Simple Tofu and Veggie Stir Fry

Tofu and Veggie Stir Fry

I’m missing my calling as a minimalist, lol. We are moving, and as we are getting the house ready – I think to myself (and out loud) …there is so much stuff. Ugh…things…why do we have so many things, ah! It amazes me how much we accumulate over the years. I’m trying to redefine “spring cleaning” over here as I throw, toss and donate things away, while simultaneously deep cleaning. Ironically, none of this hit me until I had to paint. As I removed all the things from the kitchen, everything quite literally seems to be overflowing into the dining room now. While I don’t have a bunch of tchotchkes (knickknacks) or collections, I still feel like there are a lot of items in general. This immediately made me think of the bible verse (in Matthew 6:19) about storing your treasures on earth. Although I’m not materialistic by any stretch, it still made me stop and reflect. On another note, I also can’t help but to notice how quickly this month is moving right along. The pressure is on to finish, as I’m trying not to let May slip by.  

This recipe today is one that is very simple and tasty. This recipe can be served over cooked rice or noodles of your choice. It tastes delicious on white/basmati or brown rice, and with ramen. Also, additional vegetable additions that would go great are edamame (soybeans) or mushrooms. I did not have any this time around, but next time I will be adding some. Additionally, I used an apple in this recipe instead of sugar to balance the sweet/salty flavors. The apple adds a nice freshness to this dish. Enjoy!



Tofu and Veggie Stir Fry

  • Difficulty: easy
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Simple Tofu and Vegetable Stir Fry
Ingredients:
2-3 Tbsp Oil
1 (16oz) Package (Block) Super Firm Tofu
1 Tbsp Fresh Ginger, grated
2 Tbsp Fresh Garlic, minced
1/4 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 bunch of Scallions, about 7-8
Salt/Pepper (to taste)
1/2 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
1 small Apple, grated
4 Cups Broccoli (Fresh/Frozen)
4 Tbsp Soy Sauce/Tamari, divided
2 Tbsp Rice Vinegar, divided
1/2 Head of Cabbage
2-3 Carrots, grated or matchstick cut
Finish with:
Sesame Oil
Fresh Parsley, optional

Directions:
-Season tofu with salt/pepper to taste and add the paprika. Mix together to combine seasoning.
-Heat oil to medium-high heat. Then add the tofu and cook for about 10 minutes, be sure to toss/turn or even shake the pan every few minutes to halfway through for even cooking.
-Remove tofu from pan and set aside; allow to drain on napkin/paper towel, if needed.
-Back to pan add red pepper flakes, fresh garlic, and scallions. I typically keep some scallions off to the side for garnish.
-Cook the above for about one minute, then add apples, parsley and ginger. Continue cooking for another two minutes keep tossing while cooking.
-To the mixture add half of the soy sauce (2 tbsp) and vinegar (1 tbsp), plus the fresh/frozen broccoli. Cover and cook for five minutes to allow broccoli to steam up. Keep shaking and tossing in between.
-Remove cover. Over high heat, add cabbage and carrots to mixture plus remaining soy sauce and vinegar. Continue tossing/stirring while cooking for another one to two minutes.
-Add back in the tofu and give it another toss before serving.
-Serve over rice or noodles and finish with a garnish of additional ginger, scallions, parsley, and a drizzle of sesame oil. Enjoy!

The prep:

Matthew 6:19
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal (NIV).

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal” (ESV).

Vegetable Soup

Vegetable Soup – the no recipe—recipe.

Soup warms the soul, leaves me with positive vibes and comfort. Whenever I make vegetable soup, I make a LARGE quantity that will last us a few days. It’s so hard for me to put an actual vegetable soup recipe into words though. There are so many different variables when I set out to make it. Each time I use different veggies and sometimes I have no broth/stock and use water. I always start with a couple tablespoons of oil, crushed red pepper flakes, lots of garlic and an onion chopped. To this I add carrots and celery and sauté for a couple of minutes. Then, add diced tomatoes, water/broth and begin layering in my seasonings and veggies. If I’m adding potatoes, I include them in the carrots and celery step. The veggies vary and can include broccoli, cabbage, peas, spinach, kale, corn, cauliflower etc. I always try to include beans for fiber and protein — typically, red kidney beans or chickpeas. I hope this recipe inspires you to mix and match veggies too.
A must try – small/baby potatoes left whole= they are sometimes called creamers. I added them to this soup and left them whole, which made the soup very filling and satisfying.
Enjoy!

Lamentations 3:25-26

“The Lord is good to those who wait for him,

    to the soul who seeks him.

It is good that one should wait quietly     for the salvation of the Lord.”

Chopped Spinach and Quinoa Salad

This salad is delicious and packed with protein, especially when you add the chickpeas.

While I was preparing to make the salad for dinner, I also cut up veggies for a morning juice. Sometimes it is easier to cut, wash and prep fruits and vegetables all at once for multiple uses, such as juicing or a salad or soup.

For the salad, I used a box grater to grate the carrots and apples. While I typically leave baby spinach whole, this time I chopped it up. Proportionally it worked better for me to chop the spinach and it makes for a beautiful presentation. I used a trail mix that we had on hand. Nuts are such a nutritious add to any salad. So, whatever you have available, throw it in! This recipe makes a great lunch, dinner, or side salad. I had this salad two ways, once without the chickpeas with apple cider vinegar as my dressing (it made for a good side salad). Then I had it with a creamier tahini dressing with the added chickpeas (which was great alone for dinner).

Enjoy!

Chopped Spinach & Quinoa Salad

  • Difficulty: Easy
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Chopped Spinach & Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:
4 cups Baby Spinach, chopped
2 Large Carrots, grated
1 Large Apple, grated (I used a Honeycrisp)
1.5 cups cooked Quinoa
1/2 English Cucumber, diced
1 Cup Nuts / Nut mix or Trail mix (walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries)
Chickpeas, optional (1 15oz can drained/rinsed)

Directions:
-Grate carrots and apples and set aside in a large mixing bowl. To this add the cooked quinoa, diced cucumbers and chopped spinach.
-Add chickpeas and desired mixed nuts.
-Top with your favorite dressing or add equal parts of oil and apple cider vinegar.
-Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

Chopped Spinach and Quinoa Salad with a creamy tahini dressing.

Proverbs 31:25

“Strength and dignity are her clothing,

    and she laughs at the time to come.”

Cabbage Savage

Cabbage Savage
(Serves 6-8) ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free

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This cabbage has a slight kick but you can add/adjust as needed. It is super addicting – hence the name… this cabbage is fierce.

I watched some new documentaries recently that I will update on my list. Netflix has some great documentaries and not just the food ones. I watched The Human Experiment and Plastic Paradise. Not only are GMO’s a concern for us but what about the other countless “invisible” toxic chemicals that we are exposed to? It’s no wonder there has been such an increase in: cancer, dementia, autism, obesity, etc. It seems we are really dropping the ball here. It’s like a question of what came first, the chicken or the egg… except it’s more like, the chem industry or the pharm industry.

Ingredients:
1 Head Green Cabbage, cleaned and chopped/shredded (I just use my knife)
1 Tbsp Canola Oil
3 Tbsp Earth Balance (vegan butter)
½ Tbsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
2 Tsp Minced Garlic
2 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Course Black Pepper
½ Tsp Chili Powder
½ Tsp Tarragon

Directions:
-Clean and shred cabbage then set aside. I just slice it up on my cutting board. Be sure to remove the outer thick leaves and quarter/core before shredding and washing.
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-In a large pot, heat canola oil over medium-high heat. Add red pepper flakes and minced garlic and heat through for about 1-2 minutes. (Be careful it can quickly burn).
-Add Earth Balance butter and cabbage. Cover and let it cook down for about 10 minutes.
-Stir after 5 minutes so it all sautés and begins to cook evenly.
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-After 10 minutes stir again and add seasonings: salt, pepper, chili powder and tarragon. Cover and continue cooking.
I cook for a total time of about 20 minutes and then I turn off heat and allow it to sit for 5 minutes before serving – but keeping the lid on. Enjoy!
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Simple Berry Smoothies

Simple Berry Smoothies
(Serves 4) ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Raw, Soy-Free

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Umm… Happy New Year! Is that inappropriate since it’s now the 20th? Well, maybe not since this is the first time I’m saying hello for the New Year. What a blur it’s been since my last post. Life, right?

I ran into a woman at the grocery store this evening, which may have prompted this very post. As I’m walking up to the natural section, there is a woman standing there. She reaches for the Daiya cheese then hesitates and placed it back. I walked up and grabbed the Daiya and also the Better than Sour Cream because it’s taco night tonight! After watching me grab the cheese she then asks if it was any good. I replied and then proceeded to rattle off several other products I thought were good! I’m pointing and grabbing: So Delicious – yogurts, Vegenaise (mayo), Earth Balance (butter) and all the ice creams that are available! She may have thought I was a bit crazed given how hyper I quickly became on the subject. Hey it’s not every day I run into someone in person that is actually interested in vegan food or food products. She said her church was trying out veganism this month; to which I exclaimed Veganuary!?! She said yes and thanked me. I let her know about this blog and went on my way. Sometimes it’s the little things or rather the chance encounters that spark or motivate. Happy New Year and Happy Veganuary all! Make it another great one. As always… enjoy! The smoothie, of course. 😋

I love serving these in stemless wine glasses…
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Ingredients:
3 Cups Frozen Berries (I used a mixture of Blueberries, Strawberries, Raspberries and Blackberries)
½ Cup Orange Juice
2 Cups Almond Milk (I used my favorite Almond/Coconut Blend)
2 Tbsp Honey or Agave Nectar
Handful of ice, optional (depending on if using fresh or frozen fruits)

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in blender or high-speed blender (like a Nutribullet or Ninja).
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Vegan Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake

Vegan Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake
(Makes 1 Large 9-inch cheesecake)

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So about that cheesecake… I hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving Day. We ate so much food. I feel so bleh right about now. This cheesecake recipe was experimental, meaning I just threw it together ‘by feel.’ It came out rather delicious but a little soft. We didn’t mind it at all since the texture and taste was still there. Maybe next time I’ll freeze it or add cornstarch or something to make it a bit more firm. I hope you try this one, pumpkin and great for the season. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
3 Pkgs (8oz) Tofutti’s Cream Cheese (vegan cream cheese)
1 (1 lb) Pkg Silken Tofu (I used Nasoya brand)
1 Cup Sugar
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Pumpkin Puree
½ Tsp Ground Cinnamon
¼ Tsp Nutmeg
½ Tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
¼ Cup Brown Sugar
1 Prepared Graham Cracker Crust (Extra Large 9-Inch)

Directions:
-Preheat oven 375 degrees.
-Blend together Cream Cheese, Tofu, Sugar and Vanilla extract with mixer.
-Remove 1 Cup of Cream Cheese mixture into a separate small bowl. Pour the rest of the cream cheese mixture into prepared graham cracker crust.
-To the 1 Cup of Cream Cheese mixture add: pumpkin puree, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin pie spice. Mix until blended.
-Layer in the pumpkin mixture over the cream cheese and swirl or keep it layered. Bake for 45 minutes. Let stand and refrigerate overnight. Enjoy!

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Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake

  • Servings: 1 9-inch pie
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Credit: http://www.veganrescue.com

Ingredients:
3 Pkgs (8oz) Tofutti’s Cream Cheese (vegan cream cheese)
1 (1 lb) Pkg Silken Tofu (I used Nasoya brand)
1 Cup Sugar
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Pumpkin Puree
½ Tsp Ground Cinnamon
¼ Tsp Nutmeg
½ Tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
¼ Cup Brown Sugar
1 Prepared Graham Cracker Crust (Extra Large 9-Inch)

Directions:
-Preheat oven 375 degrees.
-Blend together Cream Cheese, Tofu, Sugar and Vanilla extract with mixer.
-Remove 1 Cup of Cream Cheese mixture into a separate small bowl. Pour the rest of the cream cheese mixture into prepared graham cracker crust.
-To the 1 Cup of Cream Cheese mixture add: pumpkin puree, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin pie spice. Mix until blended.
-Layer in the pumpkin mixture over the cream cheese and swirl or keep it layered. Bake for 45 minutes. Let stand and refrigerate overnight. Enjoy!

 

Spaghetti Squash with Baked Basmati Salad

Spaghetti Squash with Baked Basmati Salad
(Serves 4-6) ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free

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It will all be worth it. That feeling of accomplishment once you’ve completed a project, despite all the lost hours of sleep… It’s definitely a balancing act sometimes as an adult if you have: a family, school, work, projects, and then try squeezing in a social life here in there. I’m so pleased and proud that Seth’s latest book has finally been released, “ApocaLips” but I will blog a separate post all about it, with links for purchasing if any of my fellow bloggers are interested.

About the spaghetti squash… This recipe served four generous portions, however, it should really probably serve six given the amount of food. This is a nice recipe to serve now that we’re in that holiday season. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
2 Spaghetti Squash, halved
1 (15oz can) Black Eyed Peas, drained/rinsed
1 (15oz can) Black Beans, drained/rinsed
1 (11oz can) White Shoepeg corn, drained
½ Red Onion, chopped finely
½ Red Pepper, chopped
2 Cups (prepared) Basmati Rice
1 Handful Fresh Parsley, chopped (divided)
½ Tsp Italian Seasoning
½ Tsp Garlic Powder
½ Tsp Course Ground Pepper
½ Tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
(Additional Salt/Pepper and EVOO to taste)
Nutritional Yeast, optional

Directions:
-Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
-Cut Spaghetti squash in half, scoop out seeds then add a generous drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Salt/Pepper.
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-Bake cut side down for 45 minutes.
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-In a bowl toss together: Basmati Rice, Black Beans, Black Eyed Peas, Corn, half of chopped Parsley plus seasonings.
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-Remove squash from oven after 45 minutes and add rice mixture. Place back into oven for another 20 minutes.
-Top with Red Pepper, Parsley and optional (salt/pepper/nutritional yeast). I used about ½ Tbsp Nutritional Yeast. Enjoy
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Spaghetti

Ingredients:
2 Spaghetti Squash, halved
1 (15oz can) Black Eyed Peas, drained/rinsed
1 (15oz can) Black Beans, drained/rinsed
1 (11oz can) White Shoepeg corn, drained
½ Red Onion, chopped finely
½ Red Pepper, chopped
2 Cups (prepared) Basmati Rice
1 Handful Fresh Parsley, chopped (divided)
½ Tsp Italian Seasoning
½ Tsp Garlic Powder
½ Tsp Course Ground Pepper
½ Tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
(Additional Salt/Pepper and EVOO to taste)
Nutritional Yeast, optional

Directions:
-Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
-Cut Spaghetti squash in half, scoop out seeds then add a generous drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Salt/Pepper.
-Bake cut side down for 45 minutes.
-In a bowl toss together: Basmati Rice, Black Beans, Black Eyed Peas, Corn, half of chopped Parsley plus seasonings.
-Remove squash from oven after 45 minutes and add rice mixture. Place back into oven for another 20 minutes.
-Top with Red Pepper, Parsley and optional (salt/pepper/nutritional yeast). I used about ½ Tbsp Nutritional Yeast. Enjoy

Vegetable Ramen Noodle Soup

Vegetable Ramen Noodle Soup
(Serves 8) ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free

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I don’t know about you, but this chilly weather instantly makes me want to prepare a big pot of soup. I’m not knocking the ramen soup that we all lived on at one time or another, but whew are those ingredient lists long! I love this recipe because the way it’s prepared the veggies stay fresh and crunchy without all the preservatives. This was a big hit in our home a few nights ago. Yes, these oodles of noodles are all grown up. Warm, inviting and fresh! Enjoy.

Ingredients:
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
5 Scallions, chopped
3 Celery Ribs, sliced
3 Large Carrots, shredded/grated
16oz Frozen Corn
¼ Tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
10oz Fresh Green Beans
¼ Cup Tamari Soy Sauce
¼ Tsp Ginger Powder
3 Quarts Vegetable Broth
1 (10oz Package) Ramen Noodles (I used Lotus Foods – Millet & Brown rice)
1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
Salt/Pepper to taste

Directions:
-Prepare ramen noodles according to package and set aside.
-In a large pot heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add celery and scallions then sauté for about 3 minutes.
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Grated Carrots – I used my box grater.
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-Add carrots, frozen corn, and crushed red pepper flakes continue to sauté for 5 minutes.
-Stir in soy sauce, vegetable broth and green beans. Bring to boil.
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-Once the soup begins to boil turn off and remove from heat. Stir in rice vinegar, ginger powder and ramen then season to taste (salt/pepper). Enjoy!

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Vegetable Ramen Noodle Soup

  • Servings: 8
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Ingredients:
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
5 Scallions, chopped
3 Celery Ribs, sliced
3 Large Carrots, shredded/grated
16oz Frozen Corn
¼ Tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
10oz Fresh Green Beans
¼ Cup Tamari Soy Sauce
¼ Tsp Ginger Powder
3 Quarts Vegetable Broth
1 (10oz Package) Ramen Noodles (I used Lotus Foods – Millet & Brown rice)
1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
Salt/Pepper to taste

Directions:
-Prepare ramen noodles according to package and set aside.
-In a large pot heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add celery and scallions then sauté for about 3 minutes.
-Add carrots, frozen corn, and crushed red pepper flakes continue to sauté for 5 minutes.
-Stir in soy sauce, vegetable broth and green beans. Bring to boil.
-Once the soup begins to boil turn off and remove from heat. Stir in rice vinegar, ginger powder and ramen then season to taste (salt/pepper). Enjoy!

Eggplant Parm Bake

Eggplant Parm Bake
(Serves 8-10) ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free

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Can I quickly just say how much fun we had last night! We attended a game night hosted by my lifelong friend. Maribel is pretty much family since I’ve known her my entire life. She’s more like a cousin to me and growing up we hung out like sisters would. Her husband and two other close friends attended also. The six of us laughed so hard we were in tears. I love good times like this. The kids had their own game night happening in the living room with uno and cards.
I made this Eggplant Parmigiana bake a couple weeks ago. I wanted to take a quick shortcut to my ultimate eggplant parm recipe. This recipe was quick and delicious.

Eggplant Parm Bake

  • Servings: 8-10
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Ingredients:
3 Eggplants, sliced (recipe tripled)
(Prepared Eggplants – find recipe here)
Parmesan Topping (recipe tripled)
(Prepared Parm Topping – find recipe here)
1 Jar Store bought pasta sauce
3 Cups Fresh Baby Spinach
1 Package Vegan Shredded Mozzarella (I used Daiya brand)

Directions:
-Prepare Eggplant and Parmesan topping according to my Ultimate Eggplant Parmigiana recipe.
-In a large 13×9 baking dish, layer in the following: sauce, eggplant slices, sauce, baby spinach, Daiya cheese then repeat. Note: If you have any additional parmesan topping remaining add on top of spinach layer.
-Oven should already be heated to 500 degrees F. Cover with foil and bake for 20-30 minutes or until cheese has melted. I remove foil halfway through baking. Enjoy!

Spinach layer:
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Next Daiya Cheese and then Eggplant.img_0881
I served alongside Angel hair pasta.
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p.s. I cannot believe the holidays are right around the corner!!

Wild Rice Soup

Wild Rice blend & Vegetable Soup
(Serves 4-6) ~ Vegan, Dairy-Free

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I wish I planned this recipe in advance, instead it was another pantry/fridge cleanout effort. I typically write out recipes first and tweak them along the way when I’m creating. Since I didn’t do that here, please make note that my measurements are not exact. BUT it came out so delicious that I just had to share it anyway.
Last week I had given the kids leftover pasta for dinner which left Seth and I with ??? Refusing to go to the store, I scoured through the pantry and fridge to see what I could find. I wouldn’t necessarily make soup with a red onion, for example, I prefer yellow or sweet, but it’s what was available. I also found celery, carrots, broccoli and parsley in the fridge. In the pantry I found wild rice and a can of corn. With the addition of the flour this soup comes out rather creamy.
My my this soup tasted like Thanksgiving. I will definitely be making this one again soon, especially with the upcoming holidays so then I will plan to measure. Warm, comforting and inviting! Enjoy!

Ingredients:
3 Quarts of Water
3 Tbsp Canola Oil
½ Large Red Onion, chopped
4 Large Carrots, sliced
4 Celery Ribs, sliced
1 Handful fresh Parsley, chopped
½ Cup of Wild Rice Blend, uncooked (I used Lundberg brand)
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, about ½ Tsp
All Purpose Flour, about 3 Tbsp
Salt/Pepper to taste
Italian Seasoning to taste
Florets from 2 bunches of Broccoli
1 (15.25oz can) Corn

Directions:
-In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook about 2-3 minutes until softened.
-Add carrots, celery, parsley and crushed red pepper flakes then continue to cook through for another couple minutes.
-Add water, salt/pepper, Italian seasoning and heat to slow boil. Stir in flour and cook for another 1-2 minutes before adding rice.
-Add wild rice blend, cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for about 40 minutes.
-In the last 10 minutes of cooking, add corn and broccoli florets.
-Adjust seasoning to taste. Enjoy!