Okay, since I’ve been wallowing in a sea of self-pity and reeling from the pain of being sick and now, having to work aaand be sick (as if parenting and illness paired together weren’t enough), I’ve decided to tell myself to “shut-up and get over my self-made pity party.” Really though, I’m pretty sure I woulda been almost okay by now if it weren’t for the fact that there is no ‘sickness’ in ‘parenting.’ Bless those who opted to have more than one… I’m both baffled and amazed by you. Secretly, I also think you’re masochists… even bigger masochists than us lone wolves for having one. Don’t worry, there’s Xanax for that… and a whole lotta wine. Okay, I digress. I was thinking about the one ray of sunshine that I’ve had in the past week and that was when my fam and I went to the Oregon coast to enjoy the beautiful Saturday. We saw elk crossing in the street, had our toes in the sand, walked in an adorably quaint seaside town (we were in Manzanita – read my last post), and enjoyed the serenity of the trees and beach grass surrounding us. There is no comparison to the Oregon Coast, as it has its own unique beauty. Totally different than Long Island beach towns where I grew up… of course, those are beautiful as well, just different. Anyway, that one highlight from the past week reminded me of a coast trip from this past summer. It’s amazing having awesome friends who share their amazing beach houses with you. G and I went with our friends Jessica & her adorable daughter Daphne. The backyard is flat and huge for the kiddos to roam and play t-ball, there’s trees and a large stream in the far back, a giant garden with a guest house and peace flags, mint, berries, and all kinds of amazing finds growing and ready to be picked. At the beach, when the tide goes out, this entire cave and large area with LOADS of sea creatures opens up for you to walk in and explore. It’s like magic! Airbnb or VRBO a place to stay if you ever have the pleasure of visiting one of these tiny towns and you’ll see it for yourself. Suh-weeeet…
I meant to create a post of this amazing weekend after I left the beach house and then kept on forgetting, and forgetting, and forgetting again. Hopefully, this lil’ flashback to summer days gets you excited for future beach days. For my fellow Portlanders, if we keep on having these amazing days we’ll be beachin’ it up all year! Although, we are gonna head to the mountain this weekend for some sledding & skiing if I’m not seeing double anymore when I stand-up. 😉 The glory of having the mountains and the coast equidistant from your home.
Cheers to a summer throwback… enjoy the pics! (Taken near Cannon Beach, OR)
Vegan Chicken Enchiladas & Jalapeño Margaritas! was shot at night on New Year’s Eve so the pics are poop. 🙁 However, I’ve been on my death bed with bronchitis and a cold/flu for almost a week now so it’s all I’ve got in the archives. I felt like crap-o-la at work on Friday, thought I was recovering on Saturday (went to Manzanita, OR – the coast – b/c it was beautiful that day) until my cough started up and bought me to the ER because urgent care was closed. Sigh… sickness blows. And, you know I’m sick when I don’t even want to eat food… that means I’m for reaaalllzzz sick.
Okay, back to the food. I tried packaged jackfruit that was pre-seasoned last year and I thought it was totally gross. However, many people have told me to make it myself and give it a second go, so, I did. I purchased it in a can at Trader Joe’s and seasoned it myself. Was awesome! NOTHING like the crap I had bought pre-packaged. Honestly, it reminded me of an artichoke. I made my own vegan cheese sauce, used red and green enchilada sauces (Christmas enchiladas), and, of course, had to make my famous spicy jalapeño margaritas to go with! Especially, since I was chef-ing this up for the new year! Bubbles during the EST & PST ball drops and margs the rest of the night. WOo-hOo!
Enjoy the recipes and my pics from Manzanita! I threw in one from our walk downtown on New Year’s Eve before the margs and enchiladas (G was super upset he couldn’t play in the fountain. 😉 Cheers to a MUCH warmer winter than last!
- 1 can Trader Joe's Jackfruit - sliced into thin strips
- 2 Tbl Trader Joe's Onion Salt
- 1 Tbl taco seasoning
- 3 cloves garlic - chopped
- 1 C onion -diced
- 1/2 C red enchilada sauce
- 1/4 C green enchilada sauce
- 3-4 C vegan cheese sauce (I used my own recipe - in recipe index on blog)
- 8 tortilla shells
- Oil for pan
- Salt to taste
- 10 limes - juiced
- 1 1/2 C tequila
- 1/2 C pickled jalapeño - sliced
- 4 oz orange juice
- 2 oz orange liquor of choice (Cointreau or Triple Sec)
- 2 Tbl agave or honey
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350f
- In a pan over medium heat, add onion in oil with a pinch of salt and cook for about 3 minutes
- Add garlic and cook for an additional minute
- Add jackfruit, onion salt, salt, taco seasoning, and stir occasionally for about 8-10 minutes or until slightly browned
- In a separate pan, spray with oil and layer the bottom with some enchilada sauce
- Evenly spread the jackfruit and cheese into each of the 8 tortillas
- Roll them up and place in pan
- Cover fully with the rest of the enchilada sauces and bake for approximately 15-20 minutes or until lightly crisped
- For the margaritas: (Make whilst the enchiladas are baking)
- Place all of the ingredients into a pitcher and mix well
- To serve, take a shaker with ice, pour mix over ice, and pour into individual margarita glasses - the jalapeños should be strained with the ice and therefore neither should enter the margarita glasses
- Margarita recipe makes about 6
- Enchilada recipe makes 8
Easy Cheesy Vegan Tofu Quesadillas is another recipe I threw together during the Christmas holiday because (insert drum roll here)… my new and fabulous quesadilla maker entered my life! Santa loves me and knows me well. Once upon a time, when I was living in OR (the first time), on an old farm, 30 acres of glory: chicken coup, barn, bunk house, an old boat that someone had began making on the property, where we spent many a day drinking next to our horseshoe pit, amongst the apple, pear, nut, plum, and cherry trees, next to the grape and blackberry vines, wild mint everywhere and so much more… my hippie lovin’ roomies and I happened to purchase a quesadilla maker and we went nuts-o! Quesadilla everything! Brie and egg bfast quesadillas, veggie meat Mexican quesadillas, Italian, Greek, Thai… you name it. There was nothing we wouldn’t put in a quesadilla. The beauty of a quesadilla maker is that it seals the contents perfectly and creates beautifully even triangles so you look like a ‘profresh’ quesadilla chef galore. 😉 I implore you to buy one of these grand machines. They’re crazy cheap as well. Amazon that beotch up! It was a last minute decision to photograph these so I only have a few of the finished product. I didn’t really style them either but I still wanted to share this exciting new gift with you all, and to remind you that quesadillas are a great way to empty your fridge to support my “waste not” philosophy. Lastly, to encourage you to purchase a quesadilla maker if you have yet to own one. Happy quesadilla making! MWAH!
- 1/4 brick firm tofu - mashed
- 1 Tbl diced onion
- 1 clove garlic - diced
- 1 tsp nutritional yeast
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp oregano
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 2 Tbl tomatoes - diced
- 2 8-inch tortillas (I used Spinach)
- 1/4 C vegan cheese (I used my own recipe - in recipe index of my blog)
- Oil for pan
- *If using a quesadilla maker, heat now
- Heat a pan on medium and add oil
- Add onion and stir occasionally for 3 minutes (I pinch salt in as well)
- Add garlic and stir for another minute
- Add tofu and all spices/herbs/yeast and stir occasionally for approximately 5 minutes
- Remove from heat
- Put one tortilla in quesadilla maker or pan and evenly spread the tofu mixture and cheese on top
- Place the other tortilla on top and cook until both sides are browned
- Let cool for a few minutes, then cut into triangles, and serve
- Feel free to add whatever else you'd like in the quesadilla and top with hot sauce!
Cheesy Vegan Breakfast Sandwich was created over the holiday to ease a carb-craving hangover! It totally hit the spot! Typically, I make my own vegan cheese but I used Daiya cheddar for this sandbo. I crisped up some tempeh in taco seasoning, Gimme Lean Sausage (super crispy – the way I like it), toasted the cheddar on an amazing jalapeño bread, and smashed it up with some avocado. I sprinkled some s & p over the two toasts, put it together, sliced it in half, and literally inhaled this fabulous concoction quicker than you can say, “Cheesy Vegan Breakfast Sandwich.” I was left stuffed, and had become one with the couch, and then sipped on coffee, sat with my heating pad, and watched an episode of General Hospital. Hey, don’t judge. We all have our crack! This sandwich & GH are mine! 😉 I happened to indulge myself for the holidays with a bag of Stumptown’s Hair Bender coffee as well so that just made the crack even better! Not the worst way one can nurse a hangover!
I’m off to a healthier and more fit 2018 thus far. Four lbs down and more to go! Looking forward to wearing this AMAZING new jumpsuit and flare jeans that I just purchased from Free People. Hopefully, I’ll be rockin’ them & lookin’ svelte by spring! That being said, I’ll have to save this bfast sandwich for a real craving. 😉 Happy almost end to the first week of 2018! Cheers!
PS- I’ve included pics of the awesome jumper & jeans!
- 2 slices of bread (I used jalapeño)
- 1 slice of vegan cheddar (I used Daiya)
- 1/2 of an avocado - smashed
- 2 small circles of Gimme Lean sausage OR 2 other vegan sausage patties
- 3 thin slices of tempeh
- Taco seasoning to taste
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Oil for pan & tempeh
- Using one large pan or two small pans heat burner/s to medium
- Brush the tempeh slices with oil and taco seasoning - fully covering the tempeh with both
- Put the tempeh & the sausage in pan until crispy (you may cook the tempeh longer than the sausage) - about 5 minutes
- While the vegan 'meats' are cooking, toast the 2 slices of bread with a 1/2 piece of cheddar on each slice. When done, equally divide the avocado smash onto each slice with the cheese and smear together creating a beautiful gooey mess!
- Layer the sausage & tempeh on top of 1 slice of bread. Sprinkle s & p on both slices, close sandwich, cut in half, and scarf down!
Vegan Mushroom Lentil Wellington was the best decision EVER for my Christmas dinner. It was incredibly easy to make, loaded with flavor, healthy, and seemingly fancy-schmancy so my guests were uber impressed! Typically, I hear of mushroom Wellington as a vegan substitute for beef Wellington, however, with my love for lentils and wanting a more solid stuffing, I opted to add lentils as well. So glad I did! Was crazy tasty and enjoyed by all! This recipe will be a crowd pleaser for Thanksgiving dinners, Christmas dinners, Easter dinners etc. I’d really love your opinions on this if you make it so please share in the comment section!
Along with my Vegan Mushroom Lentil Wellington I made a carrot barley soup (usually I add mushrooms but didn’t want to overload on the shrooms), and mashed potatoes & gravy (extra gravy for the Wellington). We chowed it all down with a beautiful Simi cabernet sauvignon! For the mashed potatoes, I used Earth Balance ‘butter’, unsweetened almond milk, fresh rosemary, and salt & pepper. For the gravy, I used dijon mustard, Braggs Aminos (or soy sauce), veggie broth, flour, Earth Balance, thyme, and salt & pepper.
Christmas was extra amazing this year because it was the first year that G could really get into the xmas magic and spirit (movies, songs, presents), and because it was the first year that I have spent Christmas as a home owner! I am a lover of the art of decorating for all holidays… especially, Christmas and Halloween! It was awesome to listen to my favorite xmas tunes (classics and, hello, Mariah Carey!), drink Poinsettias, and decorate the new house with the fam. A pretty amazing month! Missing my grandma hardcore over the holidays but keeping her alive in spirit. 🙂 Now, it’s the new year and I’m crazy committed to my goals/resolutions for 2018! Read my previous Poinsettia post if you’d like to join me in ‘said’ resolutions! Lastly, I’m back to work today. Great to be back in a routine, but missing sleeping late, hangin’ with G, seeing my friends, shooting food, and exploring Portland! Sigh… maybe one day my dream of blogging/writing full time will come true. Until then, enjoy your return to the grind! XO -FGG
PS- Daytime photos of the Wellington are from the next day. For the full effect of the crispiness of the loaf, look at the nighttime pics. 🙂
- 18 oz cooked lentils (I used Trader Joe's Steamed Lentils)
- 3 C sliced baby portobellos
- 1 roll of phyllo dough/puff pastry
- 1/4 C unsweetened almond milk (or any unsweetened milk) for brushing dough
- 1/4 C olive oil for brushing dough & additional 2 Tbl for pan
- 1/4 of a yellow onion -diced
- 3 cloves of garlic - minced
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tsp all purpose seasoning
- Optional: fresh rosemary sprig for garnish
- Gravy to taste
- Heat pan with oil and add onions cooking for approximately 4 minutes
- Add garlic - stirring occasionally for 1 minute more
- Add the mushrooms, salt & pepper - stir for approximately 5 minutes
- Add the lentils, all purpose seasoning, and rosemary, and stir for approximately 5 minutes more
- Heat the oven to 375f and remove the mushrooms & lentils from the heat
- Spray a baking sheet with oil and place a few sheets of pastry on the sheet to make a large enough surface area for your Wellington and brush with oil
- Top those sheets with 5-6 more layers - brushing each layer with oil prior to placing the next layer on top
- Add contents from pan (mushroom/lentil contents)
- Cover the mixture with an additional 5-6 layers brushing oil in between layers again
- For the top layer, do not oil (top), brush with almond milk
- Press sides together, adding more oil if needed and fold upwards -flip the Wellington over and place in the oven for approximately 35 minutes or until slightly browned
- Place a sprig of rosemary on top for a garnish
- Wait at least 5 minutes before slicing
- Serve with gravy
- Cabernet Sauvignon