sometime last year, one of my friends (originally from Bulgaria) mentioned she wanted to go to Paris in ’06. discovering that we each had enough miles for a free airline ticket, we joked about cashing it in and running away to Europe. part of me was only kidding. at this point, i will spare you the horror stories of my ‘tour de europe’ at the end of ’04.
my friend recently found out that a photographer friend of hers living in Paris is going to have her very first exhibit in March. after discussing dates and other details, we decided on the trip and cashed in our miles in exchanged for a challenging itinerary. not only do we have a layover… we have to change airports… both ways !
i have a friend who moved to Holland (Rotterdam) sometime last year. i contacted him and told him we’d be coming to Holland to visit him. he was really happy as he hasn’t had any visitors since he moved there.
we will be in Europe for about 8 days. we fly out of Miami on March 4th and return on March 12th. we plan to be in Paris until March 8th and then head over to the Netherlands, but we’ll play it by ear. if there’s one thing i learned from my last trip abroad, it’s that plans fall apart. we have plane tickets. we’ll figure everything else out when we get there.
I wanted to make ‘real’ cupcakes. When I say ‘real’ I mean with real sugar. I asked Jose if he’d like some (dumb question) and he seemed very excited, so I made cupcakes. I tasted them just to make sure they weren’t a mistake like some of my other experiments. I wasn’t completely satisfied, but Jose loved them so i decided to blog the recipe.
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar or substitute
1 1/2 cups soymilk
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp coconut extract
1/4 cup non-hydrogenated margarine
1/4 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon juice
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In large bowl, mx together dry ingredients.
3. In separate bowl, combine liquid ingredients.
4. Stir liquid into dry ingredients until blended.
5. Spray muffin cups with nonstick spray or line with paper cupcake liners and fill with 1/4 cup batter.
6. Bake for 20 minutes.
7. Allow to cool. Remove from pan and place on a rack for 10+ minutes before frosting.
To make the frosting, mix all ingredients together until fluffy. I got 18 cupcakes out of this recipe. If you want to make white cupcakes, just replace the cocoa powder with more flour. Hooray for vegan cupcakes !
Before becoming vegetarian, Jose loved Caesar Salad with the occasional blackened bird. Recently, he mentioned he was craving it and asked if I could make something like it. I thought, surely I can make a vegetarian Caesar Salad, but I could potentially lose sleep over trying to veganize the darn thing. Fortunately, I found a post by Webly that inspired me. Here is what I came up with.
16 oz extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp bragg liquid aminos (*)
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp blackening seasoning
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
dash cayenne pepper (to taste)
1/4 tsp salt (to taste)
2 tbsp peanut oil
1 head romaine lettuce, washed and torn into bite size pieces
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp tamari sauce
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 cup soy milk
1/2 cup shredded vegan cheese
1/4 cup vegan parmesan cheese
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp dried basil
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper (or to taste)
1. Cut the tofu through the side into thin, rectangular slabs or “cutlets.”
2. Mix together the water, bragg liquid, mustard, and lemon juice in a large glass baking dish. Set aside.
3. Combine the blackening seasoning, oregano, pepper, cayenne, and salt. Spread on a plate. Set aside.
4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Put the tofu cutlets in the stock mixture, coating completely. Bake until most of the liquid is absorbed, turning the cutlets with a spatula half-way through cooking, 20 to 25 minutes total.
5. Meanwhile, start making the salad. Combine mustard, tamari sauce, lemon juice, nutritional yeast and soy milk in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth. Set aside.
6. In separate bowl, combine shredded cheese, Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, garlic, dried basil and fresh ground pepper. Mix well.
7. Place lettuce in large bowl. Add dressing mixture and toss. Add cheese mixture and toss again. Chill while you prepare the tofu.
8. Using a spatula, transfer the cooked tofu to the seasoning mixture and coat all over with the seasoning. Lay the cutlets on a plate as you coat them.
9. Heat about 1 tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add two of the cutlets and cook until slightly firm, about 3 minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining oil and cutlets.
10. If desired, cut the cutlets into smaller pieces. Serve over salad.
(*) You can substitute tamari sauce.
This was awesome ! Jose even said we should get a lettuce spinner since we’ll be making this often ! Thanks Webly !
I’ve been craving Mac ‘n “Cheese” for a while, but I wanted something different. So I added broccoli.
8 oz macaroni pasta
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 head of broccoli, cut into florets
1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
4 oz shredded vegan cheese (your favorite)
cayenne pepper (to taste)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp dried yellow mustard powder
1 cup water
1 tbsp non-hydrogenated vegan margarine, melted
1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
2. Heat olive oil in medium skillet over medium heat.
3. Saute garlic for 2-3 minutes or until golden. Stir in the broccoli and set aside.
4. Blend nutritional yeast, salt, whole wheat flour, garlic powder, mustard powder, margarine and water until smooth.
5. Place sauce in small saucepan and cook low-medium heat until sauce thickens. Do not boil. Stir frequently.
6. Combine bread crumbs and vegan cheese. Set aside.
7. Drain pasta and place in baking dish. Stir in broccoli and cheese sauce. Top with cheese mixture and cayene pepper.
8. Bake covered for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove cover and broil until cheese is a bit golden. Serve immediately.
Jose and I were starving by the time dinner was ready. Today was a special day for us. It was Jose’s first day at his new job !
happy new year everyone ! i know this post is a bit late. my life is an active blend of work and physical training which leaves little time for blogging or much else. i try and thanks to Jose i’ve managed to keep the recipe section up to date which is my priority as far as the blog is concerned.
last year was definitely not the greatest for training and races. i was too focused on running and healing. i lost sight of the big picture. this year, i have decided to focus on cycling during the first half of the year, swimming during the summer months and getting back to marathon training in the fall.
i am registered for this year’s MS Bike Tour (150-mile bike ride to benefit the Multiple Sclerosis Society) in May. i have developed the following training schedule for this event:
|Monday||1 hr spin + weight train|
|Tuesday||rest/active recovery (swim + weight train)|
|Wednesday||1 hr spin|
|Thursday||1 hr ride / indoor cycling (depends on weather)|
|Friday||rest/active recovery (swim + weight train)|
|Saturday||long ride (2-4 hours or more)|
|Sunday||recovery ride (75% of long ride)|
i will revise my training schedule in the summer to incorporate a little bit of running (building a base again) and more swimming. i will do the same in the fall to accommodate more running and marathon training.
also, i have a doctor’s appt tomorrow morning to discuss the results of my bone density test. think happy thoughts for me !
Jose asked for chocolate chip pancakes. I looked in the refrigerator and found a box of strawberries. Jose loves strawberries so I decided to make Strawberry Chocolate Chip Pancakes.
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tbsp sugar or substitute
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup soymilk (*)
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 strawberries, chopped
1. Combine dry ingredients and chocolate chips.
2. In a separate bowl, combine soy milk, oil and vanilla extract. Add to dry mixture.
3. Add strawberries. Mix until lumps disappear. Don’t over-mix ! A couple of lumps are OK.
4. Cook on preheated, lightly oiled pan. Turn when bubbles form on surface and edges begin to dry.
(*) For thicker pancakes, use less soy milk. For thinner pancakes, use more soy milk.
Jose said they’re very tasty. I only had one bite but have to agree with him. I think this would be a great vegan Valentine’s breakfast treat. Yum !
I really like curries ! Here’s one of my favorites and easiest to make.
1/4 cup peanuts (to garnish)
1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
1 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow pepper, seeded and chopped
16 oz extra firm tofu, drained and cubed
1 cup coconut milk
2 tbsp chunky peanut butter
1 red chili, seeded and chopped
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
salt and fresh ground pepper (to taste)
1. To make the sauce, combine all ingredients and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
2. Place peanuts in oven-safe dish and toast for 3-5 minutes at 250 degrees. Set aside.
3. Steam broccoli for 5 minutes. Do not overcook.
4. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat.
5. Stir in the peppers and tofu. Cook for 3 minutes.
6. When broccoli is done, drain and add to skillet. Cook for another 2 minutes.
7. Stir in the sauce and simmer for another minute. Serve over brown rice and garnish with peanuts.
I was never a big fan of Meat ‘n Potatoes. I unknowingly became vegetarian at the age of 9 when I refused to eat anything with more than one nerve cell. I did eat a lot of potatoes though and tonight I decided to make garlic mash and try a new brand of veggie ground. So I ended up with some type of vegan Meat ‘n Potatoes. It hit the spot after my tough workout.
5 potatoes, washed and peeled
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 green pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp lime juice
1/8 tsp dried basil
1/8 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp dried oregano
16 oz textured soy protein
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp non-hydrogenated vegan margarine
1. Boil potatoes until tender.
2. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in medium skillet over medium heat.
3. Add pepper and onion. Cook for 3-5 minutes.
4. Stir in soy sauce, lime juice and spices. Add textured soy protein and cook for another minute.
5. In separate skillet, saute garlic in 1 tbsp olive oil for 3-5 minutes or until golden.
6. Drain potatoes when cooked, reserving water.
7. Mash potatoes, adding reserved water as needed until desired consistency.
8. Stir in margarine and garlic mixture. Serve immediately.
It was very satisfying ! I will probably make this again soon.