February 22, 2012

Why I love my Crock Pot

I had this old clunky crock pot, which I'd bought for 15$ my first year of university. It worked well for the past 6 years, however time had diminished it. It was white, which was one of my first crock-pot buying mistakes, and thus had developed a yellow tinge, and was stained despite my best attempts to keep it clean. The heating elements were a bit shot, it was either not hot enough to heat the contents through, or scalding and wayyyyy too hot.

It was time for a new crock pot. Thus, Matthew and I decided to invest in one, a small two person one, that I could fill with only a few items. We've had it two months, and it's been AWESOME. (Also it's bright green, which makes me cheerful!)

So I decided to make one of Matthew's favorite dishes the other night, a simple Curry. A cheap Curry. A delicious Curry. This curry is not only delicious, filling, and healthy, it's also extremely cheap to make. The whole pot cost us less than 5$, as it uses some of the cheapest vegetables you can buy.

Simple Crock Pot Curry
1/4 cup coconut milk (or creamed coconut meat mixed with water, which is what I used. It comes in a box, and you can use as little or much as you like, and it lasts longer in the fridge, which is nice!)
1 tbsp Cornstarch
Vegetable Broth
3 Tbsp Curry Powder
2 tbsp Ketchup

1 Cup chopped cabbage
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 cup chopped Carrots
2 medium sized potatoes, diced
1 smallish can of corn
1/2 cup frozen peas

In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, ketchup, cornstarch, and curry powder until it is all combined. Set aside.
Turn your crockpot to low if it's the morning and you're gonna let it cook all day, or high if it's the afternoon and you want it in a few hours.
Toss in all the vegs except for the corn and peas. Toss in the coconut milk mixture, and pour in broth until the liquid comes almost to the top of the vegetables (but does not quite submerge them)
Give it a stir to mix everything together, and then leave it alone, mixing it every so often.
About 5-10 minutes before you're ready to eat it, stir in the frozen peas and can of corn, and let them heat through.
I served mine over some brown rice, which works very well, or you can just eat it alone!

Deceptively Fancy! 
Nom  Nom Nom

It was a delight to eat as well :)

February 16, 2012

Deep Dish Pizza

I recently received my winnings from my pizza contest entry, and I was thinking "I need some pizza... I need some bad"

But not any type of pizza... I needed deep dish pizza.

Imagine my surprise when I told Matthew of this craving, and he'd NEVER HAD IT. I was shocked, and it only steeled my reserve to make it even more.

I've been trying to get healthier lately, eat less junk food, etc etc, so you might think to yourself "But Natalia! Deep Dish pizza isn't healthy!" To you I say- "Shut up! I've been exercising, I'll put vegetables on it!"

And I did

Deep Dish Pizza
1 Pckg of Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free pizza crust mix, prepared like the package (Until after rising it)
Toppings of choice.
Some Cornmeal

My Toppings:
Daiya Cheddar
Pineapple Chunks
Baby Spinach
Artichoke hearts
Diced Tomatoes Mixed with some tomato paste
Black Pepper, Garlic, Basil, Oregano, and a bit of olive oil, as well as a tiny bit of nutritional yeast

Oven @ 450
At This point, you've got your dough all risen and stuff. Take a springform pan, and spray the inside with some pam, or wipe it down with oil.  Toss a bit of cornmeal in there, and swish it to stick to the sides.
Press the dough into the pan, thinner on the bottom, slightly thicker on the sides, about 1-2 inches high for the crust sides. Toss a bit more cornmeal in there!
Bake the crust for 10 minutes or so, until it is firmed up.
Remove from the oven, and let cool for a few minutes.
Top with your toppings. (The order I have mine listed are from bottom to top, though I mixed the spices in with the tomato mixture, and then dusted the top with nutritional yeast.
Return to oven, and bake for 30-40 minutes, until it's all cooked through.
Remove from oven, and let cool for 5 minutes or so before cutting!
Then eat, and enjoy!

February 8, 2012

The Easiest Soup you'll ever Eat

So I've been ridiculously lazy lately. Call it the stress of planning a wedding where everything is falling apart, or perhaps the course I'm taking, or researching my thesis, or even perhaps the cold frigid winter  is getting to me, but I've not wanted to do a damned thing lately. (Excuse the language)

This sadly has included cooking to any great degree. I've been lounging around eating cereal out of the box in my sweatpants, and it's frankly been really depressing as a whole.

So I decided to make something delicious and simple that could perhaps cheer me up slightly. I needed something that was the simplest thing I could think of, and I made my tomato cream soup.

Super Easy Tomato Cream Soup
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 cup soy/almond/rice milk (whichever you prefer)
Basil, Salt, and Pepper (To taste)
Chuck all the ingredients into a blender. Blend until smooth. 
Transfer to a soup pot, and bring to a boil. 
Serve over Rice (if you want!)
If it's a bit too thin for you, and you like your soup thicker, feel free to add a bit of cornstarch (a tbsp or so) to the blender while you're blending it, and it will cook up thicker. 

February 1, 2012

Prize Winning Pizza

I recently won something. I recently entered a pizza making contest at Vegan Pizza F**k Yeah, and really really wanted to win.

And then I did.

When I found out, I jumped out of my seat and began to fist pump and yelled "WOOOH YEAH! SUCK IT! WOOOO!"

I may have overreacted slightly to my good fortune.

Anyway, without further ado, here is my prize winning pizza!
Healthy Prize Winning Green Pizza
1 Brown rice wrap
1/3 cup extra firm tofu
2 large chunks sundried tomato
a few snowpeas
a few baby bok choys
a handful of baby spinach
a few chunks of pineapple
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Preheat the oven to 350
In a food processor, blend the sundried tomato, extra firm tofu, a bit of olive oil, basil, and salt and pepper, until the texture of ricotta.
Spread the tofu mixture across the brown rice wrap.
Chop up all of the vegetables and pineapple, and then top the pizza.
Sprinkle a little bit more basil on top of the pizza.
Bake for 20 minutes or so, until the crust is crisped up a bit, and the veggies are hot!
Then cut and eat and be happy! (And healthy!)