Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Do I Hear Water Running?

Don't you just love the way a child's mind works? They are the original minds for resourcefulness. Whatever they want to make they will find something to make it with. A mind in constant question - What can I do? How can I do it? Can I really do it? Yes, I can!!! Aren't you glad we have a young generation of children such as these? The ones who don't settle for the regular ideas but the ones who constantly take the road less traveled and create new paths.

Greens and Quinoa Pie

 ½ cup rinsed and drained quinoa
16 ounces mixed spring greens
1 head romaine lettuce, shredded
3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cups medium onions, thinly sliced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
¼ cup fresh dill, chopped
¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled
¼ cup grated Swiss cheese
3 eggs, lightly beaten

Place quinoa in a small saucepan, and toast over medium heat 2-3 minutes, or until almost dry. Add 1 cup water, and season with salt. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and transfer to large bowl.

Heat large pot over medium heat. Add mixed greens and romaine and cook 2-3 minutes until wilted. Transfer greens to a strainer, and squeeze out excess moisture. Transfer to a cutting board and chop into small pieces. Stir greens into quinoa.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, and sauté 10 minutes, or until browned. Add cooked onions, dill, feta and Swiss cheese to quinoa. Stir in eggs; season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Pour 1 Tablespoon into a 9-inch pie pan, and place in the oven. Heat 5 minutes or until oil is hot. Swirl oil to coat the bottom of the pan, and then spread the quinoa mixture in pan with spatula. Bake 20 minutes. Drizzle pie with the remaining olive oil, and bake for 20-30 minutes more, or until golden brown. Serves 6. Gluten Free

From Vegetarian Times, March 2010, page 51

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Sorry I've been missing here lately but we have been clearing clutter, repairing the old house and painting. Just busy, busy spring cleaning of just about everything. Trying to get simple about the place and amazingly it makes everything seem so clean around her to get rid of thing that has been sitting, hanging and stuffed away for years. This week we are having:

Monday - beans, cornbread, fried okra, seasoned greens
Tuesday - bbq black-eyes pea & rice Enchiladas, fried potatoes & onions, green salad

Wednesday - scrambled egg tostada, steamed green beans

Thursday - tofu stuffed shells & pasta sauce, mixed greens salad, garlic toast

Friday - scalloped corn with veggie links, maple roasted parsnips & sweet potatoes, sauteed spinach & garlic

Saturday - rustic white beans, rolls, strawberries & bananas

Sunday - vegetarian sausages & Bavarian sauerkraut, orange beets

Have a brillantly blessed week!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

One Wild Nest

For the last few weeks we have been watching this little male house finch pick about the yard for food and listening to him sing every night for a mate. If you are not familiar with this tiny bird you are missing out. The male has a beautiful song that he sings in the middle of the night from about 2:00 am until sunrise for a mate. The first few years I heard this little bird I didn't know what to think. I sleep with my bedroom window open at night and it was constantly waking me up. I didn't know what it was so we called it the singing night bird. Then one night we had to search it out. So with flash lights in hand we went looking and found a small house finch on the branch of our pecan tree singing away. It simply amazed me and this week the tiny bird amazed me even further. Get a gander of their nest under the eves of the vacant house next door. Needless to say he no longer sings and has found his mate!

At present we have around our home a pair of nesting pigeons, a pair of starlings, and a pair of sparrows, and robins however their nests seem the average just different sizes. But this nest takes the cake in our book, what an architectural wonder with the long vines. Never have we ever seen this in nest building before. We just can't wait for the little ones to pop their heads out once they are hatched.

Spaghetti with Spicy Peanut Sauce

8 ounces of spaghetti noodles
1 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter
3 Tablespoons plain soy yogurt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Cook spaghetti noodles according to package instructions. While cooking mix the sauce.

Ina small sauce pan, heat coconut milk over medium low heat, do not allow it to boil. Stir in the peanut butter and stir vigorously until well blended and smooth. Add the yogurt and red pepper flakes, continue to stir till well blended. Remove from heat.

Pour over top of drained spaghetti noodles and stir together. The yogurt and red pepper flakes are optional. This makes a really quick dinner or lunch .

Country and Italian Gravy

1/4 cup canola oil
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 12 cups soy or rice milk
2 teaspoons onion powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
salt to taste

In a 2-quart saucepan combine the oil and flour. Cook on medium-low hear for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the soy milk, onion powder and black pepper. Increase the heat to medium. Continue to heat until hot and thickened, stirring frequently, add the salt to taste.

* you can add cooked crumbled vegetarian breakfast sausage for a sausage gravy.

** for a dinner idea you can add 1/2 package of cooked vegetarian crumbles, leave out the onion powder and black pepper and add 1 teaspoon Italian seasonings for an Italian gravy over biscuits or toast. Serve with steamed green beans and glazed carrots.

Biscuits to Die For

4 cups flour
2 Tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sugar
2/3 cup chilled non-dairy margarine plus 4 Tablespoons, melted
1 1/2 cups sour soy milk (simply add 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice to the milk and set it aside before using.)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Cut in the 2/3 cup of chilled margarine with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the sour soy milk with a wooden spoon to form a soft dough. Knead the dough briefly on a lightly floured board. Pat the dough to 1 1/4-inches thick. Cut into 3-inch round circles and arrange with sides touching in a 9-inch square pan with melted margarine in it. Brush the tops with some of the melted margarine. Bake until golden, about 25 minutes. Makes 9 large biscuits. Warning: this definitely not low low fat but is definitely heavenly and dreamy with gravy.

The Best Pancakes

The first vegan recipe book that I ever read was Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. That little book opened the door to a new world I never knew about - I thought vegetarian was just vegetarian. That was almost 4 years ago and now I know better. The second cookbook I read was The Compassionate Cook from PETA by Ingrid Newkirk. The proved to be a treasure trove full of simple basic recipes that we have come to love. The number one being the Pancake recipe. I did tweak it a but to accommodate our larger family. I promise you will not be disappointed - very fluffy pancakes.

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 to 1/2 cup soy milk (I don't know why this varies each time I make them. Just start with 1/4 cup and add the other latter if the batter is too thick.)
4 tablespoons canola oil

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine thoroughly. In another small mixing bowl combine the soy milk and oil and combine with a wire whisk. Add to the flour mixture and beat until the batter is smooth.

Measure 1/3 cup of batter onto a hot oiled griddle or skillet.

You can add blueberries or our all time favorite vegan chocolate chips, then top with bananas and drizzled with maple syrup. YUMMY!!!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Scrambled Egg Tostada

This recipe I ran across originally as a scrambled tofu dish, however, hubby and the boys aren't totally sold on the scrambled tofu thing and since we do use eggs I adapted it.
Scrambled Egg Tostada
8 eggs
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup asparagus tips, chopped
1/2 cup medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup mushrooms
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded, chopped
5 flour tortillas
3 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese

Fry the flour tortillas in canola oil until puffy and crispy. Drain. set aside.

Scramble the eggs in a small mixing bowl, add the cumin , chili powder, salt and pepper, scrambled to blend. Set aside.

In a large skillet heat the olive oil, add the onion and asparagus and cook until the onions are soft. Add the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are soft. Add the garlic and tomato and cook for two or three minutes taking care not to burn the garlic. Set Aside.
In spray another large skillet with non stick cooking spray and let heat for about one minute. add the eggs and scramble until done. Put in the other skillet with the vegetable mixture and stir to combine.

Place a flour tortilla on a plate and place some of the egg mixture on top of it. Add a spoon full of salsa in the middle and sprinkle 2 tablespoons of cheddar cheese on top.

Serve with oven roasted potatoes and pearl onions, remember to put these in before making the the Scrambled Egg Tostadas. Serves 5

Friday, April 2, 2010

Our Spring Awakening

The Redbud is blooming and swarmed daily with busy little bees.

The old ivy is climbing with gusto.

The peonies are popping out all over.

The chickweed is creeping about.

The daffodils are tipping their dainty heads.

The little purple house finch is singing his song.

The nest is quickly being built.

Even lady dandelion is giving a show.