Monday, July 30, 2012

Cous Cous

Obviously I've made cous cous salad before.  This is one of my favorite, favorite, favorite foods ever.  I make it a lot.  Every time it's different.  Every time it's wonderful. 

This time it was especially more delicioso than ever so I just have to share the recipe.  Also, unfortunately (or fortunately for me!) I brought this with that kale salad to that same meat and cheese fest and no one else bothered to even try it.   That's okay, because I enjoyed this cous cous salad all by myself for the next couple days! 

This is what was in it this time:

1/2 package of Trader Joe's Harvest Grains Cous Cous mix
(use the rest of the ingredients to your liking, no measuring needed)
green olives
hearts of palm
olive juice
pepperoncini juice
vegenaise (I used about only 1 tablespoon)
Trader Joe's Everyday Seasoning

Kale Salad

Every time I buy kale, I never really know exactly what to do with it.  I think my intention this time was to saute it to serve as a side for something... I can't remember.  Obviously I never made that meal, so a few days later, I still had this huge bag of kale sitting in my fridge.  After visiting Whole Foods earlier in the day (and only buying two vegan cupcakes for Will's birthday) I was inspired to make Kale salad.  Whole foods had at least three different kale salads for sale in their salad bar section!

Okay, so I made one and I loved it.  If you are a fan of kale and other leafy greens, then you will love this too.  I think even Will would have loved this.  Unfortunately I took this to a dinner where all the other food was fried meat and cheese.  Needless to say, my healthy little kale salad was overlooked.  This only means there was more for me! 

I did skim some recipes online, but this is what I came up with myself:

2 cups kale, chopped into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup chard, chopped into bite-size pieces (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 cup cucumber, chopped into small pieces
2 carrots, sliced and chopped
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
Course sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

First mix the greens, olive and lemon juice.  Massage with hands for about 2 minutes until the kale starts to become soft.

Add the rest of the ingredients, and using hands again, massage the entire salad for another 2 minutes.

Serve right away, or chill in fridge until ready to eat.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Meaty Mushroom Stroganoff

Dr. McDougall has been a strong supporter of the vegan diet since the 1970's, and he believes it is vital to a healthy lifestyle.  I love his vegan soup cups -- they are perfect for traveling.  I also love his Quick and Easy Cookbook.  It's like all the comfort foods you love the most, veganized.

Here is the one I made the other day and it was delicious.  It was even better the next day as leftovers!

1 pound uncooked fettuccine
1/3 cup water
1 large onion, chopped
1 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
1 8-ounce package Beyond Roast Beeg, thawed and sliced
dash of cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 cup soy milk
1 cup vegetable brother
2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed in 1/4 cup cold water

Cook the fettuccine according to package.  Drain and Rinse.

Meanwhile, place the water and onion in a large nonstick frying pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.  Add the mushrooms and cook until they are slightly limp.  Add the remaining ingredients, except for the cornstarch mixture.  Mix.  Cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the cornstarch mixture to the pan, cook, and stir until thickened.

Serve over fettuccine.

(I used spinach fettuccine and it was delicious!)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Hot Diggity Dog!

Okay, these are my new favorite vegan sausages!  They are so good!  Even Will -- who is a big fan of the all-beef dog, and is NOT a fan of Tofurkey sausages or Big Franks -- loved this vegan version.

From the website:

"From our family to yours! Field Roast sausages are made using traditional, old-country, sausage making practices. We begin, where all sausage lovers begin; with a grind; ours of grain meat. We chop our own fresh vegetables; eggplant, Yukon Gold potatoes, onions and garlic. Add some liquids; zesty lemon juice, rich red wine from a local winery, organic apple cider vinegar and finally the seasonings; fennel seed, sweet red pepper, rubbed sage, ginger, Chipotle and Chili de Arbol peppers and voila!; an artisan vegan sausage with sizzle, texture and personality!"

Will was so excited to try these (we had the Smoked Apple Sage flavor), he practically kicked me out of the kitchen to prepare the meal himself!  He chopped all the toppings and made the sweet potato fries from scratch!  HELLO!  Hot Husband in the kitchen cooking! 

To be honest, I'm not exactly sure what I did to help out with this feast, although I do remember being in the kitchen for some reason or other.  Maybe just to oversee because I'm nosy.  

For toppings we had onion, sport peppers, pepperoncini's, pickle relish, fresh jalapeno's from our garden, three different kinds of mustard, and ketchup. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Green Bell Peppers stuffed with Soy Beef Crumbles

I made my menu for the week and everything looked great and delicious, but by the time I got to the store I had completely changed my mind.  I just didn't feel like mashed sweet potatoes.  (Hello, it's not Thanksgiving.)

So I wandered around Jimbo's Naturally and Trader Joe's trying to figure out the week's menu.  Will called and asked what was for dinner and I told him some things that were in my cart.  We decided on stuffed peppers.

Here is what I came up with:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 celery, chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 package soy-beef crumbles (Trader Joe's)
1/2 cup tomato sauce (I used Trader Joe's Traditional Marinara sauce)
 2 large green bell peppers

Pre-heat oven to 350.

Heat oil in a pan over medium/high heat.  Add onions and cook for about 2-3 minutes.  Add carrots and celery and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Add garlic, paprika, and cumin. Stir well.

Add beef crumbles and tomato sauce and stir all well.  Cook for five minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the tops off of the peppers and make sure the inside is clean of seeds.

Stuff the peppers with the beef mixture until slightly overfilled.  Put the top of the peppers back on.

Lightly oil a baking pan and carefully place the peppers inside, standing up.

Bake for about 1 hour or until the outside of the peppers are lightly browned. 

Serve with fried polenta and fresh beets for a well-rounded, delicious dinner.

This is very quick and easy to make, and The Husband loved it. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Orechiette with Kale and "Sausage"

We missed Pasta Sunday, so I decided to make our pasta meal today on Tuesday.  It was pretty quick and easy to make for a weekday dinner and I just threw a bunch of stuff together.

This is what I did:


1 package orechiette pasta (I got mine from Trader Joe's)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 tomato, diced
1 Tofurkey sausage, chopped and diced into small pieces
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup vegan chicken broth
2 cups fresh kale, chopped into bite-sized pieces


Cook pasta according to the package.

Meantime, heat the oil in a dutch oven-style pot.  Add onions and cook for about five minutes before adding the tomatoes.  Stir all well and cook over medium heat.  Add the sausage, garlic, red pepper flakes.  Stir well and cook for about five minutes.  Add the broth and kale and simmer until the kale is soft.

When the pasta is done, serve it with a generous helping of the kale and sausage sauce.  I added a layer of marinara sauce underneath the kale and sauce, but that's up to you!

We sat down at our little table on the patio outside and enjoyed the delicious Pasta Tuesday dinner.  It was quite delicious and nutritious. 

Jamaicain Red Bean Stew

Guess what new kitchen appliance I just got? 

A crock pot!

I had always been reluctant to get a crock pot because I was under the impression that these things are really only for cooking meat roasts or stuff like that.  Well, I looked up a ton of vegetarian crock pot recipes and was convinced I desperately needed one.

The first thing I made in it was from  It's summertime, but of course in San Diego it feels like fall all year long.  A good, hearty soup is always appropriate.  This was an amazing one.

Jamaican Red Bean Stew


  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups sliced baby carrots
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 sweet potato, diced
  • 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 (16 oz) cans dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed*
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 - 2 cups unsalted vegetable broth or water
  • Optional: 1/4 tsp salt or to taste


  1. Pour the oil into a 4-quart slow cooker and set the cooker on high. Add the garlic and put the lid on the cooker while you prepare the rest of the ingredients
  2. To the cooker, add the carrots, scallions, sweet potato, and tomatoes.
  3. Stir in the curry powder, thyme, red pepper flakes, allspice, and salt and pepper to taste
  4. Add the beans, coconut milk, and broth
  5. Reduce heat, cover, and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours

Roasted Root Wrap and Carrot, Pepper Slaw

 While visiting with family on the East Coast, my sister-in-law, Anna, showed me this website called Alkaline Sisters.

All the recipes looked so amazing that I had to try some the instant I got home on Sunday.

Here is what I made:  Roasted Root Wrap and the Carrot, [Jicama], and Sweet Pepper Slaw.  (I couldn't find jicama in the store so I just left it out.)

This stuff is really good.  I don't think I have ever had a parsnip or turnip before in my life -- they are good!

When I served a plate of this stuff to Will he said, "Wow, we're getting gourmet!"  And then after taking a few bites, he said, "Why isn't this stuff on the menu at Swami's?!"  (A healthy, veg-friendly eatery in a nearby beach town.) 

Sprouted Grain Wrap w/ Roasted Roots, Greens & Chipotle Dip
Yield: 4-6 wraps 1 parsnip, peeled and diced small, approx 1/2 inch for all or smaller, not larger
2 medium beets, peeled and diced small
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced small
1 yellow beet, peeled and diced small
3-4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
4-6 sprouted grain tortilla wraps
mixed greens
fresh pea shoots
Chipotle Dip -see below
Toss all veggies except with oil and salt keeping the red beets separate.  Spoon all veggies on to large parchment lined baking sheet and sprinkle red beets on the top last.  This stops the beets from bleeding on all other veggies so they look prettier!  If you aren’t fussed by this then just mix ‘em all together.  Roast in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 20-25 mins until just barely tender.  Remove from oven and allow to cool to luke warm or room temperature.  Lay a generous layer of mixed greens over wrap, spoon roasted roots down the center.  Spoon Chipotle dip generously on top of the roots and lay pea shoots on top.  Fold the bottom 1/3 up and then wrap from left to right.  Place a toothpick in top to hold in place.  You may cut the wrap in half or leave it whole.  Serve with extra dip.  Optionally, I add sliced avocado to this wrap which is delish too!

Chipotle Dip
Yield: Approx 1 1/2 cups
1 cup raw almonds, soaked 30-60 mins if you have time
1/4 to 1/2 tsp chipotle pepper spice, the more, the hotter
1 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1 clove garlic crushed
3 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup filtered water
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp celtic sea salt
Combine above ingredients in blender and combine til creamy and smooth, adding 1-2 tbsp additional water for consistency only if needed.  Use as spread inside wraps and serve extra along side cuz it’s sooo yummy!   This makes a nice salad dressing if you thin this a wee bit more with either almond milk or additional water.

Carrot, Jicama & Sweet Pepper Slaw
Yield: approx 5 cups
6 carrots, peeled & shredded
1 small jicama, peeled & shredded
12 mini sweet peppers thinly sliced, or reg. sweet peppers
1 cup cilantro, chopped or snipped
juice of one lime, approx 3 tbsp
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp agave syrup
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne or to taste
1/8 tsp sea salt
To allow flavours to mingle, prepare dressing first by combining lime juice, olive oil, agave, garlic and spices.  Stir well and set aside.  Prepare veggies and place in large bowl tossing to combine.  Pour dressing over veggies and toss again.  Garnish with cilantro sprigs and serve immediately, being sure to gather settled juices with each serving.  May be served as a main luncheon salad, adding a bed of greens if desired, or alongside another dish, or even tucked inside a wrap with greens.  If you have left overs they will keep overnight but may not be as crunchee the next day, thus if you make more than you can eat, dress the veggies only as needed, storing the dressing separately.  Also, if you wish, the agave can be replaced partly or completely with approx 1/3 cup fresh pressed apple juice as a sweetener.

I'm Back!

So it's been awhile. 

We've been traveling for the past month, and now we're back and I feel like summer's over already.

I had my two vacations;  and done.

First, we went to a lovely, luxurious resort in San Jose los Cabos for four days; and here is some food from that trip.  This is pretty much what I ate for every single meal and it was delicious.

Chips, guacamole, and salsa

Mexican Salad

Rice Salad

Next up, we went back East for ten days to visit our families.  I didn't take any pictures because I forgot the SD card for my camera (I mean, really?)  But of course, there was lots of good homemade food from both Mom's.

Now, home sweet home.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Pasta Sunday!

I made homemade sauce:

Tomotoes, green bell peppers, carrots, onions, garlic and pepperoncinis -- all blended up and simmered for 20 minutes.

Served with Gardein chicken strips