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Taco Soup Time

Taco soup is one of our favorites because it’s super easy, packed with flavor, and makes enough leftovers for lunch the next day. It’s basically your favorite beans, some seasoning, tomato sauce and you are ready to go! Here’s what we put in ours:

Soup's on!

There have been times we’ve done green beans or pinto beans, too! We realized we wanted it to be a little more “soupy” so we’ve begun to add diced tomatoes (with liquid) to make it that way. The seasoning packets can be any taco seasoning that’s your favorite. If you happen to find a ranch packet that’s vegan (they do exist!), you can sub that out for one of the seasoning packets.

Taco Soup

3-4 cans beans of your choice

1 can tomato sauce

1 can corn

1 can diced tomatoes

2 cups water

1 package of taco seasoning

1 package of ranch seasoning (or 2 of taco)

Drain beans in large colander. Put in large pot. Add all other ingredients, stirring to mix well. Simmer about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Yep, that’s it!

Warms the tummy.

Serve with corn chips, Tofutti sour cream, avocados, or a vegan cheese of your choice such as Daiya.

Meow.

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“Hamburger” Helper and Ice Cream (Or Preggo Food)

So, this being pregnant business has been interesting for a number of reasons. Yes, there’s the weight gain, the morning (afternoon and evening) sickness, and the mood swings (as if I wasn’t emotional enough?!). The one that’s taking the trophy for the “Oh Dear Goodness When Does the First Trimester End?” award, though, is the cravings — namely the cravings on the non-vegan variety. The one I’ve had pretty consistently has been craving Hamburger Helper (and McDonald’s Filet o’ Fish but let’s not even go THERE). I lamented this via my Twitter account and my pal, Mylene, over at My Face Is On Fire was sweet enough to send me this link to a vegan friendly (and much healthier) version of Hamburger Helper! After craving it for about the fifth day in a row, I gave this recipe a whirl!

Yummy!

It’s been quite some time since I’ve had Hamburger Helper (and Kit Kat has never had it in his life), but I do know that this version contained far less ingredients than what’s listed on the side of the store bought box! I followed the recipe for the most part but below is exactly what I did and what brands I used to make this yummy dish.

Healthier Hamburger Helper

1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
1 package burger-style crumbles (I used Smart Ground Mexican Style)
1 can tomato sauce
1/2 cup soy milk (I used Tempt hemp milk)
1 cup vegan cheddar shreds (I used Daiya Cheddar)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon of hot sauce

Cook the macaroni, drain and set aside.

In a saute pan over medium heat, mix together veggie burger crumbles, tomato sauce, hot sauce and spices.  Add “milk” and “cheese”, stirring until smooth.

Mix in macaroni and cook until just thickened.

The only change I think I’ll make next time around is to add even more cheese. I actually doubled what the recipe called for initially but I like cheesy so I think I could go for at least a 1/2 cup more. And I might add some nutritional yeast, you know, just for kicks. 😉 Outside of that, it was pretty gosh darn good and Kit Kat said he would definitely do it again. I told him that was good because it’s what’s for lunch tomorrow since this recipe made a TON. hee hee

The fact it made a ton is good though because when this pregnant gal gets hungry it’s bottom of my stomach hungry. I want food and I want it NOW. There have been times at work where I swear I was going to chew my arm off waiting for the lunch hour to arrive.

Also, I have no idea if pregnant women crave ice cream and pickles because I craved those both before the little Dot took over my body so it’s hard to say. Still, I present to you the yummy dessert that was our Sunday night sundae.

Where's the cherry?

This sundae totally hit the spot. It’s made with Tempt Vanilla Bean ice cream, bananas, strawberries, chocolate sauce, Let’s Do Confetti Sprinkelz and topped with Soyatoo vegan whipped cream. Completely delish.

Did any of you vegan moms have particular cravings? And what did you make to meet those urges? Please do share!

Meow.

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Roasted Cherry Tomato Pasta (w/ Zing!)

The first time we made this dish from Sarah Kramer’s La Dolce Vegan, I followed the recipe to the letter. And it was GOOD. As we noshed, we thought that maybe it was missing a little something, though, and decided that the next time around we’d toss the pasta in a dressing to make this dish really pop. This week, Kit Kat gave it a go using fresh basil and cherry tomatoes from the local Growers’ Market.

Zing!

The recipe suggested using mozzarella-style Vegan Rella but this cookbook came out before Daiya was introduced to the world (thank you, Vegan cheese gods!), so it was a no-brainer to use that instead. We did like the addition of a tangy dressing but think next time we’ll remember to just toss the pasta and not the whole finished dish. 😛 So, we’re thinking the third time is going to be a charm but we don’t have any complaints about the first two.

Roasted Cherry Tomato Pasta

26-28 cherry tomatoes, halved

1 tbsp olive oil

2 slices bread, roughly chopped

1/4 cup vegan cheese grated

3 tbsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

dry pasta, enough for 2 people

1/4 cup fresh basil, tightly packed and roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss the sliced tomatoes in oil and place in an 8×8 inch pan. In a food processor, blend the bread, cheese, oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture evenly over the tomatoes and bake for 20 minutes. While tomatoes are in the oven, boil pasta in a large pot of salted water. Drain noodles and return to the pot. Add the cooked tomatoes and basil to the noodles and toss together well. Serve immediately.

This was a nice summer dish and pretty quick to put together, too. With the summer starting to wind down, we’ll be back in the kitchen more often (we got really lazy!) and look forward to the soups and hot dishes that autumn and winter command. I also just got the 10th Anniversary Edition of The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook yesterday at the recommendation of my pal over at I Eat Trees and my tummy started to rumble just leafing through the pages. More to come from there SOON!

Until then, meow.

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Epic Guacamole

I have to admit I feel sort of silly posting this recipe because it’s pretty simple. I have had quite a few people ask, though, how I make my guacamole. It’s pretty tasty and has been called “epic” by Kit Kat so here you go:

Woz's Epic Guac

Woz’s Epic Guacamole

Ingredients:

4 ripe avocados

Onion powder

Garlic powder

Salt

Lemon juice

Peel avocados and mash. Add lemon, onion powder, garlic powder and salt to taste. Mash and enjoy.

So, there you have it. Nothing too fancy! I’ve been told, though, that the lemon is what makes it so yummy. So while all the ingredients are to taste, remember to put less in to start because you can always add more. 😀

Meow.

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Doug Tacos

One of my new favorite shows is the Showtime series, Weeds. I love the characters, the out of control situations, and now I love these tacos. While the tacos don’t really have anything to do with the show, Kit Kat fondly named them “Doug Tacos” after Kevin Nealon’s character.

We love Doug and we love tacos, so this was naturally love at first bite. The other great thing is that these are super easy to make and after all is said and done, really darn cheap, too!

I present to you, Doug Tacos:

Doug Tacos

Kevin Nealon’s Chickpea Tacos a.k.a Doug Tacos

1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
3 – 5 tablespoons salsa
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 dash cayenne pepper, or to taste
8 – 10 taco shells

In large saute pan, heat oil over medium heat.

Cook onion, celery, and green pepper until softened. Add chickpeas, salsa, cumin, and chili powder. Stir and cook until warmed. Mash chickpeas slightly with a fork for better texture.

Fill shells evenly with mixture from saute pan. If desired, top with any of the following: chopped tomatoes, shredded soy or rice cheese, low-fat guacamole, shredded lettuce, hot sauce, or salsa.

A few notes: I didn’t use onion or green pepper when I made them but I’m sure they’d be a delicious addition. Also, instead of using store bought tortilla shells, I made them the way my Grams has made them for years: hot oil in a skillet. This makes them soft and with just a touch of crunch. Yum! As you can see from the picture, we added my famous guacamole and we also used some Chili Garlic Cholula for some extra spice. It’s my favorite!

The Doug Tacos will definitely become part of the dinner rotation in our house.

Meow.

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