Sunday, May 23, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

I've noticed as the week goes on we do stick to the menu, however, the order of Monday, Tuesday is not really used. Each day I choose the breakfast because I get up before everyone else. I let the boys choose their lunch and it's generally a joint decision on what we eat for dinner. Then there are days that we eat a late breakfast so lunch isn't eaten. The boy will have a piece of fruit and a glass of milk or tea and toast to hold them over until dinner. So I'm simply going to number each meal. This helps me keep track of them and what we don't get to this week I will carry over to the next.

1. oatmeal raisin pudding, apple juice
2. waffles with syrup, banana slices & cinnamon
3. oats with chopped walnuts & figs, whole wheat toast
4. toad in a hole, banana, apple juice
5. cream of quinoa with soy milk, raisins, agave nectar & pecans, apple juice
6. cranberry granola, whole wheat toast
7. gingerbread, applesauce

1. grilled cheese, tomato basil soup, apple
2. berry protein fruit smoothie,
3. peanut butter & jelly sandwich, banana, carrot sticks
4. ramen noodles with mixed vegetables, strawberries (X2)
5. baked tomatoes with basil & mozzarella, apple, roll
6. peanut butter & jelly sandwich, orange slices, carrot & celery sticks, wasabi ranch dip

1. BBQ black-eyed peas & rice enchiladas, seasoned greens
2. fried cabbage & vegetarian Italian sausages, scalloped potatoes, glazed carrots
3. pea & feta egg cups, spinach salad, roll
4. baked beans, seasoned greens, cornbread, peaches
5. mixed vegetable fried rice, steamed broccoli
6. macaroni & cheese, steamed asparagus & zucchini, tomato slices
7. fettuccine with portabello marinara sauce, garden salad, garlic toast
Hope everyone has a brilliantly blessed week!

Portabello Marinara Sauce

My Portabello Marinara Sauce is very simple I saute 1 small finely chopped onion until soft then I add 3 medium or 2 large diced portabellos to the onions and continue sauteing until the mushrooms are soft. Then add 3 cups of my homemade spaghetti sauce or a jar of Marinara (we use Newman's Own). Heat the whole thing through. Serve on pasta of choice.

Cranberry Granola

4 cups rolled oats (not instant)1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup agave
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup currants

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Measure and mix all the dry ingredients. Add the oil and mix well. Combine molasses and honey in a measuring cup that was used for the oil, it will pour our easier this way. Mix well to combine making sure all the dry ingredients are coated well with the molasses and honey.

Spread in a jelly roll pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray or a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, stir; bake for 10 minutes, stir. Take out of the oven and stir several times while it is cooling. Add the fruit. Once totally cooled store in an airtight container. This recipe doubles very easily. We use it sprinkled on yogurt for a snack, or as a breakfast cereal. I haven't tried it with agave nectar yet - but will let you know how that turns out once I do.

Cream of Quinoa

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and well drained
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Bring 4 cups of water and the quinoa to a boil in a medium sauce pan. reduce the heat to very low, cover, and cook until thickened, about 30 minutes. Stir in the salt. Serve hot with your favorite condiments. Serves 4

Sweet & Creamy Condiments-
maple syrup, honey or agave nectar
milk, soy milk, rice milk or yogurt
walnuts, peanuts or pecans
toasted coconut
toasted sunflower seeds

This recipe came from 3 Bowls by Seppo Ed Farrey, which I might add is a wonderful cookbook full of inexpensive, healthy vegetarian cooking.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pea and Feta Egg Cups

These little jewels are just dreamy. I mean you have got to try them - like now! I got the original recipe from Cook Vegetarian! April 2010. It's a magazine from the UK and has truly great recipes in it. Yes, I know to purchase it here in the USA is a bit pricey, however the recipes will more than make up for it. I allow myself the purchase of three magazines a month (1) Vegetarian Times (2) VegNews and (3) Cook Vegetarian! Cookbooks are major birthday, Mother's Day and Christmas items from the book store. The kid's & Mom usually get me gift cards from the bookstore and Starbucks. Oh, they know me so well.

Pea and Feta Egg Cups
2 spring (green) onions, chopped
200g or 6 ounces fresh shelled peas (I used thawed frozen)
3 large free-range organic eggs
75g or 3 ounce vegetarian or regular feta cheese, crumbled
2 Tablespoons soy milk
handful of mint leaves (optional) (I didn't have mint leaves)
sea salt & black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 F/ 200C/Gas6 and prepare a non-stick muffin tin by greasing six holes well.

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl or pouring jug and mix well. Pour mixture into the muffin holes, filling to just below the top edge to allow for expansion.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until puffed and golden. serve with hot toasted baguette rounds or eat egg cups cold, either on their own or with a salad.

Our One Day Wonder

Tuesday morning Joseph came running into the house with Collin close on his heels. "Can we keep it?" " We know how to take care of it." " It just hopped right into Joseph's hand. just like that." Being my usually busy self about the cleaning kitchen I only caught a word here and there. " Sure, the bug box is in the laundry room," I said, still focused on the dirty sink of dishes. "That won't work. He's too big." HE'S that got my attention and I turned around.

This little guy is what all the fuss was about. The boys had seen the little guy fly from the back fence to our tree out from and fall out of it. When Joseph squatted down and put his hand out to pet him, the little bird jumped into his hand! Upon inspection he seemed to have a hurt leg but how bad we had no way of knowing. Collin confiscated an old bird cage from a neighbor. Kody collected some soft grass, bird seed and water. It was decided among the boys that they would keep it till he could fly again. The plan was to hang the bird cage on the front porch where he could hear and see the other birds and be safe from the cats and they could feed and water it daily. Now why does this sound familiar?

Oh, yea. It was from a reading we had done LAST year of Pocketful of Pinecones when Don's friend had wounded the mother birds wing and she had to be cared for until she could fly again. Just when you think they never listen. A perfect Charlotte Mason moment - it does a mother's heart proud! I found it a marvel how every time Joseph put the bird down it would look up at him and he'd put his hand out and it would hobble back into it. It really didn't have any fear of anyone. Any way latter that afternoon - why I have no idea Joseph placed the little bird back on the tree branch where he had fell from and it flew away. I like to think that the little bird found a connection with another and just wanted to visit for a spell.

Remember that house finch nest that I posted about a few weeks ago - One wild nest - well this is what it looks like today. It is growing on the side of the house next door. The birds have abandoned it as far as we can tell.

{this moment}

A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Cream Frosting

Basic Chocolate Cake Cupcake
1 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line muffin pan with paper liners.

Whisk together the soy milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes to curdle. Add the sugar, oil, and vanilla extract. If using soy milk the mixture will be foamy. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add in two batches to wet ingredients and beat until no large lumps remain (a few tiny lumps are okay).

Pour into liners, filling three-quarters of the way. Bake 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let coo completely.

Peanut Butter Cream Frosting
1/4 cup non dairy margarine, softened
2 Tablespoons shortening
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 to 2 Tablespoons soy milk

With electric handheld mixer, cream the butter and shortening together at medium speed until smooth. Add peanut butter and vanilla, and beat until very smooth, 2-3 minutes. Beat in the sugar; mixture will be very stiff. Dribble in the soy milk a little at a time, beating continuously till frosting is pale tan and very fluffy. Adjust toe thickness of the frosting by adding the soy milk or more confectioners' sugar in small increments if necessary. Pipe or spread the frosting onto cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles and top with a miniature peanut butter cup.

The above recipes came from Vegan Cup Cakes Take Over the World by Isa chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hopoe Romero, with the exception of the chocolate sprinkles and miniature peanut butter cup.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Chocolate Pie

Chocolate Pie
2 cups (semi sweet or milk chocolate) chocolate chips (can use vegan)
1 Tablespoon soy milk
2 12oz. packages firm silken tofu
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 baked pie crust or graham cracker crust

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips and soy milk, stirring occasionally, until smooth. In a food processor blend the tofu, vanilla, and chocolate mixture until smooth. Pour into pie crust and let chill 3-4 hours before serving. Makes 1 pie.

Just a note here if you use semi sweet chocolate chips this pie will be very, very rich so cut small slices it an adult version to go with a cup of coffee. The milk chocolate chips make a milder more like chocolate pudding in taste pie and more kid friendly, however both are excellent.

Fried Veggie Sandwich

1 green bell pepper, sliced thinly
1 small onion, sliced thinly
mushrooms, sliced thinly
zucchini, sliced thinly
black olives, sliced
tomato, diced
bun type of your choice
1 tablespoon canola oil

Put the 1 Tablespoon of oil into a skillet over medium high heat. Fry the green bell pepper and onions until almost tender. add the mushrooms and zucchini cooking until all vegetables are tender. Open up the bun and spoon on the hot veggies and top with the tomatoes and olives.

Pumpkin & Wheat Germ Burgers

Okay, I know how this sounds, however you'll be surprised. As a person who loves anything pumpkin I just had to try these. These were my first non-meat burgers that I ever made six years ago. I served it to my meat lovin' family and they though they were yummy! They thought they had a sausage sort of taste going on. So guess what with this recipe you get burgers for dinner and sausages for breakfast.

Pumpkin & Wheat Germ Burgers
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup extra firm tofu, crumbled
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup canned pumpkin or cooked butternut squash
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 Tablespoons canola oil, plus a little for frying
1/4 cup water
Combine everything, except for the frying oil in a large bowl and blend with your hands until the mixture hods together. Form into patties, if you like they can be kept in the frig up to 24 hours. to cook heat 1-2 Tablespoon of canola oil in a skillet. Add the burgers and brown them over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes on each side. Serve hot and stacked high with all the trimmings on a bun.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Monday, May 10, 2010

Our House

We play at our house and have all sorts of fun,
An' there's always a game when supper is done;
An' at our house there's marks on the walls an' the stairs,
An' some terrible scratches on some of the chairs;
An' ma says that our house is surely a fright,
But pa and I say that our house is all right.

At our house we laugh an' we sing an' we shout,
An' whirl all the chairs and the tables about,
An' I rassle my pa an' I get him down too,
An' he's all out of breath when the fightin' is through;
Am' ma says our house is surely a sight,
But pa an' I say that our house is all right.
I've been to houses with pa where I had
To sit in a chair like a good little lad,
An' there wasn't a mark on the walls an' the chairs,
An' the stuff that we have couldn't come up to theirs;
An' pa said to ma that for all of their joy
He wouldn't change places and give up his boy.

They never have races nor rassles nor fights.
Coz they have no children to play with at nights;
An' their walls are all clean and their curtains hang straight,
An' everthing's shiny an' right up to date;
But pa says with all of its racket an' fuss,
He'd rather by far live at our house with us.

~ Edgar Guest ~

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Howdy, hope everyone is perking just fine and had a wonderful Mother's Day. Ours was great one. We combined two birthdays and Mother's Day into a celebration dinner/party. It's always nice when the older kids all come over and spend time with the rest of the family. I'm going to try to post breakfast and lunch to my menu each week from now on. This is my kitchen business for May 10-16.

Need to make for this week-
3 loaves of agave wheat bread
2 batches of rolls
Double batch of granola
Pear & walnut muffins
Put up pizza sauce in freezer
Put 3 apple pies in the freezer

Cream of wheat, whole wheat toast, orange juice
Cranberry granola with rice milk, apple juice
Mixed fruit protein smoothie, whole wheat toast
Pear walnut muffins, hot tea
Whole wheat bagel with peanut butter, apple
Cranberry granola with rice milk, orange juice
Oatmeal with walnuts & raisins, whole wheat toast, apple juice

Ramen noodles, grapes, milk
Veggie soup, crackers, strawberries, cheese stick
Baked beans, whole wheat roll, peaches, carrot sticks, milk
English muffin pizza, mixed greens salad
Berry Protein Fruit Smoothie, celery sticks, broccoli & wasabi ranch dip
Baked potato with chili, apple slices, milk
Mac & Cheese, apple slices, celery sticks, broccoli & wasabi ranch dip

Spaghetti & meatballs, garden salad, garlic rolls
Chili glazed tofu, stir fried cabbage, coconut rice
Spicy Asian Stir fry with linguine noodles, cucumbers & tomato slices
Hungarian chili with polenta, spinach salad
Beans, fried okra, cornbread, spinach
Spinach Enchiladas, Spanish rice (didn't get to this last week)
Shepherd's Pie, garden salad, rolls (didn't get to this last week)

Happy Mother's Day

Friday, May 7, 2010

Nature Walk Down the Mountain

My father and step mom live in the the woods on the side of a mountain along a Lake Eufala in southeastern Oklahoma were we spent last week. It gave us wonderful days to spend with nature. Here are a few pictures of what we saw.

 Spring Peepers

Okay, this wasn't on our walk but how would you like to wake up with this in you bedroom?

 Brown Tarantula

Purple Bearded Iris

White Bearded Iris

Daddy Long Legs in a wild rose

a fossilized rock from the lake

Tall pine trees

even taller oaks

and of course at the bottom of the mountain the lake

{this moment}

A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

BBQ Vegan Meatballs

 We use to love the Pioneer Woman's BBQ Meatballs to death! However since I am limiting our use of meat products I decided to make a vegetarian version. The meatball recipe I got off the internet but can remember where some time ago. The sauce is mine.

BBQ Meatballs

1 pkg. firm tofu drained
2 tablespoons Braggs liquid aminos
1 cup walnuts chopped
½ cup onion chopped fine
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
¼ teaspoon dried basil
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon dried sage
¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 ½ cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1 cup quick cooking oats
¼ cup water
½ cup vital wheat gluten

BBQ Sauce
1 cup ketchup
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
¼ teaspoon liquid smoke
½ teaspoon onion powder

Mix all meatball ingredients together. Roll into 1-inch size balls. Place in a baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and whisk well, pour over the meat balls. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, turn and cook for another 20 minutes. Makes approx. 65 meatballs. I usually freeze part of the plain cooked meatballs to use for other dishes such as spaghetti or meatball sandwiches.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Hope everyone has had a wonderful week. Ours has been somewhat busy. We went to my father's house for a visit just to unwind, hubby's uncle passed away. Dad lives by the lake on the side of a mountain in SE Oklahoma. It was very, very nice. The Collin helped him mow and weed eat, Joseph caught frogs and chased butterflies, and Kody helped thin out the iris'. Since the boys and hubby aren't vegetarians, hubby and dad took the boys on their first fishing trip! I wasn't too sure about that, however it was their choice.

Collin wasn't too sure at first about how he felt; baiting the hook with a worm wasn't bad. But when Kody caught the first fish and he was a little unsettled about the hook hurting the fish when it began to bleed. However, that guy thing kicked in he couldn't let his brother out do him. Joseph just liked casting and collecting rocks and such. All in all they liked it and want to do it again. Dad had a fish fry -I had a Riblet sandwich. Now we are at home and this is what on the menu this week-

Monday – BBQ black eyed peas & rice, seasoned greens, red cabbage & apples, herb roasted potatoes

Tuesday – buttered fettuccini with vegan parmesan & black olives, lemon dill green beans
Wednesday - shepherd's pie, spinach salad, bread & strawberry jam

Thursday- Spinach Enchiladas, Spanish rice

Friday – BBQ vegan meatballs, scalloped potatoes, Brussels sprouts
Saturday – tacos, pinto beans

Sunday – red pepper & tomato pizza, garden salad