Monday, January 31, 2011

Creamy Avocado Soup

4 ripe Haas avocados peeled seeded and cut in cubes
1/2 cup cilantro
3 serrano chilies
1 quart Vegetable broth
1 cup soy milk
1/4 cup Lime juice
Salt
Tofutti Sour cream
Chopped cilantro leaves
Pico De Gallo*
Lime and Chili Tortilla Strips**

Combine the avocado, cilantro, serrano chilies and 1-1/2 cups of the veggie stock in blender. Blend until mixture is very smooth. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl and whisk in the remaining veggie stock, soymilk and lime juice. Add salt to taste and mix. Taste for seasoning, add additional salt if needed. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled before serving.


*To make the Pico de Gallo:

5 Roma tomatoes diced
2 serrano chilies seeds removed
1/4 cup onion - finely diced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons lime juice
salt

Combine all ingredients except salt in a small bowl and toss to blend well. Season to taste with salt and refrigerate until ready to use.

**To make the lime and Chili Tortilla Strips:

10 white corn tortillas
4 pasilla chilies
lemon-lime flavored salt

Remove the seeds from the pasilla chilies and toast them in a dry skillet over medium-high heat until they are very crispy. Do not burn the chilies. Grind the chilies to a powder in a spice mill or coffee grinder. Toss the chili powder with some of the lime salt in a small bowl, blending well.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Spray tortillas lightly w/ oil and sprinkle with chile-salt-lime and stack them together. Cut the stack in app inch strips . Scatter the strips on a cookie sheet. Re-sprinkle if needed then bake them for about 10 minutes until lightly browned. Remove and allow to cool. Store in container with tight-fitting lid until ready to use.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Vegan, Wheat-free, Sugar-free Granola

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups mixed oats
  • 1/2 cup crushed nuts
  • 1/2 cup dried chopped fruit
  • * 1/2 cup cornstarch mixture
  • * 1 cup of cold water
  • * 2 tsp vanilla
  • * 1/2 tsp salt
  • * 25 drops of Stevia or Agave (or other non-sugar sweetener of your choice)
  • * 2 (heaping) tbs melted margarine (non dairy)

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degress.
  2. Combine the oats and crushed nuts.
  3. Spread oat and nut mixture out onto a large baking pan or cookie sheet and toast at 350 degrees for about 15 mins.
  4. Mix 1 tbs cornstarch in 1 cup of cold water. Set aside.
  5. Bring margarine to a simmer in a saucepan. (make sure the pan is large enough to hold the amount of oat and nut mixture you have made, as all parts of this recipe will eventually coalesce into this pan).
  6. Add vanilla, salt and stevia, to the margarine and mingle.
  7. Remove oat and nut mixture from oven and mix in the dried chopped fruits. Set aside. Leave the oven on though, you'll need it in Step 11.
  8. Pour the cornstarch mixture into the saucepan margarine tincture and stir continuously, be prepared to work quickly as it will start to congeal rather immediately.
  9. Once the saucepan mixture begins to reach a relatively high viscosity add the oat/nut/fruit combination and mix until it is evenly coated and begins to bind together.
  10. Remove mixture from heat and pack into a rectangular or square Pirex (glass) dish using the backside of a spoon (I'm sure a more appropriate tool exists for this procedure, however I don't what that is). Pack it in nice and tight- remember we've got no eggs, milk or honey holdin' this thing together, so the likelihood that this concoction will survive infancy is immensely based on your skill of spoon-to-granola-compression.
  11. Place entire creation back into the 350 degree oven for about 5-10 minutes (keep an eye on it to make sure it does not start to dry up or crack)
  12. Remove from oven and let cool. Cut granola into your favorite shapes or use as yogurt or ice cream topping and enjoy!

Asparagus Vichyssoise

Traditionally, vichyssoise is served cold but I prefer it warm.
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 medium potatoes, any type, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 pound of fresh or frozen asparagus, cut into 1-inch lenghts
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 5 cups of vegetable broth or unchicken broth

1. Place oil in large, deep saucepan and turn heat to medium. Once oil is hot, add the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes, stir occasionally.

2. Add stock and cook until vegetables are very tender, about 15 minutes.

3. Puree soup until very smooth using either a food processor, blender or immersion blender (I love my immersion blender! )

4. Eat!
__________

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sauteed vegetables with cashews

Ingredients:

1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 cup each red and yellow bell peppers, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 cup onion, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 cup snow peas
1/4 cup cashews

Dressing:
3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, chopped or pressed
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Chop or press garlic, slice onions, and let them sit for 5 minutes to enhance their health-promoting properties.
2. Heat broth in a stainless steel skillet over medium heat.
3. When broth is steaming, add bell peppers and onions, cover and sauté for 5 minutes.
4. Add snow peas and sauté covered for 2 minutes.
5. Transfer vegetable mixture to a serving bowl and toss with cashews and dressing ingredients.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Rigatoni Puttanesca

The beauty of this spicy pasta sauce is that it can be made with ingredients that can be kept on hand in the cupboard.

Ingredients

* 12 oz rigatoni, uncooked
* 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 4 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 can (425g) artichoke hearts, 15 ounces, drained
* 1 tsp oregano
* 2 cups canned tomatoes, one 28-ounce can
* 2 Tbs capers, (or more)
* 1/2 cup dry red wine
* 1/2 cup kalamata olives, sliced
* 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
* 1/2 cup parsley, chopped, optional

Directions

  1. * Cook rigatoni in boiling water for 10 minutes or until tender.
  2. * Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Add onion and garlic and cook until the onion is tender. Add oregano and artichoke hearts and sir for one minute. Add tomatoes, capers and red wine and stir to break up the tomatoes into large pieces. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Add olives and red pepper flakes. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes more.
  3. * Drain pasta and place in a serving bowl. Top with Puttanesca sauce and parsley if desired.

Nutrition Facts
Calories 312
Calories from Fat 46 (15%)
(8%)Total Fat 5g
(2%)Saturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
(0%)Cholesterol 0mg
(13%)Sodium 308mg
(13%)Potassium 469mg
Total Carbohydrate 57g
(29%)Dietary Fiber 7g
Sugars 2g
Sugar Alcohols 0g
(21%)Protein 11g

weekly weigh-in

I stayed the same this week. Considering that this week was Princess Belle's birthday and I ate ENTIREDLY too much I will take it.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Baked Rice and Vegetables in Broth

3/4 cup uncooked long-grain rice
1 tablespoon uncooked wild rice
1/4 cup uncooked brown rice
1/4 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 chopped fresh broccoli
1/4 cup chopped carrots
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

2. In a 9 x 13 inch baking dish combine white rice, wild rice, brown rice, mushrooms, broccoli, carrots, bell pepper, onion, salt, onion flakes, paprika, black pepper and broth. Mix well; cover.

3. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until cooked through; stir once during baking.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

SUMMER CORN-STUFFED TOMATOES

INGREDIENTS:
6 large ripe tomatoes
1/4 cup water
1 cup fresh corn kernels
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup pitted black olives, chopped
1/2 cup cornmeal
additional 1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons molasses
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

DIRECTIONS:
Slice off tops of tomatoes and scoop out pulp and seeds. Saute corn, cayenne pepper, and olives in 1/4 cup water over medium heat for 3 minutes. In a bowl, mix together the cornmeal, 1/3 cup water, molasses, and baking powder. Fill tomatoes with corn kernel mixture. Cover tops of tomatoes each with 1/6 of the cornmeal mixture. Broil the stuffed tomatoes for roughly 10 minutes, until the cornmeal topping becomes the texture of bread Serve hot.

(Serves 3. Each serving: 220 calories, 6g protein, 47g carbohydrates, 4g fat, 82mg calcium,
3mg iron, 345mg sodium, 8g dietary fiber.)

This recipe is from the superb vegan nutrition and recipe book, Simply Vegan.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Grilled Portobello Burgers

INGREDIENTS

4 large Portobello mushrooms, stems removed
1/2 cup tomato-based barbecue sauce or olive oil mixed with 1 crushed garlic clove and 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
4 whole-wheat rolls, halved

Optional toppings:
grilled onion slices
lettuce leaves and sliced tomato
Cajun hot sauce
fresh minced herbs
guacamole
sliced avocado, chopped raw onion, sprouts
Chopped mushroom stems sautéed in olive oil with garlic and fresh herbs

1. Prepare a medium fire in the grill.

2. Brush the mushroom caps with olive oil or barbecue sauce.

3. Grill mushrooms (and onion slices, if you like them), turning occasionally until tender and grill-marked, about 10 minutes. Grill the rolls until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes on each side.

4. To assemble the sandwiches, lightly brush the cut side of the toasted rolls with the remaining olive oil or barbecue sauce. Add Portobello burgers and desired toppings.

5. If pan-frying the mushrooms, simply cook in a little olive oil over medium heat until tender, turning occasionally.

Serves 4.

Monday, January 24, 2011

CHEEZY BROCCOLI-TOMATO BAKE

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound fresh (or frozen) broccoli, chopped (thawed)
1 1/2 cups quartered cherry or grape tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onions
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 ounces of your favorite vegan cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons water

DIRECTIONS:
In a large sauce pan on medium heat, saute onions in oil until slightly tender (about two minutes). Add salt, ground pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Stir in broccoli and simmer on low heat. If using fresh broccoli, add about 2 tablespoons of water for moisture (may not be needed if using thawed frozen broccoli). Simmer until slightly tender, stirring often. Add tomatoes and two ounces of shredded vegan cheese. Combine well. Transfer to a 1 1/2 or 2 quart casserole dish and top with remaining vegan cheese. Cover and bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve hot. (Makes 4-6 side-dish servings.)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Spinach (or Kale) Stew

Served in Ghana, typically over rice

Ingredients:

1lb (approximate) of washed, chopped fresh spinach or kale (can use frozen but defrost and squeeze dry first)
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (original recipe calls for toasted but I used raw, unsalted, organic ones)
1/2-3/4 cup water (original recipe calls for 1/4 cup but it didn't seem enough)
1 onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tomato, diced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions:

Add the pumpkin seeds and water to a blender and process until a paste forms. Heat the oil in a large pot or skillet and add the onion. Saute until the onion turns golden brown, 5-10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, cover and cook on low for 30 minutes.

Note: If using fresh kale for the recipe and 30 minutes is perfect. If using fresh spinach, you should probably reduce cooking time to about 20 minutes. If using frozen, thawed greens, only cook for 15 minutes so as to avoid overcooked vegetables.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Masala Winter Squash

Ingredients:

1 large onion, peeled
5 cloves garlic, peeled
1 dried chili or 1 teaspoon red chili flakes or to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon curry powder or to taste
1 cup chopped tomatoes (canned are fine) or 1/2 cup water
1.5 pounds peeled winter squash like butternut or pumpkin cut into 1-inch cubes
lime wedges

Directions:

Combine the onion, garlic and chili in a food processor or blender and grind until pasty. In a large skillet that can be covered, place oil and heat under medium heat. Add onion mixture, salt, pepper and curry powder. Cook, stirring occasionally unil the onion mixture begins to brown, about 5-10 minutes.

Add tomatoes or 1/2 cup water along with the squash. Cover and adjust heat so mixture simmers steadily. Cook, stirring occasionally and adding more water if necessary until squash is tender, about 20 minutes. Serve with lime.

Friday, January 21, 2011

weekly weigh-in

I had a great weigh-in today! I lost 3.4 lbs this week. I am sure all the snow shoveling had something to do with it, but I am thrilled. I am down 45.2 lbs since July 23!

Stir Fry Tofu with Peppers and Peanuts

6 peanuts
1 t peanut oil
8 oz extra-firm tofu, cubed
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/2 t fresh grated ginger
3 turnip tops, washed and chopped coarsely (or other greens)
1 1/3 T pure maple syrup
1 T tamari or shoyu sauce
2 t arrowroot dissolved in 2 t water
1/2 t chili or tabasco sauce
1 small onion, diced
1 small green bell pepper, diced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
12 mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/2 t fresh ginger
2 scallions, sliced

Roast peanuts in toaster oven or under broiler for 3 to 5 minutes, turning twice. Set aside.
Combine peanut oil and tofu in skillet and saute over high heat. After 5 minutes, add garlic and ginger. Saute another 3 minutes and remove from skillet.
rRnse and steam turnip tops in steamer basket over boiling water, or in a small amount of water with no basket, until tender, about 10 minutes. Set aside with lid half off.
Mix rice wine vinegar, maple syrup, tamari, arrowroot, and tabasco in a small bowl.
Combine onion, peppers, mushrooms, garlic, and ginger in a skillet and saute 5 minutes on medium-high heat. Add water if necessary and stir regularly.
stir up sauce in bowl and add to skillet. Stir until thickened. Add tofu and heat through, about 3 minutes.
Serve over bed of warm turnip tops. top with peanuts and scallions.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Breaded Tofu Nuggets

INGREDIENTS:
1 block firm or extra-firm tofu, pressed
1/3 cup soymilk
2 tbsp mustard
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried parsley (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
3/4 cup bread crumbs

PREPARATION:
Whisk together the soymilk, mustard, nutritional yeast and spices until smooth in a wide bowl. Place bread crumbs in a separate bowl.
Coat each piece of tofu with soymilk and mustard mixture first, then coat with bread crumbs.
Fry in oil until golden brown, serve with ketchup, barbeque sauce or other dipping sauce and enjoy!

For a lower fat alternative, lay tofu piece on a covered baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, turning once, until golden brown.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mexican Guacamole

Ingredients:

1-2 avocados (diced)
1 tomato dice
1/2 onion diced
lime juice from lime
1 chile diced (you can use canned if needed fresh is better)
cilantro diced up about a hand full
1 clove of garlic diced and mashed.
salt and peeper to taste.

Toss all of it together do not mash anything.

Tofu Omelette Bake

a little olive oil
1/2 onion, sliced
1/2 cup carrots, grated
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
3 cloves of garlic
1 package firm tofu, chopped
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 cup gluten flour
pinch of salt
1-2 tsp pepper
3 tbsp water

Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, cook until browned (about 5 min).
Put onion, carrot, green onions, and garlic into food processor and mince.
Add chopped tofu and process until mixed well.
Add nutrional yeast, gluten flour, salt and pepper, and water, then process until well combined.
Place mixture in greesed pan and bake for about 25 mins at 375*F.

*You can put sauteed musrooms, peppers, or whatever you like on top after it is baked or in it while baking--maybe even top with some vegan "cheese", though it doesn't really need any extras, but it can only get better!

*This recipe is actually meant to be fried, I just decided to bake it instead! If you wish to fry it, just divide mixture into several "omelette" size peices and dust with flour and fry with olive oil.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Creamy Tofu Bake

1 packet of silken tofu
1.5 cups plain soymilk
1/3 cup tamari or soysauce or bragg's
1.5 cups nutritional yeast
1 T paprika
1 crushed garlic clove
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
a couple T of margarine
1 small dollop of mustard
8 ounces of macaroni and or some cooked cauliflower

Mix all those together in a blender or food processor and whip it up. It is a bit liquidy, though it will cook down when added to 8 ounces of macaroni and or some cooked cauliflower and baked in the oven at 350 for 20 minute(makes it nice and hot and a little crispy on top).

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sweet and Sour Tofu

2 containers of firm tofu, drained
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup water
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 TBSP ketchup
¼ cup apple juice
1 green/spring onion, sliced
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 TBSP cornstarch
2 TBSP cold water

Combine all ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove tofu and onion to serving dish. Add a mixture of 1 TBSP cornstarch dissolved in 2 TBSP cold water to sauce, stirring constantly until thickened.
Pour over tofu and serve.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Curried Coconut Tofu

1 can Coconut milk
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
1/2 tsp Brown Sugar
1-1/2 tsp Curry Powder
1 tsp freshly grated Ginger
2 tsp Chile Paste
14oz firm Tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 red bell pepper sliced
1 can baby corn
4oz Mushrooms, chopped
1 tbsp freshly chopped Basil
2 green onions, chopped
Salt to taste

Instructions

1. Place the a coconut milk, 3 tablespoons of the soy sauce, brown sugar, curry powder, ginger, and chili paste in a large frying pan and bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring to mix well.

2. Add the tofu, red pepper, baby corn, mushrooms, and finely chopped green onions, mix well and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add the basil and remaining soy sauce and salt, and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender-crisp. Serve immediately with brown rice.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Banana Tofu Curry

1 package extra firm tofu, drained and cut into 3/4" cubes
1 can coconut milk
3 large or 4 medium bananas, split and cut into chunks
1/4 cup dried shredded coconut
1/2 cup raisins
2 tbs. curry powder
1 tsp. cumin
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 20 oz. can pineapple chunks in their own juice
3/4 cup frozen peas
1 14 oz. can garbanzo beans (chick peas)
(optional) 1 14 oz. can straw mushrooms, drained.
(optional) 1/4 cup cashews


Place everything but the tofu and bananas into a pot over a medium-high heat; bring to a low boil, stirring. Reduce heat to medium-low, add tofu and bananas, cook for about 5 minutes until it is all heated through. Serve over rice or couscous, with a side of nuts, raisins, and Major Grey mango chutney.

Friday, January 14, 2011

weekly weigh-in

Well, I had my weigh-in this morning and it was a lovely surprise. I was convinced I wasn't going to lose this week. I was hoping to just break even and have a better week next week. I had been working so hard, but every time I stopped working, I was STARVING and I ate every vegan yummy thing I could find. Well, I guess the working burned off the extra calories I was eating and I actually lost 1.8 lbs!! I weigh less now than I did when I was in college! It is a good day. Here's to a good week next week.

Creamy Tofu Pasta

Serves 2

1 pack firm tofu, well drained and cubed
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
150ml soy/rice/nut milk
1 zucchini, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
1 vegan stock cube
1 tbsp vegan parmesan
1-2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
1-2 tsp mixed herbs
100g fresh or frozen peas
200g of pasta of your choice

In a large pan or wok, fry the tofu in the oil until it starts to brown and crisp on the outside. Add the zucchini, garlic and carrot and fry for a few minutes more. Meanwhile boil the pasta in a separate pan.

Add the peas, milk, herbs, stock cube, vegan parmesan and nutritional yeast flakes and cook over a low heat until it starts to thicken. It will look quite runny but it will thicken a lot when you take it off the heat. Once the sauce is heated through and the pasta is ready, serve the pasta and pour the sauce over the top.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Creamed Spinach Pasta

Ingredients:

1/2 lb of dried pasta (I used whole wheat rotatini)
1lb frozen spinach
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2-4 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

Prepare the pasta according to direction. Before draining the pasta, remove about 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Drain pasta. In the same pan, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic. Saute for a few minutes until the garlic smells wonderful. Add the spinach and a splash of the pasta water. Cover and cook for a few minutes, until the spinach is warmed through. Remove lid, add lemon juice and nutritional yeast. Stir. You can either pour the sauce over the pasta now or do what I did and take an immersion blender, blend the sauce until it becomes a creamy, smooth green sauce and pour over pasta.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Quick Black Beans and Rice

Yields: 4 servings

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, undrained
1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 cups uncooked instant brown rice

In large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion, cook and stir until tender. Add beans, tomatoes, oregano and garlic powder.
Bring to a boil; stir in rice. Cover; reduce heat and simmer 5
minutes. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Refried Beans

1 can beans
2 tbsp. oil
1 tsp. onion powder

Heat oil and add the onion powder. Add the cooked beans (pinto or kidney). Mash the beans with the back of a wooden spoon or potato masher. Simmer for 6 minutes over low heat. May be eaten as a side dish or used as a filling for tacos or burritos or stuffed peppers

Eggplant Moussaka

*There are alot of ingredients but the recipe is fairly simple and results in a decadent, satisfying dish.

Ingredients:

2 medium eggplants
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cups cooked mashed chickpeas
2 cups tomato puree
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups soy, rice or oat milk
1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1/4 cup flour (whole wheat works fine)
1 tablespoon margarine
1/2 cup bread crumbs (optional)
salt
pepper

Directions:

Slice the eggplants into 1/4 inch rounds, sprinkle with salt and let sit in a colander in the sink while you prepare everything else. In a medium skillet, saute the onion and garlic in olive oil until they start to brown. Stir in the beans, tomato puree, parsley, lemon juice, cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350F. In a small saucepan, whisk together the non-dairy milk, nutritional yeast and flour. Heat over medium heat, whisking constantly. When the sauce thickens, add the margarine and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Remove from heat, cover and set aside.

Rinse the eggplants to remove the salt and pat dry with a towel. In a lightly-oiled casserole dish, place a layer of the eggplant and half the bean filling. Repeat ending with a top layer of eggplant. Pour the sauce over the eggplant, covering completely. If desire, sprinkle the top with bread crumbs. Bake for 45-60 minutes until the eggplant is soft, the dish is bubbling and lightly browned. Cool for 10 minutes before cutting into squares.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Crunchy Baked Chickpeas (Garbanzos)

Ingredients:

1 tin/can of chickpeas
1-3 Tablespoons (depends on how you like it) seasoning (garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, ,chili powder, curry powder, coriander or combination)
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
2 teaspoons salt or to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F. Rinse chickpeas well in a colander. Shake well. Place in a bowl, add olive oil then add spices and salt. Mix well. Place in a roasting pan or jelly roll sheet and spread evenly. Bake in oven for about 30min. or until the beans become dry and crunchy. Serve at room temperature.

Black Bean Chili with Winter Squash

Ingredient

6 Servings

* 1 medium or 2 small winter squashes (acorn or butternut)
* 1 Tbs. olive oil
* 1 large onion, chopped
* 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
* 2 (16-oz.) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
* 28-oz. can diced tomatoes
* 4-oz. can chopped mild green chilies
* 1 tsp. ground cumin
* 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
* Salt to taste

Directions

1. Cut each squash in half, scoop out seeds, and place in a microwave-safe container with 1/4 inch of water. Cover and microwave until tender, allowing 2 to 3 minutes per squash half. Remove squash and let cool, then peel and cut into chunks.
2. In large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients except squash and salt and mix well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently 15 minutes. Stir in squash and season to taste with salt. Serve warm.

Nutritional Information

Per serving: Calories: 168, Protein: 8g, Total fat: 3g, Saturated fat: 1g, Carbs: 29g, Cholesterol: mg, Sodium: 8mg, Fiber: 10g, Sugars: g

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Roasted Acorn Squash with White Polenta

Ingredient

8 servings

* 4 acorn squash
* 1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
* 1 1/4 tsp. salt
* 2 tsp. cracked black pepper
* 4 cups vegetable broth or water
* 1/3 cup minced onion
* 2 small cloves garlic, minced
* 1 2/3 cups white cornmeal or grits
* 2/3 cup pine nuts (3 1/2 oz.)
* 1/2 tsp. minced fresh thyme
* 1/2 tsp. minced fresh sage
* 1/2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line baking pan with parchment paper.
2. Cut each squash lengthwise in half (from tip to stem) then scoop out seeds and strings. Make a small slice on bottom of each half so it sits flat. With pastry brush, coat squash cavities with oil. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Place halves, cut side down, in prepared pan and roast until tender but still firm, about 30 minutes. 3.
3. Meanwhile, in large, heavy saucepan, combine broth, onion, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a simmer over low heat, then very gradually whisk in cornmeal. Whisking constantly, cook until mixture is thick, smooth and pulls away from side of saucepan, about 15 minutes. Remove polenta from heat, cover and set aside.
4. In food processor, pulse pine nuts just until coarsely ground. Stir in thyme, sage, rosemary, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and remaining 1 teaspoon pepper.
5. Remove squash from oven and reduce heat to 300°F. Carefully turn squash; fill each cavity with about 1/2 cup polenta and sprinkle with about 2 tablespoons pine nut mixture, lightly pressing into polenta. Return squash to oven and bake until topping begins to brown, about 25 minutes. Serve hot.

Nutritional Information

Per serving: Calories: 307, Protein: 8g, Total fat: 10g, Saturated fat: 1g, Carbs: 44g, Cholesterol: mg, Sodium: 442mg, Fiber: 9g, Sugars: g

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Southwestern Tofu Scramble

Leftovers make a great sandwich filling.

Ingredient

* 1 medium red bell pepper, diced (about 1 cup)
* 1 small carrot, diced (about 1/2 cup)
* 4 green onions, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
* 1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 tsp.)
* 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
* 1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
* 1 14-oz. pkg. medium tofu, drained and crumbled
* 1/2 tsp. hot sauce
* 2 Tbs. chopped cilantro
* salsa, for garnish

Directions

Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat and coat with cooking spray. Add bell pepper and carrot, and cook 7 minutes, or until just tender. Stir in green onions, garlic, cumin and turmeric, and cook 1 minute more. Add tofu and hot sauce, and cook 5 minutes, or until heated through and all liquid has cooked off. Stir in cilantro, and serve with salsa.
Nutritional Information

Serves 6

Per SERVING: Calories: 113, Protein: 11g, Total fat: 6g, Saturated fat: 1g, Carbs: 6g, Cholesterol: mg, Sodium: 32mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugars: 2g

Egg replacement options

here is a list of easy egg replacement options, taken from the book Living Vegan For Dummies:

For baking:

1/4 cup blended silken tofu = 1 egg

1 Tablespoon ground flax seeds plus 3 Tablespoons water = 1 egg

1 1/2 Tablespoons Ener-G Egg Replacer + 2 Tablespoons water mixed well = 1 egg

1/2 cup mashed or blended banana = 1 egg

1/4 cup soy yogurt = 1 egg

Friday, January 7, 2011

Red Lentil Soup

Dr. Neal Barnard's Red Lentil Soup

Makes 6 1-cup servings

This soup is so nutritious and so simple to prepare, you'll want to make it often. Its flavor is exquisite.

7 cups water
2 1/2 cups dry red lentils
1 large onion, minced
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 large pinch cayenne pepper
2-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 salt
1 black pepper

Combine water, lentils, onion, turmeric, and cayenne in a large soup pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer until lentils have disintegrated, about 30 to 60 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, cumin, salt, and black pepper to taste.

Tips from Dr. Neal Barnard,

In Breaking the Food Seduction, he outlines a path for conquering those unhealthy food addictions—that includes the following seven steps to breaking the food seduction:

1. Start with a good breakfast. Cutting hunger is the first step in cutting cravings.
2. Choose foods that steady your blood sugar. Beans, green vegetables, fruit, and whole grains help prevent blood sugar dips that can lead to cravings.
3. Eat at least 10 calories each day per pound of your ideal body weight. This tip is directed at calorie-cutting dieters who do not realize that, if they eat too little, their bodies stop making an appetite-controlling hormone called leptin. A person whose ideal weight is 150 pounds needs at least 1,500 calories per day, and probably much more.
4. Break out of craving cycles, which can occur daily, monthly (with a woman’s cycle), or yearly (with the change in seasons). Monthly chocolate cravings, for example, can be reduced with a low-fat, vegetarian diet, which tends to reduce the hormone swings that lead to cravings.
5. Exercise and rest are keys to restoring your physical resilience.
6. Use social support. Enlisting the help of friends and family makes changing habits much easier.
7. Take advantage of other motivators. New parents, for example, may decide to eat healthy foods not just for themselves, but for the sake of their children.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Tomato Artichoke Pasta

Extra virgin olive oil
5-6 cloves garlic, pressed
1 can diced tomatoes
3 oz. tomato paste
3 oz. white wine
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 C chopped green onions
6-7 oz. marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
1 package fresh pasta (or 1 lb. dried)

In a large saucepan, heat a little olive oil over medium heat. Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to boiling. When oil is hot, add garlic, green onions, and artichoke hearts. Saute until garlic is fragrant. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, salt, and pepper. Heat through and toss with cooked pasta.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Vegetarian Posole Stew

Ingredients

* 2 cups dried posole, or 3 to 4 cups canned with water (Mexican Style hominy)
* 6 qt. water
* 3 Tbs. vegetable oil
* 1 onion, chopped
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 2 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and into thin slices crosswise
* 2 yellow squash, cut in half length-wise and into thin slices crosswise
* 4 tomatoes, diced
* 4 dried New Mexico red chile pods, seeded, stemmed and torn into 12 pieces
* 2 bay leaves
* 4 cups vegetable broth
* 1 tsp. azafrán
* 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
* 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
* 1 1/2 tsp. salt

Directions

1. Soak dried posole overnight in 1 quart water. Next day, drain posole, and discard soaking water.

2. Place posole in large pot of water to cover by 3 inches. Bring posole to a boil over high heat, and reduce heat to low, cooking, uncovered, about 11/2 hours, or until kernels burst and are puffy and tender. Add water during cooking, if needed. Drain posole, and set aside.

3. Heat oil in 6-quart pot over medium-high heat, and sauté onion until clear, about 7 minutes. Add garlic, zucchini, yellow squash and tomatoes, and sauté 3 minutes more.

4. Add posole, red chile pods, bay leaves, vegetable broth and azafrán. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to low, cooking 30 minutes. Add oregano, thyme and salt, and continue cooking 30 minutes more, adding more water if needed. Serve hot in large soup bowls with warm bread.

SERVES 6 TO 8

Nutritional Information

Per Serving: Calories: 230, Protein: 4g, Total fat: 7g, Saturated fat: g, Carbs: 40g, Cholesterol: mg, Sodium: 690mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugars: 9g

little funny

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My lunch today

Quick Rice Pudding

(Serves 4)

2 Cups Cooked White or Brown Rice
1 Cup Low fat Rice Milk (you can also use any other milk)
1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
3 Tbsp Agave Nectar or other preferred sweetener
1/4 cup (approx) raisins
1/8 cup (approx) sunflower seeds
1/2 cup blueberries

1. Place all the ingredients except blueberries in a sauce pan and cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until it starts to thicken up.
2. Stir in blueberries and place in bowls and cool.
3. Refrigerate or serve at room temperature.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Lentil Burgers

2 c. lentil-bulgur mixture (see note)
2 c. bread crumbs
1 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. chopped green pepper
4 T. mixed Italian herbs
4 cloves garlic (or 4 t. powdered garlic)
2 T. soy flour mixed with 2 T. water (or other "egg substitute" that you're accustomed to using)
1/2 c. non-dairy milk

Mix the first six ingredients. Mix in soy flour/water mixture. Add milk and mix well. Chill 1/2 hour. Make into patties and "fry" 10 minutes per side on nonstick skillet, or bake on cookie sheet at 350 degrees, 10 minutes on each side.

Notes:
The lentil-bulgur mixture is simply equal parts lentils and bulgur cooked together

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Chickpeas,Spinach & Squash Gnocchi

1 lbs vegan gnocchi
1 TBS plus 1 T extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups thinly sliced peeled butternut squash.
1/2 cup sliced shallots
2 garlic, minced
1 14 oz can vegetable broth
2 TBS currants
1 tea dried sage
1/4 tea ground pepper
8 cups fresh spinach
1 15 oz can chickpeas
2 TBS balsamic vinegar

1. cook gnocchi according to package, drain, rinse
2. Heat 1 TBS oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add gnocchi and cook, stirring often, until starting to brown, 5-7 min. Transfer to a bowl.
3. Add the remaining 1 tea oil, squash, shallots and garlic to pan and cook, stirring, for 2 min. Stir in broth, currants, sage and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring, to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring until the squash is almost cooked through, 6-8 min. Add spinach, chickpeas and the gnocchi and cook, gently stirring, until the spinach is wilted, about 2 min more. Serve drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

bean soup

Start with a couple of cups of mixed beans. Wash beans, and, if possible soak in water overnight then rinse. Put in a pot with plenty of water.

Cook beans till they are tender

After beans are cooked, add:
-- chunks of potato
-- chunks of carrot
-- chili powder
-- a few cloves of crushed garlic
-- a can of chopped tomatoes
-- lots of fresh spinach
-- chopped mushrooms

Cook until the vegetables are done.

All the items added at the end are optional, and, of course, you could add whatever else you like.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Barley Hoppin’ John

Traditionally made with rice, this classic Southern dish gets great toothsome texture here from quick-cooking barley instead. Serve with a green salad.

Ingredients

* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
* 2 stalks celery, chopped
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 14-ounce can vegetable broth
* 1 cup quick-cooking barley
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
* 2 teaspoons lemon juice
* 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 2 15-ounce cans black-eyed peas, rinsed

Preparation

1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper and celery. Cook until the vegetables soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add broth, barley, thyme, lemon juice, crushed red pepper and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until the barley is done, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in black-eyed peas. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve hot.

4 servings, 1 1/2 cups each

Nutrition

Per serving : 320 Calories; 5 g Fat; 1 g Sat; 3 g Mono; 0 mg Cholesterol; 58 g Carbohydrates; 12 g Protein; 11 g Fiber; 677 mg Sodium; 529 mg Potassium

**NOTE TO MY FRIENDS**
Come on in for a nice cup of coffee and a chat about my weight loss journey as well as all the healthy recipes I have found, including WW points and/or nutritional information if available. I am eating a vegetarian diet and concentrating on getting healthy and hopefully weight loss will follow. Thank to all my readers for their ongoing support.