Monday, December 31, 2012

Guest Post: Vegan Lentil Chili

Do you remember my friend, Ben, who made the delicious veggie quesadilla a few weeks ago? He's back with a cozy vegan chili recipe for us!
It is the holidays, which means it is chilly outside and what better way to combat the cold than with some delicious, hearty chili. Now that I got the obligatory “chilly/chili” joke out of the way I can say that this recipe really was a true delight. I wanted something new and was lucky to stumble across this recipe online. I should note that their recipe calls for quinoa and I am using French lentils because I thought I had some at home and did not feel like returning to the grocery store. Lentils proved to be an excellent substitution. I will be trying it with quinoa in the near future to compare. The recipe you read below is pretty much straight from their website. I just made adjustments to mirror my cooking style.

This does produce a lot of chili, but the great part is that it freezes well. So if you are having a get-together, this will certainly satisfy the masses and be a crowd pleaser. I was able to serve 2 others and still have a plethora leftover, which I divided up into small plastic bowls and put into the freezer. Again, I was blown away. Growing up with one of the best chilis (my dad’s) out there, it was hard to believe that another recipe could be as delectable. 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Creamy Ricotta Pasta

This pasta dish is very creamy without being too high in calories. It's really easy to throw together and you can toss in whatever veggies you have on hand. It is served warm, so it is perfect for these winter months. Here is the original recipe. This recipe serves two to three.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Guest Post: Vegan Vanilla Almond Sandies

Please welcome Tiffany for my next guest post! She made these awesome vegan sandies for the holidays. Thanks, Tiffany, for the contribution! Remember, if you also want to guest post, please don't hesitate to contact me.

I don’t know about you guys, but this time of year I get the baking-bug. I rarely bake any other time of year, but with all the gatherings and celebrations these days I feel like I’m a baking machine! If you haven’t caught the baking-bug, you should force yourself to make these anyways, I promise you won’t regret it.

Now, I’ve cooked many a vegan recipe but never have I attempted to BAKE a vegan recipe. So anyone who equates ‘vegan’ with ‘super-complicated-and-probably-includes-ingredients-I-can’t-find-or-afford’, don’t. These are simple, and depending on how well stocked your kitchen is, you may have all of these ingredients on hand anyways. Another plus for vegan baking? You can eat all the cookie dough you want without fear of salmonella poisoning!!

To be honest, this is the second time I’ve made these cookies in the past few weeks. The first time was successful, but I learned a few things. So now, you guys get the super deluxe version of the recipe…make sure to read the tips/notes before you begin! This makes about 20 cookies and here's the original recipe, in case you're wondering.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Homemade "Cream of" Soup

There are a lot of great recipes out there that call for "cream of" soups. Unfortunately, the canned "cream of" soups (usually Campbell's, or something comparable) are not so healthy, have a lot of preservatives & sodium and don't have an authentic taste. I always thought it'd be really difficult to create homemade "cream of" soup, but it's actually not at all. There this really awesome website that helps you make "cream of" soups in any way that you'd like (vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, organic, low-fat, and traditional). I made a vegetarian cream of potato for my hash brown casserole and it was great. This recipe makes about 1 1/2 cups. You can use it right away, freeze it, or keep in the fridge for up to four days.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Guest Post: Veggie Quesadilla with Baja Sauce

Here's another guest post, this time from the wonderful Ben! There is more information about Ben at the end of this post. Thanks so much for sending this recipe in, Ben. I hope you all enjoy!
Quesadillas are my comfort food. I love that there are so many possibilities and you can cater to a wide variety of cravings. Having the quesadilla in my corner is very comforting since I can often use extra ingredients from previous recipes. Using as much of the vegetables in the refrigerator's crisper before it spoils for as many meals as possible is both exciting and frugal. So once a week, I can usually clean out my crisper and have a delicious meal in the process.

For this week, I had several bell peppers, an onion, a handful of mushrooms, and some cheese, all of it leftover from a pizza I made. I also had some leftover corn and rice from a meal the other day so I reheated that for a side. The ingredients below made two large quesadillas. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole

It's both finals week and holiday party season. Casseroles are, in general, perfect dishes for busy weeks because cooking them doesn't require constant attention, they're filling, and you'll have tons of leftovers! Since they're also great for holiday parties, I figured I'd bring this one to share at work. This hash brown casserole tastes just like the dish at Cracker Barrel (meaning that it is both amazingly delicious & probably not-so-healthy). I actually made this the night before the party & heated it up in the morning.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Cranberry Brie Grilled Cheese

I'm a huge fan of grilled cheese and am always looking for new ways to try it. I saw this recipe online & couldn't resist. These sandwiches were made for cozy winter nights. This recipe makes two grilled cheese sandwiches.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Spaghetti Squash topped with Maple-Glazed Tofu

After my last spaghetti squash recipe went so well, I definitely had to do it again. This time, I decided to search for a different topping and found maple-glazed tofu. Magical. Also, if you sub the butter for vegan butter, it is a completely vegan meal. This recipe makes about three to four servings (depending on the size of the squash).

Monday, December 3, 2012

Circus Animal Cookie Truffles

I saw this recipe on Pinterest and was immediately interested because of my childhood love of these sugary cookies. I brought these to a friend's event & people really seemed to like them. This recipe makes 30 truffles.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Guest Post: Kale, Mushroom & Sage Risotto

Hey all, here is the first post from a guest blogger. Everyone welcome MV Banks! If you're interested in learning more about her, see her bio at the end of the post.
When I went gluten-free by doctor’s orders about a year ago, risotto was there for me when all other tasty carbs abandoned me.  Risotto is a time-intensive, but worthwhile dish, that has no gluten whatsoever, but still allows me that familiar Italian style that I find myself craving without pizza and pasta in my life. I love it because it allows me an excuse to hover over a warm stove when I refuse to turn the heat up in my apartment.  I love it because I can throw questionably turning vegetables in and no one is the wiser.  

I’ve had some kale from the market in my fridge for a while now that was becoming a little undesirable. I figured I’d
sautée what was salvageable and throw it into a risotto of some sort.  Due to the regularity with which I make risotto, I can’t say I took this from any particular recipe.  At this point, I essentially have the necessary ratios memorized and throw in whatever suits my fancy on that particular day. Today, my fancy included kale, mushrooms and sage.