Monday, August 29, 2016

3 Minute Double Chocolate Muffin for One

For a slightly decadent breakfast or snack, or a slightly virtuous dessert, try one of these quick Double Chocolate, Vegan, Whole Wheat, Oil Free Muffins. Fresh from your microwave in 3 minutes! : )

3 Minute Double Chocolate Muffin for One
Stir in Microwavable Cup (I use Pyrex Glass Custard Cups)
1/4 Cup Stuffed Veggies Muffin Mix
2 Tablespoons Cocoa
1 Tablespoon Chocolate Chips
1/4 Cup Water
Sprinkle with Cinnamon Sugar
Microwave 1 minute
Remove from Cup
Sprinkle bottom with additional Cinnamon Sugar
Cool JUST ENOUGH

Enjoy! : )

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Monday, August 22, 2016

Vegan Back-to-School Menu

This is a busy time of year for most parents of school-aged kids. Whether your kids are home schooled or attend traditional school, it still tends to be hectic.

Here are some quick, easy dinners that can help you get thru those busy days while still feeding your family a healthy meal that didn't break the budget or come from a fast-food place.

Enjoy! 

Asian Peanut Noodles



Fill Your Own Tortilla Night



Pasta & Sauce



Teriyaki Veggies over Rice



Claire's Southern Delight





Bulgur Pilaf ( Pourgouri ) 

 

Mediterranean Chickpeas & Vegetables



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Monday, August 15, 2016

"Go-To" Menu Planning Backup System

No matter how pretty the menu planners, sometimes you need a backup!
Menu planning. Some of us love it, some of us hate it - but there are very few of us who get it done perfectly without ever missing a week. Invariably, shopping day hits us once in a while when there's nothing planned, yet groceries need to be bought. Or, dinner time hits us when there's nothing planned, but tummies need to be filled.

Enter my new backup plan, the "Go-To" Menu Planning System.

This is how it works:

Sit down with each member of your family, and ask them this question: "If we had an entire year of the same seven meals - every Monday had the same menu, every Tuesday had the same menu, etc - what would YOU want those seven meals to be? Which of our family meals could you enjoy eating once a week for an entire year?"

Make a record of each person's answers. Don't forget to ask yourself!

This is your "Go To" menu plan.

Of course, if one member of your family adores Tempeh, while all the rest hate it, keep that in mind when deciding whether or not to add it to your backup plan. 

Then, when you're at the grocery store without a plan, pull out your "Go To" list.

When you need to cook dinner and don't have any ideas - pull out your "Go To" list.

In our house, I was pleasantly surprised to find out some things

1) Some of our family's favorites are also some of my easiest meals! NONE of them take more than 30 minutes hands-on time, and many of them are MUCH quicker than that!

2) There are some meals that we ALL like a lot!

3) As you can see - on its own - this is a solid two week plan.

4) This wasn't as predictable as I thought it would be. There are some things that all of us liked that I did not anticipate, and some of those things that I thought would be on everyone's list weren't. 

3) This plan is a great conversation starter with friends - ask your friends what their lists are! : )

Once you have your "Master List" keep it in your wallet or on your smart phone for quick grocery store access. 

Here are some of our greatest Vegan & Vegetarian hits (I do keep an additional Omnivore list, too) :

Hummus & Veggies with Salad & Bread
Fasolia Yachni with Rice and Dolmades from a Can
Greek Black Eyed Peas or White Beans








Monday, August 8, 2016

How to Fill that Vegan Lunch Box

Make Great Vegan Lunches for Every Member of the Family!
So it's that time of year when a young person's fancy turns to - well - how to fill that lunch box!


Whether your kids go to "far away school" (as we call it here),  or your homeschool co-op is starting up again, or if the grown-ups in the family have resolved once again to live more frugal & healthy lives - that lunch box needs filling!


Here are a bunch of great ideas. Many of them can be stored in the freezer for quick access. Others are Quick and Easy - they can be started with frozen ingredients such as cooked beans or grains. So, most of them can be pretty convenient. Because packing a lunch just isn't going to happen for most families if it turns out to be a two hour ordeal every day!


So, without further ado:


Freezer-Friendly Lunchbox Fillers




Dips with Veggies, Breads, or Chips for Dipping - or as part of a Sandwich:

(all freezer friendly - I like to freeze these in individual portions to toss into a lunchbox when needed)




Hummus with Capers





Red Pepper & Walnut Dip or Spread




Baba Ganoush ( Eggplant Dip )








Vegan Banana Muffins'



Vegan Pumpkin Mini Muffins




Zucchini Mini Muffins

 

Vegan Cranberry Streusel Muffins


Gluten Free, Sugar Free Banana Oatmeal Bars




Veggie Burgers

Southwest Black Bean Burgers



 
Sausage Patties, Vegan (freezer friendly)




Freezer Lunchbox Burritos (Scroll Down in Post for recipe)


Quick & Easy Lunchbox Fillers

 


Veggie & Olive Sandwich

 


Ants on a Log





Sushi


Farro Salad, Mediterranean


Couscous Fattoush Salad

Fruited Black-Eyed Pea Salad



White Bean Salad



Fruit Salad




Crispy Rice Treats




   
Peanut Butter & Jelly LaraBalls, Three Ingredient



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Monday, August 1, 2016

Easiest Ever Greek White Beans (Fasolia Vrasta)

Greek White Beans (Fasolia Vrasta)
This is a go-to recipe for dinner in our house when we want something super-quick, super-easy, and super-tasty. It really doesn't get any easier than this!

Greek White Beans (Fasolia Vrasta)
Dump a can of Great Northern Beans*** into a Microwave-safe serving bowl.
(No need to drain)
Heat till hot.
Top with
Olive Oil to taste (authentic, but optional)
Lemon Juice to taste
Salt to taste
Stir.
Garnish with your choice of the following Veggies, according to what you have on hand:
*Capers
*Tomatoes
*Black Olives
*Green Olives
*Carrots
*Pickled Peppers
*Raw Onion
*Celery
*Cucumbers
*etc, etc, etc

Serve with Fresh, Crusty Bread for Dipping in the Bean Liquid.
Enjoy!

And,  of course, you can heat the beans on the stovetop in a saucepan rather than in the microwave if you prefer. 

***To save money, or, just because you prefer it,  you can also use dried white beans for this recipe. Soak them overnight in water with a couple teaspoons baking soda added. Drain and rinse. Add water to generously cover (about an inch or two above top of beans) and about 1 Tablespoon Salt. Bring to boil on stovetop, and simmer, covered, till tender (about an hour)

OR Use my super-easy Slow Cooker method - no soaking required! : )
Note: If you prefer, instead of canned beans you can make your own in the slow cooker. It's super easy, and saves a ton of money! : )


    * Tip for Dining with Omnivores: Canned Tuna is a great accompaniment to this dish, in addition to the veggies.

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Monday, July 25, 2016

Southwestern Couscous Lunchbox Salad

Southwestern Couscous Salad
I LOVE this salad. It's delicious - my daughter wanted 2 servings for lunch and one for dinner when I designed this recipe! But, even better - it's an INSTANT meal. No cooking, no skill, no fancy kitchen required.

If you're a Vegan who hates to cook - this is the meal for you. If you're an Omnivore who loves to cook - you'll STILL love this salad!

This is a perfect meal for when you're traveling, when you're living in a dorm, or when you need to be able to throw lunch into a lunchbox in a matter of minutes. It would even be ideal for camping or "prepping" if you're so inclined.

I designed this to feed a single person for lunch. You just dump everything into your food container & go. Then, when lunch comes, stir & eat! Hence the name, "Lunchbox Salad."

Just grab an Half Cup Measure, and add one scoop for each ingredient (except the Lime Juice & Garlic Salt). But if you need to feed a crowd, just use a larger measuring scoop!

Here's what you do:

Southwestern Couscous Salad
Measure into food container
1/2 Cup Couscous
1/2 Cup Black Beans (from a can or home cooked)
1/2 Cup Corn (frozen or canned, as you prefer)
1/2 Cup Diced Cucumber (or Bell Pepper, or Celery, or some other Crunchy Veggie)
1/2 Cup Salsa (Home made or your favorite store-bought variety)
1/2 Cup Water (cold is fine : )
Generous Dashes Lime Juice
Generous Sprinkles Garlic Salt
Stir. Put lid on Container. Put or fridge or lunchbox to serve later.

(Note: Normally you use 2 parts Water for 1 part Couscous - but the Salsa & Lime Juice add enough moisture that you'll want to only use 1 Part Water.)

If you're preparing this more than a day ahead of serving time, wait to add the Cucumber till just before serving time, so that it doesn't get soggy.

Tip for Dining with Omnivores: This salad is a meal in a dish, but it would make a great side for a Burger or Grilled Chicken.

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Monday, July 18, 2016

Italian Lunchbox Salad

Italian Lunchbox Salad
What is a Lunchbox Salad? A Lunchbox Salad is a filling entree salad that requires no cooking and can be thrown together quickly and easily in the morning. It is assembled right in the container you'll eat it out of, then thrown in the lunchbox. At lunchtime, it's ready to go!

It's the perfect lunch for those who are unable to cook or simply don't enjoy cooking, since it requires no cooking, and can be assembled with basic ingredients.

Try one of these for your lunch!

Today's feature, Italian : )

Italian Lunchbox Salad
Assemble in plastic or glass lunch container, then close the container and place in your lunchbox. Simple!
1/2 Cup Couscous
1/2 Cup Water
1 Tablespoon Fat Free (or regular) Italian Dressing
1/4 teaspoon Italian Herbs
Salt & Pepper to taste
Choose from optional ingredients, adding a couple spoonfuls of each:
Diced Tomato
Diced Cucumber
Artichoke Hearts
Chickpeas from a can
Sliced Black Olives
Capers
Garnish with Slivered Almonds or Pine Nuts
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