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Creamy Tomato Soup – The Vegan Way

A couple of weeks ago, I bought a box (two cartons) of almond milk.  I noticed a recipe for Creamy Tomato Soup on the box and peeled it off…

The recipe is available here.

It was so easy to prepare, and the aroma of fresh herbs made my home smell like those of good moms and wives…you know…the kind who actually cook dinner more than once a week.  🙂

I doubled the recipe so I would have lunch a few days this week.

Monday’s breakfast and lunch, prepped Sunday night. Go me!

My finished product didn’t look as red as the picture on the site, but the taste…oh my…so delicious and BETTER than the Campbells version I’d grown up eating but can no longer have because of my lactose-intolerance / vegan lifestyle.

I highly recommend this recipe.

I’d also recommend that if you’re looking for new recipes, check out Silk’s site (link was posted above).  I perused, quickly, and this site might just turn me into a cook after all.  🙂

Vegan Crock Pot Cooking

I’ve been doing more cooking lately…ever since I finished my ESOL Endorsement.

Specifically, I’ve been cooking a lot of vegan dishes in my crock pot.

Around Christmas, my friend, Christina, told me about a Kindle book that was being offered free of charge for a short time.

It was this book…

I’ve tried a few recipes from it, and oh word!  They have been delicious!

Spicy Tomato Lentils (needed more vegetable broth but delicious)

Spicy Tomato Lentils

White Bean Chili

Mexican Minestrone – Probably my favorite so far!

Refried Bean Bake – A short cooking time that was delicious with chips!!

Veggie Casserole – The spinach cooked down…yum!

Yesterday, I made Cajun Kidney Beans and Rice.  Oh my word!!!  This dish was packed with so much flavor!  It makes a lot, so I’ll be eating on it all week!

Cajun Kidney Beans and Rice

Cajun Kidney Beans and Rice

People always wonder what I eat since I don’t partake of any animal products.

As you can see, being vegan doesn’t mean you have to suffer for lack of flavorful dishes!

Like a Ninja

Last summer, when I began my adventure into vegan baking, I ran into a snafu.

I burned out the motor of my food processor…all while making some sort of peanut butter dessert.

I put this item on my Christmas list and, lo and behold, the in-laws gave me one!

Of course, they always go all out when they purchase gifts, for which I’m appreciative because their diligence ensures that the gifted items have five-star ratings and won’t tear up after one or two uses.

I was excited when I unwrapped the Ninja Kitchen System.

Here’s what it looked like when I unpacked it from the box…

Oh word, but look at all of those blades…BIG ones…and bowls (there’s a small one inside the larger one).

One of the things I had decided to do when the new year began was tighten up my eating habits.  Although I don’t eat too badly, I had begun to slip…eating more fries and things with sugar in them.  The roll that’s been growing around my middle is evidence of that, and having the poor body image that I do, I need to fix things.

The Ninja came with a small recipe book, so I decided to try my hand at one…Pineapple Banana Swirl…

I’ll admit that I am not a fan of smoothies.  I don’t like the texture of fruit mashed up, but this recipe wasn’t bad.  I’m going to stick to eating my fruit though.

I also made my black bean soup and had a lot of fun chopping up the onions, celery, and jalapeno peppers.

I’ve gotta say that this system is the BEST I’ve ever used, and though I don’t cook often, I have been married over twenty years and have used a lot of products.

If you’re in the market for a new blender/chopper system, you won’t go wrong with this!

I was not paid to write this.  I’m simply bragging about a positive experience with a product.  🙂

Chickpea Stew

A couple of days ago, the Mr’s mom sent me a recipe for Chickpea Stew.  It sounded good, so I didn’t waste any time mixing up a pot.

I substituted vegetable broth for the chicken broth that was originally in the recipe.

I’m posting the recipe below the picture.  Instead of plum tomatoes, I used one can of diced tomatoes.

The next time I make this, I will not add the parsley.  The cooking I’ve done this summer has taught me about spices and herbs, and I have a better idea of what I like and don’t like.  Parley tastes a bit like kale to me, so I think I’ll leave it off next time.

Other than that, this is a delicious recipe!  If you are serving more than four people, double the recipe.  It is very easy to prep for, and cook time is under thirty minutes.  It is a hearty stew that leaves bellies full and satisfied.

Enjoy!

CHICKPEA STEW 

2 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 t. dried thyme
1 C diced (1/4″) red onion
1 t. honey
2 T. finely minced garlic
1 t. fresh lemon juice
1 t. ground cumin
1 can (14 oz) chicken broth
2 cans (15 oz each) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1 can (14 oz) plum tomatoes, chopped, with juice
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 C. chopped flat-leaf parsley

Place olive oil in heavy saucepan over medium-low heat.  Add onion, stirring occasionally until wilted, about 12 minutes.  Add garlic during the last 2 minutes.  Stir in cumin and cook 2 minutes more to mellow the flavors.

Add chickpeas, tomatoes with juices, thyme, honey, lemon juice, broth, salt & pepper.  Bring to a boil, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface.  Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes.  Adjust seasonings and stir in the parsley.

Serves 4.

This is What I Get for Cooking

Shortly before Chicky returned to school, I began cooking again.  In my desire to obtain some sort of balance between home and work, I am determined to do my guys right and provide meals for them on a regular basis.

I am on a roll, I am happy to say, and have cooked more than two meals in a week.

Go me!

Thankfully, Chicky has a “Nom Nom” Pinterest board, and I’ve done a bit of stalking.

Well, actually I stalk her all over the internet, but, as any loving, caring mother will admit, that’s just what we do.

Anyhoo…

I found a recipe for Firecracker Chicken, and after seeing that I had all of the ingredients except for the hot sauce, I decided to give it a try.  The Mr. picked up the sauce on the way home from work, and I was all set.

It is a fairly simple dish to prepare, but it does take a bit of time to bake, so it’s not something you can whip up at the last minute.

First, I browned the chicken.

This is where I ran into a slight problem.

I don’t know what happened, but the oil in the pan popped more than it ever has when I’ve cooked before (I used to cook almost every night when the kiddos were younger).

I actually yelled out in pain as a couple of splashes of oil hit my arm and thumb.

I sucked it up, finished the dish, and when all was said and done, my guys RAVED about it.

In fact, Rooster ate this chicken for leftovers several meals in a row…without even warming it up.

Because the recipe calls for hot sauce and brown sugar, it’s a blend between spicy and sweet.

I think that the next time I make it, I’ll cover my arms with something so that I am not tortured with blisters like the ones you see in the following pictures (they are filled with water, which you can’t see but is there nonetheless)…

Day 1 of Two Days of Cooking Dinner

I surprised my family this past week by cooking two nights in a row.

No, hell hath not frozen over, for those of you who lean towards being sarcastic.

😛

Wednesday night, I knew I wanted to make chicken fingers.  The Mr. and Rooster absolutely love them; this is the only dish they will eat left over.

I hopped over to Google to find some sort of different batter and found the Pioneer Woman’s recipe for Homemade Chicken Strips.

Because I’m a huge fan of The Food Network, I’ve noticed that most people soak their chicken in buttermilk before applying the breading and frying.

The Mr. is lactose-intolerant, so this has never been a viable option for me.

Because I’ve been doing so much vegan baking, however, I’ve learned that I can create “vegan” buttermilk by mixing a small amount of apple cider vinegar with soy milk and set it aside to curdle.

So, this is what I did and then followed the Pioneer Woman’s instructions carefully.

Here was the result of my efforts…

Look at that breading!!  Pretty, isn’t it?

To accompany the chicken, I made Roasted Red Potatoes with Rosemary.  I had a bag of potatoes that was a day or two from having to be thrown out.  They weren’t red, but I said what the heck.  I also didn’t have fresh rosemary, so I used dry herbs.  What a super easy side dish to make!!!  They turned out crispy, and the taste was the perfect blend of garlic and herbs.  Yum!

Dinner probably took about an hour to put together.  This is one I will definitely duplicate during the school year when time is at a premium!

 

Tofu Scramble – Undistinguishable from Non-Vegan Food

While perusing Chicky’s cooking board on Pinterest, I came across a site that has a number of links to vegan-friendly dishes.

I was drawn to the Tofu Scramble recipe because I had tofu in the refrigerator, and I knew I needed to cook it.

I added quite a few veggies…mushrooms, a sliced onion, basil (my new favorite herb), garlic, green pepper, and fresh tomato chunks.

Tumeric is the spice that gives this dish its yellow color.  I’d never owned tumeric before beginning my odyssey into cupcake baking.

I grew excited as I was cooking this dish.  It resembled scrambled eggs, which I haven’t eaten in ages.

The taste was quite flavorful, with all of the veggies playing a role in the chorus that sang in my mouth.

From the looks of it, the link provided when you click on Tofu Scramble (above) contains many recipes that look both do-able and delicious.

As always, I’ll keep you posted when I try something new!

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