Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Birthday present lunch and dinner

I gave myself a birthday present this year... a day off from work! :) So yesterday, I had lots of time to cook.

For lunch, I made myself a veggie pizza. I love homemade pizza... so much better than commerical brands. This one was made with a store-brand dough, Barilla pasta sauce (acting as pizza sauce, since it was already open in the fridge), veggie pepperoni, veggie cheese, tomatoes, oregano, basil and some fresh thyme sprinkled on top. Deelish!

Monday evenings, I have dinner with my BF, so I tried a new recipe last night: Barley "Risotto" with Mushrooms. I found the recipe in the Weight Watchers Versatile Vegetarian cookbook. Twas good! My BF liked it too... he's a big mushroom fan, so this was right up his alley. :) I should also mention that this recipe was almost vegan, except for the tablespoon of parmesan cheese. So, with a vegan substitute for that, this would make a yummy meal for someone avoiding all animal products.

And, I should mention that my awesome sister gave me Vegan with a Vengeance for my birthday this year... so look for some of those recipes on this blog in the future!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Mexican for the Birthday Girl

Today is my birthday! Yesterday, my family hosted a nice gathering to celebrate, complete with a vegetarian Mexican meal and margaritas! For many years, we've gone out to eat for my birthday, at a Detroit restaurant called Xochimilco's. However, yesterday my awesome mom prepared a delicious homemade meatless mexi meal consisting of a mexican bean casserole (bottom of the plate) and bean and cheese enchiladas (top of the plate). And, both were YUMMY! Thanks, mom! I'm so thankful to have a family who supports my food choices. :)

Tonight I think I'm going to try a new barley recipe, so with any luck, I'll be able to post that meal in my blog tomorrow. :)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Whole Wheat Pasta with Pesto

Many apologies for the lack of updates--I've been sick. :( And, well, when I'm sick, I certainly don't feel like being adventurous with my food, LOL. It's usually toast and things like that. But, overall I'm feeling better now... except for my lingering cough.

This is nothing spectacular, but last night I made whole wheat pasta with pesto. My BF had made me a really nice dinner on Saturday for our belated Valentine's celebration, and we had left over pesto (from a jar). I don't like to waste food, so decided to use the rest of the pesto last night. I topped my pasta with oven-roasted almonds and some cheese that was also left over for Saturday's dinner. So, nothing amazing but it was yummy. :)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Vegetarian chili, topped with veggie cheese

I had hoped to explore more adventurous recipes, but since starting this blog, I've been crunched for time. I have a vendor showcase coming up for my candles, which I'm really excited about because it's my first local showcase. But my focus has been about getting ready for that rather than which new recipe I'm going to try. I've been relying on a lot of my standard veggie favorites lately, including my veggie chili.

I've been making this chili recipe ever since I went veg. It's based on a recipe in one of my mom's cookbooks. (Can't remember the cookbook name at the moment; if I find out, I'll post it here.) I've modified the recipe in various ways over the years--the original recipe didn't use a 'meat' substitute, but I've been adding one in. Sometimes I'll add in a can of tomato soup. Basically, the recipe has evolved into a concoction of whatever I have on hand. Sometimes I put corn in it. Last night, I put some yellow and green peppers in it because I had some in the fridge that were going to go bad. Yet, my chili recipe does have some basic ingredients that make it into every batch, and I'll be posting my recipe over at veggieboards.com. The photo featured here shows the chili topped with veggie cheese.

What I especially love about chili is that I can cook it in the crockpot while I'm at work, and come home to a hot meal--ready to eat! AND, this particular recipe freezes extremely well so I always package up the leftovers, which then become lunches that I can grab from the freezer while heading out the door to work. :)

Saturday, February 10, 2007


Last night I made oven-baked potatoes for dinner. Didn't use a specific recipe per se, but one of the things about Friday nights is that I usually use that as my 'comfort food' night. It's the end of the work week... and usually I am *ready* to go home and relax and delight in the fact that I don't have to work for two days! So, I've gotten into the habit of enjoying comfort foods for Friday dinners. Friday nights are great for pizza... or sometimes I'll pick up my favorite Thai dish from the local Thai restaurant. Last night, though, I wanted to make something I could post on this blog. ;) I bought a sack of potatoes last weekend, and fearing they'd be going bad soon, I thought oven-baked fries would be easy and use up some of the potatoes... ok, one potato. I don't bake a lot of potatos for that reason... I hate buying a sack and feeling like I have to eat nothing but potatos until they're gone. As a single person, I find it difficult to get through a sack of potatos before they go bad. Yeah, I know, I could buy them one at a time at the store, but for some reason I don't... at least not very often. I had this particular sack of potatoes in the house because I've been using some of them as a base ingredient for a mixture that I stuff my dog's hollow bones/kongs with before freezing them.

Anyway, to make these oven-baked potatoes, I preheated the oven to 450 degrees, sliced my potatoes, tossed them with Carapelli extra virgin olive oil and Mrs. Dash Onion and Herb blend. I arranged them on a cookie sheet and baked them for 15 minutes, turned them over and then baked for an additional 15 minutes. Not too bad. They weren't super crunchy, so they probably could've stayed in the oven a little bit longer.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Honey Fried Tofu

Found a recipe for Honey Fried Tofu at veggieboards.com. Personally, I like tofu but haven't been very creative in cooking it--until now. I made this for dinner last night and modified the recipe slightly by using canola oil instead of butter; it seemed to work just fine. :)

I decided to use it in a salad of mixed greens, mushrooms, red pepper, cherry tomatoes, sliced apple, walnut bits and craisins, sprinkled with flaxseed meal. And, of course, no salad of mine would be complete without Annie's Naturals Organic Papaya Poppy Seed dressing on top. I'm soooooooo addicted to this dressing--it's AWESOME!

I liked this recipe a lot; truly yummy! And, it smelled GREAT the entire time I was cooking it. :) The recipe says vegans can substitute maple syrup instead of honey; I'm definitely up for giving that version a try, too, especially if it'll turn out as yummy as this.

Have plenty of Honey Fried Tofu left over... will have to think of another way to use it this week--other than a salad!

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Irish Stew, Vegetarian Style

Mmm, made this yummy Irish Stew yesterday. The original recipe was meat-based, but I substituted the Morningstar Farms Grillers Recipe Crumbles. Best of all, I was able to cook this recipe in my crookpot/slow cooker, so with a little prep time the night before, I had a delicious, hot vegetarian meal waiting for me after work. And this particular one hit the spot because it's been so cold here in Michigan lately.

My boyfriend--a meat eater--enjoyed this one too, though he did say he liked my veggie chili better because the chili has more spice. But, he said this particular meal hit the spot yesterday... it's one of those comfort foods. Nice and hot on a bitterly cold winter day. :)

I posted this recipe over at VeggieBoards.com