Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spring Has Arrived, It Seems

A bit early, too. I feel like we skipped over some steps. So perhaps April and May will stay mild for us here in NC.  We are in the middle of switching seasons food-wise too, having winter favorites like Three Bean Chili this week, and also asparagus and fresh salads.  Our garden is covered to finish off the cover crop. Onions are in the ground, seeds started indoors.

I decided to make granola today after a few weeks of steel cut oats (making vegan substitutions).  I have a favorite recipe that I've been playing with for awhile. It came from La Dolce Vegan originally, but I feel like it's mine now. :)  Here it is:

4 c rolled oats
1 c wheat germ (optional)
1 c shredded coconut, unsweetened
1 c pecans (or walnuts)
1/2 c sesame seeds
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 c maple syrup
1/3 c canola oil
Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Then pour the maple syrup and canola oil over the top and stir well to get everything coated. Use two baking pans (cookie sheets), spreading half of the mixture evenly over both pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. After cooling, you can store this in an airtight container.

**Notes: yes, use two cookie sheets unless you have a monster cookie sheet that is pretty deep. It's best for the mixture to be spread out and get all crispy and yummy. Also, yes, you do need to stir it. Try to make sure and pull the bits from the edges into the middle and vice versa. The edges get crispy fast, and you don't want to burn anything. You can add all kinds of dried fruit AFTER you cook it. I learned the hard way. Oh and today I made this without sesame seeds. :( I really like them in my granola, so I won't do that again. Good source of calcium, too!  And finally, baking this makes the house smell great!

Hope you all enjoy that! I like it with almond milk or over yogurt with berries.

This week is light for us because we have a Thursday-Friday road trip. We are making seitan stroganoff (from Vegan Planet) to use up the Vegan sour cream I bought last week as a splurge for our chili. We are also having fava bean salad and baked tofu over salad.

A contact on Facebook recently posted a photo of her vegan fish tacos using frozen and thawed tofu... Will prob have to try that soon!  Sounds very summery!

Buen provecho, everyone.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

February's Bounty

Yes, the cherry trees are blooming and the broccoli in our compost pile is flowering! What a strange and warm winter we're having. It's time to start buying seeds and the garden cover crop never died off!  I, of course, am looking forward to Spring asparagus and the beginning of berry season. But I still feel like we need some winter.

This week we made some old and new favorites: Vegan Planet black bean and sweet potato enchiladas, Vegan Planet gumbo, the Appetite for Reduction bowl (brown rice, lentils, pineapple, steamed greens, peanut-lime dragon dressing -- my husband's idea).  We're also going to try one of Isa's spinach lasagna recipes!  I haven't had a vegan lasagna in a while.

I also found a cashew queso recipe that Isa had posted a while back and we'll be having taco salads next week!

We were on vacation in Puerto Rico at the end of January and had a hard time finding vegetarian food, much less vegan food. We did find a couple of restaurants that stood out: Food Space in Luquillo and La Estacion in Fajardo. Although I loved the beach and the rain forest and VACATION, it was good to get back and eat homemade vegan again.

Coming up for Valentine's Day, we are going to make some Post Punk Kitchen chewy chocolate chocolate chip cookies!! 

I have also been experimenting with kale chips. I love them! But have found that I burn them somewhat frequently. :(  So now I cook them for 7 minutes at 350 degrees and they are crispy on the edges, but not so much in the center and I realllly like them this way. Who would have thought?  Anything that makes me eat that much kale with my hands, right out of the oven, can't be wrong.

So, no major epiphanies this post. Just truckin' along. Off to make a hummus wrap for my day out in the woods for work. Good health and good eats to you!

Friday, January 13, 2012

2012: A Food Odyssey

So, I'm hoping not to try and set any crazy unattainable resolutions this year. But to try and keep up the good fight to put tasty, healthy, responsible food in my family's bodies! I'm excited to think of where I'll find new favorites and what they will be!  Also excited to start planning a new, bigger garden!

We are currently using up several things out of our freezer: corn, bell peppers, blueberries and strawberries. Yum! Good reminders of the summer we had.  We used them in smoothies, chili and cornbread this week.

The week before, we discovered BOWLS at home courtesy of Appetite for Reduction. It's such a simple idea - a big bowl of a grain, beans/tempeh, lots of veggies and the best part -- some awesome sauce!  I was always hesitant that I wouldn't make a decent sauce that would bring everything together and add the zings needed to make it satisfying meal. But AfR definitely offers some winning sauces!!

We'll be adding another bowl to our menu this week, I just have to pick one!

We're also going to try out a millet and swiss chard recipe from

It's appearing to really stay cold here now that it's mid-January, so all our meals are going to be hot, filling meals. But we do have some arugula for side salads and some romaine.

Does anyone else have a harder time incorporating as many veggies in the winter? Summer is such a piece of cake, but in winter, I tend to focus more on beans, grains, and other filling protein/carbs and then a bit of veggies. If you have a secret, let me know! :) Happy eating!