Lazy lunch for a lazy person

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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…http://ohsheglows.com/2012/01/16/lunch-this-week-chickpea-salad-wraps/

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.

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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. http://www.donalskehan.com/2010/04/simple-garlic-mushroom-bruschetta/ 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
salt
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

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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.

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. 🙂

 

Back to Basics

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I have been in a bit of a funk lately and really needed to get my ass in the kitchen and do some cooking. Problem was, I lacked motivation. I really didn’t feel like spending hours, or even A hour in the kitchen cooking something stunning. I am tired of being the only person in my house impressed by my cooking, since lets face it, the kids just don’t appreciate good food like I do. So tonight I wanted to keep it simple. And I did. And it was stunning. I turned on Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black album and went into the kitchen and got to cooking. I bought a huge bag of brussels sprouts last week and hadn’t used any yet, so I made Crispy Lemon Roasted Brussels Sprouts that I found here http://whatsgabycooking.com/crispy-lemon-roasted-brussels-sprouts/ and I made Spaghetti Aglio, Olio, e Peperoncino. Which means spaghetti with garlic, olive oil, and peppers. Oh my. So simple and yet so amazing. It took almost no time and yet I was blown away by how good it was. It will definitely be on my regular menu, and I have leftovers. Yay lunch!

So I put the brussels sprouts in the oven and mopped the floor for the first part of the roasting. Stirred them up a bit and started boiling the salted water for the pasta. While that was cooking I chopped up the garlic and danced around my house because Winehouse was amazing and the perfect mood lifter. I accidentally over roasted my sprouts so the were a little crispier than intended, but still amazing…or at least I thought so. My two older kids plugged their noses to eat them, but the younger two ate them up like candy. Such little foodies. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it helped me feel a little less down, even if I was the only adult to enjoy my food.

Spaghetti Aglio, Olio, e Peperoncino

7 oz spaghetti
3-5 cloves of garlic, minced. (The amount of garlic you use is entirely up to you. If you aren’t in love with garlic, and have intentions of getting laid later on in the evening, go with 3, or even 2. I am in love with garlic, and have no prospects for a lay, so I went with 5, it was good.)
1 1/2 tsp crushed chili pepper flakes
1/4-1/3 cups extra virgin olive oil (you really want good olive oil here since you are really going to taste it)
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Cook spaghetti according to package. You are going to want good pasta and to cook it al dente. Strain spaghetti and put in large bowl or serving dish. Top with garlic, chili pepper flakes, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss to combine.

And that’s it. That is all you have to do and it is so very good. The lemony brussels sprouts were a perfect partner for this, but some salad and crusty bread to mop up the olive oil would have also worked wonderfully.

Spiced Oatmeal Cran Cookies

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My kids have been begging me to make cookies for their lunches because all the cool kids get sent to school with things like oreos, fruit snacks, gogurt, and other things of that nature. But I am cheap, and trying to eat healthy, so I don’t buy those things. I also have been avoiding making cookies, because the last time I baked chocolate chip for them, they were not vegan, and I ate one. And felt guilty. I finally caved today, not about not eating vegan, just about making cookies, and made some vegan spiced oatmeal cran cookies. My house smells so freaking good. Do I think it will make my kids as cool as the kids that bring the other stuff? Probably not, but who cares about cool anyways? I certainly don’t, and don’t want to raise my kids to care that much either. So vegan oatmeal it is! Oh, I also made myself a warm mug of Simple Spiced Steamerthat I stole from Joy the Baker. http://joythebaker.com/2012/01/spiced-almond-steamer/ So good.

Vegan Spiced Oatmeal Cran Cookies

3/4 cup vegan margarine
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract, or vanilla bean paste
1/2 cup coconut milk, or other milk substitute
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
3 cups rolled oats, or quick cook…not instant!
1 cup dried cranberries

Combine margarine and sugars and cream until smooth. Add vanilla and “milk,” mix well.

Add flour, baking soda, and spices to margarine and mix until combined, then add oats and cranberries.

Spoon 1 1/2 in balls onto baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, my oven needed about 12.

Remove from pan and cool on baking rack, then enjoy!