Sweet Potato, Quinoa and Avocado Bowl with Chimichurri

Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl

I was looking for a new dinner recipe when I came across this dish in last month’s issue of Vegetarian Times. Visually, the dish is stunning, and I loved the idea of the simple flavors, but I wasn’t sure how it would translate to my palate. I mean, the dish is basically cooked quinoa, oven-roasted sweet potatoes, avocado and chimichurri sauce. Other than a little salt and pepper, there isn’t any other seasoning to the quinoa and potatoes.

But my first bite put me at ease. The flavor and texture combinations of the sweet potato, avocado and quinoa are out of this world. And the chimichurri added a wonderful brightness and crunch to the dish with the parlsey, lemon juice, garlic, red pepper flakes and paprika. (Ironic, since it’s known for being served with meat dishes in South American cuisine.)

All in all, a wonderful dish that I highly recommend, especially for a weeknight meal since it comes together very quickly.

Enjoy!

An Oldie but Goodie: Chickpea Cutlets, Roasted Cabbage and Potatoes

Chickpea Cutlets

I’ve made these Chickpea Cutlets from “Veganomicon” many times, and have even posted them on here. But for some reason, I’ve still struggled to get the texture right. This time around, however, I made progress.

First, I made sure to thoroughly mash the chickpeas. Second, I baked them (instead of frying), which gave them a firmer, meatier texture. I’ll definitely be baking them from here on out.

For the cabbage, I tried a new technique: I sliced a head of cabbage into 1-inch slices, brushed olive oil on both sides and sprinkled with salt and pepper. I baked the slices for about 40 minutes at 375 degrees — so easy and the cabbage was super-tender and caramelized. I could see grilling the slices, too.

Finally, I quickly mashed some potatoes with a little olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, salt and pepper. For the sauce, I just mixed whole-grain mustard with vegan mayonnaise. A dollop of apple sauce added a touch of refreshing sweetness to the meal.

This is a great weeknight meal because it comes together pretty fast and is pretty cheap to make.

I hope you all are well! More yoga training this weekend. Have a good one!

Chloe’s Kitchen: Mac ‘N’ Cheese

Mac and Cheese

As you can probably tell, I love mac and cheese. Up until recently, I’ve been using the Mac and Cheeze recipe from Vegan Yum Yum, which I still love. But it’s still not quite there, in terms of authenticity. But this Vegan Mac ‘N’ Cheese recipe from Chloe’s Kitchen is the real deal. And, because it omits the soy sauce and miso, it’s more budget-friendly than the Vegan Yum Yum recipe. I like to bake mine as the recipe suggests, but it would be great served as a creamy dish. As usual, I like to serve blanched green beans on the side, and for this meal, I served a simple salad of mixed greens and vegan French dressing. I also used panko on top instead of regular bread crumbs for a little extra crunch.

Greek Chili Served Over Linguine

Greek Chili

I love the “5 Ingredients” feature in “Vegetarian Times.” It features dishes that each only contain five ingredients. And in the most recent issue, the 5-ingredient theme centered around chili. We tried the Smoky Chipotle-Kidney Bean Chili last week and it was pretty good. I could see building on it with more flavor when I make it again, but it’s perfect if you’re looking for a healthy, budget-friendly recipe.

This week, we decided to make the Greek-Style Chili. It’s basically chickpeas, diced tomatoes with garlic and onion, a pinch of cayenne, fresh spinach leaves and crumbled feta. (I couldn’t find vegan feta, so I just crumbled Daiya on top. Not really the same, flavor-wise, but it was still good.) The recipe says you can serve it over spaghetti, linguine or rice. As you can see, we decided to go with the linguine. The final result wasn’t what I typically think of as chili; I couldn’t imagine eating it by itself without more seasoning. But combined with the pasta, it was a light and easy weeknight dish that I would definitely make again.

Menu for the Week: Kidney Bean Wraps and Panang Curry

This has been one of those weeks where we ran out of everything at once, so we had to keep our food budget cheap.

For breakfast, we both tend to like lighter meals, but if you’re looking for more protein, you might want to switch out the banana bread with a tofu scramble burrito or breakfast casserole.

Also, we actually had a couple of meals left over to make from last week, so I’ll be adding those in with the rest.

So, here’s what we decided to go with this week:

Breakfast:

Banana bread from “Veganomicon
Oatmeal and toast w/ pecans and maple syrup
Yogurt w/ Maple Almond Granola — from “Vegan Soul Kitchen

Lunch:

Kidney Bean and Avocado Wraps from “Big Vegan
Macaroni salad, adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Dinner:

Sweet Potato Mac ‘n’ Cheese with a salad
Panang Curry, adapted from this recipe

I hope you all are well and are enjoying  Vegan MoFo!

Menu for the Week: Pumpkin Muffins, Chickpea Salad and Sesame Tofu

Hello there! I hope you all are well. I’ve been in kind of a cooking rut the past few weeks, but the cooler temperatures are inspiring me to get back into the kitchen. Thank you for being patient with me.

I don’t have any food pics just yet, but I thought to get started I’d post my menu for this week with the hope that maybe it will help you plan yours. One day, when I win the lottery and don’t have to work, I’ll actually be able to put together full menus and grocery lists like I intended with this blog, but, for now, this will have to do.

Anyway, here are my planned meals for the next week and I plan on taking pics of each to post on here soon:

Breakfast:

Pumpkin Bran Muffins — from “Vegan Brunch
Oatmeal and toast w/ pecans and maple syrup
Yogurt w/ Maple Almond Granola — from “Vegan Soul Kitchen

Lunch:

Chickpea salad sandwiches w/ tortilla chips — my own recipe, which I’ll post soon
Split Pea and Apple Soup w/ cheese and crackers — from “The Vegan Slow Cooker

Dinner:

Sesame-Crusted Tofu  w/ Lemongrass-Orange Reduction, served w/ brown rice, edamame and gyoza — from October Vegetarian Times
Chickpea Tomato Soup w/ grilled cheese and pickles — from “Vegan Yum Yum” (She’s back, by the way!!)
Tempeh Helper w/ salad — from “Appetite for Reduction

Recipe: Sausage, Peppers and Polenta

This dish is so easy to put together, which is why it makes a great weekday meal. It’s one of the dinner items I have listed on my meal plan.

First, slice one large yellow onion into medium-size pieces. Saute the sliced onion in two tablespoons of olive oil until it turns translucent. Then add two sliced red peppers and cook until just tender (by then the onions will have caramelized a bit). While the peppers and onions are cooking, slice the Field Roast Italian Sausage links into bite-size pieces (or you can even leave them whole if you prefer). Throw the sausage on top of the peppers and onions when they’re almost done cooking and cover with a lid to steam. Just a couple of minutes is all you need. Serve over the polenta.

For the polenta, I adapted a savory polenta recipe that I found online to make it vegan:

Savory Polenta

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 quart chicken-flavored bouillon
1 cup coarse ground cornmeal
3 tablespoons Earth Balance
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces Daiya Cheddar Shreds (this is optional — I had some on hand that needed to be used)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large, oven-safe saucepan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the red onion and salt and sweat until the onions begin to turn translucent, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the garlic, and saute for 1 to 2 minutes, making sure the garlic does not burn.

Turn the heat up to high, add the chicken bouillon, bring to a boil. Gradually add the cornmeal while continually whisking. Once you have added all of the cornmeal, cover the pot and place it in the oven. Cook for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to prevent lumps. Once the mixture is creamy, remove from the oven and add the butter, salt, and pepper, and Daiya if you have it.

I served mine as is, but if you prefer a firm polenta, pour it into a 9-by-13-inch cake pan lined with parchment paper. Place in the refrigerator to cool completely.

Once set, turn the polenta out onto a cutting board and cut into squares, rounds or triangles. Brush each side with olive oil and saute in a nonstick skillet over medium heat, or grill.

Enjoy!

Hungarian Mushroom Soup

As a kid, I loved cream of mushroom soup. You know, the kind that came out of the can with a “plop” and required adding milk to thin it out a bit. I haven’t had it in years, so I was happy to find this recipe in “The Vegan Slow Cooker.”

This is the second recipe that I’ve made from the cookbook. I have to say, while it tasted great, it didn’t turn out as thick as I would have hoped. It was a little too “soupy” for my tastes. But the next time I make it (and I will definitely make it again), I’m going to add a cornstarch mixture to it at the beginning to thicken it. The soup was great with a loaf of crusty bread for dipping and a quick salad of baby Romaine lettuce and lemon and olive oil dressing.

So far, I’m really enjoying crockpot cooking. It’s so nice to throw a few ingredients into a pot and walk away until it’s time for dinner. This week, I’m making the meatloaf recipe that is featured in the book. I’ll have a review and pictures on that as well.