Showing posts with label broccoli. Show all posts
Showing posts with label broccoli. Show all posts

Jan 16, 2017

baked broccoli and seitan pasta

Meal 3 in the Prep Ahead Week 4 plan is a creamy, cheesy, pasta bake. The sauce is a sun-dried tomato bechamel that coats the pasta perfectly. In fact, if you aren't a fan of whole grain pasta, this sauce is the ultimate foil.



The sauce has just the right amount of sun-dried tomatoes and gives the sauce its own unique flavor. I love sun-dried tomatoes but even I notice when there is just too much of it, so I was very pleased with the flavor outcome of this bake.

For the Prep Ahead meal the pasta and broccoli are cooked the night before and then melded with the sauce and seitan. For this stand alone version, you cook the pasta and broccoli and bake. You can even increase the broccoli in this dish to 2 pounds and skip the seitan altogether, if that's your wish.

I had a little bit of a Daiya block leftover from another dish that needed using up, so I finely grated some on the pasta, but that is just extra icing on the cake. If you like your broccoli green and crisp-tender, cook it separately and add it to the pasta in the last few minutes of baking.






Baked Broccoli and Seitan Pasta
Serves 4 to 6 

B├ęchamel ingredients: 
2 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons white miso
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon dried thyme

12 ounces penne pasta
12 ounces broccoli, chopped
1/2 pound seitan, chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 400-degrees F. Combine the broth, miso and nutritional yeast in a bowl or blender. Whisk or blend until smooth. Set aside. 
2. Add the onion to a large pot over medium heat. Cover and cook. Chop the tomatoes into 1/4-inch slices and add to the pot. Add garlic to the pot. Add a splash of broth if the onion is burning. Cook until the onion is golden. Add the flour. Add the thyme and mix well. Cook for 1 minute, stirring.
3. Slowly add the broth mixture to the pot and use a whisk to mix until the sauce is smooth. Bring to simmer to thicken. Season with salt and pepper. 
4. Cook the pasta al dente. Add the broccoli during the last 3 minutes of cooking. Drain, reserving 1 cup of cooking water and add to a 13x9-inch baking dish.
5. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Spray with oil or add 1 teaspoon oil. Cook the seitan until golden. Add the seitan to the baking dish.
6. Add the bechamel sauce to the baking dish and toss well. Add some of the reserved cooking water, as needed to make a creamy sauce. Bake until bubbly and heated-through, about 30 minutes. Stir once halfway through baking. Serve.




© 2017 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

Jan 15, 2017

firecracker chickpeas and vegetables

Meal 2 of Week 4 Prep Ahead menu is Firecracker Chickpeas and Vegetables.  This delicious dish is full of vegetables and beans and is cooked in a spicy chili sauce.


This fiery dish is very versatile because you can adjust the heat level to suit your taste. You can use the called-for jalapeno or not. Or you can use 3 jalapenos. You can increase the garlic chili sauce or reduce it - the choice is yours.

This is a very easy and quick dish to make - made even faster as a Prep Ahead meal, but can still be ready in around 30 minutes, if you make the rice using my Fast and Easy Brown Rice recipe.

The dish is served with steamed broccoli but you can serve it with mustard greens, bok choy or even cauliflower.



Firecracker Chickpeas and Vegetables
Serves 4 to 6 

Firecracker sauce ingredients:
1/3 cup ketchup
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon garlic chili sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium tamari
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon sweetener

12 ounces broccoli, cut into florets
2 bell peppers, sliced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (use gloves if needed)
1/2 medium onion, sliced
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (2 cups cooked)
3 cups cooked rice

1. Combine the ketchup, vegetable broth, garlic chili sauce, garlic, tamari, cornstarch and sweetener in a small bowl. Stir very well and set aside. 
2. Steam the broccoli until tender. 
3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sliced peppers and onions. Stir-fry (cook, stirring constantly) until lightly charred. Add the chickpeas, cook to heat. Mix the sauce and add to the vegetables. Cook until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Serve the stir-fry with the broccoli and rice.



© 2017 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.


Sep 24, 2015

veganmofo - famous dude + meat(less) pies

Day 24! #vgnmf15! We are getting close to the end! Today's post is

"What would [famous person] eat if they were vegan?"

The girls and I decided to go with one of the most infamous omnivores in history: 

Henry VIII


   

The photo on the left is Henry during his first marriage to Catherine of Aragon (which lasted 24 years). The one on the right is a tad later.

Since the man was known for his opulence and grandeur, and not known for simplicity and humility, it is well documented that Henry and his rich off-springs would have indulged in eating any fish, fowl or any (and every) other animal on a spit, plate or in a pie.

Bread and wine were plentiful (and the only clean drinking supplies) and sweet confections were never far off. According to some estimates, Mr. Tudor consumed around 5000 calories per day (I think that is a low-ball estimate), however, he (as well as other affluent gentry) is rumored to have suffered from malnutrition and scurvy.

Why? Vegetables and other plant foods were considered plebian and only suited as foods for peasants.

Now, if Henry had a good head on his shoulders, instead of losing one (or another's), and had been compassionate, he would have become vegan long before he had beheaded his second wife.

Let's give the guy a break and let him have his sweets via decadent and exotic fruits, such as pepino melons, blackberries, raspberries and horned melons. All appropriate sweets, I think.

And then, for the main course, we'll go ahead and give him his bread/pie (he is English, after all) but, we'll make it with broccoli and minced savory soy curls in a velvety gravy. Let's call it Royal Meat(less) Pies, for the fun of it, and, again, for the fun of it, if you would like to hum along to "Have a Little Priest," no one would mind.




Above we have decadent fruit, wine, and huge (huge!) meatless pies stuffed with vegan meat, gravy and broccoli. The man would have nothing to complain about, I testify.

If you'd like to make your own fluffy, high-rising vegan pies, look no further than Everyday Vegan Eats (AmazonB&N), which has this really amazing biscuit (and meatless pies) recipe.




While I do not have the permission to share the actual meatless pie recipe, I do have the permission to share with you the biscuit recipe. Savvy Vegetarian shared this recipe first and she has some *sweet* variations on it that is really worthwhile to check out.








Flaky Buttermilk Herb Biscuits
Sample recipe from Everyday Vegan Eats by Zsu Dever. (Copyright Zsu Dever. Permission Vegan Heritage Press, LLC.)
Makes 10 - 12 Biscuits

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups plain unsweetened vegan milk
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
3 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
2 tablespoons double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) cold vegan butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup minced parsley leaves
1 tablespoon dried chives

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 450-F. Mix the milk and vinegar in a small bowl. Set it aside for 3 minutes to thicken.

2.  Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter. Using a pastry knife or your fingers, cut the butter into the flour until the butter is about the size of peas. Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the milk mixture all at once. Add the parsley and chives.  Gently combine the flour and milk with your hand just until the milk is absorbed into the flour. Handle carefully to avoid tough biscuits.

3. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead it 6 to 8 times or until the dough comes together.  Add more flour to the dough if it is too sticky, adding just enough flour to prevent a lot of sticking, but not too much to achieve a light, flaky biscuit.

4. Roll the dough out into a rough rectangle about 1/2-inch thick. Fold the dough in half and then in half again. Roll it out again into a rough rectangle about 1/2-inch thick, adding more flour as needed. Repeat the folding and rolling 4 more times, for a total of folding it 5 times.
If the dough becomes too difficult to roll, allow it to relax for 5 minutes before proceeding.

5. Roll the dough into a rough rectangle about 1/2-inch thick one final time. Cut it into about 10 (3-inch) rounds using a floured biscuit cutter, or a floured drinking glass.

6. Place the biscuits on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 425-F. Continue to bake until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes before serving.




Pin it!




vegan vegetarian meatless plant-based

Feb 19, 2014

indonesian stir-fried noodles + "one-dish vegan" winner

Use the Left and Right Arrow keys to navigate through this blog.


It was my youngest daughter’s birthday yesterday – she turned 14. She likes to think that now she is officially a teenager, as 13 was just too close to being a “tween.” She requested a strawberry-lemonade birthday cake for her party and a spaghetti bar, complete with vegan meatballs and homemade sauce. She got all three.



If you are interested in seeing just exactly what a “strawberry-lemonade” cake might look like, I have it posted on my facebook page here. Holler for the recipe – I’m happy to share.

Since her birthday week menu officially ended yesterday, having consisted of "healthful" fare such as vegan pups in a blanket, pizza, vegan broccoli cheese soup (this actually being the better of her choices!), vegan shamrock shake and other cookies and sweets, I decided to make something for lunch today that was full of veggies, as it was woefully lacking this past week.

For lunch today we had Indonesian Stir-Fried Noodles with baby kale, cabbage and broccoli. A very fast and easy dish to toss together in under 30 minutes even if you have to cook the pasta first; just chop the veggies while the water boils.




On a separate note, I have recently discovered vegan recipe parties that a few blogs are hosting and since this was a delicious, easy and healthy meal, I have decided to enter this recipe. The blogs hosting Healthy Vegan Fridays are Suzanne at Hello Veggie, Anna at Herbivore Triathlete, and Kimmy at Rock My Vegan Socks.  



The blog hosting Gluten-Free Fridays is Vegetarian Mamma.


I’ve also decided to submit this dish to What I Ate Wednesday hosted by Peas and Crayons since, well, it is Wednesday and all!


Finally, to wrap things up and leave no string unattached, today is the day to announce the winner of One-Dish Vegan by Robin Robertson. Her new book features such completely amazing meals such as …., … and ….. If you weren’t lucky enough (and I am so so sorry about that!) to win my copy, I encourage you to get one anyway; it is a really great book, with creative and wonderfully tasty meals. Since I've made around 30 or so recipes from it, I know!



The winner of Robin’s book is comment number: 25 by Timi Caswell.
Please respond to zsu at zsusveganpantry dot com with your mailing address so I can get this to you asap!

And a big thank you to everyone for entering! I will be hosting more giveaways next month, so bookmark this site, or follow via those handy buttons on the top right of this blog.



All the best,
Zsu



Jan 23, 2013

broccoli and sun-dried tomato pasta




Most conventional cookbooks will have a recipe for a Chicken and Broccoli Pasta. This recipe, Broccoli and Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta, takes the place of those drab pasta dishes and replaces the lackluster broccoli and chicken with bright crisp-tender broccoli and flavorful seitan in a sun-dried tomato sauce. 

The broccoli cooks quickly in the same water that will cook the pasta. The broccoli is then spread out on a plate to cool and retain its bright color and texture, thereby avoiding the limp broccoli syndrome. The seitan is my Simple Chicken Seitan. The sauce is made with sun-dried tomatoes and vegan sour cream, which takes the place of the traditional dairy cream.

This dish doesn't take too long to make as long as you have seitan on hand. However, there is nothing wrong with doubling up the broccoli and skipping the seitan all together; the dish suffers none.

This was a great addition to our weekday meal round-up; not terribly difficult and relatively fast.

Cost Breakdown

seitan: $2
pasta: $3
sun-tomatoes, onion, garlic: $2
broccoli: $3
vegan sour cream, broth: $1.50

Total to make 4 servings:
$11.50


Dec 23, 2012

biscuits + mongolian seitan









Continuing with Catt's Birthday Week choices, above is a Meat Pie made with broccoli and ground TVP and below that is Mongolian Seitan with green beans. 

The biscuit has had me thinking; whenever I see a commercial for those biscuits in a tube, the result from the oven is a flaky, layered biscuit, one which the happy consumer can effectively tear off layers of goodness. 
I wanted to recreate that effect.

 Over Thanksgiving I was messing with making my own puff pastry, which requires multiple folds of buttered dough. I brought this same technique to biscuit making, rolling the dough out and folding into fourths about a dozen times. This is the same way that puff pastry achieves its many layers, except puff pastry requires a ton more vegan butter and a cooling-off period between each folding occasion.  

This biscuit is a poor-man's puff pastry, in that it uses a lot less butter and there is no cooling period required between folding. If you look at the biscuit in the picture, you will note that indeed this works - the biscuit (with the help of baking powder) rises and you can even peel the individual layers off. 

Mongolian Seitan is deep fried seitan (or TVP) in a garlic-ginger sauce with green onions. I added the green beans because I didn't have enough green onions and I simply wanted to add some veggies to the dish.

Both were very successful and Catt enjoyed her week of meals.

Happy Solstice Everyone! 

Dec 23, 2011

noodle curry

I'm not exactly sure what my son was thinking when we were making the menu. He said he'd like to see Noodle Curry on the menu. I don't think I've ever made it and I didn't know exactly what he wanted, but I wrote it down and decided I 'd come up with something when the time came. 

This is what I ended up making:

 I baked some tofu (after a 30 minute press) in tamari and oil - pretty simple, nothing extravagant. Since I was firing up the oven, I also tossed some kabocha squash with a little oil and baked that as well. I used rice noodles and cooked an assortment of vegetables I had on hand. In fact, most of the veggies were frozen from a stir-fry mix - broccoli, chestnuts, green beans. I also added fresh celery and bell pepper. 

For the curry part, I made a sauce using red curry paste (there are also commercial brands that are vegan), tamarind (for the tartness - use lemon juice as an alternative), and coconut milk. I tossed all the ingredients - tofu, vegetables, noodles, sauce and squash - together and cooked them for a few minutes at the end to meld the flavors. If you skip the squash add a little more sugar to the sauce since the squash added a delicious sweetness. This is a fantastic way to use winter squash.

This was delicious and not all that complicated to make. A few steps: (1) Baking the tofu and squash. (2) Soaking the noodles. (3) Cooking the vegetables and (4) making the sauce. That's about it. And worth it. The pot of food disappeared in no time.

Cost Breakdown

noodles: $1
coconut milk: $1
vegetables and fruits: $5
curry and tamarind: $.50
tofu and spices: $3
Total to make 5 servings:
$10.50



Dec 6, 2011

seitan divan

Seitan Divan is a classic American casserole consisting of bread, meat, broccoli or asparagus and then topped with Mornay Sauce.

Mornay Sauce sounds exotic, but it is actually just a cheese sauce made using a simple Bachamel Sauce (a white sauce of thickened milk) with cheese melted into it. Nothing complicated but the name there.

Toast is typically used for the Divan, but I used English Muffins. I sauteed the seitan cutlets until they turned golden brown and layered the casserole: English Muffin, seitan thinly sliced, cooked broccoli florets and Mornay Sauce.

While you could simply make the Mornay Sauce with the Bechamel and melt 1/2 cup of vegan cheese in it to create the sauce, I also made the Mornay using Bechamel with no commercial (or difficult to make) cheese.

We all loved it! It really was easy to make and not at all a conventional casserole.

The pragmatic in me thought this was a great dish not just because it was good and easy to assemble, but because I was able to clean up after the initial cooking while the casserole baked for the required twenty minutes. Had the baking required a longer time I might have left the kitchen, and the mess, behind. Bonus.

Cost Breakdown

broccoli: $2
seitan: $1
English Muffin: $2
tahini, nutritional yeast, flour, lemon, milk: $1.50
Total to make 4 servings:
$6.50


Oct 7, 2011

bennigan's (MoFo 24)


Before Norman Brinker took over Chili's, he was the founder of Bennigan's, an Irish-inspired restaurant and pub. They serve American food with an Irish twist. Some of the most popular end enduring menu items have been the Monte Cristo and Broccoli Bites.

The company was later abandoned by Brinker for greener pastures. Pillsbury, the original owners, passed the restaurant chain onto other conglomerations, among them a huge liquor distributor. Over the years, the company has degraded due in part to a lack of rolling with the times and following trends. Basically they remained stagnant in a fluid restaurant environment. The company declared bankruptcy in July 2008 and wound up closing hundreds of stores. Among the only remaining stores that stayed open were franchise-owned ones. In October 2008, the dregs of the parent company, Steak and Ale, was bought up and the new owners are now trying to turn the tides and revamp Bennigan's image, food and the establishments themselves.    

I was a server and bartender at Bennigan's for about a year in the early 2000's because hubby was laid off, but the mortgage company still insisted on their monthly payments. You could tell that things were forced and apathetic for the company, even though it was a new store I was hired for. 

As for the food, the Monte Cristo was the signature dish, if you don't count the double burger that had a knife sticking out of it in an effort to hold the monstrosity upright. The Monte Cristo is a three-layered sandwich of ham, cheese and turkey, coated in an egg batter and deep fried. Now I am not exactly sure who looked at a sandwich and thought it would be a good idea to deep fry it, but then I am often confounded at the ludicrous things people choose to deep fry, including a stick of butter. Why?

However, I am not here to ask 'why?' just here to make the food. As anyone knows who has tried to recreate deep fried egg batters, it is not an easy endeavor. And since I figure there might be someone who does NOT choose to deep-fry their sandwich, I have offered a grilled version of it. Not the same, but not bad either...and not as bad for you. The batter is made with tofu and once a light dusting of flour is on the battered sandwich, the batter does not dissolve in the hot oil.

Broccoli Bites is one of those appetizers that I served a lot of, but one that isn't even vegetarian, with the inclusion of bacon bits. I omitted the bacon bits completely, but if you'd like to add some vegan tvp bacon bits or crumbled Fakin Bakin or something like that, the option is there. The broccoli, once pulsed fine in a food processor, is mixed with finely grated vegan cheese and formed into balls. The balls are then frozen to help them stay together during frying. They are coated in milk-flour-bread crumbs and fried. Baking is an option also. The balls flatten a  bit with this process, but the broccoli cooks more and they are still crispy and golden.

Yup, more brewskie is recommended here and perhaps a strong stomach if you dare to try the Monte Cristo as it was originally intended to be eaten by the good folks at Bennigan's.


Monte Cristo


Monte Cristo - grilled


Broccoli Bites


Apr 25, 2011

meat pies

Our family's most favorite musical is "Sweeney Todd" with Johnny Depp and Helena-Bonham Carter. Although Kate, 11, hasn't seen it, yet, we all love listening to the CD in the car and at home. For those unfamiliar with this classic (having been a musical on stage for decades), it is about a barber who is after vengeance against the man who destroyed his family, to put it mildly. Having gone a bit mental, he begins to kill his customers and baking them into meat pies. Yum. The song, 'Try the Priest,' is magical.

Every time I make pocket pies with veggie-meat, it reminds me of Mrs. Lovett's Meat Pies and I want to burst out it dance and song whilst baking.

The recipe uses the Flaky Biscuit dough for the crust, with added parsley (very easy), and a wonderful mixture of Boca burgers, minced, and broccoli in a thick, creamy gravy. If you use burgers, please remember to saute them before you use them - otherwise they gets a little mushy. The broccoli needs to be minced fine, as well, so you don't have huge chunks sticking out at all angles.

I've made these many times, and while not a low-fat food because of the Earth Balance in the dough, it sure is flaky, crispy and tasty!

Cost Breakdown

flour, Earth Balance, milk: $3
Boca, broccoli: $5
onion, garlic, mustard: $1
spices: $1
Total to make 14 pies:
$10.00




Apr 7, 2011

sweet and sour soup

Asian Night

Kate requested Hot and Sour Soup, but I wanted a spin on the stand-by favorite. I guess we were playing with words, but during menu making, someone must have said 'sweet and sour' instead of 'hot and sour.' Thinking, why not?, I made a 'Sweet and Sour Soup.' All the elements that make a great Hot and Sour Soup are in this dish, and so is the sweetness that makes a Sweet and Sour dish unique.

Instead of using vinegar to sour it, I used lime juice and tamarind. If you've ever had one of those big jars of tamarind in your fridge, I'm sure you have wondered what else besides Indian it can be used for. And although a little extra sugar at the end is fine in case the sweetness is not enough, I used crushed pineapples for the bulk of the sugar.

As for the heat, I used one Thai chili, just sliced in half not all the way through the stem, but not much else. My family, especially the kids, aren't as into spicy as I am. You may add as many Thai peppers as you like, however.

I used a well-pressed tofu (Tofu Xpress) so it doesn't fall to mush during cooking, mushrooms, broccolette, diced green beans and scallions.


Cost Breakdown

onion, garlic, lemongrass: $.75
mushroom, broccolletes: $3
tofu: $2
tamarind, tamari, lime: $.50
green beans, chili: $1
crushed pineapple: $1
Total to make 5 servings:
$8.25



Feb 1, 2011

stir-fried beans with bitter greens

Asian Night

Stir-frying green beans is commonly done, but how often do you come across stir-frying legumes?

Another really easy and quick meal, this stir-fry of aduki beans and vegetables was wonderfully delicious. I used asparagus, yellow pepper, and a bunch of rapini. I love rapini's bitter flavor and it was complemented especially well with the sweetness of the beans and peppers. You, of course, can use whatever greens you personally love.

The whole stir-fry took at the maximum of ten minutes to cook, so, again, make sure you have all the components of the dish at hand. And start cooking your brown rice before you start prepping everything else so it can all come together at the same time.

Cost Breakdown

onion, garlic, chili pepper: $1
asparagus, yellow pepper: $2
aduki beans: $2
rapini, green onions: $3
tamari, sugar, sesame oil: $.50
rice: $1
Total to make 4 servings:
$9.50



Jan 24, 2011

easy asian wrap

This lunch was a quick and easy generic Asian Wrap. I used a wrapped or pressed tofu, sliced it into stips, marinated them and sauteed them, along with broccoli spears, red pepper strips, green onions and a few asparagus spears. There really is no hard and fast rule for this wrap - use tofu, tempeh, seitan or just vegetables. Sautee the veggies until they are crisp tender or done to your likeness and that is about it.

After the veggies are done add the remaining marinade and stuff it all into a warmed tortilla. The Asian flare comes form tamari (soy sauce), sesame oil (toasted is best), rice vinegar and chili flakes.

Not bad for a quick meal. When I presented it to the kids they reluctantly gave it a try...and wound up eating it up and asking me to make it again soon.


Cost Breakdown

tamari, vinegar, garlic, oil, maple: $1
tofu: $2
broccoli, pepper: $3
onion, asparagus: $2
wrap: $2
Total to make 6 wraps;
$10.00




Oct 26, 2010

japanese noodles and steamed buns

Asian Night

Cat is responsible for tonight's meal. She asked me to make some kind of Japanese Steamed Bun. She called it Nikuman.

This steamed bun is filled with ground pork (TVP) and Japanese spices - ginger, tamari, etc. I was very happy to make this for her since what teenager is not immersed in the Japanese culture in some way thanks to video and computer games. That is all very well, but I needed something else to make with it since steamed buns just didn't seem to be enough.

Caramelized Japanese Noodles with vegetables also came to the meal. Now caramelizing something that is moist is a little challenging and while given more time I'm sure I would have been able to get the job done better, three hungry kids just wanted food - caramelized or not!

The buns weren't all that difficult to make, but when there is a dough involved it can seem a little much. What is easy about this dough is that it comes together in a bowl and doesn't need to be rolled out, just spread out with your hands, sort of like a pizza dough being worked by hand.

The noodles were very easy - soba, broccoli, mushrooms, carrots (or any vegetable you want), and the caramelizing sauce - sesame oil, vegetarian stir-fry sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic and brown sugar.

Everyone loved tonight's meal.



Cost Breakdown
oil, stir-fry sauce, vinegar, tamari: $1
bamboo shoots, ginger, garlic: $1
broccoli, carrots, mushrooms: $4
flour: $.75
nut milk, brown sugar: $1
TVP: $.75
noodles: $2
Total to feed a family of 6:
$10.50






Oct 25, 2010

witch fingers + brew

Alright, so it isn't really "witch fingers or brew," but green bread sticks with Cheezy Broccoli Soup.

The fabulous thing about this soup is that it is cheesy without soy. Yes, it is soy free and no processed cheese substitute is used. In fact, the cheesiness comes from nutritional yeast, carrots and potatoes. All very good for you, accessible (nutritional yeast should be on your shopping list constantly) and easy. Make sure to use the stems of the broccoli, too, since they are sweet and tender once peeled.

The bread sticks are just a great bread recipe with green food coloring. I used natural coloring ( yellow: turmeric, blue: blueberry) and I had to use quite a bit to get the bread to have the green hue (I used a product I bought at Whole Foods), but if you are using the food coloring that is available at any grocery store, you will certainly need lots less. The finger nails are almond slices and the hair is a sprinkling of Daiya. Just roll a bread piece into a rope about 10 inches long and cut it in half. Stick the almonds on (and cheeze if using) the tapered ends and let it rise for another 30 minutes and bake.

The kids got a kick out of it and they even enjoyed the soup.


Cost Breakdown
broccoli: $3
potatoes, carrots, onion: $3
flour: $2
finger accents: $1
spices, nutritional yeast: $1
Total to feed a family of 6:
$10.00

 4 out of 5 stars




Oct 2, 2010

soft polenta with lentil ragu

Italian Night

We haven't had polenta for a little while, so we did tonight. It was a quick, simple meal to make.

The polenta I cooked in almond milk to give it richness. The ragu is made with tomatoes, lentils, carrots, onions, garlic and parsley. Lentils cook very fast, in about 30 minutes, and are very tasty and healthy. No brainer there.

I served this meal with a broccoli 'salad' with garlic and red chili flakes. Salad because I cooled it to room temp after I steamed them and added a clove of minced garlic. The garlic 'cooks' while the broccoli is still hot and the color is still vibrant because I cooked the broccoli just until tender crisp and removed them from the heat promptly.

Cost Breakdown:
lentils: $1
tomatoes: $2
onions, garlic, carrots: $1.50
parsley, broccoli: $3
polenta, almond milk: $2
Total to feed a family of 6:
$9.50

Sep 13, 2010

chinese broccoli and seitan

Asian Night

Last week was difficult, regarding meals. I did not plan my menu for the week, so we wound up having sandwiches, cereal and even the dreaded 'take out.' As the saying goes: 'if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.'
No arguments here!

Luckily, we have planned this week's meals and hopefully, even with it being back-to-school, we should be successful.

Tonight's meal was another one from Bryanna's Chinese Cookbook, and again, it was quite a success. I made it with my Firm Seitan, posted on the Seitan Page, and it was fantastic. Everyone loved it, but I think, even more importantly, they were all glad that mom cooked again.

I had my Lit Club today, so the meal needed to be fast and filling. Both were accomplished with this recipe because I had prepared the seitan last night, which is easy to do while you are doing other things.

Cost Breakdown:
broccoli: $3
seitan: $1.50
onion, garlic, ginger: $.75
brown bean sauce: $.50
rice: $.50
Total to feed a family of 5:
$6.25




Aug 23, 2010

sesame soba noodles

Picnic

This is a dish that was once a Whole Foods food-bar item, as well. I have converted it to include more veggies. All of the kids love this dish and it is perfect picnic food. It is served as a cold salad so there is no problem with keeping it warm.

I added broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers and scallions to the Whole Foods 'recipe.' The dressing is a simple vinaigrette using seasoned brown rice vinegar (different from rice vinegar because of the addition of sugar), tamari (skip it and add salt for soy-free) and roasted sesame seed oil.

Sprinkling some sesame seeds on top rounds this dish out.

Very tasty and simple to make.

Cost Breakdown:
broccoli, cauliflower, pepper, green onion: $3
noodles: $3
oil, vinegar, tamari: $1
Total to make 5 servings:
$7.00





Jul 29, 2010

buffalo baked potatoes

Kate wanted to make baked potatoes for her lunch.
 Yes, the second potato dish in as many days. You know how we like to double up on the good things! Well, I couldn't say no, but I did ask her to make something with it. She chose to steam broccoli and make a cheese sauce.

She baked some huge potatoes in the toasted oven (less hot than the big oven) and steamed some of the florets.

She made a killer cheese sauce using a simple bechamel sauce that she seasoned and put about a cup of Daiya cheddar in. To make it special she added diced tomatoes and Frank's Hot Sauce - the original Buffalo Sauce , uh, sauce.

This was phenomenal! I added some sliced red cabbage onto mine, some extra hot sauce and there was no need for any wings to be involved except when the flavors took to flight.

Fabulous, Kate. So glad you made baked potatoes.

Cost Breakdown:
6 huge Russets: $4.50
broccoli: $3
Daiya: $2
Almond milk: $1
tomato, cabbage and Frank's: $1.50
Total to feed 6 people:
$12.00




Jul 16, 2010

stacked mediterranean sandwich

Picnic

It is Friday and during the summer the kids and I are hitting the trails.

This has to be one of the most perfect picnic foods to take with you because the sandwich gets better while sitting, not soggier. Kate was responsible for today's lunch, so what went into it were all her preferred flavors. We made the spread using cannellini beans, roasted pepper, olive oil and almonds. That is right - almonds. Oh, it it something you have to try! They added a wonderful flavor and a needed texture to the spread since cannellinis are very smooth when processed. Leave the almonds big enough to bite into, so put them (1/4 c) in the food processor first and pulse a few times, then add the roasted pepper, a can of beans, a little olive oil, a garlic minced and pulse until you get a nice consistency. Do not over process. Taste for salt and pepper.

Now, a pressed sandwich has to have some good vinaigrette. This is paramount. I made a Mustard-lemon dressing. Mixing 2 T lemon juice, 2 t Dijon mustard, 2 T olive oil, 1 clove garlic, 1 t agave (or sugar), gives you a slightly sweet, yet tangy dressing that complements the vegetables. Taste for salt and pepper.

Load your spread into a hollowed out round bread, top with sliced olives, tomatoes, peppers, basil leaves, red onions and some greens - I used broccoli slaw we had left over. Pour enough dressing to coat nicely. Add a little more spread, top with the bread top, wrap in plastic wrap (I wrapped it in a parchment paper first - you know, plastic and all that.) and pack it in your backpack. Cut at the site to avoid the dressing from dripping out.

Woo-hoo! The kids loved it! Cat even had two slices and we shared with a friend who seemed quite surprised that even though 'we are missing out on so much good food (read: animal products)' this was, hmm,  pretty good.

I love to share our bounty with others :)

Cost Breakdown:
bread: $3
beans: $2
almonds: $.75
vegetables and basil: $2
olives and tomato: $2
dressing: $.75
Total to feed 5 people:
$10.50