Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Falafel salad

Falafel salad.

This morning I woke up wanting a pita with falafel.

While I didn't have any pitas in the house, I did have chickpeas.

I found this really simple and great recipe here.

As usual I added my own twist. I put in a lot of fresh chopped parsley and cilantro. So much so that the mix was very green even before it hit the pan.

I have been so tired of hummus but falafel takes chickpeas to whole other level.

I assembled a butter lettuce salad with a goat milk yogurt dressing with lemon and cucumber. The falafel went on top and I drizzled it with tahini and a bit more of the cucumber yogurt.

This salad was incredibly tasty and satisfying. 

At this point I am slowly adding things back into my diet - the goat's milk yogurt today - and later this week I will probably add eggs back in. 

*Fingers crossed* that my stomach will remain happy.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tempeh Sloppy Joe

Tempeh Sloppy Joe
This was my first try at using tempeh as a meat alternative.

I know a lot of people love tempeh - I see people putting them in sandwiches all the time.

But I wanted to ease my way into the whole tempeh experience.

I made a regular sloppy joe mix (tomatoes, ketchup, red and yellow peppers, onion, garlic and Worcestershire sauce) and crumbled the tempeh into the sauce.

While the sandwich looked pretty I am not a big fan of the texture of the tempeh and it did not pick up the flavor of the sauce the way tofu would.

At this point I am completely perplexed by people eating big slabs of this stuff in sandwiches.

Maybe it is an acquired taste??

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Oscars and appetizers

Vegetarian eggrolls.
I had a great time watching the Oscars with my family yesterday.

I did manage to pick most of the winners but I was most excited about Christopher Plumber winning the best supporting actor award for the movie 'Beginners'.

For my contribution to the movie snacks I made vegetarian eggrolls.

The whole process started with a mix of red and green cabbage, shredded carrot, celery, red pepper, onion, garlic and a bit of seasoning.

Then it was all about the rolling process:

When they were all rolled up - they went into a 425 degree oven. All of the recipes I looked at said to put them in for 10 minutes - well, that didn't work with my oven. I cooked them on one side for 10 minutes and then flipped them and cooked them for another 5 minutes.

They went into a warming oven for the hour while we watched the red carpet procession.

Everyone knows the best part of the Oscars is the amazing array of beautiful gowns.

And I did get to leave with a parting gift - homemade lime jam.

Happy Monday all!!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Early mornings and seaweed

Quinoa with cashew *cheese* over a bed of shredded cabbage.
I am finding the cashew *cheese* fairly addicting. You can find the recipe here. I changed the recipe quite a bit - I am still tweaking it to my liking but I will post my version when I get it just right.

Self control won out this morning and the cashew *cheese* was off the breakfast menu.

Miso soup, quinoa and seasoned nori.
I was reading about potential dietary deficiencies that can occur when eating a plant based diet. It seems low levels of iodine can be a problem.

But I doubt this will be an issue for me since I almost always eat some form of seaweed everyday. 

For some reason I woke up very early this morning. It was so early that the dogs didn't even bother to wake up.

What do you do when you wake up hours earlier than everyone else? You make miso soup, of course! (you can find my basic process here)

Assembling the soup was easy - 

Cubes of tofu and some wakame went into the bottom of a bowl.
 Then I poured the miso soup on top.

It was a bit of a seaweed bonanza this morning. I used Kombo seaweed to make the dashi broth, wakame seaweed was in the finished soup and the small bowl of quinoa was a wonderul excuse to enjoy tons of seasoned nori.

Yes, I do believe my iodine levels are just fine.

I am looking forward to watching the Oscars later this afternoon.

Happy Sunday all!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sweet potato medallions with quinoa coleslaw

Sweet potato medallions with quinoa coleslaw.
While I am dancing with the "plant based diet" I have been surprised by the overwhelming number of vegan cookbooks/websites that are heavily focused on desserts.

Anyone who has ever read this blog knows that anything sweet or dessert focused is not my thing.

And if the vegan (cookbooks or websites) are not hyper focused on desserts/sweets they are incredibly heavy on the chickpeas. 

I know - it sounds odd - but it is true and the fact that I am aware of this is a sad testament to how much time I spend reading and NOT writing...

So, in rebellion I refused to make the typical tofu scramble/oatmeal or hummus - Instead I made sweet potato medallions for breakfast...

 - with quinoa and cabbage coleslaw.

No recipe this time. I am still easing back into the whole blogging process.

The coleslaw did incorporate quinoa, cashew *cheese sauce*, green cabbage, red cabbage and red bell pepper.

The slices of sweet potato went into a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes (I flipped them halfway through).

It was stunningly delicious! 

The dogs got to enjoy the extra slices of plain baked sweet potato. And, yes, they are giving the veggie centered madness a big thumbs up:-)

Friday, February 24, 2012

A protein packed breakfast (vegan)

Quinoa with seasoned vegetables and marinated tofu.  
I have been going through an odd eating phase. For some reason any kind of meat is not agreeing with my stomach.

So, while I have not made a specific decision to eat a vegan diet, lately it seems like all my meals are meat and dairy free. 

I have also started a weightlifting program and I am trying to keep my protein intake fairly high. 

I will admit that I am having trouble getting my protein intake over 120g per day on this mostly vegan eating regime.

Enter the protein powder:

Vega protein powder
To my surprise I found a vegan protein powder that was soy free. While there is nothing wrong with eating soy - I just don't want to be dependent on it to provide the majority of the protein in my diet.

Since I am new to the idea of a (mostly) vegan diet, figuring out how to get enough protein to support muscle building is going to be a work in progress.

But, so far, my stomach is MUCH happier without animal products. 

It will be interesting to see if I get that 'vegan glow' so many websites talk about.