Meal Plan: July 27-29

My mom is here this week to visit and help out before I go back to work next week (sad day, it’s been so nice being off for 15 weeks!). I asked my mom to pick some of the recipes I’ve been making that she wanted to try, so here they are!

Sunday: Grilled Ginger Sesame Chicken Salad
I know, not vegetarian, but the dressing makes it all ok! This salad could easily be made sans chicken and would be just as good, or use the marinade for tofu if you’d like! It’s the perfect amount of salt and vinegar that you want in a Chinese chicken salad!
20140730-202020-73220181.jpg

Monday: CauliPower Alfredo
One of the things I craved most while pregnant (and still do) is fettuccini Alfredo. While this is definitely not as soon as the real deal, creamy, fattening Alfredo sauce I know and love, it is a great alternative until I can eat dairy again! It has a similar mouth feel to dairy Alfredo and is thick and creamy, but is made from cauliflower so it’s much healthier! I like to add broccoli to it, but you could add anything you’d like!
20140730-202020-73220362.jpg

Tuesday:Taco Chicken with Zucchini Pasta
This dish is so easy and delicious, and comes together super fast! I bought a mandolin with a julienne part that works great for making the zucchini noodles! This recipe is with chicken but you could just as easily use tofu or shrimp!
20140730-202020-73220525.jpg

Unfortunately I won’t be cooking the rest of the week, but here is a bonus recipe! I made this delicious dessert while my mom was visiting so she could try a vegan raw dessert! I added an extra tablespoon of maple syrup to the filling, and also added about 1/4 cup of cocoa powder 🙂
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars
20140730-202518-73518595.jpg

Stay tuned for next week’s meal plan!

Advertisements

Meal Plan: July 20-25

Alright, so the plan from here on out (or for now, at least, until we have time to start experimenting again), is to post our weekly meal plan with links to the recipes we are using! I apologize for the lack of pictures this week…I had every intention of taking daily pictures, but a crying baby, my hunger, and my lack of patience kept interfering!

Sunday: Zucchini with Garlic Lemon Vinaigrette
We added grilled chicken to make it our main dish, otherwise it would be great as a side dish!

Monday: Quinoa Black Bean Tacos
These tacos were incredible! I baked shells using Mission Artisan Whole Wheat tortillas (our favorite), and topped them with avocado and vegan sour cream.
With the leftovers I made baked flautas one day (place avocado and filling on a tortilla, roll is tightly, place on a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. Bake until crispy), and had enough leftover after that to make quesadillas another day! (And there is still more in the fridge!)
20140726-151111-54671803.jpg

Tuesday: Vegan Crispy Potato Pizza
This was so much fun to make! From the homemade baked potato chips to the beer pizza crust, it was all delicious, and surprisingly we didn’t even miss the cheese! I added thin sliced onions under the chips for a little extra flavor, and next time would add more and maybe a little spinach!
20140726-210626-75986968.jpg

Wednesday: Spinach Barley Salad
I followed the recipe but used pearl barley instead of wild rice which I think was a great choice because it really absorbed the delicious dressing!
We went to the LA Galaxy vs. Manchester United soccer game and this was the perfect healthy tailgate food because I was able to make it ahead of time and stick it in the cooler!
Tip: the salad minus the spinach was even better leftover the next day!
20140726-151618-54978879.jpg

Thursday: Grilled Thai Chicken with Coconut Jasmine Rice
This chicken marinade was so good! Next time I would reserve some of the marinade and reduce it to make a sauce to drizzle over the chicken when I served it, because it was that good! It would also be a great marinade for veggies like zucchini!

Friday: BBQ Crock Pot Ribs, Grilled Corn on the Cob, and High Protein Garlic Mashed Potatoes
These ribs are always requested for special occasions, and are AMAZINGLY easy and delicious! (No picture because it was way too good to wait and eat…we are working on our patience!)

All the meals this week cost about $60 and made enough for both of us to have leftovers for lunch the next day! The biggest tip was waiting for the ribs to go on sale and then I had a Just For U coupon on top of that (from Vons)

Vegan deliciousness

As I said earlier, I have had to stop eating dairy while breast feeding thanks to baby girl’s super sensitive tummy! It has been really fun trying new recipes and discovering the magic of turning nuts into cheese, sauce, and dessert!

Here are some of the amazing recipes we have tried:

Entree
Vegan Zucchini Gratin
Taco Chili with Nacho Cheeze Sauce
CauliPower Alfredo
Roasted Garlic White Pizza with Macadamia Ricotta

Cheese
Baked Cashew Cheese
Herb Cashew Cream Cheese

Dessert
Flourless Chocolate Cake (not actually vegan because it has eggs, but it is dairy free)
•and the most AMAZING THING EVERDouble Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake

20140722-142216-51736817.jpg

Have you tried soaking cashews?? Who knew they become so creamy and versatile! Most of the time I don’t even miss cheese! (Although I could really go for some good cheddar on crackers, or a good cheese pizza!)

Also, I came across this recipe for a basic white sauce (can be used for sour cream, dip, sauce, cream cheese, etc, depending on how much water you add):
1 cup cashews – soaked in water for about an hour, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup olive oil
3oz of lemon juice
1-2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/4-1/2 cup water (depending on what you want to use it for, I used 1/2 cup for sour cream/dip)

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or high speed blender. Blend until very smooth. Place it in the fridge, it will thicken slightly when cooled. You can also add anything else, spices, etc!

Been a while! Life with a baby…

Well, it certainly has been a while since we posted anything here! Life has been a little hectic adjusting to a new baby! We haven’t had as much time for cooking, but are starting to get back into it! I have had to stop eating dairy while breast feeding, so that has added a whole new layer of fun in the kitchen, experimenting with dairy free and vegan recipes! We also have been eating a lot of raw foods thanks to a huge zucchini and cucumber harvest from our garden!

Here are some of the things we’ve been eating:
raw pad thai20140722-102943-37783743.jpg
zucchini pasta with lemon garlic vinaigrette
zucchini salad with avocado and edamame
quinoa and black bean tacos

20140722-102816-37696025.jpg
brussel sprouts with cranberries and barley

20140722-103100-37860498.jpg
broccoli pesto orzo with lemon and avocado

These meals have been perfect for summer and all of them have been easy to make between crying, feedings, and lots of cuddles! I hope you have the chance to try some of these recipes, many of then can be made in advance!

Stay tuned for some of the vegan recipes we’ve been trying!

Tomato Sauce

20130909-203922.jpg
I don’t even know the last time we bought pre-made tomato sauce. After realizing how easy it is to make and how healthy it can be, we just can’t justify buying it!

What you need:
1 can no salt added diced tomatoes, mostly drained
1-2 cloves of garlic
A handful of fresh basil
1 tsp chili powder
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp white sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup red wine (optional)

20130909-204542.jpg

Place the peeled garlic cloves and basil in a blender or bullet (we use our bullet all the time, love it!). Blend until finely chopped, then add all other ingredients (except wine), and blend until combined (good chunky or very smooth).

Place in a small pot, add the red wine if desired, and cook about 10 minutes to eliminate the raw garlic flavor. Great as a dipping sauce, on pasta, on pizzas, in calzones, etc! ENJOY!

Potato Pancake Parmesan

20130909-200620.jpg

Growing up, my family established a tradition of eating my dad’s potato pancakes for breakfast on Christmas morning every year. Now that Matt and I have been cooking so much, we are constantly striving to make everything better than the last time we had it, so this is that success! (Not attempt, because this dish is AMAZING!!!). This recipe is a combination of my dad’s recipe (from the Joy of Cooking), Giada, and our own!

What you need for the potato pancakes (makes about 20):
3 russet potatoes
1 onion
1 zucchini
4 eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup fresh chopped basil
1 cup Italian seasoned panko

Using a grater attachment of a food processor or a cheese grater, grate the potatoes, zucchini, and onions in a large bowl. Using paper towels or a clean dish towel, soak up any liquid in the bottom of the bowl. Add remaining ingredients and combine well. The mixture should be a little runny.

20130909-201807.jpg
Heat vegetable oil in a large pan. Using a spoon or your hands, form the mixture into pancakes and place in the oil (wait until the oil is nice and hot). Cook until brown, flipping once the bottom is brown. Place the cooked potato pancakes on a paper towel to absorb extra oil.

20130909-202254.jpg

This is a good place to stop, these potato pancakes are amazing to eat as is. Or…keep reading and prepare to be blown away!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the cooked potato pancakes on a piece of foil on a baking sheet. Place a slice of fresh mozzarella and bake until the cheese has melted.

20130909-203222.jpg
Top with hot tomato sauce, and ENJOY!! It’s an amazing vegetarian version of our favorite chicken Parmesan, but the potato pancakes are also delicious on their own!!

Grilled Veggie Bruschetta

The longer we cook vegetarian, the more we try and find unique recipes! This grilled veggie bruschetta is our take on Jamie Oliver’s smoky veg bruschetta, but with a few of our own changes (like we always do…not good recipe followers)!

This bruschetta is so unique and was great on homemade tortilla chips from our favorite Artisan Blue Corn Flax Seed tortillas (just cut into wedges and bake until lightly browned, flipping once)

20130907-133930.jpg
It was also great leftover on BBQ pizza on whole wheat na’an!!

20130907-133945.jpg

What you need:
1 ear of corn
1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise
1 eggplant, sliced
1/2 onion, thickly sliced
1/2 bell pepper, cut in half
2 cloves garlic, minced
Juice and zest if 1/2 lemon
1-2 Tbsp basalmic vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil

Shuck the corn and place on a piece of foil, add the lemon zest and a little salt and pepper, wrap in the foil to grill. Arrange the sliced veggies on the grill or in a grill basket. Grill for about 10 minutes, or until the edges are slightly charred and veggies have grill marks (the corn will take about 15 minutes)

20130907-134628.jpg

Cut the corn off the cob, chop the veggies, and add to a medium bowl along with the minced garlic, vinegar, oil, and lemon juice. Adjust seasonings to taste and ENJOY!