Monday, December 17, 2012

Back in the Saddle!

Wow! I have been out of edible deliciousness' pocket for a spell! My world has consisted of full-time wife, mother and now student! Yes, last August I went back to school to finish up my B.S. in Biology and this past semester was a little all consuming. I have one class left to take in the spring and then I am officially finished... for now! I'm a professional student really. Ha! Anyway, I had to let a few things go these past few moths and sadly, the blog was one of them as well as many of my Vegan ways. Boo! So I'm easing back in to the fun and many of this weeks recipes aren't vegan, but we'll get there soon :) I'm posting a board on Pinterest with many of my fav on-line recipes! Check it out!

Breakfast: Anna's bday breakfast
Lunch: Out

Lunch: Broccoli Quinoa Casserole 
Dinner: 3 Bean Chili  

Breakfast: Lara Bars
Lunch: Peanut Butter and Honey with Veggies
Dinner: Left Over Night

Breakfast: Gluten-free Pumpkin Bread
Lunch: Veggie Spring Rolls
Dinner: Family Dinner with Kindergarten class... precious families!

Breakfast: Eggs and Toast 

I will be posting these other recipes in the next day or two. I hope everyone has a great week!


Monday, July 23, 2012

Menu Week 5

Oh, it feels so good to be back in the menu-making circuit. When our food isn’t planned out, the weeks are unhealthy and chaotic… not good for the littles or me! Now that we’re not on vacation and eating like gluttonous beasts, it’s nice to settle back into predictable, delicious food. The kids are happier and I don’t feel like I have a tar baby sitting in my stomach. (That’s my Uncle Remus reference... thank you, southern up-bringing!) Anyway, I'm happy to be back!  I will be posting the rest of my original recipes later today or tomorrow. J

Breakfast: Oats w/ cinnamon, honey and blueberries
Lunch: Quinoa salad with tomatoes, avocados, lemon juice, black beans, green bell pepper and olive oil
Dinner: Asian Eggplant w/ broccoli and fried rice

Breakfast: Blueberry, banana, spinach smoothie
Lunch: Veggie rolls with rice paper
Dinner: Black Bean Burgers with grilled zucchini  

Breakfast: blue berry muffins
Dinner: Red curry with eggplant and brown basmati rice

Breakfast: quinoa with cinnamon, honey, blueberries and almonds
Lunch: black beans veggie wrap
Dinner: Garlic Basil Marinara over Spaghetti squash

Breakfast: Larabars
Lunch: Avocado, tomato pasta
Dinner: Masar Dal Pulao w/ naan  

Friday, July 20, 2012

Greek Pasta Salad

I love pasta salads in the summer. It’s too hot to do much, other than sit by the pool with a margarita. So when lunch or dinner rolls around sometimes its nice to have a cool, light option. This pasta salad is it. And it is SO FREAKING EASY!!! It includes a recipe-ish for dressing, but feel free to put on what ever your fav dressing is. Sometimes simplicity is all that matters!

16oz of pasta… cook’s choice! Prepare to package directions. I find a little al dente is nice J
½ green bell pepper, diced
½ red bell pepper, diced
½ red onion, diced
½ cucumber, diced
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 small package of feta cheese, if you must J

Here’s the hard part:
Dump it all in a bowl and stir. Boom. Dinner or lunch is served. Now I realize that some of you olive lovers out there are thinking, “what the heck? (or hell, depending on your verbiage preferences) This salad TOTALLY needs olives.” To you I say, “Olive away!” If I thought olives were remotely tasty I would be loading them up in this bad boy. Sadly, olives have the ability to make my stomach turn at the mere mention of their consumption, so I will stop there. I don’t know why, I’ll blame it on an unknown childhood experience. 
If you're game for a lovely Greek dressing, here you go… its also super difficult (sarcasm).

½ c. olive oil
½ c. apple cider vinegar
tsp oregano
tsp basil
tsp dried mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Dump it all in a glass jar and shake it like you mean it. Boom. Boom.

The boy told me he wanted to eat this salad forever and the Man ate 2 huge servings followed by a text complementing the meal. When the men folk happily eat salads it is immediate meal success.
Happy Summer Salading!

Vacation... a health nightmare!

I haven’t posted in like 2 weeks… I’ve been on vacation. Well, one might call it a vacation; it was 8 days at my sister-in-law’s house in FL with my husband’s family. Wine and margaritas got me through, it got us all through. I will say nothing more J

Pic from 'the dock of the bay' by Aunt Janna.
Being that the clean eating (and in our case, plant based clean eating) is a journey for us, I thought this was a part of the journey that was very eye opening. One think I realized through all of this though is that my home is definitely my “safe place” with food. What ever is let in will be the dominantly consumed foods. If its snacks, I will eat snacks. If it is sweets, I will eat sweets. I actually posted not too long ago something about not being someone who eats a ton of sweets or not being someone who will polish of a bag of potato chips in one sitting, well, I should have kept my filthy mouth shut because this past week I DEVOURED some potato chips like some kind of weird potato addict. I ate sweets (note the margarita reference above) like they were going out of style and although the meals I ate were relatively healthy, there were a large number of seafood dishes consumed and what was inhaled during snack times and the evening doesn’t need mentioning. It was bad. Real bad.

My little man was AWESOME
with a fishin' pole.
I came home feeling bloated (yeah, you all wanted to know that, I’m sure), tired and completely addicted to food. You know that feeling when you’re not REALLY hungry but you just kind of want to eat? Well, that is a food addiction popping up to say hello and reminding you that you are not in charge quite as much as you would like to be. My addiction is usually kept at bay by planning meals, having a number of healthy snack options available and also by doing recipe and food research. When I am filling my body with essential nutrients and not wasting space in my stomach and cells with crap, then I find that my cravings subside and I don’t have the nagging desire to ‘munch’ all day long. I’m scared of the self-discipline that will be required to re-boot my toxic body but ever fiber of my being is screaming for good, solid nutrients.

At this point I wish I could have been the amazing person who could “Just Say No” (remember that fancy drug slogan?) every time a bowl of chips were left on the counter or when a bag of starbursts were found lying around after the 382nd ‘treat’ was given to the children. Some of you might say, “Um, it’s a vacation, you’re supposed to eat bad and have a good time”, and I would not be sure that I agree. (Seriously, I’m not SURE yet, I’m working this all out in my head.) I don’t like the shock and fatigue I feel when I chuck this way of eating to the wind. I mean, I adopted this life-style because I felt like it was the right thing to do, not just for my family’s health but also, for environmental sustainability. I don’t want to ‘take a vacation’ from health, I don’t want to feel like the way we eat is so hard so that I need a break from it a few times a year. I want to love our life, just as it is today, will all the benefits it offers. Now, if I can enjoy this life, health and all but just transplant it to the beach a few times a year, then I’m golden!
Until next time!!!!!

This trip was good for me. I realized how weak I am. I was humbled. I pray that in the next venture to the mental land of ‘vacationing’ that I will hang in there and be true to who I am and not go running the opposite direction. We’re all a work in progress and I’m thankful that there is grace for me J

Saturday, July 7, 2012

So what IS Tuesday Night Dinner? Well, let me tell you.

So Tuesday night dinner is a little something that started when I was in college. A pastor from our church and his wife used to invite a bunch of us college students over for dinner so that at least once a week we could have a good home-cooked meal. It gave me a little bit of community where I needed it most. Well, here I am, a wife and mother of three little people who sees a need here in my town for community so the Man and I decided that once a month we would invite couples in our church over for dinner who just needed a night to connect. We invited people that we knew were in the same place in life as we are (i.e., young children, busy schedules) but we left the invitation open to each of these people to invite others who may need to connect. And so Tuesday night dinners began. (They used to be on Monday, so if I ever type Monday Night Dinner, that’s why!) Now once a month (every week would take a miracle) we fill our house with 25+ adults and an even larger number of children and we provide a “main course” and most people bring a side, drinks or a dessert. It is so much fun and we all just talk, let our kids play and do life together. It is wild… wildly refreshing. We all need community, we need people around us to see our good and our bad and then just be okay with it. God created us for fellowship and I am so glad He did. I get to hang out with some of the most amazing people I know because of it!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Blueberry Muffins

Its not only okra season but we have officially hit blueberry season too! I took the littles out blueberry picking in 103 degree weather and we had a blast! They ran around and picked a berry here and there and I relaxed and just picked. I thought of little. I just picked. Here is a vegan and sugar-free blueberry muffin recipe

2 cups flour blend (I used buckwheat, whole wheat and coconut flours)
1 and 1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
½ c agave
1 cup Milk, any (I used almond)
1/3 cup Coconut Oil
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
1 and 1/2 cups Fresh OR Frozen Blueberries

First Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Then combine the agave, milk, oil, vanilla and vinegar in a different bowl. Once well mixed add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and mix well. Fold in the blueberries and your just about set. The batter will appear more like cookie dough than cake batter but, hey, it works J
Spoon the batter in to lightly greased muffin tins, filling about ¾ full. Pop them into a pre-heated oven at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Because it is made with agave instead of sugar it will brown quickly but no need to cover it, they’re still super soft.

Okay, its mid-night… I’m going to bed J

Mushroom Okra Curry

Its okra season and I plan to take full advantage of it!

4 chopped garlic cloves
1 inch fresh ginger, grated (if you keep it in the freezer, it grates nicely)
1-2 fresh chilies seeded and chopped
¾ c cold water
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp coriander seed
1 cumin seed
1 tsp ground cumin
2 green cardamom pods (seeds removed and ground)
Pinch turmeric
14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 lb mushrooms, quartered if large
8 oz okra, cut into ½ inch slices
2 tbsp cilantro

This pic is kind of sad. Once my pics are off the camera I don't do much more editing.
No biggie. I used some home-made paneer cheese a friend made.
Amazing dish!!
Place garlic, ginger, chilies and 3 tbsp of water in your food processor, process away. Heat coconut oil in a large saucepan. Add coriander and cumin seeds and let them sizzle in the pan a few seconds. Add ground cumin, cardamom and turmeric and cook for a bout a minute. Add the garlic paste from the processor, the tomatoes and the remaining water to the saucepan. Mix it up really good then add the mushrooms and okra. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove cover, turn up the heat a bit and cook 5-10 minutes more or until okra is soft. Stir in the chopped cilantro and you’re done! Around here we serve it over brown basmati rice… delish! Enjoy this summer, okra treat!

Week 4

Happy Independence Day!! I love the 4th; it is a huge event around the Nysewander household. This year the Man and I are running the Peachtree Road Race… the biggest 10k in the country, I believe. That evening we will be out on the town sporting our hard earned t-shirts while attending a cook out and a kick-ass fireworks display, at which, my children will be wearing Santa earmuffs.  We live in the greatest town ever, seriously, you should be jealous.
Well, here’s another round of tasty food for you!!

Breakfast: GrapeNuts with peaches
Dinner: Out with friends and kids!!!

Breakfast: Peach, pineapple and coconut smoothie
Lunch: Peanutbutter and banana with cucumber and tomato salad

Wednesday: Happy Birthday America!!!!!
Dinner: Family/Friend cook out… I’m bring Cole Slaw

Breakfast: blueberry muffins (no egg!)
Lunch: hummus with veggies
Dinner: Broccoli, Millet Croquettes w/ mashed cauliflower and salad

Breakfast: Banana Waffles
Lunch: fruit salad and blueberry muffins
Dinner: Veggie Laksa

Friday, June 29, 2012

Heaven in a Pot

So, I’m having one of “those” kind of weeks. You know what I’m talking about. Nothing seems right, the kids are a little wild, I haven’t cooked one meal from the menu, we just had peanut butter and honey sandwiches with a carrot for lunch (again!), laundry is pouring out of the laundry room, I haven’t seen the bottom of my sink in a week, I was a royal b*%@& to the Man last night and all I really want to do is watch Felicity re-runs on Netflix. I know, its bad. When I have these little moments in life, it usually has something to do with hormones or season changes. Some of you are thinking, “She is so weird”, while others are yelling, “Me too! Me too!” Well, I have a little treat for the  “Me too”s out there! It is called heaven in a pot… at least it should be. If you’ve read the menus, you know I’m a little on the healthy side (or I pretend to be): I don’t eat ice cream,  I don’t devour a bag a chips, I try to hold myself back from mountains of chocolate. (Try is the key word, people!) Well, when I’m in a funk like this, I want to cry, I want chocolate, I want something REALLY REALLY bad for me… but then I think of how miserable I’ll feel after I consume something horrible for me. So, (enter stage right): heaven in a pot. I almost shed a tear today when I tasted it because it was what I NEEDED! My world was in harmony J Here you go “Me too”s, this one’s for you!! (Okay, and the “She’s weird”s too!)

Heaven in a Pot:
      In a saucepan, mix together 1/3 c. maple syrup, 1/3 c. almond milk and ¼ c. cocoa, bring it to a gentle boil and let it simmer for about 3 minutes. Add 3 tbsp organic peanut butter or almond butter to the mix and stir until its melted into the mixture. Once its well mixed, remove from heat, let it cool for about 5 minutes then stir in 1 tsp vanilla and if you just need an AMAZING chocolate sauce to dip fruit in, you’re done. If you want a cookie style treat, mix in 1 ½ c. oats. Spoon cookies onto a plate and refrigerate. In about 30 minutes it’s cool enough to munch on. Or you could eat it out of the pan with a spoon, like I did J

I got this recipe from Forks Over Knives.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Red Pepper Risotto

I love risottos and according to this website it is gluten free and a decent protein source, win-win! I don’t think it has much in the way of fiber so mixing in some fiber-full veggies sure does make it almost perfect!

3 large red bell peppers (this is a good time of year to get them cheap! In the winter, 1 organic red bell pepper will cost you a fortune!)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 handfuls chopped spinach
About 20 oz diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
5-6 1/2 c. veggie stock
2 ½ c. Arborio rice
6 fresh basil leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place your whole peppers on a broiling pan and broil in the oven until the skins are blackened and blistered all over. Put the peppers in a bowl and cover them with a damp paper towels. Set them aside for about 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes, peel off the skins and slice the peppers thinly. Toss out the core and seeds. Heat oil in a large saucepan. (I have a wide pan about 6 or 7 inches deep that is perfect.) Next add the garlic and tomatoes; gently cook for about 5 minutes. Add the pepper slices, spinach and bay leaves, cook for 15 minutes stirring occasionally. In a separate heavy, large saucepan, add the stock and heat until simmering. Now, put the rice in with veggies and stir and cook for about 2 minutes. Add about 2 or 3 ladlefuls of the hot stock to the rice/veggie mixture, cook while stirring occasionally until all the stock is absorbed. Continue to add the stock this way. Make sure all the stock is absorbed before adding more. Once the rice is tender, season with salt and pepper, remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes before stirring in the basil… this will also help keep your kids from searing their tongues. An added benefit!

Go to smoothie recipe

Smoothies are one of my favorite go to breakfasts. It is delicious, healthy, raw goodness! Here is our traditional smoothie:

¾ c. ground flax (I grind mine in our coffee grinder)
1 handful fresh spinach
1 handful fresh kale (with the spines removed)
2 bananas
6 bid strawberries, quartered
1 c. almond milk
1-2 c. ice

I put the ingredients into my ninja in the order listed so that the heavy ingredients will press down the not-so-heavy ones. Put all the ingredients in your blender, minus the ice, blend away. Once you have a nice liquid, add the ice and blend until it is all chopped up. This makes enough for small smoothies for the five of us. 

Thai Red Curry

I’ve been making Thai Curry for YEARS! I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! I have thought a time or two about getting adventurous and making my own curry paste but I have yet to take the plunge. There’s always next time, right? Ha! Anyway, this is one recipe that we turned vegetarian quite some time ago because we could put so much other goodness in it. It doesn’t taste exactly like a Thai restaurant but it is pretty darn close! Maybe when I make my own… or maybe not.

Here’s what you need:
2 cans coconut milk
3 tbsp red curry paste (less if you don’t want it hot)
1-2 tbsp fish sauce (I can forgo this one but it does add a very authentic flavor)
1 tbsp agave or sucanat
1 sliced red bell pepper
2 sliced zucchini
½ c frozen peas
1 small can sliced bamboo

Start off by pouring your coconut milk into a large skillet or saucepan. Add the red curry and whisk it into the milk. Let simmer for 4-5 minutes then add the fish sauce and sweetener of your choice. Let these guys mix together and simmer for a few more minutes. Next add in your veggies: pepper, zucchini, bamboo and peas. (You can add other veggies too, whatever needs to be used in the frige) Salt to taste. Let it cook until your veggies are tender and delicious! Serve it over some brown basmati rice and you have a treat!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Week 3

I have officially been meat-less (and mostly dairy-free) for 2 weeks and I can’t tell you how great it feels. I don’t have cravings like I used to, no heavy bloated feeling after meals, blemishes on my face have cleared up, I have TONS more energy, just to name a few! Well, here is the menu for week 3, I am buying up new cookbooks left and right to get more inspiration, so if you have any cookbooks that you love, please, pass the title along!

Breakfast: sucanat, raisin oatmeal
Lunch: We’re eating at Your Dekalb Farmers Market (if you’re in the Atlanta area, CHECK IT OUT!!!!)

Lunch: good ol’ almond butter and honey sammie on homemade whole wheat bread

Breakfast: fruit salad (pineapple, cantaloupe, bananas)

Breakfast: Vegan Quiche, yep, you read that correctly J
Dinner: Szechwan Eggplant

Breakfast: homemade Musli
Lunch: Veggies with Aunt Margaret's Black Bean DIp (I'll post the recipe if I get permission from the creator!)
Best dip ever!
Here is my picky eater! And this is the lunch
she devoured! 
Dinner: Pizza for the kids, Veg Spaghetti for me!

I will post the rest of the recipes hopefully by tomorrow morning :) I hope you all have a great week! Good health to you!

Banana Nut Muffins

 This is a variation from my mother-in-law’s amazing banana bread recipe.  I love to experiment with family recipes to make them into something healthy while maintaining their yumminess J

½ c. sucanat
½ c. honey
½ c. butter
2 eggs
4 REALLY ripe/rotten bananas
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soad
2 c. flour blend (1 part coconut flour, 1 part almond flour, 1 part whole wheat flour, 1 part quinoa flour- sometimes I vary how much of each I use, but ½ c. of each is fairly standard)
½ c. crushed walnuts (optional)

Mix together the sucanat, honey and butter in a mixer. Add eggs, one at a time. Mash your bananas and then add them to the sugar mixture. Ina separate bowl, combine the salt, soda and your flour blend. Add the flour to the banana mixture followed by the nuts. Pour the mixture into 3 mini loaf pans and cook for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Ovens vary, so be sure to watch your bread the first time you bake it. Also, honey darkens faster than regular sugar so if your bread begins to get darker than you like it, lay a piece of foil over the bread. If you want muffins, cook at 325 for about 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Homemade Larabars!

We make these delightful treats called Date Bars because that is what they are. I have one friend whose family refers to them as dookie balls, yes dookie, because she rolls hers into balls… and other reasons. Anyways, this is the homemade version of a Larabar, so you can put whatever you want in it until you like the consistency. You’ll eat them all in one day, I have no doubt.

  • 1 ½ c. pitted dates (I have pitted my own before, not worth it, pay $2 for the pitted ones)
  • ½- 3/4 c. various nuts (ex: almonds, pistachios, cashews, walnuts, whatever floats your boat)
  • ½ c. coconut
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • Whatever else you want to put in (choco-chips, cocoa, oats, grated carrot, seriously, whatever sounds good to you in the moment)

Just after adding the coconut!

In your food processor (I use a ninja, its amazing) first toss in the nuts and give them a good grinding. Next put in the dates, I do it a little at a time because too much might just make it into a ball… of dookie, no, just kidding, but some times it will just clump together instead of mixing in with the nuts. So a scoop at a time. Next add the coconut and oil and your ‘extras’ and process away. The end product should stick together nicely but if for some reason it’s too dry add a little more oil and give it another whirl. At this point you can scoop the contents of your processing bowl into a small, glass, baking dish. Cut into pieces and serve. I refrigerate it afterwards just to keep it extra firm. Or you can roll them into balls… easier to transport, I hear. My kids think they’re cookies… success. 
Sleepy face :)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Curried Celery Soup

I’m the kind of person who enjoys soups for dinner. I don’t like having anything too heavy at night so soups and salads are my friends. The Man however likes his big meaty meals, (I mean, he IS a MAN) so with soups I like to throw in some good hearty bread so that he feels like he’s getting some real quality substance J I love him and I love using him as a culinary guinea pig! (He’s so good at it too.)

Here you go:

2 tsp-ish coconut oil
1 chopped onion
1 sliced leek
1½ pounds chopped celery
1 tbsp med or hot curry powder (we like it hot around here!)
8 oz. diced potatoes (the type is up to you, I’m using red ones this week because that is what I found at the farmers market today)
3¾ c. veggie stock (almost a box)
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
Fresh cilantro
Salt to taste

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan, toss in the onion, leek and celery. Cover and let simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add curry powder and cook a couple more minutes after stirring
  • Add potatoes, stock, cumin and cilantro. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes or until veggies are tender
  • Set the soup aside and let it cool slightly then puree in a blender or food processor until smooth
  • Add the fresh cilantro (about a small hand full) and salt until it tastes perfectly salty and process it super quick.
  • Return it to the sauce pan and reheat until hot

This recipe is a variation from a cookbook called Vegetarian by Nicola Graimes. It has some good eats in there and I like to edit it a bit to my taste and dietary preference. I hope you enjoy the goods!

Crock-Pot Tikki Masala

Um, this recipe is delicious. Seriously, every time I make it, I feel sorry for everyone who isn't eating with us. It’s just that good.
So here's what you need:

1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1tsp pepper
½- 1 tsp cayenne (this depends on you)
1 tbsp garam masala
½ c. almond or coconut milk
Whatever veggies you want to put in the mix. I usually slice up some zucchinis, eggplant, broccoli and bamboo if I’m feeling crazy J
It should total about 4 cups of assorted veggies.

In a plastic Ziploc place all the veggies as well as the other ingredients. Toss them around a bit in the bag and let all the goods get nice and mixed up and the veggies get thoroughly coated in the marinade. Refrigerate for an hour or so.

1 can 28 oz diced tomatoes, or fresh if you are so lucky
1 can 5.5 oz tomato paste
About 2 inches of fresh grated ginger or 2 tsp if its ground (ground wont give you the same awesome flavor as the fresh stuff but it will be good, none the less.)
2 gloves minced garlic
1 diced onion
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp tikki paste or 2 tsp tikki masala powder (I like both, so no worries)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried coriander
1 can coconut milk
Salt to taste

So you add the ingredients to the crock-pot and mix it all up. Let it cook for about 2-3 hours on high (or 4-5 on low) then add the veggies from the refrigerator in and cook for another hour. That’s it. Cook some rice according to the package (we usually go for brown or basmati) and you have a delicious dish! Right before I serve it some times I’ll add a pinch more cumin, chili powder and garam masala just to make the taste even more exciting… if that’s even possible! You can garnish with some fresh cilantro if you’re in the mood.


Week 2

Happy father's day!!!! My littles have the greatest dad and I was so blessed to celebrate him today. I hope everyone had a great day with their fathers or enjoyed the opportunity to celebrate or remember the men who helped to make us who we are. 

So while the Man is our for a run, I will post a menu for this next week. I'm attaching some links to recipes as well as posting some of my own, so enjoy! I hope you're week is filled God's richest blessings and great health!

Breakfast: Cinnamon, raisin steel cut oatmeal
Lunch: Almond butter and honey on homemade whole wheat bread w/ veggies and hummus
Dinner: Curried celery soup with homemade bread

Breakfast: Date bars
Lunch: quinoa salad
Dinner: Creole Chickpea fritters w/ mashed cauliflower and a salad

Breakfast: homemade granola
Lunch: Burlotti
  • Basically, pasta with tomatoes, white burlotti beans and a handful of spices.
Dinner: Minestrone soup with pesto and bread

Breakfast: quinoa with blueberries and almonds
Lunch: black beans over brown rice
Dinner: Tikki Masala

Breakfast: banana nut muffins
Lunch: Veggie Bok Choy wraps with hummus
Dinner: Vegetable Ribbon Pasta

If there is ever something we're eating for a meal and the recipe isn't listed, just let me know and I'll let you know how we do it around these parts.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Eggplant Parmesan

So, I have NEVER consumed eggplant IN MY LIFE. The Man never seemed interested and my littles, even with their diverse palates, I was afraid it would be a waste of time. I like to imagine myself an adventurous eater but whenever the subject of eggplant was approached, all my ‘adventure’ was thrown out the window. What can I say, I like adventure on my own terms! I wouldn’t even tell the Man what we were having for dinner when he called from work because I didn’t want him to talk me out of it! Ha!

Last night, my life-long eggplant-free streak ended with delicious eggplant Parmesan, a recipe that I kind of made up as I went. When I looked recipes online I saw a bunch of fried eggplant deals and a handful of baked ones but most of them required eggs and such for the breading process. So, I free-styled… my favorite way to cook! This recipe is vegetarian but it isn’t vegan. Mostly because it was my first time so I wanted to get a good hold on the process (and to see if I even liked it!) before I moved on to a dairy-free version. I’ll include what I plan to do next time to make it vegan

Here’s the ‘recipe’:

1 eggplant
1 tsp salt
1 stick melted butter (next time I’m using coconut oil)
2-3 c. bread crumbs (I crumbled some of my homemade bread and let it stale)
½ tsp (ish) salt, yeah, salt round 2
1 tsp Italian seasoning
¼ c. Parmesan cheese (not doing this next time.. I don’t think it was a deal breaker!)

So I sliced the eggplant about ¼- ½ inch thick pieces and placed them on a cookie sheet (I think I had like 10-12 pieces) and sprinkled them with salt. I let them sit for about 30 minutes to let the ‘juices’ rise out of them. (I read about this process on food network) Next I combined the crumbs, salt, Italian seasoning and parm cheese in a bowl.  I dunked the eggplant in the butter and rolled it around in the crumb mixture (it doesn’t really stick super awesome) so I put it back on the cookie sheet with a sprinkling of breadcrumbs on top. I did this to all the slices and then stuck that pan of skepticism in the oven for 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees. What I pulled out was muy delicioso! I put some mashed cauliflower on the fam’s plates topped with a couple slices of egg plant and then covered with some homemade marinara. The Man, my eldest and I WORKED IT!!! The younger two I had to work a bit harder to get them to try it but once they did, they ate most of it. It was a success!! I am SO pumped when a new recipe works out! I should have taken a pic... maybe next time.

If you try it, let me know how it works out for you J

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Flax Crackers

Yeah, they're good. The littles love them and they're so easy to make it can be a 'last minute' thrown together snack.

 I got the idea here. This site has great gluten-free and vegan recipes- check it out, it is delightful! She has some great gluten free waffles and dairy-free whipped topping that I'm excited to try out on Big Breakfast Saturday- Woop! Woop!

Here is what I did:
1 ½ c. ground flax seeds (I ground  mine in the coffee grinder- works like a charm!)
1/2 c. sesame seeds
1 c water
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp nutritional yeast (makes it taste ‘cheesey’)

I mixed all the dry ingredients together in a bowl then added the water once it was all in a clump I put on some parchment paper on a cookie sheet. I rolled it out fairly thin. I kept saying to myself, “Cracker, it’s supposed to be a cracker.” So then I would go thinner. J I scored it with a fork to make little perforations so that they would snap off easily, then I popped it in the oven for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Voila! Flax crackers. Boom, so easy.