Saturday, July 12, 2014

4 Easy Plant-Based Meals to Get Food on the Table Quick!

Most of the meals I make are not labor intensive and I don't spend much more than 30 minutes preparing and serving (cooking time varies).  Sometimes, though, I need meals that take even less time, especially on Sunday's after church and everyone is hungry and wants to eat NOW!

It's during these times that I turn to my favorite quick and easy meals that my helpers (crockpot, rice cooker, etc.) and I use to get food on the table quickly.

Stir-fry
  • Use rice that you have precooked or, as I do, put your rice and water into the rice cooker while you get everything else going.
  • Put a small amount of water in a hot skillet and add frozen veggies (I like to use a California Medley).  You can also buy a blend that is put together specifically for stir-fry that might include mushrooms and water chestnuts.  I always include water chestnuts.
  • Put soy sauce and chowmein noodles on the table, serve up the rice and and your veggies.  Done.
Couscous topped with Black Beans
  • Start heating water for your couscous
  • The most time-consuming job for this meal is chopping your toppings and that takes very little time!  We use chopped onions, tomatoes, soy sauce and guacamole.
  • Heat black beans that you have previously cooked or use canned.
  • The very last thing you should do is cook your couscous.  It takes 5 minutes or less and when it is ready, you want to serve it immediately or it will clump - that is why I wait until everything else is ready to start cooking it.
  • Serve up the couscous and black beans and let everyone add their favorite toppings
Pad Thai (Happy Herbivore)
  • Put on water to boil for your pasta
  • Mix together your sauce (basically water, soy sauce, peanut butter, water and chili sauce)
  • Add frozen vegetables to the cooking pasta until they are heated through.
  • Strain pasta and veggies, return to pot and add sauce
  • Done!
Baked Potato Halves topped with Chili
  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Cut potatoes in half and place face-down on a lined baking sheet, cook for 1 hour (I do this earlier in the day).
  • Prepare your favorite chili recipe earlier in the day.
  • At mealtime, top baked potatoes with chili and enjoy
What's your favorite Quick and Easy Go To meal?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Better Than Vegan Cookbook Giveaway


This giveaway is closed. Congrats to our winner, Dawn!

I have heard so many good things about Better Than Vegan by Chef Del Sroufe so I did not pass up the opportunity to review it when the chance came my way.

First of all, let me just say that it is a beautiful book.  The full sized colored pictures makes me want to prepare everything I see!  I have long been a fan of cookbooks that don't jam 3 and 4 pictures on one page and this one fits the bill.  It's well laid out and easy to read.

The biggest problem I had with this book is knowing where to start first!  I went with simple to begin and chose the Tangy BBQ Baked Beans.   Mmm!!  It will go perfectly with the cornbread recipe I will share with you at the end of this post!

I am particularly anxious to try his Cauliflower Puree.  He uses it as a base in several recipes, such as to make a creamy sauce, and it just sounds wonderful!

Would you like to win a copy of this cookbook?  It is simple to enter - all you have to do is leave a comment and answer this question:  Do you follow a plant-based diet?  The giveaway will close June 30 and a winner will be announced on July 1st.

Cornbread

Serves 8

I love cornbread with soup or chili for lunch or dinner, or even with some apple butter on it for a quick breakfast. Applesauce is a good substitute for eggs and oil in baking and you won’t taste it.
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons Best Date Syrup Ever (page 83)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 cups unsweetened almond milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture by scooping the flour to the side of the bowl with a spoon, and add the date syrup, applesauce, and almond milk to the well. Then gently fold the liquid mixture into the flour mixture. Spoon the batter into an 8 × 8 inch square nonstick baking dish and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the pan comes out clean. Let cool before serving.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Never Say Never - Tofu Scramble

I've been "dabbling" with plant-based food for a couple of years or so but it has only been in the last year that I finally decided I was going to try tofu.  I have used it in a recipe that creates a ricotta-like cheese in a pasta dish and I have baked it to use in stir-fry.  My family loves both recipes (I am not so crazy about the baked yet but I'll keep trying).  So, with more determination, I recently (in the last few months) decided to go for the tofu scramble - win!!!

We love it, oh yes we do!  I would have NEVER thought I would say that about tofu, but it's true.  Combined with the right ingredients it has a delicious taste; and while it looks like scrambled eggs and has some what of a eggy taste (thanks to the black salt), it isn't exactly like scrambled eggs.  Might I say it is a tad bit better?  I think so!

Here's how I did it step by step - this is the Happy Herbivore recipe I used.



Spinach and onions aren't in the original recipe but they are SO good added to the scramble.  I chopped them first so they would be ready to go.


I added the tofu and all the ingredients to my poor excuse for a skillet, turned on the heat and started mashing the tofu and mixing the ingredients.  Once it is heated through, it is basically through.


But first I had to add my spinach and onions and let it cook for a few minutes.


Oh my, doesn't this look good?  I wrapped my scramble in a warm tortilla and topped it with a little Siracha sauce.  I have some more tofu.  Maybe I should make one for dinner as well...

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Taking The #28LiveBetter Challenge


I was pretty excited about Happy Herbivore's new challenge.  I joined in with the #HH28 Challenge last  year and was so motivated.  To be honest, a new challenge every month would do me a world of good!

The new challenge (as you can see) is called the 28-Day Live Better Challenge.  Everyday Lindsay sends out an email to everyone who signs up to participate.  The first two are full of motivation and I can only expect that the others will be also!

Things You Should Know:

There's a Facebook Group:  28LiveBetter
Twitter hash tag:  #28LiveBetter
Sign up Here:  28 Day Challenge

I know I won't be blogging daily but I'll check in often.  I'm excited to actively work on specific things during this challenge.  Join now!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Review & Giveaway: The China Study All-Star Collection

When I was invited to review The China Study All-Star Collection, the "sequel" to The China Study cookbook that I reviewed last year,  I felt like I had won an award!  I am a big fan of so many of the contributors and am excited to add some new authors and their recipes to my plant-based books collection.  What fun I have had!

The CSASC is filled with "whole food, plant-based recipes from your favorite vegan chefs".  Many of these chefs are considered "big-wigs" in the plant-based community.  Two of my favorites are Lindsay Nixon, of Happy Herbivore fame, (I have included her recipe for Minestrone in this post) and Dr. John McDougall from the McDougall Program; their recipes feel like home to me.

Last week I prepared a couple of recipes from Laura Theodore, author of "The Jazzy Vegetarian," that my family devoured right away, Spaghetti and Wheatballs on page 154 and Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies on 259.  When your family asks you to make a double batch of both, you know you have found winners!  Another recipe found in this book that has been a winner with my two boys is the Quick Burgers by the Happy Herbivore on page 124.  Oh my, they are so good and they truly are quick!

Guess what?  I get to give one away!!

The giveaway starts today and will end at midnight tomorrow!!  I will announce the winner on my 48th birthday which just happens to be this Friday, the 25th (had to sneak that in there).  The ONLY thing you must do to enter is leave a comment with a valid email or a blog address where you can be reached; you would be surprised the number of people who do not do do that and miss out on a great giveaway.  You can also earn an entry by liking my Plant Proud Living Facebook page.

I  discovered that you do not actually have to leave a comment on Blogger to get an entry. Just click the "enter" button on the raffle copter below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Everything Minestrone
by Lindsay Nixon, The Happy Herbivore

1 small onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups sliced or chopped vegetables
Crushed red pepper (optional)
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
2 cups vegetable stock
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 15-ounce can white beans (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Line a large pot with a thin layer of water and sauté onion, garlic, and a pinch of crushed red pepper, if using, for a minute.

2. Add Italian seasoning and continue to cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add all remaining ingredients, including choice vegetables, except beans, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine.

3. Bring to a boil then cover, decrease heat to low, and let simmer until vegetables are tender, about
10–20 minutes.

4. Add beans, if using, cooked rice, or pasta (see Tips), and continue to cook until thoroughly warm.

5. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Tips:

Fire-roasted tomatoes are especially good here, and feel free to substitute leftover cooked pasta or rice for
the optional beans—or use all three!

I typically use carrots, zucchini, and yellow squash, but use whatever you have on hand.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Kidney Patient 101

I was very fortunate to have someone to talk to after I was diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD).  PKD is inherited so I was somewhat familiar with what it was and since my mom also had it, she knew a lot of the answers to the questions I had.

Even so, I often felt like I was flying by the seat of my pants.  I was overwhelmed with lack of insurance and I was also overwhelmed with insurance after I had it.  There were questions about medications and types of dialysis and diet and protein and blood tests...and the list went on and on.

Now I am on the other side of dialysis and transplant and sometimes I am still not short on questions.  It can be a difficult road to navigate but having a place to go to get answers will help tremendously.  No, I'm not claiming I have all the answers.  I have some of the answers but not all of them, but now I have a better answer to where to go and who to talk to and what to read to find those answers.

I am tentatively starting this new series on my blog, Kidney Patient 101, in hopes that it might be a help to someone out there.  You may not be a kidney patient yourself but a loved one is and  you just want to ask a question - please feel free.  Want to know what it's like being on dialysis, I can answer that - the typethat I was on, anyway.

So, if you have questions (kidney patient or not), please send them my way.  You can leave a comment below or click on the contact button at the top of this blog.  Don't be shy, ask away!