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Recipe: Chickpea Salad!

26 Aug

I recently was at the store and ran across a pre-made Chickpea Salad that was vegan. It tasted great, but I figured I could easily make my own version at home. I copied the ingredients and with the help of a few online recipes, I pieced together what turned out to be an amazing salad!

Kate’s Chickpea Salad

1 can of chickpeas, rinsed

1/2 green pepper, diced

1/2 red pepper, diced

1/2 onion, diced

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes

1-2 cloves garlic (or the equivalent in garlic powder)

1 handful of fresh cilantro, chopped

2 tablespoons of olive oil

4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt

Pepper

1. Saute onions and peppers over medium heat for about 4-6 minutes. Onions should be slightly translucent. You can skip this step if you prefer raw veggies.

2. In a large bowl, combine veggies, garlic, chickpeas, and cilantro.

3. In a small bowl, combine vinegar, olive oil and lemon juice. Mix and pour over salad.

4. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Refrigerate before serving so all the flavors can combine.

I also wanted to share one of the most exciting items I have received from my CSA: MELON!

A little sweet and a little savory

23 Aug

I recently subscribed to the Happy Herbivore’s 7 day meal plan with the hopes of losing a few pounds. One of the recipes I have already fallen in love with: Peanut Butter Cup Quinoa. It’s my new favorite way to start the day!

 

For dinner, I made corn fajitas. I sauteed some black beans with onion, cumin, salt, and black pepper. In a separate frying pan, I sauteed peppers and onions. I layered the beans and peppers on top of a corn tortilla with salsa and guacamole. Delicious!

 

~Kate

Restaurant Review: Susty’s Vegan Cafe, Northwood, NH *****

20 Aug

This is hands-down my favorite restaurant. I first tried Susty’s in September 2011, shortly after I moved into the area. I was excited because, being lactose intolerant, I could eat anything on the menu. Little did I know that it would become my favorite restaurant. I am there usually once a week and the owner and staff now know me by name.

Yesterday, my mom came to visit and it is a ritual that we go and grab food at Susty’s. Since I have already tried everything on their menu, I love to order their specials. Yesterday, it was a Grilled Harvest Plate with Tofu and Fingerling Potatoes. My mom chose the Chili Con Corn Soup and then we split a slice of Chocolate-Chocolate Cake. The food was AMAZING, as always! If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend stopping here.

Obviously, it goes without saying that Susty’s gets 5 stars in my book 🙂

Grilled Zucchini, Sugar Snap Peas, Swiss Chard, Fingerling Potatoes with a Cheeze sauce, and Grilled Tofu and Tomatoes.

Chili Con Corn with Organic, Local Wheat Bread

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Vegan Cooking Marathon

12 Aug

I went a little crazy in the kitchen today… here are a few pictures of some of the delicious vegan dishes I made.

Hawaiian Teriyaki Chickpeas

(A variation of this Happy Herbivore recipe can be found here)

 

These chickpeas were unbelievably good! This will definitely be one of my new favorite meals. I served them over rice and Pineapple Mango Salsa. Here’s the recipe:

Easy Pineapple Mango Salsa

Chop equal parts pineapple and mango.

Add freshly chopped cilantro and fresh lime juice.

My next attempt was a bit of a flop. The Happy Herbivore has a vegan brownie recipe in her cookbook that I have been wanting to try. The author notes that this recipe is by far her most popular. I don’t know if I did something wrong or if my taste buds disagree with the rest of the vegans out there. Oh well! If you are interested in trying the recipe, here it is.

After the brownie debacle, I tried making Quinoa Mac ‘N Cheese. Once again, I used the Happy Herbivore Cheese Sauce recipe, which can be found on her website. Replace the noodles with quinoa and your have a delicious, healthy meal!

Finally, with much thanks to my Grill Master Husband, Tim, I had an amazing grilled dinner of vegetable kebabs and Gardein’s BBQ Skewers. The veggies were fabulous. The skewers were ok. I had never had them before, not sure if I would get them again. I think Gardein’s chick’n products are better than the beef ones.

Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend!

~Kate

Super Market Vegan – mainstream items you didn’t know were vegan

8 Aug

When I go to the super market I buy a lot of items in the natural food section (what Mike lovingly refers to as, “The Hippie Section”).

I find a lot of fine items there, but it takes me a while to become familiar with a lot of the food marketed toward vegetarians and vegans.

Transitioning to a vegan lifestyle is a lot easier when you keep some familiar food in your diet, to go along with the sometimes-alien vegan food.

The snack department is not a place were a lot of people want to think about what they’re eating, they just want it to be fast and taste good. So as you can imagine, I loved finding out that a lot of my favorite snacks are vegan. This means I can indulge in a guilty pleasure and only feel guilt about the calories and not about animal products.

Take a peek into my cupboards and see some of my favorite surprisingly vegan food.

Oreo: the guiltiest of guilty pleasures. “Milk’s favorite cook”, try everyone’s favorite cookie!

Mary Jane, my favorite candy. I was surprised when I didn’t find honey on the ingredients list.

When you want salty not sweet go for pretzels. When nothing less than super will do, a hot Super Pretzel will never let you down.

***

Here’s a list of surprisingly vegan items you can find in or around you super market. For a huge list go to PETA’s article on the subject.

Ritz Crackers

Nesquick Syrup

Most Energy Drinks

Nabisco Grahams – original

Gravy Master

Many Breakfast Cereals

Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate

Reduced Fat Bisquick

Auntie Anne’s Pretzels – no butter – Cinnamon Sugar, Garlic, Jalapeno, Original, Raisin, & Sesame.

***

What are your favorite foods that could be added to the list?

So much delicious-ness!

5 Aug

I found this great recipe on Pinterest, but tweaked it to make it a little healthier and give it a little more flavor. I put the changes in red 🙂

Black Bean, Corn, and Edamame Salad with Lime-Cilantro Dressing

Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil (I used a few tablespoons of vegetable broth)
  • 1 small garlic clove, pressed
  • 1/2 teaspoon agave nectar (or sugar)
  • 2 cobs of corn, cooked, cooled, and corn cut from cob (about 2 cups) (I used frozen corn)
  • 1 cup edamame, cooked and cooled
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained well
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, oils, broth, garlic, and agave or sugar. Whisk together and set aside.
  2. Add the corn, edamame, black beans, onion, and cilantro to a medium/large bowl.
  3. Pour dressing over the mixture and gently toss.
  4. Refrigerate for at least one hour, up to overnight, to allow flavors to blend.

For dinner, I made a delicious stir-fry with string beans from my CSA, broccoli, carrots, snap peas, onions, peppers, and edamame. The night before, while making pesto tofu sandwiches, I set aside some extra dry-fried tofu to marinate. The marinade consisted of an vegetarian stir-fry sauce I purchased at the local Asian market, vegetable broth, granulated garlic, and ground ginger. Why the veggie broth? I saw the sodium content in the sauce and decided to dilute it. It was still tasted great! The only other item I included was Asian rice cakes that Kerri was kind enough to bring me last week. I love the texture and how they taste mixed in with the vegetables and sauce.

Regardless of how delicious my food tastes, I need a little something sweet to end the day. I lost a lot of cooking energy making these meals so I settled for some delicious vanilla cake with vanilla frosting from my favorite restaurant, Susty’s Vegan Cafe. A perfect end to the day!

~Kate

Homemade, Vegan Cinnamon Buns!

2 Aug

Guess what’s for breakfast? 🙂

Once again, thank you Happy Herbivore for the recipe!

~Kate