What I Ate Wednesday: I’m Back Baby!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a What I Ate Wednesday post. I started out 2014 not feeling well. I didn’t do very much creative cooking and I was eating rather bland food. Early last month I had surgery, and in the weeks before and after the operation I didn’t have much of an appetite. Once my taste buds and tummy were ready for real food again, I couldn’t really stand for very long due to pain from the surgery, so I ate a lot of takeout and Amy’s Frozen dinners. There was one day when Dennis and I tried to cook dinner together, but ended up having to instruct him how to finish and then go lie down for a bit. Over the course of the last few days I’ve been able to stand for much longer periods of time, and I’ve been back in the kitchen, cooking up tasty meals. As George Costanza would say, “I’m back, baby!”



My meals have been rather simple and easy to make, and I’ve been trying to make up for all of the takeout and frozen dinners with healthy meals. The recipes I’ve been making are pretty vegetable heavy and I’ve been serving most of them with a side of greens. While I usually cook alone, Dennis has been helping me a lot with food prep, and it’s been nice to have company in the kitchen. Over the weekend we made a super easy spinach mushroom lasagna. This dish seems like it would take a long time to make, but it comes together in a flash. The recipe makes a lot of food, so there are enough leftovers for a few meals. 


Hummus Wrap

A hummus wrap made with a sprouted grain tortilla and lots of veggies has been my go-to lunch for the past few days. I have shredded carrots and cabbage as well as a package of artichoke hearts all ready to in the fridge, so this meal comes together really easily. 


Curried Coconut Spinach and Chickpeas

Another quick meal was Curried Coconut Spinach and Chickpeas over a baked sweet potato. The calendar may say that spring is here, but it was chilly and rainy on Monday, and this dish was warm and comforting. 


Chickpea Scramble

For breakfast over the weekend I made a chickpea scramble dish. This was a nice change from the usual tofu scramble. This recipe is from Isa Chandra Moskowitz and is in the newest issue of Vegetarian Times. 


Green Curry StirFry

This green curry stir-fry is also based on a recipe from this month’s Vegetarian Times, but I altered the recipe to be a little spicier and to include tofu. I really enjoyed this dish. 



One takeout meal that I haven’t grown weary of is the Da Schnitzel burger from PositiviTea, which is a vegan cafe not too far from my house. This is PostiviTea’s house made veggie burger topped with lots of mustard, pickles, lettuce and vegan cheese. 


Maybe next week I can start cooking with the new cookbooks that have been piling up since the beginning of the year!


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What I Ate Wednesday – Keeping Warm

It’s been extremely cold and snowy here on the east coast, and winter hasn’t yet arrived, which makes me think we’re in for a long and cold season. I’ve been craving spicy comfort food, and the cold has me feeling lazy, so I haven’t really felt like spending too much time in the kitchen. (Although I did bake up a storm on Saturday, and I plan on giving cookies and treats as Christmas gifts to quite a few people this year.) For today’s What I Ate Wednesday I’m going to show you some of the dishes that have kept me warm over the past few days.


GardeinAfter baking all day Saturday, I didn’t feel like cooking an elaborate dinner. Instead I roasted some potatoes and pulled a bag of Gardein’s Savory Stuffed Turk’y out of the freezer. I served them with steamed broccoli.  


Cannellini and Potato SoupI made Winter White Bean and Potato Soup for lunch yesterday. This was a recipe I tested for Kathy Hester for a project she’s working on. It was like a baked potato in a bowl and I ate it with sour cream, chives and hot sauce. 


Tostada Another “I don’t feel like cooking” meal was a quick and easy tostada. It was made with black beans, peppers, onions and  tomatoes and I topped it with lettuce, more tomatoes, olives, hot sauce and a dollop of sour cream. 


PizzaSpeaking of hot sauce, I now realize that I’ve been putting it on everything over the past few days. Even pizza. Over the weekend Dennis and I got creative with pizza and we topped a homemade crust with smokey cashew cheese sauce, thinly sliced potatoes and zucchini and a mixture of mozzarella and cheddar Follow Your Heart cheeses. It was inspired by my favorite pizza at Palla Pizza in NYC. 


Stir-fryI didn’t put hot sauce on the stir-fry I made for dinner on Monday night, but that’s because it was already quite spicy! I made Szechuan Stir-Fry with Fiery Peanut Sauce from Robin Robertson’s Nut Butter Universe, but I used the veggies I had on hand instead of what Robin called for in her recipe. It was super delish!


CurryI also made a really quick broccoli and chickpea curry using Trader Joe’s curry simmer sauce. This is one of my go-to meals for days that I don’t have a dinner plan.


Cookie SwapAnd even though they weren’t spicy, I did have a few cookies over the weekend. I hosted Montclair Vegans’ annual Christmas cookie swap on Sunday. My house was loaded with cookies, but I only sampled a few. I’m adding some of these cookies to what I baked on Saturday for the treat boxes I’ll be handing out to friends for Christmas next week. 


What have you been eating to keep warm this month?


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What I Ate Wednesday – What I Ate Yesterday

 I can’t believe it’s Wednesday again already! Since Thanksgiving I’ve been trying to cook my way through my new cookbooks so I can do reviews of them. I’ve also been recipe testing for Kathy Hester’s upcoming oatmeal book. For today’s What I Ate Wednesday I’m going to show you a sneak peek at some of the dishes I’ve made. Here’s everything I ate yesterday.



Breakfast was Pumpkin Coffeecake Oatmeal which I made in the slower cooker overnight. What’s better than waking up to a hot breakfast waiting for you? The recipe will be in Kathy Hester‘s upcoming cookbook.



Lunch was Baked Parmesan Cauliflower Pasta, which is from John Schlimm’s The Cheesy Vegan. I made it Monday night, and had some leftovers with a salad for lunch yesterday.



I discovered Earth Balance’s ‘Tis the Season Popps Popcorn at Whole Foods a few days ago and snacked on it yesterday. This stuff is dangerously addictive. If you come across it and decide to try it, proceed with caution. 



It was pretty cold and snowy here yesterday, so of course there were copious amounts of tea throughout the day. 



Dinner was Smokey Wild Mushroom and Potato and from Vegan Pizza by Julie Hasson, along with a salad. I used purple potatoes to give it some color.  This is one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had! People have told me that they could never go vegan because they wouldn’t be able to give up pizza. They all really need to try some of the recipes in this book, because it’s proof that veganism isn’t about deprivation.


What have you been cooking up lately? 


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What I Ate Wednesday – What I Ate for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Dinner

Ah, Thanksgiving. It’s the most gluttonous day of the year. Thanksgiving dinner is the one meal people across the U.S. prepare for for weeks and it’s gone before you know it. It is one of my favorite meals, but since I’ve been cooking Thanksgiving dinners all month, I was less excited about this year. I kept it low key and made sure I didn’t over indulge. For What I Ate Wednesday today, I’m going to show what I had.



I stared out with the Kick Ace Extra Sharp Raw Vegan Holiday Cheddar Cheese Ball from Vedged Out. This was so easy to make and it was delicious. If you think you can’t go vegan because you can’t give up cheese, you need to make yourself some of this raw cashew cheese.



Roasted Veggies

There were roasted root vegetables. I chopped up red potatoes, purple potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots and parsnips, added some pearled onions and tossed it all with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted them in the oven for a while. Easy peasy. 



Thanksgiving just isn’t Thanksgiving without Brussels sprouts, so I made my Pan Seared Brussels Sprouts with Caramelized Shallots and Toasted Pistachios. I could have eaten just a giant plate of this!



I made my usual Spinach Mushroom Stuffing, but this year I added some sliced vegan sausage to the mix for a little extra sumthin’ sumthin’. 



 We got our “turkey” at Veggie Heaven, the local vegan Chinese restaurant. 


Pumpkin Pie

 Dessert was a simple pumpkin pie.



I had a ThanksLiving Potluck with my vegan meetup group on Saturday, and I made another Kick Ace Cheese Ball. This was the big hit of the party!


Potluck Plate

The potluck was Thanksgiving themed, but most of the food people brought weren’t actually traditional Thanksgiving dishes. There was some mashed potatoes, squash, and cranberry sauce, but there was also cold sesame noodles, rice and peas, an Indian spinach and tofu dish, stuffed dates and pineapple carrot muffins. 



 I made a giant apple pie, which I didn’t actually try. When there’s chocolatey dessert and a baked fruit dessert, I will always go for the chocolate.


Potluck dessert

And there was chocolate dessert. There was a chocolate cardamom cake, gluten-free chocolate chip cookies and Chocolate Cake to Live For from Fran Costigan’s Vegan Chocolate.


What did you have for Thanksgiving dinner?


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What I Ate Wednesday – Recipe Testing

As I mentioned last week, I’ve been testing recipes for the soup chapter of the upcoming Cinnamon Snail cookbook. I’m also testing recipes for Allyson Kramer’s new gluten-free baking book. I’m a little behind on Allyson’s book, but I did finish the soup recipes over the weekend. I took photos of all of the soup that I had made, but then there was an incident with my iPhone, and I lost some of them. (And yes, I do know about Photo Stream, but I have my reasons for not having it turned on.) I do have a few photos though, so for today’s What I Ate Wednesday I’m going to show you some of what I’ve been making.


Butternut Squash

 Maple Butternut Squash Soup


Potato Skins

Ancho Red Bean Chili Potato Skins


 Tomato Sage Bisque



Red Wine Minestrone


Roasted Pears

 And for dessert, Caramel Roasted Pears!


What have you been cooking up lately? 


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What I Ate Wednesday – Soup’s On

I’ve never been much of a soup person. I do like the occasional creamy (vegan) bisque or hearty stew, but brothy-type soups have never really appealed to me. I see other people go nuts for soup, and I try to be one of them. Really a do. I make soups at home and I even occasionally order a bowl when I’m out to eat. Sometimes I’m happy with my choice, sometimes I’m not. In my effort to join in with the Soup Crowd, I volunteered to test recipe for the soup chapter of the upcoming Cinnamon Snail cookbook. Adam Sobel is a total wizard in the kitchen, so if he can’t come up with a soup recipe that makes me happy, no one can. For What I Ate Wednesday today, I’m showing off some of what I’ve been making.


 French Lentil

French Lentil Soup with Capers and Fried Pine Nuts 



Jalapeno Corn Chowdah



Thai Coconut Curry Soup


Raw Bisque

Live Habanero Tomato Soup


Spinch and Potato

Wild Mushroom, Spinach and Potato Soup


While I have enjoyed some of what I’ve made so far, I’m still not in with the Soup Crowd. I still have a few recipes to test though, so who knows, by the time I’m done, maybe I will be. 


What’s your favorite type of soup?



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What I Ate Wednesday – Preparing for Thanksgiving

Food blogging is a funny gig. Most bloggers who write recipes end up cooking meals for holidays way before the fact. I spent quite a lot of time last week making Thanksgiving dishes for both this blog and Chic Vegan. I also taught a two-part Meatless Thanksgiving cooking class with my friend Jenna. So I’ve been eating a lot of Thanksgiving-type food over the past week and a half and I’m kind of Thanksgiving’ed out. I’m considering maybe pizza or a stir-fry on the actually day. (Well, not really – I love Thanksgiving dinner.) For today’s What I Ate Wednesday, I’m showing off some of the Thanksgiving dishes I’ve been eating lately.


harvest salad

Thanksgiving food can be really heavy and kind of, well, brown. So one of my favorite dishes for fall holidays is my light and colorful Fall Harvest Salad with Pumpkin Vinaigrette. I’ll be reposting this recipe on Chic Vegan later in the week. 


stuffed portobellos

I usually make stuffed mushrooms for Thanksgiving, but this year I decided to try something different and I made Stuffed Portobellos. The recipe for this dish will be up here on Veggiegirl on Friday. 


Stuffed SquashSince I was in the mood to stuff things, I also made stuffed squash. This recipe will be part of the Virtual Vegan Potluck on Saturday. 


Pumpkin Baked ZitiThere was some Pumpkin Baked Ziti, in case Thanksgiving cooks are in the mood for pasta.



Curried Pumpkin Peanut Soup

It’s not part of my Thanksgiving blogging, but I also made Curried Pumpkin Peanut Soup, just because it seemed like the right thing to do.


What are you planning on cooking for Thanksgiving this year?


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What I Ate Wednesday – World Vegan Day Potluck

Potluck dishes

Last Friday was World Vegan Day, and I had a potluck with my MeetUp group Montclair Vegans to celebrate. Our potlucks are usually pretty epic: lots of people and lots of amazing food. Since this potluck was on a Friday night there were less guests, but the food was incredible, so it didn’t matter. Smaller potlucks tend to be more fun because I get to talk to all of my guests, where sometimes I’m not even sure who’s there at larger ones. We have some really, really excellent cooks in the group, so the food is always amazing. I’ve been to potlucks with other groups where I’ve left hungry, and I even went to a potluck once where one guest brought a can of peanuts. (I wish I was joking.) For today’s What I Ate Wednesdayy, I’m showing off what my wonderful guests cooked for World Vegan Day.


Plate 1

My first plate consisted of quinoa salad, rice and greens, sushi, roasted squash, sweet potato casserole and garlicky rice with peas. 


Plate 2

That was a lot of food, but I somehow had room to fit in a little more. Curry, lasagna and a salad showed up a little late. (Which is fine, because it wouldn’t have fit on the first plate!) 


Plate 3

And for dessert I made a Caramel Chai Cheesecake. I just started recipe testing for Allyson Kramer‘s next book, and this is one of the recipes.


What did you do to celebrate World Vegan Day?


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What I Ate Wednesday – Various Dinners

Nothing very exciting has happened in in the past week. There haven’t been any trips to NYC, any potlucks, any day trips and there definitely haven’t been any special occasions, so for today’s What I Ate Wednesday, I’m just going to show off pictures of a few recent dinners. I did a lot of cooking early last week so I could have leftovers for the rest of the week. I love knowing that I have a delicious meal waiting for me in the fridge and no chopping or prepping is required! 


Eggplant Dish

One night I made lentil stuffed eggplant (recipe to come later this week) along with roasted brussels sprouts and Spicy Coconut Kale. I got two meals out of these recipes.



 There was a quick quesadilla made with beans and veggies and a little Daiya cheese on a gluten-free tortilla. 


Curried Carrot Soup

Since it’s cooler out, I’ve been eating more soup. Here’s my Curried Carrot Soup.  


Spicy Peanut Soup

Speaking of soup, I also made Spicy Peanut Soup from Robin Roberton’s One-Dish Vegan. I’m a big fan of peanutty stews – I could probably live on them all through fall and winter. Fortunately, this was another dish with leftovers so I was able to enjoy it for a few days. 



In addition to peanutty stews, I’m a big fan of spicy peanut sauce. I had a hankering for it one night, so I made Broccoli and Tempeh in Spicy Peanut Sauce. This is one of my favorite meals. 


Sweet Potato

I also love curry, so I made Curried Coconut Spinach and served it over a sweet potato. This is a really tasty and comforting fall dish. 


What dishes have you been cooking up this fall?




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What I Ate Wednesday – Catching Up on Cookbook Cooking


This is definitely the year of the vegan cookbook! They’ve been coming in faster than I can cook from them. Over the summer I was pretty busy and I didn’t have too much time to cook. When I was preparing food it was usually either raw or grilled. Now that autumn has settled in and my scheduled has calmed down, I’ve been spending some time in the kitchen cooking up recipes from my new books so that I can review them in future posts. For today’s What I Ate Wednesday, I’m going to show off some of the dishes I’ve cooked up. 



I’ve been having a lot of fun with Kathy Hester’s book Vegan Slow Cooking for Two. I pop everything in my crockpot in the morning and dinner is ready in the evening. What could be better than that? I made Tomatillo and White Bean Chili last week, and I also roasted up some baby potatoes eat with it.  



I also made Slow Cooker Lentil-Quinoa Taco Filling. The house smelled like tacos all day, so I was really ready for them when dinner time rolled around.



Also from Kathy’s book is this Mushroom Bourguignon with Pasta dish. This was delicious. 


Mushroom Stroganoff

And speaking of delicious mushrooms, I made Mushroom Stroganoff from Jazzy Vegetarian Classics by Laura Theodore. Yum!


Pasta with Avocado Cashew Cream

Robin Robertson’s Nut Butter Universe came out at the beginning of the year. Even though I already reviewed it, I’m still cooking with it. This Penne Primavera with Avocado Cashew Cream was thrown together pretty quickly with ingredients I had on hand one night when I didn’t have a dinner plan. 


Polenta Bake

Robin also just came out with One-Dish Vegan. The book is full of lots of delicious looking recipes, and I’ve already bookmarked the ones I want to make. I started out with Polenta Bake with Spinach and Mushrooms. The polenta-mushroom-spinach combo is one of my favorites.


Pecan Chai Spice Bars

Amber Shea Crawley’s Practically Raw Desserts also came out earlier in the year. Dennis visited his parents in Oklahoma a few weeks ago and came back with about 5 pounds of pecans. Pecan Chai Spice Bars seemed like the perfect recipe to make with some of them. 


Spaghetti and Wheatballs

Dennis took a copy of Jazzy Vegetarian Classics with him as a gift for his parents when he went to visit them. He made Spaghetti and Wheatballs for them while he was there, and promised to make them for me when he came home. He kept his promise and made me dinner one night. It was nice to take a break from cooking!


Tofu Ranchero

An other meal I made from Jazzy Vegetarian Classics was Tofu Ranchero with Cornbread and Sweet Pepper Mini-Muffins. Such a perfect breakfast!


What cookbooks have you been cooking from this fall?



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Dr. Fuhrman