Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Chipolte Pasta

This Mexican style vegan pasta dish is easy to make, healthy, and a hit with the entire family.  Well, the little one doesn't love the sauce, so I prepare him a dish with everything mixed together (pasta, beans, corn, tomatoes) just before I add the sauce.

I can put together this dinner fairly quickly because I have all these ingredients on hand in my pantry.   However, I remember back to my early months cooking vegan and had no idea what miso was much less where to find it (and neither did most of the grocery store employees I enlisted to help me find it).  I'm happy to report, three years later, I see miso everywhere!   I've found it at Whole Foods, Wegmans, Trader Joes, etc.   Nutritional yeast can also be found in most grocery stores now.  I prefer buying it from the bulk bins at the natural foods grocery stores (for less than $10/lb) for the cost savings.  I store it in a cleaned out empty jelly jar.

A few notes on my prep: In the summer, when tomatoes are in season here in Maryland, I use fresh tomatoes in this recipe. Otherwise, I use one can of (drained) diced tomatoes.  Also, I use an entire 12oz. package of pasta.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Happy Birthday!

My husband and I recently celebrated a monumental birthday.  I was excited to have an occasion to try a recipe for a healthy cake that everyone would enjoy.  I think I found one (let's just say my husband helped himself to more than a couple pieces...)

Chocolate-Orange Cake

Here's the cake, 10 mins. out of the oven

I made the cake at night, after the kids were in bed, and let it cool overnight.

The next evening, after dinner, I made the glaze, right before serving.   The only tweak I made to the recipe was to use more orange juice when making the icing - especially the orange icing.  2 teaspoons of orange juice seems like the minimum needed.

The finished product - ready to serve!
I love that this yummy cake is less than 200 calories per serving, with just 1 gram of fat!    

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Delicious homemade soup - allergen free!

I found this recipe in a magazine from the health food store.  The total time to make this soup is nearly an hour... but it's worth it.  A very healthy and delicious soup the entire family can enjoy.  

Jasmine Rice Soup with Cannellini and Rosemary

A few notes on this recipe.  I omit the olive oil and cook the onions in a thin layer of water (a fat free cooking tip!)   The half teaspoon of red pepper flakes called for gives the soup a bit of heat.  If your little ones are sensitive to this, you might want to omit or just use a quarter teaspoon.

Great Northern Beans make an excellent substitution for the Cannellini beans if you find those in your pantry instead.

I like to make a loaf of homemade bread while the soup is cooking and serve it with the soup for dinner.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

It's blackberry picking time!

I took my boys blackberry picking today at a local pick-your-own farm.   We had fun picking & tasting the berries and brought home over 4lbs of berries.  Then the challenge came - what to do with all these berries?!?   I searched around until I found a recipe that called for 2lbs of fruit and adapted it for our use.   It turned out delicious!!!  I really had to hold myself back from eating 1/2 the pan!

Low-Fat Plum Cobbler

I substituted the blackberries for the plums in the recipe.
I don't buy soy yogurt but do have 6oz containers of So Delicious Blueberry Greek Cultured Coconut Milk, so I substituted with that.
I substituted 1 Tbsp of Truvia Baking Blend for the stevia in the recipe.   I also sprinkled just a pinch of this over the raw berries before I spread the batter on top.

The end result was a delicious & healthy dessert.   The only downside with substituting berries for the plums is that berries release a lot of liquid while being cooked, so the baking pan had quite a bit of delicious warm berry juice in it.  Next time I may try adding a mixture of liquid & corn starch to the berries (before the batter is spread on top) to thicken that up.  Or maybe I'll just pour all that berry juice over my frozen yogurt and eat it that way!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Got summer squash? How about some enchiladas?

Many weeks in the summer, our CSA gives us a bag of summer squash.   I found a recipe that we all love (and I've served it with success to guests as well) that uses whatever type of summer squash our CSA gives us.

Black Bean and Summer Squash Enchiladas

I will admit that I have trouble with corn tortillas.  Maybe I just haven't found the right kind yet... but mine always split.  In fact, I think next time I'm going to try to alter the recipe a bit and just do layers (tortilla, squash/bean mix, tortilla) like a lasagna.  Even though this dish never looks pretty when I make it, it still tastes delicious!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A cherry twist on banana bread

I have to admit, I love cherries.  If you do too, here's another cherry recipe for you.

Cherry Banana Bread
I have not made this bread with the walnuts listed in the original recipe since we're trying to keep things really low fat.  I have baked this recipe as mini loaves and as muffins.  I love her tip of letting the bread cool completely overnight to make it more moist.   I found the mini loaves to be more moist but the muffins almost as good, and more convenient (we always seem to be in a hurry!)   Remember, if you bake the bread in these smaller sizes, you need to adjust your baking time.  Start checking the muffins after 18 mins and the mini loaves after about 22 mins.   My yield on this recipe is 18 muffins or 4 mini loaves.

My quick baking tip for applesauce - use the kid snack sized cups of unsweetened applesauce instead of trying to measure it out.  They're roughly equivalent to 1/2 cup or 4oz.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Frugal and tasty vegan slow cooker soup

Our lives are very hectic so I'm always happy when I find a slow cooker recipe that the entire family enjoys. I love being able to make dinner when I have time early in the day, stick it in the slow cooker, and come home at dinnertime to a hot, homemade dinner!

Lentil & Black Bean Soup
I love that this recipe uses ingredients I almost always have on hand at home, the prep is simple & straightforward, and the cost per serving is approx. 25 cents!

You can see from the Nutrition Facts here that is a very low calorie &  high protein meal.

I adapted the original recipe just a bit...

8oz (1/2 of a 1 lb. bag) dry lentils
1 can black beans
1 medium onions (finely diced)
2 large carrots (finely chopped)
1 (15 oz.) cans diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. cumin
1/2 Tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
5 cups HOT water

3/4 Tbsp salt (to taste)*
1/2 tsp. black pepper (to taste)*

*Added at the end of cooking

Rinse lentils and black beans. Discard any small pebbles or bad beans. Put them in the slow cooker. Add the diced onions, chopped carrots, tomatoes, garlic, cumin, chili powder, parsley, and HOT water to the slow cooker.

Cover, and cook on HIGH for 4 hours. No peeking, no stirring.

Remove the lid, and add the salt and pepper to taste. Scoop out  3-4 cups of the soup into a blender and puree and then pour it back into the slow cooker and stir.  This soup is very thick ... almost like chili, and tastes great by itself, over rice, served with tortilla chips, or with cornbread.

Store in the fridge for 1 week, or in the freezer for 4 months.