Sunday, September 30, 2012


Mmm, enchiladas...  I've been craving these for a couple weeks since a friend sent me a recipe for enchiladas.  Well, I took that recipe, looked up some others, and then kinda just made up my own.  It was AH-MAY-ZING!  (But I always say that, right?)  Oh, and Will loved them.  (But I always say that too, don't I?)  This blog could practically write itself.

Ingredients for six enchiladas:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon Earth Balance buttery spread
1/4 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 cup cabbage, shredded or chopped
1/4 cup canned fire-roasted tomatoes
1/2 cup frozen kale
1/2 cup cooked beets
1 can pinto beans
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili pepper
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
small corn tortillas
Daiya vegan mozzarella

1/2 can tomato paste mixed with a little bit of water
1/2 teaspoon chili pepper
pinch salt and pepper
1 package Frontera Red Chile Enchilada Sauce

Pre-heat oven to 375.

Heat the olive oil and butter on medium high heat.  Add onions, saute for about 3 minutes.  Add garlic and cabbage.  Stir and saute for two more minutes.  Add spices and the rest of the ingredients.  Stir well, lower heat and let simmer.

Meanwhile, mix the tomato paste and water with the chili pepper, salt and pepper.  Pour mixture onto the bottom of a small baking dish. 

Microwave the tortillas for about 45 seconds so they are warm and soft.  Add two spoonfuls of bean mixture onto each tortilla and carefully roll the tortilla, keeping the ends open.  Place each rolled tortilla into the baking dish.  To finish, pour the Frontera sauce generously over the entire dish of enchiladas.  Sprinkle Daiya vegan mozzarella on top.

Bake for 20 minutes and enjoy with a side of rice and fresh spinach!  Delish. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Mashed Yams

I've never really considered myself a yam person before.  I actually do like yams and sweet potatoes, but when it comes to making something for dinner, it never occurs to me to incorporate them.  However,  since The Husband has been on his Paleo diet for the past several weeks, we have found yams to be a bit more prevalent in our diet.  They're actually pretty good, and not just for Thanksgiving anymore!

For tonight's dinner I made the mashed yams following a recipe from Chloe's Kitchen cookbook.  For sides, I made a cabbage salad and heated up a package of frozen Quinoa from Trader Joe's. 

Everything went together so well!  It was the perfect dinner for the start of fall!  By the way, aside from the mashed yams, I have never seen Will scarf down cabbage as fast as he did with this meal.  So I'll start with that.  It's something I just made up.

Cabbage Salad
1/4 head of green cabbage, chopped
2 tablespoons roasted red pepper, chopped
1-2 tablespoons pepperoncini's, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 lime, freshly squeezed
salt and pepper to taste

Mix the above all together. 

Coconut Mashed Yams with Currants (recipe from Chloe's Kitchen)
3 large garnet or other yams, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup canned coconut milk, mixed well before measuring
1/3 cup maple syrup or packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/3 cup currants, soaked in warm water for 10-15 minutes and drained (I used cranberries instead)

Place yams in a large pot and cover with cold water.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Cook until fork tender, 15-20 minutes.  Drain and return to pot.

Add coconut milk, maple syrup, salt, cinnamon, cloves and ginger, and mash with a potato masher until smooth.  Adjust seasoning to taste.  Add more coconut milk for a creamier texture and more maple syrup for a sweeter flavor.  Mix in currants and serve.

Where have I been?

Well, last week I was on a work trip, so I didn't cook anything then.  This is what I ate while traveling for four days:

--Grape tomatoes
--McDougal's Soup Cups
--Trader Joe's "A Fig Walked into a Bar" breakfast bars
--One lunch at Chipotle
--One dinner at Goji Kitchen in Santa Rosa
--One tofu-mint bruschetta at Sunflower Cafe in Sonoma

This week, I simply made some classic recipes that don't really require much more commentary!  For example,  two of our favorite meals our tostadas and artichokes so you can read about previous tostada dinners here.  As for the artichokes, it's pretty basic.  Boil two large artichokes until the meaty part of the leaves is soft and then peel, dip into a favorite sauce, and eat.  I always make a sauce of vegenaise, dijon mustard, and lemon juice.  Will prefers melted Earth Balance buttery spread with crushed garlic.  He calls artichokes the "vegan lobster."  I'll go for that!

And that is where I've been for two weeks. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Ratatouille on top of Cauliflower Mash

Wikipedia describes this as "a traditional French Provencal stewed vegetable dish, originating in Nice... Ratatouille is usually served as a side dish, but also may be served as a meal on its own (accompanied by pasta, rice or bread).  Tomatoes are a key ingredient, with garlic, onions, courgette, aubergine, bell peppers, marjoram, and basil, or bay leaf and thyme, or a mix of green herbs like herbes de Provence."

I didn't have all the traditional ingredients, but I had enough, so I created my own version of ratatouille.

1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 zucchini, cubed
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 large roma tomato, diced
olive oil
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste

I cooked the onion and garlic together in about 2 tablespoons of olive olive in a large soup pot, while I sauteed the zucchini in a large pan.  Once the zucchini was lightly browned, I added it to the onion and garlic.

I then sauteed the red bell pepper with a little bit more olive oil, and once it was slightly softened, I added it to the rest of the vegetables. 

After stewing on medium low heat for about 15 minutes, I added the tomatoes and cooked for another 5-10 minutes. 

Meanwhile, I made cauliflower mash by steaming a whole head of cauliflower and blending it in a blender with a little bit of rice milk and earth balance "butter."  Also, I added one clove of garlic, but it was too much.  Next time, I probably wouldn't add that much garlic. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Red Peppers stuffed with Black Bean and Zucchini Chili

I took yesterday's chili , with some Daiya mixed in, and stuffed it into a red bell pepper.

Then I cut up some cabbage and mixed it with fresh lime juice, olive oil, sea salt and pepper.

Dinner.  The end. 

(Inspired by this recipe from Real Simple magazine.)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Slow-Cooker Black Bean and Zucchini Chili

Here's the story of the 48-hour chili:

Sunday night:  Prepare the ingredients for the chili and place them in easy to find places.  Chopped onions, zucchini and soy beef on an eye-level shelf in the fridge; cans of tomato paste and fire roasted tomatoes on the counter next to the crock-pot of soaking black beans.  Measure the spices and put them in a baggie. 

Monday, 6:30 a.m. -- Double-check everything and write instructions on sticky notes next to magazine recipe on counter next to ingredients. 

Monday, 12:15 p.m. --  Text Will a reminder to compile all ingredients and turn on crock-pot.

Monday, 6:16 p.m.  -- Enter wonderful-smelling house after work.  Test chili; beans are still crunchy.  We decide to let cook for another hour or so and eat at 7:30 when the beans should be done.

Monday, 6:51 p.m. -- Beans are still crunchy and we are getting hungry and impatient. 

Monday, 7:01 p.m.  -- Decide that chili will be for dinner tomorrow night.  Make Mushroom and Chickpea Ragu instead (see yesterday's post). 

Monday, 8:30 p.m.  -- Put crock-pot in fridge.

Tuesday, 6:30 a.m.  -- Turn crock-pot on again.  Let simmer all day.

Tuesday, 6:15 p.m.  -- Come home from work and test chili.  Beans are done!  Hurrah, let's chow down! 

Recipe is once again from Real Simple, September 2012. 

Replace ground beef with soy beef.  Add jalepeno peppers and any other secret ingredients you so desire.  Will did and he still won't tell me what they are.  To serve, top with fresh avocado, diced tomatoes, cilantro and Daiya vegan cheddar.   (We halved the recipe.)



  1. In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine the beef, tomatoes, beans, zucchini, onions, tomato paste, garlic, chili powder, oregano, 1½ teaspoons salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper.
  2. Cover and cook until the vegetables are tender and the meat is cooked through, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours (this will shorten total recipe time).
  3. Reserve half the chili for tomorrow’s dinner. Serve the remaining chili with the sour cream, avocado, and cilantro.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Mushroom and Chickpea Ragu with Polenta

This recipe is inspired from Real Simple Magazine.  Instead of using lamb (obviously), I used some hearty portabello mushrooms, and it was delicious!  Okay, so pretty much anything I write about is of course going to be delicious, but I can't help saying it each time anyway.  By the way, can we also please note that I used to absolutely hate mushrooms and now I use them in almost everything?  My father and grandmother of Czech descent are ecstatic. 

Anyway,  here's the recipe and if you want to make it veggie-licious like I did, just replace the poor little lamb with some straight-from-the-earth fungus. (Copied and pasted from Real Simple)


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, tossing occasionally, until the carrots are tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the lamb and cook, tossing occasionally, until brown, 3 to 4 minutes more.
  2. Add the chickpeas, chard, paprika, garlic, and ½ cup water and cook, tossing frequently, until the chard is just wilted and the lamb is medium-rare, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the vinegar.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the polenta according to the package directions; stir in the butter. Serve with the lamb.

By Sarah Copeland , September, 2012

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Gazpacho, Avocado Cream, Cauliflower Rice, and Broccoli a la Madrid

I just made a smorgasbord or veggie deliciousness!

Luckily my husband loves vegetables as much as I do, so it's really easy to cook lots of veggie-goodness in this household.  Also, to make a long story short, he is four months into Crossfit now and is eating more "Paleo" and "Low Glycemic Index."  Fine with me!  Just means more veggies for all.  

I don't think I really need to explain these recipes from some popular paleo websites.  (The cauliflower rice was AMAZING!!!!)  Let the pictures speak for themselves:

 Gazpacho with Avocado Cream
4 large tomatoes, diced or aprox 4 cups
½ medium red onion, diced
1 cup cucumber, diced
1 cup sweet bell pepper, diced
1 cup fresh cilantro – reserve some for garnish
Small piece of a jalapeno (or more if you like it spicy)
2 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Splash of balsamic vinegar
Avocado Cream
2 ripe avocados
¼ cup fresh cilantro
1/2 cup full fat canned coconut milk
Juice from ½ a lime
In a blender or food processor, add all the gazpacho ingredients and blend until totally smooth.  Remove the gazpacho from the blender and place in the fridge to chill.  Now, blend the avocado cream ingredients together until totally smooth.
Serve the gazpacho in bowls topped with a spoonful of the avocado cream and garnished with diced cilantro.

Broccoli a la Madrid


  • 1 lb broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 6 white button or cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced


  1. Heat a medium pot with 1" water and a steamer insert over high heat.
  2. When water boils, add broccoli florets, cover and steam for 6-10 minutes, or until it turns bright green.
  3. As soon as broccoli turns bright green, remove from heat and rinse with cold water to stop cooking.
  4. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  5. Add onion and saute for 5 minutes. Then add mushrooms and garlic, and continue to cook for another 10 minutes.
  6. Stir in broccoli and tomato and saute for a few minutes more.

Cauliflower Rice

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 Tbs coconut or olive oil
  • sea salt, garlic, ginger, coconut aminos, curry, garlic or freshly ground black pepper(optional seasonings)
  1. Place the cauliflower into a food processor and pulse until it has a grainy rice-like consistency.  Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  2. Saute the cauliflower in a pan with oil and any additional seasonings desired (sea salt, garlic, ginger, coconut aminos, curry, or just freshly ground black pepper).