Mini Meatless Loaves

DSCF3571My tip for today: when you make meatloaf (or, as in my case, vegetarian meatless loaf), try cooking it in a muffin tin.This makes it easier to serve, as you don’t have to slice anything. Use a little cooking spray (or a nonstick pan) and the finished individual servings just slide right out of the muffin cups! Also, cooking the loaf this way ensures every serving is essentially an “end-piece” with that yummy crusty edge around it :).

This Morningstar Farms recipe is my go-to meatless loaf recipe. It makes 10 regular-sized muffin cups’ worth of loaf. I substitute green bell pepper for the celery because I don’t like celery, and I spread ketchup (HEB Organic is my favorite) mixed with a little seasoning salt, dry mustard, black pepper and brown sugar over the top.

Mini Meatless LoavesIt was hard for me to get a particularly appetizing picture of these little guys (I think perhaps meatloaf is just not a very photogenic food), but there are lots of other examples of various implementations of this same idea online. Like this one. Cute, right?

Happy homemaking,

Elizabeth

Mediterranean Nachos

We eat nachos pretty often in this household.

Recently, I was putting corn chips away in a cabinet and noticed the pita chips sitting there, and got to thinking…what if I made “Mediterranean Nachos” by subbing pitas for corn chips? What if I used hummus instead of refried beans? Kalamata olives instead of black olives, spinach instead of lettuce, etc., etc…you get what I’m saying :).

When I mentioned this idea to S, he suggested using crumbled falafel instead of the veggie “ground beef” crumbles we usually use, and tzatziki instead of sour cream. I almost couldn’t wait for the weekend to come so I could try it.

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For the falafel, I used a mix. I just dropped spoonfuls of it onto parchment paper and baked it for 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through.

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Then I crumbled it onto the nachos and topped them with everything else.

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Obviously this is not a unique idea (google “Greek Nachos” and you’ll see what I mean) but it was new to me! And it was quick, easy and delicious. I’ll definitely make it again.

Creamy Sausage and Spinach Pasta Skillet

I hadn’t planned to post about this meal but when I opened up the container to eat the left-overs (last week), I thought it looked kind of pretty, even the next day. So I took some pictures. And here they are :).

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This is an adapted version of a recipe found on The Comfort of Cooking.

To make it veggie, instead of sausage I used Tofurky Kielbasa (I like to fry this up in a separate pan and then add it to the rest of the dish at the last minute, otherwise it gets a bit soggy), and I substituted vegetable broth for the chicken broth. The only diced tomatoes I had on hand were Italian seasoned, so I used those (and I think I liked it better than when I’ve used plain ones in the recipe before, actually!). Instead of the jalapenos, I added a dash of crushed red pepper flakes. I originally served this with more steamed vegetables on the side. The bread was from a Central Market Organic Multigrain loaf I picked up at HEB.

Asian “Beef” With Mushrooms and Snow Peas

Here’s a super-quick, super-easy, delicious meal  I like to make on busy days. Or when I’m feeling lazy :).

Note:  You can speed this up even more by preparing your sauce and veggies ahead of time and by using one of the greatest inventions ever, instant rice. I usually serve mine with egg rolls. And of course I also made this vegetarian by using Gardein Beefless Tips.

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ASIAN BEEF WITH MUSHROOMS AND SNOW PEAS*

Ingredients:

3 Tbs. soy sauce

2 Tbs. rice wine vinegar

1 Tbs. brown sugar

1 tsp. corn starch

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 Tbsp. chopped ginger from a jar

1 Tbsp. minced garlic

1 pkg. Gardein Beefless Tips

8 oz. snow peas (I cut mine in half to make them easier to eat)

8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced

Directions:

1. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar and corn starch. Set aside.

2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir-fry ginger and garlic for 30 seconds. Add the Beefless Tips and brown for 2-3  minutes on each side. Add the vegetables and stir-fry for an additional 3 minutes. Add the soy sauce mixture; bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 1 minute. Serve over rice or noodles.

*Adapted from allrecipes.com