Queso Bowl with BBQ Potato Chips

Ok, the title is not that exciting. I’m thinking it should be something more like…Super Queso Bowl. ūüėČ I’m making this meal for us tonight. The meal itself is pretty fulfilling so I decided to do the BBQ Potato Chips as an appetizer, not meant to go with the meal. Just a pre-dinner snack.

So, here is what you do:

In a saucepan, heat the jalepe√Īos and onion for a few minutes. Add a pinch of salt if so desired. Add the sauce. Stir for approximately 10 minutes until thick and hot.

Slice up avocado.

Now assemble.

Scoop of rice, scoop of beans, happy helping of kale chips, smother or drizzle with sauce and top with avocado, tomato & cilantro. Enjoy.


Lentil-A-Roni with a Ranch Salad

At this point, I’m going to stick to just the main and side for this co-op meal. One, ¬†I feel it will be plenty of food. Two, the time involved will be just about manageable. I’m excited about this meal and hope to surpass all co-op meals (so my last one will be forgiven and forgotten!).

Update on Lentil-A-Roni: I’m sending you the package of fusilli. As I understand it, gluten-free pasta breaks up much faster than wheat pasta. So, I figured it would be safer for me to send the pasta with you and hopefully it won’t be too much trouble to cook it up while you heat the sauce. The sauce: Just needs to be heated through. Make sure to make each portion of sauce slightly more than the portion of pasta. I didn’t watch that too closely and ours was a little too pasta-y. Mix the two together and dinner is served. I liked it. I want this to be a new regular for us (with a few changes). However, Neal wasn’t convinced. He said he had a hard time getting past the lentils. Milo ate it up with out a fuss. Loti wouldn’t touch it. Actually just sat there and said ‘stinky’ to me over and over. Edan had two or three bites. This is a hearty childhood comfort meal for me (though much healthier!). I hope you enjoy it.

The final installment to this drawn out meal…the salad. The actual name is Ranch salad with red potatoes and chickpeas with Avocado dressing. I was disappointed with the dressing. However, I feel that this salad could really be something. For one, I bought the ripest avocado I could find but even that one wasn’t ripe. So, that will make a difference. I’m also suspicious of some of the herbs. Less dill. Ax the paprika. Maybe. Hmmmm. I loved the potatoes and the chickpeas. Not something I’m used to in a salad. Neal & I mixed our salad in with the Lentil-A-Roni. The kids didn’t eat the dressing but I kept some aside without and they liked all the bits. My little rabbits. I really hope you enjoyed this meal and that is was filling.

Rice Paper Rolls with Red Curry Peanut Sauce with a fresh fruit salad

These were pretty straightforward to make. I went with a new recipe that excludes rice noodles. I’ve always made rolls with noodles. The sauce is yummy. I omitted Sriracha sauce for the kids sake but add a teaspoon if you & Matthew would like some heat. There is no prep. Just serve, dip & enjoy. I included a fruit salad. Honestly, I had no time to make anything else. I hope it suffices! I hope you like your dinner!

Co-op REINSTATED! Vegan, Soy Free, Gluten Free. That’s right! First up…Slow-cooker chili over corn bread

I’ve never made this chili before. Once Neal perfected his chili, I felt satisfied. But truth be known, I feel a little naive not knowing how to make a chili (without a recipe). I’m Texan! So, I’m starting with baby steps. A very straight-forward chili with a gluten-free corn bread. Delivery for Monday.

Success! We’ve named the chili ‘Milo’s Bean Chili’ as Milo was the chef. This recipe was very simple and straightforward. Beans, garlic, tomatoes, corn, salt & pepper. Like I said, very simple. So, I talked to Milo about options of items we could add. In comes peppers, saut√©ed onions, cumin, lime juice and of course, some love. I used a pre-made gluten-free cornbread mix from Bob’s Mill. I wanted some security in my first adventure into soy and gluten-free baked goods. I trust Bob’s Mill. I added unsweetened almond milk, egg replacer¬†and oil. I was very impressed. We buttered the cornbread and topped the chili with jalape√Īos ¬†and shredded cheddar daiya cheese. Everyone ate this meal up. Yep, you read that right. Milo, Loti & Edan have a good portion of chili and cornbread in their bellies.

To serve: heat chili and cornbread until heated through. Personally, I’d put a piece of cornbread at the bottom of my bowl. Top with chili, jalape√Īo and cheese. I really hope you enjoy this meal.

Creamy Broccoli Soup, Focaccia Bread & Marbled Banana Bread

Soup: reheat until heated through, garnish with parsley. Bread: reheat in oven until heated through.

I want to apologize ahead of time to say that I feel like I’m sending too small a portion of soup and dessert. I doubled the soup recipe. I think I needed to triple or maybe even quadruple the recipe. I didn’t double the marbled banana bread recipe because I figured that half a loaf each would be plenty. So apologies if you are left hungry. Not my intention.

The Broccoli soup was my attempt to make something that was not bursting with sophisticated flavors as I wondered if that was an issue for my kids over-sensitive palate. Well, Milo sort of liked it. Loti sort of liked it. Edan wouldn’t touch it. Neal & I enjoyed it though I didn’t experience any creaminess. I have another Broccoli soup recipe that is much better than this one. The focaccia bread is AWESOME! I was disappointed recently when we went to an Italian restaurant and their homemade focaccia bread wasn’t vegan. It looked soooooooo good. So I made me some. Super easy and so delicious. Not a crumb left. I had high hopes for the banana bread. It is good and everyone loved it but I was imagining a big loaf with a more defined marble look. I will revisit this recipe again to perfect it. Hope you enjoy.

Recipes: Creamy Broccoli Soup (from Better than Peanut Butter and Jelly, pg 34), Focaccia Bread and Marbled Banana Bread

Neal’s Best Chili Ever over Brown Rice with Carrot Cake Cupcakes

I’m a big fan of Neal’s chili. He uses 4 or 5 different beans, roasts peppers & I contribute seitan (cannellini bean base). We had ours with baked potatoes but I worried I had baked potatoed you out last co-op meal so I sent brown rice. I like the chili both ways or on its own. Topped with cheese & corn chips & you have one of my very favorite meals. You have had Neal’s chili before so apologies for unoriginality. I did go with carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. They are super moist & it’s pretty much impossible to ruin this icing recipe. However, the darn muffins didn’t rise properly. Oven thermometer, check. Finely grated carrots, dried, check. Careful measuring, check. I’m determined to master this recipe. I love the taste but they look so sad. This recipe also only made 10. Yes, I was cheated 2 muffins. Crazy!

Reheating instruction: heat chili & rice till heated through. Top with cheese & corn chips. Keep cupcakes in fridge. I think the icing is best chilled.

Baked Potato and Greens Soup with Potato Wedge Croutons and Gluten Free Cookie Dough Bites

There was a picture of the soup in the Veganomicon recipe book that really looked delicious. I like baked potatoes. I like greens. I like…no, I love croutons. ¬†However, after it was made and served, I realized this meal is ‘POTATO-TASTIC’! Not a problem in this family but in the future, I would substitute the Potato Wedge Croutons for something made from something other than potato. Having said that, everyone gobbled up the wedges. I served them on the side (instead of in the soup) with some ketchup. I would make the wedges again with veggie burgers or dogs. The cookies are far from my dream dessert. I think there are people who eat cookie dough and there are people who do not. I DO NOT eat cookie dough. I knew this going into the recipe but I wanted to be open-minded especially since the recipe was highly rated and gluten-free. So, if you are a cookie dough eater, I really hope these satisfy. If not, sorry! Overall, I feel that this was a meal that did not induce any sort of time/prep stress. I really enjoyed the soup and will definitely make it again. Next time, I’d like to add some other veggies and decrease the amount of potato. I loved the broth. I really hope you enjoy this meal.

Recipes: Baked Potato and Greens Soup with Potato Wedge Croutons and GF Cookie Dough Bites

Alphabet Soup, Biscuits & Chocolate Chip Cookies

Very simple and back to basics. As the recipe was called ‘Alphabet Soup’, I kept it but as you will see, there are no letters in my alphabet soup. Sorry. You will recognize the biscuits. I made them with the very first co-op meal. I’ve been given the thumbs up on the cookies from the kids. The four on top were double baked. They were so puffy that the dough wasn’t baking in the middle. So I flipped them and baked them a little longer. I hope you enjoy your meal.

Recipes: Alphabet Soup , Biscuits and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chile Cornmeal-Crusted Tofu, Southwestern Corn Pudding & Jelly Donut Cupcakes


I love our dinner co-op, but I am finding myself getting stressed out over planning my meal. Why? I don’t know. I suppose I daydream about a breezy morning, coffee in hand, cookbooks spread out, music playing and just me. Just me, my cookbooks and a couple of hours to design a delicious meal that I will create with love. With a smaller amount of time, lots of noise and no coffee…here is this weeks co-op meal.

After-thought: Right, the tofu needs a sauce of some sort. We ended up putting the corn pudding on top of the tofu and that definitely helped. If I had known how dry the tofu would turn out, I would have made some sort of chipotle or ranchero sauce to go with it. So, if you have a mexican sauce at hand, please use it. The kids dipped their tofu in ketchup. I doubled the corn pudding recipe and still did not get the 12 servings the recipe suggests. I was nervous about the pudding. It really didn’t look all that appetizing. However, I was surprised that it had a decent taste. I don’t think I’ll make the pudding again. The kids DID NOT like it. I found the coconut milk to alter the flavor too much, too sweet. I think also because I decreased the spice in the recipe for the kids, that may have caused the coconut flavor to be too strong. I wanted these two dishes to be enough…I needed these two dishes to be enough as they took a good chunk of time to make, but they weren’t. There was no proper veggie. So, we grilled up some asparagus. I cleaned, cut and marinated (olive oil & garlic) your asparagus but did not grill it. I hope you don’t mind taking the time to grill it. I didn’t think left over grilled asparagus would be nice. I got dinner on the table at 5pm (Milo has soccer at 6pm on Tuesdays) but didn’t have time to make the dessert. So, the cupcakes were made this morning. We haven’t tried them but they were super easy to make. If they do turn out to be good, these will definitely be a staple in our house. My kids (Neal included) live for jam filled donuts.

Heating instructions: Heat tofu until warm. Smother with something! Heat corn pudding until heated throughout. Grill asparagus to your desire. Eat cupcakes. Enjoy.

Recipes: Chile Cornmeal-Crusted Tofu, Southwestern Corn Pudding & Jelly Donut Cupcakes