Tuesday, January 17, 2012

This week's Gluten Free Vegan Meal Plan

Now that the weather is getting cooler here in Florida, I've been in the mood for some hearty stews and veg curries.  So here's what I have planned for this week!

Bob's Red Mill GF Steel Cut Oats with cinnamon, walnuts, shredded coconut and almond milk
Chia Breakfast Porridge
Organic Pomegranates, Bananas and Apples (served as a fruit salad)

Leftovers from all the dinner recipes below and

Organic greens salad mix with SprouTofu, organic tomatoes, sprouts, cucumbers, carrots
with homemade dressings from the book "Unprocessed". (recipes to be featured soon!)

I bought a bunch of organic brown basmati rice on sale this week, so all dinners from the Chana to the Korma will be served with brown rice.

Quinoa, White Bean and Kale Stew
Baked Potato and Greens Soup
Chana Masala
Black Bean chili (Couldn't find any links to other blogs featuring this one so I will post it when I make it!)
Masoor Dal
Cashew Vegetable Korma

Cherry Kale Banana Green Smoothies, Hammer Nutrition Bars, Cedar's Hummus with veggies

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Worst Thing We Ate Last Week And Then Came Monday Scones

So we did really good last week on our clean eating meal plan up until...Saturday.  A friend of mine gave me a bunch of Poblano Peppers from her garden that were slightly damaged from the recent freeze, so they needed to be consumed pronto. 

Well, the only recipe I could come up with without running to the store for more than one ingredient was a Stuffed Poblano Pepper recipe that was a remake my sister-in-law came up with from a Bobby Flay Throw Down show.  The one ingredient I needed was vegan cream cheese for that orange sauce you see above :)  I only used 1/3 of a cup.  I guess I could have tried using cashew cream and just blending it with the roasted red bell peppers, however that just came to me as I was typing. 

The peppers were all roasted in Spectrum Organic Coconut Oil spray at 365 degrees.  It takes longer to roast them but then they don't get charred. I shouldn't even have that oil in my house but it was left over from the holidays, darn it.  Anyhow, that was the worst thing we ate *last week*.

The complaint at the end of last week was that everyone was sick of potatoes. So, this week we are eating SprouTofu with our salads. Not because of the complaining, but because I ordered it last month from my friend's organic food buying club and totally forgot about it until she called me on Thursday and asked me to come pick up my two cases of tofu! TWO cases?! What was I thinking?

Well there were only 8 packs in a case thank god, but the expiration date is for the second week of February. I could freeze a pack and see how it freezes I guess, but I think it's okay for us to eat this tofu in place of the potatoes, though it is higher in sodium than I would like it to be. Anika just started 12 hours a week of team gymnastics training so I think having the extra protein from the tofu is a good thing.  And here it is, in case you want to try it....

So then Monday morning comes and Anika has been looking through Veganomicon over the weekend and sees the Pumpkin Cranberry Scones recipe that she must absolutely make since we have a can of organic pumpkin and a bag of raw cranberries leftover from the holidays.  I caved in and let her make them.  Well I helped of course but I decided not to eat one, at least not on Monday.  Monday is the day that sets the tone for the week and if I start out with something like scones, I start to feel like I'm back in holiday mode again and there's a good chance I will eat them every day for the rest of the week. If I do that then I can't call it a "clean eating week" anymore :)  
They turned out really nice even though I had doubts from the dough being really guey.  And they are healthier than your normal scone recipe.  Ground flax seeds were used to substitute oil and there was a small amount of Earth Balance required.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Getting Back on Track...Our Meal Plan for the week!

Like I mentioned on my last post, we have not had the healthiest holiday.  While I cooked all of the food, the problem was that I used oil for many of the recipes and we were mostly eating cooked food.  Oh yeah, and we ate lots of desserts!   All of this created a 7 pound weight gain for me.  The first clue was my pants feeling tighter and then my kids wanted me and my husband to weigh ourselves on the grocery store scale.  We ALL gained weight, it wasn't just me.  Yeah, it's time to clean up the meal plan!

Rolled Oats or Steel Cut Oats with dried fruit and nuts
Fresh pressed juice, mostly carrots and arugula.

Salad greens from our garden, shredded carrots and beets, chickpeas, cucumbers
and boiled organic fingerling potatoes with fresh salsa...yes Every Day!!

Soup, soup, soup!  All recipes are from Appetite for Reduction.
Broccoli Soup, Arabian Lentil and Rice soup, Tortilla Soup, Cauliflower Pesto Soup, Manhattan Glam Chowder, Yam & Black Bean Soup.

Fresh Fruit or Veggies with low fat "Shiny Happy Hummus".


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Welcome to 2012!

We welcomed 2012 this morning with Cranberry and Vegan Ricotta crepes!  Sorry to let my Gluten Free Vegan followers down :(   Holidays are my time to break the rules and for some reason I feel like we were way more indulgent than we normally are over the holidays.  I remember saying while making Christmas dinner that I couldn't wait for the holidays be be over so I could fast!  I'm certain it was because we have been eating too much cooked food and not enough raw.  Anyhow, this was our last "Hurrah" for indulgent vegan food.  Tomorrow we get back on track :)

The recipe for this was really simple and I took some shortcuts to make it even simpler!  First of all, no one should be intimidated with the idea of making crepes.  They are easy to make!  You just need to follow two simple rules. 

1. You need a very hot non-stick pan and you need to coat it well with oil. 
2. Make the batter in a blender and then put the entire blender container in the freezer to make the batter really cold before you use it.  But not too long in the freezer, only 10-15 minutes.

Cranberry Sauce
1- 12oz bag of raw cranberries
1 cup water
1/2-3/4 cup organic sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)

Boil the water and sugar and put the washed cranberries into the pot.  Bring back up to a boil and stir waiting for the cranberries to pop and become soft.  Takes 10-15 minutes.  I gave this task to my oldest while I made the ricotta and the batter :)

Cashew Ricotta (slightly modified version from Isa Moscowitz's "Veganomicon")
1 container of firm Organic Tofu
1/2 cup raw cashews
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp Agave nectar

Toss the cashews, lemon juice and agave in the blender and then toss the tofu in and blend until smooth.

Whole Wheat Crepes (From Isa Moskowitz's book, "Vegan Brunch")
1 cup almond milk
1 cup water
1 1/2 Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
2 tbsp Tapioca Flour
1 tsp salt (I omitted this)
2 tbsp vegetable oil (I used only one)
2 tbsp agave nectar or maple syrup

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend. Blend for 30 seconds, scraping the sides of the blender once, until everything is smooth. The batter will be very thin. Refrigerate batter for one hour. (That's where I cheated and stuck it in the freezer!)

Preheat a crepe pan or large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. The pan is ready when a few drops of water flicked onto it sizzle. Lightly spray the pay with oil.

Ladle about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of batter (use the bigger amount for the bigger pan) in the center of the pan. Lift the pan off the burner and tilt in a circular motion so that the batter spreads in a thin layer across the bottom.

Cook until the top of the crepe is dry, the center is bubbling, and the edges are lightly browned and crinkly and are pulling away from the sides of the pan, usually 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Gently run a spatuala under the crepe to loosen, then carefully flip and cook on the other side for 30 seconds. Slide the crepe onto a dinner plate. Repeat with the remaining crepes.

Looking back on 2011- Our Top 5 "Great Things" for the year

Qutub Minar in Delhi, India
Looking back on 2011, some great things happened this past year for our family! 

1. We had lots of great travel.  Trips to San Diego, CA,  Helsinki, Finland,  and northern India.
2. My husband switched jobs and that was one of the reasons we got to travel.  Initially I was concerned with him working long hours and me not getting a break from being with the kids during weekdays, but having several trips during the year made up for it :)
3. We enjoyed lots of great food on our travels and I made time to experiement more with gluten free vegan recipes, many of which I featured on my blog.
4. We saved almost $2,000 on our grocery and eating out expense for the year through gardening and couponing.
5. Our oldest daughter made the Level 4 gymnastics team at her gym and will start training and competing in 2012 and our youngest has discovered that she loves ballet classes.

So that's our top five!  What about your family?  What was the best thing that happened for yours this past year?