I have been a busy girl these last few days and haven’t had time for much more than salads and quick veggie sautees. I’ve been trying to come up with new ideas for easy vegetable based dishes that are light but filling. I’m working on a floribbean thing that I don’t have the right ingredients to play around with just yet, but look for that this weekend. Today I was looking for a recipe using sweet potatoes, but I couldn’t find what I wanted. I ended up surprising myself with what I came up with. Here’s what I did -

Filling

  • one large sweet potato peeled, cubed and oven roasted w/olive oil (I usually roast a few of these to have on hand for snacks or recipes. It’s easy fairly quick and quite good!)
  • 1/2 cup cooked black beans room temp or cold
  • 1/2 cup cooked corn room temp or cold
  • 2 roma tomatoes chopped (you can use compari, or whatever you have on hand)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dried cilatro
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Throw everything together in a bowl and toss well.

Dressing

  • 2 T vegenaise
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • a few pinches chopped fresh cilantro (I almost always have fresh cilantro on hand, you can use dried, but the flavor won’t be as strong)
  • 1 clove garlic minced

wisk everything in small bowl and drizzle over filling after stuffing into bib or boston lettuce leaves or you could use tortillas if you like. I also topped mine with roasted pecan pieces and a few sliced black olives. The combination of the sweetness from the potato and the tartness of the cilantro dressing is really good. I thought that the added crunch of the pecans was a nice finish too. It was very filling and yet not heavy. I’ll be making these again!

On to the smut! It’s no secret that I love erotica. I write reviews and I have a soft spot for sci-fi. There are just so many possibilities there. Anyway, I have been reading a new-to-me author Marie Harte and I love her! She writes this series called Circe’s Recruits and it’s unlike anything out there that I’ve read. It’s very difficult to come up with something unique and fresh in a genre that has practically seen it all. Granted, this series is not for the feint of heart.  The sex is mind blowingly graphic, about as hot as it gets in erotica and that’s saying something. But hot, raunchy sex aside, the storyline is surprisingly well crafted. See, there is more to erotica than smutty sex scenes! And the characterization is there. If you like hot reads and are into ebooks, this is a good read for you.

Which brings me to another thing – ebooks. Do any of you out there in blog land read them? There are so many good books out there that aren’t in print. Being a complete biblophile, there is nothing like the experience of reading an actual novel. I love the way books smell, the feel of them, collecting them etc. I always thought that I wouldn’t be much for ebooks. I still think that there is something impersonal about them. I am so glad that I was thrust, kicking and screaming mind you, into the world of ebooks by the site I review for. We deal mostly in electronic formats. It’s just more efficient for what we do. I am thankful for the world it has opended me up to. There are so many good authors and books that only come in electronic format and I would be missing out!

The Veggie Challenge

May 21, 2009

I have a confession to make. I have not been the healthiest vegan these last few months and while I haven’t gained any weight, my body just doesn’t feel like it used to. I’ve been tired, sluggish, bloated and just all around feeling kind of yuck. I know it’s my diet. I have been eating alot of baked sweets, grains and gluten. I’ve also been drinking alot of diet soda and even started drinking coffee again. The fact that I am so tired screams that my diet desperately needs an overhaul. I decided to come up with The Veggie Challenge. My diet will consist of fruits, veggies, nuts and legumes. I think that I might include tofu to allow myself a little bit of versatility. I’m going to force myself to give up the diet soda, which is my biggest weakness. I’m also going to switch back to tea and increase my water intake. I’m tired of feeling exhausted all the time. I’m kind of excited to get back to basics, but I know that I am desperately going to miss seitan and sweets. Not eating the usual grains means I’m going to have to get creative with potatoes and other root veggies. I just know that something has to change. I don’t have enough energy to keep up with my kids and it’s summer time. I need that energy! I’ve been relying on my vitamin suppliments too long. It’s time to get those vitamins in my diet as well. I was planning to give myself two weeks before I reintroduce grains and bread. I just know that I have to force myself to create meals where vegetables are the focus. It’s been too long where I have been a vegan pretty much eating in classic omni fashion - meals of primarily protein and carb. Well, no more! I’m sure I’ll be posting away these next few weeks.

 The husband’s boss has this amazing organic garden and he has been sharing all of his hard work. I suspect that it’s really his wife’s hard work, but I appreciate the sharing all the same. A few days ago he sent N. home with these beautiful, huge, yellow squash. They’ve just been sitting there begging to be used and I wanted to try something different. I scoured a few of my favorite vegan blogs and came up with an idea. I used Jessy’s happy fiesta rice mix and altered it slightly. If you haven’t been by happy vegan face, I suggest you get your butt over there and try at least one of her recipes. You won’t be disappointed. For this mix, I used dark red kidney beans, brown rice and roasted corn. It’s what I had on hand. I also used cilantro and subbed our favorite dried chipotle cubes for the sriracha. The rest of her recipe I followed including the homemade soyrizo, which is awesome by the way, and the rice mix was fab! I sliced the squash in half lengthwise, hollowed them out, stuffed them with the rice mix, topped it with vegan parm, covered and baked for about an hour at 350. I loved the end result! It was simple and made alot so I have the leftovers I am so fond of. Oh and if you notice, yes, I have a small addiction with these little side salads of baby greens, salsa and vegenaise. Don’t ask, I’m not sure what it is. I think maybe something small and fresh with heavier meals is better and easier than making side dishes. Oh and the fact that I’m lazy these days makes it pretty appealing. If they show up on many of my plates in the near future, you’ll know why.

a new look

May 19, 2009

I’ve been a complete slacker with this blog in the last few months. I decided to change things up a bit. I changed the look of the blog and I chopped off all my hair, a revamp on all fronts. I donated the 13 inch pony tail to Locks of Love. I’ve been writing book reviews and I love it. I’ll admit that I’m reading mostly erotica and enjoying every minute of it. I’ve recently been reading cowboy smut. Yes, you heard that right. There is definitley something appealing about a man who is rough around the edges and knows how to use a length of rope.

On the vegan front, I have some new recipes I need to measure out and post. I’ve been making a pasta dish with black beans, broccoli and a pumpkin cream sauce that’s really yummy. I’ve also discovered a new peanut butter and chocolate cake recipe that I’ve tweaked a bit and it’s been the husband’s big weakness for the last few months. Okay, I’ll admit it, it’s a weakness of mine too.

Last night I made black and white soft tacos with Jessy’s verde sauce and they were so good the husband had seconds and took the extra for lunch today, which kinda sucks because I was looking forward to leftovers. I’ll have to make a double batch next time.

the second day

February 5, 2009

I swear, if I ever open a vegan restaurant, I will call it Second Day and it will be an homage to vegan dishes that benefit from a night in the fridge. There are just some foods that are better the second day, like chili, stew, seitan, I could go on and on. This gem of a second day dish, is a spin on a Veganomicon plantain stew. It’s sweet, spicy and is loved by the resident omni so you know it’s good. I’ve tweaked this enough I think that I am ready to post my doctored recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 1 ripe plantain, peeled and cubed
  • 8 plum tomatoes diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 3 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp dried mustard
  • 2 tsp dried cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp dried chipotle
  • 2 tsp agave nectar (you could sub sugar for this)
  • 1 can of light red kidney or pinto beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 spicy seitan sausages cut up in large chunks

In a large soup pot over med heat, saute onions and garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes, agave and the spices then cover and simmer for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Add potatoes, plantains and beans, cover and simmer for 25 -30 minutes or until potatoes are soft. You may need to keep an eye on it to make sure that the liquid doesn’t reduce too much. If it does, just add a bit of broth or water. Add the seitan sauage in the last 10 minutes of your simmer. You just want it to heat and soften a bit, but not cook too much. I serve this over millet, but you could use rice or quinoa if you prefer. I happen to think that the unique flavor of the millet lends to the flavor of this dish though. And it goes without me saying, this is better the second day!

I do so love to be indulgent, especially if I’m feeling a bit under the weather and it’s chilly outside. I felt some chai, Vegan with a Vengeance chocolate chip cookies and a date with a demon named Lucien were definitely in order. If you have not made these cookies yet, please scour the internet for this recipe or go buy the book. You need these cookies! They are my husband’s favorite chocolate chip cookie and from the carnivore cookie connoisseur, that’s saying alot. I do sub pure maple syrup for the molasses and use only earth’s balance and you should as well, it makes for an irresistable cookie. For those of you who don’t know, I am quite the book worm and I have a weak spot for paranormals. Right now, Gena Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld series is giving me plenty to day dream about and adding a bit of extra heat in the bedroom. My husband thanks you Gena.

Vcon, how do I love thee?

February 3, 2009

chickpea cutletsHave I ever mentioned how much I love Vcon? I made the chickpea cutlets for the first time this weekend and I have to say, they are yummy! I did sub oatmeal that I put through the processor for the bread crumbs to make it a bit healthier. I served them with the mustard sauce and a spiced red quinoa (recipe on request). I think I will be making these cutlets more often. I have to admit that I am a bit burned out on the YR “chicken” seitan cutlets and I have been hungry for something new. The PTV doesn’t really care for them, but the kids love them so they are going into the protein rotation. I have to add that the red quinoa is a nice change from the usual white quinoa I’ve been buying. It’s not quite as nutritious, but it has a wonderful nutty flavor and went really well with this meal.

I am going to start adding a few product reviews and posting some of my craft projects here as well to kind of change up the blog. I promise I’ll also get back to adding my political two cents on a few things, that is as soon as I can wrap my head around all this bailout nonsense and calm down enough to actually put my thoughts into words.

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