Thursday, January 30, 2014

Tofu, Brussels Sprouts and Peanut Stir-fry

This is one of those classic, throw-it-together meals, using up leftovers that turns out fantastic enough to become a real recipe worth repeating.  With just a few ingredients, this makes a complete meal for our family.

Tofu, Brussels Sprouts and Peanut Stir-fry


2 Tbs. canola oil
3 -  12 to 14 oz. pkgs, water-packed tofu, drained and cubed in 1/2 inch squares
2 cups of Brussels sprouts halves
2 cups of kale, chopped
2 cups of cooked or leftover medium pasta - I used bow ties
2 Tbs. sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 cup peanuts, coarsely chopped


Heat canola oil over medium high heat in a large pan.  When hot, add the tofu cubes.  Cook for fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned.  Reduce heat to medium and add the Brussels sprouts.  Cook for another ten minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the kale, pasta, sesame oil and soy sauce.  Stir well and cook for five minutes, until kale is just wilted.  Add the peanuts.  Turn off heat and stir. Serve hot. Feeds five hungry vegans.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

G's Birthday Food! 2014

Another two weeks and another birthday.  My birthday was on the seventh, and G's was on Tuesday, two weeks later.  And...GR's is on Feb. 12th, but then it will be birthday-quiet until July when I'm slammed with SR's, JK's, and my dad's, followed by my mom's August second.  Whew!.  But, I ramble.  G gets to pick his birthday food, just like the Blessings, and the veteran readers of my blog will not be surprised by his dinner choice, yawn.  But, he loves it, I love him, and so it's all good.  He chose to have a quiet day at home after opening his pressies.  Immediately afterwards, we ate the first half of cake, he had a second slice in the afternoon, and then we had more later.  See the pics and the links below.

 My Pineapple Upside Down Cake has become a huge hit for my family.  As a matter of fact, we are heading over to my parents for dinner tonight to celebrate his birthday with them, and another one is baking in the oven as I type this.  My mom has never had a vegan version of this cake and wanted to give it a try.  Who are we to argue?  

For dinner he wanted slow-cooked black-eyed peas, fried potatoes with onions and garlic, and cornbread.  I made two types of cornbread: my Sweet Corn Muffins for the kiddos and I.  I baked them in my doughnut pans for fun, and I baked his Ozark Cornbread in a star pan 'cause he's my star, aww.

Anyways, it was a nice day.  Keep a lookout for another birthday post a couple of days after February 12th!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Dedicated to Sparkly

Our beautiful kitty Sparkly passed away yesterday.  She showed up on our lawn about thirteen years ago and never left.  She was a tough kitty, preferring to stay outdoors and pick fights rather than being pampered indoors.  She tolerated brief visits indoors but was always grateful when she was let out to enjoy the sunshine and grass.  Everyone thought she was a Scottish Fold because of her ears, but they were just deformed in fights.  She hated all other animals but loved her people friends and family.  Over the last several months, we could tell that she was aging rapidly and brought her permanently indoors.  She eventually adjusted to being cared for around the clock and was surrounded by her loving family and held in our arms as she took her last breath in our living room.  Her final resting place is in our beautiful garden area.

We loved you and will miss you, sweet Sparkly.

Love from your family.

Friday, January 17, 2014

French Toast with Nutritional Yeast

There's no reason to give up delicious French toast for breakfast just because you're vegan.  I've been making this for years, and it's a Saturday morning favorite.

French Toast


2 cups soy milk
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 Tbs. nutritional yeast flakes
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbs. cinnamon
Canola oil for frying
Several slices of thick bread - we use French bread, but you can use any thick-sliced bread you like


In a medium bowl, whisk together the first six ingredients (soy milk through cinnamon).  Heat a tablespoon of canola oil in a large pan over medium heat.  When the oil is hot, dredge a slice of bread at a time into the batter mixture and lay in the pan.  Cook for three minutes on one side and two to three minutes on the other side.  Repeat with other bread slices and oil, as necessary.  Should make twelve to fifteen pieces of French toast.  Serve with your favorite syrup.  My recipe for homemade maple syrup is coming!  Serves five hungry vegans. 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Me Birthday Grub, Yum!

My birthday was on Tuesday, and it was a great day.  The first surprise was that G took the day off work.  After opening presents, I ran to the local feed store to pick up some scratch for later... This may get boring year after year, but my family took me to Queen Sheba once again!  It's a local Ethiopian restaurant that offers an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet, so good!!  Below is my delicious plate of food.

 My birthday lunch at Queen Sheba.  

After lunch, we went to a large park that has a huge duck pond.  I brought along the scratch and was ready to overload the duckies and geese with good food.  If you don't know, feeding them bread is not good for them.  Anyhow, I didn't think about my birthday being in Winter, so the birds were scant, but those that were there had a nice surprise.  Later the kids played at the park.  We went home and rested until dinner, which was just a simple spaghetti with leftovers.

My beautiful slice of Black Tie Cheesecake

GR made my Black Tie Cheesecake for dessert.  But, we really had a piece before dinner and a piece after, ahem.  She made it at Thanksgiving, too.  If you haven't tried this, yet, you should give it a go.  It's pretty darn good!  So, my birthday was quiet and spent with my family, just the way I like it.  Normally, my folks are included, but their colds precluded their company.  No new recipes here, just a rundown of a good day.  :-)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Maple-Pecan Baked Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash and Christmas, 2013

I was feeling guilty about blogging about Christmas so far after the date and was prepared to lament about all the sicknesses I've either endured personally or as a motherly nurse.  But, then as I was catching up on reading the blogs, I discovered that lots of people are posting belatedly.  So, I feel better.  Although, I do really wish I had my Christmas post in the same year that I ate the dish.  Ah, well.

I wanted to come up with something seasonal and savory to bring to the family potluck, and I came up with this baked dish (that took longer to bake than anticipated), consisting basically of all the ingredients listed in the title.  Makes it easy, doesn't it? It turned out very well, and if I end up tweaking it in the future, I'll edit this post, but it's pretty darn good for now!  Buuuuuuttt, because we were all sick, we ended up staying home and not joining the big family for dinner.  Aaaand, my parents didn't come over for my traditional breakfast spread.  It was a very different Christmas indeed, but I still tried to make it as special as I could.  I made some of my breakfast dishes anyways, and we had a nice dinner, albeit simpler. 

Here's what we had for breakfast:

GR and JK made the Gingerbread house again
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Tiger Balls
SR made the Soft Ginger Cookies
Loaded Cinnamon Rolls 
Breakfast Links
Orange Juice
Hot Apple Cider

For dinner all I could muster was:

Maple-Pecan Baked Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash
A kid-friendly spaghetti dish

Our "scant" breakfast table

We also managed to drag ourselves to the fire station again to deliver our annual Christmas treats.  They remember us every year now.  GR was too sick to come, so it was just SR, JK and me.

SR and JK are sicker than they look.  But, we just love this tradition!

Maple-Pecan Baked Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash
(taken with my new camera as of that morning; not sure if I like the posted date on the pic, but you can see I took it on Christmas!)

Maple-Pecan Baked Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash


4 cups Brussels sprouts that have been halved
5 cups butternut squash that have been diced into half inch to an inch cubes
1 and 1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 cup 100% maple syrup


Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Toss all the ingredients together in a large casserole dish.  Bake uncovered for one hour, stirring at the halfway mark.  That's it!  So easy.  Feeds five hungry vegans.