Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Meatless Loaf, Garlic Smashed potatoes, Green Bean casserole, my salad, pecan pie, pumpkin nut pie and sweet potato pie. Wonderful feast and leftovers almost gone....

Monday, November 21, 2011

Shelby's Guacamole

Shelby made great guacamole last night. We also made a pizza, but the dogs ate it before it could be photographed. We did get a slice each before the tragedy went down.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pizza With Paul Part 2

Sauteed mushrooms in various spices. Sliced tomatoes, basil, tofurkey sausage slices. Melty white cheese sauce from The Nutritional Yeast Cookbook by Joanne Stepaniak. Truly wonderful.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Skillet Gardener’s Pie

From this recipe - - instead of kidney beans, used seitan and lentils - fabulous - leftovers even better! (photo not worthy)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Pizza With Paul

First collaboration :) Paul's idea for topping, my assembly, his spices.
Italian tofurkey, roasted broccoli and cauliflower, roasted mushrooms, salsa, spinach and Joanne Stepniak's Melty White Cheeze recipe from her Nutritional Yeast Cookbook (with additional spices added to sauce). 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Red Lentil and Rice Patties with Coconut-Mint Sauce

From this recipe:
A couple of steps missing from this including sauteing the onions, cumin seeds and red pepper. Also the cooking time, for me, took significantly longer than the directions. But.... extremely tasty!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Everyday Salad

This recipe has become my daily salad. Everyone who tries agrees it's wonderful and it pairs well with many meals.

Romaine lettuce - shredded –usually half head per serving
Carrots - shredded
Garlic powder
Black truffle salt
Balsamic vinegar – lightly
White Truffle balsamic glace - light with this too
Sunflower seeds

And toss all together….

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Black Bean and Summer Squash Enchiladas

From this recipe:
Used a yellow squash and a zucchini and added a few chopped up Gardein chick'n scallopini filets and some brown rice to the bean mixture.....

Note to self - Do Not use store brought enchilada sauce - it is not good. Use this recipe instead :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Summer Saturday.....

Shiitake Asparagus Stir Fry Tofu

Adapted from this recipe:
Added red pepper and bok choy.
Thoughts - might be better over a grain or rice rather than pasta. Bean sprouts, green beans or sugar peas would be great in this too. Sauce is missing something, sesame seeds would be nice to add.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Roasted Veggies over Brown Rice Pasta Shells with Balsamella Sauce

After an inspiring moment(s), threw this dish together with some leftover roasted vegetables (squash, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, and onions) added some spinach and used Joanne Stepaniak's Balsamella Sauce from her Nutritional Yeast Cookbook (omitted the nutmeg and doubled the NY).  Impressive. And easy.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Ilona's Pad Thai

If this keeps up, this is going to become Ilona's food blog :) - Delicious vegan pad thai!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ilona's Vegan Pizza

My fellow foodie friend Ilona recently has been making some incredible vegan meals. She is an amazing cook. While many people spend years trying to figure out what it is that I eat, Ilona just jumps in and creates. First she made me an amazing pasta with grilled veggies and portabella mushrooms. Then she made Thai lettuce wraps. And last night - pizza! Tomato sauce base. Grilled vegetables, roasted red peppers, and vegan-rella "cheese". Yum! All this comes at a time I do not feel like cooking (heat related??) so I am incredibly grateful and look forward to having her over to return the favor.   :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Death of A Butterfly

All day yesterday, this butterfly walked around my deck, trying to take off. It never gave up all the way up until the end. Striving for flight.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Vegan BLT

Michael shared some of tomato bounty with me, immediate craving for BLT. For the "B", I used the recipe for Eggplant Bacon from Appetite for Reduction (pg. 42) which involved roasting eggplant slices, then dipping them in a mixture of soy sauce and liquid smoke - great texture!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Forty-Clove Chickpeas & Broccoli

From Isa Moskowitz's latest book, AFR (pg. 125) - easy, minimal effort.... Also added new potatoes as mentioned in this blog.....
Served with Isa's Everyday Chickpea-Quinoa Salad.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Pizza for Wendy & Rudy

Tomatoes, "Gimmee Lean Sausage", onion, mushrooms sauteed in Bragg's, and jalapeno - very good!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tofu & Vegetables with Thai Peanut Sauce

From this recipe. Steamed broccoli & green onions and used leftover veggies from kebabs.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Cosmic Cashew Kale and Chickpeas with Confetti Quinoa

My love of kale is soaring to new heights with much gratitude to this recipe.
The cashew sauce was 1) easy and 2) incredible - it thickened beautifully and was amazingly creamy.
If I have the occasion to cook for someone special in the near future, this will be the first pick...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Friday, May 20, 2011

Mediterranean Bean & Kale Salad

Can't recall where exactly I got this recipe, but it was comprised of kale, shiitake mushrooms, tomato sauce, garlic, white beans, onion, spices and I added some "sausage" and leftover quinoa to it - another winner.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Everyday Chickpea-Quinoa Salad

From Moskowitz's Appetite For Reduction (pg. 16) with her Balsamic Vinaigrette (pg. 17) and Basic Baked Tofu (pg. 144).
Unreal. Especially the dressing.
Makes a ton too, so yay for leftovers!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Hatching of Praying Mantis

From Margot's garden this morning....

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Curried Chickpeas & Greens

Kale, and more kale. At least it's consistent :)
This recipe comes from Isa Chandra Moskowotz's Appetite For Reduction. This cookbook is brilliant and I will be referring back to this one for eons to come.
Kale simmered in spicy indian spiced tomatoes and onions with chickpeas. 

Friday, April 29, 2011

Thoughts From The Mat On My Birthday

First of all, I have to say that this was one of my better birthdays. Can't be sure as to why, but mentally, I am buzzing with contentment. (37 just feels better than 36).

Secondly, this little blog post is dedicated to Jenna. This is just in case she forgot a recent late evening conversation.

First some background, of which Jenna is already familiar. I am an amateur philosopher, always seeking and thinking to discover truths in life. Back in college, I came up with a life strategy I nicknamed the ISR Theory - the Individually Socially Responsible Theory. It was based on my discoveries at the time, which was something like this - you should do what makes you happy, it feels good to help others, it's each person's duty to be civic minded. I thought the key to life was to live a  life based on making yourself happy by doing for other individuals as well as the greater good. I still believe in this, and try to live my life this way, but my amateur outlook has been replaced by/updated with all sorts of experts and authors I've found/read that word all this much better and more eloquently than I can. This theory was very much based on present happiness.

Fast forward to now.

This past year, I learned a little trick that has helped me make better decisions, a mental "tweak" if you will. I started to do things not only to make myself happy, but more with the goal that I wanted to make my Future Self happy. Whether it be the choice not to have that extra glass of wine in the evening (that makes my future self happy even if doesn't make my present self happy) to preparing the coffee maker to go off with the alarm in the morning. This mindset has spilled over into all sorts of areas in my life, monetary decisions, work decisions, dietary and exercise decisions, and so on.

As the year went on, I've adjusted this. Not only do I strive to make my Future Self happy, I want to make my Future Self Proud. Oh yes.... Proud. This attitude has kicked things up a notch in a BIG way. What can I DO today (and in some cases, not do) to make the Valerie of tomorrow Proud?

Pretty powerful.
It rocks.
As does this song...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Mustard Greens, Bok Choy, Mushrooms, Tofu & Shallots

All sauteed in a bit of tamari with garlic, red pepper flakes and ginger - incredible!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Island Life

Stumbled upon this book review for The Watery Part of the World by Michael Parker... the following paragraph really made me think about living on the Outer Banks...

"The dilemmas of Parker’s characters made me think often of a line from a Mary Oliver poem: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
In each character’s excuses, rationales and fears that made up their reasons for staying on the island there’s a hint of a bad relationship we can’t leave. A decision that keeps us stuck someplace. An old history we can’t break out of. A retreat that becomes a prison."

A retreat that becomes a prison??

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Herbed Polenta with Beans & Bok Choy

From this recipe, although I didn't make polenta from scratch, much less with a pressure cooker :) If I were to make this again, I would use the veg broth more to saute the veggies up front rather than adding it at the end. Other than that, dee-lish!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Mustard & Turnip Greens - A New Favorite

Unexpectedly, I took notice of a bag of "triple washed mustard & turnip greens" at the ole Food Dog yesterday - they looked fresh and green and crisp and realizing I probably need to expand my repertoire further than my ongoing kale obsession, I decided to give them a try. I sauteed them in veg broth and a little bit of tamari, added some sage, garlic & nutritional yeast - phenomenal - a new staple - again, another vegetable(s) that I had been reluctant to try and now love.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Thai-Spiced Tempeh and Green Beans

From this recipe - The glaze didn't work out for me, but it's still quite good.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Cauliflower, Green Bean & Eggplant Curry

Simple, good ingredients(onion, eggplant, garlic, jalapeno, curry powder, cauliflower, green beans, tomatoes, stock) - wonderful! from Robin Robertson's Carb Conscious Vegetarian. Added to her recipe, garbanzo beans and kale, used immersion blender at the end of cooking.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Spinach & Lentils

A new breakfast favorite while following the Four Hour Body vegan style.
Simply saute about a cup and a half of spinach in cooking liquid of your choice, add a little onion powder, garlic, white pepper and about 3/4 cup of cooked lentils. Delicious and quick.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Roasted Chickpeas

In my quest to find some suitable vegan snacks on the Four Hour Body plan, I finally got around to trying out roasting chickpeas (don't need the oil, as usual). They were tasty. They didn't maintain their crunchiness as long as I anticipated, but definitely nutritionally superior to "chips".

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Signs of Spring!!

Four Hour Body & Vegan Diet - is it possible??

Is it possible to follow Tim Ferriss's Four Hour Body diet AND a low-fat vegan diet?
Oh yes.
And it's surprisingly fun. Personally, I am enjoying the simplicity of what I am eating. I am enjoying the repetition. I am enjoying the extra energy I have and I am really enjoying watching that number on the scale decrease.
For months now, my friend Mary has been proclaiming the benefits of not eating bread. I get it now. I didn't think I could live without my sourdough bread or roasted garlic bread. 
And the "binge day" once a week really does take away the desire to "cheat".
So what does a low fat vegan Four Hour Body gal eat? Breakfast - lentils and spinach. Lunch - refried beans with salsa, salad. Dinner - kale, beans & "sausage" with salad. And soup. Lots of veggies.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

February Pizza

Tomato, onion, mushroom, asparagus with new "sauce". Delish.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Jerusalem Artichokes

a.k.a. - sunchokes - I've been meaning to try these for a while. After some googling, I decided to roast them (along with some onions, salt and pepper). They are good, earthy, I like them cooked until they are mushy, they get sweeter the longer they cook. Not likely to be an often addition, but am not scared of them now either.