Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bacon Blueberry-Balsamic Penne {Vegan}

Day 181.

I absolutely fell in love with the Blueberry-Balsamic marinade I made for the Eggplant Steaks this week. So I knew I just had to make something with the leftover marinade for my Leftover Creation this week. It was a tough call between mushroom empanadas (with the mushrooms marinated and a dipping sauce made from the marinade) and pasta. I went with the pasta, but I think I'll eventually make those empanadas, too. I might be a little obsessed. But hey, obsession with something delicious? Score.

Bacon Blueberry-Balsamic Penne
Ingredients

Directions
Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, warm eggplant steaks in oven and bake mushroom bacon bits.

Strain pasta and return to pot. Pour in marinade and "bacon." Stir to combine. Top each serving with eggplant steaks, Parmesan and basil.

The Results
Yum. The pasta is delicious. I adore the flavor. The steaks are great on top, too. I think the pasta would be delicious even without the eggplant. Yum.

Project Food Budget:
I so busted my budget. Like, beyond all busting. Right at the end of the month, too. We spent $203 at Kroger this week. The good news is, I was purchasing groceries for about two months worth of meals. I plan to cook both July and August vegetarian OAMM menus with these groceries. We need more outside time this summer, so I'm freezing ahead. So, while I blew my budget wide open, we shouldn't need much more than odds and ends once I get these meals done. If you don't count what I bought for July and August meals, I'd be at about $297, but that's OK. :)

Goal: $75/$300
Actual: $203/$474

Participating Blogs:


This post is shared with Simple Lives Thursday, Tip Day Thursday, Frugal Food Thursday, Recipe Swap Thursday,Recipes I Can't Wait to Try, Things I Love Thursday, It's a Keeper, Full Plate Thursday, Grocery Cart Challenge, Cooking Thursday and Ultimate Recipe Swap.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summer Squash Gratin {Vegan}

Day 180.

My husband loves summer squash. I like it, too, and we are both huge fans of potatoes au gratin. So, when we picked up a couple yellow summer squash in our most recent CSA box, I knew this would have to make an appearance on our menu. I veganized it and added a bit of "bacon."

Summer Squash Gratin
Adapted from Summer Squash Gratin.
Ingredients
  • 2 small summer squash, sliced in 1/8-inch rounds (about 2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon House seasoning
  • 1/2 cup caramelized onions 
  • 1 tablespoon garlic
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 4 ounces green chiles, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped Black Forest Bacon Strips or Mushroom Bacon Bits 
  • 1 cup vegan cheese, shredded (I used Mock Gruyere
  •  3/4 cup breadcrumbs (I used homemade sourdough crumbs)
  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
Directions
Preheat oven to 400.

Place squash in colander with the house seasoning. Toss and let sit for 10 minutes to remove a bit of the squash's moisture.

Mix squash and next five ingredients and place in a 9 inch diameter deep baking dish. Top with cheese, breadcrumbs and olive oil. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until squash is tender and topping is crisp.

The Results
Drool. The crispiness and the tenderness of the squash is a delicious combination and the cheesy flavor is awesome. I almost would add a bit more bacon if I make this again, but I wouldn't want to overpower the squash. Delicious.

This post is shared with Real Food Wednesday, Recipes I Can't Wait to Try, What's Cooking Wednesday, What's on Your Plate?, What's on the Menu Wednesday, Let's Do Brunch, Works for me Wednesday, Gold Star Wednesday, These Chicks Cooked, Foodie Wednesday, Cast Party Wednesday and No Whine Wednesday.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Blueberry-Balsamic Eggplant Steaks {Vegan}

Day 179.

If you're a regular follower, you know how I love balsamic vinegar. Lately, I've seen quite a few combinations of blueberry and balsamic vinegar ranging from barbecue sauces to dessert dips. So, I just had to try it myself. I received some beautiful Indian Eggplants in my CSA box this week. Initially, I'd thought of making a hot and sour eggplant recipe. Then I remembered the beautiful blueberry-balsamic combination and my bottle of Lawry's Balsamic Herb Marinade. Yum. I think this one's going to be a winner.

Blueberry-Balsamic Eggplant Steaks
Ingredients
  • 1.5 pounds (3 small) eggplant*, sliced about 1-inch thick (about 20 slices)
  • 3/4 cup Lawry's Balsamic Herb Marinade
  • 1 cup blueberries, roughly mashed
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

*I used Indian Eggplant, because the shape is rounder throughout, but most varieties of eggplant will work well.

Directions
Place all ingredients in a large zippered freezer bag and refrigerate from 30 minutes to overnight.

Place eggplant slices on hot grill and baste with marinade, reserving excess marinade for dipping. Grill eggplant about 15-20 minutes, flipping once. Serve with marinade and caramelized onions, if desired.

Have leftovers? Try Bacon Blueberry-Balsamic Penne.

Results
Wow. These are so delicious. I will have to try more blueberry-balsamic combinations in the future. I absolutely love the seared caramelized flavor of the eggplant and the blueberries are fantastic. The caramelized onions on top are delicious and bring out the flavor of the marinade, but aren't essential.

This post is shared at·Tuesdays at the TableSlightly Indulgent TuesdayTasty Tuesday, Delectable TuesdayTempt My Tummy TuesdayDelicious DishesReal Food Wednesday, Recipe of the Week, Hearth and Souland Tasty Tuesday.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions {Vegan}

Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions
Adapted from No, Fuss, No Fat Caramelized Onions
Ingredients
Directions
Slice onions in food processor, retaining ends for your Easy Slow Cooker Vegetable Broth freezer bag of vegetable scraps. Put sliced onions and broth in your slow cooker. Cook for 12-15 hours.

I also highly recommend, any time you chop onions (even in the food processor) to use one of those silvery peanuts (Rub Away Bar) you see in the top photo.

Meatless/Vegan Monday: Meaty Vegetarian Lasagna and Link-up

Day 178.

I'm over at OAMM again today with a Meaty Vegetarian Lasagna.This is a family favorite recipe that we've developed and changed over the years. It started back in the early days of my sister and I becoming vegetarians as cheese lasagna.

The Results
Everyone loves this dish. It's a no-brainer at family functions, with even the meat-eaters gobbling it up. It's easy to vegan convert it with Daiya mozzarella replacing the mozzarella and tofu ricotta replacing the ricotta. I haven't found a great assimilation of Swiss, so I just leave that out if I'm making it vegan. It's delicious both ways.

Meatless/Vegan Monday Link-up
To participate this week here on Veggie Converter, you will be able to comment or link your Meatless Monday meals while I post my Meatless Monday challenge to myself, Vegan Mondays. If you're a vegetarian or vegan blogger and would like to be featured for Vegan Mondays, link up, or contact veggieconverter@gmail.com
Today's Meatless/Vegan Monday meal is Chez Cayenne's Lentil-Mushroom Sliders. So creative and delicious-looking. I love the use of quinoa in the patty. 

Now for the link-up rules: post your link to a meatless (vegan or vegetarian, or even an attempted meatless) recipe that you've posted on your blog.

Next week, a reader recipe that was linked up this week will be highlighted on Meatless (Vegan) Mondays. Each week you link up or comment, gives you an opportunity to be featured the following week.

Please join the Meatless (Vegan) Monday link-up. What Vegan or Meatless Monday Meal is your family having today?


Veggie Converter 365


This post is shared at·Mouthwatering Mondays, My Meatless Mondays, Cravings, Menu Inspiration Monday, Just Another Meatless MondayHappy Homemaker MondayHomemaker MondayMeatless MondaysMingle Monday, MMMmonday, Mangia Monday,Make a Food-e Friend and Monday Mania.

Menu Plan Monday June 27

Don't forget to check out Meatless (Vegan) Mondays


Last week's successes:
Last week's failure (if you're looking for a challenge):
The leftover creation of Samosa Shepherd's Pie probably was my least favorite. Just kind of boring relative to the crispy delicious samosas.


This week's hopefuls:
·
Monday·Day 178
Meatless/Vegan Monday
Meaty Vegetarian Lasagna @ OAMM

Tuesday·Day 179
Blueberry-Balsamic Eggplant Steaks

Wednesday·Day 180
Thursday·Day181
Leftovers and Pantry·Frankenstein Creation.·

Friday·Day 182
Portabella & Kale Pasta

Saturday·Day 183
Perogies Alfredo

Sunday·Day 184
Sunday Brunch
Cheese Blintzes with Stone Fruit Jam

This post is linked at·Menu Plan Monday.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Plum Curd {Vegetarian}

Day 177.
Veggie Converter 365I have been meaning to make this recipe for a couple of weeks now. It was bumped last week by those delicious Caribou-Poached Pears. I am a little concerned about curd, in spite of the original recipe author's declaration that it is simple. Anything that involves fluffing and whisking constantly means I have to give the recipe my undivided attention for at least some small amount of time. With two toddlers, that can be rough. Yes, the baby is now officially toddling. Sigh. It goes so fast. So, with a bit of wariness and a loving husband who promised to attempt to corral the littles while I cooked, I am finally making this deliciously inspired plum curd. If it works out I'll so be making the lime version when I get some of those in my CSA box, too.  

Plum Curd
Adapted from Lime Curd.
Makes about 1.5 cups
Ingredients 
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup Stone Fruit Jam (or substitute 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup pureed plums) 
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • pinch of salt
Directions
In a medium bowl with an electric mixer, cream the butter and jam, beat in the eggs slowly, and then add salt. The mixture will look curdled. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until thickened (do not boil), 3 to 4 minutes. Cool to room temperature, whisking frequently. Transfer to small bowls, cover with plastic wrap and chill for a couple of hours. The curd can be stored in refrigerator for up to 5 days. Serve as is or over muffins, poundcake or other pastries.

The Results
Wow. That was seriously simple. I ate mine straight, but saved a bit for a future cake or pastry. I can't imagine there won't be one in our near-future. After all, we have a new CSA box coming this week. The curd on its own was delicious, albeit a bit rich on its own. I think it'll be equally fabulous as a topping. I'm also wondering about using it as a pastry filling.

What are you having for Sunday Brunch, Breakfast or Lunch?

This post is shared at·Sundays at One Food Club, Just Something I Whipped Up, Penny Worthy Project, Cookbook Sundays, Savory Sunday·and·Potluck Sunday.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Carrot Spice Muffins {Vegetarian}

Day 176.

Our daughter's first birthday cake was the Betty Crocker carrot cake from my now used and abused Betty Crocker Bridal Edition Cookbook. I'll sheepishly admit it was pretty pristine for the first few years of its life. But since then, and especially since our kids were born, it's been through the wringer. There are so many awesome recipes (vegetarian and easily convertible meat recipes). But, in an effort to eat more of what we make, we've been doing a lot of "minis" lately. Rolls of sourdough instead of loaves, mini shepherd's pies, and the like. So, while the carrot cake recipe holds a special place in our hearts, I'm going to tinker with it to make us some delicious muffins.

Carrot Spice Muffins
Adapted from Carrot Cake.
Makes 18 muffins
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs*
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups shredded carrots (5 medium)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped nuts (I used pecans)
Cream Cheese Frosting (optional)
  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese or soy cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons milk or soymilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

*Vegan converter:
Applesauce, mashed bananas or Egg Replacer can stand in for the eggs here

Directions
Preheat oven to 350.

Mix together eggs, oil and sugar with electric mixer on low speed. Add all other ingredients except carrots and nuts. Blend together on low speed (batter may still be a bit lumpy). Stir in carrots and nuts. Use an ice cream scoop to fill muffin tin cups about 2/3 full.

Bake 30-35 minutes.

The Results
Mmm...delicious. Just the right amount of sweetness (I reduced the sugar from the original) and spice. I really don't think these need the cream cheese frosting. They are so tasty on their own. But I always wait to frost anything. You never know when a dairy-free person is going to come by. Plus, some muffins tend to get soggy after they're frosted.

This post is shared with What's for Lunch Wednesday and Muffin Tin Monday.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad {Vegan}

Day 175.

We absolutely love pasta salad. And pesto. Can there be a better combination? I also love Stolen Moments Cooking. She always has such flavorful, yet simple dishes. This is destined to be a winner.

Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad
Adapted from Turkey & Pesto Pasta Salad.
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons house seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/3 cups pesto, prepared or homemade (I made it with pecans this time)
  • 1 cup tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cucumber, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups chicken substitute, cubed (I used Quorn chicken tenders, which are not vegan; but seitan or tofu work great, too)
  • 1 pound small noodles, cooked, drained and rinsed in cool water (I used non-egg spiral noodles)
Directions
Mix all ingredients except pasta in a large bowl. Add pasta and stir to coat.

The Results
This is an incredibly simple and delicious use of several garden-fresh ingredients. I absolutely love this dish. So refreshing.

This post shared at Fat Camp Friday, Crafty Friday, Friday Favorites, Potluck FridayFrugal Fridays, Foodie Friday and I'm Lovin' It.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Samosa Shepherd's Pie Recipe {Vegan}

Day 174.

This week we didn't have a lot of leftovers. The Stone Fruit Empanadas went so fast I wish I'd made more. The Chicken Green Bean Casserole started a few fights among the kids and their father over who could eat the leftovers. The Samosas were so delicious and I originally made enough filling to make another batch later. But I decided I'd use the filling for our leftover recipe instead. Samosa Shepherd's Pie, anyone? Yum.

Samosa Shepherd's Pie
Ingredients
1 cup Ground beef substitute
1 cup Samosa Filling

Directions
Preheat oven to 400. 
Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop a 1/4 cup ground beef into each of four ramekins. Top with 1/4 cup samosa filling. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Set oven to broil and bake for an additional 3-5 minutes until potatoes are golden brown.

The Results
This is pretty good. But, I think them in samosa-form better. I've never been terribly fond of shepherd's pie in general. I thought this might make me love it. It didn't.

Project Food Budget:
Spent $80 at the wholesale club this week, about $5 over budget for the week, but we also bought 25 pounds worth of flour. So, I think we're doing fine. Still a tad under our $300 monthly budget with a week to go. We should be able to make it.

Goal: $75/$300
Actual: $80/$271
Participating Blogs:
This post is shared with Simple Lives Thursday, Tip Day Thursday, Frugal Food Thursday, Recipe Swap Thursday,Recipes I Can't Wait to Try, Things I Love Thursday, It's a Keeper, Full Plate Thursday, Grocery Cart Challenge, Cooking Thursday and Ultimate Recipe Swap.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Stone Fruit Empanadas {Vegan}

Day 173.

My husband bought me my awesome canning set for Mother's Day. So, when I got plums and plumcots in our CSA box, I knew I had to make him some plum jam. (He is a huge plum fan.) And then I asked him whether he wanted muffins or tarts made with the jam. He chose tarts. Well, I'm not the world's best at forming pastries and, when I looked around the internet for various tart styles, I found one that folded the dough into crescent moons. I thought, well that's different. So I tried it. Sealing the dough as intended (with just a bit of water) didn't work out for me. I ended up crimping the edges with a fork and turning them into Stone Fruit Empanadas. Yum.

Stone Fruit Empanadas
Ingredients
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 to 1 cup shortening (or sub butter)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup water
Filling
  • Stone Fruit Jam or for a Thanksgiving leftovers treat, fill with cranberry sauce
Directions
Mix flour and salt. Work shortening into flour. Add enough water to make dough form a ball without being sticky. Roll it out with a rolling pin to about 1/8-inch thickness on a floured board. Cut dough circles with a cookie cutter (I used the lid of my jam jar).

Place 1/2 to 1 teaspoon jam in the center of each round. Fold into a half-moon and crimp seam with a fork. Prick the top of each with a fork and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Makes about 15 tarts.

The Results
Mmmm...I had to defend a few of these from the kids so my husband could actually enjoy the treat. Delicious. I really like the crust and the jam turned out fantastic.

This post is shared with Real Food Wednesday, Recipes I Can't Wait to Try, What's Cooking Wednesday, What's on Your Plate?, What's on the Menu Wednesday, Let's Do Brunch, Works for me Wednesday, Gold Star Wednesday, These Chicks Cooked, Foodie Wednesday and No Whine Wednesday.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Samosas Recipe {Vegan}

Day 172.

My husband and I love Indian food. Somewhat surprisingly, the kids do, too. While little Goose can't have anything super spicy yet, Bug absolutely loves spicy everything (in moderation, of course). I thought it might be really hard to make Samosas. They are these perfect little fried cones of goodness filled with potatoes and veggies. I found a recipe in a book that I bought way back in college for less than a dollar (my school had this awesome sale where you could fill a paper grocery bag of books from the bookstore for $1). It's an awesome Indian Cookbook, but I haven't made a ton of recipes from it, for whatever reason. This one just seemed perfect. I altered the veggies to suit what I had on-hand (the original calls for onions and peas) and adjusted the measurements to the U.S. system from metric.

Samosas
Adapted from Who's Afraid of Indian Cooking?.
Ingredients
Dough:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • water
Filling:
  • 1 potato, cubed
  • 1 small carrot, diced small
  • 1 green pepper, diced small
  • 4 ounces diced green chiles
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • House seasoning, to taste
Directions
Mix oil into flour. Add enough cold water to make the dough roll into a ball, but not sticky. Cover dough ball with a damp washcloth and let rest for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, place potatoes, carrot and green pepper in cold water. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for about 10 minutes (or until potatoes are tender). Drain. Mash into chunky consistency. Mix in remaining ingredients. Set aside.

Divide dough into 12 equal balls. Roll balls out into circles about 5 inches in diameter and 2mm thick. Cut circles in half.

Place a spoonful of filling on one side of each semicircle. Fold circle's flat sides together to form a cone, sealing with a bit of water. Press top seal of each cone together and place samosas on floured surface. The standard method, which I found a bit difficult, is to seal the flat sides together first, forming a cone (see photo above-right). You then stuff the cone and seal the top edge. Whichever way works best for you is appropriate.


Heat frying oil in a deep saucepan and then reduce to medium heat. Fry 4 to 6 samosas at a time until golden brown on both sides (about 3 minutes per side.)

Serve immediately with raita or chutney. To reheat, bake in oven at 350 to warm (about 5 minutes) and then re-fry quickly. Avoid microwaving as this causes mushiness.

Results
Wow. Surprisingly simple and delicious. The kids and I loved these. My husband wasn't present when they were fresh out of the fryer, but he still thought they were super tasty. I love the filling and the crispy dough is so perfect.

This post is shared at·Tuesdays at the TableSlightly Indulgent TuesdayTasty Tuesday, Delectable TuesdayTempt My Tummy TuesdayDelicious DishesReal Food Wednesday, Recipe of the Week, Hearth and Soul and Tasty Tuesday.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Meatless/Vegan Monday: Chicken Green Bean Casserole Recipe {Vegetarian} & Link-up

 

Day 171.

I'm over at OAMM again today with a Vegetarian Chicken Green Bean Casserole. It's a great change-up on the holiday green bean casserole. Adding "chicken" makes it a delicious side or an all-in-one meal for the vegetarians at a family feast. 

The Results
The kids went absolutely nuts over this one. Somehow I don't think I've made it since either's been eating solid foods. Goose thought the creamy green beans were so awesome and Bug was a huge fan of "crunchy onions." Ha. The hint of lemon juice is excellent and really lightens up that heavy cream of mushroom/mayonaissey sauce.

Meatless/Vegan Monday Link-up
To participate this week here on Veggie Converter, you will be able to comment or link your Meatless Monday meals while I post my Meatless Monday challenge to myself, Vegan Mondays. If you're a vegetarian or vegan blogger and would like to be featured for Vegan Mondays, link up, or contact veggieconverter@gmail.com
Today's Meatless/Vegan Monday meal is The Hungry Homebody's Tabbouleh Salad. It is Terrifically Simple, as her title implies and looks delicious!


Now for the link-up rules: post your link to a meatless (vegan or vegetarian, or even an attempted meatless) recipe that you've posted on your blog.

Next week, a reader recipe that was linked up this week will be highlighted on Meatless (Vegan) Mondays. Each week you link up or comment, gives you an opportunity to be featured the following week.

Please join the Meatless (Vegan) Monday link-up. What Vegan or Meatless Monday Meal is your family having today?





Veggie Converter 365


This post is shared at·Mouthwatering Mondays, My Meatless Mondays, Cravings, Menu Inspiration Monday, Just Another Meatless MondayHappy Homemaker MondayHomemaker MondayMeatless MondaysMingle Monday, MMMmonday, Mangia Monday,Make a Food-e Friend and Monday Mania.

Menu Plan Monday June 20

Don't forget to check out Meatless (Vegan) Mondays


Last week's successes:
Last week's failure (if you're looking for a challenge):
No failures at all this week. I loved everything. My husband said there were too many chickpeas in the Chickpea Fajitas Recipe but he's not a fan of chickpeas, so take that with a grain of salt.


This week's hopefuls:
·
Monday·Day 171
Meatless/Vegan Monday
"Chicken" Green Bean Casserole @ OAMM

Tuesday·Day 172
Samosas

Wednesday·Day 173
Stonefruit Empanadas

Thursday·Day174
Leftovers and Pantry·Frankenstein Creation.·

Friday·Day 175
Turkey & Pesto Pasta Salad, veggie-converted

Saturday·Day 176
Carrot Cake Muffins, adapted from Carrot Cake

Sunday·Day 177
Sunday Brunch
Plum Curd (didn't make it into last week's schedule), inspired by Lime Curd

This post is linked at·Menu Plan Monday.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Caribou-Poached Pears Recipe

 Day 170.
Veggie Converter 365I really planned on making plumcot curd today. But alas, somehow a few pears from our CSA box slipped the kids' attention and were near turning bad. So, I flipped through some recipes and swapped in Caribou-Poached Pears from Cooking Light Magazine. I've adapted it to be alcohol-free for the kids. Yes, I know most of it cooks out, but they're too tiny to risk it.

So today we'll be having Virgin Caribou-Poached Pears. :) I'm giving the per pear recipe. The original calls for four, but I only had two left, so I decided to do the recipe for one here. Bonus: my husband loves pears. And, it's Father's Day. How perfect is that? Happy Father's Day to everyone.

And welcome to the world to my little niece, born Thursday, who joins her big sister, who was born two years ago on Father's Day.

Caribou-Poached Pears
Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine Jan/Feb 2010.
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup cranberry juice
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1 whole nutmeg
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • Anjou pear, cored
Directions
Combine all ingredients in saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn down to low and simmer for 40 minutes to an hour. Remove from heat and let stand for 30 minutes. Strain and serve pear with sauce.

The Results
The kids, one of whom is just under a year old, actually yelled at each other over finishing this off. Sure, it was a lot of "Bah bah bah" but you could tell the Goose was mad. Horrifying and awesome all at the same time. Next time we get pears, we're making them all into this delicious treat. It's fresh and spicy and great for all ages. I am absolutely in love with it. I hesitated a bit about the anise. I wasn't sure why you would want licorice flavor in your pears. But, I tried it, and it's awesome.

What are you having for Sunday Brunch, Breakfast or Lunch?

This post is shared at·Sundays at One Food Club, Just Something I Whipped Up, Penny Worthy Project, Cookbook Sundays, Savory Sunday·and·Potluck Sunday.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Pesto, Basil and Bacon Pizza Recipe {Vegan}

Day 169.

I love pesto. And I just so happen to have about 1/4 bunch of kale left over from those Kale Red Onion Corn Muffins. So, I get to make my delicious vegan kale pesto and use that delicious new Black Forest Bacon and snip a bit of my fresh basil. Yum. I delayed this pizza a day since our leftover creation turned out to be a pizza-like focaccia bread. I think it's going to be so worth the wait. And what perfect leftovers it will make for Father's Day brunch. Yum.

Pesto, Basil and Bacon Pizza
Adapted from Pesto, Basil and Bacon Pizza.
Ingredients
  • pizza dough, enough for 1 12-inch (I use Betty Crocker's recipe)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup pesto
  • 1/2 cup Daiya mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup mock Gruyere cheese
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 4 slices Black Forest Bacon, chopped
  • fresh basil, julienned for garnish
Directions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Roast garlic cloves in 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over low heat until soft. Set aside to cool until needed and reserve the garlic oil for later use.

Form your pizza dough into a 12 inch round. Par-bake for 8 minutes.  Evenly spread pesto on top.

Place garlic, bacon, cheeses and basil on top.

Bake 8 - 11 minutes at 425, basting crust with garlic oil halfway through cooking. Bake until cheese is melted and crust is slightly crisp.

The Results
Yum. I love this pesto still. So yummy. And the bacon and cheeses on top are super delicious. I'm absolutely in love with the garlic oil and basil on top, too.

This post is shared with What's for Lunch Wednesday and Muffin Tin Monday.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Chicken Cordon Bleu Recipe {Vegan}

Day 168.

Chicken Cordon Bleu is one of those "fancy" dishes that I've never made at home. Real or fake chicken. The idea of stuffing things just isn't that cool to me. I mean, it looks cool and all, but most of the time I don't really get why people go through all the trouble. I mean, the vast majority of dishes will taste the same if the stuff's on top or in the middle, right? Anyway, that kept me from attempting any version of Chicken Cordon Bleu. But I see a lot of "deconstructed" fancy dish X recipes lately. So, I'm going for it. I found the version I'm adapting via Onceamonthmom.com's traditional menu

Chicken Cordon Bleu
Adapted from Lemon Chicken Cordon Bleu.
Ingredients
  • 1 package Gardein "Chicken" Scallopini
  • 4 slices Black Forest Bacon
  • 1 cup Daiya shredded mozarella cheeze
  • 4 slices lemon
  • House seasoning, to taste
  • Italian seasoning, to taste
Directions
Preheat oven to 400.

Spray an 8 x 8 baking dish with cooking spray. Place "chicken" cutlets on bottom of pan. Top each with 1 slice "bacon,"1/4 cup cheese and a slice of lemon. Season to taste.

Bake for 17-20 minutes.

The Results
Mmm. Creamy and delicious and such a wide range of flavors. Chicken Cordon Bleu is something I have always wanted to try. But I always felt I had to stuff the "ham" and cheese in the center. I thought about doing that here, but decided it would just be for show anyway. It would taste the same either way.

This post shared at Fat Camp Friday, Crafty Friday, Friday Favorites, Potluck FridayFrugal Fridays, Foodie Fridayand I'm Lovin' It.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fiesta Focaccia Recipe {Vegan}

Day 167.

Wow. It's leftover day, already? We don't have a lot leftover this week. With all these breads and muffins I've been making, we have eaten almost everything up. My best choice to use in a recipe came from Tuesday's Chickpea Fajitas. I immediately thought of one of my favorite focaccia breads from Panera. It's the one they use on the Mozzarella and portabella sandwich and I believe it's Red Onion Rosemary focaccia. So, my fajitas have onions and peppers and chickpeas. Perfect! I found a great-sounding Tyler Florence recipe for the bread part and just changed out all the toppings.

Fiesta Focaccia
Inspired by Fabulous Focaccia.
Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoons rapid-rising dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Cornmeal, for dusting 
Topping
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups Chickpea Fajitas filling (caramelized onions, bell peppers and chickpeas in fajita seasoning)

Directions
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook, proof the yeast by combining it with the warm water and sugar. Stir to dissolve. Let stand 3 minutes until foam appears. Turn mixer on low and slowly add the flour to the bowl. Dissolve salt in 2 tablespoons of water and add it to the mixture. Pour in 1/4 cup olive oil. When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium. Mix until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface and fold over itself a few times. Form the dough into a round and place in an oiled bowl, turn to coat the entire ball with oil. Cover with plastic wrap or towel and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Coat a sheet pan with a little olive oil and corn meal. Once the dough is doubled and domed, turn it out onto the counter. Roll and stretch the dough out to an oblong shape about 1/2-inch thick. Lay the flattened dough on the pan and cover with towel or plastic wrap. Let rest for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, heat or cook topping mix. Preheat oven to 400. Uncover the dough and dimple with your fingertips. Brush the surface with more olive oil and then add fajita blend. Bake on the bottom rack for 15 to 20 minutes.

The Results
Fantastic.I had forgotten how much I love focaccia bread. This is super awesome and super easy to make. I'm not sure why I never made it at home before. I highly recommend the focaccia base with any toppings you like.

Project Food Budget:
So far this week we've spent a bit over our weekly budget with $50 at the grocery store and $45 on our CSA box (which arrives this afternoon). Our weekly total is $95. But we're still only at $191 of our $300 monthly budget. I feel pretty good about that at halfway through the month.

Goal: $75/$300
Actual: $95/$191
This post is shared with Simple Lives Thursday, Tip Day Thursday, Frugal Food Thursday, Recipe Swap Thursday,Recipes I Can't Wait to Try, Things I Love Thursday, It's a Keeper, Full Plate Thursday, Grocery Cart Challenge, Cooking Thursday and Ultimate Recipe Swap.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bacon-wrapped Green Bean Bundles Recipe {Vegan}

Day 166.

My neighbor made bacon-wrapped green bean bundles for a block party recently and was nice enough to make some with some Lightlife "Bacon" especially for me. I just new I had to try them with the new Black Forest Bacon Strips recipe, too. Our kids love green beans, and bacony flavor. These are bound to be a hit.

Bacon-wrapped Green Bean Bundles
Ingredients
Glaze ingredients
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon pineapple juice (you could sub in lemon-lime or gingerale soda)
Directions
Preheat oven to 375. Take 7 green beans, gather together and wrap bacon around the green bean bundle. Put the loose bacon ends under the green beans bundle. Repeat until all green beans are used. Tip: If you're bringing these to a potluck or party, secure the bundles with a toothpick for easy pick-up and eating.

Heat the olive oil, maple syrup, brown sugar and garlic powder together in the microwave. Put green bean bundles on pan. Spoon the glaze over the green bean bundles.

Cover and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover pan and continue baking for 5 minutes. Remove bundles from the pan drippings and place the bundles on a serving platter.

The Results
Oh wow. These were awesome. The kids were so funny about eating theirs. They both ate a bit of everything, but ended up trading pieces so our toddler ate most of the green beans and the baby ate most of the "bacon." Hilarious.

What's your favorite dish to take to a party?

This post is shared with Real Food Wednesday, Recipes I Can't Wait to Try, What's Cooking Wednesday, What's on Your Plate?, What's on the Menu Wednesday, Let's Do Brunch, Works for me Wednesday, Gold Star Wednesday, These Chicks Cooked and No Whine Wednesday.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Survive Before 5 eCookbook

Tricia over at OAMM is releasing an awesome eCookbook for toddler meals. It's filled with nutritious and easy toddler meals (all but one of which are meat-free). Survive Before 5 is available for purchase. I encourage you all to check it out. Baby Goose will definitely be enjoying a few of these soon.

Survive Before 5: Toddler Meals for Your Busy Days

This eCookbook is a step-by-step resource for cooking meals for kids before dinner. We all know that meal times can be a challenge and hopefully this month full of meal plans can help keep the kids happy, more importantly, mom happy.

The plan includes breakfasts, lunches and snacks. Like all Once A Month Mom menus it contains grocery lists, instructions, recipe cards and labels. There are options for 1 child, 2 children, 4 children, or 6 children. If you have a child that eats more than the indicated toddler portions you can simply count them as an additional child when cooking. Here are the recipes that are contained in the ecookbook:

Breakfasts
  • blueberry pancakes**
  • toddler french toast sticks
  • fruity breakfast burritos


Lunches
  • homemade spaghetti o’s**
  • individual mac & cheese cups
  • corndog muffins
  • homemade cheesy rice
  • apple chicken nuggets
  • individual pizzas**


Snacks
  • frozen fruit cups
  • homemade yogurt
  • peanut butter banana yogurt pops**
  • peanut butter granola bars**

**Indicates newly created recipes. Please don’t post those recipes when conducting reviews.

Here are some additional features:
  • A choice of preparing for 1 child, 2 children, 4 children or 6 children.
  • Grocery lists for 1 child, 2 children, 4 children or 6 children.
  • Customized labels for each of your prepared items.
  • Recipe cards containing photographs and some step-by-step photos as well.

The price of the eCookbook is $7.99. Now through July 1st it is $5.99 when purchasers use the code OAMM599. Click here to purchase: Survive Before 5.

Chickpea Fajitas Recipe

Day 165.

I love fajitas. The sizzle when it comes to your table and that yummy smell of the caramelized vegetables send my senses into overdrive. But, the meatless versions at the restaurant don't have a lot of protein. Sometimes they come with refried beans (which are always suspicious as they are sometimes made with lard). But I like to mix some protein into my homemade version. So, after hearing a lot of vegetarians talk about subbing chickpeas in for chicken recipes, I decided to try it a bit more often.

Chickpea Fajitas
Ingredients
Olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, sliced in rings
4 bell peppers, sliced in rings
4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
2 cups chickpeas
1/4 cup hot sauce
1 cup Vegetable Broth 
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1-2 tablespoons taco seasoning, homemade
House seasoning, to taste

Optional add-ins:
corn, cheese or cheeze, rice, refried beans

Directions
Brown onion and garlic. Add remaining ingredients, dissolving cornstarch in vegetable broth before adding. Cover and cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes until peppers reach desired tenderness.

Serve with tortillas and desired add-ins.

Results
Mmm. The kids and I loved this. My husband loved the vegetables and seemed to tolerate the chickpeas pretty well. I only did 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning, but added a bit more to the adult portions.

This post is shared at·Tuesdays at the TableSlightly Indulgent TuesdayTasty Tuesday, Delectable TuesdayTempt My Tummy TuesdayDelicious DishesReal Food Wednesday, Recipe of the Week, Hearth and Souland Tasty Tuesday.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Menu Plan Monday June 13

Don't forget to check out Meatless (Vegan) Mondays


Last week's successes:
Last week's failure (if you're looking for a challenge):
A pretty successful week. No total bombs, again. The Kale Red Onion Corn Muffins Recipe were really good, but I think they could be better with a less-sugary corn muffin batter.


This week's hopefuls:
·
Monday·Day 164
Meatless (vegan) Monday
Buffalo Chicken Bagel Pizzas @ OAMM

Tuesday·Day 165
Mexican (Taco) Tuesday
Chickpea Fajitas

Wednesday·Day 166
Bacon-wrapped Green Bean Bundles, veggie-converted

Thursday·Day 167
Leftovers and Pantry·Frankenstein Creation.·

Friday·Day 168
Pesto, Basil and Bacon Pizza, veggie-converted

Saturday·Day 169
Chicken Cordon Bleu, veggie-converted

Sunday·Day 170
Sunday Brunch
Plum Curd, inspired by Lime Curd

This post is linked at·Menu Plan Monday.