Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Taco Rice

For those of you who don't know, Cody & I spent the last 3 years (and some change) in Okinawa, Japan. It was such a fun experience; we made some of the best friends in the world, traveled, got certified in SCUBA diving, drove on the wrong side of the road, and always had food adventures. There were lots of crazy Japanese food that we would try and some that we absolutely would not. (Pig snout anyone?)

Our dear friend, Keith, lived by this tiny little stop called King Taco. They sold the greatest taco rice in history. I love sticky rice as it is, so top it with taco-seasoned meat, lettuce, cheese, and loads of delicious hot sauce, you've got one happy Elizabeth. I serve the best New Mexican food in the history of life on a daily basis, and yesterday, it made me crave taco rice. Here is my vegan version!

Taco Rice
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

3 cups medium grain white rice (or sushi rice)
3 cups water
3 tbsp Sushi Vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 package Boca Crumbles

1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp each ground cumin, garlic powder, paprika, oregano and sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Note: Use 3 tbsp of mixture for 1 package of Boca Crumbles. Keep in an airtight container as this will keep forever AND it has far less sodium than your commercial seasoning mix!

Veggie Cheese
Hot Sauce
Toffuti Sour Cream
Tomatoes (not in THIS household!)
Whatever else your heart desires!

1. To prep your rice, place all of it in a colander with a larger bowl underneath that fits. You're going to fill up with water so the rice in the colander is covered. Press the rice, swish it around, you'll notice the water becomes cloudy. You want to rid the rice of the starch for optimal stickiness! Remove the bowl underneath, drain, and repeat this process until your water is clear.

2. Cook in a rice cooker or in a medium pan over medium heat. You want to steam the rice until there is no water left.

3. While the rice is cooking, add your Boca Crumbles to a large pan over medium heat. Add a tablespoon or two of water to make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom. When the crumbles are heated through, sprinkle with 3 tablespoons of the seasoning. Stir to incorporate well. Add more water by the tablespoon if it appears too thick.

4. When your rice is out of water, remove from heat. In a small bowl, combine the sushi vinegar, sugar, and salt. Mix until well combined. Add to the rice one tablespoon at a time.

5. Arrange your rice on a plate, top with meat, then all your toppings. Enjoy with chopsticks or forks for those of you who aren't quite there yet. :)

This really came out so good. I wanted a second bowl, but I had some delicious dessert waiting for me thanks to me chia seeds from Living and Loving in L.A. and a great recipe for Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding from Love Veggies and Yoga.

I can't believe 2010 is tomorrow. I'm not quite sure where 2009 went, let alone this entire decade! I have so many things to look forward to next year: my high school baby sister & best friend's wedding (two totally separate weddings...)...Manchester Orchestra...more school...and hopefully a marathon with the sister-in-law. I won't be running by her side because she's so darn fast, but I'm hoping we can run one together because I need the motivation and she's got it!

I hope you all have a wonderful end to 2009 and an even better beginning to 2010.

The Doctor is in!!!

For those of you who haven't been to visit Living and Loving in L.A., you need to check yourself. She is honest, amazing, insightful, motivational, funny, giving, and a great cook! No, I'm not sucking up because I want to win her latest giveaway. I mean, I do want to win, but most importantly, I want the world to know how wonderful this girl is! Go! Check her out!

Monday, December 28, 2009


Today marks the 4th anniversary of my marriage to the most amazing man alive. Through good times, bad times, and the crazy ones in between, we've managed to come out even stronger. Thanks for loving me so much and being such a patient taste-tester.

I love you, Cody!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Biscuits & Gravy

Two weeks ago, my husband & I ventured to Oklahoma to pick up my Christmas present...A KITTY!!! Yes, I know, Oklahoma??? Cody insisted we get a Scottish Fold. Sister-in-law has one, Ms. Kitty, and she is the most amazing kitty. So he spent some time searching online for a Scottish Fold...all across the country! We finally found a tiny little kitty in Oklahoma, and because we would be driving so far, he was free. This was our first picture of our kitty:

When we got there and picked him up, he was shaking, so I put him on my lap in the car to snuggle him & warm him up. That's when I noticed he was covered in fleas. Not just a few, but so many that you could see them swimming under his fur. He was also really skinny & when we fed him, he acted like he'd never eaten before. After bringing him to the vet twice, it turns out he also has ear mites and worms. He was definitely a rescue kitty.

Here is a picture of our almost-healthy kitty, Magnus.

So back to food. On our drive home from Oklahoma, we passed a brunch billboard. Cody made a comment that he "missed Awase", a golf course restaurant that we used to go get brunch at all the time in Japan. They had the best biscuits & gravy. As a treat, the following day, I decided to cook up some vegan biscuits & gravy. OH my goodness...AMAZING!!!

Biscuits & Gravy
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

"Buttermilk Biscuits"

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup Earth Balance
¾ cup plain soy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and Earth balance. Using a knife or a pastry cutter, combine until the mixture becomes crumbly. The pieces should be pea-sized.

2. In a measuring cup, measure your soy milk and add the apple cider vinegar. Let this curdle...yum!

3. Slowly drizzle the "buttermilk" mixture into the flour mixture and combine until just mixed. If you combine too much, you won't get the flakiness you're looking for! On a lightly floured surface, roll out to about 1/2-inch thick and cut into either 12 2-inch circles or 6 3-inch circles.

4. Bake on a lightly greased cookie sheet for 10-15 minutes. They won't look too golden on top but they will be on the bottom.

"Sausage" Gravy

5 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups unsweetened soy milk
4 Boca Breakfast Patties
sea salt to taste
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, if you like spicy
1 teaspoon black or white pepper

1. In a large saucepan, cook the sausage patties over medium heat. When heated through, put on a dish and crumble with a fork.

2. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in the same saucepan. Add the flour and wisk until smooth. You need to cook this until it turns a caramel brown color. Add your pepper here...LOTS of pepper!

3. Slowly wisk in the soy milk. This will thicken really fast, so be careful! Turn the heat down to low, add salt to taste and red pepper flakes, and the sausage.

4. On a plate, arrange your biscuits and smother with gravy.

So it's not that healthy for you, but it's still a B-. Every now & then it's OK to have a not-so-good for you breakfast! Eat like a king for breakfast! Plus, it's so tasty you just won't mind.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday! xoxox

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Best Chili Ever!

This time of year always makes me think of my grandparents house. After all the families opened up presents, ours included, we would head over to Nana & Grampa's. There would be cousins and aunts and uncles galore. Eggnog and coldcuts and cookies and stained glass. The adults would pass around "the doctor"...Doctor McGillicuddy, that is. A little Peppermint Schnapps to warm the soul. There would also be chili on the stove. My grampa made some of the best chili on the face of this planet.

As you all may know, I've been a little sick the last few weeks. I can't seem to fight it, no matter how hard I try to take care of myself. Chili sounded like a pretty good companion for el sicko, so I cooked up half a batch (and still had leftovers). This chili is hearty, spicy, and is even better the next day!

The Best Chili Ever!
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: As long as you want!

1 package Boca Crumbles
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
1 15-oz can kidney beans (with liquid)
1 15-oz can pinto beans (with liquid)
1 cup diced onion (1 medium onion)
1/2 cup diced green chili (2 chilies)
1/4 cup diced celery (1 stalk)
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp cumin powder
3 tbsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
2 cups water

1. Heat the Boca Crumbles in a large pot over medium heat. Add all the other ingredients, including the onion, and let simmer for at least an hour!

*I should add that Cody & I like really hot chili. I added some habanero powder (that Cody made) and some red pepper flakes. Just so you know.

That's all there is to it, folks. Easy. Delicious. Pair it with some corn bread or rice. Eat it the next day over tofu dogs. It's just that easy.

Monday, December 14, 2009

'Tis the season... catch whatever sicky-poo bug is going around. And yes, I managed to catch it. Even though my daily routine includes vitamins and working out, I manage to catch something gross. I've had congestion in my sinus and my lungs and quite frankly, I'm sick of it! Not to mention I lost my without a voice is a complete disaster. I don't know many people who like to talk as much or as loud as I do. So this is just pure torture.

If you or someone you know gets sick this season, I highly recommend Green Chile Stew. It's warm, which feels great. It's steamy, which is even better. And the heat from the chile warms you from the inside out.

So if you're sick, or you just want something to keep you warm, make this stew. Curl up on the couch with a blanket, put on A Christmas Story, and try not to think about your current ailment!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Burrito Pie

I'm not exactly sure where Burrito Pie came from, but it's been a staple in our household for the last 4 years. It's easy, you rarely have to buy anything to make it, and it's super tasty. Oh yeah, and it leaves leftovers. If you know Cody, you know leftovers are like gold.

Anyway, Burrito Pie isn't the classiest of meals. It isn't flashy or impressive. It isn't all-natural or organic. It is, however, a meal. A warm, home-cooked meal that tastes great and leaves tummies happy. To me, that's the most important factor of all.

Burrito Pie
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

1 package Boca Crumbles
1 package Taco Seasoning (I used Taco Bell)
1 can vegetarian refried beans
4-6 8-inch tortillas
1/2 cup salsa

1. Heat oven to 350° F. In a large frying pan, heat the Boca Crumbles over medium heat until warmed through. Prepare according to the Taco Seasoning packet (usually it's a little bit of water, about 2/3 cup).

2. In a deep pie plate, pour just enough salsa to coat the bottom. You don't want the tortilla to stick! Place one tortilla down, top it with 1/3 of the refried beans, a little bit of salsa, then top with 1/3 of the "meat" mixture. Do this two more times or until all of your filling is gone, making sure to keep just a small amount of refried beans for the top.

3. On your last tortilla, spread the last of the refried beans. You can put a little vegan cheese over this or even a little bit of the salsa. Put in the oven and cook for 20 minutes or until heated all the way through.

So that's it! It's pretty high in sodium, but you could make your own taco seasoning in a pinch with some cumin and chili powder. I just really like the taste of Taco Bell's seasoning! In this picture, I have my slice of pie smothered with red chile from La Salita. This is where I work and their vegan options are AMAZING. I brought home some red & green chile over Thanksgiving because I knew I would start to crave it over my 5-day weekend. That's actually the reason I made Burrito go with my red chile! :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tiramisu Cupcakes

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I know I did...I thoroughly enjoyed my first Tofurky Roast...and I'm still enjoying its leftovers. We had quite the feast at the sister & brother's house.

Ok. So now onto this post. I went a little cook book crazy and ordered a whole bunch off Amazon. I've been checking a constant three out of the library, but I decided it's just time to own them. The first one I ordered was Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World (and yes, they are...), then I added How It All Vegan! and Vegan With a Vengeance (which was a gift from a friend. Yeah, I have some of the greatest friends.).

I am so absolutely obsessed with the cupcakes from VCTOW. Seriously, they all look sooooo amazing I want to do nothing but bake. Since I work with some of the greatest people alive, I like to spoil them and bring in baked goods. However, these cupcakes might not leave my house.

The first cupcakes I made were Tiramisu Cupcakes. A few weeks ago when my sister/best friend was visiting, I decided to make tiramisu. It was awful. And I don't bake anything awful. Thankfully, these cupcakes made me forget all about my baking disaster! They were absolute heaven. Double thanks to the husband for hating all things coffee: MORE CUPCAKES FOR ME!!!

Tiramisu Cupcakes
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20-22 minutes

Golden Vanilla Cupcakes
1 cup soy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt (increase salt to 1/2 tsp if you're using oil instead of margarine)
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated margarine, softened, or 1/3 cup canola oil
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract, caramel extract, or more vanilla extract

Tiramisu Shtuff

1/3 cup espresso or strong coffee
1/3 cup Kahlua or other coffee-flavored liqueur
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
12 chocolate-covered coffee beans, or 12 chocolate chips, or 12 coffee beans.

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

1/4 cup non-hydrogenated margarine, softened
1/4 cup vegan cream cheese, softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350° F and line muffin pan with cupcake liners.

2. Whisk the soy milk and vinegar in a measuring cup and set aside a few minutes to get good and curdled (yum!).

3. If using margarine: Sift the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl and mix.

4. In a separate large bowl, use a handheld mixer at medium speed to cream the margarine and sugar for about 2 minutes until light and fluffy, but don't beat past two minutes. Beat in the vanilla and other extract, if using, then alternate beating the soy milk mixture and dry ingredients, stopping to scrap the sides of the bowl a few times.

5. If using oil: Beat together the soy milk mixture, oil, sugar, vanilla, and other extracts, if using, in a large bowl. Sift in the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix until no large lumps remain.

6. Fill cupcake liners two-thirds of the way and bake for 20 to 22 minutes till done. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.


7. While the cupcakes are cooling: Cream together margarine and cream cheese until just combined. Use a handheld mixer to whip while adding the confectioners' sugar in 1/2 cup batches. Mix until smooth and creamy, then mix in the vanilla.


8. Mix together the espresso and the Kahlua.

9. Use a measuring spoon, a regular teaspoon, or a paring knife to carve out a small cone in the center of the cupcake. Place spoon about 1 inch from the center of the cupcake, then dig the spoon in about 1 inch deep and cut a circle around the center. Carefully scoop out a cone, trying your best to keep the chunk as intact as possible.

10. Use a spoon to pour the Kahlua mixture in the cavity of the cut cupcake, making sure that all sides of the cavity are drenched, using up to 2 tablespoons of liquid per cupcake. Scoop about 2 tablespoons of Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting into the cavity and smooth over with the back of the spoon. (Make sure to reserve a few tablespoons of frosting to dollop on top of the cupcake.). Dip the bottom of the cut-out chunk into the Kahlua mixture, but keep the top part dry. Place the cut-out chunk on top of the frosting and gently pat it into place. Continue the process with the remaining cupcakes.

11. Place the chocolate and cinnamon in a small strainer and dust all of the cupcakes. Dollop a small amount of the frosting on top and place a chocolate chip or espresso bean on the dollop. Let sit for about 10 minutes and serve.

Seriously, folks...these cupcakes are perfection. I would vote for these cupcakes and let them rule in a world of caffeine and fluffy cupcake parliament. Watch out, Palin.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

AB-No-C Sandwich

One of my all-time favorite restaurants here in Albuquerque is Annapurnas World Vegetarian Cafe. Almost everything on the menu is vegan, and if it isn't, they can make it work for you! Such is the deliciousness that is the ABC Sandwich. Avocado, Tempeh Bacon, and Cheddar Cheese. When I ordered mine for the first time, I ordered no cheese, no tomato (because tomato is my enemy), and instead of the chipotle dressing, I got garlic Vegannaise. There are three different choices for bread. Yeah, three. I got mine on fococcia. Yum! It was so darn good. The bacon was crispy and delicious, the avocado was ripe, and it comes with spinach in it as well, which adds a nice, healthy punch.

I just had to make this myself.

I went out in search of my own AB-No-C Sandwich ingredients. I bought the spinach. I bought Tempeh Bacon. I bought some rustic bread to use. Then I decided that this needs to go in the panini press. AND I need to use Vegannaise Aoli instead of the garlic Vegannaise. Oh boy, it was tasty. My mouth is watering right now. Seriously.

AB-No-C Sandwich
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes

4 servings

8 slices bread of your choice, something good & hearty
2 tbsp soy butter (I use Earth Balance)
1/4 cup Vegannaise
2 tbsp Vegan Pesto
2 cups baby spinach
2 ripe avocado
2 tbsp olive oil
1 package Tempeh Bacon

1. In a steamer, steam the baby spinach until just tender. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine the Vegannaise and pesto until smooth. This makes your aoli. Yes, you will fall in love with it and want to put it on everything. It's ok.

2. In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Cook the Tempeh Bacon slices until they shrink up a bit and are crispy. Yum, crispy Tempeh Bacon!

3. Slice up your avocado! Make sure it's nice and thin so it doesn't bulk up the sandwich unevenly. Now assemble your sandwich! If you're using a panini press, make sure it's heated to medium-high heat. Lightly butter your bread, place it on the panini, then layer your aoli, bacon, spinach, and avocado. If you're not using a panini, don't butter, just layer and enjoy!!!

This sandwich is amazing, especially served with a cup of soup. It's perfect for summer. It's perfect for winter. I'm going to make it over and over and over again! Stay tuned for the amazing cupcakes I served for dessert with this sandwich...

Monday, November 16, 2009


I haven't had the opportunity to post anything over the past week. My wonderful, beautiful, best friend & sister is here in New Mehico with her two daughters. (I am making a vegan chocolate cake tonight since it's Hannah's 5th birthday, so there will be a new recipe up!) Since I still read all my favorite blogs (Jaclyn's Vegan Yumminess, SkinnyRunner, Better Together), I would like to share this wonderful giveaway from one of the most wonderful girls and best bloggers in the blogosphere, Living and Loving In L.A..

I don't know how I've never heard of Chia Seeds, but Chia Seeds Direct is giving away a 3-lb bag! I hope I win this generous giveaway so I can actually try them! But even if I don't, some lucky winner is going to reap the benefits of these little guys.

Go visit Living and Loving In L.A. for all the rules. The best rule of all is that you need to follow her. That should be a rule everyone lives by regardless of Chia Seeds.

Keeping my fingers crossed!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Vegetable Pot Pie

This week has been one of those weeks where I look in my pantry/fridge and think, "What can I cook for dinner tonight?" Cody & I are really frugal when it comes to grocery shopping; we make one big trip a month and just go to the market for odds and ends. We've been waiting to go this month since MY SISTER & HER DAUGHTERS ARE GOING TO BE HERE TONIGHT!!!

I spent the entire day Sunday cleaning my house, inside and out. I didn't really feel like cooking something crazy, but I also was famished and knew a sandwich wouldn't do. I took a few peeks in the fridge and this is what I came up with.

Vegetable Pot Pie
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

1 15-oz can peas & carrots, drained
3 potatoes, peeled and diced
2 cups plain soymilk
2 tsp Vegetable Better Than Boullion (or two boullion cubes)
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
2-3 tbsp cornstarch mixed with water to make slurry
1 Pillsbury Crescent Creations

1. Preheat oven to 350° F. In a medium sauce pan, add potatoes and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender. Drain; combine with peas & carrots.

2. In a small sauce pan, heat the soymilk, boullion, oregano, and black pepper (and any other spice you think might go well!). Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Slowly add the slurry, making sure to stir. Boil until desired thickness.

3. Place the vegetables in a casserole dish. Cover with the sauce, then cover with the Pillsbury Crescent Creation, making sure to cover the vegetables completely. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

I must say, this was super easy & super tasty! There were a few too many peas in there for me as they are not my favorite, but it was still good. Especially as leftovers! Yum!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Black Bean & Corn Quesadillas

I love quesadillas. They're so versatile. You can put just about anything in them, and chances are, you can make them without having to go to the store for any ingredients. This was the case last night.

I'm battling a cold, desperately trying to fight it off fast before my sister & her daughters fly out here next week. One thing that seems to help is spicy New Mexico! I work at the most amazing New Mexican restaurant, plus I love to cook New Mexican food, so my cold has been doused with firey salsa and chile sauce.

One of the first vegetarian dishes I ever made were these quesadillas. They're sweet, spicy, and easy to boot.

Black Bean & Corn Quesadillas
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

2 tsp olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 (15.5-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (10-oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup salsa (go hot or go home!)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tbsp soy butter, divided
8 (8 inch) flour tortillas

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onion, and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in beans and corn, then add sugar, salsa, and pepper flakes; mix well. Cook until heated through, about 3 minutes.

2. Melt 2 teaspoons of the soy butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Place a tortilla in the skillet, top with some of the bean mixture. Place another tortilla on top, cook until golden, then flip and cook on the other side. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.

You can easily throw in some soy cheese, if you'd like. Cody put some chopped green chile (surprise, surprise) in his, along with some habanero powder he made. He also asked if we had any sour cream...then proceeded to tell me I should have put some on mine because it's the 'effin' balls'. Yes, it was Tofutti sour cream. It was not real. And he ate it. And loved it. Mwahahahahaha!!!!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Veggie Sausage Gumbo

This weekend I got a few texts from someone I've known for years, talking about all the vegan goodness they made this weekend for their family. My friend, Melissa, is a Marine, a wife of a Drill Instructor, and a mother of 2. She's someone who has always said that she might be able to go vegetarian, but she'd miss seafood too much. Well, I'm happy to announce that Melissa has started to test the waters of vegetarianism! Yes, this is a vegan blog, but since this recipe is vegan AND I'm overly impressed with her decision to give this lifestyle a whirl, Melissa is guest blogging today to share her first recipe and her first experience. Thanks, Missy!

For someone who is married to a guy from Louisiana I have come to love a good seafood gumbo. But, since I'm gonna be embarking on this whole vegetarian thing I figured I would need to find a new way to make it! I stumbled around the internet for a while and came upon this recipe (I would share the site but I don't remember what it is, and there really wasn't anything else yummy looking on there). It's super easy and doesn't take long (I added time on just to get the celery how I wanted)! Not to mention it's really good! It hasn't been tested by the husband yet, but I'm pretty sure he is going to like it! (He has been a bit skeptical of my whole decision to go veggie, but he is coming along for the ride, he ate tofu scrambled "eggs" this weekend...and actually liked them!) On the recipe it said that it serves 4, but it made a lot more than that (yay, leftovers)! So, for those that are like me and don't know what the heck they are doing yet and want to make something easy, this is a good start!

Veggie Sausage Gumbo

1 cup frozen okra
16 oz veggie "sausage links", cut into 1" pieces
2 tbs whole wheat flour
2 tbs vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
1 lg onion chopped
1 lg green pepper chopped
2 cloved garlic chopped (I used a bit more than this, but I love garlic!)
1/2 tsp dried thyme (I just put as much as I thought I needed)
1/4 tsp ground red pepper (I used a lot more, but I wanted it spicy)
1 16 oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup celery chopped
5 cups vegetable stock
salt (opt)
tabasco (opt)
2 cups cooked rice

1. Fry the okra, set aside. Lightly fry the sausage, set aside.
2. Combine tlour & oil in large pot, stirring constantly. Saute over medium-high heat for 1 min. Add okra, onion, pepper, garlic, thyme, ground pepper. Cook for 1 min on med, stirring.
3. Stir in veggie sausage, tomatoes, celery, vegetable stock. Cook for 15 min or till done. (I set it on low and let it simmer for about 30-45min. The celery took a while to soften up)
4. Serve over rice.


Friday, October 30, 2009

Zevia Giveaway!

My beautiful friend, Living and Loving in LA always has the best news, DIY blogs, recipes, and giveaways. The giveaway she has up now is for Zevia soda. It's all natural, has ZERO calories, and tastes amazing! There will be a mixed case sent to one lucky Grand Prize winner and mixed sixed packs sent to 5 Runners Up!!! 6 chances to win??? Get on it! Go visit this amazing blog to find out how to win!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Maple Glazed Tempeh

Oh, tempeh. If you have never experienced with this meaty, soy tastiness, don't worry. I totally understand. If there's anything stranger and more hippy than tofu, it's tempeh. I've only used it once before and it was in Spicy Tempeh Sushi Rolls. It was definitely an experience.

Tempeh, or tempe in Indonesian, is made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans into a cake form. Tempeh is unique among major traditional soyfoods in that it is the only one that did not originate in China or Japan. It originated in today's Indonesia, and especially popular on the island of Java, where it is a staple source of protein. Like tofu, tempeh is made from soybeans, but tempeh is a whole soybean product with different nutritional characteristics and textural qualities. Tempeh's fermentation process and its retention of the whole bean give it a higher content of protein, dietary fiber, and vitamins compared to tofu, as well as firmer texture and stronger flavor. Because of its nutritional value, tempeh is used worldwide in vegetarian cuisine; some consider it to be a meat analogue.

We had the sister-in-law over for dinner last night as her husband is off saving the world. I didn't really want to spend money on groceries, so I searched the fridge and pantry for possible meals. I had purchased some tempeh a few weeks ago, thinking I might make sushi again. I also had some carrots and a box of couscous (yum!) so I searched online for a tempeh recipe. I decided on a maple recipe since I had all the ingredients and it would work really well with the carrots. Without further adieu...

Maple Glazed Tempeh
Prep time: 15 minutes, plus marinading time
Cook time: 15 minutes

8 ounces tempeh
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
2 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed and chopped
1/2 teaspoon powdered chipotle (or a couple pinches of cayenne)

1. In a saucepan over high heat, steam the tempeh for 10 minutes. Cool. While steaming, combine all the ingredients in a shallow dish or pan.

2. Slice the tempeh into 4 triangles, then slice in half width-wise, making 8 thin triangles. Soak in the marinade for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.

3. In a large pan over medium heat, spray with nonstick spray. Add each piece of tempeh carefully, making sure not to tear. Cook on one side for 7 minutes, adding marinade on top as you go. When you flip it, flip carefully. The color should be a deep maple color...if it starts to get a little black, that's ok! It adds flavor!

4. When both sides are cooked, serve!

I'm not going to lie, it was delicious! It had a chewy texture and completely took on the flavor of the marinade. My bet is that this would be good over rice, a salad,'s so versatile! If you're afraid of tempeh, get over it! Give it a whirl!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Perfect Strangers!

If you are unaware, my family here in New Mexico calls me EBeth (not for the same reason my best friend, Beth calls me EBeth...). They call me such because of the 'E': I'm obsessed with all things internet related. I am. I have Deidra's old iPhone, just in case there's free WiFi and I can check facebook. I blog. I have most updates (blog, fb, even banking) texted to my phone. I'm with the times!

Anyway, this blog has been so much fun. It motivates me to cook. It has introduced me to some amazing people who I consider friends (exhibit A). It makes me feel all warm & fuzzy when people I don't know leave me a comment or start following the craziness that I write. I got a neat little award today from Stephanie, someone I've never met. Obviously I'm going to do the natural thing and pass it along.

1. Where is your cell phone? still plugged into the wall
2. Your hair? I'm rocking bed-head right now.
3. Your mother? Too far away.
4. Your father? A riot.
5. Your favorite food? Hummus. And CoCo's.
6. Your dream last night? I usually forget!
7. Your favorite drink? Water. Coffee. Wine.
8. Your dream/goal? Radiology. Coffee shop. Book (???)
9. What room are you in? My living room.
10. Your hobby? Piano. Singing. Sewing. Baking.
11. Your fear? Not having babies.
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? New Hampshire.
13. Where were you last night? La Salita.
14. Something you aren’t? A twig.
15. Muffins? Lemon Poppyseed...made them a few days ago & they rock.
16. Wish list item? Vegan cookbooks. I need to stock up.
17. Where did you grow up? New Hampshire.
18. Last thing you did? Made coffee. Well, watched my amazing Keurig make coffee.
19. What are you wearing? PJs
20. Your TV? News.
21. Your pets? Furbabies that belong to D & C.
22. Your friends? My family!
23. Your life? Close to perfect.
24. Your mood? Half sleepy.
25. Missing someone? Rob Pattinson. Oh, and my friends around the world.
27. Something you’re not wearing? Make up.
28. Your favorite store? Sunflower Market.
29. Your favorite color? Red, pink, and black.
30. When was the last time you laughed? This morning.
31. Last time you cried? It's been a while.
32. Best Friend? My husband.
33. One place that I go over and over again? Work.
34. One person who emails me regularly? USMC Marathon Training Program.
35. Favorite place to eat? Work.

Here are the 5 wonderful bloggers I nominate for this award!
Living & Loving In LA
Jaclyn's Vegan Yumminess
Better Together
Out of Africa
Turning Iwatean

These ladies make my day and their blogs really are over the top! Love you! xo

Friday, October 23, 2009

Mac & Cheeze

Growing up, I loved macaroni & cheese. My mom made a really good casserole with fresh pieces of ham and Ritz cracker crumb topping. For the last 4 years of my wonderful, fun-filled marriage, macaroni & cheese has also been a staple. When I don't really feel like cooking but know Cody won't settle for just a sandwich, I make macaroni & cheese. It's so great because you can really get creative. Throw in tuna fish, peas, green chile (now that we're in New Mexico), and whatever else you need to get out of the fridge. Alas, those days have been over for me for a while.

Not anymore, my friends! The beautiful women of How It All Vegan! have brought this tasty meal back into my life! I found a recipe for Easy Breazy Cheezy Sauce that I made for a fondue party a while back. It was quite cheezy, so I decided to make some and mix it over some shell pasta that I had in the pantry. With a little bit of Frank's Red Hot on top, it was perfect and made leftovers for days!

Mac & Cheeze
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

1 box pasta of your choice
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
3 tbsp flour
4 tsp arrowroot powder or cornstarch (I used cornstarch)
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup water
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp dijon mustard

1. In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook to desired texture.

2. In a small saucepan, whisk together the yeast, flour, arrowroot powder (or cornstarch), and salt. Add the water and oil and continue to whisk thoroughly. Stir over medium heat until sauce becomes thick, then stir in the mustard. Heats for 30 seconds more and serve.

That's it!!! Can you eve believe how simple that is?? Now let's take a look at it's nutritional value...I'm going to do a little comparison for you so you can see the nutritional value of THIS mac & cheeze vs. the blue box of mac & cheese.

Here is the nutritional value for Kraft Macaroni & Cheese...

...and here we have vegan Mac & Cheeze.

I would like to point out a few things:
Serving Size is a bit larger for my mac & cheeze...
The calorie count is lower...
The saturated fat is lower...
The sodium...holy crap, is the sodium lower...
The cholesterol is higher, but that's because nutritional yeast contains HDL, which if you know your stuff, is the good cholesterol that reduces LDL, the bad cholesterol...
The iron count is a lot higher, too, but the the vitamins are a tad on the lower side.

Which would you rather eat or feed to your munchkins?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Vanilla Cupcakes!

Today is my friend & coworker's birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I took it upon myself last week to make some delicious lemon cupcakes for another coworkers birthday; I love baking for people and celebrating birthdays AND I figured if they brought a cake in for her (which they did) it would not be one I could partake in. So I'm doing the same today. Any excuse to bake!

I decided to get store-bought frosting that doesn't contain milk...accidentally vegan, as I like to call it...and put it on top of some vanilla cupcakes. I found the recipe HERE and decided to give them a whirl. I'm kind of nervous...I haven't tried them...and my coworker's wife apparently makes the best vegan cupcakes. I hope they at least live up to her standards!!

I know, I know...there is a lone cupcake sad & unfrosted. One of the guys at work doesn't like frosting. Or puppies or unicorns or rainbows.

Fluffy White Cupcakes
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15-20 minutes

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 scant* cups plain soymilk
2 1/8 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/8 cups sugar
1/2 cup oil
1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp coconut extract (I used almond...I have to tell you, the batter was awesome!)

*scant: just under 1 1/2 cups!

1. Preheat the oven to 350º. Spray 15 muffin cups with nonstick spray or line with paper cupcake liners (I like to spray the inside of the muffin papers with nonstick spray to help the cupcakes release). Set aside.

2. Place the apple cider vinegar in the bottom of a liquid measuring cup and fill the cup with soymilk to equal 1 ½ cups. Stir well and set aside (yes, it's's supposed to!).

3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another mixing bowl whisk together the soymilk mixture, canola oil, vanilla, and coconut (or almond) extract. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and beat until smooth using a hand-held mixer, stopping once to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

4. Fill each muffin cup with ¼ cup of batter. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.

5. Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then remove cupcakes from the pan and place on a wire rack. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

They're baking as I blog, ladies & gents. They smell delicious, and as I said, the batter was killer. I will post an update after they are devoured (or politely eaten) by the coworkers!

NOTE: If you haven't noticed by now, I don't post the nutritional value for desserts. They're desserts for a reason...enjoy them without feeling too guilty because you deserve them!

DOUBLE NOTE: I am happy to announce that these cupcakes were a hit. Profanity was used, lips were licked, and all the cupcakes were eaten. I have to admit, they were some of the best cupcakes I've ever had!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Potato & Leek Soup

This post is being written for two reasons: 1. The recipe is from an amazing woman who I admire and respect so much...Living and Loving In LA!!! She just ran her first marathon yesterday and I'm just so impressed with her. She put this recipe up like, one week ago because she was sick with the flu. (Yes, she was sick with the flu and then ran 26.2 miles. I know. Be impressed.) 2. This is such a warm, thick, wintery meal I thought it would be perfect for all my friends and family in New Hampshire who are on their second snow fall of the season. In October. Boo!!!

The soup is really simple and doesn't require a lot of ingredients. I had to have brother-in-law-Chuck bring their food processor because ours is a mini processor; when the soup is done cooking, you blend it up to create a smooth, creamy dish. Deidra called it Mashed Potato Soup because it was very potato-y. Which is good. Cody said he felt like he was cheating potatoes, but he ate his entire bowl. :) I loveloveloved it. After we were done eating, my belly was really warm, so if winter nights are sneaking up on you too fast or you're feeling a little under the weather, I highly recommend this soup!

Potato & Leek Soup
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30+ minutes

2 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 Leeks, white and light green parts only, washed, trimmed and sliced into coins
5 lbs potatoes, peeled and diced
2 - 32 oz. containers vegetable broth (I use Better Than Bouillon!
Unsweetened soy, almond, or rice milk...whatever you have on hand
Chives, optional, for garnish
Soy Cheddar Cheese, optional, for garnish

1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Saute the leeks and garlic until soft but do NOT let them brown. Add potatoes and cover with the broth. Cook until potatoes are mushy, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning on the bottom of the pan.

2. Remove pot from heat, and slowly start transferring the soup to either a blender or food processor. Blend the soup with some milk until it's a smooth and creamy texture. Continue blending and mixing until all of the soup is smooth. Top with either chives, like I did, or soy cheddar cheese.

Make sure to check the consistency of the soup as you add the milk. It is a thick soup but can easily be thinned out by adding more milk. After each addition of soup was blended, I put it straight into a bowl and added chopped chives on top. We paired it with some Eggplant Panini, which made Cody quite happy. I'm psyched that there are massive amounts of leftovers!