Roast Carrot Soup
Remember how I mentioned sometime back I will post some recipes that will be very very easy? This is one. I feel pretty bad I had to Google it but found it on Food52’s blog and tweaked for my needs and pantry limitations. The Soda Bread is from the Vegan Planet cookbook, still a fave for veggie centric food even when I cook for the Man.Random truth: I felt really bad that all we had were carrots and flour and such tonight, so I bought the Meat-and-Potatoes husband a small hamburger patty and some real butter from a local market to cook in case he hated this soup and he had two helpings of soup, ate all of the bread and the meat is in my hiding in my freezer.  I can only assume this soup serves 3-4 people since I winged it. Below is the soup recipe, sort of.
you need:
Carrots!!! My neighbor gave me some a few days ago- thank ya, neighbor-even organic! I used several large ones, chopped, and they covered a baking dish.
Garlic- probably 2 cloves when all was said and done. 
Ginger- a “thumb-sized” piece, per Food52’s very descriptive instructions.
Thyme- also from my neighbor…I promised this stuff wasn’t spoiled… just surplus.
Veg Stock- I made this myself kinda quickly while prepping carrots to roast and bread. Normally you can make this by cooking veggie trimmings but I did not have onions on hand so I just used more garlic, thyme, and parsley, also the garlic skins and carrot ends/peels. strain off the solid pieces. you will need enough broth to cover the carrots while cooking. 

Roast carrots by chopping them coarsely and tossing with some oil, and garlic. you can use some of the ginger and thyme here too if you wish. Use the broil setting to get them roasted with a good color and warmth. Start veg broth (premade or made just earlier/above) boiling and add ginger and thyme to it. when carrots are roasted but not burnt on the outside, add to the broth. when they are soft, puree or use an immersion blender to make the soup creamy. At this point I also added a little rice milk because the mixture was still very thick. 
Finish is a creamy mild soup that could use some nutmeg or go the other way and go spicy maybe with curry? I also want to add a sweet potato next time :)

Roast Carrot Soup

Remember how I mentioned sometime back I will post some recipes that will be very very easy? This is one. I feel pretty bad I had to Google it but found it on Food52’s blog and tweaked for my needs and pantry limitations. The Soda Bread is from the Vegan Planet cookbook, still a fave for veggie centric food even when I cook for the Man.

Random truth: I felt really bad that all we had were carrots and flour and such tonight, so I bought the Meat-and-Potatoes husband a small hamburger patty and some real butter from a local market to cook in case he hated this soup and he had two helpings of soup, ate all of the bread and the meat is in my hiding in my freezer.  I can only assume this soup serves 3-4 people since I winged it. Below is the soup recipe, sort of.

you need:

Carrots!!! My neighbor gave me some a few days ago- thank ya, neighbor-even organic! I used several large ones, chopped, and they covered a baking dish.

Garlic- probably 2 cloves when all was said and done. 

Ginger- a “thumb-sized” piece, per Food52’s very descriptive instructions.

Thyme- also from my neighbor…I promised this stuff wasn’t spoiled… just surplus.

Veg Stock- I made this myself kinda quickly while prepping carrots to roast and bread. Normally you can make this by cooking veggie trimmings but I did not have onions on hand so I just used more garlic, thyme, and parsley, also the garlic skins and carrot ends/peels. strain off the solid pieces. you will need enough broth to cover the carrots while cooking. 

Roast carrots by chopping them coarsely and tossing with some oil, and garlic. you can use some of the ginger and thyme here too if you wish. Use the broil setting to get them roasted with a good color and warmth. Start veg broth (premade or made just earlier/above) boiling and add ginger and thyme to it. when carrots are roasted but not burnt on the outside, add to the broth. when they are soft, puree or use an immersion blender to make the soup creamy. At this point I also added a little rice milk because the mixture was still very thick. 

Finish is a creamy mild soup that could use some nutmeg or go the other way and go spicy maybe with curry? I also want to add a sweet potato next time :)

so I did it. bye-bye microwave.

I’m back. Did you miss me? I’ve been on vacation and working. Making art. doing shows. Sorry I neglected you. I’m getting busy so things may be sporadic. More photos are coming I promise :) and I’m dying to make some yummy concoctions with fruit since it’s so hot outside

A little over 2 weeks ago we decided to throw out the microwave. While working at whole foods I kept hearing from trainers from other stores about the dangers of irradiated food. Now they have microwaves in their stores for people to re-heat prepared food if they want to eat it there, but apparently they do not use a lot of microwaves in the back (if any, but I don’t work there anymore and this is by no way an official statement!)

It was annoying to clean (even with wonderful environmentally clean processes like baking soda and vinegar) and even moreso, pre-packaged stuff that went into it (like some amazing australian pot-pie thingies I found) turn out not-so great. Also regular processed foods that us poor-peoples have to eat from time to time are pretty fattening if they are preserved for microwave cooking. I am going full-on toaster oven! well… when we can get a good one. For now I am breaking all bad habits and you will find me putting single pot pies in a pre-heated oven. I am thinking this will keep me in more roasted veggies too. And I told Mr Meat and Potatoes to let me SHOW him how to (shudder) COOK something since the convenience machine is gone…

any Jim Gaffigan fans out there? Hot Pockets! hehe…

Teriyaki Lettuce Wraps w/ Brown Rice
- a few months back I went to our Cheesecake Factory. I was actually surprised 1) that they have vegan/vegetarian stuff on their menu and 2) that I found an appetizer or two under $10 that fit #1. I had these mushroom lettuce wrap things that were quite good. I want to make these at home. This weekend we scored some fancy lettuce at Aldi’s (where everything is cheap- yay!) and I made lettuce wraps.
these could have virtually any filling and are a no-brainer.
diced carrots ( 99 cents on a good day) + diced mushrooms (I used crimini, what I had on hand, runs 2 bucks per little blue container around here)
saute over medium heat in oil (I used olive oil, found some cheap at the dollar store for $3) until cooked, added liquid throughout… your liquid is the teriyaki sauce….
For the sauce…
I made mine with several of the millions of soy sauce packets we have collected and stored in the fridge from asian takeouts. price = free! add to this ginger and garlic until you get that yummy salty-sweet goodness. I don’t have exact measurements for this, I just do it “to taste”. I make enough so there is dipping sauce at the end and to put over rice, so low-sodium/msg-free soy sauce is preferable.

Teriyaki Lettuce Wraps w/ Brown Rice

- a few months back I went to our Cheesecake Factory. I was actually surprised 1) that they have vegan/vegetarian stuff on their menu and 2) that I found an appetizer or two under $10 that fit #1. I had these mushroom lettuce wrap things that were quite good. I want to make these at home. This weekend we scored some fancy lettuce at Aldi’s (where everything is cheap- yay!) and I made lettuce wraps.

these could have virtually any filling and are a no-brainer.

diced carrots ( 99 cents on a good day) + diced mushrooms (I used crimini, what I had on hand, runs 2 bucks per little blue container around here)

saute over medium heat in oil (I used olive oil, found some cheap at the dollar store for $3) until cooked, added liquid throughout… your liquid is the teriyaki sauce….

For the sauce…

I made mine with several of the millions of soy sauce packets we have collected and stored in the fridge from asian takeouts. price = free! add to this ginger and garlic until you get that yummy salty-sweet goodness. I don’t have exact measurements for this, I just do it “to taste”. I make enough so there is dipping sauce at the end and to put over rice, so low-sodium/msg-free soy sauce is preferable.

yay! organic kiwi on sale!

yay! organic kiwi on sale!

my stove is broken for the past week….so sad…one of the last things I made was roasted purple potatoes…the most potato-y tasting potato….

landlord come fix my stove! please. :)

on another note… what are your thoughts on toaster ovens v. microwaves? we are thinking of getting rid of our microwave to reduce irradiated food consumption, and opt for a toaster oven. On the onset and as potential new-toaster oven owners, maybe they are easier to clean? use less electricity than the giant nuker? they definitely cook better, I’ve eaten the food from them (see leftover past non-vegetarian chicken finger cellulite for proof)

my stove is broken for the past week….so sad…one of the last things I made was roasted purple potatoes…the most potato-y tasting potato….

landlord come fix my stove! please. :)

on another note… what are your thoughts on toaster ovens v. microwaves? we are thinking of getting rid of our microwave to reduce irradiated food consumption, and opt for a toaster oven. On the onset and as potential new-toaster oven owners, maybe they are easier to clean? use less electricity than the giant nuker? they definitely cook better, I’ve eaten the food from them (see leftover past non-vegetarian chicken finger cellulite for proof)

Mom’s tabouleh :) My mom and grandmother have been making this since I was very little, before I was a veggie. Great energy before dance classes ;) I have a quart in my fridge now.
bulgar + lemon juice +parsley + green onion + tomato (I don’t like the mint in it unless it’s really really fresh….guess what’s going in my window box this season!)
hey, I’ve been thinking of setting up a FB or G+ or Pinterest chapter of this place, once I get some more content….whaddya think?

Mom’s tabouleh :) My mom and grandmother have been making this since I was very little, before I was a veggie. Great energy before dance classes ;) I have a quart in my fridge now.

bulgar + lemon juice +parsley + green onion + tomato (I don’t like the mint in it unless it’s really really fresh….guess what’s going in my window box this season!)

hey, I’ve been thinking of setting up a FB or G+ or Pinterest chapter of this place, once I get some more content….whaddya think?

shown is my dinner from one night last week (brown rice seems to fill me up better than white and after eating it for a few days I won’t go back to white! well…maybe for guests…)
about 50 cents worth of fresh sauteed green beans + brown rice (about 2.50 for a bag of organic variety) + peruvian olives (about a buck at the neighborhood grocer that sells mucho international food)  ….and if you can tell me how to properly pit an olive I want to know!

shown is my dinner from one night last week (brown rice seems to fill me up better than white and after eating it for a few days I won’t go back to white! well…maybe for guests…)

about 50 cents worth of fresh sauteed green beans + brown rice (about 2.50 for a bag of organic variety) + peruvian olives (about a buck at the neighborhood grocer that sells mucho international food)  ….and if you can tell me how to properly pit an olive I want to know!

wise randomness…

I found this while browsing through the interwebs and it was a comment at the end of a thread about a vegan documentary (one of a few that are out there)- this is what it said…

"Omnivores are 100x more judgmental about vegetarians than the other way around. People know a vegetarian diet is healthier. But when you eat in front of them, it forces them to confront their own behavior, which is threatening. The less mature of them react through insults and mockery."

I can’t say every omnivore I encounter is uber-mean about other people’s eating habits (usually it’s more just being funny) but I can definitely relate to the part about each time we eat we confront our own behavior- that really is true of any eating habit, no matter what you want to improve or remove or add in order to grow.

remember red potatoes and green beans if you live/lived in the south?
lightly saute then green beans with garlic, then boil with a bay leaf instead of ham to get them just as tasty with no meat!

remember red potatoes and green beans if you live/lived in the south?

lightly saute then green beans with garlic, then boil with a bay leaf instead of ham to get them just as tasty with no meat!

Balancing the Diets Divided…

I am running across more blogs that are being written by cooks for households of varied and divided diets- some vegan, some carnivore, some gluten-free, and some a little of everything omitting and including based on personal ethics and health decisions.  I think it is great that everyone is becoming more respectful of one another in this aspect. I remember when myself and other vegetarians I know were younger, a very popular excuse for our parents pushing meat-laden diets was a refusal to “prepare a special/extra meal”…. there really is no need for this and if you are reading this thinking you have to cook two separate dishes every night to support a vegan and a meat-eating diet, keep reading- Imma show you how to do it hassle-free!

For this I am using a stir-fry I made with my husband one night for dinner. I buy meat for his meals in very small portions, and he is very picky about distributors and if it is grass-fed or local (we probably watch too many documentaries..I have ranted here before lol) but usually enough to separate over a few meals. it will be cooked either in a separate pan or at the very end of the components. (we are using stainless steel and I have known some vegans to be picky about the pans even when they are not in use, but I just clean mine between meat and veg.)

We used:

***optional*** for meat-eaters- 4-6 oz any lean meat(cook separate- see below, we used some grass-fed beef)

fresh rice noodles- about $1.50 from our discount grocer (also at asian markets) 

1 key lime - from an 8/$1 special :)

veggies of your choice (we had mushrooms and onions on hand, not the best combination for these spices but easy! suggested would be bok choy or napa cabbage, bell pepper,daikon, carrots, broccoli, bean sprouts)

some peanut butter-  about $2, about 1/2 cup used

garlic (powder or minced or fresh, we used minced)

rice vinegar- was $5 when i got it, it was already in pantry- you only need 1 tblsp

about 1 tblsp of sugar (vegan) or agave syrup

*these bottom 4 ingredients combine to form your peanut sauce for noodles. easy peazy.

prepare your peanut sauce- this is one component of dish- good for dipping any of the veg or meat into, and excellent on the noodles. 

in a large pan, heat a little plant-based oil. stir-fry chopped veggies over medium heat, seasoning with soy sauces or vegetarian stir-fry sauces as you like. when these are done, set aside and cover- this is one component of your dish.

you can then cook the meat in this pan if you want to keep things tidy, or another if you are picky like that ;) season however you like or add any sauces that were off-limits to the veg (like oyster sauce). this is that component. you can plate it over the veg or rice noodles at the end of cooking.

for the rice noodles, prepare according to package, but is essentially adding them to hot water for a few seconds- you are then able to add these components together as you like to form vegan and conventional dishes! Happy Nomz to all.

pics of both.

with meat (sorry…this is for the experiement that is this blog!)

and the vegan version…

you can pour the sauce over the noodles and it tastes like pad thai….