What I Ate Wednesday #143

Welcome to another edition of What I Ate Wednesday!

I have more random vegan eats, as per usual. You can check out everyone else’s What I Ate Wednesday posts here. Enjoy!

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Salad: Baby spinach, quinoa, a Baked Falafel Burger, orange pepper, broccoli sprouts, Sriracha, and thinned lemon dill hummus.

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A Chickpea Flour Omelette with orange pepper, spinach, black olives, mushrooms, and Daiys wedge cheddar.

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So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Yogurt with frozen blueberries (thawed by the time I ate this), chia seeds, cinnamon, and raw cacao nibs.

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Salad: Baby spinach, orange pepper, cucumber, a Perfect Veggie Burger, lemon dill hummus, and Sriracha.

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Ryvita with tahini and fig jam.

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A Field Roast Frankfurter, cucumbers, orange pepper, and lemon tahini dip (just tahini, lemon juice, water).

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Mocha Vega Smoothie – frozen blueberries, 3 greens cubes, 1 scoop Chocolate Vega One, 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder, almond milk, cold coffee.

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Oatmeal with chia seeds, cinnamon, ginger, chopped dates, and peanut butter.

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Warm taco-spiced lentils and quinoa with artichoke hearts, raw cucumbers and red pepper.

You May Also Enjoy:
What I Ate Wednesday #138
What I Ate Wednesday #137
What I Ate Wednesday #136: Vegan In Victoria

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Vegan Mofo 2013 – Post #11

What could be better than combining all your favourite cookies into one? When they are also super easy to make and pretty darn healthy as far as treats go! And they taste amazing!

Sound good? Check out these Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies from Oatmeal With A Fork!

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I actually used the last bits of my almond butter and peanut butter up to make these, so it ended up about half and half. Also, I just realized that I never added the stevia, but I really didn’t feel like I was missing any sweetness, so I’ll probably just leave it out next time.

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Vegan Eats World: Classic Sesame Noodles

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Vegan MoFo 2013 – Post #5

Last night I finally made my first recipe from Vegan Eats World! Kind of. Jem and I used the sauce for the Classic Sesame Noodles (page 137), but swapped the marinated cucumbers and lettuce that are part of the dish, for some cooked snap peas, baby bok choy, and mushrooms.

The only minor changes I made to the sauce, were to use coconut sugar in place of the dark brown sugar, and ground ginger in place of fresh.

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We cooked some soba noodles according to the package, quickly sautéed them with  the veggies and a little sesame oil, then mixed in some sesame sauce. We also added some roasted sesame seeds and Sriracha to our bowls. So good! If there had been leftovers, I would happily eat the same thing again tonight. I’m such a sucker for a good Asian noodle dish! Luckily, there was quite a bit of sauce leftover (just no noodles or veggies). However, I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it. Stay tuned.

Have you tried any recipes from Vegan Eats World?
Please share.

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Spicy Peanut Portobello Kale Rice Bowl

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What I Ate Wednesday #112 – Oatmeal Love

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For this week’s What I Ate Wednesday post I’m going to share with you my recent oatmeal adventures. There have been a lot of cold mornings in the past couple months and I recently started making my oatmeal in the microwave, which on early mornings feels a lot easier than on the stove (plus it doesn’t leave me with a pot to wash). So, lots of oatmeal lately!

I hope this provides you with some inspiration for your next bowl of oatmeal. Enjoy!

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Sucanat & cinnamon oatmeal with (1) natural peanut butter unsweetened coconut, and home-made dried cranberries and (2) natural peanut butter, cocoa powder, and raw cacao nibs.

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3) 1/2c oats cooked with 1c water, 1tbsp sucanat, 1/4tsp cinnamon, 1/4tsp ground coriander, and 1/2tsp vanilla. Topped with 1/4 serving Vanilla Chai Vega Whole Food Health Optimizer, 2 cut up dried figs, and slivered almonds.
4) 1/2c oats cooked with 1c water, 1tbsp Nature’s Path Cranberry Vanilla Qi’a Cereal, 1tbsp sucanat, and 1tbsp cocoa powder. Topped with natural peanut butter and 1 cut up dried fig.

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5) 1/2c oats cooked with 1c water, 1tbsp ground chia seeds, 1tbsp sucanat, 1/2tsp cinnamon, and 2 chopped dried figs. Topped with hemp hearts and pumpkin seed butter.
6) 1/2c oats cooked with 1c water, 1tsp chia seeds, 1tbsp maple syrup, 1/2tsp molasses, and 1/2tsp cinnamon. Topped with slivered almonds, home-made dried cranberries, and unsweetened coconut.

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And, I know its not oatmeal, but I had this yesterday evening and it was fantastic. I will definitely be using brown rice like this again!
Leftover cooked long grain brown rice, unsweetened almond milk, cinnamon, and sucanat, heated in the microwave. Yum!

What I Ate Wednesday #112

Thanks for stopping by!

healthy vegan friday button
This post was also shared with Healthy Vegan Friday #34. Go check it out!

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Tropical Pineapple Coconut Oat Cups

Suzanne’s Ricemellow Creme Review

One of the item’s I received in the September Vegan Food Swap, was a tub of Suzanne’s Ricemellow Creme. I finally bought some Nature’s Path Crispy Rice Cereal so I could make crispy rice squares. I decided to make add in some crunchy peanut butter and mini chocolate chips to make them a really special treat!

I just warmed 1/3 cup crunchy unsalted natural peanut butter, stirred in 1 cup of the Ricemellow Creme, then stirred in 3 cups Crispy Rice and 1/3 cup Enjoy Life Mini Chips until all of the Crispy Rice was coated. Then I pressed it into a lightly greased pan and let it set.

While these Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Crispy Rice Treats tasted really great, they fell apart very easily, and so were quite difficult and messy to eat. They were a little better once I put them in the fridge, but still started falling apart almost as soon as I started eating a piece. I’m guessing this is because the Ricemellow Creme is not a solid to begin with, like marshmallows, so it couldn’t harden up as it cooled, like regular marshmallows would. This stuff made for tasty treats, and I will use the rest of the tub, but I don’t think this is something I would ever purchase again. I’d prefer for my marshmallow treats to not fall apart as I eat them, and not have to be refrigerated.

I also got a package of Dandies Marshmallows from October’s Food Swap and I will let you know how they compare.

Questions:
Have you tried any vegan marshmallow products? What did you think?

Do you have any great recipes, other than crispy rice treats, for using marshmallows or marshmallow creme?

Spicy Peanut Vegetable Soup

I’ve seen a lot of recipes, both online and in cookbooks, for various types of peanut soups and stews but I could never decide which one to make. So I made my own. This is my version. This soup has a mild curry flavour, and is super creamy from the peanut butter and coconut milk, without feeling too heavy. This was a spur of the moment soup and I used whatever vegetables I had on hand. I really love the textures of the eggplant and zucchini in this, but please feel free to substitute other vegetables for the bell pepper. Some carrots and peas might be really good. Also, if you would like a spicier soup, just up the curry powder and/or the ground cayenne.

Did I mention I absolutely love the golden yellow colour of this? I really do!

Creamy Peanut Vegetable Soup
1 small eggplant, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 tsp salt
A 1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup finely diced onion
1 tbsp peanut or olive oil
2 small zucchini, diced into 1/2 inch pieces (2 cups)
2 med bell peppers, diced into 1/4 inch pieces (2 cups)
1 398ml can chickpeas
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp mild curry powder
1/4 tsp ground cayenne
2 cups vegetable broth or water
1 400ml can coconut milk
1/4 cup split red lentils, rinsed and picked through
1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter

Cut up eggplant before prepping the other ingredients. Put it in a colander over a bowl or sink, mixed with 1 tsp of salt. Let this sit while you are prepping the other ingredients (about 20 minutes).

Heat a large pot with oil on medium heat. Add in ginger, garlic, and onion and sauté a few minutes, until onions are softened. Add in all of the spices (coriander, turmeric, cumin, cayenne, curry powder, paprika) and sauté for another minute, stirring frequently. Now add in the zucchini, peppers, and chickpeas. Rinse eggplant thoroughly with water and add to pot. Give everything a good stir.

Now add the broth or water, coconut milk, and lentils. Stir everything together, cover, and increase heat to bring to a boil. Let boil gently for 3 minutes, then reduce to med-low heat.

In a separate bowl, mix until smooth, the peanut butter and a ladle of the hot liquid from the soup. Stir peanut butter mixture back into pot. Cover pot and let simmer on med-low heat for 35-45 minutes, until lentils have disappeared and eggplant is tender. Ladle into bowls and enjoy!

I have to tell you, I had absolutely no problem eating this soup 4 days in a row!

This post has been entered Healthy Vegan Fridays hosted by Shelby at Everyday Vegan Girl, Gabby at Veggie Nook, and Carrie at Carrie On Vegan.

You Might Also Enjoy:
Curried Lentil Soup, Spiced Tropical Smoothie, or Chai Spiced Zucchini Bread

Tofu Balls!

As I showed in my WIAW post this week, I recently made a recipe for Tofu Balls from the Post Punk Kitchen for the first time (shown above with whole wheat rotini, sun-dried tomato pesto and spinach). I’ve had the recipe pinned for quite a while and now that I’ve tried them, I wish I had done it sooner! I really enjoyed the simplicity of the recipe and the moist, light texture. I will definitely be making these again! I’ve already been thinking of some different flavours and add-ins I would like to try. Also, I’d like to try forming the recipe into small patties and baking them in the oven. Isa’s recipe can be found here. I made a few minor changes and my version is below, along with some step-by-step photos.

Tofu Balls
1lb extra firm tofu (I used Soyganic Herb Extra Firm)
3 tbsp Bragg Liquid Aminos
3 tbsp natural peanut butter
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 tsp crushed dried chiles (optional)
flour for coating (I used whole wheat)

In a bowl, crumble the tofu using your hands. I find it easiest to cut it into small cubes first and then crumble those. It will look like this:

Now add in the Bragg’s, peanut butter, bread crumbs, and crushed chiles. Mix with a fork or your hands until well combined and sticking together. It should look like this:

Put some flour into a small bowl. Roll mixture into 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls. Roll each one in the flour to coat, before setting aside. I made all of them and set out on a plate, before I fried them.

Isa’s recipe says it makes 12-16, but I got 23 out of it, so maybe mine were a lot smaller.

Fry these balls in a preheated, oiled skillet until they are light to medium browned on all sides.

Enjoy!

In addition to the pasta dish in the first photo, I also enjoyed these with some pineapple rice, and once just by themselves dipped in a little chipotle hot sauce.

Curried Lentil Soup & Cooking for the Freezer

I wouldn’t say that I like my food really spicy (I prefer to still be able to taste my food under the layer heat), but I do love spices and spiciness! Any breakfast scramble (tofu or veggies) isn’t complete without Cajun seasoning and any mention or thought of curry leaves me practically drooling and unable to think of anything else. So, when my sister and I were brainstorming what kind of soup to make on our first day of baking/cooking for our freezers – more on that later – my first thought, especially once I realized I wanted an easy lentil based soup, was curry. The following Curried Lentil Soup is what we came up with. I used a Red Lentil Cauliflower Curry recipe from Veganomicon (page 186) that I had made before as a soup for an idea of the method, measurements, and spices to use, but used our own mix of lentils and vegetables to create a very different soup.

Curried Lentil Soup
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 inch piece ginger, minced
1 large shallot, diced
1 cup chopped carrot
3/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup diced potato
3 1/2 tsp mild curry powder
1/2 tsp each: turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, ground coriander
3/4 cup red split lentils
3/4 cup green/brown lentils
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
1/2 tsp sea salt (omit if using store-bought vegetable broth)

Set out all of the ingredients and chop the vegetables. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Saute the shallot, garlic, and ginger for a couple of minutes, until tender. (You might notice this recipe doesn’t have any onions in it. That is because I really don’t like them and besides shallots and small amounts of dehydrated onion I do not cook with them. If you want to add onions to this soup, add them first, sauté until translucent, and then add the shallot, garlic, and ginger.) Add the spices and cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add carrots, celery, potato, and lentils (after sorting and rinsing them). Slowly pour in vegetable broth and water. Cover the pot, raise the heat to high, and boil for 1 minute. Stir, then cover the pot again, lower heat to medium-low, and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Check to see if the potatoes and lentils are done, they may need a little more time. When the potatoes and lentils are cooked then your soup is done. Cover and let sit about 15 minutes before serving, to let the flavours meld.

I like this soup as is, with a piece of toasted whole grain bread (my favourite is Silver Hills) or served over brown rice or quinoa. Enjoy!

As I mentioned earlier, this was one of the things that my sister Jem and I made on our first designated day of baking and cooking for both of our freezers. In addition to this Curried Lentil Soup, we also made sun-dried tomato pesto based on this one from Oh She Glows (we froze it in ice-cube trays), chocolate zucchini loaf based on this recipe, chocolate chip peanut butter cookies from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s The Joy of Vegan Baking (we baked 1 tray full and then made 2 rolls of the dough for the freezer), blueberry almond waffles adapted from this recipe, and falafel burgers from The Vegan Table. Half of everything went to me and the other half is for Jem and her fiancé. Our intention was to make a bunch of things that we could both have in our freezers for quick meals and snacks later on. Our day was very successful and we have plans to make this a monthly (or around there) tradition. We have so many ideas of things we want to make!

Our pesto cubes.

Our falafel burgers.

 Making extras for the freezer is something I already do, but making a day of it together was actually Jem’s idea. This gives us a day together, and we figure that it will help get us creative, eat less processed foods, and save some money. It really is those times when you just don’t feel like cooking, or have the time, that it is so easy to reach for a can or box of something way too processed, or to eat out.

What I really love about doing this is that while everything we make will be vegan, or vegetarian if Jem adds cheese to her half of something, neither Jem nor her fiancé are vegan! They are both omnivores and pretty heavy meat-eaters. However, my sister has always been open to trying my vegan and vegetarian food, and is really interested in eating healthier and trying new things. It always makes me happy to get people interested in vegan food and I love sharing my discoveries with her. I think we already have our menu planned out for July’s For the Freezer Day and we are both looking forward to it!

Questions
Do you like spicy food? If so, what is your favourite heat-inducing ingredient?
My favourite is chipotle! I use chipotle hot sauce, chipotle chile powder, and canned chipotle peppers in adobe sauce. I’m also addicted to Cajun seasoning. I have one now that I’m not sure is vegan. It is going to run out very soon and then I’m going to have to create my own, which I’m looking forward to.

Do you have a favourite vegan soup recipe?

Do you make extras for the freezer? Or cook/bake anything specifically to have on hand in the freezer?
I always have homemade vegetable broth and applesauce in the freezer. Since I’m baking mostly for one, I usually put half of each loaf, muffin, and bar recipe in the freezer for a month or two later. Also, I’ve been trying to cook pots of beans on days when I’m at home in order to keep some handy in the freezer. I’m trying to use more dry beans and less canned ones and I find this is helping.

Chocolate and Peanut Butter for Breakfast!

One thing I love about eating a mostly unprocessed vegan diet is that it is possible to have things like Peanut Butter Porridge sprinkled with chocolate (ok, it was carob powder, but it tastes chocolate-like) for breakfast and not feel guilty about it at all.

There is almost nothing better than the combination of peanut butter and chocolate (and I don’t mean in such things as Reese’s, where the tiny bit of actual peanut and chocolate flavour is completely covered up by tonnes of sugar, hydrogenated oil, dairy, and preservatives) and this porridge is not an exception. I really like oatmeal and I love peanut butter, and other nut butters, but this is actually the first time I’ve put them together! I call it porridge because I like alliteration, and I added some other grains and seeds, to pack in as much nutrition as I could. This is only slightly sweet, so if you prefer your porridge sweet, you might want to add some more sucanat or other sweetener.

Peanut Butter Porridge (2-3 servings)
1 cup oats (not quick oats)
2 cups water
1 tbsp wheat bran
1 tbsp cornmeal
1 tbsp ground flax
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp hemp hearts
2 tbsp sucanat
1/4 cup natural peanut butter (the only ingredient is peanuts)
1/4 cup chopped dates*
non-dairy milk of your choice
carob or cocoa powder
*This porridge cooks quickly so if you are using pre-chopped dried dates you might need to soak them in some warm water for about 10 minutes before adding them to the porridge (you can also use the soaking water), otherwise they will not have softened yet. I chopped up some softer (where I buy them they are called pitted snacking dates) dates for my porridge.

Soak dates if necessary. Put all ingredients except peanut butter in a medium-sized pot. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the water is mostly absorbed and the oats are cooked. Stir in the peanut butter. Spoon some porridge into a bowl and sprinkle with 1/2-1 tsp of carob powder (or cocoa if you prefer). I like mine with some non-dairy milk poured over. Enjoy!

Questions
What is your favourite addition to oatmeal/porridge?
Mine is dates. I love the natural sweetness they give! My go-to oatmeal includes lots of chopped apple, dates, cinnamon, and almonds.

Do you have a favourite vegan breakfast food?
Breakfast for me changes all the time, it usually just depends what I have in the house, how much time I have, and what I feel like. I am definitely not someone who has the same breakfast every day of the week. I tend to switch between toast and fruit, oatmeal, granola, waffles, smoothies, tofu scramble, and potato-based vegetable hash.