Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

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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
salt
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)
cilantro

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.

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Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms.

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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 http://www222.pair.com/sjohn/blueroom/sour.htm 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
Salt
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?

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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 http://www.tortillaland.com/. 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. 🙂

 

Greetings and Salutations

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So, I have a blog! How exciting. This blog is mainly for me to keep track of my hits and misses when it comes to my adventures in cooking vegan. Most of the recipes will be vegan, all will be vegetarian. I may occasionally post desserts that I make for my family and friends that have obscene amounts of butter and eggs, mainly because I am vegan, but I am not making everyone around me be vegan as well.

How did I decide to become vegan? The easiest way to answer would be to say it was a dare, or a challenge. I had a friend e-mail me asking if I was interested in going vegan with her for 30 days. This was right before Thanksgiving, so I said no way! Not right not. I need turkey, and mashed potatoes, and gravy. I told her I would be happy to join her in this adventure the Monday after Thanksgiving to ensure all leftovers had departed from my house, and that I would be vegan up until a few days before Christmas. I thought it was going to be horrifically difficult, but I was determined. And I did it. I didn’t cheat at all during that time. I felt fantastic. I lost 7 lbs. My skin was glowing. I was seriously loving it. And then Christmas happened. Oh Christmas. With it’s delights of ham and funeral potatoes, sausage and chili rellenos for breakfast, which is a family tradition. I ate, and ate, and then ate some more. And then managed to waddle home and go to bed at about 7:45 pm feeling bloated and defeated, while my older two were still awake and playing with their toys. The next morning I woke up and felt utterly disgusting. Never again, I vowed. Never again. I hadn’t realized how awful I had felt while eating things like meat and dairy. And maybe it was because I just overdid it, but maybe it was also because my body works better when I am vegan.

So I dove right back in and did fantastic until I did a little weekend trip to Texas. I had to eat BBQ. It was my first time in Texas, how could I not? And I went back to feeling awful and disgusting and full of self loathing. Why do I do this to myself? So here I am, four days after my trip to Texas, having eaten vegan since I have been home, but still feeling slightly heavy and weighed down by the animal fats trying to work their way out of my body. And once again I am determined to do this. And I tell myself, never again! So I started a blog to keep myself accountable, and to let others in on my little journey that I hope will turn into a lifelong sojourn of good health and great food. I strive to show others that being vegan doesn’t mean eating bad food.  If it were so, I could never be vegan. I love to cook, and more importantly, I love to eat. Enjoy.