Archive for November, 2010

Clockwise from top: Salad, Vegan Banana Bread, Pears and Fried Rice.

Seriously, I got the Fried Rice thing down pat!!  The Banana Bread was ALMOST too old….but, it was still good.  The pears were really yummy, too. 

Clockwise from top: Salad, Spinach Roll Up, Grapes and Coconut Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes.

The Spinach Roll Ups were too “tangy” – – I took one bite and that was it…YUCK!!  Not even gonna share the recipe.  The sweet potatoes were pretty good – – but, they could have used more spice.

Coconut Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes

3 to 4 Medium Sweet Potatoes
1/2 Cup Coconut Milk
1 Tbl. Maple Syrup
1 tsp. minced fresh gingerroot
1 tsp. adobo sauce (I did not have this on hand)
1/2 tsp. Salt
Spices, to Taste: Nutmeg and Cinnamon

1/4 Cup Chopped Pecans
1/4 Cup Flaked Coconut

Scrub and pierce potatoes.  Microwave for 10 to 12 minutes or until tender, turning once.
When cool enough to handle, cut each potato in half lengthwise.  Scoop out the pulp, leaving a thin shells.  In a large bowl, mash the pulp with the milk.  Stir in the remaining ingredients (except the pecans and flaked coconut.)  Spoon into potato shell. 
Place on baking sheet.  Sprinkle with pecans and coconut.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes or until heated through. 

1 Half Potato equals:
137 Calories, 7g Fat, 0 Cholesterol, 175mg Sodium, 18g Carbohydrates, 2g Fiber, 2g Protein.  Diebetic Exchange: 1 Starch and 1 Fat

Recipe was from Taste of Home Magazine

I also tried the Glutten Free and Dairy Free Roasted Banana Pumpkin Rum Pie at http://craftycookery.wordpress.com/2010/10/31/gf-df-roasted-banana-pumpkin-rum-pie/
We did not like it.  😦 
We thought it was to Banana-y and had a weird flavor.  Glad I tried it….but, won’t be doing that again!

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‘Nother Vegan MoFo Meme

What is one food you thought you’d miss when you went vegan, but don’t?

I’m still moving in the direction of veganism; however, for years and years, the only meat I ever ate was hamburger – – and I haven’t missed it AT ALL!  Especially since I learned how to make the TVP taste more like “meat” and less like crap: Bring 1 Cup Vege Broth with 1 to 2 Tbl. Hickory Liquid Smoke, to a boil.  Add 1 Cup TVP.  Stir. Cover.  Remove from heat.  It is ready to use in 5 minutes.

What is a food or dish you wouldn’t touch as a child, but enjoy now?

Green Peppers!  Although, recently, I have been craving Brussel Sprouts.

What vegan dish or food you feel like you “should” like, but don’t?

I really don’t eat a lot of “packaged” vegan products…

What beverage do you consume the most of on any given day?

Sweet Tea….it’s my vice!

What dish are you “famous” for making or bringing to gatherings?

lol…I don’t go to gatherings.

Do you have any self-imposed food rules (like no food touching on the plate or no nuts in sweets)?

No; however, I would probably lose more weight if I did!

What’s one food or dish you tend to eat too much of when you have it in your home?

Any snacks…unfortunately, not everyone shares my desires to be vegan (but, they DO induldge me by eating whatever I make for dinner) so more snacks make it in the house than I would like.  If I had more self-imposed rules, I’d prolly be better off…lol.

What ingredient or food do you prefer to make yourself despite it being widely available prepackaged?


What ingredient or food is worth spending the extra money to get “the good stuff”?


Are you much of a snacker?  What are your favorite snacks?

Oh yeah….and they’re the devil!

What are your favorite vegan pizza toppings?

Red onion, Green Pepper and Vegan Cheese.

What is your favorite vegetable?  Fruit?

Vege=Gosh, there are too many to count. 
Fruit=Melons and Apples

What is the best salad dressing?

I like Dorothy Lynch…I know it isn’t vegan; however, I haven’t found one I like enough to replace it.

What is your favorite thing to put on toasted bread?

EB with Cinnamon and Sugar mix!

What kind of soup do you most often turn to on a chilly day or when you aren’t feeling your best?

I really like to try all sorts of different soups….it really depends on my mood!

What is your favorite cupcake flavor? Frosting flavor?

Not a big cupcake person…but, I LOVE Vegan Banana Bread.

What is your favorite kind of cookie?

My friend made some Pumpkin Cookie with Chocolate Chips….omg, to die for!!

What is your most-loved “weeknight meal”?

Right now it is Moroccan Vegetables on Couscous.

What is one dish or food you enjoy, but can’t get anyone else in your household to eat?

I am the second pickiest eater in my house….so typically if I like it, the other two will, as well.   

How long, in total,  do you spend in the kitchen on an average day?

On an average day, maybe an hour or 2.

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Tonight we had Salad Bar for dinner!! I put out all sorts of salad toppings and we just dug in!!
Not Pictured: Caramel Apple and Vegan Banana Bread with Vegan Chocolate Chips.

I will do the Salad bar thing more often…I’m thinking every other Friday!! We all liked having our favorite toppings on the salad!!

The Hubs said, “Is this your Vegan banana Bread?”
I said, “Yes.”
He said, “This is the best Banana Bread I have ever had….I really like this recipe!.”

As a side note: This plate is my Son’s creation.  He specifically asked that his dinner plate be highlighted tonight!!  🙂

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Clockwise from top: Salad, Cheesy Bow Tie Pasta, Cantelope and Cranberry nut Dessert.

The cheesy bow tie pasta was good, as usual.  James and the kids really liked the cranberry nut dessert; however, I thought it was too “zippy.”  YOWSA!! 

Cheezy Bowties

2 medium onions, chopped fine
2 tsp garlic, chopped fine
1 box mini bow tie pasta, cooked and salted (cook while preparing everything else)
2 pk spreadable cheese : I used Garlic and Herb Alouette*
1 can vegetable broth
2 Tbl. EVOO (or use just broth for less fat)
Spices, to Taste: Salt, Pepper

Cook bowtie pasta in salted water for about 8 min. until past al dente

While pasta is cooking:
Dice onions pretty small
Dice other veges you would like to add, if any.

When pasta is done cooking:
Drain pasta and rinse with cold water (to stop cooking process)
Put EVOO (or Broth) in same pot that you used for the pasta
Add onions in and cook until desired crispness.
When almost done, add the garlic and stir so it doesn’t burn
Add vege broth and then add the spreadable cheese and melt.
Add pasta and toss into cheese.
Serve hot.

Cranberry Nut Dessert

1 ¼ C. fresh (or frozen) Cranberries*
1/2 C. Brown Sugar
½ C. Chopped Pecans (or other Nut)**

1 Egg
½ C. Sugar
½ C. Flour
1/3 C. Margarine, melted

Preheat Oven to 325 degrees
Place cranberries in a greased 9” pie plate. Sprinkle with brown sugar and nuts.
In a medium bowl, mix egg. Gradually add sugar (while still mixing), margarine and flour. Mix well (until smooth).
Pour over berries.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. (It took about an hour to cook in my oven.)

*One regular bag of Cranberries will make 2 containers of dessert.
** The larger bag of Pecan Cookie Pieces is much cheaper than the small bags of nuts.

NOTE: The Pasta recipe was an adaptation of a recipe from Mary Ann Thomas.  The Dessert recipe was from a magazine (not sure which one).

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Fried Rice, Salad, Fruit

Southwestern Bean and Corn Chowder, Bean/Rice/Cheeze Burritos, Fruit

Bow Tie Pasta, Salad, Fruit

Sloppy Joes, Roasted Potatoes, Mexican Cole Slaw, Fruit

Coconut Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes, Spinach Roll Ups, Fruit

BIG Salad, Fruit

Yo-Yo (You are On Your Own….Planned Leftovers)




Vegan Banana Bread

Cranberry Nut Dessert

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Bowls: Salad and Vege and Biscuit bake
Plate: 65% Chocolate Chips; Peaches and Pears with Cinnamon

The vege and biscuit bake was really very good.  The peaches were almost bad….so we had a pear, too.  🙂

serves 8

3 tablespoons olive oil
4 to 5 potatoes, diced
1 Turnip, diced

2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 cup diced onion

1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried and crushed rosemary
1/4 cup unbleached flour
3 cups vegetable broth (homemade is best)

2 bay leaves
3 carrots, diced
1 cup green beans, cut into 2″ pieces
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup frozen peas

1 teaspoon salt or salt substitute
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

cup unbleached flour
1/2 Tbl. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 Tbl. 
vegan butter
cup plain almond or soy milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 3 quart (or 9×13) baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Saute the potatoes and turnip for several minutes until they just begin to soften on the edges. Add in the celery and onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the thyme, rosemary and flour and cook until the flour is incorporated. Gradually stir in the rest of the ingredients. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until carrots and beans are barely tender, about 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaves.
Transfer the mixture to the baking dish and set aside.

Make the biscuits: In a food processor, place the flour, baking powder and salt. Pulse several times to blend. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the flour mixture. Pulse until crumbly. Gradually add the milk and pulse until the mixture clumps together and forms a dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll or pat the dough to about 3/4″ thickness. Using a biscuit cutter or cookie cutter, cut shapes of dough and place on top of the vegetable mixture. Bake approximately 20 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown. Enjoy!

Original recipe inspiration from: www.fullplateplanet.com

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Vegan Survey

Favorite non-dairy milk?
I like Rice Milk from the store; however, when I can afford it, I like homemade Almond Milk better.
What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook?
Oh my, that is a tough one.  I need to figure out how to do some veganizing on some of my family’s favorite meat dishes: Chicken Noodle Soup, Runza/Cabbage Biscuit, and Pepperoni Rolls.

Topping of choice for popcorn?
EB & salt….but, I honestly haven’t done a lot of experimenting.

Most disastrous recipe/meal failure?
Yowsa….hhhmmm, let’s see…..I tried to make vege broth in the crockpot and apparently I added something that I shouldn’t have and it tasted REALLY bitter.  Not sure what it was….next time I will follow all of the directions/suggestions for use.

Favorite pickled item?
How do you organize your recipes?
On the computer and then if I like them, I print them off and they go into a blue folder.
Compost, trash, or garbage disposal?
We trash anything we can’t compost or recycle.
If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods… what would they be (don’t worry about how you’ll cook them)?
Dried beans, rice, and veggie stock….’cause as long as it’s a tropical island, I am hoping that there will be lots of fresh fruits and vege, year round!!  🙂

Fondest food memory from your childhood?
My Mom always makes Potato Soup and Cabbage Biscuits for christmas eve dinner….
Favorite vegan ice cream?
I have never tried store-bought vegan ice cream.  One of my goals is to get an electric ice cream maker and the book “Vice Cream”…..and make my own!!

Most love kitchen appliance?
Refrigerator….hands down!

Spice/herb you would die without?
Spice = Salt
Herb = Dill

Cookbook you have owned for the longest time?
I don’t even know….all of my books are currently packed away.

Favorite flavor of jam/jelly?
Apple Butter

Favorite vegan recipe to serve to an omni friend?
Vegan Banana Bread
Seitan, tofu, or tempeh?
I have never used these items.

Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)?
Honestly, I am not to fond of cooking….so, any meal that I can have on the table within half-an-hour is a favorite!!  🙂  I also don’t have a favorite TIME to cook, either….I do most of my family cooking in the latter afternoon hours. 

What is sitting on top of your refrigerator?
Cereal, Medicines (my whole family has been sick lately) and sprout bag.

Name 3 items in your freezer without looking.
Bananas, Organic All Purpose Unbleached Flour, Blueberries

What’s on your grocery list?
Since I JUST went shopping….nothing.

Favorite grocery store?
I only have access to a couple “grocery stores” – – so among those I do most of my shopping at Wal-Mart and then Dillions.  I do LOVE Whole Foods; however, the nearest one is almost 3 hours away from my house.

Name a recipe you’d love to veganize, but haven’t yet.
See Above.

Food blog you read the most (besides Isa’s because I know you check it everyday). Or maybe the top 3?
Whatever is most recent on my reader.

Favorite vegan candy/chocolate?
Right now, I am diggin’ the Vegan Banana Bread.

Most extravagant food item purchased lately?
Cardamom…that crap is $10 a pop.

Ingredients you are scared to work with?
Too many to count!!

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Bowl: Creamy Cauliflower Soup
Plate: Cantelope

This soup was really good…and easy.  It didn’t take a whole lot of time to make….and it made a TON…PLUS, it was CHEAP!!

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

4 Tbl. Butter (Vegan Margarine)
½ to 1 Onion, diced
1 Carrot, diced
1 Stalk Celery, Diced

1 to 2 Heads Cauliflower, cut in in florets
2 T. Fresh Parsley (I used 1 Tbl. Dried)

2 Quarts Vegetable Stock (I used 4 cans and 2 C. Water)

4 Tbl. Butter (Vegan Margarine)
6 Tbl. Flour
2 C. Whole Milk (Alternative milk source is okay)
1 C. Half and Half (Alternative milk source is okay)

Spices, to taste: Celery Salt, Salt and Pepper

Melt 4 Tbl. Margarine in a large pot. Add onion, carrot and celery. Cook for a couple minutes. Add cauliflower and parsley, stir, cover and cook for 15 minutes.

Pour in the stock, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
In the mean time, whisk flour and milk in a bowl. Melt 4 Tbl. Margarine in a medium saucepan. Add the flour/milk mixture….heat through. Remove from heat and add half and half. Simmer for 15 minutes.

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Clockwise from top: Salad, Grapes and Moroccan Couscous.

The salad was okay….would have been better if it was with the Dorothy Lynch dressing.  The Moroccan couscous was WAY easier than it looks on the recipe….and it was REALLY, REALLY good!!  I used both recipes that my neighbor and my Sister posted….and integrated them into the one below.   🙂

Moroccan Vegetables on Couscous1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 to 2 cloves garlic, to taste

2 cans vegetable broth
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 to 2 stalks celery, diced
1 turnip, peeled and diced
2 zucchini, diced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 can petite diced tomatoes

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp.  ground turmeric
1 pinch saffron
1/2 tsp. curry powder
½ tsp. ground Ginger
½ tsp. Paprika
½ tsp. Ground Cumin
1/8 tsp. ground Cayenne
Salt and Pepper, to taste
2 cups uncooked couscous

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat; saute onion until golden, add garlic and cook just a minute longer. Pour in vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Stir in veges. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 15 minutes.
Reduce heat to low and add zucchini and red bell pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Stir in spices. Simmer until heated through about 15 to 20 minutes. Adjust seasonings as necessary.
Meanwhile, make couscous according to package directions. Serve with vegetables on top. 

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