Fo Reals Life

For Really Good Food

September 26, 2013 September 26, 2013/ Morgan

Sometimes soup is the only thing I want to eat. After I gave birth to my daughter my dad flew up to see us and he took care of me by making me a big batch of potato soup. I still love it and I especially look forward to it when it starts to get the least bit chilly outside.  

Right now I can get organic leeks from the local farm stand for 3 for $1. YES… 3 for one whole dollar. So I’ve loaded up and have been making soups!!! Leeks are awesome because they taste almost garlicky.. and get really yummy scrumptious when cooked until nice and tender. The worst part about them is that they are DIRTY on the inside. So do what I do : cut them in half lengthwise leaving the bottom intact. Wash out everything in a sink under running water. Then cut into half moon slices. Super easy and not at all dirty gritty.  

If you don’t have leeks don’t worry – I’ve got a recipe for potato soup without leeks right here that is a staple in our house! 

Simple Vegan Potato Leek Soup

  • 3 leeks, cleaned and chopped (only the whites and pale green parts!)
  • 5 – 6 medium sized Yukon Gold (or any yellow) potatoes, scrubbed and chopped
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup soy milk (or your favorite milk alternative)  
  • salt and pepper to taste  

Sautee the leeks in 1/4 cup water over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add in the chopped potatoes, broth and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat. Put the lid on and simmer until the potatoes are soft, about 10-15 minutes. Take off the heat and add the soy milk. Puree in batches or with an immersion blender until it is the consistency you desire (some chunks of potatoes and leeks is good or you can puree it until it is silky smooth. Both taste awesome!) Add salt and pepper to taste at the end (you may not need any salt at all depending on the vegetable broth you use.) I like to garnish it with some chopped green onions but that’s not necessary. You could also throw in some thyme, chopped parsley or marjoram at the end if you wish. 

  • To make soy-free use almond, rice or your favorite non dairy milk instead of soy milk. 
  • To make Mcdougall Maximum Weightloss friendly omit the soy milk and use additional vegetable broth instead.

September 25, 2013 September 25, 2013/ Morgan

I’m kind of a potato freak. I especially love french fries. I pretty much lived off french fries when I was pregnant with my daughter. These days I make my own at home. When I get the energy I make a HUGE batch with a 20 pound bag of potatoes from Costco. Then I have some plant strong fries ready and waiting for me in the freezer at a fraction of the cost of buying them in the store. And the ones in the store are likely to be prefried in soybean oil (GMO oil!) so this is all around better.  

Yum. You know you want some homemade fries with soft fluffy insides and crispy outsides…. I sure as heck do!  

Homemade Baked Freezer Fries

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Line a few baking sheets with parchment paper. Get your potatoes together and scrub them. You can peel them if you want but I never bother. Cut into fries about 1/4 – 1/2″ thick. It’s up to how thick you like them. Then bake them for 15 minutes in a single layer on the parchment lined baking sheets. 

If you want to eat them NOW you can bump up the heat after 15 minutes to 425 degrees and bake for about 15-20 minutes (flip after the first 8 minutes.)  

If you want to freeze them and eat them LATER, let your fries cool completely and then freeze on the same baking sheet. Once they are totally frozen peel them off the parchment paper and place into air tight freezer bags. Label them and keep them for a busy day. When you’re ready for them place them in the oven at 425 degrees on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping them over halfway through the cooking time. 

They should last in the freezer for at least 6 months as long as they are properly packaged!  

 

May 23, 2013 May 23, 2013/ Morgan

There is a lovely Thai restraunt near us that I used to love to go to. That is until I had my daughter. It’s just that the place isn’t really “kid friendly” and it’s more of a date night place. Since we hardly ever go anywhere for date nights it has dropped off of our radar.  That doesn’t mean i’ve stopped loving Thai food though! 

(One of my neighbors came out and accused us of being “hipster” for taking pictures of of our curry on such a lovely evening! hahahah! Then I sold him a Fo Reals Life Vegan Taco Party booklet!!!)

Thai food could easily be a complicated affair including trips to the Asian market for things like lemon grass, kafir lime leaves and galangal. There happens to be some pretty nice curry pastes that you can get in many regular grocery stores though that are flavorful and vegan! I use Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste when i’m not feeling like making a big deal out of dinner. 

This is so easy to make that you could do it for any weeknight dinner. It makes quite a bit so you will have leftovers. The leftovers are just as tasty the next day as they were the day you made it. Curry leftovers are actually some of my favorite leftovers (besides pizza!)

You can add any vegetables you want to this. We had some fresh asparagus and potatoes from our farmer’s market. I wanted to keep it simple so I just threw in some red pepper to balance it out. Use whatever you have in your fridge or one of these: onions, eggplant, carrots, sweet potato, any kind of peppers, summer squash, green beans, peas, finely sliced greens, broccoli, cauliflower, etc! See, anything would taste great in here. Just undercook everything slightly because it tastes best when the vegetables are still just a bit crisp. 

You may notice that I use coconut extract in this recipe. I find it adds the perfect coconut taste without all of the extra calories and saturated fat. It’s a sweet little trick from Mary McDougall’s recipes!

Easy Tempeh, Potato and Spring Vegetable Red Curry

makes 4-6 servings

  • 8 small red potatoes, chopped
  • 15-20 stalks asparagus
  • oz tempeh, cubed
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 3 – 4 Tablespoons red curry paste (or to taste)
  • 3 cups soy milk (or your favorite milk alternative)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • sriracha to taste

Place a steamer over a pot with water in it and steam your potatoes and tempeh until the potatoes are fork tender (anywhere from 5-10 minutes depending on how large the pieces are.)

Take the asparagus and snap off the tough woody ends and discard them. Chop the tender stalks into 1-2″ pieces.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Saute the asparagus and bell pepper for 3 – 4 minutes. Whisk the curry paste, soy sauce and coconut extract into the soy milk and add it to the asparagus and peppers. Add in the potatoes and tempeh. 

Bring to a boil and then immediately turn the heat down and simmer. Simmer for 5 – 10 minutes.

I like to serve this as a one pot meal but you can always eat it over some cooked brown rice or quinoa.

Nutritional information per serving : Serving size:  1/6 curry dish

7 WWPointsPlus  274 calories, 6.1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 41.6g carbohydrates, 4.5g fiber, 5.3g sugar, 15.1g protein

April 08, 2013 April 08, 2013/ Morgan

Meet my current obsession: Lavash and Potato wraps. I could eat these all day long if no one else in my house demanded food. They are crazy fast to make, really filling and taste amazing. I can’t think of anything I would rather eat right now. 

They are also really great to throw into a lunch bag or picnic basket. I can see myself pulling one out of my bag after a long bike ride. Mmm!

Lavash is a really simple flatbread that you can find at many grocery stores or ethnic food stores. It should only have a few simple ingredients: flour (preferably whole grain), water, salt, yeast. You can turn lavash into pizza (check back for a recipe for that soon!) or into awesome chips for hummus. Or you can just put things on it and roll it up like I do.

Preferably potatoes. Ahh potatoes. I love them. Sometimes I forget how amazing potatoes taste. I forget how they really fill up my belly and keep me feeling good for a long time. ust add in some greens and i’ve got my perfect little meal. You can bake several potatoes at the beginning of the week and store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator  Then when the urge for some food hits you can just pull one out, slice it up and make a wrap!

ow I do make these with kale but you can make it with any green that you fancy: baby spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, etc. In fact, I want you to know that the whole beauty of these Less Than 6 Ingredients Recipes is that they are yours to build upon. I’m just giving you a simple outline. It tastes amazing in the simplicity but you are free to change it how you desire. I’ll give you the map and you choose the destination.

Serves 1 (just double, triple or quadruple for more servings!)  

  • 1 lavash wrap (preferably whole grain)
  • 1 medium sized potato
  • 1 cup chopped kale (or other greens)
  • green onions, green and white parts sliced
  • Tablespoon reduced fat or fat free vegan mayo (I have a recipe HERE on the biscuit recipe or you can use your favorite homemade or store bought variety. Try the Fo Reals Life Ranch recipe on this wrap too – it is dynamite!) 
  • salt and pepper to taste

ook the potato. If you prefer to bake it you can bake it (and several others) at 350 degrees for about an hour. If you are like me and just want to microwave it really quickly you can just poke it several times with a fork and microwave on high for around 3 minutes. Slice the potato once it has cooled slightly.  

If you prefer your kale cooked you can steam it for 5 minutes or microwave it for 35 seconds. I like it both raw and cooked but raw has more of a green earthy flavor that may not appeal to everyone. I wouldn’t bother cooking spinach beforehand if you would prefer to use that.

Spread the mayo or dressing on the lavash. Top with the green onions and kale. Lay the potatoes on top, season with salt and pepper and roll up the wrap! his thing is huge and I am always stuffed after eating one.. mmm! Top with some hot sauce or salsa if you wish. 

Nutritional information per serving : Serving size:   1 huge wrap (calculated using Reduced Fat Vegenaise) 

9 WWPointsPlus  360 calories, 5.5g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 65g carbohydrates, 8.5g fiber, 3.7g sugar, 10g protein

April 08, 2013/ Morgan/ January 11, 2013 January 11, 2013/ Morgan Eccleston

What is comfort food? Is it stuff that you ate growing up or food that makes you feel a certain way now? Since tastes evolve (and dietary choices change) I think it is a mix of both. But whatever – hey I’m not here to get all philosophical (Thank jeebus for spell check. I can’t even WRITE philosophical.)  I’m here for the food, my friends!

AND THIS – this is always comfort food. My parents definitely made this for me growing up and I make it for my family now. I should call and ask if their parents made it for them. 

I did make changes, of course. I suspect you will make it with some changes as well and I won’t stop ya. Just make it. Oh yeah and make sure to crumble a whole freaking sleeve of saltines in there like I did growing up. It’s like mashed potatoes crammed with crackers and I can’t think of anything better. Of course I’m pretty sure that only me and my brother eat it this way… 

Click here to download the Golden Potato Soup recipe and coloring page!

Recipe notes…

*Make sure to add in the soy milk last and do not boil it! DO NOT! It will separate and get funny looking. Okay, it will taste good but look weird. You have been warned. 

*If you hate celery (someone in my house does…) then you can leave it out. 

Golden Potato Soup

10 – 1 cup servings

  • 2.5 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 6 c. veggie broth (low sodium is good if you can!) 
  • 2 c. plain soy milk (or your favorite non-dairy sub.)
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

*for a cheesy variation add 1/2 cup nutritional yeast

In a large pot bring broth, potatoes, celery, onions and garlic to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and put the lid on. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

Add in the soy milk, nutritional yeast if using, and salt to taste. I add a lot of black pepper to mine but do it at the table so no one else feels punished by my love of black pepper.

I like to take about 1/4 and blend it up for some added creaminess  You can also do this with your immersion blender, just blitz it around the pot a few times.

Enjoy and don’t forget the crackers!

Nutritional information per serving: Serving size: 1 cup soup

3 WWPointsPlus, 118 calories, 0.8g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 24.5g carbohydrates, 2.1g fiber, 3.7g sugar, 4.1g protein