Vegan Pozole’ Soup

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So I decided these last few days of October are soup days!  I had the idea of making Pozole‘ a few weeks ago, but I hadn’t quite looked for a recipe, just that there were vegan recipes out there somewhere.

I went in the store Wednesday with the idea of getting as much as I could to last several days…I really don’t like grocery shopping.  So I ran into a can of hominy with a Pozole recipe on the back and I just decided to wing it.  I grabbed the enchilada sauce and just decided not to worry about the rest…

Today, everyone in my family was sniffling, snotty or worse.  I don’t think I’ve ever started dinner so early.  I think it was 3:30pm when I started cooking and we ate around 6:45pm.  My daughters actually didn’t eat any Pozole.  The oldest ate rice and they both ate a little of a kiwi/apple salad I chopped up.  It was the first night since Wednesday that we didn’t have jicama.  I really wanted to chop up jicama into the pozole, but I was also handwashing cloth diapers and doing several other things at the same time.  Maybe next time.

Dried Maize Mote (Hominy) from the Mercado Ben...

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In this Pozole I used a whole can of hominy.  I poured it into the rice cooker(cause we couldn’t find a lighter to light our stove), chopped in some fresh(free) yellow bell peppers and let it go for a little while with water.  A half hour(or so) later I added in the enchilada sauce, I let it go for another half-hour-ish.  Then I chopped up red onions, cabbage and put the juice of 3 limes into the soup.  I let that simmer until it started running over…well that happened when I decided to chop in some zucchini squash and green onions.

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Voila, easy and pleasing.  We(the adults in the family) ate the soup with rice and tortilla chips.  I just had my 3rd or 4th or…(really not counting) last bowl after warming up the soup after putting the girls to bed and it was better this time…with no tortilla chips.  I think I’m stuffed and ready for bed now.  It’s been a tiring week and I need to get back on my no gluten thing again.  Which I did very well until either Tuesday or Wednesday(probably both).

Plate with condiments for pozole to be added t...

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Oh yeah, we got a lot of free produce this week and a lot of dates…you will see a very excited me soon!

Stuffed Bell Peppers, Cooked Vegan Recipe of The Week.

Bell peppers

This is super easy. I had these things left in my house and not much else. A couple bell peppers, polenta, black beans, carrots and tomato, easy vegan cuisine.

I cooked the black beans first, but if you have canned black beans you don’t need to do that, obviously. Then I cooked the polenta. It doesn’t need to be cooked completely. I put it in the rice cooker for 10 or so minutes, while I prepared everything else. I halved the bell peppers, slithered pieces of carrot with the veggie peeler and my daughter and I put slithers into the bell peppers, then we spooned in some of the beans, finally we scooped in some polenta. We topped it off with a few more slices of carrot, a tiny bit of beans and a huge slice of tomato on top of each pepper.

I had organic cherokee tomatoes and it was lovely. I put them into the oven in a glass oven dish(I don’t know the terminology) for 20-30 minutes, I wasn’t counting, I just checked in on them every now and then. This was a great, easy meal and would be great for a dinner date.

I ate the first by myself and decided I wanted the peppers cooked more so I poured some water into the dish covering the bottom and about an inch of the bell peppers. Just a few minutes later they came out perfect.

I took pictures, but I can’t get my pictures to load…to bad… try this though, it is very yummy!

Cooked Vegan Recipe of The Week: Pizza

So, “I want pizza” has been repeated over and over again in my home for weeks. Yesterday I went to the grocery store and a pizza crust was on sale on the display, at the end of the Natural Foods aisle. I checked the back “contains wheat and soy”… vegan!

I went to the refrigerated aisle. I thought about getting soy cheeze, but remembered exactly how that made me feel the last time I had it, so I reached over and grabbed the macrobiotic hummus instead. I happened upon some other ingredients, knowing I had plenty of squash at home.

I came home and of course everyone was super excited. Usually our cooked meals are very simple, rice, beans, veggies. Lately we’ve been getting too much pre-packaged junk. I was determined to get away from that and getting a pizza crust was just a preliminary exercise. I wasn’t prepared enough to know what I needed to make my own crust.

My daughter is now a cutter… We went to the counter with our cutting board and I gave her a plastic knife to chop up squash with. She begged me, actually and I figured it was worth a shot, I didn’t really care if she couldn’t help at all, I just wanted her to be occupied. She actually did a good job, though she grew tired of it fast. It was great because she commiserated with me about what hard work it is to make a meal! Now she kinda understands.

Anyway, I chopped up onion, broccoli, squash and tomatoes. We put the onions down first, then slopped on the hummus. I put some broccoli down after that, then spinach and tomatoes. Finally we put the squash, more broccoli, more tomatoes and more spinach on top. I squeezed lime over the top as well.

I seriously stacked the pizza and I wasn’t totally sure it was going to work. This was the christening of our new stove too. I didn’t realize there was a possibility it might not work until I’d already towered the pizza up with toppings. My husband tinkered with it in a moment of hilarity, and eventually he got it working!

I had to take a lot of the toppings off the pizza. I put a bunch of them in the cooker, put the pizza in the oven and just waited. It seemed to take about 30 minutes, maybe a little more. The pizza crust wrapper said 8-14 minutes, but we knew it’d be more than that. Most people put things on the pizza that are already cooked.

When we took the pizza out of the oven the scent was overpowering our neighbors outside. My husband swore there was cheese on it. It really did look that way, it even kinda smelled that way. I had no idea how great hummus would be on the pizza. I definitely recommend it. The pizza was really yummy. The kicker though is that my daughter didn’t eat it, she had me slice up plums for her instead.

I had 4 slices and my husband had 2 slices. Actually, one really big slice lay on the cutting board for about 3 hours until I got hungry again. I definitely want to make our own pizzas again, I want to do it gluten-free next time. It’d be nice to try my raw vegan hummus too for a bean free pizza. We’ll see how it goes!

Cooked Vegan Recipe of The Week

It is definitely my goal to eat a raw vegan diet. However, my family probably won’t be as committed to eating only raw as soon as I am. Also, I’m very flexible and realistic with my lifestyle. This week I moved and as you’ll see on Meal Plan Monday, I didn’t really eat as planned. I like the idea of cooking a vegan meal for my family once a week anyway, but today it wasn’t just for them.

I know a lot of people struggle with eating healthy and/or eating vegan because they lack the creativity and comfort of creating their own meals. I definitely think everyone should be able to prepare their own meals with whole ingredients from a young age. One of the things I loved most about becoming vegetarian when I first started was coming up with new meals. I’ve always been pretty self-sufficient and creative in the kitchen, from a young age when I made ramen noodle creations.

I’ve always been the same way about just going with the flow of it. Never following directions, I have just learned what goes well, what I like and I can easily make something good with almost any combination of ingredients. The simpler the better. So I’m going to hopefully post one cooked vegan recipe a week. Today, I ate fruit up until dinner time. I knew that I had lentils, but I was out of rice. I had other beans too, but I wanted lentils. I knew I had organic squash I needed to use, and some organic rosemary. So:

I put a bunch of lentils in the rice cooker. I filled it up past the point you would put for rice. I let it cook til there was barely any water left.
Then I put some squash in 5 squashers all chopped up.
When there was very little water left I added in 5 handfuls of oatmeal.
I added 1/4 of a head of iceberg lettuce on top of that.
I left the top off and added chopped rosemary and some salt.

In hindsight I realize I could’ve omitted the salt. The flavor combination of these ingredients was definitely a winner. I’ll remember this!