Things we’ve eaten:

Dinner: roasted veg and spinach basil pesto sandwiches. #vegan #whatveganseat

Roasted Veg and Pesto Sandwich

These were a hit at my sisters birthday party! Roasted zucchini, red peppers and red onions with a spinach basil pesto. I see this being a summer staple.

Just a big ol' plate of fried gluten! #vegan #GLUTEN

Big plate of fried gluten!

I could eat this everyday. Its a good thing for my health that it’s a once in awhile treat.

Simit for breakfast


Have you tried a Simit yet? There is a place down the street from the restaurant I work in called The Simit House and their Simit’s are delicious. I love that they are “the bagels grandfather”. We all know how much I love bagels!

Dinner: chicken style seitan w. string beans (I was in the mood for homemade greasy Chinese!) #vegan

Chicken Style Seitan and String Beans 

A Chinese takeout favorite of mine when I was a meat eating youth. Happy to have made a pretty good vegan copy of it. Homemade, greasy, chinese take out perfection.

Sloppy Lentil Joe’s {Recipe}

Sloppy Lentil Joe's recipe

(Sneaky) Sloppy Lentil Joe’s 

I was feeling sneaky the other day. I know there are foods that I like to eat that my husband will turn his nose up at just by the name. Sloppy Joe’s are one of them. I really wanted them though. I haven’t had them in years. I set about making them without telling my family what I was making. They were already excited because I had make homemade ciabatta rolls for dinner so why ruin that excitement?

As my husband wandered in and out of the kitchen he kept remarking how good it smelled as I lied about what I was making. I was making “lentil stew” which I guess is kinda true. Finally I had to confess about what I was making because my smile was giving me away that I was being sneaky. I didn’t confess though until after I had him try it. Thankfully he loved it!

I sliced opened our homemade rolls and piled on the Sloppy Lentil’s for my husband and I while I put a small amount on my kids rolls. If they don’t see it they will eat it and that turned out to work in a way. R liked it at first then decided she didn’t. M just thought he was eating a roll. He had no idea that the roll had lentils and some veggies hidden on it. It was a successful dinner in my eyes.

Sloppy Lentil Joe’s 

serves 6-8
(depending on how you fill the sandwiches)

1 pound cooked lentils

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium sized onion, small diced
1 red bell pepper, small diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chili powder
1  16oz can of tomato sauce
1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
2 tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon agave
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large 12 inch saute pan over medium-high heat. Saute the onions and red bell pepper for 5 minutes before adding the garlic and cooking until the onions and peppers are soft. 10-15 minutes total.

Add the chili powder and saute 1 minute.

Stir in the lentils, tomato sauce, whole grain mustard, molasses, agave and apple cider vinegar and cook for 10-15 minutes so all of the flavors can combine.

Season with salt and pepper and serve on toasted ciabatta rolls!

I made some roasted potatoes and a nice side salad to go along with this recipe.

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins (recipe)

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

Since my bread baking success the other day and the fact that I now have a normal size oven I’ve been on a baking kick. You have no idea how happy my proper oven makes me. I had to buy all new baking sheet trays when we moved into this house because my regulation size ones just wouldn’t fit. It was ridiculous.

I am also tired of wasting food. At least if fruits and vegetables go bad I can compost them but still I want to use what I buy. I bought a large container of organic strawberries for my daughters school lunches and they just weren’t going as quickly as they usually do. I figured baking them into muffins was a good way to use them up and what pairs best with strawberries? Chocolate! We always have bags of chocolate chips on hand. They are a favorite after the kids are in bed treat for my husband and I while we watch House of Cards on Netflix!

recipe Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

I quickly wrote up some ideas on flour/baking powder measurements for the new recipe and went to work on it with the “help” of my children. :)

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins
yields 12

1 ½ cups all purpose flour
¾ cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
1  very ripe banana
⅔ cup room temperature* almond milk, unsweetened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sliced strawberries
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Line a 12 cup muffin tin with muffin liners.

In a medium size bowl whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.

In a large bowl mash the banana with a fork or potato masher, add the melted coconut oil, almond milk, and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine.

Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients mixing with a rubber spatula. Once combined add the strawberries and chocolate chips and fold into the muffin mixture.

Divide the mixture evenly into the 12 cup muffin tin. They will fill the tin more then 3/4 of the way up.

Bake for 20-23 minutes or until the tops of the muffins are starting to lightly brown.

*if the almond milk is too cold it could make the melted coconut oil congeal which would not be good!

Strawberry-Chocolate Chip Muffins

Just like with the bread baking the other week I will admit that my kids and I sat on the floor in front of the oven watching the muffins bake.

I ended up thrilled with how this recipe came out. It was perfect. They had a great texture and the perfect ratio of berry to chocolate. The top’s of the muffins browned nicely and most importantly, for me, the muffin liners peeled nicely without leaving chunks of muffin attached to them. I hate when that happens. What also surprised me was the sweetness of them from the sugar and strawberries. They were sweeter then I usually like, without being too sweet, but I loved that they were and wouldn’t change the amount of sugar in them at all. Even my husband, who isn’t into sweets, really liked them.

Strawberry-Choc Chip Muffin recipe

I can’t wait to make these again. I have some blackberries in the fridge that are starting to go so I might be making another muffin recipe later today!

Let me know if you make this recipe and your thoughts on it!

Review: The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day


Resting Dough

I’ve done the whole No Knead Bread thing before, with success. So I was excited to have the opportunity to review The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day book by Jeff Hertzberg, M.D., and Zoe Francois. What makes it’s New is that it has been revised and updated with new recipes.

I gladly unpacked all of my baking gear from the kitchen renovation and removed all the odds and ends that are stored in a new and unused oven to take my first go at their Master Recipe. I only made half a recipe since I personally didn’t have anything large enough to mix and store a while recipe. It probably took 3 minutes to whip together the flour, salt, water and yeast. Then is sat for a few hours to rise. This dough rose like nothing I’ve ever seen. I was really impressed! (especially since I was using expired yeast! I don’t recommend that!) Then it gets covered lightly with plastic wrap or a lid to a container and it’s stored in the fridge until ready to use. That’s it. There is no whacking it with a spoon halfway through. Waiting overnight. Nothing. You can make the bread as soon as it’s done rising. It is recommended that the first time you make the recipe that you do chill it a bit since newly risen dough can be tricky to handle.


We waited until the next day to make the bread. Using two one pound slabs of dough I quickly shaped them and placed them on a lined cookies sheet to rest for about 40 minutes while preheating the oven. It took me 2 minutes. This bread really only takes about 5 minutes of your active time.

Our house smelled amazing. I was thrilled with how the loaves looked when they were done baking. I couldn’t wait to tear into one. The taste of the bread was great. I was making a tomato sauce with cauliflower and olives and ate a good portion of one of the loaves, dipping into the tomato sauce, while I was finishing up dinner.

That evening I quickly mixed up another 1/2 recipe of the Master Recipe with dried rosemary mixed in and used the  2 pounds of dough over the next two days.


Rosemary Ciabatta 

Mixing rosemary into the dough was the best idea ever! So flavorful. So delicious. We enjoyed this with loaf of bread with my parents for dinner.

Homemade rosemary rolls for sloppy lentils! #homemadebread

Rosemary Rolls 

The last of the rosemary dough I turned into 4 rolls for the Sloppy Lentils I was making for dinner. I’ll be posting that recipe next week!

I am basically hooked on bread baking. Especially since this recipe is so easy. They have other bread recipes as well such as Bagels, Bialys, Flatbreads and Pizza. There is even a chapter on Gluten Free breads, some contain eggs.

The book includes some savory recipes like Tuscan Bread Salad, Pan Bagna, Panini’s…etc..etc..

Holy Smokes!

Pretty sure today's the day the kitchen gets finished.

Sneak Peek

Guys…the kitchen is done! Now we just have to put all the pots, pans, dishes, cups, glasses, mugs, plates, bowls, sippy cups, containers, utensil’s…etc…back. First we have to clean them all and I mean clean ALL OF IT. So bear with me as we put things back together in our home. I have a bunch of kitchen renovation related posts in the works.

What’s also keeping me away from blogging is that I have a job! I am the sous chef at Mundo Vegan in Montclair NJ. I’m working a few days a week and I love it. The food is amazing and I’m so happy to be a part of something new and vegan in the town over from where I live. We serve dishes like Seitan Ropa Vieja,  Masista’s made with Beyond Meat, Tofu and Potato Frittata, Cashew Cheese Plate and more. So if you are local please check it out. If you are in NYC the train station is a few short blocks away!

This cat.

Riley things he looks nice against our new floor