Busy Vegetarian Mom

Quick and Easy Vegetarian Meals for Busy Moms

Vegan Potato Leek Soup

I bought a bunch of leeks at the supermarket the other day and have been wondering what to do with them.  I remembered seeing in a magazine some time ago a recipe for potato leek soup that looked delicious.  Sure enough I had a few potatoes sitting around waiting to be used, so I decided to take a chance and see what I could do to create a quick vegan version of potato leek soup.  I made mine a bit on the bland side for experimentation and kids sake, but spiced up my bowl with a little extra seasonings. Hope you like it!

Vegan Potato Leek Soup
32 oz. Box Vegetable Broth
4 Leeks,chopped
4 Med. Potatoes, peeled and diced
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
4 TBSP Vegan Chicken Flavored Seasoning
1/4 tsp Pepper
12 oz. Silken Tofu, drained
1/4 C. Healthy Balance or I can’t believe it’s not butter
Optional: 1/8 tsp. paprika, 1/8 tsp. chipotle chili powder (use your imagination to spice it up!)
Bring Vegetable Broth to a boil in pot.  Add potatoes, chicken seasoning and pepper.  Let simmer.
In a separate frying pan, saute leeks and garlic in a little bit of canola oil until tender.
Add leeks and onion to simmering pot of broth and potatoes.  Stir in drained silken tofu and butter. Continue to simmer until potatoes are cooked through. 
Using hand mixer, smooth until rich and creamy.  If you like your soup a bit thinner, add a bit of water or unsweetened soy milk.
If you like your soup a bit spicier, add the paprika and chipotle to your liking. 

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Meat Substitues…Tofu

Tofu has to be one of the most well known vegetarian meat substitutes. It is easily found in most supermarkets and health food stores because of it’s versatility.

It is a “bean curd” made by coagulating soy milk, pressing the curds into a block form.  Made in different textures from silken to extra firm to allow use in many diverse dishes.  Tofu can be used easily in smoothies and sauces, or as firm meat substitutes like mock chicken nuggets.  It will usually take on the flavors of the seasonings and food it is cooked with adding to the ease of  use in many dishes. 

Tofu is an easy way for vegetarians to get protein.  It is also high in iron, low in calories and low fat, making it a very popular choice. 

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Roasted Basalmic Potatoes and Brussel Sprouts

Roasted Balsamic Potatoes and Brussel Sprouts
This one quickly became one of our favorite recipes and we are still a bit shocked by that.  Really, brussel spouts? What vegetable has a worse reputation than Brussel Sprouts? 
We were determined to give them a shot because they are uber healthy, and we are trying to act like the big kids we are and eat our vegetables! What do you know, they are delicious. 
 Hope you enjoy them as much as we do.
3 Medium Red Potatoes (Cut into bite size pieces)
1/2 Sweet Onion (Chopped)
2 C. Brussel Sprouts (cut in half)
2 C. Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar
Fat Free Feta Cheese
Pre-boil potatoes until softened. (this decreases cooking time in oven).  Add potatoes to brussel spouts and onion in baking dish. Spray with olive oil or butter substitute and season with pepper.
Place in pre-heated oven at 350 degrees and cook until golden brown approximately 45 minutes. (if you have a smaller dish, you may want to stir half way thru to ensure even roasting.  While sprouts are baking, bring the vinegar to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until it reduces and thickens.  (if you do not have pomegranate balsamic, you can use plain balsamic and add a tablespoon of blackberry, boysenberry or raspberry jam.)
Stir in the reduced vinegar and take a minute to enjoy the beautiful color, texture and smell!
Before serving, sprinkle the fat free feta on top!
Delicious with sliced almonds or dried berries thrown on top too. 

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Roasted Basalmic Potatoes and Brussel Sprouts

Roasted Balsamic Potatoes and Brussel Sprouts
This one quickly became one of our favorite recipes and we are still a bit shocked by that.  Really, brussel spouts? What vegetable has a worse reputation than Brussel Sprouts? 
We were determined to give them a shot because they are uber healthy, and we are trying to act like the big kids we are and eat our vegetables! What do you know, they are delicious. 
 Hope you enjoy them as much as we do.
3 Medium Red Potatoes (Cut into bite size pieces)
1/2 Sweet Onion (Chopped)
2 C. Brussel Sprouts (cut in half)
2 C. Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar
Fat Free Feta Cheese
Pre-boil potatoes until softened. (this decreases cooking time in oven).  Add potatoes to brussel spouts and onion in baking dish. Spray with olive oil or butter substitute and season with pepper.
Place in pre-heated oven at 350 degrees and cook until golden brown approximately 45 minutes. (if you have a smaller dish, you may want to stir half way thru to ensure even roasting.  While sprouts are baking, bring the vinegar to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until it reduces and thickens.  (if you do not have pomegranate balsamic, you can use plain balsamic and add a tablespoon of blackberry, boysenberry or raspberry jam.)
Stir in the reduced vinegar and take a minute to enjoy the beautiful color, texture and smell!
Before serving, sprinkle the fat free feta on top!
Delicious with sliced almonds or dried berries thrown on top too. 

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Meat Substitues…Seitan

Another common ingredient you will find in many cookbooks as a meat substitute is “Seitan” or “Wheat Meat”.  Seitan is essentially wheat gluten.  It is high in protein and has the texture and look of meat when cooked making it a popular choice in many recipes.  It can be made at home adding different seasoning to get different tastes. It can be shaped into many sizes allowing only your imagination to hold you back.


www.thelivelykitchen.com

If you spend a few minutes online, you can find all sorts of recipes to make your own seitan.  If you are not up to the task, it is becoming easier to find in health food sections and health food stores.

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Meat Substitues…Seitan

Another common ingredient you will find in many cookbooks as a meat substitute is “Seitan” or “Wheat Meat”.  Seitan is essentially wheat gluten.  It is high in protein and has the texture and look of meat when cooked making it a popular choice in many recipes.  It can be made at home adding different seasoning to get different tastes. It can be shaped into many sizes allowing only your imagination to hold you back.


www.thelivelykitchen.com

If you spend a few minutes online, you can find all sorts of recipes to make your own seitan.  If you are not up to the task, it is becoming easier to find in health food sections and health food stores.

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Chinese BBQ Sesame Squares

I had a random craving the other day for Chinese BBQ Pork.  Not wanting to give into temptation I began to think of something that would give me the taste I was looking for…smoky and spicy. 
So tonight I experimented and was quite happy with my results.  Give it a try and see what you think.
Chinese BBQ Sesame Squares
1 Block Extra Firm Tofu
1 C. Egg Beaters
1/2 C. Unsweetened Soy Milk
1/4 C. Beef Flavored Seasoning
1 C. Panko Crumbs
2/3 C. Vegan Imitation Bacon Bits
1/4 C. Sesame Seeds
Drain and dry tofu, then slice in thin pieces (approx 1/4″ thick). 
Mix in shallow pan: egg beaters, soy milk and beef flavored seasoning.
Place sliced tofu into egg mixture and allow to marinate for approximately 30 minutes.
Mix together in shallow pan:  panko crumbs, bacon bits and sesame seeds.  crush the mixture to break into smaller crumbs.
Place marinated tofu pieces in crumb mixture and turn until well coated.
Fry in shallow canola oil until browned.  Approximately 3 minutes each side. 
Serve with Hot Mustard and additional sesame seeds.  YUMMY!
The sesame seeds gives it the “Chinese Food” feel and the bacon bits give it a bit of the smoky bbq flavor I was looking for.  Pre-marinating it in a beef flavored base gives it just a bit more of a “meaty” taste as well.  Overall, I am very happy with the way it turned out.  Enjoy!

Leave a comment »

Chinese BBQ Sesame Squares

I had a random craving the other day for Chinese BBQ Pork.  Not wanting to give into temptation I began to think of something that would give me the taste I was looking for…smoky and spicy. 
So tonight I experimented and was quite happy with my results.  Give it a try and see what you think.
Chinese BBQ Sesame Squares
1 Block Extra Firm Tofu
1 C. Egg Beaters
1/2 C. Unsweetened Soy Milk
1/4 C. Beef Flavored Seasoning
1 C. Panko Crumbs
2/3 C. Vegan Imitation Bacon Bits
1/4 C. Sesame Seeds
Drain and dry tofu, then slice in thin pieces (approx 1/4″ thick). 
Mix in shallow pan: egg beaters, soy milk and beef flavored seasoning.
Place sliced tofu into egg mixture and allow to marinate for approximately 30 minutes.
Mix together in shallow pan:  panko crumbs, bacon bits and sesame seeds.  crush the mixture to break into smaller crumbs.
Place marinated tofu pieces in crumb mixture and turn until well coated.
Fry in shallow canola oil until browned.  Approximately 3 minutes each side. 
Serve with Hot Mustard and additional sesame seeds.  YUMMY!
The sesame seeds gives it the “Chinese Food” feel and the bacon bits give it a bit of the smoky bbq flavor I was looking for.  Pre-marinating it in a beef flavored base gives it just a bit more of a “meaty” taste as well.  Overall, I am very happy with the way it turned out.  Enjoy!

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Crazy for Curry

Beautiful colors, divine smells and rich flavor is what you will find when you start cooking up curries.  We are relatively new to the curry scene and found ourselves asking questions when browsing the menu at our favorite thai hangout.  Just what is “curry” and what is the difference between red, green and yellow curry besides the obvious.

“Curry” is a term used to describe any variety of dishes using a combination of spices including chili peppers, garlic, lemongrass and coconut milk.  The color of the curry denotes the color and type of chili, and general seasonings used.  However, curries can vary from dish to dish and country to country.

Green Curry is made from a young green chili giving it a hot flavor, yet is balanced with more sweetness than some red and yellows.

Red Curry is usually made with long dried red chilies making it very hot.  Spiced more heavily with Cumin and Coriander giving a savory flavor.

Yellow Curry is the mildest but most aromatic of the curries from roasted spices and heavy turmeric, often very in rich flavor.

Searching the internet you can find numerous recipes and variations with all different meats, seafood or vegetarian.  Have fun experimenting and don’t be afraid to try it. It’s delicious!

http://www.templeofthai.com/cooking/curry-by-color.php

Leave a comment »

Crazy for Curry

Beautiful colors, divine smells and rich flavor is what you will find when you start cooking up curries.  We are relatively new to the curry scene and found ourselves asking questions when browsing the menu at our favorite thai hangout.  Just what is “curry” and what is the difference between red, green and yellow curry besides the obvious.

“Curry” is a term used to describe any variety of dishes using a combination of spices including chili peppers, garlic, lemongrass and coconut milk.  The color of the curry denotes the color and type of chili, and general seasonings used.  However, curries can vary from dish to dish and country to country.

Green Curry is made from a young green chili giving it a hot flavor, yet is balanced with more sweetness than some red and yellows.

Red Curry is usually made with long dried red chilies making it very hot.  Spiced more heavily with Cumin and Coriander giving a savory flavor.

Yellow Curry is the mildest but most aromatic of the curries from roasted spices and heavy turmeric, often very in rich flavor.

Searching the internet you can find numerous recipes and variations with all different meats, seafood or vegetarian.  Have fun experimenting and don’t be afraid to try it. It’s delicious!

http://www.templeofthai.com/cooking/curry-by-color.php

Leave a comment »

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