Sunday, March 22, 2015

Weekend Under the Weather

It never fails.  I rarely get sick, but when I do, it starts to hit me on Friday evening, carries through the weekend and miraculously I am cured by the time I have to head to work on Monday.  As much as it blows to have a weekend ruined with no work-from-home pj time, I am hoping tradition holds firm, because I have a busy day at work tomorrow and I still feel like shit.

Yesterday I didn't leave the house at all, but I did manage to cook up some comfort food.  Lunch was rice bowls with pickled carrots, greens and mushrooms sauteed in garlic and tamari, avocado, and a drizzle of hot sauce.

Avocado makes anything good.
We were going to order out for dinner, but nothing sounded as good as chili cheese dogs, so that's what I whipped up.  Seriously, you could put staples and krazy glue on an apple-sage Field Roast sausage, and it would still taste bomb.

Tater tots are a vegetable, as is ketchup, because tomatoes.  I got no excuse for the Vegenaise tho :/
When I am feeling sicky, Pups tends to hang out and give me extra cuddles, which is nice.  Either he can tell I need a little extra TLC, or he suspects I'll be less lax in guarding my food.  Especially when I'm eating avocado and nooch on toast.  We've recently discovered that avocado turns him into a Tasmanian devil of joygasms.

He ain't dumb, he knows avocado is where it's at.
Today I was feeling a little better, so we ventured out to Veggie Grill for lunch.  I have not been there in years, and forgot how much fun it is to be able to order anything I want off a menu!

Santa Fe chicken sandwich, whoot!
We are car-less, so the round trip of walking and training tired me out.  I did manage to muster up the strength to make AP's lunch for the week, the worlds laziest bento boxes.  Nava Atlas' carrot muffins (I used cashews instead of walnuts, and did 1 cup white flour/1 cup oat flour), a cream cheese dipping sauce and an apple sauce.  Just dropped the cup right in there, too tired to do anything fancier.

Whatever, "finished" is better than "perfect".
I spent a large portion of the weekend in the tub, soaking my sore muscles and breathing in steam.  Pups parked by my side every minute of every soak.  You know, to keep an eye on things.

I got my eye on you...
Good thing I have such a good nurse!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Healthy Vegan Friday- Sloppy Lentils

Kimmy at Rock my Vegan Socks does a link-up each Friday for healthy vegan recipes, and I wanted to share one of AP's favorites, sloppy lentils.  It's based on Robin Robertson's recipe from Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker, and he will eat it for days, happily.  He actually did just that this week, we ate them twice for dinner and he had them for lunch every day.  The original recipe says 4-6 servings but it's 8 servings, easily.

Sloppy Lentils
1 onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced fine
1 carrot, diced fine
1.5 cups brown lentils (not red, they will disintegrate!)
1 can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup tamari
1 T chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder
2 T italian seasoning
2 T brown sugar
squirt of mustard
3 cups water

Directions: Dump it all in the slow cooker, let it go on low for 8 hours. Boom. Forget about pre-cooking the veggies, it turns out awesome regardless.

All my ingredients, except the carrot, just pretend he's in there.
I like to stir it every hours or so starting at hour 4.  We like them a bit overdone, with the lentils nice and squishy.  

YUM. Let them go a little longer than you think you need- they get smokey as they break down.
Our favorite way to eat them is on buns with coleslaw. Healthy, easy comfort food for days.

So nice to come home to this after a long day.
We ate ours with sides of curry roasted Brussels sprouts.  Chop up a crapload of sprouts, toss them in some EVOO, curry powder, salt and pepper, roast them at 400 for 20 minutes, then stir in a handful of chopped cashews and let it go for another 10 minutes. 

I love the crispy little loose leaves.

Be sure to check out Healthy Vegan Fridays for more recipes!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Lemon Cookies and Sunny Memories

Finally, Girl Scout cookie season is over.  It's so awkward having to dodge the little sashed saleswomen outside of the Safeway.  That plus about 15 of my coworkers seem to have Brownies or Daisies, and we just finished the Science Camp cookie-dough drive, and the candy bar drive prior to that... I just need a break from saying "no thanks" to adorable children.

I was a Girl Scout, Brownie through Cadette.  I did all the camping, cookie hocking, crafting and volunteering.  By the time we hit Cadette, my troop's activities consisted of sitting around my best friend Christina's kitchen table, picking at our nail polish, eating Wawa hoagies and asking her awesome mom questions about life and womanhood.  It was a year of camaraderie, growing up, growing apart, learning to use eyeliner and realizing I hated it.

One of my favorite cookies growing up was the much-maligned Lemon Pastry Cream:

Way to make it a kid-appealing treat, right?

For years I avoided the dreaded "low-fat" cookie, but once I took my first bite, I was hooked on the flaky cookie and bright citrus flavor.  And probably the addictive magic fairy dust that the GSA clearly laces all of their baked good with.

This past weekend I attended a vegan Girl Scout Cookie swap, and took a swing at recreating the LPC.  The lovely lady hosting the swap is gluten free, so these cookies are too.  They came out really well- great texture and a bright citrus sunshine flavor!

I ate all of these in one sitting.  Not really. But I wanted to.
Lemon Sandwich Cookies 
2 cups almond flour*
1/4 cup coconut oil, softened
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 tsp sea aalt
Zest of 1/2 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Mix together all of the ingredients until you have a smooth dough.  If it's too squishy, you can toss it in the fridge for a bit to firm it up.

Form dough into cookie-shapes on a pan lines with parchment paper.  These cookies don't rise or spread, so whatever shape they are in when they go in the oven, is the shape they'll be when they come out.  I got about 24 small round cookies per batch.

Bake for 8 minutes, then peek at them and leave in for another minute if not yet brown around the edges.  Mine were done in 9 minutes on the dot.

Adapted from this recipe
*I used Bob's Red Mill almond flour, and they turned out fine.  I know that Honeyville is the gold standard for almond flour, but if all you have is Bob's, this recipe will still work for you.

These cookies are good on their own, but if you want to do it up right, make them into sandwich cookies with this filling:

Lemon Cream Filling
1/4 cup vegan cream cheese
2 T coconut oil, softened
Zest of 1 whole lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon (save the other half for tea)
Powdered sugar (Whole Foods Organic 365 is vegan)
**This makes enough for 3 batches of sandwich cookies, 4 if you skimp on the filling.

Mix the first four ingredients together until smooth.  Beat in powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until the consistency looks right for you, between 2 and 5 cups.  You can use less sugar and make a glaze to drizzle over the cookies, or you can use more to make a frosting-type filling.  

Put the frosting in the fridge for about 30 minutes to set up a bit (the coconut oil will help here) and then make your cookie sandwiches.  Devour.

Gluten-Free Vegan Do-Si-Dos, Lemon Pasrty Creams, Thin Mints, Samoas!