Vegan MoFo “Other” Week – Recipe Roundup

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I can’t believe the month is already drawing to a close.  At some point I’ll stop waxing poetic about how incredibly glad I am that I chose to participate, but that time has not yet arrived.  I have discovered so many new blogs that are now permanently in my Feedly, which means I can continue to follow them going forward.  Plus, I have added at least 100 new recipes to my Gmail folder for future cooking inspiration and guidance.  It’s just friggin awesome!

Anyway, this will be my last recipe roundup for Vegan MoFo 2013.  Blue, purple, white, brown, and black foods.  Maybe a weird spectrum, but definitely great.

Today’s recipes come from other participating MoFo bloggers and happen to fit in with my color theme.  🙂 [Note: all of the images belong to the individual bloggers unless otherwise noted.  They are works of art and I’m posting them to encourage YOU to click through and check out the recipes!]

Blue/Purple
Easy Plum Applesauce in the Slow Cooker by Fo Reals Life (one of my new absolute fave blogs!) (click for recipe)
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Appleberry Pie with Olive Oil Crust from the ever-amazing Post Punk Kitchen (click for recipe)
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Vanilla Fig Cake by Vegan Yack Attack (click for recipe).  I’m calling the figs purple.  Sorry I’m not sorry.
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White
Coconut Crusted Tofu from Fried Dandelions (click for recipe)
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Cauliflower Steaks with Mushroom Gravy by Vegan Richa (click for recipe).
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The photos are from when I made this recipe.  I adored this recipe! My new favorite way to eat cauliflower.
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Brown
Vegan Bacon Lentil Crunchies, also by Fo Reals Life (click for recipe). Like seriously…what a brilliant idea.

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Homemade Vegan Heath Bars by Fork ‘n’ Beans (click for recipe).  Cara’s candy-themed posts this month blew me away!
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Black
Thyme and Apple Beany Bangers and Mash with Onion Gravy, Cabbage and Peas from Veg Hot Pot (click for recipe). I can’t wait to make this one!
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Smoky Black Beans Parsley Chimichurri Spinach Wraps also by Vegan Richa (click for recipe)

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Feel free to share any new favorite blogs or particular recipes from MoFo 2013 in the comments!

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Vegan MoFo “Other” Week – Lunch Break

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I was recently introduced to the Greek dish Skordalia, a white puree made of garlic and potatoes.  It is served cold and goes perfectly with warm pita bread.

Skordalia

My lunch of this delicious dip comes from Kouzina Estiatorio in Dedham, Massachusetts.  Most people visiting this blog have probably never been to (or probably even heard of) Dedham, but if you’ve ever driven north on I-95 on your way to Boston then you’ve at least driven through!  There is a courthouse in the town that I work out of occasionally, and Kouzina Estiatorio is right down the street, so I always make a point to stop in.

I don’t know about you, but I love patronizing a small restaurant where the employees/owners actually seem to give a damn about their business and their customers.  The people who work at Kouzina are always smiling and seem to truly love what they do.   If you ever do find yourself in Dedham, I highly recommend it. 🙂

Enjoy this last September weekend!

Black Bean Taco Salad with Cheesy Poblano Pepper Dressing

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I love black beans.  A lot.  One of my favorite ways to cook them is what I call “taco style.”  And here’s a recipe!  (Bonus: for my “other” colors week, this recipe includes black beans, brown rice, and lovely purple-hued red onions!)

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Crunchy fresh veggies, creamy avocado, spicy beans, and a warm cheesy topping–so delicious and pretty healthy too!  I had trouble deciding if the yellow stuff should be called a sauce or a dressing.  I wanted to say “dressing” because it was going on a salad, but in my head I was going for something kind of like nacho cheese sauce.  Whatever it is, it works!

Black Bean Taco Salad with Cheesy Poblano Pepper Dressing
Vegan and gluten-free as written (just check the prepared ingredients carefully)
(This recipe has a hearty omnivore seal of approval from H.)

Yield: 4 servings
Time: 30 minutes

For the beans:
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp. olive oil
1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-oz. can petite diced tomatoes
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
scant 1/4 tsp. ground coriander
(optional) 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
(or skip the seasonings and add 1/2 packet of taco seasoning mix)
(OR add whatever seasonings you like!)

For the Dressing/Sauce (makes 1 cup):
1 small poblano pepper, cut in half, seeds and membranes removed
1 cup unsweetened plain soy milk
1 tbsp. tahini
1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. yellow mustard, like Heinz (use less if you don’t love mustard because the flavor comes through kinda strong)
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. turmeric (mainly for color, but I like the flavor too)
1/2 tsp. cornstarch or arrowroot powder
1 tsp. sriracha (or more!)
(optional) 1 1/2 tbsp. nutritional yeast (if you don’t like nooch then leave it out)

For Serving:
Head of romaine, washed and chopped
(optional) Red onion slices
(optional) Avocado slices
(optional) Cooked brown rice
(optional) Tortilla chips

To Make:
The Pepper: Preheat the oven to 425.  Brush both sides of each poblano half lightly with olive oil and place on a baking sheet.  Roast for 10 minutes, until skin looks blistery (P.S. – it smells SO GOOD when it’s roasting!).  Remove from oven, allow to cool, then peel off the skin and chop the peppers very finely.

The Beans: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm olive oil then saute garlic for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant and softened.  Add black beans, stir a few times, then add tomatoes.  Bring mixture to a gentle simmer, then lower the heat, stir in the spices, cover, and let it marinate for about 15 minutes.  Taste for seasoning, then turn off heat, remove cover, and let it sit some more to cool down a bit.

The Dressing/Sauce: Combine all ingredients except sriracha in another medium sauce pan over medium-low heat.  Heat gently until it starts to thicken and a few bubbles appear, stirring fairly frequently and watching it carefully so that it doesn’t burn.  Once the mixture begins to bubble, remove from heat and cover.  Let it sit for 5 minutes, then uncover and stir in the sriracha.  Allow it to cool slightly.

To Assemble:
Not that you need instructions on this, but here’s how I did mine:

1) Lettuce, topped with red onion slices and avocado (this avocado was in the top 5 best I’ve ever eaten, btw):
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2) Brown rice, topped with beans:
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NOTE: my rice was pre-cooked and cold from sitting in the fridge, so here I used it sort of as a buffer to keep the warm beans from ruining my raw veggies

3) Finally, drizzled with the dressing/sauce:
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I was thrilled with how this salad turned out.  As I mentioned in the ingredients list, the sauce on its own has a strong mustard flavor, and the flavor of the roasted poblanos is fairly subtle by contrast.  But once you mix it all up into your salad it just tastes GOOD.

H was also super-happy with his dinner and I’m so glad that his little omnivore taste buds have embraced vegan cheesy sauces to such a degree, because it’s opening up a lot more options for me in terms of making dinners we can both enjoy without me having to make omni adjustments.   His palate has definitely adapted to the taste of nooch too, because not only did he gobble this meal, but he loved the carrot and squash risotto I made on Saturday and has been reheating it for lunch every day at work since.

By the way, I’m planning on pouring the leftover sauce over a tofu scramble.  Yup.

What do you think–is it a dressing or a sauce?

Also, if you have a great vegan cheese sauce recipe, please share it in the comments!

Vegan MoFo – Gettin’ Down with Brown

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The point of this post is definitely not to be like “Look What I Ate!”  Trust me, I am aware that this is not 2007.  But once in a while I get excited about something I’ve made out of whatever stuff I have lying around.

Plus I’m really excited about the little bowl I made today because it fits in with my MoFo theme this week in that it’s full of yummy and under-appreciated brown foods!

Allow me to introduce you to the Brown Bowl (with accents of green of course!):

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You’ve got your quinoa, your steamed kale, tempeh sausage crumbles, and brown rice all in one! (Sorry the image is a little off-center…Wordpress and I are currently having a disagreement over photo-editing.  And of course the rice looks white…sigh.)

Anyway, the bowl.  It’s a super-yummy and healthy option for lunch or dinner!  I suppose it doesn’t technically need a sauce but I like to have one.  Here, I used straight-up sriracha but a tahini sauce would be amazing as well (specifically I’m thinking a sriracha-tahini sauce.  Yeah, I’m obsessed.)

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(And in this one everything is still off-center and looks yellow/orange.  Grr.)

I used the recipe for Tempeh Sausage Crumbles from Vegan with a Vengeance (click for recipe).  As I’ve mentioned before, I’m in the early stages of my tempeh appreciation.  I’m loving this recipe as a cheap and versatile way to incorporate this protein- and iron-rich food into my diet.  Seriously, a single serving of tempeh (1 cup) has 31 grams of protein.  [Source: NutritionData.com]  Compare to a serving of steak (3 oz., and who actually eats that little?) which has 23 grams of protein but is also served with an unattractive side of cholesterol [source].

My first go at the tempeh crumbles recipe made enough to feed me for something like 5 meals.  Last week I packed it up with mashed Yukon Gold potatoes (left over from this recipe) and steamed kale.

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I didn’t eat it in little perfect sections obviously.  Here it is, all mixed up like 311:

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Tempeh sausage crumbles…not just for brunch anymore!

Vegan MoFo – Somewhere in the Rainbow

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The final week of Vegan MoFo is here!  I have covered foods of the red, orange, and yellow color persuasions, and I will spend this final week working with foods that cover the rest of the spectrum–blue, purple, black, brown, and white.

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So yeah, I’m basically lumping a ton of stuff into one but that’s because there’s only a few days left and I don’t know if a) I could find enough to write about blue foods to fill those days, and b) I don’t want to leave out things like black, brown, and white because I feel like that would be too easy to do.  I love all colors the same and there are some wonderful foods in the neutral tones!

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My pancake batter was smiling at me!

It’s actually going to be a pretty busy week for me so I might change up the order that I’ve been following a little bit, i.e. do a recipe roundup early in the week and show you an actual original recipe later.

For today I’m giving you risotto.  Yes, arborio rice is white and pretty.  I was feeling fall-y over the weekend and I had a ton of time on my hands while H was working, so I decided to make something that requires a little extra effort than I’d be prepared to exert on a typical weeknight.

I veganized and slightly adapted this recipe for Carrot and Winter Squash Risotto from The Produce Bible by Leanne Kitchen (I know! I wish my last name was Kitchen).

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Ingredients
1/3 cup Earth Balance or other vegan butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 3/4 cup diced winter squash (I used butternut)
2 carrots, diced
8 cups vegetable stock
2 cups arborio rice
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 cup vegan parmesan cheese (I used Go Veggie!)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
(optional) fresh parsley for garnish

Directions
Heat 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan.  Add the onion and saute for 1-2 minutes or until soft.

Add the diced winter squash and carrot and cook for 10 minutes or until tender. Mash slightly with a potato masher.  In a separate stockpot, heat the stock over medium heat and keep the stock at simmering point.

Add the rice to the vegetables and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, until the grains are translucent. Ladle in 1/2 cup of hot stock and stir well. Reduce the heat and add the stock little by little, stirring constantly for 20-30 minutes, until the rice is tender and creamy.  You may use not all the stock or need to add some water.

Remove from the heat, add the remaining butter, parmesan cheese, nooch, and spices. Season with freshly ground black pepper and stir thoroughly. Cover and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.  Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.

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Hope your week is off to a great start!

Vegan MoFo Yellow Week – Lunch Break

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Week 3 of Vegan MoFo has put many delicious yellow foods on my plate.  Today for lunch I’m enjoying Vada Pav and Samosa Pav from my favorite (and 100% vegetarian!) Indian restaurant, Ritu Ki Rasoi in Burlington, Massachusetts.

The yellow color comes from the curry that is cooked into the potato fillings.

Mo Orange 002While deep-fried and therefore not the healthiest fare, these little fried potato sliders are honestly so freakin’ delicious.  They are garnished with garlic-coconut, tamarind, and cilantro chutneys, and are hot and crispy on the outside, and warm, soft and spicy on the inside.

Mo Orange 003Sometimes a little indulgence is totally called for. 🙂

Have a great weekend everyone!

Vegan MoFo Yellow Week Recipe Roundup – Chickpea Edition

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I couldn’t go through a whole week of yellow foods without having at least some celebration of the chickpea!  Today I am sharing some recipes that showcase this wonderful legume.

Each and every one of these is a tried and true favorite of mine.  I can attest to their deliciousness AND the fact that they come together quickly.  This means that they are all great weeknight meals, and make great leftovers too!

From Cookbooks
Lemon Chickpea Lentil Soup from Eat Drink & Be Vegan by Dreena Burton (click for recipe)
Lemon Chickpea Lentil Soup

Tamari Roasted Chickpeas also from Eat Drink & Be Vegan by Dreena Burton (click for recipe)
Tamari Roasted Chickpea

Chickpea Quinoa Pilaf from Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terri Hope Romero (recipe reprinted here)
chickpea quinoa pilaf

From the Blogosphere
Chick & Split Pea Curried Gravy (click for recipe) by How to Feed a Vegan (an oldie but goodie!  I posted about it way back in 2009!)
Chick and Split Pea Curried Gravy

Maple Mustard Beans and Greens by Tina Haupert of Carrots ‘n’ Cake, for Health.com (click for recipe)
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I made mine with frozen Swiss chard and corn (I didn’t have peas)

Chickpea Flour Pancakes Two Ways:
Jumbo Chickpea Pancake (click for recipe) by Angela of Oh She Glows
Chickpea Flour Pancakes with Cauliflower and Shiitake Mushrooms (click for recipe) by Vegan Richa
Teriyaki Tempeh - Cauliflower Shiitake Chickpea pancakes

If that photo doesn’t make you want some, I don’t know what will!

If you have a favorite chickpea recipe, please share it in the comments!