Saturday, December 20, 2008

Make This

OMG. I just submitted this to my recipe site, and it is so yummy it makes me want to eat the whole batch. No kidding. I just bought a bunch of random tasty veggies, stood out in the kitchen and threw it all together, and I'm taking it to my family's Christmas party potluck thingy tonight. I had about 3 little sample bowls first though. The fact that I actually took the time to write it all down, even while not feeling good, should speak volumes for it's deliciousness. Make this.

"GREEK GODDESS" Pasta Salad:

A deliciously decadent, filling, easily vegan pasta salad that I made up on the spot to bring to a potluck. It's so versatile, you can add or omit almost anything!

Recipe Details


Prep Time:

20 minutes

Cook Time:

10 minutes

Ready In:





1 12-oz. box tri-color salad rotini (spiral) pasta
1 16-fl. oz. bottle Greek vinaigrette salad dressing (I use Kroger brand, which is vegan--many low-fat or fat-free Greek dressings are also vegan.)
2 medium ripe avocados
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1-12 oz jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and diced
1-12 oz jar Kalamata olives, drained and sliced
1-8 oz. jar roasted red bell peppers, drained and cut into strips
4 ripe Roma tomatoes, diced
1-12 oz. jar sun-dried tomatoes, drained and cut into strips
1 small or medium broccoli crown
1 small to medium zucchini, chopped AND/OR
1 small to medium cucumber, chopped
1 small red onion, diced
1 fresh yellow bell pepper, diced


  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cool water, and place in a large bowl.
  2. Steam the broccoli just until crisp-tender. Rinse with cold water, then finely chop and add to pasta.
  3. Meanwhile in a medium bowl, mash the avocados well. Slowly whisk in the Greek dressing and garlic until well mixed, and set aside.
  4. Add all other vegetables to the pasta, and cover with the avocado-dressing. Gently stir to mix. Refrigerate at least one hour or until ready to serve.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving...

So we're going to D's parents' for Thanksgiving this year, which is exciting, because (1) it's a miracle of God that my mom is OK with not seeing us on the actual holiday; she usually pisses all over everyone trying to mark her territory (pardon the metaphor; if you knew my mom you'd totally do that "funny if it weren't so true" thing). Oh yeah...excited to go to the in-laws b/c (2) bro-in-law is getting his GF from out of state (orig. out of country!!) to come in for Thanksgiving, and he's not the suavest guy out there, but he's a good guy & I'm pulling for him and I wanna meet this chick! And (3), even though D's folks don't really "get" the whole vegan thing, they're good people & we haven't seen a lot of them lately, and (shh don't tell this) I'd rather hang out at their house than at either one of my parents' places. Hands down.

But dammit they still don't "get" the "vegan" thing. They had trouble with "vegetarian." So...(I can't believe how long it took me to come up with this, but it is the elegant solution, no?) I told mom-in-law that hey, I'd *love* to help you out w/ Thanksgiving this year! I can bring pumpkin cinnamon rolls, risotto, green bean casserole, the cranberry stuff, and the sweet potato stuff. And of course she was all "oh how sweet" and said sure to everything except the sweet taters b/c she'd already bought those.

Sooooo it is 12:41 in the A.M.
I had enough caffeine today to keep everyone on my street awake...but I only slept 5 hours lastnight b/c yesterday was about a 14 hour day at work. Long story. So it's this weird mix between exhausted and buzzing around wired & it's almost sickening.

I just made this middle-eastern inspired herbed risotto
which everyone raved about, and it turned out pretty nice except I added a bit too much salt (whoops...but it's definitely still alright)...not sure how well that's gonna go over at ye olde traditional thanksgiving feast though... we'll see. (obviously I used vegetable broth--that no-chicken broth to be exact--and omitted the parm, duh.) And garnished with some of the fresh fennel fronds and diced tomato (I think I must have a tomato fetish)

And this stuff:
Oranged cranberry sauce...the world's easiest and longest tasting recipe. I exaggerate, but not by much. I swear though, I've never been too excited about cranberries, but this is incredible.
I hope these turn out. This will be my 3rd baking with yeast attempt. I'm almost done. They're in the pan, in roll form, in the fridge, going to rise them again & bake 'em up fresh in the morning. If they're not amazing I'm going to cry b/c they were a messy pain in the ass and I really have my hopes up.

Also in the morning I'm going to whip up some green bean casserole. I have fresh portabellas and big button mushrooms waiting in my fridge for the purpose, and I can make a mean sauce to bake it up in. I'm going to use real onions, too...hope no one misses that frenchfried shit.

Kk...fingers are crossed...wish me some luck...and some sleep!!!
Happy Thanksgiving y'all.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

more deliciousness than I can handle!

I have developed some tasty new addictions. First one is (since I'm getting a cold) some fresh squeezed orange juice. They sell it at work, fresh, and I'm going to start having some every time I work. It's amazing, and b/c I only pay half price, it's probably cheaper to get it at work than to have to squeeze a million oranges to make it myself.

Another is that previously mentioned red pepper hummus. I added a large-ish jar of roasted red bell peppers (I was going to do my own, but these were so convenient!) with a little over half of a (1 lb., dried) bag of chick peas, cooked. To that, I added some sesame oil (I couldn't find tahini in my grocery store; but the sesame oil worked nicely), lemon juice, soy sauce, fresh ground black pepper, garlic (I always use the minced, jarred garlic), cumin, and just a bit of salt. Deliciousness. It makes about a ton, but I've eaten almost all of mine, 2 days later--it's that good.

Next is these cookies from this "Gifts from a Basket" cookbook that D's aunt gave me one year. I've been craving these because they're awesome; and I finally whipped up a batch. The only change I had to make was subbing vegan margarine for butter.
Raspberry Pecan Thumbprints:
2 cups all-purpose flour (I like to use 1 c whole wheat & 1 c all-purp)
1 cup pecan pieces, finely chopped, divided
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup margarine, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam (which I'm out of, so I used strawberry)
Cream together the margarine & sugar. Add vanilla, salt, cinnamon, allspice, pecans, and then flour. The recipe tells you to save 1/2 the pecans to sprinkle on the outside of the cookies later, but I usually just add about 2/3 cup to the batter and leave it at that because I'm that lazy. Then form the dough into 1" balls, make a dent in each with your thumb (or any finger will do I suppose), press the cracks in the dough together really well (or else they'll fall apart), and fill the indent with a "generous 1/4 tsp" of jam in each cookie.
Bake at 350 for 14 minutes or just until set. Don't eat or handle these til they cool, because the jam turns to lava for a little while. But try them and you'll be hooked.

My next recipe comes from here:
It's called The Best Thai Peanut Sauce; and I've never done a ton of Thai cooking, but I tried this for the first time this morning, and the recipe's title doesn't lie. I could eat this every day. The recipe calls for fish sauce, but I used an extra Tbsp. of soy sauce and a dash of sesame oil instead. Absolutely delicious. Also it creams up really thick, so I added a little extra coconut milk. Here's what it calls for:
  • 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
You mix everything in a bowl & don't even have to cook it. I left out the hot sauce for my husband & child's sakes, and used dried ground ginger, and was out of cilantro. It was absolutely fantastic. I'm taking the leftovers to my dad's tonight for dinner. I served it over spaghetti pasta (that's all I had) and it worked really well. Tonight I'm going to saute some tofu with it too.

Friday, October 31, 2008

One last Vegan MoFo

So tonight at D's cousin's house, we had this cook out/bonfire thingy, and I brought homemade roasted red pepper hummus (OMG it was the best hummus I've ever had in my life) with pita crisps, red & green bell pepper strips, and carrot sticks. Also, some o' those homemade vegan brownies, some chips 'n' salsa, and some maple BBQ flavor potato chips. Mmm. And that would have been my meal....except, my favorite cousin-in-law (we'll call him Skinny Buddha--little inside joke) brought me some vegan chicken stuff (I think it was general tso's--it was really sweet and perfect texture and absolutely the most delicious soy chicken--or any soy, or any chicken for that matter--that I've ever experienced), and he was even late b/c he spilled it the first time and had to go back and re-buy it, and he made everyone try it, including D, and it was the most awesomely touching, supportive thing he could have done for me, and I think he knew it by the way that my face lit up...think I'll write him an email though just to remind him how awesome he is. I didn't even miss the hotdogs or marshmallows! I was really nervous about that party, and Buddha made me feel really welcome and supported after working up the nerve to "come out" to my in-laws. It was a really good night; and we sat around the fire and talked and that kind of thing is my favorite ever. Good night all.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Yummy brownies adapted from the recipe here:

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or so. Yum yum! I think this is going to be my staple brownie recipe! I also threw some chopped pecans in mine.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Vegan MoFo: stroganoff, shoping, shampoo, and the salad bar.

I dyed my hair last night. I used the same color (medium brown) and brand my friend uses, because her hair looks awesome. Mine came out really really dark though. I kind of hated it at first. But the last time I dyed my hair brown, it faded over time, plus I don't want my hair to fall out, so I figured I'd wait awhile and see how I do with the new look. This morning I still hated it, so I washed it three times in the shower. It didn't lighten it that much. But in some lights I kind of like it now. It's pretty much the closest dye is going to come to my natural color...I think, anyway; I haven't had a full head of my natural hair color in a while. And there's a reason for that--I still can't tell if it looks good on me. It's just kind of bleh. Shit, now I'll have to develop a personality or something. LOL. I can't tell if D hates it and is just being nice, or if he just doesn't like that I "keep changing just about everything possible". He doesn't get the concept of winterizing.

So today I woke up feeling a little shitty. Which for me, usually means pre-really-shitty. Sore throat, achy body, tired as hell, that kind of mess. None the less, I took the aforementioned shower, got my ass (and my kid's) ready, and ventured out to find a Halloween costume for him. He wanted to be a dinosaur--a green dinosaur. And Wal-Mart, Target, the Halloween store they put up next to the mall, Old Navy, the OTHER Wal-Mart near us--nobody had a dinosaur costume. I mean come on, that is not a really far-fetched thing to dress up as, is it? Anyway, we took a break for lunch (my real reason for making a trip out) that I had been planning, to meet up with my friend Laura. She is vegetarian too (not vegan tho). We met at Ruby Tuesday, which has few vegetarian menu items, and no vegan ones, except for the most amazing salad bar I've ever been to. I mean, spinach, 3 kinds of lettuce mixes, tomatoes, beets, dried cranberries, edemame, chick peas, mushrooms, just on and on. I had two plates and I was stuffed. It was delicious.

After lunch, at Laura's suggestion, I took the cranky and exhausted kid to Meijer...and lo and behold, they had exactly one dinosaur costume. And it was green. And one size too big, but at this point, who cares. More room for layers underneath. Its cold here! I made it extra cool by putting felt "claws" on the arm and leg openings that will extend over his hands. Yay, I'm so excited! Then we went back to Old Navy to return some of the green clothes I bought (I was going to make a costume, which would've been even cooler, but that would have ended up costing twice or 3 times as much!!), and then to Wal Mart where I got a bandana, a sash, and a plastic sword...I'm going to be a pirate. What would've been really cute is a parrot costume--this is the last year he'll be small enough I could get away with this--dress him as a parrot and me as a pirate and set him on my shoulders! But parrot is even harder to find than green dinosaur, and it wasn't what the boy wanted.

He's been sleeping a lot lately. He won't take his nap til 4 in the afternoon, and then he just doesn't get up til morning. (Yesterday & today). Maybe he was starting to feel like I was and he's sleeping it off. I'm about to go do the same thing.

But first let me blog about this stroganoff I made. I was craving some good, hearty comfort food, and I knew D would appreciate that too. I basically used the recipe off the Peta website (, but I made my own sauce because I can never find vegan mushroom gravy.
1 lb cooked pasta (I used whole wheat rotini)
I sliced & sauteed some Tempeh, rather than using beef style crumbles, then took that out to add to the sauce at the end. Sauce recipe later.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Vegan MoFo: Sublicious!

Ha ha. So 4 stores and the bank (and $180) later, I got home and chilled for a bit. Then D got home (he's listening to Rush Limbaugh now...yeah...) and he was uber hungry, so what did I make with my (mostly) healthy haul? Subs! I had a hankering for some of those yummy oven baked subs my momma used to make. I put turkey & cheese on D's, just cheese on my son's; and then I piled all of them up with mushrooms, onions, cucumbers, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, guac and Italian dressing (on mine; ranch on the boys'). That turkey stank. I could barely touch it. I am over meat forever. But I'm not gonna lie, I missed real cheddar a little. I'll get over that too, I'm sure. When I ate my sub, it was phenomenal. I am so happy now...I'll probably make these every day til I run out of sub buns!!! Mmmm new favorite thing of the moment!!