Category Archives: health food

Remember How…

I’m not gonna lie – I was definitely a little hesitant posting a less than positive review for once. I’m glad no one hates me for it, and many of you even feel the same!

Today was another “be-a-bum” day here. The weather was good enough to go to the barn – the roads were clear – but to be honest, I just didn’t feel like it. The roads are still covered enough that I’d have to crawl my way there, and for some reason they’ve been really…slow…about plowing/shoveling at the barn and I just didn’t feel like plowing my way through a foot and a half of snow.

And it was cold. And I just wanted to keep getting stuff done. In that aspect, it was a very productive day. I kept organizing photos, updating my Etsy, and even spent two hours on the phone with Apple. Long story short, they have awesome customer service. Don’t worry – no computer problems, but Adobe Creative Suite 5 is on its way to me. I lost it with my old computer and was not looking forward to purchasing it again…but some chatting with the Apple folks made it not quite so hard to bear after all 😉 I probably wouldn’t have bothered getting the full Suite if I didn’t need InDesign and Illustrator for an upcoming class…Lightroom probably would have sufficed…but needing at least Illustrator was a good excuse to just get the entire CS5!

As you can see, I’m not very hard to convince. BUT, just a word to the wise – if you’re a student, you can get a student edition at a MEGA discount. By Mega, I mean minus $1000. I was ecstatic when I discovered this. There was no way I was going to shell out $1200 on software that I don’t need, I just have fun with.

Anyways. A large portion of you probably don’t care about my software dilemmas, so on with the food!

Remember how I accidentally made steel cut oats instead of bulgur last night and hinted at them being made into a pancake?

Yeah, I wasn’t kidding. I don’t joke about things as serious as my pancakes. When I’m in that kitchen in the a.m. I mean business! I simply used some of the cooked steel cut oats in place of the oat bran in my cranberry-orange pancakes. With almond butter sauce. And grilled bananas. And maple syrup. Oh lawd.

Remember how we got all that snow yesterday? Well – it kept coming all night, too. Reason number 500 why I love my Jeep. It eliminates the need for unnecessary shoveling.

Remember how I’m all into making my own peanut butters now, and am a recent convert to sugar-free pb?

I made my first peanut butter ever without adding maple syrup or honey to. Usually I add maple syrup or use honey-roasted peanuts in addition to dry roasted to give a little added sweetness.

I like adding sunflower seeds to the mix for an added complexity 😉

  • 1 c. dry roasted peanuts
  • 1/4 c. roasted & salted sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 c. flax seeds (next time I’d use only 2 T.)
  • 1/4 c. cranberries
  • pinch each: cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice

Blend the peanuts and sunflower seeds until pb consistency. Add flax seeds and spices, blend again. Add cranberries, blend just until combined.

Remember how I used to hate tofu?

Yeah – now I’ll eat it practically plain. Just pan fried with nothing, and thrown in a collard wrap with some good salsa. Who am I?!

Remember how I’m on a sweet potato kick? Uh – yeah, it’s a good bet that if I’m home for lunch, I’m having a sweet potato in some way, shape or form.

There is sweet potato sap beginning to collect at the bottom of our oven. I have a feeling that’s unsanitary, but would you shun me if I confessed that I love how it smells whenever the oven gets hot enough now?

I’m gross. I’ll clean it next time. Pinky promise.

Veganomicon's "Jelly Donut Cupcakes"

Remember how I mentioned I wanted to make cupcakes?

I did. I’m not a cupcake fan, but I never bake them and wanted to try something new. As you can see, my baking soda is expired.

Remember how I mentioned I loved tofu now? It appeared in dinner, too.

Anja's Curried Bulgur with Carrots and Raisins

What you can’t tell is that there was an entire helping of carrot fries on my plate that I ate while I was waiting for the broccoli.

Remember how I used to love broccoli? I think I ate it at least once a day. Well…I think I’m on broccoli burnout. My mom brought it home for me and…well…it just wasn’t doing anything for me tonight.

The curried bulgur, on the other hand, definitely did it for me. I added some green pepper as well as a dab of honey to the mixture – I prefer a sweeter curry because I am a wimp.

I also made some honey-curry tofu to go along with it.

And now I’m out of tofu and I really really hope they got it back in stock at the co-op. Last time I went I took the last box!

And by the way…remember how I’m a Bruins fan? Well, I’ve gotta go get ready for the big game 😉

20 Comments

Filed under breakfast, cooking, dinner, foodblog, health, health food, healthy living, lunch, recipe

Edibles & Etsies

Considering the fact that just about the whole United States is snowed in right now…you’re probably not too surprised to hear that I am, too.

Luckily, I was more productive than this one:

I'm trying to get her on a diet program. It's hard when no-one else sees the importance of it, though.

Fun fact: I actually quite enjoy shoveling snow. Today, though, was a lot of snow. I shoveled this morning, a couple hours later, and a couple hours after that. It just kept coming! Luckily it’s just the decks and walkways I have to do, and we have a snowblower and snow plow for the driveway.

Early this morning. It's still coming down.

Work called me last night to tell me not to bother coming in, and it was sort of nice to know I wasn’t going to be going anywhere in the morning.

Of course, it didn’t really matter because sleeping in is impossible when you have a cat and a dog come barging in your room to wake you up at the usual time.

Oh, well. I had a day of productivity in front of me, remember?And it was. After pancakes, a quick workout, shoveling (aka workout numbers 2, 3 and 4) and some baking of Super Charge Me cookies, I buckled down to backing up photos taken this past summer and overall just organizing my computer life.

And getting productive with some Carob Chip Muffins. Made in loaf form. Holy heaben, this is a wonderful recipe. Though look at how funny barley flour looks – the inside is almost a reddish, and the outside a normal tan!

It’s not very attractive as a loaf – but uuber delicious. I love the marriage of coconut, orange, nutmeg and chocolate – something I was unsure of. For some strange reason, though, I was craving something with chocolate chips for once.

I found my indecision as to dipping choices comical. I always need variety! Still on the fence about that black bean and orange hummus, though.

…and I almost had to call the presses when I had a bowl of mushrooms as a snack. I mean, I love mushrooms and all…but how many times have you seen me have a bowl of hot veggies as a snack like this?! It’s usually something sweet! (even when I posted all my food)

Dinner was something special, though – another grain salad in which I will sing the praises of this Vermont Soy tofu and the Bob’s Red Mill cookbook.

First, though, a funny whoopsie – I accidentally made steel cut oats instead of bulgur. Don’t be surprised if you see them in pancake form in the morning – I was not going to use steel cut oats in this recipe! I never realized how remarkably similar they look when dry!

The recipe I (mostly) followed was one for a Moroccan Millet Salad. I love Moroccan dishes – they have such a unique combination of flavors, typically incorporating sweet and savory elements, along with neat spices more typically seen in sweets rather than savory meals such as cinnamon, nutmeg and cardomom.

This in particular was a mix of green pepper, red onion, dates, raisins, orange zest and sunflower seeds…

that was mixed with bulgur and tossed in a dressing consisting of orange juice, lemon juice, cumin, cardamom, ginger, honey and olive oil. I added in tofu that I first pan-fried in a bit of olive oil and then pouring over half of the dressing.

I was in love with the sweet-meets-savory, something I quite enjoy, but would probably make this sans lemon juice in the dressing next time. Otherwise, it was spot on! I loved the tofu, too…but I think I could eat that tofu plain 😉

What else was I being productive with this afternoon?

Trying to figure out ways I could “go public” with my pictures! I’d entertained the idea of maybe re-starting an Etsy shop after not having a ton of success last time (it’s not like I advertised anywhere, though!). Seeing Jenny “go for it” and open her shop was sort of the final kick-in-the-butt that I needed to at least try, too.

I don’t have too much added yet – but it’s part of my winter project! Realistically, I am not expecting much to come from this, but every penny counts towards the Mac and Teddie fund…not to mention the fact that I lost my full Adobe Creative Suite with my old computer :X

SO! If you know of anyone looking for some photography to…hang somewhere…gift to someone…I don’t know what else…maybe they’ll be interested in some of my listings? I’ll keep you guys UTD when I think I’ve got a “full shop” 🙂

So – who else out there is still shoveling snow?!

24 Comments

Filed under cooking, dinner, foodblog, health, health food, healthy living, lunch, recipe

Bulgur and Tempeh Salad with Citrus

Okay. I’m sure there was at least one of you who was willing to bet that I wasn’t going to wait much longer to “break into” my new Mac. Who cares that I don’t have a place to put it – throw it on the floor, right?!

Well, maybe not quite the floor. Maybe I’ll just steal the coffee table from the living room. And it’s really just because now that I’ve got the photos from my old computer on the new one, I really needed to put through a senior picture print order I’d received just after the computer crashed!

Sorry. You know I had to go there, though.

Anyways. This is Maxwell. Naming credit goes fully to Tatianna! And I’m going to put this out in the open: I respect Maxwell too much to let him become a complete mess of unorganized pictures and unnamed files. From here on out, I will be ORGANIZED with my images. Right down to naming my food folders with the names of what they contain. And we’re starting right off with “OrangeBulghurSalad”. You’ll see why soon…but I think it’s pretty self explanatory.

But first.

I did something I never thought I’d do today. What you see in the blender above is a mish-mosh of black beans, orange zest, orange juice, almond butter, my computer is making noises and I don’t know what they are, parsely, garlic and other weird things. I was a little queasy thinking about it.

But no fear. It was hummus. Weird hummus. But sometimes, you’ve just gotta trust people.

When I saw the Black Bean and Orange Hummus in Eat, Drink and Be Vegan I skipped on by.

When Daniel suggested I make it to have with my sweet potato obsession, I considered it before grimmacing again and passing.

When I saw the grocery store had no hummus and I’m all out, I knew I’d have to suck it up and make my own.

When I realized there was no way my blender could puree chickpeas like the folks at Cedars can, I grumbled, sucked it up, and made the damn black bean hummus. Because black beans are softer. And I’m on a zesting kick anyways, remember?

I’d probably like this hummus better if someone made it for me and I didn’t know that I was eating a puree of black beans, garlic, almond butter and orange. But as it is, it’s okay. I think I’d prefer it sans garlic, though.

Somebody call the news, I just said sans garlic! That is earth-shattering, my friends.

But while we’re on the topic of what goes good for sweet potato dippage, I don’t think I’ve quite told you all my true passion for this barbecue sauce:

Good old Grandpa Jim’s. You know something’s good when the brand starts with Grandpa or Uncle.

…our original BBQ sauce…best used on meatloaf, pulled pork, chicken, ribs, venison and more.

And sweet potatoes. He forgot to mention sweet potatoes. This BBQ sauce (which was developed just a drive away, I might add – which makes it even mo’ betta’) has me so spoiled rotten that I tried another brand the other day and had to spit it out. It wasn’t attractive. And no, the sauce wasn’t “technically bad,” as my sister had no problem gulping it down.

Anyways. Enough rambling. (…but you know me and you probably know that even after saying “enough,” I’ll continue to do so…)

For Valentine’s Day last year, I received a Bob’s Red Mill Cookbook.

Before you say “awww! how sweet!” it was from my mother. Which is still sweet, but not awww how sweet, you know?

For some reason, I’ve been a bit…tardy…going through it. This is quite unusual for me. But, I think a large part of it has to do with the fact that back when I received it, I wasn’t as comfortable altering a recipe to make it “animal friendly” or a little healthier. Now that I am, I think I have a brand new appreciation for the book.

I might even go so far as to consider it a “grain bible.” There are so many recipes that utilize various flours, grains, cooking methods and a wide array of flavors, too. I flipped through it the other night, not expecting to find much, but fell in love with about five recipes in a row, and then had to stop browsing because my imagination was running too wild.

The first one that caught my eye was a recipe involving rice, chicken and a orange vinaigrette. I decided I’d tweak it just a bit, and utilize bulgur wheat, tempeh and keep the vinaigrette pretty much the same.

This salad is wonderfully refreshing – it can be enjoyed either hot or cold, and I love it over a bed of mushrooms and greens, but I bet it would be wonderful wrapped in a large collard leaf or a wheat wrap.

There’s a couple different routes you could take with the tempeh preparation. In the instructions, I tell you how I did it, which was lightly boiling for five minutes and then panfrying. If you’re against boiling things, by all means – skip that step. If you’d prefer your tempeh boiled for the full ten minutes to remove any trace of bitterness, by all means, do that.

Bulgur and Tempeh Salad with Orange-Dijon Dressing

adapted slightly from Bob’s Red Mill

serves 2 as a main, 3-4 as a side

  • 1/2 block tempeh, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 t. basil oil
  • 1/2 c. bulgur wheat
  • 1 large orange, juiced
  • 1 orange, cut into sections
  • 1 t. whole-seed dijon mustard
  • 1 t. honey (if veganizing, I’m sure maple syrup would be a wonderful substitute)
  • 1/2 T. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 of a medium red onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 1 t. dried chives (fresh would be even better)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • walnuts, to garnish

Prepare the bulgur: bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Once boiling, turn off heat and pour in the bulgur. Stir once and cover. Allow to sit 10-15 minutes to absorb all the water.

Prepare the dressing: Whisk together juice of orange, mustard, honey and vinegar. Set aside.

Prepare the tempeh: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, place the tempeh pieces in the boiling water and simmer for five minutes (ten if you want it more tender and less bitter) After five minutes, drain and toss with the basil oil. Heat a small saute pan over medium-high heat and transfer the tempeh to the pan. Pour half of the dressing over and stir to coat. Continue to heat until dressing is absorbed. Remove from heat.

To combine: In a bowl, combine the diced onion, pressed garlic, dried chives, orange sections, salt, pepper, cooked bulgur and tempeh. Toss to combine and then stir in the remaining dressing. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

May be served warm or cold – top with walnuts, if desired.

Uh-yuhm.

So, I made orange black-bean hummus today by combining black beans, almond butter and oranges – weirdest things I’ve ever combined to make something edible. What’s the “scariest” ingredients you’ve ever combined to make something surprisingly tasty?

20 Comments

Filed under cooking, dinner, foodblog, health, health food, healthy living, lunch, recipe

Funny Things

Tastebuds are funny things, don’t you think?

I mean – we may start out hating one thing, but before you know it – we’re in love. In a way, I think this is a good thing. We can “train” our tastes to prefer less sugar, less sodium, more fruit and more vegetables and reap the benefits from the change.

Lately, I’ve been wanting to cut back on the sugar I consume that is in food. I mean – I’ll never dismiss my love for spooning maple syrup or date syrup over a couple of pancakes, or preference to have a sweet fruit over a vegetable snack. And I’m okay with that. But little things, like sugar in peanut butter or almond milk? Well, those can be eliminated and still enjoyable, right?

My initial answer was a flat-out “no,” it couldn’t still be enjoyed. But considering the fact that I’m not about to chuck an entire jar of peanut butter or carton of almond milk, I got over it and eventually realized I do enjoy it.

Peanut butter that’s just peanuts and salt? Mreh…was my response at first, as I’d add it to any sort of baked good I could in attempts to get rid of it STAT. My response now? Well, lets just say I’ll use any excuse to spread it on something.

And I disctinctly remember telling you all how much I disliked the unsweetened almond breeze. But, I’ve kept with it – and now? The original sweetened kind is too sweet! My mom picked it up for me the other day thinking it was the kind I used – and of course I used it – but plain? Too sweet.

Pancakes? Oh, I’ll have them sweetened with some banana if I’m in the mood, and always a little drizzle of maple or date syrup on top – but I’m noticing that I love the natural sweetness and nuttiness of the whole grains themselves whether or not there’s anything on top.

Not to worry – by no means have I gone to extremes, nor am I starting some sugar free diet. I am just enjoying the simplicity of foods not too sweet or overly seasoned, I suppose. Like this cranberry-orange bread I made from a recipe the wonderful Tatianna shared with me. It is hardly sweet, with only a little bit of honey and a wonderful orange essence, neither of which mellow down the tartness of the cranberries. Spread with a little bit of almond butter, this is a perfect snack.

And as we talk about molding our tastebuds, expanding mine has been another mission I’ve been on. I used to always try a new fruit or vegetable while at the grocery store, but lately I’ve mellowed out.

I don’t want to be mellow!

It may take me five minutes to decide what shape pasta I want – but it took me five seconds to land a yucca in my cart. I didn’t know what it was, the sign offered no explanation, and I had absolutely no plans, but apparently picking up a yucca root on a whim is my idea of living life on the edge these days.

Apparently, I should have just asked my mom before I did any research, because when I told her it was a yucca that I was slicing and dicing, she spouted off all sorts of informationa bout it “being a medicinal cure for foundering horses, originating in Arizona.” There you have it. Apparently I’m a foundered horse.

That didn’t tell me much about what to do with it, so Google was my friend and a quick search told me that yucca, also commonly called cassava, “is very rich in starch and contains significant amounts of calcium, dietary fibre, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin b6 and vitamin C.” [source]

Oh, and that they are commonly made into fries, too.

I wasn’t sure I was a fan at first – but by the time I had my fourth or fifth one, I definitely was. They are very similar to a white potato, but better – my common complaint with white potatoes is that they’re too dry. The yucca fries didn’t have that complaint.

Oh, and those green things?

Collard greens – another veg I’d (embarrassingly enough) yet to try. Gabriela inspired me to finally try a green other than kale and spinach, and I’m glad she did! I loved these collard leaves as “wraps,” with baked beans inside. I wasn’t brave enough to try them raw quite yet, and instead “marinated” them with a bit of lemon juice and salt before running them under some super hot water for a couple seconds and then really quickly pan-frying them once stuffing them with the beans.

Speaking of beans…no, they didn’t help the B’s last night. Bummer.

Other things:

  • I’m really glad I’m not the only crazy one with a computer screen  bigger than my television.
  • A lot of you were wondering what I stuffed my hummus crepe with, and silly me for forgetting to say! I don’t know what I was thinking, but apparently I had too much a. bruins and b. iMacs on my mind. But, inside my hummus crepe was boiled tempeh, iceburg lettuce (blech) tomato and a pickle. Oh, and red onion.

Have you tried anything new lately?

What’s something you’ve noticed your tastebuds adapting to lately?

28 Comments

Filed under breakfast, cooking, dinner, foodblog, health, health food, healthy living, lunch

Hummus Crepes

UHHH…apparently I’m a little…greedy.

21″ computer screen sounds totally reasonable, right? Larger than most, even?

But bigger is better, right? Go big or go home? So why not just get the 27″ screen, right?

I’ll show you why not – because 27 inches of computer screen is totally unnecessary and no one needs a computer that large. This could serve as my television, for Pete’s sake! Oh, well.

I’ll probably have a crick in my neck for the first week of iMaceration (uh, that was intended to be the conglomeration of the words iMac and operation, but it turned into maceration, as in to chew, not as in iMac operation as intended.) but at least I finally have my iMac, after years of threatening to throw my “i-hate-life” PC off the deck after working with the happy-go-lucky Macs at work and school all day.

…but of course there’s the desk dilemma, and since ms. Mac has no place to live until Thursday, she’s living in her cardboard box and I’m using my mom’s i-hate-life PC still.

Name suggestions for the new baby are welcome.

How does one celebrate new motherhood? Hummus crepes, that’s how.

Because the only thing better than hummus in its’ natural form is hummus in crepe form. d’Oh.

I saw the idea for hummus flatbread while I was browsing Food Network magazine last weekend. I’ve been sort of phasing out of bread lately for reasons unbeknownst to me, but there are still times that call for a bread-like-vessel. Like today. When I arrived home from the barn, I was hangry, and really wanted to try the hummus flatbread but didn’t have the patience to flip through my giant blue-binder-of-recipes where the recipe resided.

So, I just mixed some hummus with some flour, nooch and water and prayed to the hummus Gods that it would at least sort of work. The worst that could happen was I’d have hummus mush, right? Not so bad, right?

Alright, so I got too zealous withthe fillings to make a real wrap – but it still worked! And was pretty amazing. It actually got crispy, which I wasn’t sure would happen. Crispy on the outside, with a creamy hummus inside. el perfecto! Next time I’d probably just use a bit larger of portions so I can get a full wrap 😉

I whisked together 3 T. forty spice hummus, 2 T. oat flour, 1/2 T. nutritional yeast and probably 3 T. water while preheating a skillet over medium heat. Greased the skillet with a little earth balance before pouring on the hummus mixture and spreading it out pretty thin. Before flipping, spray the top with a little cooking spray so it doesn’t stick. Cook until golden on both sides.

The mixture should be similar to the consistency of a crepe – not too runny, not too thick.

And remember how last time the B’s playedI mentioned how I almost made Boston baked beans to jingle good vibes? Well, I didn’t end up making them. And they didn’t end up winning.

They play Montreal tonight so I knew jingles were necessary. Enter: Veganomicon’s cheater baked beans. I entertained the thought of another recipe, bt if there’s one thing I’ve learned about baked beans, it’s that you dn’t mess with a good thing.

To be honest, I don’t know what classifies baked beans as Boston or otherwise, but lets hope this works.

Or maybe you can hope it doesn’t – because if they win tonight I’ll probably decide eating baked beans every night we have a game is the way to go. Not only will you guys get sick of seeing baked beans, but my family will probably get sick of me eating said baked beans.

I don’t think I’d get tired of eating them, though.

I feel like all I talk about lately is hockey and Mac computers. Maybe tomorrow I’ll tell you about how I found Teddie dressed up in a penguin outfit today.

(p.s. You have until noon tomorrow to enter the date syrup giveaway!)

27 Comments

Filed under cooking, dinner, foodblog, health, health food, healthy living, lunch, recipe

Stuffed Mushwooms

It seems as though every time I post about a current craze I have – I soon after lay off. My last post about zesting?

Yeah – I haven’t had orange or any other kind of zest for that matter in my pancakes for the past two days.

Uh-yuht. Just some good old-fashioned banana and fig pancakes. Maybe gushing about one obsession makes me realize all of my obsessions of the past? Because really – once one is reminded how amazing figs are – especially when paired with bananas and maple syrup and peanut butter mousse – there is no abandoning them…unless it’s for something zesty.

 I really ought to do a pancake post. Because you guys obviously don’t see them enough. (cough sarcasm cough) Really, though – everytime I post a recipe, I end up changing it twenty more times and you never know how in the hay I’m making them!

Anyways. I figure I posted about one obsession on Tuesday – I may as well post about another of my ongoing obsessions today. I’ve briefly introduced it a while back and you may or may not be surprised to know that it’s still an obsession of mine.

Red onion sauteed in olive oil + sliced white mushrooms + salt and peppah + mix of honey and dijon mustard, on a bed of what looks to be grass from someone's backyard. Topped with toasted walnuts. (topping things with walnuts is an obsession for another post.)

In case you can’t tell (and I wouldn’t fault you for it) I’m talking about mushwooms.

Mushrooms. Fungus. Fungii. Whatever you want to call them, I love them. I’m pretty easily satisfied, too – usually opting for the inexpensive white mushrooms or baby bellas. I do love a ‘bella burger – but that just screams grilling to me, not winter. And I can’t yet dish out the moolah for the expensive dried mushrooms. One day my obsession will probably get to that level, though.

You know what else I do like it’s my job? Add about five million ingredients into a dish and make it more complicated than it really needs to be.

I refer to it as “reinventing the wheel.” My intention while making stuffed mushrooms was to KISS. Or, keep it simple, stupid. Everyone knows that acronym, right?

Anyways – I think I sort of achieved that…but now that I think about it more, I realize maybe I didn’t – because I could have just as easily added sliced mushrooms to the filling I prepared, rather than getting the oven involved and deciding to stuff the mushrooms.

But really, where’s the fun in that?

Really, though, I kept these simple. You don’t believe me? It’s mainly four ingredients! I’m going to trust that you’ve got Italian seasoning living in your cupboard so I’m not counting that. And for that matter, I’m not counting onions or garlic, either. So it’s four. We’ll just say I never learned to count properly.

Or something.

Quinoa Stuffed Mushrooms

serves 1

  • 4 medium-large white mushrooms
  • 1/4 c. (dry) quinoa
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 of a small red onion, diced
  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 T. tomato sauce
  • 2 T. hummus (I used Forty Spice)
  • 1/2 t. Italian seasoning

(have you ever seen an ingredients list from me so short?!)

Preheat the oven to 375*. Remove the stems from the white mushrooms and set aside – don’t discard. Place the mushrooms stem-side down in a glass baking dish and bake for ten minutes.

While baking, heat olive oil in a small-medium pan and prepare quinoa as package instructs. Dice the mushroom stems. When the oil is heated, add in the onions and sautee approx.5 minutes, until slightly golden. Add in the garlic and sautee one more minute. Add in diced mushroom stems and season with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Sautee until slightly tender before adding in the pasta sauce. Stir to combine. Add to the prepared quinoa and add in the hummus. Stir to combine.

Spoon into the baked mushrooms, making sure to pour out/wipe up any water in the baking dish. Bake cap-side down in the 375* oven for 15-20 minutes. If desired, sprinkle tops with breadcrumbs.

Yum-O. I love mushrooms.

And for dessert?

I had to redeem myself after underbaking the banana bread I made the other day (I even baked it 20m longer than instructed!) so I made Vive le Vegan’s PB & Chocolate Bars. I think they’ll be too chocolatey and sweet for my liking (based on the sampling I did while making them) but my mom’s already tried one and said it was really good.

***

The B’s play tonight. I was really tempted to make Boston baked beans for the occasion, but just wasn’t feeling they’d go with the mushrooms too well. I hope I didn’t jinx ourselves.

And guess what? I finally settled on a desk for the iMac. Which is supposed to be here tomorrow! The computer, not the desk. The desk probably won’t be here til late next week because I took ten fweaking days picking one out because I’m apparently too picky. Apparently, I was hoping I could find one that could hop, jump, sing and dance for me. Maybe even do my homework and write some essays.

So basically, what I’m saying is, I’ll soon have a computer but it won’t even matter because I’ll have no place to put it.

Yippee.

25 Comments

Filed under breakfast, cooking, dinner, foodblog, health, health food, healthy living, lunch, recipe, Uncategorized

It’s a Zesty Thing

I wish I had a good excuse as to why I’ve been so absent in the blog world lately. Truth be told – I do have a good excuse…but I’ve been battling as to whether it’s something I want to share with everyone just yet.

And then I remembered that I can be completely open with you guys, without feeling the need to hide anything. Save for the details about where I live and where I am at specific times of the day just because…you know…there are still creepers out there.

Anyways. Enough beating around the bush. The truth is…

I’m in a new relationship.

With my zester. It’s getting really heated these days…and I just can’t bear to be without it very long. Using it brings a whole new element of “brightness,” almost, to a dish – and I knew I was getting a little too involved after wishing I had my zester with me while I was at work yesterday.

To add orange zest to my hot chocolate. I tried this at home just now, and I definitely think it’s one of the weirder things I’ve done. My mind was on the right track – you know, dark chocolate + orange? However, the execution needs work. I’m currently drinking hot chocolate only to chew on a mouthful of zest immediately afterwards. Uhh…whoops.

Luckily – this Dagoba hot chocolate is fan. freaking. tastic. I’ve had my eyeballs peeled (how creepy is the word eyeballs, anyways?!) for a good hot cocoa and when I saw this on sale at the co-op I had to splurge on it. Yes, I just used “on sale” and “splurge” in the same sentence…because it was still $7 for a couple of cups of hot cocoa. Never fear, though – it has chunks of dark chocolate in it, which is pretty amazing whether you love hot cocoa/chocolate or not. I don’t declare myself a chocolate fan, however I love a good cup of hot cocoa to warm up with! I just wish it didn’t have a little bit of dairy in it :\

Oh, and by the way while we’re speaking of eyeballs, my eyeballs were also glued to the TV last night anyways, as I watched Tuuka Rask make a great come-back from a less-than-wonderful game on Sunday night. Just had to throw that out there, you know.

Ask an ordinary human being, and some of my other creations have probably been a little bit out there – but ask me, and I’d say not at all! You’ve already seen me post recipes including zest – the orange-date cookies, the lime poppyseed muffins, and how I’m constantly having pancakes with blueberries and lemon or lime, or cranberries and orange.

But how about something savory?

…like pasta? Pasta with kale and orange zest? And cranberries? and butternut squash? Sounds good to me!

[shallots sauteed in olive oil + kale + juice of one tangerine + salt, pepper, sage + roasted butternur squash + zest of one tangerine + splash of balsamic vinegar + serving of cooked whole wheat pasta + topped with dried cranberries and toasted walnuts]

Similar to that was my lunch today – but the mushrooms took it to the next level.

[sautee 1/4 of a red onion and a clove of garlic in basil oil – add in sliced mushrooms and chopped kale – add in juice of one tangerine – fold in a heaping portion of roasted butternut squash. serve with toasted walnuts.]

The critical element is getting the mushrooms to get a little bit of crispy golden-ness on them and not cooking them until they’re mushy.

And then, there’s the sweet side of my new addiction. Also known as – the combination of two obsessions in a relatively odd way. Also known as – sweet potato pancakes. With orange zest and cranberries.

I thought orange zest would be a good addition because it would add a refreshing element to contrast the heaviness of the sweet potatoes. I also wanted to leave the sweet potato in chunks, rather thanmashing it and adding it to the batter. I wouldn’t have bothered baking a sweet potato just for pancakes in the morning – but I had one I couldn’t finish the night before, so I chopped it up for the following morning. I think next time, I’d make them with the individual chunks having been roasted. I just chopped a potato I’d baked whole, and the texture of the potato and the pancake were a bit too similar.

I topped them with almond butter “mousse” (almond butter mixed with almond milk) date syrup and almonds. I love this crunchy TJ’s almond butter with flaxseeds that Jess sent me – so runny, crunchy and delicious!

True conversation:

“whats in the oven?”

                “a sweet potato.”

didn’t you just have one for lunch?

                “yup.”

huh. is that good for you?”

              “well, i can think of worse things i could have.”

This was followed by my mom telling me I was soon going to turn orange. I’m sorry – but once you oven bake a sweet potato, or have them roasted low and slow, there is no going back!

[for the pancakes: follow the base for my BLOC pancakes, replacing the lemon with orange and blueberries for cranberries, and use only 1/4 of a cup. add in 1/4 of a chopped baked sweet potato. season with ground cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg.]

I’ve also put some ripe bananas to good use…do you know what I added to the recipe, though? I bet you do…

…and if youguessed orange zest, you’d be hitting the nail on the head!

Aaaand lastly, but surely not leastly – something a bit more traditional. Blueberry pancakes with tangerine zest rather than lemon or lime! Honestly – is there anything better than some good ol’ blueberry pancakes, panfried in a leetle bit of earth balance (or butter) to get nice and crispy-golden, lightened up with the zest and juice of a good ol’ citrus fruit? And don’t forget, smeared with the aforementioned almond butter mousse and real (vermont!) maple syrup?

The answer is no, my friends. If you’d like to tell me something is better than that, go for it. It might take a bit of convincing, but I welcome the thoughts.

And yes, I’d be totally okay with eating pancakes for the rest of my life.

Alas, this never-ending zesting has left its mark: the knuckle on my left thumb has a permanent scar from my slipping with the zest one too many times (and zesting my thumb knuckle) and my zester is missing a metal “loop.” I’ve eaten it, for all I know. And believe it or not – the zesting is contagious. My mom added orange zest to a jello pudding pie she made the other day!

Zest: yay or nay? I want to hear you weigh in with tips, tricks, recipes, etc!

OH! Two more things: don’t forget about the date syrup giveaway, AND!!! Teddie posted some videos on his blog that might make you laugh 🙂

30 Comments

Filed under almond butter, baking, breakfast, cooking, dinner, foodblog, health, health food, healthy living, lunch, recipe