Thursday, March 24, 2011

Coconut curry tofu

Friday was left over night, I will admit I thought seriously about dialing for a pizza but I refrained.  There's only so much GF pizza I can stand!  Plus whenever we order it's double the cost because they want meat and I want veg!  Meat and I are taking an extended break, it's not's, well, it.  It just doesn't sit well in my body.  Instead of picking up the phone I picked up a pan.  I had a lot of veggies that needed to get eaten, one of my resolutions being to not waste food, I had three different kinds of left over already cooked rice, plus I already had a can of coconut milk in the fridge, I'd needed the cream for my Irish Soda Bread so I figured, some sort of curry would be in order.   

Into the pan goes the coconut milk with 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 1 tablespoon Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste along with 1 cup of water. 

Bring that to a boil and reduce the heat, add the veggies, this works with whatever you have on hand, that's the beauty of it.  I added the last of my carrots, a head of cauliflower and asparagus.  Simmer until the veggies are soft.  Here's where mine got complicated by an extra step.  Into one sauce pan went 1/2 the liquid and veggies.  Into that pan I added left over cooked chicken, and into the remainder of the sauce and veggies I added cubed tofu, simmer until warmed through.  (You might be able to skip that step if you have a unified household instead of a carni/vegi split like me!)  Warm up your cooked rice (or cook fresh if you have to but then it's not as quick and easy!) and top the rice with a generous portion of the curry. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mexi tofu sandwich

I hate wasting food so when I found myself with left over sauteed tofu and refried beans from dinner I thought....lunch!

The tofu had been very simply prepared, marinated in a little oil, vinegar and lemon juice and sauteed with salt and pepper and had served as my soft taco filling while the boys ate chicken.  On the bottom we have a layer of my refried beans homemade in my trusty crock pot, topped with a tofu slab then some sauteed onions and a big thick slice of tomato.  This was a big, tasty, messy sandwich, I miss that sandwich...I was sad to see it disappear....

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Vegan lemon basil 'cream' sauce

Asparagus screams SPRING to me and Monday being the first full day of Spring I wanted to feature that lovely green vegetable in our dinner.  The sauce was put together with things that I routinely keep on hand, sort of a pantry sauce if you will.  The whole meal came together quickly which is a definite plus on a busy weeknight. 

Vegan lemon basil cream sauce
A Krista kitchen creation

Pasta of choice-ours was a rice penne
Broccoli florets
Asparagus, cut into 3" pieces
2-3 mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons diced red onion
4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
1 zucchini, diced
1 12.5 oz block of soft tofu
2 lemons, juiced, zest reserved
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Vegan butter
Olive oil

Cook the pasta and set aside.  Bring a pot of water to boil, blanch the broccoli and asparagus and plunge into a bath of ice water to stop the cooking process.  Set aside.

Combine the tofu, basil, 1/2 the garlic and 1/2 the lemon juice in a blender and blend until smooth.

Melt 1/2 tablespoon Earth Balance butter and 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in a deep sauce pan and saute the red onion, stirring well to prevent burning.  Add the garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes, add the mushrooms, stir well and allow to soften.  Add the reserved lemon zest and stir well.   Add the zucchini and saute briefly before adding the sauce from the blender.  Season with sea salt and pepper, bring to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer for about five minutes.  Finally add the broccoli, asparagus and drained pasta, tossing well to coat the noodles and allow to warm through.  Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.  Garnish with more fresh basil.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

I've been a die hard menu planner for years but I've never participated in menu plan Monday on Organization Junkie's blog, until today.  In case you're curious, here's what we'll be dining on this week:

Monday- rice pasta with vegan lemon 'cream' sauce, broccoli, asparagus and mushrooms
Tuesday- lentil soup and sandwiches
Wednesday - soft tacos, beef for the boys, tempeh for me and fresh pinto beans with salad
Thursday - white and kidney beans with roasted veggies
Friday - crunchy tacos, again beef for the carnivores and tempeh for me with refried beans and raw veggies
Saturday - thai mung bean noodles
Sunday - Happy Hour!  I'm very excited about that one!

What's on your menu this week?  For more menu planning inspiration click here.

Irish(ish) soda bread

First, I will admit I'm not sure I've ever actually eaten real Irish soda bread, I might have but I couldn't say with any certainty.  That little tid bit aside I will say, this is darn good bread! 

This is another of Allyson's recipes from Manifest Vegan.  I saw it in the days preceding St. Patrick's day and I knew it would be a perfect dessert.  Not too sweet and easy to make on a busy work night-two of my favorite things.  This bread is a snap to put together, I had everything on hand already, or made very minor adjustments, and it smelled divine.  Try it, you'll love it!

Allyson's Irish-ish Soda Bread
Manifest Vegan

•2 1/2 cups sorghum flour
•3/4 cup potato starch
•1/2 cup finely ground brown rice flour
•1/4 cup sweet white rice flour (I did not have sweet rice flour, I used millet flour)
•3 tbsp organic sugar
•1 tsp sea salt
•2 tsp baking soda
•1 tsp cinnamon
•2 tsp xanthan gum
•4 tbsp vegan margarine, cold
•1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
•1 1/2 cups almond milk (I used the rice milk I had on hand)
•2 tbsp flaxseed meal mixed with 4 tbsp water
•1 tbsp coconut cream + extra for brushing
•1/2 cup raisins
•1 tbsp corn syrup or agave mixed with 1 tbsp warm water


1.Preheat oven to 350 °F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.

2.In large mixing bowl, combine sorghum flour, brown rice flour, potato starch, sweet white rice flour, salt, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and xanthan gum.

3.Sift together really well to combine all ingredients together.

4.Use a pastry blender to cut in the margarine until it disappears into the flour mixture.

5.Mix the almond milk with the vinegar and set aside to curdle, about 5 minutes. Combine with prepared flaxseed meal and 2 tbsp coconut cream.

6.Gradually incorporate almond milk mixture with flour mixture into mixing bowl until a soft dough is formed. Gently fold in raisins and shape dough into a round loaf.

7.Use your hands to pat the dough into place on the baking sheet, creating a slight dome shape. The dough will be sticky, and that’s okay.

8.Use a sharp knife to cut an x in the middle of the loaf.

9.Brush lightly with coconut cream and bake in preheated oven about 45-50 minutes, or until it reaches a deep golden brown and makes a “thunk” sound when tapped. Gently brush with corn syrup mixture and allow to bake the remaining 5-10 minutes. Essentially you are trying to create a shiny glaze on the loaf just before pulling it out of the oven.

10.Do not let the total amount of baking time exceed 60 minutes. This particular loaf is prone to drying out if baked too long… so keep a watchful eye on it around the 50 minute mark, and for extra measure, go ahead and stick a knife through the middle to see if it comes out clean. It should be nice and baked through at about 55 minutes.

11.Remove from oven and let cool briefly before slicing.

Paulo preferred it smothered in honey, I personally loved it with some vegan butter.  So, so, so good!

However you like your bread I hope you like this one as much as we did!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Marinated shredded beet salad-raw, vegan

1 large beet, shredded
3 carrots, shredded
1/2 head of chard, rib removed and thinly sliced
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 1/2 lemons, juiced
sea salt to taste

Prepare the oil and vinegar and set aside in a large bowl.  Shred the vegetables and slice the chard, add to the oil and vinegar, juice the lemons directly onto the vegetables and toss well, taste and add salt if desired.  Set aside at room temperature until ready to serve, toss well before serving.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I find the fast food push to market oatmeal interesting.  There's a big campaign going around right now to lead you into a certain fast food restaurant to try their new "healthy" breakfast-it's revolutionary, it's exciting, it's....oatmeal?  Don't get me wrong, I love oatmeal, so does Paulo, we eat it a lot.  I love how cheap it is, how filling it is, how nutritious it is, I love everything about it.  If you make a big pot on the weekend then you can even call it fast food during the week.  I was curious about, among other things, the cost comparison between my oatmeal and the fast food options that are making the PR rounds. 

I buy Bob's Gluten Free oats because of Paulo's allergies, I figure better safe than sorry.  I buy organic apples, because they are on the dirty dozen list, and organic raspberries-berries are also a fruit that I insist on buying organic due to pesticides.  Even factoring in the added costs of those items vs conventional produce I came out to an approximate total cost of $1.82 for the bowl of oatmeal you see above. 

If memory serves that's fairly close to Ronald's "new" breakfast but significantly lower than Starbucks and it's all done in a matter of 15 minutes in the comfort of my own kitchen. 

My other sticking point is the sugar content, other than a light drizzle of local raw honey there's no added sugar-at all-in the bowl above.  Paulo takes his with honey and a dash of cinnamon, that's all, no white sugar, brown sugar or any other kind of sugar.  If you order Ronald's oatmeal the way you see it on all the commercials with all the trimmings you're consuming 32 GRAMS of sugar for breakfast.  That seems excessive to me.  I know that some of that sugar is the naturally occurring sweet stuff in the fruit but McD's estimates 14 grams in the oatmeal alone, with no fruit.  I suppose it's a better option than a fried egg and greasy sausage sandwich but I think I will keep cooking my oatmeal at home, thanks anyway Ronald!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tempeh waffle sandwiches

What's a girl to do when she just can't bear the thought of cooking dinner on a Friday night?  Power up the waffle iron!

To my very basic favorite waffle recipe I added a few tweaks and sandwiched sauteed tempeh with spinach, tomato and red onion-the boys had regular old meat, their loss!

Waffle sandwiches
a Krista kitchen creation

1 1/4 cup gluten free flour, I use Bob's
1 1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
2 tablespoons vegan sour cream
1-2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 tablespoon olive oil

Mix well and cook according to directions and fill with your favorite sandwich fixuns'.  This was a quick, cheap and easy Friday night dinner on a night when I seriously stood staring at the deli counter on my weekly grocery trip hoping to find something that I could just bring home and reheat.  That presents a challenge when one family member needs to be wheat/dairy/egg free and another member (me) isn't eating meat!  Rene would happily eat his way through the New Seasons deli but there wasn't much that was safe for Paulo or appealing to me.  Fortunately these waffle sandwiches were a big hit with all three of us!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Black eyed pea salad

Until January 1, 2011 I do not believe I had ever actually eaten a black eyed pea-I certainly loved their music though-but I must confess I did not think I'd like them-I judged them because I did not know how to prepare them, they were foreign to me.  I should have known better.  I loved the salad I made on New Year's Day this year but had not gotten around to making more, until tonight.

Cilantro and avocado black eyed pea salad
a Krista kitchen creation

2 cups cooked black eyed peas (I used my pressure cooker and allowed dry beans to cook at full pressure for 10 minutes, after that I removed it from the heat and allowed it to sit another five before releasing the pressure)
3/4 avocado, diced
1/4 red onion, finely diced
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup light oil
sea salt to taste.

Cook the beans and set aside until ready to use.  Place the diced vegetables and herbs in a medium bowl, add the cooked and drained black eyed peas, coat with oil and vinegar, season with salt to taste.

I love how filling the salad is, yet light at the same time.  I served this with a cabbage and sugar pea slaw, steamed asparagus and crispy tofu-the boys had chicken sausages.  I think we will definitely be experimenting with more flavor combinations to compliment this very nutritious bean.