Monday, September 15, 2014

Lemon Fettuccine Alfredo!

So, last night i successfully made a vegan lemon fettuccine alfredo! I've actually never even made a regular alfredo sauce from scratch so i must say that i feel pretty impressed with myself.
*pats self on back*
But really, it was yummy. The subtle hint of lemon was a nice touch to the delicious cream sauce. There are some things i think i will change in the future though. The recipe i used had me use blanched almonds in the sauce to help with the creaminess. I went ahead and soaked mine (even though the recipe didn't ask me to) because i know that helps makes nuts and seeds break down easier. I also don't have a Vita-mix so i know that my sauce is only going to blend into a smooth consistency so much. While i did notice some teeny, tiny little pieces of almond in my pasta dish, i really don't think that was a deal breaker. I am definitely going to try the recipe again, but i will be using cashews instead. Cashews, when soaked, are super great when you're trying to achieve a "cream" of some sorts. Also, i will be adding more garlic. Shouldn't everything have more garlic in it??
(The answer is Yes)
Anyways, i'm super excited to try the pasta dish again and share the new updated recipe with y'all. I always love making a very non-vegan recipe into a successful vegan recipe. Rich cream sauce is something you kind of miss after awhile and it's nice to know that void can be filled with something just as tasty, but that's actually a lot healthier for you. Small victories!
I'm pretty excited about this week because i don't close a single night. Which means that i'm setting a small goal of having a home cooked meal EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. Some of you may think "that's no big deal", but for me it is. As i explained in my previous post since returning, i fell off the cooking wagon and just have been so incredibly disappointed in myself. I cook a few nights a week at home, and a couple nights we piece together something random to eat like sammiches or whatever, and then a night or two we eat out. Which i would really love to stop doing so much. It just really adds up! Eating out should be a treat, not a "normal" occurrence. SO, cooking every night this week will be super exciting and fulfilling. Baby steps.
Tonight i'm out of town until late, but we made "pizza" on naan bread to eat before we left and i stocked the fridge with veggie spring rolls in case we are hungry when we get home. So prepared! I have a few ideas for the rest of the week, just need to get it all together in my head. I do know that at some point i will be preparing sweet potatoes. Candied Lime Sweet Potatoes, to be exact. My guy doesn't love sweet taters at all, but has agreed to be a champ and give this recipe a try. I'm pretty excited about it. I also have a ton of zucchini and squash in my fridge that i need to do something with. Maybe a veggie lasagna? That could be yummy...Zucchini thinly sliced on a mandolin to replace the noodles? Hm....this sounds like it might happen. Right now i'm on big thing about using up stuff that i have on hand. My pantry is full but i have been doing that "there's nothing to eat!" thing. So i'm trying to nip that and just buckle down and use whatever i have. It's like i need to pretend i'm on Chopped or something. But without that crazy time constraint because that would drive me bananas. How do those guys do it?
Ok, getting off track...
SO! More meals posts to come. Trying to stay on top of this and hopefully create some sort of habit for myself. Until next time.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Freezer nomz!

No recipes or photos to post today, but just wanted to write something to get back into the habit!
Today was a short day at work so i decided to come home and make up some noms. I'm preparing some dishes specifically to freeze for my boyfriend's kids. They come on the weekends and i like to make some foods in advance so that my boyfriend can utilize his time with them and not have to worry about cooking. With four kids it can be slightly daunting to have to worry about "what's for dinner?" So, i try to help him out. Today i made a couple pizza pasta casseroles. I already popped them in the freezer and now i'm going through the pantry and pulling out some things to throw into the crockpot for a vegan chili. Then before they come for the weekend i'll bake up some cornbread for them to have with it. Last time i made it i grated up a couple zucchinis to hide in there since the kids don't love all veggies. So i figure sneaking some in there never hurts. Plus you can't even taste them! I felt super sneaky. And accomplished. What can i say, i'm easily amused.
Anyways, that's it for today. Maybe i'll follow up tomorrow with some photos. Trying to get back into this!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Many moons later...

It has been quite some time since i last posted. Over two years. My life got crazy and i lost track of everything. I had a major family emergency come up which resulted in me packing my bags in one night and flying off to Washington DC. There i spent a year at a hospital dealing with said emergency. After that i moved to Texas to be close to family, but also moved with my boyfriend. I finally got all my stuff sent to me from Portland and since then i have been working on making my life normal again. Things are good now, but many things have changed. My love of food has not though.
San Antonio has proven to be challenging in regards to healthy foods. (DUH.) I am fortunate enough to work at the only raw, vegan, gluten-free place here. Our main focus is fresh juices and shakes, but we do some raw, vegan dishes that i absolutely love. I am the raw chef for One Lucky Duck and i just feel so blessed to have found this job here. I've learned so much and continue to learn. I love that this world has been opened up to me.
Throughout all these changes i have not lost my love for vegan foods. I am currently seeing someone that had never experienced vegan cooking before i came into his life and it has been such a joy to make delicious dishes for someone who is so open-minded about good foods.
Lately i have decided to hop back on the cooking train. It was hard to make myself cook over the last couple years with so much going on, not being in my own kitchen, not having all of my own tools, pans, etc. I fell off the wagon basically. And it has been such a struggle to get back on. SO, I'm hoping to start blogging again, trying to stay on it, and inspire myself to cook my heart out. I love cooking and i miss it.
So here we go...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Amazing Crispy Potato Wedges

I don't know about you, but I absolutely love me some crunchy potato wedges. I had a major craving for some one night and decided to throw these babies together. I FELL IN LOVE. They are perfectly seasoned, perfectly crunchy and super easy to make. This recipe probably makes enough for 3-4 people. But if you are my husband and I, and have these themselves as dinner, then it makes enough for two hungry adults. Yes, it may not be a rounded out healthy meal, but it sure does hit the spot!
Give 'em a try!

Crispy Potato Wedges

5-6 medium red potatoes
1/8 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp thyme

Preheat oven to 450*
Cut potatoes into wedges. Thicker slices will not get as crispy
Put the wedges into a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss to coat.
Add your salt, pepper, garlic powder and herbs.
Use your hands to toss the oiled potato wedges around in the spices so that there is an even coating on them.
Spread the wedges out in a single layer on a large baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes, flip the wedges over, and continue baking for another 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are brown and crispy.
Serve with ketchup, vegan ranch or whatever your heart desires!

Baked to perfection!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Quick Veggie Roll-ups!

It's hard to eat healthier when you think of having to make something. So, the best thing I found to do is prep some veggies ahead of time. Sure, you have to take a little time to do that, but it's really not that hard and you can prep enough for a few days or even an entire week!

I went to the store yesterday determined to emerge with nothing but tasty, healthy snack options. I came out with these amazing, flavorful spinach onion tortillas, a one pound box of organic spring mix, carrots, one yellow bell pepper, one bunch of green onions, avocados, these beautiful "brown" tomatoes (which are more deep red/purple than brown) and roasted red pepper hummus. My plan was to have veggie wraps of different variations for snacks throughout the week. Also, this stuff all travels well so I can always pack of a quick lunch to have in between jobs. It's great!

Some beauties for you to ogle at.

Now, you're probably thinking, "Ok, what would even need prepping?". Well, not a lot, and that's part of the point. Even though we grab ingredients that are perfect for quick snacks we still sometimes think that chopping up some veggies is "too much to do when you're hungry". I've had those days. I know you have too. SO, easy fix: Pre-chop those carrots! Pre-chop that bell pepper! Doing this will make preparing yourself a snack a breeze.

This all might sound like a no-brainer, and it is. But I'm just here to try to give out some pointers that may help you make some better decisions about what you're putting into your body. So, on that note, let me walk you through what I snacked on earlier!

First off, prep some carrots. There are three carrots cut into matchsticks here in a one pint container. I'm thinking it will probably get me through the week.

While you're at it go ahead and slice up some bell pepper. They don't need to be sliced into any particular size, just however you like them. I sliced mine into about one inch wide strips and then chopped those up. I like my bell pepper to scatter easily. Store in a ziploc or tupperware.
Then, just pick and choose the veggies you want and get them ready to go in a wrap. I chose one green onion, a handful of bell pepper, one tiny avocado (or one half of a regular size one), half a tomato and a handful of my prepped carrot matchsticks. Chop the tomato, avo and green onion.

When it comes to the tortillas, I suggest a flavorful one. If you like white or whole wheat go ahead and use them, but I personally like to get excited about my food and a plain ol' white tortilla just doesn't do it for me. I also like to heat up my tortillas slightly. I believe it enhances the flavors a bit and also helps make them more flexible.
I also chose a red pepper hummus, but you can of course choose some other flavor. I bet roasted garlic hummus would be excellent for this!
Get some herbs or pepper to sprinkle in your wrap, too. Dried herbs are always great flavoring agents without having to reach for the salt or some kind of unhealthy sauce. These guys are my favorite and I just sprinkle away. Don't be shy!

So go ahead and spread some hummus onto your tortilla. Then sprinkle on the herbs. Grab your veggies and toss them onto the tortilla, roll up and voila!

Easy shmeasy, you have a healthy snack! Or make a few and have a super fresh, tasty dinner! It's summer time and all the best vegetables are right within reach. Get creative, prep ahead, and you should have no problem eating a little healthier this season.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Fresh from the garden!

Kale, kale, kale!

It won't stop growing! Not that I'm complaining or anything. Isn't this just a beautiful sight?

Of course this is too much for just me and the hubby, so I plan on sharing with some good friends and my sister.The joys of harvesting your own food.

Happy spring!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Also, just a little photo...

Of some beautiful radishes my friend and I pulled from my garden this afternoon!

They just make me happy, that's all.