Northern Bean Cassoulet
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.
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.
Sundried Tomato Pesto
Greetings and welcome to day four of Fresh Tasty Valentine – the brainchild of always fabulous Cam of Culinary Adventures with Camilla. Today’s post features ingredients from two of our incredible sponsors: Gourmet Gardens and Bob’s Mill both of which have products you can win as part of the giveaway. The hemp seeds used in today’s recipe are easily the most unique product I’ve worked with in a long time and one that I was a bit nervous about due to my hops allergy. Hemp and Hops are cousins if you will and I’ve had skin reactions to hemp bracelets in the past, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try a potential pine nut replacement. So I started by pouring a few seeds in my hand (no reaction) before trying a few and waiting an hour – no reaction! Plus they were just as nutty tasting as the reviews promised.
For a vegan twist, switch out the chunky garlic paste with three garlic cloves and then toss with your favorite vegan pasta. For another twist, use as a sauce for pizza topped with some roasted vegetables or a chunky dressing for a salad.
If you haven’t entered the giveaway yet – what are you waiting for?!? This meal totally fits the bill for quick and easy, can even prep the pesto earlier in the day (or the night before) for an even quicker meal. I’ve also had luck freezing pesto using ice cube trays, just pop out when frozen and store in a freezer bag until time to use them.
Note: I received these products for free as part of my participation in Fresh Tasty Valentine. However I was not required to write a review of the products and with that all opinions are my own.
Sweet Garlic Brussel Sprouts
Welcome to day two of #FreshTastyValentines! Today’s post almost didn’t happen, thanks to Mother Nature dropping over 30 inches (!!!) of white stuff last week. Since I had worked with T. Lish products before I had plans for the Sweet Garlic sauce that involved one of my favorite vegetables – but I needed my sauce. Thankfully the snow melted and mail service returned to normal and my sauces arrived. All I had to do was decide if I wanted to marinate the sprouts or start them off with some oil and then caramelize them in the sauce In the end, I decided to caramelize them since my better half does prefer his sprouts VERY well cooked.
This recipe came together in record time – making it the perfect side dish for crazy night. The sweetness of the sauce goes perfectly with the slight tartness of the sprouts, making it hard to resist eating the entire dish. If by any chance you have any leftovers, heat them up in a sauce pan or toaster oven in order to preserve the crunch of the leaves. However I doubt there will be any left!
I received three T. Lish sauces for free as part of participating in FreshTastyValentines. All comments and opinions are my own!
Thai Corn Soup
Welcome to my first of five posts for #FreshTastyValentine! I’m starting things off with a simple and delicious soup that’s delicious hot or cold, so perfect for the insane weather that has been happening here on the East Coast. This soup also works well with my New Years resolution to keep things quick and simple as it comes together super quick – partially because of the fantastic herb pastes from Gourmet Gardens. Inspired by a vegan soup I made years ago from a cookbook Joe had, one that apparently did not make the move to Baltimore, I knew that that lemongrass paste would be the perfect addition. I also used the Thai Seasoning paste in place of the curry seasoning (tho I think the original original recipe called for paste) – always better to go organic and natural!
As a bonus, this soup is super easy to clean up from as the pastes mean no cutting board and the soup is made in one bowl. Perfect recipe for a crazy weekday (or weekend) night. I love that with these pastes all I have to do is unscrew the lid – one less step is always welcome. Huge THANK YOU to Gourmet Gardens for sending me such incredible items. For your chance to win the Gourmet Gardens herb package (or one of the many other prizes) be sure to check out my intro post to Fresh Tasty Valentine!
Quick note that the Gourmet Garden pastes do contain whey so they aren’t vegan but they are gluten free. However, their dried herb are just that making them vegan, gluten free, and perfect.
Carrot Potato Mash
During my pregnancy I did my best to eat all the colors of the rainbow, and got a bit creative towards the end. Possibly because I was due on Thanksgiving, I kept getting cravings for traditional Thanksgiving foods – especially mashed potatoes and stuffing! While I didn’t have the patience to make stuffing from scratch, I was totally up for making some mashed potatoes. However I couldn’t just make normal mashed potatoes so I grabbed some carrots and combined the two to make a very colorful dish. As a bonus, I used redskin potatoes for an extra burst of color.
I served this up with some BBQ tofu but it would also make a bright addition to any holiday spread. I have a feeling these ingredients have the potential to make a fantastic latke and hope to test that theory at some point!
It feels so good to be back in the kitchen and on the blog again. I’m still in shock that after three years of trying and two years of treatment we finally have our little girl! She has already changed our lives in some many amazing ways and is only 16 days old – can’t even begin to imagine all the joy heading our way.
Wild Rice Salad
Still on #babywatch here but using that to my advantage to get back to blogging since I’m still feeling pretty good. I know for most people the second trimester is THE trimester but I’m still saying that the third is the best – even though I’m at the point where I want to meet the little one. Last weekend my mom and sister came up and we stocked our freezer full of delicious vegetarian treats, some that have been featured here, a few from my SRC blog last week, and some other random ones from the internet. The random ones I plan to feature here as we make them as I was able to test the changes I made, we just made them! Some of them I’m not worried about, such as switching in vegetable stock for chicken or doubling beans/vegetables in place of ground meat, while the ones involving switching chicken for tofu could be a bit more interesting. Enough about that, time for today’s recipe.
This recipe is about as easy as it gets – and since it can be served hot or cold it can be on the table in under 30 minutes! Thanks to the warm fall a few of the local markets are still selling cherry and plum tomatoes, so I took advantage and grabbed a pint of some yellow cherries. From there, dinner created itself!
I served this naked but to stretch it even further, and to give it a bigger nutritional boost, serve over some massaged kale or baby spinach. Make sure to add extra oil if there happen to be leftovers, otherwise the rice will dry out and start to clump. However I doubt there will be any leftovers as this dish is FANTASTIC! I kept my cold the next day while Joe warmed his up in order to melt the cheese – but there is no right or wrong way to enjoy this dish.
Early Fall Tagine
Amazed and slightly shocked that so far the best part of my pregnancy has been the third trimester. The HG is mostly under control and while my back is sore, it’s amazing the energy boost that comes with not getting sick multiple times a day. I’m still sticking with quick and easy meals, as I have no desire to tempt fate, and have also been bringing out my cookbooks more with the plan of finding easy to freeze recipes. This recipe is not one of those, but it is one that I had marked at the start of summer. It’s inspired by a recipe in Vegetarian Tagines & Couscous which is a fantastic book for people who don’t have a citrus allergy. However the basic ingredients are just that, so I can adjust and mess with as necessary – resulting in citrus (and nut) free treats for my household!
I served this with some leftovers lentils, but couscous would be the more traditional option – tho flatbread or rice would also work. I topped mine with a bit of Greek Yogurt (So Delicious Coconut) while Joe went the naked route this time. It was shortly after this that my tagine decided it was time to quit – lesson learned regarding gas burners and the importance of a good diffuser. Thankfully a new one just arrived (late birthday present) and I can’t wait to give it a whirl!