Monday, September 12, 2011

A Perfect Fall Meal!

Well I think it's safe to say we've officially taken the jump from summer to fall.  Even though we spent the weekend camping and at the beach today it is windy, cold, and cloudy.  It seemed like the perfect day for a vegetarian nut loaf and some mashed potatoes.  Comfort food at its best.  I think we'll save this one for other gloomy days, even baby liked it (and she doesn't like much)!

Vegetarian Nut Loaf

1.5 cups walnuts
3/4 cup sunflower seeds
2 tbsp butter
1 chopped onion
3 cloves minced garlic
3 stalks chopped celery
4 shredded carrots
1.5 cups sliced mushrooms
1/3 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
1/3 cup vegetable stock
3 tbsp fresh thyme
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
salt and pepper
1.5-2 cups bread crumbs
3 tbsp ground flax seed + 3 tbsp water
1/4 cup ketchup + 1/4 cup brown sugar

*In a food processor, pulse together walnuts and sunflower seeds.  Transfer to a large bowl.
*Saute onion, celery and garlic in butter until soft
*Add carrots, and mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes for another 5 minutes.
*Add stock, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper and reduce.
*Transfer to a food processor and pulse together until mixed well.
*Transfer to walnut mixture and add crumbs and flax seed mixture.  Mix well.
*Pour into a greased loaf dish and brush with ketchup mixture.
*Bake (covered) at 350 for 45 minutes.  Uncover and bake another 5-10 minutes.
*Let sit for 10 minutes before slicing.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My New Favourite Cookbook!

A few weeks ago I worked a day shift (this never happens) and had time to go to the library... ALONE.  This also never happens so I was pretty excited to spend at least 1/2 hour in the cookbook section.  I'd seen the Canadian Living-Vegetarian Collection book around but hadn't had a chance to actually look through it so it was the first book I picked up.  I love it.  REALLY REALLY love it.  So far we've had our version of the tofu salad sandwich, the chili fries and tonight (our version) of the Curried Lentil and Cashew burgers.  It was the first page I stuck a post it to because it had 3 of my favourite things (LENTILS! CURRY! and BURGERS?!) and I was not disappointed.  Even knowing that I was going for a run less than an hour after dinner I still ate 2, that good.  We served the burgers with a wild rice/brown rice pilaf and some steamed asparagus.

Curried Lentil and Cashew Burgers

3 cups cooked lentils
2 cups roasted (unsalted) cashews
1 chopped onion
4 cloves minced garlic
2 cups sliced white mushrooms
3 tbsp curry paste
salt and pepper
2 tsp cumin
handful of fresh cilantro
1 cup bread crumbs

*In a food processor, pulse cashews until crumbled
*Add lentils and mix well
*In a frying pan, saute together onion, garlic and mushrooms until soft.
*Add curry paste, cumin, and salt and pepper.
*Add onion mixture to food  processor and pulse together.
*Transfer to a large bowl and add cilantro and bread crumbs, allow to rest for 5-10 minutes.
*Form into patties and cook on a grill or a well oiled frying pan for at least 8 minutes per side.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Lunch Edition: Tofu Salad Wraps

I survived the longest 2 weeks ever but just barely.  I have  few meals to catch up on but honestly by the end we were living on whatever my husband could pull together.  Many (many) repeats and I think we even ordered pizza once!  Today's lunch was made by my darling oldest daughter (she is 8!) who loves to help out around the kitchen.  She found a similar recipe in one of my library cookbooks that I reaalllly don't want to return and quickly exclaimed that she was going to "make it her own".... These were supposed to be sandwiches but we are out of bread so they became wraps served with leftover rice and some cucumber.  Tonight we are off to celebrate the last day of our real summer vacation with bike riding and a wiener roast at a local provincial park.  Happy Labour Day, everyone!

Tofu Salad Sandwiches

 1 package of extra firm tofu, crumbled
 3-4 tbsp of mayo
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 stalks chopped celery
1 grated carrot
handful of chopped dill
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp turmeric
salt and pepper

*Mash together tofu, mayo, and dijon mustard
*Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
*Chill for 1/2 hour and then place in whole wheat wrap with lettuce and serve :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Day 2 of the longest week, ever!

Good news guys, I'm surviving.  Well, kind of anyway!  Once the evening shift rolls around I am starving but supper is not quite ready.  I picked this recipe for today because I was quite sure that I wouldn't like it anyway... turns out I was wrong.  It was DELICIOUS and the kids loved it apparently, even though it has tomatoes in it.  Definitely a keeper.  It was a chickpea/cheese/spinach casserole served with a baked potato and steamed broccoli.  I didn't follow the recipe exactly (when do I, really?) so here is my version.

Chickpea Casserole

 1 chopped onion
3 cloves minced garlic
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1+ tsp paprika
4 cups cooked chickpeas
1-28 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained (but keep the juice!)
7 oz fresh spinach
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

*Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until soft.
*Add cumin, oregano, and paprika, cook 1 more minute.
*Add half of the chickpeas, tomatoes and spinach, cook another 5 minutes.
*Mix 1/2 cup yogurt with reserved tomato juice and remaining chickpeas.
*Add yogurt mixture and stir in the cheese.  Remove from heat.
*Transfer to a large casserole dish and top with remaining yogurt and paprika.
*Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Garden Burgers

I know what you are thinking, burgers on a Monday?  Ha.  I am working a couple of evenings this week so I have tried to pick meals that I can either make ahead of time or that are fairly simple for the husband to pull together.  I saw some frozen garden burgers last time I went shopping and figured I could probably put together something like that so this was my best shot.  I felt they could have used a little more spice (dh brought me supper at work <3) but the kids LOVED them, even the baby!  We had sweet potato fries and corn on the cob on the side and DH actually remember to take a picture.  I hope to make it through the week (split shifts are not for me!) and be able to still share our meals with you :)

Garden Burgers
 1 onion, caramelized
2 cloves minced garlic
1 medium zucchini, grated (
2 carrots, grated
1 cup mushrooms, minced
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup TVP + 2/3 cup hot water (let sit for 10 minutes)
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tsp italian seasoning
2 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp ground flax seed + 2 tbsp water (let sit for 5 minutes)
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs

*After onions are caramelized, add carrots, zucchini, and mushrooms and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes.
*In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients and let sit for another 10 minutes.
*Form into patties and cook for 5-8 minutes per side in a frying pan, and then bake at 375 for another 15-20 minutes.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Menu for the week of August 22

Monday: "Garden" burgers, sweet potato fries, and corn on the cob
Tuesday: Spinach and Chickpea break, green salad and a baked potato
Wednesday: Black Bean burgers,
Thursday: Sesame Tofu, rice, and veggie kabobs
Friday: Football BBQ (bring dessert?)
Saturday: Pizza and raw veggies
Sunday: Moroccan Lentil Stew, fresh baguette, green salad
Monday: Crockpot Spinach, rice, and fried tofu

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thai Curried Noodles with Tofu

I saw this in an old issue of Vegetarian Times last week and figured my son would LOVE it.  He loves spicy and he loves tofu so it seemed the perfect fit.  I was right, the only complaint that he had was that it "needed a little more spice!"  It was super quick and easy to make so it was perfect for after our long day spent at the Grand Beach <3

Thai Curried Noodles with Tofu and Broccoli
1/2 box of fettuccine noodles, cooked according to package instructions
2 diced shallots
2 cloves minced garlic
1 inch grated ginger
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp curry paste
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1-15 oz can coconut milk
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1 package of tofu, drained and dry fried
4 cups chopped lightly steamed broccoli

*Saute shallots, garlic and ginger in olive oil for 5 minutes.
*Add cilantro, curry paste, curry powder, cumin and turmeric and stir for a minute.
*Add coconut milk and broth and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
*Cut tofu into 1/2" cubes and add to mixture.  Cook an additional 10-15 minutes.
*Add broccoli and noodles and stir to mix.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Potato Salad!

I've got to be honest guys, I have never liked potato salad and because of this, I have never made potato salad.  I saw this recipe in my Vegetarian Family Cookbook and decided that just because I don't like something doesn't mean that my children shouldn't try it.  This was hard for me because it meant that I had to actually put the food on my plate and at least appear to be eating it... :/  Along with it we had some unblogworthy (that's a word, right? haha) burgers and some corn on the cob, my favourite kind of summer meal.  Turns out?  I LIKED this potato salad... not loved, but definitely liked.  Don't tell anyone though...

Golden Potato Salad
1 sweet potato
6 white potatoes
1 chopped red pepper
1 cup of peas
3 chopped green onions
1/2 cup mayo (I used vegan mayo because that's what I had)
1/2 cup yogurt (I used 10% MF because that's what I had :P)
3 cloves minced garlic 
Juice from 1/2 lemon
2 tsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper
1 large handful of chopped dill

*Peel and boil potatoes (and sweet potatoes) until done but still firm (You could leave the peel on but my potatoes had thick skin)
*Allow to cool to room temperature and cut into chunks.
*Place in a large bowl with red pepper, peas, and green onion.
*In a small bowl, combine dressing ingredients and stir together.
*Pour into potato mixture and place in refrigerator.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Playing catch-up!

We have been having a very busy summer and that combined with working the early bird shift has made for one tired momma!  It seems the first thing to go was blogging!  I have been wanting to (and also being bugged to.... ahem, Shannon) catch up on my blog posts so while my kids were away this morning I got to work!  Here are some of our favourites from the last month, I hope you enjoy!  I plan on keeping up in the next months so that I don't have so much to catch up on :)

Nutty Pasta Toss

Date Night Nachos!


2 bags of tortilla chips (I used blue corn and hint of lime!)
1 chopped jalapeno
1 chopped red pepper
1 chopped green pepper
1/4 cup sliced black olives
2-3 cups of tex-mex shredded cheese
3 chopped green onion

*Layer chips, then beans, then veggies, then cheese.  And repeat one more time ;)
*Bake at 300 for 20-25 minutes.
*Top with green onion and serve with sour cream, salsa, and guacamole (recipe to follow)

Jill and Dana's Guacamole

1 ripe avocado
1 chopped roma tomato
1/2 small chopped onion
4-5 cloves minced garlic
1 chopped jalapeno
juice from 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp dried cilantro (out of fresh)

 *In a bowl, mash avocado with a fork.
*Stir in remaining ingredients and refrigerate until cool.

Chickpea Burgers!!

Chickpeas with salsa burgers

3 cups cooked (and mashed) chickpeas
1 chopped onion
3 cloves minced garlic
1 cup of prepared salsa
3/4 cup shredded cheese
1 tsp chili powder
juice from 1 lime
2 tbsp flax seed+2 tbsp water (mixed together and left to stand for 10 minutes)
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
salt and pepper

*Mix together all ingredients and let stand for 10-15 minutes.
*Saute in olive oil for 5-6 minutes per side.
*Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes to allow burgers to firm up.

Delicious Waffles!

Yeasted Waffles 

1 tsp rapid rise yeast
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
4 eggs (or egg substitute)
4 cups milk
1/2 cup melted butter
2 tsp vanilla

*In a large bowl, mix together yeast, flours, salt and sugar.
*In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, milk, butter and vanilla.
*Make a large well in the dry mixture and pour in wet mixture.  Stir until just mixed.
*Cover and let rise for at least 2 hours.
*Cook according to your waffle maker instructions.

Camping Weekend :)

Curried Chickpea Salad sandwiches

3 cups cooked chickpeas
3 stalks thinly sliced celery
1 diced red pepper
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp curry powder
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
3 cloves minced garlic
salt and pepper
juice from 1/2 lemon

*In a large bowl, mash together the chickpeas and mayo.
*Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
*Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Cream Cheese and Bean Spread  for fist-pump vegetable wraps

1 cup of softened cream cheese
1 cup of pinto beans
1/2 head of roasted garlic cloves
salt and pepper
1 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano

*In a food processor, pulse together all ingredients until smooth
*Spread on a wrap and top with veggies (we used spinach, cucumber, red onion, carrots, and red pepper)

Grilled peanut butter and banana sandwiches.  We used these awesome double toasters that I picked up at Canadian Tire to make these AWESOME sandwiches and the vegetable and cheese ones that are pictured next.  Best purchase I have made in a long time!

These black bean burgers are one of our favourite meals so when I had to pick a burger to bring along this was a no brainer.  We paired with a baked potato made in the fire and a green salad for a super easy and delicious camping meal.

Moroccan Lentil Balls and Couscous

Moroccan Lentil Balls and Couscous  adapted from Vegetarian Times: Fast and Easy

1 1/2 cups uncooked couscous
2 tbsp olive oil
1 diced onion
5 cloves of minced garlic
3 large chopped tomatoes
1 cup vegetable stock
1 cup halved dried apricots
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
3 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper

*Cook couscous according to package instructions.
*In a large saucepan, cook onion and garlic for 4-5 minutes.  Add lentil balls and cook an additional 5 minutes.
*Stir in remaining ingredients and cook for 10-12 minutes.
*Top couscous with lentil ball mixture and serve.

Nutty Pasta Toss

Nutty Pasta Toss  from the Garden Of Vegan

1 box of fettuccine noodles-cooked according to package instructions
1/2 cup of peanuts
1/4 cup fresh parsley
6 cloves of minced garlic
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
salt and pepper
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 sliced small zucchini
24 halved cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp flax oil

*In a food processor, blend together the nuts, parsley, and garlic until minced.
*Add stock, salt and pepper, and lemon juice and blend until well combined.
*In a large saucepan, cook the zucchini, tomatoes, and nut sauce until zucchini is slightly tender.
*Toss mixture with pasta and flax oil, and serve.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lots of Garlic Pesto Sauce...

I know, I know.. where have I been?  I am so behind on blogging but I do plan on catching up.  I have so many delicious recipes to share!  I put this recipe on my menu a few weeks ago but it kept getting pushed back and replaced because I wasn't really that into making it.  What a mistake!  I made it today right before hot yoga and it was all I could think of during my class.  I kept wondering if the kids had eaten it all and if there was any left for me.  It smelled and looked so delicious and it tasted even better!  I served it with a pepper salad... I had to use them up ;)  Hope you are all enjoying your summer.. we have been busy but only with fun stuff :)

Pesto Sauce
8 cloves of minced garlic
100 g of fresh basil
1 cup roasted pine nuts
1 1/2-2 cups freshly grated parmesan
1 tsp italian seasoning
salt and pepper
1/2 cup olive oil

*In a food processor, pulse together garlic, basil, pine nuts, parmesan and seasonings.  Be careful not to over process.
*Pour olive oil in slowly while mixing.
*Mix together with cooked pasta and top with parmesan cheese

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Two new salads in two days.

It's been hot.  Really very hot.  We have been practically living on salads and veggie burgers so I figured I could easily blog about at least 2 of them today.  I have a huge backlog of other photos/recipes to share but I never seem to get around to it.  Soon?  I hope so!  Yesterday we had these black bean burgers and an asparagus salad--super simple and delicious.  Today was these pinto bean sausages with rice and a cucumber salad--also very quick and easy!  This weekend we are off camping so I hope to share some of our meals from that on Monday.  Have a great weekend everybody!!

Asparagus Salad

1 bunch asparagus, lightly steamed and cut
1 finely chopped red pepper
1/2 finely chopped red onion
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
juice from half lemon
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper

*In a large bowl, mix together asparagus, red pepper, and onion
*In small bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients and pour over vegetables.
*Refrigerate for at least one hour.

Cucumber Salad

2 cucumber, halved-seeded-and sliced
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
juice from half lemon
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

*Whisk together all ingredients except the cucumber
*Pour over cucumber and chill for at least 1 hour.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Creamy Asparagus Pasta

We had another full day out in the sun so it was nice to have a fairly quick meal to look forward to.  As expected, the kids LOVED the pasta (even bebe!) so this is going to become a regular in our meal rotation.  I got the recipe from Shannon's blog and only changed a few things.  We also had a yellow and red pepper "salad" and some parmesan tofu fingers.  The best part of the meal?  That I skipped hot yoga in order to enjoy the food with my family and the fact that we are now on our way out for ice cream.  Guess what?!!  I LOVE SUMMER.

Creamy Asparagus Pasta

 1 box cooked fettuccine
3 tbsp butter
1 chopped onion
6 cloves minced garlic
 3 cups chopped asparagus
2 tsp Italian seasoning
salt and pepper
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 cup whipping cream
400 grams parmesan cheese

*Saute onion in butter until very soft, add garlic and asparagus and cook for 3 minutes.
*Add stock and seasoning and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer for 3 minutes.
*Stir in whipping cream and cook until asparagus is tender.
*Toss together with pasta and parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I heart summer!

I have spent almost no time inside my house this week.  Well, that isn't entirely true... I have spent almost no awake time in my house this week.  The kids and I have been to the beach, the wading pool, the park, camp, the backyard... It's been a really good time.  Meal times though have consisted mainly of picnics, leftovers and very quick and easy meals.  Today was only slightly different in that we had a southwestern rice casserole from last week that I never posted the recipe for and some chickpea burgers that I literally threw together.  It was nice to have a heartier meal :)

Southwestern Rice Casserole

1 chopped onion
3 cloves minced garlic
1 chopped red pepper
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 cup milk
4 cups cooked (brown) rice
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
1 cup salsa
2 cups shredded tex mex cheese mix

*Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until soft, add pepper and cook 5 more minutes
*In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients.
*Transfer to a 9x13 casserole dish and bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Repeats and a Blueberry Tart Dessert.

Happy Canada Day!  We spent the day as a family not. doing. anything.  Maybe I should be more specific... we didn't have any plans to go anywhere, or do anything.  We did clean out the garage and do some housework.  We played (and played and played and played...), but we didn't have to do anything.  And that is very strange for our family.  We ended up inviting my parents and brother over for supper, we had lentil burgers, corn on the cob, and a green salad with a delicious balsamic vinaigrette (wondering if I've shared the recipe before?).  I saw this recipe a few days ago and figured today was the perfect day to try it.  It went over very very well.  There wasn't a cumb left!  I made a few minor changes to the recipe, so here is my take on it!

Blueberry Tart 

3/4 cup toasted walnuts
3/4 graham crackers
2 tbsp melted butter
1 tbsp oil
pinch of salt
1 cup softened cream cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup real maple syrup + 2 tbsp more
juice from 1/2 lemon
2 cups blueberries

*In a food processor, pulse together graham cracker and walnuts until it resembles a fine crumb.
*Transfer to a large bowl and add butter, oil, and salt.  Mix well.
*Press into bottom of a tart pan (or pie pan) and up the sides at least 1/2 inch.
*Bake at 325 for 13-14 minutes.  Allow to cool.
*In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese, sour cream, 1/4 cup maple syrup and lemon juice.
*Pour into crust and top with blueberries.
*Drizzle remaining 2 tbsp syrup on top of berries and transfer to freezer for at least 1 hour

I don't often post pictures of my children on this blog but I had to share this one.  I think he enjoyed his dessert, don't you?!  :)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Black Bean Taco Salad

Remember how I talked and talked about how it was never going to be warm?  Well, here we are.  It's not warm, it's HOT.  So hot that we spent the day playing in the water attempting to cool down.  As a side note, our a/c has decided not to work today so that was a big thumbs down!  Needless to say, making anything with the stove or anything that took longer than 15 minutes was out.  I had big plans for our meal but I scratched all of it from the menu in favour of a very simple (and very delicious) taco salad.  A one bowl, easy clean up, filling meal served with some fruit kabobs... perfect for this very hot and humid day.  Now all I need is for someone to fix my central air...

Black Bean Taco Salad

1 chopped onion
3 cloves minced garlic
1.5-2 cups cooked black beans mash half
1 cup corn
5 chopped tomatoes
1 cup salsa
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
salt and pepper
3 cups chopped lettuce
1.5 cups Tex Mex blend cheese
1 bag crumbled tortilla chips

*Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until soft
*Add beans, corn, tomatoes, and half the salsa, and spices and cook another 5 minutes.  Let cool slightly.
*In a large bowl, toss together lettuce, bean mixture, remaining salsa and 1/2 cup cheese.
*Serve bean/lettuce mixture on top of a bed of crumbled chips topped with remaining cheese.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Black Bean Sofrito

I have to be honest... before I found this recipe, I had never heard of a sofrito.  I had to google pictures to have an idea of what I was making.  But really, it had black beans in it so how could I resist?  One of my favourite things about the Vegetarian Family Cookbook is that it suggests options for side dishes. In this case, it suggested making the southwestern rice casserole to go with the sofrito, so I went with that and a spinach salad.  It's a good thing my husband put some in the fridge for me (I never eat before hot yoga) because that is all there was left.  This recipe is definitely going to be a frequently made meal around here!

Black Bean Sofrito
1 tablespoon olive oil 
1 medium onion, chopped fine 
4 cloves garlic, minced 
1 medium green bell pepper, diced I used yellow
1 medium red bell pepper, diced 
2-15 oz. cans black beans, rinsed & drained mash half
1 large firm tomato, diced 
2 tsp cumin 
1/2 tsp oregano 
1/2 tsp chili powder
Juice of 1/2 lemon 
Salt and pepper to taste 
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup water

*Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent
*Add in pepper and cook for 5 more minutes
*Add remaining ingredients and cook for 10-15 minutes

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Leftover cabbage!

This week is full of school and sport windups which means pizza, pizza and veggie hot dogs.  Isn't June fun?  Today, though, we had nothing on and it was raining (green, greener, greenest!) so I thought I should use up the cabbage leftover from Monday and make a vegetable soup and a fresh baguette.  I literally just threw in what I had and so this is an "ish" recipe.  Nothing exact!  The kids loved it and now I have leftovers for everyone to eat tomorrow.  I am feeling very uninspired for lunches so this is a true blessing.  Luckily school is almost out ;)

Vegetable Soup

olive oil
1 chopped onion
3 cloves minced garlic
3 sliced carrots
2 chopped celery stalks
1/2 head of chopped cabbage
1-14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 can mixed beans, drained and rinsed
3-4 cups vegetable stock
salt and pepper
2 tbsp fresh chopped thyme
2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
1 bay leaf

*Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until soft
*Add carrots and celery and cook for 5 additional minutes
*Mix in remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.  Simmer on low for 45-60 minutes.
*Remove bay leaf and serve.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Summer weather and cabbage rolls

I've been slacking both in the blogging world and in the cooking world.  It's been so nice out that we have been bbq'ing, campfire cookin', and just having super quick and easy meals... and lots of repeats.  Makes for a boring blog but it sure has been fun :)  It rained today so the kids and I had a very lazy day and it was oh so lovely.  My 3 year old must have hugged me for 5 minutes because "I not watch tv since we lived in a hotel."  Hilarious!  I figured I could make a little effort for supper tonight because of all of this so we had cabbage rolls, roasted potatoes, and corn on the cob.  I've never made cabbage rolls before so I was pretty impressed with how these turned out.  Not perfect but still very, very tasty.

Cabbage Rolls

1 large cabbage
2 cups cooked rice (I used brown)
2 chopped onions
4 cloves minced garlic
1-2 grated carrots
salt and pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
5-6 cups vegetable stock
1 small can tomato paste

*Prepare cabbage according to these instructions
*Saute onion and garlic in butter until very soft, add carrots and cook for 4-5 more minutes.
*Add salt and pepper, worcestershire sauce, parsley, thyme, and oregano
*In a large bowl whisk together vegetable stock and tomato paste
*Line the bottom of a glass casserole dish with 1/3 of the stock/paste mixture.
*Stuff cabbage leaves by following that same youtube video from above.
*Top with remaining liquid, cover and cook at 400 for 40-45 minutes.
*Uncover and cook for 10-15 more minutes

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Child's Portion: Stuffed Red Peppers

For some reason I keep ending up on stuffed red pepper recipes in my e-travels lately and I don't really care for red peppers, haha.  It seemed like something the kids would like so I added it to my menu for the week.  Of course, I couldn't find the perfect recipe so I just mixed a bunch of different ones together to come up with tonight's version.  I served it with a spinach salad and a fresh baguette.  What a great meal at the end of a very (very very) long day.

Stuffed Red Peppers

6 red peppers
2 chopped onions
4 cloves minced garlic
4 stalks chopped celery
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
2 cups cooked (brown) rice
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1 tsp cumin
salt and pepper
1 can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
cheddar cheese

*Hollow out the red peppers and boil for 5 minutes
*Saute onions in butter until very soft.  Add garlic, celery, and sunflower seeds and cook for 6-8 minutes.
*Add rice, parsley, salt and pepper, beans, cumin, and parsley and mix well.
*Spoon mixture into peppers and top with cheese.
*Use the pasta sauce to line a casserole dish.  Place stuffed peppers into the sauce and cover with more. 
*Cover dish with tin foil and bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes.  Remove foil and bake until cheese is bubbly.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

White Kidney Bean Burgers

We've had these burgers several times over the last few weeks (can you tell it's bbq season?), and every time they are totally devoured before I have a chance for seconds.  SO GOOD.  It started out with a recipe from Veggie Burgers Every Which Way but since that recipe involved olives I decided to totally change it up.  Not a fan of olives, can you tell?  We had the burgers with some coleslaw and steamed asparagus.

White Bean Burgers

2 sliced onions
2 cans of white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp chopped fresh sage
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp cumin
2 tbsp ground flax seed + 2 tbsp water (mixed together)
1+ cup bread crumbs
salt and pepper
juice from 1/2 lemon

*Cook onions in butter on low until caramelized (at least 30 minutes)
*In a food processor, pulse together onions, garlic, sage, flax seed mixture and half the beans
*Transfer to a large bowl and add remaining ingredients
*Cook in a small amount of olive oil for 5-6 minutes per side
*Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes, flipping once

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A meal that I wish I could have enjoyed!

You can all thank my husband for the wonderful plating and photo tonight because while he was feeding 4 children, I was at hot yoga.  Sometimes it is hard to prepare a meal for the family and not get to enjoy it with them but hot yoga is pretty much the only acceptable excuse for it in my mind ;)  It was a dreary cold day here in Winnipeg and I was happy to spend the afternoon making these stuffed buns and then sweating it out at yoga.  Making lemonade out of lemons?  Yes, I think so.  The buns were served with a simple green salad with tofu croutons!

Vegetable Stuffed Buns

2 1/2 tsp yeast
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp salt
2 tsp olive oil
1 cup warm water
2 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 tbsp vital wheat gluten
olive oil
1/2 chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tsp grated ginger
1 chopped red pepper
2 chopped carrots
3/4 cup chopped broccoli
1 tbsp braags
1 tbsp cornstarch

*In a large bowl, dissolve yeast, honey, salt and olive oil together.  Let sit for 10 minutes.
*Mix in flour and wheat gluten and knead for 8-10 minutes.  Place in a well oiled bowl and let rise for at least 1 hour.
*Saute onion, garlic and ginger in olive oil until soft.  Add red pepper, carrots, and broccoli and stir fry until slightly soft.  
*Mix together braags and cornstarch and pour into stir fry mixture.  Allow to cool
*Remove dough from bowl and divide into 12 pieces.  Roll each piece into a thin circle.
*Add 2 tbsp(ish) of stirfry mixture to each circle.
*Bring edges to close in mixture and twist together to close.
*Place seam side down on a baking sheet and allow to rise for 30 more minutes
*Brush with olive oil and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes

Menu Plan: June 7-14

Tuesday: Chinese stuffed buns and a green salad
Wednesday: White bean burgers, and roasted vegetables
Thursday: stuffed peppers, fresh bread, and a spinach salad
Friday: graduation bbq
Saturday: lentil tacos, pepper salad, and steamed green something
Sunday: cabbage rolls with cumin potatoes, and corn on the cob
Monday: pizza and raw vegetables
Tuesday: lentil salad with feta and quinoa rolls

Monday, June 6, 2011

Finally back to it.

Getting home from a vacation, especially a road trip, is always a tough transition for me.  I'm tired, I have no groceries, and I have very little motivation.  I usually prepare a casserole to put in the freezer for our first meal once we arrive home but after that it's right back to real life and  I was in no mood for it this time around.  Today was the first day where I felt slightly creative and slightly (yes only slightly) motivated to make something of note.  Combining two of my favourite things (black beans and loaves) seemed like an obvious choice.  So here it is, served with a green salad and some roasted potatoes--a black bean loaf.

Black Bean Loaf

olive oil
2 sliced onions
2 cans black beans, drained, rinsed, and mashed
1 cup rolled oats
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
6 cloves roasted garlic, minced
2 chopped red peppers
3 tbsp ground flax seed
3 tbsp water
1/2 cup ground walnuts
2-3 tbsp braggs
3/4 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp chili powder
salt and pepper
mustard, chili powder, brown sugar

*Saute onion and red pepper in olive oil  on low for 10-15 minutes, until soft
*In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and let stand for 5-10 minutes
*Brush on topping
*Transfer to a greased loaf pan and bake at 375 for 55-60 minutes

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Menu Planning: June 2-7

Thursday: Stuffed pasta shells (made before we left and frozen), green salad with some kinda dressing
Friday: Pizza, and raw veggies
Saturday: White bean burgers, bbq'd potatoes, and corn on the cob
Sunday: Baby's First Birthday Party :(  Veg dogs, vegetables, fruit, and cake!
Monday: Black bean loaf, roasted veggies, and a rice something or other
Tuesday: Chinese stuffed buns and a salad

Monday, May 16, 2011

100 blog posts!

We have finally started getting some beautiful weather. We had a lazy day today, just hanging around outside in the sun. On beautiful days like this I always like to eat something cool...something like a salad! As the kids continued to play outside I put together this simple but tasty dinner. The kids wanted more bread sticks right away but had to finish their salads first...which they did. The boy ate his dinner in about ten seconds flat.  I originally got this salad recipe from my good friend Amanda, she brought it over for a potluck many years ago and it has been popular here ever since!  Here is my 3 year old daughter's plate, she thought it should be her turn :)

Spinach Salad

4-5 cups baby spinach
1/2 cup sliced dried apricots
1/2 cup craisins
1/3-1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2-3/4 cup feta
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp honey
1/4 cup olive oil
1-2 tbsp poppy seeds
salt and pepper

*Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl
*In a food processor, pulse together all dressing ingredients
tada (easiest meal ever)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Quinoa Casserole

Today turned out to be just as great as yesterday!  We spent the day outside again and I feel totally rested (but also exhausted somehow?) and ready for the week.  We had my in-laws over for dinner and I thought we'd all really enjoy this quinoa casserole that I found on Savvy's website.  I served it with these black bean burgers (sans feta and curry paste but added parsley), and grilled asparagus and corn on the cob.

Quinoa Carrot Zucchini Casserole

1 cup quinoa
1/4 cup currant
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped celery
2 chopped carrots
2 chopped small zucchini
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp paprika
pinch cayenne
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 cup vegetable stock
* * * * * * * * * * * *
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
ground pepper

*Soak quinoa in water for 1 hour
 *Saute celery in olive oil until translucent, add carrots and cook 5 minutes, add zucchini and cook 1 minute.
*Add remaining ingredients (up to the asterisks and not including the stock) and stir until browned
*Pour into casserole dish, along with boiled vegetable stock and cook (covered) at 350
*Cook until stock is absorbed (about 20 minutes) and remove bay leaves and cinnamon stick
*Add parsley and ground pepper and serve!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Best Day, Ever.

Today was the best day, ever.  We went on a hike, had a wiener roast, played in the yard (and the neighbour's yard), I went to hot yoga, and it ended with an impromptu family bbq.  Needless to say, I don't have a supper post to share!  BUT, I did make something from Simple Suppers that I never got around to posting on Thursday.  We had a warm lentil salad with french bread and it was delicious

Warm Lentil Salad

1 cup (french) lentils I never found french and this salad was still great
1/2 tsp salt
1 medium head of escarole
1 fennel bulb
2 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves of minced garlic
2 tsp ground fennel seed
 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
3/4 cup chopped walnuts I forgot to add these, oops!

*Cook lentils according to package instructions
*Rinse, drain and chop the escarole.  Thinly slice fennel bulb.
*In a large skillet, saute garlic, ground fennel and thyme for 2 minutes.  
*Add fresh fennel and salt and cook for 2 more minutes.
*Add escarole and stir and cook for a few minutes.
*Remove from heat and drain of liquid.
*Stir in lentils and tomatoes (and walnuts-oops) and serve at room temperature

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Burger Wednesday: Spicy Kidney Bean Burgers!

I would be lying if I told you that this early morning shift isn't hard to get used to because it really is.  The work itself? No big deal... but going strong all day because my children refuse to nap?  THAT is the hard part.  I'm a little off topic from food but I'm going somewhere, I promise.  This meal was super easy to put together and very low prep, perfect for days like today where it's raining and chilly and you can't keep your eyes open.  I have a feeling that we'll be eating like this a lot while I get used to waking up early for work!  We had spicy kidney bean burgers, rice and roasted vegetables.  The burgers were a little bit too spicy for the kids but I thought they were delicious and they managed to finish them anyway.  I originally found the recipe here but have made some adjustments because I can't seem to follow a recipe, haha!

Spicy Kidney Bean Burgers

3 cups cooked kidney beans
1 chopped onion
4 cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 tsp green chili paste
2 tsp hot sauce
2 tbsp fresh cilantro
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
3/4 cup rolled oats
juice from 1 lime
1/2 cup crushed almonds
salt and pepper

*In a food processor, pulse together all ingredients but oats, lime and almonds
*Transfer to a large bowl and add remaining ingredients
*Cook in an oiled skillet for 5-6 minutes per side

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What to do with a can of leftover artichoke hearts...

I hosted my sister's bachelorette party this weekend and I was left with a lot of leftover snacks as well as some ingredients that just never got used.  I make a mean spinach and artichoke dip and had originally planned on doubling the recipe but never got around to it.  That left me with a can of artichoke hearts  that I just couldn't let go to waste!  I ended up finding a couple of recipes for artichoke pasta sauce and figured that I could fine tune my own crockpot recipe in no time.  This was what we ended up with, we all liked it but my oldest and youngest daughters LOVED it.  I served the sauce on some bowtie pasta with chickpea nuggets and a green salad!

Tomato Artichoke Pasta

Olive Oil
1 chopped onion
5 cloves minced garlic
2-28 oz cans of diced tomatoes, one can drained of juice
2 tsp basil
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp thyme
2 tsp brown sugar
2-14 oz cans of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/2 cup vegetable stock
red pepper flakes

*Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until soft
*Transfer to slow cooker and add tomatoes (along with juice from only one can), and remaining ingredients
*Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Monday, May 9, 2011

My Do-Nothing Day!

I've had a busy couple of weeks - in particular a very busy weekend - and today also happened to be my first day back at work after my one year maternity leave (I work very early mornings and am back just as the kids are finishing breakfast).  Needless to say, I was feeling a little (or a lot) worn out.  I decided that I would do absolutely nothing all-day-long and I was very successful!  I didn't do any housework, I didn't cook a single thing, I didn't exercise, I really did nothing!  We had our favourite Monday visitor over for dinner and her mom brought us take-out Boon Burger for dinner.  I had a buddha burger, sesame french fries, and red peppers and broccoli.  Best.  Monday.  Ever.

Menu Plan for the week of May 10

Tuesday: Artichoke Pasta,chickpea cutlets and a green salad
Wednesday: Spicy bean burgers, roasted veggies, and rice
Thursday: warm lentil salad, quinoa rolls
Friday: kids at a sleepover, date night?
Saturday: pizza and raw veggies
Sunday: Quinoa, carrot and zucchini casserole, green salad, crusty bread
Monday: Peanut butter and jam sandwiches on fresh bread, spinach salad
Tuesday: repeat Mediterranean lentil soup, cheese biscuits, dessert of some kind ;)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Butternut Squash Ravioli

I've been waiting to make this ravioli again for about a year.  During my last month of pregnancy last year I literally filled my freezer with food...I actually wish I had taken a picture now.  My sister was visiting then and I had been asking (okay, begging!) her to teach me how to make ravioli.  It was a lot of work but so worth it in the end, the ravioli was devoured and there wasn't anything left for lunches the next day!  Since then I have asked my sister several times to make it with me again and she finally humoured me today.  We served this butternut squash ravioli with a balsamic vinegar tofu salad, and once again there were no leftovers!  Next time my sister visits I have a feeling I will be getting her to double this recipe...

Butternut Squash Ravioli

pasta dough
14 eggs
14 all purpose flour
4 whole wheat flour
1 tbsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil

*Place flour and eggs in kitchen aid mixer with dough hook, mix until just moistened
*Add salt and olive oil, mix until dough is formed into a ball
*Remove from mixer and knead for several minutes
*Divide dough into 4 equal pieces and wrap in plastic.
*Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes

butternut squash filling
1 large butternut squash
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/3 cup romano cheese
salt and pepper
1 tsp italian seasoning
1 tsp sage
2 tbsp brown sugar

*Cut squash lengthwise and scoop out seeds
*Place face down in a casserole dish and bake at 400 for 1 hour
*Scoop out squash and pulse in a food processor until smooth
*In a large bowl, combine all squash with remaining ingredients

assembling the ravioli
*Take pasta dough out one section at a time.  Roll out into a square (this takes much patience), remember to give dough a chance to rest in the middle of this process.  Try to get it as thin as possible.
*Scoop 1 tbsp of filling onto dough and repeat 1 inch apart to cover half the dough.
*Brush empty half of the dough with a egg white/water wash and fold to cover filling.
*Using your hands, press dough down in between filling to create the ravioli squares
*Using a butter knife, cut out each ravioli and place on a floured surface.
*Place ravioli in boiling water for 2-3 minutes.

You can serve it this way or in any pasta sauce you choose.  We had ours in a simple butter/garlic/sage sauce!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

It was a bbq kind of day! BBQ Seitan Ribs :)

The seitan that I made last week went over so well that I wanted to make it again.  This time I tried the Veganomicon cutlet recipe which was slightly easier for some reason.  My friend, Heather (that hero, she keeps coming up!) mentioned to me that when she made this recipe she had bbq'd it and that sounded perfect for our family.  I cut the cutlets into rib shapes and then cooked them on low coating it with a homemade bbq sauce.  Here it is, served on some rice with a green salad and some bbq'd pineapple, it was such a beautiful day for a bbq <3

Seitan Cutlets

6 cups vegetable broth
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
1/2 cup cold vegetable broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp lemon zest

*(for the broth) In a large sauce pan, bring vegetable broth and soy sauce to a boil.  Cover and turn off heat.
*Place the vital wheat gluten in a large bowl
*In a large measuring cup, mix together cold vegetable broth, soy sauce, olive oil, minced garlic and lemon zest
*Pour the wet mixture into the vital wheat gluten and mix well (and quickly)
*Knead for 3 minutes and roll into a log and cut into 6 equal pieces
*Turn and knead each piece into a cutlet shape (this takes several minutes and I ended up using a rolling pin)
*Pour first broth mixture into a glass 9x13 casserole dish and place cutlets in it
*Bake at 375 for 30 minutes, turn pieces and bake for another 20 minutes