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Archive for September, 2010

Clockwise from top: Homemade Tomato Soup, Peaches with Cinnamon, Caramel Apples and Grilled Vegan Cheese Sandwich.

My son had asked for tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches….so since today is his birthday, he gets the dinner he wants.  


Mmmm…Tomato Soup*

6 to 8 Tomatoes, cut in half
Salt and Pepper

1 to 2 T. EVOO
1 Lg. Onion or 1 to 2 leeks (white part only), washed well and chopped
2 to 5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 small carrots, chopped

2 cans of vegetable broth
10 leaves of fresh basil, chopped
1 Tbl. Light brown sugar
½ C. Milk Alternative (Soy, Rice, Almond, Oat, etc.)
Sea Salt and Pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and put the tomatoes in a large, lightly oiled cookie sheet (with sides). Sprinkle with sale and pepper and roast until soft, about an hour. Let cool, then remove the skin of the tomatoes.

Meanwhile, saute the onions/leek(s) in the EVOO until they begin to soften…add the bell pepper and continue to saute until peppers are soft. Add the broth, carrots and garlic and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn heat to medium low and add basil, brown sugar and milk alternative. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

When the tomatoes are done, puree the tomatoes and the broth mixture in a food processor or blender until smooth. (You may need to do this in batches.) Return the soup to the pot, season to taste and heat through.

*This is an adaptation of two recipes from two different cookbooks.

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Clockwise from top: Salad, Fried Rice, Cantelope and Strawberries with cinnamon.

 This has become a staple meal in our house (and it is one of my easier meals)…I have pretty much perfected the way we like the fried rice (I will add my recipe below). It is an adaptation from the way I was taught to make it by a friend.

As I do use eggs and milk in this recipe, it is vegetarian; however, if you choose to omit the scrambled eggs, it would be a vegan meal.

Fried Rice

Ingredients:
6 eggs
¼ to ½ cup Milk (I haven’t tried with a milk substitute)
½ tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. To ½ t. pepper
4 Tbl. Margarine

6 servings of instant white rice, cooked (You can use whatever rice you want…I just like the speed/texture of the instant white rice.)

½ to 1 C. filtered water
½ bag of frozen petite baby peas*
¼ bag julienned carrots, cut a bit smaller*

3 green onions, sliced small

To taste: curry powder, soy sauce, salt, pepper

Directions:
In a medium pot, cook instant rice according to directions.
In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, milk, salt and pepper, stir well. In a large pot, put in the margarine and allow to melt. Add the egg mixture and cook until done. Clean out the mixing bowl. When the eggs are done, return them to the mixing bowl until needed. Rinse out the pot. In the now rinsed pot, put in ¼ C. filtered water and frozen peas, cook on medium high heat for 5 minutes. Add carrots (and more water if needed) and cook through about 3 to 5 minutes. Adjust heat to low. Add rice to mixture (continue to add water as needed…you don’t want the mixture to stick to the pot). Add curry powder and soy sauce…there will be a lot added…just keep tasting it until it reaches your desired flavor. Add salt and pepper if you feel it needs it. Add in the cooked egg, stir to combine. You can either add the green onion and stir or you can just add it as a topping once the fried rice is on your plate.

* You can adjust amount of veges to your taste.

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Meal Plans

Typically, when making a “meal plan” people will assign certain meals to certain days; however, I found that for me, this just didn’t work. What HAS worked for me is to plan certain meals between runs to town and then make whatever happens to “trip my trigger” for the day.

I like to have several “types” of meals available: super easy, pretty easy, a little challenging and then a couple absolute new meals (which may be really challenging.) Since we are also on a budget, I tend to shy away from too many desserts; however, I will try to serve at least one per week.

Since my “go to town” trips are typically planned when we either deposit my husband’s check or have doctors appointments, the “plan” can be from 4 or so days to 9 or 10 days. (I do try to shop about once a week, if I can, ’cause I do use quite a bit of fresh ingredients.)

In any case, this is my current plan…..and provided that I remember, I will have photos and recipes to share as the days go by.
I hope this helps some of you who are also vegetarian/vegan, on a budget or just wanting to try something new. If you try something out, let me know how you liked it!! 🙂

Bean Burgers, Roasted Potatoes, Salad, Fruit

Leek and Potato Soup, French Bread, Fruit

Creole Black-Eyed Peas, Rice, Corn Bread, Fruit

Spaghetti with Red Sauce, Salad, Fruit

Black Bean Tacos, Mexican Quinoa Salad, Fruit

Brown Rice Pizza, Salad, Fruit

Fried Rice, Salad, Fruit

Roasted Tomato Soup, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Fruit

Desserts: Brownies (on my son’s birthday, per his request) and Pumpkin Spice Cake

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Vegan Dinner for September 28, 2010

Clockwise from top: Fresh Pineapple, Mango and (Unsweetened) Coconut Mix, Salad, Rice Island Casserole* and Celery with Peanut Butter.

Maddie liked the Casserole a lot…Kyle and I thought it was okay.  We all LOVED the fruit mix!!!

* Recipe from the book: Vegan on the Cheap by Robin Robertson

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Zuppa Toscana

2 Cans Vegetable Broth, divided 
1/2 C. TVP
1/4 to 1/2 t. Old Bay Seasoning
1 Tbl. Liquid Smoke

1 T. EVOO
1 onion, diced
1 tsp. garlic, minced (I used the garlic in the glass jar)

8.5 Cups Water
1 Vegetable Bullion Cube
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 potatoes diced (I used golden)
1/2 cup vegan creamer or half and half/soy milk (I used regular heavy cream…making it vegetarian)
Spices (to taste): garlic powder, onion powder, celery salt, salt and pepper

1 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 C. dry white wine (optional)
2 cups kale, chopped

Directions:

Open one of the vege broth cans and measure 1/2 Cup…put into small pot…add the Liquid Smoke and bring to a boil.  Add TVP, stir and remove from the heat.  Cover until ready to use.

Saute onion over medium heat until translucent; add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add broth, water and spices and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium high and add potatoes and cook until fork tender.

In a pan, add oil, wine and kale, cook until just barely wilted.

Reduce heat to medium low and add TVP and kale and cook until heated through.  Make any adjustments with spices at this time.

Just before serving, add the cream and allow it to heat through. 

Great with a green salad and some crusty bread, or as a meal on its own!

Serves 4 to 6

This is a vegetarianized version of Olive Garden’s a sausage and potato soup.

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