Monday, November 19, 2012

Taco Bell-Style Mexican Pizza (Vegetarian)

I ate at Taco Bell pretty often growing up.  I always ordered a Mexican Pizza..."no meat," until it made me deathly ill in college.  Okay, maybe not deathly ill, but pretty sick!  I have not been back since. But, I have missed my Mexican Pizzas!

I decided to try making them at home.  No frying involved and, of course, no meat!  They were really good, so I thought I'd share how I made them.


Vegetarian Mexican Pizzas

Ingredients:
  • Flour tortillas (You can use whole wheat or any kind you like.)
  • Can of refried beans
  • Salsa
  • Mexican blend shredded cheese (Or, use a vegan cheese.)
  • Tomatoes (diced)
  • Green onions (sliced)
  • Black olives (sliced)
  • Hot sauce (I like Cholula.)
Heat the refried beans in the microwave and set aside.

Put the tortillas on the oven rack and broil for a few minutes until lightly browned and crispy.
You need two per pizza.

Spread the warm refried beans over one out of every two tortillas.  Then, stack the tortillas without the beans on top of the ones with beans (like a refried bean sandwich) See picture above.

Spread salsa over the top.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Then top with tomatoes, green onions, and black olives.

Put in the oven on 350 until the cheese melts.

Add a few dashes of hot sauce if you want. Ready to eat!

This is definitely a better alternative to fast food!


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Meat-Free Lasagna Soup

Just four days until Thanksgiving.  It's cool outside and there is a whirlwind of leaves blowing around my backyard.  I love having soup on lazy Sunday afternoons in the fall.  I decided to try making a vegan version of Lasagna Soup.  Here's the recipe. This soup is so flavorful. It will warm you right up!




Meat-Free Lasagna Soup (vegan)
serves 4

Ingredients:
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups onions
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. dried, chopped bay leaves
  • 3 cups "Edward and Sons" Not-Chick'n broth
  • 4 oz. Campanelle pasta
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pinch of pepper
Boil your pasta in salty water, according to box instruction.  Rinse with cold water and set aside.

Saute onions in olive oil on medium heat for 6 minutes.  Add garlic, oregano, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Cook for another minute.  Add the tomato paste and stir until the onions become red in color, for 3 minutes.

Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves, Not-Chick'n broth, salt, and pepper.  Stir and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. 

With an immersion blender, puree the soup just enough to thicken it a little, leaving it slightly chunky.  Or, if you don't like chunky soup, puree it until smooth.

Ladle into bowls and add pasta to each bowl.  This keeps the pasta from continuing to cook in the pot of soup and becoming mushy.


 Enjoy!

Jessica

 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Homemade Green Cleaning Products

Some of you have asked me how to make your own cleaning supplies to save money or to be more environmentally friendly.  Thank goodness for Little Miss Vegetarian readers, who have given me some ideas to share!

A friend of my family and l.m.v. reader, Gayle, shared these tips with me that she got from doTerra Living Magazine.




Toilet Bowl Cleaner:
1/2 cup baking soda
10 drops of melaleuca essential oil (tea tree oil)
1/4 cup vinegar
As it reacts, scrub the toilet.  This combination is intended for one use at a time.

All Purpose Spray:
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 cups water
30 drops essential oil (see below)
1 teaspoon Borax
Essential oils to try for the all-purpose spray:
15 drops each of lavendar and lemon OR
10 drops each of eucalyptus, peppermint, and wild orange OR
30 drops OnGuard blend
Add ingredients to a spray bottle, then shake thoroughly.

Window Cleaner:
1/8 cup vinegar
1 cup water
10-15 drops of lemon essential oil
Mix all ingredients in a spray bottle.  Shake and apply.  Wipe clean.

Soft Scrub for Bath, Tile, and Toilet:
Make in small batches and store in an airtight container.  Enough for two or four applications.
3/4 rounded cup baking soda
1/4 cup castile soap
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon vinegar
5-10 drops lemon essential oil
In a bowl, combine the baking soda and castile soap.  Add the water and stir.  Finally, add the vinegar.  Consistency should be a soft paste.

Wood Floor Polish:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vinegar
10 drops essential oil (try wild orange or lemon)
Mix and apply.  Wipe clean.

Things you can do with Vinegar:
  1. Wash garden vegetables with a mixture of 1 tablespoon of white distilled vinegar in 1-1/2 quarts of water.
  2. Preserve cut flowers and liven droopy ones by adding 2 TBS white distilled vinegar and 1 tsp. sugar to a quart of water in a vase.
  3. Kill slugs by spraying them with a mixture of 1 part water and 1 part white vinegar.
  4. Kill weeds and grass growing in unwanted places by pouring full-strength white distilled vinegar on them.  This works especially well in crevices and cracks of walkways and driveways.  Be careful not to spray it on the surrounding grass as it will kill that too.
  5. Give acid-loving plants a boost by watering them with a vinegar solution now and again.  A cup of vinegar to a gallon of water is a good mixture.
These were also shared by Gayle:

Homemade Laundry Detergent (recipe given to her by a friend):
2 TBSP per full load
Recipe:
2 cups finely grated Ivory soap (or any unscented bar soap)
1 cup washing soda (not baking soda)
1 cup Borax
Combined and stored in airtight container
$1.29 for 32 loads.  No harsh chemicals.

Green Products:
Baking Soda:  scrubs, whitens, deodorizes, and cuts grease
Liquid Castile Soap (look for unscented):  Vegetable-based soap commonly found in health food stores.
White Vinegar:  Kills germs, cuts grease, deodorizes, and dissolves mineral deposits.
Borax:  Disinfectant, kills germs, bacteria, fungi, and deodorizes.

Another l.m.v. reader named Joyce, shared this link on facebook for those of you with babies:

Homemade Baby Wipes:
http://www.homemademamas.net/2010/07/homemade-baby-wipes.html


I can't wait to try these recipes myself!
Thanks for sharing, Gayle and Joyce!!!

Jessica




Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Vegan Crock Pot Tortilla Soup

What better way to warm up after a night of trick-or-treating, than a bowl of hot tortilla soup!
As far as spiciness goes, this soup is very mild.


Start by putting all of the following ingredients in your crock pot and simmer on high for 3 hours:
  • 15 oz. can diced tomatoes (including juice)
  • 5 cups Not-Chick'n broth (vegan)
  • 3/4 cup chopped onions
  • 3/4 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 1 Serrano pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper 
 

Next, puree the ingredients in your crock pot with an immersion blender until smooth and brothy.

On a cutting board, cut some whole wheat tortillas into small strips, using a pizza cutter, and toast them in the oven on a cookie sheet.

Ladle your soup into a bowl and top with toasty tortilla strips.  It's as easy as that!

When I saw a recipe for chicken tortilla soup, I knew I had to make a vegan version!

Jessica

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Vegan Cinnamon Pancakes

I recently had my nieces spend a weekend with me.  I made them some pancakes while they danced around my living room.  They wanted chocolate chips on top!  And of course I let them because that's what aunts do! These pancakes are so light and fluffy!

Please excuse my indoor photo-taking skills!


Here's the recipe!

Vegan Cinnamon Pancakes - makes 16 medium-sized pancakes

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups rice milk
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

1. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.

2. Add wet ingredients. Mix until smooth.

3. Spoon batter into a greased pan that is on medium to low heat.

4. Flip when you see bubbles in the batter.

5. Repeat until your batter is gone.

6. Top with chocolate chips! ;)


Monday, September 3, 2012

Football Season & Baked Potatoes

Happy Labor Day! I hope you're all enjoying a day off of work. I know it's not fall just yet, but I sure am getting excited about it! School has started, crunchy leaves are on the sidewalk, pumpkins are out at the grocery store, and my husband is crazy excited about football season!

Speaking of football season, what kind of vegetarian/vegan football snacks are you guys making?

Today we made baked potatoes.  Wouldn't it be fun to invite friends over for football and have a baked potato bar? They can load them with all their favorite toppings!









I scrubbed our baking potatoes really well and poked deep holes in them with a skewer.  I coated them in Earth Balance Buttery Spread (non-dairy) and sprinkled them with salt and pepper. I wrapped them in aluminum foil and baked them at 350 degrees for an hour and 15 minutes (They were pretty big potatoes). We chopped them up on our plates, and these are the toppings we used:

  • Earth Balance Buttery Spread
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Italian Seasoning
  • A sprinkle of Extra Sharp Cheddar
  • Chopped Green Onions
  • Chopped Broccoli (bought frozen)

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven..."
Ecclesiastes 3:1

Jessica


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Birthday Cakes!

I promise I have not forgotten about you guys!  I know it's been awhile since I've blogged. Thanks for keeping up with me on facebook!  For those of you who don't know me, I am an art teacher, and I've actually been teaching this summer.  I taught an arts enrichment program for children from low-income communities. Just this week, I had an opportunity to speak about my students and meet the previous mayor of my city!  She was our city's first female mayor and the first woman elected into public office in our city's 300-year history. She was so nice to me and generous with her time!

Here we are!


Now, on to the birthday cakes! For both of the cakes below, I used Chef Chloe Coscarelli's vegan Fudge Cake recipe on p. 227 of her cookbook, Chloe's Kitchen. I also used her vegan chocolate frosting recipe:

1 1/2 cups non-dairy chocolate chips
1 cup nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2-5 tablespoons rice milk

Melt chocolate chips in a microwave.  Let the melted chocolate cool to room temperature, so it doesn't melt the shortening when you add it to the frosting.

In the meantime, using a handheld mixer, beat the shortening until smooth. With the mixer running on low, add powdered sugar, vanilla, and one tablespoon of rice milk at a time, as needed, until frosting reaches a spreadable consistency. You may not need to use all of the rice milk.  Add the melted chocolate chips. Beat on medium speed until well combined. Add more rice milk as needed. Increase speed and beat for 2 more minutes until light and fluffy.

This is the Whopper Cake I made for my dad's 55th birthday!  No, Whoppers are not healthy in any way. They're mainly for decoration. I remember my dad always loving Whoppers and sharing them when I was a kid.  Every now and then you'd be lucky enough to get a hollow mushy one!  I stuck them in the frosting one-by-one. My dad is a very calm person and it takes a lot to get him excited about anything. It was worth the time of sticking them on, to see the big smile on his face when I brought the cake out. :)



















My husband recently told me that he always wanted a "dirt" cake with gummy worms when he was a kid, but his mom wouldn't let him because she thought it was too disgusting. Sad story, I know. ;) So, I decided to make it for him this week for his birthday. I figured my nieces and nephew would get a kick out of it.  My niece really boosted my confidence in baking when she said, "This tastes like dirt!" haha The "dirt" is crumbled Joe-Joe's cookies (Oreos) from Trader Joe's.  I like them better than Oreos because they don't contain hydrogenated oils.  Between the two layers of cake, is a layer of frosting and a layer of cookies.  You could also use chocolate pudding.











Have a great weekend everyone! I am officially back-to-school on Monday!

Jessica

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Quinoa-Broccoli Casserole

Broccoli Casserole is my absolute favorite holiday dish! When my husband and I were dating, I took it over to his parents' house for either Thanksgiving or Christmas.  My brother-in-law said how good and cheesy it was, and asked if I used Cheddar.  I said, "Actually it's Cheez Whiz."  All I could hear were GASPS from my future sisters-in-law! I totally had no idea there was anything wrong with Cheez Whiz. I grew up eating it in Broccoli Casserole at family gatherings.

Since then, I have found healthy ways of making it.  But, I was especially excited when I found this version of it, using Quinoa.  It is delicious! My husband and I scarfed it down!



I followed the recipe linked above, but here are some changes I made:
  • I used "Imagine" brand Creamy Broccoli soup instead of condensed Cream of Broccoli.  It's organic and comes in a carton.
  • I used vegan mayo.
  • I used almond milk instead of regular milk.
  • I left out the sugar. 
  • I didn't cook the broccoli.  I bought a box of frozen chopped broccoli and dumped it in with the hot cooked Quinoa. It cooks as the casserole is baking.
  • I did not put Parmesan on top.
Some changes I might make in the future:
  •  Possibly use vegan cheese.
  • Add a 1/4 cup of chopped onion and 1/4 cup of chopped celery.
  • Add crushed crackers on top.
I hope you'll give this a try! I love Quinoa and it's so easy to cook!
Check out some of the health benefits of Quinoa.

Jessica

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Product Review: Environne




Every time I'm in Trader Joe's, I see bottles of fruit and vegetable wash sitting in the produce section.  I think, "Hmmm...I should buy that, but it's $4.00.  I can use lemon juice."  But, I never do use lemon juice.  I just give my fruits and vegetables a rinse with water.

Well, today I saw the bottles of Environne Fruit and Vegetable Wash again, and decided to try it.  I bought a 16 oz. bottle for $4.00.  You mix one tablespoon of it with 4 cups of water, and that cleans up to 10 lbs. of produce. You just swish your produce around in the solution for 30 seconds and rinse.

As I was swishing my fruit around in the water, I could actually feel the waxiness change to the slightly bumpy natural feel of the fruit's skin. After I finished washing all of my fruits and vegetables, I realized that the clear solution I had been washing them in had become murky! I was shocked!  I called my husband in the kitchen, "Come look at this!"  I left the fruit on the counter to dry, and awhile later my husband said, "Wow, the fruit feels a lot different."

That really got me thinking about how much wax, pesticides, and chemicals we are putting into our bodies.  Definitely a wake-up call.  From now on, I will be taking the extra time to wash my produce.  No more rinsing with water.

I would love to know your thoughts on this! Do you use anything besides water to clean your produce?


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

No Chicken-n-Dumplins

Who needs chicken!? These vegetables and dumplins were to die for! My husband, who eats meat, said it's better without the chicken!

Little Miss Vegetarian readers are the best!  I asked for advice on how to thicken the "gravy" for the dumplins and I got an outpouring of responses! Thank you!

Many of you wanted the recipe, and I am more than happy to share it with you!  I really hope you like it as much as I do! It's completely free of animal products.


No Chicken-n-Dumplins

Ingredients:
  • 6 cups of Not-Chick'n broth (vegan)
    Note: These boullion cubes are made by "Edward & Sons" and you dissolve 3 cubes in 6 cups of water.
  • A heaping 1/4 cup of thinly sliced carrots
  • A heaping 1/4 cup of thinly sliced celery
  • 2-3 green onions sliced
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
  • salt and black pepper to taste
Instructions:
  • Boil the carrots, celery, onions, and Not-Chick'n cubes in 6 cups of water for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked almost all the way through.
  • In a large bowl, add the flour, shortening, salt and pepper. Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender until it has a coarse consistency.
  • Ladle out about 1 1/4 cups of broth from your pot.  Let it sit in a bowl for a minute or two until it is no longer boiling.  
  • Add the broth to the flour and shortening mixture and mix gently with a spoon, until just incorporated.  You need to be REALLY careful to not over-mix it, or the dough will become dense.  You want it to be delicate.  Don't worry about all of the flour mixing in.  
  • Roll the dough out to about 1/4 inch thick.  Cut into strips or squares. I cut squares.
  • Drop your dough squares into the gently boiling broth.  If there is any flour left in your mixing bowl, just dump it right into the pot! Reduce heat and simmer for about 20-30 minutes, stirring pretty constantly.  You don't want anything burning on the bottom of the pot.  Your broth should get thick and gravy-like.
  • Ready to serve!  Serves about 4.


I have to admit that I snacked on some of the dough for the dumplins before I put them in the broth.  I couldn't resist!  That's the great thing about vegan cooking...you can do that!

Jessica

P.S. This is a pastry blender:

Photo from www.stockphotopro.com

Monday, July 16, 2012

Lasagna Al Dainty

These lasagna "muffins" are oh-so-cute. They're called muffins because they're baked in muffin cups and take on the shape of muffins.  But, my funny husband calls them "Lasagna Al Dainty." They are very delicate and charming, after all. ;)

I'll go through how I made them, step-by-step. I wish I had an exact recipe to give you, but I don't.  They're super easy to make!




Step 1: After boiling your WHOLE WHEAT (Come on guys, they're good for you!) lasagna noodles, use a round cookie cutter to cut 12 circles out of some your noodles.

Step 2: Place a lasagna circle in the bottom of each greased muffin cup.

Step 3. Cut lasagna noodles in half lengthwise, and make "cups" with your noodles by lining the inside of the muffin cups.

Step 4: Saute some frozen chopped broccoli, chopped zucchini, chopped onions, and chopped green peppers in olive oil.  I seasoned them VERY generously with Italian spices, salt, and pepper, in addition to chopped basil and oregano from my garden.


Step 5: Fill the lasagna cups, by alternately layering the marinara (pre-made in a jar), vegetables, little pieces off noodles, and mozzarella cheese.  You want your layers to end with a topping of cheese.

Step 6: Loosely cover your pan with aluminum foil, so your noodles don't burn. Bake on 350.  Once the cheese melts, take the aluminum foil off and let the cheese brown.

Step 7: Let cool for a few minutes in the pan before serving, so they don't fall apart.



I garnished with a little sprig of miniature basil.

You can always use a non-dairy cheese or no cheese at all (vegan). 

This is one of those meals where you can change the ingredients to make everybody happy!

Jessica

Friday, July 13, 2012

My Grocery Receipt

Friends and family are always asking me what I buy at the grocery store and how much I spend on groceries. A certain family member has even called me from the grocery store for ideas on what to buy. ;)

Photo credit: http://www.wellandgoodnyc.com

Well, here you go...I'm revealing my grocery shopping receipt!  This is pretty typical of what I buy (and spend) each week for two people.

Non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening (Spectrum brand) ...$5.29 (Kroger)

(4) 6 oz. soy yogurts (raspberry, peach, strawberry, blueberry)...$4.00 (Kroger)

Bag of frozen chopped broccoli...$1.00 (Kroger)

Bag of frozen cut okra...$1.69 (Kroger Note: most of the time I can get this for $1.00)

Sabre classic hummus...$3.50 (Kroger)

3 ears of yellow corn...$1.14 (Kroger)

Can of blackeyed peas (store brand)...$0.69 (Kroger)

Sprite melon...$1.00 (Kroger)

2 fugi apples...$1.99 (Kroger)

1 vine ripe tomato...$0.78 (Kroger)

3 bananas...$0.61 (Kroger)

Loaf of Nature's Pride whole wheat bread...$1.99 (Kroger)

Trader Joe's Multigrain O's Cereal...$2.99 (Trader Joe's)

1 liter of cold pressed olive oil...$5.49 (Trader Joe's)

Loaf sliced multigrain sourdough...$2.99 (Trader Joe's)

Reduced guilt wheat crackers...$1.99 (Trader Joe's)

Whole wheat flour tortillas...$2.29 (Trader Joe's)

Bagged Romaine lettuce...$1.99 (Trader Joe's)

2 lbs mini pearl tomatoes...$4.98 (Trader Joe's)

Small block of baby Chalet swiss cheese...$2.74 (Trader Joe's)

Jar of Kosher dill pickles...$2.29 (Trader Joe's)

Jar of Traditional marinara sauce...1.29 (Trader Joe's)

Box of multigrain waffles...$1.99 (Trader Joe's)

3 lbs of gold potatoes...$2.99 (Trader Joe's)

Seedless watermelon...$3.99 (Trader Joe's)

2 Hass avocados...$2.58 (Trader Joe's)

TOTAL 64.27 before tax

  • I plan my meals for the week and make a list based on what I need for those meals.
  • We eat leftovers for lunch. Sometimes a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a tomato sandwich.
  • We snack on fruit, nuts, dark chocolate, and sometimes homemade cookies. I don't buy a lot of snack foods.
  • We drink tap water put through a filter in our Brita pitcher. I don't buy juices or drinks.
  • I spend more on certain items at Trader Joe's because it's important to me to buy food with the least amount of preservatives and additives, and organic when possible.
  • I occasionally buy organic, free-range chicken for my husband (which adds to the overall cost).
  • This particular week (above), I didn't need milk.  But, I do buy a half-gallon of organic milk for my husband.
  • I usually spend between $50-$75 per week for two people.
 I hope this feeds your curiosity! :)

Happy Shopping!
Jessica

Monday, July 2, 2012

Tomatoes, Okra, and Corn...Oh My!

I went to our farmers market this weekend for one reason, and one reason only: to get a great big tomato for a tomato sandwich!  It's officially summer when I have my first tomato sandwich.

As you can see, I picked up a few other things, as well. Corn, okra, peaches, plums, and a patty pan squash.








My husband and I made our first tomato sandwiches of the summer, and here they are!  We topped them off with some herbs from our little herb garden.  I chose the miniature basil leaves, and he chose fresh dill.




To make a tomato sandwich, all you have to do is toast bread, slather on some mayonnaise (I didn't have any vegan mayo, so I skipped it.), layer on your tomato slices, and sprinkle with lots of salt and pepper (and herbs, if you want).

This past weekend, I posted a picture on facebook of Succotash, that Little Miss Vegetarian reader, Jasmine, from Phoenix, shared. It looked so good, I had to try it myself!  So, I used a few more of my farmers market ingredients.


OUT. OF. THIS. WORLD.  

Jasmine said, "It sounds too simple to be as yummy as it is!"  She was right!  I will definitely be making this again. For those of you who missed it, here are Jasmine's easy instructions for making Succotash:

Put all of the ingredients (tomatoes, corn, and okra) in a saute pan with a pinch of salt. Cook at a gentle heat until the okra is cooked to your liking.

It really is as easy as that, and I hope you'll try it! Thanks, Jasmine!

Don't forget, if YOU have something you'd like me to share on the Little Miss Vegetarian facebook page, send a photo and your recipe to littlemissveg@yahoo.com. I can't wait to hear from you!

Jessica

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Double Choco Chunk Cookies

I know, this is the second cookie recipe I've posted in the last week.  I love cookies!  If you're a chocolate lover, you will love these Double Choco Chunk Cookies!

A few months ago, I was given a cookbook called, "The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook."  It has become my favorite cookbook for baking.  It has 100 recipes and they're all vegan, meaning they don't contain animal products, such as milk, eggs, butter, etc.  I am asked often what it means to be vegetarian or vegan.  That's why I reiterate it in most of my posts.

So, here they are...Double Choco Chunk Cookies!  
They are so soft, rich, and chewy. It's almost like biting into brownies!


 Double Choco Chunk Cookies

 Makes 24 2-inch cookies
Recipe by Cybele Pascal


  • 1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt (I used sea salt.)
  • 1/3 c. canola oil
  • 1/3 c. rice milk
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 c. dairy-free chocolate chips (Make sure milkfat is not listed in the ingredients)

1. Preheat oven to 325. Spray two baking sheets.

2. Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Mix thoroughly, being sure to work out any lumps in the cocoa powder. (I ended up sifting all of my dry ingredients.)

3. Mix the canola oil and rice milk for 30 seconds with an electric mixer on medium speed.  Add the vanilla and sugar.  Mix for 20 seconds more.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix on low speed.  Fold in the chocolate chips.

5. Scoop out the dough by heaping tablespoonfuls, roll into balls, and place on the baking sheet.

6. Bake for 12 minutes.  Do not overcook, as chocolate easily burns.

7. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets before transferring to a cooling rack.


They're good for breakfast too! I think I just told on myself. :)

Jessica

Friday, June 29, 2012

33 Dollars a Week

Do you think you could purchase enough healthy food for a week with just $33?  I read an article this week about author Rory Freedman, who took a $33 food stamp challenge.  According to her article, this is how much a person on food stamps in California has to spend on groceries each week.

This got me thinking...not about doing the challenge.  Eating healthy on $33 a week is totally doable for me.  But, I thought about how many times I make a list, rush out to the store and buy groceries, and forget to see what I already have at home.  Sometimes I come home with a can of beans I already have, or another stalk of celery because the one I have got pushed to the back of the fridge.

So, I decided to try to use up some of the things I have at home this week before going for my weekly grocery shopping.  Here's what I had tonight:

  • brown basmati rice with a smoky chipotle sauce that I had in the fridge.
  • sauteed bell peppers and onions (79 cents for the pepper)
  • black beans (89 cents)
  • sliced cucumber with red wine vinegar and salt & pepper (50 cents for the cucumber)






This may not have been my first choice for dinner, or the fancy new recipe I wanted to try out for my blog, but I felt completely full and satisfied after eating it.  My husband said it was the perfect combination of flavors.  And the cucumbers helped cool us down after eating the spicy rice.

What do you have in YOUR refrigerator or pantry that you could use up this week before running out to the store to buy more?


Jessica