Saturday, August 28, 2010

Curry caramelized potatoes w/ veggies

This really has no recipe, so there are no exact measurements of everything I used. I "fried" everything in veggie broth until they caramelized then deglazed the pan with a splash of veggie broth a few times. Feel free to use whatever veggie combo you like. I also did both of these in separate pans, the veggies used no spices to cook, just the flavoring from the cooking. I have found in the past, if I try to cook all these together the potatoes get really mushy from the water content in the veggies.

1 red potato
1 russet potato
3/4 medium onion, chopped
1/4 each red and yellow bell peppers
a few shakes of curry powder
a shake of cayenne pepper
Put enough veggie broth in the pan to cover bottom, put in all the ingredients, cover and cook about 15 mins on med low. After 15 mins check, if they are stuck to the bottom of the pan, deglaze with a splash of veggie broth and cook 10 mins more. Then deglaze again leaving the lid off for about 5 mins.

1 each green, yellow zucchini, chopped
1 gray zucchini, chopped
3-4 cups broccoli florets
veggie broth
Again put just enough broth to cover pan bottom, put in veggies, cover and leave about 7 mins, on medium. Stir, if sticking deglaze a bit with veggie broth and cover, cooking for 3-6 mins or until done to you likeness. deglaze if needed again and leave cover off about 1 min. Salt and pepper if desired.

Both components of the dish were very sweet due to the caramelization. This made enough for 2 people depending on how hungry one is. It was only me and I had 3/4 of what I made. But I have a snack for later. This is of course a good example of calorie density, being I have much more low calorie green and yellow veggies compared to the higher calorie potatoes. The veggies add bulk and fullness thus leaving less room for higher calorie food.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Low-fat vegan Mexican-style rice

This accompanies the slowcooked refried beans I posted yesterday. This particular batch is a result of an oops. It calls for a dash of liquid smoke and instead it got a dump. So we just added more rice.

1 medium onion, chopped
1 large each yellow and red pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
2 cups cooked rice , cook the rice in the liquid from the beans
1 t each chili powder and cumin (adjust for taste)
1/2 t each basil, oregano, marjoram, sage
1/4 t allspice
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 small can sliced black olives (optional)
1 small can diced green chilies
few shakes of Tabasco type hot sauce, or to your liking
1 T lime juice
DASH of mesquite liquid smoke
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the rice in the reserved bean liquid for the amount of time listed for the rice. Just use as you would water, you could of course use water or veggie broth if you wish. Meanwhile prep the rest of the veggies, spices and such. When the rice is almost done, start cooking the first 3 ingredients in a small amount of water. Mix in the cooked rice and all the dry spices, the next three ingredient lines, mix very well. Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Cook for about 5 mins.

Because of our oops, we added about 2 cups more rice to even out the dump of liquid smoke. By using the reserved liquid from the beans this added a very rich flavor to the rice. Because this was my husband's recipe, we used white rice. He is not fond of brown rice at all, while I am not fond of white. I think it smells and tastes like Elmer's glue. This liquid hid the glue like taste. I think it would add to the lovely flavor of brown rice quite nicely.

Edited to add: I wanted to make a notation that if you use brown rice with the cooking liquid from the beans, it will caramelize on the bottom of the pan. We just made a new batch of rice, 1/2 white and 1/2 brown.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Roasted red pepper artichoke heart dip

I love dips. Who doesn't. Now that I realize that I like red peppers, I needed to find a couple of dips that had them in it. This one fits the bill perfectly. It is low calorie and of course oil free. The original recipe calls for tahini, which I still list, but I don't put it in. The recipe originates from Susan V. She has some excellent recipes on her site. Every one we have tried we have loved. Her site is

1 14 ounce can of water packed artichoke hearts
1/2 cup roasted red peppers (from a jar)
1-2 cloves garlic, I grate mine (these can get very strong and hot as they sit)
1 T tahini, optional (I didn't add)
1/8-1/4 white pepper, try 1/8 first it makes it hot too
salt to taste

Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth or desired consistency. I left mine a little course as I like it a little more intact. Serve as a dip for fresh veggies like carrots, peppers, cauliflower, sugar snap peas, broccoli, cut cucumber, or stuff into a pita with crisp lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers.

The picture above was a snack. I was quite full for some time after eating this.

Slow cooked refried beans

Slow-cooked refried beans. These are the best refried beans I have eaten. I will never be able to eat refried beans from a can again. If you don't have a slow-cooker (crock-pot) you can simmer them on the stove-top and lessen the time.

1 onion, peeled and halved
3 cup dry pinto beans, I recommend soaking overnight
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
2 T minced garlic
2 t salt (optional)
1 t fresh ground pepper
1/2 t ground cumin
8-9 cups of water

Place everything in the pot, spices and onion first. Cook on high for 8 hours. Add more water if needed, I found it was perfect.
Once the beans are cooked, strain them over a large bowl to reserve the liquid. Discard the onions, although they are very tasty to snack on. Mash the beans with a potato masher, adding liquid to attain the desired consistency.

Keep the liquid. You can use it to cook your rice. Save the rest, you can also use it to help soften you beans when reheating.

Tacoless taco salad

As the name implies, this is a taco salad without the deep fried, fat filled taco shell. Equally as delicious as the restaurant version, infinitely healthier. And yes, that is a bite missing. I forgot I was taking a picture, I was a little excited to taste this. This is highly filling.

Tacoless taco salad

1/2 refried beans, the ones I used are homemade, will post recipe
3-5 cups lettuce, I used romaine and iceberg
1 cup rice, I used homemade mexican rice, will post recipe
1/4 cup Verde sauce
1/4 salsa, which ever you choose
guacamole (optional)
nutrtional yeast flakes (optional)

I spread refried beans on bottom of the plate. Layer the lettuce on top of beans. Cover with rice. Then add Verde sauce and salsa. Place a dollop of guacamole on the side of your plate.

You could also use whole beans and place them on top of the rice and lettuce. I have taken chickpeas and mashed lightly and mixed Tabasco type sauce, that is a good combo.

Oil free vegan verde sauce

Verde Sauce

4 poblano chili peppers
16 reserved cooked tomatillos (instructions below)
1.5 cups veggie broth, divided
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 romaine lettuce leaves, torn
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 t salt (optional)

Removed skins from tomatillos and wash off sticky slime. Drop into boiling water and boil for about 10-15 mins. Let cool and remove the stem area.

Meanwhile, broil peppers on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet, 5 inches from heat about 5 mins per side or until peppers look blistered.
Place broiled peppers in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; seal bag and let peppers stand about 10 mins to loosen skin. Peel peppers; remove and discard seeds.

Process all ingredients, except 1/2 cup of the broth, in a food processor or blender until mixture is smooth. Transfer mixture to saucepan and cook over medium heat 5 mins. Slowly stir in remaining 1/2 cup veggie broth and cook about 10 minutes or until sauce is thickened.

yields about 3 cups. Freezes well.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Steel cut oats w/zucchini and fruit

Steel cut oats w/zucchini and fruit

1 cup steel cut oats
3 cups water
1 each yellow/green zucchini, finely grated
1t ground cinnamon
brown sugar, optional

Finely grate zucchini and add to the water. Boil for 2 mins. Add the oats and simmer on low for about 25-30 mins. Add fruit, I used fresh cherries and blueberries but you can add whatever you wish. Sprinkle with brown sugar if you like. This made enough for about 3-4 days worth of breakfasts.

Adding the zukes adds volume for hardly any calories, thus lowering the calorie density of the meal and helps you feel fuller faster and longer. Plus it helps get in some green and yellow veggies for the day. You cannot taste them once they cook down, as you can tell you cant see them too well either.

Do I really eat that?

This will be home to the pictures I take of food I eat. I am not a professional, so my pictures wont look shiny and perfect. But I will do my best to take good ones. Some will be super simple like a baked potatoes and veggies and some will be full recipes. I will list ingredients and instructions with my pictures.

These foods/meals will also be free of oil including olive oil, vegetable oil, and margarines and butters. They will also be free from animal products like dairy, meat and eggs and of course fish. I hope you try them and enjoy them as much as I do.