Monthly Archives: February 2012

“Beef” stew with beer and paprika


You might be noticing a trend. I am a sucker for soup. I love it. It’s so comforting. It’s so easy. It’s so delicious. I just love soup. One of my favorite stews before turning vegan was this Beef Stew with Beer and Paprika from Pioneer Woman. I made it with beef or venison and it was always delicious. I was craving it like crazy the other day, but obviously, as a vegan, I had to modify the ingredients. I also knew I was going to be gone most of the day, so I did it all in the crock pot. Super easy. I swapped out the beef for a 10 bean mix I got from the local grocery store’s bulk bins. It still had all the delicious flavor I wanted, and none of the beef or animal products. If you don’t have a crock pot, you can easily follow the recipe I post, but follow The Pioneer Woman’s instructions.

“Beef” Stew with Beer and Paprika

3 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups 10 bean mix, or any other meat sub
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bottle or can of beer, 12 oz
4 cups veggie stock
2 cups water
1 Tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce, or soy sauce if you can’t find any
1 tsp liquid smoke
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 tsp white sugar
4 carrots, washed and sliced
4 new potatoes, scrubbed and chopped
1 cup peas
1 cup corn

Take all ingredients, except corn and peas and toss them in the crock pot, stir and cook on low for 6-8 hours. About 10 minutes before you want to eat, add in the peas and corn. That’s it. That’s all she wrote.

I put some homemade garlicky croutons on the top of mine, but is also great with a side salad and some crusty bread. It has a really delicious and hearty flavor. It’s much thicker with the beans than it is with the beef because they break apart and thicken the stew as it cooks, so you can always add more liquid if you want. I added a little more beer the next day when I reheated it. But water or veggie stock would do just fine.


Udon Noodle Soup


So, I actually feel like writing a blog right now, but who knows if I will get distracted before I finish. A little about me. I suffer from cluster headaches. They hit me once or twice a year, and I get horrible anxiety, insomnia, and one horrible migraine, every day for about 6 weeks. Which totally sucks, except this time around, I am being blessed with 2 migraines a day. YAY! Go me. So exciting. So…any who, I drank two cups of coffee this morning, on account of the insomnia, and then I got a migraine, and took my migraine meds, which have caffeine, so I am in the middle of a caffeine apocalypse right now. Good times. At least my headaches gone, until it wakes me up at midnight tonight.

Back to the recipe. I made Udon Noodle Soup the other day, and didn’t feel like posting about it, but now I do. It’s like chicken noodle soup, but vegan. It’s so delicious and super comforting. I love it.

Udon Noodle Soup

2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup cabbage, thinly sliced
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
4 cups veggie broth
4 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp maggi
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 cup extra firm tofu, cubed
1/2 cup peas
6 oz udon noodles

Heat olive oil in large pot, add onions and garlic. Cook until crisp tender, add cabbage, celery, and carrots and cook until carrots and celery are crisp tender, and onions are translucent, about 10 minutes.
Add the veggie broth, water, salt and pepper to taste, ginger, maggi (if you have it, just add a tiny more soy sauce if you don’t), soy sauce and simmer on medium heat for about 10 minutes until veggies are soft, making sure to scrape all the browned delicious bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
Add peas, tofu, and udon noodles and simmer until udon noodles are soft, about 10 minutes. That’s it. Super delicious. Enjoy!

Yay! I didn’t get too distracted. Now off to go run a marathon, or clean my house, or the world!

Lazy lunch for a lazy person


So, I have been cooking lately. I actually have a few recipes and pictures to post for you, but I don’t feel like it. So instead I am going to post an extremely lazy blog, and just link you to the delicious recipe that I made for lunch. It was really, really good. I am totally fine with having this replace tuna salad sandwiches. I tried it with out the sunflower seeds and with, and I actually prefer it with out, but it’s your preference. You could even toss in some cashew cream or veganaise if you wanted to, but the garbanzo beans are creamy enough on their own. Next time I make it, I am going to mash the beans up a little so they stay in their damn wrapper and quit rolling all over the table, and my lap. It would also be really good on toasted bread with avocado, or in a pita wrap. Anyway, here it is…

Maybe I will make a real post in the near future to appease all my waiting, restless fans. All two of you.

Garlic Mushroom Bruschetta and Roasted Asparagus.


Last nights dinner was so good. I saw a pin for this garlic mushroom bruschetta and I had to have it. So I made it. I may or may not have eaten two servings, but let’s just pretend I ate one and the scale moved down today. Using your imagination is beneficial to your brain. I also decided to do some roasted asparagus for dinner, because it is so easy, and so good. And I am really in to roasting things lately.

Roasted Asparagus

1 lb asparagus, tough ends trimmed off
3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
splash of balsamic vinegar

Toss all ingredients on a large pan, making sure to coat everything. Pop in a 350 degree oven and cook for about 7 minutes, open oven stir stuff around, and bake for 7 minutes more and voila, you have a healthy and delicious side. If you haven’t started roasting vegetables, get with the program. Steaming is so 2008.

Tom Kha Tofu Soup, or at least my version of it


Last night I made my version of Tom Kha Tofu soup. It was a cold and rainy day, the perfect day for a hot bowl of soup. And the soup fulfilled all my desires for warmth, comfort, and taste. It was really, really good. I am not feeling overly wordy today, so I am just going to give you the recipe. You are all probably busy spending time with your Valentine anyway, while I am just here, writing a recipe out. I’m not bitter or anything.

Tom Kha Tofu Soup

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, diced
2 tbsp lemon grass, minced
2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
zest of one lime (traditional Tom Kha calls for kefir lime leaves, but those aren’t easy to come by around here, so I just used zest instead)
juice of one lime
1/4 of a white cabbage head, sliced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 can coconut milk
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp yellow curry paste (you can omit this if you want. When I tasted the soup, I decided to add some in for a boost of flavor)

Heat up the olive oil in a large sauce pan on medium heat with the crushed pepper flakes, add in onion, garlic, ginger, lemon grass, and salt and cook until onions are tender.

Add in the lime juice and zest. Then add the cabbage and mushrooms. Cook down until cabbage and mushrooms are softened, about 10 minutes.

Add the coconut milk, vegetable broth, and curry paste and cook until heated through.

Serve up in bowls and top with cilantro. I also added a dash of sriracha. It was really tasty. My kids liked it, but I didn’t add the sriracha to theirs. They are lightweights when it comes to spice.

Traditional Tom Kha is served over tomatoes, but I didn’t have any, so I made it my own with out tomatoes.

Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms.


Sometimes I am surprised by how something so simple can taste so amazing. Last nights dinner started a few months ago with a starter for sourdough. If you don’t have one going, you should be ashamed! Not really, just start one. It’s amazingly simple and makes such amazing bread, pancakes, pizza dough, etc. I got my starter recipe from here You can also borrow starter from someone that already has one going. Once your starter is made, you just need to feed in occasionally and it will last forever. Just hanging out in your fridge. It’s an excellent pet. It doesn’t shed, it doesn’t defecate on the rug, and it shows you love. So much love. I made the sourdough and then decided to roast some green beans and mushrooms to go along with it. It was a simple dinner, but so delicious. I ate almost the entire pan by myself. The earthy sweet taste of the mushrooms paired so well with the freshness of the green beans. When I finally got the willpower to stop eating the green beans, I used the bread to mop up the olive oil and roasted, crispy pieces of garlic and onion left on the pan. It was scandalous. By the way, that is vegan margarine on the bread, it’s tasty.

Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms

1 lb of fresh green beans, ends snapped off (I used french green beans)
1/4 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, diced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
splash of balsamic vinegar

Combine all the ingredients except the balsamic vinegar in a large bowl and toss to coat the veggies with the olive oil and seasonings.

Spread out on large baking sheet and put in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Open oven, stir around the veggies, cook for 10 minutes longer. Open the oven again, drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar and bake for 5 minutes longer. Take out and try not to burn your hand while picking the green beans off the hot pan because you are too impatient to wait for a plate.

Sweet potato tacos?


What? Sweet potatoes, in tacos? Surely you jest. I was slightly incredulous as well. Actually, when I first saw a recipe for sweet potato tacos I thought it sounded amazing and I must try it. I love sweet potatoes! But then I looked at all the recipes and they were paired with black beans, and that presented a problem. I was fresh out of black beans. Overly confident in myself and my cooking ability, I sauntered into the kitchen thinking I am going to just make it up and knock this bitch out of the park. Oh yeah, I cuss in this blog. Don’t like it? Go read Pioneer Woman or anyone else with more class than me. So I started boiling the sweet potatoes, then I asked myself what I was going to pair it with. I thought a vinegar coleslaw would go nicely with the sweetness of the potatoes so I started making one. Just a simple one. Then I thought to myself, this is weird. This is going to be so gross and then I won’t be able to blog about it. But I carried on. I decided to saute some onions, because sauteed onions taste good on everything. Then I drained my sweet potatoes and thought again, this is never going to work. What am I thinking? Finished everything I needed for the tacos, dished them up for the kids, and then made mine. My son came back into the kitchen and I asked him if it was good, expecting him to say it was gross and he wanted cereal. But he didn’t say that. No, he did not. My pickiest eater actually told me it was good and he ate it already. What? This can’t be. Surely he is feeling sick. There is no way this concoction is going to taste good, at least to anyone with taste buds. So I took my picture, sat down, and took a bite. Hmm…not bad. Took another bite…ok, this is actually pretty good. Then I ate the whole thing. Then I was sad that I had doubted myself and put the tortillas away. So I took them back out, cooked another one up, and ate another taco. Much to my surprise, they were actually really good. The sweetness of the potato paired really well with the spice of salsa and the tang of the coleslaw. Yay! I haven’t failed yet. Except I will totally fail at trying to recreate this recipe on my blog since I just tossed stuff together.

Sweet Potato Tacos

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
1/4 cabbage, sliced finely, or shredded
1 tbsp vinegar, I used apple cider
lemon zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon
1 tbsp sugar
salt and pepper
3 tsp olive oil, divided
1 small onion, sliced into thin strips
1 tsp cumin
tortillas, you can use corn or flour. I used my favorite, which are uncooked flour tortillas that you cook at home. They come from I am lucky enough to find them at Costco
favorite salsa

Peel and cube sweet potatoes, toss in saucepan with water and two cloves of garlic. Cook on medium until sweet potatoes are soft, about 25 minutes.

Make the slaw. Combine the cabbage, vinegar, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Saute onions in 2 tsp olive oil and a little salt until slightly browned, but still crunchy. You are going to need to do it on a high heat to get it right. Set aside.

Drain sweet potatoes. Mash with the boiled garlic cloves, salt, pepper, cumin, and 1 tsp olive oil.

Assemble tacos. Take tortilla, put sweet potatoes on in, then the slaw, then onions, then your favorite salsa. Fold and enjoy.


I seriously love when I surprise myself. 🙂