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Adventures in Vegan Cooking - Number 22

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

This begins an occasional series of posts about my adventures in vegan cooking. Since I blogged every day during the 21 Day Vegan Kickstart, I decided to continue the numbering.

I'm catching up on chores this week and spending time going through recipes. I ate leftovers yesterday and pulled a container of soup out of the freezer to have for lunch today. Tonight I am making a quick pantry meal that will be a combination of these recipes:

Curry powder alone doesn't give a dish enough depth. The first recipe doesn't have enough spice for me, and I will use considerably more curry powder and some cumin and coriander. To me, coconut milk and tomatoes are essential in this dish. I haven't used potatoes in chickpea spinach curry before, and I really like the idea. I might use sweet potatoes instead of white. If I'm really ambitious, I'll rice some cauliflower instead of cooking brown rice. Recipes are starting points on a blank canvas.

It's time for me to start my errands. I have to stop at Whole Foods and the library. Then I get to indulge in a treat - a trip to the restaurant supply store. In the meantime, eat your vegetables! Here's some inspiration from Jamie Oliver

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALIGIRL 1/25/2011 10:28PM

    So cool - emoticonfor continuing to share

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BUELLRIDER 1/25/2011 5:32PM

    Combining 2 recipes into 1 that's challenging. (well at least for me it is - not for you) Have fun!

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FTLSWEETIE 1/25/2011 3:44PM

    I'm excited for the Freggie Challenge this should rock this challenge! More details to come later:-)

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SUNNYH99 1/25/2011 3:40PM

    Mmmm. Sounds great! Post a photo?

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LUVSBULLDOGS 1/25/2011 3:08PM

    I love vegetables. Eating wouldn't be the same without them.

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KNITTABLES 1/25/2011 12:40PM

    So glad you are continuing this and thanks for sharing the recipe with us. Enjoy your day.

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PLAYBLUES22 1/25/2011 12:39PM

    Sweetie, very nice recipe I hope that you post more of them emoticon

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1.23.2011: Day 21 of 21-Day Vegan Kickstart

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Now that the last day of the Kickstart is here, I am trying to decide how I want to proceed with my cooking challenges. If you went to camp as a kid, do you remember the last day when it was time to go home and you had to leave your new friends? That's sort of what today feels like to me. I have fully embraced this lifestyle for 21 days, and it has become part of me. The good news is that I don't have to leave it like I had to leave my camp friends behind as a youngster. Even better, I have all of my friends here on SparkPeople!

My meals for today were fairly easy. I had oatmeal with golden raisins, walnuts, and maple syrup for breakfast. Lunch was leftover Kale and Cannellini Beans with Whole Wheat Pasta. Dinner is going to be fun. I have some fresh spinach that I need to use soon, so I am going to make a salad and Sir Paul McCartney's Ob-La-Di Enchiladas
I have room in the freezer for half of the recipe, so I won't be eating them all week. Now that I have discovered how versatile tofu is as a filling, I am anxious to use it much more often than I have in the past. Goodbye cheese; hello tofu!

I want to work my way through the recipes in the Engine 2 Diet by Rip Esselstyn and try every recipe in his father's book - Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease I want to do the same for the recipes in Appetite for Reduction, Isa Chandra Moskowitz's latest book
Plus there are Robin Robertson's books. Then there are all of the other vegan cookbooks I have plus the hundreds of recipes I've saved on my computer to work with. So many recipes; so little time!

I am going to continue my blogs, but I probably won't write one every day. After all, who wants to read about snow shoveling and eating leftovers? (In case you're interested, our temps got above zero today. I was able to finish shoveling without getting frostbite and take my car out of the garage.) I think my blog titles after today will be "Adventures in Vegan Cooking." There will be days when I eat fish, dairy, or eggs; but they will be rare occasions instead of the norm. I love eating a plant based diet.

I have found a place to put my inner chef joy to work volunteering. There is an organization here that provides free home-delivered meals to individuals who are living with AIDS, breast cancer, multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig's disease, and other chronic and progressive illnesses regardless of income status. The program also provides meals for their caregivers and dependent children. Meals are tailored to each individual's nutritional needs, which may change frequently. They use organic ingredients as much as possible to make all of the meals for their 500 clients in a brand new facility equipped with state of the art equipment. They even have a farm! I will join a network of 1,500 volunteers who man the phones; prep, cook, and package the food; and deliver meals to clients every day of the year. I have been looking for the "right fit" to combine my passion for food/nutrition and my desire to give back to my community for quite a while, so I am thrilled to have this opportunity.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KNITTABLES 1/23/2011 9:56PM

    Thanks for sharing.

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LUVSBULLDOGS 1/23/2011 7:57PM

    We are interested in reading your blogs about shoveling snow, vegan cooking and eating leftovers. You have a great style of writing, and I enjoy all your blogs.

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BUELLRIDER 1/23/2011 6:59PM

    Great job on the 21 day challenge Patti. emoticon So tomorrow will be day1 of vegan food adventure? Your volunteer job sounds fun.

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CLAIRE94620 1/23/2011 6:48PM

    Wow the 21 days seemed to fly by this time! I'm taking a flexitarian approach to what I will start eating but I'm feeling I will probably stick with a vegetarian eating plan. I simply am not missing dairy or meat. Thanks for the websites - Appetite for Reduction sounds interesting.

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FTLSWEETIE 1/23/2011 6:35PM

    Wow! That sounds like a fabulous opportunity, Patti! I wish you much luck and can't wait to read more about your "Adventures in Vegan Cooking!"

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MAMA23GRLZ1BOY 1/23/2011 6:32PM

    I'm impressed with you! You made a goal and kept with it til the end! Good for you!

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SUNNYH99 1/23/2011 5:50PM

    I loved your blog today, Pattik! Good luck with the volunteering! It sounds like a great fit for you. I'll be following your blogs because learning from others here has really worked for me.

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1.22.2011: Day 20 of 21-Day Vegan Kickstart

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Today was another day of voluntary isolation. Though not as cold as yesterday, the temperature was not enticing me to go outside. I spent most of the morning finding more recipes for my vegan collection. I was hungry for potatoes for breakfast, so I cooked the last of the package of Simply Potatoes Sliced Potatoes. It wasn't the healthiest breakfast, but it satisfied my craving.

Around noon I realized I was really hungry. I heated some leftover Kale and Cannellini Beans with Whole Wheat Pasta. I never tire of that dish. Around midafternoon, I decided to go through the refrigerator to see what I needed to cook. First, I blanched the kale I bought earlier in the week when it was on sale. It will be nice to pull that out of the freezer in a few weeks to put in soup or the bean and pasta dish.

After that I rummaged in the refrigerator. I thought about making enchiladas, but I didn't want to make a large quantity of anything. I pulled out package of button mushrooms, a bunch of Swiss chard, a package of chicken style seitan, and a tub of WayFare vegan sour cream. I decided to create a dish that combines the flavors of two of my favorite rich meat based winter dishes: beef stroganoff and chicken paprikash. I will have to play around with the recipe to perfect it, but this first attempt was very tasty. I used WestSoy Chicken-Style Seitan. Next time I'll make my own or use a different brand, but it was still good. It could have been creamier, too. This is the first time I have used vegan sour cream. Next time I will be bolder and use more. I served it over millet that I cooked in vegan chicken bouillon powder (Massel brand). I water sauteed the Swiss chard with some finely minced onions and a clove of garlic and added the juice of a small lemon when it was cooked. Here's the first draft of the recipe

The kitchen is clean now. I put the food away and washed all of the dishes, colanders, pots, and pans. I used a lot of those today! Once I finish this blog, I am going to relax with a cup of herbal tea and one of those delicious pumpkin pecan muffins I pulled out of the freezer earlier in the day
All in all, it has been a lovely day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEBBIEDAY 1/23/2011 3:53PM

    Patt- I am not familiar with vegan substitutes...what is
chicken style seitan?

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ARKPLE 1/22/2011 11:17PM

    The paprikash recipe sounds really good and looks relatively easy to prepare. I love reading what ingredients you have on hand when you open your refrigerator. Your well stocked fridge is key to all of your healthy, delicious recipes. Thank you for sharing. xo

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LUVSBULLDOGS 1/22/2011 11:04PM

    Mmm!!! Your recipes sound delicous. Some day, I'll have enough nerve to try them. Thanks for blogging about your cooking experiences. I love hearing about them.


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KNITTABLES 1/22/2011 10:38PM

    Thanks for sharing these as well, I added them to my cookbook. Have a great night

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1.21.2011: Day 19 of 21-Day Vegan Kickstart

Friday, January 21, 2011

Today was a day to stay inside. If I didn't already have so many leftovers, I would have baked and cooked to make the house even warmer. Alas, I have an embarassment of riches in my refrigerator and freezer. When I got up this morning the temperature was 14 degrees below zero. I decided to stay inside all day. Now at 3 PM, it's a balmy 3 below. It has been a good day to spend too much time on the computer, watch some TV, and read.

My food was simple today. Everything was ready to grab. Breakfast was a Morningstar Black Bean Burger on an Arnold's Thin. Mid-morning, I had a glass of Silk Pure Almond Dark Chocolate Milk. Lunch was leftover Kale and Cannellini Beans
For a mid-afternoon snack, I thawed one of the pumpkin muffins I made last week
It was so delicious! Dinner will be leftover Lemony Chard Stuffed Shells
and a simple salad.

I toyed with the idea of making some enchiladas because I have fresh spinach that I need to use soon. I decided to make that dish tomorrow. Check tomorrow's blog for the recipe link.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FTLSWEETIE 1/22/2011 1:03PM

    Isn't it great to have food already prepared so you can just grab and go without thinking about it? You are doing a great job on the vegan plan! So inspiring:-)


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KALIGIRL 1/22/2011 11:53AM

    Enchiladas sound wonderful - I found this muffin recipe this morning and am looking forward to trying.

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LUVSBULLDOGS 1/21/2011 9:24PM

    Staying inside sounds sensible to me. Your recipes sound good, too. I haven't looked at the recipes in this blog, but I'm going to try the shells soon. Have a great night and get something warm to drink.

Tomorrow I'm going shopping with my daughter. Will be doing batch cooking when I get home.

Have a great night.

Berta emoticon emoticon

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KNITTABLES 1/21/2011 8:50PM

    Oh I will be for sure checking out the recipe tomorrow. I love them all. Thanks for sharing them.
I too stayed in doors to spark, catch up on my orders to finish and some TV.Enjoy your night.

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BUELLRIDER 1/21/2011 5:17PM

    Thanks for all the recipes. Tonight is definitely a-couple-of-cups-of-tea night. Cccccoooollld

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1.20.2011: Day 18 of 21-Day Vegan Kickstart

Thursday, January 20, 2011

After my busy day yesterday, I enjoyed having today as a free day. I just came in from shoveling. A plow went through the alley earlier, and there is a big berm of ice and snow blocking the drive to my garage. It was so cold my fingers started getting numb inside my heavy winter gloves, so I only shoveled half and decided I didn't need to go anywhere today. When I came inside, I checked the weather - it's 6 degrees F, but the wind chill is 12 degrees BELOW zero F. No wonder I was so cold!

Breakfast was simple: toast and peanut butter with a banana. I had a couple of the leftover stuffed shells from last night for lunch (see yesterday's blog for the recipe and how I made them). That's a bonus of cooking for the Wednesday church dinner. If there are leftovers, we get to bring some home if we want. Believe me, I really wanted to have some of those shells to bring home! Dinner will be leftover kale and cannellini beans with whole wheat pasta.

Tomorrow I have to blanch and freeze some kale and Swiss chard. I have so many leftovers that I don't need to cook for a couple of days. I have some fresh spinach that I need to use, though. I might make a vegan lasagna using tofu as ricotta and freeze most of it in individual servings. The weather forecast shows 16 below zero for tonight's actual temperature, so it might be nice to have the oven on tomorrow when the high is only predicted to be 5 above. No wonder bears hibernate!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHIFANG130 1/21/2011 2:22PM

    Kale and swiss chard - they are my favorite! I don't think I'd ever get tired of eating them. Wow! 16 below weather - that's crazy. I was refusing to go out of the door on Sunday morning because it was 22 degree. Compare to your temperature, I think I am very lucky living in Maryland.

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EMSSBEARS 1/21/2011 4:00AM

    Good luck woth your cooking and with your low teperatures- I would keep that oven on all the time. Stay warm my friend.

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LUVSBULLDOGS 1/20/2011 10:45PM

    Brrr! I don't envy you your temperatures.

I like the tofu recipes. Dh wouldn't eat it, but I could try.

Do you buy the kale, swiss chard, etc. at the super market? I love those greens. Have you ever made kale chips? You wash the kale, pat it dry and remove the rib in the middle. Then break it into chip sized pieces. Mix in 1/2 T of olive oil, 1/4 t seasalt and massage the leaves. Put the pieces on a cookie sheet, 1 layer. Put into the oven and bake until chips are crisp. These are yummy.

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KNITTABLES 1/20/2011 7:53PM

    Glad your indoors now and staying warm. Enjoy your wonderful meals.

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