Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Staple: Lentil Spinach Soup

There are a few recipes that everyone should have under their belt so that in a pinch you can whip up something delicious. 

Lentil soup is definitely one of these recipes.  Whenever I make it I don't follow an exact recipe, but this is pretty close.  you can always switch up the vegetables to suit your tastes.

  • 2 cups dry lentils
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3-5 cups baby spinach
  • 2 carrots
  1.  Rinse and drain the lentils.  Boil the vegetable broth and water.  Add lentils to the pot.  Cover and cook for about 5 minutes.
  2. Chop the carrots into small cubes and add them to the pot.  Chop up garlic and add.  Give it a quick stir and replace lid to cook for another 20 minutes.
  3. Slice the onion and add it to the pot along with the spinach.  Cook another 5-10 minutes or until the soup is thick.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Cereal & Snacks

Let's talk products. As much as I love to cook, I'm not about to start making my own cereal or pretzels or anything like that. Maybe one day I'll make my own crackers, but that day is not today. However, as difficult as it may seem now, there are quite a few products that are starting to pop up in major markets that may make life a bit easier. Cereals can be tricky (I've only just discovered that I have actual options). I decided to be a wonderful person and do a large part of the research and make a handy dandy list of cereals. I also created a basic list with an overview of easy snacks. Despite all this, I still HIGHLY encourage everyone to go out to local markets and health food stores because they will have delicious products that you have never heard of and can get in very few places. So many more options!
Good markets to check out in California: Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Henry’s Market,  and miscellaneous health food stores. Ralph’s has also started expanding its selection of “natural” foods, which means more gluten-free and vegan products. These foods tend to be more expensive at Ralph’s though. To those of you outside of California, I'm sure you can figure it out! 
There are many gluten-free cereals out there, both major brand and obscure. Check out health food stores, maybe even a Whole Foods, to find some non-name brand cereals.
  • Cocoa Pebbles & Fruity Pebbles: Completely vegan and gluten-free. Rice based. 
  • Chex
    • Gluten-free: Rice, Chocolate (rice based), Cinnamon (rice based), Corn, and Honey Nut (corn based, with rice bran oil and almond extract).
    • Vegan: Wheat, Multi-Bran, Rice, and Corn.
  • Kix: Vegan and gluten-free. Corn based. However, General Mills has not officially labeled Kix gluten-free due to fear of cross-contamination. So be careful if you’re hypersensitive.
  • Glutino cereals: These are gluten-free and dairy-free. They contain honey and almonds. Glutino cereals are starting to show up in super markets, but they’re a bit on the pricy side (about $6).
  • Nature's Path and EnviroKidz: I'm not going to detail every single cereal product, but they basically have natural versions of most major brand cereals. They have many gluten-free and vegan options. You'll just have to browse the shelves on this one. Their products are sold at most natural markets (at least every one I have ever been to).

Scrambled Tofu

Contains: Soy

Yes, scrambled tofu. I know it sounds a bit weird, but it is DELICIOUS! It is basically stir-fry with crumbled up tofu and curry. And the best part is you can pretty much put in all the veggies your little heart desires. Personally, I am slightly obsessed with onions, spinach, and mushrooms, so those pretty much make it into any veggie dish I cook up. And I like my scrambled tofu with a LOT of veggies. Feel free to put in any of your favorite veggies, like broccoli and bell peppers. The following recipe is more of a guideline.
I know it is technically a "breakfast food," but it also makes a great lunch or dinner. Scrambled tofu also tastes great reheated, so you can make it the night before and store it in the fridge if you know you're going to be short on time in the morning.

Recipe after jump

Spicy Sick Day

One of the worst parts about having a funky diet is that you lose the luxury of having food delivered to you when you're sick.  Making a quick trip down to the store for something prepackaged doesn't always work out either.  Despite how fun it may sound to be on your feet in the kitchen when you feel all achy and disgusting, it really isn't.  Therefore I've compiled a few recipes that are quick, easy, and will clear your head up.  At least for a little bit, that is.

I happen to LOVE spicy foods.  I have several different forms of cayenne pepper around at all times, as well as an anaheim chili or two.  Not only do spicy peppers help relieve congestion, but they are usually full of vitamin C and just taste plain amazing.  If you prefer to go easy on the heat go ahead and reduce the levels but when you're sick and have limited use of your taste buds more can really do the trick.

So without any further fluff, here are Sarah's Spicy Sick Day Recipes!
(After jump)

Hello, Internet.

Good day to you, dear Internet Dwellers.

Here's the deal. We like food. We are assuming you like food as well. As ordained by our love of food, We, the Masters of the Kitchen, have accepted our responsibility to cook together. A lot. Unfortunately, we are both limited in what we can eat in very different ways. Sarah is a vegan, so no animal products whatsoever. Shira is vegetarian, dairy-free, gluten-free, and allergic to various GF grains (i.e. rice and oats). Shira also prefer to eat vegan when possible, but it is hard to completely banish eggs from her diet with this plethora of dietary restrictions. Our mission here is to discover delicious foods we can both eat and share our culinary discoveries with you. Sound like a plan?

Added bonus for you! We're both students. "How does this benefit me?" you may ask. Well, seeing as how we are each financially and technologically limited, none of our recipes can be too complicated. Therefore, while we explore the feasibility of various recipes, you can simply mooch off of our knowledge, knowing with certainty that these recipes are both delicious and easily manageable.

Every so often there may be be a recipe that one of us may want to share that is not completely safe for both of us. Don't worry! Everything will be clearly labeled. :) FYI, most recipes will be nut-free and grain-free as well. We are just amazing like that. It's almost as if we have magical food powers bestowed upon us by the culinary fairies.

Shira & Sarah

The lovely ladies in question.