Monday, March 15, 2010

Brandi's Italian Stuffed Shells


I'd been wanting to try out my best bloggie friend, Vivacious Vegan's "Italian Stuffed Shells" recipe.  And I did!  It was fun to make!  And easy!  Which surprised me because I've never fixed stuffed shells before.  The nice thing about this recipe is how you simply open up some of your favorite pantry standbys and layer everything together.  And disguising the tofu as ricotta is pure genius!  Why did I never prepare this before?!  I should do it again!  It was yummy!  I am excited to try out variations on the theme!  The possibilities are endless!  But I need a few vegan pointers.  So...  

How do you like to spice up a stuffed shells meal?  I want to hear your ideas!  

Thank you, Brandi, for the inspiration!  Love you! 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My New Favorite Snack!


While perusing the shelves at Good Earth Natural Foods, they caught my eye...   I know that vegan athlete, Brendan Brazier, touts them for their superior nutrition...   I've even noticed that many vegan bloggers toss them into their smoothies and over top green salads...  What am I referring to?  

Raw Organic Hempseeds!  


Oh Boy, are they good!  What soft, chewy, earthy, tiny morsels of deliciousness!  Their flavor reminds me a little bit of sunflower seeds, but they're nowhere near the same size.  Measured in tablespoons, these seeds are minute, yet jam-packed with natural goodness: protein, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, iron, and omega-3's!  They are also super convenient--they are already shelled, ready to eat straight out of the bag, which is what I like to do!

I'm going to be sad when these babies are all gone.  They were a bit expensive, but the cost was totally worth it!  Besides, they are too yummy not to buy again!  

Raw organic hempseeds are my new favorite snack!  If you haven't already, you should give them a try!  I'm sure you'll like them as much as I do!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Raspberries!


Raw food is an important part of my vegan diet.  So, last week at the local Super Target, I splurged and bought a teensy container of organic raspberries.  They were $3.50 of pure berry goodness!  A real treat: low in calories, and high in vitamin C, fiber, and flavor! 

Over a couple of day's time, these raspberries were my breakfast.  I rinsed them off and then simply popped them in my mouth!  Heavenly!  Typically, I don't combine sweet fruits into recipes, unless it's an all raw, all fruit one.  I have learned that fruit digests and is assimilated by the body best when eaten alone, on an empty stomach.  For some, this might seem like too limiting a "rule" to follow.  But for me, it fits just right.  I always feel so uncomfortable when I eat foods of every kind all in one meal.  Simple is better for me.  My body concurs. 

You can learn more about the principles of proper food combining and Natural Hygiene by reading these classics, Fit For Life or Fit For Life II, both by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond.  They are fun, funny, and so informative!  They changed my life!  (Even the authors in the popular book, Skinny Bitch, gave 'Fit For Life' a brief shout-out!)  Or, you can check out this website: RawFoodExplained.com.  The delivery is a little more utilitarian and textbook-ish, but still very accurate. 

Until then, just buy (or better yet, grow your own) organic raspberries!  They are healthy and delicious... all by themselves! 

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Vanilla Oatmeal Pancake Roll-ups


After discovering that February was National Pancake Month now I've got pancakes on the brain!  How tasty!  I only wish it was something healthier...  Which reminds me...  My Jordan and I always laugh about this astute hotcakes observation made by comedian Jim Gaffigan:  "You're not having cake for breakfast--no, you're having cake with syrup for breakfast!"  I guess I must concede that consuming griddlecakes isn't really much different than having a slice of regular cake.  Sad, but true!  Well, even if they're not the most nutritious meal ever conceived, we still love to eat them at my house!  We just don't have them for breakfast!  :D  

This particular recipe inspiration comes courtesy of Chocolate-Covered Katie.  I've made it my own with a few adjustments here and there, but at its core, it's all Katie!  Contributing oatmeal to the batter is a fun twist.  And the final product is so decadent with the vanilla and almond extract added to the mix!  I like to smear nutty butter and drizzle pure maple syrup on the center of mine, but you can use whatever toppings you like best!  Don't forget to roll them up!  Very simple, very filling, and very delicious!  Makes ten large, thin "cakes."

Vanilla Oatmeal Pancake Roll-ups

Organic Ingredients:
2/3 cup whole-wheat flour
2/3 cup rolled-oats
1 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
1 cup soymilk, original or vanilla flavor
1 tbsp grapeseed oil
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp pure almond extract

Instructions:
In a large bowl, fold the flour, oats, and baking powder.  Next add the soymilk, oil, vanilla extract, and almond extract to the bowl.  Whisk well.  Warm your griddle to a low heat.  Drop batter onto it in whatever amount best suits your style.  If you want to roll-up your pancakes, the key is to spread the batter thinly; use your spoon or spatula to help.  Cook for approximately a minute, maybe less.  The thinner they are, the quicker they will congeal.  Flip.  Cook the other side for half the time as before.  Use up all the batter and... you're done.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Tell me how you feel...

I visited Vegan Dad's blog today.  He is ever an inspiration of vegan homecooked deliciousness!  I am nowhere near his level of genius, but perhaps someday I will achieve it.  :)

In his latest focaccia post, he touched very briefly on a subject that I have been mulling over in my mind for some time now.  I left him this comment regarding my concerns.  And if you feel so inclined, will you read it, as well?  Let me know what you think.  Cause I'd never want to hurt anyones feelings...

"As always, your food and your photos are wonderful!

I also think its wonderful that you don't type out all the specifics about the recipes of others.  It is a very respectful act, and I like that!  We can always go and get the book at the library or bookstore and look at the original.  Or hop over to somebody's website!

While reading your blog and others, I have thought about my own recipe posts and wondered if I have done anything that shows unkindness toward anyone.  I often take inspiration from another's recipe and change and alter it a little here and a little there, and then it seems to become my own creation.  So I often post an entire recipe out on my blog.  But I always give references and links back to those who inspired my meal.  Is this wrong?

When I started my food blog last Spring, I never really thought about others reading it.  I was just keeping track of my own favorites.  So entirely typing them out didn't seem to matter.  But my aim has evolved, and now I do have a small gathering of readers.  I am concerned that mayhaps my methods show disrespect to those who I mean to admire...

I guess I am just trying to say that I am grateful that you have integrity and respect for other chefs and their hard work.  I want to be sure and do the same as you.  Thank you for helping me think through things today!"
 


(I forgot to mention that I take all my own pictures.  And for the 1% of the time that I don't, I make note of it.) 

Thanks again, blog pals, for reading about my concerns.  If you want, tell me how you feel...