Saturday, January 25, 2014

Miso Soup

Hello everyone! I hope your January has been going well! I love that it's been snowing so much, and after a long, snowy drive with Zach today, I decided to make something simple for dinner.

Miso Soup

I've been wanting to try miso soup for a while, so when I found some instant miso soup on sale, I decided to give it a try (I chose the lower sodium one). 

Tonight I had it with a grilled cheese sandwich (I used the shredded Daiya instead of the slices this time).

The Miso-Cup is super simple to make (just empty the packet into a bowl and pour in one cup of hot water). On its own, it's good, though nothing too exciting. (Mystery, however, seemed fascinated by it; she kept trying to get to it while I ate!)

I still have a couple packets left, so I'm going to experiment with ingredients to make it a more filling meal. But for now, here's some more pictures of the grilled cheese, yum!

Mystery has been very cuddly lately, pinning me down for hours at a time at night, curled up on my lap, so I have been getting a good amount of reading done. I'm on my third book of this year, about 2/3 of the way through Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy by Matthew Scully. Has anyone else read it? I'm enjoying it so far, though it is a bit dated since it was published over 10 years ago.

"I'll get some of that miso soup next time..."

Peace. :)

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Herbed Spaghetti

Hello everyone! So, I finally tried a new recipe from my collection of random recipes cookbook (I started with a really easy one). I'd copied down the original recipe on an index card, so I don't remember the source. I ended up halving it and made some adjustments, so here's the version I prepared:

Herbed Spaghetti 

--2 servings whole grain thin spaghetti
--1 ½ tsp vegan butter
--1 ½ tsp lemon juice (original recipe also recommended a bit of lemon zest, but I went without it)
--herbs: parsley, tarragon, chives (original recipe called for ¼ cup, fresh and finely chopped, but I just went with a few shakes of the dried herbs)
--salt and pepper to taste 

Directions: Cook pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving ¼ cup pasta water. Return pasta to pot. Stir in vegan butter, lemon juice, and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Add some of the reserved pasta water to adjust consistency, if needed. 

It's a simple recipe, very easy to prepare, and it turned out well. I usually prefer to have sauce on my pasta, but this was a nice change. The first time I had it, it was with some Gardein Seven Grain Crispy Tenders. This was my first time trying these as well, and they were pretty good. I think they're probably my favorite Gardein product so far.

The second time I made it, I added in some kale and had it along with baked slices of tempeh (Organic Three Grain from Lightlife). Another good combination all in all. 

And of course, here's Mystery, trying to get at my plate. 

Peace. :)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Cooking with My Sister

Hello everyone! My sister came to visit yesterday, and we made a delicious mac & cheese for dinner. 

--1 ½ cups elbow noodles
--3/4 cup soymilk
--1 T Earth Balance butter
--1/2 cup shredded Daiya cheddar cheese
--salt, pepper, and garlic

Cook the noodles, drain out the water, return the noodles to the stovetop and add the remaining ingredients, stirring well and letting simmer on low, covered, until the liquid had been absorbed. It turned out nice and creamy, and we both went back for more even though we were stuffed. 

For our snack later that night, we had tea and some banana bread that I’d made the night before. This is the recipe I use. 

For lunch today, we made oven-roasted golden potatoes. We sliced them up, added some olive oil, seasoned with garlic, pepper, salt, and rosemary, and put them in at 350° F for 15 minutes and then flipped them for another 15 minutes.

Along with the potatoes, we also had brown rice with broccoli, and carrots (not pictured).

Mystery really enjoyed having a new cuddle buddy. She even hunkered down for an #OccupyHallway as she waited for my sister to get out of the shower and snuggle some more.

Peace. :)

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Goals for 2014

Hello there! I hope you had a good start to the new year! In December, I clearly lapsed on my posting-once-a-week goal, but I'm bringing that goal back, and taking on a few others, for 2014.

Trying New Recipes: One of my goals is to cook more from my cookbooks:

Vegan Handbook (Vegetarian Resource Group)
The Cookbook for People Who Love Animals (Gentle World)
Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food (Alicia C. Simpson)
My collection cookbook, which contains tons of random recipes, some handwritten, copied down from who knows where, some clipped out from magazines, newspapers, etc.

I've rarely used these cookbooks; they pretty much just sit on a shelf together, wondering what their purpose in life is, so I'm going to try to pay more attention to them. I would like to get a greater variety in what I'm eating, and I know I'm sure to discover some new favorites in the process.

Reading More: I read a fair amount already, but I want to try to read even more this year, and I have a nice (nearly 2-ft tall) stack of books for 2014, and I'm sure more will be added along the way. I'm currently reading Catching Fire (The Hunger Games series) by Suzanne Collins. I saw the movie before reading it, and overall, I'm liking the book better, but there are a couple parts that I thought the movie handled better.

Self-publishing: Having completed my fourth NaNoWriMo this past November (as well as a Camp NaNoWriMo in April 2013), I feel it's kinda ridiculous that I haven't done anything with the stories I've written (other than just reading and editing them myself). I want to publish them, and I've been saying that for a while, but I keep procrastinating. My goal is to self-publish at least one of the stories. I think I might try my story about Mystery (the 30,000-word one I wrote during Camp NaNoWriMo) first, followed by my NaNoWriMo novel from either 2012 or 2013.

Other goals: I also want to work on exercising more, try meditating, and get back into the habit of walking every day (once it stops being so cold out).

Oh, and one more goal, thanks to Rachel at The Vegan Mishmash, is to submit my turkey sketches to 46millionturkeys.

Well, that's about all for now. I hope everyone's keeping warm; Mystery's strategy to stay extra warm and comfy is to cry until I lie down on the couch and let her curl up on my stomach. While she has me pinned down, I use the time to do some reading. 

"Chop, chop! Time to get more reading done!"

Peace. :)