Friday, January 24, 2014

Portobello Mushroom Pizzas (WW Points Plus -- 5 pts)

I started doing Weight Watchers recently to try to get rid of my last 15 lbs so I've been on the hunt for good, low points value things to eat. I came up with this tonight.

Portobello Mushroom Pizzas -- 2 servings/ 5 points each

2 Portobello Mushroom Caps
2 Laughing Cow Light Garlic & Herb
2 TBSP soft goat cheese
1/2 cup marinara sauce (I used Bertolli's Organic Olive Oil, Basil, and Garlic sauce)
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs

Divide all ingredients between the two mushrooms and add in the order listed. Bake at 350 degrees for... a while. (I'm nothing if not precise!) Until they seem done... probably about 30 minutes. Eat them.

Seriously, I have no idea how long to bake these things... I don't pay attention to that sort of thing.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Red Thai Curry Potato Soup

I know it's been a really long time since I've posted any recipes. I've been cooking, I just haven't been posting.  This soup has become one of my favorite things! I was making red thai curry with rice and broccoli and red bell pepper, but I got tired of eating it like that. One day I was in the mood for soup... so I threw this together. It's delicious!

Red Thai Curry Potato Soup
Serves 4ish

3 cans coconut milk + 2 cans water
1-2 tbsp red thai curry paste (I get this at the asian grocery store)
4 medium potatoes, cubed
1-2 red bell peppers
1 block extra firm tofu, cubed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, minced
small bunch of fresh basil leaves, torn
salt to taste
2-3 chicken/ vegetable bullion cubes

Put coconut milk, water, curry paste, potatoes, bullion, garlic, and ginger into a pot and bring to a boil. Turn down and simmer until potatoes are almost done. Add tofu and bell pepper and simmer until bell pepper and potatoes are soft. Add basil leaves at the end and simmer until they are wilted.

Start with 1 tbsp of curry paste and add more to taste. It can get kind of spicy!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Green Pineapple Smoothie

I was doing SO great this past summer eating a vegan diet. I felt good physically which helped me feel better emotionally/ mentally. I was loosing weight, which always makes a girl feel better about herself (unless you're one of those rare birds that needs to GAIN weight). Then I fell off that wagon.

So I decided that after the holidays it was time to reset my body and restart my healthy eating. I decided that I would do this by having a diet consisting mostly of smoothies for a week or so, just to make sure I'm getting a LOT of fruits and vegetables and all the vitamins that come with those. I knew it would give me a boost of energy, kickstart my diet, and also to help eliminate cravings.

When I make a smoothie, it usually is an entire pitcherful, so... about a quart. If I don't drink all of it, I put it in the fridge for later. I don't know how it would taste the next day, because they've never lasted that long.

The one I made this morning was so delicious that I just HAD to share it with you. I wish I could pass you my cup right now to let you have a taste... except ew. Germs.

Green Pineapple Smoothie

1 can of pineapple
2 small ripe bananas
1/4-1/2 cup oatmeal
1 small handful of kale
1 small handful of spinach
1 dash cinnamon
1 splash vanilla

Drain pineapple, but reserve the juice. Put everything in the blender and blend until smooth. Add pineapple juice as needed.

I had some frozen pineapple so I tossed a few pieces in my blender instead of ice, just to make my smoothie cold. You can use ice if you want.

This was truly delicious and VERY sweet. Almost too sweet. If I were to make it again, I would use less banana (or a less ripe banana).  I just have a plain Jane blender, but I let it run for quite a while (5 minutes?) until my smoothie was completely smooth.

Servings: 2
Calories: 285
Fat: 1.8 grams
Protein: 4.3 grams

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Creamy Broccoli Soup (Vegan)

We finished our month of being vegan. My allergies weren't as bad. My skin was clear. My digestive system was operating at optimal speed. It was all good and then we went to Florida and spent 10 days with family over the Thanksgiving holiday. Even though my parents and I are occasional meat-eaters, compared to the rest of the family you could almost say that we eat raw. The rest of the family eats like most of America.

Do you KNOW what eating like the rest of America does to your body after a month without meat and only having small quantities of dairy/ eggs on one or two occasions? Not good things, my friends. Not good things. My face broke out. I got the worst sinus infection. My digestive system alternated between working over-time and production being backed up (TMI?). Now that I'm home I'm eating very little dairy/ eggs and no meat and my body thanks me.

It has been rainy and cold here all week -- perfect soup weather. I threw together this delicious soup the other night.

Creamy Broccoli Soup (Vegan)

3 tbsp flour
4-5 tbsp margarine or other fat/ oil

 4-5 cups vegetable broth 
1-16 oz bag frozen chopped broccoli
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced

1-2 pinches dried rosemary
2 bay leaves
mashed potato flakes or mashed potato
salt and pepper to taste

Make a roux with the flour and margarine or oil. Slowly add broth and stir until completely mixed and bring to a boil until thickened. Add half of the broccoli, all of the onion, and garlic. Reduce heat and simmer until broccoli is soft. Puree in blender until smooth and pour back in pot. Add the rest of the broccoli, rosemary, and bay leaves. Simmer until broccoli is completely cooked. Stir in mashed potato/ potato flakes to reach desired consistency (I like mine more thick than soupy) and salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4-6.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Cilantro Hummus with Spinach and Roasted Red Pepper Wrap

My mom and I were trying to come up with something to make for supper. I knew we had spinach that needed to be used and I remembered seeing a jar of roasted red peppers in the pantry. I really wanted to make a wrap with some marinated tofu, but remembered that last time I made wraps with tofu, I marinated it over night and didn't have time for that. While spinach is full of protein (5g/ 1 cup cooked), in order to fill my dad up I thought we would need more "substance" because he's just not frou-frou like that. He doesn't like hummus, but I asked him if he would try it if I made Cilantro Hummus and he said that he would.

Unfortunately our spinach had already spoiled, so we had to use kale instead. It was ok, but I recommend spinach. Any mild flavored leafy green would work; kale is not that.

Cilantro Hummus

1 can garbanzo beans, drained with liquid reserved
1-2 cloves garlic
handful of cilantro
1 tbsp sesame tahini
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
salt to taste

Put all ingredients in blender and puree until smooth. Add garbanzo liquid as needed during blending. Hummus should be thick, but spreadable. Salt to taste and add more lemon juice if needed.

Spinach and Red Pepper Wrap

1 whole wheat tortilla
handful of fresh spinach
1/2 roasted red pepper from jar
3 tbsp cilantro hummus

Wrap. And enjoy. :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

We Don't Just Eat Lettuce

My mom has been wanting to try being vegan for quite some time. I always told her to do it and I'd do it with her, but we could never get my dad on board and for whatever reason she just never attempted it. Back in the spring, my best friend and I tried being vegan for a month and I lasted about 3 weeks but not without some cheating. I was never really committed to it.

A few weeks ago, my parents decided that after we got back from vacationing in the Smokey Mountains that they would be vegan for one month just to see how it goes. Of course, I joined in because I was already going to be eating vegan meals at home since that's what we'd be cooking.

I haven't missed cheese. I would say that I haven't missed eggs or milk, but I already drank soy or almond milk and don't really like eggs if they aren't cooked in something. Eggs are easy enough to replace in recipes. Milk is a bit more difficult if you're replacing with soy just because soy milk has a flavor. Almond milk definitely has a milder, more milk-like consistency and flavor. I really haven't missed cheese though... and I like cheese. A lot.

It's been surprising that I haven't missed cheese. Actually I haven't missed a lot of things. I've noticed that I'm not craving fatty, fried foods. I'm not craving sweets. I'm not craving snacks. I'm not craving carbs.

I'm also not hungry. The meals we cook are filling and the take me through to the next meal.

I feel better. I have more energy. The digestive benefits have been... well, let's just say that going vegan has been a moving experience.

And oh yeah. I've lost a few pounds too.

We've had some tasty meals. Black bean soup, lentil loaf, haystacks (basically a taco salad with beans) without the sour cream and cheese, sloppy joe's made with griller crumbles which we later discovered have milk and egg ingredients (oops!), spaghetti with marinara and tofu meatballs... umm... we've had other things but I don't remember what they are. We've also eaten in restaurants. We went to our favorite chinese place and ordered their sesame tofu and various vegetable side dishes. I have been to our favorite mexican restaurant twice. Once I had vegetarian fajitas and the other time I had black beans (amazing there), rice, and grilled veggies.

Did I mention that I haven't cheated and slipped cheese onto something? Even when we were at someone's house eating haystacks I bypassed the cheese and ranch dressing and just poured on a little extra salsa. When one of the offices I was working in ordered pizza for the staff (and even got a vegetarian pizza!), I politely declined and ate my black bean soup I had brought from home even though the cheese was really tempting because at that point I was only a few days into being vegan and I was still craving everything.

I've also been exercising at least 4 times a week. After Kirby's trainer comes this morning, I'm heading to the gym. I've been trying to add more weights to my routine rather than just doing cardio. I enjoy cardio more because I don't hurt from it the next day, but I know I need resistance training to build muscle.

Water... yeah. That's more difficult for me. I did cut out my caffeine and suffered through the caffeine withdrawal. I had a little caffeine yesterday, but I mostly cut it out to quit being dependent on it and drinking it everyday. So once a week or so, no big deal. I'm trying to increase my water intake to about a gallon a day. I can usually manage half a gallon, but when I'm at home and not thirsty I just don't drink.

My dad says that he's not going to continue being vegan when the month is over, but as for me... I think I'd like this new diet change to stick around. I'm not going to be so strict that I don't eat if someone else is serving something with cheese or if I'm at church potluck, but when I eat at home or in a restaurant (except for on rare occasions) I think I'll choose vegan.

And guess what? I've eaten more than just lettuce.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Kale and Cranberry Salad

I made this simple kale salad to pair with my Black Bean and Potato Soup. I first had something similar to this at a friend's house last year and made it myself not long after that and then again tonight, but with variations. I typically only make enough to eat at that meal because I think it's best served fresh.

I'm not really giving measurements here because this is something you'll have to adjust to suit your tastes and needs.

Kale and Cranberry Salad
with Lemon-Olive Oil Dressing

Toasted sliced almonds

Lemon-Olive Oil Dressing

Lemon juice
Olive oil
garlic powder
sea salt
cracked pepper
greek seasoning spice mix

I do about a 5:1 ratio with the lemon juice: olive oil. I add just enough water to make it more palatable. I season to taste and shake well.

Cut kale into small pieces, add dressing and massage greens gently until they darken and soften. Add craisins and let chill in refrigerator for about 15 minutes. Add toasted almonds immediately before serving.