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Monthly Archives: July 2012

I am not a person who likes to plan.  I like to look at what I have in my kitchen, do some research, see what others have done, and create something original.  Unfortunately, that just isn’t practical for everyday, so I decided to give the Happy Herbivore meal plan a try this week (and managed to get my mom to do this with me!).  The meal plans can be purchased here, they are $5 for a week’s worth of meal planning, and they have everything you need to get started: a shopping list, a calendar, the recipes, and lists of ingredient substitutions if there is something you don’t like.  Here’s what we thought:

Pros:

  • VARIETY: We loved the variety of foods we ate.  This was number one for me.  As you can see in the pictures below, we ate the rainbow all week!
  • EASY: so easy to make, no complicated/fancy skills required
  • FAST:  these recipes are not time-consuming.  Because we washed and chopped most of our veggies right after purchasing them, the recipes never involved more than 15 minutes of prep. time!
  • FILLING: they left us full and satisfied, never thinking about the next meal!
  • LOW CAL: my mom and I both feel so much lighter after this week.

Cons:

  • One day all three meals had quinoa in it… however, in the intro. to the meal plan, she did say that you can swap meals, as all the lunches and dinners are 400 calories and the breakfasts are 300 calories.  So there is freedom to swap things around, which we did!

Here are all the meals we had this past week!  We did not take pictures of any our snacks, but those are part of the meal plan as well.

Day 1:

Apple Jack Smoothie w/ grapefruit… also, 1/2 an orange not pictured. The smoothie really tastes like Apple Jacks!

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

Mexican Stuffed Potato: I made this at my boyfriend’s place and forgot to bring guacamole and salsa, so I just used “food for lovers” vegan queso instead.

Day 2:

Banana Bread Oatmeal

Tropical Taco Salad

Teriyaki Noodles: this was a warm pasta dish made with teriyaki sauce and cantaloupe. Unusual, but somehow we thought it worked!

Day 3:

PB Cup Quinoa w/ Plum… yum!!!

Sweet Potato Quinoa Pilaf: with raisins and greens, this was yummy.

Caribbean Bean Bowl: sans beans and quinoa b/c we served it with the mushroom dish in my last post

Day 4:

Oatmeal Cookie smoothie: another smoothie totally delivers on its name

Island Quinoa Bowl

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Enchiladas

Day 5:

Cherry Vanilla Oatmeal: we both LOVED this!

Tropical Teriyaki Salad

Smashed White Bean & Avo Club

Day 6:

1-minute French Toast and cantaloupe

Black Bean & Corn Tacos: on some of our recipes we had so much filling we had to add another tortilla to hold it all!

Pasta Fagioli without the beans

Day 7:

Breakfast Potato Tacos

Veggie Club with Carrots and Cucumbers

Thai Peanut Bowl

Now on to week two!

So I have not posted any recipes this week because I am following a Happy Herbivore meal plan (getmealplans.com) that I will post about this weekend.  Seriously check it out… If you are having a busy week and you want to eat healthy and delicious food without putting in crazy hours of prep, then these meal plans are for you.

Tonight I met up with some family at my parent’s place and so we made my dad’s yummy mushrooms and brown rice…

This is one those “I can’t believe it’s that simple!” recipes.  When I first tried it, I could not believe the mushrooms were only cooked with two ingredients.  Crazy good… just try it.

Cook rice according to package directions.

Add mushrooms to a large saucepan over high heat.  Stir mushrooms till they release some of their moisture and start to cook down (you do not need to add water or oil to the pan).

Add soy sauce and garlic.  Bring to a boil and turn down heat to medium till mushrooms are cooked, about 5 minutes.

Serve mushrooms over bowls of brown rice, and be sure to ladle in some of the sauce from the pan.

Serves 6.

If there is ever one place where I throw out all the rules of “oil-free” and “unrefined” and just worry about being vegan… it would be at Cornish Pasty. This place is amazing and always a treat.  And everyday they serve two vegan pasty options (just ask your server). Now I just need them to veganize their mushroom, spinach, and walnut soup.

What is a cornish pasty?  It’s basically just a british version of a hand-pie/calzone/empanada.  And I’ve been informed that the pronunciation is important, it’s like saying the word “past” with an “ee” sound at the end… If you pronounce it like the word “paste” you are talking about something else entirely.

When you order a pasty off the menu it has an egg wash… this vegan pasty is made without that!

This is the vegan vindaloo with potatoes and broccoli. If you love Indian food, you will want to eat this everyday! It’s served with a tahini sauce.

Cornish pasty has two locations, one in Tempe and one in Mesa, and I have found both to be great!


Phoenix has a vegetarian food truck!  I hear about these from LA blogs and get jealous, but now I don’t have to be anymore!

We went to “the uprooted kitchen” the last two Saturdays and have loved everything they’ve served… I just wish I remembered to take more pictures of the food!  Currently they only show up at the Gilbert Farmers’ Market on Saturdays from 7-11 AM, so go out and show your support so they can expand!

Their main breakfasts, all of which are very filling and nutritious, are $8 each.  They also serve baked goods for $3 and cookies for $2… and most, if not all, of the options are vegan.

>In the picture above, my salad is almost gone and my quesadillas are half finished… so you really do get a lot of food for $8.  I ordered this without the cheese, because I don’t like vegan cheese.

Here’s what we ordered:
breakfast cheese crisp (pictured above, half-eaten!) – whole wheat vegan tortilla filled with tempeh, butternut squash, baby kale, corn, and caramelized onions – served with a spring mix, sunflower shoot, and cantaloupe salad

chia summer oats – chilled baked oatmeal filled with dates, apples, and walnuts topped with almond milk and served with fresh organic fruit and a blackberry cashew scone.

My mom’s chilled baked oatmeal was amazing too!  It sort of made me think of muesli with this baked bar of oatmeal made cool and creamy from the almond milk.

website: theuprootedkitchen.com
facebook: facebook.com/theuprootedkitchen
twitter: twitter.com/uprootedkitchen

Eating these kind of reminds me of what it used to be like eating ribs… messy but delicious.

This was a delicious, smoky, and spicy alternative to plain corn on the cob.  I think the only thing I will do differently next time is to grill the corn.  From tips online, I gathered that you should first soak the corn in their husks for 30 minutes to several hours.  Then you can grill the corn, still in the husks (and wrapped with foil if you are worried about burning them), for about 20 minutes on the grill and they’re done.

Since we didn’t have the time, we just boiled them.

Chipotle Lime Corn on the Cob

(inspired by this recipe)

Shuck the cobs of corn and place in boiling water.  When the water comes back to a boil, wait a few minutes until the cobs are cooked and remove from the water.  Should take about 10 minutes.

Combine all other ingredients in a small bowl, mixing well.  Add enough lime juice so that the mixture is the consistency of a rub (thicker than a marinade, but not as thick as a paste).  Spread on corn… a little goes a long way (in the picture above I actually ended up removing some of the rub because it doesn’t need much to taste delicious).

I would rate the spice level of the rub somewhere between mild-medium.  If you like a kick that doesn’t kick you over, you will like this.

When I saw these videos a few weeks ago, I decided I needed to make this entire meal sooner than later…

Here are my results, everything was delicious!  I’m showing you mostly pictures up-front because I hardly changed anything.  You can find the “Smoky Chipotle No-Queso” recipe here.  For the rest, you can check out my map of the “It’s Nacho Business” meal here.

We found a couple of these “love mushrooms”… unfortunately we had to separate them. :/

Enchilada filling: mushrooms, red pepper, onions, and cumin. Everything is better with cumin

Queso, before blending.

Queso complete!

my full plate.

This recipe made 20 enchiladas (two 13×9 pans)

Papaya Salad and Nacho fixings. The salad dressing is at the top of my favorite salad dressings ever.

So about the same time I discovered Miyoko Schinner and her vegan buffalo mozzarella recipeWhole Foods had a sale on heirloom tomatoes… and you just can’t ignore a coincidence like that.

This mozzarella was simpler to make than I expected, and very delicious.  For me, It turned out a little softer than the dairy version, but my testers and I didn’t really care because it made for a perfect caprese salad either way.

Oh and Miyoko is coming out with a book called Artisan Vegan Cheese available for pre-order on amazon today, and it will be released on August 8th!  The recipes are rumored to take cultured vegan cheeses to the next level, and according to her blog, a majority of the recipes are made without oil!

Vegan Caprese Salad

Tomatoes: Buy heirloom tomatoes if you can!  As you can see in the pictures, they have a lot more meat to them and don’t fall apart when you slice them.

Balsamic Reduction: Buy some cheap balsamic vinegar, and pour a third to half the bottle in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat then simmer over medium-low heat till the vinegar is reduced by half and has a light syrupy consistency.  Let it sit in the fridge for 10-20 minutes and it will thicken up to a maple syrup consistency.

Basil: You can serve fresh basil leaves as shown above or do a chiffonade (click here for a step-by-step tutorial) and sprinkle on top.

Vegan Buffalo Mozzarella: Use this recipe from Miyoko Schinner.  You can also watch her demo it here.  Do not use the oil, and you might want to consider using some more agar flakes because my mozzarella could have been just a bit firmer.

I noticed that the closer you hold your ice cream scoop to the water, the more round the mozzarella balls turn out.