Sunday, March 25, 2012

Potato, Mushroom and Chard Tacos

I've been craving potatoes lately (they are my go-to comfort food) but I've been wanting to make sure I eat them in healthy ways. How better than in a tasty vegan taco.

So, without further ado:

Potato, Mushroom and Chard Tacos

1 T Olive Oil
1/2 onion, diced
2-3 garlic cloves (I used an entire bulb of fresh green garlic)
2 tsps taco seasoning of your choice
3 medium-sized russet potatoes, diced
1.5 cups mushrooms, diced chunky
1 medium bunch of Swiss chard, leaves chopped into small pieces, hard stalks discarded
1/2 - 1 jar Herdez salsa verde, or similar

corn tortillas, garnishes for taco

saute onions and garlic in oil until soft and fragrant. Add potatoes and taco seasoning. Saute potatoes just until they begin to brown and turn golden. Add mushrooms, chard and salsa. Simmer on medium-low until potatoes are soft and flavorful, about 20-30 minutes. You are fine adding the whole jar of salsa and letting it cook down. Or, you could start with a half a jar and add more as needed. The verde is pretty mild and the longer it simmers, the more tasy the tacos become so don't be shy about using it all. It's certainly cheap enough.

Serve with warm tortillas and taco garnishes.

I sprinkle my Fiesta taco seasoning pretty liberally over the potatoes; the 2 tsps above is a guess.

Look at all that yummy chard from my farm box.

I have to tell you, this smelled divine.

Finally, we got to eat them. I served them on yellow corn tortillas with fresh guacamole on the side. This picture may be a wee bit blurry. I apologize, I was just so darn anxious to dig in.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Rabbit Food

Congratulate me all around, folks. I chopped up the cabbage last night. I was motivated by the arrival of a new CSA box full of produce (out with the old, in with the new!). So I riffed on an asian slaw recipe bouncing around and produced my own. The girls decided that a certain stuffed bunny was very excited I was making slaw.

This was a blend of green cabbage, bok choy and fresh broccoli tossed in a vinaigrette made of olive oil, soy sauce, fresh lime juice, sugar, ginger and garlic. Oh, and a splash of sesame oil. Folks, it's good.

Another CSA win? The girls love carrots "from the farm". These little beauties were a hit. Note the further appearance of Cupcake the Bunny.

I served the fresh carrots with the stems attached alongside ranch dressing but noted while I was rinsing dishes that the dressing was barely touched. Why mess with the perfect sweetness of a fresh carrot? Two more headed into school in lunches today along with fresh hummus, pita chips and fruit.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Meal Plan: Week of Feb 6

So, my latest obsession is this soup. I sub veggie broth for chicken and it's still a-mazing. Seriously, folks. And the beans themselves are perfection. Sunday, I experimented with making both a big pot of black beans and a pot of chickpeas using just the bean-applicable instructions and they both turned out wonderfully. So, now I have oodles of black beans and chickpeas to use this week, as well as a big pot of Spanish rice for the week. I'd say I did a pretty good job making use of my rainy Sunday.

So far, the plans are as follows:

Monday (that's today): Since I wanted to avoid Super Bowl crowds, I eschewed grocery shopping yesterday and will get it done today. This means I need a simple dinner. Voila. Black beans and Spanish rice. Served with: avocado, diced onion and cilantro. I also have fresh roti to serve on the side since I made a stop at the Indian market yesterday after my run.

Tuesday: Sandwiches. For David and me, that means Chickpea Tuna Salad. There are other recipes out there, but Robin Robertson's in the link above is the easiest I've found. Always turns out deliciously.

Wednesday: Martha Stewart's yellow lentil soup. I'm drawn to the cilantro chutney served alongside. And yes, I got the pappadum to serve with it.

Thursday: Taco night. The girls will eat the black beans again. David and I often prefer something a bit more meaty - such as quorn ground beef style sauteed with onions and taco seasoning or a lentil variety.

Friday: Pizza night. We have had two Friday nights of homemade pizza and it's hard to beat it. David and I have been making ours vegan, but we've continued to use cheese on the girls. Still, overall I feel better about knowing every single thing that's going into our dinner than ordering out or buying frozen. Now, if I can only learn to relax while I have two very young children "helping" me roll out pizza dough. Just breathe, right?

Saturday: I'm planning to have enough black beans left to mash into black bean burgers. And I am also hoping to get our CSA cabbage chopped into slaw by then as well. Wish me luck. I often feel daunted with the prospect of facing a cabbage.

That's our plans, though I'm also turning some of the chickpeas into hummus for the girls' and David's lunches. I felt super proud the other day when my four year old told me she only liked my homemade hummus. I hear that; store-bought varieties never match up in flavor or consistency.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

slight shift

I've been thinking about this blog and what I'm doing with it. I have reduced postings to be just me for now while I figure it out. I'd still like to post meal plans and plan to do that as it seems helpful, but I'd also like to explore feeding/cooking with/recipes for vegetarian children in a bit more depth simply because I don't see a lot of that out in the blogosphere and because my two girls are so interested in cooking and food. So, that's what I'm thinking.

One update for now. I have started using this recipe for no-knead bread and it's fabulous. We rae planning to make the no-knead pizza dough tomorrow and homemade pizza. The girls are excited. I'm excited. Perhaps our family pizza making night will show up as a post here soon.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Here we are already in November. We have been so busy (not to mention knocked down with a stomach bug) that we've simply been treading water the last few weeks. Some spaces in life are just like that. I hope to get back to our meal planning this week and to also begin planning for Thanksgiving. We have decided to have a vegan holiday this year and we are also adopting a turkey from the lovely folks at Farm Sanctuary. Our eldest has been asking a lot of questions around meat-eating so I think this is the year we talk about turkey. (gulp)

I love this photo of the turkeys enjoying their own pie!

Celebration FOR The Turkeys

Stay tuned for more updates including our inaugural vegan Thanksgiving meal plan.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Using What You Have

First things first, road trip was a success! No fried foods, no restaurant food on the drive either way. Instead, we stopped at picnic areas and a gigantic Sonic playscape (where I had a much-needed coffee) and the girlies spent the respites running, climbing and jumping. Wonderful. We restocked before the drive home (and I was shocked to find NO organic produce in East Texas groceries) and made the trip back with a single pit stop (for gas and pita chips at an HEB Grocery store that offered a gas station as well).

This week, in recovery from trip mode still, I'm concentrating on using what we have in the pantry/fridge.

This meant eating leftover vegan quiche and boiling fresh corn on the cob from our CSA for dinner when we got home Monday evening. It meant a big salad for dinner yesterday, coupled with leftover hummus and baba ghanoush. It means that I've got pintos my dad sent home with me (frozen, from his garden) simmering on the stove as I type this. These will make a simple meal in and of themselves with greens and cornbread, but I'm also going to deviate from my black bean burger recipe and sub these instead for dinner tonight. I'm also planning to use the fresh tomato sauce I froze last Friday (made with fresh tomatoes and basil from our CSA) for a simple pasta meal this week. And I'm pretty sure there is a frozen tub of Greek lentils in there as well, to which we'll had vegan sausage links.

I'm hoping we'll only need a small restock at the grocery this week (various milks for the girls, fresh-roasted coffee, greens for smoothies and other).

For the weekend, I'm going to concentrate on making room in my kitchen for easier cooking. I'm often balancing a cutting board on the edge of the sink because counter space is limited/full. That's just bad cooking chi. Must amend because I've realized that it's become an impediment to weeknight cooking. If I have to clear a countertop to chop veggies, et al, it's less likely to happen.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Road Food

So, the girls and I are taking a road trip in a few days and I'm facing the dilemma that many of my vegan friends face regularly of how best to have adequate and healthy food available away from home. I have been thinking through food ideas as I prepare.

In particular, I have been trying to eat mostly dairy-, egg- and oil-free and certain parts of this state are, to put it mildly, less than vegan friendly, not to mention health friendly. What to do?

First things first, I'm planning to pack a cooler bag to bring not only shelf-stable food. For starters, I'm packing organic milk for one child, and soymilk for the other. Deciding to take the cooler allows me to expand my road food options.

Next, we are going to try to stop at parks rather than restaurants. This way the girls can stretch their legs and we won't be tempted to eat french fries and ice cream, which will just make us feel yucky for the remainder of the drive. I'm even staying away from fast-ish food veggie burgers (like the Boca used at Texas Burger) b/c, really, need I say more?

Here's my list so far:

pretzels and pita chips
homemade hummus and baba ghanoush
boiled organic eggs (for the girls)
organic cheese cubes (for the girls)
cold pasta salad
fresh and dried fruit
vegan peanut butter and chocolate chip fudge (our treat)
hope to make: vegan broccoli quiche, which is super yummy cold

The idea of eating this way on a road trip actually excites me. No more gas station food!

Please share other good healthy road trip food ideas!