Thursday, December 6, 2012

cleaning out the pantry

is my goal for the rest of this year. January 1 I am going vegan which means nothing will be from an animal. No more fish, meat (been doing that for a couple of years), dairy (also doing that for a few years), eggs, etc. So emptying out my pantry of everything to start anew. Most of what I had there was vegan anyway except for a few things. The day before yesterday I found a tin of sardines and tunafish. I mixed it together and added other ingredients to make a tuna fish salad. I did add cinnamon and crushed pineapple for more of a tropical tuna. It is very delish on whole wheat tandoori naan.
Today I am making Enchilada Soup w/ avocado.
You need 1 tbsp of olive oil, 6 cloves of garlic (minced), 1 tbsp cilantro (chopped) 8 corn tortillas, 2 lbs of seitan, 1 15 oz can of pureed tomatoes, 2 onions (finely chopped), 6 cups of vegetable broth , 2 cups of water, 1 6oz can of tomato paste, 1tbsp ground cumin, 2 tsp chili powder, 2 bay leaves, ground red pepper to taste, 3/4 cup cheddar Daiya cheese and 1 avocado (peeled, pitted, diced)
I know it looks like alot of ingredients and work but it will be so worth it. It is yummilicious.
warm olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. add garlic and cilantro and saute that for 3 minutes. keep a close eye cause those suckers burn quickly and it will be very bitter. tear up 4 of the tortillas into 1 inch squares and add to the pot. saute that until it is nice and soft for about 5 minutes. try not to burn. while the tortillas are cooking slice the chicken or tofu into bite-size pieces. add the chicken, pureed tomatoes, onions, broth, water, tomato paste, cumin, chili powder and bay leaves. let it boil over high heat. once it starts boiling reduce heat to low and add the ground red pepper and let it simmer for 30 minutes stirring from time to time.
now go get a nice glass of wine because we are half way done.
preheat your oven to 400 degrees. using your special kitchen scissors or really good pizza slicer (am sure that there is a proper name but that is what I call it) cut the remaining tortillas into 1/4 inch wide strips and place them on a baking sheet in a single layer. bake until they are LIGHTLY browned, about 7 minutes. let them cool away from the oven so they will be nice and crispy. after the soup has simmered for 30 minutes remove the bay leaves. sometimes I can't find them which is fine. just don't forget to warn everyone that the bay leaves aren't really edible and they should dispose of them nicely on a napkin and not the nice tablecloth you just bought.
oh wait I just spaced out there.
ladle a portion of the soup into a bowl and top with the shredded cheese, diced avocado and tortilla strips and enjoy!
This recipe serves 8 adults. Go ahead and pack the extras for lunch or freeze it for those days you just don't have the time to cook a full meal.
This recipe was taken from a cookbook called Eating for Life by Bill Phillips. I did tweak it. My husband bought this a couple of years back when he wanted a change in his life. It was more like here 'make me some'. He didn't like most of the food because it was 'too healthy'. I thought it was really great recipes and I just adapted most of them to be dairy-free. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My Aha Moment

This morning, like most mornings in the last month, I did not want to get out of bed.  I started to ask myself what was wrong with me.  I usually get out of bed start a load of laundry or go straight to the kitchen to start my coffee.  
I only wanted to stay in bed and read a book or read the latest in Twitter or Facebook.  
Then it hit me.  
It's December 4.  Close to our school break. Close to the end of the year.  
I am burned out!  
It's the same feeling when Spring break comes around.  Counting the weeks and days until Summer break when I can just sit by the pool and read a book or play in the pool with my kids.  
Except this time I wanted to snuggle with my blankie and a good book.  
So starting tomorrow, I'm going to make myself get out of bed at 7am and start the laundry and make my coffee.  Get my blood pumping and plan out the rest of the day.  

I had some leftover Daiya cheese from our Thanksgiving feast.  I knew I needed to use it before it spoils. Realized I haven't made this delicious dish in a while....

Pasta Pizza

1 lb pasta (any shape)
pizza sauce (I used Ragu but whatever you have at hand is good. Any red/marinara sauce will do)
8oz or more of any non-dairy cheese you might have at hand

Cook pasta according to directions
While the pasta is being drained heat up the pizza sauce until it bubbles
Add the pasta back into the pot with the sauce and add the cheese
Heat and cover until the cheese gets nice and melty.

You can add whatever veggies you have, TVP, or any other vegan protein you might have.


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