Monday, December 11, 2017

{Recipe} Easy Weeknight Lentil Loaf

This is my third lentil loaf recipe on the blog but the other two were more "special occasion" loaves. This one is quick and easy for a weeknight dinner and more "meaty" like the traditional meatloaves I used to make.
1 1 /2 cups brown/green lentils, dry
4 cups of water
1/2 onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 flax egg(1 TBS flax meal/ 2.5 TBS water, mixed)
2 TBS nutritional yeast (optional)
1 cup breadcrumbs (I used panko)
1 tsp onion flakes
1 tsp onion powder
2- 3 TBS catsup
2 TBS Dijon mustard
 1 tsp vegetable broth base (or bouillon cube)
1 tsp Italian seasoning
barbecue sauce (for top) 
 To make:
  • Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a standard loaf pan with parchment paper.
  • Mix up flax egg(1 TBS ground flax and 2.5 TBS water) and let sit to gel.
  • Cook lentils in water until tender (about 20-30 minutes). Drain any excess water.  Set aside.
  • Sauté onion, carrots, celery and garlic in water until onions are translucent.
  • Add cooked lentils and veggies to food processor. Add seasonings (onion powder, onion flakes, Italian seasoning, vegetable broth base), catsup, mustard, nutritional yeast, flax egg and bread crumbs.  Process until just combined. 
  • Transfer mixture to the parchment lined loaf pan. Smooth out with spatula. 
  • Brush barbecue sauce over the top of the loaf.
  • Bake at 375 F for 30 minutes covered with foil.  
  • Remove foil and brush with more barbecue sauce, cook uncovered for 10 more minutes.

  • Let cool for 10-15 minutes before cutting.  Serve with your favorite gravy or by itself (this night we had roasted cauliflower & broccoli and a quick vegan gravy).
  • It's so good the next day and in a "meat" loaf sandwich.
More lentil loaves:
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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Christmas House Tour 2017 - Part 1

 I started decorating the house early this year but I've still been putting finishing touches in every room.  Our decor doesn't change much from year to year but I thought I'd share it with you and highlight some of the new items.
 This throw was one of my early purchases from Cost Plus World Market.
 I like switching up the word art in this frame and I found this Elf inspired printable which I thought would be perfect for the holiday season.
 A view into the kitchen and our new table. I kept it pretty dark because I hadn't done much styling or straightening up.
 From the kitchen table out to the family room. This tray is full of holiday decor now. The light up chalet is from Cost Plus and the buffalo check K is from Target Dollar Spot.
 My dining room is really hard to photograph but I thought it looked pretty good in this shot.
 Peeking out of the living room into the entry and staircase.
 Another shot that includes the piano.
 My Starbucks cup angels are still serenading us.
{How to:}
A tray of snow people mugs just waiting for some hot cocoa.  I'll be back with more holiday rooms soon!
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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

{Wordless Wednesday} 12.06.17

Here's something I don't do every day!  (I was cleaning the water guns up for a play my daughter's theatre group was doing).
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Monday, December 4, 2017

{Recipe} Vegan Peanut Butter Cup Pies

I made these for our Thanksgiving dessert this year. They were great because I could make them ahead of time. I decided to make mini pies rather than one big one so I could test it out before Thanksgiving and because mini pies are so darn cute!
 The recipe can be found here.  I made some adjustments to my version. I used graham cracker crumbs instead of making my own. I had about 1 1/2 cups of crumbs (maybe a little more--I just used up what I had left).  The graham cracker crumbs are combined with melted vegan butter and pressed into pie tins (I had my tins leftover from this graduation party!).  Then they are baked for 10 minutes at 375F. My crusts were a little crumbly so I should have used more vegan butter to hold them together.
 The filling is whipped up in a blender: silken firm tofu (I used extra firm), peanut butter and agave or maple syrup.
 Then you whip up some coconut whipped cream and fold in the peanut butter mixture.
 Pour the filling into the crust and freeze until firm (about an hour).
 To make the chocolate topping, warm up some non dairy milk in a sauce pan, then add dairy free chocolate chips, let sit for 5 minutes then stir gently to combine.  Spread over the pies and sprinkle with crushed, salted peanuts. Return to freezer to allow to harden up.
After they were fully frozen, I wrapped them up individually and placed them in a freezer bag.  The filling tastes like peanut butter ice cream. You can let them defrost a little before serving or eat frozen. So good!
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Friday, December 1, 2017

Vegan Thanksgiving-What We Made 2017

We didn't host Thanksgiving this year but we still made a lot of food for the day.
 It started earlier in the week when I began making the stuffing. I've been using Pioneer Woman's Thanksgiving Dressing/Stuffing  recipe for the last few years.(this year I cut it down to about 2/3).  It combines corn bread and sourdough bread (and I added some multigrain Ezezkial to the mix).  I made this Fat Free Cornbread from Happy Herbivore.
On Thanksgiving morning I mixed up the stale bread cubes with celery, onion, apple, spices, vegetable broth and some veggie sausage.
 We got two pans from the recipe, one to take and one to leave at home. We baked it right before we left.
I also made a green salad with lots of chopped veggies and homemade Better Than Bottled Balsamic Vinaigrette from Oh She Glows.
 The salad had mixed greens, spinach, cucumbers, red bell peppers, shredded carrots, green & red onions and dried cranberries (I added them later).
We weren't sure there would be any appetizers we could eat so my oldest whipped up some hummus from Ina Garten and I cut up some more veggies for dipping.

 Mr. Click is always in charge of the mashed potatoes.  He "only" made 20 pounds this year.  He always makes a smaller batch of vegan mashed potatoes (mashed with vegan butter and almond milk) for us.

We got our potatoes at Costco and they were huge, making them easier to peel.
 I made a double batch of I Can't Believe It's Vegan Gravy.  It's such a good one!
Here's my plate from dinner.  My mother in law made a lot of roasted veggies that were so good.
 For dessert I tried something new this year, I made Vegan Peanut Butter Cup Pie from Minimalist Baker but I made the recipe into mini individual pies.  They were made ahead and frozen. Recipe coming soon.
The day after Thanksgiving we had leftovers and I added some corn, asparagus and puffed pastry garlic bread.
What did you have for Thanksgiving?
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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

{Recipe} Easy & Healthy Minestrone-Vegan & Oil Free

Here's the perfect soup to warm you up on a cold night, it's hearty and delicious!
3 carrots, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
1/2 cabbage, shredded
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp rosemary
1 TBS Italian seasoning
1/2-1 tsp vegetable bouillon paste
10 oz frozen corn
10 oz frozen peas
1 can chick peas
1 -1/2 cup small shell pasta (dry)
2 cups water
salt & pepper to taste

To make:

  • Heat some water in a large soup pot, add carrots, celery and garlic. Sauté about 5 minutes, stirring to make sure it doesn't stick.
  • Add spices (rosemary, Italian seasoning, pepper).
  • Add tomatoes (diced and crushed) and water.
  • Cover and bring to a boil, add bouillon paste. reduce heat and cook 20 minutes
  • Add chickpeas, corn and peas. Bring to boil and add pasta & cabbage.
  • Stir to combine, let cook uncovered about 10 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit for 10 minutes. 
  • Season to taste.
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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Early Christmas Decor Shopping

Can you believe it's Thanksgiving Eve already?  I have to admit as much as I love Thanksgiving, I'm ready to get into all things Christmas.  It started with some early holiday purchases and has turned into full scale Christmas decorating around the house.
 My first pre-holiday purchases were from Cost Plus World Market. I had some reward dollars that were about to expire and used them on this cozy throw, alpine cabin and some holiday blend coffee.
 I also saw this amazing giant marshmallow sheet but I didn't buy it.
 After that the floodgates kind of opened and I couldn't resist the buffalo checked accessories at the Target Dollar Spot.
 Speaking of my buffalo check obsession, I found this handsome buck at Michael's and knew we were meant to be!
It was worried that he'd be hard to put together but it was actually a fun project for me!  Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving! See you back here next week!

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

[Recipe} Restaurant Style Salsa in a Flash

This recipe has been a game changer for us.  I made it for Miss High School's 18th birthday party and it was such a big hit, that I've made it weekly ever since.  It comes together so quickly with things I usually have on hand.  It's very flexible and forgiving, if you don't have a fresh lime, you can use bottled lime (or lemon like I did here) juice.
I usually use the tamed sliced jalapeños in a jar for this recipe but on this particular day I had a fresh jalapeño.   I use a BIG handful of cilantro. I like extra garlic too.
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1/4 onion, chopped
2-4 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 fresh jalapeño, seeded (4-6 sliced from jar)
handful cilantro (depending on how much you like)
juice of 1 lime (can sub bottled)
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
 This is the size of the handful of cilantro that I like to use.
 Add all ingredients to a food processor.
 Pulse a few times until combined and chunky. Don't over process.
 I like to store ours in a Mason jar.
It will keep in the fridge for about 5 days (if it lasts that long!).

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