I’ve been around and, believe it or not, I’ve been cooking some, but I haven’t had time to sit down and blog. I have been taking pictures and thinking of you guys, though!
1) I made a huge Italian dinner for 9 people – my mother’s sauce recipe from scratch. Blog post on that coming 🙂
2) My husband bought groceries before leaving town and after he left, I discovered a box of veggies titled “Mix Soup” (as in Soup Mix). I wasn’t sure why he bought it since we don’t make or eat soup much – perhaps just to give me veggies to cook. But I took it as a challenge and made healthy veggie soup from scratch.
“Soup Mix” – zucchini, carrots, cilantro, dill
Sodium-free bouillon (Broth has such high sodium! Salt it yourself, dudes.)
1 tbsp wheat flour
1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp onion powder
1 clove garlic
salt and pepper to taste
Dice garlic. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil and add garlic, onion powder and cumin. When garlic softens, add vegetables and saute until brown. Boil 2 cups of water and add 2 packets of sodium-free bouillon (or heat 2 cups of broth). When it boils, add veggies and lower heat to a simmer. Cover and cook 10-12 minutes, adding flour or cornstarch halfway through to thicken.
3) I also made Tofu and Potato Hash Browns tonight – delicious! I am a big fan of Nava Atlas, as you should be if you enjoy really good vegetarian and vegan food that’s easy to make. I added the fresh spinach that she suggests, and you could also add vegan or lowfat cheese if you like. Or pesto!
Well, I’d love to stick around, but I’ve got some eating to do! 😉 More to come soon. Leave a comment and let me know what you’re cooking.
It’s been a while. I haven’t been cooking. I’ve been content to let the Husband do it while I handle dishes. Today, however, I’m going to make my Saag Paneer hack (with tofu instead of cheese), since I have been craving it.
On another note, Pinterest is the most awesome thing ever except for the fact that it makes me hungry. Here’s a roundup of the latest pins I found:
Note: I only pin recipes that look simple and have few ingredients. I can’t deal with a recipe that’s going to require me to go out and buy 10 things.
My friend Jess and I have started this tradition where she comes over to my place and we try new recipes. A couple of months ago, she started chatting me up about a site called Simple Green Smoothies. When she found a Ninja blender/food and drink maker on sale for almost half-price, she alerted me, for which I will forever be grateful!
My husband and I, proudly, have actually persevered with all New Year’s resolutions on fitness. We go to the gym 3-5 times a week and we are eating so clean, you would barely believe it. And now – juices and green smoothies. Yum.
My Favorite Green Smoothie (variation on Jessica’s recipe and this one)
- 1 cup of unsweetened soymilk (or 1/2 cup soymilk, 1/2 cup water, if I don’t want it too filling)
- 1 banana
- 2 handfuls of spinach (a lot! like 3 or 4 cups – it shrinks)
- 1 spoon of unsalted peanut butter
It is super good. You don’t taste spinach at all, only banana and peanut butter. Tonight I made it minus peanut butter plus Greek honey yogurt.
I also made my husband juice: beet + ginger + blueberry + apple.
You have to try it – so good.
My husband and I aren’t big on seafood, but we do like shrimp scampi, so when I came across this healthy hack from Fitness Magazine, I decided to try it.
Recipe: Lemon-Garlic Shrimp & Vegetables
I didn’t follow it exactly because I didn’t have cornstarch, peppers or parsley, and I substituted veggie boullon with water for the chicken broth. Everything came out, except the shrimp and asparagus really didn’t taste like anything. In the end, I had to saute them in pesto to complete the dish.
I’m torn about pesto. As something who needs to avoid tomato-based foods (like marinara sauce), it really is a lifesaver. It is perfect atop pasta and broccoli or asparagus, or as a marinade for tofu before grilling for sandwiches. I love the stuff. It’s made with olive oil so it’s not great calorie-wise, but I would wager that, in moderation, it’s better than pouring butter all over your shrimp scampi per the normal recipe. Once I get a food processor, I’m going to try to make my own.
Anybody out there have experience with lightening pesto, or can you recommend a different sauce/seasoning to replace it?
After having a great quinoa side dish at Vspot in Brooklyn, I decided I wanted to start making it myself. I bought it from Trader Joe’s and let it sit in the cupboard until I could find a recipe that looked tasty but easy and wouldn’t require me to buy tons of ingredients. Today, I was finally able to make my first quinoa dish – “Quinoa with Latin Flavors” from Fitness Magazine.
I didn’t have all of the ingredients on hand, but I’m not one to fret over that. (My mother-in-law can make an amazing curry with a jar of pasta sauce if we don’t have tomatoes. It’s called improvising!) I left out the cilantro and green chiles, substituted olive oil for canola, and instead of chicken or vegetable broth, I dissolved a vegetable bouillon cube into boiling water.
This was actually a really easy dish to make. The longest part was letting it simmer for 20 minutes, during which you can walk away and do other things.
Ever had a TLT, or even know what it is? Vegetarians often eat this version of a BLT that replaces bacon with tempeh. It’s delicious, and one of our regular veg spots recently took it off their menu for who knows what reason. So I decided to buy tempeh and just make some at home, but didn’t know what to do with all the leftover tempeh after that.
Tempeh is super easy to cook – heat up a pan or skillet with a spoonful of oil and then saute the tempeh for a minute or two on each side. That’s it.
Tempeh Tacos are made by putting tempeh and whatever else you’d like into a tortilla. We added lettuce and homemade guacamole, but you can do cheese, sour cream, grilled peppers and onions – whatever!
P.S. I had no idea tempeh originated in Indonesia.
When I was growing up, my best friend was Greek-American. I was lucky enough to be introduced to amazing Greek food through her!
As I was reading Nava Atlas’ vegan cookbook, I came across a recipe for gyros made with seitan instead of lamb. It seemed easy enough, so I tried it today, though I bought tzatziki sauce instead of making a vegan version. I also made a simple chickpea salad as a side (chickpeas, tomatoes, onions, lemon juice and spices).
It came out pretty well! It’s definitely a good thing to eat if you are a vegetarian with a serious gyro craving 🙂
I’ve been making stuffed mushrooms with my Mom as a Thanksgiving side dish for ages. She fills them with diced mushroom stems mixed with blue cheese dressing and topped with bread crumbs. Since we are mostly vegan and don’t have blue cheese dressing or anything like it in the house, I improvised an Italian-style stuffed mushroom that came out quite good!
After washing the mushrooms and dicing up the stems, I mixed in sliced basil leaves, Daiya vegan mozzarella shreds, a few spoons of tomato sauce and some Italian seasoning. I then stuffed the mixture into the mushrooms caps, topped with panko breadcrumbs and drizzled with olive oil.
Above is a shot of the mushrooms pre-oven. I cooked them at 400 degrees after Googling a recipe by Giada de Laurentiis for guidance. I paired them with a mixed salad drizzled in olive oil and topped with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, and a serving of Trader Joe’s Arugula and Parmesan ravioli (okay, not completely vegan!).
Yum! And pretty simple. What are you cooking up these days?
It’s been a while, but I’m back now with some more obvious advice for those who avoid the kitchen as much as I do. I recently picked up a bag of frozen vegetable dumplings from a market on our street. (You can choose chicken or pork if you’re not vegetarian.) They’re simply delicious – low in calories (steam, don’t fry them), but a filling snack or rice replacement to accompany a stir-fry if you’re trying to keep the carbs down. They’re done in only 10 minutes. Save those left-over soy sauce packets whenever you order Chinese food, and you’re set.
*Photo courtesty of That’s vegan?!
I’m back! You missed me, didn’t you?
I may have a new favorite meal. Any of you out there fans of Italian-style sausage and peppers? If you live in New York, you can get this at any greasy outdoor fair. I’ve never been big on it but my husband likes it and I made it for him once or twice over the years.
Problem #1: It’s way unhealthy.
Problem #2: We’re now vegetarian.
Solution: Trader Joe’s dee-li-cious Italian sausage-less sausage. The hub and I just love it. It goes great in a tofu scramble and in a pasta sauce. I swear it tastes like sausage.
2.5 links Trader Joe’s Italian sausage-less sausage (or however much you want), cut into chunks
1/2 onion, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
2 servings whole wheat pasta
Hot sauce, to taste
Cheese for garnish, if desired
Boil water and cook pasta according to directions.
While the pasta is cooking, saute onions, peppers and sausage in a few tbsp of olive oil for about 10 minutes. Cover as it cooks, removing the lid to stir frequently. The sausage should be browned on both sides and onions and peppers cooked through.
Add tomato sauce (and hot sauce, if desired) and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for a few more minutes.
Pour the sausage sauce mixture over the pasta. Garnish with shredded parmigiano or reggiano cheese.
And even though I’ve never been a huge sausage and peppers fan, I’m in love with this dish. It was so yummy.