Saturday, January 30, 2010

Lentil Dip

This is a great substitute for the traditional refried beans that get thrown out at parties or when friends come over. I am a big snacker and sometimes Hummus just gets old.

1 cup of cooked lentils
1 sweet onion (Chopped)
4 cloves of garlic (minced)
6 tea spoons vegan Margin
1 teaspoon of salt and more to taste

Take the chopped sweet onion, minced garlic and margin into a pan and cook until the onions are soft but not brown. Add in the teaspoon of pepper before pouring the cup of cooked lentils into the pot and stir. Warm them. take the pan away from the heat and spoon out the mixture into a food processor and blend until smooth. Taste and add more pepper if needed.

Serve this with crispy crackers or toasted bread.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Night on the Town

Last night my friend Alyssa and I had a night out on the town (sorta) since my boyfriend was at work. We started off by getting out friend Kristen to wax our eyebrows (poor thing) than doing the normal things to do (going and looking at lingerie, mucking around bed bath and beyond and the like).

The highlight of the evening was of coarse the food. You all know me, the night is nothing without a good, filling and nutritious meal. We decided to go to a little whole in the wall restaurant that I have been telling her about forever. Turquoise is a Middle Eastern restaurant with some of the best food that I have ever eaten. If you are in or know someone around San Antonio you should really check it out!

Not everything is veg or vegan but there are some great meal options that will make your mouth dance! I had the Imam Bayildi which is baby egg plant cooked in olive oil with tomato, green pepper, and onions, and served with rice.

Alyssa had the egg plant that was stuffed with ground beef but it still smelled good! So if you want to bring your meat eater friends its more than great for them too!

Than came the best part of every meal. Dessert. If you look at the link you will see they have only six desserts. Its a good thing that they don't have any more though. I already have trouble choosing. Alyssa ended up getting Baklava (Layer upon layer of thin pastry, filled with walnuts and drenched in a sweet sauce. Topped off with pistachios) Which can sometimes be just way too much for me. It burns my tongue it is so sweet! I got Kaysi Tatlisi (Sundried apricots stuffed with walnuts). To end it off we both got a cup of the most amazing Turkish coffee ever. I know Turkish coffee. Working in the hookah bar exposed me to it a lot and the men are really particular about it. So I can honestly say that this is the best!

To end the night, we came home a turned on the record player and shared a guava hookah with Kristen again. Good night and good food.

Hope you enjoyed it Alyssa!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Steamed Artichoke with Israeli Couscous

Sorry that I haven't been posting as often as I was! School has been killing me so pasta seems to be the fast food of choice. All the same last night Alyssa made me an amazing meal! It seriously knocked my socks off.

1 artichoke
Vegan Butter (I use Earth Balance)
Garlic (minced)
Lemon juice
1/2 a cup of dry Israeli Couscous (per person)

Start off by steaming your artichoke. Mine takes around 35 minutes.

When that is almost done take the couscous and make it as you would pasta and drain.

Once the artichoke is steamed keep it on warm. Melt butter before adding the garlic and lemon juice to taste. Pour into a bowl and serve.

If you've never eaten a whole artichoke it is totally different. Pull the leaves off and scape the meat off of the ends of the leaves. You can also eat the heart and then stem. It is sooooooooooo good!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Red Bean Pasta

So, as is the life of a college student I am nearly out of food and need to put the last twenty dollars in my gas tank to get to school (I really need a bike). Its time, for any person, vegan or not, to move into left overs mode. Lucky for me this isn't hard and for anything that I do need I can just go to the Arabian market and get what I need for under a dollar.

Pasta with Red Kidney Bean & Thyme

Hand full of dried whole grain pasta
Onion (as much as you want)
1/2 cup of cooked red kidney beans
Pinch of Thyme
Earth Balance butter
Soy Parm (optional)

Cook the pasta to the desired tenderness. The handful should double in size when it is fully cooked so don't worry if it doesn't look like too much. Drain out the water and leave the pasta in the strainer.

Turn down the heat to medium. Toss in Earth Balance and melt about half way. Put in the beans and onion and cook until onions are almost see through. After than toss in the pasta and thyme and mix in with the rest.

Soy parm is actually one of the few (if only) cheese sub that I like. After you pour it into a bowl, if you like sprinkle it with the parm.


Health note: When you combine beans and any whole grain it releases amino acids and vitamin's that you can only get when they are together!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Vegan Eating

I often get from my parents and other people around me questions about how I could possibly be getting everything that I need form a vegan diet. My boy friends mother even suggested that I needed to go and see a nutritionist regarding the lack of meat in my diet.

While I appreciate the concern I get from people regarding my health I politely have to tell them that some of the top research groups in the country (including the Mayo Clinic) support a plant based diet over the traditional meat and potato's diet that has been brainwashed into our society. Never mind that there are tons of athelites that have used a plant based diet to enhance their game including MMA fighters, runners, mountian climbers, dancers, triatholone winners, ect.

Still for new Veggies that I looking to replace things in their diets it can be a rather daunting task. I know it was for me when I started. In responce to that I thought it would be helpful to put up this Vegan Food Pyrimid.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Vegan Burritos & Board Game Night!

Nothing like being broke, finding stuff as cheap as we can to make clean Burritos and playing board games! Ah College Life. When all else fails break out the Scabble and the last of the hookah and go!

Vegan Burritos:

Like most burritos, this is all to taste. So do what feels right, with the veggies you like in the amount that you would like!

1 Whole grain tortia shell
1 cup of cooked brown rice
1/2 -1 cup of cooked black beans
1/2 cup of raw veggies (I like onion, lots of peppers, garlic, shallots and others)
Vegan Sour cream (optional)

Warm the tortia in the oven wrapped in a dish cloth or in the microwave for 15 seconds wrapped in paper towel. Place all of the ingredients in layers on the tortia (if you put the sour cream down first it will stick together better). Spread them across almost the entire shell to make sure that it will roll easier. Roll tightly but folding one end over and than the others around it.

And there you have it! I love using raw veggies though some like them slightly braised. I prefer raw cause it gives you that nice crunch when you bite down!

This is a great meal and fills you up really fast! Not to mention that it has just about every category on the Vegan food pyramid in it!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Red Curry & Coconut rice

Red curry:

2 tbs olive oil
1-3 tbs red curry paste
1 1/2 cups of green beans or other beans cut into bite size peices
1 1/2 cups of baby bok choy cut into bite size peices
1 cup of tofu cut into bit size peices
2 tbs of soy sauce
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon or raw unrefined sugar

Heat the oil in the pan over medium heat before adding the curry paste. Stir about 3 minutes until the paste is fregrent and starts getting up your nose.

Add tofu first and cook about half way before adding the beans and bok choy. Saute for about 3 minutes until the beans are almost tender and the bok choy is wilting.

Stir together the sugar and soy sauce along with half a cup of water. Pour in and simmer covered for another three minutes or until beans are tender.

Yellow Coconut Rice:
(I make this before the curry because it takes longer.)

2 4-6 inch stalks of lemon grass
2 teaspoons of tumeric
3/4 cups of water
1 1/2 cups of long grain white rice
1 1/2 cups of cocnut milk
1 teaspoon of salt

Cut the lemon grass into 2 inch peices and smash them enough to release taste. Place the tumeric in the water and desolve. Now put the rice, water, coconut milk, lemon grass and salt into the sauce pan. Bring to boil over high heat for about a minute. Lower heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until all liquid is disolved and the rice is tender.

Before serving pull out the stalks of lemon grass.

Now when you have both, take a small mug and press the rice into it, making sure there are no air bubbles. Quickly flip the mug into the center of the plate and shake. Now take the curry and place it around the rice.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Buddah Belly Bowl

This is a GREAT recipe! Just a few simple steps and you have a savory, belly filling dish! Its also really colourful and fun to eat so kids will like it more than just a plate of mircowaved veggies.

1 cup of Quinoa
2 cups of water
Pinch of salt
Handful of fav veggies
Sesame oil
3 oz of boiled or pan seared tofu
...or 3 oz of black beans

To cook the quinoa boil the 2 cups of water, add salt that add Quinoa. Bing to boil again before reducing heat and simmering, covered for 20 minutes.

While quinoa is cooking cut up veggies and steam them. Biol or sear your tofu until it has the desired firmness.

When all of it is cooked add your grain first to a bowl. Place veggies on one side and the tofu or black beans next to it. Serve with warmed seseam oil for dipping.

Health note: By eating the grains with the veggies you are able to absorb all of the vitimines in both the veggies and the grain!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Rainy Day Udon Soup

It's been raining for the past....week down here in good old texas. While we dont have snow in the winter we have a heck of alot of rain. And rain means two things in my mind: A warm fire and a bowl of yummy soup.

1 table spoon of Miso paste
1 1/2 cups of water
1 pack of instant japanese udon noodles
3 oz of meduim hard tofu cut into little squares
chopped scallions

Bring water to a boil. Place in tofu and miso paste into bioling water and disolve paste. Place in the udon noodles and the scallions into the water next and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the time tender.

Enjoy and Yummy!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Alyssa's OCD Spicy Black Bean Burger

So this is just a quick dinner that we throw together on a rainy Thursday night. It is just as good as a meat burger but oh so much better.

2 Morning Star Spicy Black Bean Burgers
1 roma tomato. (Sliced)
Mustard or Veganaze
avacodo (Sliced)
salt/ pepper to taste.
Flaxseed bread (toasted)

Set the oven at 400 degrees and place the bean burgers into it when done. They should be done in about 10 minutes but check them.
Take first pattie and place it on toasted bun. Place mustard on top of first pattie. Put sliced tomamto on next than the other pattie. Avacodo comes next followed but just a little more mustart. Put bread on last.

Quinoa With Roasted Pine Nuts and Basil

Hope the start of everyones new year is going well and for those of us in school, the best of new semesters. So here is the recipy for today:

Quinoa with Roasted Pinenuts and Basil.

1 cup of Quinoa
1/2 cup of Pinenuts and/or sliced almonds and cashews
handful of fresh basil chopped
Pinch of sea salt
1 tbs of olive oil

Place the quinoa in a strainer and rinse well. Combine with 2 cups of water and the salt in saucepan. Bring to a boil before reducing heat. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

While the quinoa is cooking heat the nuts in a small dry skillet over meaduim heat. Toast them until they start to turn golden (6-7 minutes). TO prevent burning shake the pan frequently. Move to a bowl and let cool.

Add the quinoa to a serving bowl with the nuts and fluff with fork. Add trhe olive oil and basil. Stir to combined.

Health note: Quinoa is great. Its actually a seed that is cooked and has the vitimines and fiber of a whole grain. Its really high in protien. If you want to give this crazy little seed more of a flavor thats rich and nutty, pan roast the rinsed quinoa until it is golden brown.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Fava Bean Dip!

This is one of the dishes that I learned when I was working at the Arabic Cafe. We didn't actually serve it but my bosses ate it allot and I love it!

1 can Fava Beans
1 tomato chopped
2 table spoons of onion diced
3 cloves of garlic diced
3 tablespoons of Lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tablespoons of salt
1/4 table spoon pepper

Cook fava beans on the stove until they start to split open.

While they cook combine all of the other ingredients in bowl and mix well.

Once the beans are cooked drain off most of the extra liquid. Keep some of it though. Mix the beans in with the rest of the ingredients. Serve with warm pita bread as a dip.

Along side in this picture are hummus and stuffed grape leaves.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Roasted sunflower seeds

Here is an easy snack or salad topper! I always keep a thing of them in the fridge to toss on meals for a little extra zing! I also like to eat them by them selves as a little snack or pick me up.

All you need in raw sunflow seeds and soy sauce. Toss both into a pan over meduim heat watch and listen for seeds beginning to sizzle but not pop. They should turn a golden brown.