Monday, September 29, 2008

Menu - September 28-October 4

Sunday - I made a huge pot of spaghetti sauce (don't ask where I found the energy after spending 15+ hours at Disneyland on Saturday!) so we had spaghetti with homemade sauce. I was nice and made hubby some meatballs for his.

Monday - Double-Coriander Eggplant Tagine (because that last one was so fantastic!) with couscous; hubby is having this sweet and spicy tilapia that I'll probably add to the blog since I see a lot of tilapia recipe requests. We'll see how he likes it!

Tuesday - Middle-Eastern Lentils and Rice; Canadian Bacon Cheeseburgers for DH

Wednesday - It's World Vegetarian Day! I'm going vegan all day :)
Quinoa and black bean stuffed tomato for me.
DH is having some very un-vegan BBQ chicken.

Thursday - Vegetarian Split Pea and Lentil Soup (a little different from that recipe); Cajun Style Pork Chops for hubby.

Friday - Feijoada (mmmm) with some Brazilian rice; Oven-Roasted Ribs marinated in Beer and Honey for my honey :)

Saturday - Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie (I saw an article in Veg. Times with a recipe "Unemployed Shepherd's Pie" lol... I may just steal the name)
Tacos for hubby.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Chickpea Tagine

I love Moroccan food. I actually had a good friend in high school who was from North Africa - she used to make the most fantastic food! :)
Last night, I made a chickpea tagine that I found in the October issue of Vegetarian Times (they have a whole feature on Morocca
n goodies!) - yum! Really tasty.. and I'm pleased to announce that I am no longer a Greek yogurt virgin! ;) Oh, Fage, why have I been holding out so long?! Great stuff - I highly recommend it if you've never tried it!

The actual tagine is gluten-free. I served mine with couscous which is a wheat product/not GF. You could use a gluten-free acco
mpaniment like lentils, quinoa, or rice if needed.
You can also make this meal vegan by using agave nectar in place of the honey and skipping the Greek yogurt (you're missing out on that Greek yogurt, though!)

Great things about this meal:
*It goes together in no time! Unlike traditional tagines that include chicken or lamb that has to simmer for a long time, this one is ready in about 45 minutes (including chopping time!)

*It's also a great source of vegetarian protein and iron!
*It's very super-market/pantry friendly - a great ethnic dish with no strange exotic items that you have to hunt high and low for! :)

Serves 2 (mmm... guess what I get to enjoy for lunch today?!)

1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14.5 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
1/8 cup raisins
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. honey or agave nectar
1 cup water
1/4 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
1 tbsp. finely chopped parsley (optional)

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes until the onion is soft. Stir in the chickpeas, carrots, raisins, spices, honey, and 1 cup water. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add a scoop of yogurt to each serving. Sprinkle with parsley if desired.

Chickpea Tagine with Cinnamon, Cumin, and Carrots from the October 2008 issue of Vegetarian Times.

Millennium Development Goals - MDG Blogging Day

Today is the MDG (Millennium Development Goals) blogging day so here I am sharing it with you all.
The Millennium Development Goals are a set of, well, goals developed by the United Nations to end poverty and hunger and combat AIDS as well as to promote global education, gender equality, child and maternal health, environmental sustainability, and global partnership. So basically all my causes all wrapped up in a nice little package :)
Here's a link to the UN site about the MDGs -
You might also like the ONE Campaign site (yes, I have one of those incredibly sexy white bracelets!) -

I think these are all goals that, regardless of our political or religious beliefs, we can all support.
My goal was to keep this non-partisan and secular but I found this blog entry from Rev. Mike Kinman who is the Executive Director of the group Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation and I wanted to share it. I think he has some powerful things to say.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

"For World MDG Blogging Day: A Bailout We Can Believe In" -- by the Rev. Mike Kinman

In moments of crisis ... real or perceived ... the United States has shown that money is no object.

Often those moments have been crises of security. When we went to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, we were told that critical security concerns superceded the financial burden that would follow. Now this week, a $700 billion Wall Street bailout is on the table ... and, once again, we are told that the crisis supercedes the financial burden that will follow.

More than a billion people live on less than $1 a day.

Nearly 30,000 children die a day of preventable, treatable causes due to extreme poverty.

More than 100 million school-aged children aren't in school.

Women around the world are disproportionately excluded from educational and economic opportunities.

If this isn't a crisis, I'm not sure what a crisis is. And we have made it clear that in a crisis -- and this one is real -- money is no object.

Today, while our leaders on Capitol Hill and in the White House are debating a $700 billion bailout for Wall Street, in New York City, world leaders are meeting to take stock of how we are doing on meeting the Millennium Development Goals. Here's a hint -- not so well.

On nearly every goal, we're behind where we need to be to reach them by the 2015 target date. It's not because the technology isn't there. It's because we lack the political will to do here what we have been willing to do elsewhere -- put our resources where the crisis is.

When the MDGs were agreed to by every UN member nation eight years ago, the World Bank estimated it would cost $40 billion - $60 billion a year to make them happen. That's a total price tag for the 15 years of $600 billion - $900 billion.

So as EGR's contribution to World MDG Blogging Day, we offer a simple proposal. If there's going to be a bailout, let's give the money to the people who really need it the most. The ones who are literally dying waiting for our help.

Let's keep our promise to make the Millennium Development Goals a reality. While we're ready to write nearly a trillion dollar check to Wall Street, let's shave $60 billion a year off the top and give a bailout to those who really need it.

Let's bail out the extreme poor.

This is a serious proposal. Until we realize that global extreme poverty is a crisis that dwarfs all others by comparison, we will never take the action necessary to heal a broken world.

This is a moral imperative that has gone unheeded too long.

We're not saying ignore the financial crisis on Wall Street ... we're saying if money is available for them, then it's available for people who need it even more.

The Rev. Mike Kinman is the executive director of Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation.

In case you'd like to read more on the EGR, here is a link to the blog I found that on:

Just some food for thought.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What a Snob..!

I've never had a sloppy Joe... my husband would tell me that makes me un-American (which is OK since I'm English.. heh)
Anyway, he requested sloppy Joes for dinner this week so I decided to try these "Snobby Joes" that I found in that tome of yumminess - Veganomicon. Oh my! They are fantastic! Really easy to make and fast, well once you have the lentils cooked they are fast. I think these will be a fairly regular weeknight meal.

*I labeled these gluten-free since the actual filling is GF. You'd just have to find some sort of GF roll to eat them on (good luck - I've heard GF bread leaves a lot to be desired...) or just eat them sans roll! The filling was tasty just by itself :) Maybe with some GF pasta or rice...

Serves 2-3

1/2 cup uncooked lentils
2 cups water
1/2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 small onion, cut into small dice
1/2 green bell pepper, cut into small dice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp. chili powder (no, that's not a typo!)
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 can (14 1/2 oz.) diced (no salt added) tomatoes
1-2 tbsp. maple syrup
1/2 tbsp. prepared mustard (I made mine extra snobby by using Dijon instead of the regular yellow mustard.. heh)
2-3 rolls, sliced in half

1. Pour the lentils and water into a saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Once the mixture is boiling, lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the lentils are soft. Drain and set aside.

2. When the lentils have about 10 minutes left, pre-heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Saute the onion and pepper in the oil for 7 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and saute another minute.

3. Stir in the cooked lentils, chili powder, oregano, and salt. Add the tomatoes (I diced mine up a little more prior to adding them). Cook 10 minutes. Add the maple syrup and mustard; heat through.

4. Turn off the heat and let the pot sit for about 10 minutes. Serve open-faced with a scoop of the lentil mixture on each slice of a roll.

This is based on the Snobby Joes recipe from Veganomicon.
The only change I made was to use canned tomatoes in place of 1/2 of an 8-ounce can of tomato sauce and 1/8 cup of tomato paste. I needed some tomatoes for DH's sloppy Joes so I figured I'd just use the rest in these. Worked well. Oh yes, I had no yellow mustard so I subbed Dijon.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Menu - September 22-27

Well, so much for my Sam=the dog theory on that True Blood (why the hell do I keep calling it True Love?!) show... sigh... he did bark, though! So maybe there is something to it after all... I'll have to keep watching and find out :) And now I'm noticing something odd about that gray cat - maybe it's Sookie's great uncle or grandpa or whoever had the same telepathic thing as she does. Hmmmm...
Oh, and Entourage was just too funny last night! I heart Ari :) and Lloyd - lol :)

Anyway, on to the menu.

Tonight - Middle-Eastern Chickpeas with Spinach for me; Zesty Jalapeno fish filet for DH

Tomorrow - I have to go to a school board meeting at work but hopefully I'll have time to make sloppy Joes for DH and *snobby Joes* (lol) for myself.

Wednesday - Marinated pork chops (all I remember is that lime was involved...) for DH; chickpea tagine for me

Thursday - I think we are going out with my parents for my birthday. If not, it will be spaghetti with home-made marinara and home-made meatballs for DH and spaghetti with home-made marinara for me.

Friday - DH told me to take the day off work so I think he has something birthday-related up his sleeve :) I hope so - I didn't plan any dinner! heh

Saturday - It's my BIRTHDAY! I'd better not be cooking ;)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

World Vegetarian Day

I'm not one to go pushing my lifestyle on others, in fact, that really drives me nuts when people try to do that! However, I will just take this opportunity to mention that World Vegetarian Day is coming up on October 1.

World Vegetarian Day is a fantastic opportunity for you to learn more about vegetarianism and try out some recipe(s) you've had in the back of your mind for a while. I have tons of yummy recipes on here that are totally meatless. You may also like to take a trip to the library to check out a vegetarian cookbook or look through a magazine for ideas.
Here's a website you might also like to look at:
Here is their welcome page for non-vegetarians :)

For those who are more interested in eating meatless more often, October is Vegetarian Awareness Month (cracks me up how everything has an "awareness month") so it's a great time to do a little research to find out about going meatless in a healthy manner and the benefits (to your health and the planet) of vegetarianism.

I'm trying to come up with something I can do that day - maybe an entirely vegan day or something (I have some vegan ice-"cream" recipes I've been dying to try out!) I'd love to hear comments from veg. and non-veg. people who have neat ideas of how to celebrate!

Enjoy! :)

Friday, September 19, 2008

True Blood (HBO)

So I got sucked into this vampire show on HBO. I'm not much of a TV person at all but I do enjoy those HBO series (and some BBC America stuff but I think that's a given). Since they seem to not be brining back Big Love anytime soon, at least I have this and Entourage (oh, and Bill Maher!) to make up for it ;)

Anyway, I was just watching the last episode again and I had a bit of a revelation. I *think* I have figured out the dog! :) I think it's Sam.
Here you go:
*After she gets called in to Sam's office towards the end of episode 2, it flashes to a picture on the wall. It's a dog with a girl. After I saw that this second time I thought "oh! The dog! There is something with Sam and that dog." Well, then I started thinking about the rest of the episode...
*After she is attacked by the Ratrays and Bill comes and lets her drink his blood, the dog is around. When he walks back to her car, she says "oh, Sam's still up" (or something along those lines). Hmm...
*Have we ever seen Sam out during the day? Um, I think not! :)
So there you have it... I think Sam is some sort of shape-shifter (God, I sound like some Dungeons and Dragons nerd) who changes into that dog.

I'm really interested in seeing where they take this show! I loved loved loved Six Feet Under so I'm hoping this one doesn't just fizzle away (or get too cheesy which I'm a bit afraid of! lol)

Just for the record.. there is something with her grandma, too. I noticed something with that grandma in the first episode and it's still nagging at me. Hopefully they'll give me more clues soon!

Yes, some of you are like "Oh please, I had that dog figured out in the first five minutes of the first episode!" I'm naturally blond and feeling rather proud of myself for catching all this so please excuse me if this is old news! lol ;) Now I hope it works out to be correct so I don't feel like a huge doofus...

Hurray for good fall TV! :) (And HBO East so I don't have to stay up late for all this... heh)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Amazing Lentil Curry

Yeay for curry!
I used to make these really brilliant chicken and fruit curries - so tasty, you have no idea - and I have to admit, I miss them. This, though, has changed my mind! The lentils really make up for the lack of chicken and they do a wonderful job of absorbing all the great flavours. The only thing I'd add next time is some apple (and maybe some coconut...)
This does have a nice kick to it, even with mild curry powder, so if you're not a fan of spicy foods you may want to leave out the jalapeno
I should also warn you that it takes a small lifetime for this to cook! It is so worth it, though. :)
Almost forgot, this is a good source of vegetarian protein and iron. Not much to look at but it tasted wonderful!

Enough for 2 large servings (or 2 dinners and 2 lunches the next day - hurray!)

1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 of a red onion, chopped
1/2 jalapeno pepper
1/4-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1/2 large parsnip, peeled and chopped
1 tsp. curry powder (any *strength* you like)
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
3/4 cup lentils, sorted and rinsed
2 cups vegetable broth (or water)
3/4-1 lb. cauliflower, chopped into small florets
1 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
3/4 tsp. sea salt

1. Make sure you have all the stuff chopped and ready to go (well, not the lime or cilantro - that's not added until the last minute) - it goes pretty quickly, like a stir-fry.

2. Heat the oil in a stock-pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion and saute for 5-7 minutes until translucent. Add the ginger and jalapeno and saute another minute. Add the spices and then give them a good stir for 30 seconds.

3. Slowly pour in the vegetable broth, then stir in the lentils. Cover the pot and raise the heat to high. Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute, stir, and then reduce the heat back to medium-low. Simmer for 12 minutes.

4. Add the cauliflower, stirring so they are coated with lentils. Partially cover and let it simmer away for 25 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender and the broth has all been soaked up. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro, lime juice, and salt.

5. Allow the curry to sit (covered) for 15 minutes or so. This is a good time to make some rice to go with it. ;)

Based on the Red Lentil-Cauliflower Curry recipe from Veganomicon.
My changes - used regular old lentils in place of red lentils; used red onion in place of regular old onion; skipped the shallots; used olive oil in place of peanut or grapeseed oil.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Pineapple-Cashew Quinoa Stir-Fry

Yum! This is wonderful!
I really recommend cooking the quinoa in the pineapple juice, but you can use leftover quinoa if you have any sitting around. I'd really like to try adding other veggies to this next time - mushrooms, broccoli, julienned carrots, maybe some zucchini or eggplant...

This is a great source of vegetarian protein. Quinoa is also a decent source of iron which makes it even more fabulous!

Serves 2

For the Quinoa:
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup cold water
1/8 tsp. soy sauce

For the Stir-Fry:
2 ounces raw, unsalted cashews; chopped up
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
Small piece of ginger (about 1/4-inch), peeled and minced
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 cup frozen peas or cooked edamame
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, rolled and sliced into thin shreds
1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh mint
5 ounces pineapple, chopped up into bite-size pieces (I actually cheated and used crushed pineapple)
1 1/2 tbsp. soy sauce
3 tbsp. low-sodium vegetable broth

1. Prepare the quinoa first. Combine the quinoa, pineapple juice, water, and 1/8 tsp. soy sauce in a saucepan. Cover and place over high heat. Bring to a boil. Stir and then lower the heat to low. Cover and cook 10-14 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed and the quinoa appears translucent. Uncover, fluff, and let cool. Chill the quinoa for at least an hour in the fridge.

2. Use a large nonstick skillet or wok. Have all ingredients chopped and ready to go before you start! Place the chopped cashews in the dry pan and heat over low, stirring constantly until lightly toasted, 4-5 minutes.

3. Remove the cashews from the pan and set them aside. Raise the heat to medium and add the oil, onions, and garlic. When the garlic sizzles, add the ginger and stir-fry around 2 minutes. Add the bell pepper and peas. Stir-fry another 3-4 minutes, until the bell pepper is softened and the peas are bright green. Add the basil and mint, and stir another minute before adding the pineapple and quinoa.

4. In a measuring cup, mix together the soy sauce and vegetable broth. Pour over the quinoa and then stir to incorporate completely. Add in the cashews and continue to stir-fry 10-14 minutes or until the quinoa is very hot (use two spoons or a spoon and a spatula to help you scoop it up and stir).

Based on the Pineapple-Cashew Quinoa Stir-Fry recipe from Veganomicon.

Funny observation...

Why do they sell vegan shoes on a website called "The Tannery"? lol

I went looking for these cute J-41 Aquarius shoes that I found in a vegetarian magazine and one of the websites they gave me as a shop online place was The Tannery. That name conjures up all sorts of not very vegan images for me...! ;)

Think I'll get the shoes.. they look so comfy - great for work!

Recipe coming soon (provided my dinner is yummy, that is! lol) :)
I am so sick of looking at my thesis so I'm giving myself a bit of a break from it... my break involves writing on my blog so not really sure how much of a break that is... heh
I have it pretty much done - just revising a couple sections and working on my appendices as well as the PowerPoint presentation I have to do as part of it.
Yeay! :) The end of this Masters degree is so close now, I can touch it! I had totally forgotten what a great feeling that is!
<Pomp and Circumstance