Archive for February, 2011
Today I was lucky enough to have a day off from work, so after waiting for the arrival of my Wedding invites (they look awesome!!) I decided to take advantage of all that free time and head over to my Bikram Yoga studio. I don’t know what got into me, but after my first class with Kara that was amaze, I decided to actually stay and participate in the next class with Lorenza! I had never done a back to back double, but let me tell you, three hours of Bikram in a 100+ degree room is intense! During the 1/2 hour break before the second class started I grabbed a Zico to get some electrolytes back into my body and then sailed through the second class. It seriously went by so much faster and my concentration was outta this world! Of course… final Savasana was maybe my favorite pose of the day.
When I got back home I was happy I had prepped dinner the night before. I was making a variation of Mark Bittman’s Braised Lentils with Celery listed in “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian”, although I’ve changed it SO much (mine’s actually more of a stew bc I like it soupy), that I will post it here for you guys.
- 1 head celery, chopped including leaves
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 c. green/brown lentils
- 4 cups veggie broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 cup red wine (or more broth)
- 1/4 lemon, juiced
- salt & pepper to taste
- water as needed to thin
- After prepping all of the veggies, heat the oil in a deep stock pot and throw in the celery, onion and garlic. Cook for about 6-8 minutes until the veggies begin to soften.
- Pour in the veggie broth, lentils, bay leaf, lemon juice and wine (I actually used sake this time simply because it was on hand) and bring the pot to a boil. Immediately lower the heat so that the mixture is simmering and cover partially. Season with salt and pepper.
- Simmer the stew about 30 minutes until the lentils are tender, but if you have more time keep it on the stove! Soups and stews always improve over time. If the stew doesn’t seem soupy enough to you, add some additional water and heat through. I almost always do simply because I love the earthy broth.
- Pour into a bowl & enjoy!
This is soo good along with some whole wheat crusty bread, but since I has none on hand I just ate it on it’s own. It was magical. Okey, I am officially spent so I’m going to go zone out in front of some Law & Order – enjoy your night!
Tonight the butternut squash that’s been hanging out on my counter was calling out to me, so I decided to make some butternut squash fries. Haven’t had then in sooo long and man have I missed them!! They tasted just as I remembered them…
Alongside my fries I made a tofurky sausage along with some saurkraut. I have always loved sausage… I used to get this same meal back when I ate meat, except I can’t say I miss it bc the part I loved most was the ‘kraut. I have a soft spot for the sour crunchiness of it all… definitely have a sour and not sweet tooth!
Coffee Pudding – love it! I used the normal agar agar base a la CCK.
- 1.5 cups coconut milk (unsweetened)
- 3 tsp. agar flakes (mine were actually labeled kanten flakes – same thing though)
- 1 tsp instant coffee granules
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- pinch salt
- 1 drop almond extract
- 10-15 drops vanilla stevia (NuNaturals)
- water to thin (as needed)
Mix together the coconut milk and agar flakes in a pot and let it sit on the stove until absorbed (without the stove on) for about 10-15 minutes. Then bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the nutmeg, coffee, salt, almond extract and stevia. Then let the mixture cool a little and put in the fridge to set for a few hours before blending. I made it this afternoon and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours and then blended with my hand blender (adding a splash of water to thin). It was perfect – tasted just like a strong cup of coffee!!
How have we never met until tonight? I love you deeply.
Oh dear lord friends, for whatever reason I have neglected to try the many vegan meat alternatives out there, but tonight after a particularly grueling Physique 57 class (beware the intermediate level classes!!) I made a stir fry with bell peppers, broccoli, Worcestershire sauce and some asian BBQ sauce along with MorningStar Chick’n strips. It was like a party en mi boca. I am so definitely making this again tomorrow night!!
For dessert I had some delicioso Vegan Strawberry Yogurt complete with some probiotics added! I swear I haven’t been stealing all of CCK’s recipes lately… For the yogurt I used 1/2 box of Mori Nu silken extra-firm tofu, a little over 1/2 cup frozen strawberries, 1/4 cup almond milk, 1/4 tsp vanilla extract and a packet of Stevia. Crack open a probiotic pill, whirl in the Vita Mix and put in the fridge!
I made this last night and when I cracked into it tonight it tasted so so yummy. All in all a great night!!
So while I did watch the Super Bowl yesterday with the fiance I can’t say we did it in a uh traditional sort of way. Football, veggies, wine… who says you need beer and wings to enjoy the game anyway? I made a simple balsamic dip for the veggies in my vita-mix that was a-maze (if I do say so myself), and served some hummus and olives alongside everything.
Basic Balsamic Dip
- 4 cloves roasted garlic
- approx 1/3 c. balsamic vinegar (I kinda didn’t measure)
- approx 1/4 c. olive oil (or as much as desired)
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp Herbs de Provance
- 1 wedge lemon; squeezed
- 1 tsp agave nectar
- salt & pepper to taste
Just give it all a whirl in the vita-mix and adjust the seasonings as you see fit!
I also made some roasted cauliflower nuggets baked at 425 for about 20 minutes thanks to the inspiration of Ms. CCK – sprinkled with a little Spike seasoning and dipped in BBQ sauce that was out of this world. I just love Spike seasoning…
Then I helped the fiance make his very own homemade chicken nuggets that rival the elusive McD’s McNuggets. For serious people. I didn’t partake as I choose not to eat meat, but this was a recipe I had made up a few years ago and since I don’t feel it’s fair to impose my beliefs on others, I had no problem explaining the recipe to him so that he could enjoy. Don’t crucify me for this… I choose not to buy or eat it, but he eats chicken, so I wasn’t going so sit with my arms folded not giving him a recipe just for that fact. Recipe below…
Cat McNuggets (serves 2-4 as an appetizer)
- 2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp minced, dried onion
- 1/8 tsp died oregano
- 1 c. panko (plus more as needed)
- olive oil for frying
- salt & pepper to taste
- In a bowl mix the chicken, garlic, onion, oregano, salt and pepper to distribute all the seasonings.
- Throw the chicken mixture into a food processor and pulse until it begins to form into a ball. There should still be small chunks visible, you don’t want it to become a paste.
- Using about a tablespoon of the chicken mixture, roll into balls and then press into oval shaped nuggets no more than 1/2″ thick.
- Drop the nuggets into the panko one by one, coating completely.
- Heat a pan with a thin layer of olive oil and fry until golden on each side and then remove and drain on a paper towel. You could also bake these to make them a little healthier if you choose.
- Let cool so you don’t burn your finger and enjoy!
Although I don’t eat this, I wanted to include the recipe because I think it’s important to save recipes and since I know the fiance will make these again in the future, I wanted to put it down in writing for him. The proud chef w/his creation (he ate all of them!):
Serious Question: If you are a vegan/vegetarian, are there any foods you still miss? I ask this, because while I choose not to eat meat/dairy/eggs, occasionally I miss the ease of being able to order anything off a menu in a restaurant and get frustrated because while I love the food that I eat, sometimes it just feels difficult. Also, I am very allergic to dairy, so part of me is annoyed that even though I am happy not to eat it for ethical reasons, I know that even if I wanted to I just plain can’t. Sorry – enough ranting for now! Have a good night all! :)
Today I went to my second Physique 57 class tonight and promptly had my butt handed to me. I thought I was in shape, but good lord the chicas in that class must have muscles of steel… I couldn’t stop my thighs from shaking halfway through most of the exercises! Totally worth it though If you live in NYC or LA, you should definitely try it out!
How did I refuel after a hard workout? With roasted Butternut Squash and another amazing Veganomicon creation!
Escarole and white beans anyone?? It was all I could do to not eat this straight out of the pan… I tweaked the recipe just a tad because I happened to have some freshly roasted garlic on my hands.
- 1 head escarole (I chopped mine up a bit)
- 1 tsp or so of EVOO
- 6 cloves garlic, minced (mine was roasted garlic)
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (or more!)
- 1/3 c. capers
- salt to taste
- 1 c. cooked white beans (I used butter beans)
I looove butter beans and caper so this was right up my alley! The escarole gets soft, yet not mushy and the capers add such an awesome briney flava to it all. Definitely will be making this again. I feel like this would be awesome used as a bruschetta-type topping if you chop up the escarole into smaller pieces too… hmm maybe my leftovers have that in their future.
I topped off the night with some delectable cocoa pudding using CCK’s agar pudding recipe. 1 tbsp agar flakes, 1 1/3 c. almond milk, almond extract, a dash stevia and a tbsp cocoa powder? Easy peasy and pure heaven!!
Night night chickadees – hopefully I won’t wake up too sore tomorrow!