Vegetarian Family

A Peek @ Food We Eat & Things We Do!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Mocha Chip Muffins (minus the mocha, add some chocolate)

I was outnumbered - 2 to 1. It was a simple and persistent request, "Mommy, you want to make some muffins?" "Mommy, I'll make you muffins!" "Mommy wants to cook." "Mommy, will cook it." "Mommy will make muffins...Please." Variations of this phrase were repeated over & over in hopes of breaking the code - to say it in such a way as to spur some action. It was only a matter of seconds before it broke me down, so I preheated the oven and pulled Vegan with a Vengeance off the shelf. In this photo, you can see my pay-off in the chocolate tooth black-out smile.

This one was just along for the ride. She loves all food and would be happy enough to enjoy anything her sister could motivate momma to make. She added to the hype with her yelps and observed big sister to learn some tricks of the trade.

As for me, well, I had a sweet tooth.......

Page 51 has the recipe for 'Mocha Chip Muffins' and I made a couple slight variations, though they probably deserve a different title since there is no mocha. Who has instant coffee in the house? Not me, and I probably drink too much coffee, but not the instant kind. I also used 1 cup Chocolate Silk instead of plain; as well as Zen Soy chocolate pudding instead of plain soy yogurt. Add the above two extra helpings of chocolate to the cocoa powder & chocolate chips the recipe calls for, and you get black-out chocolate teeth! I highly recommend these next time you need chocolate. I look at them and wonder... Why are these muffins and not cupcakes?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Midweek Munchies + Farmer's Market = Good Food

Harmonias Midweek Munchies Meme
A Veg*n Meme

What wonderful foods did you bring home from the grocery store?
Midweek Munchies: What Vicki is contributing for the week:

Peaceful Belly is my favorite vendor at our local Farmer's Market.

This is why. Just look at this organic swiss chard, kale, carrots, radishes, & onions! The nice guy appologized that there was no lettuce on the table because some deer raided the garden the night before! Lucky deer.

Here's my Co-op run. (list is below) The Peaceful Belly also sells their produce here. If you're in town, you should definately drop in because they have a great deli, restaurant across the parking lot, health/beauty section, food & wine selection -- plus, it's our one & only hippie store. You'd feel right at home. :o)

I was excited to pick these braggs up while we were in California at Mother's Market.

* = organic

*Vanilla Silk
*Chocolate Silk
Willow Run Soy Margarine
*Earth Balance
*Miso (sweet white)

Nutritional Yeast
*Muir Glen Ketchup
*Muir Glen Tomato Paste
Nature's Gate 'Herbal Cream de Mint'
*Bragg's Applecider Vinegar
*Bragg's Liquid Aminos
*Imagine Vegetable Broth
*Woodstock Farms Dijon Mustard

Links to other Midweek Munchies
(If you participate, leave your link in the comments and I'll post it below; or, you can post in the comments)

Click here for the Midweek Munchies code
Click here for Harmonia's blog

Trackbacks, pings, and comment links are accepted and encouraged!
Technorati Tag:

A special thanks to Running2Ks and Rift for all of their help with coding, graphics, and encouragement for this project.

PURPOSE of Midweek Munchies: Put together by a small group of Veg Women, we hope to spread the word about healthy vegetarianism while obtaining idea starters for meals, recipes, learn about new products, and meet other female veg*n bloggers. Visiting and commenting on other participants lists are encouraged but not required. Have fun and Go Veg!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Banana Blueberry Oat Bundles & Cherry-Almond Muffins

It's been too hot to cook lately. And when it gets this hot, it's hard not to think about the heat, so I ordered Gore's book, and will let you know when it arrives.

In the mean time, we had some overripe bananas, and you know what that means... Vive le Vegan's! 'Banana Oat Bundles'. This time was different though, because I had cardamom and parchment paper on hand, and I added 1/3 C. dried blueberries. Also, the bundles are consistently shaped because of my medium cookie scoop. Yummy, as always! :o)

I was inspired to make these muffins because of this photo at The House of Simon. I had to make a couple modifications based on what was in the kitchen. I used banana soy yogurt instead of vanilla; and I didn't have sliced almonds, so I chopped up whole ones in the food processor. I loved these muffins, but the girls didn't go for it. I'm pretty sure it's because this is the first time they've had nuts on muffins, and it threw them for a loop. Thanks for the inspiration, Carrie!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Magic Loaf, Punk Rock Chickpea Gravy, Quinoa Salad, & Berry Scones

I did some yoga, I'm not about to start my period, and I'm still not OK. Please, just go see the movie and encourage your friends.

There are many simple things we can do in our everyday life, and this is a nice action item list.

In that spirit, we took a trip to The Berry Ranch. You probably already know that buying locally reduces the amount of energy required to drive your products to your store. When you buy from the farmer, there is less packaging, which could reduce your garbage by about 10%. Save 1,200 pounds of carbon dioxide and $1,000 per year. An added bonus is when a farm is organic, which is great, because the chemicals used in modern agriculture pollute the water supply, and require energy to produce. Let's promote, support, and celebrate our local farms -- before they sell out.

Here are some of the berries from the farm along with cantaloupe. In the bowl is VwaV 'Punk Rock Chickpea Gravy' and this recipe seals the brilliance of Isa in my mind - it is amazing. The brown lump on the right is my first attempt at The Magical Loaf Studio -- a clever idea by Jennifer @ the Vegan Lunch Box Blog. Be sure to enter your choices at the above link, and press submit to reveal the quantities and instructions (something I failed to do)

I used:

Smart Ground
Hemp Seed Nuts (not on the menu)
Uncooked Quick Oatmeal
Canned Black Beans with Liquid
Flaxseed Meal
Vegetable Oil
Bragg's (not on the menu)

This is just a simple salad I threw together and really enjoyed. In addition to the fresh corn we bought at the Berry Ranch, there is quinoa, tomato, and Tamari Sesame Dressing, on a bed of lettuce with lemon wedges.

These are VwaV Scones, pg. 42. I did Isa's 'Berry Scones' variation using some of our Berry Ranch berries. I baked these to take to a playdate for the girls at a swimming pool, and wanted them to be appealing, so I sprinkled some pink sugar on top (not let's do organic as I'd like it to be, but I'm using up what we have first). All the kids kept calling them cookies - I think because of the sprinkles. Hey, whatever works!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth - Show me your ticket stub

Here's our ticket stubs for "An Inconvenient Truth" -- Have you seen it yet? Please don't wait. Please tell your friends. This is a must see movie for people who wish to live on Earth. If you don't care -- please excuse yourself from the planet now, and give the rest of us a fighting chance. I know, I'm radical.

Is it surprising that switching from the average American diet to a vegetarian one causes a 50% greater cut in climate warming than switching from the average car to a Prius Hybrid. Link I'll blog more soon about the connection between global warming and an animal-based diet.

This is just one surprising way we can help save ourselves. It is clear we all must do more - we all must become proactive. Isn't it encouraging that the hole in the ozone layer a couple of decades ago was repaired. With that type of effort, this trend can be reversed, too. Everyone needs to make a difference. Everyone needs to do more. I've been examining, challenging, and organizing myself to improve, and I'll share more of that later. I'm not an expert, nor am I proud of my entire environmental footprint - but awakening is what we need. Come on, holler back!

This is a good link to learn more facts.

Here is another link that gives 20 things to do.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Kale, Lemon Berry Muffins, & Biscuit Casserole Stew

Dinner was kale, plain quinoa with Earth Balance, and Blackeyed Peas with a touch of cayenne.

Vicki's Kale Recipe:

1 bunch kale, spine removed chopped in strips
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves fresh garlic
1/4 c. olive oil, extra virgin
1/2 c. water
1 tbsp. bragg's
sea salt
3/4 tsp. hoisin sauce

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent. Add kale, water, bragg's & sea salt. cover and cook until the kale is wilted and the water is almost gone. when there's still a little water left, add the hoisin sauce and stir together. Serve warm with lemon. Kale is a house favorite!

This is basically 'Lemon-Poppy Seed Muffins' from VwaV, except I replaced the poppy seeds with blueberries, and also used raspberry soy yogurt instead of plain. Art said, "These are vegan?! Wow, they are great muffins!" I agree, but next time, I will add more than just 2 lemons worth of zest. I like it zesty!

This is left-over collard greens from another meal. I used a recipe from The Vegan Family Cookbook 'Greens with Onions & Garlic', which didn't impress either of us -- hence, the left-overs....we always finish our greens! So I took the left-overs and chopped them up fine to use for a different recipe from from the same cookbook. See below....

'Biscuit Casserole Stew' from The Vegan Family Cookbook was a huge hit! I didn't have carrots for this dish, so I decided to give the collards a second chance in the stew. I made the stew out of new potatoes, collard greens, split pea soup, vegetable broth, and other good things. Then, before it goes in the oven, you drop 15 uncooked biscuit dough balls on top of the stew. This medium scoop from Pampered Chef made the job easy & fun.

Here it is out of the oven. This was a delicious and satisfying meal - one that will go into the regular rotation.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Goodies Waiting @ Home

When we got home, I was thrilled that I had a package waiting for me from Leslie of Eat Peace Please. Just look at the beauty of this necklace & bracelet, and they are even prettier in person. Each stone is beautiful, artfully placed, and of the highest quality that can only come from being carefully hand-made. She has lots of gorgeous pieces to choose from, and maybe one would be perfect for you. Dreena also scored a Leslie original, which you can see here. I also got this organic lavender & flax aromatherapy pillow from her, which is divine. I adore it all! Thanks Leslie! :o)

I won this cookbook on ebay, and it was also waiting for me when we returned. I became interested in Nava Atlas from reading the Vegan Lunch Box. Jennifer has an ad for "The Vegetarian Family Cookbook" also by Nava Atlas, and she says that really most recipes are vegan & raves about how awesome they are. After thumbing through the cookbook, I see that this cookbook is essentially vegan also with little or no modification. Anybody have this cookbook? Summer soup titles include: 'Cream of Green Pea & Cucumber Soup' & 'Zesty Green Gazpacho'. She even has an "Accompaniments" chapter with all sorts of delectable bread recipes. Can't wait to dig in.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Restaurant Review: Sipz & meeting KleoPatra

I was more excited than ever about having dinner at Sipz. First off, this is an all vegetarian & vegan restaurant - just knowing that we could order anything off the menu was enough to make me giddy, but also, this is THE restaurant that KleoPatra raves about in her blog, pisces place. Add to all of that the fact that we were actually meeting Kleo for dinner! This was my first experience meeting someone that I met via the computer, so it was a monumental meal for me. Art & I were early, so we wandered into an awesome thrift store next door, which supports animal rescue & had tons of vegan literature. Art scored some rare vinyl - which Kleo joked could easily have been donated by her since she frequents & supports this place. In thrift stores, I usually head to the kitchen stuff & books, but this time somebody had beat me to it. But, I didn't leave empty handed, as they had a display with some great literature on global warming and veganism. For dinner, we all shared some veggie drum sticks, which is something we can get at a restaurant in town (Mai Thai) - they are really good. Art & I both had the Sweet & Sour Chicken entree with rice, which we agree is the very best we've ever had...I mean ever. I think Kleo had Chow Mein with soft noodles & mock chicken. Kleo had extensive knowledge of the menu, so it was fun to talk it over with her about what we might order. In fact, everybody working in the restaurant seemed to know & adore Kleo - they'd come by the table and say hello to her and make sure the food was just right, and it was.

After dinner, we went to Pacific Beach (where Art & I used to live) and walked Kleo's super sweet & soft dog, Mattie, along the boardwalk. It was refreshing meeting someone whom I have so many things in common - including our love of animals, concern for the environment and our impact on it, a plant based diet, living in San Diego, and of course, blogging. I'm sure glad we met, and thanks for a wonderful evening, KleoPatra!!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Global Warming: What You Need to Know

Anybody watching this tonight? 'Global Warming: What You Need to Know' 7 p.m. Sunday on Discovery.

If you do, will you please post or comment about the progam? I'm interested with how it stacks up to An Inconvenient Truth ~ the TV guide says it'll separate fact from fiction about global warming.

Brokaw Joins Fight Against Global Warming

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Beach Days

We had an extended family get-together at Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, California, and the girls had so much fun that we had to hit Newport Beach the next day. Our favorite location is 19th street, which is just south of the pier. The sand is vast, clean, and there are abundant sea shells in low tide. The girls had fun chasing (or, rather, being chased by) the waves. The day at the beach was a great break from the heat wave. After the beach we went back to the hotel and cleaned-up and then we hit Mother's Market in Irvine for a nice meal. Vicki enjoyed potato taquitos with pineapple salsa, with black beans and rice, with berry lemonade. Art ordered his usual, the tofu mushroom melt, wheatgrass and orange juice which I blogged about previously (click here). The girls shared whole grain pancakes with pure maple syrup. There was more licking of the syrup than eating of the pancakes.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Lots of Vegan Food

These are 'Wolffie's Banana Blueberry Muffins' from La Dolce Vegan! This recipe calls for one cup blueberries, fresh or frozen. After eating our fill of fresh blueberries from the farmer's market, we didn't have a cup left. So I added some fresh cherries to fill up the measuring cup. There is only 2 tablespoons of molasses in this recipe, but that flavor is very strong and also gives the muffins a brown color. They were good.

The yellow peppers are ready to go in the oven for the 'Roasted Yellow Pepper Sauce' from Vive le Vegan! I made our sauce on the thicker side, and it was perfect for the bean & rice cakes and chimichangas below...

'Celebrity Adzuki Bean and Rice Cakes' from Vive le Vegan! served with the yellow pepper sauce and fresh tomato. I soaked the adzuki beans overnight and cooked the brown sweet rice. The next day, I made the rice & bean mixture and refrigerated overnight. The day after that, I made the cakes you see here! This was quite a process, but well worth it.

Here you see 'Chickpea Ratatouille' from Vive le Vegan! Dreena suggests making burritos with any leftovers, which got me thinking... After the ratatouille finished cooking & cooling, I mashed the chickpeas up a bit, put 2 scoops on flour tortillas, rolled up the burritos, placed them seam-side down in a dish, then covered and put in the freezer. After the burritos were frozen, I transferred them to a plastic bag for cooking later.

When we want a chickpea ratatouille chimichanga, I just defrost for a couple minutes, then brown in some vegetable oil. They are served with the roasted yellow pepper sauce and some grilled summer squash & carrots. I will be making these frozen burritos again! They are a warm, hearty, meal in a pinch.

Farmer's Market Booty gets Jolie's sniff of approval:

Sugar Snap Peas
Snow Peas
Summer Squash
Purple Kale
Collard Greens

& Oregano + Chive plants for the garden

I was thinking stir-fry, but Art requested steamed veggies instead ~ I'm so glad he did because it was easier to prepare, more healthy, and there was nothing to cover up the natural flavors. I cleaned and prepared the veggies: broccoli, carrots, sugar snap peas, kohlrabi, summer squash, purple kale, & collard greens. Then, I put them in the steamer with some sea salt, water, & Earth Balance. Art made the risotto with some collard greens to flavor it along with sea salt, Earth Balance, and tamari. I needed something to compliment the grain, so I added some sesame oil & hoisin sauce to the left-over adzuki beans and made kind of a refried dish. We loved this meal! We especially loved the fresh, steamed veggies.

After all that, it was time for something sweet. This is 'Chocolate-Rum Pudding Cake' from Vegan with a Vengeance. Well sort of...I didn't have rum extract, so I substituted almond extract. And, I didn't have 1/4 C. light rum, so I skipped it. This was a very rich, decadent cake which I'll be making it again. I'll make sure that I have the rum next time, and I'll probably make it in individual serving dishes. It'd be appropriate for company ~ it's kinda fancy & impressive.

This'll be my last post from home for a while. We are heading to California ~ the land of sea, sun & fun! I hope to meet up with KleoPatra and also go to some of the restaurants that Shannon mentioned recently in her "What Should I Order" post. I'll have a laptop and will be checking in with you, and posting some of our experiences too. See ya on the road!