Thursday, June 23, 2011

OH MY, BURGERS!

Oh these burgers I had were so good! The recipe is from Crazy Sexy Diet (CSD) by Kris Carr and they have black beans and rice and sweet potatoes and were just delicious on sprouted grain bread. So, so good.

Also! I am on day two of the CSD 21 Day Cleanse. I'm not being super strict with myself. I'm avoiding gluten as much as possible and, of course, staying vegetarian. But, I'm allowing myself some homemade vegan desserts. I'm keeping a written food journal and just being aware of portions and snacking. I'm using the Cleanse outline in CSD to stay motivated and improve my wellness routine in general, which is really what the book is about. I'm also using tips from Natalia Rose's Detox for Women. Of course I want to feel great, but I am focused on losing weight. The donuts, the bagels, the late night snacking through the winter all lead to my not fitting into my spring clothes! Yeah, my boobs are a little bigger, but I want to fit into my shorts, dammit! I'll sacrifice a little boob for that.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Second Day of Summer Food Blog

Even though yesterday was officially the first day of summer, I began my summer break over a week ago, so my summer food blogs have begun. I don't have pictures today, but I have some great links. The first thing I made today was Vegan Garlic Scape Pesto! I made three small batches (I have a small food processor) and divided it into two tablespoon size servings. I put each serving into a small baggie and then put all the baggies into a gallon size freezer bag and then into the freezer. I made a bag each for my mom and my sister with four servings each. One serving is enough for at least 1/2 lb of pasta or more.

I had gotten scapes from my organic CSA and didn't know what they were called. After searching for garlic rope, garlic string, garlic onion, green garlic, I finally found GARLIC SCAPES and how to use them. I came across this post with a recipe that uses walnuts for pesto. I knew I wanted to veganize it, but searched the internet sure someone else had done it already. This great site had a wonderful recipe. Only, I didn't have any sesame seeds, so I couldn't follow it exactly. I went with my first instinct and just threw in some nutritional yeast with walnuts and 2-3 scapes per batch. I didn't measure anything, just took note of the size of my food processor. The first batch was super garlicky, so I toned it down for the next batches. Also, I used Angela Liddon's suggestion and threw in some fresh spinach (also from my CSA). SO YUMMY! And that's EASY VEGAN GARLIC SCAPE PESTO!

Next, I still had some scapes left, so I made an easy vegan bean dip. You can find recipe's galore for bean dips and I've followed some precisely, but find it easier to just throw together what I've got. I used two small scapes (BTW--I found it easy to use kitchen shears to snip the scapes into quarter-inch pieces) and a can of drained and rinsed garbonzo beans. I also added salt and pepper, fresh spinach and a little oil. Not too strong, but the garlic taste is robust! Just throw any kind of white bean, like great northern beans or chick peas, into the food processor with herbs and oil and it's EASY WHITE BEAN DIP! You don't even have to cut up garlic or have scapes on hand. Just sprinkle in some garlic powder for a super quick and easy option.

So, then I took a little rest because Will had brought me Q'doba. It was my first time having a vegetarian bowl from them, and it was good. However, I think I still rate Chipotle's veggie bowl higher. The guacamole at Chipotle is the best.

After the rest, I was ready to whip up something else. But what? S had told me earlier she had a chocolate craving, so I looked in my box and found a vegan chocolate cake recipe my mom had copied from somewhere and given me. You just whisk together 1.5 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 3T cocoa powder, 1tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt. Then you continue to whisk in 1/4 cup +2T oil, 1tsp vanilla, 1T vinegar and 1 cup of water. Could not be any easier. I didn't have vanilla extract, so I substituted almond extract. Then you pour the batter into a greased 8x8 inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. So then I had the cake cooling and wanted to make a great icing for it. I started with 1/4 cup of vegan butter, 1.5 cups confectioners sugar, 1/4 cup water and blended. It was very thin. So then I got the great idea to add sunflower seed butter. I just stirred in about 1/4 cup and it was the perfect consistency for icing. At this time I haven't iced the cake yet because it's cooling.

I'm going to throw together some pesto pasta for dinner for the girls and I'll probably have some after my workout this evening.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Food Blog Summer 2011: Purple Blondies

Today is our first official day of summer vacation and I've started a new reward system with my kids. They have to keep their rooms clean and do a good job helping around the house in general Monday-Friday and then on Friday they get to choose a prize to be given sometime the following week. They get the weekend off from their rooms--a total change from the school year routine where they had to clean rooms and put away clean clothes every weekend. We started the system last week, since it was an easy last week of school. S chose a simple trip to Rita's Italian Ice, which we'll do later today, and G chose to bake something with me.

We joined a CSA this year and got our first share last Tuesday, so I had two baked PURPLE sweet potatoes in the fridge and I wanted to do some kind of dessert with them. For whatever reason, G, who normally likes orange sweet potatoes, was adverse to eating the purple variety. She even struggled to try one bite! But, when I told her about my plan for dessert she was just so excited to bake that she didn't argue. I showed her the picture at this blog and explained the difference between a brownie and a blondie and she was game. I'll have to get the book from the library this summer and write down some more recipes to try.

Here are pictures from our adventures in baking Purple Blondies:




The picture of the pan is actually before baking. The batter is pretty thick, as you can see in the mixing bowl, and and it has be be spread out in the pay. After baking it doesn't look much different, just a little dryer. I didn't have the brown sugar the recipe calls for, so I just substituted white sugar. Also, I cut down on the spices to just use 1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice. My oldest is sensitive to spices and sometimes gets a rash from cinnamon and nutmeg. But a sweet potato dessert without spice is just wrong!

After having these for snack the kids and I give them 5 stars. The best part is they are my favorite color! (That and they're vegan.)