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    2.15.2009 ||>   Sauteed Seitan with Mushrooms and Spinach with Stuffed Potatoes on the Side

    Sauteed Seitan with Mushrooms and Spinach with Stuffed Potatoes on the Side

    I've been going for comfort foods to fill me up during the week. Last week's Chickpea Noodle Soup lasted until Thursday. This week, I'm including a more vegetarian "meat" and potatoes kind of meal. Potatoes do my Irish heart good, and the seitan and mushrooms fill me up without making me hungry later.

    While seitan isn't that healthy, being wheat gluten and all, it does have a lot of protein and I think the spinach give it some good nutrients. Next week is finals, so I will need all the quick and easy foods I can get.

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    Sepra was livin' easy on 8:06:00 PM || Site Feed ||

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    2.08.2009 ||>   Chickpea Noodle Soup

    The last time I had chicken noodle soup was in July of 2002. It was gross and made me sick. This version of the feel-good classic is soooo much better. I do love a good chickpea.

    The recipe is from the book Veganomicon, and it's essentially, chickpeas, noodles, carrots, onions, mushrooms, spinach and spices. Perfect for the cold weather.

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    Sepra was livin' easy on 8:52:00 PM || Site Feed ||

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    5.17.2008 ||>   Minestrone Soup with Garlic Tortilla Croutons

    Still going through all the food in my pantry, my options are becoming much more limited in what I can cook, so I decided to go try a minestrone soup. I love soup, and when I was single, it was the staple of my existence. It's also super easy to make with leftover frozen veggies, and you can make a batch that's cheap as hell next to the canned kind you buy in a store. I really liked this soup. Tony doesn't like any soup (much to my dismay), so he can't really give a verdict.

    Tortilla Croutons

    4 whole wheat tortillas
    garlic powder to taste
    1 tsp olive oil

    Preheat the broiler. Cut tortillas into small chips. Spread olive oil onto chips with hands. Sprinkle with garlic powder and layer on a cookie sheet. Broil on one side until brown. Flip the chips and broil on the other side until crispy (about three minutes on each side).

    Minestrone Soup

    2 leeks, cleaned and chopped
    2 cloves garlic, crushed
    oregano, thyme and rosemary to taste
    1 16 oz bag mixed frozen vegetables (I used Trader Joes Organic Foursome)
    1 28 oz diced tomatoes
    4 cups veggie broth
    1 15 oz can chickpeas
    1 cup spiral noodles

    Saute the leeks and garlic until they are soft. Add spices and heat them up for about a minute. Add in diced tomatoes, veggie broth, bag of veggies and chickpeas and simmer 30 minutes.

    Add in the spiral noodles and cook until they are al dente. Serve. This recipe makes quite a lot.

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    Sepra was livin' easy on 9:14:00 AM || Site Feed ||

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    5.11.2008 ||>   Eggplant Muffuletta Sandwich

    No picture this time, because Tony and I ate these sandwiches right up. I got the original recipe from the Veganomicon, p. 100 and then adapted everything to what I had on hand. Judging by these sandwiches, I bet the actual recipe tastes fantastic. The only thing I would absolutely change when I make these sandwiches again is that I will be using a tougher bread, like sourdough that has a thicker crust.

    My changes were that I halved the olive salad and made it with black olives only, used premade eggplant patties from Trader Joes, put far less olive oil than the recipe calls for and used hamburger buns instead of the peasant bread in the original. You are also supposed to let the sandwich sit for up to three hours. But I couldn't do that, so I let them sit for a couple minutes. My recipe makes 4 sandwiches, and will fill you up, but not in a heavy, lumpish way.

    Olive Salad Relish

    1 cup black olives
    1/4 cup chopped parsley
    2 cloves garlic
    1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, dry
    2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
    1/2 tsp powdered rosemary
    1/2 tsp powdered thyme
    1/2 tsp celery seed
    1/2 tsp dried oregano
    1/2 tsp dried basil
    Olive oil, to taste


    1 box Trader Joes eggplant patties
    1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
    3 cups fresh spinach leaves, washed and dried
    2 roasted red and yellow peppers (mine was out of a jar at Trader Joes, but you can roast your own)
    4 hamburger buns

    Preheat the oven according to the directions on the eggplant box.

    Place the olives, parsley, garlic and sundried tomatoes in a large bowl. Toss with the balsamic vinegar and dried herbs. Chop everything up with a hand blender (you could probably also use a regular blender or food processor) to the consistancy you like - mine was pretty fine, but you can go choppy. At this point, I added a splash of olive oil to make it more moist. Cover the salad with saran wrap or put in an airtight container in the fridge.

    Prepare the eggplant to package directions.

    Put the spinach leaves in a bowl and sprinkle with the red wine vinegar.

    When the eggplant is done, assemble the sandwiches. Open the buns, and spread the olive salad in a thick layer on each side. Layer the bottom with an eggplant patty, then some spinach, some roasted red pepper, another eggplant patty and spinach.

    Take the sandwich, and wrap it in aluminum foil (or saran wrap if you prefer) and smoosh it down with your body weight. Really flatten it. Leave them for a couple minutes and then unwrap and place on a plate. Serve.

    The texture on these sandwiches (with the buns) was a little soggy, but the taste was awesome.

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    Sepra was livin' easy on 8:42:00 AM || Site Feed ||

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    4.26.2008 ||>   Muffin Tops

    As part of my spring cleaning, I have thrown away all my expired food and have catalogued everything on my shelves. One thing that I have a lot of is flour. I don't really use it much anymore. Since beginning the Eat to Live diet last year, I have not made pancakes or muffins or dredged my tofu or cauliflower in an egg-flour batter. So, I have a ton of flour that I have been doing nothing with for the past year.

    Compounding that, I am moving out in July, so I have to get this stuff cleared out of my apartment. So much for stockpiling in the face of the rising cost of food.

    So, this morning, I looked around on the net for a recipe that was vegan, low fat and would get rid of some flour and sugar (another thing I never use anymore). Lo and behold this recipe from Cinnamon muffins that will use up a lot of the stuff I have on hand and is low in sugar and fat! Perfect.

    I had to substitute a couple of ingredients. I didn't have orange juice, some of the spices or soy yogurt. I had some berry juice I use in smoothies and a mashed banana is a good substitute for the yogurt. So here is my altered recipe, which turned out to be fantastic with a bit of peanut butter.

    Cinnamon Berry Muffins

    2 cups white whole wheat flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
    1 medium mashed banana
    2/3 cup Kagome purple berry juice
    1/2 cup soy milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 cup agave nectar

    4 tablespoons brown sugar
    1 teaspoon cinnamon

    Preheat oven to 350F. Spray muffin tin with non-stick spray.

    Mix together dry ingredients (flour through flax seeds) in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, mash the banana and mix the rest of the wet ingredients. In an even smaller bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon.

    Pour the wet mixture into the flour mixture and stir just until thoroughly moistened. Do not beat or overmix. Spoon about 1 heaping tablespoon of batter into each muffin cup. Sprinkle each half-full muffin with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon sugar and fill with remaining batter. Sprinkle remaining cinnamon sugar over each muffin. Take a toothpick or thin knife, insert it into the batter and swirl gently.

    Bake for 17-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool for a few minutes before serving.

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    Sepra was livin' easy on 12:23:00 PM || Site Feed ||

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    10.12.2007 ||>   Semi Healthy-made

    Veggie Eggplant Florentine
    I do most of the cooking in the Snuggles-Sepra household. In the summertime when we have fresh produce, I usually cook from scratch because it's actually easier for me to do that than cook with processed food because it's the way I learned. And the more I hear about eating processed foods, the less I like, so it's a good thing I cook this way.

    But some days, I am hungry, with a full freezer and just want to throw something together. I read on my new favorite site, a recipe for Eggplant Pancakes Florentine that looked good awhile back, but a bit too complicated. On this night, I had eggplant patties and creamed spinach in the freezer, fresh tomatoes and garlic on the shelf and I was too hungry to care about how processed dinner was.

    I baked the eggplant while microwaving the creamed spinach and chopping the tomatoes. I mixed in the garlic while everything cooled and layered the eggplant and spinach, topping with the tomato-garlic sauce. We also had some corn on the cob, so I boiled some of that and viola! A semi-healthy, semi homemade dish that Snuggles and I could eat fast.

    It was tasted great and even met with the highest honor for Snuggles: "You can make that anytime you want." Hell, who needs the Nobel Peace Prize when you get those kinds of accolades!

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    Sepra was livin' easy on 10:07:00 AM || Site Feed ||

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    8.26.2007 ||>   What's for dinner?

    Tonight, we are having:

    Hash browns + Impossible Pumpkin Pie + Apple Stuffed Peppers.

    We have started getting winter squash from our CSA, which means that summer and summery vegetables are coming to a close. I love winter food, but am sad that it is coming.

    The pumpkin pie recipe is a bit funny for me. About four years ago, I tried to make pumpkin bread for a work party, and something went wrong. My bread refused to cook all the way through, but it did have this lovely pumpkin pie consistency in the middle. So I thought what the hell and brought it anyway.

    Turns out my bread snafu looked exactly like this impossible pie. Except, it was loaf shaped. The teachers I worked with still liked it, and one even took home the recipe. Now, I'm doing it on purpose!


    Sepra was livin' easy on 6:59:00 PM || Site Feed ||

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    8.29.2006 ||>   Salsa Stoup

    Taken from Rachel Ray's 30 Minute Meals.

    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
    1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
    1 large onion, chopped
    3 ribs celery, chopped with greens
    3 cloves garlic, chopped
    Salt and pepper
    1 (28-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
    1 can crushed tomatoes
    2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
    3 tablespoons chopped cilantro or flat-leaf parsley

    Heat a medium soup pot over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan and the jalapenos, bell pepper, onions, celery and garlic. Season with salt and pepper then saute veggies 5 minutes, add tomatoes, crushed tomatoes and stock and bring soup to a bubble. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir in cilantro.

    This is so easy to make and it fills you up. Also tastes good the day after as a cold soup, which is especially good for the summer.


    Sepra was livin' easy on 10:00:00 AM || Site Feed ||

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    8.21.2006 ||>   Sushi Salad

    Taken from the Moosewood Cookbooks, with some alterations.Sauce:Cook the rice. Combine sauce ingredients, simmer for five minutes, and set aside.

    Toss the vegetables with the sauce and mix in wasabi. Combine the veggies with the rice, and garnish with crumbled nori and sesame seeds. Serve over mixed greens.

    I also add soy sauce for its salty taste and also to add moisture to the salad.


    Sepra was livin' easy on 9:36:00 AM || Site Feed ||

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