Slacker I am

With the semester starting last week, everything else in my life fell by the wayside. Between starting my actual classes, preparing for the TEAS, and getting my nursing school applications in on time, I was physically and mentally exhausted. Working out and blogging were the first things to go. I did want to say that I finally took my TEAS Friday, and I got a 96%. The national average on the test is a 63.4%, so I would say that I killed that test. I got my applications in for both UCF and UNF, and I need to start prepping to take the GRE for my application for UF. I have also been thinking of trying to apply to a nationally recognized school, like NYU or Columbia, just to see if I could get in, but we’ll see. Even though I wasn’t online very much, I still managed to cook most of the week.

I didn’t follow the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart at all last week. There was a lot of tofu on the menu, and since I’m allergic to soy, that’s a big no-no. However, I came up with a few great recipes from Veganomicon(VCON) and You Won’t Believe It’s Vegan (YWBIV) that I think turned out pretty well.  I also made a really great pumpkin vegetable curry. The pumpkin vegetable curry used this great simmering sauce I bought at Williams-Sonoma before Thanksgiving, which I was extremely happy to discover it was vegan because I didn’t get a chance to use it before the new year started. Unfortunately, we now have to wait until next fall before it comes back out since it is a seasonal item, but the recipe turned out amazing.

Pumpkin Vegetable CurryPumpkin Vegetable Curry
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 medium Onion, Sweet
1 ¼ cups Whole Carrots
2 medium Russet Potato
1 ½ cups Garbanzos Reduced Sodium
16 oz. Pumpkin Curry Simmering Sauce
16 2/5 oz. Broccoli Florets

Directions
1) Peel and chop onions, carrots, and potatoes into uniform pieces (onions and carrots into dice and potatoes into 1″ pieces)
2) Meanwhile, heat oil over medium-high heat, add onion and carrots, and saute until slightly softened
3) Add potatoes and sauté until slightly softened
4) Add drained and rinsed garbanzo beans and sauté with potatoes, carrots, and onions
5) Add Pumpkin Curry Simmering Sauce and simmer for 15 minutes, adding enough water to thin out sauce to desired consistency
6) Add broccoli florets and simmer for an additional 5 minutes
7) Remove from heat and serve over brown rice

Pumpkin Vegetable Curry 2

From VCON, I made Seitanic Red and White Bean Jambalaya with this great Roasted Tomato, Basil, and Corn Salad from YWBIV
that was refreshing. M really liked the jambalaya, even though I think I need to cut the seitan into smaller pieces before I sautéed it so that it was less squishy. For my first experiment with cooking seitan though, I think it was pretty tasty. I didn’t get any pictures of that before we dug in, but it looked beautiful with the rice, tomatoes, and seitan. This recipe is something that I will be trying again, but most likely with homemade seitan instead of store bought since I can make it completely soy free. Most brands of seitan I have found seem to use soy sauce as a flavoring, but since I found coconut aminos, which provide a similar taste with no soy, I will be trying to make my own this week.

Last night was my first attempt at cooking a Field Roast Celebration Roast, and let me tell you, that is worth keeping. M and I really enjoyed it, and it will definitely be staying around. I also made some Seitenbacher Brown Gravy mix to go along with it that I added a few teaspoons of Earth Balance Soy Free to for some richness, as well as some roasted sweet potatoes and vegetables. I chopped 2 stalks of celery, a red onion, and 4 carrots, and I tossed the vegetables with about 2 teaspoons of EVOO, a few pinches of salt, and a few turns of fresh ground pepper. I then placed the Celebration Roast in the pan with the vegetables, rubbed about a teaspoon of EVOO on the roast, then rubbed it with some oregano and basil, and added ½ cup of water to the pan. I baked the roast at 325°F for about 40 minutes, removed the roast, turned the temperature up to 425°F, and continued to roast the vegetables and sweet potatoes for another 15 minutes. The sweet potatoes were quite simple: peel, cube, toss with 2 teaspoons EVOO, pinch of salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper. Everything went perfectly together and M said he didn’t even miss the meat. That was the first time he said that since I’ve been cooking vegan, so it made me happy.

Finished sweet potatoes

Roast and vegetables as the roast finished

Finished vegetables

The final plate...YUM!

This week classes start in earnest, but I plan to cook every night anyway. I need to get together a menu for this week and go shopping for my groceries. Tomorrow is also official weigh in for the week, so I will be posting tomorrow. But first, I need to get on the treadmill and get my walk on.

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