Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bean Quesadillas with Corn Salsa

Baseball season is upon us, so that means later than usual dinners!  Its my hope to really plan ahead and make sure I have easy meals ready to go, so we are not scrambling at 7pm to figure out what is for dinner.

These quesadillas are easy, quick, filling and delicious!

makes 8 quesadillas

16 corn tortillas (flour or wheat is fine too)
2 cans of refried black beans
1-2 tsp cumin
1/3 cup chopped green onions (some reserved for the salsa)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (gives a great cheesy flavor, but can omit)

2 ears of corn, kernels cut off
1/2 of a bell pepper, diced
extra green onions
1/4 cup of your favorite salsa verde

Additional toppings:

hot sauce


Place corn kernels in a bowl and add in bell pepper, reserved green onions, salsa verde and s/p.  Stir to combine.  Set aside.

Scoop beans into a large bowl, along with cumin, green onions, nutritional yeast and s/p.  Stir until fully incorporated.

Spread bean mixture on one tortilla and top with another one.  Heat in a dry skillet until golden brown and slightly crispy.  Top with corn salsa, and serve!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Kale, White Bean and Roasted Garlic Pizza

Oh man, is this pizza good?!? The smashed white beans add the protein and the kale is perfectly crispy and delish!  The recipe calls for nutritional yeast, which I HIGHLY recommend, but it you can't find it, or can tolerate dairy, parmesan cheese would work well too.

1 package of pre-made pizza dough
1 Tbsp cornmeal
1 head of garlic
4-6 cups, fresh kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
1 can of white beans, I used cannellini 
1 Tbsp tomato puree or paste
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp dried thyme (if using fresh bump it up to 2 tsp)
1-2 tsp lemon juice
red chili pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut the top of the head of garlic off, place on a square of foil and drizzle with evoo and sprinkle s/p.  Wrap it up tightly and roast for 25-35 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool before handling.

Read the directions on your pizza dough, because you may need to let it rest for 30 minutes before using.  This would be perfect to do while the garlic is roasting.

Bring a large pot of water to boil and put kale in.  Let it cook for 1 minute and remove to a colander.  Drain off excess water and wring in a dish towel to dry completely.  Toss with a bit of evoo and s/p.  Set aside.

Place beans in a bowl, along with roasted garlic, tomato sauce, thyme, nutritional yeast, 1 Tbsp evoo, red chili pepper flake and s/p.  To remove the garlic, simply squeeze from the base all the way out of the opening.   Using a potato masher, mash all ingredients together until incorporated.  

On a floured surface, roll out dough to about 1/4" thickness.  Place on a cookie sheet that has been sprinkled with cornmeal.  This will prevent sticking.  Brush the outer edges of the dough with evoo.  Spread bean mixture over entire surface, leaving some room for the crust.  Finally top it with seasoned kale.  

Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes, or until dough is cooked and kale is crispy!

Monday Meal Plan #9

There is rain in the forecast, so comfort food it is!

1) Fried Rice with tofu

2)  Veggie Pot Pies

3)  Spicy Lentil Dahl with naan and roasted veggies

4)  Yummy Vegan Mac n' Cheese

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sweet and Sour Tofu with Veggies

serves 4 but doubles easily!

This is a great make ahead meal.  You can prep the veggies, pineapple and even cook the tofu before hand.  Then before serving, prepare the quinoa or brown rice and the sauce.  Actual cook time is really only about 10 minutes.  Enjoy!

Adapted from Peas and Thank You:

1 whole pineapple, cleaned and cut into bite sized pieces (canned only as a last resort, reserve the juice)

3/4 cup pineapple juice (reserve a few spears of pineapple and place in a high powered blender with 1/4 cup water. Blend until smooth)

2 Tbsp cornstarch

1 tsp dried ginger

freshly ground black pepper

1/4-1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (rice wine vinegar is fine too, or a combo)

1 package of tofu, drained and pressed

3 Tbsp soy sauce

1 Tbsp honey

1 bell pepper, chopped

4 stalks of celery, chopped

3 carrots, chopped

1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped

quinoa or brown rice

Make quinoa or brown rice according to package directions.

Press tofu for at least 20 minutes.  Pour 3 Tbsp soy sauce and honey  in a shallow dish.  Whisk to combine.  Cut lengthwise into equal slabs and place in dish.  Marinate for 15-30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Lightly spray a cookie sheet and place tofu on it.  Cooke for about 5-7 minutes per side, or until golden brown and firm. flipping once.  Cut into bite sized pieces and set aside.

Mix soy sauce, pineapple juice, cornstarch, dried ginger, and black pepper until combined.

Heat a large skillet or wok over medium heat.  Add 1 Tbsp oil and then add in veggies.  Cook for about 3 minutes, or until just tender.  Pour sauce mixture in and heat until bubbly and sauce starts to thicken.  Add in pineapple and tofu.  Cook just a minute more or until heated through.  Serve over brown rice or quinoa.  Season with s/p.

Monday Meal Plan #8

I am going to be trying out some new recipes this week, so stay tuned!

1) Cast Iron Pizza 

2) Refried Bean Quesadillas

3) Vegan Saag Paneer

Friday, March 16, 2012

Moroccan Lentil Stew with Chickpeas and Prunes

I originally planned on making Moroccan Quinoa Salad this week, but with the forecast of rain all week, I quickly scratched that idea and opted for a warm, comforting stew instead!  The lentils in this are delicious and add extra protein, but if you are wanting to omit them, thats fine, just reduce the amount of stock and add an extra can or two of beans. 

1 large onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tsp coriander
2 tsp cumin (or more to taste)
1 tsp ground ginger or 2 tsp fresh ginger (or more to taste)
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
8 cups of veg. stock
2 plum tomatoes, diced
1 cup dried lentils, rinsed and picked through
3 cans of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1 cup pitted prunes, chopped
1 cup dried apricots, chopped
4 large carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 1" chunks


dry roasted cashews
lemon juice

Heat 1 Tbsp evoo on a large dutch oven or stock pot, over medium heat.  Add in onions, garlic and ginger.  Cook for about 3-4 minutes, or until translucent and tender.  Next, add in spices, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, tomatoes, s/p, stock and lentils.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.  Simmer partially covered for 15-20 minutes, then add in chickpeas.  Continue simmering.  You can keep this on a low simmer for awhile, until you are ready to serve.  About 10-15 minutes before serving, add in dried fruit and carrots.  Garnish with chopped cilantro, dry roasted cashews and a squirt of fresh lemon juice.  Make sure to taste and season with s/p and remove bay leaf and cinnamon stick!  If you need a little more substance, try serving a top of quinoa or cous cous!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Carrot Coconut Cookies

WOW!  These cookies are unbelievably delicious and addicting!  Beware, these cookies will preform their own magic trick and disappear! 

recipe from You Won't Believe It's Vegan

1 cup spelt flour (all purpose is fine)
3/4 cup grated carrots
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup coconut crystals (or sucanat/brown sugar)
1 cup oats
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted (vegan butter is fine too)
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, carrots, coconut, sugar, oats, baking powder, and salt.  In a smaller bowl, whisk together coconut oil, water, oil and vanilla.  Add wet ingredients to the dry and stir until incorporated.  Stir in pecans and chocolate chips.

Using a large spoon, drop mounds onto prepared cookie sheet.  Flatten with the palm of your hand and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden and just set.  Cool on cookie sheet before transferring to rack.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Red Lentil Soup with Cilantro Oil

This soup is smiling, and you will smile too, after you taste it!

1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1" hunk of ginger, peeled and mined or grated
1 1/2 pounds of butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2" cubes (optional)
3 large tomatoes, diced
3 large carrots, chopped
8-10 cups of veggie stock (or 1/2 water)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp cumin (more or less according to spice level)
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp curry powder (more or less according to spice level)
3 cups red lentils, picked over and rinsed
1-2 tsp lemon juice (optional but waay recommended)

1/2 cup cilantro
1/4-1/2 cup flavorless canola oil

In a large dutch oven or stock pot, heat 1 Tbsp evoo over medium heat.  Add in onions, squash, carrots, garlic, and ginger.  Saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add in stock, bay leaves, spices and lentils.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bring soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer until lentils are tender, roughly 30-45 minutes.  You can blend the soup at this point, or continue to simmer to allow the flavors to deepen.  If you choose to simmer longer, you may need to add more stock/water to avoid over thickening the soup.

To blend the soup, you can use either an immersion blender or a regular high powered blender.  For the immersion blender, simply put blender in the soup and puree until smooth.  If you are going to use a free standing blender, make sure you blend in batches so the hot soup doesn't explode.  Return soup to pot and heat through before serving.

To make the cilantro oil, simply blend cilantro and oil in a high powered blender, until fully incorporated.  Drizzle over the soup along with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Monday Meal Plan #7

Here's whats going on in my kitchen this week!

1.  Udon Noodle Soup and edamame

2.  Moroccan Stew with Chickpeas and Prunes with a side of roasted vegetables

3.  Sweet and Sour Tofu
     -recipe to come!

4.  Enchiladas with chips and quac!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Hawaiian Portabella "Burgers"

I have Hawaii on the mind... but when don't I really?!?  I can't even contain my enthusiasm that we are going to Maui the end of June, seriously June can't come fast enough!  But until then, these "burgers" will have to suffice.  And let me tell you, they more than suffice!  They are sweet, tangy, fulfilling and delicious!  Also, this same concept would be great using this Black Bean Burger recipe or any frozen veggie burger patty.

4 large portabella mushrooms, cleaned
1 pineapple, cut into slices, core removed*
teriyaki sauce

any toppings you desire:

sliced tomato
red onion

You can make this on the BBQ or on the stove in a grill pan.

Place cleaned mushrooms in a shallow dish and drizzle a little teriyaki sauce over, toss to coat.

Place pineapple rings on grill for about 2-3 minutes per side.  Remove from heat.

Place mushrooms on the grill for about 5-7 minutes per side.

Assemble burgers as you wish, making sure to drizzle more teriyaki sauce over it all.

* To cut the pineapple:  Cut off top and bottom, making a secure flat bottom for your pineapple to be able to stand upright.  Now, slice down the sides from top to bottom, cutting off the rough outer layer.  Do this all the way around until it is smooth and no brown patches remain.  Lay pineapple on it side and slice into 1/2" rings.  To remove the core, simply cut around it and punch it out.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mango Sticky Rice

Good dessert...bad picture!

1 c. sweet Thai rice (I used Thai Jasmine)
1-2 mangos, sliced
4-5 Tbsp coconut crystals, sucanat or brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 can of good quality, full fat coconut milk

Soak 1 cup of rice in enough water to just cover the rice for at least 20 minutes or up to 4 hours.

Do not drain the water.  Add 3/4 cup more plus 1/4 of the can of coconut milk, salt and 1 Tbsp sugar.  Stir to combine.

Bring rice mixture to a slow boil, the cover partially with the lid.  You need some steam to escape.  reduce it to a simmer.  Simmer for 20 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed.

Turn off the heat and fully cover the pot with the lid and leave on the stove.  Let it sit for 5-10 minutes.

Warm, NOT boil, the rest of the coconut milk for 5 minutes, then add in the rest of the sugar (you may want to add even a bit more sugar to make it a tad sweeter)...stir until its dissolved.

Scoop some rice into a bowl and top with sliced mangos.  Pour some coconut sauce over the top and serve.

OR... you can mix the remaining coconut milk with the prepared rice, then scoop and serve.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Monday Meal Plan #6

Here we go, another week!  Fortunately for us it is a short school week and up to the mountains we go!!!

1. Lavash Pizzas
     -super easy!!!  Take a slice of Lavash bread (from Trader Joes) and spread it with your favorite sauce     and top with veggies.  Bake at 425 degrees for 5-7 minutes, or until crisp.

2.  Red Lentil Soup
    -recipe to come! But expect, some curry, and ginger involved...

3.  "Hawaiian Burgers"  aka Portabella Burgers with homemade Teriyaki Sauce and Pineapple

4.  Teriyaki Bowls with leftover teriyaki sauce

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Pad See Ew aka Thai Noodles with Broccoli and Tofu

Serves 4-6

Pad See Ew is my all time favorite Thai dish, with Pad Thai a close second.  Chewy noodles in a sweet and savory sauce is my idea of comfort food.  I have been wanting to tackle this dish for awhile, but honestly I was intimidated.  But after making it, I am no longer afraid!  It was fairly easy and crazy delicious!

If I can do it, you can too!

1 head of broccoli *
1 (14 oz) package of organic tofu, pressed and sliced **
14 oz of dried flat rice noodles ***
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 Tbsp oyster sauce
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
vegetable oil
cracked black pepper
2 large eggs (optional)

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, rice vinegar and garlic and a few cranks of a pepper mill.  Taste the sauce and adjust to your liking.

Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Cook rice noodles according to package directions.  When they are done, drain and toss with a little oil to prevent sticking and set aside.

Pour enough oil in a wok to coat the bottom and turn it on to high heat.  When is just starts to smoke, add in the broccoli.  Cook for just a few minutes until it turns bright green and is tender.  Transfer to a bowl and set aside.  

Wipe out the wok, if needed.  Pour a bit more oil back in and return to high heat.  Place pressed, sliced tofu into the wok and stir fry until crispy.  Transfer to a bowl and set aside.  

Add in a bit more oil and if using eggs, crack them in and when the set, scramble them with a wooden spoon.  Pour in the precooked noodles and let them cook for about 1 minute.

Toss broccoli and tofu back in and drizzle sauce over everything.  Stir fry until everything is coated and noodles are done.  Serve immediately!

*Chinese broccoli is preferred, but regular will do just fine.  When slicing the broccoli you want to leave some of the stalk with it.  

**To press the tofu, line a cutting board with clean dish towel and place tofu on top.  Cover the tofu with the towel and place another cutting board over that.  Now you need to "press" it by placing a heavy pot or a stack of plates on top of the cutting board.  Since tofu is packed in water, this helps drain out most of it.  

*** Ahh, these noodles were the death of me...just kidding.  I set out in search of the super wide noodles that most Thai restaurants use, but was striking out.  I finally sent my sweet husband two towns over to an Asian market thinking for sure they would have them...but no!  The best we could do was what is pictured above, and it worked out fine.  Come to find out after the fact, you can buy rice sheets at the Asian market and slice them to your desired width.  Oh well, next time!  Also, some directions say you can just soak the noodles in cold water for 15 minutes, instead of boiling them... disregard that, it doesn't work!