Sunday, November 29, 2009

Spaghetti Squash & Kale Chips

I found a great recipe for Spaghetti Squash on VeganDad's blog: Spaghetti Squash with Slow Roasted Tomato Sauce. I bought a squash last week at the farmer's market, so I was looking for a great way to cook it, since I'd never cooked one before.

I did cheat, however.  I didn't slow roast tomatoes, like the recipe calls for.  Instead, I bought a large can of fire roasted tomatoes and used that.  I also left out all oil and butter. (just used a little water to saute the leeks)  I used a white riesling I had in the fridge (Clean Slate) instead of Vermouth, and I only used about 1/2 cup. And you know, the sauce was delicious!  I didn't even add salt or pepper or anything.  Leeks and white wine do go together (I used to make a Swiss dish with that combination). And my last cheat of the recipe: I used pre-minced garlic I bought from the store!

The squash was quite easy to cook.  You just prick it with a fork several times and put it in a pan.  Bake in a pre-heated oven at 375 degrees for 1 hour, or a little more, if you have a bigger squash....until soft.  And it was so easy scraping out the insides....and all it left was the shell!  There was a lot more squash than I was expecting, which is good, because it's low calorie :)

I highly recommend this recipe, cheat or no cheat.

I tested out another snack on the FatFreeVeganKitchen's blog: Kale Chips. Very easy and delicious.  Just watch out....they crumble very easily! (& of course I left out the oil)

Eat smart,

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Post Thanksgiving market

Well, two of my markets were closed today, so I had to go the other one. It was ok, but I didn't get very much. My stash this week: kale, louisiana strawberries, tomatoes, 7-grain bread.

Yay, kale.  I love it.  And it goes great in my monk bowls (which we're having again tonight).  The folks at Voodough bakery won't be at this market anymore....I bought one of her breads.  I used to buy her orange cranberry whole wheat scones, which were absolutely amazing!  But, alas, she didn't have any today.  Best of luck to them...

First of the season Louisiana Strawberries!!!  Wow.  And they're sooo good.  Can't wait for the rest of the season....I think the Spring is strawberry season here.  The tomatoes were a bit green and hard, but that's ok.  I roast them anyway....and I don't think we're going to get tomatoes for too much longer down here....sigh...what will I do when they're out of season??

On to a great snack recipe! Microwave potato chips! Yup, so easy and so tasty.  You can get the recipe from the FatFreeVeganKitchen, along with a few other snacks that I haven't tried yet. Enjoy.

Eat smart,

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I actually had my Thanksgiving last night, because we're going to a friend's house for tonight's dinner, and I always make my own.  So we had an "erev" Thanksgiving! (erev = eve)

We had a few friends from work over and they brought wine and a pecan pie. Oh, and I must admit, I broke down and bought a crust for my pie.  I feel bad, but those things are a pain.  Next time I promise to make my own whole wheat crust!

So here's what we had on our "almost vegan" table:

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus (with veg & crackers)

Butternut Squash Dip
Celebration Roast
My own stuffing (made from my own whole wheat bread)
Root vegetables (leeks,carrots, parsnips, onions around the roasts)
Vegan Savory gravy (that I ordered online)
Maple-Glazed Carrots and Parsnips
Cucumber salad
Cranberry Orange Sauce (A Bountiful Vegan Thanksgiving)

Sweet Potato Spelt biscuits (A Bountiful Vegan Thanksgiving)
Whole wheat cranberry bread
Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin Cupcakes
(Pecan Pie that our friends brought)

I adjusted recipes to my diet...leaving out oil, etc.  The Pumpkin Cupcakes didn't really come out at all like the picture on that blog, BUT, they were really tasty!  I think it's because I left out the oil, and I probably should've added water to replace it.  So my cupcakes were smaller and denser. I decreased the amount of sugar in them, but I could've decreased it even more, because they were still incredibly sweet, especially with the icing on top.

The vegan pumpkin pie was absolutely delicious! Could've cut down the sugar even more. The biscuits were a bit soft, but tasty.  I even heated them in the toaster oven right before eating, but they never did crisp up.

This was the first time eating the Celebration Roast.  It was really good...had a slightly smoky, peppery flavor. And this was also the first time I've ever made my own cranberry sauce.  This recipe was SO good!

I made everything that had flour in it, with whole wheat (except I used spelt in the biscuits). I replaced soymilk with almond milk and left out all oil/butter, etc.

As for the meal being really was almost completely vegan.  I'm sure the pecan pie was not and I'm not sure the crust that I bought for my pumpkin pie was.....but I'm pretty sure mostly everything else was.

It was all really tasty and we had a good time! I'm thankful for all you other bloggers out there, without which I couldn't have made this meal!!

Eat smart,

Monday, November 23, 2009

It's almost Thanksgiving!

I won! I won!  Yup, I won a copy of "1,000 Vegan Recipes" by Robin Robertson!!  I won it from Alisa's OneFrugalFoodie blog.  Check it out!

Next on the list is lunchboxbunch. They've got a great Vegan Thanksgiving Recipe Series going on.  This is a great time to go have a look.

VegWeb's got a great Thanksgiving page that you can't pass up!

And now is also a great time to adopt or sponsor a turkey.  Here's a link to Farm Sanctuary's Adopt-a-Turkey project.

And while you're looking at farm animals, check out Windmill Hill Farm's Alpacas (yes, it's my parents' farm!)

I've got cranberry breads in the oven right now! Here's my list so far for my "erev" Thanksgiving:
(long story, I must have my own personal Thanksgiving meal on Wednesday night)

Butternut Squash Dip & Veggies (from LunchBoxBunch)
Celebration Roast
Tofurkey Roast
Stuffing (my mom's recipe, but vegan)
Maple glazed carrots and parsnips (from Vegetarian Times)
Cranberry bread
Sweet Potato-Spelt biscuits (from A Bountiful Vegan Thanksgiving)
Cranberry Orange Sauce (from A Bountiful V. Thanksgiving)
Cucumber salad
Maybe even some root veggies around the roasts in the oven (turnips, leeks, onions)

Unsure about dessert, maybe pumpkin cupcakes and/or pumpkin pie.  Maybe Orange Clementine Quick Bread.  We'll see....

What are YOU having for Thanksgiving?

Eat smart,

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Weekend Market Goods and Quinoa

It was so sad to hear there won't be a market next Saturday, but on the other hand, this weekend's "box" was pretty darn full!  Especially the, the oranges, satsumas and grapefruits galore!

This week's stash: grapefruit, sweet oranges, navel oranges, satsumas, meyer lemon, mustard greens, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, turnips, red potatoes, sweet potatoes, green peppers, fairytale eggplants, tomatoes,  and spaghetti squash.  The stuff barely fit in my two canvas bags!!

And now for today's lunch.  I had some Red Quinoa sitting around in the pantry for a while, so I thought I'd give it a try.  I've never had the red kind....pretty similar to the other, except for the color.  I was supposed to rinse this one.....I didn't have a mesh strainer, so I think I lost a lot of the quinoa, pouring it through my hand.  Must put that on the shopping list!  Here's the recipe:

Tanya's Red Quinoa Skillet:

1 cup red quinoa
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock/broth (to cook the quinoa)

1 15 oz can of petite diced tomatoes
1 TB tomato paste
1 key lime, juiced
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, sliced thinly
1 small red pepper, cut into smallish pieces
1 green pepper, cut into smallish pieces
1 carrot, cut down the middle, then sliced thinly
1/2-3/4 cup corn (I had steamed, you can use canned)
chili powder
garlic powder
cilantro (I had freeze-dried)
salt & pepper

Cook the quinoa according to package directions, or boil the 1 1/2 cups of broth, then add the quinoa.  Cover and simmer about 20 minutes, until done.

While the quinoa is cooking, roast the peppers, yellow onion and carrot in the oven on 400 degrees for about 20-25 minutes. 

About 5 minutes before the quinoa and roasted veg are done, put a 1/2 cup water in a large saute pan.  Cook the green onions and celery on medium heat for about 3 minutes.  Add tomatoes & corn.  Stir and add the roasted vegetables.  Add the chili powder and garlic powder to taste.  Add the cooked quinoa and mix all together.  Add cilantro and tomato paste and stir.  Then add the salt and pepper to taste. Add the lime juice at the end, before serving.

Very filling lunch and quinoa has a lot of protein.  I thought of adding kidney beans, but that would've just added more calories and since it already had protein, we didn't really need it.  But you can go ahead and try!

Must work today.....last opera of the week, then it's time to prepare my pre-Thanksgiving!

Eat smart,

Friday, November 20, 2009


Ok, first of all, today's your last chance to enter this great chocolate giveaway at ChocolateCoveredKatie's blog! So go now and enter! And while you're there, check out Operation Chocolate-Covered Kindness.

Found a new blog today that has amazing recipes you could use for your Thanksgiving: thelunchboxbunch
The pictures are so good, I want to eat them off the screen....

On another note, my Daiya Shredded Vegan Cheese started to get moldy yesterday!  So soon...I couldn't believe it.  I salvaged most of it and threw the good part in the freezer for my next pizza.  I was rather if anyone buys it, I recommend using it in 3-4 days or freezing it!

More later....

Eat smart,

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pizza! Pizza!

I did it!  I finally made that pizza I was talking about.  And was it good!!!

I used the Daiya Shredded Italian "Cheese" and it was very good.  Melted nicely and had a good flavor.  I'll definitely be using that stuff again! Thumbs up!!

So here's my pizza dough recipe for a bread machine (mine can make 2 lbs):

Tanya's Whole Wheat Vegan Pizza (for bread machine, based on the Zojirushi):

For crust:
1 1/2 cups water
drop of olive oil
1 TB agave nectar
3 3/4 cups whole wheat flour (I used ww "bread" flour), minus 2 TB vital wheat gluten
-----so measure the 3 3/4 cups including the 2 TB of gluten.
1 1/2 tsp salt
Italian Seasonings (oregano, basil, etc.)
garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast (I bought bread machine yeast)

For sauce:
1 large jar pureed/crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp oregano
1 tsp garlic powder (or minced garlic)
hot pepper flakes (if you like it spicy)
salt & pepper to taste

green peppers, sauteed onions, sliced mushrooms, etc.
Daiya mozzarella (shredded)

Add ingredients based on your machine's instructions.  Use basic dough cycle. I added 1-2 TB of water during the first kneading cycle, because it seemed just a little dry.  When mine was done, I divided it into 2 and froze half the dough for next time.  For thin crust, the whole amount is good for 2 pizzas.  I made one last night (thus the freezing of the other half).  I think the dough would only last about 2-3 days in the fridge.

I didn't have a rolling pin, so I used an empty wine bottle, with a paper towel around it (thanks Lea!).  For thin crust, you really need to roll it out.  And I happened to have some old foil pizza pans, so I used that.  Maybe one day I'll get a real pizza pan and a pizza stone.  Fit the crust onto your pan, with a bit extra at the edges to keep in the filling.  I think next time I'll try baking the crust first for 5 minutes or so, because it wasn't so crispy in the middle*.  Then put your sauce on top.  Sprinkle your cheese on it (I used the Daiya vegan cheese).  I didn't use a ton....don't like that much cheese on my pizza.  But it's up to you!  Layer your toppings. I used green pepper (from csa), cooked onions (I find cooked onions work much better than raw), and mushrooms.  Then I dabbed a little more sauce on top and sprinkled a little more cheese over the whole thing.  I baked it in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.  Done!!

*UPDATE: After spreading the dough onto your pan (pref. a pizza pan with holes in it), prick it all over with a fork and bake in your 400 degree oven for 5 minutes, then take out and add sauce, toppings, etc.) This will give you a crispy crust!

On another note, I made cabbage salad the other day with that huge cabbage we got at the farmer's market.  It's so easy, it doesn't really require a recipe!  Actually, I got it from my mom....she used to make the best cabbage salad ever.  Of course, I left out the oil.

Shredded cabbage, lemon juice, garlic powder, and salt.  There.  Easy, huh?  We'll call it Laura's Cabbage Salad.  Use a lot of lemon juice (pref from a real lemon, not the bottled stuff).  P.S.-notice the cute little snail I found on the cabbage before taking it apart....

Oh, and speaking of simple salads.  I made a great snack last night after 3 1/2 hours of opera rehearsing.  Cucumber salad: sliced cucumbers, lots of lemon juice, garlic powder.  Sooooo good! Do try it!

Eat smart,

Rolling Pin on Foodista

Monday, November 16, 2009

The weekend market and some new roots

I've been lazy about posting this weekend.  So now I'll post about Saturday's market and what we had for lunch yesterday.

Goods from the market: daikon radish, watermelon radish, cabbage, peppers, tomatoes, satsumas, grapefruit, navel oranges, kale, green onions, white button mushrooms, yellow squash, sweet potatoes, small red potatoes, turnips, pea shoots, and lettuce.

So now there's a HUGE cabbage head on my counter, waiting for me to make some cabbage salad today!  My mom used to make it and I loved it.  I don't have a shredder though, like she did, so I'll be cutting it by hand.

We got two new radishes in the mix: daikon and watermelon.  Very interesting.  The watermelon is the green one with the red insides and the daikon is the white one.  I'm used to seeing the long parsnip-looking daikons at the Asian market.  But the locally grown ones are smaller and rounder.  For lunch yesterday, I roasted the daikon & watermelon radishes with some sweet potatoes, red potatoes, onions, and turnips.  I've gotta admit, I wasn't really into the watermelon radish.  I think it was a bit too strong for me and the daikon was just ok.  I think I'd prefer it pickled and in my veg. sushi!!  But the rest was great :)  Just added salt, pepper, and Herbes of Provence and roasted for 30 minutes in the oven. (I did cook both potatoes for about 5 minutes first)

I think it's going to be a lazy week....between cooking and playing opera (Gounod's Romeo & Juliet, if you're interested).  BUT.....I am going to make pizza this week.  The dough will be made in my bread machine....I just have to come up with a good whole wheat crust recipe!

Eat smart,

Friday, November 13, 2009

Oven baked chips and Dal

My first attempt at baking my own potato chips: 6 out of 10.  Hmmmm, perhaps next time I'll be more successful.  I tried sweet potatoes first.  They tasted great!  But maybe they were too thick?  They'd start to burn in the oven, but they weren't crispy yet.  I'd take them out, add salt, and eat them anyway....a bit soft.  Still flavorful though.  Next, 1 single red potato.  Closer!  Should have sliced them even thinner.  I even got a mandoline slicer finally, just for this!  So they were tasty, but a bit soft.  Next time: slice thinner.

On to HappyHerbivore's Red Lentil Dal.  I got this recipe from one of her e-cookbooks (look it up on my last post!).  Had some really good flavors in there.  It turned out a bit watery, more like a soup.  And that's ok.  I think perhaps next time I'll serve it over something......cooked potatoes or brown rice? Something to soak up the extra liquid.  I did have to cook it a bit longer than 15 minutes....maybe an extra 15 minutes or so, just to cook the lentils.  But I definitely give it a thumbs up for flavor!

Had my leftover vegan lasagna for lunch and will have a Monk Bowl for dinner (have leftover rice and sauce from last night's monk bowl!).

You know what's a great snack?  Cooked potato with some simple canned tomato sauce on it and a sprinkling of nutritional yeast!  Yum.

Eat smart,

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Today I came across a great blog: HappyHerbivore.  I ordered all 4 of her e-cookbooks, because they are vegan and lowfat/fat free!  Please check them out.....they will only be for sale for a limited time, as her first "real" cookbook will be coming out shortly.  You can find her e-cookbooks here.

And then you have Nava Atlas' Thanksgiving e-cookbook, A Bountiful Vegan Thanksgiving, which you can find here.  Just in time for the holidays!

If you know of any other e-cookbooks that are vegetarian or vegan, please leave me a comment about where to find them and I'll also add them to this post!

Other e-cookbooks:

Hannah Kaminsky (author of My Sweet Vegan, which I own)
Kristen's Raw e-books

Eat smart,

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bread and Rice

Guess what?  I just tasted my first bread out of my new bread machine!  Mind you, it wasn't quite 100% whole grain, because I wanted to do a test bread....but it was mostly whole wheat with some high gluten flour added.  I also used demerara sugar, as the machine booklet called for time, I might try something different!

The bread is very good.  Slightly crispy crust....although the top of the bread (as you can see) was quite light.  Not sure why the top didn't darken.  I didn't use any oil in the bread. The inside is nice and soft.  And the size will be good for sandwiches.  Oh how I wanted to slather on some Smart Balance and let it melt right on there......but that's not on my current diet.  Well, I suppose bread isn't either, but who's counting??  :)  I've gotta decide where I'm gonna splurge.  I'll take processed wheat (flour) and calories over fat these days.

Oh and I have to say the machine was very quiet!  That's a big plus.

For lunch I made a simple rice salad, since I'd made a bunch of rice yesterday.

Tanya's Rice Salad: 

3-4 cups cooked brown rice (I used just a little white, since it's locally grown)
1-2 bell peppers, any color
sprouts and/or pea shoots
3-4 sticks celery, chopped
2-3 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup chickpeas (or kidney beans)
balsamic vinegar to taste
fresh dill & basil
garlic, salt, pepper

Mix all together! Done!

I'm not swearing by my measurements either.  So it's up to you.....if you want more veggies, add more.  Pour in the vinegar until it looks and tastes about right.

Well, we didn't get any rain from Ida.  In fact, we didn't get any rain from anywhere!  There was a rain storm to our West, and Ida to our East......neither hit us. Weird.  We got about 30 mph winds and that's about it.  Power stayed on too!

Stay tuned for more eats :)
Eat smart,

Monday, November 9, 2009

Vegan Lasagna

The winds are picking up and I see the outer bands of Ida are making their way through the area.....and it's getting darker outside. I better hurry up with this post.  Good thing I cooked a bunch of rice and potatoes, just in case the power goes out :)

I had to use up my last eggplant, which was really starting to get oldish, and the last 2 big portobellos I had.  So I decided to make some sort of vegan lasagna, even though I had no "cheese" filling.  I had some whole wheat lasagna noodles I bought a couple of weeks ago.

Tanya's Vegan Lasagna:

(same ingredients as my Eggplant Parmesanless except I left out squash and basil)
plus 2 large portobello caps, sliced thinly
raw kale(however much you want)
1 box of uncooked whole wheat lasagna noodles
1 tbsp of nutritional yeast

Prepare the eggplant exactly as on the Eggplant Parmesanless, broiled and all, and set aside.  Cook the lasagna noodles as the package directs.  When cooked, I like to lay them out on kitchen towels to dry, so they don't stick together.  Prepare your baking pan (9x13) with just a slight spray of oil.  Make the same sauce as in the Eggplant Parmesanless and spread some onto the bottom of the pan.  Layer 1/3 of the noodles  onto the sauce.  Then layer 1/2 the eggplant on top of the noodles, followed by 1/2 the mushrooms, kale, and green peppers (I used 2 small green peppers total).  Add a layer of noodles, with some sauce on top of it.  Sprinkle the nutritional yeast on top of the sauce and then add the other half of the vegetables.  Follow with the last layer of noodles and sauce on top.  Then, top with the breadcrumb mixture from the Eggplant Parmesanless (you can add a little more nutritional yeast to the breadcrumb mixture if you want).  Bake at 350 for around 30 minutes if you like your peppers a little crunchy.....maybe a bit longer if you want softer peppers.

It made about 9 servings, which were not huge.  My husband and I each ate 1 1/2 servings for lunch. I froze 4 servings and put 2 in the fridge for later.  I think this is a good recipe for the McDougall plan.  There's no oil and barely any fat and it's vegan!

Ok, I'm off to eat some of my brown rice that's waiting for me in my rice cooker!  Winds are at about 30 mph right now...

Eat smart,


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