Saturday, February 15, 2020

January Round-Up: Simple Home Cookin

January was a quiet month around here, which was really wonderful. I started the month with a big and special teaching commitment... and then I had a relatively light load for the rest of the month. It was so nice after all the hub-bub of the holidays, and especially after Dottie's sudden death, to finally have a chance to lay low, cook lots of healthy meals, and watch some extra Netflix. Y'know. 


Lately, my very favorite cookbook is Power Plates, by Gena Hamshaw 

I have been cooking from it so often, and we've had so many great meals from it. All her recipes are balanced, nutritious, and well-seasoned... satisfying both emotionally and physically. They almost all have protein, veggies, grains, greens... all the good stuff you want in a perfect meal. I already have a long list of favorites, but I've been challenging myself to make more recipes that I haven't tried yet.
Here are a few we tried recently:
Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Lentils
Tofu Migas (with greens on the side)
Stuffed Bell Peppers

That Roasted Cauliflower Salad sounds like the kind of thing where you'd be hungry 20 minutes later, but with the lentils and the dressing, it's heartier than you'd think. I had a huge cauliflower, so I doubled the dressing - No Regerts! 

Also the Stuffed Peppers were great! I have another recipe from Vegan Diner that I usually use, but I loved this variation. Even Mr. VE&T who doesn't like tempeh (sad face) really loved these. They were easy to make, packed with nutrition, and then we had them for dinner two nights in a row, plus a couple lunches. Yes! 

Roasted Veggies with Spiced Tahini Sauce with Yogurt and Sumac
from Whole Food Cooking Every Day by Amy Chaplin

Whole Food Cooking Every Day by Amy Chaplin is the other book I've been loving and using a lot lately. It was an xmas gift from Mr VE&T and it's full of innovative ideas, interesting flavor combinations, and daring spices. It's not 100% vegan, but mostly vegan, and it's just so fun to have a book that feels really creative and new to me. It's not the easiest book for beginners, but is a really fun book for a confident and creative home cook. I really love having a recipe to follow and just being "told what to do," and this book challenges me a bit by giving me direction (like a great sauce recipe, and some ideas - but not specific recipes - on how to use it). 

We've had several great meals from this book and I look forward to using it more!

Fruit Tree Care!

One of the great xmas prezzies that I got from my auntie this year was the gift of her knowledgable time to help me take care of our fruit trees! First we spent a long time pruning our beloved apple tree (a big project) and then we moved on to my insanely overgrown lime tree. My aunt is a properly skilled and educated gardener (I am not!) so her help really means a lot to me. We pruned the lime tree WAY back and collected SO MANY LIMES in the process. I gave two huge boxes of limes to one of my students who owns a restaurant, and brought some to my trainer, and brought the last box to my class. Plus, the tree is still full of more limes! 

While we were at it, we did some nice gentle pruning on the orange trees and I picked lot of oranges. We've been having fresh OJ with breakfast, and have lots more oranges that are still ripening on the trees. 

I love my fruit trees so much and I appreciate all the deliciousness they share with us, so it felt really good to give them some TLC.

lovin' up the cozy crew

And of course there's been lots of love and cuddles and quiet times with our sweet little fur gang! 
As you would expect! 


  1. I too live with tempeh haters, which makes me sad because I love the tempeh!
    I am glad you have been able to have some downtime and cosy time with the fur gang, I know how precious they are, and spending time with them is priceless.
    I also love Power Plates, it is an amazing book and I have made a lot of great stuff from it!

  2. So sorry about your pet losses! (I've been behind in my blogreading because I was on a long trip to Italy!). I'm so jealous of citrus--where I live I can grow figs, but it's too cold for citrus trees.

    I've always been curious about your aunt's salt-free and oil-free vegan diet. If she'd be willing, I think it would be cool to have her give us readers a little insight into the why's and how's of that diet choice.


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