Monday, July 27, 2015

Napa, CA and yummy things ...


I just got back from a lovely trip to Napa, CA. Pictured above is Chimney Rock Vineyard; I loved all their wines! A shout out to Lava Vine is also essential (pictured below). They run a very fun tasting room in Calistoga, CA and also have amazing wines. They let some chickens roam around too.



I was up late last night since I was on California time, so I caught up on my Housewives episodes. This morning, I had to drive out to Long Island to pick up my sweet Chewie from his doggie hotel.

If you need help training your dog, or have a little dog that needs a very posh in-home daycare or boarding, check out Little Paws of Hope in Levittown, NY. Hope has converted her dining room into a play room for the doggies! She has leopard print chaise lounges for the pooches! Only the best for Chewie. ;)

Reunited and it feels so good ... xoxo
 
I also made some healthy stuffs today. I'm starting Crossfit tomorrow (Oh, lordy) and I'm sure I'm in for some torture. My eating game is pretty tight; I generally eat very healthy but I'm not really in love with exercise. I've heard some very bad health news about more than a few people lately. It's motivated me to get some exercise that has been designed by an expert rather than just my wimpy weight lifting at the gym and exercise bike while I watch TV. heh. I figure whatever they can put me through in an hour of Crossfit can't be worse than the road I've had to travel to become a psychoanalyst! I'll try to keep that in mind as I'm being tortured tomorrow. eek.

Today, I made some no-crabby salad as I like to call it (it's from the Crazy Sexy Kitchen cookbook - it's the crab cakes mix minus molding them into crab cakes and frying them). It's just hearts of palm (which shockingly taste much like crab meat when pulsed in the food processor and tossed with Old Bay Seasoning) ... diced red bell pepper ... some nooch ... vegenaise ... and pepper. Yum!
 
I also made my Sweet Potato Curry with Spinach and Chickpeas and basmati rice for dinner. Mmmm.
I like to put a smidge of tofu sour cream on top.
 
I guess tomorrow I'll be eating some more protein to recover and build muscle after Crossfit.
Hemp protein smoothie and tempeh to the rescue!


 



Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Yummy things of the week ...



I went to see BLONDIE and MORRISSEY at Madison Square Garden on Saturday! I had general admission floor and I got all the way up front! I was THIS CLOSE! AHHHHHH! *swoon*

In other good news ... Figs are in season! Yes! (strawberries also)

Also, Vegan Chao is everything. I made the best breakfast sandwich ever with it this week: 1 slice tomato cayenne vegan chao cheese, 1/4 avocado, and roasted garlic hummus on toast. Mmmm

Sunday, June 21, 2015

She's crafty ...


Since I have so much free time, I also made a little cactus terrarium with a bowl I found at the thrift store the other day! Boom!

School's out for summer!


Classes for this academic year are finally over and so I finally figured out how to get photos off my phone and saved onto my computer. What will I do with all this free time?! Well, I cooked the tamarind lentils from Veganomicon tonight for dinner (pictured above) with Near East curry couscous (I like to squeeze lime on the couscous! It's divine!) and roasted Brussels sprouts. Mmmm

And ... I finally have time to write about some things I've been enjoying over the past couple months.

 
One of my favorite raw breakfasts (pictured above): 1/2 cup buckwheat groats and a couple tablespoons goji berries (both soaked overnight, then drained) blended in my VitaMix with a whole apple, a whole orange (peel removed), 1/4 whole vanilla bean, and some cardamom (only about 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon). Garnish with raw almonds (or other fab nut) and some fresh fruit.   

 
The Polish Summer Salad from Salad Samurai is tha BOMB!
Make it, eat it, love it! I could eat this everyday.


My favorite healthy smoothie of the moment:
1 tablespoon maca powder
2 tablespoons hemp protein powder
(about 1 cup or so) unsweetened almond mylk
1 teaspoon spirulina (more if you can tolerate the taste; I can't but I find the peanut butter masks it.)
1 banana
1 tablespoon organic peanut butter

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Superbowl Tacos!

I had a cute pic of Chewie, but when I updated my iPhone OS, it put all my pictures in a ton of folders and I can't find anything now. argh

Anyway, I made some homemade taco seasoning and tacos tonight for our Superbowl party of three. I think this recipe is a mix of some I found somewhere online. It was pretty delicious.

 
Taco Seasoning
 
Ingredients:

1 tablespoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon black pepper
 
Mix together in a small jar.

I had some Gardein Beefless tips which I sautéed with some of my taco seasoning. I also sautéed a couple poblano peppers and an onion. Tacos were the Gardein Beefless tips, peppers and onions, fresh cilantro leaves, vegan sour cream, salsa, and fresh organic tomatoes with flour tortillas. I served them with roasted carrots and mashed sweet potatoes with a pureed chipotle pepper in adobo mashed into them. Mmmm.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Vegan Brunch with Muffins! yay! (and a quick dinner)


Mmm. Made a vegan brunch today thanks to my favorite vegan cookbook, Vegan Brunch.
I made the "swiss chard frittata" (which ended up being a baby kale and caramelized onion frittata because Whole Foods was out of chard). I also made my polenta topped with roasted tomatoes. Mmm.

I made the Blueberry Ginger Spelt Muffins on page 155 of Vegan Brunch for the first time.
These were pretty good; I was craving some blueberry muffins and these hit the spot. I think I prefer a more dense bran-type muffin, so maybe I'll make blueberry bran muffins when I run out of spelt flour.

Dry Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups spelt flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Wet Ingredients:
1/2 cup vanilla soy yogurt (a 6oz container) (as I'm typing this I realized that I actually screwed up and used 1 cup plain soy yogurt but it was totally fine!)
1 cup mylk (any kind of nut mylk will do)
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups blueberries
(original recipe also calls for 1/2 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger, which I omitted.)

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 375F. Line muffin tin with paper liners.
Mix all dry ingredients in a big bowl. Mix all wet ingredients in a separate bowl with the exception of the blueberries. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Fold in the blueberries (and ginger if using). Scoop batter into muffin tin and bake 28 - 32 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. Let cool for a few minutes in the tin before transferring muffins to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Later, for dinner, I made a salad and a quick steamed spaghetti squash with vegan meatless balls. Mmm



This salad was also satisfying and it was just kalamata olives, mesclun lettuce, cucumbers, fresh heirloom tomatoes, roasted chestnuts, and the balsamic dressing that I made yesterday.
I paired it with some steamed spaghetti squash "pasta" and a veggie-loaded tomato sauce and Whole Foods' brand vegan meatless balls.
This is my lower carb alternative to pasta. meh.
To steam spaghetti squash (the lazy way): Cut ends off squash and then cut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and put in a microwaveable dish with about 1 centimeter of cold water. Microwave for about 13 minutes. Hold squash with a potholder (it's HOT!) while you scrape out the strings into a bowl.
To make the sauce (the lazy way): I sauté a sliced onion in a little olive oil in a saucepan until translucent. Then add a 28oz can of organic diced or crushed tomatoes and some Italian herbs and spices such as oregano, garlic powder, red pepper flake, salt, and pepper. I also added some frozen artichoke hearts to this sauce which I had reheated in the microwave. (This was my first try of frozen artichokes. Blech. I will stick to canned or jarred.) Heat through until flavors blend - about 5 - 10 mins.
Prepare your favorite vegan meatless balls as directed, put on top of spaghetti squash, top with sauce and enjoy! yum. (Add a basil chiffonade for extra yum yums.)

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Vegan "No Huevos" Rancheros and a Simple Salad


Vegan "No Huevos" Rancheros

This is one of my favorite quick as can be dinners.

Ingredients:
Polenta, prepared (I buy one of the pre-cooked polenta rolls when I'm feeling lazy.)
GOYA Rancheros beans
Olives (I usually use black olives)
Fresh chopped tomatoes
Avocado chunks
Vegan sour cream (if you like) - I like Tofutti brand.
Salsa

Preparation:
Layer polenta slices at bottom of microwaveable bowl, then a layer of the beans. Cover and heat until warm (about 1 min 30 seconds).
Layer some salsa, fresh tomatoes, olives, avocado, and sour cream on top.
Enjoy!

 
Simple Beet Salad
 
Including here because I am trying to overcome my need to sprinkle cheese in every salad. This one was satisfying without the cheese.
 
Ingredients:
Roasted Beets
Avocado
Mesclun Lettuce
Cucumber slices
Shallot
Hemp Seeds
 
Wolffie's Balsamic Vinegar Dressing (from La Dolce Vegan p.95): (my fave!)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup oil (such as flax, hemp, or grapeseed)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
 
Preparation:
Combine all salad ingredients in a bowl. Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar and shake well. Sprinkle some dressing on salad. Yum.
 
I think I'll have some soy whip and chocolate pudding for dessert. ;) Yum!