Thursday, October 3, 2013

Product Review: Leahey Gardens No Beef Stroganoff

So after a couple months, I am yet again - back! I'm really hoping to keep up with my blog but like I said when I first started this, I do have some health problems (I have a condition called Dysautonomia) which kind of prevents me from cooking, what I think, is blog-worthy food on a regular basis. I'm thinking of making my next post (probably next week) just talking about what exactly Dysautonomia is. So if anyone happens to come across my blog and sees a post here, and then another post a month or two later - you'll have more of an understanding as to why that is.

But for THIS week, I am doing a product review! On Leahey Gardens No Beef Stroganoff. I first tried this over a year ago and loved it right away. It kind of reminds me of Hamburger Helper, now that I think of it.

It's very simple to make. You just add the pouch to 5 cups of water. Stir and bring it to a boil. Then you basically let it simmer and thicken, stirring occasionally and that's it! One pouch makes five servings. So I will usually measure it out in separate bowls right away. That way I can just grab a bowl and pop it in the microwave for quick future suppers.

It's very thick and creamy..and it has a great beef flavor to it. I'd definitely recommend giving it a try!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Raspberry Lemonade Smoothie

This smoothie is very simple to make and for the hot summer days, very refreshing to have! I found this idea on Pinterest, linked to  I love strawberry and lemonade together, so when I saw this - I thought I would give the lemonade/raspberry combination a try. It's a little more bitter tasting, but I still really liked it.

1 can of lemonade concentrate
1 and 1/2 cups frozen raspberries
1 tray of ice
1 can of water

Just mix all of your ingredients together in a blender. This picture isn't that great, the frozen raspberries mixed with the warm kitchen air and made it a little foggy - but it was the best I could do!

Then pour it into a glass and drink up!

I obviously couldn't drink the entire batch I made, so I ended up freezing a decent amount of it. It's perfect to have a little bowl of this to help you cool of in the hot weather! It's almost like some type of sorbet, I would say.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Tinkyada Brown Rice Pasta with Veggies


My family and I go to a local produce store quite regularly. We made a trip there over the weekend and stocked up on lots of veggies. Whenever we have a ton lying around I always think, what can I make with that? Instead of just eating it plain as a side dish or something.. Sometimes I won't know exactly WHAT to do, so I just mix some things together and hope it turns out good. That's what I did today with this, and it was delicious. I'll definitely be making it again. I made a small portion (it made three servings - I had this for lunch and my dad and I split the rest for dinner tonight). Like with some other recipes I posted, this is another one where you can just add however much you like of something. There are no 'exact' amounts..but I will list what I used for my 3 servings!

2 stalks of asparagus
1/2 medium sized onion diced
1 medium tomato diced
1/2 large cucumber
Tinkyada brown rice spaghetti
garlic salt (to taste)
Vegetarian Express Parmesan sprinkles (to taste)

All you do is steam your veggies (add in some garlic and parmesan as it's cooking), while you make your spaghetti and then mix the two together. I don't know exactly how much pasta I used. I just estimated what would be enough for the amount of vegetables I was using. I love pasta, but when I'm eating it with vegetables, I try not to add TOO much just because I don't want the meal to become too heavy. You can use any kind of spaghetti you like, I just used the Tinkyada because it was what we had and it's wheat free/gluten free. I'm not completely gluten free, but when I can avoid it, I try to!

I really like this vegan Parmesan cheese I found. All it is is blanched almond meal, sea salt, nutritional yeast, dehydrated onion and citric acid. It doesn't taste exactly like Parmesan by itself, but it's probably the closest you're going to get to the real thing and when you add it onto something (like spaghetti, or pizza) you really can't tell the difference.

It's a very basic recipe and super quick and easy to make, I'd definitely recommend giving it a try!


Thursday, February 28, 2013

Garlic Soup

My fiance, Greg, told me about this garlic soup after he tried it while he was in the Czech Republic. It's also called Česnečka, which I learned after a quick Google search! I didn't know what to imagine when he described it to me. I just pictured a very strong..garlic flavored soup. Even while I was cooking it, I was a bit worried that it would turn out horrible because the entire kitchen smelled of garlic. Nothing else, not a hint of any other flavor. Just garlic! I thought there is no way this will turn out tasting good. But I was wrong! Once it's finished cooking and you add in the toasted bread, it has a tasty butter flavor to it that mixes really well with the broth. Greg said it didn't taste quite the same as what he had, but he liked it and I really liked it too. In fact, just sitting here thinking about it makes me want to whip up another pot of it! Below is the recipe Greg gave me to go by, tweaked to make it vegan.

8 cups broth (beef or chicken) I used G. Washington 'beef' broth.
6 cloves of garlic (more or less, according to your personal taste)
1 tsp. salt (more or less according to your person taste)
1 tsp. marjoram
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp. vegan butter substitute (I used Blue Bonnet, Earth Balance is also good too)
2 medium potatoes, peeled and dices into bite-sized pieces
1 tsp. caraway seeds
2 tbsp. parsley
slices of bread

Mash the garlic together with the salt.

Place the garlic and salt mixture into a large pot, add broth and slowly bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer. Add caraway seeds, potatoes, marjoram, and butter. Simmer uncovered till potatoes are tender. Add in the pepper.

Fry slices of bread in butter (you're basically making croutons). Place a slice of bread in each bowl and ladle the garlic soup over the bread. Sprinkle with parsley.

With this bowl, I went a little crazy with the pieces of toasted bread. I probably used a slice and a half, which you might think is too much for a small bowl of soup like I had..but I think the bread is what makes the whole thing. But like with the garlic, salt and pepper - you can just adjust the recipe to your liking.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Macaroni Salad

My mom made this today and I thought I would make a blog post about it because it's really simple to make and it's so good! To me, it tastes just like the real thing. For this recipe, she used Nayonaise. We've tried both Nayonaise and Veganaise before. I think Veganaise is a *little* bit better, probably the closest to mayonnaise you're going to get...Nayonaise has a stronger vinegar taste to it. That's the only difference that I've noticed. I like vinegar though, so either one will work for me!

1/2 lb. elbow macaroni
2 cups of Nayonaise/Veganaise
1 large onion
2 stalks of celery
1 tsp. basil
2 tsp. parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Just cook the macaroni according to the directions on the box, drain them and then add in all the other ingredients listed above. Obviously you can add more or less of certain ingredients depending on your taste. Like for ours, my mom probably added a little over 2 cups of Nayonaise because we think it tastes better when it's more creamy..We also like a lot of onion, so we put tons of onion in...It all depends on what you like.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Product Review: Amy's Tofu Scramble

Before I went vegan I would have scrambled eggs quite often for breakfast (probably TOO often, from a health perspective..) so when I first tried this, I was hoping it would satisfy my cravings for that. Thankfully, it did! I love this but I try not to eat it too often because it is frozen, and I try to stay away from frozen foods as much as I can..but when I'm not feeling well, or just want something quick - this is great to just pop in the microwave for four minutes and it's done.

The tofu scramble itself is delicious. I'd like to learn how to make it myself. It would be a lot cheaper and I would have it more often. But, this scramble is made up of tofu (obviously) and tons of veggies. It has spinach, onions, zucchini, mushrooms, carrots and tomato. There is also a side of hash browns.

It's vegan, gluten free and all organic. I would definitely recommend giving it a try!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Bite-Sized Taco Appetizers

I came up with this little idea after my family's get together on New Year's Eve. Now, I know it's been done before - but probably not quite as often vegan style! So I thought I would make a post about it. They're a great little snack to serve and they're healthy too. Very low calorie!

Tostitos Scoops
Lightlife 'meatless' ground beef (1 package equals close to 1 pound of beef)
Old El Paso taco seasoning packet
Dayia jack style cheese (shredded)
mild salsa

All you have to really do is cook the ground beef according to the package, including the seasoning packet and you're done with the 'hardest' part of this recipe.

The rest is simply putting your little mini tacos together. Scoop the meat and salsa into the Scoop and sprinkle some vegan cheese on top. You could add in onions or peppers if you'd like - I thought of doing that myself..but I figured since there's already onions and tomatoes in the salsa I used, it didn't really need any extra. But there you have it..So simple and so tasty. A great appetizer to serve at your next party!

Stay tuned for more (hopefully) more frequent updates! One of my resolutions this year is to make this blog even better - and share as many recipes as I can think of with everyone. My goal is to make at least one post a week. Of course, that depends on my health - and if I'm feeling good enough to actually do some cooking that week. But I am definitely going to try my hardest to make that happen!