Salad with slow cooker red beans and rice
Last night I had just enough time to chop the veggies for this yummy crock pot meal so that it would be all ready to go in the morning (click here for the easy-peasy beans and rice recipe). Kristin at Slender Kitchen suggests cooking on low for 6-8 hours and ours was definitely ready at the sixth hour. I found this tasty Cajun dressing to go along with a simple side salad. Here’s my modified ingredient list for two (with a little left over):
Cajun Salad Dressing
- 1/3 c. pecans sautéed in Earth Balance butter, sprinkled w/ Cajun seasoning and salt
- splash of red wine vinegar
- 2 spoonfuls olive oil
- squeeze of Dijon mustard
- glob of honey
- 1/4 c. water
- pinch cayenne pepper
Blend together in food processor until creamy. Enjoy over greens!
Do you have any simple but delicious veggie slow cooker recipes? How about a fresh take on salad dressing?
Yesterday Hurricane Sandy tore through the Northeast. Luckily we didn’t lose power, so I spent the day chilling out a home with homemade soup, cookies and a haunted house. I used this easy recipe as a guideline for what to throw in the pot.
Onions (already in the pot) with carrots, zucchini and squash
Black beans, nutmeg, cinnamon, curry powder and tomatoes
Kale added at the end
Warmth on a rainy day
Our haunted house (made from old styrofoam packaging)
What do you like to make on a rainy day?
It’s the last day of a whirlwind trip home to the Tampa Bay area spending time with friends and family. I’ve seen just about every wedding venue and tried on bridal gowns at three dress shops. I also took a mini four-hour road trip with my mom to visit my cousin and her brand new baby. My heart just melted. Today’s pictures are from yesterday’s amazing lunch at The Taco Bus on Central Avenue in St. Pete. This place is open 24 hours on the weekends and I can only imagine the crowd.
Agua de pina
We all need direction sometimes
The taco plate with one vegan tempeh and one butternut squash
M and I just got back from a week in Spain. It’s one of my favorite places in the world, but more about that later. I wanted to share how impressed I was with the veggie meal on my U.S. Airways flight. They have a non-dairy vegetarian option that’s actually pretty good. (Just call ahead and request it, there’s no extra charge.)
Fruit salad with coconut shavings, green salad with Italian dressing & Spanish rice and veggies with lemon wedges
Once we got to Barcelona, we had a few hours to kill before boarding a smaller plane to Ibiza. We munched on salads and chips. Again, I was impressed with our airport dining choices.
Salad #1: chickpeas, tomatoes and lettuce
Salad #2: corn, olives & carrots
They must be healthy because they’re coated in olive oil…
Just kidding, but a girl’s gotta crunch once in a while
How do you get your veggies while traveling?
Quick and easy taco night
Mexican-style Tofu Scramble
- oil or Earth Balance butter
- one block of firm tofu
- mustard powder
- nutritional yeast
- veggies of your choice (I used onions, carrots, cauliflower, zucchini and squash)
Directions: Heat a swig of oil or little chunk of butter in a large skillet over medium. Saute the hard veggies first for a few minutes, sprinkling with a generous pinch from each of the spice bottles. Use 1-2 tablespoons of the nutritional yeast. Next add the softer veggies. Cook until they’re the consistency you like in an omlette. Take the tofu out of the package and rinse it (I didn’t bother to squish the water out because I figured any excess liquid would just evaporate out). Crumble the tofu into the pan. Stir it all together and cook until tofu is warm. Feel free to taste add more spices. It’s really that easy! The spices give it the color of scrambled eggs, so this is very hungry-boyfriend friendly.
Three-ingredient guacamole: Mash up an avocado with the juice of one lime and some salt.
Nutritional yeast flakes
Check out those stats
For the tacos: Heat a pinch of Daiya cheddar cheese on a tortilla (I microwaved them on a wet paper towel). Layer the scrambled tofu and gauc, followed by salsa, chives or any other yummy topping.
We also had this delicious kale salad, which M ate a second helping of.
Avocado mushed into kale with Mexican spices
Breakfast two days later, with the addition of sautéed peppers and onions
Have you ever tried tofu? What’s your favorite way to eat it?
I am definitely a tofu-novice. I’ve only made it a handful of times, but scrambled is by far my favorite way so far. And for those of you that may be skeptical, it’s the only way M will eat it.
I absolutely love BBQ. But not just any, it has to be the good stuff. I haven’t found anything in the North that holds a candle to Sonny’s (a Southern chain found in my hometown). Of course my order has changed over the past year and a half. It wasn’t that long ago that I was dining on a pulled pork “Big Deal”. I also used to walk out of there with a huge bellyache. When I first gave up beef, chicken and pork in one foul swoop in March 2011 I wasn’t thinking about Sonny’s. It’s a tradition that my trips home involve lunch or dinner with my parents and brother at Sonny’s. They asked me what I was going to order. I didn’t know, but I was sure about one thing: BBQ is all about the sauce. For the past year I’ve most often put a meal together from the sides: baked beans, a sweet potato, corn, garlic toast and steamed broccoli. None of them are particularly special… basically my favorite part is slathering their sweet sauce all over the garlic toast.
I had a bottle of it in my kitchen that my parents brought for me as a gift. I was kind of afraid to open it. Don’t ask why. Sorry about the ramble, but here’s the moral of the story: I made veggie BBQ with Sonny’s sauce that M and I loved even more than Sonny’s itself.
- sautéed onions and portabella mushrooms over whole grain toast
- baked beans
- sweet potato fries
Double the onion fun
For the baked beans
I used this awesome recipe, except I substituted 1-2 tablespoons of tomato paste for the real tomatoes. I also halved the recipe and skipped the baking part, making them “sautéed beans”, which I then drenched in the sweet sauce. Much quicker and still very tasty.
Ahhh, the good stuff.
I’ve sent out a plea for any future house guests to please bring more sweet sauce. As for the meal, I know it doesn’t look too pretty but I assure you it’s amazing and very easy to make. The best part(s): it’s veggie, healthy, flavorful and everything can be dipped or smothered in the sauce.
What’s your stance on good BBQ?
I have a binder chock full of recipes I plan to make someday…
Many were torn from magazines, a few were printed from the internet. Some I’ve actually made. This particular recipe’s been in there since last summer. I can’t find the original link, but this one is close enough. (The only difference is that my original said to sweeten with sugar, this one uses agave nectar.)
Stalks of rhubarb from the farmers’ market
Mixed with strawberries and sugar
The crumble ingredients
(Oh yeah, I used whole wheat pastry flour…yummy and M had no idea)
2 minis and one to split later
Topped with vanilla So Delicious almond milk ice cream
Do you have a recipe binder? What’s in it?
Have you tried rhubarb?
This was my first taste and it was amazing! You must make this recipe!!! Plus the ice cream was
amazing awesome. Seriously good…
How ironic… I dissed on fast food joints last week, but today I have to give a little bit of credit where it’s due. Chipotle‘s got it going on with (some) organic ingredients, yummy veg options and an eco-friendly bowl for tortilla-less burritos. I wouldn’t catergorize Chipotle as fast food, but since it’s a chain I was extra impressed by their efforts.
Rice & beans with plenty of veggies
A little crumpled...but still good news
So since starting this blog last year I’ve started to eliminate dairy most of the time. Some friends have asked me what it means to be vegan. Or actually, how it’s possible to give up cheese and still enjoy life. I’m not strict everyday, but I think Mexican is one of the easiest cuisines to eliminate animal products from. Here’s what was in my veggie bowl (and it was absolutely delish!):
- brown rice with cilantro (yay Chipotle for having brown rice and organic cilantro!)
- sautéed onions and peppers
- black beans
- scoop of mild salsa (chunky tomatoes) and medium (pureed roasted tomatoes)
- corn salad
There was enough flavor and texture to keep things interesting, and I promise you that I did not miss the cheese.
What’s your favorite veggie option at restaurants? What tastes delicious without the cheese?
Vegan kale & sausage with cheesy grits
Last night I made breakfast for dinner and tried out a new recipe. It was a tribute to my semi-Southern heritage (is Florida considered the South?). Growing up, my mom used to make grits for my brother and me all the time. I kinda stopped eating them when I moved “up North” because they’re one delicacy that can’t be found in many restaurants. But now that I’m learning how to cook, grits are no longer a long-lost memory. This vegan version uses “cheese” sauce made from cashews, beer and almond milk. Interesting combo, I know but somehow it turned out delicious.
Hungry Hungarian boyfriend approved
I told M they were “cheesy” grits and with no questions asked he loved them. As for the sausage, tastes like the real thing… Field Roast brand Italian flavor.
What foods did you grow up with? Do you make them for yourself now? Do you ever cook breakfast for dinner?
I used to dine on cereal for dinner in college. Not the healthy stuff either, more like Cookie Crunch or Rice Krispie Treat Cereal.
Italian lunch….much easier than it looks
Absence really does make the heart grow fonder. My crockpot was packed away for a month and now I’m thrilled to have it back. This week it’s slow cooking good times at my place. It started with oatmeal for breakfast and now it’s lasagna for lunch. I even found a dusty little mini-crockpot buried back in the cabinets, which made for a perfect pint size garlic roaster.
Three heads snug as a rug in the little dipper
Simple Roasted Garlic from The Vegan Slow Cooker: Cut off the top of each head to expose the cloves. Cook cut side up on low for 3-4 hours. No water or oil necessary. Let cool before squeezing cloves from skin…or burn your fingers like me because you’re impatient and it smells amazing.
Layers of whole wheat lasagna strips, marinara, white beans and “cheese”
I’m new to cutting out dairy. I still eat it once in a while but it’s definitely not an everyday occurence anymore. Well, this ricotta “cheese” was so yummy that M didn’t even know it was fake. That’s saying a lot.
Pumpkin-Tofu Ricotta (Also from The Vegan Slow Cooker)
1 tbsp. olive oil
3 sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated
1 15ounce package tofu (silken, soft or firm)
1 15ounce can pumpkin puree
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
2 cloves garlic, crushed
salt & pepper
Directions: Blend olive oil and sun-dried tomatoes in food processor to make a paste. Add remaining ingredients and blend until creamy.
If you decide to make lasagna in the slow cooker layer the ricotta with one package noodles, one jar marinara and one can of white beans. Cook for 3-4 hours on low or 1 1/2-2 on high. It makes for a hearty meal that no one will even know is vegan.
What’s your favorite crockpot recipe? Or your favorite sneaky healthy/and or vegan recipe?