Thursday, September 2, 2010

Carbs, Cheesecake and Red Wine

So I used to think that people who made homemade pasta, baked bread or made sauce from scratch had too much time on their hands. Perhaps that is true but I have now become one of those people and I can tell you this... time is one thing I usually do not have on my hands (Mr. Sketch marker remnants and a crappy month old manicure? yes. But no time.)

Anyhow, today was a lovely day filled with household chores, pre-school year parent phone calls and the aformentioned pasta/sauce making. I suppose you could say I was inspired by Julia Robert's spaghetti scene in Eat, Pray, Love.

The day began with a simple breakfast which included one of my favorite Peanut Butter Co. flavors:
Cinn-Raisin Ezekial Toast with PB Co.

Strawberry-Peach-Mango Smoothie
I had some lunch after a Jillian Michael's workout video. She kicks my butt but man... does anyone else find her a little irritating? Anyway, after hearing her voice for an hour I needed a break so I had some Thai Tempeh Pizza while watching a Jersey Shore rerun. I know you're judging and I'm ok with that.

Thai Tempeh Pizza
Crust = whole wheat pita
Pizza sauce = 1/4 cup Amy's Thai Coconut Curry soup blended with 1/2 cup organic stewed tomatoes
Topped with curry tempeh pieces and various veggies along with 1/4 cup rice mozzerella
Bake for 15 minutes at 350 until crust is crispy

Thai Tempeh pizza slices with snap peas

Post-lunch I had a cookie dough blizzard dessert. It was amaaaazing and completely guilt free. I froze some coconut yogurt in an ice cube tray this morning. Then, I blended four of the frozen yogurt cubes to create some healthy "fro-yo" I mixed in pieces from the cookie dough balls I made the other day. Soooo good and the ingedients were literally just yogurt, dates and almonds.
Around 6, the pasta making fest began. I picked up some fresh baked wheat bread from the local farmer's market and cracked open a bottle of red wine from our wedding. Isn't cooking so much more fun when you have a glass of wine in your hand?

Veggie Marinara Sauce:
1 yellow onion
1 cup broccolini florets
1 cup chopped zucchini
1 cup chopped spinach
2 cloves garlic (minced)
2 tablespoons EVO
2 cans organic stewed tomatoes
2 tablespoons fresh basil
1 tablespoon sea salt
1. Saute onions in EVO until they brown. Add in chopped veggies and salt. Saute for 5-10 minutes until veggies are tender and vibrant in color.
2. While veggies are cooking, grind tomatoes in food processor with garlic and basil.
3. Add tomato mixture to sauce pan. Simmer for 1 hour.

I also made some of Mama Pea's homemade tofu ricotta gnocchi. This dish definitely goes into the list of top 10 dinners I have made since going vegan. Sooooo good! Patrick said it was one of his favorites also and believe me... he knows gnocchi ; )

Cheescake bar for dessert. I don't know why it did the flippy thing again. Apologies. But it was good!
Time to get some rest for the upcoming holiday weekend. I am so excited for a jam-packed couple days with my family. Would love to hear about your own plans for food and fun this Labor Day! Leave a comment and let me know what you'll be cooking up : )


  1. Yumm!!!! I really look forward to your posts. A while back you mentioned you were reading "Skinny Bitch". I recently picked up a copy myself. How are you liking it? I have to admit that I was taken aback when they said no coffee...but I've kept reading. This weekend, I'm going to a cookout at my grandmother's and I'm in charge of bringing a veggie platter. Instead of doing the typical sour cream based dip to accompany the veggies, I've decided to whip up some homemade hummus. I've included the recipe below which I picked up a while back from my friend Beth (she has a cooking blog at She adapted the recipe from Real Simple and I used a little of my Armenian grandmother's recipe as basically just add another clove of garlic and double the lemon juice to this recipe below. I made some for Tia the other day and just added some chopped roasted red peppers ;) I love making a big batch and using it on pita and veggie sandwiches all week!

    5-Minute Hummus
    adapted from Real Simple

    15 oz cooked, rinsed chickpeas (canned are a-okay, try to find organic)
    3 cloves garlic
    1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for serving
    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    4 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    Sea salt
    1/4 teaspoon paprika

    In a food processor, puree the chickpeas and garlic with olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, cumin, and 3/4 teaspoon salt, until smooth and creamy. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of water as necessary to achieve the desired consistency.

    Transfer to a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika before serving. Makes about 1 1/2 cups

  2. Thanks so much for this recipe! I have yet to try making my own hummus and this has inspired me. It sounds delicious!

    I did read Skinny Bitch and liked it for the most part. The style of writing was pretty funny. I know they say no coffee but that is one vice I have not given up... I try to keep it at one cup a day but that is the best I can do for now : )

    Are you a coffee drinker? Would love to hear people's thoughts on this. I constantly think about giving it up but can't bring myself to take the plunge...

    Have so much fun at your cookout this weekend! Let me know if you experience any other good eats at the party.

  3. Becky's hummus was very very good. I sat at the counter eating it for a good hour while she cooked. It was delicious.

    Reen, I do not believe you really made gnocchi, that is awesome. I love it. I can not wait to visit you next weekend and cook a dinner together Saturday night (accompanied with a glass of wine). In highschool remember I was the better cook, you have far outcooked me now. I did make a delicious eggplant pizza the other night though on the grill.

  4. Mmmm... pizza on the grill. How do you do that??

  5. I put the crust in the oven for about 5 minutes to get it just a little firm. Then I put all the toppings on and slide it onto the grill.