I’m Really Tired Vegetarian Menu Monday

I got almost no sleep last night. It must have been the excitement of my new cheesy electric fireplace or the fondue I made to go along with it! So this week will be super simple food since I can’t bare to think of doing much today. I’m at work, but my heart is at home in my cozy bed snoozing the day away.

Monday: Chicken-less Parmigiana

Tuesday:  Veggie burgers and baked sweet potato fries (and regular fries too)

Wednesday: Go out for Tofu and Black Bean sauce

Thursday: Slow Cooker Lentil Spinach Soup with Cornbread

Friday: Mexican – Quesadillas or Burritos

Saturday:  Indian – (from pouches with brown rice)

Sunday:  Slow Cooked Ziti Casserole (yes, again)

Other Veg Menus (leave a link in the comments if I missed you):

Slow Cooker Cajun 16 Bean Soup

I love soup and I can be lazy. So it should come as no surprise how easy it is to make this soup. I had a bag of 16 bean mix and was craving something more texturally adventurous than split pea soup.

For a long time I avoided buying the 16 bean mix because it always say ham flavoring. Well it’s like raman noodles, the ham flavoring is in a sealed package and can easily be tossed out. I’m not so sure you would want powdered ham flavoring even if you did eat meat, but that may just be me.

If you have the time and/or patience, saute the onion, garlic and green pepper before you put it in the slow cooker. You can even do this as late as 1 hour before serving.

Slow Cooker Cajun 16 Bean Soup

  • 1 package 16 bean mix (or 16 oz. your own mix of beans that you have on hand)
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 6 – 8 cups Filtered water
  • 1 heaping Tbl Better than Bouillon Not-Chicken Flavor
  • 1 Tbl Cajun Seasoning Blend – no or low sodium if possible (make your own with these recipes)
  • 1 tsp. Liquid Smoke
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Tabasco (It’ s not as hot as the regular one, so you can use more)
  • 2 Large carrots cut into half moons
  • 1 12 oz can Muir Glenn fire roasted crushed tomatoes (you can also use diced if you prefer)
  • 2 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Onion, minced
  • 1 Bell pepper, diced

The night before you want to have this for dinner, add first 3 ingredients into the slow cooker. Cook on low over night.

You could also get all Martha Stewart and prepare the rest of the ingredients to add in the morning . If you do this, try to saute the last 3 ingredients. Add the rest of the ingridents into a bowl, cover and put in the fridge.

Wake up, smell the beans cooking, and remember that you have to add some more stuff so you can have dinner later. Empty your premade bowl of stuff into the slow cooker with the cooking beans. (Or prepare them now, and then add…)

Add more water if seems low, or you would like a thinner soup. Leave on low all day (8 – 12 hours). Eat with lightly toasted hunk of whole grain bread and congratulate yourself for eating so healthy!

It’s slow cooker Thursday, so make sure to check out more recipes at Diary of a stay at home Mom.


Going to Eat Healthy Menu Planning Monday

Last week we had too many obligations to eat out, so this week I’m actually looking forward to eating in. I’m working on staying on the healthy side of things, so I can eat things at home that either I can’t get out or can fix healthier versions of. Wish me luck!

MondayGreen with Envy Noodles or make a soup with my green with envy veggies from Trader Joe’s — bake butternut squash for tomorrow’s dinner

Tuesday:   Butternut Squash Risotto with sauteed oyster mushrooms

Wednesday: Potato Soup and Hot Dogs with veggie chili

Thursday: Veggie burgers and baked sweet potato fries (and regular fries too)

Friday: Bean soup and cornbread

Saturday:  Clean out the fridge soup or stew – recipe will follow! and Cauliflower Gratin With Goat Cheese Topping

Sunday:  Slow Cooked Ziti Casserole and Cesar Salad (thanks to Thrifty Soaper for this idea!)

Check out more menu’s here:

Other Veg Menus (leave a link in the comments if I missed you):

Marx Foods is Having a Truffle Giveaway

Marx Foods is great about having contests and this one is super easy. Just leave a comment and you may win 1/4 lb. fresh truffles. That’s a prize I would love to win. I use truffle oil, but haven’t had the privilege of using fresh ones yet.

Vegan Sausage and Apples with White Truffle Oil

  • 1/2 tube Gimme Lean
  • 2 apples, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 Tbl olive oil (optional – use nonstick pan instead if you like)
  • white truffle oil

Heat oil in a large skillet, add apples and saute until almost done. Add sausage and break up into crumbles as it cooks or leave in larger pieces if you prefer. Once sausage is cooked thoroughly, put into bowls and top with a few drops (or sprays) of white truffle oil. Enjoy – it’s great on a cold night.


Menu Planning Day

This week should be easy because I’m going out to dinner a couple of times. January is a big month for bdays in my circle of friends.

Monday:  Dinner with Faith and Christy

Tuesday: Seared Tofu with with Green Beans and Asian Coconut Sauce

Wednesday: Dinner out with Jenny

Thursday: Whole Wheat Spaghetti and Not-Meat Balls and Cesar Salad

Friday:  Sandwiches and sweet potato fries

Saturday:  A variation on Tea-Smoked Duck Breast with Pears and Blueberry Jus – using tofu

Sunday: Indian – to be decided

Check out more menu’s here:

Other Veg Menus (leave a link in the comments if I missed you):

AreoGarden: One Way to Grow Food Inside

I finally bought an AreoGarden 2 weeks ago. It seems like an expensive toy, but in the dreary winter I need a chance to ‘tend garden’ every day. I wanted to give it a try and see if it could lift my winter blues. It has a sensor that alerts you when you need to add water or nutrients, and a very bright grow light that is on a timer. It’s really pretty foolproof.Granted, it is a little expensive, but I got my 7 pod  AeroGarden Classic when it went on the Amazon deal of the day for 99.00 and came with the Gourmet Herb Seed Kit, currently it’s 141.50. They do have a 6 pod one that also includes an herb kit on sale now for 99.00, so you could try that one too.

aerogarden.jpgThe Gourmet Herb Seed Kit has chives, 2 kinds of basil, thyme, mint, dill, and parsley. Currently all of my herbs have germinated, and the chives are at about 2 inches. Setting it up was very easy and took about 5 minutes. Just add water, a nutrient tablet, the seed pods, plug it in and you are on your way to harvesting herbs in your kitchen year round.

I know some of you already do grow herbs inside all year, and I’m certainly not implying that the AeroGarden is the only way. It’s just an easy way. And if you are an apartment dweller, it’s a great way to grow fresh herbs, lettuce and more.

The seed kits are expensive at 19.99 for 6 or 7 seed pods, but they do have a AeroGarden Master Gardener Deluxe Kit, so you can use your own seeds. That is not only cheaper in the long run, but allows you to grow a wider variety of plants. Next I’m going to grow some loose leaf lettuce or arugula. Yum! I’d like to get a second AeroGarden to grow lettuce in at work. It would be amazing to cut the lettuce for my lunch right at my desk.

Wondering if it’s green enough for you? Check out this page on the aerogrow site, It answered my questions and it seems like they are trying to do the right thing and improving as they go along.

Red Flannel Veggie Hash


I used to have a recipe book that had a beet potato hash in it, but I’ve long since given it away. So here’s my newest recipe for root veggie hash.

Red Flannel Veggie Hash

  • 3 potatoes, diced
  • 1 sweet potato, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 small beet, diced
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbl Cajun seasonings – no or low sodium if possible (make your own with these recipes)
  • 1 Tbl olive oil or veggie broth to saute in
  • salt and pepper to taste

Put diced beet in small sauce pan with water. Put the other diced potatoes, sweet potato and carrot in a larger pan and cover with water. Cook both pans over medium heat until roots can be easily pierced by a fork. Drain in a colander when done.

Heat oil (or broth) over medium heat, add onion and cook until translucent. Add garlic and saute a minute more. Add the cooked diced root veggies.

Spread the mixture in the pan, cook until  browned and a nice crust appears. Sve with toast and scrambled tofu.

Spicy Tofu with Shitake Mushrooms

So last night I started to make Eat Well’s Sichuan tofu with mushrooms. I ended up making tons of changes to the recipe, so I thought my new one was worth sharing. You know me – I can’t ever leave well enough  alone! It was very tasty – even the meat eater of the house loved it.

Kathy’s Spicy Tofu with Shitake Mushrooms – serves 2

  • 1 tsp Better than Bouillon Vegetable Flavor
  • 3 Tbl filtered water
  • 1 Tbl low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbl tomato paste
  • 1 tsp sugar or agave nectar
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp hot chili sesame oil (to your taste)
  • a few drops liquid smoke
  • 1 Tbl balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 container firm tofu (1/2 a cake sliced lengthwise – store the other 1/2 in water in the fridge for another recipe)
  • 1 8 oz package fresh shitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 spray of olive oil or 1 Tb veggie broth

Take tofu slice wrap with clean kitchen towel or paper towels. Place on a cutting board and place heavy pan on it for a bout 10 minutes to press most of the water out of it. Cut into medium sized cubes and set aside for now.

Whisk first 8 ingredients in a small bowl. You will use this mixture a little later.

Heat skillet or wok over medium heat.  Add oil or broth once the pan is hot, then add the garlic. After a few seconds add in the sliced mushrooms.

Once the mushrooms start to cook down add a few Tbl of the sauce and lower the heat. When the mushrooms look done add the rest of the sauce and tofu.

Once the tofu is browned and turned a few times, it’s ready to serve over some steamed brown rice.

It’s 2009 Menu Planning Monday!

No more holidays until May – ugh! But at least I have a cleaner more organized house to be in.Anybody working on any resolutions? I still haven’t decide what I’m doing besides following through on eating healthier every meal. I was thinking about a different goal for each month to focus on. What are you doing?

Here’s my plan for the first full week of 2009:

Monday:  Steamed Chinese dumplings and Sichuan tofu with mushrooms over jasmine brown rice

Tuesday: Stuffed Butternut Squash with arugula salad

Wednesday: Oyster Mushroom Risotto

Thursday:    Breakfast – veggie and potato hash with sausage ( a variation of this) – roasted pears for dessert

Friday: Tofu Fried Rice with veggies

Saturday: Tofurky paninis with arugula and sweet potato fries

Sunday: Indian – to be decided

Check out more menu’s here:

Other Veg Menus:

Please add your menu link in the comments if I missed you.

Slow Cooker Vegan Lentil Parsnip Soup

Another super simple recipe that everyone loves. I made it for my New Year’s Eve party, and I’m looking forward to my leftovers lunch tomorrow too!

Slow Cooker Vegan Lentil Parsnip Soup

  • 2 cups French Lentils
  • 6 cups Filtered Water
  • 1/2 Onion, minced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbl. Better than Bouillon no chicken flavor
  • 2 Parsnips, minced
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 2 tsp. Thyme, dried
  • 2 tsp. Tarragon, dried
  • Salt and Pepper to taste – add right before serving

Optional Step: In a saute pan add 1 tsp. olive oil and cook onions until translucent over medium-low heat, add garlic and saute 1 minute more. You can skip this step and put raw onion and garlic straight into the slow cooker if you’re running short on time. Sauteing as a nice mellow flavor if you have the chance to do it.

Throw everything except salt and pepper into the crockpot and cook on low for 8 – 10 hours.  Add salt and pepper before serving.



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