Tag Archives: vegan mofo

The smallest one was . . .

31 Oct

Happy Halloween — or should I say, Joyeux Halloween, for je suis Madeline:

I figured since my hair is the right shade (though hard to tell in the iPhone photo), I couldn’t go wrong with one of my favorite storybook characters. I threw the main part of the costume together at home (not pictured: white socks and Mary Janes) and then made the hat and assembled the cape at work. Oh the joys of working for an arts organization. Madeline is the third kiddie fiction character I’ve portrayed on Halloween, having been both Dorothy and Alice numerous times. Some ladies embrace the cleavage and high heels on Halloween; I’ve always enjoyed flats and dressing up like a 7-year-old.

Today is also the last day of Vegan Mofo. I’ve had a lot of fun this year, and I hope you have, too! I’m excited that Kale Crusaders featured my Garbanzo Barbecue Sliders today, along with some tasty-looking recipes by other bloggers. Read the post here. Thanks so much!

I’m taking it sleazy easy with today’s post, I would love to hear what you chose for your Halloween costume this year. Leave it in the comments.

So “That’s all there is; there isn’t any more.” Au revoir!


CSA Week 8 and Meal Planning

30 Oct

Hey everyone! I am finally back in town and mostly in commission. I was in the Midwest for a week with my mom, who had surgery. No worries — she’s well! But I’m a little exhausted, as I expected, so the last several posts were all pre-scheduled.

Anyway, I wasn’t in town for the CSA pick-up this week, but my lovely husband sneaked out before the Giants game to bring in our haul. Here’s the picture he sent me of the bounty:

  • Beets
  • Japanese eggplants
  • Roma (?) tomatoes
  • Arugula
  • Butternut squash
  • Bitter greens
  • Purple basil
  • Curly kale
  • Lettuce
  • Swiss chard
  • Pomegranates
  • Parsley
  • Little tiny summer squashes

I’m so, so excited about those pomegranates! Or, rather, that pomegranate since he ate one before I got home. Because the week is kinda crazy, I haven’t made a meal plan, but here are some ideas:

  • Roasted beet salad
  • Pasta or pizza with tomato sauce, eggplant and squashes
  • Polenta with squash
  • Butternut squash lasagna
  • Lentil soup

Nothing too crazy, as you can see. I just need to get back to normal life after a week away.

As for exercise, I got off track with my running plan, so this week I will attempt to pick up where I left off. Here’s to my return to reality!

Every week, I participate in In Her Chucks‘ “What’s in the Box?” link-up. Click here to see boxes from all over!

Basic Lentil Squash Pie

28 Oct

I had high hopes of transforming the veggies left in my kitchen into a glorious pot pie. The crust to be whole wheat perfection, with a nice savory gravy filling out the bottoms. And then I looked in my refrigerator and really thought about how much I did not feel like using a pastry cutter. So my original intention morphed into a much more manageable and totally basic version of a shepherd’s pie:

Sorry. There is no way to make this stuff look pretty in my home after dark.

Basic Lentil Squash Pie

  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 1 teaspoon oil (olive or coconut oil)
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup brown lentils
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon tarragon
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons non-dairy milk
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Cut your butternut squash in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and stringy bits, and then place cut-side down in a baking dish or on a baking sheet. Roast until fork tender, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Pour in the broth and increase heat to bring to a boil. Add the lentils, thyme, rosemary, tarragon, and bay leaf. Stir quickly to combine, and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let cook until the broth is absorbed and the lentils are tender but not mushy. Taste for flavor, and add more herbs, if desired. Set aside.

When the squash is done, let it cool until you can handle it. Use a fork to scrape the flesh into a medium bowl. Add the non-dairy milk (I actually used about 1/4 cup of the Trader Joe’s coconut cream) by the tablespoon until the flavor and consistency are to your liking. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Reduce the oven heat to 350° and spray or grease an 8″ pie dish. Pour the lentils in the bottom and top with the mashed butternut squash. Add more pepper to the top, if desired. The layering will look like this:

Bake for 20 minutes. Serves two as a main or four as a side.

While this dish takes a little more time than I generally prefer, it comes together very quickly once the lentils and squash are cooked. You could easily use pre-roasted squash, but I recommend bringing it to room temperature before mashing.

Noodles two ways

27 Oct

Both of these recipes featuring whole wheat spaghetti fall under the categories of “basic and tasty” and “good ways to use up vegetables that are hanging out in the fridge possibly too long.” The first is Italian-style:

Like I said: basic. It features an even simpler version of my Roasted Tomato Sauce (by using fire-roasted tomatoes from a can, but adding in fresh oregano from my CSA basket), a Tofurkey Italian Sausage, roasted zucchini, and crushed red pepper. Quick, easy, delicious.

The second version was a Saturday lunch stir fry-style:

It seems weird to post a recipe for stir fry, since it’s just a bunch of veggies stirred and fried in some oil and then added to noodles or rice or whatever. Instead, here are the ingredients in the order in which they went into the pan:

  • Coconut oil (and as needed two more times to continue the stirring and frying)
  • Onion
  • Carrots
  • Soy sauce (and as needed two more times to deglaze the pan and add flavor)
  • Garlic
  • Hot pepper
  • Minced fresh ginger
  • Button mushrooms
  • Swiss chard
  • Cooked noodles

And then we topped our servings with chili garlic sauce for a little more heat and a nice vinegar-y flavor. I’m usually way too skimpy on the oil in stir fries, which renders them a little sad, but this one had between 1 and 2 tablespoons total, I would guess. You may have noticed that I’ve been including more fat in my diet lately. I still consume less of it than the average person, but since I’ve been exercising more, I’ve been ravenous, so I’m finding ways to sneak a few extra calories in. I will start amping up my plant-based proteins, too, once things calm down and I can do a better job of meal planning.

Barbecued Garbanzo Sliders

26 Oct

Things are  a bit crazy at the moment, but I wanted to share a meal idea while I have a sec. This is a tasty, quick, family-friendly lunch or dinner that I whipped up from the dregs, er, remains of a week of meal planning:

Barbecued Garbanzo Sliders

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (or 1 can drained and rinsed)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup prepared barbecue sauce
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 a large onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small hot pepper or 1/4 jalapeno, minced — optional
  • 6 slider buns or dinner rolls

Pour the chickpeas and about 1/4 cup of the barbecue sauce into a medium bowl. Use a potato masher or something similar to mash and combine the two. Add more barbecue sauce as you go to add moisture. You don’t have to puree — just get everything well combined and a little chunky. Set aside. Now heat the olive oil (or sub in spray oil) in a skillet or small sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened. Add the garlic and the pepper, if using, and sautee for about 30 seconds, until the garlic becomes fragrant. Now add the chickpea mash to the pan, stir everything together, and continue cooking for about three minutes. Serve on slider buns or dinner rolls topped with more barbecue sauce.

Makes six little sandwiches.

We served ours alongside sauteed Swiss chard:

If you were planning ahead and not just throwing together a pantry meal, these would be great topped with avocado, tempeh bacon, and tomato.

And in the interest of full disclosure, the buns were homemade using my sourdough starter. I was planning to make veggie burgers with homemade buns. The recipe I followed — which I now can’t find — just did not work out. It was supposed to make full-sized buns, but clearly it didn’t. I also couldn’t get my sesame seeds to stick, nor did they want to cook all the way through. The final result tasted fine, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say it was a major kitchen stress. Bread baking should NOT be a last-minute activity. Let that be a lesson to me.

Twice Baked Butternut Squash

25 Oct

I feel like I’ve been posting a lot of squash lately, but the CSA basket has been keeping me well stocked, so here comes some more!

I was looking for something tasty and a little fancy to do for our nice-ish dinners in last Saturday night. I didn’t want to do the Butternut Squash Ravioli again, so I started brainstorming and decided to stuff it. I stumbled across this recipe from Naturally Ella (a new favorite read) and knew it would be easy to veganize. And it was:

My changes were:

  • Using a medium squash instead of a large
  • Subbing scallions for the shallots
  • Adding a minced hot pepper and two cloves of minced garlic
  • Reducing the quinoa to 1/4ish cup and the water to about 1/2 cup
  • Subbing nutritional yeast for the cheese
  • Adding a handful of chopped raw pecans to the top of the stuffed squash

Otherwise I followed her method. The result was incredibly tasty and more filling than I expected, which was a good thing! We served the squash alongside some sauteed bitter greens and a bottle of Balletto 2011 Pinot Noir.

It was a perfect little dinner at our new table, which we’re still greatly enjoying.

Are you sick of my butternut squash recipes yet? I hope not! I have one more coming your way already, plus an uncooked squash chillin’ in my kitchen.

Chili update

24 Oct

Hey all! I’m travelling for a few days, and so I’ve scheduled some posts in advance. I apologize for the lack of real time, but I will be away from my computer. I will keep checking in with my phone to approve and respond to comments, though, so I hope you enjoy the recipes!

I promised an update to X’s Spicy Portobello Chili, so I’m delivering.

As you can see, it doesn’t look too different:

The method is the same, but here are the ingredients we prefer now:

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Half a large onion, chopped
  • 4 Portobello mushroom caps, cleaned, de-stemmed, and diced
  • 4 or 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 15 oz canned diced fire-roasted tomatoes (Muir Glen or Trader Joe’s brands are my preference)
  • 2 cups of cooked black beans
  • 2 cups of cooked chickpeas
  • 4 oz diced green chilies
  • 3 or 4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced (because we’re crazy!)
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Several sprinklings of freshly ground black pepper

The major changes, as you can see, are more beans, more spice (in the form of chipotle peppers), fire-roasted tomatoes (the flavor is so much better), and no extra water unless needed. We like the thicker consistency so much better. We’ve also discovered that half black beans, half garbanzos — and I always cook them fresh at home now — is our preferred combination, though you can feel free to use your favorites. Another thing I never think to do but that would be tasty is some diced red bell pepper added with the onion.

And since this is not a very full post, I will also present another Tofu Scramble Taco with Chipotle:

The method is the same as my Tofu Breakfast Tacos, except that I used 1/4 of an onion instead of the scallion, a chopped chipotle pepper and a little juice from a can of tomatoes instead of salsa, no nutritional yeast, doubled the tofu (and used five corn tortillas) to serve two people, and added some roasted zucchini to the top. Still easy and delicious, though I did miss the noochy flavor a bit.

That’s it. Hope everyone’s having a happy Wednesday!