Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday Menus

Monday: Carrot Ginger soup, salad w/maple roasted pumpkin & feta, roasted brussel sprouts

Tuesday: Kale harvest pie

Wednesday: Greek veggies & orzo w greek salad

Thursday: Chickpea spinach curry w/ coconut basmasti rice

Friday: Caribbean beans & rice w/mango salsa

Saturday: Taking the night off & ordering out

Sunday: Veggie pot-pie w/salad

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Monday Menus

Busy Week & it has taken me too long...but here it is!

Monday: Winter Minestrone

Tuesday: Baked sweet potato w/kale & ricotta, left- over soup, salad & fresh bread

Wednesday: Pasta w/tomato sauce, salad & bread

Thursday: Chilaquile w/guacamole, salsa & chips

Friday: Walnut-lentil burgers & salad

Saturday: Date night

Sunday: Mujudra, spinach & kale w/onions, hummus & pita bread

Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday Menus

Monday: Farm-stand Casserole

Tuesday: Hubbie's cooking night ( I have a massage :) )

Wednesday: Black Bean Soup w/ Mexican Salad

Thursday: homemade quinoa burgers w/ home fries

Friday: pizza night

Saturday: carry-out

Sunday: sesame, tamari & ginger baked tofu, broccoli & peppers w/rice

*I have had a really hard time finding a vegetarian black bean soup that has a lot of flavor. The recipe I tried this week was new and we all loved it so I thought I would share. :)

Vegetarian Black Bean Soup

10 sun dried tomatoes
1 cup of boiling water

1 1/2 cup of finely diced onions
3 garlic cloves
1 jalapeno finely diced
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. cumin
1/3 cup water
28 oz. can undrained canned tomatoes
4 cups of undrained cooked black beans
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
additional water or tomato juice

sour cream & shredded cheese for toppings

In small bowl, cover the sun-dried tomatoes with the boiling water and set aside.

In a soup pot, saute onions, garlic and chili pepper in the oil until the onions are translucent. Add the cumin, 1/3 cup of water and the juice from the tomatoes. Chop up the tomatoes coarsely and add to the pot. Cover, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Add the black beans and their liquid, continue to simmer and stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

Drain and chop the softened sun-dried tomatoes. Add them to the soup and cook for 5-10 minutes longer, until the onions are tender. Stir in the cilantro and remove from heat. Remove half of the soup and puree, adding the extra water or tomato juice if it gets too thick. Pour back in to the pan, stir and heat until desired temperature.

Enjoy topped with sour cream and/or cheese.

Los Dios De Los Muertos

Day of the Dead is something that our family has celebrated the last couple of years. It has been a wonderful way to teach our children the importance of remembering members of our family who have passed away. We take time to tell stories that keep memories alive, we make favorite foods of those who have died and we set up an alter with photos, flowers, and candles to remind us to say prayers of thanks for all that our ancestors did to help us have the lives we have today.

It has been an excellent tool to help my five year old daughter be able to talk about death and start to understand it is part of the natural life cycle of every living thing. It also has been a great way to teach my children that through death we celebrate life.

This year I picked up this awesome fabric for our altar (Pink Chalk Fabrics) as well as some fun tissue flowers and skull trinkets from Mexican town. For those of you who are not familiar with this holiday, it is one that primarily celebrated in Mexico and by Latin Americans in the United States. It is celebrated on Nov. 1st & 2nd (in connection with All Saints Day and All Souls Day) and the celebration includes trips to the cemeteries to pay respects, special meals & treats and altars that are adorned with flowers, pictures, sugar skulls & food to honor the deceased. One thing that I have found very interesting is that scholars have traced the origins of this holiday back thousands of years to an Aztec festival in honor of a goddess, Mictecacihuatl, whose role is to keep watch over the bones of the dead. Her cult is sometimes held to persist in the common Mexican worship of Santa Muerte; this I find VERY fascinating!

I encourage you to make this holiday part of your family festivities at this time of year, especially if you have little ones who are curious about death and you are having a hard time approaching the issue with them.

Here is the recipe that we use to make the traditional Day of the Dead Bread, Pan Muerto:

Pan de Muerto (Bread of the Dead)
Ingredients 1/4 cup milk 1/4 cup (half a stick) margarine or butter, cut into 8 pieces 1/4 cup sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 package active dry yeast 1/4 cup very warm water 2 eggs 3 cups all-purpose flour, unsifted 1/2 teaspoon anise seed 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 2 teaspoons sugar

Instructions: Bring milk to boil and remove from heat. Stir in margarine or butter, 1/4 cup sugar and salt.
In large bowl, mix yeast with warm water until dissolved and let stand 5 minutes. Add the milk mixture.
Separate the yolk and white of one egg. Add the yolk to the yeast mixture, but save the white for later. Now add flour to the yeast and egg. Blend well until dough ball is formed.

Flour a pastry board or work surface very well and place the dough in center. Knead until smooth. Return to large bowl and cover with dish towel. Let rise in warm place for 90 minutes. Meanwhile, grease a baking sheet and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Knead dough again on floured surface. Now divide the dough into fourths and set one fourth aside. Roll the remaining 3 pieces into "ropes."

On greased baking sheet , pinch 3 rope ends together and braid. Finish by pinching ends together on opposite side. Divide the remaining dough in half and form 2 "bones." Cross and lay them atop braided loaf.
Cover bread with dish towel and let rise for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix anise seed, cinnamon and 2 teaspoons sugar together. In another bowl, beat egg white lightly.
When 30 minutes are up, brush top of bread with egg white and sprinkle with sugar mixture, except on cross bones. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
Makes 8 to 10 servings.