i’ve been in the kitchen

It’s actually been a lot of fun.    My little jump into the world of vegan cooking last week got me on a bit of a roll.  I’m not saying I’m a vegan or will ever become one, but I’ve been kind of   eating like one for the last week and a half.   I say kind of because I’m sure not all of the recipes I used are 100% vegan, but I’ve eliminated animal products (meat, dairy, eggs) and it’s not nearly as awful or difficult as I would’ve thought.  I’ve been heavy on the salads, tons of fresh veggies, fruits, nuts and beans.   I like to cook something at night and I’ve come across a lot of really easy and delicious recipes. Some notable faves:

Herb Roasted Winter Veggies (although I only used sweet potatoes, carrots, green peppers, and cauliflower with rosemary and thyme) over brown rice.

Lemon Mint Pasta (I subbed whole wheat spaghetti for whole wheat farfalle.)   Tasted even better with extra kale and tomatoes today at lunch:

My absolute favorite recipe so far would have to be the roasted chickpea, edamame and mint salad (no feta.)   Man this was delicious, the chickpeas and the mint and the cranberries and the lemon, it was seriously flavor explosion.  I want to bring this to Thanksgiving dinner but I know my family would hate it:

I even found a  debatable vegan hot chocolate recipe, debatable because sugar and salt are in it, but whatevs.   Never would’ve guessed cayenne pepper would work in hot chocolate but it does!   I scored found this gem, soy whipped cream!

I don’t know how long my little experiment will last, I was only going to eat like this for a week, but then I stumbled across this documentary, Forks over Knives, on Netflix.   It scared the crap out of me:

If you have Netflix instant I definitely suggest you check it out.

easy peasy

While I consider myself somewhat creative, I’m not at all creative in the kitchen.  I need instructions.   Very. Basic.  Instructions.   A few weeks ago I mentioned this adorable website I found via Pinterest, The Vegan Stoner.   I don’t think I could ever go full on vegan, but I’m trying to eat as clean as humanly possible.   I decided to try  some of the recipes from this ridiculously cute site.   It’s like I hit the jackpot.  Delicious and stupid easy (because I can’t just have it easy, it’s gotta be stupid easy.)

First up was Peanut Stew

Mine didn’t come out quite as pretty as their picture, but it was phenomenal.   Slightly on the heavy side, but you wouldn’t believe how amazing peanut butter and tomatoes work together.  So flavorful!

I also tried the Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares (obviously I’ve got a thing for PB:

This is like a homemade peanut butter cup.   If you can melt things and freeze things, you can make this:

I want to try to tackle just about every recipe from the Vegan Stoner, and as soon as their cookbook hits stores, I’m all over it.  LOVE easy!!!

basil bailout

Spaghetti and Turkey-balls were on the menu last night (turkey-balls sounds so wrong doesn’t it?)  I forgot to pick up fresh basil on my food shopping day so I ducked into Hannaford to grab a little, except a little didn’t exist.   Somehow this was branded the “value-size” fresh basil:

I see no value in waaaaay too much, I usually buy a 1/4 of this once every month but it was the only fresh basil they had so I grabbed it.   It was $3.99, I used maybe an 1/8th of this in my recipe last night.   I hate hate hate when herbs are wasted or go bad so I’m calling on any lurkers with cooking skills.  I’ve got a big ass bag of basil to use by….Friday?  I’m guessing that’s when it’ll take a turn for stank.  Do you have any great recipes that I can use fresh basil in?   I’m a novice cooker but I’ll try anything, and manfriend is actually a genius in the kitchen so if I get stuck he can usually guide me back to the correct path.   Pretty please?

The only requirement is that the recipe can’t involve tree nuts (kiddo and his dad are allergic.)  But if it’s a dealbreaker in the recipe I just won’t share with them. 🙂