Thursday, April 11, 2013

Breakfast foods

I really need to get some sewing reviews up or this will become a food review blog.

I've been experimenting with tofu this week. I'm actually getting decent at the breakfast foods now.

First up - Tofu Scramble. This was pretty good, but a little too much for me. After doing a little on-line search, I came up with a plan.
Got out my tofu and drained the liquid. Cut off a little bit and pressed it (put the rest in a glass lock container for another day). Cooked up some onions, garlic, carrots. Added the tofu and scrambled it up with the spatula. Added mushrooms and spinach and spices (turmeric, italian seasoning, and pepper) and then a little of my vegan pepper jack cheese. Cooked and chopped up some vegan sausage. Mixed it all together.

This was today's breakfast. A vegan "egg and sausage muffin".  Wheat English muffin with 'butter'. In the pan I cooked up 2 slices of tofu, seasoned with turmeric and pepper and one slice of the vegan sausage. Browned a little spinach and added a pinch of the vegan cheese. The cheese didn't melt well this time, but it added flavor. I think I need to cut the sausage thinner because it has a very strong flavor. Overall, I really liked this breakfast.

A quick and easy breakfast or lunch (I think I ate this for lunch the other day, not breakfast). Good bread, Earth Balance crunchy peanut butter with coconut oil, and sliced bananas. Yum!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Vegetarian Rice Noodles

Tonight I cooked a recipe from The Vegetarian Bible, which I bought on clearance at least three years ago. This is the second time I cooked from it. The other time was 2 weeks ago. Yes, it's sad.

That said, it's a good cookbook.

This dish was veggies, rice noodles and tofu. Since I have a very hard time following a recipe as it is written, I added asparagus and carrots. I had bought water chestnuts but totally forgot to put them in. I also used aminos for half the soy sauce.

Opinions: My oldest and youngest didn't want it. This wasn't surprising. I made them whole wheat couscous and peas.  My  more adventurous middle child thought the sweet potato was really good, but didn't like the noodles or tofu. The husband and I thought the soy sauce taste was too strong but overall, it was good. He liked the tofu (the guy who doesn't like tofu), but I thought it would have been better without it.

Vegan Quesadillas for lunch

On a posting role today. Actually, I am home all day because all the kids have a friend over. Which means, I have to stay alert for any crafty plans, arguments, or injuries. (so, no shower until tonight).

I wasn't feeling a veggie burger today and had just given my youngest daughter a quesadilla, her favorite. I've never been a fan of cheese, but I was thinking about that vegan pepper jack 'cheese' I bought yesterday for my breakfast sandwich. That might be good.

So, a plan was born. Vegan Quesadillas!

Remember, I'm not a chef - just a mom sharing my ideas and trials.

Slightly less than half an onion, chopped
1 can of corn (forgot I had some fresh stuff in the fridge -oops)
1/2 can of green chilies
1 can black beans (drained)
tomatoes (I had cherry so I cut them in fourths)
a good shake of cumin (around 1 tbsp, maybe a little less. I love cumin)
a quick shake of turmeric, crushed chili peppers, garlic powder, and chili powder (maybe 1 tsp each)

In the pan, add a little olive oil and start cooking the onions until slightly cooked and starting to get clear. Add the corn and cook for another minute or so. Then add everything else. Cook for a good 5 minutes to mix the flavors and taste. Put all this good stuff into a bowl for later.

Take a tortilla and fill half way with the good stuff and add a little of the pepper jack 'cheese'. Spray the pan or tortilla with some olive oil and brown for a minute or so on both sides. And it's done!

I remembered I had some avocado and just added it as I ate my quesadillas.

This is a two day lunch (or more). Tomorrow I work and I'll take some tortillas and topping with me to heat up. I always have such a hard time figuring out what to eat when I'm out, especially at work. By the time I get a break, the choice for buying stuff are quite limited (as in Mcdonalds or pre-made stuff in the cafeteria  and I only have 30 minutes too. So, this will be perfect.

Vegan Breakfast Sandwich

Looks pretty good, huh?

It was.

In general I don't like fake meats. I have really liked tofu when eating out, but have yet to make it well at home. So, I was a little nervous about trying this recipe.

Guess what? It was really good. Of course I modified it a little bit.
Whole wheat English muffin
Earth Balance "butter"
Lightlife Lean Gimme Sausage
Daiya Pepperjack shredded 'cheese'
a little salsa.

I didn't feel like getting out my press because mine is big and I already had the dehydrator out. So, I did it in a pan. Cut the 'sausage', put it in the pan that I had just sprayed with olive oil, and pressed it with the spatula. OOPS! stuck to the spatula! Scraped it off and sprayed the spatula and pressed again. This worked better. I cooked up the veggies right next to it. I don't really care for syrup  so I skipped this part. The cheese didn't melt but had good flavor. Really it was fine and tasty without the salsa, but I decided to add it for more flavor.

Overall, wonderful. I think even meat eaters would like this one.
The Lightlife Sausage is a keeper too. I will have to try some other meals with it.

Healthy eating changes

I've been trying lots of new recipes lately. I realized that I had gotten off track with my eating habits and needed to clean things up a little bit. I feel better when I stay away from meat, so that what I've been doing. The focus is on trying to be more healthy.

Labels - I would call myself a flexitarian or a meat minimalist. I've been doing LOTS of reading and making my own conclusions. The main points I agree with are that meat is not meant to be eaten at every meal, not even every day. It should be a rare item. Food should be non altered (not chemically or mechanically processed) to the point that it really isn't food any more. We need to eat what was meant to be food and avoid what wasn't meant to be food (chemicals, additives, etc).

Of course, this isn't easy and it is a huge change. We didn't eat a lot of boxed or prepared foods but it's amazing what is in things that I thought were "healthy" when I looked at the labels. Goodness!

So what to eat. At home this is easier than on the road. I have found that some places have very limited choices (we just finished a long road trip). I have realized that I have issues with buying something that would have meat, without the meat, and paying the same price. That is something I need to get over.

Friends have asked me what I think of foods I try. I'll try to post them here, but I know I can be inconsistent.