Thursday, October 27, 2011

Banana Party

Those of you with young children are probably big fans of Elmo's World. This was the show that used to buy me yoga time when my kids were little. My 3 year old and baby would sit on my bed transfixed by the cute furry red monster (and I must admit how much I enjoy him myself, unlike that big purple guy). By the time the third baby came along, the oldest had outgrown Elmo and had control of the remote, so the youngest never really got a chance to enjoy him. Now she is seven, and she and her nine year old sister and their friends have rediscovered the old tapes (yes, tapes!). Their favorite is the banana episode, where they cook all things banana. We decided to recreate the all banana meal in our kitchen.

First up, banana smoothies. Just fresh and frozen bananas, vanilla extract, and vanilla Silk. Creamy and delicious!

Banana bean dip. Sauteed onions, garlic, pickled jalapenos, pinto beans, and banana chunks. This came from a banana cookbook (you knew I had one, didn't you?) It was great with corn chips. I was so happy that my two non-eaters loved this - they ate beans!

Banana soup from the same book. Bananas, habanero pepper sauce, broth, soy creamer, salt and pepper. This was Just okay. My middle girl (on of the non-eaters) actually ate some, and I was proud of her for being adventurous. I didn't like it that much myself, but it was something fun.

Banana chocolate chip bread from Vegan Diner. I subbed 1/4 cup lime juice for some of the soy milk and made a streusel crumb topping. Couldn't really taste the lime in the finished product  - maybe it would have worked better if I had used grated lime zest. No matter, still great. Very moist and cake like.

Side view.

Well, there was a big pile of dirty dishes, but worth it to have fun with my kids and have them try some things they wouldn't normally eat!

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Stack

I have a habit of printing recipes off the internet and sticking them in the drawer. Many of them I have never (and will never) cook, but still I save them. For some reason, I just can't throw them away (kind of like how old magazines suddenly get really interesting when you are trying to get rid of them.) The stack also contains old family recipes scribbled on paper, and favorites cut out from magazines. I have to search through the stack whenever I want one of these treasures. It is actually fun (although time consuming) to do, because then I remember with fondness all my favorites!  Nowadays I just bookmark files on the internet - takes up much less room. But it is not quite as much fun!

This is one of my daughter's contributions to the stack. If all that was mixed together, it would indeed be an interesting concoction! I believe vacation milk refers to cow milk, which is what they usually call it (soy milk being just "milk.") Not sure why, because on vacations we still buy soy milk to go on our vacation cereal (Fruit Loops and Cocoa Puffs, which we are not allowed in real life!)

Anywho, this tomato recipe is what I was looking for in the stack. (You can also find it here -  a much easier way to find recipes.) It is a salad with two sesame dressings - one vinaigrette and one creamy. So delicious, you must make it!

Is there anything better than a tomato sandwich on whole wheat with veganaise? Won't be having these for a while now. Hoping Georgia has a longer tomato season that Illinois!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Does It Count?

This is one of my favorite soups. It has onion and celery sauteed in Earth Balance, white beans, broth (Better Than Bouillon No Chicken), lemon and orange juices. An unusual combination for sure, but so good.

This tofu was (I think) from Better Homes and Gardens new cookbook. Can't remember exactly as I returned it to the library. The tofu was marinated in a sauce of mint and cilantro. After grilling it was amazingly juicy (can tofu be juicy?) and flavorful! I will have to get that book out again and write it down this time!

Here is the 40 clove chickpeas and broccoli from Appetite for Reduction. Good but the broccoli was overdone. The recipe calls for roasting first, then adding broth and cooking another 15 minutes. I think next time I will take the broccoli out before adding the broth. Why, yes, that is ketchup on my pasta!

Here is the new label on the Junior Mints box. As you can see, the gelatin has been removed, as a reader previously reported. How about that line "milk and egg may be present?" Guess that is just a CYA line for allergy sufferers. Does it count?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

On The Road Again....

Well, here we go again. After two years in Chicagoland, we are taking off for the Atlanta area! I have mixed feelings about this. My husband is really happy, so that is good. Kids are lukewarm, not so good. For me, I have been really happy here. It was easy to move here since I was already familiar with it and already had lots of friends here. I have never been to Atlanta and don't know anyone. So it will be a bit of a challenge. However - average temperature is 50 in January! And no snow to speak of. Today in Chicago it is a beautiful 68, and I can't help thinking it will be like that in March in Atlanta. And it's always exciting to try new restaurants, shopping, etc. But I will miss my friends, neighbors (who are also friends), yoga teacher, church, house dearly.

On to the food - more gluten free adventures. Here is a stew from the book Gluten Free Recipes for the Conscious Cook by Leslie Cerier. This book is really interesting to me because it focuses on whole foods and of course is vegetarian (mostly vegan). Most of the gluten free cookbooks focus on combining different flours and gums to approximate the wheat based cooking we are all used to (or they focus on meat). This stew had cabbage, tomatoes, parsnips, and other veggies in a peanut butter broth. Yummy.

The next recipe is from Carol Fenster's 125 Vegetarian Gluten Free Recipes. The burrito filling is made of marinated mushrooms, black beans, spinach, onions, etc. The sauce is green chile based and brothy.  Different than a green salsa. I liked it. This book is also mostly vegan, and references vegan products with dairy alternatives. I will be trying more recipes from these books in the future.

Well, now I will be cooking out of my pantry and freezer to try and empty them by the time we move. Isn't it amazing what accumulates in there? So my cooking will either be very boring or very creative!