Where I’m sick and…obsessed

So, I’m sick. Really sick. My entire body seems to be oozing some sort of fluid and it’s all pretty disgusting. My eyes are runny, my nose is a sore, congested mess and my lungs are trying really hard to keep air in them. It’s not easy with all the coughing and sneezing I’m doing.

I blame this illness for the obsession that has taken over me. It started innocently enough with my hubby mentioning that he’d love homemade bread. I went online and watched a video where a calm, serene man kneaded dough into submission and made beautiful bread effortlessly. It seemed so easy, so simple and so lovely that I had to try it.

First, I had to buy the machines to make such bread. I opted for a Dutch Oven.

This is a dutch oven. I had no idea these things even existed.

So I got flour and threw in the ingredients. Well, first of all, my dough didn’t look at all like the well-behaved, even sphere I had seen on the video. Mine was a messy, sticky goo that seemed determined to ooze its way through the kitchen but, hey, what did I know? Time to bake! In it went and out it came…looking as thick and heavy as a brick.

It looked amazing…and tasted awful

My lovely hubby, innocently tried a piece and chewed and chewed before finally swallowing the mess. It tasted nothing like bread.

Anyone else would have probably shaken it off, realized you can buy freshly baked bread at the store and moved onto better projects but not yours truly. I was, and still am, pretty sick and one cough after another, I was going to bake something! So, on came attempt number two (where I doubled the amount of salt).

Second attempt was even heavier than the first. The dough didn’t even pretend to rise.

The second attempt was even more depressing than the first. See the above? It’s about as light as cement and feels like that in your stomach. Ugh.

But did I give up? Nope. I went back to the store and bought a new contraption.

A baking stone will sort everything out!

Well, I haven’t actually used this one yet. I’m in the middle of production.

Guess what’s under that kitchen cloth? That’s right! More dough.

In my desperate attempt to not create another ‘bread-brick’ I’m going to knead this thing like there’s no tomorrow and let it rise overnight! Let’s see if that makes any difference. Oh and I’ve switched from white to whole wheat flour because hubby said ‘The whiter the bread, the sooner you’re dead’. So who am I to contradict him?

Oh yeah. Another post is headed your way. 😀

 

We’ll see how this goes…

Well, I made up this recipe. Completely made it up out of my little noggin. So the result is…well, I can’t really tell because it’s still in the oven, but I will definitely let you know.

I started by cooking some spinach in a pot. It cooks really well if you just keep stirring and it doesn’t stick. It turned out like this.Then, I made some tomato sauce. I sautéed some onions with garlic and added crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and some more tomatoes for good measure and then, once it was cooked, I blended it with the immersion blender. Oh! And I chopped some fresh parsley and some fresh basil to add to the sauce.

This was the basil

This was the parsley

This was my tomato sauce

And then I cooked some portobello mushrooms with some onion and garlic and olive oil.

This was the mushroom mixture after they were cooked. I also had to chop them up.

I then added the spinach (after I cut it into small pieces) and some roasted walnuts that I also chopped.

these were the roasted walnuts

this is me mixing it all together

Finally, I had some fresh pasta lasagna sheets and filled them up with the mixture, then put them in a glass bowl, wrapped them so that they would contain the mixture and covered them with tomato sauce.

Issues? Well, I didn’t measure anything. I might have overdone the salt in the mixture (so that’s going to wreck the entire thing).

Hubby is on his way over and he’s going to be my guinea pig. It’s my real first attempt at cooking without a recipe…and this could easily be a disaster. Oh! And here I was all delighted that the recipe is vegan…well, turns out that the pasta is made with eggs.

Sunday biz

I usually spend Sunday cooking. Eating mostly plant-based requires a little prepping and time that I just simply don’t have during the busy work week. My Day Job is of the type that I can continue to work at home and, unfortunately, that has had to happen the last week and this weekend. There has been barely any time for petting our beloved akitas and certainly no time for fancy cooking.

But today, I had to get busy with the veggies and beans or we’d be eating peanut butter sandwiches all week.

I chopped some onions

Added some chopped spinach (I had already cooked it) and mushrooms.

So far…nothing very exciting, right?

This is my veggie meat of choice

And these pasta are super healthy

I cheated and got sauce from Costco

And I got this.

Final product. Hubby loved it!

Hubby did love it and, in our house, that’s all it takes to declare it a success. But there was  more.

These aren’t that good for you…but they’re so yummy!!!

I made potato rings that are sooo good. They were right out of the oven and crunchy to boot! And we ate them with home-made refried beans and felt like we were in heaven.

Now for the week, I’ve made this salad:

I got all these recipes from Oh She Glows. It’s my go-to for something that’s healthy yet yummy. Love it!

Curry lunch

After two days of nothing but turkey and the gastrointestinal nightmares that came with it, I had enough of the bird. When my hubby announced he had to go to work, I schemed and planed…and started mentally cooking.

I had never tried these two recipes, so I wasn’t sure if they would work. And now, after cooking them, I’m still not sure mostly because I changed the recipes. I substituted the cream for almond milk and added mushrooms to the aloo peas and potatoes. Still, by the time I was finished, I was starving and I ate a full plate of the stuff with delight.

This one was the Dal Tadka…or my attempt at it.

This one was my attempt at aloo peas and potatoes.

This is just basmati rice. Even I can’t mess that up.

This was lunch. Sooo good!

Well, I should include the sites where I got these recipes and ask, if you do try them, to let me know what you think. So, here we go.

This one is the Tadka Dal. It’s a curry dish with lentils and, since I love lentils, I was super excited about it.

Dal Tadka Recipe Step By Step Instructions

I should add that mine looked almost nothing like this one. But I’m sure that was because of me and not the recipe. Still, I really liked my creation.

And this one is the aloo peas and potatoes. It’s a video, which I found incredibly helpful.

Image result for aloo peas and potatoes

That’s what it’s supposed to look like and…well, mine didn’t look at all like that. But I still thought it was super yummy…

If you do give them a try, let me know how they work for you! And if you know of other curry, vegan dishes that work well for those who aren’t too adept in the kitchen, pass them this way!

Where I’m cooking like a witch

My recipe doesn’t call for eyes of newt or tongues of frogs, though, but it does involve the biggest pot we have. It’s super simple and easy (the way I like) and yields the best results ever.

I’m talking about refried beans. I love refried beans. But I’ve never really known what true refried beans tasted like until I made them at home. And the recipe is super easy!Image result for pinto beans

Add a bit of rice and some veggies, and you’ve got yourself a dish fit for a king…or queen.

Wanna try it? Here’s is where I got the recipe.

The best part is how cheap this is and how much it produces. They freeze really well and are incredibly nutritious.

Let me know if you give it a try! 😀

 

If we were having coffee

If we were having coffee, I’d moan that the crack in our ceiling has gotten worse and I fear the house might collapse on us. Sad, because we’d probably die…still, how is your coffee?

The crack in all its horror

If we were having coffee, I’d also complain about my latest cooking catastrophe. There was a spill inside the oven and things burned. It wasn’t pretty.

This was inside our oven…yikes!

This was the casserole that created that mess. It was actually really good.

If we were having coffee, I’d share that we’ve also been able to see friends and family during the last few days and the laughs we shared were belly shaking things that I loved. Nothing like a romp down history lane to find some really funny anecdotes.

Finally, I’d send a huge thanks to  Eclectic Alli for hosing Coffee Share and to you, my lovely reader, for reading!

 

Tip of the day

When you’re cooking a wonderful, super-healthy chickpea salad, check to make sure the vegan mayo is not… past its due date.

Looks wonderful, doesn’t it? My stomach told me it wasn’t not long after I finished eating it.

Baking

I decided to bake this week and this is what I came up with.

banana bread

chocolate chip trail nut cookies

The banana bread was something heavenly, both tasty and moist. I added a handful of chocolate chips and that made it all that much tastier. But the original would have been just as awesome.

The cookies were amazing. Easy to make and delicious, I also knew just how good they were for us. A win-win in my book.

And where did I get those recipes? From a great vegan site that I continually go to: Oh she glows. I have yet to find a recipe that is a miss. Honestly. I don’t know how she does it.

If you’re into cooking or baking and want to give these a try, let me know how they go. They were a great success in our house.

Oops

I had a cooking fiasco this weekend. I tried to follow a recipe but, for some reason, I thought knowing the ingredients was good enough and I never bothered to check the quantities. The resulting mess was incredibly healthy…but tasted like cardboard.

It was also really substantial. Undeterred, I decided to make it better…by adding more ingredients to it. Predictably, I didn’t so much make it better as make it larger. We now have tons of the stuff. So much I’ve started hiding it in the fridge to try and not show its true size.

On another, unrelated topic, wanna come over for dinner?

More healthy cooking

The last healthy recipe was such a success, I thought I’d share two that I’m loving right now and are super easy. One is a lentil stew and it’s actually so delicious I keep eating it over and over. More to the point, my suspicious hubby tried it and absolutely loved it.

Aaaannndddd…it’s super easy to make. Only 3 steps!

There’s no link for this one. I got the recipe from my European ancestors, so if you try it, you’re tasting European goodness.

Lentil Stew

Ingredients:

2 carrots (cleaned and peeled)

1 large onion (peeled and diced)

2 bay leaves (Don’t skip this one. It’s magically important)

2 cups of green lentils

6-9 cups of water (you can change this for your favourite broth and it’ll work even better)

1 tablespoon of garlic (Don’t be shy with this one either)

salt and pepper to taste

 

Steps:

1. In a large pot add the onion, carrots, lentils, garlic, bay leaves and broth (basically everything but the salt and pepper).

2. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for 40 – 50 minutes or until the lentils are soft.

3. Check it during the process and give it a loving stir. If it looks like it’s sticking, add more water or broth. Add salt and pepper in there some time.

That’s it! When it’s done, it’ll look something like this.

img_0519

It might not look it, but it’s super yummy and awesome for you. Lentils are a superfood. They’re great sources of iron, protein and fibre!

Super Yummy Smoothie

This one is another of my favourites that I just keep eating. It’s basically a fruit smoothie. Sooo good. You can do all sorts of things with the results, like freeze it and have it for kids as super healthy ice cream, or just as a refreshing snack. I love it and love even more all the vitamins I know I’m getting with this one.

Ingredients:

3 oranges (I love these, that’s why I add so many)

1 ripe pear (my favourites are D’Anjou pears but any will do)

1 apple (I use MacIntosh but any will work)

4 spoons of frozen strawberries (super good…so add a couple more!)

3 spoons of frozen blueberries (berries are another super food, so feel free to add more)

 

Steps:

1. Cut up and peel all the fruits

This is just the start with the fruits all in the blender

This is just the start with the fruits all in the blender

2. Add the oranges first (it makes it easier on the blender). Then the rest of the fruits. If you find they don’t fit (like mine didn’t) then blend away to make room.

 

After blending to make room

After blending to make room

In go the frozen strawberries

In go the frozen strawberries. And I didn’t add a picture but don’t forget the blueberries

This is the final product...so good!

This is the final product…so good!

3. Enjoy!

If you try these, give me a shout and let me know how they worked out for you!