Monday, January 30, 2012

Meal Plan Monday #1

Hi Guys!

I am going to try something new!  I have had a few people ask about my meal planning so I thought I would start posting my meal plans for the week.  Now, there are a few things I should mention regarding my meal plans.  First is that my husband does not have a typical work schedule, so often the nights he works, I plan for leftovers or something SUPER breakfast for dinner!  The other is that  I cook (the majority of) my meals to be doubled and frozen, because I cook and bring meals to my grandparents.  So that is why many of my recipes make enough to feed an army! Along with that, I also just plan on making about 4 meals a week, factoring in eating leftovers and eating out.

When I sit down to meal plan, I write out our schedule for the week.  This helps me get a better idea of what kind of meal I need depending on how busy or day is, or if my hubby is working, and  eliminates the "what shall we make for dinner tonight" game.  I also try to plan things that have some overlap of ingredients so that I am not buying one whole head of cabbage and only using a little bit for one meal.  This saves money and ensures that we are eating up all of our food and not wasting it!  Before meal planning, inevitably I would be throwing away produce at the end of the week and having to make multiple trips to the grocery store to pick up random items.  This way I make one trip (occasionally 2) to the store a week, saving time, money and energy!

Without further ado, here is my plan for the week:

#1. (Fish) Tacos with a cabbage slaw and a side of black beans
     -We eat primarily vegan, but one of my sons begs for fish constantly, so I will be making this for him!
     - no recipe on the blog yet, sorry

#2. Peanut Noodle Bowls

#3. Chocolate Chili with cornbread
#4. Pasta with roasted broccoli and walnuts
     -recipe to come later this week!

Teriyaki Bowls

For the Bowls:

4 cups cooked quinoa (brown rice would be fine too)
1 Tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
1 pkg of organic tofu, pressed and drained (wrap in paper towels with a heavy bowl on top for at least 30 mins)
1 cup mushrooms, sliced ( I had crimini on hand, but shiitake would be great)
2 cups broccoli florets
2-3 carrots, thinly sliced

For the Sauce:

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2-1 cup water
1 tsp fresh grated ginger (or 1/2 tsp ground ginger)
1 tsp chopped garlic
1/4 cup honey
a splash of rice wine vinegar
cracked black pepper
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water

Preheat broiler.

Place all ingredients in a small sauce pan, except the cornstarch and 1/4 cup cold water.  In a small bowl mix cornstarch and cold water together with a fork until fully incorporated.  Add cornstarch mixture to the sauce pan and cook sauce until thickened.  Feel free to add more water to thin it out if you want. 

Slice pressed tofu, in 1/4" slabs and brush them with teriyaki sauce.  Lightly spray a cookie sheet and place tofu on  middle rack.  Broil for about 5 minutes per side, or until brown and slightly crispy.

Heat oil in large cast iron skillet.  Sautee mushrooms for 2 minutes, then add in broccoli and carrots.  Cook for just a few minutes and set aside.  I like to keep a good crunch to my veggies!

To serve, fill the bottom of a bowl with desired amount of quinoa and top with veggies and tofu.  Drizzle (or drown) your bowl with teriyaki sauce!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Edamame Salad with Radishes, Carrots and Avocado

serves 4-6

This salad is so refreshing and colorful... when eating it you can actually hear your body say, "THANK YOU!" 

2 cups fresh, cooked and shelled edamame ( you can use frozen, just be sure to thaw and lightly boil)
1-2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or pushed through a garlic press
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
2 tsp honey
1/4 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
3 Tbsp olive oil
juice of 1 lime
1/4-1/2 cup sliced green onion
3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
6 radishes, thinly sliced
1 ripe avocado, diced
1-2 carrots, thinly sliced

(If using frozen edamame, bring them to a boil for just a few minutes...don't overcook!)

To make the dressing, whisk together rice vinegar, oil, garlic, ginger, lime juice and s/p. 

In a serving bowl, combine edamame, onion, parsley (or cilantro), radishes, carrots and avocado.  Toss with dressing!  


Friday, January 27, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding Pie

OMG!  This pie is to die joke!  I am ashamed to admit it, but I have made it 4 times in the past 2 weeks and it does not disappoint!  I originally saw the recipe here, and determined that I needed to make it, pronto!  I have also skipped the crust and just made the filling.  I poured it into small prep bowls and we had yummy pudding cups for the week!

makes one 9" pie

for the crust:

1 3/4 cups ground graham crackers
2 Tbsp. sugar
4 Tbsp. melted coconut oil, canola oil or vegan butter
1 Tbsp. soy milk (or almond)
pinch of salt

for the pie filling:

3 cups soy milk (or almond)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar
3 Tbsp good unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4-1/2 cup creamy unsalted peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9" pie dish.

In a blender or food processor, blend up graham crackers.  Pour them into a bowl and add in oil, sugar, milk and salt.  Mix together until it looks like wet sand.  Dump "sand" mixture into pie plate and carefully press it down to form a crust.  Bake for 10 minutes and remove from oven.

In a saucepan, mix together cornstarch and 1 cup of soy milk.  Whisk until blended.  Place saucepan over medium-low heat and add in remaining milk, sugar and cocoa powder.  Whisk together.  Keep a close eye on the chocolate mixture and stir frequently until mixture thickens and comes to a slow rolling boil.  This takes anywhere from 7-10 minutes.  You want to make sure that the pudding thickens enough, but doesn't scald or burn.  Be patient with this.  Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips, peanut butter, vanilla and salt.  Mix until fully incorporated and smooth.

Pour thickened mixture into prepared crust.  If there is any left over, which there is always a little for me, just pour it into small dishes to have as pudding cups.  Cut a piece of parchment or wax paper to fit over the pie, or pudding cups.  This will prevent a film from forming and keep your pie delicious and creamy. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or until set.

*If you want to get even crazier, put some marshmallows on top and toast them with a brulee torch!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Green Pita Pizzas

I know I have posted about pita pizzas before, but seriously they are a staple in our house.  The other night I decided to switch it up.  I had some delicious vegan pesto on hand, or you can make this one, that I wanted to use.  So to make things fun I decided to keep with the green theme.  I put on whatever green veggies we had in the fridge, and it was a huge hit!  The only problem was I didn't make enough... my boys were begging for more!

Once again, no real recipe here, just a suggestion.

Start with your favorite pita bread (mini ones could be great for lunches) or naan.

This is what we put on top:

small broccoli florets
chopped kale leaves
a drizzle of olive oil

Spread pesto over pitas (or naan), and top with desired amounts of veggies.  Make sure to season with s/p and drizzle some olive oil over the top... this helps the veggies to roast up real tasty!

Bake a 400 degrees for 8-12 minutes.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup

Oh man is this a good one!  That is, if you like creamy, comforting, decadent but healthy soups... 

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3 cups vegetable broth
For the Cashew Cream:
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup water
In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onions to oil and saute until slightly browned, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic, stir, and cook for 1 minute more.  Add the mushrooms, soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce and cook until mushrooms are cooked and broken down, about 5 minutes.  Stir occasionally.  Add cracked pepper and  vegetable stock and cook at a simmer until mushrooms are completely soft.  This took me about 10 to 15 minutes.
While the soup simmers, prepare the cashew cream.  In a blender, combine raw cashews and water.  Blend on high until smooth.  Pour into a measuring cup and set aside.  Don’t worry about washing the blender… we’re going to use it to blend the soup.
When mushrooms are cooked through, add about one third of the soup to the blender.  Hot soup rises high in the blender so definitely be careful how high you fill the blender.  Blend soup on low, increasing the speed to high, until no large mushroom chunks remain.  Pour blended soup into a clean pot or large bowl.  Blend the remaining soup in batches.  Add the cashew cream to the blended soup and stir to incorporate.

Top with a drizzle of olive oil and some chopped parsley!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Warm Lentil Salad

Ok, this salad is an easy "throw together" meal!  I mean seriously, all it takes is chopping a few cloves of garlic and cooking the mushrooms and kale, throw it on top if some spinach and you're done!  You will be enjoying your hearty meal before you can say, "letscallfortakeout!"

3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 c. sliced crimini mushrooms
2-3 c. kale leaves, chopped
1 c. cooked lentils (I get mine from Trader Joes)
1 tsp. cumin
olive oil
balsamic vinegar

In a cast iron skillet, heat 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat.  Add in mushrooms and garlic, cook until mushrooms become tender, about 3 minutes.  Add in kale and lentils.  You may need to drizzle a little more olive oil in at this point.  Cook for just about 3 more minutes. Stir in cumin and s/p to taste.

Place spinach on large plate or in a bowl and top with desired amount of lentil mixture.  Drizzle a little more olive oil and balsamic vinegar on and enjoy!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Don't Worry Friends..

Hi All,

Sorry I have been m.i.a... I just wanted to let you know I am still here!  I got lost in the shuffle of school starting, coaching water polo, birthdays, vacations and holidays.  But don't you worry, even though I was busy, I always make time for cooking and baking!  I have some great recipes that I have been stockpiling, and will get around to posting them soon!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are having a blessed beginning to this new year!