Friday, December 30, 2011

Baby Bok Choy, Vegetable-Miso Soup and Orange-Avocado Salsa

My husband said, "This is restaurant quality.  If I had this at a restaurant, I'd be super excited."

Hmmm... maybe I should start a vegan restaurant?

Anyway, here's what inspired that very nice comment:

This gourmet and healthy dinner was easy to make and didn't take much time at all!  I love Whole Living magazine because they have amazing recipes each month and this meal was, once again, from Whole Living.

Click the following titles for the original recipes:

Baby Bok Choy

I didn't make the salmon, but I followed the recipe for everything else.  The orange-avocado salsa was amazing; I added just a dash of soy-sauce for an extra kick.  Yum.  Also, I threw in a handful of shelled edamame just for the fun of it. 

Vegetable-Miso Soup

The magazine classifies this as a breakfast soup, but I made it for dinner with the baby bok choy and the two made a perfect combination.

It's been a very busy two weeks with traveling and the holidays and everything, so tonight was a much needed celebration of relaxation and good food.  Happy New Years Eve Eve!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Plane food

I never know what kind of food or snacks are going to be available on flights, so I always try to bring my own.  The "vegetarian, non-dairy" meals on Air Pacific were actually not that bad, but before my long flight back to America from Australia I was craving some sweets.  We stopped at a grocery store before the airport and I found a great little natural food section.

These are the two delightful packets of sweets I picked up and they definitely saved me on the 24+ hours of travel I had after that:

Vegan Australia

On my last day in Australia, my brother's new sister-in-law took me and Mom and Dad sight-seeing in Brisbane. 

For lunch with O and her mom, she took us to Loving Hut.  These restaurants area all over the place in the states, yet I've never been to one.  How ironic that the first time I actually try a Loving Hut it's in a completely different continent!  I was so excited to finally try the place.

We ordered five dishes and shared everything.  It was all so vegan and delicious!  My favorite was definitely the lasagne.  Any time there's something on a vegan menu that's normally supposed to have cheese in it, I have to try it.  This "cheesy" lasagne did not fail.  It was so flavorful and creamy and amazing!  We also had the Crispy Chow Mein which the server recommended to my dad because as a guy he would like this the best.  Okaaaayyy... that was odd.  We couldn't figure out what she meant by that because we all enjoyed it.  In addition, we tried the Spaghetti Bolognese, Heavenly Salad, and Northern Pan bread.  All were equally amazing.  That's it.  That's all I can say about this food -- it was just amazing!


Heavenly Salad

Crispy Chow Mein

Spaghetti Bolognese

Northern Pan Bread

For dessert, we tried four of the raw-vegan cakes and I can't even believe they were vegan, or raw for that matter.  They tasted so creamy and wonderful, it was like eating cheesecake or something.  I only got pictures of two of the cakes, because we were all too busy devouring these things to take many pics!

I know there's a couple Loving Hut's in the SD area, and I need to go to them ASAP.  This place has a great variety of vegan food--it's like my dream come true!-- and everything is lovingly homemade so that it tastes extra special and yummy. 

Thank you, O, for taking us here!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Classic Sugared Pecan Balls

I mean, who doesn't love these class holiday cookies?  They're amazing!  I followed the recipe from Real Simple, but veganized it by just using Earth Balance buttery spread.

Click here for the recipe and make these ASAP.  So good.

Also, here it is:



  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Spread the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven, tossing occasionally, until fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes; let cool. In a food processor, process the pecans until finely ground.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the ground pecans, flour, and salt; set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and ⅓ cup of the sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla.
  4. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just combined (do not overmix).
  5. Shape the dough into balls (about 1 tablespoon each) and place 2 inches apart on baking sheets.
  6. Bake, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until just beginning to brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool slightly on the baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Place the remaining ⅓ cup of sugar on a plate. A few at a time, roll the cookies in the sugar to coat.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Hot and Sour Cabbage Soup

This was so amazing, it tasted better than any hot and sour soup I ever had in a Chinese restaurant.

The recipe is from Vegan Yum Yum.

Click below!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

White Bean and Mushroom Soup

From Whole Living magazine.

Recipe to follow soon. Sorry, not much time to post right now, but it was really good and a perfect fresh-tasting, winter soup.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Veggie Lover's Tortilla Soup

I know there are million recipes out there for Tortilla Soup, but this is my version.  The idea came to me today when I wanted to make vegan quesadillas, but wanted something else to go with them.  It turned out to be a great match and The Husband said that he felt like he was eating at an authentic Mexican restaurant!  Ahhhhhh.

So here goes -- no recipes followed this time; it's my own creation:

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves
1/4 cup chopped onions
1/2 can diced tomatoes (I used Trader Joe's organic, no salted)
1/2 can vegetarian refried beans
1 cup black beans
1/2 jalepeno pepper, finely chopped
1/2 serrano pepper, finely chopped (I used the Tupperware chop n prep)
2 cups "chicken" broth (I used McKay's Chicken Seasoning)
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Salt to taste

Saute the garlic and onions in the olive oil.

After about 5 minutes, add the peppers.  Stir well and cook for another 2 minutes.

Add tomatoes and simmer mixture for 5 minutes.

Add the two kinds of beans, "chicken" broth, and spices.  Mix well.  Bring to a low boil, stirring frequently.  Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes while you make the quesadillas!

To make the tortilla strips for the soup, cut a tortilla into 1/4 inch strips.  Spread strips on a baking sheet and put in the oven at 375 for 6 minutes or until they look brown and crispy.

So I already explained the reaction of W, and I think I'd have to agree.  Seriously, who needs to go out to eat when we can make this amazing restaurant-style food at home?! 

The quesadilla's are self-explanatory, but here is my version -- with tomatoes, avocado's and the chili peppers inside with Daiya vegan cheese.  Also, I used Trader Joe's whole wheat tortillas. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Homemade Pho

We love Pho San Marcos so much that we pretty much go there at least once a week. 
They have the absolute best Pho noodle soup.  Ever.  And they have a vegetarian option for me, which is perfect.

This week, however, I decided to try making pho at home.  I got the idea when I saw this soup base for vegetarian pho at Sprouts.

I made the rice noodles and got all the ingredients ready for adding to the top of the soup:  Sriracha, Hoisin sauce, Garlic sauce, bean sprouts, basil, sage, and an anaheim long green pepper. 

Into the soup broth I added mushrooms, carrots, celery, broccoli and tofu. 

Ta da!  Pho at home. 

P.S.  As fun and delicious as this was, I think I'm going to stick to going to Pho San Marcos for my favorite Vietnemese noodle soup.