Thursday, September 4, 2014

Les Bouchées Quotidiennes

It's so odd to make this post because the first few recipes are from before school started back! That's why there's been a long "pause" in between posts around here lately. My schedule is kind of odd this year, with more than a few night classes, so I'm still trying to get my grip on meal prepping/cooking/doing dishes. Anyways, here is a Thai basil fried rice I made a few weeks ago for breakfast. I basically sauteed some cooked rice with Thai basil, GF soy sauce, sesame oil + rice vinegar. I also used eggs, so it's not vegan, but you could easily substitute crumbled tofu! And don't forget tons of sriracha on top! I can post a full recipe if anyone is interested.

This is the first time I've used avocado in pasta, and it was surprisingly delicious! The pesto is super easy to make, flavorful, and maybe one of the best pasta dishes I've ever had. The only thing to be aware of is that because avocados brown easily, the leftovers are only good for maybe a day afterwards (but I stopped caring and just ate all of it anyways). As Angela suggests, I topped mine with lemon zest, black pepper, extra basil and served it with some cherry tomatoes.

After taking anitbiotics for so long, it finally caught up with me and I stuck to "bland foods" for about a week. This chickpea, cabbage + rice soup from Isa Does It was absolutely perfect! This soup is incredibly cheap and easy to make, plus it's super nourishing! I can't wait to make it in the fall/winter this year. Instead of the dill, I made a "boquet garni" of fresh oregano, thyme, and rosemary which added a lovely fragrance to the soup.

I was really craving caprese, so I made a vegan version up! I basically made a balsamic reduction, which I briefly marinated the tofu in (next time I will add fresh oregano) and cut the same width as the tomatoes, then sandwiched them in between each other along with a large basil leaf. It satisfied my craving and was a delicious summertime dinner!

One of my favorite things to do is to take a couple of components from a recipe, and improvise the rest. This was my first "back to school" meal: I got the garlic-tahini sauce and garlicky millet/rice from this recipe. Instead of the suggested vegetables, I seared some local summer squash and cooked edamame with some garlic. This bowl was absolutely delicious! I also loved having millet/jasmine rice together instead of my usual plain brown rice or plain jasmine rice. I also used this sauce on some eggs with pico de gallo, which was also tasty! This is one of my favorite bowl meals ever and it was so simple!

From One Dish Vegan: pasta with chickpeas, spinach and raisins served with GF/DF multi-grain ciabatta rolls. If you've never tried raisins in savory dishes before, it adds a lovely, subtle sweetness to dishes. I loved this recipe because the fennel seeds pairs with the garlic and raisins wonderfully! Also those ciabatta rolls are ridiculously delicious (not homemade).

Work snacks: cut up celery, cucumber + carrots with homemade sun-dried tomato hummus. This was my first time making sun-dried tomato hummus and it was wonderful! I definitely need to start using sun-dried tomatoes more.

Lentils are definitely a staple in my diet because they're cheap, quick to make, and super versatile. I try to get mine from Trader Joe's because they're about $2/less a bag (brown and red). For French lentils, I get Harris Teeter organics for about $2 as well on sale. Anyways, you can do anything with lentils: soups, salads, tacos, "meat"balls, pasta, etc. The list goes on! Here's one of my favorite ways: lentil taco meat from Happy Herbivore Abroad. These were a great, quick meal for any night of the week! We topped ours with chopped lettuce, hot sauce and pico de gallo. I also used the leftover lentils the next day to make a taco salad with crushed taco chips and other salad fixings (also with chipotle lime hot sauce).

I probably sound like a broken record when I start sentences with "I can't believe I don't make this type of dish more often"...but I really can't believe I don't make cold noodle salads more often! This is the spicy cucumber and edamame soba salad from One Dish Vegan. This wasn't quite as spicy as I wanted it to be, so I used extra chili garlic sauce at the end. Noodle salads are great for packed lunches, especially when they're beautiful and green like this one! 

This is my first Ethiopian dish: Atakilt Wat or Ethiopian cabbage, potatoes and carrots. I loved this meal because of the mix of warm spices like cardamom and cinnamon, alongside cumin and turmeric to create a beautifully golden-hued dish. Cabbage and potatoes, as well as carrots, are typically cheap vegetables too, so it makes a great budget meal as well. I served mine with cooked brown rice from the slow cooker and LOTS of sriracha. I'm probably breaking some food codes there, but trust me, it's wonderful. 

Here's a great time saver for classes: making slow-cooker oatmeal overnight so you don't have to make breakfast in the morning! This one has vanilla, spices and almond milk. I also added cranberries and pecans when I served it. I'm starting to realize I'm not a huge fan of steel cut oats, but I know there are plenty of slow-cooker recipes with regular oats as well. This also made enough for breakfast for 3-4 days!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Les Bouchées Quotidiennes

My last meal before getting my wisdom teeth out is one of my go-to easy meals: jasmine rice steamed with spinach (stir it in after cooking until it wilts), cubed farmer's cucumbers, sliced avocado, two eggs over easy (with garlic and smoked paprika in the yolks) and miso horseradish kimchi. I would also usually add a good amount of sriracha on top, and any other vegetables I have on hand.

Here's everything I prepped before my wisdom teeth surgery because I knew that I wouldn't feel like cooking much afterwards: frozen blueberries (local and organic from the farm), bananas, and fresh frozen watermelon for smoothies; my favorite Greek-style coconut milk yogurts; homemade chocolate coconut ice creamGF vegan roasted red pepper "mac"; organic cinnamon apple sauce; golden potato soup with extra nooch, smoked paprika and blended until it was basically liquid; Moroccan lentil soup. I'll probably also make some mashed potatoes with this easy GF V country gravy too.

This watermelon frosty is probably the best thing ever for sore, tender gums. Just be sure to freeze some fresh watermelon before your surgery! Or, if you're just a normal person, add tequila and call it a daiquiri. Sadly I could not add booze this time, but I will next time!

One of the first things I cooked a few days after my procedure was mashed white beans with garlic, spinach + lemon. As you can see, I mashed mine until they were practically liquid. These were so delicious and easy to make that I ate the entire skillet in one sitting. I'd love to make these again with a side of rice or roasted potatoes. Also, it takes less than 10 minutes, so it's a great weeknight meal!

Anddd more soft food. Seeing a pattern here? I was sort of confused when my dental surgeon told me to start eating normal food the day after my surgery. My only advice is to slowly build up to eating normally. Don't eat a potato chip three days after. I did lots of chewing after my procedure and now, about a week and two days later, I can eat anything, but I am still being cautious. Anyways, this was a lovely tofu scramble with tomatoes and lots of spices (minus the spinach) and a baked potato with smoked paprika and vegan butter. I am sort of obsessed with smoked paprika because it makes everything taste like bacon! But this scramble is fast, delicious, and full of flavor.

Work smoothie: 3 frozen bananas, orange juice + matcha powder.

Recently, my blogger friend Kara gave me The Heart of the Plate in a giveaway. I read the book constantly after my procedure and was completely in love. This book is immaculate and incredibly creative. Almost every recipe is vegan, if not easily adapted to be vegan. I can't wait to cook my way through it, and I started with something mushy (obviously): golden lentils with soft, sweet onions. I've been eating these for days and I'm not sick of it yet. I served mine with brown rice, and later some chopped local tomatoes. It would be wonderful with a balsamic reduction and a fried egg, or even balsamic roasted tofu/chickpeas on top. I love this book because it gives you "Enhancements" for each recipe: things to add to make it different from the first time you made it, or to make it extra special. I can't wait to continue sharing things I make from this book! Thank you again Kara!

Have you heard of this new craze called banana ice cream? Well, you better get on it. I can't share this recipe because it's from the cookbook I'm testing for, but just google "banana ice cream" and you will get tons of results. It's easy, healthy, creamy, and tastes like ice cream! And: no ice cream maker required! I added sprinkles to mine, which was inspired by this recipe for cake batter banana ice cream

Another recipe from the cookbook I'm testing: an anti-inflammatory smoothie with blueberries, green tea and turmeric! 

I got tired of mushy things, eventually, so I settled on making these vegan sweet potato + spinach quiches to take to work this week. These are delicious! My mom was convinced that they contained eggs. They were also fairly easy to pull together and didn't require any crazy ingredients/prep. I can't wait to try the broccoli cheddar version too, but I will be subbing nutritional yeast for the Daiya cheddar. I'll share that photo when I do so!

Well, I was almost in the clear for having a great surgery and recovery. Yesterday I woke up with an infection in one of my extraction sites, which is all thanks to me. Kids: learn how to use your irrigation syringe properly. I used mine after I ate anything, but wasn't going deep enough. That leads to nasty, incredibly painful infections and more antibiotics. Hooray! Lesson learned. If you're really unsure, here's a great video that helped me do it the right way. After all the soup I ate post surgery, I'm still not tired of it (somehow), so I made Isa's alphabet soup with a few changes: I used this pasta, subbed in 2 tsp herbes de Provence in place of the thyme/tarragon, and I used frozen edamame in place of the frozen peas. This is legit alphabet soup. The real deal. It tastes a million times better than anything from a can. So go and make some! This is definitely my new go-to "feeling crappy" soup.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Les Bouchées Quotidiennes

This is an extra-long post because I am posting all of the things I've eaten before my wisdom teeth surgery, which is in two days! This blueberry cobbler smoothie will probably be perfect after I get my teeth out too, even though I made this last week. This smoothie is super easy, lemony and delicious! I've been using a lot of my local blueberries as much as possible lately, which I'm storing in the freezer.

I made Kara's delicious vegan omelette last week, which I stuffed with a smoky balsamic mushroom and spinach filling. I love how ridiculously filling these vegan omelettes are and they only have a few ingredients, minus the fillings! It kept me full for more than a few hours. For the filling: I just sauteed some thinly sliced cremini mushrooms in a pan with some olive oil until lightly browned. Then I added a heavy splash of balsamic vinegar and a few drops of liquid smoke, then stirred in some chopped spinach, until everything is soft and flavorful!

Probably my favorite recipe I've tested for the cookbook: spicy almond butter noodles with edamame, ribbons of cucumber and carrots, steamed broccoli and peanuts.

Another delicious blueberry smoothie! This one has vegan yogurt and GF rolled oats for some extra sustenance. 

I made some very flavorful deviled eggs as a snack last week using sriracha, hard-boiled egg yolks, some vegan mayo and leftover homemade garam masala hummus. I then topped each one with a Thai basil leaf. These were amazing!

I LOVE trying new variations on Caesar dressings, and this one from Veganomicon is incredible because it's made with silken tofu and finely processed almonds. The best part of this salad was definitely the roasted garlic croutons, which I made GF by using Udi's GF whole-grain bread. I also added chopped cucumbers, chickpeas and a sprinkling of nutritional yeast to make one delicious and filling salad!

A mushroom, green onion and thyme omelette I made for breakfast!

I made a very quick and filling smoothie at work: one green superfood chocolate packet, 3 frozen bananas, a heaping spoonful of peanut butter and a few splashes of hot water. I loved this chocolate superfood packet and I can't wait to try the other flavors!

I haven't had a samosa in years, so these samosa-stuffed baked potatoes were a great substitute (since I can't have the pastry dough)! They didn't take too long to make, but I certainly wouldn't cook them on a week day. The flavors of the samosa filling were absolutely delicious and very authentic! I'd recommend this for anyone who loves samosas, but doesn't want to go through the process of making samosas. This recipe originally comes from Veganomicon

I recently snagged some local okra from a produce stand, so I finally broke down and made these okra fritters again! I made them GF by using Bob's all-purpose GF flour and added some Cajun seasoning in order to add a little more flavor. I made these years ago, and they are still delicious and very easy to make! I topped mine with some vegan mayo and a few more sprinkles of Cajun seasoning.

I haven't made banana bread in a while, but this summer squash banana-oat loaf with an almond streusel really caught my eye! I have never used summer squash (except zucchini) in desserts. I used local two-tone summer squash. Of course, I also love that this recipe is already gluten and dairy-free, so no substitutions needed! I also can't believe I've never baked anything with a streusel topping before this! This loaf was super easy to make and very lightly sweetened, which I really love. 

I made another wonderful recipe from Veganomicon this morning, which was this corn and edamame sesame salad. It took only ten minutes to make and is a great lunch served with some rice crackers! I love anything that is flavored strongly with sesame, and anything with edamame!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Les Bouchées Quotidiennes

One of my favorite dishes I've recipe tested so far: pasta e fagioli "stew" (original recipes calls for groats!).

I can't quit this granola (minus the orange juice). I've been snacking on it all week, even though I made a batch for my Dad (originally). If you've never tried making your own granola, the time is now! Store-bought GF granola without refined sugars, dairy-based fats, etc. is expensive and really not worth the money. A while ago, I bought a case of GF rolled oats, so I am never out of them and I never have an excuse to not make my own granola/oatmeal. The flavors of this granola are vibrant with orange zest, crunchy with nuts and large coconut flakes, and sweet with raisins (subbed in for currants).

Another recipe I tested: almond butter cocoa! My favorite part was using the leftover cocoa to make a "vegan Frosty" with a frozen banana.

Every year in July, since I was a kid, we get blueberries from a farm somewhere in Kernersville. They are the best blueberries around and I can't wait for them every summer. I felt lazy on the prospect of making a pie, so I made this super easy blueberry coconut crumble for breakfast this weekend. It was so simple, delicious, and tasted just like blueberry pie. And I'm sure it would be even better with some vegan vanilla ice cream!

I'm finding myself using leftovers in more creative/useful ways lately. Mike had some leftover crushed tomatoes from a can, so I made a very "improvised" version of shakshuka. I used fresh garden banana peppers as the base, crushed tomatoes with basil, eggs, and the herbs sprinkled on top are thyme, oregano and rosemary. It was a hearty, delicious breakfast!

So I started a new job last week, which is very exciting, and I'm having a great time working. One of my goals after everything was finalized was to make homemade snacks for work each week. I keep kicking myself for buying store-bought hummus, because it just never tastes as good as homemade. I hate buying larabars too because they're a waste of money. So these were my snacks from week 1: the easiest chipotle hummus recipe, chopped cucumbers, carrots and celery, and hard-boiled eggs. I will definitely be making this hummus recipe again!

There is nothing quite like having an easy stir-fry for dinner. This one has cabbage, red bell pepper, tofu, ginger, and a few more delicious things to make a delicious weeknight meal. I added Thai basil on top, because it goes well with any stir-fry, and served it with quinoa. I really loved how the ginger and garlic cooked with the red cabbage, along with the soy sauce. And of course, don't forget the sriracha!

Work snacks week 2: garam masala hummus and 3-ingredient energy bites. I made these last night in about 10 minutes, so all I have to do today is chop some vegetables. The hummus came together beautifully, and I love the gradients of the toasted sesame seeds on top! Garam masala is probably one of my favorite spices, so I loved using it in this hummus. I was also feeling a little lazy and didn't want to purchase dates just to make fake larabars. So I settled for the 3-ingredient energy bites instead, which only have: coconut, peanuts and vegan chocolate chips. They took less than 5 minutes to make and they are delicious!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Les Bouchées Quotidiennes

I'm not sure how it's taken me this long to stuff a vegetable. If I remember correctly, I've never made stuffed vegetables. How strange is that? Well this taco tempeh stuffed zucchini was a great place to start and it was incredible! It has everything I love about tacos without the corn tortilla shells, which is great because GF tortillas don't taste that great. The best part is that you can eat the zucchini boat too! This makes a great meal paired with cilantro lime rice, which I make by just adding some salt, vegan butter, lime juice & minced cilantro to cooked rice.

Afraid of making spring rolls? Too hot outside to cook? Check out my recipe for fresh herb & tofu spring rolls!

These are both recipes for my recipe testing position so I'll be brief, but it was delicious! This is an oven baked tempeh sandwich with avocado, tomato & vegan mayo along with Mexican tomato soup. These were both super tasty and easy to make, plus I was able to freeze leftover tomato soup (always a plus)!

Mac & cheese is my #1 comfort food, which is funny considering I almost never ate it before I was diagnosed. But now I love it, and like everything else, I love different variations on it! This is a simple spicy vegan mac & cheese with NO cashews or blending of any kind, which automatically makes it a winner in my book! It also uses pantry items only, so you can be sure that you probably always have ingredients to make this on hand! I added some cooked green peas for color but I'm sure any vegetables would be great (especially broccoli).

This is a recipe I wrote down sometime last year, but never got around to making it. But last week, these cumin chickpea fritters with parsley chutney were calling my name. They take a little more effort than most fritters because of the amount of prep, but they are totally worth it. I love toasted cumin seeds, and paired with this vibrant and zesty parsley chutney, it's a true match made in heaven. I will also say that you should at least try this chutney recipe. It's quick and goes well on everything. I put leftover chutney on some grilled salmon from the Fourth and it was amazing! The flavor is so bright and fresh that it would probably also do well on eggs, cooked potatoes, or stirred into rice with some vegan butter.

There's always a big salad planned when we visit Mike's parents! This has a bunch of ingredients but it's basically lots of lettuce, garden vegetables and peppers, fresh chopped herbs and some balsamic vinegar. We also threw in some chopped sprite melon, which was actually a very nice addition!

This is why I really have to stop buying sorbet and ice cream: this cantaloupe sorbet only has TWO ingredients. That's right, just cantaloupe and vegan organic cane sugar. Not to mention all you do is chop the melon, blend it with sugar, then pop it in your ice cream maker, and that's that! I'm on day three of it being in the freezer and it still tastes great. If you're feeling boozy: scoop some of this sorbet into a bowl and mix in a shot of Campari. Trust me.

I've been trying to figure out pantry meals that I can make easily, since school is coming back soon. These Cajun chickpea cakes with smoky Cajun mayo are a great option for any weeknight. There isn't a lot of prep time and I pretty much always have the ingredients for them on hand, minus chickpeas. I even made the homemade poultry seasoning to give it even more flavor (totally worth it). The result is an incredibly flavorful, spicy cake that has a lovely, creamy sauce on top. I highly recommend these. Sometimes I forget how great of a source Happy Herbivore is for healthy, quick meals! This originally comes from her second book.