Saturday, January 16, 2010

after a three year break

I think it's about time I return to this blog.  I'm having a hard time cooking at home right now.  We tend to eat out WAY too much and I need to find some way to start cooking at home more.  So, my resolution for the new year is to wake up the old blog and start creating and posting new recipes again. . . 

Should be fun.  I'm excited.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Guilty Pleasure

Okay ya'll, I have a confession to make. . . . .

I love Paula Dean.

I absolutely love her, her sweet southern accent, how she cooks everything in about a pound of butter and/or lard, even how she won't touch a vegetable unless it's been drenched in some form of oil or meat bit.

Most of all though, I love trying to make her recipes healthier and vegan, without loosing that southern flavor.

It's no secret that as humans we crave fat. Especially for a vegan, that craving can be down right hard to ignore. Especially since 99% of the foods we eat are naturally low in fat.

That is why I love her recipes so much. They are perfect for those "craving fat, nothing else will do" kind of nights. You know, the ones where you could literally eat sugar out of the canister, or couldn't imagine slathering enough Earth's Balance on your already buttery mashed potatoes?

I already love me some good, VEGAN, comforting southern cooking. And I can't think of a better place to find resources than with her.

Now, if you'll excuse me ya'll, she's on and with a special Thanksgiving episode, including fried stuffing on a stick!!! Now tell me that doesn't sound good!

Monday, November 5, 2007

so tired

So very, very tired.

We were slammed at work today. We did about 2500 photos, which is about 1500 more than we did just yesterday.

I think this cooler weather is making our customers think about Christmas a lot sooner than they did last year. Which means a lot more business, a lot sooner for us. But, that is a good thing. Especially when it comes to asking for a raise!

Not to mention how much I am LOVING the cooler weather. But for now, I'm off to bed. I have to be back at work first thing in the morning and sleep is all I can think about right now.


Oh, and I promise to post a real post tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Black Bean, Corn, Spinach, and Sweet Potato Soup

This recipe makes a ton of soup. I like to make a lot because with soup, leftovers are always better than the original, in my opinion.


3-4 cans of black beans (I use Bushes beans, with the seasoning)
1 box of frozen chopped spinach (or about four cups of fresh spinach, chopped)
1 bag of frozen corn
4 (or more, I usually add more) sweet potatoes, peeled and diced.
2-3 cloves of Garlic (remember, I love garlic)
1 small Onion (you can add more but this is all I can get away with in this house of onion-haters)
3-4 tbsp. Olive Oil


1. Saute onion in olive oil until almost translucent, be sure not to burn.

2. Add garlic and let cook until golden.

3. Add black beans, spinach, and sweet potatoes

4. Fill empty cans of black beans with water, about half way to get the rest of the seasoning from the bottom of the cans and pour into pot.

5. Let cook for about 15 minutes, checking for consistency. You can add more water or vegetable broth if you like yours "soupier" at this point.

6. Continue cooking until sweet potatoes are tender.

7. Add salt, pepper, oregano and any other seasonings you wish to taste.

8. Add bag of corn and cook until soup is heated through

9. Serve. I like to serve mine over rice, with a little slab of butter between the rice and soup.

Hope you enjoy.

This really is a super easy recipe and takes not time to make. And it's soooo super yummy.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

So, after a long break of not doing these, I've decided to get back into the swing of things, today.

So, here is my menu for the week. Everything listed is vegan, which means that everything is completely animal free. Meaning no meat, no eggs, no dairy, no fish, and no anything else that can come from an animal.


Recipes to follow on some stuff, maybe.

Monday: Black bean, corn, spinach and sweet potato soup over rice.

Tuesday: Tacos

Wednesday: Spaghetti with blood sauce (marinara) and eyeballs (vegan meatballs) and green goblin bread (Rachel Ray's Green Garlic Bread Recipe.)

Thursday: Shepherd's Pie

Friday: Fajitas

Saturday: Veggie Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and the best Brussels sprouts, EVER.

And that's it for the week.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

"Neatloaf" Recipe

Finally, a recipe!!

This one is a family favorite. In fact, it's so loved that if anyone in this house glances at the weekly menu board, and this is not on it, I hear about it.

As a kid, in order for me to take part in this delicious, typically ground beef concoction, I'd always have to look elsewhere. As my mom, while one of the greatest cooks there ever was, was completely unable to make a viable, not to mention edible, loaf of her own. Something about egg and mushy meat, and childhood nightmares. Her phobia for this dear concoction aside, I grew to love this fond money-saving meal that most of my friends would gripe about.

Now that I've become vegan, I've longed for the hearty warm taste this meal always left me with. When I discovered vegan crumbles, I began concocting recipe after recipe and I feel as though I have FINALLY gotten what I am after.

So without further adieu:

**NOTE: Please keep in mind that when I cook, I cook to feed an army. Make adjustments accordingly. Oh, and that these amounts are just guesses, as I am terrible at actually measuring stuff when I'm in charge.**


3 Boxes of Boca Crumbles (or three bags of Greenwise Crumbles, my personal choice if you live near a Publix)

3/4 tub of firm tofu (not frozen)

1 Cup of fresh bread crumbs

1/4 cup oil

1/4 Cup of soy milk

1/2 Cup of Ketchup

2 Tbsp. A1 Sauce (Smoky Mesquite flavor)

1-3 Tbsp. minced garlic

1-2 Tsp. onion powder

Oregano to taste.

Salt and Pepper to taste.

**In an ideal world all of these items will be thawed and at room temperature. However, if you forget, or don't have time, frozen ingredients work just as well. Just use a hand mixer instead of your hands to incorporate, or my favorite, a stand mixer (just be careful, spillage is expected.)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Empty all three boxes of crumbles into a bowl.

3. Add tofu and mix.

4. After tofu is encorporated, add the rest of the ingredients, one at a time, until mixture begins to "clean" the sides of the bowl (you may need to add more soy milk or oil to achieve this) You will end up with one big clump, of not so pleasantly colored glop.

5. Transfer mixture to a loaf pan, mini loaf pans (my choice as it tends to hold the mixture together a lot better.) or baking dish and bake in oven for 45 minutes.

6. At 45 minutes, take out and baste with either A1 sauce, ketchup (my choice), or BBQ sauce.

7. Let bake for another 15 minutes for baste to caramelize.

8. Serve and enjoy!

Chef's notes:
~I make this recipe two different ways. The more traditional way, with ketchup smeared on top, with mashed potatoes, and some kind of green veggie. Also, the hearty way. Which is the loaf, on a bed of sauteed mushrooms, no baste on top, but instead slathered with gravy and served with mashed potatoes and asparagus or green beans.

~ If you decide to go the traditional loaf way with this recipe, I think it would be better to make the mixture the night before, cover it, let it freeze overnight then bake it on a lower temperature for a longer amount of time. I think it would hold together better this way. Although I have no proof, as I've never been able to test my theory in this house.

~This is great cold on bread with veganaise the next day.

~Perfect for kids lunches too.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

yep, I'm overdue

So yeah, it's been a long, long time with nothing going on over here. And yeah, it's very safe to say that I've let this blog fall by the way-side, totally neglecting it's existence.

I promised recipes. I promised product reviews. And then, I just ended up posting my weekly menus for a few weeks, then. . . . nothing.

Well, I am back and vow to make this blog all that I wanted it to be in the beginning. With Fall upon us with the cooler temperatures, and the promise of a festive season ahead, I find myself drawn back into the kitchen to try new and rework old yummy recipes.

One of my favorite things to do is to go to the store and parooze the current recipe filled magazines. This is the best time of year for that sort of thing. Many magazines come out with "Holiday Recipe" versions full of readers favorites. Now, most of the recipes are NOT vegan but that's part of the fun I have. Coming up with vegan options. It's a lot easier than it seems.

Luckily for all of you, I get to do the hard work, and you get to enjoy the recipes as a result. All I ask is that you tell me what you think when/if you try a certain recipe listed on here. I will also do my best to write down my source for said recipe, when I can remember.

Now, if you'll excuse me I have my first magazine of the season waiting to be plowed through and folded up. I should be back soon with my findings.