Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Spirit Melon?

The store called it a spirit melon. I cut it up and put it in a bowl in the fridge, prompting intrigued questions from the rest of the family: "What is this strange, pale fruit?"

But when I looked it up online, it turns out to be a sprite melon. I am a little disappointed. It's still very cute, and all, just not so mysterious and ... ghostly.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Here's a tasty McDougall-friendly dip based on one posted at  SparkPeople Recipes by Serene Vannoy.  The original doesn't contain tahini, but I added a tablespoon to give it a smoother consistency. It is still very low-fat. It's also very garlicky and lemony, so my garlic- and lemon-loving offspring liked it. It is a lovely red-orange color (the photo doesn't do it justice!)

Here's my version:

2 cans chickpeas, drained
1 4.25-oz jar roasted red peppers
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp tahini

Place in food processer and blend until smooth. Serve with crackers or pita.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Smoky Chickpea Soup

Here's what I fixed for lunch. The recipe was adapted from Mary McDougall's White Bean Soup recipe in the McDougall Quick & Easy Cookbook. I substituted ingredients I had on hand, and it was very tasty and filling! I think you could sub just about any kind of broth, beans, and veggies, and it would be just as good.

1 bunch green onions, sliced
1 carrot, chopped
2 cups Imagine No-Chicken Broth
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp oregano
generous dash of liquid smoke
1 cup water
1 cup shell pasta (or other pasta)

Saute the green onions and carrots in a little broth in a medium-size saucepan until soft. Add the remaining ingredients except for the pasta, and bring to a boil. Add pasta (and additional water, if necessary) and simmer, covered, 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaf before serving.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Tofu Tacos With Cilantro-Garlic Aioli

It's been a very interesting day. Went grocery shopping. Stocked up for the week at two different stores ... and returned to find that the refrigerator/freezer had gone out and all the food that had been in it was at room temperature. Ugh. The fridge was a very old one, so we figured it wasn't worth trying to get it repaired. We went to Home Depot and found a nice, new, energy efficient one a little bigger than the old one--and it was even on sale. It's got an ice maker (yeah, we're the only people in the world who still don't have an ice maker) and nice glass shelves which will make finding things a breeze. I also really like the adjustable plastic door bins. The only problem is, the new fridge won't be delivered until next Saturday, so until then, we're roughing it. Luckily, we have a chest freezer in the basement, so the frozen food is okay (except what was in the upstairs fridge-top freezer, which we had to throw out). And my son is home from college, so we've set up his little dorm-size fridge to hold some of our stuff. Between that and a cooler, we'll make do, I guess.

On with the plan--today's dinner was Mary McDougall's Tofu Tacos with Cilantro-Garlic Aioli from the McDougall Made Easy DVD. On the DVD, Mary explains that she flavored the tofu with a seasoning mix similar to what they use on fish tacos. The seasoned, browned tofu is placed on a soft flour or corn tortilla, topped with cabbage, and then with a cilantro-garlic aioli sauce and hot sauce (we used Sriracha) if desired.

Here's a link to the marvelous recipe. If you want to see Mary making the tacos (and Dr. John eating them), here's where you can order the DVD.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Pink Breakfast Smoothie

Place in blender:

2 large bananas
1 large apple
2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
1 cup fresh strawberries
1/2 cup frozen mixed fruit
2 T. ground flaxseed
2 cups water
3/4 cup ice

Blend well, adding more water or ice if needed to achieve desired consistency. Makes 3 servings.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Purple Breakfast Smoothie

Place in blender:

1 large apple, chopped
2 large bananas
1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
2 cups frozen blueberries
2 cups soy milk
2 T. ground flaxseed

Blend well, adding more water or soy milk if needed to achieve desired consistency. Makes 3 servings.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Mom's Easy Vegetable Soup

This tasty soup was inspired by a recipe my mother and aunts used to make. The original was a quick and easy turkey-vegetable soup. This vegetarian version is just as simple to prepare, and just as good. It's one of my favorites for busy evenings when there's not much time to cook. It makes great leftovers, too!

Mom's Easy Vegetable Soup

4 cups Imagine No-Chicken Broth (or your favorite vegetable broth)
2 cups water
1 16-oz can diced tomatoes
1 16-oz package of mixed vegetables
1 cup whole wheat elbow noodles (or other pasta of your choice)
2 Field Roast vegetarian sausages*, sliced, OR a 12-oz package of Nate's Meatless Meatballs (or a vegetarian meat substitute of your choice)
2 T dried minced onion OR a 1.25 oz packet of vegetarian onion soup mix
1 T Mrs. Dash seasoning
1/2 t dried oregano
1/2 t dried minced garlic
1/4 t dried thyme

Place all ingredients in a soup pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 - 30 minutes. Sprinkle with vegetarian parmesan, if desired, and serve with bread or crackers.

*These are the BEST vegetarian sausages I've ever tasted--especially the Smoked Apple Sage

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Bread Stuffing

Sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, and bread stuffing are some of my favorite holiday foods, and they taste every bit as good in January as they do in November. Our dinner tonight was just like Thanksgiving, minus the green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie--and, Eryca says, minus the little nephew eating all the olives!

Here is the recipe for the delicious, traditional bread stuffing we had tonight. We've had some version of this every Thanksgiving for over twenty years. Some years we do the deluxe recipe with chestnuts and Jerusalem artichokes; this is the less complicated adaptation.

Bread Stuffing
1 loaf Brownberry Natural 100% Whole Wheat Bread
1 T olive oil (optional)
1 large onion
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 lb Gimme Lean (sausage flavored), broken into chunks
1 1/2 cups Imagine No-Chicken Broth
1 T dried parsley
1 t dried sage
3/4 t dried thyme
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the bread into cubes. Spread bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet, and place under broiler for 4 - 5 minutes, or until brown and toasty, watching them closely so they won't burn. Saute the onion in olive oil or a little broth. When onions are soft and turning golden, add the Gimme Lean. Saute 3 or 4 minutes, then add mushrooms and saute until soft and brown. Mix the sauteed vegetables and the toasted bread cubes together in a large bowl. Add broth, a little at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Mix in herbs and spices, and mix well. Bake in ovenproof casserole or stainless steel soup pot for 30 - 40 minutes.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Super Bowl Chili, Vegetarian Style

Having vegetarians over on Super Bowl Sunday? Want a spicy, warming bowl of tastiness, minus the animal products? No worries--here are TWO easy chili recipes that are so good, no one will miss the meat!

Veggie Chili

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. water, wine, or olive oil for sauteeing
2 14.5 oz cans crushed tomatoes
1 6-oz can tomato paste
1/4 cup water
1 large green pepper, diced
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup diced celery
2 T brown sugar
2 T chili powder
1 T dried cumin seed or dried cumin
1 T dried oregano
1/2 t salt
1/2 t coriander
1/8 t cloves
1/8 t allspice
2 cans kidney beans
1 package Smart Ground* "beef" flavored crumbles, optional

Saute the onion and garlic in 2 T. water, wine, or olive oil. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, vegetables, brown sugar, and all the seasonings; simmer 30 minutes, adding additional water if needed to prevent burning. Add the kidney beans and the Smart Ground (if desired), and simmer, covered, 20 minutes or more.

* The Smart Ground is not necessary, but it does give the chili a "meatier" texture. If you prefer, you can substitute another ground beef analog, such as Gimme Lean, or leave it out entirely.

Slow Cooker White Chili

2 8-oz. packages of tempeh, cubed*
1 T. olive oil
3 cans pinto or canellini beans, rinsed & drained
4 cups vegetable broth (not tomato-based--I like Imagine's No-Chicken)
2 4.5 oz cans diced green chilies, undrained
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 T cumin seed
3 cloves garlic, minced (or more, to taste)
1/2 t ground cayenne
1/4 t salt
1 sliced avocado, optional, for garnish

In a large skillet, saute the tempeh cubes in olive oil until golden.
Place the beans in the slow cooker and mash them slightly. Add the sauteed tempeh, vegetable broth, chilies, onion, cumin, garlic, cayenne, and salt. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Serve with sliced avocado.

* Tempeh is a cultured soy product with a chewy, meatlike texture. You can find it in the refrigerated section of the grocery store or natural foods store, near the tofu. It usually comes in 8-oz packages. Tempeh can be frozen until you're ready to use it. When you take it out of the freezer, put it in a bowl under cold tap water until it's defrosted enough to slice into cubes. It's great sauteed in a little oil and simmered in a flavorful sauce, as in this chili.