Tag Archives: quick eats

winner, winner, chickpea dinner!

23 Nov

When there are lots of things going on in your life at the same time, the first thing to usually go is a good meal plan. Quick fixes and faux meat tend to fill the gaps and I always can always feel it. It makes me sluggish and just feel icky, frankly.

We’re mid-move and I’m trying hard to not let that happen this time and it’s going much better than expected, thanks to my lovely rice/pressure cooker and some help from a bottle- Original Yumm! Sauce from Cafe Yumm! Yumm Sauce is an indescribable, tangy, cheezy sauce that makes everything delicious. Jess even made her own version of it (with links to other adaptations!), so you can try it, too!

yay! crappy cell phone pic!

Quinoa in the cooker, chickpeas from a can, some chopped up zucchini and carrots sticks on top and a drizzle of sauce on top- perfect, delicious and nutritious. Spot on when you need good food, fast and ready in about 15 minutes, with leftovers.

What satisfying eats do you enjoy when you’re short on time?

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beige plate of yum

19 Nov

This picture is terrible, but it sure hit the spot. It was my lunch today, courtesty of Whole Foods deli. Some sweet potato cakes (made with sweet potatoes, quinoa, brown rice, onions, cranberries and herbs), veggie stuffing and cranberry sauce. Seriously, salty stuffing and cranberry sauce are the only things I need to be happy at Thanksgiving. Keep the pumpkin pie and pass me the casserole dish. kthxbai

For my random drawing of the week, I picked the sneak peek post of cake pictures and the lucky commentor was #10- Jodye! Jodye, I’m going to send you an awesome set of mesh, reusable produce bags for you to fill with deliciousness!

And, as an aside, I’ll put the “news” I was alluding to earlier in the week here. This affects nothing in regards to my blog, except perhaps a serious lack of decent posts for a couple of weeks, but Jim and I are leaving Portland. We’re not going far, we’re moving down to Eugene. When a job opportunity knocks, sometimes you gotta go with it. I’ll miss PDX, but it’s only a 2 hour ride away. Besides, this puts us in the land of YUMM!

bachelor living with Edgar

7 Oct

Okay, so in the last post I mentioned that I’m not much of a girly-girl. And now here is more evidence to the contrary.

Jim was out of town last weekend and it made me think of a scene from an episode Sex and the City (yes, I’m a huge SATC fan) where Carrie is talking about her fears of living with Aidan (who was the best boyfriend, IMO, but he deserved better than Carrie) and her love of single behavior. She talks about how she likes to eat grape jelly on saltines while standing in her kitchen reading fashion magazines and wouldn’t feel comfortable doing it with him there. And I totally get it. I’ve been married for almost seven years and having the house to yourself is a rare thing. All of those single things, those self-indulgent things that we would be embarrassed to have someone else witness, have either come to the surface and been accepted at this point or have died a natural death.

But on the rare occasion when you have the house to yourself, you have the option of living like a bachelor again. Dishes piled up in the sink and I don’t care? Check. Unabashedly wearing mismatched sweats with bedhead because I’m not leaving the house today? Check. Eating food that doesn’t really qualify as a meal for dinner? Check.

In my preveg days a bachelor-style weekend would have probably meant lots of chicken Caesar wraps, fries and pizza. And it could have been vegan pizza this weekend, but I was too lazy to leave the house for the fixin’s (hence the sweats and bedhead). My bachelor food is not very scandalous and is far more animal and body friendly, but does involve another man: Edgar, the Vita-Mix.

In case you ever questioned it, yes, I am this lame. 🙂

But I’m going to share with you one of my favorite new beverages since coming upon the Vita-Mix. It’s truly the definition of “refreshing”.

You start with this:

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Grape-Lime Slush Spritzer

Rough recipe for 1 serving:
1 cup rinsed grapes
1 very thin slice lime (with rind)
1/2 cup ice
bubbly liquid of choice (spring water, seltzer or champagne for a sLUSHy!)

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Place everything (except bubbly) in the Vita-Mix. Process for about 20-30 seconds on variable speed 8 or high.

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You can either enjoy it as a slushy or add some of the bubbly to make it a thinner spritzer.

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Seriously delicious and guilt-free.

And now for the shameful bachelor dinner I had with this lovely drink.

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That’s it. Just a giant plate of garlic roasted brussel sprouts. Nothing more, nothing less. Paired with this drink and enjoyed in front of some Netflix Watch-it-Now. What can I say, I’m a boring old married gal at heart, I guess. 🙂

dinner in a flash

18 May

Okay, so I promise no posts with strawberries for awhile. 🙂

We are gathered here today to celebrate the quick meal. The effortless menu you can lean on after a long day at work. The dinner you can throw together in a flash, especially if you’ve planned and have some choice ingredients ready to go. With a little assistance from my friend, Trader Joe, of course.

Eggplant thing

A jar of some eggplant caponata from TJ’s, sauteed with some fresh zucchini and served with quinoa on the side. Light, summery and fresh, what more can you ask for? I did dishes while the quinoa cooked in the rice cooker, let it sit while sauteeing the zucchini, then added the caponata to the zucchini and let it simmer for a few minutes. Dinner was served, tangy and flavor.

bindhi ricotta

This was a “what do we have that requires minimal effort?” meal. I knew I wanted to make my tofu ricotta because we hadn’t had it in awhile. I had to modify a little because I had no tahini and no basil, but it worked. After a little rummaging, some whole wheat pasta was unearthed, along with a jar of garlic tomato sauce. Bindhi initially gave it her seal of approval. When something smells good enough to please her feline sensibilities, she air-chews, making this odd little noise you might make if you were pretending to eat something crunchy. Here, she is in mid-chew. After being allowed to try a piece of pasta, though, she retracted the air-chew.

vegsoup

Trader Joe’s recently started carrying a new aseptic soup called “Garden Patch Veggie Soup”. Essentially, it’s V-8 in soup form. I’m not a big fan of things so tomato-based, but decided to give it a try. It’s a consistently thick, pureed soup, so I jazzed it up with some onion, zucchini, green beans, and carrots. It was alright, but probably won’t be made again, as we’re just not big fans of tomato in that form. On the side you see my Green White Bean Spread, paired up with some crusty artisan bread. Ooh, baby. I could eat a vat of it with chewy, yeasty bread. Heavenly.

Green White Bean Spread

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 cups baby spinach leaves, washed
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 head roasted garlic
1/4 teas. salt

In a pan, sautee spinach in olive oil on medium heat. Cover and cook until spinach is wilted. Add cannellini beans, mixing to combine. Add unpeeled garlic cloves. Cook until heated through. Remove from heat and add salt. Process mixture in a food processor until processed through and creamy, adding water one tablespoon at a time if needed.

Serve with crudites and bread. Yields: 1 1/2 cups.

Further proof that I do indeed eat more than just baked good and, now, strawberries and rhubarb.

ham tube is dead to me

12 Apr

So, a couple of Easters ago, I glazed a ham tube from Food Fight. The company that made said ham tube went out of business and there is a new tube in town. I was so excited to glaze it up for Easter… and it was just sad, really.

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First off, I should have been weary, what with it being a giant rectangle instead of the traditional tube. It was stringy, soft and spongy and had a off taste naturally. Thankfully our impromptu mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes, asparagus, dinner rolls and pickled beets saved the day and made up for the ham tube that wasn’t.

The holidays always make me nostalgic, even the ones we don’t really celebrate. Easter always makes me thinking of growing up with my grandparents. In honor of my Pappy, I made some fruit gel cocktail with some strawberry gel mix I picked up at Food Fight recently.

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I’ve always wondered how foods would really taste if we didn’t have an emotional connection to them. I love the way fruit cocktail grapes taste, with their skins so soft and etched. Would I really like them under other circumstances?

A random dinner from earlier this week:

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Whole wheat pasta with a randomly assembled creamy carrot and ginger sauce with chickpeas and some garlic brussels. If you can get over the fact that the sauce looks a bit like it was, um, recycled it was actually quite good.

I added some more pictures from the new book to my flickr account, so be sure to check out the nomminess!

More food soon!

playing catch up

31 Mar

Hello! I’ve been so busy that my camera has just been accumulating pictures for the past few weeks. Last week I officially finished the book manuscript (yay!!!!!!!) and got that sent off and last week was technically spring break, so I took some time off to just be wireless. No internet, email, nothing, just relaxing. Quite nice, I’d say.

But now, we’re here to talk about food, not my boring life. Boring life = good, no drama. Boring food = bad. This food, thankfully, isn’t boring.

What do you get when you are too lazy to put together a real meal?

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Soy nuggets with BBQ sauce, garlicky broccolini and rice cooker quinoa. I cannot profess my love for broccolini enough, it is simply my favorite vegetable and I could eat it every day. And someday, when I finally win the lottery, I will.

I’m not a cold cereal eater and have been bored with my morning oatmeal and soy yogurt, so I decided to plan ahead and make some mini quiches. They worked out perfectly, reheated well and totally hit the spot.

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In a food processor, I tossed in two packages of extra firm silken tofu, 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, 1 tbsp cornstarch about 3-4 tbsp of almond milk, a little oregano and some salt. I mixed it until it was smooth then poured it into a bowl and added 3 tbsp of chopped, rehydrated sundried tomatoes and 6 stalks of asparagus, chopped (but I reserved the tops). I spread the mixture into 6 lightly greased muffin cups and topped each one with an asparagus tip. Baked at 400 for 1 hour and viola! Breakfast is served.

I’m still trying to be good with food and working out… but it’s not always easy. When you have a sweet tooth like mine, it’s hard to fight those post-dinner cravings for dessert. My latest treat feels really indulgent, but actually isn’t too bad. Nutritious even!

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I have been obsessed with Peanut Butter and Co’s Dark Chocolate Dream Peanut Butter. It’s peanut butter mixed with a little sugar, cocoa and cocoa butter for an intoxicating treat that will ruin regular peanut butter for you forever. I’ve been enjoying it on a lightly salted rice cake with a smear of Morello cherry spread on top… it’s seriously heaven in your mouth.

Oh, I added my flickr account to the sidebar. I added a handful of pictures of some of the new recipes, but I have a bunch more that I will be adding over the next few days, so keep an eye out for new noms!

dinner and a workout

15 Mar

My beloved Trader Joe’s has added some more vegan goodies to their store and I am here to share them with you. I swear to my cats that I am not paid by them, because that would be my dream job, rather I am a fanatical shopper who you have the fortune or misfortune of reading the blog of. 🙂

First off-

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Chicken-less Stuffed Cutlets. Chikey-style cutlets, stuffed with black beans and corn in a flavorful red sauce with mild jalapenos. Unlike most TJ’s finds, a little pricey for regular consumption, but again it’s convenience food so there you go.

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Black Cherry Gel Cups. Imagine my surprise when my eyes honed in on that little “V” in the bottom left hand corner. Vegan jello cups! Bestill my heart! They have black cherry and peach mango. With Jim not being the biggest fan of mango, I went with black cherry.

So, how do you make dinner and fit in a workout in 30 minutes?

1.) Rinse 1 cup quinoa thoroughly and toss in your rice cooker. Add 1 2/3 cups water. Set it and forget it. 🙂

2.) Do 1 level of the Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred Work-out DVD (22 minutes), which I will now admit is a great workout, but I still think she’s mean. 🙂

3.) Quinoa will be done, open lid and let set.

4.) Place water in a pot with a steamer tray and bring to a boil. Add pre-washed green beans and put a lid on it!

5.) Cut a little air vent in the Chicken-less Cutlets bag and microwave for 2 minutes.

6.) Plate it all up and nomnomnom. Also remember to drink plenty of water!

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The cutlet was pretty darn good. The sauce was plentiful and tasted great and the cutlet itself, while a little smaller than I’d imagined, was very tasty and packed full of beans and corn. We ate the quinoa in the most simple way possible, but in a way we’d never tried- with a little pat of Earth Balance melted on top and a sprinkling of salt. So good! Who’d of though that something that small would make something uber good, but it certainly did!

One step dessert: Peel back foil from gel cup. Serve.

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The gello has a good texture and excellent flavor. It is thickened with carragennan and is all natural, of course. I can’t wait to try the peach mango. I’ll get it next time and what makes it better is that I won’t have to share with Jim!

Oh, and while you’re hanging on the interwebs, check it: my brother in Minneapolis has started his own vegetarian food blog. He is a cook of the most virtuous variety, he actually cooks with what he has in his kitchen. If only I were that smart and economical. He’s a newish cook who likes to break all the rules (or stray from the directions to his liking), and he’s documenting his experiments in his Veggie Lab. Check out his blog and show him some love, he’s new to this whole food blogging thing and is still finding this sea legs.