Thursday, November 17, 2011

Cajun White Bean and Okra Stew

I call this Cajun White Bean and Okra Stew.  It's really just a twist to my age old black eyed pea recipe and needed a much cooler name.  I was hungry for something hearty, filling, and warm to go with the cold weather.  I was out of black eyed peas so I went with white beans and it turned out great!

1 Can of white beans
1/2 white onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic minced
2 stalks of celery thinly sliced
1 tomato chopped (you can add more or leave this out.  I had one tomato that needed to be used so I through it in)
Frozen Okra  I threw in a few handfuls, add to taste
approximately 2-3 tablespoons of Zatarain's bean seasoning
a few shakes of cajun seasoning (I use slap ya mama)
A dash of cayenne pepper
A few tablespoons (to taste) of nutritinoal yeast
Add a few drops of hot sauce to each bowl (I like Louisiana Hot Sauce for this)
1 cup of brown rice

1.  Start cooking your rice in a rice cooker
2.  Heat a little bit of oil in a pot.  Add the onions, garlic and celery and heat until the onions are translucent. 
3.  Add in the tomato, okra and can of beans.  Do not rinse the beans.  Fill the empty can with water and add that to the pot.  Depending on how "soupy" you want it you can add more or less water at this time. 
4.  Add in all seasoning.  Simmer on medium-low until the rice is done cooking.  Serve on top of rice with added hot sauce or vegan parmesan. 

This recipe is easily adaptable to what you have.  Bell pepper and/or a spicy peper is a nice addition as well.  You can use vegan butter instead of the oil.  Melt that and add in a few tablespoons of flour to make a roux.  That will make a nice thick "stew" that is more of a gumbo.  You can substitue the tomato for a can of diced tomatoes.  You might want to add less water depending on your taste.  Have fun with it! 

I hope you enjoyed! 

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!

Monday, November 7, 2011

HALLLLOOOWEEENN: Vampire Bite Red Velvet Cupcakes

If you remember from last year my department at work throws a "party" for halloween.  We all make yummy halloween inspired treats for the whole office.  I work downtown and our office is a part of a trick or treat for kids.  So in the afternoon a bunch of the cutest kids around come by trick or treating for candy.  So we all dress up in our costumes and hand out candy.  We still have to work but it makes for a fun filled day. 

This year I made vampire bite red velvet cupcakes.  The idea came from my coworker.  They turned out great!!  I've made the red velvet cupcakes before (if you remember from my dinner with friends).  You can find the recipe here from Kathryn Lovett's Blog.  I follow the recipe exact, except I didn't need to use 3 T of red food coloring, more like 1 to 1 1/2 T.  I made the icing from the recipe as well and added a little more powdered sugar so it was a bit thicker.  After the cupcakes were baked, cooled and frosted I stuck a thick toothpick (the kind that looks more like a fork with two prongs) in to make two "bite" marks.  I took just a little bit of the frosting and added some red food coloring to make it red.  Then took the toothpick and frosted a little line under the bite mark to look like blood.  They were amazingly easy and soo delicious.  My coworkers didn't even realize they were vegan and my family loved them! 

I also made the roasted red pepper and artichoke dip that I usually make for the holidays.  It's one of my all time favorites and everyone always raves about it.  I should have doubled the recipe because it was almost gone before we even had lunch!  You can find the recipe here from  I follow it exactly.  Other than the chips I served with this dish (they were shaped like pumpinks, bats and ghosts) this dish wasn't really halloween inspired, but rather matched my costume.  I was a 50s housewife.  The corningware and crochet pot holder fit the bill.  Here's me in my costume.  Not the best photo, I wasn't even looking at the camera.  LOL.  You can't tell but I even have victory rolls in my hair.  I wish I could wear this look everyday! 

I know I'm a few days late, but I hope everyone enjoyed their halloween.  I'm trying to get my office to do a themed halloween next year.  Yay!  Till next time! 

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!

Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

I'M BACK!!!!  I know I'm sorry (you've heard me say a million times) for being MIA, but I honestly haven't had much mojo.  I was cooking either things I've posted before, or things not worth posting.  You know sometimes you just get in a funk and mine has lasted longer than I'd like.  But I swear I'm back in the groove!  I feel inspired and rejuvinated!  If anyone hasn't heard or it or tried it out yet I encourage you to check out  It is an AMAZING sight for you to "pin" things that you find on the web.  It's kind of hard to explain but if your someone who is constantly "favoriting" (yes I just made that a word) sites that you like or want to come back to then Pinterest is the place for you.  But let me forwarn you its 100% addicting.  Side affects are hours of countless hours in front of the computer.  By the time you look at the clock you will have lost a whole day!  Said from experience.  You can find my boards and I at

Now onto the good stuff..FOOOODD!!!  Fall weather was a little slow this year (I must have been on the good side of the Gods) but it's finally in full swing and freezing outside.  The other day I was in the mood for some down home comfort food.  I couldn't get tomato soup and grilled cheese out of my brain.  It was perfect and hit the spot. 

For the grilled cheese (one of the easiest things to make by the way) I started with a great bread.  I used two different breads for two different occasions both were amazing.  The first is sprouted whole grain wheat bread with flax seed by Alvarado St. Bakery.  It's tasty, and amazing for you and only 50 calories per slice!  Pretty amazing.  The second is Dave's Killer Bread.  OMG.  If you haven't seen it or tried it....look for it and try it!!!  It's great!  I used the Good Seed, with heavenly texture and saintly flavor.  It has 4 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein and 610mg of omega 3's.  It's organic and only has amazing ingredients.  If you see it try his sinaroll.  It's to die for.  For the cheese I used my go to Daiya Pepperjack Shreds. As any normal grilled cheese butter the bread, heat a skillet and grill with the cheese.  I went pretty simple but there are soooo many variations to take your grilled cheese to the next level.  You can add veggies like tomato slices, roasted bell pepper, red onion...the possibilities are endless. 

I also wanted to mention a new product I've tried that I think will blow you all away.  It's Tofutti brand american cheese slices.  It's like the typical slice cheese in the little plastic wrapping.  It tastes sooo amazing.  Rich is convinced that it's real cheese in vegan wrapping (obviously not true, but a test to how amazing it is).  It's sooo perfect for sandwichs!  I love Daiya but sometimes the shreds get messy when I'm trying to put it on a sandwich.  You can even use the slices for the grilled cheese.  They melt amazing!  So check it out next time your at the store! 

Now for the tomato soup.  I went pretty simple and easy for this as well.  I based my recipe on that from Fat Free Vegan (follow the link to the recipe).  I made some adjustments.  As you can see I didn't blend the soup so it was smooth.  I wanted a more chunky soup so I just used a potato masher and mashed some of the soup.  I also didn't have a can of crushed tomatoes so I used two cans of chopped tomatoes.  I didn't use her brand of tomatoes just what I had in the cabinet.  I left out the parsley and yogurt because I didn't have any, and didn't think it needed any agave.  It was really tasty.  I loved the roasted flavor from the tomatoes.  It was the perfect soup to dip my grilled cheese in.  This soup is going in the keep file.  :) 

I hope I haven't lost all my readers and you'll come back for more recipes!  To even make up for it I'm posting another blog here in a few minutes so stay tuned!!!  Till next time!

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

LOTS of goodies!

I have a ton of meals to catch y'all up on!  So get ready for a long post.  I'll try to make it interesting.  Okay I don't really have any interesting stories but lots of photos!!!

Let's start with a review for Yves Vegan Grain Meat in a sweet chili thai sauce.  I saw this at the store and thought it sounded good enough.  I wasn't expecting much out of it as I'm pretty hard to please with this sort of thing.  It was SOOOO good.  I would eat it over and over again.  It was super easy to make and it didn't taste fake or chewy. 

The top photo is how the packaging looks.  It comes with the "meat" separate.  You heat it in some oil until it gets golden brown.  Then you add the sauce packet and cook for a few short seconds so it heats up and gets thick. 

I ate mine with quinoa, green beans and broccoli.  Perfect meal when you need something quick! 

This next recipe I bookmarked awhile ago and kind of forgot about it.  I'm glad I found it because it was delicious.  It's from vegetarian times and you can find the recipe online here.  I followed the recipe except I didn't use coconut flakes, I didn't have any lime juice and I used canned pineapple instead of fresh.  I topped this with quinoa (If you can tell I'm trying to stay away from too much pasta and rice.  I also want to make sure I'm getting enough protein and trying to make sure I have some form in every meal).  It needed some "sauce" so I topped it with sriracha and sweet chili sauce that I have in a jar (if you've never had any you need's kinda of amazing).  It was the perfect spice to add with the sweetness of the pineapple.

You probably won't beleive it but I made this amazing spinach risotto in the microwave with my pasta boat!!!  Well it's not actually a pasta boat it's called pasta n more, but it comes with a recipe book and I figured what the heck let's give it a try.  It was soooo easy and it came out perfect.  Plus I didn't have to sweat over the stove forever to make this!  I made some adjustments from the original recipe, so below is what I did

2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1 cup of chopped onions
2 cloves of garlic (more if you'd like), chopped
1 cup of uncooked arborio rice
3 cups of HOT vegetable broth (so make sure to bring it to a slight boil before adding it)
1/4 teaspoon of salt
8 oz fresh spinach
2 small zucchini cut into 1inch pieces
About 1/2 lemon juice
I didn't measure but about a tablespoon of agave nectar
Dried rosemary maybe 1/2 tablespoon
Italian seasoning mabe 1/2 - 1 tablespoon
1/4 cup of vinegar (the original recipe called for 1/2 white wine, I didn't have any so I subbed this)

1.  Combine the olive oil, onion and garlic in the boat pot, place in microwave and cook on HIGH for 3 minutes
2.  Stir in the rice and broth and add salt, lemon juice, agave nectar, rosemary and italian seasoning, cover with the strainer lid and cook on HIGH For 6 minutes
3.  Uncover and stir in vinegar, zucchini, spinach and cook for about 10-15 minutes until the liquid boils off. 
4.  Serve with Parma if desired.  I also made a side of wax beans with similar seasonings as the risotto

Last but not least I had a wonderful spread a few weekends ago at my parents.  My dad BBQd a spicy chicken patty for me.  I cut it up and ate it on a roll with the fixings (lettuce, onion, tomato, pickle and BBQ sauce).  Side of corn with salt and tapatio hot sauce, potatoes with rosemary, and BBQ veggies straight from the grill.  Hopefully this isn't my last summer BBQ this year.  All the halloween decorations at the stores are making me a little depressed. I feel like I was just talking about the being excited for summer and now it's almost gone.

For now that is all...Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tomato Cream Pasta with Zucchini Fries

Thank GOD!!!  I wrote this entire blog post and tried to post it earlier and thought I lost it.  I was about to start typing again when I remember to look in the saved posts and there it was.  That's exactly how you make Brittany's day.  =)  I present to you Tomato Cream Pasta and Zucchini fries!!  I'm not sure how I stumbled onto this recipe but I'm lucky I did because it was SOOOO good.  It was lick the bowl (and spoon, and pot) clean good!  Follow this link to the recipe.  I pretty much followed the recipe exactly except for a few minor changes:

I added 1 anaheim chili, seeded and cut in small slices.  I think adding the chili really made this recipe shine.  As you all know I like a little spice.  The chili wasn't very spicy at all, but it flavored the sauce sooo nicely. 
No chicken or faux meat was added, it didn't really need it
For the basil/thyme/oregano I just used a pre-mix italian seasoning total to all three
I used rice milk because that's what I had in the fridge
Agave nectar for the honey
and only 1/2 cup of nutritional yeast.

Like the intro said, don't be scared because of the ingredient list.  This was pretty quick and so easy to make and if I haven't said so already sooooo delicious.  Definitely a keeper.  The only change I would make next time is using fusili pasta to "hold" the sauce better.  The picture on the link looks so much better than mine.  I also like my sauce's a little chunky so I wouuld sub one can of tomato sauce for a can of chopped tomatoes. 

I had more than half of a pretty large zucchini left over from my parents garden and I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it.  I found a recipe for zucchini fries and they paired it with spaghetti.  Once I started making the cream sauce it was like a match made in heaven to make the "fries".  They were super easy to make and baked pretty quick.  My only complaint was the breading didn't stick to the zucchini very well.  I'm not sure if it had anything to do with it but I was out of lemon juice so I subbed half the amount for vinegar.  They were still super declious and I felt better about eating them.  I also didn't have breadcrumbs so I toasted a piece of bread and put them through the food processor until they were fine.  I also used regular paprika and garlic powder not salt.  All in all a pretty fab meal that came together soo nicely, even considering I cut my finger pretty bad trying to slice an onion.  I thought my zucchini fries were a gonner.  Husband wasn't home to get them out of the oven and I had to hold my finger with a towel to stop the bleeding.  I was able to be Mrs. Mcguiver and rig the towel to stay on my finger while I saved the "fries".  Pretty miraculous if I do say so myself.  =)

For dinner last night I made a stir fry with all kinds of yummy veggies like green beans, snap peas, carrots, red bell pepper, water chestnuts, baby corn and broccoli with my sweet and spicy sauce on top of quinoa.  Those are some of my favorite meals, the quick, easy, nothing fancy...just a bunch of veggies over quinoa.  Perfection really.  Not much else to share today.  I hope everyone has been creating awesome meals in their kitchen.  If you ever have a great recipe I'd love to hear about it. You just might be featured in a blog! 

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Happy Birthday to ME!  Watermelon Margarita
 Last week I celebrated my 25th birthday!  Because I have such wonderful friends and family I was able to stretch it out for the whole weekend.  That is me on my birthday, getting ready to go out for dinner and drinks with the hubby.  =)  For dinner I didn't want to cook so we went to Chevy's.  I'm a pretty big fan of Chevy's.  Their chips and salsa, margaritas and burritos are YUMMY!  I get the veggie burrito with no sour cream or cheese.  They chop up a ton of different veggies with black beans rice and this spicy red sauce.  It was nice to get out of the kitchen.  Over the weekend we went to the river with some friends and then to my parents for dinner on Sunday. 

Since my birthday fell on a weekday I was stuck in the office until 5.  My wonderful co-worker brough me home-made vegan carrot cake cupcakes!!  They were sooooo delicious!  I took some leftovers to my family and they all loved them.  She even made homemade "cream cheese" frosting.  I'm pretty sure I've eaten like 50.  LoL.  She is going to get me the recipe so I can share with y'all. 

My dad let me choose what I wanted him to cook for dinner.  I was in the mood for some grilled veggies.  We don't have a grill at my house (although I'm looking into getting one of those small ones I can fit on my porch) and my dad doesn't grill them very often either.  I chopped up some red bell peppers, fresh zucchini and cucumber from the garden, an Heirloom tomato, onions and garlic.  I should have done more garlic because it was sooooo delicous.  ALL of the veggies were perfect.  I chopped them pretty big, drizzled olive oil, salt/pepper and some cajun seasoning and my dad threw them on the grill with a veggie patty (covered in BBQ sauce).  I topped my buger with all of the veggies and a slice of lettuce and it was perfect.  We cooked some corn, a salad and chips and salsa as a side.  The perfect summer meal.  Thanks mom and dad for the wonderful food! 

As a bonus I made some delicious vegan sloppy joes last night.  I found the recipe from a blog I follow quite frequently, you can find the link here.  I pretty much followed her recipe to the T.  I added red bell peppers to the red onion and jalapeno.  I didn't have cabbage so I just used a lettuce leaf.  They were really good.  The only thing it needed was hot sauce.  I'm kind of addicted to hot sauce though, so I kind of put it on everything.  It was hilarious, I went to the grocery store the other day and had to buy Tapatio hot sauce, Crystal Louisiana Hot Sauce, and Chipotle Tabasco Hot Sauce.  We were out of each of them.  I use each one for something different, totally different flavors.  =)  For the side of veggies I cooked green beans, red bel peppers and zucchini with salt/pepper and cajun seasoning.  I drizzled some of the vinegar from the onions on top.  All was perfect! 

I hope you enjoyed! 

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Tostada and Peppered "turkey" Sandwich

A few months ago when we went to Texas my sister's boyfriend's mom made me an awesome tostada (knowing I was vegan and all).  She topped it with homemade guac and texas caviar.  It was delicious!  I've never made tostada's at home, albeit it's pretty much the same as a flat taco.  So the other day I figured that would be a perfect summer time meal!  If you haven't noticed almost everything that I'm making has none to very limited cooking time on the stove or oven.  It's been too hot to heat up the whole house with the stove. 

I used my famous refried beans recipe (Okay..Okay..It's not famous and yes it uses canned beans but...It's yummy), guacamole, fresh salsa and lettuce.  I used lime, cilantro and the works in the guacamole and salsa so I didn't feel it needed more but you can definitely top with more of your favorites.  This was sooo easy and tasty and my house was still nice and cool for me to relax in. 

Refried beans:
1 can refriend beans
Chopped onions to taste
Chopped jalapeno to taste
About a tablespoon or two of green and red taco sauce
* Mix all ingredients and microwave until hot

Guacamole (You will need to adjust amounts to taste/amount you need)
1-2 Avacado depending on how much you want to make
1 Lime, juiced
Salt to taste
Chopped cilantro
Chopped tomato
Chopped Jalapeno
*Add everything in a bowl then mix together to desired consistency. 

2 Large vine tomatoes
Chopped cilantro
Lime juice
*Roughly chop everything and put in a food processor.

Because I'm feeling fancy I'm making this blog a two-fer!!  This is more of a review/recipe.  I follow another blog for vegans (see the link here) and she has talked about tofurkey peppered turkey slices a few times.  I always strayed away from the tofurkey slices because I didn't think it would be something I would like.  I've eaten the tofurkey sausages and their good when ground up in spaghetti or something like that, but I don't like it whole.  I can't get use to the flavor.  I thought I'd give the slices a try since we all know there are plenty of things I thought I would like and now love as a vegan.  I decided to make a generic sandwich which I haven't had in forever...well since being a meat eater.  I toasted some sourdough bread, spread with vegenaise, louisiana hot sauce, a few tomato slices salted, peppered and seasoned with some cajun seasoning, chopped onion, lettuce, pickle and a slice of peppered turkey.  I was pleasantly surprised.  This will definitely become an easy staple for lunch or dinner when I'm on a bind and need something quick.  I don't like to base my recipes on processed fake meats but it's really convenient to be able to have them as an option when I'm in a bind.

My husband and I had a late dinner and we were craving potatoes so I ventured out and made some delicious potatoes.  It was worth the heat.  I chopped the potatoes, spread with olive oil, cajun seasoning and a little rosemary.  Mixed together to coat all of the potatoes and baked for about 25 minutes or so.  If you are looking to keep your house cool a nice salad or corn on the cob heated in the microwave would be a good side as well. 

I hope you enjoyed today's post.  Till next time! 

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Cajun Fried Green Tomatoes Po'Boy

I've tried this recipe before but I could never find green tomatoes in my area so I always used regular tomatoes.  It tasted good but it was hard to work with because they were always so juicy and not as tough as the green tomatoes.  My mom found some green tomatoes for me the other day and I'm finally getting around to making this again.  I'm SOOOO glad I did because it's amazing.  More amazing then I even remembered.  The recipe is very similar to the BLT I made the other day but it has a totally different taste.  BLT with a southern flare! 

1 Green tomato
bread crumbs (I was out so I crushed some multi-grain wheat thin toasted chips I had on hand)
Lettuce Leaf
Cajun seasoning
Hot Sauce (I recommend Louisiana hot sauce for this)
Salt/Pepper to taste
Soy Mayo
Fake Bacon* optional

1.  Heat your skillet with about a tablespoon of olive oil
2.  Meanwhile slice your tomato, you don't want them to thin, but not too thick either
3.  Salt and pepper the tomato slices.  Crush the crackers if you don't have breadcrumbs, and mix in a shallow bowl with the cajun seasoning.  I didn't measure so I just eye balled what I would need for one tomato.
4.  Dip the tomato slices in the mix until covered.  Add to the heated skillet and brown on each side
5.  Toast your roll, spread with mayo, add hot sauce to taste, Put tomato slices in a row, top with a lettuce leaf and you have yourself a magnificent cajun sammy!
* you can heat up some bacon to add, but I didn't have any on hand and it tasted fine without it.


I made a tasty side for the po'boys!  I took some broccoli (I used frozen but fresh works too) and heated it on the same grill I cooked the tomatoes with.  I didn't add any water or oil to the pan, just cover the broccoli and let it steam for a few minutes until it's heated through.  Once it was heated I uncovered and crushed some more of the same multi-grain wheat thin toasted chips over the broccoli, added the same cajun seasoning from the tomatoes and a little salt/pepper.  Let that heat and the crushed crackers brown a little.  It was perfect! 

Enjoy!  Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!

Saturday, August 6, 2011


I know I probably post about green beans more then any other veggie but I wanted to show you all my fresh farm beans!  I didn't do anything different this time, the same ole sweet and spicy soy sauce beans that I make all the time.  I love these so much that I ate the whole pound of beans all by myself.  LOL.  At least they were fresh and organic right? 

That is all....short, sweet and to the point!  Enjoy your saturday!

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!

Friday, August 5, 2011

The best vegan sandwich ever! THE BLT!

As you all know I still had some heirloom tomatoes left over after the pizza for the beginning of this week.  After finishing the left overs I knew I would want to make a BLT.  I always surprise myself when it comes to tomatoes.  I sometimes like them..sometimes I don't.  Just raw tomatoes aren't my favorite, and I typically don't like them on my burgers or sandwich's but then I like a good BLT.  I know I make no sense!  So even the folks that don't like tomatoes might like this sandwich. 

It's SOOOO easy to make and it is SOOO delicious!!!  Husband loved it!  I could eat them every day.  I took a slice of sourdough bread and toasted it.  Once toasted spread one side with vegan mayo, the other with vegan cream cheese.  I added a few drops of Louisiana hot sauce to both sides of the bread and topped with two slices of tomato.  Sprinkle the tomato with salt and pepper, then top with a slice of lettuce and two strips of vegan bacon (cooked over course!  They heat up super quick on the stove, just a few minutes on each side).  That is it!  It's amazing that something so simple could taste so superb!  =) 

We ate our sammies with a side of corn fresh from the farm.  We eat ours with butter, salt and tapatio hot sauce.  Perfection!  If you see in the second photo I posted a few slices of cucumber.  I've also had the same BLT but instead of lettuce I added some cucumber.  Both were tasty.  Husband wants to try the same sandwich with some pepperoncini's.  So you can easily adapt the recipe.  ENJOY! 

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler! 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Happy Birthday Hubby: Birthday Dinner

Yesterday was my husband's birthday so I planned a meal I thought he would enjoy, plus the heirloom tomatoes from my CSA were finally ripe and ready to use.  This was a really easy meal to put together.  I just bought the pre-made pizza dough, you can find plenty of vegan ones in the store and topped with our favorite toppings.  What made this meal ultra awesome was Daiya has a new flavor of cheese...PEPPERJACK!!! You should have seen me when I went to the store planning on getting plan mozzarella and I see the new flavor.  I about died!  My favorite cheese as a vegetarian was pepperjack.  I could literally eat a whole block by myself.  I put it on everything!  Hence I was a very excited vegan...kind of like a kid in a candy store.  =) 

For this pizza I used the store bought dough
Storebought pizza sauce
Pepperjack Daiya cheese (The second half you see in the picture is real cheese for being his birthday and all)
1 Heirloom tomato sliced however you like
1/2 onion chopped very small
fresh basil, I used the one from my thai basil plant.  Washed the leaves and put whole leaves on top of the tomatoes.  I was afraid I was over doing the basil but after it cooked I realized I could have added a lot more
I was out of garlic (not sure how that happened) so I was stuck using garlic powder instead of the real thing
Red pepper flakes
After I cooked the pizza I added some italian seasoning because I didn't put enough basil.

That is all...A perfect tomato and basil pizza using fresh produce and seasoning straight from the garden!  I made some garlic bread for a side, since I was out of garlic I spread some butter on toasted bread, sprinkled the top with garlic powder and italian seasoning.  Not as good as it could have been but it worked in a bind.

For dessert I bought some cookies for hubby.  He doesn't really like cake so I stuck a candle in one of the cookies and sang him happy bday!  *insert awww here*  I'm bummed I didn't get a picture.  If you have any doubt that the food was good, here is a photo of Bella and her big fat tummy.  Not only was her stomach twice it's normal size, but she weighed twice what she did that morning!  I'm not sure how she did it but I guess since it was Rich's birthday, he decided to share all of his goodies.  You would have thought it was HER birthday!  So spoiled!

More meals to come, I have more tomatoes to use.  I'm thinking a nice BLT, side of green beans, or corn!  Stay tuned!

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Farm Fresh To You!!!!!!!!!

I've been debating signing up with a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).  I kept going back and forth and just wasn't ready to commit.  This afternoon at work I got a surprise delivery from Farm Fresh to You, the farm I was looking into.  My AWESOME mom knew I really wanted to try it and surprised me with my first box!!!  I am sooo excited!  For those of you not familiar with CSA's it's a way to help support your local farms while getting FRESH, local, and organic fruits and veggies.  The farm that we work with is Capay Farms.  They have a few different farms they work with in this area.  Each week/two weeks/month (depending on how often you want a box) they deliver a box of goodies right to your door.  They have different packages with all different sizes and options that fit your family. 

This week I got Grapes, lettuce, basil, corn, red plums, cucumber, green beans and BEAUTIFUL heirloom tomatoes.  All I can say is AMAZING.  Everything looks and smells ..... for lack of a better word...Amazing.  I can't wait to try all kinds of new recipes with all of my goodies.  Each week they have new produce and fruits they deliver.  Their website has a ton of recipes that incorporate that weeks food.  You can also check the website for what your next week's items will be.  If there is something you don't like, you just let them know and they will give you more of something else.  Pretty sweet deal!  I feel healthier already! 

I ate a few of the grapes, and a plum, both delicious.  The plums aren't quite ripe yet, so I'll save the rest for later.  For my first meal I decided to make a new mac-n-cheese dish.  I searched some recipes on  Vegan Pandamonium and found this mac n cheese recipe.  I decided to add broccoli to the mix.  It turned out well, except the sauce was WAYYY too thick.  I'm not sure what I did.  It made for a pretty dry mac n cheese.  I'm not sure if I should have added more butter?  I used all of the boiling water even though she said you probably wouldn't need it all.  I would maybe thin it out with some soy milk, or more water next time.  I'm thinking when I re-heat the left overs I'll add either some butter or milk to help moisten it up.  I cut the broccoli into florets and boiled for a few minutes.  Then added to the pasta and sauce in the casserole dish.  I didn't have breadcrumbs so I toasted a bun and crushed that over the top.

I have a lot more ideas for all of the goodies I received today.  Stay tuned for heirloom tomato BLT's,  tomato and basil pizza, Cucumber tea sandwich's, and other awesome sides like corn, salad and green beans!!! 

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Goulash, that isn't really goulash

I was originally planning on making an oriental ramen salad but realized I'm almost all out of oil and there really isn't any substitute for it in this recipe.  Since I didn't want to go to the store I had to completely change shifts and find something new to cook.  So I did what I always do when my original idea doesn't go as planned, stare in my cupboard and fridge.  Just sit, and hope that something jumps out at me.  It always reminds me of being young and my Dad yelling at me to close the fridge door.  Dinner wasn't going to jump out at me.  Well in this case it kinda did.  I went back and forth with a few ideas and ended up with this.  The only good word I could come up with to name this dish was goulash.  I realize this really isn't a goulash, but gosh darnit I made it so I get to name it. 

It turned out better than I even imagined!  I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out and just figured it would be another last minute, I'm starving, just okay on the awesome radar dish.  Well I was wrong.  I will probably make this again and again.  It was really easy to prepare and cook.  You do have to turn on your stove top but it didn't have to cook for very long. 

I'm not a huge fan of zucchini and squash (the little round veggie is a green squash).  So typically when I see recipes using them I don't even bother giving them a chance.  Please don't be like me and try this one out.  I think it will change your mind.  Granted the zucchini and squash came fresh from the farm in Clarksburg, so I would recommend getting some fresh.  I'm convinced they taste better than grocery store veggies.  The onion came from my Dad's garden.  The only thing not fresh were the tomatoes.  If I had some handy I would have used them instead.  Here's the recipe for all y'all to give it a shot.

Cooked pasta (any shape would do.  I would stay away from spaghetti though.  You want something that will hold the "sauce".  I used shells and they were perfect)
1/2 Tablespoon of vegan butter
1/2 onion roughly chopped
3/4 zucchini roughly chopped (I cut into slices then cut the slices into fourths)
1/2 green round squash (I chopped the same as the zucchini)
1 can of chopped tomatoes, drained

2 Tablespoons of walnuts (or pine nuts)
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1-2 Cloves garlic
salt and vegan parma to taste
10-12 leaves of basil.  I used thai basil because that is what I have growing on my porch
           Note: Since I used thai basil, the leaves are a lot smaller then regular basil.  My pesto didn't look .
           much like pesto since it wasn't very green but that's okay

1.  I cook my pasta in the pasta boat, so I started that in the microwave while I made the sauce. 
2.  Chop your veggies while you melt the butter in a pot.  You can use olive oil as a sub for the butter but I was short on oil, so I used what I had. 
3.  Once the butter is melted add the onions and cook until translucent
4.  Meanwhile open your can of tomatoes and drain the juice.  I didn't want to make a spaghetti sauce, so I just wanted chunks.  A little juice is okay, just not the whole can.
5.  Once the onions are done add the tomatoes, zucchini and squash to the pot.  Cook down for a few minutes. 
6.  While that is cooking put all of the pesto ingredients into a food processor.  Once everything is highly processed and resembles a paste add it into the tomatoe veggie mixture in your pot. 
7.  Cook for a few more minutes, brining the mixture to a slight boil.  I added a few dashes of red pepper flakes for some heat, feel free to omit if you don't want any spice.
8.  Once done your pasta should be cooked.  Remove from heat and add salt to taste.  In my opinion it will need some but not a ton so take it slow and taste it before you go overboard.  Because of the pesto it can get a little salty. 
9.  Mix your pasta with sauce in everyone's bowl and top with vegan parma!  DELISH!

Note:  Feel free to double the recipe.  I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out and figured it would just be me eating it.  Next time I'll probably make more and adjust some of the measurements.  It's still a work in progress. 

Just for fun here's a photo of some beautiful Dahila's from my parents garden.  LOVE!

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!

Monday, July 18, 2011

White Bean Quesadilla

This post is dedicated to my co-worker/supervisor/queen.  She was telling me today that she has been giving out my link to her friends who were interested in vegetarian/vegan recipes.  She's so sweet for thinking of me and I haven't even been updating the blog.  Because it's summer I've been taking it easy on the cooking.  My apartment gets pretty warm in the summer and if I turn on the stove or oven it's like a sauna.  So even though I've been taking it easy here are a few summer recipes. 

I actually made these a few weeks back on the Fourth of July.  I was looking for something easy.  I had all of the ingredients ready and I had just made fresh salsa.  I found the recipe on  Follow this link to the recipe.  I followed the recipe exactly except I left out liquid smoke because I was out.  My omnivore sister even loved them. 

There is nothing better than a farm fresh meal!  This weekend my parents and I went to Clarksburg.  They have a farm right off of the river you can stop at and buy fresh veggies.  We got corn for 6 ears/$1, squash, zucchini and tomatoes!  The corn I cooked, melted some vegan butter, salt and sriracha.  Tapatio is great on corn too.  I also made my zucchini "pasta" dish that I've posted about before with some asparagus, and then fresh salsa with the tomatoes.  Nothing too fancy but super delicious. 

I hope to have some new recipes up soon!  Stay tuned!

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!

Friday, June 24, 2011

My first salad post!

I know most people think vegans and vegetarians live on salads...well not so much.  I honestly can't remember the last time I had a salad before last night.  I'm not a big salad eater, not that I don't enjoy them.  I just don't think they are as healthy as everyone thinks.  Really once you add the dressing you've kind of ruined all it had going for you.  I mean yes, I'm sure they are better than a huge burger but not the best.  Also depending on the lettuce you use it's mostly just water without much nutrition to it.

With that said I FINALLY went grocery shopping yesterday and once I got home and unloaded everything I wanted something quick so I made a salad!  Super easy, and this one was SUPER yummy!!!  I didn't take a picture but it entailed lettuce, chopped fresh onions from my dad's garden, capers, croutons, (I would have added pepperoncinis if I remembered to get them), champagne dressing and pepper.  Perfect!  Husband also likes a good salad but he douses his in ranch...even worst!  =) 

Since I didn't take any photos of my food I thought I'd share a photo of my new tattoo!  I got it done while in New Orleans and the same shop I got my other tattoo done 4 years ago.  Luckily the artist that did my tattoo had left the shop but JUST moved back!  What luck!  I don't know if I've shared the story about my other tattoo but my sister and cousin all got the same one on our wrist each with a different word.  Mine says love, my sister's faith and my cousin strength.  So we all three got new tattoos...just of different things this time around. 

I got a bird on a branch holding a dandelion, with the dandelion fluffs being blown off and floating.  I ♥ it!  Mad props to my tattoo artist for his mad skills!  He's amazing.  This thing hurt like no ones business but he was great through all of it.  Letting me curse and scream while I sat completely still for an hour an a half!  No tears though!!! =) 

It's a tattoo about myself, about my life, where I've gone, come from and where I'm going.  A reminder to keep my head in the clouds, and let life under my wings and take me where the wind blows.  I can be a pretty high strung person always worrying and I think I've started calming down (I'm sure my husband would beg to differ, but whose asking his opinion) and this is just a reminder to stay that way.  I also LOVE the dandelion.  When I was a kid I was constantly making wishes.  I'm so grateful to all of the wonderful things I have in my life.  So many of my dreams have come true.  This is a tribute to that, and hopefully more wishes and dreams to come true in the future. 

I think I've posted this before but here's my other tattoo.  This one is for my family and my city.  I love you all and miss you more than you know.  It really needs no description. 

What kind of tattoos do y'all have?  I'd love to hear about them!

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!