in a pan, and heated a skillet for the tofu. After the veggies thawed, I added a spicy Thai seasoning that my aunt got me from the Olive Branch Oil & Spice in White Bear; then I poured in a can of light coconut milk along with a teaspoon of brown rice miso. As that simmered, I browned my tofu. Then cooked a batch of wheat soba noodles. It was ready in under 30 minutes and I have to meals for the rest of the week!

step one: noodles

step one: noodles

step two: tofu

step two: tofu

step three: veggies

step three: veggies

step four:...eat!

step four:…eat!

Mixed Berry Surprise

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Oh how I love smoothies. Unfortunately this love came to a screeching halt this winter. It’s been ungodly cold in Minnesota and the thought of eating a frozen treat makes my goosebumps grow goosebumps. However, I had the time and craving for one, so here it is!

Mixed Berry Surprise

  • a handful of frozen mixed berries, about 1/2 c
  • 1/2 c non-dairy yogurt (I used vanilla)
  • 3/4 c – 1 c non-dairy milk (I used almond)
  • 2 tsp chia seeds
  • 2 tsp Magma Powder

Blend well. Add milk as needed. (*note, I made this by just throwing things into my blender. The only thing I actually measured was the magma powder…) You really can’t go wrong with smoothies.

Baked Shells and Cheese

Tonight was a mac and cheese night. Rather than hitting up my go-to box brand, I made a batch from scratch. I made it on the fly, not following a recipe or measuring in exactness, but the details below are as close as it’ll get. Definitely give it a taste and see what you think. I for one was not disappointed.

Baked Shells and Cheese

  • 8 oz medium-sized shells
  • 1/2 block of Daiya cheddar cheese
  • 1 c plain, unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 1 Tbls nutritional yeast
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • 1/4 c of bread crumbs
  1. Cook shells according to package
  2. Make sauce by cubing the cheese and adding it to a pot along with the milk and butter. Bring to a simmer
  3. Once cheese is melting, add in nutritional yeast, salt and pepper. When  you see a melded consistency, add to the noodles, stir
  4. Now you can leave it here, or you can put the noodles in a greased 8 x 8 pan, sprinkle with bread crumbs and bake at 325F for about 15 minutes

This can serve one, if you are insanely hungry. I opted to split it up and served it with healthy grilled asparagus. Mmmm. Now, go eat!

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Veggie Chickpea Soup

A good soup never fails to warm your soul. And soups are one of the easiest meals to throw together without following a recipe. When soup is on my mind, I first decide which type of base I want: brothy or creamy. Then I decide whether or not to make it acidic by adding tomatoes. Next comes the flavor profile (spices and herbs): cumin, curry, chili, chipotle, coriander, nutmeg, cinnamon, thyme, oregano, rosemary, broth powder, dill, turmeric, and so on. Finally texture: blended or chunky.

The veggie chickpea soup I made today is inexpensive, simple and delicious. It’s brothy, non-acidic, and chunky. I kept the spice/herb profile to a minimum, just nutritional yeast and black pepper. I wanted the flavors of the veggies and stock to be the base of this soup. I hope you enjoy it!

Veggie Chickpea Soup

  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3-4 carrots, chopped
  • 1 Tbls nutritional yeast
  • 12 oz fresh spinach
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 c rice (I used short grain brown and pink)
  • 1 container of veggie broth and 1 c water
  1. Saute the onion and garlic in water or oil until soft and fragrant
  2. Add the carrots and spinach (*note, I’d recommend adding the spinach at the end, it didn’t hold up well during the simmering process)
  3. Cook for 5 minutes
  4. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the rice is cooked
  5. Season to taste

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200th Blog: Chili with Black-Eyed Peas

Black-eyed peas are a neat little legume, and yet I hardly cook with them. These spotted treasures get a lot of hype around New Years as some believe they bring good luck. I thought this luck would be fitting for my 200th blog 🙂

They are loaded with nutrients such as calcium, folate, protein, fiber and vitamin A. I concocted a recipe that can be used all year round and kept it simple by using them for a satisfying chili. Next time you’re at the store, grab some dry or canned black-eyed peas to have on hand for this great meal. You won’t be disappointed.

Chili with Black-Eyed Peas

  • 1 c dry black-eyed peas, soaked in water overnight
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle seasoning
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 bag of meatless crumbles
  • 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 c veggie broth, or water
  1. Saute onion and garlic in a little oil or water
  2. Once soft, add seasonings and crumbles. Cook for about 5 minutes or until crumbles are well thawed
  3. Add beans, tomatoes and stock, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for at least an hour or until the beans are cooked
  4. Salt and pepper to taste

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Soup and Brussels

Soup and salad is so boring. So, to mix it up, I did soup and brussels for dinner. The soup was pre-made and unfortunately much too sweet for me. I used Pacific brand Butternut Squash soup. I doctored it up the first night with roasted squash and rice, and it was good. But having it just plain I found to be barely edible. Maybe my taste buds are going through a phase.

The brussels sprouts were just dandy. I coated them in oil, pepper, garlic salt and nutritional yeast; and roasted at 450 F until tender and crisp.

To complete the meal, I had a slice of bread with a white bean spread.

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Grilled Asparagus and Chik’n Salad

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With all of the heavy winter foods, my body was craving something on the lighter side. I’ve been in the mood for asparagus so I grabbed some frozen grilled asparagus from Trader Joe’s last week. I sautéed chik’n strips along with the asparagus and cut up the romaine. The dressing I used was amazing. Trader Joe’s makes a hummus dressing that’s vegan and healthy; win-win! You can find it in the refrigerator section. I totally recommend you try it out.

Chili Verde

Not only did I make a homemade chili tonight, but I made a homemade salsa verde to go with it. Yeah, that’s right. I’ve never made salsa verde before, mostly because I was super intimidated by tomatillos. Fear no longer, I conquered the leafy, green tomato. The recipe came from the recent Vegetarian Times and I botched it a little. This is my spin on chili verde!

Salsa Verde

  • 6 larger tomatillos, outer skins removed
  • 1 jalapeno, stem removed
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • cumin and salt to taste
  1. Bring veggies to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the veggies start to split open
  2. Use a slotted spoon and transfer to a food processor (reserve some of the stock)
  3. Blend until everything is combined, add water for desired texture. Complete with your desired amount of salt and cumin

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Chili

  • 1 c green onion, chopped
  • 1 c fire roasted corn
  • 1 can of black beans (original recipe called for 2 cans, whoops!)
  • salsa verde (above, or any 16 oz jar)
  • cumin and salt to taste
  1. Saute green onion in a little bit of the left over tomatillo stock (you can also use oil or water)
  2. When soft, add the corn, beans and salsa. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes
  3. Season to your liking

pre verde

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