Thursday, July 15, 2010

Summer Break

"Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it."  ~Russel Baker

It's been quite hot and I'm not cooking much. Days and days go by during which I'm quite contentedly raw. So, I'm putting this blog on hiatus for the summer. I'll pick it up again when the weather cools this fall and I get back into some cooked vegan foods.

Have a great summer :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

July 7, 2010

Fruit Ice
serves 2 ~ $2.29 per serving

8 oz frozen strawberries ($1.69)
8 oz frozen mango ($1.69)
juice of 1 lemon 
1 dropper stevia (optional)
water for blending, if needed

Is it hot enough for ya? The heat has finally caught up with us here and I'm already tempted to say uncle. I'm trying to stay cool with icy dishes like this, which is basically a firm smoothie and is a super easy breakfast or snack.

I let the fruit thaw for a few minutes and then puree all ingredients in the food processor with the "S" blade until smooth, adding a bit of water if needed and stevia if desired.


calories: 181
fat: 1 gr
carbs: 46 gr
protein: 2 gr
Potato Stew
serves 4 ~ $1.45 per serving

2 lb potatoes, peeled and cubed ($2.00)
1 medium zucchini, chopped ($.69)
1 medium onion, chopped ($.10)
1 15 oz can garbanzo beans ($1.29)
1 6 oz can tomato paste ($.59)
1 15 oz can tomatoes ($1.29)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

This is quick and easy and seems to be one of those dishes that just about everyone enjoys. 

In a large pot, boil the potatoes, zucchini, onion, and garbanzo beans until all are tender. This will take about twenty minutes. Drain and return to pot. Add remaining ingredients and heat through.


calories: 410
fat: 2 gr
carbs: 88 gr
protein: 16 gr

Mushroom Burritos
serves 4 ~ $2.25 per serving

2 tablespoons oil ($.20)
18 oz sliced mushrooms ($6.87)
2 medium onions, sliced ($.20)
8 flour tortillas (see recipe below to make your own) ($1.20)
vegan mayonnaise (see recipe below to make your own) ($.20)
several lettuce leaves, chopped ($.30)
salt and pepper to taste

Making your own tortillas is one of those "kitchen tricks," like homemade pasta, that is both satisfying and impressive, as well as amazingly easy. Use the recipe below to make your own tortillas, or use your choice of store bought.

Heat the oil in a skillet and fry the mushrooms and onions over medium high heat until the onion is translucent and the mushrooms tender. Spread about half a tablespoon of mayo on each tortilla and then fill with the mushrooms and onions and some chopped lettuce. Salt and pepper to taste.

calories: 385
fat: 23 gr
carbs: 35 gr
protein: 10 gr

makes 8 ~ $.15 each

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour ($1.00)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil ($.20)
1/2 cup water

Burrito shells are basically the same thing as chapati bread and couldn't be simpler to make. These will turn out just a bit less pliable than the packaged flour tortillas.

In a bowl, mix together the flour and salt. Add the oil and stir to distribute evenly. Pour the water in a bit at a time, kneading it into the flour. On a floured surface, knead the bread for about 3 minutes. Place in a covered bowl to rest for 15-20 minutes.

Cut into eight equal pieces and roll each piece to about six inches across. Perfectly round is a good shape to aim for, but they taste just as good if they're a bit lop sided like mine.

Heat a nonstick pan over medium high heat. Place a tortilla in the pan and let it heat until bubbles start forming inside the dough. Check the underside and flip when just lightly browned. There will be some darker brown spots in places. Repeat on the other side making sure the dough is cooked through in the center. There will probably be quite a few bubbles or pockets, and if the heat gets high the dough can even expand like a balloon. The bubbles will flatten out once off the heat. 

Remove to a plate and cover with a towel to retain the heat.

Vegan Mayonnaise
makes 24 tablespoons ~ $.05 per tablespoon

1 cup oil ($.59)
1/2 cup soy milk ($.30)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon paprika 
1 teaspoon agave ($.10)
1 teaspoon vinegar ($.10)

This is a flavorful version of a vegan mayonnaise. It takes all of about two minutes to make and can be customized to your own taste. Soybean oil is what is used in most commercial mayos, but any liquid oil can be used keeping in mind it will change the taste accordingly.
Place all ingredients in a bullet type blender and process for a minute or so. It will very quickly turn into a stiff mayonnaise. Stir well and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.


Chocolate Oats
serves 4 ~ $.53 per serving

4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted ($.40)
4 tablespoons agave ($.40)
4 tablespoons cacao or cocoa powder ($.80)
pinch salt
1 cup rolled oats ($.50)

This dessert is also incredibly easy and takes only minutes to make. It's so easy that it's a perfect treat for kids to make themselves, with just a little help.

In a bowl over hot water, melt the coconut oil and add the cacao powder, agave, and salt. Stir until all the coconut oil is melted and it's smooth. To the bowl, add the oats and stir to cover evenly. Form into eight small or four larger patty shapes, place on waxed paper, and chill in the refrigerator until firm.


calories: 244
fat: 10 gr
carbs: 34 gr
protein: 7 gr

Total cost for the day: $6.52
total calories: 1,220
total fat: 36 gr
total carb: 203 gr
total protein: 35 gr

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

June 30, 2010

I'm gone this week, but will be back next week. 


See you then!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

June 23, 2010

Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.  ~Albert Einstein
Hot Chocolate Shake
serves 1 ~ $.85 per serving

3 bananas ($.45)
2 tablespoons cacao or cocoa powder ($.40)
big pinch cayenne pepper 
pinch salt
10 ice cubes
1 cup water

A bit of cayenne adds a bit of depth and heat to this simple chocolate banana shake. It's a great way to start the day!

In a blender, puree all ingredients until smooth and icy.

calories: 345
fat: 0 gr
carbs: 87 gr
protein: 3 gr

Salad with Lemon Tarragon Dressing
serves 2 ~ $2.54 per serving


1 avocado ($.88)
1/2 large cucumber ($.69)
1/4 medium onion
juice and zest of one lemon ($.69)
1 tablespoon agave ($.10)
1 teaspoon tarragon ($.10)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper 
1/2 -1 cup water for blending


1 head green leaf lettuce, chopped ($1.89)
1/2 large cucumber, sliced ($.69)
2 carrots, grated
3/4 medium onion, diced ($.05)
6 radishes, sliced ($.25)
salt and pepper to taste

It's true. Salads are usually something of a vegan staple. And why not? They're delicious and super nutritious. And this salad is light and lemony, perfect for summer.

In a blender, puree all the dressing ingredients until smooth and creamy. This can be a very thick dressing or a bit thinner, depending on how much water is added. I used all the dressing on two salads, but any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to a few days.

Toss together the salad ingredients and top with the dressing.


calories: 315
fat: 15 gr
carbs: 43 gr
protein: 8 gr

Peanut Noodles
serves 2 ~ $2.07 per serving

1 eight oz box brown rice noodles ($1.79)

 2 tablespoons peanut butter or nut butter ($.20)
4 tablespoons soy sauce or braggs liquid aminos ($.20)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar ($.10)
juice and zest of a half lime ($.59)
2 tablespoons agave ($.20)
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 inch piece ginger, peeled and grated ($.05)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup mung bean sprouts ($.45)
1 medium onion, finely minced ($.05)
5 green onions, sliced ($.50)
wedges cut from other half of lime

This is gooey comfort food for sure, but still nutritious.

Prepare the noodles according to directions.

Whisk together the peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, lime juice and zest, agave, garlic, ginger, cayenne, and black pepper. Drain the noodles and pour the sauce over, stirring to coat the noodles. Add the remaining ingredients and stir. Squeeze the lime wedges over the noodles and add a sprinkle of additional cayenne, if desired.

calories: 611
fat: 13 gr
carbs: 113 gr
protein: 11 gr

Peach Crumble
serves 4 ~ $.95 per serving

12 oz bag frozen peaches ($2.29)
juice of half a lemon ($.30)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup granulated sugar (I used date palm) ($.80)
1/2 cup unbleached flour ($.20)
1/2 cup rolled oats ($.10)
pinch salt
3 tablespoons earth balance spread ($.10)

It rained nearly all day here. It's great for the garden, and I actually love rainy weather. But dark dreary weather does seem to make comfort food more ... comforting. Also, I used frozen peaches for this because that's what I had on hand. Two cups fresh peaches would work as well. I thawed the peaches before I started.

Arrange the peaches in the bottom of a cake pan or pie plate. Pour on the lemon juice and sprinkle with the cinnamon and nutmeg.

Using a fork, mix together the sugar, flour, and oats until crumbly. You can also use your hands for this, which works even better. Just squish it all around until mixed. Then crumble over the peaches. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, or until the topping just begins to brown.


calories: 366
fat: 8 gr
carbs: 69 gr
protein: 5 gr

Total cost for the day: $6.41
total calories: 1,637
total fat: 36 gr
total carb: 312 gr
total protein: 27 gr

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

June 16, 2010

Instant Oatmeal
serves 2 ~ $.75 per serving

1 cup rolled oats ~ ($.25)
1 apple, chopped ($.45)
1/4 cup raisins ($.20)
1 1/2 cups nut or soy milk ($.60)
pinch of cinnamon

You can't get any more instant than this. And rolled oats are surprisingly good without cooking.

Combine the uncooked oats, chopped apple, and raisins. Serve with nut or soy milk and a pinch of cinnamon.


calories: 321
fat: 5 gr
carbs: 62 gr
protein: 10 gr

Mushroom Sandwiches
serves 2 ~ $1.99 per serving

8 oz mushrooms ($2.29)
2 medium onions, chopped ($.30)
1 green or red bell pepper, chopped ($.59)
lettuce leaves
4 pieces ezekiel bread ($.79)

This is becoming a favorite around here. I "water saute" the vegetables, but steaming would also work. Either method avoids the high temperature of frying.

Add the mushrooms, onions, and bell pepper to a skillet or sauce pan. Add about 2 cups water and let simmer until the vegetables are just soft and most of the water has evaporated ... which takes about 15 minutes.

Serve with fresh lettuce on toasted Ezekiel bread.


calories: 249
fat: 2 gr
carbs: 45 gr
protein: 12 gr

Vegetables with Rice Noodles
serves 2 ~ $3.68 per serving

1 bunch broccoli, chopped ($.89)
1 medium onion, diced ($.10)
2 carrots, thinly sliced ($.20)
2 stalks celery, chopped ($.20)
6 spears asparagus, chopped ($.69)
1 cup mung bean sprouts ($.59)

juice of one orange ($.30)
4 tablespoons olive oil ($.40)
4 tablespoons agave ($.40
3 tablespoons braggs liquid aminos or soy sauce ($.30)
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 box rice noodles ($3.29)

This makes two very large servings, or four smaller ones. I used the really tiny rice noodles, but any noodle would do.

Put the chopped vegetables in a skillet with about 2 cups water and water saute until just barely soft and the most of the water has evaporated.

Whisk together the orange juice, olive oil, agave, liquid aminos or soy sauce, garlic, cayenne, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and set aside.

Cook the noodles according the directions. The very thin ones I used only needed three minutes cooking time.

Drain the noodles and return to pot. Add the cooked vegetables and sauce. Stir well.


calories: 525
fat: 28 gr
carbs: 69 gr
protein: 9 gr

Lemon Poppy Seed Ice Cream
serves 2 ~ $1.10 per serving

4 bananas, sliced and frozen ($.60)
juice and zest of one lemon ($.69)
1 tablespoon poppy seeds ($.30)
1 cup strawberries ($.45)
1 tablespoon agave ($.10)
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts ($.15)
pinch salt

Banana ice cream is wonderful.  And it's amazingly simple to make with just a food processor.

The strawberry sauce should be made first and set aside. In a bullet type blender, puree the strawberries and agave until very smooth.

In a food processor fitted with an "S" blade, process the frozen bananas and lemon juice and zest until creamy like soft serve ice cream. It can take a bit of prodding and scraping to get the bananas going in the food processor, but it's worth it. Once creamy, add the poppy seeds and give a whir or two to incorporate.

Serve with the strawberry sauce and walnuts.


calories: 345
fat: 6 gr
carbs: 77 gr
protein: 5 gr

Total cost for the day: $7.52
total calories: 1,440
total fat: 41 gr
total carb: 253 gr
total protein: 36 gr