Archive for the ‘Vegan’ Category

Hi friends! Happy (?) Monday!

Jeremy and I had a productive weekend! On Saturday we cleaned out our basement and donated 2 carloads of stuff to the Salvation Army and now have 7 bags of trash waiting to be hailed away. It feel SO much better! We can actually move around without dodging random things now!

On Saturday night we went to the rollerderby! I had never been to a roller derby bout before and it was awesome! Our friend, Jen, aka Rachel Slure (that is her roller derby nick name) was just coming back from having the most adorable baby ever and she did an amazing job! I’m still a little fuzzy on the rules of roller derby, but it looks like tons of fun, not to mention a great workout! Our local team is called the Dutchland Roller girls. We had a really great night watching our them trample the team from Hanover, PA.

I wish I had gotten better pictures. They just skate so fast!

Ok. I have a confession. I dont like mushrooms. The way they grow kind of freaks me out and the texture makes me want to… well, you know.

I was bothered about my tumultous relationship with mushrooms. I like almost all other vegetables (eggplant is the other one I cant stomach, also because of the texture and probably because I was forced to eat fried eggplant when I was a kid. Ugh, I get chills just thinking about it.) and I want to enjoy mushrooms as well. So, I realized that if I cut mushrooms small enough, and include them with other vegetables, I dont notice their texture. Perfect! I am happy to report that the past 3 weeks or so, I have used mushrooms three times! Now I guess I need to work on eggplant…

Yesterday I decided to make vegetable pockets. Which are basically just a variety of vegetables, any will do, tucked in a little dough pocket.

First I made a standard whole wheat pizza dough and while I was waiting for the dough to double, I sauteed shallots, red peppers, zucchini and MUSHROOMs until soft… added a little salt, oregano, and basil

Once the pizza dough was finished rising, I rolled it out very thin and cut it into pieces. Then I spooned some of the vegetable filling onto the dough and folded it onto itself.

Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes (until the top is golden).

I decided to serve the veggie pocket with a little tomato sauce and rice pilaf. It was delicious! A fun meal for when you want something different, but with familiar tastes.

This is what Maci’s Sunday was like:

Hanging out in the sun. Ps — those wicker chairs are not ours…

Veggies Pockets
Makes 4 pockets

3 T shallots
1 T olive oil
1 red pepper, diced
1 cucumber, diced
1/2 lb mushrooms (!), diced (any kind will do)
1 T oregano
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup tomato sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Whole wheat pizza dough

Prepare the pizza dough. While it is doubling, begin to cut and prepare veggies.

1. Saute scallions in oil until soft at medium heat
2. Add red pepper, saute until soft
3. Add zucchini and mushrooms, saute another minute or two
4. Add 1/4 cup tomato sauce and basil, salt, and oregano
5. Turn heat down  to low heat and simmer until most of liquid is absorbed
6. Once dough has doubled, punch it down and transfer to a flowered surface.
7. Roll the dough out very thin and cut into 4 squares
8. Divide vegetable mixture evenly between squares of dough
9. Fold sides of dough in and place on a greased baking sheet seam side down
10. Sprinkle basil on top of each pocket
11. Bake at 350 for 20-30 or until the tops are golden brown

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Pesto Pizza

My Sunday started out with me heading in to work to do homework for about 3 hours. Bleh times a million. Then I headed to the grocery store to do our shopping for the week which was probably one of the worst decisions I have ever made. I totally forgot that it was Super Bowl Sunday. I guess that shows how much I’m invested into it. Yeah, the store was packed. I kept shopping though because I didnt feel like going home and then going back later.

I’ve been craving pesto all week. Should I made pesto pasta? Pesto and fresh mozzarella paninni? Then it hit me… PESTO PIZZA! Making pizza on Sundays is somewhat of a tradition for me. I love to make my own crust and only really want to take the time on Sundays, when I know I have the time to let it rise.

After I got home from the grocery store, I snacked on some artichoke dip leftover from our wedding! Jeremy’s mom brought it for us yesterday. It was fantastic and I was glad Jeremy’s mom saved it for us, becuase I really didnt eat that much at our reception, I was too busy talking to everyone!

A little bit later, I made the pizza dough and set it aside to let it rise. While it was rising, I made granola bars to take to school for the week. I was loving these granola bars last week. They are roughly 100-150 calories per bar and satiate my appetite for a few hours… which is important during my 7 hour stretch of classes on Mondays!

Soon after I was done making the granola bars, it was time to roll out the pizza and add the pesto, onions, and cheese!

Oh it was deelicious! And pizza is always appropriate for Super Bowl Sunday (if you are, in fact, celebrating Super Bowl Sunday). I also got to use our pizza stone for the first time! I really liked how the dough turned out on the stone. I’ll definitely be using it more!

When making my pizza dough, I like to pre-bake it before putting topping on, depending on how much time you have, you can probably just put your toppings on right away.

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
Makes 1 pizza

3/4 cup plus 2T lukewarm water
1 package active dry yeast
1t. sugar
1/2t salt
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup bread flour, or all purpose flour (Or you can use white whole wheat flour, like I did!)
2T yellow cornmeal

1. Stir water, yeast, sugar, and salt in a large bowl, let stand until the yeast has dissolved, about 5 minutes.
2. Stir in whole wheat flour, bread flour (or all-purpose flour, of white whole wheat flour) and cornmeal until the dough begins to come together
3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes
4. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover with a clean towel and set aside in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
6. Roll out dough and prebake for 17 minutes
7. Add the toppings and bake again for 20 minutes

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My house smells so good right now! I’m making granola! In full disclosure, I’m pretty sure that my house is saturated with the smell of cinnamon because I mistakenly doubled the amount of cinnamon I added. Oops. Oh well… I love cinnamon, so I wasnt too worried.

Granola is one of my favorite things to eat for breakfast. I love it with plain yogurt and fruit. Yum!

Mountains of oats!

Look at alll that cinnamon!

Oh MAN I love granola!

I’m sitting here watching Oprahs Australian Adventure. How amazing. I want to go to Australia! I’m pretty sure that if I was given a free trip as amazing as the one Oprah gave her viewers… I would just be crying tears of joy about everything that would be happening. Oh man… and now some guy just proposed to his girlfriend. Underwater. In Australia. Tears. Seriously, when did I become so sappy??

Makes about 2 1/2 quarts.

6 cups flaked or rolled oats
2 cups oat bran
1/2 cup flax seeds, coarsely ground
1/2 cup coconut, flaked or shaved (optional)
1 cup chopped nuts of your choice
1/2 to 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (to taste)
2 to 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon (to taste)
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup mild honey, such as clover
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 to 2 cups raisins (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Toss together all of the dry ingredients except the raisins in a very large bowl. Combine the oil, honey and vanilla in a saucepan or in a measuring cup, and warm over low heat or heat at 50 percent power in a microwave. Do not let the mixture come to a simmer. Stir into the dry ingredients. Stir to coat evenly.

2. Spread the granola mixture on the sheet pans, and bake for about 45 minutes to one hour until golden, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes and switching the pans from lower to middle racks. Remove from the heat, stir in the raisins if using, and allow to cool on the pans. Store in well sealed jars, bags or containers.

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Its totally going to snow tonight! I can tell, not only because that is what weather.com says, but it also just looks like snow outside. The whole world seems to be cast in a gray tone. I love snow. I know… I’m one of those weird people.

School starts up on Wednesday and this semester I am taking 18 credits and have all of my classes jam packed on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays. It works really well for me because I commute an hour each way and so the less days I have to drive, the better.  But, it also means that I dont have many breaks during the day so I will need lots of snacks to keep me going. This afternoon I decided to make a batch of hummus to take along to school with me. I got to make it with my brand new food processor (weddings rule!)

My other food processor worked fine, but this thing is amazing! It totally blew my old one out of the water. I LOVE it! Sometimes it really does pay to spend a little bit more for better quality (or have very generous family members who buy you one as a wedding gift).

Yum. Hummus is one of my favorite condiments. It’s delicious and there is no reason to feel guilty about it becuase it is healthy! I’m a mayo girl, but I often choose hummus over mayo and I never regret my decision. Mmm chickpeas..

I just realized that I forgot to get a picture of the finished product. Oops. You guys know what hummus looks like right? I guess if you’ve seen one bowl of hummus, you’ve seen em all.

Makes about 4 cups

1 1/2 cups chickpeas, drained
1 tsp. kosher salt
3 garlic cloves, peeled
3/4 cups tahini
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tsp. olive oil

Crush the garlic and 1/2 tsp. of salt in a mortar until pureed. transfer the puree to the bowl of a food processor, add the tahini and lemon juice an dporcess unti white and contracted. add 1/4 cup of water and porcess until completely smooth

Add the chickpeas to the tahini mixture and process until well blended.

*I also decided to add a pinch of cayenne pepper to give it a bit of a kick.

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My Foodview

So! Here I am. My first post. Recently I’ve become somewhat of a food blog nerd. I’ve been spending a lot of my time searching blogs for delicious and healthy recipes that are within my reach (a.k.a. doesn’t require me to go out and buy any crazy tools and doesnt involve ingredients that I’ve never heard of). I began thinking that maybe I’m not the only one who loves dreaming about making delicious and healthy food without getting bogged down with lots of random ingredients. So I decided that I would start to blog about my rendezvous with food.

My senior year of college (the first time around J) I was challenged to write my worldview. This was supposed to be a culmination of experiences and challenges in my life which have shaped the way I view the world. Well… I thought it would be appropriate if I start this blog out by giving my food worldview… or “foodview,” if you will.

I believe that food has many amazing purposes. It adds richness to life! It bring people together; building and strengthening relationships. Every culture on this earth has customs surrounding food and most value food on a higher level. Food is a focus of most celebrations, gatherings, and parties. When we have a friend or neighbor in need, we make them a meal and take it to their house. When my fiancé and I travel we often plan around where we will eat and what kind of food we want to try. As a culture, we value food so highly that we even allow our most dangerous and violent criminals a “last meal” of their choice before they leave this earth.

Food has another very large job, and that is to sustain life. The choices that we make regarding food on a daily basis effect our bodies and the quality of life that we live. I used to have one requirement for the food that I ate: taste. I will say that for most of my 26 years I have been able to eat whatever I want and keep a relatively healthy body weight. Except for that one time when I went to the West Bank and felt such deep pain for the people there that for the first, and only, time in my life I ate to make myself feel better (that and I had a host mother who would get extremely offended if I did not clean my plate and go for seconds at each meal).

Now, I think about food differently. Rather than immediately going for what tastes the best, I think about the way it energizes my body and gives me what I need to function on a daily basis. Don’t get me wrong, I still love Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich, and you can ask my fiancé, there is rarely a circumstance where I will pass up a Reeses’s peanut butter cup.  For the most part I try to eat food that will give my body good, grown from the earth nutrients, rather than manufactured, fake, fat filled, trash.

That being said I decided that my first recipe should involve my favorite vegetable, and also the namesake of this blog… sweet potatoes! These fries are absolutely delicious. They are baked, not fried and rely on the vegetables natural flavors and sweetness to deliver the goodness. Although, the garlic and rosemary certainly add to the taste. Enjoy!

Sweet potatoes are not only DELICIOUS… they are downright amazing when it comes to the amounts of vitamins and nutrients. Yes, those of you counting carbs probably avoid them like the plague… but… if you have a splurge day… EAT SOMETHING WITH SWEET POTATOES IN IT! for me?

Sweet Potato Fries
1/2 t. chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 t. kosher salt
1 small clove of garlic, peeled
2 T. olive oil
2 medium sweet potatoes

1. Preheat over to 425 degrees
2. using a mortar and pestle, mash together the garlic, salt, and rosemary to form a paste.
3. in a small bowl, combine the olive oil and garlic paste and set aside
4. Scrub sweet potatoes. slice the sweet potatoes lengthwise into french fry size peices
5. Put potato slices into a large bowl. Add oil mixture and toss until all potatoes are well coated (I put mine in a tupperware container, sealed the lid and shook it around for a few seconds… the shake and bake method!).
6. spread potatoes out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (the parchment is optional, but makes for easier clean up!). If you choose to not use parchment paper, be sure to grease the baking sheet
7. Roast potatoes for 30-35 minutes turning a few times.

Yield: 2 servings

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