Mother’s Day Plans

Mother’s Day is in a week.  Normally our family goes out for a meal, sometimes it’s brunch, sometimes it’s dinner, it really depends on our schedules and when we’re doing my brother’s birthday which is normally the same weekend.  This year is different.  This year is unique.  My brother is not going to be around.  My brother is off to New York City for a bachelor party.  I told him I don’t have to get him a birthday present if he’s not in the country.  He agreed.  Since I’m going to Altona for that weekend (and have even booked monday off so I have a long weekend) I figured I could do something fairly elaborate. 

My Mom was interested in trying the veggie curry I made earlier this week, despite the fact that she doesn’t like spinach.  So I’ve decided to do an indian meal for her mother’s day supper.  Now my parents have very little spice tolerance, which I think will be ok as both curries that I’ve made haven’t been spicy enough for me, but I think they’ll be good enough for them.  This is my menu so far…

Naan

Butter Chicken

Veggie Curry (going to skip the spinach and add cauliflower to my veggie curry recipe)

Lentil Daal

Steamed Yogurt with Raspberries (I’m not sure on the dessert part…)

I’m thinking about making a mango chutney of some kind, but I’ve never had chutney before and am not sure about it.  Of course I’ve never made butter chicken or naan before either.  Any other suggestions or ideas are appreciated!

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Vegan Overnight Oats Take 2 And More…!

Apparently my first review of vegan overnight oats was wrong.  Since making them the first time I have made them about 4-5 times a week.  I don’t even add any maple syrup or honey before eating them, I’ve gotten into the habit of sprinkling chocolate chips or pecan (or both) on top and having at it!  I’ve gotten over the texture and really like the flavour that the flax seeds provide.  Between that and green monsters, I’m going through bananas like there’s no tomorrow.  Tonight the goal is to make something with my Bok Choy I purchased.  I can’t find the recipe that prompted me to buy the bok choy, leading me to believe that organizing my recipe collection did NOTHING.

On a completely different note, I’m getting a decent amount of cash next week and have some money to spend.  I’m struggling trying to figure out what to do with it.  I really need a new bra or two, could use some workout clothes, and need more work tops.  Honestly I could use another pair of work pants and Capri’s too.  The problem comes in that clothes for me aren’t cheap right now and if I do spend the money on what I need right now, what happens if it doesn’t fit me in a few months?  I hate wasting money.  Another thing I’ve been looking at is buying a used treadmill off kijiji or a mattress/box spring for my bed (although I don’t think I’ll have quite enough for a mattress after catching up the last of my bills and getting an oil change for my car). The other options for the extra are more fun and not necessarily needed things…things like a 1 Terabyte Hard Drive for my computer because I’m running out of space, or a Playstation 3, or a second TV.   Even tho I haven’t gotten a response from the University of Winnipeg yet, I should start saving up for books just in case.  I did set up an automatic savings withdrawal to my ING tax-free savings account of $50/week, which should be enough by the time I have to buy books.  Hopefully I can get a student loan for my tuition, otherwise it won’t matter if I can pay for my books!

Veggie Curry

Ever since I made the lamb and chickpea curry I had been hankering to make a curry that involved chickpeas, spinach and potatoes.  Lacking decent motivation to cook until today, it got put on the back burner.  My work schedule is pretty awesome for the next 2 weeks and this has provided me the chance to cook before I feel like passing out.  I wasn’t planning on posting this until tomorrow, but my ipod ran out of batteries while I was laying in bed and reading so I’m attempting to charge it before I go to sleep since I can only fall asleep with music on these days.  Aaaaanyways…here is my tasty veggie curry.

Veggie Curry

4 red potatoes, peeled and chopped

1 tbsp canola oil

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1″ piece of ginger, peeled and chopped

5 tsp curry powder (I think my curry powder is mild…)

2 dried whole red chilis

2 tsp cumin powder

1 (14 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes

1 package frozen spinach, thawed and drained

1 (14 oz) can coconut milk

3 tsp garam marsala

1 tsp salt

1. Place the potatoes in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil.  Boil about 10 minutes or until potatoes are soft.  Drain and set aside.

2. In a large saucepan, saute the onion and garlic in the oil untill the onion is transparent.  Add ginger, cumin, chili’s, curry powder, and salt.  Saute for about 2-3 minutes.

3. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, spinach, potatoes and coconut milk.  Bring to a simmer, add garam marsala and simmer for about 10 minutes.  Serve with basmati rice or naan.

Turkey Bean Chili

Since I’m sort of kinda occasionally trying to use up the meat that I’ve purchased in the past I decided to make a large pot of Turkey Chili this weekend.  I only used half the amount of turkey I was supposed to and added extra beans since that’s my favorite part anyway!

Turkey Bean Chili

1 lb Ground Turkey

1 onion, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

4 (14oz) cans diced stewed tomatoes

1 can Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed

1 (15oz) can Chili Beans, not drained

1 (15oz) can Black Beans, drained and rinsed

1 (15oz) can White Beans, drained and rinsed

1 (15oz) can Pinto Beans, drained and rinsed

1 tbsp Chili Powder

1 Jalapeno, diced

1 tsp Cumin

1 tsp Salt

3/4 tsp Black Pepper

1. Brown the Turkey in a frying pan, place in slow cooker.  Saute the onion and peppers in the pan untill onions are translucent.

2. Add everything into a slow cooker, cook on high for 2-3 hours or on low for about 6-ish.  Can cook longer then this if it needs to.

Personally it wasn’t nearly spicy enough.  I left all the seeds in the jalapeno too.  Next time I will add some diced banana peppers, another jalapeno and probably more chili powder to up the heat.  I also used mostly beans that I cooked myself from dry and froze in 2 cup portions.   The spice level allowed me to give some to my parents, I hope they enjoy it when they try it!  One of the nice things about chili is that it’s easy to freeze and keeps awhile.  It’s something I’ll have to tweak a bit, but is a good base to build from.

Freezer Spaghetti Sauce

Last summer was the first summer where I was energetic and motivated enough to do some canning.  My mother was thankfully easy to convince generous to allow me to use her kitchen for the process.  Included in the list of things we canned was the following recipe for freezer spaghetti sauce.  I was picky about ingredients and everything was bought from local farmers in Altona, Manitoba.  One place ripped me off and charged me $10 for a bunch of parsley and 1 head of garlic…I will not be getting anything from them this year.  It was our first time making homemade tomato sauce and we both loved it.  (My dad did not, but he doesn’t like tomato sauce so his opinion doesn’t count much.) 

The recipe made 14 pint jars of sauce, which is enough for 2-4 people depending on how much other stuff you add to the sauce just before serving.  Now, even tho I left about 3-4 jars with my mom that still left 10 jars which I assumed would be more than enough to last me the winter.  And it would’ve been if a certain 6’3″ Mexican with an appetite like a horse (also known as my boyfriend) hadn’t crashed my place for 6 weeks last fall.  We ate a lot of pasta.  He loved the sauce.  I suppose it was a fair trade.  I’ve got 2 jars left and I don’t know if it’s going to be enough to last till tomatoes are in season again!

Freezer Spaghetti Sauce

 

4 Onions, chopped

4 Cloves Garlic, chopped

1 Green Bell Pepper, Chopped

1/2 cup Vegetable Oil

16 cups Chopped Tomatoes

2 Tbsp dried Oregano

2 Tbsp dried Basil

1/4 cup Parsley, Chopped

1/4 cup White Sugar

2 Tbsp Salt

3/4 tsp Black Pepper

1. In a very large pot, saute the onions, garlic and green pepper in the oil.  Cook untill the onion is transparent.

2. Add the remaining ingredients and cook , covered, on low for about 1-2 hours, stirring frequently.  (Keep it at a gentle simmer)  You can also do this in a slow cooker, cooking on low for 2-3 hours.  The Sauce will be more liquidy using a slow cooker.  Puree using a hand or immersion blender if desired, it looks like store-bought sauce when you do this.

3. Pour into pint jars or freezer- safe containers.  Let cool and store in freezer.

To Serve:

Add 1/2 can tomato paste and heat through.  We’ve tried it with a number of additions including Ground Beef, Hot Italian Sausage, Mushrooms, Zucchini, and Spinach.  It’s all tasty.

Cookbook Project

I adore looking at cookbooks and getting inspired by them.  Buying new cookbooks has become somewhat of an addiction…obsession…whatever!  I created a new page listing all my cookbooks by category (you can find it here).  Now I get to keep track of my obsession collection and share it with everyone, won’t that be fun!  The idea to do this was sparked by me realizing that I don’t really USE my cookbooks that much and I should start doing so.  I’ve already started going through all of them and writing down the recipes that I want to try on a sticky note to place inside the book.  (I got the most adorable sticky notes from Chapters made by this company.)  I’ve done about 4 or 5 books so far…only 25-ish to go.

Vegan Overnight Oats

One of the blogs I read every day is Oh She Glows.  She’s started a number of trends in the blogging world like Green Monsters and, to a lesser extent (I think), Savory Oats.  Lately it’s been all about Vegan Overnight Oats.  I decided I was feeling brave Monday night and made a bowl before going to bed. 

Vegan Overnight Oats

1/3 cup regular oats

3/4 cup non-dairy milk

2 tbsp ground flax seed

1 small ripe banana, peeled and smashed

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Directions: Mix ingredients in bowl, cover with saran wrap and place in fridge overnight.  In the morning, remove from fridge, stir and add magical extras!

Magical Extra Ideas:

nut butter

maple syrup

chocolate chips

honey

fresh fruit

granola

nuts

I did mine with cashew butter and maple syrup.  My verdict?  It was ok.  I might make it occasionally as it was very easy and I could put it into a tupperware container at night, put the extra toppings on in the morning and take it to work.  The flavour was good but the texture wasn’t my favorite…it was kind of oozy and almost gummy, probably due to the ground flax seed.  At least it was tasty!