Happy Earth Day!

I have been trying to eat more local food, and to reduce my personal impact as far as waste goes. Visiting a few local farms and cheese makers over the weekend got me thinking. They do an amazing job, growing food that I can be happy to buy from them. No pesticides, using well and pond water, rotating crops, and the food I saw growing was beautiful.

It’s amazing how many things I do mindlessly, so I am going to be more aware of what I’m doing and why. This should keep me more frugal as well. Next time you go to a fast food restaurant, really look at the amount of trash that’s generated in just that one meal. It’s amazing that we have are so distanced from our food, where our waste goes, and how our food is grown.

This week my meal plan revolved around what I bought at the market. I think that’ll help me not waste what I buy. Encourage me to really think about where the food came from, why I’m choosing to serve it to my family and friends – a cooking meditation of sorts.

I have been thinking about landscaping my yard – adding more food into the mix. Today I got a few bare root plants I’m going to use. They were on the sale rack, so if they don’t all make it I’ll be ok. I got 2 varieties of strawberries, black raspberries, blackberries, and 2 varieties of grapes. I have 2 blueberries already, though it looks like one of them may not make it through the spring.

I would really like to produce more food and put some away for the winter. Right now I have 10 tomato plants – 6 purple cherokees, a striped german, a pineapple, and 2 patio tomatoes. My hope is to at least freeze some, and I’d love to learn how to can.

It’s ambitious, and I won’t be able to do everything I want to, at least not all at once. But even if I get 2 tomatoes and a handful of green beans, it’ll be worth all the effort.


Vegan Mystery Menu Monday

You too can participate in Menu Plan Monday, just go over to I’m an Organizing Junkie and add your menu to Mr. Linky.

Why all the mystery? This week I’m going to plan an ingredient per day rather than decide on the exact dish today. Of course, I’ll list some choices in case I’m having a particularly uncreative day. My current goal is to eat fresh from the farmer’s market for the next couple of months, and in addition to use things I already have on hand in the pantry and freezer.

I went on the Piedmont Farm Tour this weekend and got motivated to put my money where my mouth is and truly attempt to eat local. I’m hoping that in a month or two I’ll be getting food from my garden to add in as well. But i would love to avoid buying anything new that isn’t local. I even bought a dwarf meyer lemon tree that I’m hoping to get my lemons from eventually.

Monday: dinner at John and Clare’s

Tuesday: Black Eyed Peas I’m leaning towards FatFreeVegan’s Creole Black-eyed Peas

Black Eyed Peas and Greens Pizzarole sounds pretty good too

Wednesday: Asparagus – there’s a white bean artichocke asparagus salad i have been wanting to make. I’ll add the link later when I can find the recipe again ; )

Thursday: Rainbow ChardSweet potato, carrot stew with chard quinia salad

Vegan Dad’s creamy kale and potato stew sounds good too

Friday: ArugulaPistachio Arugula Pesto sounds like a winner!

Saturday: my bday party dinner

Sunday: Beets – Maybe roasted on a salad, or a chilled beet soup? this one I may have to think on – I absolutely love beets, so it’ll be hard to narrow it down.

If you have any good recipes for the ingriendent of the day, please let me know.

Recipe: Vegan Asian Black Eyed Pea Soba Noodles

Slow Cooker Thursday

It’s slow cooker Thursday!
See other great recipes at Diary of a SAHM

Adapted from Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker

Even my friend who has hated black eyed peas her whole life liked this. If you wanted to get really sneaky you could puree the beans and greens for super picky eaters. You can substitute any pasta if you don’t have soba noodles, but they are super delicious!

Asian Black Eyed Pea Soba Noodles – makes about 7 servings

* 3 cups cooked Black-eyed peas (1/2 a small package dried)
* Carrots, raw, 2 medium In chunks
* Swiss Chard, 4 cup, chopped (rainbow chard is pretty and in season right now)
* Garlic, 2 cloves
* Ginger Root, 1 tsp
*Soy Sauce, 1 tbsp
* Japanese Noodles, Soba, 1 package about 12 oz. (made with buckwheat)

First off, either start dried peas in the slow cooker the night before. I cooked the whole package and save half for a meal later this week. I put the peas in right before I went to bed, and cooked them on high all night. If you have canned black eyed peas you can skip this step.

In the slow cooker combine the cooked peas, chunky carrots, chopped chard, minced garlic, soy sauce, and minced ginger.

Cook for 6 – 10 hours depending on when you are ready for dinner.

Cook soba noodles and drain. Serve in a bowl topped with pea mixture.

A friend of mine said she’s like this with rice, so feel free to try it that way. You can lower the sodium by using low sodium soy sauce or leaving it out completely.

Amount Per Serving
Calories 262.6
Total Fat 0.9 g
Saturated Fat 0.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 710.1 mg
Potassium 737.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 57.3 g
Dietary Fiber 6.1 g
Sugars 4.1 g
Protein 11.4 g
Vitamin A 175.6 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 12.0 %
Vitamin C 34.8 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 9.8 %
Calcium 17.3 %
Copper 14.4 %
Folate 10.5 %
Iron 24.8 %
Magnesium 34.0 %
Manganese 50.7 %
Niacin 10.8 %
Pantothenic Acid 6.9 %
Phosphorus 16.7 %
Riboflavin 9.7 %
Selenium 1.5 %
Thiamin 18.8 %
Zinc 8.2 %

Very Late Vegan Weekly Menu Plan!

Wow, last week was tough and I got off my menu plan far too quickly. I even had to work, so I wasn’t able to blog much about what we did eat since I blog at work. The Spicy Tempeh Broccoli Rabe Pasta from Veganomicon was the only thing I made from my menu last week and it was awesome! The fennel seeds had the whole house smelling great, and it tasted super yummy. I love it when good for you things taste good!

Last weekend I got a start on my garden for this year. I have planted tons of lettuce, spinach, purple cherokee tomatoes, nasturtiums (good for the tomatoes and edible too), zucchini, yellow squash, leeks, fennel, and more herbs to come. I can’t wait to cook with some of it!

I realize I really must start taking pictures – of the food I’m making and the plants as they are growing.

Monday: Leftover jambalya

Tuesday: Boca Burgers with potato salad

Wednesday: Slow Cooker Black Eyed Peas and rainbow Chard over soba noodles – recipe to come tomorrow

Thursday: Rice cooker quinoa and tofu – super easy!

Friday: Snobby Joes from Veganomicon

Saturday: Vegan Paella – not sure which recipe I’m going to use yet

Sunday: Slow Cooker Pintos Picadillo from Fresh from the Slow Cooker

This weekend we’re going to Piedmont Farm Tour. We haven’t nailed down the farms we’re going to yet, but you can be sure they will be the ones with plants for me to buy for my garden.

You too can participate in Menu Plan Monday, just go over to I’m an Organizing Junkie and add your menu to Mr. Linky.

Vegan-tastic Menu Monday

Ok, here is the menu o’ the week. I’ll add more comments and extra recipes as the week goes along. I’m hoping to make 101 Cookbooks’ Lazy Peanut Noodle Salad for a few lunches. It looks amazing and I have some fresh asparagus I picked up this weekend.

Monday: Spicy Tempeh Broccoli Rabe Pasta from Veganomicon link is for a similar recipe

Tuesday: Pintos Picadillo from Fresh from the Slow Cooker

Wednesday: Dinner at John and Clare’s

Thursday: Cuban Black Bean Patties and Pineapple rice but I’m going to use brown basmati rice and fresh pineapple

Friday: Rice cooker quinoa and tofu – super easy!

Saturday: Lightlife chicken strip corn chowder with my own homemade tempeh bacon

Sunday: Butternut squash stew with couscous -or- pasta with sage and a creamy butternut sauce

You too can participate in Menu Plan Monday, just go over to I’m an Organizing Junkie and add your menu to Mr. Linky.

Recipe – Vegan Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup

Slow Cooker Thursday

It’s slow cooker Thursday!
See other great recipes at Diary of a SAHM

I just made this for the first time today, and it got good reviews from the usual tasting team. It was much better than it seemed like it would be in the am – the ingredients you add later really make the dish. Really you are cooking tomatoes and onions all day and not much else. But the beauty comes with the cumin, fresh lime juice, and the splash of tequila!

Adapted from Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker

Vegan Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup

* Olive Oil 1 Tbl
* Onions, 1 medium
* Organic Tomatoes, 28 oz. (diced, crushed, or whole it doesn’t matter)
* Tomato Paste, 0.25 cup
* Water, 3 -4 cups
* Pepper, 1 tsp
* Lime Juice, .5 lime
* Cilantro, raw, 1 tbsp
* Cumin seed, .1 tsp
* Avocados, .5 fruit chopped
* Tequila, .25 cup

Turn slow cooker on high and drizzle in olive oil. Chop onion and put into crock. They will saute a little bit, but if you want to do it properly feel free to saute them on the stove first and then add them to the crock.

Add in water, tomato paste and canned tomatoes (any cut is fine, you puree it in the end anyhow). Add in pepper to taste and cook on low all day (6-8 hours).

About a half hour or so before serving, stir in lime juice, cumin, cilantro, and tequila.

Right before serving puree soup in blender or food processor. Or if you’re lucky enough to own an immersion blender you can use it right in the crockpot and make less mess.

Top with chopped avocado and garnish with thin strips of baked tortilla, or a couple of chips. I tossed the avocado in lime juice and a little chili powder, but plain works just fine too.


Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 5
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 131
  • Total Fat: 5.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
  • Sodium: 370.5 mg
  • Total Carbs: 11.4 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 3.5 g
  • Protein: 2.5 g