Thursday, December 31, 2009


Ok, people, I tried....I really tried.  I just can't do it.  I can't eat the Strong Cheddar Style Sheese.

I ate it alone.
I ate it on a cracker.
I put it on some rice to melt.
I put it on toast to melt.
It did not melt.
It smells bad.
It tastes bad.
I tried.

There's my Sheese poem for the day.
I'm so sorry.  I really wanted to like it, especially because it's so expensive.  Thank goodness I have my Dr. Cow as a backup.

If you know a way I might like it, please PLEASE let me know.
(this is what happens when you don't vote on my vegan cheese poll...I have to test for myself!)

On to good food.  Made a variation of my Indian dish today for lunch.  Still not spicy enough for my husband.  Oh well.  Again, I tried.  I need some good red chili paste or something.  What has a LOT of kick and is vegan? (& is not a fresh pepper, because I'd have to use gloves and that's a pain)

Tanya's Gobi Curry:
(see here for my original Indian dish)

Instead of potatoes, use steamed cauliflower (lower calorie and tastes just as good).  Make sure it's not too soft though, you don't want it to totally disintegrate into the food.

Cook onions and celery in a little water to start, before adding some grated carrots and the chickpeas.  

This time I used a new spice I bought: Sharwood's Hot Curry Powder (it's not spicy hot though....sigh.) instead of the garam masala.  

I cut up a fresh tomato into small wedges and added that with the grated carrots.  

Otherwise, the recipe is still mostly the go have a look at the original!

The exciting news: I got my copy of 1,000 Vegan Recipes yesterday!!  I won it off of OneFrugalFoodie's blog.  Thank you to Alisa from OneFrugalFoodie and to Robin Robertson (the author of the book) for their help in getting that sent out again after a problem with the first shipment of it!

A quick addition.....I made a version of VeganYumYum's Moroccan Spiced Vegetable Home Fries yesterday. Delicious!  I made them in the oven instead, as baked fries.  And I forgot the sugar, which turned out fine. No oil, except for the spraying of the pan and I left out the celery root, because I didn't have any.  Great flavor...will make again!

Well, I wish you all a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Until next year,
Eat smart,


Monday, December 28, 2009

More randomness...

I hope you're all having a nice holiday season.  Ours is pretty boring, but that's ok.  We're relaxing and that's what counts!  No family anywhere in sight sister lives in Alaska and my brother lives in parents are in Vermont....sigh....maybe one day we'll all meet up again! We do make annual visits up to Vermont in the summer though....

Ok, on to food matters.  I haven't really felt like blogging, but I have taken some pictures.  Got my 2 packages of food, one from Barry Farm, and one from Pangea.  My grains, etc were in the first package and my vegan "cheeses" , soy jerky, and McDougall soups were in the other:

Those are the 3 "cheeses" I ordered: Sheese (Strong Cheddar), Daiya Italian Shreds, and Dr. Cow Aged Cashew.  I've had the Dr. Cow and the Daiya, and I love both.  I'm trying the Sheese for the first time.  First taste....ummm......really weird.  Wasn't sure I'd like it.  BUT....I had a similar reaction to the Dr. Cow cheese the first time I tasted it too and now I love it.  So I'm going to keep trying the Sheese.  I think it goes better with crackers and not alone.  We'll see.

Here's a Cabbage stir fry I made out of one of my vegetarian cookbooks:

I also made these Banana Oat Snack Bars.  They were good, but really soft.  I would've preferred them crispier.  Perhaps it was because I replaced the oil with unsweetened applesauce?? I also used whole wheat flour and EnerG Egg replacer.

And onto Chocolate-Covered-Katie's Fudge Babies.  This time, I made an almond version...I like to call them Marzipan Balls.  I used about 1 cup of raw whole almonds, about 7-9 pitted dates, a splash of almond extract, and a little water.  Process until soft, but not totally smooth.  Shape into balls.  That was that....until I remembered I still had some Chocolate Ganache leftover in the freezer from a cake I'd made recently.  So I decided to go ahead and dip them all in that! Soooo good.  (you can just add in some dark chocolate pieces near the end of processing if you don't have the ganache) If you like marzipan, this is for you!  I LOVE marzipan.

Don't forget to enter Chocolate-Covered-Katie's Wildbar Giveaway here!!

Eat smart,

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

All day in the kitchen...

I'm warm and exhausted from cooking all day! Ok, it was also 73 degrees today, which didn't help.  But it sure was nice.....we were able to get a couple of good walks shorts :)

This morning, I made Stuffed Cabbage.  I tried to find recipes online.....they're all so different.  I based mine on one I found here, but sort of made my own version of it. Then I ran out of Chocolate-Covered-Katie's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough balls I'd made, so I had to make more.  This time: Banana Bread Balls! Yup, I made up my own flavor :)  And finally, for dinner, I made the Red and White Cauliflower Bake from the VeganYumYum cookbook.

Let's start off with the Stuffed Cabbage, shall we? I had a nice cabbage I got from my local farmer's market this past weekend, so I had to come up with something! (I'll have to find a use for the rest of it......maybe cabbage salad??)

Stuffed Cabbage, based on a recipe I found online (the author apparently had already adapted it from a Vegetarian Times recipe):

1 head of cabbage, cored and soaked in boiling water for somewhere between 5 and 15 minutes)
2 cups cooked brown rice
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup chopped button mushrooms
3/4 cup chopped onion
4 tsp minced garlic
a handful of raisins
1 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes (made a little too much sauce)
2 TB agave nectar
3 TB lemon juice

To make the tomato sauce: Saute 1/2 the onion and 1/2 the garlic in about 1/4 cup water.  When soft, add the tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes on medium heat.  Add 2 TB lemon juice and 1 TB agave nectar (this gives it a nice sweet and sour taste).  Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes.

To make the filling: Saute the rest of the onion, the celery, and the garlic in about 1/4 cup water until soft.  Then add the chopped mushrooms and cook for another 2 minutes.  Add the rice and the raisins.  Stir well. (you may need to keep adding just a little water to keep it from sticking) Stir in 1 TB lemon juice and 1 TB agave nectar. Mix well and let cook for another 2 minutes.

Heat the oven to 350.  Spray a baking dish with oil.  Spread half of the tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan. Take about 8 leaves off of the cabbage, one by one, spreading a big spoonful of filling onto each leaf.  Roll it up and tuck the ends under.  Put it seam side down on top of the sauce.  Mine made about 8.  You'll have to judge for yourself how much filling to use.  When all the stuffed cabbages are in the pan, pour the rest of the tomato sauce over them evenly.  Cover with tinfoil and bake for 30 minutes.

Here's a picture of my Banana Bread Balls! I basically used the Choc. Chip Cookie Dough Ball recipe, but added in a little banana. I used about a half of a banana...maybe next time I'll use a little less.

And last but certainly not least, the Red and White Cauliflower Bake from VeganYumYum.   This was an excellent dish! It uses a ton of cauliflower, which is good, because I picked up a locally grown one the other day and it was HUGE!

I left out the vegan margarine/olive oil in the recipe.  I also forgot to blend up the stewed tomatoes first...but that's ok. I crushed it up the best I could in the pot.  Actually, I probably could've used more tomato...I love my tomatoes!!!  I used arrowroot powder in place of the cornstarch...I used almond milk instead of soy milk...and I used whole wheat flour for the all-purpose.  I definitely recommend this great recipe!!

Wow, ok, I'm tired.  Ooooooh my package from Barry Farm just showed up! Exciting! Unfortunately, my VeganStore package is stuck in Louisville by UPS.....wonder when it will get's got my vegan cheeses in it....

Eat smart and Happy Holidays,

Monday, December 21, 2009

Latkes and Applesauce!

Ok, so I'm a little late on the latkes.....don't hate me.  I was trying to find the right combination, based on my online research.  And they pretty darn good!  A hint mushy inside, because I think I still need to get the exact cooking right.  I don't deep fry, so they take longer to cook.  Perhaps a much lower cooking temperature?

So here's my latke recipe. It made about 9 small/medium latkes.

Tanya's Latkes:

3 medium red potatoes
1 small sweet potato
1/4 cup grated onion
salt, pepper, any other spices you want (chives or paprika would work well)
EnerG Egg replacer (equivalent of one egg), mixed with the correct amount of water
2 tsp whole wheat flour

Grate the potatoes and then make sure you dry them well, with paper towels.  Put in a bowl and add the onions and spices.  Add the Egg replacer(pre-mixed with water) and the flour and mix well. Heat a pan on medium heat.  Spray with oil.  When hot, add large spoonfuls of the potato mix and flatten with a spatula.  I covered mine, so the steam would help cook them faster.  You may need to lower the heat if they are browining on the outside, but not cooking on the inside.  Takes a bit of skill, and I still need to perfect mine!
When done, put them on paper towels to blot off extra oil. Serve with applesauce.

I got a good recipe for Cranberry Applesauce from the Clean Food cookbook.  It was a bit watery, so I think next time I'd use a bit less liquid.....or more apples! I used Gala apples.....they didn't seem to be the most flavorful. If you know of a really good cooking apple for this, let me know.

Other potato pancake/latke recipes:

from Clean Food: Sweet Potato and Parsnip Pancakes
from Cooking For a Vegan Lover's blog: Potato Latkes
from Vegan Food; More than Tofu and Sprouts: Sweet and White Potato Latkes

If you know of any other vegan/gluten free/vegetarian recipes for latkes online, let me know and I'll post them here.

And on another note, I got an amazing package from my sister today! She sent her homemade Cran-Apple Butter, Blueberry Jam, Cran-Nagoon Jelly and some other cute stuff. Nope, I didn't know what it was I had to look it up.  A Nagoon is a sort of berry, and these are from Alaska, which is where my sister lives! So thank you Lizzy!!

That's all for now...but I'm on vacation as of today, so there will be more posts in the upcoming weeks!!

Eat smart,

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The market, radishes, and broccoli

By the way, I guess it's a little late to say Happy's a little glimpse of ours:

And for those holidays that have not yet passed, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

We had a rehearsal this morning (yes, Nutcracker), and so I had to pick up my vegetables from the market before rehearsal.  Got lots of good stuff: spaghetti squash (my new addiction), green onions, mustard greens, lettuce, mizuna, white button mushrooms, broccoli, tomatoes (hydroponic), white sweet potatoes, white turnips, strawberries, grapefruit, tangerines, oranges, satsumas, cabbage, and meyer lemons.

Radishes & Broccoli:

From my various research online, I've found a couple of good snacks! One seems to be French: sliced radishes on some butter (I used Smart Balance), sprinkled with salt and pepper, all atop a nicely toasted slice of bread (I used sprouted grain bread).  Delicious!  The other, is a broccoli dip, spread on toasted bread.  I took one of those bags of broccoli florets and steamed it in the microwave.  Then I put it in a food processor with some lemon juice, salt, pepper, and garlic.  You could add some diced tomatoes or something for a little more flavor.  I read it should be more flavorful once it's chilled a bit.

Vacation starts Monday, yay!!  Don't forget to vote in my vegan cheese and diet polls on the right side of the page!!

Eat smart (even over the holidays),

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dave's Birthday

Today is our friend, Dave's birthday.....Happy Birthday Dave!! (oh, and Happy Birthday, Beethoven too!)

I'd been drooling over one of the recipes in Hannah Kaminsky's My Sweet Vegan cookbook for a while now.  So this was a great opportunity to try it and everyone loved it! It was the Decadent Almond Cake. I'll definitely make this again...I only made a few changes to the recipe. I used almond milk instead of soy and I used whole wheat flour in place of the all purpose and soy flours.  I also replaced half of the oil with unsweetened applesauce (I probably could've replaced it all!).  I only used 12 oz of chocolate for the ganache, and as it turned out, there was way more ganache than I needed!  I wonder if it'll freeze well.....otherwise I'll have to eat it....hehehe......ohhh, maybe I can dip the Louisiana strawberries in it for a dessert!!

And it was definitely a great ganache recipe....I'll use it whenever I make a cake again....any cake! Wonder what would happen if I added a little coffee to the recipe...hmmmm.....

So thanks Dave, for giving me the opportunity to make this cake, and thanks Hannah Kaminsky, for this amazing recipe :) (check out her blog: BitterSweet)

Eat smart,

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Greens Stew and Pasta w/Alfredo

Yay, two meals in one day for the blog!  That's cuz I finally had a day off. Another day off tomorrow, but we're going to a pizza place for our friend, Dave's birthday.

So for lunch I thought I'd try my colleague, Kate's suggestion to parboil mustard greens.  It worked!  No bitterness.  Thanks Kate!  Here's my recipe for it:

Tanya's Greens and Beans Stew:

1 large bunch of mustard greens (& any other greens you have, like kale, if you want)
1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
1/2 cup garbanzo beans (chick peas)
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 stalk green onions, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup water
salt, pepper, creole seasoning
optional: cornstarch or arrowroot (if you want a thicker sauce)

Tear the greens into small pieces and wash.  Drain well.  Bring a pot of water to a boil, with some salt.  Once boiling, add the greens.  Boil for a few minutes until the color is water turned green and purple!  Drain.  In a saute pan, pour in the 1/4 cup water and onions. Cook on medium heat until soft.  Add the garbanzo beans and garlic.  Cook for a few minutes, then add the tomatoes (w/liquid) and seasonings.  Add in the greens.  If there's too much liquid, go ahead and mix a little cornstarch with water, then add it to the stew. I didn't, but I probably will next time. (I feel like I"m forgetting ingredients...if I think of any, I'll add them)
Serve over brown rice, or another grain if you want. I mixed mine up in the bowl.

And now on to dinner! I thought I'd try VeganYumYum's Hurry Up Alfredo. Didn't look anything like the picture in the cookbook, but it was very good! I used almond milk instead of soy and I left out the margarine. I also thought I'd try the new Sprouted Grain Pasta I bought in Alabama the other day.  It was kind of strange, and very sticky. But oddly, it tasted pretty good.  Since I'm trying not to eat too much flour these days, it looked really interesting to me (I love pasta). It was very chewy, but again, not bad.  I've got one more box to test out :) The sauce itself was really tasty.  I added fresh basil and parsley to the past, after adding the sauce.  And I steamed broccoli to mix in.  Needed a bit of salt, but that's about it.  I prefer VYY's Creamy Tomato Pasta, but I would make this again.

We bought a great Franken wine at that health food store in Alabama.  This stuff is hard to find! It's easy to spot, because it comes in a round green wine bottle.  We've got one more bottle to go through...

Until tomorrow...
Eat smart,

Monday, December 14, 2009

Farmer's Market and a trip to Foggy Fairhope

Just got back from Fairhope, AL.  Played a concert there last night.  It was incredibly foggy!  Here are a few pics:

Went to an awesome place for lunch there today: Sunflower Cafe. I had grilled tempeh with quinoa, roasted red peppers and greens. My husband had the vegetable and tofu stir fry with brown rice and lemongrass sauce.  Both delicious!  It's right next door to an excellent health food store....yes....I shopped while my husband sat and waited for me....I highly recommend both! They have a store  in Mobile, AL as well.  Some of the things I bought to try: Soy Delicious Creamer (although it's French Vanilla...I usually go for unsweetened), sprouted grain bread AND sprouted grain pasta, finally got some arrowroot powder, and actually found Franken wine there (you can't find that stuff anywhere)!!!

On to Saturday's market: satsumas, oranges, kumquats, strawberries, tangerines, meyer lemons, tomatoes (both reg and hydroponic), roasting peppers, green onions, mustard greens, lettuce, broccoli, brown rice, radishes, and white button mushrooms.

Wow did we have flooding on Saturday night!  Our concert was canceled because of it.  Although we were almost half-way there already, driving the car through several lakes on the way.  We were able to turn around and eventually get back home.  Several of our colleagues were stuck on the road for quite a while though...

Oh, and there's another giveaway to tell you about: products from Newman's Own Organics.  It's at VeganMindedBlog...check it out!

For now.....
Eat smart,

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Samosa Mashed Potato Pancakes and Cookie Dough Babies!

Wow, it's been a busy week....and there's more where that came from.  So I probably won't be blogging again until next week.

Today I made my first recipe from Isa Chandra Moskowitz's Vegan Brunch, even though I have so many tagged in there to make....too many recipes, too little time!  It was the Samosa Mashed Potato Pancakes and they were really good.  I've got plenty leftover to easily shape into patties and "fry" up over the next few days.  I used red potatoes, instead of the Yukon Gold, and the only oil I used was spray oil, to fry them.  I only had black mustard seeds, so I used those instead of the yellow, and I had leftover grated carrots that I used instead of chopped.  And of course, I used whole wheat flour for the tiny bit it called for.  It could've used more salt, but only because I didn't serve it with any sauce.....perhaps it would go nicely with a cucumber raita. You can visit her blog here.

Remember I told you to go to Chocolate-Covered Katie's blog???  I finally tried to make some of her raw "babies", as in, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Babies! Let me start by saying I made a mistake, and bought chopped dates, instead of the whole soft ones, but that's all they had in the store.  I emailed her right away about my mistake, and I was surprised at how quickly she responded (thank you, Katie).  I, however, fixed my little error, by adding a little water.  They were delicious!!  Unfortunately, these have nuts, which aren't really on my diet at the moment, but as long as I don't eat too many, I'll be ok. You HAVE to try them! I'll be testing out her different variations soon.

Until next time....don't eat too many of those amazing raw sweet snacks!
Eat smart,

Sunday, December 6, 2009

More random stuff

Ok, folks, here are a couple of random things of the day.  I've been really busy with work, and will be probably until next week, so I'll only be making these short posts from time to time until I can actually make a real meal again (not that I'm not cooking....but I'm making stuff I've already blogged about).

Check out the Artisana Nut Butter Giveaway on ChocolateCoveredKatie's blog. Looks like great stuff! And while you're there, check out the rest of her blog....lots of delicious looking raw snacks!

Here's the list of this week's market stash: radishes, white turnips, red kale, green curly kale, lettuce, parsley, cilantro, oranges, satsumas, kumquats, grapefruit, strawberries, tomatoes, roasting peppers, green onions, meyer lemons,  and broccoli!

I'm going to be so busy still......too bad.  I've got recording sessions, rehearsals, and concerts all week!  I think I'll be able to relax Wednesday though.....hopefully. Then work, work, work. I'm so tired....I need a break.

Eat smart,


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