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!