Vegan Weekly Roundup

Why do short weeks always feel the longest? This week was crazy, so the weekend could not get here soon enough. Here are a few posts that helped me escape from a hectic week. I hope you all are well!!

I really need to make this quinoa and lentil salad for lunch next week (sans the honey).

The difference between baking soda and baking powder (I’ve been told numerous times and still have to look it up).

How to stock your freezer with freezer meals.

Strawberry Basil Lemonade.

Blenders rated by Real Simple (I still want a Vitamix, I can’t help it).

Love, love, love this kitchen (and house), though I’m still on the fence about open shelving (my stuff isn’t that nice to put on display).

I really want these to make Linzer cookies for the holidays (yes, I’m already thinking about the holidays).

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Lentil Tacos with Yellow Garlic Rice

While I certainly don’t find anything wrong with meat substitutes, we do try to eat them in moderation because they tend to contain high amounts of sodium and even some weird ingredients. Prior to making these tacos, I would typically use Fantastic Food’s Taco Filling Mix, which is pretty tasty in a junk food kind of way. But when I came across the recipe for these Ancho Lentil Tacos from Isa Chandra Moskotwitz on the Post Punk Kitchen blog, I was pretty eager to give them a try. And, boy, they did not disappoint.

The lentil filling was packed with flavor and took on an almost meaty texture, which surprised me. I did make a few changes to the original recipe. I used red chili powder in place of the ancho chili powder, which is why I’m not calling these by their original name. I also used Valentina Mexican Hot Sauce, which is the best hot sauce in the world, if you ask me. I’m not a big fan of heat and this sauce packs just a little bit of heat and tons of flavor. I served my tacos on corn tortillas, and piled on shredded lettuce, fresh salsa and red onion.

For my side, I made Yellow Garlic Rice, a recipe from “Viva Vegan.” (Unfortunately, the recipe for that isn’t available online.) Making this rice recipe just reminded me that I really need to start cooking more from that book, especially with summer fast approaching. There are so many delicious-looking recipes in it that scream “backyard cookout.”

Anyway, if you’re looking for a quick and nutritious meal that is easy on the budget, I highly recommend these tacos. You won’t be disappointed.

Enjoy!

Vegan Food Happenings

Man, I’m a bad blogger. I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but I apologize for the lack of posts. This past winter seemed to hit me pretty hard, motivation-wise. But I still cooked quite a bit and I even took a few (blurry) pictures. I tried out some new recipes—some good, some not so good. I even experimented a little on my own. For this post, I thought I’d share a few of the dishes that I made over the past few weeks.

My husband has been working nights for school, so I’ve been left up to my own devices for dinner. I’ve been making lots of tofu scrambles like the one you see below. I use the tofu scramble recipe from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Vegan Brunch. It’s so easy and leaves lots of room for variation.

For this year’s Super Bowl, I decided to make a few snacks. While browsing the Whole Foods deli section, I came across a bag of pretzel bites that were vegan. They were still warm, so I couldn’t resist. The bags of pretzel bites were on a display with large blocks of cheddar cheese and beer, which gave me the idea to make a vegan version of beer cheese. It turned out way better than I expected. I used Lauren Ulm’s mac and cheese sauce for the base and added a few extra ingredients, including beer, to give it a more authentic taste. I plan on making it again, and when I do, I’ll post the recipe on here.

In addition to the beer cheese and pretzel bites, I also made a big bowl of guacamole.

I’m a big stickler for not wasting food. I’ve been known to throw together some, um, interesting dishes to avoid throwing out food. This cauliflower and lentil dish was such an experiment, but it turned out really well. It consisted of cauliflower, red lentils, and lots of spices that gave it an Indian vibe. Next time, I think I might roast the cauliflower in the oven to add another layer of flavor. Again, when I make it again (if I can remember how), I’ll post the recipe on here.

Finally, I’ve really been making an effort to make a substantial breakfast on Sundays. My husband and I are big fans of “CBS Sunday Morning,” so we’ve made it a tradition to enjoy our coffee while watching the show, and then make a good breakfast/brunch after the show ends at 10:30am. This morning, I decided to make banana-cinnamon pancakes with a side of veggie sausage.

Well, that’s it for now. I’m sorry I couldn’t offer any recipes this time around. Hope everyone is well!

 

Dal Makhni

I love lentils. They’re cheap to buy and easy to prepare. They’re also super healthy. Combine them with some fragrant spices, tomatoes, and a cashew cream sauce, and you’ve got yourself a delicious, Indian-inspired dish that is sure to please.

I adapted this recipe from the Vegan Yum Yum cookbook, which is one of my favorites. I highly recommend it if you’re thinking of becoming vegan or just looking for simple vegan recipes. Lauren Ulm’s food is very simple in its ingredients and preparation, making it a good starting point before moving on to more involved cookbooks, like, say, Veganomicon.

Dal Makhni

Serves 2 + leftovers

Ingredients:

2 cups long-grain brown rice
1 tbsp Earth Balance margarine
2 cups green lentils
8 cups water
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion
4 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
4 green cardamom pods
1 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
1 tsp salt
1 cup raw cashews
3/4 cup water

Directions:

In two separate pots, cook both the lentils and rice in 4 cups of water, each. Add the Earth Balance to the rice. Both should take about 40 minutes to cook.

After the rice and lentils have cooked for about 20 minutes, go ahead and heat the oil in a large, deep skillet (I used a soup pot). Add the onion, and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the onions start to brown and caramelize. Stir constantly and keep an eye on them to prevent the onions from burning. After they’ve browned, add the cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, and cardamom pods and fry for 2 minutes. Next, add the ginger and garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.

Add the tomatoes and salt and simmer for about 5 minutes, then add the cooked lentils to the pot. Add a 1/2 cup of water if the mixture is too thick.

Blend the cashews in a blender or food processor, and slowly add the water until it forms a creamy sauce. Add the cream to the lentil mixture and reserve some on the side for an extra dollop on top.

Serve over rice.

Enjoy!