Tuesday, September 30, 2008

reinventing leftovers

I had a ton of pasta sauce leftover from Friday night's dinner, but I really wasn't feeling like eating pasta tonight -- I've come down with the cough that all of my little folks at work have, and soup sounded MUCH better. So, I pawed through my cupboards, fridge, and freezer, and made a pseudo-minestrone:
I started by sauteeing some carrot, celery, onion, and garlic in a little canola oil. In went about 3 cups of leftover marinara, 2 cups cooked chickpeas, and 4 cups vegetable broth. Boil, then simmer for fifteen minutes or so. While I was working on the soup, I cooked 1 cup of spelt and stirred that into the soup after it had finished simmering. Top with parmesan and voila! Soup's on.

I'm loving the chewy, firm, almost "squeaky" spelt in this. More whole grains in soups, I say!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

a get-better dinner

Dan has been nursing a cold all weekend long. Phooey! Lucky for him I had planned on making vegetarian "chicken and dumplings" for dinner tonight!
I followed this recipe, courtesy of Cooking Light, with a few modifications, as always: I doubled the recipe, used vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, used one recipe of chicken-style seitan (the recipe I have is from Vegan Vittles, I think,) instead of chicken, and used almond milk instead of dairy milk in the dumplings. So delicious! (And vegan!) I would use less seitan next time, but that's about the only change I would make. Oh -- and I'd definitely make MORE dumplings!! Those went first, of course. :)

I quartered the last of the beets and crumbled the rest of the goat cheese on our side salads. I figure, if I'm making a "get-better" dinner, there better be as many vitamins in there as humanly possible, right??

a request for eggs

Last weekend Dan said, "how come we never have eggs any more?"

Message received. :) Lunch today:
Poached eggs, (Dan had two,) yukon gold hashbrowns, sauteed chard and mushrooms, and orange juice.

The mushrooms and chard were quite tasty, (I think I like chard much more than I like kale,) but the hashbrowns were, obviously, my favorite part. What is it that is so delcious about salty, crispy, slightly greasy shredded potatoes???

What's your favorite thing to make for brunch?

Although I know eggs and hashbrowns would be well-received by the BF any time, my favorite thing to make/eat for brunch would be waffles, faux breakfast sausage links, and a big, delicious fruit salad with chopped fresh mint. Yum!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

It's a falafel kind of night.

I constructed a little "falafel bar" for Dan and I for dinner tonight:
Cucumber, tomato, lettuce, red onion, feta, and olives, and
falafel patties, tahini-yogurt sauce, and homemade pita!!

Why is it that homemade bread seems to be the one thing that really makes a meal??? These pita were AWESOME! I used a recipe from Fine Cooking magazine. The recipe was somewhat complicated in written form, but executed simply enough. It's available online, but you have to subscribe to Fine Cooking in order to view it. Gah!

I experimented with the falafel a bit, using chickpea flour this time instead of mashed cooked chickpeas. They turned out pretty tasty, and very easy! Definitely held together the best of any falafel I've ever made. I mixed together 1 1/2 cups chickpea flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 2 cloves garlic grated on my Microplane, and 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro. I then added enough water (between 3 and 3 1/2 ounces) to make a thick paste. Shape, panfry, and voila! Quicker falafel than I've ever made!

The tahini sauce is really easy, too -- whisk together 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons tahini, and 1 clove garlic grated on the Microplane until smooth.

Happy Falafel Night!



I just couldn't help it -- this month's Daring Baker's Challenge made me think of a couple of lines from Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail. Remember when some castle starts launching cows over the castle walls and one comes flying through the air towards the knights? One of the knights starts yelling,

"La vache! La vache!"

The other nights look confused, and he shouts again,


Then Patsy gets squashed??

Well, when the challenge for baking lavash ("la vache!") came out, that's all I could think of. :)

Despite the silliness, I managed to make lavash, as well as a vegan and gluten-free dip, per the challenge instructions:
I followed the challenge recipe as written, subbing whole wheat bread flour (and a little extra vital wheat gluten) for the white bread flour. We were given great liberties in the dip directions -- we could make whatever we wanted, as long as it was vegan and gluten free! I found a very easy baba ganoush recipe on VegWeb, and gave it a go. (I figured it was about time I made and ate baba ganoush! Totally yum, by the way.)

Here's a shot of my two sheets of lavash:
(Darn small oven -- had to bake in two batches.)

And a close-up:
Lavash topped with wheat germ and kosher salt on the left, and topped with cracked black pepper and kosher salt on the right. Both were crispy, toasted, and delicious!

This month's challenge was much less difficult than the eclairs, in my opinion, and much more versatile -- I can easily see myself making batches of this simple, rustic cracker for parties, snacks, or meals -- Dan and I ate some of the lavash and baba with veggies, feta, and olives for dinner one rainy Sunday night earlier this month. Mmmmmmm!!!!!

super me!

I managed to get everything done that I wanted to get done yesterday! Including errands, appointments, cleaning, and going through my things for a trip to the Goodwill, I also accomplished several cooking projects!!

I've been needing to cook up and soak chickpeas FOREVER. Now I have ten cups in my freezer! Woo!

I used romas from Dan's garden, romas from the Farmer's Market, some eggplant, zucchini, onion, garlic, mushroom, beet greens, kale, and some herbs and spices to make a super-chunky marinara, which we gobbled up for dinner last night. Side salad with roasted beets and goat cheese again! (Can't get enough beets lately!)

Vegan apple pie for dessert! I used the apples I got at the Farmer's Market, and stuffed them inside a half-wholegrain crust. YUUUUUUUMMMMMM. I figured that apple pie was an appropriate dessert to enjoy while we were listening to the presidential debates. Very patriotic, no?

Not pictured: a batch of almond milk, and a batch of homemade vanilla bean ice cream to go with the pie. :)

Friday, September 26, 2008

shopping trips

I have the day off from work today for a few appointments, but I also made time for a couple of shopping trips.

First, I spent a whopping $22 at the Farmer's Market!!
one cucumber
two zucchini
red & yellow onions
roma tomatoes
"Northern Lights" apples
one eggplant
bunch of beets w/tops

white button mushrooms
garlic (I found teensie-weensie local garlic, but after I purchased the non-local . . . phooey!)

Then, I went to the Wedge:
local, organic, whole-wheat bread flour
locally-roasted, organic, fair-trade coffee
dried apricots

local, organic black peppercorns
local, organic vanilla bean

2 rolls Seventh Generation TP
Seventh Generation dish soap
Seventh Generation laundry detergent
organic lite coconut milk
organic ginger mints

two bars Kiss My Face soap
Seventh Generation organic cotton tampons

organic celery
organic bananas
giant organic mango
organic crimson pears
local, organic baby mixed greens
organic sweet potato
organic black mission figs

Earth Balance buttery sticks (new packaging??!??!)
Naked Juice banana chocolate protein smoothie
Naked Juice berry blast smoothie
local, organic half and half


Wish me luck this afternoon -- I have four loads of laundry to do, the bathroom to clean, the floors to sweep, dishes to wash, crap to pull together for the Goodwill, and a LOAD of cooking/prepping to do! Here I go . . . !

as requested . . .

I received a couple of email requests for my sweet potato soup recipe. Here 'tis:

Sweet Potato Coconut Curry Soup
YIELD: 4 servings

1 teaspoon light cooking oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 to 1 teaspoon red curry paste (hot, or really freakin’ hot – you pick!)
2 cups vegetable broth
2 heaping cups peeled sweet potato, diced small (about 2 small ones)
1/8 teaspoon salt (or a little more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup light coconut milk
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

1. Saute the onion in the oil over medium heat until the onion is nice and soft. Add the red curry paste, and continue cooking 1 minute. Add the vegetable broth, sweet potato, salt, and ginger, and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat, cover the soup, and simmer it 10 to 15 minutes, or until the sweet potato is tender. (It should fall off a fork when pierced and lifted out of the soup!)
2. Transfer the soup to your blender. Process the soup in batches until it is fully pureed. (Pull the stopper out of the blender top and cover the hole with a folded towel while you are blending the soup to allow steam to escape.) (You can alternately puree the soup using a hand blender directly in the pan.)
3. Return the soup to the pan. Stir in the coconut milk and cilantro. Heat the soup through on low.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

soup, salad, sandwich

I've got a great boyfriend.

Why? Well, after the long, cool, dreary, rainy day we had yesterday, I found myself at home immediately after work, craving a grilled cheese sandwich. Dan called about two seconds after I walked in the door, letting me know he was on his way over. (We had planned to have a low-key Tuesday night "date" last night. I was going to cook, and that was about it.) Despite the monsoon-like downpour conditions outside, Dan was happy to stop and pick up bread and cheese so I could feed that craving!

And not just any bread and cheese -- 100% whole-wheat bread, and local Monterey Jack cheese. Yay Dan.

While Dan was battling the rain, I made my sweet potato coconut curry soup, and a quick side salad topped with roasted candy-stripe beets, local goat cheese, balsamic vinegar, and a drizzle of olive oil:
The sandwich was cheesy, crispy, and ever-so slightly greasy, the soup was sweet and spicy, and the salad was clean, crisp, and earthy from those beets. Lots of flavors and textures -- a great soup, salad, sandwich kind of dinner!

Monday, September 22, 2008

repeat, revised.

I made "Yellow Lentils with Spinach and Ginger" from The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook again tonight. After my first attempt a couple of weeks ago, I knew I could tweak the original recipe improve things significantly.
What did I do differently this time 'round?
~ I actually used yellow lentils, (instead of yellow split peas,) which cooked more quickly and fell apart nicely for that soupy "dal" effect
~ I used grated fresh ginger instead of dried ground
~ I used part of an onion and a clove of garlic instead of the shallot
~ I used a whole jalapeno (again -- nice level of heat!)

Yum again! I'll have to see what Dan thinks of this second try -- of the two of us, he's definitely the dal expert. :)

Friday, September 19, 2008

filling goodness!

In the quest for more filling yet still vegan food this weekend, I pulled out a recipe I scored from Tofu Mom -- Italian Kale and Sausage Stew. Rather than purchase premade vegetarian sausages, I decided to FINALLY make the Spicy Italian Vegetarian Sausage recipe that had been floating around ages ago, originally from Julie Hasson, I believe. I served some bakery whole-wheat bread with a white bean and rosemary spread on the side. YUM:
(Sorry the photo's a little overexposed -- the sun is setting earlier and earlier these days!)
I love it when fellow bloggers share their made-up recipes! This soup recipe is definitely a keeper -- loaded with vitamins and nutrients from the kale, tomatoes, and zucchini, but quite filling from the faux sausage and beans. The sausages were excellent, too -- a snap to prepare, and sliced and browned beautifully for the soup. Flavor? Reminded me SO much of Italian sausages we'd grill when I was a kid. Yum, yum, extra yum!

And the bean spread? Basically, hummus made with white beans instead of chickpeas, no tahini, and some freshly minced rosemary. Quite good, given that I practically murdered my cannellini beans by majorly overcooking them. :) What else to do with a bunch of nearly mushy beans, besides make dip??

Happy Friday night, everybody!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

stocking the kitchen . . .

Yeah, I went grocery shopping tonight. I guess that's what I do on Thursdays these days. :) I was feeling tired when I got home, with no dinner in my belly (yet,) and two cooking projects ahead of me this evening, so I didn't set up a photo this week. Apologies! List, anyway:

local whole wheat sourdough boule
organic whole wheat hot dog buns

organic red lentils
organic cannellini beans
unsweetened shredded coconut
organic long-grain brown rice
nutritional yeast flakes

tempeh tarragon salad (again . . . it's THAT good!)

local, organic fennel seed
local, organic onion flakes
kava root

organic canola oil
pitted kalamata olives
chickpea flour
organic peanut butter
organic yellow lentils
organic fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
local, organic honey (from the Sioux! How neat!)
roll Seventh Generation TP

organic bananas
organic red pears
local, organic garlic
local, organic dinosaur kale
local, organic bulk baby spinach
local, organic bulk baby salad greens
local, organic cilantro
local, organic onions
organic zucchini
organic sweet potato
organic beets

local, organic plain yogurt
Naked Juice chocolate banana protein zone smoothie


More tomorrow about what I'm planning to DO with all of this good food! Night-night.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Why do I blog?

I discovered an interesting post on a blog I've never visited before this evening. The post was regarding food bloggers, eating disorders, and why people post everything they eat in a day (i.e., "flogging," which I've been doing lately.) Here's the link so you can read it yourself.

I know that I do not have an eating disorder, but this post really made me think -- why do I flog, and why do I blog?

First, the flogging -- I fell into, what I felt, were bad eating habits this summer. I was thoughtlessly eating a lot of junk, (processed food, candy, etc.,) and needed something to help me be more mindful of what I was putting in my mouth! Enter accountability, in the form of a daily food log, or "flog." Posting my daily meals and snacks really helped me identify ways I was falling "prey" to junk food -- not packing a lunch or enough snacks for work, not eating enough breakfast, eating when I was feeling stressed, etc. So, I've been flogging for a few weeks, and I think I'll stop, officially, for the time being. Sorry if you've enjoyed the flogs -- I'm done for now! Flogging has served its purpose.

Now, why do I blog about food? I love healthy, whole, organic, local foods, and I love, love, LOVE to cook and bake. I find a great deal of comfort, calm, and peace in my kitchen. Cooking focuses my mind, and allows me to do something nice for both Dan and myself that is also good for both of us. So, I blog about what I love to do the most -- doesn't everybody else who blogs blog for that same reason, regardless of what they blog about?

The surprise I found in blogging was the community aspect -- I never knew I would find so many people out there "just like me!" My friends and family love to eat my food, but no one I know, save for one or two friends, (and several coworkers at the kitchen store!) will talk food with me in the way the food blogging community will. So, I put in a little effort, and reap great benefits -- that's why I blog about food.

Food and cooking, for me, are passions -- not obsessions.

So, why do you blog about food? Drop me a comment or post on your own blog -- I'd love to know!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

no FLOG today . . .

. . . I've been too busy enjoying the cold, rainy day on the couch, with tea, movies, and Dan!

We watched two great films this weekend: The Kite Runner, (which is why I was in such a hurry to finish the book!), and Mysterious Skin (disturbing, but amazing.)

Gotta love Netflix!

P.S. Keep those substantial vegan food ideas coming!! Thanks to everybody's suggestions so far!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

FLOG, full vs. stuffed

First, my Saturday FLOG:

a cup of black coffee, my multivitamin, and:
a Muesli Breakfast Bar and a pluot

Naked Juice "Blue Machine" smoothie (never tried this flavor before -- not my favorite. It was good, but not groundbreaking.)

leftover curry and brown rice from last night
one cookie
(no picture; sorry!)

Carribean Red Beans and Brown Rice (from the Mayo Clinic Cookbook,) broiled plantains with kosher salt (SOOOO good!), and sauteed kale with garlic.

popcorn with Earth Balance and sea salt
unsweetened ginger tea


Dan made a comment as we were serving up dinner this evening; "you're really doing the vegan thing lately." I guess I have been, mostly, anyways. I've also been eating a TON of beans. I love beans! We got to talking, and Dan admits that he loves vegan food, but that it doesn't make him feel "full." I brought up the idea of "full" versus "stuffed" -- heavy things like eggs, dairy, and meat have always made me feel "stuffed," whereas healthier fare makes me feel comfortably "full." He agreed with my distinction between the two feelings, (and the two cuisines,) and I also mentioned that tofu, tempeh, and seitan have the potential to be more filling than beans, lentils, and whole grains. I guess, in the end, I tend to prefer lighter foods. I don't know whether I always have, or if my tastes have changed with my eating habits.

However, not being one to disappoint the BF's palate, I pose the following questions:

What are your favorite tricks for making vegan food very filling? What are your favorite "heavier" vegan meals/recipes?

For me, I think seitan is probably the most filling vegan entree I've ever eaten, and strangely, white rice sushi has "stuffed" potential, as well.


Friday, September 12, 2008

more Mayo Clinic

Sorry for the largely missing photos today -- it's been a busy week!

a cup of black coffee
my multivitamin
Muesli Breakfast Bar (see previous post)

wholegrain couscous with red lentil stew (from my freezer,) garnished with plain yogurt
spinach and cucumber salad dressed with oil and vinegar
one raspberry Milano cookie

3:00 SNACK:
two chocolate ginger cookies
red grapes

Samosa-Stuffed Baked Potatoes (from VCON -- I cut the salt back, since most VCON recipes tend to be a wee bit too salty for me, but I cut back too far! I'll have to try an in-between amount next time.)
Yellow Lentils with Spinach and Ginger (from The New Mayo Clinic Cookboook -- I added a jalapeno pepper to the original recipe for a little extra heat! Otherwise, I followed the recipe as written.)
brown rice

ice cream! (still the chocolate-cherry stuff from awhile ago)

unsweetened red tea

thank you, Mayo Clinic!

I began exploring the newest addition to my cookbook collection last night, The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook. Per a suggestion from a fellow blogger, I decided to start with the Muesli Breakfast Bars. Look how tasty:
I followed the recipe almost exactly as written, with three minor changes: I didn't want to use up all of Dan's buckwheat honey even though the recipe called for "dark honey," so I just used the regular local honey I had on hand, I made the bars in a 9-inch square pan instead of a 9X13 pan (so they would be thicker,) and I also cut the bars into 12 servings, instead of 24. Why? As written, one bar contained only 162 calories. Handy if I was dieting, but I'm not, and honestly, I need more breakfast than that! Those kids keep me busy, and a hungry teacher is a bad, bad thing. :) (My version also contains 10 g protein and 6 g fiber per bar. Sustainment!)

Straight out of the fridge this morning, the bars are dense, chewy, sweet, and filling. I think they have great potential for fussing and adapting, too! I'd like to try a vegan version with agave instead of the honey and flax meal instead of the nonfat dry milk powder, switch up the dried fruits, etc.

Finally -- a homemade granola bar recipe I can chow down on!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

good intentions . . .

I started the day well and healthy, and then I didn't eat the lunch that I had packed. Alas. Sometimes good intentions are all one has going, eh?

black coffee, my multivitamin, and
Breakfast couscous! I haven't made this in a LONG time. Contains: whole-wheat couscous, almond milk, dash of cinnamon, squirt of agave, sliced almonds, raisins, craisins, dried apricots, and flax. Easy and tasty!

Mac and cheese with the kids, and my spinach, cucumber, and tomato salad that I had brought from home. Also, two raspberry Milano cookies.

3:00 SNACK:
A peach, and later, a pear and another Milano cookie.

Tempeh tarragon salad (from the co-op deli case,) and red grapes.

A few crumbly nibbles of the evening's baking project. More on that tomorrow!


Co-op haul this week:

a third-pound of organic, small red beans
a half-pound of local, organic, sliced raw almonds
black sesame seeds
a third-pound of local, organic soy flour
.15 pounds organic, raw wheat germ
a pound of local, organic, fair-trade coffee
a pound of organic, fair-trade, dark chocolate chips
organic dried apple rings
organc flame raisins

local, organic feta

tempeh tarragon salad (see above)

local, organic green peas

local, organic, whole coriander
local, organic, ground cumin

peanut oil
organic lite coconut milk
1 roll Seventh Generation TP

two organic carrots
one local, organic cucumber
local, organic apples
local, organic melon
two organic lemons
two plantains
four organic pluots
one local, organic eggplant
organic ginger root
two bunches local, organic dinosaur kale
bulk organic baby spinach
organic cilantro
local, organic sweet yellow onions
local, organic green bell pepper
four local, organic russet potatoes
one jalapeno
carton local, organic cherry tomatoes
one local, organic tomato
package local, organic thyme

Naked Juice "Blue Machine" smoothie (for work Saturday!)

I'm proud of myself -- 57% of my purchases tonight were from local companies! Woo!

I can't believe it's 8:00 already . . . I have a TON to do tonight! Better get cracking.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

agave info

My friend Lauren asked me a question in a comment regarding agave, and I thought I'd answer! (Shout out to Lauren! Did they choose your jelly bean flavor, or what?)

So, what do I think about agave nectar??

I like it! It has a sweet, syrupy, mostly neutral taste.
It dissolves well, even in cold liquids. (Which is why I put a tablespoon in each batch of my homemade almond milk.)
It has a lower glycemic index than all other natural sweeteners.
It measures more easily than honey, since it is "runnier."
It comes from a cactus! How cool is that?

For more information, go check out this article on wikipedia.


a light, snacky FLOG

a cup of black coffee, my multivitamin, and
a mess of two-potato hashbrowns, garnished with sour cream, and a side of sauteed spinach.

leftover curry I made last Friday, over brown rice.

a cup of unsweetened red tea

3:00 SNACK:
a few chips with salsa with the kids, a piece of cinnamon hard candy, and
plain yogurt with granola, and a very fuzzy peach!

I just wasn't feeling like "real food," so I made myself a bunch of snacks: ants on a log, banana bread, cottage cheese, a pear, and two cookies. Sometimes snacky dinners are just what one needs after a long day that's not quite over yet!

a cup of red tea sweetened with honey (my throat/voice was tired after my two-hour choir rehearsal!)

Question of the evening:
What's the last book you've finished?

Me? I stayed up WAY too late last night finishing The Kite Runner. I realize I'm probably the last person on the planet that's read this book, but it was still really spectacular!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

FLOG for today

cup of coffee with agave and half and half, my multivitamin, and
plain yogurt topped with a diced peach, a little agave, and some granola

leftover black bean soup garnished with cilantro, avocado, and sour cream, with tortilla chips for dipping

unsweetened red tea

3:00 SNACK:
banana bread and a pear

paraati chana (from my freezer) over brown rice, garnished with plain yogurt

two cookies!

Monday, September 08, 2008

a Monday FLOG

cup of coffee with agave and half and half, my multivitamin, and
peanut butter toast and a peach.

leftover pasta
cottage cheese
a pear
not pictured: four pieces of black licorice, four Lorna Doone cookies (I was HUNGRY this afternoon!)

unsweetened blueberry herbal tea

leftover black bean soup with sour cream, and
chips and homemade guacamole!!

unsweetened ginger tea
two cookies

Sunday, September 07, 2008

creative cookies!

I have had chocolate and cherries on the brain lately. (Last week's ice cream, for example?) I had thought about making a double-chocolate, double-cherry cookie tonight, until the bag of crystalized ginger in the cupboard caught my eye . . . then I remembered I had some fresh ginger leftover in the fridge . . . and then I went a completely different direction with my cookies! Final product:
I described these to my friend Ann over the phone earlier, and she said, "sounds very chocolatey and very gingery!" So, I think that will be the title . . .

Very Chocolatey, Very Gingery Cookies
(recipe loosely based on "Chocolate Chip Mint Cookies" from Joy of Vegan Baking)

3/4 cup Earth Balance
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon Ener-G whipped with 2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup finely chopped crystalized ginger

1. Beat the margarine with an electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in the sugars, then the egg replacer mixture, fresh ginger, and vanilla.
2. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a seperate bowl. Beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture just until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and crystalized ginger.
3. Drop by level tablespoon-fulls onto parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Note that the ginger flavor develops more as the cookies cool to room temperature.

Hooray for creative cookies!


What has been your favorite creative baking adventure?

Mine? It would have to be a tie between the vegan, wholegrain, chocolate chip pecan cookie recipe I developed a long time ago, (BEST COOKIES EVER!), and the vegan eclairs I adapted for my August Daring Baker's Challenge!

lazy Sunday's FLOG

As of 3:30 pm today, I still haven't left the house!!! Ha. That's what I call one helluva lazy Sunday!

A cup of black coffee and a watermelon Naked juice. Dan went out to buy the New York Times this morning, and brought this back for me as a treat. Yum! A fluid-rich breakfast, for certain. :)

I made Black Bean & Chipotle Soup, the recipe for which I found here. This was some damn tasty soup! I followed the recipe pretty much as written, using dried beans cooked from scratch, a can of crushed fire-roasted tomatoes, and 1 teaspoon salt as my "salt to taste" addition. Garnished the soup with some chopped cilantro, diced avocado, and a dollop of local, organic, low-fat sour cream, with blue corn tortilla chips on the side. Mmmmmmmm.......!!! Perfect early fall food!

a cup of red tea, my multivitamin, and
The rest of the figs! They ripen SO quickly! I'm a little bummed that they are gone already. Sad face :(

I made Sweet Potato & Red Pepper Pasta, from a recent issue of Eating Well magazine. This recipe is definitely a keeper -- slightly sweet, slightly creamy, and extremely delicious! Dan helped quite a bit with the prep for this dish by peeling and shredding sweet potato, washing spinach, crumbling goat cheese, lots of stirring, etc. He is definitely my favorite prep cook! (And my favorite trash-taker-outer, and my favorite floor sweeper, and my favorite stove scrubber . . . he's been a helpful guy this weekend!)

a cup of red tea sweetened with honey

approximately three cookies (two baked, plus a few bites of dough snuck from the bowl)


I think I'm going to bake yet tonight. I have an experimental cookie idea forming in my head as I type . . . more later!

yesterday's flog, new cookbook!

a cup of black coffee, my multivitamin, and
peanut butter toast and a pluot.

love the Naked juices -- they hold me until my shift is over at 2:00 without a break!

gigantic piece of summer vegetable lasagna, slice of bread, and sea salt caramel at Lucia's Bakery. SOOOOOOO delicious! It was so delicious, in fact, that I forgot to snap a picture. I promise I took my camera with me, having very good intentions, though!

cup of red tea sweetened with honey

Dan's Dad came up for the CD release party last night, and took us to the Modern Cafe for dinner. I had never been there -- what a treasure, hidden away in the depths of northeast Minneapolis! They try to focus on local, sustainable food as much as they can, and you get beautiful plates of delicious food for less than twenty bucks a head. (Pricier than I'd usually like, but heck, Pat was treating!!) I ordered the fattoush salad, which was full of romaine lettuce, barley, local tomatoes, cucumber, and feta, all topped with a hard-boiled egg. Me and eggs haven't been getting along so well lately, and this night was no exception, but damn was it tasty!


I bought myself a new cookbook yesterday:
When we were visiting Dan's parents last weekend, I had a chance to flip through the abbreviated version of this cookbook, which I found on the shelves of their kitchen. I was hooked! Most of the recipes, save for the chapters on meat and seafood, are vegan, (or easily veganized,) focusing on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans! I treated myself to a copy yesterday, and I can't WAIT to start cooking out of this cookbook!


Expect today's FLOG later this evening -- until then!

Friday, September 05, 2008

a bit of a junky FLOG

It has been a junkier than usual day today . . .

a cup of black coffee
wholegrain peanut butter toast and figs!

taco salad with the kids (don't ask . . . just know that it's junky, but good! Our cook makes a special bowl just for me with soy ground!)
most of a banana (the bottom was badly bruised)
four pieces of black licorice

small soy latte

3:00 SNACK:
two small cinnamon rolls with the kids

Okra, potato, and chickpea curry over brown rice, and,
ice cream.

cup of red tea

Thursday, September 04, 2008

in order to FLOG . . .

. . . one must grocery shop! But more on that in a bit.

Today . . .

a cup of black coffee, and
oatmeal made with almond milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, flax, sliced almonds, dried apricots, and a squirt of agave.

leftover half-burrito from last night
three pieces of black licorice

cup of red tea sweetened with honey

3:00 SNACK:
banana bread (I didn't get to the watermelon . . . those kids are BUSY!)

a pluot, and some "tempeh tarragon" salad from the co-op deli case. Yum!
(and one fig snuck from the carton . . . not quite ripe, though! Bah.)

another cup of red tea with honey


A different sort of grocery picture this evening:
Check out my new shopping cart! I wasn't thrilled with this at first, but I broke my old shopping cart a few months ago, and have been missing it ever since. The old cart was definitely more stylish, while the new cart has more grannie-like tendencies. However, after using the new one for the first time tonight, I'm hooked! Why? First, it holds a ton more than the old cart did -- I always ended up carrying a bag and pulling the cart, which is hard on my wonky back. Second, this shopping cart is set up to be pushed sort of like a stroller. Woo! Also much easier on the back (and shoulders) than dragging heavy groceries behind.

What's contained in all of those bags, you ask? Well . . .

1/2 pound organic chickpeas
3/4 pound raw organic almonds
1/2 pound organic walnuts
almost 3 pounds organic, local, whole wheat pastry flour
1 3/4 pounds organic, local rolled oats
3/4 pound organic quinoa
3 pounds organic, fair-trade sugar
dried cherries

local goat cheese

tempeh tarragon salad (see above)

organic orange juice concentrate

organic, local, ground coriander
organic, local brown mustard seeds

organic light brown sugar
sesame blues tortilla chips
organic millet puffs
organic light agave nectar
organic extra-virgin olive oil
2 cans organic, fire-roasted, crushed tomatoes
Republic of Tea "Get Relaxed" red tea
organic balsamic vinegar
organic, whole-wheat spaghettini
7th Generation kleenex
7th Generation TP (2 rolls)
recycled aluminum foil

organic celery
two organic carrots
organic, local cucumber
organic avocado
organic red grapes
two organic lemons
four organic crimson pears
two organic pluots
four organic Colorado peaches
organic ginger root
organic, local garlic
organic bulk spinach
oganic cilantro
organic, local parsley
two organic, local onions
organic, local green bell pepper
organic, local red bell pepper
organic red new potatoes
one organic sweet potato
organic, local tarragon
organic black mission figs

Earth Balance buttery sticks
organic, local low fat cottage cheese
organic, local low fat sour cream
organic, local plain yogurt

Not a ton of cooking planned this weekend, but I do have a few new recipes to try!