Vegan Food Happenings: Barley Bliss Casserole and Avocado Toast

Barley Bliss Casserole

Barley Bliss Casserole

We’re having to rein in our food budget and have been searching for healthy and budget-friendly recipes. We definitely found it in this Barley Bliss Casserole from Chloe’s Kitchen. (You can find the recipe here.) I had never cooked with barley before, but have had it in soups and stews. The casserole does take a while to cook, but it comes together very quickly. Simply cook the onions, green peppers and mushrooms. Add the seasonings, and then combine everything into your baking dish and cook. That’s it. I served mine with a simple salad of mixed greens on the side.

Avocado Toast

Avocado Toast

I love, love avocado and will eat it on anything (or by itself). I’ve seen various avocado toast recipes around the Web, including some that use a dash of hot sauce. But I love the idea of sprinkling turmeric on it since it has lots of healing benefits. I just toast two slices of sprouted wheat bread, spread half an avocado on both slices, and then sprinkle with a little sea salt, cracked pepper and turmeric. That’s it. It makes for a light lunch (add some fruit or fresh veggies) or a great afternoon snack before heading to yoga or the gym.

I hope you all are well!

Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

I know what you’re thinking: “Cheese? I thought this was a vegan blog.” Don’t worry! The meal you see above is 100 percent vegan. If you haven’t discovered Daiya, I highly recommend that you do so, and soon! It’s pretty incredible as a cheese substitute; it melts easily and tastes like the real deal. And as you can see, it works perfectly for a grilled cheese.

Tomato soup and grilled cheese are a comfort food staple. This version is actually pretty healthy and very quick to make. For the soup, I modified Vegan Yum Yum’s Spicy Tomato Chickpea Soup. As its name suggests, the original recipe is more of a spicy tomato soup rather than a sweet one, so I added some roasted red peppers that I had leftover from my Roasted Red Pepper and Hummus Wraps to mellow out some of the acidity. And like most soups, this soup tastes better the next day; I recommend making it the day before you plan on serving it (though it’s still good the same day).

Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

Serves 2 + leftovers

Ingredients:

5 tbsp olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, diced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp red chili flakes
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp turmeric
2 15oz cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 large roasted red pepper, coarsely chopped
2 28oz cans of diced tomatoes
2 tsp salt
4 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 cups hot water
black pepper to taste

4 slices sprouted wheat bread (I used Ezekiel 4:9 Organic Sprouted Whole Grain Bread)
1 package Daiya cheddar
Earth Balance margarine

Directions:

Heat the oil in deep soup pot on medium-high heat and sauté the onions for a 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, red chili flakes, mustard powder, turmeric, chickpeas, and roasted red pepper to the pot and sauté for about 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and salt and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, then add in the nutritional yeast and hot water and blend. I used my immersion blender to blend the mixture into a smooth pureé, but a blender or food processor works well, too.

To make the grilled cheese, butter one side of each slice of bread and lay two of the four slices, butter-side-down, onto a skillet set to medium-high. Add the shredded cheese and the other two slices of bread, butter-side-up. Cook each side until golden brown and the cheese is melted.

Enjoy!