Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Red Beans and Rice

Anyone who knows me even a little bit will know that my staple food is pretty much beans and rice.  I usually don't write about every single beans and rice recipe I make because I'd have about 6.5 posts a week about it.

This one, however, stood out a little bit, because I normally don't make RED beans and rice.  So here we go.  My Wednesday night Red Beans and Rice:


Brown rice, cooked according to package
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped mini sweet peppers
1/2 cup chopped fresh tomato
1 teaspoon canned chipotle pepper
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 can red beans
Salt and pepper 


While the rice is cooking, heat a large pan on medium heat.  Add coconut oil, onion and sweet peppers, and saute until soft.

Stir in tomatoes and chipotle pepper.  Heat for about 2 minutes.

Add beans, stir well, and turn heat to low.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Let simmer for about 10-15 minutes.

When rice is done, pile high the beans atop the rice and enjoy while nice and hot!

That was easy, right?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Pesto Pasta

Alright!  We brought Pasta Sunday's back!  That has not happened in a long time, I must say.  I'm not sure why, but like I've said previously, I just have been in a very strange, uninspired mood with my cooking lately.

Anyway, on Friday I went to Seaside Market in Cardiff and they had samples of this stuff called "Chimpesto."  I never really got an answer as to why it's called that, but it's REALLY good, and totally vegan, so I had to buy some to make pesto pasta.  It's way easier than trying to make it myself, because, for one -- whenever I try to make pesto it just never turns out right.  I don't know why.  Also, I have bad luck with keeping herbs alive and growing in my kitchen, so I stopped bothering and rarely have fresh basil on supply.

I made half a package or whole wheat bow-tie pasta and when that was done, I added some hearts of palm and artichoke hearts, and piled on the "chimpesto."  I made some fresh garlic bread and sliced some heirloom tomatoes for the side.  Oh, and I actually did have a half-dying basil plant leftover from something else I made, so for garnish I added a nice little basil leave on the tomatoes.  Voila. 

Will thought I was actually making the pesto myself, and when he saw the package he said I cheated, but hello, that did not stop him from practically eating the whole pot and barely leaving any for me.  So I think there were no complaints coming from that department. 

Breakfast with an Ocean View

We went camping.  This was breakfast.

Enough said.

Camp Chili

I made my traditional Chili when we went camping.  It's super easy and always delicious.  However, all I do is open some cans, so if you're very opposed to processed foods, please avert your attention.  Just to assure you, I also made a very fresh, organic salad, and we always have lots of fruits and veggies while camping.  You know, once in awhile it's just okay to open some cans and call it dinner.


1 can Worthington Loma Linda vegetarian chili
1 can pinto beans
1 can fire roasted tomatoes


Open cans.  Mix all together in a pot over camp stove.  Heat.  Eat.

Friday, February 22, 2013


 There's not much to say about these.  I've made them before, and I'll make them again.  I just wanted to post these because the pictures were so great!  (I mean, isn't your mouth watering just looking at them?)

 Tacos are an all-time favorite in our household because we can each make our own how we like with different toppings, and they are always spicy and delicious.  To add to the fiesta, I went to El Nopalito's Market to get some authentic Mexican toppings like tomatillos and their homemade fresh chips and salsa.

For the tacos, this time I used La Tortilla Factory Hand Made Style Green Chile tortillas, which are AMAZING!  They are a mix of corn and whole grains and green chile's, and they are perfect for taco night.  Yum.

Black Beans
Tomatillos (canned)
Jalapeno peppers (canned)
Heats of palm
Daiya Vegan Cheddar
Fresh salsa
Tapa Tio

One more pic to make you drool


Where is the food?

This is just sad.  Apparently I have not been inspired in 2013.  Obviously we've cooked a lot, because Hello, we have to eat.  But obviously I have not been documenting it.

It's just that I haven't been following any cool recipes lately or been inspired to make up any of my own.  For instance, last night we made pizzas.  They were amazing as usual, but how many times can I describe my vegan pizza?  All you do for a delicious, quick weeknight pizza dinner is take some pre-cooked pizza shells, add marinara sauce, garlic and a ton of fresh veggies, and bake until the Daiya vegan cheese is nice and melty.  Mmm, mmm good. 

Here's a picture of the previous pizza post:

I also made a really good vegetable soup this week when it was chilly and rainy.  Why I didn't write it down and take pictures, I do not know.  It was just one of those things where I took literally everything I had in the fridge and threw it into a pot.  I added about 5 cups of water and some McKay's chicken seasoning and miso paste.  I poured it over some leftover rice and pasta, and made quesadillas.  I mean, how perfect is that for a cold winter's night?  (And for San Diego, this week WAS really cold.)

Here's a generic, internet picture of vegetable soup.  Lame, I know.

For the record, mine had in it the following: cabbage, carrots, celery, peas, red peppers, tomatoes, vegan chicken, basil, garlic, and onions.

Other items on the menu lately have included go-to favorites like : rice and beans, burritos, tostadas, salads -- lots of salads -- tri-color pasta and primavera sauce, spaghetti and meatballs, popcorn, roasted veggies, baked potatoes, and you get the picture.  Comfort food is the magic word right now.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Chickpea, Tomato and Basil Salad

My friend Lauren often shares delicious vegetarian recipes from the website, LaaLoosh.  I have made a couple of them, and they are always delicious!  This is the latest great recipe, and I followed it exactly.  So here is the exact recipe from  I served it as a side to a pasta dish.


  • 1 15oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 pint of cherry or sugar plum tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup basil leaves, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Combine all ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Toss well, and chill for about 30 minutes before serving.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Fat Tuesday

We like to cook according to holidays, traditions, or any kind of festive theme.  Right now it's Mardis Gras, and last night was Fat Tuesday.  I saw something on the news about a restaurant in town that was serving a special New Orleans-themed dinner, so I decided to just make my own.

I came up with vegan jambalaya.  It was mostly inspired by Alicia Silverstone's recipe for the traditional dish, but I altered it enough to make it my own.  C'est délicieux!

  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 red pepper, cut into large pieces
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 4 slices vegan bacon or vegan pepperoni
  • 1 cup long grain brown rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup frozen sweet corn
  • 11/2 cups canned tomatoes
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup vegan chicken pieces
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 2 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • Tabasco sauce or Louisiana Hot Sauce (as much or as little as you like)
  • Large handful of freshly chopped flat leaf parsley

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pan or skillet.  Add onion and garlic and saute for about 2 minutes.  Add red pepper, celery, and vegan pepperoni and cook until all veggies are softened.

When vegetables are softened, add rice, stir well and add tomatoes, tomato paste, and one cup of water.  Save one cup of water to add gradually as the rice cooks.  Stir rice and vegetable mixture well and add hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce.  Cover and simmer until rice is cooked, about 30 minutes.

When rice is al dente, add chicken pieces, corn and peas, chili flakes and more hot sauce if you like.

Cooke until all is heated through and rice is thoroughly cooked.

Before serving, add parsley and salt and pepper to taste.  (I actually forgot to add the salt and pepper and it tasted fine.)

Okay, so this dish makes enough to serve an army, but I handled it just fine.  I ate about 3 helpings it was so good.  Will ate only one serving, because he had made his own non-vegan Creole Gumbo dish.  It was quite a festive night celebrating Mardis Gras in San Diego!  


Sunday, February 3, 2013

No-Egg Salad

We were invited to a super bowl party, so of course I offered to bring vegan-friendly food (meaning, I would be the only one eating it, but hey, that's better than having nothing to eat.)

I hadn't made this no-egg salad in a couple years, but it sounded like the perfect super bowl snack.  The recipe comes from one of my all time favorite cookbooks, Skinny B**ch in the Kitch.  Seriously, if you can get over the crude language, this cookbook is amazing.

Anyway, here is the recipe, and it actually turned out to be quite a crowd pleaser!  I served it on sourdough squares like pictured, and also on endive leaves for the paleo-friendly peeps.  My egg-loving husband loves this recipe, so that's a true sign of how delicious it is.  Make this ASAP.