Archive for the 'Field Roast' Category


Everyday is Thanksgiving at our House

We don’t need a once a year holiday to feel grateful or to eat a big dinner.  Katie and I exchange gratitude lists every day and have since the beginning of our relationship of over 3 years.  I often talk about what I’m grateful for at work and my co-workers share in this as well.  It just feels good to talk about the good stuff in life rather than dwell on the crappy side of things.

As far as food goes, I make dinner every night and it pretty much always looks like this.

Dinner is served!

I don’t always have a centerpiece decoration on the table,  but I like it.  There is, however, always a tablecloth and place mats.  I’m just funny that way (Ok, I’m funny in a lot of ways!).  Dinner at our place always has a green salad of some sort, a grain, some sort of vegetarian protein and at least two vegetables.  We’ve cut way back on bread, pasta and cheese, so we tend to eat semi vegan meals.

Tonight I made a quinoa pilaf with toasted pecans and dried cranberries, roasted butternut squash, from our garden, paired with Fuji apple and Field Roast Applewood Smoked Sausage (it’s vegan, of course), steamed broccoli and kale and mesclan salad (also from the garden).

 It was delicious!

A full plate of food, we get full, yet never feel stuffed eating like this

Yummy quinoa pilaf. don't worry, I'll give you the recipe.


serves 2

1/2 cup quinoa
3/4 cup mushroom broth
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup dried cranberries
olive oil, salt and pepper

In a small pan, bring broth to a boil.  Stir in quinoa, cover and lower heat to simmer.   Steam for 19 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed.  Meanwhile, in a saute pan, heat a small amount of oil and saute onion until a bit browned.  Add nuts and cranberries.   Stir and heat through until nuts impart a wonderful fragrance.  Stir into cooked quinoa and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Butternut squash, Fuji apple and Applewood smoked Vegan sausage tossed in olive oil, maple syrup, salt and pepper, place in baking pan, cover with foil and bake for 35 -40 minutes at 350 degrees.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday.  Katie and I will probably do our usual routine:  stay in our jammies, make homemade pizza, watch movies, play pool and eat pumpkin pie!


The healthy eating will continue

It happens everyday

I can’t believe it’s May.  It’s difficult to believe that May is almost over.  Portland weather is always entertaining.  One minute the sun is shining, then it turns dark as dusk and the sky opens up and torrential rain is upon us.  Then it turns to icy hail. All at once, it comes to a screeching halt and there is that ol’ sun again.  I love Portland. 

Our garden continues to thrive because of, and in spite of, this weather pattern.  And it saves us an awful lot on our water bill.  I have high hopes that our garden will not only save us money by growing in our yard and not having to make constant trips to the market, but will keep us eating happy and healthy meals. 

We’ve been going strong on this healthy eating path.  We started making healthier choices in December, while Katie was recovering from a surgery.  She threatened to start making her own meals because she needed vegetables.  Well, any of you that read this and know me, know that I wasn’t havin’ any of it.  The kitchen is “ours” but I’m pretty territorial when it comes to food and the production of it.  Plus, I couldn’t have her getting slim and healthy and leaving me struggling along, huffing and puffing and being chubby in her skinny shadow.  No effin’ way! 

So I jumped right on that healthy merry-go-round and I have no intention of falling off.  We are slimming down naturally, without effort, and it feels and tastes so delicious.  I’ve lost 8 pounds since January!  No Weight Watchers, no meetings, no starving.  Common sense and a culinary knack are what I have going for me.  And it’s working. 

So, enough of my rambling.  I want to show you something easy and tasty.  Oh, and it’s healthy, too.  Here’s a picture of a typical dinner at Chez Tolbert: 

It may look like a lot of food, but it is so low in fat and calories

Green salad (lettuce from our garden), wheat berries with cannellini beans and Field Roast Smoked Applewood Veggie Sausage, and Zucchini Ribbon “Pasta” topped with Savory Mushroom Sauce.  Yum. 

I always dug in my heels when it came to eating zucchini.  I never liked it.  At least rarely did I like it.  It’s a texture thing.  People always  over cook it, in my humble opinion.  I discovered it’s not bad when you use thin strips of it as a pasta alternative. 

so simple, so quick

The first time I tried this method, I used my electric slicer.  It’s like the ones the deli’s use, only a lot smaller.  But for the sake of the blog, I decided to use a vegetable peeler this time.  It worked great!  I figured not everyone has a home slicer, but a vegetable peeler, even non cooks have those. 

Really, anyone can make this

See how simple that is? 

Looks kinda like pappardelle, yeah?

I used 2 zucchini for this meal.  Rule of thumb: use 1 zucchini per person. 

So, that’s it.  No cooking.  Set the zucchini ribbons aside and make the sauce. 

Let the sauce making begin!

Thinly slice 1 leek, mince 1 shallot and 2 cloves of garlic.  Add a small amount of olive oil to a hot  pan and gently saute until softened. 

Mmmm...smells so good

Next, add some sliced mushrooms.  I used creminis, because we like ’em. 

Looking good

You can use whatever mushrooms you prefer.  A combination is always good. 

Once again, I wish computer screens had scratch and sniff!

Continue sauteing until the mushrooms soften.  Add seasonings to taste:  salt, pepper, dried oregano and dried basil. 

Oh, mamma, these are smelling so good right now

Once the mushrooms have softened and browned a bit, move everything to the sides of the pan, making a circular opening in the center of the pan.  Add a bit more olive oil, about 1/2 tablespoon and then sprinkle in some flour, a couple of tablespoons. 

Does anyone else see a cartoon bear face in there?

Cook the flour for a minute or two, till it starts to brown slightly. 

Stir and brown flour

  I like to add some hot sauce at this point.  It’s optional. 

Squirt in some hot sauce of choice - this is Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce

Now I add some vegetable stock.  You can use home-made or store-bought stock.  I make it every week, so I always have it on hand. 

Add some stock and you have sauce

Add stock about 1/2 cup at a time.  I like to use a ladle for this step. Just add and cook until the sauce reaches the desired consistency. 

This looks, smells and tastes just right

Place zucchini ribbons in a large serving bowl or platter.  Top with hot sauce.  Finely chop some fresh Italian Parsley and sprinkle on top, for a pretty presentation. 

Dinner is served

Then toss gently to combine.  The heat of the sauce with cause the “noodles” to soften, but not get mushy.  It’s fast and easy and best of all, tastes great. 

Damn, that's a healthy looking dinner!


Vegetarian Reuben? Yes, please!

A first shot, just to tempt you

I admit it.  I am a food tease.  It gives me great delight to tease and tempt all of you out there in blogville with stories and pictures of the food I create.  No one wishes more than I that there were scratch and sniff computer screens and virtual taste samples.  Then I could really get you going.

Last week I had some super strong cravings for a reuben sandwich.  Vita Cafe, here in Portland, Oregon,  makes a pretty good vegetarian reuben, but I think I whipped up one that could give Vita’s a run for its money.  Don’t get me wrong, I would gladly drive across town and throw  $7.50 down for one of their sandwiches, but I really prefer to cook and eat  here in the comfort of our fabulous home.

Would you like a step by step guide to a yum-tastic vegetarian reuben?  Well, you’ve come to the right blog.  First things first, the list:

Rye Bread – the best you can find

Sauerkraut – also, the best you can get your hands on

Swiss Cheese – I know you know what I’m gonna say here

Vegetarian meat substitute – I used Field Roast Wild Mushroom Slices

The dressing – I’ll tell you my recipe

Reuben Dressing

(enough for four sandwiches)

1/3 cup Vegenaise or mayo

2 tbsp ketchup

3 tsp prepared horseradish

1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce

salt and pepper, to taste

Step 1 - Butter bread slices

I place a sheet of waxed paper on my work surface or cutting board.  Butter the bread slices on one side and place the buttered side down on the waxed paper.  Place slices on swiss cheese on each slice of bread.  I’m making two sandwiches here, as you can see, each sandwich has cheese on the top and bottom.

Step 2 - "meat" slices

Next, place your veggie “meat ” slices on top of the cheese on one piece of the bread.  I like to fold the slices over, deli style.

Step 3 - mound the sauerkraut

Here’s a fun part.  Place the sauerkraut on a double thickness of paper towel and squeeze a lot of the moisture out over the sink.  This will keep your sandwich from getting soggy.  Then mound the sauerkraut on top of the “meat” slices.

Here's another shot just because I like it

See that jar of sauerkraut?  I love that brand, Bubbies.  I use Bubbies horseradish, too.  I don’t know who she is or was, but her products rock.

Step 4 - The sauce

Spoon or ladle the sauce over the sauerkraut.  Be generous with it, but don’t go overboard or your sandwich may be difficult to flip over.  Place the other cheese topped bread slice on top of the sauce and you’re ready to grill it.

Grill it

Grill in a non stick pan or cast iron skillet, for best results.  Keep the heat pretty low, you want the bread to slowly brown and the cheese to get melty.

The perfect amount of sauce

See that little bit of sauce?  Perfect!  You don’t want it running all over the pan.  It will burn before your sandwich gets a chance to brown.

Golden brown, just the way I like it

See the nice melty cheese?  No sign of sauce running amok.  I did turn these over again and got the top parts a bit more grilled before serving ’em up.

Take a closer look

These look perfect.  I am so hungry right now.  I am actually making these again tonight because all day yesterday, Juice Fast Sunday, I was editing the photos and, well, it was a hard fast day, let me tell you.

Seriously good

OK, I can’t stand it.  Now I’m teasing myself!  I have to go make dinner, right now.  Bon Appetit!

One last parting shot



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