Saturday, April 7, 2012

Sheryl's Prize Winning Vegetarian Chili

Last week my church held a Chili Cook-Off to raise money for Vacation Bible School.  There were five entrants.  I made my Vegetarian Chili, one of the
Deacons made a venison chili, there was turkey chili, and the other two were vegetarian.  Church members gave a small donation to rate each entry on taste, appearance, and consistency.  We had to wait until today to get the results.  after all of the score sheets were tallied, my entry came out with 1st place.  I could hardly believe it when the organizer announced that I had won.

Of course my brother said that I should give the prize back since I really did not work that hard to make it.  I tried to explain to him that is was about taste and not the amount of time it took to make.  This recipe is representative of the type of cooking that I generally do--quick and easy.

I never make this chili the same way twice.  Here is the way I made it for the Chili Cook-off:

Vegetarian Chili

1 can navy beans, rinsed
1 can blacked beans, rinsed
1 can kidney beans, rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes
2 jars salsa (medium)
1 bag veggie crumbles
2 cups chopped onions and peppers (estimated amount)
1 packet of chili seasoning (medium)

Dump all ingredients into pot or slow cooker.  Stir and heat until heated through.

This recipe can easily be adjusted to your individual or family taste.

Healthy Eating,
Sheryl D. Mims

Talk To Me:  What do you put into your chili?

The Breakfast of Vegan Champions

I love to eat oatmeal!  If you were to spend a week visiting me at my home, you would see me eating oatmeal at least 3 or 4 times a week.  Lately I've been cooking my oatmeal in the microwave and adding in lots of great stuff.  Here is what I find myself doing lately:

1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup water, soy milk, almond milk, or some combination of these
1/4 cup apple sauce
1/2 medium banana, sliced
2 tablespoons raisins
1 tablespoon peanut butter or almond butter
2-3 tablespoons milled flax seeds

The measurements are approximations so adjust them to your taste.

Healthy Eating,
Sheryl D. Mims

Talk To Me:  What do you add to your oatmeal?

Monday, April 2, 2012

What's For Lunch?

I had the best lunch today and just had to share it.  I took the leftover vegetarian chili that I made for the Chili Cook-Off at church, added brown rice and spinach.   It was so good!  Check out my previous post titled Plate Licking Good! for the original recipe.

Healthy Eating,
Sheryl D. Mims

Talk To Me:  What creative ways have you used your leftovers?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Vegan Breakfast Casserole

I am always looking a new way to use tofu in  a recipe.  I ran across this breakfast casserole when looking for something to take to a church breakfast.

Vegan Breakfast Casserole

2 packages firm tofu
3 ½ cups non-dairy milk
4 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
½ teaspoon tumeric
Black pepper (to taste)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin.
½ cup vegan cheddar cheese
½ cup vegan mozarella cheese
 6 slices of wheat bread
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 onion, diced
8 oz mushrooms, diced
8 oz vegan sausage, diced

1.     In large bowl, mash the tofu with a fork or potato masher until it is crumbly.
2.     Mix milk, nutritional yeast flakes, tumeric, black pepper, cumin, and salt with mashed tofu. Stir well.
3.     Stir in the vegan cheeses.
4.     Sautee the garlic, onion, pepper, and mushrooms.
5.     Add vegan sausage and sauté.
6.     Lightly toast bread and tear into small, crouton-sized pieces and set aside.
7.     Mix bread pieces and sautéed veggies into the tofu mixture.
8.     Pour into a large greased casserole dish.
9.     Cover dish and put it into the refrigerator overnight.
10. The next morning, uncover and bake, uncovered, @ 350 degrees for about 40-50 minutes.
11. Allow dish to sit 5-10 minutes before serving.

As usual, I made a few alterations. I left out the salt (trying to cut down my sodium intake), used garlic granules (no fresh garlic on hand), left out mushrooms, added 3 large handfuls of spinach, added sliced tomatoes on top and sprinkled with vegan cheese.

It smelled and tasted great.

Healthy Eating,
Sheryl D. Mims

Talk To Me:  How do you eat your tofu?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Cut Salt Not Taste

Since the reduced recommendations on sodium were released, I've been struggling to cut the sodium from my foods.  I have given up processed foods and stopped adding salt to foods I cooked.  But food without salt is quite bland.  I have had to come up with some unique ways flavor my food.  Here are some tips that I have found:

Seasoning Meat, Poultry, Fish and Vegetables:
Beef                       Bay leaf, marjoram, nutmeg, onion, pepper, sage, thyme, basil, cloves, dill, dry mustard, green pepper, horseradish, rosemary, savory
Breads                  Cinnamon, cloves, dill, poppy seed
Carrots                 Cinnamon, cloves, marjoram, nutmeg, rosemary, sage
Corn                     Cumin, curry powder, onion, paprika, parsley
Fish                       Curry powder, dill, dry mustard, lemon juice, marjoram, paprika, pepper, bay leaf,   cumin, green pepper, onion, parsley, savory
Green Beans        Dill, curry powder, lemon juice, marjoram, oregano, tarragon, thyme
Greens                  Onion, Pepper
Lamb                    Curry powder, garlic, rosemary, mint
Pasta                     Basil, garlic, oregano, poppy seed
Peas                      Ginger, marjoram, onion, parsley, sage
Pork                     Garlic, onion, sage, pepper, oregano, allspice, applesauce, cinnamon, cumin, curry powder, dry mustard, ginger, marjoram, savory, thyme
Potatoes               Dill, garlic, onion, paprika, parsley, sage, dry mustard, thyme
Poultry                 Ginger, marjoram, oregano, paprika, poultry seasoning, rosemary, sage, tarragon, thyme, basil, dill, green pepper, lemon juice, oregano, parsley, saffron, savory
Summer Squash  Cloves, curry powder, marjoram, nutmeg, rosemary, sage
Tomatoes             Basil, bay leaf, dill, marjoram, onion, oregano, parsley, pepper
Veal                      Bay leaf, curry powder, ginger, marjoram, oregano
Winter Squash    Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, onion

Common Herbs and Spices:
Basil                     Eggs, fish and shellfish, beef, liver, veal, tomato sauce, soups, pasta, green salad, vegetables
Bay leaf               Beef, white fish, soups, tomato dishes
Chili powder       Egg dishes, Mexican food, pork, fish, rice
Chives                 Eggs, pasta, cream or potato soup, corn, potatoes, salad dressing
Cilantro              Egg dishes, Mexican food, pork, fish, rice
Cinnamon          Custard and pudding, sweet breads, rolls, fruits, fruit salad, pork, pumpkin, winter squash, sweet potatoes
Cloves                 Sweet breads, fruit, ham, pork, baked beans, tomatoes, winter squash, sweet potatoes
Cumin                 Egg dishes, Mexican food, pork, fish, rice
Curry powder    Beef, veal, chicken, turkey, fish, potato soup
Dill weed             Breads, chicken, cooked fresh vegetables, cucumbers, fish, shellfish, potato salad, soup
Garlic (minced, powdered, or freshly chopped)
                             Shellfish, lamb, soup, dips and sauces, Italian dishes, meats, poultry

Ginger                 Baked fish, carrots, pot roast, ham, chicken, turkey, rice, fruit
Lemon                 Chicken, fruit salads, grilled or baked fish, shellfish, spinach, tossed salads
Mace                   Chicken soup, baked fruit desserts, carrots, cauliflower, custard, fruit jams, lamb, potatoes, pumpkin
Marjoram           Beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, pasta, green salad, cream sauce, eggs, soups, vegetables
Nutmeg               Sweet breads, fruits, vegetables, custard
Onion (dried, powdered, or freshly chopped)
                            Beef, liver, egg salad, green salad, casseroles, pasta dishes, stews
Parsley                Stuffing, rice, egg salad, green salad, vegetable salad, baked beans, vegetables, soups, tomato sauces
Rosemary           Veal, pork, beef, potatoes, cream or tomato sauce, soups, vegetables
Sage                    Chicken, turkey, fish, pork, veal, soups, onions, stuffing, tomato sauce, vegetables
Savory                Beef, stuffing, chicken soup, green beans, poultry, red meats, potatoes
Tarragon           Eggs, fish or shellfish, chicken, turkey, green salad, soups, sauces, salad dressings
Thyme               Veal, pork, beef, potatoes, cream or tomato sauce, soups, vegetables
Vinegar (such as balsamic, cider, flavored, red wine, or white)
                           Cucumbers, cooked greens, potatoes, salad dressings, spinach, seafood

Seasoning Blends:
Chili blend: mix black pepper, chili powder, cilantro, cumin, dry mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, and paprika
Cole slaw blend: mix celery seed, dill weed, dried onion, sugar, and tarragon
Italian food blend: mix basil, black pepper, garlic powder, ground red pepper, marjoram, oregano, savory, and thyme
Onion herb blend: mix basil, black pepper, cumin, dill weed, dried onion flakes, and garlic powder

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Oatmeal - Not Just for Breakfast

Oatmeal has always been a breakfast favorite of mine.  When you consider that oatmeal is low in calories and fat, and high in fiber and protein, it's a wonder that we don'e eat more of it.

One of my favorite ways to eat it is to cook it with water and stir in sliced bananas, raisins, dried cranberries, and milled flaxseeds.

I also use oatmeal to make a savory meatless patty that can be eaten for lunch or dinner.  Here is the recipe for you to try and tell me what you think.

Oatmeal Patties

2 c dry oats
3 c TVP (optional)
1 c walnuts, ground
½ c flax meal
½ c bread crumbs
1 T gluten flour
1 ½ c vegetable broth
¼ c Braggs Liquid Aminoes
1 large bell pepper, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 t dried basil
1 t sage
½ t salt
1 t McKay’s Chicken Style
2-3 T Nutritional Yeast Flakes
1 t olive oil
½ cup grated carrot (optional)
½ cup barbecue sauce (optional)
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Heat olive oil in large pot.  Add onions, garlic and carrot.  Sauté until soft. 
  • Add vegetable broth, Braggs, and seasonings and bring to a boil. 
  • Remove from heat.  Add all other ingredients, cover and let sit for 10-15 minutes. 
  • Form into patties.  Place on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake until golden brown.  Turn once during cooking.
Optional Cooking Method:  Coat muffin cups with cooking spray.  Spoon mixture into muffin cups and top each with 2 teaspoons of barbecue sauce.  Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

I don't always follow this recipe as it is written here.  I usually leave out the optional items, and come out with a great patty to server with brown rice or mashed potatoes.  Of course I top it with some gravy.  Some people use these patties for sandwiches.  

This basic recipe can be used to make a meatless loaf.  In that case I would top it with the barbecue sauce.

Healthy Eating,
Sheryl D. Mims

Talk To Me:  How do you eat your oatmeal?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Kick-Start Your Day

I am a firm believer that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  It is very rare that I walk out of the house without eating something first.  The truth is, I would rather be late than miss breakfast.  Of course, I keep quick, pre-prepared food on hand so that I am always able to get my breakfast in and avoid being late.

Here is a dish that I make on Sundays and eat all week long:

Basic Scrambled Tofu

1 tablespoon Olive Oil
Diced Onion
Diced Bell Pepper
1 package Extra-firm Tofu

½ - ¾ teaspoon Tumeric
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 tablespoon McKay’s Chicken-Style Seasoning
1 tablespoon Nutritional Yeast Flakes
  • In a small bowl, crumble tofu and mix in seasonings
  • In a small frying pan, sauté onion and bell pepper in olive oil.
  • Add tofu, stir, and simmer until heated through.

Now, you know this is the "Plain Jane" version. I usually add veggie crumbles (sausage style when I can find it) and multiple colors of peppers. When bell peppers are in season, I usually purchase red, orange, yellow and green varieties. I dice them and store them in the freezer. That way I can grab a some of each color for this dish.  When those run out, I purchase the diced peppers from the freezer section of the grocery store.  They usually come in a onion, with green and red pepper mix.  I sometimes use the seasoning blend that has diced celery.

Each morning, I can have a slightly different meal by changing what I put with my Scrambled Tofu.  Here are some of my ideas:
  • Breakfast Burrito - Scrambled Tofu, vegan cheese, diced tomato wrapped in a tortilla
  • Simple - Scrambled Tofu served with grits, oatmeal, or 10-grain cereal
  • Athlete's Perfect Breakfast - Brown rice toped with a hand full of spinach, tomato slices, Scrambled Tofu, soy chicken-like strips, vegan cheese
  • Sandwich - Whole wheat toast, english muffin or bagel topped with strawberry jam, Scrambled Tofu and vegan cheese
This is a basic recipe that can be altered to suit your taste.  As always, adjust the seasonings and add what you like to it.  Make it your own.

Healthy Eating,
Sheryl D. Mims

Talk To Me:  How do you enjoy your Scrambled Tofu?