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I recently started making green smoothies in my blender.

A few reasons to make a green smoothie (in a blender):

  • I want to get more kale in my diet, but I won’t eat it cooked or in a salad
  • Using a blender gets you more fiber than juicing kale
  • A blender is easier to clean than a juicer

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 kale leaves, stemmed (or 2-3 handfuls pre-washed baby kale)
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1 scoop protein powder (optional)
  • 1/2 cup water

*If your fruit is not frozen, consider adding ice cubes

I put all of this in my blender and blend until smooth!  Note:  If you do not have a very powerful blender, chop your kale very finely first!

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The Beef Roast

Here are pictures of the beef roast I made this week.

Ingredients:

  • beef roast
  • wheat flour
  • Italian-stewed tomatoes
  • pepper
  • onion soup mix (from Mary Ostyn’s Family Feasts)
  • sweet potato
  • carrots
  • green bell pepper
  • zucchini
  • onion

I cooked it in an oven bag, because I wanted it done in two hours, instead of several hours in a slow cooker.

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Don’t you just love the mess involved in an organization project?  It reminds me of my grad school days, where I’d have textbooks, spirals, and research articles that I had to read all over my desk.

Okay, I found that I wasn’t using my “Favorites” recipe binder.  Instead, I was using my hodgepodge binder, where I stuff recipes printed on scraps of paper, note paper, sticky notes, etc.

The last time I updated my “Favorites” recipe binder, I was in total vegan mode.  Now, I’m eating some meat, so things needed to be reorganized.

First, I cleared out all of the recipes from the Favorites binder, and cleared the labeled tabs.

 

Next, I made a list of the categories I wanted, and put them in an order that worked for me.

 

I re-labeled the tabs.

 

At the beginning of each section in the binder, I put a colorful sheet of printer paper, labeled with the category and a list of the recipes in that section.  That paper and all recipes were then put in sheet protectors.

If a recipe was written on a sticky note (etc.) or needed modifications, I typed and printed it.

 

In this picture, you can see the category’s cover page, with the following recipes, all in sheet protectors.

This binder design works for me, because I can easily add more recipes, plus use the tabs to find recipes in a certain category (ex:  beans, rice, etc.) quickly.

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Baked Pancakes

Are you like me and you burn pancakes?  Do you hate taking forever for each pancake to cook?  Do you hate trying to crowd pancakes in a frying pan?

Well then, you need to bake your pancake mix.  It’s much easier.

Step 1:  Mix your pancake batter.  I use 1-1/2 cups water and 2 cups mix (just add water pancake mix).  Also, add some fruit, like blueberries or sliced strawberries.

Step 2:  Pour the batter in a round cake pan (spray with cooking spray first).

Step 3:  Bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  A toothpick should come out clean.

Step 4:  Very Important!  Do NOT remove from pan until cooled!  Otherwise, it will fall apart and you will have a big mess.

I usually eat this without any pancake syrup or whipped cream, so it’s much healthier.  I’ve also found that it lasts for several days without drying out, and it freezes well, too.  Did I mention it’s a very quick prep?!

I mixed the strawberries in when preparing the batter.  They rose to the top during cooking.

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Yes!  It can be done!!  It is entirely possible to make tasty vegan chicken noodle soup!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 – 2 tbsp Earth Balance butter
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 box vegetable broth
  • 4 oz linguine
  • 1 cup chopped vegan chicken (I used Morning Star Farms Chicken Strips)
  • pepper (to taste)

Cook the onion and Smart Balance butter for 5 minutes on medium heat.  The onion should soften.

Add the carrots, celery, and enough broth to cover.  I keep celery chopped in the freezer, and I added it in frozen.  Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 15 min.

These are the vegan chicken strips, chopped.  I didn’t warm them up or defrost them.  I just let them sit on the counter while I cooked the veggies.

Add the linguine (break it up into 2-3 in. lengths if you like), the chicken, pepper (to taste), and the remainder of the broth.  Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 25-30 min.

This is right after I added the pasta, chicken, pepper, and broth.

Finished!  You can see how the broth reduced.

The close-up!

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I recently made spaghetti sauce mix and then pasta sauce (from the homemade mix).  The recipes were from Family Feasts for $75 a Week by Mary Ostyn.

Cook onion and garlic.

Add 2 cans of tomato puree.

Add 1/3 cup spaghetti seasoning mix.

Mix and cook for 15 minutes.

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This recipe is based on an Ellie Krieger recipe from the Cooking Channel.

Step 1 of making a hummus and zucchini wrap:  slice zucchini in long strips and cook 3-4 min. per side with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  I also like to cook some onion with it.

 

Spread a tortilla (burrito size) with hummus.  Add raw spinach and red bell pepper slices.

 

Add the cooked zucchini and onions.

 

Here’s one from another day, when I put the cooked veggies on before the raw ones.

 

Roll it up and slice in half.

Mmmm!

 

Wrap it up for lunch!  I like to heat mine for 1 minute if it’s been refrigerated.

 

 

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Veggie Fried Rice

To make fried rice with veggies, first steam veggies for a few minutes (no more than 5 min).  Add the peas at the end of the steaming time.  Next, stir fry with oil for a minute or so.

In another pot, cook your rice.  This is instant brown rice.

Add the rice to the stir fry pan.  Add soy sauce and oyster sauce (no oyster sauce if you want this to be vegan).

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This is Part 2 of how I updated my favorite recipes binder after I started eating more vegan meals than meat/dairy meals.

These are my new categories.  Before, they were chicken, beef, pork, etc.  Now, they are beans, rice, salads, wraps, veggies, etc.

Yes, there is one category for meats, as I do prep and freeze hamburger patties, fajita chicken, etc. for my husband.  Still, it’s only one category, instead of 8 or so like it was before.

 

When I did my favorite recipes binder before, I hand-wrote the recipes.  This time, I typed them, which went much faster.  It also makes it easy to e-mail or print a copy for a friend.

 

For each category, I listed the category name and any recipes underneath.

 

 

This shows the Bread category.  There’s a divider, a colored title page, and the recipes in the sheet protectors.

 

Here is the updated favorite recipes binder!

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These are the ingredients for making vegan taco soup, based on a recipe from Family Feasts for $75 a Week.

  • corn
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans of chili style beans
  • onion soup mix
  • taco seasoning mix
  • onion
  • veggie broth

1.  Cook the onion.

2.  Add everything else and cook for 45 minutes.

That’s it!  This recipe freezes beautifully.

 

 

 

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I have 2 binders.  One has a smorgasbord of recipes.  They’re on sticky notes, note paper, printed recipes, etc.  It’s not organized at all.  It’s where loose paper recipes go, whether I’ve tried them or not.

I have another binder with divided sections for favorite recipes.  These include recipes from cookbooks and the anything goes binder.  The difference is these are my frequently-used recipes.

After going vegan for a month, I now find myself eating meat only once a day, if at all.  I needed to redo the binder of my favorite recipes, because the categories were chicken, beef, roasts, seafood, etc.

I pulled out all of the recipes in the favorites binder and decided to start fresh, including only the recipes I’ve been doing frequently in the last several weeks.

This is the smorgasbord binder with recipes in no particular order.

These were the only three categories I kept from the original favorite recipes binder.

I have 10 dividers in the binder.  Each section has a couple of sheet protectors for recipes.  The sheet protectors help keep the recipes from getting wet, covered in chocolate, etc.

I had colored paper available for listing the recipes in each section.

Here was my initial list of recipes I would include in the updated favorites binder.  I created categories to match.  The recipes were modified versions of recipes I made before I started eating more vegan meals, along with new recipes I’ve picked up in the last several weeks.


Check back in a few days for Part 2!




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It’s What’s For Dinner

I’m cooking a roast right now.  The recipe is from the Reynold’s Cookbook.

  1. Take an oven bag and shake 1/4 cup flour in it.
  2. Add a packet of onion soup mix, some pepper, and a can of stewed tomatoes. Squish it around so that everything gets mixed.
  3. Add a roast to the bag and squish things around to cover the roast with the “sauce.”
  4. Quarter 4 potatoes and add some baby carrots to the bag.
  5. Tie the bag closed and put six slits in the top.  The bag should be resting in a casserole dish.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees for about 2 to 2-1/2 hours.

I’ll use leftovers to make empanadas with Bisquick.

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