Tag Archives: real food

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?

tomay-to, tomah-to…

16 Nov

Okay, I’m kind of sucking at MoFo. I think November is not as good a month for it, it’s too busy. Plus, I have some news to share soon (no, I’m not pregnant) that has been tying up my time, but that will come.

I love me some tomato soup. It’s my go-to food when I’m feeling sick and there are lots of recipes for tomato soup out there, but a lot of them end up tasting like spaghetti sauce or salsa. Blech.

Elephant’s Deli, in Portland, is a beloved deli and catering place that is famous for their unique tomato soup. They are not famous for their vegan options. Needless to say, the soup is not vegan, but it’s so loved that they are nice enough to share the recipe on their site. Based on its cult status, I couldn’t resist whipping up a veganized batch of it… and it is seriously good. And the mystery ingredient that makes it so intriguing really does give it that je ne sais quoi.

I’m not going to repost their recipe since I already linked to it and didn’t get permissions to do so. All I substituted was plain soy milk for the cream and vegan margarine for the butter, obviously. The soy milk worked well, but I bet soy creamer would be even better. You’d expect it to curdle, especially with orange juice (fresh is a must, it’s so good!), but somehow it works.

What’s your most nostalgic comfort food during the dreary winter months?

cold weather = hearty food

21 Oct

HP friends, sorry to say there is nothing Harry Potter related in this post. Many more to come, though!

My life, as of late, has consisted of work and baking. LOTS of baking. Not to complain, but woman cannot live on cake alone. (You think I lie. For realz, though, if anyone could it would be me and I can’t.) Thankfully, Jim has started doing some cooking, which is great, but we mostly eat random stuff like really sad bowls of black beans and rice with salsa on top or pasta with red sauce. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but you’ve got to mix it up.

Last weekend, inspired by Bianca’s recent post, I bought a spaghetti squash. Now, here’s what you have to understand. This is an annual thing, the purchase of the spaghetti squash. It goes a little like this:

Day 1: Purchase squash. “Yay, I’m so excited to make something with this!”
Day 4: Move squash from counter to sub-counter. “This dumb thing is in the way all the time!”
Day 7: Make excuses to husband about squash. “Yes, I’m going to do something with it! Geez…”
Day 14: Remember squash. “Oh, you. You’re still here, huh?”
Day 21: Become even more indignant to husband. “I am planning to make you a special meal with it. Give me some time!”
Day 28: Smell squash. “Hmm… maybe I should have put you in the pantry or fridge…”

You get the idea.

I don’t know what my problem is, there are just some things that I have no point of reference for and so I literally get freaked out when I think about cooking them. Squash is definitely one of them, as I never had any squash (save pumpkin pie, which doesn’t count) until moving to the Pacific Northwest 4 years ago, so I’m still getting my bearings.

So, after reading Bianca’s post I thought, “This is the year, dangit!” I bought the squash, came home, set it on the counter… and knew my cycle had begun again.

I knew I could break the cycle! So I decided to cook it right then and there. But what to have with it?

Something hearty and filling was in order, so I decided to make a veggie meatloaf, especially after reading somewhere online about how well they hold up in the Baker’s Edge pan. I look for any excuse to use that silly pan. Then, I decided to throw my spaghetti squash’s friend, butternut, into the mix.

Veggie meatloaf with roasted butternut squash sauce, steamed kale and, behold, herbed spaghetti squash!!! I pulled this veggie meatloaf recipe out of thin air and was so happy with it. We eagerly ate through it so quickly that I plan on making it again soon, I wanted to share it.

Veggie Meatloaf

1 medium sized onion, shredded or chopped
2 medium carrots, shredded
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 teas. dried basil
1 teas. dried oregano
2 tbsp. soy sauce or tamari
1 tbsp. red win vinegar
1 1/2 cup cooked lentils (I used French, any variety would do)
1 1/2 cup cooked grain (I used buckwheat, brown rice would be good, too)

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a loaf pan or Baker’s Edge pan.

In the bowl of a food processor, add the onions, carrots, sunflower seeds and olive oil. Process for 30 sec-1 minute, until it resembles a chunky paste. Add the herbs, soy sauce and vinegar and combine. Add lentils and grain to the processor and process until ingredients just come together, scraping down the bowl as needed. If there are still some discernible lentils, that’s fine, but overall it should be thick and paste-like. Hmm… paste-like doesn’t sound very appetizing.

Moving on, spread the loaf into the prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes (closer to 40 for the loaf pan), depending on type of pan. The top of the loaf should brown and get a little crusty on the edges There should still be a little mush-factor if you gently push down on the top of the loaf, as it will continue to firm up as it cools.

Makes 6-7 servings, depending on how much you feel like sharing.

I know I can’t be alone- what foods are purchased with good intentions and then lurk in your fridge only to die a slow, lonely death?

a taste for fall…

5 Oct

As the cooler weather sets in, I start to crave comfort foods. While not necessarily looking for overly hearty fare, chilly nights and layer-weather beckons for something that sticks to your ribs. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane for some recipes that fit the bill.

Some Curried Carrot Soup is simple to make, but is thick and flavorful for rainy nights or when you have the sniffles.

Some Pesto Ricotta will add flavor and protein to any pasta or pizza and make for happy tummies.

Inspired by Starbucks’ annual fall muffin, my Stuff This In Your Pumpkin Pie Hole Muffin will please vegans and non-vegans alike and is the perfect breakfast on a chilly autumn morning.

What are your favorite autumn eats?