What We Eat Everyday

If you are highly offended by cuss words, then please exit now as there is one in this post…

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Last year, Dave and I went on a vegan diet for a few months. We both felt much, much better and lost weight.  We are starting over with that diet except this time we’re eating chicken as I find it incredibly difficult to cook for a family without the use of poultry. So we can’t say we are vegan. More just eating healthy to keep these old bodies movin’!

We try to eat a lot of veggie and bean meals and have found a few that we truly LOVE.

Definitely our favorite and most frequently eaten meal is a “burrito bowl” with brown rice, black beans, corn, lettuce, tomato, avocado, green onions, a few tortilla chips, salsa and the thing that takes it from good to fantastic: Bitchin’ Sauce.

So what is Bitchin’ Sauce, you ask? Well, it is the most delicious, yummiest sauce ever. A local brother/sister team make it and sell it at farmers’ markets and a few grocery stores. According to them, Bitchin’ Sauce is a vegan, gluten-free, almond-based, savory sauce that is rich in nutrients and packed with flavor. It’s smooth and creamy consistency makes it perfect for dipping vegetables and chips, spreading on sandwiches or wraps, or smothering over your favorite savory foods. Bitchin’ and saucy. . . .  Get it in ya! They make a few flavors and chipotle is definitely our favorite. The good news is that they ship so if you too want to have your salads revolutionized, you can order Bitchin’ Sauce. Free advertising over now. 🙂

I’m a huge fan of Cadia salsa and Have’a corn chips which are made in Laguna Beach.

I promise, this is GOOD. In fact, when Dave travels, he says he misses our “salad”.

By |January 13th, 2014|Lana's Journal, Recipes|5 Comments

My Favorite Christmas Cookie

I have several favorite Christmas goodies: no bake cookies, disappearing brownies, those peanut butter cookies with the hershey kiss in the middle, fudge and my all-time favorite snowballs, i.e. Russian tea cakes, Mexican wedding cookies, pecan sandies, etc. The humongous problem is that my family doesn’t like these cookies at all! So I only make them to give away…but I eat one or two beforehand. 🙂

Snowballs

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup powdered sugar for decoration

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter with 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and the vanilla. Mix in the flour, nuts and salt. Roll about 1 tablespoon or so of dough into balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees 12 minutes, until bottoms are slightly brown. Make sure not to overcook! While cookies are still hot roll them in powdered sugar.

What is YOUR favorite Christmas dessert?

By |December 17th, 2013|Lana's Journal, Recipes|8 Comments

Spicy Lemon Orzo Chickpea Soup and Homemade Crackers

Hope and I cooked today. And by Hope and I, I really do mean both of us. Hope LOVES to help in the kitchen. Pouring, mixing, measuring, you name it, Hope loves it! And she knows her stuff. She watches the Joy of Baking channel on youtube. Entertaining stuff, let me tell you! Not too long ago I made brownies and Hope asked, “Mom, did you put parchment paper in the pan before you cooked the brownies?” No, I didn’t but according to Hope I was supposed to!

Back to the soup and crackers…

Hope and I made The Odd Couple Eats’ Spicy Lemon Orzo Chickpea Soup and my mom’s homemade cracker recipe.

Spicy Lemon Orzo Chickpea Soup

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, pressed
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, rinsed
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
3-4 cups water
1 cup whole wheat orzo
3 cups fresh spinach, torn
Juice of one lemon

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook several minutes, stirring occasionally. When the onions are cooked through, add the cumin, cinnamon, paprika and cayenne pepper. Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, broth, and 3-4 cups of water (depending on how thick you like your soup). Bring the soup to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the orzo and continue simmering for another 15 minutes. Once the orzo is fully cooked, remove from heat and stir in the spinach and lemon. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes so the spinach wilts.

I used to be afraid of adding too much cayenne pepper but in this soup it adds just the right kick and flavor without being overly spicy.

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Texas Grandma’s Whole Wheat Oatmeal Crackers

3 cups oatmeal
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached white flour
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup oil
1 cup water

Combine all ingredients and roll onto two cookie sheets. If the dough is a bit too dry, you can add a tiny bit more water, like a tablespoon at a time. Cut in squares with a pizza cutter. Sprinkle with additional salt. Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown.

By |December 13th, 2013|Lana's Journal, Recipes|1 Comment

Looks Can Be Deceiving. Blackberry Wine Cake.

I found this post today in the drafts folder from a year ago. Two thoughts: 1) Not sure I can make this vegan and make it taste good. Boo hoo. 2) My photography skills have improved. This is a really uninspiring picture!

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You know when you see an absolutely beautiful cake and think that it is going to be marvelous tasting and you are sorely disappointed when you take the first bite and it is dry and tasteless?

Well, we had the exact opposite experience last week. NY Grandpa made a cake. Unfortunately, it didn’t come out of the bundt pan cleanly, leaving part of its pecan crust in the pan. Chunks of it stayed in the pan too.

However, looks can be deceiving. This cake was fantastic. And I am not a lover of cake. But, I loved this one!

Here’s a chunk of Blackberry Wine Cake.

And here is the recipe.

Blackberry Wine Cake

  • 1/2 cup nuts , chopped
  • white or yellow cake mix
  • 3 ounces blackberry Jell-O (can use raspberry or black cherry)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil
  • 1 cup blackberry wine

Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup blackberry wine
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 -1 1/2 cup powdered sugar (to thicken the glaze)

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  • Grease and flour a Bundt pan; sprinkle the nuts in the bottom of the pan.
  • In a large bowl, combine the cake mix and gelatin.
  • Add the eggs, oil and wine.
  • At low speed, beat just until moistened.
  • Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 more minutes; scrape the bowl frequently.
  • Pour in the Bundt pan and bake for 45-50 minutes.
  • Glaze: Bring the 1 c powdered sugar, wine and butter to a boil; the glaze will be fairly thin.
  • While the cake is still warm and in the Bundt pan, pour half of the glaze on the cake.
  • Let the cake sit for 30 minutes to absorb the glaze.
  • Turn the cake out of the pan and completely cool.
  • Thicken the remaining half of the glaze with additional powdered sugar and pour over the cake.

Try this, it is GOOD!

By |April 24th, 2013|Lana's Journal, Recipes|1 Comment

Vegan Pad Thai

NY Grandma found an absolutely delicious recipe for Pad Thai from The McDougall Quick and Easy Cookbook. It is SOOOOOO good!

Pad Thai

8 ounces uncooked rice noodles
3 T soy sauce
2 T rice vinegar
2 T lime juice
1 T ketchup
2 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper (or more to taste)
1/3 cup water
4 green onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups bean sprouts
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup cilantro
2 T chopped peanuts (we used chopped cashews since Lauren is allergic to peanuts)
Hot sauce

Place the noodles in a bowl and cover with hot water. Soak for ten minutes. Drain.

Combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice, ketchup, sugar, and red pepper in a bowl. Mix well and set aside.

Place the 1/3 cup water in a nonstick frying pan. Add the green onions and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently , for 3 minutes. Add the bean sprouts and noodles. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the sauce mixture. Cook and stir for another 3-4 minutes until heated through.

Transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle with carrots, cilantro, and peanuts if desired. Add more Asian hot sauce if you like it spicy! Serve at once.

NOTES: The first time NY Grandma made this recipe, she used rice noodles. I made it last night and used cooked, ready-to-serve udon noodles. Both types of noodles make a wonderful dish. This is great served cold the following day so double or triple the recipe!

By |March 14th, 2013|Lana's Journal, Recipes|3 Comments