Archive for the 'vegan' Category

Rice and Vegetable Bowls with Vegan Curry Sauce

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I used to make meal plans every single week.  Now, it’s been months since I made one and I honestly don’t think our spending on groceries has really changed at all.  Instead, I think the “just wing it” approach has actually helped minimize food waste because I’ve gotten a lot better at throwing together odds and ends than trying to make everything fit with a recipe that I planned in advance.

One of the biggest things that has helped with being able to put together last minute meals like this one is keeping the pantry well-stocked.  We take our big (quart and half gallon) mason jars to the store, get them tared, and fill them with things like brown rice, almonds, walnuts, cashews, black beans, a few different kinds of lentils, and various whole grains (currently working through amaranth, farro, and buckwheat groats).

A well-stocked pantry combined with our weekly CSA delivery and occasional trips to the farmers market give us plenty of options for our favorite types of food: huge salads, soups full of vegetables, and big bowls of grains with vegetables and sauce.  I’m always trying to figure out new sauces to make, and I know cashews make an awesome vegan stand-in for cream when you add liquid and blend them in a Vitamix.  This sauce just takes a couple of minutes to make, and it goes perfectly over stir-fried vegetables and brown rice (or other grains).

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Vegan French Toast

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Why can’t all weekends be three day weekends?  This one included ALL the things I want in a weekend: friends, trail running, great food, tons of family time, a new water sport, and a BIG race added to the agenda.

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This is the hummus wrap from Cafe Del Soul in Mill Valley. Why can’t they open in the East Bay?! It shares a parking lot with San Francisco Running Company, so it was the perfect stop after the race.

Some members of my tri club belong to a private lake that’s just over a mile from our house, and they had a barbecue and swim on Sunday night. I put on the wetsuit for the first time since Wildflower, and swam a mile. Then I decided to try stand up paddle boarding. It was fun, but I’m pretty sure I’d fall immediately if I tried it in the ocean.
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On Monday night, Mike and I sat down to schedule our future races, and I somehow ended up on the Ironman website. Then I somehow ended up looking at Ironman Texas, and next thing I knew, I was registered.

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I knew 2014 was going to be the year of my first Ironman, and I had been pretty certain I was going to sign up for Wisconsin.  But seeing this in May, and the fact that registration was already open and just BECKONING me to sign up, I went for it.  It’s going to be ungodly hot and humid but I’m really excited!

French toast is one of the weekend breakfast staples around here.  But now that Mike’s vegan, and I’m in the middle of a little vegan experiment (again…hoping to last more than two days this time), we needed a way to figure out how to make it without eggs.

Ellie still gets the real thing, but this weekend I tried coconut milk, and it worked really well.  I think the key is to oil the pan well, and let it cook until it starts to brown (otherwise it will just be mushy bread).  I definitely recommend using hearty bread, not regular grocery store sandwich bread.  I used homemade whole wheat that was a couple of days old.

I don’t have a specific recipe, but more just an idea of what to do: mix about 2/3 cup full-fat coconut milk with 1 tsp vanilla and a nice big pinch of cinnamon.  Heat about a tablespoon of grapeseed oil (or other neutral oil) until a drop of water sizzles. Dip the bread in the coconut milk and cook for a few minutes on each side, until nice and brown. Top with whatever you want… I used mashed banana and it was delicious.

 

Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Rice and Beans

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Recovery from Wildflower is going really well.  I ended up taking 3 complete rest days, and then somehow found myself committing to a marathon that’s 5 weeks away.

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My sister’s last race marathon was in San Francisco two years ago, and she wants to get revenge on the course (it was a rough day).  “Hmmm maybe” turned into “registration confirmed” within 24 hours, and the best part is that my dad is doing it too!

I’m planning on running 16 or 17 miles this Saturday, I have a trail half marathon next weekend, and I’ll do a 20-miler the week after that.  It will definitely not be my best marathon, but I think it will be fun (which is kinda weird, since just a few weeks ago I was fairly certain it would be years before I signed up for another one).

We started getting a CSA box last week, and our first two deliveries have been awesome.  There was some zucchini this week, and although I usually hate it raw, it’s fine if it’s shaved into ribbons.  I usually keep some kind of cooked grain in the fridge, and this week it was brown rice, so I just tossed that with some black beans, green onion, cilantro, lemon juice, and sunflower seeds for a quick, healthy dinner.

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Tomato Vegetable Soup with Wheat Berries

Sunday was pretty much the best non-racing race day ever.  There was a practice race on the Dipsea trail up in Marin county, and Mike talked my dad into running it with him.  The trail is only 6.8 miles long, but it climbs over 1600 feet total, and involves a whole bunch of stairs.

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After they took off I spent about 20 minutes exclaiming to my mom about how beautiful Mill Valley is, and that if I win the lottery the very first thing I’m doing is buying a house there.

Then we went and found a snack.

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This was at Mill Valley Beerworks, and I plan on going back as soon as possible for dinner and beer.  After a scone and tea, we drove over to Stinson Beach to wait for the finish.   It was completely gorgeous, and reminded me it’s been way too long since we spent time at the beach.

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It’s topped 90 degrees the last few days, but I couldn’t not share this soup we had for dinner on Friday.  It was one of those typical “I have no idea what to make for dinner but it’s already 3 so I better figure something out NOW” afternoons when I came across this post, and it was just as good as I was anticipating.

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I used wheat berries instead of barley, because I some already cooked and sitting in the fridge, and I gave the bowl a generous sprinkling of fresh basil.  I don’t care how hot it is, I’ll be making this soup again soon!

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(adapted from In Praise of Leftovers)

 

3 Ingredient Vegan Ice Cream

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One week to go.  Still totally excited.

I went to my usual Saturday morning group ride this morning and chatted with a guy who did the long course at Wildflower last year.  I asked (like I ask everyone who has done that race) how bad Nasty Grade is.  Like a few others, he said if I can ride up Diablo, I will be totally fine. Thank god I checked that off the list last weekend.

My total workout this morning was a 1:50 ride (31 miles) and s 20 minute run (2.4 miles).  6 months ago that would have felt like a real workout, but today I feel like I’be barely done anything.  I tested out my new race shorts and they were awesome for the bike and run.  I’m feeling ready to go!

I’ve been sort of wading into veganism, just testing the waters.  We haven’t had cheese in the house in quite awhile and I honestly don’t miss it.  I think Ellie does, but she gets plenty of it at daycare, so she’ll live (and I’m sure we’ll be buying it for her again one of these days).  I was doing great all week, but then a sixth grader brought me a cupcake yesterday (funfetti!) and I was halfway through it before I realized that I was sort of unofficially trying to avoid milk/dairy products.  Oops.

I made this for dessert last night and it kind of reminds me of a Wendy’s Frosty (although I haven’t had one in almost 2 years so I could be way off).   I used carob because it’s slightly sweet on its own, but if you’d rather use cocoa powder, I’d recommend using a few extra dates to sweeten it.  It’s super rich and creamy, but doesn’t have an overwhelming coconut flavor.  It’s also kind of dangerous because I pretty much always have all three ingredients in my pantry!

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Simple Curry Red Lentil Soup

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I’ve made a bunch of red lentil soups before, but this is the simplest, and we all really love it (espeically Ellie).  It’s almost as comforting as a bowl of mac and cheese (or maybe I’ve been eating hippie food for too long…) and easy to throw together.

Life lately has been full, but so much fun.  Saturday I did my first ever double brick with Page.  Of course we documented the event with awkward photos in the parking lot afterwards.

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I never thought I would find 30 miles of cycling + 30 minutes of running + 20 miles of cycling + 20 minutes of running fun, but this absolutely was.

Sunday we went on a family date to Peet’s.  Ellie is a huge fan of people watching (and dog watching) so it was totally perfect for her.

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Ellie turned 18 months old last week and is of course growing up way too fast.  She’s recently become obsessed with a makeup brush.  I probably shouldn’t have let this happen.

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So… how about that soup?

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Wheat-Free Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

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Saturday was supposed to be a fun ride with two friends, followed by my first brick of this training cycle, followed by a fun day with Mike and Ellie.  Instead, I got sick.  It could have been MUCH worse, but the achiness, upset stomach, and horrible headache kept me in bed most of the day.  So much for my big training weekend.

Fortunately I rebounded a little bit yesterday, at least enough to go to the farmers market and do some yoga.  I forgot how satisfying yoga can be…maybe I should make an effort to do it more than once a month.

I am still nursing myself back to health with the help of this tea, so kindly sent to me by Traditional Medicinals.  I drank a TON of their Mother’s Milk tea while I was breastfeeding, and then completely fell off the tea bandwagon for a few months.  Now that I’m not drinking coffee for the month of February, I really appreciate tea!

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Since it seems like pretty much everyone I know is or has been sick the past couple weeks, you could probably use some of this tea yourself. (The FDA reminds you this product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease).  Just leave a comment, and I’ll pick a random winner on Wednesday at 8 PM PST). Congratulations, Kate, you won!

You know what’s almost as comforting as tea?  COOKIES. These use almond meal instead of refined flour, and coconut butter instead of real butter, and I think they’re pretty fantastic (and so does Ellie, because she’s allowed to sample some of the dough with no risk of salmonella).

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(adapted from The Sprouted Kitchen)

Kale, Pinto and Mushroom Tacos with Guajillo Salsa

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This three day weekend was awesome.  Except for the test I took on Saturday morning, the whole weekend was fun: coffee, walks around town, a great swim, and the ZOO!  We finally took Ellie to the Oakland zoo and she loved it.  Especially the petting area.

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The squirrel monkeys were also a big hit.  We liked it so much we became members, and I have a feeling we’ll be spending a LOT of time there over the next year.

Afterwards, since we were in Oakland anyway, we went to Subrosa.  Not quite as good as the coffee in SF, but close!  Ellie and Mike had a heart to heart over lattes (or water, in Ellie’s case) in the parklet.

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Going back to work on Tuesday was surprisingly not painful. I’ve gotten way better about leaving work at work, and planning farther in advance (three years of teaching and I think I might FINALLY be starting to figure some of this stuff out) so after not thinking about school for three days it was fun to get back to the kids.

Not sure how to segue from that to tacos, so here we go: These are sort of similar to some other kale and guajillo tacos I made, but I think these are a lot better.   They’re more filling, and they’re really cheap to make, especially if you have dried beans lying around.  I used collards instead of tortillas just because they needed to be used up, and NO I will never go paleo or low carb or any of that, swearsies.  I ate PLENTY of carbs for dessert right afterwards anyway.

I think the best thing about these is the beans.  They’re braised in broth with sauteed onions, so they’re full of flavor. Canned beans just wouldn’t be the same.  It takes some planning ahead, but it’s definitely worth it.

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(salsa adapted from Hungry Cravings)

Jackfruit Carnitas Tacos

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I was all ready to do a “Best 0f 2012” post, but then I went back through my archives and realized I didn’t make very much at all this year, and THEN I looked at one or two of those types of posts in Google reader, marked all as read, and decided it wasn’t worth the time.  But just in case anyone cares, the number one post this year (thank you, Pinterest!) is these caramel pretzel brownies.

Mike went back to work today after a whole week off and it bummed me out a little bit, but on the plus side, I think I’m now ready (or almost ready) to go back to work too.  It’s been a really productive break around here: tons of good workouts, made a batch of sauerkraut,

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(I discovered it takes an ETERNITY to thinly slice four heads of cabbage and that by day three it smells incredibly gross), made a batch of kimchi, did some purging of crap and re-organizing around the house, and of course had a ton of fun with Ellie and Mike.

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She is getting so much personality, and I love it.  Her current fixations include cheese, shoes/boots, board books, sweeping our front porch, and blocks.

It’s not often I miss eating meat, but I always loved carnitas and when I saw this recipe (using canned jackfruit…so random!), I was thrilled.  The  texture isn’t exactly the same, obviously, but the flavor is spot on.  I think simmering in pineapple juice is the key.  I didn’t follow the recipe exactly (I don’t have liquid smoke and didn’t feel like putting in bay leaves) and by the time they were ready I was so stoked to try them that I skipped the sauteeing step that caramelizes them.  They were still completely awesome.  Spicy, sweet, smoky, and perfect in tacos with some cilantro, pickled red onion, and avocado.  Ellie liked them too!

Note on canned jackfruit: I found some at an Asian grocery store in San Francisco.  Make sure it’s in brine, not syrup! I used Chaokoh brand, which comes in green cans that are 20 oz (the label says “20 oz, 10 oz drained”). You could also order it from Amazon.

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(from Vegan Eats World)

Coconut-marinated Kale Salad

I ate a LOT of sugar over Christmas.  It was honestly kind of gross.  But today’s a new day, ripe with possibility and marinated kale.

This is not a kick-start-your-2013 weight loss recipe, because it’s not low fat in any way (hello almond butter AND coconut milk), but it’s a great change of pace after ingesting far too many cookies the past couple days.  The list of ingredients might look a little random, but it blends up to a balanced, creamy, piquant sauce.

Speaking of Christmas, I hope yours was great!  I woke up, ran 4 miles, then spent the day relaxing with family and cooking.  Unfortunately I got sick right afterwards so my grand plans of ramping up my training like crazy over this break didn’t really work out. Womp womp.

Ellie got a chair that she’s obsessed with, and definitely got pretty into the whole unwrapping idea.

I got this cookbook and I cannot wait to cook pretty much everything in it!

This salad isn’t from this book, but it’s from another vegan favorite.  You could add all sorts of stuff to this – carrots, cherry tomatoes, sauteed tofu, chopped nuts…

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(adapted from I am Grateful)



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