Category Archives: dairy-free

Leftover Lentils

What do you know? It’s crock pot time!

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When I planned my meals for the week, I knew I would have a lot of leftover veggies, so I knew a lentil stew would be the perfect way not to let it go to waste….

So, all I did was put lentils in the crock pot with some vegetable broth, added two left-over vegan sausages, carrots, celery, and green peppers, plus some spices, and let it do its thing overnight.

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The result: a delicious hearty stew that lasted us for days. During stormy and chilly fall days, this is pretty close to the ideal office lunch. Leftovers made from leftovers — winning.

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Filed under dairy-free, gluten-free, leftovers, low carb, lunch-prep, vegan

Obsessed.

I’m surprised I found time this weekend to help a friend develop a marketing strategy for her new business, go on a hike with Dave, and grocery shop and prep meals for the week considering we’ve been absolutely OBSESSED with this game:

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It’s Settlers of Catan mania at our house. Just to illustrate – we played three games on Friday night with some friends, which made us stay up wayyyy past our bedtime. We enjoyed decadent snacks during this, such as baguette with brie and smoked salmon and dark chocolate covered almonds (no pics though). The others had beer, too, but I stuck to my home-brewed Kombucha with pride.

Then, yesterday, Dave discovered a version you can play with two people, which only made us more addicted. We spent our Saturday night hovered over the game board, then all of Sunday morning, and we’re about to play more.

Despite this craziness, I have some food pics to share 🙂

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These are two-ingredient muffins a la hungryhungryhippie.com. It’s so genius – all it takes are four eggs and 3 cups of shredded zucchini plus a pinch of salt.

I’m excited to try these for breakfast tomorrow along with this other goodness inspired by Elise:

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Aside from making the two cutest loaves of banana bread ever, this recipe is so insanely delicious that I doubled it and made two this time (I subbed maple syrup for the stevia in her recipe only because that’s what I had here). It’s so moist and flavorful and will make for the perfect start to my week. Seriously, knowing I have a delicious breakfast waiting for me will make getting up at 6 a.m. on a Monday so much easier.

The rest of my food prep was focused on lunch-making and assembling some salads for dinner, which contained a lot of left-overs, such as salmon, avocado, goat cheese, and roasted pine nuts.

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I also started my second batch of kombucha. I’m making twice as much this time because the stuff is perfection and let’s be real, I want to drink it every day.

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As I’m waiting for it to ferment, I will have to rely on the expensive bottled stuff, but I would rather not go without it for a week. Making twice the amount should help avoid this in the future, though.

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Almond milk for organic berries and Green Superfood smoothies in the a.m., kombucha for an energy-boost in the afternoons. Bring on the new week!

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Filed under Breakfast, dairy-free, lunch-prep, salads, smoothies, vegan

Banana Oat Flour Pancakes

I will make away bigger deal out of this than is appropriate, but WOOOHOOOO, I made up my first very own pancake recipe.

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Maybe the following anecdote will put this into perspective. Don’t let me fool you with this having a food blog thing. When I moved into my first own apartment for college in Germany, I asked my roommate what setting on the stove I needed to use to make my potatoes boil. Yep. I had no clue how to a) cook and b) use kitchen appliances. My mom was just that …. engaged around the house. I never had to learn it.

So I’ve come a long way, okay?

I’m not a natural at cooking. I did learn quite a bit while working as a pseudo-cook at a restaurant in Muenster for a year. But then I unlearned most of that because I moved to the U.S. and ate at my college cafeteria for the rest of my undergrad career.

My new love for cooking has only emerged over the last year, ever since I started experimenting with vegan and vegetarian food.

So please, bear with my enthusiasm 🙂

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Three bananas, three eggs, half a cup of oat flour, half a cup of almond milk.

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Served with the proven duo of almond butter and maple syrup (lotssss of maple syrup).

I was thrilled because they looked like perfectly normal pancakes and Dave said he preferred them over “normal”pancakes. High praise, my friends, high praise.

We ate them during our 5 a.m. German lesson on this fine Tuesday morning. Things could certainly be worse.

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Filed under Breakfast, dairy-free, recipes

Turkish Zucchini Fritters

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Nothing delights me more than a new Turkish cooking adventure. Okay, maybe not nothing.  But for a Monday evening, this one did pretty well.

This was a real Turkish recipe, so the fact that the fritters tasted like summer and ocean and family didn’t come as a surprise to me. But I’m pretty sure you can just add parsley, paprika, olive oil, and feta to anything and make it taste Turkish. Parsley more than anything, though.

Ingredients:

– 2 zucchinis, grated
– 1 sweet potato (grated) – or use two carrots and achieve the same orange color
– 1 cup whole wheat flour
– 2 eggs
– a bunch of chopped scallions (white parts only)
– a bunch of chopped parley
– a bunch of dill
– 7 oz. crumbled feta cheese
– salt, pepper, and paprika to taste
– Greek yogurt and more chopped scallions for serving
– olive oil for frying

Directions:

After grating the zucchini, put them into a coriander with some salt and squeeze the excess liquid out of them. Switch them over into a big bowl and add all the other ingredients. Mix well.

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As always, I take the most appetizing pictures. Food photography – now there’s a course I should have taken in grad school. But they didn’t offer that. So I blame them.

Next, heat up the oil in the largest frying pan you have. When it’s hot enough, add as many fritters as you can. Just add a loaded tablespoon of “dough” for each one – these should be pretty thin and not too large.

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Fry each side until golden brown. I used two spatulas to flip them just to be safe. Oh, also, I  shook the pan now and then to make sure they were getting enough oil. When you’re done with the first batch, place them on a paper towel and place another one on top to soak up some of the oil. This becomes less necessary as the oil in the pan depletes with every batch.

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These were a big hit. The feta is an amazing addition. I’d say they are a perfect light dinner for a week night, or you could serve them as an appetizer/take them to a potluck. I think they are sure to impress, so what are you waiting for?

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Filed under dairy-free, recipes, Turkish

Goodbye Chores, Hello Tastiness

I’ve been thinking lately about what a waste of time stress is and how worrying about mundane to-do lists can take so much joy out of my daily life. It’s scary because I’m not even prone to being anxious or to easily stress about things. I think as a child and teenager, I easily classified as the “not a worry on the mind” type, living for the moment and always happy to experience something new. I’m not saying that was always a good thing – I often lost stuff, failed math tests, and never thought about saving up for college, etc. – but having that as part of my identity makes me uncomfortable when I do feel anxious about getting stuff done now that I’m an “adult.”

Yesterday, a friend posted this quote on Facebook: “Stress is basically a disconnection from the earth, a forgetting of the breath. Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything is an emergency. Nothing is that important. Just lie down.” I couldn’t agree more.

So today, I decided most of the things on my weekend chore list are not that important.

Dave and I hit the gym at around 8 and then had what’s becoming our staple Saturday breakfast – sweet potato pancakes.

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There is currently nothing more delicious to me than this creation. The almond butter and maple syrup on top paired with the taste of pancakes and coffee are unbeatable. I devoured my serving and regretted I didn’t make twice as many.

After reading on the balcony and drinking more coffee, I needed a smoothie made from frozen berries, coconut milk, and Amazing Grass powder to counter the caffeine overdose.

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A little later, we headed out for lunch at our favorite Thai restaurant.

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We sat outside because it was 65 degrees and sunny. I ordered the red curry with shrimp as usual. I have documented my obsession with this dish several times before.

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Next, we went to Webster’s, a coffee shop in downtown State College, so Dave could work on end-of-semester papers and I could drink an almond milk decaf latte and read. If you have read Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), you will know what a good time I had. She’s hilarious and inspiring.

Around 5 pm. we went to Trader Joe’s to get groceries and then headed back home for a relaxed evening in.

I was still feeling a little out of it from my caffeine overdose, so I had Synergy Kombucha. It was my first bottle ever. I picked it up a few days ago to try it. It’s really good. It will take restraint not to make it a regular habit, which would be an expensive one.

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Feeling refreshed, I put on The Office (inspired by Mindy) and put the groceries away before making the most random of random dinner creations I’ve ever put together.

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Red Quinoa, sweet potatoes, a zucchini, and kale all in a casserole dish…

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…before adding vegetable broth, salsa, cashews, pinto beans, salt, pepper, and Greek yogurt and then topping it with Daiya Cheeze.

30 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees and voila

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A pseudo casserole that turned out more like a warm salad. It was actually surprisingly good.It could have done with less vegetable broth and the sweet potatoes may have still been a little too crunchy for some (so 35 minutes in the oven might be a better cooking time). But other than that: really good. Bonus points for me for using zucchini because I never buy or eat zucchini. I only bought some today because I need them for a recipe later this week.

We finally have chocolate coconut milk ice cream again, so I had some of that and watched about half a season of The Office. Mission postponing weekend chores complete.

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April 27, 2013 · 8:37 pm

“What in the World Are You Eating?”

I ventured into the world of quinoa for breakfast this morning. That was mainly because I had leftover quinoa from last night’s dinner, which was this:

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Looks appetizing, right? It was quinoa, kale, and sauerkraut with a sauce made out of sunflower seed butter, red pepper, almond milk, and nutritional yeast. I liked it, but Dave thought it was absolutely disgusting due to the nutritional yeast. He hates nutritional yeast and I knew this, but chose to ignore it. He has now officially requested never to have to eat it again, so I will begrudgingly enjoy it by my lonesome in the future.

That said, the dish really must look disgusting because when I was eating it for lunch today, the VP in charge of our department walked by and asked “What in the world are you eating?” in bewilderment. “Ummmm, sauerkraut, kale and”… was my response, and then “it’s very healthy.” Not sure the man has ever heard of half of the ingredients, so I chose to spare him the details.

Anyways, back to today’s breakfast.

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My usual oatmeal combo with quinoa instead: quinoa, a fried egg, avocado, and nutritional yeast. Got my brain going for our daily morning German lesson. I also love grapefruit for breakfast, but haven’t had it much at all recently. Today I did, obviously.

My lunch run was so fun because the weather was amazing and perfect and all the glorious adjectives you want to use for 60 degrees and sunny when it’s April and everything is blossoming. I did intervals and listened to Turkish music.

When I got home, I was starving, but we wanted to play tennis before it got dark out. There was not enough time to make the Daiya casserole I wanted to make, so Dave creatively saved us and made a citrus salad.

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It had lettuce, avocado, grapefruit, and a dressing made from olive oil, grapefruit juice, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. It was perfect because it kept my stomach from eating itself but wasn’t to heavy to play tennis right after eating it.

The score of tonight’s game is so embarrassing, but I’ll share it anyway: 15:2 for Dave. There were a lot of sad spins around myself without actually hitting the ball, so Dave had plenty of opportunity to ridicule me. Now I am eager to start weekly Sunday volleyball with our friends because that’ll be his payback 🙂

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April 26, 2013 · 9:09 pm

Vegan Meatloaf

Tonight’s post has to be quick because I have every intention of going to bed before 9 p.m.

I made vegan meatloaf and it was delicious.

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It was a Hungry, Hungry Hippie Recipe. It contains pureed lentils, mushrooms, and sunflower seeds, all mixed with Panko breadcrumbs, BBQ sauce, ketchup, almond milk, oil, and spices.

Delicious and an easy weeknight dinner. Have half at night and half for lunch the next day. Sound good? I thought so.

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Filed under dairy-free, lunch-prep, vegan