Saturday, January 30, 2010

Mediterranean Veggie Burgers and Help for Haiti

Ok, I finally made those mediterranean veggie burgers I've been talking about.  The only problem was that they tended to want to fall apart a little when eaten as a sandwich.  My husband ate them with a knife and fork, only because he didn't want the bread.  The flavor is really good though!

Mediterranean Veggie Burgers:

1 15 oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 jarred roasted red pepper
2/3 cup artichoke pieces
1/3 cup sunflower seeds, soaked for at least 3 hours
1 cup cooked millet
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 tomato, chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
Italian seasoning (oregano, basil, etc.)
garlic powder
salt & pepper

Put the chickpeas in a food processor and process just until still a little chunky.  Put aside in a medium bowl.  Put the roasted pepper, sunflower seeds, and artichokes in the food processor and puree until pretty smooth. Add to the chickpeas.  Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. The mixture will be pretty wet.  Put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.  Shape into patties and fry until browned on both sides.  Makes 6-8 burgers.

I had mine on sprouted grain bread with kale, tomato, and some Vegenaise.  Tasty! If you want, you could try brown rice instead of the might help it keep its shape better when cooked.  I'll probably try that next time.....and maybe more breadcrumbs?  The artichokes, tomato, and roasted pepper are pretty moist ingredients, so you need something to dry it out. Any ideas?

UPDATE: I just had them as leftovers (no bread) with some brown mustard and they are delicious! If you make sure you brown them almost until burnt on both sides, they'll mostly stay together.  I ate them tonight with kale chips...great combination :) I LOVE KALE!!!

UPDATE #2: So I just had the last of the leftover burgers.  I added some whole brown rice (cold from fridge) and baked them.  I could've baked them a little longer.  They did turn out a bit crispier because of the rice, which was nice.  So you could try replacing the millet with whole rice and bake them about 12 minutes on each side on 375.

On to dessert! I made some tasty vegan brownies.  You can find the original recipe here.
My changes: I replaced the oil with water, I used 1 cup of whole wheat flour and 1 cup of oats (I ran them through the food processor first), I used 1 1/2 cups of turbinado sugar,  and I didn't add nuts.  So this is my fat free version I guess.  They didn't rise very well, probably because I left out the oil.  Perhaps I could've added in a banana to help?  But they are still really good.  Next time I might try them  in an 8x8 pan.

And of course I went to the market this morning in freezing cold weather.  It was 40 degrees! Brrrrr.  The wind chill was around 33 or cold.  This is what I got: meyer lemons, grapefruit, oranges, kale, collard greens, mizuna, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, turnips, rice, white button mushrooms, and strawberries.

How YOU can help Haiti:

Check out the list of vegan bake sales going on around the country. There's probably one near you.  There's even one here in New Orleans on February 6th near the uptown Whole Foods on Magazine Street from 11-3 pm. I'll update this info as I get it.UPDATE: the vegan bake sale will be rescheduled due to Mardi Gras and the SuperBowl....stay tuned for a new date!

There will be a concert here in New Orleans to benefit Haiti as well.  Click here for info.

And you can always text "Haiti" to 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross.  The charge will be on your next cell phone bill.

Eat smart and stay warm,

Friday, January 29, 2010

Sweet Potato Kale Balls

I found a recipe online the other day that used up my sweet potatoes and kale, so yay!  It was from Cupcake Punk's blog: Sweet Potato Kale Balls.

I had 2 white sweet potatoes, so that's what I used.  I don't think I really caramelized the onions, since I didn't use any oil, but that's ok.  I also added about 1/2 cup diced tomatoes (could've used even more).  At first, after I baked the sweet potatoes, I thought it would be really difficult to mash them up.  Might've been easier if I'd boiled them.  But maybe it's a specific texture you're supposed to have...a little crunchiness here and there, from the crispy outsides.  It did take some effort though.  It was easier once I added the tomatoes, because of the liquid.  The flavors mixed really nicely.  It reminded me of my Mix N' Mashed Potatoes.  They were very good....we ate them alone.  Maybe they'd be better atop some pasta, but I'm trying to avoid as much flour as possible!  I'm eating very little pasta these days....although that was one of my favorite foods up until it's difficult.

Tonight is Mediterranean Veggie Burger look for my blog post tomorrow! And.....I will be posting ways YOU can help Haiti.

And guess what? Yup, I bought dried beans today: garbanzo, black, and kidney.  Wish me luck on cooking them....I'd like to get away from buying cans whenever possible. (will be difficult because I love my canned tomatoes....I use them everyday) Here's a good recent post on chickpeas. That should help me get started.

Until tomorrow...
Eat smart,

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Spicy Indian Food

So my husband wanted something extremely spicy for dinner....he loves Indian food.  I decided to make some sort of sauce to go over his steamed broccoli.  Here's what I came up with:

Tanya's Spicy Curry:

5-6 white button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped or sliced
~1/2 cup crushed tomatoes or pureed tomatoes
~1/2-3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (you could try coconut milk instead)
2 tsp Hot curry powder (I use Sharwood's)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes (more if you want it really spicy)
black pepper, salt

Put about 1/4 cup water in a saute pan.  Add the onions and celery and cook until soft.  Add the mushrooms and cook another few minutes.  You may have to add a little water every few minutes, so it doesn't stick to the pan. Add all seasonings except the red pepper flakes.  Let cook another minute. Add the crushed tomatoes and stir.  Then add in the almond milk. Now add the crushed red pepper and more salt to taste.  You may want to add some water to create more of a sauce(more liquid).  I probably added at least 1/2 cup.   Let it lightly boil for 5 minutes to thicken.  Serve over rice, potatoes, or steamed vegetables.

I had mine over a couple of red potatoes I cooked in the microwave. I also had to add a little extra crushed tomatoes and almond milk to my bowl....because the sauce was way too spicy for me :)

Working lots this week, so not too many postings....but look for my Mediterranean burgers this week!!

Eat smart,

Monday, January 25, 2010

WHO DAT! and Vegan Burger Week.

Ok, first of all, I have to say GEAUX SAINTS!!  Off to the Superbowl....

Now that I got that off my chest, I can move on to the food portion of this post.

Today's Burger: Tanya's BBQ Black Bean Burger:

1 cup cooked brown rice
1 15 oz can of black beans
1 small carrot, sliced
~4 oz white button mushrooms (1/2 small container), sliced
1/4-1/2 yellow onion, sliced
a handful of kale
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs (seasoned, if you want...I seasoned my own)
1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
Creole seasoning (for the cayenne)
salt, pepper, onion powder

Put the rice in a food processor and process until it looks like millet.  Small, but not totally pureed (like the picture).  Put it aside in a medium mixing bowl.  Put the beans in the food processor and do the same.  You want it a little chunky still. Add that to the rice and mix.  

In a saute pan, put about 1/4 cup water and set it on medium heat.  Add the carrot, garlic, onion, and mushrooms.  Cover with a lid, so the carrots cook faster.  When they're almost soft, add the kale and recover.  Cook until the kale is wilted and bright green.  Let it cool for a few minutes, then put the vegetables in the food processor and puree until it's mostly smooth.  A few chunks are ok (I like to see my vegetables!).  Add the vegetables to the rice and bean mixture.  Add in the breadcrumbs. Mix well.  Add the rest of the seasonings until it's flavored the way you want.  Put the mix in the fridge for about 20 minutes. Shape into patties.  Spray a pan or skillet and cook the patties for about 5-7 minutes each side on medium heat.  Serve with BBQ sauce, and on a bun if you wish.  Makes about 6 burgers.  

I made the lunchboxbunch BBQ sauce and it's really tasty! I left out the liquid smoke, because I didn't have any and I halved the oil.  It didn't turn out very thick, so maybe I could've added a bit more arrowroot.  But the flavor is really great.

For the NOT meatloaf version, click here.

I served my burgers last night with a side of homemade baked french fries:

Take 1 med red potato for each person.  Slice them about 1/4" thick.  Then take each slice and cut those the long way.  You know, cut them to look like french fries :)  Spray a cookie sheet.  Lay the potatoes down and sprinkle with salt and paprika (maybe garlic).  Bake on 375 for about 30 minutes, turning them over after 15 minutes.  

Today for lunch (leftovers), I served my burgers on sprouted grain bread, with crispy kale on the side.  So good.

Look for my Mediterranean Burger later this week!

There's a new dessert ball in my life: Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls.  Yup, they taste like mint chocolate chip ice cream.  I used to LOVE Breyer's Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream.....oh how I miss it.  But now I can just eat these and taste the deliciousness.

Quick recipe: 3/4 cup raw cashew pieces, 4-5 pitted dates, handful of chocolate chips, & a splash of peppermint extract.  Process with a little water until the right consistency.  Shape into balls (makes about 6) and put in the fridge.  Thanks again, CCK! She's the founder of these babies. Click the link to get more of her great fudge baby recipes.

Oh, and I found the ultimate food processor: Cuisinart Elite Collection 14-cup Food Processor.  Yup, it's amazing (and also very expensive).  Comes with 3 different sized bowls, which is so helpful.  I will be saving up.

And finally, another giveaway (nope, it's not mine...maybe one day): An Opera Singer in the Kitchen is giving away some great stuff, including coffee, agave nectar, and Larabars.  Check her out!

I can't forget the market on Saturday (almost didn't include it): satsumas, oranges, grapefruit, kale, mustard greens, collard greens, cabbage, broccoli, brown rice, coffee(locally roasted, for charity), tomatoes, turnips, and white button mushrooms.

Yesterday, I made some tasty turnip slaw with the fresh turnips from the market.  Check out the recipe.

Until next time,
Eat smart,

Thursday, January 21, 2010

New Veg Restaurant in NOLA

I just got back from a really good lunch with my husband and a good friend.  We went to Cafe Bamboo, the only 100% vegetarian restaurant in New Orleans (and probably in Louisiana).  It opened up in January 2009, while we were on our one year leave in Cincinnati.

I give it a thumbs up!  It's 78 degrees outside, and sunny.....we ate out on their patio.  It was perfect.  When we go to a new place, we go all out, just so we get a taste of "everything".  We started with the appetizer sampler, which included the Sol Chik'n Nuggets, Hummus, Collard Green Rolls, and Caramelized Cauliflower Crustini.  The hummus was garlicky, but very good (and it came with pita and veggie sticks).  The chik'n nuggets were good too....took me back to "real" chicken nugget days (although it's been years since I've eaten chicken).  The rolls were a bit too deep fried for my taste, but the filling was good.  And last but not least, the cauliflower appetizer was ok.  Not enough cauliflower for me, and I could've done without the little piece of crusty bread underneath.   It was a good sampling.  Definitely enough of an appetizer for the 3 of us.

I ordered the sampler rice bowl plate, which included the Mole Poblano, Creole, and Thai curry rice bowls, with brown rice.  They were pretty large servings, especially after having eaten an appetizer plate.  The Creole rice bowl had a very strong tomato flavor, which I liked.  The Mole was very sweet....but I think it was my favorite.  The Thai rice bowl had a really nice peanutty flavor.  All three were really good...if I had to say anything, it would be a bit too much sauce.  I would've liked to see a few more vegetables and less sauce.  My husband ordered the Vindaloo rice bowl (like I said before, he LOVES spicy) and then he added sriracha sauce on top.  I thought, alone, it was spicy enough for me....but he always wants more.  And our friend ordered the Mole, which I've already talked about.

And of course I had to try the vegan desserts. We got the Chocolate Moose Pie and the Key Lime Pie.  Wow! They were both delicious!  The Key Lime had just enough tartness and was very creamy.  The Chocolate was not overly sweet and had a nice thickness to it. Highly recommended.

I would say we had a good experience overall....and we got the 20% local discount, yay!  If you're ever in New Orleans, it's a must try.  Most items on the menu are vegan. And besides, the 2 guys working were very funny and friendly :) It's a very laid back atmosphere. (and in a great, hip neighborhood)

Eat smart,

Monday, January 18, 2010

Brownies, Tamarind, Cabbage and Market Goods

I've been really out of it for a few days now....sleeping a lot and not in blogging moods.  I think I feel better today.  Our chamber music concerts are done, so there's a weight off my shoulders too. I can relax a bit now....although we still have "regular work"....meaning orchestra rehearsals and concerts.  This week is the Verdi Requiem.  Great piece! I recommend a listen, if you get a chance.

On to the food.  Here's what I got at Saturday's market: cabbage, cauliflower, cilantro, turnips, kale, green onions, grapefruit, satsumas, oranges, shiitakes, brown rice, tomatoes, meyer lemons, and broccoli. 

Today I made VeganYumYum's Tamarind Tofu Cabbage Bowl.

Here are my alterations:

I left out the oil and the tofu.
I added an extra cup of rice and an extra cup of cabbage.
I used ALL the tamarind chutney in the recipe.

This is the first time I've ever used tamarind.  I found it in our Asian food store.  I think it had pits in it? Is that possible?  There were some very hard small pit-like things in my portion.  So perhaps next time I'll strain the sauce before it cools and thickens.  It was labeled as tamarind paste. The flavor was really nice and just spicy enough for me, although my husband poured on more red pepper flakes (he loves spicy).

And now for the brownies.  I was hesitant to blog about them, because I've seen sooo many great reviews of them and I was really looking forward to making them: HappyHerbivore's Black Bean Brownies.

Now let me just say, my husband loves them and we had a guest over and he liked them too.  My husband actually thought there was pumpkin in them (must be the cinnamon).  I just found the texture really weird.  Maybe it was my little 3 cup food processor that didn't quite process it well enough? Maybe I should've added the extra sugar?? I'm not sure.  I mean, I like them, but I won't be eating a ton of them (not to worry, my husband is eating them up). I really wanted to love them.  Maybe I'll try them again if I ever get a REAL food processor. And maybe I'll add the extra sugar too.  That won't keep me from trying out other HappyHerbivore recipes.....she's great.  And you should check out her daily online tv streamed recipes here.

On to other news.  Check out ChocolateCoveredKatie's Vitamix giveaway! I really want one, so I'll be entering too :)

And don't forget to check out her recipes for Fudge Babies.  I made some great Marzipan for the recipe.  I also made her Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Babies...amazing!

Eat smart,

Friday, January 15, 2010

Amazing desserts!

First of all, wow.  I was so surprised at the results of both of these desserts.  You HAVE to try them.  No questions.

Dessert #1:

Banana Soft Serve 

'Nuff said.  This could very well be the best vegan "ice cream" ever!  And I'm not usually a banana ice cream kind of person.  But I went all out....I took those 2 frozen bananas and put 'em in my little food processor and mixed every 5 seconds, because it wouldn't chop them up (they were too big for my poor little 3-cup Cuisinart).  But I stuck with it and sure became the most perfect soft serve ever.  And I even made the cocoa/agave chocolate syrup to go on top.  It was heavenly!!

Dessert #2:

Chocolate Pudding
(makes 3-5 servings, depending on size)

3/4 cup silken tofu
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla extract

Put it all in a food processor and process until smooth and creamy.  I might try agave next time instead of the maple syrup.  

That's all I have for today.  I think it's enough!  Two freakishly easy desserts.  You don't have any excuses now for not having a nice healthy treat once in a while. I'm definitely going to make the banana soft serve a weekly event.

Eat smart,

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A different kind of falafel

I found a recipe for Sunflower Seed Falafel on Hannah Kaminsky's blog: BitterSweet.  It's incredible.  I made it today (remembering to soak my sunflower seeds last night) and served it with some collard greens.  The flavor reminds me of another spread I used to make for sushi rolls.  I ended up eating some it raw, right out of the food processor, because it was soooo good.  In fact, I may prefer it that way.  It sort of reminds me of tuna salad, even though I haven't eaten the stuff in years (so maybe my taste buds are way off).  You could just serve it raw, by the scoopful on top of a salad or something.  And I think it would be great spread on nori sheets, with vegetables on top, rolled up and cut into rolls. I think I might use it for the latter the next time around.

The way I made them only made about 14 balls, but perhaps they were bigger.  Still, we only each ate 3, and with the greens, it was the perfect lunch.

Collard Greens:

Put a little water in a saute pan and add half an onion (chopped), some minced garlic and a little salt.  Cook about 5 minutes until the onions are soft.  Add the greens (chopped) and cook another couple of minutes, adding water as necessary, if it's too dry.  Add about 2 tbsp Vegetarian Worcestershire sauce and cook another couple of minutes.  Pretty easy.

I was going to make HappyHerbivore's Black Bean Brownies today too, but I've made too many sweets this last week.  I better take a break if I want to keep losing weight :)  But, I will make them....eventually.

I realized that I now use my little food processor almost every day! I have a Cuisinart 3-cup processor, which really isn't enough.  It works great when I want to make hummus or another dip, or maybe a small amount of sauce.  But for the falafels today, I had to do it in two batches.  And I know for the black bean brownies, I'll have to do it in 2 or 3 batches.  Am I lazy?  I'd rather do it in one, if I could.  I don't have a blender either.  I'm saving up for a, I'm kidding.  That won't happen.  And sometimes I use the food processor twice in a day and I get annoyed having to wash it out so often.  I wonder if I could just get another container and blade for it.  Or maybe I just need a bigger processor.  Ok, I've done my complaining for the day. Well, at least online :)

Eat smart,

Monday, January 11, 2010

More dessert balls!! And other good food...

Last night we had friends over to eat VeganYumYum's Cauliflower Bake.  I ended up adding broccoli to it because the head of cauliflower I got at the market wasn't big enough!  I also left out the tofu layer, because they didn't have any at the store.  It was still delicious!

I also made a Curried Tomato Spread I found on the fatfreevegan website.  It was really good...nice Indian flavors.  Made up some salsa too! Although the onions I used (all I had on hand) were a bit strong for it.  I put 1 big tomato in a food processor and added about 1/4 cup onion, a handful of fresh cilantro, juice from 1/2 key lime, crushed red pepper flakes, and some salt and pepper.  Process for a little bit, still leaving it a bit chunky.

And today I had to try making a new flavor of ChocolateCoveredKatie's fudge babies: Pumpkin Pie Chocolate Balls.  (I still had leftover pumpkin puree).  They're very tasty.

UPDATE: ChocolateCoveredKatie has already made pumpkin pie babies, but this is slightly different.

Pumpkin Pie Chocolate Balls:

1 cup raw cashews
8 dates, pitted
3 TB pureed pumpkin
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or just cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, etc...)
~1/4 cup chocolate chips or other dark chocolate (added towards the end, so there are still chunks)
A little water to help it process more easily

Mix it all up in a food processor.  Shape into balls and put in the fridge!

And finally, today's lunch was a nice spinoff of a "peanut" sauce on veggies.  I used VeganYumYum's recipe for Nearly Raw Tahini Noodles.  But I left out the noodles!!  (on purpose of course....trying not to eat so much pasta) I just shredded some cabbage and carrots and chopped up some broccoli.  Then put the sauce on top.  I doubled the sauce, and we used most of it!  It's very good.  I left out the chili sauce, because I didn't have any.  I added some crushed red pepper flakes instead.  And I added a bunch of fresh cilantro we got at the farmer's market.  Good stuff!

Off to rehearsal soon.  We have our first performance of this Tchaikowsky Sextet coming up on Thursday....then another on Sunday.   If you like classical music, I highly recommend listening to it.  It's called "Souvenir of Florence"

That's it for now.....oh, is the weekend over already??  As a musician, we never keep track, because we work weekends too.

Eat smart,

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Brownies and a BIG trip to the market!

I'm sitting here snacking on Mary's Crackers and yesterday's bean dip....soooo good.  Just came back in from the cold.....went on a walk...I think my ears are still frozen.  Oh look! It's warmed up to 35 degrees!  It was 24 this morning.  I think these are record temperatures for New Orleans, even though we got snow a few years ago.  It wasn't THIS cold.

Went to the Hollygrove Market this morning, because they promised a HUGE box and boy, did they deliver! Here's what we got: cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, hydroponic tomatoes, key limes, meyer lemons, tangelos, satsumas, strawberries, green onions, curly kale, lacinato kale, collard greens, mustard greens, white button mushrooms, grapefruit, cilantro, mizuna, and purple top turnips.

Think we're gonna be greened out this week!  Look at all those greens.  Hmmmm, well I'll start by adding some to my monk bowl for dinner. Now I've never cooked collard greens before, so if you have a suggestion, please let me know.  Do you use them like regular greens?  Are they bitter like mustard greens??

I made brownies this morning for a friend's birthday.......hope she doesn't read this before tonight!  Well, surprise!!  It's a different kind of brownie.....uses silken tofu, so it's a whole lot denser than regular brownies.  But it's still chocolatey and tasty.....just has a different texture.  Hope she likes 'em. Here's the link to the original recipe on FatFreeVegan's blog. Mine look totally different and it sounds like people have had varying results from these.  Meaning....different textures, etc.  I did reduce the sugar to 3/4 cup.  I didn't have light tofu, just regular firm silken tofu.  Perhaps that made the difference?  I used only whole wheat flour....also could've made the difference.  Not really sure.  I'd never made brownies with tofu before, so this is new territory.  Do you have any good brownie recipes??  Please post a link!

That's all for to work later.  I think I'll be making VeganYumYum's Caulflower Bake again tomorrow night (a friend is coming over), because we just got a nice fresh one from the market.

Eat smart,

Friday, January 8, 2010

Pumpkin Cookies, Cabbage, and Toasty Potatoes

It's been busy around here.  Lots of work and lots of cold weather.  Yes it was 28 degrees this morning!'s cold.....for here.  It makes it harder to get things done.  I just want to stay inside and stay asleep, under the covers.  Is that so wrong??

Anyway, I thought I should post something.  I did make a couple of things.  I was just too lazy to blog about it.  So here they are:

I finally got my copy of 1,000 Vegan Recipes by Robin Robertson! So I made my first recipe out of it: German-Style Kool-Sla.  It's REALLY good.  I left out the oil and added some water instead.  As it turns out, it sure did make a lot of liquid, so I probably could've left out any added water as well. I cut down the sugar by about a third.  I think I could've cut it down even more.  It had a nice sweet and sour flavor, definitely worth making again.

It was a cold and wintery night (although there was no snow in sight) and I wanted some hot roasted potatoes.  So that's just what I did!  I added some green peppers and onions.  It was like having breakfast potatoes! They all went in the oven for about 30 minutes, with a little salt, pepper, and paprika.

Yesterday I made the most amazing Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies! You HAVE to try them. They're from HaveCakeWillTravel's blog.  Here are the changes I made:

I left out the shortening, and added that amount of water.
I used 1 cup of demerara sugar (I could've cut it down even more...they're VERY sweet)
I used 3/4 cup chocolate chips, but there were WAY too many.
I didn't cover them with plastic wrap (I didn't have any), I just laid them out on parchment paper on a cookie sheet in the fridge for about 1 1/2 hours.
They needed to bake for about 4-5 extra minutes.

They are DELICIOUS!! (I even parted with some and brought them to work today...they didn't take long to disappear.)

Well, that does it for today's post.  It's still cold, and I may not blog again until Sunday or so.  We'll see how it goes, and if I get to the market tomorrow.  They say tomorrow's "box" will be the biggest one yet, so I really should go....and there's cauliflower to be had! I must!

PS-I forgot I made a tasty bean dip: 1 cup black beans, 1/2 cup chickpeas, 1 tsp tahini, juice of 1 lemon (or more if you like it really lemony), and some salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Put it all in the food processor!

Eat smart,

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Tomato Casserole was so cold today....only in the mid 40's.  We went out for a walk earlier, when the wind chill was 33 degrees!  I thought my ears were gonna fall off.  I know what you're thinking....but hey, this is New Orleans!

Went to the market yesterday, on the way to rehearsal. Got some good stuff: broccoli, mustard greens, red mustard greens, lettuce, hydroponic tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, strawberries, various oranges, white turnips, a huge cabbage, and key limes.

I've been meaning to make the Pumpkin Pancakes from Isa Chandra's Vegan Brunch for a while now.  So that's just what I did this morning!  The only difference was that I left out the oil (had to add in a bit of water instead), and used whole wheat flour.  They were amazing!!  I froze a couple of huge pancakes to have later on.

Tonight I thought I'd make something with tomatoes, since I had so many. I also needed to clean out my fridge a bit!  And I came up with a Tomato Casserole:

Tanya's Tomato Casserole:


2 medium red-skinned potatoes, boiled
1 medium/large sweet potato (I used a white sweet potato), boiled
~1/4 to 1/2 cup almond milk, unsweetened (or any other non-dairy milk)
salt, pepper, garlic powder, tomato powder (happened to have some from Barry Farm)


1 cup (packed) boiled mustard greens (you can sub. spinach or kale)
2 large fresh tomatoes
~1 cup fresh broccoli florets 
optional: 2 tbsp Daiya Italian Shredded "Cheese"


1/2 yellow onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
4-8 cherry tomatoes, cut in quarters (or you can use diced canned tomatoes)
~1 cup crushed tomatoes (I use the kind that are pureed and have herbs in them)
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 leek, washed, sliced and halved
salt, pepper, creole seasoning, red pepper flakes
splash of white wine

Mash up all the topping ingredients and set aside.  To make the sauce, put 1/4 cup water in a saute pan and add onions and celery.  Cook until soft.  Add the leek and cherry tomatoes and cook another few minutes. Add the splash of white wine (shhhhh, don't tell my husband I used his wine!)  Add the brown rice and crushed tomatoes and mix well.  You may need to keep adding water from time to time, to keep it from sticking and to add more quantity to the sauce.  Add the spices and let cook for a few minutes.  Preheat oven to 350.  Spread half the sauce into a 9x13 pan (sprayed with oil).  Slice up one tomato into 6 slices.  Layer them evenly on top of the sauce.  Put half the broccoli and half the greens on top of the tomatoes.  Spread the rest of the sauce on top.  Layer the other half of the tomatoes, broccoli, and greens on top.  Sprinkle with the Daiya cheese if using.  Spread the potato topping over the top.  Bake covered for 15 minutes.  Take cover off, and bake for another 15 minutes.  Bake longer, if you want the topping more browned.  

Now remember, this was a "what's in my fridge" casserole.  You're welcome to use whatever YOU happen to have in the fridge!

Hope you all had a Happy New Year celebration!
Eat smart,


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