Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Vegan Gumbo, Mardi Gras Smoothies, Pumpkin Pancakes

My nose is stuffed up.  Well, not my WHOLE nose, just the right nostril.  No matter how much I blow out it's still stuffed up.  There are no other cold symptoms (knock on wood) but I pretty sure that by the time I finish typing this post I'll be out of tissues.  Being the Glass-Half-Full girl that I am though, I'm going to look at this as an immune system win.  I bet if I were still filling my body with all those processed/mystery ingredients this really would be a knock-yourself-in-the-butt full fledged cold!  I need to believe that.  I hate being sick.  I'm a big baby when it comes to being sick. 

On to happier thoughts...

How was your Mardi Gras???  Did you pig out on pancakes?

We had pancakes for lunch!! 

Pumpkin Pancakes topped with Banana, Strawberries, Raisins, Coconut (mine only) and Pumpkin Seeds (mine only); with a side of CA Veggie Mix and nutritional yeast.

Pumpkin Pancakes
1/3 C Oatmeal
1/3 C Cottage Cheese
1/4 C Pumpkin Puree
1 T Ground Flax Seed
1/2 t Baking Soda
1/2 t Baking Powder
Pinch Salt
1 T Cinnamon (or less if you're not a cinnamon lover like me)
1 Egg
Almond Milk

Blend everything but the egg and milk.  Pulse in the egg.
Stir in Almond Milk until the batter is the consistency you like.
Put large spoonfuls on a hot griddle and cook until the first side is done and the top is set.
Flip and cook the second side.

While I made our lunch I also started our dinner....

Vegan Gumbo!!

First I made a Roux.  A roux is basically a thickener that's 1/2 fax and 1/2 flour.  Into a pan I mixed 3 T Coconut Oil with 3 T Whole Wheat Flour.  Then I cooked it on Med-Low, stirring pretty much constantly for 30 minutes.  It thickened a LITTLE but I think it was supposed to thicken more than it did.  I'm not sure, but after 30 minutes I was done. :)

3T Coconut Oil + 3 T Whole Wheat Flour

I poured the Roux into my crock pot along with some diced tomatoes...

1 Can Diced Tomatoes + 1 Can Diced Tomatoes with Chili

Some Chopped Veggies...

Kale, Sweet Peppers, Onion, Celery

Some Soaked Red (Kidney) Beans...

Some Okra & Corn...

And Some Spices and Broth.  Then I set it to High for about 4.5 hours.  After that I let it cool on Warm with the lid off for about 45 minutes while I made the rice and visited with my parents. :)

For the spices I added...
1 Part/Shake each of: Thyme, Basil & Bay Leaves
3 Parts/Shakes each of: Black Pepper, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder & Chili Powder
5 Parts/Shakes of Cayenne Pepper
and a few shakes of Liquid Smoke.

From what I read for a stew to be a Gumbo it needs a Roux and Okra.  Then you just add what ever else you like.  I'm not sure if that's true or if it would pass in Louisiana but in my home we loved it. :)

Before cooking. :)

Finally dinner started with some Mardi Gras Smoothies!!!

That's Frozen Banana + Almond Milk on the bottom (gold);
Spinach, Avocado, Frozen Banana + Almond Milk in the middle (green)
and Frozen Blackberries + Frozen Banana + Almond Milk on the top (purple)

Then our main meal was the Long Grain Brown Rice topped with the Gumbo.

To cook the rice I simply brought 2 C Rice and 3 C water to a Boil.  Then I covered it, turned down the heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes.  Then I removed it from the heat (left the lid on) and let it sit another 10-20 minutes.

And look at that...Not a single dash of nutritional yeast!! :P

For dessert my mom made a King Cake!!

Don't worry, we didn't eat the entire thing!  My parents actually split it with a guest from St. Mary of the Wood's (my mom's Alma Mater) and then with us.  There were 2 babies hidden in it.  By luck their guest found the first one.  The second was strategically placed so that Kai would get it...

But some how it wound up in Grandpa's piece!!!

D'oh!!  We're not sure how this happened but I think we can all agree it was Grandpa's fault. lol!

Fortunately, I still have quite a few little babies (left over from a baby shower game 3 years ago!!) so I snuck off and grabbed a new one to put in Kai's second, small, piece of cake....

(Ignore the open dishwasher...I apparently didn't shut the door yet. lol!)

She found it that time!! :)

Now Fat Tuesday/Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras is over and we've begun Lent.  For Catholics (including yours truly) it's a time for preparation for Easter, when Jesus rose from the grave.  During Lent many give up a luxury as a form of penitence or add something to their routine to better themselves.  Not everyone takes it seriously (ie My dad gives up Watermelon EVERY YEAR, lol!).  I've been trying to figure out what I wanted to do this year.  I considered giving up eating any form of animal (ie going Vegan) but I don't know how practical that would be with a Meat and Potatoes husband.  Instead I think I'm going to exercise for 30 minutes everyday.  That means walking, yoga, weights...what ever.  Something to get me active.  Most of last year I was good about dedicated "work-outs" (vs. just running around and playing with Kai) but I've lost that drive.  I know that when I work out I feel stronger and in general, better about myself.  I want to get that back. :)

So is what's everyone else doing for lent??

Oh, and look at that...I still have a few tissues left. Yeah!!

1 comment:

  1. I gave up the snooze button and I also gave myself a challenge -