DDD Ep. #13 – Healthy and Cheesy Vegan Green Enchilada & Spicy Chili Pepper Mac & Cheese with Cauliflower

Leave a comment

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or just print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

4-30-16 (109)

4-30-16 (58)

4-30-16 (93)

OK – kiddies! DDD #13 is UP!

Like boobs? Like mac & cheese? Who doesn’t? I am really proud of this episode (and my cans – it seems) as it makes the best of a disaster & really showcases (boobs) how mac & cheese can be delightfully vegan (boobs). But – if (boobs) mac & cheese is not your bag – my rack is very prominently on display here & really tries hard to distract viewers from the recipe in progress so – feel free to just focus on that. Watch my blunders, my fun bags or learn a great recipe – I don’t care. Just watch! I even have a post-credits blooper! Oh – and I think I say “fuck” about 20x in this. So – enjoy!!! Please share & please SUBSCRIBE!! Did I mention boobs? BOOBS!

Click the link for my Green Enchilada & Spicy Chili Pepper Mac & Cheese with Cauliflower recipe & please subscribe!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFiPBGYVT0s

4-30-16 (101)

BathingandthesinglegirlCover

vromans back

4-30-16 (46)

4-30-16 (51)

4-30-16 (70)

So – I wanted to make a healthier mac & cheese – less cheese (even less vegan cheese) and less pasta.  I looked in the fridge & my pantry & found these potential ingredients.

4-30-16 (3)

4-30-16 (4)

4-30-16 (5)

4-30-16 (6)

4-30-16 (7)

4-30-16 (8)

As it turned out – I used all but the vegan cream cheese & the Daiya cheddar shreds.    So – the only actual cheese (vegan cheese) in this recipe is the Field Roast Chao Tomato-Cayenne slices.  If you can’t find these or do not like them (I think the 3 Chao cheeses are the best grocery store vegan cheeses on the market so far) – then use Daiya or any other kind of vegan cheese – or even real cheese (if you are not vegan).

This is a very easy dish to make – though it does have a few steps.  The only special tool you need is a blender (or a food processor).  No need to soak cashews overnight.  And – most importantly – it is VERY convincing!  None of the over-powering flavor of nutritional yeast yet all the wet, creaminess of real mac & cheese.  I swear – non-vegans will not identify this as vegan.  It has the additional benefit of using two full heads of cauliflower – but they blend in and become virtually undetectable – so your veggie hating kiddies will likely eat this with little argument (though you might want to reduce the spiciness for tender palates).

My primary excitement about this recipe is the green enchilada roux.  Traditional roux is made with butter, flour & milk.  I definitely wanted to use the green enchilada sauce but I did not want the dish to be swimming in liquid – as I feared it might be if I made a roux with milk and also added the enchilada sauce.  Happy news!  The enchilada sauce blended & thickened with the butter & flour as easily as milk would have but added SO much more flavor.

Again – while there are a few steps (mainly, boiling & draining to heads of cauliflower & the pasta) – none are difficult & the resulting dish is supremely gratifying!   I hope you try it!

4-30-16 (76)

4-30-16 (86)

4-30-16 (99)

Healthy and Cheesy Vegan Green Enchilada & Spicy Chili Pepper Mac & Cheese with Cauliflower

Serves at least 6

INGREDIENTS

2 heads cauliflower (I used one white & one yellow)

for the roux

4 TBS vegan butter

4 TBS flour

16 oz green enchilada sauce

7 oz vegan cheddar (sliced up or grated)

1/4 cup nutritional yeast (SUPER optional – I just had a little left over that I wanted to use up)

for the mac & cheese

1-2 jalapenos – one seeded & diced and one seeded & sliced (optional – depending on your taste for spice)

1 4oz can diced green chilies (I used hot but you could use mild)

2 ears corn – kernels cut from the cob (or about one 14 oz can of corn or 1 cup frozen corn)

1 lb pasta (shape of your choice)

1-2 cups breadcrumbs (I used panko)

Cooking spray

GARNISH: cilantro, avocado, diced tomato, hot sauces, additional fresh jalapeno or canned chilies

4-30-16 (81)

4-30-16 (122)

4-30-16 (125)

4-30-16 (78)

4-30-16 (44)

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Treat a 9×13 casserole pan with cooking spray.

Cook the pasta according to directions (maybe 1 minute less than suggested) – drain & set aside.

4-30-16 (25)

4-30-16 (27)

If you are using 2 different colors of cauliflower – you might want to cut each into florets & then boil & drain them each separately.  Or not.  It doesn’t matter much but the yellow cauliflower purees & looks like a cheesier sauce than white cauliflower will.  Still – some cheddar cheeses are white – so – don’t sweat it, whatever you decide.  If you are just using 2 heads of the same color – boil until just tender (5-7 minutes) – drain & set aside.

4-30-16 (24)

4-30-16 (26)

If you used one head of yellow cauliflower – put it (with about 1 cup of hot water) into a blender & puree until very smooth.  Only add just as much water as you need to accomplish this – which could be more or less than a cup of water – depending on the size of the head you used.

If you used to heads of the same color – just puree one head worth as described above.  Set aside.

4-30-16 (10)

4-30-16 (11)

Melt the butter in a sauce pan & whisk in the flour.  It should thicken & brown a bit very quickly – maybe a minute.  Add the enchilada sauce incrementally – letting it thicken before adding more – until it is all incorporated & rater thick.

4-30-16 (12)

4-30-16 (13)

Add the cheese & stir until it melts.

4-30-16 (14)

4-30-16 (15)

Add the pureed cauliflower & nutritional yeast (if using), salt & pepper to taste, and then one diced jalapeno, canned chilies & the corn.

4-30-16 (17)

4-30-16 (18)

4-30-16 (19)

4-30-16 (20)

4-30-16 (22)

4-30-16 (23)

Combine & adjust S&P – if necessary.

Put the sauce in a large bowl & then add the pasta and the remaining cauliflower florets.  Combine.

4-30-16 (28)

4-30-16 (30)

Pour the mac & cheese into the casserole dish & top with breadcrumbs & maybe some sliced jalapeno.  Spray with cooking spray – as this helps the breadcrumbs brown (because vegan cheese does not have the animal fat of real cheese – which is what browns in traditional mac & cheese).

4-30-16 (31)

4-30-16 (32)

4-30-16 (34)

4-30-16 (35)

Bake at 400 for about 30-45 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are browned a bit & the cheese sauce is bubbly.

4-30-16 (37)

4-30-16 (43)

Let rest for about ten minutes & then serve.  Garnish with avocado, cilantro, diced tomatoes and/or anything else you like.

4-30-16 (50)

4-30-16 (60)

4-30-16 (67)

4-30-16 (95)

4-30-16 (104)

4-30-16 (45)

Easy Vegan Thai Sweet Basil & Coconut Lentils

Leave a comment

 

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

2-28b-17-8

2-28-17-17

bathingandthesinglegirlcover

vromans-back

2-28b-17-17

Lentils are cheap, versatile, comforting & good for you.   These can be made thick & served over a grain (like Basmati rice) or made a bit thinner & served as a soup.  They freeze well, too, so why not make a fuckton – like I did – and freeze a bunch for lazy days in the future?

I used sweet basil from Bangluck Thai market in Hollywood but hot basil or regular basil will do.  Were I to make this again – I would double the basil quantity.  I used a small amount of coconut milk in this so keep it lighter & less fattening but more coconut milk would make this creamier & yummier.  I also used a combination of lentils & dal & mung beans – seen below.  You can use all one kind or any combo you have handy.

2-28-17-4

2-28-17-15

2-28b-17-5

Easy Vegan Thai Sweet Basil & Coconut Lentils

Makes a large pot full

INGREDIENTS

Coconut oil

5 cups lentils (or dal or mung beans)

1 onion – diced

2 jalapenos – chopped (optional)

1-8 garlic cloves (to taste) – minced

1-2 TBS minced ginger

5 ounces (or more) coconut milk (a 15 oz can would not be too much – I just kept it light)

2 TBS rice vinegar

6 TBS liquid aminos (or soy sauce or tamari)

8 or more cups vegetable stock

1-2 cups fresh basil

GARNISH – cooked rice & more basil

2-28-17-5

2-28-17-7

2-28-17-8

DIRECTIONS

Melt 1 or more TBS of coconut oil (or other cooking oil) in a large stock pot.  Add the onions & jalapenos & saute until soft.  Stir in the garlic & ginger for a minute & then add everything else – (except the fresh basil) – starting with only about 6 cups of the stock.  Bring to a boil & reduced heat to low.  Cover & simmer for 30-60 minutes or until your lentils are soft.  I used & immersion blender & mashed about 25% of the lentils.  Not necessary.  Add more stock for a thinner dish or a soup.  Heat it down if it is too thin.

Stir in the fresh basil & serve with additional basil as garnish.  Serve as it is or over cooked rice.

2-28-17-9

2-28-17-10

2-28-17-11

2-28-17-26

2-28-17-6

2-28-17-30

Clean Cooking & a 21-day Arbonne Healthy Eating Detox – Vegan or Vegetarian Style

4 Comments

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

1-18-17-163

1-18-17-146

bathingandthesinglegirlcover

vromans-back

image_thumb

A bunch of my friends are doing the 28-day Arbonne detox.   Click that link to go to their site & get a pretty thorough overview of the program.  My friends all bought the whole program & committed to a 28 day cleanse.  I was out of town for the first week, working, so – I started a week late.  They all bought the products that assist in the detox – I did not (though I caved & bought the 7-day Cleanse).  Other products they include are a protein shake & detox tea & some other things.  Frankly, the price tag was a little out of my reach plus – I do not buy into the level of protein people in fitness & nutrition seem to be fixated on.  Plus – the diet plan was not going to be especially restrictive for me as I eat pretty clean already.  Here are the things you CANNOT eat on this cleanse (and it is a cleanse – NOT a diet):

  •  Dairy
  •  Gluten
  •  Soy
  •  Peanuts & Peanut Butter
  •  Sugar, Honey, Maple Syrup
  •  Artificial Sweeteners
  •  Coffee
  •  Alcohol
  •  All Fruit EXCEPT limes, lemons green apples & berries
  •  Pork
  •  Farm-raised fish
  •  Non Cage-Free Eggs
  •  Non Free-Range Chicken
  •  All Beef, other than grass fed
  •  White Potatoes
  •  Corn
  •  Nitrates
  •  MSG
  •  Vinegar

And here is the list of things you CAN eat:

  •  Almond, Coconut & Flax Milk
  •  Brown Rice
  •  Raw Almonds
  •  Almond Butter
  •  Coconut Sugar
  •  Stevia, Xylitol
  •  Green & Herb Teas
  •  Non Starchy Vegetables
  •  Organic green apples & berries
  •  Cage-Free Eggs
  •  Wild-caught Cold Water Fish (limit to 1x per week)
  •  Free-Range Chicken and Turkey
  •  Grass fed Beef (limit to 1x per week)
  •  Sweet Potatoes, Yams,
  • Turnips
  •  Legumes
  •  Avocado
  •  Olive Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Coconut Oil, Flaxseed Oil

So – I do not eat beef, chicken or fish & I really try to avoid eggs and I almost never eat sweets.  But, a quick look at the menus & shopping lists found HERE left me confident that I could tweak things easily enough to stay satisfied.  For me – the big challenge is not drinking a bottle of wine every night.  Yes, every night.  Also – my faux chicken of choice, Beyond Meat, has soy in it – so – I was going to try to minimize using it – but for the purposes of this cleanse ONLY!  I will definitely return to it – likely before the end of my first week.  Beyond Meat is just too good & the Quorn (I just realized) has both eggs & sugar in it.  I bought this Quorn stuff to try, instead, though.  It is NOWHERE NEAR as convincing as Beyond Meat but I will be using what I bought – and return to Beyond Meat.  And it worked well in the chicken soup I am posting here.

1-18-17-118

Initially, I had no intention to blog about this experience but I did not want to go a month without posting things so – I am dragging you along on my journey.   Because I did not intend to blog about it – I did not take very nice photos of the first dishes I tried – so please forgive the photography.

Oh – because I have a bunch of random vitamins & supplments around – I decided to add them (until they each run out) to my daily regimen.  There is fish oil here because I bought some ages ago to aid my thin hair.  Then I gave up fish – but – fuck it.  I bought them, I have them, my hair needs help – so – I am taking them.  Here is the random collection I amassed:

1-18-17-164

1-18-17-165

1-18-17-166

The plan suggests having one of their protein shakes for breakfast & maybe lunch, too.  I never eat breakfast & do not believe I need a daily protein infusion so I am blowing off the shakes.     So – I took the week 1 shopping list and spent $200 on everything on it that I did not already have.  Five big bags, stuffed to the brim.  For just me.  For one week?  But – know that the recipes I have made – made an ENORMOUS amount – enough for two – easily.  In addition – they are easy & really very good, so far!  So – if you and your partner want to do this plan – I would not double the recipes.  So – $200 to feed two adults every meal & snack of the day for 7 days seems pretty economical, to me!

1-18-17-98

So far – I made their snack suggestion:

Beet Hummus

Serve chilled with carrots, sliced cucumber, snap peas or other favorite veggies or brown rice chips.

INGREDIENTS

2 large beets, peeled and steamed

1 can garbanzo beans, mostly drained

2 lemons, juiced

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. white pepper

2 garlic cloves

2 heaping Tbsp. tahini

¼ cup avocado oil (olive oil works well too)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place all ingredients in the blender and whirl till they have a smooth consistency!
  2. Chill and enjoy all week with veggies of your choice or brown rice chips

1-18-17-99

1-18-17-101

I could not find brown rice chips so – I used those above.

Then I made their

MONDAY

Lunch:

Beet and Avocado Salad

INGREDIENTS

2 beets pre-cooked (or steamed)

1 avocado

1 cup spinach

handful pistachios

Sweet and Spicy Dressing:

1/8 cup agave (I cut this in half)

1/2 Tbsp. siracha (I doubled this)

1/2 Tbsp. EVOO

¼ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cube beets and avocado.
  2. Layer spinach, beets, avocado, and pistachios.
  3. In a blender combine agave, siracha, EVOO and S+P.
  4. Drizzle dressing over salad, Enjoy!

1-18-17-117

1-18-17-123

1-18-17-124

This salad is a revelation!!!!  I adore everything in it & the dressing was AMAZING!   Plus, it made enough for two – so I ate some more with my dinner.  AND I had it for lunch the next day!

Dinner was their:

Dinner:

Twice Baked Potatoes

*Veg: sub mushrooms instead of ground turkey

2 large sweet potatoes

2 Tbsp. ghee

1 package ground turkey (I used Quorn meatless grounds – which I just discovered are merely vegetarian!)

taco seasoning (see recipe at freshandcleanrecipes.com)

1 cup spinach

S+P to taste

fresh salsa (see recipe at freshandcleanrecipes.com) – I used store bought

½ avocado

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cook potatoes in oven 30-45 min. (or until easily pierced in the center with fork)
  3. Brown ground turkey with taco seasoning and a few tsp. of water.
  4. Cut potatoes in half and scrape inside into a med size bowl saving the skins.
  5. Mix in ghee, turkey, spinach and S+P to taste.
  6. Fill skins with the mixed potato.
  7. Place in shallow baking dish (covered in foil for easy cleanup) and broil for 5 min until top is browned.
  8. Add a scoop of your favorite fresh salsa and avocado.

1-18-17-102

TWO large sweet potatoes PLUS a 12 oz of protein?  In my world, that is enough for two.  I did not bother to stuff & cook the potato a second time.  I ate it as above.  I had another entire potato & more than half of the faux meat/spinach mix left over.  I saved the second potato & fed it to my dogs over the course of two days, with their dinner.

The extra meat/spinach I added to the next recipe I made:

Dinner:

Chicken Tortilla Soup

*Veg: substitute veg broth and omit chicken

INGREDIENTS

2 cups shredded vegan chicken

4 Tbsp. olive oil

½ onion diced

1 large carrot; diced

1 zucchini; diced

1-quart vegetable broth

2 cups water

1 lime + 1 more lime for topping

S+P to taste

4 Tbsp. cilantro + more for topping

1 can black beans

2 cups your favorite red salsa (fresh recipe at freshandcleanrecipes.com)

I added about 1-2 cups of leftover faux meat crumbles & spinach from the previous day – which was GOOD!

Toppings:

tortilla strips (brown rice tortillas cut in half and then cut into 1/4-inch strips and fried in coconut oil/ or EVOO)

diced tomatoes

chopped green onions

cilantro

½ avocado

lime wedge

DIRECTIONS

  1. Add EVOO to large pot over med heat.
  2. Once oil is warmed, add chopped onions stirring often so as not to burn. Cook approx. 3-5 min until onions are tender.
  3. Add shredded chicken, chicken broth, water, juice of 1 lime, carrots, diced zucchini, carrots, cilantro, black beans, salsa and S+P to taste.
  4. Simmer for 1 hour or longer.
  5. Pour into individual bowls and add preferred toppings toppings

1-18-17-119

1-18-17-120

1-18-17-122

1-18-17-121

1-18-17-143

1-18-17-152

The only toppings I used were avocado & cilantro.  Frying tortilla strips (and I could not eve FIND brown rice tortillas, anyway) seemed like unnecessary calories.

This soup is delicious!  Especially with the addition of the vegetarian meat crumbles from the previous night’s leftovers.  I had it for dinner, lunch today and I still have more than enough for lunch tomorrow.

So – so far – this plan is great!  I am not a snacker so – I have not indulged in any food outside of the two meals a day except – late night when I get hungry (because I have been way too energized to fall asleep before midnight – UNHEARD OF for me) – a handful of berries & maybe 8 raw almonds.  I have not missed the wine, either, which is nothing short of a miracle!  I will admit, I have become OBSESSED with My 600 Lb. Life!  Mostly, I am amazed by the different shapes various people’s bodies take in an effort to store 600+ pounds.  I would include some images but it feels like body-shaming – despite the fact that the show exists precisely to shock them into their own reality & then try to help them but MY LORD!  The human body is an amazing thing.

So – I will keep you posted on my progress with this thing.  So far – I am giving it an enthusiastic thumbs up.  It might even be better if I could have sprung for all the fun products they offer but I will have to live with this budget version.  If you CAN afford it – and I THINK it is about $300 – and you do it – let me know your results.

1-18-17-144

Vegan Potato, Leek, Fennel & Turnip Soup with Carrots & Pepitas

Leave a comment

 

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

dsc_7676

dsc_7691

bathingandthesinglegirlcover

vromans-back

This soup is very easy & guiltless & comforting & delicious.  I roasted the turnips because I was roasting other veggies & just included them.  Once they were done, I though – why not add them to this soup.  You could roast all the veggies n this soup first, if you wanted to, but that is not necessary.  There is enough flavor going on without that extra step.  The vegetables I used were random & included simply because I had them around.  You can add or delete ingredients according to your taste or what you have handy.

dsc_7701

Vegan Potato, Leek, Fennel & Turnip Soup with Carrots & Pepitas

Makes about 8 cups

INGREDIENTS

3 TBS vegan butter

1 large fennel bulb – chopped (reserve some fronds for garnish)

1 large leek – sliced

1 zucchini – sliced

2 celery stalks – chopped (reserve a few celery leaves for garnish

3 large potatoes – peeled & cubed

3 small turnips – chopped

4 carrots – sliced

4 cups vegetable stock

2 TBS fresh oregano (plus maybe a bit extra for garnish)

2 TBS fresh thyme (plus maybe a bit extra for garnish)

Vegan milk (I used unsweetened almond milk) – maybe a cup or so

S&P

Pepitas as garnish

dsc_7673

DIRECTIONS

I like a few chunks in my pureed soups so – if you do, too – take one carrot & one potato (both cubed) & boil until soft.  Drain & set aside.

If you want the soup completely pureed – skip that step.

Heat the butter in a large stock pot.  Add the chopped, raw veggies & saute until soft.  Add the stock & herbs (no need to chop the herbs) & bring to a boil.

dsc_7657-copy

dsc_7658-copy

dsc_7659-copy

dsc_7662-copy

dsc_7665-copy

dsc_7669

dsc_7670

Very carefully, in batches, blend the soup smooth.  I added just enough almond milk to each batch so that it blended very smoothly.  Reheat.  Add the boiled carrots & potatoes.  Ladle into bowls & garnish with celery leaves or fennel fronds & some pepitas.  Add some cracked pepper.  Enjoy!

dsc_7710

dsc_7698

Vegan Creamy Roasted Red Pepper & Sweet Potato Soup with Coconut-Ginger Cream, Pistachios & Pomegranate Seeds

Leave a comment

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

10-24-16-121

10-24-16-112

bathingandthesinglegirlcover

vromans-back

10-24-16-115

This might – honestly – be the most delicious soup I have ever made and it is as easy as can be.  If you have a blender, food processor or immersion blender – you can wow the fuck out of your friends with this glorious, autumnal, light & healthy, rich & creamy soup!  I used all the random veggies that I had wilting in my vegetable bins.  You can add or subtract ingredients but I gotta say – this baby is kinda perfect!  Very little added oil & chock full of veggie nutrients.  The Coconut- ginger cream is certainly optional but it adds a nice level.  The pistachios & pomegranate were for texture & color – but they can go with little impact on this soup.  If you are not vegan – stirring in a little goat cheese might be a nice touch.

10-24-16-102

Vegan Creamy Roasted Red Pepper & Sweet Potato Soup with Coconut-Ginger Cream, Pistachios & Pomegranate Seeds

Serves 4 very well

INGREDIENTS

3 medium sweet potatoes – sliced into 1/2-inch rounds

3 bell peppers – halved & seeded

1/2 onion (or a leek or some shallots) – peeled & cut in half

10 small carrots – ends trimmed

1 jalapeno (optional)

1 TBS fresh lemon juice (optional)

2 garlic cloves

1 tsp red (or other) curry powder (or curry paste)

1 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 to 1 tsp cayenne

Several fresh thyme sprigs (or 1/2 tsp dry thyme)

4 cups vegetable stock

olive oil (or coconut or other oil)

S&P

Garnish – pistachios and pomegranate seeds (optional)

for the coconut-ginger cream

5.5 ounces coconut milk

1-3 TBS minced ginger (I used a squeezable kind) – or to taste

10-24-16-80

10-24-16-86

10-24-16-87

10-24-16-88

10-24-16-89

10-24-16-90

10-24-16-104

10-24-16-116

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 450 degrees.

Toss the vegetables in a bit of olive oil & spread in a single layer on cooking sheets (covered with either foil sprayed with cooking spray or parchment paper).  Salt & pepper liberally.  Cook for about 30+ minutes or until the veggies are soft.  Some might need to come out earlier than others.  I cooked an extra sweet potato to put in my dogs’ food tonight.  They LOVE sweet potatoes.  The bell peppers should blacken a little bit.  When the peppers are done – either put them in a tightly-closed container or wrap them in foil to cool a bit.  This will make them sweat & the skins should peel off nicely under running water.  Do not worry if all the skin does not come off.

Meanwhile – combine the coconut milk & ginger – adding ginger in increments – until it tastes good to you.  Set aside.

10-24-16-91

10-24-16-97

10-24-16-92

10-24-16-93

Once you can handle the veggies (not the sweet potatoes) – chop them a little bit.  Seed the jalapeno to make it less spicy.  I used the seeds.

Heat a little olive oil in a large stock pot & add the chopped veggies & sweet potato and garlic.  Stir to combine & then add stock & spices.  Squeeze in about a TBS lemon juice.  Bring to a boil & turn off heat.

10-24-16-94

10-24-16-95

10-24-16-96

10-24-16-98

10-24-16-99

Puree the soup in batches or with an immersion blender.  I added about 1-2 cups of water to thin it enough to puree in the blender.  Season with S&P.

Serve garnished with coconut-ginger cream, pistachios & pomegranate seeds.

10-24-16-110

10-24-16-101

Vegan Creamy & Healthy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Cauliflower

2 Comments

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

10-9-16-57

10-9-16-65

BathingandthesinglegirlCover

vromans back

10-9-16-72

This one is easy & healthier than you might guess – because both the pasta & the sauce are chock full of cauliflower.  No cream is used & you can control the ratio of pasta to cauliflower to suit your tastes & needs but the cauliflower in the sauce is a great way to get extra veggies into your kids.

I used fresh roasted red bell peppers but you can used jarred.  It is not difficult to roast them.

10-9-16-26

Fresh Roasted Red Bell Peppers

Ingredients

Red bell peppers

10-9-16-27

10-9-16-29

10-9-16-31

DIRECTIONS

Roast on a grill or on the burners of your stove (or in the over at 500 degrees for 30-40 minutes) – turning often until completely black on all sides.  Wrap in foil & allow to sweat a few minutes.  Under cold running water – slide the skin off the peppers & remove the stem & seeds.  Done!

10-9-16-36

10-9-16-55

Vegan Creamy & Healthy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Cauliflower

Feeds 4

INGREDIENTS

Olive oil

1 large head cauliflower – cut into florets

3-5 red bell peppers (The more you use the stronger the flavor & brighter the color.  I used 3 in this.) – roasted & peeled as described above OR an equivalent jarred roasted peppers.

1 large leek – sliced & washed (or onion or shallots) – pat them dry to avoid splattering the oil

1-6 cloves garlic (to taste) – chopped

1 – 1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)

1/4 – 1/2 cup fresh basil (plus extra for garnish)

Crushed red pepper to taste

S&P

1-2 TBS nutritional yeast (optional)

1/4 cup vegan Parmesan

12 oz pasta

10-9-16-30

10-9-16-38

10-9-16-40

10-9-16-41

DIRECTIONS

Cook the pasta, drain & set aside.

Meanwhile, boil the cauliflower 5-7 minutes – until soft.  Drain & set aside.

10-9-16-39

In a very large saute pan, heat about 1 TBS olive oil & saute the leeks until soft.  Add crushed red pepper & garlic and saute another minute.

Put the leeks, about 1/2 the cauliflower florets, roasted red peppers, nutritional yeast, vegan Parmesan, fresh basil and s&p (to taste) into a blender or food processor.  Puree adding as much milk as you need to get the sauce to a consistency you like.

Return the sauce to the pan & add pasta & remaining cauliflower.  Heat through & season to taste.  Serve with basil as garnish.

10-9-16-45

10-9-16-46

10-9-16-48

10-9-16-51

10-9-16-68

10-9-16-70

10-9-16-77

Healthy and Cheesy Vegan Green Enchilada & Spicy Chili Pepper Mac & Cheese with Cauliflower

Leave a comment

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or just print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

4-30-16 (109)

4-30-16 (58)

4-30-16 (93)

4-30-16 (101)

BathingandthesinglegirlCover

vromans back

4-30-16 (46)

4-30-16 (51)

4-30-16 (70)

So – I wanted to make a healthier mac & cheese – less cheese (even less vegan cheese) and less pasta.  I looked in the fridge & my pantry & found these potential ingredients.

4-30-16 (3)

4-30-16 (4)

4-30-16 (5)

4-30-16 (6)

4-30-16 (7)

4-30-16 (8)

As it turned out – I used all but the vegan cream cheese & the Daiya cheddar shreds.    So – the only actual cheese (vegan cheese) in this recipe is the Field Roast Chao Tomato-Cayenne slices.  If you can’t find these or do not like them (I think the 3 Chao cheeses are the best grocery store vegan cheeses on the market so far) – then use Daiya or any other kind of vegan cheese – or even real cheese (if you are not vegan).

This is a very easy dish to make – though it does have a few steps.  The only special tool you need is a blender (or a food processor).  No need to soak cashews overnight.  And – most importantly – it is VERY convincing!  None of the over-powering flavor of nutritional yeast yet all the wet, creaminess of real mac & cheese.  I swear – non-vegans will not identify this as vegan.  It has the additional benefit of using two full heads of cauliflower – but they blend in and become virtually undetectable – so your veggie hating kiddies will likely eat this with little argument (though you might want to reduce the spiciness for tender palates).

My primary excitement about this recipe is the green enchilada roux.  Traditional roux is made with butter, flour & milk.  I definitely wanted to use the green enchilada sauce but I did not want the dish to be swimming in liquid – as I feared it might be if I made a roux with milk and also added the enchilada sauce.  Happy news!  The enchilada sauce blended & thickened with the butter & flour as easily as milk would have but added SO much more flavor.

Again – while there are a few steps (mainly, boiling & draining to heads of cauliflower & the pasta) – none are difficult & the resulting dish is supremely gratifying!   I hope you try it!

4-30-16 (76)

4-30-16 (86)

4-30-16 (99)

Healthy and Cheesy Vegan Green Enchilada & Spicy Chili Pepper Mac & Cheese with Cauliflower

Serves at least 6

INGREDIENTS

2 heads cauliflower (I used one white & one yellow)

for the roux

4 TBS vegan butter

4 TBS flour

16 oz green enchilada sauce

7 oz vegan cheddar (sliced up or grated)

1/4 cup nutritional yeast (SUPER optional – I just had a little left over that I wanted to use up)

for the mac & cheese

1-2 jalapenos – one seeded & diced and one seeded & sliced (optional – depending on your taste for spice)

1 4oz can diced green chilies (I used hot but you could use mild)

2 ears corn – kernels cut from the cob (or about one 14 oz can of corn or 1 cup frozen corn)

1 lb pasta (shape of your choice)

1-2 cups breadcrumbs (I used panko)

Cooking spray

GARNISH: cilantro, avocado, diced tomato, hot sauces, additional fresh jalapeno or canned chilies

4-30-16 (81)

4-30-16 (122)

4-30-16 (125)

4-30-16 (78)

4-30-16 (44)

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Treat a 9×13 casserole pan with cooking spray.

Cook the pasta according to directions (maybe 1 minute less than suggested) – drain & set aside.

4-30-16 (25)

4-30-16 (27)

If you are using 2 different colors of cauliflower – you might want to cut each into florets & then boil & drain them each separately.  Or not.  It doesn’t matter much but the yellow cauliflower purees & looks like a cheesier sauce than white cauliflower will.  Still – some cheddar cheeses are white – so – don’t sweat it, whatever you decide.  If you are just using 2 heads of the same color – boil until just tender (5-7 minutes) – drain & set aside.

4-30-16 (24)

4-30-16 (26)

If you used one head of yellow cauliflower – put it (with about 1 cup of hot water) into a blender & puree until very smooth.  Only add just as much water as you need to accomplish this – which could be more or less than a cup of water – depending on the size of the head you used.

If you used to heads of the same color – just puree one head worth as described above.  Set aside.

4-30-16 (10)

4-30-16 (11)

Melt the butter in a sauce pan & whisk in the flour.  It should thicken & brown a bit very quickly – maybe a minute.  Add the enchilada sauce incrementally – letting it thicken before adding more – until it is all incorporated & rater thick.

4-30-16 (12)

4-30-16 (13)

Add the cheese & stir until it melts.

4-30-16 (14)

4-30-16 (15)

Add the pureed cauliflower & nutritional yeast (if using), salt & pepper to taste, and then one diced jalapeno, canned chilies & the corn.

4-30-16 (17)

4-30-16 (18)

4-30-16 (19)

4-30-16 (20)

4-30-16 (22)

4-30-16 (23)

Combine & adjust S&P – if necessary.

Put the sauce in a large bowl & then add the pasta and the remaining cauliflower florets.  Combine.

4-30-16 (28)

4-30-16 (30)

Pour the mac & cheese into the casserole dish & top with breadcrumbs & maybe some sliced jalapeno.  Spray with cooking spray – as this helps the breadcrumbs brown (because vegan cheese does not have the animal fat of real cheese – which is what browns in traditional mac & cheese).

4-30-16 (31)

4-30-16 (32)

4-30-16 (34)

4-30-16 (35)

Bake at 400 for about 30-45 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are browned a bit & the cheese sauce is bubbly.

4-30-16 (37)

4-30-16 (43)

Let rest for about ten minutes & then serve.  Garnish with avocado, cilantro, diced tomatoes and/or anything else you like.

4-30-16 (50)

4-30-16 (60)

4-30-16 (67)

4-30-16 (95)

4-30-16 (104)

4-30-16 (45)

Vegan Protein-Packed Red Quinoa Salad with Avocado, Arugula & Citrus-Balsamic Vinaigrette

Leave a comment

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or just print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

4-9-16 (83)

4-9-16 (70)

BathingandthesinglegirlCover

vromans back

4-9-16 (58)

This salad is jam packed with protein (from the quinoa, black beans & chickpeas) and light & healthy & delicious.  The ingredients here are all optional – as is the case with all salads.   This recipe makes an enormous party-sized quantity so – either be prepared to feed a lot of people or to eat it every day for a while – or cut the recipe in half.  Do not dress the whole salad & do not add avocado until you are serving it.  That way – the salad will keep longer.  UPDATE 4-18-16:  Without the avocado & dressing on it – this salad stayed fresh in my fridge for a full week.

4-9-16 (72)

Vegan Protein-Packed Red Quinoa Salad with Avocado, Arugula & Citrus-Balsamic Vinaigrette

Makes a boatload of salad – at least enough for 6 as an entree – more as a side

INGREDIENTS

for the salad

(these quantities are very flexible – so make your salad to taste)

3-4 cups cooked red (or other) quinoa (cooked according to directions & cooled)

1 English cucumber – diced

1 cup chopped cherry (or other) tomatoes (I used heirloom)

1 15-oz can black beans – drained & rinsed

1 15-oz can chickpeas – drained & rinsed

1/2 cup sliced black olives

1 red bell pepper – seeded & diced

3 scallions – sliced

1 cup corn (fresh cut from the cob is best but I used frozen)

1/2 red onion – diced

1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional)

Avocado (as much or as little as you like – I used 1/2 avocado per serving) – cubed & lime juice squeezed on it

Arugula (optional – as a bedding)

for the citrus-balsamic vinaigrette

5 TBS of juice from lemons & limes (use either one or a combo of both for a total of 5 TBS)

1-3 garlic cloves – minced

2 TBS white (or other) balsamic vinaigrette

1/4 cup cilantro – chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 tsp cumin

S&P to taste

4-9-16 (43)

4-9-16 (53)

4-9-16 (42)

4-9-16 (49)

4-9-16 (44)

4-9-16 (54)

DIRECTIONS

Cook & cool your quinoa.  You can even rinse it in cold water & drain it to cool it quickly.

Whisk the dressing together & season to taste.

Toss all the salad ingredients – EXCEPT the avocado & arugula – and stir to combine.

If using arugula – put some on plates.  Top with quinoa salad & drizzle with dressing.  Top with avocado.

Shove it in your face & feel strong & healthy!

4-9-16 (45)

4-9-16 (47)

4-9-16 (48)

4-9-16 (50)

4-9-16 (52)

4-9-16 (86)

4-9-16 (75)

Hearty Vegan Beef & Vegetable Stew for the Slow Cooker

3 Comments

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or just print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

3-28-16 (97)

3-28-16 (82)

BathingandthesinglegirlCover

vromans back

3-15-13d-3

I have posted a beef stew before – my Easy Vegetarian (Vegan) Irish Stew for a Slow Cooker – from almost exactly three years ago but this current one is superior.  It is superior due to my just getting better at vegan stews & a higher quality vegan meat.  I am all about Beyond Meat – and I think it is the best on the market – but they don’t offer certain things.  In this case – I wanted cubes of beef – and Beyond Meat only offers a ground beef.  So – I decided to use both Beyond Meat’s Beefy Crumbles and Gardein’s Beefless Tips – which were wonderful in my Vegan Spicy Ginger-Garlic Red Pepper Beef Steak with Vegetable Fried Cauliflower Rice – seen just below.  I used one bag of each in this stew.  If you really want to ratchet up the presence of the beef – double up on one or both of these – or use your own favorite faux beef.

3-16-16 (178)

3-28-16 (36)

3-28-16 (37)

There are about an infinity of ingredients in this stew – most of which can be eliminated without a negative impact on this dish.  I happened to have all but mushrooms, an onion & carrots on hand.  If you are missing an ingredient or two (or three) – I think you will still like the results.

3-28-16 (40)

I used those vegetarian bouillon cubes above but I am going to stop buying them.  They contain palm oil & an obscene sodium content so – I will be moving on to Better Than Bouillon, when my supply of these runs out.

I served my stew over mashed cauliflower.   When I was done eating – I mixed the leftover mashed cauliflower directly into the stew.  This had the effect of making it seem thicker & denser – but it is just cauliflower – so it actually lightens the dish up.

**NOTE – I made this in a slow cooker (on high) while I hiked.  It was pretty much done when I returned 2 1/2 hours later.  You could make this just as easily stove top – maybe in less time.  Just bring to a boil & simmer until the veggies are cooked.  To thicken it – return it to a boil.  Whisk 1/4 cup cornstarch into some hot water & add to the boiling stew.  It should thicken nicely.  If not – do it again.  Add water if it gets too thick.

3-28-16 (50)

3-28-16 (74)

3-28-16 (90)

Hearty Vegan Beef & Vegetable Stew for the Slow Cooker

Serves 6 or more

INGREDIENTS (VERY flexible – both in what you use & quantity)

Olive oil (or the cooking oil of your choice)

1 (9 oz) vegan ground beef (or more) – I recommend Beyond Meat

1 package (or more) of Gardein Beefless Tips (or your favorite vegan cubed steak)

1 onion – diced

2 Portobello mushroom – cut up (or whatever mushrooms you prefer)

4 carrots – sliced

2 jalapenos – diced (optional)

1-2 cups cubed white-fleshed potato of any variety (I don’t peel my potatoes)

1 small sweet potato – cubed (I don’t peel my potatoes)

2 celery stalks – chopped

4 radishes – cubed (I only used them because I had them so they are very optional)

2 tomatoes – diced (or a cup of canned diced tomatoes)

2-6 garlic cloves – minced

5 cups vegetable stock

1 cup dry red wine (optional) – or another cup of stock

6 oz lima beans (I used frozen)

1-2 cups peas (I used frozen)

1 cup corn (I used frozen)

1/4 cup pasta sauce (I used Rao’s but you can use your favorite or omit it)

1 TBS Bragg’s liquid aminos OR soy sauce OR tamari

1 TBS dry mustard

1 TBS vegan Worcestershire sauce

1 TBS Kitchen Bouquet (seasoning available in the spice aisle or near gravy ingredients)

Few squirts Maggi  (seasoning available in the spice aisle or near gravy ingredients)

1 tsp smoked (or regular) paprika

2 bay leaves

6 whole coves

1 tsp agave nectar (or sugar)

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional)

1/4 cup corn starch (or more)

S&P

3-28-16 (35)

3-28-16 (38)

3-28-16 (44)

3-28-16 (65)

DIRECTIONS

I really prefer slow cooker recipes that require ZERO prep.  Recipes where you just dump the shit into the cooker & go away.  But – I really wanted a stew-like flavor here so – I thought cooking the onions & bringing their flavor – & the flavor of the sauteed mushrooms were important.  Also – browning the steak cubes assists in the visual presentation.  You could certainly just dump it all in & would probably be just as happy with the result.  Your call.

So – heat 2 TBS or so of oil & saute the onions & the beef cubes.  When the onions start to brown.  Add the garlic & saute one minute.  Add the wine (or stock) and quickly deglaze the pan.  Put this into the slow cooker.

In the same pan, add another TBS or so of oil & saute the mushrooms until they begin to sear.  Deglaze the pan with a tiny bit of water & add the mushrooms to the slow cooker.

If you are going stove top – do the steps above & then put those things & the rest of the ingredients (EXCEPT THE CORNSTARCH) into a huge stock pot, bring to a boil & simmer until the vegetables are tender – not more than 1/2 hour.  To thicken it – return it to a boil.  Whisk 1/4 cup cornstarch into some hot water & add to the boiling stew.  It should thicken nicely.  If not – do it again.  Add water if it gets too thick.  Season with S&P.

If you are slow cooking it – dump the rest of the ingredients (EXCEPT THE CORNSTARCH) into the slow cooker & leave it covered & on high for 3 hours or so.   To thicken it – remove the lid. Whisk 1/4 cup cornstarch into some hot water & add to the boiling stew.  It should thicken nicely.  If not – do it again.  Leave the top off until it thickens.  Add water if it gets too thick.  Season with S&P.

Serve over rice or mashed potatoes or – as I did – over mashed cauliflower.   When I was done eating – I mixed the leftover mashed cauliflower directly into the stew.  This had the effect of making it seem thicker & denser – but it is just cauliflower – so it actually lightens the dish up.

3-28-16 (73)

3-28-16 (86)

Spicy Creamy Vegan Butternut Squash & Celery Root Soup

Leave a comment

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

10-28-15 (47)

10-28-15 (22)

BathingandthesinglegirlCover vromans back

10-28-15 (49)

Lots of my recent recipes have been born from the need to use the vegetables that Farm Fresh to You sends me every two week.   I had a butternut squash and, you guessed it, celery root.  Two.  HUGE.  Celery roots.  I love celery root but there are not really that many ways to use it (it ain’t no cauliflower – that’s all I’m saying) – but this soup is a perfect way.  Creamy & light & guiltless.  I ate it for lunch at work for ten days straight.  I am certain it will freeze well – so if variety is the pice of your life – get ready to freeze some of this stuff.

10-28-15 (25)

Spicy Creamy Vegan Butternut Squash & Celery Root Soup

Serves 10+ depending on portions

INGREDIENTS

1 large butternut squash – peeled, seeded & cubed

2 large celery roots – peeled & cubed

1 onion

3 celery stalks – sliced

5 carrots – sliced

1 jalapeno – seeded & chopped (I did not seed mine & the soup was delightfully spicy!)

1-2 TBS dry sage (add it in increments)

10 cups vegetable stock

1 cup almond (or other vegan) milk (option – skip the milk & add more stock)

olive oil

S&P

GARNISH OPTIONS – fresh chopped sage, fried sage, a dollop of vegan sour cream or lots of freshly cracked pepper

10-28-15 (18)

10-28-15 (19)

10-28-15 (20) 10-28-15 (21)

10-28-15 (24)

10-28-15 (56)

DIRECTIONS

Heat a glug or two (2-3 TBS) of olive oil in a large stock pot.  Add the onions, carrots, celery & jalapeno until the onions just start to turn color – just a bit.  Add everything else except the almond milk.  Bring to a boil & cook until the squash & other veggies are VERY soft.

Puree in a blender in batches – putting the puree into a clean pan.   When it is all smoothly pureed, season with S&P & stir in the almond milk – or more stock – if you think it needs it.  Heat through.

Serve with whatever garnish you choose.

10-28-15 (34) 10-28-15 (38)

4-Ingredient Vegan Creamy Avocado Pasta with Broccoli

2 Comments

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

7-21-15 (134)

7-21-15 (152)

BathingandthesinglegirlCover

vromans back

This is as easy as easy gets.  If you can boil water & mash an avocado – you are IN!  I made this the other day with olive oil & garlic & shallots but I prefer this easier & cleaner version.   And it is a great way to make dinner on a hot day (and it has been hideously humid here, lately) and not heat up the whole kitchen.

The quantities of each ingredient are really up to you.  You might like a fuckton of broccoli & a heavier avocado sauce – or not.  So – feel free to improvise.

7-21-15 (145)

7-21-15 (158)

4-Ingredient Vegan Creamy Avocado Pasta with Broccoli

serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb pasta (I used that fresh stuff from the refrigerator section)

Broccoli (I used one large head)

1 large avocado

1/2 a lemon or lime

S&P

7-21-15 (131)

7-21-15 (132)

DIRECTIONS

Boil water.  I quartered my broccoli & basically boiled it for about 5 minutes & fished it out with a slotted spoon an set aside & then cooked the pasta in the same water as directed on the package.  If you like your broccoli more al dente or mushier – adjust the cooking time & test the broccoli every minute or so.

Mash the avocado with fresh lemon or lime juice – to taste.  Start light with the juice so it doesn’t overpower the avocado.  Season with S&P.  I tried this in my blender but there was not enough bulk for the blender to work so I just mashed it by hand.  I added a tiny bit of water to thin it into a thick sauce rather than a basic guacamole.

Cut the broccoli into florets.

Drain the pasta & toss with the broccoli & some avocado – maybe reserving some avocado to top the dish.

Season with S&P & serve!

7-21-15 (139)

7-21-15 (156)

Seven Layer Dip – Vegan or Not

Leave a comment

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

~

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

~

12-29-14 (106)

12-29-14 (111)

BathingandthesinglegirlCover

vromans back

It’s still ON! The Christmas special!

Buy a signed and LETTERED (hence – limited to 26 copies) copy of my book FROM THE LINK BELOW, and get copy of the short on DVD & 3 signed bookplates so you can give three people signed copies as gifts. The cost will be $25 which will include DOMESTIC shipping.

First come – first serve. When the 26 are gone – that is it. Buy ASAP if you want to be sure to get the templates for your gift giving this season!

http://www.bathingandthesinglegirlbook.com/store/p6/Christmas_LIMITED_Special%21.html

12-29-14 (107)

I have never made one of these before but I will make one again!  Easy & feeds a lot of people & can be endlessly customized to suit your dietary tastes & concerns.

I used real cheese but vegan cheese would be great.  I skipped the sour cream – but you could choose to add some.  I used one deep bowl but, in the future, might opt for two shallower pans – like a lasagna or casserole pan because this got pretty deep & a spoon was required to facilitate eating it.  But doesn’t it look fresh & pretty?

If you make one this deep – I definitely suggest letting people use a serving spoon to put a bunch on their plate rather than dipping chips into the bowl directly.

12-29-14 (98)

12-29-14 (99)

12-29-14 (104)

INGREDIENTS

(open to your tweaking)

2 (16 oz) cans re-fried beans (I used one can of pinto refried beans & one can of black refried beans)

8 oz shredded cheese (vegan or otherwise)

1/2 head romaine (or other lettuce) washed & shredded

8 oz container of your favorite salsa

8 oz container of guacamole (I used 8 small, fresh avocados mashed with some salt & fresh lime juice like I made in a smaller quantity HERE)

Small can sliced black olives

Taco seasoning (1-2 TBS to taste)

1/2 red onion – diced

5-10 Cherry or grape tomatoes – halved

3-4 radishes sliced

Cilantro – chopped

2-3 scallions – sliced

Jarred or fresh sliced jalapeno (optional)

Sour cream (optional)

Corn (optional)

CHIPS!

12-29-14 (100)

12-29-14 (101)

12-29-14 (103)

DIRECTIONS

Mash the beans together with the taco seasoning.

If making fresh guacamole – do that.  I left two avocado pits in it to keep it from browning & even left the pits in the layered dip.

Then just layer it up as you like.  I began with beans then added salsa, guacamole, onion, lettuce, cheese & then topped it all with the tomatoes, olives, radishes, scallions, cilantro.  You might want to layer sour cream or pickled or fresh jalapenos or even some corn.

Chill this a bit & serve with corn chips.

Again – if you make one this deep – I suggest letting people use a serving spoon to put a bunch on their plate rather than dipping chips into the bowl directly.

12-29-14 (105)

Healthy Spicy Vegan Red Beans and Rice

1 Comment

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

~

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

~

9-16-14 (132)

9-16-14 (128)

Untitled

vromans back

9-16-14 (145)

OK – I decided I had to make these for two reasons.  1) Sir Mix-a-lot & his Baby Got Back song.  Is there EVER a time when this song doesn’t sound great?  For a novelty-sounding song – it really holds up over time.  Anyway – one line is “Red beans & rice didn’t miss her.”   While that makes it sound like red beans & rice give you a huge ass – this recipe is clean & healthy.  I hear this song at the gym rather frequently & it always makes me crave red beans & rice.

2) It has been hot as FUCK this week and these can be made stove-top (or in a crock pot) – minimizing the heat added to my already sweltering kitchen.

I am sitting at my desk in my un-air-conditioned office (the hottest room in my house) – I will simply show what it was like outside before 10AM today:

IMG_8307

Yes.  That says 100 degrees at 9:58 am.  UGH!!!!!!!!

So – I will keep this brief & slink down to my kitchen – the coolest room in my house – for the remainder of the day.

One note – I used two kinds of veggie sausage here but I am not 100% certain either is vegan (though I think they are).  Just check the brand you use to be sure – assuming you are vegan.

9-16-14 (87)

Also – I browned the two Field Roast links you see there before adding the other ingredients & that was sort of a waste of time because they just got sort of soggy after the stock was added.  So – I browned additional sausage:

9-16-14 (98)

and set it aside & just added it at the end – sort of like a garnish.  That way, it retained it seared qualities.  You can do this – or not – your call.  Combined – the two varieties of sausage made this a “meatier” dish than it need be but those fake sausages are yummy – so fuck it.  I did add a couple of zucchinis to lighten the beans up a bit.

9-16-14 (120) 9-16-14 (149)

9-16-14 (96)

9-16-14 (97)

QUICK SOAK METHOD

Presoaking beans overnight not only cuts down on cooking time by up to 25 percent, it also helps the beans cook evenly without splitting. It’s easy, too (if you remember to do it). Still, we prefer the “power soak” method. Not only is it faster than soaking beans overnight, it also breaks down more of the complex sugars that can make beans hard to digest. The process is simple: Place beans in a pot and cover with water by three inches. Bring to a boil and simmer briskly for two minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for one hour. Drain. Your beans will be ready to use in your favorite recipes.–Kay Chun

Healthy Spicy Vegan Red Beans and Rice

Feeds a lot – 6 or more

INGREDIENTS

Cooked rice ( I used brown basmati)

1 lb dry small red beans (soaked overnight or quick-soaked as outlined above) – try to use small red but kidney will do in a pinch

Olive oil

4 celery stalks – chopped

1-3 chipotle peppers in adobo (I used 3 & these beans were SPICY!) – minced

1/2 large onion – diced

2 zucchinis – cubed (optional)

1-2 jalapeno peppers – seeded & diced (I used two)

4 garlic cloves – minced

1 bell pepper – diced (traditional in the dish – but I didn’t have one & I didn’t miss it)

2 tsp dry thyme

3 bay leaves

1 TBS dry rub (I used that Road Kill stuff above but any rub you like will do)

1-3 tsp Creole seasoning (I used Zatarain’s)

Vegan sausage (I ended up using 6!) – in a quantity you feel suits your taste – sliced

5+ cups vegetable stock

Scallions for garnish

9-16-14 (88)

9-16-14 (90)

9-16-14 (159)

9-16-14 (112) 9-16-14 (141)

DIRECTIONS

Quick-soak the beans if you did not soak them overnight (instructions are above).  The soaking helps to stop the gas beans are famous for giving us.

As I explained above, you might want to brown your sausage & set it aside – and add it at the very end – so it retains its texture better.  If texture doesn’t matter to you – just add it with the onions.  Or – divvy it up & do a little of both – as I ended up doing.

9-16-14 (100) 9-16-14 (101)

Cook your rice.

Heat 2-3 TBS olive oil in a LARGE stock pot & saute the sausage until browned & either set it aside or just continue.   Some vegan sausage is pretty dry & you might need more olive oil.  Add onions, celery, bell pepper (if using), jalapeno & saute til softened a bit.  Again – add more olive oil if you think it is getting too dry.  Add chipotle, zucchini, dry rub, thyme, Creole seasoning, bay leaves & garlic & stir to incorporate & then add the red beans & 5 cups of stock.

9-16-14 (92)

9-16-14 (93)

9-16-14 (94)

9-16-14 (95)

Then bring this all to a boil.  Lower the heat & cover & simmer for 2 hours or so – or until the beans are tender.  Stir every once in a while & add water if it gets too thick.  I added 1-2 cups of water by the time it was all said & done.  At some point – when the beans are soft – smash a cup or two with a wooden spoon against the pot – or (as I did) – drop an immersion blender in there & mash a cup or two – so there is a thick broth.

9-16-14 (121)

9-16-14 (143)

9-16-14 (147)

When you are ready to serve, put some rice on each plate, add the red beans & garnish with sausage (if you set some aside) & chopped scallions.  A cold beer or two – and you are good to go!

9-16-14 (127) 9-16-14 (152)

Healthy Vegan Chicken Fricassee with Tarragon

3 Comments

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

~

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

~

7-24-14 (112)

7-24-14 (110)

 

This is another easy one & It could probably even be made in a slow cooker.  I browned the vegan chicken – really just for texture – so it isn’t totally necessary.   Beyond that – you kinda just throw everything together.  This makes enough for two easily – maybe even four if you served it over rice or noodles of mashed potato – or even mashed cauliflower.

This dish is flavorful but a rare NON-spicy dish for me.  Apparently, Abraham Lincoln was a very finicky eater but this was one of his favorite dishes – so it is obviously an old classic.   Lots of recipes call for heavy cream but I lightened this up by using a mixture of my light (homemade) almond milk & cornstarch.   The result is a dish that tastes like the filling for a pot pie – just without a crust.  Mild & comforting!

7-24-14 (115)

7-24-14 (118)

 

7-24-14 (18)

Vegan Chicken Fricassee with Tarragon

Serves 2 – more if you add rice or noodles or another starchy base

INGREDIENTS

9 oz vegan chicken

1/4 cup flour with maybe 1/2 tsp each of salt & pepper mixed in

3 shallots (or 1/2 onion) – minced

3 carrots – sliced

10-20 pearl onions – fresh or frozen

4 oz mushrooms – quartered

2 celery stalks – sliced

Olive oil

Several sprigs fresh tarragon

1/2 cup dry white wine

2-3 cups vegetable stock

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1/4 cup almond (or other) milk

2 tsp cornstarch

7-24-14 (94)

7-24-14 (20)

7-24-14 (22)

7-24-14 (23)

DIRECTIONS

If using fresh pearl onion – drop them into boiling water for 3 minutes.  Drain & cool & then cot the hard end off & squeeze the onions out the end.  Set aside.

Mix the flour with S&P & coat the vegan chicken.  I did this right in the bag the chicken came in.

Heat 2-3 TBS olive oil over medium heat & saute the chicken until it browns.  Set aside.

7-24-14 (24)

7-24-14 (29)

 

If you need more olive oil – add a bit – and saute the shallots until soft.  Add the wine & scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pan.  After a minute – add vegetable stock, carrots, mushrooms, celery, pearl onions, Dijon mustard & maybe 2-3 large sprigs of fresh tarragon.  Simmer for about 20 minutes & let flavors meld.

Whisk the cornstarch into the almond milk & add it to the pan.  Simmer until it thickens – maybe 5 minutes.  If it gets too thick, just add water or more veggie stock.  Add the chicken & heat through.  Carefully remove the tarragon sprigs & serve with additional chopped fresh tarragon.   Reflect upon how cool it is that you just made something Mary Todd Lincoln likely made loads of times!

7-24-14 (38)

7-24-14 (109) 7-24-14 (114)

 

The top video there is trailer for my novel.  The second is me reading from it a while back – at Vroman’s.

BathingandthesinglegirlCover

vromans back

 

Healthy Vegan Chinese Chicken Salad with Spicy Asian Dressing

3 Comments

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

~

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

~

Image

vromans front vromans back

Image

Image

Image

That was taken today – at 9:56 AM.  100 degrees.  Holy SHITE!  A person can get to feeling downright panicked in this kinda heat – when that person has no access to AC.  And I do not.  It is fucking NUTS!

So – in reaction to the heat – I have been making things that require no oven.  No stove.  No FIRE!  NOTHING to add to the heat in the kitchen.  Yesterday – I made Cool Vegan Cashew & Cranberry Chicken Salad Tacos with Avocado.

Image

Today – even those tortillas wrapped around the chicken salad look warmth providing & claustrophobic.  Looking at the photo, I feel the irrational urge to shrug them off of myself – as if they were wrapped around my shoulders.

So – I made a salad salad.  No wrap.  No bread.  No blanket!  Just cool salad.

Now – know that the calorie count of your average Chinese chicken salad is pretty brutal.  Cheesecake Factory lunch Chinese chicken salad is 535 calories. The dinner sized salad is 962 calories.  California Pizza Kitchen’s versions are 420 & 790, respectively.  A Big Mac only has 550.   A small order of fries has 230.  That means a Big Mac & fries has roughly the same calorie count as a dinner sized salad at CPK and FEWER calories than the dinner salad at Cheesecake Factory.  

This salad will be far easier on your ass – assuming you do not overdress it & that you do not load it up too much with chow mein noodles.  Definitely do not use those fried wonton strips.  They are like crack – and go right to your ass.

Ingredients & the ratio of them is up to you.  If you want to add Mandarin orange slices or use a different nut – go NUTZ!  I used this awesome vegan chicken & recommend it very highly. There is a coupon below to use until the end of the month.

Image

BYMT_MicroMarketing_FreeCoupon

Image

Image

Image

Spicy Asian Dressing

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup olive oil

3 TBS agave nectar (or honey – if you are not vegan)

2 TBS rice vinegar

1 TBS low sodium soy sauce

1 TBS fresh ginger – minced

1 garlic clove – minced

1-2 TBS sriracha (or chili paste) – or to taste

1 tsp toasted or regular sesame oil

1/4 lime – squeezed into the dressing

DIRECTIONS

Whisk together or – put into a salad dressing container & shake it up.  Add S&P if you want.  This will make more dressing than you will likely need – so – don’t go dumping it all over your salad.  Dress the salad only right before you eat it & only dress the part you are going to eat.  The remaining salad will keep a day or so – as long as it has not yet been dressed.

Image

Image

Healthy Vegan Chinese Chicken Salad

Depending on how much of each ingredient you use – feeds TWO very well for dinner

INGREDIENTS

9 oz vegan chicken (or cooked real chicken) – thawed

3 TBS low sodium soy sauce

2 TBS rice vinegar

1/2 – 1 head lettuce (romaine is great – but I had a head of green leaf & it was delightful) – washed & chopped

1-2 cups purple cabbage – chopped

Chow mein noodles – use sparingly – unless you have a massive hole in your heart (like I do) – then self-medicate with these.  FTW!

3 carrots – chopped or grated

3 mini peppers or 1/2 bell pepper – cut into strips (the mini ones are nice because you can mix up the colors)

Edamame – optional

12+ snow peas – trimmed & cut into thin strips

1 scallion – sliced

1/2 cup cashews (or sliced almonds or toasted peanuts or whateverthefuck you like – just know these are fatty, too.)

Edible flowers – (again – not required but very pretty & sometimes you gotta buy yourself stupid things for no reason)

Image

Image

Image

Image

DIRECTIONS

I cut the chicken into cubes & then put them back in their bag with the 3 TBS soy sauce & 2 TBS rice vinegar.  I shook it up & let it marinate while I prepped the other veggies.

When ready to eat – toss the prepped vegetables & top with edible flowers – that is – assuming you are as full of self pity as I am & require such things to make life worth living.

Add the chow mein noodles & don’t kid yourself how bad they are for you when you do this.  What you do – after you have read the label on the can – is up to you.  But don’t go eating the whole can & then coming knocking on my door with your newly fattened ass to bitch me out.  I’m barely treading water as it is out here – and I warned you.

I will add – that if you intend to drink as much cold, white wine with this salad as I do – you might want to skip the chemical-ridden chow mein noodles & save them calories for the likker.  Like a good little alchorexic.  🙂  Skip the nuts in the salad & go for the entire box of wine.  The person eating across from you will be getting as drunk as you are.  Who are THEY to judge?

Only add dressing to the portions of the salad actually served – that way – if there is salad left over – it will keep a day or so – as long as it isn’t soggy with dressing.

Cheers!

Image

Image

Image