Tag Archives: dinner

Halloween!

1 Nov

Hooray! Yesterday was Halloween! And today I am sad because I have to wait a whole year for it to happen again.

We started our celebrations early by heading to Rochester last weekend to visit friends and have fun. It was great! We got to hang out with friends, sleep in (!!!!!!), go to a museum, eat sorbet/frozen yogurt with ENDLESS TOPPINGS, and drink lots of cider with whiskey.

Before we left on our journey, I made a tasty dinner:

 

This is yet another meal from Appetite for Reduction, Unfried Fried Rice and Lettuce Wraps with Hoisin-Mustard Tofu.  I’ve made the tofu before, and it is one of my favorite things.  The rice was new.  It came out perfect!  I cooked the rice earlier in the day so it had some time to cool down before I unfried it, and it was wonderful.  To bulk it up a little, I added some steamed carrots and butternut squash cubes.  The butternut squash was a random thing and I wasn’t sure how it would taste.  It worked, though!  It gave a little bit of sweet, and the added sriracha added heat.  So good.

We were back in New Hampshire for real Halloween, and I celebrated during the day by doing a Zombies, Run! mission on my lunch break.  I had sore legs from weight training the day before, but I managed to evade the zombies anyway.

Paul and I both had crummy days at work, so I wasn’t sure we wanted to do anything for Halloween night.  But we managed to put our grumps away for a while, and headed out to Portsmouth.  It was our first time there, but I had heard that they know how to do Halloween right.  And they do!  There was a Halloween parade going on, but we missed most of it.  No worries, though, we had other plans.

We headed for a quick bite to eat at The Friendly Toast, a diner-style restaurant that my friend Colleen had raved about.  They have a decent selection of vegan-friendly foods, good beers available, and the most wonderful, kitschy decor.  It wasn’t very crowded, thanks to people being too busy cavorting in the streets, so our food came quickly.  We both had the Vegan Valhalla – a burrito filled with brown rice, portobello mushrooms, and tofu.  I had mine with home fries, which I was so glad to hear were not cooked using butter!  Yay!  Paul had sweet potato fries, and they were fantastic.

It was also nice that they had soy milk for the coffee.  Yeah, it’s such a small thing.  But Concord seems to not know that soy milk or any non-dairy milk drink is a thing.

Anyway, our main plan for the night was to go see Texas Chainsaw Massacre at the Portsmouth Music Hall Loft.  One of my favorite movies, and one Paul had never seen before.  The crowd was small and full of friendly people, and they had special cocktails available for the night (you can even bring them right into the theater – holy crap I love this place!)

We both had a drink called the Massacre:

 

It was made of vodka, tequila, and ginger ale.  Whaaaat?  Tequila and ginger ale?  I know ginger ale (or beer) goes well with a lot of liquors, but I’d never tried it with tequila.  And well, it worked.  Now, to make them at home.

We had a lot of fun at the movie, people were really into it and I left feeling happier than I have in a while.  Thanks, Portsmouth!

Eating Other Blogs

18 Oct

I made the most fantastic dinner last night.  But I didn’t come up with the idea myself.  Actually, dinner goodness was thanks to two great blogs: The Vegan Crew and A,B,C, Vegan.

Usually when I see a recipe online, I start thinking about ways to make it different, or better, or how to remove animal products to make it vegan.  But this was perfect – Mushroom Alfredo Sauce with Chik’n and Mushrooms.  I didn’t change a thing, other than using a product other than Beyond Meat because I can’t get that in the backwoods of New Hampshire.  I also threw a little crushed red pepper on top because I like my sweet with spicy.

 

Paul said it was one of the best dinners I’ve ever made.  I agreed!

I want to put this pumpkin alfredo on more things.  I want to eat cauliflower rice more often (our cauliflower is usually mashed).  I want to eat chik’n and mushrooms with spinach.

Thank goodness there are leftovers!

Make this!

Squash, Apples, Wine, Cows

15 Oct

Those are all things that I like a great deal.  Needless to say, I am a very happy girl about now.

This past weekend, Paul and I visited my parents in upstate New York.  We had a very relaxing and fun time with them, and even got a day of sunshine to enjoy things outdoors!

We ventured out on Saturday to find some apples.  Not many orchards are doing pick your own apples this year, due to the low yields.  That was okay though, because my arms aren’t completely healed and I’d be stuck with the low hangers anyway.  So we stopped at a local orchard and purchased about 20 lbs. of apples.  You see, Paul and I make fantastic homemade unsweetened applesauce.  Time to get canning!

My mother wanted to stop at a local bakery, but that ended up being closed for a family wedding.  However, we found two wonderful things as we turned away from the abandoned bakery: so many cows, and a sign pointing us towards a winery.

The winery is called Johnston’s Winery.  We followed painted signs pointing us to a private residence in the middle of nowhere (we were already in the middle of nowhere, this took us a bit more in).  None of us had much hope, but a very nice gentleman showed us into his brewing room and showroom.  He had a number of fruit and grape wines, and I have to say they were some of the best New York wines I’ve had.  Now, I’ve never really been a fan of New York wines to begin with.  Some of them aspire to be too much like Boone’s Farm.  Anyway, we were really surprised, especially with his Chardonnay.  It was delicious and fruity and nothing like Chardonnay wines usually are (I’ve come to decide they usually taste like fermented bath water).  This guy knows his stuff.  He even let us check out his brewing set up!  It was a thing of dreams, really.  We left with a mixed case, which I can’t wait to dig into.  If you’re ever in the Galway/Charlton area of New York, you should check it out.

We stopped on the way back to say hello to the cows.  I sure do love cows.  Now sadly, we were separated by an electric fence that the cows would not get within ten feet of (can’t blame them), so we were just able to trade some moos back and forth.  I have a whole slew of pictures of cows looking at me funny.  But this one was my favorite.  Her attention could not be taken from the grass.  Chew chew chew.

 

Before we left for my parents’ house, I had some squash to cook.  Every fall, I get so excited when all the variety of squashes come out and it’s just mountain of gourds and they all look beautiful and delicious.  One squash I’ve never tried is the weird dinosaur looking one.  Hubbard squash.

Since Hubbards are HUGE, we jumped on the chance to buy just a piece of one.  The whole ones can be a bit intimidating

 

Squash usually does well in soup, so I did some digging around to find some ideas.  I settled on a pinto bean and mixed squash soup.  So thick and beany and squashy!

Pinto Bean and Mixed Squash Soup

adapted from Cooking Light; makes 6 large servings

  • 3 cups dried pinto beans
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 cups chopped onion
  • 4 cups winter squash, chopped 1/2″ (I used Hubbard and Butternut)
  • 1 cup sliced carrot
  • 1 Tbsp. chipotle in adobo, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ground sage
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes (low or no sodium optional)
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. dry roasted pumpkin seeds

1) Prepare beans: place beans in a pot and cover with water so that beans are below 2″ of water.  Let sit for 8 hours.  After beans have soaked, drain them, then place in a pot with 4 cups of water.  Bring beans and water to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, cover the pot and let simmer for another 30 minutes.

2) Meanwhile, prepare your vegetables.  Heat olive oil in a large skillet, and cook the onion, carrots, squash and chipotle until the onions are softened and starting to brown.

3) Add the onion mixture to the beans, then add the thyme, sage, crushed tomatoes, and vodka.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover and cook at a reduced heat for at least ten minutes, but as long as you’d like, making sure that the squash is tender.  Stir occasionally.

4) Ladle the soup into bowls, and garnish with the pumpkin seeds

 

So, in this soup, the Hubbard squash tasted much like the butternut.  The texture was a bit different, maybe a bit more grainy.  I liked it, but because of its bumpy skin, it’s a bitch to peel and chop.  I might just stick with the butternut in the future.  But still, adventure!

Note on the vodka: my boyfriend is a chemist.  He taught me all about esters and how tomatoes react with alcohol to release these wonderful things called esters that make things taste more flavorful and complex.  You can do it with any alcohol, vodka is just a relatively otherwise flavorless booze that you can use with any flavors.  I’d try this again with red wine!

HOLY SHIT VEGAN NACHOS

18 Aug

This is really exciting, guys.  Vegan nachos.  I gave myself a belly ache with these things.

I got so excited that I instagrammed my vegan nachos.  Then I frowned a bit because I got so excited that I instagrammed my vegan nachos.  Then I ate them and I was happy again.

 

There’s not a whole lot to this recipe.  For my birthday, Paul bought me some Nacho Teese.  I love Teese.  I was holding onto it for a special occasion.  This was it.

Holy Shit Vegan Nachos

Ingredients
 
vegan pita breads, as many as you want to eat
1 15oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup salsa (whatever you like, I used Hot Green Mountain Gringo
1 cup Boca crumbles
1 Tbsp. curry paste
pinch of cayenne pepper
diced tomatoes, to taste
Nacho Teese, to taste
jalapeno slices, for topping
extra salsa, for topping
reduced fat Vegenaise, for topping

Directions
1) Preheat oven to 350F. Cut each pita into triangles, I got six from each pita. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray, place the pita triangles on it, and spray with a little more cooking spray. Bake until crispy, about 10 minutes or so.
2) While the pitas are toasting in the oven, place the black beans, boca crumbles, 1/2 cup salsa, curry paste, and cayenne pepper in a small pot. Cook over medium heat until the crumbles are cooked through and the combination is thickened.
3) Heat your Nacho Teese in the microwave, until molten and awesome looking.
4) Assemble! Place your pita wedges on a plate. Top those wedges with some of the black bean-boca mixture, some diced tomatoes, and your Nacho Teese. Top that with some more salsa, jalapeno slices, and some vegenaise (sounds gross? It’s good) and whatever else you might want to top it with.
5) Fuuuuuck. Eat that stuff.

Also, I like this article so much. Thirteen mile run tomorrow! It will be “slow”. I’m saving the .1 for my official half marathon 🙂

What I Ate When I Ran Twelve Miles for the First Time (WIAW #82)

15 Aug

Oh hey there! I do a lot of What I Ate Wednesdays. I wasn’t going to bother this week, until I realized that I was running 12 miles on Sunday for my half marathon training, and I figured why not do a 12 mile run WIAW. Otherwise known as WIAWIR12MFTFT. Catchy!

I tried to get a lot of calories in me before the run. We started out at around 5pm. So I had the whole day in front of me! Or I did, until we decided not to wake up until around 11:30-ish.

Oh well. Long run day breakfast is pretty much always oatmeal.

I cook my oatmeal funny. I add lots of liquid to it! For each serving of oats I add 1 cup water and 1 cup almond milk. Plus a little sweetener and cinnamon. Also usually some ground flax seed, but in my sleep overdosed state I forgot it. Then I cook it for a real long time! Then it gets glomped in a bowl and things get added to it before it is eaten. BAM! RECIPE!

I added a tablespoon of my homemade almond butter and some maple syrup. So good. Not pictured is the nectarine I also ate with it.

I can’t eat real close to running time, so I made some lunch around 3:30-ish. Paul’s parents had been here the day before so we had sandwich fixings. I don’t usually eat sandwiches. I love them, but I always feel like I finish them too quickly. I’m all about having a huge plate full of food. Salads are better that way. Anyway, I had some veggie turkey and my home pickled sweet pickles and lettuce on a lavash with veggies (the tomatoes are from Paul’s parent’s garden!) and hummus. Good stuff.

As the run came closer, I had to get our stuff together. Camelbaks, Gus, and a sodium shot. What’s a sodium shot? It’s awesome, I’ll tell you that. I’m going to dedicate a whole post to them at some point.

I’m surprised you can’t see the stink lines coming off of my camelbak, actually. I am not dainty. It’s since been washed, though!

I only went through one of the Gus on the twelve mile run. What a run, too. As soon as we left the house, it started pouring, with thunder in the distance. We waited ten minutes, and it looked like it was letting up so Paul was like, “hey let’s just go.” So we did, and it started pouring again! For the first mile and a half or so. Then it lightened up some. And there was a rainbow! It was awesome! Awesome except for my soggy feet. Twelve miles in waterlogged socks. Imagine the blisters. Okay, now imagine more of them. Ugh.

Anyway, we made it! And I came back inside and was ravenous. Which is weird, because my long runs have been leaving me nauseated for hours up until now. It looks like my stomach is getting used to long distance running! Go stomach!

This is stuff that I ate before my shower. Honey roasted peanuts, a crumpet, and some maple kettle corn. Oh and water!

Shower and stretch before dinner time. Dinner was easy, pita pizzas! With veggie pepperoni, spinach, and vegan cheese. Pretty yummy!

Once dinner was over, I still had about 1400 calories left to eat for the day. Crazy! So Paul and I went to Walmart (the only thing open late in New Hampshire) like a couple of stoners on a mission. Junk food! We actually wanted to get decadent tofutti ice cream bars, but Walmart… you know. So, cookies and candies it was!

Disclaimer: we didn’t eat all this. Actually, we didn’t touch the chocolate and Paul brought most of it into work the next day for the vultures to eat. But it felt good to buy a bunch of junk food.

Before bed we also shared a bottle of cider. Mmm, cider.

So yup, that’s what I eat when I run twelve miles.

See what other people eat here!:

What I Ate Wednesday – Birthday Edition!

8 Aug

Hey I had a birthday not long ago! I’m 31! My birthday was actually at the end of July, so this is a bit late. But anyway. My birthday day was very relaxing. I went on a 3.1 mile run for my 31st, which is something I want to make a habit of for birthdays to come!

Paul came home with a bag full of goodies from Cafe Indigo, like really a bag full. We shared a piece of vegan fudge before going out to eat sushi. After sushi we headed to a bar that I had heard has many beers on tap, and then we went galactic bowling! I haven’t been bowling in years. I’m still terrible at it, it seems!

But this What I Ate Wednesday is about what I ate the day AFTER my birthday! Paul and I headed down to Boston, with plans to stay at a swanky hotel and go see a play in a park in Chelsea.

We woke up late-ish and had breakfast. Judge me if you want, but I eat egg white omelets sometimes. Paul makes really good omelets, what can I say.

This one had spinach, sauteed mushrooms, and vegan cheese in it. We had toasted pitas with homemade blueberry lime jam (more on that tomorrow!) and fruit salad.

After packing up our things for the night, we made a pit stop at the local running store. I picked up a new pair of Mizuno Inspires, since the Brooks Adrenaline were just not working out for me (not enough room in the toe box for my freakishly long second toes). Across the street is this cafe called Planet Marshmallow that sells homemade marshmallows. We picked up a bag. Again, feel free to judge! I ate eggs and gelatin on the day after my birthday. It happens sometimes. I ate some with a banana on the way to Boston

We checked into this totally swanky hotel that had bath robes and slippers waiting for us (I think rich people have freakishly small feet?) and it started looking like it was going to rain. We were pretty sure the play in the park was off, so we decided to walk around. We had a small snack and some coffee before heading out

The plan was to walk in the direction of Veggie Galaxy in Cambridge. I am obsessed with this place, they have the most amazing food and I have to eat there every time we’re in Boston. We made it about a mile before it started raining. I saw this shortly before getting on the T.

Don’t forget!

So it started POURING! Stupid us, we brought umbrellas with us, but didn’t take them on our walk. Of course, a little corner store had some for us to purchase. We made it to Veggie Galaxy mostly dry.

And then we ate so much.

We skipped the vegan frappe this time, sadly. It is so delicious but so filling.
I ordered the Vegetable Pot Pie with smoked tofu, covered in pesto, with mashed sweet potatoes and arugula. We ordered a kids portion of the vegan mac and cheese because it is too good to not order. It had to be done. And Paul had the Beer Battered House Smoked Tofu, which came with red cabbage slaw and the most delicious black pepper french fries. I mean, how awesome does this food look? It tastes even better! They even make their own ketchup. Seriously. Love you, Veggie Galaxy.

After eating, it was still raining. We made it over the Charles river, but not without getting drenched. So, we decided to pick up some booze, get a cab back to the hotel, and just relax for the night.

Mission accomplished! We shared a bottle of cider, and some black IPA. The IPA went so well with a Cafe Indigo brownie:

We spent the rest of the night curled in our bath robes, watching the olympics. That was a fine birthday for me!

What I Ate Wednesday – Cool Slaw Edition!

25 Jul

Hey Happy What I Ate Wednesday!

This is what I ate yesterday!  Happy What I Ate Tuesday!

My food was not all that exciting on Tuesday, but it was pretty tasty.  I started work at 8 instead of my usual 9am start, since I was quitting earlier to go to a doctor appointment. I woke up and scarfed down some Ezekiel toast with chunky natural peanut butter and a smoothie made with mixed tropical fruits, plain unsweetened almond milk, vanilla brown rice protein powder, and stevia. Good stuff!

Around midmorning I got really sleepy and not so great feeling. I sort of moped around for a while until lunchtime.

Guess what? I ate a salad! Yep, I always eat a salad. This one had lots of veggies, edamame, and red pepper hummus. I picked up a random tub of hummus at the not-so-great grocery store across the street and I think I might throw it out. Not so great.

I went to my doctor appointment and didn’t really think I’d be out long. But I ended up sitting in the waiting room for a long time, which was no big deal. Like three ladies were in labor. I wasn’t in labor. I can wait!

When I got home though, I was hungry. I had a run coming up, albeit a short one, so I had some fruit to try to keep my belly calm. Nectarines are so good!

I forgot to take a picture of my pre-run coconut date roll. Whoops!

Paul and I ran our short three miles at around 7. I felt like I was working way harder for the speed I was going at. But it was super windy and wind makes me breathe funny. We both felt, well, winded when we were done. But we got it done and that’s what counts! Tonight is five miles. Whoop whoop.

After watering/fertilizing the garden, we came in to make dinner. I had this idea that portobello mushrooms and guacamole would go together well, and Paul wanted cool slaw. I hadn’t made cool slaw in a while, so we both got what we were craving!

So we grilled portobellos, sliced them and ate them in pitas with guacamole, lettuce and tomato. Yum! The cool slaw was awesome both on the side, and tucked inside the pitas Baha-style. You might be wondering what cool slaw is. Well, it’s only the most awesome low-fat vegan coleslaw recipe around. It’s Cool Slaw!

Cool Slaw
adapted from Appetite for Reduction

Ingredients
1/4 cup raw almonds, soaked at least one hour
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp. chopped shallots
5 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. agave nectar
1/2 tsp. sea salt
fresh ground black pepper
2-4 Tbsp. reduced fat Vegenaise, to taste
1lb. packaged cole slaw mix or shredded cabbage

Directions
Add the drained cashews, water, shallots, vinegar, mustard, agave nectar, salt and pepper to a blender. Blend on high until the mixture is smooth, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula if needed.

Combine the coleslaw mix or cabbage to a bowl, and add the dressing from your blender. Mix well to combine. Add Vegenaise to taste.

So good! I like the recipe without the Vegenaise, but with it is a whole ‘nother level. But I put Vegenaise on lots of things, so. Blush.

So there we go. I capped the night off with a skinny person beer.

Vegan Quiche, Blueberry Picking, and Parents!

23 Jul

So, last Wednesday, for What I Ate Wednesday, I posted a picture of the vegan quiche lorraine that I made for dinner.  I used to love the quiche that my Nannie (that would be my mom’s mom) used to make.  She made the most delicious and buttery pie crusts, and her quiche was always perfect.  It was filled with eggs, cream, swiss cheese, bacon, and with tomato slices on top.  I always really liked the slightly dehydrated tomato slices.  I could eat pretty much none of that anymore, but this crustless vegan quiche is a nice substitution.  I didn’t put tomato slices on top, but I will try that next time around!

 

Crustless Vegan Quiche Lorraine

adapted from Quick and Easy Low-Cal Vegan Comfort Food

Ingredients

24 oz. light silken tofu (I used the refrigerated, water packed kind from Nasoya)

1 Tbsp. tahini

3 Tbsp. cornstarch

1 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. turmeric

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

1/4 tsp. dry mustard

1/4 tsp. Spike seasoning

1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

1 Tbsp. canola oil

1/4 large white onion, diced very small

1 vegan sausage, diced (I used the Sweet Seitan Sausage from this same cookbook, delicious!)

2 minced garlic cloves

Directions

1) Preheat your oven to 375F, and spray a 9″ springform pan with cooking spray.  Set the pan aside for later.

2) Place the first eleven ingredients in a blender and blend until combined and smooth.  Using a spatula to scrape down the sides, empty the mixture into a medium sized bowl and set aside while you assemble the remaining ingredients.

3) In a medium sized frying pan, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and the sausage and cook them for 3 or four minutes.  Add the garlic and cook until it’s fragrant, don’t let it burn.

4) Add the onion-sausage mixture to the blended tofu mixture and stir well to combine.

5) Transfer that mixture to your prepared springform pan, and cook in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes.  If you toothpick test the middle, it should come out clean.  Let it rest in the pan for about ten minutes, then remove from the springform until ready to serve.

I served it at room temperature and warmed up, and they were both delicious!

This weekend was another really nice weekend!  Paul and I took a journey back into New York on Friday to spend the weekend with my parents.  Vermont was right these standing between us and New York, and when we drove through the Quechee Gorge area, we decided to stop and look around.

 

It’s a very nice area, with a wide trail going down to the bottom of the gorge, and what looked like well-blazed trails off of it.  I think I’d like to go back there for more exploring.

Once we got to my parents, we had even more of a fun time!  We got in late on Friday due to various pit stops, so Saturday was our day of fun.  (As an aside, Paul and I entered Moe’s Southwest Grill as a very hungry couple right before closing on Friday night.  They took my dairy allergy very seriously and I really appreciated all the extra steps they took to make sure I wasn’t going to get any cross-contaminated food.  Thank you guys again!)

On Saturday, Paul, my mom and I went to Schuylerville.  We drove up to the cemetery where my Nannie and grandpa are, since I haven’t visited in a while, and walked around the town a bit.  There are a few really neat stores in this super small town, especially thrift store and a used book store.  I got a nice polyester flower print shirt with ruffles on it, and copies of Viktor Frankl’s The Unconscious God and Anton Chekov’s The Cherry Orchard.  I love me some Frankl.  And some Russian authors.

On top of all of the awesome books, this store has great decor.  I especially liked this skeleton in the horror section:

 

He’s reading The History of Orthopedics, of course.

We also went blueberry picking!  We each ended up with six or so pounds of blueberries.  My mom is a picking machine:

 

She filled up her bucket at least ten minutes before Paul and I filled the one that we were working on together!  Geesh!

Here’s our stash.  Paul’s “letting” me make a small batch of blueberry jam with them, but he mostly wants to cram them into his face unaltered.

 

Four quarts!

The last thing we did on Saturday was run.  We were scheduled for a nine mile run based on our half marathon training.  My farthest and longest run ever!  It was not pretty, let me tell you.  But I did it!  My parents have a mile loop around their neighborhood, so we ran that nine times.  It was funny, and we got encouragement from other people in the neighborhood as we kept going around and around.  But man, old and compact asphalt is hard.  And afterwards, I felt so weird.  It took an hour and a half or so for my stomach to be able to handle more than little sips of water or chocolate soy milk (this will definitely never be my after-run food of choice).  Paul is much more used to the long runs than I am.  Well, he’s done them before because he ran a marathon a few years ago.  So he hit his groove during this run.  Afterwards, while I’m rocking back and forth wondering whether or not I’m going to be spending the next little while with my head in the toilet, he’s pouring himself a big glass of wine!  Ugh!

Anyway, I recovered and became so ravenously hungry.  Good thing we had picked up food from Antipasto’s, which has some of the tastiest vegan and vegetarian Italian food in the capital district.  Granted, there’s not a lot of choices, but this is still a solid one.  I would have taken a picture of my tofu parmesan (the Paul McCartney, as Antipasto’s calls is), but I was busy rocking back and forth post-run.  Whoops!

Hanging out with my parents was super fun.  Even sitting on the couch and watching the Comicon movie and Saturday Night Live was pretty awesome.  Thanks, parents!  (I told them I was blogging again and my dad got annoyed at the name.  Again.)

Chickpea Taco Calzones

20 Sep

Oh hey I’m back again!  Really, I am so bad at this blogging thing.  I make food, I take pictures, I plan on writing a blog post.  Then I’m unhappy with the pictures and I decide not to write anything.

But hey, I’ve been making some delicious food.

I was at an antique shop with the boy and I came across a big bookcase full of cookbooks.  Most of them were vegetarian or vegan!  I decided to pick up The Vegetarian Epicure Book Two by Anna Thomas.  Flipping through the book on the drive back home, I realized I wanted to cook every single thing in there.  So, I’m starting from the beginning!

I made my first recipe from it  yesterday, but I’m going to back up a bit because I made some delicious food the other weekend and I want to tell you about it.

Lately I’ve become a fan of Healthy Food For Living and last weekend I came upon the post for Taco Calzones with Avocado Cream.  I showed it to the boy and we were both making our hungry noises, so I decided they should be made.  But without meat!  So I proposed we make them with my favorite taco filling: chickpeas.

Since I changed this recipe around a little bit, I figured I would share it!

Chickpea Taco Calzones

makes 4 calzones

1 lb. prepared pizza dough (I bought Wegmans whole wheat pizza dough, which is surprisingly delicious for a pre-made dough!)

2 tsp olive oil

1/4 cup chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, pressed

1 can drained and rinsed or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas

1/2 of a green bell pepper, chopped

taco seasoning to taste (I used Trader Joe’s)

1/4 cup salsa (I used Trader Joe’s Garlic Chipotle Salsa)

2oz. reduced fat cheddar or monterey jack, shredded (I used Organic Valley Reduced Fat Monterey Jack)

1) Preheat oven to 450F, place a pizza stone on the middle rack.

2) Divide your dough into four equal portions, and roll them out into circles about 1/4″ thick.  Set them aside while you prepare the filling.

3) Heat the olive oil in a medium frying pan, add the  onion and cook until translucent.  Add the chickpeas and cook until heated through.  Mash the chickpea and onion mixture coarsely, leaving some big chunks of chickpea.  Add in the green pepper, garlic, and taco seasoning.  Continue to cook and stir until mixed thoroughly.  If the mixture is sticking to your frying pan, deglaze with a little bit of water.

4) Stir in the salsa, remove from heat.

5) Divide the chickpea mixture among each dough circle, placing it on one half of the dough and leaving a 1/2″ border to close the calzone.  Top the mixture with some shredded cheese.

6)  Fold the other half of the dough over to close the calzone, and pinch them shut.  Pierce the tops of the calzones with a fork to allow steam to escape.

7) Place the calzones onto the preheated pizza stone with a spatula or peel.  Cook for about 15 minutes, or until the calzones are browned on top and puffy.

Thanks so much to Healthy Food For Living for the great recipe and inspiration!  Please do check out the original post, it contains directions for freezing and reheating (which I didn’t try as it didn’t take us long to feast through these babies).

We ate it with the avocado cream (also included in the original post linked above!) and additional Trader Joe’s salsa.

I’ll be back soon with the results of my first recipe from The Vegetarian Epicure, Book 2 adventure.  Also, I’ll introduce you to the boy that’s been eating all this food with me!

– Ellen

Gingered Vegetables and a Swiss Chard Pie!

21 Jun

I do lots of traveling for work, and spend quite a few nights in hotels.  I usually bring food with me, get a hotel room with at least a refrigerator if not a microwave also, and cook for myself.  Eating out is good once in a while if I can find an interesting restaurant, but I have to admit that eating canned beans, couscous, and a salad is getting boring.  So today I decided to cook up a bunch of food to take with me!

The first thing I made was the Savory Swiss Chard Pie from FatFree Vegan Kitchen.  I swear Susan comes up with the best, healthiest recipes.  Swiss chard, yum yum.  I haven’t had any of this yet but I did clean out the pie plate with a fork after I put the pie into individual containers.

I’ve never eaten chard stems before, and this recipe uses both the stems and leaves.  Woah, every bit of that vegetable is tasty.

I also cooked up some vegetables tonight.  For dinner tonight, and for the week.  So many vegetables, they barely fit in my largest frying pan.  So here we’ve got some gingery vegetables!

Ingredients!

5 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped

2 medium onions, quartered and separated

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. chopped fresh ginger

1 Tbsp. chopped garlic

2 lb. red potatoes, cubed

8oz. green beans

4 medium carrots, cut in matchsticks

Directions!

Place the potatoes, green beans and carrots in a large pot of boiling, salted water.  Bring back to a boil and cook for about five minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

While this is cooking, heat the olive oil in a LARGE frying pan.  Cook the jalapenos and onions until soft.  Add in the ginger, garlic, and some salt and pepper to taste.  Cook this over medium heat for about five minutes.

Add the potatoes, green beans and carrots to the frying pan.  Cook over medium heat until everything is cooked through.

Word of advice: if you’ve got more ginger, ADD IT!

So now I’ve got lots of food packed up to go to Utica with me.  So much cheaper, healthier, and vegan than most of the food I find on the road!