Saturday, July 27, 2013

Zesty Pasta Salad

More fun with summer salads made with pantry goodies purchased at +Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market.  With the Friends Card, Made for Me coupons and mailer coupons I usually save between $5-$10 a visit.  I know I sound like they're paying me, but they kinda are.  Have you seen my bonus points?  They cash it out for me and I get to use it to help pay for my purchases.  Plus, they help fill a large budget gap for me when I can't afford to shop exclusively at Whole Foods.

On to the ingredients:

One pound of tri-color rotini, cooked al dente (really al dente, it needs to absorb the dressing), drained.
1/2 to 1 box cherry tomatoes, halved.
1/2 to 1 jar of artichoke hearts, drained.
1-2 small cans of sliced olives, drained.
2-3 oz. sliced sun-dried tomatoes in oil, about 2-3 good forkfuls.
Bottled Italian salad dressing, to taste.
+Follow your Heart Vegenaise, about a 1/4 C.
Olive oil, about 2 tb.
Salt, red pepper and black pepper, season after chilling, before serving.

As always, make it how you like it.  Use different fresh ingredients, different preserved ingredients, make it Southwestern style or Asian style. 3/4 to 1 C is one  portion, about two starches and lots of fat.  You can cut the fat by rehydrating bagged sun-dried tomatoes, using water packed artichoke hearts, and using fat free Italian dressing.  You could also cut the carbs by halving the pasta and adding significantly more fresh veggies like bell peppers and cucumbers, or using a higher fiber content pasta.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Going to the Beach? Raid the Pantry. (Beet Salad)

The other day the girls and I went to the beach.  We like the water, the relaxation, and the picnic basket, so we packed our coolers full of snacks and water and went off for a day in the sun.  I made panzanella and beet salad because it's easy to prepare, travels well, and is full of vitamins and minerals you need when you will be out of doors exerting yourself in the heat.

A note about canned food--I make my food the way I feel comfortable eating it.  If you prefer to make my recipes in a different, fresher, or healthier way please do, and please share.  I would really love to hear about improvements and interpretations of my food. :D

In a large mixing bowl add:

1 to 2 cans of beets slices, drained and quartered
1 can of carrot slices, drained
1 can of butter beans, drained and rinsed

Mix and toss in:

Olive oil, salt and pepper

Pour in Follow Your Heart Vegan Ranch Dressing and stir

Sprinkle Almond Accents over the top to mix in later at your picnic, hike, or beach location

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


My favorite frozen meatball is Nate's Meatless Meatballs Zesty Italian.  They are a very nice size, not too big to cook thoroughly and not so small that you don't get a nice bite.  I defrosted the package by letting it sit on the stove while I made my marinara sauce.  When they were soft enough, I sauteed the meatballs in olive oil.  After they crisped up, I added a splash of maple syrup to seal in the crunch, then I tossed in sliced sun dried tomatoes and topped them with Daiya provolone sandwich slices. I served the meatballs on toasted rosemary rolls with pasta marinara. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

I Love Coffee

...especially with Torani. I bought a bottle SF S'Mores syrup at World Market yesterday and have since had two lattes made with it. The graham cracker flavor hits you first, then the subtle chocolate. It's not saccharine-y sweet like some flavored, just right with a little SF French Vanilla and made light with a good soy milk like Silk or Earth Balance.  I can't wait to try it in a milkshake or cheesecake. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Asian Market

There are so many interesting things for a vegetarian to try at the Asian market, like fruits ad vegetables not found in a regular grocery store, lots of different soy products, gluten products, sauces, and deli foods all made without animal ingredients.  Last week I had a craving for Banh Mi so off I went to buy my ingredients.  I make my sandwich with a thai flavor profile, but you could use any combination of produce and sauces you like.

Chicken Sauce (sweet chili sauce in a bottle with garlic and chile chunks, and maybe shredded carrots and radishes)
Vegenaise (from +Whole Foods Market )
Romaine leaves
Tomato slices
Thai basil
Dried beancurd (It's with the jerky, but check the label for ingredients, or sub with baked or fried tofu)

I had enough leftover basil to make Mint Leaf Chicken by adding the leaves and more chicken sauce to a package of +gardein Mandarin Orange Crispy Chick'n, minus the orange sauce.