Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Peanut Noodle Bowls

serves 4-6

This is a perfect meal for a busy weeknight!  The sauce whips up super quick, the noodles take about 3 minutes to prepare and then, really all you have to do is chop veggies!  Go ahead, make this this week... you deserve a "night off!"

Peanut Sauce:

1'' chunk of ginger, peeled
4 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2-4 Tbsp warm water
1/4-1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
1-2 Tbsp sucanat (sugar)

Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor.  Blend until smooth and creamy.  For a thinner, more dressing-like sauce, add more warm water.

1/2 pkg Cappellini noodles (super thin spagetti-like noodles)


bell pepper
shredded carrot
tofu (or protein of your choice)
steamed broccoli
snap peas

Cook noodles according to package directions.  Drain and toss with a little peanut sauce.  I  like to arrange the toppings on a platter and then fill everyone's bowl with noodles.  I then let them choose their own toppings (pending clean hands...) and put it on top of their noodles.  Its a neat way to get kids involved in what they're are eating, and its surprising how excited they get!  And, of course, top with more yummy peanut sauce!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Quinoa Rice Bowl with a Soy Ginger Dressing

serves 4-6

This meal was inspired by a grab-and-go meal that I got at Whole Foods awhile back.  Its so fresh and healthy and super simple!  You could use brown rice, millet or another starch of your choice.  Anyway you choose, you won't be disappointed!

Soy Ginger Dressing/Marinade:

4 cloves of garlic,  finely chopped
2 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
3 Tbsp honey
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water

Place all ingredients into a glass jar with a tight fitting lid.  Shake well to combine.  Remove lid and heat in the microwave for 1 minute, to dissolve honey.  Make sure to let it cool.  Shake well before serving.  You can keep it stored in the fridge, covered, for 2 weeks.

Quinoa Rice Bowl:

4 cups cooked quinoa
2/3 cup shelled edamame
2/3 cup bell pepper, chopped
shiitake mushrooms, sliced
sunflower seeds

Wrap tofu in a towel and place a heavy plate on top of it.  Let in stand for 5-10 minutes, to allow some moisture to drain out.  When done, slice tofu to desired thickness.  Pour some of the dressing over and let it marinade for at least 10 minutes.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Saute mushrooms until tender, remove from heat.  Add a little more oil and cook tofu for 5 minutes per side, or until golden brown. 

Fill a bowl with desire amounts of quinoa, edamame, bell pepper, mushrooms, tofu and sunflower seeds.  Top with the soy ginger dressing.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Vegan Spring Risotto

This dish really celebrates Spring, by using fresh, organic vegetables that are in season!  Every bit of produce was purchased at my local farmers market!  Don't skimp on the basil... it is soo good!

serves 4-6

12 oz Aborio rice
olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
4-6 cloves of garlic, chopped
3-4 small carrots, diced
4-6 kale leaves, ribs removed and chopped
1 cup (+/-) asparagus, chopped
white wine (optional)
4-6 cups veggie stock
1/4 cup nutritional yeast *, or parmesan cheese (obviously it won't be vegan if you use cheese)
basil, thinly sliced
2-4 green onions, sliced

Heat veg stock in a sauce pan over medium low heat and bring to a simmer and keep it warm.

In a large cast iron dutch oven or stock pot, heat a splash of olive oil over medium heat.  Add in rice and cook until golden brown and slightly toasted, about 5 minutes.  Pour rice into a bowl and set aside.  Add a splash more olive oil and saute onion, garlic and carrots until tender, about 5 minutes. Season with s/p. Toss in the kale and asparagus and cook for 1-2 minutes more.  Pour the previously cooked rice back into the pot and add in just enough warm stock to cover the rice and veggies.  Cook and stir until the stock is absorbed.  Add in a splash of wine (optional) and another ladle full of stock.  Stir until absorbed.  Continue adding ladles full of stock one at a time until rice is tender and fully cooked.  Make sure to keep stirring, this helps bring out the starch in the rice, resulting in a creamier risotto.  When fully cooked, add in yeast/parmesan and season with s/p.  Stir to incorporate.  Top with basil and green onions.

*Nutritional yeast is a wonderful addition to vegan/vegetarian cooking.  It is super rich in B-vitamins which mostly found in red  meat.  It has a delicious cheesy, salty flavor to it!  We add it to soups, pastas, salads and I gobble it up on popcorn drizzled with olive oil!