Tomato artichoke tempeh sauce – recipe

I had no idea what I was going to make for dinner last Thursday. I had some tempeh that I wanted to use, but wasn’t sure how to prepare it. After looking through the cupboards, I decided to throw this sauce together, totally unsure about how it would turn out. It was actually quite tasty and I think I’ll make it again sometime.
Here’s roughly what I did.

Tomato artichoke tempeh sauce with fettucine

Saute 3 cloves minced garlic in 2T olive oil.
Stir in cut up tempeh and saute until golden brown.
Add in 1 14 oz. can of quartered artichoke hearts (chopped up).
Add in 1 28 oz. can or organic ground peeled tomatoes.
Add in 2 T dried basil.
Cook until heated through.
Meanwhile, prepare fettucine (or other pasta) according to package directions.
Top pasta with sauce and serve.


Peanut butter tofu stirfry – recipe

This is an Amy original. πŸ™‚


PEANUT BUTTER TOFU STIRFRY

Ingredients*:
2 T Olive oil
2 T Sesame oil
5 cloves garlic – minced
1 package extra firm tofu – cut into bite-sized pieces
2 stalks of broccoli – cut into bite-sized pieces
1 carrot – chopped into bite-sized strips
2 T Tamari
Cayenne (red) pepper flakes
3/4 – 1 C natural peanut butter
4-6 servings of brown rice (I used Instant brown rice)
Handful of crushed peanuts (optional)
*Please note these are approximate amounts.

Saute tofu in 1 T olive oil and 1 T sesame oil until it starts to turn golden. Add the garlic in and cook for another 5 min. Set tofu/garlic aside. Cook broccoli and carrot pieces in 1 T olive oil and 1 T sesame oil, along with about a 1/4 cup of water, covered, until soft.
Add tofu back in with the broccoli and carrots. Add Tamari and peanut butter. Stir until the peanut butter melts. Add a few shakes of cayenne pepper to taste.
In the meantime, cook your brown rice.
Put the stirfry mixture on top of the brown rice (you might want to add a little Tamari to the rice first for flavor). Add peanuts on top and serve.
Makes about 5 yummy servings. πŸ™‚

Soup’s on – carrot soup recipe! And my blog is featured!


Here’s a new (to me) soup recipe I got from my friend Julie. πŸ™‚ She made it for our moms’ night out get-together a week and a half ago and it was delicious!

Carrot Ginger Soup

2 or 3 T olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1.5 pounds of carrots, chopped
2 baking potatoes, peeled & sliced
1 c. soy milk (the recipe called for 1 c. of white wine, but I didn’t have any and using the soy milk was just as good)
7 cups of vegetable stock
¼ c lime juice
1 knob of fresh ginger, peeled & sliced or 2 t ground ginger (or I used pumpkin pie spice)
1 T chopped cilantro
1 T lemongrass (optional – I didn’t have any and it tasted fine without it)
salt & pepper to taste

Saute the onion, carrots & potato in the olive oil for 10 minutes until softening, but not browning. Add the soy milk (or wine) and cover, letting it simmer for 10 more minutes. Add the stock & the ginger and cook until the vegetables are totally softened, about 45 minutes (or longer) depending on how small you cut them. Puree in a blender or food processor and then add the remaining seasonings to taste.

And here’s the best way to eat it – using a carrot spoon, of course! πŸ˜‰

Edited to add:
How cool is this?? My blog is featured on the Toronto Vegetarian Association. The listing says:
———–
Musings of a crunchy, domestic goddess
Ò€’ Daily
Blog run by amygeekgrl who is passionate about breastfeeding and parenting, and cooking delicious looking veggie meals.
———–
Oh, just noticed there’s also a poll to vote for your favorite veggie site. Wanna give me your vote? Hehe. It feels kind of weird for me to be on there since I just started adding veggie recipes to my blog, but it’s fun to get a mention nonetheless. πŸ™‚

Couple recipes – Chickpea lunch and Kentucky Fried (Baked) Tofu

I’m not sure where I picked up this first recipe. (My apologies in advance to anyone I may have snagged this from since I don’t know whom to credit. If I did get it from you, let me know so I can link ya here.)

No pics of this one, but it’s a nice colorful (and tasty) lunch and super easy to throw together.

Chickpea Lunch

1 can of chickpeas
sliced cherry tomatoes
feta cheese
lemon juice
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
dried oregano
salt
pepper

Toss together and serve.

———————————————-

The second recipe is for Kentucky Fried (Baked) Tofu. I got this from Running2Ks, who I believe got it from a friend. It’s really easy to make and is very tasty!


Kentucky Fried (Baked) Tofu:

2 Tbsp hot water
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp almond butter
1/4 tsp garlic powder or 1 clove fresh garlic
1/4 tsp cracked pepper
1 lb very firm tofu sliced in thickness to your liking
Salt & Pepper Kettle chips crushed
Combine the first 5 ingredients in a blender, then pour in a bowl (or just mix vigorously in a bowl if you don’t want to dirty your blender like me). Dip the tofu in the sauce and then coat it with the Salt & Pepper Kettle chips. I added a bit more water to the leftover sauce and poured it over the coated tofu pieces. Place tofu pieces on a cookie sheet and bake @ 350 F for 15 min. Flip them over and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes.

Mmmmmm, tasty! Jody and I both loved these and and Ava ate them right up as well. πŸ™‚

Recipes – Indian food and Chocolate-covered peanut butter balls

I made Miriam’s “Pseudo-Indian Dinner” for dinner the other night. It was my first time cooking with or eating Swiss Chard and I have to say, I really like it! πŸ™‚

This is Miriam’s recipe, but I added in amounts that I used of everything because I’m anal like that πŸ˜‰ and it will help me to make it again the next time.

Pseudo-Indian Dinner

3 cloves garlic
2 T olive oil
1/2 C chopped onion
2 C water
1 large potato chopped
1 can garbanzo beans
2 large spoons of tomato paste
1/2 t cumin
1 t coriander
1/2 t tumeric
2 t curry powder
3 shakes red pepper flakes
1 bunch freshly chopped red swiss chard

Sautee garlic and onion in olive oil.
Add water, potato, garbanzo beans, spices and tomato paste.
Once potatoes are softened, stir in the chard. Allow chard to cook until softened.

Serve over quinoa (Miriam’s idea) or brown rice (my idea) or basmati rice (thought that would be tasty for future reference). Sprinkle with lemon juice.

Thanks for the delicious recipe, Miriam! πŸ™‚

And now for the scrumptious dessert – Chocolate-covered peanut butter balls!

Running2Ks got this from the book “Sinfully Vegan” and it can be a vegan recipe if you use vegan chocolate chips. Since we aren’t vegan though, I just used regular chocolate chips.

Chocolate-Covered Peanut Butter Balls

– 1 cup peanut butter (I used natural, organic peanut butter)
– 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
– 1/2 cup powdered sugar
– Approximately 3/4th of a 12 oz. bag of chocolate chips (can use vegan chocolate chips to make the recipe vegan-friendly)
Blend the peanut butter, pumpkin and powdered sugar in a food processor (or mix well in a bowl). Form into small balls and place on wax paper; freeze 30 minutes or until hard.
Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave or on the stove.
Using a wooden toothpick, dip the frozen balls into the melted chocolate. Place back onto the wax paper and put back into the freezer until chocolate has hardened.
Enjoy!


I took some of these with me to our AP group’s moms’ night out get-together last night and they were a big, big hit. πŸ™‚ Jody loves them too and was bummed I didn’t bring any home. I told him there were 4 leftover, but I left them with the hostess because I knew if they came into the car with me, I’d eat them all on the drive home. πŸ˜‰ They are really good. Thanks for sharing the recipe, R2Ks!

Vegetarian Chili Recipe

A new friend of mine made this veggie chili for a holiday potluck I attended in December. The chili was sooo good that I emailed her to get the recipe and try it out myself. Turns out she doesn’t really follow a recipe, but kind of makes it up as she goes. However she was happy to give me a list of the ingredients and approximate amounts. I made some slight adjustments when I made it for dinner last night, but I’m very happy with how it turned out. It was delicious.

Vegetarian Chili

One Chopped Red Bell Pepper
One Chopped Green Bell Pepper
One Chopped Yellow Bell Pepper
One Hot Pepper (Jalapeno)
One can black beans (drained)
One can pinto (great if you can find them already in chili sauce) –
drained
Tempeh (cut into cubes)
One large can of whole tomatoes (I used chopped tomatoes)
One small can of tomato paste – for thickness (I only added a few spoonfuls)
Chili Powder – (I used a teaspoon)
Cayenne Pepper – (I used a couple shakes)


You can throw this all into the crockpot and let it cook throughout the day. I didn’t have time for that since I didn’t start dinner til 5, so I put it into a large pot. I cooked it on the stovetop over medium-high heat for about 30 to 40 minutes, until the peppers softened.

I found the chili to be quite thick, so I added in a cup of water at the end to thin it out.

We garnished it with plain yogurt and shredded cheese, however this could easily be a vegan recipe without the garnishes. πŸ™‚

It makes about 6 or 7 servings.

Yummy!!

Let’s talk about food

I’ve been inspired by many of my blogging friends to start creating some recipes of my own and posting them on my blog. Here is the first of what I hope will be many successful attempts at whipping up something new and tasty. πŸ™‚

Yammy Pasta
Sauce:
1/2 of a 40 oz. can of yams (drained)
6 oz. can of tomato paste
1 C cream (though you could substitute soy milk easily enough)
approx. 1/4 C frozen chopped onions
approx. 2 C frozen chopped spinach
a couple shakes of Pumpkin Pie spice (which is just cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger)
a couple shakes of cayenne pepper
approx. 1 T brown sugar
Pasta:
Whole Wheat Pasta

Mash yams. Mix everything else in. Heat on stovetop until hot.
Prepare pasta according to package instructions.
Place yam mixture on top of pasta. Sprinkle parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast (I would have if I had it) on top. Serve.

Makes about 5 servings.

I also found that you can add some soy milk to the mixture (without the pasta) to water it down a bit and make it into a soup, which was how Ava liked to eat it. I should clarify. She ate it only after making sure she spread some in her belly button and all over her chest. Glad I took her clothes off for this meal. πŸ˜‰

Anyway, I thought it was pretty tasty and seemed like a good combo of veggies. I can only assume that Ava liked it. πŸ˜‰ I wish I could give you Jody’s take on it, but he hasn’t had any yet. He’s been out of town on business the past few days and gets home tonight. Yay! I’ll be sure and have him test out some of the leftovers.

Now let’s talk about Tings.
I’ve had a few people inquire as to what exactly Tings are, so here’s a pic to give ya an idea. (Don’t say I never did nothin’ for ya.) πŸ˜‰

They remind me of Cheetos, but don’t have any cheese in them. (They are actually a vegan food.) However they do have nutritional yeast, which has a cheese-like taste to it. I recently found a Yeast Meets West website listing all of the benefits of nutritional yeast and I have to say, I’m quite impressed.

Nutritional yeast contains 18 amino acids (forming the complete protein) and 15 minerals. Being rich in the B-complex vitamins, it is vital in many ways and particularly good for stress reduction. The B-complex vitamins help make nutritional yeast such a valuable supplement, especially to the vegetarian. It is one of the rare vegetarian sources of B12.
One element of yeast is the trace mineral chromium, also known as the Glucose Tolerance Factor (GTF). This is necessary to regulate blood sugar and is important for diabetics and people with a tendency toward low blood sugar.

So not only are Tings a yummy snack, they are good for ya too. πŸ™‚ I have to add that Ava LOVES them.

Thoughts on photography and sharing a few pics

Last weekend and this week were a blur. I did two photoshoots – one maternity and one of my friend’s son who’s turning two next week – and I spent a lot of time proofing the pics (because I am not good enough to take them straight off of the camera without much work yet). I was glad to read a lot of “The Better Photo Guide To Digital Photography” this week. It helped me better understand and utilize the rule of thirds. I knew about it before, but reading a more in-depth explanation in that book helped me crop my friend’s son’s pictures a lot better. It ended up being more work for me to go back in and redo them, but it was worth it to have a better looking finished product.

I’m happy and relieved to say that both parties were very pleased with the proofs. It makes me feel good and that I’m on the right track.

Friends have been asking if they can put up a link to my work on their website or telling me I should put up fliers and start advertising, but I really don’t feel ready to take that step yet. I am enjoying what I’m doing, but I know that I still have a lot to learn. One of my big issues right now is getting my focus down. It’s hard enough with a stationary subject, let alone with a baby or child who’s always moving. πŸ˜‰ I also want to come up with a backdrop that I can use in my house since winter is approaching and outdoor photography options will become limited. Backdrops are quite pricey, so I’m looking for a less expensive alternative for now. I’ve heard of using fleece or a vellux blanket and I’m going to look into that. Then the question will be – how do I hang it in my livingroom without buying a backdrop stand? I know you have to spend money to make money, but I don’t want to keep buying things I think I need and going further into the hole.

That’s one of the reasons I’ve decided to stick with shooting with natural lighting for now too. I think my livingroom gets adequate natural light, though I’m a little worried about the skylights because I don’t want sun glaring down on people. Unfortunately for me, my house has to be one with the fewest number of windows ever. Eight windows in the whole house, plus two skylights. Crazy, no? Whenever we decide to move again, finding a house with great lighting will definitely be high on the priority list. πŸ˜‰

Then there are also the business, tax and legal aspects to all of this. I want to get my ducks in a row before I really start doing this even semi-seriously. So far it’s all been friends or family of friends. When I venture out into people I don’t know, however, I want to be fully prepared.

I took Ava to the park this afternoon to get out of the house and do some more practicing with my manual settings. I haven’t taken the pictures off the camera yet, but I’m feeling more confident with my ability to go all manual. It just takes practice, practice, practice. Anyway, we had a fun time. She played with pinecones and sticks, we saw geese, and we stopped by a tree and had a snack of grapes and crackers. It was a nice day. πŸ™‚

Here are a few pictures from my friend’s son’s photoshoot (taken at a local park):




Oooh, the presentation folders I ordered last week (for delivering prints to customers) just arrived via UPS. I’m so excited to see how they look! Feel like a kid on Christmas morning. πŸ˜‰ Gotta go.

Have a good weekend. πŸ™‚