Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Roasted Bell Pepper and Spinach Sandwhich

This is the sandwich to go with my gazpacho recipe. Not too complicated but tasty!

This recipe makes 2 sandwiches, but can easily be multiplied.

1 red pepper pepper
Olive oil
1/4 onion, sliced
1 cup fresh spinach (frozen is fine)
2 rolls (I used torta rolls)
2 slices of vegan swiss cheese (I used Daiya)

Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.

Rub the pepper with some olive oil. This does not really help with the roasting process, just adds flavor.

Bake for 15 minutes, until the upside is lightly browned.

While the pepper roasts, sautee the slices onions and spinach in a pan over medium heat, with a touch of olive oil. Once the onions are translucent, set aside.

Remove the peppers from the oven and turn them over.

Bake for another 15 minutes.

The skin should be charred now and the pepper should practically be falling apart.

Place your pepper in a zip-lock bag. Let it sit and cool for 5 minutes.

Now the skin will be soft and cool enough to peel off. I usually peel the pepper in the bag, so there is less mess. Just peel off all the charred skin either with your fingers or a small knife.

Now cut the pepper in half. The steam and attached seeds will come out easily.

Wipe away any remaining seeds.

Set the two pepper halves aside.

Now we can assemble....

Heat a pan (the one you did the spinach in is fine) over medium-high heat.

Take spread of mustard and horseradish on each roll.

Add a slice of cheese on one side of each roll.

On half of the bell pepper on top of the cheese for each roll.

Add the spinach mixture on top of the pepper pepper.

Top with the other piece of the roll.

Squish the sandwich down a bit, this will help it all stay together

Place in the hot pan. Cook a few minutes, until the roll is crisp and golden.

Flip over and repeat on the other side.

Now you have a tasty grilled sandwich to go with your soup!

Thursday, May 16, 2013


Before I ever started eating a plant-based diet, I did have a vegetarian roll model: Lisa Simpson. I remember when the The Simpsons Episode "Lisa the Vegetarian" premiered. After snuggling with lamb at a petting zoo, Lisa deicdes to become a vegetarian for Animal Rights. Homer, of course, has a big BBQ, with the main dish being a whole smoked pig. Lisa decides to help out her fellow meat-gorging Springfielders and makes gazpacho. Someone askes what it was, she answered "It's tomato soup served ice cold!"....no one is really cares.

The other day I wanted grilled cheese and tomato soup. That is not really the most nutrious meal, so I decided to jazz it up a little. I could add some veggies and avocado to my sandwhich to add nutrients, no problem. I could make my own tomato soup, but I wanted some than just cooked tomatoes, espcially because it was a little warm out that day. Then it hit me, "It's tomato soup served ice cold!" A cool bowl of delcious raw gazpacho would be a lovely compliment to my veggie sandwhich.

I based the recipe on my own knowledge and a bunch of other recipes I saw on Google (I really liked all the veggies in The Pinoneer Woman's recipe). I added or left out what best suit me. By the way, some recipes will call for worcestershire sauce. It is not vegan or vegetarian, it contains anchoivies. I left it out, but a little bit of soy sauce would be a good replacement.

I will post my sandwhich recipe in a separate post.

The soup recipes make 4-6 servings.

4 cups diced tomatoes (I used canned, but fresh would be lovely)
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 medium onion, pealed
1 cucumber, cut into quarters
1 zucchini, cut into quarters
1 red bell pepper, seeds and stem removed
2 stalks of celery
1 large carrot, cut into quarters
3 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup red wine
2 tbs fresh clinatro
1 tbs fresh chives
Water, as needed
Chili powder
Salt and pepper

It is pretty simple, throw everything in a food processor, except the  chili powder, salt, and pepper. I recommend pulsing it slowly at first to break chop the big pieces. I left mine a little chunky. Add water as needed to bring it to a soup-like consistency.

Season with the chili powder, salt, and pepper as desired.

Pour the soup into a big bowl and let it chill. The longer it sits, the better it tastes. I let mine chill while I made my sandwhiches.

Once it is cold, serve it up and garnish with some hot sauce, extra clinatro or chives, or anything you like.

Fresh, healthy, and full of flavor! It is a good thing I am a Simpsons junkie, or I would have missed out on a great dinner. Actually, you would be surprised how often I quote the show. It even helped me in my car accident. There is an espisode where the family's car is sliding on the ice and everyone is shouting out what to do. My dad told me that Lisa was right, "Tap the breaks and turn away from the slide!" and I always remembered it. When the police officer came to my accident, he said I did the right thing to keep the car from spinning more. Thank you Simpsons!

And hey Mom, "Give me a slice!" (family joke)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Peanut Butter Noodles

I cannot remember where I got this original recipe years ago. It seems like something from "healthy college living" magazine, but I know I made this while I was still in high school.  Oh well...

I make this often and it indeed came in handy in college. Cheap ingredients that are usually already in your pantry and very filling. However,  it can be high in calories so you need to keep your portions reasonable. But have no fear, it tastes even better the next day so no need to polish off the leftovers right away.

This recipe makes 4 servings.

Peanut Butter Noodles
8 oz. of spaghetti
1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy, does not matter)
3 tbs rice wine vinegar
5 tbs soy sauce
2 tps fresh ginger, minced
1 clove of garlic, minced
Siracha, to taste
1 medium cucumber, pealed, cut in half, and sliced
Chives, minced

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Then cook the spaghetti according to the package.

While that cooks, in a small bowl combine the peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and Siracha. Add a little bit of water as need to help it come together. It should be smooth (unless you used chunky peanut butter) and slightly runny. It wont coat the noodles properly if it is too dry and clumpy.

Drain the spaghetti, reserving a cup of the water.

In a large bowl, add the spaghetti and the peanut sauce. Mix together well, adding a little of reserved pasta water as need to help it coat evenly.

Next add cucumber slices and chives, mix well.

Top with the cilantro and little more Siracha is you desire.

You can eat this warm or cold, and like I said,  it is better the next day when all the flavors settle in.