Vegan Meal Plan Monday & the new garden!

Things are getting rather busy here at the Fish Household as our big move is fast approaching.  We will be leaving the Ile-de-France area and heading for the south-west in just a few short weeks, and that means so much planning and packing.  My computer time has been greatly reduced, but I want to try to get a few more posts in before it’s time to go. This is also probably one of my last weeks testing for Celine & Joni as the kitchen is slowly being packed into boxes…so this week is really dedicated to them!

Monday : Tarte à la tomate et à la moutarde (savory tomato and mustard pie) served with a big green salad.  This incredibly easy and quick recipe is a go-to solution when you need a quick dinner (or when your garden is just bursting with tomatoes).  Hoping I get the time to get the recipe up.

Tuesday : Patatas Bravas Frittata, a tester for Celine. Rather excited about this one.

Wednesday : Savory Cheesecake with quiche-like tendencies, also a tester.  Also served with a huge green salad.

Thursday : Hopefully left-overs, and also planning on baking some Scarborough Fair Buns (yes, a tester).

Friday : Crispy Pepperoni Bites, a mini-pizza-type of deal. I’ll be making this for the “lunch crew”, meaning Guppy and her friends as I have them every other Friday for lunch.

Saturday : Cheeseburger Deep-Dish Pie, also a tester.  I ‘m not sure if we’ll be able to wait until Saturday because this one just looks so good!

As I’ve mentioned at least a hundred times, I’m so excited about having a large yard (front and back) at our new house. I am going to be a gardening fool, planting everywhere and anywhere the sun will allow.  The new garden is rather shady, and I want to try to work with the trees that are there, though I know that in the long run some will need to be trimmed or cut.  It’s not just so that I can have a garden, but also because some of them are not at all native to the region and are very thirsty.

Here are a few shots of our new garden, not terribly clear as they were taking with Monsieur F’s phone on his trip down there earlier this month, but I’m so excited to share them with you!

Look! I have a green house! Picture little sprouts getting ready for the world…

One view…

This is to the left of the prior shot.

Yet again, to the left of the previous two.

I know it looks rather green, but it’s because Monsieur Fish took these right after a rainshower.  I haven’t got any of the side of the house, which is where I hope to put lots of veggies because it’s got sun exposure most of the day and is close to the outdoor water supply.

I’ve already found one or two good gardening/home gardner-type sites, but if you have any suggestions or favourites, do let me know! I’m so excited about growing my own food!

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Vegan Meal Plan Monday & Cupcake Wednesday

I’m finding that I schedule too much food in my meal plans, so I’ve decided to make a little more room for left-overs.  This is a good thing, really, because I love left-overs! They mean that something is already delicious and tasty and waiting for me to eat it.

Monday : Left-over Eggplant Parmigiana, a test recipe for  Celine & Joni that I ended up finally making last night. So yummy. We’ll also be enjoying some roasted butternut squash.

Tuesday : Lemon Herb Coconut Tofu with Udon from 500 Vegan Recipes.

Wednesday : Left-overs.

Thursday : Baked Asparagus with Mushroom sauce (tester), served with a big green salad and veggie patties.

Friday : TBA. Saturday will be Guppy’s big birthday party she’ll be co-hosting with her friend. We’re expecting some 25 kids (because you can’t leave out little brothers and sisters) so I’ll be spending much of the afternoon preparing goodies for the fun. I’m not sure what’s going to happen dinner-wise yet, perhaps take-out?

Cupcake Wednesday mentioned last week was fun and here’s what I baked :

Buttery Vanilla cupcakes with speculoos icing.  The buttery flavour comes from the coconut milk I used, and the icing is just speculoos spread melted to liquid, and then the cupcakes are dipped a few times to get a nice, shiny coating. The speculoos spread is a relatively new find, but because it has a lot of oil in it it’s not something I buy very often. I would like to make my own, but I can’t find vegan speculoos cookies in my area.

Speculoos spread + baguette = yummy snack.

When Aparna mentioned she’d make some cupcakes on Twitter not so long ago, I found myself craving some, too. We decided to make cupcakes together on Cupcake Wednesday, just for fun.  It worked out just great as I had Guppy and her friends for lunch that day, and wanted to make them something fun for dessert.

So why speculoos icing? Simply put, buttercream frostings, or frostings in general don’t go over very big here in France.  Even most children find it too sweet/rich.  I would be happy to leave my cupcakes naked, but Guppy just loves sprinkles, and icing is the “glue”, right?  This was just perfect because it wasn’t too sweet, just a nice, think icing lending just the right amout of “hey, look at me, I’m frosting” without being too much. The kids just loved them!

Aparna also made some delicious looking cuppers and you should go take a look! I love that Twitter allowed us to “hang out” together making cupcakes, despite the thousands of kilometers that seperate us.

Vegan Meal Plan Monday – Potato Madness

Thanks for all your great meal plan suggestions last week.  I’ve passed them along to my sister, and I’m sure that other readers were thankful, too!

I’m not sure why, but I almost never, ever make mashed potatoes.  I guess we don’t really do a lot of startches other than pasta, but this week is indeed an exception as Guppy has been practically begging for them of late.

My child really does beg for vegetables.  In public.  Sunday as we were slowly walking through the outdoor market she suddenly pulled me over to a stand of fresh broccoli and looked up at me, pleading, “Oh please Mumma please can’t we get some broccoli? Pleeeeeze?” The vendor was giggling all over himself as I purchased the coveted greens which Guppy carried around the market like a bouquet.

Since we’ll be making mashed potatoes you can bet your boots I’ll be making a lot of them, because mashed potatoes means potato bread, and also the Samosa Quesdadillas  that  Trina posted not too long ago.  Potato madness kids, watch out – it’s catching!

Monday : Chickpea patties with steamed broccoli and mashed potatoes, and for dessert left-over rhubarb crisp.

Tuesday : Your Vegan Mom’s Samosa Quesadilla and for dessert, Vegan Rhubarb Cake based on one of my Great Grandmother Mary’s recipes. If it works out I promise I’ll share.  I’m so excited about the rhubarb!

Wednesday : Pups in a blanket inspired by Vegan Lunch Box, with saucisses by Celine. I’ll also be making cupcakes, but I still haven’t decided which ones.  Aparna and I were Tweeting the other day and decided to make cupcakes together. But apart. You know, since she’s in India and I’m in France and all. I need some inspiration…any suggestions? They will be for Guppy and friends (and me, duh).

Thursday : Hummous & Friends In A Bowl. This Celine and Joni test recipe was on the plan last week, but I didn’t get to make it.

PB&J Muffins, so amazing good, test recipe for Celine & Joni.

Friday : Eggplant Parmigiana, another test recipe, and Potato Rosemary Bread from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. This is another one of those wonderful breads made accessible by master baker Peter Reinhart.

Looking for more Vegan Meal Plan inspiration? Go visit Your Vegan Mom and for GF vegan goodness visit In My Box. Please share you links if you post a Vegan Meal Plan so I can add you, too!

Vegan Meal Plan Monday – How do you plan?

I received an email from one of my sisters today asking for help in coming up with new weekly meals and eats as she also does a meal plan.  My suggestions were to:

a) Check out blogs with meal plans, or just visit food blogs in general.  Seeing and reading about something helps me decide if I’d like to try it or not.

b) Try a new food a week.  This often gives birth to new dishes to try, and new ways of cooking, too.  Be it a new vegetable, grain or fruit, trying something new (and hopefully seasonal) offers your body some nutritional variety and your tastebuds a bit of a night on the town.

c) Buy/borrow a new cookbook.  When I get a new cookbook it becomes serious reading material for me.  I devour it as if it were fine literature, pouring over the pages and reading the recipes in detail.  I find this to be a wonderful way to give new foods or preparations a try, keeping things from becoming boring.

Do you have any hints or tips to share?  I’d love to know how you decide what you’ll be eating each week.

Chorizo Lasagna* enjoyed a few plans ago…

I admit my meal planning has been pretty easy of late as I’ve been recipe-testing up a storm.  It’s so fun to head over to the testing site and decide what sounds good.  (As always, the Celine & Joni test recipes are followed by an *).

Monday : Brussels Sprouts Chestnut Pot Pie* and greens.

Tuesday : Falafel* served with Coriander Pita Bread*.

Wednesday : Peanutbutter Pretzels*, left-overs served with a side of greens.

Thursday : Hummus in a bowl* with homefries.

Friday : Pizza Night!

Weekend Eats : Homemade waffles, probably from VWAV.

Pesto Pizza with homemade vegan cheese*.  That red stuff would be hot sauce.

Monsieur Fish is heading to the new house this week to drop off a car-load of boxes, take care of administrative stuff, and hopefully he’ll snap a few pictures so I can share with you. I’m spending most of my “imagination time” dreaming about the garden, what I’ll be able to plant once we arrive, and what we’ll plant next year…

Looking for more Vegan Meal Plan inspiration? Go visit Your Vegan Mom and for GF vegan goodness visit In My Box.