Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Return of: What's For Dinner? (plus bonus features!)

It's been three months to the day since I posted a menu. So let's get down to business, k?

Monday: steamed vegetables over brown rice and black beans

Tuesday: spinach salad with artichoke hearts, mushrooms, olives, carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, and cashew-tamari dressing

Wednesday: vegan vegetable lasagna

Thursday: burgers, oven fries, tomatoes, and avocado

Friday: out for veggie fajitas and margaritas

Saturday: orange-sesame tempeh stir-fry, brown rice, spicy cabbage

This plum cobbler looks mighty tempting. So does this pie. And these muffins.

All in due time, foodies. All in due time.

The vegan lasagna on Wednesday deserves its own post. Why? Because it's the greatest lasagna I've ever made or...dare I say...eaten. That's why.

Our family polished off half a pan in ten minutes one night. I have started making it every other week, although I'm tempted to put it on the menu twice that often.

Don't worry. I'll share.

All in due time.

Since it has been a quarter of a year since I posted a menu, I feel as if I owe you something.

How does corn pudding sound?

I adapted this recipe after the one found in this book.

This has become a family favorite. It's substantial and could easily be a heartier side dish or a main dish when paired with some beans. I usually serve it alongside a big pot of black eyed peas and a large salad.

Corn Pudding

1 package frozen, sweet corn, thawed
1/2 cup silken tofu
2 Tbs non-dairy milk
1 small onion, diced
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 cup flour
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350*.

Coat an 8x8 baking dish or 9 inch pie plate with cooking spray.

Combine 3/4 cup corn with the tofu and non-dairy milk in a blender or food processor. Pulse until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.

Add onion to a skillet and cook until soft. Add to the corn-tofu mix.

Add remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl and stir until well combined. Pour into the baking dish. Spread evenly with a spatula.

Bake for 30 minutes. Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving.

This can easily be adapted to more of a Mexican flavor by adding some chopped chiles or jalapeƱos.

This version is vegan, but you could stir in a bit of cheese or add a sprinkle to the top.

Now, an update.

I've had lots of you wondering how the vegan diet is going ever since I decided to go meat and dairy free.

To put it simply, it's great.

But nothing is really that simple, is it?

I was plugging along, enjoying a diet free from all animal products. Then about two months in, I noticed my, ahem, libido wasn't at its usual level. I started having some mad cravings for the forbidden animal protein, to the point of distraction.

I gave in. I had a buffalo burger. And amazingly, all cravings were sated. I still felt great. And my libido came back instantaneously. *wink*

Not being one to follow rules or be labeled, I don't claim to be a vegan.

When asked what kind of diet I follow, I respond with this: I eat a 99% plant based diet. I'm a 99% vegan, if you will.

Once a week I have a small portion of bison, which is one of the healthiest meat choices available. If you are a meat eater, I encourage you to go here and follow the links. It has a lot of eye opening and useful information.

The Mr. has been following the same plan. We held hands and jumped off the diving board together, and then realized to feel our best we needed a life preserver.

A life preserver in the form of a bison patty. Meat-eating vegans? Why not?

The Offspring have been eating a vegetarian diet with limited amounts of cheese and eggs. And of course, the once a week serving of meat. That means their mac & cheese and Life Cereal are still safe.

They rejoice.

I'm still tweaking things here and there: playing around with gluten-free, doing some food combining, adding chia seeds to the mix, reducing soy intake.

There are times when it makes my head spin.

But I figure this is a healthier channel for my food control issues.

Many of you have sent emails with words of encouragement, blog links, and recipes. THANK YOU! I've loved and appreciated them all.

And there it is: A menu, a recipe, and an update.

I'll be back next week...unless the angry vegans hunt me down.