Tag Archives: vegan

Cold, Dark & Handsome

Oatmeal, if nothing else, should be adored for its versatility.  While oatmeal typically hits our subconscious “healthy” nerve, there are ways that you can make this ‘everyday’ grain not so ‘everyday’.

For instance, imagine adding a scoop of ice cream (which I need to try!) or placing a slice of birthday cake on top.  The idea of combining a wholesome bowl of oatmeal with a decadent addition is the feeling you get when you watch/are the good girl falling for the bad boy (i.e. Grease, Dirty Dancing, etc).

And, it feels good.

And, I have fallen………………….hard.

As the movie progresses, you realize that the bad boy, despite his rough (chocolate-y) exterior and sexy dancing skills, really is a genuine person who is quite heart-healthy.

So, when you crave something sinful for breakfast, don’t let anyone stop you from having and enjoying what your heart desires.  After all, nobody puts Olie in a corner.

Double Chocolate Overnight Oats

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup Silk Pure Almond Dark Chocolate milk
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 ripe banana
  • 1 small pinch of salt

Directions:

  • Mash banana in a bowl.
  • Add oats, flax seeds, chia seeds and salt.  Mix until combined.
  • Add almond milk and stir to combine.
  • Cover bowl and store overnight.
  • The next morning, the liquid will completely soak into the oats.
  • Pour another 1/2 cup of Silk Pure Almond Dark Chocolate milk into your bowl.

What’s your favorite good girl/bad boy movie?  What’s your favorite movie?  How do you jazz up your oatmeal?

10 Comments

Filed under Breakfast, Uncategorized, Vegan

The Sauce And The Mess

Are you a clean freak?  I am.  I can go INSANE with the cleaning.  And, I do – especially in the kitchen.

I’m obviously looking for affirmation.  So, tell me you’re crazy like me!  Are you?

And nothing – and I mean nothing – messes up a kitchen like making your favorite marinara sauce.  Whether from scratch or Semi Olie-Made, it’s all a mess.  But, what’s a girl to do when all she wants for dinner is to hit up the sauce?  You make it anyway and worry about the consequences after the delicious meal is over.

See my pretty kitchen?  That sauce looks harmless right?

It’s not.  It’s a tomato-licious volcano ready to explode EVERYWHERE.

A closer look only proves my point.  The pot is already spewing and I can imagine the horror and catastrophe to be left behind once it really simmers.  (Are these my actual thoughts when I cook?  Yes.  And, yes – I have problems.  No judgment!)

At this point you may be thinking/pondering of the following:

1.  Why didn’t she just use a bigger pot?  Great question folks!  I have no answer other than – I didn’t think it would get this large.  That’s what she said.

2.  What is that around the stove trim rings?  Don’t know what I’m talking about.  Look again:

This is my NUMERO UNO tip for keeping your stove clean – FOIL!  If you have ever cleaned them, you know it’s a mess.  You have soak, scrub and sometimes repeat the process. 

I tend to cook many meals at one time and it takes a toll on my stove top.  If you’re like me, you know that things get stuck after that much heat.

Wrapping the rings in foil is a trick my mom taught me to ensure that I have one less thing to clean.  I not only wrap the ring, but I also the part under the ring – the cup-like part with the hole in it.  (That’s what she said.)  If you think of the name – tell me and I can delete this whole pathetic paragraph with one word!

Easy keep-it-clean tips/tricks like these help me relax just a little bit more when I cook.  Tips/tricks like these help me relax just a little bit more while I enjoy my favorite marinara sauce.

Marinara Sauce Vegetarian

Ingredients:

  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28 oz) canned tomatoes, diced
  • 1 (12 oz) bag of cherry tomatoes, halved (or you can use regular tomatoes – 1 cup chopped)
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp honey (vegan option: sugar)
  • 2 bay leaves, crumbled finely with your hands
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat large (don’t make the same mistake I did) sauce pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Pour olive oil and heat.
  3. Add onions and garlic.  Saute until translucent.
  4. Add fresh tomatoes, honey, salt and bay leaves.  Cook until the tomatoes become soft and the juices start flowing – approximately 10 minutes.
  5. Pour entire can of tomatoes into sauce pan.
  6. Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 hours.
  7. 30 minutes before the sauce is done – add the tomato paste, basil, oregano, garlic powder, and black pepper.

Extra:

–  I added tempeh to mine as follows:

  • 30 minutes before the sauce is done, I saute 8 oz tempeh (roughly chopped) in another pan with some olive oil until fully heated inside and a bit browned on the outside.
  • Add it into the sauce about 15 minutes before the sauce is done.

–  This is a chunky sauce.  If you want it to be smoother, run the final sauce (prior to the addition of any tempeh) through the blender.  Or use your immersion blender.

How do you keep your kitchen clean while you cook?  What’s your keep-it-clean tip/trick?  Do you wrap your stove rings in foil?  Are you a clean freak?

11 Comments

Filed under Favorites, garlic, Italian, olive oil, Uncategorized, Vegan, Vegetarian

I Whip My Oats Back And Forth

If you thought my inane post titles were going to change after yesterday, think again!

Being that it’s Friday and all, “I hop up out of the bed and get my swag on, pay no attention to the haters, because we whip ’em off…

Again, inspired by the fabulous KERF, I made banana whipped oatmeal.

It’s creamy.  It’s smooth.  It’s rich.  It’s buttery.  It’s sweet in all the right ways.  It’s not your regular bowl of oats.

That brown glob would be my homemade chocolate peanut butter.  (Delicious!)

And just when you thought I couldn’t put a camera closer to my food:

So “all my ladies [or gents] if you feel it…do it, do it!!

Banana Whipped Oatmeal

Adapted from KERF

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1/2 large ripe banana, chopped*
  • 1/4 cup of blueberries

Directions:

  1. Add oats, flax, chia, salt and vanilla to milk and simmer over medium heat.
  2. When it starts bubbling, add the banana.
  3. Go ape shit and whip it real good!
  4. During the last 1-2 minutes of cooking the oats, add the blueberries and stir.
  5. Enjoy your whipped oats!

Note:  *I like to chop the banana into larger pieces because I want to have pieces of banana in my oats to taste.  The finer you chop your banana, the finer the consistency.  It’s the difference between mashed and smashed potatoes.

Side Question:  Have you heard/read about the study/research on birth order and how it is telling of your personality/character?  If so, what do you think about the study?  Do you think you fit into the birth order roles?  Are you married to or with someone that’s your same birth order or different?  What kind of differences do you notice?

It’s a random question I know – but I have been really focusing in on this research for the past few months.  I know it applies to my life (I’m first-born; so is Binks).  If you think this question is associated to this post, then you are right.

26 Comments

Filed under Breakfast, Life, Vegan

The Way Veggies Should Taste

Have you seen those ranch commercials?  Where everything is a vegetable and kids are happily eating it because they have the option of dunking said vegetable in ranch dressing?

I see those commercials.  And, I crave ranch dressing.  I love ranch and could/have eaten it on everything.  Forgive me Father for I have sinned….with Ranch Dressing.

Despite my obsession with ranch dressing, the idea of enticing kids to eat vegetables slathered in ranch (or cheese flavored sauce) is a little off.

I admit – I don’t have kids.  But, I hated uncooked vegetables growing up.  To this day, I have some reservations.  The thought of eating raw broccoli without any sort of dressing/liquid makes my mouth dry.

I too would rely on ranch dressing to save my non-liked raw vegetables.  It made every bite of my raw broccoli taste divine.  After a couple of months, I realized that every salad or vegetable that I dunked (literally) in ranch dressing was not me craving vegetables, but rather a not-so-secret way of getting my daily dose of ranch dressing.  I don’t know if I left liking the vegetable more.  I dare say I did not.

I fell victim to this.

What has changed today?  Nothing with regards to broccoli.  Raw – the florets are a little hard for me to chew through.

My non-ranch resolution?

HUMMUS!!

Nowadays, I use hummus on almost everything.  A replacement for mayo, the protein in a wrap, dip for my veggies – even broccoli.

What’s your healthy replacement?  Do you like eating raw veggies?  Raw broccoli?  If not, how do you deal?

Hummus

Adapted from here

Ingredients

  • 1 (16 oz) can garbanzo beans, drained but reserve 1/4 liquid
  • 2 lemons
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Directions

  • Throw everything into the food processor and puree until smooth.
  • Transfer to a bowl and top with the paprika and one more tablespoon of olive oil.  If you have sumac spice on hand, use that in place of paprika.

18 Comments

Filed under garlic, Health, olive oil, Vegan

I Lied.

I Lied.

I said I was going to make naan.

I didn’t.

I made fried brown rice.

I said I would make dal makhani.

I didn’t.

I made “Everyday Dal.

Christin @ Purple Bird Blog requested I make saag aloo.

I didn’t.

I made regular Saag.

And, my MIL made aloo gobi.

I’m horrible I know.

I’ll make up for it.

I made rajma.

That’s one step above and beyond.

Right?

I’ll make it up to you – and me – with the naan.

I promise.

You can trust me.

😉

Fried Brown Rice Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown rice, rinsed well and drained
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or butter  (I used Earth Balance)
  • 1 bay leaf*
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick*
  • 1 tsp cloves*
  • 1 tsp black peppercorn*
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds*
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups boiling water – I start my tea kettle around the time I start adding oil to my pot

Directions:

  • Heat the oil/butter in a heavy pot until melted.
  • Add cinnamon stick, cloves, black peppercorn, cumin and bay leaf.
  • Saute over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.  (The flavors really will just come alive.)
  • Add rice and saute for another 3 minutes.
  • Add salt.
  • Add water.
  • Cover and let it cook for approximately 20 minutes, or until rice is perfectly done.   The water (after 20 minutes) should have been absorbed.  If not, leave it covered for another 5 minutes.  Brown rice does take longer to cook than white rice.

*Do not replace the actual ingredients with the powdered version.  You are better off leaving it out altogether.

Saag

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bunch of spinach, chopped
  • 1 bunch of greens (turnip or mustard), chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapeno or serrano peppers, chopped (please adjust based on your spice preference)
  • 2 tsp ginger, minced
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • salt, as required

Directions

  • In a large pot, add olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add onions, ginger, garlic, peppers and saute until tender.
  • Add the spinach, greens and a cup of water.
  • Cover and bring to a boil for about 10 minutes until the leaves of the spinach and greens are tender.
  • Take spinach mixture and pour into a blender (if you can’t fit it all into a blender, split it up into batches).
  • Puree until the spinach mixture is fairly smooth.  I pulse about 4 times for 20 seconds each to leave some leaves still in tact.
  • Return the mixture to the pot over medium heat.
  • Add salt to taste.  I usually add about 2 tsp and increase from there based on my taste.
  • Simmer mixture over medium heat.  The longer you simmer, the better and concentrated the taste.
  • Simmer for at least 30 minutes.  I have left it on simmer for more than an hour, and the flavor just intensifies.

Everyday Dal

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup dry brown/green lentils, rinsed and drained – I can’t quite tell if my lentils are brown or green.  It’s a mixture and the kind you get anywhere.
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp of ginger, minced
  • 2 jalapenos or serranos (again, please adjust to your liking)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 3 cups water

Directions:

  • In saucepan, boil lentils  in 3 cups of water over medium-high heat for about 20 minutes, or until the lentils start getting soft.  Do not drain after.
  • In a separate pan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add onion, garlic, ginger and peppers, and saute until tender.
  • Add turmeric, garam masala, cayenne pepper, cumin seeds and coriander.  Mix until the raw spice smell is gone.  Warning: the cumin seeds may sputter so be careful.
  • Add the spice/onion mixture to the cooked lentils.
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Allow the whole mixture to boil/simmer for another 30 minutes until the water has absorbed more into the lentils and the mixture becomes thick (rather than watery).

8 Comments

Filed under Favorites, Indian, Vegan, Vegetarian

Indulge Me

So it’s snowing/icing in Dallas.  You obviously know what that means?  Schools closed.  Empty roads.  Cancelled appointments.  Waking up at 9:00 a.m.  And…most importantly.  Pancakes!

I used to make pancakes a lot.  But, these days, without the time to prepare anything but oatmeal or smoothies or quinoa in the morning, pancakes have fallen by the wayside.

But, not this day!

This day calls for pancakes.  And I’m kickin’ it oat-style!

Look at that fluff!

And I thought – why not indulge a bit with the mini chocolate chips, raspberry drizzle, sunflower seeds and chia seeds.

I started on this side:

Ohhhh  yeaaaaa…

 

Oatmeal PancakesVegan

adapted from here

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp turbinado sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup almond milk (or buttermilk or milk of choice)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax-seed and 3 tbsp warm water)

Directions:

  • Put all ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth consistency.
  • Heat griddle/non-stick pan over medium heat.
  • Lightly oil or spray with cooking spray.
  • Pour about 1/4 cup or 1/2 cup (depending on your preference) into the pan and cook until golden brown on both sides.
  • Serve with your favorite topping.

Raspberry Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 12 oz bag – frozen raspberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Directions:

  • Pour entire bag of raspberries, sugar, lemon juice and water into saucepan.
  • Heat over med-low heat until simmering.
  • Simmer for 8 minutes, until the raspberries have broken down and the sugar has dissolved.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Allow to cool (can be done the day ahead).
  • You can strain it through a medium sieve/strainer or serve with the seeds. 

I don’t mind the seeds.  I use this sauce on my cheesecakes too – delicious!

What are you indulgences on a snow-day or a weekend morning?

30 Comments

Filed under Breakfast, Favorites, Vegan

Quin-who?

Quinoa is what’s up!  Since this has been a week of firsts, I have to share my first quinoa experience with you!

I have heard about this grain for a long time but have never gotten around to buying it.  Not anymore.  I swaggered over to Whole Foods and loaded up on some red quinoa.

Quinoa is grain discovered in South American which was touted as the “gold of the Incas.”

And you cannot believe how good it is for you!  It’s a complete protein, which means that it contains all the amino acids necessary for our nutrition.  A complete protein is very rare to find.  It’s a great source of protein and gluten-free!!  That’s just the tip of the iceberg of what this wonderful grain does for us!

My first and only use thus far has been breakfast.  I used the base recipe from here and topped it with coconut butter, sunflower seeds, blueberries and a dash of agave nectar!

DELICIOUS!!!

Quinoa, along with lentils and oats, are now a part of my staples!

Do you cook with quinoa?  What are your favorite recipes?

 

22 Comments

Filed under Breakfast, Health, Vegan, Vegetarian

Tempeh Joes

I’m 28 years old.

At the age of 9 when I tasted my first sloppy joe.  And, I still remember the sauce.  Delicious sauce!  I remember seeing the commercials on TV for Manwich sandwiches and see the kids wipe off the red sauce from their mouth with the back of their hand (“I want a Manwich please!”) and wanting my next sloppy joe (and a napkin).

At the age of 13, I had my last sloppy joe.  For no other reason than I moved to high school where sloppy joes were somehow left off the school lunch menu.  And, my Indian mom sure as heck would not be making a sloppy joe at home without adding her own Indian flair to it.  So, in an attempt not to dilute the original, I never requested it.

15 years later…

I bought some tempeh and marinated it in my favorite BBQ sauce.

Ignore the burnt spatula – I love that thing despite what I’ve put it through!

I added it to some sautéed onions, garlic, red and green bell pepper.

And I made my own Tempeh Joes!

And you can’t leave out the slaw (mine was shredded cabbage and carrots quickly warmed in a pan) or the pickle.

I finished and relished every bite!  It brought me back to the cafeteria lunch line, ya’ll – minus the mystery meat, which I discovered at age 15.

Tempeh Joes Recipe

Adapted from here

Ingredients

  • Tempeh, 1 8oz package
  • 1 and 1/4 cup BBQ sauce of your choice*
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced (optional)
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Directions

  • Crumble the tempeh with your hands or a grater until it resembles ground beef.
  • Marinade the tempeh in 1 cup of the BBQ sauce.  I added 1 tsp of Tabasco for a kick.
  • While the tempeh is marinating, prepare your veggies.
  • Heat non-stick pan over med-high heat.
  • Once heated, add oil and wait to heat over same heat.
  • Add onions, garlic, jalapeno (optional), and saute until soft.
  • Add red and green bell peppers and continue to cook until tender and the onions have browned.
  • Add the tempeh and the BBQ sauce to the veggie mix.
  • Cook until heated and cooked through.
  • *Add the 1/4 cup BBQ sauce and cook until warm.
  • Serve on toasted buns (*snicker*)!

*Note:  I like my Tempeh Joes on the saucy side.  If you do not, then omit the 1/4 cup of BBQ and do not add it at the end.

This was my first experience with tempeh and it definitely won’t be my last!

P.S. I made a killer dressing to the slaw that’s creamy without any dairy!  That post is coming up soon! 🙂

Do you cook with tempeh?  If so, what do you do?  What’s your favorite way to cook it?

16 Comments

Filed under Dinner, Uncategorized, Vegan, Vegetarian

Where’s the Beef?

The first meal Binks and I cooked/made/prepared together was tacos!  Binks has this secret delicious taco seasoning that I just might have to pry from his grubby taco making hands!  He uses the packet (which I do not prefer), but there are some additions that make the tacos out of this freaking world.

Now, tacos are a regular for our dinners and leftovers for lunch.

Meet Binks’ tacos:

Notice anything different?

Meet mine:

Have you spotted it yet?

Let me strip this taco down to the bare essentials:

These aren’t just your ordinary tacos, my friend.  Meet The Lentil Taco!

I first made these for a Taco Night gathering where I had a couple of vegetarian friends coming for dinner.  I didn’t feel like I should just let them eat tortilla and sides so I concocted my version of a lentil taco.  At that dinner, I fell in love and I have never made beef tacos since.  So did many of the non-veg friends.  Binks, with his secret recipe, still requests these over beef. 

Yep, it’s that good.

Now, these don’t use taco seasoning but next time I make this, I’ll get the lentils ready and have Binks use his seasoning and see how that turns out.  I’ll keep you posted.

Vegan Lentil Tacos

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup onions, chopped
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped (you can omit this if you do not want that much heat)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube
  • Juice from 1/2 lime
  • 1 cup dried brown lentils
  • 4 tsp chili powder (please note this is different from cayenne powder)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp oregano

Directions

  • Heat a large pan over medium-high heat.  A non-stick works perfectly for this.
  • Add olive oil and heat.
  • Add onions, garlic, jalapeno.  Saute until tender and soft – about 4-5 minutes.
  • Add salt, ground black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, oregano and lentils.
  • Saute for 1-2 minutes until the raw smell of the spices goes away.
  • Add the bouillon cube, water, and juice from 1/2 a lime, and stir to incorporate with the mixture.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Reduce heat, cover and let the mix simmer for about 25 minutes.  You want the lentils to be tender but not mushy.I leave the lentils alone for the full 25 minutes and prepare my sides while this is cooking.
  • Once tender, uncover and mash some of the lentils with the back of a spoon.  I leave some lentils whole because I like the texture.  Mash to your liking!
  • Cook uncovered for another 5-8 minutes.
  • Serve into taco shells, tortillas or over a salad!

Enjoy!

Happy Friday everyone!

14 Comments

Filed under Dinner, Favorites, Vegan

Hot Potato

In the land of potatoes, I always thought the sweet potato was the cool girl at school.  The pretty sweet one that dates the athletic russet type.  All the scrawny fingerlings want to date her.  The red/yellow potato girls want to be her.

It makes sense in my head.

But, I also live in the land of potatoes obviously.

In the land of humans, I always considered sweet potatoes so sweet that it was pretty much dessert.  And yesterday, I was craving dessert.  A sweet potato bake, perhaps?  Stat!

First you roast, cool and peel:

Mash and add your favorite milk. 

Spice it up and pour into ramekins for the bake.

And then bring it on home with a sprinkle of the good stuff – turbinado!

Broil and enjoy!

Quick Vegan Sweet Potato Bake

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, roasted and peeled*
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp turbinado sugar**
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Turbinado sugar to sprinkle on top.

Directions

  • Pre-heat oven to 350F
  • Mash the roasted and peeled sweet potato to until fairly smooth.
  • Add lemon juice and mash.
  • Add milk, vanilla extract, nutmeg, cinnamon, turbinado sugar.  Mix until all ingredients are well combined.
  • Separate between ramekins.  Place on a cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes until the sweet potato mash seems set and does not jiggle too much.  🙂
  • Remove from oven.
  • Sprinkle turbinado sugar on top.
  • Broil on top rack of oven for approximately 5 minutes until the sugar has caramelized.
  • Enjoy carefully as everything will be SUPER hot!

Notes:

* Some may not like all the stringy parts of the sweet potato.  You can always use a sieve to remove the stringy parts.  As for me, I don’t mind it.  So, I left it all in.  After it was baked especially, it didn’t bother me in the least.

** I used turbinado sugar.  You can use white sugar.  Make sure you pay attention to the sweetness as turbinado is less sweet than the white granulated.  Also, my sweet potato bake wasn’t SUPER sweet.  In fact, I prefer it that way.  Adjust the sugar to your liking.  As the mix is vegan, taste along the way to see if it’s sweet enough for you.

12 Comments

Filed under Desserts, Uncategorized, Vegan