Category Archives: Vegan

Lost and Alone

Vegetable Chili

chili

Another one of my awesome freezer meals – this time one that also doubles as a great way to clean out the fridge/freezer!  Once we had finished prepping my list of meals, I checked what I had left and decided I could squeeze out at least one more meal.  This hodge podge of ingredients was fantastic last weekend when Mother Nature decided we needed another round of cold weather, to include snow!

Lost and Alone

Serves: Serves 5-6

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

1 small onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 zucchini, diced

2 carrots, round sliced then quartered

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp ground cumin

4 cups black beans, presoaked

1 can (28 ounces), crushed tomatoes

2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Toss all the ingredients into the slow cooker and set for low. Cook for 7hrs - or cook on high for 3hrs.
  2. Season to taste with salt and pepper, or more chili powder!
http://dancingveggies.com/2016/03/lost-and-alone.html

We topped this with cheese but chives, sour cream, guacamole or nothing would also work.  As for the vegetables, whatever you have on hand will work.

So Save

Minestrone

minestrone_soup

Spring it starting to make it’s appearance, and with that soup season is slowly coming to an end.  We had a chilly blast this past weekend so I decided to do up a batch of minestrone – which is about as simple as it gets.  The ingredients are ones I almost always have on hand, if anything just have to buy the tomato juice.  Which makes it perfect for the “it came from a can” challenge over that /52weeksofcooking.  Instead of using frozen vegetables, just use a can of each: peas, corn, carrots, lima beans, etc – the point of this soup is to show that simple can be tasty.

Minestrone

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 white onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, diced

2 sprigs rosemary, diced

1/2 tbsp fresh thyme

1 bay leaf, crushed

1 lb bag of frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, peas, corn, etc)

3 cups V8

2 cups vegetable stock

1 can crushed tomatoes, Italian style

1/2 cup acini de pepe (or other small pasta)

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot or dutch oven. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 5 minutes, until lightly golden. Add the herbs and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring to prevent the herbs from burning.
  2. Add the mixed veggies, V8, stock, and crush tomatoes and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, then turn heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Add the pasta and continue simmering for a final 20 minutes, or until pasta has cooked. Season to taste with salt/pepper.
  4. Serve and Enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2016/03/so-save.html

Nothing like a dish that comes together in record time and only requires one pot.  I know that some people aren’t a fan of cooking pasta in soups but I love how doing so gives the pasta some extra flavor.  Plus the smaller pasta holds it shape better than the larger guys and don’t get as mushy.  However, for those who want more of an al dente taste – cooking the pasta per instructions and then place in the bottom of a bowl before pouring the soup over top.  For a real protein punch, add some garbanzo or great northern beans when adding the pasta or use lentils in place of the pasta.

In the Saddle

Japanese Curry

japanese_curry

In an attempt to get my kitchen mojo back, I’ve once again joined the /52weeksofcooking group in the hopes that their weekly challenge would get me going again.  They are now on week 10 while I’m just now doing my second post – needless to say I’m still a work in progress!  This week the challenge was Japanese and while I debated doing a tempura I couldn’t get over the idea of trying a Japanese curry similar to one I had in Pittsburgh a few summers ago.  Luckily the internet provided me with lots of ideas, so I took the common ingredients from all of them and then winged the rest of it!

In the Saddle

Serves: Serves 4-5

Ingredients

2 tbsp vegetable oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp grated ginger

1 lb tofu, pressed and cubed

1 red onion, diced

2 tbsp curry powder

2 tbsp tomato paste

1/2 tbsp brown rice vinega

1/2 tbsp sesame oil

1 tart apple, cored and diced

3 cups vegetable stock

2 large carrots, sliced

2 butter potatoes, peeled and cubed

1/2 cup frozen green peas

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a large wok and add the garlic and ginger. Cook until the ginger is brown and then add the onion. Cook for 10 minutes, or until onions start to brown. Add the tofu and cook 5-7 minutes on each side, tofu should be golden and onions should be slightly caramelized.
  2. Add the curry powder, tomato paste, vinegar, sesame oil, apple, vegetable stock, potatoes, and carrots. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.
  3. Add the peas then simmer, covered, for a final 10 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
  4. Serve over rice and Enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2016/02/in-the-saddle.html

I could say this was a huge hit but that doesn’t begin to cover it – this is one of the only curries where husband has wanted seconds!  He couldn’t get over how savory it was – all the flavors working together.  So good he didn’t believe it was vegan, BIG bonus there.

Make sure to come back Monday for February’s BONUS Secret REcipe Club post.  It’s the 5th Monday of the month and this time the special theme is Spring & Bunnies.

Used to Call

Northern Bean Cassoulet northern_bean_casoulet

Quick and easy, or in the very least easy, is what I’m all about these days.  Which is why each week since the arrival of our little girl, I’ve made at least one of our freezer meals.  Just pop it in at some point around lunch (whenever that is) and there will be something warm to eat come dinner (whenever that happens).  I tried to add as many vegetables as possible to these meals in an attempt to maintain a balanced diet – even tho there is nothing wrong with having ice cream for breakfast!  I’ve made bean casseroles before but for this I want to jam as many veggies in as possible and with it being late fall when I prepped these meals, I went heavy on the root vegetables.

Norhtern Bean Cassoulet

Serves 5-6

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 cups chopped onion

1 1/2 cups (1/2-inch-thick) slices diagonally cut carrot

1 cup (1/2-inch-thick) slices diagonally cut parsnip

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 cups cooked Great Northern beans, drained and well rinsed

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cans diced tomatoes, undrained

1 bay leaf

3/4 cup organic vegetable broth (day of)

1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs (day of)

¼ cup Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast (day of)

2 tablespoons butter, melted (day of) - dairy or non

Instructions

  1. (Optional) Place all ingredients minus those marked day of in a gallon sized freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months in a standard freezer or up to 5 months in a deep freezer.
  2. When ready to heat, cut the freezer bag along the seam going up to the zipper or press seal and dump into slow cooker. Turn cooker for low and cook for 8hrs (or high for 4-5hrs) adding the vegetable broth.
  3. Thirty minutes before eating mix together the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast) and evenly spread over the bean mixture. Top with the melted butter.
  4. Cook uncovered on high for a final 30 minutes. Topping should slightly crisp up.
  5. Serve and enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2016/02/used-to-call.html

For a gluten free option just use your favorite GF breadcrumbs or go for something like hemp seeds.  Protein, vegetables, and the perfect sauce for some crusty bread makes for a fantastic dinner.  To really speed things up, use Gourmet Garden garlic pastes and their Italian Herb paste – tho be warned these do contain whey so are not suitable for vegans but are gluten free.

Sending Big Waves

Banana Chip Cookies

banana_chip_cookies

Another recipe for using up those bananas that are no longer yellow!  Or those bananas that have just been chilling in the back of your freezer.  It happens to eveyone and can only make banana bread so many times.  I’ve been putting bananas in cookies for a while as  vegan alternative to eggs but with these cookies the bananas are the lead not the support. I also kept it vegan figuring why mess with a good thing?!?

Sending Big Waves

Serves: Yields 36 2 inch cookies

Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter or non-dairy alternative (Earth Balance)

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup mashed banana

1/4 cup plain applesauce

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 10 minutes.
  3. Beat in the banana, applesauce, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Then slowly add in the flour and baking soda until just mixed, fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Spoon tbsp sized drops on a cookie sheet, leaving space to spread.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
http://dancingveggies.com/2016/02/sending-big-waves.html

i’m also proud to say that I made these while babywearing – slowly but surely figuring out this whole “mommy” thing.  While in the mornings she easily goes down for a nap (or two) in the afternoon she greatly prefers to be in her Boba.  Needless to say this makes me VERY thankful for our double oven as I can easily access the top part with little bending.   I don’t see myself wearing her if the baked good needs two hands but luckily cookies don’t fall in that category!