Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Go Fish!

Vegetarian sandwiches can really go either way...when I see the famous "veggie sandwich" on a menu, I am always skeptical to order it because it seems like more times than not, I end up with a large roll with lettuce, tomato and American cheese in front of me.

Anyway, I've been trying to explore lunch options for myself, and, now that I'm at home with Laine, I have a little more room to be creative. I was researching different types of vegetarian sandwiches, and came across many recipes for a mock tuna salad. What the hell, let's give it a go!

From all of the recipes, I put together something like this:

-1 can of drained and WELL RINSED chickpeas

-1 carrot, cut into a few pieces

-salt, pepper, dehydrated minced onion

-a few spoonfuls of light mayo

Send everything through the food processor until it reaches your desired consistancy, and voila! Some sort of hummus and tuna hybrid. I toasted up a wheat baguette, and put on a generous serving of the mixture. YUM!!! I stored the rest in the fridge, and am actually looking forward to having another sandwich tomorrow!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Pizza...oh how wonderful you are!!!

Tragically, when I was pregnant, I could not even stomach the word "pizza." My favorite food had suddenly become a source of anxiety and sickness. Thank goodness that passed!!!! I've been exploring with different types of pizzas, and came across a real winner last night.

Let's talk dough...The recipe I use is (note: this recipe makes a lot of dough. You could probably get 2 medium sized pizzas from it. I can't tolerate getting frustrated when stretching my dough out, so I always make a lot to make it easier on myself!):

1 1/2c. warm water

1 Tbsp yeast

1.5c. Bread Flour

2 c. All purpose flour (or substitute whole wh
eat flour)
1.5 tsp salt

1 TBSP olive oil

Then you can experiment with adding different herbs and spices depending on what kind of pizza you are making. I normally add in some red pepper flakes and dried basil.

You can always pick up a round of dough from the gr
ocery store or from a pizzeria, but there is something really satisfying about making your own dough (and if you have a Kitchen Aid mixer, it's ridiculously easy).

So last night, I decided to make a white pizza. I stretched out my dough and rubbed it with some olive oil, and sprinkled it with course sea salt and chopped rosemary. Then I put just a dusting of shredded mozzarella over the top. Next came...potatoes. As thin as you can slice them (I used a mandolin). My next all star ingredient was goat cheese. Goat cheese has a place in just about every dish. It's so silky and luxurious, definitely one of my favorite ingredients to use. So there I was in my kitchen, complete with sous chefs Horton, Morris, and Laine, and the pizza just looked...boring. I didn't want to add anymore strong flavors, but it needed a little, oomph. Out came the jar of red pepper flakes, making a second appearance. I was slightly heavy handed in my "sprinkling." It was the right choice. The
heat seemed to open up the taste buds (totally not sure if that's what happens, but that's how it felt), and it made the pizza come alive!!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

I'm Back!

Did everyone think the world of Vegging Out ended??? To be honest, i thought so too! Turns out a baby is rather time consuming!

Anyway, here she is...Laine Gloria!!!

I made it through the entire pregnancy as a vegetarian, and never had any issues with my health! Laine is amazing, and I already bring her into the kitchen with me, explaining what everything is to her, putting things to her nose so she can smell them, and letting her touch different foods. It's been so much fun! I feel like I finally have my cooking show audience i've always dreamed about!!!

I'm just starting to get back into cooking...the last 2 months of pregnancy, me and Justin ate Morningstar Farms chick'n nuggets every. single. night. Once in awhile, I'd mix it up and have the spicy kind :-)

So what's the latest in my cooking? Well, I've been all about cooking dried beans! Mainly black beans and pinto beans. I soak and cook a big batch on Sunday, and then use them throughout the week for tacos, rice and bean variations, chili, baked beans for side dishes, etc. At the end of the week, I take whatever beans i have left, throw them in the food processor with whatever veggies i have left, along with spices and chick pea flour, and let them blend. Then I fry them up into veggie burgers and freeze them individually. Amazingly easy, and soooo delicious!!!!

I hope to be posting a lot more, and once Laine can start "eating," i'll be experimenting a lot with making food for her!!! Such a new and exciting adventure we are on!!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Going to be a Veggie Mama!!!

Well, it's official...me and hubby will no longer be the only people in our home:

They tell me that the little blob right there is a baby!!! Due date is May 17th! I am planning on staying vegetarian throughout the pregnancy (although I have had some strong cravings for, of all things, chicken salad sandwiches!). I did make one exception for my gummy prenatal vitamins, which contain some gelatin...but how many of you ever looked forward to taking your vitamin??? I do! So anyway, I've been super exhausted, feeling crappy, and not in the mood to cook anything...but don't leave me!!!! As soon as I get over the all day sickness (whoever called it morning sickness is a lying bastard), I will start posting more frequently!!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Pizza Sundays

So every Sunday, I've been making a different pizza for dinner! It's been really fun, and I think I'm going to continue it! I pick up rounds of pizza dough at the deli counter (they may not have them advertised...just go ask!)

These have been the pizzas so far (I've repeated a few because they were so tasty!)

-Of course, the blue cheese/walnut/arugula from "Date Night" post

-Goat cheese, fresh thyme, sage, and basil (no sauce)

-tomato sauce, cheddar and mozzarella, vegetarian "bacums" that I found at Whole Foods in the bulk bins, and roasted red peppers

-mozzarella, feta, kalamata olives, red onions, thinly sliced tomato, and fresh oregano (put on at the last minute of cooking).

I think I need to invest in a pizza stone...will post pictures when I buy it!

Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes

I've been meaning to post this dish...I make it a few times a month, and it is simple and delicious!!! All you have to do is throw a pint or 2 of cherry or grape tomatoes onto a sheet pan, cover in olive oil, salt, pepper, and some chopped garlic if you have any on hand. Roast at 375 degrees until the tomatoes burst open. As the tomatoes are roasting, have your pasta boiling. Save a cupful of your pasta water, just incase you need it for the "sauce". When the tomatoes are all burst open, and your house smells like heaven, take the pan out of the oven and pour every last bit from the pan onto your drained pasta. Toss around, and add some pasta water if you want it a little more saucy. Add some fresh basil if you have it, and then top it all with some parmesan cheese...


Let's talk about parmesan...now I know you've heard Food Network chefs go on and on about Parmigiano-Reggiano. Is it delicious and mind blowing? YES. Is it expensive? YES. Do you absolutely have to have it in every single dish? NO. There are some great alternatives that work great (and the canned stuff is not what I'm talking about!) I really like Sarvecchio, which is actually a domestic parmesan and runs around $8/pound at whole foods, compared to PR which will cost you around $20/pound. You can also buy Regginito, which is a cheese from Argentina...it has a similar flavor to PR and is definitely worth trying! It's about $10/pound.

Here's what it looks like at my house:

I highly recommend you give it a try...it is really really really easy, and the flavors are amazing!

Ok, Now I'm Really Back!

Wooo! Not sure what happened there! I have been super busy/exhausted from work, but I'm back...I promise!!! Here are a few updates that have happened in the last month...

-I did another outdoor adoption event in July, only this time I was a "cat supervisor." I was in charge of 2 kittens and a 2 year old cat (Capone...he was such a sweetheart!!!) One of the kittens got adopted right away, Capone was adopted 2 days later, and I'm not sure about Jerry, the little black kitten...I hope he found his forever home too!

-Last Wednesday, we decided to open our home to a foster kitten who was going to be put down at the shelter he was at...meet Stanley:

Yes, I realize how painfully adorable he is, and yes, we are still planning on giving him up when someone adopts him, and yes, I know that I will cry like a baby when that day comes. For now though, Stanley is having fun with Horton and Morris, and I love having him as part of the family!

Ok, MOST IMPORTANTLY...as many of you know, I teach at a preschool that is part of an HIV/AIDS support agency. The AIDS run is coming up in October, and I am scheduled to run the 10k race!!! It is SO IMPORTANT that people donate to our cause!!! Because we work directly with the HIV/AIDS affected community, 100% of our donations will come right back to our agency!!!! You can donate right through my fundraising website:

Kelly's Fundraising Website

Thank you in advance for your support!!!!!

OK...back to cooking and living a meat free life!!!