Friday, March 2, 2012

Food Glorious Food - 7 QuickTakes

1. I really shouldn't look at recipes when I'm hungry- this recipe for Black Bean Chipotle Soup sounds divine. I like a little spice in my meals, but I can't go too wild or the children won't eat much of it. A bit of chipotle is about all they can take.

with avocado, who needs meat? uh-oh- that isn't embracing the spirit of the fast....

2. This looks like a great crockpot recipe. I usually saute my peppers, onions and garlic before I use them in a recipe. It's time to change my method to a quicker way. Be sure to click over to Father Deacon Moses' site! He promised 3 recipes a week during the great Lent (hint, hint- Fr Deacon).

3. for easy Indian-style food- go to Trader Joe's. My favorite vegan offering is the masala veggie burger (mostly potatoes- I'm going to attempt own version by consulting the ingredient list) and my favorite meatless is the palak paneer.

4. Does anyone have a good recipe (muffins?) to use leftover oatmeal?

Grandma in the old country can make anything

5. What do you do with a block of mozzarella cheese from the gleaners, a boboli pizza crust from a friend who delivers old bread to food pantries, a container of crumbled blue cheese from the 99cent store (score!) and an onion found at the bottom of the bin? You make the most delicious gourmet pizza that daughter #2 would never touch! I sauteed the onion in thin strips until it was caramelized. Then, I put grated mozzarella on the pizza bread and distributed the onions on top. The blue cheese got sprinkled quite liberally before I put it in a hot oven for about 15 minutes. This pizza would rival anything Wolfgang Puck has made (I suppose a handmade crust would have improved it), and it cost me less than 2 dollars!

6. I've been looking at websites for more meatless and vegan ideas. The site vegan yumyum has gorgeous photos, but I am very wary of all the soy. Maybe I could just substitute almond milk? Veggiebelly has both types of recipes, and it doesn't depend on meat substitutes. I think that if a person can occasionally eat cheese or yogurt they don't feel the need to eat a soy hotdog. What is your favorite site for meatless recipes? 

7. a link not about food- but about homeschooling, parenting and everything in between- it is not easy being a mom, trying to make the best decisions for the entire family!

find more quick takes at


  1. Leftover in, already cooked? I've never made more than a serving at a time (DH won't touch it!), so I've never had this problem...hmmm...

  2. Fresh From The Vegetarian Slow Cooker is a fantastic book. It is my fasting go-to source. It is a bit heavy on Moroccan/ Middle Eastern dishes, but that is perfect for me. My kids will eat everything I've ever made from the book, with a few spice adjustments. Here is tonight's dinner (it has a long ingredient list, but it isn't that hard once you stock the spices):

    Moroccan-Inspired Vegetable and Chickpea Stew, from Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker, by Robin Robertson

    1 Tbs olive oil

    3 shallots, chopped

    1 large carrot, chopped

    1 small yellow or red bell pepper, chopped

    1 garlic clove, minced

    1 tsp peeled, minced fresh ginger

    1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

    1/2 tsp ground cumin

    1/4 tsp paprika

    1/4 turmeric

    8 ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

    1 1/2 cups slow cooked, or one 15.5 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

    Once 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained

    1 1/2 cups vegetable stock

    1 Tbs fresh lemon juice

    salt and freshly ground pepper

    1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed

    1/2 cup mied dried fruit (apricots, apple slices, raisins, currants etc)

    1/4 cup green olives, drained, halved and pitted

    1 Tbs chopped parsley leaves

    In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shallots, carrot, bell pepper, and garlic. Cover and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger, cinnamon, cumin, paprika, and turmeric and cook, stirring for about 30 seconds to bring out the flavors.

    Transfer the mixture to a 4-6- quart slow cooker. Add the green beans, chickpeas, tomatoes, stock and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on Low for 6-8 hours.

    About 20 minutes before serving add peas and dried fruit.

    When ready to serve, stir in the olives and sprinkle with the parsley. Taste to adjust the seasonings and serve hot.

  3. Elizabeth- thanks for the recommendation- I just bought it on amazon- and I remembered a great almost vegan book called Love Soup- ordered that too.

  4. I always make oatmeal cake from the More with Less cookbook. However I haven't done that so far during Lent so I compost it. -F

  5. My constant companions during the Fasts are my Moosewood cookbook and Carb Conscious Vegetarian by Robin Robertson. My Moosewood has many non-vegan recipes, but I save those for non fasts!

  6. You can make bread with leftover oatmeal. Here's a link that should help you.

    I tried it with my leftover steel cut oats but used gluten-free flour mix. It was as heavy as a door stop. I learned after the fact that yeast really needs protein and my usual rice flour/tapioca flour/potato starch blend has almost no protein. I'm going to try it again with millet flour/sorghum flour/chia flour blend.

  7. I have a great recipe for oatmeal bread using leftover oatmeat. I've had a few requests fir it so I'll post it later on today.

    Happy Lent!

  8. We are Orthodox and so eat vegan during Lent--I have some recipes on my urban simplicity blog (, but also you should look for some Orthodox fasting cookbooks--When You Fast is fairly useful. Until recently I couldn't tolerate much soy (soy oil was my limit) and so the last few years have been interesting for fasting for us. I do limit our overall soy intake, so you can try rice milk, almond milk, hemp milk or coconut milk whereever soy milk is called for.

    Other useful cookbooks: Rice and Spice by Robin Robertson (vegetable paella and Persian Rice pilaf go over well here), Soup Makes the Meal (has lots of non-vegan recipes, but a few that can be made vegan with a substitute of no-chicken broth--I like Better than Boullion), the Best Casserole Cookbook ever by Beatrice Okangjes (the meat-recipes are so-so, but the vegetarian main dishes are wonderful, especially the chickpea curry). I'm sure I have more, but that's all I can think of off the top of my head--a lot of it is making substitutions to regular recipes.

  9. My staple cookbooks during Lent are:
    "How it all Vegan"

    I can not say enough good things about the Rebar book. I have never had a recipe fail on me and even used some on our Bishop and he came back for seconds! Thanks for all the great recipes and cooking ideas. Fasting can be hard in our household because we have a newborn and two only my husband is able to fast right now. We try to eat our meat at lunch time (when he is not home) so that we can all eat the same meatless/vegan meal together at dinner. Seems to be working so far. :)

    PS. I got my book(s) on Friday. Thank you so much! My husband snatched it up so we are "fighting" over it right now. I think I will hide it in the laundry room tonight so that he can't take it to work with him..he never goes in there..haha.

    1. Thanks for the book recommendations. I'm looking at it on Amazon right now and I'll probably order it soon.

  10. Kim- I'm glad you are enjoying the book

    everybody- thanks for the book recommendations- and any specifc recipe ideas- keep them coming! variety is the spice of life (not peanut butter sandwiches everyday!)


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