When people find out that I don’t eat wheat or meat a lot of people are confused as to what I actually eat. And I admit that eating out in typical American restaurants can be a challenge. Which is partly why I’m ‘almost’ vegan.

Finding vegetarian options at restaurants is getting easier, but so often your options are pasta. I’ve had to get a bit creative at some restaurants. Ordering sides is something I frequently do. Although I was a bit annoyed at one restaurant to pay $15 for a baked potato and steamed broccoli. No seasoning, very little flavor and something I could make at home for less and have it be way tastier. But what do you do when you’re going out with friends or family and they pick a steak house or a sports bar?

Finding gluten free options is improving; however a lot of these options are meat based. I’ve ordered veggie burgers without the bun and salads without the croutons. Speaking of salads. Maybe I’m less normal than I thought but I find it strange when a restaurant offers 10 different salad options and every single one of them has meat on it – usually chicken. Now of course I can order the salad without the chicken. But I’m still paying for the chicken. When thinking of a salad don’t most people think of vegetables first? Or is that just me?

I’m getting off topic I suppose. I intended this to be a post about what I cook at home. I just had a delicious breakfast. I love my cast iron skillets and am a bit bummed that our new house has an electric glass top stove. But I can still use my trusty cast iron in the oven. And it’s my favorite way to make hash browns. A little olive oil, shredded potatoes (I often use frozen), salt, pepper, throw in the oven. Today I decided to add some veggies – green onions, green and red peppers and some broccoli. Yum! So tasty and so easy!

I’ll admit that gluten-free vegan breakfast/brunch ideas require some creativity and some trial and error. Most of our breakfast options are bread and egg based. Which is why today’s breakfast is such a good option. Its simple and flexible – using whatever veggies you have on hand in the fridge or freezer.

An easy idea that works great for a crowd is breakfast burritos. Corn tortillas, seasoned black or pinto beans, sautéed peppers and onions. There is also a gluten free vegetarian chorizo available at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods that is delicious. Toppings for this may include diced avocado and tomatoes.

Another thing I’ve been enjoying lately is vegan french toast. The dipping mixture is a combination of blended banana, almond milk, ground flax seed, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. And immersion blender and the smoothie cup that comes with it work great for this!

1 mashed banana for 1 or 2 people
1/2 cup almond milk
1 Tbsp. ground flax seed
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch nutmeg – if desired

Blend everything until smooth and pour into a pie pan or a plate. Dip bread slices (gluten free or regular) in the mixture and cook on a griddle as you would regular french toast.

Menu of the Week – Week 6

September 17, 2014

The chill is in the air this week and that has me wanting more comfort food. I can easily have a salad for dinner in the summer but once fall comes a salad just doesn’t work. So for this weeks menu there are some heartier, more fall like foods. Roasted vegetables of all kinds are my favorite this time of year. Try roasting something new – like green beans suggested below. You don’t need to do much to them. Simple olive oil, salt and pepper. Baked at 400° until done. So good!

This is the last Menu of the Week. There are 6 weeks total now. Each day has something different. 42 different ideas. Add these to your current ideas and you shouldn’t have to wonder about what to make for dinner for very long.

Variety is the spice of life. Enjoy variety, enjoy life!


SUNDAY

Zucchini Lasagna (or regular)
Roasted Broccoli and/or Cauliflower
Salad
French Bread


MONDAY

Vegetable Soup
Corn Scones
Fresh Fruit


TUESDAY

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos
Chips  & Guac


WEDNESDAY

Risotto – I made sun-dried tomato and basil – Yum!
Roasted Vegetables


THURSDAY

Curried Chickpea & Potato Stew w/Spinach
Samosas


FRIDAY

Spaghetti Squash w/Marinara Sauce
Roasted Green Beans
Parmesan Toast


SATURDAY

Mexican Chili Corn Pie
Fresh Fruit

Menu of the Week – Week 5

September 9, 2014

It’s that time again. Menu of the Week – Week 5. I tried a couple new recipes this week and they will definitely become regulars. Oh so tasty. It still makes me giddy just thinking about it! Yes, I am a bit of a food geek. There is just something about having familiar ingredients in new combinations and having that instant YUM factor when you take that first bite and the second and third.

One of these recipes is a Sweet Corn Fritter with Roasted Pepper Romesco Sauce. The fritters are a delightful combination of sweet corn and fresh basil. I don’t think I’ve ever had those two things baked together before. Separately – sure – regular sweet corn with a side of Caprese Salad. I’ve even put pesto on my sweet corn. But baked together and crisp it was so delicious. And the Roasted Pepper Romesco Sauce was delicious with it. The sauce was another new combination for me. I’ve had regular romesco sauce before – but never with roasted peppers. Yum, yum, yum!!

The other new recipe is a Thai Noodle Salad. Eaten with a super yummy grilled tofu. I am a bit bummed out though that I winged it with the marinade for the tofu and didn’t write down what I put in it. I know it was simple – some combination of lime juice, tamari and fresh ginger. Maybe something else…. I love when I have those throw it together moments that end up being a tasty surprise but I do hope I can replicate it. The Thai Noodle Salad was simple as well with fresh ginger and mint flavors.

Loving the tastes of late summer. I wish it could last forever! Hot summer days, delicious food and lemonade! And maybe some wine. Any way, on to the menu. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

 

SUNDAY

Chilaquiles – a tasty baked dish of layered tortillas, beans in a tomato sauce and cheese (if you like)
Chips & Guac


MONDAY

Twice Baked Potatoes with toppings
Lettuce Salad


TUESDAY

Grilled Hoagies
Veggies & Hummus
Fresh Fruit


WEDNESDAY

Bean Burgers – Chickpea, black bean, pinto bean- whatever you like
Baked French Fries
Watermelon


THURSDAY

Wild Rice Soup
Salad
French Bread or Biscuits


FRIDAY

Thai Noodle Salad
Grilled tofu


SATURDAY

Sweet Corn Fritters with Roasted Pepper Romesco Sauce
Broccoli
Baked Sweet Potato Fries or Chunks

Menu of the Week

September 1, 2014

Wow! It’s already week four in this Menu of the Week series.

I’m guessing some of you may be wondering where the meat is. You can certainly add your own. But for all of those people who wonder and ask what vegetarians/vegans can eat – especially when you’re gluten free. These menus are my answer.

I have way more flavor and variety in my diet than I ever did before I became vegetarian. I even became a better and more adventurous cook.  All of these meals can be gluten free – some things I have tried and true recipes for, some you can find at most grocery stores.

You may love having some new recipes to try or you may opt to pick things up at the local deli or restaurant. Either way I hope you are feeling less stressed and more inspired about dinner. Enjoy!


SUNDAY

Curried Vegetables with Dal
Indian Potato Pancakes
Mango Sorbet


MONDAY

Taco Salad
Watermelon


TUESDAY

Jamaican Rice and Beans
Fresh Fruit


WEDNESDAY

Fajitas
Chips and Guac


THURSDAY

Baked Pasta – red or white sauce
Broccoli and or Salad
French Bread


FRIDAY

Black Bean Soup
Tostadas with Toppings


SATURDAY

Chickpea Croquettes w/Greek Salad Topping
Greek Rice Pilaf

Menu of the Week

August 25, 2014

I hope everyone had an awesome week and you are enjoying the last few days of summer. Kids are going back to school and vacations are ending. The nights and mornings are cooler and darker. All of these things have me thinking of fall and I went a little soup crazy. Among the meals this week are a soup, a chowder and a gumbo. There are also some great late summer vegetables involved as well. Enjoy!

SUNDAY

Southwestern Corn and Potato Chowder
Spring Mix Salad
Baking Powder Biscuits – easy to make gluten free


MONDAY

Tofu Pad Thai
Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce
Fruit


TUESDAY

Greek Diced Vegetable Salad
Roasted Cauliflower
Pita with Hummus
Optional: Grilled Chicken


WEDNESDAY

Tomato Basil Soup
Salad
Grilled French Bread (great gluten free recipe in an earlier post) or Grown Up Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

THURSDAY

Bean & Bean Gumbo
Corn Bread – easy to make gluten free
Fruit


FRIDAY

Pesto Pasta – brown rice or quinoa pasta work great!
Grilled Summer Squash
Caprese Salad


SATURDAY – Family Get Together

Sweet Potato Quinoa Burgers Or grilled meat of choice
Potato Salad with Walnut Oil Vinaigrette
Grilled Sweet Corn
Watermelon
(We also had ice cream options of Sundaes, Root Beer Floats or Mango Sorbet)

 

 

Menu of the Week

August 18, 2014

Hello! I hope everyone has had a good week and you found last week’s menu helpful. Several of this weeks recipes can be grilled so take advantage of the nice weather while it still lasts!

Once again, let me know if you would like recipes or if you have any questions or comments. Enjoy your week!


SUNDAY

Grilled Veggie Burgers or Chicken
Black & Garbanzo Bean Salad
Green Beans
Watermelon

MONDAY

Baked Falafel w/Tzatziki Sauce
Greek Salad

TUESDAY

Tofu Stir Fry
Peanut Noodles
Fruit

WEDNESDAY

Super Nachos- with lots of veggies!
– black or pinto beans, bell peppers, onions, black olives, tomatoes, cheese, avocado
Fruit

THURSDAY

Spaghetti w/meatless meatballs
Broccoli and/or salad

FRIDAY

Black Bean w/Toasted Corn Tacos
Mexican Rice

SATURDAY

Baked Potatoes w/toppings
Sweet Corn w/Chili Lime Sauce

 

Menu of the Week

August 11, 2014

I am going to try something new with this blog for the next few weeks. As you can see I am not the best at getting new recipes and photos updated. I am of course cooking, creating and trying new things all of the time. But things don’t always go as planned and I’ve decided that for now, I will be posting weekly menu ideas.

It seems that for most people making dinner is a chore. And figuring out what to make is the hardest part. So often we end up rotating the same recipes week after week until we end up getting sick of something that we used to love. Since I am already creating a weekly menu for us each week I thought I’d share and see if it helps anyone.

Some of these are tried and true recipes but I do like to mix things up so some of them may be new as well. I’ll be posting the menu the week after we have had them though just in case something isn’t as tasty as I thought it would be or to add notes or make changes if needed. I may even try to add a photo here and there.

Most of the meals are vegetarian or vegan and pretty healthy. Some can easily have meat added if you prefer. A lot of them are gluten free but you can easily use regular items instead. I tend to make everything from scratch since I think it tastes better and I love to cook, but feel free to buy already prepared items if that is what you have time for. It’s still better than grabbing fast food.

You may see some surprises if you know me. Some of the meals are not horribly unhealthy but definitely not something to eat every day – like pizza and super nachos. Yes I do eat nachos for dinner on occasion. Piled with lots and lots of veggies.🙂 I believe in “Everything in moderation”. If you eat healthy most of the time, its ok to relax once in a while. I know some people think of “everything in moderation” as being boring. I think it’s actually exciting. It means nothing is off limits! How cool is that!

I won’t be including recipes for now, just the menu. Hopefully you will find it helpful. If there are specific recipes that you are wondering about, let me know. I may add them here or let you know where I got the recipe or I can send it to you. If you make something and it becomes a favorite or you add a new twist, let me know. To me food is all about sharing.

So here we go! Let me know what you think!!

 

SUNDAY

Feta Pear Salad
French Bread
Grilled Salmon
Grilled Zucchini and Green Beans

MONDAY

Grilled Black Bean Burritos
Chips and Guac

TUESDAY

Mediterranean Grain Salad (Quinoa)
Pita or Chips
Raw Veggies (carrots, peppers, cherry tomatoes, green beans, etc.)
Hummus

WEDNESDAY

Pasta with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
Broccoli
Lettuce Salad

THURSDAY

Black Bean Burgers with fixings
Grilled Rosemary Potatoes
Watermelon or Fresh Fruit

FRIDAY

Tofu Lettuce Wraps
Asian Cabbage Salad

SATURDAY

Grilled Veggie Pizza- (I have an awesome recipe for a Gluten Free crust if anyone is interested)
Lettuce Salad
Fresh Fruit