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


My fiance is Yugoslavian and has been introducing me to several lovely culinary delights from his country. This one is one of my absolute favorites, i adore ajvar! What is it? it is a chunky spread made of roasted red peppers, water, and salt. thats it! and it is SO delicious. Its such a nice change from sweet things on your morning breads and no doubt has several creative uses. The best brand is Yugoslavian of course, but you will find many different varieties that may contain oil, eggplant, tomato or any combination at European grocery stores. This one is called Bakina Tajna which means, from Grandma's Kitchen. I love that! if you can find it in your area, give it a try, maybe i'll make my own one day.

For now, here is a VEGETARIAN recipe (contains cheese)- if you get Daiya where you are, that may be a worthy cheese substitute but i do not have any where i am. I created this sandwich for him because i have converted him into a flexitarian- and he eats vegan/vegetarian with me all the time. For me, the cheese is a bit too much for my stomach.

Roasted Red Pepper (ajvar)/ Artichoke Panini

2 slices Whole grain bread; or foccacia, sourdough
1 Artichoke heart; comes from water packed can
2-3tbs Ajvar
pinch oregano, red pepper flakes
1tsp earth balance butter, mixed with minced garlic
1slice Swiss Cheese; or daiya white cheese

Prep. heat up your panini maker! or grill pan, spread garlic butter on one slice of bread, and ajvar on the other
Assemble. drain and slice artichoke heart, layer on the bread with butter, sprinkle with oregano, red pepper flakes, put cheese on top, then ajvar bread on top of that
Grill. till your cheese melts, or if not using just till crispy

~focaccia bread or Italian ciabatta bun works best
~pesto spread instead of avjar + roasted red peppers sliced
~hummus instead of butter

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Fresh Herbed Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette/ Summer Salad

I LOVE summer and as soon as the weather starts getting warm i find myself wanting nature-fresh salads that are filled with juicy vegetables and hearty beans. Salads are typical vegan food, but as you can tell its not all there is to eat on a plant-based diet and they are certainly not my favorite. When i make salads, i make an effort to infuse them with lots of flavor and experiment with adding fruits, cooked vegetables, and savory dressings. On a hot summer day, this is a perfect fix.

Fresh Herbed Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette
suitable for any salad combination, and lots of flavor
2tbs Fresh Herbs (i used; a lot of basil; thyme, sage, oregano and mint), just a few leaves of each
2clv Garlic*
1 Lemon zest, juice
2tbs White Wine Vinegar*
4tbs Grapeseed Oil*

Prep. finely chop your fresh herb combination, whichever you choose, zest the lemon and mince into tiny pieces as well as juice it
Pureed Garlic*. you want to do this to avoid eating raw chunks of garlic; start by mincing it as well as you can, then add a pinch of coarse salt. follow this video for how to
Oil/Vinegar. i don't really measure, only by taste, in a small jar the lemon juice filled 1/4, the vinegar filled 1/4 then the oil 1/2
Emulsify. with a whisk, or if using a small jar add lid and shake it up, Taste* and modify ingredients, i added more oil and a few drops agave nectar at the end, you can also use honey or maple to sweeten; add salt and pepper

Salad Combo
for my salad pictured here i have
-romaine lettuce
-steamed snow peas
-yellow pepper
-sweet onion
~sesame seeds

~green lentils taste great in here
~fresh tomatoes/red peppers/green onion
~add minced shallots to the dressing
~use as a dressing over steamed or grilled vegetables

Green Words of Wisdom in my opinion, a sunny day and connecting to nature is the best way to ground your energies and remind yourself to be in the present moment. i always find that when i connect to and appreciate nature, my body craves and appreciates food more. that same feeling prompted the creation of this salad dressing which comes with herbs grown in our garden, as well as many local ingredients in the salad. I truly wish we could experience more fresh produce here in Canada because consuming foods straight from the earth that we know is coming from a safe and healthy place, creates the best feeling within. Eating fresh brings us back to ourselves.
Enjoy your day everyone! and remember to get outside xoxo Green-Love Goddess

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tastes Like Summer Lemonade

I have been obsessively drinking this stuff for days so i thought it would be only fair to share it. Lemonade is lemonade right? simple? No- this one is special, and best of all its homemade so if you are one of those people who buys minuite made lemonade concentrate in the summer, no need! By the way- i didn't know myself that its not JUST lemons in that stuff, its other fruit juice concentrates. This stuff is pure lemons, antioxidant rich and refreshing.

This recipe comes from French Cooking at Home on the food network, so i can't take credit. I made it for my lemonade loving fiance but found i enjoyed it much more myself, the mint is a necessary addition. In my opinion, the lemon zest syrup ups the lemonade flavor and provides just enough sweetness/tartness.
Lemon zest syrup
zest of two lemons
2cups water
2cups sugar
for one large glass
2tbs lemon zest syrup
1tbs fresh mint leaves
1 lemon; juiced
water to the top
Prep. in a sauce pan, add water sugar, and the zest of two lemons (don't have to fine zest)
Boil. for about 5-10min till sugar is dissolved, and lemon zest is infused
Cool. reserve for your lemonade later
Serve. by adding about 2tbs lemon zest syrup to the glass (to your taste), mint leaves (crush with spoon a bit), ice, juice of 1 lemon, and fill with water.
Great way to get your water AND antioxidant rich lemon with little sugar!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Spicy Watermelon Gazpacho

This is SPICY and will knock your socks off! well- not really, but for some people it might be so beware. However, it is a great summer soup full of fresh flavors, i like it before dinner when i'm cooking and ravenously hungry, but it could be served at any occasion. Its perfectly hydrating. For the best results, use the freshest organic/local ingredients you can find.
I cant take full credit for this recipe cause the original idea was from my friend Jeannie, but ive since changed the recipe so this is my take.

6cups Watermelon; or about 1/2 large*
2lg Organic Tomatoes; fresh ones with lots of flavor are best, mine were local
1/2cup Fresh Parsley
1 Lime; juiced
1lg or 2 Cucumber;the fatter juicy ones- peeled, seeded
2-4 Basil Leaves
1tbs Red wine vinegar
1 Fresh Red jalapeno pepper*; i added the whole thing
1/4cup Fresh Mint*; mine was wild from my plant

Prep. i used my food processor for this but you may be able to do it by chopping things finely by hand; it should be "soupy" though, so be sure to get the liquids right if doing that way
Puree. add all ingredients except for the mint and pulse several times to break up *note: the jalapeno will make it QUITE spicy, use half or de-seed if you cant handle heat; Mint- add enough mint to cool the heat to your liking, a small handful significantly cooled mine off, you may also add more watermelon to do this
Serve. ladle into bowls and garnish with tiny watermelon chunks if you used the food processor method, this also helps keep it cool
for maximum flavor, marinate a couple hours in the fridge, and keep cool after you have made it- have your watermelon pre-cut and in the fridge if you are serving right away so it is cool

~italian parsley instead of regular
~raspberry vinegar instead of rrw
~increase the basil for a different flavor
~use Tabasco sauce instead of jalapeno
~half watermelon, half honeydew or strawberries

Healthy Bread

My friend "truebody" gave my this recipe but i did modify it a bit so its kind of revamped, the recipe was neither of ours to begin with. Either way, im still THRILLED whenever i realize that i can make bread by hand successfully! wohoo!

Bread is tricky, and i dont know how to make it really so just do your best and hope for the best! there is room for a little moderation in this recipe, contrary to belief that if you measure wrong or time wrong in baking you will screw it up

1cup Warm water
1tsp Active Dry Yeast
2tsp Honey or maple (up it for more sweetness, this wasnt that sweet)
1cup Warm water
1tsp Salt
2tsp Bran
1cup Rolled oats
4cups Stoneground light spelt flour*note

Prep. combine 1cup warm water, yeast, honey and rest for 5-10min
combine flour (sift if you would like lighter bread, i did not), salt, oats, bran
add other cup of water to yeast mix, stir a bit, add to dry mix, form ball* note: this makes for a very heavy loaf which may not taste that great the next day, experiment with adding white flour for lighter texture not sure why, but when i make bread its very sticky* and i find i have to add 1/4-1/2c more flour- i dont measure this, just keep mixing till it will hold a ball shape and doesnt stick completely to your fingers
Rise. lightly coat a bowl with oil, plop ball of dough in there, cover with tea towel and give it at least 1hr to double in size; *note: if you have time, try a double rise to add more lightness
Bake. 350F for about 40minutes, keep and eye on it
i had mine with earth balance butter and homemade plum jam.mmmm

~use any flour your like, i like spelt, but you could you could use wheat or mix with white
~add cracked wheat, flax, more bran instead of oats

Monday, June 14, 2010

Tomato-Zucchini Basil Polenta Stacks

So hopefully this works, its my first shot at actually posting a picture of my creations and it is my intention to post more often because great food should be shared!! this blog was intended for that but if you read below you will find a lot of talking-because i like to talk! but enough of that, back to the food. I have never tried polenta, i found this precooked all you have to do is slice and cook however you like, so this works out great with my style.

4 slices of Polenta (scarpone's brand at the store)- it will be in a tube
4 slices of Lg Tomato (mine was local from the farmers market)
1sm Zucchini squash or Zucchini if available; sliced thin to fit
1/2tsp Nutritional Yeast* optional
4 Fresh Basil leaves (reserve for the end)

Balsamic Reduction
4tbs. Balsamic vinegar
1tsp Agave, honey or maple

Prep. arrange slices on a non-stick baking pan, drizzle with olive oil and s/p except for the polenta, leave that as is
Bake. the polenta, tomatoes, and zucchini @325 or 350F for 20-25minutes, flip the polenta halfway* through to give it more depth; *sprinkle nutritional yeast on top at this point*note: watch the tomatoes, they may become too soggy, take them out early if needed
Reduction. combine the balsamic and sweetener and simply heat till syrupy and sticky*note: do not do this until your polenta stack ingredients are done as it will harden quickly
Assemble. lay down 1 polenta round, place a couple zucchini, 1 tomato slice, 1 leaf of basil, then another polenta, 1 tomato slice, drizzle with balsamic syrup, top with basil slice

~eggplant instead of zucchini
~can fry the polenta instead of bake for a crispier base
~thin slice of buffalo mozzarella would go nice for vegetarians

Saturday, May 29, 2010

comfort food?

Vegan Pork 'N Beans
you know those times when you just wanna eat crap and feel good about yourself for doing it??? ENTER THIS! 100% Vegan organic style "pork'n'beans" with hot dogs. Yes, i consider this crap! growing up on camping trips, my mom often made heinz pork and beans from a can and put chopped up hot dogs in it, and somehow i loved it! i have not had it since then because a) thats disusting b) im vegan. when i think about whats IN heinz pork'n' beans i wanna barf. But then on one cold and snowy day at the end of may, i decided i wanted that hearty comfort food once more, so i made this up! if you are going to eat crap> do it this way.

Vegan 'pork'n beans' with veggie dogs
1sm vidalla sweet onion (chpd
1can Sm Red beans (or pintos
1/8c organic ketchup
1/8c organic bbq sauce (i used Dad's original bbq sauce)
2tsp braggs aminos (soy sauce
1/4tsp oregano
1/2tsp garlic powder
1tsp demura (brown sugar
1tsp maple syrup
pinch of sea salt, pinch of chipolte
2tbs water
1 yves jumbo veggie dog (chopped)
first saute the onions a bit, then add the rest and simmer 5-10min until rich, serve on toast or on its own

Friday, May 28, 2010


life is alot of changes lately and i havent posted in a really long time, i've lost track of my recipe challenge and i dont know WHAT i have been eating lately, but i really desire to be ag reat cook once more since im getting married soon and i found a guy who actually doesnt mind the vegetarian side of things, so moreover the reason to impress him by smartening up and trying new recipes or creating my own. i most certainly have the time, so no messing around, lets do this!!! Vegan turned vegetarian

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Eating to Live= bingeing to death?

Recipes Tried 68/250
i really should make an effort to post more often because then it comes to the end of the week and i have so much to say i'm practically bursting with ideas and comments! but here we are..

i am not really going to do my regular recipe roundup because i didn't really make too many recipes this week as i was trying to get back to eat to live, which i did successfully for the first 4days of the week as i promised myself i would. and i did actually loose a bit of weight..which i consequently regained im sure by my weekend eating habits. I just have a little "thing" for sugar. I cant get enough of it!

I've wondered, since i went back to eat to live- if its causing me to want to binge more because i deprive myself so badly on it of the obvious things aka: fats (even healthy oils) and carb's in the form of whole grains even. I felt more bingey this weekend then i have the whole month when i wasnt following the plan religiously.
hmmm...thats food for thought. but i still prefer how etl makes me feel when i'm following it religiously.

highlights of the week:

*i learned a new trick!! on how to improve green smoothies (because kale tastes just yucky in them!!!!!)- it is, to blend 1/2lime rind and all into the smoothie and it will mask the taste of the greens. This actually worked!!! and made my smoothie of blueberry, radicchio, romaine, and parsley palatable.

Kind Recipes Tried:

  • Alicia's magical healing soup: A! tastes like it's actually healing you :)
  • Crispy peanut butter treats: i cant rate because i didn't really make them properly, and i used millet puffs, but the brown rice syrup was kind of sickly sweet and not enough PB flavor, plus: carob chips do not work well in this
  • Black Soy Bean and Kabocha Squash Stew: B, kind of bland- maybe i made it wrong i didnt have all the same ingredients but it kind of left something to be desired. I did like the squash though! which i've never had before! and was beyond excited to find at planet organic!
  • Lemon PoppySeed Poundcake Cupcakes: umm.SOO GOOD!!! A++, i ate 4 in one day and my family even approved them- that was even with me cutting the sugar. I love love love em, but i wont be making them that often as i am tempted to eat them all- and they still have oil in them. oops :O

thats all for now! busy busy busy and stressed, the goal for next week will be to make more recipes and use etl ones or etl principles= without stuffing myself.

xoxo Green Love Goddess

Monday, January 25, 2010

munching my way to obesity

Recipes tried to date: 58/250

In my haste of the weekend i completely forgot to blog this week's cooking experiments! As i discussed in my previous post, i was going to start trying recipes from Alicia's cookbook. So i better discuss that a bit. Much to my disappointment, the sodium in these recipes is RIDICULOUS!!! i instantly felt sick after trying a mix of Shoyu and Ume on tofu scramble- and lets face it-collard greens just do not sit well with me! bleckkk the texture is just something i can not swallow cooked.
And also- am i REALLY going to try Sea Vegetables??? not likely! they are hella expensive and that doesnt taste good to me.
I'm what i like to call a gourmet vegan- and that means-i love savory/spicy stuff- this usually comes in the form of inspiration from Italian, middle eastern, Moroccan, Indian, and Thai flavors.
I've never really been a fan of sushi or soy sauce or Vietnamese/Chinese type flavors, so for that reason- these type of dishes are not going to be my favorites.
Sorry to say i already bought the Shoyu and Ume which were $7 each! and they wont be used often. Also that poor wakame that is sitting in the back of my cubard.

That being said; she does have plenty of recipes that dont use these weird condiments and could also be modified to remove them. Here's what i tried from hers.

-tofu scramble; too salty way way to salty!
-mochi waffles*; with rice syrup- ive never had rice syrup and its an interesting change- i dont mind it- and the mochi is kind of fun to eat! plus-isnt mochi just fun to say?!
-fried rice; less salty, but still kind of greasy and doesnt sit well
-hot chocolate*; good!! love the blend and tastes just like carnations, which i remember as a kid- so this is a good thing
-smoothie a'la alicia; cinnamon sticks in smoothies= NO, stomach pain- mine was an attempt at "apple pie smoothie" and ended up being slightly reminiscent of an unfortunate Vega experience from early vegetarian days- puke!
-cauliflower steaks; bland bland bland- needs a sauce
-thumbprint cookies; vegetable oil=yuck. these cookies are WAY to oily, my version used cocoa powder and PB but that still did not mask the oily taste
And the result its= i only liked the hot chocolate and the mochi!

I feel terrible for being a little food critic- but everyone has their preferences and its just not mine! and i honestly dont believe people should be eating dishes that have 44% sodium in 1tsp!!!!!! c'mon! thats crazy! Unless people are going to eat 100% well all the time- this just doesnt measure up. Im sure if one followed her diet completely it would balance out- but im not that dedicated. Alas- i will continue to try her recipes- the ones that dont have this stuff in them! so stay tuned on the Kind Life.

Next Up: the winners!
  1. Celery Root Soup with Apples: the Conscious Cook: This is actually one of my favorite cookbooks, its so "Gourmet" i love its! but a lot of the recipes are meant for summer or spring, which it clearly is not right now- so i'll have to wait. First of all, imagine my delight in discovering i could actually find celery root in my city! i've never had it before so that was cool! This soup is creamy and delicious- and totally unexpected, of course i assumed since i dont really like celery that it would taste bland and yucky- but when you add the special "cream" and top with the apples- it tastes almost like potato soup. Very delish! A+!
  2. Stuffed Artichoke: this recipe is a family secret from my dear friend nortydog on Peer Trainer. I just recently tried artichoke (fresh) for the first time and enjoyed it!! the stuffed artichoke was terribly elegant and deeply delicious! i was plum full! A!
  3. Mochi Waffles with Lemon Brown Rice Syrup: the Kind Diet: as i said before- these are good! mochi is a rice thing-- i dont know exactly and if you want to know you'll have to look it up. No there isnt really a benefit of using mochi over regular waffle mix in my opinion, but it was still an interesting way to eat the stuff, it puffs up all cute and crunchy- and dont we all just love Crunchy stuff??! :) B+!
  4. Chickpea Tacos: my own ok not being conceded by tooting my own horn here, but i made this up inspired by a few recipes ive leafed through and they are fricken awesome!! I kind of swiped the idea from Happy Herbivore but her recipe has the chickpeas roasted- and lets face it- i dont have time for that!!! im usually ravenous when i get home and waiting while something is in the oven for more then 30min means i'll rip off the fridge door. SO any who- i made a taco "meat" of crushed chickpeas and chopped mushrooms- sauteed with a bit of onion and red pepper- the usual taco spices (which by ended up tasting just like a fajita mix); and then served up with tofutti sour cream, an avocado-chipotle cream i made, black olives, and..drumroll---A NON NASTY VEGAN CHEESE!! which i will name here as Galaxy Foods; cheddar flavor- honestly ppl it tastes like the real deal- to my delight! And i wrapped them up in sm Corn Tortillas with shredded lettuce. It was SOO Good and SOO easy, im very proud of myself and will make this again- even non-veggies may like it!

Thats all for NOW on that subject: but i need to address the other part of this post "munching my way to obesity". ha ha. I say this because in my effort to cook as much as possible, im finding there is only little-me to eat them and i do NOT like leftovers. So- ive become somewhat like a bottomless pit stuffing myself to the breaking point. And some of these dishes use a lot more oil and butter then im used to. Sadly- my stomach is not keeping up and im gaining alot of weight.

So- this week and the next 5 weeks are going to be Eat to Live- that generally means beans, greens, fruit and veggies-nuts in moderation. Im not going to be totally silly and give up all i've worked for and started here, but i do need to trim the fat out of my diet a bit. So Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays are here by known as free days where i can try my special recipes without restriction. After the initial 3 weeks of recasting i will make my recipes if i can modify them to be more ETL. THEN- i can add more things back as long as i know how to eat less of them. I've printed off a whole load of recipes from Disease Proof which on their own look pretty good.
The goal: 130lb by my birthday FEB 26- 1 month. Lets do it!! And i am a firm believer that people CAN eat well fat free without sacrificing taste, so im going to try my very hardest to prove that!

Happy Cooking Everyone!
xoxo Green Love Goddess

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Culinary Delights-week 1

Recipes Tried Since Jan 5: 45!/250
1 Week of my challenge complete and it had it's ups and downs!! aka--mental breakdowns, thinking of food ALL the time, living in the kitchen, spending hundreds on groceries. But its fun!
I was planning on giving a review of all the recipes i tried so far, by week. But i've cooked so much its hard to remember or keep track so i'm not going to do that.

Ok so i tried my first fancy dish- Risotto. Wow you really feel like a top notch chef cooking this dish as it requires that you stay in front of the stove for aprx 30min, constantly stirring and adding liquid until the dish turns into a velvety, creamy, fluffy-melt-in your mouth deliciousness. And if you put in the time, it does!

i've made it twice this week, different flavors, the first version was better in my opinion
Dish 1: Sweet Potato, Sage, Scallion Risotto from Healthy.Happy.Life/ this is a great combination of flavors and would make a great vegan thanksgiving entree as the sage fills the house with that turkey cooking aroma. A+! i would make it again, but its so rich the butter/oil combination is a bit much. I added far less then the recipe calls for.

Dish 2: My first "Bruchetta":Red Pepper and Olive Bruchetta the recipe comes from my good friend jeannie17 on PeerTrainer. And combines; tomatoes, basil, white onion, red pepper (raw), kalamata olives, olive oil, red wine vinegar, s&p (scant oil)/ this tastes great on top of melba toast or maybe toasted baguette. The olives add a distinct unexpected flavor- its so simple and elegant it will defiantly be on my list of party appetizers. Thanks Jeannie!

Dish 3: Radicchio Truffle Oil Pizza (Spelt/Whole Wheat Crust) i've never had radicchio or truffle oil before so this was an exciting experience for me. The recipe is from the Kind Diet*/ at first taste of the raw mix i was worried i was not going to like it, the lettuce is extremely bitter and the truffle oil is expensive!! but has an odd flavor, i'm probably just not used to it. Either way, im adventurous so i figured id still give it a go, i added some caramelized onions we had on hand because i was worried the lettuce on its own would be bland- when it cooked, it transformed!!! suddenly the bitterness was mellowed by rich olive oil, sharp sea-salt- and the sweetness of the caramelized onions. what a great combination! needless to say- i ate the whole pizza, i didnt miss the cheese, and i will be making it again! A

Among other things; these 3 dishes are the stars this week. Looking forward to another week of great food! hopefully my stomach can keep up, because im also trying to loose that last 5lbs. ha ha! wish me luck

NOTE: i just got the Kind Diet, which is Vegan- Alicia Silverstone's cookbook. i was very excited about this because first of all a) she is lovely and thin! b) the dishes are exotic and decadent c) she claims you will loose weight by cooking this way!! all bonuses. The only thing that worries me is less fruit and more emphasis on exotic vegetables and ..ick..sea vegetables. I know they are 'good' for me, and as a vegan i need the nutrients. But im so scared to try!! that seems like weird vegan food to me. Another thing she emphasizes is a lot of Greens, even for breakfast! and im not shy of greens, so i'm not worried about that.
Unfortunately, this diet may not work well where i am as almost all of our food is imported, especially in the winter. So i'll try my best to incorporate what i can.
One thing im going to work towards is "Superhero" status which will introduce a lot of different foods, whole grains, vegetables, shoyu, umebochi plums, miso. bring it on!

I've added her recipes to my list of to-do's this year, and it rings up at 89 recipes! almost the whole book. Its a great book, i highly recommend it to all vegans and non-vegans alike.

happy cooking! xoxo Green Love Goddess

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Ok so in the tradition of new years resolutions im copying pretty much EVERYONE and posting them somewhere in hopes that i might actually make headway and meet my goals this year! ha! that will be a challenge.

First of all. I watched Julie and Julia. And i liked it!! but it made me love food even more then i already do and made me wanna be even more passionate about cooking then i already am. Many of my friends have made it their goal to cook more from cookbooks and such, a-la julie/julia. So WHY not me too :)
I even saw a blog for someone following and julie/julia for EFH (eat for health). Which is amazing! because that food is king and is by far the healthiest. But- my love for eating that way will have to be on hold because a) produce is REALLY expensive in the winter and not all that great b) its just not diverse enough for gourmet cooks-like myself (ha ha!). So sorry ETL but i'll have to put you on hold for now..

The GOALs. in this order:

1- STOP BINGEING!! i've been doing this secretly for far to long and im only now just realizing the discusting quanity of food i eat (good OR bad foods). it's go to stop and i've got to give it up so i can maintain a low weight and not feel deprived
ACTION PLAN?: i've heard good things about the Beck Diet- so i think i should pick up the book. Its funny how i dont FEEL like i have a problem till i have one of my little episodes and realize, yes yes i do, and then i wish id had some book like this is front of me at the time rather then the big bowl of soy ice cream, cookies, extc, that i had instead. So maybe just reading the book in advance will prep me
-also with my PeerTrainer friends, i am giving myself a sticker each day for 100days that i dont binge- the reward? lu lu lemon outfit!
-record my feeling on when i overdid it and reread them if i feel like doing it again!! not sure if that will work, but worth a try!

2- LOOSE AND KEEP OFF- the last 10lbs- Ok that one is obvious and im sure its on EVERYONES to do list this year. But ive been working at it consistently so its only on my list as a reminder to work even harder this year at maintaining as i loose. Yes- i have lost the 10lbs AND regained it. more than once. Enough. just get there and STAY there.
ACTION PLAN? my family and i need to do a biggest loser type challenge because im competitive! i havent figured out the logistics of it yet, but i need to loose 10-15! the motivation? Hawaii next christmas!! i already looked fat as hell on this one so im gonna be hot as hell on the next one, i guarentee it
And honestly- its not THAT hard to maintain weight, you work hard, you loose it, then you maintain it. loads of people have done it and are doing it right now, everyday. So why cant i?? is it that nobody notices my weight loss or gain? idk. But if i just work hard and dont think so hard about it, i can be one of those people too. without obsessing.

3-NO DIETING um how many times have i turned down dinners out with friends because i didnt wanna gain weight?? how many times have i turned down desserts, samples, movie treats because i was so afraid of gaining weight?? I have a phobia of added fats, sugar, and sodium. I am terrified of what it will do to me! i hate not knowing whats in my food. but that being said- i cant be such a control freak with everything> i need to be able to have a small but reasonable portion of whatever thing i want! (vegan only of course). and not feel guilty or think it will blow my weight.
btw. that also means- not weighing in often- or at all. that means- eating when im hungry, stopping when im full, and not eating when im not hungry. simple!

4-YOGA i started getting into it this year and at first hated it, but the more i do it, the more i enjoy it and really do feel happier and more toned. There was a period in november where i did it am and pm for 30days. i felt great! i want to continue doing it as much as possible as well as hot yoga class for the next year, it will become natural to me!
I havent done it much post vay-k and its hard to get back!! but i need to!

5-COOKING! i already consider myself an accomplished cook, but i like to make my own recipes-taking inspiration for recipes or tips ive found along the way. I have a huge collection of cookbooks that have fabulous recipes, as well as my favorite online blogs here. and i havent cooked nearly any of them! (certainly not ones from my cook books). I'm still a cooking newbie, and i need to impress people and prove that vegan isnt boring. so i need to try the recipes and make them my own.
ACTION PLAN? 200 recipes! that is the goal. Im compiling a list from these resources;
  • Eat to live style; from etl, efh, and diseaseproof: various- im not counting, these are fairly simple recipes but can be time consuming and take alot of resources- cooking more of them will be good for my health, but im not that excited by all of them- i think i'll mainly use the breakfasts, dinner dishes and desserts from this one.
  • Vegan cooking for one; 30 recipes; i got this as a gift very new into my vegetarianism- i was excited but didnt end up cooking much from it! i like that is only for one serving- as im the only one cooking and eating this stuff, and i hate having leftovers! id say most of these are easy- the only thing is they use soy butter, which im not a fan of using alot of.

  • The Conscious Cook: 30 recipes; purely brilliant! this is going my be my biggest challenge- the recipes are defiantly gourmet and advanced but they look really pretty and would impress dinner guests immensely. i must get through this one for sure!

  • One Dish Vegetarian Meals:22 recipes; im not that jazzed about this one but again, i have it and i havent been cooking from it! im not sure if i'll get through it. Easy level

  • Blogs: Fat Free Vegan: 41* ok let me just say. i LOVE this woman! Susan V is an excellent cook, all of her recipes are so great and ive tried many of them before starting this challenge. they are fairly easy to follow and i adore that they have none or little fat, and not much sugar either! shes my kind of cook. So i'm going to try to make ALOT of hers. Happy Herbivore: 7 another great fat free blog! also easy recipes, i will get through all of these definatly. i have cooked a few of hers already. Healthy.Happy.Life kathy is a great and accomplished cook as well- she seems to use short cuts for some of her recipes and vegan cheese. which i dont really like. But i like her ideas and presentation, ive made a few and will make a some more!

  • Vegetarian Times Magazine: ive been collecting these for a while and have at least 10! and they werent cheap either. ive always admired the recipes- so i'll try to make a few of them too. id say they are moderate. it is vegetarian though and mostly cheese based, also not at all diet friendly- so i will have to change most of them if i do use them.

Ok so thats over 100 recipes right there! 200 should be no problem to accomplish, in fact id like to do 250 but lets not get ahead of ourselves! I know its going to teach me alot and will be a valuable project. helloo..wife skillz! :). Its important that i mention that i already know how to cook and am more than capable of coming up with my own recipes, but i want to try this so i can improve my cooking and learn a bit more about food paring and flavours. So- as a result of this project i hope to come up with my own cookbook of my favorite recipes and my own recipes. maybe i'll publish it one day! or maybe i'll get good enough to share them on this blog (if i ever figure out how to post stuff!).

Wow! what a long post. I dont know if anyone reads this junk but it helps for me to put it out there as a commitment to myself and i can look back on it easily to make sure im doing what i said i would. I expect that 2010 will bring great things for me career wise, life wise, and relationship wise. I want to balance my body mind and spirit and embrace positivity in everyday life. heres to reaching our goals.

Good luck everyone! xoxo Green Love Goddess.