Monday, 27 February 2012

I Can't Believe It's Black Beans!

Ok, Denise is a good cook, but as you regular bloggies know I don't let D in my kitchen often. But damn, that girl can come up with some ideas. Like today, we where having the dreaded 'what are we gonna have for supper' conversation. She suggested black bean burritos. I frankly thought she was full of it, but I agreed, as I didn't have any better ideas, so I said sure.

So, it was friggin' fantastic. I feel like a tool because it was soooooooooooo good. It's is now going to be in regular rotation.

Black Bean Burritos

In a pan, sauté a crap load of veggies. We used onion, garlic, jalapeño, mushrooms, zucchini, sweet pepper and added half a can of black beans, some sea salt and some homemade taco spice. I sautéed on medium heat for about ten minutes.

Warm some tortillas, slap on some of the bean and veggies, and we topped them with a crap load of fresh guacamole. Denise added some salsa and I added some taco sauce. It was amazing!!!

Denise has awesome brains. Seriously. Try it. So good. Thanks D!

-Melina : D

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Hungry Girl Lunch

Starting last night, I have been a bottomless pit. Ladies, you know when TOM visits and it feels like you have a hollow leg? Luckily I had no junk food on the premises or it could have gotten ugly.

When lunchtime came around I wanted something more substantial and full of protein than my usual fare. After last night's visit to Planet Organic we had a package of tempeh to play with.

For those of you who have never tried tempeh, trust me you are missing out. It is made with a process of fermenting soy beans, something that may not sound appetizing but is surprisingly delightful. The taste is kind of nutty, and the texture is slightly more toothsome than a bean. Really, there is nothing to compare it to, so just try it.

In order to soften it before cooking, I generally steam it.

Tempeh-tastic Salad

1 Pkg of unflavoured tempeh
1 med dill pickle, minced
1/4 of a small onion, minced
2 short stalks of celery, chopped
salt and a generous amount of pepper

This is a recipe that is very much 'to taste'. Add more or less of any of the ingredients as you go.

Cut up the tempeh into chunks and steam for roughly 5 minutes to soften. While this is steaming, do the cutting of pickle, onion and celery and throw in a bowl.

Once the tempeh is softened, crumble it up into the same bowl. Add vegenaise, as much as you like (some like it creamier than others). Mix it up, arrange on plate with some veggies and Bob's your uncle! Really filling. I have decided not to eat my way through the cupboards anymore. Until next month, of course.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Birthday Bash, Part 1

Birthday Blog *** Denise

So, Denise's birthday is tomorrow (February 11th y'all! - Denise), but decided to celebrate today, as we don't want to start the work week feeling crappy from all the sugar and processed food we are gonna eat for the birthday dinner and dessert.

She wanted 'The Kind Diet' Chocolate and Peanut Butter Pie, though we make it with cashew butter, because Denise is allergic to peanuts (I didn't want Suicide Pie - Denise).

For the dinner, it took her a long while to decide, but went with my lasagna. There is no recipe per se, but I'll tell you how I made this amazing ( if I may say so myself) dish.

Lovely Lasagna (Ooey Gooey Cheesy Lasagna is my name for it - Denise)

- lasagna noodles
- pasta sauce
- canned tomatoes
- 2 onions, diced and divided in half
- 7 garlic cloves, minced and divided in half
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 tsp canola oil
- 1 package veggie ground round *opitional
- 1 package firm tofu
- 1 container tofutti cream cheese
- 1 tsp sea salt
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 packages Daiya, one mozzarella and one cheddar

In a medium pan, sauté half the onion and garlic and veggie ground round with the canola oil. When ground round is mostly cooked, add the sautéed mixture to a large bowl and add pasta sauce, canned tomatoes, and spices. Stir it up and set aside.

In a food processor, add tofu, cream cheese, salt, the other half of the onion and garlic, water and lemon juice. Puree till smooth-ish.

Ok, time to assemble.

In a 13 x 9" pan, I like to line mine with parchment paper, as clean up is quicker.

Pop in a single layer of noodles. I use no cook noodles, cuz I don't have time. Then cover over with tomato mixture, then a layer of the tofu mixture and then 1/2 the Daiya. I use half of each.

Then another layer of noodles, more tomato mixture and then tofu layer. Add the last of the cheese. I add a bit of water in each of the corners of the pan, just a bit, to ensure the noodles are cooked.

Bake in oven for about 60 minutes at 350* degrees.

So good!

Denise enjoyed the meal a lot. She kept swearing, a good sign I'd say. (Oh my Fu**, so good - Denise)

What am I gonna have next week? We'll see... (She failed to mention her birthday is the 15th. It's our birthday season! - Denise)

- Melina.  :D

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Forks Over Knives

Just saw the documentary 'Forks Over Knives', something that I should have seen ages ago. We've all heard of the celebrities who have decided to opt for a whole food, plant based diet after seeing the film - Eliza Dushku, Ozzy Osbourne, Russell Brand, Carrie Ann Inaba to name a few. Of course I was thrilled to hear this, but I guess I wondered what the film could do for me. After all, I'm already vegan, right? Sometimes it's easy to forget the basics.

I should point out that we have really busy lives. Work, Etsy shop, I write and Melina is trying to get back to painting. We sometimes find ourselves falling back on quick and easy and processed, simply due to lack of time.

Food should and can be healing. The evidence is there though many choose not to see it, and this documentary makes it impossible to ignore.  It is not an animal rights film. It is about nutrition, about lowering the risk of heart disease and cancer. About reversing illness and using food to heal. The whole food and plant based diet is the way to do it.

As a vegan I knew this but had gotten away from the whole food idea. I eat mostly OK, but could do a lot better. From now on the focus is on whole grains and veggies, legumes, fruit. When eating that way I felt the best I have in my life. I am excited to get back to that. And thrilled with all of the recipes I am going to try. :)

~ Denise

Well, what she said really. I love my sugars. Luckily, I love fruit too.

- Melina  : D