Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Thanks Pinterest!

So I've been kinda busy, kinda lazy these past few weeks. I became deathly ill (at least it felt like it) for about a week so we mainly ate frozen pizza. Then I interviewed for a position in Raleigh and got it! So I've been busy packing up boxes. I'm super excited!!

Anyway, this past week I've been on pinterest a bit more and found this recipe for Mexican Stuffed Shells from The Way To His Heart. It was pretty easy to veganize and I'm really glad I did! Two of my favorite types of food combined, really it couldn't be bad. I could not find shells at my grocery though, so I used manicotti instead.

Mexican Pasta
What You Need:

  • 1 lb vegetarian crumbles (I used Morning Star but the Boca version is really good too) 
  • 1 package taco seasoining
  • 4 oz vegan cream cheese
  • 1 package manicotti shells
  • 1.5 cups salsa
  • 1 cup taco sauce (found in the Mexican section)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar & monterey jack cheese mix
  • Green onions and sour cream to top
The Process: 
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cook the pasta according to the packaging. 
  3. Meanwhile, in a frying pan, combine the 'meat' crumbles, taco seasoning, and cream cheese. Heat on medium low, stirring occasionally, until the cream cheese melts. Once it melts, remove from heat. 
  4. Once the pasta is cooked through, pour the salsa over the bottom of your casserole dish. Stuff some of the 'meat' mixture into each manicotti/shell and lay them over the salsa. Pour the taco sauce over the pasta and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Top with the cheese and bake for another 20 minutes. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Sausage Lasagna

As far as I can remember, when my mom made lasagna she made it this way. Don't get me wrong, it's delicious, but I was ready to try out a new recipe. We had some leftover sausage from the jambalaya and I figured now was as good a time as any to try making sausage lasagna. I kinda winged it (wung it?) for this one and just went wherever my nose took me and it turned out beautifully. I felt like Remy from Ratatouille. 

Sausage Lasagna
What You Need:
  • 9 cooked lasagna noodles
  • 1 jar sauce (if you make your own pasta sauce, more power to ya) 
  • 2 (vegan) sausage links/roughly 1 lb sausage links
  • 1/2 large green pepper, chopped
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 8 oz firm tofu (8 oz ricotta cheese if you're not going the vegan route) 
  • 1 tbsp dry basil
  • 1 tbsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 package (vegan) shredded mozzarella cheese
The Process: 
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Slice the sausage links to make half inch quarter pieces and slice the tofu (if using) into small squares. Add to large mixing bowl and mash with a potato masher until the tofu resembles ricotta cheese texture.
  3. Chop up the vegetables and add to the sausage mixture along with 1/4 cup of pasta sauce and 1/4 cup of cheese and the spices. 
  4. Pour 1/4 cup of pasta sauce on the bottom of your casserole dish. Lay 3 or so lasagna noodles down (depending on the shape and size of your dish), cover with half of the sausage mixture. Then add 3 more noodles and cover that with 1/4 cup of pasta sauce. Add the remaining sausage mixture and cover with the last of the lasagna noodles. Top it off with the rest of the pasta sauce and mozzarella cheese. 
  5. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Feeling Adventurous?

So we've been in a cooking rut. Seriously. It's been a lot of pasta and Mexican. So, I decided it was time to seriously switch things up. I guess after making the switch from vegan to vegetarian it was easier to just make things I already knew how to do.

So, what did I make while in this adventurous mood? Jambalaya! I've never made it before, and honestly, didn't think I'd like it all that much. I suggested it to Chris in passing as an option for our meal plan and he was so enthusiastic about it I knew I was being suckered into making it. You live and learn, right? Anyway, I'm really glad he did because it was amazing! I found the original recipe on, and of course tweaked it because that's how I roll.

Vegetarian Jambalaya
What You Need:

  • 1/2 cup (vegan) butter
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 serrano chili pepper (2 if you're like me and like your food extra spicy)
  • 1 tbsp creole (to be honest, I didn't have this so I used Old Bay seasoning with some cumin powder. They were close enough in my book) 
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 pound (vegan/vegetarian) sausage
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 cups brown rice
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can of chopped tomatoes
The Process: 
  1. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. 
  2. Add the onions, green onions, bell pepper, garlic, serrano chili pepper, celery, and the seasonings. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes, vegetable broth, sausage, and rice. 
  4. Reduce heat to low, cover, and let cook until the rice is tender. 

I wish I were a better photographer. I feel like this picture should ooze tasty. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Breakfast Of Course

Holy cow Batman! I haven't posted in ages. I have been slacking. To be honest, I just haven't been in the cooking mood. The things I have cooked recently are regulars in our household and are already on the blog. This morning, though, I was feeling adventurous. I've been craving pumpkin lately, I have no idea why, and so I made baked pumpkin oatmeal. Top it with some warm syrup and it's heavenly!

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal
What You Need:

  • 2 1/2 cups dry oats
  • 1 can pumpkin
  • 1 1/4 cup (vanilla soy) milk
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 4 tsp cinnamon (plus some to sprinkle on the top) 
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
The Process:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients, the canned pumpkin, and the oats in a bowl, then cover the bottom of your casserole dish with the oat mixture. 
  3. Mix the milk, syrup, and vanilla in another bowl. Pour this mixture over the oats. Top it with the raisins and if you're a cinnamon fanatic like me, sprinkle more cinnamon on the top. 
  4. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Serve with warm syrup. 

I'm sure you're wondering what is in my mug. Okay okay, I'll tell you. It's my vanilla mocha latte :) It is 1/4th chocolate almond milk, 1/4th vanilla soy milk, and half coffee which equals pure joy in a cup. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Buttermilk Pancakes

I was thinking, maybe I should come up with a clever name and post breakfast type foods on a specific day. Probably Sunday since that's when I have my fancy breakfasts. Well, by fancy I mean something other than just a banana. Anyway, if you have any suggestions of what my breakfast day should be called, please let me know! I'll try to do a little brainstorming myself.

This week I tweaked a vegan pancake recipe from my fav cookbook Get Healthy, Go Vegan. Using a skill I learned while making the Cinnamon Rolls, I turned my vanilla soy milk into buttermilk which I personally think made these pancakes so much better.

Vegan Buttermilk Pancakes
What You Need:
  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/3 cup (vanilla) soy milk
  • 1 tbsp white distilled vinegar 
  • blueberries (optional)
The Process: 
  1. Pour the vinegar into a cup containing the soy milk and let it sit for about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, mix the dry ingredients and heat the pan. 
  3. Once the 'buttermilk' is ready, add it to the dry ingredients and mix in the blueberries if you chose to have them. 
  4. Poor the batter onto a non-stick pan or oiled pan. Flip when it starts to bubble, about 1-2 minutes per side. 

I hope you all have a wonderful Mother's Day! 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Softball Fuel

Now that I'm on my (9 day) summer break, I started cooking a little more. I've also gotten a little more experimental and cooked with quinoa and sweet potatoes tonight! Only my second time cooking with either of those ingredients. And it turned out wonderfully, if I do say so myself. I found the original recipe here at Good Life Eats, but it was a guest post by Some the Wiser, and of course I tweaked it some to suit my taste buds (I really don't like olives).

Sweet Chick Quinoa Wrap
What You Need:
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • black pepper to taste
  • Whole wheat flat bread/tortillas
The Process: 
  1. In a large pan, cook quinoa and nutritional yeast in the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally. 
  2. Meanwhile, boil the sweet potatoes for about 15 minutes, or until soft. 
  3. Once the quinoa is finished cooking, add remaining ingredients to the large pan and simmer until all of the mixture is warm. Fill your wrap and enjoy! 

With the combination of carbs and fats, it was the perfect fuel for Chris before his community softball game. Sasha loves cheering for her daddy. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Grillin' Out

We celebrated my pseudo graduation last weekend by firing up the grill for the first time this spring/summer. I was too lazy to attempt to make tasty vegan burgers so I just bought Boca Burgers. However, Christopher and I worked together to make his burgers extra yummy. I may be vegan but I still have mean grillin' out skills.

Best Burger
What You Need:

  • 2 lbs hamburger meat
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 package onion soup mix
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 3/4 cup instant oats
  • 1 egg
The Process:
  1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl
  2. Using wax paper, shape each burger
  3. Grill and enjoy :) 

My burgers are the ones on the left. Just ignore the one that decided to be blazingly bright. 

We topped ours with tomato, onion, spinach, and mushrooms. The mushrooms were camera shy I suppose. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Summer Break

Finals are over! I walked across the stage today :) I have a couple of classes to take over the summer but I am so close to being done with undergrad that I can almost taste it! My parents came to town for the graduation ceremony and afterwards my mom said she and my sister needed to go to the fabric store. Perfect!, I thought. I've had an unfinished project in my kitchen for months. I found the absolute best fabric that incorporates all the colors we use in the kitchen!

The project started off with this piece of furniture. Originally a cabinet I suppose? I'm not sure what you call this, but the doors had fallen off years ago and it was a dull tan that didn't fit in at all with our kitchen.

I started off by sanding it down to get it closer to the original wood. I then used paint we had lying around to paint it. I used a white we used for the trim in the living room and the same blue I painted the canvas with.

As you can see from the above two pictures, we keep dog food in this cabinet. We also have a bin of dog toys that go in there. It's convenient to have a place to put them but they were kind of unsightly in the kitchen, right by the table. So, today, I added fabric curtains! 

I attached them using little squares of velcro. I did this for two reasons. The first being because this is where the dog stuff goes and the dogs know that and hang out by it so the fabric is bound to get dirty. With velcro I can take it off, wash it, and put it back on! The second being that I can change it later if I decide the flowers are too bold or summery. Maybe later I'll do a plaid for the fall and winter? Either way, right now it makes me smile :D

Sunday, April 29, 2012

French Toast

I have really loved waking up on a Sunday morning and having a nice breakfast. Normally I just eat a banana or an apple for breakfast so I can get extra sleep on my busier days. I still work on Sundays but don't go in until noon. That leaves all morning to relax :)

This week's Sunday morning breakfast was french toast. This was my absolute favorite breakfast food growing up. Actually, it still is. I freaking love french toast. I was really excited when I found a vegan recipe for it in my favorite cookbook, Get Healthy, Go Vegan. I adapted it to suit my obsession with cinnamon and vanilla with the result of amazing vegan french toast!

Vegan French Toast
What You Need:

  • 8oz/1 pkg silken tofu
  • 1/2 cup vanilla soy/almond milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • Sliced whole wheat bread
The Process:
  1. Add all the ingredients, except the bread, to the blender. Blend on low until it is a smooth liquid. 
  2. Dip the bread slices into the mixture and place onto a heated pan. Cook on each side for about 3 minutes per side. 

I had mine with maple syrup and a glass of soy milk. It was a wonderful start to the day! 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Flower Power

Once, at a party where I knew next to no one a girl walked up to me and asked "Are you a hippie?". I wasn't wearing tie-dye and I didn't have flowers in my hair but Chris quickly answered "Yes, she is." What makes someone a 'hippie' these days? Is it because I like to garden and don't eat meat? That seems silly to me. But, I will say that I do love a good flower halo.
My great-grandmother, fittingly nick named "Wowee", taught me how to make a flower halo when I was about 8 or 9 years old. I think of her every time I make one. She told me she and her friends would make them all the time when she was a little girl. 

If being vegan makes me a hippie then by golly I'll take it. This vegan version asparagus pizza is to die for! I found it here at Dainty Chef and adapted it to suit my needs. The main difference is that I used garlic hummus in place of spreadable garlic herb cheese. I wish I had had the time to make my homemade pizza dough but exams week stress struck again and we just went with a store bought one. 

Asparagus Pizza
What You Need: 
  • Pizza dough
  • Asparagus spears
  • 4 oz shredded (vegan) mozzarella
  • 4 tbsp garlic hummus
  • 1/2 spinach leaves
  • Olive oil for brushing
The Process: 
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, or according to the packaging. 
  2. Brush the dough with the olive oil. Spread the garlic hummus across the dough. Then add the spinach. Top with the mozzarella and the shaved asparagus (you can shave the asparagus spears using a vegetable peeler). 
  3. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Spinach Baked Ziti

I'm pleased to announce that I have gone local and haven't been to Starbucks in days! Days yall! That's a long time for me during exams week. Instead, I have been going to a new coffee shop downtown called the Scullery. It's quieter than Starbucks, therefore, more conducive to studying and writing papers. And, of course, it's a local business.

And all of that has nothing to do with the recipe I'm sharing today. Today I'm sharing spinach baked ziti. I use to make it all the time and it was always a huge hit and impressed my (college) friends. I made it so often that I grew tired of it and just now made it for Chris for the first time, and we've been together for nearly three years. Chris devoured it so I'm assuming it was a huge hit for him as well.

Spinach Baked Ziti
What You Need:

  • 1 lb/1 package ziti
  • 8 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 8 oz chopped mushrooms
  • 8 oz shredded (vegan) mozzarella 
  • 1 jar pasta sauce
  • 1 lb tofu, mashed
The Process: 
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cook ziti according to packaging. 
  2. In a large bowl mix the spinach, mushrooms, 1/2 of mozzarella, 1/2 sauce and the tofu. Once pasta is cooked, add it to the mixture. 
  3. Put the mixture into your casserole dish. Cover with the remaining pasta sauce and top it with remaining cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes. 
We had ours with a whole wheat Italian bread loaf and a spinach salad. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Feeling Crafty

It's exams week. Ugh. I know I'm stressed when I cry in the library. So, when I came home I looked in my craft bag/closet (it started as just a bag of craft supplies in a closet but the supplies have taken over the entire closet) for something I could do tonight as a stress reliever. I know yall might be surprised to learn that I usually craft a lot more than I have in the past few months. In my bag/closet of crafts I found some paint, rope, a canvas and some paint pens.

The blue paint is one that I also used to paint part of a piece of furniture in the kitchen. Eventually that project will make it to the blog, but for now you should know that white and blues are the main two colors we want to have in our kitchen with an intent on a "beach cottage" feel. So the rope obviously was going to make the perfect "frame" for the canvas. I attached it using a simple hot glue gun.

I was SUPER excited because while watching Forks Over Knives I discovered my new favorite quote and wanted to incorporate it in the kitchen somehow. I don't know why the letters look yellow, but I used a white paint pen.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Broke Man's Dinner

Rice and beans. If you've ever been in a tight spot financially you have probably been told you should eat more rice and beans. I once ate this for dinner every night for a week. Last summer, while I was in Spain, Chris asked what he could make for $5 and still have leftovers. I told him my special rice and beans recipe. He liked it so much he started making it all the time while I was away. You can eat it as is, or in a burrito, or with chicken on top.

Tonight, we chose to eat it in burritos. 

Rice & Beans:
What You Need: 
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked brown rice
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
The Process:
  1. Cook the rice according to the packaging. To make it a quick meal, use instant brown rice. 
  2. In a pan mix the rice, beans, salsa, and chili powder. Let simmer until the mixture is warm. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Yummy Breakfast

Hello again, I feel like I haven't posted in ages. I've been working more and cooking less so I felt like I had nothing to contribute. But today, I have a delicious oatmeal breakfast to share with yall! I found the original recipe here at Kate's Recipe Box and just knew I had to create a vegan version.

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal
What You Need:

  • 1 1/2 cups oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup (almond) milk
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon applesauce
  • 2 tbsp melted (vegan) margarine
  • 1 large apple or two small apples, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup raisins
The Process:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and spray your casserole dish with cooking oil. 
  2. In a medium bowl mix the oats, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In a small bowl mix the syrup, milk, applesauce, and margarine.
  3. Put the apple pieces on the bottom of the dish along with half of the raisins. Cover with the oat mixture the distribute the milk mixture over the oats. Top it off with the remaining raisins. Bake for 35 minutes. 

I especially loved how the house smelled while it was baking. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Productive Weekend

Chris and I started on our backyard project this weekend! We have a weird area that won't grow grass so we've decided to do a stone pathway. Just from the first stones, I can tell I'm going to really like it! It'll take a few weeks to finish due to our busy schedules but I'll show yall once it's finished :)

I also started studying for finals and worked this weekend so I'd say the past couple of days were a success! Again, I decided on a quick meal for dinner. Are you surprised? Start to finish, this one took 30 minutes. It's an adaption of a recipe from my favorite cook book, Get Healthy, Go Vegan.

Artichoke Fusilli
What You Need:

  • 2 1/2 cups uncooked whole wheat fusilli
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, cut into quarters
  • 1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine (I used a chardonnay) 
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • pepper to taste
The Process:
  1. Cook the pasta according to the package.
  2. Heat the broth over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the tomato, artichoke hearts, wine and black pepper. Lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the basil.
  3. Serve the artichoke mixture over the cooked pasta and enjoy with a nice glass of wine :) 

Friday, April 13, 2012

A New Favorite

I can always tell when a new recipe is a hit by how little of the meal is left the next day. Last night's Veggie Baked Ziti was a new favorite of Christopher's. He made up his mind before he even tasted it, silly goose.

I especially like this baked ziti because it has so many different types of veggies in it. It's great for the same reason Rainy Day Soup is great, you can use up all of those left over vegetables in your fridge! I didn't make as many quesadillas as I expected (turns out they're more filling than they look) so I had a lot of squash and zucchini left over. Combine that with my recent craving for baked ziti and I give you Veggie Baked Ziti!

Veggie Baked Ziti
What You Need:

  • 2 cups uncooked ziti
  • 1 large summer squash, sliced
  • 1 large zucchini, sliced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce (I used a garden medley sauce)
  • 1 package (vegan) mozzarella cheese
The Process: 
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and cook the pasta according to the packaging.
  2. In a heated, oiled skillet add the onion and garlic and saute until the onion is soft. 
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked pasta, onion and garlic mixture, chopped veggies, spaghetti sauce, and 3/4 cups mozzarella cheese. Mix all together and scoop into a casserole dish. Top with all remaining cheese.
  4. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. 

Eventually I'll master taking good pictures of casseroles. It's way harder than it looks. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Yet Another Quick & Easy Dinner

I am seriously all about dinners that are ready, from start to finish, within 30 minutes. Especially now that it is warmer outside, I'd rather be spending my evenings taking a walk with Chris and the dogs than cooking dinner for hours. Last night's dinner was no exception. We had vegetable quesadillas, ready in just 15 minutes! I love that these quesadillas have the squash in them because it compliments the cheddar cheese really well.

Summer Squash Quesadillas
What You Need:

  • 1 package whole wheat tortillas
  • 1 package (vegan) cheddar cheese
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 8 ozs mushrooms
  • 1 summer squash, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • (vegan) sour cream and salsa to top it off
The Process:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. While it is heating, chop up all the vegetables that you would like to put on your quesadilla. 
  2. Put 1/4 cup of cheese on a tortilla. Add the vegetables and then add another 1/4 cup of cheese over the vegetables. Top with the second tortilla and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. 
  3. Serve with salsa and sour cream. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Date Night

Tonight, on a whim, we decided to have a date night. It had been a month since our last one so we were pretty excited. We went and saw Hunger Games, which was awesome! I'll definitely need to read the books to find out what happens next. After the movie, Chris noticed that there was a frozen yogurt store, Loreta's, next to the theater. I begrudgingly agreed to go in, thinking there would be nothing I could have there. I happily admit that I was wrong. Loreta's had a delicious strawberry sorbet!

You get your own soft serve dessert and then go to the toppings bar to add toppings to your heart's desire :) We will definitely be going back.

We came back home for dinner and I made a creamy pepper pasta. I use to eat pasta nearly every day so I was thrilled to have a creamy pasta tonight to finish off our date night.

Creamy Pepper Pasta
What You Need:

  • 1 lb/1 package fettuccini pasta
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon: zest from the lemon and 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups (soy) milk
  • 1 cup (vegan) cheddar cheese
The Process:
  1. Cook the pasta according to the packaging.
  2. While the pasta is cooking slice the peppers and cook them in the oiled pan at medium heat. Add the lemon zest, pepper, and lemon juice and cook for 5 minutes. 
  3. Add the pasta, milk, and cheese. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently, until the milk mixture is creamy rather than watery. 
We served ours with a french loaf. Chris also had his with broccoli and cheese stuffed chicken that he bought from our grocery. 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Sloppy Joes

Before we get to the recipe, I'm excited to say that Chris and I have figured out what we want to do to improve the backyard and it should cost less than $50! We currently have a weird spot that won't grow grass, a dirt pathway, and then another weird spot that won't grow grass. Hopefully we'll be tackling this project next weekend and I can show yall.

Now on to the sloppy joes! Sloppy joes has always been a favorite of mine. After becoming vegetarian I tried a few different recipes before deciding I preferred lentils for my joes and to make them the way I use to, just with lentils now.

Lentil Sloppy Joes
What You Need:

  • 4 cups cooked lentils
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper, finely chopped
  • 3/4-1 1/4 cups ketchup
  • 2 tbsp (vegan) Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • Whole wheat buns
The Process:
  1. The easiest way to prepare for this meal would be to soak the uncooked lentils over night. If you do this, it will only take you about 5 minutes to make this meal. If you choose to cook them the day of, be prepared to let them cook for a couple of hours stove top. 
  2. Chop up the celery and green pepper.
  3. Once the lentils are ready, add them to a large pan and turn the heat to medium-low. Add the condiments, celery, and green pepper. Mix all together and let sit in the pan until warm. 
  4. Serve on toasted hamburger buns. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Easter Already?

That's how I felt when I looked at the calender today. And then I had a smack my head moment since just yesterday we decided to do baskets for each other on a budget of $20 each. Panic mode! So after work I hit up Dollar Tree and Target and completed the basket in less than an hour. Yay me! Although, I might cheat and make it $30 because I really want to get a nice beer to go with the basket.

What's in it, you ask?

  • Wooden brain teaser, $1
  • Cadbury eggs, $3
  • Peeps, $1
  • Plastic eggs, $1
  • Chocolate bunny, $1
  • Basket, $1
  • Mrs. Fields mini chocolate sampler, $1
  • Beer mug, $1 (why I want nice beers to add to it)
  • Grass, $1
  • Jelly beans, $1
  • Chocolate eggs, $1
  • Bubble bath, $5

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Grilled Cheese Upgrade

Remember when you were younger a grilled cheese sandwich was super fun! Yup, they still are! But now, they are upgraded with nicer cheese and avocado. Now it seems nice enough for dinner but still ready in 15 minutes :)

Avocado Grilled Cheese
What You Need:

  • shredded (vegan) cheddar and Monterey jack cheese
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 package sun-dried tomatoes
  • whole wheat bread
  • (vegan) margarine
The Process:
  1. Heat the pan on medium-low. Spread the margarine on one side of each slice of bread. And slice the avocado into thin slices. 
  2. Put the bread, butter side down, onto the pan. Add 1/4-1/2 cup of cheese, avocado slices and sun-dried tomatoes to each sandwich. Top with another slice of bread, butter side up. 
  3. Cook on each side for about 3-5 minutes. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

My First Feature!

This past week I had my first feature! I am thrilled! Savannah's Savory Bites featured my Mexican Casserole. If you're interested in seeing the Feature Friday I was featured in just click here.

Tonight, Christopher made dinner because I was nervous about it. We had an adaption of Spicy Beans on Baked Sweet Potato from Vegetarian: Tasty Recipes for Every Day. I am sad to say I have never cooked a sweet potato before. After watching Chris do it, I now know it is way easy and I can't believe I was afraid to cook this.

Spicy Beans on Baked Sweet Potato
What You Need:

  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 13 oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 large zucchini, cubed
  • 1 green bell pepper, cubed
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 2 cans red kidney beans
  • (vegan) Sour cream and (vegan) shredded cheddar cheese for toppings
The Process: 
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Rinse the sweet potatoes, add slits with a knife and place them on a baking tray. Bake for 1-1.5 hours, or until soft. 
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the onion over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and spices, and cook for another minute.
  3. Add the tomato, stock, vegetables and beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes. Uncover, increase the heat slightly, and cook for another 10-15 minutes. 
  4. To serve, cut the cooked sweet potatoes in half lengthways. Spoon the vegetable mixture over the top. Finish it off with the sour cream and cheddar cheese. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Sunday Morning Breakfast

I made a breakfast! I baked! I am so excited! When I originally decided to become vegan I knew my biggest hurdle would be learning how to bake again. I love baking so this was monumental for me. I made homemade vegan cinnamon rolls! I found this recipe on pinterest but you can find the original source here.

They were really easy to make! From start to finish it only took me 40 minutes to make these. Perfect for a Sunday morning breakfast :) Soy milk was the perfect compliment to these cinnamon rolls. We will definitely be having these again soon!

The only tweak I will be doing for the next batch is doubling the filling (the cinnamon, sugar and margarine mix). It was delicious the way it was but I LOVE extra filling in mine. 

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Pizza By Request

I love having friends over for dinner. I love it even more when they are excited to eat my food! Although, if I'm honest with myself, my friends are mostly college students and would be excited for any free meal. But, I like to think it's because of my cooking. My friend Courtney requested homemade pizza, and I'm glad she did since it made me remember how much I freakin' LOVE pizza! I doubled the recipe so we each made our own pizza, which made it a lot of fun.

This is an adaption to my mama's recipe. I always end up adding more flour after letting it sit so I've included that as well as added the nutritional yeast and more sugar.

Homemade Pizza Dough
What You Need:

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 packet yeast
  • 1/2 cup white flour
  • 1 1/2 cups wheat flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup flour, use as needed
The Process: 
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, mix 1 cup warm water with the sugar and yeasts. Set aside for 5-10 minutes. Let it get frothy. 
  3. In a large bowl mix the flours and salt. Add the yeast mixture and olive oil. Stir with a spoon until the dough starts holding together. Knead the dough for about 8 minutes. (This is where I usually end up adding some more flour, but not a whole cup.) Cover dough with a tea towel and let set for an hour. 
  4. Pour some of the extra flour onto the pizza pan. Knead dough into the shape you want, flipping it at least once to be sure it does not stick to the pan. 
  5. Add whatever toppings you would like and cook for 15-20 minutes. 
Our friend Courtney's pizza

Chris' pizza; He seized his chance to add extra meat to his meal

My pizza; I can't believe I thought being vegan would be difficult. 

Friday, March 30, 2012

Spicy Tofu Stir-Fry

I have been wanting to do a stir-fry for FOREVER. But, alas, Chris was adamant that he hates them. I finally decided I wanted to make one so bad that I put it on the weekly menu, told him it wasn't your average stir-fry, and he would like it. Sure enough, he liked it. I loved it. The best part, from start to finish it took less than 3o minutes! Including chopping all the veggies :)

Spicy Tofu Stir-Fry
What You Need:

  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 cup cut cauliflower 
  • 1 cup cut broccoli
  • 1 package firm/extra firm tofu, diced
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
The Process:
  1. Heat the wok/pan until very hot. Add the cumin and coriander, and dry-fry the spices for a minute. Add the oil with the garlic, ginger, and chilli powder. Stir-fry briefly. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the cauliflower and broccoli, and stir-fry until they are cooked through but still crisp. Add the tofu and lemon juice and toss well until it is coated with the spices. Serve hot.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Tofu Lasagna!

No clever titles here tonight, just our excitement for Tofu Lasagna! In fact, Chris' request for this dish is what started the idea of a favorites week. Direct quote from the man himself, "I never thought I'd love vegan lasagna so much!" In fact, this may have been the first meal I ever made for Chris, but I didn't use vegan cheese that time. It's my mama's recipe which automatically makes it a classic in my eyes.

Tofu Lasagna
What You Need:

  • 1 package firm or extra firm tofu
  • 1 package, or about 7 or 8 ozs of frozen chopped spinach
  • lasagna noodles
  • 1 package (vegan) mozzarella
  • 1 jar pasta sauce
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 4 ozs mushrooms, sliced (optional)
  • 1 tbsp oregano
The Process:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cook the pasta in boiling water.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, defrost the spinach. In a large bowl mash up the tofu, add the spinach, 1/4 cup of the cheese, nutritional yeast, 1/2 cup pasta sauce and oregano. Mix all together.
  3. Pour some pasta sauce onto the bottom of your casserole dish. Add some of the cooked noodles. Put the tofu mixture on top of the noodles, then the mushrooms (if using), and top the layer off with some cheese. Repeat until you're out of tofu mixture. Top it all with more noodles, pasta sauce and the remaining cheese. 
  4. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. 
Here is what my first layer looked like. 

And the finished product!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Spring Cleaning

I wouldn't say it was a pretty day here but it was a productive one. We rant some errands and I bought some fertilizer for my garden. Turns out 84 lbs of it was not enough, I guess my garden is larger than I thought. I planted my zucchini out there but it started to rain before I had the chance to plant the seeds that are suppose to be planted directly into the garden. Hopefully I'll have the chance tomorrow before heading to my internship :)

Once it started to rain we tackled some in home spring cleaning! Six Sisters had a blog post with some spring cleaning tips a few days ago that inspired me, which you can see here. I especially loved the list at the end of the post! I wouldn't think to wash the trim on a normal cleaning spree. One that we do often is the baking soda with essential oil for the bed. However, with four dogs we also use it on our rug and living room furniture. Our place smells so much better now than this morning!

Because it's favorites week, we're cooking things already on the blog. Tonight we had Kidney Bean Risotto tonight which was fantastic, of course. Tomorrow we're having Tofu Lasagna, which I can't wait to share with you all!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Start of Favorites Week!

I am so happy that Chris suggested a favorites week! It's nice to take a break from experimenting with new vegan recipes and go back to some in home classics. We kicked off our favorites week with Mexican Casserole. It was a huge hit the first time I made it a few months ago but that was before the switch to vegan. Tonight was my first attempt at a vegan version and Chris couldn't even tell the difference! Talking about it now is making my mouth water.

Mexican Casserole
What You Need:

  • 2 cans black beans
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups salsa
  • 1 can corn or 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
  • 2 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 3/4 cup (vegan) sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp cumin (optional)
  • whole wheat tortillas
  • 2 1/2 cups (vegan) Mexican blend cheese
The Process: 
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. In a large skillet, heat the black beans, taco seasoning and onion for about 5 minutes. Stir in salsa, corn, sour cream and cumin. 
  3. Spoon a generous layer on the bottom of the casserole dish, sprinkle with cheese, and top with tortillas. Repeat until you are out of the mixture. Top with tortillas and use all remaining cheese on top. 
  4. Cook in the oven for 25 minutes. Serve hot and enjoy :) 

Eating Healthy On A Budget

I am a college student and Chris is fresh out of college. It is safe to say that we are working on a budget, as many others are. One thing that I hear a lot is that eating healthy is expensive. It can be if you're not organized about it, and do what I used to do, and go to the grocery without a plan and just grab whatever you feel like it at the moment. This was costly and often led to us having nothing really to make a meal out of. Somewhere along the line I started a new habit of sitting down the day before grocery day and coming up with a dinner menu plan for the week. We have leftovers, wraps and salads for lunch and fruit, yogurt and coffee for breakfast.

Today, instead of a recipe, I'm doing a how-to: eat healthy on a budget

Eating Healthy On A Budget
What You Need:

  • A weekly planner (I bought mine from the dollar section of Michael's, it's magnetic and is always on the fridge) 

  • Cookbooks/blogs/pinterest to search through recipes you may want to try. 
  • A budget (ours is $70 a week, not including dog food or those "I just need one thing" runs to the grocery)
  • Lined paper; it can be any lined paper and size, this is to write your list on
  • A pencil
The Process: 
  1. Gather up your cookbooks and recipes you would like to try. If you're busy like me, you want to plan for quick, easy meals on the days you have a lot going on and longer, more complicated meals on your easier days. 
    1. Example: If you look above you can kind of see that on Friday/today, I'll be making Mexican Casserole. It takes about an hour to make, no big deal on a day I should be home by six. Sunday, however, I'll be out of town most of the day so we're just having leftovers for dinner. 
  2. It helps to plan a couple of meals with similar ingredients. 
    1. Example: Next Tuesday we're having Lentil Tacos, which has a lot of the same ingredients as the Mexican Casserole. This helps cut down on costs. Just be sure to not eat the similar meals back to back. 
  3. Write out your list. If you know the price of ingredients, add that to your list. 
    1. Example: I know the price of nearly everything we buy so I add it to the right side of the page. As we go along, I mark if something was on sale or cost more than expected. This helps us stay on budget and if we end up having wiggle room we get something not on the list that we enjoy such as a nice bread to go with the lasagna. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Long Week = Less Than Perfect Cooking

It has been a long week here. Extra stress lead to less than perfect cooking. I messed up a few of the recipes we tried this week which meant I had little to update here in blogland. However, Chris has requested a favorites week so we are very excited! We will be repeating some of our favorite meals, a few of which are already on the blog such as the Kidney Bean Risotto and Pita Pizza while others haven't made appearances yet but will next week!

Saturday I will be working on the garden and planting a few of the baby plants such as the zucchini and crookneck squash. Both are doing really well and I can't wait to finally have some plants in the garden!

Yesterday was another long hard day for me so I was really excited when I came home and Christopher had taken the initiative to see what was planned for dinner and prepared it :) So while none of the meals I personally prepared this week were hits, his stuffed bell peppers were!

Black Bean Stuffed Bell Pepper
What You Need:

  • 4 large bell peppers
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans or one can black beans
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
The Process:
  1. Cut the tops off the bell peppers, save them for later use, and remove and discard the seeds and membranes. Arrange the peppers upright in a slowcooker. 
  2. In a medium size mixing bowl, combine the rice, beans, salsa and onions. Mix well. Fill the pepper cavities evenly with the rice and bean mixture, packing it lightly. Replace the pepper tops.
  3. In the same bowl, combine the tomatoes, cumin, oregano, and super. Pour over and around the peppers in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours. 

This was a great meal for us because a stuffed bell pepper is enough to fill me up but Chris wanted more and ate his with mojito chicken. If we didn't just have these last night they could easily be on our favorites list for next week! 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

What About Lunch?

So I've been blogging here for nearly two months and have yet to say a word about what I eat for lunch, except once when I ate on campus. I swear, I do eat lunch at home. Normally, it's leftovers. But, if I make a few meals in a row that have basically the same ingredients, or are mainly pasta dishes then I know I need something different for lunch to get a variety of nutrients. My favorite way to do this is to make a wrap. It's quick and easy and stuffed to the brim with all sorts of veggies and seeds. Today, I made a Pepper and Hummus Wrap.

Pepper and Hummus Wrap
What You Need:

  • Hummus
  • 1/4 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/4 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 small carrot, chopped
  • 1 tbsp husked sunflower seeds 
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds (optional)
  • Whole wheat wrap or flatbread
The Process:
  1. Put hummus and veggies on the wrap/bread. Sprinkle the seeds on top. Roll it up and enjoy! 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Oh The Places You Will Grow!

We have a shared fence with out neighbor. Their dog has created a long hole at the bottom of the fence and there have been numerous altercations between our dogs and theirs at this location. We have tried a few ways to fix it with no avail. After a particularly bad altercation, I stood in the backyard trying to figure out what in the world we could use to temporarily fix the issue until we had the chance to go buy some chicken wire. Then I spotted this cooler...    
I keep seeing all these alternative planters on pinterest and thought, why not? I just planted some seeds in a flower kit and some would be perfect container plants! But, me being me, I couldn't leave the cooler looking like this. It was a beautiful afternoon so I seized the opportunity to paint the cooler!

It's hard to see in this picture but I painted the phrase "Oh the places you will grow!" on the front. It's a twist of one of my favorite Dr. Seuss' quotes. I'm leaving the lid on for now because the flowers won't be ready for transplant for a few more weeks and I don't want anything else growing in there. I am so excited and can hardly wait to post a picture next month of how it looks with flowers and herbs in it!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Spring is Near!

The forecast for later this week is all upper 70's and sunny! I am so excited to start really working on my garden. I've been on the prowl for some pallets. I've been feeling extra college broke lately so I'm not quite ready to go buy some, but I just may end up doing that if I don't find any in the next couple of weeks.

I got home from my internship a little early tonight so I was excited to be able to make a slightly more complicated dinner. By complicated, I mean I roasted my own red peppers. It is another slow cooker recipe, which I love. It is loosely based off of a recipe from Saving Dinner the Vegetarian Way.

Roasted Pepper Pasta Bake
What You Need:

  • 1 lb whole wheat elbow shells
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup (soy) mozzarella 
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • Savory (a seasoning that came with the spice rack) and black pepper to taste
The Process:
  1. Cook pasta until it's chewy but not ready. Set aside.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, put 1 tbsp olive oil in a heated pan. Cook onion and fennel seeds until onions are soft.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes and crushed garlic. Bring to a boil. 
  4. Pour the tomato mix in a slow cooker. Add the pasta and mix. Top with the mozzarella. Cook on low for 4 hours or on high for 2 hours. 
  5. 30 minutes before the pasta bake is ready, slice the red pepper. Place on aluminum foil with some olive oil. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. 
  6. Top the pasta bake with the roasted pepper and seasoning. Enjoy :) 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Rainy Day Soup

It was a rainy day here in NC today which means, Rainy Day Soup! That is what I call the soup that I make on cold, rainy days. On days like today, I don't want to cook anything fancy, I just want to curl up on the couch and watch a movie.

There usually is no recipe, which is what I love about it. I just throw in whatever extra veggies we have in the fridge, and let it cook in the crock pot for a few hours. Today's Rainy Day Soup was extra good though so I wanted to document it and share with yall.

Rainy Day Soup
What You (always) Need:
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 28 oz can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced 
What I Added Today:
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 red potatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup dry navy beans
  • 1 tbsp herb's province (that's what was on the label, it came with a bunch of spices my mom gave Chris for Christmas last year) 
  • 1 cup frozen corn
The Process:
  1. Peel potatoes and carrots, and chop/dice all fresh vegetables.
  2. Add everything to the crock pot. Set on low and cook for 6 hours. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Day Trip Success!

This week is my spring break! Yay! Since we're trying to pay off some bills we decided to stay home this year. However, I couldn't resist a day trip to Wilmington, NC to visit my friend Cortney. I was a little nervous about how I would do considering we'd be eating out for dinner and snacks before hand.

We started our road trip with Starbucks, of course! A soy latte is exactly what I needed to jump start the trip. When we got onto Wrightsville we stopped to get some snacks. Christopher got twizzlers, I've never seen the appeal of those. I got potato chips. My old favorite is not vegan friendly, so I had BBQ instead. We took Sasha, one of the dogs, for a walk on the beach, which was a blast! She'd never been before so we enjoyed seeing her reaction.

I was nervous about dinner because we were going to dinner with Cortney and her new boyfriend. I didn't want to cause any problems with where we went so when Cortney suggested Front Street Brewery, we went along with it. The restaurant had a veggie burger option and I was really proud of myself for remembering to ask whether it was a boca burger or another brand. I was pleasantly surprised that Cortney knew that I needed to ask that too! It was a boca burger, so I had that and we ordered pita and hummus for our appetizer. Unfortunately, I forgot to ask how they cook their veggies, which is what I ordered for my side. As soon as I put the piece of broccoli in my mouth I knew it had been cooked in butter. So much for the veggies.

Here's where I admit that I had a planned cheat in mind. We went to Kilwin's for dessert and I knew I was going to get something. I figure one cheat every now and then won't be the end of the world and I am a complete sucker for adorable, old school ice cream shops. I justified my purchase of a caramel apple by telling myself that the main ingredient is the apple.

I would say that it was an overall success, with my only real slip up having been planned.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Fun/Interesting questions I have been asked thus far:

1) Can you still drink Starbucks?
          Yes! I would never change my lifestyle if it meant I could no longer drink Starbucks! They are one of the few coffee shops in my area that offer to make their lattes with soy milk.

2) Do you have to eat beans every day?
         Nope, thank God! I also get protein from the soy milk in my coffee (see a theme?), tofu, tempeh, and various vegetables.

3) Where do you get your iron if you don't eat red meat?
          Spinach mostly. I love spinach and add it to a lot of my meals and smoothies. There is also a lot of iron in many beans and broccoli.

4) How in the world do you eat like that?!
        I open my mouth, chew the food, and swallow..Sorry, couldn't resist. But really, it's not as hard as it sounds. And because I cook with so many different vegetables there are a lot of flavors in every meal. I look forward to dinner now more than I ever have.

5) Has it been hard? (usually the follow-up question to #4)
          Yes and no. Since I was a vegetarian before, most of my usual meals were easily converted into vegan ones. The challenge is when I'm out with friends and get hungry. It's hard to grab a quick bite to eat. I'm starting to get into the habit of carrying nuts or fruit with me.

I had more that made me chuckle inside but I cannot remember them at the moment. Feel free to leave any others!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Campus Is Slacking

I had lunch on my university's campus with one of my littles, Lisette, today. It was great to see her and catch up! However, the vegan options at Chili's Too were limited. Actually, just one thing. A house salad with oil & vinegar dressing. No joke. So, since I wasn't feeling only eating a salad, I cheated and ate potato soup. I'm not too upset. Since coming to college a few years ago my campus has made huge strides to offer more vegetarian options, I can't really expect them to go from 0-60 in a snap.

After lunch, my day was long and busy. I had classes and the internship, then it was grocery day. Needless to say, I did not feel like making the fancy meal I had planned on for tonight. Instead, I cooked another 15 minute meal that turned out really well! It definitely helped ease the Alfredo craving I had last week. This one is from Vegetarian: Tasty Recipes for Every Day. Yea, they got real creative with that title, but it has had some winners in it. Again, I took some liberties with the recipe so what I have here is not exactly how it reads in the book.

Fettuccine Zucchini

What You Need
  • 1 lb fettuccine
  • 2 oz butter (I used margarine, I keep forgetting to find vegan butter)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 lb zucchini, grated
  • 3/4 cup (soy) Parmesan cheese
  • 16 leaves of fresh basil (that is a direct quote)
The Process
  1. Cook pasta. While it is cooking, prepare for and complete step 2.
  2. Heat the butter (margarine) in a deep heavy pan over low heat until it is foaming. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Add the zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1-2 minutes. 
  3. Drain cooked pasta and add it the to the sauce. Add the Parmesan and basil and toss well.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Best Meal Yet!

At least, that's what Chris said. I've been doing a lot more cooking lately, and I really only post our favorites to the blog. However, I would like to announce that in the month and a half that I've gone vegan and Chris has mostly been eating vegan meals we've lost a combined 23 pounds! That wasn't my goal but it is a welcome effect, especially with summer just around the corner.

Now, I'm sure you're dying to know what the best meal yet was. It was lentil tacos! I have made a lot of black bean tacos since becoming a vegetarian but never in my wildest dreams would I have thought of making tacos with lentils, but they were delicious (thank you Saving Dinner the Vegetarian Way!)! I'm ashamed of how many I ate in one sitting. Chris proclaimed that we need to make these tacos every week. Now, I'm not actually going to do that because eventually we'd get tired of them, but maybe bi-weekly. Here's the recipe, I took some liberties so it's not directly out of the book.

Lentil Tacos

What You Need:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 cup red lentils (our local Harris Teeter didn't have these, I found them at a health foods market)
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups salsa
  • tacos/tortillas
  • Whatever toppings you would like (this is not how it reads in the cookbook but seriously, that's all that's left) 
The Process:
       1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Soy cheese doesn't melt easily so I put the cheese in the     
            tacos and baked for 10 minutes. 

       2) In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and garlic and sauté  
              for 5 minutes. Stir in lentils, chili powder, and cumin. Cook for 1 minute. Add broth, cover, and cook for 15 minutes or until lentils are tender.

          3) Stir in salsa. Divide among tacos. We topped ours with shredded spinach and vegan sour cream.