Sunday, July 1, 2012

Mushroom chana masala madness!

 I'm writing in between bouts of extreme laziness that involves watching episodes of MI-5 on Netflix. I've stopped watching just long enough to post this delicious recipe, slightly modified from the original blog where I found it here:

Mushroom Chana Masala
2 tsp coconut oil
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
8 oz. crimini mushrooms (or baby bellas) washed and sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small head of broccoli, chopped
1/2 cup peas (frozen)
1 can chickpeas
2 Tbsp coconut milk
1/4 cup veggie broth
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp salt

Start by sauteing diced onion in coconut oil until it begins to turn translucent.

Add sliced mushrooms and saute for an additional 4 minutes.

Add garlic, broccoli, chickpeas, and peas and saute everything for 3-4 more minutes.

Then add in the coconut milk, veggie broth and spices and allow the mixture to simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Serve over couscous, rice, or quinoa! You can add some nutritional yeast to the rice/couscous/quinoa to get a 'cheesy rice', should you so desire. I have actually just had it plain or with couscous, but I think all the listed options are enjoyable.

And I used much more than a few tablespoons of coconut oil because my pan did NOT want to cooperate. Try it, experiment, and love it!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Militantly lazy quinoa black bean salad

So I saw this recipe posted online: and thought...yummy! I have to make this.

Then I realized I had most, but not all, of the ingredients. So I made my version, which included the following:

Salad ingredients:

1 cup quinoa
1 can of black beans (or about 2 cups)
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 cup of green beans, chopped
1/2 cup of red pepper, diced
1/2 cup of green pepper, diced
 1 tsp cumin
1 medium ripe tomato
1 cup chopped cucumber
1 Tbsp cilantro (I used dried, but whatev)

3 Tbsp lime juice (fresh if you have it, but I had some in a bottle)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
ground pepper to taste

Here's what I did:

Put your quinoa (1 cup of quinoa with about 1 and 1/2 cups water) in a pan. Bring it to a boil, cover it, turn it to low, and cook for 15 minutes.

While that was cooking, I drained and rinsed my can of Trader Joe's black beans and set them aside in a bowl.

I minced up my garlic cloves, and sauteed them in a pan for a few minutes with 1 tsp of olive oil. My celery and peppers were already diced up, so they were just sitting in another bowl waiting to be added to the pan.

I added the celery, green beans, and peppers to the pan and sauteed for 5 minutes.

Once I added the above to the pan, I turned off the burner for the quinoa so I could let it cool a bit.

Then I made the dressing by putting the lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a 2 cup measuring bowl and whisking it. I put it next to my rinsed black beans and got out a large bowl to dump everything into once the veggies were done.

So...back to the sauteed veggies. I added the cumin and 2 more minutes to the timer for the veggies. Then I chopped up the tomato and cucumber.

Once the timer went off, I grabbed the bowl and dumped everything in it:
quinoa, black beans, sauteed veggies, tomato, and cucumber. I added the cilantro and then poured the dressing over it.

Stirred it all up til everything was nicely coated, put a lid on it, and let it chill in the refrigerator. You could eat it warm, but since it's been so hot here, I decided a chilled salad is the way to go.

This recipe makes a pretty large batch, so make sure you have a big ol' bowl to use and store it, unless you're planning on sharing with several people.

Once I decided it was time to eat it, I will say it was slightly bland the way I made it. But I am afraid of cilantro AND of the jalepeno that was cited in the original recipe. However, I put a bit more salt and pepper on the portion I doled out on my plate and was immensely satisfied. Season to your taste preference and enjoy!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Where have I been? blog posts for a while now. I had a lot of life upheaval and really couldn't make the time to write.

I've been a decent vegetarian and a horribly lapsed vegan for the last 4 weeks, but now that things are settling down a bit, it's time to get back on the militantly lazy vegan train!

My new housemate is vegetarian-leaning but still loves things like bacon. Veganism is out of the question for her right now, which is okay with me. I have brought her to the dark side with my black bean burgers. Tonight she made couscous and lentils, and we had raspberries and blackberries for dessert.

This evening's meal reminded me that when I work to stay away from processed crap, my taste buds reset themselves. The tartness of a berry or the sweetness of a banana come back when I'm not busy gorging on store-bought pizza, or grocery store ice cream.

And it really is less expensive to eat lentils, beans, rice, quinoa, veggies and fruits than it is to eat meats and cheeses.

I still struggle with eggs and cheese in my diet. I love them both. I also like the nut cheeses, but I love regular cheese more. Giving it up without feeling like I am depriving myself (first world problem, I know) has not been easy, at all.

Even so, I carry on. More recipes to come as I get back into the swing of things!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Appliance-less Adventures, now with recipes!

Last week my blender died mid-smoothie and my food processor just refused to work. It was....frustrating. And I was worried it was going to derail my militantly lazy vega-tarianism. Fortunately, I was able to push myself to get excited about cooking other vegan or vegetarian meals.

I decided it was fine to continue eating black bean burgers every day a la the Non-Consumer Advocate blog I love, rather than stress myself out over not going entirely vegan yet. I was so bummed out about my appliances taking a crap that it seemed wiser to continue eating foods I know would at least be satisfying and wouldn't require either a blender or a food processor to be delicious. This amazing burger recipe is located here: .

The recipe yields 8 burgers, which I promptly froze and put in ziploc bags and used throughout the week any time I didn't feel an ounce of creativity about dinners or lunches.

I also switched out my breakfast eats from smoothies to a Badass Breakfast Quinoa recipe that makes enough for several days and is super easy. I found this recipe via the livejournal community cheapvegan and it's great! I copied and pasted the recipe from the lj community for you here:

4 cups cooked quinoa
4 medium bananas
5 Tbs peanut butter

Cook rinsed quinoa as per package instructions. While quinoa is cooking, mash bananas in a medium-sized bowl. Add peanut butter, stir a bit to combine. When quinoa is done, transfer while still warm to bowl containing banana and peanut butter, and mix well.

Makes approx. 8 slightly-heaping 1/2 cup servings. Cals/serving: approx. 270
Serve warm, or cold. Reheats nicely.

Note from the recipe creator: the quinoa will turn somewhat brownish when stored in the fridge - this is just the bananas in the mix oxidizing. It's still good to eat!

Notes from me: I will say that I did NOT enjoy eating this cold. Reheated though, it was fabulous, and tasted better than any oatmeal I've ever made. I am curious about making it again and adding other fruit to it.

And thanks to my friend Tina, I also made this fantastic recipe again, featuring quinoa, kale, mushrooms, and sweet potatoes that is delicious, filling, and reheats well:

This recipe calls for wine, but I substituted vegetarian broth and it is still amazing! I love this recipe because the only thing it really requires is patience. I've learned to set the timer on my stove and wash dishes or chop up veggies during the time it takes everything to cook, which really helps.

I still have notes on what other easy recipes I used, but those will have to wait for another blog post. This is definitely an ongoing learning process for me. Fortunately, my food processor is on the mend!! In celebration tonight I made almond cheese with garlic and herbs. I put some of that on an organic whole wheat wrap with homemade mustard and some mixed greens and it was a tasty easy dinner treat!

And stay tuned for Adventures in Juicing, also courtesy of my friends Tina and Bethany. I acquired a juicer, and will learn which vegetables make the best green juice. But for now, this Militantly Lazy Vegan (ok, Vegetarian for now) is out!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Show me what you're working with!

I may be militantly lazy about preparing and cooking/blending/whatever-ing delicious meals, but that doesn't mean I don't have a system. In fact, the only reason I can generally be so lazy about food in my house is because I periodically organize my kitchen and pantry space to my advantage. In fact, let's take a tour!

Here you can see all the rejects from my pantry:

I haven't been able to part with every canned item (yet!) in lieu of fresh choices, but I have made some improvements, as you can see:

 The pantry is on the far side of my generously sized kitchen. Below the pantry is a small counter (not pictured here), and across the room is my work space.

Ah, work space. This is where I blend, chop, and create delicious dishes! Notice the dry erase/bulletin board above my spices where I make all sorts of notes about which recipes I like and what ingredients I need:

Close up on the 'frequency of use' items like protein powder, chia seeds, nuts, et cetera, that I know I need to be able to access quickly, especially in the mornings for smoothies:

There was no new recipe to try today, though my lunch was an excellent pairing of  leftover black beans and mexican-flavored tofu mixed with salsa I made in my blender. Dinner was a black bean burger with half an avocado and one small roma tomato. No pictures of that tonight, since it was so delicious I scarfed it down before I could even think about taking a picture.

I spend a lot of time in my kitchen. Ironically, although I have a dish washer, I am getting to the point where I prefer to hand wash the dishes and wipe down the counters each night rather than let them build up in the sink. When I walk into the kitchen in the morning and it's clean, I derive a sense of immense satisfaction. Although I let the dishes go a few days on occasion, I am finding it so much easier to keep up with the cleaning since I am not using as many pots and pans, which is a blessing.

Now it's off to count up my change and attempt the Yoga for Beginners video, again. One day my head will actually rest on my shin. Until then, it's yoga videos chez moi!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Weekend Wrap Up

I have a confession to make.

This weekend, I ate lots of cheese. And it was delicious.

To be fair, I haven't told myself that I can't ever have cheese. But I am learning how addictive I find it to be. Once I start eating it, I really want to eat it. ALL THE CHEESE!!! I can go without bread and I'm fine. No refined or processed sugar? No big deal. But take away cheese and I am ready to cut a bitch throw down.

And that, my friends, is cause for concern. In my heart of hearts, I really want to clean up my eating. I personally believe that eating dairy isn't doing me any favors, around my midsection or in my arteries and veins. No good can come of this. I don't mean to sound alarmist, but I believe that not kicking my addiction to cheese will be very detrimental to my long term goals and my overall health and wellness. I also believe I have some underlying emotional attachment to cheese. I think if you showed me pictures of cheese while you had my brain attached to some electrodes and were monitoring it, you'd see the same section light up as a drug addict to her drug of choice. I don't want to feel controlled by a desire for unhealthy foods anymore.

It's important information for me to have so I can figure out how to fight back against my learned response to it.

This weekend, I also learned that despite my set backs, I am really proud of myself. I have accomplished some great goals so far, and sometimes I downplay my own progress. I'm not sure if it's the perfectionist in me or what, but that's kinda why I started this blog in the first place.

I need to be reminded that every little victory, no matter how small is worth celebrating.

Just look at this blog-I started off today's entry confessing my food 'sin'. And that kind of attitude will slow my progress.

So I'll end tonight's post with this small joy: I can do 50 sit ups. I do them almost every day. Sometimes I can push myself to do as many as 75 before I just have to give up. And I voluntarily worked out on Saturday since I missed my time on Friday. THAT is nothing short of a miracle.

Oh, and my food processor is back in business. I'm going to make all sorts of delicious foods this week! I might even get around to posting pictures.

Friday, March 23, 2012

A fabulous Friday

I had today off work, which was such a blessing in so many ways. This morning I made yet another delicious smoothie (spinach, banana, raspberries, and carrot!) and cleaned up in the kitchen.

I was sorting through the fridge, trying to figure out what else I needed to use up or toss. It just so happened I had 2 cups of cooked black beans and some diced green peppers that needed used, so I cut this recipe for black bean burgers in half and made 5 fantastic (but vegetarian, not vegan, since I used and egg) burgers.

They were so amazing that I ate one for lunch and had to force myself to put the other 4 away in the freezer for future lunches. Yum!!

Dinner tonight was leftovers from yesterday's recipe:

Which was followed by dessert!

Chia seeds. I never thought I'd enjoy them, but I've come to believe that if you put enough chocolate powder in recipes, anything can be delicious! The consistency is somewhat of an adjustment for me, but if that's a way I can have a vegan dessert, I'll take it!