Sunday, August 5, 2012

Homestyle Green Beans and Potatoes and a VBA nomination

I'm back from a long hiatus, and I know I owe several of you my apologies for disappearing like I did! I took a heavy course load this summer of chemistry, calculus, and math modeling, and as you can imagine, I was quite the busy little beaver. Thankfully this quarter was another success for me and I came through with straight A's! One more quarter and I will have my associate's degree in Middle Grades Education; then I will be off to big kid college for my bachelor's.
Today I came upon a nice little surprise. My best friend and fellow vegan (and also, fellow ferret lover), Erinn Whitmore, nominated this blog for the Versatile Blogger Award! Many thanks to her for thinking of me, and after seeing her nomination I was called to the kitchen and to the keyboard to blog about a new dish.
So without further ado, and I know you've all been waiting for it, I give you today's recipe: Homestyle Green Beans and Potatoes.

You can probably tell that I have an affinity for the bean that is green. If you have viewed my previous posts, you can see that a few of them are green bean related. Well, that's because I do in fact have an affinity for them. It's one of my favorite vegetables and it's definitely a staple in our home.
Today's dish is one of my favorite meals to cook. It's satisfying, tasty, and warms the soul with that Southern style flavor. It goes perfectly with a side of corn bread or garlic bread. I almost always enjoy mine with garlic bread made with whole-grain bread. It is great for sopping up all that delicious broth. It's also perfect on a rainy, dreary day like today as it's just so comforting. I hope that all of you will enjoy it as much as my family and I do.
Finally, I must abide by the rules of the VBA by thanking my wonderful friend Erinn for giving my blog the VBA nomination, and I must tell you a few things about myself:
1. I love all animals and currently have two dogs, two cats, four ferrets, and a couple tanks full of fish.
2. I've been vegan for close to a year now. In October it will officially be a year.
3. I currently attend school at Georgia Military College, but I'm not a cadet.
4. I want to teach math to middle school children and hopefully instill in them a love of math and learning.
5. I love to cook new things and learn new techniques and skills to better myself.
6. I love Broadway musicals.
7. I'm an Air Force brat and have lived all over the U.S. and have traveled various parts of Europe. My dad is a retired Major.
Lastly, I must return the favor and nominate up to 15 blogs. Sadly I don't really tune in to many of them so my list won't be very long.
Of course, my friend Erinn's blog Mustelemania is just as deserving of this award. Her ferrety anecdotes are always entertaining to read and it almost seems at times she has an endless wealth of ferret information. She has been my friend for several years and has taught me much that I now know about ferrets. Even still I am always turning to her when I have a question or need advice.
Second I'd like to nominate Fat Free Vegan Kitchen. I have used quite a few of the recipes from this blog and they have turned out to be some of the tastiest dishes I've tried. Plus it's nice to be able to enjoy a great meal without the guilt!
Thirdly and lastly my nomination goes to Ferret Harmony, a blog (and also forum) that is written by a group of ferret lovers and friends whose goal is for ferret owners to get together and share information, advice, and anecdotes while adhering to their motto, "Where treating people right is as important as treating ferrets right!"   Ferret Harmony isn't just about the ferrets. It's about the friendships that can be built through ferrets as well!
Hope you all enjoyed my post today and I promise you'll be seeing more!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Peanut Butter Fudge Pretzel Bars

WARNING: Today's recipe is not for the health-conscious. 

With that being said, let's take a dive into some fatty, sugary, chocolaty goodness. O, peanut butter fudge pretzel bars, how I love thee! You are so delicious and decadent; in fact, you deserve your very own haiku:

Bars of wonderful
Melting, delectable joy.
I want all of you.

These were actually pretty easy to make and would be a perfect dessert for parties or get-togethers. Make sure you have a glass of soy, almond, or (your choice here) milk nearby when enjoying its fudgy goodness.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Pumpkin Alfredo with Greens and Caramel Flan

To make up for my lack of blog posts as of late, today I will be spotlighting two recipes.
So first off, for lunch I dined on pumpkin alfredo with greens... Wow. This was really good! Many thanks to my friend Joclyn for showing me this one! I have to say it does not taste exactly like typical fettuccine alfredo, however I do not think that was the aim of this recipe. The sauce was so creamy, so delicious, and so deceptively healthy! For the greens, I used kale. Kale is really good for you, because after all, it is a super food, and it went really well with the pasta. I recommend this recipe for all pasta and alfredo lovers, especially if you need a healthier alternative.

And as for dessert, those of you with a sweet tooth will not want to miss this recipe for caramel flan. It was relatively easy to make and had just the right texture. Flan lovers, you are not going to miss the dairy or eggs in this one!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Coconut Winter Squash Soup

I apologize for my recent hiatus, but I have not been doing a lot of cooking as my husband just had two teeth pulled and can't eat much more than mush.  It's a dreary day outside: the skies are dark and foreboding, and the rain has been pouring down off and on throughout the day. It's one of those days where you'd rather not leave the house, but it is also the kind of day that is perfect for soup! Today's recipe was recommended by my fellow vegan and friend, Erinn Whitmore.
I have to admit, putting today's dish together was a bit more complex than I prefer (meaning it takes a good chunk of time and there is a lot of chopping), but the end result was certainly worth it. My belly is full not only of creamy, delicious coconut winter squash soup, but also a good comforting feeling as the murky weather passes over us.  I recommend adding plenty of salt, and mixing some crackers in for a nice, crunchy touch.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Cheesy Broccoli Pizza

Tonight's sinfully delicious dinner was cheesy broccoli pizza! I love cheese, I love broccoli, and I love pizza, and I never knew how fabulously they would go together. This stuff was so good! Don't let looks deceive you. My pizza may not be as pretty as the one here, but I assure you, it tasted fantastic! I wasn't able to find the dough required by this recipe so I used one a pre-made one but it was still delightfully yummy! Next time, I will make my own dough.
I've missed you, cheese pizza. Thank goodness I've found you!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sweet Potato Pie

Dessert tonight was killer! This has actually been my first experience with baking vegan sweets and it turned out fabulous! Some whipped cream would have been nice, but silly me, I bought the pie ingredients, but I didn't think to pick up the whipped cream ingredients as well. Oh well, there's always next time!
Yet another great holiday dish! I realize it's not the holidays but I love sweet potato pie and pumpkin pie, so when I found a recipe I had to try it!

The recipe is for a crust-less pie but I used a graham cracker crust anyway! I think I may be on my way for a third piece... :) If you love sweet potato pie, you'll find a great recipe for it here. And if you'd like some whipped cream, you might want to see this.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Vegetable Pasta Carbonara

Vegetable pasta carbonara is an Italian pasta dish with a creamy white sauce, usually with bits of ham and veggies thrown in. It is a dish that I enjoyed many times when I lived overseas in Italy and Germany. I had thought of it recently when I saw a jar of carbonara sauce at Kroger, but I was saddened to know it definitely wasn't vegan. So I did some searching and found an amazing vegan carbonara recipe! Actually, I found a video and typed out the recipe so that I and others could more easily make it.
Ah yes, looks and sounds delicious, doesn't it! It certainly was and was very authentic! I used a whole wheat linguini pasta and used veggie bacon instead of bits and it worked out great.This may become a new staple in our household. Here is the finished product: 

 Now here is the recipe, typed for your convenience: 
Vegetable Pasta Carbonara
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Cold Pressed)
Finely chopped small onion
1 heaping tablespoon of flour
1 vegan bouillon cube
Black pepper
Sea salt
Milk of choice
1 small zucchini
¼ cup vegan bacon bits
¼ cup fresh peas
Heaping tablespoon of nutritional yeast
½ box pasta of choice

1.      Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
2.      While bringing water to a boil, turn heat on med and put about two tablespoons of oil into a sauce pan.
3.      Throw in the onion. Cover and allow to cook for three to five minutes. Stir occasionally.
4.      Once the onions start to caramelize and sweeten, sprinkle in the flour and stir it around. Have a ladle ready to spoon hot boiling water into the onion-flour mixture.
5.      Using the ladle, slowly pour in water as you whisk (around 1 ½ to 2 cups of water).
6.      Turn heat on high, throw in the bouillon cube, and pour in milk. Whisk again.
7.      Bring to a boil and allow to reduce until thick. Allow to simmer, whisking occasionally to make sure it doesn’t stick.
8.      Cook pasta. Reduce cooking time by 3 minutes as the pasta will cook for two minutes in the sauce and 1 minute on the plate. Use about half a box of pasta. Give it a stir and allow it to cook.
9.      Switch burners to cook vegetables. Put a tablespoon of oil in the pan, throw in the zucchini, and while it saut├ęs drain the pasta and throw the bacon into the zucchini. Then throw the pasta in the pan and mix.
10.  Next pour the sauce into the pasta and mix together. Add the nutritional yeast and pepper.
11.  Reduce heat to low and cover one minute. Last, throw in the peas, mix, and serve.