Sunday, February 27, 2011

Leftover Creations – Island teriyaki noodles


I’m a planner.  We write down our meals for the upcoming week on Saturday, factoring in leftovers for second meals or lunches, and go to the grocery store and farm market on Sunday.  Other than the necessary staples for the week (almond milk, soy yogurt, orange juice, Lara Bars), we generally stick to putting items in the cart that will be used for the specific meals.  This ensures that we don’t end up with leftovers we can’t use or wasted food. 

On occasion, however, things get away from me and we end up with odds and ends that we don’t know what to do with.  I get thrown off because they didn’t factor into my plan.  I’m trying to be better about using them because sometimes they sit there for days while I ponder them, only to decide that they’ve been around too long and in the best interest of our health, should be thrown away.

Recently, I found myself in one of these situations again and vowed to use all my leftovers to make a new meal.  It was simple and pretty tasty.  Here are the ingredients I threw together:

·      A few strips of marinated baked tofu, cut into cubes
·      Thin whole-grain spaghetti noodles
·      Half a red bell pepper
·      Button mushrooms
·      Trader Joe’s Soyaki sauce
·      Frozen pineapple chunks
·      Crushed red pepper flakes

I sliced the pepper and mushrooms and sautéed them in a little bit of olive oil.  Then I added the noodles, tofu, Soyaki sauce (not sure how much since I just used what I had left in the bottle), and pineapple.  I covered it and heated it until everything was warm, then stirred in a few shakes of crushed red pepper, and served.  On the side we had some Brussels sprouts roasted with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Not a bad meal and best of all, nothing went to waste!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Rock Out With Your Crock Out*

There’s nothing quite like coming home after a long day of work followed by an intense boot camp class and being greeted with the aroma of a good hearty soup or chili simmering away in the crock-pot.  It takes a little time up front to prep veggies and mix everything together but at the end of the day, I love walking in the door to find dinner ready and waiting.

Most of the recipes in my repertoire come from Robin Robertson’s Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker.  My favorites are “Corn Chowder in Winter,” “Carrot and Parsnip Bisque with a Hint of Orange,” and “Winter Squash and Sweet Potato Soup.”

While there are a lot of great recipes out there written specifically for use in a slow cooker, I’ve found that many stovetop recipes can be tweaked to cook in a crock-pot, as well.  My favorite chili recipe, in fact, uses the stove but I always make it in the crock-pot with amazing results.  The recipe is from Secrets of Fat-Free Cooking, which I bought about 15 years ago and only needed a slight modification to be veganized.

Two-Bean Chili
(printable recipe)


1 cup TVP (texturized vegetable protein)
1 cup vegetable broth
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes (try fire-roasted or with diced green chilies for an extra kick)
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
1 can (15 oz.) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz.) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
3 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. ground cumin
1. Combine the TVP and broth in a 3-quart pot and bring to a boil over high heat.  Remove the pot from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes, or until all the broth is absorbed. 

2. Add the reconstituted TVP, along with all of the remaining ingredients, to the slow cooker and stir to mix well.  Cook on low for 8 hours (or 12 if are gone all day like we are).

What is your favorite crock-pot recipe?

*Love you, Jaime!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Banana Pudding Pie

Last night I made a really simple and delicious dessert that I have to share.  It sure isn't some groundbreaking new idea, but I didn't follow a recipe and it turned out well, so that's exciting for me.  Plus, it's rare for me to even make dessert unless there's a special occasion this creation is doubly exciting.

Banana Pudding Pie
(printable recipe)  


1 box vegan vanilla pudding (I used Dr. Oetker)
2 cups non-dairy milk, preferably unsweetened
1-2 very ripe bananas
Graham cracker crust

optional toppings: shaved coconut, cocoa powder


1. Prepare pudding according to package directions.

2. Thinly slice bananas and line the bottom and sides of graham cracker crust.

3. Pour cooked pudding into crust, covering bananas.

4. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

5. When ready to serve, top slices with a dusting of cocoa powder and shaved coconut.

Monday, February 21, 2011

On the Run: Riverview Winterfest 4-Mile Run 2011

Last Sunday I ran my first race of the season.  The race was Riverview Winterfest 4-Mile Run, a flat course through residential neighborhoods.  I hadn't run outside since November so this was just the motivation I needed to get me out the door and moving on a chilly winter morning.  The temps were in the mid to high 30's so once I got running, it wasn't bad.   I started out too fast and had to get adjusted to the cold but by mile 2 I really hit my stride and it felt incredibly great to be running. 



Coconut Cream Pie Larabar, banana


Lisztomania / Phoenix   
The Great Defector / Bell X1   
Holiday / Vampire Weekend    
Kick Drum Heart / The Avett Brothers 
Tightrope (ft. Big Boi) / Janelle Monáe   
1983 / Neon Trees   
The Sound of Settling / Death Cab for Cutie
Song Away / Hockey    
How You Like Me Now? / The Heavy    
Miami / Will Smith   
Power (rmx) f. Jay-Z / Kanye West   
The Way / Fastball

Next race: Rock CF Rivers Half Marathon, March 20th