Thursday, December 16, 2010

Vegan baby

So it's been a while! How's it going? For me, it's been ups and downs. A lot of pizza downs and tofu scramble ups. But I've got a new revived energy and focus. To lose this baby weight! Actually I'm almost down to my pre-pregnancy weight. I gained 50 pounds during my pregnancy and have 4.4 pounds to go to lose it all. But I could stand to lose a few (or 50) more from there. That's my goal.
So this is being vegan on a diet. I'm going to the gym and have a low calorie goal every day. I hate counting calories and don't want to do it forever but it works so that's what I'm doing. And zumba. I highly recommend this class if you haven't done it. It's so fun and you basically just dance for an hour and burn like 600 calories.
Anyhoo, today I made a delish tofu scramble seen above and slightly modified version given to my 8 month old. She loved it!

Here's the recipe:
4 oz extra firm tofu, drained and crumbled
3-4 slices portobello mushroom, chopped
1 slice white onion chopped
1 garlic clove pressed
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 slices avocado
3 cherry tomatoes
Salt to taste
Turmeric for color

Heat oil in small sauté pan on medium. Add garlic and onion and sauté for a few minutes. Add mushrooms and sauté until soft. Add tofu and turmeric and continue to cook until hot. This is what I served to my baby (about 1 oz from the recipe) with some small chunks of avocado mixed in. Serve on plate with tomato and avocado and salt to taste.
Really good and about 260 calories (probably 300 if you don't have a baby to share with)! I'm going to keep on trying different veggies to see which ones are yummy. I think tomorrow I'll do spinach and mushroom.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

It's not what you think

Morningstar farms breakfast sausage is really good but I've been wanting to pair it with some kind of eggs. I'm not a big egg eater but there are certain times you need em. Like in a breakfast burrito.
On the other side, I've been experimenting with tofu recipes and have found that I don't like it very much because the consistency is like a hard boiled egg.
I'm slow I guess.
So yesterday I realized.... Duh... I can use tofu as an egg substitute for cooked eggs! Hello!
I found a recipe (if it's even considered that) of extra firm tofu, crumbled and sauteed in oil with turmeric (for color) and salt and pepper. It turned out exactly like scrambled eggs! I also cooked up a sausage patty and crumbled that and wrapped it up in a flour tortilla. Voilà! Breakfast burrito!
Today I added avocado and salsa. Way better! So I'm so excited because now I have a hearty breakfast option that doesn't consist only of bread or fruit. Try it out sometime! See if you even notice a difference!! I'm also thinking of all the recipes I thought were dead to me forever that I can now enjoy! Like my mom's popeye special (or spinach and egg yum-yum would describe it well)! I'll share the modified recipe later.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Hummbocca pocket

Say that three times fast! It's getting down to the wire here on groceries so this is what I came up with for lunch today. A bocca burger, cooked and halved, put into a toasted pita pocket with hummus. More veggies would've probably made it better but alas low on groceries. However, using hummus for a sandwich spread was ingenius and I highly recommend it especially if you don't like mayo. It adds more flavor and nutrients. Tonight I'm making crock pot chili but I'm going to experiment by adding tvp for my meat eating guests! I'll let ya know how it turns out!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's good for me and that's the only reason I continue to eat

I was really excited about this recipe.
1. I had all the ingredients in house already
2. I've been wanting to use up some of these ingredients including especially the asparagus and tofu
3. Asian food sounded yummy

Not so much. It wasn't horrible by any means but it's one of those things that you eat just to clear the plate. Husband liked it and said "I'm easy". I added some teriyaki sauce to try to spice it up but ehh, it pretty much tasted the same. Oh well. At least I know I'm getting awesome nutrients from the asparagus and spinach especially.
Happy vegging

Yummy hummy

This is the hummus recipe I made up for lunch today! It makes a lot so I'm not eating it all today!
2 cans garbanzo beans, mostly drained
Jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained
About 4 kalamata olives, pitted
About 4-8 cloves garlic depending on how much you like
About 2 tbsp tahini
About 2 tbsp olive oil
1 lemon juiced
About 1 tsp Italian seasoning to taste
About 1 tsp sundried tomato dipping seasoning

Blend all ingredients in food processor until smooth. Serve with pita chips!


I'll be experimenting with new hummus recipes. Do you have any interesting hummus ideas? I'll try em if you post em!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!!

As many of you are already cooking your feast, some of you may be looking for inspiration.  If you are a new vegan as I am, you may be a little overwhelmed with the prospect of redoing all the recipes you've known for years.  Or maybe your visiting family and a little nervous about what you'll encounter today, how you'll answer questions, what you'll eat.  After a lot of stressing and going back and forth about what to do, I decided to cook Thanksgiving dinner one day early, enjoying vegan versions of all the favorites, that way today when we visit family, we've already satisfied the craving for the classics and wont be tempted to eat the non-vegan versions.  I did consider bringing individual serving sizes of our side dishes but thought that might seem kinda rude so I will be bringing a hearty green salad for everyone, cranberries, and decided to also bring some vegan brownies.

The Whole Feast
We both really enjoyed our meal last night!  It was our first time trying Tofurky.  For me, it was just all right.  But, it's no big deal because I was never really a big turkey eater anyway.  I like the side dishes more.  Our lineup included: Tofurky with gravy, roasted butternut squash, bread and celery stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, and cranberries.
Tofurky and Butternut Squash
I followed the recipe on the side of the Tofurky box for the roast, excluding the potatoes since I was making mashed potatoes.  It turned out pretty well, Hubby liked it.  For the stuffing, I used Earth Balance buttery spread and vegetable stock instead of the butter and chicken stock and a bag of premade stuffing croutons.  It was sooooo good and soooo easy!  For the green bean casserole, I used almond milk because I didn't have any unsweetened soy milk and also used canned green beans.  It was delicious and tasted very close to the original green bean casserole.  Hubby actually had some for breakfast this morning!  (ewww)  By the way, he is a Thanksgiving food beast and I can't believe he actually enjoyed all the vegan versions but really, they tasted great!  For the butternut squash, I just substituted Earth Balance for butter.  Hubby actually ate some even though he doesn't like butternut squash.  The mashed potato recipe is my own and follows.
Green Bean Casserole and Stuffing

Green Onion Mashed Potatoes
5-6 Potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
1/2 cup Tofutti sour cream
1/4 cup Silk nondairy creamer
Salt and pepper to taste
3 stalkes green onion, sliced
Cover potatoes in cold water and bring to a boil.  Boil until fork-tender.  Drain and return to pot.  Mash.  Add sour cream and creamer, salt, pepper and mix well.  Gently stir in green onions and serve!  Serves 4-6.

This Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for my family including my beautiful baby daughter, my faith as well as my health and new outlook on what I eat.  I hope you all have a wonderful holiday, however you choose to celebrate it!

Many Thanks!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Risotto Musings and Thanksgiving Plans

I love risotto.
I do not love making risotto.
I guess I'll have to give risotto up because most restaurant risotto is made with either cheese or chicken stock.
Boo hoo.

Let's go back in time and find out why I'm so blue.
On Sunday, I blogged about what we ate through lunchtime (creamy asparagus soup).  I went grocery shopping after lunch and got some yummy stuff.  Fresh asparagus.  I used to hate asparagus until I tried it properly cooked and really liked it!  Anyway, I have decided to really buckle down on my little cheats here and there.  No more vegetarian but not vegan chik'n.  No more pizza with real cheese :(  I just shed a few tears.
So I only bought vegan Bocca burgers.  And lots of beans and vegetables.  And pita bread for said beans and vegetables.
I got home and we didn't have time to cook and eat before going back to church.  (We play on the music team and had to go back for the night service.)  When we got home, I had planned to make some mushroom spinach risotto from this recipe.
I had a bunch of mushrooms and a little fresh spinach leftover from last weeks shopping that needed to be used.  So I followed the recipe, but guess what?  It took like twice as long to prepare.  And it's not one of those recipes where you just let it sit.  If you look at the recipe, it stresses: you need to be constantly stirring the rice.  This is not a good recipe for a mom of a 7 month old baby.  Anyway, the risotto was finally done and we ate it, but it wasn't my favorite.  We had some yummy herb focaccia bread dipped in oil and vinegar, and to be honest, I could have just eaten that but I knew I needed the nutrients from the veggies so I ate about half of my plate.  Hubby ate the leftovers for breakfast (yuck) on Monday.

So that's why I will not be cooking risotto again.

On a sidenote, I took pictures of Monday's dinner to post but have been having technical difficulties so I'll just tell you about it.
I had toast with Earth Balance and raspberry jam for breakfast with coffee.  For lunch, we took a friend out to a favorite place that we hadn't eaten at since veganism.  An Irish pub.  Hubby had fish and chips (not vegan but we do eat fish, but he kinda takes that liberally)  I had the only close to vegan option that I saw besides a side salad.  It was a portobello mushroom sandwich on sourdough, with cranberry sauce (the jelly kind and I didn't think of this until now, but it probably has gelatin in it!  Not vegan), red onion, tomato, and jalapeno cream cheese.  I did break my own rule, though, because of the cream cheese.  Anyway, it was a weird combination but I thought it might work.  Ehhhhhh...not really.  I ate my side salad and a few of hubby's fries and about half of the sandwich.  Needless to say, I was hungryish when we left.  We went to the hospital to visit a family member and I totally blew my own mind in a bad way by eating every possible junk food option from the vending machine.  **Deep Breath** (I'm embarrassed to admit this.)  Mr. Pibb, Rollos, and BBQ potato chips.  I'm kinda thinking I should have just gotten the fish and chips for the higher chance that I would have been full.  Oh well.  You live and learn.
We didn't leave the hospital until about 5:00 and still had to go to Trader Joes for the Tofurkey.  Our local grocery stores didn't have it.  We got home around 6:00/6:30 and I had purchased some Trader Joes Chicken-less Pulled Chicken in BBQ Sauce (vegan) and I heated that up with some Honey-Wheat hamburger buns and a big baby greens salad.  The chicken was a little chewy in texture, but on a sandwich and smothered in sauce, you can't really tell a whole lot of difference.  My only wish was that it didn't have BBQ sauce already on it so that we could use our Kinder's BBQ sauce.

We did get our Tofurkey for Thanksgiving so we'll see how that goes!  Looking forward to some different but still familiar comfort-food dishes.

These are some websites I've saved for recipes and ideas for the holidays:
Vegan Holiday Faux Turkeys
Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes
More Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes
Mini Honey Almond Cranberry Crostatas (obviously only vegan for those vegans who eat honey)
Dealing with Meat-Eating Friends and Family
Whole Foods offers a prepared Vegan meal if you're near one!

What are your plans for Thanksgiving dishes?  Are you offering any vegan options?