Sunday, February 27, 2011

Curry Pita Pizza

Curry Pita Pizza

This here pizza was full of flavor and managed to abide by the ETL rules.
The following was spread onto a whole grain pita, then topped with dried figs and red bell peppers.  Then I baked it at 400 degrees F for about 15 minutres.

Cashew Curry Sauce (sorry for the lack of specific measures)
soaked raw cashews
a small amount of silken tofu
curry powder, to taste
a little bit of unsweetened soy milk to thin it out
Directions: Blend until smooth

Carmelized Onion Marmalade
2 yellow onions, cut into thin rings
1/2 cup low sodium vegetable broth
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Directions:   In a hot skillet, add onions and vegetable broth.  Cover and cook until very soft.  About 20 minutes.  Add balsamic vinegar, toss to coat, reduce heat to low, uncover and cook until almost all of the liquid is absorbed, and  mass of "slimy" onions is left.

I also really like to eat my salads right on top of my pizza, so after the pizza was cooked, I topped it with a romaine salad topped with pine nuts and the Green Goddess Dressing from Isa's Appetite for Reduction.  I made the dressing sans the salt, and it is still really, really yummy.

Curry Pita Pizza with Salad
Pizza topped with SAlad

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Finally getting the hang of cooking this way!

So week one was a week of experimenting and trying out new methods of cooking, and I am really getting the hang of it!  Now I am starting to feel confident enough to start making some new dishes.

Earlier this week we had a great rice dish for dinner.  I didn't write down the recipe, but I am pretty sure I remember everthing I put in it.

Mediterranean Brown Rice

Mediterranean Brown Rice
Makes 2 main dishes

About 2 cups of cooked brown rice
1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
About 4 sundried tomatoes (NOT packed in oil), chopped
About 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
About 1/2 cup of low sodium vegetable broth (or water)
About 2 big handfulls of spinach
The juice of 1 lemon
About 10 leaves of fresh basil, chiffonade
Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
A sprinkling of pine nuts

Prepare rice and set aside.
In a shallow pan add asparagus, sundried tomatoes, garlic, and vegetable broth.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat until asparagus is bright green and tender.
Add in spinach and toss to wilt.
Remove from heat.
Toss with rice.
Squeeze in lemon juice, toss to coat.
Add basil chiffonade, toss again.
Add pepper to taste, and garnish with pine nuts.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Eating for my health...

What I have learned is that it is all too easy to fall into the belief that "if it's vegan it must be healthy."  Four cookbooks and countless pounds later, I need to drop more than a few.

I've gone on "diets" before, but this time I am trying something new.  I am also bringing my husband along for the ride!  I am currently on my 3rd day of my 28 day challenge.  Following the kickoff, I will work through the four phases of Eat for Health by Dr. Joel Fuhrman.

This is a radical way of eating for me.  NO OIL!  NO ADDED SUGARS!!  NO ADDED SALT!!!  I thought it would be easy.  I mean, almost all of the recipes are vegan anyways, right?  Well, geez, I am having a terrible time with this.  My husband and I have decided to give ourselves one cheat day per week, so that it keeps us motivated to stay on track the rest of the week.

I am playing with the guidelines, and will post any delicious recipes I come up with...but so far, it's been pretty boring meals...oatmeal, soup, grains, broccoli...all of which I need not take a picture of.  That's not to say the recipes in the book are boring, just what we have made so far has been.  There actually looks like there are some pretty yummy foods, I am sure I will adore.

My goal, to appreciate food for its nourishment more than for its pleasure, that way when I do indulge on occasion, well, I will enjoy and savor it that much more!

If you are interested in tring this out yourself, visit for more information.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Game Time! Toffalo Hot Wings

No money bets this year, but my husband and I have our own pool for house chores, back rubs, and other unmentionables.  Ha!

A small affair today.  Just us, my sister and my nephew, so we won't be making anything major.  BUT we will be making wings!  Toffalo Hot Wings to be exact.  This recipe is from The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions, now available from Herbivore!

Toffalo Hot Wings

Serve with Cool Ranch Dipping Sauce (below) and a few stalks of celery for an even more realistic experience.

A deep fat fryer comes in handy here, but if you don't have one, a pot with oil heated to 350°F (180°C) will do just fine.

16 "finger" sized chunks of extra firm tofu, drained and pressed (or seitan, or tempeh, or gardein strips)

For the batter:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper (more if you like lots of pepper)
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1 cup (235 ml) full fat coconut milk
Vegetable Oil for frying

For the Buffalo Sauce:
1 stick (1/2 cup, g) nondairy butter, melted
2 to 4 tablespoons (30 to 60 ml) or even more hot sauce, like Tobasco, depending on how spicy you like it
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

For the Cool Ranch Dipping Sauce:
1 cup (225 g) vegan mayo, store bought or homemade
1/2 cup (120 g) nondairy sour cream, store bought or homemade
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

To make the wings, Cut your tofu (or seitan, or tempeh, or gardein strips) into 16 "chicken finger" sized pieces.
Set up a breading station. In one shallow dish, mix together flour, pepper, paprika, oregano and basil.
In a seperate dish, place the coconut milk.
Double dredge one "wing" by first dipping it into the coconut milk, then into the flour mixture, then back into the coconut milk, then back into the batter.
Place in the hot oil and fry until golden, about 1 minute.
Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to absorb excess oil.
Repeat with remaining wings.
To make the Buffalo Sauce, melt butter and stir in hot sauce, garlic powder and salt and pepper.
Place fried wings in a bowl and pour Buffalo sauce all over wings.
Gently toss to coat.
To make the Cool Ranch Dressing, mix all ingredients together until well incorporated.
Store dressing in an airtight container for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.
Yield: 16 wings and about 1 1/2 cups (350 ml) Cool Ranch Dressing

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Tasty and easy. Vegan convenience foods.

Yep, even I rely on these easy ready made (or almost ready made) convenience foods, because, honestly, after a long day at work, sometimes I just don't feel like cooking from scratch.

Here are two of my new favorites: Gardein Beef Strips and Nacho Mom's Queso.  I got these at Whole Foods in Laguna Beach.  The Queso was really affordable.  Only $4 something for a pretty decent size jar.  The Gardein isn't really cheap at all.  About $10 a pound from the prepared foods department.  I haven't seen the strips packaged yet, so I get them from the deli department.

Here are the Strips prepared in a "beef" and broccoli bowl:
Gardein Vegan Beef Strips
The strips are very eerily realistic.  Stringy like real beef.  So, if that is a turn off to you, well, then you won't like them.  BUT if you are trying to win over some omnis, well then, add these strips to a stir fry or bowl or fajitas, and dare them to even notice.

Here's the Queso on, well, Nachos of course!
Nacho Moms Vegan Queso
The Queso comes in two flavors; original and fire roasted.  I like them both.  The crazy thing about this stuff is how low in calories it is.  AND fat free to boot!  10 calories per serving, means you could gorge yourself on the entire jar for only 160 calories!  WOOT!  Try to say that about traditional queso.  This is almost diet food.  HA!

I will post later about my Toffalo Wings I plan on making for tomorrow's big game.  YUM!  I'm not really into footbal, but I do enjoy the commercials.
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2012 Copyright/Permissions/Disclaimers

All recipes written by me, Joni Marie Newman, unless otherwise noted. Please feel free to refer to or link back to any of my recipes, but please ask for permission, and remember to give credit when reprinting recipes in their entirety. I do provide links to affiliate programs (such as Amazon) in which I receive a small commission for items purchased. I do not provide paid reviews. All reviews done on products or books are of my own unsolicited opinion. On occasion I may receive a book or product to review. I will note when this is the case, but rest assured, it will not affect the authenticity of my review. Thanks!--Joni