Dinner

Peanut, Sweet Potato and Lentil Stew

This is a very easy, creamy, and yummily filling stew from the Peas and Thank You cookbook. I added spinach for extra nutrients.

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BBQ Tofu and Pineapple Pizza

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It’s been a long time since I’ve posted and I have a million excuses why. I won’t bore you with them, though. Instead, I’ll post a pic of my latest delicious meal: BBQ tofu pizza with pineapple, caramelized onions and cilantro.

The recipe is from my new favorite cookbook, Chloe’s Kitchen, by the vegan chef who won Cupcake Wars against other non-vegan cupcake competitors. Check it out!

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Spicy Kale, Sweet Potato and Cashew Stew

I based this stew on Happy Herbivore’s African Kale and Yam Soup, but I wanted to add a nut butter, a hearty protein, use the ingredients I had on hand and make a larger batch so I made a few minor adaptations. Here’s the modified version:

Ingredients:

  • 1 red onion, sliced into half moons
  • 1 leek, top parts removed, cleaned and diced (or, just use another onion)
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, cleaned and diced (I skin them as well)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1+ tsp vegetarian bullion paste
  • 1 large bunch kale
  • 4 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1.5 tbsp yellow miso paste*
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2-4 tbsp nut butter (peanut or cashew) (optional)
  • handful+ cashews (optional)
  • bread to serve on the side
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Follow the original instructions at this link, but with the following two changes:

  1. I don’t use prepared vegetable broth because it takes up a lot of space and goes bad within 7-10 days. Instead, I use this “better than bullion” broth base. To get it to dissolve, I warm water in a pyrex measuring class in the microwave, then once it is warm, stir in the vegetable bullion base.

After the kale has wilted down, add the chickpeas, nut butter and cashews.

Serve with toasted bread.

*Miso is the Japanese term for fermented soybean paste. It is a staple of Japanese and other Asian cuisines, so do not be scared of it! It is salty and so adds good flavor to dishes. It also adds a creaminess to dishes. I like to add miso paste to mashed potatoes. Here is a picture of white miso paste. There is also red miso paste, which is stronger in flavor and taste.

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Roasted Butternut Squash, Carrot and Ginger Soup

Butternut squash has hit the farmers’ market and this is exciting news, folks. Matt celebrated by making this delicious, creamy (without any dairy cream) and perfect soup for the start of Fall.

Admittedly it is time-consuming, so make it on the weekend or for a holiday. Matt found the recipe by googling “butternut squash” and searching through what came up. This recipe is from the blog, With Style and Grace, which specializes in gluten-free recipes (but not vegetarian or vegan). You can get the full recipe at this link. We used vegetable bullion instead of chicken broth, and did not use the creme fraiche. It was delicious.

The main ingredients are: butternut squash, carrots, fresh ginger, and leeks. The reason it takes so long is that you have to roast the carrots and butternut squash for 45 minutes before making the soup. Here they are post-roasting:

Then you saute the leek and ginger, add the chopped roasted squash and carrots and simmer.

Then let it cool before you puree it in the food process or blender. (It is really important to let it cool, otherwise it might splurt out of your food process or blender creating a huge and frustrating mess.) Top with the roasted squash seeds or pine nuts, which is what we did.

Categories: Dinner, Sides, Soup/Stews | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Baked Zucchini Macaroni

sdfThis past weekend I went with my friend Kelly to the DC State Fair where she won first prize for the heaviest watermelon. Later that night, I somehow ended up with the fourth place heaviest vegetable. The details of that story are for another blog altogether, but for now, check out this very large zucchini-like squash vegetable. I’m not really sure what it is. Does anyone know?

 

I used less than half of it to make a baked zucchini (er, squash) macaroni dish. The original recipe is from Vegetarian Times, but I’ve modified it somewhat, so here is my version.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz pasta like macaroni, penne or ziti
  • 1/2 lb zucchini, chopped (about 2-3 zucchini… doesn’t have to be perfect!)
  • 2 cups black beans cooked (or just use one can, although that’s only 1.5 cups)
  • 1 15 oz can diced or crushed tomatoes (fire roasted are my favorite)
  • 1 cup tomato sauce or marinara sauce
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic, or more
  • 1/4 cup chopped black olives
  • 3 handfuls greens such as arugula or spinach
  • a few leaves fresh basil, if you have it on hand
  • nutritional yeast, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs

Instructions:

  1. Cook the pasta according to directions. Coat an 11 x 7 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Heat about 1/4 cup water in a medium to large saucepan on medium-high heat and add the zucchini. Cook for a few minutes.
  3. Add the beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic, olives, greens and basil. Turn down heat to medium low, stir together and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  4. When the pasta has finished cooking, add it to the pot with the zucchini mixture and mix together.
  5. Add the nutritional yeast — I used several shakes, maybe 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup. Mix together.
  6. Pour the entire mixture into the baking dish and top with the breadcrumbs
  7. Bake at 350. Then serve!

Before baking:

After baking: 

 

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Roasted Delicata Squash with Greens

Apologies for the long break in posting. I took a two week work trip to northern Iraq and got off track. Now I’m back home and eager to enjoy the last of summer’s tomatoes and the new fall vegetables.

Here is one of our favorite squash varieties: Delicata Squash.

How to prepare:

Delicata squash does not need to be peeled or steamed. Just scrub the outside of the fruit, then chop it into rounds. Using a paring knife or your fingers, scrape out the middle part with the seeds, so that you have donut-like rounds. After that, you can saute, grill, bake or roast it.

Roasted Delicata Squash with Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes and Shallots

The three vegetables in this dish all have rich, sweet flavors once roasted. You do not need much oil for this dish at all. As they cook, the tomatoes will break open and when the juices mix together that is when the taste becomes amazing. It is perfect to serve on top of simple steamed greens, because the strong flavors mask the blandness of the greens.

Ingredients:

  • 1 delicata squash, cleaned, sliced into rounds and de-seeded
  • 1 large container of orange cherry tomatoes, cleaned
  • 2-4 shallots, peeled and chopped in quarters
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • several sprigs fresh rosemary and thyme (or you can use dried if you don’t have fresh)
  • 1 teaspoon (approx) crushed garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425
  2. Spray a long baking dish with cooking spray. Add the vegetables, olive oil, herbs, garlic and salt and mix together
  3. Cook on the middle tray for about 25-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes
  4. Serve mixed with steamed or sauteed greens, like kale, arugula and chard

Before roasting:

After roasting:

Served with steamed greens (kale, arugula, and chard):

Categories: Dinner, Easy, Sides | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Grilled Vegetables: Shallots, Corn and Cherry Tomatoes

I love grilling fresh summer vegetables. One of my recent favorites is grilled shallots. Grilling brings out the sweetness in these normally mild, onion-like root vegetable. Grilled tomatoes and grilled corn are also two of my favorites vegetables on the barbie. Here, I tossed them all together.

Grilling tomatoes and shallots: First, peel the shallots and chop them in halves. Toss shallots and cherry tomatoes in olive oil and either dried herbs or sprigs of fresh herbs, such as oregano, thyme or rosemary. To grill them, we have a grill wok that is great for small vegetables. But if you don’t have one of those, you can use tin foil. Grill for a few minutes, until browning and juicy.

Grilled corn: Pull back the leaves (without cutting them off), tears out the strings, then soaks them for an hour in water. Then grill them straight on the grill. Grill them for about 15 minutes, turning it every few minutes.

For more information on grilling vegetables, check out this article on grilling techniques and for recipes, check out 20 ways to grill fruits and vegetables, both from Vegetarian Times.

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Mediterranean Lentil Burgers

I spent the first 10 years of my vegetarian life living off of frozen, store-bought vegetarian burgers. As I started making more of my own food, that included making my own vegetarian, plant-based burgers. Most of the tastiest vegetable burgers are complicated to make. The easiest burger I had found so far is the 5-ingredient black bean burger from Happy Herbivore. This weekend, I tried and loved this Mediterranean Lentil Burger from Peas and Thank You. Easy and delicious.

I served it with hummus, relish, arugula, red onion and tomatoes.
Get the full recipe here. I made the lentils from scratch; about 1 cup dried equals 8 oz cooked. Also, double the recipe! It is easy to make but only makes 4 patties.
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Baked Potatoes with Shallot Chutney

I got this recipe in the September 2012 issue of Vegetarian Times. They did a feature on shallots and I have already made this recipe twice. It’s easy and a fun way to eat potatoes.

Baked (Sweet) Potatoes

I’ve done this with both white potatoes and sweet potatoes. I almost always prefer sweet potatoes, and this was no exception!

  • 4-5 small to medium potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 450. Wash and scrub the potatoes. Slice in them in half length-wise. Toss them in a bowl with oil, salt and pepper to taste. Lay them on a baking sheet with open side up. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Shallot Chutney

This is the best part of the dish!

  • 1/2 pound shallots, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • large pinch red pepper flakes

Saute the shallots in oil or water for 10 minutes on medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in the vinegar, sugar, and red pepper flakes. Heat on low for about one minute.

Serve with the chutney topped on the potatoes. You can even use your fingers to eat it like a finger food!

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White Bean and Artichoke Penne Pasta

Here’s another quick, easy recipe I through together while we were at the beach last weekend. As my dad was eating it, I overhead him telling my mom: “We need to eat more food like this.”

Yield: 4 heaping servings

Time: Less than 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 package of whole wheat penne pasta
  • 1/2 medium white or yellow onion, sliced then cut in half
  • 1 large jar of marinara pasta sauce
  • 1 can or jar of artichoke hearts
  • 2 cans great white northern beans or cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 handfulls spinach
  • Dried Italian herbs such as oregano and basil, salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  • Cook the pasta according to directions
  • Saute the onion on medium heat in water or oil for about 7 minutes until soft. Add sprinkles of Italian herbs, to taste
  • Add the pasta sauce, artichoke hearts and beans and heat through
  • Add the spinach and heat until slightly wilted. Add salt and pepper, to taste
  • Serve the pasta with the sauce on top

Here it is served next to heirloom tomato and nectarine summer salad:

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