Welcome to Veg'n in the 'Burbs!

It seems you have stumbled onto the companion blog to Homesteadin' in the 'burbs. Congratulations! Here you will find a treasure trove of vegetarian and vegan recipes that my family loves! I may even throw in some frugal shopping tips if you are good *wink* So pull up a seat, have a cup of coffee and enjoy!

I also want to mention that we do not strictly eat vegetarian/vegan. We work these in as often as possible but we do eat meat...we are in the process of pinning down local organic meats and buy from halal markets or eat wild game. All recipes are intended to be vegetarian but are meat optional.

Monday, May 30, 2011

cucumber melon salad-picnic fare

this has got to be one of the easiest and tastiest recipes!  perfect of a cookout, day at the pool or everyday!

1 cucumber, peeled and chopped into bite sized pieces
1/2 canteloupe (any melon will work), seeded, taken off rind and chopped
2-4T balsamic vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, toss well to incorporate vinegar and chill until ready to serve.

makes 2-4 servings

Thursday, May 26, 2011

my new fav snack: cruncha ma-me

omg y'all, these little beans are sooo good!  i sent off for a free sample two days ago and they came today.

sorry for the blurry pic, that was the best i could get with the webcam.  but these little babies are amazing!  they have the best crunch and arent overly seasoned, so you get the true taste of the edamame.  they are vegan, gluten & nut free.  and with 8 grams of soy protein per pouch, how can you go wrong? 

right now, i am pretty sure they are only available on the webiste, cruncha ma-me, but if you use the promo code: GETEDAMAME  you will get discounts.  i really hope to see these in stores soon!!!  i will be telling all my friends about this!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Kicking the dairy, for good!

This morning has been fun and busy.  breakfast was a bowl of grits with sriracha. pretty normal for me, except this time, i left out the cheese.  i noticed the cheese substitute i bought still had casein in it...depressing that a soy cheese has a milk protein in it.  (note to self: make sure the label says vegan next time).

In doing a little research and checking my friends blogs, i came across a great post from Jenn Blumberg, on her site, Hello Veggie (click it, read it, you will be happy you did).  Anyway, the post that caught my attention was 5 Tips for Going Dairy Free. and after reading through her post and the links it includes, I am doing it, no more dairy.  I am already a huge fan of soy, almond and coconut milk, and am willing to give the soy yogurts a try.  No more telling myself its a process, just do the damn thing and be done.

Thank you Jenn for the kick in the butt I needed!!!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mission: Veganize It!

Over the next few, I will be testing vegan versions of this recipe; i am really excited about this one!  If you have any ideas, tips, tricks, etc please share them in the comments!!!!!!

caramel macchiato cheesecake shots

1 ½ packages low-fat cream cheese, softened
1 can condensed milk
1 T butter
3 T nonfat milk
1/3 c instant coffee granules
2 t very hot water
2 T granulated sugar
20 vanilla wafers, crushed (optional)
2 T butter (optional)

Prepare the caramel:
In a small saucepan, combine the condensed milk and 1 tablespoon of butter. Bring to a low boil over medium low heat, stirring constantly to avoid burning. Reduce to low heat (as low as possible) and continue to cook until the mixture turns a medium to deep golden brown, making sure to continue stirring throughout the heating process. If the boil becomes too rapid, remove from heat to continue stirring, then return to heat. The whole process should take about 20 minutes. If caramel becomes too thick, whisk in the milk one tablespoon at a time until all milk is used. (NOTE: If you do not have enough time to make your own caramel and you have a premade caramel sauce at home, you can use that instead. However, this is MUCH better with the homemade stuff.)

Prepare the coffee cheesecake:
Combine the instant coffee granules and the hot water in a small bowl until the granules completely dissolve. The coffee should have a thick, syrupy consistency. Using an electric mixer, whip one package of softened cream cheese until it is light & fluffy. Add the remaining half of the condensed milk and the coffee syrup and mix together on medium speed until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

Prepare the "steamed milk" cheesecake:
In a medium bowl add 2 tablespoons of sugar to the remaining 1/2 package of softened cream cheese. Mix together on medium high speed until light & fluffy.

Prepare the crust (optional):
Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add to the crushed wafers and mix together until the wafers are moistened.

Assemble your shots by adding about a teaspoon of caramel (or cookie crust) to the bottom of each shot. Next, add about 2 tablespoons of the coffee cheesecake filling (or enough to fill your shot glass), followed by a small dollop of the “steamed milk” cheesecake. Top with a small amount of caramel, refrigerate for about an hour or so, and enjoy!
(taken from Poor Girl Eats Well)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Veg Boot Camp

Vegetarian Times magazine is hosting a 28 day veg boot camp on their site.  They send you daily emails with veg myths and recipes and such. If you are interested in signing up, go here, to the VT website!  Here is todays myth, and it really makes sense.

VEG DIET MYTH OF THE DAY:I don't have the willpower to be a vegetarian.

BUSTED: That lack of willpower might actually be rooted in something biochemical, but there's still hope for us all. "Studies suggest that cheese, chocolate, sugar, and meat all spark the release of opiate-like substances that trigger the brain's pleasure center and seduce us into eating them again and again," says Neal Barnard, MD, VT's Ask the Doc columnist and president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. "These foods stimulate the same opiate receptors in your brain as heroin or morphine, albeit to a lesser degree. Luckily, there are many healthy dietary and lifestyle changes you can make to break food addictions." To break from these addictive foods, the doctor suggests focusing on what you're eating today instead of thinking of your diet change as a "forever" decision. "Focus on the short term. A three-week break will be enough to get you started."
What are your thoughts about this myth?  What do you do when you are craving "forbidden" foods? Leave a comment below and tell me what you think!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Must Try Dinner: Brussel Sprout Pasta

Brussel Sprout Pasta:

1 bag frozen brussel sprouts
1 box pasta of choice
1 stick (vegan) butter
1/2 jar alfredo sauce (optional)
1 pkg gardein chik'n cutlets (optional)

Start a pot of water for pasta.  When you drop the pasta, start the brussel sprouts to boil.  When the pasta is done, drain and return to pot, remove from heat.  Drain brussel sprouts and add butter to pot.  Pour sprouts over butter & mash with potato masher. 
 Add alfredo sauce if using, mix well and serve over pasta. 
Serve with cutlets or chop cutlets up and add to sauce.  Super simple, super delicious!!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Going Dairy Free...attempt 1

Let's see how long this lasts...now, just to be clear, I am cuttin out dairy piece by piece for health reasons first then because I love cows.

So, as of today, I have been 4 days without cheese, I have been using Galaxy Veggie Shreds and have found that it melts beautifully and I can even eat it straight out of the bag.  I think I actually prefer this to Daiya brand.

I have never been a huge milk  drinker anyway, so nixxing that was no problem at all.  I have found a new milk that I love though, coconut milk!!  I always thought I hated coconut until I had fresh in a cookie and some sweetened coconut milk.  OMG yum!!

The hard part for me will be ice cream and yogurt.  I haven't tried alot of non-dairy ice creams as they are really expensive, but I haven't found  a yogurt sub that I like the flavor of.  Cutting cottage cheese came when I realized everytime I ate my I got terrible stomach cramps.  My body is telling me i am not meant to consume animal products. LOL

So, have any of you cut dairy from your diet?  Have you noticed a difference in how you feel?  What dairy subs are your  favorite??

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Monday, May 9, 2011

Corn 2 Ways

I absolutely love fresh corn, and buy ome every time I go to the Farmers Market, but I really get sick of corn on the cob, even grilled.  Well, here are 2 easy recipes I use to get my corn fix without all the leftovers in my teeth!

Fried Corn:
Take  your fresh ears of corn, shuck and clean them, then stand them up in a large bowl with another bowl upside down to prop the corn on.  using a knife, scrape the kernels off of the cob then go back over cob again to get all the juices out.  Place corn in a cast iron skillet with butter or vegan butter such as Earth Balance.  Add salt and pepper and fry till heated.  For a creamier version add a bit of soymilk thickened with cornstarch.

Spicy Corn Salad:
3 cups fresh corn kernels (can use defrosted)
1/2 green & red bell pepper seeded and julienned
1 jalapeno seeded and minced
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
2T vegetable oil
1/4 cup wine vinegar
1t brown sugar
1/3t fresh oregano or 1/4t dried
1/4t dried thyme

Steam the corn for 2-3 minutes, until just tender.  Combine the veggies and mix well.  Whisk together the dressing ingredients (oil, vinegar, spices), then toss with the veggies.  Chill at least one hour, then serve.  Also makes a great topping for tacos.

So, these are my favorite ways to use up fresh corn, whats yours???  Please fee free to share your recipes in the comments!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

My Mothers Day Present!!

Yesterday was the start of the weekend, so I started celebrateing early.  Our local vegetarian society, Food Awareness was having their monthly meeting at a restaurant I have always wanted to try, Escape Alley Sundry and as an added bonus, they had a guest speaker, Dr. William Tuttle. author of the bestselling book, The World Peace Diet.  Check it out!!

(pic by Bianca Phillips)

Anyway, his lecture was amazing and the food was equally great!  They had a whole vegan menu set up for the occasion with BBQ tofu sandwich with vegan coleslaw, vegan red beans and rice with Tofurky kielbasa, mushroom and garlic pasta, and a few more choices AND even had vegan cupcakes for dessert.  I had  the red beans and rice and unfortunately ate too fast to remember to take a pic.  I need to start carrying my camera with me.

I had a great time meeting new people and getting to hang out with Bianca from Vegan Crunk and the Food Awareness crew. I am really looking forward to next month's meeting!

So, if you only  want the main points of this post, here they are:
1.  check out The World Peace Diet by Dr. William Tuttle
2. If you live in Memphis or are visiting, check out Escape Alley Sundry.

The rest of my present came this morning, I got to sleep in till about 9:30am, had my coffee and even got some beautiful pink roses from Mance!!  My kids are driving us nuts, but overall, it's been a great day!!  Happy Mother's Day to all the mamas out there, regardless of whether your kids have 2 or 4 legs!!!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Soup's up!

Vegan spicy black bean soup

So everytime I make a pot of beans - any beans - I turn at least 2 bowls worth into soup.  Here's today's lunch fare:

1 can or 2 cups cooked black beans
1/2 onion, sauteed
jalapeno, diced to taste
1/2 avocado cut into chunks

In a food processor, combine 1/2 of beans, and all of onion, jalapeno and avocado. Pulse till smooth.  Combine in a pot with remaining beans, stir to incorporate and heat till piping hot.  Serve topped with whatever youlike, my personal favs are avocado, salsa and tofutti sour cream and some shredded daiya goodness!
Avocado Soup
2 ripe avocados
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2cup vegan sour cream
1/2 cup half and half (or vegan equivalent)
fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
Combine all ingredients in a blender/food processor and blend well.  Chill at least 30 minutes. Then top with paprika and serve!

For the love of alfredo!!!!!

In my quest to eat more vegan meals, I knew I had to find an alfredo sauce recipe that tasted at least close to alfredo.  And I think I found it...

1 cup raw unsalted cashews
1 cup water
nutritional yeast to thicken (i dont measure but i think about 1/2 a cup)
garlic, pepper and salt to taste

Place cashews and water in the food processor and pulse till smooth and creamy.  Pour into a small saucepan, heat over medium heat adding yeast till desired thickness is reached.  Add spices and simmer till heated thoroughly.  Serve over your favorite pasta.

Sweet and Spicy Slaw

With summer here in the South rearing its scorching head, it brings with it bbq season.  And what better for a bbq than coleslaw?!  Now, traditional coleslaw comes in a creamy mess of a sauce and isn't very hot weather friendly; so to make it more suitable for the picnic table, this version is made with vinegar and doesn't disappoint!

Sweet and Spicy Slaw
prep time: 15 min
I absolutely love cole slaw, but its creamy goodnees isn't always practical, especially on a summer potluck table.  That's why I love this version, made with vinegar instead.

1 small head of cabbage, shredded
1 red or green bell pepper, seeded and julienned
1 tsp serrano, seeded and finely minced
2 tbsp each vegetable oil & rice vinegar
1 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated (do NOT use powdered)

toss the cabbage and peppers in a bowl.  combine oil, vinegar, sugar and ginger in a separate bowl.  Mix well then toss with cabbage and pepper mixture.  Chill.