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Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

With the holiday looming and just days ahead, the internet has gone crazy with links to recipes, planning, decorating and anything else to do with our American Thanksgiving.  Rather than try to produce much of my own information, I want to share links here for those of you who might not be able to monitor the net all day, or who watch different websites than I do.

I will update this list as the week progresses — I cannot stand to not share!   Enjoy, and Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

National Geographic Thanksgiving Quiz & Games
Some amazingly delicious drinks from my friends at Madtini.com
Eatdrinkbetter.com – Vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes from around the world
Whole Living – Warming fall recipes
Mini pumpkin pies for the kids to make – from National Geographic
Indiana Public Media –  Easy baked apple crisp
OrganicAuthority.com – Article about volunteering this Thanksgiving
Easy Thanksgiving side dishes from delish.com
Be the Hostess with the Mostess
Gluten-free pie crust made with coconut flour
A very nice handful of Thanksgiving links from Organic Valley
The Martha Stewart Thanksgiving Hotline Info

I’ll try to keep up with the mad amount of info crossing my computer, so check back for new links.  Yay for Turkey Day!!  I can’t wait!

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Everything I do lately seems to be a little bit random, and last night’s dinner definitely was.    But I can explain:   I had chosen the two recipes I wanted to blog, and then had a huge craving for an Amy’s frozen pizza.    And one of my favorite things about living alone is that you can eat whatever you want, whenever you want, and you don’t have to explain a thing to anyone.  So my dinner last night was an Amy’s frozen pesto pizza, okra and onions, and sweet potato chips. 

I found the recipe I used for the sweet potato chips in the October 2010 issue of Vegetarian Times.  This recipe is not posted on their website yet or I would link it here.   Their recipe is for making the chips in a dehydrator, but I altered the ingredients a bit, then popped the chips into the oven.  I was really surprised at how many chips one large sweet potato makes!  

Rosemary Sweet Potato Chips

1 large sweet potato
1 T. olive oil (and more as needed)
1 T. lime juice (or lemon if you like)
1 T. dried rosemary, crushed
Salt to taste

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.

Thinly slice the sweet potato, getting the slices as thin as you can.    Place the slices into a bowl and toss with the olive oil.  I started with one tablespoon, then just added as needed.   Once your slices are coated in the oil, add the lime juice and crushed rosemary, tossing to cover.   Then sprinkle sea salt on the surface and toss again to coat.  

Spread the slices onto a cookie sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, then toss to expose uncooked surfaces and put back into the oven for another 15 minutes or so.    Cooking times will vary greatly depending on the thinness of your chips, oven variables, etc.    But I think you know when a chip is ready to be eaten.  ; )

The other recipe I made was Okra and Onions, also from the October 2010 issue of Vegetarian Times, in an article from the book The Indian Vegan Kitchen: More Than 150 Quick and Healthy Homestyle Recipes by Madhu Gadia:

Okra and Onions

2 T. canola oil
1/2 t. whole cumin seeds
1 medium onion, chopped (1.5 cups)
12 oz. frozen sliced okra, thawed
2 t. ground coriander
3/4 t. salt
1/2 t. ground turmeric
1/2 t. cayenne pepper, or to taste
1/2 t. amchoor or 1 tsp. lemon juice (I used lime)
1/2 t. sugar

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.   Add the cumin; cook 10 seconds.   Add the onion; saute 3 minutes.   Stir in okra, then coriander, salt, and turmeric.   Also add the cayenne pepper at this point.  I just sprinkled a little bit of cayenne into the pan, I am a bit afraid of heat – I’ve ruined a few dishes making them too hot for my taste.  Cover and cook 10 minutes, stirring once or twice.   I cooked mine a tiny bit longer, uncovered, until the onions were clear and just beginning to carmelize a little.    Once the okra and onions are cooked, stir in the amchoor or lemon juice (in my case lime juice) and sugar.  

I really liked this recipe, the okra and onions have their own flavors, and then as you eat it you taste the various spices at different times, and then the sweetness of both the onions and the tiny bit of added sugar also comes through.  It’s simple, quick and delightful.

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WE HAVE NOW PASSED the six months to 50 mark!    This is the final countdown to my 50th birthday and my end goal of being perfectly fit and healthy when I turn 50.   I can do this!

I spent some time getting super organized for the next six months of blogging.  I’ll be posting according to this weekly schedule:

Saturdays — Bread baking & recipes
Sundays — Soup recipes
Wednesdays — Vegetable recipes
Thursdays — Fruit recipes
Fridays — Fitness reporting

And my hope is that some of you will jump on and report your fitness activities for each week in the comments section. Either way, you’ll hear about all I did (or didn’t) do for exercise every seven days.

I’ve already found 35 delicious soup recipes and I’ll make one every Soupy Sunday, just like we did early in the year. I’ve also bought Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, the second book by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. I don’t know about you, but months of fall and winter weekends filled with fresh-baked bread and homemade soup sound completely heavenly to me. I can’t wait to get started!

The Facebook page is still going strong — I hope you can recommend it to your friends!!   I usually post links and share videos and recipes on the page.   We also get photos posted from our friends on the page, along with links to the wall, which anyone can post at any time.   I’m all about sharing ideas, information and recipes.

I’m also still going strong on Twitter (@14monthsto50), approaching 900 followers, which I know is total babydom in Twitworld, but for me it seems like a big deal.  All I know is so much information passes over Twitter every day that I’m still astounded by it!   I love it as an information-sharing source. 

On the weight and fitness front:  I’ve lost 17 lbs. since I started this blog in January.  I want to lose at least 10 pounds more, and you know how that goes.  When I get there, I’ll probably want to lose a few more.  I’m so happy with my improved diet and health — this has truly been a lifestyle change and it is something I completely prefer.   I wish I could make everyone eat the way I do!  

I’ll be back here tomorrow with a veggie dish or two, some photos (if I can remember how my camera works) and we’ll kick this thing off!!   See ya then.   And thank you all so much for sticking with me through my hiatus — love ya!

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I played around on a web project too long today and found myself starving and shaky with no plans for dinner.   I was thinking about pasta, but when I saw a couple of different kinds already open in the kitchen, I didn’t want to open a new box.   So I threw some water on to boil, with plans to blend some shells and thin spaghetti, and top it with a concoction of leftovers.

I had on hand a half zucchini, a can of black beans, and a half jar of pasta sauce. I also had some apples from my friend Lise’s tree, which would make a perfect dessert.

While the water was boiling I peeled the apples, but left them on the core.   Then I put them into a bowl and drizzled vanilla extract over them, sprinkled nutmeg and cinnamon on them, then shook a couple of spoonsful of raw sugar over the bowl.   I popped those into the microwave for three minutes.

While the apples cooked, I sliced the half zucchini onto a plate, along with a couple cloves of prechopped garlic from a jar, dried oregano and basil, and some cracked pepper and sea salt.   I set that aside until the microwave was available again.

Once the water was boiling, I put both pastas into the water.   When the apples were done, I put the zucchini dish into the microwave for three minutes, too.   I opened a can of black beans and rinsed and drained it.   Once the pasta was done, it was drained and added back to the pan, along with some olive oil, which I then tossed it in.   I added one can of black beans, and 1/2 jar of pasta sauce to the noodles and tossed.   By then the zucchini was finished microwaving and I sat down to have my delicious hot meal that didn’t take more than 15 minutes to make!

Every thing I used in the meal was organic.   The noodles and beans were from Eden Organic, the spices, herbs and pasta sauce were Archer Farms.  You gotta love that. 

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I just made this cake today (see pics in previous post) and it is ridiculously quick and easy.   If you are vegan or being careful with what you eat, you will love it.  It isn’t a typical cake flavor, not sickenly sweet like most cakes.  I would think of it as a sort of short bread cake, less sweet, but still delicious.  It has the consistency of cake and smells delectable while baking.

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 cup pure maple syrup
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tsps cider vinegar
1 Tbs vanilla

Preheat your oven to 350F.   Prepare one round cake pan or pie plate by lightly oiling it and dusting with flour.

Mix the first five (dry) ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.  Combine the remaining (wet) ingredients in a separate bowl. Make a well in the middle of the dry mixture and whisk in half the wet mixture.  Once that is well-combined, pour the remaining wet mixture in and stir until it is a batter.  Pour into prepared pan.

Bake 30 – 35 minutes, being sure not to undercook.  Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake.  Cake is done when toothpick is clean.  This cake is gooey in the middle if not well baked (and not a good gooey).

Once removed from oven, let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then top with fruit of your choice.  I used strawberry halves and dusted the entire top with raw sugar.

This recipe is adapted from the Maple Syrup World website.

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Wow!  I can’t believe how busy I have been.  I’m working on a couple of other web projects and recipes and gardening — life just gets in the way sometimes, doesn’t it?

I cooked something new the other day: rice pasta.  This was the first time I had tried it;  I used the angel hair pasta and I like it!  It’s a bit tricky on the cooking time – my box said 5 to 7 minutes, and I went a bit longer, which made it too soft.  I cooked more later and stopped right at 8 minutes and it was just right.  The water turns opaque white, so don’t be alarmed.   The rice pasta doesn’t have the usual pasta flavors we are used to –  it doesn’t taste like a wheat noodle, maybe closer to the lack of flavor of a white flour pasta, but with it’s own rice flavor.  I like them — I’ll continue to buy them.  I’m still using up my farmer’s market veggie finds, too!  Here’s what I made:

Rice Pasta with Zucchini, Patty Squash & Kidney Beans

olive oil
1/2 zucchini
1/2 yellow patty squash
1/4 large white onion
1 clove garlic
cracked black pepper
1/2 can stewed tomatoes
1/2 cup organic pasta sauce
cinnamon
rice pasta – angel hair spaghetti
1/2 can kidney beans

Start your water boiling for the rice pasta.  Chop the onion and slice the squashes, then saute along with garlic and cracked pepper in olive oil until vegetables are browning slightly.  In the meantime, add pasta to water and cook the recommended time, rinse with cold water.  Return the pasta to the pan and add the kidney beans to it;  stir slightly to mix.   To the vegetable saute add 1/2 can stewed tomatoes, 1/2 cup pasta sauce, and a dash of cinnamon (or two).    Stir until heated through.  Put drained pasta with beans onto a plate and top with some of the cooked mixture.   It’s delicious! 

I always use organic ingredients, but the choice is yours. 

If you haven’t discovered glass storage containers yet, have a look at the small one in the photos below.  It measures about 3 x 4 x 4 inches and is so handy for storing canned foods when I only use a portion of the can’s contents.  These containers come in all sizes, but I have been using this small size every day to put stuff in my fridge. 

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