Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Memorial Day Recipes

Can you sense it? That feeling in the air?  A long weekend is coming up and I am here to help you gear up for all the Memorial Day festivities!  Click on the photo above for a list of worthy recipes for this fun-in-the-sun holiday!  Check out yesterday's Sweet And Tangy 4-bean salad or check out this one below:

Vegan Cheese Ball
adapted from My Vegan Cookbook

1 Cup Slivered & Blanched Almonds plus 3/4 cup reserved
1/4 Cup Pine Nuts
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Sugar
1/3 Block of Extra Firm Tofu, well drained
1 Tsp Red Wine Vinegar
1 Tsp Lemon Juice
1 Tsp Canola Oil
1 Tsp Onion Powder
1 Tsp Fresh Chives (optional)

Place almonds and pine nuts into a food processor with the salt and sugar and blend until it's ground up for about 2 minutes or until clumps start to form.

Drain tofu in a strainer by smashing and pressing firmly. 

Now add the tofu to the almond and pine nut paste that's already in the food processor along with the red wine vinegar, lemon juice, canola oil and onion powder and blend about 2 minutes. Mixture should resemble extra thick mashed potatoes.

Remove the blade from the processor mix in chives if using.

Spray a bowl and a square of plastic wrap with no stick spray. Pile mixture into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in fridge and chill for at least 5 hours or overnight. It will get very firm and can now be shaped into a ball and rolled in the remaining sliced almonds to coat. If you lightly oil your hands it will keep it from sticking to your hands while you roll. 

Serve with your favorite crackers. 
I loved this cheese ball so much!  I even packaged the 2 tablespoons that were leftover and brought it to the bagel shop with me the morning after Forbes' party to spread on my bagel!  It is that good, I had to travel with it.  You must try this recipe.  I am not saying your friends will be fooled (especially if they see the vegan bringing a cheese ball to the party) but they will enjoy it!

If you omit the sugar, or use agave, this cheese ball recipe even fits into my new challenge, The Marsha Challenge.  If you are just catching up, take a look at the challenge, and check out the Food Rules I have instituted.  

So how am I doing so far?  Well today is certainly better than yesterday, but we will begin with last night's dinner:
Forbes whipped up this whole wheat pizza dough recipe (found in my bread maker guide) but although it is listed as whole wheat, it still includes bread flour, which I think is considered white flour.  But hey it's a start...it was half whole wheat anyway.  Isn't that sort of an oxymoron: half whole!  

After preparing the dough in the bread maker, we pulled it out and spread it on our pizza pan.  We had enough dough for two pizzas, so continue reading below to see how we used the second pizza.  

On top of this pizza, we included refried beans (yes they fit the 5 ingredients or less rule with all readable ingredients), roasted corn, black beans, and canned diced tomatoes drained.  We baked this pie and topped with hummus and salsa.  
I served my slice with a large salad on the side (to include more vegetables into my meal- corn and tomatoes don't count as veggies).  
This pizza is seriously so yum.  I took some lettuce from my salad and topped my pizza with it and it really made it delicious!  

For dessert we chopped fresh strawberries, a fresh pear and a fresh peach and cooked on the stove top with a tablespoon agave just until soft.  We topped the other pizza crust with the fruit and baked.  
Topped with a scoop of Coconut Milk ice cream and it was a feast!

How did this meal measure up to the new guidelines?  Well, the icecream definitely had more than 5 ingredients...whoops!  And it is junk that wasn't made by me...double whoops!  I probably wasn't exactly hungry when I ate it.  So I failed a little with the dessert, but I do think it is overall a pretty good option, just not going to work for the challenge.

Let's see, did I do any better today?
My oatmeal was made with water this morning.  Sadly I am out of Almond Milk.  And then I realized my Almond Milk may have more than 5 ingredients.  I am going to have to check that.  Maybe I will be inspired to make my own!  

Half way through this bowl of oats while sitting on the couch, I realized I needed to be eating at the table.  So I moved to the table and snapped this photo of you for proof.  I have a really bad habit of eating on the couch or at my desk.  I also failed with my toppings.  The sweet potato butter probably has sugar in it.  Oh well, it was the last scoop in the jar, so I won't make that mistake again.
Lunch was a ginormous green salad so I definitely got my 2 fruits or veggies in!  I topped it with hummus (5 ingredients or less) and balsamic vinegar.  This meal was eaten at the table...so finally I can call this one a success!  

I didn't have any whole wheat bread to eat with my salad, so without a healthy whole grain I found myself hungry very quickly after.  I munched on a pear (sideways)
As well as a mini-larabar (5 ingredients or less although my snacks are supposed to be whole foods- whoops!)  So far I feel satisfied, but I'm getting ready to dig my hands into a large basket of fresh and local strawberries!  

I would have to say, this challenge is harder than it looks.  Although I consider myself a pretty healthy person and a very healthy eater, this is already beginning to pose some serious challenges!  It will be interesting to see how this pans out.  I am also interested to know how Marsha is doing!  We will get to meet up for another workout sesh tomorrow!  Can't wait!

1 comment:

  1. That vegan cheese ball looks amazing! What a great idea!! My friends would definately be fooled!