Archive for November, 2012

Hi guys! After all that heavy holiday food I think it is time for a nice light dish. This comes from the Kind Diet by the great Alicia Silverstone. I think this is super yummy and very light, you can eat a lot and not feel weighed down and gross. And it is so simple!


Here’s what you need:

1 cup Arborio rice

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ cup fresh Tomatoes

3 tablespoons Lemon juice

2 tablespoons chopped Fresh basil


Here’s what you do:

In a sauce pan put the rice and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 10-15 min. drain off any water that was not absorbed, and transfer the rice to a mixing bowl.

Add the olive oil and lemon juice. Mix well, add the tomatoes, and sprinkle with the basil. Toss to combine and serve.

This is so fresh and light tasting but obviously isn’t a whole a meal, add some sautéed vegetable to round it out or just eat it as a great snack.


Tell me what you think!

Thanks for reading and Happy Cooking!

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Holiday Leftovers

Hi! I hope everyone had a great thanksgiving!! Like most people I tend to make way too much and have leftovers for days.

see, that is alot of leftover food in my fridge ha-ha

Also like most people I can only eat the same thing for a day or two before I get really sick of it. A great way to keep eating those leftovers but to change it up a bit is to use the leftovers in a different take on a Shepherd’s Pie. Here is a quick and easy one I found from Martha Stewart. Vary it based on your ingredients.

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 cups cooked stuffing
  • 1 cup cranberry sauce, plus more for topping      (optional)
  • 1 pound sliced cooked turkey (at Christmas make this      leftover ham, or vegan turkey like I did)
  • 10 ounces glazed carrots, (or another leftover      vegetable, I have leftover green beans)
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons gravy
  • 3 to 4 cups mashed potatoes (I used my leftover      scalloped potatoes) *sweet potatoes would make this healthier if you have them

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 9- to 10-inch pie plate (or use individual ramekins so everyone can make their own pie the way they like it), mound stuffing on bottom; layer with cranberry sauce, turkey, and carrots. Drizzle with gravy; spread potatoes over surface to sides of dish. Top with more cranberry sauce, if desired.
  2. Place pie on a baking sheet, and bake until heated through and potatoes are golden, 35 to 40 minutes (if you are using scalloped potatoes like I am then you can probably cut the cooking time in half since they were already baked). Let cool slightly.

Tell me how yours turns out!

Thanks for reading and Happy Cooking!

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Thanksgiving part 2

Hi guys! With Thanksgiving fast approaching here are a few more ideas. We covered “turkey” already and some gravy so here are some of the side dishes. Instead of canned cranberry sauce which really cant be too good for you no matter how organic it is ha-ha try my apple cranberry chutney, its quick, easy and yummy! Green beans are a pretty good Thanksgiving staple but instead of doing a green bean casserole that is full of fat and canned mushroom soup try grilling them with garlic and balsamic vinegar and shred some Parmesan cheese over it just before serving.

For stuffing i just found vegan stuffing at Whole foods that i will be using but i have made it from scratch before and it is very rewarding. For some great ideas check out my go to which is the food network website. If using store bought always check the ingredients because there can be things you would never expect in them and use vegetable broth instead of chicken.

And for my favorite instead of mashed potatoes i am making scalloped potatoes. I found this recipe of course on food network and i love it! It is by Emeril Lagasse and is really different because of the Creole seasoning. It is super yummy and has been a hit both years i have made it and yes i will definitely be making it again this year. In the recipe i omit the pancetta or bacon because i don’t eat meat. Scalloped Potatoes and Onions.

Always remember whether you store by it or make everything homemade, it is a day to be with the people that you love whether they are your family by blood or life. So have a great day! Put your diets aside and have an amazing meal!

Tell me what your favorite Thanksgiving sides are.

Thanks for reading and Happy Cooking

and of course Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!!!

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Thanksgiving Part 1

Hi again! With Thanksgiving fast approaching its time to plan the meal. As a vegetarian this can be difficult; even if you are a meat eater this can be difficult if you have vegetarians/vegans coming, want to be healthy or just want to be a little different. Today’s post is quick and to the point.

Normally on thanksgiving I am stuck just eating side dishes because I am not a big tofurkey fan, even the name just turns me off lol. My great friend, Sharon Vincello, told me about a product by the company called Quorn. It’s like tofurkey but she told me it is really tasty so that is what I am trying this Thanksgiving. She also told me about a great vegetarian gravy to go on your “turkey”. I wanted to pass this great advice on to everyone else and tell you I will be trying it this Thanksgiving! I’ll tell you how it goes!

If you try it please tell me how you like it or tell me what you use in place of a turkey.

Thanks for reading and Happy Cooking!

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Hi guys! I love soup; it’s a whole meal in one pot, which I love so I make A LOT of soup ha-ha. With this soup higher grade ingredients are what make the flavor and of course they are out of season right now. Either shell out the few extra dollars to get the right ingredients or bookmark or print out this recipe and wait until next summer/autumn. This recipe is from one of the first cookbooks I ever bought “The New England Soup Factory Cookbook”.


Here’s what you need:

12 large yellow tomatoes (during summer make the effort to find locally-grown tomatoes, they are the key to the perfect flavor for this soup)

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 whole garlic cloves, peeled

2 cups diced onions

½ cup diced celery

2 cups diced carrots

10 sun-dried tomatoes

2 quarts vegetable stock

2 cups v-8 juice

1 bunch fresh basil leaves

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper, to taste

3 cups cooked jasmine rice

Here’s what you do:

Bring a pot of water to a boil. With a small knife cut an X into the bottom of each tomato. Drop the tomatoes, 2 or 3 at a time, into the bowling water. Leave for 30 seconds. Remove and rinse with cold water. Remove the skin by pulling the X shape from the bottom of the tomato. Set aside.

Heat a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, garlic, onions, celery, carrots, peeled tomatoes, and sun-dried tomatoes. Sauté for 10 min. Add the stock and v-8 juice. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 30 min.

Remove from the heat and add the basil, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Puree the soup in the pot using a hand blender or working in batches with a regular blender until smooth. (This is an option, I didn’t blend mine but I like it chunky). Add the rice and stir well to incorporate.

*Turn this soup into a summer entrée by grilling some shrimp or scallops and placing them on top. A tossed salad made from seasonal greens and chopped fresh herbs could complete the meal. On the side, serve slices of French bread that you brush with olive oil and toast on the grill.


Tell me how yours turns out and what fun extras you add!

Thanks for reading and Happy Cooking!

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Enchilada Pie

Hi guys! Here is a great recipe that you can easily make for many and can make extra to freeze really easily! I’ve taken classic enchiladas which can be a pain to make with the rolling of the tortilla stuffed with filling and made it sort of like lasagna to cut down on some of the hassle. This is definitely a front heavy recipe, all the work is at the beginning then you throw it in the oven and let it bake! Being a vegetarian mine are cheese enchiladas but feel free to stick your favorite meat in the mix. The chili gravy is what makes this dish so great and very tex-mex.

***Sorry there are no photos but i made this in my last bakefest (when i cook in bulk) and have a bunch still in the freezer, but i did want to tell you about this.

Here’s what you need:


2 tablespoons non-dairy butter

½ cup onions

1 garlic clove, chopped

¼ cup flour

2 tablespoon chili powder (not hot just flavorful)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Pinch of dried oregano

2 cups vegetable stock

Pepper to taste


Vegetable oil

Corn tortillas


Everything else is really to your tastes; I add onions, olives, mild diced green chilies, sometimes, if I have leftover rice in the fridge ill add that to the mix to help thicken the filling. Be creative add anything!


Here’s what you do:

Melt the butter over medium heat. Sauté the onion and garlic about 3 min. Stir in the flour chili powder, cumin, and oregano, cook for 2 min while stirring. Add the vegetable stock, a little at a time, stirring well. Simmer, uncovered for 30 min, until the mixture is reduced and thickened.

Mix your ingredients for your filling in a big bowl.

Preheat the oven to 400. And heat oil in a deep pan or fryer. And get a casserole dish out.

Pick up first tortilla with tongs and place in the hot oil (carefully!) for about 15 seconds. This is to soften the tortillas. Remove the tortilla from the oil, letting the excess drip back. Dip the tortilla in the chili gravy, coating both sides and lay in the bottom of the casserole dish.

Repeat this process until the bottom of the casserole dish is covered with tortillas. Cover with a layer of your filling.

Repeat the entire process until your casserole dish is full.

Pour remaining gravy over the top of the dish and sprinkle with cheese.

Bake for about 10 min, until the cheese is bubbly.


Tell me how yours turn out! And feel free to tweak it. I look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks for reading and Happy Cooking!

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Cranberry Orange Scones

Hi guys! So with the Holidays fast approaching many of you will be having family coming into town or going to visit families. Here is the perfect recipe for entertaining guests any time of day. These scones are perfect on a chilly fall or winter morning or will be the perfect afternoon snack when family arrives. (They are also great just as a snack for you!) They are from my, at the moment, favorite cookbook Skinny Bitch.


Here’s what you need:

2 cups flour (if you want to make it healthier, use one cup all-purpose flour and one cup whole wheat flour)

½ cup evaporated cane sugar, plus 1 tablespoon

1 tablespoon baking powder

A pinch of salt

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ cup orange juice, plus 1 tablespoon

1 teaspoon orange extract

1 tablespoon orange zest, grated

½ cup non-dairy butter

½ cup cranberries


Here’s what you do:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, ½ cup of the sugar, the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg.

In a separate bowl, whisk together ½ cup orange juice, the orange extract, and orange zest. Add the flour mixture and mix until combined. Add the butter and mix well.

Lightly flour a flat surface and knead the dough for about a minute. Form the dough into a ball and then shape into a small pizza crust shape, lightly flattening down the dough into the desired thickness (a little under an inch thick). Cut the dough with a large knife, like you would a pizza. (Make as many or as few pieces as you want depending on how large you want your scones).

Place each wedge into a baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, or your fingers, cover the dough with the remaining 1 tablespoon of orange juice. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon.

Baking about 15 min. remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Serve with your favorite jam. Or by themselves because they are so good they don’t need jam!


Tell me how yours turn out! And feel free to tweak and turn it into your favorite scone flavor. I look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks for reading and Happy Cooking!

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Homemade Granola

Hi guys! So as the weather cools down it’s not as much of an inconvenience to use your oven; so it’s time to bring out one of my favorite breakfasts/snacks……Homemade Granola!!! This is another one of those recipes that you can make your own, and it is so simple. I will give you a basic recipe and you can tweak it to your tastes.

Here’s what you need: (for a small batch)

2 cups quick cooking oats

¼ cup maple sugar (or other granulated sugar)

½ cup raisins (or dried cranberries or other fruit)

5 tablespoons safflower oil

¼ cup maple syrup

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Here’s what you do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spread the oats on a rimmed baking pan and bake for 10 minutes. Pour the slightly toasted oats in a bowl and add the sugar and raisins (or other dried fruit). Mix, then add the oil, syrup and vanilla extract. Mix until everything is moistened. Spread the mixture on the baking sheet and bake for 10 min.

Stir after 5 minutes to brown evenly.

Let the baked granola cool on the pan, then transfer it to a bowl and stir until crumbly. Store in an airtight container.

Get creative and add whatever you like; nuts, fruit, seeds….the sky is the limit.

Also, get creative in how you use your granola. Yes, you can use it to make a homemade parfait, eat it as a snack like trail mix and use it as a dessert; put it over ice cream, or throw it over fruit and bake it again for a crumble like the fall fruit crisp i mentioned before.

Comment and tell me what you like in your granola.

Thanks for reading and Happy Cooking!

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Kitchen Sink Soup

Hi guys! So some nights I know I want to make something but I have no idea what I want to make; or I have odds and ends in the fridge that I need to use up but they don’t make anything together or there isn’t enough to make a whole meal. This is where kitchen sink soup comes in handy. The best thing about this is that it can be anything you want and any flavor you want to suit the needs of what you have.

I have made a classic vegetable kitchen sink soup where I took all the odds and ends that were in the fridge like the last 1/3 of that onion, the 3 stalks of celery at the bottom of the bag, the 6 carrots left, the mushrooms that had a few days left before I needed to toss them, the ¾ of vegetable broth left in the box, noodles, etc. Next I threw in some spices like cumin, oregano, thyme; whatever tickled my fancy is what I threw in.

If you are not familiar with spices and what goes good together, or you just want to learn more; read cookbooks, check out websites and keep cooking and experimenting. As you cook more you will learn better what flavors go together.

I have also made a chili kitchen sink soup/stew. With this one I still added the leftover onions and celery and carrots but I added a few cans of different beans I had in my pantry, along with vegetable broth I added canned tomatoes and diced green chilies. Again I threw in things like cumin, oregano and thyme but I also threw in some paprika and chili powder.

Now it’s your turn! Grab whatever is in your fridge and pantry and through it in a soup and let it simmer away! Tell me how it turns out!

Thanks for reading and Happy Cooking!

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Hi guys! So I don’t know about all of you, and I think I’ve said this before, but I have a massive sweet tooth. I love candy but I want to and enjoy being healthy, so the two sides of myself are constantly at war ha-ha. Since Halloween was 3 days ago I am on junk food overload! But in a day or two I will want something sweet again so today I am going to make some homemade sweets so when the craving hits I have something on hand I can grab that won’t make me feel crappy. This recipe is from Alicia Silverstone’s book “the kind diet” and has inspired me to try to make homemade versions of my other favorite candies; those adventures are yet to come J

Here’s what you need:

½ cup Earth Balance butter (or other non-dairy butter)

¾ cup crunchy peanut butter (unsweetened and unsalted)

¾ cup graham cracker crumbs

¼ cup maple sugar or other granulated sweetener (* I have gotten maple sugar at Whole Foods but it’s kind of expensive so shop around and see if you can find it cheap or just use a regular granulated sweetener)

1 cup vegan chocolate chips (you can get these at whole foods for about the cost of normal chocolate chips)

¼ cup non-dairy milk

¼ cup chopped nuts of your choice

Here’s what you do:

Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.

Melt the non-dairy butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs, and maple sugar and mix well. Remove the mixture from the heat. Evenly divide the mixture among the muffin cups.

Combine the chocolate and milk in another pan. Stir frequently over medium heat until the chocolate has melted. Spoon the chocolate evenly over the peanut butter mixture. Top with chopped nuts of your choice and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.

*I didnt put any nuts on the top of mine this time

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