Protein Noodles

Protein Noodles
Sooo….sometimes I get a little lazy. I wait until the last minute to make my lunch for work, and then I’m too tired to make a real meal. This is one of the simple, and uh, interesting dishes I came up with. It’s ready in 10 minutes, can have as few as 3 ingredients (totally up to you), and it’s packed with protein. It’s also dirt cheap!

Protein Noodles
1 C prepared & drained elbow macaroni (or noodle of choice)
1/2 C prepared minced TVP
Frank’s Redhot Sauce

Prepare noodles according to instructions. Prepare TVP according to instructions. Season TVP to taste with hot sauce, then combine noodles & TVP. Eat.

You can liven it up by using a broth to rehydrate the TVP, adding more seasonings or nutritional yeast, adding vegan cheese, or minced veggies. But, although it’s not very exciting, I really did like this as it was. Nice and simple! And it’s oil free and perfect for a strict fasting day.

Week of Greek: Tahini Soup (Tahinosoupa)

If you’ve been around here a while you know I adore tahini, so it’s no surprise I have worked it into the first course of our week-long Greek meal! Tahini Soup is a traditional Lenten recipe – fast, cheap, good for ya, no frills, and SO easy to whip up a huge batch for the whole family, or to share with neighbors and friends.

2015-7-13 Tahini Soup Tahinosoupa
There are many variations if you search online, but I chose to go with the great Tselementes on this one. In this very old cookbook, he writes that peanut butter may be used since it is so difficult to find tahini in stores. I’m glad that’s not the case anymore! In my local Middle Eastern market there must be at least half a dozen varieties of tahini to choose from.

Another fun thing about these old cookbooks I used, they measure things out in teacups!

2015-7-13 Tahini Soup Tahinosoupa2
Any small pasta will do for this recipe, you could even break up spaghetti or angel hair pasta, and some recipes use rice. Just keep it simple.

2015-7-13 Tahini Soup Tahinosoupa3
It looks very Lenten, doesn’t it? But don’t let the plain looks deceive you – this soup has a surprisingly wonderful flavor thanks to the nuttiness of the tahini. It was *almost* cheese-like.

2015-7-13 Tahini Soup Tahinosoupa4
Mumra and I did add a bit of this beautiful, chunky pink salt and a touch of black pepper, but only because we are food snobs and wanted to fancy it up. Tahinosoupa is filling, nutritious (thanks to iron-rich tahini, which also provides a little calcium), and budget-friendly.

This gave me an idea. What if we ate Tahini Soup for dinner every day for one week, how much money would we save? We could take those few dollars and donate them to the IOCC, and the Jaharis Family Foundation will match our donation to help the people of Greece! To read more about what the IOCC is doing in Greece, CLICK HERE.

Tahini Soup
4 1/2 C water + more for sauce
salt to taste
2 C small pasta (I used occhio di pernice)
2 tsp tahini per serving

Boil water salted to taste. Add pasta to boiling water and cook until done, according to instructions. DO NOT DRAIN.
In each serving bowl, mix 2 tsp tahini with just enough additional water to reach a mayo-type consistency. Spoon pasta and its broth into each bowl, and stir to combine with tahini sauce.

Makes several large servings, or TONS of 1/2 C servings!

If you want the soup to be less ascetic, you may wish to add:
Pepper
Garlic
Nutritional yeast
Sliced green onion
A bit of turmeric to make it beautiful
Bulk it up with beans (another dirt cheap ingredient!)

Feel free to use gluten free pasta. Be sure to enjoy!!!

And check out our 2nd course: White Cabbage Salad (Lahanosalata)

Salted Date & Almond Butter Sandwich 

This is barely a recipe, but it’s my new favorite sandwich.

2015-6-22 Date Sandwich
You only need a few ingredients:

2 slices of your favorite bread
natural almond butter
4 – 10 pitted dates
salt

I use sprouted Ezekiel bread, lightly toasted, and 1-ingredient almond butter from Costco. Spread the almond butter as thick as you want! I cut the pitted dates in half, so I only need 4 or 5 to cover the bread, but you could use them whole and squeeze in a few extra. Then sprinkle lightly with salt – pink Himalayan is my preference.

That’s it. And using natural almond butter & Ezekiel bread makes it oil free and perfect for a strict fasting day :D