Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Easy Asian Lettuce Wraps


My husband looooooooves Asian food so I made up this easy recipe for lettuce wraps and he was quite satisfied (especially with them being only 650 calories for the whole meal!) =O
Beware these are so easy and yummy you might decide to have them for dinner every night!
I had originally wanted to calculate the exact cost of this recipe for you all because I know it was cheap to make...I MEAN CHEAP! Using so many ingredients I usually have on hand and then thinking about how i would calculate the cost of a tiny bit of spice and one garlic clove I just decided an estimate would have to do. I got a can of chick peas from Walmart for $.68 and used lettuce out of my Bountiful Basket so I am just going to make a guess that this meal cost less than $2.00. The teriyaki sauce was the big killer there ;)

Without further ado....here it is :)

Serves 2 big eaters as a main course (I didn't make anything to go with it!)

1 can of chick peas; drained (15 oz)
1 1/2 cups cooked rice (leftover rice is fine)
1 garlic clove minced (or more if you like)
1/2 an onion chopped
1/2 t ginger powder
3/4 cup teriyaki sauce (I used Veri Veri Teriyaki, you could make your own but this is why I call these "EASY" lettuce wraps) 
8-10 Lettuce leaves (I used romaine)

1. Saute onion and garlic until brownish in a nonstick frying pan (oil is not necessary but if you do use it don't forget it changes the calorie count)

2. Add in chick peas and saute for a few minutes.

3. Add teriyaki sauce and ginger powder and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occationally.


4. Add in your rice and mix until rice is coated and hot but then remove from heat.

5. Put in lettuce leaves and enjoy :) 

Would be yummy topped with green onion, or dipped in sweet chili sauce but neither are necessary!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Earthy Spinach and Beet Salad

I made this salad at my mom's one day to replicate a favorite salad I had at a restaurant.

It was a HUGE hit! Most of the adults in my family had seconds on salad and barely touched their entrees.

Some people do not like beets and some people love them. If you do not like beets you will not like this salad ;) If you like them, then this salad will blow your mind!

Here is the ingredients. All you do it put them together in any amount that you wish! My only recommendation is that you toss the salad with the dressing immediately before you top it and eat it so its fresh and not soggy.

Happy salad making!

  • Spinach
  • Balsamic Beet Dressing
  • Spiced Pecans (toss pecans in olive oil, brown sugar, and nutmeg to taste and bake)
  • Carmelized onions, chilled (slice an onion and saute in a few tablespoons of balsamic vinegar; chills in seconds in the freezer)
  • Sunflower seeds
3 Ingredient Balsamic Beet Dressing

This yummy earthy vinaigrette is anything but ordinary. 

I only use this dressing on spinach salads and will post my salad recipe for you to enjoy!

1 can of diced beets 
2 T brown sugar
1/4 Cup balsamic vinegar


Drain the juice from the can of beets into a cup (SAVE THE BEETS FOR YOUR SALAD) and add in brown sugar and vinegar.  Mix and your done! If you like a thick dressing you can combine ingredients in a saucepan and reduce.

Here's my recipe for Earthy Spinach and Beet Salad!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Easy And Healthy Caesar Dressing!

In an effort to eat healthier I purposefully buy too much lettuce and spinach on a regular basis. I buy so much in fact, my husband and I eat salad every day with at LEAST one meal sometimes two, to frantically eat up all the salad mix :) 

I'm not married to a complainer, in fact my husband will eat pretty much anything I set in front of him. With that said, I should also let you know I try not to take advantage of this and make an effort to try new recipes every week and replicate some of his favorite foods he enjoyed before going "plant based".

If you eat salad as much as we do you may have found yourself stuck in the "vinaigrette rut" that I was in. Yes vinegar and oil is a nice light way to eat salad but even 4 different types of vinegar based dressing get a bit old and tangy after a while. I should probably mention here that I am 9 months pregnant at the moment only 2 weeks from my due date so salad is one of the only things that fills my stomach and still allows me to breathe!

Yes breathing is very important it turns out....

After trying Heather's "Homemade Ranch When Your Out Of Everything" I was hooked! And felt confident I could vegan-ize just about any dressing. 

I wanted a creamy, yummy, healthy recipe for caesar dressing. I don't know if you have noticed there are alot of vegan recipes that are still so high in calories and fat! This one is low calorie and fat since it's tofu based instead of mayo or oil based.

This recipe is healthy and creammmmmmyyyy....enjoy!

Ignore my yellow mustard ;)

10oz firm tofu (soft works fine too)
1 T lemon juice
1-2 cloves of garlic minced fine (unless you really really like garlic, stick to 1)
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1 T Dijon mustard
2 T vegan Worcestershire 
2 T Veganaise or olive oil
optional 1/4 cup of vegan parmesan

 Blend in a food processor or Magic Bullet and enjoy!

Easy Caesar Salad add ons:
*Black olives
*Artichoke hearts
*Sunflower seeds
*Raw sliced mushrooms

<3 Diana

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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Lentil Soft Tacos

This recipe came from my friend Bethany.  She actually brought me dinner ALL PREPARED to share while we visited and watched our kids play.  What a friend!  This is perfect for when creativity has run dry and I need something "safe" for dinner.


Lentil Soft Tacos

1/2 lb (or about 1 1/8 c if using bulk) dry brown lentils
diced tomatoes
chopped lettuce
diced avocado
diced black olives
veggy sour cream
vegan cheese (optional- I prefer to not by this every trip to the store to keep within my budget)
tortillas or taco shells
taco seasoning

Cook lentils according to directions on bag or read on: Rinse and then add to pan in a ratio of lentils to water 1:2.  Simmer for 15-45 mins depending on the age of the lentils.  Once they are soft, but not mush, drain if necessary.  Add taco seasoning to taste.

Use lentils as you would ground beef in soft tacos.  Fill the soft tacos with all the above yumminess and ENJOY!

Our Favorite Less-Mess Cornbread

If you are like me, you find the mommy part of you HATING crumbly cornbread.  It gets in little humans' hair, in the carpet, all over the chairs...ect. It is impossible for me to enjoy dinner if I am resenting that it will take me an hour when all the merry-making is done to clean it all up!  This cornbread recipe is our favorite in taste and texture!  The best part!  The mess is minimized because this recipe is moist and has more of the texture of cake.  We eat this whole pan in one dinner as a side to soup.  (The kids barely touch the soup!)

***** (All five Neumanns approve!)

Limited Mess and Still Amazing Cornbread  (and oil free!)

2 flax eggs (I will post next what a flax egg is, if you aren't sure.)
1 c pastry flour
1 c cornmeal
1 T baking powder
3/4 t salt
1/4 c honey (or maple syrup, or agave....remember SUBSTITUTE what you have!)
1 c rice milk (or soy, or almond)
1/4 c unsweetened applesauce

Make the flax eggs at the very beginning, before getting all the other ingredients out.  These "eggs" will become the consistency of chicken eggs is mixed and then put in the frig for 10-15 mins ahead so they can setup.  Mix dry ingredients.  Add in wet and mix only until barely combined so that you keep that cakey texture.  I use a GREASED 9" square pan.

Bake for 16 mins (in Pacific NW climate) at 425 degrees or until toothpick comes out clean in center.