Thursday, May 30, 2013

Guacamole - TGIV (Thank God it's Vegan!)

TGIV - yes.....Thank God it's vegan.  I love guacamole!  Just give me the bowl and I will finish it.  When you have 3 very ripe avocado's sitting on your kitchen counter, well, guacamole is the answer!  I found this over at Food Network.  Since eating vegan I really don't go over to that site much anymore but I did find this recipe while online searching for a guacamole recipe.  This is really good.  Hard to believe that I have never made my own guacamole before but I just never got around to it.  I have way more fruits and vegetables in my fridge now so I'm sure that I will be making more and more recipes that I haven't tried before.

The weather down here in Virginia has been gorgeous.  In the low 90's and sunny. I love it. I've been waiting anxiously for summer and it's finally here!  And this is a perfect recipe for this time of year.....

3 avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
1 lime, juiced
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 Tbs of cilantro, chopped

In a large bowl place the scooped avocado pulp and lime juice, toss to coat.  Drain, and reserve the lime juice after all the avocados have been coated.  Using a potato masher add the salt, cumin and cayenne pepper and mash.  Then fold in the onions, tomato, jalapeno, cilantro and garlic.  Add the reserved lime juice.  Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour and serve.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Stuffed Peppers

One of my favorite dishes has to be stuffed peppers.  I used to make them quite often with ground beef and rice.  Well, ground beef is no longer an option is my vegan version which not only tastes the same (well, not really - they taste better!) but are super easy.  Trader Joe's has "Beef-less" Ground Beef.  Who knew products like this even existed?  I certainly didn't in my prevegan days.  Now that I do know I will be trying this product in other recipes that would normally call for ground beef.  All I can say is "simple & delicious!"  Enjoy!

Hope all you moms out there  had a great Mother's Day.  I know I did.  Had my 3 boys together and the weather was great. Not only that my wonderful daughter in law who is from Indonesia made me a dish using tempeh.  This new vegan here had  never had a dish before with tempeh and I now believe that all things vegan are just getting better and better.  Hope on for the ride as I discover new dishes every day!

1 package Trader Joe's Beef-less Ground Beef (this equals 1 lb of ground beef)
2 cups of cooked rice
2 jars of prepared tomato sauce (reserve 2 tablespoons)
5 peppers (I used assorted colors)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion - chopped
2 or 3 cloves or garlic - minced
fresh chopped parsley
2 teaspoons dried oregano
salt & pepper to taste

Cut tops off peppers and remove seeds and clean.  Keep pepper tops.
Cook rice according to directions.
Heat oil in large skillet.  Add onion and cook for several minutes until soft.
Add garlic to skillet and saute until fragrant, only about 1 minute.
Add Beef-less ground beef to pan and cooked rice and cook until warm and blended.
In large pot add both jars of tomato sauce.  Turn heat on to low.
In large bowl combine Beef-less meat and rice mixture and add breadcrumbs, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper.  Add 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce to this mixture.
Stuff mixture loosely to just about top of pepper. Repeat with pepper.  Add top to pepper, if desired.
Stand peppers upright into pot and turn heat to medium-low and simmer for about 1 hour.
Check occasionally and stir sauce around each pepper.
Peppers are done with they are somewhat soft and can be cut easily.
Top peppers with sauce and enjoy!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Vegan Banana Bread

This was my first try at a vegan banana bread and this is some good stuff....Yes, it is and I have proof.  My husband and my coworkers all loved it.  At first I wondered if everyone was just being polite but an empty plate was all the proof I needed!  I personally will cut back on the amount of sugar next time but that's just me.  Whether you are vegan or not, I really think you will enjoy this bread.  I am so excited to be posting this because I happen to LOVE banana bread and wanted this to be my first recipe post on this blog and was hoping it would be successful!  I hope you give this a try.  I found the recipe here.  I still have lots of work to do fixing up this blog the way I like it so please be patient with it looking so plain!!!

Vegan Banana Bread

2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plain soy  milk or almond milk (I used almond breeze)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 cups mashed banana (3 or 4 large bananas)
1/4 cup canola oil
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
walnuts (optional , I just added a bunch on top)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly oil a 9 x 5 in loaf  pan.
In a medium mixing bowl sift together all dry ingredients.
In a large mixing bowl add  soy milk with 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar and let sit for a few minutes.
Add the mashed banana, canola oil, maple syrup and vanilla and mix together.
Add the dry ingredients to this and mix until just combined. Do not over mix.
Add the walnuts, if using them and pour mixture into prepared loaf pan.

Bake for approximately 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center emerges clean.  Let cool for 10 minutes and remove from pan to cool on wire rack.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Hello everyone and welcome to my new blog!!!

I am so excited to be starting a new blog.  I'm sure many of you have been directed here from my old food blog Mocha Me.  While I enjoyed that blog for many years (almost 5) I've taken my life in a different direction.  I've adopted a vegan diet and all the beliefs that go along with that.  That means no meat, dairy, leather or any product that was made from any animal.  I feel so good about this.  Finally.....I don't have to ever go on about how I love animals yet find them on my more.  And the biggest surprise was how easy this diet is.  It's absolutely no big deal.  For a change I am eating foods that are actually good for me.  I've had a sweet tooth my whole life.  But I've cut back almost totally on sugar too.  Or should I say cookies and cakes.  And that also was no big deal.  I now see how addictive sugar really is.  Since I've cut out my afternoon cookie snack at work....I no longer have that midafternoon slump.  But the best part of all this is that I am doing this for the animals that I love so much.  I've always been an animal lover.  I could say I was "born this way."  However, I do believe that most of us are born with a natural love for animals.  Somehow along the way we've lost sight of our love for these wonderful creatures. We've allowed them to make their way on to our plates and wear them on our backs and feet and so much more.  We continue and continue and continue to allow this.  I won't be part of that anymore.....

I hope you enjoy the recipes and articles I'll be posting.  It will all be food and animal related and maybe some crazy ramblings from me along the way!!