Friday, November 15, 2013

Hop on over to my new URL!

Howdy everyone!

In case you haven't heard via my Twitter, Facebook or Instagram pages, I have a new URL. 

Hop on over to the new Indy's Veggie Fix by clicking here or going to my new website,

Happy eating and I look forward to seeing ya' over at my new site!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Brrrr..... It's Time to Warm Up!

Wow, now has been a crazy month or what?! Geesh, what a whirlwind of craziness, but I sure have missed chatting, sharing, & eatin' with you all and excited to be back and rolling.

In case you're wondering if I chopped my finger off or burned the building down on my TV debut, that is excitedly a NO!..... However, if we were in public speaking class, I'm guessing I would have gotten an F for the amount of pauses and "um's" thrown around in just a few short minutes..... that flew by as if it were a few short seconds! I'll be workin' on that so you don't have to hear round 2 of Katie's inaudible ramblings ;)

Find the segment here if you want living proof (and the very talked about shout out to my husband's beard) -- you have to click on the arrow pointing to the right of the screen to get to the second part.  And of course, you can find the recipes I made here if they looked yummy enough to make!

Andi and Tracy, the hosts, were SO incredibly sweet and easy going that it was like talking to someone I had known for years and as if the camera weren't there except when I made the stupid mistake of looking straight at them and going into panic mode, but seriously, they were just awesome and reaffirmed not only how much I love to cook, but how much I'd die to have a vegetarian Food Network TV show.... although I doubt they'd cast one of the worst public speakers on the planet (AKA: me), but hey, a gal can dream, eh?!

I can't tell you how many times I watched this and was thinking, KATIE: Why did you not answer with this?! or that?!.... Come on now!  We're all our own worst critic as they say, and such a truth!

And yes, presentation is also not my strong suit.... and they pictured this AFTER my segment was over. (I wonder why?! ;) HA!) I'm no professional here ladies and gents!

Anyhow, enough about my self absorbed obsession to watch and critique every mistake I can't take back now and onto delicious, heart warming, food-for-the-soul....... SOUP!!!!!!! 

Except for you Floridian's and southern west coast folks blessed with year round warmth ;) us in the Midwest are feeling the BRRRRRRRR for sure..... In fact, it's sleeting as I type, but nonetheless, is my very favorite time of year come, and there's nothing like watching it come alive our yards, streets, etc. blissfully change into the vibrant colors of autumn.  Now I'm wanting to sip on some hot chocolate, STAT! ;)

Every autumn and winter, who doesn't auto think of soup?! Seriously... it's just a staple that warms you from the inside out! Soup is something I LOVEEEEEEEEEE, but since becoming a vegetarian, has also been like a long lost friend because when you go to restaurants, you see salivating sounding soup selections, but always made with chicken or beef broth/stock, so it's like a love of my life that feels dearly distant at times (yes, oh so dramatic, I know!)

Last time I got sick, my mom made the remark something like, "this would be such a good time for a bowl of chicken noodle soup," and although probably drugged on Nyquil and my naturally stubborn/have to be right nature, I had a thought.... VEGETARIANS CAN EAT "CHICKEN" NOODLE SOUP TOO GOSH DARN IT!

Nursed back to health, brain less foggy and I was ready.... no, I was DETERMINED.... to concoct a tailor made recipe even non-vegetarians could enjoy!

So now I demand that you light a fire, get under a blanket, and enjoy a super healthy, super warm and SUPER tasty version of....

Chik'n Noodle Soup, Veggie Style

In the line up for a good ol' classic favorite!

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons butter
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 fresh sprigs of thyme

1 bay leaf
Salt & Pepper
2 cooked, cooled and shredded Quorn Chik’n cutlets
6 cups vegetable broth
8 oz frozen egg noodles

Start with the most important ingredients..... What would Chik'n Noodle Soup be without the Chik'n and without the noodles?! I'll tell ya', it'd be BLAH, so here we go.  Get going by baking (or cooking on the stove) the Chik'n cutlets until cooked/heated through and then let cool (can make ahead if ya'd like!).  When cool enough to handle, shred or cut up however thick or thin you'd like it in your soup (I shredded mine pretty thin as ya' can tell cause' I want it to be really SOUP-y with all that yummo broth!)

Next, heat the olive oil and butter/margarine in a large soup pot over medium heat.  Once the butter has melted, add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, bay leaf, and full thyme sprigs (stem on) and season with salt and pepper.  Sautee for about 5-10 minutes.

Once the veggies have softened, add the vegetable broth and turn the heat to medium-high to bring it up to a boil.

Once the broth is boiling, add in your noodles and cook for the amount of time recommended on the package you purchased (approximately 15-20 minutes).  

Either serve up alongside a warm veggie or side salad, or let cool and heat up another day.  Generally, I always find that soups can taste better next day since the flavors get to partay with each other and becomes an overall tastier experience a day later, but to each their own! 

ENJOY ma' friends, and keep warm!

Healthy, vegetarian, and better and almost as fast as heating up that Campbell's can I know you've got in your pantry!!!!! ;)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

No paper bag... yet!


HOORAY! No paper bags have come into play yet! Key word: YET!

Thanks to ma' lovely hubs, I was actually able to eat #brunch this morning/afternoon! Gosh it was good... It wasn't until after the last bite, that the nervous nausea began to kick in..... GULP!

Alex is known for his constructive criticisms in any given situation... I'm talkin' the good, the bad and the down-right OOGLY! We have a love/hate relationship in this regard, but I definitely was in the LOVE mood regarding this recipe.

And of course, nothin' a little vino couldn't help out ;)

Considering this is one of his favorites AND he came back with few and far between criticisms, I think we have ourselves a winner! #FTW 

Sweet Potato & Grilled Corn Cakes/Fritters

- 1 1/2 lbs./2 sweet potatoes, cooked through with skin on
- 1/2 cup grilled then frozen corn, cut off the cob
- 1 scallion, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1 Tablespoon fresh chives, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/8 to 1/4 cup white or yellow corn meal
- 1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1 medium egg

To grill the corn, season those babies up with enough olive oil to coat (oil has a higher burning temperature!), and then dashes of seasoned salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Place on the medium-heat, gas grill and rotate until slightly charred.  Once cooled enough to handle, cut off the cop and freeze in a ziplock bag or tupperware!

You can make tha' corn ahead o' hand, just make sure ya' give it enough time to freeze! On we go to zee sweet potatoes, so score with a fork or knife, and then a) cover in a paper towel and microwave for 5-8 minutes), b) cover in aluminum foil and bake at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes.

Let's be honest, quicker is better! So microwave, here we come!

Let sweet potatoes cool on a cutting board until they are ready to handle, then slice in half and scoop out the cooked potato, leavin' the skin's behind!

Mash the slightly cooled sweet potatoes with a fork or a potato masher, then add the green onions, fresh parsley, and frozen grilled corn kernels. 

Next, add the seasoned salt, paprika and pepper.  

Mix that baby together and on we go! Add the cornmeal, Italian seasoned bread crumbs, and 1 egg. Mix together until all flava is well incorporated, then chill in the fridge for ~30 minutes or overnight! 

Heat the canola oil over medium high heat, and remove sweet potato corn cake mixture from the fridge and scoop out with an ice cream scoop into your hand.  Flatten and form into a patty using ya' hands!

Once the oil is heated, add the formed sweet potato patties and cook until browned on each side (1-2 minutes).  Flip once browned and cook for the same amount of time on the other side, then place on a plate with a paper cloth to catch the extra oil and let cool for a few minutes.

Serve these babies up as an appetizer or main dish with some roasted aspargus or a side salad, but both go so well with a garlic and chive dip or the famous spicy tomato and chipotle aioli

Garlic and Chive Dip

- 1/4 cup reduced fat sour cream
- 1 teaspoon fresh chive, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced
- 1/4 lemon, juiced

Mix em' all up and you've got yourself a light and refreshing dip or a spicy, kicked up a notch dip for your eating pleasure =)


Enjoy ma' friends and I urge you to try ASAP as this is a dinner WINNER, I tell ya'! 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Saturday of all Saturday's

How's your Saturday been folks?!

Ours has been packed full and full of my favorite loves! 

Sushi: CHECK!
Bike ride: CHECK!
Ice cream from a local shop: CHECK!
Breaking in our new grill: CHECK!


So, if you didn't know a couple things about me is that I have cravings out the wah-zoo... and when said cravings come about, they-must-be-conquered ASAP!

My perdy/not-so-sushi-loving husband agreed to a Saturday lunch date to satisfy my said craving... Ain't he a keeper?! ;) So on we go we to local sushi joint, Oishi Sushi! .... a bit sketchy from the outside, but a menu and decor to make up the less than stellar curb-appeal, I tell ya'!

I started with my usual seaweed salad appetizer while our lunch special came with Alex's miso soup! Slurp, slurp!

Seaweed salad in hand, time to glance towards the menu #veggie rolls and compliment the interior design! 

PS: I tried to get Alex to go into one of the No.Shoes.Allowed rooms, but he quickly vetoed the idea.  So chic, love it!

While I chomped on my seaweed salad, we ordered our sushi rolls, and Alex got his miso soup, and next thing ya' know, our SUSHI arrived! Slurp, slurp.... Like a kid in a candy shop!
Well helllllllllooooo there gorgeous!

Alex: Hunny, how do you use chopstix again?!

...Oh, I got it!!!!

....... KERPLUNK! Sushi overboard.

Wellll..... I thought I had a good grasp on it.... Whoops!

Obviously we hated it.... ;)

Did someone say "clean plate club?!"... YES SIR-EE!

Next was a trip to K-Mart in search of an affordable bike for Alex since mine's been growin' cob webs.... LITERALLLLLLY!! cause' what's a bike ride without someone to join ya'?! 

We dusted off the ol' webs and headed off on a fun adventure!

                                                                                Couples that bike togetha', stay togetha' eh?!

 We rode to strip of historic #Irvington to check out some local shops and stumbled upon the new ice cream parlor -- we've been meaning to try this place out AND it has more than just ice cream ma' friends! Check this gem out ASAP peeps!

I loved the decor too, very 1950's diner with TONS of color! Fun stuff for kids and adults... and free wifi! I doubt this'll be my only venture to this joint!

Hola ma' new BFF WylePalooza! ;)

Sundaes.... Shakes.... Ice Cream?! WHAT TO CHOOSE?!?!?!??

I am oddly weird and picky about ice cream, so when I saw Ultimate Oreo, I was convinced I was sold, since ya' can't really screw up oreo ice cream... but then I caught a glance of LEMON MERINGUE?! Very intrigued and skeptical, the super nice employee offered a sample.  H-O-L-Y C-O-W! was that the absolute best taste of ice cream eva'?! Why, yes, yes IT WAS! 

SOLD, a cup of of lemon meringue for zee lady.  And Alex, true to form, channelled his inner 8 year old boy and got Superman ice cream... that he inhaled so quickly I barely got a taste!

What's a better way to end this great day and PERFECT weather than breakin' in our new hybrid grill usin' our garden veggies to make KABOBS! #FTW

So let's gettin' marinatng!

1 Quorn Chik'n Cutlet, largely diced
- 1-2 small peppers, largely diced
- 1 small onion, largely diced
-1/2 to 1 cup grape tomatoes
1 1/2 lemons, juiced & zested
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
2-3 teaspoons garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons fresh basil, rosemary, parsley, finely diced
- Seasoned salt & pepper

Marinate for 30-45 minutes.  

Half charcoal, half gas.... a beast of a machine and perfect for any occasion! Ya' think it's big enough for us?!

This was an Alex concoction! Screwer the veggies to you're likin' and keep the extra marinade to spread ova' the skewer's while grillin'! Alex cooked these babies over low heat on the gas side of the grill to get things rollin'! 

PS: Wanna know a top secret of how we make it as a meat-eating and vegetarian couple?! Same ingredients, same marinade, divided into two bags! Shrimp for him, Quorn Chik'n for her! There ya' go folks! 

Can we say front porch/patio dinna'?! Yes pah-lease! =)

Hope you had as fun filled of a Saturday as we did!

See ya' tomorrow while I'm hyperventilating into a paper bag prepping for Monday's shin-dig

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Laziest of Days....

I must say, this week has gone by painfully slow while crazily fast... Riddle me that ma' friends?!

I was so psyched at the new routine I was falllin' into, but Mother Nature had other plans, of course! Is it just me or does a gloomy day always seem snatch away any sense of productivity?!

What did we wake up to, you ask?! Rain, rain and more RAIN!

While I love snugglin' under the covers to the sound of much needed RAIN, I pretty much knew upon the sound of the first sprinkle that today was gonna' be.... well, let's just say, not as smooth and energy boostin' as yesterday!

In fact, today was the Mr. Hyde to yesterday's Dr. Jekyll..... And that's sayin' somethin' eh?!

Somethin' about non-stop rain leaves my Type A personality go south into never-never land, which was quite unexpected as I check the forecast more than I'd like to admit often enough that it had a mere 30% chance of rain, which in the summer's in Indiana, that's pretty much the norm!

Dear Meterologists, 

I love ya' fellas & ladies, but when you give me 30% chance, I glance away and hope for the best.... but today, you were about 70% off. 

Can we please do better next time?!


KATIE/Indy's Veggie Fix

Regardless, on Thursday's, the hubs comes home at an early hour since he has 9-11pm support slot, meanin' let's get dinner plans rollin' ASAP!

There comes a time in every person's week where making dinner is a far cry from any sort of enjoyable activity. In fact, it seems downright dreadful. Amen, ma' friend!.. and that would tonight!

However, a long string of oven/stoveless take out nights and our tightening budget seems to always motivate me to get into the kitchen and spark up something simple and quick! The first place I always look on these nights is my freezer, AKA the black whole of odds and ends that we inevitably forget about.

For a vegetarian favorite, I always store extra store bought or homemade falafel  in the freezer -- a Middle Eastern staple made of chickpeas, veggies (peppers, onions) and spices/herbs (cumin, coriander, parsley). I bought falafel balls from Traders Joe's and saved them in the freezer for a lazy day, and surely enough that day soon came... AKA, circa NOW! There and then, falafel gyros became a dinner delight.

I heated the frozen falafel in the oven with some sliced onions, then served in warm whole wheat pita bread with roasted red peppers, extra roasted onions, seeded and diced raw cucumber, hummus and my own makeshift cucumber dressing that is often found alongside Greek gyros. Authentic cucumber dressing would typically be made with plain yogurt and dill, but I used what I had on hand to create a similar effect.

Cucumber Dressing:
-1/2 small cucumber, seeded and cut into very small dices
-1 clove garlic, minced
-2 or 3 Tablespoons sour cream (depending on how creamy you like it) 
-1/2 lemon juiced and zested
-Salt and pepper to taste 

Some Middle Eastern and Greek inspiration served with a side of boiled corn like a true Hoosier (SHOUT OUT from the corn fields!), and you have yourself a delicious dinner in about 15-20 minutes. Even on the laziest of nights a little bit of creativity, a dive through your freezer and a sinking bank account can build you a better and healthier dinner than any take out! #FTW

Enjoy for those days you can barely get your bum off tha' couch, whether homemade or store-bought! 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Playin' Catchup!

Howdy from the Midwest everyone! Hope you made it past Hump Day!

Things have been pretty crazy at casa de Indy's Veggie Fix from post-vacation hibernation, to an ultimate kitchen repair, plus the last & final dish made by the memorable, ugly & half functional old yellow stove/oven.

While the lovely men of Lowe's hauled away the barely functioning, circa 1970 oven, I now get to look at this beauty!

H-E-L-L-O there gorgeous!  :)

Still waiting on an over-the-range microwave to be installed, I went face to face with the beyond oooooogly yellow countertops.  Time to whip this place up into shape ma' friends and start actin' like it belongs in the 21st century!

However, before said over-the-range microwave is installed, I'm a wee-bit nervous to cook anything stove-top style, cause' let's face it, first thing outta the get-go, ya' know I'm scorch something into a small-ish fire with no hood there to help me from triggering our ultra sensitive fire alarm... naturally!

Let's talk about more pleasant things, eh?

Want to know the secret to an exceptionally good day?!?!

a) An extra long & good night's sleep: CHECK! This is a hard one for ol' insomniac ova here!

b) Morning walk with the pups to welcome the incoming #autumn season: CHECK!

c) A much-missed restaurant meal item for a light dinner: yummy CHECK yummy! :)

I thought I'd take advantage of the cooler temps from actually getting up at a decent hour coupled with the extra sleep by goin' on a perfect, welcome-fall-weather morning walk with the pups! Totally changed the whole day that gave such a burst of positive energy, then showered up and was ready to take on the day!

Did someone say blue socks were in?!... Probably NOT.... But putting away laundry has never been our strong suit, so to each their own, eh?! Let's make it work peeps!

The pups were so happy!! And ya' can't argue with the smell of fall in the air, which was merely the cherry on top of an impromptu pup walk.  

PLUS!,  I got to see some of my town's favorite decor that I've always loved and been oh-so curious about.  Does your town/neighborhood have a festive type of decoration that's put out every year?

For us Irvington-ites, you know it's fall when ya' see the blue-bottle-bouquets or the white & decorated candle-lit bags lining entryways of people's houses (I'll keep ya' posted upon first sighting!)... and let me just say, after 3 years here, I still don't quite "get it" but it's nice and festive, so no complainin' here! And PS: I asked my husband who grew up here, and he isn't really sure of the tradition either, so apparently we're just outta the loop!

And of course fall = fallen, orange/red/brown leaves and the changing flower colors before they hibernate for spring!.... How can you NOT love fall, I ask?!?!?!! Any other season is just blasphemy, I tell ya' ;)

While on the blissful walk, catching glimpses of autumn comin' our way, I dreamt of getting a PLS  (Pumpkin Spiced Latte), but I didn't really need the caffeine jolt and could always use the extra $5+ in ma' pocket, so instead whipped up a delicious & energy boostin' smoothie of Yoplait Greek Yogurt (HELLO PROTEIN!), vanilla almond milk, frozen berry medley of strawberries/raspberries/blueberries/blackberries, and a handful of fresh spinach for a mid-morning mini-meal! Give it a go, I tell ya'!


Between vacation and gettin' down n' dirty back into work mode, it came as an exciting but stomach wrenching surprise when I received a reminder email confirming my first TV shindig this comin' Monday.... Oh-my-dear-goodness!.... and considering I flinch at the thought of public speaking and bite my nails on a horrendously-more-than-regular basis but even more so when I'm nervous, this was only fitting, but I must say, she doesn't look far enough as nervous as I did this afternoon!... I don't think I'll have any fingernails left come Monday :\ EEK!

After texting Alex and making a mental, then physical list of what the heck do I need to do beforehand?!?!!? I started preppin' dinner to get ma' mind off of all the disastrous things that could happen that were floatin' round' my head and let me just say, I need some more yoga in my life!

 Back to dinna' though, cause' this was a WIN! In my life, cravings wait for no man woman! I believe it was somewhere between mile 1 and mile 600 during our 13+ hour drive home where many Applebee's caught our glances on several exits en route to and from the can-we-go-back beach vacation, I began to remember a very regular high school diet staple of mine. 

While I can't remember the last time I even went to Applebee's (pre or post becoming a vegetarian), I DO remember my absolute fave and ordered without a second blink menu item I got when I frequented this chain staple.  While I never think of foregoing my vegetarian lifestyle, I cannot and will never say that I don't strongly crave ol' classics of my pre-vegetarian days.

INSERT: Bring on the Applebee's Staple, VEGGIE STYLE!


I don't even think I could count how many times I had this to-go or dined in, but if anyone for any reason was going to Applebee's during middle/high school, let's just say it came to a point where no one had to ask "What does Katie want?"... Pathetic, yes, I know! But

Since we've been without stove since return from the all necessary indulgent and long overdue beach vacation, I've been eating lighter meals and more throughout the day to help de-bloat, recoop, and sort of get back into a semi-routine while lettin' my digestive track take a mini-vacation of its own.  

CopyCat Applebee's Oriental Chik'n Salad
Serves 1-2

While I remember the staples of the base of the salad, I really didn't know where to start on the exotic salad dressing, but this recipe came to my rescue! Awesome reviews and what sounded exactly like what that delicious, luscious white dressing tasted like, I was SOLD!

Whisk together your light mayonnaise, rice wine vinegar, dijon mustard, honey and sesame oil and you've got yourself a true copycat. I'm tellin' ya, this needs to be entered into some sorta' contest cause' it's no joke ma' friends!... Former employee's concoction, I imagine?!

Before you begin whiskin' the dressing together, preheat your oven to 425 degrees and bust out some Quorn Chik'n Nuggets.  Compared to fried chicken, ya' can't beat these babies health-wise OR tastewise! Less 250 calories, very little saturated fat, loads of protein, and an acceptable amount of sodium in just 4-5 nuggets. And these are a vegetarian and non-vegetarian must-have freezer item, and let me tell ya', just trust this once skeptic on this freezer friendly delicacy! NOM NOM!... I still remember the first time I extremely hesitantly took a bite of my brother-in-law's Morningstar veggie hot dogs and was forever hooked!... But for now, back to the NUGGETS!

Get out 4-5 nuggets onto some aluminum foil, and pop into the oven for 14 minutes, flippin' at 7 minutes until golden brown while you're whiskin' away the dressing!

Once the nuggets are cooked and browned, let cool for about 5 minutes, then slice lengthwise into 3-4 strips. 

Time to start assemblin' your salad! Since it's been 5+ years since I've had an actual Applebees Oriental Chicken Salad, I wasn't gonna skip a bit of this old classic, so on we go adding the chopped romaine lettuce. 

Then top with a handful of red cabbage and shredded carrots. 

Next, top off this ol' baby with a small handful of nugget strips, sliced almonds, chow mein noodles and 1 finely chopped green onion.  Serve the aforementioned dressing on the side to either slather on the salad or to dunk each fork-filled scoop into..... Your choice ma' friends!

Why yes, that would be the sounds of my mouth still watering! (TMI?) ;)

Fresh greens, crunch from the carrots & chow mein, salty from nuggets and sweet from the perfect copycat dressing.... I'm never one to preach, but it's recipes like these that make it oh-so-easy for me to be a vegetarian and not miss the classic menu items I loved oh-so-much!

As delicious as I remembered and more -- SO GLAD I made extra dressing tomorrow's leftovers! FTW!

Delicious to the last fork-full ;) Slurp, slurp!... That's finger-lickin' good ma' friends!

And my BIGGEST apologies for not announcing the QUORN #giveaway winner yesterday, but congratulations to Rebecca B.H.! Please email your name and mailing address to and I'll getcha your prize! You have until 9/25 at 5pm EST to send me your info so I can mail you your free #QUORN product supply!

Alrighty folks, eat, cheers and welcome the lovely fall!.... And yes, I'm very aware that while many are wishing the summer to extend through November, I am happily welcoming the fall! 


Off to watch, why yes, more Gilmore Girls in anticipation of some long-awaited new seasons of my very favorite shows comin' up next week! WOOT!