Back in the kitchen on a day where the thermometer is so far below zero – I want to keep the oven running all day!
My friends at the Green Scene in Walker lined me up with a spectacular produce bag that included goodies like carrots, kale and Meyer lemon. I decided to create a light soup, highlighting these ingredients. I’ve used citrus in soups before, especially Asian inspired soups. The acidity of citrus can really enhance the other ingredients in your bowl. Enjoy!
- Olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled, diced
- 2 stalks of celery, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Zest and juice of 1-2 lemons (I used Meyer lemon)
- Salt and pepper
- 6 cups water with 3 tsp veg base
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 c orzo
- 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed
- 1 bunch of kale, destemmed, wilted
- Heat the oil in a dutch oven or large soup pot
- Add the onion, carrots and celery. Cook for about 15 minutes over medium heat. Stir frequently to prevent veggies from sticking to the pot
- Add the garlic, lemon zest and juice, salt, and pepper, cook for 1-3 minutes
- Stir in the water and bay leaf, bring to a simmer. Once simmering, add the vegetable base and orzo. Cook for about 10 minutes or until orzo is tender
- Add the chickpeas and wilted kale
I was talking with a friend the other day who was saying how easy it is to make naan. I nodded my head in agreement… but deep down, I was like, “No. Way.” I’ve gone through three naan recipes in two weeks. The one I have below is my favorite thus far, but I still feel like it’s a work in progress for me.
With the falafels, I love falafels. I mean, I will eat chickpeas straight out of the can. When it comes to this falafel recipe, it’s pan fried which is a little different than most restaurant falafels that tend to be deep fried. I found that coating the falafel in a seasoned panko mix gave it a nice crunch and added depth of flavor.
Naan (inspired by Saveur)
- 3/4 c warm water
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 1/2 tsp active yeast
- 1 c all-purpose flour
- 1 c high protein bread flour
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 c plain, full fat yogurt
- 2 Tbls canola oil
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- *optional, chopped garlic to add into dough later
- Melted ghee, for brushing
- Combine the warm water, honey and yeast in a bowl, let sit for 10 minutes
- In a large bowl, add the dry ingredients
- Once the yeast mix has proofed, add all wet ingredients together. Add wet to dry
- As dough comes together, knead for 5 minutes. Cover and let sit for an hour
- Portion dough into 10 balls. Roll dough out to 1/4″ with rolling pin, *optional to add chopped garlic into dough. Let the flattened naan sit while pan is heating up
- I recommend using a cast iron skillet for this recipe. You do not need to oil the pan. If the pan starts smoking – it’s too hot, turn the heat down
- Run your hands under some water so they are damp. Pick up the flattened dough, pass back and forth between hands so dough gets slightly wet. Drop dough onto hot skillet and cover. This is the look you are going for:
- Cook for about 30 seconds per side
Falafels (inspired by Minimalist Baker)
- 15 oz can chickpeas, drained
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1/2 onion, chopped and sauteed
- 2 Tbls raw sesame seeds
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp each sea salt and black pepper, plus more to taste
- 2 Tbls flour
- 1 Tbls chickpea flour
- Panko breadcrumbs mixed with 1/8 tsp cumin, 1/8 tsp smoked paprika, 1/8 tsp salt
- 3-4 Tbls oil
- Combine and pulse everything in a food processor except for the flour, panko and oil
- Slowly add the flours into the food processor, pulse for a few more seconds
- Roll the falafels into desired shape. I prefer flatter, circular shapes
- Lightly press or roll falafel into panko seasoning
- Add oil to cast iron skillet, set heat to medium. Add the falafels, making sure you have enough room to flip
- Cook for 3-5 minutes per side. Set falafel on a plate lined with paper towl
- Garnish with desired toppings. I made a cucumber, tomato, onion salad with a pre-made tahini dressing
Six months later…The Veg Way is back to blogging! The past four months have been full of travel and exploration. I’ve been grateful to visit places like Italy, Panama, and Costa Rica. In the upcoming months, I will get to take my family to Winnipeg, and see new sites such as Seattle and Honolulu.
With these amazing travels, my budget has been pretty tight. I try my best to limit dinners out, opting to invite friends over instead. While I get most of my protein from plants, I occasionally rely on pre-made fake meats. However, places like the Herbivorous Butcher are prime reminders that I can make my own fake meat!
The pot pie recipe below has a few steps. The first step is making the seitan. This is so incredibly easy, I can’t believe I didn’t do this more often.
The second step is making the crust. The third step is making the stew. The fourth, and final, step is putting everything together!
I am ending the blog with a photo of how I utilized some of the leftovers. I hope you enjoy this scrumptious meal!
Courtesy of Isa Chandra
- 1 c vital wheat gluten flour
- 3 Tbls nutritional yeast
- 1/2 c cold vegetable broth
- 1/4 c tamari or soy sauce
- 2 Tbls fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbls olive oil
- 2 cloves minced garlic
For the simmering broth:
- 4 c vegetable broth
- 4 c water
- 1/4 c tamari or soy sauce
- *I added mirin and garlic to my broth
- Add simmering broth ingredients to the pot, bring to a boil
- In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients (flour and nutritional yeast)
- Add broth, tamari, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic to a small bowl, whisk together
- Mix the wet ingredients with the dry. Stir until no dry ingredients remain
- Knead for about 3 minutes and divide into 3 pieces
- Add seitan cutlets to boiling water, partially cover the pot and reduce to simmer. Cook for 45 minutes, turning the cutlets every 10 minutes
- **Remove cutlets and reserve the broth**, this will be used for the pot pie gravy. Let cutlets dry in a colander
Courtesy of Martha Stewart
- 1 1/4 c flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 stick vegan cold butter, cut into 1/2″ pieces
- 3-5 Tbls ice cold water
- Mix together dry ingredients, add to food processor
- Add the butter and pulse
- Slowly add in the water, continuing to pulse until dough is crumbly yet moist
- Press dough together, wrap in plastic, chill for at least an hour
Veggie Pot Pie
- 2 Tbls vegan butter
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 red potato, peeled and diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 seitan cutlet, cubed
- Herbs of choice (1 tsp dried rosemary, thyme, or sage)
- 2 Tbls flour
- Reserved simmering broth (or veg broth)
- Cornstarch slurry (cornstarch plus water)
- 1/2 c peas
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Saute onion in butter; after 5 minutes, add the potato and carrots, continue to simmer
- As the veggies soften, add the seitan cubes and herbs. Coat pot pie ingredients with flour. Continue cooking for several minutes. Slowly add in the reserved simmering broth. This part I did not measure, I eyeballed it. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. If sauce isn’t thickening enough, add a small amount of cornstarch water. This will thicken quickly
- Finally, add the peas, then salt and pepper to taste.
- Coat ramekins with oil, add stew to the brim, let this cool
- As the stew cools, roll out the chilled dough to about 1/8″ thick
- Cut dough into desired shapes, place on top of stew. Bake at 375F for about 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown
- 1 c raw cashews, soaked
- 1 Tbls nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp dijon
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp garlic
- Puree all ingredients, adding water until you reach the desired consistency
- Drizzle over roasted vegetable of choice
The next day, I used leftover asparagus and hollandaise to make a benedict with vegan bacon and Rogan Josh roasted potatoes
I had never made, let alone eaten, cabbage rolls prior to this recipe. A minor challenge in making this is that I have nothing to compare them to.
This meal was made at the request of my partner who grew up eating this dish. Traditionally it is made with rice and ground beef. I found a recipe via Connoisseurus Veg that contains lentils and quinoa, which sounded delicious to me!
I liked this recipe, but I didn’t love it. It felt a little bland. I would like to try making it with veggie crumbles, and incorporate different herbs and seasoning. This recipe is still worth trying out. Like I said, I am not as familiar with this dish and am open to exploring it!
- 1 head of cabbage
- 3/4 c brown lentils
- 3 c water
- 1/2 c uncooked quinoa
- 1 c vegetable broth
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 Tbls oil
- 1 Tbls red wine vinegar
- 2 Tbls tamari
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 jar pasta sauce
1. Boil the cabbage in water until outer leaves are tender
2. Cook the lentils in 3 cups of water; cook the quinoa in 1/2 cup broth
3. Saute onion in oil. Once the lentils and quinoa is cooked, add to the onion and stir in vinegar, tamari, and paprika. Let the mix cool
4. In a pan, add a layer of pasta sauce (I used my favorite jarred pasta brand)
5. Add lentil/quinoa mix to the roll, roll up like a burrito, place on top of pasta sauce. Once all rolls are in the pan, add another layer of sauce.
6. Bake, covered, at 350 for one hour
I am so grateful for other food sites, like Splendid Table, that post amazing and inspiring recipes. These recipes are often the catalyst for my kitchen adventures. The Baja-Style Cauliflower Tacos are phenomenal. They have the perfect amount of heat; slight crunch from the panko/coconut breading, and a soft earthy flavor of the cauliflower.
While I did not make the slaw in the recipe, I opted for a similar one with a pre-made chipotle-tomato dressing. I also served the tacos with this delicious Tomato Rice.
I also changed the process of where I added the spice – I put most of the spice in the breading mix, leaving the coconut milk plain. The downside to this was if the breading fell off, the cauliflower was a bit more bland.
- 1 c unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 c panko bread crumbs
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 c canned unsweetened coconut milk
- 1/2 head cauliflower (1 pound), trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- Corn tortillas, warmed
1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Mix coconut, panko and spices in a bowl, set aside.
2. Whisk coconut milk. Dip the cauliflower into coconut milk mixture; coat well.
3. Once cauliflower is coated with coconut milk, roll in the seasoned panko/coconut topping. Place on a baking sheet.
4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning cauliflower pieces halfway through.
I have been trying to find a great recipe for Butter Tofu, which is basically tofu in a rich curry sauce. Half Baked Harvest has a fabulous recipe. (*And, bonus, they just came out with a new cookbook!)
I made a few modifications, primarily substituting tofu for chicken. I used a very firm tofu in a vacuum sealed package. Since this cooks in a crockpot, the tofu has a generous amount of time to soak up the flavors in the sauce.
I would like to try this recipe again using vegan yogurt (I couldn’t find plain at the store). Also, if using dairy cream, I suggest adding that at the end. Mixing the cream in beforehand, then cooking for 8 hours caused my sauce to curdle.
16 oz tofu, extra firm, cut into bite size cubes
1/2 onion chopped
1 Tbls butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbls freshly grated ginger
2 tsp curry powder
2 Tbls garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 14 oz can coconut milk (unsweetened)
1/2 c plain greek yogurt
1/4 c half and half
Wilted greens, roasted sweet potato, rice
1. In a bowl, whisk the spices, paste, coconut milk and yogurt; set aside
2. Saute the onion until tender
3. Add everything in a crockpot. I cooked mine on low for about 8 hours
4. Serve over rice (I added roasted sweet potato and wilted kale)
My new favorite way to make banana bread is with instant espresso powder. The subtle coffee flavor pairs nicely with the banana, nut, and chocolate chips. If you aren’t a fan of coffee, this is an easy ingredient to omit. Although, I’ve had a few taste testers with aversions to coffee find the bread delicious so it’s worth giving it a try!
- 3 ripe bananas
- 1-2 Tbls instant espresso powder
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 c brown sugar
- 1/4 c white sugar
- one flax egg (1 Tbls flax with 3 Tbls water, let it sit for 5 minutes to thicken)
- 1/3 c butter or coconut oil (melted)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 c flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 c chocolate chips
- 1/2 c walnuts/pecans
- Mix the bananas, espresso, sugars, vanilla, flax egg and butter; set aside
- Whisk the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet. After a few stirs, add in 1/2 c chocolate chips and 1/2 c chopped walnuts or pecans
- Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350F for 40-50 minutes. Let cool before removing from the loaf pan
Baked eggplant, stuffed with cashew cream… could it get any better? I wasn’t able to get a photo once the sauce and cheese was added, but let me tell you, no one missed the pasta with this dish.
I took one large eggplant and thinly sliced it using a mandolin. Eggplants contain a lot of moisture and it’s best to salt the slices to help release some of the water. While the eggplant was sweating away, I made the filling. First, I sautéed some baby kale. Then, I made the cashew filling as follows:
- 2 c raw cashews, preferably soaked for 4 hours
- 1/2 c water
- 1 Tbls lemon juice
- 1 Tbls nutritional yeast
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
Blend all ingredients until you get a creamy consistency.
Next, pat the sweated eggplant with paper towels; coat with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 400 F until the slices are tender. Remove from oven, let cool. Spread with cashew filling and baby kale. Roll and place in a dish that has a foundation of pasta sauce. Cover rolled eggplant with remaining pasta sauce and top with cheese, if desired. Bake at 350 F for about 30-40 minutes.
Veggie tostadas are great for evenings where you want a satisfying meal without a lot of work.
For these tostadas, I took a can of black beans, drained and rinsed them; then pulsed them in a food processor with water, garlic powder, chili powder, and salt until I got a smooth consistency. You could also buy ready made refried beans.
For the tortillas, I fried these in a little oil and let them dry on a towel.
In a separate pan, I sautéed veggies that I had on hand: onion, mushrooms, tomato, zucchini and corn. I added spices such as chipotle with a dash of salt. Once the veggies were cooked, I layered the tortilla – bean, veggies, cheese; then baked it at 400 F until crispy!
When I lived in South Africa, I had the ability to try some delicious Indian dishes. One of my favorites was the sauce to a butter chicken dish. I’ve been looking for a meatless option and came across this recipe. I followed the recipe very closely and it turned out wonderfully. I kept my tofu and sauce separate, then added them together in a bowl with rice and greens:
Recipe that follows is from Vegan Richa with a few of my own modifications:
- 14 oz firm tofu, pressed and cut into cubes
- ½ tsp each of garam masala, paprika, salt, and turmeric
- 2 tsp ginger powder
- 2 tsp garlic minced
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1.5 tsp water (1/2 tbsp)
- 1.5 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp coconut
- 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp powdered ginger
- Cashew cream made with with ¼ cup soaked (15 mins) cashews blended with ½ cup water
- ½ tsp garam masala
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ to 1 cup water
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp sugar
- Mix spices, lemon juice, water, cornstarch, nutritional yeast and oil. Toss tofu in spice marinade. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Place the tofu cubes on parchment lined sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until golden.
- Puree the tomato. Add to the skillet and cook until the puree starts to thicken
- In the same blender, blend the cashews and water until smooth.
- Reserve 1 tbsp of the cream for garnish. Add the rest of the cashew cream to the skillet. Add spices, salt and sugar and mix well. Use ½ cup water to rinse out your blender and add to the skillet. Mix and Bring to a boil. Taste and adjust spices as needed.
- In a bowl, add rice, greens (if using), tofu, and top with sauce