Ten in 2010

Social networking is awesome. In 2009, I made a lot of new friends through Twitter and Facebook and blogs. One friend, Lori of RecipeGirl, with the support and encouragement of Twitter friends has started a challenge for the new year. One quick side note. I’ve met Lori in person. She is beautiful both on the inside and outside. She was actually one of my tablemates that encouraged me to ask Rocco DiSpirito out. 😛Lori’s challenge is Ten in 2010: Ten Weeks to Healthy in 2010. I’m always up for joining groups and have some goals I want to reach this year, so I jumped right in. It’s so open and really there are no rules. You pick your own goals. As of this writing, there are over 230 participants from all over the world. See the list of participants HERE. Anyone can join! You should too!

My Goals

  • Lose my vacation/holiday weight gain. Really it’s mostly holiday. I didn’t really gain anything on vacation. I think wearing a bathing suit every day kept me motivated. I gained an embarrassing number of pounds since I returned home smack in the middle of the holiday season.
  • Eat vegan at least 3 days a week. Last year I successfully ate vegan on Tuesdays for my Vegan Tuesdays. Some days easier than others. This year I want to expand it to three days a week, but rotate the days depending on my schedule. There’s nothing like being stuck in the Dallas airport on a Tuesday trying to find vegan food.
  • Participate in the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart. Starting on January 1, I’m participating in the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart. Check it out! There’s lots of recipes, information, and a meal plan. Once the 21 days are over, I’ll start my 3-days a week vegan eating.
  • Train for my half-marathon. Every year I run a half-marathon, but don’t train for it. This year, because I don’t want to be in pain for a week, I’ve actually decided to train for. I’m pretty fit, but not much of a runner. I may even try trail running this year!
  • Re-commit to yoga. Last June I started attending evening yoga classes, I stopped going in November and want to start up again. It makes me feel great!

I go to the gym very early in the morning before work. I usually just grab a bar and eat it on the way. Here’s a great recipe for you to try. Chia seeds (the same ones as Chia Pets) are a great source of omega fatty acids and contain a bunch of good-for-you minerals and vitamins. They actually have more antioxidents than flaxseed and are an excellent source of dietary fiber.

Raw Chocolate-Chia Energy Bars

From the January 2010 issue of Vegetarian Times.
  • 1 1/2 cups pitted dates
  • 1/3 cup raw unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup whole chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup raw slivered almonds
  1. PurĂŠe dates in a food processor until a thick paste forms. Add cocoa, chia, and extracts. Pulse until all ingredients are combined. Add almonds and pulse until nuts are chopped and well-distributed.
  2. Place a piece of parchment paper on work surface and transfer date mixture to it. Using your hands, press mixture into a 1/2-inch-thick rectangle. Wrap tightly and chill overnight.
  3. Unwrap block and cut into 8 bars.

Nutrition: 195 calories, 5 grams of protein, 8 grams of total fat, 7 grams of fiber.


Advertisements

Korean Sesame-Crusted Tofu

My tofu cubes didn’t stay sesame-crusted!  They looked so nice when I first rolled them around in the sesame seeds, so pretty and professional looking. However, my tofu cubes preferred to be naked. The sesame seeds came off when I stir-fried them. No sense of modesty for these guys.

It didn’t matter, because this stir-fry was perfect for Vegan Tuesday. It was spicy, crunchy, and a complete meal. The recipe comes from the July/August issue of Vegetarian Times and is full of vegetables, garlic, and chile. Perfect over rice.

Korean Sesame-Crusted Tofu

From Vegetarian Times
  • 1 16-ounce package of extra-firm tofu, drained
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 4 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, divided
  • 1 pound bok choy, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 15-ounce can baby corn, rinsed and drained
  • 8 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 8 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 bird’s eye chiles or other small chile peppers, seeded and minced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  1. Press tofu between two cutting boards lined with paper towels with heavy pot or can on top of the top cutting board for 10 minutes. Cut tofu into bite-size cubes.
  2. Coat tofu with sesame seeds in small bowl. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in wok or large skillet over medium heat. Add tofu and sautĂŠ for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to plate.
  3. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil  in wok over high heat. Add bok choy and bell pepper. Stir fry for 4 minutes. Stir in corn, green onions, garlic, and chiles; stir-fry 2 minutes more. Stir in soy sauce and then fold in tofu.

Serve over rice. Serves 4.

Please visit Michele over at Veggie Num Nums to see what she made for Vegan Tuesday.

Rice Salad Primavera & Banana-Blueberry Sorbet

Last summer I ate a lot of different variations of rice salad. I was cooking a lot from Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything Vegetarian. In the salad section he has a table full of different twists you can take with rice salads. I think I made almost everyone listed.

I made a big pot of brown basmati rice one weekend and every night as I packed my lunch for the next day I would dish out my rice and make a single portion rice salad.

Rice Salad Primavera comes from the July/August 2009 issue of Vegetarian Times. The addition of tofu to the salad makes it a complete meal. I love the colors: red tomatoes, orange bell pepper, yellow squash, and green onions.

The salad is dressed in a simple vinaigrette made of hearty spicy brown mustard, red wine vinegar, and olive oil. It’s light, refreshing and perfect for a summer lunch or picnic or for Vegan Tuesday.

Rice Salad Primavera

Adapted from July/August 2009 Vegetarian Times
  • 1 cup brown basmati rice
  • 1 8 0unce package of Italian garlic baked tofu, cubed
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 green onions, chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper, chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled, quartered, and sliced (1/2 cup)
  • 1 small yellow squash, diced (1/2 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons hearty spicy brown mustard
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and fresh ground pepper
  1. Bring rice and 2 cups water to boil in covered saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is tender. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool.
  2. Stir tofu, tomatoes, green onions, bell pepper, cucumber, and squash into rice.
  3. Whisk together vinegar and mustard in small bowl. Whisk in oil until mixture forms smooth sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Stir vinaigrette into rice. Chill well before serving.

Serves 8.

We’ve had a bounty of locally-grown blueberries, so for something sweet I made the Banana-Blueberry Sorbet from The Perfect Scoop. Even though there is no dairy, it’s creamy from the bananas. It’s light and refreshing without the heaviness of ice cream. Perfect on a summer night. I also think it would be great frozen into popsicles. You can find the recipe HERE.

(Of course, when I mentioned to the co-workers the great tasting blueberries they wondered when something baked  would show up. Can’t take this to work. 😛 )

{bba} Anadama Sandwich Rolls (and a yummy sandwich)

anadama3

Another week, another group. This week I joined The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge (BBA). Nicole of Pinch My Salt came up with this fun idea. The goal is to bake (in order of appearence) each formula from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. I love this book and have been baking from it for awhile. So far, I’ve baked a total of 13 of the 43 formulas in the book–including the first one for the challenge, Anadama Bread.  You can see my first attempt HERE.

anadama sandwich rolls

Because I made loaves the first time, I decided to make sandwich size rolls this time. The formula makes two 1 1/2 pound loaves or three 1 pound loaves. I was able to make twelve 4-ounce rolls.  Another change I made was to use cane syrup instead of molasses. I’m not a big fan of molasses. I used it the first time I made the bread and I could taste the molasses in it.

anadama2

Oh, boy! These rolls are good. They rose perfectly. The oven spring was amazing. It always amazes me. The baking time was  about 1/2 the length of baking the loaves. They were done at 20 to 22 minutes.

I made veggie sandwiches using the anadama rolls and a recipe from the May/June issue of Vegetarian Times. The original recipe calls for a baguette, which I’m sure is delicious as well. It’s quick and easy and perfect for a hot afternoon. You can add whatever vegetables or other sandwich fillings you have on hand.

anadama

Anadama Sandwich Roll with Roasted Red Pepper Spread

Adapted from Vegetarian Times
  • 1 7-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained well, finely chopped
  • 1 8-ounce container vegan cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons finely minced scallions
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (1 teaspoon)
  • 6 4-ounce anadama sandwich rolls
  • 3/4 cup cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot
  • 1 cup mâche
  • 1/2 cup microgreens
  1. Mix red peppers, cream cheese, scallion, and garlic in bowl until well combined.
  2. Half each roll and tear out a bit of the bread from the center of the bottoms  to make space for the fillings.
  3. Spread the cream cheese mixture on the bottoms. Top with cucumber, carrot, mâche, and microgreens. Cover with top half of the roll. Enjoy!

Makes 6 sandwiches.

You can see other BBA Challenge participants loaves on the BBA Flicker Group HERE. Be sure to check them out! Also, search for us on Twitter using #bba.

anadama5

{db} “cheese”cake

It’s time for a Daring Bakers challenge again!

The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.

Raw Vegan Cheesecake

When I first read the challenge, I knew I wanted to make a vegan cheesecake. I’ve been dabbling in vegan baking and cooking and I’ve made traditional cheesecakes in the past. I decided to challenge myself by baking a vegan cheesecake. I read the Alternative Baker’s Forum at The Daring Kitchen and researched different recipes. I then found one for a RAW vegan cheesecake at Vegetarian Times. I’ve never made a raw dessert either, well, except fruit.

So, I made a Raw Cashew Cheesecake. The recipe uses raw macadamia nuts and dates for the crust and raw cashews, raw agave nectar, coconut oil, & lime juice for the filling. The result was a suprisingly light-tasting and refreshing dessert.

However, because of all the nuts and coconut oil it is not a low-calorie or low-fat dessert. One slice, like the one pictured, has 360 calories and 30 grams of fat.

You can find the recipe for it HERE.

Raw Vegan Cheesecake