Posts tagged vegetarian

Staycation

Because my family is in New England and the Husband’s family is in the Mid-West, we rarely think about spending the holidays anywhere other than our humble apartment in L.A. I love my family and my in-laws, but snow, ice, freezing nostrils, mittens, and temps below 30 just aren’t my things. Instead, I usually take this two weeks (used to be 10 weeks when I worked for LAUSD) to sit on my couch and crochet, read, and watch movies. Apparently, I’ve been ahead of the game all this time.  This kind of sloth is now known as a “staycation.” It’s all the rage now that the economy is in the toilet.  I’m happily revelling in the hottest new trend as of Saturday.

I’ve been cooking dinners more frequently (you’ll  notice this goes in waves with where I am in the school year- beginning of the year- we eat frozen meals, vacations- home cooking, right after vacations- convenience food, toward the end of the year when I’m in downhill mode- more cooking).

Last week I came up with the idea for this concoction because I have 4 frozen pie shells.  It’s a “Mexican Pie”.  I filled the pie with vegetarian refried beans, topped that with green chiles, then put a layer of soyrizo (vegetarian chorizo), then topped with cheese and three eggs beaten with a little water and milk. I baked at 375 for about 45 minutes. We topped it with sour cream and avocado slices. It was delicious and needed no extra flavoring because of the chiles and chorizo.

mexicanpieI also made a yummy dinner with Israeli couscous- which is the large pearl grain. I made that as directed and sauteed veggie chicken strips with onion and spinach.  We topped the whole thing with feta.  Again, no need for extra seasoning, because the feta and the seasoned chicken strips take care of it.  I had it with sparkling pomegranate juice, which was a holiday gift from one of my students.

israelicouscousLast night I made Veggie Beef Stroganoff.  I got the recipe from another teacher at school who had it for lunch one day.  I mentioned to the hubby how good it looked and he told me how much he LOVEd beef stroganoff.  So a month or so ago I surprised him with it.  It was tasty, so I made it again with the left over sour cream from the Mexican pie. This is sauteed onions, garlic, veggie beef strips, and mushrooms, with vegetable broth and red wine and sour cream.  I put it over wheat rotini because egg noodles have even less nutritional value. I also made brussel sprouts because I love ’em!

stroganoffToday was rainy and cold so I stayed in and cross-stitched all day.  I can’t believe how slowly these projects go.  I listened to music on the Party Shuffle mode the whole time I worked.  It was fun to hear all the good music I have hidden in my ginormous iTunes library.  Here’s what the mystery gift is looking like after about 6 hours of wok on it today.

xstitchgift2This evening I’ll be working on finishing Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.  I’m about 250 pages from the end.  My goal is to have it done by Christmas, so Chris and I can watch the movie version as our Xmas movie. I think I’ll have it done.  It’s the only book I’m working on right now. The only serious book, anyway.  I’m in the middle of another knitting mystery. I’m not sure what I’ll start next- maybe The Post-Birthday World, by Lionel Shriver.

Have a great holiday season and I’ll check back in next weekend!

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To Do

With only about 6 weeks left of summer vacation, and one of those spent in Wisconsin and one spent at school for training and one spent here with my mom, my summer of crafting is slowly coming to an end.  Here’s what I’d like to get done, book and crochet-wise.

Books:

Finish Book Thief– Only 200 more pages.(Done! 7/28 )

Finish Uglies– Only 100 more pages (will read on the bus today)(Done! 7/25)

Finish Malinche– Just started, but only 190 page book (Done! 8/9)

Finish Omnivore’s Dilemma and What Einstein Told his Cook 2 (Done! 7/25).

Start and finish: Middlesex, Taxonomy of Barnacles (Done! 8/10 ), Native Son, and Julie and Julia (Done! 8/11). (And whatever the August book club selection is.)

Crochet:

Finish blue baby blanket

Finish student mesh scarf

Start and finish Galaxy Top t-shirt

Start and finish new tweed purse

Restart and finish bolero in my size

Start the top that’s in my head and possibly write the pattern as I go.

Other Crafts:

Try embroidery project- maybe just a cross stitch sampler. (Done! 8/08 )

Make cards with new templates

Make a necklace

Sew napkins and fix my pink halter top in WI with sewing machine.

I don’t have many cooking goals, since I cook to feed myself and my hubby and not to get fancy in the kitchen. I’m planning on making some peanut butter cookies next week- a treat for Chris since he’s had a rough week. I’d also like to make waffles.  We have a waffle iron, but I’ve never used it.  We also have one of those old school sandwich makers that makes the sandwiches into little stuffed pockets. I wouldn’t mind pulling that out for a few more tofurkey melts.

This was Tuesday night dinner- Tofu fillets with olive from Vegetarian Times. The trick is freezing the tofu (makes it meaty and chewy- it will turn brownish, but that’s normal). You slice a brick of firm tofu into rectangular pieces and freeze (I put them in for about 2 hours). In a pan, saute half a small onion and add pepper and salt.  Put onion on a paper-towel lined plate and put paprika and dried mustard on it. Then add a little oil to the pan and cook the tofu slices for 10 minutes, flipping once half way. Place them on the onion plate and put the onion back in the pan with chopped olives and dry cooking wine. It all cooks until the liquid evaporates and then you spread it over the tofu slices.  We had ours with the rest of the green salad from Monday.

 

Yesterday I went into school all day to finish setting up my classrooms and doing a little planning.  So I packed my pink bento box with food for the day- I had a Veggie dog in wheat bread, cracked pepper and olive oil Triscuits (delicious flavor!), a watermelon pluot (my new favorite fruit), some blackberries, pumpkin seeds, and a cheesecake square (which got me a marriage proposal when I shared the squares at work). It was a lot of food, but perfect for snacking throughout the day.

For dinner last night I roasted the rest of the potatoes from last week and made bird’s nests (another Vegetarian Times recipe- there’s even a picture-looks way better than mine, you know food stylists!).  Here you roll out bread, slice off the crust and put it in ramekins.  In a bowl you mix chopped mushrooms and green onions and I added some left over olives, with salt, pepper, and tarragon ( I used oregano). Fill in the nests with the mushroom mix. Crack an egg over each ramekin, sprinkle with cheese and paprika and salt and pepper. Cook on bottom rack at 325 for 30 minutes.

We’re definitely breakfast for dinner people.

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