Thursday, February 25, 2010

Supercharge Me Smoothie & GF Swiss Chard Pasta

I know some people like coffee to get them going in the morning.  Don't get me wrong, I have a cup or two in the morning myself but just  because I like the taste.  But you know what really gets me going is a Super charged up green smoothie.
Okay so it doesn't look so green but purple.  This smoothie contains, fresh spinach, mixed berries, mango, banana, flax, powdered greens, rice milk and organic cranberry.  You really can't taste the spinach or greens due to the fruit.  Every morning before Dave goes to work I make him a smoothie as well and I've been adding some greens or powdered greens and he hasn't said anything.  So unless he reads this he doesn't know!  So we'll just be quiet about this.

  You know that cute crate from a previous post that said Muir Glen on it, that my girlfriend gave me.  Well I opened it up and look at what I found!  There are 4 cans, one was a diced tomato, one is a newer item with adobe sauce(would be great in a chilli) and two cans were of two different types of RESERVE tomatoes.  Look how pretty the can is is and the photo.  It's like a bottle of expensive wine!  It came with a booklet describing the two varieties, Brigade and Yolo tomatoes.  Muir Glen reserved some land to grow a small crop of these two different varieties of tomatoes and it went so well they are going to use more land for 2010. 
I actually opened up the Brigade can of tomatoes, it was a hard decision cuz like I said the can is too beautiful.  On the other hand I couldn't wait to taste these tomatoes and see if they were truly as good as was described.  You know these tomatoes tasted wonderful!  You know how some tomatoes from a can are kind of acidic?  Non of that, these were kind of sweet but light at the same time.  Delish!   So anyways last night I used them in a sauce poured over GF pasta. 

Swiss Chard Sauce

1 medium onion, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, minced(or more if you like)
4 sage leaves, chopped
1 14.5 oz can tomatoes, tomatoes only(save the juice)
1 bunch swiss chard leaves, chopped
1/2 -3/4 C. White wine
olive oil
salt to taste
chopped walnuts for topping(optional)

Boil pot of water for pasta and cook according to directions.

 Meanwhile heat up a saucepan and add about 3 Tbs. olive oil and add onion, garlic,sage and dash of salt (the salt sweats the onion and you can use less oil this way).  Saute until onions are soft.  Next add in 1/2 c. white wine and let it reduce down.  Next add in tomatoes and cook through then add the rest of the white wine.  Next add in swiss chard and let it cook through.  Take of heat and I added more olive oil but you don't have to.  I topped off ours with chopped walnuts.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

gluten free coconut carrot cookies

Happy Tuesday to ya'll!  Well it looks like it's going to rain again.  I'm okay with it, we need it. 
So I got my hair cut (yay)it actually styles now and doesn't lie flat against my head! I quite a bit chopped off, it was pretty dry on those ends.  I was using a citrus conditioner for a while and well, I guess it was stripping
my hair. 
There's nothing like a refreshing(fresh)juice in the morning.  Cucumber, apple, romaine and celery. 

It's time to go grocery shopping again but until that time it was pantry and refrigerator shopping.  So last night it was lentil soup!  Perfect meal actually cuz, dang it was cold out last evening.  Lots of carrots, used up the rest of my fresh spinach and tomatoes.  Wallah, a pretty and satisfying, warm the tummy soup!  
Now for some sweet treats. Gluten free coconut carrot cookies.  I had the taste for carrot cake and coconut cookies so with all the carrots I have for juicing(I buy the 10lb organic bag from Costco) I decided on adding some carrot.  Here is my recipe and just so you know you can minus the spices and carrot and these make fabulous coconut cookies. 

Gluten Free Coconut Carrot Cookies

1/2 C. Sorghum flour
1/3 C. rice flour
1/4 C. oat flour(gluten free) you can make your own by grinding as well
1/4 tsp xanthum gum
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 C. oats (gluten free)
1 Tbsp. Earth Balance + 3 Tbsp canola oil or (just coconut oil melted)
1/3 C. maple syrup*
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp rice milk or non dairy milk
1 med. carrots, peeled and grated
1 C. shredded coconut* 
1/4 C. walnuts, chopped(optional)

       Preheat oven to 375.

In a small bowl combine flours, baking powder, salt and oats. Set aside.
In a medium size bowl whisk together Earth balance, canola, maple syrup, rice milk and vanilla.  
Stir dry ingredients to the liquid ingredients until well mixed.  Next stir in the coconut,carrot & walnuts.  Stir until well combined.

Use a tablespoon to drop dough on to cookie sheet.  Bake for about 12 min.
 Makes about 18 small cookies.

*NOTE:  I used sweetened coconut(that's the only kind I had on hand) so if you aren't using sweetened coconut use a bit more maple syrup or add sugar to the cookies to sweeten up more.  
When making these without carrot I used melted coconut oil and these turned out wonderfully. 

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Hello everyone!  I'm actually getting ready to drive down to my in-laws to stay the night, my son has been hanging out with them for a few days, so we'll come back home tomorrow.   I get to go get my hair done, whoo hoo!  We've been living here about 1 1/2 years now and I still make the 1 1/2hr drive to get my hair done.  I'm just scared to try someone new, you know?  I go down south at least once every 2-3 months and so I get my hair done when I'm down there.  I also go get to see my friends new baby boy, I'm so excited!
Okay, this was meant to be a quick post.

A couple of my very good friends came out yesterday and look what I got!   How cute is this! These are Muir Glen Organic RESERVE tomatoes.  Did you get the RESERVE?  How special that is. lol!  I had no clue there were tomatoes that were RESERVE!  I know that wine that is a reserve is very very good.  Anyways these are canned tomatoes and I can't wait to use them.
Next up, homemade jams.  Lemon and strawberry.  Looking forward to using these as well.  I guess I'll be making some scones to use the lemon on.  Ummm I can taste it now.
Look at the cute snowman baker ornament!!!!
Thank you Dor, my friend.
Okay I really got to go.  Have a great rest of your weekend everyone!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Chickpea Crepes with Grilled Vegetables, cookies, etc.

Today is the start of another beautiful & warm day out here in California.  We need to enjoy this because cooler temps and rain our coming our way again.   I know we need more rain so I can deal with it, but these warm and sunny days like the ones we've been having are very enticing.  Bring on spring and summer, I'm ready!   Okay enough about the weather. 
Years ago I checked out from the library The Voluptuous Vegan cookbook by Myra Kornfeld  and tried quite a few recipes.  You should really check out that book!  Some have alot of steps but the end results are delicious!!!  This is the inside, obviously, of Chickpea crepes with grilled veggies(asparagus, zucchini, bell pepper and scallions) a layer  tofu cheese and topped with a spinach/basil pesto sauce. 
This is how it looks when it's all rolled up.  I was actually planning on making this for Valentines but hey the next day worked.  It's been so long since I've made this and the boys(husband and son) loved it as much as I did.  The chickpea crepes rock!   
I'm trying to take out as much wheat from Keaton's diet again. He's been complaining of his stomach and I asked him how long it's been hurting.  He said "It's been hurting, I just try to ignore it. "  I told him he shouldn't have to live with pain( he's only 12! but no one should live with constant stomache pain) and we'll just have to get a handle on his food situtation.  Anyways, I saw these gluten free coconut chocolate chip cookies from Jessy at Happyveganface and tried them out.  These are fantastic, both of us loved them.  Thanks Jessy!  Check 'em out on her blog.  The only change I made was replacing the chickpea flour with sorghum.
Have a wonderful day everyone!

Monday, February 15, 2010

weekend update...

Happy President's Day to all of you.  I hope everyone who has today off is enjoying it.  We are having some beautiful weather out here in California.  Yesterday on Valentines Day it was 72 and sunny.  Ahhhhh the sun!I just had to take a picture of our Cleo!
On Valentine's morning I made breakfast burritos for Keaton and Dave.  I had one too!  I can't usually eat something like this in the morning, it usually feels to heavy on my stomache but this actually didn't.  Even though my son and I couldn't finish one I didn't feel yucky after.  The burrito ingredients were: Rice tortilla, pinto beans, scrambled tofu with Soyrizo(I got to tell you the first time my husband had soyrizo he was pretty impressed and said he couldn't tell it was made from soy), potato & onions, avocado and a hot sauce.  Another thing about Soyrizo is Keaton's friend who made the decision to go vegetarian, his dad made breakfast for the boys one day and used Soyrizo for the first time and said he really liked it. 
I was going to make dinner for Valentine's but Dave didn't want me to have to cook.  So we actually were pretty casual this year and we went to the pizza place and ordered a pizza to go.  This is a garden pesto pizza no cheese of course.  I love that they totally load up the pizza with veggies, unlike some places.  I did make a salad to go with and he bought  me a nice bottle of red wine.

For dessert I made the gluten free chocolate cupcakes from Jessy(thanks Jessy) at HappyVeganFace .  These were real light and moist. The only thing I would change would be the gluten free flour mix.  It calls for Bobs Red Mill all purpose mix.  I think I would use Pamela's or make my own gluten flour mix up.  I'm  not a big fan of using garbanzo flour in my baked goods, but since these were chocolate it hid the taste.  We all scarfed this down.  I made a hole in the middle of the cupcake, poured some caramel sauce into it, drizzled chocolate sauce over that and stuck a cute chocolate heart on top! 

Do you say caramel or carmel?  I say caramel.  A discussion was brought up about a week ago when my in-laws were visiting and we were going back and forth on this.  So I did a little research and Caramel is the proper pronunciation for the sweet sugary sauce or candy we eat.  Carmel is a place, a town.  So there you have it.

Caramel Sauce:

1/2 C. brown sugar
1 T. arrowroot or cornstarch
1/3 C. mimic creme, non-dairy cream or full fat soy milk
2 Tbsp. *Golden Syrup or corn syrup
1 Tbsp. Earth Balance
1 tsp. vanilla

 Put all ingredients, except for Earth Balance and vanilla, in a saucepan.  Cook on medium heat and stir until mixture becomes bubbly.  Cook and stir for a couple minutes more until a bit more thick.  Next remove from heat and stir in Earth Balance and vanilla.  Serve warm or let cool.  This can also be re-heated.

*Golden Syrup- It's made from evaporated sugar can juice. I use Lyle's Golden Syrup because it's the only one in the market that I have found.   You can find it by the corn syrup in the market.  I don't like to use corn syrup.

Friday, February 5, 2010

How sweet and fluffy you are!

I'm talking about cinnamon rolls not my kitty cat. hee hee.  Since we really didn't get to eat any of the cinnamon rolls I made for the bake sale last week and  my in-laws are coming in to town for the weekend, I thought it would be a nice treat.  I made some last night, with the help of my son.  He really enjoyed punching the dough down after it was done rising.  Anways, he got to roll, sprinkle and cut up slices.  I swear he would've eaten them raw. blah!
These are when we just put them on the baking sheet to rise a second time.
These are after the second rise right before being baked.
The finished product!  Yum.  You could actually eat these without the glaze on top. Maybe a sprinkle of powdered sugar and cinnamon would do if you don't like them too sweet.  The recipe is from Veganomican and are called Maple Sugar Rolls or something like that.  I didn't use the cardamon they call for in the dough but I did add some cinnamon to the brown sugar for the filling. 

I better finish straighting up the house for our guests.  My son will performing at the school talent show tonight, a Metallica guitar medley he put together a couple of days ago.  Yep, nothing like last minute!  Anyways, it should be fun, the 6th graders have a 6 week session of vocals so the instructor is having them perform a Shania Twain song "Man! I feel like a Woman" and the boys have to dress up as girls.  He is not liking this at all but it should be very entertaining. lol! Along with all the other performances tonight.

Have a great weekend and a fun Super Bowl.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tofu Marsala

Back to some old favorites that I haven't made in quite a while, Tofu Marsala.    I was at Costco to load up on some things the other day so I bought a big pack(obviously everything is huge their right) of baby bellas.  It only took two meals to use up the 24 oz pack, I guess when my son snacks on them while I am preparing the meal  they seem to dwindle down quite quickly.  Before I move on to this fabulous recipe here are some food items that I go to Costco to purchase because of the best deals, maple syrup, nuts, frozen mixed fruit, organic salad mix, tofu-sometimes & organic spices. 

Moving on...I have been using this Tofu Marsala recipe for years now and love it.  It does use some tomato paste in it and I don't think the authentic version uses any tomato but it works here.  As always you can adjust the spices, marsala etc.. but it's a good base for a nice meal.  My adjustments are in parenthesis.


Tofu Cutlets Marsala
from Eating Well

• 1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch, divided

• 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

• 1/4 teaspoon salt

• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

• 1 14-ounce block extra-firm tofu, drained, rinsed and cut crosswise into eight 1/2-inch-thick slices(I slice mine a bit thinner)

• 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

• 2 large shallots, minced(small sweet onion, finely diced)

• 1 teaspoon dried thyme( I use more)

• 6 cups sliced cremini, or white mushrooms (about 10 ounces)or baby bellas

• 1/2 cup dry Marsala wine
• 1 cup vegetable broth


1. Whisk 1/4 cup cornstarch, flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Pat tofu with paper towel to remove excess moisture.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Dredge 4 tofu slices in the flour mixture, add them to the pan and cook until crispy and golden, about 3 minutes per side. Place the tofu in a small casserole dish with lid to keep warm.  Repeat with another tablespoon of oil and the remaining tofu, adjusting the heat if necessary to prevent scorching.

4. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, shallots/onion and thyme to the pan. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the shallots are slightly soft and beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until tender and lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in Marsala and simmer until slightly reduced, about 1 minute.

Whisk the remaining 2 teaspoons cornstarch with broth and tomato paste in a small bowl. Stir into the mushroom mixture, return to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, until thick and glossy, about 4 minutes. To serve, spoon the hot sauce over the tofu.(I add the tofu slices back into the mushroom sauce to completely coat the slices and let sit for a minute or two before serving).