Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hearty Pinto Bean Stew

If anyone in your family likes "Pork and Beans" or "Barbeque Beans", this is a very good vegan replacement for those. We may have this dish for a "meatless" cookout--we should all get together and have one this Summer! Or, with many different rice recipes and collard greens! 1 cup dry pinto beans, soaked overnight in water 2 cups of tomato soup--not condensed of course:) 2 tsp soy sauce 1 tsp olive oil 1/2 onion, chopped chunky 2 garlic cloves, chopped or minced 2 tsp chopped fresh basil or 1/2 tsp dried dash of dried oregano dash of red pepper flakes fine sea salt to taste 1 cup water Mix tomato soup, water, soy sauce, and oil in soup pot. Bring to a boil and add soaked drained beans. Return to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 30 min. Then add onion, garlic, basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Add water if it gets too thick. Cover and simmer 30-40 minutes or until beans are real tender. Season with salt.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Amy's Granola

Doh! Kerri beat me to it. Oh well, there's lots of great granola recipes out there. This is the one we use in our house. Just be aware, its not sweet. But that's because it uses Brown Rice Syrup instead of honey and brown sugar. Its a very forgiving recipe, so you can vary it as much as you like. My kids like it with coconut flakes and chocolate chips. Its an easy recipe to make with your kids too - lots of dumping stuff into the bowl. And best of all, no cooking involved. Just bakes for 30 mins.

Find Brown Rice Syrup in the Gluten-Free section at Bloom or at Whole Foods. Lundgren Farms is the only brand I've seen.

4 C oats (I use old fashioned)
1/2 C wheat germ
1 C chopped nuts
1 C sunflower seeds
1/2 C brown rice syrup
3/4 C veggie oil
1 T vanilla
1 T cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1 C raisins or other dried fruit

Combine all ingredients except raisins. Mix well and spread on a shallow baking sheet (a large jelly roll pan is perfect). Bake at 300 for 30 minutes, gently flipping the granola every 10 minutes. Add the dried fruit when the mixture is done baking and allow to cool in the pan.

Once cool, use a flipper to transfer the granola to a large storage bowl, being careful not to break it up too much. You want large chunks. It should keep for about 2 weeks.

1) Add 1 C sweetened coconut and 1 C chocolate chips (omit the raisins)
2) Use walnuts, pumpkin seeds and chopped dates
3) Add flax seeds, pecans or slivered almonds and dried chopped dried apricots.

Homemade Granola Bars

I found this on the web a while ago. The munchkins love it. I've tried to fiddle with the recipe to make variations to reduce the sugar or create other flavors, but they results were either too dry or too soggy and they didn't hold their shape. Sorry, I can't find the original link and I can't figure out how to post pics to the blog. But this is a good one to pack and take for lunches or snacks on the go. I hope you like it.

2 C Oats
3/4 C wheat germ
3/4 C sunflower seeds
1 C nuts (chopped small)
2/3 C brown sugar
1/2 C honey
4 T vegetable oil
2 t vanilla extract
1/2 t kosher salt
approx 8 oz dried fruit

Preaheat oven to 400. Combine oats, nuts, wheat germ, seeds in a jelly roll pan and toast for 10-12 minutes, stirring every few minutes so they don't get burned. Meanwhile prepare a glass baking dish or jelly roll pan (about 11x13) by lining it with waxed paper and spraying with nonstick spray.

Put the brown sugar, honey, oil, vanilla and salt into a saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. In a large bowl, combine the dry and wet ingredients, and the dried fruit. Mix everything really well, you want to make sure the glue gets all over everything.

Dump the mixture out into the prepared pan and spread as evenly as you can. Next, use a piece of waxed paper to press the mixture. Press REALLY HARD all over the granola. You want to make sure your bars don't fall apart when you cut them. Allow to cool completely (2-3 hours).

Turn the bars out onto a cutting board, peel the waxed paper off and pressing down with a large chef's knife, cut into whatever size bars you'd like.

Post Workout Smoothie

Here is a good post workout smoothie I like to make after the gym. My munchkins like it as well. It comes from Super Smoothies by Mary Corpening Barber and Sara Corpening Whiteford.

POWER PUNCH (serves 2)

1/2 C soft silken tofu
1 1/4 C pear nectar
1/2 C frozen diced pineapple
1/2 frozen banana, sliced
1 t lime juice

Combine the pear nectar and tofu in a blender. Add all the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.

About 170 calories per serving, 2 g fat.

Tip: I use the Knudsen's Pear Juice I found at Bloom in the gluten-free section. Silken Tofu can be found at Ingles in the produce section. I use canned crushed pineapple and freeze it in 1/2 C portions in a plastic baggie. I find it best to slice the banana in advance, freeze it then the slices are ready to use (they don't turn brown when frozen).

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Kerri's Crunchies

It would have been cute to do the double K thing, but just couldn't do it...and I am not even an english type!

With this post, I am about to become completely irrelevant to Jennie. This is how I make my granola.

Kerri's Granola
1/2 cup maple syrup
4T oil
2T water
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
3 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup steel cut oats
1 cup unsweetened coconut (hard to find, I have seen it at Ingels and Bloom)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup wheat germ (leave out for gluten free)
2T flaxseed
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 cup craisens

Preheat oven to 275. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.


This particular granola really isn't all that sticky, so parment paper is probably overkill. Combine maple syrup, oil, water, vanilla, and cinnamon in a small pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.


In a large bowl, combined remaining ingredients EXCEPT craisens and stir.


Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and stir well. This step is key. You don't want to have a mixture that is too wet or too dry. I like mine on the dry side, and there is room for error, but if you have problems, it might be with this step.


Spread onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. A little more won't hurt.


After 30 minutes, stir granola gently and add craisens. Bake for another 30 minutes. A little less wouldn't hurt.


Allow to cool and store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Freezes for I don't know how long...we always eat it! Yield is 8 cups.


Pictured here with my half cup measuring scoop. This granola is healthy, but is not light. Half of a cup equals about 250 calories. I eat a slightly heaping half cup with some unsweetened almond milk. James likes his over yogurt. Andy won't touch it.


*this is a very forgiving recipe really. If you have a little more or less of something, don't like craisens, only have old fashion oats, just go with it!
*wheat germ - I read somewhere that this helps the granola stick together. I use it just cause I have it and don't always use it. I don't think it helps.
*flaxseed - also I just use it cause I have it. I hear it is good for you.
*this granola really does not stick together. Jennie, the one I gave you for your trip was a combo of the above recipe and this one. That one does stick together pretty well, but I like this one better.

I also made quinoa stuff peppers and posted it on my monthly challenge blog. See the post here.

Rustic Pasta

Wow! I'm way behind you ladies! I would like to share a dinner recipe that we liked. I got it from the book --thekinddiet. I bought this book for the "treats" but think the other recipes sound good, too.

1/2 lb pasta--whatever you like

2 tbls olive oil

2 lg onions, thinly sliced

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or sliced thinly

2 celery stalks sliced thinly on diagonal or diced

1/4 c soy sauce

1/2 tsp fine sea salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 head of green cabbage, sliced thinly

5-6 tbls marinara sauce

-Cook pasta (you ladies know how to do that:)) I used whole wheat thin spaghetti and under cooked slightly. Drain well.

-Heat oil in large skillet over high heat. Add onions and cook for a few minutes until softened. Add garlic and saute for 3 more minutes or until onions are transparent and turning golden--be careful not to let garlic cook too long on high heat.

-Add celery (I cut long skinny strips) to the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes. Stir in soy sauce, salt, and garlic powder. Then add cabbage for 4-5 more minutes. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 more minutes.

-Add pasta to the skillet with the sauce and cook for a minute or two on med-high heat.

Note: I thought that one whole head of cabbage was a lot, but I think you need it! to look for some breakfast recipes for myself! I've been eating more vegan meals than the rest of the family. I have to say that I feel no "food hangovers" afterwards....the family is warming up to the idea of eating more vegan meals, it's a slow process but fun!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Guilt-easing pasta "fagioli"

So, I was going to leave the kids with spaghettios for dinner tonight with their Grandma. Then I read an article about how kids don't get their veggies, aren't exposed to veggies, etc. and the guilt kicked in and sent me running to the kitchen. I had planned to make white bean and rosemary stew at some point this week - but of course that didn't have veggies. No guilt easing there. So instead I brewed up a quick (all done during naptime) veggie concoction similar to pasta fagioli but not authentic in any way since I added almost every veggie I could find to the sauce.

And one special secret ingredient:


Here's the recipe:

1/2 bag of ditalini or small macaroni pasta
2 cans diced tomatoes
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1/2 green pepper, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
2 handfuls of spinach, finely diced
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. oregano
shake of italian seasoning
freshly ground pepper
1 can white beans, cannellini or navy
1/2 to 1 cup of water or veg broth
1 pinch sugar (0ptional)
1 tsp balsamic vinegar (optional)

Prepare the pasta according to directions. I left mine slightly undercooked since it will continue to cook some in the sauce.

Saute onion, garlic, pepper, and carrots in large saucepan or pot until onions are translucent. Add tomatoes, spices, and about 1/2 cup of water or veg broth. Bring to a slight boil. Turn the heat down and let it simmer for about 20 minutes.

Once the tomatoes have broken down; taste it. I almost always add a pinch of sugar and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar to my homemade pasta sauces at this point. It just gives it some depth. Then add the spinach, beans, and ditalini. If the sauce doesn't cover everything, just add some extra water.Once the beans and pasta are warmed you can serve it. Or, like me, you can cover it and let it sit on the stove until dinner time; then warm it to serve. This would be awesome with some crusty bread. Luckily, I think there will be some leftovers. :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tangy White Bean Dip

A few of you asked for this bean dip recipe. Easy, kid-friendly and keeps well in the fridge. I serve it with veggies or pita chips (we like Stacy's Pita Chips in our house). And in case you didn't know, Great Northern Beans are a good non-dairy source of calcium!

2 C Great Northern Beans (or other white bean)
2 garlic cloves
1/4 C lemon juice
1/4 C EVOO
1 teasp. salt
fat pinch of fresh or dried herbs

Combine in a blender until smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste.
When I make it, I use a fat pinch of dried oregano, but you can use any herbs you like.

Comfort Food on the Brain

Since everyone at my house has a runny nose and itchy eyes this week, I've been making comfort food too. I made a vegan mac and cheeze (recipe from the Veganomicon)- the cheese was a nutritional yeast sauce. I made the sauce once before to try as a dip/spread and didn't care for it. But, it scored a pass in this dish. Not quite as comforty as traditional mac and cheese but a good start.

Cheezy sauce (from Veganomicon)
4 cups veg broth
1/2 c. all purpose flour
2 tbsp olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 pinches of thyme
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 cups nutritional yeast flakes
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp prepared yellow mustard

Combine the broth and flour ina measuring cup and whisk until dissolved. Preheat a saucepan over medium heat. Gently cook oil and garlic for about 2 minutes, careful not to burn garlic. Add thyme, salt, and pepper and cook for about 15 seconds. Add broth, turmeric, and nutritional yeast and raise the heat a little. Use a whisk to stir constantly. It should start bubbling (mine didn't) and thickening (mine did) after about 3 minutes. If not, raise the heat a little.

Once the mixture is bubbling and/or thickening, stir and cook for 2 more minutes. Add lemon juice and mustard (don't overdo it on the mustard -my problem the 1st time I think). It should resemble a thick melty cheese. Taste the mixture - you may need to add more salt. Turn off the heat and cover the pan to keep it warm.

Mac and Cheese
3/4 lb. elbow macaroni, cooked according to package
1 lb extra firm tofu
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsps fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 325F.

Crumble tofu into 11 x 13 glass or ceramic baking dish. Mash it with your hands until it resembles ricotta cheese. Add salt, olive oil,and lemon juice - then stir.

Add 1/2 c. cheesy sauce to the tofu and stir. Add the macaroni to the tofu along with 3 cups of sauce and stir again. Smooth and press down the mixture. Pour remaining sauce on top - smooth again.

Bake for 30 minutes, the top should be slightly browned. (Took mine about 40 minutes). Let it cool before serving so it can firm up.

Bow Tie Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes

I found this super simple dinner by accident. Literally, its very easy and fast. I don't really care for capers, we leave them out, but I've also added steamed broccoli or asparagus to the mix. Adjust the crushed red pepper to your taste. I thought it was little too spicy as its written.

I hope you all like it as much as we do!


Vegan comfort food?

I wasn't sure it was possible, but the book got pretty good reviews, and I was craving some "comfort food" so I bought it. It's called "Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food" by Alicia Simpson (2009). The title is a little misleading because the recipes that I've tried were not all that quick and easy in my opinion.

I tried the oven fried "chik'n seitan" and let's just say Rob now refers to that recipe as "roof shingles." I don't know if I did something wrong or what. The original seitan recipe said to simmer it in a broth for 40-50 minutes and then the oven fried recipe says to use that recipe, coat with a spicy panko mixture, and bake for 40-45 minutes. That just seems like too much cooking for a meat (substitute) product, so I wasn't surprised that they were tough. Maybe I was supposed to leave out the simmer step if I was planning to bake them??

Anyway, the "mac and cheeze" recipe was really good! It doesn't use a cheese substitute, which I was happy about because I do NOT like the vegan "cheeses" that I have tried. So I scanned it in and posted it above (sorry, it's showing you the second page of the recipe first). I think that's legal since I cited my source....if you have trouble reading it here and need me to email it to you, let me know.

Stuffed Stuff

I recently made some stuffed portobello shrooms and some stuffed peppers, both of which were pretty good. I think we liked the peppers better than the shrooms. Both of these recipes are from allrecipes, and as they appear, they are vegetarian, not vegan. But they are easily modified. For the shrooms, I just left out the cream of celery soup and parmesan cheese and instead used half a block of tofu which I drained and crumbled. So my version wasn't as creamy as the original, but still not bad. For the peppers, you can just leave out the parmesan cheese. I actually left it in because I was feeling a little wild and crazy that day. And the sweetened spaghetti sauce on top is key. I wasn't sure I'd like it, but it was yummy!

Here's the stuffed shrooms:

And here's the stuffed peppers:

The picture above is from when I made the shrooms. I served them with sauteed mushrooms, onions and spinach (I know that's a lot of shrooms and spinach for one meal, but when I have produce that needs to get used before it spoils, I'll find a way to use it!), and couscous.

Greens and Beans...

I tried this recipe last night, without the pancetta. It was good! I think I used a little more onion and garlic than it called for. I had kale and collard greens that I needed to use before they went bad, so that's what I used for the greens, but I'm sure you could substitute with various types of greens. Also, because it was what I had on hand, I used white onion and black beans instead of red onion and white beans. And I diced some tomatoes that needed to be used up and threw them in, too. And a generous sprinkling of sea salt. It's simple, but good, and versatile, so I thought I'd share.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sooo...about sharing recipes

So, I thought this could be a site where we share recipes. You can take pictures. Or not. But again, the main purpose is to share recipes. The only people I have invited so far are those who were at the first "vegan luncheon". We can see how it goes. But, I did want to share a few recipes.

Sweet potato and black bean burritos:


Sweet Potato And Black Bean Burrito Recipe
(from the Moosewood Restaurant cookbook)

5 cups peeled cubed sweet potatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons canola or other vegetable oil
3 1/2 cups diced onions
4 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 tablespoon minced fresh green chile
4 teaspoons ground cumin
4 teaspoons ground coriander
4 1/2 cups cooked black beans (three 15-ounce cans, drained)
2/3 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
8 eight-inch flour tortillas (I used whole wheat)

Preheat oven 350°F

Place the sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan with the salt and water to cover. Cover and bring to a boil, then simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

While the sweet potatoes are cooking, warm the oil in a medium skillet or saucepan and add the onions, garlic, and chile. Cover and cook on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are tender, about 7 minutes. Add the cumin and coriander and cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a food processor, combine the black beans, cilantro, lemon juice, salt, and cooked sweet potatoes and puree until smooth. Or you can mash it with a potato masher. The texture will just be different. Transfer the sweet potato mixture to a large mixing bowl and mix in the cooked onions and spices.

Lightly oil a large baking dish. Spoon about 2/3 to 3/4 cup of the filling in the center of each tortilla, roll it up, and place it, seam side down, in the baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake for about 30 minutes, until piping hot. Serve topped with fresh salsa.

Chocolate Chip Chewy Granola Bars


Recipe is here.