Thursday, January 28, 2010

Daring Bakers: Nanaimo Bar Challenge

The January 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen. Lauren chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month. The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks and

She was also sweet enough to link us up to a vegan version of these Canadian goodies HERE.

But I wanted to give these bad boys my own little twist, so I turned them into.....

Vegan Nanaimo Truffles!!!!

(dude... they are extreme chocolate goodness!)

If you follow the link about to the recipe, you'll find the video on how to make the traditional layered bar. I followed the same recipe but added a few twists....

I took "layer 1" mixture & combined it w/ a bit more than 1/2 of "layer 2" mixture, which was still quite moist, so I added in a bit more graham cracker crumbs til it tightened up. Then I scooped up this dough w/ my smallest cookie dough scoop and placed the balls on a silpat lined baking sheet. Then I drizzled on the "layer 3" chocolate and placed in the fridge to set up.

wa-lah! i'll def. whip these up again, and trust me, the non-veg peeps in your life will not have a CLUE that it's a vegan treat!


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

on the fly dinner

i go from being super planned out on our weekly dinners, to being super fly by the seat of my pants, which doesn't always pan out so well.

last night was a "crap, i need to make SOMETHING for dinner" and with my picky crew that can just be an enormous pain. so i grabbed a bag of trusty pasta, grabbed some veggies out of the fridge an we were off!

The kids prefer their pasta plain w/ olive oil & "butter" (Earth Balance), so after the pasta was done i just scooped out some for hub and i and then dressed the rest w/ the above.

pasta w/ green yumminess

1 lb. pasta (divided to go w/ this sauce & some plain for kids)
cook as directed (but don't over cook!)

olive oil (a few times around the pan)
onion (diced small)
garlic (couple cloves minced)
2-3 smallish zucchini (small dice)
fresh broccoli (mine was a small bunch of organic, which was about 3 smallish stalks)
few handfuls black beans (canned/rinsed)
hot pepper flakes
water (or wine or veg broth)

i heated the oil, sauted the onions to my liking, then added the garlic & zucc & cooked a bit, then i added in the chopped brocc. stalks (NOT the florets yet, they cook too fast), then i added the hot pepper flakes & water and brought the temp of the pan up so it would reduce a bit. then i added in the brocc. florets (don't overcook!). i also drained a can of black beans and added about 3 handfuls to the pan. i also add salt and pepper as i go along to my liking. When everything was done, i threw some of the pasta right into the pan and let it finish cooking down a bit.

SO yummy and easy! i'll definately whip this up again!

OH AND another good thing..... DH didn't even look at his plate and say "where's the meat?!" like he usually says ;)

Now to figure out what to have for dinner TONIGHT..........


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Veggie Shreds ......lesson learned

a valuable lesson was learned today..... even if something seems veg, be sure to double check the ingredients.

I had picked up Veggie Shreds at the store and assumed that the big LACTOSE FREE wording across the front, meant there was no milk in the product. this is the same said cheese that i was SO excited about because thing 1 ate it as grilled cheese w/ NO complaints! *doh* For some reason i was reading the back of the package today and was so sad to see that casein is on the ingredient list! bah! i suppose it's a lesser evil, but still..... :( i've had no issues going cheeseless and don't really need a cheese substitute, but cheese is a big fav of my kids, so i'm definately hoping i can find something for them.

i wish my market had more veg options.... i think i'll take a road trip to Whole Foods to see what i can find down there......


Saturday, January 16, 2010

dang you sugar!

i really need to get my sugar issue in check. i've joked for a long time that sugar is my drug of choice, but only now am i realizing the truth of that. as i try to tone down my sweet tooth, i'm noticing the addiction symptoms.... sounds silly i realize.... but wow, what a strong pull it is.

trying to escape from bad habits, i decided to start journaling everything i'm eating.... sounds good in theory, right?! we'll see if it brings about any change.... ;)

good news on the kid front.... thing 2, who formerly would NOT touch rice milk, is now (UNKNOWINGLY) drinking it in his cereal! A little victory... even if i have to hide the carton of Rice milk as i pour it over his cereal.... I'll take it! thing 1 on the other hand, i'm still working on... he's my pickiest eater and has Ulcerative Colitis to boot, so it's just a big fat battle, but we'll just keep on plodding on.....


Monday, January 11, 2010

Yummy Quesadillas

good news on the converting front.... this mornng i gave one of the boys plan rice milk on his cereal (w/o telling him and w/o him seeing me) and.... NOT ONE COMPLAINT! Yay! there is NO regular milk in the house right now, actually accidentally, cuz i just completely forgot to buy i when i went to the market. the other boy doesn't eat cereal (what kid DOESN'T eat cereal?!), so we don't have that battle to contend with.

OH and the non-cereal eating boy was slipped some veg. mozzarella cheese yesterday on his grilled cheese and he LOVED it! score for mom! :D

for dinner tonight i made quesadillas.....
it was so freezy outside, so i decided not to use the grill and threw on the oven instead. I cranked it up as high as it would go (550), but my oven is about 25 degrees off, so it was cooking more around 500 or so.

Roasted Veg Quesadillas

red onion (cut in 1/2, then sliced)
green pepper (cut up in wide slices)
2 large portabello mushrooms (thick sliced)
avacado (smashed up)
veg. cheese (optional)
salt, pepper
olive oil

cut up the veggies, put on a parchment lined baking sheet drizzled w/ olive oil. drizzle on more olive oil then top w/ kosher salt & pepper.

roast in the oven til they get some nice color and are the tenderness you like. the onions will be done first... don't let them burn!

then you can either assemble them on the tortillas and heat up in the oven or stovetop or just have everyone assemble their own at the table (uh that's what we did cuz i'm lazy) ;)

and wa-lah, dinner is served!

well, unless your the picky kids...
thing 1 had a quesadilla pizza (w/ veg cheese)
thing 2 wanted a corndog (... do they make veg corndogs?!)
thing 3 ate a quesadilla

Friday, January 8, 2010


don't you just love it when you make a choice and then everything around you seems to give you signs in some way that let you know you're on the right path?

since going vegan last year, i swear that everywhere i turn there is something about veganism on and today was another one of those times.

i jumped in my car to pick up the princess at school and of course i have my fav station on Martha Stewart Radio on XM (and don't be a hater, cuz actually the big M isn't even on any of the programs i listen to on there). But anywho.... Mario had on the AMAZING Chef, Tal Ronnen, whom i just adore! Not only is he a talented Vegan chef, but he's also just such a sweet and humble guy. He's the author of The Conscious Cook, definately one to pick up if you haven't already checked it out.

listening to him talking just gave me this really happy, peaceful feeling... i know it probably sounds really corny, but i truly feel blessed to have taken this journey.....


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

a rice milk convert + a recipe

1 kiddo down, 2 to go.

i'm so happy that my baby girl is finally requesting rice milk! she is even drinking it plain (well the vanilla kind)!

I'm soooo happy! Now if i can just get the boys to drink it.... they've both given 2 thumbs down even mixed w/ chocolate syrup. Thankfully, they don't notice when I mix it in w/ smoothies or pancakes, so at least that's something....

baby steps, right?!

and i was craving something warm and comforting for dinner tonight, so i whipped up a yummy little roasted concoction....

Easy Peasy Roasted Goodness

2 baby zucchini's, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
2 small sweet potatoes, chopped
1 can chickpeas, drained
olive oil
salt, pepper, a dash of red pepper flakes, thyme

roast at 400 for about 1 hour. (stir every 20-30min)

YUM! I ate this alone and hubs just had it as a side dish, but he really liked it (and he doesn't even like sweet potatoes!), so it's a winner in my book!

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