Saturday, August 30, 2008

taco casserole and oatmeal-yogurt cake

Last night's dinner was so delicious - Taco Casserole with Oatmeal-Yogurt Cake for dessert. My son gobbled it up, so I think it's safe to say it was a success.

Taco Casserole
(I don't know where this recipe originated - it's been on an index card in my recipe box for at least two years)

2 cups TVP or 1 package Yve's Ground Round
2 packages of taco seasoning
1 1/2 cups of corn
1 small can of tomato sauce
1 bag of tortilla chips
2 cups black beans
1 onion
2 cups cheese

Warm the TVP or Ground Round in a pan with onion and 1 package of the taco seasoning. Add tomato sauce, water, and corn (you want just enough water that you have a nice thick sauce going on). Let simmer.
In a separate pan, heat the black beans with the remaining package of taco seasoning, and enough water to create a thick sauce.
Line a baking dish with tortilla chips. Pour the TVP mixture over the chips and cover with 1 cup of cheese. Add another layer of tortilla chips, pour in black beans, and cover with the remaining cup of cheese.
Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.

Oatmeal-Yogurt Cake

I got this recipe from Mollie Katzen's cookbook, The Enchanted Broccoli Forest. This is a most excellent cookbook, one I recommend for every family, vegetarian or not. To ice the cake, I used the Cream Icing recipe also found in the book.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

avocado sub sandwiches

This is one our favourite lunches. It is very quick, easy and delicious.

You will need:
- Avocado
- Sub buns
- Sliced cheese
- Tomato
- Artichoke hearts
- Sliced red pepper

Smear the avocado onto one half of the sub bun. Lay the cheese slices over the avocado and place both halves of the bun into the oven (we usually set it at 375 or 400) until the cheese is melted and your bread it toasty. Lay the artichoke hearts, pepper slices, and tomato on top of the cheese, add your choice of condiments (we like Italian dressing and mustard), put the naked half of the bun on top, and enjoy!

time for a grocery trip

It's been a week since my last grocery trip and the pickings are getting slim, so here I sit with my recipe box in front of me and my notepad at hand. We've been wasting much less food since I started meal planning, as we're buying only what our recipes call for instead of whatever looks good when we happen to be at the grocery store.

This week's dinners are:
- Tempeh and Spinach Pasta Bake
- Taco Casserole
- Lentil Burgers
- Slow-cooker Split Pea & Potato Soup
- Tofu Mutter
- Zucchini Quiche

Last week, several produce items went bad before I got around to using the recipes that called for them, so this week I'm going to try making my recipes based on how long the ingredients will keep. That means the zucchini quiche will be one of the first meals, as I find that my zucchini typically goes bad before other veggies. The tempeh and spinach pasta bake is right up there too, as spinach doesn't tend to keep very long before going wilty. The split pea and potato soup will most likely be the last meal.

I don't plan lunches as thoroughly as I do dinners, because we're often out and about during the day and I don't end up with the time necessary to prepare what I had in mind. Some of our quick staple lunches that I plan for every week include:
- Avocado Sub Sandwiches
- Spinach and Egg Scramble
- Rice Macaroni Noodles with Cheese

A home-made snack mix is essential around here - I usually throw in dried cranberries, dried blueberries, dried cherries, pecans, almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, and wheat square cereal. My son loves to pick at that throughout the day, and without any sugar or salt added it's not something that needs to be limited. We also keep rice crackers and cheese on hand for quick snacks, as well as sunflower-oat bran bread with cashew butter and home-made mulberry jam for fast sandwiches. Organic yogurt is an essential for quick fixes as well.

Breakfast is typically either a bowl of granola with rice or almond milk, eggs, or oatmeal with quinoa - nothing fancy there and easy to plan for.

My shopping list is ready. Now it's time to tackle the feat of shopping with a 23-mo-old and 4-mo-old in tow. Wish me luck!