8.10.2012

Healthy Vegan Friday: Mock Sabre Pine Nut Hummus

Please forgive the briefness of this post!  My fiance Kevin is (FINALLY) coming into town tomorrow and we are moving all of our things into our new apartment.  Needless to say I am so excited and am counting down the hours!  This week for Healthy Vegan Friday I am going to feature an older recipe of mine that my family and I have used over and over this summer.  Here is my Mock Sabre Pine Nut Hummus, find the original post at this link.  Hope you enjoy!

Everyday Vegan Girl

Ingredients:
  • Pine Nut Topping
    • 2 Tbsp raw pine nuts (option: toast in a pan on the stovetop)
    • 2 tsp canola oil (option: use 1 tsp water and 1 tsp lemon juice)
    • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 tsp dried basil
    • 1 tsp dried parsley
    • 1/4 tsp salt (optional)
    • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Hummus:
    • 2 cans garbanzo beans, drained, liquid reserved
    • 1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
    • 6 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
    • 1/4 cup reserved bean liquid
    • 2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce (or 1 Tbsp regular soy sauce and 1 Tbsp water)
    • 2 Tbsp water (more to achieve desired consistency)
    • 1 Tbsp canola oil (optional)
    • 1 tsp minced garlic
Directions:
  1. In a small cup, mix together all of the pine nut topping ingredients and let sit while you prepare the hummus.
  2. In a large food processor, combine all hummus ingredients and process until very smooth.
  3. Add water one tablespoon at a time to get desired consistency.
  4. Scoop hummus into a shallow and wide tupperware bowl and flatten the top with a spatula.
  5. Smear the pine nut topping over the middle.
  6. If desired, sprinkle extra dried basil, parsley, and cayenne pepper around the edges of the hummus.
  7. Serve chilled with crackers, veggies, or in sandwiches.
Amy's Notes:  This hummus has a great tang to it, and the spices on top with the pine nuts give it wonderful extra flavor.  When you are going to serve the hummus, you can mix together the hummus and the toppings, but I know that my family and I prefer to pick at the toppings without mixing.  The recipe that I have featured makes a very large batch of hummus (see reference picture), so if you do not go through hummus in such a timely fashion as we do at my house, I might suggest that you make a haft batch with only one can of garbanzo beans.

The next new recipe I make should be from my new apartment kitchen.  I'm crossing my fingers for good lighting for pictures, and hopefully a kitchen layout that will inspire me to make some creative new recipes to share with you.  Wish me luck in moving and getting organized!  It will be a fun but crazy busy weekend for sure.

8.06.2012

Happy Monday, Goals, Thoughts, and Pinterest Favorites

Happy Monday Everyone!  I know, aren't we all supposed to hate Mondays?  Well, funny enough, I love Mondays at work because it is my busiest day and I get to do payroll at my job.  Funny how I graduated with an Environmental Science Degree, yet I have become a payroll nerd.  Oh well!

Since I'm moving on to a new part of my life very soon (I'm getting married in 33 days... yes I have a count down...), I have been spending some time reevaluating myself and my habits.  I know that I would love to be more organized in my everyday life, from planning my budget, to planning my meals and outfits for the week.  I would like to be more Plant-perfect and more strict with my eating habits and schedule.  I would like to be more rigorous with exercising and sticking to my plans.  I would like to have less clutter and more room.  I would like to spend more time reading and less time hooked to my electronics.

I decided that this is a lot to change in one week, so I'm going to do a few things per day.

Monday: Clean room, pack tomorrow's lunch, pick out tomorrow's outfit

Tuesday: Go to Zumba class in the evening

Wednesday:  Eat Plant-perfect, drink lots of water

Thursday: Take the evening away from electronics to read (Food, Inc. is what I've been reading lately)

Friday: Donate that bag of clothes I've been meaning to

I think I'm a small goals type of person.  I'm the type that needs to set small goals continuously before it becomes a habit.  Lets hope a few of these become habits.  It's strange the habits that we allow ourselves to have.  I know a few of mine are useless or harmful in ways.  Here are some bad habits I will admit to... for now:

I go out to eat too often
I drink beer on a semi-regular basis with friends
I don't hang my clothes up immediately after they are done drying (so they usually wrinkle)
I spend more time on my phone and computer than I do with real people sometimes
I dream of being organized and clean on Pinterest, but never actually organize or clean
I overeat, especially when I'm bored
I have a long reading list, but it takes me forever to finish a book
I use the excuse that I'm busy, when really I'm just lazy
I have soda or coffee a few times a week when I'm feeling sluggish

I'm sure that there are many more that I haven't thought of today, but to be realistic, we all have bad habits that we hate to admit to.  I dare you to tell me one of yours in a comment below.... ;)

I've been enjoying Pinterest on a regular basis lately.... ok, I'm on it all the time!  If you'd like to follow me on Pinterest, find me at this link.  Here are a few favorite pins of mine from the last week:

Indian Spiced Brussels Sprouts from Fuss Free Cooking.  I've been loving the combo of brussels sprouts with cranberries, savory with sweet!  Here is a link to a recipe of mine with this same combo.

I love this chart with grain to water ratios!  I know I always have to go searching online for the right ratios right before I'm about to cook them, usually because I buy grains in bulk without packaging or directions.  My only suggestion is that this would also include cooking time.  (Link to original website)

I'm not sure of the original source of this image, but I found it a few weeks ago on Pinterest and have used it every time I work out.  I've always had fairly muscular legs, but this routine has not only increased my leg's muscle mass, but has also slimmed them.  My favorite workout on the list is the side lunges.  I don't think I've ever done them before, but they are definitely hitting the spot!

Again, I couldn't find the back link to this, but I love this outfit!  I have always been a lover of the fall season, and this outfit just screams fall with the colors and cozy feeling of it.  I can't wait to dig my boots back out in a few months.  At this point that seems a ways away since we have been having 90+ degree weather.  I love everything about fall down to the smell in the air, but especially the foods, like apples, pumpkins, squashes.... mmmm!
This cartoon literally made me laugh for five minutes!  Not only do I hate that song, I want to do exactly that to anyone who starts to sing it.  Go Batman!

Hope everyone else's Monday was great.  I'm hoping to start posting more very soon.  I'm not sure how often I will be able to post recipes, so bare with me!  Hope some of you answer the question of the day:

What is one bad habit that you hate to admit to, and what are you going to do to create a good counter-habit?

8.03.2012

Amy's Pico De Gallo

Happy Healthy Vegan Friday (2) to everyone!  Find information on this awesome blog party at this link.  I thought that for this week I would feature a recipe that I never meant to make.  This seems to happen to me all the time: that I set out to make one dish, realize that something is missing that I needed, then make something completely different.  This time it actually turned out to be yummier and more nutritious than what I was going to make in the first place!
Everyday Vegan Girl
Two days ago my brother and sister-in-law (who is also one of my bridesmaids) had come into town for some wedding stuff and for a camping trip they were taking with some friends.  Yesterday after we had spent a long day running around town, we made our way home to make some Mexican food for dinner.  I arrived home sooner than everyone else because I had taken a separate car and they had made an extra stop, so I decided to start cutting the veggies.  My mom also called ahead and requested that I make guacamole.  I am a huge guacamole fan, so I, of course, got to work right away.  I worked on chopping up the veggies and was going to add the avocado last to smash up and stir in.  By the time I put my blade into the avocado, I knew it was too late.  The avocado was hard as a rock and it was clear that we were not going to have guacamole that night.

My mom then suggested that I try making it into pico de gallo like we normally have with chips at local Mexican restaurants.  So, I went ahead a chopped up some cabbage and a few more tomatoes, added some seasonings, and we ended up with a wonderful pico de gallo!  We served it with chips along side our whole wheat taco shells and beans and veggie taco filling.  The amount that I made of the pico de gallo was gone before the end of dinner, leaving everyone wanting more.  I think my brother and sister-in-law enjoyed the most, and they are not even nutritarian like me and my parents!

Today my mom was going to reheat the bean taco filling for dinner and wanted to know if I could make the pico de gallo again, so I thought I would take my time and include pictures so I could feature a recipe here.  I nearly made double of what I did the night before and it was still gone with only three of us eating it!  Guess I know how to make me some good ole' pico de gallo!  

Amy's Pico De Gallo
Ingredients:
1 1/2 to 2 cups chopped green cabbage
3 roma tomatoes, chopped (including juice and seeds from one)
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
1/4 to 1/2 fresh jalapeno, seeded and very finely chopped
1 stalk green onion, thinly sliced
1 handful cilantro, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
juice from one lime
1 tsp of your favorite hot sauce (optional)
salt and pepper to taste (optional)

Directions:  Prepare all ingredients and mix in a medium sized bowl.  Serve chilled with chips, or as a topping for tacos, or as stuffing for bean burritos.
Amy's notes:  This recipe makes a pretty decent sized bowl of pico de gallo, but it seemed to go fast when we were using it for chips and for toppings on our tacos.  I added a small amount of my favorite hot sauce (verde habanero) to the whole mixture to give it a bit more flavor in heat, but this is optional.  I'm so happy that this recipe was such a hit to my whole family and that I was able to remember how to make it again since I wasn't trying to the first time!

Have you ever made any great recipes "accidentally"?  If so, what was it and what were you originally trying to make?