Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Peanut Butter & Banana Beverage

I wasn't too sure if this could be classified as a smoothie because it's got some crunchy nuts in it, so I'm calling it a "beverage" for lack of a better name.

1 banana
1 tbsp crunchy peanut butter*
1 cup unsweetened soy milk
1 packet stevia
1 tbsp chopped walnuts

Blend first 4 ingredients in a blender or food processor. Pour into drinking glass and garnish with walnuts.

*be sure to use a natural peanut butter, not the kind that has hydrogenated oils and sugar added.

This is a versitile recipe - you can use another kind of nut butter like almond or hazelnut, and use cashews or pecans instead of the walnuts. I wanted to add another tbsp of peanut butter, but I'm trying to get back to my pre-baby body so I'm foregoing such luxuries. Also, if you have vanilla soy milk or one that is already sweetened you can omit the stevia.

Monday, May 26, 2008

BBQ'd Corn-on-the-Cob & Veggie Kebabs

Barbeque season is in full effect, and I'm trying to take advantage of every opportunity to slap some food on the grill. I just bought myself a new barbeque so I guess I'm making up for lost time. BBQ'd corn on the cob and veggie-kebabs were on the menu. They're quick and easy to make, which is exactly what I need now that Naimah is getting bigger. She sleeps way less than she used to, and likes to have "conversations" that consist of ooo-aaa and aaa-ooo over and over. I'm tying to get her to say "mama" for her first word. All I'm getting is "aa-aa" but I'm gonna keep trying :)


Soak corn in a sinkful of water with the husk still on. Place on preheated barbeque on medium-low flame. Close barbeqe lid, let cook for 5 minutes, then flip corn cob over using tongs. Close lid, cook for another 5 minutes. The husk is going to get burnt and crispy, but because it was soaked before cooking, the water will steam the corn inside and keep it from getting burnt.


Soak bamboo skewers in water for at least 5 minutes
Cube & marinate* tofu - the longer you marinate, the better, (ie a few hours in the fridge) but even just 10 minutes is fine.
Cut vegetables into large chunks (celery, bell peppers, whole mushrooms, onions, broccoli)
Slide the ingredients onto the skewers
Brush marinade onto veggies.
Cook on medium-low flame, turning with tongs every 5 minutes and brushing with marinade once or twice.

*You can marinate tofu with pretty much any sauce or dressing. I used Organic Ginger Soy salad dressing this time.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Mar-a-Vegan Burger

I was channel surfing last week and came across Oprah doing her "Favorite Things" show. The first fave thing she mentioned, which turned out to be the reason why she decided to do this episode, was a turkey burger she had at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. The chef Jeff O'Neill was on her show and gave the recipe that Oprah was raving about.

It actually sounded pretty good except for the ground turkey. I've never made a burger from scratch before but it didn't look too difficult. I rounded up all the ingredients and subbed in 2 cans of organic chickpeas, and the result was...the best veggie burger ever! Like really. Mmm! I can already imagine several tasty variations. I put the extras in the freezer seperated by wax paper so I can just grab them to cook one at a time. Sorry if the pic isn't that great, I was more interested in eating it than making it photogenic. But trust me, it tasted great.
Also on the topic of Oprah, then I learned that she just started a 21-day vegan cleanse. I hope she can inspire others to give veganism a try :)

My Mar-a-Vegan burger was followed by a dessert I thought I would never have again. Jell-o! Well, as close as I can get. I guess we could call it

1/2 tsp agar-agar
1 tbsp agave nectar
1 cup fruit juice
1 strawberry, sliced

Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil, stirring constantly. Pour into glass, set strawberry on top (this will end up being the bottom). Refrigerate for approximately 3 hours. This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled, but I am only 1 person so I kept it small.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Stopping to Smell the Flowers

I try to take Naimah out for a walk whenever the weather is nice. Yesterday we went to a really great park that has trails, creeks, a salmon hatchery, marshlands and a beach. Here's a peek at what our walk was like...

Friday, May 16, 2008

It's the hottest day of the year...

...and the water park is closed. They can not clean and paint it on a cloudy day because we have too many days like that. This is how they build up the anticipation of summer. It doesn't matter if we might only get 3 days of sun this summer. At least for those three days the park will be very colorful.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Lemon-Mango Sorbet featuring Stevia

Well, after a brief (and I mean brief) spell of warm weather, I was craving something ice-creamy but without the calories. I've had an ice cream maker since last summer but haven't really experimented too much with it. Until now. This was SO GOOD. I can't wait to see what else can be made with it. The consistancy needs a bit of work as it wasn't really scoopable, it more like a thick slush I would say. But the taste was out of this world.

3/4 cups freshly squeezed organic lemon juice
2 cups cold water
1/2 cup organic mango, diced into small pieces
1 organic peach-applesauce cup (about 1/4 cup)
8 packets of Stevia

Put all of the ingredients into the ice cream maker and let it do its thing.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Dia De Madres

Last year I went to one of the most beautiful places I have ever been for Mother's Day. At the time, I didn't know that I would soon be a mother myself. And though I can't physically be in that same place today, when I look at the picture of it I am filled with the same feeling I had when I was actually there.
Today I spent the day with family and friends, and baby Naimah. It was my first Mother's Day as a mother, and it was definitely a special day.
Happy Mother's Day to all of you moms out there, in this world and the next one...

Monday, May 5, 2008

Cornbread & Black Beans with Brown Rice

Happy Cinco De Mayo! Today in 1852 a group of 2,000 poorly trained peasants defeated 6,000 french soldiers.
We celebrated the day by having fajitas for lunch, and then cornbread with black beans and brown rice for dinner. The cornbread recipe was from La Dolce Vegan, which got 2 thumbs up all around our dinner table. Once the baby is sleeping I think we're gonna mix up some margaritas! Arriba!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Cheezy Dill Pasta

I was inspired by the sauce on Vegan Dad's recently posted Irish Pizza thinking that it would be really tasty as a pasta sauce. Plus, I wanted to incorporate some of this fresh dill that I just bought which smells delicious. I think I've made enough substutions that I can post the recipe but I don't want to take all the credit.

2 cups uncooked pasta
3 tbsp earth balance
1.5 tbsp unbleached flour
1 cup unsweetened soy milk
3 sprigs fresh dill
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
3/4 cup peas
salt & pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions, add peas during last 2 minutes. Drain and rinse pasta & peas.

In a small saucepan melt Earth Balance over medium heat. Add flour and stir for 1 minute. Stir in soy milk, add dill (I like to snip it with scissors over the pot), then add nutritional yeast, and finally season with salt and pepper. Bring to low boil, stiring constantly.

Pour the sauce into the pasta and stir gently. (I used organic brown rice elbow noodles here.)