Thursday, February 21, 2008

$50 Pantry stock up Challenge

I am getting ready to stock up my pantry. So I have a question for you...

If you had only $50 to stock up your pantry what would you add?

I am planning on buying:
whole wheat flour
organic sugar
canned black olives
canned black beans
canned chick peas
spaghetti sauce
popcorn..microwave only because I am scared of scratching my new stove top.
dried pinto beans
dried black beans
dried chickpeas

Monday, February 18, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Once again, I didn't stick to my menu. It was crazy to say the least. This week the menu is going to be very basic. We got the bad news Friday that we have to replace our van within the next 2 weeks. The mechanic told us that it wasn't safe to drive it much longer. So we are going to be spending the evenings looking at cars. A lot of my baking recipes will be coming from my new cookbook, Vegan Baking. I will post the recipes if they work. Check out many more recipes over on Laura's Blog.

B- Pancakes & chocolate banana shakes(these both were delicious!! I will post recipes this afternoon)
L- Free for all
D- Spaghetti with veggie meatballs & homemade bread
Dessert...not sure what yet.

B- Omelettes, home fries, biscuits
L- "chk" quesadillas & corn
D- Veggie Fried Rice

Wednesday: (car decision day)
B- Cinnamon Rolls
L- Veggie Dogs & baked beans... or eat out.
D- Homemade Pizza & salad

B- french toast
L- peanut butter & jelly
D- vegan hamburgers & fries

B- Breakfast sandwiches, hash browns
L- sandwiches ( hoping to go on a picnic if weather cooperates)
D- Calzones

B- cereal & muffins
L- free for all
D- Pancakes

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A New Addition

I am so proud to announce the newest addition to my house. ....

Isn't it beautiful??? Please excuse the blurry picture. My old one was 20years old. This is soo sweet. I sat there tonight while watching our pizzas cook. Yes I know, I am strange. But my last range didn't have a window to look in or a light. Do you know what the greatest thing is???? I can cook LOTS at one time. For the first time ever I was able to cook all 4 personal pizzas at one time. I couldn't do that in my old had 1 rack.
I can't wait to start to really cook in it. I just don't know what to bake first. Cookies? Bread? Cupcakes? Overnight french toast? So much to little time.

Valentine's Day Cooking

DD & I made some Valentine's Day Cupcakes. We just used a white cake mix that I needed to use up. She did most of the work herself. I did learn one thing though. If you don't want red & pink sprinkles ALL over the place never leave a 6yr to decorate the cupcakes. LOL.

For dinner we had heart shaped pasta with veggies. I made a butter sauce(that is what my kids call it). I take minced roasted garlic, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder(we LOVE garlic here) and mix with melted butter. Then I toss the pasta in it and add parmesan cheese. I put mixed peppers, baby bellas & broccoli on top of the pasta. I served spinach and olive bread on the side. It was delicious! Personally I thought that it was the best sauce that I have ever made.

Monday, February 11, 2008

A New Book

I am sooo excited. Guess what I got in the mail today?????

The Joy of Vegan Baking

Oh I cannot tell you how excited I am. I cannot wait to start baking.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Notes from last week's Menu:
It was not a success. We ended up throwing away the menu by Friday. Things kept coming up and I didn't have the time that I would of like to devote to cooking. This week that will change. I am not going to be constantly on the go. A couple of things that I made last week were a big hit~ Calzones and Egg-Free Banana Chocolate Muffins. Dh liked the savory spread for his bagel, but found that it was too runny. Since we didn't follow last week's menu, there will be some carry-over meals.

Breakfast: free for all
Lunch: Bagel Bites & fruit slices
Dinner: Three-Way Sesame Tofu with Spicy Broccoli (This was DELICIOUS!!!)Monday:
Breakfast: Breakfast Pizzas
Lunch: quesadillas & corn
Dinner: Spaghetti & Veggie Meatballs
Snacks: fruit & ???

Breakfast: Blueberry Pancakes
Lunch: Un-Tuna Salad Sandwiches
Dinner: Crockpot Spinach & Mushroom Lasagna

Breakfast: Breakfast Sandwiches
Lunch: Out (doctor's appointments all day)
Dinner: Homemade Pizzas
Mozzarella Sticks

Breakfast: Waffles
Lunch: Grilled Cheese & waffle fries
Dinner: Valentine's Day Pasta w/ vegetables
Dessert: Cupcakes

Breakfast: Quiche & home fries
Lunch: free for all
Dinner: Black bean tacos

Breakfast: Pancakes
Lunch: veggie sandwiches
Dinner: Kung Pao Tofu over rice

Snacks for the week:
Cookies, muffins, carrots & ranch dressing, taco wontons, mini egg rolls, homemade pretzels & fresh fruit

For more wonderful & yummy ideas go here to I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Saturday, February 9, 2008


Yummy! Yummy!
I rolled out pillsbury refrigerated pizza crust on a sprayed cookie sheet. I added 'toppings' on half of the crust and then folded the other half over and sealed. I baked it at 400º until it was brown. It was a HUGE hit here. I made 3 different calzones: spicy tofu & cheese, peppers, black olives & cheese, and fully loaded (spicy tofu, broccoli, black olives, peppers, mushrooms, spinach & cheese).

Monday, February 4, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

This is my first week participating in Menu Plan Monday. Recipes with an ** by them are new recipes for us. I will be adding more of the recipes and pictures as we have them. =-)

Breakfast: Veggie Pizzas~broccoli, cooked mushrooms, sauteed onions & black olives. I use a pre-made crust that I get from Kroger. One day I will tackle my phobia of making bread. No pictures here. My kids got to it before I remembered the camera.
Lunch: Free for all~my children love making their own choices for lunch.
Dinner: ***Three-Way Sesame Coated Tofu Strips with Spicy Broccoli & brown rice
Snacks: fruit, **Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies & popcorn

Breakfast: Baked Oatmeal & Smoothies for the kids
Bagels with ***Savory Spread for Mom & Dad
Lunch: "Chkn" Quesadillas, corn on the cob & apple slices
Dinner: Homemade Mac & Cheese, peas & salad
Snacks: **Egg-Free Chocolate-Banana Loaf
Baby carrots & ranch dressing

Wednesday: We have to take the van to the shop today so it has to be quick
Breakfast: Egg Sandwiches
Lunch: Tuna-Free Sandwiches
carrot & celery with hummus
Dinner: Eating out or **Crockpot Spinach & Mushroom Lasagna, salad & fresh bread(made from frozen dough)
Bagel Bites
apple slices & dip

Breakfast:Tofu Scramble~peppers, mushrooms, spinach
home fries, toast
Lunch: Veggie Wraps & fruit
Dinner: Egg Rolls~I use this recipe and just use spring roll wrappers. Pan-Fried Black bean Wontons & Sushi
Snacks: Rice Crackers or fruit
Cookies(made on Monday)

Breakfast: **Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins, yogurt & cereal
Lunch: Veggie Calzones mandarin oranges
Dinner: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches & sweet potato fries
Snacks: Ants on a log
Mini taco Wontons

Breakfast: **Apple Cinnamon French Toast, veggie bacon, orange juice
Lunch: Leftovers or possibly Subs
Dinner: "Chk" faijitas tortilla chips w/ salsa & guacamole
Snacks: Rice crackers
homemade pretzels(dh will make these)

For many many more wonderful ideas head on over to I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Crock Pot Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna

Crock Pot Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna
I got this from a great yahoo group: Vegetarian_group

This vegetarian lasagna is assembled and cooked in the crock pot--a
perfect solution for people on the go.

1 10 oz frozen box of spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 small onion
1 8 oz fresh mushroom
2 tablespoon dry red wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 8 oz tomato sauce
1 6 oz tomato paste
2 cups spaghetti sauce
12 lasagna noodles, uncooked
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 15 oz ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons parsley flakes
1 dash fresh ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet. Add garlic, mushroom, onion, salt
and wine let simmer for about 10 minutes or until mushrooms and onion
are tender. Next, add tomato paste, tomato sauce, and spaghetti sauce
cooking at least 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix egg, spinach, ricotta
cheese, Parmesan cheese, parsley, and pepper. Add enough milk to make
ricotta cheese mixture creamy. I add 3 to 4 tbsp milk, (it depends on
whether you like it creamy). Spread a layer of spaghetti sauce over
the bottom of a 4 to 6 qt crock pot. Layer 4 noodles, broken into
pieces to fit, then add a layer of spaghetti sauce mixture followed
by a layer of ricotta cheese mixture, sprinkling half of mozzarella
cheese over ricotta cheese mixture. Repeat layers. Cover and cook on
low setting 4 to 7 hours.

Number of servings: 6

Pan -Seared Black Bean Dumplings

Pan-Seared Black Bean Dumplings

Marilu Henner's kids love these so much she featured them in her bestselling
book, Marilu Henner's Total Health Makeover. If you can't find the chili garlic
paste, you can replace it with 2 teaspoons of Thai chili paste and 1 teaspoon of
chopped garlic. These can also be steamed for a more traditional presentation.

1 cup canned or cooked, drained andmashed black beans
1/2 teaspoon ponzu sauce or fresh lime juice
1/4 cup tahini
2 tablespoons trimmed and thinly sliced scallions
1 tablespoon chili garlic paste
1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
12 tablespoons round wonton wrappers
1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce

In a mixing bowl, blend all the ingredients together except for the wonton
Lay out the wrappers on a flat clean surface. Add approximately 1 teaspoon of
mixture in the center of each skin. Brush a light coating of water around the
edges of the skins and fold over to form a half moon. Repeat with the remaining
wrappers and filling. Seal tightly with your fingers or use a fork to pinch the
ends together. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Preheat the oven to 350�F. Spray a nonstick skillet with canola oil spray, set
over medium heat, and cook 6 dumplings at a time. Brown each side 2 to 3
minutes. Finish cooking on a baking sheet in the oven for 5 minutes to warm the
Makes 4 servings12 dumplings.

Egg-Free Chocolate Banana loaf

I got this from Vegetarian Times March 2008.

Makes 1 loaf, 3 mini loaves, or 12 muffins.

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
3/4 cup mashed banana
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract

1. preheat over to 350º. Coat 9x5 loaf pan, 3 6x3 mini loaf pans or 12-cup tin with cooking spray.
2. Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in bowl. Whisk together buttermilk, mashed banana, oil, and vanilla in separate bowl. Fold the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture.
3. Scoop batter into prepared pan(s). Bake large loaf 50 to 60 minutes, miniloaves 35 to 45 minutes, or muffins 18 to 22 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pan(s). Unmold, and cool. Drizzle with Chocolate Drizzle of desired.

Chocolate Drizzle

Melt 1oz chopped bittersweet chocolate in a double boiler or in microwave at low(20%) power. Drizzle over cooled loaf or muffin.

Homemade Macaroni & Cheese

Homemade Macaroni Cheese


1 cup whole macaroni noodles
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
2 cups soy milk
1 onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper chopped
black pepper to taste(and any other seasonings you like)
1 can of black olives, drained
2 1/2 cups shredded cheese(we use the fiesta blend)
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350�

Boil the macaroni until it is undercooked, drain and set aside. Meanwhile in
a saucepan melt the butter and whisk in the flour. Whish in the milk. Add
the onion, green pepper and seasonings. Stir and cook for 15minutes. Don't
let it boil. Add to the macaroni(I just add it all back to the pan that the
noodles were cooked in). Add green pepper & black olives and 2 cups of
cheese. Pour half into a greased casserole. Sprinkle the last bit of cheese
over it then add the rest of the macaroni. In a small skillet melt the
butter, add the bread crumbs and toast. The spread over the macaroni. Bake
for 30 minutes.

serves 5 as a side dish. If you double it it will fit in a 9x13 pan.

Bagels-for-Breakfast Spread(Savory)

This is another recipe from my favorite cookbook Vegan Planet.

4 ounces soft silken tofu, drained
1/3 cup tahini(sesame paste)
1/4 cup miso paste
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

In a food processor or blender, combine all the ingredients until well blended. Transfer to a small bowl, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 3-5 days.

Makes about 1-1/4 cups

Three-Way Sesame Tofu with Spicy Broccoli

I got this from Vegan Planet. This is my FAVORITE cookbook ever! I have yet to try a recipe from this book that wasn't a huge hit in my family.

Three-Way Sesame Tofu with Spicy Broccoli (I will add pictures once I make it)

2 1/2 cups broccoli florets
1/4 cup tahini
2 Tbs tamari or other soy sauce
1/3 cup water, or as needed
1 cup sesame seeds
One 16-oz package extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 1/2-inch-wide by 1/2-inch-thick strips
2 Tbs peanut oil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp toasted sesame oil

1. Steam broccoli until crisp-tender. 2 to 3 minutes, then plunge into a bowl of ice water. Drain and set aside.
2. In a small, shallow bowl, combine tahini, 1 tablespoon tamari, and enough water to make a smooth paste. Place sesame seeds on a plate. Dredge tofu strips in the tahini mixture, then coat with the sesame seeds.
3. heat 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, add the tofu strips and cook until lightly browned on both sides, about 5 minutes total. Transfer to a serving platter and keep warm.
4.Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon peanut oil in the same skillet over medium heat. Add the red pepper flakes and broccoli and stir-fry until hot, about 2 minutes. Splash with the remaining 1 tablespoon tamari and spoon the broccoli over the tofu. Drizzle the sesame oil over all and serve hot.