Lentils, leftovers and popcorn!

No, it is not glamorous, and it is far from complicated, but popcorn is and will probably continue to be one of my most beloved snacks. And since Matt constantly tells me that this is the single greatest popcorn he has ever had, every time I make it, I decided to release the highly guarded secret of perfect popcorn to the masses.

Step one – Buy this

 

Coconut oil is a staple in my house for roughly 9 zillion things but it is the absolute star of popcorn. They actually used to use coconut oil in old timey theaters back in the day before people got all twisted up about saturated fat. Not knowing at the time, of course, that saturated fat from animals (lipids that are solid at room temp ie butter) are not able to be broken down as easily if at all, as the fat in coconut oil which contains a higher content of cholesterol lowering acid. AAAAAAAAAnd moving on.

You could use another oil, but why would you?

Put 2 T oil in a COLD deep pan with a lid and add 1/4 – 1/3 cup popcorn kernels. I like the white kind 🙂

Turn heat to med – med high and cover. Swish the pan around every few seconds until you start to hear them pop. *It’s important that the popcorn doesn’t get a chance to touch the lid once the pot starts to fill up. It makes it kinda stale if it gets damp*

Keep swishing around while the kernels are popping like mad and when they start to slow to  about once every 10 seconds, remove from heat.

Matt likes his with just a sprinkle of salt, and me well I am more of a wild child. I put about 1/8 t of cayenne and several generous shakes of nutritional yeast on mine.

 

This morning we had Liam’s favourite breakfast, Scrambled tofu and toast.

 

I kinda love it too ❤

Lunch was a sedate affair with left over taco salad and warmed up can of Amy’s Black bean Chili. I went in the kitchen to fix lunch and was like… “omg.. I’m done? that was flipping easy! As soon as were done eating  Imma go play zelda!”  Thats actually what went through my mind. I R LOSER. I ❤ leftover taco stuff lol.

 

I squished up 2 fritos on my chili lol.

Now, to the love of my food life, lentils. I have trouble finding ways to use them, even though I love them cooked and tossed in a little vinaigrette  and eaten over salads or plain, Matt doesn’t care for their earthy taste.

 

Enter Veganomicon (have I mentioned that I love this book?)

 

 

Lentils and rice with caramelized onions from Veganomicon.

3 large yellow onions, peeled and sliced into thin rings

3/4 cup olive oil ( I only used 1/2 cup and I still felt it was too much, next time I will only use 1/4)

1 cup long grain brown rice

1 cup red lentils (I used brown)

1 cinnamon stick

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

In a large deep baking pan ( I used my cast iron skillet), toss onion rings in oil and roast for 25 – 30 min stirring often until golden brown and a little crisp, some burnt ones are okay too.  When done, remove from oven and set aside.

Boil 4 cups of water, add rice and spices, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover for 15 min. Add lentils and return to a boil, reduce to simmer and cover cooking for 45 min. (I cooked mine about 35 and it was still a little too long, when the water is gone, turn off heat. )

It seemed a little dry to me, and I was going to stir in some vegetable stock, but my hand magicaly went to my coconut milk in the fridge so I put a couple tablespoons of that in there when it was done cooking it. I also added 1 -1 1/2 t salt and some pepper to the finished product.  This.Is.YUMMY. Liam tore it up and I had to keep myself from going back for more. Since it’s just brown rice and lentils, it is pretty calorie dense but it is soooooooooooooooooo good I almost couldn’t help myself.  I was going to braise some kale but changed my mind at the last minute and opted for a simple massaged kale salad instead.

 

Well, hope that there is something on this ridiculously long post that some of you will try and love as much as me! ❤ I hear a malbec and a book calling my name! Night! 🙂

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Weirdest dinner ever.

Today has been FANTASTIC! We started out kind of late because Liam, by some miracle, picked up that mom and dad wanted to sleep in a little so we didn’t get up and around until 8:30, which is freaking unheard of in our house. I made breakfast burritos (no pictures, I was sleepy). Liam took a nap, and Matt and I watched a bit of tv and got ready to go. We went down to Pier Park for lunch, Matt got a burger from 5 guys burger and fries, and I got a seaweed salad and avocado sushi. Liam took turns eating bites of nori and avocado, and bites of bun or French fries lol. I am going to get better about toting my camera around with me, especially when we go out to eat. Epic fail on my part 🙂

Our little outing did have a destination other than food. My hair has not been cut in over a year, at least not more than a slight trim. It was, lets just say, unruly.

Only picture I could find where you could see my hair and it was not in a pony tail.

I have been thinking about cutting it for sooo long, and finally sucked it up and had 7 inches cut off! The cut is not exactly what I had in mind, but the stylist talked me out of a stacked bob. I really love it,  but may still do something a bit more drastic shortly.

I am seeing chocolate brown in my future ❤

After tidying up the house and a couple episodes of Star Trek tos, it was time to make dinner. I love reading Susan’s blog Fat free Vegan, even though I am not a vegan, and I think plant fats (in moderation) are not just good, they’re great! (said in a Tony the tiger voice, rawr.) But recently I came accross this recipie and it sounded so weird I just HAD to try it. Once again there was a fair ammount of forewarning, and even a back up dinner plan that I could whip up on the fly if Matt made his, “really…?” face.

I should not have been so worried! Everything I have made from her site has been phenomenal! I couldn’t keep my spoon out of the pan while it was cooking. Matt had made a run for a few things from the store, one of which was cilantro for the dish, and I was literally pacing the floor anxious for him to get home so we could eat. I was so excited!

This is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good. LOVE. THIS. FOOD.

African Pineapple and peanut stew. (taken from Fat Free Vegan who took it from Mooswood Resturant cooks at home )

1 large onion chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I used coconut)
1 bunch kale or Swiss chard (4 cups sliced and ribs removed)
2 cups undrained canned crushed pineapple (20-ounce can)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
salt to taste
crushed skinless peanuts
chopped scallions

In a large pot, or deep skillet with a lid, sweat out the onions for 5 – 6 minutes, add garlic cook for an additional minute. Add pineapple and juice and let simmer for 3 – 4 minutes.  Shove as much kale into the skillet as you can fit, cover and let steam untill it has started to wilt a bit. Stir it up and add more. This sauce can cover A LOT of kale so don’t be afraid. After the leaves are just tender add in hot sauce, peanut butter and cilantro. Stir until well mixed, serve over brown rice, top with crushed peanuts and chopped scallions.

It seriously tastes like you might be eating something bad for you, but this made 4 good sized servings, wich means that each has just 1/8 of a cup of peanut butter (or about 180 calories). So a super filling (realy) meal including rice that is just about 350 or so calories? Not too shabby!

Matt and his buddies have gone out for the evening, and I have a date with a God of war, and a bottle of wine ❤  Have a great night folks!

Cleaning out the fridge

Freaking crazy day today… As I am sure many of you know, Monday we had an awesome storm that produced many tornadoes, and some of the biggest freaking hail I have ever seen. While I am exceedingly grateful that we were not hit by a tornado, we did have baseballs flying at the side of our house for about fifteen minutes at what seemed like sixty miles an hour. This did not break as much as it could have, it did however, shatter my windshield and dent the crap out of my roof 😦 So now we need a new roof 😦 crumbs 😦 So all day (literally) I have been talking to insurance claims adjusters, the insurance agency, or roofers. All the while crossing my fingers that I am not making huge unfix-able mistakes. Stress! lol  k done pouting!

On a more fun note, my brother, his roommate and his roomies super sweet girlfriend came over for dinner the other night and we had so much fun! I really wish I had taken pictures of that dinner because the desert at least was something I had never tried, but will be making many many many times lol. I got a before picture, but it is not that impressive.

Chocolate tofu pie *yes it is really tofu!*

1 box silken tofu (I used extra firm)

1 bag semi sweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup strong black coffee

2 tsp vanilla

1 graham pie crust

Melt chocolate over a double boiler ( ie a metal bowl on a pot of simmering water lol, seriously, who has one of those?)

Break tofu up in food processor add the chocolate, coffee and vanilla blend until super smooth.

Pour in to your crust and let set in fridge at least 2 hours. I made a strawberry sauce to put on it as well, but raspberry or peanut butter would be super yummy 🙂

There  was one very big piece of that pie left yesterday and I ate it all lol. So today I am feeling a little repentant from my indulgence yesterday so a light lunch sounded very nice. Plus, if you can tell me something better to eat when it is cool than soup I will call you a liar.

I just used up the last bits of my carrots celery and onion for this guy. I have never made it but I think it turned out pretty yummy :-).

Carrot and ginger soup

2 Tbsp evoo

1/2 onion

2 cloves garlic

5 carrots

2 stalks celery

1 inch of grated ginger

3 cups ( about) vegetable stock

2 tsp agave

1 tsp orange juice

1 tsp lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

dash of all spice

Sweat out the onions, garlic and celery until soft, add carrots and ginger, sauté about 4 minutes. Add stock and season to taste. When carrots are soft let cool a bit and spin up in blender or with your immersion blender.

My pretty mothers day roses and kale chips!

I wish I knew how often I have made this, and am just now getting around to putting it up here lol. This is my go to dinner because it takes about 10 minutes to make from start to finish, and that is if I am slacking lol. It also makes a ton and costs about 50 cents a plate so….yeah lol

Chickpea Curry

*I like SPICY and strong flavors, no kidding around here this can be very hot so start with less cayenne if you are weary of spice*

2 T evoo

1/2 onion

2 cloves of garlic

1-2 inces of grated ginger

2 cans of chickpeas

1 tsp of each of the following spices

tumeric

coriander

cloves

cinnamon

cayenne

Vegetable stock or water to thin out.

A few handfuls of kale or spinach

Sweat out onions, garlic and ginger. Add spices and a bit of liquid to help soften it up. Add in chickpeas and more liquid if it looks like it needs it. Before serving put in whichever green you want and let wilt a bit in the pot.

I think all I have left in the fridge is some celery, some spinach and a cucumber lol. Hope you all are having a great week! ❤

Oatmeal and Kale

I am pretty lazy in the morning. This would be fine, but I also love breakfast more than any other meal. My morning dilemma between hitting the snooze button, or a super fine breakfast is now over.  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Crockpot Oats.  That is Alton Brown’s recipe, I modified it just a little. 🙂

In to the crock pot went

4 cups water

1 cup steel cut oats

1/2 cup almond milk

1/2 cup diced dates

1/2 cup smashed almonds

1 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp coconut oil

peanut butter or almond butter if your awesome

Spray your pot with cooking spray, dump everything in, cover and set to low right before bed. The end.

Sort of…. The first night I made this, Liam woke up for a snack around 5:30, so I checked on it on my way back to bed. It was beginning to brown around the edges, so I turned it off and it was just perfect when we got up at 7. Some clumsy person with a voracious tendency to break things killed my crock pot lid last year so I have to make due with another, which may be the reason that mine was burning a little? Dunno. But the next time we made it I put a piece of foil under the lid to help it seal a bit better and the oatmeal was perfect.

Friday I had no desire to cook, so I made soup. I was planning on just having a very thin mostly broth soup but kept pulling stuff out of the fridge that could go in it.

Pretty good mistake 🙂 Everything I used was left over from something else.

Scrappy soup

1 carrot diced

1/2 a bell pepper

1/2 onion

2 cloves garlic

1 cup chickpeas

1 cup lentils

1 bunch kale

3 cups water

2 cups veggie broth

oregano, marjoram, all spice, paprika, salt and pepper all to taste

couple drops hot sauce

Sweat out onions and garlic, throw in the rest of the veggies and cook until just tender, add kale and wilt a bit. Add spices then the liquid. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Eat!

Kale is seriously one of my favourite vegetables. It is so versatile and so freaking good for you. It is seriously packed full of vitamins and fiber. Usually,in our house, it gets served sautéed  as a side, or in a soup.  I have seen several people talk about Kale chips, and I just had to give them a try.

Shred kale toss in olive oil and a pinch or two of kosher salt.

Spread on poor, poor baking sheet. *Must buy new one* Top with Nutritional Yeast if you want.

Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes….

Eat! These were awesome, kind of different, but totally addictive.

Back to oatmeal!

Banana Bites

2 mushy bananas

1 1/2 cup oat meal

1/4 cup flax meal

1 tsp vanilla

2 tbsp coconut oil (softened)

1 cup chopped dates

1 tsp cinnamon

Mush everything together in a bowl, let set for 15 minutes. Drop on to cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.

Matt said he would have liked these better if they had been mushed down in to a more cookie shape. I will do that next time but I sorta enjoyed the slightly mushy middles. These taste just like banana bread!

If it is a couple of inches off of the ground and semi stable, Liam is trying to stand up on it. I seriously can not get over how quickly he is getting huge! Every one told me “they get big so fast” I was always highly skeptical of it….but now…geeze….He is getting too big too fast! I seriously can’t keep up! Matt has taken to cutting the feet out of his jammies just to get 3 weeks use out of them lol.