Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Just a note about recipes...I have been so busy lately with getting stuff ready for our upcoming school year, that I just haven't found the time to post recipes for the last couple of posts. If you see a picture in a post and the recipe isn't posted, just let me know and I will be happy to send along the recipe!

Snow peas and Thai Tofu Salad

I really love snow peas but don't often get to have them because they are so expensive. I have loved having snow peas in my tower garden this year!

I added some to my favorite Thai Tofu Salad and they were delicious!


I love my tower garden so much and it has exploded with growth over the past couple of weeks. I daily have the pleasure of harvesting kale or basil or lettuce or snow peas or green beans!  Though we don't like the dinosaur kale quite as much as the curly kale, both are delicious and fresh.

My first kale harvest was a little filled my kitchen sink! Yum!

The other day I had a craving for some kale salad and it made me so happy to step out onto the deck and cut off a pan-full of fresh kale to satisfy my palate!

Vegan 4th of July!

I love the 4th of July! We usually don't do anything real exciting but it generally tends to be a fun day of cooking up red, white and blue taste delights, clothing the kiddos in super cute outfits and having a BBQ as a fam. This year was no exception!

We started off the morning with waffles and a tri-fruit combo of strawberries, bananas, and blueberries.
My cute boys in their festive outfits!

I was quite impressed with the dessert I devised this year - a Dark Chocolate Mousse Pie with Fresh Berries! Heavenly!

The boys decided they didn't want their dessert to be quite so chocolate-y (imagine!) so when I whipped the tofu in the food processor, I spooned out some of the creamy mousse before it had been blended fully with the chocolate. The result was cute little cups of chocolate-vanilla swirled mousse. I topped theirs with berries as well!
Ended our day with a BBQ dinner eaten on the porch!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Fresh Salsa!

I love summer! Since spring and fall are such short seasons around here, summer is probably my favorite season of the year. One of the very best parts of summer, in my opinion, is the abundance of fresh produce at local farmers markets. I frequent several in our area and sometimes end up going to the farmers markets 2-3 times a week! I love fresh fruits and veggies!! This past Saturday, the boys and I headed to the market and picked up fresh tomatoes and jalepenos to make fresh salsa to eat as a treat along with our fresh tortilla chips (also a farmers market find!). I used my food processor to blend fresh tomatoes, jalepenos, cilantro, lime juice, garlic powder, sea salt, minced dried onion (I can't do raw), and a few homemade pickled peppers from last year's garden.

The results were fresh, summery and delicious!!!

Crispy Herbed Potato Stack

Crispy Herbed Potato Stack
I was going to try a recipe for herbed scalloped potatoes and at last minute decided to do something fast and easy. I made up the recipe and it was yummola! I layered sliced russet potatoes in a baking dish, drizzled with olive oil, and then sprinkled with coarse sea salt, fresh ground pepper, basil, rosemary, paprika, and garlic powder. Then I baked them at 425 fr about 45 minutes. They were crisp and very flavorful!

My thrown-together salad today - after discovering I had no leftovers for lunch!

Tamale Fixings

Tamale Fixings
Plain pintos (for Keith), pintos, corn and onions; corn, jalepenos and Daiya; mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, and chard

Making these was a bit time-consuming but kinda fun! They didn't turn out as good as I had hoped - the outer tamale part (not the filling) just wasn't as flavorful as tamales I have had in restaurants. I have another recipe I will try for the dough next time. Tamales are one of my favorite foods so I won't give up on this one!

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes
I modified one of my favorite pancake recipes to make it vegan and then I added blueberries. Turned out quite yummy. Soymilk sours and thickens well - very similar to buttermilk. I have been really impressed with it's ability to substitute for real buttermilk.

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes

Egg replacement for 1 egg
1 1/4 cups soured soy milk (put 2 T vinegar into a 2 cup glass measuring cup. Add enough soy milk to equal 1 1/4 cups)
2 T canola oil
1 cup flour (I wouldn't recommend whole wheat or whole wheat pastry - it really takes away from the fluffiness of these pancakes)
1 T sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
Blueberries, optional

Mix dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir just until combined. Heat griddle pour about 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. Sprinkle blueberries on pancakes after ladling onto griddle. Cook just until golden on both sides.

Veggie and Seitan Lo Mein

Veggie and Seitan Lo Mein
Overall, this was fabulous! However, I don't think the seitan added much so I would just leave it out next time. The lo mein also needed about double the sauce so I would simply do that next time for added flavor. This was especially spicy and yummy with some Sriracha drizzled on top. I made our favorite veg egg rolls to go with this and it was truly a Chinese treat!!

Veggie Seitan Lo Mein

I really did my own thing for this recipe so I am just going to outline the instructions and include the sauce recipe. I heated oil in a large skillet and added 3 minced cloves of garlic and about 1 cup of half-moon cut onions (I was out of green onions but next time I would use green onions as I like them a lot in Chinese food) and about 1 cup matchstick-cut carrots. After about 5-6 minutes, I added about 1/4 lb of whole green beans. I cooked these veggies until tender. Meanwhile, I cooked a 16oz package of chow mein noodles. Once the veggie mixture was cooked, I poured the sauce on the veggies, heated through and tossed with the noodles. Next time I would double the amount of sauce and have adjusted amounts below to reflect double recipe.

Sauce (Source:Adaptable Feast)
3 T soy sauce
3 T rice wine (I used 3 T rice vinegar and 1 t sugar as I didn't have any rice wine)
3 t sugar
4 T black bean garlic sauce
Mix all ingredients and toss with above mixture.

Chinese Broccoli Wontons in Ginger Soy Broth

Chinese Broccoli Wontons in Ginger Soy Broth
Pretty yummy. I found that steaming the wontons worked much better than the recipe suggestion to boil them. The broth was very mild and a bit too mellow for us. Still pretty yummy though. I added extra veggies to the wontons and scallion to the broth. The seasoning in the wonton filling was quite tasty!

Chinese Broccoli Wontons in Ginger Soy Broth (Source: Vegan Yum Yum)

(As usual, I modified several things so it's not exactly the recipe in Vegan Yum Yum!)

1 cup chopped broccoli
3/4 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1 T oil
1 t fresh ginger, minced
1 clove fresh minced garlic
1/2 t hot chili sauce (such as Sriracha)
1 t hot Chinese mustard
2 T plus 1 t soy sauce
4 cups water ( I think this might have been more flavorful had I used vegetable broth or faux chicken broth???)
6 slices fresh ginger
1 T mirin (I used a splash of cooking wine as I didn't have mirin)
1 1/2 t sugar
2 t rice vinegar
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup chopped scallions
16 wonton skins

For filling: Heat oil in skillet and add broccoli, ginger, garlic, carrot, onion and cook until veggies are crisp tender. Add chili sauce, mustard, 1 t soy sauce and stir to combine. Remove from heat and set aside.

To make wontons, take one skin and place in diamond shape. Fill with 1-2 t filling. Fold in half to make a triangle and moisten edges with water and pinch sides to seal. Set triangle in front of you with point up and take the 2 side points and bring them together in front to cross. Set aside and prepare remaining wontons. When finished, place wontons in a steamer basket and steam over pot of boiling water until translucent.

Meanwhile, in a pot, combine remaining ingredients (except wontons) and simmer 10-15 min.

Place 3-4 wontons in bowl and ladle broth over wontons. Serve.