Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta

This always happens when I see Mac and Cheese on a menu or have to make it for the kids I'm babysitting:  I instantly crave this classic comfort food and HAVE TO MAKE IT ASAP.

Not only did I see it on the menu at Sublime in San Marcos the other day, but Mac and Cheese was featured on a local news segment in the morning.  The nutritionist was talking about how to make "Kid Food" healthier and still delicious.  She threw a bunch of ingredients in a pot, including butternut squash, and talked about how this dish could be totally vegan by just leaving out the butter and not adding the parmesan sprinkled on at the end.  Bingo.  That was what I was making for dinner.

I tried to find her recipe on the news station's website, but it must not have been updated yet.  I found this one from Oh She Glows instead.  It looked to be about the same.  I didn't title this dish as a "Mac and Cheese" because it wasn't as cheesy-tasting as some of the other ones I've made.  It was more just deliciously creamy. 

It is a bit time-intensive with roasting the squash and everything, but it was worth it in the end.  The dish was really good and flavorful.  I'm always suspicious of how my omnivore husband is going to respond to substitution dishes like this, but he loved it and ate a huge plate piled high with the creamy pasta.  We discovered that sprinkling some Tapa Tio hot sauce on it was AMAZING.  The spicy sauce complemented the sweet, creaminess of the butternut squash perfectly.  I only added two garlic cloves, and it probably could have used one or two more.  I also added some chopped Kale and chunks of the roasted butternut squash.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Golden Beets with a side of Spicy Tofu

I have really been into these two vegetables lately.  So delicious!

I sliced the brussel sprouts in half, and sliced the beets into quarters, mixed them together with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roasted for 25 minutes at 425.

Meanwhile, I made small, thin squares with half a block of tofu.  I marinated the tofu squares in Stubb's Wing Sauce.  This stuff is super spicy, so watch out.  While the tofu was marinating, I sauteed some onions and fresh tomatoes to which I then added the tofu.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Black Bean, Sweet Potato, and Sausage Soup

I looked up this recipe from Forks over Knives on my iPhone, and it seemed really familiar.  I could have sworn I had made a recipe like this recently, but didn't remember for sure.  Just now, I checked, and sure enough on May 29, I made this soup.  Click here for the original posting.  Needless to say, I went ahead and made something that was INSPIRED from this recipe and this is what I came up with.

I halved the recipe and added Tofurky vegan Italian sausage.  Also, I made rice and put that on the bottom of the bowl before ladeling in this deliciousness.  No wonder if I love this recipe so much and have now made it twice.  This is one of the only dishes I like with sweet potatoes.  As much as I love sweets, I am just not a fan of eating sweet vegetables as an entree.  Pairing sweet potatoes with spicy vegan sausage and hearty black beans in a savory soup really does the trick for me.  Will loves just baking a sweet potato and eating it with salt, pepper and Earth Balance.  Me?  Not so much.     

Will and I scarfed down the entire pot of this soup, which is great because it means no leftovers!  My husband is not prone to the eating of leftovers, so if I make too much of something it usually goes to waste, or I'm stuck eating it for lunches for the next five days.  

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


The whole protein thing has been on my mind a lot lately, not because I'm concerned I'm not getting enough, but because I feel like people are needlessly concerned that I'm not getting enough as a vegan and I want to prove to them that I am, in fact, getting all the protein I need.

Normally, women need about 46 grams of protein a day, but since I am growing a human, I need about 70 grams.

Legumes and whole grains about probably the highest source of protein for vegetarians/vegans, and I eat plenty of these a day, not to mention green leafy vegetables, fruit, and almond milk.

My daily food intake looks something like this:

One large bowl of cereal with almond milk
One piece of toast with Earth Balance spread
1 cup of fruit
1 cup of tea or decaf coffee
1 cup of water
Sometimes orange juice

Large salad with kidney or garbanzo beans
Veggie wrap in whole grain tortilla
Soup with rice

Some kind of entree (see the entire rest of this blog)

I usually don't count calories, or protein grams or calcium or anything like that, but just for fun I added up the amount of protein in my breakfast today.  This is what I came up with:

1 cup diced cantelope = 1.3 grams protein
1. 5 cup whole grain cereal = 15 grams
1 cup almond milk in cereal = 1gram
1 cup chocolate almond milk drink = 1 gram
1 piece of whole grain and seed toast = 6 grams

Total comes to 24.3 grams of protein just at breakfast.  And that's not including the additional cantelope I kept snacking on, or the little bit of almond milk I had in my decaf coffee.

I don't know how much more protein I'll eat the rest of the day, but I'm already 1/3 of the way to my daily intake and still have two more meals to go.

This just goes to show that without even trying, I'm already on the right track for one day, and need no additional supplements or protein shakes, or meat or dairy!