Monday, July 13, 2009

Coming Up...

This week I plan to post some pics of a yummy cheese-less pizza I made, my first experience with seitan, and I'll probably rave some more about tofu, tempeh, and Sweet & Sara's Peanut Butter S'mores. :)

Friday, July 10, 2009

BBQ Tempeh & Roasted Veggies!

MMMMMMMM- I adapted this recipe from Vegan Express to fit what I had on hand.

I took 1/2 of an 8oz block of regular flavor tempeh and sliced it into inch long strips. I sliced a green bell pepper that had turned red (from my friend's garden), a little jalapeno (from the same garden), a handful of tiny yukon taters, and a big chunk of zucchini (also from said garden). I mixed it all up with some BBQ sauce and roasted it for about 30 minutes. Isn't summer produce the best? I don't think I can handle a garden myself- but I sure love indulging in the fruits (or veggies) of my friends' labors!

I ate it with the Fruitful Slaw for dinner and for lunch the next day. I cannot say it enough- I love tempeh! Maybe I should be the Tempeh Lush??

You may have noticed that I mention Vegan Express A LOT. That's because I use it A LOT. It has a ton of recipes that all use beautiful fresh produce and take less than 30 minutes from start to finish. In fact, this recipe isn't even supposed to take 30 minutes to roast- but I bumped the time up because I added potatoes that aren't included in the original recipe. I highly recommend Vegan Express to anyone that likes to cook, but also likes to get the goods on the table with little to no fuss. Another cool thing about this book is that every recipe has "menu suggestions" for sides, salads, etc. that are either also in the book or simple add ons, like a hot cooked grain, fresh veggie platter, simple salad, what have you. I ALWAYS feel healthier after eating a Vegan Express meal. :)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Potluck Wrap Up

This week we had a "Good Luck Garden Pot Luck" at work- on 7/7 (the luck part) and the garden part is because everyone had lots of fresh veggies from various back yard gardens and such.

This was a vegan dream potluck- and not because I work with a bunch of vegans (I don't), but because I work with a bunch of health-conscious sorts who are creative and fun! (I do! We are a Marketing Dept. after all)

Nearly everything offered was vegan so I didn't feel left out. I made the aforementioned blueberry muffins. There was a cucumber/jicama salad in rice wine vinegar served over freshly steamed rice (and I mean FRESHLY! Hector brought a little rice cooker and made it at his desk! So cute!), zucchini/red onion/tomato salad, steamed brocolli and other veggies over brown rice, and homemade tabouli. YUM! The only things I didn't eat were some traditional zucchini bread (dang it looked amazing!), a cold cucumber/avocado soup that looked and smelled divine but was made with chicken stock (WHY??), and brownie sundaes that were not even remotely hard to pass up even though the brownies were made in a special pan that makes individual brownie cups specifically to hold a scoop of ice cream! Too cute! I ate half of a Sweet & Sara PB S'more and was all good!

Most everyone in my office knows of my recent dietary switch. I haven't made a big deal because I want it to be taken seriously and I don't want anyone to think it is my diet du jour (I've been know to try every diet under the sun- but this isn't a diet because I'm not doing it to lose weight- although that'd be a nice bonus!)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Maybe there is a God??? :)

I just came across this great site- Barnivore- that lists nearly every alcohol company in the world and whether or not they are vegan/vegetarian friendly! I guess I never really even thought about the possibilty that wine or *gasp* champagne could be made with animal products!!!

Well, according to Barnivore, Moet Champagne is 'vegan friendly', phew!

More Muffins!

I think I've probably mentioned my love affair with blueberry muffins. I made some from scratch- again using the Skinny Bitch in the Kitch basic fruit/nut muffin recipe. I made them with local berries for our Garden Potluck at work. A hit, of course! ;) I used more than one cup of fruit- I used more like 1.5 to 1.75 cups, plus I dropped a few berries on top of some of the muffins that looked like they needed more. This is the easiest recipe ever! I mean, muffins aren't rocket science, but this recipe is like baking in your sleep!

PS- Happy Birthday to my older sister! ;)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Fruity Slaw

I'm a huge fan of exotic slaws! I was never the biggest fan of regular coleslaw- mostly because I was never a fan of uber mayonnaise-y stuff. But gimme a slaw in a vinaigrette or an interesting asian-y sauce and I'm all over it!. I like to make slaws with broccoli-slaw too, just a side note there. These pics are of the Fruitful Red Slaw from Vegan Express- I forgot to get pineapple or mango at the store so I used golden raisins. It also has red cabbage, granny smith apple, shredded carrots, toasted sesame seeds and the dressing is a simple mix of lime juice, olive oil and sesame oil.

I'm eating this with veggie potstickers this week and also with BBQ roasted tempeh and veggies.

Here's a pic with the potstickers drizzled with a sweet-hot mustard/teriyaki sauce:

Monday, July 6, 2009

zucchini raisin muffins!

These muffins from Skinny Bitch in the Kitch turned out quite good. They are moist with a nice crusty top. I made the basic fruit and nut muffin recipe adapted for the zucchini/raisin variety- which omits the nuts and adds some cinnamon and ginger. I used golden raisins because I love them so much! I'm happy to report that the zucchini was local and organic- being that it came from my friend/boss's back yard garden. The raisins are local too because I live in the middle of California raisin land! Remember the California Raisins???
OOH Yeah, I heard it through the grapevine...

Here's a close up of the muffins. I highly recommend them!

As I mentioned yesterday, I will be eating these for breakfast all week spread with almond butter. I also got some gorgeous California-grown blueberries that I'm eating with a sliced banana to complete my meal. mmmmmmm (AND coffee made in my tiny french press at my desk with Silk Creamer- original flava)

The muffins were such a hit in fact that I'm baking another dozen as I type this but with the aforementioned fresh blueberries! We're having a garden potluck tomorrow at work, so these will be my contribution!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Tiffin To The Rescue!

Yay- my new Tiffin! I've been wanting one of these for a while and I found a great deal on ebay and it is only coming from Berkley so I should get it super fast!

Here is the description if you aren't familiar with one:

This 3-tier Stainless Steel Tiffin Set (a nifty lunch box system that hails from India) is reusable, lightweight, and has a lid with a fold down handle that doubles as a plate. The self-latching top container lets you use the top unit solo for snacks or smaller meals, or as a trio! It also comes with a sidekick tiffin, great for dressings or sauces. Great for both cold or hot food, and the planet, too. Dimensions: 6 3/4" H x 5 1/2” D; Liquid: 2 cups (top & middle units), 2.5 cups (bottom unit). To-Go Ware is part of the Green America Green Business Network, recognized as socially and environmentally responsible company, doing well by people and the planet.

Since I take my lunch to work pretty much daily, this will be awesome. I try to use as little disposable stuff as possible for my lunches, but sometimes I end up having to use a ziploc baggie or a paper sack- I always reuse them a bunch of times, but eventually you gotta toss/recycle 'em...

The other item I'm loving lately is my SnackTaxi. I actually have two of the sandwhich sized ones and they are great for sandwiches (obviously), muffins, toast, fruit or veggies or anything you can fit in them. I plan to use both my SnackTaxis and the Tiffin together and never use a disposable item for my packed lunches again! :) I bought my Snack Taxis at Fresh & Green in Bakersfield, CA, a truly fab eco-lifestyle store that everyone should visit!

I have one kinda like this and also one that is camo but the camo shapes are actually animals! I'll post a pic of that one some time. My fab friend Anna gave that one to me, because she loves me.

Meal Menus for the upcoming week

I like to write up what I'm planning to eat for the week, helps me get a grocery list going, use up stuff I have on hand that needs using, make sure I'm getting balanced nutrition... etc.

I go to the regular grocery store with my husband on Sunday evenings and then I go to Lassen's (small chain of health food stores in Cali) to get whatever else I need (and some treats like Sweet & Sara's choc/peanut butter S'mores!!) on my lunch hour on Mondays (they are closed on Sundays... boo for me- yay for them).

Breakfasts: Tonight I will make the zucchini/raisin muffins from Skinny Bitch in the Kitch and will eat them all week for breakfast slathered with almond butter and also some fruit (most likely a banana and whatever else is lookin' good at the market). (I got a beautiful, giant, variegated zuke from my friend's garden for the muffins!)

Lunches: For two days I will eat some whole wheat pasta with veggie marinara I need to use up, but I'll add some Tofurky for a protein boost. I'll probably make a little garlic baguette to go along with it.

For the other two work days I'll eat some veggie chili with the Gardein Good Stuff Santa Fe Chik'n breasts chopped up in it and a tortilla. I was intrigued by Gardein and they started carrying this at my local Vons. I don't love it because it is toooo "chicken-y", it freaks me out a little, but I think chopped up in some yummy chili it will be fine and I can use it up, rather than waste it and then never buy it again. :) For folks who love and miss chicken breasts- I'm sure it is a delightful option- but for those of us that don't it is just too authentic- texture, taste, everything.

Dinner: My favorite meal!

  • One night I will make a cheese-less grilled veggie pizza.

  • One night I will finish up the veggie potstickers I got from the frozen section at the market. I'll make a spicy dipping sauce with sweet/hot mustard and teriyaki sauce. (had this for lunch today- mmmm) I'll eat those with a huge bowlful of Fruitful Red Slaw- recipe from Vegan Express.

  • One night (and I am REALLY looking forward to this meal) I'll make BBQ Roasted Tempeh with Veggies (Vegan Express recipe), and I'll have the slaw with this, too.

  • One night I will have tofu and yukon homefries with fresh buscuits!

  • And then Friday night I will go to dinner with David on Date Night!

I'm going to try, try, try to remember to take pics of my meals BEFORE I eat them! :)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Furlough Day Breakfast!

I don't work on Thursdays due to "this ecomony" (ha ha). Therefore, I do FABULOUS things on Thursdays! I hang with my cats in the back garden, watch whatever I want on TV, catch up on chores at a leisurely pace (or not!), go to cafes and eat muffins and drink coffee and read books, go to the movies with my girlfriends who are teachers and don't have to work in the summer, get pedicures, drink margaritas at noon, etc. (thank you 'economy' you have enriched my life by giving me an extra day even if you have taken $ out of my pocket)

So this morning has been glorious. I tried to sleep in but my cats didn't want me to sleep anymore so I got up, surfed the internet, let kitties go outside until barky neighbor dogs scared them, made a french press pot o french roast and drank it with plenty of Silk Creamer (original, NOT vanilla, which I now have to make a special trip to the health food store to get because Vons decided to stop carrying the original!!), and then decided to make breakfast!

I quartered some baby yukon gold potatoes (and my short cut is to partially cook them in the microwave for 5 minutes), sliced the last of my batch of organic gold and red baby bell peppers (apparently I'm into 'baby' veggies), sliced a bit of red onion, and cooked it all up in some safflower oil. Then I took a flour tortilla and threw it in the empty pan and toasted it up and it soaked up a little of the left over flavors. I gobbled this all up with a couple drops of ketchup and taco sauce. This is very similar to a dish I order at a little cafe and pay $4 for. And this way I didn't even have to get dressed!

I'm going to see Away We Go this afternoon at 3:30- I may not leave the house until 3:00.

philly cheesesteak-ish

For dinner last night I cooked up some super firm tofu that was cut into thin strips and gold and red bell peppers in similar shaped strips with BBQ sauce. I put the mixture on a french roll for a sammy and boy-o-boy- good stuff! When I walked from the kitchen to the living room David sniffed the air and said, 'what did you make???' I told him and asked if he wanted a bite- he said no- his loss- my gain!