Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Little Break

If it wasn't obvious already by lack of posts I'll be taking a little break from blogging until my finals are over. Hopefully on Saturday I'll be able to post again so stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Two Cookbook Reviews and Some Spontaneous Meals

So about a week ago I went on an Amazon.com buying spree and bought a TON of cookbooks as well as some novels for my reading pleasure. The first two cookbooks that I bought were The New Moosewood Cookbook and Moosewood Restaurant Cooks At Home both by the wonderful Mollie Katzen.

The New Moosewood Cookbook is both cute, visually interesting and has awesome recipes! There is so much that I am excited about making in this book! Make sure if you buy it you get the NEW version because Katzen has cut down on a lot of the fat in the recipes but kept the flavor. Almost all of the recipes are vegetarian and most are easy to veganize.

I also bought Moosewood Restaurant Cooks At Home and made the Red Lentil Soup that's featured in it. It was quick and easy and really flavorful. I've been babysitting everyday this week and packing the lentil soup for lunch each day. I don't have any pictures yet because I've only eaten it out of a tupperware container but maybe tomorrow I'll snap a pic.

Mollie Katzen is a great cook and a pioneer of mainstreaming vegetarian cooking. She also has a great website: Molliekatzen.com where she lists tons of recipes and cooking tips!

When I got back from babysitting tonight I knew exactly what I wanted for dinner: Salade Nicoise. Though my version was more like a Salad a la Nicoise because it included some untraditional ingredients and left some the staple ingredients out.

I had to go shopping to pick up a few of the ingredients but it was nice to take a trip with the recipe in mind. To make the salad I blanched some green beans and steamed a small red potato in the microwave. I cut up the green beans and the potato and tossed them in a vinaigrette of olive oil, grainy mustard,lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and fresh chopped chives. I served this mixture over a bed of greens and topped it with: grape tomatoes, half a hard boiled egg, and ton of parsley and my secret favorite: anchovies with capers.

A traditional Salad Nicoise has tuna and olives. Usually it does not contain any starch ie. potatoes. Sometimes it isn't even served over lettuce.

For dessert I had a chobani yogurt that I picked up while shopping with sliced strawberries and some vanilla extract. It was soooo good and creamy. I'll definitely be buying this brand again.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Trip to Whole Foods and Trader Joes

After a hectic week of babysitting I had really been looking forward to going grocery shopping all week. Despite the fact that it is nearly an hour a way I LOVE going to Whole Foods. The Whole Foods I go to is right next door to what my friends call the Faraway Trader Joes as opposed to the Trader Joes near our school. It's also the only grocery store in the area that sells wine and alcohol. I bought some of my favorites at Whole Foods: Vanilla Hempmilk, Honey Roasted Peanut Butter, and Whipped Cottage Cheese. One of the best purchases I made were Whole Foods brand veggie chips. I think they've been featured on Jenna's blog and they are SO GOOD. Not really good for you but they're like crack. I have to force myself to walk away from them and stop eating.

Whenever I go to Whole Foods I have to get the salad bar and Sunday was no exception. It's great to be able to try a little bit of so many different things.


Anna got sushi and I was jealous. Luckily she let me have one.


Anna also wanted me to take a picture of her favorite seltzer water: Adirondack Cranberry Lime. It really is good and she drinks a lot of it. They should sponsor her: Adirondack the official beverage of Anna.


After snacking on a million veggie chips eventually I was hungry for dinner. I had a delicious fresh salad and a few slices of cheese I bought at the store. It was my first time trying to Taleggio and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's creamy but still substantial and flavorful.



With my salad I had some hummus that I homemade over the weekend. It doesn't look like much but I don't think I'll be going back to store bought hummus again.
Tomorrow I'm planning on making some red lentil soup and doing a cookbook review. See you then!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Delicious Treats and Today's Meals

On Monday night I made Lindsay's now famous Carrot Cake Cupcakes from the Happy Herbivore blog. I made them for a party in honor of my friend, Maggie who recently finished and received highest honors on her senior honors thesis!!!!(that deserves a lot of exclamation)


Everyone, myself included, loved the cupcakes. There were no leftovers. I cannot believe that they were vegan and also remotely healthy (no oil, though a decent amount of sugar) No one who ate them was a vegan or even a vegetarian but everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy them.


This morning I had oat bran as I am all out of oatmeal. I prepared they oat bran as I normally do my oatmeal and added a few toasted walnuts to the top, leftover from my carrot cake cupcakes. Good but I still prefer oatmeal, though I might start eating less and less of it as the weather gets warmer.

I wanted a big substantial lunch today so that's what I made. I cooked up some Baked Cumin-Lime Tofu from Dreena Burton's Eat Drink and Be Vegan. This will be my third successful Dreena recipe. I had my tofu with a big batch of Kale Chips and a side plate with sliced cucumbers, some pita bread and the last of my baba ganoush. I feel satisfied and not full now, which is good considering I have a lot work to do this afternoon.


School and babysitting are both getting busy so their might be less posts in the next few weeks. I'm planning some excellent meals and a ton of cookbook reviews so be ready!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Palak Soyabina Panira

So for brunch this morning I made baked oatmeal but just as I was pulling it out of the oven my roommates woke up and asked me if I wanted to go out for breakfast and I simply could not resist. Breakfast was at the Parkway Diner, our usual haunt. Usually I'm an egg white veggie omelet kind of gal but yesterday I was feeling crazy and crazy hungry, so I went for the Parkway Special two eggs, toast and homefries. Not gonna lie it was a little disappointing, I got the eggs poached but didn't want them over the toast so they came in a little dish, which would've been okay but they left water from the poaching in the dish. The homefries at this place are usually crazy but they were kind of boring and undercooked yesterday.
After brunch I had to go to work. When I got back from work I made Palak Soyabina Panira from Eat Drink and Be Vegan. It was really good, though I am not sure that I would make it again. Palak Paneer is one of my favorite Indian Dishes but I know that the fried cheese (paneer) and the creamy spinach is pretty calorie laden. The vegan version subbed tofu for the cheese and left the creamy component completely out of the equation. Dreena's Palak was good but not quite rich or hearty enough to be a full meal. She does recommend serving it with several of her side dishes so I'm sure that Dreena meant for it to be more like one component of a meal rather than a meal in and of itself.
For desert I had a big portion of baked oatmeal warmed with a little almond milk and brown sugar.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Yesterday's Lunch and Today's B-Fast

So yesterday was pretty boring food-wise, though lunch was interesting. I finally made those kale chips everyone has been raving about. They were so good. I just baked them up on a baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil and garlic salt at 375 for about 12 minutes. I also had cut up carrots, cucumbers, and pita bread with baba ganoush and salsa. Light and tasty!


I went to the wine tasting last night, but didn't take any pictures. I had my camera but it didn't seem appropriate. Not to mention we were the youngest people there and it would have just made that fact that much more apparent if we were snapping pictures everywhere.

I tried sooo many wines. Some I loved, some I hated. I bought one bottle, a Guelbenzu Vierlas 2002, an Argentinian? red wine, that I really enjoyed. I'm also getting a little obsessed with Gary Vaynerchuks wine vlog on tv.winelibrary.com. He's so irritating at first but then it's like crack and you realized you've watched two hours worth of blogs.

This morning I wanted a BIG hearty breakfast so I made pancakes using Maple Grove Farm Buttermilk and Honey Pancake Mix with bananas. I topped them with a little butter and honey. I should have pancakes more often I forget how much I like them.


Friday, April 11, 2008

Day of Food

I had my usual oatmeal today, but I mashed up an entire banana and it was way too much. For the first time in forever I couldn't finish my oatmeal. I topped my oatmeal with a few carob chips and banana slices. I'm not as huge of a carob fan as everyone else. Something about it just tastes strange to me.


Today I only had class until 12 so I decided to plan a delicious meal. I was low on food so grocery shopping was in order as well. The weather was beautiful today so I went out onto my porch with a big stack of cookbooks and started picking out recipes for the rest of the week.

I wanted to do some leisurely shopping and try out some new places. My first stop was a little specialty store called Ed Hyder's Mediterranean Market. It's one of those places that I've been meaning to go forever and today I got the chance. It was exactly what I was hoping it would be. It's a tiny store but full of delicious things. A whole wall full of dried beans, interesting pantry staples from a multitude of cuisines, and even a selection of wines. They make their own hummus, baba ganoush, tabouli, and soups, carry a whole bunch of cheese and desserts. They had homemade pita breads and bulk spices. I only bought a small tub of baba ganoush and one of the ingredients for tonight's dinner but I am sure I'll be shopping here a lot more.

Next I went to Big Y, a supermarket that I don't usually frequent but I wanted to change things up a little. Within five minutes of getting there though the power went out, totally nuts! I ended up just leaving to do my grocery shopping at my usual haunts.

Lunch was on the run because I had plans to go shopping with my friends. When I got back from shopping I started cooking the recipe I chose for today Cold Way Hot Soba Noodles from Potluck at Midnight Farm by Tamara Weiss. I can't post the recipe because of copyright stuff but it's a beautiful and useful cookbook that I totally recommend. The recipe is for hot buckwheat soba noodles covered with a cold, spicy peanut sauce and topped with tons of fresh cilantro, scallions and cubed firm tofu.


Too much noodles tend to make me feel sick and overstuffed so I put a small portion of noodles over a bed of freshly shredded red cabbage and carrots. I used about a quarter of a block of lite firm tofu. It was definitely one of the best tasting and best looking recipes I have cooked in awhile. Even though I cut it down to a fourth the recipe still made tons of sauce. It says it should keep for a few days so this will definitely be on the menu again tomorrow or Saturday

Tomorrow I am planning on going to a wine tasting and remembering to bring my camera! Just today I bought the latest issue of Food and Wine Magazine with an articleon the top 30 pinot noirs for all budgets. Maybe I'll pick one up tomorrow.

Wednesday's Eats

Wednesday was crazy so my meals had to be fast and basic. Breakfast was peanut butter granola and puffins with vanilla hempmilk and sliced bananas.


For dinner I cooked up a ton of vegetables with a little olive oil and garlic. The artichoke hearts were the real standout of the meal. I roasted them in the oven first before adding them to the other vegetables. Sometimes something so simple really hits the spot.


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Today's Special

Breakfast today was the usual oatmeal. For lunch I really wanted something fresh and summery so what better than fruit and yogurt! Bananas and grapes dipped in yogurt with crunchy granola!


With lunch I had a cup of tea from the tea collection that I got for Christmas from the people I nannied for this summer. The packaging is so cute and the teas are delicious. I had to share a picture.

Each one has four or five tea bags in it and they all stack together!

For dinner tonight I went to the Sano Cafe, a little place right near my school that serves mostly vegetarian and vegan food. They always start you off with cut up whole wheat pita triangles and some type of dip. Today it was spicy tofu peanut!

Next my friend and I split an order of sesame soy nuggets with two dipping sauces!

For my entree I got a falafel wrap that was really dissapointing. Not enough tahini sauce and the falafel were really dry :( If anyone has a good recipe for falafel I would REALLY appreciate it. I meant to take pictures tonight but it totally slipped my mind.

After dinner we went shopping at the natural foods market that is connected to the cafe, I got:
-Nana's Banana Cookie Bars
-A Nana's Lemon Cookie
-Non-Hydrogenated Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese (perhaps for some carrot cake cupcakes later this week?)
-Some Carob Chips to try
-Some Low Sugar Dried Pineapple

Monday's Eats

Sometimes you have a great idea for a recipe and then when you try it just does not work out. I woke up this morning planning to make a Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal. I was going to make some oatmeal the usual way and then top it with some pureed strawberries. I expected the puree to be thicker but it was really watery. Maybe cooking the strawberries would have been better? I pictured creamy oatmeal with a ribbon of strawberry goodness but instead I got a watery strawberry oatmeal. I ate it any way and i jazzed it up with some trail mix and fresh strawberries.


Lunch was a real indulgence. Delicious but not something I eat every day. I had a ciabatta roll on which I put a very thin slice of ham and a thicker slice of honey roast turkey. I topped it off with a slice of provolone and put it under broiler. Unfortunately I put the other half of my roll next to my sandwich and rather than toasting it burnt. Luckily I just cut the burnt part off, which meant less calories and less bread so my stuffing could really shine. I also added some whole grain mustard and a bit of hot sauce.

The ciabatta roll was sooo good! They are from Trader Joe's and you must get some today (or make you own like Kath)!

For dinner I wanted something lighter so I had a ginormous salad.
On my salad I had: hardboiled egg whites, artichoke hearts, radishes, tomatoes, red peppers, kidney beans, red cabbage, cabbage and herb salad mix!
I topped it all off with a quick dressing of equal parts balsamic vinegar, olive oil, a splash of maple syrup and a squirt of whole grain mustard.

Sunday Revisited!! A Delicious Dinner

As promised, Anna had delicious leftover stew waiting for me when I got home from work. She had already mixed the couscous with the stew so it isn't as visually appealing as it usually is but it's SOO GOOD! I also ate it with the last of my leftover beans and kale. The stew was so delicious I naturally had to have seconds.


So the following is Anna's recipe for Moroccan Chicken Thighs, it's one of those recipes that you really have to fool with and make your own. She doesn't use any measurements so everything is approximate and to taste. You could make this with chicken breasts but it would not be as good or as tender at all. Anna is pretty serious about chicken thighs.
-1 onion, thickly sliced
-1 pepper, orange or yellow preferred
- 2 cans of stewed tomatoes (10 or 12 oz.), one regular, one no salt added
-1 c. of chicken broth, or more as needed
-6 chicken thighless, skinless preferred, bone -in
-flour, to dust
-black pepper
-1 T + curry powder
- red pepper flakes, to taste
-slivered almonds, 1/2 c. or more
-golden raisins, 1/2 c or more

Remove the chicken skin. Heat about 2-3 T of oil in a large, deep saucepan or stock pot at medium high heat. Dredge chicken in flour seasoned with black pepper. Brown the chicken for one minute on each side. Add the onions. Heat the onions through for a minute or two. Add tomatoes, chicken stock, curry powder, and red pepper flakes. Reduce to medium or low heat and allow to cook for a half an hour until chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken, cut it off the bone into strips. Add the chicken back with the raisins and slivered almonds. Cook for another five minutes. Serve over couscous or rice.

I know before I said that I would try to come up with a vegan version and so I did a little research and got inspired: this dish would totally rock with chickpeas!!! So vegans and omnis alike can enjoy!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Carrot Cake Oatmeal

Today I woke up c-razy late, 11:23 a.m. But I didn't fall asleep until after 3 last night so I guess it's really not that bad :) When I woke up I had a big hunk of pumpkin bread. I've just been slowly working through it all weekend. I have about a half of a loaf left. I haven't even been using any of the spreads I planned, the bread has just been so delicious on it's own.

Then my friends invited me over for pancakes and eggs, but I had my heart set on some oatmeal this morning so I decided to wait it out. Unfortunately though I kept drinking coffee the whole time I was there and now I am on complete fried out overload. I hate it when this happens but I know it won't last long.

My oatmeal was well worth the wait! I made Kath's Carrot Cake Oatmeal today. It was sooo good! I toyed around with the recipe a little, adding some traditional carrot cake spices, mashed banana instead of the mango, and no nuts or coconut as I am out of them.

This is my roommate Anna's cute mug that I sometimes drink too much coffee out of!

This afternoon I have work, I am a muffin baker/cake writer-on-er at a grocery store bakery. It's not my ideal job, and I hate that I sell such processed foods, but the hours are great and baked goods do make people happy. Yesterday I informed my boss that I would need to cut down on my availability (ie. move towards quitting) as I just got a new job babysitting! I'm excited and eager to be moving away from the bakery, though I will definitely miss my co-workers. Work always seems to take a lot out of me so my roommate Anna offered to cook me a delicious dinner tonight. I'll be home too late for us to eat together but she'll be saving me some of her Moroccan Chicken Stew. I'm going to ask for/post the recipe tonight. It's delicious and I'm sure you might be able to try substituting: chik'n strips, seitan, tempeh, or tofu. I hope someone will get adventurous and try it! and for all you omnis there is just no excuse, it is that good!

Pumpkinny Oats

This morning I was inspired by Kath to make a delicious riff on my usual oatmeal. I had leftover pumpkin so I started out knowing I wanted some pumpkin oats. I cooked my oats with 1/4 c. of hempmilk and 3/4 c. of water. While they were boiling I added 1/2 of a mashed banana and a 1/4 c. of canned pumpkin. I also added a splash of vanilla, a pinch salt, and a few shakes of cinnamon, cloves, and allspice. With Kath as my inspiration I made a maple cream "icing" by mixing yogurt and maple syrup, which I drizzled on top. I also added a few spoonfuls of granola.

I was at work for lunch today so no good pictures. After work I went to Trader Joe's to pick up a few things. I got more trail mix for my oatmeal. I bought some of the first strawberries and tomatoes of the season! My most fun purchase was a bag of ciabatta (sp?) rolls which I plan to eat with soup and sandwiches. I ate a sneaky little bite off the corner of one when I got home and it was delish! Dinner was just a big salad and another glass of wine. Dessert was ice cream, in a cone for a change. The perfect treat!

Getting my leafy greens

Friday was a cooking extravaganza. After my pumpkin bread in the morning I had the rest of a chickpea cutlet and an apple with honey roasted peanut butter and almond butter.
For dinner I had more sweet and sour cabbage and I made Jenna's Mom's Spicy BBQ Beans. They were so good. Delicious kidney beans and kale! They taste so smoky and almost meaty like collard greens that I've had made with ham.
I also had a wonderful 4 oz. glass of Alamos Pinot Noir. I think i'm finally beginning to appreciate wine more. Finally I can read wine descriptions and be able to understand what they are describing and how the wine will taste. Dinner was so good I has seconds!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Pumpkin Bread


When Kath posted a recipe for super doughy pumpkin bread I knew I had to try it. So this morning I baked up a loaf right when I woke up. Of course I had to make a few changes to the recipe: I used a 1/4 c. of maple syrup instead of one T. because I wanted my bread sweeter. This was not the best idea as I'm not sure I could even taste the mapley-ness :) I also spiced my bread like a recipe I already love for pumpkin bread, Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread. These spices kind of overwhelmed the bread so I think next time I would definitely scale them back some. All in all though I am incredibly pleased with the recipe and I am sure I will be enjoying it through out the week. It's a great healthy bread with awesome nutritionals, 5g of fiber and only 189 cals in one slice bread! I made it a little less healthy this morning by adding some smart balance and a bit of maple syrup.

My mind is running wild with all the different ways I can serve it: with brown sugar and cinnamon, with a quick cinnamon maple butter, with cream cheese, with whipped cottage cheese, with honey roasted p.b.! I can't wait!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Of Cabbages and Kings

I woke up early today in order to prepare a new twist on my oatmeal: Steel Cut Oats! I checked out a couple of recipes and ended up using this method:
-I toasted a 1/4 of oats in a pan with a 1/4 T. of melted butter
-Then I added 3/4 C. of boiling water
-I put a lid on the pot and then turned the heat down to a
-Then I let the oats cook for about 15 min.
-Then I added a 1/4 c. of vanilla hempmilk and a mashed banana
and let them cook for ten more minutes on a simmer.
- I topped my oats with 2 T. of peanut butter granola and ate
them with a spoonful of chunky peanut butter.

They were delicious but I don't love the chewy texture. If I made them again I would leave out the step of toasting them I'm not sure it did much for the flavor. I'll be back around lunchtime!

For lunch I actually did some cooking. I made Jenna's Sweet and Sour Cabbage it was soo good! I had it for lunch with some more pea soup.

Dinner was more cabbage, steamed broccoli with a drizzle of garlic expressions, and half of a pita with half of a Veganomicon Chickpea cutlet from the freezer dressed with mustard and barbecue sauce. Dessert, though not pictured was a cup of yogurt with added vanilla and mashed banana, topped with peanut butter granola. I also had another delicious pink lady.

Tomorrow is my day off from both work and classes and I have a TON of cooking planned! It should be exciting!

Someday I'll catch up

One of these days I am going to be one of those bloggers who posts every day on time but I haven't quite gotten there yet. Yesterday I drove my sister to the bus station to go home and returned to my non-vacation eating style. I had banana oatmeal for breakfast. I figured that all the posts of the same oatmeal may be getting a little old so today I am including a picture of some of the products that make my oatmeal great! Vanilla Hempmilk, Irish Oatmeal and Honey Roasted Peanut butter!

For lunch I wanted something light so I went with a bowl full of Trader Joe's European Style yogurt with grapes, banana, Honey Bunches of Oats and puffins! It really hit the spot. I also had a big pink lady apple along with it!

Dinner was Whole Foods Vegetarian Split Pea Soup with a slice of my favorite sandwich bread, Wegman's Honey Apple Oat, that I brought up from home. To jazz up the split pea soup I added a tiny spoonful of cottage cheese, some dijon mustard, a splash of hot sauce and some dried dill. On the side I had cut up radishes that I am trying to finish with Whole Foods hummus and some Trader Joe's pineapple salsa.

I totally forgot to take a picture but for dessert I had Stonyfield Farm Vanilla frozen yogurt with peanut butter granola on top. SO GOOD!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I'm Back!

I'm back after a wonderful but soooo busy weekend at home. I didn't take any pictures while I was there. Things were just too crazy and I didn't really feel like explaining the whole blog thing to my parents. I've returned back to school with several awesome food items that I a sure will be making there way into my posts this week.

This morning I am having a pink lady apple and a cup of coffee for breakfast because I had a HUGE dinner with my sister last night and I am still kind of full! I'll be posting my lunch which may be more of a breakfast! I'm thinking a lunchtime oatmeal because I haven't had any ALL week!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Two for One kind of post!

I'm going to post both Tuesday and Wednesday meals because I have been so busy with work lately and I need to catch up.

Tuesday morning I had toast with honey roasted peanut butter and bananas! It was so filling and good, I could not resist taking a bite before I photographed it.


Lunch I had on the run because I had to get my haircut and then go to class. Dinner was cut up fruit: grapes, bananas, kiwi and a huge salad with a big scoop of cottage cheese in the middle and tons of other delicious veggies. I apologize for the blurr, photo, I must not have been paying attention.


Today's breakfast was Banana Oatmeal with trail mix and p.b.!
This photo came out much better!

Lunch today was cut up apples with goat gouda, salad of greens with balsamic dressing, blackberries and grapes, AND a piece of toasted pita bread with pb and j!


Dinner tonight was boring abig bowl of cut up fruit with cottage cheese on top and a big bowl of puffins with almond breeze. I am going home tomorrow so I may not be posting for a little while but I promise to take pictures of all the delicious food I eat and prepare

Easter Pictures!!!

Here are the Easter pictures I promised! They turned out wonderfully!

Happy East! 002

Me with my glass of prosecco!

Happy East! 006
Setting our gorgeous table!

Happy East! 014
Attempting to carve the chicken! With the delicious sweet potatoes in the background! Sorry there aren't more food close ups I wasn't the camera lady this time!

Happy East! 023
Pie! and more friends!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Delicious Dins!


I used my leftovers to make a salad for dinner tonight. I ate some left over roast chicken and green beans over herb salad mix with radishes, a few sweet pickles and some leftover baby corn! I dressed it with the usual mustard and vinegar combo! I tried to do a close up today so that you could better see the delicious components of this salad!
I'll be in the library tonight studying but I've already planned my snacks! I'm packing a granny smith apple with a tablespoon of honey roasted p.b. and a travel mug of decaf coffee with some hot cocoa mixed in.