Veganish: Thai-Inspired Noodles

Hello all!  It’s been getting chilly here in New Hampshire, and I’m more than a bit happy that fall is finally upon us.  Unfortunately, I started off my favorite season with a nasty bug that left me out of work for a spell.  Thankfully with some antibiotics, lots of rest, and warm, cozy comfort foods, I’m back on my feet and feeling back to normal!

Inspired by the Pad Thai noodle dish, I’ve been experimenting with this baby for awhile now, and I think I’m finally happy with it.  This meal is as fulfilling as it is nourishing, and tastes just as good as take-out (in my humble opinion).  I served this dish with a few pieces of Trader Joe’s Thai Vegetable Gyoza, a current favorite of mine.

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Veganish: Thai-Inspired Noodles

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of Pad Thai rice noodles
  • 2 small zucchini, chopped
  • 2 small heads of broccoli, chopped
  • 2-3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2-1 c. frozen edamame
  • 1 red pepper
  • Any other veggies you may want!

Sauce:

  • 2 TBS peanut butter
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 c. soy sauce (or more, to taste)
  • 2 in. piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • Dash of water
  • Sriracha sauce, to taste
  • Pinch of brown sugar

Method:

  1. Cook noodles according to package directions and set aside
  2. Prepare the veggies.  Sauté all chopped veggies in a med-large sauce pot with 1 TBS olive oil  For this batch, I included 1 can each of baby corn and water chestnuts.  I also added a small dash of soy sauce.
  3. While the vegetables are cooking, make the sauce.  Pour all sauce ingredients into a blender (I used a NutriBullet), and blend until smooth.
  4. Pour the rice noodles into the pot, and stir well to combine with the vegetables. 
  5. Pour the sauce over the noodles, and stir well.
  6. Serve with potstickers, tofu, green onion garnish- make it your own!

What have you been cooking up lately? I’d love to hear : )  Until next time, here’s a shot that T grabbed: a rare moment of affection from Daisy, and my sleeping self, unaware of the occasion.

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Categories Eat

Raw Pad Thai

With summer and all of its humidity in full swing here in Boston, I’ve been scrambling to come up with some lighter, yet still satisfying dinners that don’t require much interaction with the stove or oven.  After perusing my cookbooks and Pinterest without much luck, I finally stumbled across this recipe for a raw pad thai dish from one of my all time favorite vegan blogs, “Oh She Glows.”  This dish delivered on everything I was looking for: it was simple to prepare, it tasted delicious, and I got to steer clear of the stove.  While I used “Oh She Glows” creator Angela Liddon’s recipe as an inspiration and a base line, I made a couple very minor adjustments based on personal preference and, full disclosure, needing to creatively replace a few items I forgot to buy at the grocery store.  You can find the original recipe here, or follow along with my very minimally tweaked method below.  Either way, do yourself a favor and give it a try!

Raw Pad Thai( originally found on Oh She Glows)

Salad Ingredients

  • 2 zucchinis, spiralized
  • 2 carrots, cut into strips with a peeler
  • 1 cup edamame, thawed
  • 1 pepper, thinly sliced
  • 3-4 green onions, sliced
  • Small handful of almonds, chopped in a food processor

Sauce Ingredients

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons each of:
    • Lime juice (takes 1 lime)
    • Water
    • Soy Sauce
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger

Method

  1. Spiralize/slice/prep all of your veggies and mix together in a bowl.  The only major changes I made from the original recipe were to omit the cabbage (never really been a fan) and seeds (I totally forgot to buy them.)  To make up for the missing seeds and add a little crunch to this salad, I ended up grinding some raw almonds as a topping and it was DELICIOUS.  
  2. Toss all of your sauce ingredients in a blender or food processor (or whip by hand), and blend until smooth.  The only change I made to my sauce was to add more almond butter to make it a little thicker than the original.  To be honest I’ll probably add a bit more to my next batch, since my sauce was still a bit too watery for my liking.
  3. Pour your dressing over the salad and enjoy!
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check those colors!
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get in my belly

What have you been cooking lately? Know of any good food blogs I should check out? I’d LOVE to hear!

Lately + Power Kale Bowl

Hello! I KNOW I’ve been away for awhile, and I am so sorry for my absence.  Life got a little crazy over the past month or two, and I decided to take a break from this space so I could focus on other (mostly awesome) things that were happening in my life.  Now that the dust has settled a bit and I can finally breathe,  I am so happy to dive back into ‘have heart’ with a renewed sense of energy.  Which brings me to a few announcements that I am SO HAPPY to share with you!

First up…I am OFFICIALLY a licensed teacher and survivor of graduate school.  I have to say, it feels damn good to see my teaching license number pop up on my education profile page, and I cannot wait to frame my diploma!

Secondly, I’ll be putting said license and diploma to good use in my very own classroom! I am so so relieved and excited to announce that I will be teaching 5th grade English Language Arts this fall.  I admit, I’m feeling a little nervous about this next step in my career, but I am already in love with my new school and cannot wait to meet all of my new students. Wish me luck!

And lastly…you might recall from this post that T and I are moving.  Well, long story short, that post was written a bit prematurely, and we ended up losing that particular apartment to another applicant (Boston real estate is a cut throat monster basically).  As disappointed as we were initially, our loss turned into luck, and we were able to find a gorgeous little condo that we absolutely fell in love with.  We’ve crossed our t’s and dotted our i’s, and this time our move is offish.  The twist?  Our new place is in Nashua, NH (read: NOT Boston).  While a part of me is a wee bit heart broken about leaving the city, I’m feeling overall really really good about the move, and I’m looking forward to exploring and settling into a new place with T. Oh, and we’re allowed to have dogs there, so stay tuned for my adoption of 1,000 puppies.

That pretty much sums up all of the big news around here.  It feels so good to be back, and I’m looking forward to getting back into my flow here at ‘have heart’ and reconnect with the blogging world.

Now that we’re all caught up, let’s get to the good stuff…lunch.  When summer arrives and the days grow hot, I tend to stick to cold salads for lunch.  They’re just so easy, and can be pretty refreshing on humid days.  However, they can also get a little boring, which never makes for a satisfying meal.  In the spirit of spicing up my favorite summer lunch meal, I fooled around in the kitchen a bit to come up with this little number: The Kale Power Bowl.  It does require a bit more prep work to make, so I suggest planning ahead the night before if you want to pack this bad boy for lunch.

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Power Kale Bowl

Ingredients:

  • Coconut oil, 1/2- 1 TBSP
  • Yellow onion, 1/2 c. diced
  • Mushrooms, 3-4 diced
  • Broccoli, roughly 7 spears
  • Lentils, 1/2 c. dry
  • Firm tofu, 1/5 block
  • Roma tomato, diced
  • Kale, 5 leaves roughly chopped
  • Parsley, 1 small handful chopped
  • Avocado, 1/4 diced
  • Balsamic vinegar, roughly 1 TBSP
  • Olive oil, roughly 1/2 tsp
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder

Method:

1. Cook the lentils according to package instructions. Set aside.

2. While the lentils are cooking,  warm the coconut oil in a pan on medium heat.  Add the diced onion, mushrooms, and broccoli, along with salt and pepper to taste.  Sauté for 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent.

3. In the meantime, dice your chunk of tofu on a cutting board.  Then, with a fork, mash the cubes of tofu flat in order to “scramble” it.  Add the scrambled tofu to the pan, and add a dash more salt, pepper, as well as garlic powder.  Sauté on medium heat until tofu is warmed through and has started to brown.

4. While your lentils and scramble are cooking, prepare the salad bed.  In a large bowl, toss the kale and parsley until mixed.  Add the diced avocado, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar to the greens.  Gently massage the “dressing” into the leaves, until the avocado has mashed and the vinegar and oil are spread evenly.

5. Top your salad bed with the scramble, lentils, and raw diced veggies of your choosing.  I opted for tomatoes and marinated olives, but the beauty of this dish is that you can get playful with your veggies!

This recipe is very relaxed.  When I was assembling this salad, I didn’t really measure anything, and sort of tossed ingredients together in the hope that they tasted good.  I can personally attest that this particular combination was filling and delicious, but I encourage you to experiment with your own combinations!  And, please do share them if you try this dish out 🙂

Until next time!

Happy Things

Hello! It’s been a little over a week since my last post (sorry!)  My school district had our April vacation last week, and to be honest I just needed the time to unplug.  I tackled no to-do lists, slept in, hosted a clothing swap with some girlfriends , and caught up on a few shows I’ve been neglecting (read: I feel bad making T watch them with me).  My staycation was relaxing and glorious, and left me feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the end of my LAST SEMESTER OF GRADUATE SCHOOL!!!

I do have a couple of fun posts coming up later this week, but in the meantime, here are some things that have brought a smile to my face lately.

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{nearly court-side at the Celtics game}
maddie
{maddie cat being snuggly}

Luckily, April vacation kicked off with a Red Sox game on Marathon Monday! It was so fun to be in the middle of all the excitement on one of the first truly beautiful spring days here in Boston.

fenway
{fenway!}
grading
{grading papers in the sun}
margz
{a marg for me, a marg for you}
cheese board
{cheeseboard: complete with options for vegans and vegetarians (and cheese-loving omnivores)}
clothes swap
{swappin}

I’m happy to say that the clothes swap was a success! I scored some really great pieces, made a ton of room in my closet, and was still able to donate some good quality items that no one wanted by the end of the night.  Win-win-win!

What have you been up to lately? I’d love to hear!

Veganish: Goulash

After seven years of not eating meat, I can honestly say that I haven’t missed it much….except when it comes to my mother’s family recipes.  On a typical weekday, my family prepared and ate pretty standard meals; chicken and pasta with jarred Alfredo sauce, mac n’ cheese, and grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup.  However, every so often, my mother would stray from the everyday and cook a dish whose recipe was passed down to her from her mother.  My brother and I would go nuts for these meals, partly because they felt extra special, and partly (at least for me) because eating those foods made me feel closer to my mum, as well as to my grandmother, whom I sadly never got the chance to meet.  I loved the sense of tradition and family that eating those meals gave me, and I love them still.  The down side? All of them contain meat in one way or another.

I recently decided that I was going to try and recreate vegan versions of my mother’s and grandmother’s recipes, with the hope that one day I’ll pass these versions on to my own family.  And so, without further ado, meet my meatless (ha!) Vegan Goulash.

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Goulash is a traditional meat sauce that, according to mum, hails from Poland.  It’s usually made with hamburger and served over pasta, but I swapped those out in favor of soy crumbles and zucchini noodles to veganize (did I just invent a word?) and lighten this dish.  I balanced out this meal with a slice of whole wheat bread and, of course, a small glass of red!

Vegan Goulash with Zucchini Noodles (serves 2-4)

Ingredients:

  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • olive oil (roughly 1 TBS)
  • 1 package of soy crumbles- I used Trader Joe’s brand
  • 1 can of tomato paste; 8 oz
  • 1 can of tomato soup; 12-16 oz
  • 2 raw zucchinis, spiralized into spaghetti-like strands
  • salt; to taste
  • pepper; to taste
  • garlic powder; to taste
  • red pepper flakes; to taste

Method:

  1. In a saucepan, sautée the onion, garlic, and pepper in the olive oil until the onions are translucent (~5 min).
  2. Add the soy crumbles, and sautée for a few more minutes.
  3. Add your spices, all to taste.  I prefer a little kick to my sauce, so I used a lot of red pepper flakes.
  4. Add the tomato paste and soup.  Stir your sauce, and allow to simmer until hot.
  5. In the meantime, spiralize the zucchini.  You can heat your noodles through in a pan with some oil if you like, but I prefer leaving them raw.  I find that using 2 zucchinis yields just enough “noodles” for two people, with one serving leftover for lunch.
  6. Once the sauce is hot, ladle immediately onto your raw zucchini noodles, and enjoy!

What have you been cooking up lately? Working on any old family recipes? Creating new ones? I’d love to hear! Until next time!

Happy Things

Happy Monday!!! I cannot lie, after being spoiled by a long weekend, it felt pretty rough to wake up early this morning to dive into the week.  However, I did feel ready to rock and roll after drinking a big glass of water, writing in my gratitude journal, and squeezing in a sweat session before getting ready for work.  Productive mornings make for good days (and weeks) , and I am so glad I forced myself to rise at the crack of dawn to get myself ready for this one!  In the meantime, here are some things that made me smile this past week.

1) My new mantra.

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2) I get an eyeful of this gorgeous view of Boston two times a week when T picks me up from class.  Yes, I am aware of how spoiled I am.

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3) I tried my hand at a new garlic bread recipe, and this one did not disappoint!!! Check out the recipe here.

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4) T makes the meanest Lemon Drop martini. Enough said.

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5) Easter Sunday selfie with my one and only.

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What made you happy last week? I’d love to hear! Until next time 🙂

Happy Things

There’s just something about Sunday that I have always loved.  Sunday is a perfect blend of laziness and productivity, a time to recover from the week before and prepare for the week ahead.  Today, I wanted to reflect on and share some bright moments last week brought me.

First up- handmade bowls made by yours truly (and T).  A little over a month ago, T and I ventured to Mud Flat studios in Somerville along with his sister and her boyfriend for a Valentine’s date night pottery class.  It was SO much fun, and our finished pieces were finally ready to be picked up this week! I think we did pretty well, no?

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green for me and blue for T

Now that Daylight Savings has struck, my morning walk to work starts off a bit darker, but at least I have pretty sunsets like this one to look forward to.

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I am SO happy with my new Java Head candle from my gals over at the Lime Green Taxi Shop!  This one has a delicious coffee scent that makes our living room feel so warm and inviting.  Check out their Etsy shop (you won’t be disappointed) and read my review on their candles here.*

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To say that I’m obsessed with the Whole Foods Salad bar, would be a gross understatement.  My current favorite item is their raw Brussels sprout salad with peppers and olives.  Washed down with my favorite cranberry Kombucha, this makes the perfect, healthy afternoon pick-me-up.

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What’s got you smiling lately? I’d love to hear!

*Disclaimer- while I have received candles from the Lime Green Taxi Shop as gifts, this one (among others) was purchased with my own money.

Veganish: St Patty’s Day Vegan Irish Stew

Top o’ the mornin’ to you, and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  While I would have dearly loved to celebrate this holiday by having a green beer or two at the pub, I made do with wearing a green dress to work and popping this hearty stew into the crockpot to munch on for dinner.  Paired with a slice of homemade soda bread and a pint of Guinness, this meal is a healthy, meat-free alternative to a traditional Irish dish.

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I sought inspiration for this stew here and here, but the final result ended up being more of a hodge-podge of the two.  Here’s (roughly) what I did:

Vegan Irish Stew (serves 6)

Ingredients:

– 6 red potatoes, washed and cubed

– 1 package of mushrooms, chopped

– Roughly 4 cups of vegetable broth

– 1 medium yellow onion, chopped

– 4 cloves of garlic (or more if you love it!), chopped

– Roughly 1 TBS chopped rosemary (fresh)

– Roughly 3 TBS of your favorite BBQ sauce

– 1/2 to 3/4 c barley

– 1 cup corn ( I used frozen)

– 2 cups peas

– 3 bay leaves

– 1 cup non-dairy creamer ( I used Silk Soy Creamer in plain)

– Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

1) In a pan, sauteé the onion, mushrooms, and garlic for about 5-8 minutes (or until the onions are translucent) over medium heat.

2) In the meantime, toss the rest of your ingredients into a crockpot.  When the mushroom mixture is done cooking, throw that in as well. Mix together, and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

One of the things I love most about cooking, is all the freedom that comes with it.  It’s so much fun to toss ingredients together in a pot and hope for the best- a method I’ve found leads to some pretty delicious meals.  So, that being said, have fun with this stew! Play around with your ingredients and spices, and see what you come up with.

How are you celebrating St. Patrick’s Day? I’d love to hear!

 

The Big 1 (And Coping with Failure)

Today’s the big day…Have Heart’s 1st birthday!!! I cannot believe I’ve been writing this blog for a whole year now.  Admittedly, there were stretches of time where I did not post as often as I would have liked, but I think I’ve finally gotten my stride and I could not be more excited to see what another year of blogging brings!  A huge THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to anyone who has stumbled across this blog, or even lingered to read a post or two.  I truly appreciate your visits, your likes, and your comments, and I sincerely hope that you stop by again!

Now on to the coping with failure piece of this post.  When I first realized that Have Heart’s birthday fell during school vacation week, I was elated.  I had recently pinned a yummy looking recipe for vegan cupcakes, and I had my first book club meeting on the same day, so naturally I decided to kill three birds with one stone.  I could try out the recipe, take some pretty pictures for this birthday post, and have a sweet treat to bring to book club. I’ve baked things from scratch before, I said.  I have all week to gather my ingredients and bake, I said. You know where this is going, right?

Long story short, everything that could have gone wrong while baking these cupcakes, did.  It took six grocery store stops to find rainbow sprinkles, I realized at the last minute that I didn’t have a muffin tin (nor did any of the area grocery stores…what is up with them?), and my oven wouldn’t hit the temperature I needed.  Not wanting to give up on making these damn cupcakes, I decided to improvise.  I fashioned a muffin tin with a cake pan and baking cups, and readjusted the baking time to compensate for my finicky oven. Problems solved , I thought.  Nah.

disappointment
colorful hockey puck or cupcake?

So, the baking cups didn’t hold up, and all of the cupcakes turned into hockey pucks that sort of melted into each other.  When I pulled those bad boys out of the oven, I was very tempted to bawl my eyes out.  I don’t exactly cope well with failure, and all I could focus on was the fact that now I wouldn’t be able to post pictures of lovely vegan baked goods, and that I would have to show up to book club (as a newcomer!) without an offering of sugar.  I was succumbing to my frustration and beating myself up pretty bad, both to myself and via text to T, when he said something that snapped me out of it pretty quickly.

After offering to stop and buy me a muffin tin on his way home, he suggested that I write about my eff-up…and that he bake pretty cupcakes while I went to book club.  Not only did he just win the award for sweetest and most patient boyfriend ever, but he unknowingly reminded me that a stupid batch of ruined cupcakes is HARDLY the end of the world.  I shouldn’t allow a small and admittedly funny mistake tarnish my sense of self-worth as a baker, a blogger, or a human person.  Sometimes, your cupcakes suck and all you can (and should) do is laugh it off, and maybe post some pictures of them so that others can laugh with you.

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happier times

Even though my initial plans for this post didn’t turn out as I’d hoped, I decided to share them with you anyway.  None of us are perfect, and I think that it’s important to admit that to ourselves and each other every once and awhile.  And who needs cupcakes at a book club meeting anyway?  I’m sure what everyone will really want is a bottle of wine instead…and it’ll be pretty hard to mess that up.

Do you have any cringe-worthy kitchen stories? I’d love to hear about them (mostly so I don’t feel so alone!) Until next time!

 

 

What’s Cookin

Hello!  I am so so so glad that the weekend is right around the corner.  This week has dragged by for some reason, and I am very much looking forward to unplugging for awhile.  To brighten my spirits and fuel myself up for one last day at work before three days of freedom, I decided to crack open my new cookbook that T got me for Christmas and whip up a new recipe.
 
I’ve been a huge fan of Angela Liddon’s blog, ‘Oh She Glows’ for years now.  I first stumbled across her page when I started to become interested in a vegan diet, and she quickly became my go-to source when wondering what to make for dinner.  Needless to say, when I unwrapped her cookbook on Christmas morning, I was so excited to bring it into the kitchen and start chopping, simmering, and blending my way through it.  Tonight, I chose to whip up a creamy vegetable curry with some brown rice.
 

 {so hard to pause eating for picture-taking}

 
This dish…was delicious.  It was perfectly warm, spicy, and stick-to-your-bones satisfying.  In other words, just what I needed.
 
Until next time!
Categories Eat