Monday, December 31, 2012

Chickpea Cutlets

Chickpea Cutlets
Serves 4
Recipe from Veganomicon

1 Cup cooked chickpeas
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/4 cup vegetable broth or water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, pressed or grated with a microplane grater
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon Hungarian paprike
1/4 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
olive oil for pan frying

In a mixing bowl, mash the chickpeas together with the oil until no chickpeas are left. Add the remaining ingredients and knead together for about 3 minutes, until strings of gluten have formed.
Preheat a large heavy bottomed nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile, divide the cutlet dough into 4 equal pieces. To form cutlets, knead each piece in your hand for a few moments and then flatten and stretch each one into a roughly 6x4 in rectangular cutlet shape. The easiest way to do this is to form a rectangle shape in your hands and then place the cutlets on a clean surface to flatten and stretch them.
Add a moderately thin layer of olive oil to the bottom of the pan. Place the cutlets in the pan and cook on each side for 6 to 7 minutes. Add more oil, if needed, when you flip the cutlets. They're ready when lightly browned and firm to the touch.

I found with this recipe freezes really well. What I did was make the individual patties, and then put them in between sheets of parchment paper. Put them in a sealed container and pop them in the freezer. Use within 6 months. To reheat them, put them in the microwave on defrost, then sear them up again in a skillet.

Waring Pro MBB Series Stainless Steel Blender (Google Affiliate Ad)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Grilled Cheese W/ Daiya and Peppered Tofurky

Who doesn't like a good grilled cheese? I don't think I know anyone, well maybe one person but she is crazy! :P Doesn't count. The cheesy, melty, gooey goodness really takes me back. I made this one a more "adult" version, including peppered Tofurky and caramelized onions, on Dave's Killer Bread, Oh yeah! Delicious. 
I used Daiya's new Jack Style Wedge, it melts so good! And a little goes a long way. I think I used to much, when I picked it up to eat it melted everywhere, but I didn't care, by the end of the sandwich I was able to dip the bread in the cheese that dripped on the plate, score!
Daiya's shreds and wedges are cholesterol free, dairy free (animal product free), kosher, free of common allergens including dairy (casein and lactose), soy, gluten, eggs, peanuts and treenuts (excluding coconut), so almost anyone can enjoy this wonderful product. Gluten Free? Just swap in your favorite GF bread, like Udi's. 
I can't wait to try the Cheddar Style and Jalapeno Garlic Havarti Style! Both sound great!

2 Tbsp Earth Balance
2 Slices bread your choice
2 thin slices Daiya wedge your choice
2 slices peppered Tofurky
handful of onion slices

Heat EB in pan on medium.
Place one piece bread in pan with daiya. Let heat for a minute, until bread is browned on bottom, add onions to pan to caramelize in pan, add Tofurky and top bread.
Add perfectly caramelized onions to sammich.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

"Egg" Trick Muffins from Strong Hearts Cafe, and The Vegan Zombie

This recipe comes from a YouTube channel that I just LOVE!, The Vegan Zombie, Chris and Jon's videos are entertaining and the recipes are delicious. If you're a little squeemish you might want to skip over the zombie scenes, there aren't many.
If you are abstaining from animal products but still craving, say, an Egg McMuffin, or really any of those comfort foods of the past, these guys have the goods, from corn "dogs" to fettucini alfredo and tamales (their latest video) they create great vegan versions.
The one Evan and I have been enjoying lately, is the "Egg" Trick Muffin, a recipe The Vegan Zombie put up last month, comes from the Syracuse New York Restaurant, Strong Hearts Cafe. I've never been there personally, but the food sounds amazing. They are a 100% Vegan and support local food producers and the community.
Here is a link to the video (HERE) if you want to just watch Joel show Jon how to make their (Strong Hearts) most popular breakfast item!
Or check it out below. :)

"Egg" Trick Muffin
Recipe from Strong Hearts Cafe and The Vegan Zombie

3 Tbsp Oil
1 lb Block tofu (makes 3 patties)
Gimme Lean Sausage (1 pkg makes 8 patties)

Spice Mix (Enough for about 20* tofu patties)
1 Cup Nutritional yeast
1/4 cup turmeric
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt

Daiya Cheese (2 tsp per muffin)
English muffins (as many as you can eat =P)

*You can save this mixture if you have any left, but keep in the refrigerator because there could be tofu remaining in the mix and wouldn't want it to go sour*

Method:(I suggest watching the video) :)


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

New Seasons Recipe Challenge

A week ago, my friend, Brittany (Naturally Thrifty Mom), and I submitted recipes to New Seasons Market for their gluten free recipe challenge, and we both won! How cool is that?  Every Tuesday they have sampling and will have our recipes for sample along with our recipes on their cards. I am super excited. I used a recipe I posted a while ago, but here it is if you wanted to get it quickly. Mung bean Salad, it is delicious and refreshing, especially since summer is right around the corner. Try it and comment, did you make any changes? What is your favorite summer salad?

Also, have you heard of any recipe contests? I will do my best to post any upcoming contests or challenges.

Thanks for reading:)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Hearty Lasagna

Most of my experience with lasagna has been of the frozen variety.. not even close to the top of my favorite foods list. I would eat my serving and try to forget about it. I did have one pleasant lasagna experience about 5 years ago at a gathering, it was veggie lasagna, I don't remember who made it but I wish I did because I ate seconds and thirds and maybe even forths! Best of all, did not taste of freezer burn in the slightest! But that was one time in my 22 years with a great lasagna experience.. Needless to say I was a little hesitant about my decision to make the Hearty Lasagna dish from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's 30-day Vegan Challenge. But I thought I should try it now since I'm trying new things and it wasn't going to be all meaty and cheesy and ... grossest of all.. frozen.
The faux-cotta cheeze was surprisingly delicious (never liked the "real" stuff before) and adding one of my favorite veggies to it, spinach, really made this dish for me. Not to mention tons(!) of basil. MMM
I also felt this recipe was fairly simple to make, another reason I was a little scared to make lasagna, I've heard people gripe about making homemade lasagna (hence the abundance of the frozen type out there), and how much time it takes and blah blah, but this was delicious and easy.
Okay, so without further ado, here it is. Hope you try it and enjoy it, like we did :)

Hearty Lasagna
Recipe from The 30-day Vegan Challenge

1/2-1 pound lasagna noodles
Two 10oz packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
16oz firm tofu (not silken)
1 Tbsp sugar (optional)
1/4 cup nondairy milk, more or less as needed
1/2 tsp garlic powder or 2 peeled cloves garlic
Juice from half a lemon (about 2 Tbsp)
2 Tbsp minced fresh basil (about 20 leaves)
1 tsp salt, or to taste
4-6 cups tomato or pasta sauce of your choosing

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions, and drain and set aside. Or use the "no-need-to-boil-" lasagna noodles.

Squeeze as much water from the spinach as possible and set aside. (If using fresh spinach, black it first, then squeeze out the water. Blanching just means to cook something very briefly in boiling water, then plunge into cold water to stop the cooking process.)

Place the tofu, sugar, milk, garlic powder or garlic cloves, lemon juice, basil and salt into a food processor or blender and pulse or blend until smooth. The tofu "ricotta" should be creamy but still have body.

Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the spinach. Continue tasting until you get the amount of salt just right.

Cover the bottom of a 9x13in baking dish with a thin layer of tomato sauce, then a layer of noodles (use about one-third of the noodles). Follow with half of the tofu filling. Continue in the same order, using half the remaining tomato sauce and noodles and all of the remaining tofu filling. End with the remaining noodles, covered by the remaining tomato sauce. Bake for 40-45 minutes.

Add a meatless ground meat to your sauce for a different texture.
Add a cheese such as Daiya mozzarella.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Today, Evan and I are celebrating 2 years of marriage:) He surprised me with a beautiful bouquet of lilies (my favorite flowers) and roses (also very nice) and a super nice card! It was so sweet! :) What a great anniversary! :) Now all it needs is a delicious vegan meal! Hmm.. what to make?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Refreshing Quinoa Salad

About a third way through the month and I've kind of gone down hill a little with my drinking enough water goal. I have, on the other hand, exercised every day. I do find it easy to drink water during and just after a workout but not really any other time. Not sure if I said this already but I also decided I'm not going to weigh myself every day because not seeing an immediate change is a little depressing. I need to be realistic, change is not immediate. It takes hard work and time, so I will try not to let it get to me.
Tomorrow I will be posting pictures of a Quinoa salad I am going to make, recipe from the Jan/Feb 2011 issue of Vegetarian Times. It sounds delicious and I am looking for new recipes for quinoa, because it is delicious and sooo healthy. This is the recipe, if I decide to make any changes I will post that with the pics. :)

Refreshing Quinoa Salad
Serves 12, 30 minutes or fewer
(Vegetarian Times)
1 1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 English cucumber, peeled and finely diced (2 1/2cups)
3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and finely diced (1/4cup)
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped (1/2cup)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup olive oil
3 Tbs lemon juice
2 tsp grated lemon zest

1. Bring 2 quarts salted water to a boil. Add quinoa, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 12 to 14 minutes, or until quinoa is tender and small "tails" bloom from grains.
2 Preheat oven to 400F. Spread pine nuts on baking sheet, and toast 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool, then transfer to large serving bowl.
3. Drain quinoa, and rinse under cold running water. Drain again. Add quinoa to pine nuts, and stir in cucumber, tomatoes, onion, and parsley. Fold in oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest, add season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Doesn't that just sound delicious?!

Per 1/2-cup serving 167 cal, 4g protein, 10g total fat, 17g carb, 0mg chol, 53mg sodium, 2g fiber, 2g sugar

Monday, March 5, 2012


Today I took a Zumba class at the gym with my mama and a friend from work. It was so much fun! It is great to exercise with friends. Makes the time go by faster. Tho half way through the class I wasn't sure I would make it to the end. It was still a blast and I sweated... a lot!! Which I guess is good, that means I was working it!!
If you haven't triedZumba yet, then I highly suggest it. They have a game for the Wii, I believe. Make sure to stretch and drink plenty of fluids. :)
The past 5 days have gone really well. Exercised every day so far. It was nice in our area yesterday so we took advantage of it and went hiking with some friends.
I've been weighing myself every day, and I think I'm going to have to stop that because day to day the weight fluctuates so much. The goal is to lose weight but also to feel good. So the days where the numbers aren't reflecting I think I have to go off of how I feel. Also I need to remember that the number isn't the most important thing.
Five days in and already starting to feel excited to exercise each time! :) Sweet action!
And don't worry, I will post some more recipes soon. Need some fresh veggies to work with! :)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Gym, water and tofu scramble!

Today was a success. Started out a little rough. Had plans to meet my husband, Evan, at the gym, and woke up to the streets white with snow, which was beautiful, but cold! It cleared up pretty quick, had sunny blue skies and then hail also today.. but that is the Pacific Northwest for ya. Anyways, we did 35 minutes of cardio on the elliptical machines. Going to tackle weights next time. Baby steps. I can put a check mark next to goal one!
Also, I am about to finish my 4th, count 'em 4!, refill on my water cup which will be 80oz of water for today, but that is good since I did work out and have coffee at work. Someone warned me not to drink too much, that you can actually drown yourself with too much water!! So I will have to read up on that, what is an acceptable amount of water to drink in one day. Have to keep electrolytes in balance. I did eat a banana for a snack, which I know helps with that.
After the gym, we came home and Evan helped me make tofu scramble burritos. They were a little different than I would have normally made them, because I haven't done grocery shopping in a few days. Running low on veggies but obviously you can put whatever you want/can in there. But this is what we did:

Tofu Scramble
Makes 4 servings
1 pkg extra firm tofu (not silken), drained and crumbled*
1 yellow onion (or half an onion if you aren't as crazy about them as me... or 2 if your husband will let you get away with it** =P), chopped 
2 Tbsp garlic, minced
4 cups of kale, rip into  bite size pieces
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp mustard powder
2 tsp nutritional yeast, or to taste
couple shakes of garlic salt, optional
olive oil for sauteing 
1 avocado

Remove tofu from package, drain and slice into 6 rectangles. Put on a plate with a paper towel, cover with another paper towel and another plate on top to add weight to tofu. Allow to press water out while you prepare the rest of your ingredients. 
Heat a skillet on medium high heat, heat the olive oil, and add onion and saute for 5 minutes, until slightly caramelized, then add garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Add kale, cook for 5 more minutes, or until kale is slightly darkened, wilted, and it starts to shimmer. Add salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl, and reheat and re-oil to cook tofu. Add crumbled tofu to pan, cook for a minute, until starts to brown, then add the spices and your veggies. Mix all together.
Serve as is, or wrapped in a delicious tortilla with some avocado slices and salsa, which is the preferred method! 

*I suggest having the tofu crumbled before starting to add to the pan because this needs to be pretty quick so you don't burn the tofu. 
**Just playing, that would be a whole lotta onion! But really. Onions are good. 

With dishes like this you can always add whatever veggies you have on hand, but just make sure to start cooking whatever will take longest to cook first (ie. if you are using hard veggies such as carrots, cook those first before say your kale, which btw should be added to everything! Just sayin':)

Oh and fyi, make sure you have convenient access to a potty if you're going to drink 40oz of water in a short period of time.. and not have to be in the drive thru position at work.. almost had to learn that the hard way. Good thing I work with kind people. :)

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

New Month, New goals

Tomorrow is a new month, and a new month seems like the perfect time to start a new goal. Today my husband and I signed up for a gym membership. So to get our moneys worth I'm going to make an effort to get there regularly. In order to do that, I need a little motivation. My motivation is going to be you, or at least this blog and keeping track each week. I have a few goals. The first one being to get to the gym 3-5 times a week. The second is to drink about 64 ounces of water a day, which of course is the recommended amount. I have a 20oz cup that I will fill 3-4 times. My third goal is just to feel better by the end of the month, and get addicted to exercise. :)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Vegan Magic Cookie Bars

If you haven't had Magic cookie bars, then what have you been doing with your life?? They are so delicious and addictive. We used to make them, prior to being vegan, and these are so similar it's incredible. Again, no picture but basically it is like a giant cookie in a pan.. you get the idea. This recipe is from the Post Punk Kitchen, but it is essentially the standard recipe for "magic cookie bars". I thought it pretty genius to cook down the coconut milk with brown sugar to make a similar product to sweetened condensed milk, which is what we used to make these with. I'm going to try this with other recipes. I'm sure it'll work great. Anyways, here it is:

Vegan Magic Cookie Bars
From: PPK

1 14oz can coconut milk
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 cups graham cracker crumbs*
2 tbsp organic sugar
1/2 cup melted Earth Balance vegan butter
1 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
On the stovetop in a pan bring the coconut milk and brown sugar to a boil over medium/high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. remove from heat and set aside.
Mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted Earth Balance until it is well incorporated.
On a parchment lined 9x13 pan press the graham cracker crumbs into the pan starting in the center and working your way out to the sides. Be sure to cover the entire bottom and press very firmly.
Pour the coconut milk mixture over the graham cracker, add a layer of chocolate chips, coconut and then nuts. Press ingredients down with your hands ensuring the coconut milk mixture is absorbed into the upper layers.
Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.
Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack for 15 minutes. Transfer to the refrigerator and allow to cool for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Cut into bars, remove from pan.

*I felt that it needed a little more than 2 cups to fill the pan.
**Also I didn't quite measure the chocolate chips, coconut and walnuts that I put on top.. I just put what felt right :) but use this as a guide especially for the first time.

Month 6

So far this blog hadn't been much of sharing a journey as sharing some recipes we've tried. But I would like it to be. I want to share where I'm at since starting journey to being healthy and vegan.
It has been 6 months since we decided to make the change to a healthier, vegan lifestyle. Okay, so far we aren't the healthiest, but 99% of days we eat a vegan diet. I admit that I've had desserts with eggs, butter and milk, and also I've had a delicious Soy Caramel Macchiato (for which the caramel sauce contains cream), from Starbucks, for those of you who have tried to "catch me" eating something I'm "not supposed to". =P It is a choice to change my eating, but at times it is difficult journey. I don't want to sugar coat it for any of you who want to try to eat a vegan  diet. At times it is very hard. Honestly... I had a dream about a pepperoni pizza last night!! I couldn't believe it when I woke up, I think I was actually salivating. Eww?
Eating out with friends is difficult, probably more so for them. I wonder if it is embarrassing to be out with us?Tho I'm not embarrassed at trying to be vegan. I'm just not a huge fan of confrontation. Went out to lunch with my mom, brother and his gf last week to a mexican restaurant we used to go to almost every week. My mom wanted to know if she could get an order of nachos without the cheese and sour cream... but all the other good stuff, beans, jalepenos, onions, peppers... the waitress looked at her like she was the craziest person alive. Nachos.... without cheese? Can't be done. I guess. I ordered rice and beans, safe bet. But we never asked if they put lard or anything in the beans. Who knows? That is a battle for another day.
Exercise is on my mind every day but I cannot find the motivation to start. I need someone to push me. This dark winter is getting to me. I've been pretty down lately. When we first started eating this way I had so much energy! I'm really hoping it is just the weather. I've been making sure I get enough of the very important Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D2. Need to work on water intake.And getting 3-5 good 30 minute sessions of exercise in each week. That should significantly improve my mood. We shall see.
Thanks for listening.
What are your tips or tricks for getting enough water? Also, how do you make sure you get your dose of exercise each week?

Sweet New Background!

You may have noticed (or not) that the background has changed recently. Pretty awesome right? This is credited to my brother-in-law, who as of now does not have a site for you to see the rest of his work. But he was nice enough to spend the time to make this for me. Thanks Nathan!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Lemony Roasted Potatoes

"Lemony Roasted Potatoes" is a recipe out of "Veganomicon - The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook" by Isa Chandra Moskiwitz and Terry Hope Romero. It is delicious and super easy to make. All you need is about 1 1/2 hours for prep and cook time. But it is so worth it, and in the mean time you can make some delicious "Chickpea cutlets" (recipe/blog post to come), also out of Veganomicon. Just round out your meal with a nice salad, and maybe some delicious vegan cupcakes for dessert (recipes also to come) and bon appétit!

Lemony Roasted Potatoes
(Credit to Veganomicon by Isa and Terry)

2 1/2 pounds Russet potatoes (medium to small potatoes work best)
1/3 cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice*
1 cup vegetable broth
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp salt
1 tsp tomato paste
Freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh parsley or dried oregano (optional)
1/2 tsp rosemary**

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Peel the potatoes, slice in half lengthwise, and slice each half into wedges no more than 1/4-inch thick.
In a large, deep baking pan or casserole dish (at least 10 x 17-in or bigger), combine the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, vegetable broth, oregano, salt, and tomato paste. Add the peeled, slice potatoes. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and toss the potatoes to cover with the sauce. Cover the pan tightly with foil (or use tlid of casserole dish), place in the oven, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the potatoes are almost done. Several times during the baking process, remove the pan from the oven, uncover, stir the potatoes, place the cover back, and return the pan to the oven.
Uncover the pan one last time, stir the potatoes again and back, uncovered, for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, until most of the sauce has evaporated and some of the potatoes have just started to brown on their edges. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley and/or more dried oregano before serving.

*I found this to be just a little too much lemon juice but maybe tone it back to 1/3 cup lemon juice... just slightly less
** We added a sprinkle of rosemary to the top and it worked really well with the lemony aspect. YUM!

I apologize for not having pictures, they didn't stick around long enough to be photographed ;)