Thursday, December 04, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
The potatoes were mashed with Earth balance and Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream, the sweet potato casserole was based on this recipe from Fat-Free Vegan, and I got the cranberry orange sauce recipe on Rachael Ray's website, although I added a bit of Grand Marnier to mine at the end. The stuffing recipe is the same one I make every year, although this year I left the raisins out in the hope that it would be more appealing to my mom that way. She did try it, but still thought it was weird; hey, at least she tried. Oh, and I also made the dill dip in the same post with the stuffing, but that was pretty well demolished by the time I took my picture.
Here's a picture of my plate, with all the yummy stuff:
So, by switching my dessert (from the pecan pie of last year), I managed to go completely vegan this year. I thought about making some kind of replacement for the turkey, but there was really plenty of food; I didn't miss it.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I just want to get dinner on the table most nights. I want my food to have nutrition and flavor, but I am not passionate about making it just right or gourmet, or taking a long time. There are so many things I want to do in life, and cooking is definitely one of them, but only one. I want to get good food made in the smallest amount of time that is necessary. Sometimes that is not such a small time, but some nights it has to be fast, or we can't do it. Here are some examples of fast meals we have done lately.
First, I described my recipe for fast vegan fried rice awhile back, but here is a picture:
Doesn't that look healthy and delicious? The kids even like it. The boy had seconds and the girl ate hers without too much convincing (although she did try to convince me that she wasn't that hungry, a holdover from a virus she had the week before--she didn't complain about the taste, though). Every time I make rice these days, I make some extra so that we can have this later in the week. It is super fast, nutritious and we all like it.
Here is an even faster way to use up leftover rice:
For this one, I used fried tofu I got from the international foods market, along with a canned Thai soup and frozen green beans. I had to add some sriracha hot sauce to mine, but my friend said it was very good.
So, there you have it: some fast to the table, but still flavorful vegan meals. I hope this gives someone some good ideas for quick family meals that don't sacrifice flavor or your food convictions.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
And for dinner, I made my friend Andrea's favorite dinner (well, her favorite dinner that I cook, anyway): Curried Stir-Fried Noodles with Vegetables. No picture of this one, but I can assure you it was very good, as usual.
See all these fresh veggies? I feel so healthy! And full.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Moving has, once again, made it hard to get into a routine. On top of moving there is the new school year, which always comes as a shock to me. Why, I don’t know, since we have been doing this for 6 years now, but I am always thrown by the new schedule. And on top of that, we are in a new school this year, so the routines are even more different. Not to mention the whole unpacking thing, and (sniff, sniff), the lack of a dishwasher at the new house (sob, wail!).
But, this week I got it together finally. I have done some cooking, of course, but this week, I made a menu, and a grocery list, and went and got everything I needed. And I have been cooking every night, and even doing dishes and making lunches. Go me! Here is my menu:
Sunday: Tempeh Shepherdess Pie, from Veganomicon, which was fantastic. We had friends over for this one, and everyone loved it. It was a bit more time-consuming than I would like for a weeknight meal, but it was perfect for having friends over on the weekend.
Monday: Curry Cashew Casserole, from urban vegan, also very good, but not quite spicy enough for me. No matter, I had some good Thai garlic chili sauce, and it made the dish perfect. The kids actually ate this fairly well, too.
Tuesday: Meatballs in Applesauce, rice, broccoli, from Cooking for the Rushed (although this recipe called for ground beef, I just subbed some meatless meatballs from Trader Joe’s), which is a popular kid meal
Wednesday: this was my non-vegan night, with Curry Salmon Noodle bake, peas, which was a HUGE hit with the kids
Thursday: Sloppy lentils on whole wheat buns, baked fries, bell pepper strips
Friday: Fried rice, egg rolls and shu mai (appetizers from Trader Joe’s). Oh, and we may have some candy, which will likely not be vegan.
Saturday the kids will be at their dad’s, so I am not sure what I will be doing, although I do have food. I may be helping friends move, though, so I may do something with them. Sunday I have a play to go to. We go to the 2:00 show, so we often eat out after that.
Monday: Macaroni and Cheese and peas
Tuesday: some kind of sandwich or snacky food for me, while the kids are at their dad’s house
Wednesday: payday! We may go out to celebrate surviving the first month with the big house payment. And then we may need to do a quick grocery store trip to replenish supplies.
The house is continuing to force me to cook at home, which is good for my bank account and my health. Also, my eating pleasure--it may not be modest, but I have to say that I make good food!
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
After I move though, I am doing something kind of exciting--Once A Month Cooking, or freezer cooking, or whatever you want to call it. I will need to cut costs when we move, so I am going to do some cooking ahead to make sure that I have food available when I come home for dinner every night. I have done this before, but that was back when I ate meat, so this will be a bit different. I am already thinking about what kind of recipes I can do, and making a few plans, so I can dive in after I move (and buy a small deep freezer). I like making dinner with fresh food, but this does save a lot of time and money, when I know what we will be eating every night. I can still cook sometimes, but I will have a nice backup for busy days. I will post my plan when I get it figured out.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Sunday, June 08, 2008
Here is my plate of yummy brunch goodness. See how the stem on the grapes looks like a big preying mantis? (No actual bugs were harmed during the making of this brunch ;-))
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
What I do have this week is an actual menu plan! I am feeling pretty proud of myself on this one. I have even brought my lunch to work every day so far this week. Here it is, my not terribly inpired, but still, complete, plan.
Sunday: soy cheese pizza, fruit
Monday: lunch--leftover pizza, strawberries, dark chocolate
dinner--BBQ at my dad's; I brought a Boca burger, and he had steamed broccoli and corn on the cob
Tuesday: lunch--not vegan; Trader Joe's Thai tuna curry with a boxed pilaf mix with lots of different whole grains, orange, apple
dinner--garbanzo beans and spinach cooked in Trader Joe's curry simmer sauce with some plain soy milk, brown basmati rice simmered with Bombay saffron rice spice from World Market, fruit juice (orange peach mango, I think)
Wednesday: lunch--leftover curry, apple, orange
dinner--macaroni and cheeze, steamed broccoli and cauliflower
Thursday: lunch--leftover mac and chz, or frozen pad thai from Trader Joe's, strawberries, pear, leftover veggies
dinner--veggie and tofu fried rice, oranges
Friday: lunch--I may go out this day, I think, or leftovers
dinner--okay, I only planned until Thursday, you caught me...
Thursday is payday, so I just decided to get that far and then make new plans. The end of school is expensive! We may go out on Friday and then head to the Farmer's Market on Saturday.
After this weekend, the kids go to their dad's house for 2 weeks. I will need an easy plan for that time, to guard against eating out for every meal, which is really expensive! Also, not so healthy. So, I need a plan with healthy stuff that is easy to make. Maybe some cooking ahead? I am going to think on this for a bit and see what I can come up with. Let me know if you have any suggestions.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
I got a copy of Vegan Cupcakes take over the World something like a year ago. I wanted to make all of the cupcakes right away, but I have really gotten out of the habit of baking. So, I showed the book to some friends, and they were enthusiastic, too. We picked out some recipes, and made vague plans to have a cupcake party.
This weekend, we finally did it.
I invited two friends over, and they came with their two children each. S invited 2 friends, also. So, we had 11 people in my small kitchen. Well, we mostly kicked the 4 boys 7 and under out to play, but at one point we did have all three adults and all 4 girls crowded around the table. I was in charge of reading the recipes, washing measuring cups, and fetching spoons, forks, and various other implements to mix, measure and taste.
We started with the sexy low fat vanilla cupcakes with fresh berries. The girls made these under my supervision, and then we kicked them out, too. I think I may have underestimated my ability to handle chaos, but it really wasn't that bad once we got things calmed down for a bit.
We made gingerbread cupcakes with lemony cream cheese frosting, and chocolate cherry creme cupcakes with vegan buttercream frosting. This all took a lot more time than I thought it would, but it was so much fun! Most everyone had three cupcakes, one as we finished each batch. This isn't quite as unhealthy as it sounds, since we used whole wheat pastry flour instead of the all-purpose white flour, and at least there wasn't any high fructose corn syrup in anything. But mostly, it was so fun and delicious, we didn't care about the calories or sugar or fat!
My favorite was the vanilla with fresh berries, Tracy's was the gingerbread, and Andrea's was the chocolate cherry cream. This is not surprising, as those are the recipes we each picked. But they were all amazing, and we are definitely doing this again! I have my eye on the orange pudding filled cupcakes. We are thinking about an adult cupcake party with black forest cupcakes (the choc cherry cream made with cherry brandy) and maragarita cupcakes. I feel very in this cupcake trend, which no doubt means it is pretty much past the height of trendiness. No matter, I love the cupcakes!
Monday, March 31, 2008
First a picture from a while back:
This is the gnocchi I made after my kids spent a day at my parents' house eating nothing but junk. It's gnocchi with lots of tomato sauce and spinach. On top, and lurking in the background of the picture, is Parma! vegan parmesan. We had to buy this, because it has raw organic walnuts, red star nutritional yeat, celtic sea salt, and love. With an ingredient list like that, how could we pass it up?
Now the menu:
Tonight: Carribean Beans and Quinoa--so incredibly good! The girl even liked it. I am so glad that she is finally more open to more complex flavors.
Tuesday: I am making a Rachael Ray Curry in a Hurry recipe with the new Trader Joe's chickenless strips. Plus rice, and some kind of vegetable (maybe salad, or broccoli).
Wednesday: Fried rice. I threw some together on Friday, and it was so good, I am making it again. I heated up some coconut oil, pressed some tofu (just between my hands), diced it and fried until golden. Then, I added some onion and garlic, and when the kitchen started smelling really good, I added some frozen spinach and peas, and two cups of cooked brown rice. After I mixed all that together, I poured about a third of a jar of Trader Joe's Chinese 5 Spice Chef Sauce on top, and heated it all up until the flavors were blended and it was all hot. I couldn't believe how good it turned out, for something just thrown together!
Thursday: West African Peanut Stew
Friday, the girl is going to sing at the Cardinals game with her choir! I have no idea what we will eat, but I am sure we will have fun.
That's as far as my planning has gone, but I am going to do more planning next week. We eat so much better when I know what we are going to have (not counting that serendipitous fried rice).
Friday, March 21, 2008
Anyway, a camping update:
Not totally vegan this time, so I'll skim over the first night, when we had salmon and sugar snap peas cooked in a foil packet with teriyaki sauce.
The second night, I went with the best kid-pleaser, beanie weenies, made with soy hotdogs. My friend made new potatoes, carrots and onion roasted in foil, and the kids devoured grapes with the beans.
The third night, it rained, so we had Taco Bell. Oh, for a larger town nearby with a Qdoba!
Breakfasts were largely fruit and whole wheat bagels with tofutti cream cheese, and lunches consisted of a lot of general snacking. I brought a bunch of guacamole this time, and whole wheat tortillas, and the boy ate some leftover hot dogs. Oh, and we had leftover beanie weenies. Hmm, we weren't very organized this time.
We did get some beautiful hiking in before the rains hit. We went down on a Saturday and stayed until Tuesday, so we were practically alone on the campground after Sunday morning. Monday night, when it was raining, we were the only camper there. We saw a lot of wildlife, though--probably 6 or 7 deer, some of them fairly close up. We saw a beaver on our way back from town on Monday, which was pretty cool. We played a lot of Trivial Pursuit and got a lot of reading done.
Wednesday night we had friends over and I made Curried Stir-Fried Noodles with Vegetables. Andrea requested it last time she came for dinner, but I didn't have all the ingredients, so I got it all when I went to the store to buy some supplements after returning from the campground.
Last night we went to my parents' house for pizza, and I got to feed S something other than plain cheese pizza. She eats too much plain food, so we are experimenting with more complex flavors. We had pineapple pizza, and it was a big success! We used rice milk cheese, and it was very good, melty and delicious.
Now the kids are at their dad's so I expect some eating out this weekend, but I am going to try to make some healthy stuff this weekend to prepare for next week.
Thursday, March 06, 2008
I did pretty good on my plan from last week. Monday through Friday was just what I planned. I did go out on Tuesday, but that was my tentative plan anyway. My friend made a delicious veggie chili on Friday with all kinds of good veggies in it--much healthier than I usually make mine. I just do a basic bean chili with tomato sauce and salsa, but not much else in the way of veggies (well, onions and garlic, but that's a given). She had carrots and eggplant and zucchini and all kinds of good stuff in there. Very good!
The weekend was all right. Saturday we just had Tofurkey Italian Sausages (hallelujah, the girl likes them! They have flavor, and she eats them!) and hashbrowns, because I didn't feel like going all out and making falafels and tahini sauce and all that, when I was pretty sure the kids wouldn't eat them, or not much. Sunday, we went out for Vietnamese food. The girl was so picky and rude about it, I decided no more eating out for her for some time. She will learn to like more foods at home, or no eating out. I am tired of buying her chicken fingers and french fries.
This week, we have only been home two nights so far. Tuesday, we had a Match crab and cabbage stirfry with some kind of pineapple teriyaki sauce and sliced carrots. Yum! The kids ate theirs with only minimal complaining. I am wearing them down, ha ha.
Last night we had friends over and made pizza. No arguing for a change, everyone was joyful.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Here is what we are having, starting with last night:
Monday: Beanie Weenies, steamed broccoli
Tuesday: waffling here, I may go out, or make falafels (kids are at their dad's)
Wednesday: Peanut noodles, steamed sugar snap peas, blood oranges
Thursday: Creamy chickpea and tahini casserole, salad, some veggie the kids will eat
Friday: eating at a friend's house
Saturday: Falafel, if I don't make them tonight, or I may do a grocery store run that day
Okay, it's not a great plan, but it's pretty good. It's better than no plan. I am trying to actually make some more of the recipes I have bookmarked on my computer, rather than marking them and forgetting about them.