Last week was rough, but this week is even busier. We start with my working for the next week and a half at my old job on top of my regular home duties and teaching. Then, Paul's Mom comes in on Monday for four days and as soon as she leaves our friend, Garrett, comes in for a long weekend. I love my old job and appreciate the opportunity to keep up my skills. And I'm quite happy to be teaching. Paul's mom and Garrett are very wonderful, and will clean up after themselves. BUT, it's still a lot going on.
Here's something I am interested in attending. While I'm not expressly vegan (though I've shared many vegan recipes that I didn't realize were or planned them to be), I am all for cooking food that tastes good and learning new recipes.
Below is a quote from a flyer I received for Feb. 3 at 7:00 pm:
While I hadn't planned on sharing details about my New Year's Budget Resolution, I expected you would want an update sometime. However, I never imagined now would be when it finally registered with me a) why I budget and b) why I shouldn't get mad when I allow Paul to grocery shop with me and add excess items to the cart.
My New York Times Google Reader feed is quickly becoming my source for finding new recipes. This one was an archive link-through for Moroccan Carrot Salad showed up at the perfect time. We were in Tennessee for a wedding of dear friends. We had been invited to a potluck lunch the day before the wedding, and I needed a vegan dish that wouldn't be awful if it cooled off between the stove and the serving table.
It's been so long since I posted a menu plan--not because I didn't have one, but because there were other things to talk about. Plus, there were the holidays when you generally just think of leftovers for every meal.
The Geometry of Pasta even got on the New York Times' radar in December. Besides being a truly beautiful and fun book to look at with its black and white renditions of the varieties of pasta you can and sometimes can't find at your local grocery store, it's filled with historical explanations like where the pasta got its name and when or how it was invented.
My husband sent me this article from the New York Times about nonstick cookware care just before I made a trip to our church's Gift-and-Thrift to donate three previously well-used skillets. Luckily, we didn't have to spend money on new ones because we had each collected a few on our own and had been given some as presents. I was quite grateful for the "simplification" my cabinet had received.
Be sure to check out my first and second New Year's Kitchen Resolutions if you missed them.
I actually wanted to make this a resolution last year, but I wasn't brave enough. So, I took a baby step and worked on being braver. I bought fennel, which Paul and I discovered we didn't like. I bought sweet dumpling squash, which we both loved and raved about to friends. Then there were things I had tried, but never considered attempting at home. It's time to branch out!
What a blessing to have a New Year and a clean slate! You can always rearrange your life and goals during the year. But January is a great time to rethink because it's too cold to go anywhere. You're generally too broke to escape because you spent all your money because you are a generous giver. And you have a little extra time on your hands to hopefully put your plans into practice.
As is my tradition, I start my January by reviewing the resolutions I made for this year. I then edit my goals for the next year based on how well I did the previous year. I still have the goals. But some will be more detailed in requirement than others.
We have enjoyed Eating Well Vegetarian through 2010. We've compiled a few lists that might intrigue you and remind you of some great, healthy eating experiences for the year. We hope they are an inspiration to yours and our 2011. I'm looking forward to sharing my New Year's Kitchen Resolutions with you and hope you will share your plans with me as well.
I have written about this fabulous fruit topping recipe before! I love it. This was the first time I actually had the pears to put the recipe together the right way. The only problem was that I failed to tell my mom the cake needed to be large, not in the form of cupcakes. I think it still presented well. It was just a little harder to cut.
"These hearty burgers contain a ton of flavorful vegetables, beans, and grains. But if you prefer a traditional beef burger, you can still try the special sauce. 296 calories, 5 g fat. Makes 6 servings." ~Vocalpoint
1/4 cup bulgur
3/4 cup shredded zucchini
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 sm onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 cups chopped spinach
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
4 oz firm tofu
1 can (15–16 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
6 whole-wheat buns, split
1/3 cup low-fat plain yogurt
3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1 scallion, finely chopped
1 jalapeño chile pepper, seeded and minced (wear plastic gloves when handling)
1/8 tsp salt
Pasta was on sale a few weeks back. I'm learning to appreciate when different brands are on sale because different brands have different "geometries." For example, I love the spaghetti rigate by Barilla. Then, there's the tri-color rotini by Mueller's. And Ronzoni has an orzo. Now granted, these brands might make all of these products, but these are the ones that my Publix offers.
Anyway, we had a lot of zucchini to eat up. And zucchini is one item I'm much happier eating fresh than freezing. So I created this recipe, and Paul and I just loved it.
Begin cooking the pasta according to package directions. In a medium skillet, add the olive oil and zucchini. Cook on high, watching carefully and turning when they brown. Sprinkle the garlic powder over the zucchini and stir.
Test the orzo. You want it almost mushy. I cooked mine 10 minutes, but the package said "Cooks in 8 minutes." Drain pasta reserving 1 1/2 cups of cooking water. Turn skillet down to medium. Add the pasta to the zucchini. Slowly add the water, looking for a thicker consistency. Season with lemon juice, McKay's, salt and pepper. Stir to incorporate. Serve sprinkled with cheese.
I sat down with my Moosewood Soups and Stews Deck of recipe cards looking for any soups I could find that I had at least most of the ingredients to complete. It was cold in Florida. I didn't want to leave the house. I was thrilled that this one even had sweet potatoes, which I love to squeeze into meals because of their food value.
I have been looking for this recipe all my life! It was exactly what I imagined. French onion soup is very elegant. This version is so easy. I'll be finding excuses to make it. I'm sure I've passed it numerous times while shuffling through my Moosewood Soups and Stews Deck. I don't know why it didn't register until last week. But I'm so thrilled that it did.
You have to try this soup! Rustic Spinach and Cornmeal. So easy, so amazing. It's from the October 2010 Bon Appetit. I served it to 9 one night during the Thanksgiving holiday. We had a Caprese Salad (Tomato and Mozzarella) and hearty Triscuit crackers on the side. Loved, loved, loved.
Paul and I did this last Sunday morning. This week, Paul did it all on his own.
At nearly 11 months, Nora seems to be weaning herself off of the bottle. She really likes to see table food and wants to eat it even if we don't let her.
Paul loves cooked oatmeal in the winter. He usually cooks up a big batch Sunday morning and eats on it the rest of the week. This year, Paul is willing to share. He doesn't get to add salt if he shares with Nora. It tastes great with just cinnamon, raisins, dates, and dried apricots.
This salad has pretty much been served at Christmas dinners all my life. I have no idea where the tradition came from, but it is my grandmother's favorite thing.
In truth, the concept is sweet and meaningful. There's a beautiful gold candle set up in a golden stand with fire gently flickering and wax dripping down the sides. Translated: a half of a banana inside the hole of a slice of pineapple. A marachino cherry mimics a flame and drips its juices like candle wax.
Recipe for Candle Salad
8 lettuce leaves (iceberg preferred)
4 bananas, halved
8 slices canned pineapple
8 marachino cherries
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheeese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
8 flat plates
Place one lettuce leaf in the center of the plate. Put one slice of pineapple on top of the leaf. Trim the cut side of the banana so it balances in the hole of the pineapple. Put a toothpick in the top of the banana with about 1/4 of an inch sticking up. Attach the cherry on top of the banana with the toothpick.
A few years ago, I learned from The Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet that it is possible to mix and mash white and sweet potatoes. No, the nutritionist in me had never thought of it before. Keep in mind that I had only ever had sweet potatoes with cinnamon and sugar and didn't realize there was more to their value. I've since learned to love sweet potatoes.
This is actually a Martin Thanksgiving tradition, but since Thanksgiving and Christmas often share the same menu items, grapefruit and pomegranates would work then, too. And I love the jewel-red color of the pomegranate seeds. Also, the cold weather in Florida makes the grapefruit harvest toward Christmas sweeter.
I have a friend in Germany whose father teaches English to seniors. He has asked that I post simple stories about a traditional Christmas menu as a way to teach English and a little about American culture at the same time.
I would say that our traditional Christmas dinner menu is very similar to our traditional Thanksgiving menu because they are about one month apart from each other, and therefore are in the same season with the same fresh produce.
There's an old saying: The way to a man's heart is through his stomach. But the following story elaborates.
Yesterday (Dec. 11, 2010), our pastor was talking about Jesus showing love. At Prayer Meeting (we call it House of Prayer) last week, he had asked people to anonymously write on cards how they had been shown love that week. Here's one of the responses:
My mom makes me a sandwich every day. She just started putting fruit in my lunch.
The thing to remember about a cookie exchange is that it's completely voluntary. Naturally, a few people in our mommy group opted out because they: a) Had recently had a baby and didn't have kitchen-time on their schedules yet. b) Were still trying to lose the baby weight and didn't want the temptation. c) Have no talent/no desire for baking.
Tomorrow is the Mommy Group Christmas Party and Cookie Exchange. I decided to make the consistently popular caramel squares that my mother-in-law seems to serve at every event. (And no one is ever sorry.) Instead of typing and handing out copies of the recipe, I just decided to put it on here. Cause I suspect most people are like me and have their recipe collection on their computers instead of in binders.
Recipe for Caramel Squares
Larger recipe credit: Marsha Bloom
Make a crumb crust with:
1 1/2 C flour
1 1/4 C brown sugar
3/4 t baking soda
1 1/2 C oats
1/2 t salt-scant
3/4 C butter melted (I seemed to need a touch more butter.)
In microwave bowl melt 1 pkg-Kraft caramels (My mother-in-law says about 38.) in 7 T Cream -75ml.
Spray a 9x13 pan with Pam. Press half of crust mixture into pan.
1 1/2 C chocolate chips
1 1/2 C chopped nuts
caramels-don't get too close to the edges
other 1/2 crumb crust-press slightly unto caramels mixture
We got in at midnight last night from a 48 hour trip to Louisiana. My grandfather's baby sister passed away unexpectedly last week, and although it was nice seeing family I rarely see, I have been quite upset over the situation.
Luckily, I have little time to focus on sadness. This is finals week for the class I'm teaching. Plus, I have a special request series for EatLikeaRabbit.net that needs work to be posted next week. Then, there's Nora's swimming lessons and our little mommy-group holiday get together.
Good thing you don't follow me for the sales and deals. My father-in-law says the PF Chang's deal isn't on. Guess I should have checked my sources better. Sorry.
This is a lesson to me in organization, budgeting, and foodie-ism all in one. Keep the email inbox as empty as possible, but keep the ones from the restaurants you like the best, and you just might get a great deal.
Soups are wonderful. You can put anything in them. It's a great way to use up samples of something. Like the little cup of corn leftover from last week. I was really craving a potato soup this week. I imagined the finished product much different from the way it turned out, but Paul didn't complain. After I reevaluated my seasonings, I was happier, too. Below is the corrected recipe.
I do want to point out that you could have just as much fun with chopped onions and garlic instead of the dehydrated powders. Use what you've got!
Recipe Potato Vegetable Soup
2.5-3 lbs. potatoes, scrubbed and chopped bite-sized (smaller cooks faster)
2 cups or half bag frozen baby broccoli florets (again, smaller cooks faster)
1 c corn, cooked
3 cups milk, more if desired
1/2 T garlic powder
1 T onion powder
1 T herbed salt
2 T McKay's vegetarian Chicken broth powder
Parsley to taste
2 cups cheese, shredded (optional)
1 slice jalapeno, optional
Parsley to taste
In large pot, boil potatoes about 15 minutes. Add broccoli and return to a boil for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork and broccoli is cooked. Turn off heat. Drain the potatoes reserving 1 cup of water to keep the potatoes from sticking to the pot.
Return pot back to burner. Stir in corn and pepper. In food processor, blend two cups cooked potatoes (some broccoli, too) and return to pot. Add milk and seasonings. Reheat. Add milk for additional thinning, but remember to taste for seasoning. Top with grated cheese.
Makes 8-10 servings depending on appetizer or main course.
We dined out in Nashville at The Wild Cow, a vegetarian restaurant that came well recommended. Crazy name aside, this restaurant has a pretty good menu and a decent steady flow of patrons. We had quite a hard time choosing items from the two page menu. There's also a great kid's menu that I kind of wanted to order off of myself.
It's Nora's first Christmas. I wanted a tree, but we knew we couldn't have a large one with all of our breakable ornaments as she is mobile and curious. We chose a table top tree, and she's yet to notice it. I'd be pretty happy if it stayed like that for about a week.
Ever sat down in your house completely overwhelmed by the disaster? What about looking in your fridge and groaning because it's full to the brim, but you don't have a clue what to make out of all of that? Yep, that's about how my day started. The plus side? I managed to bring a batch of sweet rolls to a friend down the street who had a baby while I was still working and didn't have the time to share in the joy. They had to freeze over the holiday weekend.
A big thank you to my father-in-law for forwarding me this great story from the NY Times that appeals to me as a medical professional, as a mother, and of course as a budget-friendly vegetarian blogger.
Although it's past the peak season for pumpkins and squash--as is evident by the increased prices for the fresh produce--people often associate pumpkin with the Thanksgiving holiday. I know I do. We won't be having pumpkin pie at our Thanksgiving dinner (contrary to tradition) but I've collected a few ideas for adding pumpkin to our meals throughout the week.
As you know from my Thanksgiving Day menu post, we will start the day with a 5k walk at the Turkey Trot. Our goal for the day was to not spend the day in the kitchen. Moreover, I didn't want to make my mom who can't attend the walk feel like she has to do all the work herself. So, let's just go over the menu items, how easy they are to prepare, and whist day-of requirements there are.
What does this picture have to do with Thanksgiving? Well, this light dinner we ate a few weeks back reminds me that that's about what I normally eat. I don't have to have an overflowing plate Thanksgiving Day just because it's a holiday. I hope I remember that next week. . .
OK, the moment many of us (including myself) have been waiting for: Our Menu Plan for Turkey-Day 2010.
Thanksgiving will be hosted at our house this year. Err, maybe not since it's the smallest. But it will be hosted near my home none-the-less. I may be a tad late. . .OK, really late. . .getting the menu together, but it's time I do a little research about Thanksgiving dishes for vegetarians. I'll be sharing what I've found. Meanwhile, if you have any suggestions, please pass them on!
OK, as expected, this wrap just didn't go too well. I guess there wasn't anything sticky enough to keep it all inside and it fell completely apart. Frown.So much for cleanliness. But the smile was right back on my face again when my husband said it would have been great just as a salad. The next time, it was a salad. And he was right!
This may seem a little late to post such things, but in Florida it's been warm enough to still yield in some really nice "late, late summer" crops.
Recipe for Cucumber Tomato Salad
2 Large Wraps, warmed
1 1/3 Tablespoons chives, tightly packed
1 teaspoon herb salt
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 cucumber, sliced and quartered
2 Campari tomatoes, quartered
2 thin slices of onion, separated
In a measuring device, like a tumbler, mix chives, salt, olive oil, and lemon juice. In a bowl, combine the veggies and pour the dressing over top. Stir carefully and serve in or on the wraps.
The black bean burger recipe from Parents Magazine was so fabulous, I figured the recommended switch to chickpeas or garbanzo beans would also be a success. After all, we love the falafel recipe from a previous issue of the magazine.
Recipe for Dilled Yogurt Dressing
2 (heaping) Tablespoons plain yogurt
3/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1/8 teaspoon herb salt
Whisk together ingredients. Pour over and have extra on the side of wraps and salads. I have been using an herb salt we acquired on one of our trips. I'm sure regular table salt would work just fine.
Here's the week's menu based only on what is already in the cabinets or what I froze before leaving town.
Since we didn't land until late Monday evening, dinner had to be simple. Also, Paul's folks will be visiting on Friday. And dinner will be up to their meeting schedule. I'll also be taking care of a friend's baby, which means that I have to plan and make our lunches and dinners the night before so I can simply reheat and serve them. This will be a great test to see how I like two children instead of just one. I hear they are a lot of extra work!