Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Busy, busy, busy

Summer sure has been flying by and I have been enjoying it, which is why I haven't posted since the beginning of this month. Spending time with friends, family and taking a camera class has been consuming my time but I am happy that my time is spent with the people I love.

Tonight, I wanted to throw together a meal for my husband for when he got home from driving many hours. I made grilled eggplant and zucchini over couscous and marinara sauce. On the side were balsamic baked green beans.

Grilled Eggplant and Zucchini over Marinara Couscous
1 Eggplant
1 Medium Zucchini
Olive Oil
1/3 c Couscous (or 1 cup of whole wheat elbow noodles....Joe wasn't feelin' the couscous)
Button Mushrooms
Trader Joe's Tomato Basil Marinara
Meatless Meatballs
Red Pepper Flakes
Garlic Powder

Slice zucchini at an angle into 1/2" slices. Slice eggplant also at an angle into 3/4" slices. Brush one side liberally with olive oil. Place olive oil sides on the grill (medium heat) and brush the other side liberally with oil. Zucchini should cook 3-4 minutes before turning; eggplant 5-7 minutes. I just look for dark grill lines and juices dripping.

All done!

For the couscous (sorry, I don't have a picture!) I cooked according to the package. Instead of water, butter and salt, boil 1 c vegetable broth in a small saucepan. Remove the pan from the heat and add 1 c couscous. Stir evenly, cover and let sit for 5 minutes.

While the couscous was cooking, I made Balsamic Baked Green Beans. Delicious flavor and a great way to get the greens in! I would attempt this on the grill in tin foil next time around.

Balsamic Baked Green Beans
Modified from
2-3 c Fresh Green Beans, ends removed
2 tsp Olive Oil
1 T Apple Cider Vinegar
1 T Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 t Salt
Pinch of Ground Black Pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all ingredients (except beans) in small bowl; whisk together. Put green beans onto baking sheet. Apply oil mixture and massage into green beans with your hands. Bake for 23-25 minutes, or until starting to brown.

Sorry about the awkward angle....still learning how to use the camera =). These are the green beans when finished!! Yum Yum!

Next, I added Meatless Meatballs to a frying pan with sliced mushrooms and one clove of garlic. Add garlic towards end, about 5 minutes, to enhance flavor.

When the meatballs are thoroughly heated, I added the eggplant and zucchini, couscous (or elbow macaroni), about 1 tsp of oregano, 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp garlic powder and a pinch of salt. These are estimates...I don't measure these ingredients because I love strong flavor!

Again, learning how to use the camera. The top is the couscous and the bottom is the elbow macaroni. Joe gobbled this meal up! I didn't hear him when I was in the other room.....concerned he didn't like it. He loved it! And so did I! Definitely a meal that will be made again.

It is that time.....time to get ready for another work day. Hopefully I will be posting sooner than later.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Scrumptious Vegan Banana Bread

Good evening!

Although it is not a cold, fall day, I was craving banana bread and thought I would whip up a batch. Lets just say this bread was soooooo delicious I had to share the recipe. It was my first time making it vegan style and it tasted exactly like my mom's bread that had eggs and butter in its ingredients list.
Homemade Banana Bread
Inspired by

1 c + 3/4 c whole grain spelt flour* (can substitute with whole wheat flour)
1.5 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder (I used aluminum-free)
1/2 t sea salt
1 t pumpkin pie spice (or use 1/2 t cinnamon, 1/4 t ground ginger, and 1/4 t nutmeg)
1 T Chia seeds (found at your natural/health store)
3 1/2 ripe bananas (medium in size) 
2 T Coconut butter (the bread does not taste like coconut for those of you who do not like coconut)
3 T Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 c pure maple syrup
unsweetened coconut, for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Whisk dry ingredients in large bowl (flour, soda, powder, salt, spices).
2. In a small cup, microwave coconut butter for 15 seconds to warm.
3. In a medium bowl, combine wet ingredients (bananas, syrup, butter, oil). Reserve 1/2 medium banana. Mix wet ingredients very well, making sure to break up the clumps of the coconut butter.
4. Chop reserved banana into one inch chunks; add to wet mixture.
5. Add wet ingredients to the dry. Stir until flour is well combined. Do not over mix as this will make the dough tough. 
6. Pour the batter into a pre-greased loaf pan. Sprinkle with shredded coconut.
7. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown. (Mine cooked for 38 minutes as was done). Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan and serving.

This bread is very moist and does not need any added butter. Enjoy the taste as well as the delicious aroma in your house!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Marinara craving

I hope your 4th was as great as mine! My weekend ended up extending one day longer than I had planned and I was able to enjoy the great weather and fireworks with family. The following photo is the sunset right before fireworks began.
Marinara sauce sounded really tasty so I decided to whip up a quick yet delicious meal. It is so quick I am able to enjoy the rest of the evening =).

Italian Zucchini
Modified from
Serves 2

2 T Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
2 medium zucchinis
5 small button mushrooms
1/2 c chickpeas
Salt & pepper to taste
1 c Trader Joes Tomato Basil Organic Marinara Sauce
2 T oregano
1 T garlic powder
1/2 T red pepper flakes

1. Heat EVOO in large skillet until warm over medium heat. Add zucchini, mushrooms, chickpeas and salt & pepper. Cook until tender.
2. Add marinara, oregano, garlic powder and red pepper flakes to zucchini mixture. Toss until well combined. Cook for 3-5 minutes until warm. Serve hot.

This last picture isn't the camera is stubborn and decides when it wants to work.

Enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend! Holly

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy Fourth of July!

Last night I had to prepare my meals for this weekend as I will be going away for the holiday! I am very very excited for a long and relaxing weekend. Unfortunately, I won't be posting any new items for 'Friday Funday'. However, I am hoping to make up for that on Monday.

Here is a new recipe I tried from Let's just say several people have tried it and would like to have the recipe! 

Mock Tuna Salad

15 oz chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 large carrots, grated
1/2 large cucumber, diced
2 stalks of celery, minced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 or 2 tsp of black pepper
salt to taste
2 to 3 T Veganaise (I used 2 and thought it was plenty, but season to your liking)
1 or 2 T yellow mustard (I used 1 T to not overpower the flavor)
1 tsp paprika
2 T sweet relish

Mash the chickpeas in a separate bowl with a fork or potato masher, until 80% are mashed. Combine chickpeas with all other ingredients in a large bowl, stir until well combined. Chill for 20 minutes for the flavors to combine. Serve cold alone, on Ezekiel bread, Bibb lettuce or wrap. Enjoy =)


 Have a great holiday weekend! Check in on Monday....I have a new cookbook (it's a surprise) and will be trying a recipe from there!