Thursday, August 19, 2010

Keeping up with some of my favorite people~

Dr. T. Colin Campbell, the author of The China Study, has a great website called the T. Colin Campbell Foundation full of a lot of great information. Another of my favorite websites, VegSource, had a great article by Dr. Campbell about diet. Thought you may want to check it out!

Oh Man, She has Soy Milk!

I found a new brand of soy milk in my local grocery yesterday. I picked some up and I can tell you it is the best I have ever tasted! It costs the same as the others, I think even cheaper, but it was DELICIOUS!

It is from 8th Continent. Please don't laugh at me if you have heard of it. I am stuck in Bumpkin Town and this is new here! So don't rain on my parade! Here is a link to their website, I highly recommend it!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

My Vegan BB-Q

I cook a lot. Der. Most of the time I cook for my family and close friends and we all LOVE to BB-Q. This time my family and I were at our house at the Lake of the Ozarks and we had one such meal. Check out some pictures, recipes to follow!

Black Bean Salsa

I love the flavors in this salsa. It seems everyone has. I have made it on several occasions now, to test it out, and it has disappeared really fast every time! If you like cilantro, this is a great recipe for you!

You will need:
~16 oz , cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
~8 oz, corn
~2/3 large, white onion, finely chopped
~1 cup coarsely chopped, fresh cilantro
~2 limes
~olive oil
~dried, ground, Chipolte seasoning
~large grained, sea salt
~red pepper flakes

Mix beans and corn in a bowl as soon as you rinse them in COLD water. Mix in onions and cilantro. Drizzle some olive oil over until lightly coated and then add seasoning to taste.

Before cutting into the limes, roll them on the counter with your palm with some pressure. This helps break up the capilaries inside and allows for more juice to be squeezed. Cut each lime in half through the center and grab a fork. Stick the tines into the meaty part of the lime and squeeze the outsde around the fork. A lot of juice will come out especially if you twist the lime around the fork. It is preferable for bits of lime to go into the salsa, but watch for seeds and bits of rind. I love lime, so I use all four halves, but sometimes the dish tastes fine with three, so keep tasting as you go along! Don' follow a recipe, you're the one who is going to be eating it!!! Enjoy with corn chips, pita chips, tortillas, fingers, forks, spoons, etc. Serve chilled, or let marinate over night for GREAT flavor!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My Sister's Birthday Feast!

The Recipes in this meal are the last three posts:

Roasted Potatoes and Vidalias with Garlic

Summer Vegetable Pastry

Apple Cider Vinegar Pasta Salad

Check out the individual recipes and let me know how you like them!

Soon I will be making a Tofu Quiche, Heath Oatmeal Cookies and my very fist Blueberry Pie! Check back soon!

Roasted Potaoes and Vidalia Onions with Garlic and Olive Oil

Is there anything better than roasted potatoes? YES, roasted potatoes with onions and garlic! This was the perfect side for my sister's birthday feast! Not only do they make my whole family happy they are a great source of vitamin C and flavor! These particular potatoes, my mother and I planted a few months ago and we are really happy with how they have turned out! So delicious.

You will need:
~ Potatoes, washed, cubed and partially steamed
~ Vidalia Onions, washed, peeled, large cubes
~ Fresh garlic cloves
~ s/p
~ Cumin
~ Olive Oil

Preheat the oven to 425d. and prepare the potatoes. Steam them so they are still a little hard, but steamed. Place on a baking sheet with edges and drizzle with oil, salt and cumin. I like to add a little chipotle seasoning, but I love the heat! Mix with fingers.
The onions will not take nearly as long so I use a different baking sheet for them. On the onions, I use the same technique by placing the onions on the sheet first then drizzling with oil and sprinkling salt and pepper. Then mixing with fingers carefully so as not to throw onions, the slippery suckers, out of the edges. I usually clear off a corer and place my garlic cloves after I peel and rinse them. I rub them in the oil, but don't add anything extra. They are a good marker for the onions as well. When they are nice and 'roasted' looking, the onions are done too!
The potatoes are done when a knife slides through them easily and they are browned. Pull them out every now and then to mix around and let other sides brown.

Pull the onions and garlic out. Place the onions in the serving bowl and grab a wide knife and the garlic. Put the cloves on a cutting board and 'smear' the garlic and chop them to make a garlic paste. When the potatoes are finished, mix with the onions and then mix in the garlic paste. SO GOOD!

The garlic paste process:

Summer Vegetable Pastry... thing

I have no idea where this came from, I just thought it would taste good. My family surprisingly agreed, which come to think, is really lucky on my part. I used it as the main dish of my sister's birthday dinner tonight... Without trying it first... Wheeeew!
I did, however, use everything but the pastry from my mother's garden! All legitimately organic and deliciously pesticide and growing agent free!

You will need:
~ 2 puffed pastry sheets, thawed
~ 2 cups Ricotta cheese
~ Olive oil handy
~ 1 small Summer squash, quartered and sliced
~ 1 medium zucchini, quartered and sliced
~ 7 Roma tomatoes, large cubes ( it doesn't really matter what type of tomatoes you use, I just had four million Romas, so I used them )
~ 1/3 cup fresh, chopped spinach
~ 3/4 cup finely chopped white onions
~3/4 cup thickly sliced white onions
~ 1 Tbl. (healthy Tbl., usually turns out to be 2 Tbls. for my taste),minced garlic
~ Sage
~ s/p
~ Oregano, must be fresh
~ (opt) red pepper flakes to taste

In this recipe I used a glass cooking dish and without greasing the bottom, just stretched one sheet of pastry to fit and set aside. In my nicely seasoned, iron skillet, I sauteed on low heat in some olive oil, the onions, summer squash and zukes. I added a little salt and pepper and let them get soft.

While they are sitting in the skillet on low heat, doing their thing, cube your tomatoes and put on top of the pastry in the dish. Don't worry about the liquid, it is needed to cook the insides. Now preheat your oven to 375 d. and put the top shelf almost to the top. You want room for the dish and a few inches in between the burner and the top of the dish.

When the veggies in the skillet are soft and starting to brown, pour onto the tomatoes and get as much of the oil in as you can, this has a lot of flavor!

In a separate bowl place the ricotta. To this add the chopped onions, garlic, s/p, sage and red pepper flakes. Mix up and set aside.

Add the spinach on top of the veggies and then tear into pieces the fresh oregano and add on top of that. Then carefully add the seasoned ricotta. This can be tricky because of the spinach not being very stable, but you can do it!

Over that, stretch the other puff pastry. Almost tuck in the sides and get it as close to the glass as possible. Grab some olive oil in a little bowl and add some salt, pepper and garlic and brush on the top of the pastry. Place on top shelf in oven and pull out when the crust on top is nice and brown and puffed!

Serve warm and goes really well with a light salad!
*** For all you vegans, I found a really great vegan ricotta and it worked nicely!

Easy Apple Cider Vinegar Pasta Salad

Pasta salad is one of the best things to have in the summer! It is easy to make and you can put whatever you want in it! It was my sisters birthday today so it was the perfect time to make it! My favorite way to flavor this one is with apple cider vinegar. It gives it the vinegar-y flavor with a nice, crisp sweetness that you cannot find anywhere else!

You will need (for the version showcased):
~4 cups cooked pasta, I use whole wheat spirals
~1 cup Carrots, chopped
~3/4 cup Celery, Chopped with greens
~1 cup white onion,finely chopped
~3/4 cup green olives
~Extra Version Olive Oil
~Apple Cider Vinegar
(both to taste)
Seasoning (all fresh if possible):
~Crushed black pepper
~Minced Garlic

First cook the pasta and when draining it, rinse with cool water. This will keep the pasta from sticking together as badly and will speed up the mixing process. Set aside the pasta.
In the serving bowl, add the veggies and place the pasta on top. Drizzle oil over until you can coat everything, but not enough to pool in the bottom. If you accidentally add too much do not add other ingredients until you drain the extra off. It is not a lost cause when you can drain off the access oil and not lose any seasoning! Then add the Vinegar. Add a similar amount to the olive oil and taste. Keep adding until it suits you. Once you found the right ratio, add the seasonings and toss. This way the herbs stick and not trickle to the bottom. Keep tasting it and make it just right for you. I love adding red pepper flakes, but my family is not as.... adaptable... there is a good word!

Chill covered for an hour if possible and serve!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Look at this Cool Site!

I found this on a fellow blogger's wall, and thought that you all might like to see it. The site is all about wise living choices and how to go about living in a natural way! I think you all will really enjoy it!

Let me know what you think or if you have found other sites similar!