Monthly Archives: November 2011

Vegan no bake cookies!

Even though I have been eating a vegan diet for more than 2 years now, there are still some old favorite dishes and other food items that I have yet to replicate minus the meat, eggs and dairy. One of those is no bake cookies. You know, the yummy ones that show up at just about every holiday party? I haven’t had them in years and honestly hadn’t even thought about them much.

Then we had plans Monday night to visit a friends’ house and we needed to bring a snack. For some reason they popped into my head and I went straight to the internet to find a recipe that contained ingredients I already had on hand at home. Success! I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner! I also wish I had thought to start taking pictures sooner.

Not only are these super tasty but I love the fact that you don’t have to bake them; although waiting for them to cool and harden is almost as time consuming ;)

I found this recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter no bake cookies on the Peta website thanks to Google! It was the first one that popped up when I searched for “vegan no bake cookies” so I went with it. I  followed the directions and ingredients exactly so you’ll have to click the link if you want to try it yourself :) But I promise, they are delicious!


Still enjoying them for dessert a couple days later ;)

Chickpea veggie enchiladas

Hello again! Not only am I shocked that I have blogged a record SIX times these past couple of weeks but that I am here again to share another food post with you. I had become so distanced from these type of posts that I was seriously considering a name change of this blog! Oh well, for now, let’s talk about what I made for dinner last night :)

I had a bunch of random ingredients at home that I wanted to use up, plus I was making enchiladas for some friends of ours who just had a baby, so I bought some tortillas and a few other ingredients that I was missing.

I based my enchiladas on this recipe from Allrecipes.com. I find it to be a great site because the recipes are simple and easy to adapt to whatever ingredients you have on hand or whatever your dietary preferences are. I made enough adjustments and substitutions that I feel like I can safely post my version of the recipe here.

Chickpea veggie enchiladas (makes 8-10 enchiladas)

Ingredients

  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups of cooked brown rice (got to use my steamer again!)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 can of fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup Pace picante sauce (I used medium)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes (you may not want to use this much, this was an accident, I opened the wrong end of the container! But it wasn’t too hot for me)
  • 1 small jar of salsa
  • Daiya shredded cheddar-style non-dairy cheese
  • Ground cilantro
  • A package or two of soft taco style whole wheat tortillas
Directions
  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  • Cook chopped onion in olive oil over medium heat (use a few cloves of garlic too if you’d like, I couldn’t get my jar open!) until soft, then add chickpeas, tomatoes, picante sauce and spices. Reduce heat, simmer and stir until thickened. Add rice and let cook a few more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Warm tortillas on the stove or microwave (I warmed 5 at a time between 2 paper towels for 30 seconds)
  • Spray a 9×13 (or whatever size you want to use) pan with cooking spray.
  • Add a couple spoonfuls of chickpea-rice-veggie mixture into each tortilla and roll.
  • Place wrapped tortilla seam side down in the dish.
  • Once you place however many fit in your pan (6 fit in my 9×13 pan and I had some leftover filling so I could have made maybe 4 more) pour salsa on top and sprinkle Daiya cheese and ground cilantro on top as desired.

Here’s what it looked like before going into the oven!

I should have taken an “after” picture but I’m so out of the “food blogging” mentality that I honestly am surprised I took the one above. However, trust me when I say that these were delicious! Especially when topped with Tofutti non-dairy sour cream :)

“Soyrizo” with brown rice and veggies

I can’t believe I actually have a food post to share with you guys. It’s a rarity these days, I know. I have just been waiting to be inspired. I’m glad it happened!

Truthfully, this recipe isn’t anything spectacular on the surface. Just a few ingredients I threw together that ended up tasting great. And it’s good for those of us who like to save money on meals :)

“Soyrizo” with brown rice & veggies (about 3-4 servings)

Ingredients:

Directions
  • Steam rice first since that takes a good 45-50 minutes (but is so worth it to me)
  • Remove soy chorizo from casing (you have to squeeze it out) and begin heating in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat
  • Cook peas & mushrooms in the microwave per the bag’s directions
  • Add cooked peas & mushrooms to chorizo on the stove and mix together well until everything seems to be cooked enough
  • Place a scoop of brown rice in your bowl, then add a couple scoops of chorizo-veggie mixture and stir :)

It’s also not the most attractive thing but it’s tasty (spicy!), cheap and filling! I can’t put a price on the brown rice really since I just used a cup dry and I buy a huge bag that lasts me forever. But based on the other two ingredients, I’m guessing this meal would only cost $1-2/per serving.

It could easily feed you and a couple of friends or you and your kids or just you for 3 meals like me :)

I used cereal bowls but they were piled pretty high! The above picture was taken about 2/3 of the way through lunch today, when I had the bright idea to blog about this new “recipe” of mine.

Sometimes it just takes music

Confession: I am one of those people that thinks you are crazy for dragging out your Christmas decorations right after Halloween. I roll my eyes when I hear Christmas music playing at some stores before Thanksgiving has even had a chance to make an appearance.

There is a natural order to things, why skip over one and go straight to another? And Christmas is such a crazy time of year, why drag it out? I must also add the disclaimer that I worked in retail during the holidays for 6 years, that may have something to do with it ;)

However, I might just get it now. It’s not just a time of year between Thanksgiving and January. It’s a season. It’s a feeling. It doesn’t matter whether you only feel it from December 1-25, or if you start feeling it in October when the leaves start changing, or you feel it all year long. Retail and other craziness aside, it can be a truly wonderful time of year.

What do I have to thank for this? I got visited by three ghosts. Ha, just kidding, obviously! But I did get visited by some new holiday music. That’s all it took!

I still don’t like that music they play at the mall. If I have to hear one more version of “Rudolph” I think I might scream. But a few artists I really enjoy outside of holiday music have put out holiday music albums recently that have suited me better.

1. A Very She & Him Christmas by She & Him

This was one of the “What’s New” albums on Spotify a couple of weeks ago. Zooey Deschanel has a very unique voice. It’s like a young, soft voice that also projects age and wisdom. Does that even make sense? My favorite tracks on this album are “Baby, it’s Cold Outside” (I like how they switched parts) and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”

2. A Holiday Carole by Carole King

Carole King could sing the phone book and I would love it. She just has one of those voices that brings me comfort. This album also showed up on Spotify. I guess I should really thank Spotify for my new found holiday spirit. My favorite track so far is “Everyday Will Be Like A Holiday” and when Carole says “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” I really want to ;)

3. Midwinter Graces by Tori Amos

My best friend gave me a copy of this album a couple of years ago and it is always the first one I pop in when I start decorating my house. As the title implies, it’s more of a seasonal album for Winter than it is for the holidays but the themes are interjected. It’s very unique. My favorites are “A Silent Night With You” and “Winter’s Carol.”

If you aren’t a lover of the traditional or commercial holiday songs and you like any of the above artists, I highly recommend these albums.

And now, I apologize if I’ve ever judged you for feeling the holidays early. I’m sure you didn’t care anyway, as the joy you feel in your heart at this time of year is surely stronger than any “bah humbug” people you may have encountered ;)

Okay, seriously, who am I?

November goals

Can you believe it’s already November 1st? That means in two months, it will be 2012! Crazy, right?

Even though yesterday was Halloween, I was still surprised to see the word November showing up everywhere this morning: on my phone, computer, tv, etc. It just seems like the year has flown by, but then again, I think it feels that way every year.

I haven’t done this in a while but I couldn’t help but remember that the 1st of the month is a great time to set some new goals. Not like “lose 5 lbs this month” or “do x number of yoga sessions” type of goals. I have been looking at things a lot differently lately. My goals this month are more in the realm of mental and spiritual as opposed to physical challenges.

My November 2011 Goals

  1. Get at least one more room of our house “finished” - We moved into our new place back in July and sadly, the only thing that’s really done is the basement, which is because my awesome husband spent a whole day down there putting it all together. I’ve just been too busy or tired to get started anywhere else. It makes me feel better to have things in order, so I will remember that as I work on some things this month.
  2. Send out some handwritten cards - I have a couple of cards to send this month and maybe some more if I think about some people I’d like to contact. One is for a family member that is ill and another for a sweet family at my church.
  3. Bake, bake, bake - I made some oatmeal raisin and pumpkin cookies this past weekend to take to the Hootenanny and even though I didn’t have a lot of time to spend on them, they turned out great and it made me want to make some more stuff. We are having a special “Parent Sunday” at the youth cafe this week, so I will get to start on this goal sooner rather than later ;) I also want to practice some holiday dishes I hope to make.
  4. Homemade Christmas presents – Since it’s November 1st, this means I have about a month and a half to get my Christmas presents ready. I plan to make a lot of stuff this year, I’ve already started on some knitting projects and I have some ideas for a few other things. Just need to nail these down, get the supplies and get going. Making things makes me happy!
  5. Rest – Even though the previous things I’ve mentioned are going to take up some of my time, I do want to mainly focus on relaxing this week. I have been busy nearly every weekend over the Summer and Fall and finally, November is here and I have ZERO plans on my Saturdays for the next several weeks. I want to go out for coffee, maybe browse a store or two, then spend the rest at home taking naps and snuggling with my doggie :)

That’s about it over here! What are your goals for November?

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