Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Easy Chickpea Kale Bowl

We take a break from our regularly scheduled Thanksgiving updates to give you this yummy bowl. 

Vegans seem to eat things in bowls- just lots of stuff piled together in a bowl and it makes a meal. When we were staying with my family for a couple of months, my mom commented that it was a bit weird, but I've been vegan for 3 years and I mostly eat at home, where other people aren't looking, so I hadn't really noticed. But it is a little weird. I'll have to remember to share my favorite bowl with you guys sometime. I keep forgetting and I don't have any pictures. This one's really good though, and super healthy.

I also want to start sharing more of what I actually eat every day. Sure, I make a few recipes a week and generally live off the leftovers of big batches of soup or whatever, but I also make other, super simple meals. I'm sure other bloggers can relate to me on this-- there are just some meals that don't seem photo- or recipe-ready, or you don't want to bother with clearing off the table just to take a picture of your super-simple-but-super-yummy oatmeal. But I'm beginning to think it's worth it, and I remember particularly that daily food sharing forums from Veggie Boards and What I Ate Wednesdays really helped give me some good ideas when I was starting out-- they still do! So here is one of those quick posts-- it's super simple, not really a recipe, but yummy and I remembered to take a picture! You could really change up the ingredients endlessly, but this is what I had for lunch (and dinner, rolled up in a tortilla) yesterday. It was delish.

Chickpea Kale Bowl

Also, you can go check out my Pinterest page for ideas-- I pin stuff from here but mostly a ton of other things including a massive Vegan Recipes the Inspire Me board full of ideas and recipes!

Here goes!

2 Servings
  • 1/2 tsp or small drizzle olive oil
  • 5ish baby portabella or cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 celery rib, sliced or diced, your preference
  • small bunch fresh parsley
  • 2-3 big sage leaves or other fresh (or dried!) herbs
  • 3ish cups of ready-to-go kale, or other green, or chop and wash your own
  • 1 can of chickpeas (my favorite, but your could use any bean
  • balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste
  •  Drizzle tiny amount of oil into a relatively large pan-- I used my stockpot but I think the big skillet would have worked.
  • Drain your chickpeas in a colander and run water over them until they are fresh-looking and don't have that bubbly, gooey can juice on them anymore.
  • Slice or dice your veg and add to the pot, turning it on medium.
  • I love parsley and the amount I use is a small handful, about 1/4 cup once chopped. Take the tops off of your parsley by pinching or cutting. Slice your herbs thin. Then chop it all up together, alternating directions and re-scooping your pile until it's all finely chopped. Or you don't have to and just leave it chunky.
  • Add to the pot, then immediately add your greens.
  • Let them cook a couple of minutes, add some salt, pepper, and olive oil.
  • Add your chickpeas and cook a couple or more minutes 'til they're warm.
  • Finish off with a drizzle of balsamic--  taste as you go because it can get real crazy real quick-- and more salt and pepper, and voilĂ ! Yum.
Note: If you use spinach as your green, add it last so it doesn't cook too long.

Also, I haven't been putting nutrition info on here because I wasn't counting calories for a while, and then I changed the program I used and the info format is different, but I know some of you liked that and I'm tallying again so here you go! 

cals (using 1.5 tsp oil) per 1/2 recipe: 286kcal | fat: 7.80g | carbs: 43.78g | prot: 15.26g

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Apple Crumb Pie

This is Adam Apple Mouth. This is what happens when you are a little brother and you've been expected to entertain yourself while all the grownups are watching football or cooking. All day long. And then your sister tries to make an apple pie and your mom sliced up the apples, which was awesome of her, but your sister isn't quite ready to assemble the pie yet and there are apples sliced up and sitting on the counter and one of your favorite foods is apples.

After a very long two days of painting and cooking, everything else was in the oven or on the counter ready to go for dinner and I was making this pie to go in the oven while we ate. Adam likes apples. And there were plenty left for the pie. And the pie was a complete success. I even suggested tweaking something for if I make it again and Sam said something about how I couldn't ruin the best pie ever. So, apparently, it's the best pie ever.

Adam Apple Mouth

Pie after being sliced into
Also, I love this blog I've been reading Hyperbole and a Half. Everyone else has probably already heard of it, but I just discovered it. Allie's posts about depression (post one and post two) are hilariously insightful and her post on procrastination and guilt seems like it was written directly to me. Please read it, it's wonderful! (There are some curse words though, just so you know)

Pie before crumble topping
Onto pie. The recipe came from My Sweet Vegan by Emily Mainquist. This is an awesome book that has so many recipes I want to try and came to me courtesy of Trina from Your Vegan Mom. The pie was super easy and quick to put together, but I did have to bake it for about an hour longer than stated. It was all good though, we were playing Yahtzee and not ready for pie yet. I added some lemon juice and apple butter to the filling and used about 1/3 cup sugar instead of 3/4. Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly so I don't want to publish it here -- go buy the book! Seriously, it's great.

Action shot

The tempting bowl of apples

Pie crust, apples, and look at our green dining room!
More to come on green bean casserole, dining room before and after, roast squash, cranberry sauce, eating (some) garlic and onions again, and actual recipes!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

This year was a doozie. My  mom and I cooked for what seemed like (and almost was) two days straight, and my hubby and I decided it's be the perfect time to re-do the dining room right before the big day. There was still painting going on Thursday morning. All in all, I'd say it was a success, we had lots of fun and lots of food! Sam was a fantastic photographer for the day, and there are many more pictures and recipes to come in the next few days!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Super Quick Warm Salad with Popped Snap Peas

This salad is super yummy and super quick. I'm working on the house today and don't have a ton of time to cook, but I wanted something warm and super healthy. That's where this salad comes in. And I love the way sugar snap peas sound when they're snapped, more of a round "pop" than a snap, so that's what I'm calling them -- popped snap peas! Using pre-washed greens and washing your tomatoes when you bring them home from the store makes this a super quick meal. Also, these pics are bit bit blurry because of the whole, not a lot of time today thing. But, you get the idea, and I'll retake them eventually!

Warm Salad with Popped Snap Peas

3 cups greens -- I used baby spinach and mixed spring greens
handful of canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
drizzle of olive oil
several turns of fresh pepper
handful of grape tomatoes
juice and zest of one lemon
handful of sugar snap peas, "popped" in the middle

Tear your greens into a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients except the lemon juice to a warm skillet, cover and cook on high just for a couple of minutes until your chickpeas are a bit browned. Add the lemon juice and let cook for a minute to reduce the acidity and increase sweetness. Pour contents of skillet over your greens and top with more olive oil and pepper, if you want. Enjoy!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Chickpea Florentine Tart with GF Breadcrumb Topping

Here's another one out of Cooking for Isaiah. I've modified it quite a lot to replace the eggs, and what I've ended up with is a deliciously hummus-y florentine tart that both me and Sam can eat! Yay!

1 can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 T tahini
1 tsp egg replacer powder (optional, I think)
1/2 tsp garlic powder or onion powder
juice of one lemon
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper, to taste
1 package spinach, thawed
1 T olive oil, to grease the pan

2 small tomatoes, thinly sliced and lightly sprinkled with salt
1/2 cup rice cereal crumbs
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic, grated
more olive oil, for drizzling

Add everything from the first list except the spinach and oil to a blender. Blend for a couple of minutes, until thick and smooth. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix spinach with bean mix. Grease a cast iron skillet (a pie plate would probably work too) with the olive oil. Use the whole tablespoon, to create a nice crust.

Spoon the mixture into your skillet, top with the tomatoes, and place in the oven for about 50 minutes.

Process a bunch of rice cereal (Chex), into a breadcrumb texture. Reserve 1/2 cup, and save the rest in an airtight container-- trust me, you'll want some more later, the topping is the best part! Put the 1/2 cup back into the food processor, grate a garlic clove in there, and add 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes. Pulse. When your tart is finished, and looks golden around the edges, take it out, top it with the crumb mixture, and drizzle pretty liberally with olive oil. Broil for about 3 minutes. You can totally eat this hot from the oven, but it will slice and serve much better if it cools to at least room temp and can be served cold. Enjoy!

Meatless Mondays Return

Oh how I love to read blogs. I could (and have) spent days reading other people's blogs. I just fell in love with Girl of Cardigan after reading her viral post on new mommyhood. She's awesome. But sometimes I neglect mine, almost all the time-- I'm sorry, I really do like writing! I haven't been writing about Meatless Mondays in a couple of weeks, because we've been going to the store last minute or not at all on Sundays and I don't like to feed Sam whatever weird combo I threw together in 2 seconds that I'm eating. Raw tofu on hotdog buns dipped in store-bought salad dressing might do it for me (I actually like it, sshh, don't tell) but I'm not feeding that to my brave hubby who is trying so hard to be healthy and try new things. I don't want to scare him off. 

So today, I'm making a chickpea tart for dinner, that I'm trying out way before dinner, so I can make sure it tastes ok for my sweet, healthy, husband, so I don't scare him off being healthy forever.

Also, we're scraping all of the popcorn ceilings in our new house and skim-coating the drywall for pretty, pretty, smooth ceilings. And painting the house. and buying furniture. And light fixtures, and a fireplace grate, and you get the idea. We were talking yesterday, and it seems that home ownership isn't what gets expensive, or takes sooo much time. It's making your new home not feel like a rental property. We could leave the ceilings, the light fixtures, the taupe-y paint, and our broken armchair and futon that didn't really fully survive the move, but we don't want to. Every room that I get the ceiling half done in, I'm like, "Even if I were to stop here and not sand and patch and paint, it'd still be better than popcorn, I love our pretty ceilings!" And that makes it so worth it. I bet it'll feel even more worth it when we're finished, because wow, there's a lot of dust, and I'm getting muscles I didn't know I could have, and our walls are still taupe. I can't wait for colorful walls! And I can't wait to look up in any room I'm in and not see goopy, messy, dusty, shadowy popcorn, but smooth, calm, pretty smoothness! Is this weird? Does anyone else share my distaste for popcorn? On ceilings I mean, the food is delicious.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Hubby's Grownup Breakfast

So, I don't have a picture for this quick post because Sam took this smoothie with him to work this morning. Sam is trying to eat more fruits and vegetables -- I'm so proud of him! I'm hoping it goes well, since he has allergies to many fruits-- we're just kind of trying to ignore that for now and see if he can eat them. Maybe we'll get a better plan in the future, maybe digestive enzymes or go organic? I don't know if either of those would help. This morning I sent him off with a cup of coffee instead of an energy drink, and a smoothie instead of a breakfast sandwich. The smoothie was darn tasty, too, if you ask me. When I texted him to ask how his new breakfast was he responded that it tasted "grown up...in an ok but I'll have to get used to it way." I'm deciding to take that as a compliment!

Makes about 10 oz.

  • 1/2 small gala (or other) apple
  • 1/2-2/3 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 medium banana, peeled, broken in half, and frozen
  • 1/2-2/3 cup orange juice
  • 2 large spinach leaves

  • If you have a high-powered blender, just put everything in and blend it up.
  • If you don't, let the banana and strawberries sit out of the freezer in a bowl for a few minutes and add the orange juice, apple, and spinach to your blender. Blend until as smooth as it'll get and then add the frozen fruit. Blend until no longer chunky. Pour into a glass or blender bottle and enjoy!

This is a perfect beginner smoothie, it doesn't look green or taste funny. It's mostly just orangey-fruity tasting. Sam actually eats spinach really well but he's never had any sort of green drink so we're going slow on that end. Who knows, this time next year, he may be taking a green juice to work in the the morning!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Texas State Veggie Fair!

I went to the Texas State Veggie Fair !!! It was on the 20th and I just haven't gotten around to posting pictures yet. It was my second time going, the first was 3 years ago on their first year. It was so much bigger and better organized this time around. And so much fun! There was tons of food-- way better than last time, since last time everyone ran out of food early, samples, vendors, everything. I love trying new vegan food, especially stuff that's difficult or expensive to make at home-- that's why I went for the cheesecake and corn dog, both delicious. And there were tons of dogs there too! And a few kitties and bunnies.

waiting in line to be one of the first 500 in so I could get a goody bag!
first thing I bought after my mom got there-- cheesecake!
My mom and I shared the cheesecake, which was delicious but quite sweet, and I have a major sweet tooth so that's saying something. 

"chicken" quesadilla from the Whole Foods booth
The quesadillas were so good, I went back for another sample-- shh, don't tell anyone! But seriously, I felt like I needed some fuel in order to wait in line for 45 minutes for the corn dog, which was definitely the most popular item that day. My mom got us a kombucha to share while we waited too, which was awesome. I've never tried kombucha before but I'm hooked now. It's fizzy without being bad for you-- how awesome is that? It was strange because my stomach feel gurgle-y while I drank it, but not in a bad way and it went away after a few minutes. I'm not used to that. usually, if something makes my stomace feel weird at all, it's bad and I'll feel sick the rest of the day. I guess it was just the probiotic goodies doing their work! I forgot to take a picture of the kombucha but it was flavored with pear juice and was a lovely pink-y color.

veggie corn dog -- weird looking but so good!
The Fair is open to any doggie who wants to come, and we did bring Osgood last time. He had a lot of fun but he got overwhelmed by all of the people and Sam had to stand off to the side with him while I went to the booths. 

this is Osgood last time   
isn't he handsome?
So, since I was with my mom this time, and not Sam, I left Osgood at home, even though I missed him so much, seeing all of the other sweet doggies! 

Kristina from FullyRaw!

Listening to Kristina, this is an adorable doggie and someone with one of the goodie bags

dog kissing booth

Teese sample-- so yum!

Upton's Naturals "bacon" wrapped around a baby tomato and spinach
There were also dogs, kittens, and bunnies to adopt. My mom said she wouldn't have been allowed to come if they knew there were adoptable animals, lol. The bacon wrapped skewer thing I think would have been better with basil instead of spinach. It wasn't super awesome and my mom didn't like it at all as she doesn't do fake meats.

here's a pic of the booth where the cheesecake came from-- isn't it georgous? it's a bakery in Austin, don't remember the name but if you zoom, you might be able to see a flyer

me in my Texas State Veggie Fair tank! I was glad I bought this since my sweater was getting super hot.

sample haul -- the bean chips, macaroons, soap, coconut oil, and several coupons were in my goodie bag, the rest I picked up along the way

this stuff was really good and super ginger-y

Monday, October 21, 2013

Black Bean, Corn, and Yellow Rice Enchiladas and a New Cookbook!

Last week on Meatless Mondays, I made some pretty amazing enchiladas from Cooking for Isaiah by Silvana Nardone. This is a really cool cookbook that Sam picked out at Barnes and Noble a couple of weeks ago. All of it's recipes are dairy and gluten free, and while it is by no means a vegan, or even vegetarian cookbook, there are a few vegan recipes that look delicious and I plan on veganizing some of the other ones. Sam is gravitating to more and more gluten and dairy free things, which gives me another way to challenge myself in the kitchen-- challenges are what keep me cooking! I just got all of the flours and starches to make her gluten free flour blend, and I'm going to try my hand at gluten free baking. I'm hoping that I can find an egg replacer that works with the flour blend because all of the bread and cake recipes in the book include eggs, although I did see one recipe for bread sticks on her blog that is vegan. My usual go-to egg replacer is flax, but Sam is allergic to flax, so I'll find something new. Does anyone have suggestions for a good egg replacer for gluten free baking?

Our whole perspective on meatless Mondays for him is that we want more things we can eat together, without making two separate meals. It's fun to eat the same thing, it's easier, and it's something we want our future family to be able to do, for the most part. That's where these blackbean and corn enchiladas come in. They are delicious! They feature a homemade red enchilada sauce made with red wine that is so flavorful, the carnivores may not miss their meat, at least for one night!

I don't think the recipe is out there on the interwebs and I didn't really adapt it so no recipe today, but if you are into non-vegan cookbooks or veganizing amazing recipes, I recommend this one! It has some beautiful photography, amazing reviews, and if this first recipe is any indication, some pretty darn good recipes!

so yummy!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Raw Caramel Apples

apples awaiting their caramelly fate
Whew, mini camera emergency. I was taking a million pictures of these beautiful little apples, I stuck the sticks into them, and was taking a bunch more pictures, and poof! "Battery exhausted." Why does it get exhausted? I feel like that's a weird way to put it and I have that thought every time it happens. After a moment of panic and more than a couple of moments rummaging through boxes, I found the cord to charge the camera. Whew, crisis averted. Onto making some caramel apples. Raw caramel apples free of refined sugar! That may not sound great to you, but for those in the know, they know that dates make an amaaazing caramel sauce. And also, you don't have to cook date caramel! Now, caramel is one of my all-time favorite things, don't get me wrong, but usually it's sticky, makes a mess, and takes quite a long while. Not this time. Super quick and only uses one kitchen tool-- a food processor. You can also do this with a blender, just take a little more time, add a little more water, and scrape down the sides a lot. This is where I got to put into play my birthday present! It was my birthday on Saturday.

vegan oreo cake from Whole Foods!
I had a fun day hanging out with family, going swimming-- an all time dream of mine, to go swimming on my birthday!-- and eating some delicious beans my honey cooked, along with some homemade tortillas-- recipe for those coming later.

Homemade tortillas and Sam's amazing beans
pretty peppers, while Sam was chopping veggies to make the beans
Anyway, my father-in-law got me the most thoughtful gift! A Ninja Kitchen System. It's awesome. So far, it whips out a mean pumpkin spice tea coconut oil latte,

yummy coconut oil pumpkin spice latte-- just blend a tablespoon of coconut oil with a strong cup of pumpkin  spice tea until creamy... so yum

.... and makes the best banana ice cream ice ever had. 
so good

yum! check out how creamy that is!

It can also make this delicious caramel sauce. As I am typing this, I'm attempting to get the last bit of caramel out of the mug I dipped the apples in. I've already had to wash my face and hands once. It's delicious.

Date Caramel

1 cup dates
1 tablespoon peanut butter (raw if you want to keep things raw)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water/non-dairy milk
apples on sticks (I used kabob sticks because that's all I could find--you'd think the stores would have sticks right by the apples this time of year, but not that I saw)
other yummy toppings, if desired-- chocolate chips, nuts, etc.

Whir together in a food processor until a smooth paste is formed-- a couple of minutes. Scoop out into a bowl (or large mug) and dunk your apples in. Coat in extra yummies if you want. I'm kind of a caramel apple purist, but other toppings are good too, sometimes.

swirly caramel goodness


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Meatless Mondays!

Okay, every day is meatless for me, but my husband has decided to join me for Monday night dinners! I am so excited about this! It is a bit of a challenge because he is allergic to nuts, coconut, and fruit unless it's been cooked. And he wants to stay low on soy. So far I've come up with a couple of options, and the one we had last week he said he'd eat again-- yay! So last Monday we had Black Bean Sliders with Sweet Potato Fries. I already knew he liked the sweet potato fries. Those are one of those things that I've never blogged about because it seems too simple or plain, but when I'm able to cook, we have them a couple of times a month, they're that good. So now I'm sharing!

Black Bean Sliders
makes 8-10ish patties

1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 red bell pepper
Tony's Creole Seasoning, to taste
3 tablespoons wheat germ
Oil, olive or vegetable, to cook
Slider buns
Earth balance MindfulMayo or other vegan mayonnaise
  • Broil the red pepper while it's whole, until the skin begins to bubble
  • Chop the pepper finely-- Sam said a little more chopped would be good next time, so chop to your desired fineness.
  • Add the pepper and beans to a mixing bowl and smoosh the beans somewhat with a glass or other smooshing device.
  • Mix in the seasoning and wheat germ-- I used about 1.5 tablespoons seasoning I think.
  • Add about 1 tablespoon oil to a skillet and allow to heat to medium high for a minute or two.
  • Using a spoon to scoop and your hands, form the bean mixture into slider-sized patties.
  • Fry four or five at a time, adding more oil if needed, a couple of minutes on each side, until browned.
  • Serve on slider buns with mayo and sweet potato fries (below).
  • Notes: 
    • Sam didn't like the buns toasted, how I tried them at first, but you can do toasted if you want. Just brush with some vegan margarine (I used Smart Balance Light) and put the buns straight onto the baking rack in the oven for a couple of minutes while your fries are cooking.
    • MindfulMayo is my favorite vegan mayo. It's super tasty, uses brown rice syrup as the sweetener, and is soy-free! Sam even gave it his approval, and he doesn't generally like new products, so that was a bonus for us!

Sweet Potato Fries
makes one big baking sheet of fries

1 big sweet potato-- I only used half of mine this time
Light drizzle of olive oil

  • Cut the potato into fry shapes.
  • Pile onto a cookie sheet, drizzle with oil, and use your hands to work the oil onto all sides of the fries.
  • Arrange the fries in one layer on the baking sheet and stick in the oven set to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Bake for about 35 minutes, turning each fry halfway through. Once turned, sprinkle with paprika-- you don't want to add this too soon or it will burn.
  • Finish cooking -- they're done when you can poke your tongs or a fork into them easily.