Monday, September 20, 2010

Cooking and Loving

So i am OBSESSED with cooking, most of my spare time is spent perusing blogs or working out while watching giada de laurentis on the food network.  Here is the thing, i have serious recipe envy but every time i try a recipe it never quite is my taste- or turns out. I yearn to do my own thing, im afraid too!! i seriously have the largest collection of recipes ive never even tried and ones that i have rarely make a reappearance.

I need to think of a plan.

My fiance has decided he loves my cooking so much he doesnt need meat anymore. Wohoo!! naturally im ecstatic and its always my goal to impress him like crazy with what i create. He loves when i come up with my own things.
I have been vegetarian for i think 2 or maybe even three years now so ive become a little lazy on the nutrient side. And as you can observe from this blog i have been in and out of many different eating trends (eat to live, vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian)...i truly feel strict vegetarian is the best for my body and i want to strive for a healthy satisfying diet to accommodate that. Especially for him too, as he is a newbie and i dont want him to miss out on anything vital in his diet.

He LOVES hearty filling satisfying meals, think HUGE, and i would be satisfied with a bowl of soup and piece of chewy bread with earth balance, or a bean spread. This will not work for K. Or for future children.
So this blog needs to be a dedication towards meeting in the middle. Filling meets light and refreshing.

I need to be either more adventurous with my cooking- and use different ingredients, or start doing more recipes so i can understand how to create this filling meals. Getting married soon, i know dinner will have to be on the table and it better be a good one to so he doesnt start thinking he needs meat again.

I really want to make an effort to start cooking and using different ingredients- for REAL this time. No messing around. Im going to make a short list of recipes to try and DO them. If we like them, i will make my own versions. And i must document my experiences so i can formulate a cook book, K loves having good things over again.

Where to start? My favorite blogs:
-vegan version
-oh she glows
-vegan num num
-vegan yum yum
-lunch box bunch
-vegan dad

my favorite magazine- Vegetarian times (not many vegan recipes though!)

and of course, various vegan cookbooks ive collected over the years.
Some will be success, some will be fails but ive got to follow through.

Some recent success:
-wild rice with tomato/mushroom/onion chutney + grilled tofu * (fry the tofu next time!)
-cauliflower bisque with buttered bread crumbs (the kind life)
-mushroom "no meat" loaf (vegan version)
-spanish chickpea balls (vegan num num)

-polenta (vegan dad)- just do not like it, too bland

Monday, September 6, 2010

sharing the green love

hello fellow bloggers- i dont know if anyone even reads my blog but me, but its comforting for me to post and i feel that if i send some wisdom i have discovered into cyberspace, the love and good vibrations will continue to flow.
i have not been as active in posting as i originally hoped to be, mostly because im lazy with using my camera and i know food isnt very appetizing unless you can see it! we eat with our eyes!
i have made many delicious things- mostly from friends blogs and it excites me to find and try a new recipe or a blog to follow.
That being said, i will try to use my own blog more actively, to post MY recipes so that someone might feel that same bit of joy i get when i try out a new recipe and secondly to give credit to the faithful bloggers who i follow for their delicious recipes.

This week im going to follow mainly "oh she glows" mixed in with whatever i through together of course, as i am a busy working woman now- this will also include weekly blogs to follow or recipes based on 'cleaning out the fridge". It will be a challenge, but nothing im not up for :) stay tuned

Lets share love, life, and good food!
xoxo Green-Love Goddess

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Lemon-Poppy Seed-Ginger-Thyme Cookies

Last night i had the urge as i often do, to bake cookies. They used to be my biggest weakness and I even earned the nickname "cookie monster" at one point. Since then, i have refined my appetite for cookies and my waistline is thanking me for it. However, when i do make them now they have to be vegan and i only do so because I've seen an interesting recipe and this one doesn't disappoint.
This comes from Happy Healthy Life-(the lunchbox bunch)* and its very different! don't be afraid it actually tastes not bad, i modified the recipe quite a bit to my own taste and ingredients on hand, so it can hardly be the original- view that one, or mine- either way, give it a go. I was able to stop at 2 :)
My version also lets you eat them ASAP, no fridge time!

Lemon-Poppy seed-Ginger-Thyme Cookies ~inspired recipe

2cups Spelt Flour (or whole wheat)
2tsp Baking Powder
1tsp Baking Soda
1/2tsp Salt
1/4cup Poppy seed
1tbsp Fresh Thyme (chpd)
1 Lemon (zested)
1tbs Fresh Ginger (minced or grated)
1/4cup Oil (try to use safflower, sunflower, coconut- i only had canola*)
1/2cup Organic Local Honey* (adjust amount according to sweetness, i could have done with less)
2tbs Brown Sugar
1 Lemon juiced
1tsp Lemon Extract (or vanilla)
**1-3tbs WATER* (DON'T add this till you've mixed everything- you will need it if the batter is too dry instead of adding more fat)

Prep. preheat oven to 350F, set up 1 dry bowl 1 wet bowl
Mix. all dry ingredients, wet- adjust amount of sweetener if you like
Wet. after you have added the oil, lemon juice and liquid sweetener AND mixed, you may need to add a tbs or 2 of water to form the batter, i think just 2tbs worked for me, eyeball it. this is the best trick to avoid adding more fat to the recipe
Roll. into balls, smash with hand on the cookie sheet
Bake. 15min at 350F regular, adjust time if you use convection

These cookies are low fat, healthy and guilt free- i like to use liquid sweeteners in place of white sugar like the original called for. They boost fiber from whole grains and loads of anti-oxidants from the lemon, ginger, honey and thyme.

notes + variations
 ~ Honey: i don't mind using honey every now and then if its coming from a local non-harvested bee farm, some vegetarians/vegans do not use honey, if so Maple syrup would be the best alternative for this recipe, or agave- but you need the rich flavor
~Oil: i am not a big fan of using canola oil in recipes, although it is cheaper, fast and usually on hand- products made from Corn are highly processed and refined. The industry loves to promote canola to support their business, it is high in Monounsaturated fats, but plant oils are much healthier for us in my opinion. Use safflower or sunflower if you can, you will be getting your omega-3s and 6's + Vitamin B!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Vegan Italiano

I haven't posted for awhile, but today is one of those days i forced myself to use my free time to be useful in the kitchen and make the most of leftovers. I think it turned out pretty good!! The theme of today was definitely Italian inspired (my favorite). The best thing i made was this pasta, it rocks! and its low fat-ish. It was also a good was to use the food that's starting to go bad. Its one of my new standbys :)

Cheese Free "Creamy" Tomato Basil Pasta
serves 2

1/4pkg  Spicy Pepper Spaghetti (infused, from the Italian store)
3clvs Garlic, minced, pureed
5 Fresh Tomatoes (i think mine were hot house); chpd
2tsp olive oil, salt and pepper
1/2can Cannelloni Beans (white); pureed
4tbs Fresh Herbs (i used thyme, oregano, basil* use mostly basil); chpd

Boil. the water while you are cutting up the ingredients, add pasta when you are ready to saute
Saute. garlic in some olive oil for 1min, then add chpd fresh tomatoes and begin to make the sauce, when they have become a little juicy add extra oil, salt and pepper; wait till really juicy before next step (this doesn't take more then 10min)
Puree. white beans, if you havent already done so ahead of time, add to tomatoes and stir to form a sauce, heat for a couple minutes more
Assemble. put some pasta in a bowl, pour 1/2 of the sauce on each, then garnish with 1/2 of fresh herbs for each; twist together before eating
Simply delicious! you wont miss the cheese, and the beans make it creamy and satisfying, garlic and herbs add a fresh flavor

And Lunch Was...
This is a poor picture, but the item im showcasing is the Vegan Italian Chili, on top of Happy Herbivore's, Vegan Italian sausage*. The chili was my idea cause the sausage needed something with it, i was excited to try it but im not a big fan of "meat substitutes", either meat or no meat i say, however it is a great way to have a sausage! Now on to the chili. I have never made a chili of my own recipe before, nor an Italian one, so this is new. Not bad!!

Vegan Italian Chili

2clv Garlic, minced
1 Onion, chpd
1/2can Pinto Beans
1/2can Cannelloni Beans
1-2tbs Chili Powder
1tsp Cayenne pepper
1/2tsp Red pepper flakes
1tbs Red Wine Vinegar
3tsp Oregano
2tsp Thyme
1tsp Rosemary
1/2tsp Fennel/Marjoram
1/2 Green pepper, chpd
1/4 Zucchini, chd
1 24ozcan Diced Tomatoes

1 W/W Bun
1 Vegan Italian Sausage* The Happy Herbivore
+/- Vegan Parm Cheese

Prep. heat oil and saute the onion, garlic, peppers, and zucchini, add spices
Simmer. add beans, tomatoes, red wine vinegar, adjust spices as needed
10min cook time

Enjoy! and remember, you CAN cook yourself thin :)
xoxo Green Love Goddess

Monday, June 28, 2010

Weekend Recipe Round-up. part 1, Alfredo Sauce

I did not take pictures, but this weekend i made a couple of really good things! Non Vegan Fiance approved! The best part is, I've discovered a way to have cream sauce again!!!!! I don't have pasta often or crave creamy stuff, but sometimes you do and in that case tofu just doesn't do the trick. AND i got to use the lovely king oyster mushrooms ive wanted to try for FOREVER but can never find, i found them at a high quality very expensive italian market downtown but they were worth every penny and i wish i could have them all the time.

Creamy King Oyster Mushroom/Spinach Spaghetti Alfredo (serves 3-4)
1pkg spelt spaghetti
1bag baby spinach (fresh)
3 king oyster mushrooms
3clv garlic
1 shallot
1/4cup earth balance butter
1tbs olive oil
1-2tbs fresh thyme, oregano
4tbs fresh parsley
salt and pepper
Cashew "Alfredo" Sauce
1/2cup raw cashews
1/4cup soy (i used eden rice/soy blend)
2-3tsp garlic powder
1/2-1tbs black pepper
1/8-1/4tsp salt
1tbs nutritional yeast
1tsp dried thyme
1/2tsp dried basil

equipment vitamix or high powered food processor
Prep. cashew cream. make the cashew cream ahead of time, if you use your vitamix you wont need to soak the cashews ahead of time, they will blend right up. Adjust liquids for consistency, and spices for flavor and to cut the sweetness. The sweetness will mellow when it is in the actual dish. Keep this on the thick side so it will stick to the pasta nicely. Set aside or refrigerate till ready to use.
Fill a large pot with water, salted. bring to boil. set aside, cut up your king oyster mushrooms (use the whole thing), into chunks, mince and puree garlic, shallot- chop up fresh herbs, set aside *water should be boiling by this time*
Cook. add the pasta to the pot of water, it should take 10min to cook, heat oil and melt butter in a skillet; add garlic and shallot for a couple seconds, then add mushrooms note* to time things right your water should have boiled before you start cooking the mushrooms*
saute those mushrooms till they are soft and butter has been absorbed, add more as needed, then add your spinach and let wilt (this should take about 8min)
Add the cashew cream and stir it all together for a few minutes to heat through
Serve. twist a couple scoops of the sauce into the noodles and garnish will a good handful of chopped parsley

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Live Clean

This is a bit of a detour from the regular food posts, but i do have a passion for the green lifestyle and am always looking for products for face, body, and hair that made from natural ingredients. I have tried quite a few shampoos/conditioners of this variety, but this one is by far the best at contains 98% organic/natural ingredients, is paraben, sulfate free, and vegan!

This particular kind containing Moroccan argan oil really makes a difference on damaged hair, it instantly smoothed mine and added shine, no straightener needed. Right now i am using their "Purple Jewel" set, and i have tried the "Fresh Water" but i think this one is on the list next.

Green products we can feel good about?! That's beauty!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

10min Creamy Broccoli Soup

There are some days when i feel really lazy, really hungry and just cant think of anything to cook. This dish is so fast to prepare you wont be tempted to snack on your naughty treats while waiting. It also boasts plenty of fiber, protein, iron and calcium. Deeply rejuvenating and replenishing after a long day.
The original recipe was passed to me from a friend based on Martha Stewart's creamy broccoli soup, i didn't like that version much so i created this one and its much more delicious in my opinion! Hope you enjoy

pics to come...

Creamy Broccoli Soup (FAST!)
note: i never measure, so adjust as you see fit
1lg head Broccoli (about the size of cauliflower bushel)
4cups Veggie Broth* (i mixed a powder into mine) more powder =more saltiness
2tbs fresh Parsley
1/2cup Rolled Oats (uncooked)
1tbs Raw Cashews
1tbs Nutritional Yeast
1/4tsp Nutmeg
good pinch Black Pepper

equipment: vitamix or food processor, or immersion blender
Prep. cut off most of the stems on the broccoli, leave in big florets
Steam. broccoli for about 5-7min? can be semi raw
Blend. steamed broccoli, add 4cups of broth to start and adjust to texture *note. if using water + broth make sure it is hot water, i added more water to balance out seasoning; add oats, spices, nuts, yeast, parsley; season to taste, enjoy

Tips. ~Vitamix is the easiest way to do this because then you dont have to cut up the broccoli into small pieces and can add everything organically.
~Steaming is the best way to retain the most nutrients, but you can boil the broccoli in the broth ahead of time if you prefer

~add steamed or raw kale or spinach
~increase the nutmeg for an earthy kick
~add a handful of fresh basil
~increase the cashews