Thursday, August 31, 2006

Long time.. No blog..

We actually had a sunny day here.. Here is the proof. This picture is from a turn out we pass on the way home...

I feel a bit bad about my little absence .. I had finally invited some friends and family to my blog and then my Mom came down for a visit! Which is always awesome. We really do miss her! It is hard living so far away , so we all love it when she comes. Yes, I did cook, but we were just to busy visiting and what not to stop and blog about it.. It was also Mr. Eli's first week of kindergarten..
ahhh one very exited Eli on his first day of school..
Back to the food.. Eh? Last nights dinner was Slow Pho.. A Vietnamese noodle soup. And I thought it was pretty darn okay! Its from the Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker cookbook.. Which I have had some pretty mixed result from. I used it a lot last summer when it was too hot to cook. Everybody agreed the crispy little seitan bits made the soup! Eli though won't be eating any left overs .. Silly kid his just had noodles, seitan and green beans but, he needed a lot of coaxing to get him to finish his dinner... errrr.
And well, this was left on the camera from last weekend some little bean taquito's w/ mango! No, coaxing Eli on this one! He would eat beans and cheese everyday if we would let him!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Truly a happy meal

Okay, keep in mind we have small kids here.. Who LOVED the little fried seitan nuggets in the General Tao's Seitan from the night before.. soo, I tried to make little "chicken" nuggets from the same batch of seitan. I must say, they weren't spot on, but pretty darn edible! Along w/ it are sweet potato fries from Venturesome Vegetarian Cooking: Bold Flavors for Meat- and Dairy-Free Meals . If you don't have this book, I highly recommend it.. We have yet to have a dud from it..
And for Eli we had steamed PLAIN broccoli! Who reminded me again and again he doesn't like his broccoli mixed w/ anything.. There ya go...

my attempt at "chicken nuggets"

see this post for my "chicken" seitan

Wet.. 1/2 cup plain soy milk, mix in 2 tsp. egg replacer
3/4 cup corn starch
1/2 tsp paprika
2 tsp garlic
2tsp onion
1/2 tsp pepper
dash of Lawry's
dash of all purpose seasoning
1 tbl sugar..
dunk nugget size seitan in wet, dredge in dry, and fry ..
I think when I try this again I will cut the corn starch down to a 1/2 cup and add 1/4 cup flour..
But, if you like your nuggets extra crispy.. then stay w/ the 3/4 cup corn starch.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Yea new cookbooks

yoaaazaa.. two post in one day..??
Yea for new cook books! I have been LOVING Vive la Vegan soo much I just had to order Dreena's other book Everyday Vegan! And along with it (well, I HAD to get the free shipping from Amazon) I got 20 Minutes to Dinner: Quick, Low-Fat, Low-Calorie Vegetarian Meals by Bryanna Clark Grogen yet another cookbook goddess.. My dear sweet daughter Amber works at a tourist shop down town and this morning surprised me this morning w/ The Joy of Blueberries -Natures little Blue Powehouse. Not a vegan book, but will be fun to veganize the recipes!

Soo I wasted no time ...I had already started some 12 grain bread this morning to that I added avocado, red pepper lettuce and from Everyday Vegan the Egg-less sandwich filling! Flippen Good Eats again! The kids had a peanut butter and jelly.. As I have not been able to sell them on the goodness of tofu!

General Tao's Seitan

This is one of my all time best creations.. I never really imagined I could produce restaurant quality meals but, this is.. I made the seitan basically following vegan w/ a vegance recipe but, added some "chicken" spices 1tsp rosemary, thyme and sage, 1/4 tsp cumin and 1/2 tsp garlic powder. Then prepared the General Tao's Tofu.. I added some pineapple which the kids love, and red pepper..I highly recommend doubling the sauce! The first time I made this I added the fried seitan to the sauce and by the time it hit the table the seitan had gone soggy.. soo this time I added the sauce on the plate over a bed of brown rice.. The kids went crazy.. they love the little nuggets.. Eli though, is still adverse to broccoli any way but plain.. I keep hoping this will change..

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

spaghetti + singapore noodles

ahh spaghetti.. If there is one thing I can cook its spaghetti! My little secret ingredients are a pinch of cinnamon and after the sauce is done cooking about 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar.

1 yellow onion
3 cloves garlic
2 stalks celery
8-10 white mushrooms
2 28oz cans diced tomatoes
2 cans tomato paste
1/4 tsp stevia
1 tble simply organic all purpose seasoning
1 tble Basil
1/2 tble oregano
1/2 tsp. Thyme
salt pepper, pinch of cinnamon
1/4 cup red wine vinegar..

I tried to record my recipe, but in the end I always seem to add a little more of this and a dash more of that.. this makes a lot! I usually freeze some.

last night the kids got leftover spaghetti.. So me and hubby could have P.F. Chang's Chinese Bistro Singapore Street Noodles be warned these are Very Very spicy! I find theMadras curry powder in our supermarkets bulk spices. I also only use a half pound of noodles keeping everything else the same. It makes A lot.. And it keeps it in a manageable amount to fry all noodles at once.

Well, things are crazy this week w/ back to school.. Eli will be starting kindergarten and is just beside himself w/ anticipation! He is so cute packing and unpacking all of his new school supplies.. And showing everybody who walks in the door his new stuff.. Emma will be going back to pre-school .. Solo w/ out her brother.. This will be very hard for her.. She is quite dependent on her big brother for many of her social interactions.. She attends a co-op pre-school which means I too will be going back to pre-school as parent participation is a requirement (ya, that's a good thing). My oldest daughter will be starting eleventh grade she is looking into going into an alternative school.. We have a week full of school meetings and what not.. Ya! I really am looking forward to a bit of alone time.. If nothing else just going to the store ALONE w/o my little helpers!

Monday, August 21, 2006

soup + muffins

Ahh yes the fruits of our labor! The rain has given us a bit of a break and we went blueberry picking again.. The kids begged for some muffins.. I used an old recipe as a base, but made enough changes that I think I can call it mine now.. It was a bit salty for me but hubby said he didn't get that .. And well, Emma had to be cut off.. She LOVED them! This would be my first attempt at using Stevia - and man its awesome! So these are fat free and sugar free!! And delicious!

Julees Blue Berry muffines
2 ripe banana's
1/2 tsp vanilla
1tble ground flaxseed + 3 tbl h2o
1tsp egg replacer + 1 tbl h2o
1/2 tsp stevia
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup blue berries
pre heat oven 350 grease or line muffin tins-- I made 9 small --maybe 6 goodsize ones..
in blender or food processor add banana's, flax seed, egg replacer and h20 blend well..
in a bowel mix dry ingredients, add wet and mix all together, fold in blue berries and voila.. Bake for about 20 - 25 mins

Our soup doesn't really photographic well.. so here is Eli at the table..
Awww mom - soup again? That's what I heard as the kids shuffled to the table.. The soup recipe came from La Dolce Vegan pg 121 Cindy o's " chicken" & rice soup for the soul.. I was quite intrigued by the recipe as my dear hubby requested a break from beans.. eekk.. No Seitan in the freezer, kids don't eat tofu - what's a gal to do? This recipe calls for 2 tbls gluten + 2 tbl h2o and ya just cook the darn stuff w/ the soup.. Yes it was that easy..Who knew? And guess what? It really was tasty.. And there were no left overs, so I must have done something right.. I cut up the little seitan bits into small chunks reminiscent of canned soup.. I think if I made it again I would use noodles in place of rice.. cuz, that's just the kind of gal I am..

Sunday, August 20, 2006

More vive le vegan

Saturdays night dinner.. Yet another recipe from vive le vegan .. The pureed chickpea pasta sauce(pg 99) we didn't have the fresh herbs it called for so I sprinkled some dried ones on at the end.. Funny, this one didn't quite strike my fancy like the other ones.. But, I thought the sauce would make some darn fine potato salad adding some relish and celery...I think it was the dry mustard which I am not a big fan of and didn't even add the whole tsp the recipe called for.. Emma gobbled hers up though.. Eli needed a bit of coaxing.. No big surprise there..
Friday night comfort food.. Vive's Scalloped potatoes (pg 102) and Cookin' Southern Coal miners "chicken fried" steak (pg. 92). This was my first recipe from this book and I must say I was quite impressed.. The chicken is really a chick pea + quick oat patty.. I have tried two other recipes for chick pea patties and well, this one the kids will eat.. The others were baked though? Any way if you like to read cook books this one is a hoot! Full of southern stories and humor! Most of the recipes are vegan or easily veganized.. all though it should come as no big surprise there is a lot of frying going on in it.. I would probably recommend it for beginners or for those who are transitioning to becoming vegetarian/vegan.. As a few recipes rely on packaged food, or just plain common sense. But, I bet you won't find another cook book w/ a recipe for tater-tot biscuits..

From Cookin Southern - the author wrote a bit of an essay on nobody liking to wash dishes.. Then she came across this little ditty that gave her a different outlook..

Thank God for dirty dishes,
for they have a tale to tell.
while others may go hungry
we're still eating well.
with heath, home, and happiness,
We surely shouldn't fuss.
For by the stack of evidence,
Life's been very good to us.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Curried veggie pie w/ chickpea crust

Last night we gave Vive le vegan a break.. I made curried vegetable pie w/ chickpea crust from the garden of vegan (pg 158).. Well, had to make a couple of changes. One change I made was the necessary step of disguising the onion, carrots, celery, tomato and red pepper by pureeing them after they were sauteed.. cuz of our little Eli.. After that step I didn't need to add the veg broth the recipe called for... Whats acceptable? left un-pureed are the peas, chickpeas and cauliflower...I also used curry paste rather then powder.. But, my guestimation made it a bit on the spicy side.. Which only really bothered Eli (there is one in every family huh??, one that is a bit picker then the rest?)..I thought it was perfect, Emma gobbled hers up and dad was pretty pleased. The crust turned out great and I am NOT, I repeat NOT a crust maker.. I lack some gene needed to make even the fail proof kinds of crust.. I have read all the tips, I have tried all the tips.. Still my crust is usually very edible just not pretty.... The pictures is kinda washed out the crust was a golden brown..

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Creamy hummus totilla pizza

Last night was pizza night the kids made their own. I wanted something a little lighter and made Dreenas creamy hummus tortilla pizza.. Again a real winner. i really like the low carb tortillas they are high in fiber, low in calories...The zucchini and red pepper are roasted w/ a dash of hoisin sauce.. what a perfect combo! How does she do it??? My hubby could not get over how fabulous the hummus was.. All these years I have been making my own version w/ chili paste.. I prefer my hummus spicy .. Dreenas is a very simple very creamy version.. I did add a bit more garlic then the recipe called for .. Sad the only crackers in the house were plain ol saltines but, enjoyed by all..

Again with the rain.. My 16 yr old daughter told me today that we have only had one day of sunshine in the last 49 days.. Ugh! The rainiest months are coming up September and October.. It will only stop raining when its starts to snow..

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

cookbook magic

The noodle dish was last nights dinner inspired by the garden of vegans zucchini and broccoli toss.. Only I substituted green beans and corn for zucchini and added some mushroom sauce.. Emma loved it.. Eli not so much he is kinda picky and likes his broccoli either "crunchy" w/ dip or cooked w/ mayo.. I keep hoping this will change..

Here is a pic of little Emma having some yummy tofu scramble from vegan vittles.. I haven't had much luck feeding the little ones tofu..Unless is it well hidden (like sauces or pumpkin pie) once in awhile they like the tofu bacon (also vegan vittles). She claimed to like it but, really in the end only had a few bites..

Monday night we hosted a going away party for my older son.. Had a group of his good friends out.. It was nice.. I made some chili and JO Jo potatoes from venturesome vegetarian, some corn bread muffins from how it all vegan.. To top it all of some more vive le vegan magic! Peanut butter cookies.. Again me oh my they are truly fabulous!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Zucchini delight is right

This is the making of a fine Friday night dinner..One of dh co workers grew these crazy zucchinis in his garden.. And really I only used the big one for this dish and we had leftovers wow! I used the zucchini delight recipe from How it all vegan.. Really easy! I ended up slicing the zucchini in the food processor trying to disguise it a bit for the little ones sake who all though they have never really tried it in anything but bread...Proclaim they don't like it! The only thing else I would change is it called for 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes which was great for me, but a bit too spicy for the kids. But, they ate it zucchini and all..

We had a break in the rain and went blue berry picking the little ones had a blast.. We even were graced by the big brothers presence..ahh what a good boy. We are all going to miss him when he leaves! The little ones keep begging him to stay..

No Saturday night dinners to post we ended up eating leftovers...As we had a late lunch at a barbecue on the beach.. Yes, we came prepared w/ veggie burgers for me and hubby (wow, he could have had a burger but didn't) and veggie dogs for the kids.. Only endured a bit of ribbing..

Friday, August 11, 2006

Split pea soup w/ sweet potato and Mexican seasonings

This is one of my favorite soups that I make regularly.. I have found that it is a very good dish for entertaining non vegans. It's from the complete vegan cookbook . And it is fabulous! My oldest son is in town who is a pure carnivore.. Sad but, true. There was a chance he would grace us w/ his presence at dinner time.. I was realistic knowing he would be visiting w/ his good buddies and the chance of him driving back out to our house was really slim to none.. But, secretly I remained Optimistic ..Optimistic enough to make a dinner I knew he would eat despite the lack of flesh...
With it a made a "whole wheat beer quick bread"..(hey veganknitter, I did it! Thanks for the comment/suggestion) this is such a forgiving recipe. Last night I used 1 cup spelt, 1 cup whole wheat, 1/2 cup all purpose and 1/2 cup almond meal.. Many of the reviewers commented about only using non aluminum baking powder or it is too strong tasting. I have made this bread using many flour and beer combos.. The kids prefer a lighter beer (sounds kinda funny huh?), I mean they prefer the bread when i make it using a lighter beer while, I kinda like a darker porter beer it kinda makes it a bit more like sour dough-ish... Happy friday!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Quinoa and Black Beans

This is another kid friendly, quick, one pot meal (I love one pot meals!). I follow the recipe but, add a can of Muir fire roasted tomatoes w/ chilies w/ the veggie broth. I always rinse the quinoa first it does help. Also, the age of the quinoa will influence the cooking time and the amount of liquid needed. The kids were lacking in the fruit department soo they got a side of applesauce w/ pineapple.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

My little vegan chefs

vive le dangerous!

Yes it was raining again.. Not just a little light mist, no the kind that soaks ya between the store and the car. Yes we live in the rainforest, yes we regularly dawn our rain coats and rain boots - they are our normal attire. But, its not even suppose to be the rainy season yet, that is coming next. I have tried to keep the little ones busy despite the rain: we go to the library, play dates, swimming etc etc.. And we have glued, painted and created, but I am running out of ideas.. soo today we cooked. Before lunch we made Dreenas home-style chocolate cookies.. I get what all the hysteria is about (megan, vegancore, vivaciousvegan ect.. ect..).. Those are vive le dangerous. We made a double batch thank god! My dd could not believe it and just kept gleefully yelling about how they were the best cookies she has ever eaten in her life!! I used up the last of my stash of the tropical source chocolate chips. Major bummer as those we can not get locally. I bought them in Seattle..
Next we made dinner..I chose a simple recipe I have done in the past .. It is my I am too lazy to cook meal.. And remember we have little ones. It's from How It All Vegan, mums bean and cheese casserole.. It consists of cheese, potatoes, a can of veg baked beans, a squirt of mustard and a casserole pan. How hard could it be with the kids? Well, lets just say I planned ahead and we started very early...I thought I could kill some time by letting the kids peel the potatoes. Guess what? it worked.. It is definitely a task that requires some practice and patience. My daughter got some bits peeled here and there and then I tried to guide her a bit.. My son was getting it, but gave up breathing hard and saying "boy this is really hard work". So they moved on to trying to open the can of beans. Yet another task that requires practice and patience and a bit of strength neither of them has yet.. My son informed me "did you know they make a can opener that opens cans by itself? Ya its true all you have to do is push a button" (as seen on t.v.). Okay then I grated cheese while they mixed the mustard in w/ the beans and mixed in the potatoes. And then came the real fun..they got to do the scooping and layering each pan. We made two dishes one for the boys w/ real cheddar cheese and one for the girls w/ veganrella..
A dinner that should have taken five minute took about 45 min to prepare Cooking w/ kids and keeping them away from the t.v. -> priceless..

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

creamy corn chowder

(Venturesome Vegetarian Cooking: Bold Flavors for Meat- and Dairy-Free Meals )
Creamy corn chowder, yet another winner from this cookbook! (and there have been a lot!) I did add 2 cups of white beans for protein and it worked very well! Creamy and hot.. Unlike the rest of the states we have had a very cold and rainy summer. Soup is always satisfying.. the kids ate it w/ little coaxing. They are not big fans of soup. Which is really to bad because not only is it a one pot meal (Love those) I really enjoy making soup and experimenting, making it my own.. I usually make fresh bread but, today we had gone to the store and on they way home snacked on this small loaf of organic garlic bread it was a match made in heaven.

Monday, August 07, 2006


Well, it was a lovely Sunday afternoon here.. The dh took the little ones for a little hike threw the wild strawberry patch and they brought me back a treat.. Yummy little things.. On their little outing they saw a mamma deer w/ two babies, and two bears. One along side the road eating berries and the other along side a river chalk full of spawning and spent salmon.
Then we had dinner.. Under that mound of toppings is an enchilada.. Once I discovered how easy it was to make the sauce from the previously mentioned guinnah entry
I have been doing it ever since.. Besides I can use organic ingredients .. The recipe makes two dinners for us so I make it and freeze the rest...

This dinner will be posted often as...
1. Its one of hubbies favorites
2. No coaxing the kids to eat, no dinner time drama = happy kids and parents

Sunday, August 06, 2006

vive le vegan magic

Last night dinner..... Me oh my I must say Dreena is brilliant!
We (dh helped) made the Broccoli-Mushroom-Walnut phyllo pie. Amazing. We had just enough of everything in the fridge to put it all together. I did blend it all a bit more then called for the onions and mushrooms that is I did leave some broccoli bits .. One child doesn't like onions.. The other one loves them all of them red, green, yellow raw or cooked. Neither child likes mushrooms unless they are sautéed and by them self, not on pizza, noodles nothing.. so most nights usually end up pureeing a lot of onions after sautéing them.. Then adding them back to the dish. That little step has got to stop.
The only other recipes I have tried are the Banana oat bundles..Yummy, simple w/ just a bit of sugar.. and the fudgy brownies my daughter deemed with a huge smile on her face.. "Awesome chocolaty goodness"

Saturday, August 05, 2006

yummy peanut noodles

well, last night we had yummy peanut noodles.. The sauce comes from the vegan world fusion cuisine call primal peanut sauce it is a really easy sauce w/ coconut milk, maple syrup, red curry paste, shoyou sauce and red pepper flakes. I highly recommend this cook book, if you don't have put it on your wish list now(! not only is it a beautiful book it has a lot of wonderful recipes. I have made a handful of recipes and they all have been flippen fabulous .. or here is a link for some free recipes from their site
I made me and hubby some very spicy stir fry vegetables (cabbage, onion, mushrooms, carrots and extra chili sauce, spicy sesame oil, soy sauce, touch of ginger and lots o garlic) to go with ours.. The kids had raw veggies the pink fish dish use to have baby carrots in it, but were snatched before I took a pic.

Friday, August 04, 2006

My collection of cookbooks

Wow that's a lot huh? I have become a bit obsessed w/ cookbooks.. As I mentioned before my daughters allergies gave way for the need to re-learn how to cook at the time we were already kind of moving towards being vegetarian. But, with the all of the awesome recipes I just began cooking more and more vegan and so our journey began. We are hardly 100% vegan.. Someday?


Well I really should have named this blog my daughters dinners.. thus far all my pictures are of her dinner. Tonight I worked on cleaning out the fridge.. We had some left over bow tie pasta that I added a "cheese" sauce to, corn on the cob, again w/ the "chicken fried" seitan and sauteed mushrooms.
The cheese sauce comes from guinnahs blog ( is just like a recipe in the uncheese book, but instead of olive oil it uses earth balance which I really prefer. This sauce is wonderful on just about anything! It makes great potato au gratin, baked mac and cheese, over broccoli, cauliflower, I am a big fan of the cheese sauce.. It also has made my life easier as we have a mix diet kind of family. My daughter is allergic to dairy so I use to make her and I one "mac and cheese" and make my son and hubby the regular kind.. Now there is one! Yea!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

creamy tomato soup...

this soup is flippen yummy! and easy.. Along side it we have a "cheesy" quesadilla w/ veganrella cheese.. At first I didn't like this cheese but, I think they change the recipe or maybe I just acquired a taste for it? For me it must be melted my daughter though, can eat a cold slice of it anytime..

Tomato soup
1 onion
2 8 oz cans of organic tomato sauce
2tbl soy sauce
1tbl All purpose seasoning
1/2 tbl basil
dash of onion powder
dash of garlic powder
2 cups rice milk
2cups plain soy milk
4tbl corn starch
3tbl nutritional yeast
saute onion add tomato sauce and seasoning let it come to boil..
add 31/2 cup milk .. Add cornstarch and yeast to remaining 1/2 cup mix well and add to the pot..

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

two entry's in a row? How about that?
tonight due to some exhausting circumstances..We had left over lunch for dinner.. cheese less pizza and a garden salad..
Here in our neck of the woods we have very limited dining options. Lucky for us this pizza place it makes a mean cheese less pizza. But it is "all the way downtown" where we rarely go. The little ones do get a hankering now and then and ask to go on a "family date" (how cute is that)..
which would also include a movie or sometimes just walking around down town. We live in a very touristy town in the summer and downtown is a buzz.. its fun to walk along the board walk and look at all of the Huge cruise ships.. On friday nights there is music in the park.. locals perform which means some good some bad.. some polka..