Tortilla Soup, Cornbread Biscuits & Magical Coconut Cookie Bars

I realize that Tortilla soup may seem a bit blah, but I assure you that this recipe is dynamite. It is topped with home made pico, cubed avocado and baked tortilla strips. Yes, the cornbread biscuits are the very same recipe that we used for the Black Bean Soup. Sorry. I couldn’t find anything that went as well. I hope that’s okay! The cookies are a recipe I’ve been wanting to make because I think it may be the vegan version of some cookies my mom used to make when I was a kid. Recipes to follow…

This is what really irks me about cooking…how can you make the same dish from the same recipe and it turn out different just about every time?!?! Yes, I realize the answer to that possibly has something to do with my cooking. ANYWAY. I still really enjoyed the taste of the tortilla soup, but the last two times I made it, it was much thicker. Hmmm. The biscuits were good. Not good enough, but good. I preferred the jalepeño ones. I LOVE THE COOKIES. It was my first time to make these and I already can’t wait to make them again with a few tweaks. More graham cracker crust, less coconut topping…hmmm…what else? Well, this meal was much more straightforward and a joy to make.

Recipes: Tortilla Soup, Crispy Tortilla Strips, Pico de Gallo, Cornbread Biscuits and Magical Coconut Cookie Bars

Chickpeas Florentine with Roasted Peppers, Fattoush and Baklava!

BaklavaChickpeas Florentine and Fattoush

These recipes can all be found in the WFM cookbook. To prepare:

Reheat the Chickpeas Florentine on stove top or microwave. The oregano in this came from my garden.

The Fattoush will take a small amount of assembly. I decided to keep the romaine intact to prevent the chopped pieces from rusting and wilting and I didn’t want the pita to get soggy. Here’s what you do: chop the romaine as you usually would. In a large bowl, mix the romaine with the Fattoush provided. Add the dressing from the mason jar. Tear the pita into bite size pieces and add to the salad. Stir and enjoy. I have to tell you that it took everything I had to add the pita to the salad as called for. I cannot stand soggy mushy bread so intuitively I did not want the pita in my salad. Pleasantly, the pita did not get overly soggy and I enjoyed the contrast. The pita is an Ezekial bread. The parsley and mint in the Fattoush came from my garden.

The Baklava has blown my mind. It is better than I expected it to be and wasn’t as difficult as I feared either. Matthew prepared the syrup for the top as I have not the patience to sit and stir sugar into candy.

Overall, I’m pleased with how the meal turned out. Matthew and I enjoyed how light, flavorful and filling the main course and salad are, yet it didn’t overly fill us and we had ample room for the dessert which finished the meal off nicely.  It would be good crammed into a big pita as well.

I prepared all the veg in the morning while I cooked the soaked chickpeas, so by afternoon when I started to prepare dinner, it all went together  smoothly and easily. I always feel like I should be on a cooking show when I prep food in advance.  Like I said before, I chose the main dishes for their general ease, so I could have time for the baklava.

I don’t see this meal becoming a weekly fave, but I would enjoy it regularly and it would make a nice pot luck dish anytime.

Early Sunday morning I was called to a birth with June so I thought I was going to need to say: “Get your soup out from the freezer!” Alas, it was a false alarm and I was home by 8:30am.

xo

Recipes: Baklava Chickpeas Florentine Fattoush

Garbanzo Croquettes with Cashew Rosemary Gravy, Green Beans with Almonds, Garlic Mashed Potatoes & Frosted Grapefruit Icebox Cookies

This meal turned out to be random picks from different cookbooks brought together. The croquettes come from the ‘Healing with Whole Foods’ cookbook. I was really excited about these, but I was sadly disappointed with the outcome. I thought they looked embarrassingly dry and tasteless. Ha! However, mixed with the mash and gravy, they offered a nice texture to the bite. So, not all lost, I think?!? Obviously, a recipe that I need to tweak. I was nervous about the gravy. Cashews? I’ve had a few things made from cashews and I loved them but I still have a habitual distaste to the ‘idea’ of it. In the end, it was SUPER easy to make and delicious to boot. I really hope you like it. The green beans were a hit in our household. Loti ate them up. Yay! They were marinated in ginger and lemon. I think the portion was a bit small. Sorry. The mash was Neal’s contribution. He is all about potatoes. If potatoes are on the menu, then expect the largest portion of food on the plate to be potatoes. He roasted garlic and added it to the mash. Yummy. Finally, the cookies. I’ve wanted to make this since I bought the cookbook but just never got around to it. I don’t know why, because they are delicious. All in all, I really liked this meal. It was comfort food. I think a larger portion of veg and some work on the croquette recipe could make this a staple in our house. Recipes to come…

Recipes: Garbanzo CroquettesCashew Rosemary Gravy, Green Beans with Almonds and Frosted Grapefruit Icebox Cookies

Potato Samosas, Orange Cashew Rice and Sesame Sugar Snap Peas

Samosas

 

I have to confess, I have a worry about the dinner share. I’m worried you’ll find a hair in your food! Please let me apologize in advance if you are to ever find one! I’m sorry!

I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately to my use of “free time,” whatever that is. For example, I’ve been trying to ask myself at any given time, “Is this what I”d like to be doing right now?” If I could be doing anything at all with my time at this moment, would I be doing this?” “If not, what would I like to be doing?” With these questions comes thoughts and ideas, not a lot of answers at the moment. I’m working on them. Today, I was in the kitchen putting the dinner share together from 7:30am-9:45am and again from 11am-2:15pm (I went for a run between 10 and 11). I cleaned the kitchen at 4:30pm. By the time we ate dinner at 5:30 I actually felt like I hadn’t needed to make dinner tonight! Through the morning and early afternoon, I am pleased to say that there wasn’t anything I”d rather have been doing than being in the kitchen making three new recipes, to share with my family and great friends. The calmness it gave me spread into the evening when after dinner the family went outside and weeded the garden and transplanted a few things. I usually am too tense and stressed to remember that I find gardening calming. Today it just naturally extended onward.

I realized tonight that this meal was light on protein. Let me know if it felt ok to you and your needs. Overall, I’m super pleased with how dinner turned out. I’m glad Neal shared that mango chutney would be a good sauce for the samosas. Indeed it was. Hope you had some to spread as well.

All three of these recipes are found in the WFM cookbook.

I laugh as I thought I might also include home made baklava! HA! I guess one home made pastry at a time is all I can pull off. I did learn that Phyllo dough is vegan though, so there will be some baklava in our very near future.

 

 

Seitan Tacos, Black Bean & Corn Salad & Chocolate Pudding

This meal took a bit of planning as there were so many parts to making it happen. I love this meal. Actually, I love the seitan tacos. The salad is a new one for me. The ranchero sauce can be used for just about anything requiring a red sauce. We’ve used it for pasta and pizza. The seitan is incredibly versatile and one batch makes enough for 4 meals so it goes a long way. My original menu included a Mexican rice pudding but it got vetoed when I suggested chocolate pudding as an alternate by Neal & Milo. Loti doesn’t like chocolate so she got some animal cookies instead.

Recipes: Ranchero Sauce, Seitan, Seitan Tacos, Chocolate Pudding