Monday, September 29, 2014

Chili with Black-eyed Peas and Quinoa

My favorite food blog is by far that of Susan Voisin at Fat Free Vegan. I used to regularly make recipes from her blog even before I was doomed to having to eat this way for health reasons. Tonight I was planning to make her Black-eyed Pea Chili with Quinoa. But I didn't have all the ingredients, and I don't like following recipes to the letter anyway. So here's my modified version. (I'm sure hers is better, but if you need an excuse to use a jar of Sofrito tomato cooking base, here you go.) 

First saute:

  • 1 big yellow onion
  • 1 red Bell pepper
  • 1 green Bell pepper 

Next, cook 3/4 cups of dry quinoa (I do this in a rice cooker. Ratio of quinoa to water is 1:2, simmer for 20 minutes. 

Put all that in a crock pot with: 

  • 12 oz jar of Goya Sofrito tomato cooking base
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cans black eyed peas
  • 1 cup frozen corn (I used the roasted corn from Trader Joe's)
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon jarred, minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder 
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • Half a teaspoon liquid smoke.

Cook in the crock pot on low for 6 hours. 

I suggest adding some hot sauce. I only left it out for the kids, and then added it individually to my bowl. 

Banana Cinnamon Pancakes

Here's a fat free pancake recipe: 

Dry ingredients: 
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup bread flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
Pinch of salt 
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Wet ingredients: 
1 ripe banana
2 egg whites
1/4 cup brown sugar
1.5 cup almond milk

Mix the wet and dry ingredients separately, then mix them together. Heat the griddle to medium and use canola oil spray or if you want to be hard core about the no fat, just use a non-stick pan and a good spatula. I made these small (about 1/8 cup of batter per pancake) and then we dipped them in maple syrup. 

Broccoli Penne

This is a heavy pasta dish with almost no fat and that went over well with the kids. It also has the advantage of being quick and easy to prepare. 

First, blend in the a blender: 

  • 1 15 oz can of chickpeas, rinsed 
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 broccoli crown, chopped and steamed beforehand 

Afterward put it in a pot over a burner to heat. 

Then cook up a 13 oz package of whole wheat penne. 

After straining the pasta, toss it with the sauce and half a cup of nutritional yeast. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

No Fat Cabbage and Noodles

I can no longer eat fatty foods due to health issues, and this includes the bacon and Parmesan cheese I used to add to my cabbage and noodles. Messing around in my kitchen, I came up with this alternative, which I found largely satisfying. 


  • Large onion, chopped 
  • 1 tablespoon jarred, minced garlic 
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Medium head of cabbage, sliced (as you can see from the picture, I happened to have a purple cabbage. But you can use green ones too if you want.) 
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice 
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke 
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast 
  • salt and pepper to taste 
  • 16 oz bag egg noodles (I used yolk free, but if you're not eating eggs, just get whatever broad noodles you like.) 

1.) Sautéed onion and garlic in the soy sauce for 10 minutes. 

2.)  Add cabbage and all of the other ingredients except the nutritional yeast and noodles, simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

3.) In the last 10 minutes, boil the noodles then rinse (don't let them get mushy!) 

4.) Stir in the nutritional yeast with the cabbage, then gently stir in the noddles. 

Quinoa Salad With Beets and Cucumbers

1.) Cook 1 cup of dry quinoa. I cook mine in a rice cooker since it is a the same ratio of grain to water and same time as for cooking most white rice. But if you don't have a rice cooker, just boil 2 cups of water, add the quinoa, then simmer at low heat with a lid on it for 20 minutes.

2.) Put aside the quinoa to cool. If in a hurry put it in the refrigerator. You don't want hot salad.

3.) Once the quinoa has cooled at least to room temperature, add:

  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 medium beets, peeled, cooked and chopped (I buy these already ready to go in the refrigerated section of Trader Joe's.)
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste.

Tangy Lentils Over Toast

I made this recipe with truRoots sprouted lentil trio that I picked up in a big bag at Costco, but I think it could be done successfully with just about any lentils.

1.) Cook 1 cup of dry lentils according to the package's instructions.

2.) Add to it:

1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/3 cup of BBQ sauce (I used Sweet Baby Rays Vidalia Onion because it is slightly sweet but not spicy, and I was feeding my kids.)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon jarred minced garlic

We ate this over toasted hearty, multigrain bread, but over rice or some other grain or just by itself would be good, too.

Breaded and Roasted Cauliflower

When I'm feeling lazy or don't have much time I just spread out cut-up cauliflower on a baking pan, do a quick spray of canola oil and sprinkle of salt, and roast them for 30-40 minutes (until just starting to brown on the edges) at 400 degrees.

But last night I felt slightly more ambitious.

After preheating the oven at 400 degrees, I mixed up:

1/2 cup very warm water
2 tablespoons flaxmeal

I then tossed the cut up cauliflower pieces with this mixture. If you don't have flaxmeal, you could use a couple egg-whites or 1 egg instead.

Then I sprayed the pan briefly with canola oil, and coated each wet cauliflower piece in bread crumbs. (I added a little salt to the breadcrumbs before doing this.)

Cooked them for 40 minutes. It was the only item on the dinner plate that my kids finished.

Plus there was enough left over for me to enjoy with lunch today. Yum.