Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Chip's lunch: March 8, 2011

Who doesn't love quesadillas? We had some red onion and green pepper on hand (which we don't usually have; usually I use a whole onion or whole bell pepper when I have one), so I made them into a quesadilla. Some local pepper jack cheese added some spice, and black beans added lean protein. Topped off with some Newman's Own salsa..yum!

Quesadilla on whole grain tortilla with local pepper jack cheese, reduced fat Colby cheese, organic black beans, organic green bell pepper, red onion, Campari tomato, and organic corn, banana, organic flame raisins, homemade vegan tapioca pudding, and salsa.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Chip's lunch: March 7, 2011

Chip and I were looking through some photos this weekend of his last business trip to Spain. He went out to dinner with some co-workers (including native Spaniards) and had a gigantic paella. The pictures looked so neat, and since I love saffron, I decided I could make paella. Why not, right?

It didn't turn out at all how I expected it to look (bright yellow and fluffy), but it did taste great. The recipe called for short grain white rice, but I decided that short grain brown rice would be OK (I bought sweet brown rice without having any idea what it was). Sweet brown rice is kinda sticky and is what is used for brown rice sushi. Of course, I learned this after I made the purchase. I need a smart phone so I can look these things up when I'm at the store.

So anyway, I used this recipe as a guide, and added and subtracted things based on what was in the fridge. I added mushrooms and corn, and left out peas and artichokes. It smelled awesome, and with the addition of some extra paprika and garlic, plus some chipotle powder, it tasted close to perfect.

In reading about sweet brown rice, I discovered that it is commonly used in rice pudding. I love pudding so much. I wish vegetables tasted like pudding; I would eat a lot more of them. I asked Chip if he likes rice pudding and he made a face. Then he offered that he does like tapioca pudding. I feel like if you're going to dislike a pudding, it should be the one with the texture and appearance of frog eggs, but whatever. So I looked up a recipe for vegan tapioca pudding and whipped it up really quickly. It tastes much better than I expected (though a bit too sweet), and Chip might even like it more than I do!

Homemade paella with organic brown rice, organic corn, organic red bell pepper, organic crimini mushrooms, onion, and organic spinach, homemade vegan tapioca pudding, raw almonds, banana, and an organic Pinova apple.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Chip's lunch: March 3, 2011

This Monday, I saw one of those websites that does a weekly list of 7 recipe ideas; one of the ideas was poblano chicken. Most of the ingredients were not vegetarian, so I started doing some googling. I decided to try to recreate the chipotle cream rotini from Betty's, since it's one of Chip's favorite things. I found this site that told me how to make my own vegan heavy cream, and I kind of just winged the rest. It went something like this...

Sauce ingredients:
1 block of silken tofu, firm or extra firm
4+ cups of vegan milk
1 7-oz. can of chipotle peppers in adobo
2 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons margarine
2 cloves pressed garlic
salt and pepper to taste

In a blender or food processor, puree the peppers in one cup of milk. In a pot over medium heat, melt the margarine; add the flour and cook 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook 2 more minutes. Slowly whisk in the chipotle/milk mixture. While this is warming, puree the remaining milk with the tofu until very smooth. Whisk this into the pot and warm, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste.

I mixed this with whole wheat penne (it was 5 cups dry) and lots of veggies. It was so good! Very creamy, and indistinguishable from a dairy version. Much lower fat too!

Also, today we said goodbye to a foster dog whom we've had for almost three weeks. On a whim, I offered to temporarily foster a blind senior cocker spaniel for a friend's rescue group. I am not a little dog person, and I'd never had a blind dog, and was starting to regret my offer until Fudge arrived. I was instantly smitten, and he was such a happy, wonderful addition to our household for the time he was here. He is such a sweet boy, and he really took everything in stride. Within 48 hours he knew the layout of our house, including the stairs, the couch, and the water bowls. He leaped onto furniture and leaped off, which amazed me, since he had no idea where the floor was. We both agreed that if we weren't planning an international move, we would've kept him (moving our own 4 pets is enough). I cried a lot when I dropped him off for transport today, but I know his forever family will love him so much. Safe travels, sweet Fudge.

Here's Fudge with Cal. He took his cues from Cal, and followed him everywhere.

Here he is today, thinking he was looking right at me:

And lunch:

Salad with organic redleaf lettuce, organic spinach, organic carrot, Campari tomato, and local alfalfa sprouts, organic applesauce, organic flame raisins, banana, and homemade chipotle cream penne with tofu and vegetables (organic corn, organic mushrooms, organic green bell pepper, and red onion).