The weather was great today, so we seized the opportunity to eat outside. Tonight's dinner was 'meatloaf', which I have blogged about before, steamed green beans with garlic-infused olive oil, and white rice.
The 'meatloaf', which is really a lentil loaf, came from a recipe created by the Magical Loaf Studio, which was created by Jennifer McCann at Vegan Lunch Box.
I have tried a few recipes using beans instead of lentils, but I think the lentils make the better loaf. Here's our magically created recipe:
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 large carrot, grated
2 cups cooked lentils
1 cup uncooked oatmeal
1/4 to 1/2 cup vegetable broth, or water
1 heaping tbls of flaxseed meal
1 tsp Italian seasoning
2 tbls nutritional yeast
2 tbls ketchup
dash of vegan Worcestershire sauce
2 tbls low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 to 1/2 cup ketchup
1 tsp maple syrup
dash of vegan Worcestershire sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray either an 8 x 8 square pan or a loaf pan. The square pan will give you a crunchier loaf, the loaf pan will give you a 'meatier' loaf.
Saute the veggies in broth or water until soft. Add to large mixing bowl along with remaining ingredients. Mix and mash together well, adding more broth or water as needed to keep mix moist (moist, not runny!) Press into pan and brush on 1/2 of the topping sauce.
Bake for 1/2 hour, then brush on remaining topping sauce. Bake an additional 15-30 minutes. Cool loaf for 10 minutes before serving.
We have been getting green beans in our weekly delivery for several weeks now. I have used them in two soup/stew recipes and both times the beans didn't get soft. This time though they turned out great. Soft, but with a bit of a crunch. I wanted to drizzle the beans with a garlic/olive oil combination, so I thought I would saute the garlic in some olive oil, let it rest for a bit, strain the garlic pieces out and have a great garlic infused olive oil. Well, I almost made it. I ended up with green beans drizzled in oil (a bit too much) with a hint of garlic. I'll rework it next time and see if I can't get it better.
Friday, March 30, 2007
Craving nachos in all their ooey-gooey glory, I decided to crack open Joanne Stepaniak's Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook and give the 'nacho cheese' recipe a try. Now, it's obviously not cheese (and Boo let me know that!) but I do believe my tastes have shifted enough to actually enjoy the taste of "fake" cheese. The recipe is mainly nutritional yeast and water, but I think the spices really added a tangy punch and suited my tastes just fine. It reminded me of the kind of chips and cheese you get from 7-11 or the movies, but with a nutri-yeast flair and far, far less calories.
I also made homemade refried beans. It was my first try and I think they turned out great! Too bad I ruined 'em by putting way too much rice in the mix. Rice!? What!? Well, Taco Bell (I know, I know) sells a rice and bean burrito that taste really good, so I wanted to duplicate the rice and beans part at home. Too bad I overshot the rice :)
3 cups cooked pinto beans
1 onion, chopped, diced, minced, whatever you want
1 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tbls chili powder
1/4 cup tomato paste or tomato sauce
water, as needed
(I also added a couple of mild sauce packets from Taco Bell)
Mash beans with a potato masher, or process in food processor. Add all ingredients except water to a high-sided skillet or saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat until heated through. Add water to achieve your desired consistency. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes, adding more water if necessary.
I added some salsa to finish off the nachos, and next time I will add some mashed avocado, spring onions, and maybe some olives.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Along with some roasted asparagus, we had a bean-and-rice dish. It was suppose to be a baked dish, but as I was assembling it I realized that it wasn't going to bake up so well. The original recipe came from the Vegetarian Times Cookbook, but we basically ended up with chickpeas smothered in a spiced tomato sauce with a touch of sweet (nutmeg, cinnamon.)
For the salad, I made a fruit-based dressing. A mango, an orange, some raspberry vinegar, and a shot of orange juice.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
A very green dinner tonight - figuratively and literally. Salad, steamed broccoli, and split pea soup. The soup was actually pulled from the freezer and reheated. I used a recipe from all*recipes as my base. I used a bit less potato (because they don't freeze well) and I added some liquid smoke. Oh, and no oil since everything sautes up just fine in water. It is a thick soup, more stewlike actually, but everyone here seems to like it okay.
Vegan Split Pea Soup
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups dried split peas
1/2 cup barley
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
7 1/2 cups water
3 carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 potatoes, diced
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
In a large pot over medium high heat, saute the oil, onion, bay leaf and garlic for 5 minutes, or until onions are translucent. Add the peas, barley, salt and water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Add the carrots, celery, potatoes, parsley, basil, thyme and ground black pepper. Simmer for another hour, or until the peas and vegetables are tender.
This weeks food delivery. The boxes are starting to look better. I can't wait for spring/summer boxes! We actually pick up our boxes of food rather than have them delivered. Why would we do that????? Well, if you notice the boxed food in the back area of the picture ---- it was free! FREE! Next to the checkout counter at the Fresh Abundance 'store' is a table of food that is either past its prime or very close to being. That food ends up in a compost pile, but not before they give shoppers a chance to grab some of it. The veggies usually aren't worthy of taking, but the fruit - oh man - the fruit is PERFECT for smoothies...woohoo!
I took a picture of the leaf lettuce that came in today's box. I'm not sure if I captured what I was trying to -- how large it is. Now maybe you have seen a nice head of lettuce like this, but sadly I have not. The ones I usually get at the store are half the size of this one. They (the store) take the outer leaves off the make the lettuce more presentable. Give me a break! Now every time I buy one from a regular store I will feel like I am getting ripped off.
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Tonight's dinner is a modified recipe from the PBS cooking show Everyday Food. I saw this a couple weeks ago and thought I would give it a whirl.
Olive oil, for baking dish
4 cups Acorn Squash Purée or 2 packages (12 ounces each) frozen winter squash purée, thawed
½ teaspoon dried rubbed sage
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 container (15 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
8 no-boil lasagna noodles (half of an 8-ounce package)
Acorn Squash Purée
Preheat oven to 400°. Brush an 8-inch square baking dish with oil; set aside. In a medium bowl, mix squash purée with sage, 1 ½ teaspoons salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. In another bowl, mix ricotta with ½ cup Parmesan, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Set aside.
Lay 2 lasagna noodles in the bottom of prepared dish; spread with half the squash mixture. Layer with 2 more noodles, and spread with half the ricotta mixture. Repeat layering with remaining noodles and mixtures. Sprinkle top (ricotta mixture) with remaining ½ cup Parmesan.
Cover baking dish with foil; place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until lasagna is heated through, about 45 minutes; remove foil, and continue baking until golden on top, 20 to 25 minutes more
I replaced the ricotta mixture and the parmesan cheese with recipes from The Uncheese Cookbook. The ricotta "cheese" recipe is tofu based, and it ended up tasting like plain ol' tofu to me as the added spices/herbs did not seem to add much. The parmesan cheese recipe tasted weird to me. It was the first time I used miso - maybe that was why.
Anyway, no one really liked this (except Dilly), but no one hated it either. Because I had to make everything for the recipe, it was an all-day off/on project. Here are the pics -
Friday, March 02, 2007
Based on a recipe from Disease Proof, I made this dressing for tonight's salad.
Orange Cashew Dressing
2 peeled navel oranges
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup raw cashews
2 tbsp. of blood orange vinegar or pear vinegar
Blend ingredients until silky smooth. Use liberally on salad or as vegetable dip (serves 4-6).
I didn't have orange or pear vinegar, but I did have raspberry vinegar so that is what I used. It was GREAT! The little ones even ate their salad tonight! (Well, Dilly tried but he still can't quit chew the lettuce yet..lol)
Other than oatmeal, our other breakfast staple is smoothies. I make them in the food processor so maybe smoothie isn't necessarily the right word..since they are not always so smooth. (Someday a Vita-mix will be sitting on my counter, but until then the processor works just fine.)
Red kale, broccoli, celery, flax meal, oranges, apples, bananas, and a little almond milk made up this smoothie. The goal for me is to see how much green food I can get in the drinks before the kids notice and quit drinking 'em. *wink wink*
Red and Dilly enjoying their smoothies :)